Friday, August 25, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for August 25

Tim Burton was born on August 25, 1958

Tim Burton is Born

The American director, producer, stop-motion animator and screen writer, Timothy Walter Burton, was born on this day in 1958. Heavily influenced by both Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl, Burton attended the California Institute of the Arts in Velencia, CA to study animation. His first film, Stalk of the Celery Monster, which is more pencil drawings than anything else, grabbed the attention of Walt Disney Studios and was offered an apprentice position with the company. While did create some concept art for The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron and Tron, none of his art made it to those films. However, in 1982, he created his first short, Vincent, a stop-motion animation project that fantasized what horror actor Vincent Price was like as a child. Burton’s next project, a live action short called Frankenweenie was completed in 1984 and was reportedly what got him fired at Disney for creating a film too dark and scary for children. Ironically, he was called back in 1993 to produce The Nightmare Before Christmas and again in 1996 for James and the Giant Peach and was asked to create a full-length version of Frankenweenie in 2012. His most recent directing role was for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) and is said to be directing Beetlejuice 2 and a live action version of Dumbo.


The Great Moon Hoax

It was on this day in 1835 that a series of six articles describing the discovery of life on the moon began in the New York Sun newspaper. The newspaper, which started up just two years earlier, was known as a “penny press” paper that was cheaper and its journalism was a little…off. The whole thing of course was a hoax, but sales of the paper shot up anyway as readers did not understand the joke. The stories were written by “Dr. Andrew Grant” who claimed that the Edinburgh Journal (which no longer existed at this time) reported that evidence of fantastic animals such as unicorns, two-legged beavers and winged humanoids had been found. Committees of Yale University scientists traveled to New York to read these articles, but were sent home. On September 16, 1835, the paper finally admitted that the whole thing was a satire and sales of the paper did not suffer.

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