Saturday, February 10, 2024

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Hong Bao Na Lai

Happy Chinese New Years Day - The Lunar New Year starts today, and it's the Year of the Dragon, but which one?

In Chinese astrology, each year is associated with a Chinese zodiac animal sign and one the Five Elements: Gold (Metal), Water, Wood, Fire, or Earth. Both the sign and element of your birth year are said to affect your personality and destiny. Once again, this year’s elemental sign is wood - so we are celebrating Wood Dragon.

(Please be aware I will be celebrating Chinese New Year by recklessly shooting firecrackers in public locations for the next two weeks. Please also remember that people in China don't call it Chinese New Year, it's Lunar New Year; other countries celebrate Lunar New Year as well.)

According to a Chinese legend, Nüwa is the goddess who created the world. She created certain animals on different days, hence each day is considered the birthday of the corresponding animal.

On the first day of the Lunar New Year, she created chickens. Legend also has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on the Lunar Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality.

Occupying the 5th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon is the mightiest of the signs. Dragons symbolize such character traits as dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. They’re passionate in all they do and they do things in grand fashion. Unfortunately, this passion and enthusiasm can leave Dragons feeling exhausted and interestingly, unfulfilled. Salvador Dali, John Lennon, and Mary-Louise Parker were all born in the year of the dragon.

The zodiac predicts that this year you're advised to be more careful about all aspects of your lives. It's better for you to pay special attention to competition in the workplace and remain diligent and dedicated, besides, take good care of your body.

It is also believed that Dragons get along best with Rooster and Monkey, but they might face challenges with Dog and Rabbit. Their lucky colors are gold, silver, and yellow and their lucky numbers include 1, 6, and 7.

The world’s largest annual human migration is now well underway as billions of trips are made across China (This is the first time since COVID restrictions have been lifted,) in what is known as Chunyun, when students, migrant workers and office employees living away from home will make the journey back to celebrate with their families.

Hopefully, COVID will not run rampant throughout China again.

February 10, 1940 -
Puss Gets the Boot, the cartoon short is released by MGM on this date. It's the first appearance of Tom and Jerry.

Yeah, yeah, I know that the cat is called Jasper in this cartoon. But dammit, it's Tom, none the less.

February 10, 1942
The first gold record was presented to Glenn Miller for Chattanooga Choo Choo for selling 1.2 million copies in just nine months. There was no official rule set at the time to qualify.

It was a framed, gold-lacquered stamper, which later became symbolic for a million-record sales. Miller quipped, “Thanks a million, two-hundred-thousand!

February 10, 1945 -
The no. 1 song in America, on this date, was Rum and Coca Cola by Andrews Sisters. (The copyright holder of the song was Morey Amsterdam of The Dick Van Dyke Show fame, but that's another story.)

It's nice to think back in the more 'innocent' era of America, songs about when mother and daughter prostitute rings in the Caribbean were all the rage.

February 10, 1956 -
The series about a boy and his horse is set on the Goose Bar Ranch in Montana, My Friend Flicka premiered on CBS TV on this date.

The program was filmed in color but initially aired in black and white. Although short-lived, the series was broadcast on all three major networks at one time or another, as well as the Disney Channel.

February 10, 1957 -
Allied Artists' sci-fi film Not of This Earth, directed by Roger Corman and starring Paul Birch, Beverly Garland, and Morgan Jones, premiered in US theaters on this date.

Paul Birch walked off the film before shooting was completed after having a physical confrontation with Roger Corman. He was quoted as saying, " I am an actor, and I don't need this stuff... To hell with it all! Goodbye!" According to co-star Beverly Garland, Birch objected to the fast pace of the film, the old-fashioned, uncomfortable hard plastic contacts he had to wear, and the film's low-budget, which he considered beneath his status. As a result, Birch's remaining scenes were shot with Lyle Latell doubling for Birch.

February 10, 1964 -
Bob Dylan released his third studio album The Times They Are a-Changin, on this date. The album is seen as a protest album featuring songs about issues such as racism, poverty, and social change.

The title track was one of Dylan's most famous capturing the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterized the 1960s

February 10, 1971 -
Carole King releases her seminal album Tapestry on this date. The photograph on the album sleeve featuring Carole King seated on a window sill was taken at her California home.

Tapestry was a groundbreaking album, which helped popularize the singer/songwriter genre. It stayed on the American album charts for over six years, selling over 24 million copies worldwide.

February 10, 1976
Sesame Street episode #847 featured Margaret Hamilton reprising her role as the Wicked Witch of the West from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, aired on this date.

It scared children so badly that the episode has never been re-aired. So Bunkies, ask your folks before you watch the video.

February 10, 1978 -
Paul Schrader's first directing effort, Blue Collar, starring Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto, premiered in the U.S. on this date.

The film was a very tense shoot, nearly giving writer and director Paul Schrader a nervous breakdown and caused him to quit the film business (for a while). The incident that nearly caused Schrader to have a mental breakdown, was when Richard Pryor pulled a gun on Schrader and told him there was no way he was ever going to do more than three takes for a scene.

Don't forget to tune in to a special Lunar New Year themed ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour today

Today in History:
February 10, 60 CE -
St. Paul was believed to have been shipwrecked near Malta while en route to Rome for trial for practicing Catholicism on this date. (It shouldn't have been a shock to the Romans that St. Paul was practicing Catholicism when his first name was St.)

The story is told in the Bible’s New Testament Acts of the Apostles, chapter 27. Since the shipwreck involves the lead-cup drinking, orgy-mongering Romans (who obviously were otherwise occupied when it came to accurately recording dates in history,) the Maltese commemorate the event every February 10.

February 10, 1355 -
The Feast day of Saint Scholastica seemed to be going on as usual at the the University of Oxford on this date. Saint Scholastica, sister of Saint Benedictine, is the patron saint of of nuns, education, and protectoress of people in storms, among other things. Two students (their names may have been Walter Spryngeheuse and Roger de Chesterfield, but I don't know, I wasn't there,) were enjoying the day off from school at the Swindlestock Tavern, a local bar. Much drinking ensued and somehow the bartender, John Croidon, insulted the students and the students beat up the bartender.

Residents responded violently, and a riot broke out between the students at Oxford and the residents of the surrounding town lasted for three days and left more than 90 people dead. The townsfolk were found to be responsible and were ordered to attend Mass for the souls of the dead students every year on the anniversary of the riot. They were also required to swear an oath acknowledging the University’s privileges, and pay a fine of 63 pence – one for each dead student. This continued until 1825 when the Mayor refused, but was only rescinded by Parliament in 1955.

February 10, 1535 -
12 Anabaptists ran nude through the cold and snowy streets of Amsterdam on this date. (Once again, I'm sure there's an explanation but why ask me?)

Soon the seven men and five women were apprehended. The women were executed on May 15, the men on February 25, 1535.

And you wonder why Anabaptism didn't catch on big in the US - I just wanted to put that little thought in you mind today.

February 10, 1840 -
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, (whose first language was German, was taught English and French, and became virtually trilingual, though her mastery of the conjugation of the past-participles irregular verbs in English remained incomplete which was luckily not on the English Monarchy exam), married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (proving she also failed biology,) on this date.

She arranged marriages for her nine children (mostly to their first cousins) and forty-two grandchildren (mostly to their own first cousins - they needed charts and grafts to make sure they didn't marry their own brothers and sisters) across the continent, tying Europe together; this earned her the nickname "the grandmother of Europe".

Oh those wacky inbred royals.

February 10, 1855 -
US citizenship laws were amended to include all children of US parents born abroad on this date.

Every time Sen. Ted Cruz thinks about running for president, I bet that he wants to remind someone of this (but he is no longer bothered by facts.)

February 10, 1863 -
Little people Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren were married in a ceremony at New York's Grace Episcopal Church. P. T. Barnum footed the bill for the wedding, and generated tremendous publicity (and revenue - reception tickets $75, adjusted for inflation, $1,250 in today's dollars) in the weeks prior to and following the nuptials.

Commodore Nutt and Lavinia's shorter and younger sister Minnie acted as attendants. The Thumbs afterwards honeymooned in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. In Washington they were invited by President Lincoln to be the guests of honor at a special White House reception.

February 10, 1920 -
Polish general and politician Józef Haller, performed a symbolic wedding of Poland to the sea, celebrating restitution of Polish access to open sea.

Happy anniversary (no comment.).

February 10, 1933 -
The Postal Telegraph-Cable Company of New York City delivers the first singing telegram on this date. but independent singing telegram companies, specializing in often costumed personal delivery of gift messages, have kept up the tradition.

Despite initial criticism by Western Union executives concerned with the propriety of the medium, the company's messengers delivered musical greetings in person until World War II. Singing by phone operators was resumed after the war, but faced declining popularity until Western Union dropped the service in 1974. Independent singing telegram companies, specializing in often costumed personal delivery of gift messages, have kept up the tradition.

February 10, 1967 -
The 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on this date.

The 25th Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities. It supersedes the ambiguous wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, which doesn't explicitly state whether the Vice President becomes the President if the President died, resigned, was removed from office or was unable to discharge the Presidential powers.

Mike Pence never seemed to get the memo on this. Although, he mever seems to be out in the public.

February 10, 1968 -
Peggy Fleming won the gold medal in women's figure skating for the US at the Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France, on this date.

In 1994, Sports Illustrated named her one of the 40 individuals who most significantly altered or elevated sports in the previous 40 years.

Before you go - here are more of the 'leaked' Superbowl beer commercials before tomorrow's game:

The delivery of alcohol into the bloodstream is paramount in this country, no matter that actual taste. But that's just one man's opinion.

You know what, I've said this before - They should just show all the commercials in one bunch either just before the game or right after. Keep in mind that some of these commercial cost the sponsors about $7 million dollars per :30 seconds (not that they are offering me a dime to show you these.)

And so it goes

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