Bunkies, get those letters out


The Canadian postal service has been giving Jolly Old St. Nicholas a helping hand. For more than 38 years, Canada Post has been helping Santa with his huge holiday volume of mail. Thanks to Canada Post's Santa Letter-writing Program, children can write to the jolly old fellow in virtually any language, including Braille, and receive a response in the same language. (Kids, make sure your letters are postmarked by tomorrow, December 9th.)

Santa's correct address happens to be:

Santa Claus
North Pole H0H 0H0
(Please note the zip code)

Or you can get an e-mail from Santa at - Email Santa. You better hurry though, Christmas is just around the corner (and if you are a kid - what the heck are you doing reading this blog, it's not appropriate for you. Although you could go into your parents room while they are sleeping and fill an envelope with those green pieces of paper in their wallets and send it to me at ...)

It's apparently National Brownie day today, as opposed to 'Send Kevin the loose bills in your pocket day.'

According to several sources, Brownies seem to have made their first appearance at the Parker House Hotel in Chicago in 1893 celebrating the Columbian Exposition World’s Fair in Chicago, (you may find their original recipe for the brownies on the hotel's website.)

My contribution to the days' festivities is my family's recipe (if you need to bring a dessert somewhere this holiday season; this is the one.)

I am going to send you directly to the group of old ladies in church, saying the rosaries on a Thursday afternoon in the back row of your church to explain this one to you:

December 8, 1854 -
Pius IX promulgates the doctrine of Immaculate Conception (Ineffabilis Deus) - the Virgin Mary is free from original sin (and not the other thing some of you think.)

Later, she achieves permanent fame when despite of her marriage, she finds herself in the family way by her acquaintance with a Supreme Being.

December 8, 1952 -
In some weird cosmic irony, the episode Lucy Is Enceinte first aired on CBS-TV ("enceinte" being French for "expecting" or "pregnant") on this date.

CBS would not allow I Love Lucy to use the word "pregnant", so "expecting" was used instead. (CBS won't let other people stream this episode, for free, any more.)

If you are not so inclined - Today is Bodhi Day — the Buddhist holiday commemorating the day when the Buddha first experienced enlightenment (in sanskrit, known as bodhi) while sitting under a tree and meditating.

The former prince, Siddhartha Gautauma, had recently given up years of self-enforced fasting, service, and poverty and resolved to sit under a tree and simply meditate until he could finally find the root of suffering and how to liberate oneself from it. It took him more than 40 days.

December 8, 1957 -
The CBS series, The Seven Living Arts aired, The Sound of Jazz, live from their NYC studios: an all-star program featuring swing era and contemporary jazz artists, including Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Gerry Mulligan, and many others, on this date.

The show's performance of Fine and Mellow reunited Billie Holiday with her friend Lester Young for the final time. Within two years, both Young and Holiday had died.

December 8, 1966 -
The Star Trek episode The Conscience of the King first airs on this date. In it, Captain Kirk crosses paths with an actor suspected of having been a planetary governor who ordered a mass-murder twenty years earlier.

In this episode, we learn that Kirk was on Tarsus IV, and was one of the survivors of Governor Kodos' ghastly method of population control.

December 8, 1976 -
Asylum release the fifth studio album of the Eagles, Hotel California, on this date.

Hotel California would go on to sell 16 million copies in the U.S. and double that figure worldwide.

December 8, 1978 -
The EMI Film and Universal Pictures produced Michael Cimino film, The Deer Hunter, starring Robert De Niro, John Savage, Christopher Walken, John Cazale and Meryl Streep, premiered in Los Angeles on this date

The slapping in the Russian Roulette sequences was one hundred percent authentic. The actors grew very agitated by the constant slapping, which, naturally, added to the realism of the scenes.

December 8, 1982 -
Alan J Pakula adaptation of William Styron novel, Sophie's Choice, starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Peter MacNicol premiered in the US on this date. (I can still hear the audible weeping in the theatre when I first saw the movie.)

Meryl Streep begged director Alan J. Pakula for this role literally on her hands and knees. Marthe Keller and Barbra Streisand both tried to win the role also but Pakula ultimately chose Streep.

December 8, 2000 -
Ang Lee's visually stunning martial arts film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, starring Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, and Ziyi Zhang opened in limited release in the US on this date.

The four main actors all spoke Mandarin, but with different accents. Chow Yun-Fat had a Cantonese accent, Michelle Yeoh had a Malaysian/English accent, Ziyi Zhang had a Beijing accent, and Chang Chen had a Taiwanese accent. Because of the difficulty some Chinese-speaking markets had with the voices, some markets actually had a dubbed version (into standard Mandarin) of the soundtrack.

Here's a better way to honor the day

Another ACME Safety Film

Today in History:
Henry Laurens, the Fifth President of the Continental Congress, became the first person to be formally cremated in the U.S. in 1792 on this date.

Things would have gone on in a more dignified manner if Mr Laurens was deceased at the time (just kidding - he was quite dead, especially after the cremation.)

December 8, 1793 -
Mme. du Barry, mistress of Louis XV, did not go quietly to that good death. On the way to the guillotine she continually collapsed in the tumbrel and cried "You are going to hurt me! Why?!" She became quite hysterical during her execution: "She screamed, she begged mercy of the horrible crowd that stood around the scaffold, she aroused them to such a point that the executioner grew anxious and hastened to complete his task."

Her last words to the executioner: "Encore un moment, monsieur le bourreau, un petit moment," (One moment more, executioner, one little moment) were her most famous.

How insensitive of her to be such a pain.

December 8, 1925 -
Sammy Davis Jr., singer, dancer, actor, drummer, and member of the Rat Pack was born on this date.

A "contract" was allegedly put out on Sammy's life because of his interracial affair with Kim Novak, and he was threatened that 'you will lose your other eye' if it continued. Before the "contract" was executed, allegedly Frank Sinatra intervened and saved the day. Nevertheless, Davis married a black showgirl, Loray White, out of fear for his life. The marriage lasted a few months before Davis got it annulled. Loray allegedly received a $10,000 settlement and a Cadillac.

December 8, 1963 -
Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped at Harrah's Lake Tahoe, Nevada on this date. After Frank Sinatra paid the $240,000.00 random, Jr. was set free a few days later. It has always been speculated that Sinatra, Jr. cooperated with his abductors in their plot.

Frank Sr. was not happy. As punishment Frank Jr. was forced to become a fat, dumpy, bald headed guy who had to conduct the big band for Frank Sr. and all was well.

December 8, 1980 -

John Lennon was shot by a lunatic, Mark David Chapman, outside Lennon's apartment in New York City mere hours after receiving the Beatle's autograph.

Chapman was carrying around his dog eared copy of Catcher in the Rye.

For those of you who remember the book, I leave it to you to draw any conclusions.

December 8, 1982 -
Norman Mayer barricaded himself inside the Washington Monument and threatens to blow it up unless all nuclear weapons are dismantled. He was shot by police after 10 hours.

That's what you get for sticking up the largest prick in DC.

And so it goes

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