Saturday, January 11, 2014

Holidays and Observances for January 11th 2014

Cigarettes Are Hazardous To Your Health Day

It's Cigarettes are Hazardous to your Health Day! Believe it or not, there is actually a day to remind us how harmful cigarettes are to our health as a smoker or a non-smoker. Terry Martin, from Guide, wrote a great article about this very topic that we would like to share.

Most smokers don't think about the chemicals in cigarettes. They think about how cigarettes help them cope with the stress of daily life, calm them down when angry, or help them to relax at the end of a long day.

The truth of the matter is that smoking does the opposite of just about everything we give it credit for. When the chemicals in cigarettes are inhaled, they put the body into a state of physical stress by sending literally thousands of poisons, toxic metals and carcinogens coursing through the bloodstream with every puff taken. And those chemicals affect everything from blood pressure and pulse rate to the health of our organs and immune system.

While researchers are still working to uncover all of the hazards cigarettes present to human life, we do know that air tainted with cigarette smoke is dangerous for anyone who breathes it -- smoker or not.

Let's take a closer look at some of the harmful chemicals in cigarettes and how they affect our health:

Carcinogens - A carcinogen is defined as any substance that can cause or aggravate cancer. Approximately 60 of the chemicals in cigarettes are known to cause cancer.
  • TSNAs - Tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNAs) are known to be some of the most potent carcinogens present in smokeless tobacco, snuff and tobacco smoke.
  • Benzene - Benzene can be found in pesticides and gasoline. It is present in high levels in cigarette smoke and accounts for half of all human exposure to this hazardous chemical.
  • Pesticides - Pesticides are used on our lawns and gardens, and inhaled into our lungs via cigarette smoke.
  • Formaldehyde - Formaldehyde is a chemical used to preserve dead bodies, and is responsible for some of the nose, throat and eye irritation smokers experience when breathing in cigarette smoke.
  • Toxic Metals - Toxic / heavy metals are metals and metal compounds that have the potential to harm our health when absorbed or inhaled. In very small amounts, some of these metals support life, but when taken in large amounts, can become toxic.
  • Arsenic - Commonly used in rat poison, arsenic finds its way into cigarette smoke through some of the pesticides that are used in tobacco farming.
  • Cadmium - Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that is used in batteries. Smokers typically have twice as much cadmium in their bodies as nonsmokers.
  • Radioactive Toxic Metals - There are a couple of toxic metals in cigarette smoke that carry an extra punch of danger for anyone breathing it in: they are radioactive.
  • Radioactive Cigarette Smoke - Lead-210 (Pb-210) and polonium-210 (Po-210) are poisonous, radioactive heavy metals that research has shown to be present in cigarette smoke.
  • Poisons - Poison is defined as any substance that, when introduced to a living organism, causes severe physical distress or death. Science has discovered approximately 200 poisonous gases in cigarette smoke.
  • Ammonia - Ammonia compounds are commonly used in cleaning products and fertilizers. Ammonia is also used to boost the impact of nicotine in manufactured cigarettes.
  • Carbon Monoxide - Carbon monoxide is present in car exhaust and is lethal in very large amounts. Cigarette smoke can contain high levels of carbon monoxide.
  • Hydrogen Cyanide - Hydrogen cyanide was used to kill people in the gas chambers in Nazi Germany during World War II. It can be found in cigarette smoke.
  • Nicotine - Nicotine is a poison used in pesticides and is the addictive element in cigarettes.
A Word About Secondhand Smoke
Also known as environmental tobacco smoke, secondhand smoke is a term used to describe cigarette smoke that comes from two sources: Smoke that is exhaled by the smoker (mainstream smoke) and smoke produced by a smoldering cigarette (sidestream smoke). Secondhand smoke is known to contain at least 250 toxic chemicals, including 50 cancer-causing chemicals. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. That means if you can smell cigarette smoke in the air, it could be harming your health.

If you smoke...
There is no time like the present to stop the madness that cigarette smoking is. You'll be rewarded with benefits beyond what you can probably imagine and they'll start to occur faster than you think. Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your body will begin to heal and improvements to your mental and physical health will continue to grow with time invested in smoking cessation.

It is never too late to quit smoking!

National Milk Day

Today is a day to celebrate something we drink. January 11 is National Milk Day.

Why is January 11 celebrated as National Milk Day?

The answer is quite simple. It was on Jan. 11, 1878, when milk was delivered to customers in bottles for the first time.

Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food.

Throughout the world, there are more than 6 billion consumers of milk and milk products. Over 750 million people live within dairy farming households. Milk is a key contributor to improving nutrition and food security particularly in developing countries.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that an adult with a healthy 2,000-calorie diet should consume at least 3 cups of milk products on a daily basis.

Milk is just not for drinking. Milk is also used in cooking foods of many kinds including cakes, pies and other desserts.

Fun Facts About Milk:
  • A cow drinks approximately 30 to 40 gallons of water each day!
  • Mother cows produce up to 8 gallons of milk per day.
  • During Homogenization the butter fat is broken up and mixed into the rest of the milk.
  • The Pasteurization process consists off quickly heating the milk to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, killing any bacteria that might be found in the milk.
National Hot Toddy Day

Today is a day to celebrate something we drink. January 11 is National Hot Toddy Day.

What is a hot toddy?
A hot toddy, also hot totty, and hot tottie, is typically a mixed drink made of liquor and water with sugar and spices and served hot.

There are many variations on the original hot toddy recipe. Some versions call for tea, coffee, cocoa, apple cider, spices, or even butter.

A hot toddy is a delicious drink made with honey, lemon, hot water, and the liquor of your choice; usually whiskey, brandy, or rum.
  1. Vitamin C for health.
  2. Honey to soothe.
  3. The alcohol to numb.
Hot toddy recipes vary and are traditionally drunk before going to bed. It’s the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter day. They were once believed to relieve the symptoms of the cold and flu.

However, the American Lung Association recommends avoiding treating the common cold with alcoholic beverages as they cause dehydration.

To celebrate National Hot Toddy Day, brew up your favorite type of hot toddy and enjoy!

National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day

Depending on your point of view, the weather here is perfect for today’s holiday. January 11 is National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day. Not only is our snow melting into nasty slush puddles, it’s supposed to rain off and on all day long!

Actually, I think puddle jumping is much more fun in a nice summer shower, when the cool water actually feels good, but apparently someone decided to celebrate puddles in the middle of winter instead. I hope your friends are in on it too, or this holiday will make you a lot of enemies!

Secret Pal Day

Everyone has a best friend and others who they trust with their deepest secrets. Even though you may tell your buddy how much you appreciate her on a regular basis, it might be fun to offer her some praise in secret today, January 11. This date represents Secret Pal Day, here are a few ways to show some love for your friends.

1. Send anonymous cards
An easy way to express your feelings for your friends is to send one or a few of them an anonymous card that details how much you care for them. Make sure to add in one or two details that may clue them in on who sent the gesture.

2. Give them gift cards
Another perfect way to show your friends how important they are to you, is to leave a gift card in their mailboxes. Chose a place like a spa or a nail salon so they can pamper themselves for helping you out so many times.

3. Send flowers
Most ladies love to receive flowers, so sending meaningful, yet inexpensive flowers to their home or work may be a perfect gesture.

International Thank You Day

Today is all about appreciating the many blessings and the wonderful people in our lives. January 11 is International Thank You Day (ITYD), an international holiday created by Mendota, IL., native, Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith.

In our busy and stressful lives, it is important to remember that each day truly is a blessing. We sometimes take things, and each other, for granted. Whether we are facing a health crisis, are currently unemployed or underemployed or are enjoying a rich and prosperous year, it’s important to remember circumstances can change when we least expect it.

Today is the perfect opportunity to be thankful for friends, family, freedom, food, shelter and basic necessities. Heck, we should even be thankful for that cranky co-worker or rotten boss because at least we have a job!

In honor of International Thank You Day, thank those around you. Try it all day long - people will wonder what you're up to! And who knows? Maybe that pearly white smile or sincere “thank you” will lift someone’s spirits more than you realize. And to all you fine folks out there in cyberspace who continue to enjoy these entertaining Our Nation's Haligdaeg articles, THANK YOU! Learn how to say "Thank You" in more than 465 languages.

Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day

There is a controversy among some Morse Code operators on who actually created the code: Samuel Morse or Alfred Vail. So, in order to not offend either side, I've chosen the date of January 11, because on January 11, 1838 both Morse and Vail did the first public demonstration of the electric telegraph together.

As of 2007, Morse Code is no longer a requirement in order to get a Ham Radio license.

There is concern that within 50 years or so, this form of communication will die off due to more modern technology replacing it and those that do currently know it, are mostly older and the newer generation isn't learning it to keep it going, once they pass on.

So, to help stir up some interest in Morse Code, I thought I'd start this observance to get people of all ages to try to at least learn their name in Morse Code. It's not that hard. And, you do not have to do it at the speed of lightning like the old timers do. (I can't even do that!) But it is a lot of fun. And, there are different style of keys to use also.

It's really simple. Just scroll down a little on this page and look at our Morse Code Chart and see the letters of your name. Then figure out the dits and dahs that make up your name and see what it looks like. (Although Morse Code is a sound communication not a visual one per se.)

We also have a Morse Code translator below for you to type in your name and then hear what your name sounds like in dits and dahs.

But, the best way to celebrate, "Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day" is to contact your local Ham Radio Club and perhaps someone can show you how your name sounds and teach you how to send it on a key.

Morse Code Translator

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Many are captives who are trafficked for sex, sold by their poverty-stricken parents. Others toil in sweatshops, make rubber for our tires and harvest cocoa beans for our chocolate. Globally, there are more slaves now than ever before.

A number of nonprofits are calling on the government to do something about it on Jan. 11, Human Trafficking Awareness Day -- and in the wake of President Obama declaring January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Nonprofits are asking the Obama administration to renew the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), which would provide resources for those trying to protect the 27 million people who are considered modern-day slaves engaged in forced labor and sex.

Congress allowed the TVPA to expire in 2011 after years of bipartisan support, leaving programs that fight trafficking at risk, according to a release from the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST). Nonprofits say the political inertia is stalling real progress.

"The time for political games is over. Congressional inaction on this legislation continues to weaken US global leadership in the fight against modern day slavery," Jesse Eaves, Senior Policy Advisor for Child Protection of World Vision, said in the release.

A White House release marking January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month called upon businesses, religious groups and families to learn more about the fight against trafficking and outlined what the government will do:
"We will continue to take action by empowering investigators and law enforcement with the training they need, and by engaging businesses, advocates, and students in developing cutting-edge tools people can use to stay safe," the release stated. "We will invest in helping trafficking victims rebuild their lives. And as one of the world's largest purchasers of goods and services, the Federal Government will keep leading by example, further strengthening protections to help ensure that American tax dollars never support forced labor."
Obama outlined steps to fight human trafficking in September at the Clinton Global Initiative, declaring that the White House issued new executive orders that will combat modern-day slavery in government contracting. The administration also said it was providing more training on human trafficking to those employed in legal positions, among others.

"It is barbaric and it is evil and it has no place in a civilized world," Obama had said at the event, noting that many children who are trafficked are the same age as Sasha and Malia, his own daughters.