[Daily article] February 23: A Cure for Pokeritis

A Cure for Pokeritis is an American short silent film starring John
Bunny and Flora Finch (pictured), released on February 23, 1912. A
domestic comedy, it depicts a woman who stops her husband’s gambling
habit by having her cousin stage a fake police raid on his weekly poker
game. It was one of many shorts produced by Vitagraph Studios, whose
popularity made Bunny and Finch early film stars. Although its style of
humor is dated, it is a historically important representative of its
period and genre. The film was an early example of efforts to move
beyond the conventions of stage plays: during the police raid, action
took place in both the foreground and the background, with the actors
moving between them. This cinematography technique improved the realism
and pacing of the scene. A Cure for Pokeritis may be the first depiction
of poker in film. Like Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s Dogs Playing Poker
paintings, it reflects the early 20th-century perception of the game as
a male-dominated social vice.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1778:

American Revolutionary War: Prussian military officer Friedrich
Wilhelm von Steuben arrived at Valley Forge as a volunteer for the
Continental Army.

1854:

Britain signed the Orange River Convention to formally
recognise the independence of the Orange Free State in the present-day
Free State Province, South Africa.

1944:

In response to an insurgency in Chechnya, the Soviet Union
began the forced deportation of native Chechen and Ingush of North
Caucasus to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

1987:

Light from SN 1987A (remnant pictured), a supernova in the
Large Magellanic Cloud, reached the Earth.

2008:

A B-2 Spirit stealth bomber crashed on the runway shortly after
takeoff from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam in the most expensive crash
in U.S. Air Force history.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

gunzel:
1. (Australia) A railway or tram enthusiast; particularly (formerly
derogatory) one who is overly enthusiastic or foolish.
2. (Australia, by extension) An enthusiast or geek with a specific
interest. […]

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  “What is the greatest surprise you have found about life?” a
university student asked me several years ago. “Its brevity” I replied
without hesitation. … Time moves so quickly, and no matter who we are
or what we have done, the time will come when our lives will be over. As
Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent
me. Night is coming, when no one can work” . … Life is short, and
every day is a gift from God.  
–Billy Graham

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