Criterion and Hulu are offering all movielovers a huge valentine - the catalogue of the Criterion titles streaming on Hulu Plus, will be available to viewers in the U.S., will be free of charge to nonsubscribers (with advertisements).
Get cracking - you only have until tomorrow to watch everything you'd like.
The eighth day of Chinese New Year is the eve of the Jade Emperor's birthday; special family dinners are held to honor Yu Huang, the Ruler of Heaven.
Random Acts of Kindness Day is the name of an unofficial holiday increasingly celebrated around the world by localities or organizations, or nationwide, in order to encourage acts of kindness.
All you need to do is something a simple as hold the door open for someone or say 'good morning' to the counter person giving you your morning cup of coffee. Then immediately go back to your usually ornery self.
February 17, 1958 -
Pope Pius XII declared Saint Clare of Assisi (1193~1253) the patron saint of television on this date.
Given that the meager pittance I have called a salary has come from my work in television, having a saint you can pray to comes in handy.
February 17, 1967 -
The Beatles released Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever on this date.
These songs were intended for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but Capitol Records decided to release the two songs as a single, partly to regain popularity from John Lennon's "The Beatles are bigger than Jesus" comment.
Today in History:
February 17, 1600 -
Roman philosopher and mathematician Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake at Campo di Fiore in Rome, likely because of his advocating the theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun.
His death at the hands of Roman Inquisition is thought to have convinced Galileo to recant his own theory of a moving Earth. The people living around the Palatine Hills always expected the Roman Inquisition.
Celebrated French dramatist and comedian Moliere collapsed on stage and died on February 17, 1673. It is said that he was wearing green, and because of that, there is a superstition that green brings bad luck to actors. As an actor, he was not allowed by the laws of the time to be buried in the sacred ground of a cemetery.
His wife Armande asked the king Louis XIV to allow a "normal" funeral celebrated at night. The king agreed, and Moliere was buried in a part of the cemetery reserved for unbaptized infants. In some accounts of his death, it is said that over 800 people attended his "secret" funeral.
A bomb exploded in the dining room of St. Petersburg's Winter Palace on February 17, 1880. Tsar Alexander II survived. Being late for supper, the Tsar was not harmed, although 67 other people were killed or wounded. The dining room floor was also heavily damaged.
While it is often said that promptness is the politeness of kings, sometimes being late can save you.
February 17, 1904 -
The original two-act version Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, premiered on this date.
It did not go so well, lasting just one performance. One critic refereed to the performance as a "diabetic opera, the result of an automobile accident." Puccini revised the opera, splitting the second act into two acts and making other changes. On May 28, 1904, this version was performed in Brescia and was a huge success.
February 17, 1989 -
The cinematic masterpiece Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter opened in theaters on this date.
Before the actors were chosen, Bill and Ted were supposed to be kind of unpopular guys who got made fun of in school. But the director loved Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves and knew they were perfect for the parts, so the roles were adjusted a little bit to make them regular guys who were pretty likable.
February 17, 1994 -
The decomposing corpse of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, first president of the Republic of Georgia, is exhumed from a temporary grave in Djikhaskari. His wife refuses an autopsy, but western journalists note a bullet wound in the side of Zviad's head. Officially listed as suicide, the wife also claims he was murdered. Another government minister oddly states the death was by cancer with the head shot administered post-mortem.
And so it goes.