Friday, July 1, 2011

It's the second half of the year

Unless your fiscal year begins today. In that case, Happy New Years!

According to the Gregorian calendar, July is the seventh month. On the Roman calendar, it was the fifth month and it was called 'Quintilis', meaning 'fifth'. Julius Caesar gave the month 31 days in 46 B.C. Being a dictator he could. Luckily for us he didn't authorize the constant changing of underpants or most of the glory that was Rome may never have been built, due the high laundry bills. The Roman Senate named it 'Julius', in honor of Caesar because - well, he was a dictator.

July is usually the hottest month of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. July is one of the winter months in the Southern Hemisphere. The climate is mild in most of the Southern Hemisphere, with the exception of the COLD Antarctica, and the cold, rainy part of South America.

During July, when there isn't much rain, the grass often loses it's greenness. Some flowers are abundant in July, because they strive on the heat. Also, insects are abundant as well - life is striving in July (in the Northern Hemisphere anyway)!

Independence Day is observed in the United States on July 4. On that day in 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. In France, a similar holiday, Bastille Day, occurs on July 14 (although they did not adopt the Declaration of Independence.) Several other countries celebrate national independence in July. Independence Day is celebrated in Venezuela on July 5; in Argentina, July 9; in Belgium, July 21; and in Peru, July 28.

In my home, July 12th is a national holiday.

July is chock-a-block of celebrations

Here is your Today in History:

July 1 -
Canada celebrates Canada Day (Canadian for "Fourth of July") today. Canada is the second-largest nation in the world. It is not part of the United States.

In the 143 years of their nationhood, Canadians have given the world paint rollers, snowmobiles, electric organs, green ink, toboggans, snow blowers, plexiglass, and the push-up bra.

Canada has about the same population as California, but fewer Scientologists.

According to the 2007 World Drug Report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Canada has the dubious honour of leading the industrialized world in marijuana use, at least when calculated as a percentage of population.

Today is the 31th anniversary of the Canadian national anthem, 'Like America, But Colder.'

Canada's leading export to the United States is Canadians. Dan Aykroyd, who happens to have been born exactly 59 years ago today, is one.

Pamela Anderson is another, and was also born today, although she's younger (most of her is 40ish, but some parts are significantly younger).

Other Canadian exports: Bryan Adams, Paul Anka, Alexander Graham Bell, Raymond Burr (of nipple rouge fame), John Candy, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion, Michael J. Fox, John Kenneth Galbraith, Lorne Greene, Peter Jennings, kd lang, Marshall McLuhan, Joni Mitchell, Alice Munro, Oscar Peterson, William Shatner, Alex Trebek, Shania Twain, Neil Young and of course Leonard Cohen.

Canada's national bird is the beaver.

July 1, 1912 -
Drama critic Harriet Quimby took a passenger up in her new Blériot monoplane from Boston to fly over Dorchester Bay at the Harvard-Boston Aviation Meet. As she descended for landing, the plane went into a dive and, without seat belts, she and her passenger were thrown out into the shallow water of the bay, where they struck the muddy bottom and were crushed to death.

Quimby was the first American to receive a pilot's license (1911) and was the first woman to solo across the English Channel (1912).

Kids, put on the damn seat belt.

If you are traveling today, have a safe and sane Fourth of July. (As usual, I've already left for my mini vacation - so if I missed some breaking news event, like photos of Anthony Weiner posing for Oscar Meyer's "Tube Steak Boy of the day" shows up - you'll have to excuse me.)

And so it goes.

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