INSIDE: FH February 2019

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Having only 28 days in common years, February is the only month of the year that can pass without a single full moon. Using Coordinated Universal Time as the basis for determining the date and time of a full moon, this last happened in 2018 and will next happen in 2037. The same is true regarding a new moon: again using Coordinated Universal Time as the basis, this last happened in 2014 and will next happen in 2033. February is also the only month of the calendar that, once every six years and twice every 11 years consecutively, either back into the past or forward into the future, has four full 7-day weeks. In countries that start their week on a Monday, it occurs as part of a common year starting on Friday, in which February 1st is a Monday and the 28th is a Sunday; this occurred in 1965, 1971, 1982, 1993, 1999 and 2010, and occur will again in 2021. In countries that start their week on a Sunday, it occurs in a common year starting on Thursday, with the next occurrence in 2026, and previous occurrences in 1987, 1998, 2009 and 2015. The pattern is broken by a skipped leap year, but no leap year has been skipped since 1900 and no others will be skipped until 2100. February 2nd is the day that we let a rodent lead the most-watched weather forecast of the year. Punxsutawney Phil hasn’t been the most accurate when making his predictions but the tradition continues on. Today Punxsutawney Phil lives in a climate-controlled habitat adjoining the Punxsutawney Library. A local celebrity, he gained national fame in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. The weather-watching animal's predictions are recorded in the Congressional Records of our National Archive. So far, Phil has seen his shadow about 85% of the time. Canada's Groundhog Day relies on the predictions of an albino groundhog named Wiarton Willie. Although Punxsutawney Phil gets the most attention, various American cities have their own special groundhogs… Did you know: New York City's official groundhog is called "Pothole Pete." Super Bowl LIII will take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, home of the Falcons. It'll be the first Super Bowl hosted at the stadium, which opened in 2017. However, this will be the third Super Bowl played in Atlanta. Previously, the Cowboys topped the Bills in the Georgia Dome in Super Bowl XXVIII, played in 1994, while the Rams topped the Titans in 2000 in Super Bowl XXXIV. This year’s big game takes place on February 3rd and will showcase the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams in what looks to be a wide open game. Catch the television broadcast in the Sports Lounge on the lower level. We’ll be showing all the action from the game plus the ever popular halftime show! 1. Stay active: The key to heart health is to keep moving and avoid being sedentary. Ideally, aim to get your heart rate up with at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days a week. However, any movement will be good for your heart so keep moving and stay active. 2. Limit your consumption of red meat, sugar and unhealthy fats. There are plenty of foods you can eat instead to enjoy a heart-healthy diet. Add fruits and vegetables to your diet to increase your fiber consumption. 3. Reduce your salt intake. Can't imagine your favorite foods without that added salt? Over time, however, you can re-train your taste buds to become accustomed to a lower-sodium diet, and you will start to notice subtle flavors in your foods again. 4. Keep your weight under control. Ask your doctor if you are overweight. Obesity increases the risk of heart attacks, heart failure and diabetes. A healthy diet with portion control and regular exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy weight. 5. Know your cholesterol levels: High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. If you have not had your cholesterol levels checked in the past year or two, get them checked now to find out if you're at risk for heart disease. 6. Know your blood sugar levels: Over time, elevated blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes, a strong risk factor for heart disease. Ask your doctor if you are at risk. If you are pre-diabetic or have "early" diabetes, lifestyle changes can be effective. 7. Reduce stress: Stress is a strong risk factor for heart disease, especially for women. Try meditation, yoga, or simply being silent and still for 10 minutes a day. Be mindful of stress in your life and take extra care of your heart. The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, has more than 4,000 years of history and is the longest holiday of the year. In the 21st century, the national holiday begins on the first of the Lunar Calendar and lasts until the 15th of the first month. In 2019, Chinese New Year begins on February 5th and ends February 19th. In China, all stores are closed during the first five days of the Spring Festival, with some not opening until the very end. People must stock up on New Year supplies beforehand and many begin on the Laba Festival. Kitchens will also show the first signs of Spring Festival dishes with the preparation of cured meat, salted fish and other preserved food. Family is the basis of the Chinese society, which is seen through the significance placed on the New Year’s Eve dinner or Reunion dinner. This feast is extremely important to the Chinese. All family members must come back. Even if they truly can’t, the rest of the family will leave their spot empty and place a spare set of utensils for them. In the legend of the Spring Festival’s origin, this was when the monster Nian would come and terrorize the villages. The people would hide in their homes, prepare a feast with offerings to the ancestors and gods, and hope for the best. Everyone brings out their specialty dishes for the feast. Food is one of the things that the Chinese take the most pride in. And of course, lot of care and thought is put into the menu for the most important holiday of the year. As with Chinese New Year activities and decorations, the dishes are created to give blessings for the next year. Both the names and looks are symbols of wishes for prosperity, happiness and auspiciousness. Though every region (even household) have different customs, there are some common dishes seen on every table, such as spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, steamed fish, steamed chicken and nian gao or “New Year Cake.’ Like Independence Day, Presidents Day is traditionally viewed as a time of patriotic celebration and remembrance. In its original incarnation as Washington’s Birthday, the holiday gained special meaning during the difficulties of the Great Depression, when portraits of George Washington often graced the front pages of newspapers and magazines every February 22. In 1932, the date was used to reinstate the Purple Heart, a military decoration originally created by George Washington to honor soldiers killed or wounded while serving in the armed forces. Patriotic groups and the Boy Scouts of America also held celebrations on the day, and in 1938 some 5,000 people attended mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City in honor of Washington. In its modern form, Presidents Day is used by many patriotic and historical groups as a date for staging celebrations, reenactments and other events. A number of states also require that their public schools spend the days leading up to Presidents Day teaching students about the accomplishments of the presidents, often with a focus on the lives of Washington and Lincoln.

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