Saturday, July 27, 2013

Holidays for July 27th 2013

National Barbie-in-a-Blender Day

National Barbie-in-a-Blender Day highlights the project inspired by the legal case involving a lawsuit filed by Mattel against artist Tom Forsythe in which he achieved court victory in the 2003-04 case. Mattel's lawsuit involved Forsythe's art piece, which situates Barbie dolls inside food blenders as a metaphor, hence the title, “Food Chain Barbie”. The context of his work encourages people to recognize a banal product when they see one. He explains, “…the idealized commodity - Barbie - becomes our food, our nourishment. We blend, mix and confuse the ideal fantasy with the essence of our existence. Barbie may be only one of a great number of products contributing to a false sense of inadequacy, but in many ways, this product is the most potent single representation of the ubiquitous beauty myth. As a part of our cultural identity since being introduced in 1958, Barbie reveals the continuity of the commodity machine. In the same way, the doll retains its glazed, blissful smile regardless of its impending fate.” Furthermore, Nelson Pavlosky of Freeculture.org voices his concerns with issues surrounding, “freedom of speech and expression” and the act of “bullying” by wealthy corporations, such as Mattel. He points out, "The Forsythe case recognizes the increasing challenges faced by those who wish to comment on popular icons, symbols, or cornerstones of culture, most of which are copyrighted by large corporations. If you want to talk about the problems with society, all of the widely recognized figures are copyrighted. [...] In the past, cultural icons belonged to everyone." This collection recognizes the event on July 27th with reappropiations of Barbie that comment on the state of popular culture as we know it. For more information on National Barbie-in-a-Blender Day, visit: www.barbieinablender.org

National Dance Day

Launched in 2010 by “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe, National Dance Day is an annual celebration that takes place on the last Saturday in July. This grassroots campaign encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity. NDD achieved national recognition when Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a long-time proponent of healthy lifestyles, announced at a press conference on July 31, 2010, in Washington, D.C., that she was introducing a congressional resolution declaring the last Saturday in July to be the country’s official National Dance Day.

National Day of the Cowboy

Sponsored in the U.S. Senate in 2005, 2006, and 2007, by Wyoming’s late U.S. Senator, Craig Thomas, the National Day of the Cowboy is a day set aside to celebrate the contribution of the Cowboy and Cowgirl to America’s culture and heritage. In 2008, the National Day of the Cowboy resolution was sponsored simultaneously in the U.S. House of Representatives (for the first time) by Arizona’s U.S. Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, and in the U.S. Senate by Senator Mike Enzi, WY. It passed in the Senate and the House concurrently, naming Saturday, July 26, 2008 as the 4th Annual National Day of the Cowboy. On Friday, June 20, 2008, the National Day of the Cowboy resolution also passed in the Arizona State Legislature, making Arizona the first state to pass the resolution. We asked Arizona Representative, Jennifer Burns, to sponsor the resolution, which she readily agreed to do. In thinking it over though, Ms. Burns felt it would be more meaningful if it was sponsored by Senators Jake Flake and Jack Brown, the two remaining Cowboys in the Arizona legislature. Senators Flake and Brown both accepted that honor, but sadly, Jake Flake passed away before he was able to introduce the resolution. However, it was subsequently introduced in his honor, by Jack Brown, and passed easily and concurrently in both the Arizona House and the Senate. In 2009, the resolution passed in New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arizona. It was also proclaimed by a number of governors, mayors and town councils. In the words of the former President Bush, “We celebrate the Cowboy as a symbol of the grand history of the American West. The Cowboy’s love of the land and love of the country are examples for all Americans.” Early in November, 2004, I (Bethany Braley) began working for Bill Bales, at the magazine he owned at the time. Soon after starting there, Bales asked me if I could make his “Vote for a Cowboy Day” project “happen.” At that time, I took charge of the project and with the guidance of several of my friends and former colleagues in Washington D.C., changed it to the National Day of the Cowboy project and enlisted Senator Thomas as a sponsor for a resolution. I worked with Thomas’s staff and helped craft the resolution itself. I put together a radio campaign to promote The Day and pursuaded the Bales to create a Hatch poster for the project. Senator Thomas subsequently introduced the resolution in March 2005, but while it was in mark-up, the text defining the Cowboy Day was changed from the “Fourth Saturday in July” (permanent) to simply July 23, 2005 (once only) at which time Bill Bales informed me and Editor Paige Mckenzie, he was finished with the project and someone else needed to carry the ball while they went back to selling advertising. I resigned from the magazine in June 2005, expressing in my resignation letter my intention to form an organization to work to make the Day of the Cowboy permanent. Later, Bales sold the magazine to its current owner, media conglomerate Active Interest Media, Inc. and its operations were moved from Wyoming to Boulder, Colorado. Cynthia Reed, Senator Thomas’s Legislative Aide, my contact as manager of this project for Bales, notified me in an email in May 2005 that the resolution would not actually be signed by the President. She also explained to me in a phone conversation that the highest acknowledgment the resolution could receive from a President was a Letter of Support.

National Walk On Stilts Day

It’s Walk on Stilts Day! Most often seen in parades and at the circus, stilt-walking is actually an ancient art. To learn how to do it, all you need is a pair of stilts and lots of practice (and maybe some extra padding, in case you take a tumble). Did you know that some people used to actually need stilts? It’s true—in the 19th century, stilt-walking occurred in Landes, France. Residents of this marshy area took up stilt-walking as a way to navigate the wet terrain. It is said that they performed all of their daily outdoor tasks on stilts! If you've been waiting for an excuse to give this fun activity a try, today’s your day! Keep on the lookout for stilt-walking festivals or events happening in your area to give it whirl. Happy Walk on Stilts Day!

National Take Your Pants For A Walk Day

Take Your Pants for a Walk Day is a great day to get some exercise. This special day is well noted on the internet for E-card and calendar websites. So, I'm sure your planning to celebrate this day in a big, big way. It's an easy day to celebrate. Simply go for a walk. Unless you are wearing a dress or a skirt, you probably are wearing pants. So, by definition, as you walk, they come along. Give your pants some exercise. After all, they are looking a little tight around the middle. The walk will do them good.

National Bagpipe Appreciation Day

Today we celebrate and appreciate the storied history of an ancient musical device, the noble Highlands Scottish Bagpipe.  To some, bagpipes are viewed as obnoxious, migraine inducing tools of cacophonic destruction; the medieval equivalent of leaf blowers and car horns.  For those of weak temperament and weaker hearts, there may be truth to these observations.  But to true, full blooded aficionados the great booming drones and shrill piercing beauty of such a mad sonical device can inspire only one word: Epic.  So on this day of appreciation, head on over to houseoftartan.com and use their free online program to make your very own Scottish clan tartan to better enjoy your bagpipe experience!

Paddle for Perthes Disease Awareness Day

"Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is a childhood condition associated with a temporary loss of blood supply to part of the hip joint. Without adequate blood flow, a process can occur in which the bone becomes unstable, and may break easily and heal poorly. " ~ Mayo Clinic Being a disease of the hips, rather than starting a walk-a-thon or fun run, it seems most appropriate to create awareness without the use of the legs. What better way to show your support than to spend the day paddling your row boat, canoe, kayak, or raft while enjoying the outdoors! The last Saturday of July is recognized as Paddle for Perthes Disease Awareness Day. Please join me in creating awareness for this childhood disease that affects nearly one out of 1,200 children. Feel free to organize you own local event and invite your friends to enjoy a day on the water and show your support!

Cross Atlantic Communication Day

Today’s a good day to reach out and call (or Skype) that friend across the Pond. It’s Cross Atlantic Communication Day, marking the anniversary of the first sustained working telegraph cable between Europe and the Americas. Before 1866, it took ten days for a message to cross the Atlantic by ship. An early form of the telegraph had been used in Germany as early as 1809, but it wasn’t until the 1830′s that related crucial innovations made the invention commercially viable. Charles Wheatstone and William Cooke patented the first commercial telegraph in the UK in 1837. That same year inventor Samuel Morse developed a telegraph system in the US, using the language that would come to dominate the wires: Morse Code. In 1844 the U.S. installed a telegraph wire from Washington DC to Baltimore, whereupon Morse relayed its first now-famous message: “What hath God wrought?” The idea of trans-Atlantic cable connecting Europe and the Americas appealed to several luminaries, but it’s generally seen as the brain-child of entrepreneur Cyrus Field, who raised the cash and made the first attempt in 1857. The 1,700m miles of cable was too big for any one ship to carry, so two were employed, the USS Niagara and the HMS Agamemnon. The two ships met up in the middle of the Atlantic, their two wires were spliced together, and they headed out in opposite directions, laying cable as they went. The cables broke multiple times, and the mission was eventually abandoned. The following summer, after several trials of errors, they set out again, and this time completed the mission, connecting a spliced cable from Newfoundland to Ireland. On August 16, 1858, the first trans-Atlantic telegraph message was sent: “Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and good will toward men.” Followed by messages of goodwill and congratulations by Queen Victoria and President Buchanan. “May the Atlantic telegraph, under the blessing of heaven, prove to be a bond of perpetual peace and friendship between the kindred nations, and an instrument destined by Divine Providence to diffuse religion, civilization, liberty, and law throughout the world.” — President James Buchanan The two countries celebrated, but over the next few weeks the connection deteriorated, and finally gave out. No one tried again for several years, and a Civil War engulfed the States. But in 1865, Cyrus Field tried again. Now there had been built one ship large enough to carry the whole cable: the Great Eastern, which was four times larger than any other ship in existence. Captain by Sir James Anderson, the Great Eastern traveled from Ireland to Newfoundland laying cable as it went. After over 1,000 miles the cable snapped, and the mission was abandoned.  The Great Eastern arriving in Newfoundland, July 1866 The mission finally succeeded the following year when the Great Eastern lay another, more durable cable between the two coasts. The first sustained trans-Atlantic telegraph cable was completed on this day, July 27, 1866. “It is a great work, a glory to our age and nation, and the men who have achieved it deserve to be honoured among the benefactors of their race.” — The Times, July 28, 1866