Today is the day for a very famous and inspiring song to each and every one of us. I was an English major in school and want to go through the first couple of lines to show the great meaning they express. “Happy birthday to you.” This wishes a very merry birthday to the recipient of the song. The second line is “Happy birthday to you.” Like New York City, it is a line so nice they used it twice. The third line is a small twist on a familiar theme “Happy birthday dear Alexander Graham Bell,” and then “Happy birthday to you!” On this day some 165 years ago, Alexander Graham Bell was being born in Edinburgh, Scotland. If he had just been born 29 years later, his parents may have been able to call all of their relatives instead of filling out all of those annoying letters. The day that Alexander Graham Bell is most famous for is just a few days later in the month of March, March 10, 1876. On this fateful day, he uttered the first words ever transmitted verbally over a wire. “Mr Watson – Come here – I want to see you.” I probably would have picked something slightly more interesting as the first words ever transmitted over a telephone. Perhaps I would have said, “Did you know that 8 out of 3 people don’t get fractions?” That would have at least gotten people thinking.
When researching Alexander Graham Bell for this post, I found out something I had never known about him. His mother started losing her hearing when he was just 12. His father was one of the foremost at the time in teaching deaf mutes to communicate and Alexander spent time himself instructing the instructors at schools of the blind like modern day Horace Mann School for the Deaf. Because of his work with the deaf, I decided to try a little sign language myself.
Today is also what I am dubbing “National” National Anthem Day. When Francis Scott Key wrote the poem “Defence of Fort Henry,” he had no idea that when set to music his poem would become a beacon of hope for generations to come. I am pretty sure this day is supposed to highlight all national anthems, but just like I usually ignore the TV when the Canadian national anthem is played during All-Star games (no offense Canada just not my cup of maple syrup), the only one I wanted to talk about was the one for the country I call home.
I was talking to A the other day and he said that American’s are pretty lazy. Saying hello to someone went from “Hello. How are you?” to “How’s it going?” to “What’s Up?” to “Wassup” to “Yo” to my all time favorite the all knowing head nod. Well, would you expect any different from us with our National Anthem? Did you know its actually four verses long? The entire poem actually has some pretty powerful lines. If you do nothing else on this “National” National Anthem Day, check out the full Star Spangled Banner.
Living in DC, I have the privilege of going to the American History Museum and seeing the actual flag that inspired the anthem at any time. I went there yesterday with my camera phone in tow. Photography is not allowed once you walk in to the exhibit but I am a rebel. For full disclosure, I have to admit that my heart was racing the whole time.
Afterwards to make up for it, I decided to contribute some funds to the museum in one of those glass containers near the entrance.
Money spent for March: $2
:::::::::::::::::BONUS HOLIDAY ALERT:::::::::::::::::::
Every once in a while that it comes to my attention that a holiday has been over looked that is so legendary, so momentous, so delightful that it is a tragedy that it was not included in the original line up. I welcome anyone and everyone letting me know of a holiday that they think I should celebrate. This is one of those such holidays- National Platypus Day!
At first like many of you are now, I was skeptical. But the platypus is arguable the greatest animal that not even in a morphine induced dream could Darwin have imagined. Here are five reasons why you should take time today to either pet a platypus, buy a platypus or at the very least stand at a random intersection and scream the word “platypus”.
- Platypus are one of the few mammals that give birth to eggs. This is eggzactly what I am talking about. Awesome!
- This animal is so awesome that scientists cannot even agree on what to call a group of them… Platypuses or Platypus.
- Platypuses store extra fat in their tails. Kim Kardashian would be proud.
- The male Platypus produce poison that is strong enough to kill some animals like a dog.
- Platypuses can sense changes in electrical current and use this to hunt by moving their head from side to side.
If all of this was not enough to convince you to love this creature, there may be no hope for you yet. Platypuses live to be as old as 17 so they have plenty of time to win you over.
Oh before I forget, one of my favorite TV shows featured a platypus in the last episode. If you got a second, enjoy below.