Saturday, January 6, 2018

Small things start us in new ways of thinking

It's the Feast of the Three Kings (Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar), Little Christmas, the Epiphany etc. If you're playing the home version of the game - the Gifts of the Magi were Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh (or the watch fob and a set of combs, or more obscurely, cigar box and soap dish would have been an acceptable answer.) But the fourth gift was, the gift of music,

from the Little Drummer Boy

Remember, if you find the coin (or baby Jesus) besides having good luck for the upcoming year, you have to buy next year's King's Cake and if you celebrate it, throws a party on Candlemas (or Mardi Gras) in February.

... The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi. - O. Henry

Love is the epiphany of God in our poverty. - Thomas Merton 

Unfortunately in New York, in East Harlem, the annual parade celebrating the Three Kings' Day tradition for four decades had to be cancelled because of inclement weather. We wait, in hopeful anticipation for next year's parade featuring camels, colorful puppets and floats.

An epiphany enables you to sense creation not as something completed, but as constantly becoming, evolving, ascending. This transports you from a place where there is nothing new to a place where there is nothing old, where everything renews itself, where heaven and earth rejoice as at the moment of creation - Abraham Isaac Kook

After you finish celebrating, take the damn decorations down.

If you haven't already, please start putting your Christmas trees curbside (remember that most of a pine tree is actually edible.)

And yet, do you really want wood chips stuck in your colon for most of the year?

This year, the Parks Department sponsors its annual citywide drop-off site from Sunday, December 31, 2017 to Sunday, January 8, 2017. Or, if you prefer to watch your tree get chopped up at one of the designated MulchFest chipping locations on Saturday and Sunday, January 7 and 8 (in NYC.)

January 6, 1945 -
This Chuck Jones' Looney Tunes outing, Odor-able Kitty, premiered on this date.

This was Pepe LePew's debut. The only time we see that Pepe already has a wife and children.

January 6, 1963 -
See Jim try to swim to his dugout canoe through a lake of piranhas, while I watch safely from the studio, confirming the second pitcher of martinis is properly chilled.

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins began on NBC on this date.

January 6, 1973 -
The animated lesson series Schoolhouse Rock premiered on ABC with the Multiplication Rock series.

You have to love a children's cartoon that celebrates threesomes.

January 6, 1979 -
Soul Man, recorded by comedians John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as the fictitious singing team, The Blues Brothers, debuted on Billboard's pop charts.

The Blues Brothers had originally been created for TV's Saturday Night Live, and had been so popular that it prompted several records and a movie with Jake and Elwood Blues. Soul Man peaked at No. 14 on the charts .

Don't forget to tune into The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour today

Today in History:
January 6, 1856 -
Watson, the needle!

Sherlock Holmes, noted English apiarist, morphine and cocaine addict and sometimes detective, was born on this date.

The Guinness World Records has consistently listed Sherlock Holmes as the "most portrayed movie character" with more than 70 actors playing the part in over 200 films

Franklin Pierce, served as the 14th President of the United States. Most historians agree that he was the worst President ever (time will tell) and after the Presidency, Pierce became a hopeless alcoholic (once running over an elderly woman while driving a carriage intoxicated.)

He started his presidency in a state of grief and nervous exhaustion. Two months before he took office, on January 6, 1853, the President-elect's family had boarded a train in Boston and shortly there after been trapped in their derailed car when it rolled down an embankment near Andover, Massachusetts. Pierce and his wife survived, merely shaken up, but saw their 11-year-old son Benjamin crushed to death.

Not a great way to start a new job.

January 6, 1939 -
The daily Superman newspaper comic strip began on this date.

At its peak, the strip was in over 300 daily newspapers and 90 Sunday papers, with a readership of over 20 million.

January 6, 1941 -
During Franklin Roosevelt's 1941 State of the Union address, he delivered his famous speech on the Four Freedoms on this date. Roosevelt insisted that all people should have the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom to worship God in his own way, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

Though the speech was originally intended to move Americans towards involvement in World War II, the four freedoms played a large role in the subsequent creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

January 6, 1942 -
The Pan Am Pacific Clipper completed by a commercial airplane on this date. The flight began December 2, 1941 and the plane flew over 31,500 miles during it's convoluted flight.

It had to complete the end of the trip in secrecy, since the Pearl Harbor bombing occurred while they were en route, and the captain was not sure how friendly American airspace would be.

January 6, 1994 -
Why? Why?

Ice skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked by Tonya Harding's bodyguard, Shane Stant on this date.

And so it goes

Don't forget Mulchfest (more about it tomorrow.)


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