Learning About Angelman’s Syndrome . . .

Feb 15th

Happy Saturday (sniff*cough*cough).  Still recovering, but two days of rest and lots of tea, essential oils for treating these issues, and my trusty box of Puffs with lotion and I should be doing better by Monday.  Hope so!  The weather guessers are saying we are in for high winds tonight and tomorrow – doesn’t bode well for the rest part – but what can we do? Pray, batten down the hatches and trust that everything will be OK.

So, what do we have to celebrate this wonderful Saturday? Let’s see . . .

Singles Awareness Day  – this day after Valentine’s Day is set aside for those people who are unattached and without a significant other.  These folks may feel very left out on Valentine’s day and may even feel depressed, so this is for them.  On Singles Awareness Day singles can get together through various meet-up groups, they can give each other gifts, spend some time in online dating sites, and just celebrate being single and only responsible for themselves.  There are worse things than being single . . . being married to someone awful (as I used to be) is far worse.  Trust me.

Angelman Syndrome Day –  I had never even heard about this syndrome until today, which is sad since statistically it happens in 1 in every 20,000 births.  Today is set aside to raise awareness worldwide for Angelman syndrome, and the date selected is in recognition of the 15th chromosome affected.  February was chosen because it is International Rare Disease Month.  Makes sense.  So what IS Angelman Syndrome (AS)?  it is a neuro-genetic disorder of Chromosome 15 that results in intellectual and developmental delay.  People with Angelman Syndrome may speak only a few words, have mobility issues and my be wheelchair bound.  Most suffer from seizures and all require life-long 24/7 care.  They are known though for their wonderful smiles and warm personalities though.  Isn’t that often the case?  The body is impaired, but the spirit is beautiful?  This condition is named after Dr. Harry Angelman, who was the first doctor to make an observational diagnosis of 3 children who had very similar symptoms and characteristics.  This was in 1965.  What I found to be very sad was that most children born with this disorder are generally misdiagnosed as having other disorders, such as autism.  It certainly helps to get proper therapy and medication if the diagnosis is accurate.  There is hope though!  Children who are diagnosed today are able to get treatment that allows them a life they wouldn’t have had decades ago.  There are children who can at least communicate now, able to say specific words, pointing out different things to let you know what they want, or don’t want.  They can learn to use IPads and to turn on DVD Players, and that sort of technology which can greatly broaden their abilities to interact with the world.  

National Hippo Day – Today we celebrate the Hippopotamus!  Here are some fun facts about hippos which can explain why we are honoring them today.  The name Hippopotamus means “river horse” in Greek.  Since they spend up to 16 hours a day in the water, it makes sense that their name would be related to the water in some way.  They are herbivores who can hold their breath for 5 minutes.  Their nostrils, ears and eyes are located on top of their heads, so they can be mostly submerged, yet have their noses and eyes above the water.  They sweat a pink liquid that helps to keep them cool, and acts as a sunblock when they are out of the water.  (that’s pretty awesome)  They can eat up to 80 lbs of vegetation a day.  They have large incisors that are made of ivory, are very territorial and can run up to 30 mph on land.  For a large animal, that’s quite fast!  There are two species – the hippopotamus and the pygmy hippo.  Their closest living relative . . . is the whale!  WHO KNEW?  That’s very cool and highly unexpected.

 


Remember The Maine Day – Remember the Maine!” was the angry cry that rallied Americans to a war in 1898.  The Maine was a battleship that had exploded while it was at anchor in Havana harbor, Cuba, on February 15, 1898.  About 260 members of the crew tragically died as the ship quickly sank.  There wasn’t enough evidence to find who was responsible for the explosion, many people concluded that Spain was at fault, and the war cry went up from the upset crowds.  Two months later the United States formally declared war on Spain.  So, what DID happen to the Maine?  Some historians thing that the ship exploded when an undetected fire in one of the coal bunkers reached the gunpowder in a magazine (a magazine is a room where the gunpowder and other explosives are kept in a  fort or a ship).  A recent investigation by National Geographic used computer-modeling to show that this theory does not match the evidence from the sunken ship.  Another theory is that the Maine was deliberately sunk by American forces to drive the U.S. into a war with Spain.  The most likely theory is that the ship hit a naval mine.  Today nobody seems to think that a bomb or torpedo hit the ship, but the newspaper headlines at the time did suggest those things.  This day has been declared Remember The Maine Day to commemorate the sailors who died.  If you happen to live in NYC you can check out the monument to the sailors who died in the USS Maine explosion, at the southwest entrance of Central Park.   No matter what really caused the explosion, the sailors deserve to be remembered for their sacrifice.


 

 

Susan B. Anthony Day – So, other than the few Susan B Anthony dollar coins that a few of us may have rattling around in our piggy banks, so today’s kids even know who she was or what she contributed to our country, or even who she was?  Susan Brownell Anthony was an American woman–a reformer, a feminist, a champion. She was born on February 15, 1820, in Adams, Massachusetts.  She was raised in a Quaker family, given a good education, taught that hard work and having a good work ethic would take you far in life.  By the time she was in her 30s, in the 1850s, The Temperance movement, women’s property rights and the abolition of slavery were all big issues.   These things began the stirrings of ideas of Women’s Suffrage in Anthony’s mind.   From 1850 to the Civil War Susan became an agent of the American Antislavery Society, working for the emancipation of slaves, and organizing the Women’s National Loyal League for this purpose.  After the war was finished, she began to focus on women’s suffrage.  She worked tirelessly, but unsuccessfully throughout the battle of the amendments, when the 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution were debated.  The amendments ensured the vote and other civil rights to former male slaves, but not to women.  She pressed a test court case for women’s suffrage based on the two amendments, and on November 1, 1872 she went to register to vote in Rochester, NY, along with three other women.  Two election inspectors at first refused, but she read them the pertinent lines of the  Constitution and they eventually consented.  By the end of that period of registration, 50 women had registered to vote and on election day, November 5, 1872, Susan B. Anthony voted for the first time.  On November 18th she was served with an arrest warrant.  She was tried, unfairly, and long story short the jury was instructed by the judge to return a verdict of guilty for voting illegally.  She was fined $100 but not sailed, which was a calculated move planned in advance to prevent her from appealing the case.  The three election inspectors were convicted breaking election laws and also fined.  Susan B. Anthony battled for women’s suffrage for the rest of her life, retiring at the age of 80 after organizing other movements on an international scale. Throughout her battle she traveled throughout the country, and it paid off! In 1869 Wyoming was the first state (at that time it was the Wyoming Territory) to allow women to vote, hold office and to serve on juries.  Before the end of the century the vote was given to women in Colorado, Utah and Idaho.  Susan B. Anthony passed away in 1906 and did not live to see the fulfillment of her work – that all women be given the equal right to vote.  Ultimately her dream came to pass, and for that the women of our nation should be forever grateful.

“I am here for a little time only and then my place will be filled. But the fight must not cease. You must see that it does not stop. Failure is impossible.” Susan B. Anthony 

 

This Day In History

1842 – The Post Office uses adhesive postage stamps for the first time.

Food Celebration of the Day

National Gumdrop DayNational Gumdrop Day honors the popular, gelatin-based candy.  Gumdrops have been a favorite candy for many decades. Nowadays, the “Gummi” candies which are the same gelatin base, are the most popular gumdrop type of sweet.   I’m not personally a fan, and honestly the recipes put together by food.com for this holiday aren’t ones that appeal to me personally, but hey! You might like them!   
      
Homemade Candy Gumdrops
Holiday Gumdrop Cake
Coconut Gumdrop Cake
Gumdrop Cookies
Wiggly Worm Trail Mix
Gummy Worm Marshmallow Treats

 

Sorry this took so long today.  I kept getting distracted.  Have a wonderful rest of your Saturday!  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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