Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gong Xi Fa Chai

(Please be aware I will be celebrating Chinese New Year by recklessly shooting firecrackers in public locations for the next two weeks.)

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in snake years are not people who can be easily ignored. They possess a strong, charismatic presence and a charm which has been described by some astrologers as "bewitching" or "beguiling." Oprah Winfrey, Sara Jessica Parker, Picasso, Martha Stewart and Jackie Kennedy Onassis were all born in the year of the snake.

Snake is not a welcome animal in China. Some Chinese born in year of snake prefer to say they were born in little dragon year. They said a dragon fell down from the sky and then became a snake. Therefore, Snakes have Dragon's body without scale and cannot fly. Dragon is the big brother of Snake. Snake is shame to be on the ground. Snake becomes a calm, shy, cautious and low-key animal. Snake won't attack its opponent, unless it's disturbed. As long as we don't fool with Snake, we won't get bitten. Snake has the ability to swallow an animal bigger than its size. So we cannot underestimate snake's ambitious.

Occupying the Sixth position in the Chinese Zodiac, The Snake is the intuitive, introspective, refined and collected of the Animal Signs. They are attractive people who take cries with ease and do not become flustered easily. They are graceful people, exciting and dark at the same time.

February 10, 1940 -
Puss Gets the Boot, the cartoon short is released by MGM on this date. It's the first appearance of Tom and Jerry.

Yeah, yeah, I know that the cat is called Jasper in this cartoon. But dammit, it's Tom, none the less.

February 10, 1945 -
The no. 1 song in America, on this date, was Rum & Coca Cola by Andrews Sisters. (The copyright holder of the song was Morey Amsterdam of The Dick Van Dyke Show fame but that's another story.)

It's nice to think back in the more 'innocent' era of America, songs about when mother and daughter prostitute rings in the Caribbean were all the rage.

Today in History:
February 10, 60CE -
St. Paul was believed to have been shipwrecked near Malta while en route to Rome for trial for practicing Catholicismon this date. (It shouldn't have been a shock to the Romans that St. Paul was practicing Catholicism when his first name was St.)

The story is told in the Bible’s New Testament Acts of the Apostles, chapter 27. Since the shipwreck involves the lead-cup drinking, orgy-mongering Romans (who obviously were otherwise occupied when it came to accurately recording dates in history,) the Maltese commemorate the event every February 10.

February 10, 1535 -
12 Anabaptists ran nude through the cold and snowy streets of Amsterdam on this date. (Once again, I'm sure there's an explanation but why ask why?)

Soon the seven men and five women were apprehended. The women were executed on May 15, the men on February 25, 1535, all by beheading.   And you wonder why Anabaptism didn't catch on big in the US - I just wanted to put that little thought in you mind today

February 10, 1840 -
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, (whose first language was German, was taught English and French, and became virtually trilingual, though her mastery of the conjugation of the past-participles irregular verbs in English remained incomplete which was luckily not on the English Monarchy exam), married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (proving she also failed biology,) on this date.

She arranged marriages for her nine children (mostly to their first cousins) and forty-two grandchildren (mostly to their own first cousins - they needed charts and grafts to make sure they didn't marry their own brothers and sisters) across the continent, tying Europe together; this earned her the nickname "the grandmother of Europe".

Oh those wacky inbred royals.

February 10, 1855 -
US citizenship laws were amended to include all children of US parents born abroad.

Birthers take note - Willard Mitt Romney's father, George Wilcken Romney, the 43rd Governor of Michigan, was born in Chihuahua, Mexico (to American parents.)

February 10, 1863 -
Midgets Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren married in a ceremony at New York's Grace Episcopal Church. P. T. Barnum footed the bill for the wedding, and generated tremendous publicity (and revenue - reception tickets $75, adjusted for inflation, $1250 in today's dollars) in the weeks prior to and following the nuptials.

Commodore Nutt and Lavinia's shorter and younger sister Minnie acted as attendants. The Thumbs afterwards honeymooned in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. In Washington they were invited by President Lincoln to be the guests of honor at a special White House reception.

February 10, 1920 -
Jozef Haller de Hallenburg, Polish general and politician, performs a symbolic wedding of Poland to the sea, celebrating restitution of Polish access to open sea.

Happy anniversary (no comment.)

February 10, 1967 -
The 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on this date.

The 25th Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities. It supersedes the ambiguous wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, which doesn't explicitly state whether the Vice President becomes the President if the President died, resigned, was removed from office or was unable to discharge the Presidential powers.

Not that Joe Biden wishes anything bad should happen.

And so it goes

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