The First Day of Spring

20 03 2008

Welcome to the first day of Spring 2008! The first day of Spring is the day that the vernal equinox, which is when the sun is directly over the equator. Well, that happened at 1:48am, EST. So, Spring has sprung. Time to…plant flowers and unpack all those spring clothes! I love winter, it is always my favorite season, but looking out the window at the office today, seeing how sunny it was, and some of the trees are even blooming, it was nice. It made me wish that I was outside, and not sitting at a desk. Plenty of time for that this weekend, though. Oh…wait….they’ve predicted snow for this weekend. Well, after a quick venture outside, I realized that it is very windy, and because of that, pretty cold. Happy first day of Spring to all of you! I hope that many of you are having nicer weather than the windy treatment we are getting here in DC!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

17 03 2008

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, in which we celebrate the Saint Patrick, patron Saint of Ireland. In the Roman-Catholic church, the holiday is celebrated by a feast (unless it falls on Palm Sunday, which won’t happen again until 2160). In Ireland, there is a five-day festival that includes a parade, Irish food, and thousands dressed in green. Green was not the original color of the holiday, however. Blue was the color long associated with St. Patrick. However in more modern times, green because the color closely associated with the holiday as a part of the “wearing of the green,” an Irish tradition that meant wearing a shamrock pinned on one’s clothes, symbolizing Irish nationality, or loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith. The official day of the holiday is March 17th, the date of St. Patrick’s death, and is a bank holiday in Ireland. Here in the United States, many celebrate the holiday, although it is not an observed holiday. In Chicago, the Chicago River is dyed green for the holiday.
In New York, there is a parade that goes right past St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Photobucket
St. Patrick’s Day is usually celebrated in the US as a day of revelry, wearing green, and drinking. The restaurant Bennigan’s is an Irish pub style restaurant, and they really get into celebrating St. Patty’s Day. They serve green beer, and their website even has a place where you can send your friends “lepregrams”. As children, we are told to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, or else we will get pinched. Because of the general merriment (and the fact that the bank is open) of the holiday, it is generally viewed as a day to wear green, tell lore of creatures called Leprechauns who hide a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, and drink Guiness. But in Ireland, this is a widely recognized holiday, celebrating their Patron Saint. It is easy to forget that there is a serious aspect to the holiday. So, wear your green, lest you fall victim to pinching, and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. Slaintè!

Happy π Day!

14 03 2008

Yes, today happens to be 3/14/2008, or 3.14, which most people recognize as the universal number for Pi. So, today is Pi Day. It has it’s own website, which you can find here. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Math and tech nerds everywhere are celebrating 3.14 in their own way. This website is celebrating by a ceremony called “The Dropping of the Giant Pi.” Think the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, only a lot more geeky. I believe it is slated to drop at 1.59pm, although I couldn’t tell you if that was EST, CST, or whathaveyou (3.14159). The site is currently playing a replay of last year’s pi drop, incase you need to get into the spirit.
Here are some popular Pi jokes, for your enjoyment.
Q: What do you call what happens when you cut a jack’o’lantern by its diameter?
A: Pumpkin Pi!
Q: What do you get when you take green cheese and divide its circumference by its diameter?
A: Moon Pi.
Q:What do you get when you take the sun and divide its circumference by its diameter?
A: Pi in the sky.
You can find more from Professor Al G. Bra here.
Happy π Day from me to you!

Two Days

12 02 2008

Good morning, this lovely (albeit still very cold!) Tuesday. We inch closer and closer to Valentine’s Day as the days pass. Hints for all you guys out there, if you haven’t already made plans, you might want to get on the ball! In the spirit of the holiday, how about some Valentine’s Day trivia?
The Roman god Cupid is said to be a symbol of love, because he was supposedly the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of Love. He is known for being the mischevious winged child who shoots people through the heart with his magic arrows, causing them to fall deeply in love.
This commonly used closing dates back to pre-modern eras, or at least half of it does. The X was once a symbol of honesty and the Christian cross. It was used to sign documents because most people in these pre-modern eras were illiterate. Along with the X, one would kiss the page to show sincerity, hence the connection between an X and a kiss. The O was added much later by Americans, signifying one’s arms reaching around another, or a hug.
Stay tuned for more Valentine’s Day trivia, a Valentine’s Day music playlist, and updates on the Potomac Primary.