July 16th – World Ssssnake Day

July 16, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning herpetologists. Today is Sunday, July 16, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

World Snake Day

Snakes have had a bad reputation ever since that whole Garden of Eden fiasco way back when…you know when mankind was doomed to mortality because some lowly snake-in-the-grass tricked that innocent, naive young woman into sampling the forbidden fruit. Snakes have fascinated civilizations worldwide for millennia, and are one of the oldest characters in mythology.
There are about 3,458 known species of snakes living in almost every climatological region, ranging from the semi-frozen tundra of northern Canada to the steamy jungles of the equator and in most of the world’s oceans. Snakes are highly effective predators and play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature in each of these ecosystems. Snakes are also fascinating in that they have a pre historic lineage, thus giving us a glimpse back to a prehistoric time when the earth was ruled by reptiles — snakes are, after all, the living, breathing cousins of dinosaurs.
World Snake Day was created to help people learn more about snakes and the vital role they play in the balance of nature. Fortunately, snakes are not widely hunted, but their numbers are dwindling due to deforestation and climate change causing the deterioration of their habitats and a declining amount of available prey.
Snakes range in size from several inches to 30 feet long, and while some are friendly and docile others are aggressive and deadly. It seems that people are most fascinated by the snakes that do them the most harm; the King Cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world; the Rattlesnake, the fastest striking poisonous snake in the world; and the Reticulated Python, the world’s longest snake, that hugs its prey to death.
Snake Factoids:

  1. Snakes are found on every continent except Antarctica.
  2. Snakes live in a variety of topographical areas; mountains, forests, fields, prairies, deserts, and even in rivers and oceans.
  3. Snakes eat many different animals including insects, small rodents, and frogs. Larger snakes can even eat small deer, pigs, monkeys, and even primates.
  4. Snakes eat their prey whole because their lower jaw can separate from the upper jaw.
  5. Snakes rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature. They spend as long in the warm sun as they need to in order to get warm, and when they become too warm, they find shade to cool off.
  6. Snakes are generally not aggressive unless they are hunting or feel like they need to defend themselves.
  7. Snakes shed their skin three to six times a year.
  8. Snakes use a variety of techniques defend themselves, including camouflage, biting and envenoming those they feel are threatening them. Most often, though, they simply curl up in a tight ball and hope not to be seen.

Guinea Pig Appreciation Day

The Guinea Pig is one of the world’s longest domesticated animals, having been domesticated in South America for about 5000 years. They are among the most beloved pets in America.
Guinea Pig Appreciation Day highlights the positive aspects of owning Guinea Pigs as pets. They are some of the most loving and attentive pets you can own, and relatively easy to care for.
While we normally think of Guinea Pigs as adorable little pets, in Peru, they are considered a delicacy…much in the way we regard Filet Mignon or Lobster. In 2014, Peruvians consumed 11 tons of these cute, cuddly little critters.

National Personal Chef’s Day 

National Personal Chef Day is observed each year on this date and was created by the United States Personal Chef Association. This holiday celebrates the dedication and hard work of personal chefs across the United States who prepare delicious meals for households, seniors and in many other settings. It honors the personal chefs who provide delicious, affordable, custom-designed meals from fresh ingredients on a regular basis that may be enjoyed in the comfort of the client’s own home.
A personal chef prepares meals in clients’ home kitchens, based on the client’s needs and preferences. A personal chef may also prepare dinner parties and other special events. A personal chef differs from a private chef in that the private chef is employed exclusively by one client and may even live in the clients home.

National Ice Cream Day 

National Ice Cream Day celebrates one of America’s favorite treats, ice cream, DUH!  In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month, and at the same time, he also designated the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day.
Thousands of years ago, people in the Persian Empire put snow in a bowl, poured grape-juice over it and ate it as a treat. When the weather was hot, they used the snow saved in the cool underground chambers known as “yakhchal”, or taken from the snowfall that remained at the top of mountains.
It is believed that ice cream was first introduced into the United States by Quaker colonists who brought their ice cream recipes with them. Their ice cream was sold at shops in New York and other cities during the colonial era.
When you get the urge for a snack on a hot summer day, nothing satisfies it like ice cream. There are hundreds of possible flavor and topping combinations, so the only problem you’ll have in celebrating this holiday is deciding which to choose. If it weren’t for all that sugar, and all of those pesky calories, you could almost consider ice cream to be a health food. Its two main ingredients, milk, and eggs are quite nutritious on their own.
Below are a few Ice cream factoids:

  • Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed ice cream.
  • First Lady Dolley Madison served ice cream at the Inaugural Ball in 1813.
  • In 1832, African-American confectioner, Augustus Jackson, created multiple ice cream recipes as well as a superior technique to manufacture ice cream.
  • In 1843, Philadelphian Nancy Johnson received the first U.S. patent for a small-scale hand-cranked ice cream freezer.
  • Charles E. Minches of St. Louis, Missouri is credited with inventing the ice cream cone. On July 23, 1904, at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, he filled a pastry cone with two scoops of ice cream to make the first ice cream cone. [There is some controversy over this claim. Italo Marchiony of New York City filed a patent for the ice cream cone months before the fair opened. And, he was selling lemon ice in cones as early as 1896].
  • In 1920, Harry Burt puts the first ice cream trucks on the streets.

So, whether you have your ice cream in a cup or in a cone, in a sundae or a banana split, as a milk shake or a float, make sure to visit your local ice cream shop today to get some cold, delicious ice cream. Also, keep an eye out for special ice cream events and freebies that may be happening in your area.
Author’s Note
: For my readers who still reside in Bakersfield, I see a trip to Dewar’s in your immediate future.

National Corn Fritters Day 

Corn fritters are sweet or savory bites of fried or baked corn batter; a mixture made with corn, egg, flour, milk, and melted butter. They can be eaten alone or served as a side dish, and often they are served with syrup, jam, or dusted with powdered sugar. You can also make them savory by adding peppers, onions, or herbs to the batter. I guess that how you make them depends on what you are serving them with. Although corn fritters originated in the American south, other countries have similar dishes.
Corn fritters are often confused with Johnnycakes (a type of cornmeal flatbread) or hush puppies (savory ball-shaped cornbread bites). Corn Fritters, contain corn kernels but are made with a flour-based batter. Here is a recipe if you want to celebrate National Corn Fritters Day at home today.

National Fresh Spinach Day

Spinach is a super food. It is high in iron and low in calories. Spinach is also a great source of fiber, protein, calcium, and vitamins C and A. Spinach helps build muscle (just ask Popeye) and it helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Some even believe that eating spinach on a regular basis can help reduce brain damage due to natural aging.
National Fresh Spinach Day urges you to give fresh spinach a try — Buy it from the produce section, don’t even think about getting it from the frozen foods or canned goods aisle.
Americans seem to have a love/hate relationship with spinach – some love it and some hate it. I happen to fall into the love category. My favorite way to prepare spinach is to steam it in lemon water until it just starts to wilt, then sprinkle a little lemon juice over the top before serving.

On This Date

  • In 1790 – The District of Columbia, or Washington, DC, was established as the permanent seat of the United States Government.
  • In 1862 – David G. Farragut became the first Rear-Admiral in the United States Navy.
  • In 1912 – Bradley A. Fiske patented the airplane torpedo.
  • In 1926 – The first underwater color photographs appeared in “National Geographic” magazine. The pictures had been taken near the Florida Keys.
  • In 1935 – Oklahoma City became the first city in the United States to use parking meters.
  • In 1942 – French police officers rounded up 13,000 Jews and held them in the Winter Velodrome. The round-up was part of an agreement between Pierre Laval and the Nazis. Germany had agreed to not deport French Jews if France arrested foreign Jews.
  • In 1945 – The United States detonated the first atomic bomb in a test at Alamogordo, NM.
  • In 1950 – The largest crowd in sporting history was 199,854. They watched the Uruguay defeat Brazil in the World Cup soccer finals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • In 1951 – J.D. Salinger’s novel “The Catcher in the Rye” was first published. The novel is considered to be one of the top 100 works of fiction of the 20th century.
  • In 1957 – Marine Major John Glenn set a transcontinental speed record when he flew a jet from California to New York in 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds.
  • In 1964 – Little League Baseball Incorporated was granted a Federal Charter unanimously by the United States Senate and House of Representatives.
  • In 1969 – Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, FL, and began the first manned mission to the moon.
  • In 1979 – 1979 Iraqi president, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr resigned. The fourth president of Iraq resigned from his post citing health reasons and promoted his Vice President, Saddam Hussein to the post of President.
  • In 1981 – After 23 years with the name Datsun, executives of Nissan changed the name of their cars to Nissan.
  • In 1981 – Mahathir Bin Mohamed took office for the first time. Mohamed took office as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia and remained in the position until 2003, becoming Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister and Asia’s longest-serving politician.
  • In 1995 – Amazon.com Sold its first book. The e-commerce website was first founded in 1995 by Jeff Bezos as an online bookstore. The first book sold by the Internet giant was Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought by Douglas Hofstadter.

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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