HAIL TO THE HOLIDAY: Happy Washington’s Birthday everyone! What? You thought today was Presidents Day? Oh, how wrong you are, Millard Fillmore-breath. In 1968, the original holiday celebrating Washington’s Feb. 22 birthday was moved to the third Monday in February, but the name was never officially changed. Over time, the day became known as Presidents Day as a way to honor February babies Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Today, most people have tweaked the holiday even further to celebrate all presidents, even though Congress never put ink to paper making any of that official. So, that’s how a holiday meant to honor our first president became a day we also recognize guys like Rutherford B. Hayes and Martin Van Buren.
THE FALLON ERA: Tonight, something will happen that has only occurred six times in 60 years. No, politicians will not suddenly start agreeing with each other. At NBC, “The Tonight Show” will be welcoming the sixth full-time host in its history when Jimmy Fallon sits down behind the desk for the first time. (For those scoring at home, Steve Allen was the first in 1954 and that number only counts Jay Leno once.) Fallon’s first guests are people you may have heard of : A fella named Will Smith and a little Irish rock band named U2. Because of the Olympics, Fallon’s debut will be at midnight. He’ll settle in at 11:30 p.m. next week.
THE COLD FACTS: So, you think this has been a cold winter? Try complaining about minus 6 to someone who lives on Pluto. Temperatures average a not-quite balmy 360 degrees below zero there, so they’d likely break out the shorts for what we shiver through these days. It’s a tough life on Pluto, not only dealing with the cold, but having to change all that stationery when it was demoted from “planet” status in 2006. But, it’s not all bad. Pluto has its own designated “holiday” this Tuesday. The aptly-named “Pluto Day,” is meant to honor its discovery on Feb. 18, 1930. Plutonians will be celebrating deep into the night … which is basically all the time there.
A REAL DISASTER: It’s surprising the way movie studios copy success that 1997’s “Titanic” hasn’t inspired more “romance amid historical disaster” flicks. We were expecting Leonardo DiCaprio in “Hindenburg.” Kate Winslet in “The Black Plague.” Tom Hanks in “The Great Halifax Explosion of 1917.” And we never got any of them. But our luck has run out. Opening this week is “Pompeii,” Hollywood’s take on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. There will be romance. There will be drama. There will be volcanic explosions. There will be attempts at acting. Sound like your cup of lava? Then check it out Friday.
THE PIPES ARE CALLING: So, you’ve always wanted to hear Queen’s “We Will Rock You” done on bagpipes? Admit it, you have. (Even if you haven’t, play along.) Well, now you have your chance. The Scottish bagpipe-rock hybrid band The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will be doing their thing Saturday night at the F.M. Kirby Center. The group, which was formed in 2002, calls its signature sound “bagrock,” which makes total sense. The show starts at 8 p.m. The bagpipe smashing soon after. (They don’t actually smash instruments. That’s just a rock stereotype.)