~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
March 3, 2013
★~ Today’s Quote: In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence. Sir Isaac Newton
★~ National (US) Anthem Day:
It’s National Anthem Day! In 1814, a young lawyer named Francis Scott Key wrote a poem called “Defence of Fort McHenry.” Key penned the verses after witnessing the British attack on Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812. The sight of the American flag flying triumphantly over Fort McHenry in the morning inspired his legendary words.
Key decided to set his piece to music and borrowed the tune from a popular song called “To Anacreon in Heaven.” Not long after it was first published, people began referring to the piece as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The song became an overnight success, and bands began playing it during public events and military occasions. In March of 1931, over a hundred years after Key wrote it, “The Star-Spangled Banner” became the official national anthem of the United States.
You do know all of the words to the national anthem (including verses two, three, and four). Right?
★~ What if Cats and Dogs had Opposable Thumbs Day:
I will admit it. It would be nice if Rascal could race to the fridge and get me a little bottle of Coke. But I’m not naïve. Cole has thumbs, and he won’t race to the fridge for me. Rascal would, however, fix herself a cold cut sandwich.
The point seems to be that we are supposed to enter into deep contemplation of the evolution of our precious furs, as well as, perhaps, taking a frank look at our pet’s capacity for metaphysical thinking. Cats, for example, might ponder with their innate curiosity about what is on the other side of the fridge door; while dogs might wonder what they would devour first if they had easy access to the fridge. And we might wonder if it would be ethical to teach our pets to unload the dishwasher or bring in the groceries if they had thumbs to accomplish the task.
★~ Peach Blossom Day:
Peach blossom Day, originating in Japan, celebrates the Peach Blossom known for it’s fragrance, beauty, delicacy. Along with celebrating the flower, women and girls, celebrate their feminism on Peach Blossom Day by having girls lunches, mani/pedi’s and shopping for purses. If you live it South East United States spring is on the way and soon the peach blossoms will be blooming—Those of us in the North, would be forever grateful if you would blow a few our way!
★~ I Want You To Be Happy Day:
Seriously, I do. So just be happy. Why aren’t you happy yet? Get a cuppa, and start smiling. Don’t make me come out there and make you happy!
★~ NameSake Day:
Namesake Day encourages you to explore the roots of your name, to find out if you were named after somebody of something in particular, and to research and connect with people who share the same name as you.
★~ Cold Cuts Day:
No bologna—today is Cold Cuts Day. Make a deli run, and pick up some cold cuts and cheese along with some great rolls or bread. Make a sandwich with the condiments of your choice, pair with chips and a pickle, and, wala, Sunday dinner is served.
★~ Today in History:
♥~ 1845 – Florida became the 27 state. The word ‘Florida’ comes from the Spanish ‘feast of flowers’.. The capital of the Sunshine State is … no, not Walt Disney World … Tallahassee. The state flower is the fragrant orange blossom and the mockingbird is the state bird. The Florida state motto is: “In God we trust.”
♥~ 1887 – Anne Sullivan arrived at the Alabama home of Capt. and Mrs. Arthur H. Keller to become the teacher of their blind and deaf 6-year-old daughter, Helen.
♥~ 1923 – Time magazine, founded by Briton Hadden and Henry R. Luce, debuted.
♥~ 1931 – The Star-Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key, officially became the national anthem of the United States. Despite the fact that millions sing (in a manner of speaking) the anthem before sporting events, civic club meetings and other public gatherings, it is still ranked as the most difficult national anthem on earth to sing.
♥~ 1939 – A new craze began to sweep college campuses. It was perceived as being kind of ‘fishy’, and the trend started at Harvard. The fad? Goldfish swallowing. (Gulp!)
♥~ 1973 – Iditarod Dog race (Mar 3–18) : The first Iditarod Dog Race was run today. 1,000 miles through Alaskan wilderness from Anchorage to Nome, AK, along the historic Iditarod Trail.
♥~ 1962 – Jackie Joyner-Kersee Olympic gold medalist & 1st woman to hold world record in the heptathlon: 7,044 points ; 1st athlete to win multi-event medals in 3 Olympics [pentathlon, long jump]
♥~ 1970 – Julie Bowen actress: Modern Family, Crazy on the Outside, Kids in America, Joe Somebody, Multiplicity, Runaway Daughters, Five Spot Jewel, Boston Legal
♥~ 1926 – James Merrill, American poet, At age eight, James was already writing a poem a day. He used a Ouija board to write his book-length poem Divine Comedies (1976), which won the Pulitzer Prize. His father was the founder of Merrill Lynch financial services
♥~ 1982 – Jessica Biel actress: 7th Heaven, The Illusionist, Elizabethtown, Stealth, London, Blade: Trinity, Cellular, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
★~ Did You Know: Iditarod Dog Race Kicks Off Today
♥~ Every March in Alaska—words that make normal human beings shiver—brave souls compete in a sled dog race that starts in Anchorage and ends in Nome – The Iditarod race
♥~ The race has been run since 1973 and alternates each year between a Northern and a Southern Course. Racers travel approximately 987 miles.
♥~ It generally takes contestants between nine and 15 days to complete the race.
♥~ The Iditarod trail has a long and rich history. It was used by the Inuit for centuries, and later by miners after gold was struck at Nome, Alaska.
♥~ From Wikipedia: “The most famous event in the history of Alaskan mushing is the 1925 serum run to Nome, also known as the ‘Great Race of Mercy.’ A diphtheria epidemic threatened Nome, especially the Inuit children who had no immunity to the ‘white man’s disease,’ and the nearest quantity of antitoxin was in Anchorage. Since the two available planes were both dismantled and had never been flown in the winter, Governor Scott Bone approved a safer route. The 20-pound cylinder of serum was sent by train 298 miles from the southern port of Seward to Nenana, where it was passed just before midnight on January 27 to the first of twenty mushers and more than 100 dogs who relayed the package 674 miles from Nenana to Nome.” The dog that finished the race, a black husky named Balto, became an overnight celebrity. You can still visit his statue, above, in Central Park.
♥~ According to the Alaska Daily News, the winner will take home $50,400. But DogSled.com notes that the average cost of the race is “between $20,000 and $30,000 though some racers have been known to spend upwards of $100,000.” History, tradition and family are often the main motivation for competing.
♥~ After two weeks of racing through the snow, whiteout conditions, a full 24-hour break and nearly 1,000 miles of rugged Alaska terrain, one would think that there would be some distance between the contestants. That is generally the case, but it wasn’t in 1978. According to Iditarod.com, the closest finish in the race’s history came that year when Dick Mackey crossed the finish line one second ahead of Rick Swenson, denying him his second consecutive victory.
♥~ Don’t feel too bad for Swenson, though, as he went on to win the race four more times to become the only five-time winner in the event’s history.
♥~ At 84 years old, Norman Vaughan completed the Iditarod for the sixth time.Vaughan may have finished 60th out of 61 contestants.
♥~ The Story of the Widow’s Lamp:
During the days of Alaska sled dog freighting and mail carrying, dog drivers relied on a series of roadhouses between their village destinations. Word was relayed ahead that a musher and team were on the trail, and a kerosene lamp was lit and hung outside the roadhouse. It not only helped the dog driver find his destination at night, but more importantly, it signified that a team or teams were somewhere out on the trail. The lamp was not extinguished until the musher safely reached his destination.
In keeping with that tradition, the Iditarod Trail Committee will light a “Widow’s Lamp” at 10:00 a.m., on the first Sunday in March, in Nome at the trail’s end. This lamp, which will be attached to the Burled Arch, our official finish line, will remain lit as long as there are mushers on the trail competing in the race. When the last musher crosses the finish line, officials will extinguish the “Widow’s Lamp” signifying the official end of the Iditarod for that year.
All too often, public and media think of the race as being over when the winner crosses the finish line, yet there are still teams on the trail. Let it be remembered, Iditarod is not over until the last musher has reached Nome and is off the trail.
♥~ The red lantern is awarded to the last musher to finish Iditarod. The longest time for a Red Lantern was 32 days, 15 hours, nine minutes and one second by John Schultz in 1973.
Cole, my dear dad, and I took a tour of Jeff and Donna King’s Husky Homestead. Jeff King, is the “winningest musher in the world,” and opens his Alaska homestead to the public every summer for a tour of his champion dog kennel. Jeff won the 1,049-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race three times. The homestead is home to 75 Alaskan Huskies. The best part is getting to hold the puppies, of-course but it is also heart warming to see how well the dogs are cared for and the thoughtfulness put into their breeding. You can read about our tour here: Alaskan Sled Dogs!
Lots to celebrate today and El Morno is running a little late so I’d better let you get busy celebrating!! Wishing everyone a sweet Sunday! Don’t forget to read Weekend Odds and Ends and comment for a chance to win The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy.
Sun Shine in Chicago…YAY!!
Odd Loves Company!