Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Remember to soak in holiday spirit.

Today is the Sixth day of Lunar New Year and the God of Poverty visits each household. According to the legend, the ghost of poverty is a son of Zhuan Xu (an emperor among the Three Emperor and Five Sovereigns in ancient China).

He was short and weak, and liked wearing ragged clothes and eating poor porridge. Even when people presented him with new clothes, he would not wear it until he ripped it apart or burn it. So, he got the name of “the man of poverty”, and with time passing by, he gradually became the ghost of poverty.

Also, according to tradition, families should clean their toilets because the God of Toilets will come to inspect the cleanliness of your bathroom.

In the agriculture society, before plumbing, Chinese farmers called someone to clean the manure pit every 3 to 5 days. This is the day to clean the manure pit (Man it always sucks when you have to clean the manure pit.)

February 21, 1967 -
One Million Years B.C., starring Raquel Welch, her bodacious tatas and a bunch of dinosaur puppets, premiered on this date.

As I've mentioned in the past, folks going to the Creation Museum, this is NOT a documentary.

February 21, 1970 -
The Jackson 5, led by 11-year old Michael Jackson, introduced themselves to America with their TV debut on American Bandstand.

The performances showed not only that the group were amazing performers, but that Michael was a superstar in the making.

February 21, 1981 -
Charles Rocket, first in the long line of performers on Saturday Night Live to drop the f-bomb, cursed live at the end of the episode in response to a question about how it felt being shot during a skit.

Due partially to the violation of broadcast standards, along with Saturday Night Live's low ratings, Rocket and most of that seasons cast and writers were fired shortly thereafter.

Little remembered that same evening, Prince appeared, unbilled, late on the show and performed Party Up. It was his first appearance on the show.

Another moment of zen

Today in History:
King James I of Scotland was assassinated on February 21, 1437. (Please feel free to chart the following genealogy, as it may be on the test) James I's grandfather, Robert II, had married twice and the awkward circumstances of the first marriage (the one with James's grandmother Elizabeth Mure - he didn't get around to marrying her until several years and children into their relationship) led some to dispute its validity. Conflict broke out between the descendants of the first marriage and the unquestionably legitimate descendants of the second marriage over who had the better right to the Scottish throne.

Matters came to a head on February 21, 1437, when a group of Scots led by Sir Robert Graham assassinated James at the Friars Preachers Monastery in Perth. He attempted to escape his assailants through a sewer. However, three days previously, he had had the other end of the drain blocked up because of its connection to the tennis court outside, balls habitually got lost in it.

I'm sure the irony was not lost on James while he scrambled around in the sewer.

February 21, 1803 -
Edward Despard and six co-conspirators were executed at Horsemonger Lane Gaol, in front of a crowd of at least 20,000 spectators, for plotting to assassinate England's King George III and to destroy the Bank of England. Despard was originally sentenced, with six of his fellow-conspirators (John Wood and John Francis, both privates in the army, carpenter Thomas Broughton, shoemaker James Sedgwick Wratton, slater Arthur Graham and John Macnamara,) to be hanged, drawn and quartered.

These were the last men to be so sentenced in England, although prior to execution the sentence was commuted to simple hanging and beheading, amid fears that the Draconian punishment might spark public dissent.

This must have been a very pretty sight indeed.

February 21, 1878 -
The first telephone directory was issued with 50 subscribers, by the District Telephone Company of New Haven, Connecticut on this date.

The first prank phone call to a Mr. Lipshitz soon followed.

February 21, 1885 -
America's greatest phallic symbol, the Washington Monument, was dedicated by President Chester A. Arthur on this date. The shaft towers over 555 feet into the air and sports an aluminum foreskin.

The monument was the tallest structure in the world when completed.

Talk about feeling inadequate (and talk about smegma.)

February 21, 1916 -
The Battle of Verdun began today, which in nine months yielded 975,000 casualties and almost no change in the front line.

It is the bloodiest battle in history, and often the one remarked as having the "highest density of dead per square yard."

February 21, 1918 -
The last Carolina Parakeet, Incas, died at the Cincinnati Zoo on this date, the only native parrot species in the Eastern US. The species went extinct through a combination of loss of environment and overhunting for their decorative feathers.

Coincidentally, the last Carolina Parakeet died in the same cage in which the last Passenger Pigeon, Martha died.

February 21, 1922 -
The Italian built airship Roma crashed to the ground in Norfolk Virginia after the explosion of the hydrogen caused by the airship coming into contact with power lines turned the dirigible into a blazing inferno causing it to crash 1000 ft to the ground.

Only 11 passengers and crew survived the crash by jumping from the airship before it hit the power lines.

February 21, 1925 -
93 years ago, the top hatted character Eustace Tilley first appeared on a magazine cover on this date.  Eustace Tilley, the mascot of The New Yorker magazine, was based on an engraving of Compte Alfred d'Orsay, interpreted by house cartoonist and art director Rea Irvin.

The first issue of the New Yorker magazine, founded by Harold Ross, hit the newsstands on this date.

February 21, 1931 -
Mama Mia, that's a spicy meatball!...

Miles Laboratories introduced Alka-Seltzer® on this date. (Alright, stop all that giggling.)

February 21, 1947 -
Edwin H. Land first demonstrated, the first instant camera, the Polaroid Land camera, during a meeting of the Optical Society of America (OSA) at the Hotel Pennsylvania, in New York City.

The camera produces a black and white photograph in sixty seconds, using development and fixer chemicals sandwiched in pods with the photographic paper and film.

February 21, 1953 -
Francis Crick and James D. Watson came up with a key insight in their discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule on this date. (And yes, they stole information from Rosalind Franklin but I'm not going to wade into that thicket.)

At first they were going with a squiggle or smiley face structure until they hit upon the double helix.

February 21, 1965 -
Former Black Muslim leader El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, aka Malcolm X was shot to death on this date, in front of 400 people in New York by assassins identified as Black Muslims.

He was murdered at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. His wife, Betty Sha-bazz, pregnant with twins, was sitting in the audience along with his 4-year-old daughter Quibi-lah at the time.

February 21, 1972 -
Only Nixon could go to China - old Vulcan proverb

To celebrate the 1848 publication of The Communist Manifesto in London on this date, (written by Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels)  -

Richard M. Nixon visited the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations, becoming the first US president to visit a country not diplomatically recognized by the US.

February 21, 1988 -
Television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart of the Assemblies of God, with tears streaming down his face, confessed sinning with a prostitute (Debra Murphree) in a Louisiana hotel room.

A second scandal with yet another prostitute emerges in 1991, further killed his evangelical career. It may not have anything to do with the situation but Jimmy is related to both Mickey Gilley and Jerry Lee Lewis.

And so it goes.

Before you go: Here's another video from The Solomon Society -

I appreciated that this video took a more world view of cinema.


1 comment:

Jim H. said...

The shout-out to Alka-Seltzer is appreciated. My uncle John ran the shipping department at for Miles Laboratories when I was growing up. We always had plenty of One-A-Day vitamins at our house!