February 23rd – Is The World Going To the Dogs?

February 23, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning dog breaths. Today is Thursday, February 23, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are”

International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

They say that “Every dog has its day”, but this is the second day in a row that a holiday has been dedicated to our beloved canine companions. What’s going on here? Are dogs trying to take over the world? What’s next? Will they start running for political office?
Oh wait, they already are! The town of Sunol, CA elected a dog named “Bosco” as their mayor in 1981, and the hamlet of Rabbit Hash, KY has elected three dogs as mayor (so far). More recently, in 2014, Cormorant, MN elected a dog named Duke as Mayor. Even more impressively, Duke has been re-elected three more times since.
Perhaps our canine companions should set their sights on even higher offices. Representative “Rascal”? Senator “Sparky”? Or, dare I dream, President “Patches”? They certainly could do no worse than the current ‘motly mob of mange-ridden mongrels’ that “represent” us. True, there would be a lot of yapping at each other, and a certain amount of “butt-sniffing” to establish dominance – but then, how is that different from what goes on in Congress today? And, approval ratings would most likely skyrocket.
Anyway, I digress, back to the original topic. You would think that International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day would be a holiday sponsored by the manufacturers of dog biscuits and dog ‘treats’, but apparently, that is not the case. International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day encourages us to learn how to make our own healthier alternative to mass manufactured, store-bought dog food and dog treats. This link will give you more information, and even includes some rather tasty sounding recipes to get you started.

World Spay Day  

World Spay Day was created by The Humane Society of the United States. In conjunction with Humane Society International, and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and with other humane organizations, veterinary professionals, businesses, and individuals worldwide, its purpose is to focus on spay/neuter programs as a proven means of saving animals’ lives, and the need for affordable services, particularly in underserved communities.
Many communities already have facilities which provide low-cost spaying/neutering programs. PetSmart and the ASPCA have teamed up to provide this website where you can find affordable spaying/neutering services in your area.
I have long been an advocate of spaying and neutering pets. If you haven’t had your pet spayed or neutered, I strongly urge you to do so.

Curling Is Cool Day

Curling is an odd sport that combines ice-skating, bowling, shuffleboard, and a household chore. Curling Is Cool Day attempts to break away from the stereotypes, and to show curling as an interesting, exciting and cool sport (at least in terms of temperature) in its own right.
Curling has been around since the Middle Ages and was first developed in Scotland. It is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four rings. Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, across the ice curling sheet towards the “house”, a circular target marked on the ice. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game; points are scored for the stones resting closest to the center of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all eight of their stones. A game may consist of ten or eight ends. Each team has a thrower, two sweepers, and a “skip”. The skip is the one who directs the sweepers when and where to sweep.
When it was being considered as an official sport (rather than an exhibition sport) for the Olympic games in 1998, sweeping changes were made to the brooms [pause for the groan here] used to sweep along the path of the ‘stone’. New brushes made from horse hair replaced the old corn straw brooms which left debris on the playing surface.

Play Tennis Day

Tennis, as we know it, has been around since the mid-1800’s, when two friends Harry Gem and Augurio Perera developed the game on Perera’s lawn in England. The first tennis club was created soon after, in 1872, and began with just 4 members. However, the origins of the sport of tennis can be traced back to twelfth-century France, where it was played by hitting the ball over the net with the hands instead of a racket. In fact, King Louis X was a big fan of the game that was then called jeu de paume (“game of the palm”) and is considered the world’s first tennis player known by name.
Since then, tennis has, of course, evolved greatly into the competition we know today – played by thousands and followed by millions of fans from around the world.
As the name implies, Play Tennis Day encourages you to go out and play a set or two of tennis today.

Diesel Engine Day

In August of 1893, Rudolph Diesel fired up a single-cylinder engine attached to a flywheel. The contraption was fueled by peanut oil. Soon after, he applied for a patent. Diesel Engine Day celebrates the date in 1893 on which Rudolf Diesel received a patent for his diesel engine. He had worked for years on the new idea: that higher levels of compression within the engine could ignite the fuel, thus eliminating the need for the spark to ignite the fuel as required by conventional internal combustion engines.
Unfortunately, on September 29th, 1913, Rudolph Diesel disappeared from the steamship Dresden while traveling from Antwerp, Belgium to Harwick, England. He would never know how his invention revolutionized the transportation industry, and see it grow to its full potential.

The Great American Spit Out

This holiday, I believe, was intended to sound a bit gross. The Great American Spit Out encourages those who use smokeless tobacco to quit.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death, and the use of smokeless tobacco, including chewing tobacco, continues to be a problem. Many people believe that smokeless tobacco is less harmful than cigarettes. The truth is, smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes. At least 28 chemicals in smokeless tobacco have been found to cause cancer including oral, esophageal and pancreatic cancer and oral lesions other than cancer, such as leukoplakia (precancerous white patches in the mouth). Using smokeless tobacco may also cause heart disease, gum disease, so as you can clearly see, using smokeless tobacco is just as bad as smoking – detrimental effects just manifest themselves in different ways.

National Chili Day

This is the time of year for comfort food, so what better time to celebrate National Chili Day? According to my sources, Chili is America’s favorite comfort food.
The origins of chili are vague at best. Some food historians say that chili originated in Mexico, but Mexican food historians dispute that claim. One theory contends that Canary Islanders who made their way to San Antonio as early as 1723, used local peppers and wild onions combined with various meats to create an early type of chili. Another, even more far-fetched, theory says that chili was created by Sister Mary of Agreda, a Spanish nun in the early 1600’s who never left her convent – yet had out-of-body experiences in which her spirit was transported across the Atlantic to preach Christianity to the Indians. After one of the return trips, her spirit wrote down the first recipe for chili con carne: chili peppers, venison, onions, and tomatoes.
Modern, and logical, thinking suggests that chili was actually created in Texas and is a blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican cuisines because Texas was heavily influenced by each of these cultures. In fact, the earliest written description of Chili is from  J.C. Clopper, who lived near Houston. While his description never mentions the word Chili, this is what he wrote of his visit to San Antonio in 1828:

“When they [poor families of San Antonio] have to lay for their meat in the market, a very little is made to suffice for the family; it is generally cut into a kind of hash with nearly as many peppers as there are pieces of meat–this is all stewed together.”

National Chili Day is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday in February. In 1977, House Concurrent Resolution Number 18 of the 65th Texas Legislature designated chili [also known in Texas as “bowls o’ red”] as the official dish of the State of Texas. On the other side of the coin, according to legend, Spanish priests called chili “the soup of the Devil” because they believed that chili peppers were an aphrodisiac. Maybe that is why chili was the favorite food of Lyndon Johnson. He once said:

“Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing. One of the first things I do when I get home to Texas is to have a bowl of red. There is simply nothing better.” 

His wife and First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, even had is favorite chili recipe printed on cards to be mailed out because of the many thousands of requests the White House received for it.
Some like it hot – some not – but however you like your chili, have a big steamy bowl of this spicy classic comfort food on National Chili Day.

National Banana Bread Day

Banana bread is a delicious baked good, which is classified as a “quick bread” or “tea cake.” Bananas arrived in the United States in the 1870’s and quickly became one of the most popular fruits on the market. It wasn’t long before they started to appear in dessert recipes as the star ingredient. The first cookbooks that mentioned banana bread were published during the Great Depression. Culinary historians believe that a resourceful housewife who did not want to throw away over-ripe bananas may have invented the original recipe.
Today there are many variations on classic banana bread recipes. So, make some banana bread today, I’m sure you have a recipe floating around somewhere. It’s a great way to use up those bananas that are a bit too ripe and are no longer suitable for topping your Wheaties in the morning.

National Toast Day

Who would think that there is a holiday celebrating toast…certainly not me? But, nonetheless, there is. National Toast Day was created in 2014 by The Tiptree World Bread Awards in the UK but has found a following in the United States.
Topped with butter or some kind of nut butter and a wide variety of jams, jellies, marmalades, or fruits compotes, toast is a perennial breakfast favorite here in America. If you’re like me, you like to dip your toast into your egg yolks or smear it with honey as a kind of breakfast dessert.
So, raise a toast to your toast this morning. How do you like your toast – dark, medium, or light?

More Holidays

Digital Learning Day


National Rationalization Day

National Tile Day

World Understanding and Peace Day

On This Date

  • In 1455 – The Gutenberg Bible was published. Johannes Gutenberg’s bible edition was the first book ever printed in movable type, heralding the age of the printed book in the West.
  • In 1792 – The Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated.
  • In 1813 – The first United States raw cotton-to-cloth mill was founded in Waltham, MA.
  • In 1821 – The Philadelphia College of Apothecaries established the first pharmacy college.
  • In 1821 – Poet John Keats died.
  • In 1822 – Boston was incorporated as a city.
  • In 1836 – In San Antonio, TX, the siege of the Alamo began.
  • In 1847 – Santa Anna was defeated at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico by United States troops under Gen. Zachary.
  • In 1848 – John Quincy Adams 6th President of the United States, died.
  • In 1861 – President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take his office after an assassination attempt in Baltimore.
  • In 1861 – Texas became the 7th state to secede from the Union.
  • In 1870 – Mississippi was readmitted to the Union after siding with the Confederacy in the Civil War.
  • In 1883 – Alabama became the first state to enact an antitrust law.
  • In 1886 – Charles M. Hall invented aluminum.
  • In 1896 – The Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield.
  • In 1904 – The United States acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.
  • In 1905 – The Rotary Club was founded in Chicago, IL, by Attorney Paul Harris and three others.
  • In 1910 – In Philadelphia, PA, the first radio contest was held.
  • In 1915 – Nevada began enforcing their convenient divorce law.
  • In 1917 – The February Revolution began in Russia. The demonstrations and armed clashes ultimately resulted in the demise of the Russian Empire.
  • In 1919 – The Fascist Party was formed in Italy by Benito Mussolini.
  • In 1927 – The Federal Radio Commission began assigning frequencies, hours of operation and power allocations for radio broadcasters. On July 1, 1934, the name was changed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
  • In 1941 – Glenn T. Seaborg and his team chemically identify Plutonium. The radioactive element plays an important role in nuclear fuels and nuclear weapons.
  • In 1947 – The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was created. The ISO issues standards for everything from bicycle tires to date formats.
  • In 1954 – The first mass vaccination of children against polio began in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • In 1968 – Wilt Chamberlain (Philadelphia 76ers) became the first player to score 25,000 career points in the NBA.
  • In 1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army demanded $4 million more for the release of Patty Hearst. Hearst had been kidnapped on February 4th.
  • In 1980 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared that Iran’s new parliament would have to decide the fate of the hostages taken on November 4, 1979, at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
  • In 1993 – Gary Coleman won a $1,280,000 lawsuit against his parents.
  • In 1999 – White Supremacist John William King was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering James Byrd Jr. Byrd was dragged behind a truck for two miles on a country road in Texas.
  • In 2005 – The New York, NY, the city medical examiner’s office announced that it had exhausted all efforts to identify the remains of the people killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, due to the limits of DNA technology. About 1,600 people had been identified leaving more than 1,100 unidentified.

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.

  • George Frederic Handel 1685 – Composer.
  • Mayer Amschel Rothschild 1734 – Banker.
  • W.E.B. DuBois 1868 – Civil Rights activist.
  • William Shirer 1904 – Author.
  • Elston Howard 1929 – Baseball player.
  • Diana Varsi 1938 – Actress.
  • Peter Fonda 1940 – Actor.
  • Fred Biletnikoff 1943 – Football player.
  • Johnny Winter 1944 – Musician.
  • Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones 1951 – Football player.
  • Patricia Richardson 1951 – Actress.
  • Bobby Bonilla 1963 – Baseball player.
  • Kristin Davis 1965 – Actress.
  • Marc Price 1968 – Actor.
  • Emily Blunt 1983 – Actress.
  • Dakota Fanning 1994 – Actress.

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