10 Facts About Women with the Initials “L.L.”

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1.  There are a lot of them in comics involving Superman: his girl friend Lois Lane; Lois’s sister, Lucy Lane; his high school sweetheart Lana Lang; his college romance Lori Lemaris; his Kryptonian affair, Lyla Lerrol; his cousin Supergirl’s secret identity, Linda Lee; his Kryptonian mother’s maiden name, Lara Lor-Van; and that’s only scratching the surface. LL3

2.  The tabloids would be much quieter without Lindsay Lohan. More

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10 Facts About Former Child Star Paul Petersen

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1.  Born September 23, 1945, Paul Petersen started out at age ten as a Mousketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club.  (He was fired – by Disney himself – apparently for punching a casting director who kept calling him “mouse.”) 28111579

2.  He gained much more attention playing Donna Reed’s son, Jeff, from 1958-1966 on The Donna Reed Show. More

10 Facts About Singer-Songwriter Laura Nyro

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1.  The singer-songwriter was born October 18, 1947 in (of course) the Bronx.

2.  Her real name was Laura Nigro and her father, Louis Nigro, was a jazz trumpeter. More

10 Facts About Mike Nichols

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1.  Mike Nichols was born November 6, 1931 in Berlin.  (Happy b-day!)

2.  He became part of the Compass Players (a predecessor of Second City) in 1955, joining Elaine May, Paul Sills, Shelly Berman and Del Close in the endeavor.  Nichols & May launched as a comedy due in 1958. More

10 Facts About Vivien Leigh

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1.  The actress was born in Darjeeling, India on November 5, 1911 (or possibly 1913.  Different sources have different dates.)

2.  Not content with winning an Oscar for Best Actress for an obscure little flick called Gone with the Wind, Leigh later grabbed another of those trophies for her work in A Streetcar Named Desire. More

10 Facts About MAD Magazine

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1.  Started  by Harvey Kurtzman (editor and contributor) and William Gaines (publisher), MAD Magazine has been corrupting the minds of America’s youth since 1952.  (And as contributor Al Jaffee said in 2010, “from what I’m gathering from the minds of people all over, we succeeded” in that corrupting goal.)

2.  Originally published in a familiar comic book format, MAD switched to its more familiar magazine-size format with issue #24, in 1955.  This had the benefit of removing MAD from the censorship of the Comics Code Authority.  (Not even Superduperman could have successfully fought the CCA.) More

10 Facts About (and Recipes For) Pizza

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1.  Where’d it start?  In ancient Greece, where it was known as pektos or pita and was basically bread covered with oils, herbs and cheese. (Recipe for a modern Greek pizza is at http://greek.food.com/recipe/greek-pizza-156665)

2.  Italy developed the not-attractively-named variation known as placenta, which was dough with cheese, honey and bay leaves. (try it with this recipe: http://www.gourmet.com/food/2008/10/eat-like-a-roman-pastry) More

10 Facts About Major Matt Mason

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1.  He was an astronaut action figure (or “doll,” as it was known then) from Mattel, first appearing in 1966.

2.  Mason was the leader of a crew of astronauts who, initially at least, were based on the moon.  (I had the Major and his friends when I was a kid.) More