On the Flintstones

September 30, 1960 marked the debut of the first animated series to run in primetime. There may be no better way to debut my Saturday posts dedicated to cartoons than The Flintstones (although they initially aired on Friday nights).

It was The Flintstones that brought us prehistoric celebrities as Gary Granite, Stony Curtis, Ed Sulleystone, Ann Margrock, Alvin Brickrock, Perry Masonary, Larry Lava, and Rock Quarry.

It was The Flintstones that brought us timely last names as Slate, Rumble, Rockhead, Hardrock, Slagheap, Muchrocks, Shufflehopper, Granite, McBricker, Darrock, Rockwell, Rockbind, Dempstone, and more.

It was The Flintstones that looked into the future by using birds as airplanes, alarm clocks, automatic garage door openers, crochet needs, clothespins, camera, fire starters, hedge clippers, record players, sewing machines, intercoms, letter openers, shift-change whistle, broom, pens, rakes, and who knows how many more devices.

It was The Flintstones that used crabs as lawnmowers, dinosaurs as a pitching machine, mammoths as a shower, octopi as dishwashers, monkeys as traffic lights, a turtle as a checkers table, mastodons as vacuums, swordfish as knives, bumblebees as razors, pelicans as garbage cans, rabbits as television antennae, porcupine as hairbrushes, sewing needs, and scrub brushes.

Did you know?

  • The town of Bedrock is in Cobblestone County.
  • Fred’s license plate number is XYZ 643.
  • Wilma’s maiden name is Flaghopple.
  • Fred’s parents are Ed and Edna.
  • Except for the first episode, Betty always wore a blue ribbon in her hair.
  • Fred’s bowling nickname was Twinkle Toes.
  • The Great Gazoo was from the planet Zetox.
  • Fred served as the sheriff of Rocky Gulch.
  • Fred didn’t graduate from high school, but attended Prinstone University.
  • 77 Sunset Strip followed The Flintstones.

To Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Bam-Bam, Peebles, and the gang – many thanks – so take the time to watch the one-minute express version below of this classic show.

On 57

Aging does not bother me because it is one of the facts of life. Although bringing attention to myself on birthday is something that I generally do not do, I can say that earlier this month I turned 57. To celebrate my belatedly birthday, here’s a toast to 57 on the 57th day of the year (February 26th).

Meanwhile,before you see more on 57 than you ever imagined, more posts about numbers are in the Numbers category in the sidebar or here.


  • Fifty-seven is the sixteenth discrete semiprime number.
  • As a semiprime, 57 is a Blum integer
  • 57 is a 20-gonal number
  • 57 is a Leyland number since 25 + 52 = 57.
  • 57 squared = 3249, but its square root is 7.54983443527075.

Fifty-seven, LVII, fünfzig sieben, cinquanta sette, femtio sju, elli yedi


  • Lanthanum, the first of the Lanthanides, is 57 on the periodic table, thus has 57 protons; plus if neutrally charged, 57 electrons.
  • In terms of temperature, 57 F = 13.9 C, but 57 C is 134.5 F


  • Carnegie Hall is on West 57th Street in New York City
  • Incident on 57th Street is a song by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
  • 57 Channels (and Nothin’ On) is also by Bruce Springsteen
  • 57 is a song by Biffy Clyro
  • Studio 57 is Andy Warstar’s record label
  • Slick 57 is an alternative country band
  • The Sure SM 57 is the workhorse of recording mics

Television, Radio, and Films

  • B’hrian Bloodaxe, the first Low King of the dwarfs, killed fifty-seven trolls in the legendary Battle of Koom Valley on Discworld (a fictional world created by author Terry Pratchett)
  • Summer of Fifty Seven by Stephen C. Joseph
  • The movie Scream has 57 movie references
  • Passenger 57 is a film starring Wesley Snipes
  • Agent 57 is the name of the master of disguise in the television series Dangermouse
  • The 57th Overlanders is a fictional brigade from the cancelled Joss Whedon television show, Firefly
  • C-57D is the number of the featured ship in the movie Forbidden Planet, and is referenced in the movie Serenity as well
  • Here is the script to the 57th episode of Seinfeld – The Outing
  • CBS News Studios are on West 57th Street in New York City
  • Meredith Vieira hosted West 57, a weekly CBS news-magazine show (1985 – 1989)
  • Brian Keith and Carolyn Jones starred in dramatic anthology series, Studio 57 (1954)
  • Marvel Comics’ character The Vision debuts in issue #57 of The Avengers
  • The resolution of events in the movie Eraser occur on Pier 57
  • The Robot Chicken sketch “Pluto Nash Day” notes that 57 people at 20th Century Fox Studios died amid rioting and suicide.
  • A Robot Chicken parody of the NBC TV series Heroes uses the episode title Chapter Fifty-seven: Uncle Glen
  • The Cartoon Network program Metalocalypse has a fictional television station WHYK-57.
  • Channel 57 in Atlanta, Houston, Madison, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, South Bend, Springfield (MA), and who knows how many community cable stations
  • The Fabulous 57 were disk jockeys on WMCA 570 Radio, New York during the 1960’s


  • 57 is the code for international direct dial phone calls to Colombia
  • The designation of Interstate 57 (I-57), a freeway that runs from Miner, Missouri to Chicago
  • Manhattan’s 57th Street information
  • The 57th Street Bridge, a one-lane swing bridge in New Richmond, Michigan is on the National Register of Historic Places.



  • Former Atlanta Falcons center Jeff Van Note wore number 57. (Retired)
  • Steve Nelson (NE Patriots) wore number 57 (retired)
  • Many NFL linebackers wore 57, including ESPN’s Tom Jackson for the Broncos; do you have any favorites?
  • Although winless, 22 different drivers have been driven #57 in NASCAR

57 BC

  • Year of the Consulship of Lentulus and Metellus
  • Cleopatra VI of Egypt died
  • Thai solar calendar year 487

57 AD

  • Paul of Tarsus writes his Second Epistle to the Corinthians and his Epistle to the Romans(probable date).
  • Accession of Chinese emperor Han Mingdi.
  • Holocene calendar year 10057


  • 57th Congress served during the time of President McKinley’s assassination
  • 57 gallon propane tanks are generally used for residential cooking and clothes dryers
  • The Bofers 57 mm gun would be difficult to hold
  • Prop(osition) 57 is one of a number of anti-ketchup packet groups on Facebook designed to bring attention to the shortcomings of take-out condiment packaging
  • The Organization of the Islamic Conference is composed of 57 states
  • The USAF  deactivated the 57th Air Division in 1991
  • The 57th Fighter Group is an Atlanta restaurant
  • Fifty Seven Degrees is a San Diego wine storage business  … and there is wine bar of the with the same name

On Identifying the DC Problem

Everyone knows that there are not only two sides to a story, but many times the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Here are a few recent quotes from opposite points of view that may say all sides are correct. If they are both right, the problem identifies itself.

On President Obama
John Podesta, who was the chief of staff to Bill Clinton, of course, and advises this administration, said this during an interview with the Financial Times this week. He said, “I think the president is trying to re-engage with Republicans, but, quite frankly, he’s not dealing with the party of [Abraham] Lincoln. He’s dealing with the party of [Sarah] Palin.”

On the other side, The Economist magazine write this in its issue this week. “It’s not so much that America is ungovernable, as that Mr. Obama has done a lousy job of winning over Republicans and independents to the causes he favors …Once President Clinton learned the advantage of co-operating with the Republicans, the country was governed better.”

On Congressional Division
From EJ Dionne, a liberal-leaning columnist: “What we’ve got now is a parliamentary system without the structure of parliamentary government. In parliamentary systems the majority passes things, the opposition opposes, then there’s an election and people decide. Our–the kind of politics we have doesn’t match the structure we have, and we got to bring the two together or else we’re going to continue to have gridlock, as you heard these two gentlemen. They did agree, fundamentally. That’s what’s happening.”

From Peggy Noonan, a conservative-leaning columnist: “Well, I think it probably would have helped if the president, when he came in so strong having won by 9.5 million votes just more than a year ago, if he had come forward with more centrist ideas and very bravely reached out to Republicans, even to the point of alienating or frightening or putting off a little bit of his base.”

On a Senator’s Choice
Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN): “I’ve indicated to you and others, there’s just too much brain-dead partisanship, tactical maneuvering for short-term political advantage rather than focusing on the greater good and, also, just strident ideology. The extremes of both parties have to be willing to accept compromises from time to time to make some progress because some progress for the American people is better than nothing.  And all too often, recently, we’ve been getting nothing.”

George Will, a conservative-leaning columnist: “Well, it’s hard to take a lecture on bipartisanship from a man who voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts, the confirmation of Justice Alito, the confirmation of Attorney General Ashcroft, the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state. Far from being a rebel against his party’s lock-step movement, Mr. Bayh voted for the Detroit bailout, for the stimulus, for the public option in the health care bill. I don’t know quite what his complaint is.”

On Other Good Thoughts
Governor Schwarzenegger (R-CA): “– of my Republican colleagues, but I think it’s kind of politics, rather than thinking about only one thing, and this is how do we support the president, how do we support him and do everything that we can in order to go and stimulate the economy, get the economy back, and think about the people rather than politics.”

Arianna Huffington is not one of my favorites, but she hit a home run with this one: “I think what is not trivial is the anger. The anger is real and the anger is across the board. It’s across the political spectrum and across the country.”

On a Thought for Support

While attending a funeral visitation (wake), have you ever heard or maybe even said to the griever, “Call me if you need anything”? Heck, maybe you have been on the receiving end of that line.

There is no doubt in my mind that the comment is sincere, and some people who are actually eager to do something. Besides, many times we struggle with what to say to the griever. On the other hand, many inside the griever’s inner circle are the people most likely to be receiving the call of help.

Here is a suggestion on a way anyone can help. Since as outsiders we know and respect the griever well enough to attend. With that in mind, call them at least 3 weeks later. Then call them a month or two after that. Sure, you can offer assistance, but more importantly, the call will catch them by surprise, they will appreciate the contact, and it gives them a chance to talk. Here is an example.

We met Kathy and her family in the late 70s at the church we joined. Ten years later, the church moved west and we moved east, thus our lives separated. Then about four years ago, Kathy appeared at our current church.

We discovered the changes in her life as the kids were grown and gone, her divorce from the husband we knew, her current marriage, places that she had lived outside of Cincinnati, and that her current husband was fighting cancer,

He died this past summer. I attended the visitation and the embrace I received not only surprised me, it told me that she appreciated my visit.

Several months later during an evening my wife was at a meeting, I wonder how Kathy is doing popped into my mine, so I called her. Over the next two hours we talked about her support system, the way people respected her husband, people at our the old church where we met, and life with her previous husband – and I learned he died 7-8 years ago.

Although the length of time we talked surprised me, I know I used those 2 hours well and that she appreciated them. Although I have called other grievers in the past, this call truly demonstrated to me that it an important thing to do – thus, something for you to keep in mind.

On Snapping To on Monday

I continue to marvel at human abilities. Take Sam Phillips, for instance, an Ohioan in the Cleveland area, who many consider the king of hand snapping. As one can imagine with rhythms like this 39-second video, Phillips is also a drummer. Maybe Little Beeze will appreciate this use of hands.

Have a good week ahead and hope this helped to jump-start your week.

On Cartoon History

Now that’s a 17-second classic and the basis for this post.

Growing up in the 1960s sparks images of the turbulent late 60s, which were vastly different from the early 1960s, but it is the early 1960s that motivated Ted Turner to create today’s Cartoon Network.

Whether it was tuning in after school to WSAZ’s Mr. Cartoon through the week at 4 o’clock, or a few hours on Saturday morning with the characters from Hanna-Barbera and Looney Tunes, I loved them. When going to the local theater, cartoons preceded the movie – thus I anxiously anticipating the cartoon was part of the evening.

Last weekend I posted several of the introductions to cartoon shows. Several comments by readers sparked an idea of a potential weekend series of posts about cartoons of that time. Although this is not a commitment, the idea is still in my head – so just in case I pursue the idea, here are some key events in history of animated cartoons.

1915: Max Fleisher patents the rotoscope

1916: The first animated short, Krazy Kat

1920: Felix the Cat, silent-film era animation craze in theaters

1928: Walt Disney creates the first animated short with sound: Steamboat Willie, the first Mickey Mouse

1930: The first Looney Tune debuts

1937: The first full-length animated feature, Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

1940: The first Hanna-Barbera collaboration: Tom and Jerry

1949: Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote debut

1960: The first animated, prime-time sitcom: The Flintstones

1992: Ted Turner launches the Cartoon Network

To Learn More:

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 53

On a Coincidence
This is Vol. 53 of this feature, and earlier this week I featured the number 53 in a post.

On Losing Moderate Democrats
With Evan Bayh (D-IN) joining Byron Dorgan (D-ND), the Democrats are losing two senators who are willing find common ground with Republicans. This probably means that the partisan divide will grow.

Here are a few great columns of the week.

On the Stimulus Anniversary
Pundits have noted that one year ago this week, President Obama signed the economic stimulus bill. While I encouraged a presidential veto, the bill is far from as bad as Republicans make it to be, and far from as effective as Democrats claim. But here’s what gets me the most – the Republicans proclaiming excess pork while smilingly bringing home the bacon. To keep it simple, they are pathetic and an embarrassment to us all.

On a Willie Song
While recently listening to Bluesville (XM 74), I heard Willie Mabon’s version of Poison Ivy with the following lyrical line (which cracked me up): I feel like poison ivy, I breakout all over you.

On Curling
Since curling seems to captivate people every four years, let the record show that I have curled … actually about 35 years ago.

On a Cincinnati Winter
On Feb 15th we broke the record (1914) for most snow in February. And to think we still have almost two weeks to go.

On Moon-Driven Desserts
Last week we were in Alabama – and with Mardi Gras on the doorstep, Moon Pies are in the air. The Mobile Press-Register’s article showing how to incorporate Moon Pies into desserts caught my attention. Since I cannot locate that article, this one will have to do. The picture here is worth the look – and I dedicate this to blogger/photographer Joe in Arkansas.

On Thoughts to Ponder

  • Happiness: Do you pursue it or create it?
  • If pro is the opposite of con, is progress the opposite of congress?
  • To avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables, ever consider having someone else hold the vegetables while you chop?