"This day on traveling (2)" Personal Page by a2lopes

1890 -January 25th

First woman to travel around the world unaccompanied

Elizabeth Cochrane was not an impressive student at school but she did develop a strong desire to be a writer. She soon discovered in life that only low-paid occupations were available to women. In 1885 she read an article in the Pittsburgh Dispatch entitled What Girls Are Good For. The male writer argued that women were only good "for housework and taking care of children". Elizabeth was furious and wrote a letter of protest to the editor. George Madden responded by asking her what articles she would write if she was a journalist. She replied that newspapers should be publishing articles that told the stories of ordinary people. As a result of her letter, Madden commissioned Elizabeth, who was only eighteen, to write an article on the lives of women. Elizabeth accepted, but as it was considered improper for at the time for women journalists to use their real names, she used a pseudonym: Nellie Bly. Madden was so impressed with the article he hired her as a full-time reporter for the Pittsburgh Dispatch. Bly's journalistic style was marked by her first-hand tales of the lives of ordinary people.
Bly was now given cultural and social events to cover. Unhappy with this new job, Bly decided to go to Mexico where she wrote about poverty and political corruption. When the Mexican government discovered what Bly had been writing, they ordered her out of the country. In 1887 Bly was recruited by Joseph Pulitzer (yes that's the one) to write for his newspaper, the New York World. Over the next few years she pioneered the idea of investigative journalism by writing articles about poverty, housing and labour conditions in New York.
After reading Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days in 1889, Bly suggested to Joseph Pulitzer that his newspaper should finance an attempt to break the record illustrated in the book. He liked the idea and used Bly's journey to publicize the New York World. The newspaper held a competition which involved guessing the time it would take Bly to circle the globe. Over 1,000,000 people entered the contest and when she arrived back in New York on 25th January, 1890, she was met by a massive crowd to see her break the record in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds.
That's adventure...lady.

Same day but in 1915 - Alexander Graham Bell inaugurated U.S. transcontinental telephone service.
but that's......another "talk".....

And same day but in 1959 - American Airlines flew the first scheduled transcontinental Boeing 707 flight.
Well we can easily go from a continent to another to attend a VT Meeting ;~)

February 2th - my birthday ;-)

my birthday happens to be a symbolic day in several cultures

Imbolc is one of the four principal festivals of the Celtic calendar, associated with fertility ritual which was subsequently adopted as St Brigid's Day (Ireland) in the Christian period. The festival was traditionally associated with the onset of lactation of ewes soon to give birth to the spring lambs (i mbolg, means "in the belly" but it is also the Celtic term for spring). Another name is Oimelc, meaning "ewe's milk"; also Brigid, referring to the Celtic goddess of smith craft, to whom the day is sacred. Imbolc is often defined as a cross-quarter day midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara), and the precise midpoint is half way through Aquarius (in the northern hemisphere) or Leo (in the southern hemisphere), and was celebrated with lights and fire to hasten the coming of spring.
The Lupercalia was an annual Roman festival held on February 15 (with calendar reform become Feb. 2th) to honour Faunus, god of fertility and forests. Faunus is identified with Lupercus, ?the one who wards off the wolf? (by the way, my family name is Lopes, from lupus, wolf ;-) The festival (older than the founding of Rome.) was celebrated to expiate and purify new life in the Spring.
Seems that the Christian feast of Candlemas was a Christianization of the feast of Imbolc. Nevertheless, the tradition that some modern Christians observe, of lighting a candle in each window (or in each room), is not the origin of the name ?Candlemas?, which instead refers to a blessing of candles, a practice started by Benedictional of St. Aethelwold, bishop of Winchester in the 10th century.
References to the festival of the growing light can even be traced to modern America in the Groundhog Day. If the groundhog sees his shadow on this morning and is frightened back into his burrow, it means there will be six more weeks of winter. The custom comes directly from northern Europe, and Scotland in particular. In the north of Europe good weather at Candlemas is taken to indicate severe winter weather later. It is also the date that bears emerge from winter hibernation to inspect the weather as well as wolves (wolfs again), who if they choose to return to their lairs on this day is interpreted as meaning severe weather will continue for another forty days at least. So an old couplet goes: If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year.
In Portugal and Spain and all the Ibero-American (Portuguese and Spanish speaking) countries we also celebrate the Holy Lady of Candel?ria (because of Christian tradition) on this day. Moreover, there are several parishes named Candel?ria. One of the most beautiful ones is in the island of Pico, the highest mountain of Portugal in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and Natural Heritage of the World (UNESCO). And we do have a tradition in some places where the cookies in Epiphany day (Dia de Reis) named "rosca" are cut and the person who takes the small image of Infant Jesus will be its "Godfather" until today.
Related to travel, sailors are often reluctant to set sail on this day, believing that any voyage begun then will end in disaster -given the frequency of severe storms in February in the north Atlantic, this is not entirely without sense.
This is also the season for the blossom of Mimosa, Silver Wattle (Acacia Dealbata) one of the nicest invasive species especially during this month and Almond trees (Prunus dulcis), like snow in a non-snowing place.

March 14/15

March 14th - written 3-14 in the USA date format, is also an unofficial celebration for Pi Day derived from the common three-digit approximation for the number PI : 3.14. It is usually celebrated at 1:59 PM (in recognition of the six-digit approximation: 3.14159). Some, using a twenty-four-hour clock rather than a twelve hour clock, say that 1:59 PM is actually 13:59 and celebrate it at 1:59 AM or 3:09 PM (15:09) instead. Parties have been held by mathematics departments of various schools around the world.
This day has been celebrated in a variety of ways. Groups of people, typically pi clubs, give thought to the role that the number PI has played in their lives and imagine the world without PI. During such an event, pi celebrants may devise alternative values for PI, eat pi (pie), play pi (pinata), or drink pi (pina colada).
The "ultimate" PI day occurred on March 14, 1592, at 6:54 AM. When written in American-style date format, this is 3/14/1592 6:54, which corresponds to the ten-digit approximation of pi: 3.141592654. However, considering this was well before any kind of standardized world time had been established, and the general population, excluding mathematicians, scholars, etc, had no concept of PI, the holiday went unnoticed.

Born on March 14
1681 - Georg Philipp Telemann, German composer
1804 - Johann Strauss the Elder, Austrian composer and conductor
1879 - Albert Einstein, German-born physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1955)
1933 - Quincy Jones, American music producer and composer
1958 - Albert II, Prince of Monaco

Also to remember
1883 - Karl Marx, political theorist (b. 1818), died in poverty in London.
1891 - The first underwater telephone cable was laid across the English Channel by the submarine Monarch.
1968 - The first liver transplant operation in Australia was performed in Sydney.

March 15th
And by this day more than 2000 years ago there was a saying which is given as a warning of impending danger - a phrase that becomes known? "Beware the Ides of March"
The allusion is to the warning received by Julius Caesar before his assassination on March 15, 44 BCE. (N.B.: In the ancient Roman calendar Ides coincides with the 15th of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th of all the other months; always eight days after the Nones).
What else on the Ides of March? That's the Festival of Anna Perenna.
Anna Perenna was an old Roman deity of the circle or "ring" of the year, as the name (per annum) clearly indicates. Her festival fell on the Ides of March (March 15), which would have marked the first full moon in the year in the old lunar Roman calendar when March was reckoned as the first month of the year, and was held at the grove of the goddess at the first milestone on the Via Flaminia. It was much frequented by the city plebs.

44 BC - Julius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Decimus Junius Brutus and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March.
1493 - Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first trip to the Americas.
2004 - Announcement of the discovery of 90377 Sedna, at the time of its discovery the farthest natural object observed in the Solar system.

Enjoy spring but ... Beware the Ides of March

March 20th 2006

The division of time as we use it in our Gregorian calendar sometimes seems very “irrational”. We try to combine in the same word all types of Years –seasonal, calendar, sidereal, tropical, equinoxial, anomalistic, leap, Julian, Gregorian. That’s why Spring does not start always in the same date (although was a quest for the “perfect calendar”).
In 2006, the Northern Hemisphere's vernal equinox falls on March 20 at 18:26 UTC.

The original English word for the season Spring was lent and this was replaced by Spring only in the 16th century, based on the notion of something beginning or rising, like water springs from the ground. The vernal equinox ("equal night" from Latin aequinoctium), marks the beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when the Sun moves north across the celestial equator which occurs about March 21st. This date may vary slightly each year according to the 400 year cycle of leap years in the Gregorian calendar. At the present time, the vernal equinox occurs as the sun moves through the constellation Pisces. 2000 years ago the equinox was in Aries and by 2600 it will be in Aquarius.

Of course being a season with lengthy and warm days people celebrate and there’s an amount of festivities and holidays around vernal equinox –Persian festival of Norouz (several countries around Iran); praying to the goddess of cats, Bast, in pagan calendar; the Wiccan Sabbat of germanic goddess Ostara or Eostar (etymological root for Easter); festival of Idun, norse goddess of youth, fertility, and death; Shunbun no Hi in Japan; Tamil and Bengali New Years, and Easter, celebrated on the Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon day on or after the ecclesiastical vernal equinox day 21 March.

Because of the changing atmospheric conditions it's no coincidence that auroras are showing up around this time in Northern hemisphere. Visit http://spaceweather.com for more information and pictures of auroras –a splendid sight.

Recently in history (1971) U.N. Secretary-General U Thant signed a proclamation creating the Earth Day, a day to remind us of our shared responsibility to protect the planet (traditionally observed with the ringing of bells on vernal equinox).

Nevertheless, in this day in 2003 something brought just shades of grey and black to our recent history – Iraq War began. Let’s the spirit of spring vanish the chaos and bring some peace to the world.

Other ephemeredes on March 20
1345 - Saturn/Jupiter/Mars-conjunction; thought "cause of plague epidemic"
1727 - Sir Issac Newton English physicist/astronomer, dies in London at 84

March 19
721 B.C.E. - The first-ever recorded solar eclipse was seen from Babylon.
1918 - U.S. Congress approved Standard Time Act, which established Daylight Saving Time (nice story).

March 21
Lot’s of composers born today
1685 - Johann Sebastian Bach
1839 - Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky
1936 - Mike Westbrook
1959 - Nobuo Uematsu
5508 BCE - some Byzantine Christians believed the universe was created on this day…
1908 - The world's first air passenger flew over Paris with aviator Henri Farman.
1999 - Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland and Brian Jones of Britain became the first aviators to fly a hot-air balloon around the world nonstop.

March-April, multicultural festivities

March 20, 2006: Ohigon - Japan
Buddhists meditate on the harmony in the universe

March 21, 2006: Poutuerangi - Maori, New Zealand
During the Autumn Equinox, crops are unearthed and feasting and celebration ensues

March 21, 2006: Naw Ruz - Baha'i, Ismaili, Zoroastrian, Iran, Afghanistan
Naw Ruz means "new day." This New Year celebration begins at sundown on March 20 and ends at sundown March 21. A celebration of the creation of fire and the day on which Zarathustra received his revelation

March 25, 2006: Annunciation - Christian
Commemmorates the day Mary, the mother of Jesus, was visited by an angel to inform her she had been chosen as the mother of Christ

March 30, 2006: Chetra Navtras - Hindu
Fasting honors the Goddess Maha Devi as Gauri - life, growth and fruition

March 30, 2006: Nawabarsha - India, Nepal
A celebration of the New Year

March 30, 2006: Ugadi - Nepal, Mauritius
Ugadi marks the beginning of the new Hindu lunar calendar. Observers awake before dawn, bathe, and decorate their front doors with mango leaves. They also eat bitter Neem leaves and sweet jaggery to signify the bitter and sweet of life

April 1, 2006: Kha B'Nissan-New Year - Assyria
Assyrians place green grass at the entrance to their homes as a means of welcoming fertility and prosperity in the new year

April 5, 2006: Ch'ing Ming - China, Taiwan
On this national holiday, Chinese and Taiwanese "sweep family graves," ask for blessings for departed spirits, and glorify their ancestors' names with inscriptions

April 9, 2006: Palm Sunday - Christian
Christians celebrate the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was cheered by crowds throwing palm branches in his path. This day is filled with worship

April 10, 2006: Eid-Maulad-un-Nabi - Islam
Muslims celebrate the birth of Prophet Mohammad. Although the way in which this day is celebrated varies in different countries, it usually involves 9 days of celebration with colorful festivities and food

April 13, 2006: Pesach/Passover - Jewish
On this day, Jewish people commemorate the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. It begins with "Seder" - a ritual meal - and is celebrated for eight days with prayer and symbolic foods

April 13, 2006: Holy Thursday - Christian
On this day, Christians commemorate the Last Supper, which took place prior to Jesus' arrest and nailing to the cross

April 14, 2006: Good Friday - Christian - Christians remember the death of Jesus. Some Christians fast, others reenact a procession - the path to the cross

April 14, 2006: Baisakhi/Vishu - Hindu, Sikh - Indians celebrate the first day of the solar year with feasting, dancing and worship

April 14, 2006: Songkran - Buddhist
During this three-day New Year celebration, Buddhists cleanse their homes and monks visit statues of Buddha

April 16, 2006: Easter - Christian
Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus

April 17, 2006: Easter Monday - Christian
In some countries, this day - which marks the meeting of Jesus' followers with an agnel who assured them that Jesus had been resurrected - is observed as a holiday

April 18, 2006: Sechselauten - Switzerland
When church bells ring six times, an image representing winter is burned. Spring is then welcomed

April 21, 2006: Ridvan - Baha'i
Ridvan means "paradise." This day marks the beginning of a 12-day festival commemorating the 12 days Baha'u'llah spent in the Garden of Ridvan in the last days of his exile in Baghdad. Baha'is do not work on the first, ninth and twelfth day of Ridvan

April 28-30, 2006: Gathering of Nations Pow Wow - Native American
Over 600 tribes and nations participate in a three-day event where over 4,000 participants exchange traditions and celebrate shared cultures

April 29, 2006: Midori no hi - Japan
Japanese celebrate the beauty of nature on this day - Greenery Day

April 30, 2006: Gahambar Maidyozarem - Zoroastrianism - Fasli
On this day, followers celebrate the creation of the sky

March 25

Old New Year's Day
In the Middle Ages in Europe a number of significant feast days in the Ecclesiastical calendar of theRoman Catholic Church came to be used as the beginning of the year:
"Christmas Style" dating started on 25 December (birth of Jesus).
"Annunciation Style" started on 25 March, the feast of the Annunciation.
"Easter Style" started on Easter Saturday (or sometimes on Good Friday).
"Circumcision Style" started on 1 January, the feast of the Circumcision (of Jesus).
March 25th the feast of the Annunciation was the beginning of the new year in many parts of Europe until the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582. Portugal, Spain, and their possessions, Poland and Italian kingdoms were in the frontline to adopt the change, nevertheless, a number of countries -mostly protestant (in the real meaning of the term) countries- continued to use the "old" calendar until much later. In Great Britain and its possessions this was the case until 1752 while in East European countries and China this last until the 20th century.
In the middle of the process some anecdotes happened - George Washington "gained" 1 year in his lifetime -he was born on February 11, 1731, at the time of his birth (old style) that later become February 22, 1732 (new style). His birthday is celebrated on the Gregorian/new style calendar date. Another interesting reminiscence of the previous calendar is the fact that UK tax year still starts on 6 April which is the 25 March + 11 days for the conversion from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.

On this day we celebrate:
International Waffle Day was started in Sweden where it is know as Vaffeldagen.

31 - First Easter, according to calendar-maker Dionysius Exiguus
421 - City of Venice founded
1300 - Dante descends to the Inferno in The Divine Comedy.
1598 - Cornelis de Houtman's fleet departs for East-Indies
1609 - English explorer Henry Hudson set off from Amsterdam, on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, in search of the Northwest Passage.
1655 - Christiaan Huygens discovers Titan, (Saturn's largest satellite)
1807 - First railway passenger service began in England
1857 - Frederick Laggenheim takes 1st photograph of a solar eclipse
1896 - Modern Olympics began in Athens, Greece
1957 - France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg signed a treaty in Rome establishing the European Economic Community (EEC), also known as the Common Market.
1961 - Sputnik 10 carries a dog into Earth orbit; later recovered
1970 - Concorde makes its first supersonic flight (1127 kph/700 mph)

1539 - Christopher Clavius, German Jesuit mathematician and astronomer who was the main architect of the modern Gregorian calendar.
1786 - Giovanni Battista Amici, Italian astronomer and microscopist.
1867 - Arturo Toscanini, Italian musician, conductor.
1881 - Bela Bartok, Hungarian pianist.
1942 - Aretha Franklin, American singer.
1947 - Sir Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight), British musician, singer, songwriter.

April 1st

April Fool's Day is a notable day celebrated in many countries on the 1st of April. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends and neighbours, or sending them on fools' errands -in Portugal we call it "Lie's day" (Liar's day").
April Fools' Day, is one of the most light hearted days of the year. The origin of this custom is uncertain and has been much disputed, and many theories have been suggested. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a new calendar.
Ancient cultures, including those as varied as the Romans and the Hindus, celebrated New Year's Day on or around April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.) In medieval times, much of Europe celebrated March 25, the Feast of Annunciation as the beginning of the new year.
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar -the Gregorian calendar - to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new calendar called for New Year's Day to be celebrated Jan. 1. That year, France adopted the reformed calendar and shifted New Year's day to Jan. 1. According to a popular explanation, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1. Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on "fool's errands" or trying to trick them into believing something false. Eventually, the practice spread throughout Europe.
But this explanation doesn't fully account for the spread of April Fools' Day to other European countries. The Gregorian calendar was not adopted by England until 1752, for example, but April Fools' Day was already well established there by that point.

Another explanation of the origins of April Fools' Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event. "In a way," explained Prof. Boskin, "it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor."
This explanation was brought to the public's attention in an Associated Press article printed by many newspapers in 1983. There was only one catch: Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the AP to realize that they'd been victims of an April Fools' joke themselves.

It is worth noting that many different cultures have had days of foolishness around the start of April, give or take a couple of weeks. The Romans had a festival named Hilaria on March 25, rejoicing in the resurrection of Attis. The Hindu calendar has Holi, and the Jewish calendar has Purim. Perhaps there's something about the time of year, with its turn from winter to spring, that lends itself to lighthearted celebrations.

Observances Around the World
April Fools' Day is observed throughout the Western world. Practices include sending someone on a "fool's errand," looking for things that don't exist; playing pranks; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things. The French call April 1 Poisson d'Avril, or "April Fish." French children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying "Poisson d'Avril" when the prank is discovered.

April 15th

1452 - Leonardo is born in Vinci

He has been described as the archetype of the Renaissance man and as a universal genius, a man infinitely curious and infinitely inventive, although he is also considered one of the greatest painters that ever lived.
Much ahead of his time (inventing the helicopter, a tank, the use of concentrated solar power, the calculator, the double hull, and others too numerous to mention) he saw no mutually exclusive polarities between the sciences and the arts as we tend to do today. His studies in science and engineering are as impressive and innovative as his artistic work, recorded in notebooks comprising some 13000 pages of notes and drawings, which fuse art and science (4 main themes; architecture, elements of mechanics, painting, and human anatomy) but where we can learn culinary or basic things of "life". Many of these notes (what we can call today's travelogues) were made and maintained through his travels through Europe, during which he made continual observations of the world around him.
His approach to science, and definitely to life itself was an observational one: he tried to understand a phenomenon by describing and depicting it in utmost detail, and did not emphasize experiments or theoretical explanation. Since he lacked formal education in Latin and mathematics, contemporary scholars mostly ignored his "science". It has also been said that he was planning a series of treatises to be published on a variety of subjects; none ever were, though -what a pity. Why he did not publish or otherwise distribute the contents of his notebooks remains a mystery to those who believe that he wanted to make his observations public knowledge (he was a perfectionist, and didn't want to share until the knowledge was presented and arranged as beautifully as possible). Technological historian Lewis Mumford suggests that Leonardo kept notebooks as a private journal, intentionally censoring his work from those who might irresponsibly use it (the tank, for instance). They remained obscure until the 19th century, and were not directly of value to the development of science and technology. In January 2005, researchers discovered the hidden laboratory he used for studies of flight and other pioneering scientific work in previously sealed rooms at a monastery next to the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, in the heart of Florence
While most of his inventions were not built during his lifetime, models of many of them have been constructed with the support of IBM and are on display at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum at the Chateau du Clos Luce in Amboise and Museo Leonardiano, in Vinci (and both are beautiful). But fortunately you can see much of these models throughout the world in many many museums - have a look but be aware of Dan Brown's popular novel The Da Vinci Code effect when you google it ...

Architect, musician, anatomist, inventor, engineer, sculptor, geometer, and painter (not necessarily by this order of importance) Leonardo was my inspiration since my childhood and it was a great pleasure for me to visit the places where he was born (Vinci) he worked (Florence, Milan, Mantua, Venice, Rome, Pavia, Bologna) and he died (Amboise). Being such an admirer I've been lucky to be in all the museums where we can find his original works of art:
Uffizi, Florence, Italy
Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Italy
Convent of Sta. Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy
Louvre, Paris, France
National Gallery, London, UK
Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany
Czartoryski Museum, Krakow, Poland
Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., United States

Thanks master. Learned much with you

Also today
At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the British ocean liner Titanic considered unsinkable ... sank ...

  • Page Updated Jun 12, 2006
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