Dinosaurs, Pack Rats, Telecommunications, Hypertension, Cherry Cobler, and Walnuts

May 17, 2022 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning you old fossils. Today is Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Today is the 137th day of the year, and 228 days remain.

Dinosaur Day  

Dinosaur Day is celebrated annually on the third Tuesday in May and annually on June 1st. You needn’t be a paleontologist to ascertain that this holiday celebrates dinosaurs. There is little information available regarding this holiday. My sources gave no reason why Dinosaur Day is celebrated on these dates, when it was created, or who created it. A Google search yielded no useful information either.
The study of dinosaurs began in earnest in the mid-19th century. In 1842, paleontologist Richard Owen coined the term dinosaur, derived from the Greek deinos, meaning “terrible” or “fearfully great,” and sauros, meaning “lizard” or reptile,” so the word dinosaur literally means “terrible lizard.”
Most people think of dinosaurs as big, ferocious, and extinct reptiles, but that is only partially true. Dinosaurs came in all shapes and sizes, some smaller than a turkey. Since the only way we have to judge the size of dinosaurs is through fossil remains, it seems that dinosaurs were large because larger fossil remains are more likely to have survived over time. The smaller fossils simply disintegrated.
Dinosaurs first appeared about 230 million years ago. They ruled the Earth for about 135 million years until an extinction event 65 million years ago wiped out all but bird-like dinosaurs. Scientists don’t agree specifically on what happened, but their extinction was likely a result of multiple factors including an asteroid impact, choking chemicals from erupting volcanoes, and climate change.
Although the scientific community agrees that the larger terrestrial and aquatic dinosaurs vanished for the above reasons, most also agree that our modern-day birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs that evolved over time. Fossils show that some of the more advanced dinosaurs had feathers or feather-like body covering, but many of them didn’t fly and probably didn’t even glide. Instead, feathers, rather than being an adaptation for flight, helped these bird-like non-birds stay warm as juveniles.
The most obvious way to celebrate Dinosaur Day is to just learn more about dinosaurs. I think the information contained in this link will be helpful.

Pack Rat Day 

Pack Rat Day is celebrated annually on May 17th. Contrary to what you might be thinking, this holiday does not refer to that species of rodent that uses whatever materials are in close proximity to build their nests. Rather, it celebrates their human counterparts who have a hard time letting go (of things).
Most of us find it difficult to let go of things, especially things with sentimental value. I am no exception. Although I don’t have a lot of material possessions, I do have the propensity to accumulate kitchen gadgets, office supplies, and camera equipment. Additionally, I still have the cedar chest that I built in my 8th-grade shop class, some of my mother’s nick-knacks which were around the house when I was growing up, one of her old cast-iron skillets, and some of her glass bakeware.
This holiday is the day to relish the fact that you had the foresight to hold on to items like these. One good way to celebrate Pack Rat Day is by going through some of the treasures from your past today and letting the memories flow. Remember, today isn’t the time to throw any of them away. This holiday is all about celebrating your “pack-rattiness”.

World Telecommunications Day 

World Telecommunications Day is celebrated annually on May 17th. You should be able to infer from its name that this holiday is a day to celebrate the advances made in worldwide communications. The goal of this holiday is to highlight the importance of communication and how information travels across the world. It also aims to increase awareness of how crucial communication is in our lives and stimulate the development of technologies in the field.
The International Telegraph Union is an organization formed in 1865 to support the emerging communication methods of the time. Since then, it has been present throughout all the great breakthroughs in communication – since the invention of the telephone in 1876, the launch of the first communications satellite in 1957, and, ultimately, the birth of the Internet. It remains the most important entity in the field of communications.
World Telecommunications Day is inexorably linked with the International Telegraph Union and celebrates the constant evolution of one of the most important factors of our lives –communication.
An obvious way to celebrate World Telecommunications Day would be to use your most technologically advanced communications device to contact some of your friends today. Reminisce about how far communications have progressed during your lifetime. Do you remember having to go through an operator to make a long-distance phone call, or calling “directory assistance” to find a phone number, or, worst of all, “party lines?”

World Hypertension Day 

World Hypertension Day is celebrated annually on May 17th. For those of you who don’t know, hypertension is just the fancy way of saying “high blood pressure”. The recommended blood pressure for an average adult is 140/90 or less and for the hypertensive population with diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease without any other complications is 130/80 or less.
World Hypertension Day was created in 2005 by the World Hypertension League. Its purpose is to raise awareness of hypertension and to promote early detection, control, and prevention of the disease. Through such specific themes, the World Hypertension League is trying to raise awareness, not only of hypertension but also of the factors that are contributing to the increase of hypertension cases and on ways to prevent it. This year’s theme is “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer”.
Hypertension has been linked to heart attacks, kidney disease, and strokes and can be fatal. I suffer from it, along with millions of others.
The optimal way to celebrate World Hypertension Day is to do some research into hypertension. Learn about its symptoms, and schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider today for a simple blood pressure check.

National Cherry Cobbler Day

National Cherry Cobbler Day is celebrated annually on May 17th. As you might surmise, this holiday celebrates cherry cobbler – a popular American dessert. Cherry season is just beginning, so the timing of this holiday is no accident.
As I covered in another cobbler-related holiday last month, a cobbler is basically a fruit pie without a bottom crust. No one knows how cobblers got their name, but some culinary historians believe the name may have been inspired by their resemblance to cobblestones.
Cobblers can be sweet or savory, however, today, most cobblers are of the sweet variety. Back in the 19th century, as pioneers moved west, they had to adapt many recipes using ingredients they found along their route. The traditional pie evolved into cobbler, which was often served as the main dish of the meal.
The only way to celebrate National Cherry Cobbler Day is to simply bake a cherry cobbler today and have some for dessert tonight.

National Walnut Day 

National Walnut Day is celebrated annually on May 17th. Even if you aren’t “nutty” you should be able to deduce that this holiday celebrates walnuts. This holiday was created by the Walnut Marketing Board in June of 1949 to promote walnuts and point out their nutritional value. In 1958, a Senate Resolution was signed by President Eisenhower designating May 17th as National Walnut Day.
Walnuts are a good source of fiber. They contain vitamin E and antioxidants. Walnuts reduce cholesterol and are beneficial to cardiovascular health. Due to their resemblance to a brain, in some cultures, walnuts also symbolize intelligence.
Whether in a salad, in a dessert, in a side dish, or by themselves, enjoy some walnuts today in celebration of National Walnut Day.

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

Trees, Waitstaff, Biographers, Wearing Purple, Mimosas, and Coquilles St. Jacques

May 16, 2022 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning tree-huggers. Today is Monday, May 16, 2022. Today is the 136th day of the year, and 229 days remain.

Love a Tree Day 

Love a Tree Day is celebrated annually on May 16th. You needn’t be an arborist to ascertain that this holiday celebrates the symbiotic relationship between mankind and trees.
What’s not to love about trees? They are majestic and beautiful. They benefit mankind by providing shade on those long hot summer days. And, through a process called photosynthesis, trees give off oxygen which mankind needs to exist. Win! Win! Although some may disagree, when trees drop their foliage, each fall as part of their natural life process, they also provide a form of light exercise as you rake the leaves and dispose of them.
The obvious way to celebrate Love a Tree Day is to simply pamper your trees today. If they need to be trimmed, trim them. If there are any competing plants or weeds nearby, remove them. Give your trees some fertilizer, and a good drink of water. Then relax and enjoy a nice cold beverage of your choice in the shade they provide.
Listed below are a few other fun facts about trees. 

  • There are some tree species that live to be several thousand years old.
  • A mature tree can remove nearly 70 times more airborne pollution than a newly planted one.
  • A single tree produces about 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two fully mature trees can provide enough oxygen each year to support a family of 4.
  • Over 20% of the Earth’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest.

National Waitstaff Day 

National Waitstaff Day is celebrated each year on May 16th. As you might already suspect, this holiday pays homage to those dedicated people who serve your meals when you dine out.
Your server can “make or break” your dining experience. A good server will not hover, but always be attentive. A bad server, one who is surly, inattentive, or who needs a refresher course in personal hygiene can ruin your meal (and your special occasion – if that is the reason you are dining out).
With that said, everyone can have a bad day once in a while, so take that into consideration. The waitstaff at most restaurants make minimum wage or less, so they rely upon gratuities to supplement their income. The average ‘tip’ these days is about 18%…and that is fair.
So, if you decide to celebrate National Waitstaff Day by dining out today, and your server is competent, be generous with your gratuity. You could also wish them a Happy Waiter/Waitress/Wait Staff Day.
Author’s Note:
Having worked a couple of jobs where the only compensation I received was derived from tips, I tend to be a little more generous. I usually tip 20% plus. I take the total of the amount due, divide by ten, and multiply by two. I then add that amount to the total on the bill and round up to the nearest whole dollar. [For instance: During a recent dining out experience, my total bill came to $23.47. Divide that by 10 and the sum is $2.347 (I round up to $2.35). Multiply $2.35 by 2 and the sum is $4.70. Add $4.70 to $23.47 and you get $28.17. I then rounded that amount up to $29.00, so the total tip was $5.53 or about 24%]. My server(s) (I had dinner right at shift change so I had two) were both excellent. However, if the service is abominable, I will tip accordingly. 

Biographer’s Day 

Biographer’s Day is celebrated annually on May 16th. You don’t need to be a bibliophile to deduce that this holiday celebrates biographers – those writers who chronicle the lives of others.
The modern style of biography originated in the eighteenth century and is most closely associated with James Boswell, who undertook an extraordinary biography of his charismatic companion Samuel Johnson. Samuel Johnson was a famous author and lexicographer, who wrote, among other things, the ‘Dictionary of the English Language’ (published in 1755), the first English dictionary. The ‘Dictionary of the English Language’ was the book upon which most dictionaries were based until it was superseded by the publishing of the ‘Oxford English Dictionary’ in 1928.
Biographer’s Day commemorates the date when the two first met in a London bookshop in 1763. Boswell’s work, The Life of Samuel Johnson, published in 1791, is widely considered to be the greatest biography ever written. Boswell’s expansive work about Mr. Johnson, warm, uncompromising, and exhaustively detailed, established a new way of writing a biography and shaped the emergence of the biography format that is popular today.
A good way to celebrate Biographer’s Day is to simply begin reading a biography of someone about whom you have an interest.

Wear Purple for Peace Day 

Wear Purple for Peace Day is celebrated annually on May 16th. If you think that this holiday is just another one of those namby-pamby, stomach-turning holidays created by the United Nations or created by some “hippiesque” group wanting peace throughout the world, you are mistaken — Wear Purple for Peace Day is much weirder than that.
Wear Purple for Peace Day was created out of the belief that the only reason outer space aliens have not yet visited Earth is that we are too violent. The goal is to make Earth a peaceful place so that the aliens might someday deem us worthy of a visit.
I can offer no guidance to you regarding the celebration (or not) of Wear Purple for Peace Day.
Author’s Note:
How silly! Everyone knows that the aliens are already here. They live among us now. They have taken over every level of our government, our universities, and are slowly getting us accustomed to subjugation, tyranny, and omnipresent power in the hands of a select few. How else can one possibly explain what is going on with our federal, state and local governments, the news media, and on college campuses these days?

Mimosa Day 

Mimosa Day is celebrated annually on May 16th. You don’t need to be a professional mixologist to conclude that this holiday celebrates Mimosas – the tasty, yet simple-to-make cocktail made with equal parts of orange juice and champagne.
Mimosas are an elegant cocktail that was created in 1925 at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. It is traditionally served in a champagne flute and is usually enjoyed on special occasions such as weddings, Easter and Mother’s Day, and on cruise ships or at resorts. In recent history, it is becoming popular during Sunday brunch as well.
Do I really need to offer you suggestions on how to celebrate Mimosa Day?

National Coquilles St. Jacques Day 

National Coquilles St. Jacques Day is celebrated annually on May 16th. As you might suspect, this holiday celebrates Coquilles St. Jacques – a classic French scallop dish.
Coquilles St. Jacques translates to St. James’s Scallops. It is a classic French dish made with scallops, heavy cream, butter, mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese, baked in a scallop shell.
If you are inquisitive and adventurous this link not only provides you with the legend of St. James the Greater and his association with scallops, it offers a recipe for Coquilles St. Jacques to assist you in your celebration of National Coquilles St. Jacques Day.

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

Peace Officers, Straw Hats, Nylon Stockings, Baking, and Chocolate Chips

May 15, 2022 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning fellow fans of law enforcement. Today is Sunday, May 15, 2022. Today is the 135th day of the year, and 230 days remain.

Peace Officer’s Memorial Day 

Peace Officer’s Memorial Day is celebrated annually on May 15th. As you might expect, this holiday is an observance in America that pays tribute to the local, state, and federal peace officers who lost their lives in the performance of their duties. A part of Police Week, it was proposed in October 1961 when congress asked the President to designate May 15 to honor fallen peace officers. President John F. Kennedy signed the bill into law on October 1, 1962. The law was amended in 1994 when President Clinton, through Public Law 103-322, directed that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff on this date.
Peace Officer’s Memorial Day honors Federal, state, and local officers who were killed or disabled in the line of duty. According to statistics, about 150 officers are killed each year while performing their jobs. Although it is an observance, (not an “official” holiday), many municipalities give officers time off, such as some extra time at lunch, to attend Memorial Services held in their community.
If you know of a Memorial Service being held in your area today, attend it in observance of Peace Officer’s Memorial Day.

Straw Hat Day 

Straw Hat Day is celebrated annually on May 15th. If you have been languishing over the quandary of exactly when it is socially acceptable to begin wearing your straw hat without committing a fashion faux pas, languish no longer, today is the day. The exact date of Straw Hat Day varies somewhat in the United States by region and climate, but May 15th is the generally accepted date to begin wearing your straw hat. Straw Hat Day is the unofficial start of summer in many areas of the country.
Before you dismiss Straw Hat Day as another frivolous holiday, consider this. According to Neil Steinberg’s book “Hatless Jack”, men have been murdered as recently as the early 20th century in the United States for the crime of wearing a straw hat out of season.
Today, your felt hats should be put away until September. This makes perfect sense, since straw hats allow more air to circulate, thus making them cooler to wear during the hot summer months. During the winter, 75% of your body’s heat loss occurs through your head, but in the summer, that is not a concern, so protection from the sun seems to be a better reason to wear a straw hat.
So, today, break out your ‘boater’ and wear it proudly in celebration of Straw Hat Day. Just don’t get caught wearing it after Labor Day lest you be subjected to public ridicule by the ‘fashion police’.

Nylon Stockings Day 

Nylon Stockings Day is celebrated annually on May 15th. You needn’t be a hosiery aficionado to figure out that this holiday celebrates the creation of one of the most significant and innovative new products of the mid-20th century fashion industry – nylon stockings.
In 1935, a new synthetic material, nylon, was developed by Du Pont corporation, and this holiday marks the date, in 1940, that Du Pont corporation put nylon stockings on sale for the first time. In a public-relations and marketing coup d’état, Du Pont advertised the release date well in advance of, its new “stronger than steel and run-proof” stockings for women, and declared May 15th as N-Day. As a result, women across America lined up for blocks to get these new stockings, and Du Pont sold 5 million pairs on this single day. These new stockings came to represent newfound freedom for women and redefined the concept of feminine sexuality.
During World War II Du Pont was forced to divert its nylon production toward war-related materials, such as parachutes and aircraft tires. This, naturally, soon caused a shortage of nylon stockings. In America, the demand for nylon stockings was so high that people began paying $20 per pair on the black market (before the start of the war they had cost a little over a dollar). In Chicago, police ruled out robbery as a motive in a murder case because the perpetrator had left six pairs of nylon stockings at the crime scene. Eight days after the end of WW II, Du Pont announced that it was resuming production of nylon stockings, however, it took until March of 1946 for Du Pont to attain the pre-war production levels of about 30 million pairs per month. The results were the so-called, “Nylon Wars”. As soon as word leaked out that a retailer had received a limited number of nylons, crowds would show up and demand that they be allowed to purchase a pair. These crowds often became disorderly, and police sometimes had to be called to restore order.
The most obvious way to celebrate Nylon Stocking Day is to wear a pair of nylons proudly today.
Author’s note:
Guys, no judgement here, if you want to wear nylon stockings, or if you have a pair of nylon socks, wear them today. If you classify medical compression socks as “nylons”, I know that I will be wearing mine.

World Baking Day 

World Baking Day is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in May. You needn’t be a world-renowned pâtissier to determine that his holiday celebrates baking. It is the holiday to dig out your rolling pin, heat up your oven, and prepare something delicious. Whether you choose to bake a pie, a batch of cookies, some brownies, a cake or cupcakes, or a nice crusty loaf of bread, today is the day to bake something – then share it with your family, neighbors, and/or friends.
World Baking Day was created to spread the joy of baking all around the world, especially to those who perhaps don’t bake too often and are not particularly experienced at it. This holiday is meant to show people just how much fun it can be to make a cake or some cookies, and that baking can be a great way to spend time with family and friends. And, as a bonus, you get to eat what you’ve created.
It doesn’t matter what you bake, or how complicated or uncomplicated the recipe is, if you opt to celebrate World Baking Day, simply bake something today – it’s that easy.

National Chocolate Chip Day 

National Chocolate Chip Day is celebrated annually on May 15th. As you might naturally intuit, this holiday celebrates that sweet, tasty, and versatile necessity essential to every cook’s pantry – chocolate chips.
Chocolate chips aren’t just for cookies anymore. Chocolate chips are specially formulated to be used in a variety of baked goods. They provide a burst of rich chocolate flavor, yet retain the integrity of their flavor, texture, and shape. There are various kinds of chocolate chips available (semi-sweet, bittersweet, milk, mint and white chocolate, mini, standard, and large).
The most popular among these are the semi-sweet variety because of their versatility. You can use them in virtually any recipe that calls for chocolate chips. Chocolate chips store well at room temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees, are easy to measure (a standard six-ounce package equals one cup), and fold into almost any mixture with just a few strokes. They also add flavor, without overpowering the other ingredients.
Heck, I’ve been known to eat chocolate chips right out of the bag as a snack – along with some raisins and nuts. How are you going to enjoy your chocolate chips today in celebration of National Chocolate Chip Day?

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

Stars and Stripes, Migratory Birds, Miniature Golf, Archery, Underground, Sun Awareness, Dancing like Chickens, and Buttermilk Biscuits

May 14, 2022 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my flag-waving friends. Today is Saturday, May 14, 2022. Today is the 134th day of the year, and 231 days remain.

“The Stars and Stripes Forever” Day 

“The Stars and Stripes Forever” Day is celebrated annually on May 14th. You needn’t be a marching band music aficionado to ascertain that this holiday celebrates “the Stars and Stripes Forever” – a patriotic American march widely considered to be the “signature song” of composer John Philip Sousa. “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Day commemorates the inaugural performance of this song on this date in 1897. The occasion was the unveiling of a statue of George Washington in Philadelphia, PA. President William McKinley was present for the performance.
According to his biography “Marching Along”, Mr. Sousa composed “The Stars and Stripes Forever” at sea on Christmas Day in 1896 as he was returning to the United States from a vacation in Europe. By an act of Congress in 1987, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” is the official National March of the United States.
The most obvious way to celebrate “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Day is to simply listen to “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” A Google search should render myriad renditions of this patriotic song. Additionally, you could listen to other patriotic selections by John Philip Sousa.

International Migratory Bird Day 

International Migratory Bird Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in May. You don’t need to be an ornithologist to ascertain that this holiday highlights the importance of international efforts to conserve birds through agreements, laws, treaties, and collaborations. This holiday also marks the Centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty – a landmark agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to protect our shared migratory birds.
Because birds do not migrate on the same day, International Migratory Bird Day is celebrated on different dates across the Northern Hemisphere. Events take place year-round, though most occur around the “traditional” date on the second Saturday in May. In the southern hemisphere, it is celebrated in October.
International Migratory Bird Day is the only international education program that highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and each year it explores a different aspect of migratory birds and their conservation.
A good way to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day is to simply spend a relaxing hour or so outside today and see how many different species of birds you spot.

National Miniature Golf Day 

National Miniature Golf Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in May. You needn’t be a minuscule linkster to ascertain that this holiday celebrates miniature golf – a favorite pastime of Americans young and old alike.
Miniature golf has been around since the mid-1800s. During this era, it was thought to be unladylike for a woman to swing a golf club above her shoulder level. So, in 1867, the Ladies’ Putting Club of St. Andrews designed a scaled-down version of golf that allowed women to join in the fun without creating a scandal. This was the first Miniature Golf course.
In the early 20th century, Miniature Golf courses began springing up in America, but these were usually in Hotels and Private Resorts, so they were still unavailable to the masses. The first Miniature Golf course that was open to the public was “Thistle Dhu”, constructed in 1916 by James Barbar in North Carolina. By the mid 1930′s, Miniature Golf had become a popular pastime all across America. It is still popular today. My research did not reveal when or why “obstacles” became part of the game.
If you opt to celebrate National Miniature Golf Day, simply go to your local miniature golf course and play a round of miniature golf today.

National Archery Day 

National Archery Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in May. To get right to the point, Archery Day, obviously, celebrates archery – both as a weapon and a sport.
Archery is one of the oldest sports still in existence and has been around since before 2800 BC. And, bows and arrows have been used for hunting and in warfare for centuries.
Archery was introduced to the modern Olympic games in 1900 but only appeared again in 1904, 1908, and 1920. Then once again after a long absence, archery returned as an Olympic event in 1972.
In recent years, archery has grown in popularity. The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) began in Kentucky in 2002. The program has since spread to 47 states and 10 countries, with over 2.1 million kids participating each year. The second Saturday in May is generally the time the NASP tournament is held. This is the largest archery tournament in the world. Each year kids from all over the United States look forward to traveling to Louisville, Kentucky, for this culminating event to end their school archery year. The event draws over 11,500 students each year.
One way to celebrate National Archery Day would be to channel your inner William Tell, and take some target practice with a bow and arrow. Unlike Mr. Tell, however, I recommend that you use an inanimate target – not one of your own progenies. If on the off chance you don’t have access to archery equipment, many larger cities have archery clubs where you can rent the equipment you need.

Underground America Day 

Underground America Day is celebrated annually on May 14th. Contrary to what you might be thinking, this holiday does not refer to those radical fringe groups from both sides of the political spectrum who try to live their lives “underground”; — without the scrutiny of “big brother”. Instead, it takes a much more literal approach. Underground America Day, a time to honor the 6,000 or so North Americans who make their homes not only on the Earth but in it. This holiday was created in 1974 by architect Malcolm Wells. He is quoted as saying; ”I woke up one day to the fact that the Earth’s surface was made for living plants, not industrial plants.”
One of the top advantages of living underground is energy conservation.  Completely covered homes or Earth-sheltered homes are covered on all sides with earth while earth-bermed homes leave one side exposed. Both provide natural insulation and allow for more stable temperatures within the home and less exposure to the elements.
Of course, there are also some disadvantages as well.  If you enjoy lots of sunlight and throwing open the windows on a summer day to create a natural breeze, you should probably opt for more conventional type dwellings.
Listed below are some suggestions of ways to celebrate Underground America Day, – in the unlikely event that you might be so inclined.

1) Eat root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and parsnips.
2) Learn about moles, gophers, and other subterranean species.
3) Dig for buried treasure in your backyard.
4) Look down into a well.
5) Have a party in your basement.

Sun Awareness Day 

Sun Awareness Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in May.  You don’t need to be a direct descendent of Helios to deduce that this holiday serves to remind us of the dangers of overexposure to the sun.
Now that Spring is here and the temperatures are on the rise, most of us are spending more time outside in the sun. Sun Awareness Day urges us to stock up on sunscreen and use it liberally while outside. Many people don’t even think about sunscreen until they start feeling the effects of the sun – but by then, it’s too late. And, it is doubly important that your children use sunscreen when playing outside.
The obvious way to celebrate Sun Awareness Day is to slather on the sun screen (I require like SPF-1,000) and spend some time soaking up some rays – just don’t overdo it. Learn more about the risks of over-exposure to the sun.

Dance Like a Chicken Day 

Dance Like a Chicken Day (aka Chicken Dance Day) is celebrated annually on May 14th. You don’t need to be Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers to deduce that this holiday celebrates the “Chicken Dance” song. Although you probably don’t want to admit it, you all have probably danced to the Chicken Dance at least once in your life. This goofy dance is a popular favorite at kid’s birthday parties, bat mitzvahs, weddings, and other social gatherings. You may not even be aware that you have danced to this song because it has many names – Chicken Dance Song, Duck Dance, Der Ententanz, and Dance Little Bird to name a few.
Werner Thomas, a Swiss accordion player, wrote the basic melody for the Chicken Dance song in the late 1950s. In 1963, he began performing it at his restaurant. The people who bravely stood up and danced along often used sporadic movements that reminded Thomas of ducks and chickens. By the time the Chicken Dance arrived in America in the 1970s, it had transformed into a set of movements with repeated “beak”, “wing”, and “tail” movements.
Today, the Chicken Dance has earned a fond place in the playlist of cheesy party dance songs. Other favorites typically include the Hokey Pokey, the Electric Slide, and the Macarena.
I offer this link to help you celebrate Dance Like a Chicken Day. Not only does it provide the music for you to dance to, it also demonstrates the dance for you as well – so no excuses, start flappin’.

National Buttermilk Biscuit Day 

National Buttermilk Biscuit Day is celebrated annually on May 14th. As you might suspect, this holiday celebrates buttermilk biscuits – a typically American quick-bread option.
What do you think about if you hear the word ‘biscuit’? If you are British, chances are you think of what we here in America call a ‘cookie’. However, here in America, the word has an entirely different meaning. They are a form of quick-bread (it doesn’t need yeast to rise) about the size of dinner rolls.
Biscuits, particularly buttermilk biscuits, are a staple of American cuisine. They are often served as bread with a meal (chicken and biscuits); for breakfast as a substitute for toast; or with country gravy as an entree.
I have two favorite ways to enjoy Buttermilk Biscuits. The first is fresh from the oven, slathered with butter and honey. The second is with my sausage gravy. You can celebrate National Buttermilk Biscuit Day with either or both of the recipes I linked in the sentences above, or with your own recipes.

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

Obfuscate Blame, Skeptics, Sharks, Frogs, Leprechauns, Apple Pie, and Fruit Cocktail

May 13, 2022 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my blameless friends. Today is Friday, May 13, 2022. Today is the 133rd day of the year, and 232 days remain.

Preface:
Before I get into today’s holidays, I would like to point out that today is Friday the 13th (insert Twilight Zone theme music here). Any calendar year has at least one Friday the 13th, and can have as many as three Friday the 13ths. This year, 2022, we have only one – and this is it.  Some of you may have already read this piece because I originally wrote it about 15 years ago in an old BLOG which I no longer use, and have re-published it on this BLOG a few times since then. I am publishing it again today for the benefit of those of you who are new to this BLOG.
Let me begin with a few facts and statistics about Friday the 13th.

  • Any month that begins on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th.
  • There is at least one Friday the 13th each year.
  • Using the Gregorian calendar, there can be as many as three Friday the 13th’s a calendar year; either in February, March and November in a common year starting on Thursday (such as 2009), or January, April and July in a leap year starting on Sunday (such as 2012).
  • The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months.
  • Using the Gregorian calendar, the 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to be a Friday than any other day of the week, but only slightly. On average, there is a Friday the 13th once every 212.35 days (compared to Thursday the 13th, which occurs only once every 213.59 days).
  • According to a study released in 2008 by the Dutch Center for Insurance Statistics, it was revealed that “fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are more careful, or just stay home.” Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th, at least in the Netherlands; in the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday; but the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500.

The superstition surrounding Friday the 13th being regarded as an unlucky day is a relative newcomer in the annals of history and seems to be a combination of two much older superstitions. The first written record referencing Friday the 13th as an unlucky day occurs in Henry Sutherland Edwards’ 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday 13th.

He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that one Friday 13th of November he died.”

Many cultures believed that the number “13″ was an unlucky number. The number “13″ is considered unlucky for a number of reasons: In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 successors of Muhammad in Shia Islam, twelve signs of the Zodiac, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a will table result in the death of one of the diners. Also, to this day, most buildings do not have a 13th floor or room numbers ending in the number 13.
Likewise, “Friday” has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s “The Canterbury Tales”.  Many professions regard Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects.  Friday is also the day when Jesus Christ was crucified, adding to its unpopularity.
[Dictionary.com defines a phobia as “A persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.”]
One word used to describe the fear of Friday the 13th is Friggatriskaidekaphobia (frigga-tris-kai-deka-pho-bia) – a fear of Friday the 13th: It is a combination of the words Frigga, being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named in English, and triskaidekaphobia – meaning fear of the number thirteen. Another word used to describe Friday the 13th is Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Paraskevidekatriaphobia (para-skevi-deka-tria-phobia), came into the lexicon in 1953. It is a combination of the Greek words Paraskeví, meaning “Friday”), and dekatreís, meaning “thirteen”) attached to phobia, from Phobos, meaning “fear”).
Author’s note:
If you are having difficulty following all the big words I’m using, you might be suffering from hippopotomonstrosesquipedalophobia (hip-po-pot-o-mon-stro-ses-qui-ped-ali-o-pho-bia) – which means a fear of long words, (Did you see that one coming)? Hippopotomonstrosesquipedalophobia is a contrived word and is a truncated and extended version of the word sesquipedalophobia (ses-qui-ped-al-o-pho-bia); which is the word used in formal writing to describe the fear of long words. The “hippopotomonstro” part of the word is a combination of the words hippopotamus and monster and is used to exaggerate the length of the word, adding credence to the word’s meaning: a fear of long words. Or, you might just be suffering from rupophobia (ru-po-pho-bia): a fear of rubbish.

Humorous Aside:
Do not confuse friggatriskaidekaphobia with *friggintrickydickaphobia* (friggin-tricky-dicka–pho-bia) – an affliction suffered by a large segment of American society during the late 1960′s and early 1970′s – particularly those on the left side of the political aisle. (Please note that, despite how many of you might think otherwise, friggintrickydickaphobia is not an actual word. I used it here strictly for the purpose of levity. I do not know where I heard it before, but whoever coined the word certainly had a delightful sense of humor. A Google search for friggintrickydickaphobia yielded no search results). 


Now I begin with today’s actual holidays.

Blame Someone Else Day 

Blame Someone Else Day is celebrated annually on the first Friday the 13th of the year. It doesn’t require a vivid imagination to conclude that this holiday is a day created to relieve yourself from taking responsibility for anything that goes wrong today. On this holiday, nothing that goes wrong is your fault – someone else must be responsible.
According to one of my sources, the blame for the creation of this holiday is placed on Anne Moeller of Clio, Michigan, who, on the first Friday the 13th of 1982, overslept. Purportedly, since Anne’s alarm clock did not go off, she was late for appointments all day long. According to the story, she spent the day spreading the blame and making excuses for being late. However, none of these facts have been verified, and she could merely be the scapegoat of the actual nefarious ne’er-do-well who created this holiday. Who knows?
Bear in mind, however, that whoever you blame today might possibly be blaming you as well, and tomorrow, the truth will likely out, and you will suffer the consequences of your actions.
In keeping with the spirit of Blame Someone Else Day, I would like to emphatically state that I had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of this holiday – it must have been someone else. Was it you?

International Skeptics Day 

International Skeptics Day is another holiday that is celebrated annually on the first Friday the 13th of the year. As you can readily infer from its name, this holiday urges us to be skeptical of everything today. Personally, I am a bit skeptical about this holiday, but according to my sources it exists.
I don’t care whether you believe it or not, but, by definition, a skeptic is – a person who questions or doubts facts and theories. A skeptic does not accept the “given”. International Skeptics Day is of dubious origin. It is unknown who created this holiday, or why, or even when it is to be celebrated. In my research, I found 3 different dates on which to celebrate this holiday: January 13th, October 13th, and the first Friday the 13th of the year – but you can’t believe everything you read.
Due to the current political climate, I tend to be skeptical of just about everything these days. Since when did the “truth” become dependent upon to which political party or organization you belong? The only thing that I know to be absolutely true is that as soon as a politician begins to speak, he is basically engaging in foreplay, because someone, somewhere, somehow is about to get “screwed”.
The obvious way to celebrate International Skeptics Day is to simply not accept as fact anything you see, hear, or read today.

Fintastic Friday 

Fintastic Friday is celebrated annually on the second Friday in May. You may, or may not be surprised to learn that this holiday was created to increase awareness of the plight of sharks worldwide.
Movies, television, books, and news media outlets portray sharks as little more than killing machines lurking offshore waiting for your unsuspecting munchkin to venture into their realm and snatch them up. This leads to a misguided hatred and fear of sharks and results in a lack of compassion towards them.
In reality, on average only 10 people are killed by sharks a year worldwide. Yet, each year, 73 million sharks are killed – mostly just for their fins. Shark populations have plummeted 75% to 90% in many ecosystems, and worldwide, sharks have little or no protection. Granted, sharks aren’t the most cuddly and adorable creatures on the planet, but they do play a vital role in the ocean’s ecosystem.
Fintastic Friday celebrates sharks and encourages everyone to find ways to change public opinion about them. Do your part and learn more about sharks and the role they play in the ocean’s delicate ecosystem. Think of it as a kind of Earth Day for sharks.

Frog Jumping Day 

“Leapin’ Horny Toads”! It’s Frog Jumping Day.”
Frog Jumping Day is celebrated annually on May 13th. This holiday can be traced back to author Mark Twain, and his first short story, “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog.” The short story is also known as “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” as well as “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” However, the reason that Frog Jumping Day is celebrated on this date is a mystery. It is neither the date of the publication of the short story nor the anniversary of Mark Twain’s birth or death.
However, this holiday could also pertain to the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee held in Angel’s Camp, California but this annual event is held on a rotating schedule each year beginning on the 3rd Thursday in May and running through Sunday, and this year will be celebrated on May 19th through the 22nd.
Anyway, a good way to celebrate Frog Jumping Day would be to learn more about frogs and/or toads.

Leprechaun Day 

Leprechaun Day is celebrated annually on May 13th. As you might surmise, this holiday is a day dedicated to the impish little [some say, make-believe] elves of Ireland. The origins of Leprechaun Day are as mysterious as the hiding places of the pots of gold belonging to the “wee folk”.
Leprechauns themselves have been part of Irish folklore for thousands of years, and even though these tiny fairies have a reputation for playing tricks and being mischievous, they are well-loved by the people of Ireland. According to Irish legend, Leprechauns have a hidden pot of gold. If you catch a Leprechaun, he must give you his pot of gold, but Leprechauns are resourceful when it comes to defending their gold, and they are not easily caught.
If you want to celebrate Leprechaun Day, I suggest looking over your financial portfolio to see if there are ways that you can increase your own “pot of gold”. This seems like a more realistic alternative than going out in search of a Leprechaun and his “pot of gold”.

National Apple Pie Day 

National Apple Pie Day is celebrated biannually on May 13th and December 3rd. It doesn’t require a vivid imagination to conclude that this holiday celebrates apple pie – the quintessential American dessert.
However, apple pie wasn’t invented in the United States. Rather it was invented in Europe sometime during the 14th century. The first apple pie recipe was printed by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1381 in England. The ingredients in the recipe included apples, spices, figs, raisins, pears, saffron, and cofyn (a casing of pastry). Dutch apple pie recipes date back to the late 15th century. These recipes were similar to the English recipes except that the Dutch recipes included a scoop of ice cream placed on top of the pie before it was served. This tradition, apple pie à la mode, was eventually brought to America where most people continue to enjoy their apple pie topped with ice cream.
If you intend to celebrate National Apple Pie Day it couldn’t be easier – simply enjoy a slice of this iconic dessert after dinner tonight.

National Fruit Cocktail Day 

National Fruit Cocktail Day is celebrated annually on May 13th. You don’t need to be ‘fruity’ or have had ‘one too many cocktails’ to deduce that this holiday celebrates fruit cocktail – a much-loved medley of mixed fruits.
Fruit Cocktail is a dish consisting of various kinds of fruit, sometimes served in a liquid, either in their own juices or in syrup.  The use of the word “cocktail” in the name does not mean that it contains alcohol, but refers to the secondary definition “An appetizer made by combining pieces of food, such as fruit or seafood.” The most common variety of fruit cocktail is canned, although you could easily make a fresh version yourself at home.
Here in America, the USDA stipulates that canned “fruit cocktail” must contain a certain percentage distribution of pears, grapes, cherries, peaches, and pineapples to be marketed as fruit cocktail.
It must contain fruits in the following range of percentages:

30% to 50% diced peaches, any yellow variety
25% to 45% diced pears, any variety
6% to 16% diced pineapple, any variety
6% to 20% whole grapes, any seedless variety
2% to 6% cherry halves, any light sweet or artificial red variety (usually maraschino cherries).

I prefer my fruit cocktail served with a generous scoop of cottage cheese. How do you plan to celebrate National Fruit Cocktail Day?

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

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