Thursday, March 27, 2014

Holidays and Observances for March 27 2014

National Spanish Paella Day

Invite the whole family and then some for a pile-on paella party - March 27 is National Paella Day.

Not only is this dish rich in a multitude of flavorful ingredients, but paella is just bursting with a storied heritage as well. None of the three varieties are the same, so you'll have plenty to keep you occupied today.

Originally created in Valencia on the east coast of Spain, it has been called Spain's national dish by non-residents, but proud Valencians refer to it as one of their main symbols. Varieties include Valenciana (no surprise there), de marisco (seafood), mixta (a mixture of meat and seafood) and vegetariana (vegetable).

Valencian paella typically combines short-grain white rice, chicken, rabbit, snails, butter beans, great northern beans, artichokes, tomatoes, rosemary, sweet paprika, saffron and garlic. Seafood, as you can guess, substitutes fresh fruits of the sea for the meat and beans. And somewhere down the line, people living outside of Valencia mixed the two recipes together, creating mixed paella.

Making paella involves toasting a layer of rice at the bottom of the giant paella pan over an open flame or burner. The name of the crisp rice that sticks to the bottom of the pan is socorrat.

Try paella with poblanos for a spicy dinner. One thing is for sure - with paella, you won't need side dishes for the one-pan meal that makes enough to feed an army.

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day

Today is Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day! What country music song always puts a smile on your face? Perhaps it’s Johnny Cash's "Every Time I Itch I Wind Up Scratching You," Kenny Chesney's "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," or Homer & Jethro's "She Made Toothpicks Out Of The Timber Of My Heart." Today is the day to pay tribute to these unique songs!

Country music evolved from Appalachian folk music in the 1920s and became a nationwide sensation in the 1940s. The Grand Ole Opry radio station in Nashville, Tennessee began broadcasting weekly concerts that showcased all the different genres of country music—hillbilly, honky-tonk, bluegrass, western, rockabilly, gospel, and more.

In honor of today’s Reason to Celebrate, put on your cowboy hat, get out your banjo, and belt out your favorite quirky country music song!

Viagra Day

On this day in 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves use of the drug Viagra, an oral medication that treats impotence.

Sildenafil, the chemical name for Viagra, is an artificial compound that was originally synthesized and studied to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (a form of cardiovascular disease). Chemists at the Pfizer pharmaceutical company found, however, that while the drug had little effect on angina, it could induce penile erections, typically within 30 to 60 minutes. Seeing the economic opportunity in such a biochemical effect, Pfizer decided to market the drug for impotence. Sildenafil was patented in 1996, and a mere two years later–a stunningly short time compared to other drugs–it was approved by the FDA for use in treating "erectile dysfunction," the new clinical name for impotence. Though unconfirmed, it is believed the drug was invented by Peter Dunn and Albert Wood.

Viagra's massive success was practically instantaneous. In the first year alone, the $8-$10 pills yielded about a billion dollars in sales. Viagra's impact on the pharmaceutical and medical industries, as well as on the public consciousness, was also enormous. Though available by prescription only, Viagra was marketed on television, famously touted by ex-presidential candidate Bob Dole, then in his mid-70s. Such direct-to-consumer marketing was practically unprecedented for prescription drugs (now, sales and marketing account for approximately 30 percent of the pharmaceutical industry's costs, in some cases more than research and development). The drug was also offered over the internet–customers needed only to fill out an "online consultation" to receive samples.

An estimated 30 million men in the United States suffer from erectile dysfunction and a wave of new Viagra competitors, among them Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil), has blown open the market. Drug companies are now not just targeting older men like Dole, but men in their 30s and 40s, too. As with many drugs, the long-term effects of Viagra on men's health are still unclear (Viagra does carry warnings for those who suffer from heart trouble), but its popularity shows no signs of slowing. To date, over 20 million Americans have tried it, and that number is sure to increase as the baby boomer population continues to age.

National “Joe” Day

On the heels of Make Up Your Own Holiday Day, March 27 celebrates several non-traditional holidays. Not only is it Viagra Day and Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day, March 27 is also National Joe Day! No "jo-ke!"

While the origins of this annual holiday are unknown, chances are pretty good someone named Joe came up with the idea! Whether you enjoy the day by drinking a steamin' cup of Joe or celebrate with all your friends named Joe, today is dedicated to all things Joe!

Joseph is one of America's most beloved names. Many actors, sports legends, politicians, phrases and establishments have had the popular moniker. According to Baby Name Facts, Joseph was the fifth most popular name in America during the early 1900s. In 2011, the name ranked 22nd in popularity.

Famous & Infamous Joes
  • Joseph - Bible
  • Vice President Joe Biden
  • Joseph Lieberman - politician
  • Joe Stalin - Soviet Union Premier
  • Joltin' Joe DiMaggio - baseball legend, married to Marilyn Monroe
  • "Broadway Joe" Namath - football player
  • Joe Theismann - football player/actor
  • Joe Montana - football player
  • "Shoeless Joe" Jackson - baseball player
  • Joe Frazier - boxing champion/actor
  • Joe Paterno - disgraced college football coach
  • Joe Giradi - baseball player
  • Joey Bishop - actor/comedian
  • Joe Pesci - actor
  • Joe Don Baker - actor
  • Joe Penny - actor
  • Joey Lawrence - actor/producer
  • Joe Piscopo - actor/writer
  • Joseph Fiennes - actor/director/producer
  • Joe Simpson - father of Ashley and Jessica Simpson
  • Joe Mantegna - actor/producer/director
  • Joseph Bologna - actor/writer/director
  • Joseph Bottoms - actor
  • Joe Costner - actor and son of Kevin Costner
  • Joseph Kennedy - father of John F. Kennedy
  • Joe Cocker - singer
  • Joe Walsh - Eagles guitarist
  • Joey Fatone - 'N Sync singer/actor
  • Joe Jonas - singer/actor
  • Joe Perry - Aerosmith guitarist/songwriter
  • Joseph Barbera - cartoonist/producer/writer
  • Joe Cool
  • Joe Blow
  • Joey Buttafuoco - known for his highly publicized affair with Amy Fisher, who shot Buttafuoco's wife
  • Joe Schmo
  • G.I. Joe
  • Joe the Plumber
  • Jos E. Banks
  • Joe Mama
  • Cup of Joe
  • Trader Joe's