February 28, 2017

World Tailors Day is an annual day observed on February 28, the birthday of Sir William Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine by using the lock stitch loop method in the year 1845.

Actually, Charles Fredrick Wiesenthal, a German-born engineer was awarded the first patent for a mechanical device to aid the art of sewing, in 1755. For the next century, the sewing machine saw generations of improvements. Elias Howe, an American living in England, was the first to combine all the elements into a practical machine and he filed a U.S. patent in 1845.

Meanwhile back in the colonies, the infamous Isaac Merrittt Singer had seen a sewing machine being repaired and decided to make a better one. Singer was granted a patent in 1851.

When Howe returned to the States and learned of Singer’s machine he took him to court, where Howe won and Singer was forced to pay a lump sum for all machines already produced. Singer then took out a license under Howe’s patent and paid him $1.15 per machine.


February 27, 2017

International Polar Bear Day is an annual event celebrated every February 27 to raise awareness about the conservation status of the polar bear and related environmental issues, especially global warming.

Organizers encourage people to find ways to reduce their carbon output, such as by turning down their thermostat or driving less.
50% of the emissions that contribute to global warming are from heating and cooling.

The University of Saskatchewan announced in 2014 that it would be turning its thermostats up two degrees in the summer and down two degrees Celsius in the winter to honor International Polar Bear Day.

The decision is said to have reduced the university’s carbon emissions by two-thousand tons and saved the university over two-hundred thousand dollars per year. I couldn’t find any verifiable proof of this. Does anyone else know?


February 26, 2017

On February 26 1616, Galileo Galilei was formally banned by the Roman Catholic Church for teaching or defending the view that the Earth obits the sun. Interestingly enough, this is also the date of the 2017 annular solar eclipse. An annular eclipse happens when the Moon covers the Sun’s center, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a “ring of fire” or annulus around the Moon. The 2017 eclipse is only visible in the southern hemisphere, but you can watch it live on the Slooh Astronomy Network.


February 25, 2017

Meher Baba (born Merwan Sheriar Irani) was born on February 25, 1849. An Indian spiritual leader, he taught that the physical world is an illusion and that each soul is really God passing through the imagination to realize, individually, His own divinity. I could find no exact number of his followers, but they seem to number in the thousands.

During the 1920s, Meher Baba opened a school, hospital and dispensary at Meherabad. All three were free and open to all castes and faiths. And from 1925 at age 31 until his death at 75, he maintained complete silence, communicating only with an alphabet board and hand gestures.

In the 1930s, Meher Baba traveled extensively using a Persian passport. He had given up writing as well as speaking and would not sign the forms required by the British government of India.

On 31 January 1969, Meher Baba died at his home in Meherazad. His last words, conveyed by gestures were, “Do not forget that I am God.”

I confess I had not heard of Meher Baba until I started researching this post. He seems a fairly benign mystic. This photo reminds me of a pizza maker in the Bronx.


February 24, 2017

By Roman custom, February 24 is doubled in a leap year, very much like February 29 now. This intercalary month was supposedly based on observations to ensure the best possible correspondence with the seasons.
Unfortunately the Pontifex Maximus, who would normally be an active politician, often manipulated the decision to allow friends to stay in office longer or force enemies out early. Such unpredictable intercalation meant that dates following the month of Februarius could not be known in advance, and Roman citizens living outside Rome often did not know the current date.

February 23, 2017

February 23, 1455 is the traditional date of the publication of the Gutenberg Bible. However it was Bì Shēng (990–1051 AD) who invented the world’s first movable type technology. Bi Sheng’s system was made of Chinese porcelain and was invented between 1041 and 1048 during the Song Dynasty.

In 1298, Wang Zhen, a Yuan dynasty governmental official,re-invented a method of making movable wooden types and printed 100 copies of Records of Jingde County.


February 22, 2017

February 22 is the Girl Scouts World Thinking Day. The date February 22 was chosen as it was the mutual birthday of Boys Scout’s founder, Lord Baden-Powell and his wife, Olave.

In the 1926 International Girls Scouts Conference, conference delegates expressed the need for an international day to think about scouting and their sisters throughout the world. They started a “penny for your thoughts” campaign to raise funds to promote scouting programs worldwide.

Scouting was initiated in when Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell of the British Army, published Scouting for Boys in 1908. B-P participated in reconnaissance and scouting activities in India and Africa and Scouting for Boys was a primer to teach boys exploration, tracking, and survival skills.

Interest in the movement spread like wildfire (no pun intended.) In 1909, the first Boy Scout rally was held in London’s Crystal Place with 11,000 attendees, including some girls dressed as boys. Girl Scouts was initiated in soon afterward by Mrs. B-P. By 1910 there were 100,000 Boy and Girl Scouts worldwide.

The 2017 Theme for Girl Scout Thinking Day is Grow.