March 1st – Porcine Propaganda

March 1, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Named for the Roman god of war, Mars, March is the third month of the year.  It has 31 days and is known as the first month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere due to the vernal equinox which occurs between March 19th and 21st of every year.

Good morning swine lovers. Today is Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Pig Day

National Pig Day recognizes the domesticated pig and is celebrated annually on the first of March. It was created in 1972 by Ellen Stanley, and her sister Mary Lynn Rave as a holiday to afford our porcine pals the recognition they so justly deserve. National Pig Day events often include celebrations at zoos, schools, nursing homes and sporting events around the United States. Pig-themed parties, pig parades and gatherings featuring pig collectibles are a few other events that are held to commemorate National Pig Day.
While pigs are commonly thought of as unsanitary and unintelligent, they are actually comparatively clean and are the most clever and intelligent of domesticated animals. In fact, pigs are so intelligent that they can be kept as a household pet that can be trained and taught tricks just like Rover.
Archaeological evidence suggests that pigs were domesticated from wild boar as early as 13,000–12,700 BC in the Near East in the Tigris Basin. Remains of pigs have been dated to earlier than 11,400 BC in Cyprus. Those animals must have been introduced from the mainland, which suggests domestication in the adjacent mainland by then. There was also a separate domestication in China which took place about 8000 years ago. Today, there are hundreds of different breeds of pigs, most of which are thought to be descended from the Eurasian Wild Boar.
Below are a few more facts about pigs:

  • A female pig is called a sow (or gilt) and can produce 10 piglets in a single litter.
  • Pigs constantly communicate with each other. They have a range of different oinks, grunts, and squeals which have distinct meanings. They have  more than 20 different vocalizations; from wooing a mate to saying ‘I’m hungry!” Newborn piglets learn to run to their mothers’ voices and can recognize their mother’s call by the time they’re 2 weeks old.
  • A pig’s squeal can be as loud as 115 decibels – that’s 3 decibels higher than the sound of a supersonic airliner.
  • Despite their lumbering appearance, adult pigs can run at speeds of up to 11-mph.
  • Pigs will eat almost anything – from vegetable matter to meat.
  • The old saying, “sweating like a pig” is not accurate.  Pigs have hardly any sweat glands, and the way they cool themselves is to wallow in mud.
  • Besides wallowing in mud, pigs are also good swimmers.
  • Pigs are similar genetically similar to humans – their genetic makeup is so very close to our own that stem cells from pigs are being used by scientists to research cures for human diseases.
  • Pigs are extraordinarily intelligent. They are curious and insightful animals who are widely accepted as being smarter than young children of at least 3 years of age, dogs, and even some primates
  • Pigs are extremely social animals. They form close bonds with other individuals and love close contact and lying down together.
  • Pigs are very clean, keeping their toilet area far away from where they lie down and eat. Even newborn piglets will leave the nest to go to the toilet within hours of birth.
  • Pigs are very peaceful animals, rarely showing aggression. The exception, as with many animals, is when a mother (sow) with her young offspring is provoked or threatened.
  • Pigs have a tremendous sense of smell. The large round disk of cartilage at the tip of the snout is connected to muscle that gives it extra flexibility and strength for rooting in the ground.
  • The pig is the last of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. It is seen to represent, fortune, honesty, happiness and virility.

Pigs have been popular characters in children’s literature for generations. From A.A. Milne’s Piglet to E.B. White’s Wilbur, pigs have an endearing quality about them that makes us love them. And, we can’t forget about Miss Piggy from the Muppets.
So, show Porky some love today. Although pigs give us bacon, ham, sausage, pork chops, baby back ribs, spare ribs, sirloin, pork belly and oh, so many more delectable food items, out of deference, try to abstain from eating pork in any form today. Your bacon will still be in the refrigerator tomorrow.

Horse Protection Day

Horse Protection Day was created in 2005 by pet lifestyle expert and animal behaviorist Colleen Page and is celebrated each year on March 1st.
These majestic animals, more than any other, were at the forefront of forging this nation. Until the early 20th century, they were our primary mode of transportation. They were used as beasts of burden to move supplies from one location to another. They helped farmers plow their fields to grow food.
Horse Protection Day was created to raise awareness about the plight of horses in America – their abuse, neglect, homelessness, and even slaughter. Additionally, it promotes adoption events around the nation to help unwanted horses find a forever home. To celebrate this holiday, make a donation to your local animal shelter, or, better yet, foster or sponsor a horse at your local shelter until they can find the horse a home.

Refired, Not Retired Day

Refired, Not Retired Day is a day for retirees (or those soon to be retired) who choose to get “fired up” about their retirement. It is for those who feel that retirement is the beginning of the next chapter of their lives, rather than the epilogue of their life. Are you looking back, or looking toward the future? Refired, Not Retired Day is for those who are ready to commit to making retirement an exciting adventure.
Here are some ways to tell if you are already “refired”:

  • You are inspired to make the best of life after retiring.
  • You realize that retirement is a time of freedom and choices.
  • You don’t feel guilty about making “selfish” decisions.
  • You look at retirement as a time of opportunity.
  • You minimize regrets. You’re retired, now move on with your life.

Plan A Solo Vacation Day

Are you getting wanderlust? Are you tired of waiting for friends’ timetables to coincide with yours? Are you unable to agree with your spouse on the perfect vacation? Plan A Solo Vacation Day is the holiday for you to follow the lead of the 34.8 million other adults in America who have taken a vacation by themselves in the past three years.
Planning a solo vacation can be intimidating and overwhelming. But traveling alone can have many advantages. Informal studies have shown that those who travel by themselves tend to be more spontaneous and adventurous. Facing unknown situations in new and strange places can help people overcome their fears and anxieties.
Those who travel solo are forced to interact with locals and fellow travelers, instead of just hanging out with a small group of people. This translates into social benefits in real life – solo travelers can easily mold themselves to fit into any social group and situation.
And, taking a solo vacation means you can be your own master. You don’t have to stick to a plan or follow someone else’s lead – you can go wherever you want, whenever you want, and do whatever you want to do. No more boring museums or spending countless hours shopping…unless that is what YOU want to do.
So, to celebrate Plan A Solo Vacation Day, indulge yourself by spending the day checking out your growing opportunities for solo travel, including tours, cruises, and travel clubs. Ready, set, GO!
Factoid: The earliest guidebooks were called periplus? They were Roman and Greek documents that listed ports and landmarks that ships might encounter on their voyages.

National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day

Who doesn’t like peanut butter? Whether you prefer it smooth, chunky, or natural, peanut butter is the perfect addition to any snack. It goes with practically everything: crackers, pretzels, celery, carrots, apples, bananas, chocolate, and much more. And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the classic PBJ sandwich. The average person will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he or she graduates from high school. Peanut butter has been popular since the early 1900’s, but no one knows who invented it. Today, it is an $800 million industry dominated by household names such as Jif, Skippy, and Peter Pan.
Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats and can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. For the healthiest choice, look for brands that have no oil or sugar added.
Here are a few more facts about peanut butter:

  • A St. Louis physician developed the idea of packaging peanut paste for people with bad teeth. Peanut paste was sold for six cents per pound.
  • The Kellogg brothers patented the process of preparing peanut butter with steamed nuts in 1895. Today the nuts are roasted, and the peanut butter is much tastier.
  • Dr. George Washington Carver developed more than 300 other uses for peanuts and is considered by many to be the father of the peanut industry.
  • C.H. Sumner introduced peanut butter to the world at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis in 1904. He sold $705.11 of the treat at his concession stand.
  • Krema Products Company in Columbus, Ohio, began selling peanut butter in 1908 and is the oldest peanut butter company still in operation today.
  • Joseph L. Rosefield sold peanut butter in California, churning it to make it smoother in 1922. He received the first patent for peanut butter that could stay fresh up to a year.
  • One of the first companies to adopt Rosefield’s process was Swift & Company in 1928. The company was later renamed Peter Pan.
  • Rosefield began producing his own brand of peanut butter under the Skippy label in 1932 and created the first crunchy-style peanut butter two years later.
  • Procter & Gamble entered the peanut butter business in 1955 and introduced its own brand, Jif, in 1958. Now owned by the J.M. Smucker Company, Jif operates the world’s largest peanut butter plant, producing 250,000 jars every day.
  • It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup was introduced to America in 1928.
  • Peanut butter was used to control TV’s talking horse “Mr. Ed” during production.

Now that you know more than you need to about peanut butter, enjoy a PBJ sandwich or two for lunch – or enjoy it in any other way you like peanut butter. If you are feeling adventurous today, try making some peanut butter at home. It’s a fun kitchen project to do with your children or grandchildren. Here is one recipe for homemade peanut butter, but there are many more available all over the interwebs.

National Fruit Compote Day

The word compote is a French word meaning a mixture. Fruit compote is a cooked fruit dessert which combines an assortment of fruits and a rich, thick syrup. The fruit is cooked on low heat to warm it and break it down slightly.
The French believed that fruit cooked in sugar syrup balanced the effects of humidity on the body, which led to the invention of compotes. Compotes were originally served warm in the afternoon, as a snack with sour cream and biscuits. but after the Renaissance, it began to be served chilled at the end of dinner.
Today, compote is most commonly served with whipped cream or spooned over ice cream, but there are many other uses for it as well.
The origins of compote are unclear, since, for centuries, many cultures have made some form of stewed, sweet fruit as a dessert item. Fruit Compote is easy to make at home, and you can experiment with different fruit combinations to create unique versions with fruits that suit your individual taste.
To celebrate National Fruit Compote Day, make one of your own for dessert tonight. If you don’t already have a recipe, a simple Google search will net you myriad results.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1498 – Vasco de Gama landed at what is now Mozambique on his way to India.
  • In 1692 – In Salem, Massachusetts, the infamous Salem Witch trials began. Four women were the first to be charged. The “suspects” were jailed, and many were put to death. Some historians believe that the real motive behind the Witch Hunt had nothing to do with Witchcraft, but was, in fact, a means to gain title to their land by a group of corrupt Politicians. Greedy, sleazy, corrupt Politicians in Massachusetts, who’d have thunk it?
  • In 1781 – The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation.
  • In 1784 – In Great Britain, E. Kidner opened the first cooking school.
  • In 1790 – Congress authorized the first United States census.
  • In 1803 – Ohio became the 17th state.
  • In 1815 – Napoleon returned to France from the island of Elba. He had been forced to abdicate and go into exile in April of 1814.
  • In 1845 – President Tyler signed the congressional resolution to annex the Republic of Texas.
  • In 1867 – Nebraska became the 37th state.
  • In 1869 – Postage stamps with scenes were issued for the first time.
  • In 1872 – Congress authorized the creation of Yellowstone National Park. It was the world’s first national park.
  • In 1873 – E. Remington and Sons of Ilion, NY began the manufacturing the first practical typewriter.
  • In 1896 – Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity. He made his groundbreaking discovery while trying to prove his erroneous theory that phosphorescent uranium salts absorb sunlight and reemit it as X-rays.
  • In 1907 – In New York, the Salvation Army opened an anti-suicide bureau.
  • In 1912 – Captain Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.
  • In 1932 – The 22-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was kidnapped. The child was found dead in May.
  • In 1937 – Connecticut issued the first permanent automobile license plates.
  • In 1941 – FM Radio began in Nashville, TN when station W47NV began operations.
  • In 1947 – The International Monetary Fund began operations.
  • In 1949 – Joe Louis announced that he was retiring from boxing as world heavyweight boxing champion.
  • In 1950 – Klaus Fuchs was convicted of giving United States’ atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.
  • In 1954 – Five Congressmen were wounded when four Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the gallery of the United States House of Representatives.
  • In 1969 – Mickey Mantle announced his retirement from major league baseball.
  • In 1971 – A bomb exploded in a restroom in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol. There were no injuries. A group protesting the Vietnam War claimed responsibility.
  • In 1974 – Seven people were indicted in connection with the Watergate break-in. The charge was conspiring to obstruct justice.
  • In 1989 – Washington, DC Mayor Marion Barry and the City council imposed a curfew on minors.
  • In 1992 – Bosnian Muslims and Croats voted to secede from Yugoslavia. Also, Bosnian Serb snipers fired upon civilians after a majority of the Muslim and Croatian communities voted in favor of Bosnia’s independence.
  • In 1994 – Israel released about 500 Arab prisoners in an effort to placate Palestinians over the Hebron massacre.
  • In 1995 – Yahoo was incorporated. (Yahoo)!
  • In 1998 – “Titanic” became the first film to gross $1 billion, James Cameron’s epic account of the sinking of the Titanic had a budget of $ 200 million and grossed over $ 2 billion in the end.
  • In 2003 – Approximately 180,000 personnel from 22 different organizations around the government became part of the Department of Homeland Security. This completed the largest government reorganization since the beginning of the Cold War.
  • In 2003 – Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured by CIA and Pakistani agents near Islamabad. He was the suspected mastermind behind the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

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.

  • Frédéric Chopin, 1810 – Pianist, composer.
  • Glenn Miller, 1904 – Bandleader.
  • David Niven, 1910 – Actor.
  • Harry Caray, 1914 – Baseball broadcaster.
  • William Gaines, 1922 – Publisher.
  • Yitzhak Rabin, 1922 – Israeli politician, 5th Prime Minister of Israel, Nobel Prize laureate.
  • Deke Slayton, 1924 – Astronaut.
  • Robert Clary, 1926 – Actor.
  • Pete Rozelle, 1926 – NFL.
  • Harry Belafonte, 1927 – Singer.
  • Robert Conrad, 1935 – Actor.
  • Judith Rossner, 1935 – Author.
  • Joan Hackett, 1942 – Actress.
  • Roger Daltrey, 1944 – Musician.
  • Dirk Benedict, 1945 – Actor.
  • Alan Thicke, 1947 – Actor.
  • Ron Howard. 1954 – Child actor, director (Opie).
  • Catherine Bach, 1954 – Actress.
  • Timothy Daly, 1956 – Actor.
  • George Eads, 1967 – Actor.
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