Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Hope you can fix all this celebrating into your day

Today is the fifth day of the Lunar New Year celebrations. Known as the Festival of Po Wu

It is the welcome day for the God of Wealth, Caishen also called Cai Boxing Jun or Po Wu. Many families worship the God of Wealth in the early morning. After the ceremony, people usually light firecrackers in the attempt to get the attention of the god of fortune, thus ensuring his favor and good fortune for the whole New Year.

(Remember ACME is the leading maker of illegal fireworks throughout the known world.)

Many stores open on this day after the Lunar New Year holiday. Some store owners put a table in the front of company's main entry. They prepare fruit, flower, candy, tea, candles and animal sacrifices on the table to worship the God of Wealth. Some even invite the lion dance team to celebrate the opening ceremony. The mascot of Caishen will appear and enter the store.

The store owner will give the mascot a Red Envelope (Hongbao) with money reward inside.

(As I am now considered elderly, as defined by my insurance company, I will not be insulted by being offered any and all red envelopes that may come my way.)

I don't need the ladies in the Rosary society to remind that today is Ash Wednesday,

please don't try to wipe the the smudge mark off your friend's forehead.

Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori! -

(Anyway, did you find the coin in the King Cake? )

So begins forty days (remember that the six Sundays between today and Easter don't count as part of the 40 days) of prayer, fasting, contemplation and community service and not the Lentil season, which is marked by forty days of legume eating and gas passing (but that's another story.)

Love is space and time measured by the heart.

Happy Valentine's Day bunkies

Remember to enjoy the day and don't eat too much chocolate. And don't forget in NYC, in order to change one’s party enrollment for any primary election in 2023, your application must be received by the board of elections no later than today (I'm sure that piece of news will put you in the mood.)

For those of you not in a romantic mood today:
February 14, 1931 -
Just in time for the Valentine's Day holiday, Universal Pictures released Tod Browning's horror classic, Dracula, on this date.

A Spanish-language version, DrĂ¡cula, was filmed at night on the same set at the same time, with Spanish-speaking actors.

February 14, 1962 -
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, with her breathless voice, takes television viewers on a tour of the White House, on CBS TV, on this date. (Haven't you always found it strange that Marylin Monroe and Jackie Kennedy basically had the same voice?)

It was estimated that hundreds of millions of people saw the program, making it the most widely viewed documentary during the genre's so-called golden age.

February 14, 1963 -
Twentieth Century Fox releases the sci-fi film The Day Mars Invaded Earth, directed by Maury Dexter and starring Kent Taylor and Marie Windsor, to U.S. theaters on this date.

Filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, California. Two years after this film was made, The City of Beverly Hills purchased the mansion in 1965. It was made into a public park in 1971. Greystone mansion was also used in The Loved One, in which one portion of the grounds appeared as the swimming pool where John Gielgud's character hangs himself, and one of the property's garden walkways "portrayed" Poet's Corner in the massive cemetery called Whispering Glades.

February 14, 1969 -
The Star Trek episode Requiem for Methuselah first airs on this date. In it, the crew is confronted by a reclusive immortal on an isolated planet while searching for a cure to a rare disease. When the show repeated in September of that year, it was the last official telecast of the series to air on NBC during it's initial run.

This is one of many Star Trek productions resembling William Shakespeare's The Tempest and/or Irving Block's Forbidden Planet.

February 14, 1970 
Sly & the Family Stone's song Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) and it's 'double A-side' Everybody Is a Star hit no. #1 on the Billboard charts at the same time on this date.

Sly Stone wrote this because he was upset that people were not listening to the messages in his songs even though the band was more popular then ever. They were an integrated band and tried to spread the message of racial harmony, but Stone thought that message was getting lost. The lyrics are scathing and mostly directed at Sly himself, but once again, many people lost the message in the powerful groove.

February 14, 1972 -
Starting on this date, The Mike Douglas Show broadcast a full week, five shows, with co-hosts John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Mike Douglas described the experience this way: "It was probably the most memorable week I did in all my 20-something years on air." Although it wasn't all fun and games, two weeks after the show aired, the Nixon administration’s Immigration and Naturalization Service ordered Lennon out of the country.

February 14, 1987
The Bon Jovi song, Livin’ On A Prayer, hit No. 1 on this date.

Jon Bon Jovi wanted to leave Livin’ On A Prayer off the Slippery When Wet album, thinking it wasn't good enough. But, a chance meeting with a group of teenage fans changed his mind and it was added to the album.

February 14, 1991 -
Another fine film for Valentines Day - The Silence of the Lambs, based on the book by Thomas Harris, directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, premiered in the US on this date.

The real-life FBI's Behavioral Science Unit assisted in the making of this movie. Jodie Foster spent a great deal of time with FBI agent Mary Ann Krause prior to filming. Krause gave Foster the idea of Starling standing by her car crying. Krause told Foster that at times, the work just became so overwhelming that it was a good way to get an emotional release.

February 14, 1992 -
Besides learning that we are all not worthy of being in Alice Cooper's presence, we learned that "Milwaukee" is Algonquin for "the good land," when Wayne's World, starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey premiered on this date.

The studio wanted to use a Guns N' Roses track instead of Bohemian Rhapsody, but Mike Myers fought for the inclusion of the Queen song. Myers even threatened to quit the production if he didn't get what he wanted, and eventually the studio gave in to his demand.

Another job posting from The ACME Employment Agency

Today in History:
February 14, 1400 -
... How some have been depos’d, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed,
Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping kill’d,
All murdered

King Richard II of England, who had been deposed in 1399, died mysteriously on this date.

February 14, 1779 -
English explorer Captain James Cook and some of his crew are slaughtered (and possibly eaten) by angry Hawaiian islanders, after he tried to take a Hawaiian chief hostage over a dispute regarding a stolen boat.

There was possibly a better way to get the deposit back on a boat.

February 14, 1823 -
In honor of the Duke of Wellington, England erected the first nude public statue since antiquity — an 18ft bronze Achilles, (created from the loot of the British victories in France, 33 tons of captured French cannons) — in London's Hyde Park on June 18, 1822.

It caused such uproar, a fig leaf was added on this date.

February 14, 1849
On this date, in New York City, James Knox Polk becomes the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken.

The daguerreotype was taken by famous photographer Matthew Brady. (According to some sources, after delivering his 1841 inaugural speech, President Harrison posed for a daguerreotype. Harrison died after only 31 days into his term. That photograph, if it existed, has since been lost.)

February 14, 1929 -
The Capone gang killed six members of the Bugs Moran gang and one other person at the S.M.C. Cartage company in Chicago, in an event known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Bogus police officers were used so that it appeared to be a routine police bust. Except for all the bodies.

The bloody St. Valentine's Day Massacre stirred a media storm centered on Capone and his illegal Prohibition-era activities and motivated federal authorities to redouble their efforts to find evidence incriminating enough to take him off the streets.

February 14, 1948 -
Raymond Joseph Teller (Teller) an illusionist, comedian and writer best known as the silent half of the comedy magic duo known as Penn and Teller, accomplished sleight of hand artist, painter, atheist, debunker, skeptic and Fellow of the Cato Institute was born on this date.

He legally changed his name to Teller and possesses one of the few United States passports issued in a single name.

Yeah, he can speak (you idiots.)

February 14, 1989
Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issues a fatwa encouraging Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses.

Still, more than 30 years later, threats against Salman Rushdie's life persist. Mr Rushdie recently survived a knife attack while speaking a a book lecture. He barely survived, left blinded in one eye and is trying to regain feeling in his hand.

February 14, 1990 -
The Pale Blue Dot photograph of planet Earth was taken on this date, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 3. 7 billion miles (6 billion kms).

In the photograph, Earth's apparent size is less than a pixel; the planet appears as a tiny dot against the vastness of space, among bands of sunlight scattered by the camera's optics.

We are truly but stardust.

And so it goes.

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