June 15th – The Nature of Things

June 15, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning nature lovers. Today is Thursday, June 15, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Nature Photography Day 

Nature Photography Day was created in 2006 by the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA). Its goal is to spark an interest in nature photography and to explain how images of nature have been used to advance the cause of conservation and protect plants, wildlife, and landscapes worldwide.
NANPA encourages you to celebrate Nature Photography Day by taking your camera out into your backyard, a nearby park, or a nature trail and capturing images of flora and fauna at its finest. You won’t find a better time of year to photograph nature than late Spring. Most plants are in bloom or producing fruit, many species of animals have borne their young, and the weather is still reasonably mild — The opportunities are endless.
Just be aware that no matter where you go you leave a carbon footprint, so try to keep your impact on the environment to a minimum. Don’t trample all over a micro ecosystem just to get “the shot”. You can take good pictures and still remain on the prescribed trails. To illustrate my point, I captured each photograph below without deviating from the beaten path and disrupting the fragile ecosystem.
DSC90819_ 095 DSC90719_1631 DSC90712_1450m
DSC90719_1785 DSC90719_1798 DSC90720_1994
DSC90720_1983 DSC90720_1932 DSC90720_1938
Happy trails to you.

Smile Power Day 

A smile is a symbol of happiness and vitality, a beacon of hope and an expression of emotion. Smile Power Day was created to make people aware of the power of a good smile.
A smile is meant to be shared with others. There is an old saying: “Smile, it makes people wonder what you’ve been up to.” That is certainly apropos today. Smiles are infectious. If everyone around you is smiling, it is hard not to smile yourself, even if you’re in a bad mood. This may be nothing more than trying to fit in with the group, but no matter the reason, it works.
Broadcast your most toothy smile to everyone you encounter today. Who knows, you might just turn someone’s bad day around. Besides, it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown. Just make sure that your smile is sincere. People can spot a phony smile a mile away.

Magna Charta Day 

Magna Charta is Latin for Great Charter and is one of the most important documents in political history. Drawn up in Britain and signed on 15th June 1215, it outlines the rights of the common people and limits the powers of the monarchy. Since then it has been used as the basis for civil liberties around the World, advancing the cause of liberty. Our “Bill of Rights” is based upon this historic document. Although it may seem of little consequence to Americans, who sometimes take freedom for granted, for the English this date marks the first time that the basic belief in the value of the individual was recognized by the ruling government.
Although this day does not appear in the official calendar of any church, it is a day of great religious significance throughout the English-speaking world. One of the 48 personal rights and liberties guaranteed by the Magna Charta was freedom of worship.

National Dump the Pump Day

National Dump the Pump Day can be loosely construed to mean that you should not fill your gas tank today, or that you should find alternative ways to get to work other than driving, such as walking, jogging, riding your bike, or car-pooling…and all of these are commendable. However, National Dump the Pump Day, which is sponsored by, and was created by, the American Public Transportation Association 12 years ago, is observed annually on the third Thursday of June and specifically urges you to use public transportation today.
With gas prices being so fluid these days, everyone is looking for ways to save money. Congested roads, pollution, and difficulty parking in urban areas, are also reasons to consider alternative means of transportation. National Dump the Pump Day encourages people to ride public transportation (instead of driving) to save money. Riding public transit is an economical way to save money, particularly when gas prices are high.  At today’s inflated gasoline prices, a recent American Public Transportation Association Transit Savings Report shows that a two person household that downsizes to one car can save, on average, more than $9,700 a year by riding public transportation.
Public transportation doesn’t just help people save money, though, it also helps communities grow and prosper.  For example, for every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is returned in economic returns.  Mayors know that communities with public transportation are more competitive.  So, riding public transportation helps people and their communities.
Americans are in love with their cars, and many even feel lost without them. Although you may feel uncomfortable giving up your car, even for one day, celebrating National Dump the Pump Day may be the catalyst you need to break the cycle of dependence on your car as your sole means of transportation. To celebrate National Dump the Pump Day, simply ride public transportation today. The environment and your wallet will thank you.

Fly a Kite Day/National Electricity Day

Fly a Kite Day/National Electricity Day are basically the same holidays under different names. Both celebrate the anniversary of the date on which Benjamin Franklin conducted his famous kite experiment in 1752 during a thunderstorm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although he didn’t “discover” electricity through his experiment – electricity has been around since the dawn of time – he proved that lightning is electricity by suspending an iron key from the kite to attract a lightning bolt.

Justice for Janitors Day

On June 15, 1990, a peaceful protest of mostly immigrant janitors in Los Angeles, took a quick turn when police officers confronted marchers striking them with batons. The confrontation led to more than three-dozen marchers being injured. That event garnered international sympathy and support for the janitor’s and ultimately became a flash point for one of the most successful low-wage worker campaigns in recent history. Since 1990, the Justice for Janitors movement has organized more than 133,000 janitors – bringing higher wages, benefits, and standards to these workers, and providing families the ability to buy homes, pay for doctor’s visits, and save for college and retirement.

National Lobster Day 

National Lobster Day celebrates that sweet, succulent seafood – lobster.
Lobsters were once considered peasant food. In the 1800’s, lobsters were plentiful and New Englanders could simply walk down the beach and capture them during low tide. Many servants lived off of lobster during this time period. In fact, one Massachusetts community had to pass a law that limited how often you could serve lobster to your servants. It was a modest three times a week. Today, lobster is considered a luxurious delicacy all over the world. In the state of Maine alone, lobster fishing is a billion-dollar industry.
There are many ways to enjoy lobster, but the most popular cooking methods are boiling, baking, steaming, and grilling. And, the best way to celebrate National Lobster Day is to eat some. As I have pointed out in prior posts, I am not a big fan of seafood…but I do enjoy the occasional crustacean. Lobster is a  bit “pricey” for my budget, but I may go out for some “surf & turf” this evening anyway. What the heck, it’s payday, and I’m worth it.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1607 – Colonists in North America completed James Fort in Jamestown, VA.
  • In 1667 – The first human blood transfusion was administered. Jean-Baptiste Denys, a physician to King Louis XIV of France, transfused sheep blood into a 15-year-old boy. He survived, most likely due to the relatively small amount of blood used.
  • In 1752 – Benjamin Franklin experimented by flying a kite during a thunderstorm. The result was a little spark that showed the relationship between lightning and electricity.
  • In 1836 – Arkansas became the 25th state in the United States.
  • In 1844 – Charles Goodyear was granted a patent for the vulcanization process that strengthens rubber. He is credited with developing the basic concept of strengthening rubber by adding sulfur or similar materials. Vulcanized rubber is today used for a wide array of products, such as tires and shoe soles.
  • In 1846 – The United States and Britain settled a boundary dispute concerning the boundary between the U.S. and Canada, by signing a treaty.
  • In 1864 – An order to establish a military burial ground was signed by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The location later became known as Arlington National Cemetery.
  • In 1877 – Henry O. Flipper became the first African-American to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
  • In 1898 – The House of Representatives approved the annexation of Hawaii.
  • In 1909 – Benjamin Shibe patented the cork-center baseball.
  • In 1911 – The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. was incorporated in the state of New York. The company was later renamed International Business Machines (IBM) Corp.
  • In 1916 – President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America.
  • In 1938 – Johnny Vandemeer (Cincinnati Reds) pitched his second straight no-hitter.
  • In 1954 – The Union of European Football Associations was founded. The UEFA is the umbrella organization for association football in Europe. It comprises 54 member countries in Europe and Asia.
  • In 1977 – Spain held its first free elections since 1936. The transition to democracy followed nearly four decades of right-wing dictatorship under Francisco Franco. Adolfo Suárez became Spain’s first democratically elected Prime Minister.
  • In 1978 – King Hussein of Jordan married 26-year-old American Lisa Halaby, who became Queen Noor.
  • In 1983 – The Supreme Court reinforced its position on abortion by striking down state and local restriction on abortions.
  • In 1986 – Pravda, the Communist Party newspaper, reported that the chief engineer of the Chernobyl nuclear plant was dismissed for mishandling the incident at the plant.
  • In 1991 – Mount Pinatubo erupted. The stratovolcano’s eruption was one of the most violent of the 20th century. About 800 people died, but the event had also global consequences. For example, it caused a global temperature drop of 0.5 °C (0.9 °F).
  • In 1992 – Vice President Dan Quayle, while officiating a spelling bee, instructed a student that “potato” is spelled with an “e”. (Much ado was made by the “mainstream media” about the incident…despite such liberal bastions as the New York Times using the same spelling as Mr. Quayle only days prior. At least now, we ALL how to spell potato and that the plural of potato is, potatoes, which is in fact, spelled with an ‘e’…in all 57 states – oops, that was one of President Obama’s gaffes).
  • In 1992 – It was ruled by the Supreme Court that the government could kidnap criminal suspects from foreign countries for prosecution.
  • In 1994 – Israel and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations.
  • In 1999 – South Korean naval forces sank a North Korean torpedo boat during an exchange in the disputed Yellow Sea.

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.

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