#TodayILearned that that rich dad of one of Rachel's boyfriends who once showed up on a random episode of Friends is actually Matthew Perry's real-life father, John Perry, which according to Matthew's memoir is a real piece of work.
#TodayILearned that when people first started using the term #GreatAmericanNovel in the late 1800s, they were originally referring to the challenge of writing a book that would equally appeal to both Northerners and Southerners in the post-Civil War years. https://fivebooks.com/best-books/the-great-american-novel-lawrence-buell/
#TodayILearned that you can often tell when an elderly person is on their last day before death, because their eyes get darker in color, although it's not a pigment change but rather a cloudy film building up over them.
#TodayILearned that Jules Bass of animation company Rankin/Bass was an intensely private person, and to this day barely anything is known about either his private life or what exactly his role was at the company he co-founded. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/28/arts/television/jules-bass-dead.html
#TodayILearned that #ChrisSmith, director of infamous Generation X documentary #AmericanMovie, often derided for its "let's gawk at the losers" mentality, is also the director of #TigerKing, celebrated for the exact same reason. https://www.nathanrabin.com/happy-place/2022/9/14/twenty-three-years-after-the-release-of-american-movie-i-find-myself-relating-to-mark-borchardt-on-a-painful-level
#TodayILearned that, like a lot of failing Midwestern cities in the '80s and '90s, Columbus OH had their own expensive folly that city planners thought would spur a downtown revival, but ended up just being a place suburbanites drove to then went home. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Maria_Ship_%26_Museum
#TodayILearned that #JoanDidion wanted her first LIFE assignment to be on the My Lai massacre, but the magazine insisted on sending a man and told her to do a gentle piece on married life, so she wrote an explicit account of her upcoming divorce. https://www.messynessychic.com/2022/09/07/6-ways-to-introduce-joan-didion-to-the-next-generation/
#TodayILearned that for six weeks in 1943, the government banned sliced bread so to conserve steel and wax paper. (To be fair, industrially sliced bread had only been invented 20 years previously, prompting the phrase "the best thing since sliced bread.") https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/america-banned-sliced-bread
#TodayILearned that #ToddField, celebrated director of "Little Children" and "In the Bedroom," is the same guy who played the creepy piano player in "Eyes Wide Shut." https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/30/movies/tar-todd-field-returns-to-directing.html
#TodayILearned that experimental Modernist poet #EECummings was an obsessive fan of the comic strip #KrazyKat, and even wrote the introduction to the first published collection of strips in 1946. https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2022/07/20/e-e-cummings-and-krazy-kat/
#TodayILearned that the 1983 #PiaZadora career ender #TheLonelyLady tested so badly that the producers hired the creator of "The Razzies" to design one of the first-ever deliberate Room-style "so bad it's good" marketing plans to promote it. https://www.nathanrabin.com/happy-place/2022/7/5/ray-liotta-does-horrible-things-with-a-garden-hose-in-his-riveting-debut-performance-in-the-1983-camp-classic-the-lonely-lady
#TodayILearned that Israeli law prohibits anyone on the planet from immigrating to Israel unless they're Jewish, under any circumstances whatsoever. https://lifehacker.com/10-of-the-easiest-countries-to-emigrate-to-when-youve-h-1849125605/slides/6
#TodayILearned that Newt Gingrich writing the Contract With America and the Trumpists attempting a violent overthrow of the government occurred exactly 25 years apart.
#TodayILearned that #WilliamStuckley, an #esoteric #Englightment #Christian in the early 1700s who spearheaded the first-ever modern archeological examination of Stonehenge, started the modern #druid movement that then led to the modern #pagan movement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stukeley
#TodayILearned that for centuries after the fall of the #RomanEmpire, Rome's famous #Colosseum served as Christianity's very first #megachurch. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/12/world/europe/colosseum-painting-christianity.html
Chicago-based writer and photographer, rare-book dealer and indie lit book editor. Blog: write.as/jasonpettus | firstname.lastname@example.org
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