Life Day 24142: The Meaning of “Is”, Is

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

Today is Saturday, August 17, 2013.
Good morning wordsmiths. The first holiday today is Meaning of “Is” Day. Meaning of “Is” Day of course refers to the infamous words uttered by former President Bill Clinton as he dabbled in semantics during the Grand Jury hearings to clarify his relationship with Monica Lewinsky on this date in 1998. He said, “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”
The word ‘is’ is the seventh most commonly used word in the English language.
The word ‘is’ is hard to define. Most dictionaries agree that the word ‘is’ is the third person singular form of the word “be”; which is equally hard to define without going into a bunch of existential falderal. You could spend the rest of your day trying to decipher the definitive definition of the word ‘is’ and not be successful. Or you could simply accept the fact the the definition of the word is: just ‘is’, and move on with your life.

The next holiday is International Homeless Animals’ Day. Each year on the third Saturday in August, many organizations such as the S.P.C.A. and the Humane Society join forces to bring awareness to the epidemic of pet overpopulation. International Homeless Animals’ Day activities often include adopt-a-thons, spay/neuter clinics, microchip clinics, dog walks, and open houses at shelters.
I have always been a proponent of adopting shelter animals. Shelter animals usually make better pets than the inbred animals bought from pet stores or breeders. Though their lineage may be questionable, shelter animals often have more character, and a better temperament. If you are in the market for a new family pet, today is the day to find one. If you’re not, stop by a nearby “no-kill” shelter and make a donation.

The third holiday today is National Thriftshop Day. The term ‘thrift shop’ has a couple of meanings in today’s society. The first meaning refers to stores that sell merchandise which is deeply discounted. It’s not always the highest quality, but the price is right. You know these stores better today as discount department stores and dollar stores.
The other meaning refers to a resale shop that sells used goods, typically receiving its inventory from donations. Popular examples of thrift stores include those offered through non-profit organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army.
Whichever definition you choose, go “thrifting” today and pick up some bargains.

The final holiday today is International Geocaching Day. With the upsurge of people with GPS apps on their smartphones, geocaching is becoming more and more popular.
Geocaching (pronounced geo-cash-ing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A player places a geocache somewhere in the world, pinpoints its location using GPS technology and then shares the existence and location of that geocache online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache.
International Geocaching Day is held annually on the third Saturday in August. There are a number of geocaching apps available for smartphones, so why not join the craze and begin geocaching today.

The food-related holiday today is National Vanilla Custard Day. Vanilla custard is a sweet pudding-like dish made with vanilla, eggs, sugar, and milk. It can be enjoyed on its own or as a topping for other desserts.
Vanilla custard has been around since the Middle Ages, and was traditionally used as a pie filling. (A very simple custard tart was a popular dessert during that time period.) Today, custard is an important component in many dessert recipes including éclairs, trifle, and Boston cream pie.
The word custard is derived from “crustade,” a tart with a crust. After the 16th century, fruit creams became popular and it was about this time that custards began to be made in individual dishes or bowls rather than as fillings for a crust. Yet, as things move full circle, today custard is used to fill tarts, Danish pastry, flans, cream puffs and éclairs; it is mixed into trifles and otherwise part of other sweet and savory delights. Custards are prepared in two ways: stirred or cooked on top of the stove, or baked in the oven.
To celebrate this holiday, make a custard for dessert tonight.

On this date in 1859 – A hot air balloon was used to carry mail for the first time. John Wise left Lafayette, IN, for New York City with 100 letters. With typical Post Office efficiency, he had to land after only 27 miles.
Also on this date in history:
1790 – The capital city of the U.S. moved to Philadelphia from New York City.
1807 – Robert Fulton’s “North River Steam Boat” (known as the “Clermont”) began heading up New York’s Hudson River on its successful round-trip to Albany.
1894 – John Wadsworth of Louisville set a major league record when he gave up 28 base hits in a single game.
1896 – George Carmack discovered gold on Rabbit Creek in Alaska. This was the beginning of the Klondike gold rush.
1903 – Joseph Pulitzer donated a million dollars to Columbia University. This started the Pulitzer Prizes in his name.
1915 – Charles F. Kettering patented the electric, automobile self-starter.
1961 – The Communist East German government completed the construction of the Berlin Wall.
1977 – Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD) reported that in one day the number of orders for flowers to be delivered to Graceland after Elvis Presley’s death had surpassed the number for any other event in the company’s history.
1978 – Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman became the first to land after a successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight. The voyage began in Presque Isle, ME and ended in Miserey, France.
1982 – The Senate approved an immigration bill that granted permanent resident status to illegal aliens who had arrived in the United States before 1977.
1992 – Woody Allen admitted to being romantically involved with Soon-Yi Previn. The girl was the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, Allen’s longtime companion.
1996 – Ross Perot was announced to be the Reform Party’s presidential candidate. It was the party’s first-ever candidate.
1998 – President Clinton admitted to having an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern.
And, in 2002 – In Santa Rosa, CA, the Charles M. Schulz Museum opened to the public.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following list of noteworthy individuals.
Davy Crockett 1786 – Folk hero.
Samuel Goldwyn 1879 – Producer.
Mae West 1893 – Actress.
Maureen O’Hara 1921- Actress.
Gary Powers 1929 – Pilot.
Glenn Corbett 1929 – Actor.
Robert De Niro 1943 – Actor.
Robert Joy 1951 – Actor.
Sean Penn 1960 – Actor.
David Conrad 1967 – Actor.
Donnie Wahlberg 1969 – Actor, singer.
And finally, Jim Courier 1970 – Tennis player.

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