Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Holidays and Observances for February 18 2014

Cow Milked While Flying In An Airplane Day

Yes, today marks the 83rd anniversary of the triumph in human achievement – the day a cow was milked while flying through the air.

Elm Farm Ollie (known as "Nellie Jay" and post-flight as "Sky Queen") was the first cow to fly in an airplane, doing so on 18 February 1930, as part of the International Air Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. On the same trip, which covered 72 miles in a Ford Tri-motor airplane from Bismarck, Missouri, to St. Louis, she also became the first cow milked in flight. This was done ostensibly to allow scientists to observe midair effects on animals, as well as for publicity purposes. A St. Louis newspaper trumpeted her mission as being "to blaze a trail for the transportation of livestock by air."

Elm Farm Ollie was reported to have been an unusually productive Guernsey cow, requiring three milkings a day and producing 24 quarts of milk during the flight itself. Wisconsin native Elsworth W. Bunce milked her, becoming the first man to milk a cow mid-flight. Elm Farm Ollie's milk was sealed into paper cartons which were parachuted to spectators below. Charles Lindbergh reportedly received a glass of the milk.

Although Elm Farm Ollie was born and raised in Bismarck, Missouri, it is largely in the dairy state of Wisconsin where her fame has lived on.

National Drink Wine Day

While Valentine’s Day celebrates love, romance and your significant other, today celebrates a beverage folks have been enjoying for thousands of years. Whether you prefer the red, white, dry or the sparkling variety, today is dedicated to all things wine. It’s (National) Drink Wine Day!

Happy National Drink Wine Day

While some people celebrate National Drink Wine Day just about every day of the year, this “holiday” is officially celebrated on February 18th. Whether you are single, married or somewhere in between, everyone of legal age can enjoy this annual holiday! And today isn't the only occasion celebrating wine either. National Wine Day is also observed in May so now you have two holidays to look forward to!

The Benefits of Wine
Whether you consider yourself a wine connoisseur or novice, wine not only tastes good but may also be good for your health when consumed in moderation. Some experts believe red wine may inhibit kidney stone formation and the development of certain cancers. And some believe certain wines may also reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks as well. While some wine may be beneficial, drinking too much alcohol can be harmful to your health.

How to Celebrate National Drink Wine Day
  • Some establishments participate in the event by offering discounts and specials.
  • Invite a few of your favorite BFFs over for your own, one-of-a-kind Wine Tasting Party.
  • Don’t forget the chocolate!
  • You can’t have a party without some great desserts! Check out this listing of Dessert Wine with Cheesecake Recipes. Yum!
  • Speaking of parties, Food and Wine Magazine suggests the 10 Ultimate Wines for Dinner Parties.
  • Instead of buying the same old bottle, try something new for a change.
  • Make it movie night. Pick up a few flicks, whip up a few snacks and grab a few bottles of your favorite wine and enjoy!
  • By the way - you don't need to spend a fortune to get a great bottle of wine either. Check out this listing of America's Best and Most Accessible Value Wines.
  • Just where are the very best wine bars in the world?
  • Confused about which wine tastes best with what cheese? Check out this helpful Wine and Cheese Pairing Guide for some guidance.
  • AskMen discusses 3 Classic White Wines.
  • Learn which are the Perfect Wines for Any Meal.
In honor of the occasion, pop open the cork on that favorite bottle of wine, raise your glass and live a little! Cheers!

National Battery Day

What products are available in all different shapes and sizes and packed full of power? They are used in phones, remote controls, toys, tools, computers and electronic gadgets. They’re even used in automobiles. Batteries! Just image where we’d be without these handy dandy sources of power! Today is National Battery Day, an annual “holiday” observed on February 18. This yearly event commemorates the birth of an Italian physicist and pioneer, Alessandro Volta, who was born on this day back in 1745.

The History of Batteries
Folks have been getting a real “charge” out of batteries for centuries. In fact, people have been using batteries since Count Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta invented them in 1800. After Luigi Galvani’s series of “animal electricity” experiments using frog legs, Volta went on to create the forerunner of the electric battery, the Voltaic Pile. Volta demonstrated his invention to Napoleon Bonaparte who later made him a count for his electrifying discovery.

Volta died on March 5, 1827, but the battery continued to evolve. French physicist Gaston Plante invented the first rechargeable battery in 1859 and Waldmar Jungner invented the first nickel-cadmium battery in 1899.

And speaking of batteries – today serves as the perfect reminder to check or change the batteries in those life-saving devices like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Thumb Appreciation Day

“The fingers must be educated, the thumb is born knowing.” –                                                                                               Marc Chagall
February 18, is Thumb Appreciation Day!

Not joking, I don’t make these up, I just spread the word. Thumb Appreciation Day is a real ‘holiday.’ Why would someone come up with this quirky celebration? Your guess is as good as mine. I’m going to go ahead and assume that this day was created to help us appreciate the little things in life. What would we do without our thumbs? The creator of this day wants to make sure you appreciate that short fatty on your hands.

Here are some challenges we can do to help us realize how much easier our thumbs make our daily lives:
  • Open a door (only round doorknobs count) without using your thumb.
  • Write your name with a pencil – don’t rest the pencil on any part of your thumb either, pretend it is completely gone.
  • Pick up a glass and take a drink.
  • Type a sentence on a regular laptop/computer keyboard without relying on your thumb for the ‘space’ key.
  • Button a shirt or zip up a jacket.
  • Tie your shoes.
  • Thumbs are our best friends when it comes to texting, try to do it without them.
  • It’s not very easy, huh? Now that you realize just how important our thumbs are, let’s give them a little extra attention today and use them as much as we can. 
Here are some fun ideas:
  • Declare a thumb war!
  • Leave your print; ink up your thumbs and make art out of your unique prints. Try making faces, animals, or other interesting masterpieces.
  • Insert these expressions into today's conversations: “rule of thumb” and “sticks out like a sore thumb.”
Pluto Discovered

Pluto, once believed to be the ninth planet, is discovered at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh.

The existence of an unknown ninth planet was first proposed by Percival Lowell, who theorized that wobbles in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune were caused by the gravitational pull of an unknown planetary body. Lowell calculated the approximate location of the hypothesized ninth planet and searched for more than a decade without success. However, in 1929, using the calculations of Powell and W.H. Pickering as a guide, the search for Pluto was resumed at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. On February 18, 1930, Tombaugh discovered the tiny, distant planet by use of a new astronomic technique of photographic plates combined with a blink microscope. His finding was confirmed by several other astronomers, and on March 13, 1930--the anniversary of Lowell's birth and of William Hershel's discovery of Uranus--the discovery of Pluto was publicly announced.

With a surface temperature estimated at approximately -360 Fahrenheit, Pluto was appropriately given the Roman name for the god of the underworld in Greek mythology. Pluto's average distance from the sun is nearly four billion miles, and it takes approximately 248 years to complete one orbit. It also has the most elliptical and tilted orbit of any planet, and at its closest point to the sun it passes inside the orbit of Neptune, the eighth planet.

After its discovery, some astronomers questioned whether Pluto had sufficient mass to affect the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. In 1978, James Christy and Robert Harrington discovered Pluto's only known moon, Charon, which was determined to have a diameter of 737 miles to Pluto's 1,428 miles. Together, it was thought that Pluto and Charon formed a double-planet system, which was of ample enough mass to cause wobbles in Uranus' and Neptune's orbits. In August 2006, however, the International Astronomical Union announced that Pluto would no longer be considered a planet, due to new rules that said planets must "clear the neighborhood around its orbit." Since Pluto's oblong orbit overlaps that of Neptune, it was disqualified.