Sunday, January 29, 2023

When was the last time you had millet?

(Still working through some technical issues)

The Eighth day of the Lunar New Year is believed to be the birthday of millet, an important crop in ancient China. According to the folk proverbs, if this day is bright and clear, then this whole year will be a harvest year; however, if this day is cloudy or even rainy, then the whole year will suffer from poor harvest. (It sounds more poetic in the original language.)

The eighth day of Lunar New Year is the the birthday of Yen-Lo King, who is 5th king of Legendary Hell in fifth palace. The fifth palace of the hell is under the northern-east side of the big scorching and burning stone in the sea. (Location, location, location.)

The palace has 64,000 square miles long. It contains 16 divisions of the small hells. (Be thankful you don't have to clean it. That's what all those idle hands are for.)

Yen-Lo King was originally in charge of the first palace of the hell. He sent the dead who died of injustice back to the human world to have a chance to clear up the false charge many times. Then he was demoted to the fifth palace of the hell. (At least he didn't have to test rectal thermometers.)



The day is also referred to as The Completion Day - people should return from the holiday vacation and go back to work. All the meat and cake prepared for Chinese New Year should finish on this day. Everything should back to normal.

On the eighth day of the Lunar New Year, some people release pet fish of birds into the wild to show respect for nature.


I nearly forgot, today is Hansen's Disease Day. Celebrate World Leprosy Day - be like St. Francis - lick a leper's sores.



Or not.


If you are asking, where have all our snows of yesterday gone

We were waiting for a snow storm last year. Currently, it hasn't snowed in 325 days. We will beat the record for most snowless days next Sunday (if it doesn't snow) with 333 days. Maybe it will snow again someday here in the city


Two households, both alike in dignity
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife










William Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet was probably first performed on this date (unless it wasn't).

I don't know, I wasn't there, were you?


January 29, 1959 -
With a budget that exceeded $6 million, Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty premiered in Los Angeles on this date.



Eleanor Audley--one of Walt Disney's favorite voice artists, most memorably as Lady Tremaine in Cinderella, initially turned the part of Maleficent down, much to Disney's surprise. As it later transpired, Audley was in the midst of battling a bout of tuberculosis and did not want to tax her voice too much. Fortunately, she recovered and accepted the part.


January 29, 1964 -
Introducing us to saving our precious bodily fluids and the rule about no fighting in the War room, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was released in the United States, on this date.



George C. Scott was reputedly annoyed that Stanley Kubrick was pushing him to overact for his role. While he vowed never to work with Kubrick again, Scott eventually saw this as one of his favorite performances.


January 29, 1977 -
The Rose Royce song Car Wash, went to No. #1 on this date. The soundtrack album for the film Car Wash, went gold as well.



Norman Whitfield, who wrote many Motown classics, was commissioned to write songs for the soundtrack of the movie Car Wash. He was having a meal of Kentucky Fried Chicken while watching a basketball game, when inspiration struck. He wrote the lyrics on the bag containing the chicken.


January 29, 1983 -
The Australian group, Men At Work's song Down Under reached #1 on the UK pop music chart.



Barry Humphries is an Australian entertainer who has created many popular characters, including Dame Edna Everidge. He was also the voice of Bruce the Shark in the movie Finding Nemo. Colin Hayes explained his influence on this song: "He's a master of comedy and he had a lot of expressions that we grew up listening to and emulating. The verses were very much inspired by a character he had called Barry McKenzie, who was a beer-swilling Australian who traveled to England, a very larger-than-life character."


January 29, 2018 -
The Marvel film Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis premiered in Los Angeles on this date.



In response to being asked what it felt like being one of the only few non-black actors on set (and sometimes the only non-black actor on set), Martin Freeman said "You think, 'Right, this is what black actors feel like all the time?'". Freeman and Andy Serkis were known as the "Tolkien white guys" on set, since they also starred together in The Hobbit films.


Another book from the back shelves of The ACME Library


Today in History:
It's Thomas Paine's birthday today. He was born in 1737.



You could commemorate the occasion by reading (or rereading) Common Sense. You could also commemorate the occasion by registering to vote or piercing your perineum or bleaching someone else's rectal area.

I don't care, it was just a suggestion.


January 29, 1845 -
Edgar Allan Poe’s narrative mystery poem The Raven was first published in the Evening Mirror in New York on this date.



Its publication made Poe famous in his day, and today it is still one of the most recognized and respected poems in American literature. However, he only earned about $9 from the work.


January 29, 1886 -
Karl Benz patented the Benz Patent Motorwagon, on this date, which looked much like a tricycle with a cushioned seat; this was the first gas-powered car.

Making a gas-powered car had been a long-time dream of Benz, who had originally started tinkering with engines in his spare time as a bicycle shop owner.


January 29, 1929 -
The Seeing Eye was incorporated in Nashville, Tennessee by Dorothy Harrison Eustus and Morris Frank, on this date. A few weeks later, the first seeing-eye Dog Guide School in the United States opened in Nashville. (The name the Seeing Eye came from Proverbs 20:12 in the Bible, "The seeing eye, the hearing ear; The Lord hath made them both.")



Frank had trained under Jack Humphrey in Switzerland at a kennel owned by Dorothy Eustis. Humphrey's became the Seeing Eye’s first geneticist and served as chief instructor.

Buddy was Frank's first dog and in 1936 became the first seeing-eye dog to ride as a passenger on an American commercial airline.


January 29, 1954 -
Oprah Gail Winfrey, the most influential (and one of the wealthiest) woman in the world, is another year older.



Oprah could easily get weapon grade uranium - don't piss her off.


January 29, 1979 -
Brenda Spencer fired repeatedly at the school across from her residence in San Diego, killing two and wounding eight children, using the rifle her father had given her as a gift.



I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day.
-- The reason she gave inspired the Boomtown Rats song.



Remember: guns don't kill people, it's the damn gifts our father's give us.



And so it goes

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Yes, there will be cake for everyone

(Sorry for the delay in posting; having some technical issues today.)

The seventh day of the Lunar New Year is commonly referred to as “Ren Ri” (the day of human),

because according to the legend, Nu Wa ( a Goddess in Chinese mythology who is believed to create the world and human beings) created human beings on the seventh day.

Legend has it that Nüwa created mankind because she felt lonely. She molded humans from clay into different shapes and sizes. Hand making humans became tiring, so Nüwa helped human learn about marriage; so human could reproduce themselves.



Therefore, the seventh lunar day of the year becomes everyone's birthday.


Serendipity - the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.


The word derives from an old Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, (Serendip is the Persian name for Sri Lanka,) and was coined by Horace Walpole on January 28, 1754 in a letter he wrote to his friend Horace Mann (not the same man as the famed American educator).



This should not be confused with Synchronicity - which is an album by the Police (but that's another story).


January 28, 1953 -
J. Fred Muggs joined NBC's Today Show on this date.



Please note: any reselmblance between Mr. Muggs and any of my nephews is purely coincidental.


January 28, 1956 -
Elvis Presley appeared on the Dorsey brothers' TV program Stage Show, singing Shake, Rattle and Roll, on this date.



It was Elvis' first network television appearance.


January 28, 1973 -
Barnaby Jones, starring Buddy Ebsen, premieres on CBS-TV, on this date.



Barnaby Jones guest stars frequently included children of the regulars. Among them, Buddy's daughter Bonnie Ebson appeared in six episodes, playing a different character every time. Also featured were Lee Meriwether's daughter, Kyle Aletter, and producer Quinn Martin's daughter, Jill Martin.


January 28, 1978 -
Fantasy Island, starring Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize, debuted on ABC-TV on this date.



The plane that was used on this show was up for auction in the 1990s. This plane was autographed by all of the guest stars. Before this show, this plane was also owned by Richard D. Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.


January 28, 1995 -
TLC started a four week run at No.1 on Billboards singles chart with Creep, the group's first US No.1 hit. The song made No.6 in the UK the following year.



This was written and produced by the Atlanta-based producer Dallas Austin. Though he had already made a name for himself working alongside producers like L.A. Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, and hot acts like Another Bad Creation and Bell Biv DeVoe, Creep would be an important song for Austin because it proved he could write from a female perspective.


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


Today in History:
January 28, 814 -
First Reich: Charlemagne, German emperor, dies at the age of 71 on this date.



Though he had conquered much of Europe, his legacy was considerably reduced after his death from mismanagement and incompetence.

Coincidentally, The Siege of Paris, lasting from September 19, 1870 until January 28, 1871, bringing about French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and led to the establishment of the German Empire (Second Reich).



Due to a severe shortage of food, Parisians were forced to slaughter whatever animals at hand. Rats, dogs, cats, and horses were regular fare on restaurant menus.

* Consommé de Cheval au millet. (horse)
* Brochettes de foie de Chien à la maître d'hôtel. (dog)
* Emincé de rable de Chat. Sauce mayonnaise. (cat)
* Epaules et filets de Chien braisés. Sauce aux tomates. (dog)
* Civet de Chat aux Champignons. (cat)
* Côtelettes de Chien aux petits pois. (dog)
* Salmis de Rats. Sauce Robert. (rats)
* Gigots de chien flanqués de ratons. Sauce poivrade. (rats)
* Begonias au jus. (flowers)
* Plum-pudding au rhum et à la Moelle de Cheval. (horse)

Even Pollux and Castor, the only pair of elephants in Paris, were not spared.


January 28, 1813 -
Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice was published by Thomas Egerton in the United Kingdom on this date.



Austen didn’t put her name on her novels, and would only say they were “By a Lady.” The title page of Pride and Prejudice said, “by the author of Sense and Sensibility.” It wasn’t until after her death that her brother revealed her name to the public.


January 28, 1829 -
In Scotland, serial killer William Burke was hanged for murder following a scandal in which he was found to have provided extra-fresh corpses for anatomy schools in Edinburgh. His partner William Hare had turned king's witness.

If only he had gone for the less fresh corpses. The scandal led to the 1832 Anatomy Act.


January 28, 1896 -
Mr Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent became the first person to be fined for breaking the speed limit on this date.



He was fined one shilling plus nine shillings costs for driving his car at 8mph when the speed limit was 2 mph.


January 28, 1915 -
The Coast Guard was formed with the merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U.S. Life-Saving Service on this date, as an organization under the U.S. Department of the Treasury. They were originally intended to crack down on piracy while helping people out as a side interest.



Their services were later incorporated the US Lighthouse Service, and was itself incorporated into the Department of Homeland Security in 2002.


January 28, 1921 -
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was installed under the Arc de Triomphe on this date. The tomb was dedicated to the French soldiers who had died in World War I.



It has remained a popular tourist spot both for French citizens and international visitors to Paris. Jacqueline Kennedy was inspired by her visit with her late husband, President Kennedy to the Arc de Triomphe in 1961, to request that an eternal flame, much like the one she had seen at the Tomb, to be placed at her husband's grave, in 1963.


January 28, 1958 -
Those damn little toys that you step on in the middle of the night became legal today. Ole Christiansen (1891–1958), a carpenter from Billund, Denmark began building simple wooden toys in 1932 in his workshop after losing his job. Two years later, Christiansen founded The Lego company.



Christiansen filed a patent for the Lego plastic brick with its stud-and-hole design, on this date. Those bricks are still compatible with bricks produced today.


January 28, 1958 -
Bizarrely on the same day, Brooklyn Dodger catcher Roy Campanella's career ended when he lost control of his car on a slick highway.

He became a paraplegic and was confined to a wheelchair the remainder of his life.


January 28, 1977 -
Star of TV's Chico and the Man, Freddie Prinze has a violent allergic reaction to lead on this date.



Despondent over his upcoming divorce and battling a major drug addiction, Prinze, shot himself in the head days earlier, died on this day. He was 22 years old.


January 28, 1986 -
The Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated 74 seconds into its flight, killing teacher Christa McAuliffe and the rest of the crew. Their capsule plunged intact into the ocean, pulverizing everyone on impact, making a rescue attempt difficult, if not impossible.



The cause was later found to be failure of a booster rocket O-rings because of the cold weather.

Moral: Avoid rocket travel this week, if possible.



And so it goes

Friday, January 27, 2023

Get rid of that trash, or else

Today is the Sixth day of Lunar New Year, and the garbage from the first five days of celebrating is piling up. The rubbish from the first to the fourth day of the Chinese New Year is considered “wealth”, but after the fifth day, the garbage will turn into a sign of “poverty”. So on the sixth day, people need to clean up all the trash around them in order to get rid of poverty and welcome wealth and fortune. The God of Poverty visits each household.

According to 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.)



In the Nüwa legend, the sixth day of the Lunar New Year is also the Birthday of the Horse.


The United Nations General Assembly designated this date, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.



On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.


It's Punch the Clock day. I have no idea why anyone would want to celebrate the soul-numbing activity of having to punch into work.



So instead, let's listen to a deep cut from the Elvis Costello album Punch the Clock, Pills & Soap.


January 27, 1918 -
Tarzan of the Apes, the first Tarzan film, premiered at the Broadway Theater in NYC on this date.



Edgar Rice Burroughs sold the film rights for Tarzan of the Apes to the National Film Corporation on June 6, 1916. He received a record $5,000 cash advance on royalties, $50,000 in company stock and 5% of gross receipts.


January 27, 1956 -
Elvis Presley released the first of his 14 records in a row that sold more than a million copies, Heartbreak Hotel, on this date.



It climbed to the top of the pop chart reaching #1 in April and spending eight weeks at the top. The success of Heartbreak Hotel began Elvis' period as the most famous American musician and teen idol.


January 27, 1976 -
Laverne and Shirley, a spinoff from Happy Days, starring Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



Penny Marshall worked the milk and Pepsi joke in based on her own life because as a child her mother would fill the same cup with milk as later with Pepsi and often wouldn't rinse out the cup or even wait until it was empty


January 27, 1984 -
Cyndi Lauper released the second single, Time After Time, from her debut album She's So Unusual on this date.



Cyndi Lauper wrote this song with Rob Hyman, who also sang backup. Hyman was in a Philadelphia band with Eric Bazilian and Rick Chertoff. When Rick took a job as a staff producer at Columbia Records, he kept in touch with Rob and Eric, who formed The Hooters. Chertoff was assigned to produce Lauper, a then-unknown artist. Lauper's band, Blue Angel, had broken up, so she needed musicians. Rick suggested Rob and Eric, then brought her to see The Hooters at a club called The Bottom Line.


January 27, 1987 -
One of Woody Allen's favorite films, Broadway Danny Rose, starring Woody Allen, Mia Farrow and Nick Apollo Forte premiered in the US on this date.



Woody Allen's manager and producer, Jack Rollins, was the inspiration for the Danny Rose character. Rollins appears in the movie as himself.


January 27, 1984 -
The Mike Nichols' drama, Silkwood, starring Meryl Streep, Cher, and Kurt Russell, premiered in the US on this date.



Cher was nervous about meeting Meryl Streep for the first time. "I thought it was going to be like having an audience with the Pope," she said. Streep, however, immediately put her at ease. "The first day on location," Cher told People magazine, "Meryl just came up, threw her arms around me and said, 'I'm so glad you're here.' She's all communication and warmth and friendship with a great sense of humor."


January 27, 1991 -
The little remembered TV series, Davis Rules, starring Randy Quaid and Jonathan Winters premiered on ABC TV on this date. (The series moved to CBS TV for its' second and final season.)



The show premiered right after the Super Bowl in 1991.


Another unimportant moment in history


Today in History:
January 27, 1756 -
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian musical genius, composer and fart joke lover, whose works included The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute, was born on this date.



When Mozart died in 1791, probably of heart disease, he was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave.


January 27, 1832
... One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.







Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Anglican deacon, children's author, mathematician, and photographer (child pornographer?) was born on this date.


January 27, 1859 -
Kaiser Wilhelm II, (Queen Victoria's first grandchild and first cousin to both King George V and Tsar Nicholas II) emperor who ruled Germany during World War I but was forced to abdicate in 1918, was born on this date.



Oh, those wacky royals.


January 27, 1900 -
Hyman Rickover, American admiral who is considered the "Father of the Atomic Submarine", was born on this date.



Creating a detail-focused pursuit of excellence to a degree previously unknown, Rickover redirected the United States Navy’s ship propulsion, quality control, personnel selection, and training and education, and has had far reaching effects on the defense establishment and the civilian nuclear energy field.


On January 21, 1901, the great maestro Joe Green (Giuseppe Verdi was merely his stage name) suffered a stroke while staying at the Grand Hotel et de Milan, in Milan. So revered was the composer that horses hooves were wrapped in blankets to muffle their noise as they passed the hotel where he rested.



Verdi gradually grew more feeble and died six days later, on this date. To date, his funeral remains the largest public assembly of any event in the history of Italy.


Thomas Crapper died on January 27, 1910. To honor this day and the spirit of the man, we can choose to embrace the legend of Thomas Crapper.



In popular American folklore, the British Mr. Thomas Crapper was the man who invented and gave his name to the flush toilet. Unfortunately, there is little historical evidence to support Mr. Crapper as anything but a friendly British plumber.


January 27, 1967 -
A launchpad flash fire in the Apollo I capsule killed the astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward H White and Roger B Chaffee at Cape Canaveral on this date.



An investigation indicated that a faulty electrical wire inside the Apollo I command module was the probable cause of the fire.


January 27, 1973 -
North and South Vietnam, the Viet Cong, and the United States signed the Paris Peace Accord on this day, ending one of the longest and most unpopular wars in American history.



Despite a ceasefire that had been put into effect a few days earlier, the last American troop to die in Vietnam was killed just 11 hours before the treaty was signed.


January 27, 1992 -
Candidate Bill Clinton and Gennifer Flowers mutually accuse each other of lying about whether or not they had a 12 year affair on this date.



Oh, it's hard to keep the old hound dog on the porch.


January 27, 2010
Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and whose books, such as A People's History of the United States, inspired young and old to rethink the way textbooks present the American experience, died on this date.



Go out and buy his book, if not for a kid you know, buy it for yourself.



And so it goes