Friday, August 29, 2014

Holidays and Observances for August 29 2014

"According to Hoyle" Day


"According to Hoyle" Day is a day to honor Edmond Hoyle. In 1741 he instructed people how to play the game of whist, a 18th and 19th century card game. Needing a standard set of rules for the game he wrote A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist. He was encouraged to publish it since it was so well received by his students. He published several versions of the book adding rules for other games such as chess and backgammon. The phrase "according to Hoyle" was used to describe the correct rules or procedures in any activity or game.

Edmond Hoyle (1672 – 29 August 1769) was a writer best known for his works on the rules and play of card games. The phrase "according to Hoyle" came into the language as a reflection of his generally perceived authority on the subject; since that time, use of the phrase has expanded into general use in situations in which a speaker wishes to indicate an appeal to a putative authority.

National Whiskey Sour Day


Raise your glass and pour yourself a strong one - August 29 is National Whiskey Sour Day.

Don't get your mouth all twisted up at the idea of this sweet and sour quaff. Splash some bourbon, lemon juice and sugar together and shake or serve it straight.

The mixed drink supposedly traces its spirits back to an English steward on a sailing ship. As a closet bartender, he was constantly experimenting with shaking and stirring things up. Whiskey met a sour dose of lime and a balancing contrast of sugar and the "sour" was born.

The oldest historical mention of a whisky sour prepared in the world comes from a newspaper published in Wisconsin in 1870.

In 1962, the Universidad del Cuyo published a story which cited a Peruvian newspaper called El Comercio de Iquique as indicating that Elliott Stubb created the "whisky sour" in 1872. El Comercio de Iquique was published by Modesto Molina between 1874 and 1879.

So shake it up, baby. Add a lemon wedge or maraschino cherry to your whiskey sour and knock back some happiness. This is one drink that won't make you sour.

National Chop Suey Day


Pass the chopsticks - August 29 is National Chop Suey Day!

Chop suey is one of those dishes with a history that needs to be taken with a grain of salt. While most have settled on the version that ties its origin to Toisan, a region in China from where many immigrants to American came from, there are some more colorful options.

Chop suey is widely believed to have been invented in America by Chinese Americans, but the anthropologist E.N. Anderson concludes that the dish is based on tsap seui (“miscellaneous leftovers”), common in Taishan (Toisan), a county in Guangdong Province (Canton), the home of many early Chinese immigrants to the U.S. This "became the infamous ‘chop suey’ of third-string Chinese restaurants in the western world, but it began life as a good if humble dish among the specialist vegetable farmers of the area. At the end of the day, they would stir-fry the small shoots, thinnings, and unsold vegetables—up to ten species in a dish!" The Hong Kong doctor Li Shu-fan likewise reported that he knew it in Toisan in the 1890s.

The long list of colorful and conflicting stories about the origin of chop suey is, in the words of the food historian Alan Davidson, “a prime example of culinary mythology” and typical of popular foods.

One account claims that it was invented by Chinese American cooks working on the transcontinental railroad in the 19th century. Another tale is that it was created during Qing Dynasty premier Li Hongzhang's visit to the United States in 1896 by his chef, who tried to create a meal suitable for both Chinese and American palates. Another story is that Li wandered to a local Chinese restaurant after the hotel kitchen had closed, where the chef, embarrassed that he had nothing ready to offer, came up with the new dish using scraps of leftovers. Yet recent research by the scholar Renqui Yu led him to conclude that "no evidence can be found in available historical records to support the story that Li Hung Chang ate chop suey in the United States." Li brought three Chinese chefs with him, and would not have needed to eat in local restaurants or invent new dishes in any case. Yu speculates that shrewd Chinese American restaurant owners took advantage of the publicity surrounding his visit to promote chop suey as Li's favorite.

Yet another myth is that, in the 1860s, a Chinese restaurant cook in San Francisco was forced to serve something to drunken miners after hours, when he had no fresh food. To avoid a beating, the cook threw leftovers in a wok and served the miners who loved it and asked what dish is this—he replied Chopped Sui. There is no good evidence for any of these stories.

Chop suey appears in an 1884 article in the Brooklyn Eagle, by Wong Chin Foo, "Chinese Cooking," which he says "may justly be called the "national dish of China."  An 1888 description calls it "A staple dish for the Chinese gourmand is chow chop svey, a mixture of chickens' livers and gizzards, fungi, bamboo buds, pigs' tripe, and bean sprouts stewed with spices."In 1898, it is described as "A Hash of Pork, with Celery, Onions, Bean Sprouts, etc."

During his travels in the United States, Liang Qichao, a Guangdong (Canton) native, wrote in 1903 that there existed in the United States a food item called chop suey which was popularly served by Chinese restaurateurs, but which local Chinese people did not eat.

In earlier periods of Chinese history, "chop suey" or "shap sui" in Cantonese, and "za sui", in Mandarin, has the different meaning of cooked animal offal or entrails. For example, in the classic novel Journey to the West (circa 1590), Sun Wukong tells a lion-monster in chapter 75: "When I passed through Guangzhou, I bought a pot for cooking za sui – so I'll savour your liver, entrails, and lungs." This may be the same as the "Chop Suey Kiang" found in 1898 New York. The term "za sui" is found in newer Chinese-English dictionaries with both meanings listed: cooked entrails, and chop suey in the Western sense.
Regardless of the origin, the simple dish can now be found in most Chinese restaurants.

"Most Americans know it's not real Chinese food. A handful of them don't care," writes Jennifer 8. Lee in her book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food. "Yet it still endures."

Chop suey primarily consists of stir-fried vegetables, meat and eggs with a starchy sauce served over rice or noodles. Translated, chop suey means "mixed bits."

The dish is relatively easy to put together, and can be altered for dietary and taste preferences. So, how will you take yours?

International Day Against Nuclear Tests


The United Nations’ (UN) International Day against Nuclear Tests brings public awareness and education about the effects of global nuclear weapon tests. The day aims to end nuclear testing and to promote peace and security.

The International Day against Nuclear Tests aims to raise people’s awareness on the need to prevent nuclear catastrophes to avert devastating effects on humankind, the environment and the planet. Many people use the day as an opportunity to share their perspective on the issue of nuclear weapons and testing.  Different organizations may host educational and public activities to bring awareness of the use of nuclear weapons and the dangers involved with nuclear weapons testing and usage.

The history of nuclear testing began on July 16, 1945, when an atomic bomb was used at a desert test site in Alamogordo, New Mexico, in the United States. More than 2000 nuclear tests were carried out worldwide between 1945 and 1996. Nuclear weapons tests are generally broken into different categories reflecting the test’s medium or location:
  • Atmospheric tests.
  • Underwater tests.
  • Underground tests.
Over the years, there have been calls to ban nuclear test to ensure the protection of people’s lives and the environment around them. The UN approved a draft resolution in late 2009 for an international day against nuclear tests to raise public awareness about the threats and dangers of nuclear weapons.  It was also hoped that UN’s member states would move towards the idea of nuclear disarmament.

The International Day against Nuclear Tests was declared to be annually held on August 29, which marks the closing of one of the world’s largest nuclear test sites (in Kazakhstan) in 1991. The day is devoted to enhancing public awareness and education about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. It also promotes the need for a nuclear weapon-free world. The day’s first official observance was marked for August 29, 2010.

National Lemon Juice Day


According to a website that charts national day, here's a day to celebrate. August 29 is National Lemon Juice Day.

Lemon juice and its uses
The juice of the lemon is about 5% to 6% citric acid, which gives lemons a sour taste. The distinctive sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods such as lemonade.

Almost all foods taste even better with a little lemon juice squeezed on top of it. Such foods include fish, chicken, and gravy. Of course, almost everyone knows lemon juice is good in iced tea. It is even good in just plain water.

Unlike salt, butter, or other seasonings that can make good foods bad for you, lemon juice won't do you any harm. In fact, it might even help you lose weight.

A lot of people have lemon juice in a hot cup of water as soon as they get out of bed in the morning. The benefits of the lemon juice last throughout the day.

10 Reasons Lemon Juice Is Good For You
Saying that lemons are a superfood is an understatement. Not only do they add abundant flavor to a variety of dishes, but they also boast a ton of health benefits. The flavonoids within the juice are said to contain antioxidants, which is why lemons are useful in treating so many ailments and conditions. Here are 10 reasons to enjoy them ASAP.
  1. Prevent kidney stones: Drinking one half-cup of lemon juice every day raises citrate levels in the urine. Studies have shown that this could protect against calcium stones in the kidney.
  2. Soothe a sore throat: Mixing lemon juice with honey can help alleviate the discomfort that comes from a nasty sore throat.
  3. Support weight loss: Beyond the old notion that the Master Cleanse was the only way lemons could help you lose weight, new studies have shown the ways lemon juice supports your goals. Lemon juice contains pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to aid in weight-loss struggles.
  4. Start your day right: Leave caffeinated drinks behind, and start your day off with hot water and fresh lemon juice to stimulate your digestive track and add vitamin C.
  5. Stop an itch: When it comes to poison ivy or insect bites, rubbing lemon juice on the area can soothe the skin, since it has anti-inflammatory and anesthetic effects.
  6. Aids in digestion: Dr. Oz is a big believer in the power of lemon juice for weight loss. He suggests drinking a mixture of lemon juice and flaxseeds in order to eliminate waste more quickly from your body.
  7. Anticancer properties: Studies have supported the anticancer activity of citrus liminoids, compounds that protect your cells from damage that can lead to the formation of cancer cells.
  8. Potassium power: Bananas aren't the only way to get a big helping of potassium in your system. In addition to vitamin C, lemons offer 80 milligrams of this mineral that helps your body stay strong and nimble.
  9. Bring down a fever: Forget the days of starving a fever! When your temperature goes up, drinking a lemon juice mixture can help bring your fever down faster.
  10. Balance pH: While lemons may seem quite acidic, they're a surprisingly good source of an alkaline food that can help balance your body's pH.

More Herbs, Less Salt Day



More Herbs, Less Salt Day takes place on 29th August each year.  The aim of More Herbs, Less Salt Day is to promote the use of healthy herbs as seasoning instead of salt.

Late in the month of August is actually a very good time for a day such as More Herbs, Less Salt Day, for the simple reason that this is a time when the harvesting of herbs from the garden is reaching its annual peak.  After all, there are few things in this world that are better than being able to garnish your all-time favorite recipes with fresh garden herbs.

More Herbs, Less Salt Day was the brainchild of Wellcat.com, which has actually created and copyrighted a whole range of other special days throughout the yearly calendar as well.  Perhaps oddly, Wellcat.com has not given much in the way of information about the day, other than to take note of the fact that herbs are much better for your overall health than is the case with salt, which is certainly true enough.

Of course, perhaps Wellcat.com simply did not see the need to give too much other information about More Herbs, Less Salt Day given that it more or less effectively speaks for itself.  All you need to take part in More Herbs, Less Salt Day are some herbs, a fun and tasty recipe, a desire for a healthier diet, and perhaps just a dash of imagination as well.



College Colors Day


Across the United States, on the first Friday of each college school year, students, parents, family, fans, alumni and etc celebrate College Colors Day.  This day is annually celebrated by wearing your college’s (or the college you support) favorite colors and college/university apparel.

College Colors Day is a fundraising event coordinated at a national level that allows participating organizations to show their support the first Friday of the college football season.

We are inviting you to join the Uplifting Athletes team and participate on Friday, August 29 to show off your school spirit and raise funds and awareness for rare diseases.

Individual Rights Day


In honor of John Locke, whose philosophical writings argued for the rights of each single human being, Individual Rights Day is celebrated on August 29th, the date of Locke’s birth. According to Locke, “Anything that a man has as a matter of human rights or civil rights is to remain inviolably his,” and although Locke conceded that humans surrendered some natural rights in exchange for the collective protection afforded by societies, he held that basic individual rights include life, liberty, property, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom to petition government.

Individual Rights Day was initiated by the founder of the Objectivist Party, Dr. Tom Stevens, who supports John Locke’s philosophies regarding the rights of society’s smallest minority and basic unit – the individual. Celebrations of Individual Rights Day include reading about John Locke and his views, reviewing your country’s commitment to the protection of rights and appreciating the value of freedom and the sacrosanct nature of individual rights.

International Bat Night


International Bat Night - Bats live in a forest near where I live and I'll sometimes see them flapping past the window.  It's pretty cool!

EUROBATS is back to organize the seventeenth International Bat Night as darkness falls between the 29th and 31st of August 2014.

Over 30 countries celebrate bats on International Bat Night - from Belgium and Sweden to the UK!   In Worcestershire, you'll be taken a walk in the dark to learn about our 'enigmatic' friends.

Why don't you organize your own International Bat Night event?   To receive posters to promote the event, email EUROBATS at: eurobats@eurobats.org.

It's well know that bats can be seen as a bit scary!   This probably comes from the fact a lot of vampire movies have made bats out to be blood-sucking and terrifying!

And while it's true that they do drink insects' blood they don't come near ours!  Yet the scare stories are endangering our flying friends.   If bats were to become extinct we'd be in big trouble - there would be insects everywhere!

Although bats have been used for good symbolism too.  Take Batman for instance!  The superhero that protects the city of Gotham in movies like The Dark Knight.

But how much do you know about real bats?   Did you know that they pollinate lots of plants?  Like bees, bats are essential pollinators for the growth of our natural world.   In fact there are nectar-feeding bats!   They help disperse seeds - and are really good for the economy too!

The bat conservation international organisation knows just how important it is to help our bats.  And recognize how special they are too!   Did you know that some males sing when trying to attract a female?  Or that vampire bats adopt orphans?  Unusual for any animal, never mind a supposedly scary bat!

I had heard of a few bat species, for example, the Common pipistrelle, Daubenton's bat and the Greater horseshoe bat, but I didn't realize that in the UK we have 18 species of bats - wow!   There's lots of information about bat species in the UK at the Bat Conservation Trust website, and what's more you can even listen to them as well!

If you are planning a bat event why not post the details on the events page so that everyone knows what you are doing.