Archive | June, 2013

National Handshake Day

June 30 is National Handshake Day!

Handshakes are used for a variety of purposes: meeting new people, greeting or parting from others, expressing thanks or congratulations, making an agreement, closing a business deal, conveying good sportsmanship towards your opponent after a game, and making a first impression on a job interview. So why not celebrate this every day act? Use National Handshake Day to find an excuse to shake people’s hands, make up a secret handshake with your best friend, or improve your handshaking etiquette and technique.

Improvement is also learning about what not to do, so be aware of the top 10 handshakes to avoid.

Did You Know…Back in the 5th century BC, the handshake was used as a gesture of peace through which two people showed that they were not holding weapons in their hands.


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Waffle Iron Day

June 29 is Waffle Iron Day!

On Waffle Iron Day, keep the frozen, store-bought waffles in the freezer and swap your toaster for a waffle iron. Today is all about celebrating the waffle iron by making homemade waffles! Sure, you might spend a little more time in the kitchen, but homemade waffles beat frozen waffles any day. Just make the waffle batter, pour into a preheated waffle iron, cook until golden brown and add the topping of your choice, such as syrup, chocolate chips or fruit.

Need a recipe?Waffles with Strawberries

(Classic) Waffles

Whole Grain Waffles

Belgian Waffles

Did You Know…that waffles date back to the Athenians of ancient Greece? Of course, they didn’t have waffle irons back then, so their version of waffles, or obelios, were flat cakes cooked between two metal plates. Obelios were topped with cheeses and herbs.

Read more about waffle and waffle iron history here.


Photo source: By Parkerman & Christie from San Diego, USA (Crispy Waffles with Strawberries) via Wikimedia Commons





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National Ceviche Day

June 28 is National Ceviche Day!

Ceviche is a popular seafood dish, particularly in Peru where it is an essential meal within their culinary culture. It is typically made with fresh, raw fish (usually tuna, snapper, or shrimp) that has been marinated in lime juice.  Ceviche can come seasoned with onions, salt, cilantro, and a variety of other herbs and spices.

The first National Ceviche Day was celebrated in 2009, and the holiday continues to grow in popularity – probably because ceviche is so delicious! Celebrate this yummy food holiday by going out for some ceviche or making your own from these great recipes.


Sources:, Eatocracy

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Sunglasses Day

Audrey Hepburn WayfarersJune 27 is Sunglasses Day!

You wear sunglasses for many reasons: to make a fashion statement, to look like a glamorous celebrity, or for when you want to be incognito. However, the number one reason to wear sunglasses is to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Spend the day picking out the perfect pair of sunglasses – and by perfect, we’re not just talking about style. When shopping for shades, the most important thing you should look for is complete UVA and UVB protection…but that’s not all. Click here to find out why you should wear sunglasses and what to look for when shopping for that perfect pair.


Sources:, webmd

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Derek Jeter’s Birthday

Major League Baseball’s star shortstop Derek Jeter was born on June 26, 1974 in Pequannock Township, New Jersey. He was drafted right out of high school by the New York Yankees in 1992 and has been playing with the team ever since.

Derek Jeter has played 18 seasons with the Yankees since his Major League debut on May 29, 1995. In 1996, Derek Jeter became the starting shortstop for the Yankees, won the Rookie of the Year, and helped his team to the first of five World Series victories.

Throughout his athletic career, Derek Jeter has been included among the ranks of leading hitters and runners within the Major League Baseball organization. His accolades include: 13 All Star selections, 5 Gold Gloves, 5 Silver Sluggers, 2 Hank Aaron Awards, and a Roberto Clemente Award.

Jeter leads the league in hits by a shortstop and holds the record for most hits, games played, stolen bases, and at bats by any New York Yankees player in history.

Happy Birthday Derek Jeter!


Sources: Wikipedia, Biography

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Michael Jackson Dies at 50

Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop”, died on June 25, 2009 at his home in Los Angeles, California. Known affectionately by his fans as “MJ”, Michael died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication after having a heart attack. His death was ruled a homicide by the LA County Coroner’s Office and after the case went to court, Michael’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The news of Michael Jackson’s death was met with grief from fans the world over, and his memorial service was broadcast to the public.

Michael Jackson and his music live on, as he was an international figure in popular music for more than 40 years. The Guinness Book of World Records named him the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time due to his many accomplishments within the music industry.

Sources: Wikipedia, Biography

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Picasso’s First Exhibition

On June 24, 1901, 19-year-old Pablo Picasso had the first major exhibition of his artwork shown at a gallery in Paris on the famed rue Lafitte. The exhibition featured 75 original pieces of the relatively unknown Spanish artist, and the first critics of his art applauded his showing but blasted him for the quantity of influence from French painters. He would go on to harness a style that was completely his own, often marked by periods (Blue, Rose, Cubism, etc.).

Check out some of our awesome 2014 art calendars featuring work by none other than Pablo Picasso!

Sources: History, OUP Blog

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National Pecan Sandies Day

Pecan sandies, or “sand tarts,” are similar to the sugar cookie but with a nutty addition – pecans! Celebrate this classic cookie on June 23 by baking a batch to share with your friends, family, or co-workers.

Looking for the perfect pecan sandies recipe? Word around the web is the best pecan sandies recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen. Deb, the blog’s writer/cook, snagged this pecan sandies recipe from Claudia Fleming’s “Last Course,” claiming that one of the geniuses behind the recipe is the addition of one small step: “…toast [the cookies] until they’re very dark, which, combined with sugar, brings out an almost maple-y flavor. […] the pecan flavor is louder and the cookie tastes more grownup than what we might be used to.”

Deb also offers some tips for dressing up your pecan sandies – dip half the cookie in melted chocolate or top with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar, for example.

To put a healthy spin on your pecan sandies, use whole wheat flour and replace half of the butter with canola oil or use half a cup of canola oil and half a cup of applesauce.

And for the super healthy conscious, those with food allergies, or anyone on a special diet, check out Erica Kerwien’s (of sugar-, gluten-, grain-, and lactose-free Salted Pecan Sandies.



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Galileo Sentenced to Prison

Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei was put on trial by the Catholic Church in 1633 for his belief that the Earth revolved around the sun.

His conflict with the Catholic Church originated around 1610 with the publication of his work Sidereus Nuncius, in which he expressed his support of Copernican astronomy. Galileo was ordered to turn himself in to the Holy Office after the Church decided that the Earth was the center of the universe, and therefore Galileo’s teachings were heresy.

On June 22, 1633 Galileo was found guilty of heresy and he was sentenced in three parts: he would serve time under house arrest (which he did for the rest of his life), he was expected to reject and deny his previous opinions, and his further works were banned from publication. It took the Catholic Church 300 years to clear Galileo’s name of heresy and admit that his beliefs were correct.

Sources: Wikipedia, History

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Niccolo Machiavelli Dies at 58

Niccolo Machiavelli, renowned Renaissance-era Italian historian, politician, and writer, was born in Florence, Italy on May 3, 1469.

During the Medici family exile, Machiavelli worked as a member of the Florentine Republic specializing in handling military and diplomatic matters for 14 years. When the Medici family resumed power in 1512, he was dismissed from his post and imprisoned. Making use of his newly found free time, he authored The Prince, a political guide of sorts to ruthless ruling and cunning. Niccolo Machiavelli died on June 21, 1527.

Today, Machiavelli is considered the father of modern political theory, specifically dealing with ethics in politics. Niccolo also inspired the term Machiavellianism, which means “the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct”.


Sources: Wikipedia, Biography

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