Saturday, February 6, 2016

Isn't up and it isn't down.

Today is halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox, which is the scientifically correct way of saying it's the middle of winter, such as it is in the Northeast.

I'm hoping the second half doesn't hold any more unexpected treats.

Today is Waitangi Day in New Zealand. This celebrates the February 6, 1840 signing of "The Treaty of Waitangi" by representatives of the British Crown and leading Maori chiefs in Waitangi. The treaty preserved many Maori rights while making New Zealand a British Colony.

Given the confused and confusing state of things, I must recommends that America join her Kiwi friends in celebrating Waitangi Day. There's no particular logic to this, but it's fun to say "Happy Waitangi Day." We could all wear funny hats and buy each other Waitangi presents.

Sound silly?

Just four days ago we were all waiting for a stupid rodent to crawl out of a hole and look for his shadow. In the Southern Hemisphere, Summer is winding down, which might have something to do with why today is Waitangi Day down there.)

February 6, 1921 -
The Kid, starring Charlie Chaplin and 6-year-old Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester), was released in the US on this date.

For the scene in which the Kid is taken from the Tramp and nearly carted away to a workhouse, Charles Chaplin stated in his autobiography that the young Jackie Coogan was made to cry by his father, who told him that if he would not cry in the scene, he would be sent to an actual workhouse.

Today in History:
February 6, 1911

That great American, Ronald Reagan, who appeared in such films as Jap Zero, Girls on Probation and Bedtime for Bonzo, was born in Tampico IL on this date.

It should be a national holiday (or a day of great national shame.)

February 6, 1917 -
A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he's finished.

Zsa Zsa Gabor, Queen of Outer Space was born in Budapest on this date. Party girls everywhere are celebrating their patron saint's day. They wanted to donate blood for her but her doctors thought better of it.

It was on this date in 1919 that the German constituent assembly met in Weimar for the first time to declare itself The Official German Government For The Time Being.

This Weimar Republic, as it came to be known, should not be confused with the Weimar Republic fashion clothing outlet found in many American malls. The former caused an economic depression, Hitler, and the horrors of the Second World War. The latter caused a slight dip in sales at Banana Republic and Old Navy.

February 6, 1943 -
In like Flynn.

Omnisexual, neo-nazi, actor Errol Flynn was acquitted of raping an adolescent on this date. The woman had actually tried this shakedown with other celebrities and wasn't quite an adolescent despite her testifying with pigtails and a lollypop.

February 6, 1945 -
Bob Marley, musician, singer-songwriter and Rastafarian was born on this date.

How can your day not be a little brighter.

February 6, 1952 -
Elizabeth II became Queen upon the death of her father George VI (who had been ill for some time and died in his sleep from a  coronary thrombosis), on this date (she has been on the job for 64 years.) At the exact moment of succession, she was in a treehouse at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya.

Talk about bizarre ways you can land a job - Elizabeth went up a tree a princess and came down a Queen.

February 6, 1971 -
Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard becomes the first person to hit a golf ball on the Moon on this date.

Near the end of the second moonwalk and just before entering the lunar module for the last time, Shepard attaches a six-iron to the end of a sample collecting tool and hits two golf balls. The first lands in a nearby crater. He hits the second one squarely, and, in the one-sixth gravity of the Moon, Shepard says that it travels “miles and miles and miles.”

And so it goes.

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