Friday, February 16, 2024

Patience - there'll be a slice for everyone

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.

Today is the Feast of Saint Juliana of Nicomedia. She refused to marry a Roman official, so he had her roasted in flames, then dipped into boiling oil before finally being beheaded, which seems rather harsh even for Roman times.

Once again, Springsteen was right - it's hard being a saint (in the city.)

Once again I've missed all the hooplah surrounding the celebration of Tatar Sauce Day, (it's celebrated the first Friday after Ash Wednesday.)

All I'm going to say is ACME is also one of the leading brands of 'off label' Tatar Sauce - ACME Tatar Sauce, now with more green bits in it! (Shhh, It's a business syndicate conspiracy.)

February 16, 1935 -
The Phantom, created by Lee Falk (also creator of Mandrake the Magician), makes his first appearance in a comic strip on this date.

The Phantom is credited as being the first "costumed superhero", i.e. the first crimefighter to wear the skintight costume attributed to comic book superheroes.

February 16, 1940 -
A truncated version of A Chump at Oxford (the second to last Laurel and Hardy feature) was released on this date.

The short version of the film was originally in four reels, a "streamliner" designed to compete with theaters' new double feature concept. Hal Roach produced only a few of these hybrids, and added the dinner party sequence later to bring it up to it's feature length.

February 16, 1956 -
The film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical Carousel, starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, premiered on this date.

While appearing in a nightclub act with his wife at Lake Tahoe, Gordon MacRae received an emergency phone call to replace Frank Sinatra as Billy Bigelow, after Sinatra walked out before filming began. Originally, MacRae was told that Sinatra left when he discovered that every scene was to be filmed twice, once for regular CinemaScope and once for CinemaScope 55. Within three days MacRae, who was already familiar with the Broadway show and had wanted to play the role, reported to the set. Fortunately, the producers discovered a way to shoot in CinemaScope 55 and then convert it to regular CinemaScope without filming the movie twice.

February 16, 1957 -
Ingmar Bergman's classic take on life, death and a chess-playing grim reaper, The Seventh Seal, starring Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, and Bibi Andersson, premiered in Sweden on this date.

The inspiration for this film was said to be drawn from the period films of Akira Kurosawa, of which Ingmar Bergman was a big fan. Bergman credited the film with helping him overcome his crippling fear of death. Because the film dealt so overtly with the subject, he found it a highly cathartic experience.

February 16, 1962 -
The influential sci-fi short film, La Jetée (told almost entirely with B & W still photography,) directed by Chris Marker premiered in France on this date.

This short film was the inspiration for the Terry Gilliam film 12 Monkeys.

February 16, 1964 -
The Beatles appeared for the second time on the Ed Sullivan Show on this date.

The Beatles performed six songs: She Loves You, This Boy, All My Loving, I Saw Her Standing There, From Me To You and I Want To Hold Your Hand. The Beatles received $25,000 for their appearance; half of what Elvis got for his.

February 16, 1967 -
The titanic battle of the man girdles and outrageous toupees began on this date.

The Star Trek episode, Space Seed, premiered on NBC-TV on this date. In it, the crew re-awaken a ship of Augments from Earth’s eugenics war during the 1990s, including their leader, Khan Noonien Singh.

Ricardo Montalban was always the first choice for Khan. He had been suggested by casting director Joseph D'Agosta, who was not looking to cast an actor of a particular ethnic background due to Gene Roddenberry's vision for the series; Roddenberry wanted to show his perceived 23rd century values by not requiring any specific ethnicities when casting actors in guest roles.

February 16, 1969 -
The epic Soviet bio pix, Andrei Rublev, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, starring Anatoly Solonitsyn and Ivan Lapikov, premiered in Moscow (after a limited release in 1966 where upon it was heavily censored,) on this date. The film, even it's truncated version, is considered one of the greatest films of all time.

In this film, director Andrei Tarkovsky drew on his own creative development and religious struggles as a way to interrogate Christianity as an axiom of Russia's historical identity.

February 16, 1974 -
Bob Dylan's fourteenth studio album, Planet Waves, went to No. 1 on the Billboard Charts, (his first No. 1 album,) on this date.

The albun was Dylan's first studio recording in nearly four years and he reunited with The Band.

February 16, 1975 -
My future is in your hands. I am really happy to be back. No, I am thrilled to be back.

Cher stepped out sans Sonny to star in her own, when the music variety series Cher premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

February 16, 1982 -
The Jam had two of their singles, A Town Called Malice, and Precious, at No.1 on the UK singles chart on this date.

The title of Nevil Shute's A Town Like Alice inspired the title, but the inspiration for the song came from Paul Weller's friend Dave Waller by means of describing urban life. The song is about unemployment in a working town and Paul Weller confessed, "It could have been written about any suburban town, but it was in fact written about my hometown of Woking."

Another unimportant moment in history

Today in History:
February 16, 600 - (we can probably assume this date was correctly denoted. Let's hope, since this involves a pope, most of the people there were not involved in a orgy and had the time to write this down.)
Pope Gregory the Great declared "God bless you" to be the correct response to a sneeze.

It was once thought that sneezing was an omen of death, since many dying people fell into sneezing fits.

So now you know why.

February 16, 1899 -
Félix François Faure, President of France and the owner of the most audacious mustache in the late 19th century,

died suddenly from a massive heart attack in his private offices while in the act of some sort of sexual congress with the notable courtesan, Marguerite Steinheil on this date.

Apparently when Faure reached his petit mort, he had his grand mort. A probably apocryphal story, listed as fact by many sources, is that M. Le President died with his hands gripping Miss Steinheil's head and an anxious government official nearly 'brained' her trying to remove the hysterical lady from the vise-like grip of his 'cold dead hands.'

The French statesmen and future president, George Clemenceau famously said, after hearing of Faure's death, " voulait être César, il ne fut que Pompée," which is incredibly witty and very filthy for a family newspaper (go look it up yourself.)

February 16, 1918 -
Lithuania declared its independence from Russia on this date. Independence lasted until World War II.

It was such a successful declaration that they declared their independence again in 1990.

February 16, 1921 -
Vera-Ellen (nee Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe), actress and possible anorexia nervosa sufferer (there is a raging debate on the internet about whether or not she was - and I am still legally obligated to state this,) was born on this date.

Vera went to the same Cincinnati ballroom dance studio as a child as Doris Day. Their parents used to carpool together to the dance studio.

February 16, 1923 -
Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter opened King Tut's tomb, revealing one of the most well-preserved treasures from the ancient world on this date.

While it has been frequently reported that a curse killed 13 of the 20 people present at the opening of the tomb, there was no curse and no unusual death patterns occurred.

Wait a minute, what's that lurking in the shadows?

February 16, 1935 -
Salvatore Phillip "Sonny" Bono, politician, musical artist and producer was born on this date.

Little known facts about Salvatore - Bono was the godfather of Anthony Kiedis and in later years dabbled with Scientology, although his last wife (of whom he had four including Cher,) said that he was trying to distance himself from the religion at the time of his death.

Kids, once again we have to repeat - do not mess around with Scientology.

February 16, 1937 -
Nylon material was patented (U.S. patent 2,071,250) by Wallace H. Carothers, a researcher for DuPont on this date. He also helped to produce the first synthetic rubber, Neoprene, and was instrumental in the development of synthetic silks.

Sadly, Carothers committed suicide after a long battle with depression by drinking lemon juice laced with cyanide (not a cocktail that I would recommend.)

February 16, 1959 -
Failed baseball player Fidel Castro was sworn in as President For Life of Cuba after having led the revolution that removed Fulgenico Batista. At the time, Cuba was a nation plagued by poverty, racked by corruption, and held in thrall by the military force of its leader.

During his first year of rule, 500 were put to the firing squad, an RBI record any dictator would be proud of.

February 16, 1990 -
Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.

Keith Haring, artist/cartoonist, died of AIDS-related complications at 31 on this date.

And so it goes.

No comments: