Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Holidays and Observances for June 3 2015

American Space Walk Day

During the Gemini 4 mission on June 3, 1965, Ed White became the first American to conduct a spacewalk. The spacewalk started at 3:45 p.m. EDT on the third orbit when White opened the hatch and used the hand-held maneuvering oxygen-jet gun to push himself out of the capsule.

The EVA started over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and lasted 23 minutes, ending over the Gulf of Mexico. Initially, White propelled himself to the end of the 8-meter tether and back to the spacecraft three times using the hand-held gun. After the first three minutes the fuel ran out and White maneuvered by twisting his body and pulling on the tether.

In a photograph taken by Commander James McDivitt taken early in the EVA over a cloud-covered Pacific Ocean, the maneuvering gun is visible in White's right hand. The visor of his helmet is gold-plated to protect him from the unfiltered rays of the sun.

Implemented at the height of the space race, NASA's Gemini program was the least famous of the three U.S.-manned space programs conducted during the 1960's. However, as an extension of Project Mercury, which put the first American in space in 1961, Gemini laid the groundwork for the more dramatic Apollo lunar missions, which began in 1968. The Gemini space flights were the first to involve multiple crews, and the extended duration of the missions provided valuable information about the biological effects of longer-term space travel. When the Gemini program ended in 1966, U.S. astronauts had also perfected rendezvous and docking maneuvers with other orbiting vehicles, a skill that would be essential during the three-stage Apollo moon missions.

Chimborazo Day

June 3rd: Chimba … Chimbo … Huh? It’s CHIMBORAZO DAY? What in the world is a Chimborazo? Do you eat it? Do you throw it? Do you run from it?

No running needed; Chimborazo, or MOUNT Chimborazo, if you please, just sits there. Proudly and majestically, Mount Chimborazo is an inactive volcano in Ecuador, rising 20,565 feet into the skies. Its claim to fame is that it reaches further out into space than any other mountain peak on Earth. Even though Mount Everest claims the title of highest mountain on Earth (nearly 10,000 feet higher than Mount Chimborazo), it’s further from the moon. Mount Chimborazo is cheating a little. You know when you can’t quite reach the top shelf in the kitchen; you utilize a step stool to give you that extra needed boost? With Mount Chimborazo being near the equator, that little extra bulge around the center of the earth (that many of us don’t realize is there), gives Chimborazo that little step stool effect, giving it an extra 1.5-mile stretch. (Yep, the Earth too has one of those little middle-aged, too-many-french-fries “spare tire” bulges.)

The distance from the center of Earth to sea level at the equator is 13 miles greater than the distance from the center of Earth to sea level at the North Pole. Whew, that’s some “spare tire” Mother Earth.

Now, what to do with that information? I’m not sure how useful you’ll find it; but I know I've learned several new tidbits for the day. And finding a new day to celebrate, along with learning something new is ALWAYS a good day! Happy Chimborazo Day!

National Chocolate Macaroon Day

National Coconut Macaroon Day is a food holiday listed on some special-event calendars and websites, as well as food blogs. It falls on June 3, and is not an official holiday recognized by a major organization or by government.

Macaroons are a kind of baked confection, small cake, or cookie, generally using egg white as the raising agent. Most macaroons also contain almonds, coconut, or both, in a crushed, ground, shredded, slivered, or powdered form. The word 'macaroon' come from the Italian maccarone or maccherone meaning 'paste', referring to the original almond paste ingredient; this word itself derives from ammaccare, meaning to bruise. Macaroons are often light and airy, although some recipes create a more dense, heavy final product.

Macaroon varieties are many and varied, since different recipes for the confection have arisen in different cultures and time frames. Some macaroons are similar to a crispy-crusted almond meringue cookie. This form of macaroon is considered to be the oldest and original form. Many modern recipes for macaroons create a softer, more chewy confection with coconut being the most dominant flavor and texture.

Chocolate macaroons are macaroons with cocoa or chocolate forming part of the recipe. Even among chocolate macaroons, there are a great number of different varieties. Many chocolate macaroon recipes result in sandwiched cookie filled with a chocolate cream or paste. Others include chocolate chips or a chocolate icing.

The origin of National Chocolate Macaroon Day is not clear. No organization or retailer has specifically endorsed the special day or documented its proposal. It is likely that this food holiday arose from blog posts or culinary websites, perhaps hoping to create unique daily content, or present a special recipe for every day of the year.

National Chocolate Macaroon Day is a great opportunity to explore one of the exhaustive varieties of chocolate macaroon recipes. Food holidays such as this can be an enjoyable way to find an idea for a special treat to present at a get-together or when guests visit. Chocolate macaroons can also make a great gift, or something to eat on a special occasion.

Many chocolate macaroon recipes are not difficult and have few ingredients, so Chocolate Macaroon Day could be an opportunity to cook with children.

National Egg Day

Happy National Egg Day? What's that, you say? If you're like me, then you're wondering if National Egg Day is just another one of those random, promote-something-so-people-will-buy-it type of days, but it turns out there is a nice little story behind it all (and I guess its true...). 

National Egg Day was first declared a day of celebration by Claudius Nero Germanicus (b. 10 BC, d. 54 A.D.; emperor, 41-54 A.D.) who was the third emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Due to a severe poultry plague that devastated Europe at the beginning of the first millennium, chickens and particularly eggs were feared as a staple food source.

Three years after the plague had begun, Claudius challenged nobles within his realm to eat eggs to prove to the peasant population that it was indeed now safe to do so. None accepted the challenge except Augustus Antonius who invited all far and wide to witness his meal of boiled eggs. Showing no ill effects, the Roman populace once again embraced eggs and poultry. As a result, Claudius issued a royal proclamation dedicating the third day of June as the Holy Roman Day of Eggs.

The holiday endured for more than 500 years but ended during Justinian's reign. The egg remembrance resurfaced in 1805 during Napoleon's rule after he captured historical Italian documents relating to the Holy Roman Empire. Intrigued by the fact that Roman emperors were so enamored of the egg, and not wanting to be upstaged by them, he also declared June 3rd as "Oeuf Journée Nationale" or, "National Egg Day." It has remained a popular acknowledgement by western society to this day.

National Running Day

National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running.

Since 2009, the country's foremost running organizations have worked together to celebrate our sport with thousands of participants on the first Wednesday of June. We encourage runners to join in by planning a run, spreading the running bug to a friend, signing up for a race, or setting a new goal.

Running is a method of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot. Running is a type of gait characterized by an aerial phase in which all feet are above the ground (though there are exceptions). This is in contrast to walking, where one foot is always in contact with the ground, the legs are kept mostly straight and the center of gravity vaults over the stance leg or legs in an inverted pendulum fashion. A characteristic feature of a running body from the viewpoint of spring-mass mechanics is that changes in kinetic and potential energy within a stride occur simultaneously, with energy storage accomplished by springy tendons and passive muscle elasticity. The term running can refer to any of a variety of speeds ranging from jogging to sprinting.

It is assumed that the ancestors of mankind developed the ability to run for long distances about 2.6 million years ago, probably in order to hunt animals. Competitive running grew out of religious festivals in various areas. Records of competitive racing date back to the Tailteann Games in Ireland in 1829 BCE, while the first recorded Olympic Games took place in 776 BCE. Running has been described as the world's most accessible sport.
...I suspect that the sun, moon, earth, stars, and heaven, which are still the Gods of many barbarians, were the only Gods known to the aboriginal Hellenes. Seeing that they were always moving and running, from their running nature they were called Gods or runners (Theous, Theontas)...—Socrates in Plato - Cratylus
It is thought that human running evolved at least four and a half million years ago out of the ability of the ape-like Australopithecus, an early ancestor of humans, to walk upright on two legs.

The theory proposed considered to be the most likely evolution of running is of early humans' developing as endurance runners from the practice of persistence hunting of animals, the activity of following and chasing until a prey is too exhausted to flee, succumbing to "chase myopathy" (Sears 2001), and that human features such as the nuchal ligament, abundant sweat glands, the Achilles tendons, big knee joints and muscular glutei maximi, were changes caused by this type of activity (Bramble & Lieberman 2004, et al.). The theory as first proposed used comparitative physiological evidence and the natural habits of animals when running, indicating the likelihood of this activity as a successful hunting method. Further evidence from observation of modern day hunting practice also indicated this likelihood (Carrier et al. 1984). According to Sears (p. 12) scientific investigation (Walker & Leakey 1993) of the Nariokotome Skeleton provided further evidence for the Carrier theory.

Competitive running grew out of religious festivals in various areas such as Greece, Egypt, Asia, and the East African Rift in Africa. The Tailteann Games, an Irish sporting festival in honour of the goddess Tailtiu, dates back to 1829 BCE, and is one of the earliest records of competitive running. The origins of the Olympics and Marathon running are shrouded by myth and legend, though the first recorded games took place in 776 BCE. Running in Ancient Greece can be traced back to these games of 776 BCE.

National Tailors' Day

National Tailors' Day is always the first Wednesday in June. If you're always seeming to be looking marvelous, you may be wanting to send out a thank you on National Tailors' Day. Even in today's more casual world, nothing seems to bring out your best like a well-tailored suit. Celebrate today by dressing up and thanking the person who keeps you looking good.

A tailor is a person who makes, repairs, or alters clothing professionally, especially suits and men's clothing.

Although the term dates to the thirteenth century, tailor took on its modern sense in the late eighteenth century, and now refers to makers of men's and women's suits, coats, trousers, and similar garments, usually of wool, linen, or silk.

The term refers to a set of specific hand and machine sewing and pressing techniques that are unique to the construction of traditional jackets. Retailers of tailored suits often take their services internationally, traveling to various cities, allowing the client to be measured locally.

Traditional tailoring is called "bespoke tailoring" in the United Kingdom, where the heart of the trade is London's Savile Row tailoring, and "custom tailoring" in the United States and Hong Kong. This is unlike made to measure which uses pre-existing patterns. A bespoke garment or suit is completely original and unique to each customer.

Famous fictional tailors include the tailor in The Tailor of Gloucester, The Emperor's New Clothes and The Valiant Little Tailor. A more recent example is John le Carré's The Tailor of Panama.

The knowledge and art of tailoring, of cutting and sewing cloth -- the two basic aspects of constructing clothes from a pattern -- developed slowly and gradually in Europe between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. The Oxford English Dictionary's first reference to the word "tailor" gives the specific date of 1297; and certainty by that date tailoring guilds, as well as those of weavers, and cloth merchants were well established in Europe.

During the Middle Ages clothing had been regarded as a means of concealing the body. But with the Renaissance came the accentuation of the human form. The loose robe, that standard uniform of the medieval period so easily constructed from a single piece or two of cloth, was shortened and tightened, and eventually cut, pieced, and sewn together in attempts to bring into prominence the contours of the human form. This was the birth of tailoring and, in fact, of fashion.

These attempts at re-constructing the human body in fabric called for a growing expert skill and division of labor. Soon the cutter (the one who makes the pattern) and tailor (the one who does the sewing) joined other craftsmen as important members of the community.

Until this time the cloth had been the distinguishing feature of garments, and the wearer took most of the responsibility for the design ~ and, in most cases, the actual production ~ of his own clothes. But little by little, the tailor took on equal importance with the weaver, and gradually came to overshadow him. Master tailors in the growing towns eventually became responsible for the clothing needs of society, and the art and science of tailoring became a highly specialized, complex, and jealously guarded craft.

As towns became cities, then city states, and finally empires of power, fashion followed. First Italy, then Spain and France became the center for fashionable dress in concert with the power, wealth, and influence of those empires. Italy reached its great flowering during the age of Michael Angelo, followed by Spain early in the 17th century. France reached its fashionable peak for tailoring during the long reign of Louis XIV (1643 - 1715), when foppish young men from all over Europe flocked to Paris for their wardrobes. Almost every comic play written in the second half of the 17th century includes the character of a Paris-dressed fop, perfumed and beribboned, with powdered wig and silver-buckled shoe in the latest French mode. But by the time of the French king's death in 1715, there had already begun a shift in power, and influence -- and fashion.

Even during Louis' long lifetime a great shift in masculine costume was occurring. In the middle of the 17th century men began to give up the doublet, hose, and cloak that had been the staple items of their wardrobe since the 1500s, and began to wear coat, vest, and breeches, the three components we can begin to identify as modern dress.

Across the Channel, the English had not only turned away from the doublet and hose, but quickly moved through the phase of embroidered ostentation decreed by the French court. They had just survived a bitter but democratizing civil war (l642 - 1649) which, among other things, called into question the brocades and velvets, the silk and pastel satins and powdered wigs and other ostentations of aristocratic French court dress. Over two centuries later, Oscar Wilde would quip that the Puritans and Cavaliers who fought that war were more interesting for their costumes than their moral convictions.

The English moved away from the highly decorative and delicate court style, and took up a more practical form. The costume of both the landed gentry and the newer mercantile class became progressively less gorgeous and exquisite during the 18th century, and far more somber and sober. By the early decades of the 19th century, sobriety (in dress at any rate) had begun to penetrate even the court circle itself, and kings, consorts, and princes were seen to dress in a manner almost identical with their subjects. By mid-century the age of stovepipe hats, umbrellas, and frock coats -- each in glossy black -- was firmly in place.

English tailors, particularly those in London, now came to dominate the fashion scene. First, the English had evolved a style for masculine clothing that was a subtle blending of landed gentry, sporting attire, and bourgeois business wear produced in the tremendous wake of the Industrial Revolution. Secondly, aristocratic court clothing had not been constructed so much with a concern for fit as it had with concerns for decoration, fabric, and color. But when the shift away from ornamentation and ostentation began to occur, fit became the criterion of dress for men. We take it for granted today, but the idea of "fit" as a criterion for men's clothes is a fairly recent one. It is an idea calling for great skill in execution.

The English tailor was trained to use woolen cloth, and over years of experimentation and practice he developed techniques for "molding" the cloth close to the body without exactly duplicating the true form of the wearer. In short, the tailor could now actually develop a new aesthetic of dress: he could mimic the real body, while at the same time "improving" and idealizing it! It was no longer a question of voluminous yards of flowing silken brocade. Men became "gentlemen" (itself a 19th century term) and frowned upon gaudy display in favor of discretion, simplicity, and the perfection of cut. It was, in terms of fashion, the culmination of that radical turn taken in mid-17th century: the Modern had finally arrived! And the Modern was the tailor's art.

There have been tremendous innovations in these past hundred years in fashion and the art of tailoring: sewing machines now do the work on straight seams better than could be done by hand; new fabric technology has history produced more comfortable cloths; fashions have adapted to more leisurely, climate-controlled lifestyles. But tailoring is still, and likely to remain so, an art. It has not been brought down to the level of a science. The tailor still believes in making personalized clothing, statements of fashion for the individual, as he always has done.

Even since the invention of ready-made, cheaply-produced clothes in the middle of the last century, the demise of the tailor has been predicted. Like the panda and the whooping crane, it has been said, the march of modern life is against him. Mega-international corporations seem to own everything, calculatedly obsolete gimmickry) abounds, and Coca-Cola now sells clothing as well as soft drinks by the millions of units. But craftsmen have indeed managed to survive in this age of the mass-produced and quickly thrown away, even to prosper. There is still a clear need for the uniquely personal and individual in our lives. In this age of the shoddy and the quick, the vulgar and the mass-consumed, tailors can still be counted on to champion uniqueness and quality. It is the hallmark of their tradition.

Today, skilled tailors can be found in Rome as well as Richmond, VA, Paris and Pittsburgh, Hong Kong, Kansas City, Rio and Dallas -- as well of course as Milan, London, and New York They are the fitters and pattern drafters, the stitchers of the handmade buttonholes, the cutters of the fine worsted and cashmere and heathery tweed. And they are all standing in the long shadow of tradition and craftsmanship that is the art of tailoring.

Repeat Day

Be honest. If you had the chance to do something over again, would you? If you answered “yes” to that question, you’re in luck! It’s Repeat Day. While the origins of this “holiday” are unknown, the annual event is held yearly on June 3.

Besides having the opportunity to do something all over again and hopefully getting it right the second time around, Repeat Day also comes in handy for those with “selective hearing”. You know the type – folks who would rather text than listen to your most intimate feelings. Or how about those significant others who tend to tune you out and mutter those famous words, “yes, dear” only to adamantly proclaim days later you never told them about that important appointment or event in the first place!

But every-so-often, some things bear repeating. Have you ever had a perfect moment you’d love to repeat over and over again? Whether it was the day you married your spouse, the day your child was born or some other significant event you will never forget, if only we could relive that special moment.

How to Celebrate Repeat Day:
  • Annoy all your family and friends by repeating everything you say. Surely someone will notice?
  • Make the same meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
  • Wear the same outfit two days in a row.
  • Be sure to watch the 1993 film, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie Macdowell. Then watch it again.
Happy Repeat Day! Happy Repeat Day!