Abet and Aid Punsters Day

November 8, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning punsters. Today is Tuesday, November 8th. The holidays today are:

Abet and Aid Punsters Day

The word ‘pun‘ is defined as: “the humorous use of a word or phrase to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.” We all know somebody who uses puns regularly. They can’t help themselves. I think it is in their DNA. They will take any opportunity provided to them to turn an innocent and unsuspecting phrase into a painful and tortured pun. Abet and Aid Punsters Day urges you to encourage punsters, at least for today.
To celebrate Abet and Aid Punsters Day, opun your minds and celebrate this holiday in the spirit in which it is intended. Torture your friends with a few of your favorite puns. Naturally, I am obligated to give you a few examples…just for the sake of clarity.

  • The man loved a good play on words but his wife couldn’t stand the punishment.
  • Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down.
  • I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  • I couldn’t quite remember how to throw a boomerang, but eventually, it came back to me.
  • Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

National Dunce Day

National Dunce Day celebrates the anniversary of the death of John Duns Scotus,  a medieval scholar and educator.  He was also philosopher and theologian. Born in Duns, Scotland in 1308, he became known as the originator of the “dunce cap”. This was a conical cap, probably made of felt or other materials that kept it rigid in an upright position. He believed that the cone-shaped hat would funnel knowledge into the brains of students.
Scotus was educated at Oxford University and an ordained priest in the Order of Friars Minor, also known as the Franciscans, at Saint Andrew’s Priory in Northampton, England. He wrote several books and his philosophy was popular during his time, although it was somewhat convoluted and hard to understand. Even so, he had a following of people who agreed with him. However, he fell out of favor with the King when he disagreed with him and sided with the pope during a dispute and was expelled from the country. His beliefs soon became a target of derision and jokes. The “dunce cap”, once believed to make people smart, was now used instead as a method of calling someone stupid.
Later, the use of a dunce cap was used to punish, embarrass, or humiliate someone who had said or done something considered brainless or dumb. Many schools also used the cap, making students sit on a stool in the corner of the room while the rest of his classmates made fun of him (or her).
Today, the dunce cap is not used in schools; however, the term “dunce” is still used quite frequently when referring to a person or group that has been viewed as doing something unintelligent. It is habitually applied to government officials or organizations. It is also used in jokes, cartoons, and books while poking fun at someone.

 X-Ray Day

If necessity is the mother of invention, then serendipity is the father. According to NASA, X-rays were first observed and documented in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a German scientist who found them quite by accident when experimenting with vacuum tubes. Although he was not technically the first to observe X-rays he was the first one to observe and successfully repeat the process and therefore gets the credit.
A week after he ‘discovered’ them, he took an X-ray photograph of his wife’s hand which clearly revealed her wedding ring and her bones. The photograph electrified the public and aroused great scientific interest in the new form of radiation. Roentgen called it “X” to indicate it was an unknown type of radiation. The name stuck, although (over Roentgen’s objections), many of his colleagues suggested calling them Roentgen rays. They are still occasionally referred to as Roentgen rays in German-speaking countries.
Today, X-Rays have a wide variety of applications; medical, agricultural, industrial, scientific, and many more. X-Rays even exist in outer space. Most planets, comets, and even the sun emit X-Rays, and they are of use to astronomers in their research.
I don’t know of a practical way to celebrate this holiday, but you might want to use it as a reminder to schedule your next dental check-up.

Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day

While the word “pungent” sounds like a negative food descriptor, it’s not. Pungent, along with sweet, sour, salty, bitter and astringent, is one of the six tastes of food. Examples of pungent foods include garlic, which can be made into a tasty rub for any type of meat. Onions, chili peppers, ginger, black pepper and cayenne pepper are also considered pungent. These foods can be warming and are good for you.
Onions, like garlic, are members of the Allium family, and both are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent odors and for many of their health-promoting effects.
So, when preparing tonight’s dinner, start with garlic and onions. Your house will immediately begin to smell like “home”. It is not a coincidence that Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day is celebrated in November. This is the time of year when we begin closing our homes for winter, and therefore, the aromas are retained for a long time.

Election Day

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that today is Election Day. Election Day in America is held on “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November”. The reason Election Day always falls on a Tuesday comes from an antiquated tradition dating back to the 1800’s. In those days, many people had to travel a great distance from their farms to the closest town in order to vote. Tuesday was the best day because people could begin their journey on Monday and avoid traveling on the Sunday sabbath. It also ensured they would be home in time for market day on Wednesday.
To celebrate Election Day, exercise your right as a citizen of the United States of America and cast your vote.

National Cappuccino Day

Cappuccino was created in Italy in the 1600’s. It got its name from an Italian order of monks known as the Catholic Capuchins—a group of friars that wore dark brown hoods, similar to the color of the drink. It can be topped with ground cinnamon or other spices, or with ground chocolate or sweetened cocoa powder.
Prepared with two parts espresso and one part steamed and formed milk in equal thirds, cappuccino is the customary way to jumpstart your day in Italy. In the rest of Europe and America, it’s just the opposite: cappuccino is most popular as an after-dinner drink.

National Harvey Wallbanger Day

A Harvey Wallbanger is a cocktail made with the Italian herbal liqueur Galliano (more formally, Liquore Galliano L’Autentico) plus vodka and orange juice (think Screwdriver with Galliano).
Galliano liqueur was created in 1896 and named after an Italian war hero, Giuseppe Galliano. It’s flavored with anise, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, juniper, lavender, musk yarrow, peppermint, star anise, and vanilla. The vivid yellow color, chosen to acknowledge the California Gold Rushes of the period, is now made with a lemon-yellow dye called tartrazine.
But, what about Harvey?  According to legend, Harvey was a Manhattan Beach surfer. After losing a competition, in 1952, Harvey tied one on at  his favorite bar, Duke’s Blackwatch Bar on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. He asked Donato “Duke” Antone, a world champion mixologist, to create a new drink for him. Being a little busy, Duke quickly made a screwdriver and topped it with a little Galliano. After serving Harvey a few of these, Duke noticed that Harvey had begun banging into a few walls, so he named his new creation the Harvey Wallbanger. (Duke also created the Rusty Nail, the White Russian, and other popular cocktails).
Originally, the Harvey Wallbanger was a California phenomenon, served mostly in trendy bars in the beach cities around Los Angeles, however, the drink gained national attention in 1970 when TWA featured the cocktail on its in-flight menu.
Author’s Note: I cannot vouch for the veracity of the story about the creation of the Harvey Wallbanger, but true or not, it is as plausible as any other story concocted about the creation of any other cocktail.

National Ample Time Day

National Parents as Teachers Day

National STEM/STEAM Day

National Young Reader’s Day

On this date in

  • 1656 – Edmond Halley was born. Halley, an astronomer-mathematician, was the first to calculate the orbit of the comet that was named after him. The comet makes an appearance every 76 years.
  • 1793 – The Louvre Museum, in Paris, opened to the public for the first time.
  • 1805 – The “Corps of Discovery” reached the Pacific Ocean. The expedition was lead by William Clark and Meriwether Lewis. The journey had begun on May 14, 1804, with the goal of exploring the Louisiana Purchase territory.
  • 1887 – Doc Holliday died at the age of 35. The gun fighting dentist died from tuberculosis in a sanitarium in Glenwood Springs, CO.
  • 1889 – Montana became the 41st U.S. state.
  • 1910 – William H. Frost patented the insect exterminator.
  • 1923 – Adolf Hitler made his first attempt at seizing power in Germany with a failed coup in Munich that came to be known as the “Beer-Hall Putsch.”
  • 1933 – The Civil Works Administration was created by executive order by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The organization was designed to create jobs for more than 4 million unemployed people in the U.S
  • 1942 – During World War II, Operation Torch began as U.S. and British forces landed in French North Africa.
  • 1950 – During the Korean conflict, the first jet-plane battle took place as U.S. Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown shot down a North Korean MiG-15.
  • 1954 – The American League approved the transfer of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team to Kansas City, MO.
  • 1956 – After turning down 18,000 names, the Ford Motor Company decided to name their new car the “Edsel,” after Henry Ford’s only son.
  • 1959 – Elgin Baylor of the Minneapolis Lakers, scored 64 points and set a National Basketball Association scoring record.
  • 1966 – Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts became the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote.
  • 1966 – Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California.
  • 1979 – The program, “The Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage”, premiered on ABC-TV. The show was planned to be temporary, but it evolved into “Nightline” in March of 1980.
  • 1979 – U.S. Senators John Warner (R-VA) and Mac Mathias (R-MD) introduced legislation to provide a site on the National Mall for the building of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  • 1980 – Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California announced that they had discovered a 15th moon orbiting the planet Saturn.
  • 1981 – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak asserted that Egypt was “an African State” that was “neither East nor West”.
  • 1985 – A letter signed by four American hostages in Lebanon was delivered to The Associated Press in Beirut. The letter contained pleas from Terry Anderson, Rev. Lawrence Jenco, David Jacobsen and Thomas Sutherland to President Reagan to negotiate a release.
  • 1986 – Vyacheslav M. Molotov died at age 96. During World War II, Molotov ordered the mass production of bottles filled with flammable liquid later called the “Molotov cocktail.”
  • 1987 – A bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army exploded in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, at a ceremony honoring Britain’s war dead. Eleven people were killed.
  • 1990 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush ordered more troop deployments in the Persian Gulf, adding about 150,000 soldiers to the multi-national force fighting against Iraq.
  • 1991 – The European Community and Canada imposed economic sanctions on Yugoslavia in an attempt to stop the Balkan civil war.
  • 1992 – About 350,000 people rallied in Berlin against racist violence.
  • 1997 – Chinese engineers diverted the Yangtze River to make way for the Three Gorges Dam.
  • 2000 – In Florida, a statewide recount began to decide the winner of the 2000 U.S. presidential election.
  • 2000 – Waco special counsel John C. Danforth released his final report that absolved the government of wrongdoing in the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Texas.

Noteworthy Birthdays

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