Friday, September 26, 2014

Holidays and Observances for September 26 2014

Hug A Vegetarian Day


If you have not yet heard of Hug a Vegetarian Day, don't dismay! It's not too late to start training to get your hugging muscles all warmed up to squeeze your favorite vegetarian or vegan.

Hug a Vegetarian Day is exactly what the name suggests - an official day for hugging vegans and vegetarians or, if you happen to be a herbivore yourself, for receiving lots of hugs. The occasion is primarily endorsed by the organization peta2, an animal-rights youth group affiliated with the well known activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). It is essentially a reason to celebrate and promote vegetarianism in a fun and affectionate way. This is an annual event, so mark your calendar for the last Friday of every September and plan to shower the vegetarians in your life with affection.

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat – red meat, poultry, seafood and the flesh of any other animal; it may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter.

Vegetarianism can be adopted for different reasons. Many object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, along with animal rights. Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic or economic. There are varieties of the diet as well: an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs, and an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products. Avegan diet excludes all animal products, including eggs, dairy, beeswax and honey. Some vegans also avoid animal products such as leather (and possibly silk) for clothing and goose-fat for shoe polish.

Various packaged or processed foods, including cake, cookies, candies, chocolate, yogurt and marshmallows, often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, and may be a special concern for vegetarians due to the likelihood of such additions. Often, products are reviewed by vegetarians for animal-derived ingredients prior to purchase or consumption. Vegetarians vary in their feelings regarding these ingredients, however. For example, while some vegetarians may be unaware of animal-derived rennet's role in the usual production of cheese and may therefore unknowingly consume the product, other vegetarians may not take issue with its consumption.

Semi-vegetarian diets consist largely of vegetarian foods, but may include fish or poultry, or sometimes other meats, on an infrequent basis. Those with diets containing fish or poultry may define meat only as mammalian flesh and may identify with vegetarianism. A pescetarian diet has been described as "fish but no other meat". The common use association between such diets and vegetarianism has led vegetarian groups such as the Vegetarian Society to state that diets containing these ingredients are not vegetarian, due to fish and birds being animals.

Johnny Appleseed Day


Johnny Appleseed is a folk hero based on frontier nurseryman John Chapman, who established orchards throughout the American Midwest.

John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was born on September 26, 1774, in Leominster, Massachusetts. Chapman was an eccentric frontier nurseryman who established orchards throughout the American Midwest. He became the basis of the folk hero Johnny Appleseed, who has been the subject of countless stories, movies and works of art. Chapman died on March 18, 1845 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, on September 26, 1774. His father, Nathaniel Chapman, fought as a minuteman at the Battle of Concord, and later served in the Continental Army under General George Washington. In July of 1776, while her husband was at war, Elizabeth Chapman died in childbirth. Nathaniel Chapman returned home and remarried shortly thereafter. He and his new wife, Lucy Cooley, had a total of 10 children together.

A limited amount is known about Chapman's early life. He may have traveled west to Ohio with his brother initially, meeting up with the rest of his family in 1805. It is likely that Nathaniel Chapman, a farmer, encouraged his son to become an orchardist, setting him up with an apprenticeship in this area. By 1812, John Chapman was working independently as an orchardist and nurseryman.

John Chapman traveled widely, particularly in Pennsylvania and Ohio, pursuing his profession. While the legend of Johnny Appleseed suggests that his planting was random, there was actually a firm economic basis for Chapman's behavior. He established nurseries and returned, after several years, to sell off the orchard and the surrounding land.

The trees that Chapman planted had multiple purposes, although they did not yield edible fruit. The small, tart apples his orchards produced were useful primarily to make hard cider and applejack. Orchards also served the critical legal purpose of establishing land claims along the frontier. As a consequence, Chapman owned around 1,200 acres of valuable land at the time of his death.

Chapman was a follower of the New Church, also known as the Church of Swedenborg. He spread his faith while traveling to establish orchards, preaching to both Anglo-American and indigenous people he encountered along the way.

Among Chapman's eccentricities was a threadbare wardrobe, which often did not include shoes and often did include a tin hat. He was a staunch believer in animal rights and denounced cruelty towards all living things, including insects. He was a practicing vegetarian in his later years. Chapman did not believe in marriage and expected to be rewarded in heaven for his abstinence.

The exact place and time of Chapman's death are matters of dispute. Nineteenth-century sources suggest that he died in the summer of 1847 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, though contemporary sources often cite March 18 as his death date.

After his death, Chapman's image developed into the pioneer folk hero Johnny Appleseed. Johnny Appleseed festivals and statues dot the Northeastern and Midwestern United States to this day, and Appleseed is the official folk hero of Massachusetts. The character has served as the focus of countless children's books, movies and stories since the Civil War period.

The legend of Johnny Appleseed differs from the life of the historical John Chapman in several key respects. While Chapman planted strategically, for profit, the Johnny Appleseed character sowed seeds at random and without commercial interest. The fact that Chapman's crops were typically used to make alcohol was also excluded from the Appleseed legend. Despite these discrepancies from the historical record, the Johnny Appleseed character reflects an interest in frontier settlement during a period of expansion in the far western portion of the continent.

National Love Note Day


It’s Love Note Day! The practice of writing and sending love letters has a long and illustrious history. Famous romantics like Lord Byron and William Shakespeare penned sonnets and odes, and inspired generations of young lovers to do the same.

A love letter is a romantic way to express feelings of love in written form. Whether delivered by hand, mail, carrier pigeon, or romantically left in a secret location, the letter may be anything from a short and simple message of love to a lengthy explanation of feelings. Love letters may 'move through the widest range of emotions - devotion, disappointment, grief and indignation, self-confidence, ambition, impatience, self-reproach and resignation'.

The love letter is probably almost as old as written civilization itself. Examples from Ancient Egypt range from the most formal - 'the royal widow...Ankhesenamun wrote a letter to the king of the Hittites, Egypt's old enemy, begging him to send one of his sons to Egypt to marry her' - to the down-to-earth: let me 'bathe in thy presence, that I may let thee see my beauty in my tunic of finest linen, when it is wet'. Imperial China might demand a higher degree of literary skill: when a heroine, faced with an arranged marriage, wrote to her childhood sweetheart, he exclaimed, 'what choice talent speaks in her well-chosen words...everything breathes the style of a Li T'ai Po. How on earth can anyone want to marry her off to some humdrum clod?'.

In Ovid's Rome, 'the tricky construction and reception of the love letter' formed the centre of his Ars Amatoria or Art of Love: 'the love letter is situated at the core of Ovidian erotics'. The Middle Ages saw the formal development of the Ars dictaminis, including the art of the love letter, from opening to close. For salutations, 'the scale in love letters is nicely graded from "To the noble and discreet lady P., adorned with every elegance, greeting" to the lyrical fervor of "Half of my soul and light of my eyes...greeting, and that delight which is beyond all word and deed to express"'. The substance similarly 'ranges from doubtful equivoque to exquisite and fantastic dreaming', rising to appeals for 'the assurance "that you care for me the way I care for you"'.

The love letter continued to be taught as a skill at the start of the eighteenth century, as in Richard Steele's Spectator. Perhaps in reaction, the artificiality of the concept came to be distrusted by the Romantics: "A love-letter? My letter - a love-letter? It...came straight from my heart".

Love Note Day is the perfect time to recognize the people that you love. Send a modern-day love note by sending a beautiful eCards to let your loved ones know just how much they mean to you!

Native American Day


Native American Day 2014 date is September 26th. Native Americans are the people who have immigrated to America for either a job, or to study, or to make a living in America. To honor them, Native American Day is celebrated. This day is a holiday for all the Native Americans. Native Americans are commonly referred to as American Indians, but they are acknowledged as Native Americans in recent years, as a mark of respect and recognition.

Different countries and states in the United States celebrate Native American Day on different days.

In California, the Native American Day was recognized in the year 1968 when Sir Ronald Reagan signed a declaration calling for a holiday on American Indian Day. This day was to be celebrated on the Fourth Friday in September each year. This resolution was accepted in 1998, ans since then, the fourth Friday of September every year is commemorated as Native American Day.

In South Dakota, an accordant legislature was put forward by Governor George S. Mickelson in the year 1989 to title 1990 as the “Year of Reconciliation” between the whites and Native Americans. This legislature also demanded to modify Columbus Day to Native American Day, and to alter Martin Luther King's birthday into a state holiday. Since then, the second Monday of October is celebrated as Native American Day in South Dakota.

In 1994, the Tennessee state General Assembly constituted the fourth Monday of September each year to be observed as “American Indian Day”.

People in America celebrate Native American Day through learning from educational resources that concentrate on traditions, culture and background of Native Americans. Native American Day is celebrated to honor the heritage of Native Americans and for both native and non-native cultures of America to unify the countless aspects of native culture.

In California, some of the organizations, community groups and churches support Native American Day by raising awareness about the history, culture and traditions of native people of the United States. Cultural activities like markets and pow wows, which involve dancing, singing, and socializing are held in the form of meetings for North America's native people.

The Native American Day is a public holiday in South Dakota, California and Tennessee, instead of the Columbus Day. Businesses, schools and government offices are closed in honor of Native American Day. But services such as police and fire departments, and emergency services are available on Native American Day.

National Pancake Day


Get your flapjacks flippin' - September 26 is National Pancake Day!

Grab your knife and fork and dig into a short stack of your favorite pancakes! Whether you frequent the local pancake house or whip up some batter for the griddle on your own, enjoy breakfast all day long.

The first pancakes can date back to Ancient Greek. Since the 6th century, pancakes have been an important part of any Greek person's breakfast. The first recorded mention of pancakes comes from the poet Cratinus who described warm pancakes in one of his writings. In Greece, pancakes are called taginites.

The French have their own spin on pancakes, calling their thin little disks crepes. These crepes can be filled with just about anything from eggs to cheese and even spinach and fish! Crepes can be eaten not just for breakfast, but for lunch and dinner as well. Crepes are served in countries all over the world, but are most popular in France and other European countries, though their popularity has spread to America and even Asian countries as well. You can even find crepes on the menu of some Ikea's!

Kaiserschmarrn is a popular pancake dish that originated in Austria-Hungary. Scholars agree that the first kaiserschmarrn was probably served to the Austrian emperor Francis Joseph I. This type of pancake it cut up into pieces and other ingredients like berries, nuts, and raisins. This pancake is usually eaten like a dessert and served with apple or plum sauce.

Finally, let's take a look at Pancake Day, or, as we know it, Marti Gras. As we all know, Marti Gras is the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. Centuries ago, flour, eggs, and sugar-all of which are important ingredients of pancakes-were not allowed to be consumed during Lent because they were considered to be luxury foods. Since Lent is a time to sacrifice luxuries, these and a few other foods were not eaten during the forty days of Lent. So, the day before Ash Wednesday became Pancake Day, a day to use up all the left over eggs, flour, and sugar to make the last batch of pancakes until Easter.

Now as you sit back with your fluffy pancakes and drown them in syrup, you can see just how amazing this funny little food is. It is important in many cultures and each culture has its own take on pancakes, complete with different names and ingredients. Each different type of pancake has its own unique backstory and beginnings. From ancient Greece to an emperor in Austria-Hungary, each different type of pancake is unique. However, one thing remains the same: The fact that this food has linked so many different cultures across the world.

Today, pancakes start with a rich batter of eggs, flour, milk or buttermilk and baking powder. Toss in complementary spices, like cinnamon or vanilla, your favorite fruit or a handful of chocolate chips to sweeten the deal.

Save The Koala Day


The aim of Save the Koala Day is to raise awareness of the plight of the koala and to educate people. The Australian Koala Foundation raises money with sales of stickers, special Koala Day gifts,items and donations.

The money contributes to the long term survival of Australia's wild koalas and
their habitat. Koalas in the wild face problems as their habitat is cleared.

With housing getting closer, there is also the risk of dog attacks and road 
accidents.80% of koala habitat is on private land and the public needs to be
educated on how to help to keep the koala habitat alive and safe.Simple 
measures like planting new and maintaining existing trees that koalas like
to feed on and keeping dogs secure at night go a long way to help.

Despite there being large populations of koalas in some areas, other areas are
very fragile due to the degradation of the habitat. Public education is 
necessary and the Australian Koala Foundation has done a lot to enable this
including implementing the Save the Koala Day.

The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus or, inaccurately, koala bear) is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. It is the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae, and its closest living relatives are the wombats. The koala is found in coastal areas of the mainland's eastern and southern regions, inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales,Victoria and South Australia. It is easily recognisable by its stout, tailless body; round, fluffy ears; and large, spoon-shaped nose. The koala has a body length of 60–85 cm (24–33 in) and weighs 4–15 kg (9–33 lb). Pelage colour ranges from silver grey to chocolate brown. Koalas from the northern populations are typically smaller and lighter in colour than their counterparts further south. It is possible that these populations are separate subspecies, but this is disputed.

Koalas typically inhabit open eucalypt woodlands, and the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet. Because this eucalypt diet has limited nutritional and caloric content, koalas are largely sedentary and sleep for up to 20 hours a day. They are asocial animals, and bonding exists only between mothers and dependent offspring. Adult males communicatewith loud bellows that intimidate rivals and attract mates. Males mark their presence with secretions from scent glandslocated on their chests. Being marsupials, koalas give birth to underdeveloped young that crawl into their mothers' pouches, where they stay for the first six to seven months of their life. These young koalas are known as joeys, and are fully weanedat around a year. Koalas have few natural predators and parasites but are threatened by various pathogens, likeChlamydiaceae bacteria and the koala retrovirus, as well as by bushfires and droughts.

Koalas were hunted by indigenous Australians and depicted in myths and cave art for millennia. The first recorded encounter between a European and a koala was in 1798, and an image of the animal was published in 1810 by naturalistGeorge Perry. Botanist Robert Brown wrote the first detailed scientific description of the koala in 1814, although his work remained unpublished for 180 years. Popular artist John Gould illustrated and described the koala, introducing the species to the general British public. Further details about the animal's biology were revealed in the 19th century by several English scientists. Because of its distinctive appearance, the koala is recognised worldwide as a symbol of Australia. Koalas are listed as of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Australian government lists populations in Queensland and New South Wales as Vulnerable. The animal was hunted heavily in the early 20th century for its fur, and large-scale cullings in Queensland resulted in a public outcry that initiated a movement to protect the species.Sanctuaries were established, and translocation efforts moved to new regions koalas whose habitat had become fragmented or reduced. The biggest threat to their existence is habitat destruction caused by agriculture and urbanisation.

Shamu the Whale Day


Shamu was the first orca to survive more than 13 months in captivity and was the star of a very popular killer whale show at SeaWorld San Diego in the mid–late 1960s. She was the fourth killer whale (orca) ever captured (the second female). She was captured in October 1965 and died in August 1971 after about six years in captivity. After her death, the name Shamu continued to be used in SeaWorld "Shamu" orca shows for different killer whales in different SeaWorld parks.

Shamu's was the first intentional live capture of a healthy orca. The three previous orca captures ("Wanda," Moby Doll and Namu) had been more opportunistic. The very young, 14 foot (4.25m), 2000 lb (900 kg) Southern Resident orca was captured by Ted Griffin in Puget Sound in October 1965 to be a companion for the orca Namu at Griffin's Seattle public aquarium. But the new orca was soon leased to and then purchased by SeaWorld in San Diego in December 1965. Her name is presumably a portmanteau of "she" and "Namu."

She was retired from performing after an incident on April 19, 1971 in which she bit on the legs and hips of a female SeaWorld employee who was trying to ride her as part of a filmed publicity event, and refused to release the woman until other workers came to the rescue and pried the orca's jaws apart with a pole. The employee had been asked to ride Shamu while wearing a bikini, and had not known that the orca had previously attacked people who wore ordinary bathing suits and was only conditioned to perform with trainers that wore wet suits. The orca had also been showing recent signs of erratic behavior and of being upset just before the incident.

About four months later, Shamu died (in August 1971).

World Contraception Day


World Contraception Day takes place on September 26th every year. The annual worldwide campaign centers around a vision where every pregnancy is wanted. Launched in 2007, WCD’s mission is to improve awareness of contraception and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.

Contraception and fertility control, are methods or devices used to prevent pregnancy. Planning, provision and use of birth control is called family planning. Birth control methods have been used since ancient times, but effective and safe methods only became available in the 20th century. Some cultures limit or discourage access to birth control because they consider it to be morally or politically undesirable.

The most effective methods of birth control are sterilization by means of vasectomy in males and tubal ligation in females, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implantable contraceptives. This is followed by a number of hormonal contraceptives including oral pills, patches, vaginal rings, and injections. Less effective methods include barrierssuch as condoms, diaphragms and contraceptive sponge and fertility awareness methods. The least effective methods are spermicides and withdrawal by the male before ejaculation. Sterilization, while highly effective, is not usually reversible; all other methods are reversible, most immediately upon stopping them. Safe sex, such as the use of male or female condoms, can also help prevent sexually transmitted infections. Emergency contraceptives can prevent pregnancy in the few days after unprotected sex. Some regard sexual abstinence as birth control, but abstinence-only sex education may increase teen pregnancies when offered without contraceptive education.

In teenagers, pregnancies are at greater risk of poor outcomes. Comprehensive sex education and access to birth control decreases the rate of unwanted pregnancies in this age group. While all forms of birth control may be used by young people, long-acting reversible birth control such as implants, IUDs, or vaginal rings are of particular benefit in reducing rates of teenage pregnancy. After the delivery of a child, a woman who is not exclusively breastfeeding may become pregnant again after as few as four to six weeks. Some methods of birth control can be started immediately following the birth, while others require a delay of up to six months. In women who are breastfeeding, progestin-only methods are preferred over combined oral contraceptives. In women who have reached menopause, it is recommended that birth control be continued for one year after the last period.

About 222 million women who want to avoid pregnancy in developing countries are not using a modern birth control method. Birth control use in developing countries has decreased the number of maternal deaths by 40% (about 270,000 deaths prevented in 2008) and could prevent 70% if the full demand for birth control were met. By lengthening the time between pregnancies, birth control can improve adult women's delivery outcomes and the survival of their children. In the developing world women's earnings, assets, weight, and their children's schooling and health all improve with greater access to birth control. Birth control increases economic growth because of fewer dependent children, more women participating in the workforce, and less consumption of scarce resources.