Monday, April 28, 2014

A to Z Challenge: X is for Xylotomy

It's amazing what you can learn when you go rummaging around trying to find something to write about that begins with the letter X.

My friend DiDreaming suggested Xerxes, which was a great idea, except that Chris' dog by that name is now re-homed and i didn't get a picture of him before he left.  So i just moodled around on the internet, looking at Scrabble words that start with X, and the word Xylotomy popped out.

It's the preparation of wood in cross sections for viewing under a microscope.  Yes, there is a specific term for that, and it doesn't surprise me.   After all, i remember studying wood in biology class and learning about the two types of tissue that transport water and nutrients up and down the trunks of trees, xylem and phloem. 

So now i can say i learned something new today, when you prepare xylem tissue from a tree for viewing under a microscope, that's called xylotomy.

Now, like so many other things i've learned over the years, i wonder if i'll ever have the chance to use this.  Maybe in a trivia game someday.

Microscopic cross section of wood, from Wikipedia, by Ed Uebel.

Today is:

Biological Clock Day -- the "biological clock gene" that governs the`circadian rhythm in mice was isolated on this day in 1994

Chicken-Tickling Day -- Fairy Calendar (Leprechauns)

Cubicle Day -- ??? again

Feast of Jamal(Beauty) -- Baha'i

Festival of Floralia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (three day festival to Flora, goddess of flowers and vegetation)

Great Poetry Reading Day -- make sure you read some great poetry today

Hidaka Hibuse Matsuri -- Mizusawa, Iwate Prefecture, Japan (through the 29th; floats, child musicians, traditional costumes, and fun)

International Guide Dog Day

James Monroe Birthday Celebration -- Charlottesville, VA, US (at his home, Ash Lawn-Highland)

Kiss Your Mate Day -- guys, do not forget this one, in case she reads it somewhere on the internet; kiss her, then read her a great poem

National Blueberry Pie Day

National Day of Mourning -- Canada (In conjunction with Workers' Memorial Day and World Day for Safety and Health at Work, honoring those injured or killed on the job)

National Heroes Day -- Barbados

Pastele Blajinilor -- Moldova (Memory/Parent's Day)

Rip Cord Day -- the first successful jump with a parachute that used a rip cord was this day in 1919 by Leslie Erwin of the U.S. Army Air Corps

Sa die de sa Sardinia -- Sardinia, Italy (Sardinia Day, celebrating the uprising of 1794)

Sense of Smell Day -- listed on different days on many websites; While celebrating, remember those with anosmia (diminished ability or total inability to smell)

St. Peter Chanel's Day (Patron of Oceania)
     Saint Pierre-Chanel Day -- Wallis and Fortuna

Sts. Vitalis and Valeria's Day (Patrons of Thibodeaux, Louisiana)

Victory Day -- Afghanistan

Workers Memorial Day / World Day for Safety and Health at Work -- International (remembering all who have lost their lives or been injured on the job)

Yom HaShoah -- Judaism (Holocaust Remembrance Day; began sunset yesterday, ends at sunset today)

Anniversary Today:

Maryland becomes the 7th US State, 1788

Birthdays Today:

Jenna Ushkowitz, 1986
Jessica Alba, 1981
Penelope Cruz, 1974
Jorge Garcia, 1973
Nicklas Lidstrom, 1970
John Daly, 1966
Elena Kagan, 1960
Ian Rankin, 1960
Nancy Lee Grahn, 1958
Mary McDonnell, 1952
Jay Leno, 1950
Marcia Strassman, 1948
Ann-Margaret, 1941
Harper Lee, 1926
Oscar Schindler, 1908
Erich Salomon, 1886
Lionel Barrymore, 1878
Mifflin Wister Gibbs, 1828
James Monroe, 1758

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"One Man's Family"(Radio), 1932

Today in History:

Nichiren Buddhism is founded, 1253
Captain William Bligh and 18 crewmen from the HMS Bounty are set adrift, 1789
Chinese and Irish laborers for the Central Pacific Railroad working on the First Transcontinental Railroad lay 10 miles of track in one day, a feat which has never been matched, 1869
Azerbaijan  is added to the Soviet Union., 1920
The first night game in organized baseball  history takes place in Independence, Kansas, 1930
A vaccine  for yellow fever is announced for use on humans, 1932
Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki, 1947
The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty (Treaty of Taipei) is signed in Taipei, Taiwan between Japan and the Republic of China to officially end the Second Sino-Japanese War, 1952
Charles de Gaulle resigns as President of France, 1969
The Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure is signed, 1977
Millionaire Dennis Tito becomes the world's first space tourist, 2001
According to the WHO, leading causes of death in the world include chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, 2011
In recognition of democratic reforms, the European Union opens an office in Burma, 2012


  1. my goal for the day is to now fit this word in THREE TIMES!!

  2. X is a really hard one, isn't it? (Z was really hard for me too.) But yay for xylotomy, and for Xerces successful re-homing, and for Chicken Tickling Day!! :)

  3. Well I took biology twice, and I don't remember this. It's a new word for me.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

  4. well, thank you for the lesson! :)

  5. your X word is far more interesting than mine....have a great day!

  6. I hope I can remember xylotomy if I'm ever on Jeopardy.

  7. "xylotomy" sounds like some sort of unpleasant operation, as in "they didn't give me nearly enough painkillers after my xylotomy."

    Thanks for info!

  8. Very cool.

    "i wonder if i'll ever have the chance to use this" I would say that you just did. ;)

  9. I love learning new things! So interesting.

    and I have to laugh at your Today is contribution of Chicken Tickling Day because my youngest daughter's JrK class has been incubating chicken eggs... and today they hatched!! So with 16 little pairs of hands picking them up, I bet there was some Chicken Tickling going on! LOL

  10. This was interesting, Mimi! I love odd nature facts!


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