Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Holidays and Observances for September 10 2014

National Swap Ideas Day

National Swap Ideas Day which is annually celebrated on September 10, encourages us to share a creative or helpful idea (or ideas) with someone and trade them for their idea (or ideas) in return.

The ideas that you receive from others may be good and helpful to you in your life that you may want to continue to pass them on and swap them with someone else.  This can continue throughout the entire day and by day’s end, you will have plenty of new information and helpful ideas to move forward with. 

Swapping ideas today does not have to be done on a one-on-one basis.  It would be fun for a group of people to get together and share ideas.  People could share their ideas, thoughts and concepts and also learn from each other, while gathered in a social grouping.

Many philosophers have considered ideas to be a fundamental ontological category of being. The capacity to create and understand the meaning of ideas is considered to be an essential and defining feature of human beings. In a popular sense, an idea arises in a reflexive, spontaneous manner, even without thinking or serious reflection, for example, when we talk about the idea of a person or a place. 

Sewing Machine Day

September 10, 1846 Elias Howe patents the first practical sewing machine and threads his way into the fabric of history.

French tailor Barthelemy Thimonnier patented a device in 1830 that mechanized the typical hand-sewing motions to create a simple chain stitch. He planned to mass-produce uniforms for the French army. His competition had different ideas.

About 200 tailors rioted on the morning of Jan. 20, 1831, ransacking Thimonnier’s factory, destroying 80 sewing machines and throwing the pieces out the windows. The inventor fled for his life. Thimonnier conceived of a machine that could sew a backstitch (which would be more durable), but resolutely spent the next two decades trying to perfect various permutations of his original machine and its unreliable chain stitch.

American Walter Hunt came up with a back-stitching sewing machine in the early 1830s, but was afraid it would result in the massive unemployment of seamstresses. So he declined to patent it.

(Hunt lives on instead as the barely known inventor of the safety pin, as well as a precursor of the repeating rifle, a gong for fire engines, a forest saw, a stove to burn hard coal, a knife sharpener, a streetcar bell, synthetic stone, road-sweeping machinery, bicycle improvements, ice plows and, oh yes, paper collars for shirts.)

Howe worked for Ari Davis, a Boston precision machinist who told him that whoever invented a practical sewing machine would get rich. Howe spent eight years of his spare time working on such a device. He was often ill, and his wife had to take on sewing jobs — oh, the irony! — to help the family make ends meet.

Howe thought that the complex motions of human arms, hands and fingers were far too complex to emulate with a machine. Rather than copy that, he would use established machine techniques.

He moved the eye of the needle to the point and devised a shuttle to move a second thread through the loop created by the needle. This created a tight lock stitch that was stronger than Thimonnier’s chain stitch.

At 250 stitches per minute, Howe’s machine was able to out-sew five humans at a demonstration in 1845. Selling them was a problem, however, largely because of the $300 price tag — more than $8,000 in today’s money.

He patented the device in 1846, but his American workshop burned down, and he got swindled out of the British royalties. He returned to Boston penniless. As an inventor, Howe seemed a lousy businessman.

But sewing machines were all the rage, thanks to Isaac Singer’s better marketing and improved design: a needle that went up and down instead of sideways, and power from a foot treadle instead of a hand crank. (Household electricity wasn’t in the picture yet.)

Howe mortgaged his father’s farm to raise the funds to sue Singer and others for patent infringement. It took years, but Howe prevailed in 1854, winning a judgment of $15,000 ($400,000 today).

Howe, Singer and other manufacturers pooled their patents two years later. Howe got a $5 royalty for every machine sold in the United States and a dollar for each one sold elsewhere. That added up to $2 million, or $50 million in today’s skins.

Howe’s 21-year patent and 48-year life both expired in 1867.

National TV Dinner Day

Freeze! September 10 is National TV Dinner Day. If you're too tired to cook and just feel like vegging out in front of the TV, you’re not alone. According to the American Frozen Food Institute, the average American eats six frozen meals a month.

Gerry Thomas is the man who invented both the product and the name of the Swanson TV Dinner. In 1954, Swanson TV Dinners fufilled two post-war trends: the lure of time-saving modern appliances and the fascination with a growing innovation, the television. More than 10 million TV dinners were sold during the first year of Swanson's national distribution. For $.98 per dinner, customers were able to choose among Salisbury steak, meatloaf, fried chicken, or turkey, served with potatoes and bright green peas; special desserts were added later.
The food groups in a TV dinner were displayed neatly in a divided metal tray. A representative tray was placed in the Smithsonian Institution in 1987 to commemorate the trays impact on American culture. Celebrity figures from Howdy Doody to President Eisenhower touted the dinners.

Swanson removed the name "TV Dinner," from the packaging in the 1960s. The Campbell Soup Company replaced the aluminum trays of Swanson frozen TV dinners with plastic, microwave-safe trays in 1986. That same year, the orginal aluminum Swanson TV Dinner tray was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute, sealing TV Dinners' place in American cultural history. In 1999, Swanson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Pinnacle Foods Corporation, the current owners of Swanson products since 2001 recently celebrated fifty years of TV Dinners and Swanson TV Dinners still remain in the public conscience as the dinner phenomenon of the 50s that grew up with television.

World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 each year to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death.

World Suicide Prevention Day gives organizations, government agencies and individuals a chance to promote awareness about suicide, mental illnesses associated with suicide, as well as suicide prevention. Organizations such as the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and World Health Organization (WHO) play a key role in promoting this event.

Events and activities for World Suicide Prevention Day include:
  • The launch of new government initiatives to prevent suicide.
  • Conferences, open days, educational seminars or public lectures.
  • Media programs promoting suicide awareness and prevention.
  • Memorial services or candlelight ceremonies to remember those who died from suicide.
  • Organizing cultural or spiritual events, fairs or exhibitions.
  • Launches of publications about suicide awareness and prevention.
  • Training courses about suicide and depression awareness.
  • Many of these initiatives are celebrated in various countries worldwide. Some of these events and activities are held at a local level, while others are nation-wide. 
Many communities around the world reaffirm their commitment to suicide prevention on World Suicide Prevention Day.

Nearly 3000 people on average commit suicide daily, according to WHO. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. About one million people die by suicide each year. Suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death which is influenced by psycho-social, cultural and environmental risk factors that can be prevented through worldwide responses that address these main risk factors. There is strong evidence indicating that adequate prevention can reduce suicide rates.

World Suicide Prevention Day, which first started in 2003, is annually held on September 10 each year as an IASP initiative. WHO co-sponsors this event. World Suicide Prevention Day aims to:
  • Raise awareness that suicide is preventable.
  • Improve education about suicide.
  • Spread information about suicide awareness.
  • Decrease stigmatization regarding suicide.
WHO and IASP work with governments and other partners to ensure that suicide is no longer stigmatized, criminalized or penalized. WHO's role is to build political action and leadership to develop national responses to prevent suicide, strengthen national planning capacity to establish the core building blocks of such a national response, and build the national capacities to implement these responses.

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