Saturday, February 10, 2018

Asked and answered

We enjoyed watching the opening ceremonies last not but wondered, as well as many other viewers, why were there so many empty seats.

The light show on the seats gave the impression that the athletes are walking into a completely empty stadium. The reason it looks empty is an optical illusion related to the bright light displays distributed at every seat and the wide camera angles necessary to capture the larger pictures composed by those lights. In fact, the stadium was actually 95% full in the areas that were not saved for the 2,952 athletes competing at the Games as they marched in, according to the Guardian.

February 10, 1940 -
Puss Gets the Boot
, the cartoon short is released by MGM on this date. It's the first appearance of Tom and Jerry.

Yeah, yeah, I know that the cat is called Jasper in this cartoon. But dammit, it's Tom, none the less.

February 10, 1942
The first gold record was presented to Glenn Miller for Chattanooga Choo Choo for selling 1.2 million copies in just nine months. There was no official rule set at the time to qualify.

It was a framed, gold-lacquered stamper, which later became symbolic for a million-record sales.  Miller quipped, “Thanks a million, two-hundred-thousand!” 

February 10, 1945 -
The no. 1 song in America, on this date, was Rum and Coca Cola by Andrews Sisters. (The copyright holder of the song was Morey Amsterdam of The Dick Van Dyke Show fame, but that's another story.)

It's nice to think back in the more 'innocent' era of America, songs about when mother and daughter prostitute rings in the Caribbean were all the rage.

February 10, 1956 -
The series about a boy and his horse is set on the Goose Bar Ranch in Montana, My Friend Flicka premiered on CBS TV on this date.

Although short-lived, the series was broadcast on all three major networks at one time or another, as well as the Disney Channel.

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

Today in History:
February 10, 60 CE
St. Paul was believed to have been shipwrecked near Malta while en route to Rome for trial for practicing Catholicism on this date. (It shouldn't have been a shock to the Romans that St. Paul was practicing Catholicism when his first name was St.)

The story is told in the Bible’s New Testament Acts of the Apostles, chapter 27. Since the shipwreck involves the lead-cup drinking, orgy-mongering Romans (who obviously were otherwise occupied when it came to accurately recording dates in history,) the Maltese commemorate the event every February 10.

February 10, 1535 -
12 Anabaptists ran nude through the cold and snowy streets of Amsterdam on this date. (Once again, I'm sure there's an explanation but why ask me?)

Soon the seven men and five women were apprehended. The women were executed on May 15, the men on February 25, 1535, all by beheading.

And you wonder why Anabaptism didn't catch on big in the US - I just wanted to put that little thought in you mind today

February 10, 1840 -
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, (whose first language was German, was taught English and French, and became virtually trilingual, though her mastery of the conjugation of the past-participles irregular verbs in English remained incomplete which was luckily not on the English Monarchy exam), married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (proving she also failed biology,) on this date.

She arranged marriages for her nine children (mostly to their first cousins) and forty-two grandchildren (mostly to their own first cousins - they needed charts and grafts to make sure they didn't marry their own brothers and sisters) across the continent, tying Europe together; this earned her the nickname "the grandmother of Europe".

Oh those wacky inbred royals.

February 10, 1855 -
US citizenship laws were amended to include all children of US parents born abroad on this date.

I would remind Sen. Ted Cruz that he may want to remind someone of this (but he seems not to want to be bothered by facts.)

February 10, 1863 -
Little people Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren married in a ceremony at New York's Grace Episcopal Church. P. T. Barnum footed the bill for the wedding, and generated tremendous publicity (and revenue - reception tickets $75, adjusted for inflation, $1250 in today's dollars) in the weeks prior to and
following the nuptials.

Commodore Nutt and Lavinia's shorter and younger sister Minnie acted as attendants. The Thumbs afterwards honeymooned in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. In Washington they were invited by President Lincoln to be the guests of honor at a special White House reception.

February 10, 1920 -
Polish general and politician Józef Haller, performed a symbolic wedding of Poland to the sea, celebrating restitution of Polish access to open sea.

Happy anniversary (no comment.).

February 10, 1967 -
The 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on this date.

The 25th Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities. It supersedes the ambiguous wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, which doesn't explicitly state whether the Vice President becomes the President if the President died, resigned, was removed from office or was unable to discharge the Presidential powers.

Mike Pence eagerly waits by the phone for the call he knows will come.

February 10, 1968 -
Peggy Fleming won the gold medal in women's figure skating for the US at the Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France, on this date.

In 1994, Sports Illustrated named her one of the 40 individuals who most significantly altered or elevated sports in the previous 40 years.

And so it goes


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