Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Jack-a-mo fee na-na

Bon temps roulez, mes amis - It's Mardi Gras!

No one needs to disrobe, it's much too cold and we've got plenty of beads (unless you like to disrobe in public.)

Today is also know as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day, which heralds the beginning of fasting in Lent. On this day (so the historians say) there were feasts of pancakes to use up the supplies of fat, butter and eggs... foods that were forbidden during austere Lent.

In England there are several celebrations on this day but perhaps the best known one is the Pancake Day Race at Olney in Buckinghamshire which has been held since 1445. The race came about when a woman cooking pancakes heard the shriving bell summoning her to confession. She ran to church wearing her apron and still holding her frying pan, and thus without knowing it, started a tradition that has lasted for over five hundred years.

Keep flipping them pancakes

Today is the second day of the Lunar New Year celebration, known as the Son-in-Law Day (also it the first time of the new year to worship the God of Land.)

It's the day that many married women return to their mothers' homes.

Some believe that the second day of the new year is also the birthday of all dogs and reward them with special treats.

There's an excess of celebrations today
It is Toothache Day,

Bathtub Day and

Bagels and Lox Day today.

I'm not quite sure why?

February 9, 1933 -
Based on the Mae West play Diamond Lil, She Done Him Wrong, opened in general release on this date. This was one of the last films to be made before the introduction of the Production Code.

Mae West was signed by Paramount in 1931 to make a film adaptation of her stage play. They then spent the next two years trying to figure out a way of getting the material past the censors. The battle over Diamond Lil led to the head of the Production Board, James Wingate, quitting and being replaced by the much more hardline Joseph Breen who was prompted to set up a fairly stringent and moral Production Code.

February 9, 1971
All in the Family aired what TV scholars believe to be the first positive portrayal of a gay issue on American television on this date.

Guest stars Anthony Geary and Philip Carey both went on to play long running roles on popular ABC Soap Operas. Geary as Luke Spencer on General Hospital, and Carey as Asa Buchannan on One Life to Live.

February 9, 1976 -
Paul Simon's song, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, hits number 1 on this date.

Paul Simon has never gotten around to listing the other ways to leave but poking around the internet, I have discovered the other 45 ways:

6. Post her nude pics, Dick.
7. Delete him from your phone, Simone.
8. Block his digits, Bridget.
9. Keep him in the dark, Mark.
10. Keep blowing her off, Kristoph.
11. Just have the chat, Pat.
12. Make her break up with you, Stu.
13. Stop having sex with her, Jessic… er.
14. Give him an ultimatum, Tatum.
15. Change your address, Jess.
16. Tell the whole truth, Ruth.
17. Just get up and leave, Steve.
18. Tell her you’ve “grown apart,” Bart.
19. Tell him “It’s not you, it’s me,” Bree.
20. Don’t give him a second chance, Lance.
21. In a public place, Chase.
22. Tell her “we’re turning into our parents,” Clarence.
23. Get back together with your ex, Lex.
24. Let yourself be the villain, Dylan.
25. Throw dishes and yell, Belle.
26. Start being mean, Gene.
27. Get really quiet, Wyatt.
28. Give up the fight, Dwight.
29. Get caught in the act, Jack.
30. Forget her birthday again, Glenn.
31. Just cut him loose, Bruce.
32. Pretend you didn’t know you were supposed to be “together,” Heather.
33. Tell her you’re married, Larry.
34. Say “It’s moving too fast,” Cass.
35. Tell him you “don’t like rules,” Jules.
36. Tell her you “don’t like labels,” Mabel.
37. Just disappear, Greer.
38.Lose your phone,” Joan.
39. Text “We need to talk,” Brock.
40. Just be too busy, Lizzy.
41. Say you “need space,” Grace.
42. Say, “we’re just taking a break,” Jake.
43. Say, “I think I might be gay,” Ray.
44. Say, “I think I might be straight,” Nate.
45. Admit to your affair, Blair.
46. Get a restraining order, Porter.
47. Tell her “It’s me or the drinkin,” Lincoln.
48. Fly off the handle, Randall.
49. Blame everything on him, Tim.
50. Say “I don’t deserve you,” Drew

Next up - 50 ways to Love your Liver or 50 ways to lose your luggage

February 9, 1997 -
The Fox cartoon series The Simpsons became the longest-running animated series in cartoon history when it aired it's 167th episode on this date.

"I can't believe we've been annoying people for this long," executive producer and show creator Matt Groening told the Associated Press.

Today in History -
On February 9, 772, Adrian I was elected pope. His election was won largely due to strong Frank support. (This Gaelic support system was the precursor to French support, which remains anything but Frank.)

Adrian worked closely with Charlemagne, also known as Carolus Magnus (Big Chuck), the inventor of France.

So now you know.

William Henry Harrison was born on February 9, 1773. Mr. Harrison was the Ninth president of the United States.

He died after 32 days in office, although historians are quick to point out that it has never been adequately proven that he was alive prior to his inauguration.

February 9, 1825 -
John Quincy Adams
became the Sixth U.S. President, despite losing the popular vote.  Adams was elected by the House of Representatives on this date after the Electoral College could not arrive at a majority.

His appointment was largely due to the influence of Henry Clay (then Speaker of the House and also a candidate for the presidency in 1824), whom Adams later appointed as his Secretary of State.

The Great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky died on February 9, 1881.

He died of natural causes in Moscow, and over 40,000 mourners turned out for his funeral but what the hell do you care, you didn't read him anyway.

February 9, 1894 -
Chocoholics everywhere rejoice!

Milton Hershey founded the Hershey Chocolate Company (just in time for Valentine's Day) and began experimenting with a process mastered by the Swiss - mixing milk with chocolate on this date.

February 9, 1909 -
The first federal law prohibiting the importation of opium was enacted, The Opium Exclusion Act of 1909 on this date.

It is aimed not particularly at the ravages the drug was having on American society but as a discriminatory act against  the Chinese (note: white people weren't using opium in large quantities at the time.)

February 9, 1942 -
The former French cruise ship Normandie, launched in 1935, burned in New York Harbor during its conversion to an Allied trip transport ship on this date.

It was once regarded as most elegant ocean liner ever built. In 1947, the remaining wreckage was cut up for scrap.

February 9, 1950 -
Senator Joseph McCarthy announced he has a list of 205 State Department employees who were Communist Party members on this date.

He did not mention that J. Edgar Hoover liked to wear a bustier and leather pumps.

February 9, 1964 -
The Beatles made their first live American television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on this date. Approximately 74 million viewers (about half of the American population) watched the group perform on the show.

I wonder if Stephen Colbert can still hear the ghost of those little girls screaming inside the Ed Sullivan Theatre.

And so it goes.

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