Monday, February 6, 2017

Leave all stones unturned today

The Tenth day of the Lunar New Year is the birthday of the god of stone. On this day, it is forbidden to move any stone, including stone roller, stone mill and stone mortar, so this day is also known as “Shi Bu Dong”(meaning do not move any stone). In addition, it is also forbidden to cut into a mountain for rock and build a house with rocks, or bad things will happen to the crops. On this day, families will burn incense and candles for the stones, and offer pancake to the god of stone.

In Chinese, shí meaning 10 and shí also meaning stone, have the same pronunciation. Thus the tenth day of the Chinese New Year is conveniently considered the birthday of the stones, in the hope of shí quán shí měi, everything is perfect. In ancient China, stones were regarded as the foundation of the earth, thus the birthday of stones is synonymous with celebrating the earth’s birthday.

On day after the Jade Emperor's birthday, there is so much food left from the birthday's ceremony. People may have to consume all the vegetable, animal scarifies, cakes and fruit on the 10th lunar day of the year. This is an extended feasting of the Jade Emperor's birthday.

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 used to hope that the second half of winter didn't hold any more unexpected surprises but given what has happen just in the past week, I'd be happy for just a blizzard or two..

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 -
The only way to learn a language properly, in fact, is to marry a man of that nationality. You get what they call in Europe a 'sleeping dictionary.' Of course, I have only been married five times, and I speak seven languages. I'm still trying to remember where I picked up the other two.

Zsa Zsa Gabor, Queen of Outer Space was born in Budapest on this date. Party girls everywhere are celebrating their patron saint's day. Think of how awkward it must be for her to run into the gaggle of men that were her husbands in the afterlife.

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 65 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.


OK folks, It's Denmark's turn at being number 2

I promise you, we will check out Germany tomorrow.

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