Thursday, February 15, 2018

Out with the old

Hey it's Lunar New Year's Eve in many parts of the world tonight:

It's a busy night, in between hanging red lanterns, the New Year reunion dinners, setting off firecrackers, giving red envelopes to kids (I will never be too old to accept a red envelope,) staying up late  - Enjoy!

Today is also the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia.

This was a fertility festival in honor of the pastoral god Lupercus.

It's also Nirvana Day (for some people),

no, it's not the day you wear your flannel shirts and listen to grunge music; it's the day Buddha died and achieved bliss (Parinirvana.)

Hopefully you had a very nice time yesterday.

in case you didn't get your sweetie something nice, here's hoping they're not from the South.

OK, swipe you nose, wash you face and get back out there.

February 15, 1950 -
Walt Disney's 12th animated feature, Cinderella was premiered in Boston, Massachusetts on this date.

Walt Disney
had not had a huge hit since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 13 years previously. The production of this film was regarded as a major gamble on his part. At a cost of nearly $3,000,000, Disney insiders claimed that if this movie had failed at the box office, it would have been the end of the Disney studio. The film was a big hit.

February 15, 1985
Don't you forget about me -

Universal Pictures released John Hughes' film (and introduced the Brat Pack to an unsuspecting world), The Breakfast Club, starring, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy on this date.

The film was shot entirely in sequence.

February 15, 1987 -
Broadcast over the course of seven nights, Amerika, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.

This was developed in direct response to The Day After, which many right-wing conservatives claimed was left-wing propaganda.

Today's moment of zen

Today in History -
Galileo Galilei
was born on February 15, 1564. He invented a telescope with which he later discovered craters on the moon, the satellites of Jupiter, and every luscious detail of the girl next door's nubile young form. Galileo's astronomical observations seemed to confirm Copernicus' theory that the Earth went around the Sun rather than the other way around. Unfortunately, Copernicus' theory was heresy and therefore not supposed to be confirmed.

The church was in a tough spot. Galileo was every bit as Bad and Heretical as Copernicus had been, but they didn't want to inspire a bunch of angry Germans to start another church, as Martin Luther's followers had not long after the church's previous brush with Astronomy.

High-ranking church officials pleaded with the astronomer: "Come on, Galileo." "Please, Galileo." "Knock it off, Galileo."

But he wouldn't stop talking about the Earth spinning around the Sun. He couldn't even be persuaded to talk about something else, such as sports, the weather, or the girl next door's nubile young form. So they threatened to kill him.

At this point Galileo remembered that the Sun actually did revolve around the Earth, and the church rewarded his improved memory by giving him free room and board for the rest of his life (a level of hospitality sometimes referred to as "house arrest".)

February 15, 1758 -

Mustard was first advertised for sale in America on this date, by Benjamin Jackson who had set up business in Globe Mills, Germantown, Philadelphia, selling mustard packed in glass bottles with his label on them.

In the Philadelphia Chronicle, he claimed to be "the original establisher of the mustard manufactory in American, and ... at present, the only manufacturer on the continent," and that he had brought the art with him from London to America.

February 15, 1882 -
Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?

John Barrymore, noted thespian and alcoholic, was born into the bosom of his famous theatrical clan on this date.

February 15, 1898
The battleship U.S.S. Maine blew up in Havana Harbor on this date, commencing a splendid little war against Spain that ends with Cuba under martial law and the United States owning a colonial empire.

The situation is immortalized in the film Citizen Kane with the lines, "You supply the prose poetry. We'll supply the war."

The first teddy bear is introduced in America by two Russian immigrants, Morris and Rose Michtom, who own a toy and novelty store in Brooklyn, New York on this date in 1903.

While bear hunting in Mississippi in 1902, President Teddy Roosevelt decided to spare the life of a bear cub which had been orphaned during the hunt. The event was the subject of a cartoon in the Washington Post seen by the Michtoms. Inspired by the cartoon, Mrs. Michtom made a toy bear which became enormously popular with the public in short order.

Now you know.

February 15, 1933 -President-elect Franklin Roosevelt escaped an assassination attempt in Miami on this date. Giuseppa Zangara, an unemployed New Jersey bricklayer from Italy, fired five pistol shots at the back of President-elect Roosevelt's head from only twenty-five feet away.

While all five rounds missed their target, each bullet found a separate victim. One of these was Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago. Gunman Giuseppe Zangara was executed a little more than four weeks later, on March 20, 1933.

February 15, 1936
At a speech in Berlin on this date, Hitler confronts German industry with the challenge of creating the Volkswagen.

Thus Ferdinand Porsche designed the Beetle which is now widely seen as the final solution to fahrvergnugen.

February 15, 1961
The U.S. figure skating team is obliterated when Sabena Flight 548 crashes in Belgium on this date.

The crash was the first fatal accident involving a Boeing 707 in regular passenger service.

February 15, 1995 -
Kevin Mitnick
, at the time the most wanted computer hacker in history, was arrested in Raleigh, North Carolina for various offenses, one of which was breaking into security specialist Tsutomu Shimomura's computer on this date.

Mitnick now runs Mitnick Security Consulting, a computer security consultancy.

Kids, sometimes, crimes does pay.

February 15, 2005 -
You Tube, the video-sharing website, was launched by three former PayPal employees on this date. The first video was uploaded on April 23, 2005.

I can't confirm that most videos posted on You Tube are any more interesting than the one posted above.

And so it goes.

Before you go
- I just saw this wonderful supercut love letter to  the Film Noir genre by Serena Bramble (it's six years old but it's still marvelous.)

click over to the vimeo sight to see the titles of the films used.


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