Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month.  This is the month when we honor contributions made by women in American history.  This holiday originally began as Women’s History Week.  It started in 1978 with a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California. This celebration was later declared by President Jimmy Carter to be a national holiday in 1980.  Every President thereafter carried on this tradition.  In March of 1987, Congress passed a law making the entire month Women’s History Month.  Each year, the theme is picked by The National Women’s History Alliance.  This year’s theme is: Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.

Here are 10 incredible women from our history that we can celebrate this month:

  1. Susan B. Anthony – This awesome woman helped lead the way for women’s right to vote.  She was also the co-founder of the Women’s Suffrage Association.  She spent her life fighting for women to have equal rights and an equal voice.  
  2. Rosa Parks – This legendary woman helped initiate the Civil Rights Movement when she boycotted giving up her seat on the bus to a white man.  She is known as the “First Lady of Civil Rights” and “The Mother of the Freedom Movement.”
  3. Mae C. Jemison – Mae C. Jemison is an astronaut, physicist, and an American engineer most famously known for being the first black woman to travel into space.  While working for NASA, she served as a mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Endeavor. 
  4. Ruth Bader Ginsburg – R.B.G. pushed for gender equality throughout her expansive career.  She helped women to attend state funded schools, the ability to sign mortgages and have bank accounts without a male co-signer, and she helped to protect pregnant women in the workplace.  She pushed for equal pay, argued that women should be allowed to participate in juries, and strived to make the world a better, more equal and fair place for everyone.  
  5. Eleanor Roosevelt – Eleanor was one of the most influential women of the 20th century.  She was the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and she was the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights.  She oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which outlined the rights and freedoms that everyone is entitled to.  
  6. Maya Angelou – Maya Angelou always stood up for what she believed in.  Her career spanned over 5 decades.  She started as a singer and a dancer.  She was later a journalist and a civil rights activist.  Finally, she became a poet, screenwriter, and memoirist.  She was the first female inaugural poet and she recited her poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” at the inauguration for President Bill Clinton.  She has won many awards including the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP, the National Medal of Arts, three Grammy awards for her spoken-word albums, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  7. Katherine Johnson – Katherine’s knowledge of mathematics helped her (and NASA) to figure out the paths for a spacecraft to orbit around Earth and to travel to the Moon.  We would not have landed on the moon without her.
  8. Margaret Knight – At the turn of the 20th century, Margaret Knight invented a new method for brewing coffee that inspired how we brew our coffee today. In 1908, she received a patent for her coffee filtration system. 
  9. Katharine Burr Blodgett – This incredible woman was the first woman to receive a PhD in physics from England’s Cambridge University.  She was also the first woman to be hired by General Electric where she invented non-reflective, or “invisible” glass.  This glass was used for cameras and projectors.
  10. Stephanie Kwolek – Stephanie invented Kevlar, a durable material used for military helmets, bullet proof vests, fiber optic cables, building materials, and so much more!

Enjoy your day!

National Random Acts of Kindness Day

“Kindness is love made visible.” – H. Swanepoel Raktivist

Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day!  Kind acts, both big and small, can brighten anyone’s day.  Something as simple as a kind note or a compliment can turn a person’s frown upside down.  Every year, individuals and organizations celebrate this holiday by doing nice things for others.  The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation celebrates more than just one day.  They celebrate Kindness Week.  Their website has several resources to help encourage kindness in schools and at home.

Here are some ways for you to celebrate kindness today:

  1. Leave random happy notes for people.
  2. Leave a yummy treat in the mailbox for your mail carrier.  
  3. Donate food to a local food pantry.  
  4. Make care packages for the homeless.  
  5. Buy coffee for a stranger. 
  6. If you live somewhere that’s snowy, shovel the snow from your neighbor’s driveway. 
  7. Offer to go grocery shopping for someone who isn’t able to leave their house.  
  8. Donate to someone’s GoFundMe. 
  9. Give compliments to everyone you see today.  
  10. Send flowers to a loved one. 
  11. Write “get well soon” cards for people in the hospital.  
  12. Create art and give it to a friend. 
  13. If you have a child in school, write a letter to their teacher about how much you appreciate them.  
  14. Leave an extra generous tip for your server or delivery person. 
  15. Make an awesome meal for someone.  

Be awesome.  Be caring.  Be kind.

 

National Plan for a Vacation Day

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2021!  The year of unlimited possibilities!  Although we are still very much in the middle of a pandemic, it’s still fun to think about all of the things that we can do when this is over.  If you’re a planner like me who has spent entirely too much time within the same walls of their home, you might be thinking about the first vacation that you’re going to take when it’s safe to do so.  Will you be flying to another country?  Driving cross-country?  Camping in an RV or maybe a tent?  Will you be staying in a luxury resort?  All of the above?  Personally, I have an extensive bucket list of places that I would love to visit.  Although planning for a future vacation is fun, please remember to stay safe.  And maybe get that travel insurance in case this pandemic doesn’t end as soon as we’re all hoping.  

In honor of National Plan for Vacation Day, here are some fun ideas for your first post-pandemic vacation:

  1. Take a cross-country road trip! You can see more cities and national parks on a road trip than you can if you fly.  One day you might be hiking in Yellowstone National Park and the next day you could be at the famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.  Take the roads less traveled and see everything that your country has to offer.  
  2. Hawaii – Each island offers its own unique tourist attractions.  You can do everything from snorkeling, to hiking a volcano, to touring plantations, to laying on the beach and working on your tan.  There is something for everyone in Hawaii!
  3. La Fortuna, Costa Rica –  This small town in Costa Rica is in the heart of the rainforest.  Monkeys and sloths can be found everywhere.  You can go zip-lining above the rainforest, white water rafting, go on an ATV tour around Arenal volcano, relax in natural hot springs, or (my personal favorite) canyoning and waterfall rappelling.  The locals are kind to the tourists and the food is amazing.  I highly recommend this experience for anyone with an adventurous spirit.  Pura Vida!
  4. Backpack through Europe!  Wake up under the Northern Lights of Iceland one day and then eat tapas in Spain the next day.  Enjoy a tour of a vineyard and the historical sites of Italy.  And don’t forget to check out the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  Looking for something a little less touristy?  Click HERE to check out 18 charming small towns that are off the beaten path.
  5. Springtime in Japan – Japan has so many things to offer, but one of the prettiest sites is when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.  The most famous place to see them is in Yoshimo, Japan and the best time of year to visit is in March.
  6. Galapagos Islands – Are you a fan of animals?  The Galapagos Islands are filled with creatures for you to see.  You can see tortoises, iguanas, and even penguins!  The most popular island to check out is San Cristobal Island.
  7. New Zealand – New Zealand has everything from large cities to beaches and mountains.  You can spend time in their amazing capital city of Auckland and then head down south to see the Waitomo Gloworm Caves.  Are you a Lord of the Rings fan?  Check out the actual hobbit homes used in the films in Hobbiton!  
  8. Santorini, Greece – Check out the real Atlantis, hike to the top of Santorini Volcano, visit the quaint village of Pyrgos, and end your day drinking wine and eating the best Greek food you’ve ever tasted.  
  9. Close your eyes and pick a random place on a map.  Sometimes the most random places become the best destinations.

Happy planning and safe travels!

Victories of 2020

You did it!  You’ve made it through the longest year in history: 2020!  Give yourself a pat on the back.  We all know that this year was….not ideal, but it definitely taught us to slow down and appreciate everything that we have.  Maybe you were lucky enough to spend more time at home with your family?  Maybe you learned a new hobby?  Maybe you spent more time in nature?  Maybe you watched Netflix in its entirety?  If nothing else, this year has taught us how resilient we all are.  As 2020 comes to an end, let’s celebrate the victories, both big and small, from this crazy year! 

  1. Our priorities have changed!  Before Covid hit, many of us were running around, constantly busy, constantly stressed, and never had any time to slow down and enjoy life.  2020 has forced many of us to slow down and appreciate what we have.  We also were given time to revisit old hobbies like gardening and baking.  
  2. We have learned to appreciate our frontline workers, teachers, and grocery store workers (among many other essential people) a lot more.  Without them, our country would have come to a screeching halt.
  3. Drive-In movies made a comeback!  Not only were people watching movies from the comfort of their own cars, but some concerts were also held at these venues for drive-in entertainment.
  4. SpaceX successfully launched two Americans into orbit for the first time in nearly a decade. 
  5. 103 year old grandma, Jennie Steins, beat Covid and celebrated with a Bud Light. 
  6. Musicians have given us personal concerts at home!  Instead of having to fight traffic to see our favorite artists, we can now see them from the comfort of our own homes. 
  7. NASA named its headquarters building in D.C. after Mary W. Jackson, the agency’s first African American female engineer.
  8. A 21 year old man named Chris Nikic made history as the first person with Down syndrome to complete the Ironman Triathlon.
  9. La Morada, a small Mexican restaurant in the Bronx became a soup kitchen to help the poor.  
  10. Some Good News was created by John Krasinski in an effort to remind us all that even when the world feels bleak, there’s always something to smile about. 
  11. When resources were scarce, major companies like 3M and Apple shifted production to make masks to help keep people safe.  Distilleries stopped making spirits and started making hand sanitizer.  Everyone tried to do their part to help out.  
  12. When restaurants started shutting down, world renowned chef, Guy Fieri, raised over $21.5 million dollars to help unemployed restaurant workers.  
  13. We have become more creative than ever with how we work, how we celebrate, and how we socialize.  We have had zoom parties.  We have used drones to fly messages to neighbors.  We have had sing-alongs with neighbors from our balconies.  With everything that has happened, we have still found ways to connect with people and enjoy life.  

I could go on forever with this list.  Within the darkness there has been a lot of light this year.  We hope that this light continues to get brighter in 2021. 

Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

 

Ben Franklin Tried to Electrocute a Turkey

 There are several ways to cook a turkey.  Baked.  Fried.  Roasted.  Electrocuted? 

It was a party trick that turned into a party fail!  Benjamin Franklin used his knowledge of electricity to cook a turkey in a unique and entertaining way.  He told fellow scientist, Peter Collinson, of a dream he had to host the world’s first electric barbeque.  He practiced for months on turkeys and chickens by electrocuting them with Leyden jars.  The tests were unsuccessful.  Each bird would merely be knocked into unconsciousness and then would “rise from the dead” as they awoke.  This of course freaked out Benjamin Franklin.  After several tests, he finally felt that he had mastered this trick.  

On December 23, 1750, Franklin got his chance to show off his new party trick.  Unfortunately, it did not turn out the way that he had planned.  He set the pernicious charge to electrocute the contained turkey, but the electricity shocked him instead!  The turkey fled and Franklin was on the ground.  The only thing that hurt more than his chest was his ego!  Although this trick didn’t go as planned, it forever changed the way that we eat.  Franklin had unintentionally discovered how to tenderize meat through electric charge.  This method has been used to tenderize meat ever since.

With the holiday season just around the corner, you might be wondering how to make your own turkey.  Here are a few recipes that don’t involve electrocution:

  1. Perfect Roast Turkey 
  2. Cajun Deep-Fried Turkey
  3. Vegan & Gluten-Free Tofurkey with Stuffing
  4. Bay Leaf and Honey Glazed Turkey with Pear Chutney
  5. Air-Fryer Turkey
  6. Bourbon-Brined Turkey with Apple Bourbon Pan Gravy 
  7. Braised Turkey with Moroccon Spices
  8. Turkey with Herby Pork and Apricot Stuffing
  9. The Greatest Grilled Turkey
  10. Turducken

We hope that you all have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

 

National Apple Day

It’s finally Fall!  The weather is cooler.  The air smells like fallen leaves and pumpkin spice lattes.  You can finally wear your favorite sweaters and scarves again.  The best part of all?  It’s apple cider season!  Apples are one of the most versatile fruits in existence.  They’re healthy, delicious, and if you eat one a day it will keep the doctor away.  They’re so wonderful that the U.K.-based charity organization called Common Ground started National Apple Day in 1990 to celebrate all things apple.

Fun Facts About Apples:

  1. The first apple trees were said to have been found in central Asian anywhere from 10 to 20 million years ago.  
  2. Originally sour, they evolved into sweeter fruits.
  3. China is the top producer of apples.  The U.S.A. and Poland are also top producers.
  4. Gala apples are the most popular, followed by red delicious, granny smith, fuji, and honeycrisp.
  5. The apple came to America in 1607.
  6. “Johnny Appleseed” was actually named John Eastman.  In the early 19th century, he traveled through the Midwest to plant apple trees, as well as to educate farmers about how to care for them.
  7. Although it’s considered an American staple, the apple pie was first invented in 1381 in England.
  8. Washington State is the largest producer of apples in the United States.
  9. Black Diamond apples are the rarest type and are actually a dark hue of purple in color.
  10. The wilderness of Koolan in Maui is the largest apple orchard in the world.

Awesome Ways to Celebrate Apple Day:

  1. Plant an apple tree in your backyard.
  2. Visit an apple orchard.
  3. Bake an apple pie.
  4. Try a new variety of apple that you’ve never tried before.
  5. Drink apple cider. (My personal favorite is Big B’s)
  6. Make homemade applesauce.
  7. Make an apple scented candle.
  8. Try bobbing for apples.
  9. Make caramel apples.
  10. Make an apple costume to wear on Halloween.

 

Enjoy your day!

 

 

National Online Learning Day!

 

National Online Learning Day

September 15th is National Online Learning Day! This day recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of online and blended learning institutions. As we all know, Covid has forced many of us to rethink how we work and also how we learn.  Many of us are working and learning from home. We can’t think of a better day than today to tell you all that we have put all of our courses online! We have interactive live-streamed courses, as well as courses on the go. Some of them are even FREE! (Yes, you read that correctly. FREE!)  You can earn your continuing education units while lounging around in your pajamas at home, camping in the woods, chilling by the pool, or maybe even sitting next to your child who’s also learning from home. You can learn at your own pace from anywhere in the world! 

But enough about us.  Did you know that the first online high school was created in 1994? With the internet growing in popularity, more online schools were established.  Eventually, colleges and universities added online courses as flexible learning options. Virtual classrooms have become more technologically advanced since their humble beginning in the 1990’s.  Now, there are more programs and apps available to make learning on the go much more convenient. 

 

Here are just a few ways to celebrate Online Learning Day:

  1. Take an online course – Whether it’s from us at Brainfiller or from your local university, now is the perfect opportunity to learn the latest and greatest in your field. Or maybe you’re interested in learning something new? That’s the beauty of online learning. You can learn anything at any time from anywhere!
  2. Learn a new skill – Have you ever wanted to learn how to crochet? Or maybe you would like to learn how to build a desk for your home office? Luckily, we live in an era with endless Youtube tutorials that can teach us whatever we’re interested in!
  3. Create a Youtube Tutorial – Do you have a skill that you would like to share with the world? Help others by creating a YouTube tutorial video!
  4. Become an online teacher – Have you been in your field for awhile and now you’re looking for a way to help others? Try teaching online! Many universities are looking for online instructors for various fields of study. You may also consider teaching ESL to children from around the world. The possibilities are endless.
  5. Thank your online teachers (and teacher friends!) – It’s not always easy, but they sure make it look like it is.  Send a thank you to your favorite online teacher to let them know that they are appreciated.

Happy Learning!

National Hot Dog Day!

 

It’s National Hot Dog Day! In 1871, a German baker named Charles Felton opened the first hot dog stand on Coney Island.  Originally called dachshund sausages (named after the dog), he sold 3,684 in his first year.  Thanks to this culinary innovation, the hot dog has become an American staple in food culture.  Not only are there many toppings to choose from, but there are also many different types of hot dogs.  Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and even vegan options have gained in popularity.  Here are some of our favorite hot dog recipes that we would like to share with you!

 

  1. Quesadogas – Get your tex-mex fix with this perfect combination of a hot dog and a quesadilla. 
  2. Campfire Pigs in a Blanket – Are you going on a camping trip?  Or maybe you’re just hanging out around the fire pit in your backyard?  This is the perfect campfire meal for this summer!
  3. Homemade Gourmet Vegan Hot Dogs – Looking for something plant-based?  This yummy recipe also includes a recipe for cashew-almond cheese sauce.  Short on time?  Most grocery stores have fantastic veggie dogs that you don’t need to make from scratch.  Toppings not included.
  4. Hot Dog Bar – Is your family picky?  Do they each like different things?  Set up a hot dog bar and let them create their own hot dog creations!
  5. Garlic Bread Hot Dog – Want something that’s a little more Italian?  Try out a hot dog stuffed in garlic bread!
  6. Mac and Cheese Dog Casserole – If you’re not in the mood to eat a hot dog in a bun, you can try putting it into a casserole!  I mean, who doesn’t love mac and cheese? 
  7. Pizza Hot Dogs – Here’s a recipe that combines two of the best foods on the planet!
  8. Bánh Mì Hot Dogs For an amazing Vietnamese flare on a traditional meal, try out the Banh Mi Hot Dog!

 

Enjoy your hot dogs!

 

It’s Not All Bad…

Photo by Good Good Good on Unsplash

 

We’re almost halfway through 2020!  It’s no secret that this year has been challenging for most of us and that it is sometimes difficult to stay positive.  However, with all of the bad there’s also a lot of good in the world.  In the wake of our pandemic, actor John Krasinski from the show The Office created an entire online news program called Some Good News, which was dedicated to sharing good news that’s happening in the world.  This has inspired us to share some good news with you. 

Here are a few positive things that have happened so far in 2020:

  1. 7-year Old Holds Prom for His Babysitter:  When Rachel Chapman’s prom was cancelled due to Covid-19, young Curtis decided to take matters into his own hands.  He surprised her with dinner and a dance.  Curtis dressed up and picked out a menu based on what they would eat together when she babysat: peanut butter and apples, Chick-fil-A, and smoothies.
  2. 99-year-old Veteran beats Covid-19 and Surprises Granddaughter on Wedding Day:  WWII veteran, Vincent Simeone, was hospitalized for Covid for two weeks.  When he recovered, he was able to surprise his granddaughter, Amy Zimmerman at her wedding on May 24th.  This also would have been his late wife Millie’s 100th birthday. 
  3. Iowa Teen Launches Free Grocery Delivery Service for Seniors:  Seventeen-year-old Tenner Kenin has a mission to keep senior citizens safe during the pandemic.  He started T’s Angel Hands to help out seniors who are struggling to find delivery times and aren’t able to go to the store for fear of getting sick.  He and dozens of volunteers are not only helping seniors, but they are also helping people with underlying health issues and pregnant women.  
  4. Canadian Company Aims to Plant 1 Billion Trees by 2020 Using Drones: Flash Forest, a Canadian startup, is using drones to drop seed pods into areas that may otherwise not be reached.  They are currently able to plant 10,000-20,000 trees per day, but are hoping to reach 100,000 trees per day.
  5. Singer Rents Cherry Picker to Sing to a Senior Center: Since nursing homes currently do not allow visitors, Colette Hawley of Chicago decided to take matters into her own hands.  She rented a 30 foot cherry picker bucket truck to lift her up to sing through the windows of Chicago Methodist Senior Services.  The grateful residents were seen clapping and waving through the windows.  Some were even brought outside to dance.

Hang in there.  

 

 

 

National Electrical Safety Month

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

May is National Electrical Safety Month!  This month is a great time to double check all of your electrical equipment in your home.  It’s also a great time to learn about electrical hazards and how to avoid them.

Electrical Safety Checklist:

  1. Check all electrical cords for fraying and replace any that may be damaged.
  2. Keep all electrical appliances away from water.
  3. Don’t nail or tack cords to the wall or floor.
  4. Use outlet covers to protect children from electrical outlets.
  5. Never touch a downed powerline!  Stay at least 35 feet away and call 911.
  6. Don’t plant trees near utility equipment or under power lines.
  7. Stay at least 10 feet away from all overhead power lines.
  8. Do not touch anything that’s touching a powerline.
  9. Check your extension cords.  These are meant to be temporary and not a permanent fixture.  All appliances should be plugged directly into the wall and not into an extension cord.
  10.  Don’t overload your electrical circuits.  Flickering lights, warm or discolored wall plates, and mild shock from appliances or switches can all indicate overloaded circuits.

   Have a safe day!

National Lineman Appreciation Day

 

Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

National Lineman Appreciation Day 

Imagine being quarantined without power.  No Netflix.  No refrigerator.  No video games to keep your kids occupied while you’re trying to work.  No computers to allow you to work.  No power or technology of any kind.  Thanks to linemen, we are able to have all of these things.  Saturday was Lineman Appreciation Day.  Linemen work around the clock to make sure that we have power.  They work under high risk conditions on a daily basis.  Without them, we would not be able to function in our high-tech world.  How did this appreciation day come to be?  On April 10, 2013, U.S. Senate Resolution 95 declared April 18th as Lineman Appreciation Day.

Here are a few facts about the history of linemen:

  1. The profession began in the 1840’s due to the invention of the telegraph.  Lines were originally strung on trees, but eventually wooden poles were put in place.  There was very little training available and the job was extremely dangerous.  They were responsible for connecting communities to the ever growing power grid.
  2. Between the 1890’s and 1930’s, line work was considered one of the most dangerous jobs in existence.  One in 3 linemen were killed on the job, typically from electrocution.
  3. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, electricity became more publicly dependent.  Maintenance of power lines and quick repairs became more important.
  4. In the 1950’s, some electric lines began to be installed underground.
  5. Now, industry standards and best practices have been put in place to protect our linemen.  There are 3 organizations leading lineman health and safety: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

If you see a lineman, thank them.  If you see anyone on the front lines, thank them, too.  There are many essential workers on the frontlines right now.  We at Brainfiller appreciate ALL of you who are still working to keep life as normal as possible for us during this time.

Stay safe!

 

A Socially Distant St. Patrick’s Day – Virtual Celebrations

Photo by Hoan Vo on Unsplash

What a week! Like everyone else, we at Brainfiller have been following the COVID-19 news closely.  For many of us, we are so used to the hustle and bustle of life that when we are forced to stay home and slow down, we are unsure what to do with ourselves.  If you’re like me, you’re home with your kids trying to entertain them and make sure that they are staying happy and healthy.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day.  A day when many of us would be out socializing and celebrating.  Just because we are social distancing, that does NOT mean that we can’t still celebrate!  Here are some fun activities that you can do to celebrate from home:

  1. Dropkick Murphy’s Livestream: Every year, the iconic Celtic-punk band Dropkick Murphy’s puts on a live show to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This year, they will be doing a livestream concert for the entire world to watch.  You can watch it on their YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.  For more information, please visit Dropkick Murphys.
  2. Virtual Milwaukee Irish Fest: With the trend of putting everything online, the Milwaukee Irish Fest will also be live streaming for your enjoyment. They will also be featuring artist-curated videos, Irish Fest throwback videos, and more.  For more information, please visit Irish Fest.
  3. Shamrocks & Shenanigans Virtual 4 Miler: Just because you’re social distancing, doesn’t mean you can’t go outside and run (from a distance). This virtual race will be held all month long. To sign up go to Shamrocks & Shenanigans.
  4. Virtual St. Patrick’s Day Parade: The parades have been cancelled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun! People all over Twitter have announced that they will be having their own virtual parades in their homes. Dress up in green and orange and have a parade in your own living room!
  5. LemonAid – St. Patrick’s Day Virtual Festival: This virtual festival has several artists performing and will have two virtual stages – one on Facebook and one on Instagram Live. This is taking place from 1pm – 10pm ET and has no cover charge. However, they will be suggesting ways to support the artists.   Check it out at their Facebook event page: LemonAid – St. Patrick’s Day Virtual Festival.
  6. Gardening: This is a great day to try out your green thumb and start planting some flowers and vegetables for the summer. You can do this indoors if it’s still too cold, or outside if the weather is nice. You can even plant shamrocks for a fun St. Patty’s Day addition.
  7. Green Volcano: If you’re at home with your kids, you should create a green volcano! This is a fun experiment for kids of any age.  You can get instructions at: Science Fun! Don’t forget to add some green food coloring.
  8. Tie-Dye Fun: Another fun project for today would be to tie-dye T-shirts! Use green and orange for a fun St. Patrick’s Day project.
  9. Green Food: Try to eat only green foods today. Turn it into a game for your kids by telling them that the Leprechaun’s rule is that they must only eat green today.  It can be a fun way to get them to eat their green vegetables.
  10. Virtually Tour St. Patrick’s Cathedral: There are many museums and tourist attractions available to view online right now. One of them is St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. You can view it on their app or on their website at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

We hope that you all stay safe and healthy.  Have a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day!

 

National Love Your Pet Day

 

February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day!  We at Brainfiller have many fur babies whom we love and adore.  From cats and dogs to ferrets and lizards, we love them all.  Above is a picture of our pug Skittles dressed up as Thor.  Did you know that about 85 million households in the U.S. own at least one pet?  Although most of them have dogs and cats, there are many other types of animal companions.  As if we need another reason to love our pets, today is the day to give them some extra love and attention.

Here are some ways to celebrate your pets today:

  1. Make a special treat: Here is a link to recipes for homemade dog treats: Good Housekeeping Pet Treats
  2. Spoil your pet with a new toy: Visit your local pet store to buy a new toy for your pet. If possible, visit an independently owned store.
  3. Give them some extra play time: Take your pet to the park or play in your home. Either way, your pet will love and appreciate the extra attention they are getting from you.  You can also try to teach them a new trick.
  4. Arrange a pet playdate: If your pet loves to socialize, this is the perfect day to let them play with or make new friends. Dog parks are the best places to help socialize your pup.
  5. Take them to a pet spa: Take your pet to get a nice massage and grooming.
  6. Give them some extra cuddle time: Fuzzy or scaly, all animals love to get cuddles from their favorite humans.
  7. Take your pet to a pet friendly restaurant: This one is typically just for dogs, but that’s not always the case. I was recently at a restaurant in Las Vegas, NV and saw a girl carrying around her bearded dragon on her shoulder.
  8. Take your pet for a walk in a new place: Or maybe go hiking! Animals love getting to explore new places and smells.  Just remember to bring plenty of water for your pet.
  9. Drink with your pet: Companies like Pet Winery and Apollo Peak make pet-safe mocktails, beer, wine, and champagne so they can celebrate life with you.
  10. Share pictures of your pet on social media: Tag #brainfillerpets so we can see your adorable pets!

Have fun with your pets today!

 

Grey Matter (the brain not our newsletter)

Grey Matter Facts

The human brain consists of 60% white matter and 40% grey matter.  But what is grey matter? And why do we call this lovely newsletter by that name?

Grey matter includes regions of the brain involved in muscle control and sensory perception.  It is also vital to our intelligence and memory.  We at Brainfiller have a primary goal to fill all brains with as much knowledge as possible.  Your grey matter will help you to remember it.  Thus our reason for calling this newsletter, “Grey Matter.”

Allow us to fill your brain with these fun facts about your brain:

  1. Your brain produces enough energy to power a light bulb. Your brain can produce enough energy to power a 25-watt light bulb, even while sleeping.
  2. Brains are busier when you’re sleeping. We’re always told to get a good night’s sleep before a big test. This is why!  Brains spend your sleeping hours organizing and storing information you come across throughout the day, including all of that information you just studied for a big test.  Your brain is so busy when you’re sleeping that it has to produce a hormone that keeps you immobilized so you won’t react to any of the ideas that are going through your head.
  3. Grey matter isn’t actually grey. Don’t let the name fool you. Grey matter doesn’t turn grey until it dies. It is actually a healthy pink due to all the blood that’s constantly flowing through it.
  4. Humans use much more than 10% of their brains. We aren’t sure where this information about only using 10% came from, but we do know that it’s not true! Although you may not be using every part of your brain at every moment of the day, you will use every part at some point during the day.  Each part of our brain has a different purpose, but they’re all essential to function.
  5. Your brain doesn’t feel pain. Even though our brain will tell us loud and clear when we’re in pain, the brain tissue itself doesn’t contain pain receptors and thus cannot feel pain.
  6. Your brain is addicted to oxygen. Our brain makes up less than 2% of our body weight, and yet it consumes 20% of the oxygen in your bloodstream. The brain divides that oxygen up between grey and white matter, with white matter getting just 6% and gray matter taking in 94%.
  7. Your brain is mostly water. The average brain is about 73% water. Much of that water comes from blood. About a gallon of it flows through every four minutes.
  8. A fat brain is a healthy brain. The brain is the most fatty organ in the body and you want it to be! The fat is necessary to insulate neurons and allow messages to travel through the brain and the body without getting lost.

Have a brainy day!

 

National Maple Syrup Day!

Photo by nikldn on Unsplash

Pass the syrup, please!  Yesterday was National Maple Syrup Day!  Yep, we will celebrate anything here at Brainfiller HQ.

This natural sweetener was first discovered and processed by the indigenous people of North America.  European settlers later refined the art of making syrup.  Up until the 1930’s, the United States were the world leaders in maple syrup production.  Now, Canada has taken the maple syrup throne.

Did you know that a maple syrup production farm is called a sugarbush or a sugarwood?  Here are some other fun facts about maple syrup:

 

 

  1. Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States.
  2. Sap is boiled in a sugar house which is also known as a sugar shanty, sugar shack or a cabane à sucre.
  3. Although not limited to these maple species, it is usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple or black maple trees.
  4. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.
  5. Quebec produces about 2/3 of the world’s syrup.
  6. A quarter cup of syrup is high in minerals.
  7. The first written account of maple syrup production comes from 1606.
  8. A tree takes about 40 years before it’s large enough to tap.
  9. The International Maple Syrup Institute was founded in 1975 and their meetings include breakfast buffets.
  10. Sap is usually preferred to syrup in Korea. Since the ninth century, the gorosoe, or “tree good for the bones,” is a Korean maple that’s been tapped by southern villagers. Locals drink over 5 gallons in one sitting as a common practice.

Enjoy this day with some pancakes or waffles.  Or you can be like Buddy the Elf and try some syrup on your spaghetti.

Have an extra sweet day!

 

Hooray – It’s National Cheeseburger Day!

September 18th is National Cheeseburger Day and we are all very excited here at Brainfiller. However, in all fairness it doesn’t take much for us to get excited!

Cheeseburgers have been a staple of American culture since the 1920’s.  In 1926, Lionel Sternberger got the brilliantly cheesy idea to add a slice of cheese to his burger while working as a fry cook at his father’s Pasadena, California sandwich shop, “The Rite Spot.”  Today, that basic cheeseburger has been re-created into a variety of mouth-watering recipes.

Here are our top 5 favorite creative burger recipes for you to try:

  1. The Pizza Burger

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a47675/pizza-burgers-recipe/

  1. The Bloody Mary Burger

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a22730056/bloody-mary-burger-recipe/

  1. Gingered Burger w/Lime Slaw

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a9310/gingered-burgers-lime-slaw/

  1. French Onion Soup Burger

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a47646/french-onion-soup-burger-recipe/

  1. The Mediterranean Burger

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/mediterranean-burgers

Not a fan of meat?  No problem!  With so many vegan options available these days, you can still make each of these burgers without meat.  Try them with the Impossible Burger or your favorite black bean burger.  There are also many options for vegan cheeses, vegan bacon, and even vegan pepperoni!

Indulge!
Just in case I made you lose your mind over cheeseburgers, here is a super cheesy list of deals that I found where you can indulge yourself!

Red RobinGourmet Cheeseburger with Bottomless Steak Fries
Purchase any regular-sized beverage when you dine in and get a Gourmet Cheeseburger with Bottomless Steak Fries for $5.

Black Angus SteakhouseGuacamole Cheeseburger or Steakhouse Bacon Cheeseburger
Black Angus diners will receive a 16 oz. draft beer and a side of fries or coleslaw when they order a cheeseburger for just $12.99 (prices vary in Hawaii and Alaska).

Burger 21 Super Cheesy 
The “limited edition” B21 Super Cheesy has returned for National Cheeseburger Day (naturally). 

Halo Burger QP Burgers 
Halo Burger, the pride of Flint, Michigan, will celebrate its 96th birthday by serving up $1.96 QP Burgers on National Cheeseburger Day. The chain, with eight locations in and around Flint, remains committed to sourcing “fresh, local Michigan ingredients.” The offer’s good from 2pm to 7pm on September 18th.

Black Tap Free All-American Burgers
Black Tap’s All-American is a classic cheeseburger topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and house-made special sauce. The first 100 customers at each restaurant receive one free! U.S. locations include Southern California (Downtown Disney), Las Vegas (The Venetian), and New York City.

MooyahFree Cheeseburgers
All Mooyah locations will offer a free cheeseburger to Rewards App members — with purchase of fries and drink (or shake). Note: Anyone can download the app and get the offer on the spot.

Smashburger – BOGO
Smashburger will offer a BOGO (buy one, get one) deal on their double classic Smashburgers.  That’s two burgers for $6.99.

White Castle Sliders
And…if you really want to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day, order 10 Cheesy Sliders for only $6.99. Available NOW!

Have a Super Cheesy Day!

 

 

 

(Disclaimer – Brainfiller, Inc. and it’s employees are not responsible for the accuracy of these deals)