Life Day 25039: Everyone Day Backward Happy

January 31, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my backward friends. Today is January 31st.  Day Backward is “holiday”  first today’s. Not to be confused with Opposite Day, celebrated a few days ago, Backward Day is a day to do everything backward. You can start by having lunch or dinner for breakfast, or better yet, have dessert first. I do this quite often anyway. Try reading a book backward (last chapter first), or playing a board game backward. Here are a few more things that you can to to celebrate this “holiday”. If you are old, try acting young; if you are stoic, try acting silly; if you are right-handed try doing things with you left hand (and vice versa if you are left-handed); wear an article of clothing backwards; research palindromes, then try to make up a few of your own. Fun have, “holiday” this celebrate to decide you if.

Another “holiday” today is Inspire Your Heart With Art Day. This “holiday” celebrates art and the warm fuzzy feeling its beauty inspires within your heart. Inspire Your Heart With Art Day is straightforward enough. Go to a gallery, theatre, cinema, or music venue, and soak up the art. Keep in mind the theme of this holiday…Inspire Your Heart. Some artists these days, in an effort to seem more “edgy”, have forsaken truth, beauty, and works that inspire, for works that are intended to shock, disgust, or enrage the audience. Select the art you choose to view today accordingly. You’re supposed to “inspire your heart” today…not give yourself a coronary. If you fancy yourself an artist, create an inspirational masterpiece of your own.

The third “holiday” today is Hell is Freezing Over Day.  Remember when you said, “I’ll do ____ ‘when Hell freezes over?” Well, guess what, it’s getting downright frigid in Hades, so today you are urged to get out your “when Hell freezes over” list and accomplish a few tasks on it.
On second thought, since your “when Hell freezes over” list is comprised of things which you never intend to do anyway, perhaps you should just add celebrating this holiday to that list and move on with your day.

The final “holiday” today is World Leprosy Day. World Leprosy Day  is observed internationally on the last Sunday in January to increase the public awareness of the Leprosy or Hansen’s Disease. This day was chosen in commemoration of the death of Gandhi, the leader of India who understood the importance of leprosy. Leprosy is one of the oldest recorded diseases in the world. It is an infectious chronic disease that targets the nervous system, especially the nerves in the cooler parts of the body – the hands, feet, and face.
To be honest, I didn’t even know that  leprosy still exists. I won’t go into much more detail in this post except to say that leprosy, in fact, does still exist today…but it is now curable.  If you want more information on this holiday, this link will provide it.

The food-related “holiday” today is Eat Brussels Sprouts Day. Brussels sprouts are a member of the Gemmifera group of cabbages, grown for its edible buds. The leafy green vegetables are typically 1 to 1½ inches diameter and look like miniature cabbages. The Brussels sprout has long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, and may have originated and gained its name there.
I would love to say “Happy Eat Brussels Sprouts Day”, but I can’t.  The words…and the Brussels sprouts, would  stick in my throat. I strongly dislike Brussels sprouts. If you enjoy them, have some today.

The spirited beverage-related “holiday” today is Brandy Alexander Day. A Brandy Alexander is a tasty chocolate cocktail that became popular in the 1920s. Its predecessor was the gin-based Alexander cocktail, which was all but abandoned once the Brandy Alexander arrived on the scene. According to the Classic Cocktail Club of Milan, Italy, the Brandy Alexander was created  in London, circa 1922, at the wedding of Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, to Viscount Lascelles. It wasn’t long before the cocktail became a pop culture icon. You can find references to Brandy Alexander in countless movies, television shows, and songs. It was also John Lennon’s drink of choice, but he liked to refer to it as his “milkshake.” (Author’s Note: Milkshakes were originally made with alcohol for adults…only later was the alcohol removed so children could enjoy them too).

On this date in 1940 – The first Social Security check was issued by the U.S. Government. Ida May Fuller received the first monthly benefits check. The amount paid was $22.54.

Other significant events that happened on this date are:

  • In 1747 – The first clinic specializing in the treatment of venereal diseases was opened at London Dock Hospital.
  • In 1865 – The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. It was ratified by the necessary number of states on December 6, 1865. The amendment abolished slavery in the United States.
  • In 1876 – All Native American Indians were ordered to move into reservations.
  • In 1865 – The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. It was ratified by the necessary number of states on December 6, 1865. The amendment abolished slavery in the United States.
  • In 1865 – General Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.
  • In 1893 – The trademark “Coca-Cola” was first registered in the United States Patent Office.
  • In 1917 – Germany announced its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
  • In 1929 – The USSR exiled Leon Trotsky. He found asylum in Mexico.
  • In 1930 – U.S. Navy Lt. Ralph S. Barnaby became the first glider pilot to have his craft released from a dirigible at Lakehurst, NJ.
  • In 1936 – The radio show “The Green Hornet” debuted. (It created quite a ‘buzz’).
  • In 1944 – During World War II, U.S. forces invaded Kwajalein Atoll and other areas of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
  • In 1945 – Private Eddie Slovik became the only U.S. soldier since the U.S. Civil War to be executed for desertion.
  • In 1946 – A new constitution in Yugoslavia created six constituent republics (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia) subordinated to a central authority, on the model of the USSR.
  • In 1949 – The first TV daytime soap opera was broadcast from NBC’s station in Chicago, IL. It was “These Are My Children.”
  • In 1950 – President Truman announced that he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.
  • In 1958 – Explorer I was put into orbit around the earth. It was the first U.S. earth satellite.
  • In 1971 – Astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.
  • In 1971 – Telephone service between East and West Berlin was re-established after 19 years.
  • In 1985 – The final Jeep rolled off the assembly line at the AMC plant in Toledo, OH. In 1987, Chrysler acquired AMC and the iconic Jeep brand.
  • In 2000 –  John Rocker (Atlanta Braves) was suspended from major league baseball for disparaging foreigners, homosexuals and minorities in an interview published by Sports Illustrated.
  • And, in 2001, a Scottish court in the Netherlands convicted one Libyan and acquitted a second in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The crash had occurred in 1988.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following luminaries:

Life Day 25038: “We Gotta Get Outta This Place…”

January 30, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning members of the “rat race”. Today is January 30th. The first “holiday” today is National Escape Day. Did you ever want to just unshackle yourself from the bonds of responsibility and escape the mundane drudgery of your existence?  Well, National Escape Day is the day for you to do so. If you are unable to physically leave your environment, there are still ways that you can ‘escape’.

  1. Change the wallpaper on your computer at work to a tropical isle, a ski slope, a babbling brook, or any other destination to which you would like to escape.
  2. After work, draw a nice hot bath, pour yourself a tall glass of wine or your favorite spirited beverage, put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the bathroom door, and let your mind wander as you transform into a “happy prune”.
  3. Escape into a good book. Read slowly and take time out to let the imagery soak into your brain.

There are other ways to escape, but I don’t recommend them. They involve illegal substances or excessive consumption of alcohol. Whatever means of escape you choose today, enjoy.

Another “holiday” is National Inane Answering Message Day. Answering messages tend to be a little dull, ranging from network defaults to the classic, “Sorry, John’s not here right now… please leave a message after the tone”. Inane Answering Message Day urges you to liven things up by getting creative, and creating a new funny or silly message for your answering machine.
And while we’re on the subject of answering machines, what is it about the infamous “leave-a-message-at-the-beep” prompt that makes us forget our name, develop a speech impediment, and ramble on forever to convey our simple message? This phenomenon seems more prevalent in Troglodytes from my generation who grew up having to actually talk to a live person at the other end of the telephone line. That was easy. Why is conveying your message to a machine any  more intimidating? Is it the fact that you have to actually sum up your thoughts and express them coherently within a limited time frame? Who knows?  Am I the only one who has this problem?

The last “holiday” today is Seed Swap Day.  Get your minds out of the gutter fellas, that is not that type of “seed swap” to which this “holiday” refers. Seed Swap Day is celebrated on the last Saturday in January.  It’s an opportunity to meet up with other seed enthusiasts and exchange seeds from their gardens. Seed swap categories include natives, heirlooms, edibles, herbs, exotics, annuals, perennials and trees/shrubs. If there is such an event in your area, I urge you to attend. If you aren’t a gardener, maybe this will spark your interest and you can pick up some seeds for next years seed swap.

The food related “holiday” is National Croissant Day. Croissants are a rich, buttery, crescent-shaped roll made of puff pastry that layers yeast dough with butter. Who doesn’t enjoy a rich, buttery, crescent-shaped croissant? They are traditionally a breakfast bread served with jam and butter, but they are also delicious as dinner rolls…or any other time for that matter. In the early 1970’s, croissants evolved into sandwich form, though still primarily as breakfast sandwiches.
Croissants are extremely time-consuming to make because of the “layering” of the dough with the butter (usually 3 to 6 layers), which needs to be refrigerated for a minimum of half an hour between each layer. This is required in order to obtain the desired flakiness. So if you plan to celebrate this holiday by baking your own croissants, you should get started soon. Or…you could just go the a bakery and buy some.

On this date in 1798, the first brawl in the U.S. House of Representatives took place. Congressmen Matthew Lyon and Roger Griswold fought on the House floor. Personally, I would love to see a return to this practice. In fact, we could orchestrate matches between adversaries on the House floor, and show them on pay-per-view. It would be a good way to start reducing the national debt that these morons have run up during their tenure. I can see “cage matches”, no-holds-barred matches, last man standing submits his Bill to the President. IT WOULD BE GREAT.Other significant events that happened on this date are:

Other significant events that happened on this date are:In 1790, the first purpose-built lifeboat was launched on the River Tyne.

  • In 1790, the first purpose-built lifeboat was launched on the River Tyne.
  • In 1844, Richard Theodore Greener became the first African-American to graduate from Harvard University.
  • In 1847, the town of Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco.
  • In 1862, the U.S. Navy’s first ironclad warship, the “Monitor”, was launched.
  • In 1894, C.B. King received a patent for the pneumatic hammer.
  • In 1911, the first airplane rescue at sea was made by the destroyer “Terry”. Pilot James McCurdy was forced to land in the ocean about 10 miles from Havana, Cuba.
  • In 1933, The Lone Ranger” was heard on the radio for the first time. The program ran for 2,956 episodes and ended in 1955.
  • In 1933, Adolf Hitler was named the German Chancellor.
  • In 1948, Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi was murdered by a Hindu extremist.
  • In 1958, the first two-way moving sidewalk was put in service at Love Field in Dallas, TX. The length of the walkway through the airport was 1,435 feet.
  • In 1962, two members of the “Flying Wallendas” high-wire act were killed when their seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance in Detroit, MI.
  • In 1968, the  Tet Offensive began as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals.
  • And, in 1997 – A New Jersey judge ruled that the unborn child of a female prisoner must have legal representation. He denied the prisoner bail reduction to enable her to leave the jail and obtain an abortion.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following luminaries:
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1882. (32nd POTUS)
John Ireland, 1914. (actor)
Dick Martin, 1922. (comedian – “Laugh-In”)
Barbara Hale, 1922. (actress – played Della Street on Perry Mason)
Gene Hackman, 1931. (actor)
Vanessa Redgrave, 1937. (actress)
Dick Cheney, 1941. (former VEEP)
Charles Dutton, 1951. (actor)
Brett Butler, 1958. (comedienne)
Jody Watley, 1959. (singer)
And finally, Christian Bale, 1974. (actor)

Life Day 25037: “I’ve Been Waiting For This Holiday My Entire Life”

January 29, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning you cranky old coots. Today is January 29th. The first “holiday” today is Curmudgeon’s Day. Curmudgeon’s Day is an annual celebration of the crusty, yet insightful, old fogeys who consistently apply the needle of truth to the balloons of hypocrisy and social norms. It is always held on January 29th, the birthday of W. C. Fields…one of the truly great curmudgeons of all time.
For most of my adult life, I was a “curmudgeon in training”, [I even owned a t-shirt at one point in my life that said exactly that]. I can’t pinpoint the precise point in my life at which I became a full-fledged curmudgeon, but I am convinced that I have now achieved the ultimate state of “Curmudgeon” (the polar opposite of Zen). I think being a curmudgeon is based more on attitude than chronological age. I knew kids in High School who were already well on their way to curmudgeondom (like yours truly), and I know people well into their 80’s who aren’t the least bit curmudgeonly. Embrace your “inner curmudgeon” today. Here are a few ways to celebrate.

  1. Go on your favorite social media platform and become the “grammar Nazi.”
  2. Sit on your front porch and yell at all the kids to “skedaddle”.
  3. Watch “Grumpy (and/or Grumpier) Old Men”.
  4. Change the wallpaper on your computer to a Grumpy Cat meme.

The next “holiday” is Free Thinker’s Day. Freethinkers Day celebrates the life and work of Thomas Paine, who was born on this day in 1737. Paine came to America in 1774 at the request of Benjamin Franklin. Throughout his life, he wrote many influential books and pamphlets including The Age of Reason, The Rights of Man, and Common Sense. Each of these works brought public attention to key issues and helped establish the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution. Paine’s writing inspired many people to strive for political, economic, and social advancement. He was also one of the first people to call for universal human rights and an end to slavery. Freethinkers Day has been celebrated since the 1990s. Its purpose is to educate people about Paine’s work and the importance of free thinking and freedom. Free Thinkers Day is an opportunity to promote appreciation of free thought, support reason over faith, and reject arbitrary authority. If you are a free thinker, celebrate the occasion, by picking up a copy of Common Sense or one of Paine’s other works, and take a moment to appreciate your civil liberties. If you are not a free thinker but want people to think that you are, here are a few ways to ‘fake it’.

  1. Go to a park and sit on a bench in the pose of the great Rodin sculpture “The Thinker”.
  2. Take your laptop or tablet to the nearest Starbucks, order the most expensive, pretentious drink you can afford, and stare contemplatively at political websites (you don’t necessarily have to actually read them).
  3. If someone asks you a question, say “hmm”,  put your hand on your chin, glance up and to the left or right, and slowly re-state the question back to them with  the emphasis on a different word, followed by the word ‘interesting’. Then walk away.

Another “holiday” is National Puzzle Day. Puzzles come in all sizes, shapes, and forms. From jig-saw to crosswords, puzzles are a favorite pastime of millions of people, young and old. People like puzzles for a variety of reasons. To some, they are just fun. Some just like the challenge of completing them, and graduating to ever more complex and difficult puzzle-solving levels. For some, it is a way to kill time, and to eliminate boredom. And some people do puzzles to keep their mind sharp or to learn new words. John Spilsbury, a London engraver, and mapmaker produced the first jigsaw puzzle by mounting one of his maps on a sheet of hardwood and cutting around the borders of the countries to create interlocking pieces. My favorite puzzles are crossword puzzles. I do about three every day.

And, the final “holiday today is Seeing Eye Dog Day. Seeing eye dogs, and other service animals, are wonderful creatures. They perform a valuable service to their masters. This link will take you to a website that will explain the qualities needed and the extensive training that these exceptional animals need to become seeing eye dogs.  As far as I’m concerned, every day should be “Seeing Eye Dog Day”.

The food-related “holiday” today is National Corn Chip Day. Corn chips come in a variety of shapes, and flavors. Corn chips and tortilla chips are both fried snacks. Some people use the term interchangeably. But there is a difference: Corn chips, like Fritos™ are made from cornmeal which has been processed into a particular shape. Tortilla chips are made from corn tortillas that have been cut into shapes (usually triangles), then deep fried. The corn in a tortilla and that in corn chips is different. The corn in a tortilla chip has undergone a process known as nixtamalization, which involves soaking the raw corn in an alkaline solution, then hulling it. This was done by ancient Americans to make it easier to grind the corn. Modern scientists note that the process increases the nutritional value; the flavor and aroma are also enhanced. Enjoy some corn chips (not tortilla chips) with your favorite dip or salsa as a snack today.
Did you know that Fritos™ corn chips were first marketed in 1961? How many of you remember “Wampum”, Laura Scudder’s answer to Fritos in the early 70’s? I thought they were far superior to Frito’s™ in my opinion.

On this date in 1990, Joseph Hazelwood, the former skipper of the Exxon Valdez, went on trial in Anchorage, AK, on charges that stemmed from the Exxon-Valdes oil spill. Hazelwood was later acquitted of all the major charges and was convicted of a misdemeanor.

Other significant historical events which occurred on this date include:

  • In 1845 – Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” was published for the first time in the “New York Evening Mirror.”
  • In 1848 – Greenwich Mean Time was adopted by Scotland.
  • In 1850 – Henry Clay introduced in the Senate a compromise bill on slavery that included the admission of California into the Union as a free state.
  • In 1861 – Kansas became the 34th state of the Union.
  • In 1886 – The first successful gas-driven motorcar, built by Karl Benz, was patented.
  • In 1916 – during World War I, Paris was bombed by German zeppelins for the first time.
  • In 1924 – R. Taylor patented the ice cream cone rolling machine.
  • In 1936 – The first members of  Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame were named in Cooperstown, NY. The first five inductees were Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth,  Honus Wagner,  Christy
  • Mathewson, and Walter Johnson.
  • In 1949,  “The Newport News” was commissioned as the first air-conditioned naval ship in Virginia.
  • In 1958 – Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married.
  • In 1963 – The first members to the National Football League’s (NFL) Hall of Fame were inducted into Canton, OH. There were 17 original inductees. They were: Sammy Baugh, Bert Bell, Joe Carr, Earl (Dutch) Clark, Harold (Red) Grange, George Halas, Mel Hein, Wilbur (Pete) Henry, Robert (Cal) Hubbard, Don Hutson, Earl (Curly) Lambeau, Tim Mara, George Preston Marshall, John (Blood) McNally, Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, and Jim Thorpe.
  • In 1979 – President Carter formally welcomed Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House. The visit followed the establishment of diplomatic relations.
  • In 1987 – “Physician’s Weekly” announced that the smile on the face of Leonardo DeVinci’s Mona Lisa was caused by a “facial paralysis resulting from a swollen nerve behind the ear.”
  • In 1995 – The San Francisco 49ers became the first team in National Football League (NFL) history to win five Super Bowl titles. The 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-26.
  • In 1996 – French President Jacques Chirac announced the “definitive end” to nuclear testing.
  • In 1996 – La Fenice, the 204-year-old opera house in Venice, Italy, was destroyed by fire. Arson was suspected.
  • In 1998 –  A bomb exploded at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, AL, killing an off-duty policeman and severely wounding a nurse. Eric Rudolph was charged with this bombing and three other attacks in Atlanta.
  • In 1999 – Paris prosecutors announced the end of the investigation into the accident that killed Britain’s Princess Diana.
  • And lastly, in 1999 – The U.S. Senate delivered subpoenas for Monica Lewinsky and two presidential advisers for private, videotaped testimony in the impeachment trial.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following distinguished denizens:

Life Day 25036: Diet of Worms

January 28, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning subterranean, soft-bodied, legless, bilaterally symmetrical invertebrates. Today is January 28th. I chose to start the BLOG today with the historical events because Diet of Worms just leaped off the page and begged me to be the title of this post…and I couldn’t think of a catchier title using any of the “holidays” today. Thankfully, Diet of Worms is not a food-related holiday; nor, again thankfully, is it a reference to a new weight loss fad. In this instance, the word ‘diet’ is used in its archaic form meaning a group meeting or council.

On this date in 1521 – The Diet of Worms began, at which Protestant reformer Martin Luther was declared an outlaw by the Roman Catholic church. Luther had challenged the absolute authority of the Pope over the Church by maintaining that the doctrine of indulgences, as authorized and taught by the Pope, was wrong. Luther also maintained that salvation was by faith alone without reference to good works, alms, penance, or the Church’s sacraments. Luther maintained that the sacraments were a “means of grace”, meaning that while grace was imparted through the Sacraments, the credit for the action belonged to God and not to the individual. Furthermore, he had challenged the authority of the Church by maintaining that all doctrines and dogmata of the Church not found in Scripture should be discarded. To protect the authority of the Pope and the Church, the Diet of Worms issued the Edict of Worms on May 25th, 1521 denouncing Martin Luther.

Other significant events which occurred on this date are.

  • In 1807 – London’s Pall Mall became the first street lit by gaslight.
  • In 1878 – The first telephone switchboard was installed in New Haven, CT
  • In 1878 – “The Yale News” was published for the first time. It was the first, daily, collegiate newspaper in the U.S.
  • In 1902 – The Carnegie Institution was established in Washington, DC. It began with a gift of $10 million from Andrew Carnegie.
  • In 1915 – The Coast Guard was created by an act of the U.S. Congress to fight contraband trade and aid distressed vessels at sea.
  • In 1916 – Louis D. Brandeis was appointed by President Wilson to the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming its first Jewish member.
  • In 1922 – The  National Football League (NFL) franchise in Decatur, IL, transferred to Chicago. The team took the name Chicago Bears.
  • In 1935 – Iceland became the first country to introduce legalized abortion.
  • In 1958 – Roy Campanella (Brooklyn Dodgers) was seriously injured in an auto accident in New York. He would never return to play again. He was paralyzed from the waist down.
  • In 1973 – CBS-TV debuted “Barnaby Jones.”
  • In 1980 – Six Americans who had fled the U.S embassy in Tehran, Iran, on November 4, 1979, left Iran using false Canadian diplomatic passports. The Americans had been hidden at the Canadian embassy in Tehran.
  • In 1982 – Italian anti-terrorism forces rescued U.S. Brigadier General James L. Dozier who had been kidnapped by the Red Brigades 42 days before.
  • In 1986 – the U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded just after takeoff. All seven of its crew members were killed.
  • And –  In 1994, in Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg declared a mistrial in the case of Lyle Menendez in the murder of his parents. Lyle, and his brother Erik were both re-tried later and were found guilty. They were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The first “holiday” today is Fun At Work Day. If you are one of the few lucky people who have a job they truly enjoy, good for you. Unfortunately, all of us are not lucky enough to have a job that’s fun to do. If you fall into this category, then today is a day just for you. Think of ways to make your job more fun and exciting. Look to do some fun things at work today, just be sure that it doesn’t interfere with productivity.

The second “holiday” today is Clashing Clothes Day. Clashing Clothes Day encourages you to throw ‘convention’ out the window and wear whatever the heck you want…regardless of whether it conforms to what society deems appropriate attire. Plaid, polka dots, stripes, flowers…they all go together don’t they? Who cares! Wear them in any combination you see fit today.

The next “holiday” is National Kazoo Day. The kazoo has been around for about 165 years. Alabama Vest of Macon Georgia made the first kazoo in the 1840’s. Actually, he conceived the kazoo, and had Thaddeus Von Clegg, a German clock-master make it to his specifications. Commercial production of the kazoo didn’t occur until many years later in 1912. Manufacturing was first started by Emil Sorg in Western New York. Sorg joined up with Michael McIntyre, a Buffalo tool and die maker. Production moved to Eden, NY where the factory museum remains today. Kazoos are easy to play. Simply hum a tune into the kazoo, and you’re an expert. If you have misplaced your kazoo, you can always try the old comb and waxed paper version.

The last today “holiday” is Data Privacy Day. Data Privacy Day is a national effort to stress the importance of safeguarding your online privacy and protecting your data. Take time out today to review your privacy settings on all of your electronic media, and backup your important files. In today’s environment, you should really be doing this about once a month anyway.

The food-related “holiday” today is National Blueberry Pancake Day. Blueberry pancakes…they aren’t just for breakfast anymore. You can enjoy any time of the day. They are nutritious enough to eat for breakfast, tasty enough for a mid-day snack, and easy enough to make for dinner. To make blueberry pancakes, mix up a batch of your favorite plain pancake batter. Wash the blueberries, pat them dry, and keep them in a separate bowl. Once you’ve poured the batter onto the griddle, drop a few blueberries on top. This will ensure that your blueberries aren’t bruised during the cooking process and will be perfect bursts of flavor when you bite into your pancake. Do I really need to explain to you how to celebrate this “holiday”? Remember, blueberries are full of healthy anti-oxidants. IHOP, here I come!

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following noteworthy individuals.

Life Day 25035: Holy Crap!

January 27, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning doo-doo heads. Today is January 27th. The first “holiday” today is Thomas Crapper Day. I know, you are all asking yourselves; “Who the crap is Thomas Crapper?”, “Why the crap does he have a day dedicated to him?”, and “Why should I give a crap anyway?”. This link will give you a crap-load of information, and answer all of your questions, and save me a crap-load of time trying to explain it to you. Although he did not invent the flush toilet as many believe, he did popularize and improve the flush toilet. He was Baptized on September 28th, 1936, but no record of his actual date of birth is available.  Since the actual date of his birth is unknown, Thomas Crapper Day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death on this date in 1910. In celebration, pay homage to your “porcelin throne” today by admiring its craftsmanship and giving thanks for the convenience it provides…and try not to have a crappy day. Oh well, enough of this crap! Time to move on.

The next “holiday” today is near and dear to the hearts of many from my generation. It is Vietnam Peace Day. On this date in 1973, the Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris, France. The main negotiators of the accords were Dr. Henry Kissinger (United States National Security Adviser) and  Le Duc Tho (Vietnamese Politburo member). They both received the Nobel Peace Prize later in the year for their efforts. This link will provide you with more detailed information if you would like a “refresher course’.

Another “holiday” today is Punch the Clock Day. Let me, first of all, go on record as saying that I am wholeheartedly against any form of chronometer abuse. Punching a clock is destructive, serves no logical purpose, and may result in personal injury. With that said, I believe that the actual intent of this holiday is not to encourage the destruction of any timepieces, but rather to celebrate the old-fashioned “time clock” that used to be at almost every work-site in America before the dawn of the ‘computer age’, and still is in many. Despite  exhaustive research, I found no information to determine the purpose or meaning of this day. So I’ll give you my theory, which is: This “holiday” honors all of those ‘working stiffs’ who “punch a clock” every day at manufacturing facilities across America, providing us with all of the ‘necessities’ we need to conduct our daily lives (or at least, used to before their jobs were outsourced to facilities in Third World countries who now use child labor in sweatshops, or slave labor, to increase profits and line the pockets of greedy corporate CEO’s and Politicians with wealth beyond reason). Anyway, if you still have one of these ever diminishing manufacturing jobs here in America, congratulations, and THANK YOU. My life is easier because of you.

These last three “holidays” are related, so I will just lump them together for continuity sake. They are Auschwitz Liberation DayHolocaust Memorial  Day, and International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. [The latter, although not specified, is so verbose that it must U.N. speak meaning the same as the previous two]. At any rate, they were listed in my sources as separate and distinct holidays so I did the same. On this date in 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland. On November 1st, 2005, the United Nations designated this date as the day to commemorate the victims of the holocaust.

Today’s food-related “holiday” today. It is National Chocolate Cake Day. Cakes have a rich culinary history. In Greece, cakes (or “plakous”) were heavy and flat, and people served them with nuts and honey. The Romans made cakes that were more like cheesecake or pastry and presented them as offerings to the gods. In Medieval England, people used the words “bread” and cake” interchangeably to refer to anything made with flour dough.
A company called O. Duff and Sons created the first boxed cake mix in the late 1920s. In 1947, after years of research and development, General Mills released the first “just add water” Betty Crocker cake mixes. The available flavors were Ginger, Spice, Yellow, and White. In 1948, Pillsbury introduced the first chocolate cake mix.
Today, the most popular kind of cake is chocolate. There are many varieties of chocolate cake from which to choose; milk chocolate cake, dark chocolate cake, chocolate fudge cake, chocolate “Molten Lava” cake, Red Velvet cake, or my favorite, Devil’s Food cake.
There are three objectives of  this holiday:

  1. To bake a chocolate cake [Preferably from scratch, although you could just use a mix if you lack the confidence to bake from scratch].
  2. To decorate a chocolate cake. [In this author’s humble opinion, adding ice cream or whipped cream counts as decorating the cake…as long as it’s touching].
  3. To eat a chocolate cake. [No explanation necessary].

If you are too busy to bake and/or decorate a cake, then just eating some chocolate cake will certainly do.  I really don’t have to explain to you how to celebrate this one, do I?

On this date in 1606 – The trial of Guy Fawkes, and his fellow conspirators in the “gunpowder plot”, began. They were executed on January 31. This link will provide you with detailed information regarding who Guy Fawkes was, and why he was tried and executed.

Other significant historical events that occurred on this date are:

  • In 1870 – Kappa Alpha Theta, the first women’s sorority, was founded at Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) in Greencastle, IN.
  • In 1880 – Thomas Edison patented the electric incandescent lamp.
  • In 1888 – The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, DC.
  • In 1926 – John Baird, a Scottish inventor, demonstrated a pictorial transmission machine called television.
    In 1927 – United Independent Broadcasters Inc. started a radio network with contracts with 16 stations. The company later became Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).
  • In 1943 – During World War II, the first all American air raid against Germany took place when about 50 bombers attacked Wilhelmshaven.
    In 1944 – The Soviet Union announced that the two-year German siege of Leningrad had come to an end.
  • In 1948 – Wire Recording Corporation of America announced the first magnetic tape recorder. The ‘Wireway’ machine with a built-in oscillator sold for $149.50 (no small sum in those days).
  • In 1951 – Atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats.
  • In 1967 – At Cape Kennedy, FL, astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo I spacecraft.
  • In 1967 – More than 60 nations signed the Outer Space Treaty which banned the orbiting of nuclear weapons and placing weapons on celestial bodies or space stations.
  • In 1981 – President Reagan greeted the 52 former American hostages released by Iran at the White House.
  • In 1984 – Wayne Gretzky set a National Hockey League (NHL)   record for consecutive game scoring. He ended the streak at 51 games.
  • In 1985 – The Coca-Cola Company, of Atlanta, GA, announced a plan to sell its soft drinks in the Soviet Union.
  • In 1992 – Former world boxing champion Mike Tyson went on trial for allegedly raping an 18-year-old contestant in the 1991 Miss Black America Contest.
  • In 1997 – It was revealed that French national museums were holding nearly 2,000 works of art stolen from Jews by the Nazis during World War II.
  • In 1998 – First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared on NBC’s “Today” show. She charged that the allegations against her husband were the work of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
  • In 1999 – The U.S. Senate blocked dismissal of the impeachment case against President Clinton and voted for new testimony from Monica Lewinsky and two other witnesses.
  • And, in 2010 – Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPad.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following notable people:

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