Aquarian Exposition

(Top two photos) Nick Ercoline and Bobbi Kelly were boyfriend and girlfriend wrapped in a muddy blanket at Woodstock and wound up on the Woodstock album cover. Two years later they were married. And now, 50 years later, we’re still having fun together,” says Nick. Bobbi is a retired school nurse and Nick a carpenter. Their married life contrasts with the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll of that era. “In 1969, it was all about free love, living in communes; people weren’t monogamous. At the end of the day we are the opposite of that. (row three) An original poster and ticket; (rows four, five and six) The feel of the crowd; (row seven) Jimmy Hendrix and Richie Havens; (row eight) Country Joe McDonald and Janis Joplin; (row nine) The crowd on Max Yasgur’s farm.  Wow!!

Peace and love.  Doesn’t get much simpler.  It’s been 50 years since one of the most recognized rock concerts in history – Woodstock took place this weekend.  What started as a small fundraising event to build a remote recording studio turned into over 400,000 peaceful and loving youngsters singing and dancing on muddy hillsides.  Looking back, I love to read the unique behind the scenes history that led up to the event and relive the artists who became world renowned from their live performances (and those who said “no”). And talk about your PIA (Pain in the #%$) Jobs – food, water, bathrooms, first aid, parking, traffic, stage logistics, lighting, sound and more – all got figured out … and THEN the rains came … wow! Hats off to all of those involved. Here is some really fun trivia on the events leading up to the festival, the performers who took the stage, and those who had other plans (and regret it).  Enjoy, and be sure to click on the links to hear some of your favorite songs and see some great video footage.

Woodstock was a music festival held August 15–18, 1969, which attracted an audience of more than 400,000. Billed as “an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”, it was held at Max Yasgur‘s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 43 miles southwest of the small town of  Woodstock.

Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain. It has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as the definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation of the late 60’s.

Woodstock was initiated through the efforts of Michael LangArtie KornfeldJoel Rosenman, and John P. Roberts. Roberts and Rosenman financed the project. Lang had some experience as a promoter, having co-organized the Miami Pop Festival on the East Coast the prior year, where an estimated 25,000 people attended the two-day event.

Early in 1969, Roberts and Rosenman were New York City entrepreneurs, in the process of building Media Sound, a large audio recording studio complex in Manhattan. Lang and Kornfeld’s lawyer, Miles Lourie, who had done legal work on the Media Sound project, suggested that they contact Roberts and Rosenman about financing a similar, but much smaller, studio Kornfeld and Lang hoped to build in WoodstockNew York. Unpersuaded by this Studio-in-the-Woods proposal, Roberts and Rosenman counter-proposed a concert featuring the kind of artists known to frequent the Woodstock area (such as Bob Dylan and The Band).

Kornfeld and Lang agreed to the new plan, and Woodstock Ventures was formed in January 1969. From the start, there were differences in approach among the four: Roberts was disciplined and knew what was needed for the venture to succeed, while the laid-back Lang saw Woodstock as a new, “relaxed” way of bringing entrepreneurs together. When Lang was unable to find a site for the concert, Roberts and Rosenman, growing increasingly concerned, took to the road and eventually came up with a venue – a small dairy farm in upstate New York.

In April 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival became the first act to sign a contract for the event, agreeing to play for $10,000 (equivalent to about $75,000 today). The promoters had experienced difficulty landing big-name groups prior to Creedence committing to play, as many popular groups were already committed to other concerts and projects. Creedence drummer Doug Cliffordlater commented, “Once Creedence signed, everyone who could jumped in line and all the other big acts came on.”

Woodstock was designed as a profit-making venture (it became a “free concert” only after the event drew hundreds of thousands more people than the organizers had prepared for). Tickets for the three-day event cost $18 in advance and $24 at the gate (equivalent to about $120 and $160 today). Ticket sales were limited to record stores in the greater New York City area, or by mail via a post office box at the Radio City Station Post Office located in Midtown Manhattan. Around 186,000 advance tickets were sold, and the organizers anticipated approximately 200,000 festival-goers would turn up.

Town officials were assured by the promoters that no more than 50,000 would attend. Town residents immediately opposed the project, and passed a law requiring a permit for any gathering over 5,000 people. On July 15, 1969, the Wallkill Zoning Board of Appeals officially banned the concert on the basis that the planned portable toilets would not meet town code. Reports of the ban, however, turned out to be a publicity bonanza for the festival.

The organizers once again told Bethel authorities they expected no more than 50,000 people.

Despite resident opposition and signs proclaiming, “Buy No Milk. Stop Max’s Hippy Music Festival”,Bethel Town Attorney Frederick W. V. Schadt, building inspector Donald Clark and Town Supervisor Daniel Amatucci approved the festival permits, but the Bethel Town Board refused to issue the permits formally. Clark was ordered to post stop-work orders.

Subsequently, on August 2, 1969, the Building Inspector informed Woodstock Ventures, Inc. that the Stop Work Order was lifted, and the festival could proceed pending backing by the Department of Health and Agriculture, and removal of all structures by September 1, 1969.

The late change in venue did not give the festival organizers enough time to prepare. At a meeting three days before the event, organizers felt they had two options: one was to complete the fencing and ticket booths, without which the promoters would lose any profit or go into debt; the other option involved putting their remaining available resources into building the stage, without which the promoters feared they would have a disappointed and disgruntled audience.

When the audience began arriving by the tens of thousands the next day, the Wednesday before the weekend, the decision was made for them. Those without tickets simply walked through gaps in the fences, and the organizers were forced to make the event free of charge. Though the festival left its promoters nearly bankrupt, their ownership of the film and recording rights more than compensated for the losses after the release of the hit documentary film Woodstock in March 1970.

The influx of attendees to the rural concert site in Bethel created a massive traffic jam. Fearing chaos as thousands began descending on the community, Bethel did not enforce its codes. Eventually, announcements on radio stations as far away as WNEW-FM in Manhattan and descriptions of the traffic jams on television news discouraged people from setting off to the festival.The facilities were not equipped to provide sanitation or first aid for the number of people attending; hundreds of thousands found themselves in a struggle against bad weather, food shortages, and poor sanitation.

On the morning of Sunday, August 17, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller called festival organizers and told them he was thinking of ordering 10,000 New York State National Guard troops to the festival. Roberts was successful in persuading Rockefeller not to do this. Sullivan County declared a state of emergency. During the festival, personnel from nearby Stewart Air Force Base assisted in helping to ensure order and airlifting the performers in and out of the concert venue.

Although the festival was remarkably peaceful given the number of people and the conditions involved, there were two recorded fatalities: one from insulin usage, and another caused in an accident when a tractor ran over an attendee sleeping in a nearby hayfield.

There were two births recorded at the event (one in a car caught in traffic and another in a hospital after an airlift by helicopter) and four miscarriages.

Yet, in tune with the idealistic hopes of the 1960s, Woodstock satisfied most attendees. There was a sense of social harmony, which, with the quality of music, and the overwhelming mass of people, many sporting bohemian dress, behavior, and attitudes, helped to make it one of the enduring events of the century.

After the concert, Max Yasgur, who owned the site of the event, saw it as a victory of peace and love. He spoke of how nearly half a million people filled with potential for disaster, riot, looting, and catastrophe spent the three days with music and peace on their minds. He stated, “If we join them, we can turn those adversities that are the problems of America today into a hope for a brighter and more peaceful future…”

Order of the Performers and some trivia:

Declined invitations or missed connections:

  • Bob Dylan– a resident of the town of Woodstock, was never in serious negotiation. Instead, Dylan signed in mid-July to play the Isle of Wight Festival of Music, on August 31. Dylan had been unhappy about the number of hippies piling up outside his house in the nearby town of Woodstock.
  • Simon & Garfunkel declined the invitation, as they were working on their new album.
  • The Jeff Beck GroupJeff Beck disbanded the group prior to Woodstock. “I deliberately broke the group up before Woodstock,” Beck said. “I didn’t want it to be preserved
  • Led Zeppelin was asked to perform. Their manager Peter Grant stated: “We were asked to do Woodstock and Atlantic were very keen, and so was our U.S. promoter, Frank Barsalona. I said no because at Woodstock we’d have just been another band on the bill.”
  • The Byrds were invited, but chose not to participate, believing that Woodstock would be no different from any of the other music festivals that summer.
  • Chicago,at the time still known as the Chicago Transit Authority, had initially been signed on to play at Woodstock. However, they had a contract with concert promoter Bill Graham, which allowed him to move Chicago’s concerts at the Fillmore West, to let Santana play at Woodstock.
  • Tommy James and the Shondells declined an invitation. Lead singer Tommy James stated later: “We could have just kicked ourselves. We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, ‘Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.’ That’s how it was put to me. So we passed, and we realized what we’d missed a couple of days later.”
  • The Moody Blues were included on the original Wallkill poster as performers, but decided to back out after being booked in Paris the same weekend.
  • Frank Zappa,then with The Mothers of Invention, according to the Class of the 20th Century U.S. television special, said “A lot of mud at Woodstock … We were invited to play there, we turned it down.”
  • Arthur Lee and Love declined the invitation, but Mojo Magazine later described inner turmoil within the band which caused their absence at the Woodstock festival.
  • Free was asked to perform and declined. They did however play at the Isle of Wight Festival, a week later.
  • Mind Garage declined because they thought the festival would be a minor event, and they had a higher paying gig elsewhere.
  • The Doors were considered as a potential performing band but canceled at the last moment. According to guitarist Robby Krieger, they turned it down because they thought it would be a “second class repeat of Monterey Pop Festival” and later regretted that decision.
  • Spirit also declined an invitation to play, as they already had shows planned and wanted to play those instead, not knowing how big Woodstock would be.
  • Joni Mitchell was originally slated to perform, but cancelled at the urging of her manager to avoid missing a scheduled appearance on The Dick Cavett Show. She later described the event as “a spark of beauty” where half-a-million kids “saw that they were part of a greater organism”.
  • Lighthouse declined to perform at Woodstock.
  • Roy Rogers was asked by Lang to close the festival with “Happy Trails” but he declined.
  • Procol Harum was invited but refused because Woodstock fell at the end of a long tour and also coincided with the due date of guitarist Robin Trower’s baby.
  • Jethro Tull also declined. According to frontman Ian Anderson, he knew it would be a big event but he did not want to go because he did not like hippies and other concerns including inappropriate nudity, heavy drinking and drug use.
  • Raven – turned down his offer based on the fact that the year before the band played at one of the Woodstock Sound-Outs and the gig didn’t go well. Lang assured them that his concert was going to be different. The band respectfully turned down.[69]
  • Blues Image,according to a 2011 interview with percussionist Joe Lala, agreed to appear at the Woodstock festival. Their manager did not want them to go and said, “There’s only one road in and it’s going to be raining, you don’t want to be there”.
  • Iron Butterfly was booked to appear, and is listed on the Woodstock poster for a Sunday performance, but could not perform because they were stuck at LaGuardia Airport.
  • The Rascals were invited to play the festival but declined because they were in the middle of recording a new album.
  • When enquiries were made about The Beatles possibly appearing, it was also suggested that a recent signee to their label Apple Records should also get an invite. That artist was James Taylor.When the group declined their invitation Taylor’s invite was withdrawn as well.
  • Allegedly, The Rolling Stones were also sent an invitation, but declined because Mick Jagger was in Australia filming Ned Kelly, and Keith Richards‘ girlfriend Anita Pallenberg had just given birth to their son Marlon.

Okay. A couple more links. About an hour each:
Woodstock Day One – Friday
Woodstock Day Two – Saturday

 


 

What Floats Yours?

Ahhh…the dog days of summer. When cold refreshing drinks are calling your name. Made from fruits, ice creams and sodas. Fancy and plain. Adult versions for, well, adults. It’s all a great part of summer. Read on for some really tasty recipes.

 

Summer.  August. Hot days. Beautiful nights.  Time for sitting on the back porch and sipping on a tasty float. Yep – big glasses, lots of ice cream, goodies, and bubbly beverages.  Open the windows, and let the breeze blow in, while enjoying yours.  As you know, I pretty much eat, and like, everything. (I am blessed this way!)  Ice cream floats – oh yea, bring ‘em on especially with freshly made popcorn or pretzels or crackers – see my dilemma!  My favorite is (Good ole vanilla ice cream and coke!) Jackie and the girls on the other hand love trying all sorts of different concoctions. They are not ice cream purists like myself – I love ice cream the way it was intended – Vanilla! Here’s some fun trivia, great variations, and a link to wonderful recipes. Thanks to tasteofhome.com, Wikipedia and the inventor of ice cream, King Tang – according to Google, an ice-cream-like food was first eaten in China in 618-97AD. King Tang of Shang, had 94 ice men who helped to make a dish of buffalo milk, flour and camphor – way easier now just going to the grocery store … or was it a kind of ice-cream said to be invented in China about 200 BC when a milk and rice mixture was frozen by packing it into snow… so where did the cherries and strawberries come from??

The ice cream float was invented by Robert McCay Green in Philadelphia, PA in 1874during the Franklin Institute‘s semicentennial celebration. The traditional story is that, on a particularly hot day, Mr. Green ran out of ice for the flavored drinks he was selling and used vanilla ice cream from a neighboring vendor, thus inventing a new drink.
His own account, published in Soda Fountain magazine in 1910, states that while operating a soda fountain at the celebration, he wanted to create a new treat to attract customers away from another vendor who had a fancier, bigger soda fountain. After some experimenting, he decided to combine ice cream and soda water. During the celebration, he sold vanilla ice cream with soda water and a choice of 16 flavored syrups. The new treat was a sensation and soon other soda fountains began selling ice cream floats.
Green’s lastwill and testament instructed that “Originator of the Ice Cream Soda” was to be engraved on his tombstone.
There are at least three other claimants for the invention of ice cream float: Fred Sanders, Philip Mohr, and George Guy, one of Robert Green’s own employees. Guy is said to have absent-mindedly mixed ice cream and soda in 1872, much to his customer’s delight.
In Australia and New Zealand, an ice cream float is known as a “spider”, because once the carbonation hits the ice cream, it forms a spider web-like creation.  In Mexico, it is known as “Helado flotante” (floating ice cream) and in Puerto Rico it’s referred to as a “black out”.
Root beer and Coke are typical carbonating beverages, but many variations exist (see recipes below).  Here are some fun variations – Although Root Beer and Coke are my favorites!

  1. Chocolate ice cream soda – this ice cream soda starts with approximately 1 oz of chocolate syrup, then several scoops of chocolate ice cream in a tall glass. Unflavored carbonated water is added until the glass is filled and the resulting foam rises above the top of the glass. The final touch is a topping of whipped cream and usually, a maraschino cherry. This variation of ice cream soda was available at local soda fountains and nationally, at Dairy Queen stores for many years.  A similar soda made with chocolate syrup but vanilla ice cream is sometimes called a “black and white” ice cream soda.
  2. Root beer float – Also known as a “black cow” or “brown cow”,the root beer float is traditionally made with vanilla ice cream and root beer, but it can also be made with other ice cream flavors. The similarly flavored soft drink birch beer may also be used instead of root beer.
  3. Coke float – A coke float can be made with any cola, such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi, and vanilla ice-cream.
  4. Boston cooler – A Boston cooler is typically composed of Vernors ginger ale and vanilla ice cream.
  5. Snow White – Snow White is made with 7 Up or Sprite and vanilla ice cream. The origin of this variation is unknown, but it is found in some Asian eateries.
  6. Purple cow – In the context of ice cream soda, a purple cow is vanilla ice cream in purple grape soda. In a more general context, a purple cow may refer to a non-carbonated grape juice and vanilla ice cream combination.
  7. Sherbet cooler – The American Friendly’s chain also had a variation known as a “sherbet cooler,” which was a combination of orange or watermelon sherbet, vanilla syrup and seltzer water. (At present, it is billed as a “slammer”.)
  8. Vaca-preta – At least in Brazil and Portugal, a non-alcoholic ice cream soda made by combining vanilla ice cream and coca-cola is known as vaca-preta (“black cow”).
  9. Helado flotante – In Mexico the most popular version is made with cola and lemon sherbet.
  10. Orange float – An orange float or orange whip consists of vanilla ice cream and orange soft drinks.
  11. Beer float – adult version is Guinness stout, Chocolate ice cream, and espresso. Although the Shakin’ Jesse versionis blended into more of a milkshake consistency, most restaurant bars can make the beer float version. When making at home, the beer and espresso should be very cold so as to not melt the ice cream.
  12. Nectar soda  A flavor popular in New Orleans and parts of Ohio, made with a syrup consisting of equal parts almond and vanilla syrups mixed with sweetened condensed milk and a touch of red food coloring to produce a pink, opalescent syrup base for the soda.
  13. Melon cream soda – Cream soda with melon flavor is a common drink in Japan. Melon soda is served with ice and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

 

THREE VERY COOL VIDEOS:

Homemade Ice Cream in 5 Minutes – no ice cream maker is needed.17,376,100 views

Fred the bartender details his Top 5 Alcoholic Ice Cream Drinks: Barnamint Baileys, Mudslide, Creamsicle, Chocolate Monkey, Razzbaretto. 90,488 views

TYDUS – ICE CREAM (Official Music Video) 6,886,079 views

 


 

Just Sign Here

(top and row two) Maybe the most famous signature ever, John Hancock. That’s a painting of him next to a clean look at his wonderful sig; (row three) Debating the declaration of Independence and getting the signing process underway; (row four) depictions of the good guys getting ready to battle the British; (the rest of the images) Paintings depicting colonial life. I especially like the portrait on the right with the baby on mom’s lap playing with her favorite toy. (presidential signatures from top to bottom) Our very first president, George Washington. His signature on his personal copy of the Acts of Congress is currently worth $9.8 Million; Next is my friend’s granddaughter Mina’s signature. She will be eligible to run for president in 2050. She’s four. But she will be president. At this point her running platform rests on free ice cream and unlimited views of Frozen for all. That may evolve over time; Next is the current resident of the white house, President Donald Trump; Then Barack Obama; George W. Bush; Bill Clinton; George H. W. Bush; Ronald Reagan (nice sig); Jimmy Carter (another nice sig); Richard Nixon; John F. Kennedy; And the president of Kowalski Heat Treating Company, me; And that last one is Miley Cyrus’ sig. She’s not a president and isn’t planning to run as far as I know but Mina likes her and how she dots her “i” with a heart and tucks in that smiley face by the “y.”

 

Working at the desk early this morning, I was reviewing some letters that had to go out (yes, you remember, those typed pages of 8 ½ x 11 paper, with dates on the top, customer names, body text and a formal signature) – unlike the e communications we zip around day and night – and I took pause as I applied my signature Not sure why, but I thought back to when I was a wee tot reviewing my penmanship grades with my parents. Unfortunately, I always received the dreaded U-. Back then we all still were taught to write in cursive, the wonderful Nuns kept telling my parents that I was hopeless! If you were to ask Jackie or my girls, they simply will tell you I am “unique”! Our signatures are a real statement of approval, confirmation and credence to documents. Once you “sign” something it becomes permanent, meaningful and often a binding obligation (think credit card agreements).  “If it is not in writing it doesn’t happen” – this adage is something I live by both professionally and personally – just ask my kids! I’ve always been a big fan of American history and the famous John Hancock signature (that dude had seriously good penmanship, as many did back then) on our Declaration. Turns out, today, August 2, is the official recognized day that the remaining signers of the Declaration completed the document (56 signatures) – it was only partially signed when it became official on July 4th. I jumped on the internet and dug up some cool info on how this amazing document came to be and the history about our brave declaration to the King of England. Enjoy, and thanks Wikipedia and history.com for the info and history lesson. I am continually amazed at what these folks created all those years ago!

 

  1. The United States Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. The Declaration announced that the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America.
  2. The colonies were not directly represented in Parliament, and colonists argued that Parliament had no right to levy taxes upon them. This tax dispute was part of a larger divergence between British and American interpretations of the British Constitution and the extent of Parliament’s authority in the colonies. The orthodox British view, dating from the Glorious Revolution of 1688, was that Parliament was the supreme authority throughout the empire, and so, by definition, anything that Parliament did was constitutional. In the colonies, however, the idea had developed that the British Constitution recognized certain fundamental rights that no government could violate, not even Parliament.
  3. The issue of Parliament’s authority in the colonies became a crisis after Parliament passed the Coercive Acts (known as the Intolerable Acts in the colonies) in 1774 to punish the colonists for the Gaspee Affair of 1772 and the Boston Tea Party of 1773. Many colonists saw the Coercive Acts as a violation of the British Constitution and thus a threat to the liberties of all of British America, so the First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in September 1774 to coordinate a response. Congress organized a boycott of British goods and petitioned the king for repeal of the acts. These measures were unsuccessful because King George and the ministry of Prime Minister Lord North were determined to enforce parliamentary supremacy in America. As the king wrote to North in November 1774, “blows must decide whether they are to be subject to this country or independent”.
  4. Most colonists still hoped for reconciliation with Great Britain, even after fighting began in the American Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. The Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in May 1775, and some delegates hoped for eventual independence, but no one yet advocated declaring it. Many colonists no longer believed that Parliament had any sovereignty over them, yet they still professed loyalty to King George, who they hoped would intercede on their behalf. They were disappointed in late 1775 when the king rejected Congress’s second petition, issued a Proclamation of Rebellion, and announced before Parliament on October 26 that he was considering “friendly offers of foreign assistance” to suppress the rebellion.
  5. Despite this growing popular support for independence, Congress lacked the clear authority to declare it. Delegates had been elected to Congress by 13 different governments, and they were bound by the instructions given to them. Regardless of their personal opinions, delegates could not vote to declare independence unless their instructions permitted such an action.
  6. While many of the colonies were split on independence, as was the custom, Congress appointed a committee to draft a preamble to explain the purpose of the resolution. John Adams wrote the preamble, which stated that because King George had rejected reconciliation and was hiring foreign mercenaries to use against the colonies, “it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority under the said crown should be totally suppressed”.  Adams’s preamble was meant to encourage the overthrow of the governments of Pennsylvania and Maryland, which were still under proprietary governance. Congress passed the preamble on May 15 after several days of debate, but four of the middle colonies voted against it, and the Maryland delegation walked out in protest.Adams regarded his May 15 preamble effectively as an American declaration of independence, although a formal declaration would still have to be made.
  7. On the same day that Congress passed Adams’s radical preamble, the Virginia Convention set the stage for a formal Congressional declaration of independence. On May 15, the Convention instructed Virginia’s congressional delegation “to propose to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent States, absolved from all allegiance to, or dependence upon, the Crown or Parliament of Great Britain”.  In accordance with those instructions, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a three-part resolution to Congress on June 7. The motion was seconded by John Adams, calling on Congress to declare independence, form foreign alliances, and prepare a plan of colonial confederation. The part of the resolution relating to declaring independence read:
    Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.
  8. Total support for a Congressional declaration of independence was consolidated in the final weeks of June 1776. Connecticut, New Hampshire and Delaware authorized their delegates to declare independence. In Pennsylvania, political struggles ended with the dissolution of the colonial assembly, and a new Conference of Committees under Thomas McKean authorized Pennsylvania’s delegates to declare independence on June 18. The Provincial Congress of New Jersey had been governing the province since January 1776; they resolved on June 15 that Royal Governor William Franklin was “an enemy to the liberties of this country” and had him arrested. On June 21, they chose new delegates to Congress and empowered them to join in a declaration of independence.
  9. Only Maryland and New York had yet to authorize independence towards the end of June. Previously, Maryland’s delegates had walked out when the Continental Congress adopted Adams’s radical May 15 preamble, and had sent to the Annapolis Convention for instructions, rejecting Adams’s preamble, instructing its delegates to remain against independence. But Samuel Chase went to Maryland and, thanks to local resolutions in favor of independence, was able to get the Annapolis Convention to change its mind on June 28.
  10. Only the New York delegates were unable to get revised instructions. When Congress had been considering the resolution of independence on June 8, the New York Provincial Congress told the delegates to wait.But on June 30, the Provincial Congress evacuated New York as British forces approached, and would not convene again until July 10. This meant that New York’s delegates would not be authorized to declare independence until after Congress had made its decision.
  11. Political maneuvering was setting the stage for an official declaration of independence even while a document was being written to explain the decision. On June 11, 1776, Congress appointed a “Committee of Five” to draft a declaration, consisting of John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut. The committee took no minutes, so there is some uncertainty about how the drafting process proceeded.  What is certain is that the committee discussed the general outline which the document should follow and decided that Jefferson would write the first draft.
  12. Congress ordered that the draft “lie on the table”and then methodically edited Jefferson’s primary document for the next two days, shortening it by a fourth, removing unnecessary wording, and improving sentence structure. They removed Jefferson’s assertion that Great Britain had forced slavery on the colonies in order to moderate the document and appease persons in Great Britain who supported the Revolution. Jefferson wrote that Congress had “mangled” his draft version, but the Declaration that was finally produced was “the majestic document that inspired both contemporaries and posterity,” in the words of his biographer John Ferling.
  13. A vote was taken after a long day of speeches, each colony casting a single vote, as always. The delegation for each colony numbered from two to seven members, and each delegation voted amongst themselves to determine the colony’s vote. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted against declaring independence. The New York delegation abstained, lacking permission to vote for independence. Delaware cast no vote because the delegation was split between Thomas McKean, who voted yes, and George Read, who voted no. The remaining nine delegations voted in favor of independence, which meant that the resolution had been approved by the committee of the whole. The next step was for the resolution to be voted upon by Congress itself. Edward Rutledge of South Carolina was opposed to Lee’s resolution but desirous of unanimity, and he moved that the vote be postponed until the following day.
  14. On July 2, South Carolina reversed its position and voted for independence. In the Pennsylvania delegation, Dickinson and Robert Morris abstained, allowing the delegation to vote three-to-two in favor of independence. The tie in the Delaware delegation was broken by the timely arrival of Caesar Rodney, who voted for independence. The New York delegation abstained once again since they were still not authorized to vote for independence, although they were allowed to do so a week later by the New York Provincial Congress.
  15. The resolution of independence was adopted with twelve affirmative votes and one abstention, and the colonies officially severed political ties with Great Britain. John Adams wrote to his wife on the following day, writing:
    I am apt to believe that [Independence Day] will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
  16. The Declaration was transposed on paper and signed by John Hancock, President of the Congress, on July 4, 1776, according to the 1911 record of events by the U.S. State Department.   About thirty-four delegates signed the Declaration on July 4, and the others signed on or after August 2.Some historians maintain that most delegates signed on August 2, and that those eventual signers who were not present added their names at a later date.

EXTRAS…
Video of a talented guy making John Hancock’s calligraphy signature
All the President’s Pens: Video of White House Staff Secretary Lisa Brown explains why presidents use so many pens to sign legislation.
An historical event: President Kennedy Signs Test Ban Treaty (1963)

 

 

 


 

 

Pretzel

(top left & center) An early Twister box lid and the spinner; (top right) Finger Twister! (row two, l to r) A giant Twister matt; And a giant inflatable, bouncy Twister; (row three l to r) Make your own Twister board with washable paints and chalks on grass, asphalt or concrete; (row four l to r) Twister game board costume; Twister morph-suit; Twister leggings; Twister sox—gotta get me some of them; (row five l to r) Twister duvet cover; Twister spinner key chain; (row six l to r) A really bad and scary twister; A tongue twister; A really bad and not so scary 1996 movie called Twister staring Helen Hunt and some guy; (row seven) Twister fun can be had anywhere you have enough space; (row eight l to r) Johnny Carson shows the world how to play Twister with guest Eva Gabor in 1966. See below for what the current Tonight Show host did with Twister; A Monsanto trade ad featuring a crowded twister game to promote their new additive for deodorant soaps. (bottom) The hot new Kowalski Heat Treating version of the Twister game board!

Driving home the other day I saw a bunch of kids playing on their front lawn, and it took me back to my kid days again.  We had so much fun growing up – Mom would say – “get outside and get some fresh air – just be home before the street lights come on” … what freedom we had.  On rainy days I’d have my buddies over to play inside. One of our favorite games was Twister – getting all tied up and laughing all the while. Then fast forward a “few” years and my own girls would be playing the same game, having a great time figuring things out!  Little did I know back then, I’d be the chief “twister fixer” for my customers, taking products and projects that are all tied up, working out the kinks and enjoying myself along the way.  We call this solving your PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs!  Most of the time I watch my teams “on the colored dot mat”, working together, testing and retesting, until things are just right. Now, occasionally we fall down, but the beauty of my team and life in general is not falling down because that’s going to happen, rather it’s getting back up that makes my folks so great!  I found out Twister was based on a project that inventor Reyn Guyer was working on originally as a promotion for Johnson’s shoe polish company. Guyer created a polka dot paper mat and then thought it would be better as a game. He tested this with a group of office workers, which were divided into two teams, and called it ‘Pretzel’.   50 years later, we’re still enjoying his genius.  Enjoy!

  • In 1964, Reyn Guyer owned and managed a design company which made in-store displays for Fortune 500 companies. While working on designing a promotion for his client, the S.C. Johnson Company, his son, Reyn Jr., developed the idea that a game could utilize people as playing pieces on a life-sized game board. His first attempt he called “Kings Footsie”, but when he showed it to the 3M Company, who had a line of up-scale board games, they rejected the idea.
  • Charles Foley, was a respected and successful toy designer for Lakeside Industries in Minneapolis and answered an ad for an experienced toy designer by Reynolds Guyer Sr. of Guyer Company. After interviewing Foley, Guyer and his son discussed the possibility of starting a small division of the company in product development. His father agreed, for a short term, to support his son’s idea for product development, and hired Foley, who negotiated a royalty agreement with Guyer Company for all games and toy items designed by Foley. Guyer Company agreed, and officially hired Foley. Foley hired Neil Rabens, an accomplished product design artist with an art degree from the Minneapolis School of Art and Design.
  • The game ideas ranged from small kids’ games to word games for adults. Foley had an idea for utilizing people as a part of the game idea, “a party game”. Rabens had the idea to utilize a colored mat, allowing people to interact with each other, in a game idea he had developed while a student in design school. Foley saw the idea and developed the concept for having the colored dots line up in rows, and, with a spinner, created the idea for calling out players’ hands and feet to the colored dots called out from the spinner. This would create a tangled-up situation between two people, and the one that falls first would lose.
  • Foley and Neil Rabens submitted for patents (US Pat# 3,454,279) and trademark rights for what was originally called “Pretzel”. Foley, with his extensive experience in the toy industry, called on his good friend, Mel Taft, Sr. V.P. for Milton Bradley in 1966, for a product idea presentation.
  • In the fall of 1965, Foley and Guyer Jr. took the game to the Milton Bradley Company in Springfield, MA where Mel Taft, the senior vice-president of R & D, chose Pretzel as the best of the eight game ideas. Mel found there was a trademark problem, so he changed the game’s name to Twister, and Milton Bradley began to market it in 1966. It was the first game on store shelves that used players as the playing pieces.
  • When the Milton Bradley Company found that several major retailers refused to stock the game, Taft called Foley to tell him that they were cancelling their television advertising and pulling the product from the store shelves. What executives at Milton Bradley did not know was the public relations company Mel had hired had already been paid. So, he let the plan to have Twister played on the Tonight Show go forward.
  • On May 3, 1966 Johnny Carson, the host of the Tonight Show, was enticed by the Twister mat and demonstrated the game along with actress Eva Gabor. The next morning there were 50 people standing in line to buy the game at Abercrombie & Fitch where a few games had not been returned. Three million Twister games were sold in the following year. Several spin-off games have followed over the years such as: Twister Moves, Twister Dance, Twister Hoopla, and many others.
  • In 1967 Twister was named the “Game of the Year”. With this success, Reynolds Guyer Sr. offered Foley and Rabens a chance to run their new toy and game development division. Mr. Foley agreed to run the Toy design company with the current royalty agreement be included in the new agreement. Reynolds Guyer Sr. wanted to dismiss any and all royalty agreements going forward. Mr. Foley did not agree with the newly proposed agreement (dismissing any and all royalty rights).
  • In 1985, Hasbro acquired the Milton Bradley Company, becoming Twister’s parent company. The Reyn Guyer Creative Group continues to work closely with Hasbro to develop and market new additions to the line of Twister products, including CD’s, dancing, hopscotch, holla hoops.
  • The World’s Largest Twister Mat was put together on June 18, 2010 in Bell where town, MA on the Bell where town High School football field. It consisted of 1008 Twister mats donated by Hasbro and measured 24,156 square feet. The previous record, as cited by the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest game of Twister included 4,699 square feet of mats that were combined together.
  • Co-inventor Charles Foley died on July 1, 2013 at the age of 82.
  • Twister tournaments are used as a source of philanthropic events put on by college fraternities and sororities to raise money for a charitable cause. Many of these Greek tournaments are held annually, and are a good way to get involved with the community
  • There are publicly available instructions on how to alter a Twister game to make it accessible to color-blind individuals and to completely blind individuals.
  • On May 3, 2016, the Hasbro Company began the celebration of Twister’s 50th anniversary following Reyn Guyer’s introduction of his book, “Right Brain Red”, which tells the whole tale of its beginnings.
  • To learn more, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twister_(game)

 

(left) See the Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon with guest Kristen Stewart face off in a game of “Jell-O shot” Twister. (right) Watch this quaint 1966 commercial promoting the new game Twister.

 

 


 

On July 20

(top) Earth sweet earth; (row two) You know that image that everyone has seen again and again of the footprint on the moon? Well, this is what it looked like before he got his foot out of the way; (row three) Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, prepares to deploy the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package; (row four left) The gold replica of an olive branch, the traditional symbol of peace, which was left on the moon’s surface by Apollo 11 crewmembers. It is less than half a foot in length. The gesture represents a fresh wish for peace for all mankind; (row four, top right) Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. moves to deploy two components of the Scientific Experiments. The Passive Seismic Experiments Package is in his left hand and in his right hand is the Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector. Neil Armstrong took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera; (row four, bottom right) Our wonderful flag (with all of the footprints) planted on the moon! Are you kidding!!! (bottom) The Apollo 11 crew await pickup by a helicopter from the USS Hornet. They splashed down at 11:49 a.m. (CDT), July 24, 1969, about 812 nautical miles southwest of Hawaii and only 12 nautical miles from the USS Hornet. Wow!! God Bless America!!!

 

Talk about a PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job!  When the President of the United States gives you a project, never before attempted, you accept.  And then set out to accomplish the greatest event in history. Given all the space specials and history news this week, you probably know tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing.  With so many amazing problem-solving solutions that had to come together, it’s tough to find them all.  A task this big, with no past history, is simply unheard of – but we did it. My team solves PIA (Pain in the @%$) jobs each and every day.  When I explored deeper into the history of Apollo 11 I was amazed and humbled at the dedication of this previous generation.   All of us Americans should /can be so proud of their accomplishments and know that together there is nothing we in these wonderful United States can’t solve together!  Here is some fun trivia from the mission.  Enjoy! And special thanks to NASA, Smithsonian, cnet, and Wikipedia.

The ultimate PIA (pain in the @%$ Job(s)! – On May 25, 1961, when Kennedy asked Congress to send Americans to the Moon before the 1960s were over, NASA had no rockets to launch astronauts to the Moon, no computer portable enough to guide a spaceship to the Moon, no spacesuits to wear on the way, no spaceship to land astronauts on the surface (let alone a Moon car to let them drive around and explore), no network of tracking stations to talk to the astronauts en route, no Mission Control, no nutrition plan, no multi-gravity food – in essence we didn’t even know what was needed.

Our unpreparedness for the task goes a level deeper: We didn’t even know how to fly to the Moon. We didn’t know what course to fly to get there from here. And as the small example of lunar dirt shows, we didn’t know what we would find when we got there. Physicians worried that people wouldn’t be able to think in micro-gravity conditions. Mathematicians worried that we wouldn’t be able to calculate how to rendezvous two spacecraft in orbit—to bring them together in space and dock them in flight both perfectly and safely.

Ten thousand problems had to be solved to get us to the Moon. Every one of those challenges was tackled and mastered between May 1961 and July 1969. The astronauts, the nation, flew to the Moon because hundreds of thousands of scientists, engineers, managers and factory workers unraveled a series of puzzles, often without knowing whether the puzzle had a good solution.

Here are just some of the PIA Jobs that were solved:

  • That computer navigated through space and helped the astronauts operate the ship. But the astronauts also traveled to the Moon with paper star charts so they could use a sextant to take star sightings—like 18th-century explorers on the deck of a ship—and cross-check their computer’s navigation.
  • The software of the computer was stitched together by women sitting at specialized looms—using wire instead of thread.
  • The heat shield was applied to the spaceship by hand with a fancy caulking gun;
  • The parachutes were sewn by hand, and then folded by hand. The only three staff members in the country who were trained and licensed to fold and pack the Apollo parachutes were considered so indispensable that NASA officials forbade them to ever ride in the same car, to avoid their all being injured in a single accident.
  • Three times as many people worked on Apollo as on the Manhattan Project to create the atomic bomb. In 1961, the year Kennedy formally announced Apollo, NASA spent $1 million on the program for the year. Five years later NASA was spending about $1 million every three hours on Apollo, 24 hours a day.
  • The LM was, in fact, perhaps the strangest flying craft ever created. It was the first, and remains the only, manned spacecraft designed solely for use off Earth. It would never have to fly through an atmosphere, so it didn’t need the structural robustness that would require.
  • The lunar module’s other significant challenge was that it could never be test-flown before being used for its critical role. There’s no place on Earth to take a spaceship designed for flight in a zero-gravity vacuum and fly it around. So the people who would pilot the lunar modules to the Moon never practiced flying them, except in simulators, which were designed and built by people who had never flown a lunar module.
  • For the first Moonwalk ever, Sonny Reihm was inside NASA’s Mission Control building, watching every move on the big screen. Reihm was a supervisor for the most important Moon technology after the lunar module itself: the spacesuits, the helmets, the Moonwalk boots. The spacesuits were the work of Playtex, the folks who brought America the “Cross Your Heart Bra” in the mid-1950s, a company with a lot of expertise developing clothing that had to be flexible as well as form-fitting.  The suits were hand stitched marvels: 21 layers of nested fabric, strong enough to stop a micrometeorite, but still flexible enough for Aldrin’s kangaroo hops and quick cuts.

And here is some trivia about the mission:

  • On July 20, 1969, an estimated 650 million people around the world watched the same televised image of an otherworldly sight.  It’s an amazing number, based on the lack of cable, dish, the internet and global communications today.
  • The American flag the Apollo 11 astronauts planted on the moon was manufactured by Sears, but NASA wanted that information kept secret.
  • Tang. The powder-based orange drink from General Foods – ideal for consumption in a zero-gravity environment – soared to celebrity status in 1962 when Mercury astronaut John Glenn performed eating experiments while orbiting Earth aboard Friendship 7. Astronauts brought Tang on their missions and all manned space flights from 1965–1975.
  • There’s a mystery surrounding Neil Armstrong’s famous quote. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Fake news? Not exactly. Armstrong has always insisted that he said “one small step for a man,” not the widely quoted “one small step for man,” and the grainy NASA audio recordings don’t offer a definitive answer. Researchers from Michigan State University and Ohio State University set out to solve the mystery, and their findings seem to back up Armstrong’s assertion. They analyzed recordings of conversational speech from 40 people raised in Columbus, Ohio, near Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, and found that they typically blended the words “for a” so they sound like “frrr(uh)”.
  • Your cellphone is more powerful than Apollo 11’s computers.  While the Apollo Guidance Computer systems that powered Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon and back in July 1969 were cutting-edge for the time, they’re technologically primitive compared to the cell phones and smartwatches we use half a century later.  Today’s Samsung Galaxy S10 Smartphone6, with its eight gigabytes of memory, is light years ahead of the Apollo 11’s computer, which propelled our fearless astronauts to the moon and back with only two kilobytes.
  • Krispy Kreme doughnuts were served. This marketing ploy is not just empty calories: Krispy Kreme was at the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969, serving fresh doughnuts to Americans who had gathered to witness lift-off of this monumental mission.
  • “The Eagle has landed,” is one of the most famous quotes in NASA history. It was named in honor of America’s national bird, while the mission’s command module, Columbia, was named after Columbiad, the giant canon that launched the moonship in Jules Verne’s novel From the Earth to the Moon.
  • The Apollo’s Saturn rockets were packed with enough fuel to throw 100-pound shrapnel three miles, and NASA couldn’t rule out the possibility that they might explode on takeoff. NASA seated its VIP spectators three and a half miles from the launchpad.
  • Drinking water was a fuel-cell by-product, but Apollo 11’s hydrogen-gas filters didn’t work, making every drink bubbly, making going to the bathroom troublesome.
  • When Apollo 11’s lunar lander, the Eagle, separated from the orbiter, the cabin wasn’t fully depressurized, resulting in a burst of gas equivalent to popping a champagne cork. It threw the module’s landing four miles off-target.
  • Pilot Neil Armstrong nearly ran out of fuel landing the Eagle, and many at mission control worried he might crash. Apollo engineer Milton Silveira, however, was relieved: His tests had shown that there was a small chance the exhaust could shoot back into the rocket as it landed and ignite the remaining propellant.
  • The “one small step for man” wasn’t actually that small. Armstrong set the ship down so gently that its shock absorbers didn’t compress. He had to hop 3.5 feet from the Eagle’s ladder to the surface.
  • The astronauts all carried Duro-brand felt-tip pens, and if not for these the mission would not have made it home. In the cramped environment, someone had broken off the switch to the circuit breaker that activated the ascent engine. This is where Aldrin had a flash of ingenuity. “Since it was electrical, I decided not to put my finger in, or use anything that had metal on the end. I had a felt-tipped pen in the shoulder pocket of my suit that might do the job. After moving the countdown procedure up by a couple of hours in case it didn’t work, I inserted the pen into the small opening where the circuit breaker switch should have been, and pushed it in; sure enough, the circuit breaker held. We were going to get off the moon, after all.”
  • The toughest moonwalk task? Planting the flag. NASA’s studies suggested that the lunar soil was soft, but Armstrong and Aldrin found the surface to be a thin wisp of dust over hard rock. They managed to drive the flagpole a few inches into the ground and film it for broadcast, and then took care not to accidentally knock it over.
  • A few minutes after Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins remained in orbit.  They sent a message back asking for a moment’s silence. In this time, Aldrin, an elder in his local Presbyterian Church, had a little communion ceremony of his own, reading scripture and taking the sacrament.  “I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility. It was interesting for me to think: The very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.”
  • Along with the American flag, the Apollo 11 mission left behind a small collection of items. Among them were medallions honouring Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, and Vladimir Komarov, both of whom died tragically. Komarov’s death is particularly shocking. The story goes that he knew he was probably going to die on the 1967 mission to put a man into Earth orbit. He didn’t back out, because Gagarin was his back-up and he didn’t want Gagarin to die.
  • On their return to Earth, the three astronauts were brought back via Hawaii. On their entry, they had to be processed like any other traveler, filling out customs declarations. In the “Departure From” field, they simply wrote “Moon,” and declared the “moon dust” and “moon rock” as items they were bringing back into America.
  • Life insurance premiums for a trip to the moon were well beyond the means of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. As a preemptive measure to take care of their loved ones if they didn’t come back, the astronauts signed hundreds of postal covers. If they did not return, their families could sell these signatures. Today, these signed postal covers occasionally show up in space memorabilia auctions, where they can sell for thousands of dollars.
  • President Richard Nixon had a contingency speech lined up for if the mission failed, too. You can read it here.
  • The Moon has a smell. It has no air, but it has a smell. Each pair of Apollo astronauts to land on the Moon tramped lots of Moon dust back into the lunar module—it was deep gray, fine-grained and extremely clingy—and when they unsnapped their helmets, Neil Armstrong said, “We were aware of a new scent in the air of the cabin that clearly came from all the lunar material that had accumulated on and in our clothes.” To him, it was “the scent of wet ashes.” To his crewmate Buzz Aldrin, it was “the smell in the air after a firecracker has gone off.

CLICK HERE to download this cool chart I found on the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s website. It shows the major events of the Apollo 11 mission from ignition to splashdown. Everything had to go absolutely right on this mega PIA job.

 

What Armstrong and Aldrin Saw: Simulation vs. Original 16mm Film

WANT CHILLS TO GO UP YOUR SPINE? WATCH AND LISTEN TO THIS!  The only visual record of the historic Apollo 11 landing is from a 16mm time-lapse (6 frames per second) movie camera mounted in Buzz Aldrin’s window. The visual above is from the footage (l to r) at 568 feet, 370 feet, 230 feet and 15 feet.  More notes and links on the You Tube page.

 

 


 

That Burning Sensation

No matter what you like to do outside, gotta play it safe with sun exposure. 

With this most recent batch of amazing weather, it got me thinking about sun exposure and the impact of prolonged sun on skin.  Like most of us, I LOVE being outside – riding bikes, running, kayaking with Jackie and the girls, playing golf with my buds or just enjoying the summer breeze in the backyard. I’ve experienced that “burning sensation” telling me it’s time to get out of the sun or put on more protection. For those who don’t know I am what some might call follicley challenged (bald!) So…. This blog really hits home with me.    As “heat people” we know a thing or two about heat, cold and temperature, when we’re solving your PIA (pain in the #$%) Jobs! I decided to do some digging on sunscreen and found this great article at livescience.com along with some tips on Wikipedia.  Take a read and be sure to load up on the sunblock – and ENJOY this amazing weather.

  • Whether you’re lounging on the beach, going for a run or bike ride or hiking up a mountain, when you’re outside, you’re pummeled by invisible rays that can cause your skin to darken and burn. This ultraviolet (UV) radiation can also damage DNA in your skin cells, causing genetic mutations that can lead to skin cancer. Fortunately, you can protect against many of the damaging effects of these rays with sunscreen.
  • Sunscreens, which can be sprays, lotions, gels or waxes, are usually made up of a mix of chemicals. Inorganic chemicals in sunscreen can reflect or scatter the light away from the skin, and organic (carbon-based) ones can absorb UV rays so that our skin doesn’t.
  • Some inorganic chemicals, including minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, act as a physical sunblock. They reflect UV rays, similar to how white paint reflects light. The white-colored noses on beach-goers in the 1980s and 1990s were due to these compounds; because manufacturers make the inorganic particles much smaller now, we don’t see the visible white.
  • Along with inorganic chemicals, sunscreens often contain organic chemicals, with names such as avobenzone or oxybenzone. Instead of physically deflecting UV light, these molecules absorb UV radiation through their chemical bonds. As the bonds absorb UV radiation, the components of the sunscreen slowly break down and release heat.
  • The SPF (introduced in 1974) on sunscreen bottles stands for Sun Protection Factor (I never knew this) and refers to how well the sunscreen protects against one type of UV radiation, called UVB (it may be helpful to think B for burning). UVB rays cause sunburn and several types of skin cancer.
  • To understand how the rating works – “SPF 15” means that ​115 of the burning radiation will reach the skin, assuming sunscreen is applied evenly at a thick dosage of 2 milligrams per square centimeter (mg/cm2). A user can determine the effectiveness of a sunscreen by multiplying the SPF by the length of time it takes for him or her to suffer a burn without sunscreen. (Thus, if a person develops a sunburn in 10 minutes when not wearing a sunscreen, the same person in the same intensity of sunlight will take 150 minutes to develop a sunburn of the same severity if wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 15) It is important to note that sunscreens with higher SPF do not last or remain effective on the skin any longer than lower SPF and must be continually reapplied as directed, usually every two hours.
  • The SPF is an imperfect measure of skin damage because invisible damage and skin aging are also caused by ultraviolet type A (UVA, wavelengths 315–400 or 320–400 nm), which does not primarily cause reddening or pain. Conventional sunscreen blocks very little UVA radiation relative to the nominal SPF; broad-spectrum sunscreens are designed to protect against both UVB and UVA.
  • Another type of radiation, called UVA radiation, penetrates deeper into the skin and can cause premature wrinkling, age spots and can also heighten the risk for some skin cancer.  Sunscreen lotions labeled broad-spectrum block against both UVA and UVB, but currently there is no standard for listing UVA blocking power. Inorganic chemicals that deflect sunlight will deflect both UVA and UVB rays.
  • The ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) is a similar scale developed for rating fabrics for sun protective clothing. According to recent testing by Consumer Reports, UPF ~30+ is typical for protective fabrics, while UPF ~20 is typical for standard summer fabrics.
  • Most organizations recommend using sunscreen with an SPF between 15 and 50 (SPF ratings higher than 50 have not been proven to be more effective than SPF 50). A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 protects against about 93 percent of UVB rays, and one with an SPF of 30 protects against 97 percent of rays, according to the Mayo Clinic. No SPF can block 100 percent of UV rays.  I am a SPF 50 man (It’s because I am such a sensitive soul!)
  • Because most people don’t use enough sunscreen and because sunscreen tends to rub or wash off, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends reapplying sunscreen within two hours regardless of its strength, and using at least an ounce (a shot glass-full) for maximum protection.  My guess is that most of us do fall into the not enough category!  Also, I think we should only use shot glasses as God intended!
  • For people with fair skin, health organizations strongly recommend also using a hat and sunglasses, long sleeve clothing and shade to protect your skin.  For those of us that ‘BRONZE”  a hat should be fine!

 

 


 

Please Leave Me A Message

Anymore, selfies are the way most people remember their great vacations. Don’t forget to take yours!

 

It’s that time of year, when workers all across the county schedule their vacations and take time off. A favorite tactic is to wrap vacation days around traditional holiday breaks (like today), to create an extra-long weekend. With our Cleveland  weather finally cheering us on, and an abundance of “places to go and people to see” I thought I’d harken back in time and see when this wonderful idea came into vogue. Some of my fondest memories are: Growing up, Dad and Mom would take us on the great adventures around this beautiful country of ours! A few of my younger siblings have actually been to all 50 states! I am missing a few states which will make for a great story in the future. Jackie and I, with the girls have been going to Kiawah Island for over  30 years! It’s a place where one of our girls learned to walk because the sandy beaches bothered their knees. Chasing sea gulls, finding sand dollars going for long bike rides through the waves always bring smiles to our faces. For my “staycation” friends, here’s a link to awesome trips around the great state of Ohio (https://vacationidea.com/destinations/best-places-to-visit-in-ohio.html) Simply exploring all of the numerous sites right here in Cleveland would take weeks! And for my more adventurous friends, here is the latest list of great adventure trips (https://www.smartertravel.com/best-adventure-vacations-to-take-in-2019/). Be sure to snap some selfies (SAFELY!) and send them over to share with our readers. Enjoy, and thanks to Wikipedia, NPR, Britannia, Goggle for the insights.

  1. In English, the word holiday was taken from the German language term for the haligdæg – holy day; back in that time, the only leisure time possible was on a Holy Day, so it makes sense why the British use the word holiday.
  2. Americans used the word vacation the way the English do, the time when teachers and students vacate the school premises and go off on their own.
  3. The Romans were the first civilization to indulge in what we’d now consider traveling for pleasure. But, rather than the one to two weeks we manage to get away for, wealthy Romans would look to get away for a staggering two years! (sign me up)
  4. The work of the army and navy in securing borders and transport against banditry, along with the ever-expanding borders of the empire, gave citizens freedom to travel without ever technically leaving Rome’s jurisdiction. This freedom led to the establishment of inns, restaurants and tour guides, everything a budding traveler would need to enjoy their trips.
  5. In the UK, during the Tudor period, leisure travel was reserved for royalty and the court. Vacations taken by monarchs were called “royal progress”, and usually involved the King or Queen traveling to different towns where they would stay, sometimes for as long as a month. Although some royal progress was taken purely for leisure, monarchs mainly traveled to other towns for publicity. The King or Queen rode around each town on horseback, meeting important people and providing the common people with a glimpse of his or her face. In 1535, King Henry VIII took a progress to present his new wife Anne Boleyn as Queen, and to promote the reformation of the Church.
  6. During the early Renaissance period, travel was mainly used for trade and battle. Means of travel was limited; roads were uneven and treacherous, with robbers lurking and setting traps. Only the rich could afford to travel safely, with groups of soldiers protecting them.
  7. Sea travel was also dangerous, with pirates patrolling the seas and storms frequently wiping out whole ships. Inns provided shelter and were popular among travelers. However, they were expensive, dirty and uncomfortable, with guests often sharing single beds. Those people lucky enough to be on vacation would usually be found staying with friends or relatives, where they could receive the comfort they’d expect to find at home. See Airbnb is not such a new thing after all!
  8. Luckily for everyone else, the industrial revolution saw the rise of the steam train, which enabled common people to pack up and travel to new locations. The first American steam train named Tom Thumb made its first journey in Baltimore in 1830, and within years the steam train was the most popular form of mass transport. This enabled people to travel to the beach en masse for their vacations.
  9. One of the little-known turning points in the history of American travel occurred in the spring of 1869, when a handsome young preacher from Boston named William H.H. Murray published one of the first guidebooks to a wilderness area. In describing the Adirondack Mountains—a 9,000-square-mile expanse of lakes, forests and rivers in upstate New York—Murray broached the then-outrageous idea that an excursion into raw nature could actually be pleasurable.
  10. Before that date, most Americans considered the country’s primeval landscapes only as obstacles to be conquered. But Murray’s self-help opus, Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks, suggested that hiking, canoeing and fishing in unsullied nature were the ultimate health tonic for harried city dwellers whose constitutions were weakened by the demands of civilized life.
  11. Over time, the vacation became a middle-class institution, as well as a time for physical, mental and spiritual self-improvement, not to mention sheer entertainment. Doctors and ministers began to say it’s important to get away for your health as fears emerged about businessmen who were suffering brain fatigue.  As apposed to simply being forgetful!
  12. As the railroad expanded, and of course the automobile, people were realizing they could get to a shore, visit a hotel and enjoy the water.  In the US, a whole new vacationing infrastructure began to grow.
  13. Vacations truly came into their own in the 20th century. Beaches were attractive to crowds not for the sea air, but mainly for the man-made attractions on piers. The early 20th century saw people flocking to Florida to enjoy the various entertainments, most notably the underwater theatre at Weeki Wachee Springs.  Today, destinations like Disneyland have become multi-million-dollar extravaganzas.
  14. The 50’s and 60’s saw the explosion of family vacations – load up the station wagon and head off to the beach.  Depending on your location, you could head west, head north or head south – beaches, mountains, woods and more – everyone had a place they loved to visit, while some made it to all 50 states.
  15. With instant information at our fingertips, booking a vacation is easier than ever – airfare, cars, airbnb, Uber and Lyft and so much more.  Vacations are planned in an instant, and off we go.
  16. Space travel has always captured our imagination. We dream of visiting the moon and beyond. But, for the first time in human history we’re now seeing serious effort being put in to creating actual colonies in space. That effort is coming from Elon Musk and his Space X project.
  17. For our grandchildren and their children, the prospect of vacationing on Mars is a very real possibility. More than that, it’s something which actively excites our imaginations. 700 people have already signed up to fly into space with Virgin Galactic, and they will surely be the first of many.
  18. The deep seas will also become open to us as a travel location. There’s so much to see and experience down there, some will question why we’d ever want to go to space? Why go and see blackness, when you can see the wonders of the deep seas. Companies are offing special visits to the ocean floor.   VISIT THE TITANIC   •   THE $800 DIVE TO 1,000 FEET   •   BUY YOUR OWN TRITON 3300/3. DIVE TO 3,300 FEET.  ON SALE NOW FOR JUST $3 MILLION.  
  19. Marriott hotels are already offering virtual reality services to their clients and we’ll see more and more chains offer the same in the future. Tools like the Oculus Rift make virtual reality something all of us can enjoy, rather than a hobby for the techy few.  Now, we won’t have to travel at all, just shut the door, (turn on the sun lamp) and “go” on vacation to places near and far. Although VR is improving, that will never match digging your toes into the sand or climbing a trail!  Call me old school, but spending time with Jackie beats all!

 

 


 

Lather Up

At long last, Sum-Sum-Summertime!!!

Finally, it’s here. Today marks the official start of summer – that wonderful time of year.  I can remember as a kid waking up early every morning and rushing out of the house (still doing this by the way) and taking advantage of the long days of sunshine and fun.  So many things come to mind – bike rides, baseball in the park, tag, hide and seek, sprinklers, pool parties, campfires, smores, heading to the beach, barbecues (will save for another time!)  – I could go on.  I dug around to find some random trivia for you to enjoy – be sure to click the song links at the bottom – it will jump start your weekend fun!  Enjoy!

  1. The word “summer” is from the Proto-Indo-European root *sam-, meaning summer. The root *sam is a variant from the Proto-Indo-European root *sem-, which means “together/one.”
  2. The “dog days of summer” refer to the weeks between July 3 and August 11 and are named after the Dog Star (Sirius) in the Canis Major constellation. The ancient Greeks blamed Sirius for the hot temperatures, drought, discomfort, and sickness that occurred during the summer (Always have to blame someone!).
  3. Summer is the by far the busiest time at movie theaters, and Hollywood always hopes to earn a significant portion of total annual ticket sales through summer blockbuster months. To date, the top 10 most famous summer blockbusters of all time are 1) Jaws, 2) Star Wars, 3) Jurassic Park, 4) The Dark Knight, 5) Raiders of the Lost Ark, 6) E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, 7) Forrest Gump, 8) Ghostbusters, 9) Animal House, and 10) Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  4. In the United States, over 650 million long-distance summer trips are made.  The top 5 most popular summer vacations are 1) beach/ocean (45%), 2) a famous city (42%), 3) national parks (21%), 4) a lake (17%), and 5) a resort (14%).
  5. The Eiffel Tower is 6 inches taller in the summer than in the winter.  In the summer heat, the iron in France’s Eiffel Tower expands, making the tower grow more than 6 inches. (See I am 5-10 and ½!)
  6. The month of June was named after either Juniores, the lower branch of the roman Senate, or Juno, the wife of Jupiter.  Marc Antony named the month of July, in honor of Julius Caesar.
  7. The month of August was named for Julius Caeser’s adopted nephew Gaius Julius Caesar Octavius, who held the title “Augustus.” He named the month after himself.  “September” is from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven.”
  8. Both “equinox” and “solstice” refer to the path of the sun throughout the year. During a solstice, the sun is either at its northernmost point (Tropic of Cancer) or it is at its southernmost point (Tropic of Capricorn). An equinox is either of the two days each year when the sun crosses the equator and both day and night are equally long.  The word “solstice” is from the Latin solstitium, which is from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop) because it seems as if the sun stops at the solstice.
  9. In southern England, over 37,000 people gather at Stonehenge to see the summer solstice. Druids and pagans are among those who celebrate the longest day of the year at this notable place. –  isn’t amazing how people spend their free time!
  10. Ancient pagans celebrated midsummer with bonfires. It was believed that the crops would grow as high as a couple could jump across the fire. Additionally, bonfires would generate magic by boosting the sun’s powers.
  11. Some education reformers believed that children were overstimulated in a system which required 48 weeks of schooling. They believe that over-schooling could lead to nervous disorders, depression, insanity, and separation anxiety towards families and believe that children need the 2–3 months off to relax and also to take a break from other childhood stresses.  other critics of summer vacation point out that American students spend approximately 180 days (26 weeks) per year in school, but Asian students are “in school for 240 to 250 days”.  This is consistent with the conclusions of researchers who suggest that advanced abilities are in proportion to the time spent learning. Summer holidays in Japan start from late-July until early-September. (after reading these compelling thoughts, it makes you want to head to the beach with a cold one!)
  12. According to custom, in the United States, a person can wear white pants only during the summer, or between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  This year, NYC fashion says black is the new summer white… (not buying it).
  13. A ubiquitous summer treat is watermelon. Watermelon is part of the cucumber, pumpkin, and squash family and consists of 92% water. On average, Americans consume 15 pounds of watermelon annually.
  14. Popsicles, a popular summer treat, was accidentally invented by an 11-year-old boy in San Francisco in 1905. He left a glass of soda sitting outside and by the next morning the soda had frozen. He began selling them at an amusement park in New Jersey. In the U.S., cherry is the number 1 flavor.
  15. July, the hottest summer month in the Northern Hemisphere, is National Ice Cream Month, not surprisingly. Americans eat an average 20 quarts of ice cream a year. Vanilla, (which is my personal favorite since you can always add lots of goodies to it), is the most popular flavor, with chocolate coming in a distant second.
  16. The longest summer bikini parade on record happened on August 19, 2012, in China with 1,085 participants.
  17. Before the Civil War, schools did not have summer vacation. In rural communities, kids had school off during the spring planting and fall harvest while urban schools were essentially year-round. The long summer holiday didn’t come about until the early 20th century.  Leading advocates for play such as Henry Curtis believed strongly that children were not having enough time for play. In addition to advocating playground equipment, Curtis also advocated that summer should be spent working with families in gardens and going camping. Curtis was a large supporter of boy and girl scouts and encouraged children to engage in scouting during the summer.
  18. According to Forbes, the top 9 most hazardous summer injuries are caused by 1) playground equipment; 2) skateboards; 3) trampolines; 4) lawn mowers; 5) amusement attractions; 6) non-powder guns, BBs pellets; 7) beach, picnic, camping equipment; 8) barbeque grills, stoves, equipment; and 9) trimmers, small garden tools.
  19. According to Rolling Stone, the top 10 best summer songs of all time are:
    1) “Dancing in the Street,” Martha & The Vandellas
    2) “Summertime Blues,” Eddie Cochran
    3) “School’s Out,” Alice Cooper
    4) “California Girls,” The Beach Boys
    5) “Rockaway Beach,” The Ramones
    6) “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” Sly & the Family Stone
    7) “Summer in the City,” Lovin’ Spoonful
    8) “Vacation,” The Go-Gos
    9) “Summertime,” DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
    10) “Cruel Summer,” Bananarama 
  20. About one shot-glass worth of sunscreen is enough to cover the body.  The record for the most people applying sunscreen was on January 8, 2012, in Australia with 1,006 participants applying sunscreen for 2 minutes.
  21. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans eat 7-8 billion hot dogs.

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Red, White and Dads

Flag Day and Father’s Day. Two great reasons to celebrate with family, food and fun!

 

Flag Day and Dads just sort of go together.  Words like Honor, Respect, Leadership, Ideals, Faith and Love come to mind – something we all look up to and cherish.  Today marks the recognition of Flag Day – commemorating the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress, and on Sunday we celebrate our amazing Dad’s on Father’s Day.   At KHT, Father’s Day Is extra special, as we honor our founder and his love of solving customer’s PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs!  Below is some cool trivia I found about Flag Day and Father’s Day (thanks Wikipedia and history.com) Enjoy, and be sure to connect with Dad this weekend, or remember him in your prayers – and for each, give thanks, for we are truly blessed to have both in our lives.

 

Flag Day

  1. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday. Title 36 of the United States Code, Subtitle I, Part A, CHAPTER 1, § 110[4] is the official statute on Flag Day, making it at the president’s discretion to officially proclaim the observance.
  2. On June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday, beginning in the town of Rennerdale.
  3. Perhaps the oldest continuing Flag Day parade is in Fairfield, Washington.  Beginning in 1909 or 1910, Fairfield has held a parade every year since. Appleton, Wisconsin, claims to be the oldest National Flag Day parade in the nation, held annually since 1950.
  4. The largest Flag Day parade is held annually in Troy, New York, which bases its parade on the Quincy parade and typically draws 50,000 spectators.  In addition, the Three Oaks, Michigan, Flag Day Parade is held annually on the weekend of Flag Day and is a three-day event (they too claim to have the largest flag day parade in the nation as well as the oldest).
  5. In Washington, D.C., Flag Day is celebrated heavily through the 7th and 8th Wards of the city. It is said that Clyde Thompson is the “Godfather of Flag Day”. It is tradition in these wards to slow smoke various meats and vegetables. Click HERE for great smoker recipies.

Several people and/or organizations played instrumental roles in the establishment of a national Flag Day celebration. They are identified here in chronological order.

  1. 1861, Victor Morris of Hartford, Conn., is popularly given the credit of suggesting “Flag Day,” the occasion being in honor of the adoption of the American flag on June 14, 1777. The city of Hartford observed the day in 1861, carrying out a program of a patriotic order, praying for the success of the Federal arms and the preservation of the Union.  The observance apparently did not become a tradition.
  2. 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand – working as a grade school teacher in Waubeka, Wisconsin, in 1895, Cigrand held the first recognized formal observance of Flag Day at the Stony Hill School. From the late 1880s on, Cigrand spoke around the country promoting patriotism, respect for the flag, and the need for the annual observance of a flag day on June 14, the day in 1777 that the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes.  In June 1888, Cigrand advocated establishing the holiday in a speech before the “Sons of America,” a Chicago group and founded a magazine, American Standard, in order to promote reverence for American emblems. Cigrand became president of the American Flag Day Association and later of the National Flag Day Society, which allowed him to promote his cause with organizational backing, and once noted he had given 2,188 speeches on patriotism and the flag.
  3. 1888, William T. Kerr – a native of Pittsburgh and later a resident of Yeadon, Pennsylvania, founded the American Flag Day Association of Western Pennsylvania in 1888, and became the national chairman of the American Flag Day Association one year later, serving as such for fifty years. He attended President Harry S. Truman’s 1949 signing of the Act of Congress that formally established the observance.
  4. 1893, Elizabeth Duane Gillespie – In 1893, Gillespie, a descendant of Benjamin Franklin and the president of the Colonial Dames of Pennsylvania, attempted to have a resolution passed requiring the American flag to be displayed on all Philadelphia’s public buildings.  In 1937, Pennsylvania became the first state to make Flag Day a legal holiday.
  5. 1907, BPOE – the American fraternal order and social club the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has celebrated the holiday since the early days of the organization and allegiance to the flag is a requirement of every member.  In 1907, the BPOE Grand Lodge designated by resolution June 14 as Flag Day.  The Elks prompted President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the Order’s observance of Flag Day for its patriotic expression.
  6. 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt – launched an international “United Flag Day” or “United Nations Day”, celebrating solidarity among the World War II Allies, six months after the Declaration by United Nations.  It was observed in New York City as the “New York at War” parade, and throughout the United States and internationally from 1942-1944.
  7. The Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia – The week of June 14 (June 10–16, 2018; June 09–15, 2019; June 14–20, 2020) is designated as “National Flag Week.” During National Flag Week, the president will issue a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. The flag should also be displayed on all government buildings. Some organizations, such as the town of Dedham, Massachusetts, hold parades and events in celebration of America’s national flag and everything it represents.
  8. The National Flag Day Foundation holds an annual observance for Flag Day on the second Sunday in June (June 10, 2018; June 09, 2019; June 14, 2020). The program includes a ceremonial raising of the national flag, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem, a parade and other events.
  9. The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore, Maryland birthplace of the flag that a year later inspired Francis Scott Key (1779–1843), to pen his famous poem, has celebrated Flag Day since the inception of a museum in the home of flag-banner-pennant maker Mary Pickersgill on the historic property in 1927.
  10. On June 14, 2017, President Donald Trump, who was coincidentally born on Flag Day 1946, proclaimed Flag Day and Flag Week.

Father’s Day

  1. The “Mother’s Day” we celebrate today has its origins in the peace-and-reconciliation campaigns of the post-Civil War era. During the 1860s, at the urging of activist Ann Reeves Jarvis, one divided West Virginia town celebrated “Mother’s Work Days” that brought together the mothers of Confederate and Union soldiers.
  2. However, Mother’s Day did not become a commercial holiday until 1908, when–inspired by Jarvis’s daughter, Anna Jarvis, who wanted to honor her own mother by making Mother’s Day a national holiday–the John Wanamaker department store in Philadelphia sponsored a service dedicated to mothers in its auditorium.
  3. Thanks in large part to this association with retailers, who saw great potential for profit in the holiday, Mother’s Day caught on right away. In 1909, 45 states observed the day, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson approved a resolution that made the second Sunday in May a holiday in honor of “that tender, gentle army, the mothers of America.”
  4. The campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm–perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.”
  5. The present celebration of the Father’s Day goes back to the time of Middle Ages when the celebration of fatherhood was done with a customary day in the Catholic Europe that was observed on 19th March. The day was celebrated as the feast day of Saint Joseph who is known as the fatherly Nutritor Domini or the “Nourisher of the Lord” in the Catholic Community and is “the putative father of Jesus” in the southern European tradition. The festival was later brought to Americans by the Spanish and Portuguese whereas in Latin American countries, the occasion is still celebrated on 19th March.
  6. On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday.
  7. The next year, a Spokane, Washington, woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.
  8. Slowly, the holiday spread. In 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day.
  9. During the 1920s and 1930s, a movement arose to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether in favor of a single holiday, Parents’ Day. Every year on Mother’s Day, pro-Parents’ Day groups rallied in New York City’s Central Park–a public reminder, said Parents’ Day activist and radio performer Robert Spere, “that both parents should be loved and respected together.”
  10. Paradoxically, however, the Great Depression derailed this effort to combine and de-commercialize the holidays. Struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men, promoting goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards.
  11. When World War II began, advertisers began to argue that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort. By the end of the war, Father’s Day may not have been a federal holiday, but it was a national institution.
  12. In 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last.
  13. Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.
  14. The Father’s Day is celebrated across the world with the objective of realizing and honoring the contribution of fathers in the society. It is a day which celebrates the fatherhood, paternal bonds and the efforts of male parents towards their family and society. The day is meant to recall, recognize and remember the endless efforts, initiatives and contributions of all the fathers around us. Father’s Day is an occasion to honor all the fatherly figures like stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles or even big brothers.

Thanks Dads!

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Slowly I Turned, Step by Step…

(top) What-the-??? Who turned off the water?? Read on and find out. (row 2) Free flowing Niagra Falls.  (row 3) Thousands of tourists come every year to see this natural wonder.  (row 4) Many, many daredevils have tested the falls. Here, Daredevil Nik Wallenda makes his historic tightrope walk across the Horseshoe Falls on June 15, 2012. Zeesh!!  (row 5 left)  There’s daredevil Karel Soucek with his barrel before going over the Horseshoe falls in 1984.  (row 5 right)  There’s Karel being fished out of the river after going over the falls. (row 6 left) There’s Karel being wheeled out of the hospital after surgery. (row 6 right)  And there’s Karel a year later, after a barrel drop at the Astrodome in Houston, TX.in 1985.  R.I.P. Dear Karel Soucek.  (row 7 left)  Skylon Tower observation decks. (row 7 right) Getting up close to these incredible falls. (row 8 left) Niagra Falls is one of the greatest places for a memorable family vacation.  (row 8 right)  Apparently you can go zip-lining across the falls now. Yikes!!  (row 9) This looks like the place to stay on your visit. Remember to ask for a room facing the falls, though. (bottom)  A wonderful oil painting by American artist Thomas Cole in 1830 titled “Distant View of Niagara Falls”.  Looks like a couple of native Americans in the foreground. Probably Iroquois.

As we plan our summer breaks, I have great memories of Mom and Dad loading up the car, piling in the kids and heading off on adventures. One of my favorites is the trips we took to Niagara Falls. My lovely wife is from the Buffalo area and could never really understand my infatuation with “THE FALLS”   My memories of the Maid of The Mist ride, overlooks by the falls, and visiting Canada round out “going to see the Falls” – (I can still taste the fudge and feel the roar of the water). One year Jackie and I took our very young girls for a visit and as we walked into the hotel room, the wall facing the falls was floor to ceiling glass!  You felt like you were going to fall in. The girls dropped to their knees and crawled over to the window!  They still laugh about it to this day. This year marks the 50th anniversary of when engineers constructed a temporary dam at the mouth of the Niagara River to shut off the water flow and clear out the bedrock that had fallen at the foot of the falls (talk about a PIA Job!). Here’s some fun trivia about the project and the Falls.  Enjoy, and thanks Smithsonian and streetdirectory.com for the info.

  1. Niagara Falls has seen plenty of dramatic stunts over the centuries, ever since a local hotel owner sent a condemned ship with a “cargo of ferocious animals” over the falls in 1827 (only the goose survived the plunge).  But no feat has attracted more visitors than a scientific survey conducted in 1969, the year the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers actually turned off the American Falls.
  2. The engineers wanted to find a way to remove the unseemly boulders that had piled up at its base since 1931, cutting the height of the falls in half. The first weekend after the “dewatering,” about 100,000 people showed up to see this natural wonder without its liquid veil.
  3. It is estimated more than 250,000 tons of shale and dolomite sit at the base of the Falls.  To turn off the water, dump trucks pushed nearly 30,000 tons of earth across a 600-foot-wide opening in the river.  Instead of trying to divert all the water around to the Horseshoe Falls, engineers used the International Control Dam to redirect more than 59,000 gallons per second in to the nearby hydroelectric plants.
  4. The amount of electricity the power plants at Niagara Falls have the capacity to output is close to 4.9 million kilowatts – enough to power 3.8 million homes. On the US side, plants have a capacity of roughly 2.7 million Kilowatts, while the Canadian side’s combined capacity is close to 2.2 million kilowatts.
  5. With the river down to a trickle, a sprinkler system was installed to keep the rock face wet and prevent heat and wind damage.  After six months of study, engineers decided to keep the rocks at the base in place.
  6. The 1969 dewatering was another aesthetic intervention, but the engineers decided, surprisingly, to leave the fallen boulders alone. “Recent emphasis on environmental values has raised questions about changing natural conditions even for demonstrated natural and measurable social benefits,” they wrote in their final report.
  7. The falls—American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and the small Bridal Veil Falls—formed some 12,000 years ago, when water from Lake Erie carved a channel to Lake Ontario (see map).
  8. The name Niagara came from “Onguiaahra,” as the area was known in the language of the Iroquois people who settled there originally.
  9. After the French explorer Samuel de Champlain described the falls in 1604, word of the magnificent sight spread through Europe. A visit to Niagara Falls was practically a religious experience for many – two famous visitors stated:
    “When I felt how near to my Creator I was standing,” Charles Dickens wrote in 1842, “the first effect, and the enduring one—instant lasting—of the tremendous spectacle, was Peace.”
    Alexis de Tocqueville described a “profound and terrifying obscurity” on his visit in 1831, but he also recognized that the falls were not as invincible as they seemed. “Hasten,” Tocqueville urged a friend in a letter, or “your Niagara will have been spoiled for you.”
  10. In 1894, King C. Gillette, the future razor magnate, predicted Niagara Falls could become part of a city called Metropolis with 60 million people. A few years later, Nikola Tesla designed one of the first hydroelectric plants near the Falls. He saw it as a high point in human history: “It signifies the subjugation of natural forces to the service of man.”
  11. One and a half million gallons of water flow through the Niagara River (it’s not really a river, but a strait) every second – or one cubic mile every week and helps drains 255,000 square miles of mid-continental North America.  The water starts off in North America, coming from streams and rivers that empty into 5 out of the 6 Great Lakes; Michigan, Superior, Huron, St. Clair and Erie. These lakes drain a large part of North America, flowing down through the Great Lakes basin from West to East. The entire volume of water in those lakes is enough to cover the whole of North America in about 3.5ft (1 meter) of water.
  12. The drop from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario is 330 feet depending on seasonal water levels. The water depth of the lower rapids is 45 – 60 feet, with currents of up to 30 m.p.h. The famous whirlpool at the bottom of the Falls is 126 feet deep at the water level and spins around in a counterclockwise direction.
  13. Seven people have gone over the Horseshoe Falls in a barrel. Four lived, three died.  Only two living things have been actually seen to go over the Falls safely without special protection – a dog over the American Falls in the 1800’s and a boy over the Horseshoe Falls in 1960.
  14. Five large boats and innumerable small ones have gone over the Falls, many with people in them.  A free swimmer has never conquered the lower rapids
  15. Niagara Falls today is the result of the push and pull of exploitation and preservation. The Free Niagara Movement successfully lobbied to create a park around the site in the 1880s, but the changes continued. In 1950, the United States and Canada decided to divert 50 percent of the water from Niagara Falls through underwater tunnels to hydroelectric turbines during peak tourist hours.
  16. At night, the water flow over the falls is cut in half again. Engineers manipulate the flow using 18 gates upstream. The engineers who built the diversion tunnels also made several modifications to the actual falls, excavated both edges of the Horseshoe Falls to create a visually pleasing crest.
  17. At some point, the United States and Canada will face the same dilemma again: Do they intervene to maintain the falls or let natural processes unfold? Even with the decreased rate of deterioration, the falls regress a little every year. In about 15,000 years, the cliff edge will reach a riverbed of soft shale—and then Nature will upstage any human efforts. Niagara Falls will crumble and irrevocably disappear.

 

Fun links:

Three Stooges!!
Fun music and video of the falls.
Relaxing Nature: Niagara Falls.