Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Holidays and Observances for August 20 2014

National Lemonade Day

Today is National Lemonade Day! Lemonade originated in the Mediterranean region in the 13th century and the recipe eventually made its way to Europe and then to America. The beverage was sold as an everyday refreshment and as a tonic, used to treat colds and other ailments. In France, you could purchase a glass from street vendors known as “lemoadiers.”

The very first uses for the lemon in the Mediterranean were as an ornamental plant in early Islamic gardens. Tracking the progress of the lemon tree from its origin in Assam and northern Burma to China, across Persia and the Arab world to the Mediterranean, is difficult because of the lemon’s adaptability to hybridization. This has caused problems for the horticulturist (a variety might not take to a new land), the food historian (unclear references--for example, the “round citron”), and the taxonomist (a proliferation of botanical terms). Although the citron--like a lemon but larger, with a very thick rind and very little pulp or juice--seems to have been known by the ancient Jews before the time of Christ, and perhaps dispersed in the Mediterranean by them, the lemon seems not to have been known in pre-Islamic times. Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa is wrong to claim in her book A Taste of Ancient Rome, that the Romans grew the lemon. In fact, the malum medicum mentioned by Pliny is the citron. Although there are depictions of citrus fruits from Roman mosaics in Carthage and frescoes in Pompeii that bear a striking resemblance to oranges and lemons, this iconographical evidence is not supported by any paleobotanical or literary evidence, suggesting that the artists either imported the fruits or saw them in the East.

    The first clear literary evidence of the lemon tree in any language dates from the early tenth-century Arabic work by Qustus al-Rumi in his book on farming. At the end of the twelfth century, Ibn Jami’, the personal physician to the great Muslim leader Saladin, wrote a treatise on the lemon, after which it is mentioned with greater frequency in the Mediterranean.

    Egyptians of the fourteenth century knew of the lemon. Most peasants drank a date-and-honey wine. Along the Egyptian Mediterranean coast, people drank kashkab, a drink made of fermented barley and mint, rue, black pepper, and citron leaf. It appears that the all-American summer drink, lemonade, may have had its origin in medieval Egypt. Although the lemon originates farther to the east, and lemonade may very well have been invented in one of the eastern countries, the earliest written evidence of lemonade comes from Egypt. The first reference to the lemon in Egypt is in the chronicles of the Persian poet and traveler Nasir-i-Khusraw (1003-1061?), who left a valuable account of life in Egypt under the Fatamid caliph al-Mustansir (1035-1094). The trade in lemon juice was quite considerable by 1104. We know from documents in the Cairo Geniza--records of the medieval Jewish community in Cairo from the tenth through thirteenth centuries--that bottles of lemon juice, qatarmizat, were made with lots of sugar and consumed locally and exported.

To celebrate National Lemonade Day, make your own homemade lemonade to share with friends and family. Dissolve 2 cups of sugar in 1 cup of hot water. Then stir in 2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 gallon of cold water. Pour into glasses filled with ice and garnish with a lemon slice and a sprig of mint. Enjoy!

National ‘ Bacon Lovers ‘ Day

There are two types of people in the world: Those who love bacon, and those who lie about it.

August 20 is National Bacon Lover’s Day, giving us a chance to celebrate our love of this wonder food. (Incidentally, International Bacon Day will be September 5 - clearly this food is so awesome it needs multiple days honoring it.)

Bacon is one of the most prolific foods in the world. Not only does it appear seamlessly in breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but also it rocks out in side dishes, from salad toppings to innovative desserts. And its appeal goes beyond the edible world. You can purchase bacon band-aids, bacon air fresheners, bacon toothpaste, and bacon perfume. It’s global permeation is second only to citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, and only because we haven’t developed bacon-scented dishwasher soap and disinfectant sprays. Yet.

Some people grow weary of the way that bacon has woven itself into every aspect of our culture (much in the way that bacon can be woven into a mat to create such dishes as the Bacon Explosion.) They feel that bacon suffers from overexposure. What they don’t realize is that bacon is a classic, in the same way that The Beatles are a classic. Can you honestly tell me that the world has heard enough of The Beatles?

So on August 20, today, National Bacon Lovers Day, celebrate your love of the finest pork product ever produced. Start a national discussion. Do you like your bacon soggy, or extra crispy? Do you prefer it savory and lean or full of delicious fat? Do you like it with maple syrup? If you find yourself stumped by any of these questions, fear not.

The answer is always “Bacon.”

(By the way, if you want to take your celebration of this food holiday to the next level, try this recipe for a dish called the Bacon Explosion. Unbelievable. Or try the Chocolate Covered Bacon at Capitol Grill, pictured above. Decadent and delicious!)

National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day

National Pecan Pie Day is celebrated each year on July 12 where as if you add some chocolate to this delicious dessert,  you can annually celebrate National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day on August 20.

Pecan pie is a pie made primarily with corn syrup and pecan nuts. Variations may include white or brown sugar, sugar syrup, molasses, maple syrup, or honey. It is popularly served at holiday meals and is also considered a specialty of Southern U.S. cuisine. Most pecan pie recipes include salt and vanilla as flavorings. Chocolate and bourbon whiskey are other popular additions to the recipe. Pecan pie is often served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Claims have been made of the dish existing in the early 1800's in Alabama, but this does not appear to be backed up by recipes or literature. Attempts to trace the dish's origin have not found any recipes dated earlier than 1886, and well-known cookbooks such as Fannie Farmer and The Joy of Cooking did not include this dessert before 1940. The earliest recorded recipes produce a boiled custard with pecans added, which is then baked in a pie crust.

Some have stated that the French invented pecan pie soon after settling in New Orleans, after being introduced to the pecan nut by Native Americans. Pecan pie may be a variant of chess pie, which is made with a similar butter-sugar-egg custard.

The makers of Karo syrup significantly contributed to popularizing the dish and many of the recipes for variants (caramel, cinnamon, Irish creme, peanut butter, etc.) of the classic pie. The company has claimed that the dish was a 1930s "discovery" of a "new use for corn syrup" by a corporate sales executive's wife.

National Medical Dosimetrist Day

The third Wednesday in August is National Medical Dosimetrist's Day.

Now if you are like most people your first response when learning about this holiday is to ask "what is a Medical Dosimetrist"? I'll admit that was my reaction as well. My best layperson translation is that Medical Dosimetrists play an important role in the care of patients who are fighting cancer. They work with the radiation oncology team to use their knowledge of medical computers and machines to help deliver appropriate radiation dose distributions and dose calculations in collaboration with the medical physicist and radiation oncologist. 

National Medical Dosimetrist's Day is a day for celebrating medical dosimetry professionals around the world, recognizing the importance of their profession and honoring their contributions. It also helps to educate people about the existence of the profession and invite them to learn more.

What is a Medical Dosimetrist? The Medical Dosimetrist is a member of the radiation oncology team who has knowledge of the overall characteristics and clinical relevance of radiation oncology treatment machines and equipment, is cognizant of procedures commonly used in brachytherapy and has the education and expertise necessary to generate radiation dose distributions and dose calculations in collaboration with the medical physicist and radiation oncologist.

The medical dosimetrist designs a treatment plan by means of computer and/or manual computation to determine a treatment field technique that will deliver the prescribed radiation dose while taking into consideration the dose-limiting structures. The medical dosimetrist maintains a delicate balance between delivering the prescription that the physician has written while ensuring the patient will not lose important healthy organ function.

Using imaging modalities such as CT scans, alone or in combination with MRI or PET scans, planning is completed with 3-D computers that enable us to give higher doses of radiation to a tumor while lowering the doses to the sensitive structures around it. In some environments we play a part in cutting edge clinical research for the development and implementation of new techniques in cancer treatment. It is an exciting and amazing profession to work in. We are members of a team that contributes toward cancer survivorship on a daily basis.

The medical dosimetrist performs calculations for the accurate delivery of the Radiation Oncologist's prescribed dose, documents pertinent information in the patient record, and verifies the mathematical accuracy of all calculations using a system established by the Medical Physicist. We perform, or assist in, the application of specific methods of radiation measurement as directed by the Medical Physicist. We may provide technical and physics support to the Medical Physicist; this support could be in radiation protection, qualitative machine calibrations, and quality assurance of the radiation oncology equipment. Also, we often take on the role of educator in facilities that have radiation oncology residents, radiation therapy students or medical dosimetry students.

The skills needed to become a medical dosimetrist include, but are not limited to:
  • An understanding of the technical aspects of radiation oncology and medical physics to meticulously derive computerized treatment plans, and then communicate these aspects to the radiation oncologist for approval and then to the radiation therapists for plan implementation
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Working knowledge of radiation safety and regulations
  • Interpret and execute treatment plans as defined in relevant treatment protocols
  • Good math and anatomy skills, while able to visualize the three-dimensional concepts needed for the planning process
  • Experienced and confident with computer operations and functions
  • Excellent analytical skills and an ability to critically evaluate data
National Radio Day

National Radio Day is observed on August 20th every year to celebrate radio. National Radio Day is celebrated as a wonderful invention and means of communication. The radio was invented long back in 1800s. The final radio instrument was the result and efforts of a number of inventors role played, in creating this important medium.
Benefits of radio
  • The number of individual devices and their discoveries were equally important to make the radio a reality. 
  • These inventions included both broadcast and reception methods and technology. 
Evolution in Radio
  • The radio was basically an advancement or evolution of the telegraph and the telephone. The wireless telegraph finally contributed to its invention. 
  • The National Radio Day was originated recently in 1990s when some evidences on blogs and radio station websites suggested that this is a newly established holiday. 
  • Radio station personnel and jockeys in almost all the radio stations began discussion on creating ways to celebrate their own holiday. 
  • After all Radios have always promoted and informed us of all the bizarre and unique holidays when ever it falls 
  • There is no finding as if that exactly started the celebration on the day, an individual or a group.
How is National Radio Day Celebrated?
  • The National Radio Day is celebrated by the easy listening of radio transmission. 
  • The broadcast, on the National Radio Day is made special by playing the listeners demand from all around the transmission range. 
  • One can simply tune into the favorite radio stations and also put forward their choices by dialing the given station numbers. 
  • There are many games, competitions and questionnaires played in between the transmission especially designed for National radio day. 
  • The winners are distributed various attractive prizes like shopping vouchers, movie tickets, restaurant coupons etc. 
  • The local radio personalities or radio jockeys are given a little recognition on the National Radio Day. There are many beautifully designed and message conveying E-cards to make each other aware of the National Radio Day or occasion. 
  • People send wishes of the day to each other by the means of radio on the day.