How old are you?

This is a test!

Let me first tell you why I do it. David Niven [you remember him?] wrote a few books: The Moon is a Balloon, Bring on the Empty Horses, and I think some others]. The expression “Bring on the Empty Horses” occurred during the filming of a movie directed by [I think] Otto Preminger. Otto was still somewhat of a “furriner” for a long time after he had become a successful movie producer and battled with English when he was excited.

Niven tells about the day when they had to film a stampede [way back before trick photography and stuntmen]. Synchronization was still in its infancy and timing was of utmost importance, so the horses that were held in the enclosure had to be released [and coaxed/frightened] to run past the cameras at the right moment. Then things went wrong and Murphy’s Law set in. The cameras were running, but no horses came [there was chaos in the enclosure] and Otto started shouting “where is the …. [rider less ….] [He now forgot all his English] …. “Damn, bring on the Empty Horses” …. He was tearing his hair out about yards of “empty film” streaming from the cameras.

Talking movies followed, then color movies, and later Television.

So:

When did the first jet engine plane fly?

When did color TV come out?

When did the first fax come off “on the other side” of the “empty phone” call?

When did you personally use the first Fax?

When did Internet appear?

When did you personally send your first email?

And, uhmm, yes I think I will chuck this in too [seeing politicians are holy cows to some people]:

Who was the first person that said [in fact the only one I know of who ever did – all the incompetents normally queue up whether we, the people, want them or not], when prodded to run for high Office? And when did he/she say it?

“No, it is recorded he/she replied, “and if nominated, I shall not run. If elected, I shall not serve!”

That took guts. See whether you can locate that name.

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