Life Day 24010: How Do We Measure Up?

April 7, 2013 at 1:13 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning measurement system fans. Today is Sunday, April 7, 2013. The first holiday today is Metric System Day. The metric system was developed during the French Revolution by the Assemblee Constituante as a solution to the diverse measurement systems unhappily coexisting throughout Europe. The units in the various systems often had the same names, but  used different standards to measure the same amounts. To avoid confusion, France decided it to devise a completely new system. Over time, the entire world has come to accept this measurement system based on units of ten, except for the United States, Liberia, and Burma. The United States uses the foot, the inch, etc. Burma has its own system of measurements. And, Liberia’s measurement system is a complete mystery. However, for purposes of international trade, all three countries use the metric system as well. It makes no sense to me. Why do we still cling to our archaic system of measurement based upon completely arbitrary standards? I have long been an advocate of converting to the metric system. Sure, it would take time to adjust, but I think we would benefit overall from making the change. In 1999, NASA lost a $125 million Mars Orbiter because one team of engineers did an important calculation using the metric system, while the other team used United States customary units. What a bunch of rocket scientists! Try using the metric system today as much as possible. If your high school science class is a distant memory, you probably have a reference book or two in your house with conversion charts to help you. If you are reading this, you have access to the internet, where I am positive you can find all the help you need.

The next holiday is Tangible Karma™ Day. Tangible Karma™ Day encourages people to set aside one hour to perform some sort of selfless act. Volunteer at a shelter. Help and elderly neighbor. Donate your unwanted or unused household items or clothing to charity. Tangible Karma™ Day is the brainchild of Amber Nicole Dilger. She started a company of the same name in 2005 as a way for recycling and reusing.

The third holiday today is International Snailpapers Day. International Snailpapers Day celebrates hard-copy media. Visit a library or book store today and pick out a good book. Buy a magazine or newspaper. In this age of computers, today is a day to enjoy the scent of newsprint before it disappears forever.

Another holiday today is No Housework Day.  Housework is a daily, seemingly endless and repetitive group of tasks that often go un-noticed by others—until they aren’t done. If you normally do the housework around your house, make it abundantly clear that you are taking the day off from housework. If your significant other normally does the housework, offer to do it for them today.

The fifth holiday today is  International Beaver Day. NO! Not that kind of beaver. International Beaver Day refers to that industrious rodent who helps to restore wetlands, moderate droughts and helps control flooding. Take time to learn about beavers today. Take a nature walk and try to spot a beaver dam, or if you’re lucky, actually see one at work.

The remaining holidays today, although noteworthy, are in that esoteric group of ‘touchy-feely’ holidays that I am loathe to expound upon. I will provide a link to each one should you want more information.
Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).
National D.A.R.E. Day.
World Health Organization Day.

The food-related holiday today is National Coffee Cake Day. Coffee Cake is a yeast-leavened cake-like bread that is typically served at breakfast or as a snack with coffee or tea. It is often glazed with a white icing or topped with streusel. Coffee cake can contain raisins, nuts, other dried fruits and chocolate chunks. Most are flavored with cinnamon. More elaborate recipes incorporate cream cheese, jam and other fillings such as lemon curd. Treat yourself to some today.

On this date in 1990 – At Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center a display of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs went on display. On the same day the center and its director were indicted on obscenity charges. The charges resulted in acquittal.
In 1798 – The territory of Mississippi was organized.
In 1862 – Union General Ulysses S. Grant defeated Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh, TN.
In 1864 – The first camel race in America was held in Sacramento, California.
In 1888 – P.F. Collier published a weekly periodical for the first time under the name “Collier’s.”
In 1930 – The first steel columns were set for the Empire State Building.
In 1940 – Booker T. Washington became the first black to be pictured on a U.S. postage stamp.
In 1948 – The United Nations’ World Health Organization began operations.
In 1953 – IBM unveiled the IBM 701 Electronic Data Processing Machine. It was IBM’s first commercially available scientific computer.
In 1957 – The last of New York City’s electric trolleys completed its final run from Queens to Manhattan.
In 1963 – At the age of 23, Jack Nicklaus became the youngest golfer to win the Green Jacket at the Masters Tournament.
In 1966 – The U.S. recovered a hydrogen bomb it had lost off the coast of Spain.
In  1969 – The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material.
In 1970 – John Wayne won his first and only Oscar for his role in “True Grit.” He had been in over 200 films.
In 1971 – President Nixon pledged to withdraw 100,000 more men from Vietnam by December.
In 1987 – In Oklahoma a 16-month-old baby was killed by a pit bull. On the same day a 67-year-old man was killed by another pit bull in Dayton, OH.
In 1988 – In Fort Smith, AR, 13 white supremacists were acquitted on charges for plotting to overthrow the U.S. federal government.
In 1990 – In the U.S., John Poindexter was found guilty of five counts at his Iran-Contra trial. The convictions were later reversed on appeal.
In 1998 – Mary Bono, the widow of Sonny Bono, won a special election to serve out the remainder of her husband’s congressional term.
In 2000 – President Clinton signed the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act of 2000. The bill reversed a Depression-era law and allows senior citizens to earn money without losing Social Security retirement benefits.
And, in 2002 – The Roman Catholic archdiocese announced that six priests from the Archdiocese of New York were suspended over allegations of sexual misconduct.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following luminaries:
William King 1786 – 13th U.S. Vice President.
W.K. Kellogg 1860 – Industrialist.
Walter Winchell 1897 – Journalist.
Percy Faith 1908 – Orchestra leader.
Billie Holiday 1915 – Jazz singer.
R. G. Armstrong 1917 – Actor.
Ravi Shankar 1920 – Sitarist.
Mongo Santamaria 1922 – Bandleader.
James Garner 1928 – Actor.
Daniel Ellsberg 1931 – Author.
Wayne Rogers 1933 – Actor.
David Frost 1939 – TV host.
Francis Ford Coppola 1939 – Director.
John Oates 1949 – Songwriter, singer.
Janis Ian 1950 – Singer, songwriter.
Jackie Chan 1954 – Actor.
Russell Crowe 1964 – Actor.
Bill Bellamy 1965 – Actor.
Ronde Barber 1975 – Football player.
And finally, Tiki Barber 1975 – Football player.

 

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