January 19th – Strange Brew

January 19, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning Shamans. Today is Thursday, January 19, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Brew A Potion Day

Wikipedia tells us that; “A potion (from latin potionis, meaning beverage, potion, poison) is a consumable medicine or poison, usually thought to possess magical properties.” In mythology, a potion is a” concoction used to heal, bewitch or poison people, made by a magician, sorcerer or witch.”
My research did not find the creator or the origin of this day, or for that matter, the reason for this holiday, or why it is celebrated in January…and specifically on the 19th. But, it was listed in several of my sources.
During the 19th Century, it was common in several countries to see wandering charlatans offering potions to heal every disease, ache, or pain known to mankind. These “snake-oil salesmen” over time gained rightly fell into disrepute and modern medicine has all but put an end to these quacks. But, from time to time on the internet, you can still find “miracle cures” for a number of ailments, most of which are bogus.
If you intend to celebrate Brew A Potion Day, I suggest that the only potion that you brew today be your morning cup of coffee or tea. To many, coffee or tea fits the definition of a potion…in that, it is consumable and possesses magical properties.

Tin Can Day

Tin Can Day commemorates the date in 1810 that English Peter Durand received a patent for the tin can.  Mr. Durand did not produce any food cans himself but sold his patent to fellow Englishmen, Bryan Donkin and John Hall, who set up a commercial canning factory, and by 1813 were producing their first canned goods for the British Army.
Tin Can Day celebrates the contribution of the tin can to the storage and preservation of perishable food. Tin cans are not actually made of tin, but rather tin-coated steel or tinplateAluminum or other metals may also be used to make cans. Cans can be used to hold a wide variety of items – but the overwhelming majority of cans hold preserved food products and liquids.

Get to Know Your Customer Day

Get to Know Your Customers Day is observed annually on the third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, October). This is a holiday to reach out to your patrons and get to know them better.
Not too long ago, “Main Street” businesses were locally owned and operated. The owners knew you by name and knew your shopping habits. They typically knew what you wanted to buy, and if they didn’t have it, they were willing to get it in for you.
With the advent of the Internet and big box stores, much of the personal attention has gone by the wayside. Get to Know Your Customers Day is a day to turn that around. Make it a point to get to know a little more about your customers and make each of them feel like they are your most important customer of the day.

National Popcorn Day

Americans eat about 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year (about 51 quarts per person), making it one of the most popular snacks in the country. Popcorn is one of six main varieties of corn. (The other varieties are pod, sweet, flour, dent, and flint.)
Popcorn is also one of the oldest snacks. It has been around for thousands of years. Popcorn originated in Mexico but eventually made its way north. In 1948, archaeologists in the state of New Mexico discovered ancient popcorn ears that were at least 5,600 years old. The Native Americans (in both North and South America) popped their corn by throwing it on hot stones over a fire.
Popcorn is a delicious, inexpensive, and healthy snack – unless you buy it at a movie theater or you slather it with butter and salt. A simple food, popcorn is an international staple for movie-goers everywhere. Sweet, salted, buttery of drizzled with toffee, it can range from healthy to sickeningly sweet. Beyond food, popcorn is sometimes used as decoration, or even as cheap packaging material.
Here are a few other fun facts about popcorn:

  • Americans consume some 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. That’s 51 quarts per man, woman, and child. {Author’s note: Who the heck is eating all this popcorn? I might have it 5 or 6 times a year}
  • Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories. Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup. Oil-popped is only 55 per cup.
  • Popcorn is a type of maize (or corn), a member of the grass family, and is scientifically known as Zea mays everta.
  • Popcorn is the only variety of corn that pops when exposed to heat.
  • Popcorn is a whole grain. It is made up of three components: the germ, endosperm, and pericarp (also know as the hull).
  • Popcorn needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop.
  • Popcorn differs from other types of maize/corn in that is has a thicker pericarp/hull. The hull allows pressure from the heated water to build and eventually bursts open. The inside starch becomes gelatinous while being heated; when the hull bursts, the gelatinized starch spills out and cools, giving it its familiar popcorn shape.
  • Most U.S. popcorn is grown in the Midwest, primarily in Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, and Missouri.
  • Many people believe the acres of corn they see in the Midwest during growing season could be picked and eaten for dinner, or dried and popped. In fact, those acres are typically field corn, which is used largely for livestock feed and differs from both sweet corn and popcorn.
  • The peak period for popcorn sales for home consumption is in the fall.
  • Most popcorn comes in two basic shapes when it’s popped: snowflake and mushroom. Snowflake is used in movie theaters and ballparks because it looks and pops bigger. Mushroom is used for candy confections because it doesn’t crumble.
  • Popping popcorn is among one of the most frequently used ways people use their microwave ovens. Most microwave ovens have a “popcorn” control button.
  • “Popability” is popcorn lingo that refers to the percentage of kernels that pop.
  • There is no such thing as “hull-less” popcorn. All popcorn needs a hull in order to pop. Some varieties of popcorn have been bred so the hull shatters upon popping, making it appear to be hull-less.
  • How high can popcorn kernels pop? Up to 3 feet in the air.
  • The world’s largest popcorn ball was created by volunteers in Sac City, Iowa in February 2009.  It weighed 5,000 lbs., stood over 8 ft. tall, and measured 28.8 ft. in circumference.

If you made a trail of popcorn from New York City to Los Angeles, you would need more than 352,028,160 popped kernels.

On This Date

  • In 1793 – King Louis XVI was tried by the French Convention, found guilty of treason and sentenced to the guillotine. {It is rumored that he ‘lost his head’ over the verdict}.
  • In 1825 – Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kensett of New York City patented a canning process to preserve salmon, oysters, and lobsters.
  • In 1861 – Georgia seceded from the Union.
  • In 1883 – Thomas Edison’s first village electric lighting system using overhead wires began operation in Roselle, NJ.
  • In 1907 – The first film reviews appeared in “Variety” magazine.
  • In 1915 – George Claude, of Paris, France, patented the neon discharge tube for use in advertising signs.
  • In 1937 – Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record. He flew from Los Angeles to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.
  • In 1949 – the salary of the President of the United States was increased from $75,000 to $100,000 with an additional $50,000 expense allowance for each year in office.
  • In 1953 – Sixty-eight percent of all TV sets in the U.S. were tuned to CBS-TV, as Lucy Ricardo, of “I Love Lucy,” gave birth to a baby boy.
  • In 1955 – President Eisenhower allowed a filmed news conference to be used on television (and in movie newsreels) for the first time.
  • In 1957, Philadelphia comedian, Ernie Kovacs, did a half-hour TV show without saying a single word of dialogue.
  • In 1966 – Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India.
    In 1971 – At the Charles Manson murder trial, the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” was played. At the scene of one of his gruesome murders, the words “helter skelter” were written on a mirror.
  • In 1977 – President Ford pardoned Iva Toguri D’Aquino (“Tokyo Rose”).
  • In 1979 – Former Attorney General John N. Mitchell was released on parole after serving 19 months at a federal prison in Alabama.
  • In 1981 – The U.S. and Iran signed an agreement paving the way for the release of 52 Americans held hostage for more than 14 months.
  • In 1983 – China announced that it was banning purchases of cotton, soybeans and chemical fibers from the United States.
  • In 1996 – Then first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury. The investigation was concerning the discovery of billing records related to the Whitewater real estate investment venture.
  • In 2001 – Texas officials demoted a warden and suspended three other prison workers in the wake of the escape of the “Texas 7.”
  • In 2013 – In Scottsdale, AZ, the original Batmobile for the TV series “Batman” sold at auction for $4.6 million. It was the first of six Batmobiles produced for the show.

Noteworthy Birthdays

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

  • Robert E. Lee 1807 – Confederate  Civil War General
  • Edgar Allen Poe 1809 – Writer, editor, literary critic
  • Paul Cezanne  1839  – Artist)
  • Ish Kabbible (Merwyn Boque) 1908 – Comedian and cornet player in Kay Kyser’s band)
  • Guy Madison 1922 – Actor( “The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok”) [Note for my Bako readers. He was born in Pumpkin Center, CA].
  • Jean Stapleton 1923 – Actress (most famous for her role as Edith Bunker on “All in the Family”)
  • Fritz Weaver 1926 – Actor
  • Tippi  Hedron 1931 – Model, actress, animal rights activist
  • Phil Everly 1939 – Musician (The Everly Brothers)
  • Janis Joplin 1943 – Singer
  • Shelley Fabares 1944 (actress, singer)
  • Dolly Parton 1946 – Country singer
  • Robert Palmer 1949 – Singer, songwriter, musician
  • Martha Davis 1951 – Musician (The Motels)
  • Dewey Bunnell 1952  – Musician  (America)
  • Desi Arnaz Jr. 1953 – Actor, musician (son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz)
  • Katy Segal 1956 – Actress  (Married with Children)
  • Paul McCrane 1961 – Actor (“Fame”)
  • Stefan Edberg 1966 – Pro tennis player
  • Junior Seau 1969 – Football player
  • Jodie Sweetin 1982 – Actress  (Full House)

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