Life Day 24094: Time: What a Concept

June 30, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Sunday, June 30, 2013.
Good morning clockwatchers. The first holiday today is Leap Second Time Adjustment Day.  “Time is a concept created by people in need of structure in their lives.”  I don’t remember where I heard that saying, or if I coined it myself, but I’ve been using it for decades, and since I have been retired, it certainly is apropos to my lifestyle. However, for those of you who still care about ‘time’, Leap Second Time Adjustment Day is the day that the sciency types at the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service (IERS) make adjustments. They last only a heartbeat and go unnoticed by most, but without leap seconds our clocks would run too fast. About every one and a half years, one extra second is added to Universal Coordinated Time (UCT) and clocks around the world. This leap second accounts for the fact that the Earth’s rotation around its own axis, which determines the length of a day, slows down over time while the atomic clocks that we use to measure time, tick away at almost the same speed over millions of years. So, leap seconds are a means to adjust our clocks to the Earth’s slowing rotation.
Since 1972, a total of 24 seconds have been added. This means that the Earth has slowed down 24 seconds compared to atomic time since then. This does not mean that days are 24 seconds longer nowadays. Only that the days on which the leap seconds are inserted had 86,401 instead of the usual 86,400 seconds. Leap seconds are inserted at the end of the last day in June or December. When that is the case, UCT ticks from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 before reverting to 00:00:00 (in the 12-hour format, this corresponds to 11:59:59 pm – 11:59:60 pm – 12:00:00 midnight). When that happens the last minute of the month has 61 instead of 60 seconds. The IERS observes the Earth’s rotation and compares it to atomic time. When the difference between the two approaches 0.9 seconds, they order a leap second to be added worldwide.
According to the IERS, there will actually be no adjustment made to the time tonight. The last adjustment was on June 30th 2012. If they maintain their schedule of adjusting time every year and a half, that means that your party this New Year’s Eve will be extended by one second; but you’ll probably be too drunk to notice. Oh well. Wahoo! Party on!

The next holiday is Meteor Day. The word “meteor” refers to a visible streak of light that is produced by debris falling to the Earth from space. We also call this beautiful phenomenon a “shooting star” or “falling star.” The tradition of wishing upon a shooting star can be traced all the way back to 127 AD. Ptolemy, the Greek astronomer, hypothesized that the Gods occasionally liked to peer down at Earth from the other world. From time to time, a star or two would slip past them and fall through the heavens. Anyone who saw a shooting star knew that the Gods were paying attention so it was the perfect time to make a wish. Shooting stars are actually quite small. The average meteoroid is about the size of a pebble. Around 15,000 tons of meteoroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere every day, but very few of them actually reach the surface. When they do, they are called “meteorites.”
To celebrate Meteor Day, spend some time star-gazing tonight, or find out when the next meteor shower is going to take place. If you see a shooting star, remember to make a wish.

The third holiday today is Log Cabin Day. Log Cabin Day celebrates a quieter, simpler, era. A couple hundred years ago, life was far more rugged. Americans moving West found an untouched wilderness, filled with pristine forests. They built their homes out of logs. These log cabins were solid, long lasting, and served them well. Life was rustic and simple. Heat was provided by an open fireplace, where they also cooked their meals. In the summer, the only “air conditioning” they had was to remove the shutters from the windows and prop the doors open. The insulation was usually mud to seal the gaps between the logs. Log cabins have a strong association with rustic and rural North America, but historically log construction has its roots in the timber-rich regions of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Although their origin is uncertain, the first log structures were probably built in Northern Europe in the Bronze Age (about 3500 BC). By the time Europeans began to settle in America, there was a long tradition of using logs for houses, barns, and other outbuildings in Scandinavian countries. It was settlers from these Scandinavian countries that popularized the building of log cabins on the frontier. These crude structures bear little resemblance to the modern “log cabins” built as vacation homes today.

Another holiday today is  Descendants Day. Descendants Day is always celebrated on the last Sunday in June. It is the day each year that: “all the world’s citizens take an accounting of their activities during the preceding year that will impact our descendants and our neighbors across time.” Well now, isn’t that special. Pardon me while I go “lose my lunch”.

Today’s final holiday is NOW (National Organization For Women) Day. NOW (National Organization For Women) Day celebrates the date in 1966 when the National Organization For Women was founded. This link will go into much more detail about it’s creation than I can in this Blog.

The food-related holiday today is  National Ice Cream Soda Day. An ice cream soda, sometimes regionally called a ‘float’, is a beverage that consists of ice cream in either a soft drink or in a mixture of flavored syrup and carbonated water. It is a great summer cooler, and a flavorful way to cool off. Be creative with your ice cream and soda flavor choices.
Factoid: There is a right way and a wrong way to make an ice cream soda. If you add the ice cream first, then the soda, you get too much foam. The correct way is to first add the soda to the glass, then “float” the ice cream on top; hence the name ‘float’. There is a scientific reason for this phenomenon. This link will explain it all.

On this date in 1908 – An explosion in Siberia, which knocked down trees in a 40-mile radius and struck people unconscious some 40 miles away. It was believed by some scientists to be caused by a falling fragment from a meteorite.
Also on this date in history:
1841 – The Erie Railroad rolled out its first passenger train.
1859 – Charles Blondin became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
1934 – Adolf Hitler purged the Nazi Party by destroying the SA and bringing to power the SS in the “Night of the Long Knives.”
1935 – Fascists caused an uproar at the League of Nations when Haile Selassie of Ethiopia speaks.
1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s book, “Gone with the Wind,” was published.
1950 – U.S. President Harry Truman ordered U.S. troops into Korea and authorizes the draft.
1953 – The first Corvette rolled off the Chevrolet assembly line in Flint, MI. It sold for $3,250. 1958 – The U.S. Congress passed a law authorizing the admission of Alaska as the 49th state in the Union.
1962 – Los Angeles Dodger Sandy Koufax pitched his first no-hitter in a game with the New York Mets.
1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the New York Times to continue publishing the Pentagon Papers.
1971 – The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified when Ohio became the 38th state to approve it. The amendment lowered the minimum voting age to 18.
1974 – Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defected in Toronto, Canada.
1977 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced his opposition to the B-1 bomber.
1986 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that states could outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.
1994 – The U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the 1994 national championship and banned her from the organization for life for an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.
1998 – Officials confirmed that the remains of a Vietnam War serviceman buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery were identified as those of Air Force pilot Michael J. Blassie.
And, in 2000 – President Clinton signed the E-Signature bill to give the same legal validity to an electronic signature as a signature in pen and ink.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following people of distinction:
Lena Horne 1917 – Singer, Actress.
Susan Hayward 1919 – Actress.
June Valli 1930 – Singer.
Harry Blackstone, Jr. 1934 – Magician.
Nancy Dussault 1936 – Actress. (Too Close for Comfort)
Florence Ballard 1943 – Singer. (The Supremes)
David Alan Grier 1955 – Actor, comedian. ()In living Color)
Vincent D’Onofrio 1959 – Actor. (Law & Order: Criminal Intent)
Mike Tyson 1966 – Boxer.
Brian Bloom 1970 – Actor.
And finally, Brian Vincent 1970 – Actor.

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Life Day 24093: Smile, You’re on Candid Camera

June 29, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | 1 Comment

Today is Saturday, June 29, 2013.
Good morning shutterbugs. The first holiday today is Camera Day. Cameras are everywhere these days. Whether you have thousands of dollars invested in the latest photography equipment, or just use the camera in your smartphone for snapshots, today is the day to get out and take some pictures. Update your family portrait, take pictures of that backyard project, or just go to a serene setting and take some nature shots. The point of this holiday is to get whatever camera you normally use and take pictures. Whether you use a conventional or digital camera, still or video; go out and photograph your day. If you are among the freakishly small minority of people who still doesn’t own a camera, today is the day to invest in one. They are relatively inexpensive, and easy to operate. Cameras today are small, lightweight, and therefore portable; you can always have one close at hand to capture that “Kodak moment”. The days of having to carry bags of expensive equipment to take good quality photographs are all but gone. Today’s digital technology makes taking memorable photographs simple, even for the novice photographer.
Below are a few interesting facts about cameras and photography:
The word ‘photography’ is derived from the Greek words photos– for “light” and –graphos for “drawing.”
Literary accounts of pinhole cameras have been found in the writings of Aristotle and Euclid from the 5th and 4th centuries B.C.
The first known photograph is entitled “View from the Window at Le Gras” and was taken by Nicéphore Niépce in 1826. It took eight hours to develop.
English inventor William Fox Talbot invented the process that creates negative images in 1840.
The first color photograph was taken in 1861.
In 1884, George Eastman developed film technology, which replaced the cumbersome photographic plates.
Kodak unveiled the first digital camera in 1991, and the modern age of photography was born.

The next holiday is Hug Holiday. Hug Holiday does not mean to take a holiday from hugging. To the contrary, it means the exact opposite. Hug holiday means that you should be generous with your hugs today. Just don’t go overboard and run around willy-nilly hugging complete strangers. In today’s litigious society, that could only lead to trouble. Instead, seek out people who might be in need of need a hug; such people in senior center, or in a hospital. Focus on the elderly, the young, the sick, and the invalid. If you can, make a donation to that institution during your visit.

The final holiday today is Waffle Iron Day. This holiday is on the cusp between being a food-related holiday and a ‘normal’ holiday. Back in March, we celebrated Waffle Day, but Waffle Iron Day celebrates the appliance that enables us to create those crispy, golden brown treats. The waffle iron dates back to the 1300s in Greece. They cooked flat cakes between two metal pans. Waffle irons have come a long way from those bulky contraptions your mother used. With the advances in non-stick technology, making waffles at home is no longer a “crapshoot” as to whether your waffles will stick to the iron plates of your waffle iron. Waffle irons are also reasonably priced these days (you can purchase a good one for under $30.00).
If you want to celebrate this holiday, but don’t yet own a waffle iron, do not despair. Waffles aren’t just for breakfast anymore. You can still go buy one today, and enjoy chicken and waffles for dinner. How about a nice strawberry waffle? YUM! Enjoy a waffle or two for any meal today.

The food-related holiday today is National Almond Butter Crunch Day.  Buttercrunch is a combination of toffee, covered with chocolate. It has a crunchy texture and a caramel flavor. The  variation on the recipe which includes toasted almond sprinkles is the one we are celebrating today. Making buttercrunch calls for a good candy thermometer and some cooking experience. Creating the toffee involves caramelizing sugar at high temperatures, which requires precision, timing and the right tools and safety techniques for a successful outcome. So, unless you are feeling particularly adventurous today, or are an experienced cook, I recommend that you just go to your local “ye olde candy shoppe” and buy some to enjoy as a treat today.

On this date in The Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty could constitute “cruel and unusual punishment.” The ruling prompted states to revise their capital punishment laws. This decision enabled Charles Manson and his evil minions to live out their lives in prison at taxpayer expense rather than being executed for their heinous crimes.
Also on this date in history:
1652 – Massachusetts declared itself an independent commonwealth.
1767 – The British Parliament approved the Townshend Revenue Acts. The acts imposed import duties on glass, lead, paint, paper and tea shipped to America.
1776 – The Virginia constitution was adopted and Patrick Henry was made governor.
1860 – The first iron-pile lighthouse was completed at Minot’s Ledge, MA.
1888 – Professor Frederick Treves performed the first appendectomy in England.
1897 – The Chicago Cubs scored 36 runs in a game against Louisville, setting a record for runs scored by a team in a single game.
1925 – Marvin Pipkin filed for a patent for the frosted electric light bulb.
1932 – Siam’s army seized Bangkok and announced an end to the absolute monarchy.
1941 – Joe DiMaggio got a base hit in his 42nd consecutive game. He broke George Sisler’s record from 1922.
1953 – The Federal Highway Act authorized the construction of 42,500 miles of freeway from coast to coast.
1966 – The U.S. bombed fuel storage facilities near the North Vietnamese cities of Hanoi and Haiphong.
1995 – The shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir docked, forming the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth.
And, in 2000 – In Santa Rosa, CA, the official groundbreaking ceremony took place for the Charles M. Schulz Museum.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following illustrious individuals:
William Mayo 1861 – physician, surgeon. (co-founder of the Mayo Clinic)
James Van Der Zee 1886 – African-American photographer.
Nelson Eddy 1901 – Singer, actor.
John Toland 1912 – Author, historian. (The Rising Sun)
Slim Pickens 1919 – Character actor. (Dr. Strangelove, Blazing Saddles)
Cara Williams 1925 – Actress. (Pete and Gladys)
Stokeley Carmichael 1941 – Civil Rights activist.
Gary Busey 1944 – Actor.
Little Eva Boyd 1945 – Singer. (The Loco-Motion)
Richard Lewis 1947 – Comedian, actor. (Anything But Love)
Fred Grandy 1948 – Actor, politician (congressman)
Dan Dierdorf 1949 – Football player, TV sportscaster.
Maria Conchita Alonso 1957  – Singer, actress.
Sharon Lawrence 1961 – Actress. (NYPD Blue)
Amanda Donohoe 1962 – Actress. (LA Law)
And finally, Zuleikha Robinson 1977 – Actress (Lost)

 

LIFE DAY 24092: A CAPITAL IDEA

June 28, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

TODAY IS FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013.
GOOD MORNING LOVERS (OR HATERS) OF IMPROPER CAPITALIZATION. THE FIRST HOLIDAY TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY. INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY IS AN ENTIRE DAY DEDICATED TO SOMETHING THAT DRIVES NORMAL PEOPLE BONKERS; PEOPLE WHO TYPE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. THIS HOLIDAY WAS CREATED IN 2000 BY DEREK ARNOLD OF IOWA. IT WAS INTENDED TO POKE FUN AT THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO UNNECESSARILY CAPITALIZE LETTERS, WORDS, PHRASES, SENTENCES, OR ENTIRE PARAGRAPHS. THE DAY BECAME SO POPULAR WITH INTERNET USERS THAT IT IS NOW CELEBRATED TWICE A YEAR: ON JUNE 28TH AND AGAIN ON OCTOBER 22ND. SO, HIT YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY AND TYPE TO YOUR HEARTS CONTENT. USE IT ESPECIALLY TO ANNOY YOUR FRIENDS ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA SITES WHERE THIS EGREGIOUS BEHAVIOR IS MOST COMMONLY USED: TWITTER AND FACEBOOK. OK, I’M DONE WITH THIS.

The next holiday is Paul Bunyan Day. Paul Bunyan is one of the best-known heroes in American folklore. This legendary lumberjack (and his faithful companion Babe the Blue Ox) starred in many of the “tall tales” told in the Midwest during the 1800s. According to the stories, Bunyan was a giant man with incredible physical strength. He single-handedly established the logging industry, cleared North and South Dakota of its forests for farming, scooped out Lake Superior to water Babe, and even trained carpenter ants to help his fellow loggers.  It is said that Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes were created by Babe’s footprints.
French Canadians were believed to have originated Paul Bunyan during the Papineau rebellion of 1837.  While he may have been created in Canada, Paul Bunyan quickly became a huge American legend. Many of the tales of Paul Bunyan originated in lumberjack industry and logging communities. Like all good folklore, it was passed from generation to generation by word of mouth. Over campfires, his legend grew, and tales were created.
A young woman named K. Bernice Stewart was the first person to write down the original Bunyan tales. Stewart collected the stories from local loggers while studying at the University of Wisconsin in 1914. Today, Paul Bunyan is mentioned in more than 1,000 books and has become one of the most widespread icons in American culture. It is unclear why today is Paul Bunyan Day.

The last holiday today is Insurance Awareness Day. Geez. Do you think that this holiday is sponsored by the Insurance industry? Insurance is nothing more than a legally sanctioned form of gambling. If you buy insurance, you are gambling that something will go wrong. If you don’t buy insurance, you are gambling that something will not go wrong. Insurance, whether life, homeowners, automobile, or disaster (flood, fire, tornado, etc, etc,) offers peace of mind that in the event something does occur, you will be financially protected. Life situations change over time. Do you have another child? Have all of your children grown up and moved out? To celebrate this holiday, take time today to go over all the insurance coverage that you have and make sure it is still adequate for your needs. You might be able to reduce or eliminate some coverages and save a little money; much to the chagrin of your Insurance agent.

The first food-related holiday today is National Tapioca Day. When most people, including me, see the word ‘tapioca’, they immediately think of pudding. At first glance, I thought that this holiday was going to be the third pudding-related holiday in a row, but then I noticed that there was no mention of it in the title.
Tapioca is a flavorless, colorless, odorless starch extracted from the root of the cassava plant. Gluten free, it is used worldwide as a thickening agent. The starch is processed into several forms: fine or coarse flakes or flour/meal, tiny round pearls, powder and rectangular sticks; the products are traditionally white, but sticks and pearls may be colored brown or vibrant pastels. The form most familiar to American consumers is white pearl tapioca. All forms except flour and powder must be soaked prior to cooking, to rehydrate them; they absorb water equal to twice their volume or more. In all forms, tapioca is opaque before cooking; after cooking it becomes translucent.

The other food-related holiday today is National Ceviche Day. Ceviche (pronounced say-VEE-chay), is shellfish cured by acidic citrus juice. It has been popular in Latin America for many centuries. In the early 1500s, the Spanish conquistadors wrote of an Inca dish of raw fish marinated in chicha, a fermented maize beer that dates back some 2,000 years. The concept evolved into ceviche raw fish or shellfish cured with citrus juice.
A chemical process occurs when the fish/shell fish is marinated in the highly acidic citrus juice, which denatures the protein. The result is similar to what happens when the fish is cooked with heat. Instead of “cooking,” however, the fish is cured in the marinade, which adds its own delicious flavors.
Both Ecuador and Peru claim to have originated ceviche: Both were part of the Incan Empire. But why quibble: Today, ceviche, or seviche or sebiche, depending on the country, is so popular that there are cevicherias, restaurants that specialize in ceviche. The Spanish brought the lime and onion that is integral to modern ceviche. In fact, the term “ceviche” is thought to come from the Spanish escabeche, meaning marinade. Others argue that the word comes from the Quechua (Incan) word siwichi—although we could not find this word in different Quecha dictionaries that we consulted. There’s a whole menu of ceviche, from types of fish and seafood to country-specific preparations. Each country adds its own spin based on local seafood and preference for ingredients, like avocado.
Because of my dislike of seafood in general, I will not be celebrating this holiday.

On this date in 1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was assassinated in Sarajevo along with his wife, Duchess Sophie. This incident was the start of WWI. Exactly five years later, on this date in 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed ending World War I. The treaty also established the League of Nations.
Also on this date in history:
1776 – American Colonists repulsed a British sea attack on Charleston, SC.
1778 – Mary “Molly Pitcher” Hays McCauley, wife of an American artilleryman, carried water to the soldiers during the Battle of Monmouth and, supposedly, took her husband’s place at his gun after he was overcome with heat.
1894 – Congress made Labor Day a U.S. national holiday.
1902 – Congress passed the Spooner bill, it authorized a canal to be built across the isthmus of Panama.
1911 – Samuel J. Battle became the first African-American policeman in New York City.
1938 – Congress created the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure construction loans.
1939 – Pan American Airways began the first transatlantic passenger service.
1942 – German troops launched an offensive to seize Soviet oil fields in the Caucasus and the city of Stalingrad.
1945 – General Douglas MacArthur announced the end of Japanese resistance in the Philippines.
1950 – North Korean forces captured Seoul, South Korea.
1954 – French troops began to pull out of Vietnam’s Tonkin Province.
1960 – In Cuba, Fidel Castro confiscated American-owned oil refineries without compensation.
1964 – Malcolm X founded the Organization for Afro American Unity to seek independence for blacks in the Western Hemisphere.
1965 – The first commercial satellite began communications service. It was Early Bird (Intelsat II).
1967 – Israel formally declared Jerusalem reunified under its sovereignty following its capture of the Arab sector in the June 1967 war.
1971 – The Supreme Court overturned the draft evasion conviction of Muhammad Ali.
1972 – U.S. President Nixon announced that no new draftees would be sent to Vietnam.
1976 – The first women entered the U.S. Air Force Academy.
1978 – The Supreme Court ordered the medical school at the University of California at Davis to admit Allan Bakke. Bakke, a white man, argued he had been a victim of reverse racial discrimination.
1996 – The Citadel voted to admit women, ending a 153-year-old men-only policy at the South Carolina military school.
1996 – Charles M. Schulz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip, got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1997 – Mike Tyson was disqualified for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear after three rounds of their WBA heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas, NV.
2000 – The Supreme Court declared that a Nebraska law that outlawed “partial birth abortions” was unconstitutional. About 30 U.S. states had similar laws at the time of the ruling.
2000 – Six-year-old Elián González returned to Cuba from the U.S. with his father. The child had been the center of an international custody dispute.
2001 – Slobodan Milosevic was taken into custody and was handed over to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. The indictment charged Milosevic and four other senior officials, with crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war in Kosovo.
2001 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit set aside an order that would break up Microsoft for antitrust violations. However, the judges did agree that the company was in violation of antitrust laws.
2004 – The U.S. turned over official sovereignty to Iraq’s interim leadership. The event took place two days earlier than previously announced to thwart insurgents’ attempts at undermining the transfer.
And, in 2007 – The American bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following distinguished people:
John Wesley 1703 – Theologian.
John Dillinger 1902 – Notorious bank robber.
Richard Rodgers 1902 – Composer. (“My Funny Valentine” and many more)
Ashley Montague 1905  – Anthropologist.
Eric Ambler 1909 – Author. (“A Night to Remember”)
Pete Candoli 1923 – Jazz trumpeter.
George Morgan 1925 – Mint engraver. (the Morgan dollar)
Mel Brooks 1926 – Writer, director, actor.
Pat Morita 1932 – Actor. (Happy Days, The Karate Kid)
Cathy Carr 1936 – Pop singer. (“Ivory Tower”)
John Byner 1937 – Comedian, impressionist.
David Knights 1945 – Musician (Procol Harum)
Gilda Radner 1946 – Comedian. (Saturday Night Live)
Bruce Davison 1946 – Actor.
Kathy Bates 1948 – Actress.
Alice Krige 1955 – Actress. (Chariots of Fire)
John Elway 1960 – Football player
Jessica Hecht 1965 – Actress. (Friends)
John Cusack 1966 – Actor.
Mary Stuart Masterson 1966 – Actress. (Fried Green Tomatoes)
Gil Bellows 1967 – Actor. (“Ally McBeal”)
Danielle Brisebois 1969 – Actress. (All in the Family, Archie Bunker’s Place)
And finally, Kellie Pickler 1986 – Country singer. (“American Idol”)

Life Day 24091: And a Happy Birthday To You, Too

June 27, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Thursday, June 27, 2013.
Good morning anniversary of birth revelers. The first holiday today is “Happy Birthday to You” Day. “Happy Birthday to You” Day celebrates the date, in 1893, when  Mildred J. Hill wrote the melody to the song that is now universally recognized as “Happy Birthday to You”. Her sister Patty Smith Hill soon after wrote the lyrics to the melody as follows:
Good morning to you,
Good morning to you,
Good morning, dear children,
Good morning to all.
No one is sure exactly who added the “Happy Birthday to You” lyrics to the melody, or when they were added; but they first appeared in print in a songbook edited by Robert H. Coleman in 1924 as a second stanza to “Good Morning to All”.
Believe it or not, the song is still copyrighted under current copyright law, and will be until 2030. Does this mean that if you sing “Happy Birthday” to little Timmy or Tabitha you have to fear that the “copyright police” will come crashing through your door and haul you off the the gulag? No. (At least not yet). It is however, the reason that when you hold a birthday celebration at a restaurant or bar, the wait staff sings some obnoxious, silly, contrived ditty in it’s stead. In other words, royalties are only due when the song is used  commercially. This link will further clarify the copyright debacle involved with this song.

The next holiday is Decide To Be Married Day. WOW! Who knew this was a option. Obviously, the U. S. Supreme Court, that’s who. In striking down California’s Proposition 8 yesterday as discriminatory, they gave an entire segment of society the option to “Decide To Be Married”. Whether or not you agree, it is nonetheless a landmark decision. This Blog is not intended to discuss the pros and cons of gay marriage, and I will not weigh in on their decision.
Anyway, I digress. I merely made an observation above that this holiday accidently became more topical with that decision. Decide To Be Married Day actually is intended to focus attention on the joy of couples deciding to get married. Based on the poem “Decide to Be Married”: “It’s in the deciding to be united in love, to express your joyful oneness to every person you meet, and in every action you take and together a perfect marriage you’ll make.” (source: Answers.com).

The third holiday today is Sunglasses Day. Sunglasses are the most important fashion accessory of the summer season. Humans have been wearing protective eyewear for centuries, but the stylish designs we are accustomed to today are a much more recent invention. As far back as the prehistoric era, the Inuit people of what is now Alaska used walrus ivory to create sun goggles, which blocked out the powerful rays of sun that reflected off the snow and ice. By the 1700s, doctors were regularly prescribing tinted glasses for vision correction. By the 1930s the Foster Grant company was selling modern-day sunglasses on the boardwalk of Atlantic City. On the eve of World War II, a little company called Ray Ban began producing anti-glare sunglasses for pilots. “Aviators” became the first commercially successful sunglasses.
Today, people wear sunglasses for a variety of reasons:
They want to look like a movie star.
They want to hide behind a pair of sunglasses so they can travel incognito through a crowd.
They think they are James Bond, and are up to a little espionage.
They want to make a fashion statement.
Oh yes, and a few people even wear sunglasses to actually protect their eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun; which Opticians have found to be helpful in the prevention of cataracts. As alluded to earlier, the effects UV rays from the sun can be magnified during the winter months as they hit you on the way down, and then are reflected back up from the snow. To celebrate this holiday, wear your favorite pair of sunglasses proudly; or go out and buy a stylish new pair. You can bet I’ll be sporting my Spotters™.

Linked below are the remainder of today’s holidays. Although they might be of interest to a few of you, they are of no particular interest to me.
Industrial Workers of The World Day.
National HIV Testing Day.

The first food-related holiday today is National Orange Blossom Day. When first researching this holiday, I expected to find that it related to something botanical, or at least something related to gardening. I was surprised to find that it is actually a food-related holiday. Orange blossoms are cultivated from orange trees. They are used  in cooking, flower arranging, and perfume making. Blossoms are commonly used to make honey, tea, marmalade, and to flavor bakery items. However, National Orange Blossom Day actually honors the Orange Blossom cocktail, a bittersweet drink consisting of gin, sugar, and orange juice which was created during Prohibition to offset the often acrid taste of “bathtub gin”.

The next food-related holiday is National Indian Pudding Day. Indian pudding is a baked pudding served hot or warm, made of cornmeal, milk, molasses and spices. It’s a richer, sweetened form of hasty pudding, a porridge of cornmeal cooked in milk or water.  The name Indian Pudding doesn’t imply that it’s a Native American (or Pacific Rim) recipe. The Plymouth Colony emigrants were accustomed to warm plum puddings, bread puddings and the like. But flour was scarce—no wheat grew in New England. However, corn grew; the native Wampanoags had plenty of cornmeal. So “Indian” pudding was born, using cornmeal plus butter, eggs, milk, molasses and spices such as as cinnamon and ginger. The pudding was topped with heavy cream. None of these were Native American ingredients. The word “Indian” referred to the corn—hence Indian pudding, Indian bread (cornbread) and so forth.

The final food-related  today is National Bomb Pop Day. Bomb Pops are a frozen confection, like a popsicle, currently manufactured by Blue Bunny. As I am unfamiliar with Bomb Pops, I had to look them up. This link is the same one that I used. As soon as you have finished reading the linked article, you will be as informed about Bomb Pops as I am.

On this date in 1950 – Two days after North Korea invaded South Korea, President Truman ordered the Air Force and Navy into the Korean conflict. The United Nations Security Council had asked for member nations to help South Korea repel an invasion from the North. Also on this date in history:
1847 – New York and Boston were linked by telegraph wires.
1871 – The yen became the new form of currency in Japan.
1885 – Chichester Bell and Charles S. Tainter applied for a patent for the gramophone. It was granted on May 4, 1886.
1893 – The New York stock market crashed. By the end of the year 600 banks and 74 railroads had gone out of business.
1918 – Two German pilots were saved by parachutes for the first time.
1924 – Democrats offered Mrs. Leroy Springs for vice presidential nomination. She was the first woman considered for the job.
1927 – The U.S. Marines adopted the English bulldog as their mascot.
1929 – Scientists at Bell Laboratories in New York revealed a system for transmitting television pictures.
1931 – Igor Sikorsky filed U.S. Patent 1,994,488, which marked the breakthrough in helicopter technology.
1940 – Robert Pershing Wadlow was measured by Dr. Cyril MacBryde and Dr. C. M. Charles. They recorded his height at 8′ 11.1.” He was only 22 at the time of his death on July 15, 1940.
1942 – The FBI announced the capture of eight Nazi saboteurs who had been put ashore from a submarine on New York’s Long Island.
1954 – The world’s first atomic power station opened at Obninsk, near Moscow.
1955 – The state of Illinois enacted the first automobile seat belt legislation.
1959 – The play, “West Side Story,” with music by Leonard Bernstein, closed after 734 performances on Broadway.
1964 – Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman were married. It only lasted 38 days.
1967 – The world’s first cash dispenser was installed at Barclays Bank in Enfield, England. The device was invented by John Sheppard-Barron. The machine operated on a voucher system and the maximum withdrawal was $28.
1973 – Former White House counsel John W. Dean told the Senate Watergate Committee about an “enemies list” that was kept by the Nixon White House.
1973 – Nixon vetoed a Senate ban on bombing Cambodia.
1980 – U.S. President Carter signed legislation reviving draft registration.
1984 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that individual colleges could make their own TV package deals. [thus making collegiate sports “big business”]
1984 – The Federal Communications Commission moved to deregulate U.S. commercial TV by lifting most programming requirements and ending day-part restrictions on advertising.
1985 – Historic Route 66 was officially removed from the United States Highway System. 1991 – Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall resigned from the U.S. Supreme Court. He had been appointed in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson.
1998 – An English woman was impregnated with her dead husband’s sperm after two-year legal battle over her right to the sperm.
2002 – In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission required companies with annual sales of more than $1.2 billion to submit sworn statements backing up the accuracy of their financial reports.
And, in 2005 – In Alaska’s Denali National Park, a roughly 70-million year old dinosaur track was discovered. The track was from a three-toed Cretaceous period dinosaur.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following luminaries:
Helen Keller 1880 – Author, activist, lecturer. (the first deaf and blind person to earn a BA degree)
John McIntire 1907 – Character actor. (Wagon Train, The Virginian)
Willie Mosconi 1913 – Professional pool player.
Rosalie Allen 1924 – Country singer.
Bob Keeshan 1927 – “Captain Kangaroo”.
H. Ross Perot 1930 – Business tycoon, failed presidential candidate.
Anna Moffo 1934 – Opera singer.
Shirley Anne Field 1938 – Actress.
Sandra Smith 1940 – Actress.
Frank Mills 1942 – Musician. (Music Box Dancer)
Bruce Johnston 1942 – Musician. (The Beach Boys)
Julia Duffy 1951 – Actress. (Newhart)
Isabelle Adjani 1955 – Actress.
Lorrie Morgan 1959 – Country singer. (Something in Red)
Tobey Maguire 1975 – Actor. (Seabiscuit, Spider Man)
And, finally, Madylin Sweeten 1991 – Actress (Everybody Loves Raymond)

Life Day 24090: Up A Creek Without A Paddle

June 26, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Wednesday, June 26, 2013.
Good morning paddle sports enthusiasts. The first holiday today is National Canoe Day. Although it is primarily a Canadian holiday, National Canoe Day has grown and is now also celebrated internationally by groups in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, South America, and many more. National Canoe Day was founded by the Canadian Canoe Museum in 2007, after the canoe was named one of the Seven Wonders of Canada via a CBC Radio feature in which over 1 million votes were cast. The aim was to increase participation in paddlesports in Canada, engage new paddlers and reaching across generational and cultural divides to introduce the canoe to those who haven’t had the opportunity to experience this great national heritage. Participants from all over Canada paddle in events countrywide; from the midnight sun of the north to the urban rivers of the south. Rowing is a great form of exercise, so if you can, hit the stream, lake, pond, or puddle and do some canoeing today.

The next holiday is Beautician’s Day. Here’s another one for my female readers. Beauticians provide a vital service to women everywhere. Some women go to their beautician once a week, while others might only go once or twice a year. Most fall somewhere in between. No matter into which group you fall, a good beautician is essential for making you look your best. Let them know how much you appreciate them on your next visit.

Links to the remainder of today’s holidays are listed below. They are just more of those esoteric U.N. type holidays that make my stomach turn.
Forgiveness Day.
International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The food-related holiday today is National Chocolate Pudding Day. Dessert puddings can be traced all the way back to the 17th century. During that time, a “pudding” was actually a very moist cake (similar to a modern-day bread pudding or plum pudding).
The sweet and creamy confection we know and love today emerged in the mid-19th century when an English chemist named Alfred Bird developed an egg-free custard powder. This remarkable invention made it very easy to produce a delicious pudding with the perfect consistency. Today, pudding is a popular dessert all over the world. Have some for dessert tonight. I like to have mine with a few graham crackers and, of course, a dollop of whipped cream on top.

On this date in 1985 – Wilbur Snapp, a minor league baseball organist for the Clearwater Phillies at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, FL, was ejected after playing “Three Blind Mice” during a baseball game. The incident followed a call made by umpire Keith O’Connor. The incident drew national attention. Willard Scott, then weatherman for NBC’s “Today” show, made mention of it; as did Paul Harvey on his daily radio program.
Also on this date in history:
1804 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition reached the mouth of the Kansas River after completing a westward trek of nearly 400 river miles.
1819 – The bicycle was patented by W.K. Clarkson, Jr.
1844 – President John Tyler married Julia Gardiner, thus becoming the first U.S. President to marry while in office.
1870 – The first section of the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ, was opened to the public.
1900 – The United States announced that it would send troops to fight against the Boxer rebellion in China.
1900 – A commission that included Dr. Walter Reed began the fight against the deadly disease yellow fever.
1917 – General John “Black Jack” Pershing arrived in France with the American Expeditionary Force.
1925 – Charlie Chaplin’s comedy, “The Gold Rush,” premiered in Hollywood.
1945 – The U.N. Charter was signed by 50 nations in San Francisco, CA.
1948 – The Berlin Airlift began as the U.S., Britain and France started ferrying supplies to the isolated western sector of Berlin.
1963 – U.S. President John Kennedy announced “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner) at the Berlin Wall.
1971 – The U.S. Justice Department issued a warrant for Daniel Ellsberg, accusing him of giving away the Pentagon Papers.
1979 – Muhammad Ali, at 37 years old, announced that he was retiring as world heavyweight boxing champion.
1981 – In Mountain Home, Idaho, Virginia Campbell took her coupons and rebates and bought $26,460 worth of groceries. She only paid 67 cents after all the discounts.
1996 – The Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Institute to admit women or forgo state support.
1997 – The Supreme Court struck down the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that made it illegal to distribute indecent material on the Internet.
1997 – The Supreme Court upheld state laws that allow for a ban on doctor-assisted suicides.
1998 – The Supreme Court ruled that employers are always potentially liable for supervisor’s sexual misconduct toward an employee.
And, in 2000 – The Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics Corp. jointly announced that they had created a working draft of the human genome.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following notable people:
Abner Doubleday 1819 – Union General in the Civil War. (mistakenly credited with creating thew game of baseball)
Pearl S. Buck 1892 – Author. (The Good Earth)
William P. Lear 1902 – Industrialist (creator of the Lear Jet)
Peter Lorre 1904 – Actor
Col. Tom Parker 1909 – Elvis Presley’s manager.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias 1914 – Athlete (Professional golf)
Eleanor Parker 1922 – Actress.
Frances Rafferty 1922 – Actress.
Billy Davis 1940 – Musician. ( The 5th Dimension)
Pamela Bellwood 1943 – Actress (Dynasty)
Chris Isaak 1956 – Musician
Patty Smyth 1957 – Singer.
Terri Nunn 1961 – Singer. (Berlin)
Colin Greenwood 1969 – Musician. (Radiohead)
Chris O’Donnell 1970 – Actor. (NCIS: Los Angeles)
And finally, Kaitlin Cullum 1986 – Actress (Grace Under Fire, Malcolm in the Middle)

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