Monday, June 20, 2011

June 30: National Handshake Day, Ice Cream Soda Day, Meteor Day, Social Media Day


National Handshake Day

You reveal a lot with your handshake. Are you extroverted, expressive, shy or neurotic? According to a University of Alabama study, your handshake provides a tactile way to read you. Before you extend your hand during the next social, professional or diplomatic event, consider your own handshake. Do you have a firm grip? Is your hand a comfortable temperature and is it dry? Do you keep eye contact?

Miryam S. Roddy of Brody Communications advises everyone to practices their handshakes on National Handshake Day, occurring on the last Thursday in June annually. Brody Communications offers these tips for an effective handshake:

* Use eye contact

* Be firm but painless

* You should shake hands for about three seconds

* Take only two or three "pumps"

* Start and stop crisply

* Don't last through the entire introduction

National Ice Cream Soda Day

A scoop of ice cream, flavored syrup and milk, (a.k.a. the ice cream soda) dates back to 1876 in Philadelphia, thanks to a shop with an ice cream soda fountain, according to "The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink." Wax nostalgic about soda fountains by watching "Back to the Future," "Pleasantville," or "Grease."

Or make your own with some vanilla ice cream and soda. But be aware, plopping a scoop or two of ice cream in a glass of soda won't create the same foaming effect as re-ordering the ingredients.

"When you pour soda over ice cream, the soda makes its bubbles as it usually does. But these bubbles don't just pop; they are held in place and stabilized by the thickening agents in the ice cream. You get a glass full of thick ice cream soda foam. If you add the ice cream after the soda, most of those soda bubbles have already formed and popped before the thickening agents can get to work," according to "A Moment of Science" on WIFU (Indiana Public Media).

Meteor Day

An explosion lit up the sky on June 30, 1908, over Siberia. Visible for hundreds of miles, the event is attributed to a meteor and is referred to as the "Siberian Explosion." The same event is also referred to as the "Tunguska event," as the meteor is thought to have exploded over the Tunguska River.

"Detonating with an estimated power 1,000 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima, the Tunguska event leveled trees over 40 kilometers away and shook the ground in a tremendous earthquake," according to NASA.

To learn more about meteors:

* Take a trip to the local science or children's museum and examine meteor rocks.

* Camp out under the stars and look for shooting stars. Check HubbleSite's Tonight's Sky for clues on what you might see.

Social Media Day

Every day feels like social media day when you connect with friends via a social media site on a computer or smart phone. The good folks at Mashable created Social Media Day to "celebrate the revolution of media becoming social." They encourage users to meet up to celebrate. Are you willing to take your social media relationships to the next level? Or are you just fine with having BFFs you've never met IRL? The funny thing is, for people using social media daily is just like using the phone -- it's become ordinary and routine. It might feel more revolutionary to stop using social media.

* Socialbakers estimates Facebook will reach 1 billion users between June and July 2012

* Approximately 46 million Americans 12 and older now check their social media sites and services several times every day, according to Edison Research.

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