Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Holidays and Observances for February 11th 2014

Be Electrific Day

No, I did not make that up. But I know who did, and that someone started Be Electrific Day back in 1998. She is professional speaker Carolyn Finch, and she defines electrific as:
"an abbreviation for an electrification project - which means to put light where light has not been before."
Now, one could take this definition as the genteel version of that old admonition, "put it where the sun don't shine," but it actually has a much more positive intent. 

See, February 11th is the birthday of Thomas Alva Edison: "The Wizard of Menlo Park," holder of 1090+ U.S. Patents, inventor and businessman, and founder of General Electric, among many other impressive accomplishments too numerous to list here. And, Mr. Edison brought light where light had not been before - electrically speaking, of course. Therefore, we have Be Electrific Day, so that we can celebrate not only this prolific inventor's birthday, but also - as Ms Finch's program suggests - "the electricity within each of us."

Well. I don't know about you, but most of the electricity within me lately is of the static variety. My family is more than a little annoyed. Shocked, really. But I don't see the problem. I'm just celebrating this Little-Known, twelve-year old holiday, you know? 

If I can do it, so can you. Go ahead! Get in the holiday spirit: scoot your stockinged feet across the carpet, scope out someone who looks a little energy depleted, and share your electricity within. 

But then you might wanna get ready to run...

Extraterrestrial Culture Day

If you're looking for an out-of-this-world holiday, go grab your foil hat! It's Extraterrestrial Culture Day, an annual event that takes place each year on the second Tuesday in February.

Extraterrestrial Culture Day
The origins of this "holiday" began in 2003, when Republican Representative Daniel R. Foley submitted a proposal to the New Mexico legislature to set aside a special day of the year to "celebrate and honor all past, present and future extraterrestrial visitors." Foley, who is from Roswell, said that capitalizing on something that "did or did not happen" decades ago could help the state of New Mexico. Perhaps he was right?

The Roswell Incident
One of the most famous incidents of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) took place decades ago in Roswell, NM. Many believe a flying saucer crashed near the town of Roswell in 1947 in what is known as the Roswell Incident. First acknowledged, then denied, by the United States military, did aliens crash-land outside of Roswell? Did the American government cover it up? Whether fact or fiction, thousands of humans still flock to Roswell every year for the annual UFO Festival.

Whether you believe in little green men, unexplainable events or have a fondness for conspiracy theories, this isn't the only day of the year that celebrates out-of-this-world beings. March 20 is Extraterrestrial Abductions Day!

National Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day

Today is Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day! This day serves as a reminder that we don’t need to stress over all the little mistakes in our past. Leave your worries behind, and greet the new day with optimism and a positive outlook!

The saying “don’t cry over spilled milk” is an age-old proverb that has been around for hundreds of years. The first historical reference to the phrase appears in a document written by British historian James Howell in 1659. The saying most likely comes from European folklore. According to the old tales, fairies were particularly fond of milk and would drink up any spills left behind.

To celebrate Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, let bygones be bygones. Don’t worry about the little things that are in the past, and instead focus on the wonderful things that are headed your way!

National Make a Friend Day

When it comes to holidays, February 11 is a biggy when it comes to holidays. Not only is it the refreshing National Peppermint Patty Day and Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, February 11 is also National Make a Friend Day!

Let's be honest. Many of us are overworked and just plain stressed out. We are busy leading such hectic lives, we barely have time for ourselves, much less maintaining old friendships. While the origins of this annual holiday are unknown, today serves as an important reminder on the value of friendship. Whether old or new or somewhere in between, friends serve such an important role in our lives. Friends are our confidants. We can share our deepest, darkest secrets, our victories and our defeats. Real friends love us and like us for who we really are - the good, the bad and the ugly. And the older we get, the more valuable those friendships become.

In honor of National Make a Friend Day, today is the perfect opportunity to begin a new friendship and while you are at it, do something nice for an old friend today as well.

Best Quotes & Sayings About Friendship
  • It takes a long time to grow an old friend. ~ John Leonard
  • The friend is the man who knows all about you and still likes you. ~ Elbert Hubbard
  • Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. ~ Helen Keller
  • Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer. ~ Unknown
  • My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me. ~ Henry Ford
  • A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. ~ Douglas Pagels
  • It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. ~ Marlene Dietrich
  • The best time to make friends is before you need them. ~ Ethel Barrymore
  • Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things. ~ Unknown
  • A friend is, as it were, a second self. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest. It's about who came and never left your side. ~ Unknown
  • A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart. ~ Heather Pryor
  • A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked. ~ Unknown
  • A good friend is cheaper than therapy. ~ Unknown
  • A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. ~ Walter Winchell
  • A friend can tell you things you don't want to tell yourself. ~ Frances Ward Weller
  • 'Tis a great confident in a friend to tell him your faults; greater to tell him his. ~ Benjamin Franklin
  • Friends are like a good bra - supportive, hard to find and always close to your heart! ~ Unknown
  • Real friends love us and like us for who we really are - the good, the bad and the ugly! ~ Jace Shoemaker-Galloway
  • It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend. ~ William Blake
  • Friendship is one mind in two bodies. ~ Mencius
  • We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone. ~ Orson Welles
  • A friend is someone who can see the truth and pain in you even when you are fooling everyone else. ~ Unknown
  • There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will. ~ Unknown

National Peppermint Pattie Day

National Peppermint Pattie Day honors this decadent dark chocolate and cool peppermint filling. This dark chocolate confection with a refreshing peppermint flavor burst in your mouth, and makes this little York Pattie quite enjoyable.
The York Peppermint Pattie was founded in 1940 by Henry C. Kessler of York Cone Company. The company use to make ice cream cones until the debut of the York Peppermint Pattie. The York Peppermint Pattie became so popular the Kessler stop making ice cream cones.

The original recipe was a bit softer than it is today. It was important to Kessler, that this chocolate candy have a clean break in the middle so he performed a snap test and got his result.

In 1972 York Peppermint Pattie was acquired by Peter Paul, who is the owner of another chocolate delectable candy called Almond Joy.

Due to its popularity, it earned a day of recognition in 1975 with National Peppermint Patty Day. Before this Pattie could be the sweet treat we know it to be it went through several test to get its perfect combination.

The original recipe created was much softer candy than the pattie we know today. It was important for the peppermint to have the right minty taste, and the chocolate to be smooth over the peppermint rounds.

In 1988 York Peppermint Patty became part of the Hershey candy company.
Charlie Brown the comic has a tomboy name Peppermint Pattie after York Peppermint Pattie.

National Shut-in Visitation Day

Today is National Shut-in Visitation Day, a great time to stop in for a chat with someone who can't stop in for a chat with you.

Whether it's someone in the hospital, in long-term care or just temporarily under the weather, people who are shut in due to disability or illness need others to visit just as much as anyone else does.

So why don't we visit people who are shut in - sequestered away from the rest of us?

Often, it's simply because we don't know what to say. Our lives are filled with activities, going to the store, shopping, going to school and to work. Often we feel we can't talk to shut-ins about these things because we're guilty since they can't engage in the same activities.

But that shouldn't be a case at all.

People who are shut in want to her what we're doing, even if it's living vicariously through our adventures.

So who are shut-ins?
The first people who come to mind might often be those in long-term care. But there are others as well.

There are people in jail, in institutions and disabled veterans who served their country bravely but now find themselves confined to wheelchairs or who are bed-ridden. Wouldn't they like to know what it's like outside? What are the parks like? What does the snow feel like as you're trudging through it? Well stop in and tell them.

People who are shut in can also take a moment to reflect on how they can expand their lives - as limited as they may seem. Reading can create endless new worlds and the Internet can put them in touch with virtually anyone.

Above all, we could all make ourselves a little more aware of the social and psychological needs of those who are unable to get around as well as the rest of us.

So visit a shut-in - and expand your own horizons.

Pro Sports Wives Day

Many sports personalities are well known for their prowess on the sporting fields… But what about the spouses standing behind these celebrities?

Pro Sport Wives Day is a national day where nearly 500,000 sports wives, both active and retired, are graciously given recognition throughout the country. This recognition serves to remind the general public of the fantastic job that pro sports personalities’ wives and partners conduct behind the scene of a $213 billion pro sports industry. We may see these sportsmen regularly and their actions, but not often enough do we think of the hard work carried out by those who support them most. Many pro sports wives act as silent partners and household managers: they keep their darling athletes focused; determined to win and succeed in meeting their dreams; to create the beautiful feeling of being a winner in every heart in the country.

Pro Sports Wives Day is held annually in the month of February: to support the cause, all you need to do is make sure that you respect the hard work which these women must go through to aid their husbands as best as possible.

Satisfied Staying Single Day

“No one to walk with, but I’m happy on the shelf”, sang Fats Waller. If that’s you, there’s a perfect day to celebrate. And you don’t have to be “through with flirting”, either…

Seen by many as the antidote to Valentine’s Day, the international day of the singleton may be a strange occasion to mark. But Satisfied Staying Single Day, or S3, is less about chasing a dream of happily-ever-after, and more about living life in the moment – a cause that even couples can embrace. And unlike St Valentine, with his cutesy satin hearts and overpriced roses, S3 remains reassuringly un-commercial.

Above all, S3 is an excuse for a good party. People around the world celebrate their freedom by meeting up with friends for an evening in or out. However, you have to wonder about the logic behind “Satisfied Staying Single Speed-Dating Night”…

White Shirt Day

The nation is in economic crisis, unemployment is high, people are losing homes, workers are afraid to unionize and families, swamped in debt, struggle for a better life. Worldwide, masses stand up against corporate greed and demand a better quality of life by sitting down and occupying space in a unified effort to be heard. These people – dubbed radicals or even communists by the opposition – believe this organizing movement has critical importance in their effort to create change.
The year is 1936 – not 2012 – a turbulent time for autoworkers whose determination and courage helped the labor movement gain a better quality of life for workers and, ultimately, create the American middle class.
Known as “White Shirt Day,” Feb. 11 marks the 75th anniversary of the most famous of these sit-down actions, the 1936-1937 General Motors Flint Sit-Down Strike. Men and women throughout the UAW wear white-collar attire traditionally donned by management to remember the sacrifices and victories of workers.

But winning was no small task.

“There were people dropping over because of the heat, and other workers were told to step over them,” recalled Geraldine Blankinship, 92, who supported the Women’s Auxiliary and Emergency Brigade when she was just 17.

“They didn’t slow down the line, and they didn’t stop it. They just dragged people away. It was such an inhumane thing to do,” added Blankinship, whose father, Jay Green, was vice chair of the strike. She spent many nights working with her mother, Ida, a red-caped beret-wearing brigade member, who fought bravely to deter the company’s actions.

Workers at GM’s Fisher Plant in Flint, Mich., were tired of fearing not only for their safety, but also for job security, so they initiated a sit-down strike by locking themselves inside the plant for as long as it would take for the company to recognize their right to form a union and negotiate for higher pay and better working conditions. The Flint standoff inspired workers from other GM facilities to sit down in solidarity as well.

The future was unknown for these brave, defiant workers who feared losing their jobs, the threat of police intervention and even of their families abandoning them while they were locked inside.

“I was kind of afraid I’d have to go back to waitressing,” said Pauline Polsgrove, 93, with a laugh. She’s the last surviving female sit-down worker from 1936.
Richard Wiecorek, 95, recalled how “One guy, he had five kids and he’d get so nervous, he’d pass out. He didn’t know if he was going to get his job back.”
The workers’ fortitude would be challenged when police arrived to force them out of the plant, but their spirit and strong community support was too strong to break their drive.

Eventually, something incredible happened to help bring the standoff closer to an end when then-Michigan Gov. Frank Murphy called in the National Guard – to go to the plants and protect workers from police and corporate thugs.
The strike ended after 44 days on Feb. 11, 1937, when GM recognized the UAW and negotiated a first contract. Sit-downers walked out of the plant to find a parade with thousands of supporters.

James Todd, 98, who still teaches square dancing three times a week, was a janitor in 1936 before the strike. Todd is proud of the successes that came as a result of the sit-down movement.

“We all got better jobs … and for black people, we got jobs that we didn’t get before because most of the time, we were just sweeping floors. But after that, we all went on machines.”

In today’s climate, with workers facing corporate-lobbied politicians trying to eliminate collective bargaining rights, Wiecorek has some time-honored wisdom: “If you have a union, hang on to it.”

National Inventor's day

Rewind to 1983. A gallon of gas is $1.24, Sally Ride is the first American woman in space, and technology like Betamax camcorders and portable televisions are redefining home entertainment. And on February 11, U.S. President Ronald Reagan designates the date National Inventors’ Day, in honor of Thomas Edison’s birthday and in “recognition of the enormous contribution inventors make to the nation and the world.” 

Fast forward to 2013.

Reagan’s proclamation for National Inventors’ Day is just as true today: “… Just as in George Washington's day, inventors are the keystone of the technological progress that is so vital to the economic, environmental, and social well-being of this country.”

At Intellectual Ventures, we hold a deep respect for the inventor. They are our founders, our employees, our partners, our investors and our customers. Realizing the value of their ideas is at the core of our business and we are deeply invested in building an active market for inventors around the world.

To help celebrate the ingenuity and impact their inventions have had on science, economy, policy and society, please join us in recognizing the contributions of a number of notable past and future inventors  on February 11.