February 6th – A Lame Day

February 6, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning “quack pots”. Today is Monday, February 6, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Lame Duck Day

I’m relatively certain that Lame Duck Day does not refer to a Mallard or Merganser with a leg injury. Rather, National Lame Duck Day recognizes the ratification of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, also known as the Lame Duck Amendment.
The term “lame duck” originated as a description of stock brokers in 1700’s England who could not pay off their debts. The name later carried over to those in business who, while known to be bankrupt, would continue to do business.
In politics, a lame duck is a person currently holding a political office who has either:

  • lost a re-election bid
  • chose not to seek another term
  • was prevented from running for re-election due to a term limit
  • was in a position that has been eliminated

Prior to the ratification of the 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution, there was for Congress a 13-month delay between election day and the day the newly elected officials took office. In the case of a lame duck, this was a 13 month notice his or her job was terminating crippling their influence. Hence the ‘lame’ or injured duck. The same applied to the president. The 20th Amendment changed the date the newly elected president took office from March 4th to January 20th. During a lame duck session, members of Congress are no longer accountable to their constituents. It is possible for their focus to switch to more personal gain instead of acting on behalf of their constituents with an eye toward re-election.
The 20th Amendment shortened this period from 13 months to 2 months. While lame duck sessions still occur (20 such sessions have occurred since the amendment took effect in 1935), there is less time for sweeping legislation to be approved. Even so, lame duck Congresses have declared war, impeached a president, censured a senator and passed the Homeland Security Act among other actions.
It is also considered a time when the peaceful transition of power occurs. Preparations take place for the out-going president to leave office and the newly elected president to take office.
Lame Duck Day is also about giving support and recognition to people in general who are on their way out – people who’ve been promoted or are moving away, or anybody who’s ineffective in their current position because their time is up. A “lame duck” by human, definition is a person who is in a position of some kind, and will soon be phased out for some reason.
Author’s Note: If you are a duck and have an injury…seek medical attention immediately. If you are a human who thinks that you’re a duck…seek psychiatric help immediately.

National Chopsticks Day

Chopsticks were developed about 5,000 years ago in China. The pieces of food were small enough that they negated the need for knives at the dinner table, and chopsticks became staple utensils. By 500 AD, chopstick use had spread from China to present-day Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. In Japan, chopsticks were originally considered precious and were used exclusively for religious ceremonies. The earliest chopsticks used for eating looked like tweezers; they were made from one piece of bamboo bent into a tight “U” shape. By the 10th Century, chopsticks were being produced in two separate pieces. Chinese chopsticks called kuai-zi, are usually 9 to 10 inches long and rectangular with a blunt end. Japanese chopsticks differ1`1 in design from Chinese chopsticks in that they were rounded and came to a point; they were also shorter (7 inches long for women and 8 inches long for men). The Japanese usually made their chopsticks out of wood. The Japanese were also the first to create disposable wooden chopsticks (called waribashi), which appeared in 1878.

Here are some fun chopsticks facts:

  1. In Chinese, the word for chopsticks,  筷子, means quick little bamboo fellow.
  2. The English word “chopstick” was apparently derived from the Chinese Pidgin English words “chop chop”, which means fast.
  3. In Japanese, chopsticks are called Hashi.
  4. Chopsticks are traditionally held in the right hand, even by left-handed people. Although chopsticks may now be deployed by either hand, left-handed chopstick use is considered improper. This practice prevents a left-handed chopstick user from accidentally elbowing a right-handed user seated nearby.
  5. It is a huge breach of chopstick etiquette to impale a piece of food with chopsticks.

Personally, I could never master the art of using chopsticks. Instead, I use them to drum on objects on the table until my food arrives…then ask for a fork. Do you know how to use those infernal things?

National Frozen Yogurt Day

You scream. I  scream. We all scream for…frozen yogurt? Have you heard the latest “scoop”?  It’s National Frozen Yogurt Day.
Yogurt has been around for well over 4000 years and originated in the Middle East and India. However, it wasn’t until the 1900’s that yogurt found its way to the Americas, and it took until the 1970’s before someone figured out that you could freeze it into a delicious, ice cream-like dessert.
In the early 1980’s TCBY opened their first frozen yogurt shop, and by 1986, with other similar frozen yogurt shops opening to compete with TCBY, frozen yogurt sales had reached $25 million dollars. By 1990, frozen yogurt claimed 10% of the frozen dessert market – and proved that it wasn’t just a passing fad.
Frozen yogurt, or “FroYo” as it has become known, is eaten almost as much as ice cream and is served in just as many flavors and styles. It’s generally healthier than ice-cream, and often just as good – sometimes even better. Frozen yogurt is a great source of calcium and potassium, but remember to still enjoy in moderation. A healthier alternative to ice cream, frozen yogurt is also slightly more tart.  Eat it plain, or add toppings such as fresh fruit, fruit sauce, nuts, coconut, and top it off with a dollop of whipped cream. While the origins of Frozen Yogurt Day are unknown, this holiday is celebrated smack dab in the middle of winter. Similar to ice cream but lower in fat, FroYo is a delish frozen dessert perfect for any time of the year.

More Holidays

The holidays listed below deserve acknowledgment, but I am not going to expound upon them individually. As usual, I am providing a link to each one should any of them pique your interest.

On This Date

  • In 1778 – The United States gained official recognition from France as the two nations signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance in Paris.
  • In 1788 – Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
  • In 1815 – The state of New Jersey issued the first American railroad charter to John Stevens.
  • In 1899 – The Senate ratified a peace treaty between the United States and Spain.
  • In 1900 – The Holland Senate ratified the 1899 peace conference decree that created in international arbitration court at The Hague.
  • In 1911 – The first old-age home for pioneers opened in Prescott, AZ.
  • In 1926 – The National Football League adopted a rule that made players ineligible for competition until their college class graduated.
  • In 1932 – Dog sled racing happened for the first time in Olympic competition.
  • In 1937 – K. Elizabeth Ohi became the first Japanese woman lawyer in America when she received her degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, IL.
  • In 1952 – Britain’s King George VI died. His daughter, Elizabeth II, succeeded him.
  • In 1956 – St. Patrick Center opened in Kankakee, IL. It was the first circular school building in the United States.
  • In 1959 – The United States, for the first time, successfully test-fired a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral.
  • In 1971 – NASA Astronaut Alan B. Shepard used a six-iron that he had brought inside his spacecraft and swung at three golf balls on the surface of the moon. (He overshot the hole by 387 yards).
  • In 1972 – Over 500,000 pieces of irate mail arrived at the mail room of CBS-TV when word leaked out that an edited-for-TV version of the X-rated movie, “The Demand,” would be shown.
  • In 1987 – President Ronald Reagan became the oldest President in history when he celebrated his 76th birthday.
  • In 1998 – Washington National Airport was renamed for President Ronald Reagan with the signing of a bill by  President Clinton.
  • In 1999 – Excerpts from former White House intern Monica Lewinsky’s videotaped testimony were shown at President Clinton’s impeachment trial.
  • In 2000 – Then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton formally declared that she was a candidate for a Senate seat from the state of New York. (She had that goofy New York Yankees baseball cap to prove her residency).
  • In 2002 – A federal judge ordered John Walker Lindh to be held without bail pending trial. Lindh was known as the “American Taliban.”

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

  • Aaron Burr 1756 – Founding father.
  • George Herman “Babe” Ruth 1895 – Baseball icon.
  • Ronald Reagan 1911 – 40th POTUS.
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor 1919 – Actress.
  • Patrick Macnee 1922 – The Avengers.
  • Rip Torn 1931 – Actor.
  • Mamie Van Doren 1933 – Actress.
  • Mike Farrell 1939 – Actor.
  • Tom Brokaw 1940 – Newscaster.
  • Fabiano Anthony Forte 1943 – Fabian.
  • Michael Tucker 1944 – LA Law.
  • Bob Marley 1945 – Musician.
  • Natalie Cole 1950 – Singer.
  • Kathy Najimy 1957 – Actress.
  • Axl Rose, 1962 – Musician.
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