Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holidays for November 23rd 2013

Family Volunteer Day

Family Volunteer Day is a day of service that demonstrates and celebrates the power of families who volunteer together, supporting their neighborhoods, communities and the world.

Points of Light created the day 22 years ago to showcase the benefits of family volunteering and provide opportunities for families to help communities create supportive environments for their children and each other. This year Family Volunteer Day takes place on November 23 and is being sponsored by Disney Friends for Change and powered by generationOn.

Family Volunteer Day is strategically held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving to “kick-off” the holiday season with giving and service. It also signals the start of National Family Week, sponsored by the Alliance for Children and Families and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Families that volunteer together not only address community social problems, but also strengthen themselves. Volunteering together as a family provides quality time, strengthens family communication and provides opportunities for family members to be role models.

National Eat a Cranberry Day

Cranberries are excellent sources of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and do wonders for the body's toxin-removal system; it's no wonder the puckering red berry has a national holiday! Having just finished Thanksgiving, or possibly coming upon Thanksgiving, depending on the year, cranberries are right at their peak season, meaning that there is no better time pluck raw cranberries from your grocery shelf! Go ahead! Try a new recipe using real cranberries!

Can you eat raw cranberries?
While raw cranberries tend to be very bitter and pack quite a puckering punch, cranberries are excellent sources of vital nutrients that, like all nutrients in foods, are strongest when they are raw. How can you sweeten up the tangy berry? Some combine the with sweeter fruits, acting as a balance to their fruit salads, or add the juiced berry to sweet tea. Don't worry cooking the berry can be good as well!

What exact health benefits will I get from eating cranberries?
One cup of cranberries contains 12g of carbohydrates, essential natural energy for the body, 5g of fiber, one-fifth of the daily fiber we need, 13mg of vitamin C, 13% of your daily requirements, 36 mcg of beta-carotene, converted to vitamin A in your body, and low levels of vitamin B, manganese, iron, and zinc. Cranberries are rich in cyanidins, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins, antioxidant plant pigments that prevent cell damage by scavenging destructive free radicals. All of that also provides cranberries with the uncanny ability to fight and prevent E.coli from causing urinary tract infections.

What can I do with cranberries?
With the holiday season coming around, an all-time favorite is Homemade Cranberry Sauce, a recipe that only takes 10 minutes and 4 common ingredients to create! Cranberry scones, cranberry jelly, cranberry muffins, and more! Add cranberries to any recipe that involves fruit for an added punch of health and flavor!

National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day was launched in November 2000 as the National Adoption Day Coalition worked with law firms, state foster care agencies, child advocates and courts to complete hundreds of adoptions from foster care in nine jurisdictions nationwide (New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Dallas; El Paso, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Washington, D.C.; Omaha, Neb.; and Columbus, Ohio).

As this grassroots effort took hold across the United States, the number of events grew quickly, from 17 in 2001, to 120 in 2003, and to about 400 events in 2011 in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Today National Adoption Day is celebrated nationwide on the Saturday before Thanksgiving as hundreds of events are held to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care, and to celebrate all families who adopt. In total, nearly 40,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day during the last 12 years.

National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. This annual, one-day event has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with policymakers, practitioners and advocates to finalize adoptions and create and celebrate adoptive families.

In total, National Adoption Day helped nearly 44,500 children move from foster care to a forever family. Communities across the country celebrate the Saturday before every Thanksgiving. In 2012, more than 4,500 children were adopted by their forever families during the 13th annual National Adoption Day celebration in almost 400 cities across the United States.

This year the National Adoption Day Coalition expects 4,500 children in foster care to be adopted on National Adoption Day, on November 23, 2013.

  • Finalize adoptions from foster care in all 50 states
  • Celebrate and honor families who adopt
  • Raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting for permanent, loving homes
  • Encourage others to adopt children from foster care
  • Build collaboration among local adoption agencies, courts and advocacy organizations
National Survivors of Suicide Day

National Survivors of Suicide Day was designated by the United States Congress as a day when the friends and family of those who have died by suicide can join together for healing and support. This day always falls on the Saturday before American Thanksgiving.

In 1999, Senator Harry Reid introduced a resolution to the United States Senate which led to the creation of National Survivors of Suicide Day. Reid is a survivor of his father's suicide. As citizens of other countries began observing the day in their local communities, it was renamed as International Survivors of Suicide Day.

Every year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention sponsors International Survivors of Suicide Day, a program that unites survivors of suicide loss across the world. At events in hundreds of cities spanning 6 continents, survivors of suicide loss gather together to remember their loved ones and offer each other support. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention produces a program shown at these events that features personal stories and advice from other survivors and psychiatric professionals. These events help survivors cope with the tragedy of losing someone to suicide.

Fibonacci Day

Leonardo of Pisa, better known as Fibonacci, is responsible for the Fibonacci Sequence (or Fibonacci numbers) – a pattern of counting where each number is the sum of the previous two. As well as being prevalent in nature, this kind of system is used widely in computer data storage and processing, and Fibonacci Day recognizes the importance and value of Fibonacci’s contributions to mathematics.

In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers or Fibonacci series or Fibonacci sequence are the numbers in the following integer sequence: (sequence A000045 in OEIS)
By definition, the first two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are 0 and 1, and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two.

In mathematical terms, the sequence Fn of Fibonacci numbers is defined by the recurrence relation
with seed values[3]

The Fibonacci sequence is named after Leonardo Fibonacci. His 1202 book Liber Abaci introduced the sequence to Western European mathematics, although the sequence had been described earlier in Indian mathematics. By modern convention, the sequence begins either with F0 = 0 or with F1 = 1. The Liber Abaci began the sequence with F1 = 1, without an initial 0.

Fibonacci numbers are closely related to Lucas numbers in that they are a complementary pair of Lucas sequences. They are intimately connected with the golden ratio; for example, the closest rational approximations to the ratio are 2/1, 3/2, 5/3, 8/5, ... . Applications include computer algorithms such as the Fibonacci search technique and the Fibonacci heap data structure, and graphs called Fibonacci cubes used for interconnecting parallel and distributed systems. They also appear in biological settings, such as branching in trees, phyllotaxis (the arrangement of leaves on a stem), the fruit sprouts of a pineapple, the flowering of artichoke, an uncurling fern and the arrangement of a pine cone.

International Aura Awareness Day

While every one of us has one, few people give much thought to their energy body. Also known as the aura, these shining bodies of light have been recognized for millenia to exist in all living things. Since dark or damaged auras are early warning indicators of every kind of physical, emotional, and psychological problem, it is clear that you can improve your health by taking one day each year to examine your aura. Begun in 2002, November 23, 2013 will mark the twelfth annual International Aura Awareness Day.

Held on the fourth Saturday of November, it is the only "aura" day on the calendar. Some ways to celebrate this special day are by reading about auras, talking about auras, and practicing visualizing and feeling auras.

What is the Human Aura?
It's been said that true beauty comes from within, but until recently there's been no official day for honoring and acknowledging that special inner light we each have. Our shining body of light, also known as the aura, has been recognized and artistically portrayed for millennia. The aura surrounds each and every one of us and changes according to our health, mood, and character.

The human energy body, or aura, surrounds each and every one of us and changes according to our health, mood, and character. You can both feel and see auras relatively quickly, and learn how to energize your aura through visualization and meditation.

Why Should I Care?
Auras are not just bright and colorful -- they are also our assurance of good physical, emotional, and psychological health. Recent medical studies have shown that distant healing plays a significant role in people's health, even when they have a life-threatening disease like AIDS, or are undergoing medical treatment for heart disease. Clearly, humans are able to influence each others' health long-distance through prayer.

Raising awareness through public education—that auras can easily be viewed and felt, are intimately tied to our health and well-being, and can be photographed—is a vital step towards improving global health, well-being, and peace.

National Espresso Day

Espresso – that thick, bold Italian-style coffee – got its name thanks to the technology used to make the dark, rich brew, which is “pressed out” and tailor made ‘pronto’ for its consumer.

Espresso, which is also the base ingredient for other popular coffee beverages such as cappuccino, café latte and macchiato, has come a long way since its invention in Italy sometime around the 1900s.

So let’s toast the rise of this complex and concentrated concoction with what else? – a shot of espresso as we mark National Espresso Day on November 23.

Anatomy of Espresso
Contrary to popular belief, espresso is not a specific bean or roast level. Any bean or roast level can be used to make espresso. What makes espresso espresso is its brewing method, which is made by forcing pressurized hot water through finely ground coffee to create a concentrated coffee topped with a delicate foam, called a crema.

The crema should be thin and foamy with a golden-brown and sometimes slightly reddish color. The crema has a sweet flavor as it contains the espresso’s concentrated sugars and oils. The body is the middle layer and it is typically caramel-brown in color. The bottom of an espresso, known as the heart, should have a deep brown tone. The heart contains the bitterness that provides a balance to the sweetness of the crema.

While there is no universal standard in how to make the perfect espresso, it is often thought that the quality of the ultimate espresso comes from the four Ms:
  • Macinazione – correct grinding of the coffee bean
  • Macchina – the espresso machine
  • Miscela – the coffee blend
  • Mano – the skilled hand of the person making the coffee
The Origins of Espresso
Espresso made its debut in Italy in the early 20th century although coffee was already very much a part of Italian life for centuries. Espresso lovers owe their thanks for the tasty brew to Italy’s Luigi Bezzera, the owner of a manufacturing plant who wanted to speed up the time it took to make coffee. It’s unclear whether he was motivated to hasten the process by frustration over how long his morning coffee took or whether he wanted to speed up the time his employees took for their coffee breaks.

Regardless, Bezzera discovered that adding steam pressure to the process produced a stronger, more robust cup of coffee. This machine used in this new quick-brew process was named the Fast Coffee Machine. The beverage produced by the machine would eventually become known as espresso, which means fast in Italian. Regrettably, Bezzera wasn’t as talented at marketing and sales as he was at engineering. A few years later in 1905, Desidero Pavoni purchased the rights to the machine from Bezzera and had it patented. It is due to Pavoni’s marketing genius that espresso grew in popularity.

In the early 1940s, Achille Gaggia created a piston-based espresso machine that improved the taste by eliminating the burnt flavor and giving espresso a thicker consistency. Initially for professional use in coffee bars, the espresso machine gradually became available for use at home.