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Hurricane Season is Here - How to Prepare

Brianna Loftin - Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Here are some things to remember during hurricane season, or if you receive a Hurricane Watch or Warning:

  • Fill up your gas tank, everyone has  seen people trying to get out of town, only to run out of gas in traffic.
  • Charge any devices that you may need to use, especially cell phones and computers. 
  • Set your refrigerator and freezer to the lowest setting before the storm hits and make sure not to open it frequently so that your food stays cool and doesn't spoil. Consider putting a thermometer in your refrigerator to make sure that food is at an acceptable temperature. Temperatures about 40 degrees F rapidly grow bacteria.
  • Ready your disaster supply kit, including; first aid, batteries and flashlights.
  • Make sure you have enough food and other essential supplies in case you are flooded in or lose power.
  • If there is a hurrican warning, defintely board up your windows and remove or secure any items that could blow over and cause damage in strong winds.
  • Remember to stay safe and don't go into flooded waters, there can be hidden dangers in the water, and electrical currents from downed power lines.

 

Daylight Saving Time Fact and Myth - Why do we do this Again?

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Our office is re-enacting the annual, "so why do we have daylight saving time again?" story-line.  

I jokingly stated that, whoever came up with the idea of DST, obviously didn't have kids. My boss retorted that it was instated to keep kids from having to take the bus in the dark. Of course I added the common misconception, that it was the farmers that wanted DST so that they could increase their hours of working in the fields, way before buses were even imagined. Apparently I was wrong, and farmers were actually deeply opposed to the time change.  

Another fallacy about the origin of DST is that it was brought about by Benjamin Franklin. He was an incredible man and inventor, but also witty, which was his intent when writing his satirical essay about changing sleep schedules so that Parisians could save money by waking at dawn and utilizing sunshine, rather than staying up late burning through candles.  

Like much of our ingenuity, DST was actually brought about to conserve electricity because of wartime measures during WWI. We have continued to implement the time change so that children do not have to go to school in the dark, and of course walk uphill both ways.  

So it turns out that we all had pieces of the story correct, but not the whole picture. Unfortunately this is ubiquitous for much of history, and society needs to do a much better job of remembering, so that we don't repeat past mistakes, even if it is just not repeating the same discussion you had before. 

My Sources



Happy Thanksgiving - 10 Interesting Facts about Thanksgiving

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving is loved by historians because it is a holiday that we celebrate that is actually celebrated in nearly the same way that it began.  Here are some interesting facts about Thanksgiving to get you started off on the right foot: 

1. The first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony in 1621, but it wasn't until more than 200 years later, that President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day became an official national holiday in 1941.

2. In 1939 President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the third week in November, hoping it would boost the shopping season during the Depression. It never caught on and was changed back two years later.

3. The first Thanksgiving was eaten with spoons and knives — but no forks! Forks weren't even introduced to the Pilgrims until 10 years later and weren't a popular utensil until the 18th century.

4. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the eagle.  (He was a brilliant man, but I'm glad we didn't take his advise on this one)

5. Fossil evidence shows that turkeys roamed the Americas 10 million years ago.

6. A spooked turkey can run at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. They can also burst into flight approaching speeds between 50-55 mph in a matter of seconds.

7. The Guinness World Records for the largest pumpkin pie, weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. Baked on October 8, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust. :O 

8. Female turkeys (hens) do not gobble. Only male turkeys gobble.

9. Originally known as Macy’s Christmas Parade—to signify the launch of the Christmas shopping season—the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. It was launched by Macy’s employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, 3 million people attend the annual parade and another 44 million watch it on television.

10. Thanksgiving was almost a fast — not a feast! The early settlers gave thanks by praying and abstaining from food, which is what they planned on doing to celebrate their first harvest, until the Wampanoag Indians joined them and turned their fast into a three-day feast! That is definitely something to give thanks for!

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Incredible Cats

Brianna Loftin - Thursday, November 03, 2016

We turned the TV on to watch the final game of the World Series and were immediately drawn into the already tuned in program, "The Story of Cats" a PBS Nature mini series.
These shots beat out all of the You Tube Cat videos that I've seen.  The first cat we were drawn to was the "Fishing Cat" which I have never even heard of, and then we were blown away by the beautiful images of the snow leopard running through the mountains in Nepal.  The stunning beauty and interesting information kept us glued to the TV until the program finally ended, and the Cubs won, (Congrats Cubs, finally!)  

I'm looking forward to the airing of the second part of the mini series "Into the Americas" on November 9, 2016 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS.  Of course you can watch it online, but watching it in real time is always more fun.  I didn't want anyone to miss out on such awesome cats! I swear, I'm not a cat person, but who doesn't love a good cat video?

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