Life Day 24163: Going Postal

September 7, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Saturday, September 7, 2013.
Good morning my fair weather friends. The first holiday today is “Neither Rain Nor Snow” Day. The uninformed might think that this holiday pertains to a special day of tranquil weather, without rain or snow, but they would be…..wrong. “Neither Rain Nor Snow Day” commemorates the opening of the New York Post Office building on this date in 1914.
This following inscription was inscribed on the building:

“Neither snow nor rain not heat nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

A common misconception is that the above inscription is the motto of the United States Post Office. This is also…..wrong. This inscription means roughly the same thing as the old old Pony Express rider’s motto: “The mail must go through”. This leads to another common misconception that the Pony Express was a government funded predecessor to today’s Post Office. In fact, the Pony Express was a privately owned and funded commercial enterprise, much like UPS and FedEx today, except using ponies instead of airplanes.
So much for the history lesson. To celebrate this holiday, show your appreciation to your postal delivery people, especially those who walk their routes; as my dear departed father did for over 40 years.

The next holiday is Google Commemoration (Founded) Day. Google Commemoration (Founded) Day celebrates the launch of the world’s most famous and most used search engine. For some obscure reason, September 7th has been chosen as Google Commemoration Day; even though  the domain name google.com was registered on Sept. 15, 1997, and the company was incorporated on Sept. 4, 1998. It must be some sort of “inside” joke to which we mere mortals are not privy.
It seems hard to imagine a time when you used a telephone book to look up a phone number, an encyclopedia to get information on historical event or person, or a librarian to direct you to relevant research materials. Ever since Google launched with the mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” we need only type our query into than the blue search box on our computer screen. Then, 0.25 seconds later, the great oracle replies: Profusely, more often than not.
To celebrate this “holiday”, use Google to search for the answers to all the questions of the universe today. Try to make your questions as esoteric, ambiguous, and quirky as possible. Let me know if you come up with a question which ‘stumps’ Google.
Below are some interesting facts about Google:
1)  The name “Google” was an accident, the result of a spelling mistake made by the original founders who thought they were going for Googol, the digit 1 followed by 100 zeros. Apparently, they weren’t able to “Google” it.
2)  There are more than 1 billion searches each day on Google.
3)  The first decorated Google logo, now known as a Google Doodle, was created as kind of cryptic, comical “out of office” message in 1998 when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin played with the corporate logo to indicate they were going to the Burning Man festival. Since then, the Google doodlers team has created more than 300 doodles for the United States Google site, and more than 700 have been designed internationally.
4)  Google’s first tweet (post on the social media site Twitter) was: I’m 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101100 01110101 01100011 01101011 01111001 00001010, which is “I’m feeling lucky” in binary code. It may very well go down in history along with Morse’s first telegraph and Bell’s first phone call.
5)  Google rents goats to graze the lawn at headquarters instead of using mechanical mowers. The company get its goats from a company called California Grazing, an operation that involves 200 goats plus a herder and a border collie.
6)  You can do a search on Google without text. To search with an image instead of text go to images.google.com and click the camera icon in the search box. Paste an image URL, drag and drop it into the search box, or upload a picture from your computer to get associated results.
7)  You can read the complete texts of public domain books (like “Moby Dick”!) for free by selecting “books” in the left box of your search results.
8)  About 20 percent of unique queries are new to the site every day.
9)  Since 2003, Google has replied to 450 billion new unique queries — searches they have never seen before.
10)  Every query has to travel on average 1,500 miles to get the answer back to the user.

The last holiday today is Grandma Moses Day. Grandma Moses Day celebrates the birth date of Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma Moses, born on this date in 1860. She  began her career as a painter when she was 76 years old.  Her primitive style depicted scenes with which she was familiar, peaceful landscapes and farm work.  Her success story is just as “American” as her artwork.  With age, her arthritic hands could no longer hold her embroidery needles and so she pick up a paint brush and expressed her creativity with paint and canvas.  She sold her paintings at a local drug store for under ten dollars each, until being “discovered” by Louis Caldor. By 1939 her paintings were being sold throughout North America and Europe, and in 1946 some of her scenes were depicted on Christmas cards.  In 1949 she won the Women’s National Press Club Award for her accomplishments in painting.  On her 100th birthday in 1960, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller declared September 7th Grandma Moses Day.  Grandma Moses died at the age of 101 on December 13, 1960.  She created over 1000 painting during her career, at least 25 of which were painted after she was 100.

The first food-related holiday today is Salami Day. Salami is cured sausage, fermented and air-dried (not smoked) of Italian origin. They are usually medium to large in size, and are the Italian version of “cold cuts”. Pork, or mixtures of pork and beef or pork and vitellone (young beef), form the basis; seasonings and fineness or coarsness of cut vary to regional taste. There are many varieties of salami including Genoa, Cotto, Pepperoni, and Finocchiona. Often the variety of sausage is named after the region in which they are produced.
In the United States, traditional salami are either imported or referred to as an “Italian Salame”, the protected term for salami made in the United States.

The other food-related holiday today is National Acorn Squash Day. Acorn squash is a winter squash, and has an inedible hard, thin skin and firm flesh. It is roughly ovoid in shape with thick ridges, five to eight inches long, four to five inches across, and has a defined point at the bottom. The flesh is sweeter than summer squash, with a nut-like flavor. It is shaped like a ribbed acorn, hence its nickname. Along with the standard green variety, you may also run across orange and white acorn squash varieties. Although available in many areas year-round, prime season for acorn squash is early fall through winter.

On this date in 1977 – The Panama Canal treaties were signed by U.S. President Carter and General Omar Torrijos Herrera. The treaties called for the U.S. to turn over control of the canal’s waterway to Panama in the year 2000.
Also on this date in history:
1813 – The nickname “Uncle Sam” was first used as a symbolic reference to the United States. The reference appeared in an editorial in the New York’s Troy Post.
1880 – George Ligowsky was granted a patent for his device that threw clay pigeons for trap shooters.
1888 – Edith Eleanor McLean became the first baby to be placed in an incubator.
1896 – A.H. Whiting won the first automobile race held on a racetrack. The race was held in Cranston, RI.
1921 – Margaret Gorman of Washington, DC, was crowned the first Miss America in Atlantic City, NJ.
1927 – Philo T. Farnsworth succeeded in transmitting an image through purely electronic means by using an image dissector.
1930 – The cartoon “Blondie” made its first appearance in the comic strips.
1966 – The final episode of the original “The Dick Van Dyke Show” was aired on CBS-TV.
1979 – ESPN, the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, made its debut on cable TV.
1983 – In Ireland, voters approved a constitutional amendment that banned abortion.
1986 – Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins threw his 100th career touchdown pass, in only his 44th NFL game, which set a NFL record.
1986 – Desmond Tutu was the first black to be installed to lead the Anglican Church in southern Africa.
1989 – Legislation was approved by the U.S. Senate that prohibited discrimination against the handicapped in employment, public accommodations, transportation and communications.
1998 – Mark McGwire set a new major league baseball record for most homeruns hit in a single season. The previous record was 61 set in 1961.
And, in 2001 – Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants) became the only the fifth player in major league baseball history to hit 60 home runs in a season.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following list if notables.
Taylor Caldwell 1900 – Author.
Michael DeBakey 1908 – Cardiac surgeon.
Elia Kazan 1909  – Director.
David Packard 1912 – Entrepreneur.
Anthony Quayle 1913 – Actor, director.
Al Caiola 1920 – Guitarist.
Arthur Ferrante 1921 – Pianist.
Peter Lawford 1923 – Actor.
Sonny Rollins 1930 – Saxophonist.
Buddy Holly 1936 – Musician.
John Phillip Law 1937 – Actor.
Richard Roundtree 1942 – Actor.
Gloria Gaynor 1949 – Singer.
Susan Blakely 1950 – Actress.
Julie Kavner 1951 – Actress.
Chrissie Hynde 1951 – Musician.
Corbin Bernsen 1954 – Actor.
Michael Emerson 1954 – Actor.
Michael Feinstein 1956 – Singer.
Margot Chapman 1957 – Singer.
And finally, Devon Sawa 1978 – Actor.

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