What is a Kangaroo Court?

A kangaroo court are legal proceedings that appear to be fair, but are not. Often the court appears outside of the bounds of the legal jurisdiction (such as with inmates in jail) or the verdict is decided before the trial.

The phrase first appeared in the U.S. in the early 1800s. It was first used during the California Gold Rush to describe proceedings to settle claim jumping, which was the practice of jumping to land sites that didn’t belong to you. (This was also called “Mustang Jumping.”) Kangaroos are known for speed and their ability to jump, which describes actions and swift trials for men accused of claim jumping. (Source)

Happy Apple Tree Day!

January 6 is Apple Tree Day. I can’t find any information about how this holiday began, except that it’s supposed to honor apples. I was surprised to learn that China is the world’s largest producer of apples (37 million tonnes), followed by the United States (4 million tonnes).

I was also surprised to learn that there are more than 7,500 types of apples. (Source 1 and Source 2)

How to write about Apple Tree Day:

  • Anybody: Purchase a selection of apples at the supermarket and describe their tastes.
  • Nutritionist: Explain the health benefits of apples.
  • Baker: Share your favorite apple pie recipe.
  • Orchard Owner: Describe the challenges of growing apples.
  • Arborist: Explain the importance of pruning apple trees and how to do it.

What is “Red Tape”?

“Red tape” refers to bureaucratic rules and regulations that involve unnecessary paperwork. The phrase originated in England, where the government’s custom was to tie up boxes of legal and official documents using red tape. The time-consuming practice of tying and untying these boxes goes back to the 17th century and came to mean bureaucratic time-wasting activities. (Source: Why do We Say It? Castle Books, 1985, page 206)

 

Happy Euro Day!

Euro Day is celebrated on January 1. It commemorates the adoption of a single currency – the Euro – for the continent of Europe. The Euro currency came into existence on January 1, 1999 and the first coins circulated in 2002. The Euro is currently used daily by about 334 million Europeans in almost 20 countries and is expected to be introduced into many more countries in the near future. (Source)

How to Write About Euro Day

  • Coin collector: Share some of your favorite European coins.
  • Economist: Explain howf the Euro benefits the European economy..
  • Travel agent: Describe your favorite European destination that takes the Euro.
  • Chef: Make your favorite European-inspired dish.
  • Financial Planner: Explain how currency fluctuations impact an investment strategy.