Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fun Facts for Friday, January 30, 2015

Pre-school Fitness Day 
Fun Facts for Friday, January 30, 2015
The 30 day of the year
335 days left to go 


  • National Nurse Anesthetists Week
  • World Leprosy Week
  • Catholic Schools Week
  • Clean Out Your Inbox Week
  • Meat Week
  • National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week
  • US National Snow Sculpting Week


  • Fun at Work Day (there seems to be some disagreement on the, so I listed it twice. After all, can't have too much fun at work!)
  • Inane Answering Message Day
  • National Pre-school Fitness Day
  • National Croissant Day

1781: Maryland became the last of the 13 original states to adopt the Articles of Confederation.

1835: President Andrew Jackson survived the first ever assassination attempt on a U.S. President. 

1836: flagmaker Betsy Ross died at the age of 84.  Legend dictates she created the first stars and stripes flag of the United States.

1862: The USS Monitor was launched at Greenpoint, Long Island. (Read more)

1894: the jackhammer was patented by C.B. King of Detroit. 
1911: The first airplane rescue at sea was made by the destroyer Terry, when downed pilot, James McCurdy, was forced to land in the ocean about 10 miles from Havana, Cuba.
1933: "The Lone Ranger" was first heard on radio.  The program remained on the air for 21 years. 
1933: Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany.  
1948: aviation pioneer Orville Wright died at the age of 77. 

1948: Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi died at the age of 78.  The political and spiritual leader was assassinated by a Hindu extremist in New Delhi, India. (Bio)

1956: Elvis Presley recorded his version of "Blue Suede Shoes." 

1962: two members of the Flying Wallendas high wire act were killed when their seven-member pyramid collapsed during a performance in Detroit, Michigan. (Read more)

1965: the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill was held in London. 
1969: the Beatles played their last live performance together with a free concert on the roof of their Apple headquarters in London.  The concert was filmed for the documentary "Let It Be." (Read more).

1972: British soldiers killed 13 Roman Catholic civil rights marchers in Northern Ireland in what is now known as "Bloody Sunday." (Read more)

1973: G. Gordon Liddy and James McCord were convicted of burglary, wiretapping and attempted bugging of the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate building.  
1984: Robert and Anna Rucker of Florissant, Missouri, both won the Illinois State Lottery's one-million dollar jackpot.  Both had kept their numbers a secret from the other.  

1986: The popular Love Stamp that pictured a little dog, went on sale this day. The U.S. postal stamp was the fifth in the continuing series. As of that date, more than 302 million Love Stamps had been sold.  

1998: Elton John received knighthood in British Prime Minister Tony Blair's first New Year's Eve Honours List. 
2006: award-winning playright Wendy Wasserstein died at the age of 55.  She had been battling cancer for sometime.  Wasserstein won a Pulitzer prize and a Tony award for "The Heidi Chronicles."  She was known for works dealing with love, motherhood, marriage and complex sibling relations. 


World's Tallest Geyser (Source

On January 30, 1901, the world’s tallest geyser was identified. Waimangu was described by Dr. Humphrey Haines, and located on the North Island of New Zealand. Eruptions from this geyser, active from 1900 to 1904, could reach 488 meters (1,600 feet) in the air. That is 10 times as high as Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful. It is also higher than the Empire State Building. 
A geyser is an underground hot spring that periodically erupts through the surface in a spray of hot water and steam. The eruption is caused by hot underground magma, or molten rock, heating the spring’s water. Waimangu, which means “black waters” in the native Maori language, was named for the chunks of black rock it hurled into the air with each eruption.


National Croissant Day (Source)

In the early 1970s, croissants became sandwich substitutes as they evolved from their two traditional fillings, chocolate and almond paste, into many savory variations, from broccoli to ham and cheese, as well as additional sweet varieties.


[noo-ahns]  Noun
a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning, response, etc.
a very slight difference or variation in color or tone

"Her attention to detail and keen eye for subtle nuances made her a successful designer"


Both David and Jesus were born in Bethlehem

"Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah" (1 Samuel 18:12).

"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them" (Luke 2:4-7).


Now it came to pass in those days that [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. —Luke 6:12

Read today's "Our Daily Bread"  


Valentine’s Day. Some love it. Some hate it. Actually, most hate it. In a 2012 CNN article, Dean Obeidallah wrote, “Valentine's Day is terrible for two kinds of people -- those who are single and those who aren't.

His point is that people in a relationship are “forced” to show love on that particular day. Laden with guilt, we feel a sense of obligation rather than doing it with pure motives. But, many have found, it’s better to do it begrudgingly than to not do it at all!

On the other side of the spectrum are the folks who are not in a relationship, but would really love to be. Valentine’s Day is just another reminder that they are alone and lonely. They find the day especially depressing (CNN article).

We are all aware of the fact that Valentine’s Day is big business. According to Reuters, the average person will spend just over $142 dollars this year (that’s $8 dollars more than last year). Most of the money will be spent on candy and flowers. And, don’t forget the pets. One-in-five people plan on purchasing some type of treat for their pets. Total spending is projected to be about 18.9 billion! (Does Cupid even have pockets?) (Source).

For those of us who are in a relationship and looking for a few ideas to keep it “frugal”, U.S. News says, enjoy dinner at home, look for restaurant deals, make cookies rather than buying chocolates, and write a personal love note rather than buying a card (Source).

All that aside, as Christ-followers, the day provides a great opportunity for us to make a difference in the lives of others around us. People around us are looking for hope, meaning, and value. They’re looking to be appreciated and loved--not for how they look or what they do, but for who there are.

On Valentine’s Day, there are those who feel marginalized by no fault of their own. These are folks who are either not in a relationship or those who are widowed. Or, it could be a single parent with kids. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for us, as a community of believers, to reach out in love on this day of love?

This year, consider “adopting” a special someone you know that could use a special touch. If you have kids, it would be great to get the kids involved. What a great “teachable moment”.

We could potentially change someone’s life. Imagine the surprise and delight when they discover that you thought about them and made or bought them something special.

Here are a few ideas:
  1. Give the “traditional” flowers or candy. It seems “routine”, but some folks just want to be like everybody else on this day
  2. Invite the person over to your house with your family for a special dinner
  3. Make homemade cards
  4. Bake cookies and special treats as a family
  5. Give them a coupon for “5 dinners with the fam” or “free labor for 2 hours”
  6. Surprise them at their home
  7. Take pictures with them and make a Valentine’s Day 2015 scrapbook

What we choose to do is not as important as the fact that we choose to do something. It would be fun and meaningful for the person we reach out to—and also fun for us and our family! The best part of all, we are loving our neighbor as ourselves.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fun Facts for Thursday, January 29, 2015

National Puzzle Day 
Fun Facts for Thursday, January 29, 2015
The 29 day of the year
336 days left to go 


  • National Nurse Anesthetists Week
  • World Leprosy Week
  • Catholic Schools Week
  • Clean Out Your Inbox Week
  • Meat Week
  • National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week
  • US National Snow Sculpting Week


  • Curmudgeons Day
  • Freethinkers Day
  • National Puzzle Day 
  • Seeing Eye Dog Day
  • Thomas Paine Day (Bio)
  • National Corn Chip Day


1802: John Beckley became the first Librarian of Congress.  His salary was two dollars a day (History of Librarian's of Congress)

1845: Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" was published for the first time in the "New York Evening Mirror." 
1861: Kansas became the 34th state of the Union. 
1924: R. Taylor patented the ice cream cone rolling machine.  

1936: the Baseball Hall-of-Fame was established in Cooperstown, New York.  The first five players inducted were Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson (Link). 

1945: Lionel Barrymore became the host of radio's "Lux Theatre."  He replaced the previous host, Cecil B. DeMille. 

1949: the U.S.S. Newport News was commissioned as the first air-conditioned naval ship. 

1973: Johnny Rivers received a gold record for his hit "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu." (Song)

1977: one hit wonder Rose Royce hit the number one spot with "Car Wash." (Song)

1983: Men At Work topped the pop singles and pop album charts in both the United States and Britain.  The single was titled "Down Under," the album was named "Business As Usual." (Song)

1995: The San Francisco 49ers became the first team in NFL history to win five Super Bowl titles, beating the San Diego Chargers, 49-26.

1998: a top tobacco company executive admitted under oath to Congress for the first time that cigarettes are dangerous.  

2002: Oscar winner Harold Russell died on this date at the age of 88.  Russell, who lost both his hands in a dynamite explosion while training in the Army, received two Oscars  --  one for Best Supporting Actor and a second, honorary Oscar, for being an inspiration to fellow Army veterans.  He received the honors for his role as double amputee Homer Parish in the 1946 film "The Best Years Of Our Lives."  Russell is the only actor to receive two Oscars for the same role. 

2005: amid threats of violence voting polls opened in Iraq for the country's first multi-party election in 50 years.  

2006: ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and an ABC cameraman were seriously injured after a roadside bomb exploded near the Iraqi town of Taji.  Both men suffered head injuries in the blast and were taken to a U.S. military hospital in Iraq. 

2007: Miss Oklahoma Lauren Nelson was crowned Miss America.  The win made Nelson the second Miss Oklahoma in a row to take the title.  Fellow Oklahoman Jennifer Berry helped crown Nelson.   

2009: the Republican National Committee elected Michael Steele to chair the party.  Upon his election, the 50-year-old former Maryland Lieutenant Governor became the first African-American to serve as chairman of the party. 

2013: the U.S. Senate confirmed John Kerry as Secretary of State.  The Massachusetts Democrat was selected to replace outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  


The Raven (Source)

Read Bio

Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem "The Raven," beginning "Once upon a midnight dreary," was published on this day in the New York Evening Mirror.

Poe's dark and macabre work reflected his own tumultuous and difficult life. Born in Boston in 1809, Poe was orphaned at age three and went to live with the family of a Richmond, Virginia, businessman. Poe enrolled in a military academy but was expelled for gambling. He later studied briefly at the University of Virginia.

In 1827, Poe self-published a collection of poems. Six years later, his short story "MS Found in a Bottle" won $50 in a story contest. He edited a series of literary journals, including the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond starting in 1835, and Burton's Gentleman's Magazine in Philadelphia, starting in 1839. Poe's excessive drinking got him fired from several positions. His macabre work, often portraying motiveless crimes and intolerable guilt that induces growing mania in his characters, was a significant influence on such European writers as Charles Baudelaire, Stephane Mallarme, and even Dostoyevsky.


Curmudgeon means, "a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person" (

Curmudgeons Day, some say, is a holiday where you’re supposed to stay home all day and do nothing. Others, however, suggest that you simply be as miserable and grouchy as you like--wherever you feel like it. (sorry, but couldn't find any original sources)


Chilliness (based on the adjective--Chilly)
[chil-ee]  Noun

mildly cold or producing a sensation of cold; causing shivering; chill: a chilly breeze. 
feeling cold; sensitive to cold: Her hands were chilly. 

"Their first year in Kansas City, Wayne and Kimberly visited the plaza and had a wonderful time, but were in a contant state of chilliness"


The first person that the Bible records as praying is Abraham

"Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again" (Gen 20:17).


My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. —Psalm 121:2

Read today's "Our Daily Bread"