Tooth Fairy, Public Sleeping, Floral Design, Chocolate Soufflé, and Scrouse

February 28, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin

Good morning believers in generous sprites. Today is Sunday, February 27, 2021. Today is the 59th day of the year, and 306 days remain.

National Tooth Fairy Day 

National Tooth Fairy Day is celebrated biannually on February 28th and again on August 22nd. It is no coincidence that these two dates are about six-months apart – because the American Dental Association recommends having dental checkups and teeth cleanings twice annually.
At one time or another, almost all of us have been visited by the tooth fairy. For hundreds of years, people have shared mystical legends, stories, and traditions about the loss of baby teeth. The early Europeans buried children’s teeth so witches and evil spirits couldn’t use them for voodoo. The Vikings believed that children’s teeth had magical powers that could help them fight in battle. They would pay their children for their lost baby teeth and string them onto necklaces and other jewelry.
Over time, people began to share stories about a Tooth Mouse who scampers around town and steals children’s teeth in the middle of the night. The story of the Tooth Mouse evolved into the story of the Tooth Fairy who leaves treasures under children’s pillows in exchange for their lost teeth. Tooth Fairy traditions are still popular today. Kids all over the world place their lost baby teeth under their pillows at night and look forward to a wonderful surprise in the morning.
To celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day, schedule a dental exam for yourself and your children/grandchildren today. If one of them has actually lost a tooth recently, make sure that the tooth fairy is generous.
Author’s Note:
The amount of money per tooth left by the Tooth Fairy is on the rise. In 2019, the average amount left by the Tooth Fairy was $3.73 – but in 2020, the average amount increased to $4.03 [an increase of 30¢ per tooth]. However, still today, one-third of children get $1.00 per tooth and 10% of children get nothing.

Public Sleeping Day 

Public Sleeping Day is celebrated annually on February 28th. As you might suspect, it encourages you to catch a few winks no matter where you are today – just be sensible about it. And, by that, I mean don’t fall asleep on a park bench, sidewalk, or public transportation because you might be robbed or arrested for vagrancy. Don’t fall asleep in the direct sunlight because you might suffer the ravages of heat stroke or severe sunburn. And, unless you have an enlightened boss, don’t fall asleep at work lest you suffer the ravages of unemployment.
The tradition of the siesta has existed in Mexico for centuries – and today, many companies in Japan are realizing that allowing employees a short nap during the workday can actually result in increased production. Even in America, employers such as Google, Huffington Post/AOL, and Nike offer sleep pods or sleep rooms to their employees to reap the benefits of napping. Studies have shown certain types of naps fuel the brain and recharge our batteries and naps can improve productivity, decrease health risks and improve morale.
Believe it or not, there are different types of naps.

  • The Power Nap – Approximately 10 to 20 minutes long, it can give a boost of energy to get us through the rest of the day. It also doesn’t leave us drowsy like some longer naps might and will also allow us to fall asleep at a decent time at night.
  • The Hangover – About 30 minutes long, it is the least beneficial of naps. It can leave us disoriented and wanting more sleep. Eventually, you will recover, but it may take a bit of time before we realize any benefits.
  • The Brainiac – Lasts about 60 minutes and includes the deepest sleep. While you may feel a little grogginess upon waking, your ability to recall facts, names, and faces, will be improved. This type of nap may be the best nap after a round of studying or before a big test.
  • The California King – Lasts about 90 minutes and is typically a full cycle of sleep. It will include REM or a dream stage sleep. This type of nap improves creative thinking and motor memory but may affect your ability to sleep at night.

So when the afternoon doldrums kick in today, don’t fight it. — Just let nature take its course in celebration of Public Sleeping Day.

Floral Design Day

Floral Design Day is celebrated annually on February 28th. It began as a way to celebrate the birthdate of Carl Rittner, founder of the Rittner School of Floral Design in Boston; and to appreciate floral design as a unique and creative art form. And yes, the holiday is official – the Governor of Massachusetts William F. Weld proclaimed it in 1995.
For thousands of years, floral design has been an important cultural art form. From a simple bridal bouquet or a bouquet to brighten up someone’s day – to majestic, historic gardens, floral designers have an eye for color, style, and perspective.
Floral design is a multi-billion dollar industry that brightens our lives on a daily basis. Floral designs, big or small, can complete a space and complement existing structures bringing brightness and color to them.
As with many arts, floral design has roots dating back to the Ancient Egyptians. Temple offerings to gods and the design changed from era to era, each having distinct customs and traditions.
History lesson aside, celebrate Floral Design Day by going wild about flowers today and let your creative juices flow. Take a stroll past your local flower shop and admire the floral arrangements in their window. Then, buy or pick, some flowers and design your own floral arrangement at home. Take some time out today to “stop and smell [and arrange] the flowers.”  

National Chocolate Soufflé Day 

National Chocolate Soufflé Day is celebrated annually on February 28th. You needn’t be a gourmand to surmise that this holiday celebrates chocolate soufflè – a sweeter version of the [more common and well-known] savory soufflè. Though cheese soufflés and other savory soufflés may be better known, chocolate soufflé might be the perfect dessert after a rich meal. The first Chocolate Soufflé recipe can be traced to the 1742 French recipe book, “Le Cuisinier.”
The French word ‘soufflé’ comes from the verb ‘souffler‘, meaning to “to blow” or “puff up.” Two very simple ingredients make a soufflé: a cream/ puree base, and egg whites whipped to a soft peak meringue. The base gives the soufflé its flavor while the egg whites give the puffy treat its bloated appearance. It can then be flavored as desired. The best soufflés are cooked usingé well-greased porcelain ramekins.
The best way to celebrate National Chocolate Soufflè Day is to try to make one at home for dessert tonight. Soufflés can be tricky to make, and chocolate soufflès are certainly no exception, but they are a sure way to impress your guests – if you can pull it off. They are well-known for collapsing 5-10 minutes after coming out of the oven, so be sure to serve them as soon as you remove them from the oven. Also, consider topping your soufflés with fruit or plenty of chocolate sauce to hide the inevitable collapse.

Global Scouse Day

Global Scouse Day is celebrated annually on February 28th. It was started on a small scale sometime prior to 2008 when Graham Hughes held a “scouse supper” on his birthday [February 28] each year, in his hometown of Liverpool. It has since expanded to be celebrated worldwide – hence, the word ‘global‘ in the name. You don’t need to be a 5-star chef to ascertain that this celebrates scrouse – but, unless you are from Liverpool England, you’re probably wondering exactly what the heck scrouse is?
Well, scrouse is a meat stew traditionally made with leftover vegetables and meats, such as carrots, potatoes, turnips, and lamb. However, other meats, vegetables, and sometimes even lentils are added – depending upon what is available.
To celebrate Global Scrouse Day, clean out your refrigerator tonight by making a bubbling pot of scrouse. If, on the off chance you don’t already have a recipe for scrouse in your culinary arsenal, I am providing a traditional recipe here. Feel free to tinker with the recipe according to what leftovers you have on hand.

Below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

Polar Bears, No Brainers, Open Bottle, Sword Swallowers, Anosmia, Strawberries, and Kahlua

February 27, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin.

Good morning mammoth ursine mammal mavens. Today is Saturday, February 27, 2021. Today is the 58th day of the year, and 307 days remain.

Polar Bear Day 

Polar Bear Day is celebrated annually on February 27th. It was created in 2011 to create awareness of the plight of polar bears due to loss of habitat. In 2008, polar bears were classified as a ‘threatened species’ under the Endangered Species Act. The new classification will strengthen the [already existing] regulations concerning the killing of polar bears and the importing of related products to the United States.
Polar Bears are impressive hunters and are the world’s largest carnivores. They can reach up to nine feet tall when standing erect and weigh up to 1400 pounds. They have large front paws, which are slightly webbed, used to paddle as they swim. They have a warming layer of fat which is covered by their thick coat of insulating fur which helps them live in colder environments. Polar Bears are native to Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia. Seals and fish are their primary source of food.
The easiest way to celebrate Polar Bear Day is a visit to a nearby zoo that has a Polar Bear Exhibit. Other ways to celebrate include researching polar bears online or at the library and watching a documentary on polar bears on TV.
Author’s Note:
I strongly recommend that you do not attempt to celebrate Polar Bear Day by visiting them in their native habitat (especially wearing a sealskin coat). The reasons for this are threefold.

  1. They are huge.
  2. They are carnivorous.
  3. Right now it’s flippin’ freezing where they live.

No Brainer Day 

No Brainer Day is celebrated annually on February 27th. It’s a ‘no brainer’ to determine that this holiday celebrates ‘no brainers’ – things that require no mental acuity to accomplish.
By definition, a ‘no brainer’ is a task so simple that it requires little or no conscious thought to accomplish. The term no brainer originated in engineering jargon as a way to describe something that should be obvious to anybody but soon evolved into everyday vernacular.
To celebrate No Brainer Day, stop overanalyzing things, stop second-guessing yourself, and just relax and take it easy. If a project requires thinking, study, or analysis of any kind, put it off until tomorrow. Today is the day to do all of those simple, easy, and/or obvious tasks that you have put off because they’re “no brainers”. Don’t even think about doing anything else today.
In a study conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, neuroscientists found that the human brain could process images that had been flashed before the person for as little as 13 milliseconds.

Open That Bottle Night 

Open That Bottle Night is an annual occasion celebrated on the last Saturday in February. As you can easily infer, it aims to motivate people to reconnect with each other over a cherished bottle of wine, champagne, and/or spirits – and create lasting memories with friends and family. It was created by columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher in 2000.
Open That Bottle Night is dedicated to making sure that those bottles of fine wine put away for a special occasion, are used and enjoyed. You know the one. That bottle you bought at that quaint little wine shop in (fill in the city here) on your honeymoon. Or the one that you bought when you toured California Wine Country a few years back but was a little too expensive to serve to your casual friends.
To celebrate Open That Bottle Night, simply open that symbolically significant bottle that you have been saving for a special occasion. As you savor the wine, you can also savor the memories of the occasion and share them [and stories of that event] again with your loved ones.

International Sword Swallowers Day

First, I ask you to please keep your tawdry sexual innuendoes to yourselves – unless, of course, they are funny. In that case, leave them in the comments.
International Sword Swallowers Day is celebrated annually on the last Saturday in February. It is sponsored by Ripley’s  “Believe It or Not!”. They will be holding events in Believe It or Not “Odditoriums” world-wide. Its purpose is to honor veteran performers and to raise funds for esophageal cancer research.
Believe it or not, sword swallowers have made some contributions in the fields of medicine and science. Sword swallowers have been prodded and examined by doctors and scientists at medical centers over the past 150 years without recognition. In 1868, a sword swallower was used by Dr. Adolf Kussmaul in Freiburg Germany to develop the first rigid endoscopy. In 1906, a sword swallower underwent the first esophageal electrocardiogram in Wales.
I cannot, in all good conscience, urge you to celebrate International Sword Swallowing Day – unless you are already an accomplished sword swallower. If you don’t know what you’re doing, sword swallowing can have serious, if not fatal consequences and is something best left to professionals. You can, however, take a few minutes to research the history of sword swallowing.

Anosmia Awareness Day  

Anosmia Awareness Day is celebrated annually on February 27th. It was created to increase awareness of anosmia — the loss of the sense of smell — which affects over six million Americans and many millions more worldwide.
Many physicians, including those who specialize in otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat disorders), have little understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms that cause the loss of our sense of smell. Researchers are using a variety of methods, including stem cell research, to try to determine the causes of anosmia and discover effective treatments.
Our sense of smell is more valuable than one might think. It is often the first indicator that there is danger – for instance, smelling smoke when there is a fire. It is also linked to the pleasure centers in our brains – the aroma of a bouquet of roses, the aroma of ozone after a rain, the aroma of a candy shop, etc.
I can’t even conceive a life without the sense of smell. So, to celebrate Anosmia Awareness Day, go out, and “smell the roses” today. You can also celebrate this holiday by doing further research on this malady — and be thankful that it hasn’t affected you – yet! 

National Strawberry Day 

National Strawberry Day is celebrated annually on February 27th. You don’t need to have an advanced degree in agronomy to determine that this holiday celebrates strawberries – a unique, yet world-renowned fruit.
Strawberries are a unique berry in that their seeds grow on the outside of the fruit instead of the inside as do most berries. Food historians generally believe that strawberries were first cultivated in ancient Rome. In the United States, strawberries were first cultivated during the mid-1830s in Massachusetts. Today strawberries grow in every US state and Canadian province.
Strawberries are not only are they delicious, but they are also fragrant. – not surprising, they belong to the rose family.
There are over 600 varieties of strawberries and they are an excellent source of Vitamin C and are also a good source of folic acid, potassium, and fiber. Strawberries contain only 55 calories and zero fat and cholesterol in a 1 cup serving.
While the best season for strawberries is from late April to August, they can be grown year-round in temperate climates as long as they are protected from freezing.
Listed below are a few strawberry picking and preserving tips:

  • Pick fully ripe berries. Strawberries don’t continue to ripen if picked too early like bananas or pears.
  • Don’t overfill your container. Berries are tender and can bruise easily.
  • Don’t wash the fruit until you are ready to eat. Strawberries are susceptible to mold and washing will speed up spoilage.
  • The best time to pick strawberries is on cool, cloudy days, but if they will be eaten right away, any time is perfect!
  • If you pick more than you can eat before they spoil, strawberries freeze very well. Pluck off the green caps and toss them into a freezer bag. Use them later for smoothies, ice cream, or cake toppings.

To celebrate National Strawberry Day, simply enjoy some strawberries today…fresh or frozen, – either by themselves as a stand-alone treat – or as a topping for your breakfast cereal [or on your favorite dessert] – or blended into a frozen drink – the possibilities are limitless!

National Kahlua Day 

National Kahlua Day is celebrated annually on the last Saturday in February. You don’t need to be a certified mixologist to ascertain that this holiday celebrated Kahlua – a versatile liqueur that is enjoyed and appreciated worldwide. The word “Kahlua” means “house of the Acolhua people” in the Nahuatl language. A company named Domecq has produced the drink since 1936 and named it for the native people of Veracruz. Kahlua is made with rum, Mexican coffee, sugar, and vanilla
Kahlua is a rich, creamy, rum-based, coffee-flavored liqueur from Mexico. People enjoy it straight up, on the rocks, and mixed in coffee or cocktails (like the White Russian). Kahlua is also used to flavor desserts such as ice cream, cakes, and cheesecakes.
To celebrate National Kahlua Day, simply enjoy some Kahlua today. Spike your morning coffee with a shot of Kahlua to get your day off to a good start. Host a cocktail party featuring cocktails that contain Kahlua. Or, simply try some of the desserts that contain Kahlua. There are myriad recipes for the drinks and desserts that contain Kahlua available online.

Listed below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

Pete’s Sake, Levi’s, Straws, Fairy Tales, Thermos Bottles, and Pistachios

February 26, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin

Oh, for Pete’s sake, good morning already – Geez! Today is Friday, February 26, 2021. Today is the 57th day of the year, and 308 days remain.

For Pete’s Sake Day 

For Pete’s Sake Day is celebrated annually on February 26th. Oddly enough, it celebrates an antiquated expression of disgust or displeasure.
“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?” 
  • “Oh, For Pete’s sake, I dropped my brand new iPhone in the toilet.” 
  • “For Pete’s sake, is this rain ever going to end?” 
  • “For Pete’s sake, I’m glad that the Orange Oracle is finally off of Twitter.”

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 of 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.
Even a mental midget can figure out how to celebrate For Pete’s Sake Day. Simply do some research to learn more about this, or other similar euphemisms. For Pete’s sake, you don’t expect me to do everything for you, do you?

Levi Strauss Day 

Levi Strauss Day is celebrated annually on February 26th. It commemorates the 148th 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.
Although he is given credit for it, Levi Strauss is not the person who originally thought of the brand’s (Levi’s) trademark feature – metal rivets. Instead, it was one of Strauss’s customers, a tailor by the name of Jacob Davis, who had the original 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 Gnes, 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 in celebration of 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.

National Skip the Straw Day

National Skip the Straw Day is observed annually on the fourth Friday in February. It was created in 2017 by some students at Whitehall Middle School in Whitehall, MI (who call themselves the Coral Keepers) and their advisor, Susan Tate. This holiday encourages Americans to give up plastic straws and to help spread awareness about the damage caused by disposable plastics.
For millennia, mankind ingested liquids either from their hands or from cup-shaped or cylindrical vessels — Then, in 1888, Marvin Stone invented the paper straw…and the world was changed forever.
In the 1960s, plastic straws were introduced and because of their minimal cost, their durability, and their convenience, they eventually all but pushed paper straws out of the market. But, sadly, like with most other products of convenience, once they are no longer usable, they become an environmental problem. Today, landfills, roadsides, and even the world’s waterways are being inundated with plastic refuse. According to the National Park Service, Americans use 500 million plastic drinking straws daily. That’s a lot of non-biodegradable waste that will eventually wind up in our environment.
The easiest way to celebrate National Skip the Straw Day is to pick up the glass and tip it back like your parents taught you to do when you were a toddler. It may take some practice and maybe both hands, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it. You can also volunteer to help clean up your local beaches, parks, or neighborhoods. [Take note of how many plastic straws are included in all the litter]. If you frequent fast-food restaurants or get beverages to go, you can request your beverage to be served sans straw. Listed below are some other eco-friendly options for eliminating plastic straws.

  • Bamboo straws are renewable, reusable, and biodegradable.
  • Paper straws, while still disposable, are biodegradable and from a renewable source.
  • Glass straws are coming in durable, colorful designs fit for a variety of beverages.
  • Stainless steel straws are an option for those of us who like our cold drinks really cold.

Just think, if we were to celebrate National Skip the Straw Day every day, maybe together, we could help bring down the “Big Plastic Straw” cabal and vastly improve the ecological health of our planet!

Tell A Fairy Tale Day 

Tell A Fairy Tale Day is celebrated annually on February 26th. As you might surmise, it, oddly enough, urges us to tell a fairy tale today.
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 from 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 Tell a Fairy Tale Day, simply 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 Bottle Day is celebrated annually on February 26th. 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 later, 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 glassblowers (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 that 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. Fill it up with your favorite hot or cold beverage and take it to work. If you don’t have to work, fill it up and go for a nature hike.

National Pistachio Day 

National Pistachio Day is celebrated annually on February 26th. You don’t need to be nutty at all to ascertain that this holiday celebrates one of the world’s most renowned [and most popular] nuts – pistachios.
Pistachios come from a small bushy tree native to the Middle East. These trees produce 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.
Listed below 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”.
  • The pistachio’s open hull is unique. The nut is fully ripe only when the hull splits open. {Hence the names “smiling nut” and “happy nut” mentioned above}.
  • 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 of 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. 

Pistachios are one of my favorite nuts. They are delicious and nutritious – so celebrate National Pistachio Day by Enjoying some [in one form or another] as a snack today. You can bet that I will.

Below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

Quiet, Spit Out, Eating Right, Chili, Toast, Clam Chowder, and Chocolate-Covered Nuts

February 25, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin.

Good morning solitude seekers. Today is Thursday, February 25, 2021. Today is the 56th day of the year, and 309 days remain.

Quiet Day

Quiet Day is celebrated annually on February 25th. As the name implies, it is a holiday intended for you to lower the noise level of your surroundings. It originally started as a holiday in the Anglican church to focus on special devotions, meditations, and instructions – however today it is construed more generally to mean lowering the amount of noise you make.
We can’t totally escape noise – it is all around us. Traffic, the din of workplaces, and even our homes are all sources of superfluous background noise, and there is not much we can do about that. But what we can do is reduce the amount of noise we make as individuals – which is the purpose of Quiet Day.
Noise causes stress, so reducing the amount of noise we make as an individual could be beneficial to our health. Studies done on stress and the adrenal glands at the Franklin Institute show that even low-level chronic noise increases aggression and decreases cooperation and is associated with increased risk for such serious physiological problems as peptic ulcers, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
Reducing the noise level in your immediate environment helps the body relax, lowers blood pressure, and lowers heart rate. It allows the mind to focus and be more creative. It can boost your immune system and decrease the amount of pain that you feel.
To celebrate Quiet Day, take control of your environment. If it gets too noisy, move away and find someplace quieter. Take a hike and enjoy the calming sounds of nature. If you can’t physically move away from the noise, relax. Take a few deep breaths and think serene thoughts. Try to clear your mind of the auditory clutter that is causing you so much stress.

The Great American Spit Out 

The Great American Spit Out is celebrated annually on Thursday of the third full week in February. I believe that this holiday was intended to sound a bit gross. It is intended to encourage those who use smokeless tobacco to quit.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death, and the use of smokeless tobacco, including chewing tobacco, continues to be a problem. Many people believe that smokeless tobacco is less harmful than cigarettes – However, the truth is, smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes at all. At least 28 chemicals in smokeless tobacco have been found to cause cancer including oral, esophageal and pancreatic cancer and oral lesions other than cancer, such as leukoplakia (precancerous white patches in the mouth). Using smokeless tobacco may also cause heart disease, gum disease, so as you can clearly see, using smokeless tobacco is just as bad as smoking – detrimental effects just manifest themselves in different ways.
To celebrate The Great American Spit Out, if you use smokeless tobacco – quit! If you know someone who uses smokeless tobacco – encourage them to quit!

Let’s All Eat Right Day

Let’s All Eat Right Day is celebrated annually on February 25th. It honors Adelle Davis – one of the country’s best-known nutritionists.
Adelle was born on this date in 1904 and was an advocate of the nutrition movement. She wrote a series of books about healthy living including the books: “Let’s Cook it Right”, “Let’s Have Healthy Children”, “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit”, and “Let’s Get Well”. Adelle was a proponent for eating whole unprocessed foods. She criticized food additives and claimed that dietary supplements and other nutrients played a huge role in preventing diseases and restoring health when recovering from a disease.
So, to celebrate Let’s All Eat Right Day, consider your food choices and ways you can change your diet to eat healthier.

National Chili Day 

National Chili Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday in February. You don’t need to be a legume expert to realize that this holiday celebrates chili – a spicy stew/soup enjoyed by millions of people.
This is the time of year for comfort food, so what better time to celebrate National Chili Day? According to my sources, Chili is America’s favorite comfort food. The origins of chili are vague at best. Some food historians say that chili originated in Mexico, but Mexican food historians dispute that claim. One theory contends that Canary Islanders who made their way to San Antonio as early as 1723, used local peppers and wild onions combined with various meats to create an early type of chili. Another, even more far-fetched, theory says that chili was created by Sister Mary of Agreda, a Spanish nun in the early 1600s who never left her convent – yet had out-of-body experiences in which her spirit was transported across the Atlantic to preach Christianity to the Indians. After one of the return trips, her spirit wrote down the first recipe for chili con carne: chili peppers, venison, onions, and tomatoes.
Modern [and logical] thinking suggests that chili was actually created in Texas and is a blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican cuisines because Texas was heavily influenced by each of these cultures. In fact, the earliest written description of Chili is from  J.C. Clopper, who lived near Houston. While his description never mentions the word Chili, this is what he wrote of his visit to San Antonio in 1828:

“When they [poor families of San Antonio] have to lay for their meat in the market, a very little is made to suffice for the family; it is generally cut into a kind of hash with nearly as many peppers as there are pieces of meat–this is all stewed together.”

In 1977, House Concurrent Resolution Number 18 of the 65th Texas Legislature designated chili [also known in Texas as “bowls o’ red”] as the official dish of the State of Texas. On the other side of the coin, according to legend, Spanish priests called chili “the soup of the Devil” because they believed that chili peppers were an aphrodisiac. Maybe that is why chili was the favorite food of Lyndon Johnson. He once said:

“Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing. One of the first things I do when I get home to Texas is to have a bowl of red. There is simply nothing better.” 

His wife and First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, even had is favorite chili recipe printed on cards to be mailed out because of the many thousands of requests the White House received for it.
Some like it hot – some like it not – but however you like your chili, have a big steamy bowl of this spicy classic comfort food in celebration of National Chili Day.

National Toast Day 

National Toast Day is celebrated annually on the last Thursday in February. Who would have thought that there was a need for holiday celebrating something as bland as toast – certainly not me? But, evidently, the British did. National Toast Day was created in 2014 by The Tiptree World Bread Awards in the United Kingdom. However, since then, it has also gained a small following in the United States as well. No one actually knows who first decided that exposing bread to heat or an open flame was a good idea. Was it a ‘happy accident’ or was it done deliberately? No one cares because the end result was – toast!
The word “toast” stems from the Latin word tostum, which can be defined as “to burn or scorch.” Toasting bread was common in the Roman Empire and was likely first done there by laying bread on stones in front of fires. The first electric toaster was invented by Alan MacMasters in 1893. Although revolutionary, its wiring was known to melt, making it a fire hazard. Electricity was needed to power it, too, which was not yet readily available at the time. A more fire-resistant alloy was created in Chicago in 1905, toasters became much safer. Until the automatic toast-turner was invented in 1913, toasters had only been able to toast one side of bread at a time, and the bread had to be flipped by hand. The semi-automatic toaster came on the market around the same time, which turned itself off after the bread was toasted. Then, the pop-up toaster that we know today was created in 1919 and granted a patent in 1921. Soon afterward, in 1927, Otto Frederick Rohwedder’s bread-slicing machine came on the market, further increasing the popularity of bread and toast, and making toast even easier to make.
Whether topped with just butter, or some kind of nut butter, or a wide variety of jams, jellies, marmalades, or fruits compotes, or a combination of any of those, toast is a perennial breakfast favorite all over the world. So, raise a toast to your toast – and your toaster – this morning to celebrate National Toast Day. How do you like your toast – dark, medium, or light?
Author’s Note: 
If you’re like me, you like to dip your toast into your egg yolks – or slather it with honey as a kind of breakfast dessert.

National Clam Chowder Day 

National Clam Chowder Day is celebrated annually on February 25th. You don’t need tyo be a New Englander to surmise that this holiday celebrates clam chowder – a world renowned clam-based soup/stew.
There are many different types of chowders, and there are even quite a number of different types of clam chowders, but the dominant styles are; New England clam Chowder and Manhattan Clam Chowder. New England clam chowder is a roux-based chowder made with milk or cream whereas Manhattan clam chowder is tomato-based. Of the two most prominent types, the most popular seems to be the New England style, which originated in the Northeast in the early 1800s.
Since we celebrated New England Clam Chowder Day about a month ago, I won’t delve into the history of chowders again. So, to celebrate National Clam Chowder Day, simply enjoy a steamy bowl of clam chowder – whether New England style, Manhattan style, or any of the myriad, lesser-known regional styles.\

Chocolate-Covered Nuts Day

Chocolate-covered Nuts Day is celebrated annually on February 25th. A pretty much self-explanatory. holiday, it celebrates chocolate-covered nuts – a world favorite sweet confection.
Nuts and chocolate have both been a staple of the human diet for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans were fond of the walnut, Native Americans enjoyed the pecan, and the Chinese believed the hazelnut was one of the five sacred nourishments. And, the Aztecs and Mayans believed that chocolate had divine properties and drank it mixed with water for all their sacred rituals.
In the 17th century, chocolate became a very fashionable drink throughout Europe and people soon learned that everything tastes better when it is covered in chocolate. By the middle of the 19th century, it was a common practice to dip items like pretzels, nuts, and fruits into melted chocolate.
To celebrate Chocolate-Covered Nuts Day, any kind of nut will do, as long as it is covered in chocolate. Nuts are packed with protein, and moderate amounts of chocolate have been proven to have health benefits – so, basically, chocolate-covered nuts are health food, right? What is your favorite type of chocolate-covered nut?

Below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

Bartenders, Pink, Trading Cards, and Tortilla Chips

February 24, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin.

Good morning mixology masters. Today is Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Today is the 55th day of the year and 310 days remain.

World Bartender Day  

World Bartending Day is celebrated annually on February 24th. I could not find any documentation regarding the reason that this holiday is celebrated today, but it was listed in all of my primary sources.
Bartending dates back to ancient times. Roman, Greek, and Asian societies had public drinking houses that were social gathering places. Prior to the fifteenth century, bartenders were usually alehouse owners or female innkeepers that made their own liquor. Later, taverns became important places for professionals and writers, and bartenders had a high social status. Bartending then made its way across the ocean to the New World.
These days, bartending is a difficult and often a thankless job. Bartenders must remember the names of many drinks, what goes in them and how much, and the type of glass the drink is served in. Not only does a good bartender have to know how to make myriad different drinks in a timely manner, but they also have to endure people in various stages of intoxication – from the sloppy over-intoxicated lush to the unruly patrons who are constantly causing problems. In addition, they must sometimes act as pseudo-therapists and be willing to listen to people’s troubles. — And, since a large portion of their income is derived from tips, they have to do all of this while maintaining a positive attitude and keeping a smile on their faces.
Yet, in addition to making drinks and lending their ears to patrons, but many bartenders also try to entertain patrons with a little panachè and pizzaz. Known as “flair” bartending, some bartenders have elaborate pouring or bottle tossing tricks with which they enthrall their audiences. There are numerous “flair” bartending contests are held around the world each year.
World Bartender Day salutes these saintly souls who keep our glasses full and our spirits high. So, to celebrate this holiday, head to your favorite “watering hole” tonight and raise a glass to your fast, friendly, funny mixologist. Just remember – always drink responsibly.
Author’s Note:
In my younger days, I spent many an hour ensconced on a barstool across from some really nice bartenders who were always willing to exchange a joke or two and generally brighten my day. 

Pink Day

Pink Day is celebrated annually on the last Wednesday in February. Logically, you could assume that this holiday celebrates the color pink – but if you make that assumption, you are mistaken. Instead, it encourages us to wear a pink shirt today to raise awareness of the ever-growing problem of bullying in our society today. Pink Day was established in 2007 after a pair of students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, saw one of their fellow students at Central Kings Rural High School being bullied for no other reason than that he was wearing a pink shirt. These two students organized others in their school to wear a pink shirt the next day to show support for the student and take a stand against bullying at their school. Since then, Pink Day has grown into an annual event that is attempting to eliminate all bullying and spread understanding throughout the world.
However, bullying isn’t only a problem in our schools. Bullying has existed since humankind first evolved. But recently, for some reason, bullying has been on the increase and has become a problem almost everywhere – from the workplace to the internet – and in all socio-economic groups. Perhaps, this is because people are becoming more aware of bullying, so it is receiving more attention in the media. Bullying doesn’t seem to follow any set pattern, it’s merely the exertion of power over those who are weaker or stand out as unusual.
This holiday is a day dedicated to beating the bullies and breaking the cycle that creates and perpetuates this psychologically and physically damaging behavior. So to celebrate Pink Day, wear your brightest pink shirt proudly today. If you see someone being bullied – intercede!

National Trading Card Day

National Trading Card Day is celebrated annually on February 24th. You don’t have to be a memorabilia collector to determine that this holiday celebrates trading cards – those cardboard collectibles cherished by millions worldwide.
Trading cards have been around since the mid-19th century. The first trading cards were made in the 1860s. They were manufactured for a sporting goods company and featured pictures of famous baseball players. They originally were included in packages of candy and tobacco products to strengthen and sturdy them. However, following World War II, the most popular trading cards in the United States became those packaged with bubble gum. The Topps Company, Inc. started putting trading cards with bubble gum in 1950, with various subjects being placed on the cards. Topps made baseball cards in 1951, and the following year the first baseball cards that included statistics and playing records were made – the 1952 Topps Baseball set. An especially important card from the set was Mickey Mantle’s rookie card. Topps was the most important brand for trading cards for decades, for both sports cards or non-sports cards. They stopped including their trading cards with their bubblegum in 1981 and began selling them individually.
These days, there are many different types of trading cards covering a variety of different genres. Aside from sports trading cards, you can find collections of trading cards based on cartoon characters, comic book characters, or television characters. Some can be used to play games, known as collectible card games. These games are usually fantasy-based – Pokémon is a popular example.
The value of collectible trading cards is determined by condition, the popularity of the card’s subject, and the rarity of the card. As you might expect, the older and rarer the card, the more valuable it becomes. As the market for collectible trading cards increased during the 1980s, collectors began being much more meticulous in keeping their cards in ‘mint’ condition – some going so far as to keep their priceless collection in airtight sealed containers or rooms to retain their value.
To celebrate National Trading Card Day, find your old trading card collection. Hint: It’s probably in that box in the back of your closet, your attic, basement, garage, or storage shed. Do they have any sentimental value to you today? Are they still in good condition? Do you still want to keep them? Who knows, they might be worth a tidy sum today if you’re willing to sell them.

Tortilla Chip Day 

Tortilla Chip Day is celebrated annually on February 24th. You needn’t be an expert in Tex-Mex cuisine to ascertain that this holiday celebrates tortilla chips – a crispy, salty snack enjoyed by millions. Tortilla chips are made from ground corn or flour tortillas that are cut into wedges. The chips may be either fried or baked.
Tortilla chips are considered a Mexican food, however, they originated in Los Angeles. During the late 1940s, the Carranza’s, a couple who ran a small tortilla factory came up with the idea to cut their ‘misshaped’ tortillas into triangles and fry them. They sold these seasoned crispy, crunchy “tort chips” by the bag for 10¢ each.
Archibald Clark West, a vice president of Frito-Lay discovered these seasoned “tort chips” while on vacation at Disneyland in 1961. He took the concept back to Frito Lay, did a little tweaking on the recipe, changed the shape to ’round’, and eventually, these lowly “tort chips” were rebranded as Doritos. They hit the national market in 1966, and soon began to compete with the other major brands of chips at Frito Lay – and the rest, as they say, is history. Then, in the late 1970s, they created another version of tortilla chips, which returned to the original triangular shape of the “tort chips” – which they called Tostitos. Today, there are many different brands of tortilla chips available, but Doritos and Tostitos remain #1 and #2 respectively in the tortilla chip market.
To celebrate Tortilla Chip Day, enjoy some tortilla chips today with your favorite dip. Alternatively, if you are up to the challenge, try making some fresh tortilla chips at home today. It is not really that difficult – and you get to control the ingredients. Here is one simple recipe.
Factoid:  In 2003, the state of Texas made the tortilla chip their official state snack.

Below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

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