Cheers to Thumbs, Cows on Planes, Presidents, Wine and the Planet Pluto!!

Feb 18th

This ought to give you a charge – It’s National Battery Day!  (sorry, couldn’t resist).   Seriously though, think about how many things we use batteries for every single day, and their many uses and applications, and it’s something to get excited about!  This vital invention is everywhere, from the battlefield, to smoke alarms, cars, headsets. . . they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, power capacity and fit a huge array of needs.  Imagine if we didn’t have batteries.  We’d still be using a crank to start our cars, we’d have to haul around long extension cords for all sorts of different things that are easily portable now because of batteries. So, who invented the battery?  A man by the name of Alessandro Volta – an Italian physicist, invented it in 1800.  He also made important discoveries in pneumatics, meteorology and electrostatics, but the invention that most of humankind uses all the time, is the battery.

President’s Day is a day set aside to honor all of the U.S. presidents.  Often it is thought of as a celebration of two great presidents – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but more and more people look at this day as a tribute to each and every person who has served in the office of President of the United States.  Many businesses and most government offices have this day off as a national holiday.  I used to.  Unfortunately, due to the economy issues, my employer took this holiday away from us, so for the first time in many years I’ll be heading off to the office in the morning.  For those of you who have it off? Enjoy!

Cow Milked While Flying In An Airplane Day   – Today is the 82nd anniversary of ‘Cow Milked While Flying In an Airplane’ Day. And what does this mean, you ask?  I’ll tell you!  According to the Dairy Farmer’s of American website, a cow by the name of Elm Farm Ollie became the first cow to fly in an airplane on this day in 1931.  .  Why did they do this you ask? Well, they say that this trip was made to allow scientists to observe midair effects on animals, as well as for publicity purposes, so during the International Air Exposition, in St Louis, Missouri.  Ollie ( also known as Nellie Jay and after her flight as Sky Queen) became the first cow to fly in an airplane and be milked in flight.  According to reports Elm Farm Ollie was an unusually productive Guernsey cow, requiring three milkings per day, and producing 24 quarts of milk during the flight itself.  The milk was sealed into paper containers and parachuted to the spectators below, and it is said that Charles Lindbergh was one of the people on the ground who received a glass of her milk.

Though I’m really not sure what the meaning or intention behind this study was, I’m sure Ollie’s owners were very proud.

Drink Wine Day – Today is the perfect day to pop the cork on a bottle of our favorite vino and start sipping.  There used to be rigid rules that were associated with drinking wine, but have gone through a lot of change in recent years.  Wine connoisseurs now agree that you don’t always have to drink red wine with meat and white wine with fish. They just say to drink what tastes good to you!  The main thing is just to enjoy it.  It also wasn’t that long ago that many thought that wine bottles with a twist-off top were cheap and not very good.  This has also changed.  Many of the world’s finest wineries are now using screw tops on their wine bottles.  Well, heck.  This celebration makes me wish it were on a weekend and I were strolling along in Leavenworth, WA tasting wines with my hubby.  That’s another story – maybe – for another day.

Thumb Appreciation Day  – How many of us take our thumbs for granted?  And how many of us have lost the use of our thumb for awhile and realized just how much we depend on it?  The thumb allows us to do many things that we just don’t think about each day . . . throwing a ball, brushing our teeth, picking up our cup or glass so we can drink, turning a door knob or gripping a pen . . . all of these things would be very challenging without a thumb!  If you don’t believe me, just try taping the thumb of your dominant hand to your palm for 24 hours!

For centuries the thumb has served an important purpose other than grasping as well.  How many of us have heard the term “rule of thumb”?  Do you know what that means?  You don’t?  Well, don’t feel bad, I didn’t either.  For those of you who did – well, you’re just a smarty pants!  The rule of thumb has been used since at least as far back as the 1600’s as a unit of measurement.  The “rule” in the term doesn’t apply to a law or regulation, but to a ruler.  The first joint of the thumb equals about an inch. Now I’m going to have to measure that joint when I’m done here just to see!  A big “thumb’s up” today for this wonderful digit that God created on our hands to give us all of these abilities!

Pluto  Discovery Day – On Feb. 18, 1930, Pluto was added as the ninth planet to our solar system. It has since been demoted to status of dwarf planet, but still deserves to be remembered.  Here are some interesting Pluto facts to commemorate its discovery with:

* If Pluto were closer to the Sun, it would sprout a tail and become a comet.
* Pluto’s moon, Charon, may have ice geysers.
* NASA’s New Horizons space craft is on its way to Pluto right now, and is due to arrive in 2015.

I’ve given you a lot to celebrate today . . . I know, you’re still contemplating your thumbs, aren’t you? . . .and I hope as you go about your day that you are able to give some thought to at least one of these special holidays to make today memorable.  However you choose to celebrate though – be safe, be well, and God bless you.  I’ll see you tomorrow . . . cheers!

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