Saturday, February 1, 2014

Holidays and Observances for February 1st 2014

Car Insurance Day


Risks are present in anyone’s life. This is a reality that people have come to accept and live with. To minimize the dangers, people purchase insurances. Through the years, the items covered by insurances broadened to cover what people invest in or consider of value. How funny it is that people have to undertake a gamble, called insurance, to cover the possibility of loss.

There is no recorded history or origin for this special day. The business of insurance though was started by the Chinese in 3000 BC in the form of marine insurance. Insurance is defined as the justifiable transfer of the possibility of loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment.

In 1927, Massachusetts passed the first law making it mandatory to have liability car insurance. In the mid 1990’s, sale of car insurances became available online. Car insurance coverage, as stated in the insurance policy, varies depending on the choice of the car owner.

The first kind of insurance is the marine insurance. This covers the ship and cargo’s risks against damage, loss and being robbed by pirates. Property insurance covers buildings and homes against fire, earthquake or flood.

The most expensive insurance is the one that cover’s life and health or medical treatment. Car insurance, on the other hand, is an insurance good for year, subject to renewal, covering loss, theft and accidents. Third party damages are also available for car insurance with an increase in the premium payment.

This special day can be observed through increasing awareness of the contents of the policy, its specific coverage, limitations and processes. It’s also a good time to canvas from two to three insurance companies and compare prices and scope.

At home, it would also be nice to have the car checked, specially alarms and other accessories installed. Tidying the garage is also suggested. Another way is to study the “Acts of God” insurance coverage and evaluate if the increase in the premium is fair to the risk covered.

G.I. Joe Day


G.I. Joe Day commemorates the Hasbro toy that made it okay for boys to play with dolls, umm action figures. The "doll issue" was probably the driving force behind the coinage of the term "action figure" that G.I. Joe was responsible for. By whatever name, the G.I. Joe was a hit and in 2004 it became a member of the National Toy Hall of Fame.

The origin of this holiday, while deserved, is unknown. A conflicting date of April 30th for G.I. Joe has arisen with the 2010 proclamation by Rhode Island Governor to commence the 17th annual G.I. Joe convention hosted by the G.I. JOE Collectors’ Club and Hasbro, Inc. While that date has significance due to the convention, we still prefer the February 1st date due to it being considered a holiday first.

"A Real American Hero" was brought about as a revival of the original 12 in (30 cm) G.I. Joe brand of the 1960's and '70's. After the 12" figure had been absent from toy shelves for a few years, G.I. Joe was re-introduced in a 3 3⁄4 in (9.52 cm) action figure format following the success of the Star Wars and Micronauts 3¾" scale toylines.

The genesis of the toy line came about from a chance meeting in a men's room. According to Jim Shooter, then editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics:

The President or CEO of Hasbro was at a charity event that Marvel’s President was also at. They ended up in the men’s room, standing next to each other peeing, and I think that’s how they met. They were talking about each other’s respective businesses, and it came up that Hasbro wanted to reactivate the trademark on G.I. Joe, but they were trying to come up with a new approach. [Marvel’s guy] was like ‘We have the best creative people in the world! Let me bring in this Editor-in-Chief of mine and we’ll fix it for you!

Prior to G.I. Joe's relaunch in 1982, Larry Hama was developing an idea for a new comic book called Fury Force, which he was hoping would be an ongoing series for Marvel Comics. The original premise had the son of S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury assembling a team of elite commandos to battle neo-Nazi terrorists HYDRA. Shooter approached Hama about the Joe project due to Hama's military background, and the Fury concept was adapted for the project. Shooter suggested to Hasbro that "G.I. Joe" should be the team name and that they should fight terrorists, while Archie Goodwin invented Cobra and the Cobra Commander; everything else was created by Hama. Hasbro was initially uncertain about making villain toys, believing this wouldn't sell. Marvel would also suggest the inclusion of female Joes in the toyline, and to include them with the vehicles (as Hasbro again worried they wouldn't sell on their own).

Each G.I. Joe figure included a character biography, called a "file card". Hama was largely responsible for writing these file cards, especially for the first ten years. When developing many of the characters, he drew much from his own experiences in the US military. The overall premise for the toyline revolves around an elite counter-terrorist team code-named G.I. Joe, whose main purpose is to defend human freedom from Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.

Every year, Hasbro and Marvel would meet up to discuss the upcoming toys and marketing. Larry Hama was given a free rein by Marvel's editorial here. Both the toys and the comics would become a great success, the comics being Marvel Comic's most subscribed title at one point, but Jim Shooter has said sister company Marvel Productions, who handled the cartoon, overspent on production and had "a critical success but a financial disaster" with the show.

In 1994, Hasbro transferred control of the G.I. Joe toyline and brand name to the newly acquired Kenner division, who promptly cancelled the A Real American Hero toyline and replaced it with the new Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles toyline instead. After brief revivals in 1997 and 1998, the toyline was revived as the "Real American Hero Collection" in 2000 to the mass market. In both cases, previous molds were reused and some characters had to be renamed due to copyright issues. Another relaunch was made in 2002 under the theme "G.I. Joe vs. Cobra" and new designs and characters were introduced.

Hasbro.com officially announced a new line of "25th Anniversary" 4" G.I. Joe figures on January 18, 2007. The line is primarily based on the characters and designs from the early part of the Real American Hero line.

Hula in The Coola Day


Hula in the Coola Day was created because, basically, people in the northern states were getting sick and tired of the crappy cold weather during the winter, and by February, they were ready for some HEAT already! So they decided to buy some hula skirts, toss their coats, mittens, pants, and scarves into a closet for the day, and go outside and do the hula like idiots who are trying to catch pneumonia. They thought that, if they tried hard enough, they could simply forget about the cold weather and trick themselves into thinking it was the nice, hot summer. (Apparently, accomplishing this means having to go outside in nothing but a grass skirt and some coconut shells and dancing.)

Umm, how much more interesting does it GET?!

Well, one of the other traditions of Hula in the Coola Day is drinking cold, Bahama-style drinks. (So you can be cold on the outside AND on the inside! Hey, maybe they can actually succeed in freezing their blood lines!)
Ice Cream For Breakfast Day

National Baked Alaska Day


It’s National Baked Alaska Day! Baked Alaska is a decadent dessert made with ice cream, sponge cake, and toasted meringue. Although the name “Baked Alaska” did not emerge until the 19th century, this dish is part of a long culinary tradition.

The concept of serving cream and cake together dates back to the Renaissance. The cooks of the era were the first to adorn their baked goods with a whipped topping. This laid the foundation for Baked Alaska, but it does not account for two of the dessert’s distinguishing characteristics—temperature and texture.

The Chinese were the first culture to cook pastry over an ice cream filling, which results in a delicious combination of hot and cold components. Credit is also due to the American physicist Benjamin Thompson, who experimented with the heat resistance of beaten egg whites and discovered how to make meringue.

Whether you prefer to call it Baked Alaska, glace au four, omelette a la norvegienne, or Norwegian omelette, celebrate National Baked Alaska Day with a scrumptious serving of this unique dessert!

National Freedom Day


National Freedom Day is an observance in the United States that honors the signing of a resolution that proposed the 13th amendment of the nation's constitution on February 1, 1865. Abraham Lincoln, who was the president at the time, signed the resolution to outlaw slavery. This anniversary is annually observed on February 1.

Many people in the United States reflect on and remember the importance of freedom on National Freedom Day. The United States president may annually issue a proclamation on the day. Some educational institutions may incorporate themes relating to National Freedom Day as part of class discussion, readings, and other learning activities that explore the importance of the day and its history.

Information on local celebrations or events that center on National Freedom Day may be publicized prior to and on February 1. For some people, it is a time to promote good will, equality, and to appreciate freedom. Wreath-laying at the Liberty Bell has also been a tradition to mark National Freedom Day for many years. Other events include annual breakfasts, luncheons, musical entertainment, film screenings, and literature meetings that explore the theme about freedom.

National Freedom Day commemorates the date – February 1, 1865 – when Abraham Lincoln, who was the nation's president at the time, signed a joint resolution that proposed the 13th amendment to the United States Constitution. The amendment was made to outlaw slavery and was ratified on December 18, 1865.

Major Richard Robert Wright Senior, a former slave who founded the National Freedom Day Association, played a crucial role in creating the observance. Major Wright was deemed as a community leader in Philadelphia and was active in education, the media, business and politics. He hoped to see a day that would be dedicated to celebrating freedom for all Americans.

The first commemoration of such a day took place on February 1, 1942, although it was not made into law yet. A tradition of laying a wreath at Liberty Bell also began. On June 30, 1948, President Harry Truman signed a bill to proclaim February 1 as the first official National Freedom Day in the United States.

National Freedom Day’s theme is about freedom for all Americans.  Wreath-laying at Liberty Bell, which symbolizes freedom or liberty, has also occurred on this day over the years.

National Serpent Day


Today is National Serpent Day, a day to celebrate our slithery friends. Latin for “something that creeps”; serpents are famous throughout mythology. Commonly used to symbolize guardians and vindictiveness, serpents come in all sizes and shapes from dragons to sea serpents. One of the most recognized serpents throughout the ages is the snake. Now, in modern times, snakes are found in homes around the world as cherished pets. We encourage everyone to learn something new today about serpents and celebrate our scaly friends!

Robinson Crusoe Day


February 1 is Robinson Crusoe day. The holiday memorializes the rescue of real life Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk who was the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s classic novel. Students of all ages can use the resources below to enjoy the exciting adventures of Robinson Crusoe as he survives life on his island. The site Main Lesson has provided free, online books that feature simpler words for younger children to enjoy the story as well.

Alexander Selkirk was rescued from the island Juan Fernandez on Feb. 1, 1709, thus, marking the day. In addition to the resources below, students may use Robinson Crusoe day as a writing prompt. After a thorough discussion and introduction to the classic story, students may write their own stories based upon their imagined adventures should they find themselves stranded on an island.

Spunky Old Broads Day


Today's zany holiday is dedicated to the saying, "Old girls just wanna have fun." Yes kiddies, Spunky Old Broad Day is upon us yet again.

Now, those of you not in the know might ask yourself, "Gee, what exactly is a spunky old broad?" And if you do, then you obviously aren't one.

Spunky old broads are positive, fun, butt-kicking mature women over the age of 50 who refuse to sit back quietly and get old. They want excitement! They want a regret-free life! They want form fitting aprons! They want calcium supplements!

The best known old spunky broads that I could think of are The Golden Girls. You know you love 'em. And if you've never seen the show, make sure to catch an episode. They air it like 3584 times a day on Lifetime.

Take Your Child to the Library Day


Nadine Lipman, a children's librarian in Waterford, Connecticut, came up with the idea for Take Your Child to the Library Day and selected the first Saturday in February as the annual day of celebration. The idea gained popularity immediately, and librarians started planning special events, programs, and displays.  Won't you be part of our 3rd annual event on Saturday, February 1, 2014?

It doesn't cost anything to be part of a child's first (most recent!) visit to the Library. Start a Library card drive, host a performer, run a story time, offer a craft, or just showcase the wonderful services your Library offers every day of the year.  We can't wait to hear about the creative ideas your Library is cooking up.

Working Naked Day


If you happen to be one of the estimated 110 million people affected by this latest round of winter weather, the prospect of showing up nude at your place of employment probably doesn't hold much appeal.

Unless you want to look like the palest member ever of the Blue Man Group who happens to be hiding a one-eyed field mouse between his legs.

Stand down, exhibitionists; National Working Naked Day is aimed at those of us who work alone and at home, and not for an environment where the HR department will slap you with a sexual harassment suit.

Although, opting to go naked in your high-traffic cubicle may have its benefits: at the very least it will stop your co-workers – once they see where you keep them – from stealing any of your pens.

According to AOL News, Working Naked Day is the brainchild of Lisa Kanarek, a Dallas-based business consultant who, in 2010, created a holiday “where home-bound workers can drop trou and celebrate.”

Kanarek’s holiday gained legitimacy almost immediately – especially after Chase’s Calendar of Events (identified as ‘the most comprehensive and authoritative reference available on special events, worldwide holidays and festivals, civic observances, historic anniversaries, and famous birthdays’) officially listed February 1 as the day of naked observation.

Chase’s even went so far as to declare WND as the holiday that is "dedicated to those who are working from home 'naked' - stripped of the resources that millions take for granted in the traditional corporate workplace."

Naked, in this instance, has a double meaning – either enjoying an au naturale experience in front of your computer (other than internet porn) or figuratively because of any embarrassment or shame one ‘suffers’ when working at home.

"When I first started my business and first started working from home I was ashamed of it,” Kanarek told AOL News, “I never told anyone that's what I did."

Those of us who work out of our living rooms, kitchen or home offices can relate: people seem to think we all sit around pants-less, watching Oprah and proving to our neighbors that our wives must have married us for our money.

I will admit that working from home can be unbearably lonely, but the only time I was embarrassed was last Working Naked Day when I showed our mailwoman a parlor trick that involved carrying a half-dozen donuts while holding a cup of coffee in each hand.

Via her website – WorkingNaked.com – Kanarek tells us to “celebrate the freedom we have to set our own hours, follow our own rules and live a life that doesn’t include reporting to a corporate job each day.”

So in spite of its risqué moniker, National Working Naked Day is all about the independence that being self-employed – and being one’s own boss – can offer.

And if you happen to still remain a part of a corporate team, but fortunate enough to enjoy earning a living via telecommuting, you are also encouraged to participate in the holiday. Just make sure you put on a robe before joining that video conference.