Flake Appreciation Day

December 18, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning flakes. Today is Sunday, December 18th. Today’s holidays are:

Flake Appreciation Day

Sorry, my flaky friends, Flake Appreciation Day is not all about you. Flake Appreciation Day refers to snowflakes – those feather-like ice crystals that drift slowly downward from the clouds in many parts of the country this time of year. Winter brings snow and hence, snowflakes to most areas of the country. No state is immune from snow, as is demonstrated by the fact that it snowed in Hawaii earlier this year…and I was in Miami Florida in 1977 when it snowed. Also in my driving career, I saw snow as far south as Brownsville, Texas. So even tropical climates can occasionally get snow.
A snowflake is defined as the frozen, crystalline state of water that falls as precipitation. Wikipedia encyclopedia tells us “Snow crystals form when tiny supercooled cloud droplets freeze.” These droplets are able to remain liquid at temperatures colder than 0°C, because in order to freeze, a few molecules in the liquid droplet need to get together by chance to form an arrangement close to that in an ice lattice; then the droplet freezes around this ‘nucleus’.
The individual ice crystals often have a hexagonal symmetry. Although the ice is clear, the scattering of light by the crystal facets and hollows/imperfections mean that the crystals often appear white due to small ice particles a which diffuse light reflections.
Ice crystals formed in the appropriate conditions can often be thin and flat. These planar crystals may be simple hexagons, or if the supersaturation is high enough, develop branches and dendritic (fern-like) features and have six approximately identical arms, as per the iconic ‘snowflake’ popularized by Wilson Bentley. The 6-fold symmetry arises from the hexagonal crystal structure of ordinary ice, the branch formation is produced by unstable growth, with deposition occurring preferentially near the tips of branches.”
The shape of the snowflake is determined broadly by the temperature and humidity at which it forms. Rarely, at a temperature of around −2 °C (28 °F), snowflakes can form in threefold symmetry — triangular snowflakes. The most common snow particles are visibly irregular, although near-perfect snowflakes may be more common in pictures because they are more visually appealing.
There is a widely held belief that no two snowflakes are alike. Although it is extremely unlikely that any two macroscopic objects in the universe might contain an identical molecular structure, there are, nonetheless, no known scientific laws that prevent it.
As with many holidays of this ilk, my research revealed no clues regarding the origin, purpose, or creator of Flake Appreciation Day. Personally, I love and appreciate the snow – as long as I can view it from afar, or from a cozy shelter. Driving in it, working in it, or recreating in it…not so much!

Wear a Plunger On Your Head Day

This is another one of those holidays that defy the parameters of logic and decorum. Is Wear a Plunger On Your Head Day supposed to celebrate that odd-looking device we use to unclog our toilets and drain pipes, or is there some other hidden meaning known only to a few “enlightened” people? Or does it celebrate the people who are zany enough to pull off a stunt like this? And, what is the significance of wearing it on your head? The answers to these questions will have to remain a mystery. In my research, no information is given for the reason this holiday was created, when it was created, who created it, or exactly what it is supposed to celebrate. The only possible explanation that I can conjure up for this holiday is that someone dipped a little too deeply into the holiday punch bowl at a Christmas party and couldn’t find a convenient lampshade.
A quick Internet search delivers dozens of results for “plunger on the head,” including one for an aptly named wine, but none of the results offer any insight about this holiday. I guess it is up to you to determine how, why, or if you want to celebrate this holiday. So, I leave you to ponder this quote from children’s author and poet Shel Silverstein:

Teddy said it was a hat,
So I put it on.
Now dad is saying,
“Where the heck’s the toilet plunger gone?”

National Roast Suckling Pig Day

In case you happen to have a suckling pig around, and were wondering what to do with it, wonder no more. National Roast Suckling Pig Day gives you the perfect excuse to roast it. During the hectic holiday season, it is difficult to imagine that anyone would actually have the time to roast a pig. It typically takes two days to fully prepare the pig and then to roast it. Nevertheless, roast suckling pigs are an iconic holiday dish, often depicted as the centerpiece of a massive feast.
A suckling pig is a young piglet that has not yet been weaned from its mother. Young piglets are considered a delicacy because their meat is very tender compared to older pigs. A suckling pig can range anywhere from 9 to 20 pounds.
There are various recipes for suckling pig that can be traced back to Ancient Rome and China. Today, pig roasts are a popular tradition in cultures all around the world. To celebrate National Roast Suckling Pig Day, start gathering the necessary ingredients for the roasted pig centerpiece of your holiday feast.

Bake Cookies Day

On the off-chance that you don’t have a suckling pig on hand, or roasting a suckling pig today might not be convenient today, perhaps you could at least find the time to bake a batch of your favorite cookies today instead.
Bake Cookies Day occurs in the middle of the hectic holiday season, so maybe it’s time to take a break from the frenzy of holiday shopping. Whether you are planning to give cookies as gifts, or simply want to make a treat for your family, this holiday is a great excuse to bake some delicious cookies. Nothing puts one in a more festive mood than the aroma of freshly baked cookies wafting from the kitchen.
Cookies arrived in America in the 17th century, although the word arrived much later with the Dutch in its original form of “koekje”, meaning “little cake”. This was soon shortened to “cookie”, although cookies themselves seem to date back as far as 7th century Persia.
Celebrating Bake Cookies Day is as simple as baking a batch of your favorite cookies.

National Ham Salad Day

National Ham Salad Day was created to show recognition and promote awareness of Ham Salad, and is always celebrated on December 18th…although no one knows why – at least my research couldn’t find a reason for it being celebrated on this date. Ham Salad is one of the most under-appreciated sandwich type salads…far behind the most popular tuna and chicken salads. Yet it is a personal favorite of mine. If you haven’t had Ham Salad in a while, why not enjoy one for lunch today.

Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day

Arabic Language Day

International Migrants Day

On this date in

  • 1787 – New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
  • 1796 – The “Monitor,” of Baltimore, MD, was published as the first Sunday newspaper.
  • 1862 – The first orthopedic hospital was organized in New York City. It was called the Hospital for Ruptured and Crippled.
  • 1865 – Slavery was abolished in the United States with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution being ratified.
  • 1898 – A new automobile speed record was set at 39 mph.
  • 1903 – The Panama Canal Zone was acquired ‘in perpetuity’ by the United States for an annual rent.
  • 1912 – The discovery of the Piltdown Man in East Sussex was announced. It was proved to be a hoax in 1953.
  • 1915 – President Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt at her Washington home.
  • 1916 – During World War I, after 10 months of fighting, the French defeated the Germans in the Battle of Verdun.
  • 1935 – A $1 silver certificate was issued for the first time in the United States.
  • 1936 – Su-Lin, the first giant panda to come to the United States from China, arrived in San Francisco, CA. The bear was sold to the Brookfield Zoo for $8,750.
  • 1944 – The Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans, but also stated that undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not be detained.
  • 1950 – NATO foreign ministers approved plans to defend Western Europe, including the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary.
  • 1953 – WPTZ, in Philadelphia, PA, presented a Felso commercial, it was the first color telecast seen on a local station.
  • 1956 – Japan was admitted to the United Nations.
  • 1957 – The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania went online. It was the first nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States. It was taken out of service in 1982.
  • 1963 – Ron Clarke set a world record when he ran six miles in 28 minutes and 15.6 seconds.
  • 1965 – Kenneth LeBel jumped 17 barrels on ice skates.
  • 1969 – Britain’s Parliament abolished the death penalty for murder.
  • 1970 – Divorce became legal in Italy.
  • 1972 – The United States began the heaviest bombing of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The attack ended 12 days later.
  • 1973 – The IRA launched its Christmas bombing campaign in London.
  • 1979 – The sound barrier was broken on land for the first time by Stanley Barrett when he drove at 739.6 mph.
  • 1987 – Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street’s biggest insider-trading scandal. He only served about two years of the sentence.
  • 1996 – Despite a United Nations truce, factional fighting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu broke out in which at least 300 fighters and civilians were killed.
  • 1998 – The House of Representatives began the debate on the four articles of impeachment concerning President Bill Clinton. It was only the second time in United States history that an impeachment process had begun.
  • 1998 – Russia recalled its U.S. ambassador in protest of the United States attacks on Iraq.
  • 1999 – After living atop an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, CA, for two years, environmental activist Julia “Butterfly” Hill came down, ending her anti-logging protest.
  • 2001 – Mark Oliver Gebel, a Ringling Bros. Circus star, went on trial for animal abuse. The charges stemmed from an incident with an elephant that was marching too slowly into a circus performance on August 25, 2001. He was acquitted on December 21, 2001.
  • 2001 – A fire damaged New York City’s St. John Cathedral. The cathedral is the largest in the United States.
  • 2001 – In Seattle, WA, Gary Leon Ridgeway pled innocent to the charge of murder for four of the Green River serial killings.
  • 2002 – Nine competing designs for the World Trade Center site were unveiled. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. expected to choose a design by January 31, 2003.
  • 2003 – Adam Rich was arrested for driving onto a closed section of Interstate 10 and nearly striking a California Highway Patrol car.
  • 2009 – General Motors announced that it would shut down its Saab brand.
  • 2009 – A Paris court ruled that Google was breaking French law with its policy of digitizing books and fined the company a $14,300-a-day fine until it rids its search engine of the literary extracts.

Noteworthy Birthdays

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