Thesauri, Fad Diets, Winnie-the Pooh, Peking Duck, and Gourmet Coffee

January 18, 2022 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning “wordies.” Today is Tuesday, January 18, 2022. January 18th is the eighteenth day of the year and 347 days remain.

Thesaurus Day 

Thesaurus Day is celebrated annually on January 18th. You needn’t be a wordsmith to conclude that this holiday celebrates thesauri.  More definitively, it celebrates Peter Mark Roget – the author of the first comprehensive compilation of synonyms and antonyms in the English language.
Peter Mark Roget was born on this date in 1779. He is best known for the publication of his “Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases.” The thesaurus was not the result of his vocation, but rather his avocation since his youth. His early life was rather tragic. I won’t go into detail here, but this link will give you a better explanation.
In 1840, Roget retired from a successful career in medicine and spent the rest of his life working on his Thesaurus. It was published in 1852 and since then, it has never been out of print. Roget’s original Thesaurus included 15,000 words organized into six primary categories—existence, relation, quantity, number, and time. Today Roget’s Thesaurus contains over 230,000 words, but it is still organized by ideas and concepts as opposed to alphabetically.
If you decide to celebrate Thesaurus Day, simply learn a few new words today. With that said, I want to wish each of you a “Jocund Onomasticon Diurnal Course.”

Rid the World of Fad Diet and Gimmicks Day

Rid the World of Fad Diet and Gimmicks Day is celebrated annually on the third Tuesday in January. This holiday was created to warn people about the many far-fetched and ill-advised methods of losing weight. The Task Force on Weight Loss Abuse for the National Council Against Health Fraud maintains an extensive collection of questionable products and bizarre gadgets that Americans have used in their “battle of the bulge.”
Have you ever heard of “The Cotton Ball Diet”? How about “The Tongue Patch Diet”? Both of these actually existed at one time or another, and both were as ridiculous as they sound. The first one suggested that one soak cotton balls in juice and ingests them. The objective was to feel full without actually consuming real food. However, the risks, such as a blockage in the digestive system…which could necessitate surgery, far outweighed the benefit. The second was a gimmick apparatus that was constructed of plastic and attached to the tongue making it difficult, and painful to chew; which meant that the only possible means of sustenance for the user would have to be in liquid form.
Fad diets refer to unconventional methods of weight loss and usually promote short-term results, and usually have no concern for long-term weight control. They become popular very quickly and disappear just as fast. In general, fad diets disregard or try to refute what has been proven by the medical community to be effective, or by disregarding the basic association between dietary patterns and human health. Extreme fad diets may even be unhealthy because they don’t provide the necessary protein, vitamins, and minerals essential in a balanced diet.
Listed below are some ways to spot a “fad diet.”
Does it:

  1. Recommend a quick fix solution.
  2. Sound too good to be true.
  3. Make recommendations based on a single study.
  4. Draw simple conclusions from a complex study.
  5. Make recommendations that ignore the differences between people.
  6. Require you to buy a specific product only available from them.
  7. Eliminate one or more of the food groups.
  8. Claim dramatic results that are questioned by established scientific communities.

If any of the above is true, then it’s probably a fad or gimmick diet. Let’s face it, the only sure way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume each day. So, if you need to lose a little weight, celebrate Rid the World of Fad Diet and Gimmicks Day by consulting with your doctor about legitimate means of weight loss.

Winnie-the-Pooh Day 

Winnie-the-Pooh Day is celebrated annually on January 18th. As you might suspect, this holiday celebrates the classic collection of children’s stories – Winnie-the Pooh. More precisely, it celebrates the birthdate of A. A. Milne, born on this date in 1882 – the author of the aforementioned Winnie-the-Pooh series of stories.
This first collection of these stories was published in 1926. They were inspired by the teddy bear of Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, who himself became one of the stories’ characters. The original Winnie-the-Pooh (and hyphens too!) was named for Winnie, a black bear at the London Zoo, and Pooh, a swan Christopher encountered while on vacation. The result of this combination was not some freakish bear/swan hybrid, but thankfully, the adorable honey-loving bear we’ve all come to know and love.
The best way to celebrate Winnie-the-Pooh Day is to simply read some of the stories from this collection to your children or grandchildren today – or, take a trip down “memory lane” and re-visit some of them for yourself.

Peking Duck Day  

Peking Duck Day is celebrated annually on January 18th. You needn’t be a poultry farmer or a 5-Star chef to ascertain that this holiday celebrates Peking duck – a delicious Chinese method of preparing duck.
Peking Duck is a famous duck dish that originated in Peking (now Beijing), hence the name. The dish is prized for the thin, crisp skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook.
Peking Duck is a national dish of China and dates back to the Ming Dynasty. It is made with a specific breed of duck — the Imperial Peking and the ducks are slaughtered after 65 days. They are then seasoned before being roasted in a brick oven which gives it its traditional crispy skin. This dish is normally eaten with pancakes, scallion, and hoisin sauce or sweet bean sauce.
Authentic Peking Duck is not a dish that can easily be made at home. First, it is difficult to find Imperial Peking ducks in America. Second, the traditional process for making Peking duck requires about 24-hours of preparation. While there are recipes for “Peking duck” available online, they are simply “Peking-style roast ducks” that omit many of the steps used in the original recipe but use the same basic spices.
The best way to celebrate Peking Duck Day properly today is to call your preferred Chinese restaurant and order an authentic Peking duck [for tomorrow] – and postpone your celebration until it’s ready. My bad! I should have given you a ‘heads up’ yesterday about this holiday.

National Gourmet Coffee Day 

National Gourmet Coffee Day is celebrated annually on January 18th. As you might logically infer, this holiday celebrates gourmet coffee – the latest ‘trendy’ hot beverage.
Contrary to popular belief, Starbucks is not the original gourmet coffee shop in America. That distinction goes to Peet’s Coffee and Tea, started in 1966 by Alfred Peet in Berkeley, Ca.
Coffee in America had been in a state of decline since the end of World War II. People had become accustomed to inferior blends of coffee, during the war because of a shortage of supply and rationing. It carried on for a few decades until the 1970s. Eventually, with the expansion of Peet’s and the birth of another giant in the industry, Starbucks, a renewed interest in coffee was sparked. Now, gourmet coffee shops are everywhere.
If you opt to celebrate National Gourmet Coffee Day, take out a ‘second mortgage’ on your home, visit a gourmet coffee shop today to try one of their gourmet blends.
Author’s Note:
When the new Safeway supermarket opened up in the new San Antonio Shopping Center near my home a few years ago, it included a Starbuck’s coffee shop located inside the store. Literally, a stone’s throw away, in the same shopping center, and at the same time – you guessed it, another Starbucks opened. I wonder how long it will be before some enterprising individual tries to open up a Starbucks located — inside another Starbucks?

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

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