St. Patrick’s Day

Wanted to get this out early. Brad and I are having our first (and prob only) wedding shower tomorrow. We are going home tonight and are super excited.

 

Here is a little St. Patrick’s Day history:

Saint Patrick’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig (The Festival of Patrick); Ulster-Scots: Saunt Petherick’s Day)[2] is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.[1] It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland),[3] the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and has gradually become a celebration of Irish culture in general.[4]

The day is generally characterised by the attendance of church services,[4][5] wearing of green attire[6] and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on eating, and drinking alcohol,[6][7][8] which is often proscribed during the rest of the season.[4][6][7][8]

Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland,[9] Northern Ireland,[10] Newfoundland and Labrador and in Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, among others. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is probably the most widely celebrated saint’s day in the world.[11]

 

Thank you as always Wikipedia.

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Valentines Day (one of my favorite holidays)

Saint Valentine’s Day, often simply Valentine’s Day,[1][2][3] is a holiday observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentinus. It was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It is celebrated in countries around the world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them.

The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”).[1][3]

Modern Valentine’s Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.[4]

True story: I won a Valentines Day contest in my whole town for designing a great Valentines Day card. I won $50 bucks!

 

Fact and Phobia of the Day

In light of my new favorite show Swamp People here is today’s fact!

 It takes about 50 hours for a snake to digest one frog.

Bleh…I hate snakes.

Phobia of the day (thanks to Wikipedia)
Ophidiophobia or ophiophobia is a particular type of specific phobia, the abnormal fear of snakes. Fear of snakes is sometimes called by a more general term, herpetophobia, fear of reptiles and/or amphibians.

Care must also be taken to differentiate people who do not like snakes or fear them for their venom or the inherent danger involved. An ophidiophobic would not only fear them when in live contact but also dreads to think about them or even see them on TV or in pictures.

Fact of the Day (this day in history)

Forensic Evidence Solves a Crime – 1968

Bernard Josephs returns to his house in Bromley, England, and finds his wife Claire lying under the bed, her throat slashed and severed to the spine. Defensive wounds to her hands appeared to be caused by a serrated knife. No weapon was found at the Josephs’ house, and police had no other clues to go on. However, the murder was solved, and the killer convicted within four months, through solid forensic investigation.

Authorities first pinned down the time and circumstances of the crime. Ingredients of a meal that Claire had been preparing were still in a bowl in the kitchen. There was no sign of forced entry into the house and a half-empty cup of coffee was left out on the table. Investigators were fairly certain that a friend or acquaintance had dropped by while Claire was making dinner and so they began to concentrate on family and friends.

One of the people the police questioned was Roger Payne, a recent acquaintance of Bernard and Claire, who had earlier convictions for attacks on women. Police discovered several scratches on his hands, which Payne ascribed to a fight with his wife but his alibi for February 7 was far from airtight.

Forensic evidence focused on Payne’s clothing. Claire Josephs had been wearing a cerise woolen dress at the time of her murder. Although Payne’s clothing had been laundered, the seams and hems still contained over 60 cerise wool fibers matching Josephs’ dress. Investigators then examined Payne’s car and found traces of blood matching Josephs’ blood type, as well as additional clothing fibers.

Payne was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in May 1968. While DNA evidence has captured the public’s imagination in recent years, and is a powerful crime-solving tool, basic fiber and blood tests remain the backbone of forensic investigation. They are reliable, relatively inexpensive, and easy for lay people to understand.

Fact of the Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a holiday celebrated on February 2 in the United States and Canada. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day then spring will come early. If it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks.[1]

Modern customs of the holiday involve celebrations where early morning festivals are held to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow. In southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Lodges (Grundsow Lodges) celebrate the holiday with fersommlinge,[2] social events in which food is served, speeches are made, and one or more g’spiel (plays or skits) are performed for entertainment. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickel, dime or quarter, per word spoken, put into a bowl in the center of the table.[3]

The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day, already a widely recognized and popular tradition,[4] received widespread attention as a result of the eponymous 1993 film Groundhog Day, which was set in Punxsutawney and portrayed Punxsutawney Phil.[5]

Fact of the Day (Literally)

On this day in 1884, the first portion, or fascicle, of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), considered the most comprehensive and accurate dictionary of the English language, is published. Today, the OED is the definitive authority on the meaning, pronunciation and history of over half a million words, past and present

Plans for the dictionary began in 1857 when members of London’s Philological Society, who believed there were no up-to-date, error-free English dictionaries available, decided to produce one that would cover all vocabulary from the Anglo-Saxon period (1150 A.D.) to the present. Conceived of as a four-volume, 6,400-page work, it was estimated the project would take 10 years to finish. In fact, it took over 40 years until the 125th and final fascicle was published in April 1928 and the full dictionary was complete–at over 400,000 words and phrases in 10 volumes–and published under the title A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles.

Unlike most English dictionaries, which only list present-day common meanings, the OED provides a detailed chronological history for every word and phrase, citing quotations from a wide range of sources, including classic literature and cookbooks. The OED is famous for its lengthy cross-references and etymologies. The verb “set” merits the OED’s longest entry, at approximately 60,000 words and detailing over 430 uses.
No sooner was the OED finished than editors began updating it. A supplement, containing new entries and revisions, was published in 1933 and the original dictionary was reprinted in 12 volumes and officially renamed the Oxford English Dictionary.

Between 1972 and 1986, an updated 4-volume supplement was published, with new terms from the continually evolving English language plus more words and phrases from North America, Australia, the Caribbean, New Zealand, South Africa and South Asia.

In 1984, Oxford University Press embarked on a five-year, multi-million-dollar project to create an electronic version of the dictionary. The effort required 120 people just to type the pages from the print edition and 50 proofreaders to check their work. In 1992, a CD-ROM version of the dictionary was released, making it much easier to search and retrieve information

Today, the dictionary’s second edition is available online to subscribers and is updated quarterly with over 1,000 new entries and revisions. At a whopping 20 volumes weighing over 137 pounds, it would reportedly take one person 120 years to type all 59 million words in the OED.