Friday, August 22, 2014

Holidays and Observances for August 22 2014

National Be An Angel Day

National Be An Angel Day was first celebrated on August 22, 1983. Jayne Howard Feldman created the holiday as a way to inspire people everywhere to do something kind for someone else. These encouraged good deeds can be large or small, and they can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. No matter the ‘angel act,’ today is a chance to work on being a better person, not only for the benefit of others, but also for ourselves.

There are not many people who do not get satisfaction from doing a good deed for someone. We hear stories every day about people to whom total strangers appear from nowhere and perform a good deed. The person who does this good deed is automatically gets branded as an “angel”. So, it is not surprising that there is a special day designated for doing good deeds for people. 22nd August each year is the day that is observed as Be an Angel Day.

The main purpose of this day is to make one realize that anyone can be an angel. If you have enough good intentions and want to spread love, peace and harmony all around, you too can be an angel. So this year on the 22nd of August, get set to do your bit to make Be an Angel Day a day to remember for you and all the people whose hearts you touch with your good deeds.

10 acts of kindness for Be an Angel Day:
  1. Volunteer at a nursing home
  2. Make inspirational homemade bookmarks with a positive message and leave them in books you return to your public library
  3. Start a fundraiser for an important cause in your community
  4. Plant a tree
  5. Be someone’s shoulder to cry on
  6. Volunteer at your local pet adoption center
  7. Buy lunch for someone in need
  8. Buy a bag of yummy groceries and donate it to your local food bank or shelter
  9. Mow your neighbor’s lawn
  10. Take your siblings to a movie to give your parents a day off
National Pecan Torte Day

Making a torte is a piece of cake - August 22 is National Pecan Torte Day!

What’s the difference between a torte and a cake? For starters, tortes are denser, shorter and wider than cakes, and often multi-layered. To confuse things a little, torte actually means "cake" in German and Hungarian.

What’s the difference between a pecan pie and a pecan torte? Instead of using pecans in the filling, the nuts are ground up and used in place of the flour. So while the pecan flavor persists, the texture is completely different.

Tortes are also made without the leaveners we’re used to in baking, namely baking powder or soda. Instead, they get their airiness from whipped eggs that are light and fluffy.

So, while a pecan torte may sound like just a fancy word for cake (which in some countries it is), turns out there are some subtle differences. And, if you’re used to making the traditional pecan pie, go a little bit nutty and try a torte.

National “Eat a Peach” Day

A long-time favorite of peach lovers everywhere, August 22nd’s National Eat a Peach Day has historically focused on the juicy pleasures of a just-picked peach or the comforts of a peach cobbler: essentially any and every reason to enjoy one of summer’s most beloved fruits. Yet, thanks to a newly released study by Harvard University’s Department of Nutrition, we now know that peaches pack a nutritional punch that may aid in the fight against ER- (ER negative) breast cancer.

Led by a team from Harvard and including Dr. Walter C. Willett, Epidemiology and Nutrition Chair, Harvard University Department of Nutrition, the study looked at more than 75,000 women over the course of 24 years and tracked diet as it related to incidents of ER- breast cancer. The study: “Intake of specific fruits and vegetables in relation to risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer among postmenopausal women” found that those women eating two servings of peaches a week had lower incidents of ER- tumors and therefore, ER- breast cancer.

These findings further amplify the important role peaches play as a part of a healthy diet. A recent multi-year study conducted by Oregon State University (OSU) and the Linus Pauling Institute, concluded that California canned peaches are nutritionally equivalent to their fresh counterparts, and that some nutrients increase thanks to the canning process.

Just as lycopene levels increase when tomatoes are cooked/canned, so too do key nutrients found in fresh cling peaches. The OSU study found that antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C all increased, and that folate levels in canned peaches were up 10 times compared to their fresh counterparts.

“These studies tell a compelling and growing nutrition story,” says Researcher Bob Durst of OSU. “The current data is clear: peaches in any form, canned or fresh, are just plain good for you. They contain all-natural vitamins and phytochemicals, the impact of which we are just beginning to fully understand.”

And while August is also “National Peach Month,” clearly the benefits of this fruit far outlive summer’s seasonality. According to Dr. William Li of The Angiogenesis Foundation on a recent appearance on The Dr. Oz Show, “Peaches contain a ‘trifecta’ of cancer fighters...things that actually work together to prevent tumors growing in the breast." Li also stressed that "any form of peach, fresh, canned or frozen is good for you.”

This is good news considering what’s at stake: According to More than one out of every 10 breast cancers — are found to be ER- or “triple-negative,” noting, “for doctors and researchers, there is intense interest in finding new medications that can treat this kind of breast cancer.”

National Tooth Fairy Day

National Tooth Fairy Day is celebrated on August 22nd of each year. We were unable to discover the origin of National Tooth Fairy Day.

The tooth fairy is a fantasy figure of early childhood.  The folklore states that when a child loses a baby tooth, if he or she places it beneath the bed pillow, the tooth fairy will visit while the child sleeps, replacing the lost tooth with a small payment.

Unlike Santa Claus and, to a lesser extent, the Easter Bunny, there are few details of the tooth fairy’s appearance that are consistent in various versions of the myth. A 1984 study conducted by Rosemary Wells revealed that most, 74 percent of those surveyed, believed the tooth fairy to be female, while 12 percent believed the tooth fairy to be neither male nor female and 8 percent believed the tooth fairy could be either male or female. When asked about her findings regarding the tooth fairy’s appearance, Wells explained – “You’ve got your basic Tinkerbell-type tooth fairy with the wings, wand, a little older and whatnot. Then you have some people who think of the tooth fairy as a man, or a bunny rabbit or a mouse.” One review of published children’s books and popular artwork found the tooth fairy to also be depicted as a child with wings, a pixie, a dragon, a blue mother-figure, a flying ballerina, two little old men, a dental hygenist, a potbellied flying man smoking a cigar, a bat, a bear and others. Unlike the well-established imagining of Santa Claus, differences in renderings of the tooth fairy are not as upsetting to children.

In early Europe, it was a tradition to bury baby teeth that fell out. When a child’s sixth tooth falls out, it is a custom for parents to slip a gift or money from the tooth fairy under the child’s pillow, but to leave the tooth as a reward. Some parents also leave trails of glitter on the floor, representing fairy dust.

In northern Europe, there was also a tradition of tann-fé or tooth fee, which was paid when a child lost their first tooth. This tradition is recorded in writings as early as the Eddas, which are the earliest written record of Norse and Northern European traditions.

The reward left varies by country, the family’s economic status, amounts the child’s peers report receiving and other factors. A 2011 study found that American children receive $2.60 per tooth on average.

National Hug Your Boss Day

Some  people like this day, some love it, some are afraid of it  and some simply loathe it. August 22 annually celebrates National Hug Your Boss Day.

National Hug Your Boss Day is a fun day to highlight workplace relationships and the importance of them.

Do you get on with your boss? Would you give him/her a hug? Does getting on with your boss boost your morale and motivation in the workplace? Or do you feel unmotivated and hate your job because you don’t get on with your boss? Do you think a good working relationship is important with your boss? 

So many questions! But we think that if you are happy to give your boss a hug, then you will most probably be happier at work and be more productive. The aim of “National Hug Your Boss Day” is to highlight these issues in the workplace and help those who may be unhappy and unmotivated in the workplace.

National Take Your Cat To The Vet Day

Your kids go to the pediatrician once a year, you see your dentist every 6 months, and even your car gets an oil change every 5000 miles; so why aren’t people taking their cats to the veterinarian for routine care? It seems hard to believe, but according to the American Humane Society, cats go the veterinarian half as often as dogs and many people only take their cat to the vet when their cat is sick.

The fact is cats get sick too! While they are masters at hiding illness, they also suffer from many of the same disease as their canine and human counterparts.

In case you didn’t mark your calendar, August 22nd is Take Your Cat to the Vet Day and it is a great time to remind everyone about the importance of preventive care. You wouldn’t dream of skipping your kids’ doctor appointments, so why should your cat’s veterinary check-ups be any different?

So what does your vet do during these routine visits and why are they important?

Physical Exam
Routine examinations allow veterinarians to check for signs of illness. In cats, these can be subtle and easy to overlook. Your vet will also do a head-to-tail exam to look for changes or abnormalities. The earlier medical issues are discovered and addressed the better the outcome.

Immunizations are an important way to protect pets from preventable infectious diseases. Your veterinarian will determine which vaccines your cat needs depending on their age, lifestyle and risk exposure.

Parasite Prevention
Your veterinarian will also check your cat for external parasites like fleas, ticks and ear mites, and check a stool sample for internal parasites, like roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and coccidia. They will also discuss products available to prevent internal and external parasites.

Depending on your cat’s age and physical exam findings, your veterinarian may recommend screening blood tests. Screening blood tests are an important way to detect diseases early, even before they become symptomatic. As cats age, diseases like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease become more common. Screening bloodwork is a great way to detect these diseases early so treatment can be started right away.

No one likes to go to the doctor and cats are no exception. In fact, many pet parents avoid taking their cat to the vet because their cat hates to go. If you find yourself chasing your cat all over the house, battling to get them into the carrier, listening to their non-stop meowing during the car ride to the vet, and dealing with a ticked off tiger at the vet, be sure to read my previous blog, “Tips for Getting Your Tiny Tiger to the Vet.” It has lots of helpful tips on how to make the trip to the vet less stressful for you and your cat.

It's a great time to make an appointment to bring your feline friend to the vet for a check-up! The goal of routine medical care is to prevent preventable illnesses and to detect diseases early while they are easiest to treat. Take advantage of the exceptional veterinary care available and bring your cat to the vet!

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