Friday, February 15, 2013

Please ignore the large meteorite overhead

The meteorite that flashed over Russia's Ural Mountains this morning, freaking out the local populus and injuring over 500 people,

has nothing to do with the massive asteroid that will miss smashing into the earth this afternoon by just 15 minutes.

So everybody just move along - nothing to see.

In case you had a bad Valentine's Day:

Here's a video of movie characters having a worse day than you probably had -

Ok, swipe you nose, wash you face and get back out there.

Today is the sixth day of Chinese New Year - “Ma Ri” (the day of the Horse).  This was the day that families helped the ghost of poverty on his way (out of your home.)  Usually, people will throw away their ragged clothes, rubbish, and other dirty items. In addition, they will also light some candles to lighten the road for the ghost of poverty.

Also, according to tradition, families should clean their toilets because the God of toilets will come to check the sanitation of the toilets. In the agriculture society, before plumbing, Chinese farmers called someone to clean the manure pit every 3 to 5 days. This is the day to clean the manure pit.

February 15, 1950 -
Walt Disney's 12th animated feature, Cinderella was premiered in Boston, Massachusetts on this date.

Another great bar bet you could win: Not only is the name of the Prince never revealed, he is nowhere in the film mentioned as "Prince Charming".

February 15, 1987 -
Broadcast over the course of seven nights, Amerika, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.

In the scene where the assembled crowd recites the American Pledge of Allegiance, the extras had to be taught it since the miniseries was filmed in Canada.

February 15, 2005 -
You Tube, the video-sharing website, was launched on this date. The first video was uploaded on April 23, 2005.

Where else can you see Harlem Shake videos (among other things.)

Today in History -
Galileo Galilei was born on February 15, 1564. He invented a telescope with which he later discovered craters on the moon, the satellites of Jupiter, and every luscious detail of the girl next door's nubile young form. Galileo's astronomical observations seemed to confirm Copernicus's theory that the Earth went around the sun rather than the other way around. Unfortunately, Copernicus's theory was heresy and therefore not supposed to be confirmed.

The church was in a tough spot. Galileo was every bit as Bad and Heretical as Copernicus had been, but they didn't want to inspire a bunch of angry Germans to start another church, as Martin Luther's followers had not long after the church's previous brush with Astronomy.

High-ranking church officials pleaded with the astronomer: "Come on, Galileo." "Please, Galileo." "Knock it off, Galileo."

But he wouldn't stop talking about the earth spinning around the sun. He couldn't even be persuaded to talk about something else, such as sports, the weather, or the girl next door's nubile young form. So they threatened to kill him.

At this point Galileo remembered that the sun actually did revolve around the earth, and the church rewarded his improved memory by giving him free room and board for the rest of his life (a level of hospitality sometimes referred to as "house arrest".)

February 15,  1758 -

Mustard was first advertised for sale in America on this date, by Benjamin Jackson who had set up business in Globe Mills, Germantown, Philadelphia, selling mustard packed in glass bottles with his label on them.

In the Philadelphia Chronicle, Penn., he claimed to be "the original establisher of the mustard manufactory in American, and ... at present, the only manufacturer on the continent," and that he had brought the art with him from London to America.

February 15, 1763 -
Austria and Prussia signed the Treaty of Hubertusburg on this date.

This ended the Seven Years War, and just in time: the war had lasted almost exactly seven years!

February 15, 1898

The battleship U.S.S. Maine blew up in Havana Harbor on this date, commencing a splendid little war against Spain that ends with the United States owning a colonial empire and Cuba under martial law.

The situation is immortalized in the film Citizen Kane with the lines, "You supply the prose poetry. We'll supply the war."

The first teddy bear is introduced in America by two Russian immigrants, Morris and Rose Michtom, who own a toy and novelty store in Brooklyn, New York on this date in 1903.

While bear hunting in Mississippi in 1902, President Teddy Roosevelt decided to spare the life of a bear cub which had been orphaned during the hunt. The event was the subject of a cartoon in the Washington Post seen by the Michtoms. Inspired by the cartoon, Mrs. Michtom made a toy bear which became enormously popular with the public in short order.

Now you know.

February 15, 1933 -
President-elect Franklin Roosevelt escaped an assassination attempt in Miami. Giuseppa Zangara, an unemployed New Jersey bricklayer from Italy, fired five pistol shots at the back of President-elect Roosevelt's head from only twenty-five feet away.

While all five rounds missed their target, each bullet found a separate victim. One of these was Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago. Gunman Giuseppe Zangara was executed more than four weeks later, on March 20, 1933.

February 15, 1936 -
At a speech in Berlin on this date, Hitler confronts German industry with the challenge of creating the Volkswagen.

Thus Ferdinand Porsche designs the Beetle which is now widely seen as the final solution to fahrvergnugen.

February 15, 1961 -
The U.S. figure skating team is obliterated when Sabena Flight 548 crashes in Belgium on this date.

The crash was the first fatal accident involving a Boeing 707 in regular passenger service.

February 15, 1995 -
Kevin Mitnick, at the time the most wanted computer hacker in history, was arrested in Raleigh, North Carolina for various offenses, one of which was breaking into security specialist Tsutomu Shimomura's computer on this date.

Mitnick now runs Mitnick Security Consulting, a computer security consultancy.

Sometimes, crimes does pay.

And so it goes.

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