15 Things You Don’t Know About California

15 Things You Don’t Know About California

  1. California joined the United States with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War, in 1848. The U.S. paid Mexico $15 million for war damages. In turn, Mexico ceded nearly half of its territory, including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and parts of Colorado, Nevada, and Utah. California officially became a state (the 31st) in 1850.
  1. California was originally known as the Grizzly Bear State. As California boomed—and the bear population was wiped out—it became the Golden State.
  1. The grizzly bear on California’s current state flag is a tribute to Monarch, a 1,200-lb. wild California grizzly bear captured by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst (or, rather, the reporter he hired, Allen Kelley) in 1899. Monarch was sent to San Francisco, where he was a star attraction at Woodward’s Garden and then Golden Gate Park until his death in 1911. The last reported sighting of a wild California grizzly bear was in 1924.
  1. While Monarch is front and center on California’s official state flag, which was adopted in 1911, the bear flag image dates back to 1846, two years before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. A group of Americans who’d settled in California, which was then part of Mexico, feared they’d be expelled. They invaded the Mexican outpost at Sonoma and captured the retired general Mariano Vallejo. A few days later, they raised a flag that featured a red star and crudely drawn grizzly and declared the land the California Republic.
  1. And who designed the original flag? William Todd, nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln. It’s a small historical world.
  1. The one-word state motto, an exclamation-point-less “Eureka,” hearkens back to the exciting days of the Gold Rush. But the exclamation of “Eureka!” is attributed to the Greek scholar Archimedes. According to legend, he had an epiphany as he stepped into a bathtub and watched the water level rise—he realized that the volume of the displaced water was equal to the volume of the foot he’d submerged. And then he ran out of the room to tell others about his discovery… while he was completely naked. (More on whether that ever actually happened here.)
  1. California is the only state that’s hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
  1. California is the most populous state (and the third largest by area). To put California’s population, approximately 38 million people, in perspective, one out of every eight Americans is from California.
  1. The fortune cookie was inspired by the Japanese fortune tradition o-mikuji and invented in California.
  1. I can haz state recognition? In 1973, the sabre-tooth cat, Smilodon californicus, became California’s state fossil. A year earlier, Assemblyman W. Craig Biddle had nominated the cockroach-like trilobite for the honor. Nearly 2,000 museum curators and fossil experts backed him, but the bill never made it to a vote. A year later, the sabre-tooth cat made it to the floor and passed. The one no-vote? Senator W. Craig Biddle.
  1. Despite living in Los Angeles—a city known for its traffic—for 78 years, writer Ray Bradbury never learned to drive.
  1. California’s most famous for its Gold Rush which began in 1848, but it also had a Silver Rush in the Calico Mountains from 1881 to 1896. By 1904, Calico was a ghost town.
  1. The mineral benitoite can be found in California, Japan, and Arkansas, but only San Benito County, California, has it in gemstone-quality deposits. The California State Gem Mine in Coalinga allows the public to dig and take home a quart-sized bag of treasure.
  1. Thousands of U.S. banks failed after the 1929 stock market crash—by 1933, only 11,000 were left. All of San Francisco’s banks, however, survived.
  1. The highest point in the contiguous U.S., 14,494-foot Mt. Whitney, is only 76 miles from the lowest point in the contiguous U.S., Death Valley. They’re both in Calif— well, you know.

This article originally appeared on MentalFloss.com.

Barbara Penney

On June 6th, 2017, Barbara Penney passed away at the age of 78 years old. Mrs. Penney was an incredibly active member of the community, and she is survived by her Husband, Thomas Roger Penney, her children Karen and Brian, and her grandchildren Addison and Ellyanne Penney. Some of the groups and organizations that Mrs. Penney was active in include: the Lions Club, she was an Ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce, she volunteered at the local Presbyterian Church she was a member of, she collected bottles for the troops (along with funds for the troops), and she did other community-event centered activities regularly. Mrs. Penney has been described by people that knew her as “an incredibly special person,” “a joy to know,” “a very nice person!” Mrs. Penney may have passed on, but the work that she did for so many will not be forgotten soon, and she should act as a role-model for others in the community. Every city needs people that will step up and contribute in order for that community to strive. Barbara Penney was one of those people, and the community of Moorpark is worse off with her being gone.

 Barbara Ann Penney was born June 24, 1938 in Windsor, Ontario Canada. She married Thomas Roger Penney on June 20th, 1959 in Windsor, Ontario Canada. Mrs. Penney, along with her husband Roger, immigrated to the United States in 1962 (they first moved to Chicago). In 1976, the Penney family moved to California where they have largely remained ever since. She was a loving wife and mother.

Mrs. Penney was a member of the Lions Clubs in Hemet, where she collected eyeglasses to be donated to low income individuals. She also organized the collection of pull tabs with the Central Coast Lions clubs to donate to the Ronald McDonald House in Loma Linda. Her passion for service was only matched by her drive and determination to help those who were in need. She was a member of the Moorpark Women’s Club, and regularly volunteered at community events like Moorpark Country Days, and events hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Penney also helped raised funds for troops.

Christianity played a large part in Mrs. Penney’s life. It was through the inspiration of God’s Word that drove her to be the best possible version of herself– it led her to give, volunteer, and to put the needs of others before her own. Her family was an important point of her life, but so was the community of Moorpark. Mrs. Penney was also a social butterfly who embraced friendships, acquaintances, and meeting new people.

Mrs. Penney’s story, although sad and we wish her family members the best, is not entirely uncommon for the people of Moorpark who love and give back to this community. It is the duty of citizens, regardless of the size of the city they live in, to support and help their communities; to give their time and effort to their less fortunate neighbors, and to exemplify what it means to live in a community with other human beings by helping them.

Moorpark College 50th Anniversary

Moorpark College 50th Anniversary

The Moorpark College Foundation

Contact: The Moorpark College Foundation

Telephone: (805) 553-4761

Email: mcfoundationasst@vcccd.edu


For Immediate Release

Moorpark College is celebrating its 50th Anniversary on August 26th, 2017.

Celebrate as Moorpark College turns 50! Join the Moorpark College Foundation as they host the Moorpark College Golden Gala, Celebrating 50 Years of Student Success on Saturday, August 26th, 2017 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library’s Air Force One Pavilion in Simi Valley, CA.

Enjoy an evening of music provided by college musicians, a live and silent auction, Hall of Fame presentation, dinner and dancing. The event will start at 5:30pm, and end at 10:30pm. The keynote speaker for the event is Wade Goodwyn of NPR. Tickets are $150 per-person, and are available for purchase at www.MoorparkCollege.edu/Foundation.

Sponsorship packages are available for businesses of all sizes!

With a “students first” philosophy, Moorpark College empowers its diverse community of learners to complete their goals for academic transfer, basic skills, and career technical education. Moorpark College integrates instruction and student services, collaborates with industry and educational partners, and promotes a global perspective.

Moorpark College offers 1,500 classes a semester in 70 disciplines, including lower division preparation in a wide variety of transfer majors for the Baccalaureate degree and programs which lead to Associate degrees and Certificates of Achievement.

A percentage of the proceeds are going to fund the Moorpark College Promise campaign. 

Contact the Moorpark College Foundation at (805) 553-4761 or mcfoundationasst@vcccd.edu for more information.

Blessed to be Stressed?

Blessed to be Stressed?

Congratulations America, you have already broken a record for 2017, let’s not focus on the fact that it was the Psychologist Stress Record. We are living in a day and age with a level of technology and convenience that our ancestors never even dreamed of, from microwaves to smart phones, personal jets and now we even have an artificially intelligent personal assistant named “Alexa” to welcome us home and perform basic human tasks such as turning the house lights on and off.

Since the beginning of time stress has existed and affected all of mankind in both positive and negative ways. There were hunter/gatherers who grew concerned about where their next meal would come from, then we had unknown diseases and plagues wiping out people by the thousands. We read in history of great depressions and gigantic economic collapses and we can know for certain that these individuals felt a heavy weight and experienced stress just as we do today.

Even with all of our tremendous advances that we have made, humans are still plagued by these primary stressors; money, work, and the economy. Since it doesn’t look like the basic causes of stress will be subsiding anytime in the foreseeable future, let’s take a look at what stress actually does to our bodies and see if there are any benefits to its pesky existence.

When the body senses stress our brain sends a panic message to our adrenal glands and adrenaline begins to course through our veins. We quickly begin to experience the “fight or flight” reactions such as a racing heart and sweaty palms. But there is more happening than those pesky physical manifestations. The adrenaline grants us a momentary superhero experience in which we feel a surge of strength and speed. The stress hormone ‘cortisol’ helps our minds to better focus and retain knowledge and our immune cells increase, helping us to fight off any illnesses that may be lurking around. Stress seems to “put a fire under our bums” and can oftentimes motivate us to do things we didn’t believe we could accomplish.

So there you have it, history has shown us that stress doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon and America in particular seems to embrace it more than any other nation. We might as well make the most of it by learning how to use it for our own benefit, to fight off colds, improve our brain capacity, stay motivated and get ahead in our workplaces and in our stress-filled yet blessed lives.

The California Poppy

The California Poppy

California, with its almost always sunny skies, magnificent oceans and comforting predictable weather– it’s no wonder most people want to live here, or at the very least visit this lush state.  The uniqueness and variety throughout this large state is also what lures people in from all over the world.

California truly offers something for everyone; whether one wishes to be on the coast with the sea and sand, or more inland with desert sands and cacti, or even to be in the presence of redwood trees in a grand forest, almost any terrain one could desire can be found here.

The official state flower in California is the eschscholzia Californica, or more commonly known as the California poppy. Gold is the theme throughout California symbols such as the state colors are blue and gold, the state nickname is the “golden state” and the state mineral is you guessed it, gold. So, this particular flower suits our state well due to its sunny yellow/golden hue and nickname “cup of gold.”

If anyone feels so inclined to celebrate our lovely state flower, April 6th is “California Poppy Day” and if you missed the chance this year, no worries because “Poppy Week” will be here from May 13th to the 18th.

There is more than meets the eye concerning the California poppy. While it is quite beautiful it also has been used for many years for its numerous health benefits. The main active ingredient contained in the flower is its sedative alkaloids. These properties have been known to help those suffering from headaches, insomnia, anxiety, depression and nervous disorders. It would seem that the benefits help heal both the young and old alike in that recent studies have shown it helps children with ADD and ADHD while also improving the mental capacity in the elderly by increasing their memory and concentration abilities.

This plant was used by Native Americans and is also used today by traditional medicine practitioners as an antimicrobial and nerve pain reducer.

The California poppy can be found all over the beautiful golden state but flourishes best in desert areas, such as the Mohave Desert. So if you would like to take in their magnificent view, or even take a few home with you to experience the many health benefits, go on out into nature, into the great unknown, the vast desert, and partake in what has been freely given to us.