Thank Florida for AC

Dr. John Gorrie

Dr. John Gorrie of Florida is the man behind, arguably, humanity’s most impressive invention for daily use: the air conditioner.

Gorrie was a physician, scientist, inventor, and humanitarian living in South Carolina. His study of tropical diseases led him to move to Florida when he noticed that people in the north weren’t getting yellow fever. He decided to see if the climate had something to do with it, moving down to Apalachicola, then a large cotton market on the Gulf Coast. 

He became convinced that cold was a healer. He noted that “Nature would terminate the fevers by changing the seasons.” Dr. Gorrie began urging draining the swamps, clearing weeds, and maintaining clean food markets in the city. He also recommended sleeping under mosquito netting to prevent the disease. He had been cooling rooms with ice in a basin suspended from the ceiling which allowed cool air to flow down across the sick patient. However, it was a clunky system that was incredibly limited by the fact that ice had to be brought by boat from the northern lakes; ice came packed in sawdust from the northern lakes between the United States and Canada. Furthermore, ice was incredibly expensive at nearly $1.50 a pound – that’s $44.81 a pound in 2020 (source)!

Gorrie’s design

Thus, Dr. Gorrie began to experiment with making artificial ice. He worked to design a machine that creates ice using a compressor powered by horse, water, wind-driven sails, or steam. This earliest effort to create a practical method of manufacturing ice would guide future inventors in developing the cold-air process of refrigeration necessary for everything from the AC in your house to the AC in your car, and many things in-between. Dr. Gorrie successfully demonstrates the ice-making machine in 1848. However, he wasn’t granted the U.S. patent until May 6, 1851. His design, the foundation of future air conditing designs as well as modern refrigerators, was filled under Patent No. 8080. 

During his residence in Apalachicola, Gorrie served as mayor, postmaster, city treasurer, council member, bank director, and founder of Trinity Church. To honor his impact on the town and the world, the city created the Gorrie Ice Museum in order to explore the doctor, his creation, and his life; be sure to check their website to keep up-to-date with their hours and events (John Gorrie Museum and State Park website). Additionally, Gorrie represents Florida with his statue placed in the National Statuary Hall in Washington D. C., and you can also view the original model of his ice-making machine and the scientific articles he wrote at the Smithsonian Institution.

Responsibly Choose Your Chocolate for This National Holiday

National Choose Your Chocolate Day is a brand new celebration of chocolate sponsored by See’s Candies. The company hopes the event will be held annually on September 16th. It’s a celebration that corresponds with the birthday of Mary See, the woman behind the foundational creative chocolate recipes the company has been using for over 100 years! Alongside introducing their new holiday honoring chocolate and Mary See, See’s Candy Shops Inc. is releasing two new candies for the upcoming October season. The new candies are individually wrapped, a design impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sour Jelly Beans Trick-or-Treat pack contains a mix of Sour Tangerine, Sour Grape, and Sour Apple flavors. Milk Molasses Chip Trick-or-Treat Minis are molasses honeycomb wafers covered in smooth milk chocolate. 

Additionally, the company launched a quiz that can help you decide which chocolate candy matches your personality. “In these difficult times, chocolate can brighten someone’s day, which is why See’s will make a donation to worthy organizations for every quiz taken,” the company says. Interested in doing good and having fun? Click the following link and scroll down to ‘National Choose Your Chocolate Day Activities’ to take the quiz for yourself:

International Dot Day isn’t for the Dot You Think

How do you feel about polka dots? Polka dots, as a pattern, gained traction in Europe in the mid-1900s after the Czech dance and Bohemian folk music genre were introduced in Paris and spread rapidly across North America. In fact, Europeans were so taken with the invention that they named the phenomena “Polkamania,” and proceeded to capitalize on the trend by throwing dots on clothes until they – literally – stuck. Supposedly, the dots represented the short bursts of energy that were required by the polka dance. Never seen a traditional Czech polka dance? Follow this link:

The polka dot exploded in the USA in 1926 when a Miss America was spotted (haha!) wearing the pattern on a swimsuit, likely the result of a nod to vintage Victorian dresses which often included some sort of dotted material. Then Walt Disney decided to capitalize on the growing trend by supplying fuel to the fire Miss America ignited.  Just two years later in 1928, Minnie Mouse debuted wearing her signature red polka dot dress. Since the 1930s bloom in polka dot goods, it has remained a consistent, popular pattern in fashion. The trend is so influential that it’s ever inspired songs: remember Frank Sinatra’s Polka Dots and Moonbeams” or Brian Hyland’s “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini?”

But today’s International Dot Day isn’t a day to celebrate polka dots…

…it’s a day of global celebration honoring creativity, courage, and collaboration!

International Dot Day started on September 15, 2009, when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot. It is the story of a student named Vashti and her caring teacher. Vashti felt like she couldn’t draw but her teacher encouraged her, saying “Just make a mark, and see where it takes you.” Vashti made a small dot on her paper, and it was only the beginning of her journey of self-discovery through art. It was a breakthrough of confidence and courage inspired by the encouragement of a kind adult. Terry Shay introduced a movement that would go on to inspire the countless children and adults that celebrate it: nearly 16 million people in 181 countries!

    How to Observe #InternationalDotDay:
    • Read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
    • Donate art supplies to worthy organizations like schools, community centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, local transitional housing, et cetera
    • Foster creativity by participating in a fun form of self-expression including but not limited to: writing, drawing, painting, photography, videography, dancing, and singing
    • Share your/your kid’s creativity by sending the art to friends/family or post on social media
    • Encourage others to re-discover the power and potential of creativity in all they do 


    Check out for more info and free resources!

    New Eatery in Tallahassee Owned/Operated by 3 Preteen, Philanthropic Sisters

    Three Tallahassee sisters have stepped into the realm of entrepreneurship despite the daunting circumstances produced by a global pandemic and their young ages. Sisters Lyrica (age 13), Zaira (age 12), and Nadira Leo (age 9) own and operate their own vegan eatery named “Bourne Brilliant.” As of July 25, 2020, the trio is located in the rapidly expanding Railroad Square in one of the small, vibrant nooks that line the Breezeway Market. 

    Officially, the newly opened patisserie shop is leased by their mom, Syrheda La Shae, but the young girls are the power behind the cute shop and its’ products. The sisters’ have very supportive, proud parents: their father was the first to invest in their business ($50 many years ago when they were competing in competitions and selling goods at festivals) while their mother works with them as a family team. Syrheda explains that each of her daughters “bring something unique to the business. I like to encourage that uniqueness. They’re working together as one business entity but they have their individual skills” (source). 


      While they have gained a reputation based on their amazing baked goods, they offer a range of brilliant products including holistic items like teas and bath soaps, juices, their grandmother Ella’s preserves (pickled okra, squash relish and jams), and natural hair products. Additionally, they offer a rotating hot-n-ready menu with mouth-watering options like roti, Indian flatbread, Caribbean vegetable callaloo, and mac ‘n cheese. They are a vegan and plant-based source of food for the community. They also act as an environmentally, socially conscious LLC: they use paper packaging in place of plastic, are members of community organizations like the Big Bend Minority Business Chamber of Commerce, and regularly donate their goods and time to various people and organizations in need. 


      Lyrica, who has an auto-immune disorder, was the initial force behind the sister business; she started a bread ministry in 2013 to bake bread and other goodies that she and her family then distributed to their community. Bourne Brilliant LLC was the result of Lyrica pitching the business venture to their parents to support their frequent donations, supported by her younger sisters. They currently go to school online and have COVID precautions in store: staff and visitors wear masks and they only allow five people in the shop at a time.

      Sisters Nadira, Zaira, and Lyrica (left to right) Photo by Alicia Devine

      Located on McDonnell Drive at Railroad Square at 618 McDonnell Drive B-3. They are open Thursday-Saturday. Their hours are 9AM to 5PM on Thursday and Friday; 11AM-6PM on Saturday. Consider visiting them this weekend to support these innovative, kind girls in their newest endeavor! For more information, please visit their website:



      Today is Grandparents Day

      Grandparents Day is an annual celebration here in the USA, held the first Sunday after Labor Day. This year, it falls on September 13th, today!

      Grandparents Day became an official holiday in 1979 by proclamation of Jimmy Carter. Research has proven that the bond between grandparents and children not only helps grandparents live longer but also helps children grow more emotionally resilient. The best way to celebrate this national holiday is to spend some quality time together as a family, celebrating and talking about the special relationships shared by the various grandparent(s) and kid(s) in your family.

      Despite any distance between your children and their grandparents, this day is an important opportunity to recognize and celebrate the connection between them. Some activities you can complete to acknowledge the important role of the grandparents in your life are as follows:

      • Check-in with your elders via phone, text, or video-chat 
      • Write a thank-you note on the back of a drawing done by your kid(s) to mail them 
      • Send them an edible arrangement or flowers


      So remember to take a few moments to express your love and gratitude for the grandparents in your life today!

      The “Phantom of Electricity”: The Silent Sucker Stealing 9 Percent Of Your Utility Bill!

      Want to save money and reduce the heat indoors this scorching hot summer? According to new research conducted by Alliant Energy, you can reduce electric use in your home by up to 9%, which saves you money, by checking everything plugged in and selectively shutting down unused, always-on devices. All electronics put off heat even when idling, so turning off unused electronics will also help lower the temperature indoors. 

      John Beard of Focus on Energy says Alliant did a pilot study on ‘phantom electricity’. Phantom electricity is the energy that is used by your electronics as they draw power even though they are turned off or in standby mode. “These people can save up to 9 percent on their energy use by taking an inventory of everything that is plugged in and making sure things they’re not using are turned off. These ‘always on’ devices like your DVD player or remote top box that you have for your streaming service or your television or PC…”

      Beard says there are a few free ways to save up to 9% on your electric bill. While the most obvious is turning devices off when not in use, there is an easier wat: advanced power strips

      Includes premium-quality, fireproof surge protection; reduces standby power waste; features an adjustable threshold switch; improves connected electronics’ performance through EMI/RFI noise filtering.

      They are just like the ones you might already have in your home, only they have circuitry that senses when your device is not being used or is in standby mode. It automatically shuts off the power at no effort to you! With the average Florida home spending around $130 a month, that 9% is $11.70 a month in savings (Source). A 7 outlet advanced strip with a standard 3ft cord like the one pictured below is $25-$30 (online vs in-store), and would pay itself off within only three months!


      Lightbulbs can save you money on your power bill

      Did you know replacing five of your home’s most frequently used lights with energy-efficient ENERGY STAR bulbs could save you $75 per year in energy costs? One of the many costs of owning a home is replacing light bulbs and paying your power bill. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to save money with a bill that comes every month? 

      Earning the ENERGY STAR certification means the product meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Lighting products that have earned the ENERGY STAR label deliver exceptional features, while using less energy. Saving energy helps you save money on utility bills and protects the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

      ENERGY STAR Certified Light Bulbs:

      • Use up to 90% less energy than standard bulbs
      • Last at least 15 times longer and saves about $50 in electricity costs over its lifetime per bulb
      • Meet strict quality and efficiency standards that are tested by accredited labs and certified by a third party

      Woman from Sneads~1st female to vote in Florida

      August 26th, one hundred years ago, the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote in America. The next day, Aug. 27, 1920, a woman in Sneads made history by becoming the first to exercise that right in Florida, and one of the first in the country to do so, as well. Her name was Fay Gibson Moulton at the time and she was a widow with seven children. She would go on to marry a widower who had six children of his own, and from that point was better known as Fay Bridges. She was in her 20s and had come to work early on Aug. 27. She was sweeping floors when her boss came in and gave her leave to walk over and cast her ballot in a local election.

      She and her second husband lived primarily in Miami, where they owned and ran a general store and coffee shop. She would lose that husband, too, in 1946, and from then on she ran the store alone, living in their apartment above the shop until advanced age and the dangers of a declining neighborhood propelled her to move far away, next door to her youngest son, the only child she and her second husband had together. It was back in Sneads that she’d learned about business. She worked at Liddon’s general store in what is now often referred to as “old Sneads,” the part of town that had once been the hub of commerce, before U.S. Highway 90 was relocated a bit north of its old pathway. That section of U.S. 90 is now Old Spanish Trail.

      Her granddaughter, Melanie Barton, says her grandmother was proud of having made that milestone. She was interviewed by newspapers several times. Barton said her grandmother retained an abiding respect for Mr. Liddon because of his making accommodations that morning to let her leave duty to go vote.

      Gloria Jean’s Sweets and Erma Jean’s Antiques and Gifts in Hosford

      Gloria Jean’s Sweets and Erma Jean’s Antiques and Gifts is located at 21539 NE Chester St. in Hosford. Hosford which is in Liberty County has two sisters who own an antique store/bakery/flower shop and it’s all under one roof…one old roof that is. The old wooden home, which used to belong to their grandparents, is estimated to be over 100 years old. Hours are: Wed-Fri 10am to 6pm and Sat. 9am-3pm Eastern Time. The phone number is:  850-379-3323.


      Mask ordinance in Marianna

      The Mariana City Commission met in regular session Tuesday night with an over-filled room that found space six feet apart in the hallway outside the commission room. The Ordinance submitted for approval read as follows:
      “An emergency ordinance of the City Commission of the City of Marianna, Florida, finding that a public emergency exists; requiring employees in businesses to wear a face covering; providing for exceptions; placing additional standards on retail establishments, food service establishments and bars; providing penalties for violation of this ordinance; providing for severability; and providing an effective date.
      A motion was made by Commission John Roberts that the ordinance be considered as an emergency ordinance to go into effect September 02, 2020. Commissioner Rico Williams second the motion and it passed 4-1 with Commissioner Kenny Hamilton voting against.
      My friend Bonnie still has some masks if you are in need. Below are a few photos of what she has. Her email is email her with any questions. They are great masks, reusable cloth, most with adjustable ear straps and a pocket for you to add another layer of protection.