Wednesday, January 16, 2013

If you regularly go to the gym, but have been avoiding it because of the New Year's Resolution crowd....

...January 17 may be the day it's safe to return.

According to most of the Usual Suspects, Thursday is Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day, the day by which most people -- despite their good intentions -- finally give up on their New Year's resolutions.

There's probably a mountain of research out there to back this claim up, but none of the Usual Suspects cite to it, nor did our crack research staff find any when we asked them to look.

Instead, our crack research staff reported that, according to Usual Suspect Thursday is Women in Blue Jeans Day, an observance tied to the 10th Annual Women in Blue Jeans Conference, starting January 17 in Mitchell, South Dakota. The Women in Blue Jeans website states that "Women in Blue Jeans is presented each year by a group of dedicated volunteer women to provide education, inspiration, and networking opportunities to women of rural America."

Sensing a trap, we did inquire why the research staff wanted to promote this particular observance -- and received a sheaf of tasteless jokes about the farmer's daughter.

We have scheduled the research staff for consciousness-raising classes, beginning immediately.

The proponents of Hot-Buttered Rum Day (observed on January 17) claim no particular tie to Ben Franklin. On the other hand, Ben probably quaffed a few in his day, perhaps in celebration of his birthday.

And, yes, Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706. Even though Ben was no kid when he did most of his famous inventing, Kid Inventors Day is celebrated each year on Ben's birthday. Why?

It seems Franklin is credited with inventing a "swim fin" when he was a lad of 12 or so, a predecessor of the modern swim flipper (although the Wikipedia entry for swim fin suggests that Franklin should share credit for this achievement with Leonardo da Vinci and Giovanni Alfonso Borelli and particularly with a Frenchman, Louis de Corlieu, who demonstrated a practical working model of the modern swim fin in 1914 and began mass producing them in 1939.

There are a number of other notable natal days today, but we don't wish to tax your patience. However, Al Capone was born on January 17, 1899 and, if he had paid his taxes, he might have truly gotten away with murder.

And Betty White, once again an overnight sensation, turns 91 on January 17.

And, finally, on January 17, 1961, a crazed radical gave a televised speech warning of the growth of a military-industrial complex in this country. Specifically, this dangerous troublemaker warned:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Oh, wait. The speaker was outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Maybe we should have paid more attention.

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