The 27 Club

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What do Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain have in common?

Each was an influential rock musician who had a meteoric rise to fame cut short by a drug-related death at age 27.

Also dead at 27: Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Peter Ham of Badfinger, “Pigpen” McKernan of the Grateful Dead, Gary Thain of Uriah Heep, Alan Wilson of Canned Heat, Jeremy Ward of The Mars Volta, Dave Alexander of the Stooges … and Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, for whatever that’s worth.

The Ding Hai Effect

Adam Cheng isn’t very popular among stockbrokers. That’s because every time the Hong Kong actor stars in a new television show, there’s a sharp drop in global stock markets.

No one can explain it, but it’s happened eight times since 1993, when Cheng first starred as Ding Hai in the dramatic series Greed of Man. Only once, in 2004, has a new Cheng series not been accompanied by a drop in the stock market.

“The Tomatina”

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

The world’s largest food fight takes place each year on the last Wednesday in August, when the town of Buñol, Spain, holds its annual tomato festival. Local trucks dump more than 100 metric tons of overripe tomatoes into the streets, and there’s a general free-for-all among up to 25,000 people.

Reportedly, when it’s over, rivers of tomato juice up to 12 inches deep run through the town, and area fire engines hose down the streets.

This has been going on since 1944, and apparently it has no political or religious significance — they do it just for fun.

Black Friday

Famous people born on Friday the 13th:

  • Don Adams
  • Samuel Beckett
  • Steve Buscemi
  • Fidel Castro
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
  • Georges Simenon

The fear of this date is called paraskavedekatriaphobia.

Things to Come

This will be an eventful century, if our science fiction writers are right. Here’s what to expect:

  • 2008: Jason Voorhees is captured. (Jason X)
  • 2012: Aliens begin to colonize Earth. (The X-Files)
  • 2015: Time travelers Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrive from the year 1985. (Back to the Future Part II)
  • 2019: Former blade runner Rick Deckard agrees to do one more job. Ben Richards is forced to compete on The Running Man.
  • 2022: New York City has become overpopulated, with 40 million starving citizens. (Soylent Green)
  • 2035: Mankind lives in gigantic underground cities. (Things to Come)
  • 2050: Newspeak eclipses oldspeak. (Nineteen Eighty-Four)
  • 2052: New York City launches a giant ball of unwanted garbage into space. Experts warn the ball might return to Earth someday, but their concerns are dismissed as “depressing.” (Futurama)
  • 2053: World War III. (Star Trek)
  • 2062: The Flintstones arrive via a malfunctioning time machine constructed by Elroy Jetson. (The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones)
  • 2063: First contact with Vulcans.
  • 2084: Dancing is outlawed. Flash, Strobe, Laser and Pyro escape Earth to live on Moon Base Alpha to dance in freedom. (Dancemania)

Oh, and in the late 21st century Superman leaves Earth. Better hurry and get that autograph.