Day By Day

Monday, January 25, 2010

This Day In History

Among the many "holidays" listed for this date [ex: "Better Business Communication Day"] the only one that sounded like much fun was "Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day". There's something about bubble wrap. Oh sure it has practical uses, but when you come right down to it..., it's the popping. Popping bubble wrap is theraputic and fun and slightly addictive3. There is even an etiquette guide for popping bubbles:
  • Don't pop someone else's bubble wrap without permission. This could lead to Bad Things Happening to your person..
  • Don't pop bubble wrap in quiet public places (like libraries) unless you want it confiscated.
  • Don't pop bubble wrap in a store if you haven't paid for it. They get cranky when their rolls of bubble wrap are all limp.
  • It is always good form to offer to share your bubble wrap.
  • Giving your bubble wrap to children is good for Karma points.
  • Chicks dig bubble wrap. Always bring it along on a date.
What's that you say? You don't have any bubble wrap handy? Well, then, just go to this site and pop away till your heart's content.

On this date in 1904, at about 8:15 am, an explosion took place in the Harwick Mine at Cheswick, Springdale Township, Pennsylvania. The Harwick Mine was new, and presumed to be relatively safe, but there was a lapse in maintenance and part of the mine was not properly ventilated. An inspector's report showed that coal dust had accumulated in that area. I quote:
Sprinkling and laying of the dust had been neglected; firedamp existed in a large portion of the advanced workings. The explosion could be transmitted by the coal dust suspended in the atmosphere by the concussion from the initial explosion, the flame exploding the accumulations of firedamp and dust along the path of the explosion, carrying death and destruction into every region of the workings.
Death and destruction is right. 179 miners died in that shaft. Here is a tribute to their memory. This site presents contemporary newspaper reports on the explosion and its aftermath. It makes for fascinating reading as you can follow day by day the efforts to rescue the men trapped underground.


Doing the Bubble Dance