Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Did you forget it's time for your sponge bath?

Traditionally, the 11th day of the Lunar New Year is when the wife’s father would invite his son-in-law to a meal at home. It not only provides quality bonding time between the two families, but also a chance to clear out the leftovers from the celebratory food for the Jade Emperor’s birthday on the 9th, so once again the left overs can be used to entertain the sons-in law.

The eleventh day of the Chinese New Year is also the day to welcome Zi Gu (the Purple Lady).

According to legend, Zi Gu was a concubine of a rich man in ancient China. The wife of the rich man killed her in the toilet due to her jealousy. The Heavenly God had compassion for her, so he made her the god of the toilet. Zi Gu represents all the females who groan under the oppression in the feudal society. (I'm ambivalent about the reward Zi Gu got in this deal.)

February 7, 1908 -
Buster Crabbe, Olympic athlete, actor and swimming pool sales man, was born on this date.

Crabbe is the only actor who played Tarzan, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers - the top three comic strip heroes of the 1930s.

February 7, 1914 -
Charlie Chaplin first appeared as The Tramp, in his first film Kid Auto Races at Venice which was released by Keystone Studios, on this date. The Tramp, as portrayed by Chaplin, was a bumbling but usually good-hearted character who was most famously presented as a vagrant who endeavors to behave with the manners and dignity of a gentleman despite his actual social status.

With only a small number of exceptions, Chaplin would play only The Tramp (or slight variations on the character) on film until The Great Dictator.

February 7, 1940 -
Walt Disney's second feature-length movie, Pinocchio, premiered at the Center Theatre in Manhattan on this date.

Figaro was Walt Disney's favorite character. Disney pushed for the kitten to appear in the film as much as possible. After the film, Disney swapped Minnie Mouse's little cocker spaniel with Figaro.

February 7, 1962 -
Edward John "Eddie" Izzard, stand-up comedian, dramatic actor and executive transvestite, was born on this date.

Long time readers of this silliness may have realized that I am very partial to Mr Izzard, Executive Transvestite.

February 7, 1965 -
... I don't get high, but sometimes I wish I did. That way, when I messed up in life I would have an excuse. But right now there's no rehab for stupidity....

Christopher Julius "Chris" Rock III, comedian, actor, screenwriter, television producer, film producer, director and not an executive transvestite was born on this date.

February 7, 1974 -
Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles opened on this date. Fart jokes gain a certain cache afterwards.

Hedy Lamarr sued Mel Brooks over the use of the name Hedley Lamarr and settled out of court. Mel said he was flattered by this attention and even made a reference to the lawsuit in the movie.

Today in History:
February 7, 1812
Charles Dickens, English novelist, was born in Portsmouth, England on this date.

He was the quintessential Victorian author.

February 7, 1845 -
An 'intemperate' vandal, William Lloyd, entered the British Museum and smashed the irreplaceable Portland Vase into over 200 pieces on this date. The elaborate glass amphora was created when Augustus was Caesar and was about ten inches high (the vase, not the emperor.)

It took a lot of glue and months to repair.

On February 7, 1898, the trial of Emile Zola began in Paris. He lost, but then eventually he won. He accused someone of something. Somehow, the actor Paul Muni was involved. Or vice-versa. Long story.

It all began in the backwoods of Illinois... no, that was Lincoln. Never mind

February 7, 1964 -
It was 53 years ago today, The Beatles arrived at JFK International Airport to begin their first tour of the United States. They helped bring about a social revolution whose effects can be felt to this day. They had nothing to declare but their genius.

The Beatles came from Britain, sometimes known as England, a little island in the North Atlantic from which many people have come to the United States over the years, some of them without guitars.

The British (or English), like so many other Europeans, have a long and storied history. Although it took the French to perfect the guillotine, the English (or British) made up for in zeal what they lacked in technological savvy, and next week is the anniversary of three British (or English) queens having their heads hewn from their shoulders.

On February 8, 1587, after nineteen years in prison, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded.

On February 12, 1554, Lady Jane Grey, Queen for nine days in 1553, was beheaded.

On February 13, 1542, Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's Vth wife, was beheaded.

If you can get to an English (or British) pub next week, order a beer with extra head and see if they get the joke. Be prudent, however, as people will sometimes react in unexpected ways when asked for any kind of head at all.)

February 7, 1968 -
It became necessary to destroy the town to save it. -

This was a quote attributed by Peter Arnett (written on this date.) to an anonymous American major speaking about the town of Ben Tre, the main town in Ben Tre province, Vietnam, after the Americans had heavily bombarded it.

February 7, 1990 -
The Soviet Union's Communist Party agreed to let opposition political parties compete for control of the country, thereby giving up its monopoly on power.

They were forced to sell of most of their properties on Baltic Avenue to the Russian mob.

And so it goes.


Before you go - Valentine's Day is in a week - play it safe

Even though it's raining, start shopping now.

And finally you've been waiting for it, Germany could not refer to itself as coming in third or being third or anything for that matter Third, so here they are second:

Don't worry - the rest of Europe wants to get into the act.

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