This month has been another amazing chapter of travel through Italy!! I’ve been to: Florence, Pisa, Venice and Verona, each of which have had their own unique sense of character. Bologna however, is my favorite city in Italy for it’s celebrated food culture… Memorable mornings in Bologna were spent at local café’s where I savored some of the best Italian coffee and pastries. The taste of rich cappuccinos, macchiatos and poached cherry tarts wer … Read More
Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category
I miss watching the Fourth of July Fireworks Show in Santa Barbara. I watched the fireworks show during two stints of summer school at UCSB in 2000 and 2001. The first time, I watched it with roommates from my apartment at the hillside where SBCC is located. The following year, my friends and I parked at the outdoor mall, Paseo Nuevo (where the parking was free, a welcome treat for us broke college students at the time), walked State St. all the way to Stearns Wharf and waited for seven hours before the fireworks show took place directly above us.
On June 26, 2011, the Palace Theatre turned 100 years old. To commemorate the centennial anniversary, three sold-out screenings were held. The theater, located on 630 S. Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles and originally named Orpheum, opened on June 26, 1911, as a vaudeville house. In 1926, the theater was renamed the Palace when a much larger Orpheum Theatre was built down the street. The Palace has hosted shows with entertainers like actor Fred Astaire, magician Harry Houdini, and French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt.
A million dollar restoration project, with a few changes, has begun. The craftsmen in charge of the renovation stripped away seven layers of paint from the walls, revealing the hall’s original wallpaper. Shahram Delijani, whose family owns the Palace and three other historic downtown theaters, was able to replicate the original wallpaper, allowing him to bring the Palace back to its very original decorations. The Palace Theatre will look beautiful with its original design, bringing it back to a French and Renaissance look.
On June 16, 2011, the International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old. IBM is the best-known American computer manufacturer, founded by Thomas J. Watson, and has stayed vital and important for most of its history. This company has created and designed many prominent inventions that are widely used today. Here is a list of five of their most important inventions, so far:
The Magnetic Stripe Technology: This is the thin, black stripe you can see on the back of credit cards, drivers’ licenses and many other cards. With this invention, buying things became much simpler and faster. What they don’t realize is what a major shift this seemingly simple technology represented for retail, transportation and daily life.
How Magnetic Stripe Technology works on YouTube:
Computing Scale: Used to weigh and price things that any vendor can use. This invention saved retailers a lot of money.
The Universal Product Code: Even though barcodes were dreamed up and patented in the late 1940s and early 1950s, it wasn’t in use until lasers emerged years later that they could be digitally read. This technology sped up checkouts and improved inventory-keeping.
The Time Clock: The invention had an “IN” and an “OUT” slot, used to keep track of each employee’s attendance.
The Automated Test Scoring: In 1937, IBM introduced the 805 Test Scoring Machine. This machine graded test answers that have been marked on a certain paper with a No. 2 pencil, making grading much easier for teachers.
When most people think of IBM, they think of computers. Well, they did invent the PC in the 1980s, but they have many more inventions that are still in use today. Their inventions have helped ease the daily life of many people, such as managers, teachers, students, store owners, and many employees. IBM has many other inventions that have made our lives easier and should be greatly appreciated. Congratulations to this successful company.
On Friday, June 17, 2011, the Hollywood Bowl celebrated its 90th season with fireworks, music performances, and a preview of the new Cirque de Soleil show, “Iris“. This year, the Hollywood Bowl honored two new inductees to the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame: singers Gloria Estefan and Harry Connick Jr.. Actress Hilary Swank introduced honoree and New Orleans native Connick Jr., a friend since their on-screen performance of, “P.S. I Love You” together. The pianist and jazz singer start off somewhat stiffly with “The Way You Look Tonight”, pausing afterwards to acknowledge the award. “I’ve never been in a hall of fame for anything so it’s a big deal. I’m just honored,” said Connick Jr., who noted that his voice had cracked a couple of times. “I’m sure you heard it. I don’t care, I mean, it’s not like I’m performing brain surgery on someone. If you make a mistake, it’s OK. But I was thinking like the Cirque de Soleil people, like what’s the equivalent of cracking a note for them? You die… So I’m very happy to be a singer. I might crack some more notes because it’s very comfortable to know that I can do that and live.”
After intermission, actor Andy Garcia introduced Gloria Estefan. Garcia explained, “We have a common bond. Our families, both fled to this country when we were young children to escape the repression of Castro’s Cuba. Our parents had to start all over again, struggling to give a better life in Miami.” Estefan also happens to be the first Latina to be honored in the Hall of Fame. Congratulations to both of these singers for their many contributions to the music world.
HIV/AIDS was first discovered in the 1980s and the world was shocked at how fast the disease spread throughout the world. In recent years, researchers have made remarkable gains towards the prevention and treatment of HIV. Millions of lives have been saved and transformed thanks to the knowledge gained from their research. The United States has committed itself to strengthening health systems, saving lives, and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Still, too many people have gone untreated for HIV/AIDS. The awareness of HIV/AIDS needs to be raised. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, is working to help anyone who has HIV/AIDS. This organization has helped millions of people and is doubling their efforts on behalf of the millions of people with HIV/AIDS. We must continue educating the public in order to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
This year, Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 19th, 2011. The holiday always falls on the third Sunday of June in the United States. Thinking of a gift for your father can be hard sometimes. You don’t want to get him a generic, boring present, or “the usual”. If you don’t know the list of typical Father’s Day gifts, here it is:
- A “World’s Best Dad” coffee mug
- Things for golf, or things that have to do with golf
- A restaurant gift card
- A picture frame with a picture of you and family members
Although these gifts can be appreciated by any father, they are mostly boring, not creative, and repetitive. You should get more creative with the things you can get, or do, for him on this special holiday to show your appreciation. Here is a list of some things that you can use as a base of your present, adding your own personal touches along the way:
- Instead of buying golf accessories, create a miniature golf course in your backyard. It doesn’t have to be a perfect miniature golf course, but it will be fun for the whole family! An economical person demonstrates on YouTube how to create one for under $10.
- Make him a feast with all his favorite foods and desserts
- Have a personalized hat made with his favorite team on it
- Put together a gift basket with beers, BBQ sauces, and seasonings for food
- You can get something with a personal engraving on it such as a lighter, business card holder, or a watch
These are just some of the things off the top of my head; you could get even more creative and do something amazing for him. Fathers Day is a holiday to show your appreciation for your father. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on the holiday, since you can show your appreciation for your father in so many ways. So get creative and come up with something he will cherish!
Naturally, we love both our parents equally, but when it comes to their special days of recognition, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, who are we spending more on? Whether it is time or money, do moms and dads get equal attention or does one beat out the other? In one of my previous blogs, I wrote about the differences between the way we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Based on my research, I found that more time went into Mother’s Day, but does that also mean that more money was spent on mothers? Many studies have been done to figure out the answers to these very questions.
In certain studies, many people gave testimonials based on how things work in their household. For example, some said that they like to make Mother’s Day much more special because moms are the ones who have nurtured and cared for us since conception. On the other hand, some argued that dads work just as hard to provide for the family. To get to the bottom of this, these questions can be better answered by looking at the statistics. In 2008, the projected consumer spending for Father’s Day was close to $9.9 billion, which happened to be $5.9 billion less than what we spent on our moms that year. This year, consumers were expected to spend $16.3 billion on moms and did, in fact, surpass that expectation. Will we surpass expectations and spend $11.1 billion on our dads this year? We shall wait and see.
As we come to the end of May 2011, let’s take a look at what we have to look forward to in June. I’m sure many of you have heard of weekly observances such as “National Flag Week” but, believe it or not, the list of weekly observances is pretty long. Here is a list of just some of the daily and weekly observances you can look forward to in June.
- National Business Etiquette Week
- Men’s Health Week
- Universal Father’s Week
- Nursing Assistants Week
- National Tire Safety Week
- National Sun Safety Week
Holidays and day-long observances in June
- June 1 — Say Something Nice Day
- June 2 — Leave the Office Early Day
- June 3 — National Doughnut Day
- June 4 — Drawing Day
- June 14 — Flag Day
- June 19 — Father’s Day
- June 26 — America’s Kids Day
If you enjoy celebrating holidays and observances, I hope this list has, quite literally, given you more reasons to celebrate this month. People create these celebrations to give recognition to certain people or things, remember to practice something we usually don’t, or just for the plain fun of having extra holidays. Let’s hope that this June is the best one yet! After all, it is “National Smile Month”.