9 July

The Roadrunner image

It's Tom Hanks' birthday

So we are drinking a...

The Roadrunner

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It’s the birthday of Tom Hanks, star of a magnificent portfolio of movies including Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away and the Toy Story series.

In 2014 Hanks was recorded by one newspaper as the highest-grossing actor in film history. His acting career began at school and has continued on an ever-ascending path from then on, and he made living history when Asteroid 12818 Tomhanks was named after him.

Tonight, we'll be watching one of our favourite movies, Forrest Gump, with a Roadrunner in one hand and a table-tennis bat in the other.

It's the anniversary of the biggest wave ever

On this day in 1958, the biggest wave ever known swept through an Alaskan fjord, Lituja Bay and, amazingly, some eyewitnesses survived.

At over 500m in height, the wave was a megatsunami, taking out trees high up the mountains on either side of the bay, so much so that it turned "black - totally black from the soil and the trees".

The cause? An 8.3 magnitude earthquake, which dumped 30 million cubic metres of rock and ice into the narrow bay. Some predict, a wave of around this size will hit the East Coast of the United States at some point in the future, when a volcano in the Canaries collapses. Folk might be wise to take the advice a fisherman anchored on the bay when that wave came roaring in gave his eight-year-old son, who was also on the boat. "He threw me a life preserver and he said, 'Son, start praying.'" Alternatively, an Alaska might work.

It's Courtney Love's birthday

Courtney Love, widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, possibly Marlon Brando's granddaughter, musician, actress and conspiracy theorist du jour, celebrates her birthday today - and, frankly, we're impressed she even made it. (She referred to her 2013 tour as "I'm Still Alive".)

Volatile, brilliant, outrageous and talented, Love has led a BIG life. She ran away from her hippie parents to become a stripper while still of school age, while her father's main involvement in her life seems to have been feeding her LSD and accusing her of murdering her husband.

Love has grappled with a truck load of addictions, yet fronted a band, been nominated for a Golden Globe, and become an icon in her own right. Once called the "most subversive woman in rock history", Love's a bona fide alpha female in a male-dominated world, and she's still partying, playing with both men and women and being as crazy as she damn well pleases. We're toasting her with Dirk Gueldner's aptly named Love On Sale. Happy birthday!

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