“It Wasn’t Me, It Must Have Been Someone Else”

May 13, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Author’s Note:

Before I get into today’s holidays, I would like to point out that today is Friday the 13th (insert Twilight Zone theme music here). Some of you may have already read this piece because I originally wrote it about 10 years ago in an old BLOG which I no longer use, and have re-published it on this BLOG a few times since then. I am publishing it again today for the benefit of those of you who are new to this BLOG.

Let me begin with a few facts and statistics about Friday the 13th.

1)  Any month that begins on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th.
2)  There is at least one Friday the 13th each year.
3)   Using the Gregorian calendar, there can be as many as three Friday the 13th’s a calendar year; either in February, March and November in a common year starting on Thursday (such as 2009), or January, April and July in a leap year starting on Sunday (such as 2012).
4)  The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months.
5) Using the Gregorian calendar, The 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to be a Friday than any other day of the week, but only slightly. On average, there is a Friday the 13th once every 212.35 days (compared to Thursday the 13th, which occurs only once every 213.59 days).
6)  According to a study released in 2008 by the Dutch Center for Insurance Statistics, it was revealed that “fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are more careful, or just stay home.” Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th, at least in the Netherlands; in the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday; but the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500.

The superstition surrounding Friday the 13th being regarded as an unlucky day is a relative newcomer in the annals of history and seems to be a combination of two much older superstitions. The first written record referencing Friday the 13th as an unlucky day occurs in Henry Sutherland Edwards’ 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday 13th.
“He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that one Friday 13th of November he died.”
Many cultures believed that the number “13″ was an unlucky number. The number “13″ is considered unlucky for a number of reasons: In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 successors of Muhammad in Shia Islam, twelve signs of the Zodiac, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table results in the death of one of the diners. Also, to this day, most buildings do not have a 13th floor or room numbers ending in the number 13.
Likewise, “Friday” has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s “The Canterbury Tales”.  Many professions regard Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects.  Friday is also the day when Jesus Christ was crucified, adding to its unpopularity.
Dictionary.com defines a phobia as “A persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.”
If you are having difficulty following all the big words I’m using, you might be suffering from hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia (hip-po-pot-o-mon-stro-ses-qui-ped-ali-o-pho-bia), which means a fear of long words, (Did you see that one coming)? Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is a contrived word and is a truncated and extended version of the word sesquipedaliophobia (ses-qui-ped-ali-o-pho-bia); which is the word used in formal writing to describe the fear of long words. The “hippopotomonstro” part of the word is a combination of the words hippopotamus and monster, and is used to exaggerate the length of the word, adding credence to the word’s meaning: a fear of long words. Or, you might just be suffering from rupophobia (ru-po-pho-bia): a fear of rubbish.
This brings us to Friggatriskaidekaphobia. Friggatriskaidekaphobia (frigga-tris-kai-deka-pho-bia) is a fear of Friday the 13th: Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named in English, and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen. Another word used to describe the fear of Friday the 13th, Paraskevidekatriaphobia (para-skevi-deka-tria-phobia), came into the lexicon in 1953. Paraskevidekatriaphobia is a combination of the Greek words Paraskeví, meaning “Friday”), and dekatreís, meaning “thirteen”) attached to phobia, from Phobos, meaning “fear”).
(Do not confuse Friggatriskaidekaphobia with *Friggintrickydickaphobia* (friggin-tricky-dickapho-bia); an affliction suffered by a large segment of American society during the late 1960′s and early 1970′s…particularly those on the left side of the political aisle).
*Please note that, despite how many of you might think otherwise, friggintrickydickaphobia is not an actual word. I used it here strictly for the purpose of levity. I do not know where I heard it before, but whoever coined the word certainly had a delightful sense of humor. A Google search for friggintrickydickaphobia yielded no search results.

Today’s real post begins here:

Good morning responsibility shirkers. Today is Friday, May 13th. Today’s holidays are:

Blame Someone Else Day

Blame Someone Else Day is a holiday created to relieve yourself from taking responsibility for anything that goes wrong today. On this holiday, nothing that goes wrong is your fault…someone else must be responsible. Bear in mind that whoever you blame today might just be blaming you as well, and that tomorrow, the truth will likely out, and you will suffer the consequences of your actions.
Blame Someone Else Day is celebrated on the first Friday the 13th each year. The blame for the creation of this holiday is placed on Anne Moeller of Clio, Michigan. On the first Friday, the 13th of 1982, purportedly, Anne’s alarm clock did not go off, and she overslept. As a result, she was late for appointments all day long. According to the story, she spent the day spreading the blame and making excuses for being late. However, none of these facts can be verified, and she could merely be the scapegoat of the nefarious individual who actually created this holiday.
In keeping with the spirit of this holiday, I would like to emphatically state that I had nothing to do with the creation of Blame Someone Else Day, it must have been someone else.

Frog Jumping Day

Frog Jumping Day can be traced back to author Mark Twain, and his first short story, “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog.” The short story is also known as “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” as well as “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” The reason that Frog Jumping Day is celebrated on this date is a mystery. It is neither the date of the publication of the short story, nor the anniversary of Mark Twain’s birth or death.
This holiday could also pertain to the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee held in Angel’s Camp, California but this annual event is held on a rotating schedule each year beginning on the 3rd Thursday in May and running through Sunday, and this year will be celebrated on May 19th through the 22nd.
Celebrate this holiday by learning more about frogs and/or toads.

Leprechaun Day

Leprechaun Day is a dedicated to the little (some say, make-believe) elves of Ireland. The origins of Leprechaun Day are as mysterious as the hiding places of the pots of gold belonging to the “wee folk”. Leprechauns themselves have been part of Irish folklore for thousands of years, and even though these tiny fairies have reputations for playing tricks and being mischievous, they are well-loved by the people of Ireland. According to Irish legend, Leprechauns have a hidden pot of gold. If you catch a Leprechaun, he must give you his pot of gold, but leprechauns are resourceful when it comes to defending their gold, and they are not easily caught.
To celebrate, I suggest looking over your financial portfolio to see if there are ways that you can increase your own “pot of gold”. This seems like a more realistic alternative than going out in search of a Leprechaun’s “pot of gold”.

Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice

Fintastic Friday was created to increase awareness of the plight of sharks. Movies, books, and news outlets portray sharks as little more than killing machines lurking offshore waiting for your unsuspecting munchkin to venture into their realm and snatch them up. This leads to a misguided hatred and fear of sharks and results in a lack of compassion towards them. On average, only 10 people are killed by sharks a year worldwide, but people kill more than 11,000 sharks every hour. Fintastic Friday celebrates sharks and encourages everyone to find ways to change public opinion about them. Think of it as kind of an Earth Day for sharks.
Granted, sharks aren’t the most cuddly and adorable of creatures on the planet, but they do play a vital role in the ocean’s ecosystem. Yet, each year, 73 million sharks are killed…just for their fins. Shark populations have plummeted 75% to 90% in many ecosystems, and worldwide, sharks have little or no protection.

National Apple Pie Day

Apple pie is the quintessential American dessert. However, apple pie wasn’t even invented in the United States. Rather it was invented in Europe sometime during the 14th century. The first apple pie recipe was printed by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1381 in England. The ingredients in the recipe included apples, spices, figs, raisins, pears, saffron, and cofyn (a casing of pastry). Dutch apple pie recipes date back to the late 15th century. These recipes were similar to the English recipes except they included a scoop of ice cream placed on top of the pie before it was served. This tradition, apple pie à la mode, was eventually brought to America where most people continue to enjoy their apple pie topped with ice cream. Enjoy a slice of this iconic dessert after dinner tonight.

National Fruit Cocktail Day

Fruit Cocktail is a dish consisting of various kinds of fruit, sometimes served in a liquid, either in their own juices or a syrup.  The use of the word “cocktail” in the name does not mean that it contains alcohol, but refers to the secondary definition “An appetizer made by combining pieces of food, such as fruit or seafood.” The most common variety of fruit cocktail is canned, although you could easily make a fresh version yourself at home.
Here in America, the USDA stipulates that canned “fruit cocktail” must contain a certain percentage distribution of pears, grapes, cherries, peaches, and pineapples to be marketed as fruit cocktail. It must contain fruits in the following range of percentages:

30% to 50% diced peaches, any yellow variety
25% to 45% diced pears, any variety
6% to 16% diced pineapple, any variety
6% to 20% whole grapes, any seedless variety
2% to 6% cherry halves, any light sweet or artificial red variety (usually maraschino cherries).

I prefer my fruit cocktail served with a generous scoop of cottage cheese.

World Cocktail Day — The alcoholic kind.

Top Gun Day

International Skeptics Day

On this date:

  • In 1607 – Jamestown, Virginia, was settled as a colony of England.
  • In 1821 – The first practical printing press was patented in the U.S. by Samuel Rust.
  • In 1846 – The U.S. declared that war already existed with Mexico.
  • In 1854 – The first big American billiards match was held at Malcolm Hall in Syracuse, NY.
  • In 1861 – Britain declared its neutrality in the American Civil War.
  • In 1865 – The last land engagement of the American Civil War was fought at the Battle of Palmito Ranch in far south Texas, more than a month after Gen. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, VA.
  • In 1867 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis became a free man after spending two years in prison for his role in the American Civil War.
  • In 1880 – Thomas Edison tested his experimental electric railway in Menlo Park.
  • In 1911 – The New York Giants set a major league baseball record. Ten runners crossed home plate before the first out of the game against St. Louis.
  • In 1913 – Igor Sikorsky flew the first four-engine aircraft.
  • In 1940 – Winston Churchill made his first speech as the prime minister of Britain.
  • In 1958 – Vice President Nixon’s limousine was battered by rocks thrown by anti-American demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela.
  • n 1967 – Mickey Mantle hit his 500th home run.
  • In 1975 – Hailstones the size of tennis balls hit Wenerville, TN.
  • In 1981 – Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter’s Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca.
  • In 1982 – The Chicago Cubs became the first major league baseball team to win 8,000 games.
  • In 1985 – Tony Perez became the oldest major league baseball player to hit a grand slam home run at the age of 42 and 11 months.
  • In 1985 – A confrontation between Philadelphia authorities and the radical group MOVE ended as police dropped an explosive onto the group’s headquarters. 11 people died in the fire that resulted.

Celebrity Birthdays:

  • Maxine Sullivan 1911 – Singer.
  • Robert Middleton 1911 – Actor.
  • Joe Louis 1914 – Boxer.
  • Beatrice Arthur 1926 – Actress.
  • Johnny Roseboro 1933 – Baseball player.
  • Zohra Lampert 1937 – Actress.
  • Harvey Keitel 1939 – Actor.
  • Senta Berger 1941 – Actress.
  • Richie Valens 1941 – Singer.
  • Mary Wells 1943 – Singer.
  • Tim Pigott-Smith 1946 – Actor.
  • Franklin Ajaye 1949 – Actor, comedian.
  • Stevie Wonder 1950 – Musician.
  • Bobby Valentine 1950 – Baseball player, manager.
  • Frances Barber 1958 – Actress.
  • Julianne Phillips 1960 – Model, actress.
  • Dennis Rodman 1961 – Basketball player.
  • Tom Verica 1964 – Actor.
  • Stephen Colbert 1964 – Television host.
  • Darius Rucker 1966 – Musician.
  • Samantha Morton 1977 – Actress.
  • Hunter Parrish 1978 – Actor.
  • Robert Pattinson 1986 – Actor.
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