Today is the Feast of The Transverberation of St. Teresa of Avila (this time, I not sure even an old lady saying her rosary in church can explain it to you.)
If you find yourself in Rome, run, do not walk, to see the Santa Maria della Vittoria Church. It houses one of the most amazing pieces of art - The Ecstasy of St. Teresa by Bernini. (Look for the light switch to illuminate the statue. Just think, God had to turn St. Teresa on with his shafts of pure light - you can do it with a flick of a switch.)
The statues depict a moment described by Saint Teresa of Avila in her autobiography, where she had the vivid vision of an angel piercing her heart with a golden shaft, over and over again, causing her both immense joy and pain. The flowing robes and contorted posture abandon classical restraint and repose to depict a more passionate, almost voluptuous trance.
Such is my obsession with religion.
I have no problem with a holiday celebrating pets. National Dog Day reminds potential dog owners to adopt their dogs from shelters, rather than buying from pet stores.
But why isn't it celebrated during the dog days of summer?
The first time toilet paper was ever sold on a roll was on August 26, 1871. August 26 was later officially dubbed National Toilet Paper Day.
The Chinese took a break from inventing everything else and found time to create TP on this date in 580 AD. They were far too serious to be messing around with any old orgies not to note the correct date.
August 26, 1953 -
Considered to be one of the great science fiction films of the 1950s, George Pal's The War of the Worlds was released on this date.
The sound effects of the Martian war machines' heat ray were created from three electric guitars played backward. The sound of the Martian screaming after Forrester hit it was a mixture of a microphone scraping along dry ice and a woman's scream played backward. The former set of sound effects became widely used stock sound effects after the film was released. They are still in use.
Today in History:
August 21, 1498 -
A statue was commissioned for the tomb in St. Peters of the French cardinal Jean de Billheres (who was a representative in Rome), on this date.
Michelangelo (23 at the time) won the commission to make the Pieta.
August 26, 1743 -
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier was born on this date. Dr. Lavoisier discovered Oxygen but not on this date; he was usually too busy celebrating his birthday.
The discovery was a great boon to science, as it enabled Breathing, without which many subsequent scientific advances would have been impossible.
August 26, 1883 -
Krakatoa erupted, between Java and Sumatra on this date. The two-day eruption and related tidal waves killed 36,000 people and destroyed two thirds of the island. (Yeah, yeah, I know, Krakatoa is West of Java.)
On a lighter note, "Krakatoa" sounds like "cracked a toe, huh?" and can be used in many humorous puns.
August 26, 1957 -
Henry Ford was a very plain man; he wasn't interested in anything fancy. Ford left the design stylings of the Model A (during the late 20s, early 30s) to his son Edsel. The Model A pretty much saved the company, at the time (thanks Jim for the info.)
Henry never gave his son the proper credit for his help until the Ford Motor Company rolled the first Edsel, named after Edsel Bryant Ford, off the assembly line on this date. (Well, Ford did give his son one million dollars on his 21st birthday, which in my book is not too shabby a gift.)
110,847 of the cars are built before Ford pulls the plug due to lack of sales.
And so it goes.