Friday, September 12, 2014

Holidays and Observances for September 12 2014

Defenders Day

Defenders Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Maryland It commemorates the successful defense of the city of Baltimore on September 12, 1814 from an invading British force during the War of 1812, an event which would lead to the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem of the United States.

In 1814, following the burning of Washington, a British force commanded by Major General Robert Ross landed near present day Fort Howard, Maryland and began an advance on the city. He was met almost immediately by a detachment from the Baltimore garrison led by American General John Stricker, commencing the Battle of North Point. The resulting halt of the larger British force allowed Baltimore to organize its defenses against a later attempted naval invasion. It was during this conflict, the Battle of Baltimore, that Fort McHenry was shelled by the British but refused to surrender, and an inspired Maryland lawyer named Francis Scott Key composed the words to what would later become "The Star-Spangled Banner", eventually proclaimed the national anthem of the United States.

National Chocolate Milkshake Day

September 12th is National Chocolate Milkshake Day.  No matter how you whip it up, one thing is certain. National Chocolate Milkshake Day is an annual "holiday"  dedicated to the sweet combination of rich, decadent chocolate with creamy, cool icy goodness.

What is the history of the milkshake?
A milkshake is a sweet, cold beverage which is made from milk, ice cream or iced milk, and flavorings or sweeteners such as fruit syrup or chocolate sauce. In places outside the United States, the drink is sometimes called a thickshake or a thick milkshake or a frappe.

The term milkshake was first used, in print, in 1885. Milkshakes were an alcoholic whiskey drink that has been described as a "...sturdy, healthful eggnog type of drink, with eggs, whiskey, etc., served as a tonic as well as a treat".

By 1900, the term milkshake referred to "wholesome drinks made with chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla syrups." The milkshake made it into the mainstream when in 1922 a Walgreen's employee in Chicago, Ivar "Pop" Coulson, took an old-fashioned malted milk (milk, chocolate, and malt) and added two scoops of ice cream, creating a drink which became popular at a surprising rate, soon becoming a high-demand drink for young adults around the country.

By the 1930's, milkshakes were a popular drink at malt shops. The automation of milkshakes developed in the 1930's, after the invention of freon-cooled refrigerators provided a safe, reliable way of automatically making and dispensing ice cream. In the late 1930's, several newspaper articles show that the term "frosted" was used to refer to milkshakes made with ice cream.

In the 1950's, a milkshake machine salesman named Ray Kroc bought exclusive rights to a milkshake maker from inventor Earl Prince, and went on to use automated milkshake machines to speed up production in a major fast-food chain. In 2000 there was developed a reduced-sugar, low-fat milk shakes for school lunch programs. The shakes have half the sugar and only 10% of the fat of commercial fast-food shakes. In the 2000's, milkshakes began being used as part of the new trend of boutique-style "spa dentistry," which aim to relax dental patients and reduce their anxiety. 

Nowadays we are lucky that we can a good milkshake. Just like the smoothie there are a countless number of flavors when it comes to milkshakes.

To celebrate National Chocolate Milkshake Day, enjoy a delicious chocolate milkshake. Pick up one from an ice cream shop or make your own.

Here is a quick and easy recipe.
Combine 2 cups of chocolate ice cream, 2 bars of dark chocolate candy (diced), and 1/2 cup whipped cream in a blender. Garnish with more cream and chocolate shavings.

National Police Woman Day

In 1909, Los Angeles social worker Alice Stebbins Wells petitioned Mayor George Alexander and the City Council, requesting that an ordinance providing for a Los Angeles Policewoman be adopted. Not only was the measure passed, but on September 12, 1910, Mrs. Wells was appointed as the nation’s first female to be designated a policewoman with arrest powers.

Many California cities had employed women as "matrons" or "workers" since 1890. These employees specialized in the care of female prisoners, and worked in city and county prisons and other penal institutions.

On the first day of her appointment, Mrs. Wells was furnished with a Gamewell (a telephone call box) key, a book of rules, a first aid book, and a "policeman’s badge." In those days, an officer was privileged to enjoy free trolley car rides while going to and from work, but when Mrs. Wells displayed her badge, the conductor accused her of misusing her husband’s identity. This was remedied by presenting her with "Policewoman’s Badge Number One."

Mrs. Wells was assigned to work with Officer Leo W. Marden, the Department’s first juvenile officer. Subsequent to her appointment, the following order was issued:
"No young girl can be questioned by a male officer. Such work is delegated solely to policewomen, who, by their womanly sympathy and intuition, are able to gain the confidence of their younger sisters."
Her first duties included supervision and enforcement of laws concerning "dance halls, skating rinks, penny arcades, picture shows, and other similar places of public recreation." Among her activities were the "suppression of unwholesome billboard displays, searches for missing persons, and the maintenance of a general information bureau for women seeking advice on matters within the scope of police departments."

In 1911, the position of women police officers in Los Angeles was placed under Civil Service control. By October 1912, there were three policewomen and three police matrons in the Department.

Mrs. Wells’ appointment prompted nationwide publicity, and by 1916, her efforts in promoting the need for female officers resulted in the hiring of policewomen in 16 other cities and in several foreign countries. She was also instrumental in organizing the International Policewomen’s Association in 1915.

Three years later, Mrs. Wells succeeded in persuading the University of California, Southern Division (now UCLA) to offer the first course specifically on the work of women police officers. The course was introduced by the school’s Criminology Department in the summer session in 1918.

Mrs. Wells was named the first president of the Women’s Peace Officers Association of California in 1928, a group she helped to create. In July 1934, she was appointed the Los Angeles Police Department historian, a post she held until her retirement on November 1, 1940. She had been a policewoman for 30 years.

Alice Stebbins Wells fought for the idea that women, as regular members of municipal police departments, are particularly well-qualified to perform protective and preventive work among juveniles and female criminals. She will be remembered for introducing this new concept into local law enforcement.

Since her appointment, policewomen have been assigned duties in patrol, delinquency prevention, investigation of crimes involving juveniles, and investigation of other cases in which the service of a female officer is deemed necessary.

By 1937, 39 policewomen were employed by this Department. In addition, five "aerial policewomen" were appointed as reserve officers. These specially appointed aerial officers joined a previously all-male squadron of commercial and highly trained amateur pilots who were summoned to duty in situations requiring expert flyers.

Mrs. Wells died in August 1957. Attending her funeral service as pallbearers were Deputy Chief Frank E. Walton, Jr., Inspector K.J. McCauley, Sergeants G.E. Luther and A.R. Bongard and Policewomen Betty J. Munson, and Chloe I. Gilmore. Ten other policewomen in full dress uniform served as the Honor Guard. Interment was in Forest Lawn Memorial Park [in Los Angeles].

Los Angeles’ second policewoman, Minnie Barton, befriended several homeless girls while working with young women on parole or probation. Often these girls had nowhere else to go and no prospects for the future, so she attempted to help them rebuild their lives by taking them into her home and offering them vocational training.

In 1917, she founded the "Minnie Barton Home." In the early years, she and her co-workers were primarily interested in women just released from jail. Often younger women, particularly first offenders, were committed to the Home in lieu of jail sentences.

This "temporary home" facility grew to include care for pregnant women, often left destitute as a result of the father’s jail confinement or abandonment. The Home has since expanded and is now known as The Big Sister League, a United Way agency.

National Video Games Day

National Video Games Day takes place on September 12. A video game is an electronic game that involves human interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. The word video in video game traditionally referred to a cathode ray tube display device, but it now implies any type of display device that can produce two or three dimensional images. 

It has been shown that action video game players have better hand-eye coordination and visuo-motor skills, such as their resistance to distraction, their sensitivity to information in the peripheral vision and their ability to count briefly presented objects, than non-players.

Researchers found that such enhanced abilities could be acquired by training with action games, involving challenges that switch attention between different locations, but not with games requiring concentration on single objects. It has been suggested by a few studies that online/offline video gaming can be used as a therapeutic tool in the treatment of different mental health concerns.

In 1952, A.S. Douglas wrote his PhD degree at the University of Cambridge on Human-Computer interraction. Douglas created the first graphical computer game - a version of Tic-Tac-Toe. The game was programmed on a EDSAC vaccuum-tube computer, which had a cathode ray tube display.

William Higinbotham created the first video game ever in 1958. His game, called "Tennis for Two," was created and played on a Brookhaven National Laboratory oscilloscope. In 1962, Steve Russell invented SpaceWar!. Spacewar! was the first game intended for computer use. Russell used a MIT PDP-1 mainframe computer to design his game.

In 1967, Ralph Baer wrote the first video game played on a television set, a game called Chase. Ralph Baer was then part of Sanders Associates, a military electronics firm. Ralph Baer first conceived of his idea in 1951 while working for Loral, a television company.

In 1971, Nolan Bushnell together with Ted Dabney, created the first arcade game. It was called Computer Space, based on Steve Russell's earlier game of Spacewar!. The arcade game Pong was created by Nolan Bushnell (with help from Al Alcorn) a year later in 1972. Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney started Atari Computers that same year. In 1975, Atari re-released Pong as a home video game.

Larry Kerecman was one of the first first operators of video arcade games, including Computer Space. He writes that, "The brilliance of these machines was that Nolan Bushnell and company took what was computer programming (in Space War) and translated it into a simpler version of the game (no gravity) using hard-wired logic circuits. The printed circuit boards that comprise electronics of these games use integrated circuits called small-scale integrated circuits. They consist of discrete logic chips and gates or gates, 4-line to 16-line decoders, etc. straight out of the Texas Instruments catalog. The shape of the rocket ship and flying saucer even are visible in a pattern of diodes on the PC board."

In 1972, the first commercial video game console that could be played in the home, the Odyssey was released by Magnavox and designed by Ralph Baer. The game machine was originally designed while Ralph Baer was still at Sanders Associates in 1966, Baer managed to gain his legal rights to the machine after Sanders Associates rejected it. The Odyssey came programmed with twelve games.

In 1976, Fairchild released the first programmable home game console called the Fairchild Video Entertainment System, and later renamed Channel F. Channel F was one of the first electronic systems to use the newly invented microchip invented by Robert Noyce for the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation that allowed video games to not be limited by the number of TTL switches.

On June 17, 1980, Atari's "Asteroids" and "Lunar Lander" were the first two video games to ever be registered in the Copyright Office.

Stand Up To Cancer Day

Stand Up To Cancer aims to form an unstoppable movement against cancer. Through TV and the internet, particularly the USA-based telethon that occurs on this day, the 12th of September, famous names and the entertainment industry team up to drive home the message that together we can stop cancer.

One in two men and one in three women will suffer from cancer in their lifetime (American Cancer Society). We can all be affected by the terrible disease, whether the person diagnosed is a friend, a parent, a child, a sibling or a partner. Stand Up To Cancer aim to form a united front against the disease, raising money and urging forward breakthrough research.

Stand Up To Cancer Day works to heighten the profile of research into cancer remedies and cures, to raise the funds available to back this research and to bring together the best teams of scientists and experts, removing obstacles to their progress.

We can all do our bit to stands up to cancer, so today consider donating to the cause, get involved by raising money or helping out with one of the many charities and initiatives working to provide treatment, research and support, and most of all, honour and remember those who have been affected by the disease.

International Day for South-South Cooperation

South-South cooperation, as an important element of international cooperation for development, offers viable opportunities for developing countries and countries with economies in transition in their individual and collective pursuit of sustained economic growth and sustainable development.

Developing countries have the primary responsibility for promoting and implementing South-South cooperation, not as a substitute for, but rather as a complement to North-South cooperation. The international community should support the efforts of the developing countries to expand South-South cooperation.

To mark the importance of South-South Cooperation, the General Assembly decided to observe this Day on 12 September every year, commemorating the adoption in 1978 of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries.

The Assembly also urged all relevant United Nations organizations and multilateral institutions to intensify their efforts to effectively mainstream the use of South-South cooperation in the design, formulation and implementation of their regular programmes and to consider increasing allocations of human, technical and financial resources for supporting South-South cooperation initiatives.

The Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, held in Brussels in May 2001, emphasized the importance of South-South cooperation in capacity-building and setting best practices, particularly in the areas of health, education, training, environment, science and technology, trade, investment and transit transport cooperation.

The International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Monterrey, Mexico in March 2002, specifically encouraged South-South cooperation, including through triangular cooperation, to facilitate exchange of views on successful strategies, practices and experience and replication of projects. Further, it urged the strengthening of South-South cooperation in the delivery of assistance.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August 2002, adopted a Declaration and an Implementation Plan that specifically endorsed South-South cooperation and strong regional and subregional action.

With the aim of mobilizing global awareness of, and support for, South-South cooperation for inclusive development, the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 58/220 of 23 December 2003, proclaimed the 19th of December as the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, with the first such United Nations Day held on 19 December 2004. The event has since served as a vibrant platform for the international community to celebrate achievements; share development successes; explore new avenues for collaboration; forge innovative and inclusive partnerships; and launch concrete collaborative schemes towards achieving internationally development goals (IADGs), including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), under South-South, East-East, East-South, public-private, and North-South-South triangular arrangements.

In December 2011, the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Second Committee, decided that, beginning in 2012, the observance of the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation would be changed from 19 December to 12 September, to mark the day in 1978 when the United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries adopted the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries.

The world has undergone a major economic and political transformation in the last two decades. The changes, particularly in the South, have been more rapid than at any time during a similar span in world history. Relationships within the South and between the South and the North have taken on entirely new dimensions. Key current issues such as the environment and climate change, energy and food security, global poverty, the linkage between growth and equity, and migration are today more global than North-South in nature.

Many countries in the South have built up significant financial and technical capacities. They have begun to transfer some of these resources, on concessional and non-concessional terms, to other countries in the South in the context of an inclusive approach to the management of global problems, spreading the benefits of globalization more widely, creating new markets, and building a broader foundation for sustainable economic growth. In recent years, building on a long history of assistance and other cooperation among developing countries, several Southern countries have become significant partners for development cooperation. A new dimension is clearly being added to development cooperation, particularly for Africa and the Southern countries that remain specially disadvantaged, particularly the least developed countries (LDCs), the landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and the small island developing States (SIDS).

In order to fully harness the vast number of available Southern development solutions to help address old and emerging Southern challenges, the United Nations Secretary-General, in his report to the sixty-second session of the General Assembly (A/62/295), among other things, called upon the international development community, including the United Nations system, to help scale up the impact of South-South cooperation by
  • (a) optimizing the use of South-South approaches in achieving the IADGs, including the MDGs;
  • (b) intensifying multilateral support for South-South initiatives to address common development challenges;
  • (c) fostering inclusive partnerships for South-South cooperation, including triangular and public-private partnerships;
  • (d) improving the coherence of United Nations system support for such cooperation; and
  • (e) encouraging innovative financing for South-South and triangular cooperation.