The Geekly with a Twist: April 20th-26th

Well we all (theoretically) survived tax day, so isn’t it really time for a reward? Of course, here at SciFi4Me, we’re more than happy to oblige and answer with the wonderful, the marvelous, the one and only Geekly with a Twist! Okay, so, delusions of grandeur aside, onward with the history!

April 20, 1841: “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” Edgar Allan Poe’s first detective story, is published in Graham’s Magazine (for which he was also editor).

April 20th, 1924: A man probably better known for his voice in the modern age, the man behind the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter films as well as countless other roles throughout his career, Leslie Phillips is born in North London, England.

April 20th, 1937: Oh my! George Takei is born in Los Angeles.

April 21st, 2000: In the current issue of the journal Science, North Carolina researchers announce the discovery of a dinosaur with a heart. Aside from this paleontological first, the scientists announce their findings that the heart is similar to that of a mammalian heart (and, by extension, avian) as opposed to a reptilian heart.

April 21st, 2009: UNESCO launches The World Digital Library. The project is an effort to be an international and multilingual (easy access) digital archive of primary materials from cultures around the world. (This is a really fun way to kill some time, by the way.)

April 22nd, 1937:  American screen icon Jack Nicholson is born in New York City.

April 23rd, 1564: (The hack!) William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-upon-Avon. (Yeah, sorry, I’m one of those that don’t believe Mr. Billy Shakes wrote his own plays…call me a conspiracy theorist.)

April 23rd, 1616: In a turn of fate which makes for a fun Jeopardy! factoid, William Shakespeare dies on his 52nd birthday in Stratford-upon-Avon.

April 23rd, 1930: Scifi actor and voice actor Alan Oppenheimer is born in New York City.

April 23rd, 1940: The Six Million Dollar Man himself, Lee Majors is born in Wyandotte, Michigan.

Cosmonaut Vladmir Komarov with Family

April 23rd, 1967: The Soviet Union launches the Soyuz 1 spacecraft. The craft is responsible for the first recorded in-flight death in the history of space travel.

April 23rd, 1971: The Soyuz 10 is launched by the Soviet Union in an attempt to dock with the first space station, Salyut 1.

April 23rd, 1977: The Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement (or, as he’s better known to most, Kumar) Kal Penn is born in Montclair, New Jersey. (He also appeared in Buffy:The Vampire Slayer– he’s one of the frat guys in “Beer Bad.”)

April 23rd, 2005: The first video is uploaded to YouTube.

April 24th, 1800: The Library of Congress is established. Its initial allocation? A seemingly tiny $5,000. Of course, by inflation rate, that $5,000 would be worth about $63,300 as of 2010.

April 24th, 1955: The SciFi show X-Minus One premiers on NBC radio.

April 24th, 1967: Cosmonaut Vladmir Komarov dies on the reentry of Soyuz 1. He is the first person to have achieved spaceflight twice and also the first man to die during a space mission.

April 24th, 1990: The space shuttle Discovery blasts off from Cape Canaveral carrying the Hubble Space Telescope.

April 25th, 1990: The Hubble Space Telescope is placed into the Earth’s orbit.

April 26th, 1514:  Copernicus makes his first observations of the planet Saturn.

If you’re feeling a little Bardish, why not try a Twist based off of one of his most well-known plays? It’s a bit complicated, but a Juliet and Romeo sounds delicious!

  • 2 oz London Dry gin
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 3 drops rose water
  • 3 drops Angostura bitters
  • 3 slices peeled cucumber
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint
  • salt

Muddle together cucumber and salt and slap the mint (it’s doing nearly exactly as it sounds). Add all ingredients to the shaker and allow to sit for about 30 seconds. Shake, strain, and pour into a chilled glass. To garnish the drink with a flair, float a mint leaf on the surface of the water and place a drop of rose water on the leaf. Add a few drops of bitters to the surface of the drink and a rose by any other name would not smell as sweet!

So, of course, to Garnish your week, how about a good time killer to waste away the last of your Friday for the weekend?

This past week I’ve been super addicted to HubbleSite, which is actually the website for the Hubble Space Telescope.

There’s news, history, a blog, and so much more on this website about the extremely interesting piece of equipment. Best yet? The GALLERY! Holy desktop images, Batman, there are multitudes of pictures (90% of which I’d love to spend my day just staring into space at…no pun intended)! It’s a great time killer, especially for the science inclined, and it’s fun for all ages (an 8 year old cousin about died of happiness when I shared). Head on over and check it out!

Until next time, geek on!

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