1724 — Immanuel Kant is born

Immanuel Kant is one of the most important figures in modern philosophy. His best known work, the “Critique of Pure Reason”, was a landmark in the development of philosophy, proposing as it did that the features of the external world must logically conform to how our brains are structured to perceive them (I think I got that right).

Kant was born in Königsberg, the capital of Prussia (the city today called Kaliningrad), and lived to be 79. Aside from the Critique, he also wrote widely, contributing to such fields as ethics, aesthetics, teleology, moral philosophy and many more besides. His influence was so profound that he was regarded as the father of German Idealism in philosophy, a loose movement including such thinkers as Hegel, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Schelling.

Referenced in:

Bruces’ Philosophers Song — Monty Python

1964 – The World’s Fair opens in New York

The 1964 World’s Fair was the second such fair not to be approved of by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), the organisation in charge of such fairs. (The first was the previous New York World’s Fair, held in 1939.) There were a number of reasons for this, but the most prominent was the decision of the fair’s organising committee to charge rent to exhibitors.

Nonetheless, the Fair went ahead. Robert Moses, the city planner of New York City, was the main force behind it, and he recruited the architect Victor Gruen to design the site and the buildings (thus ensuring that the Gruen transfer would effect Fair-goers as well as mall-shoppers). Many of the world’s more prominent nations – members of the BIE – did not attend the Fair, but other nations from the developing world more than made up for them. By the time the World’s Fair closed its doors eighteen months later, 51 million visitors had visited.

Referenced in:

Ana Ng — They Might Be Giants

1988 — Sherilyn Fenn stars in ‘Two Moon Junction’

“Two Moon Junction” was a fairly forgettable erotic thriller from 1988. It actually had a fairly reasonable cast, featuring Louise Fletcher, Milla Jovovich in her first film role and Burl Ives in his last, but given that it was an erotic thriller, it was naturally the beautiful and desirable Sherilyn Fenn who was front and centre.

The film was neither a great flop nor a great success, although it did well enough to inspire a direct to video sequel some years later. In fact, aside from inspiring Screaming Jay Hawkins to write a song about how much he wanted to have sex with Ms. Fenn as a result of it, the film contributed little to the world. Hawkins did have a point, though.

Referenced in:
Sherilyn Fenn — Screaming Jay Hawkins