Monday, February 3, 2020

All the mossy stones

The Tenth day of the Lunar New Year is the birthday of the god of stone. On this day, it is forbidden to move any stone, including stone roller, stone mill and stone mortar, so this day is also known as “Shi Bu Dong”(meaning do not move any stone). In addition, it is also forbidden to cut into a mountain for rock and build a house with rocks, or bad things will happen to the crops. On this day, families will burn incense and candles for the stones, and offer pancake to the god of stone.

In Chinese, shí meaning 10 and shí also meaning stone, have the same pronunciation. Thus the tenth day of the Chinese New Year is conveniently considered the birthday of the stones, in the hope of shí quán shí měi, everything is perfect. In ancient China, stones were regarded as the foundation of the earth, thus the birthday of stones is synonymous with celebrating the earth’s birthday.

On day after the Jade Emperor's birthday, there is so much food left from the birthday's ceremony. People may have to consume all the vegetable, animal scarifies, cakes and fruit on the 10th lunar day of the year. This is an extended feasting of the Jade Emperor's birthday.

It's' Elmo's Birthday!

Remember, Elmo (himself) didn't do a damn thing to those young men; he's just a puppet.

February 3, 1964
Just prior to the Beatles invasion of the US, Meet the Beatles went 'gold' on this date.

Meet the Beatles! was The Beatles first "official" album in America, released on January 20, 1964 by Capitol Records, the sister company within EMI to their British label, Parlophone.

February 3, 1932 -
Paramount Pictures
released Josef von Sternberg's Shanghai Express, starring Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook and Anna Mae Wong in Los Angeles on this date.

It was Josef von Sternberg's intention to have the style of the film should reflect the rhythm of a train journey. This explains the film's tight pace and the rather staccato quality of the dialogue. This film is included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, edited by Steven Schneider.

February 3, 1944 -
Robert Stevenson's
classic presentation of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, premiered in NYC on this date. (Look for Elizabeth Taylor in an uncredited role in the film.)

Orson Welles
did enough work behind the scenes that the production company offered him a producer credit, which he turned down. Welles' official reason for this is a belief that a person who is not directing the film shouldn't be "just" a producer.

February 3, 1945 -
Walt Disney's
The Three Caballeros, premiered in the US, on the date.

The premise of the film is that it is Donald Duck's birthday and his friends give him a tour of Latin America as a gift. The date of the birthday is given as "Friday 13th" with no month specified. The later animated short Donald's Happy Birthday is also set on Donald's birthday and gives the date as "March 13th".

February 3, 1951 -
Another great Sylvester cartoon, Canned Feud, premiered on this date.

This cartoon is particularly violent for the series and for a Sylvester cartoon in particular.

February 3, 1960 -
Federico Fellini's  La Dolce Vita
, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg premiered in Rome on this date.

The film and especially the final beach scene were inspired by the infamous 1953 Wilma Montesi murder case. Montesi was a normal Italian woman from a proper family. Her dead body was found on a beach near Rome. The investigation exposed the drugs and sex orgies of Roman high society at the time. The murder remains unsolved as of today.

February 3, 1973 –
Elton John'
song Crocodile Rock became his first  US Billboard Hot 100 hit on this date.

Elton's lyricist Bernie Taupin told Esquire in 2011 that this song is "a strange dichotomy because I don't mind having created it, but it's not something I would listen to."

Word of the Day

Today in History:
February 3,  1637
Considered the first major speculative bubble, the sale and collection of tulips in the Netherlands reached extraordinary heights before collapsing spectacularly on this date.

At the height of the tulip mania, one bulb could sell for more than ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman.  And you could not smoke that crap.

February 3, 1468 -
About 600 years ago a child was born in the city of Mainz, in what is today Germany. His name was Johannes Gutenberg. He worked as a goldsmith and gem cutter until finally converting a wine press into a printing press.

He printed 200 copies of the Bible and gradually went broke. He died on this date.

Lesser known to history is the name of Edgar Weasle-Puck, the Englishman who developed a printing press at around the same time as Gutenberg. Instead of printing Bibles, however, Weasle-Puck ran off 500 copies of Lewde & Graffical Engravingf of Perfonf Not Wearing Any Clothef. He made a small fortune, changed his name, purchased an Earldom, and moved to southern France, where he spent the rest of his days eagerly awaiting the invention of the lower-case "s."

February 3, 1882 -
P.T. Barnum purchased the elephant Jumbo on this date. He kept him for three years until the animal's skull was crushed by a train.

After his death, Jumbo's skeleton was donated to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The elephant's heart was sold to Cornell University. Jumbo's hide was stuffed by William J. Critchley and Carl Akeley, both of Ward's Natural Science, and the mounted specimen traveled with Barnum's circus for a number of years.

In 1889, Barnum donated the stuffed Jumbo to Tufts University, where it was displayed until destroyed by a fire in 1975, coincidentally a fate that befell many of Barnum's exhibits during his own lifetime. The great elephant's ashes are kept in a 14-ounce Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter jar in the office of the Tufts athletic director.

I could not make this up if I wanted to do so.

February 3, 1913 -
In one of the blackest days in U.S. history, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on this date. This amendment created the income tax.

Please check on your Trump supporting neighbor; they might do themselves harm on this day.

The United States broke diplomatic relations with Germany on February 3, 1917. The Germans were very upset by this and tried to make America jealous by flirting with Mexico. Britain overheard Germany's sweet talk and told America everything she'd heard. Unfortunately for Germany, however, it didn't make America jealous. It made America angry. A few months later the United States declared war on Germany.

(Less than two years later, World War I ended with Germany's defeat. This made Germany upset again, and they spent the next two decades planning how they'd get even. Eventually this led to World War II, which also ended, once again, with Germany's defeat. Germany remains upset to this day, but, having been deprived of an army, poses no serious threat to anyone but France.)

February 3, 1927 -
Some very famous directors have started in the mail room, which is just getting inside the studio, getting to know people, getting to know the routine.

Kenneth Anger, American underground avant-garde film-maker, author of the notorious book Hollywood Babylon and professional Dan Rather impersonator, was spawned on this date.

February 3, 1956
It's Nathan Lane's birthday today.

Pound for pound, one of the funniest guest on a talk show.

February 3, 1959 -
The Day the Music Died

A small plane carrying The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson), Buddy Holly and Richie Valens crashed near Mason City, Iowa, while en route to a show in Fargo, North Dakota. Richardson had developed a case of the flu during the tour (erroneously thought to have been caused by riding on the unheated bus) and asked one of Holly's bandmates, Waylon Jennings, for his seat on the plane; Jennings agreed to give up the seat. According to an account by Jennings years later, when Holly heard about this, his reply to Jennings was, "Well, I hope your ole bus freezes up!" to which Jennings replied, "Well, I hope your damn plane crashes!" This exchange of words, though made in jest at the time, haunted Jennings for many years afterward.

Dion DiMucci of Dion and The Belmonts, who was the fourth headliner on the tour, was approached to join the flight as well; however, the price of $36 was too much. Dion had heard his parents argue for years over the $36 rent for their apartment and could not bring himself to pay an entire month's rent for a short plane ride.

If you're in the Clear lake, Iowa area, check out the events at the Surf Theatre's Winter Dance Party.

February 3, 1971
New York Police Officer Frank Serpico was shot during a drug bust in Brooklyn on this date and survived to later testify against police corruption.

Many believe the incident proves that NYPD officers tried to kill him.

And so it goes




Jim H. said...

There's a small hotel in Mason City designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The intimate bar in that hotel has been beautifully restored. I believe they stock Bombay Sapphire.

Kevin said...

I've just googled the bar. Should I find myself in Mason City, I will seek the hotel out. Thanks.