Sunday, March 31, 2013

A to Z Challenge: A is for Apple Pie

The pie should be eaten "while it is yet florescent, white or creamy yellow, with the merest drip of candied juice along the edges, (as if the flavor were so good to itself that its own lips watered!) of a mild and modest warmth, the sugar suggesting jelly, yet not jellied, the morsels of apple neither dissolved nor yet in original substance, but hanging as it were in a trance between the spirit and the flesh of applehood...then, O blessed man, favored by all the divinities! eat, give thanks, and go forth, 'in apple-pie order!'”
Henry Ward Beecher

A really good apple pie recipe, mostly approximations:

Prebake your bottom pie crust for about 10 minutes at 400°.  While it's baking, slice five apples.

Mix 1/2c sugar with as much cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove as you like (we like a lot!).  Layer the apples in the pie crust and sprinkle with the sugar mixture.

Cut two tablespoons of butter into small cubes and tuck those in and among the apples.

Mix 1/3 c sugar with 1 c finely chopped pecans.  Cut 6 tablespoons of butter into the mix. You can also add more spices to this, if you want, and drop it by spoonfuls on top of the pie.

Bake the whole thing at 400° for 10 minutes, then lower the temp to 350° for 35 minutes or so, until the apples are the right texture for your liking.

Make sure you cover the edges of the pie crust with foil if it starts to get too dark.  

Today is

APAWS International Pooper Scooper week -- The Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists believe every dog should have its day, but not on someone else's lawn!

April Fool's Day  a/k/a Huntingowk Day or Gowkie Day in Scotland, because an April Fool is called a gowk; in England it is All Fools Day or April Noddy Day, as an April fool is a "noddy"

Azalea Festival -- Muskogee, OK, US (month long celebration with citywide events throughout)

Capture of Brielle Remembrance -- Brielle, Netherlands

Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia -- Philadelphia, PA, US (in conjunction with the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia; through the 23rd)

Civil Service Day -- Thailand

Community Spirit Days -- an open invitation, all month long, for any town or community to involve itself in a special service project

Day of Hathor -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Dia Feriado Con Fines Turisticos -- Argentina (Public Holiday for Tourism)

Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day -- won't that be a fun April Fool's Joke, because we know your decision

Easter Monday -- Christian; related observances
     Dyngus Day
     Egg Races -- Rural Northwestern Switzerland (traditional Easter Monday races with competitors carrying large numbers of eggs from village to village)
     Emaishen -- Luxembourg (traditional market)
     Family Day -- South Africa
     Hallaton Hare Pie Scramble & Bottle Kicking -- Hallaton, Leicestershire, England (traditional celebrations dating back at least 600 years)
     Sham el-Nessim -- Egypt (Smell the Breezes Day, a spring celebration for all religions; celebrated by getting outside, greeting neighbors, enjoying spring, and eating salty raw fish)

Edible Book Day -- Sponsored by the Edible Book Festival, Austin, TX, US (celebrating books and culinary creativity by making edible representations of books, then eating them)

Fossil Fools Day -- part of the conservationist movement of many organizations that want us to decrease reliance on fossil fuels and stop corporate polluters

Greek Cypriot Day -- Cyprus (EOKA Day)

International Tatting Day

Investiture of the New Captains Regent -- San Marino (sometimes listed as National Day)

Islamic Republic Day -- Iran

Kalends of April -- Ancient Roman Empire; also
     Festival of Fortuna Virilis -- Fortune in her role of bringing luck to women who want better relationships with men
     Veneralia -- ritual yearly washing of the statue of Venus

Kha b-Nisan -- Assyrians (traditional New Year celebration)

Loki's Day -- by some calculations, but more likely it was moved to this date to celebrate the trickster of all time on the trickiest day of the year

Miyako Odori -- Kobu Kaburenjo Theatre, Kyoto, Japan ("Dance of the Old Capital", the highly anticipated geisha dance and music festival, through the 30th)

Mule Day Celebrations -- Colombia, TN, US (the "mule capital of the world" has mule shows, entertainment, dancing and music, food, and fun; through Sunday)

National Sourdough Bread Day

Orissa Day -- Orissa, India

One Cent Day -- no history on this, just noted on several sites

Pigasus Award Announcement Day -- by James Randi, awarded to parapsychological, paranormal or psychic frauds

Reading is Funny Day -- a day to read riddles, jokes, and fun things with kids to show them how great reading can be

School Year Begins -- Japan, most schools and universities

Sizdeh Be-dar -- Iran (Nature Day, an ancient Persian celebration to get out and joyfully spend the day outdoors)

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival -- Skagit Valley, WA, US; through the 30th

Sorry Charlie Day -- a day to recognize Charlie the Tuna, always rejected but never giving up, and anyone who has ever been rejected and lived to tell about it

St. Gilbert de Moray's Day (Patron of Caithness, Scotland)

St. Stupid's Day (First Church of the Last Laugh)

Tater Day -- Benton, KY, US (old fashioned family fun centered around the sweet potato, with a parade, a mule pull, a carnival and more)

The Masters Tournament -- the matchup for the Green Jacket is always the first week of April

Tree Loving Week begins -- South Korea (always the week that includes April 5, their Arbor Day)

Uzupis Day -- Uzupis District, Vilnius, Lithuania

Anniversary Today:

Nunavut becomes Canada's third independent territory, 1999

Birthdays Today:

Randy Orton, 1980
Susan Boyle, 1961
Ali MacGraw, 1938
Gordon Jump, 1932
Debbie Reynolds, 1932
Anne McCaffrey, 1926
Toshiro Mifune, 1920
Abraham Maslow, 1908
Clara "Mother" Hale, 1905
Lon Chaney, 1883
Sergei Rachmaninoff, 1873
Otto von Bismarck, 1815
William Harvey, 1578
Emperor Go-Saga of Japan, 1220

Today in History:
The ruins of the city of Pompeii are found, 1748
Japan's volcano Unsen erupts, killing about 53,000, 1793
Samuel Morey patents the internal combustion engine, 1826
Cincinnati becomes the first US city to pay firefighters, 1853
Singapore, Penang & Malakka become British crown colonies, 1867
The London-Paris telephone connection is opened, 1891
The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago, Illinois, 1891
The Royal Air Force is created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, 1918
The Royal Canadian Air Force is formed, 1924
Generalisimo Frederico Franco announces the end of the Spanish Civil War, 1939
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands creates a tsunami that strikes Hawai'i, killing 159, 1946
The twenty-six counties of the Irish Free State become the Republic of Ireland, 1949
The Canadian government repeals Japanese Canadian internment after seven years, 1949
The BBC broadcasts the spaghetti tree hoax on its current affairs programme Panorama, 1957
Project Tiger, a tiger conservation program, is launched in the Corbett National Park, India, 1973
Apple Inc. is formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, 1976
The Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia is created, 1996
Comet Hale-Bopp is seen passing over perihelion, 1997
Nunavut is established as a Canadian territory carved out of the eastern part of the Northwest Territories, 1999
Croatia and Albania join NATO, 2009

While the exact origin of the word...

...Easter us disputed, i pray all of you who celebrate have a blessed and joyful day.  He is Risen!

For those of you who don't celebrate, may you have a lovely Sunday.

Tomorrow begins April, and the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  This ought to be interesting, coming up with topics beginning with specific letters.  If anyone cares to try, the website linked above has the explanation.  Now this first-cousin-to-a-Luddite just has to figure out how to get the banner, or whatever it is, over on the side.  We will see.

Today is:

Bunsen Burner Day -- on the birth anniversary of its inventor, Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunsen, in 1811

Buy Some New Socks Day -- because all the websites that list it agree you are worth it

Cesar Chavez Day -- Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah,& Wyoming, US

Culture and Traditions Day -- Micronesia

Day Everyone Says "31" a Lot -- Fairy Calendar

Easter -- Christian (remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus)

Eiffel Tower Day -- inaugurated this day in 1889

European Union: Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time) Begins

Festival for Luna -- Ancient Roman Calendar (moon festival)

Hot Guitar Day -- the day Jimi Hendrix first set fire to his guitar in 1967

Jum il-Helsien (Freedom Day) -- Malta

King Nangklao Memorial Day -- Thailand

Merrie Monarch Festival and World's Largest Hula Contest -- Hilo, HI, US (parade, craft fair, and fun with the World's Largest Hula Competition; through Saturday)

Moravian Easter Sunrise Service -- Winston-Salem, NC, US (held every year since 1771)

National Baked Ham with Pineapple Day -- always on Easter Sunday

National Clams on the Half Shell Day

National Week of the Ocean Sea-Son -- Fort Lauderdale, FL, US (celebration includes school marine fair, waterway cleanup, Mother Ocean Day and more; through Apr. 6, as part of the larger Season which lasts until June 8)

Oranges and Lemons Day -- St. Clement Danes Church, London, Enlgand (traditional children's service based on the rhyme that begins "Oranges and lemons/say the bells of St. Clement's)

Paskar -- Iceland (Easter, the day trolls and evil beings sleep through the day, so an auspicious day to look for the wishing stone)

"She's Funny That Way" Day -- pay tribute to the women in your life, and how they keep you laughing; sponsored by Brenda Meredith of Dahomey Publishing, Inc.

St. Balbina's Day (Patron of those with scrofulous diseases or stroma)

Thomas Mundy Peterson Day -- New Jersey, US (the first African-American to legally cast a vote in the US, this date in 1870)

Transfer Day -- US Virgin Islands

Vigil to Mourn China's Annexation of Tibet -- anniversary of the day in 1959 when the  Dalai Lama fled to India

Birthdays Today:

Pavel Bure, 1971
Ewan McGregor, 1971
Angus Young, 1955
Al Gore, 1948
Rhea Perlman, 1948
Gabe Kaplan, 1945
Christopher Walken, 1943
Herb Alpert, 1935
Richard Chamberlain, 1935
Shirley Jones, 1934
Gordie Howe, 1928
Cesar Chavez, 1927
William Daniels, 1927
Leo Buscaglia, 1925
Henry Morgan, 1915
Andrew Lang, 1844
Joseph Haydn, 1732
Rene Descartes, 1596

Today in History:

Bernard of Clairvaux preaches his famous sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade; Louis VII is present, and joins the Crusade, 1146
King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella sign decree ordering Jews to convert or be expelled from Spain, 1492
Jews are expelled from Prague, 1745
Commodore Matthew Perry signs the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade, 1854
Thomas P Mundy of Perth Amboy, NJ, becomes the first African American to cast a vote, 1870
The Eiffel Tower, commemorating the French Revolution, opens, 1889
Richard Pearse allegedly makes a powered flight in an early aircraft, 1903
Serbia accepts Austrian control over Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1909
Construction begins on the RMS Titanic, 1909
Construction of the RMS Titanic is completed, 1912
The United States takes possession of the Danish West Indies after paying $25 million to Denmark, and renames the territory the United States Virgin Islands, 1917
Daylight saving time goes into effect in the United States for the first time, 1918
The Royal Australian Air Force is formed, 1921
The Dominion of Newfoundland joins the Canadian Confederation and becomes the 10th Province of Canada, 1949
Remington Rand delivers the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau, 1951
In the Canadian federal election, 1958, the Progressive Conservatives, led by John Diefenbaker, win the largest percentage of seats in Canadian history, with 208 seats of 265, 1958
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crosses the border into India and is granted political asylum, 1959
The Soviet Union launches Luna 10 which later becomes the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon, 1966
Explorer 1 re-enters the Earth's atmosphere after 12 years in orbit, 1970
The USS Missouri, the last active United States Navy battleship, is decommissioned in Long Beach, California, 1992
Netscape releases the code base of its browser under an open-source license agreement; the project is given the code name Mozilla and is eventually spun off into the non-profit Mozilla Foundation, 1998
Amid unrest in the Mideast, activists claim China has launched the largest crackdown on dissenters in recent years, 2011

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Earlier the Better

We are doing the Happy Snoopy Dance here, nose up, feet moving.

This year, i got all the tax stuff to Mr. Tom, our family friend and CPA, in record time.  He then sat on it for a month (grumble, grumble), but we have it all back now, and the news is good.  Nothing owed, except a small amount to the state by #1 Son.

So we will be faxing our signature pages to Mr. Tom's office, and all will be filed electronically.  #1 Son's stuff, of course, will be mailed to him and he will fax it in himself, as well as send in his payment in May.  (Yes, the state of Louisiana gives us an extra month to fret and fume over turning in our taxes.)

The only thing i would have done differently if i could have would have been to have e-filed even earlier.  When you owe money, which we haven't for years thanks to our little tax deductions...uh, that is,, it's not that we don't pay taxes, it's just that with the deductions we end up, by the end of the year, having paid a bit more than we actually owe.  Well, anyway,. if you owe more you don't send it in until the moment it is due.  When you are getting money back, you want to file as early as you possibly can.

Now, we get the best of both.  File as early as possible online, then mail the money in, if any is due, on the due date.

Meanwhile, Happy Snoopy Dance, the chore is over for another year, and we can start planning what to do with the money we get back.  Jalopy, my van, is yelling for a front end alignment, and there's that pesky leaky toilet -- well, we will see.  It won't be instantly available, we have time to plan, and plan we will.

Today is:

Check for Change in Every Coin Return You Pass Day -- because someone has a sense of humor and put it on the internet

Culture and Traditions Day -- Micronesia

Easter Beach Run -- Daytona Beach, FL, US (annual run on "the world's most famous beach)

Doctors Day -- US (begun by Eudora Almond in 1933 because she thought her husband, Dr. Charles B. Almond deserved recognition for his hard work)

Fairies of the First Wand Reunion Dinner -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of Janus and Concordia -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Festival of Bast -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (cat goddess; date approximate)

Festival of Reality Fabrication  -- internet holiday to celebrate your imagination

Festival of Salus -- Ancient Roman Calendar (god of health)

Guan Shi Yin Pu Sa -- Buddhism (birthday of Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy)

Grass Is Always Browner On The Other Side Of The Fence Day -- remember how good you have it; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Holy Saturday -- Christian (a/k/a Black Saturday, Holy Saturday, Easter Saturday, or Easter Eve)

I am in Control Day -- remember Alexander Haig's words on this date in 1981? well today, if you find the phones won't stop ringing, the kids got into the glue again, the coffee maker is on the fritz, and somebody dyed the poodle purple, stand up and declare that you are in control!

Land Day Commemoration -- West Bank/Palestinian remembrance

Limited Liability Day -- because no one can be responsible for everything

Pencil Day -- the pencil with an eraser top was patented this day in 1858 by Hyman Lipman

Runic Half-Month Ewhas (Horse) begins

Spiritual Baptist/Shouter Liberation Day -- Trinidad and Tobago

St. Leonard Murialdo's Day (Patron of apprentices)

Take a Walk in the Park Day -- begun by someone who wanted to get out of the office

Turkey Neck Soup Day

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

Birthdays Today:

Scott Moffatt, 1983
Norah Jones, 1979
Matt Doran, 1976
Mark Consuelos, 1971
Celine Dion, 1968
Ian Ziering, 1964
M.C. Hammer, 1962
Paul Reiser, 1957
Robbie Cotrane, 1950
Eric Clapton, 1945
Astrud Gilberto, 1940
Warren Beatty, 1937
John Astin, 1930
Rolf Harris, 1930
Peter Marshall, 1930
Frankie Laine, 1913
Anna Sewell, 1820
Vincent Van Gogh, 1853

Today in History:

The first recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, BC240
Ketsugan, Zen teacher, performs exorcisms to free aizoji temple, 1422
Henry VIII divorces Catherine of Aragon, 1533
British and coalition forces march into Paris after the defeat of Napoleon, 1814
Dr. Crawford Long of Georgia, US, performs the first operation with anesthesia (ether), 1842
A pencil with attached eraser is patented by Hyman L Lipman of Philadelphia, 1858
Alaska is purchased from Russia by US Secretary of State William Seward, for $7,200,000 (about 2 cents per acre), 1867
Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, 1932
Einstein announces his revised unified field theory, 1953
The Yonge Street Line, the first subway in Canada, opens in Toronto, 1954
President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley, Jr., 1981
The oldest copy of Codex Holmiensis, dating from 1280, is returned to Denmark from Sweden after 300 years, and 45,000 Inca artifacts are returned to Peru's Machu Picchu after spending 100 years at Yale University, 2011

Friday, March 29, 2013

Feline Friday -- Treasure

She looked up, licking her lips from her hasty meal and gauging the situation.  Before the treasure had arrived, it didn't matter so much.  Now was different, and she had to be more careful.  She couldn't afford to be followed back to the nest where the treasure was hidden.

There was water not too far away, and she needed a lot of that.  So she stopped, drank for a while, and then decided it was time to go back.  She couldn't stay away from the treasure for too long.

She noted the only person in the area, someone on a roof.  He was no danger, it would take him too much time to climb down.  Sniffing the air, she didn't smell any other cats in the immediate vicinity, which was good.  A tom would try to take the treasure from her and destroy it, she knew, and while she would fight to the death, it was easier to avoid that scenario.

Approaching the road with caution, she listened and looked for a moment, and didn't see any of those big monsters heading her way.  As she went, though, one came flying around the corner, catching her off guard, especially with it's speed.  She tried to hurry, but it was too late.  It was as if the monster knew what move she would make next.  Its wheel caught and threw her, and it kept going.

On adrenaline, with her body broken and bleeding but no pain yet, so did she.  The man on the roof had looked up and seen the whole thing, including her picking herself up and continuing to run.

By the time he did climb down from the roof, a moment later, he had to guess which way she had gone.  Following the direction she had been heading, he found a few spots of blood leading under the bushes.  Squeezing himself in behind the bushes, he found the nest.

As she climbed into the nest, the treasure stirred, and three furry little heads perked up.  Collapsing next to them, she began to feel the pain, and as the kittens latched on to nurse, she went into shock.  The babies were totally content, not realizing that their world was about to completely change.  That's how he found her, in the extremely labored breathing that signals imminent death, eyes already turning glassy.

Blinking hard to fight the tears, he climbed out from behind the bush and went to the front door.  Ringing the bell, he asked the homeowner if she owned a cat.  She said she didn't, but that there were feral cats around the neighborhood.  He told her about the dying mama in her bushes, and she went to find a phone book, so they could find someone to call.

He went back to his truck to get two boxes -- one for the treasured kittens, one for the body of the mama, which he would take home and bury in his back yard later.  He lined the box for the babies with newspaper, and put them in the warm cab of his truck with the door open so it wouldn't get too warm while he and the lady made phone calls.

About an hour later, he dropped the babies at the shelter, and as you see above, they are now nestled next to the Wuffie toy that becomes the best beloved of all our foster babies because of its softness and texture.

The story is mostly me filling in the gaps, but the facts are pretty correct.  He saw it happen, and got them to us.

And now, after a couple of days, they have learned that the bottle is not their enemy, and they are doing well.  Her treasure is safe, and i hope she knows it.

Today is:

Barthelemy Boganda Day -- Central African Republic

Borrowed Days begin -- old English/Scottish/Irish legends about how March borrowed the next 3 days from April; these are still seen as weather prognostication days based on several different legends

British and World Marbles Championship --  Greyhound Public House, Tinsley Green, West Sussex, England (team and individual titles are on the line; annually on Good Friday)

Day of Redress -- Fairy Calendar

Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race -- Wharf Car Park, Wharf St, Devizes, Wiltshire to County Hall Steps, Westminster Bridge Rd, London, England (125 mile race; annually Good Friday to Easter Monday)

Good Friday/Passion Friday -- Christian (remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus)
     Via Crusus (Way of the Cross) -- San Fernando, Philippines (reenactment of the Passion)

Hola Mohalla -- Sikh (3 day grand festival)

Knights of Columbus Founders Day

Martyrs' Day -- Madagascar

National Hot Cross Bun Day -- always on Good Friday

National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day -- as recognized by AICPA

Procession of The Mysteries -- Taranto, Italy (Good Friday religious processions)

Smoke and Mirrors Day -- some sites call it "Festival of Smoke and Mirrors Day," but appropriately no one knows who started it

St. Armogastes of Africa's Day (Patron of the poor and torture victims; against poverty and torture)

St. Gladys' and St. Gwynllyw's Day (the Welsh "Bonny and Clyde", who led a life of crime before their conversion)

Youth Day -- Taiwan

Birthdays Today:

Hideaki Takizawa, 1982
Jennifer Capriati, 1976
Lucy Lawless, 1968
Elle Macpherson, 1964
Bud Cort, 1950
George Blaha, 1945
John Major, 1943
Pearl Bailey, 1918
Sam Walton, 1918
Philip Ahn, 1905
Denton True "Cy" Young, 1867
Isaac Mayer Wise, Rabbi and Founder of Reform Judaism, 1819
John Tyler, 1790
Carlo Buonaparte, father of Napoleon Bonaparte, 1746

Today in History:

The city of Salvador da Bahia, the first capital of Brazil, is founded, 1549
Treaty of Saint-Germain is signed, returning Quebec to French control after the English had seized it in 1629, 1632
Swedish colonists establish the first settlement in Delaware, 1638
Ludwig von Beethoven, age 24, debuts as a pianist in Vienna, 1795
Construction is authorized of the Great National Pike, better known as the Cumberland Road, becoming the first United States federal highway, 1806
Niagara Falls stops flowing for 30 hours due to an ice jam, 1848
The United Kingdom annexes the Punjab, 1849
Ohio makes it illegal for children under 18 & women to work more than 10 hours a day, 1852
Queen Victoria gives Royal Assent to the British North America Act which establishes the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867
Queen Victoria presides over the opening of Albert Hall in London, 1871
The Knights of Columbus are established, 1882
Dr. John Pemberton brews the first batch of Coca-Cola in his back yard, 1886
The North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement goes into effect at 03:00 local time, 1941
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, 1951
NASA's Mariner 10 becomes the first spaceprobe to fly by Mercury, 1974
The Canada Act 1982 (U.K.) receives the Royal Assent from Queen Elizabeth II, setting the stage for the Queen of Canada to proclaim the Constitution Act, 1982
Catherine Callbeck becomes premier of Prince Edward Island and the first woman to be elected in a general election as premier of a Canadian province, 1993
Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia join NATO as full members, 2004
The Republic of Ireland becomes the first country in the world to ban smoking in all work places, including bars and restaurants, 2004
Thirty-five countries and over 370 cities join Earth Hour for the first time, 2008

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Broke my Calendar

 Spring break always breaks my calendar.  You know, the internal calendar you have that tells you what day it feels like it should be, and where you are in the month and the year.

For some reason, when the kids are out of school for this one week plus one day, i lose track of it all.  Each morning i have to keep looking to make sure what day it is and that i haven't missed something important.

Like shots for the kittens -- they needed them Tuesday, and got them very late that day because i kept thinking it was only Monday.  Yesterday i kept thinking it was going to be Friday when today is actually only Thursday, unless i'm totally off again.

What am i saying, i'm always somewhat "off" anyway.  Well, now i'm even more off than usual.

We are getting to where it's time to schedule kittens for surgeries.  Yes, already.  It should be next Wednesday.  Or Thursday.  Since the kids don't start school again until Tuesday, i hope i don't get mixed up and show up on the wrong day.  Maybe i need a new internal calendar.  It still feels like it should be the beginning of March, not toward the end.

Any ideas on how to reset an internal clock?

Today is:

Children's Picture Book Day

Commemoration of Sen no Rikyu -- Urasenke School of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Japan (remembering the influential master in The Way of Tea)

Feast of Artemis -- Ancient Greek Calendar (as protector of wild animals, vegetation, and places, begins at sundown; date approximate)

Festival of the Sacrifice at the Tombs -- Ancient Roman Calendar (to honor the ancestors)

Hola Mohalla -- Sikh

Hot Tub Day -- because we all need one!

Invasion of Loaming Shores Beyond the Certain Sea Anniversary -- Fairy Calendar

Khordad Sal (Birth of the Prophet Zarathushtra) -- Zoroastrianism (Fasli Calendar)

Komamorijinja Reisai -- Nakaedo, Kashi-sh, Gifu, Japan (festival of the the Kosazukeishi "child-granting stone")

Maroone Hispanicfest -- Broward County, FL, US (Latin festival of music, dance, food, and crafts)

Maundy Thursday -- Christian (a/k/a Holy, Green, Chare, Sheer, or Shere Thursday; commemoration of the Last Supper)

Morione's Festival -- Marinduque Island, Philippines (masquerade, Lenten plays, and celebrations through Easter Sunday)

National Black Forest Cake Day

National Letting Go of Stuff Day -- see for details

Procession of the Addolorata -- Taranto, Italy (Maundy Thursday religious procession)

Ragnar Lodbrok's Day -- Asatru/Slavic Pagan Calendar (remembrance of this Viking's sack of Paris)

Respect Your Cat Day -- anniversary of King Richard II's edict in 1384 forbidding the consumption of cats

Serfs Emancipation Day -- Tibet

Something on a Stick Day -- something edible, of course, what were you thinking?  never mind; almost everything tastes better on a stick

St. Guntramnus' Day (Patron of divorced people, guardians, repentant murderers)

Teachers' Day -- Czech Republic; Slovakia

Weed Appreciation Day -- at last, for those of us with black thumbs, since this is all we can grow! "Weeds are flowers once you get to know them!" A.A. Milne

Birthdays Today:

Julia Stiles, 1981
Annie Wersching, 1977
Scott Mills, 1974
Juliandra Gillen, 1971
Vince Vaughn, 1970
Reba McEntire, 1955
Dianne Wiest, 1948
Ken Howard, 1944
Dirk Bogarde, 1921
August Anheuser Busch, Jr., 1899
Maxim Gorky, 1868
Frederich Pabst, 1836
St. Teresa of Avila, 1515
Fra Bartolomeo, 1472

Today in History:

Roman Emperor Pertinax is assassinated by Praetorian Guards, who then sell the throne in an auction to Didius Julianus, 193
Viking raiders sack Paris, who leave in exchange for a huge ransom, 845
The origin of the Fasli Era in India, 1556
Juan Bautista de Anza finds the site for the Presidio of San Francisco, 1776
Nathaniel Briggs of NH patents a washing machine, 1797
Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovers 2 Pallas, the second asteroid known to man, 1802
The US Salvation Army is officially organized, 1885
Henri Fabre becomes the first person to fly a seaplane, 1910
Jews are expelled from Tel Aviv & Jaffa by Turkish authorities, 1917
Constantinople and Angora change their names to Istanbul and Ankara, 1930
The McGill français movement protest occurs, the second largest protest in Montreal's history, 1969
Operators of Three Mile Island's Unit 2 nuclear reactor outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania fail to recognize that a relief valve in the primary coolant system has stuck open, leading to a partial meltdown, 1979
In South Africa, Zulus and African National Congress supporters battle in central Johannesburg, resulting in 18 deaths, 1994
The 2005 Sumatran earthquake rocks Indonesia, and at magnitude 8.7 is the second strongest earthquake since 1965, 2005
At least 1 million union members, students, and unemployed take to the streets in France in protest at the government's proposed First Employment Contract law, 2006

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Overheard at Youth Group

Mr. Aaron, church youth group leader:  "Now, all of you know we don't have a meeting next Sunday, right?  It's Easter Sunday, you need to spend that with your families."

The murmur of assents was followed by Ms. Tianny, his wife and fellow youth group leader:  "And girls, I'm planning a girl's outing just for us during this Spring Break week.  We will get together next Friday and go to the soda fountain for desserts."

Note:  there are only 4 girls in the youth group of over a dozen kids; my Little Girl, her two best friends Annie and Rebecca that have always been part of her life since they were all born within 6 months of each other and so have known each other their whole lives, and Charlotte, who now lives across the street from Rebecca and has been embraced whole-heartedly as part of the gang.

After Ms. Tianny's announcement, Shermy, Annie's little brother, pipped up:  "You girls shouldn't go out and do that alone!  You need to bring a guy with you for protection in case something happens!"

At which point Rebecca retorted:  "No, we don't!  We have "Little Girl", and she's as good as having a guy with us!  She can beat you up!"

The shouts of laughter were genuine, as everyone knows it's true.  Little Girl plays equally well with the guys and the girls in the group, gets along with everyone, and can hold her own in wrestling matches and tussling with #2 Son.  She's strong, quick, and loved that Rebecca said that.

"Because it's true!" she told me.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Myanmar

Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Viewing and Celebrations begin -- Japan (the festivities get started around now, and vary by region depending on when the trees bloom in that area over the next 6 weeks)

Commemoration of Sen no Rikyu -- Omotesenke School of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Japan (remembering the influential master in The Way of Tea)

Holi -- Hindu (Festival of Color, where everyone gets doused with colored water, or powder, or paint, or all of them; it's been described as an iridescent madhouse)
     officially recognized holiday in Guyana; India; Nepal; Suriname

Lord's Evening Meal -- Jehovah's Witness

Magha Puja Day -- Buddhist

National "Joe" Day -- no, it isn't official, but today you can make everyone call you "Joe" if you want, and call them the same; probably started by someone who had no memory for names

National Spanish Paella Day

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day -- after all, they do need their own day; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

St. John Damascene's Day (Patron of pharmacists, icon paiting, theology students)

St. Rupert of Salzburg's Day (Patron of Salzburg; celebrated on the 24th in the rest of the Church)

World Theatre Day

Anniversaries Today:

Mary Pickford marries Douglas Fairbanks, 1920

Birthdays Today:

Brenda Song, 1988
Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson, 1975
Mariah Carey, 1970
Quentin Tarantino, 1963
Xuxa, 1963
Michael York, 1942
David Janssen, 1931
Sarah Vaughan, 1924
Harold Nicholas, 1921
Gloria Swanson, 1899
Edward Steichen, 1879
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, 1845
Nathaniel Currier, 1813

Today in History:

Ptolemy V ascends to the throne of Egypt, BC196
Pope Clement V excommunicates the entire population of Venice, 1309
Juan Ponce de Leon discovers Florida, 1513
The first English child born in Canada at Cuper's Cove, Newfoundland to Nicholas Guy, 1613
The dike at Hardinxveld breaks, causing the Alblasserwaard flood, 1709
Spain losses Menorca & Gibraltar, 1713
John Parker Paynard originates medicated adhesive plaster, precursor to the band-aid, 1848
First reported sighting of the Yosemite Valley by Europeans, 1851
M L Byrn patents "covered gimlet screw with a 'T' handle" (corkscrew), 1860
The first international rugby football match, England v. Scotland, is played in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place, 1871
Famous Apache warrior, Geronimo, surrenders to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars, 1886
The first Japanese cherry blossom trees planted in Washington, D.C., 1912
The first successful blood transfusion takes place in Brussels, 1914
Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States, is put in quarantine, , 1916
Charlie Chaplin receives France's distinguished Legion of Honor, 1931
Nikita Khrushchev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union, 1958
The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2 strikes South Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage, 1964
The Concorde makes its first supersonic flight. 1970
Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins, 1975
The Norwegian oil platform Alexander L. Kielland collapses in the North Sea, killing 123 of its crew of 212, 1980
The Solidarity movement in Poland stages a warning strike, in which at least 12 million Poles walk off their jobs for four hours, 1981
The US FDA approves Viagra, 1998
HMS Scylla (F71), a decommissioned Leander class frigate, is sunk as an artificial reef off Cornwall, the first of its kind in Europe, 2004

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Birthday to

 Bigger Girl!

She is 20 today.

It seems just yesterday i was wondering why, when i was still carrying her, she would hiccup Monday through Friday at the first note of the Jeopardy theme song on TV, and the hiccups would cease as soon as it went off air.  Weekends and if i missed watching it, no hiccups at that time.  Maybe it was a foreshadowing of just how much of a thinker she would be.

And this is how she has decorated just a small portion of her room:

To celebrate, she wants Indian food and a trip to a resale shop for some new-to-her updates to her wardrobe.  She's as frugal as i am so can't stand to buy new when second hand and in good condition will do.  She also despises the mall, so she would rather go to one place and get what she needs there, than spend hours trying to find it in a spend-spend-spend mecca.

Happy Birthday, Bigger Girl.  You've grown up, but you will always be my baby.

Today is:

American Diabetes Association Alert Day -- a day to remind people about how serious the illness is, and what the risk factors are

Commemoration of the Birth of Lao-Tzu -- Taoist (15th day of 2nd lunar month)

Craft Brewers Conference & Brewexpo America® -- Washington, D.C., US (through the 26th)

Day to Mourn Victims of Biological Weapons -- commemorates the day they were outlawed in 1975

Doljatra/Holika Dahan -- regions of India (a festival of colors, similar to Holi)

Einmanudur Month Begins -- Traditional Icelandic Calendar (Lone Month, the month dedicated to young men)
     Yngismannadagur -- Young Men's Day

End of Zimbor-Quattor's Revenge Week and Day of Reconciliation with All Those Whose Hats Have Been Damaged -- Fairy Calendar

Fiesta del Arbol -- Spain (Tree Festival or Arbor Day)

Full Worm Moon -- also called Leaf Moon, Seedling Moon, Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Sap Moon, Light Snow Moon, or Lenten Moon; considered the last full moon of winter
     Medin Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka
     Taubaung Full Moon -- Myanmar

Holi / Phagu Purnima / Basanta Utsay -- Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Independence Day and National Day -- Bangladesh

Khordad Sal -- Zoroastrian (Birth of the Prophet Zaranhushtra)

Legal Assistants' Day

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

Martyr's Day / Democracy Day -- Mali

National Nougat Day

Passover -- Judaism (began sundown yesterday; ends evening Apr. 2)

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianole Day -- Hawaii, US (Hawaiian Royal who worked to preserve the Hawaiian culture)

Spinach Day -- on this day in 1937, spinach growers in Crystal City, Texas, erected a statue of Popeye in honor of their favorite veggie

St. Braulio's Day (Patron of Aragon, Spain)

St. William of Norwich's Day (Patron of kidnap and torture victims)

Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel -- Eastern Orthodox Christianity (celebration of his role is the Annunciation)

Anniversaries Today:

Founding of the University of Utrecht, 1636

Birthdays Today:

Keira Knightley, 1985
Amy Smart, 1976
Kenny Chesney, 1968
Marcus Allen, 1960
Curtis Sliwa, 1954
Teddy Pendergrass, 1950
Martin Short, 1950
Vicki Lawrence, 1949
Steven Tyler, 1948
Diana Ross, 1944
Bob Woodward, 1943
Erica Jong, 1942
James Caan, 1939
Alan Arkin, 1934
Leonard Nimoy, 1931
Sandra Day O'Connor, 1930
Tennessee Williams, 1911
Viktor Frankl, 1905
Robert Frost, 1874

Today in History:

William Caxton prints his translation of Aesop's Fables, 1484
The first British Sunday newspaper is published (British Gazette & Sunday Monitor), 1780
The US Congress orders removal of Indians east of Mississippi to Louisiana, 1804
An earthquake destroys 90% of Caracas, Venezuela, leaves 20,000 dead, 1812
The Book of Mormon is published in Palmyra, NY, 1830
Eastman Film Co manufactures the first commercial motion picture film, 1885
New Delhi replaces Calcutta as capital of British-Indies, 1931
Jonas Salk announces the first successful test of his polio vaccine on a small group of adults and children, 1953
East Pakistan declares its independence from Pakistan to form People's Republic of Bangladesh, 1971
Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter sign the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C., 1979
The "Melissa worm" infects Microsoft word processing and e-mail systems around the world, 1999
A jury in Michigan finds Dr. Jack Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder for administering a lethal injection to a terminally ill man, 1999
The Taiwanese government calls on 1 million Taiwanese to demonstrate in Taipei, in opposition to the Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China, 2005

Monday, March 25, 2013

Guaranteed to Get Rid of Your Headache -- And Maybe More

Anyone who knows me knows that i love my coffee.  It's south Louisiana, after all, and coffee is a religion.  It needs to be be black as the swamp mud and hot as the bayou in July, chicory optional but enjoyed.

There are even quotes and taglines about coffee that i love and will cite at the drop of a hat, such as: 

"A morning without coffee is like sleep!"

"Set a new course.  There's coffee in that nebula!" (Captain Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager)

"Picard always drank tea.  Kirk always drank coffee.  Any questions?"

"The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce." ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

That latter i quoted to the pastor of the church one day, and he was speechless, a very unusual state for him.

So it was with great curiosity that i clicked on a link to a news story about a new coffee company that bills its coffee as the strongest in the world.

Now the average cup has anywhere from 120 to 300 mg of caffeine.  Thus i limit myself to one 14oz cup a day, as an excess gives me very unpleasant side effects.  This new coffee company calls itself "Death Wish" and refers to "sissy Starbucks" on its homepage.

It gives you 600mg of caffeine in a cup.

When i told Sweetie about it, he noted that, "They should say it's guaranteed to get rid of your headache, and maybe even of you!"

Or, to quote Col. Potter of M*A*S*H, "I like my coffee strong, not lethal!"

Today is:

Anniversary of the Arengo and the Feast of the Militants -- San Marino

Annunciation of the Virgin Mary -- Roman Catholic Christian
     Lady Day/Quarter Day -- England; Ireland; Wales (traditional New Year's Day)
     Varfrudagen -- Sweden (waffle day)

Day of the Shining Ones of Heaven move Upstream -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Festival of King Amenhotep I -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (rituals depicting his death and burial, performed for the Deir-el-Medina workforce; date approximate)

Hilaria -- Ancient Roman Empire ("Day of Joy", honoring Attis)

Independence Day -- Cyprus; Greece

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade -- UN

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members -- UN

International Waffle Day -- based on Sweden's tradition of having waffles on Annunciation Day

Medal of Honor Day -- US (first one awarded this date in 1963)

Mother's Day -- Slovenia

National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy -- Greece; US

National Lobster Newburg Day

National Pecan Day -- anniversary of George Washington's planting of Pecan trees at Mt. Vernon in 1775

National Waffle Day -- possibly also International Waffle Day, depends on the site you search

Numbskulls and Clodhoppers' Dance -- Fairy Calendar (i know a couple of people who qualify on both counts; i need to find out how to buy tickets!)

Old New Year's Day -- until 1751, British Empire

Otago Provincial Anniversary -- Otago, New Zealand

Pesach -- Judaism (Passover; begins at sundown)

Revolution Day -- Greece (anniversary of the revolt against the Ottoman Empire in 1821)

Sacrifice to Kronos -- Ancient Greek Calendar (private sacrifices to Kronos; date approximate)

Seward's Day -- Alaska, US

St. Dismas' Day ("Dismas" is the name given to the unnamed "Thief on the Cross", crucified next to Jesus according to Biblical accounts, and who repented; Patron of condemned/death row prisoners, funeral directors/undertakers, penitent criminals, prisoners, reformed thieves; Merizo, Guam)

Struggle for Human Rights Day -- Slovakia

The Tichborne Dole - in Alresford, Hampshire, UK; since 1150, a gallon of flour is given to every resident by the Tichborne family head on this day, to avoid a curse

Tolkien Reading Day -- sponsored by The Tolkien Society on the anniversary of the fall of Sauron

Birthdays Today:

Danica Patrick, 1982
Sheryl Swoopes, 1971
Sarah Jessica Parker, 1965
Paul Miles, 1952
Elton John, 1947
Bonnie Bedelia, 1946
Paul Michael Glaser, 1943
Aretha Franklin, 1942
Anita Bryant, 1940
Gloria Steinem, 1934
Simone Signoret, 1921
Howard Cosell, 1920
David Lean, 1908
Bela Bartok, 1881
Arturo Toscanini, 1867

Today in History:

The first Easter, according to calendar-maker Dionysius Exiguus, 31
According to legend, Venice, Italy is born today at noon, 421
Richard I is wounded by a crossbow bolt while fighting France, leading to his death on April 6, 1199
Robert the Bruce becomes King of Scotland, 1306
Sir Walter Raleigh renews Humphrey Gilbert's patent to explore North America, 1584
Henry Hudson embarks on an exploration for Dutch East India Co., 1609
Lord Baltimore founds Catholic colony of Maryland, 1634
Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is discovered by Christian Huygens, 1655
Mount Etna in Sicily erupts, destroying Nicolosi, killing 20,000, 1669
The Slave Trade Act becomes law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire, 1807
The Swansea and Mumbles Railway in England, then known as the Oystermouth Railway, becomes the first passenger carrying railway in the world, 1807
Percy Bysshe Shelley is expelled from the University of Oxford for publishing the pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism, 1811
Greeks revolt against the Ottoman Empire, beginning the Greek War of Independence, 1821
In New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire kills 146 garment workers, leading to factory reform laws, 1911
The Georgian Orthodox Church restores its autocephaly abolished by Imperial Russia in 1811, 1917
The first successful tornado forecast predicts that a tornado will strike Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, 1948
The European Economic Community is established (West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), 1957
Canada's Avro Arrow makes its first flight, 1958
Civil rights activists led by Martin Luther King, Jr. successfully complete their 4-day 50-mile march from Selma to the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, 1965
The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, is delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch, 1979
The world's first wiki, a part of the Portland Pattern Repository, is made public by Ward Cunningham, 1995
The European Union's Veterinarian Committee bans the export of British beef and its by-products as a result of mad cow disease, 1996
Protesters demanding a new election in Belarus, following the rigged Belarusian presidential election, clash with riot police, 2006

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Our Own Famous Amos

Every Palm Sunday, we get to see our own Famous Amos.

He's a donkey, and he leads the procession to the church before the service.  Amos is owned by a church member, and has never been ridden, but he's very friendly and waits patiently until the service is over to see everyone again and get lots of petting, and treats.

Bigger Girl was the first to ask, a couple of years ago, if she could feed him -- she brought an organic carrot, and was permitted to give it to him.  Now, it's a habit.  She brings him something, and he loves it.

There is always a big picnic lunch after the Palm Sunday service, with "bounce houses" and an egg hunt and lots more.

We will only stay for part of it, though, as Uncle P is visiting at Grandma and Grandpa's house and they are throwing a birthday party for him.  It's hard to believe my "little" brother is 48.  No, you may not ask how old that makes me!  (Actually, i said that last line for the smile, because i don't mind telling everyone that this year i will celebrate the 21st anniversary of my 29th birthday.  You may know how old i am only if you do the math.)

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone.

Today is:

All Ireland Dance Championships -- Boston, MA, US (the world championships of Irish Dance; through next Sunday

Commonwealth Covenant Day -- Northern Mariana Islands

Cuddly Kitten Day -- because if puppies get a day, so should kittens!

Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice -- Argentina

Dies Sanguines -- Ancient Roman Calendar (sacrifices to the war goddess Bellona)

Houdini Day -- see if you can pull a disappearing act in his honor

International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims -- UN

Kazimiras Diena -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (return of the larks)

Komoeditsi -- Asatru/Slavic Pagan Calandar (honors the great Bear God, Meveshii Bog and includes sacrifices to the Great God of Honey)

Left-of-Field Fanciers' Fortnight begins -- Fairy Calendar

National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

National Revolution Day -- Kyrgyzstan

Orthodox Sunday -- Orthodox Christian

Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday -- Christian

Pandia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (festival of Zeus that immediately followed the Greater Dionysia; date approximate)

Passion Play in Iztapalapa -- Iztapalapa, Mexico (Semana Santa, or Holy Week, in Iztapalapa, holds one of the world's largest and most amazing religious passion plays)

Semana Santa -- Holy Week in Spain and Spanish speaking areas; special celebrations:
     Mexico -- through the country, but especially in Chiapas, with processions, costumes, and even fireworks, music, dance, and syncretic rituals
     Seville, Spain -- with hundreds of shuffling penitents in their hoods making the torch lit processions through the town; through Easter)

St. Catherine of Sweden's Day (Patron against miscarriages)

St. Gabriel the Archangel's Day (traditional date, now usually celebrated in September; Patron of childbirth, diplomats, messengers, postal workers, stamp collectors, telephone workers)

St. MacCairthinn of Clogher (St. Patrick's "Strong Man" and fellow worker; Patron of Clogher, Ireland)

Truth and Justice Day -- Argentina

World Tuberculosis Day -- UN & WHO

Birthdays Today:

Peyton Manning, 1976
Alyson Hannigan, 1974
Sharon Corr, 1970
Mase, 1970
Annabella Sciorra, 1964
Mark "The Undertaker" Callaway
Louie Anderson, 1953
Alan Sugar, 1947
Steve McQueen, 1930
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1919
Joseph Barbera, 1911
Clyde Barrow, 1909
Ub Iwerks, 1901
Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, 1887
Harry Houdini, 1874
Fanny Crosby, 1820

Today in History:

Turko-Mongol emperor Timur sacks Damascus, 1401
James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England, 1603
The first game law passed in American colonies, by Virginia, 1629
Roger Williams is granted a charter to colonize Rhode Island, 1664
Britain enacts Quartering Act, required colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers, 1765
Benjamin West of the US becomes president of Royal Academy of London, 1792
In Hiram, Ohio a group of men beat, tar and feather Mormon leader Joseph Smith, Jr., 1832
Canada gives African men the right to vote, 1837
Robert Koch of Germany announces the discovery of the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis (mycobacterium tuberculosis), 1882
Oscar Straus is appointed the first Jewish ambassador from US (to Turkey), 1887
A. A. Popov makes the first radio signal transmission in history, 1896
"Census of the British Empire" shows England rules 1/5 of the world, 1906
Greece becomes a republic, 1923
U.S. Congress passes the Tydings-McDuffie Act allowing the Philippines to become a self-governing commonwealth, 1934
The longest game in NHL history is played between Detroit and Montreal; Detroit scored at 16:30 of the sixth overtime and won the game 1-0, 1936
In an event later dramatized in the movie The Great Escape, 76 prisoners begin breaking out of Stalag Luft III, 1944
The British Cabinet Mission arrives in India to discuss and plan for the transfer of power from the British Raj to Indian leadership, 1946
Elvis Presley joins the army (serial number 53310761), 1958
NASA spacecraft Ranger 9, equipped to convert its signals into a form suitable for showing on domestic television, brings images of the Moon into ordinary homes before crash landing, 1965
The United Kingdom imposes direct rule over Northern Ireland, 1972
In Argentina, the armed forces overthrow the constitutional government of President Isabel Perón, 1976
Archbishop Óscar Romero is killed while celebrating Mass in San Salvador, 1980
In Prince William Sound in Alaska, the Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels (42,000 m³) of petroleum after running aground, 1989
Discovery of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, 1993
Apple Inc. releases the first version of the Mac OS X operating system, 2001
Bhutan officially becomes a democracy, with its first ever general election, 2008

Saturday, March 23, 2013

So passes...

...another hero.

Some are splashy and want to make sure everyone knows what they have done.  This man did not.

His name was George Lowe, and he was the last surviving member of the team that became the first to climb Mt. Everest.

He also was on the first team to make a successful overland crossing of Antarctica via the South Pole.

He was an adventurer and photographer, who did that on his time off from being a school teacher.  He also made documentary films of those two expeditions.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Lowe.  May your adventures continue.

Today is:

Ancient Roman Calendar Celebrations on this date
     Day of Mouring -- leading up to the festival for Hilaria
     Invocation Day of Mars and Saturn
     Tubilustrium -- Ancient Roman Calendar (ceremony to purify the trumpets used in sacred ceremonies)

Clear Lake Crawfish Festival -- Clear Lake, TX, US (crawfish and gumbo and fun)

Cuddly Kitten Day -- because the cats can't let the dogs get all the attention

Dandelion Dance -- Fairy Calendar

Day of Hungarian-Polish Friendship -- Hungary and Poland

Day of the Sea -- Bolivia (Dia del Mar)

Earth Hour -- 8:30pm-9:30pm, your local time; turn off your lights to take a stand against climate change

Hatsume Fair -- Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden, Delray Beach, FL, US (celebrating the culture and beauty of Japan; through tomorrow)

Keep Norfolk Beautiful Day -- Norfolk, VA, US (citywide volunteer cleanup effort)

Lazarouvane -- Bulgaria ("St. Lasarus' Day, but has little to do with the saint; a Slavic festival of youth and fertility in which the young girls who've reached marrying age "come out")

Liberty Day -- today in 1775, Patrick Henry said, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

Lieldienas -- Ancient Latvian Calendar ("Big Days" or "Long Days", four day celebration of spring, each day devoted to a different deity)

National Chip and Dip Day

National Melba Toast Day

National Puppy Day -- encouraging you to adopt a shelter pup today

Near Miss Day -- commemorates the mountain sized asteroid that was a near miss on this day in 1989

Rally for Decency Day -- Commemorates the first Rally for Decency, prompted on this day in 1969 by Jim Morrison

Republic Day -- Pakistan

St. Turibius de Mongrovejo's Day (Patron of Latin American bishops, native rights; Peru)

The Head of the River Race -- Mortlake to Putney, River Thames, London, England (traditional processional race between eight-oared crews)

Toast Day -- supposedly for the invention of Melba toast; a recent article says it takes 6 steps to toast bread "right"; i say if you can't put bread in the toaster and butter it when it comes out and need long sets of instructions, you shouldn't be let loose in society!

Tsechu Festival -- Paro, Bhutan (religious celebration in honor of Padmasambhava, with colorfully dressed monks performing masked rituals; through the 27th)

World Meteorological Day -- UN

Anniversaries Today:

The University of California is founded in Oakland, California, 1868

Birthdays Today:

Michelle Monaghan, 1976
Keri Russell, 1976
Chaka Khan, 1953
Roger Bannister, 1929
Wernher Von Braun, 1912
Akira Kurosawa, 1910
Joan Crawford, 1905

Today in History:

Eighteenth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet. 1066
The first dated edition of Maimonides "Mishna Torah" published, 1490
George Frideric Handel's oratorio "Messiah" premieres in London, 1743
Patrick Henry delivers his famous speech – "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" – at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia, 1775
After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Lewis and Clark and their "Corps of Discovery" begin their arduous journey home, 1806
Elisha Otis's first elevator is installed at 488 Broadway New York City, 1857
The Boers and Britain sign a peace accord that ends the First Boer War, 1881
President Benjamin Harrison opens Oklahoma to white settlement starting on April 22, starting a Land Run, 1889
The Wright Brothers apply for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful airplanes, 1903
Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic in the world, 1956
NASA launches Gemini 3, the United States' first two-man space flight (crew: Gus Grissom and John Young), 1965
Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador gives his famous speech appealing to men of the El Salvadoran armed forces to stop killing the Salvadorans, 1980
Taiwan holds its first direct elections and chooses Lee Teng-hui as President, 1996
The Russian Mir space station is disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji, 2001