Monday, June 30, 2014

Holidays and Observances for June 30 2014

Leap Second Time Adjustment Day

What are leap seconds?
They last only a heartbeat and go unnoticed by most - but without leap seconds our clocks would run too fast.

About every one and a half years, one extra second is added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and clocks around the world. This leap second accounts for the fact that the Earth's rotation around its own axis, which determines the length of a day, slows down over time while the atomic clocks we use to measure time tick away at almost the same speed over millions of years.

So, leap seconds are a means to adjust our clocks to the Earth's slowing rotation.

How many leap seconds have been added so far?
Since 1972, a total of 25 seconds have been added. This means that the Earth has slowed down 25 seconds compared to atomic time since then.

This does not mean that days are 25 seconds longer nowadays. Only the days on which the leap seconds are inserted have 86,401 instead of the usual 86,400 seconds.

When are leap seconds added?
Leap seconds are inserted at the end of the last day in June or December. When that is the case, UTC ticks from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 before reverting to 00:00:00 (in the 12-hour format, this corresponds to 11:59:59 pm - 11:59:60 pm - 12:00:00 midnight). When that happens the last minute of the month has 61 instead of 60 seconds.

The last time a leap second was added to UTC was at 23:59:60 UTC on June 30, 2012 (see table). The difference between UTC and the International Atomic Time (UTC-TAI) from July 1, 2012 is -35 sec.

Who decides when leap seconds are added?
The International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service (IERS) observes the Earth's rotation and compares it to atomic time. When the difference between the two approaches 0.9 seconds, they order a leap second to be added worldwide.

National Mai Tai Day

Mai Tai’s could possibly be called the most famous and well-known drink of Hawaii.  And maybe one of the most delicious, after all, who doesn’t love a Mai Tai? Sweet and sensuous rum, mixed with golden glorious fruit juices and liquers, garnished with succulent pineapple. Mai Tais are great after a long, sunny day at the beach. Mai Tais are great with pupus, and great on their own.  Mai Tai’s are great to drink while (and perhaps even inspired by) watching the sun set.  Mai Tai’s are everyone’s favorite when on vacation.

“Maitai” in Tahitian means “good” and the Mai Tai has come to symbolize Tahitian-style, Tiki Bar and Hawaiian culture, reminiscent of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

In Honor of the Mai Tai, they’ve given the drink its own day … and that day is August 30. While there has been some dispute over the actual, official date of National Mai Tai Day, some say it is the 30th of August and others (notably “A History of Drinking Blog”) say it is June 30, I find the believers of the August 30 date to be the most convincing. In any event, there is no harm in celebrating Mai Tai Day on both days. 

For a little history on the drink, you should know that the Mai Tai was purportedly invented by Victor J. Bergeron is August 1944. Bergeron was the proprietor of Tader Vic’s in Oakland. There is some controversy here, too, because Don the Beachcomber, of Los Angeles, also claimed to have invented the drink, though he said he invented it years earlier, in 1933.  Both drinks taste different and have different recipes, and there seem to be many other different variations of the drink, as well.  But either way, this drink was not invented in Hawaii, but in California, though it is on just about every bar menu in the Hawaiian islands.

National Meteor Day

National Meteor Day is celebrated on June 30th of each year. A meteoroid is a sand- to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar System. The visible path of a meteoroid that enters Earth’s (or another body’s) atmosphere is called a meteor, or colloquially a shooting star or falling star. If a meteoroid reaches the ground and survives impact, then it is called a meteorite. Many meteors appearing seconds or minutes apart are called a meteor shower. The root word meteor comes from the Greek meteōros, meaning “high in the air”.

Around 15,000 tonnes of meteoroids, space dust, and debris of different types enters Earth’s atmosphere each year.

As of 2011 the International Astronomical Union officially defines a meteoroid as “a solid object moving in interplanetary space, of a size considerably smaller than an asteroid and considerably larger than an atom”. Beech and Steel, writing in Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, proposed a new definition where a meteoroid is between 100 µm and 10 m across. Following the discovery and naming of asteroids below 10 m in size (e.g., 2008 TC3), Rubin and Grossman refined the Beech and Steel definition of meteoroid to objects between 10 µm and 1 m in diameter. The NEO definition includes larger objects, up to 50 m in diameter, in this category. Very small meteoroids are known as micrometeoroids (see also interplanetary dust).

The Minor Planet Center does not use the term “meteoroid”.

The composition of meteoroids can be determined as they pass through Earth’s atmosphere from their trajectories and the light spectra of the resulting meteor. Their effects on radio signals also give information, especially useful for daytime meteors which are otherwise very difficult to observe. From these trajectory measurements, meteoroids have been found to have many different orbits, some clustering in streams (see Meteor showers) often associated with a parent comet, others apparently sporadic. Debris from meteoroid streams may eventually be scattered into other orbits. The light spectra, combined with trajectory and light curve measurements, have yielded various compositions and densities, ranging from fragile snowball-like objects with density about a quarter that of ice, to nickel-iron rich dense rocks.

Meteoroids travel around the Sun in a variety of orbits and at various velocities. The fastest ones move at about 26 miles per second (42 kilometers per second) through space in the vicinity of Earth’s orbit. The Earth travels at about 18 miles per second (29 kilometers per second). Thus, when meteoroids meet the Earth’s atmosphere head-on (which would only occur if the meteors were in a retrograde orbit), the combined speed may reach about 44 miles per second (71 kilometers per second). Meteoroids moving through the earth’s orbital space average about 20 km/s.

A meteor is the visible path of a meteoroid that has entered the Earth’s atmosphere. Meteors typically occur in the mesosphere, and most range in altitude from 75 km to 100 km. Millions of meteors occur in the Earth’s atmosphere every day. Most meteoroids that cause meteors are about the size of a pebble.

The velocities of meteors result from the movement of the Earth around the Sun with about 30 km/s, the orbital speeds of meteoroids, and the gravitational attraction of the Earth.

Please Take My Children To Work Day

Let's face it. Whether you work inside the home or outside the house, being a mom is not only one of the best, most rewarding "jobs" there is, but it can also be one of the most overwhelming and difficult jobs on the planet.

Each year, a special day in June is dedicated to stay-at-home moms around the world. It's Please Take My Children to Work Day. Author and blogger Jen Singer created this annual tongue-in-cheek holiday "as a way for at-home moms to explain why they need a break now and then, no matter what their husbands, family or friends think." Not to be confused with the annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, observed in April, this particular holiday encourages full and/or part-time stay-at-home moms to take a much deserved break from the kids.

Moms play many roles. From chauffeur, chef, negotiator and nurse to psychiatrist, seamstress, cheerleader, teacher and housekeeper, a mother's work is never done. So go ahead. It's time to call the sitter, neighbor, relative or hubby and tell them you need some quality alone time with your favorite gal-pal - YOU! Whether you treat yourself to a quiet bubble bath at home, relaxing massage at your favorite spa, fabulous mani/pedicure, a leisurely stroll in the park or a fun girl's night out and about, today is the day to pamper and do something nice for yourself!

UPDATE: According to an email from the creator of this "holiday," the event is no longer observed.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Holidays and Observances for June 29 2014

National Almond Buttercrunch Day

It's crunch time! June 29 is National Almond Buttercrunch Day.

This nutty confection became increasingly popular in the 1940s, during World War II. The candy company Brown & Haley had developed their own recipe for almond buttercrunch a few years earlier, and J.C. Haley, the company's co-founder, had the nutty idea of storing it in tins. He figured that if tins kept his coffee fresh, they’d do the same for his beloved candy.

The buttercrunch was shipped to soldiers fighting overseas and soon became an international hit. Brown & Haley called it Almond Roca because most of the almonds during that time were exported from Spain, and "roca," the Spanish word for rock, is indicative of the candy's crunchy texture.

Almond buttercrunch requires only a few ingredients: butter, sugar, salt and almonds. The butter and sugar are melted together to form a toffee, which is then poured over crushed almonds.

Some recipes have chocolate chips in them, and some are dipped in chocolate. If the confection lasts long enough (i.e. you don't eat it all in one sitting), store your buttercrunch in an airtight container - perhaps even a tin.

National Camera Day

National Camera Day is celebrated on June 29th of each year.

A camera is a device that records and stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the word camera obscura (Latin for “dark chamber”), an early mechanism for projecting images. The modern camera evolved from the camera obscura.

Cameras may work with the light of the visible spectrum or with other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. A camera generally consists of an enclosed hollow with an opening (aperture) at one end for light to enter, and a recording or viewing surface for capturing the light at the other end. A majority of cameras have a lens positioned in front of the camera’s opening to gather the incoming light and focus all or part of the image on the recording surface. The diameter of the aperture is often controlled by a diaphragm mechanism, but some cameras have a fixed-size aperture. Most cameras use an electronic image sensor to store photographs on Flash memory. Other cameras including the majority from the 20th century use photographic film.

The still camera takes one photo each time the user presses the shutter button. A typical movie camera continuously takes 24 film frames per second as long as the user holds down the shutter button, or until the shutter button is pressed a second time.

The forerunner to the photographic camera was the camera obscura. In the fifth century B.C., the Chinese philosopher Mo Ti noted that a pinhole can form an inverted and focused image, when light passes through the hole and into a dark area. Mo Ti is the first recorded person to have exploited this phenomenon to trace the inverted image to create a picture. Writing in the fourth century B.C., Aristotle also mentioned this principle. He described observing a partial solar eclipse in 330 B.C. by seeing the image of the Sun projected through the small spaces between the leaves of a tree. In the tenth century, the Arabic scholar Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) also wrote about observing a solar eclipse through a pinhole, and he described how a sharper image could be produced by making the opening of the pinhole smaller. English philosopher Roger Bacon wrote about these optical principles in his 1267 treatise Perspectiva. By the fifteenth century, artists and scientists were using this phenomenon to make observations. Originally, an observer had to enter an actual room, in a which a pinhole was made on one wall. On the opposite wall, the observer would view the inverted image of the outside. The name camera obscura, Latin for “dark room”, derives from this early implementation of the optical phenomenon.

The actual name of camera obscura was applied by mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler in his Ad Vitellionem paralipomena of 1604. He later added a lens and made the apparatus transportable, in the form of a tent. British scientist Robert Boyle and his assistant Robert Hooke developed a portable camera obscura in the 1660s.

The first camera obscura that was small enough for practical use as a portable drawing aid was built by Johann Zahn in 1685. At that time there was no way to preserve the images produced by such cameras except by manually tracing them. However, it had long been known that various substances were bleached or darkened or otherwise changed by exposure to light. Seeing the magical miniature pictures that light temporarily “painted” on the screen of a small camera obscura inspired several experimenters to search for some way of automatically making highly detailed permanent copies of them by means of some such substance.

Early photographic cameras were usually in the form of a pair of nested boxes, the end of one carrying the lens and the end of the other carrying a removable ground glass focusing screen. By sliding them closer together or farther apart, objects at various distances could be brought to the sharpest focus as desired. After a satisfactory image had been focused on the screen, the lens was covered and the screen was replaced with the light-sensitive material. The lens was then uncovered and the exposure continued for the required time, which for early experimental materials could be several hours or even days. The first permanent photograph of a camera image was made in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce using a sliding wooden box camera made by Charles and Vincent Chevalier in Paris.

Similar cameras were used for exposing the silver-surfaced copper Daguerreotype plates, commercially introduced in 1839, which were the first practical photographic medium. The collodion wet plate process that gradually replaced the Daguerreotype during the 1850s required photographers to coat and sensitize thin glass or iron plates shortly before use and expose them in the camera while still wet. Early wet plate cameras were very simple and little different from Daguerreotype cameras, but more sophisticated designs eventually appeared. The Dubroni of 1864 allowed the sensitizing and developing of the plates to be carried out inside the camera itself rather than in a separate darkroom. Other cameras were fitted with multiple lenses for photographing several small portraits on a single larger plate, useful when making cartes de visite. It was during the wet plate era that the use of bellows for focusing became widespread, making the bulkier and less easily adjusted nested box design obsolete.

For many years, exposure times were long enough that the photographer simply removed the lens cap, counted off the number of seconds (or minutes) estimated to be required by the lighting conditions, then replaced the cap. As more sensitive photographic materials became available, cameras began to incorporate mechanical shutter mechanisms that allowed very short and accurately timed exposures to be made.

The electronic video camera tube was invented in the 1920s, starting a line of development that eventually resulted in digital cameras, which largely supplanted film cameras after the turn of the 21st century.

Waffle Iron Day

Ahhh the Waffle Iron, creator of some of the most delicious breakfast delicacies the world round. There’s so many different types of them as well, you have your regular waffle iron, your deluxe multi-waffle irons that make more than one at a time, round ones, Belgian waffle-makers with their deep squares and thick waffles begging to be topped with strawberries and cream. Waffle Iron Day is the perfect time to celebrate this delicious breakfast staple!

Waffle Irons were first found in that area of Northwestern Europe known as the Low Countries, which includes Belgium and the Netherlands as well as other places. Originally they were made to be used over an open flame, and were thus constructed on the end of two long, typically wooden, handles with a clamshell system at one end, which would be held over a fire to bake.

The origin of the waffle iron can be traced back to the middle ages, where they were developed from a device known as the ‘wafer iron’. These were commonly used in the creation of the communion wafer, but larger varieties existed, consisting of nothing more than two flat irons often engraved with elaborate scenes. For the communion wafer, it was depictions of the crucifixion of Christ. While the larger secular designs varied widely, often engraved with artistic floral designs, illumination, or just about any other form of design you could imagine.

Later, during the 17th and 18th centuries, they were developed further by the Dutch. Sugar was particularly precious at that time, sometimes catching as much as a half an ounce of silver for a kilogram of sugar. During this time the mestiers were particularly popular among the rich, being made of only the finest ingredients, and sweetened with the precious sugar.

Waffle Irons are used to more than just the simple breakfast food that they’re well known for. Gouda in the Netherlands is the home of a delicious cookie type treat known as a ‘stroopwafel’. Developed by Gerard Kamphuisen, this sweet syrup filled confection was quite popular, leading to a boom where up to 100 stroopwafel makers were to be found in the city. The stroopwafel has since become quite popular around the world.

One of the most popular uses of waffles came about seemingly by accident, allegedly created by George Bang in 1904. He had run out of bowls to give out with his Banner Creamery Ice Cream, and started giving out rolled up waffles to use instead. It’s alleged because there are other origin stories as well, including a Belgium gent from Ghent, who moved to Norfolk, Virginia, and decided that a rolled up Waffle was the perfect place to put a scoop of ice-cream!

Waffle Iron Day is a great opportunity to head out and get yourself a new waffle iron. There are a ton of options available these days, even novelty ones shaped as everything from Mickey Mouse to the state of Texas. You can get particularly creative and make an entire menu from waffles, spanning from breakfast to dinner, and everything in between. Waffle-cone ice-cream, breakfast waffles loaded with whipped cream and berries, the always popular chicken and waffles for dinner, and snacks the day through served on specially seasoned savory waffles!

If nothing else, spend Waffle Iron Day looking into the history of this delightful and always creative food. There’s something inspiring about how so simple a concept spread to embrace the world and shape some of our favorite treats. Happy Waffle Iron Day!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Holidays and Observances for June 28 2014






 International Caps Lock Day is in fact a testament to the small mindedness of certain Western individuals: the majority of the world’s population writes in scripts which have no concept of letter casing. Therefore it is advised to laugh at anyone who invokes this day as an excuse to dismiss local typographical conventions: they are simply making an ass out of themselves.




National Tapioca Day

National Tapioca Day is an informal food holiday celebrated on June 28. National Tapioca Day is one of the many food holidays that do not have a clear, recognized origin, even though they appear in blog posts and food holiday lists online. There is no clear endorsement or announcement of National Tapioca Day by a retailer or manufacturer of tapioca, or by a government official.

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the root of the cassava plant, Manihot esculenta. This starch has many uses, not all of them for food. Due to its properties, tapioca starch has applications as an ingredient for glues and other products. Tapioca starch is also used in manufacturing processes, such as in the manufacture of alcohol, beverages, paper, confectionery, textiles, and other products.

Tapioca is gluten free, and contains almost no protein. As a food or ingredient, tapioca can take many different forms. When used in cooking, tapioca starch or tapioca flour can serve as a thickener or gelling agent, as a stabilizer, or to create the body of a glazy jelly for sweet pie fillings. It is a popular product for uses such as these due to its ability to withstand heat, cold, and even freezing.

As well as a flour, tapioca is also processed into other forms, such as flakes, small rectangular sticks, or round granules known as pearl tapioca. Pearl tapioca is also sometimes called tapioca seed, even though this is not an accurate description of what the pearls of tapioca are.

Pearl tapioca is the form seen in tapioca pudding and other desserts featuring the familiar round, soft bubbles. Some recipes which use pearl tapioca have the word sago in their name, even though sago is a different product from a different plant. This is probably because in many cases, recipes originally using sago balls now replace them with the very similar tapioca pearls. Pearl tapioca is also the form seen in bubble tea.

One of the earliest references to a concept of a special day for tapioca seems to be an episode of the animated cartoon series Garfield and Friends. An episode of the show from 1988 included a short gag entitled National Tapioca Pudding Day.

Sources mentioning National Tapioca Day do not give any official origin or reason for the existence of this food holiday.

Tapioca starch has been used in Western countries for many years, at least since World War II. Tapioca has been used in other places for much longer, although it is not clear exactly how much longer.

National Tapioca Day is celebrated only by those who are interested in special food holidays, or those who use food holidays as writing topics or party themes.

There are many enjoyable ways to celebrate National Tapioca Day, due to the sheer number of applications of tapioca. A great variety of exotic-looking desserts can be made from tapioca, and they have the added bonus of interesting textures due to different forms and shapes that tapioca is sold in.

You could also make and share some homemade bubble tea for the occasion, or go out to enjoy bubble tea or tapioca desserts at a restaurant, cafe, or bubble tea outlet. Look out for bubble tea coupons, deals, or special offers that may be promoted in connection with the holiday.

Paul Bunyan Day

Paul Bunyan Day is celebrated to remember and commemorate a giant American legend. This mythological lumberman is manifested, in the stories, to have been very adept. He accomplished several feats, for instance the organization of logging in the US and the training of carpenter ants to help loggers.

Paul Bunyan day is a US Folktale celebration. It is commemorated on different days in different parts of the U.S. Mostly it is observed in 27-28th of June every year.

The legend of Paul Bunyan begin with tales told by men in lumber camps, in 1800's and was considered to have initiated among French Canadians in the time of the Papineau rebellion of 1837.

Paul Bunyan transformed into a legend as stories of this giant lumberjack who had to his credit incredible feats spread. Some of these stories are: he scooped out the big lakes for his blue ox, Babe; he cleared the lands of North and South Dakota to make it feasible for farming; he taught ants to perform logging work; and he had also been instrumental in creating logging in the U.S.

If the averments in the book “Paul Bunyan” of writer James Stevens is to be believed, which published in 1925, French Canadians conceptualized the tales during the Papineau Rebellion of 1837, when they rose against the young English Queen.

Later historians believed that Paul Bunyan, and particularly the idea of Bunyan as a giant lumberman coupled with a giant blue ox sidekick, was generated in the 20th century for a marketing campaign. Nonetheless there is no substantial evidence is available to support this myth.

Bunyan's birth was quite strange, as are the births of several legendaries, as it required five storks to carry the kid. When after some time he clapped and laughed, the vibration broke every window in the house. At the age of seven months, he sawed the legs off his parents' bed at night. Paul and Babe the Blue Ox dug the Grand Canyon when he carried his axe behind him. He formed Mount Hood by accumulating rocks on top of his campfire to put it out.

Babe the Blue Ox, Bunyan's mate, was a huge creature with extraordinary strength. Most myths of Bunyan manifest Babe the Blue Ox as being of massive size compared to everything else. Among other stories, a myth about the creation of huge lakes was also a tale in which Paul Bunyan required to make a watering hole sufficient enough for Babe to drink from. There are also tales narrating that the 10,000 Lakes of Minnesota were created from the footprints of Paul and Babe while they wandered endlessly in massive snowstorm.

Great American Backyard Campout

On June 28, 2014, thousands of people across the nation will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in an annual event that provides a fun-filled evening for all generations to get outside and connect with nature.

Great American Backyard Campout is a part of National Wildlife Federation’s efforts to help inspire Americans to protect wildlife, including a three-year campaign to get 10 million kids to spend regular outdoor time in nature.

The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization and we work with more than 4 million members, partners and supporters in communities across the country to protect wildlife and reconnect people with nature. Today, NWF continues to be the nation’s leading advocate for wildlife and wild places.

Since 2005, thousands of people from across the nation have come together the fourth Saturday of June to participate in the Great American Backyard Campout in support of Great Outdoors Month. This annual nationwide event is designed to promote the benefits of camping as a way to connect people with nature and support NWF’s efforts to get kids outdoors.

International Body Piercing Day

Throughout the world body modification has been used for many purposes, from self-expression, to rites of passage, shock value, even religious observances. There has been a growing movement in the western world driving body modification to the forefront of popular forms of expression and self-decoration. The history of body piercing isn't clear, as there is a lot of misleading information out there, but there is significant indicators that it has been practiced by both men and women since prehistory. Body Piercing Day is an opportunity for you to find a new way to express yourself with this age old practice.

Ear Piercing has been well known in Western Cultures for at least the last couple hundred years, and the evidence of it goes back quite a bit further, with evidence of ears and nose being pierced being discovered in the graves of many cultures, even as far back as 5,000 years ago. It was a well-known way of sending wealth along with the dead into the next life, and honoring them in their burial site.

But this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, lip and tongue piercings have been present in throughout the world, particularly well documented in African and American tribal cultures. Nipple can be tracked back at least as far the Ancient Romans, while genital piercing made a perhaps unexpected debut in Ancient India.

Body Piercing Day is originally dedicated to Jim Ward, often heralded as “the granddaddy of the body piercing movement”. Jim Ward has been an incredibly influential part of the new body modification movement, with a specific focus on body piercing. He has been part of the forward driving force for piercings in the western world, and helped to develop the basic techniques for piercing, with a special focus on genital piercings.

He is directly responsible for introducing the incredibly popular barbell piercing style to the US, the internal threading style of them was a vast improvement over existing piercing techniques. This technique he picked up from ‘Tattoo Samy’ from Frankfurt, who had come to visit him a number of times in the US after this.

Body Piercing Day is a great opportunity to finally take the plunge, and get yourself that piercing you've been contemplating. With the ability to choose from the ever growing selection of piercings, from ear piercings, nose piercings, lip, and cheek piercings, you can display your individuality with a piece that’s meaningful to you. 

Those are just the ones that are easily visible, when you take into account nipple piercings, the always sexy belly-button piercing, and the incredibly daring variety of genital piercings, there are tons of options for enhancing your life in some rather creative ways. Recent innovations have also brought into light the ‘dermal’, where a circle of skin is essentially punched out of your skin, and a mounting plate slipped under the surface. These can be placed just about anywhere on the body, but are quite common at the top of the sternum, with sparkling jewels or a loop ring being fastened on.

Body Piercing Day is a day to join the ever growing number of people who have started getting piercings. In England in 2005, a survey was done that revealed that 10% of people over the age of 16 have piercings in locations other than their earlobe. Women, as usual, are leading the charge in the newest form of fashion, and the men aren't far behind. Body Piercing Day is your day to be daring, so get out there and get pierced!

Insurance Awareness Day

Insurance Awareness Day is celebrated on June 28th of each year. The staff at National Whatever Day were unable to discover the origin of Insurance Awareness Day. However, we believe it was established as a way to share the importance of being insured in case of an emergency.

Insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the insurance; the insured, or policyholder, is the person or entity buying the insurance policy. The amount to be charged for a certain amount of insurance coverage is called the premium. Risk management, the practice of appraising and controlling risk, has evolved as a discrete field of study and practice.

The transaction involves the insured assuming a guaranteed and known relatively small loss in the form of payment to the insurer in exchange for the insurer’s promise to compensate (indemnify) the insured in the case of a financial (personal) loss. The insured receives a contract, called the insurance policy, which details the conditions and circumstances under which the insured will be financially compensated.

Insurance involves pooling funds from many insured entities (known as exposures) to pay for the losses that some may incur. The insured entities are therefore protected from risk for a fee, with the fee being dependent upon the frequency and severity of the event occurring. In order to be insurable, the risk insured against must meet certain characteristics in order to be an insurable risk. Insurance is a commercial enterprise and a major part of the financial services industry, but individual entities can also self-insure through saving money for possible future losses.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Holidays and Observances for June 27 2014

National HIV Testing Day

National HIV Testing Day is a reminder that when you know your HIV status, you can take care of yourself and your partners. HIV testing is recommended, it’s empowering, and it’s easy. Have you been tested?

Get Tested on National HIV Testing Day, June 27
This year marks the 20th annual National HIV Testing Day, a time to promote one of our best tools for HIV prevention.

Too many people—one in six—who are living with HIV are not aware of it. That means they are not getting the treatment they need to stay healthy and may pass the virus on to others without knowing it.

HIV can be spread when someone with HIV has sex or shares injection drug equipment with someone who does not have HIV. If the partner with HIV is on medicine to treat HIV (antiretroviral therapy, or ART), or the partner who is HIV-negative is on medicine to prevent HIV infection (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP), the risk can be much lower.

Testing Is Recommended
CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and that some people with risk factors get tested more often. Gay and bisexual men, people with more than one sex partner, people with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and people who inject drugs are at high risk and should get tested at least once a year.

You should also be tested if you have been sexually assaulted or if you are a woman who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Testing Is Empowering
When you know your HIV status, you can take care of yourself and your partner(s). If you find out that you are infected with HIV (if you test positive), you can seek medical care and get treatment. Besides allowing you to live a longer, healthier life, being on ART can protect the health of your partners because it can greatly reduce the risk that you can pass HIV to others.

If you don't have HIV (if you test negative), you can take steps to stay negative, such as using condoms consistently and asking your health care provider about PrEP if you are at substantial risk. Remember that if you have risky sex or share needles for drug use after you've tested negative for HIV, you need to get tested again to make sure you are still HIV-negative. Your HIV test result "expires" every time you have risky sex or share needles or related works.

Testing Is Easy
Getting tested for HIV is easier than ever. You can ask your doctor for a test, check National HIV and STD Testing Resources for a nearby testing site, call 1-800-CDC-INFO, or text your ZIP code to "KNOW IT" (566948). Health insurance usually covers the test, and some sites offer free testing. You can also use one of the FDA-approved home testing kits.

What You Can Do
Everyone can
  • Get tested at least once for HIV.
  • Get tested once a year or more often if you are at risk of getting HIV.
  • Lower your risk of getting HIV by using condoms, using PrEP if appropriate, limiting your number of partners, choosing less risky sexual behaviors, and getting checked for STDs, which can increase the risk of HIV transmission. See our Prevention Q&Asfor more HIV prevention options.
  • If you have HIV, get medical care and treatment as soon as possible to stay healthier longer and lower your risk of passing the virus to others.
Health care providers can
  • Offer patients HIV tests as a routine part of their health care, as recommended by CDC and the US Public Health Service. See resources for the HIV Screening. Standard Care. campaign.
  • Test women for HIV each time they are pregnant.
  • Connect people at high risk for HIV to services that help them lower their risk and prevent them from getting infected.
  • Work to ensure your patients who have HIV get treatment and the services they need to stay healthy and lower their risk of passing the virus to others. Currently only 43% of people who test positive for HIV are in care with their virus under control.
  • Download materials for health care providers (en Español) from CDC's Act Against AIDS website.
State and local health departments can
  • Coordinate National HIV Testing Day awareness and testing events to help prevent the spread of HIV and build a local network that responds year-round to address HIV in the United States.
  • Create programs and adopt policies to get people at high risk tested early and often. Create linkages to care so that those who have a positive test get care quickly. Currently, one in five people who test positive are not linked to care within 3 months.
  • Provide services, such as medical care, social services, and programs, shown to change behavior and lower risk to people at risk for HIV and those living with HIV.
  • Promote and use national referral systems for places to get tested, such as National HIV and STD Testing Resources, and let clients know about their home testing options.
  • Use CDC's Act Against AIDS (en Español) materials to promote HIV testing in high-risk populations.
  • Start Talking. Stop HIV. encourages gay and bisexual men to communicate about testing and other HIV prevention issues.
  • Reasons/Razones (en Español) promotes HIV testing among gay and bisexual Hispanic/Latino men.
  • Testing Makes Us Stronger encourages African American gay and bisexual men to get tested for HIV.
  • Take Charge. Take the Test. encourages African American women to get tested for HIV.
  • Let's Stop HIV Together, a general-awareness campaign to reduce stigma, urges everyone to "Get the facts. Get tested. Get involved."
"Happy Birthday to You" Day

Once upon a time (in 1893), a pair of sisters wrote a simple song for their nursery school and kindergarten students. Mildred J. Hill wrote a simple tune, and Patty Smith Hill wrote some equal simple, repetitive words:
Good morning to you,Good morning to you,Good morning, dear children,Good morning to all.
The two sang the catchy song with their young students, but they also published it in a songbook for children.

The song caught on. (That's the thing about catchy songs, isn't it? They catch on!)

In many classes, the young students sang the song to the teacher, so the words were changed a little – “good morning to all” became another repetition of “good morning to you,” and “dear teacher” was sung in place of “dear children.”

And somebody, somewhere, changed the song again to be a birthday song. Perhaps you have heard it somewhere?
Happy birthday to you,Happy birthday to you,Happy birthday dear so-and-so [insert name here],Happy birthday to you.
Well, this latest version really caught on! It is by far the most well-known song in the English-speaking world—maybe the entire world!—and it's been used in millions of music boxes, watches, musical greeting cards, and other for-profit products. It's been sung on TV and on Broadway and in movies, in space and underwater living spaces, in homes and schools, businesses and hospitals.

(By the way, many people think that students who sang the Good Morning song spontaneously changed the lyrics at birthday parties. Which would mean that the most widely known song in the world was “written” by a bunch of five- and six-year-old kids whose names we do not know!)

Okay, here's the weird part...this super-simple, almost ubiquitous (heard everywhere) song—this song that was written in the 1800s, maybe by a bunch of kids—is still protected by copyright!

My sources are unclear about who filed copyright on “Happy Birthday to You,” when, on whose behalf. Some sources say that another Hill sister sued and received copyright protection for Patty and Mildred Hill, and that the Hill Foundation collects royalties even to this day, but another source says that the publisher of the Hill's original “Good Morning” song filed for copyright on the birthday version.

Whatever the case, it seems that some of the profit-making enterprises that use the popular birthday song do pay royalties—adding up to perhaps two million dollars worth of royalties per year! It's totally fine to sing the song in private, with small groups at birthday parties, for example, but it is technically a violation to sing it in profit-making venues with a lot of people. This is why a lot of restaurants use original songs or other birthday songs—they want to avoid any copyright lawsuits! Many movies and television shows show people singing just a few notes (apparently this is “fair use” and doesn't cost anything), but those who show people singing the entire song have to pay $10,000 for the privilege! Yikes!

By the way, copyright laws differ from nation to nation. The song will become “public domain” (free for anyone to use, even for-profit or large groups) in Europe in 2016, and it will move to public domain status in the U.S. in 2030. And, here's one more fact to confuse you: some lawyers think that the song is already in public domain, right now, because the actual “authors” of the song (who, remember, might be a bunch of kids) weren't the ones who filed for copyright.

Decide to Be Married Day

June 27 is decide to be married day. There are several ways to celebrate decide to be married day depending on where you are in your own life. Marriage is a huge responsibility and step in a person's life. The decision should never be taken lightly.

A single person might long to be happily married, and that is a wonderful thing to want to have. Before marrying that special someone, spend time thinking if they are really what you're looking for to spend the rest of your life with. Are they slow to anger? Do they share the similar goals? Do you have similar morals and ideas concerning children? These are important questions before entering into a lifetime commitment.

Being in love is truly terrific, but love and compatibility are both essential to the future. If you love someone, but have little in common, married life is going to be more difficult. The more you have in common, the happier and calmer your life will be.

If you are already married, today contemplate how you can improve on your marriage. Being selfless sounds ridiculous but so true to have a happy relationship. Putting their needs above yours might seem silly but sometimes that is what it's about. No, never accept abuse of any kind. However, in a normal relationship, being selfless has awards that you might not expect.

In honor of decide to be married day, surprise your spouse. Let your romantic side come out even if your marriage is not in the best condition. A little tenderness and love can go a long way, and at the very least, you will see a smile!

After you thought about all the important questions, decide to be married day would be an excellent day to become engaged or married. Plan a special proposal and incorporate the decide to be married day. You both will never forget the anniversary.

Decide to be Married Day, was inspired by Barbara Gaughen-Muller’s poem Decide to be Married:
Decide to be marriedTo become one heart, one body,
one mind and one soul
To share your joyTo live life as an artAnd to make every moment preciousWhether together or apart
Remember as a coupleYou are now more than oneTo create harmony and perfect love
that will last through eternityeven after this life is done
Remember also there is a powerIn this union of two
to protect this planet
And humanity tooAs a couple you can do it
It’s in the decidingTo be united in loveTo express your joyful onenessTo every person you meet, andIn every action you takeAnd together a perfect marriage you’ll make
National Orange Blossom Day

Orange you glad we get to celebrate a warm summer day with a fresh and tasty cocktail? June 27 is National Orange Blossom Day!

Ah, the delicate orange blossom. When you think about orange trees, you usually only think about their fruit: bright orange rinds, the juicy citrusy flesh inside, the many foods and flavors associated with oranges. But those fruits, as all fruits do, have to come from flowers first! And the orange blossom is celebrated in its own right. The official state flower of Florida, the orange blossom is widely used in floral bouquets and as an essence in perfumerie. Culinarily speaking, the orange blossoms are steeped, much like tea, to make orange blossom water, useful for just a slight taste of orange, but lighter, and fainter than using the orange fruit. In Middle East cuisines, orange blossom water is used much like rosewater, to flavor desserts and baked goods, and gives it not only that familiar citrusy taste, but also the flowery flavor that many associate with rose-infused waters and teas. It’s that perfect blend of bright, vibrant orange flavor and the sweet, light floral accents of a flower.

The exact history of the Orange Blossom is unknown, but it rose to prominence in the 1920s during Prohibition, when orange juice was used to cut the rancid flavor of illegal bathtub gin. A.S. Crockett’s Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, published in 1935, contains two Orange Blossom recipes. Orange Blossom No. 1 is served neat and contains equal parts gin, vermouth, and OJ. It was allegedly invented by “some young bridegroom who wanted something novel to use at his final stag party.” Orange Blossom No. 2 is served in an old-fashioned glass with ice and omits the vermouth, calling for a 1:1 ratio of gin and orange juice. Since vermouth is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of the alcohol world – it truly gets no respect – I’m not surprised that this second recipe doesn't even bother with it.

Sunglasses Day

It’s Sunglasses Day! Sunglasses are quite possibly the most important fashion accessory of the entire summer season. Humans have been wearing protective eyewear for centuries, but the stylish designs we’re accustomed to today are a much more recent invention.

During the prehistoric era, the Inuit people used walrus ivory to create sun goggles, which blocked out the powerful rays of sun that reflected off the snow and ice. By the 1700s, doctors were regularly prescribing tinted glasses for vision correction, and by the 1930s the Foster Grant company was selling modern-day sunglasses on the boardwalk of Atlantic City, New Jersey. On the eve of World War II, a little company called Ray Ban began producing anti-glare sunglasses for pilots. “Aviators” became the first commercially successful sunglasses.

To celebrate Sunglasses Day, pick up a new pair of shades at your local sunglasses store!

Industrial Workers of The World Day

Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers' Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don't realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as "American" as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.

In the late nineteenth century, the working class was in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour work day. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10 to 16 hour days in unsafe conditions. Death and injury were commonplace at many work places and inspired such books as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Jack London's The Iron Heel. As early as the 1860's, working people agitated to shorten the workday without a cut in pay, but it wasn't until the late 1880's that organized labor was able to garner enough strength to declare the 8-hour workday. This proclamation was without consent of employers, yet demanded by many of the working class.

At this time, socialism was a new and attractive idea to working people, many of whom were drawn to its ideology of working class control over the production and distribution of all goods and services. Workers had seen first-hand that Capitalism benefited only their bosses, trading workers' lives for profit. Thousands of men, women and children were dying needlessly every year in the workplace, with life expectancy as low as their early twenties in some industries, and little hope but death of rising out of their destitution. Socialism offered another option.

A variety of socialist organizations sprung up throughout the later half of the 19th century, ranging from political parties to choir groups. In fact, many socialists were elected into governmental office by their constituency. But again, many of these socialists were ham-strung by the political process which was so evidently controlled by big business and the bi-partisan political machine. Tens of thousands of socialists broke ranks from their parties, rebuffed the entire political process, which was seen as nothing more than protection for the wealthy, and created anarchist groups throughout the country. Literally thousands of working people embraced the ideals of anarchism, which sought to put an end to all hierarchical structures (including government), emphasized worker controlled industry, and valued direct action over the bureaucratic political process. It is inaccurate to say that labor unions were "taken over" by anarchists and socialists, but rather anarchists and socialist made up the labor unions.

At its national convention in Chicago, held in 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (which later became the American Federation of Labor), proclaimed that "eight hours shall constitute a legal day's labor from and after May 1, 1886." The following year, the FOTLU, backed by many Knights of Labor locals, reiterated their proclamation stating that it would be supported by strikes and demonstrations. At first, most radicals and anarchists regarded this demand as too reformist, failing to strike "at the root of the evil." A year before the Haymarket Massacre, Samuel Fielden pointed out in the anarchist newspaper, The Alarm, that "whether a man works eight hours a day or ten hours a day, he is still a slave."

Despite the misgivings of many of the anarchists, an estimated quarter million workers in the Chicago area became directly involved in the crusade to implement the eight hour work day, including the Trades and Labor Assembly, the Socialistic Labor Party and local Knights of Labor. As more and more of the workforce mobilized against the employers, these radicals conceded to fight for the 8-hour day, realizing that "the tide of opinion and determination of most wage-workers was set in this direction." With the involvement of the anarchists, there seemed to be an infusion of greater issues than the 8-hour day. There grew a sense of a greater social revolution beyond the more immediate gains of shortened hours, but a drastic change in the economic structure of capitalism.

In a proclamation printed just before May 1, 1886, one publisher appealed to working people with this plea:
  • Workingmen to Arms!
  • War to the Palace, Peace to the Cottage, and Death to LUXURIOUS IDLENESS.
  • The wage system is the only cause of the World's misery. It is supported by the rich classes, and to destroy it, they must be either made to work or DIE.
  • One pound of DYNAMITE is better than a bushel of BALLOTS!
  • MAKE YOUR DEMAND FOR EIGHT HOURS with weapons in your hands to meet the capitalistic bloodhounds, police, and militia in proper manner.
Not surprisingly the entire city was prepared for mass bloodshed, reminiscent of the railroad strike a decade earlier when police and soldiers gunned down hundreds of striking workers. On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public's eye. With their fiery speeches and revolutionary ideology of direct action, anarchists and anarchism became respected and embraced by the working people and despised by the capitalists.

The names of many - Albert Parsons, Johann Most, August Spies and Louis Lingg - became household words in Chicago and throughout the country. Parades, bands and tens of thousands of demonstrators in the streets exemplified the workers' strength and unity, yet didn't become violent as the newspapers and authorities predicted.

More and more workers continued to walk off their jobs until the numbers swelled to nearly 100,000, yet peace prevailed. It was not until two days later, May 3, 1886, that violence broke out at the McCormick Reaper Works between police and strikers.

For six months, armed Pinkerton agents and the police harassed and beat locked-out steelworkers as they picketed. Most of these workers belonged to the "anarchist-dominated" Metal Workers' Union. During a speech near the McCormick plant, some two hundred demonstrators joined the steelworkers on the picket line. Beatings with police clubs escalated into rock throwing by the strikers which the police responded to with gunfire. At least two strikers were killed and an unknown number were wounded.

Full of rage, a public meeting was called by some of the anarchists for the following day in Haymarket Square to discuss the police brutality. Due to bad weather and short notice, only about 3000 of the tens of thousands of people showed up from the day before. This affair included families with children and the mayor of Chicago himself. Later, the mayor would testify that the crowd remained calm and orderly and that speaker August Spies made "no suggestion... for immediate use of force or violence toward any person..."

As the speech wound down, two detectives rushed to the main body of police, reporting that a speaker was using inflammatory language, inciting the police to march on the speakers' wagon. As the police began to disperse the already thinning crowd, a bomb was thrown into the police ranks. No one knows who threw the bomb, but speculations varied from blaming any one of the anarchists, to an agent provocateur working for the police.

Enraged, the police fired into the crowd. The exact number of civilians killed or wounded was never determined, but an estimated seven or eight civilians died, and up to forty were wounded. One officer died immediately and another seven died in the following weeks. Later evidence indicated that only one of the police deaths could be attributed to the bomb and that all the other police fatalities had or could have had been due to their own indiscriminate gun fire. Aside from the bomb thrower, who was never identified, it was the police, not the anarchists, who perpetrated the violence.

Eight anarchists - Albert Parsons, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe, Michael Schwab, George Engel, Adolph Fischer and Louis Lingg - were arrested and convicted of murder, though only three were even present at Haymarket and those three were in full view of all when the bombing occurred. The jury in their trial was comprised of business leaders in a gross mockery of justice similar to the Sacco-Vanzetti case thirty years later, or the trials of AIM and Black Panther members in the seventies. The entire world watched as these eight organizers were convicted, not for their actions, of which all of were innocent, but for their political and social beliefs. On November 11, 1887, after many failed appeals, Parsons, Spies, Engel and Fisher were hung to death. Louis Lingg, in his final protest of the state's claim of authority and punishment, took his own life the night before with an explosive device in his mouth.

The remaining organizers, Fielden, Neebe and Schwab, were pardoned six years later by Governor Altgeld, who publicly lambasted the judge on a travesty of justice. Immediately after the Haymarket Massacre, big business and government conducted what some say was the very first "Red Scare" in this country. Spun by mainstream media, anarchism became synonymous with bomb throwing and socialism became un-American. The common image of an anarchist became a bearded, eastern European immigrant with a bomb in one hand and a dagger in the other.

Today we see tens of thousands of activists embracing the ideals of the Haymarket Martyrs and those who established May Day as an International Workers' Day. Ironically, May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more, but rarely is it recognized in this country where it began.

Over one hundred years have passed since that first May Day. In the earlier part of the 20th century, the US government tried to curb the celebration and further wipe it from the public's memory by establishing "Law and Order Day" on May 1. We can draw many parallels between the events of 1886 and today. We still have locked out steelworkers struggling for justice. We still have voices of freedom behind bars as in the cases of Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier. We still had the ability to mobilize tens of thousands of people in the streets of a major city to proclaim "THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!" at the WTO and FTAA demonstrations.

Words stronger than any I could write are engraved on the Haymarket Monument:

Truly, history has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor only to be beat down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current condition cannot be taken for granted - people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people can not be forgotten or we'll end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why we celebrate May Day.

National Bomb Pop Day

Wrap up your week with a grand slam celebration: National Bomb Pop Day! For more than 50 years, Bomb Pop has been America's favorite frozen treat, and it is time to celebrate. So start your weekend off right this Thursday with a trip to your local retailer or neighborhood ice cream truck and enjoy this iconic American treat.

Bomb Pop's triple play of red, white and blue layers are the perfect way to beat the summer heat every time. From the ice cream truck to the ballpark, no summer day is complete without the cool, fruity blasts of cherry, lime and blue raspberry flavors of Bomb Pop.

Bomb Pop encourages active summer fun and has teamed up as an official sponsor of Little League® Baseball and Softball, uniting a classic American treat with a classic American pastime. The fun continues all summer long as Bomb Pop joins the Baseball Youth Fanfest at baseball tournaments across the country, offering games and free samples to cool down at the ballpark.

Count on summertime fun to keep getting better with all of Bomb Pop's fruity flavors, including Watermelon, Hawaiian Punch® and Sour Wower®. Share your favorite with friends this Thursday, June 26th to celebrate National Bomb Pop Day and kick up an action-packed summer.

About Wells Enterprises, Inc. and Bomb Pop
Wells Enterprises, Inc. is the largest privately held, family-owned ice cream and frozen treat manufacturer in the United States. The company was founded in 1913 and is headquartered in Le Mars, Iowa, the Ice Cream Capital of the World. Wells produces more than 1,100 ice cream and frozen novelty products, including its signature brand, Blue Bunny®, super premium brand, 2nd St. Creamery™ and the iconic Bomb Pop®. Wells also manufactures licensed frozen treat brands including Yoplait® frozen yogurt and Weight Watchers® frozen novelties. Visit

National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day

In order to bring greater awareness to the issue of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the United States Senate designated June 27th as National PTSD Awareness Day. In addition, June has been designated as PTSD Awareness Month by the National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD). 

According to the NCPTSD, PTSD is an anxiety disorder resulting from exposure to a single traumatic event or multiple traumatic events, such as sexual or physical assault, natural or man-made disaster, and war-related combat stress. Symptoms of PTSD include persistent intrusive thoughts and distressing dreams about the traumatic event, triggered emotional responses to reminders of the trauma, efforts to avoid thinking or talking about the trauma, and persistent hypervigilance for cues that  indicate additional danger or trauma re-occurring.

The mission of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is to raise awareness about child traumatic stress. The NCTSN joins this effort to raise awareness about PTSD. We offer the following resources to help educate individuals, families, professionals, policy makers, and communities about the significant impact that PTSD has on men, women, and children. Effective psychological interventions and drug treatments are available to assist those who suffer with PTSD to heal from their traumas and to lead healthy, productive lives. 

Helen Keller Day

Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880, on a farm near Tuscumbia, Alabama. A normal infant, she was stricken with an illness at 19 months, probably scarlet fever, which left her blind and deaf. For the next four years, she lived at home, a mute and unruly child. Special education for the blind and deaf was just beginning at the time, and it was not until after Helen's sixth birthday that her parents had her examined by an eye physician interested in the blind. He referred the Kellers to Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone and a pioneer in teaching speech to the deaf. Bell examined Helen and arranged to have a teacher sent for her from the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston.

The teacher, 20-year-old Anne Sullivan, was partially blind. At Perkins, she had been instructed how to teach a blind and deaf student to communicate using a hand alphabet signaled by touch into the student's palm. Sullivan arrived in Tuscumbia in March 1887 and immediately set about teaching this form of sign language to Helen. Although she had no knowledge of written language and only the haziest recollection of spoken language, Helen learned her first word within days: "water." Keller later described the experience: "I knew then that 'w-a-t-e-r' meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free."

Under Sullivan's dedicated guidance, Keller learned at a staggering rate. By April, her vocabulary was growing by more than a dozen words a day, and in May she began to read and arrange sentences using raised words on cardboard. By the end of the month, she was reading complete stories. One year later, the seven-year-old Keller made her first visit to the Perkins Institution, where she learned to read Braille. She spent several winters there and in 1890 was taught to speak by Sarah Fuller of the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. Keller learned to imitate the position of Fuller's lips and tongue in speech, and how to lip-read by placing her fingers on the lips and throat of the speaker. In speaking, she usually required an interpreter, such as Sullivan, who was familiar with her sounds and could translate.

When she was 14, Keller entered the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York City. Two years later, with Sullivan at her side and spelling into her hand, she enrolled at the Cambridge School for Young Ladies in Massachusetts. In 1900, she was accepted into Radcliffe, a prestigious women's college in Cambridge with classes taught by Harvard University faculty. She was a determined and brilliant student, and while still at Radcliffe her first autobiography, The Story of My Life, was published serially in The Ladies Home Journal and then as a book. In 1904, she graduated cum laude from Radcliffe.

Keller became an accomplished writer, publishing, among other books, The World I Live In (1908), Out of the Dark (1913), My Religion (1927), Helen Keller's Journal (1938), and Teacher (1955). In 1913, she began lecturing, with the aid of an interpreter, primarily on behalf of the American Foundation for the Blind. Her lecture tours took her several times around the world, and she did much to remove the stigmas and ignorance surrounding sight and hearing disorders, which historically had often resulted in the committal of the blind and deaf to asylums. Helen Keller was also outspoken in other areas and supported socialism all her life. For her work on behalf of the blind and the deaf, she was widely honored and in 1964 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

"My life has been happy because I have had wonderful friends and plenty of interesting work to do," Helen Keller once wrote, adding, "I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times, but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers. The wind passes, and the flowers are content."

On June 1, 1968, Helen Keller dies in Westport, Connecticut, at the age of 87. Blind and deaf from infancy, Keller circumvented her disabilities to become a world-renowned writer and lecturer.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Holidays and Observances for June 26 2014

Beautician's Day

We all need a little help looking our best now and then, and Beautician’s Day celebrates those cosmetological experts who can help hide our flaws and bring out the absolute best of our beauty. There are multiple disciplines within the realm of cosmetology, including such areas as skin care, manicures, electrology, hair care, and cosmetic application. When it’s a special day for you, it’s always good to remember that without these, we could be locked in a perpetual bad hair day. The world of fashion and style is in constant flux, evolving with the changing of the seasons, and these wonderful navigators of the beauty world will see you through.

Cosmetics is one of the foundations of the beauticians art, with the knowledge of how colors, skin tones, and hair color all come together to create the unique pallete that is your skin. Cosmetics have to be carefully selected to enhance your natural features, with considerations needing to be taken for dry skin, oily skin, and the always tricky combination skin. While most people think merely of the colorants that are standard ‘make-up’, cosmetics actually include those products used for treating the various issues tied into the nature of your skin.

Skin care is done through a variety of methods, and Beautician’s Day is a great time to check in with your cosmetologist to help you adjust for your new look. There are several processes involved in properly caring with your skin, including regular cleansings, masks (such as clay-based, peel masks, sheet masks, and others). Exfoliation helps to get rid of dead skin to help the fresh new skin underneath truly shine, or to even out rough spots on your skin. Combining these habits with Toning, moisturizing, and products to protect your skin from skin and wind damage.

But what is perfect skin without the glowing, healthy hair to back it up? Just like your skin, hair has different characteristics, some is naturally curly, or long and straight, some is fine, and others thick, and just like face, hair can suffer from being oily or dry. There’s so much that can be done with hair, with coloring being one of the most popular options, serving to perfectly compliment your natural coloration. There are hundreds of different hair styles, each one serving to compliment your face in a different way. Beautician’s Day is a great opportunity to consult them on what styles would look best on you.

Another great way to celebrate is to get together with your friends, men and women alike, and head on down to your local nail salon or spa for a relaxing mani-pedi. Men rarely take an opportunity for this level of pampering, and that’s a terrible shame. Convince your friends to come on down with you, and you can guarantee they’ll keep coming back for more. For bonus points, try to convince them to get their nails not just shaped, but to get at least a clear-coat, if not a full colored coat!

Beautician’s Day can also be an opportunity for you to take the plunge and get rid of those unsightly and bothersome areas of body hair. Electrology is another element of the beautician’s art, allowing you to take control of your appearance by permanently removing unwanted hair in troublesome areas. Never worry about shaving your armpits, or having an unsightly bikini lines at the beach or pool. With the application of electrolisis, you’ll be free from these concerns forever! So pop in to see your Beautician, and bring them cards or flowers, or even treat them to a day at the spa with a gift certificate!

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking falls on June 26 each year to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society. This day is supported by individuals, communities and various organizations all over the world.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has, over the years, been actively involved in launching campaigns to mobilize support for drug control. The UNODC often teams up with other organizations and encourages people in society to actively take part in these campaigns.

Governments, organizations and individuals in many countries, including Vietnam, Borneo and Thailand, have actively participated in promotional events and larger scale activities, such as public rallies and mass media involvement, to promote the awareness of dangers associated with illicit drugs.

According to the UNODC, nearly 200 million people are using illicit drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogens, opiates and sedative hypnotics worldwide. In December 1987 the UN General Assembly decided to observe June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The UN was determined to help create an international society free of drug abuse. This resolution recommended further action with regard to the report and conclusions of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Following the resolution, the years 1991 to 2000 were heralded as the “United Nations Decade Against Drug Abuse”. In 1998 the UN General Assembly adopted a political declaration to address the global drug problem. The declaration expresses UN members’ commitment to fighting the problem.

The United Nations’ logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches are a symbol for peace, and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in colors such as white against a blue background or gold against a light purple background.

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is annually observed on June 26 to remind people that human torture is not only unacceptable – it is also a crime.

Rehabilitation centers and human rights organizations around the world celebrate the UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26 each year. The day serves as a reminder to people that torture is a crime. This event gives everyone a chance to unite and voice their opinions against human torture.

Organizations, including the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and Amnesty International, have played an active role in organizing events around the world to promote the day. Activities may include: photo exhibitions; the distribution of posters and other material to boost people’s awareness of issues related to human torture; and television advertisements.

On June 26, 1987, the Convention against Torture came into force. It was an important step in the process of globalizing human rights and acknowledging that torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment should be universally illegal. In 1997 the United Nations General Assembly decided to mark this historic date and designated June 26 each year as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The first International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was held on June 26, 1998. It was a day when the United Nations appealed to all governments and members of civil society to take action to defeat torture and torturers everywhere. That same year marked the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

The United Nations’ logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches are a symbol for peace, and the world map represents all the people of the world. The logo appears in colors such as black on a white or light yellow background.

National Chocolate Pudding Day

June 26th is National Chocolate Pudding Day!

National Chocolate Pudding Day offers a perfect excuse for you to indulge yourself with some delicious chocolate pudding. This unusual holiday is a great occasion for chocolate pudding companies and chocolate pudding lovers alike. There are two types of chocolate pudding. In the United States, Canada, Sweden, and East and South East Asia, chocolate pudding is boiled then chilled, and its texture is that of custard with starch. In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, chocolate pudding is steamed and baked, and its texture is similar to that of cake.

Celebrate this weird holiday by cooking your own homemade chocolate pudding and sharing it with the people you love. Buy some Hershey's Cocoa, and follow a recipe to make some quick creamy chocolate pudding. Open up a chocolate pudding Snack Pack, and enjoy! Have a competition with your friends to see who can make the most delicious chocolate pudding on National Chocolate Pudding Day. Wish your friends a "Happy National Chocolate Pudding Day!" Whichever way that you decide to spend National Chocolate Pudding Day, let go of anything that's holding you back, and indulge yourself with some chocolaty pudding delight! 

National Chocolate Pudding Day Fun Facts: 
  • On November 7, 1993, a Rugrats episode premiered called "Angelica Breaks a Leg," in which Angelica fakes a broken leg just to get attention. At one point, DiDi walks into the kitchen to discover that Stu is up at 4:00 am making Angelica chocolate pudding, only to find out later that she is not hungry anymore. The scene eventually turned into a meme that originated on 4chan called "Stu Making Chocolate Pudding At 4 AM."
  • In the late 19th century, many American food companies and social reformers promoted pudding as a type of health food. As a result, chocolate pudding was perceived by some as a health food.
  • By the 1930s, instant custard and chocolate pudding mixes were readily available to the American public.
  • General Foods (Jell-O) introduced their very own chocolate pudding mix in 1934 as "Walter Baker's Dessert." In 1936, the company renamed the product as "Pickle's Pudding."
  • According to Guinness World Records, on May 10, 2010, Donald Cunningham set the record for the most pudding eaten in three minutes at 1.34 kg (2 lb 15 oz). Cunningham used sugar-free Jell-O chocolate pudding for the attempt.
National Chocolate Pudding Day Jokes: 
  • Some gangsters decide to rob a bank. After several days of brainstorming, they agree on the best plan. The next day, they get to work and are able to get into the bank relatively easy. Once inside the main vault, they discover one wall is full of safe deposit boxes, and they start to work on them immediately. They drill and pry open the first box only to find a small container of chocolate pudding inside. The gangster in charge says, "Okay, well, at least we can eat it." So they eat the pudding. They drill and pry open up the second safe deposit box and find more chocolate pudding. They decide to devour it too. Determined to find the goods, the process continues for the rest of the night until all the safe deposit boxes have been opened. They didn't find any money or jewelry in any of the boxes. Disappointed the head gangster said, "Well, at least we got a free meal out of it." The next day, they pick up a local newspaper and read: "MYSTERY AT THE SEWAGE TESTING PLANT: Sewage Plant Workers Baffled As Fecal Material Is No Where To Be Found."
  • ...And then Courtney Love said, "You know, I'm not like a 'cool mom.' I'm a mother, but I’m a really, really good mother, and the proof is in the pudding. Also in the pudding were trace amounts of LSD, cocaine, and crystal meth. No amount of self esteem was found in the pudding."
  • A depressed-looking man is sitting in a cheap, greasy diner in a Leeds suburb. He picks up the menu and sees that it contains just three dishes: meatloaf, shepherd's pie and chocolate pudding. The waitress comes over to take his order. "I'll have the chocolate pudding," says the man glumly, "and if you could throw in a few kind words that would be mighty welcome." The waitress leaves and returns a few minutes later with a plate of chocolate pudding. She bangs the plate on the table in front of the man and starts to walk off. "Hey," says the man. "I got my dinner; how about those kind words?" The waitress turns, takes the cigarette out her mouth and says, "Don't eat the pudding."
  • A 6-year-old boy was sitting on the steps of his apartment building, eating a huge bowl of chocolate pudding. A man walked by and was surprised by just how big a bowl it was. He asked the youngster, "Is that a bowl of pudding?" The youngster replied, "Yes sir, it is." The man then asked, "Are you going to eat all of it?" The boy responded, "Yes sir, I am." Then the man asked, "Does your mother know that you're going to eat all the pudding?" The boy replied, "No sir, she doesn't." Then the man asked, "Well, don't you know that eating all the pudding isn't good for you?" The boy answered, "My grandfather lived to be 100 years old." The man asked, "Is that because he ate a big bowl of pudding everyday?" The boy replied, "No. It's because he minded his own f**king business."
  • Knock Knock... Who's there?... Pudding!... Pudding who?... Pudding on your shoes before your trousers is a bad idea!

National Canoe Day

 In 2007, the canoe was named one of the Seven Wonders of Canada via a CBC Radio feature in which more than 1 million votes were cast. In celebration of this, the Canadian Canoe Museum founded this day with the aim of increasing participation in paddle sports in Canada, engaging new paddlers and reaching across generational and cultural divides to introduce the canoe to those who haven’t had the opportunity to experience this great national heritage. National Canoe Day has grown to become a truly countrywide event, with participants paddling across the country, from the midnight sun of the north to the urban rivers of the south. National Canoe Day has also been celebrated internationally by groups in the US and UK. Annually, June 26.

Canoes were developed over the course of thousands of years by the native peoples of North America. The word 'canoe' originiated from the word 'kenu' - meaning dugout. These seagoing boats were used by the Carib Indians of the Caribbean islands, and were made of large tree trunks which were shaped and hollowed, and were strong enough to travel between the islands. 
 North American Indians are responsible for creating the more well-known version of the canoe - a frame of wooden ribs covered with the lightweight bark of birch trees, and sometimes elm or cedar trees. These boats, which have remained virtually unchanged in design for thousands of years, proved to be ideal for travelling the numerous streams, rivers and lakes of North America.
Birchbark was the perfect choice to build canoes because, not only was it lightweight and smooth, but it was also waterproof and resilient. As well, the birch tree was found in almost every area of Canada, except for the western subarctic region, where spruce bark had to fill in as a substitute. The joints of the canoes were held together by the root of the white pine and then made waterproof by applying hot pine or spruce resin.

As the commerce of early North America grew, so did the need for canoes. The fur trade became so large, in fact, that the French set up the world's first known canoe factory at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, around the year 1750. Many of the canoes that fur traders used were capable of carrying a crew of up to 12 people and a cargo weighing around 2400 kilograms.

National Hand Shake Day

Shaking hand is the gesture to impart respect to other or to greet anyone.
National Handshake Day is celebrated on 26th June. It is according to the Chase’s Calendar of Events. 

In order to give respect to the person you meet or greet, this day is celebrated to spread the importance of handshaking in our life. Even National Handshake Day is celebrated to make people aware of the proper gesture of handshaking and all.

National Handshake Day is being evident from the past era, that handshaking is the perfect gesture for greeting and sending your message to the others in a meeting. National Handshake Day is important in various public meets like:
  • show
  • meeting
  • call
  • interview
National Handshake Day is from the first day of greeting that incorrect handshaking has the power breaking or building relation with the other. Proper handshaking is the gateway to the prospective business deal. Hand shaking is the vehicle of conveying message of trust, friendliness and warmth. Proper handshaking is the means of making person ensured how much confidence you have in you.

According to one survey by the Incomm Center for Trade Show Research, many visitors of trade show reacts to the handshake by being very open and friendly. This study has opened the percentage of 76 for a kind of visitors. This research has also uncovered the fact that if you shake your hand with the person you meet then the person becomes keener to keep your presence in mind in future rather with whom you do not shake hands. According study of 2001, even many interviews can turn into your future job if you can convey positive handshake to your employer. Undoubtedly, weaker handshakes have less effect on employer's mind.

National Handshake Day is quite evident fact that any professionals even if well-dressed, perfectly groomed and carrying good profile but lacking proper handshaking gesture may not impart perfect impression in any business dealing. If the message by the handshaking is disrespect and weak heartedness, then definitely National Handshake Day will become major turn off in any situation.

Below is the list of negative types of handshakes which has to be avoided:
  • The “dead fish”
  • The wimp
  • The “I’ve got you covered” grip
  • The “four finger”
  • The “I won’t let go
  • The sweaty palm
  • The “ringed torture”
  • The “southpaw”
  • The cold & clammy
  • The “macho cowboy”
So, National Handshake Day is highly evident that perfect hand shaking is the perfect gateway to your future success. Thus, by celebrating National Hand Shake day, people try to honor this gesture properly.