Life Day 24111: This Doesn’t Add Up

July 17, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
Good morning math majors. The first holiday today is Yellow Pig Day. If you’re like me, you are probably wondering “what the heck is Yellow Pig Day”? This holiday dates back to the 1960s when two math students at Princeton, Michael Spivak and David C. Kelly, were given an assignment to analyze the properties of the number 17. Thinking about the number 17 for so long drove them a bit nuts, (as one might imagine), so they came up with the idea of a mythical yellow pig. The yellow pig had seventeen toes, seventeen teeth, seventeen eyelashes, etc. 
Today, mathematicians in colleges and universities all across the country celebrate Yellow Pig Day by eating Yellow Pig Cake and singing Yellow Pig Carols. And of course, the festivities always take place on the 17th day of July. This is not a holiday for the unimaginative, so let your imagination run wild today. Find your own unique way to celebrate this holiday. Just be sure to include the number 17, and yellow pigs, into your festivities. The references to these things can be obscure; for instance you could use Chinese policemen to represent your Yellow Pigs. Have fun.

The other holiday today is Wrong Way Corrigan Day. Wrong Way Corrigan Day celebrates the anniversary of the date, in 1938, on which aviation pioneer Douglas Corrigan flew the wrong direction from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York. His stated destination was Long Beach, California, but instead, he landed at Baldonnel Aerodrome, County Dublin, Ireland.
He claimed his unauthorized flight was due to a navigational error, caused by heavy cloud cover that obscured landmarks and low-light conditions, causing him to misread his compass. However, he was a skilled aircraft mechanic (he was one of the builders of Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis) and had made several modifications to his own plane, preparing it for a transatlantic flight. He had previously been denied permission to make a nonstop flight from New York to Ireland because his self-built aircraft had been deemed “not airworthy for a transatlantic flight” by the Bureau of Air Commerce, and his “navigational error” was seen as deliberate. Nevertheless, he never publicly admitted to having flown to Ireland intentionally.
Corrigan’s “error” caught the imagination of the American public and inspired many jokes. The nickname “Wrong Way’ Corrigan” passed into common use and is still mentioned (or used as satire) when someone has the reputation for taking the wrong direction.

The food-related holiday today is Peach Ice Cream Day. Do I really have to explain to you what Peach Ice Cream Day celebrates? Peaches are one of the favorite fruits of the summer season. People wait for about 48 weeks for the peach harvest to ripen. And, when it does, for a few short weeks, its  “peach everything”. In celebration of the harvest, the ice cream companies make peach ice cream. Its hard to find other times of the year. Most major ice cream makers only produce it during the summer.
The ‘scoop’ is that today is a ‘peachy’ day to enjoy some cool, refreshing peach ice cream; in the form of a soda or shake, as a sundae, a cone, or simply in a dish. Yes to all please. YUM!

On this date in 1941 – Brigadier General Soervell directed Architect G. Edwin Bergstrom to have basic plans and architectural perspectives for an office building that could house 40,000 War Department employees on his desk by the following Monday morning. The building became known as the Pentagon.
Also on this date in history:
1821 – Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
1862 – National cemeteries were authorized by the Congress.
1866 – Authorization was given to build a tunnel beneath the Chicago River. The three-year project cost $512,709.
1867 – Harvard School of Dental Medicine was established in Boston, MA. It was the first dental school in the U.S.
1898 – U.S. troops under General William R. Shafter took Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
1917 – The British royal family adopted the Windsor name.
1941 – The longest hitting streak in baseball history ended when the Cleveland Indians pitchers held New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio hitless for the first time in 57 games.
1954 – The Brooklyn Dodgers made history as the first team with a majority of black players.
1955 – Disneyland opened in Anaheim, CA.
1960 – Francis Gary Powers pled guilty to spying charges in a Moscow court after his U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union.
1975 – An Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit. It was the first link up between the U.S. and Soviet Union.
1987 – Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and rear Admiral John Poindexter begin testifying to Congress at the “Iran-Contra” hearings.
And in 1997 – After 117 years, the Woolworth Corporation closed its last 400 stores.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following list of luminaries.
John Astor 1763 – Business tycoon.
Erle Stanley Gardner 1889 – Author.
James Cagney 1899 – Actor.
Art Linkletter 1912 – Television personality.
Eleanor Steber 1916 – Opera singer.
Phyllis Diller 1917 – Comedian.
Mimi Hines 1933 – Singer, actress.
Donald Sutherland 1934 – Actor.
Diahann Carroll 1935 – Actress, singer.
Camilla 1947 – Duchess of Cornwall, wife of Britain’s Prince Charles.
Lucie Arnaz 1951 – Actress.
Phoebe Snow 1950 – Singer.
David Hasselhoff 1952 – Actor.
Angela Merkel 1954 – German Chancellor.
Nancy Giles 1960 – Actress.
Regina Belle 1963 – Singer.
And finally, Alex Winter 1965 – Actor.

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