Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

Here's a timeline for Earth Day, taken from

June 4, 1916: Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson born in Clear Lake, Wisconsin. Nelson, a World War II veteran, served in the Wisconsin State Senate and as the Badger State's governor before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962.

1963: Senator Nelson accompanies President John F. Kennedy on a speaking tour around the U.S. to raise awareness about environmental issues; however, protecting the environment remains a low priority for most politicians and citizens.

1969: Chemical waste released into Cleveland's Cuyahoga River causes it to catch fire. The event becomes symbolic of how industrial pollution is damaging America's natural resources.

1969: Inspired by the "teach-ins" held by Vietnam War protesters on U.S. college campuses, Senator Gaylord Nelson announces the idea for Earth Day, a large-scale, grassroots demonstration against the degradation of America's natural resources.

April 22, 1970: 20 million people participate in inaugural Earth Day activities around the United States.

1970: Environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) founded. Today, the group has over 1 million members, a staff of over 300 scientists, lawyers and other specialists and offices in New York City, Beijing, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

December 1970: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established by President Richard Nixon in order to protect human health and safeguard the natural environment— air, water and land. Before the agency was founded, "the federal government was not structured to make a coordinated attack on the pollutants that harm human health and degrade the environment," according to Today, the organization, which is based in Washington, D.C., has over 17,000 employees, 10 regional offices and more than 12 labs.

1971: Environmental activist organization Greenpeace founded. Today, the group, which has campaigned against nuclear power, whaling and global warming, among other issues, has offices in 40 countries around the world.

1972: Congress passes the Clean Water Act, which limits pollutants in rivers, lakes and streams.

1973: Congress passes the Endangered Species Act to protect animals and their ecosystems.

1980: After 18 years in the U.S. Senate, during which time he advocated for numerous environmental causes, Gaylord Nelson loses his race for a fourth-term in office. After leaving the Senate, Nelson becomes a counselor for The Wilderness Society, an environmental group.

1990: The 20th anniversary Earth Day celebrations go global, with participants in over 140 countries.

1995: Gaylord Nelson receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award given to a civilian, in honor of his environmental work. President Bill Clinton says of Nelson: "As the father of Earth Day, he is the grandfather of all that grew out of that event."

2000: Hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries celebrate the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, with a focus on "clean energy."

July 3, 2005: Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson dies at age 89. His New York Times obituary notes that in addition to his Earth Day work, Nelson "was a principal sponsor of laws that preserved the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail, established fuel efficiency standards in automobiles, sought to control damage from strip mining and led to a ban on the insecticide DDT."

April 2007: Capacity crowds attend Green Apple Festival Earth Day events in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago. More than 40,000 people show up for Earth Day festivities at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, setting a single-day attendance record. Earth Day Network members host 10,000 Earth Day events around the world.

Friday, April 16, 2010

National Parks Week

In celebration of National Parks Week 2010 (April 17-25), the National Park Service is waiving entrance fees at all 392 national parks. A list of national parks in your area can be found here. Parks in Washington state include:

Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve
Coupeville, WA

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
Vancouver, OR,WA

Klondike Gold Rush - Seattle Unit National Historical Park
Seattle, WA

Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
Stehekin, WA

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
the Canadian border going to Coulee Dam along the Columbia River, WA National Recreation Area

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
Eleven States: , ID,IL,IA,KS,MO,MT,NE,ND,OR,SD,WA National Historic Trail

Mount Rainier National Park
Ashford, Enumclaw, Packwood, Wilkeson, WA National Park

Nez Perce National Historical Park
four states, ID,MT,OR,WA National Historical Park

North Cascades National Park
Marblemount, WA National Park

Olympic National Park
Port Angeles, WA National Park

Ross Lake National Recreation Area
Newhalem, WA National Recreation Area

San Juan Island National Historical Park
Friday Harbor, WA National Historical Park

Whitman Mission National Historic Site
Walla Walla, WA

Thursday, April 15, 2010

SO close...

Just a few minor tweaks happening in the new bathroom today - but it's complete for the most part. We're so happy with how it turned out. It feels so much brighter and looks much better than before. And it's lovely to soak in a deep tub.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

getting there ...

Paint going on today - toilet and sink will be installed tomorrow. I can't wait to take a bath !

Monday, April 5, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Yet another reason why Dan's boss is the BOMB

When he heard that Seattle would go without a fireworks display this 4th of July, Tom Douglas to make a pronouncement on the Dave Ross Show on KIRO-FM radio to personally pledge $5,000 to save the fireworks show and he challenged other businesses to do the same. The pledges started rolling in. With major contributions from Microsoft and Starbucks in the amount of $125,000, the money needed has now been raised. Way to go, Tom, for getting the ball rolling !

Friday, April 2, 2010

One more Peep post ...

For the Chicago viewers ...

The Jesse Peep Tumblers

Peeps Parade 2010

Thanks to my sister for the reminder about my yearly Peeps Parade post. Here are some of my favorites from this year:

Deadliest Peep

Lewis and Clark Expedition with Peeps

Peeps Playing Poker

The Last Suppeeper

Peep Fantasy Island


Peep Carroll

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's ...

Every year, I wish I could come up with great ideas for pranks for the day. Innocent and harmless, of course, but fun nonetheless. But I fail miserably at any and every attempt.

From, here's a link to their Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes. Some of my favorites ...

#8: The Left-Handed Whopper
1998: Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a "Left-Handed Whopper" specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, "many others requested their own 'right handed' version."

#12: Flying Penguins
2008: The BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet. Presenter Terry Jones explained that, instead of huddling together to endure the Antarctic winter, these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they "spend the winter basking in the tropical sun." A follow-up video explained how the BBC created the special effects of the flying penguins.

#46: Guinness Mean Time
1998: Guinness issued a press release announcing that it had reached an agreement with the Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England to be the official beer sponsor of the Observatory's millennium celebration. According to this agreement, Greenwich Mean Time would be renamed Guinness Mean Time until the end of 1999. In addition, where the Observatory traditionally counted seconds in "pips," it would now count them in "pint drips." The Financial Times, not realizing that the release was a joke, declared that Guinness was setting a "brash tone for the millennium." When the Financial Times learned that it had fallen for a joke, it printed a curt retraction, stating that the news it had disclosed "was apparently intended as part of an April 1 spoof."

#65: Y2K Solved
In 1999 the Singapore Straits Times reported that a 17-year-old high school student had one-upped all the major software corporations of the world by creating a small computer program that would easily solve the Y2K bug. The camera-shy C student had supposedly devised the program in twenty-nine minutes while solving an algebra problem for his homework. His family and a technology consulting group were reportedly forming a joint venture named 'Polo Flair' in order to commercialize the discovery. They anticipated achieving revenues of $50 million by the end of the year. Numerous journalists and computer specialists contacted the Straits Times, seeking more information about the boy genius and his Y2K cure. One journalist even wanted to know if the boy would be willing to appear on TV, despite the fact that he was camera shy. Unfortunately the boy and his ingenious program didn't exist. Quick-witted readers would have noticed that 'Polo Flair' was an anagram for 'April Fool.'