Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holidays for December 1st 2013

Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day

Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day, however, seems inexactly named. Some Internet sites suggest that bifocals are liberating. In general, these sites are maintained by or for optometrists or ophthalmologists. But, inasmuch as people often leave a pair of glasses near their computer screens, the name of today's holiday also suggests the possibility that one might sneak into a neighbor's cubicle and 'liberate' his or her bifocals.

Fortunately, today is Saturday and most people will be away from their cubicles for the weekend. Keep your glasses nearby just in case someone is feeling prankish at home.

Civil Air Patrol Day

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF). It was created by Administrative Order 9 in December 1941, with Maj. Gen. John F. Curry as the first CAP national commander. The organization was originally formed to provide civilian air support to aid the war effort of World War II through border and coastal patrols, military training assistance, courier services and other activities. These efforts were recognized and, after the close of the war, Civil Air Patrol was transferred from the United States Army to the newly formed Air Force. It was incorporated as a non-profit organization of volunteers and declared to be of a benevolent nature, never again to be involved in direct combat activities.

Since that time, Civil Air Patrol has carried out three Congressional mandated objectives: emergency services (including search and rescue operations), aerospace education for youth and the general public, and cadet programs for teenage youth. In addition, it has been tasked with assisting the United States Department of Homeland Security, and also performs non-auxiliary missions for various governmental and private agencies, such as local law enforcement and the American Red Cross.

The general idea of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) originated with a collective brainstorm of pilots and aviators before the start of World War II. In the later half of the 1930s, the Axis powers became a threat to the United States, its allies and its interests. As the Axis steadily took control of the greater part of Europe and South-East Asia, aviation-minded Americans noticed a trend: in all of the conquered countries and territories, civil aviation was more or less halted in order to reduce the risk of sabotage. Countries that were directly involved in the conflict strictly regulated general aviation, allowing military flights only. American aviators did not wish to see the same fate befall themselves, but realized that if nothing was done to convince the federal government that civil aviation could be of direct and measurable benefit to the imminent war effort, the government would likely severely limit general aviation.

The concrete plan for a general aviation organization designed to aid the U.S. military at home was envisaged in 1938 by Gill Robb Wilson. Wilson, then aviation editor of The New York Herald Tribune, was on assignment in Germany prior to the outbreak of World War II. He took note of the actions and intentions of the Nazi government and its tactic of grounding all general aviation. Upon returning, he reported his findings to the New Jersey governor, advising that an organization be created that would use the civil air fleet of New Jersey as an augmentative force for the war effort that seemed impending. The plan was approved, and with the backing of Chief of the Army Air Corps General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold and the Civil Aeronautics Authority, the New Jersey Civil Air Defense Services (NJCADS) was formed. The plan called for the use of single-engine aircraft for liaison work, as well as coastal and infrastructure patrol. General security activities regarding aviation were also made the responsibility of the NJCADS.

Other similar groups were organized, such as the AOPA Civil Air Guard and the Florida Defense Force.

During this time, the Army Air Corps and the Civil Aeronautics Administration initiated two separate subprograms. The first was the introduction of a civilian pilot refresher course and the Civilian Pilot Training Program. The motive behind this step was to increase the pool of available airmen who could be placed into military service if such a time came. The second step was concentrated more on the civil air strength of the nation in general and called for the organization of civilian aviators and personnel in such a way that the collective manpower and know-how would assist in the seemingly inevitable all-out war effort. This second step was arguably the Federal government's blessing towards the creation of the Civil Air Patrol. It was followed by a varied and intense debate over organizational logistics, bureaucracy and other administrative and practical details.

Thomas H. Beck, who was at the time the Chairman of the Board of the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company, compiled an outline and plan to present to President Franklin D. Roosevelt that would lead up to the organization of the nation's civilian air power. Beck received peer guidance and support from Guy Gannett, the owner of a Maine newspaper chain. On 20 May 1941, the Office of Civilian Defense was created, with former New York City mayor and World War I pilot Fiorello H. La Guardia as the director. Wilson, Beck, and Gannett presented their plan for a national civil air patrol to La Guardia, and he approved the idea. He then appointed Wilson, Beck, and Gannett to form the so-called "blueprint committee" and charged them with organizing the national aviation resources on a national scale.

By October 1941 the plan was completed. The remaining tasks were chiefly administrative, such as the appointment of wing commanders, and Wilson left his New York office and traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak with Army officials as the Civil Air Patrol's first executive officer. General Henry "Hap" Arnold organized a board of top military officers to review Wilson's final plan. The board, which included General George E. Stratemeyer (presiding officer of the board), Colonel Harry H. Blee, Major Lucas P. Ordway, Jr., and Major A.B. McMullen, reviewed the plan set forward by Wilson and his colleagues and evaluated the role of the War Department as an agency of the Office of Civilian Defense. The plan was approved and the recommendation was made that Army Air Forces officers assist with key positions such as flight training and logistics.

Day With(out) Art

Day Without Art (DWA) began on December 1, 1989 as the national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. To make the public aware that AIDS can touch everyone, and inspire positive action, some 800 U.S. art and AIDS groups participated in the first Day Without Art, shutting down museums, sending staff to volunteer at AIDS services, or sponsoring special exhibitions of work about AIDS. Since then, Day With(out) Art has grown into a collaborative project in which an estimated 8,000 national and international museums, galleries, art centers, AIDS service organizations, libraries, high schools and colleges take part.

In the past, "Visual AIDS" initiated public actions and programs, published an annual poster and copyright-free broadsides, and acted as press coordinator and clearing house for projects for Day Without Art/World AIDS Day. In 1997, it was suggested Day Without Art become a Day With Art, to recognize and promote increased programming of cultural events that draw attention to the continuing pandemic. Though "the name was retained as a metaphor for the chilling possibility of a future day without art or artists", we added parentheses to the program title, Day With(out) Art, to highlight the proactive programming of art projects by artists living with HIV/AIDS, and art about AIDS, that were taking place around the world. It had become clear that active interventions within the annual program were far more effective than actions to negate or reduce the programs of cultural centers.

Eat a Red Apple Day

It’s Eat a Red Apple Day! You know the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” It's true! Apples have high nutritional value and are an extremely healthy snack. The peel alone contains antioxidants that help reduce damaged cells and fight diseases. Apples are also fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.

Did you know that there are 7,500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world? They can come in a variety of shapes, flavors, and colors including all shades of red, green, and yellow.

The apple can be eaten raw, cooked, baked, or juiced. Snack on your favorite variety (Red Delicious or Macintosh, perhaps?) and celebrate Eat a Red Apple Day!

World Aids Day

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

Around 100,000 are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action. Find out how much you know by taking our online quiz: Are you HIV aware? Test your knowledge and awareness by taking the quiz and act aware by passing the quiz on and sharing it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

If you understand how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today - you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding. Click here to find out the facts.

You can also show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness and support.

Although World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to get the public talking about HIV and fund raise, we need to remember the importance of raising awareness of HIV all year round. That's why NAT has launched — a fun, interactive website which provides all the information everyone should know about HIV. Why not use what you have learnt on World AIDS Day to Act Aware throughout the year and remember, you can fund raise at any time of year too — NAT is always here to give you suggestions and ideas.

Prisoners for Peace Day

1st December is Prisoners for Peace Day. For over 60 years, War Resisters' International have, on this day, made known the names and stories of those imprisoned for actions for peace. Many are conscientious objectors, in goal for refusing to join the military. Others have taken nonviolent actions to disrupt preparation for war.

War Resisters' International (WRI) works for a world without war. We are a global pacifist and anti-militarist network with over 80 affiliated groups in 40 countries. We remain committed to our 1921 founding declaration that 'War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war'. All wars, including wars of 'liberation' and 'humanitarian military intervention' are used to serve some power ­political or economic interest. All war leads to suffering, destruction, and new structures of domination.

Rosa Parks Day

Rosa Parks Day is an American observance to honor civil rights activist Rosa Parks, who was known for refusing to give up her seat on a bus. It is a legal observance in California on February 4 and Ohio on December 1.

Rosa Parks Day promotes equal opportunities, civil rights, and fairness across communities in the U.S. Church leaders, politicians, and organizational leaders unite in states like California and Ohio to promote the day with a range of events and activities.

Many schools have classroom activities that focus on Rosa Parks' struggles for equality and achievements against discrimination.

On December 1, 1955, African American seamstress Rosa Parks was travelling in a Montgomery City bus when the bus driver asked her to vacate her seat for a white man. The driver's request was standard practice of racial segregation in buses at the time. Rosa Parks refused to leave her seat on the grounds of fairness, freedom and equality. As a result, she was arrested and convicted of violating the laws of segregation, known as the "Jim Crow" laws. She appealed her conviction and formally challenged the legality of segregation. At the same time, civil rights activists, including Martin Luther King Jr, boycotted the Montgomery bus system.

The boycott lasted for 381 days, into December 1956, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the segregation law was unconstitutional and the Montgomery buses should be integrated. This boycott kickstarted other civil rights protests throughout the U.S. Over the years, the Rosa Parks bus has become a symbol of the fight for equal rights. It has been fully restored and is now displayed in the Henry Ford Museum. Rosa Parks' Day, on February 4, is also known as the Day of Courage.