The Friday Irregular

Issue #643 - 3rd December 2021

Edited by and copyright ©2021 Simon Lamont
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Unless otherwise indicated dollar values are in US dollars. Currency conversions are at current rates at time of writing and may be rounded.
The Friday Irregular uses Common Era year notation.






  1. n. a concealed hiding place.
  2. n. a hole, burrow or lair.


Friday 3rd December   -   Roman emperor Diocletian died, 311. King Berenger I of Italy was crowned as Holy Roman Emperor, 915. Mathematician John Wallis, who introduced the ∞ symbol for infinity, born, 1616. Scientist Katherine Jones, Viscountess Ranelagh, died, 1691. Georges Claude gave the first demonstration of modern neon lighting, 1910. Actress Daryl Hannah born, 1960. International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Saturday 4th December   -   Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, died, probably in battle, 530 BCE. Charlemagne acceded to the throne of the Frankish kingdom, 771. Nurse Edith Cavell born, 1865. The brigantine Mary Celeste was found abandoned in unexplained circumstances and drifting in the Atlantic, 1872. Actor Michael Bates born, 1920. Historian, political philosopher and Holocaust survivor Hannah Arendt died, 1975.
Sunday 5th December   -   Ealhswith, queen consort of Alfred the Great, died, 902. Composer Francesco Scarlatti born, 1666. Auctioneer James Christie held his first sale, in London, 1766. Poet Christina Rossetti born, 1830. Writer Anexander Dumas died, 1870. Flight 19, a group of TBF Avengers on a training flight, disappeared off Florida in the "Bermuda Triangle", 1945. International Volunteer Day. World Soil Day.
Monday 6th December   -   King Henry VI of England born, 1421. Artist Jan van Scorel died, 1562. Members of the English Long Parliament thought to be loyal to King Charles I were purged ahead of his trial, 1648. The Nefertiti Bust was discovered in Amarna, Egypt, 1912. Soviet fighter pilot Yekaterina Budanova born, 1916. Actress Janet Munro died, 1972.
Tuesday 7th December   -   Statesman and philosopher Cicero was killed, 43 BCE. Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, born, 1545. The Great Storm of 1703 hit the south of England with wind gusts up to 120mph (193km/h), 1703. Writer Willa Cather born, 1873. Soprano Kirsten Flagstad died, 1962. The Blue Marble photograph of Earth was taken by the astronauts on Apollo 17 as they headed for the Moon, 1972. International Civil Aviation Day.
Wednesday 8th December   -   Poet Horace born, 65 BCE. Louis the Stammerer was crowned king of the West Frankish Kingdom, 877. Marie Anne de Mailly, mistress of King Louis XV of France, died, 1744. The United States declared war on Japan and formally entered World War II the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, 1941. Actress Kim Basinger born, 1953. Puppeteer and actor Carol Spinney died, 2019.
Thursday 9th December   -   Byzantine general Belisarius entered Rome unopposed and the Gothic garrison fled the city, during the Gothic War, 536. Poet Richard Lovelace born, 1617. Artist Anthony van Dyck died, 1641. Douglas Engelbart gave "The Mother of All Demos", publicly demonstrating the computer mouse, hypertext and the bit-mapped graphical user interface, 1968. Singer-songwriter Imogen Heap born, 1977. Actress Eleanor Parker died, 2013. International Anti-Corruption Day.


This week, Carroll Spinney:
I'll have people meet me on the street with their 3-year-old and they'll say, "Do you know who this is? There's a man inside Big Bird and this is the man." This is bad news to a child.


A selection of quotations from films released in the same year. Answers next issue or from the regular address. Last issue's quotations were from films released in 1955:


Strange stories from around the world, some of which might be true...

IN BRIEF: Blackpool councillor Simon Blackburn is being criticised for claiming he can still represent residents despite having moved to Devon, almost 300 miles away as the crow flies.● Research by Scrap Car Comparison has found that BMW and Audi owners are more likely to be psychopaths than drivers of other cars. Least likely were Hyundai, Volkswagen and Citroën drivers. Drivers of hybrid, petrol or diesel cars were less likely to be psychopaths than drivers of electic cars. ● When longtime Nebraska football fan Milton Andrew Munson died his obituary asked that people "in lieu of flowers, please place an irresponsibly large wager on Nebraska beating Iowa". Two radio DJs raised nearly $5,000 (£3,750) for the bet, and Munson's son Todd tweeted that "If the ghost of my old man can't will the Huskers to victory on Friday, then they truly are a lost cause." Iowa won the game 28-21 last Friday. ● New Zealand Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter went into labour early on Sunday. She called the hospital, got on her bicycle and cycled there at 2am, with her contractions 2-3 minutes apart, giving birth an hour after arriving. ● Storm Arwen brought chaos to much of northern Britain last Friday, and left more than sixty people, including an Oasis tribute band, stuck in a remote pub 1,732' (528m) above sea level in the Yorkshire Dales because 3' (90cm) snowfall had blocked roads and brought down power lines. The seven staff members who were also stuck there organised quizzes, karaoke and film screenings as well as food and - in the evenings, in case the roads suddenly became clear during the day, opened the bar. On Saturday the guests presented them with a whip-round of £300 ($400) to show their appreciation. The roads were eventually cleared after three nights and visitors were able to leave, many planning to keep in touch with each other, staff and the inn.

CORONAVIRUS ROUND-UP: German police shut down an unauthorised vaccination centre at Lübeck airport on Saturday. A doctor was administering vaccine shots that he had invented, and which were unauthorised. More than fifty people had received the jabs, with over two hundred still in the queue. Doctor Winfried Stöcker had been interviewed about his vaccine in Der Spiegel in March and is the owner of the airport. Under the German Medicines Act the unlicensed vaccination campaign was illegal. Germany has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe. ● Marcus Lamb, co-founder and CEO of the conservative-Christian Dayster Television Network on which he vehemently opposed COVID-19 vaccination and broadcast anti-vaccine conspiracy programming has died a week after contracting COVID-19. ● The Toronto police force have put 117 officers and 88 civilian employees on unpaid leave for either not being fully immunised or not yet disclosing their vaccination status.

UPDATES: The Cumre Vieja volcano on La Palma continues to erupt, with six new vents opening up and spewing lava at a rate of 20' (6m) per minute towards unspoiled land. ● The story of the Florida mansion being sold by a German shepherd dog was a ruse by the son of an Italian pharmaceutical company owner to promote a real estate sale. Maurizio Mian told an Italian newspaper in 1995 that the story of the countess and her dog was "an invention to publicise the philosophy" of his foundation. No evidence for the countess having existed could be found by the Associated Press, and the dogs are little more than subjects of a long-running joke.


Hamster Mr Goxx (made headlines outperforming human investors in cryptocurrency [viz. TFIr #634], age not given), actor David Gulpilil (Walkabout, Crocodile Dundee, Rabbit-Proof Fence, 68), soccer player Ray Kennedy (Arsenal, Liverpool, England, 70), motor racing executive Frank Williams (founder and team principal of the Williams Racing Formula 1 team until 2020, 79), actor and stuntman Tommy Lane (Live and Let Die, Shaft [1971], Simon & Simon, 83), composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods, West Side Story [lyrics], A Little Night Music, 91), actress Arlene Dahl (Journey to the Center of the Earth [1959], My Wild Irish Rose, The Outsiders, 96).


Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
16, 22, 31, 40, 51, 53
[UK National Lottery, number range 1-59]
You can get your very own prediction at


    The children's teacher was off sick and a relief teacher was reviewing their maths skills. "OK, class," she said, "if I had eight coconuts and I gave you three, how many would I have left?"
    The children looked puzzled, then one hand shot up. "Yes, Little Jennifer?"
    "I don't know, Miss!"
    "You should. I'm sure your teacher went through basic maths with you."
    Little Jennifer smiled as only she could. "Oh, she did, Miss, but she taught us about apples and oranges, not coconuts!"

^ ...end of line