February 17th – Crustaceans Are People Too

February 17, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my crabby friends. Today is Friday, February 17, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Crab Races Day

Many coastal communities host some sort of Crab race event today. Many also involve the eating of copious amounts of crabs. From what I gather, the competitions go something like this:

  • The crab competitors are gathered in a large dome in the center of a 6-foot circular arena.
  • The dome is lifted and the crabs scurry away.
  • The first crab to cross the finish line (the perimeter of the 6-foot circle) wins the heat.
  • The process is repeated until an ultimate champion is determined.
  • The “Grand Champion” gets released back into the water – the rest become dinner.

Author’s Note: While I enjoy a good crustacean as much as anyone else, I do not advocate or condone their exploitation. If you want to eat some succulent, tasty crab, go ahead. Just don’t make them compete first. I don’t understand some people’s need to entertain themselves at the expense of animals…no matter how unattractive or awkward the animals may be. Crabs were not meant to compete with each other, except maybe for food or territory; and they certainly were not meant to compete in a contest of speed. I am sad to see that the human race has devolved to such an extent. The more I learn about human nature, the more I like dogs.

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Diametrically opposite to the holiday above, Random Acts of Kindness Day urges you to be kind to everyone today, regardless of race, color, gender – or species.
Common courtesy and civility seem to have all but vanished from today’s society. Everyone seems to be ‘looking out for #1’ and to heck with anyone or anything else.
Yesterday, I urged you to be kind to a specific segment of our society, grouches.  Random Acts of Kindness Day urges you be helpful to everyone today. Do something kind for a friend, or a complete stranger. For that matter, be kind to anyone you encounter today…for no reason at all. Put some humanity back into humanity.

World Human Spirit Day

OK, so here is what I gleaned from my sources about this holiday. At noon today (PST), we are all supposed to observe two minutes of silent meditation, throughout the world and beyond, to focus on the true spirit that flows through everything in order to bring ourselves closer together as a species. Ommm! So, you now know the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” to celebrate this holiday. The “if” is entirely up to you.

Digital Learning Day 

Digital learning is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience. In the fast-paced, technology-driven, society in which we live, it is often difficult for students, and teachers, to keep pace with all of the changes. Digital learning employs many different tools and applications to support teachers and students, including online courses, blended or hybrid learning, or digital content and resources. Additionally, digital learning can be used for professional learning opportunities for teachers and to provide personalized learning experiences for students.
Digital Learning Day encourages school reform to design a curriculum that will increase access to educational opportunities, improve effectiveness and productivity of teachers and administrators, provide student-centered learning to ensure college and career readiness for all students, through the use of digital technology.

My Way Day

My Way Day is the day to do things your way. Sleep in, eat what you want, take as much time in the shower as you want. You are the “center of the universe.”
While My Way Day is all about you, it is not a day to be a bratty, whiny jerk…that “play the game my way or I’ll take my ball and go home” kind of person. The essence of My Way Day is to have an assertive, but not pushy, attitude. Don’t be afraid to express your ideas, stand up for what you believe in, and do everything in your own unique way. It is a day to be stalwart, and firm of conviction. Don’t let the actions or opinions of others sway your decisions or deter you from enjoying your day, on your terms.

Who Shall I Be Day

Who Shall I Be Day is not another holiday for people with an’ identity crisis’. Conversely, Who Shall I be Day is a holiday meant to give you the opportunity to take control and define who you are.
There is a multitude of people who have an opinion of who you are, and you may be a different person to each of them. Your boss makes judgments of you based on your performance at work, your family, friends, and acquaintances judge you on how you treat them, and even total strangers judge you on the one brief encounter you had with them. Were you rude to your server at lunch, or were you cordial and leave a nice tip? Did you cut someone off in traffic, or did you yield the right-of-way to them? There are innumerable ways that people perceive you based your interactions with them.
Who Shall I Be Day lets you determine how people will see you through your actions. So, how do you want to be seen?

National Indian Pudding Day

Indian pudding is a baked custard with milk, butter, molasses, eggs, spices, and cornmeal. Although the name would suggest that this pudding is of Native American origin, that is not the case. Early American settlers were accustomed to warm plum puddings, bread puddings and the like, but wheat flour was in short supply. The name is likely derived from the cornmeal (which they called Indian meal) that they used as a flour substitute in some of their traditional dishes.

Café au Lait Day

Café au Lait is a French coffee drink, consisting of coffee with hot milk added. The name is literally translated from French as “coffee with milk.” In Europe, café au lait is usually prepared using an espresso machine, mixing espresso with steamed milk. In contrast, the United States version of café au lait is usually made using a dark roasted drip or French press prepared coffee with steamed milk added. So basically, Café au Lait is nothing more than ½ strong coffee and ½ scalded milk.
I dislike coffee, so I’ll celebrate today as I do every other coffee related “holiday” – with a hot steamy cup of Constant Comment® tea.

National Cabbage Day

The word cabbage is derived from the French word caboche, a colloquial word for head.  The cabbage family – in which Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are included – is wide and varied.  Cabbage itself comes in many forms. The shapes can be flat, conical, or round, the heads compact, or loose and the leaves plain or curly. Cabbage can be cooked in a variety of ways or eaten raw as in a slaw. Cabbage contains a good amount of vitamin C and some vitamin A.
In the United States, the most widely used cabbage comes in compact heads of waxy, tightly wrapped leaves that range in color from almost white to green and red. Savoy cabbage and Chinese cabbage are considered culinarily superior but are not as readily available, although they are making inroads into some supermarket chains.
I am not a big fan of cabbage in any form…except sauerkraut, so I guess I’ll have a kraut dog for lunch. Look out Costco, here I come.

More Holidays

National Caregivers Day – Third Friday in February

National PTA Founders’ Day

National Woman’s Heart Day

On This Date

  • In 1801 – The U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Jefferson was elected president and Burr became vice president.
  • In 1817 – The first gas-lit streetlights appeared on the streets of Baltimore, MD.
  • In 1863 – The “Committee for Relief to the Wounded” was founded by a group of citizens in Geneva, Switzerland. It was a precursor of the Red Crescent Society and the Red Cross.
  • In 1865 – Columbia, SC was burned as the Confederate forces were evacuating and the Union Forces were moving in.
  • In 1878 – San Francisco, CA became the first large city to open a telephone exchange. It had only 18 phones.
  • In 1897 – The National Congress of Mothers was organized in Washington, DC, by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. It was the forerunner of the National PTA. Sadly, membership in this worthwhile organization is dwindling. Membership in the late 1960’s was around 12 million. Today, even with far more children enrolled in school (hence, more parents), membership is just a little over 5 million.
  • In 1904 – “Madama Butterfly” premiered. Giacomo Puccini’s opera, one of the world’s most performed works of musical theater, was poorly received in its first performance.
  • In 1913 – The “Armory Show” opened in New York City. The art exhibition featured works by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh and marked the beginning of artistic modernism in the United States.
  • In 1924 – Johnny Weissmuller (later Tarzan in a series of movies) set a world record in the 100-yard freestyle. He did it with a time of 57-2/5 seconds in Miami, FL.
  • In 1933 – “Newsweek” was first published.
  • In 1933 – Blondie Boopadoop married Dagwood Bumstead three years after Chic Young’s popular strip first debuted.
  • In 1934 – The first high school automobile driver’s education course was introduced in State College, PA. [It is not true that the first movie shown in the class was “Signal 30”. Heck, these days you can see more gory footage on the nightly news].
  • In 1944 – During World War II, the Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. U.S. forces won the battle on February 22, 1944.
  • In 1947 – The “Voice of America” began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.
  • In 1964 – The Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be approximately equal in population. (Westberry v. Sanders)
  • In 1992 – In Milwaukee, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison for murdering and dismembering at least 17 young men and boys. In November of 1994, he was beaten to death in prison. And good riddance.
  • In 1995 – Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings. He was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison.
  • In 1996 – World chess champion Garry Kasparov beat the IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue” in Philadelphia, PA.
  • In 1997 – Pepperdine University announced that Kenneth Starr was leaving the Whitewater probe to take a full-time job at the school. Starr reversed the announcement four days later.
  • In 2005 – President George W. Bush named John Negroponte as the first National Intelligence Director.
  • In 2008 – Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. It followed an armed conflict referred to as the Kosovo War.

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.

  • Thomas Malthus, 1766 – Scholar.
  • Raphael Peale, 1774 – Artist.
  • Rene Laennec, 1781 – Physician.
  • Aaron Montgomery Ward, 1843 – Entrepreneur.
  • H.L. Hunt, 1889 – Oil tycoon.
  • Red Barber, 1908 – Sportscaster.
  • Arthur Kennedy, 1914 – Actor.
  • Hal Holbrook, 1925 – Actor.
  • Bobby Lewis, 1933 – Singer.
  • Mary Ann Mobley, 1939 – Actress.
  • Gene Pitney, 1941 – Singer.
  • Dodie Stevens, 1947 – Pop singer.
  • Zina Bethune, 1950 – Actress.
  • Rene Russo 1954, – Actress.
  • Richard Karn, 1956 – Actor. (Al Borland on Home Improvement).
  • Lou Diamond Phillips, 1962 – Actor.
  • Daniel Lawrence Whitney, 1963 – Comedian (Larry, the Cable Guy).
  • Michael Jordan, 1963 – Basketball icon.
  • Denise Richards, 1971 – Actress.
  • Paris Hilton, 1981 – Entitled Socialite/porn star/scofflaw.
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