January 30th – ♫ “We Gotta Get Outta This Place…” ♫

January 30, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning members of the “rat race”. Today is Monday, January 30, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Escape Day

Did you ever want to just unshackle yourself from the bonds of responsibility and escape the mundane drudgery of your existence?  Luckily for you, today is National Escape Day, the perfect opportunity for you to do so – unless you have an ogre for a boss who insists that you work instead.
If you are unable to physically leave your environment, there are still ways that you can ‘escape’.

  1. Change the wallpaper on your computer at work to a tropical isle, a ski slope, a babbling brook, or any other destination to which you would like to escape.
  2. Forgo cooking and other forms of household drudgery like laundry, vacuuming, etc.
  3. Try a new look…opt for a trendy new outfit, or change your hairstyle.
  4. Go somewhere remote without your phone, laptop, tablet, etc and don’t tell anyone where you’re going. [If you have a spouse or ‘significant other’, take them with you].
  5. Treat yourself to a ‘spa day’.
  6. After work, draw a nice hot bath, pour yourself a tall glass of wine or your favorite spirited beverage, put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the bathroom door, and let your mind wander as you transform into a “happy prune”.
  7. Escape into a good book. Read slowly and take time out to let the imagery soak into your brain.

There are other means of escape as well, but I don’t recommend them. They involve illegal substances and/or excessive consumption of alcohol. Whatever means of escape you choose today…enjoy.

Bubble Wrap® Appreciation Day

Bubble Wrap® went through many incarnations before revolutionizing the packing industry. In the late 1950’s, an American engineer named Al Fielding and a Swiss inventor named Marc Chavannes invented Bubble Wrap® by accident. They were actually trying to come up with a plastic wallpaper, but when they laminated the two pieces of plastic together, they found that air bubbles appeared. They called their product ‘Air Cap’ and tried to market it as a “textured” plastic wallpaper, but it proved to be unsuccessful. Undaunted, they next tried to market their product as a greenhouse insulation, but that too proved to be unsuccessful. Perseverance paid off, and they eventually saw the true potential of their product as a packing material. They changed the name of their product to Bubble Wrap®, formed the Sealed Air Corporation, and introduced Bubble Wrap® to the public in January of 1960 – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Bubble Wrap® Appreciation Day is celebrated on the last Monday in January to coincide with the date it was created. It was created by “Spirit 95” Radio, the FM radio station in Bloomington, IN in 2001. The first annual “Bubblympiad” featured events such as a Bubble Wrap® popping relay, Pop-a-Mole (similar to a well-known carnival game, Whack-a-Mole), Bubble Wrap® sculpture, and even Bubble Wrap® fashion design contests.
Sealed Air also sponsors an annual Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors. Kids competed to create the most innovative product using Bubble Wrap as the primary material. Past winners include a floating garden, a cell phone cover, a swing for children with movement disorders, and a transformable kite kit.
Today, Sealed Air is a global Fortune 500 company and has annual sales of 3 billion dollars. They produce enough Bubble Wrap® to stretch from the Earth to the Moon each year. IBM, who began shipping their ‘1401’ computer in 1961, was the first company to use Bubble Wrap® to ship their products. Because of Marc and Al’s ‘happy accident’, the shipping industry was revolutionized.
Author’s Note: Not only did Bubble Wrap® revolutionize the shipping industry, it brought joy to millions of children (from 9 to 90) who enjoy “popping the bubbles.” I will admit to indulging from time to time myself. There seems to be a therapeutic and quite satisfying in popping all those bubbles of air.

National Inane Answering Message Day

Answering messages tend to be a little dull, ranging from network defaults to the classic, “Sorry, John’s not here right now… please leave a message after the tone”. Inane Answering Message Day urges you to liven things up by getting creative and creating a new funny or silly message for your answering machine.
And while we’re on the subject of answering machines, what is it about the infamous “leave-a-message-at-the-beep” prompt that makes us forget our name, develop a speech impediment, and ramble on forever to convey our simple message? This phenomenon seems more prevalent in troglodytes from my generation who grew up having to actually talk to a live person at the other end of the telephone line. That was easy. Why is conveying your message to a machine any more intimidating? Is it the fact that you have to actually sum up your thoughts and express them coherently within a limited time frame? Who knows?  Am I the only one who has this problem?

National Croissant Day  

The crescent symbol has a long history in many cultures. It symbolizes turning dreams into reality, new birth, rebirth, and/or immortality. So, quite naturally, the Croissant was not the first crescent-shaped bread – for instance, the Kipferl originated in Austria in the 13th century.
Croissants are a rich, buttery, crescent-shaped roll made of puff pastry that layers yeast dough with butter. The key to a perfect croissant is laminating the dough with butter. Laminating the dough is a process by which butter is folded into the mixture creating multiple thin layers of butter and dough. Traditionally 3 to 6 layers, which need to be refrigerated for a minimum of half an hour between each layer are used to make to obtain the ‘signature flakiness’. Because of this ‘laminating’ croissants are extremely time-consuming to make, however, the result is a mouth-watering flaky crust and airy body.
Croissants are traditionally a breakfast bread served with jam and butter, but they are also delicious as dinner rolls…or any other time for that matter. In the early 1970’s, croissants evolved into sandwich form, though still primarily as breakfast sandwiches.
Since baking croissants are so time-consuming, if you plan to celebrate National Croissant Day by baking your own, you should get started soon — Or, you could just go a bakery and buy some.

Blue Monday

School Day of Non-violence and Peace

Yodel for Your Neighbors Day

On This Date

  • In 1790 – The first purpose-built lifeboat was launched on the River Tyne.
  • In 1798 – The first brawl in the House of Representatives took place. Representatives Matthew Lyon and Roger Griswold fought on the House floor. [Personally, I would love to see a return to this practice. In fact, we could orchestrate matches between adversaries on the House floor, and show them on pay-per-view. It would be a good way to start reducing the national debt that these morons have run up during their tenure. I can see “cage matches”, no-holds-barred matches, last man standing submits his Bill to the President. IT WOULD BE GREAT].
  • In 1844 – Richard Theodore Greener became the first African-American to graduate from Harvard University.
  • In 1847 – The town of Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco.
  • In 1862 – The U.S. Navy’s first ironclad warship, the “Monitor”, was launched.
  • In 1894 — C.B. King received a patent for the pneumatic hammer.
  • In 1911 – The first airplane rescue at sea was made by the destroyer “Terry”. Pilot James McCurdy was forced to land in the ocean about 10 miles from Havana, Cuba.
  • In 1933 – “The Lone Ranger” was heard on the radio for the first time. The program ran for 2,956 episodes and ended in 1955.
  • In 1933 – Adolf Hitler was named the German Chancellor.
  • In 1948 – Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi was murdered by a Hindu extremist.
  • In 1958 – The first two-way moving sidewalk was put in service at Love Field in Dallas, TX. The length of the walkway through the airport was 1,435 feet.
  • In 1962 – Two members of the “Flying Wallendas” high-wire act were killed when their seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance in Detroit, MI.
  • In 1968 – The  Tet Offensive began as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals.
  • In 1997 – A New Jersey judge ruled that the unborn child of a female prisoner must have legal representation. He denied the prisoner bail reduction to enable her to leave the jail and obtain an abortion.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday with the following list of illustrious individuals – and about 20 million other people.

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt 1882 – 32nd POTUS
  • John Ireland 1914 – Actor)
  • Dick Martin 1922 – Comedian  (“Laugh-In”)
  • Barbara Hale 1922 – Actress  (played Della Street on Perry Mason)
  • Gene Hackman 1931 – Actor
  • Vanessa Redgrave 1937 – Actress
  • Dick Cheney 1941 – Former VEEP
  • Charles Dutton 1951 – Actor
  • Brett Butler 1958 – Comedienne
  • Jody Watley 1959 – Singer
  • Christian Bale 1974 – Actor
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