Jan. 9: Static Electricity Day, Aviation in America Anniversary, Clean Off Your Desk Day, National Apricot Day

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Static Electricity Day

Blame it on the lack of humidity and the dry winter hair. Static electricity is all around. You may be fond of those dryer sheet, patented on Sept. 14, 1976, as "Anti-static fabric softening compositions and processes for drying and softening textiles therewith." Conrad J. Gaiser made the first known dryer sheet. He applied fabric softener to a piece of cotton flannel and named the prototype Tumble Puffs, according to Chemical & Engineering News. He patented the sheets in 1969 and later sold the rights to Procter & Gamble, who branded the sheets "Bounce dryer sheets."

Clean Off Your Desk Day

Yes, it's something you should have done before long holiday weekends. You meant to do it before the new year. Those times have come and gone but the opportunity for a fresh start on your desk is still available. Take advantage of it now. But wait, there's more, for a short time only you'll be able to see what color the top of your desk really is, and how desperately it needs to be cleaned. You'll find that (insert important piece of paper) you really needed to mail two weeks ago.

Celebrate the second Monday in January with Clean Off Your Desk Day. OnlineOrganizing provides some useful tips on how to approach the mess on your desk:

* Square and sort. Make the piles neat then sort through them, deciding on an action for each one. Some examples include file, read, pay, and even, (gulp) throw away.

* Repeat. Do this again at the end of every day or week and your desk will be easier to face in the morning, even when it's a dreary, winter Monday.

Aviation in America Anniversary

With the joy and wonderment matched by the final scene in 1971's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," balloonist Jean Pierre Blanchard reported, "I could not help being surprised and astonished, when, elevated at a certain height over the city, I turned my eyes towards and immense number of people, which covered the open places, the roofs of the houses, the steeples, the streets and the roads, over which my flight carried me in the free space of air" ("The American Book of Days").

Blanchard's success on Jan. 9, 1793, with a hydrogen-filled balloon was the first successful balloon flight in the U.S. Joseph and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier had achieved flight 10 years earlier in France, with a hot air balloon.

National Apricot Day

Oranges are not the only fruit with abundant Vitamin C. Apricots, a summer fruit indigenous to China, provide both vitamin C and vitamin A. The golden fruits provide "as much as one hundred times more vitamin A than is found, on average, in most other fruits" according to "The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink." Vitamin A improves vision and helps the body fight viral infections according to World's Healthiest Foods.

* Celebrate with apricot-glazed grilled chicken or apricot cheesecake.

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