Holidays

  • February 4, 2021

    Science of the Heart and Stars

    In honor of Black History Month, I very much wanted to profile two wonderful Black American scientists who have greatly contributed to the advancement of humanity’s health and well-being and to our understanding of the universe! I’m speaking of none other than Progressive Pioneers Doctors Marie M. Daly and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Let’s take a look into the lives of these great Americans who make us all proud—for we are all one color: beautiful. Dr. Marie Daly STEM Revolution of Equal Opportunity When the 45th president signed into law the Hidden Figures Act honoring the four African‐American women who were instrumental in the success of NASA’s space race to the moon, we should not forget other accomplished women who have also contributed our nation’s scientific knowledge. One such venerated pioneer is Dr. Marie Maynard Daly. Dr. Daly was born in Queens, NY on April 16, 1921. She was the daughter of Ivan Daly (an immigrant from the British West Indies) and Helen Page of Washington DC. Her parents settled in the New York City area where Mr. Daly attended Cornell University in pursuit of a chemistry degree. Like her father, Dr. Marie Daly also chose to pursue a career in chemistry. She was spurred on by her grandfather’s extensive library of books about scientists and their scientific achievements. Dr. Daly graduated from Queens College magna cum laude with a BA in Chemistry. Due to labor shortages and the need for scientists during World War II, she was able to garner fellowships to study at both New York and Columbia Universities earning her a master’s and a Ph.D. (respectively). Daly’s first major publication was her thesis on the formation of pancreatic amylase on corn starch. From there, her scientific career soared. She was awarded a grant from the American Cancer Society...
  • This is a cute little post I wrote about the science behind Santa’s Enchantment. There are fictional interviews with three of the world’s leading experts on Christmas Magic.
  • October 31, 2020

    BOO!

    Happy Halloween Denizens of Digital Gotham! Tonight is Halloween, and tomorrow is November 1st, which is the famed Mexican holiday Día de Muertos (A.K.A. Day of the Dead)—a scary-fun time indeed! Therefore, I’m honoring the traditional holiday of “Tricks and Treats” (and other things to go “bump in the night”) in this post just because. All Hallows’ Eve, as Halloween is sometimes known, is celebrated not only in America but in countries from Australia, most countries in Europe, to Japan, among others. Though this holiday unofficially kicks off the American Holiday Season (consisting also of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve, to name a few), it has its roots in Gaelic, Welsh, and Christian influences. For most people who celebrate Halloween it’s usually about getting in costume (like a Bat with a cape! LOL!), going to parties, and if you’re a kid, ringing on people’s doors and “legally” asking for candy! Of course, Digital Batman celebrates Halloween every week when he writes this blog in his cape and cowl. Hahaha!
  • March 8, 2020

    Sisters of Invention

    In honor of International Women’s Day 2020, this week’s Progressive Pioneers will be a quadfecta of amazing young women who are trying to change the world for the better. All too often the news is dominated by negative stories, and one would think that the world is a sad place. However, that is not the case! For optimistic, creative, inventive, and resourceful entrepreneurs Greta Thunberg, Alaina Gassler, and Anna Stork & Andrea Sreshta the world couldn’t be more full of promise and hope. Here are their stories: Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist on climate change whose campaigning has gained international recognition. Thunberg is known for her straightforward speaking manner, both in public and to political leaders and assemblies, in which she urges immediate action to address what she describes as the climate crisis. Thunberg first became known for youth activism in August 2018 when, at age 15, she began spending her school days outside the Swedish parliament to call for stronger action on global warming by holding up a sign saying (in Swedish) “School strike for the climate”. Soon, other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together, they organized a school climate strike movement under the name Fridays for Future. After Thunberg addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world. In 2019, there were at least two coordinated multi-city protests involving over 1,000,000 students each. At home, Thunberg convinced her parents to adopt several lifestyle choices to reduce their own carbon footprint, including giving up air travel and not eating meat. Her sudden rise to world fame has made her a leader and a target. In May 2019, Thunberg was featured on the cover of Time magazine, which named her a “next generation leader” and noted that many see her as a role model. Thunberg and the school strike movement were also featured in a 30-minute Vice documentary titled Make...
  • March 5, 2020

    Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

    A pseudo-PSA from Digital Batman. For most of us in America, we recently celebrated Valentine’s Day on Friday February 14th. In fact, every February 14 is the venerated holiday celebrating love and friendship. Though some may view the celebration as a trite “Hallmark Greeting Card” holiday, lot’s of people take it quite seriously. Here are a few crazy Valentine’s Day stats for you to consider: Over $17 Billion dollars (with a B) is spent on this day Men spend twice as much money on average than women on this day (~$133 to ~$56) More than 145 Million cards are sold on this day (or just before it) Over 1/3 of all the fresh flowers in America are sold on this one day! Well over 257 Million roses are produced for Valentine’s Day Shoppers spent over $707 Million dollars on candy. Also, over 6 million people choose to get engaged to be married on this holiday. And more than 8 Billion conversation hearts are produced each year (with most purchased for this day)! It seems to me that we should have Valentine’s Day off from work because too much romance and chocolates might make us very unproductive! LOL! Anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you in Digital Gotham! Now if I can only get Digital Catwoman to stop sending me those creepy conversation hearts…
  • December 13, 2019

    Lucky Number 13!

    Happy Friday the 13th Everyone! Why do I mention this? Well, it seems to be an old American tradition that if a Friday happens to fall on the 13th day of any given month, then strange and unexpected things are supposed to happen. The number 13 is often regarded as unlucky; furthermore, in Italian culture Fridays are considered an unlucky day. Therefore, when the famous Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini passed away on Friday, November 13, 1868, it came as no surprise that the fateful calendar day played a part in his untimely demise—of course it had nothing to do with him suffering from an incurable illness at the time. Some sources also say that this unpopular day may also have some historical precedence with Jesus Christ’s last days before his crucifixion on what is referred to in Christendom as Good Friday. Regardless, popular culture has also played apart in fostering this notion that a specific date on the Gregorian calendar can cause so much grief. For example, authors like Dan Brown and John J. Robinson mentioned a rather bleak historical episode concerning the arresting and subsequent execution of Knights Templar by King Philip IV of France. Of course, there’s the ever-popular Friday the 13th series of horror-genre films that certainly help to perpetuate this superstition. And let’s not forget the ubiquitous Black Cat. Heaven forbid one should cross your path! That’s a trip to “Bad-Luck-Ville” right there. LOL! The ominous mystique of black cats can be traced back to Ancient Egyptian times when they were worshipped at emissaries of the Gods. Anyone who killed a cat would have been severely punished or even killed back then. Later, during the Dark Ages through to the Pilgrims of the New World, black cats were considered familiars to witches and agents of...