Life Day 25111: Blown Away

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

Good morning blowhards. Today is April 12th. The first holiday today is Big Wind Day. Contrary to popular belief, this holiday does not refer to our current group of Presidential candidates; nor does it refer to an extreme case of flatulence, nor does it refer to the classic 1939 motion picture “Gone with the Wind”.
In actuality, Big Wind Day refers to the highest wind speed ever recorded on this planet since the technology was developed to measure wind speed. On this date in 1934, the staff at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire recorded a sustained surface wind speed of 231 MPH.
Wind speed is measured using anemometers. These anemometers are placed 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground and are located at official weather observation stations across the country. The “wind speed” reported in each observation is an average speed for the most recent two-minute period prior to the observation time. This is also considered the “sustained wind” for routine surface observations. This two-minute average is calculated from a series of 24, five-second average values.

The next holiday today is Russian Cosmonaut Day (or as the UN refers to it, International Day of Human Space Flight). On this date in 1961, Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, aboard Vostok 1, became the first human to travel into space. He spent 108 minutes in space. This flight marked the beginning of the space race, and is probably the only instance in which the Russians could accurately proclaim; “We did it first”.

The third holiday today is Walk On Your Wild Side Day.  Today is the day to step out of the box and do something entirely out of character for you. Show up to work wearing a propeller beanie. Wear that hideous tie that your children bought you for Christmas. Embrace your ‘inner wild-streak’ and release the zanier, less predictable “you”. Have a little fun today.

Another holiday today is National Be Kind To Lawyers Day. National Be Kind To Lawyers Day is the brainchild of a non-lawyer, Steve Hughes, a public speaking expert who counts lawyers among his clients.
Most people today view lawyers as a necessary evil. They have the reputation, deserved or not, of being among the most despised, distrusted, unscrupulous people around. Yet, if you need a will, want to set up a trust, or need representation in a criminal or civil action, lawyers are where we turn for help.
Lawyers are the butt of countless jokes; I could list over 10 of them here off the top of my head without straining my little brain at all…but I won’t. Maybe, if we stopped making so many jokes about them, they might lower their fees and start trying to clean-up their reputation — Nah! Who am I kidding? Why would they? They have a monopoly after all.

The fifth holiday today is National Only Child Day. A couple of days ago, we celebrated National Sibling Day, so doesn’t it seem fair that there should also be a holiday for people without siblings as well? National Only Child Day does just that.
There are advantages to being an only child.

  1. As soon as you are big enough not to need a child seat, you get to sit in the front seat of the car anytime they want to.
  2. You don’t have to share toys or bedrooms with annoying brothers and sisters.
  3. You don’t have to fight for your parents undivided attention.
  4. You don’t have to wear those dingy, tired and tattered, hand-me-down clothes and shoes.

On the other hand, there are also some disadvantages.

  1. Being an only child can be lonely.
  2. You don’t have brothers and sisters to play (fight) with.
  3. You can’t blame that broken or missing valuable on your sibling.
  4. People often assume that an only child means a spoiled, selfish child.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the pros and cons of being an only child, some famous people are only children. They include:

  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Cary Grant
  • Al Pacino
  • Betty White
  • Carol Burnett
  • Gregory Peck
  • James Dean
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Robin Williams
  • Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Elvis Presley [although Elvis had a twin (Aaron) who died at birth]
  • John Lennon

The next holiday today is National Library Workers Day. National Library Workers Day is always celebrated on the Tuesday of Library Week; which is celebrated during the second full week in April.
Libraries play a vital role in keeping us informed and providing a quiet place to escape the frenzy of our daily lives. Modern libraries are more than just places to check out books; these days, you can also surf the web, rent a DVD, or even attend a class. And, the ones who make this all possible are library workers.
National Library Workers Day salutes all of the dedicated library staff who work to keep our libraries running efficiently. Administrators, librarians, aides and volunteers, and even the janitorial staff all contribute to making a visit to the library a pleasant experience.
Visit your local library to discover the wide array of services they provide…and don’t forget to say “thank you” to any library workers you encounter.

The final holiday today is DEAR Day.  For all of the functional illiterates on Facebook and Twitter, DEAR Day does not refer to the antlered ruminant that inhabits forests and plains. It also does not refer to someone whom you regard with esteem.
DEAR stands for Drop Everything and Read. DEAR Day was created to encourage families to set aside time to read together each day. It merely encourages everyone to make time to read today. Be it a couple of  chapters in that novel you started last month, a newspaper, or a magazine article, read something today. Do you read every day?
Author’s Note: Reading this BLOG post counts a credit for this holiday. Also, this is a separate holiday from any of the Library Week celebrations this week. It just happens to coincide with the dates of library week this year.

The first food-related holiday today is Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. Grilled cheese sandwiches are, arguably, one of the favorite sandwiches in America. They are tasty and simple to make. There are as many different types of grilled cheese sandwiches as there are different cheese and bread combinations, but the method for making them pretty much remains constant. Enjoy your favorite type of grilled cheese sandwich for lunch today; paired with a bowl of your favorite soup.

The other food-related holiday today is National Licorice Day. The word ‘licorice’ is derived (via the Old French licoresse), from the Greek word ‘glukurrhiza’, meaning “sweet root”.  I was surprised to learn that licorice comes from the root of the licorice plant, a legume that is native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. It is not botanically related to anise, star anise, or fennel, which are the sources of similar flavoring compounds. No matter. I dislike licorice, so I won’t be participating in this holiday. Does anyone have any spare Dewar’s Peppermint Chews?

On this date:

  • In 1606 – England adopted the original Union Jack as its flag.
  • In 1799 – Phineas Pratt patented the comb cutting machine.
  • In 1833 – Charles Gaylor patented the fireproof safe.
  • In 1864 – Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest captured Fort Pillow, in Tennessee and slaughters the black Union troops there.
  • In 1877 – A catcher’s mask was used in a baseball game for the first time by James Alexander Tyng.
  • In 1892 – Voters in Lockport, New York, became the first in the U.S. to use voting machines.
  • In 1911 – Pierre Prier completed the first non-stop London-Paris flight in three hours and 56 minutes.
  • In 1927 – The British Cabinet came out in favor of women voting rights.
  • In 1938 – The first U.S. law requiring a medical test for a marriage license was enacted in New York.
  • In 1945 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in Warm Spring, GA. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 63. Harry S Truman became president.
  • In 1955 – The University of Michigan Polio Vaccine Evaluation Center announced that the polio vaccine of Dr. Jonas Salk was “safe, effective and potent.”
  • In 1963 – Police used dogs and cattle prods on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, AL
  • In 1966 – Emmett Ashford became the first African-American major league umpire.
  • In 1982 – Three CBS employees were shot to death in a New York City parking lot.
  • In 1983 – Harold Washington was elected the first black mayor of Chicago.
  • In 1984 – Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Challenger made the first satellite repair in orbit by returning the Solar Max satellite to space.
  • In 1985 – U.S. Senator Jake Garn of Utah became the first senator to fly in space as the shuttle Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral, FL.
  • In 1985 – Federal inspectors declared that four animals of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus were not unicorns. They were goats with horns that had been surgically implanted.
  • In 1988 – Harvard University won a patent for a genetically altered mouse. It was the first patent for a life form.
  • In 2000 – Robert Cleaves, 71, was convicted of second degree murder and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Cleaves had repeatedly run over Arnold Guerreiro on September 30, 1998 with his car after the two had an argument.
  • In 2002 – It was announced that the South African version of “Sesame Street” would be introducing a character that was HIV-positive.
  • In  2002 – A first edition version of Beatrix Potter’s “Peter Rabbit” sold for $64,780 at Sotheby’s Auction House. Other literary works that sold at the same auction included: A signed first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” which sold for $66,630, a copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” signed by J.K. Rowling which sold for $16,660, and a 250-piece collection of rare works by Charles Dickens which old for $512,650.

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

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