February 16th – Do a Grouch a Favor Day

February 16, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my curmudgeonly compadres. Today is Thursday, February 16, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Do a Grouch a Favor Day   

A grouch is defined as a sulky, complaining, or morose person; a person who is always grumbling. Anyone can have a bad day occasionally and can get a little grouchy, but some people seem to have grouchiness ingrained into their DNA. They constantly grumble about everything…from the state of politics to the size of napkins in fast-food restaurants.
If you know someone like this; or even someone who is just in a grouchy mood today, Do a Grouch a Favor Day is your chance to do a favor for them to try to cheer them up. The favor can be big or small, but no matter, you’ll feel better doing it…and hopefully, so will they.
Try to do something nice for everyone you meet today. Who knows, you may just brighten their day – and yours too.

National Innovation Day

Simply speaking, innovation is finding new and better ways of accomplishing things…building a better mousetrap, if you will. National Innovation Day was created to encourage children and young people to be creative and innovative. Imagination has no age limit.

  • In 1873, a teenager named Chester Greenwood from Farmington Maine invented earmuffs because he got tired of his ears freezing when he went ice skating. He bent some wire into a frame and had his grandmother sew animal skins to it. He later patented his creation and sold them to soldiers in WWI.
  • Frank Epperson was eleven years old (in 1905) when he left a batch of powdered soda and water with a stir stick in it out on his family’s Oakland, CA porch one cold night. Frank went out the next morning to find that he had accidentally invented a frozen pop, which he called the “Epsicle.” Frank’s school friends became fans as did his own kids (who called the frozen treat “Pop’s ‘sicle”). After introducing the treat at a Fireman’s Ball in 1922, Frank applied for a patent in 1923 and eventually sold the rights to the brand Popsicle® to a company in New York.
  • Abbey Fleck, an eight-year-old from St. Paul, MN, invented a microwavable bacon cooking device, Makin Bacon®, in 1993. Abbey came up with the idea after watching her father soaking up bacon grease with old newspapers. They are now sold in Walmart stores nationwide, as well as on Amazon.

So, the next time you see a youngster building a machine out of Legos, making a Mentos volcano erupt, or putting together an airplane from balsa wood and rubber bands, don’t chastise them, encourage them. Who knows, they may just be the next Chester, or Frank, or Abbey.

Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day

It’s the 21st century for Pete’s sake, of course, we should encourage young women to be engineers. Young women should be allowed to pursue any career they want. If young women want to drive trains, they should be allowed to drive trains. What? Wait! Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day is about the other kind of engineer. Oh! “Never mind!” (Best Emily Litella voice).
Without deliberately sounding too exist, engineering is typically a male-dominated field. Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day is about encouraging young women to consider engineering as a career option, and inspiring a generation who might grow up to be the great innovators and problem solvers of the next generation.
Engineering, though vastly diverse, still remains a typically male-dominated field. One reason for this probably has to do with female gender roles adopted in early in life. Instead of making progress in this area as one might think, there is evidence to suggest we are actually going backward. In 2009, only 17.9 percent of American undergraduate students enrolled in engineering programs were women. That’s an actual decline from 19.8 percent a decade earlier.
To counter this sociological phenomenon, today we should show the young girls in our lives the myriad of career choices they can enjoy which are engineering-based. Beyond simply tinkering with and repairing equipment, engineering requires a flare for creativity, which women seem to possess naturally. [I know stereotyping is bad, but sometimes stereotypes are also true].

Kyoto Protocol Day

Kyoto Protocol Day honors the landmark international agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gasses. That’s all I have to say about it.

National Almond Day

I can think of no tastier combination of Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, protein, and fiber than almonds. Almonds are one of the few foods that are both nutritious and tasty. Historians say that Almonds were among the world’s first cultivated foods. They are mentioned in the Old Testament and early Roman historical accounts. They are believed to have originated in Asia and then been traded to the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean along the “silk road”…the trade route between Asia and the Mediterranean areas during those ancient times. Today, California produces about 80% of the world’s almond supply. I don’t know about “a can a week”, but a couple of handfuls as a snack today won’t hurt you (unless you’re allergic).
Almond Facts:

  • It takes more than 1.2 million bee hives to pollinate California’s almond crop, which spans more than 550,000 acres.
  • Chocolate manufacturers use 40% of the almond crop (and 20% of the world’s peanuts).
  • It takes 1,000 pounds of almonds to make 1 pint of almond oil.
  • The largest crop on record in California was in 2002: 1.084 billion pounds of almonds were processed.
  • There are over 5,600 people in the America with the last name “Almond”.
  • The Jordan almond, a large plump variety of almond from Malaga, Spain, is considered to be the finest cultivated almond. It is frequently sold with a hard colored sugar-coating.
  • Almonds are actually stone fruits related to cherries, plums, and peaches. In this case, it’s the stone or pit, that is eaten.
  • Almonds are the most nutrient-dense tree nut. One ounce of almonds (20-25 almonds) contains 160 calories and only 1 gram of saturated fat and no cholesterol. The unsaturated fat in almonds is “good” fat, with 13 grams per one-ounce serving.

On This Date

  • In 1741 – Benjamin Franklin published America’s second magazine, “The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle”.
  • In 1857 – The National Deaf Mute College was incorporated in Washington, DC. It was the first school in the world for advanced education of the deaf. The school was later renamed Gallaudet College.
  • In 1862 – About 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, TN.
  • In 1868 – The Jolly Corks organization, in New York City, changed its name to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE).
  • In 1883 – “Ladies Home Journal” began publication.
  • In 1914 – The first airplane flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco took place.
  • In 1923 – Archeologist Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen. The next day he entered the chamber with several invited guests. He had originally found the tomb on November 4, 1922.
  • In 1937 – Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon. Carothers was a research chemist for Du Pont.
  • In 1945 – U.S. troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines.
  • In 1946 – The first commercially designed helicopter was tested in Connecticut.
  • In 1959 – Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after the overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista.
  • In 1960 – The U.S.S. Triton began the first circumnavigation of the globe under water. The trip ended on May 10.
  • In 1968 – The first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, AL.
  • In 1987 – John Demjanjuk went on trial in Jerusalem. He was accused of being “Ivan the Terrible”, a guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. He was convicted, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the ruling.
  • In 1989 – Investigators in Lockerbie, Scotland, announced that a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player was the reason that Pan Am Flight 103 was brought down the previous December. All 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground were killed.
  • In 1999 – Testimony began in the Jasper, TX, trial of John William King. He was charged with murder in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Jr. King was later convicted and sentenced to death.
  • In 2002 – The operator of a crematory in Noble, GA, was arrested after dozens of corpses were found stacked in storage sheds and scattered around in the surrounding woods.
  • In 2005 – The Kyoto global warming pact went into effect in 140 nations. Thankfully, the United States was not among them.
  • In 2005 – The NHL announced the cancellation of the 2004-2005 season due to a labor dispute. It was the first time a major sports league in North America lost an entire season to a labor dispute.

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.

  • Chester Morris 1901 – Actor.
  • Edgar Bergen 1903 – Entertainer.
  • Hugh Beaumont 1909 – Actor.
  • Jimmy Wakely 1914 – Country musician.
  • Patty Marie Andrews 1918 – Singer (The Andrews Sisters).
  • Gretchen Wyler 1932 – Actress.
  • Sonny Bono 1935 – Folk singer, politician.
  • William Katt 1951 – Actor.
  • Margaux Hemingway 1955 – Actress.
  • James Ingram 1956 – Singer.
  • LeVar Burton 1957 – Actor.
  • Tracy Lauren Marrow (Ice-T) 1958 – Rapper/actor.
  • Lisa Loring 1958 – Actress.
  • John McEnroe 1959 – Tennis player.
  • Andy Taylor 1961 – Musician (Duran Duran).
  • Jerome Bettis 1972 – Football player.
  • Ahman Green 1977 – Football player.
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