Leap year, Valentine’s day and more

I hope that 2016 has started very well for you. Definitely, it has for me: I am spoilt being in Queensland (the third largest state in Australia) with its weather suited to outside entertainment and activities (e.g. only a sliding door and a compulsory gate separate our living area from the inground swimming pool).

I am not into major or radical resolutions because often these are likely to be short-lived, but I have set myself some not-so-small goals (i.e. connecting more to myself and traditions involving those around me, i.e. restore, enhance or even renaissance). Of course, I will continue to exercise at least 150 minutes/day, eat my veges & fruits and take everything in moderation (including uotopiloting). Last year, while waiting in the dentist’s practice in Brisbane (3rd populous city in Australia), I read an article that said it’s essential to have at least three holidays a year (which are not necessarily travels abroad) to de-stress. These holidays (e.g. farm stay, hotel lodging, staycation) should focus on our physical, mental and emotional well-being (obviously).

January 26 was Australia Day and there were fantastic celebrations with fireworks and musical shows all over the country. While working for Multicultural Affairs Queensland (formerly Bureau of Ethnic Affairs), we had fun coming up with definitions of an Australian; and my updated version is something like this: Being Australian is driving a Japanese or European car to an Irish pub to drink a Belgian beer; then on the way home grab an Indian takeaway or have Yum Cha at a Chinese restaurant; at home sits on a Swedish furniture watching an American TV program or film on a German TV while texting or Facebooking in a gadget with components from Malaysia or Philippines.

February (the shortest month of the year) is my fourth favourite month. In 2016, there are 366 days (a common year has 365 days) because February has 29 days, and not 28 (this happens once in every four years) – known as leap year. February is actually a busy month: to name a few – – the 4th is World Cancer Day, 5th is Rio Carnival and 8th is Chinese New Year. The first day of lent and forty-day-season of Christian praying and fasting is also this month; and February 14 is not only Valentine’s Day but National Impotence Day (to create awareness of erectile dysfunction).

The 68th British Film Awards, which is also known as the BAFTAs, will be held on the 14th at the Royal Opera House n London; the 58th Grammy Awards on the 15th at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles; and the 88th Academy Awards, known as the Oscars, on the 28th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. Most importantly, let’s not forget that the Random Act of Kindness Day (to instill kindness among people regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin, national belonging and life’s circumstance) is on the 17th.

An 82 year old friend has recently sent me this email:
MY PARENTS & GRANDPARENTS WERE LIVING DURING THIS TIME PERIOD (1915-16) – “One hundred years ago”. What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1915:
The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
 Fuel for cars was sold in chemists only.
 Only 14 percent of the homes had a bath.
 Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
 The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
 The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
 The average British wage in 1915 was £15 per year!
 A competent accountant could expect to earn £800 ($1600) per year.
 A dentist £900 ($1800) per year.
 A vet between £600 and £900 ($1200- $1800) per year.
 And, a mechanical engineer about £2000 ($4000) per year.
 More than 95 percent of all births took place at home
 Ninety percent of all Doctors had no university education!
 Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as “substandard.”
 Sugar cost two pence a pound.
 Eggs were 10 pence a dozen.
 Coffee was five pence a pound.
 Most women only washed their hair once a month, and, used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
 Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
 – Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhoea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke
 The American flag had 45 stars.
 The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30.
 Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.
 There was neither a Mother’s Day nor a Father’s Day.
 Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write and, only 6 percent of all British pupils went to university.
 Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner chemists.
Back then chemists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health!” (Shocking?)
 Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help…
 There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.! In 2014 this figure had risen to 14,249.
 In the UK the murder rate in 1915 was 1420. In 2015 it was 537.
 I am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself.
 From there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD all in a matter of seconds!
 Can you imagine what it may be like 100 years from now?