September 15 - Submersion and Immersion

Posted on September 15, 2019

This is French artist Olivier de Sepibus.

He creates huge art pieces:

This sort of land art speaks to humanity's place in the environment and humanity's relationship with natural materials.

Sepibus likes the idea that viewers can be inside the art piece - submerged into the art, immersed in the art...

This is the anniversary of the Submersion and Immersion installation in an arboretum in France, in 2009.

I love the series of cubes Sepibus created and documented with photography:

cold cube

 hot cube

wood cube in the woods

rock cube in rocky mountains

Also on this date:

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September 14 – A Whole Lotta Holidays!!

(Second Saturday of September)
Posted on September 14, 2019

There are all these national days meant to focus our attention on important issues or the products that advertisers are trying to get us to buy... There are silly "holidays" and food "holidays" and so MANY holidays that, when I checked out holidays for the day, I found a bunch of special days meant to be celebrated on the second Saturday of September:

Banana Festival - Today is a chance for the people of Fulton, Kentucky, and South Fulton, Tennessee, to go bananas! The twin cities focus their concerts, races, and fair-like festivities on bananas because, in the late 1800s, the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad was the first railroad to offer refrigerated cars, and so Chiquita (as it is now named) used that railroad to ship bananas north from New Orleans. It was Fulton that had the only ice house on the route north to Chicago! 

Farmers' Consumer Awareness Day - This worthwhile event, which is located in Washington, connects farmers and consumers as farmers show off farm equipment and give tours of their farms, and consumers get to ask questions about techniques and practices. The emphasis isn't just on growing and harvesting foods, but also how those foods get to the grocery store - the entire story of where our food comes from. 

International Drive Your Studebaker Day - The Sudebaker Drivers Club sets up this annual day, but people are urged to have fun driving their Studebakers wherever they are. Of course local chapters of the club can organize to actually get together and host an event.   

National Hollerin' Day - Spivey's Corner, North Carolina, has held an annual hollerin' contest for decades now. Hollerin' may be the earliest sort of communication humans ever used. The contest is for fun but also started as a fundraiser for a volunteer fire department. 
There are four categories of hollers, apparently: communicative hollers, warnings/distress, functional farm/field/work hollers, and hollers for pleasure (these are more like music than the others). Check out more here 

National Iguana Awareness Day - Iguanas are wonderful creatures - large lizards that eat leaves, flowers, and fruit; swim; and live in trees. They're so cool that loads of people want them for pets - BUT! When almost a million iguanas are imported from tropical locales every year for the pet trade, you know you're going to have problems!
Iguanas are not great starter pets - they need special care and can be aggressive. It's hard to get veterinary care for iguanas. Also, people often buy iguanas when they are small and inexpensive - but the lizards can grow to six feet in length! Most pet owners cannot provide the right kind of home for iguanas. 
Many iguanas imported as pets to warm places like Florida are released by unhappy pet owners - or escape - and they tend to wreak havoc on local ecosystems!

Basically, the awareness we should have about iguanas is: it's nice to learn about these marvelous lizards, and to admire them - but we probably shouldn't keep them as pets!

Prairie Day - This family-oriented event occurs in Missouri at the George Washington Carver National Monument. This fun and educational day not only offers insight into the agriculturalist and inventor G. W. Carver, but it's also a celebration of covered-wagon days and pioneers. We're talking horse-drawn wagon rides, quilt shows, demonstrations of everything from banjo building to basket weaving, cider making, and all manner of storytelling, singing and dulcimer playing, and a horse show!

September 13 - 9x13 Day

Posted on September 13, 2019

Oooh, that letter "x"!

It's such a great letter in the middle or end of words - who doesn't like Fox in Socks or Max from Where the Wild Things Are? And taxis and boxes - although I'm not as fond of taxes and waxy build-up!

The letter "x" is more of a problem at the beginning of a word - except X-ray, which is super easy! 

Usually, "x" at the beginning of a word sounds like a "z." So...why don't we just use the letter "z"? (In case you're wondering the same thing, it all comes from Greek root words and the difficulty native English speakers have with pronouncing the initial [ks] sound.)

Moving on from phonics to math - hoo, boy, does "x" ever get a workout!!!??!

Is it the name of an axis?

A variable (something that stands for an unknown number)?

A sign for multiplication?

A way of saying "groups of"?

A way of saying "by" when talking about area or measurements?

That last one - finally! - is the way we use "x" in today's special day. "Nine-by-thirteen" or "9x13" Day is called that because a popular pan size is - for those who use inches rather than centimeters - nine inches wide and thirteen inches long. (Most of these pans are about 2 inches deep, but that's not mentioned in most recipes.)
If you Google 9x13, in addition to learning that 9 times 13 is 117, you will see a LOT of pans on offer - metal, glass, Nordic ware - cake pans, baking dishes - covered pans - pans for lasagna...Eventually you'll find recipes.

Of course, 9x13 Day HAS to be celebrated on 9/13 (September 13) - and how you celebrate it is by cooking, baking, and eating stuff in every 9x13 pan you own. I suggest a breakfast casserole with eggs, cheese, and a few veggies; a pan pizza followed by raspberry pretzel jello at lunchtime; cheese lasagna for dinner; and a yummy sheet cake for dessert.