Friday, October 18, 2013

Holidays for October 18th 2013

31 Day of Halloween Horror
18. Child's Play

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

It’s National Chocolate Cupcake Day! Chocolate cupcakes are a delightful treat served at gourmet bakeries and kitchen tables across the country.

Cupcakes first emerged during the 19th century in the United States. There are two theories about how they got their name. One claims that the miniature cakes were originally baked in cups. The other suggests that the name comes from the recipe, which was measured out by the cup—one cup butter, two cups sugar, three cups flour, four eggs, one cup milk, one spoonful baking soda.

Cupcakes are now made with a variety of flavors, ingredients, and decorations, but simple chocolate cupcakes remain a perennial favorite. Bake, frost, and decorate a batch today to celebrate National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

National No Beard Day

Fellows of a certain fuzziness, Friday is your chance to take it off -- take it all off -- and prune the facial forest back to baby-butt smooth for National No Beard Day.

Given our fascination with all things bearded and mustachioed we're not exactly sure how this tongue in (hairy) cheek holiday managed to escape our attention in the past, though it's apparently been around for at least the last several years.

It certainly hasn't escaped the men's grooming industry, which, as of this writing, is using the faux holiday as a hook to highlight the various lotions, potions and notions available to help you unbuckle that chinstrap. (The most recent one, from the Art of Shaving, included a four-step, $115 "perfect shave" kit.)

But if you're happily hirsute, there are still plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit and boycott a beard on Oct. 18 without jettisoning your jowl jacket. Among them:

-- Avoid any restaurant that has won a James Beard award (easier in L.A. this year than you might think).

-- If ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard calls, DON'T ANSWER!

-- If you find yourself traveling through Ashdown, Ark., and pass Beard's Bluff Recreation Area, by all means -- keep driving.

-- Ditto for those of you driving down US 301 in Georgia who find yourselves crossing Beards Creek.

-- Armchair ornithologists should take precautionary measure to avoid accidentally looking at photographs of -- or even uttering the names of -- the blue-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis athertoni) and the bearded reedling (Panurus biarmicus).

-- And it should really go without saying, but that album by the group Spock's Beard? It'll sound just as awesome on Saturday -- when all things beard-related are no longer banished.

World Menopause Day

To celebrate World Menopause Day, October 18th 2013, IMS is launching a new campaign with the theme 'Oncology in midlife and beyond'.

After the menopause there is an increased risk of cancer and therefore being proactive in managing a healthy lifestyle will significantly reduce this risk. Preventative strategies, such as decreasing smoking and alcohol consumption, losing weight, eating a healthy diet and undertaking physical activity, and implementation of screening could help to significantly decrease the incidence and mortality from cancer.

Lead author of the White Paper, Prof. Anne Gompel, commented;
“Cancer is responsible for around 15% of all deaths worldwide (for both sexes) but around 20 – 25% of women die from cancer each year. Being aware of the problem of cancer, and how you can take steps to lessen your risk of getting it, is vitally important to all women. The incidence of most cancers rises with age, making it especially important for women going through the menopause, and also after the menopause, to be aware of this increasing risk. Women need to be in tune with their bodies, and to look for any changes which might indicate a problem.

One of the solutions is for each woman to make sure that she visits her doctor regularly, to discuss her general health and arrange appropriate check-ups. Women also need to try to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible: we all know what this means, eating better, exercising more, not smoking, and so on”.

An educational toolkit of materials has been developed to support local country initiatives throughout the month of October to raise awareness of this potential health issue and many have been translated into key languages to ensure the campaign has a truly international perspective.

Alaska Day

Alaska Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Alaska, observed on October 18. It is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States which occurred on Friday, October 18, 1867.

On March 30, 1867 the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for the sum of $7.2 million. It was not until October of that year that the Commissioners arrived in Sitka and the formal transfer was arranged. The formal flag-raising took place at Fort Sitka on October 18, 1867. The original ceremony included 250 uniformed U.S. soldiers, who marched to the Governor's house at "Castle Hill". Here the Russian troops lowered the Russian flag and the U.S. flag was raised.
The official account of the affair as presented by General Lovell Rousseau to Secretary of State William H. Seward:
... The troops being promptly formed, were, at precisely half past three o'clock, brought to a 'present arms', the signal given to the Ossipee ... which was to fire the salute, and the ceremony was begun by lowering the Russian flag ... The United States flag ... was properly attached and began its ascent, hoisted by my private secretary [and son], George Lovell Rousseau, and again salutes were fired as before, the Russian water battery leading off. The flag was so hoisted that in the instant it reached its place the report of the big gun of the Ossipee reverberated from the mountains around ... 
Captain Pestchouroff stepped up to me and said, 'General Rousseau, by authority from his Majesty the Emperor of Russia, I transfer to the United States the Territory of Alaska' and in a few words I acknowledged the acceptance of the transfer, and the ceremony was at an end."

Due to the 11-hour time difference between Sitka and St. Petersburg, and the fact that Russia still used the Julian Calendar, the date is sometimes given as Saturday, 7 October.

Alaska Day was declared a state holiday in 1917 and is a paid holiday for state employees. The official celebration is held in Sitka, where schools release students early, many businesses close for the day, and events such as a parade and reenactment of the flag raising are held.

It should not be confused with Seward's Day, the last Monday in March, which commemorates the signing of the treaty for the Alaska Purchase in which the U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia on March 30, 1867.