Thursday, November 7, 2013

Holidays for November 7th 2013

National Men Make Dinner Day

Today is National Men Make Dinner Day! This holiday is dedicated to all the wonderful men in the world who never learned how to cook. It serves as their opportunity to step up to the plate and try their hand in the kitchen. For the men who make dinner on a regular basis, you can submit your best recipe on the National Men Make Dinner website!

There are several official rules for National Men Make Dinner Day. These include no grilling, no take-out, and no dishes left in the sink. The man must use a recipe that involves at least four ingredients and a cooking utensil other than a fork. Check out the full list of rules and other interesting information about this humorous national holiday!

Notary Public Day

Please give a hearty “thank you” to the notary public in your life every November 7, Notary Public Day!

Transactions that are essential to the normal function of our everyday lives would not be possible without the skill and attention of a notary public. There are nearly 4.8 million notaries public in the United States, all of whom serve the common good as trusted public officials.

The first Notary Public Day was celebrated on November 7, 1975, and created to “recognize notaries for their public service and their contributions to national and international commerce.”

Since ancient Roman times, notaries have recorded matters of judicial and commercial importance as well as private transactions when professional skill and integrity were needed.

Today’s notaries are indispensable to the free flow of commerce and to the many highly sensitive personal transactions that transpire in daily life. By properly executing their duties as impartial witnesses, notaries help deter fraud and promote the integrity and reliability of document transactions. They do this by positively confirming the document signer’s identity, and carefully assessing the signer’s comprehension, competence and willingness to sign.

The date of November 7 was chosen as Notary Public Day in recognition of the day that America's first notary, Thomas Fugill, was appointed. Fugill's appointment by the Colony of New Haven occurred on October 25, 1639 (Julian calendar), November 7 on the Gregorian calendar now in use.

National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day

Your cure for a case of the nutty Thursdays - November 7 is National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day!

If chocolate is good for you, and so are almonds, today is guaranteed to get the serotonin going and brighten up the beginning of your week.

Bittersweet chocolate, also called semisweet, is exactly what the name brings to mind - unsweetened chocolate combined with a small amount, less than a third, of sugar. It's best for baking, especially in chocolate chip cookies, but it also pairs well with the woodsy and slightly sweet tang of almonds.

But you don't just want to take a bite of bittersweet chocolate and snack on a few almonds (though who are we to stop you?); instead, get creative and try deep dark chocolate biscotti, chocolate almond fudge squares or this luscious chocolate citrus almond torte.

Here's hoping end of the day isn't a bittersweet parting for you.

Feast of Stolen Fire

Feast of Stolen Fire - on this day, it is believed the ancient Greeks celebrated the ‘Feast of the Stolen Fire’ in honour of the old Titan god, Prometheus who stole the sun’s fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals. This act gave humans an advantage over their environment and the theft did not sit well with Zeus, so he punished Prometheus by chaining him naked to the face of an inaccessible cliff. Each evening Prometheus was visited by a large bird of prey that proceeded to eat the God’s liver. Everyday the liver restored itself and was thus eaten anew the following evening. Prometheus is also variously described as being the creator of mankind who needed fire to kiln the clay he made mortals from and imbue his creations with the spark of life. Giving fire to mortals was similar to the concept of free will given to man. It was the determinant that changed the Game of Life, thus saving the human race. Many lamps were lit in his honour on this day. Fire is as a very powerful symbol, human progress begin significantly after the use of fire was established. The gift of fire opened the door to elemental aspects such as cooking, melting metals and providing warmth. It represents the start of civilization, consciousness, new ideas and symbolizes man’s development of art and technology with its promise of better lives yet is not held without respect for its power.

Little League Girls Day

Today is also Little League Girls Day, in honor of New Jersey's brave foray in equal opportunity sports for tomboys in 1973, when that state became the first to allow girls to play Little League baseball. This was a fantastic idea, however, it would have been great if, at the same time, they had released a statement telling girls that they did not necessarily have to play baseball. Some of us got hit on the head a bunch trying to prove that fish did not need bicycles, etc. And then, maybe, we accidentally caught a ball while trying to shield our pretty-pretty face with our glove, and got made shortstop. It was all very upsetting.

Hug-a-bear Day

November 7th is Hug a bear day.

Before you go out and look for that bear to hug, or think of a bear-hug (for once I did not goof the spelling) it’s about Teddy bears.

By the way in his bid re-election Teddy Roosevelt used a mascot, the teddy bear; he was very bear like with a snout and beady eyes.

Teddy bear was created by Morris michtom inspired by a political cartoon drawn by Clifford Berryman. Clifford had illustrated the hunt where teddy Roosevelt refused to kill a tied bear, yet he asked for it to be shot so that it could be put out misery.

1903 heralded the birth of teddy bear; by 1906 he had become a craze and now a childhood necessity. Teddy bear today has become more versatile; with larger eyes and smaller snout that makes him cuter.

Fire, police and emergency service found that children were calmer and more secure when they were handed a teddy bear. So it has become part of standard operational procedure.

What we need to do today is to pick up our cache of teddy bears and soft toys and donate it.

Republican Elephant Day

On November 7, 1874, Harper's Weekly featured a cartoon about criticisms of President Grant, an image which includes the first important use of the Republican Elephant.

In this cartoon, artist Thomas Nast reacts to a series of editorials in the New York Herald criticizing what Herald owner/editor James Gordon Bennett Jr. considered to be President Ulysses S. Grant’s bid for an unprecedented third term. There was no constitutional limit on the number of presidential terms until ratification of the 22nd Amendment in 1951, but the tradition of serving no more than two terms, set by President George Washington, carried a strong stigma against anyone who attempted to violate it. To Bennett and others long dissatisfied with the policies and scandals of the Grant administration, any possibility that the former general would seek a third term was condemned as “Caesarism”—an undemocratic attempt to wield imperial power. Grant declined to pursue the Republican nomination actively in 1876, but was a candidate in 1880, when the deadlocked convention selected Congressman James Garfield, instead.

The image of the featured cartoon was inspired by, and the text taken from, one of Aesop’s fables, “The Ass in the Lion’s Skin.” The rest of the fable reads: “At last coming upon a fox, he [the ass] tried to frighten him also, but the fox no sooner heard the sound of his voice than he exclaimed, ‘I might possibly have been frightened myself, if I had not hear your bray.’” The moral of the fable is that although a fool may disguise his appearance, his words will reveal his true nature. To Nast, the New York Herald is not a roaring lion to be feared, but a braying ass to be ridiculed. The reference in the citation to “Shakespeare or Bacon” is a jibe at Bennett’s contention that Shakespeare’s works were actually written by Sir Francis Bacon.

Here, the New York Herald appears as an ass in a lion’s skin, whose ferocious presence frightens the “foolish animals” of the press, including The New York Times(unicorn), the New York Tribune (giraffe), and the New York World (owl). A skittish fox, representing the Democratic Party, has edged onto a reform plank near a gaping pit, by which the trumpeting elephant, symbolizing the Republican vote, lumbers. Since this issue of Harper’s Weekly went to press shortly before the congressional elections of November 3, 1874, the artist was uncertain which party would tumble into the pit, but early results boded ill for the Republicans.

Thus, the elephant’s foreleg is raised precariously over the chasm, the “Ohio” and “Indiana” geese squawk about Democratic victories in those pivotal states, and the ostrich with its head in the ground alludes to temperance Republicans who nominated their own slate of candidates in New York. On November 3, the Democrats did win control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time since before the Civil War, and Nast drew a sequel to this featured cartoon entitled “Caught In A Trap—The Third-Term Hoax” (November 21, 1874), in which the Republican Elephant has tumbled into the pit.

It is often mistakenly assumed that the image in the featured cartoon of stampeding animals was based on a hoax concocted by one of Bennett's editors at the Herald in the fall of 1874. On November 9, the New York Herald reported in bold headlines that wild animals had broken loose in Central Park, causing “Terrible Scenes of Mutilation.” However, the post dated November 7 issue of Harper’s Weekly, which includes "The Third-Term Panic," was published in late October, over a week before the hoax.

There is no evidence that either Nast knew about the hoax before it was perpetrated (which seems unlikely) or that the Herald was inspired by his cartoon (although it is an intriguing possibility). Soon after the incident, Nast craftily incorporated visual and textual references to the hoax in several cartoons over the ensuing months to mock Bennett and his journalistic colleagues. The post dated November 21 sequel, “Caught in a Trap,” was also probably drawn before the hoax, although the cartoonist had time before publication to add a subtitle referring to it: “The Result of the Third-Term Hoax.”

The featured November 7 cartoon is one of Thomas Nast’s most important because it marks the first notable appearance of the Republican Elephant, which the cartoonist would develop over the next few years into the universally recognized symbol for the Republican Party. An elephant had been associated twice before with the Republican Party, once in President Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 campaign sheet, Father Abraham, and once in Harper’s Weekly to depict the Liberal Republicans of 1872. However, in neither case did the caricature have a lasting impact on other political cartoonists or the public as a symbol for the Republican Party.

Nast’s first use of an animal symbol for the Republican Party came in 1871. Like the featured cartoon, he employed an Aesop’s allusion to warn Republicans, depicted as a bloodied lion and bear, that their continued intra-party fighting might allow the Democrat Party (as a fox) to capture the presidency the next year. During the rest of the 1870s, Nast associated various animals with the Republican Party—bull, eagle, fish, fox, horse, lamb, rooster, and sheep (beleaguered Southern Republicans). Beginning with “The Third-Term Panic” of November 7, 1874, Nast used the elephant seven times over the following 18 months to represent the “Republican Vote.”

However, Nast’s cartoon of April 29, 1876, indicates that the animal was not yet exclusively the symbol of the Republican Party. In that prophetic image, “The Political Situation,” a two-headed elephant, upon which sits a perplexed Uncle Sam, is “The Vote of the People,” with one head facing “The Democratic Road” and the other toward “The Republican Road.” Nast did not use the symbol again during the 1876 presidential campaign until his election-eve cartoon of October 28, "The Elephant Walk Around," in which the “Republican Vote” appears as a massive elephant crushing a two-headed Democratic Tiger. The uncertain outcome of the Electoral College controversy of 1876-1877 prompted the cartoonist to contribute two drawings during February 1877 of a two-tailed elephant (with no head), labeled the “Republican What-Is-It,” modeled after P. T. Barnum’s hoax.

When the Electoral College Commission decided the presidency in favor of Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, Nast no doubt captured the feeling of many by portraying a badly wounded elephant at the grave of the Democratic Tiger. Entitled "Another Such Victory And I Am Undone," it was the first time that the elephant’s name was not qualified by “Vote” or another designation, but represented the entire Republican Party. Thereafter, Nast continued using the Republican Elephant symbol, and after 1879 stopped associating any other animal with the Republican Party except for one cartoon in 1886 in which Republican spoilsmen were depicted as vultures. By the 1880 presidential election, cartoonists for other publications had incorporated the elephant symbol into their own work, and by March 1884 Nast could refer to the image he had created for the Republican Party as “The Sacred Elephant.”