April 2nd – Ferreting-out Ferret Facts

April 2, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning domesticated rodent aficionados. Today is Sunday, April 2, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Ferret Day

National Ferret Day has been celebrated for nearly a quarter century by ferret lovers across America but didn’t become recognized as an ‘official’ holiday in Chase’s Calendar of Events until 2014. It is alway’s celebrated on April 2nd. The purpose of National Ferret Day is to promote the true virtues of this cute, cuddly critter and further the welfare of ferrets everywhere. It seeks to celebrate these remarkable and resilient creatures and to increase awareness about the standards of welfare, nutrition, and care. Ferret Day provides a focus for ferret-lovers to work together and share their passion, as well as educate the wider public about the virtues of ferret ownership.
As members of the weasel family, ferrets are much maligned and misunderstood, widely believed to be quarrelsome, malodorous beasts. However, this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Ferrets are relatively common household pets these days and are known to make loyal and rewarding companions. Ferrets are charismatic pets and are as affectionate and social as puppies and independent and playful as kittens. They are mischievous, interesting, a bit quirky at times, and seem to possess a limitless amount of energy. However, many areas of the country still regard ferrets as exotic pets and require special licensing to own one; while other areas, including Hawaii, California, New York City and Washington D.C. outlaw the ownership of ferrets altogether.  So, I guess that you can add lobbying city, state and federal legislators to remove the ‘exotic pet’ classification from ferrets so they can be enjoyed as pets by everyone, to the list of purposes for this holiday.
In Europe, ferrets are often kept as working animals due to their agility and intelligence. Man first domesticated ferrets about 2,500 years ago. The specific reason is unknown, but historians believe that Romans used them for hunting. When Europeans traveled to the New World, they soon decided to bring ferrets to their colonies to get the rodent problem under control. In modern times, ferrets are still used to manage so-called plague species, such as rabbits. Ferrets have also been used in many areas of research, such as the pathogenesis and treatment of various diseases. Fields such as virology, endocrinology, and neuroscience also use ferrets as experimental subjects.
Below are a few ferret facts you’ll find interesting.

  1. Ferrets have been used to run wire in places like Buckingham Palace and Greenwich Park during some of the most important events in England’s history.
  2. Ferrets love to sleep, dozing 14–18 hours a day.
  3. Ferrets are most active between dusk and dawn.
  4. Ferrets cannot catch colds from their humans, but they can catch influenza and sinus infections.
  5. Like cats, ferrets can easily be trained to use a litter box.
  6. A group of ferrets is called a “business”.
  7. The most famous artistic portrayal of a ferret is undoubtedly Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine” painting that dates back to 1490.
  8. Ferrets express their joy by doing what is called the “Ferret Wardance”, during which they jump around excitedly, often bumping into things in their exuberance.

Baseball Opening Day

Play Ball! Major League baseball season will officially open today with three games: Tampa Bay Rays will host the New York Yankees at 1:10 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN. Next, ESPN will continue its expanded Opening Day coverage with the San Francisco Giants at the Arizona Diamondbacks at 4:10 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN2. And finally, ESPN’s opening Day coverage will conclude with “Sunday Night Baseball”, featuring the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the World Champion Chicago Cubs (who would have ever thought we’d be saying that) at 8:35 p.m. (EDT).
If you’re a baseball fan, settle into your easy chair and watch one, two, or all three games today. Be sure to have enough beverages and snacks close at hand – or, if you’re lucky, an accommodating significant other who is willing to bring them to you without putting undue strain on your relationship. GO, GIANTS!

National Love Your Produce Manager Day

National Love Your Produce Manager Day was created in 2012 to celebrate all the hard work that produce managers put into bringing us the best and freshest produce to their store.
Is this cilantro or Italian parsley? Are scallions the same thing as green onions? What the heck do I do with a jicama? These questions, as well as any other produce-related questions you may have, can readily be answered by the produce manager in your favorite grocery store.
Although rarely seen, produce managers are members of a grocery stores administrative staff who are responsible for choosing what produce their store is going to carry, and where it is going to be obtained from. The next time you are in the produce section of your grocery store, take a moment to look around and appreciate all the choices you have and realize that someone has to keep those orders flowing, the shelves stocked, and new selections coming to you every day. In addition to placing orders, produce managers also have to set up the display and worry about the aesthetics of their department to keep customers coming into the store. Just take a look around at the beautiful palette of colors, sizes, flavors, and options presented to you every time you go to the store. Your produce manager is the one who sat down and figured out where everything was going to go and made sure it all got there.
About 50 years ago, it was a produce manager who, upon receiving requests from customers for a wider variety of fruits in his store, introduced the Kiwi fruit to America. The produce manager brought in the first shipment of [New Zealand-grown] kiwifruit and they were an immediate success. Today, kiwifruit is a common staple, available in just about every supermarket in the United States.
To celebrate National Love Your Produce Manager Day, take a stroll through the produce aisle of your supermarket and take note of the wide variety of produce available. If you see something new that you can’t identify or want to try, just ask the produce manager. He can likely tell you all about it.

International Children’s Book Day

The International Board on Books for Young People founded Children’s Book Day in 1967 to promote children’s books and authors and organize events in schools and libraries worldwide to encourage children to read.
International Children’s Book Day celebrates the thousands of books that parents have read and shared with their children. It also strives to encourage literacy, stimulate imagination and promote their love of books. One of the fastest and best ways to help your children learn is to teach them to read. By instilling a love of reading early, you are giving them a lifetime of learning and enjoyment.
Celebrate International Children’s Book Day by giving a new book to each of your children or grandchildren. If they are too young to read, spend time reading stories to them. It is a memorable bonding time for you and them.

Reconciliation Day

Reconciliation Day is a day to patch-up broken relationships, be they with family, friends, couples, or co-workers. Life is simply too short to hold petty grudges. Reach out to those in your life with whom you have a broken relationship. Misunderstandings, unintended words or actions and simply an unforgiven mistake can tear apart relationships.
There seem to be many different “Days of Reconciliation” held around the world celebrated on different days. However, credit for this particular Reconciliation Day is given to newspaper columnist Ann Landers, who in 1989, in response to one of her reader’s letters, began annually promoting April 2nd as Reconciliation Day. She encouraged her readers to repair their broken relationships and dedicated each April 2nd column to letters concerning just such relationships.
Who knows, that might be all it takes to fix it, but if it is not, at least, you tried. National Reconciliation Day is the time to take that step and make amends. It’s not too late. Reach out to that friend or loved one and make a fresh start.

World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day was established on December 18, 2007, by the United Nations and is a holiday created to raise awareness about Autism. Autism is a developmental disability that usually manifests itself within the first three years of life. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize. The number of people diagnosed with autism has increased dramatically since the 1980’s and it affects approximately 1 out of every 150 children around the world today. Researchers are still trying to determine the reason(s) for this increase.
Once considered a singular disorder, Autism is now classified as a broad spectrum of disorders ranging in severity. Autism is the core of all of these syndromes, with its features being prevalent to varying degrees throughout, and includes such disorders such as Rett Syndrome and Childhood disintegrative disorder. One of the most commonly known disorders on the list, outside of Autism itself, is Asperger’s. Asperger Syndrome is signified by the presence of Autism symptoms with no impairment of language development.

National Peanut Butter and Jelly (PBJ) Day

Most experts agree that Peanut Butter was first invented by the Aztecs, who ground roasted peanuts into a rich nutritious paste. Peanut paste has been used all over the world in many different cuisines ever since. America has enjoyed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches since the early 1900’s. Originally, peanut butter was considered a delicacy and only served in the finest culinary establishments. By the late 1920’s, however, peanut butter eventually moved down the class structure as the price of peanut butter decreased.
The making of jam and jelly probably began centuries ago in the Middle East. It is believed that returning Crusaders first introduced jam and jelly to Europe and by the late Middle Ages, jams, jellies and fruit conserves were popular all over Europe. In fact, the word “jelly” comes from the French word gelée which means to congeal. The use of cane sugar to make jam and jelly can be traced back to the 16th century when the Spanish came to the West Indies where they preserved fruit.
No one knows for sure who actually invented the PBJ sandwich. In 1896, an article was published in the Good Housekeeping magazine, which featured a recipe that “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.”  That same year, in June, the culinary magazine Table Talk, published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.” The first reference to peanut butter paired with jelly on bread was rumored to be published in the United States by Julia Davis Chandler in 1901. One story claims that American soldiers invented the peanut butter and jelly sandwich during the Civil War. According to the Peanut Board, both peanut butter and jelly were part of the United States soldiers military ration list. Soldiers decided to combine their bread, jelly, and peanut butter rations for a quick burst of energy. Although the story about soldiers in the Civil War “creating” the PBJ sandwich is highly implausible, statistics do show that when the soldiers returned home after the war, peanut butter and jelly sales soared.
The average American consumes 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the age of 18 and PBJ sandwiches have been a staple in school lunch boxes for well over a half-century.
To celebrate National Peanut Butter and Jelly (PBJ) Day, enjoy a PBJ sandwich (or two) for lunch.

On This Date

  • In 1513 – Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted Florida.
  • In 1792 – Congress passed the Coinage Act to regulate the coins of the United States. The act authorized $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle & 2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins & silver dollar, dollar, quarter, dime & half-dime to be minted. About two-thirds of global trade today is based on the U.S. Dollar.
  • In 1800 – Ludwig van Beethoven’s First Symphony premiered. Beethoven conducted the orchestra himself to exceptionally positive reviews.
  • In 1865 – Confederate President Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, VA.
  • In 1872 – G.B. Brayton received a patent for the gas-powered streetcar.
  • In 1877 – The first Easter Egg Roll was held on the grounds of the White House in Washington, DC.
  • In 1889 – Charles Hall patented aluminum.
  • In 1902 – The first motion picture theater opened in Los Angeles with the name Electric Theatre.
  • In 1910 – Karl Harris perfected the process for the artificial synthesis of rubber.
  • In 1917 – President Woodrow Wilson presented a declaration of war against Germany to the U.S. Congress.
  • In 1932 – A $50,000 ransom was paid for the infant son of Charles and Anna Lindbergh. He child was not returned and was found dead the next month.
  • In 1935 – Sir Watson-Watt was granted a patent for RADAR.
  • In 1958 – The National Advisory Council on Aeronautics was renamed NASA.
  • In 1963 – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King began the first non-violent campaign in Birmingham, AL.
  • In 1968 – Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey premiered. The epic film about human evolution, technology, and extraterrestrial life polarized audiences and critics alike. Today, it is considered a classic in its genre.
  • In 1972 – Burt Reynolds appeared nude in “Cosmopolitan” magazine.
  • In 1978 – The first episode of “Dallas” aired on CBS.
  • In 1982 – Argentina invaded the British-owned Falkland Islands. The following June Britain took the islands back. The invasion escalated a long-standing conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the archipelago in the South Atlantic. It triggered the Falklands War, which was won by the U.K.
  • In 1984 – John Thompson became the first black coach to lead his team to the NCAA college basketball championship.
  • In 1985 – The NCAA Rules Committee adopted the 45-second shot clock for men’s basketball to begin in the 1986 season.
  • In 1987 – The speed limit on U.S. interstate highways was increased to 65 miles per hour in limited areas.
  • In 1988 – U.S. Special Prosecutor James McKay declined to indict Attorney General Edwin Meese for criminal wrongdoing.
  • In 1989 – An editorial in the “New York Times” declared that the Cold War was over.
  • In 1992 – Mob boss John Gotti was convicted in New York of murder and racketeering. He was later sentenced to life in prison.
  • In 1995 – The costliest strike in professional sports history ended when baseball owners agreed to let players play without a contract.
  • In 1996 – Lech Walesa resumed his old job as an electrician at the Gdansk shipyard. He was the former Solidarity union leader who became Poland’s first post-war democratic president.
  • In 2002 – Israeli forces besieged the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The Israel Defense Force had occupied Bethlehem to capture wanted Palestinians. The 39-day siege ensued after some militants fled into the church, which is believed to stand on the birthplace of Jesus.

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.

  • Giovanni Casanova 1725 – Writer.
  • Hans Christian Andersen 1805 – Author.
  • Emile Zola 1840 – Novelist.
  • Walter Chrysler 1875 – Auto manufacturer.
  • Buddy Ebsen 1908 – Actor.
  • Sir Alec Guinness  1914 – Actor.
  • Dabbs Greer 1917 – Actor.
  • Jack Webb 1920 – Actor, director.
  • Rita Gam 1928 – Actress.
  • Marvin Gaye, Jr. 1939 – Singer.
  • Leon Russel 1942 – Singer, songwriter.
  • Linda Hunt 1945 – Actress.
  • Emmylou Harris 1947 – Singer.
  • Leon Wilkerson 1952 – Musician.
  • Pamela Reed 1953 – Actress.
  • Debralee Scott 1953 – Actress.
  • Ron Palillo 1954 – Actor.
  • Christopher Meloni 1961 – Actor.
  • Clark Gregg 1962 – Actor.
  • Bill Romanowski 1966 – Football player.
  • Roselyn Sanchez 1973 – Actress.
  • Jesse Plemons 1988 – Actor.

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