June 6, 2015 archive

On This Day In History June 6

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

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June 6 is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 208 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1933, eager motorists park their automobiles on the grounds of Park-In Theaters, the first-ever drive-in movie theater, located on Crescent Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey.


The drive-in theater was the creation of Camden, New Jersey, chemical company magnate Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr., whose family owned and operated the R.M. Hollingshead Corporation chemical plant in Camden. In 1932, Hollingshead conducted outdoor theater tests in his driveway at 212 Thomas Avenue in Riverton. After nailing a screen to trees in his backyard, he set a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car and put a radio behind the screen, testing different sound levels with his car windows down and up. Blocks under vehicles in the driveway enabled him to determine the size and spacing of ramps so all automobiles could have a clear view of the screen. Following these experiments, he applied August 6, 1932, for a patent of his invention, and he was given U.S. Patent 1,909,537 on May 16, 1933. That patent was declared invalid 17 years later by the Delaware District Court.

Hollingshead’s drive-in opened in New Jersey June 6, 1933, on Admiral Wilson Boulevard at the Airport Circle in Pennsauken, a short distance from Cooper River Park. It offered 500 slots and a 40 by 50 ft (12 by 15 m) screen. He advertised his drive-in theater with the slogan, “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.” (The first film shown was the Adolphe Menjou film Wife Beware.) The facility only operated three years, but during that time the concept caught on in other states. The April 15, 1934, opening of Shankweiler’s Auto Park in Orefield, Pennsylvania, was followed by Galveston’s Drive-In Short Reel Theater (July 5, 1934), the Pico in Los Angeles (September 9, 1934) and the Weymouth Drive-In Theatre in Weymouth, Massachusetts (May 6, 1936). In 1937, three more opened in Ohio, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with another 12 during 1938 and 1939 in California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Texas and Virginia. Michigan’s first drive-in was the Eastside, which opened May 26, 1938, in Harper Woods near Detroit.

Early drive-in theaters had to deal with noise pollution issues. The original Hollingshead drive-in had speakers installed on the tower itself which caused a sound delay affecting patrons at the rear of the drive-in’s field. Attempts at outdoor speakers next to the vehicle did not produce satisfactory results. In 1941, RCA introduced in-car speakers with individual volume controls which solved the noise pollution issue and provided satisfactory sound to drive-in patrons.


The Breakfast Club (The Suckiest Blogging Day, Part 3)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgTwenty six screaming 7 and 9 year olds.  Twenty eight “adult” chaperones.

Nothing will get done.  What fun.

I will be wearing very old clothes that I will burn immediately following a very long shower after dealing with many sticky interventions, some of them with children.

How bad can it be?  Last year my relative wanted to do toilet paper bowling (you know, toilet paper for the pins).  It’s cheap, it’s soft, you need it anyway.  What could possibly go wrong?

Toilet paper Dodgeball.

Did I mention the fun?

So forget music.  You get music next week.  This week you get schadenfreude.

Obligatories, News, and Blogs below.

The Belmont Stakes 2015

The Belmont Stakes are perhaps the most democratic of the Triple Crown Races even though it is held Elmont right next to Queens.  Indications of that are they can’t settle on a song or a drink.  The song has ranged from Sidewalks of New York, a charming Tin Pan Alley tune better known as East Side, West Side, to the Theme from New York, New York (as performed by Frank Sinatra and appropriated as the Yankees anthem and not the original Liza Minelli rendition), to 2010’s Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z.

This year they are back to New York, New York because Sidewalks of New York didn’t produce a Triple Crown winner.

Likewise the drink has changed from the absolutely un-potable White Carnation to the refined trashcan punch that is the Belmont Breeze.

I suggest instead the classic Cosmopolitan.


  • Ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces lemon vodka
  • 1 fluid ounce Cointreau
  • fluid ounce cranberry juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Long thin piece orange zest


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, Cointreau, and cranberry and lime juices. Cover and shake vigorously to combine and chill. Strain the cosmopolitan into a chilled martini glass. Twist the orange zest over the drink and serve.

Note: The drink can also be stirred in a pitcher.

This year is the 147th running and again we have the possibility of a Triple Crown.  While the past 36 years are littered with failure I’d argue that at least as many hopes have been dashed at Pimlico as at Belmont.

There are many problems a potential Triple Crown Winner faces at Belmont.  First of all the distance.  At 1 1/2 miles the Belmont is the longest of the Triple Crown races and comes hard on the heels of the sprint at Pimlico.  It is still a subject of much controversy whether the schedule should be changed, especially since it’s a common tactic for many strong contenders (but losers) at the Kentucky Derby to skip the Preakness and other horses who are also strong but without the stamina to race all three Triple Crown events to skip both in order to rest and train.

This year from 7 contenders there are 3 who fit that profile- Madefromlucky, Frosted, and Materiality.

That said, the smallness of the field and lack of serious contenders other than those three give American Pharoh an excellent chance.

But the Belmont track surface is looser, sandier, and harder to run on than most tracks in the country.  Also the NYRA is much stricter about “performance enhancement” than most racing associations.

So you want to know who will win?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Here is the line from The New York Times.

The Field

Post Horse Odds
1 Mubtaahij 10 – 1
2 Tale of Verve 15 – 1
3 Madefromlucky 12 – 1
4 Frammento 30 – 1
5 American Pharoah 3 – 5
6 Frosted 5 – 1
7 Keen Ice 20 – 1
8 Materiality 6 – 1

Unfortunately, Triple Crown or not, I won’t be around to watch.  If you want to take a crack at live blogging it yourself all you have to do is post “They’re off” around when the horses break from the gate and then the results when it’s over.

Good Luck!

Post time is 6:50 pm ET on NBC.  Hype starts around 4:30.

(I might update this with my collected NYT links later, but it’s too much work for right now- ek)

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

The Seafood Conundrum

 photo fish-stew-mediterranean-articleLarg.jpg

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

The scientific dispute over what’s safe and what’s not has raged for many years, but I was heartened to see that even a watchdog group like the Environmental Defense Fund can find a range of fish and shellfish make for safe and sustainable choices. I know from experience that many of them can make for fine meals; I’ll be offering a few examples this week.

As for the best ways to cook fish, there are many. I tend to go for methods that don’t leave a lingering smell in my kitchen, such as roasting in a covered baking dish or in individual foil packets, poaching in a stew, or slow-steaming in the oven. I steam mollusks like mussels and clams in wine in a wide pan or a pot, and serve them with the broth. On warm nights, I love to grill fish outdoors

~ Martha Rose Shulman ~

Easy Fish Stew With Mediterranean Flavors

This is a typical fisherman’s stew. No need to make a fish stock; water, aromatics and anchovies will suffice.

Spanish-Style Shrimp With Garlic

Serve with rice, or if serving in earthenware dishes, with crusty bread for dipping.

Grilled Sardines

If you’ve only had sardines from a can, you may turn up your nose at them. Fresh ones will change your mind. Brush them with olive oil, toss a few sprigs of rosemary onto a hot grill, and grill them.

Baked Halibut With Tomato Caper Sauce

This is a pungent tomato sauce that I learned to make in Provence. It goes well with any type of robust fish.

Whole Rainbow Trout Baked in Foil

It’s easy to find farmed rainbow trout these days. They’re usually boned and “butterflied” – opened up, with the halves still attached.