Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Holidays for October 9th 2013

31 Day of Halloween Horror
9. Halloween II

Walk to School Day

October 9th is Walk to School Day! Organized by the Partnership for a Walkable America, this annual event “kicked” off back in 1997 to raise awareness about the need for “walkable communities.”

Parents and children across the nation ditched their cars and headed for the sidewalks. The one-day event quickly “took off” and within a few short years, Walk to School Day became an international movement. Today, thousands of American schools and over 40 countries participate in the International Walk to School Day global event which takes place in October. In 2011, more than 4,000 registered events took place in America and organizers are expecting this year’s event to be even bigger!

How to Celebrate (International) Walk to School Day
Not only is participation free, walking and biking is good for the environment and good for you, too!
  • Instead of getting a ride from home to school, hop on your bicycle or walk to school. Ask your neighbors and friends to do the same thing and go together!
  • Set up a fun obstacle course!
  • Make a super-cool walking stick.
  • If walking or biking to school is simply not feasible due to distance or disabilities, do some extra walking during the day instead.
  • Take a walk around the neighborhood or go for a nice, leisurely bike ride after school.
  • How about organizing a fun bike ride with friends and family?
  • Why not take the pooch for a stroll too?
  • The key is to ditch the ride and hoof it!

Give Peace a Chance Day

October 9th is Give Peace a Chance. This pacifist holiday marks the birthday of the late John Lennon, who recorded a hit single of the same title with Yoko Ono. (October 9th is also the birthday of John Lennon's son, musician Sean Lennon.)

Other holiday celebrants have tagged October 9th as Instant Karma Day, recognizing another hit song from the former Beatle.

Leif Erikson Day

Leif Erikson Day is an annual American observance which occurs on October 9. It honors Leif Ericson (Icelandic: Leifur EirĂ­ksson,Old Norse: Leifr EirĂ­ksson or the Norwegian: Leiv Eiriksson), the Norse explorer who brought the first Europeans known to have set foot in North America.

America Not Discovered by Columbus by Rasmus B. Anderson was published in 1874. This book helped popularize the now familiar idea that Vikings were the first Europeans in the New World. During his appearance at the Norse-American Centennial in 1925, President Calvin Coolidge gave recognition to Leif Erikson as the Discoverer of America due to research by Norwegian-American scholars such as Knut Gjerset and Ludvig Hektoen. In 1930, Wisconsin became the first U.S. state to officially adopt Leif Erikson Day as a state holiday, thanks in large part to efforts by Rasmus Anderson. A year later, the state of Minnesota Followed suit. By 1956, Leif Erikson Day had been made an official observance in seven states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois, Colorado, Washington, and California) and one Canadian province (Saskatchewan). In 2012 the day was also made official in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In 1963, the U.S. Representative from Duluth, John Blatnik, introduced a bill to observe Leif Erikson Day nationwide. The following year Congress adopted this unanimously. In 1964, the United States Congress authorized and requested the President to create the observance through an annual proclamation. Lyndon B. Johnson and each President since have done so. Presidents have used the proclamation to praise the contributions of Americans of Nordic descent generally and the spirit of discovery. In addition to the federal observance, some states officially commemorate Leif Erikson Day, particularly in the Upper Midwest, where large numbers of people from the Nordic countries settled.

National Chess Day

Designating October 8, 2011, as ‘National Chess Day’ to enhance awareness and encourage students and adults to engage in a game known to enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Whereas there are more than 76,000 members of the United States Chess Federation (referred to in this preamble as the ‘Federation’), and unknown numbers of additional people in the United States who play the game without joining an official organization;

Whereas approximately 1/2 of the members of the Federation are scholastic members, and many of the scholastic members join by the age of 10;

Whereas the Federation is very supportive of the scholastic programs and sponsors a Certified Chess Coach program that provides the coaches involved in the scholastic programs training and ensures schools and students can have confidence in the programs;

Whereas many studies have linked chess programs to the improvement of student scores in reading and math, as well as improved self-esteem;

Whereas the Federation offers a school curriculum to educators to help incorporate chess into the school curriculum;

Whereas chess is a powerful cognitive learning tool that can be used to successfully enhance reading and math concepts; and

Whereas chess engages students of all learning styles and strengths and promotes problem-solving and higher-level thinking skills: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate--
  • (1) designates October 8, 2011, as ‘National Chess Day’; and
  • (2) encourages the people of the United States to observe ‘National Chess Day’ with appropriate programs and activities.

National Moldy Cheese Day

Hip hip hooray - October 9 is (National)Moldy Cheese Day! While the thought of moldy cheese may not be too appetizing, this annual “holiday” can be celebrated two totally different ways.

How to Celebrate Moldy Cheese Day
National Moldy Cheese Day serves as a reminder to take a peek at what’s lurking in your refrigerator. It’s time to check your cheese! Who wants to bite into a piece of moldy cheese during a midnight fridge raid?
You can also celebrate this cheesy day by enjoying a slice or two of blue (bleu) cheese in all its moldy glory! Penicillium roqueforti or Penicillium glaucum are what causes those lovely bluish-greenish hues in blue cheese. According to Britannica, Penicillium roqueforti and P. glaucum are actually added to the milk or curds prior to pressing and are “activated” by air. Tiny holes are then punched into the cheese which allows the mold spores to grow and spread.

Cheesy Facts
  • It is believed cheese was made before 6000 B.C.
  • Americans consumed about 11 pounds of cheese per person back in 1970 and demand for cheese continues to “grow.”
  • In 2003, Americans consumed 31 pounds of cheese per person, according to the Economics of Food, Farming, Natural Resources and Rural America!
  • While United States is the world’s top producer of cheese, Greece and France are the leaders in cheese consumption per capita. Folks in Greece gobble up about 63 pounds of cheese per year while the French eat about 54 pounds. Now that's a lotta cheese!
  • And what is America’s favorite cheese? Mozzarella, of course!

Whether you prefer Cheddar, American, Swiss, Brie, Blue or Provolone, Americans love cheese! Pass the cheese, please!

National Submarine-Hoagie-Hero-Grinder Day

Now here’s a celebration you can really sink your teeth into! Today, October 9, is National Submarine, Grinder, Hoagie, Hero Day (variations on a theme, undoubtedly due to several names for the same sandwich). There’s a Subway restaurant just up the road from the Home Office... Kim and I were wondering if there were any free offers today. Now that would be a celebration, indeed!

I first heard about today being National Submarine, Grinder, Hoagie, Hero Day on the radio this morning, and to verify these sandwiches’ special day I jumped online and did a quick search, at which point I also discovered that today is National Moldy Cheese Day as well. Now let’s not confuse the two: as unappetizing as moldy cheese sounds, I’m afraid that a moldy submarine-grinder-hoagie-hero would be even less palatable. But that’s only my opinion.

I know what you’re saying: “National Moldy Cheese Day? Well, that’s probably a toast to products such as bleu cheese, Roquefort, gorgonzola and brie.” Yeah, I thought so too, until I discovered one website that promoted the consumption of moldy cheese by “taking a slice off each side. The insides should still be good.” Umm, OK. Another site suggests “that you ask the experts as to which moldy cheeses you should disregard or salvage.” Better advice, no doubt; but I don’t know any cheese experts personally, so when my yellow American starts turning green – or brown, or black, or any color other than yellow – I’m reaching for the garbage can! Disregard? More like discard!

Perhaps there is some useful application for moldy cheese that I’m not aware of (at this point I vaguely recall an Abbott and Costello scene that had a lot to do with limburger cheese). All the same, I’ll take the submarine-grinder-hoagie-hero celebration any day!

Getting back to celebrating “heroes” on October 9, I never realized how many names were currently in use to describe this sandwich. The talking heads at Wikipedia include a laundry list of various names for the good ’ole hoagie, several of which I’ve never heard of. No wonder the celebration is referred to as “National Submarine, Grinder, Hoagie, Hero Day” – we wouldn’t want to confuse anyone! Wikipedia also includes a “History and etymology” (this is too easy!) “sub”-section that is rather interesting, provided you’re into the history and etymology of a sandwich. Feel free to explore at your leisure.

Curious Events Day

October 9 is Curious Events Day! While the origins are, well, curious, this annual “holiday” celebrates the out-of-this-world, unexplainable mysteries.

Whether you believe in alien beings, mysterious creatures, out-of-this-world events or a host of conspiracy theories, some of the world's greatest mysteries remain unsolved. Or are they?

10 of the World's Most Mysterious Mysteries
  • Bermuda Triangle - Many ships and airplanes have mysteriously disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, an area of ocean located between Miami, Puerto Rico and Bermuda. Besides the countless ships and planes that have vanished over the years, an entire squadron of 5 Navy Avengers disappeared over the Bermuda Triangle on December 5, 1945.
  • Pyramids – Without modern technologies, how were these massive ancient structures built?
  • Stonehenge – This ancient site, touted as one of the world’s most impressive prehistoric monuments, is located in Wiltshire, England. While no one really knows why or how these large standing stones were erected without modern day technology, it is estimated 1 million people visit the site each year. Some speculate Stonehenge was an ancient burial ground, while others believe it’s a landing space for aliens. Some believe it’s a fertility symbol while others believe the monument has to do with the sun and the moon and astronomical events.
  • Roswell UFO Incident - Whether you believe in little green men or not, what happened in Roswell, New Mexico, back in 1947, continues to be a great mystery.
  • Crop Circles – 10,000 of these mysterious circles have been created in fields of corn, wheat or barley. Usually created in the overnight hours, some crop circles are simple circles while others are magnificent works of art designed in fields of grain! Could it be aliens creating these mysterious and magical designs? Could wind and/or rain be responsible? Could earth’s electromagnetic radiation or aircraft downdrafts cause the circles? Or is it a world-wide hoax carried out by crafty circlemakers?
  • Loch Ness Monster – When it comes to monsters, the Legend of Nessie takes the cake! The Loch Ness is a lake located in Scotland. Nessie has been described as a dragon, prehistoric animal, monster fish and/or sea serpent lurking in the Loch. After spending nearly 30 years searching for Nessie, George Edwards spotted Nessie earlier this year and has the pictures to prove Nessie is much more than a legend.
  • Bigfoot – Bigfoot is another one of the world's most legendary creatures. Able to run up to 30 miles per hour, the mysterious Sasquatch is estimated to be between 7 and 10 feet tall and weighs between 400 to 1000 pounds. Hair, not fur, covers the primate’s body. Fact or fiction?
  • John F. Kennedy Assassination – November 22, 1963, marked one of the darkest days in American history. United States President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. Despite the Warren Commission’s findings thatLee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman, Oswald maintained he was just a “patsy” and was shot at point blank range while in police custody. Despite the 5 million pages of assassination documentation, photographs, recordings and videos including the famous Zapruder film, many believe this tragic event was a conspiracy.
  • Amelia Earhart - Female aviation pioneer, Amelia Earhart, disappeared without a trace decades ago. After departing from New Guinea en route to Howland Island on July 2, 1937, Earhart and her navigator, Frederick Noonan, simply vanished into thin air. Various artifacts may suggest the two may have landed on a remote island before dying.
  • Jimmy Hoffa – On July 30, 1975, International Brotherhood of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa disappeared without a trace. 7 years after he disappeared, he was declared legally dead. Authorities have been digging up all sorts of things looking for clues. Just a few weeks ago, investigators dug up a driveway in Michigan looking for Hoffa.

Fire Prevention Day

October 9 is Fire Prevention Day, an annual event that not only helps save lives, but also commemorates one of America’s most devastating fires.

The Great Chicago Fire
At about 9:00 p.m. on October 8, 1871, one of America's most deadly fires began, the Great Chicago Fire. 250 people died and 100,000 people were left homeless due to the enormous blaze that burned 2000 acres. Legend has it that the two-day fire actually started after a cow kicked over a lantern, setting a barn and the entire city on fire.

On the very same day, October 8, 1871, America’s biggest fire and the worst recorded forest fire in North American history killed between 1,200 and 2,400 people. The Great Peshtigo Fire ravaged Upper Michigan and Northeastern Wisconsin and covered about 2400 square miles. While the fire covered a large area, nearly half of the deaths occurred in the village of Peshtigo.

United States President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Day in 1920. Fire Prevention Week,which began in 1922, takes place each year on the Sunday through Saturday where October 9th falls. The 2012 Fire Prevention Week takes place from October 6 through October 12, 2013.

Each year, the President signs a Fire Prevention Week observance proclamation. On Sunday, October 7th, the United States flag will be flown at half-staff on all Federal office buildings in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.

And with a different “theme” each year, the 2012 theme is Have 2 Ways Out! Be sure to take Sparky’s 2 Ways Out Challenge so your family is prepared!

Home Structure Fire Facts & Life-Saving Safety Tips
  • According to the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA), more than 2,600 people died in home structure fires in 2012.
  • 62 percent of those deaths occurred in homes with no working smoke alarms or no smoke alarms at all. A smoke alarm should be located on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area. Check your smoke alarms each month to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Since 1990, cooking has been the number one cause of reported home fires and the leading cause of injuries. In 2010, 410 people died due to cooking fires. Never leave food on the stove or in the oven, unattended.
  • Heating equipment was the number one cause of reported home fires in the 80s.
  • Clothes dryers and washing machines are also a source of home fires with failure to clean as the leading cause of those types of fires.
  • While candles can add charm and ambiance to a room, they can also be a fire hazard. Candles resulted in about 35 home fires per day with more than 1/3 starting in the bedroom. Never leave burning candles unattended. Instead of “real” candles, use flameless candles instead!
  • Installing a fire sprinkler system in the home can cut the risk of dying in a house fire by 83 percent!
  • Store matches and lighters out of reach of children.
  • Have your fireplace chimney cleaned and inspected annually.
  • Install carbon monoxide detector(s) in your home.
  • Keep candles and space heaters away from combustible materials.
  • Plan and practice a safe fire escape route for your family. And have 2 ways out!
  • If your clothing catches on fire, always remember to stop, drop and roll!

National Pro-Life Cupcake Day

Birthday cakes are the quintessential American celebration of life. We honor the year(s) of life that have already past, show gratitude for being given another one, and look to what the future holds (“Make a wish!”) with the sweet confections.Everyone deserves to have his or her existence acknowledged, and a birthday cake does just that.

It was with these convictions in mind that the creators of National Pro-Life Cupcake Day dreamed up the idea to honor the lives of those not yet born. Because they face a staggeringly high probability of not seeing a birthday due to the reality of abortion, pro-lifers who bake cupcakes in honor of the preborn may be the only people who ever acknowledge the value of those children’s lives in the way that the vast majority of us have celebrated every year of our lives (with a cake).

Cupcakes for Life explains:
Cupcakes are such sweet and fun things to have at events and for people that are cared about, especially for birthdays! With this in mind, we want to help others realize not every child has the chance to have a birthday because of abortion, and that we care about them.

We thought these children’s lives should be remembered, so we picked October 9th as a national day to recognize them and raise awareness about the issue of abortion and the impact it is having.

By using cupcakes we are able to reach out to the general public in a warm, non-confrontational way and use it as a segue to raise awareness, start conversation, and potentially educate individuals about issues that would ordinarily be suppressed to silence.

National Stop Bullying Day

Forums are all about working together to build an awesome site about something you love. But any group is likely to have arguments and disputes -- which can sometimes get out of hand. Today is National Stop Bullying Day in the US, so I wanted to take the time here to talk a little about online bullying and how we can all work together to help prevent it.

Think about what you say. Remember that there is a real person reading what you write. Are you saying it in a way that's going to sound nasty or aggressive? I've always disliked the phrase "real world" to distinguish between on and off-line life... this is real life, and what you say here matters.

Look out for new users. Sometimes it's easy to take the side of the people we know best, but without new contributors our forum communities would never grow. So if someone you know is bullying a new contributor to a forum, remind them that they too were once new. If you see someone else getting bullied, then leave them a friendly word to let them know that the whole community is not that way -- and if it escalates, let the local admins or foruma staff know about it.

Don't feed the Trolls. There will always be those online who love to provoke a reaction, and they make a beeline for those who are most likely to give them their "fun" with a dramatic reply. The best tool you have against this is your own reaction -- if you respond calmly, or simply ignore them, they are much more likely to move on.

Revert, block, ignore. For admins, the advice for persistent cyber bullies on your forums is the same as for vandals. Remove the bad content, block the bully, and move on without giving them more attention. As the moderator for your forum, you are the best person to deal with those that are rude or aggressive, and insisting on polite and pleasant interactions will help you build a forum that people want to keep coming back to.

Most of all - keep it positive! You can help make foruma a better place by looking for the good in your fellow editors, and letting them know when you appreciate them. For National Stop Bullying Day, use the comments below to say something nice about someone on your forum.

World Post Day

World Post Day is celebrated each year on 9 October, the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1874 in the Swiss capital, Berne. It was declared World Post Day by the UPU Congress held in Tokyo, Japan, in 1969.

The purpose of World Post Day is to create awareness of the role of the postal sector in people’s and businesses’ everyday lives and its contribution to the social and economic development of countries. The celebration encourages member countries to undertake programme activities aimed at generating a broader awareness of their Post’s role and activities among the public and media on a national scale.

Every year, more than 150 countries celebrate World Post Day in a variety of ways. In certain countries, World Post Day is observed as a working holiday. Many Posts use the event to introduce or promote new postal products and services. Some Posts also use World Post Day to reward their employees for good service.

In many countries, philatelic exhibitions are organized and new stamps and date cancellation marks are issued. Other activities include the display of World Post Day posters in post offices and other public places, open days at post offices, mail centers and postal museums, the holding of conferences, seminars and workshops, as well as cultural, sport and other recreational activities. Many postal administrations issue special souvenirs such as T-shirts and badges.