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!