February 26th – Oh, for Pete’s Sake

February 26, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Oh, for Pete’s sake, good morning already. Today is Sunday, February 26, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

For Pete’s Sake Day

“For Pete’s sake” is a euphemism — a word or phrase used in place of a more profane or vulgar phrase not accepted in polite society. Perhaps because profanity and vulgarity are more accepted by society these days, one seldom hears the phrase anymore, except maybe in the “Bible Belt” – but those from my generation (Baby Boomers) are quite familiar with the expression.
For Pete’s sake is used to convey anger or frustration at an object, person or circumstance. For example: “For Pete’s sake, what is wrong with kids today?” – Or: “Oh for Pete’s sake, I dropped my iPhone in the toilet.” – Or, “for Pete’s sake, is this rain ever going to end?” – Or, “for Pete’s sake, when is the Orange Oracle going to get off of Twitter and start governing?”
You may be wondering where the term “for Pete’s sake” originated. Some Christians use this euphemism believing that using it instead of cursing will garner favor with Saint Peter, thus giving them a better chance to enter the gates Heaven – but they are wrong. All of my research indicates that “for Pete’s sake” is nothing more than a corruption of the term “for pity sake”. As for poor Pete, no one knows why he was singled out as the person to whom you direct your frustration.
If you want to learn more about this, or other euphemisms, for Pete’s sake, research it yourself…you can’t expect me to do everything for you.

Levi Strauss Day

Today marks the 144th anniversary of the day, in 1873, that Levi Strauss applied for his patent for the “copper rivet” design of one of the most durable and popular articles of clothing ever manufactured. It wasn’t Levi Strauss who originally thought of the brand’s (Levi’s) trademark feature…metal rivets. One of Strauss’ customers, a tailor by the name of Jacob Davis, had the idea to use copper rivets to reinforce points of strain, such as the pocket corners and at the top of the button fly. As Davis did not have the required capital to purchase a patent, he suggested to Strauss that they both go into business together. The two men received the patent on May 20, 1873.
The history of jeans dates as far back as 16th century Europe. Soldiers from Genoa, Italy wore the blue fabric as a part of their uniforms. The word ‘jeans’ is derived from the French phrase: bleu de G nes, which literally translates to ‘the blue of Genoa’.
Ya gotta love Levi’s. They are always in style and are suitable for any occasion (except formal functions). So, wear your favorite pair of Levi’s proudly today to celebrate Levi Strauss Day.
Author’s Note: Coincidently, today also happens to be the birthday of Levi Strauss, who was born on this date in 1829.

Carnival Day

Each year, millions of Americans flock to carnivals and put down big bucks to be entertained by death-defying feats, clowns, elephants, lions, and other animal acts, and so much more. Carnivals are not limited to those big traveling spectaculars. There is a wide range of summer and winter carnivals across America. School carnivals are popular. Towns and even businesses hold carnivals of all types. Personally, I enjoyed carnivals as a kid, but these days, not so much.

Tell A Fairy Tale Day

To qualify as a fairy tale, a story does not need to begin with “Once upon a time,”  but, they often do. Nor does the story have to end with “and they all lived happily ever after”, but again, they often do.
‘Fairy Tales’ are a form of folk tales, passed down both orally and in printed form generation to generation. Before the 17th century, fairy tales often had themes unsuitable for children and were written mostly for adults. However, today, fairy tales are considered to be children’s literature and the term fairy tale is used to refer to happy events and happenings, such as a fairy tale romance or a fairy tale ending.
To celebrate, cozy up under a blanket with your children or grandchildren and read from a book of fairy tales. Libraries and schools will often mark this holiday with special fairy tale readings and story hours as well.

Thermos Bottle Day

Thermos™ is a brand of insulated vacuum bottle designed to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. The word thermos is also used generically to mean any insulated vacuum bottle. That is where the confusion lies. Does Thermos Bottle Day refer to the brand name Thermos™ bottle or just vacuum bottles in general? Since none of my sources referred to the Thermos™ brand bottles specifically, I am going to assume the latter.
Vacuum bottles (also known as a Dewar flask, Dewar bottle or thermos) were invented in 1892 by Scottish scientist Sir James Dewar as a result of his research in the field of cryogenics.  Dewar formed a brass chamber that he enclosed in another chamber to keep the palladium at its desired temperature. He evacuated the air between the two chambers creating a partial vacuum to keep the temperature of the contents stable. Through the need for this insulated container, Dewar created the vacuum flask, which became a significant tool for chemical experiments and became a common household item. However, Dewar refused to patent his invention.
Dewar’s flask was later developed using new materials such as glass and aluminum. In 1904, two German glass blowers (one of whom was Reinhold Burger) discovered that it could be used to keep cold drinks cold and warm drinks warm. Since the Dewar flask design was never patented, they renamed it Thermos and claimed the rights to the commercial product and the trademark to the name. And the rest, as they say, is history. Over time, the company expanded the size, shapes, and materials of these consumer products, primarily used for carrying coffee on the go and carrying liquids on camping trips to keep them either hot or cold. Eventually, other manufacturers produced similar products for consumer use
A vacuum flask is actually two bottles, placed one within the other and joined at the neck. The gap between the two bottles is partially evacuated of air, creating a partial vacuum which reduces heat conduction or convection. Heat transfer by thermal radiation may be minimized by silvering flask surfaces facing the gap but can become problematic if the flask’s contents or surroundings are very hot; hence vacuum flasks usually hold contents below the boiling point of water. Most heat transfer occurs through the neck and opening of the flask, where there is no vacuum. Vacuum flasks are usually made of metal, borosilicate glass, foam or plastic and have their opening stoppered with a cork or polyethylene plastic. Vacuum flasks come in many different sizes and have a variety of uses– from that Thermos™ bottle in your lunchbox to huge vacuum-insulated shipping containers.
So, to celebrate Thermos Bottle Day, use your insulated vacuum vessel today – no matter the brand. Since today is not a work day for most people, fill it up with your favorite hot or cold beverage and go for a nature hike.

National Pistachio Day

Pistachios come from a small bushy tree native to the Middle East. It produces bunches of fruit (similar to grapes) and the pistachio nut is the seed of that fruit. Pistachios have more antioxidants per serving than green tea and are also an excellent source of fiber, copper, manganese, and Vitamin B6.
Pistachios are not just eaten roasted as a snack food, they are also used in cooking. Their sweet flavor most often finds them used in desserts, such as baklava or even pistachio ice cream, but they can be used in savory dishes as well.
The largest producer of pistachio nuts today is Iran but they are also grown in other areas, including California and Mediterranean Europe.
Here are a few more interesting facts about pistachios.

  • Pistachios are native to the Middle East.
  • In the Middle East, people call them the “smiling nut”.
  • The Chinese are the greatest consumers of pistachios.
  • In China, they are called the “happy nut”.
  • It is thought that pistachios have been eaten by humans for at least 9000 years.
  • It takes 7-10 years for a pistachio tree to mature.
  • California is the biggest producer pistachios in the United States.
  • Pistachios are harvested in September by machines that shake the trees.
  • The red dye added to pistachios is only due to consumer demand for the color.
  • The pistachio’s open hull is unique. The nut is fully ripe only when the hull splits open.

Pistachios are one of my favorite nuts. They are delicious and nutritious. Enjoy some in one form or another as a snack today. You can bet that I will.

Academy Awards

Tonight is the biggest night of the year for the film industry—the Academy Awards. While I don’t consider the Academy Awards a holiday, some of you might, so I’ll cover it anyway.
The Academy Awards, as of February 20, 2013, officially re-branded as The Oscars, are a set of awards given annually for excellence of cinematic achievements. There is no fixed date for this awards show, but it usually happens in either February of March. The criteria for setting the actual date each year seem to be one of the world’s most closely guarded secrets.
The first Academy Awards took place on May 16, 1929,  at a ceremony at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood at a private dinner party with less than 250 guests in attendance. The ceremony only lasted fifteen minutes, and the tickets cost $5.00 each. Over the years, the categories presented have expanded. Currently, Oscars are given in more than a dozen categories and include films of various types. It is also the oldest award ceremony in the media.  As one of the most preeminent award ceremonies in the world, the Academy Awards ceremony is televised live in more than 100 countries annually, with an average viewership of over 40 million people.
The trophy for the Academy Awards is a knight gripping a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film. The reel has five spokes representing the original branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. The statuette is officially known as the Academy Award of Merit but was nicknamed “Oscar” in the 1930’s. Each of the Oscars costs $500 to produce and weigh about 8.5 pounds.
As I alluded to earlier, I am not a fan of The Oscars and I won’t be watching. It’s not that I don’t care about the recipients of the awards, it’s just that the awards show seems to drag on FOREVER. I am also not a big fan of the winners using their acceptance speeches to promote their pet cause or to make snide political remarks. Jeez, your peers just selected you as “the best of the best.” No one outside your insular circle of friends cares what your politics are. Graciously accept your award, shut up, and get off the stage!

More Holidays

 Personal Chef Day – Celebrated semiannually on February 26th and July 16th.

On This Date

  • In 1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from the Island of Elba. He then began his second conquest of France.
  • In 1863 – President Lincoln signed the National Currency Act.
  • In 1870 – New York City, opened the first pneumatic-powered subway line to the public.
  • In 1907 – Congress raised their own pay to $7500.
  • In 1909 – A color motion picture was shown to the general public for the first time. A series of 21 short Kinemacolor film were presented at the Palace Theatre in London.
  • In 1917 – The world’s first jazz record was recorded. The “Original Dixieland Jazz Band” recorded “Livery Stable Blues” for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York.
  • In 1919 – In Arizona, the Grand Canyon was established as a National Park with an act of Congress.
  • In 1920 – The first German Expressionist film premiered. “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” by Robert Wiene is considered one of the best silent films of the horror genre.
  • In 1929 – President Coolidge signed a bill creating the Grand Teton National Park.
  • In 1930 – New York City installed traffic lights.
  • In 1933 – A ground-breaking ceremony was held at Crissy Field for the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • In 1952 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed an atomic bomb.
  • In 1987 – The Tower Commission rebuked President Reagan for failing to control his national security staff in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair.
  • In 1991 – Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announced on Baghdad Radio that Iraqi troops were being withdrawn from Kuwait.
  • In 1991 – The world’s first web browser was presented to the public. The browser “WorldWideWeb” (later renamed “Nexus”) was developed by Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist best known as the inventor of the internet.
  • In 1993 – A car bomb exploded below the World Trade Center in New York City. The attack was carried out by a group of Islamist militants. Six people died in the blast and more than a thousand more were injured.
  • In 1998 – A Texas jury rejected an $11 million lawsuit by Texas cattlemen who blamed Oprah Winfrey for a price drop after her on-air comment about mad-cow disease.
  • In 1998 – An Oregon health panel ruled that taxpayers must help to pay for doctor-assisted suicides.
  • In 2009 – The Pentagon reversed its 18-year policy of not allowing media to cover returning war dead. The reversal allowed some media coverage with family approval.

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.

  • Victor Hugo 1802 – French author, poet, playwright.
  • Levi Strauss 1829 – Entrepreneur.
  • William (Buffalo Bill) Cody 1846 – Frontiersman.
  • John Harvey Kellogg – American surgeon, co-created Corn Flakes.
  • Herbert Henry Dow 1866 – Entrepreneur.
  • William Frawley 1887 – Actor.
  • Jackie Gleason 1916 – Entertainer.
  • Tony Randall 1920 – Actor.
  • Betty Hutton 1921 – Actress.
  • Ariel Sharon 1928 – Israeli general, politician, 11th Prime Minister of Israel.
  • Fats Domino 1928 – Musician.
  • Johnny Cash 1932 – Country musician.
  • Mitch Ryder 1945 – Singer.
  • Michael Bolton 1953 – Singer.
  • Greg Germann 1958 – Actor.
  • Jennifer Grant 1966 – Actress.
  • Erykah Badu 1971 – Singer.

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