January 20th – Penguin Particulars

January 20, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning flightless fowl fans. Today is Friday, January 20, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Penguin Awareness Day

The reason for Penguin Awareness Day is to bring to the public’s attention the fact that many penguin species are now on the Endangered Species list. Commercial fishing and climate change are the main factors causing the decrease in the penguin population.
Not all penguins love snow and cold climates; Galapagos Penguins are found near the equator. There are 18 different species of penguins, living in all climate ranges. Here are a few other facts about penguins.

  • Penguins thrive on a diet mostly comprising of krill, fish, squids, etc.
  • Penguins mate for life.
  • Among all the species of penguins, the Emperor penguins are largest in size. The adults may grow up to a height of just over 3 feet and weight more than 75 lbs.
  • The Little Blue Penguin is the smallest of the penguin species. They grow to a size of 15 inches and weigh 2 lbs.

If your local zoo has a penguin exhibit, visit it today. You can also celebrate by doing an internet search of “penguins” to learn more about them. Gather your family around the TV tonight and watch a few old “Tennessee Tuxedo” cartoons, either or both of the “Happy Feet” movies, or the movie “Madagascar”.

Camcorder Day  

On this date in 1982, the camcorder was first introduced into the public marketplace by Sony. Two different types were introduced; the VHS format and the smaller Betamax format. The VHS format eventually won the popularity contest due to its capability for more content per cassette and reigned supreme for nearly two decades. Although a giant step up from the “home” movie cameras of the 1950’s and 1960’s, the first camcorders were bulky, cumbersome, and complicated. They were, however, portable (if you were a lineman in the NFL).
Cameras have gotten smaller, lighter, cheaper, and less complicated. Heck, today, we can take longer videos, of better quality, on our ‘smartphones’. And, who had even heard of high-definition (HD) in 1982? We’ve come a long way since those early models. I remember going to theme parks, zoos, and other similar venues in the mid-80’s. There was always some “dad” there (naturally it was dad, because he is the only one who could possibly figure out how to operate such an expensive and complicated apparatus as camcorder) doing his best Federico Fellini impression saying, “OK kids, just act naturally”; only to have them do the exact opposite.

National Disc Jockey Day

By definition, a Disc Jockey (D.J. for short) is anyone who selects and plays recorded music for an audience – whether on the radio, at a dance club, or a special event. So, this means that just about anyone can be a D.J. if they want.
The first disc jockey was an experiment on the airwaves. In 1909, sixteen-year-old Ray Newby, a student under the supervision of Charles “Doc” Herrold, at Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless played the first records over the airwaves before the word disc jockey even existed. What started as an experiment from the Garden City Bank Building where the college was located in San Fernando, California was soon being replicated by radio broadcasters across the country. Before Newby’s broadcasts, news, music, and entertainment were primarily broadcast live.
Twenty-five years later, radio commentator Walter Winchell coined the term disc jockey. One of the earliest modern D.J.’s was the late, great, Alan Freed. He is credited with coining the term Rock and Roll.
Today, contemporary DJs play music from a variety of different sources – from vinyl to digital. Regardless of the medium they use, the term ‘disc jockey’ still applies. Show some appreciation today to Disc Jockeys of all levels; from the velvet-suited disc spinners at a dance club, to the squeaky-voiced teenager at the school dance, to the international superstars of radio. If they’ve made people dance by playing back to back music, National Disc Jockey Day is the day to hail their talents. To celebrate this holiday, tune your radio to your favorite station and enjoy.

Take a Walk Outdoors Day

Take a Walk Outdoors Day encourages you to ‘start the new year off on the right foot’ by going outside and taking a walk. Depending upon your level of fitness, this could encompass anything from a walk around the block or a leisurely stroll through a park; to a strenuous nature hike. The point is to simply get up, get started, get healthy. Invite your family or friends to join you. It’s a good way to enjoy some quality time together.

National Cheese Lover’s Day  

The average American consumes about 31 pounds of cheese each year. That may seem like a lot, but the average French person consumes about 50 pounds each year.
There are more than 900 known cheeses in the world. Here are the primary classifications and some examples: fresh cheese (ricotta); soft cheese (feta); semi-soft cheese (Fontina); semi-hard cheese (Gouda); hard cheese (Cheddar); double or triple crème cheese (Brillat-Savarin); blue cheese (Gorgonzola); washed rind cheese (Limburger); and bloomy rind cheese (Brie).
People have been making cheese for at least 8,000 years, so the cheeses we enjoy today are all relatively young by comparison. Take Emmental (Swiss cheese), for example. It’s only been around since the first century BC.
Celebrate this holiday by having some of your favorite cheese(s). Invite some family or friends over for a fondue party, or simply pair a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches (with a different variety in each) with a bowl of your favorite soup.

National Buttercrunch Day

Texture can sometimes be almost as satisfying as taste. On Buttercrunch Day, both the crunchy texture and the dark toffee taste of buttercrunch are celebrated. The origins of this holiday is unknown. Buttercrunch is a type of candy made from butter and brown sugar. The ingredients are boiled to the hard ball stage, then vanilla and baking soda are quickly added for extra flavor and consistency. This cooking process creates that famous crunchy texture that is impossible to resist. The flavor is delicious on its own, but when enhanced with a coating of chocolate it gets even better. It is also commonly rolled or sprinkled with sliced almonds, giving it another layer awesomeness. Whether in the form of buttercrunch ice cream, sprinkled on top of a cheesecake, or simply enjoyed as a chunk of buttercrunch almond toffee, enjoy some today.

National Granola Bar Day

If you are more inclined to have a healthier treat today, you can celebrate National Granola Bar Day. Granola bars are everywhere these days. They are designed as snacks or post-workout restoratives or even meal replacements.
Granola bars were first created in the late 1800’s and became very popular for a short time. Since the health food movement in the 1960’s they have had a resurgence. With America trying to get healthier, the market for granola bars has become quite lucrative…now worth more than $3 billion dollars annually. Fair warning: When selecting your granola bar, be sure to check the list of ingredients. Some on the market are as bad, or worse for you than those grilled cheese sandwiches or that bowl of buttercrunch ice cream.

Inauguration Day  – I have never been interested in Inauguration Day so you can read about it for yourself.

International Day of Acceptance

On This Date

  • In 1265 – The first English parliament met in Westminster Hall.
  • In 1841 – The island of Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain. It returned to Chinese control in July 1997.
  • In 1885 – The roller coaster was patented by L.A. Thompson.
  • In 1887 – The Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.
  • In 1891 – James Hogg took office as the first native-born governor of Texas.
  • In 1892 – The first official basketball game was played by students at the Springfield, MA, YMCA Training School.
  • In 1929 – The movie “In Old Arizona” was released. The film was the first full-length talking film to be filmed outdoors.
  • In 1937 – Franklin Roosevelt became the first President to be inaugurated on January 20th. The 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution officially set the date for the swearing-in of the President and Vice President.
  • In 1942 – Nazi officials held the Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their “final solution” that called for exterminating Europe’s Jews.
  • In 1944 – The British RAF dropped 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin.
  • In 1952 – In Juarez, Mexico, Patricia McCormick debuted as the first professional woman bullfighter from the United States.
  • In 1953 – “Studio One” became the first television show to be transmitted from the United States to Canada.
  • In 1981 – Iran released 52 Americans that had been held hostage for 444 days. The hostages were flown to Algeria and then to a United States base in Wiesbaden, West Germany. The release occurred minutes after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as President.
  • In 1985 – Super Bowl XIX marked the first time that TV commercials sold for a million dollars a minute. At the time, it was the most-watched Super Bowl game in history having been seen by an estimated 115.9 million people. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins, 38-16.
  • In 1986 – The United States observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
  • In 1986 – Britain and France announced their plans to build the Channel Tunnel.
  • In 1986 – New footage of the 1931 movie “Frankenstein” was found. The footage was originally deleted because it was considered to be too shocking.
  • In 1994 – Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to be accepted at The Citadel in South Carolina. Faulkner joined the cadet corps in August 1995 under court order but soon dropped out.
  • In 1998 – In Chile, a judge agreed to hear a lawsuit that accused Chile’s former dictator Augusto Pinochet of genocide.
  • In 1999 – The China News Service announced that the Chinese government was tightening restrictions on internet use. The rules were aimed at ‘Internet Cafes.’
  • In 2002 – Former Chicago Bull, Michael Jordan (Washington Wizards), played his first game in Chicago as a visiting player. The Wizards beat the Bulls 77-69.

Noteworthy Birthdays

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

  • Huddie William Ledbetter (Lead Belly) 1889 – Folk and blues musician
  • George Burns 1896 – Comedian, actor
  • Aristotle Onassis 1906 – Businessman, shipping magnate
  • Joy Adamson 1910 – Author (Born Free)
  • DeForest Kelley 1920  Actor  (“Bones” on  the TV show Star Trek)
  • Federico Fellini 1920 – Director, screenwriter
  • Slim Whitman 1924 – Country and western singer, yodeler
  • Patricia Neal 1926 – Actress)
  • Edward “Fireball” Roberts 1929 – Racecar driver
  • Edwin (“Buzz”) Aldrin 1930 – Astronaut (the second person to walk on the moon)
  • Ron Townson 1941 – Vocalist  (The 5th Dimension)
  • Arte Johnson 1934 – Comic actor  (“Laugh-In”)
  • Camilo Pascual 1934 – Baseball pitcher
  • Dorothy Provine 1937 – Actress
  • Eric Stewart 1945 – Musician  (The Mindbenders, 10cc)
  • David Lynch 1946 – Director, screenwriter, actor
  • George Grantham 1947 – Musician  (Poco)
  • Paul Stanley 1950 – Musician  (KISS)
  • Bill Maher 1956 – Comedian, political commentator
  • Lorenzo Lamas 1958 – Actor
  • John Michael Montgomery 1965 – Country musician
  • Rainn Wilson 1966 – Actor  (The Office)
  • Stacy Dash 1967 – Actress
  • Melissa Rivers 1968 – Television personality, (daughter of comedienne Joan Rivers)
  • Skeet Ulrich 1969 – Actor
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