Friday, January 31, 2014

Holidays and Observances for January 31st 2014

Appreciate Your Social Security Check Day


Statistically people start receiving their monthly Social Security checks between the 31st of the month and 5th of the following month. Today is a day set aside to really appreciate that check you get in the mail if you have been lucky enough to enjoy your retirement.

Ida May Fuller was the first beneficiary of recurring monthly Social Security payments. Miss Fuller (known as Aunt Ida to her friends and family) was born on September 6, 1874 on a farm outside of Ludlow, Vermont. She attended school in Rutland, Vermont where one of her classmates was Calvin Coolidge. In 1905, after working as a school teacher, she became a legal secretary. One of the partners in the firm, John G. Sargent, would later become Attorney General in the Coolidge Administration.

Ida May never married and had no children. She lived alone most of her life, but spent eight years near the end of her life living with her niece, Hazel Perkins, and her family in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Miss Fuller filed her retirement claim on November 4, 1939, having worked under Social Security for a little short of three years. While running an errand she dropped by the Rutland Social Security office to ask about possible benefits. She would later observe: "It wasn't that I expected anything, mind you, but I knew I'd been paying for something called Social Security and I wanted to ask the people in Rutland about it."

Her claim was taken by Claims Clerk, Elizabeth Corcoran Burke, and transmitted to the Claims Division in Washington, D.C. for adjudication. The case was adjudicated and reviewed and sent to the Treasury Department for payment in January 1940. The claims were grouped in batches of 1,000 and a Certification List for each batch was sent to Treasury. Miss Fuller's claim was the first one on the first Certification List and so the first Social Security check, check number 00-000-001, was issued to Ida May Fuller in the amount of $22.54 and dated January 31, 1940.

Backwards Day


.day good a is Today

The above sentence is backwards, I might wear my shirt backwards, maybe I will walk down the street backwards:  all in celebration of Backward Day!   There are many other ways you can celebrate this fun day so just let your imagination be your guide.  Maybe you want to eat your dessert before you eat your meal!!

This day is very popular with school aged kids but there is no age limit on who can participate in all of the backward fun. So EVERYONE, let’s have some fun!! 

FUN FACT:  Leonardo da Vinci wrote backward.  Not only did the artist and inventor write from right to left, he wrote his letters backward.

If you are stuck in a rut or like to do things a bit differently than everyone else, today may just be your lucky day! Today is Backward Day, also referred to Backwards Day or yaD drawkcaB! Not to be confused with National Opposite Day, this annual event is celebrated every year on January 31st.

How to Celebrate Backwards Day
  • Instead of waking up on the wrong side of the bed today, try waking up on the right side!
  • While reading a book from cover-to-cover is always recommended, begin with the end and end with the beginning!
  • Eat your dessert before the main course! And to kick things up even more, eat dinner in the morning and breakfast in the evening!
  • Instead of eating a sandwich with the goodies in the middle, put the goodies on the outside of the bread today!
  • Wear your shirt, coat, gloves and/or cap backwards.
  • Wear your socks inside out, on top of your pants!
  • As long as you are careful or have a “spotter”, walk backwards.
  • Try your hand at writing backwards, except on legal documents of course. See what it’d look like online.
  • Try writing backwards on a mirror.
  • Call people by their last names today.
  • Sit at your desk facing backwards.
  • Talk to people facing the wrong direction.
  • Answer the phone “goodbye.”
  • Play a board game and start at the end.
  • No matter how old or young you happen to be, recite the alphabet backwards.
Fun at Work Day


When you think of work, what is the very first thing that comes to mind? Boring, tedious, monotonous or excruciatingly painful? Or are you lucky enough to have a job you actually enjoy and look forward to? No matter what you do for a living, today is the day to have a little fun on the job. It's Fun at Work Day!

While the origins of this "holiday" are unknown, Fun at Work Day is observed on various days in January, depending on the source. National Fun at Work Day is celebrated on the last Friday in January and International Fun at Work Day is observed on April 1st. No 'foolin'!

Since we spend a good portion of our lives at work, why not try to enjoy it?

How to Celebrate Fun at Work Day
  • Wear something to work that will make everyone chuckle!
  • Switch offices or desks for the day.
  • Do something silly every hour, on the hour.
  • Organize a potluck lunch at the office. And while you are at it, why not have a potluck lunch every month?
  • Have a gift exchange with only gag gifts. Just make sure they are appropriate for the office and your co-workers.
  • Watch the popular 1980 film "9 to 5" and/or a few episodes of "The Office."
  • Invite your co-workers out for a few drinks after work.
Please check with your supervisor before engaging in any "fun" at work!

Inspire Your Heart with Art Day


January the 31st is Inspire Your Heart With Art Day. On this day, you can give your heart a special treat. You can create your very own work of art or go and visit art galleries and museums. People should take the time to search out art and make it a bigger part of their lives. Art is full of inspiration and can change our way of looking at the world. It has changed people’s hearts for centuries. Maybe looking at a masterpiece painting or a superb piece of sculpture will inspire you to be creative. We all have creative juices in us. Unfortunately, many of us stop being creative when we move from childhood to adulthood. Inspire Your Heart With Art Day may get your creative juices flowing again.

There is so much art around us but many people take little notice of it. There is art in the architecture we work, live and play in. There are gardens full of statues and floral displays. We walk past graffiti on walls and fail to see the art in it. We also see thousands of advertisements every day that have an artistic side to them. We don’t even have to step into a gallery. It’s everywhere. One of the best ways of exploring art is on the Internet. There are thousands of sites showing art and artists over thousands of years. There is little excuse for us not to find art. What we need to is to stop, look and think for a short time. If we do that, then we just might inspire our heart with art.

Scotch Tape Day


Double or single-sided, folks have been dispensing this sticky product since it was invented back in 1930. In case you've never heard of him, chances are pretty good you've used his products a time or two!

It's a Wrap!
Engineer Richard Gurley Drew found himself in a bit of a "sticky situation" when he invented a moisture-proof, transparent product first used by grocers, bakers and meat packers to seal cellophane wrap. January 31st is Scotch Tape Day! And not only did Drew develop the transparent “Scotch Cellulose Tape” for the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M), but he also invented masking tape and Duct tape too!

During the Depression, many used tape to make simple repairs to items around the house. 1939, the company invented its famous “snail” handheld tape dispenser which is still used today. In the 50s, Scotty McTape debuted on television commercials. Although he served as company mascot for more than 20 years, he didn’t really “stick.” Today, 3M makes more than 400 kinds of tape.

Get Creative with Scotch Tape
Besides wrapping , securing and/or mending everything under the sun and making our lives a bit easier, what other things can you do with Scotch tape? Believe it or not, Scotch tape was actually used on the Goodyear Blimp as an “anti-corrosive shield.”
  • Smack dab in the middle of winter, why not make your own version of a Nerf ball? Just use tape instead.
  • Remove pet fur and lint from clothing and upholstery. Just wrap some tape, sticky side out, around your hand and rub.
  • If you reuse folders and files, place a strip of tape on the label section of the file. When you need to replace the old label, the old one will rip right off.
  • If you have a new crayon that is broken, wrap a piece of tape around the break and get your color on!
  • Tape can be a temporary fix for broken glasses.
  • Express yourself during 3Ms Valentine’s Day project for a chance to win a “fabulous gift basket” filled with all sorts of Scotch Brand goodies – $90 value.
National Preschool Fitness Day


National Preschool Fitness Day, a day to acknowledge the importance of developing

healthy lifestyle habits in preschool age children. With the growing concern over childhood obesity, diabetes and an early predisposition to heart disease, it is imperative that healthy habits of regular exercise and sound eating are taught to our youngest population. Two-thirds of adults and nearly one in three children are overweight or obese.

This has a direct impact on our work force, health care costs and overall quality and length of life.

National Preschool Fitness Day is a perfect time for the community, child care centers, preschools, businesses and parents to come together to encourage daily physical activity for all children during the preschool years.  Numerous studies point out that preventing disease and implanting healthy habits works best when aimed at children age 5 and younger.

Whether you’re a teacher,school director,club owner or parent it’s important to support physical fitness for preschool children. Here are some reasons why:
  1. Childhood obesity is now recognized as having its roots during the preschool years. Recent studies have even indicated that children as young as 9 months are already affected. Many researchers believe the process begins even earlier than that while babies are still in the womb. Regardless of what age childhood obesity really begins,it’s never too young to instill healthy lifestyle habits.
  2. Other diseases that have always been considered diseases of adulthood are now cropping up in children. Children leave preschool with up to 5 risk factors for heart disease. Children as young as age two are already afflicted with adult onset diabetes. These along with a number of musculoskeletal,orthopedic,psychological and metabolic disorders are now associated with the younger years.
  3. The lifestyle habits that are necessary to halt and reverse the above alarming trends must be taught during the early,formative years. There’s a reason why children are shown how to brush their teeth,take a bath,use the potty and groom themselves during the preschool years. This is the time behaviors are planted for life. Eating healthy and exercising regularly are habits that children need to learn from the start. It’s easier and much more effective to build healthy habits than to change unhealthy ones years later.
What can you do to help? Plenty.
  • Read a book to your child about making good food choices or not spending too much time on the computer/television.
  • Give your preschool daycare children a fitness adventure with age appropriate activities,games and easy to make equipment.
  • Get a free copy of the Food Guide Pyramid and post at home or in the classroom. Help children learn the foods they should eat the most and the least.
  • Improve upon what children are being fed,especially for breakfast and lunch during their preschool day.
  • Include small motor skill activities,art projects and classroom lessons that reinforce healthy habits and teach about the body.
  • Make eating fun. Let children help make snacks and choose which healthy foods they would like to try.
  • Exercise daily with your child. It doesn’t take much exercise to improve health and boost the immune system. Simple,short activities can make a big difference and start building the association that exercise is fun.
  • Keep updated on the latest news regarding preschool children and health. Stay educated so you can make the best choices for the preschool children in your life.
National Child Labor Day


One of the defining characteristics of the Progressive Era was the desire of reformers to protect children from laboring in industries with unsafe working conditions for children. Their desire to regulate child labor stemmed from new social science research suggesting that protecting children would benefit society by safeguarding the country's future human resources.

In 1902, the Association of Neighborhood Workers, an organization of settlement workers in New York, founded the Child Labor Committee to campaign for legislation to regulate child labor in New York. Led by Florence Kelley, Lillian Wald, and Jane Addams, the Child Labor Committee eventually grew into the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) in 1904.

The NCLC attracted wide support from many of the diverse groups that supported the progressive reform movement, including social workers, academics, businessmen, and political reformers. The committee was comprised of the presidents of Vanderbilt and Harvard University, the publishers of The New York Times and The Atlanta Constitution, the Catholic Cardinal of Baltimore, the Episcopal Bishop of New York, the president of the General Association of Women's Clubs, labor union presidents, and settlement house workers. Though the committee had many New Yorkers, it had southern members who counteracted perceptions that the NCLC was simply a group of northern agitators. This regional balance was exemplified by the fact that its two principal investigators, Owen R. Lovejoy and Alexander McKelway, had experience working in northern and southern labor campaigns, respectively.

Beginning with the NCLC's first campaigns against child labor in the coal and glass industries, it harnessed the power of propaganda to influence public opinion. In 1907, for instance, the NCLC launched a National Child Labor Day, through which it encouraged clerical action against child labor. Lovejoy and McKelway also wrote voluminous reports detailing their investigations of industrial exploitation of children. Finally, the NCLC hired photographer Lewis Hine in 1908 to document child labor abuses in order to help turn public opinion against child labor.

At the same time it was launching its national campaign in 1907, however, the NCLC became riven by internal conflict over the proper role of the federal government in regulating child labor. The Supreme Court had repeatedly struck down federal legislation restricting child labor, but some northern reformers argued that child labor was a national problem that would only be abolished through federal action. The different factions of the NCLC reached a truce, however, by agreeing to lobby for the creation of a federal Children's Bureau to investigate child labor, which was created in 1912 by President Taft. In the 1920s, the NCLC unsuccessfully lobbied for a constitutional amendment to empower the federal government to ban child labor. The National Child Labor Committee continues to promote the principles of its founders to uphold the general practice that underage children should not be full-time workers.

Eat Brussels Sprouts Day


Let's be honest. January 31 celebrates a vegetable that is not on everyone's favorite food list. It's Eat Brussels Sprouts Day, an annual food holiday that encourages folks to give Brussels sprouts a second, third or fourth chance.

Brussels sprouts, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have potent anticancer properties. Although boiling reduces the level of the anticancer compounds, steaming and stir frying do not result in significant loss.

Brussels sprouts and other brassicas are also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.

Consuming Brussels sprouts in excess may not be suitable for heart patients taking anticoagulants since they contain vitamin K. In one such reported incident, doctors determined that the reason for a heart patient's worsening condition was eating too many Brussels sprouts.

Production of Brussels sprouts in the United States began in the 18th century, when French settlers brought them to Louisiana. Thomas Jefferson grew them at Monticello. The first plantings in California's Central Coast began in the 1920s, with significant production beginning in the 1940s. Currently, several thousand acres are planted in coastal areas of San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties of California, which offer an ideal combination of coastal fog and cool temperatures year-round. The harvest season lasts from June through January. They are also grown in Baja California, Mexico, where the harvest season is from December through June.

Most of the United States production is in California, with a smaller percentage of the crop grown in Skagit Valley, Washington, where cool springs, mild summers and rich soil abounds, and to a lesser degree on Long Island, New York. Total United States production is approximately 32,000 tons, with a value of $27 million. Ontario, Canada produces about 1,000 tons per year.

About 80% to 85% of US production is for the frozen food market, with the remainder for fresh consumption. Once harvested, sprouts last three to five weeks under ideal near-freezing conditions before wilting and discoloring, and about half as long at refrigerator temperature. American varieties are generally 2.5–5 cm (0.98–1.97 in) in diameter.

Hell is freezing over Day


Hell is Freezing over Day is celebrated annually on January 31 in the United States! On this day we are encouraged to to pull out those old lists of things you said you were going to do when hell freezes over!

Hey, it's Hell Is Freezing Over Day! Time to bring up all the odd ideas of having fun that you said you'd do when hell freezes over.

Remember all those things you said you’d say and/or do when
Hell froze over? Today’s the day!

So pull out your list of all the things you thought you’d never
really do and pick something! Have fun with the day, share your list
and talk about all those things you said you’d never do…until today!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Holidays and Observances for January 30th 2014

National Croissant Day


Have a croissant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. January 30 is National Croissant Day.

Do you know how the croissant came to be?
It might be just a myth, but the history of the croissant is interesting. The story goes that in 1683, the bakers of Vienna alerted the army about the Turks who were coming to do battle. The bakers received high honors and thanks for their assistance in defeating the Turks.

To celebrate they baked their bread in the shape of a crescent moon which was the symbol of the Ottoman Empire. From then on, it became custom to serve morning coffee with the crescent-shaped pastry. Over a hundred years later, Marie Antoinette introduced the pastry to the French who dubbed it a "croissant.”

A croissant is the French word for a buttery flaky bread roll named for its well known crescent shape. Croissants are made of a layered yeast-leavened dough. The dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, in a technique called laminating. The process results in a layered, flaky texture.

Celebrate National Croissant Day by enjoying a delicious croissant

National Inane Answering Message Day


If you've ever had to push 200 buttons to talk to an actual human being, endure blaring music, annoying background noises or long-winded messages when calling a friend, acquaintance or business, today is your lucky day!

January 30th is National Inane Answering Message Day! This annual "holiday" was created by the folks at Wellcat to encourage folks to "change, shorten, replace or delete those ridiculous and/or annoying answering machine messages that waste the time of anyone who must listen to them."

Whether you have an answering machine or handy-dandy gadget with voice mail, today is the perfect opportunity to get rid of the old and bring on a brand new, creative and much more appropriate greeting! Changing your outgoing message from time-to-time only takes a few minutes and is much more fun for listeners. Whether your message is humorous, professional or short-and-sweet, kick things up a notch or two by changing that outgoing message. Some people may be so impressed they may have to call back just to listen again!

If you need a few suggestions to get you started, check out the helpful outgoing message tips below.

Outgoing Message Examples & Tips That Don't Suck
  • Listen to Radio Shack's outgoing messages, with and without music.
  • Carl Kasell shares some interesting outgoing message ideas.
  • Cutesy and silly messages may not be the right choice if you are a business or on the hunt for a job. Check out the Professional Business Voicemail Etiquette for helpful tips.
  • Be careful not to divulge too much personal information on your outgoing message. Check out a few of these safety tips.
National Escape Day


Are you feeling a little down in the dumps lately? Have those depressing winter blues set in? If you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, well, no worries. Today is all about taking a well-deserved break from all the hassles and struggles of everyday life. January 30th is National Escape Day.

So go ahead and make a run for it! Whether you escape to a tropical paradise or head to your nearest restroom to soak in some suds, today is all about taking a moment out of your hectic day to pamper the most special person in your life – you!

While anywhere warm and tropical sounds perfect right about now, for many people, a cruise or tropical vacation just isn’t in the budget. But there are some affordable and free things you can do for a virtual escape.

How to Celebrate National Escape Day
  • Pamper yourself - Get a message.
  • Get a manicure/pedicure.
  • Take a relaxing bubble bath surrounded by scented candles and a glass of your favorite bubbly. Let Calgon take you away!
  • If you’ve been considering a new look lately, today’s the day. Change your hair style or color then celebrate the new and improved you!
  • Put out the Do Not Disturb Sign and tell your family you are taking a moment. Then do it.
  • Get out of the house! Go for a walk or run despite the weather.
  • Love the one you’re with!
  • Make it date night!
  • No housework or cooking today - you are officially off duty!
  • Order in!
  • Start that yoga class you’ve been putting off.
  • Go out with the girls!
  • Crank up your favorite music and get your dance on!
  • Grab a few of your favorite flicks, curl up with a nice blanket, some sweet treats and delicious snacks, and make it movie night and laugh or cry your heart out!
  • Enjoy your four-legged friends. Take them for a walk, play, cuddle and enjoy!
  • While it’s not quite as good as actually being there, check out this online virtual vacation to popular destination spots around the globe with the Robot Flaneur site.
  • Get yourself some bubble wrap and go at it in honor of Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day!
  • Do something nice for someone in need.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Holidays and Observances for January 29th 2014

Curmudgeons Day


Whether you work with one, live next door to one or happen to live with one, we all know one. January 29th is dedicated to all the Ebenezer Scrooges, Oscar the Grouches and the Grinches of the world. It's Curmudgeons Day, an annual event that actually celebrates the birthday of the legendary William Claude Dukenfield, also known as W.C. Fields. The famous actor and writer frequently portrayed a grumpy old man in his films.

According to Merriam-Webster, a curmudgeon is defined as a miser, a "crusty, ill-tempered and usually old man." And with the winter blues setting in, today is as good a day as any to celebrate those crotchety grumps we all know and, well, love?

In honor of Curmudgeons Day, why not gather up the family and enjoy a few family-friendly flicks guaranteed to put a smile on the sourest sour-puss?

Best Grumpy Old Men Movies:
  • "On Golden Pond" is a must-see movie starring Henry and Jane Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Dabney Coleman. This 1981 film won a slew of Academy awards.
  • Not one but two old grumps star in the 1993 film, "Grumpy Old Men."
  • Walter Matthau is perfect in another grumpy performance in the 1993 film, "Dennis the Menace."
  • Clint Eastwood portrays the perfect curmudgeon in the 2008 film, "Gran Torino."
  • Billy Crystal and Daniel Stern head out on the range in the 1991 film, "City Slickers." But it's Jack Palance who steals the show!
  • It doesn't take too much imagination to see Jack Nicholson play an old grouch in the 1997 movie, "As Good as It Gets."
  • Even though the holiday season is officially over, "A Christmas Carol" is always fun to watch.
  • Based on the popular Dr. Seuss book, the 2000 film, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," stars the delightful Jim Carrey and is directed by Ron Howard.
  • Watch one of W.C. Fields' films including "It's a Gift," "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man" or his 1940 film, "The Bank Dick. "

Freethinkers Day/Thomas Paine Day


Freethinkers Day, also known as Thomas Paine Day, is an opportunity to promote appreciation of freethought thought the life and works of Thomas Paine. Freethought supports reason over faith, and rejects arbitrary authority.

Thomas Paine was a courageous freethinker, whose life and work inspired great social and political advancement across world. Raised in England, Paine played a vital role in the American and French Revolutions. His books and pamphlets, including The Age of Reason, The Rights of Man, and Common Sense gained a mass audience for the liberating philosophy of the Enlightenment.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) arrived in America in 1774 at Benjamin Franklin's request. On January 10, 1776, he published Common Sense, a remarkable and powerful republican pamphlet which had an immediate success. He served in the Revolutionary War under General Greene and later in official positions appointed by congress and in the Pennsylvania legislature. In his later publication, Age of Reason, Paine expressed that "all religions are in their nature mild and benign" when not associated with political systems. Paine was the quintessential Deist of the 18th century.

Between March 1791 and February 1792 he published numerous editions of his Rights of Man, in which he defended the French Revolution. The words of Thomas Paine inspired many to strive for political, economic and social advancement. He was among the first to call for an end to slavery and the establishment of human rights around the world.

In the 1990s, the Truthseeker magazine began celebrating Freethinkers Day on Thomas Paine's birthday in order to educate the public on the importance of Thomas Paine in the history of freedom. Also in the 1990s, the Thomas Paine Foundation began celebrating the birthday of Thomas Paine on January 29th, a Thomas Paine Day proclamation on June 8 and other Paine theme events during the year.

National Corn chip Day


Every once in a while, people love to munch on chips. The chips do not always have to be potato chips. January 29 is National Corn Chip Day.

Up until about fifty years ago, few Americans knew what corn chips were. Today, most American cannot imagine life without them.

A corn chip is a tasty, crunchy snack that can be eaten alone or dipped in cheese, salsa, or other Mexican dips. Corn chips can even be sprinkled on top of salads to give salads that crunchy taste.

In the United States, the Fritos corn chip is one of the oldest and most widely recognized brands of corn chips that were first marketed in 1961.

There is a difference between corn chips and tortilla chips even though they are both made from corn. Corn chips are thick, rigid and very crunchy. Corn chips have the strong aroma and flavor of roasted corn, and are often heavily dusted with salt.

The tortilla chip is milder in flavor and aroma and has a less rigid texture. Tortilla chips also tend to be larger, thinner, and less salty than American-style corn chips.

On National Corn Chip Day, enjoy eating some corn chips with the rest of the nation.

National Puzzle Day


If you love to use your noggin, today may be your lucky day! It’s National Puzzle Day. While the origins of this holiday are well, puzzling, this annual event is celebrated each year on January 29th.

Stimulate Your Mind
The old expression, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” certainly holds true in this case. In fact, many experts believe the key to keeping the mind healthy and sharp as a tack is to USE it. Just like your body, exercise is beneficial for the brain too.

Researchers discovered that people who participated in mind-stimulating activities including reading, writing, playing crossword puzzles and/or challenging games especially during early and middle life, were less likely to develop brain plaques which are often associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It is estimated that over 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth leading of cause of death in America.

In honor of National Puzzle Day, try your hand at one of the free crossword puzzles, word games and riddles listed below!

Note – many of the online games listed below require various free plug-ins like Adobe Shockwave or Java.

20 Free Brain Games, Riddles & Puzzles
  • Play a Google a Day – Google is getting into the action with the Google a Day game. Search online for today’s question. And there is only one correct answer.
  • Classic New York Times Crossword Puzzle – No one does crossword puzzles like the New York Times!
  • Jumble Crossword Puzzle - Try your hand at this super-fun, timed Jumble Crossword puzzle. You can even print it out too! Fun!
  • Online Crossword Puzzles Guide – Speaking of crossword puzzles, check out this listing of free crossword puzzle games for kids and adults.
  • Online Crosswords – In case you don’t want to play online, this online site offers several printable crossword puzzles each and every day.
  • A Game a Day – Select from two different levels and play a new game every day of the month. You’ll need Java for this online game.
  • Sudoku Puzzle of the Day - If you're a Sudoku fan, try a new game every day!
  • Daily Word Sleuth Puzzle – Simply select the word search puzzle from HP and print!
  • Word Twist – Love Boggle? Try this online game on for size! Type in the words – each word must have 4 letters or more.
  • JigZone’s Jigsaw Puzzles – Think you’re pretty good at jigsaw puzzles? See how fast you can put this online puzzle back together again. An Auto Solve feature is available in case you get stuck.
  • Daily Jumble – See if you can unscramble the words before time runs out!
  • Make Your Own Maze with this free online maze creator from BrainBashers.
  • PictoPuzzle – A picture is worth a thousand words – or is it?
  • Riddle of the Day – Think it sounds easy? Guess again!
  • Patch Words - Be warned - this game is not for the faint of heart! Drag the tiles over to the blank box. Each row must make a word.
  • Daily Logic Puzzle – See if you can figure it out. Clues and answers are included.
  • Fowl Words – This fun word game, from KewlBox, is great for kids and adults. Hurry – spell as many of the words as you can before time runs out!
  • Word Hunt – Check out this word search game. Once you find the word in the box, hold down the mouse on the first letter of the word and drag the mouse to the last letter. You only get 3 hints so.
  • Letter Rip - Try to come up with as many words in adjoining boxes as you can before time runs out. From KewlBox.
  • Drop Quotes - Each puzzle contains a hidden quote. Drag the letter from the column into the box below to try to figure out the quote. Good luck!
  • Seeing Eye Dog Day
National Carnation Day


January 29th is National Carnation Day.

The carnation was originally called dianthus (it is officially Dianthus caryophyllus) by the Greek botanist Theopharastus. It has been cultivated for over 2,000 years.

The name carnation has two possible origins. One thought is that the name comes from “coronation” or “corone” since it was used in Greek ceremonial crowns. Another thought is that the name is derived from the Greek carnis meaning flesh (a light pinky-peachy color), which was the flower’s original color.

Carnation Trivia:
  • It is the birth flower for January and the National Flower of Spain.
  • A Mothers’ Day tradition is to wear a red carnation if your mother is living and to wear a white carnation if your mother has passed away.
  • For the Korean New Year, girls place three carnations in their hair. If the top flower dies first, the girls’ later years of life will be arduous. If the middle flower dies first, her earlier years will bring her the most grief. If the bottom flower dies first, the girl will be miserable her entire life.
  • In France, a purple carnation is a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one.
  • According legend, carnations first appeared as Jesus carried the Cross. The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus’ plight, and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell.
  • Carnations in general symbolize fascination, love, and good luck. A white carnation stands for innocence, devotion, and pure love.
Carnation Colors and Their Meanings:
  • general: fascination
  • solid color: yes
  • striped: no, refusal, I can’t be with you or wish I could be with you
  • pink: I’ll never forget you
  • light red: my heart aches for you, admiration
  • dark red: deep love and affection
  • purple: capriciousness
  • white: sweet and lovely, innocence, pure love
  • yellow: disappointment, rejection

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Holidays and Observances for January 28th 2014

Data Privacy Day


Data Privacy Day is an international effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint

Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the January 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. Data Privacy Day is now a celebration for everyone, observed annually on January 28. 

Data flows freely in today's online world. Everyone - from home computer users to multinational corporations - needs to be aware of the personal data others have entrusted to them and remain vigilant and proactive about protecting it. Being a good online citizen means practicing conscientious data stewardship. Data Privacy Day is an effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy, control their digital footprint, and make the protection of privacy and data a great priority in their lives. 

Data Privacy Day is led by the National Cyber Security Alliance, a nonprofit, public-private partnership dedicated cyber security education and awareness, and advised by a distinguished advisory committee of privacy professionals. 

National Blueberry Pancake Day


Time to flip out! January 28 is National Blueberry Pancake Day.

There’s something special about a day that begins with pancakes. Their warmth and sweetness really sets the right tone. Historically, pancakes started out simply no funky flavors or special toppings. Today, everything from bacon to bits of chocolate can be added to the batter.

Pancakes rose in popularity in Europe when Catholicism dominated the continent. During Lent, eating eggs and fat was forbidden, but back then, pancake recipes consisted only of milk and flour. In the Medieval era, pancakes became particularly popular on Shrove Tuesday and remain so to this day.

Fast forward to present day, and pancakes are made from a simple batter of eggs, milk, a leavening agent and fat. The leavening agent helps ensure you’ll have light and fluffy pancakes but a few simple tricks can aid in that area as well. Don’t over-mix your batter, it’ll result in tough and chewy pancakes. And, if you can, let your batter rest for a bit before hitting the griddle. Once you see bubbles form on the top side of your cooking pancake, you know it’s ready to turn.

Now for the blueberry part. These can be added to the batter before you start cooking, but you’ll likely get blue-ish pancakes which isn't especially appealing. Instead, add them onto an already cooking pancake before you flip it. This way you can space the blueberries out evenly.

You can use fresh or frozen blueberries for pancakes, just make sure they’re thawed and dry.

Did you know?
  • Pancakes have featured in cookbooks since 1439.
  • The French pancake is called a crêpe. It is thin and crispy and often served with sweet or savory fillings.
  • Blinis are pancakes from Russia that are served with caviar and sour cream or folded over and filled with cream cheese or jam!
  • The world’s largest pancake was cooked in Rochdale in 1994. It was 15 meters in diameter and had an estimated 2 million calories
  • Ralf Laue holds the world’s pancake tossing record. He flipped a pancake 416 times in just two minutes!
Blueberry Health Benefits:
  • With just 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries offer many noteworthy nutritional benefits.
  • According to nutrition expert, Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D., L.D., blueberries, as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan, help reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as the accumulation of belly fat.
  • According to the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, laboratory studies show a diet including blueberries may improve motor skills and reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging or age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

National Kazoo Day



Do you kazoo? If so, today is your lucky day. It’s National Kazoo Day. This annual event, usually celebrated on January 28th during National Kazoo Week, was founded by Chaplin Willard Rahn.

All About Kazoos
Folks have been hummin’ on kazoos ever since they were invented back in the 1840's. Originally made to disguise one’s voice, today’s pocket-sized musical instruments are made out of a variety of materials including metal, wood or plastic.

And just in case you've never tried one, you don’t have to be a classically trained musician to become an expert kazooer either. Carefully put the kazoo up to your lips and blow, or rather, hum! While beginners have the tendency to blow – experts know humming is the key to kazooing success!

How to Celebrate National Kazoo Day
  • The Original American Kazoo Company in Eden, New York, is the only remaining metal kazoo factory in North America. The company is still hummin’ along, making the submarine-shaped kazoos just liked they used to in the early 1900's. Today, folks can stop by and watch the kazoos being made on the original equipment or can even make their very own kazoo for about $2! Open all year long, hours for the factory, museum and gift shop vary.
  • Captain Kazoo KazooMobile, the world’s only traveling museum and music show.
  • If you are in Beaufort, South Carolina, stop by the Kazoo Museum to see the nearly 200 “unique” kazoo-related items on display. It’s free!
  • Visit the studio of America's "leading folk kazoo maker, Doc Kazoo, on his YouTube Channel.
  • View the patents of the original kazoos.
  • Check out the world’s most famous kazoo orchestra.

Thank a Plugin Developer Day


In 2009, when the WordPress repository passed the 4,000 plugin mile marker, Matt Mullenweg declared January 28 to be “Thank a Plugin Developer Day.”
It’s an official WordPress holiday. If you have a few minutes, please join in recognizing the hard work that makes WordPress a platform that can literally do anything.
To celebrate take a look at the plugins you use and love, visit the author’s site, find their contact form, and drop them a note thanking them. (Or Paypal!) Look for the links in the plugin directory to “author homepage” and also to donate directly if they've specified a Paypal address.
While we’re thanking developers, here are a few tips for interacting with people who create free plugins:
  • If you have occasion to email a plugin developer, your first sentence and/or paragraph should include something to the effect of: “Thank you for your time.” They’ll be much more likely to listen to any of your suggestions or requests for help.
  • Don’t publicize complaints about a plugin developer on Twitter if they aren't able to release a plugin as expected. They have to pay the bills some way and sometimes that’s more important than making you a free plugin.
  • If you’re asking for support, please offer to pay or consider a donation.
The WordPress repository now has 12,884 plugins. This represents thousands of hours of people’s time. I know it may be frustrating if a plugin doesn't work the way you expected, but if you remember these simple tips, you’ll be able to interact with developers in a polite way that will help them to help you. Now go send some Thank You’s! 

Daisy Day


Daisy Day is celebrated annually on January 28 in the United States! Happy Daisy Day everyone! On this day we are encouraged to remember the daisy!

It's Daisy Day! Celebrate the beauty of the Daisies that symbolize innocence and purity.

It is thought that the name "daisy" is a corruption of "day's eye", because the whole head closes at night and opens in the morning. Chaucer called it "eye of the day".  The Latin name for daisy comes from the word bellus, which literally means beautiful.

Daisy is also a common girl's name and is a nickname for girls named Margaret.

Bellis perennis has astringent properties and has been used in folk medicine.  Definition of astringent: An astringent (also spelled adstringent) substance is a chemical that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application. The word "astringent" derives from Latin astringere, meaning "to bind fast". Two common examples are calamine lotion and witch hazel.  Some information says its leaves and petals are edible and it can also be brewed as a tea to sooth sore throats and stomach aches.

Pop Art Day


Pop Art Day is celebrated annually on the anniversary of Jackson Pollock‘s birth. When Damion and I first decided to celebrate this day we were a little confused –
Jackson Pollock’s works are classified as abstract expressionism, very different from the pop art of artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.  But after further research we discovered that he was highly regarded among his contemporaries, serving as the “model of a painter who had successfully fused art and life.” Pollock was a strong influence on future movements, and his work is considered  fundamental in laying the groundwork for the creation of the Pop Art and Op Art movements.

Like many others, I have mixed feelings about abstract art.  Though it may evoke an emotion or feeling in me, I think I’m one of those people that can’t help but wonder, “what does it mean?”  But tonight, as we commemorated Pop Art Day by watching the movie Pollock, I started to realize that this type of art is less about meaning, and more about experience.  So I think as long as it does evoke a reaction or feeling, it has accomplished what it was meant to do.  Of course, after a long work week, these realizations were made between involuntary episodes of nodding off.  The movie was well done, and I’m a big fan of Ed Harris (especially after seeing him in Copying Beethoven), but I found it difficult to stay awake through the critically acclaimed movie.  Now, as I’m writing this post, we have something a little more upbeat streaming from our Netflix — Comic Book Confidential.  This documentary, which chronicles the comic book’s rise to pop art status, has interviews with interesting artists like Robert Crumb and Frank Miller, so it’s holding my attention in spite of my heavy eyelids.

But really, what better way is there to celebrate Pop Art Day than by creating some pop art!  Chris has been using his own artistic skills to play with some our photos and create some pretty cool works of art.  If he’s not careful they might just end up in one of our empty picture frames and grace our upstairs hallway.

Challenger Remembrance



This week marks the somber 28th anniversary of the accident that killed seven astronauts aboard NASA's space shuttle Challenger less than two minutes into their flight, as millions of people around the world were watching.

Challenger launched on its 10th mission on Jan. 28, 1986. A mere 73 seconds after liftoff, live television coverage showed the shuttle break apart and disappear from view. Here is an overview of what happened, how, and the consequences for NASA.

Who were the crew members?
The seven-astronaut crew of Challenger's STS-51L mission consisted of commander Francis "Dick" Scobee, pilot Mike Smith, mission specialists Judy Resnik, Ellison Onizuka and Ron McNair, and payload specialists Greg Jarvis and Christa McAuliffe.

Commander Scobee had first flown as a pilot on Challenger's STS-41C mission, which launched April 6, 1984. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Scobee had been selected as an astronaut candidate in 1978. He was 46 at the time of his death.

Pilot Mike Smith was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1980 and was set to make his first spaceflight on Challenger's STS-51L mission. Smith was also assigned to pilot the future space shuttle mission 61-N, which at the time was scheduled to launch in the fall of 1986.

Smith's voice saying "Uh-oh" was the last thing heard on the crew's voice recorder, just before NASA's Mission Control in Houston lost telemetry data from the shuttle. Smith was 40.

Judy Resnik first flew as a mission specialist on the STS-41D mission – the maiden flight of the space shuttle Discovery. Resnik, who had been selected as an astronaut candidate in 1978, was the second American woman in space. She was 36.

Mission specialist Ellison Onizuka made his first spaceflight on the shuttle Discovery's STS-51C mission, which launched Jan. 24, 1985. Onizuka had been selected as an astronaut candidate in 1978 and went on to log 74 hours in space. He was 40.

Ron McNair previously flew as a mission specialist on Challenger's STS-41B mission, which launched Feb. 3, 1984. From that flight, McNair logged a total of 191 hours in space. McNair, who was the second African-American to fly in space, was 35.

Payload specialist Greg Jarvis was making his first spaceflight on Challenger's STS-51L mission. Jarvis had been selected by NASA as a payload specialist candidate in 1984. He was 41.

Christa McAuliffe was selected on July 19, 1985, as NASA's first educator astronaut under the agency's Teacher in Space Project. McAuliffe, who was 37, taught social studies at Concord High School in New Hampshire. As a civilian and teacher, McAuliffe brought extra public interest to the Challenger mission. Many schoolchildren were watching the TV broadcast of the flight to cheer her on.

Where and when did the accident occur?
Challenger's STS-51L mission was the first shuttle liftoff scheduled for Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. After several technical and weather-related delays, Challenger launched at 11:38 a.m. EST on Jan. 28, 1986.

What went wrong?
Analysis later showed that a seal, called an O-ring, on the shuttle's right solid rocket booster had failed at liftoff, allowing pressurized hot gas to escape from inside the booster. This vaporized material impinged on the strut connecting the solid rocket booster to the shuttle's huge orange external tank, causing both pieces of hardware to break down.

About 72 seconds into Challenger's flight, there was a massive, almost explosive, burning of the hydrogen that was streaming from the failed tank bottom, combined with liquid oxygen leaking from a part of the fuel tank known as the intertank. Under severe aerodynamic loads, the space shuttle Challenger broke apart over the Atlantic Ocean one second later, or one minute and 13 seconds after launch. [Remembering Challenger: NASA to Mark Space Tragedy Anniversaries]

In video footage of the catastrophe, several large sections of the shuttle can be identified, including the main engine and tail section with the engines still burning, one of the orbiter's wings, and the forward fuselage with a trail of umbilical lines that had been pulled loose from the payload bay.

What led to the accident?
After studying the disaster, a review board determined that exceptionally cold weather contributed to the failure of the O-ring seal. NASA concluded that the shuttle is not safe to fly at such cold temperatures.

How did the crew die?
While the precise timing of the crew's death is unknown, some of the astronauts may have survived the initial disintegration of the spacecraft. Ultimately, however, none survived the impact of the crew cabin hitting the Atlantic Ocean.

Fragments of the orbiter, including the crew compartment, were eventually recovered off the coast of central Florida.

Could Challenger's crew have escaped?
The space shuttle does not have a launch escape system, so the astronauts onboard Challenger would have been unable to safely abandon the orbiter during its breakup.

Following the Challenger catastrophe and, 17 years later, the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew, the possibility of implementing launch escape systems, including ejector seats and tractor rockets, was examined. Ultimately, however, none was put into action.

What happened in the aftermath?
The loss of Challenger and its seven-astronaut crew shone a very public light on NASA and the risks involved with human spaceflight. Media coverage of the launch was extensive due to the involvement of McAuliffe, the agency's first educator astronaut.

The Challenger disaster halted NASA's space shuttle program for almost three years as the agency investigated the causes of the accident. During that time, NASA worked to implement suggestions from the Rogers Commission – the presidential panel charged with studying Challenger's doomed STS-51L mission.

In a 225-page report that was published June 9, 1986, the Rogers Commission meticulously documented the physical and organizational causes of the in-flight catastrophe. The commission found issues in NASA's decision-making processes and construction flaws in O-rings and the shuttle solid rocket boosters.

The commission offered nine main recommendations, and NASA's space shuttle program saw a 32-month hiatus as the agency implemented changes and reformed launch procedures. Space shuttle flights resumed Sept. 29, 1988, with Discovery's STS-26 mission.

The space agency would not see another disaster until Feb. 1, 2003, when seven astronauts lost their lives as the space shuttle Columbia broke apart during its return from its STS-107 mission.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Holidays and Observances for January 27th 2014

National Chocolate Cake Day


Here we are, three weeks into 2014 already. How's the year going so far? Are you keeping those New Year's resolutions? Are all the holiday decorations put away? Have you recovered from the shock of of your holiday spending? With all the post holiday discipline we impose on ourselves January can be a bit of a drag. It's time to snap out of those January blues and celebrate because Monday, January 27th is National Chocolate Cake Day!

Chocolate has been celebrated for centuries. Since its use by Mayan kings, it has played a role in religious ceremonies, been used as currency, used as rations to feed our military during the American Revolution and the Civil War and even been used to secure sexual favors! Perhaps I should save that information for Valentine's Day.

Chocolate was originally consumed as a beverage but in 1764 Dr. James Baker discovered how to make chocolate by grinding cocoa beans between two massive circular millstones...and the first chocolate "cake" was born.

Chocolate cake as we know it in this country came onto the scene in the mid- 1930's when the Duff Company of Pittsburg (a molasses manufacturer) introduced Devil's food chocolate cake mixes. Additional cake mixes were introduced a few years later by General Mills and Duncan Hines and chocolate cake rapidly gained in popularity.

According to TLC Cooking, chocolate cake is the second most popular dessert in America - second only to fudge. That being said, a fudgy chocolate cake should definitely top the list. By the way that all-American apple pie came in at number six. It's time to change the saying to "as American as chocolate cake!"

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day


That's right - there really is a whole day to bubble wrap! Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day January 27 2014

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day - Whether you're packing boxes for moving or using it to protect a gift for someone you love, bubble wrap is almost always a temporary distraction.   We've all been caught popping bubble wrap!

But this January you don't have to be ashamed or guilty that you should be doing something more useful. Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day is all about popping your bubbles proudly.

However, it's not as easy to make as it is to pop!  There are lots of stages to go through before the right material has been made.  Once its makers have the right kind of film, suction is applied to a drum-covered layer of film with holes punched into it.   Next the film is laminated so that the holes stick together and the air bubbles are trapped.  Et voila!

And while all this might sound straightforward, the air can leak from the pores really easily - meaning it wouldn't be able to cushion products properly.

So, the "Spirit 95" FM Radio Station started up this special event in 2001 and has been holding annual events like bubble wrap popping relays, bubble wrap sculpting and fashion design contests!

Guy Portelli, VPRBA FRBS is a sculptor who works with bubble wrap.  In his series of sculptures 'Temptation and Reward' Guy has looked at packaging and the desire for ownership, from chocolates to perfume or a gift wrapped figure.  Guy says "I love the way that the bubbles stretch over a figure creating a rhythm and contour, that is visually exciting and very tactile.  The pieces are cast in bronze, and then nickel plated which gives the very contemporary look.

'Torso' in nickel plated bronze, edition of 10 by Guy Portelli
In reality the bubble wrap does not work with what I am trying to achieve in that it wont stretch, so I have to go through a stage of evolution.  By taking a plaster mould of a sheet of bubble wrap and then casting a sheet of silicon rubber bubble wrap I can create the stretch, which gives a tension over the figure, that borders on the erotic.

For me bubble wrap is the closest man made material to nature, thinking of seaweed and plant structures, I think that this is what attracts us to it."

Guy recently found out that bubble wrap was invented in 1957, which is the year he was born, so possibly it was destiny for him to be working with this material.

If you would like to see some of Guy's sculptures they are currently on show at the 'KISS' exhibition, Gallery Different, London until 15 February 2014.  Or for more information about Guy's sculptures visit his website at the following link www.portelli-popicon.co.uk

You can buy bubble wrap online in loads of different colours too!  I also found the online bubble wrap game which was a lot of fun and quite good for stress-busting too! Time to get poppin'!

Auschwitz Liberation Day


On this day, Soviet troops enter Auschwitz, Poland, freeing the survivors of the network of concentration camps—and finally revealing to the world the depth of the horrors perpetrated there.

Auschwitz was really a group of camps, designated I, II, and III. There were also 40 smaller "satellite" camps. It was at Auschwitz II, at Birkenau, established in October 1941, that the SS created a complex, monstrously orchestrated killing ground: 300 prison barracks; four "bathhouses" in which prisoners were gassed; corpse cellars; and cremating ovens. Thousands of prisoners were also used for medical experiments overseen and performed by the camp doctor, Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death."

The Red Army had been advancing deeper into Poland since mid-January. Having liberated Warsaw and Krakow, Soviet troops headed for Auschwitz. In anticipation of the Soviet arrival, the German Gestapo began a murder spree in the camps, shooting sick prisoners and blowing up crematoria in a desperate attempt to destroy the evidence of their crimes. When the Red Army finally broke through, Soviet soldiers encountered 648 corpses and more than 7,000 starving camp survivors. There were also six storehouses filled with literally hundreds of thousands of women's dresses, men's suits, and shoes that the Germans did not have time to burn.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day


On January 27 each year, the United Nations (UN) remembers the Holocaust that affected many people of Jewish origin during World War II. This day is called the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

The day also commemorates when the Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland on January 27, 1945. It is hoped that through remembering these events, people will remember the Holocaust and prevent genocide.

Holocaust survivors and various leaders make their voices heard on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Many of them speak publicly about the Holocaust or their experiences around the event, its aftermath and why the world should never forget what happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Many statements emphasize the need for future generations to learn about and remember the Holocaust and for everyone to work towards preventing genocide.

The UN organizes and supports events such as: concerts by musicians who survived the Holocaust or are survivors' descendants; art exhibitions influenced by the Holocaust; presentations of special stamps; the introduction of special educational programs; and film screening and book signing focused on the Holocaust.

Israel and many countries in Europe and North America mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Many academics present discussion papers or hold seminars or round table discussions on the Holocaust and its legacy in the modern world. Schools or colleges may also have special lessons on the Holocaust. The Holocaust and how people commemorate it receive special attention on the Internet, television, radio, print media.

The Holocaust, or Shoah (Sho'ah, Shoa), is the term used to describe the deliberate murder and desecration of millions of people prior to and during World War II in Germany and German occupied areas in Europe. Many of them were Jewish but the Roma people, Soviet civilians and prisoners of war, ethnic Poles, people with disabilities, homosexuals and political and religious opponents were also killed. Many people died in concentration and death camps spread across Nazi-occupied Europe. One of the most notorious camps was Auschwitz-Birkenau, near Oświęcim, Poland. More than one million people died in Auschwitz-Birkenau before Soviet troops liberated it on January 27, 1945.

On January 24, 2005, the UN General Assembly commemorated the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. Following this session, a UN resolution was drafted to designate January 27 as the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The resolution called for education programs on the Holocaust to help prevent genocide. It also rejected denials that the Holocaust occurred. On November 1, 2005, the assembly adopted this resolution so the day could be observed each year. It was first observed on January 27, 2006.

Many Jewish groups, particularly in Israel, also observe Yom HaShoah, which is a day of mourning for Holocaust victims on 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, which falls in April or May of the Gregorian calendar.

The symbol of the "Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme" consists of four elements on a solid black background. Two elements are the words "Remembrance and Beyond" and the UN symbol, both depicted in white. The UN symbol consists of a projection of the globe centered on the North Pole surrounded by two olive branches.

The other two elements are a piece of barbed wire and two white roses. The strands of the barbed wire merge into the stems of the roses. The barbed wire represents: the concentration camps; the loss of freedom of Jewish people and many other groups before and during World War II; and their pain and suffering.

The white roses represent peace, freedom and remembrance. These flowers also remind people of the White Rose, a non-violent resistance movement that was active in Germany from June 1942 until February 1943. In the United States and United Kingdom, white roses symbolize the investigation, remembrance and prevention of genocide.

Thomas Crapper Day


Today serves as an important day in history. Not only is January 27 National Chocolate Cake Day and one of the world’s most prolific composer’s birthday, but today also honors a man that deserves his own throne! Literally! Thomas Crapper

Although you may not be familiar with him, his name is synonymous with one of the best inventions of all time. The toilet! Thomas Crapper was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1836. He was a plumber with a reputation for quality workmanship and was a shrewd businessman. Although he is often associated with inventing the flushing toilet, he did not. But he did hold numerous patents for plumbing related products that helped popularize the toilet.

Crapper did invent the bathroom fittings' showroom and displayed his products in large plate glass windows which, at the time, caused quite the commotion. Ladies who observed the display reportedly became faint “at the shocking sight!”

Crapper died on January 27, 1910. He was 73 years old. He is buried at the Beckenham Cemetery and Crematorium in England. His company, Thomas Crapper & Co., is still in business.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Birthday


January 27 is an important day in history for a variety of reasons. Not only is today National Chocolate Cake Day and Thomas Crapper Day, but today is also the birthday of one of the world’s most significant and prolific composers in history!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Austria on this day in 1756. He was the only surviving son of his parents, Leopold and Maria. His father was a violinist and composer and both Wolfgang and his sister were introduced to music at young ages. The children soon embarked on several European tours showcasing their musical talents.

A few years later, an archbishop appointed Mozart assistant concertmaster where he composed operas, symphonies and sonatas. At the age of 21, he wrote Piano Concerto Number 9 in E Flat Major, and the rest, as they say, is history! Despite his father’s disapproval, Mozart went on to marry his sweetheart, Constanze. The couple eventually had six children together - only two survived. Although a success, he was plagued with financial problems and failing health for years. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in 1791. He was only 35 years old.

Vietnam Peace Day


The United States, South Vietnam, Viet Cong, and North Vietnam formally sign "An Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam" in Paris. Due to South Vietnam's unwillingness to recognize the Viet Cong's Provisional Revolutionary Government, all references to it were confined to a two-party version of the document signed by North Vietnam and the United States—the South Vietnamese were presented with a separate document that did not make reference to the Viet Cong government. This was part of Saigon's long-time refusal to recognize the Viet Cong as a legitimate participant in the discussions to end the war.

The settlement included a cease-fire throughout Vietnam. It addition, the United States agreed to the withdrawal of all U.S. troops and advisors (totalling about 23,700) and the dismantling of all U.S. bases within 60 days. In return, the North Vietnamese agreed to release all U.S. and other prisoners of war.

Both sides agreed to the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Laos and Cambodia and the prohibition of bases in and troop movements through these countries. It was agreed that the DMZ at the 17th Parallel would remain a provisional dividing line, with eventual reunification of the country "through peaceful means." An international control commission would be established made up of Canadians, Hungarians, Poles, and Indonesians, with 1,160 inspectors to supervise the agreement. According to the agreement, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu would continue in office pending elections. Agreeing to "the South Vietnamese People's right to self-determination," the North Vietnamese said they would not initiate military movement across the DMZ and that there would be no use of force to reunify the country.

Footnote: The last U.S. serviceman to die in combat in Vietnam, Lt. Col. William B. Nolde, was killed by an artillery shell at An Loc, 60 miles northwest of Saigon, only 11 hours before the truce went into effect.

e-Day


e-Day celebrates the mathematical constant e (2.7182818) on February 7 (2/7) in the month/day date format or January 27 (27/1) in the day/month format.

Euler’s constant “e” is also known as “Euler’s number” after the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler. The constant e was discovered by several mathematicians who didn’t know of its significance until Euler started to use the letter e for the constant around 1727. It is an irrational number that represents the idea that all continually growing systems are a scaled version of a common rate. The constant e is mostly used in logarithms, exponential growth, and complex numbers.

The letter e in e-Day is also used to represent other events and words that begin with the letter e.

Many celebrate e-Day as Euler’s constant day on February 7 (2/7) in the month/day date format. It is a day where people recognize the significance of the number e, which is approximately 2.71828. Although this is the most commonly recognized holiday for e-Day, there are other worldwide events that are observed that have nothing to do with the e number constant.

Euro day occurred in European countries that simultaneously adopted the Euro on January 1, 2002. In New Zealand, eDay is a day where people can get rid of e-waste or old electronics such as computers and old appliances, so they can be recycled rather than being placed in a landfill. Engineer’s Day is observed in Paducah, Kentucky on February 21 where many have an egg drop contest, create edible cars and tape people to walls. Eday is also an island in Northern Scotland.

Punch the Clock Day


Punch the Clock Day is celebrated annually on January 27 in the United States!

This holiday celebrates the system of calculating employee work hours through the Punch Clock system and it's invention. On this holiday you are encouraged to share a day of celebration at your work place. Management needs to have plenty of coffee, tea and doughnuts in the break room so you and all your work mates can get together on your coffee break and celebrate the punch clock.

A time clock, sometimes known as a clock card machine or punch clock or time recorder, is a mechanical (or electronic) timepiece used to assist in tracking the hours an employee of a company worked. In regards to mechanical time clocks this was accomplished by inserting a heavy paper card, called a time card, into a slot on the time clock. When the time card hit a contact at the rear of the slot, the machine would print day and time information on the card. This allowed a timekeeper to have an official record of the hours an employee worked to calculate and pay an employee.

The first time clock was invented in November 20, 1888, by Willard Bundy, a jeweler in Auburn, New York. A year later his brother, Harlow Bundy, organized the Bundy Manufacturing Company, and began mass producing time clocks." "Bundy Manufacturing, along with two other time equipment businesses, was consolidated into the International Time Recording Company (ITR)." "In 1911 ITR and two other companies were merged, forming Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR), which would later change its name to IBM." "In 1958 IBM's Time Equipment Division was sold to the Simplex Time Recorder Company." "The time cards usually had the workdays and time in and time out areas marked on them so that employees could "punch in" or "punch out" in the correct place. The employee was responsible to line up the correct area of the card to be punched with an indicator on the time card. Software applications offer such a system.

The first punch-card system to be linked to a Z80 microprocessor was developed by Kronos Incorporated in the late 1970s and introduced as a product in 1979. In the 1990s, time clocks started to move away from the mechanical version to computer based, electronic time tracking systems. On these systems, the employee either enters an employee number, swipes a magnetic stripe card, or brings an RFID tag into proximity with a reader, or uses some other device to identify the employee to the system. Based on the system being used, the employee then enters what should be recorded. This could be "punching in", "punching out", lunch breaks, reason for leaving early, or any other type of information the employer requires.