12 Ιανουαριου

Smokey Joe image

It's Joe Frazier's birthday

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Smokey Joe

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One of the legends of boxing, and one of the great heavyweights of all time, Smokin' Joe Frazier was born this day in 1944 and died 7th November 2011, after an outstanding career almost entirely outshadowed by his rival Muhammad Ali.

Frazier inflicted Ali's first defeat during the "Fight of the Century" at Madison Square Gardens, came close during the Thriller in Manila and won an Olympic boxing gold medal. Yet, as the establishment foil to Ali's radical rhetoric, he would never step out of his shadow.

It wasn't just the personal taunts that hurt - although they scarred him more than the blows. But when Ali was chosen to light the Olympic torch in 1996, and when his Philadelphia home town chose a fictional boxer - Rocky! - to commemorate, Frazier felt these insults deeply.

To this good man, a heroic athlete, and a man who always tried to do what was right in a world that was often all wrong, we are raising a glass of Smokey Joe.

It's also the anniversary of the first person to be cryogenically frozen

Back in 1967, 73 year old Psychology Professor James Bedford became the first person to be cryogenically frozen in the hope that one day he would be woken up and brought back to life.

Robert Nelson, President of the Cryonics Society of California, and one of the three characters involved in his preservation, went on to document the process in We Froze the First Man. Still cryopreserved to this day Professor Bedford is stored in liquid nitrogen and has been moved five times since the big day.

In the cryonics community, the anniversary of Bedford's preservation is celebrated as Bedford Day. If you want to join them, we'd like to suggest you dock your cap to the frozen Professor with a Frozen Daiquiri.

It's also Howard Stern's birthday

The original shock jock, Howard Stern was born this day in 1954, and is still broadcasting despite millions of dollars worth of U.S. Federal Communications Commission fines.

Stern's depraved sense of humour and appetite for utter filth has seen him interview director Brett Ratner about the size of his genitalia and a Hugh Hefner girlfriend about their sex life. Early career highlights included getting suspended for creating a game that involved chasing the Virgin Mary around a singles bar, and inventing the character known as Fartman. Stern became a candidate for Governor of New York in 1994, on a Libertarian platform, but sadly refused to stand after he realised he would have to open his accounts to the public.

Bizarrely, this all-round hellraiser is also a fan of Transcendental Meditation and apparently happily married to only his second wife. Loud waters, it would seem, run quiet from time to time. Happy birthday, Howard. We are toasting you with a Showbiz cocktail.

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