In the mid-17th century, the Puritan-led English Parliament banned Christmas celebrations in favor of a day of fasting. Furthermore, the first state to declare Christmas a legal holiday was Alabama in 1836. The last was Oklahoma in 1890.
If you want to remove odors from your shoes, try putting a few dry teabags in each shoe to absorb the smell.
The Christmas classic, It's a Wonderful Life, initially bombed at the box office. It wasn't until 1974, when its copyright expired and television networks could air it for free, that it cemented its place as one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time.
In America, the tradition of leaving cookies and milk for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve took root during the Great Depression, when parents encouraged children to keep their charitable spirit alive in the face of financial hardship.
Avoid walking on your lawn when it’s blanketed by heavy frost or snow, as this damages the grass.
Store natural peanut butter upside down so it won't separate as much.
Make a pile of old logs in an undisturbed corner of the garden to provide shelter for toads and other wildlife.
Only female hollies bear the red berries. There must be a male tree nearby for pollination and fruit production to occur.
It can take 14 days or more to fully recover from a cold. When infection occurs, a cold goes through four characteristic stages: incubation, early symptoms, peak symptoms, and recovery. As there is no cure for the common cold, treatment is focused on rest, fluids, and symptom relief.
An alternative way to keep your wine cool is to freeze grapes and use them as ice cubes. Plus, you can enjoy eating them afterwards!
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There really are so-called vampire bats. They live in Central and South America and feed on the blood of cattle, horses, and birds.
Fall is also known as autumn. The season once had a third name as well. In the 12th and 13th century fall was called "haerfest," which was the act of taking in crops. Eventually, it was known as "harvest" because the full moon closest to the autumn equinox is called the harvest moon.
Nearly two-thirds of people with migraine headaches have attacks when the barometric pressure dropped, possibly due to an effect on pressure-sensitive receptors in the brain. Both wind and sunlight have been shown to trigger migraines as well.
Purple and red fall leaves get their color through "anthocyanins" pigment, which is only produced in the fall when sugars are trapped in the leaves. Lots of dry weather and sunlight will lead to more sugars in the leaves, meaning the leaves will be brighter red. Freezing, meanwhile, stops the process of making red pigments.
Bufonophobia—fear of frogs.
Get faster relief from post-workout soreness (within 48 hours) by consuming 1.8 grams of omega-3 fats every day (the amount is about 10 walnut halves). Their anti-inflammatory effects help fight aches.
Friday, October 13 may send chills down your spine. If you’re superstitious here a few actions to avoid on this day:
Avoid black cats.
Don’t spill salt.
Don’t start a new journey, a job, a marriage or a business project.
Don’t give birth.
It is unlucky to cut fingernails and hair on Friday the 13th.
Don’t open an umbrella indoors.
Change your bed on this day to avoid bad dreams.
Those who pass a funeral procession on this day, will die the next day.
Ships should not be allowed to set sail because it will sink in the sea.
Fall is an excellent time to plant trees because that’s when they’re programmed to do most of their root growing. Trees keep producing roots as long as the ground temperature is above 40 degrees.
Do not take the supplement, Echinacea, before surgery. Although it helps prevent throat infections it may reduce the immune system response and could interfere with healing.
On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day official by signing it into law, designating the first Monday in September to always be Labor Day. The day honors the American labor force and the upholding of laws that make work conditions healthier and safer.
Stop pruning and fertilizing. At this point in the season, pruning and fertilizing only promotes new green growth that most likely will not survive through the winter.
Encourage annuals to self-seed. Stop deadheading in September and let the flowers go to seed. Annual Poppies, Zinnias, Sunflowers, and more will drop their seeds and, in the right conditions, can come back next year. The seeds also provide a treat to feed birds.
The more weeding and mulching you do in September, the less weeds you’ll have to deal with in the spring.
Keep plants, especially newly planted stock, well watered until the ground freezes.
The average person takes 10,000 steps per day or 115,000 miles in a lifetime enough to circle the world four times.
In the late 1950s, Arthur Granjean invented something called “L’Ecran Magique”, the magic screen. The product was rejected at the International Toy Fair. When Ohio Art saw the toy a second time, they decided to take a chance on the product and renamed the drawing tool—“Etch A Sketch”.
Located in the Sequoia National Park, the General Sherman Tree is the largest known living single stem tree on earth. The tree is thought to be between 2,300 to 2,700 years old.
Indiana is the largest steel-producing state in the nation, accounting for nearly one-fourth of the total U.S. steel production. In 2022, Indiana produced nearly twice as much steel as Ohio, the nation's second-largest steel-producing state.
The heat index, also known as the apparent temperature, is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air.
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The Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4, 1776. That’s actually the day it was formally adopted by the Continental Congress, but it wasn’t signed by most signatories until August.
July 27 is “Take your houseplants for a Walk Day”. What?
Divide and replant iris.
Start seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage now so they can be transplanted in the fall.
Americans typically eat 150 million hot dogs on Independence Day, enough to stretch from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, CA more than five times.
If you feel tired in the afternoon, don’t reach for a caffeinated drink, pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide a quick pick-me-up that can last for hours. They are also good for avoiding a hangover or terrible headache!
The inventor of the television, Philo T. Farnsworth, lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Scratching an itch triggers a small amount of pain that numbs the itch but causes the release of serotonin, which also carries the “I’m itchy” signal to the brain. As the pain fades, the itch returns even stronger. Try rubbing the area with your palm instead.
The original 3 Musketeers bars of the 1930s came in three-packs, with a different nougat flavor in each: vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. World War II rations made that triple threat expensive, so the company cut down to one.
About a month after the Statue of Liberty’s 1886 dedication, it became a working lighthouse for 16 years, with its torch visible from 24 miles away.
June is derived from Juno, the goddess of marriage and childbirth.
Flag Day is a celebration of the American flag that occurs each year on the anniversary of the flag’s official adoption, June 14, 1777 in the midst of the Revolutionary War.
Add additional mulch to gardens and flowerbeds to conserve water and minimize weed growth.
Place row covers or netting over bushes with ripening berries to keep the birds from eating them.
To prevent flowers from wasting energy on producing seed, deadhead your spring bulbs after they are done blooming. Also, fertilize them but wait until the leaves have yellowed before trimming them off.
Trim your lawn before you mow, then let the mower clean up the trim work.
If you have allergies, know that pollen levels are usually highest before 10 a.m.
Apiphobia—a fear of bees.
The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.
North Korea and Cuba are the only two countries in the world where Coca Cola does not exist due to long-term US trade embargoes.
In 1909, 3.2 million street paving bricks were laid around a 2.5 oval. “Brickyard” became the nickname for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The first race was on May 30, 1911 and was won by Ray Harroun. $1.00 was paid for admission by 80,200 spectators. Harroun’s race winnings were $14,250.
Ray Harroun was also the first winner who drove solo instead of taking along a “riding mechanic” like everybody else did back then. Lacking a second set of eyes, he compensated by bolting a rear-view mirror onto his Marmon Wasp.
Legend has it: when peanut shells were found in the seat of a crashed car in the 1940’s, they became known as bad luck. It is considered bad luck to enter and exit from the same side of the car. Green cars are also considered bad luck at the IMS.
8 miles of hotdogs and bratwursts are consumed by spectators, not to mention, 475 gallons of ketchup with 24,000 lbs. of track fries.
When the winning prize, the Borg-Warner Trophy, was commissioned in 1936, it had a value of round $10,000. Today, the sterling silver trophy is valued at more than $1 million. Indy winners are given a miniature replica of the Borg-Warner trophy called the Baby Borg to take home.
The youngest winner of the Indy 500 was Troy Ruttman, age 22 in 1952. The oldest winner was 47-year-old Al Unser in 1987.
Rick Mears won the pole position the most times.
“Back Home Again in Indiana” was first sung on the morning of the race in 1946 by James Melton of the New York Metropolitan Opera Company. Others who have sung the famous song include, Mel Torme, Vic Damone, Dinah Shore, and Ed Ames. Jim Nabors began singing the classic tune in 1972.
The first 500 Festival Parade was in 1957 after journalists complained that the Kentucky Derby had a parade—why couldn’t Indianapolis.
Spring is here and so is the April, 2023 SKI newsletter! Read about how highways changed the American way of life, Mulch--more than just a pretty face, April SKI Tips and much more...
Current and former staff members have contributed to our newsletter over the years. Now the articles are available to view here on our blog