Thursday, February 13, 2014

Holidays and Observances for February 13 2014

Employee Legal Awareness Day

Employee Legal Awareness Day was established by an Australian lawyer, Paul Brennan. His aim was to emphasize the importance of legal education for employees and small businesses and reduce their risk of legal problems. The day isn't only about laws though, Brennan also suggests that employees should increase their awareness of their company’s policies. According to him, it is important for employees to have a copy of the employer’s handbook, where you can find information about bereavement policy, attendance and punctuality, conflict of interest statements and non-disclosure agreements.

So, every year employees can get together on this day to celebrate and remember their legal rights, they can feel empowered by their knowledge and participate fully in the legal system that supports them and their business. Although it originated in Australia, this day can be celebrated in offices all over the world, everywhere that people are free to access legal services and their legal rights this day can be openly recognized. In countries with less legal freedom, perhaps the day could be marked by employee demonstrations in the streets or other protests to try and highlight the importance of legal awareness and legal practices in relation to employees and businesses.

Get a Different Name Day

Let's be "frank." If you have ever wondered what it would be like to have a different name, today is your lucky day! February 13 is Get a Different Name Day, an annual "holiday" created by the fine folks at Wellcat.

What's In a Name?
Whether yours is old-fashioned, common, handed down, new age, downright wacky or hard-to-pronounce, just imagine what life would be like if you had the opportunity to select your very own name. Birth names are something we are stuck with our entire lives unless we go to extraordinary measures to change them.

An informal study by Laura Wattenberg, author of "The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby," found the following names are the Most Hated Baby Names in America. While some of the names that made the listing are actually very popular names, the survey gauged the "names generated the most negative mentions." Wattenberg said that some of the names that made the list are "highly popular, well-loved names that some people are simply getting tired of."

Most Hated Baby Names for Girls
  • Nevaeh ("Heaven" spelled backwards)
  • Destiny
  • Madison
  • Mackenzie
  • McKenna
  • Addison
  • Gertrude
  • Kaitlyn
  • Makayla
  • Bertha
  • Hope
Most Hated Baby Names for Boys
  • Jayden
  • Brayden
  • Aiden
  • Kaden (are you sensing a rhyming theme here?)
  • Hunter
  • Hayden
  • Bentley
  • Tristan
  • Michael
  • Jackson
According to the Social Security Administration, the following list contains the Most Popular Baby Names in America for 2011.

Most Popular Girl Names in 2011
  1. Sophia
  2. Isabella
  3. Emma
  4. Olivia
  5. Ava
  6. Emily
  7. Abigail
  8. Madison
  9. Mia
  10. Chloe
Most Popular Boys Names in America for 2011
  1. Jacob
  2. Mason
  3. William
  4. Jayden
  5. Noah
  6. Michael
  7. Ethan
  8. Alexander
  9. Aiden
  10. Daniel
*Italicized names made both the most hated and most popular listings.

If you happen to have a love-hate relationship with your name, what moniker would you choose? What name fits your personality? While we can be whoever we want to be, tomorrow we have to go back to our birth name.

Madly In Love With Me Day

While many of us spent today shopping for cards, chocolates, and flowers in preparation for Valentine’s Day, I spent part of the afternoon learning how to better care for myself. Today is Madly In Love With Me Day, a day dedicated to teaching people, particularly women, the importance of knowing and loving yourself. Founded by Christine Arylo, offers resources to take you on the journey of beginning the life-long process of falling in love with yourself each and every day.

It’s not uncommon to hear someone say that you have to love yourself before someone else can love you too. I agree that, in order to be open to unconditional love from others, you really do need to acknowledge that you’re worthy and deserving of love — and that love can come from yourself. I’ve always had a lot of self-esteem. I was blessed with parents that raised me to believe I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. The goals I have set-aside have always been terminated by choice, and never because I didn’t think I was capable. Until today though, I had never given much thought to the difference between self-esteem and self-love. Arylo sums it up by explaining that self-esteem is knowing that you can DO anything, but self-love is “the unconditional love and respect you have for yourself that is so deep, solid, and unwavering that you only choose situations and relationships — including the one with yourself — that reflect the same unconditional love and respect.”

This afternoon I downloaded the Madly In Love With Me virtual Self-Love kit that describes this difference between self-love and self-esteem and charts a course of five different self-love gates to concentrate on during your self-love journey. The gates outline goals like knowing yourself and your dreams, taking part in healthy relationships, loving your body, being kind to yourself, and living a self-sustainable life. Along with a few other ideas for exercises and spreading the message of self-love, the manifesto also suggests that each reader choose a gate to work on over the next year.

Considering the five gates has given me a lot to think about. Despite short-lived anxieties, I have really come to appreciate my body over the past couple of years. And, especially after going through a painful divorce four years ago, I have tried to surround myself with only healthy relationships. I’m slowly working on the life-long goals of getting to know myself, and being kind to myself, but I think this year I’ll put particular focus on the gate that suggests living a self-sustainable life, free of any guilt for taking care of yourself. Working full-time, caring for a husband and eight pets, and cleaning a three-story house sometimes leaves me in a frenzy. Even when I’m trying to wind down for bed or taking a little time to read a good book, I start to feel a little guilty, thinking I should be doing something else instead. From now on I’m going to fight off those feelings with affirmations that I deserve ME time, and by creating goals that are realistic for cultivating a happy life. A life full of all kinds of love, including love for myself.

National Tortellini Day

If you liked it, then you should have stuffed a ring with it. Hands up for February 13, National Tortellini Day.

Depending on who's telling the tale, legend has it that the goddess Venus was traveling through Northern Italy with Bacchus, Mars, Jupiter or a combination thereof (or it was possibly Lucrezia Borgia, flying solo), and decided to stop at an inn for the night. Either abandonment or romantic frolicking ensued and a chivalrous or libidinous innkeeper peered in through the keyhole. He got an eyeful of Venus' (or Borgia's) nekkid navel and was so very moved as to craft a pasta tribute in its likeness.

Creepy, yes, but don't let that stand between you and a bowlful of this Emilia-Romagna masterpiece.

To make tortellini, roll and cut pasta dough into thin, two-inch squares or rounds, then heap a small amount of filling in the center. Ricotta seasoned with black pepper and nutmeg is a popular option, as are ground pork or veal with proscuitto, mortadella and Parmesan cheese. Feel free to get creative with the fillings and the seasonings, but take the time to master the wrapping technique.

Brush a wash of of egg mixed with 1/2 teaspoon water on the edges, then fold the dough in half, making a triangle or half moon (depending on the shape you've selected) and press the edges together to seal them. Then hold the sealed pocket with the rounded side toward you, draw the points together, overlap them and press to seal into a ring shape. Ecco - tortellini!

Make about 20 per person and let them sit for an hour or two before cooking in rich broth for a classic tortellini en brodo. Or, boil them briefly in salted water and serve with brown butter and sage, a simple tomato or vodka sauce or fresh, pungent pesto.

World Radio Day

The World Radio Day seeks raise awareness about the importance of radio, facilitate access to information through radio and enhance networking among broadcasters.

Radio has to be recognized as a low cost medium, specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. Furthermore, radio has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief. There is also a changing face to radio services which, in the present times of media convergence, are taking up new technological forms, such as broadband, mobiles and tablets. However, it is said that up to a billion people still do not have access to radio today. 

Since its origins, radio has been shown to be the most useful medium of social communication for humanity. Radio waves go beyond borders and freely reach everybody and everywhere, being a very affordable receiver compared to other forms of media. Therefore, it is fair to remember the pioneers who contributed to the great invention of the radio. Distinguished researchers like the German Heinrich Hertz, the Russian Alexander Popov, the French Edouard Branley, the American of Serbian origin Nickola Tesla, the Italian Guglielmo Marconi, the British Oliver Lodge´s, the Spanish Cervera Baviera, the Indian Chandra Bose, etc.

Throughout history there have been many technical and content contributions that have allowed the development of the Radio for the benefit of society. But now, in the XXI century, it is time to pay the homage to the radio it deserves. And for that, what better way than to establish a global day for this medium of communication, through a date that enjoys the broadest possible consensus. Thus, the Spanish Academy of Radio, being aware of the void that existed in the international celebrations of the United Nations regarding the Radio, requested of UNESCO in 2008 the establishment of the World Day of Radio.

The date initially proposed by the Academy for this celebration was October 30 (date of "The War of the Worlds" emission directed by Orson Welles in 1938), and had the unanimous support of the international radio industry. However, after a long debate held on September 29, 2011 within the UNESCO Executive Board, the date was finally set for 13 February, which corresponds to the birth of the UN radio in 1946.

Ultimately, what matters is that professional broadcasters and listeners around the world have our great day of global celebration, so ...Seize the opportunity!

International Condom Day

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization which currently provides medical care and services to more than 127,000 individuals in 22 countries worldwide, will mark International Condom Day—an informal holiday observed in conjunction with Valentine’s Day, February 14th—with innovative and educational free condom distribution and safer sex awareness events as well as media campaigns held in 34 cities in 15 countries around the world that will be taking place over the days and nights around the weekend holiday.

AHF’s International Condom Day events range from a muscleman themed condom giveaway on famed Muscle Beach on the Boardwalk in Venice Beach, California complete with people on rollerblades handing out condoms as well as a 15-foot tall inflatable muscleman balloon; in Moscow, Russia, a YouTube home video contest and similar writing competition on HIV prevention and condom use as well as several ‘Protect Your Love’ events promoting condom use and HIV testing taking place at popular nightclubs in several Russian cities; in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, volunteers will distribute free condoms—and roses—at entertainment establishments, nightclubs and city parks; in Mombasa, Kenya, free condom distribution targeting workers and patrons around the ferry area of the bustling East African port city; in Tijuana, Mexico, an all day free condom distribution event at the San Ysidro International Border Crossing as well as other condom distribution events in Mexico City and in Tuxtla Gutierres, Chiapas; in South Africa, distribution of condoms and incentives at a university and student residence halls, and in Swaziland—the African country with the highest prevalence of AIDS in the world—stage performances, testing and free condom distribution.

“To achieve ‘Global AIDS Control’ an aggressive re-integration of condoms is critical to success. The LOVE Condoms Campaign goal is to scale-up to 100% access to free condoms worldwide. The time is now to call for CONDOMS to be brought back to the forefront of HIV prevention,” said Terri Ford, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Senior Director of Global Policy and Advocacy. “Valentine’s Weekend is the perfect time to re-enforce the message to, ‘Love yourself, Love your Partner.’ As a non-traditional holiday, International Condom Day also offers an unorthodox, yet highly creative opportunity for groups around the world to get the word out about the importance of condom use and HIV testing. The events taking place in these countries and cities are really amazing, and I want to thank each of our dedicated and enthusiastic partners in this worldwide effort.”