January 28th – Diet of Worms

January 28, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning subterranean, soft-bodied, legless, bilaterally symmetrical invertebrate aficionados. Today is Saturday, January 28, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Diet of Worms

Thankfully, Diet of Worms is not a food-related holiday nor, again thankfully, is it a reference to a trendy new weight loss fad. In this instance, the word diet is used in its archaic form – meaning a group meeting or council, and Worms was the city in Germany where the Diet met.
On this date in 1521, The Diet of Worms was convened. At these proceedings, Protestant reformer Martin Luther was declared an outlaw by the Roman Catholic church. Luther had challenged the absolute authority of the Pope over the Church by maintaining that the doctrine of indulgences, as authorized and taught by the Pope, was wrong. Luther also maintained that salvation was by faith alone without reference to good works, alms, penance, or the Church’s sacraments. Luther maintained that the sacraments were a “means of grace”, meaning that while grace was imparted through the Sacraments, the credit for the action belonged to God and not to the individual. Furthermore, he had challenged the authority of the Church by maintaining that all doctrines and dogmata of the Church not found in Scripture should be discarded. The conclusion of this Diet of Worms was that they should protect the authority of the Pope and the Church, and therefore they issued the Edict of Worms on May 25th, 1521 denouncing Martin Luther and banning him from the church.

Chinese New Year

Unlike our New Year’s celebrations which last for one day (two if you count new Year’s Eve), Chinese New Year is a movable celebration that lasts for 2-weeks. The Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, begins with the first new moon of the year and ends with the full moon fifteen days later. It is the most important holiday in China when millions of people travel home to be with their families. In fact, Chinese New Year is the single largest travel event in the world, with hundreds of millions of people heading home to celebrate with their families throughout Asia and other areas with large contingents of Chinese people.
The Chinese New Year is full of dragon dances, fireworks, feasts, gift-giving, and lantern festivals. Red is the traditional color of the holiday because it symbolizes luck and prosperity. Many families will paint their doors a bright scarlet to bring good fortune in the year to come.
According to tradition, each year of the Chinese calendar is associated with one of the twelve zodiac signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, or pig. This year, 2017, is the Year of the Rooster.

National Daisy Day

National Daisy Day celebrates the beauty and cheerfulness of the daisies. While January may seem an odd month to celebrate daisies (what with Spring still being 2-months hence), they grow year-round in some regions, and, in some cultures, they represent purity and innocence. Daisies are a popular flower the world over and grow naturally on every continent…except Antarctica.
The name ‘daisy’ is thought to come from the Old English daes eag, which is thought to mean ‘day’s eye’ – after the way it opens at dawn. Daisies are ‘vascular plants’ – those which circulate nutrients and water throughout the plant. The daisy family, known by scientists as Compositae, make up almost 10% of all flowering plants on Earth. A daisy is actually two flowers in one. The (usually) white petals count as one flower and the cluster of (usually) tiny yellow disc petals that form the ‘eye’ is technically another.
Daisy leaves are edible and can make a tasty addition to salads (they’re closely related to artichoke and are high in Vitamin C). Additionally, daisies have lots of medicinal properties. They are thought to relieve indigestion, slow bleeding, and ease coughs. In homeopathy, the garden daisy is known as the gardener’s friend for its ability to ease an aching back. Bees love daisies as well, making them an important friend of honey makers.
A caution to my gardener friends. As pretty as daisies are, if not tended to properly and kept in check, they can quickly go from a beautiful ornamental flower to a pesky weed. They can thrive in fairly inhospitable conditions and are resistant to most bugs and pesticides.

National Kazoo Day

The kazoo has been around for about 165 years. Alabama Vest of Macon Georgia made the first kazoo in the 1840’s. Actually, he conceived the kazoo and had Thaddeus Von Clegg, a German clock-master make it to his specifications. Commercial production of the kazoo didn’t occur until many years later in 1912. Manufacturing was first started by Emil Sorg in Western New York. Sorg joined up with Michael McIntyre, a Buffalo tool and die maker. Production moved to Eden, NY where the factory museum remains today.
Kazoos are easy to play. Simply hum a tune into the kazoo, and you’re an expert. If you have misplaced your kazoo, you can always try the old comb and waxed paper version.

Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day is a national effort to stress the importance of safeguarding your online privacy and protecting your data. Take time out today to review your privacy settings on all of your electronic media, and backup your important files. In today’s environment, you should really be doing this at least once a month anyway.

National Blueberry Pancake Day

Blueberry pancakes…they aren’t just for breakfast anymore. You can enjoy any time of the day. They are nutritious enough to eat for breakfast, tasty enough for a mid-day snack, and easy enough to make for dinner. To make blueberry pancakes, mix up a batch of your favorite plain pancake batter. Wash the blueberries, pat them dry, and keep them in a separate bowl. Once you’ve poured the batter onto the griddle, drop a few blueberries on top. This will ensure that your blueberries aren’t bruised during the cooking process and will be perfect bursts of flavor when you bite into your pancake. Do I really need to explain to you how to celebrate this “holiday”? Remember, blueberries are full of healthy anti-oxidants. IHOP, here I come!

Ernie’s Birthday – Not my birthday…but the birthday of my Doppelganger!

National Seed Swap Day – Grow up guys, it has nothing whatsoever to do with any form of sexual activity.

Pop Art Day

Rattlesnake Roundup Day – Different localities in different regions have Rattlesnake Roundups on various dates throughout the year.

Thank a Plugin Developer Day

Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day

On this Date

  • In 1807 – London’s Pall Mall became the first street lit by gaslight.
  • In 1878 – The first telephone switchboard was installed in New Haven, CT
  • In 1878 – “The Yale News” was published for the first time. It was the first, daily, collegiate newspaper in the United States.
  • In 1902 – The Carnegie Institution was established in Washington, DC. It began with a gift of $10 million from Andrew Carnegie.
  • In 1915 – The Coast Guard was created by an act of Congress to fight contraband trade and aid distressed vessels at sea.
  • In 1916 – Louis D. Brandeis was appointed by President Wilson to the Supreme Court, becoming its first Jewish member.
  • In 1922 – The  National Football League (NFL) franchise in Decatur, IL, transferred to Chicago. The team took the name Chicago Bears.
  • In 1935 – Iceland became the first country to introduce legalized abortion.
  • In 1958 – Roy Campanella (Brooklyn Dodgers) was seriously injured in an auto accident in New York. He would never return to play again. He was paralyzed from the waist down.
  • In 1973 – CBS-TV debuted “Barnaby Jones.”
  • In 1980 – Six Americans who had fled the United States embassy in Tehran, Iran, on November 4, 1979, left Iran using false Canadian diplomatic passports. The Americans had been hidden at the Canadian embassy in Tehran.
  • In 1982 – Italian anti-terrorism forces rescued Brigadier General James L. Dozier who had been kidnapped by the Red Brigades 42 days before.
  • In 1986 – The U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded just after takeoff. All seven of its crew members were killed.
  • In 1994 – in Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg declared a mistrial in the case of Lyle Menendez in the murder of his parents. Lyle and his brother Erik were both re-tried later and were found guilty. They were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Noteworthy Birthdays

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

  • Sir Henry Morton Stanley 1841 – “Dr. Livingstone, I presume”
  • William Seward Burroughs 1857 – Invented the adding machine
  • Arthur Rubinstein 1889 – Pianist
  • Jackson Pollock 1912 – Artist
  • Ronnie Scott 1927 – Jazz saxophonist
  • Bernard Stanley “Acker” Bilk 1929 – Musician
  • Susan Sontag 1933 – Essayist
  • Nicholas Pryor 1935 – Actor
  • Alan Alda 1936 – Actor (M.A.S.H.)
  • John Beck 1943 – Actor  (Dallas)
  • Susan Howard 1944 – Actress (Dallas)
  • Barbie Benton 1950 – Playboy Playmate/Hee Haw
  • Sara McLachlan 1968 – Singer
  • Katherine Morris 1969 – Actress (Cold Case)
  • Elijah Wood 1981 – Actor
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