Tag Archives: March 31

Today Is Al Gore’s 69th Birthday — And The Inconvenient Truth Is That It Is Still Deep Winter In New Hampshire!

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Gore

This post, on THIS blog, from 2013 gets a LOT of hits! What can I say.

I kind of like Al.

He and my now departed adoptive father were good friends — when my adoptive father was the Sri Lankan Ambassador in D.C. (1992 – 1995).

I saw Al, in Concord, in 2013. Nice enough guy.

69. Wow. He is getting up there.

Suffice to say I do NOT agree with him about Global Warming.

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by Anura Guruge

The Eiffel Tower Was Open To The Public This Day, 127-Years Ago — March 31, 1889.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower

Click to access the OFFICIAL Eiffel Tower Website.

I have a long personal relationship with the Eiffel Tower given that I have spent a lot of time in Paris (or its suburbs).

I first visited Paris in 1967 on our way from Ceylon to Buffalo, New York.

I lived, full-time in Louveciennes, a town between Paris and Versailles, full-time, and attended the ‘English School of Paris‘ from August 1968 to September 1969.

Then, after a stint in New Delhi, my adoptive parents moved to Paris, full-time, as diplomats, from 1978 to 1992. I was living in Britain at the time and would visit at least 3 times a year, typically for at least a week at a time. My parents lived in two different apartments in Paris. Both had views of the Eiffel Tower. In one, I could lay in the guest bedroom bed and see the Tower. That was cool.

As of about 1984 my THING was to CLIMB the Tower. Yes, you were able to climb up to the 2nd floor observation deck and climb down. So, rather than taking the elevator I would climb. There were days when I would climb it twice. Climbing is fun because you really get to enjoy the scenery. I can’t remember the ‘deal’. I want to say that it was FREE to climb BUT I could be wrong there. Cost was not a factor in those days. Typically my mother insisted on paying for everything and my adoptive parents were rich.

You weren’t allowed to climb above the 2nd platform THOUGH there is, of course, stairs going ALL the way to the top. Gustave Eiffel had his office right at the top and would CLIMB to/from there multiple times a day.

Ahhh! The Eiffel Tower.

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by Anura Guruge

March 31 Is ‘National Bunsen Burner Day’ & March 30 ‘National Pencil Day’.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read here. From Wikipedia. See link in image.


The quintessential lab scene from my youth in the 1950s & 1960s. Flask on a stand bubbling away atop a Bunsen Burner. Click to ENLARGE and enjoy.


Click to ENLARGE and view. Labs of my ERA c. 1960. You can see 2 Bunsen Burners in the foreground — right — with flasks, with multiple tubes emanating, above them. I truly can relate to this THOUGH the labs I attended were not as crowded and ALAS had NO girls.

Yes, March 31 is designated ‘National Bunsen Burner Day‘ — March 31, 1811 having been the birthday of its eponymous inventor.

Bunsen Burners are very much an evocative part of my teen years, in Ceylon and Britain. The British education system, also used in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), was BIG on hands on chemistry labs starting when you were around 11. Ananda College, in Colombo, with close to 6,000 kids had, for the time, impressive and well equipped labs. Though I, for winning all those educational prizes, was granted a small chemistry lab in my room at home, replete with bench, sink and ‘kit’, I could not have a Bunsen Burner because we didn’t have ‘the gas’. So the best I could do at home was alcohol burners that can’t match a Bunsen for heat.

Well, happy ‘Bunsen Burner’ Day.

[Here is my ‘National Pencil Day‘ Post.]

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by Anura Guruge