Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holidays for December 3rd 2013

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

United Nations' (UN) International Day of Persons with Disabilities is annually held on December 3 to focus on issues that affect people with disabilities worldwide.

People from many countries worldwide participate in various ways to promote the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Events may include art exhibitions promoting artwork by people with disabilities. Other events take the form of protests to highlight the difficulties disabled people have in playing a full role in society.

The United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons was held from 1983 to 1992 to enable governments and organizations to implement measures to improve the life of disabled persons all over the world. On October 14, 1992, as this decade drew to a close, the UN General Assembly proclaimed December 3 as the International Day of Disabled Persons. This day was first observed on December 3, 1992. On December 18, 2007, the assembly changed the observance's name from the "International Day of Disabled Persons" to the "International Day of Persons with Disabilities". The new name was first used in 2008.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is coordinated by United Nations Enable, which works to support and promote the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The symbol of Enable is the blue UN symbol and the word "enable". The UN symbol consists of an azimuthal equidistant projection of the globe centered on the North Pole surrounded by olive branches. The word "enable" is written entirely in lowercase letters. The letter "e" is red and the other letters are blue.

Let's Hug Day

Who's feeling all warm and fuzzy, with the holidays approaching? December 3rd is Let's Hug Day, a heartfelt holiday that fosters hugging, rather than slugging.

Perhaps it's an old wives' tale, but folks have often claimed that hugs are actually helpful. Is it possible that hugging may help to reduce heart disease, headaches, high blood pressure, stress and other ailments?

Studies have shown that human contact has many health benefits. It has been found that human contact improves both psychological and physical development. Hugging can also help build a good immune system, decrease the risk of heart disease, and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol in women. It has been shown that a couple who hugs for 20 seconds has higher levels of oxytocin, and that those who were in a loving relationship exhibited a highest increase. According to the American Psychosomatic Society, a hug or 10 minutes of holding hands with a romantic partner can help reduce stress, and its harmful physical effects. In a study, adults who had no contact with people had higher blood pressure and heart rate. Other studies have indicated that the touch of a friend might not be as helpful as the touch of a partner but should not be avoided.

What have you got to lose? It's Let's Hug Day on December 3rd. (Just be sure to pick someone you already know, so December 3rd doesn't also become Let's Get Arrested for Assault and Battery Day.)

Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday! This day is an opportunity to step back from the chaos of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and embrace the best part of the holidays—the season of giving. Find a way to give back to your community or support the causes that mean the most to you!

The tradition of charitable giving during the holidays began thousands of years ago. Today, it continues to be an important part of many cultures and religions around the world. During the Hindu festival of Diwali, for example, “dana” (charitable giving) and “seva” (selfless service) are two key components of the holiday.

To celebrate Giving Tuesday, donate to your favorite nonprofit, drop off some canned goods at your local food pantry, or organize a neighborhood coat drive. For more ideas about how to get involved in the national day of giving, visit www.givingtuesday.org.

Make a Gift Day

It's all about making a gift instead of buying a gift!

Many people would much rather receive a homemade gift than a bought gift. When a person takes the time to make a gift, they put their heart and soul into that gift, therefore the gift becomes more meaningful. This holiday is a great holiday to promote the idea of making gifts and remind everyone to find those crafty and artistic abilities that we have and make a gift for someone.

I bet the month of December was picked to celebrate this holiday because the month of December is the giving season, the holiday season where more gifts are given during this month than any other time of the year. Why was the 3th day picked?? That's the question. But unfortunately…

A gift or present is the transfer of something, without the need for compensation that is involved in trade. A gift is a voluntary act which does not require anything in return. Even though it involves possibly a social expectation of reciprocity, or a return in the form of prestige or power, a gift is meant to be free.

National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day

Today is National Roof Over Your Head Day! Buying a house is often the single largest investment a person will make in his or her lifetime. Did you know that the homeownership rate in the United States is around 66% of the population? Studies have shown that homeowners are more active in their communities, have improved education opportunities, and report higher levels of self-esteem and happiness.

Regardless of whether you rent or own, today is an opportunity to take a moment to appreciate the roof over your head!

Telescope Day

In 1609 an Italian physicist and astronomer named Galileo became the first person to point a telescope skyward. Although that telescope was small and the images fuzzy, Galileo was able to make out mountains and craters on the moon, as well as a ribbon of diffuse light arching across the sky -- which would later be identified as our Milky Way galaxy. After Galileo's and, later, Sir Isaac Newton's time, astronomy flourished as a result of larger and more complex telescopes. With advancing technology, astronomers discovered many faint stars and the calculation of stellar distances. In the 19th century, using a new instrument called a spectroscope, astronomers gathered information about the chemical composition and motions of celestial objects.

Twentieth century astronomers developed bigger and bigger telescopes and, later, specialized instruments that could peer into the distant reaches of space and time. Eventually, enlarging telescopes no longer improved our view… all because of the Earth's atmosphere.

The next time you gaze up at the night sky, you're likely to spot a twinkling star. But is it really twinkling? What looks like a twinkling star to our eyes is actually steady starlight that has been distorted, or bent, by the Earth's atmosphere. The visual effect of this distortion is like looking at an object through a glass of water.

Telescopes here on the ground -- which also must peer through Earth's atmosphere -- are equally vulnerable to our atmosphere's visual tricks.

That's why astronomers around the world dreamed of having an observatory in space -- a concept first proposed by astronomer Lyman Spitzer in the 1940s. From a position above Earth's atmosphere, a telescope would be able to detect light from stars, galaxies, and other objects in space before that light is absorbed or distorted. Therefore, the view would be a lot sharper than that from even the largest telescope on the ground.

In the 1970s the European Space Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration began working together to design and build what would become the Hubble Space Telescope. On April 25, 1990, five astronauts aboard the space shuttle Discovery deployed the eagerly anticipated telescope in an orbit roughly 380 miles (600 km) above the Earth's surface. That deployment and, later, the unprecedented images that Hubble delivered represented the fulfillment of a 50-year dream and more than two decades of dedicated collaboration between scientists, engineers, contractors, and institutions from all over the world.