National Watermelon Day – Aug. 3, 2018

NATIONAL WATERMELON DAY

Watermelon is the perfect fruit to enjoy on August 3rd.  It is also National Watermelon Day. Enjoyed by many, it is a favorite at summertime events such as picnics and fairs.  Watermelon is 92% water, which is why it is so refreshing.

Celebrate National Watermelon Day on Aug. 3.

To celebrate National Watermelon Day, check out the recipes at BH&G.com.

Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp). Pepos are derived from an inferior ovary and are characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon – although not in the genus Cucumis – has a smooth exterior rind (usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh (usually deep red to pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, or white).

The fruit was likely first cultivated for its ability to hold plentiful water in a desert landscape, especially since the wild melon was bitter or tasteless.  Seeds and art found in tombs of Pharaohs are substantial evidence of the watermelon’s value. Cultivation and breeding brought out the better qualities of sweet and tender fruit we enjoy today.

Watermelons can grow enormous, and you will find competitions across the country which award prizes each year for the largest one.  The Guinness Book of World Records states that the heaviest watermelon weighed 262 pounds. To learn more refreshing watermelon facts, check out www.watermelon.org.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Enjoy a slice of Watermelon today and celebrate with the rest of the country! Post on social media using #NationalWatermelonDay.

Better Homes and Gardens™  has a variety of watermelon recipes.

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Paul Bunyan Day – June 28

Paul Bunyan Day is a giant  of a day. Paul Bunyan was a gigantic lumberjack of American Folklore. According to folklore, Paul Bunyan and his blue ox “Babe” lived and travelled around country. He is best known for his logging feats.

Paul Bunyan and Babe

Visit the Paul Bunyan Trail in Minnesota.

The Origin of Paul Bunyan Day:

French Canadians were believed to have originated Paul Bunyan during the Papineau rebellion of 1837.  While he may have been created in Canada, Paul Bunyan quickly became a huge American legend. Many of the tales of Paul Bunyan originated in lumberjack industry and logging communities. Like all good folklore, it was passed from generation to generation by word of mouth. Over campfires, his legend grew, and tales were created. Written tales emerged in the early 1900’s.

Some historians believe Paul Bunyan was based on a real person — a French-Canadian logger named Fabian “Joe” Fournier. Fournier, born in Quebec around 1845, moved to Michigan after the Civil War to take advantage of the high-paying logging industry.

 

Paul Bunyan is “credited” with many deeds. Among his more legendary feats:

  • He created logging in the U.S.
  • He scooped out the great lakes to water Babe, his ox.
  • He cleared the entire states of North and South Dakota for farming.
  • He trained ants to do logging work. They were, of course, Carpenter Ants.
  • Babe’s large footprints created Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes.

 

Check out this Walt Disney version of the folklore legend:

According to the website Brownielocks and The 3 Bears, the actual date of Paul Bunyan Day is on February 12.
Why? It is believed by the people of Bangor, Maine that Paul Bunyan was born there on Feb. 12, 1834.

According to the site “Another version is that because “Bunyan” sounds like the French-Canadian slang word “Bonyenne” which translated into English means “Good Grief!” This exclamation would often be said if you heard something extraordinary. And, it is rumored that way back during the Papineau Rebellion of 1837 the French Canadians created Paul Bunyan (pronounced the same way as bonyenne) tales as a way to keep their spirits up and be entertained as they fought against the British colonial government. As you know, stories get spread between people, but in doing so, they don’t get retold accurately. So, as time went on, stories got more exaggerated to keep the entertainment up; or, as a way to compete amongst each other for who could be the most creative in telling a Paul Bunyan tale.

When did they get written down? The first known publications of Paul Bunyan tales were in 1910 by James MacGillivray. Years later, a man by the name of W.B. Laughhead, published these lumberjack tales in 1916 for promotional logging reasons and they grew in popularity far beyond just the lumbering trade.

Michigan claims Paul Bunyan began there because they (1) Have the first known publications about Paul Bunyan by James MacGillivray; and (2) because they are the first to actually have a Paul Bunyan observance activity in honor of him. The first known celebrations of Paul Bunyan Day date back to 1938, with the first Paul Bunyan Dance at the Saline Valley Farms, with a small group of foresters. As the popularity grew, the dance changed from square dance to waltzes, jitterbugs and so on. Although most of these dances were held in February, on November 20, 1943 at the University of Michigan they held a formal dance in the Michigan Union Ballroom, with a cider bar (no alcohol!). But, they also had a sawing contest with male and female partners as well. This event was very popular and attracted up to 100 couples. The winner received a grand prize of two U.S. War Bonds! Other Paul Bunyan dances featured square dancing and jug bands. The dances died off for a while. But, have been revised by the School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan off and on.”

 

To take a trivia quiz on Paul Bunyan, visit Brownie Locks.com.

 

Celebrate National Milk Day (Jan. 11) with Martha Stewart’s Bananas Foster Milkshake

Thank ol’ Bessie for that big glass of milk you have for breakfast!  It’s National Milk Day.

National Milk Day on January 11 commemorates the day that many think the first milk deliveries in glass bottles began in the United States.  Alexander Campbell of the New York Dairy Company professed to the New York State Senate that his company was the first to make these deliveries in 1878.

In 1915, The International Association of Milk Inspectors submitted a request to Congress in October of 1915 for a resolution naming an observance of National Milk Day. A date was not suggested in their request. No record that the incoming Congress ever presented a resolution for National Milk Day has been found, nor did incoming President Woodrow Wilson ever declare the day.

Regardless, it’s a day to celebrate milk and a good excuse to have a milkshake!

Martha Stewart's Bananas Foster Milkshake

Photo by Bryan Gardner

 

To celebrate, make a Bananas Foster Milkshake from Martha Stewart’s recipes.

This recipe is inspired from the sweet and salty dessert of the same name.

Ingredients:

 

Directions:

  1. Dip rim of a tall glass in caramel. Place glass in freezer while preparing milkshake.
  2. Blend vanilla ice cream and milk until thick but pourable. Add 1/2 of the banana and pulse to combine.
  3. Sprinkle remaining banana slices with sugar; using a hand-held kitchen torch, caramelize the bananas.
  4.  Spread some caramel sauce on the inside of the prepared glass. Add coffee ice cream. Drizzle with more caramel sauce and break 2 pretzels into glass. Top with milkshake; do not fill to the top of the glass or it will overflow when toppings are added. Pipe on whipped cream, as desired. Top with bruleed banana, more caramel sauce, and pretzels also dipped in caramel. Serve with a straw, a bowl and a spoon.

 

 

Milk Trivia

—  The United States and Australia are the world’s largest exporters of milk and milk products.

Life Photographer Nat Farbman's photo of cats Blackie and Brownie getting squirts of milk during milking at Arch Badertscher's Dairy Farm.

Udder Bliss: Cats Blackie and Brownie (in foreground) catching squirts of milk during milking at Arch Badertscher’s dairy farm. Photo by Nat Farbman

—  Throughout the world, there are more than 6 billion consumers of milk and milk products.

—  In the Middle Ages, milk was called the virtuous white liquor because alcoholic beverages were more reliable than water.

—  1863 – French chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur invented pasteurization, a method of killing harmful bacteria in beverages and food products.

—  1884 – American Doctor Hervey Thatcher of New York City, developed the first modern glass milk bottle, called ‘Thatcher’s Common Sense Milk Jar,’ which was sealed with a waxed paper disk. Later, in 1932, plastic-coated paper milk cartons were introduced commercially as a consequence of their invention by Victor W. Farris.

—  The females of all mammal species can by definition produce milk, but cow milk dominates commercial production. In 2011, FAO estimates  85% of all milk worldwide was produced from cows.   

—  Aside from cattle, many kinds of livestock provide milk used by humans for dairy products. These animals include buffalo, goat, sheep, camel, donkey, horse, reindeer and yak.

—  Milk is processed into a variety of dairy products such as cream, butter, yogurt, kefir, ice cream and cheese.

—   Modern industrial processes use milk to produce casein, whey protein, lactose, condensed milk, powdered milk and many other food-additive and industrial products.

—  World Milk Day is celebrated on June 1.

 

The Top 7 Dairy Cow Breeds are:

Holstein Cow

Holstein cows are the most popular of dairy breeds, since they tend to produce more milk than all the others. Holsteins are black and white (and sometimes red). Their markings are like human fingerprints: no Holsteins have the same markings. 

  1. Holsteins
  2. Jerseys
  3. Guernseys
  4. Ayrshires
  5. Brown Swiss
  6. Milking Shorthorns aka Durhams
  7. Dutch Belted

 

Top 12 Witches in History

Bio.com rates the following as the Five Most Famous “Witches” in History:

1. Mother Shipton

Prophetess Mother Shipton

Prophetess Mother Shipton

Ursula Southeil, also known as Mother Shipton, was said to have been England’s greatest clairvoyant.  According to legend, she predicted the Spanish Armada, the Great Plague of London, the Great Fire of London and the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Perhaps adding to her reputation, this “English prophetess of the 16th century” had the misfortune of being disfigured.  Locals called her “Hag Face” and claimed her father to be the Devil.  Despite some believing she was Satan’s spawn, Mother Shipton died of natural causes and is said to be buried on “unholy ground” on the outer edges of York in 1561.

2. Agnes Sampson

The Scottish midwife and healer was victim of fear and speculation around the early 1590s.  King James VI of Scotland and his queen, Anne of Denmark-Norway, launched a campaign against witches because the royals suffered a horrific sea voyage believing it was witches who cast a spell on Mother Nature, causing the horrendous storm.

She was one of 70 people accused in the North Berwick area between 1950-1592.    With Misery loving Company, .Geillis Duncan, an accused witch, named Agnes Sampson to be a witch.

According to sources, Agnes denied the charges brought against her.  However she relented after being tortured by a “witch’s bridle,” an instrument that inserted four prongs in the mouth and was attached to a wall.  She was then strangled and burned to death.

3. Merga Bien

She was a well-to-do German heiress in the 17th Century, who was childless with her first two husbands.  It was after 14 years of marriage to her third husband that she became pregnant.  Townspeople found this odd and came to the conclusion that Merga must have had sex with the Devil.   It should also be noted that shortly before becoming accused of being a witch, she had just returned to the city after arguing with one of her husband’s employers.

She was burned at the stake in the Fall of 1603.

Witch hunter Balthasar von Dernbach, the prince and abbot of the spire-topped town of Fulda, had embarked on a series of witch trials upon his return from exile in 1602. The Fulda witch trials would go on to claim 250 lives, ending only after Dernbach’s death in 1605.

4. Malin Matsdotter

The Swedish widow of Finnish descent was accused of being a witch by of her own daughters.  The girls stated that Malin had abducted them and took them to a satanic sabbath.  Malin, along with Anna Simonsdotter Hack, were the last victims executed for being witches during the great Swedish witch hunt of 1668-76, often referred to as “The Great Noise.”

She was considered the only witch in Swedish history to have been burned alive.  This was unique because those accused of being witches were decapitated or hanged to death before their bodies were burned at the stake like Anna Simonsdotter Hack.   While Anna asked for forgiveness, Malin refused and maintained her innocence, refusing to shake hands with her daughters as one called for her to repent.  One witness account claimed [Malin] gave her daughter into the hands of the devil and cursed her for eternity.”  As she was being burned alive, Malin reportedly did not scream nor did she appear to be in pain — for the locals, it was further proof she was a witch.

Shortly after the grisly incident, one of Malin’s daughters was convicted of perjury and sentenced to death.

Examination of a Witch

Examination of a Witch in Salem

5. The Salem Witches

“Of all the witch trials in history, The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 in Massachusetts is arguably the most famous. They occurred during a time of great insecurity in Puritan colonial America: the trauma of a British-French war on American soil still lingered, there was fear of Native American retribution, smallpox had spread throughout the colonies, and longtime jealousies between neighboring towns were coming to a head.

In January 1692 two young girls began suffering from fits, uncontrollable screaming, and body contortions. A local doctor diagnosed the girls’ conditions as the work of witches, although toxicologists in recent history have offered a more palatable explanation, believing the girls were poisoned by a specific type of fungus that was found in their food supply. Symptoms of ingesting the fungus explained the girls’ responses (i.e. muscle spasms, delusions, etc).

More young women began mirroring the symptoms and by February, three women were accused of bewitching the two young girls: a Caribbean slave named Tituba, a homeless beggar named Sarah Good, and an impoverished elderly women named Sarah Osborn.

Seeing that her fate was sealed, Tituba confessed to being a witch and began accusing others of dark magic. Other women followed her lead and hysteria ensued. On June 10, the first alleged witch, Bridget Bishop, was hung at the gallows in Salem and many more died thereafter. In total over 150 men and women were implicated during this period.

By the late 1690s the trials were deemed unlawful, and a decade later financial restitution was given to those families whose loved ones had been executed or damaged by the hysteria. Still, the pain and resentment of what happened in Salem lived on for centuries to come.”

It is believed the Ergot Poisoning may have been the true cause behind the Salem Witch Trials. Behavioral Psychologist and Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York Linda Caporael believes the hallucinations, convulsions, and bizarre skin sensations may have been due to a fungus-infested crop of rye.

She concedes that mass hysteria and/or outright fakery were other contributing factors.  Caporal said, ” “At the end of June and the beginning of July, 1692, I think there was more imagination than ergot. But by that point in time three people had already been hung, and the trials had taken a path that people felt they had to stay on.”

She added, “One of the clearest examples is the young accuser who, in the late summer, said ‘wait a minute, I don’t think that there are witches after all.’ At that point, the other girls began accusing HER of being a witch, and she immediately seemed to understand what was going on and began being a vociferous accuser again.”

More Notorious Witches in History

Here’s more notorious women, accused of being witches compiled by Jenna Ivy of Weird Stuff.

Anna Koldings aka "The Devil's Mother"

Anna Koldings aka “The Devil’s Mother”

Anna Koldings

She was known by her contemporaries as “The Devil’s Mother,” was a Danish witch who was also accused of summoning storms against Queen Anne’s (pictured above) ship. She met others in the house of Karen the Weaver where they performed spells against the Queen. Witch hunts in Denmark had become popular after the country converted to Protestantism in the early 16th century and while genuine religious zeal fueled this fervor, high-ranking officials also used them for political advantage. The Danish minister of finance, who was being investigated for undersupplying the royal ships for James VI’s journey with Queen Anne across the North Sea, voiced his suspicions of Karen to shift the blame from himself. His accusations led to her arrest. During the investigation, Karen pointed out several others including Anna Koldings. Imprisoned and tortured, Anna eventually confessed and contributed the names of five others, one of which was the wife of the mayor. With twelve other women, Anna was burned at the stake in Kronborg, the elegant green-roofed castle which provided the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Bridget Bishop

Bridget Bishop

Bridget Bishop was the first person executed for witchcraft during the Salem Massachusetts witch trails in 1692.

Bridget Bishop was the first women executed as a result of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. Bishop was a successful and outspoken woman. She owned several taverns and was known to dress in provocative red gowns. The townspeople of Salem claimed a wide variety of accusations against her which would lead to her death. Allegedly she had bewitched five girls, poisoned a pig, and attacked men while they slept. (The last accusation was probably due to a natural condition, sleep paralysis).

Dolls were also instrumental in her denunciation. A local named Samuel Shattuck testified that she had asked him to dye lace for her which he believed she intended to use for a poppet. The poppet predated the Voodoo doll and serves a similar purpose of transferring whatever spell is inflicted on the poppet to the person it represents. Salem townsfolk John and William Bly later found poppets in Bishop’s house. Her resentful attitude throughout her trial eventually led to her prosecution, which would be followed by 71 more.

Katharina Henot

Germany’s first female postmaster, was tried for witchcraft in Cologne in 1627. In the middle of one of Cologne’s cold winters, a nun at the local convent accused Katharina of causing illness and death among the nuns and the archbishop arrested Henot based on the nun’s suspicions. During her imprisonment Henot was tortured but never confessed to anything.

Despite her brother’s attempts to prove her innocence, she was sentenced to be burned alive in May. Her exoneration was not attained until just this year. As of June 28th, 2012, the City Council of Cologne has cleared Henot’s name as well as the other victims of the Cologne witch trials because they believed the executions were the result of political conspiracies.

Karin Svensdotter

In a town located within a forested and boggy area of Sweden, Karin Svensdotter, a maid, claimed that her seven children were fathered by the King of the Faeries. This resulted in her being put on trial in 1656 for her own unbidden confession. In 17th century Sweden, consorting with fairies was a genuine crime which was usually punished the same way as sodomy or bestiality.

Prior cases involving men’s trysts with nymphs had sometimes ended in execution. However Svensdotter’s case became an early instance of compassion for the insane. Her judge had been advised by church officials that Satan had driven her mad. Instead of punishment, the judge ordered the church to pray for her. Later she affirmed that she no longer saw the fairy.

Kael Merrie

During the Roermond witch trials in the Spanish Netherlands, Kael Merrie, a Dutch woman, was accused of paralyzing a pig, preventing milk from being churned into butter, and making children sick. The Roermond witch trials, directed by Catholic Spaniards, were the largest of the Netherlands.

Kael Merrie

Kael Merrie was a victim of the Roermond Witch Trial.

The accused often came to Roermond with hopes of acquittal, but zealous mercenaries were prone to lynch or drown the freed women anyways. In early trials such as Merrie’s, the Dutch court maintained skepticism towards peasant accusations and would not use torture to extract confessions. Merrie was only banished because she pleaded innocent, but upon leaving Roermond marauding Spanish mercenaries found her and drowned her in the Maas River.

Entjen Gillis

Entjen Gellis, a Dutch midwife, confessed to killing fetuses and newborn babies during the Roermond witch trials of 1613, the deadliest year of all for witches in the Netherlands. Local magistrates raided the rural town of Straelen where they arrested Gillis and thirteen other witches. Their magic was said to have caused diseases and miscarriages and they became part of a larger trial, sparked by the sudden deaths of hundreds of newborns, elders, and animals.

As an emergency measure, the magistrates rounded up 63 witches and sentenced them all to death within a short period of time. As in earlier confessions, they claimed the devil had made them do it, but unlike Karin Svensdotter there would be no mercy for the witches of Roermond.

Märet Jonsdotter

Märet Jonsdotter was accused of attending Witches’ Sabbaths in Blockula, a mythical Swedish meadow. Jonsdotter was the first witch tried in Sweden during “The Great Noise” that swept through the country between 1668 and 1676. A local shepherd girl, Gertrud Svendsdotter, whose father had unsuccessfully courted Märet, was the first to accuse her. Getrud was not without motivation. At the time, the local priest of Älvdalen, a Swedish town that looks like it belongs to a storybook, was investigating Gertrud because her small brother alleged that she had led a parade of goats across the water like Moses.

Gertrud named Märet as the person who had taught her witchcraft and also claimed that Märet had introduced her to the devil. During the trial, Gertud’s father declared that Märet had ridden him as a horse to Blockula. Märet’s little sister asserted during questioning that she and Märet had ridden cows to Blockula where they slaughtered them and slept with the Devil. Because she would not confess, Märet could not be executed at this point in time. But the witch craze continued to spread in Sweden and laws requiring confession for execution were soon modified. When she was again accused during the Mora Witch Trials she was declared guilty. In 1672 Jonsdotter was decapitated, as was the Swedish custom, before being burned.

Summer Solstice Quiz Answers

The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.  It is the one day of the year with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year.   In 2017, the solstice was at 11:24, central time. The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator.

The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).

In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer.

 

Q1. The Pagan summer solstice was adopted by Christians as:

bonfire

Many celebrate Summer by gathering around a bonfire.

1. The Feast of St. Verulus and Companions
2. The Feast of St. Emma
3. The Feast of St. John the Baptist
4. The Feast of St. Mary
5. The Feast of St. Brigid

CORRECT ANSWER
(3) The Feast of St. John the Baptist

Midsummer Eve is also known as Saint John’s Eve because it is the night before the festival of the nativity of John the Baptist. Throughout Europe peasants often celebrated this night by lighting fires in streets and marketplaces. Although the fires were often blessed by priests, the celebration was generally conducted by the laity. Midsummer eve celebrations were a continuance of the Teutonic pagan festivals and fertility rites associated with agriculture at the time of the summer solstice.

 

Q2. What is the relationship between the moon’s phase and the summer solstice?
1. There is always a full moon at the summer solstice.
2. There is always a new moon at the solstice.
3. There is no relationship.

CORRECT ANSWER
(3) There is no relationship.

 

Q3. According to the old folk calendar, summer begins on:
1. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
2. Beltane (May 1) and ends on Lammas (Aug. 1)
3. Ostara (March 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
4. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Samhain (Oct. 31)

CORRECT ANSWER
(2) Beltane (May 1) and ends on Lammas (Aug. 1)

 

hands "holding" the sunQ4. The summer solstice is the official first day of summer. When does summer end?
1. At the winter solstice
2. At the autumnal equinox
3. At the vernal equinox

CORRECT ANSWER
(2) At the autumnal equinox

 

Q5. According to the Pagan Celtic year, there are four ‘lesser’ holidays. Which isn’t one of them?
1. Imbolc
2. Yule
3. Summer Solstice
4. Vernal equinox
5. Mabon

CORRECT ANSWER
(1) Imbolc

 

Q6. In England, it was the ancient custom on summer solstice eve to:
1. Light bonfires
2. Jump through fires
3. Wander with players dressed as unicorns and dragons
4. Deck the house with birch and lilies
5. None of the above
6. All of the above

CORRECT ANSWER
(6) All of the above

 

Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline star as Titania and Bottom (respectively) in William's Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline star as Titania and Bottom (respectively) in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Q7. Which movie takes place during the Summer Solstice?
1. ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’
2. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
3. ‘Suddenly Last Summer’

CORRECT ANSWER
(2) ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

 

Q8.  In which film did Sgt Milton Warden, played by Burt Lancaster, and Karen Holmes, played by Deborah Kerr, have a passionate clinch on a beach?

1. The Notebook
2. The King and I
3. From Here to Eternity
4. Atlantic City

CORRECT ANSWER
(3) From Here to Eternity

Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr of "From Here to Eternity" - famous beach kiss

The famous Beach kiss – Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the film “From Here to Eternity.”

This sea-soaked embrace was considered quite risqué in 1953, even though the raciest footage ended up on the cutting room floor. What remains is indelible. Deborah Kerr, playing a disaffected army wife, tells her lover (Burt Lancaster), “I never knew it could be like this. Nobody ever kissed me the way you do.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q9. What baseball movie was based on Burt Lancaster?

1. The Sandlot
2. Bad News Bears
3. Bull Durham
4.  The Rookie

CORRECT ANSWER
(2) Bad News Bears

His son Bill Lancaster’s screenplay for The Bad News Bears (1976) was based on his experience being coached by his father. Bill had been disabled by polio as a child, and according to friend Joel Douglas – the son of Kirk Douglas – the Tatum O’Neal character in the film, the odd kid out, was Bill. The coach played by Walter Matthau was based on Burt, who was known for his grumpiness.

Actors Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal in a scene from the movie "Bad News Bears"

Burt Lancaster was the inspiration for the movie “Bad News Bears” starring Tatum O’Neal and Walter Matthau.

 

Q10. Which place on earth receives the longest period of daylight on June 21?
1. The North Pole
2. The South Pole
3. The equator

CORRECT ANSWER
(1) The North Pole

 

Q11. The Dog Days of Summer refers to the weeks between July 3rd and August 11th. They are named after ….?

1. The fact that the average person eats 60 hotdogs a year, mostly during the months of July and August.
2. The Dog Star (Sirius) in the constellation of Canis Major.
3. Dogs… due to the behavior canines exhibit during hot weather

 

CORRECT ANSWER

(2) The Dog Star (Sirius) in the constellation of Canis Major.

If you thought that was a term your grandma made up, you’ll be surprised to learn the phrase dates back to ancient Rome. “Caniculares dies,” or days of the dogs, was what the Romans called the period from the first week of July to the second week of August.

Therefore, the dog days of summer only refer to the last part of the summer, not the whole season.

You might have heard of a constellation named Orion. Often referred to as “The Hunter,” Orion is a prominent constellation visible throughout the world. Nearby is the constellation Canis Major, which is Latin for “greater dog.” According to constellation lore, Canis Major is one of Orion’s hunting dogs.

Located in Canis Major is a star named Sirius, also called the “Dog Star.” With the exception of our sun, Sirius is the brightest star visible from Earth. The brilliant, blue-white star’s name comes from the Greek word for “searing.”   Because Sirius is so bright, it was easy to track even for early astronomers. During April and early May, Sirius was visible in the southwest after sunset. But by the time mid-summer would come along, Sirius would rise and fall with the sun and get lost in the daytime light.

However, the ancients knew that the “Dog Star” was still there, up in the sky with the sun during the hottest time of the year. They reasoned that since Sirius was so bright and up there with the sun, it must be adding to the heat to produce the hottest time of the year. While Sirius may be bright, the effects of its energy do not affect Earth as much. “Sirius is also about half a million times farther away from our sun – something the ancients didn’t know.”  As it turns out, when the ancients blamed the “Dog Star” for boosting the heat during the summer, they were barking up the wrong tree.

 

Q12. Which American state is officially nicknamed “The Sunshine State”?

1. California
2. Iowa
3.  Florida

CORRECT ANSWER
(3) Florida

 

Q13.  Exposure to sunlight is one of the best ways for the human body to get which vitamin?

1. Vitamin A
2. Vitamin B
3. Vitamin C
4. Vitamin D

 

CORRECT ANSWER
(4) Vitamin D

Q14. 1. When was the first bathing suit worn?

Pebbles of the Flintstones cartoon

Although she is cute, Pebbles was not the first one to wear a bathing suit. The Greeks invented the swim wear in  350 B.C.

A. Greece in 350 BC
B. Rome in 54 AD
C. Victorian England in 1841
D. Pebbles on the Flintstones during the Stone Age

CORRECT ANSWER
(A) Greece

The first bathing suit worn in Greece in 350 BC. Later, togas were worn when swimming and bathing reached the heights of its popularity in the ancient world.

Once upon a time, American men were required to wear a skirt with their bathing suit. According to the “Bathing Suit Regulations” published May 17, 1917, men’s suits had to be worn with a skirt or have at least a skirt effect. The skirt had to be worn outside of the trunks.

During the 18th century, ladies went so far as to sew lead weights into the hems of their bathing gowns. Black stockings and a ruffled cap or straw hat completed the fashionable sewing costume in the 1880s. Men started wearing rubber or synthetic bathing suits in the 1950s

The first bathing suit for women was created in the 1800s. It was long sleeved with woolen bloomers.
A Social History of Swimming Pools in America
The first public swimming pools in the United States were “large community bath tubs”-indoors, relatively small, and intended to encourage good hygiene among the poor. By the nineteen-twenties, pools had become elaborate “public amusements,” accommodating thousands. Wiltse’s history argues that, at every turn, these sites of “intimate and prolonged contact” between swimmers of different races, genders, and social classes stirred intense conflict. The book is most incisive in its discussion of swimming pools as what one editorialist called “one of the touchiest problems in race relations.” Between the wars, swimming pools began to mix the genders, but African-Americans were gradually excluded from the “sexually charged” spaces. In the fifties and sixties, as civil-rights activists persevered in the courts, many cities chose to close municipal pools rather than integrate them.

Imperial Chinese Sunglasses

Early sunglasses served a special purpose and it wasn’t to block the rays of the sun. For centuries, Chinese judges had routinely worn smoke-colored quartz lenses to conceal their eye expressions in court. It wasn’t until the 20th century that modern-type sunglasses came to be.

Q15. Who invented and wore the first pair of sun glasses?

A. Africans
B. The Chinese
C. Europeans
D. Hollywood celebrities

CORRECT ANSWER
(B) Chinese

The Chinese invented and wore the first pair of sun glasses more than 2,000 years ago.

 

Q16. Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but which U.S. state grows the most lemons to eat?
A. Alaska
B. California
C. Florida
D. Puerto Rico

CORRECT ANSWER
(B) California

About one-quarter of the world’s lemons are grown in the U.S. California is home to the most lemon trees.

Although lemonade may be a popular summer drink, not everyone is aware that it is also the citrus fruit with the most uses. In addition to cooking and drinking, lemon juice is used for perfume and medical purposes as well as a cleaning agent. However, lemon juice is still the most popular use. About one-third of California lemon production is used for juice or concentrates.

 

banana split

Spoons and Banana Split — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Q17. In 1776, what momentous event forever impacted how summer would taste in America?
A. The hot dog was invented and served at the Boston tea party
B. George Washington modeled the first American swimwear line while crossing the Delaware
C. The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City
D. The Beach Boys recorded their first hit

CORRECT ANSWER
(B)  The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City in 1776.

Did you know that 98 percent of American households buy ice cream each year. Scientific experiments have established that on average a single scoop ice cream cone takes 50 licks to eat.

Dolley Madison created a sensation when she served ice cream as a dessert in the White House during an inaugural ball in 1812.

While you might think kids ages 2-12 eat the most ice cream apparently older adults (ages 45 and up) eat just as much!

The three American cities with the highest per capita consumption of ice cream are: Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and St. Louis, Missouri.

 

 

Q18. Which location has NOT been claimed as the birthplace of the American hotdog?
A. Coburg, Germany
B. Coney Island, USA
C. Frankfort, Germany
D. Vienna, Austria

 

CORRECT ANSWER
(B) Coney Island, USA
Naming the birthplace of the American hotdog is problematic as Coburg, Frankfort, and Vienna all claim the honor, although in truth the American hotdog is most likely a descendent of the traditional sausage eaten by many Europeans and brought to the U.S.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; King George VI of England; Mrs. Sarah Roosevelt (mother to her only child, the President); Queen Elizabeth (the “Queen Mother”); and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Left to Right: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; King George VI of England; Mrs. Sarah Roosevelt (mother to her only child, the President); Queen Elizabeth (the “Queen Mother”); and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR treated the British royalty to a summer picnic, including the American favorite combination: hot dogs and beer.

In 1939, King George IV partook of hot dogs and beer with President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.  The movie Hyde Park on Hudson, starring Bill Murray as FDR, features the first American visit from the English king.

The average person eats 60 hotdogs a year. In fact, during the average summer festival in America, 5 tons of hotdogs, 20 gallons of mustard, 930 pounds of onions, 125 gallons pickles, 40 gallons of ketchup, and more than 3,000 rolls are consumed.

If you need help with your hot dog etiquette then you should consult the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s rules of Hot Dog Etiquette which includes such rules as: Don’t put the hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always “dress the dog,” not the bun; Don’t use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable; Do eat a hot dog on a bun with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns; Don’t take more than five bites to finish a hot dog. For foot-long wieners, seven bites are acceptable; and All condiments remaining on the fingers after the hot dog is eaten should be licked away, not washed.

 

 

Summer Solstice Quiz

Summer beach

Summer is finally here!

The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the one day of the year with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. In 2017, the solstice falls on June 20 at 11:24 pm, central time. The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator.

The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).

In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer.

 

Q1. The Pagan summer solstice was adopted by Christians as:
1. The Feast of St. Verulus and Companions
2. The Feast of St. Emma
3. The Feast of St. John the Baptist
4. The Feast of St. Mary
5. The Feast of St. Brigid

 


Q2. What is the relationship between the moon’s phase and the summer solstice?

summer solstice moon

The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. In 2014, the solstice falls on June 21 at 6:51 A.M. EDT.

1. There is always a full moon at the summer solstice.
2. There is always a new moon at the solstice.
3. There is no relationship.

 

Q3. According to the old folk calendar, summer begins on:
1. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
2. Beltane (May 1) and ends on Lammas (Aug. 1)
3. Ostara (March 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
4. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Samhain (Oct. 31)

 

Q4. The summer solstice is the official first day of summer. When does summer end?
1. At the winter solstice
2. At the autumnal equinox
3. At the vernal equinox

 

Q5. According to the Pagan Celtic year, there are four ‘lesser’ holidays. Which isn’t one of them?

Sun - Summer Solstice Prayer

Click here for the Summer Solstice Prayer

1. Imbolc
2. Yule
3. Summer Solstice
4. Vernal equinox
5. Mabon

 

Q6. In England, it was the ancient custom on summer solstice eve to:
1. Light bonfires
2. Jump through fires
3. Wander with players dressed as unicorns and dragons
4. Deck the house with birch and lilies
5. None of the above
6. All of the above

 

Q7. Which movie takes place during the Summer Solstice?
1. ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’
2. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
3. ‘Suddenly Last Summer’

 

Q8. In which film did Sgt Milton Warden, played by Burt Lancaster, and Karen Holmes, played by Deborah Kerr, have a passionate clinch on a beach?

1. The Notebook
2. The King and I
3. From Here to Eternity
4. Atlantic City

 

Q9. What baseball movie was based on Burt Lancaster?

the movie cast of "The Sandlot"

The Sandlot” movie cast

1. The Sandlot
2. Bad News Bears
3. Bull Durham
4. The Rookie

 

Q10. Which place on earth receives the longest period of daylight on June 21?
1. The North Pole
2. The South Pole
3. The equator

 

dog in a hot dog costume

A REAL hot dog!

Q11. The Dog Days of Summer refers to the weeks between July 3rd and August 11th. They are named after ….?

1. The fact that the average person eats 60 hotdogs a year, mostly during the months of July and August.
2. The Dog Star (Sirius) in the constellation of Canis Major.
3. Dogs… due to the behavior canines exhibit during hot weather

 

Q12. Which American state is officially nicknamed “The Sunshine State”?

1. California
2. Iowa
3. Florida

 

Q13. Exposure to sunlight is one of the best ways for the human body to get which vitamin?

1. Vitamin A
2. Vitamin B
3. Vitamin C
4. Vitamin D

 

Q14. 1. When was the first bathing suit worn?
A. Greece in 350 BC
B. Rome in 54 AD
C. Victorian England in 1841
D. Pebbles on the Flintstones during the Stone Age

 

Tom Cruise in sunglasses

So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades – Tom Cruise wearing the Ray-Ban Wayfarer model sunglasses in “Risky Business.”

Q15. Who invented and wore the first pair of sun glasses?
A. Africans
B. The Chinese
C. Europeans
D. Hollywood celebrities

 

Q16. Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but which U.S. state grows the most lemons to eat?
A. Alaska
B. California
C. Florida
D. Puerto Rico

 

 

Q17. In 1776, what momentous event forever impacted how summer would taste in America?
A. The hot dog was invented and served at the Boston tea party
B. George Washington modeled the first American swimwear line while crossing the Delaware
C. The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City
D. The Beach Boys recorded their first hit

 

 

plate of hot dogsQ18. Which location has NOT been claimed as the birthplace of the American hotdog?

A. Coburg, Germany
B. Coney Island, USA
C. Frankfort, Germany
D. Vienna, Austria

 

 

 

Quiz Answers will be provided tomorrow… so, enjoy the summer in the meantime and check back.

 

May 13, 2018 – Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 13, 2018 – Mother’s Day

Match these favorite TV moms with their TV show.

  1. Marion Cunningham                      a. The Brady Bunch
  2. Claire Huxtable                               b. Everybody Loves Raymond
  3. Carol Brady                                      c. The Cosby Show
  4. Debra Barone                                  d. Happy Days
Florence Henderson

Florence Henderson starred as the matriarch of what TV family?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers:   1.d             2.c             3.a             4.b