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February 18, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Battery Day – Alessandro Volta was born on this day in 1745. He was a professor of physics and he created the first battery in the year 1800. He died in 1827 at the ripe old age of 82, which really doesn't seem so old now that I am about half way there...but that's another story. He studied the chemistry of physics in the late 1770s and discovered methane in Italy after reading a paper Benjamin Franklin wrote on “flammable air”. He used methane to create an electric spark in a closed vessel and after much experimentation and scientific jargon that I don't understand, he invented the battery, the power of which is measured in volts after Mr. Volta.

Cow Milked While Flying In An Airplane Day – On this day in 1930, Elm Farm Ollie, also known as “Nellie Jay” and later on “Sky Queen”, became the first cow to travel by airplane. In the midst of that flight, she was milked by Elsworth W. Bunce so that scientists could observe the effects of air travel on animals. And also so that they could say she was the first cow (and possibly the only cow) to be milked midair. Her milk was sealed in paper cartons and parachuted down to spectators.

National Drink Wine Day Today is a day to celebrate all kinds of wine. While I would not recommend celebrating all day long or attempting to drink every kind of wine there is, especially since tomorrow is a work day, you can certainly celebrate by trying a glass or two. Please be safe and do not drink and drive.

Pluto Day – Also on this day in 1930 (it was a busy day), the planet Pluto was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh. Of course, in 2006, it was downgraded to Dwarf Planet, but to most of us who were born before 2000, it will always be a planet. Pluto is very small but it doesn't rotate very fast. One Pluto day equals 6 days, 9 hours, 17 minutes and 36 seconds on Earth. And none of us would live long enough to see a full orbit of Pluto around the sun. One year on Pluto equals 248 years on Earth.

To celebrate today, have a glass of milk that you raise in a toast to Elm Farm Ollie, then change the batteries in anything that requires a battery. Tonight, see if you can find Pluto in the night sky while you drink a glass of wine. Have enough glasses of wine and I'd be willing to bet you will see quite a few Plutos.

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