A Merged Blog (Cinco de Mayo + Dose of Fun Facts #2)
First published: Wednesday May 5th, 2021
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
¡Hola tios! Er- hello again everybody! Sorry, I was doing another Spanish lesson. It is now May 5th and is also Cinco de Mayo, which translates to Fifth of May! I know this holiday is quite minor in the US, just an excuse to get a margarita, but here's the real story behind it.
I have some good news and some bad news today. The good news is, I now know the entire Korean alphabet and how they sound xD. Bad news is that my brother got onto my device and deleted the first blog in my "Wild" series. Chen commented about it on Monday which got me to investigate a bit, plus, Ethaboo had also said it was "sadly deleted for some reason" on The Blog Games Season 1 - Week 4, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Let's Get Back to the Point
May 5th, 2021.
Two days since my last blog
Ok, ok. So I know I missed Kentucky Derby Day, May Day, and Star Wars Day but I have no free time to make blogs that close together.
History of Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army's 1682 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. The day, which falls on each May 5th of each year that passes, is also known as the Battle of the Puebla Day. While being a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with larger Mexican-American populations.
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, a popular misconception. Instead, it commemorat-es a single battle. In 1861, Benito Juárez, a lawyer and member of the Indigenous Zapotec tribe, was elected as president of Mexico. At the time, the country was in financial ruin after years of internal strife, and the new president was forced to default on debt payments to European governments.
In response, France, Britain, and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz, Mexico, demanding repayment. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew their forces.
France, however, ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to carve out an empire from Mexican territory. Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large force of troops and driving president Juárez and his government into retreat.
Certain that success would come swiftly, 6,000 French troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez set out to attack Puebla de Los Angelos, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his new headquarters in the north, Juárez rounded up a ragtag force of 2,000 loyal men, many of them of them either Indigenous Mexicans or a mix of ancestry, and sent them to Puebla.
The vastly outnumbered and poorly supplied Mexican army, led by Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza, fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On May 5th, 1862, Lorencez gathered his army, supported by heavy artillery, before the city of Puebla and led the assault.
The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated, they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had died from the clash.
Although not a major strategic win in the overall war with the French, Zaragoza's success at the Battle of Puebla represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement. In 1867, thanks in part to military support and political pressure from the United States, which was finally in a position to aid its besieged neighbor after the end of the Civil War, France finally withdrew.
How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
"One of the wonderful things about Mexican culture is that we love to share our holidays and customs with other people. We are the type of culture that welcomes you into our home, however humble our plates, or offerings, you will always feel welcome to partake in famalial and cultural activities."
- Claudia Sandoval
Share the Real Story
Many Americans are quick to celebrate with tacos and margaritas without understanding the cultural significance of the holiday. Before partaking in any celebrations, take a few minutes to learn about the holiday and educate others you're celebrating with. Changing stereotypes is something that we need help with, and if you do your part, we can share how awesome the truth behind Cinco de Mayo is.
Support Mexican Businesses
While there are plenty of chain restaurants that offer Cinco de Mayo deals, Sandoval suggests supporting locally instead: Skip the Taco Bell drive-thru and order carry-out from a local Mexican- owned business in your area. Whether it's your local Mexican restaurant, or a local Mexican pottery store, supporting small business owners helps not just your local economy, but it helps support the Mexicans who's culture you enjoy celebrating.
Support Mexican Arts and Museums
This holiday isn't just about food! Often, we dismiss the value of true Mexican artesanías. If you have a local art gallery, museum, or artist, show up and support those artists and museums that are honoring Mexican history and culture. If you're not familiar with any in your area, a quick internet search can help you find local venues.
Eat the Food!
It's important to make sure you're celebrating Mexican heritage and not treating the day as an excuse to go out for margaritas, but food is such a large part of the Mexican culture, that it can be one of the best wats to celebrate. Order carry-out at a local restaurant, or try making your own at home.
Your Dose of Fun Facts - #2
1. Goosebumps are meant to ward off predators. In this physiological reaction, small muscles attached to individual body hairs contract, which leads to the hair to stand on end. We inherited this ability from our ancestors as a way for our ancestors to retain heat in their "coat", which was also used to make them appear larger to scare of predators. As we evolved, modern humans have less body hair which made goosebumps look less intimdating.
2. You loose up to 30 percent of your taste buds during a flight. This might explain why airplane food have such a bad reputation. The elevation of the airplane can have a detrimental effect on our ability to taste things. The dryness experienced at a high elevation as well as low pressure reduces the sensitivity of a person's taste buds to sweet and salty foods by about 30 percent. Add that dry cabin air affects our ability to smell, and our ability to taste is reduced further.
3. Your nostrils work at one time. When we breathe in and out of our nose during the day, one nostril does most of the work at a time, with duties switching every several hours. This "nasal cycle" is dictated by the same autonomic nervous system that regulates heart rate, digestion, and other unconscious bodily functions and is the reason why—when our nose gets stuffed up it—does so one nostril at a time.
4. Marie Curie was the only person to earn a Nobel prize in two different sciences. The pioneering researcher won the Nobel prize in Physics in 1903 (shared with her husband) for her stufy of spontaneous radiation. Then, she won the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 1911 for her work on radioactivity. This makes her one of just six recipients to recieve multiple Nobel prizes, and the only person to recieve it in two different sciences.
5. The English word with the most definitions is "set." According to Guinness World Records, "set" has the largest number of meanings than any other word in the English language, with 430 different senses listed in the 1989 edition of the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. The word "sets" the record with an entry running 60,000 words, or 326,000 characters, and no other English word has come close since.
6. Chewing gum boosts concentration. Next time you are having trouble focusing, you might want to reach for a stick of gum. A 2013 study in the British Journal of Psychology found that those subjects who chewed gum while taking part in a memory challenge were able to stay focused for longer periods of time than those who did not chew gum.
7. Superman didn't always fly. The original comic book, Superman could leap tall buildings in a single bound. But then, he had to come right back down to Earth—because he didn't fly. It wasn't until the 1940s, when animators for a new animated series decided it would be too difficult to routinely draw him bending his knees, that it was decided that Superman could take off into the air. Readers got to see smooth animation, and a superhero gained a new power.
8. Space smells like seared steak. When you see footage of astronauts floating peacefully in space, do you ever wonder, what does space smell like? Well, according the some former astronauts, space does have a distinct odor that hangs around the post-spacewalk. They've described it as "hot metal" or "searing steak."
9. The longest wedding veil was the length of 63.5 football fields. When Maria Paraskeva got married in Cyprus, August 18, her goal wasn't just saying "I do." She was also determined to set a record. She had a dream as a kid to break the Guinness World Record title for the longest wedding veil. This dream became reality as she wore a lace veil that stretched 22,842 and 2.11 inches, or as long as 63.5 football fields.
10. Bees occassionally sting other bees. Bees are notorious for their stings, but humans aren't the only ones who experience this pain. When guard bees protect the hive from outsiders, they will sniff the bees that come in, says Marianne Peso from the biology department of Macquarie University. If there's a rogue bee from another hive trying to steal some nectar, the guard bee will bite and even sting the intruder.
11. The total weight of ants on earth once equaled the total weight of people. Entomologists have estimated that there was at least one million trillion insects and only one percent of that number are ants, according to BBC, and if you took all those ants (about ten thousand trillion) and put them on one side of a giant scale, you could almost put all people of the world onto the other side of the scale and balance things out. Unfortunately, as humans become heavier, this probably wouldn't hold up today—but it once did. Francis Ratnieks, professor of Apiculture at the University of Sussex, told the BBC this might have held true around 2,000 years ago.
12. A pharaoh once lathered his slaves in honey to keep bugs away from him. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt were believed to be literally divine. The word itself means "great house," as in the house of God. In fact, King Pepi II, who supposedly ruled for 90 years, thought so highly of himself that when he was bothered by insects, he would command that one of his slaves be covered in honey to lure flies away from himself.
13. Some people have an extra bone in their knee. If you were under the impression that the human body had finished evolving, think again. It turns out that some people have a bone in their knee called a fabella. While this particular little bone with an unknown purpose was once fading away, over the last century-and-a-half, it's gotten more common. Back in 1875, nearly 18 percent of people examined had a fabella. That number dropped to 11 percent by 1918. However, by 2018, 39 percent of individuals have this mysterious bone.
14. Pringles aren't actually potato chips. The next time you see a can of Pringles, take a closer look—you won't see the word "chip" anywhere on the packaging. That's because Pringles aren't made of thinly-sliced potatoes, but dehydrated potato shapes pressed into their signature parabolic shape. That's what makes them less greasy, but when other potato chip manufacturers complained, the Food and Drug Administration ruled that Pringles couldn't be marketed as chips. The company eventually settled on "potato crisp."
15. There's a giant fish with a transparent head. The deepest levels of our ocean are some of the least explored areas of the planet. The extreme pressure from the higher levels of the ocean, the cold, and the dark in the depths, only the very strangest of creatures can survive there. These include giant tube worms, vampire squids, goblin sharks, and viperfish with teeth so long that they can't close their mouths. Perhaps the strangest, though, is the barreleye, a large fish with a completely transparent head.
To review, this is my first merged blog because it is both Cinco de Mayo and the day where I'm suppost to make the second blog for the "Your Dose of Fun Facts" series. Cinco de Mayo may be one of the minor holidays here in the USA, but there is some nice history behind it, plus, some wholesome ways to celebrate it!
The Thought of the Day - "Worry is a misuse of imagination."
The Joke of the Day - Why are pirates called pirates? Because they arghhh!!
The Fun Fact of the Day - A group of porcupines is called a prickle.
The Journal Entry of the Day - Describe an outdoor game you used to play in the summertime.
Feel free to answer the journal entry of the day if you'd like!