Life Day 25034: G’day Mates

January 26, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my merry marsupials. Today is January 26th. The first “holiday” today is Australia Day. Australia Day marks the anniversary of the date in 1788 that the First Fleet of British Ships landed at New South Wales; and the raising of the flag of Great Britain at that location. The expedition was led by Captain Arthur Phillip. In present-day Australia, however, celebrations focus much less on the arrival of the aforementioned ships and instead concentrate more on the diverse society and landscape of the nation. Many community and family events are organized, as well as various celebrations welcoming new immigrants.
Australia is a relatively young country, as federation occurred just over 100 years ago in 1901, so it was not until 1935 that Australia Day was actually celebrated.
Originally meant to be a penal colony, Australia has developed rapidly over the years to become one of the wealthiest countries in the world, ranking extremely high for the quality of health and education. In fact, Australia is considered to be one of the top 3 countries to live.
Australia is a land of pristine beaches and merciless deserts, adorable koala bears and murderous great white sharks. The sixth largest country in the world, with but 21 million inhabitants. To most people, Australia is a land of mystery, danger and majestic beauty. Australia is also the fourth largest wine exporter in the world, so if you like fine, you’re sure to find an Australian wine to suit your tastes. Due to the surrounding oceans, seafood is also plentiful.
Since there is a 99.99999% chance that if you are reading this BLOG you are not from Australia, nor have you ever been there, the best way to celebrate this holiday is read about Australia’s fascinating history…and discuss it with your family and/or friends as you pop open a fresh Fosters and ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie.”

Another “holiday” today is Lotus 1-2-3 Day. On this date in 1983, Lotus began to sell its best-selling, user-friendly spreadsheet for Microsoft OS. Although it wasn’t the first spreadsheet (Apple’s VisiCalc preceded it), it quickly became the most popular, because, well, it was easy as 1-2-3. What is a spreadsheet, you say? A spreadsheet gives businesses (and home users as well) the ability to run quick and easy “what if” calculations. “What if we lower the price of our widgets by $10.00 per unit?” or “What if the mortgage rate drops to 3% and we refinance?” It was a major breakthrough for personal computing. It was good for its time, but today the best-selling spreadsheet is Microsoft “Excel”.

The third “holiday” today is Spouses Day. Spouse’s Day is dedicated to recognizing spouses of everywhere by showing gratitude for the fulfilment and security of a long-term relationship offered by your partner in life. It is a time to enjoy and appreciate your better half. A spouse is a partner in a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership or common-law marriage. The term is gender neutral, whereas a male spouse is a husband and a female spouse is a wife. You can use this day as a prelude or warm up to Valentine’s Day, but it’s not as much of a gift giving event. Rather, use it as a time to show your spouse that you care and appreciate all of the things that he/she does for you and for the household. Over the long years of a relationship, it’s easy to take for granted the many things your spouse does. Take time today to notice and show appreciation for what they do.

Lesser “holidays” today are listed below. As usual, a link is provided for your further enlightenment if you are curious.

The first food-related “holiday” today  is National Peanut Brittle Day. Brittle was one of the first types of candy ever made. Many ancient cultures that had access to molasses, honey, or sugar, produced some form of it. The first peanut brittle recipe appeared in an American cookbook, but the exact origin of the confection is uncertain. According to one account, peanut brittle was a Celtic dessert. The Celts covered peanuts in sugar and baked them, and this eventually evolved into a caramel bark.
Peanut brittle can be a little tricky to make. Most recipes call for a candy thermometer to allow the baker to regulate the exact temperature, and the results can be affected by weather! If brittle is made on a humid day it will not hold its shape.
All you really need to know about peanut brittle is that it is sweet, brittle, contains peanuts, and is delicious. Treat yourself to some today.

The second is National Pistachio Day. Prior to 1979, there was no pistachio industry in the United States. Most of the pistachios in America came from Iran. With the overthrow of the Shaw, the taking of the hostages, and the resulting embargo on all things Iranian, farmers in the central valley of California saw the opportunity to plant the crop. The soil conditions and climate were similar. Since the U.S. farmers have more modern farming methods, the result is a better pistachio. Here are a few fun facts about pistachios.

  • Pistachios are not actually nuts, but seeds.
  • Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat nuts.
  • There are about 49 nuts per ounce.
  • Pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper and manganese and a good source of protein, fiber, thiamin, and phosphorus.
  • Pistachios are one of the best sources of antioxidants among plant-based foods.
  • California is the second-largest pistachio producer in the world, led only by Iran. In fact, 98% of the pistachios produced in America come from California.
  • Pistachios are one of only two nuts mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 43:11). The other is the almond.

Enjoy a few as a snack today. A handful is only about 100 calories, and they even come in a variety of flavors now.
Author’s note: Although both of the food-related holidays today concern nuts, neither is actually a nut. Peanuts are actually legumes, and pistachios are actually seeds.

On this date in 1784 – In a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the Bald Eagle being selected as the symbol of America. He wanted the symbol to be the turkey. [If Benjamin had prevailed, what would we be eating on Thanksgiving, Bald Eagle]?

Other significant historical events which occurred on this date are:

  • In 1500 – Vicente Yáñez Pinzón discovered Brazil.
  • In 1802 – The U.S. Congress passed an act calling for a library to be established within the U.S. Capitol.
  • In 1827 – Peru seceded from Colombia in protest against Simón Bolívar’s alleged tyranny.
  • In 1837 – Michigan became the 26th state to join the United States.
  • In 1861 – Louisiana seceded from the Union.
  • In 1870 – The state of Virginia rejoined the Union.
  • In 1875 – George F. Green patented the electric dental drill for sawing, filing, dressing and polishing teeth.
  • In 1911 – Inventor Glenn H. Curtiss flew the first successful seaplane.
  • In 1934 – The Apollo Theatre opened in New York City.
  • In 1942 – The first American expeditionary force to go to Europe during World War II went ashore in Northern Ireland.
  • In 1950 – India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president.
  • In 1950 – The American Associated Insurance Companies, of St. Louis, MO, issued the first baby sitter’s insurance policy.
  • In 1959 – “Alcoa Presents” debuted on ABC-TV. The show would later be renamed “One Step Beyond”.
  • In 1961 – President John F. Kennedy appointed Dr. Janet G. Travell as the first woman to be the “personal physician to the President”.
  • In 1962 – The U.S. launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon. The probe missed its target by about 22,000 miles.
  • In 1965 – Hindi was made the official language of India.
  • In 1972 – In Hermsdorf, Czechoslovakia, a JAT Yugoslav Airlines flight crashed after the detonation of a bomb in the forward cargo hold killing 27 people. The bomb was believed to have been placed on the plane by a Croatian extremist group. Vesna Vulovic, a stewardess, survived after falling 33,000 feet in the tail section. She broke both legs and became paralyzed from the waist down. Little consolation, but surviving that fall did get her into the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • In 1996 – First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton testified before a grand jury concerning the Whitewater probe.
  • And, in 1998 – President Clinton denied having an affair with a former White House intern, saying “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

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

Epilogue:

The purpose of these posts is to show that whether you are having a good day or a bad day, there is always a reason to celebrate. I call these posts “Today is” posts because I begin each one with a catchy greeting, followed by a sentence beginning with “Today is…”  Most of the “holidays” covered herein are frivolous, whimsical, and/or just don’t make any darn sense at all. Others take on a more serious tone, highlighting the plight of the Earth or its flora and fauna. A few are even legitimate!
My goal is to both inform and entertain you. Occasionally, I will interject little glimpses into my psyche by giving an opinion, or relating a personal anecdote, but for the most part, I will endeavor to keep these posts free of political opinions, without sacrificing the integrity of this BLOG.
NOTE: The “Life Day…” in the title of these posts has no significance. It is merely a reminder to me of how many days I have existed on planet Earth.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: