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02/20/2012

President's Day, John Glenn and Rihanna

Happy President's Day!  

It's a day off for most Americans, but at least some probably don't have a clue why they're employer is closed for the day.   We celebrate President's Day today to honor the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, arguably our two most important presidents. 

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Washington was born on February 22, 1732 while Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809.  However, the holiday is officially just a celebration of Washington's Birthday.  In 1885, Chester A. Arthur (Yes, he was a president too) signed the bill to make the third Monday in February a federal holiday called George Washington's Birthday.  The snub of Lincoln's birthday did not sit well with many, and the holiday became a celebration of both men's birthdays.   There was an attempt in 1968 to officially change the holiday to President's Day, but it died in committee and so to this day the holiday that we refer to as President's Day is really just George Washington's Birthday.  

Many mark the day by eating cherries.   I can remember as a child, my grandmother giving me candied cherries to mark Washington's Birthday.  The legend goes that a young, rebellious Washington chopped down a cherry tree, but later admitted to his father that he did it.    He could not tell a lie, the story goes.  Of course, the story itself is a lie.  Washington's biographer Mason Weems made up the story for the book The Life of Washington.  He created the myth as a way to show Washington's honesty.

Fifty years ago today one of the original Mercury seven Astronauts, John Glenn, became the first American to orbit the Earth.   Glen trained for three years for his four hour, 55 minute, 23 second three orbit flight in Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962.

Lots of people are searching for King Cake recipes ahead of Fat Tuesday tomorrow, the last day of indulgence before Lent begins.   The cake has origins in the Old World from the French and Spanish.   It's decorated in the traditional colors of Mardi Gras - purple (justice), green (faith) and gold (power).  A token, usually a plastic baby symbolizing the infant Jesus, is hidden inside the cake.  The person who finds the baby is crowned king of the party, or wins a trip to the emergency room for eating it.

Happy birthday Rihanna!   She turns 24, and she received a birthday wish tweet from Chris Brown, adding even more fuel to rumors that the couple is back together.   

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Rihanna's birthday is also trending as "Robyn."  Her real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

Kurt Cobain once said "We're so trendy, we can't even escape ourselves."  Twenty years later, he is a trend on Twitter.  Cobain, who inspired a generation and influenced the music industry, would have turned 45 years old today.   His band Nirvana has sold over 25 million album in the U.S. and more than 50 million around the globe.  Cobain, a musical genius, fans and critics will tell you, but he struggled with the glare of the spotlight and lifelong personal pressures during his rise to fame.   His short life, that seemed to never recover from his parent's divorce, ended in suicide in 1994.  Much has been written about his heroin addiction and rebellious behavior, but I always thought of Cobain as a guy with a big heart so broken that he could not figure out how to fix it.  "If you die, you're completely happy and your soul somewhere lives on," he said.  "I'm not afraid of dying.  Total peace after death, becoming someone else is the best hope I've got."

Carlos Pena Jr., one of the members of Big Time Rush, has a music video gone viral on YouTube.   He put together the video featuring some of his friends, including Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale.

 

This next video stinks, but it's gone viral anyway.   A guy was rolling at sewage plant when a scum pot valve failed as someone was working on it.   Yes, the scum goes everywhere.  (Note: Foul language in addition to the foul smell.)

 

We may not have had much snow this winter, but they got a pile of it in Poland.  So when one man went outside to snow blow the street, his neighbor was rolling and posted the video as a "fail."   At first, I didn't realize why the snow blowing failed, but if you look closely you will figure it out.   The poster says the guy kept going for an hour and a half, frustrated that the snow did not seem to be going away.

 

And finally, a video upload in December is suddenly viral.   It shows a bird feeding a dog, beak to mouth.

 

That's the trend!

Have a great Monday,

Bob

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