Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Holidays and Observances for September 3 2014

National Skyscraper Day

Did you know that there is an exclusive date for skyscrapers? National Skyscraper Day or Skyscraper Day is celebrated to give special appreciation for the visibly tall buildings and the architectural magnificence they provide. Skyscraper Day is widely observed every September 3 annually.

Skyscraper Day has no retrievable history of its beginnings nor of its originator. However, Skyscraper Day is not only famously celebrated among the architecture community, it is also observed among the general mass.

A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many storeys, usually designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper. One common feature of skyscrapers is having a steel framework from which curtain walls are suspended, rather than load-bearing walls of conventional construction. Most skyscrapers have a steel frame that enables the construction of load-bearing walls taller than of those made of reinforced concrete. Skyscrapers’ walls are not load-bearing, and therefore most skyscrapers are characterized by large surface areas of windows made possible by the concept of steel frame and curtain walls. However, skyscrapers can have curtain walls that mimic conventional walls and a small surface area of windows.

Skyscrapers since 1960s utilize the tubular designs, innovated by a Bangladeshi-American structural engineer named Fazlur Rahman Khan. This engineering principle makes the buildings structurally more efficient and stronger. It reduces the usage of material (economically much more efficient), while simultaneously allows the buildings to reach greater heights. It allows fewer interior columns, and so creates more usable floor space. It further enables buildings to take on various shapes. There are several variations of the tubular design; these structural systems are fundamental to tall building design today. After the great depression, skyscraper construction was abandoned. Bangladeshi-American structural engineer Fazlur Khan, more than any others, ushered in a renaissance in skyscrapers construction from 1960s with structural innovations that transformed the industry and made it possible for people to live and work in “cities in the sky”. Other pioneers include Hal Iyengar, William LeMessurier, etc. Cities have experienced a huge surge in skyscraper construction. Fazlur Rahman Khan is regarded as the “Einstein of Structural Engineering” for his revolutionary work which remain fundamental to modern skyscraper construction. Khan created a legacy of innovations that is unparalleled and became an icon in both architecture and structural engineering.

Today, skyscrapers are an increasingly common sight where land is expensive, as in the centres of big cities, because they provide such a high ratio of rentable floor space per unit area of land. They are built not just for economy of space; like temples and palaces of the past, skyscrapers are considered symbols of a city’s economic power. Not only do they define the skyline, they help to define the city’s identity. In some cases, exceptionally tall skyscrapers have been built not out of necessity, but to help define the city’s identity and presence or power as a city.

Top 5 Tallest Skyscrapers
  1. Burj Khalifa built last 2010 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with 2, 717 feet and 163 floors.
  2. Shanghai Tower will be completed in Shanghai, China this 2014 with an expected 2, 073 feet and 121 floors.
  3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower built in Mecca, Saudi Arabia last 2012 with 1, 971 feet and 120 floors.
  4. One World Trade Center built in New York City, USA , 2013, with 1, 776 feet and 104 floors.
  5. Taipei 101 built in Taipei, Taiwan last 2004 with 1, 670 feet and 101 floors.
National Welsh Rarebit Day

Melted cheese on bread is thankfully not a new concept. The Swiss have fondue, the French croque madames or monsieurs. The British have Welsh Rarebit, or as it’s properly known, Welsh Rabbit.

Welsh Rarebit, pronounced Welsh Rabbit, is not a Welsh dish and there is no rabbit in it at all. It is believed the name originated in the 18th century as an English insult to the Welsh; while rabbit was a poor man’s meat in England, in Wales the poorer man’s “meat” was cheese. The basic ingredients (bread, beer, cheese) are food staples of every region, and it was certainly eaten in Wales for many centuries

Most etymologists agree that rarebit is an incorrect version of rabbit, and that somehow the two got confused along the way. While there are those who do still say Welsh rarebit, they’re really just talking about rabbit, which as it turns out, is absent from the dish altogether.

So what is in Welsh rarebit? There are a few different versions, but most seem to settle on these staples.

A b├ęchamel sauce is made from a roux using beer as well as cream. Others flavorings such as Worcestershire sauce and mustard are added. Cheddar cheese is melted in and the thick, gooey sauce is served over toasted bread - typically a hearty bread like pumpernickel or rye.

Other versions of the sauce have different spices added to them, and sometimes the cheese is simply broiled over the toast and it’s served in a reduced, beer-like sauce.

US Bowling League Day

September 3 is US Bowling League Day! This is a day to celebrate bowling and bowling leagues, so even if you don’t have a game scheduled for tonight, gather your teammates for a friendly game of bowling to celebrate your bowling league.

Bowling has a long and rich history, and today it is one of the most popular sports in the world. A British anthropologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, discovered in the 1930's a collection of objects in a child's grave in Egypt that appeared to him to be used for a crude form of bowling. If he was correct, then bowling traces its ancestry to 3200 BC. 

A German historian, William Pehle, asserted that bowling began in his country about 300 AD. There is substantial evidence that a form of bowling was in vogue in England in 1366, when King Edward III allegedly outlawed it to keep his troops focused on archery practice. And it is almost certain that bowling was popular during the reign of King Henry VIII. 

By this time, too, there were many variations of "pin" games, and also of games where a ball was thrown at objects other than pins. This would seem to imply that the games had developed over time, from an earlier period. 

One of the most eccentric games is still found in Edinburgh. The player swings a fingerless ball between his legs and heaves it at the pins. In doing so, he "flops" onto the lane on his stomach. There were and still are many variations of ninepins in Western Europe. Likely related are the Italian bocce, the French petanque and British lawn bowling. 

Undoubtedly, the English, Dutch and German settlers all imported their own variations of bowling to America. The earliest mention of it in serious American literature is by Washington Irving, when Rip Van Winkle awakens to the sound of "crashing ninepins.". The first permanent American bowling location probably was for lawn bowling, in New York's Battery area. Now the heart of the financial district, New Yorkers still call the small plot Bowling Green. 

The game had its ups and downs in America. An 1841 Connecticut law made it illegal to maintain "any ninepin lanes,", probably because bowling was the object of much gambling. But the problem, of course, also evidenced its popularity. Also, many captains of industry chose to install a lane in their mansions. 

While it is uncertain where the tenpin game evolved, by the late 1800s it was prevalent in many states such as New York, Ohio and as far "west" as Illinois. However, details like ball weights and pin dimensions varied by region. But that changed when restauratnteur Joe Thum finally pulled together representatives of the various regional bowling clubs. On September 9, 1895, at Beethoven Hall in New York City, the American Bowling Congress was born. Soon, standardization would be established, and major national competitions could be held. 

While women had been bowling in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the American Bowling Congress was for men. It was in 1917 that the Women's International Bowling Congress was born in St. Louis. Encouraged by proprietor Dennis Sweeney, women leaders from around the country participating in a tournament decided to form what was then called the Women's National Bowling Association. 

Bowling technology took a big step forward about the same time. Balls used to be primarily lignum vitae, a very hard wood. But in 1905, the first rubber ball, the "Evertrue" was introduced;, and in 1914 the Brunswick Corporation successfully promoted the Mineralite ball, touting its "mysterious rubber compound.". 

Now organized, with agreed-upon standards, the game grew in popularity. In 1951, another technological breakthrough set the stage for massive growth. American Machine and Foundry Company (AMF, then a maker of machinery for the bakery, tobacco and apparel businesses) purchased the patents to Gottfried Schmidt's automatic pinspotter, and by late 1952, production model pinspotters were introduced. No longer did a proprietor have to rely on "pinboys.". 

Television embraced bowling in the 1950's, and the game's popularity grew exponentially. NBC's broadcast of "Championship Bowling" was the first network coverage of bowling. Coverage proliferated with shows like "Make That Spare,", "Celebrity Bowling", and "Bowling For Dollars." And in 1961, ABC became the first network to telecast competition of the Pro Bowlers Association. Successful promoter, agent and entrepreneur Eddie Elias founded the PBA, and with his leadership, the Pro Bowlers Tour became a hugely popular stalwart of ABC sports broadcasting. Joined later by telecasts of the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour (the forerunner now the Professional Women's Bowling Association, PWBA) millions of Americans witnessed and became interested in the sport. 

Today, the sport of bowling is enjoyed by 95 million people in more than 90 countries worldwide. Under the auspices of the Federation Nationale des Quilleurs (FIQ), bowling's top athletes regularly compete in Olympic Zone and worldwide competitions.

Need to improve your bowling skills? has plenty of tips and guides to help you improve your bowling skills while providing you with other useful information, like the history of bowling, the health benefits of bowling, and bowling etiquette.

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