Friday, March 16, 2012

Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day.  Am I the only one seeing a disconnect here? 

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the High Holy Days for inebriants (In fact, I think it’s the only one).
Not only is “binge till blotto” assumed on that day, it’s widely encouraged.  I can’t think of another day when you can see someone in a green (or any color) shirt staggering down the street, wasted, at 10:00am and think “Oh, it must be St. Patrick’s Day!”   Even on New Year’s Eve, we generally wait till dinnertime.

Not that I’m against this last vestige of the bacchanalia, I’m only commenting on Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Overheard at the Bar
Concerned Inebriant: Do you know how many brain cells you lose when you get wasted?
Wasted Inebriant:  Do you know how many brain cells you have???  Kagillions!!!

Tomorrow, when you find yourself desperately trying to figure out how many commas there are in a kagillion, put down that jaeger-bomb and walk away to fight another day, or…

If you think you know how many commas there are in a kagillion, try this simple test:

Things That Are Difficult to Say When Drunk:

Things That Are Very Difficult to Say When Drunk:

Things That Are Downright IMPOSSIBLE to Say When Drunk:
Quite the lovely evening for a drive isn't it Officer.
I suppose we could…but I think that would be wrong.
I’m sorry, but I promised myself I wouldn’t take anyone home tonight.

Give yourself a point for each statement correctly made to an attractive member of the
opposite (or same) sex and be honest in your scoring.

Less than 3 points:  Take the next cab home before you hurt yourself
3-6 points:  Hand over your keys and your drink, but stay to sing the cool drinking songs.
6-9 points:  Start drinking again, you're obviously doing something wrong!  

     Have a great, and safe, St. Patrick’s Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beware the Ides of March???

Back in the day, say about 1st century BC, the Ides of March were simply another reason to celebrate.  It would roughly equate to Wednesday, half the week is done, half the week till the weekend.

In the lunar Roman calendar month there were three important dates:

  • Kalends  - originally thought to be associated with the new moon, it was the first day of the month and was then, as it is now, the day the bills fall due.  At the beginning of the year Kalends is New Years Day.
  • Nones – the seventh day of the month and associated with the half moon.  Also the day the month’s Feriae, or free festival days, were announced.
  • Ides -  mid-month generally the 15th day, associated with the full moon.  The Ides of March were a festive occasion with parades to honor Mars, the Roman God of War.

Confusingly, the other days of the month were referred to by their relation to the closest forward of these three dates and counting backwards from it.  The 30th of October would be called III Kalends November.  Funny how this never caught on past the Middle Ages.


     The Historical Inebriant:  Bloody Caesar



  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 4 oz clamato juice
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • dash of Tabasco sauce
  • celery salt
  • lime wedge
  • pepper to taste
  • celery salt
  • celery stalk for garnish

Rim a highball glass with juice from a lime wedge and a combination of celery salt and salt.
Add the vodka and clamato juice.
Season with pepper, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces to taste.
Stir well.

Et tu, Brute?e tu

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Trouble ahead, trouble behind…

1863 – John Luther “Casey” Jones was born on this day in Jackson, Tennessee.   The legendary railroad engineer who was always known for bringing his train in on time, lost his life bravely trying to save the lives of his passengers.

On a rainy and foggy April 29, 1900, Casey brought his train the “Cannonball” into Memphis from Canton dead on time. Normally he would overnight in Memphis to make the return trip the next day but Casey learned the engineer scheduled to make that night’s return trip was ill and Casey volunteered to make the trip. He pulled the train out of the station about an hour and thirty-five minutes late but intended to make up the time by increasing his speed on the run.

Casey had nearly made up nearly all the time on the run by about 4 a.m. and was traveling about 75 miles per hour as the train rounded a left hand a corner near Vaughin, Mississippi.  Suddenly, Simeon Webb, the trains fireman saw the lights of a stopped freight train on the track ahead.  "Oh my Lord, there's something on the main line!" he yelled to Jones. Knowing there was not enough track to stop the train, Jones quickly yelled back "Jump Sim, jump!" The fireman jumped to safety about 300 feet before impact.  Jones stayed on his train, reversing his engines and putting on the brake while continually blowing the whistle to alert people in the stopped train in front of them. 

Jones engine car quickly plowed through the wooden caboose and three other cars of the stopped train before leaving the tracks but he had slowed the train enough that none of his passengers and no one on the stopped train had serious injuries.  Jones himself was the only fatality that day, the story goes that when his body was pulled from the wreckage his hands still clutched the whistle cord and the brake.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Planets

On this day in 1781 William Herschel discovered Uranus, the 7th planet from the sun and the first planet to be discovered in modern times.  Hershel, an astronomer and composer, discovered the planet (named for the primeval Greek god of the sky) while searching for double stars.
Herschel was also a very accomplished telescope maker.  Later in life, while testing different filters to observe sun spots, Herschel found heat being produced when red filters were used.   He had inadvertently discovered infrared radiation in sunlight by passing it through a prism.  The Herschel telescope named for him located in the Canary Islands uses this technology to explore deep space.

The German-born British astronomer also composed 24 symphonies.

As an interesting side note on this day in 1930, word of the discovery of the planet
Pluto was telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory.

As an aside to an aside, the English composer of German descent Gustav Holst
wrote a seven movement orchestral suite entitled “The Planets”

Monday, March 12, 2012

The 100th Anniversary of the Girl Scouts

March is Women’s History Month and in keeping with that theme let’s celebrate the 100th Birthday of the Girls Scouts organization.

On this day in 1912, Juliette Gordon Low registered the first 18 girls into the Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia.  Their mission of Girl Scouting would be to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who would make the world a better place. 

Today, there are over 3 million Girl Scouts in the United States serving their communities by promoting the issues effecting young women such as healthy media images, social and emotional well being and leadership opportunities for women.

And of course, there are the cookies…
Whether it’s Thin Mints, Samoas®, or, my favorite, Lemonades™ everyone in America knows the GS by their cookies.  (here’s where the drinking comes in)