Saturday, March 8, 2014

Holidays and Observances for March 8 2014

Genealogy Day

Genealogy, or the study of family history, is one of the fastest growing hobbies today. With the advent of modern technology, such as computers and the internet, searching for records of your ancestors has become much more accessible.

Established in 1997 as part of Celebrate Your Name Week, Genealogy Day was created to inspire an interest on one’s family history.

Activities you could partake in for Genealogy Day range from a simple family tree, which is a great activity for children, to starting your own research for a larger project. A great starting point for genealogy is interviewing family and family friends, and making notes, then going from there. You’ll be amazed how quickly things can start to fall into place. If you want to try an activity with children, draw a tree and have them write the names of their family onto the branches and leaves, along with pictures.

Girls Write Now Day

A television writer and a high school student unpack laptops at a coffee shop and debate narrative structure. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist breaks down her technique to an audience of eager young women. A high school principal invites a promising student into her office and hands her an application. A writer finally gets the cadence of her poem just right and her heart beats a little faster with pride. This is Girls Write Now.

Founded in 1998, Girls Write Now is the first organization in the country with a writing and mentoring model exclusively for girls. Girls Write Now provides guidance, support, and opportunities for at-risk and underserved girls from New York City’s public high schools to develop their creative, independent voices, explore careers in professional writing, and learn how to make healthy school, career and life choices.

100% of Girls Write Now’s seniors graduate high school—bringing with them portfolios, awards, scholarships, new skills, and a sense of confidence. Mentees from the Class of 2012 won an astounding 27 regional and national awards in the Scholastic Arts & Writing competition, along with full scholarships through Posse and Questbridge, among others. Girls Write Now has built a record of achievement and innovation that has been recognized twice by the White House, by The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, and the global branding firm Siegel+Gale. In 2012, Youth, I.N.C. honored GWN as one of the most enterprising nonprofits improving the lives of New York City youth.

International Fanny Pack Day

The fanny pack is a powerful accessory.  I'll never forget the images of my mother and father sporting fanny packs in the early 1990s on our family vacation.  It was hard enough to look "cool" walking around the Florida Keys with with my chalk white skin and attached to my parents.  The fact that my dad was sporting an ugly leather fanny pack only made it worse.  I was forced to pretend that I had no idea who these obvious geeky tourists were, completely unaware that it was obvious that I was their sullen and embarassed teenager.  My father, big on function and impressed by convenient design, loved his fanny pack.  He wore it without shame every place we went.

But despite the fact that it was the world's most hideous accessory, I couldn't help but appreciate the true genius in the functionality of the fanny pack.  My father could keep all of his valuables around his waist, hands-free.  My father never wore his fanny pack situated at the small of his back, because his common sense told him that it makes it much easier to steal from someone that way. 

Today we celebrate International Fanny Pack Day.  If they weren't so unflattering, I think they might have otherwise be in fashion today.  Still used by hikers and travelers who need to rely on function over fashion, there is no doubt that fanny packs serve a purpose. 

But the fact remains that the appearance of a fanny pack on a parental unit will always cause teens to roll their eyes and pretend they don't know who the dork in the fanny pack really is.

What are your favorite fanny pack stories? Happy International Fanny Pack Day.

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

International Women’s Day events are held worldwide on March 8. Various women, including political, community, and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities, are usually invited to speak at various events on the day. Such events may include seminars, conferences, luncheons, dinners or breakfasts. The messages given at these events often focus on various themes such as innovation, the portrayal of women in the media, or the importance of education and career opportunities.

Many students in schools and other educational settings participate in special lessons, debates or presentations about the importance of women in society, their influence, and issues that affect them.  In some countries school children bring gifts to their female teachers and women receive small presents from friends or family members. Many workplaces make a special mention about International Women’s Day through internal newsletters or notices, or by handing out promotional material focusing on the day.

Much progress has been made to protect and promote women’s rights in recent times. However, nowhere in the world can women claim to have all the same rights and opportunities as men, according to the UN. The majority of the world's 1.3 billion absolute poor are women. On average, women receive between 30 and 40 percent less pay than men earn for the same work. Women also continue to be victims of violence, with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women worldwide.

The first International Women’s Day occurred on March 19 in 1911. The inaugural event, which included rallies and organized meetings, was a big success in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The March 19 date was chosen because it commemorated the day that the Prussian king promised to introduce votes for women in 1848. The promise gave hope for equality but it was a promise that he failed to keep.  The International Women’s Day date was moved to March 8 in 1913.

The UN drew global attention to women's concerns in 1975 by calling for an International Women's Year. It also convened the first conference on women in Mexico City that year. The UN General Assembly then invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women's Rights and International Peace in 1977. The day aimed to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focused on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development.  International Men’s Day is also celebrated on November 19 each year.

The International Women’s Day logo is in purple and white and features the symbol of Venus, which is also the symbol of being female.  The faces of women of all backgrounds, ages, and nations are also seen in various promotions, such as posters, postcards and information booklets, on International Women’s Day.  Various messages and slogans that promote the day are also publicized during this time of the year.

National Peanut Cluster Day

March 8 is National Peanut Cluster Day!

As winter winds down and spring is about to burst forth, there’s no better time of year to celebrate this sweet cluster of peanutty goodness.

Why do peanut clusters get their own holiday? Well, I’d have to say it’s because so many people love crunching on the good taste of peanuts. Most foods in America have their own day set aside for celebration and sometimes we don’t need much more of a reason to celebrate, do we?

So what is a peanut cluster? It’s nothing more than a crunchy bundle of peanuts held together by melted chocolate.

Peanut clusters are super simple to make. You melt some chocolate and then toss with your favorite brand of de-shelled peanuts. The more peanuts you use, the more crunchy and nutritious your snack will be, since peanuts are a powerhouse of protein.

Then stir the chocolate and peanuts together and place in rounded “clusters” on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper. If you want them to harden quickly, put them in the freezer or refrigerator and wait until the chocolate becomes solid. Otherwise, let them harden into mounds at room temperature. Presto! You’re on your way to a festive celebration of National Peanut Cluster Day.

National Proofreading Day

National Proofreading Day kicks off March 8 to promote error-free writing and communication to enhance a professional and personal image. The national events include a daily countdown with 30 Proofreading Tips in 30 Days on Twitter. The National Proofreading Day Facebook page promotes accuracy in communication while allowing the community to share funny typos, tell a favorite proofreading story, and connect with people who have Red Pen Syndrome.

What’s a professional image in written messages? No typos and proper grammar. Because people have just one chance to make a first impression, commit to enhancing professionalism through error-free messages. Celebrate National Proofreading Day by re-reading messages to correct all mistakes before sending.
Errors are everywhere—in newspapers, books, e-mails, PowerPoint presentations. Judy Beaver, the founder of National Proofreading Day, agrees with Grammar Girl (A.K.A. Mignon Fogarty): “Forget ‘dress for success,’ now it’s ‘write for success.’”

Beaver’s mom, Flo, loved to correct people, especially for their language errors. So, Flo’s birthday, March 8, is the day to encourage people to correct their writing. Make a professional first impression.

Ten Tips for Proofreading Effectively:
There's no foolproof formula for perfect proofreading every time. As Mark Twain realized, it's just too tempting to see what we meant to write rather than the words that actually appear on the page or screen. But these 10 tips should help you see (or hear) your errors before anybody else does.
  1. Give it a rest. If time allows, set your text aside for a few hours (or days) after you've finished composing, and then proofread it with fresh eyes. Rather than remember the perfect paper you meant to write, you're more likely to see what you've actually written.
  2. Look for one type of problem at a time. Read through your text several times, concentrating first on sentence structures, then word choice, then spelling, and finally punctuation. As the saying goes, if you look for trouble, you're likely to find it.
  3. Double-check facts, figures, and proper names. In addition to reviewing for correct spelling and usage, make sure that all the information in your text is accurate.
  4. Review a hard copy. Print out your text and review it line by line: rereading your work in a different format may help you catch errors that you previously missed.
  5. Read your text aloud. Or better yet, ask a friend or colleague to read it aloud. You may hear a problem (a faulty verb ending, for example, or a missing word) that you haven't been able to see.
  6. Use a spellchecker. The spellchecker can help you catch repeated words, reversed letters, and many other common errors--but it's certainly not goofproof.
  7. Trust your dictionary. Your spellchecker can tell you only if a word is a word, not if it's the right word. For instance, if you're not sure whether sand is in a desert or a dessert, visit the dictionary (or our Glossary of Commonly Confused Words).
  8. Read your text backward. Another way to catch spelling errors is to read backward, from right to left, starting with the last word in your text. Doing this will help you focus on individual words rather than sentences.
  9. Create your own proofreading checklist. Keep a list of the types of mistakes you commonly make, and then refer to that list each time you proofread.
  10. Ask for help. Invite someone else to proofread your text after you have reviewed it. A new set of eyes may immediately spot errors that you've overlooked.