Friday, February 16, 2018

I know I going to still keep writing 4715 on my checks for weeks

The Lunar New Year starts today, and it's the Year of the Dog, but which one?

In Chinese astrology, each year is associated with a Chinese zodiac animal sign and one the Five Elements: Gold (Metal), Water, Wood, Fire, or Earth. Both the sign and element of your birth year are said to affect your personality and destiny. This year’s elemental sign is earth - so we are celebrating Earth Dog.

(Please be aware that once again, Mr. Teeny and  I will be celebrating Chinese New Year recklessly this Year of the Dog, by shooting firecrackers in public locations for the next two weeks. Please also remember that people in China don't call it Chinese New Year, it's Lunar New Year; other countries celebrate Lunar New Year as well.)

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on the Lunar Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality.

People born under the ‘earth dog’ are said to be communicative, serious, and responsible in the workplace. They are also faithful, loyal, smart, straightforward and with a strong sense of responsibility, but on the negative side are likely to be self-righteous, cold, terribly stubborn, slippery, and critical of others. Chinese horoscopes say that the year of your birth sign is actually the most unlucky, so famous people born in the year of dog, such as Prince William, Kate Middleton, Madonna, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump need to watch out and avoid red and the numbers one, three and nine.

According to superstition, those born in the Year of the Dog tend to be loyal and honest, amiable and kind, cautious and prudent. Due to having a strong sense of loyalty and sincerity, Dogs will do everything for the person who they think is most important. As Dogs are not good at communication, it is difficult for them to convey their thoughts to others. Therefore, Dogs tend to leave others with the impression that they have a stubborn personality. 

It is also believed that the Dog is most compatible with the Rabbit, but least compatible with the  Dragon, Goat, Rooster.

The world’s largest annual human migration is now well underway as 2.8 billion trips are made across China in what is known as chunyun, when students, migrant workers and office employees living away from home will make the journey back to celebrate with their families.

And let's not forget that today is also the Feast of Saint Juliana of Nicomedia. She refused to marry a Roman official, so he had her roasted in flames, then dipped into boiling oil before finally being beheaded, which seems rather harsh even for Roman times.

Once again, Springsteen was right - it's hard being a saint (in the city.)

February 16, 1940 -
A truncated version of A Chump at Oxford (the second to last Laurel and Hardy feature) was released on this date

The short version of the film was originally in four reels, a "streamliner" designed to compete with theaters' new double feature concept. Roach produced only a few of these hybrids, and added the dinner party sequence later to bring it up to it's feature length.

February 16, 1956
The film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical Carousel, starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, premiered on this date.

At the time that this film was released, it was not successful at the box office, but the film's soundtrack album did become a national best seller.

February 16, 1964 -
The Beatles appeared for the second time on the Ed Sullivan Show on this date.

The Beatles performed six songs: She Loves You, This Boy, All My Loving, I Saw Her Standing There, From Me To You and I Want To Hold Your Hand. The Beatles received $25,000 for their appearance; half of what Elvis got for his.

February 16, 1975 -
The music variety series Cher premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

How did this get on the air?

Remember, it's bad luck to sweep up today.

Today in History:
February 16, 1899
Félix François Faure, President of France and the owner of the most audacious mustache in the late 19th century, died suddenly from a massive heart attack in his private offices while in the act of some sort of sexual congress with the notable courtesan, Marguerite Steinheil on this date.

Apparently when Faure reached his petit mort, he had his grand mort. A probably apocryphal story, listed as fact by many sources, is that M. Le President died with his hands gripping Miss Steinheil's head and an anxious government official nearly 'brained' her trying to remove the hysterical lady from the vise-like grip of his 'cold dead hands.'

The French statesmen and future president, George Clemenceau famously said, after hearing of Faure's death, " voulait être César, il ne fut que Pompée," which is incredibly witty and very filthy for a family newspaper (go look it up yourself.)

February 16, 1918 -
declared its independence from Russia on this date. Independence lasted until World War II.

It was such a successful declaration that they declared their independence again in 1990.

February 16, 1921 -
Vera-Ellen, actress and possible anorexia nervosa sufferer (there is a raging debate on the internet about whether or not she was - and I am still legally obligated to state this,) was born on this date.

Vera went to the same Cincinnati ballroom dance studio as a child as Doris Day. Their parents used to carpool together to the dance studio.

February 16, 1923 -
Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter opened King Tut's tomb, revealing one of the most well-preserved treasures from the ancient world on this date.

While it has been frequently reported that a curse killed 13 of the 20 people present at the opening of the tomb, there was no curse and no unusual death patterns occurred.  
Wait a minute, what's that lurking in the shadows?

February 16, 1935 -
Salvatore Phillip "Sonny" Bono, politician, musical artist and producer was born on this date.  -

Little known facts about Salvatore - Bono was the godfather of Anthony Kiedis and in later years dabbled with Scientology, although his last wife (of whom he had four including Cher,) said that he was trying to distance himself from the religion at the time of his death.

Kids, once again we have to repeat - do not mess around with Scientology.

February 16, 1935
The Phantom, created by Lee Falk (also creator of Mandrake the Magician), makes his first appearance in a comic strip on this date.

The Phantom is credited as being the first "costumed superhero", i.e. the first crimefighter to wear the skintight costume attributed to comic book superheroes,

February 16, 1937
Nylon material was patented by Wallace H. Carothers, a researcher for DuPont on this date. He also helped to produce the first synthetic rubber, Neoprene, and was instrumental in the development of synthetic silks.

Sadly, Carothers committed suicide after a long battle with depression by drinking lemon juice laced with cyanide (not a cocktail that I would recommend.)

February 16, 1959 -
Failed baseball player Fidel Castro was sworn in as President For Life of Cuba after having led the revolution that removed Fulgenico Batista. At the time, Cuba was a nation plagued by poverty, racked by corruption, and held in thrall by the military force of its leader.

During his first year of rule, 500 were put to the firing squad, an RBI record any dictator would be proud of.

February 16, 1990 -
I didn't start doing graffiti until two years after I got to New York. Jean Michel Basquiat was one of my main inspirations for doing graffiti. For a year I didn't know who Jean Michel was, but I knew his work.

Keith Haring, artist/cartoonist, died of AIDS-related complications at 31 on this date.

And so it goes


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