January 17th – Cable Car Day

January 17, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning mechanical conveyance aficionados. Today is Tuesday, January 17, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Cable Car Day

Cable Car Day celebrates the day in 1871 that Andrew S. Hallidie of San Francisco received a patent for a cable car system. It is said that Hallidie designed the cable-propelled means of transportation when he saw horses falling, and even dying while attempting to pull passenger cars up San Francisco’s steep Jackson Street. [He adapted a cable system he had designed years earlier to improve production in mines by mechanically pulling the ore cars through the mine shaft].
Two years after receiving his cable car patent, Hallidie set up the world’s first cable car railroad on Clay Street. Today, San Francisco is the only city in the world that still operates traditional cable cars. While a few other cities still have cable cars, they now run on electric cables, whereas the cable cars in San Francisco still use the original technology of moving cables to haul the cars.
Sadly, none of the original cable cars survive today, but grip car 8 is preserved in Mason Street’s Cable Car Museum (which, sits on two of San Francisco’s three remaining cable car routes). In 1964, the cable cars of San Francisco were named the first moving National Historic Landmark.

Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day  

Those resolutions that you made after your fourth “Long Island Iced Tea” on New Year’s Eve are probably hanging heavily over your head right about now. They have become a burden, and perhaps were not such a good idea after all. You didn’t realistically think that you were going to ‘become a better person’, or lose 20 pounds, or start a regular exercise regimen, etc, etc, etc, did you?
Maybe, you’re already well on your way to accomplishing them, or maybe you have already checked a few off of your list. If so, good for you. Keep up the good work. This holiday doesn’t pertain to you.
Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day pertains to the 99% of “normal” people who, if they haven’t already done so, are ready to abandon their ‘hair-brained’ notions and get on with their lives. Today is the day to do so.
Next year, you might follow an example I set over four decades ago. I made one last resolution. It was as follows: ” I resolve to never make any more New Year’s resolutions.”

Kid Inventors Day

What do water skis, earmuffs, the Popsicle, the snowmobile, and the trampoline have in common? Give up? They were all invented by kids. Today, we celebrate the creativity, the ingenuity, and the spirit of inventiveness of our youth.
Kid Inventors Day is celebrated on Jan. 17th because it is the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, who invented the first swim fins at the age of 12.

Rid the World of Fad Diet and Gimmicks Day

Fad diets refer to unconventional methods of weight loss and usually promote short-term results, and usually have no concern for long-term weight control. They become popular very quickly and disappear just as fast.
Have you ever heard of “The Cotton Ball Diet”? How about “The Tongue Patch Diet”? Both of these actually existed at one time or another, and both were as ridiculous as they sound. The first one suggested that one soak cotton balls in juice and ingests them. The objective was to feel full without actually consuming real food. However, the risks, such as a blockage in the digestive system…which could necessitate surgery, far outweighed the benefit. The second was a gimmick apparatus which was constructed of plastic and attached to the tongue making it difficult, and painful to chew; which meant that the only possible means of sustenance for the user would have to be in liquid form.
Rid the world of Fad Diets and Gimmicks Day was created to warn people about such far-fetched and ill-advised methods of losing weight. The Task Force on Weight Loss Abuse for the National Council Against Health Fraud maintains an extensive collection of questionable products and bizarre gadgets that Americans use in their battle of the bulge.
In general, fad diets disregard or try to refute what has been proven by the medical community to be effective, or by disregarding the basic association between dietary patterns and human health. Extreme fad diets may even be unhealthy because they don’t provide the necessary protein, vitamins, and minerals essential in a balanced diet.
Here are some ways to spot a “fad diet.”
Does it

1. Recommend a quick fix solution.
2. Sound too good to be true.
3. Make recommendations based on a single study.
4. Make recommendations that ignore the differences between people.
5. Require you buy a specific product only available from them.
6. Eliminate one or more of the food groups.
7. Draw simple conclusions from a complex study.
8. Claim dramatic results that are questioned by established scientific communities.

The only sure way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume each day.

Hot-Buttered Rum Day   

Hot-buttered rum is a warm alcoholic beverage flavored with butter, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. These ingredients form a ‘batter’ which is then mixed with rich, dark rum.
While mulled wines and other “toddies” originated in Europe,— hot-buttered rum is an American innovation. During the colonial period, merchants began importing molasses (the basis for rum) from Jamaica. The first rum distillery opened in the 1660’s and it wasn’t long before the colonists began mixing the alcohol with spices to create a warm winter refreshment. Hot buttered rum is traditionally made with dark rum, but these days light or even spiced rum are often used as well. This link contains a recipe if you want to imbibe one of these hot, buttery, soothing, comfort beverages.

On this date

  • In 1773 – Captain Cook’s ship Resolution became the first ship to cross the Antarctic Circle.
  • In 1806 – James Madison Randolph, grandson of  President Thomas Jefferson, was the first child born in the White House.
  • In 1893 – Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown when a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate.
  • In 1900 – Mormon Brigham Roberts was denied a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for his practicing of polygamy.
  • In 1913 – All partner interests in 36 Golden Rule Stores were consolidated and incorporated in Utah into one company. The new corporation was the J.C. Penney Company.
  • In 1916 – The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) was formed in New York City.
  • In 1928 – The fully automatic, film-developing machine was patented by A.M. Josepho.
  • In 1934 – Ferdinand Porsche submitted a design for a people’s car, a “Volkswagen,” to the new German Reich government.
  • In 1945 – Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II.
  • In 1945 – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody. Wallenberg was credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews.
  • In 1946 – The United Nations Security Council held its first meeting.
  • In 1961 – In his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the rise of “the military-industrial complex.”
  • In 1966 – A B-52 carrying four H-bombs collided with a refueling tanker. The bombs were released and eight crew members were killed.
  • In 1977 – Double murderer Gary Gilmore became the first to be executed in the United states in a decade. The firing squad took place at Utah State Prison.
  • In 1985 – Leonard Nimoy got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In 1991 – Coalition airstrikes began against Iraq after negotiations failed to get Iraq to retreat from the country of Kuwait.
  • In 1994 – The Northridge earthquake rocked Los Angeles, CA, registering a 6.7 on the Richter Scale. At least 61 people were killed and about $20 billion in damage was caused.
  • In 1995 – More than 6,000 people were killed when a magnitude 7.2 earthquake devastated the city of Kobe, Japan.
  • In 1997 – A court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country’s history.
  • In 1998 – President Bill Clinton gave his deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit against him. He was the first United States President to testify as a defendant in a criminal or civil lawsuit.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday with the following list of illustrious individuals.

  • Benjamin Franklin 1906 – Founding Father, statesman, inventor
  • Anton Chekhov 1860 – (Playwright, author
  • Carl Laemmle 1867 – Filmmaking pioneer, founder of Universal Studios
  • Noah Beery 1883 – Actor
  • Mack Sennett 1884 – Director, actor, “inventor” of slapstick comedy
  • Marjorie Gateson 1891 – Stage and film actress
  • Al Capone 1899 – “Used furniture salesman”
  • Betty White 1922 – Actress
  • Eartha Kitt 1927 – Actress, singer
  • Vidal Sassoon 1928 – Hairdresser, entrepreneur, philanthropist
  • James Earl Jones 1931 – Actor
  • Shari Lewis (Hurwitz) 1934  – Ventriloquist, puppeteer, children’s entertainer, television show host
  • Troy Donahue 1937 – Actor
  • Maury Povich 1939 – Talk show host
  • Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) 1942 – Professional boxer
  • Andy Kaufman 1949 – Comedian, actor
  • Susanna Hoffs 1957 – Musician, (The Bangles)
  • Jim Carrey 1962 – Comedian, actor
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