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Today is March 31, 2021

Crayon Day

Children have long been drawn to expressing themselves through art. According to developmental experts, coloring stimulates creativity, contributes to better handwriting, teaches color recognition, and can promote hand-eye coordination. Coloring books can help children learn to recognize boundaries and structure and develop spacial awareness. Adults, too, have recognized the benefits that coloring can bring, which includes stress reduction and improved focus. Crayons have long been a favorite tool for coloring, and over the years certain colors have emerged as fan favorites. Crayola® conducted polls in 1993 and 2000 to find out the most popular colors of crayons in America. Blue was voted the favorite both times. Six other shades of blue, including cerulean, midnight blue, aquamarine, periwinkle, denim and blizzard blue, finished among the top 10. Purple heart, caribbean green and cerise rounded out the top 10.

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Manatee Appreciation Day

Manatees are called sea cows because they are very large, often move slowly, and are often eaten by other sea animals.

Manatees are animals that may eat as much as 10% to 15% of their body weight each day.

Since manatees don’t have gills, they sleep upside down very close to the surface of the water so they’ll be able to breathe while they sleep.

Mother manatees may nurse their calves for up to two years.

Manatee calves are able to swim to the surface of the water as soon as they are born.

For more animal fun visit https://a-z-animals.com/

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Sweet treats make Easter special

From chocolates to marshmallows to caramel eggs to jelly beans, Easter is chockful of candy. And for those who think Easter is only child’s play, guess again.

Americans spend up to $2 billion on Easter candy each year, according to Sweet Services, an online candy retailer. The National Confectioner’s Association says people in the United States consume nearly seven billion pounds of candy during the year, and Easter is the second-most popular holiday (behind Halloween) for indulging a sweet tooth.

Faith comes first for many Easter celebrants. But there’s nothing wrong with enjoying some candy come Easter Sunday. Here’s a look at the history behind some of the sweets the Easter Bunny might leave in your basket this year.

  • Chocolate eggs: The first chocolate eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th century. Since then, they have become one of the most popular and recognizable treats associated with Easter. The chocolate egg is predated by edible Easter eggs made from sugar and pastry first designed in Germany. According to the “Guinness Book of World Records,” the largest chocolate Easter egg ever made debuted in 2011. It was just over 34 feet high and weighed nearly 16,000 lbs.

  • Chocolate bunny: The Easter Bunny also is a German incarnation. The seasonal bunny was introduced to America in the 18th century by German immigrants who believed in the “Osterhase,” an egg-laying hare they believed was a sign of new life and prosperity. Germans also introduced the first edible chocolate bunnies. The NCA says 76 percent of people eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first.

  • Jelly beans: People aren’t quite sure where the jelly bean originated, but some think it was based on a soft, chewy Middle Eastern sweet called Turkish delight and the hard candy shell of Jordan almonds. William Shraft, a Boston-based confectioner, may have coined the phrase “jelly bean” when he urged people to send these sweets to Union soldiers fighting in the Civil War.

  • Peeps: Peeps are owned and made by Just Born Inc., a Pennsylvania-based company started by Russian immigrants when they acquired the Rodda Candy Company in 1953. Just Born figured out a way to automate and streamline the process of making Peeps, and today they can produce 5.5 million per day.

Easter is a day filled with fun and lots of sweetness. Candy is a big part of the celebration.

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Filthy lucre revenge

Andreas Flaten quit his job at the Walker Luxury Autoworks in Peachtree City, GA recently because of the “toxic work environment,” as he put it. His boss didn’t take it kindly and that, Flaten believes, is why it took so long to receive his final paycheck, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. So, when Flaten called to ask when he would get his money, his ex-boss made accusations but relented and, at last, it showed up — sometime in the middle of the night, dumped in his driveway, in the form of 500 pounds of pennies soaked in an oily substance.

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Fun will be limited at amusement parks this summer

Amusement parks, shut down by the COVID pandemic, are slated to reopen in California in the not-too-distant future. But, says the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], precautions will be taken. For example, the California Attractions and Parks Association has declared that only in-state visitors will be able to enter the parks and they will have to limit the numbers of visitors to 15% of capacity. And, oh yes, there’ll be no screaming while riding on roller coasters. Singing and shouting will not be allowed, either. “Does this mean we are not allowed to have fun or even be amused at our amusement parks,” one wag asked.

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They paid it backward, with love

The driver pulled up to pick up his order and pay at the local Dairy Queen, not just for himself but also for the customers in the next car in line. When that auto got its turn at the drive-through window, he said, “how much,” to which the cashier responded that the guy ahead of him had picked up his tab. And that’s how it all started – a $10,000 pay-it-backward trend in the town of Brainerd, MN that lasted three days, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. As Shauntel Pulak, one of the drivers who was there, told CBS News: “Anytime you have the chance to do something nice, just think what that person is going through and how much of an impact you might have on their life.”