Friday, February 28, 2014

Holidays and Observances for February 28 2014

Floral Design Day

Floral Design Day is a day to celebrate floral design as an art form.
It is celebrated every year on Feb 28th. Proclaimed by Governor Weld of Massachusetts in 1995.

As someone interested in Floral Art we thought that you would be interested to learn a little bit about Floral Design Day.

The original idea behind Floral Design Day, was an unique way to celebrate a special birthday of Carl Rittner, who founded our school.

Mr. "R" as our students affectionately called him, founded The Rittners School of Floral Design, in Boston, over sixty years ago, and was a pioneer in floral art education. Through the years, his humor, patience and wealth of floral industry knowledge have had a marked impact upon thousands of students from all over the globe.

So it was particularly meaningful when Gov. Weld of Massachusetts proclaimed Floral Design Day as part of Mr. Rittner's special birthday celebration.

The idea of a holiday that celebrates floral design as an art form, is a wonderful one whose time has come. And so, Mr. R and the rest of us here at Rittners, wanted to see Floral Design Day continue to be observed as an event in its own right.

Floral design is a proud art form that has spanned thousands of years, with a diversity of styles reflecting varying social, religious, and cultural trends.

Floral art is a very unique art form in that it plays an important role in our social interactions, for decorating, establishing and maintaining relationships, and generally enhancing the overall quality of our lives.......

The floral industry is a multibillion dollar industry that brightens our lives at such holidays as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines' Day, Mother's Day & Secretaries Day as well as on an every day basis, and in so doing, contributes to our economy.

Besides which, making floral designs is a lot of fun and makes us feel good!!

Here are just some of the possible ways to celebrate Floral Design Day:
  • Visit some flower shops. Compare the styles of floral designs and the materials used. How are they similar? How are they different?
  • Check out some flower shop web sites online. Compare the styles of floral designs and the materials used. How are they similar? How are they different?
  • Go to your local museum. Look for paintings containing flowers and floral art.
  • Make a special effort to bring flowers into your home this month.
  • How about a few flowers for your place of business? Don't they create a nicer environment?
  • Send flowers to someone you love.
  • Take your local florist to lunch.
  • Send flowers to your local florist!!
  • Send flowers to someone you may not be close to. Perhaps the friendship may grow.
  • Give some flowers to your boss.
  • Buy some books with pictures of Floral Art.
  • Try your hand at making a few floral designs yourself. Need a little online help? No problem. Visit the Floral Education Center section of our web site for some free lessons.
  • Take a flower arranging course, or perhaps a class in color or interior design!
National Chocolate Soufflé Day

A real chocolate pick-me-up - February 28 is National Chocolate Soufflé Day!

Soufflés may be the only thing to rival the kind of lift many women achieve with gallons of hairspray - not to mention the fact that they taste like heaven.

The flavorful base is usually made with a French crème pâtissière (pasty cream), but the secret to this lightly baked cake is whipped egg whites.   The name comes from a French verb, souffler, which literally means to "blow up" or "puff up," and that's exactly the magic that happens when you bake custard and egg whites together.

Your best bet for baking individual or even one large chocolate soufflé is the ramekin. When you're ready to take them out of the oven, it will be puffy and fluffy - and then deflate a little about ten minutes later. But, don't worry! It's supposed to do that.

Get fancy and even if you're not in trouble with your significant other, make them feel special and bake an individual chocolate soufflé for your sweetie. One little investment of your time can go a long way.

National Tooth Fairy Day

When it comes to holidays, February 28 isn't your average, run-of-the-mill special day.Not only is it National Public Sleeping Day, Feb. 28 is also National Tooth Fairy Day! Hooray!

Tooth Fairy
This annual "holiday" celebrates one of children's most beloved visitors, the Tooth Fairy. While Santa Claus brings gifts and the Easter Bunny brings eggs of all shapes and sizes, the Tooth Fairy has a pretty popular arrangement with children all over the world.

When a baby tooth falls out, either on its own or with a little help, children simply place the tooth underneath their pillow. Once the child is fast asleep, the Tooth Fairy will make a special trip in the dark of night, pick up the tooth and leave a little gift in its place, which is typically some hard-earned cash! Today also serves as a reminder for parents to encourage children to take care of their teeth and keep them in tip-top shape.

While many folks around the world know the importance of the 3 R's, surely the wise and magical Tooth Fairy recycles and reuses all those pearly whites? And just in case you miss this one, National Tooth Fairy Day is also observed on August 22.

National Public Sleeping Day

If the winter blues have you down in the dumps these days, this may be your lucky day! And if a little nap sounds perfect right about now, go grab your blankie! February 28 is (National) Public Sleeping Day! Hooray!

While the origins of this annual "holiday" are unknown, chances are pretty good the creator was probably just as tired as the rest of us. While sleeping on the job is not recommended, anyone can celebrate National Public Sleeping Day. Whether you choose to do it on the bus, on the train, in the cafeteria or in the confines of your own home, a little snooze may just be what the doctor ordered!

So turn off all those handy-dandy electronic gadgets, put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door, turn off the lights and get ready to enjoy an afternoon siesta. When you wake up, chances are pretty good you'll be refreshed and ready to get back to work. Just remember - it's back to the old routine tomorrow!

Rare Disease Day

Rare Disease Day is an annual, awareness-raising event co-ordinated by EURORDIS at the international level and by National Alliances and Patient Organisations at the national level. 

The main objective of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives.

The campaign targets primarily the general public but it is also designed for patients and patient representatives, as well as politicians, public authorities, policy-makers, industry representatives, researchers, health professionals and anyone who has a genuine interest in rare diseases.

Since Rare Disease Day was first launched by EURORDIS and its Council of National Alliances in 2008, more than 1000 events have taken place throughout the world reaching hundreds of thousands of people and resulting in a great deal of media coverage.

The political momentum resulting from the Day has also served for advocacy purposes. It has notably contributed to the advancement of national plans and policies for rare diseases in a number of countries.

Even though the campaign started as a European event, it has progressively become a world event, with over 70 countries participating in 2013. We hope many more will join in 2014. Our objective is for the WHO to recognize the last day of February as the official Rare Disease Day and to raise increasing awareness for Rare Diseases worldwide. 

A disease or disorder is defined as rare in Europe when it affects fewer than 1 in 2000.

A disease or disorder is defined as rare in the USA when it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans at any given time.

One rare disease may affect only a handful of patients in the EU (European Union), and another touch as many as 245,000. In the EU, as many as 30 million people alone may be affected by one of over 6000 rare diseases existing.
  • 80% of rare diseases have identified genetic origins whilst others are the result of infections (bacterial or viral), allergies and environmental causes, or are degenerative and proliferative.
  • 50% of rare diseases touch children.
Characteristics of rare diseases
Over 6000 rare diseases are characterized by a broad diversity of disorders and symptoms that vary not only from disease to disease but also from patient to patient suffering from the same disease.

Relatively common symptoms can hide underlying rare diseases leading to misdiagnosis and delaying treatment. Quintessentially disabling, the patients quality of life is affected by the lack or loss of autonomy due to the chronic, progressive, degenerative, and frequently life-threatening aspects of the disease.

The fact that there are often no existing effective cures adds to the high level of pain and suffering endured by patients and their families.

Common problems faced
The lack of scientific knowledge and quality information on the disease often results in a delay in diagnosis. Also the need for appropriate quality health care engenders inequlities and difficulties in access to treatment and care. This often results in heavy social and financial burdens on patients.

As mentioned, due to the broad diversity of disorders and relatively common symptoms which can hide underlying rare diseases, initial misdiagnosis is common. In addition symptoms differ not only from disease to disease, but also from patient to patient suffering from the same disease.

How can things change?
Although rare disease patients and their families face many challenges, enormous progress is being made every day.

The ongoing implementation of a better comprehensive approach to rare diseases has led to the development of appropriate public health policies. Important gains continue to be made with the increase of international cooperation in the field of clinical and scientific research as well as the sharing of scientific knowledge about all rare diseases, not only the most “recurrent” ones. Both of these advances have led to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

However, the road ahead is long with much progress to be made.