Thursday, January 6, 2022

Small things start us in new ways of thinking

It's the Feast of the Three Kings (Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar), Little Christmas, the Epiphany etc.

If you're playing the home version of the game - the Gifts of the Magi were Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh (or the watch fob and a set of combs, or more obscurely, cigar box and soap dish would have been an acceptable answer.) But the fourth gift was, the gift of music,

Remember, if you find the coin (or baby Jesus) in the Three Kings Cake (Rosca de Reyes),

besides having good luck for the upcoming year, you have to buy next year's King's Cake and if you celebrate it, throws a party on Candlemas (or Mardi Gras) in February.

... The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi. - O. Henry

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. - John Milton

In New York, in East Harlem, the annual parade celebrating the Three Kings' Day tradition for 45 years was to be held today. The parade usually features camels, colorful puppets and floats. Due to COVID, the Museum of El Barrio will hold their virtual celebrations again, hosted by Victor Cruz’s animated character TITA, it will include musical performances, festive skits, cameos by their famous giant puppets, and saludos from this year’s honorees.

By an epiphany he meant a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or memorable phrase of the mind itself. He believed it was for the man of letters to record these epiphanies with extreme care (saving them for later use, that is), seeing that they themselves are the most delicate and evanescent of moments. - James Joyce

After you finish celebrating, take the damn decorations down.

If you haven't already, please start putting your Christmas trees curbside (remember that most of a pine tree is actually edible.)

And yet, do you really want wood chips lodged in your colon for most of the year?

This year, the Department of Sanitation's special collection period - the 2022 Christmas Tree Collection will run Thursday, January 6 through Saturday, January 15. Or, if you prefer to watch your tree get chopped up at one of the designated MulchFest chipping locations on Saturday, January 8 and Sunday January 9 (in NYC.)

January 6, 1945 -
This Chuck Jones' Looney Tunes outing, Odor-able Kitty, premiered on this date.

(The cartoon is no longer embeddable. Please check out the linked posted above instead.)

This was Pepe LePew's debut. The only time we see that Pepe already has a wife and children.

January 6, 1957 -
Elvis Presley makes his third and final appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, where he performs seven songs in three segments, including Hound Dog, Don't Be Cruel and Heartbreak Hotel.

He is only seen from the waist up, leaving viewers to speculate as to what the screams in the audience are about.

January 6, 1963 -
See Jim try to swim to his dugout canoe through a lake of piranhas, while I watch safely from the studio, confirming the second pitcher of martinis is properly chilled.

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins began on NBC on this date.

January 6, 1973 -
The animated lesson series Schoolhouse Rock premiered on ABC with the Multiplication Rock series.

You have to love a children's cartoon that celebrates threesomes.

January 6, 1979 -
Soul Man, recorded by comedians John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as the fictitious singing team, The Blues Brothers, debuted on Billboard's pop charts.

The Blues Brothers had originally been created for TV's Saturday Night Live, and had been so popular that it prompted several records and a movie with Jake and Elwood Blues. Soul Man peaked at No. 14 on the charts.

January 6, 1979 -
The Village People appear on American Bandstand, where the crowd does the soon-to-be famous arm movements spelling out "Y.M.C.A."

Host Dick Clark makes sure they learn those moves, and they do.

Another moment of edifying culture

Today in History:
January 6, 1412 -
According to tradition, French heroine Joan of Arc was born Jeanette d'Arc in the French village of Domrémy. When she was 12 years old, she began hearing what she believed were voices of saints, sending her messages from God. When she was 17, the voices told her to leave her village and save Orléans.

Joan convinced the dauphin that she could lead French troops in resistance against their English invaders, and she was given a force of several hundred men to command, whom she led to victory at Orléans in 1429. Wearing her white enameled armor suit, she continued to fight against the English.

Joan was captured by Burgundians and then burned at the stake by the English on May 30, 1431, for the offenses of witchcraft, heresy and wearing male clothing. The Roman Catholic Church recognized Joan of Arc as a saint in 1920.

This is what comes from not buying your children mp3 players to drown the voices out in their heads.

January 6, 1856 -
Watson, the needle!

Sherlock Holmes, noted English apiarist, morphine and cocaine addict and sometimes detective, was born on this date.

The Guinness World Records has consistently listed Sherlock Holmes as the "most portrayed movie character" with more than 70 actors playing the part in over 200 films.

January 6, 1853 -
Franklin Pierce, served as the 14th President of the United States. Most historians agree that he was the worst President ever (time will tell) and after the Presidency, Pierce became a hopeless alcoholic (once running over an elderly woman while driving a carriage intoxicated.)

He started his presidency in a state of grief and nervous exhaustion. Two months before he took office, on January 6, 1853, the President-elect's family had boarded a train in Boston and shortly there after been trapped in their derailed car when it rolled down an embankment near Andover, Massachusetts. Pierce and his wife survived, merely shaken up, but saw their 11-year-old son Benjamin crushed to death.

Not a great way to start a new job.

January 6, 1941 -
During Franklin Roosevelt's 1941 State of the Union address, he delivered his famous speech on the Four Freedoms on this date. Roosevelt insisted that all people should have the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom to worship God in his own way, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

Though the speech was originally intended to move Americans towards involvement in World War II, the Four Freedoms played a large role in the subsequent creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

January 6, 1942 -
The Pan Am Pacific Clipper completed by a commercial airplane on this date. The flight began December 2, 1941 and the plane flew over 31,500 miles during it's convoluted flight.

It had to complete the end of the trip in secrecy, since the Pearl Harbor bombing occurred while they were en route, and the captain, Robert Ford, was not sure how friendly American airspace would be.

January 6, 1994 -
Why? Why?

Ice skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked by Tonya Harding's bodyguard, Shane Stant on this date.

January 6, 1996 -
One of the worst snow blizzards in US history started with up to 20 inches falling in a single day on the East Coast in some areas and heavy wind gusts causing travel to be nearly impossible in many areas.

The blizzard's effects lasted for over two weeks causing many schools and other businesses to be closed for up to two weeks and in some areas even the federal government offices were closed for one week.

And so it goes

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