“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
It is Lightning Safety Awareness Week. “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!” The NOAA’s National Weather Service hosts this annual lightning safety campaign in order to educate people about the danger of lightening and to reduce the number of deaths cause by lightening each year. The national weather service offers tool kits, online information, expert help and more. While lightning can be fascinating to watch, it is extremely dangerous. People are encouraged to follow the motto,”When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors . . .and stay there at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.” Whenever you hear thunder, you are at risk of lightning strikes. For a very informative and entertaining explaination of how lightening works there is a 40 minute podcast from Stuff You Should Know (one of the audio programs available through itunes and elsewhere online for free by Discovery Communications, The World’s #1 Nonfiction Media Company). The podcast is professional quality and there is now a mock-reality style show on the Science Channel about (and starring) these podcasters. You can listen to Chuck and Josh explain lighting in the How Lighting Works episode by clicking here.
Carpenter Ant Awareness Week (annually the last full week of June) is not in celebration of an inch-long pest. This isn’t about issues related to the carpenter ant community. This week focuses attention on the identification, biology and habits of carpenter ants and provides consumers with information on the elimination of these costly pests. Every year, carpenter ants cause millions of dollars of damage to U.S. homes by eating away at home foundations. Carpenter ants are very common and are frequently seen in the open. It is important to learn how to identify them. There are several species of carpenter ants that may be found infesting homes and other buildings. There are “workers” which are red or black in color and range in size from 1/4 to 3/8 inch, while “winged queen” ants may be as large as one inch. Carpenter ants differ from termites for a few reasons: first, they do not eat the wood, they simply create tunnels and galleries, removing the wood; they also have narrow waists, dark-colored bodies, elbowed antennae, and if present, front wings longer than hind wings. Carpenter ants feed on sources of sugar and protein. Outdoors, carpenter ants feed on dead and living insects. Indoors, they feed on meats and sweets. They tend to search for food in the early evening during spring and summer months. Nests have been found behind bathroom tiles, around tubs, showers, sinks, and dishwashers; under roofing, subfloor insulation, in attic beams, and in hollow spaces such as doors, wall voids, and curtain rods. Carpenter ants may also nest in foam insulation. The longer a colony is present in a structure, the greater the damage that can be done. Carpenter ant damage can be severe if structural wood is weakened.
Each year the last week of June is declared National Mosquito Control Awareness Week by the American Mosquito Control Association. AMCA’s “Mosquito Week” educates the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in their daily lives and the important service provided by mosquito control workers throughout the United States and worldwide. Mosquito bites are not only a nuisance, but they can be deadly. With the prominence of West Nile Virus and the persistence of malaria in certain parts of the world, it’s certainly important to raise awareness about how to protect yourself from these flying pests. Enjoy the outdoors this summer and stop the spread of mosquito-borne illness by following tips offered by the AMCA to prevent mosquito infestation and control an existing problem. Easy steps to take in any backyard include cleaning debris from rain gutters, filling drain puddles and ditches, changing bird bath water once a week and checking for trapped water in canvas or plastic tarps. If a mosquito problem already exists, AMCA recommends controlling adult mosquitoes through mosquito traps, space sprays and vegetation management. Mosquitoes can also be kept out of the home by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly screened. AMCA reminds the public to practice the THREE D’s of mosquito prevention — Drain, Dress and Defend. Drain: empty out water containers at least once a week. Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and loose-fitting clothing. Defend: Properly apply an approved repellent.
The United Nations’ Public Service Day is held on June 23 each year. It recognizes that democracy and successful governance are built on the foundation of a competent civil service. The day aims to celebrate the value and virtue of service to the community. The United Nations (UN) holds a Public Service Awards ceremony each year. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions worldwide. This event promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service. Many public service organizations and departments around the world celebrate this day by holding various events to recognize the valuable role that public servants play in making improvements in society. Activities include: information days featuring stalls and booths about the public service; organized lunches with guest speakers; internal awards ceremonies within public service agencies or departments; and special announcements to honor public servants. The United Nations Public Service Award is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide.
It’s National Pink Day, a day where everything should be basking in pink splendor! It’s especially a day for the ladies, as pink is often a girl’s favorite color. Guys, you can participate in National Pink Day, too. Note: the girls will love you for it! It’s easy to enjoy and to participate in National Pink Day. Bring your pink elephant out of hiding. Wear pink, and show off everything you have that’s pink, from clothing and shoes to other possessions. Be creative. Use food coloring to make pink meals. Pink frosting on a cake or cookies will be a big hit today.
Speaking of Pink, today is Pink Flamingo Day. Yes, there really is a day to celebrate pink flamingos everywhere. Plastic pink flamingos that is, on lawns (and probably in many attics or basements now) all over the world. Pink Flamingo Day was declared in 2007 by the mayor of Leominster, Massachusetts, to honor the work of Don Featherstone, creator of the iconic plastic lawn flamingo. The original pink plastic flamingo was manufactured in the U.S. by Union Products until production ceased in 2006. But Pink Flamingo Day lives on, along with the ever-popular pink birds of pop culture fame, which still proudly adorn yards and gardens from coast to coast.
Today is National Let It Go Day. Whatever it is that’s been grabbing your gut or your psyche, let it go. Just let it go. It’ll be a better day afterwards. When considering the ‘letting go’ of the past, or things that are not helpful to us, we must remember the person, place, or thing was just that… in the past. All that remains is the past definitions we’ve agreed to hold on to. The real power is the TITLE, NAME, CONCEPT, IDEA, THOUGHT, and MEMORY we allow. It is now just a NOUN, or a SYMBOL. We may remember them, but we can also work towards releasing the power we give to it. Life is way too short to continue to hold a grudge or a bad feeling about someone for longer than twenty minutes.
June 23 is National Pecan Sandie Day. What are pecan sandies though? Small sweet cookies laced with chopped pecans. Cookies, in general, are small sweet “cakes”. The ancestors to our cookies were first coarse grain cakes baked on hot stones by primitive farmers about 10,000 years ago. Roman soldiers’ diets were supplemented with hard tack, and it has been included in many ships’ rations sailing from European ports throughout history. As time went on, a sweet version was made for special events. In most parts of the world, what we call a “cookie” is referred to even yet as a biscuit. Our own “cookie” descends from a Dutch word used for the small sweet cakes that they baked, as we abandoned British terms in our post-revolutionary era. Pecan sandies are a type of cookie made from flour, brown sugar, butter, pecans, and sometimes additional ingredients. Recipes for pecan sandies are generally egg-free. The texture of pecan sandies is similar to shortbread, although perhaps a little softer. The origin of pecan sandies is thought to be the sweet treats found in medieval Arab cuisine. It is thought that many similar sweet cookies in European and Western cuisine may have evolved from sugar-rich baked goods from the Middle East. The inclusion of nuts or seeds is usually associated with things such as fertility, abundance and prosperity. These cookies are simple to make and taste delicious. Not too sweet. Some people like to chop the pecans coursely, and that works, but you can also pulverize them. National Pecan Sandies Day is not an official holiday with a recorded pronouncement by an organization or by government. However, it does appear on food holiday lists and unofficial holiday lists. One of the most obvious ways to celebrate this food holiday is to bake pecan sandies with family or friends, using one of the many simple recipes that are readily available. Recipes for pecan sandies are known to be one of the simplest and easiest baking recipes in existence, and they are very suitable for baking with children.
Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent on June 23, 1868 for an invention he called the “Type-Writer”.
On June 23, 1972, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman were taped talking about using the Central Intelligence Agency to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.
Some of the writers born June 23rd include:
Giambattista Vico (1668), Sándor Bródy (1863), Anna Akhmatova (1889), Jean Anouilh (1910), Gordon B. Hinckley (1910), Bill King (1910), Michael Shaara (1928), Richard Bach (1936), Adam Faith (1940), Roger McDonald (1941), Vint Cerf (1943), Kjell Albin Abrahamson (1945), Darhyl S. Ramsey (1948), Glenn Danzig (1955), Maggie Greenwald (1955), Joss Whedon (1964), Natalia Germanou (1965), and Becky Cloonan (1980).
Today’s special priced book is for all you bakers out there. Baking Illustrated by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine Editors is a 515 page hardcover practical kitchen companion with more than 350 recipes. The recipes include some for breads, pizza, cookies, cakes, pies and tarts. There are classics and contemporary favorites. The book is densely packed with rich photo finished information all devoted to baking. This book is set up in an easy-to-use format.
Much of the information in this blog is taken directly from Wikipedia, Amazon, and other sources such as holidayinsights.com, which are directly linked to within the text. Images have been taken from various sources found via Facebook, Goodsearch.com and Google.
Village Book Shop and the blogger claim no credit for the information above.