Saturday, February 28

Umbrella-ella Day

Umbrella Day was a few days back (February 10th to be exact) but I thought it was a holiday that need not be ignored.  Umbrella Day is the celebration of the invention of the ingenious contraption that keeps you out of the hot sun in the summer and dry in the rain.  The first umbrella was invented over four thousand years ago and evidence has been found of them being used by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese.  It was the Chinese, however, who took the first step in waterproofing them.  The first modern umbrellas were sold in an umbrella shop called "James Smith and Sons" in 1830 in London.  Umbrellas at that time were made of wood or whalebone and covered with alpaca or oiled canvas.  They were very popular in that area of Europe because of the typically rainy weather.  The first steel-rimmed umbrella was made around 1850 and made its way to the United States shortly after.

Today, umbrellas are made of nylon, plastic, or a cotton-based material.  They are made in hundreds of different colors and styles to ensure everyone can find an umbrella that suits them.  There is the classic black umbrella for the businessman type, the cute pink frilly umbrella for little girls, even umbrellas that look like superheroes for little boys.  Personally, I have a brown umbrella with multi-color polka dots. My umbrella also came with a handy little case to put it in when it's folded up so it doesn't get the other things in your bag wet.  

Rainy days are always interesting on Purdue's campus.  There are many different methods that people use to cope with the rain.  There are the people who go about their day as usual, walking to class like everyday just with the addition of an umbrella in one hand.  Others, and I would have to say this is the majority from what I've seen, choose to take the bus.  The buses on rainy days are unbearably crowded and when there is the slightest amount of humidity in the air from the rain, they get very warm very quickly.  I tend to take the bus on rainy days unless the temperature outside is nice enough to still enjoy walking outside.

The umbrella seemed to make a comeback after Rihanna came out with her hit song "Umbrella" in 2007.  The song has a very catchy beat and I'm sure if you've heard it you have caught yourself singing " under my umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh" multiple times before.  After seeing what a big hit the song was, Rihanna got a deal with the umbrella line "totes" to have her own line of umbrellas at Macy's! Who knew a hit song could turn into a business deal!?

Friday, February 27

National Tooth Fairy Day

Who doesn't have fond memories of losing their first tooth?  Well, I don't remember the actual time and place, but I know I was really young.  Children grow up thinking that when they lose a tooth, a mystical fairy will come and trade that tooth for money.  We tried to rationalize why someone would want to do that by making up stories about how the tooth fairy had a giant castle made of teeth, fully equipped with tooth furniture, because when we thought about it, we realized how silly it seems.  

At my elementary school, losing a tooth was a huge deal.  If you lost your tooth during school, you got to get out of class and go down to the nurse's office and she would give you a little box for your tooth! Then when you returned to class, you would get your name on the tooth board, a special little white board shaped like a tooth, to let everyone know that you had lost a tooth that day.  It was a great honor for a seven-year-old.  

I remember when my sister found out there was no tooth fairy.  After losing her tooth the day before, she put it under her pillow and woke up to find the tooth still there.  She came to me and told me the tooth fairy had forgotten her.  I told my parents that they hadn't given her any money and they told me they didn't even know she had lost a tooth!  The next night the exchange happened, but now my sister was suspicious.  Later that week she was looking for something in my dad's dresser and found her tooth box! What a devastating feeling it is to realize that something you had believed in is not true.

Tomorrow on tooth fairy day, take some time to think about what the tooth fairy has done for you! :)