Life Day 24099: Sorry, I can’t. Gotta Work.

July 5, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Friday, July 5th, 2013.
Good morning dedicated workers. The first holiday today is Workaholics Day. We all know, or have known a workaholic. They are the first one to arrive at work, and are the last to leave; often taking work home with them. Then they are genuinely surprised and disillusioned when their relationships fall apart. While dedication is certainly an admirable trait, a healthy balance between work and a social life is also important.
There is an old saying by an unknown author, “All Work and no play, makes Johnny a dull boy.” Not only is being a workaholic toxic to personal relationships, it can also have an adverse effect on your physical and mental health as well. Hypertension, irritability, short temper, palpation, feeling stressed all the time, chronic fatigue, low energy, etc are all symptoms of “workaholism”. If not treated, some these symptoms can be fatal.
So if you are a workaholic, step back and take it easy today. Re-prioritize your time and try to stick to those priorities. Leave those files on your desk instead of putting them in your briefcase when you go home. You, and your family, will be much happier.

The next holiday is Earth at Aphelion Day.  Every July the Earth is at aphelion, the furthest from the Sun for the year and in January it is at perihelion, the closest to the Sun for the year (in the northern hemisphere). This year, the exact time of aphelion was this morning at 8:00 am PDT (15:00 UT). On July 5 we are 94.5 million miles away from the Sun, which is 3 million miles further away than when our Earth was at perihelion on January 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm PST (05:00 UT Jan. 2). We are so far away from the Sun in July that its light is 7% less intense than it was in January. This seems diametrically opposed to logic (the sun is farther away, but the Earth is hotter) but there is a scientific explanation for this phenomenon. You can find that explanation by clicking this link.
If you missed the aphelion this year, don’t worry. Barring the apocalypse, there will be another next year around this same time.

The final holiday today is Bikini Day. Bikini Day is the anniversary of the day in 1946 when French designer Louis Reard unveiled a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. The name of his creation was inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.
In 1946, Western Europeans joyously greeted the first war-free summer in years, and French designers came up with fashions to match the liberated mood of the people. Two French designers, Jacques Heim and Louis Reard, developed competing prototypes of the bikini. Heim called his the “atom” and advertised it as “the world’s smallest bathing suit.” Mr. Reard’s swimsuit, which was basically a bra top and two inverted triangles of cloth connected by string, was in fact significantly smaller. Made out of a scant 30 inches of fabric, Reard promoted his creation as “smaller than the world’s smallest bathing suit.”
Reard had trouble finding a professional model who would deign to wear the scandalously skimpy two-piece. So he turned to Micheline Bernardini, an exotic dancer at the Casino de Paris, who had no qualms about appearing nearly nude in public. Before long, bold young women in bikinis were causing a sensation along the Mediterranean coast. Spain and Italy passed measures prohibiting bikinis on public beaches but later capitulated to the changing times when the swimsuit grew into a mainstay of European beaches in the 1950s.
In prudish America, the bikini was successfully resisted until the early 1960s, when a new emphasis on youthful liberation brought the swimsuit en masse to U.S. beaches. The bikini was immortalized by songs like “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini”, the “beach blanket” movies of the early 60’s, and by the California surfing culture. Since then, the popularity of the bikini has only continued to grow.
I’m sure that a majority of my male readers will join me in saying: “Thank you Mr. Reard”.

The first food-related holiday today is National Graham Cracker Day. On this date in 1822, Reverend Sylvester Graham created Graham bread. Graham’s bread was an unleavened bread made from Graham’s flour, which was an un-sifted, coarsely ground wheat flour with no additives or preservatives. He created his bread (crackers) to be “health food”. Rev. Graham was a leader in both the vegetarian and temperance movements of the time. He believed that preservatives and chemical additives in food made it unwholesome. He said that they increased carnal urges, and they also contributed to alcoholism, and if you used his flour your propensity toward these afflictions would be greatly diminished. Graham Crackers made these days resemble Rev. Graham’s bread in name only. They are not made from Graham’s flour and, since they are sweet and not salty, they aren’t technically crackers either, but more resemble cookies (or English biscuits). Today, they are made from bleached, heavily processed white flour with copious amounts of sugar added, and should in no way affect your Libido or your ability to consume the occasional strong spirit, unless you get diabetes from eating too many of them.

The other food-related holiday today is National Apple Turnover Day. A turnover is a kind of pastry made by placing a filling on a piece of dough, folding the dough over, and sealing it. It is common for sweet turnovers to have a fruit filling and be made with either a pie crust-like dough, or puff pastry dough. They are usually baked, but may be fried. Unlike pasties or empanadas, they are triangular in shape. Apple turnovers may be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch or as a snack.
Apples themselves are said to have originated in the Tien Shan mountain range in Northwestern China, and they have been beloved by ancient rulers such as Ramses II and Ramses III, who presented them as offerings to the Gods. The oldest accounts of turnovers date back to England and America in the mid to late 18th century.
If you want to celebrate this holiday, turnovers are readily available in supermarkets and pastry shops. Or, you can challenge your culinary skills, and bake a batch of apple turnovers at home today. Either way, enjoy!

On this date in 1950 – U.S. forces engaged the North Koreans for the first time at Osan, South Korea. At the time, Osan, besides being a quaint little village, was home to a Korean Army base. It was hurriedly being converted to an Air Base so that it could be used as a supply point for ground forces. The attack by North Korean forces was eventually repelled, but in the aftermath, thirteen U.S. Security Policemen were found hanging from this tree.
The Hanging Tree; Osan AFB, Korea (Golf Course)
I took this picture on a dreary day in mid December in 1976 as a part of a project for a photography class. My choice to photograph it using black-and-white film proved to be correct. It provides an extra layer of foreboding and adds an even more ominous effect, especially now that you know the history and significance of this tree.
Also on this date in history:
1811 – Venezuela became the first South American country to declare independence from Spain.
1863 – U.S. Federal troops occupied Vicksburg, MS.
1892 – Andrew Beard was issued a patent for the rotary engine.
1916 – Adelina and Augusta Van Buren started on the first successful transcontinental motorcycle tour to be attempted by two women. They started in New York City and arrived in San Diego, CA, on September 12th.
1935 – President Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act into law. The act authorized labor to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining.
1947 – Larry Doby signed a contract with the Cleveland Indians, becoming the first black player in the American League.
1948 – Britain’s National Health Service Act went into effect, providing government-financed medical and dental care.
1951 – Dr. William Shockley announced that he had invented the junction transistor.
1975 – Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win a Wimbledon singles title when he defeated Jimmy Connors.
1984 – The U.S. Supreme Court weakened the 70-year-old “exclusionary rule,” deciding that evidence seized with defective court warrants could be used against defendants in criminal trials.
1989 – Former U.S. National Security Council aide Oliver North received a $150,000 fine and a suspended prison term for his part in the Iran-Contra affair. The convictions were later overturned.
1991 – Regulators shut down the Pakistani-managed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in eight countries. The charge was fraud, drug money laundering and illegal infiltration into the U.S. banking system.
And, in 1995 – The U.S. Justice Department decided not to take antitrust action against Ticketmaster.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following distinguished people:
P.T. Barnum 1810 – Showman, businessman.
Henry Cabot Lodge 1902 – Senator, Ambassador.
Milburn Stone 1904 – Actor.
Warren Oates 1928 – Actor.
Katherine Helmond 1934 – Actress.
Shirley Knight 1936 – Actress.
Huey Lewis 1951 – Musician.
Richard Gossage 1951 – Baseball player.
Edie Falco 1963 – Actress.
Kathryn Erbe 1965 – Actress.
And finally, Amelie Mauresmo 1979 – Tennis player.

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