1. Today's birthday's include both Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula and Margaret Mitchell, who wrote Gone With the Wind. So now I'm imagining some sort of weird Rhett Butler / vampire crossover, with Katherine Hepburn playing Scarlett O'Hara, because it's her birthday today too. Also, Edmond Halley (of the comet), Hermann Rorshach (of the inkblot test), Dr Christian Barnard, who performed the first ever heart transplant, singer Patti 'How Much is that Doggie in the Window' Page, and one of the guys who founded MySpace. (You have to wonder what those guys are up to these days.) Put them all together, and that's quite a dinner party.
2. Alfred Hitchcock. He's known for making cameos in all of his films of course - you probably knew that already. What you might not know is that one of his films is called Lifeboat, and is set entirely IN a lifeboat - which, of course made a cameo appearance as a casual passer by more than a little tricky. Apparently he nearly cast himself in the role of Dead Body Randomly Floating In The Water, but eventually came up with a more ingenious solution - he'd lost a ton of weight before making the film, so appears on screen as both the before and after image in a newspaper advert for a fictional weight-loss company. There's a nice compilation clip of all of his cameos here:
(Hitchcock's appearances were so well known, and so anticipated, in his later films he had to get them in as near to the beginning as possible, so audiences wouldn't be distracted from the plot while trying to find him.)
3. I'm off to hear one of the Simpsons writers give a talk tonight, so I reckon I'll have a good number 3, or possibly several of them, tomorrow. Watch this space.