January 9th – Word Nerd Day

January 9, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

January is one of the newer months to the calendar we know today. It was named after the God of Beginnings and transitions, Janus.  In Latin, Januarius means the month of Janus.  It was added to the calendar with 29 days around 713 BC by King Numa Pompilius to conform with the lunar calendar. Julius Caesar gave it the 31 days when he created the Julian Calendar, and it still has 31 days after the transition to the modern Gregorian calendar.

Good morning my wordsmiths. Today is January 9, 2017.

National Word Nerd Day

National Word Nerd Day celebrates those people, like yours truly, who cringe when they see spelling and punctuation errors on signs, restaurant menus, in newspapers and magazines, and especially on ‘social media’ platforms.
Here are a few indicators that will help you determine whether or not you’re a word nerd in case you’re unsure.

  1. You love to read.
  2. You have at least one “Word a Day” calendar, app, or e-mail subscription.
  3. You can’t look past spelling and punctuation errors on signs and restaurant menus.
  4. You may or may not carry a red pen on your person to correct egregious errors on the fly.
  5. Last but not least, no one will play Word With Friends with you.

If you recognized yourself in any of the descriptions above, congratulations, you’re a word nerd. Use this day to learn at least three new words, then challenge yourself to use all three in one sentence.

National Static Electricity Day

Some of you may be shocked to learn that today is National Static Electricity Day.
Static electricity is different from the electric current carried by wires through a building or transmitted by the electric companies. Static electricity is produced when the positive and negative charges of an atom are out of balance. The atoms of some materials hold their electrons tightly. These materials, such as plastic, cloth or glass, are insulators. The electrons of these substances do not move very freely. The electrons of other materials, such metal, move more freely and are called conductors.
By rubbing two insulators together, we transfer electrons causing positive and negative charges. Opposites do attract. Atoms with a positive charge become attracted to atoms with a negative charge. You can see the evidence if we rub a balloon on our head. When the balloon is pulled away, the hair tries to cling to the balloon, causing the hair to stick out. In this circumstance, the hair has the same charge (either positive or negative). Another example of static electricity is when you get zapped after walking across the carpet and touching a metal door knob. Same principle, the static electricity you built up walking across the carpet needs some place to go, and when you touch the door knob it – ZAP! At some point, the charges built up need to be put back in balance, and the static electricity is discharged. The release or the resulting shock occurs when an insulator comes in contact with a conductor, in this case, the door knob.
Static electricity can be used as a cutesy parlor trick (as with the hair example) or may be an annoyance (the door knob example), but static electricity is taken very seriously by industry. One stray spark from a static electricity build up can cause an explosion under the right circumstances. That’s why everything in a facility is grounded and there are pages and pages of regulations concerning how to avoid static electricity.
Unless you are in the habit of storing flammables in your home, you don’t have to go to such extremes to avoid static electricity, but, here are a few things you can do around the house to avoid the build up of static electricity if you are concerned about it.

  1. The drier air of winter months is a better insulator than the more humid air of summer. To help prevent static electricity, use a humidifier to put moister back into the air in your home during the winter months.
  2. Our skin is drier in the winter months, too. Putting on moisturizer before getting dressed is recommended.
  3. Synthetic fabrics are better insulators than natural fibers. Wearing fabrics made from natural fibers such as cotton will help reduce the amount of static electricity that’s stirred up.
  4. While walking around the house, at work or shopping, holding a key or a metal pen in your hand will help discharge the build up of static electricity painlessly.
  5. Switching to leather soled shoes versus rubber soled shoes will help reduce the amount of static that is built up.

National Apricot Day

Apricots come into season here in America during July and August, so I have no idea why we are celebrating National Apricot Day in the middle of January.
The word “apricot” means “precious” in Latin. Apricots ripen earlier than most summer fruits, making them a precious commodity.
Apricots are found all over the world but originated in northeastern China near the Russian border in ancient times. They eventually made their way to Europe and from there, made their way to North America around 1720’s. Spanish explorers introduced apricot trees to the west coast. soon thereafter and became a cash crop. Today, farmers in California’s San Joaquin Valley produce 95% of the apricots grown in the United States.
The apricot’s flesh is similar to that of their relative the peach though their texture is firmer and their flavor tarter. Apricots are usually enjoyed fresh, but they are also canned and dried so they can be enjoyed year round. Fresh apricots are packed with nutrients. A 1 cup serving of apricot halves contains 60% of the daily allowance of Vitamin A, and 26% of the daily allowance for Vitamin C. Other vitamins in this low-calorie snack include Vitamin B-6, Magnesium, Iron and Calcium and is also an excellent source of fiber. With its unique flavor, the apricot is a versatile ingredient lending itself to both sweet and savory dishes. Perfect for snacking, apricots are best fresh off the tree but are also found in markets the year round. Dried, they are delicious in healthy granola or a salad.
Apricot trees can grow to 45 feet if left unpruned. They produce white, pink or red blossoms and are a winter hardy tree. However, early frosts can damage the fruit.
To celebrate this holiday, simply enjoy some apricots. Since they are out of season this time of year, here is a link to a simple recipe for Baked Apricot Chicken that uses apricot preserves.

National Clean Off Your Desk Day – Second Monday in January

Balloon Ascension Day  

Play God Day  

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