The ancient Greeks dedicated their annual spring festival to Rhea, the wife of Cronus and mother of various deities. The Romans called the event the Hilaria, by making offerings in the temple of Cybele, the mother of the deities on the Ides of March. Early Christians celebrated the festival on the fourth Sunday in Lent in honour of the Virgin Mary, adorning churches with jewels, flowers and expensive gifts. In England, an ecclesiastical order decreed the dedication as Mothering Sunday.
The event was not celebrated nationally in the United States until Julia Ward Howe suggested Mother's Day in 1872. In 1877, on the second Sunday of May, Juliet Calhoun Blakeley stepped in for the Reverend Myron Daughterty when the reverend became distraught, apparently because an anti-temperance group had forced his son to spend the night in a saloon. Proud of their mother's achievement, Charles and Moses Blakeley encouraged others to honour a Mother's Day. In the 1880's the Methodist church began celebrating Mother's Day in Blakeley's honour.
Various efforts were made to honour Mother's Day nationally in the US but it received official recognition only after Anna Jarvis organised a series of Mother's Day Work Clubs. The first Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908, in the church where Jarvis's mother had taught Sunday School. (Grafton is the home to the International Mother's Day Shrine.)
The Mother's Day International Association was founded on 12 December 1912, and on 7 May 1914 President Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday of May as Mother's Day in the US.
Decoding the pizza The Emperor of the United States
For centuries Greeks and Italians used flat round bread with toppings on it. But it was the Italians who added tomatoes and cheese to make the pizza as we know it. The world's first pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria Port' Alba in Naples, opened in 1830 in and is still in business.
The modern Pizza was created by Naples baker Raffael Esposito. In 1889 he created a pizza for King Umberto and Queen Margherita while they were visiting Naples, topping the pizza with red tomatoes, white cheese and green basil to resemble the Italian flag. He named the pizza in honour of Queen Margherita. The queen was keen to try this "new" food fad but were reluctant to visit the pizzeria. Thus she became the first person to order a take-away (take-out) pizza.
Today, more than five billion pizzas are sold annually, more than one billion in frozen form. Even so, it is second in popularity to the hamburger, of which more than 5,5 billion are sold annually. Interestingly, although US citizens eat twice as much meat as Europeans, the Margherita (without a meat topping) remains the most popular pizza choice in the US. The favourite pizza topping for Europeans is tuna.
What we breathe
Most of the air is about 78% nitrogen gas. Only 21% consists of oxygen. The remaining 1% consists of carbon dioxide, argon, neon, helium, krypton, hydrogen, xenon and ozone. Before the 1700s, air was thought to be a pure substance. In 1754 Joseph Black discovered carbon dioxide. Oxygen, as one of the properties of air, was found by Carl Scheele in 1770 and by Joseph Priestly in 1774. Nitrogen was discovered in 1772 by Daniel Rutherford. Most of the other gases were detected only 100 years later.
Argon is used to fill the space in most light bulbs. Neon is used in fluorescent signs. Fluorescent lights are filled with mercury gas.
On average, you breathe 23,000 times a day.
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