National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
September 27 is the annual observance of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The day serves to highlight the continuing impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic among gay men.
Gay and bisexual men are more severely affected by HIV than any other group in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) represent approximately 2% of the U.S. population but accounted for 63% of estimated new HIV infections in 2010. By the end of 2010, an estimated 302,148 gay and bisexual men with an AIDS diagnosis had died in the United States since the beginning of the epidemic, representing 48% of all deaths of people with AIDS.
Because of the high prevalence of HIV in this population, it is important for gay, bisexual, and other MSM to be tested for HIV and to take steps to reduce their risk of HIV transmission.
Nearly 1 in 5 gay and bisexual men living with HIV are undiagnosed. Getting tested is the critical first step in the process of protecting oneself and partners from HIV. Knowing one's HIV status provides powerful information and the steps to take to protect health. Gay and bisexual men should get tested, and encourage others to get tested too. If a test is positive, treatment is available to stay healthy for many years and reduce the chance of transmitting HIV to sex partners. If a test is negative, for those who are sexually active, getting tested at least once a year is recommended – some men may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g., every 3-6 months).
Know Your Prevention and Treatment Options
For HIV-negative gay and bisexual men who are sexually active, there are more tools available today and more actions to take to stay safe and healthy. Below are the key actions to take and you can learn more at the Start Talking. Stop HIV. web site.
- Choose less risky sexual behaviors. Use condoms consistently and correctly.
- Reduce the number of people with whom you have sex.
- Talk to your doctor about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), taking HIV medicine daily to prevent HIV infection.
- Talk to your doctor right away (within 3 days) about post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) if you have a possible exposure to HIV. Get tested and treated for other STDs and encourage your partners to do the same. Find an STD testing site.
- If your partner is HIV-positive, encourage your partner to get and stay on treatment.
- Use antiretroviral therapy (ART) consistently and correctly.
- If you are taking ART, follow your health care provider's advice.
- Choose less risky sexual behaviors.
- Use condoms consistently and correctly.
- Talk to your partners about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), taking HIV medicine daily to prevent HIV infection.
- Talk to your partners about post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) if you think they have had a possible exposure to HIV.
- Get tested and treated for STDs and encourage your partners to do the same. Find an STD testing site.
Ancestor Appreciation Day
Ancestor Appreciation Day is a day to learn more about our ancestors and our past so that we can preserve our family history for future generations. Knowing where you came from and who your ancestors were can give you insight into your family’s values and traditions and perhaps even make you appreciate how far you family has come.
Celebrate Ancestor Appreciation Day by spending time with your relatives, who can probably tell you more about your family history. You can also learn more about your ancestors by researching online. Ancestry.com is a great source for learning more about genealogy, how to make a family tree, and how to find family history records.
You can also head over to About.com’s genealogy section to learn more about genealogy, how to research your family history and where to look, and how to share and preserve your family history for future generations.
Family Health and Fitness Day USA
The 18th annual Family Health & Fitness Day USA is a national health and fitness event for families, set for Saturday, September 27, 2014. (always on the last Saturday in September.) The event's purpose is to promote family involvement in physical activity, one of the goals of the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health.
Local organizations throughout the country will host family-related health and fitness events at schools, park districts, hospitals, YMCAs/YWCAs, malls, health clubs and other community locations.
Local family health and fitness activities will vary widely based on the organization hosting the event and the interests of local families. Activities will be noncompetitive and may include walking events, low-impact exercises, health screenings, open houses, games and health information workshops.
Fish Amnesty Day
Fish Amnesty day was initiated by PETA over a decade ago to spread awareness of the suffering of our aquatic friends. Regardless of your opinion of PETA, the message is valid, and often overlooked. Fish and other sea life (crabs, lobsters, etc) are commonly the last creatures people consider when deciding if their dinner aligns with their ethical stance on animal cruelty.
Fish, despite that they may not be furry and cuddly, are equally deserving of consideration. They have a central nervous system that functions much like ours – with nerves just as sensitive. Fish do feel pain, and suffer horribly, as the either slowly suffocate or are butchered while still fully conscious. While they are unable to scream, they exhibit signs of distress by flopping and attempting to escape – the only thing they can do when out of water. Fish caught in the deep oceans also supper from decompression when they are raised to the shallows. While fish are not generally thought of as intelligent animals, intelligence has nothing to do with the capacity to feel pain. Pain is a biological necessity that ensures we avoid danger, and all animals are capable of suffering.
In addition to the pain caused directly to fish, eating seafood has other direct consequences for wildlife. Thousands of dolphins, turtles, and many species of sea and shore birds (in addition to non-target fish and shellfish species) are tangled in nets, caught on hooks, or brought aboard fishing vessels and tossed out dead as “by-catch.” Trawling the ocean floor destroys habitats and needlessly kills numerous non-target creatures in the process. Our oceans are being over-fished to a point that threatens ecosystems across the globe, affecting life far beyond a single species or a few locations.
Every living creature is entitled to compassion; be they cold and slimy or warm and fuzzy. A little garlic, dill, and lemon juice can turn a tofu “fillet” into something much healthier, tastier (and kinder!) than eating one of our aquatic friends.
International Rabbit Day
International Rabbit Day is observed on September 27. It promotes the protection and care of rabbits both domestic and wild. International Rabbit Day is held each year on the fourth Saturday in September. Rabbit habitats include meadows, woods, forests, grasslands, deserts and wetlands. Rabbits live in groups, and the best known species, the European rabbit, lives in underground burrows, or rabbit holes. More than half the world's rabbit population resides in North America.
Domestic rabbits can be kept as pets in a back yard hutch or indoors in a cage or house trained to have free roam. Rabbits kept indoors are often referred to as house rabbits. House rabbits typically have an indoor pen or cage and a rabbit-safe place to run and exercise, such as an exercise pen, living room or family room. Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box and some can learn to come when called. Domestic rabbits that do not live indoors can also serve as companions for their owners, typically living in a protected hutch outdoors.
Rabbits are often used as a symbol of fertility or rebirth, and have long been associated with spring and Easter as the Easter Bunny. The species' role as a prey animal also lends itself as a symbol of innocence, another Easter connotation. Additionally, rabbits are often used as symbols of playful sexuality, which also relates to the human perception of innocence, as well as its reputation as a prolific breeder.
National Chocolate Milk Day
Celebrate National Chocolate Milk Day! Who doesn't crave a nice, tall glass of frothy chocolate milk?
Chocolate milk is objectively delicious, whether cold, boxed, hot or malted. The beverage has been a staple of American lunches for years (thanks, in part, to the U.S. milk lobby). It has also been the center of some controversy: parents can’t seem to decide if the beverage is a hero (saving their children from drinking soda at lunch) or villain (filling their children with empty calories). In New York City, about 60 percent of the milk cartons served at every school lunch are full of chocolate milk. That’s 60 million cartons of chocolate milk consumed every year in New York City lunchrooms alone.
But where did it come from? Who first thought to add chocolate and milk together? According to the Natural History Museum in Britain, that credit goes to Sir Hans Sloane, an Irish botanist. Sloane spent some time in Jamaica in the early 1700s, where the local people gave him cocoa to drink. “He found it 'nauseous' but by mixing it with milk made it more palatable," the museum says. When he returned to England, Sloane brought the milk and cocoa mixture with him, and for many years it was sold as medicine.
But, as with most things, the European who gets credit for inventing something probably did not actually invent it. According to Jame Delbougo, a historian, the Jamaicans were brewing “a hot beverage brewed from shavings of freshly harvested cacao, boiled with milk and cinnamon” as far back as 1494. And chocolate has been known to humans as far back as 350 B.C. It's hard to believe that no one before Sloane thought to put milk in it.
Even Europeans had known about chocolate since 1502, when Columbus brought it back from his conquests in the Americas—although it wasn’t until Cortez pillaged the Aztecs in 1516 that Europeans actually figured out what to do with cacao. In fact, Cortez had a similar reaction to Sloan when served the bitter drink—he added spices and sugar to cut the bite.
Chocolate milk has surprising restorative properties. In 2006, the dairy industry conducted a study and discovered that chocolate milk helps athletes with muscle recovery. It provides nine essential nutrients, making it both delicious and nutritious!
Pour yourself a nice tall glass of chocolate milk in honor of National Chocolate Milk Day!
National Crush A Can Day
Today is National Crush A Can Day; yes, such a day exists. The aluminum can recycling rate in the United States is on the rise but as a nation, we still have a long way to go. According to The Aluminum Association, the aluminum beverage container recycling rate in 2011 jumped to 65.1 percent, up 7 percent from the year prior. However, that means that one-third of the aluminum cans used in the United States are not recycled.
Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation are working to improve aluminum recycling through a $2 million Clinton Global Initiative commitment. The “Action to Accelerate Recycling” will focus on aluminum as well as plastic, glass and paper recycling education efforts.
Through the initiative, Alcoa estimates that 90 tons of recycled content will be diverted from local landfills. If this diversion level is achieved, it would result in the avoidance of 850 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to the “Action to Accelerate Recycling” initiative, Alcoa announced a new Pass the Can Facebook app, which includes a charitable donation. Through these efforts, the aluminum can recycling rate in the nation should be on track to reach a 75 percent recycling rate by 2015.
In honor of National Crush A Can Day, help spread the word about the importance of aluminum can recycling, share the Pass the Can app and even head out and collect aluminum cans in your neighborhood. If you decide to collect cans in your community, I encourage you to pledge the financial proceeds from the recycling process to a local charity.
National Hunting and Fishing Day
Over 100 years ago, hunters and anglers were the earliest and most vocal supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were the first to recognize that rapid development and unregulated uses of wildlife were threatening the future of many species.
Led by fellow sportsman President Theodore Roosevelt, these early conservationists called for the first laws restricting the commercial slaughter of wildlife. They urged sustainable use of fish and game, created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to provide funds for state conservation agencies. These actions were the foundation of the North American wildlife conservation model, a science-based, user-pay system that would foster the most dramatic conservation successes of all time.
Populations of white-tailed deer, elk, antelope, wild turkey, wood ducks and many other species began to recover from decades of unregulated exploitation.
During the next half-century, in addition to the funds they contributed for conservation and their diligent watch over the returning health of America’s outdoors, sportsmen worked countless hours to protect and improve millions of acres of vital habitat—lands and waters for the use and enjoyment of everyone.
In the 1960s, hunters and anglers embraced the era's heightened environmental awareness but were discouraged that many people didn't understand the crucial role that sportsmen had played-and continue to play-in the conservation movement.
The first to suggest an official day of thanks to sportsmen was Ira Joffe, owner of Joffe's Gun Shop in Upper Darby, Pa. In 1970, Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond Shafer adopted Joffe's idea and created "Outdoor Sportsman's Day" in the state.
With determined prompting from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the concept soon emerged on the floor of the U.S. Senate. In June 1971, Sen. Thomas McIntyre, N.H., introduced Joint Resolution 117 authorizing National Hunting and Fishing Day on the fourth Saturday of every September. Rep. Bob Sikes, Fla., introduced an identical measure in the House. In early 1972, Congress unanimously passed both bills.
On May 2, 1972, President Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day, writing, "I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations."
By late summer, all 50 governors and over 600 mayors had joined in by proclaiming state and local versions of National Hunting and Fishing Day. The response was dramatic.
National, regional, state and local organizations staged some 3,000 "open house" hunting- and fishing-related events everywhere from shooting ranges to suburban frog ponds, providing an estimated four million Americans with a chance to experience, understand and appreciate traditional outdoor sports.
Over the years, National Hunting and Fishing Day boasted many more public relations successes, assisted by celebrities who volunteered to help spotlight the conservation accomplishments of sportsmen and women. Honorary chairs have included George Bush, Tom Seaver, Hank Williams Jr., Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, George Brett, Robert Urich, Ward Burton, Louise Mandrell, Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd, Jeff Foxworthy and many other sports and entertainment figures.
National Hunting and Fishing Day, celebrated the fourth Saturday of every September, remains the most effective grassroots efforts ever undertaken to promote the outdoor sports and conservation.
National Public Lands Day
Three federal agencies and 700 volunteers launched the first National Public Lands Day in 1994. By 2010, participation grew to 170,000 volunteers at over 2,000 sites across the country, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. In addition to National Public Lands Day being a fee-free day (free entry day) at many federally managed lands, volunteers who participate at federal land sites are rewarded with coupons for free entry into their favorite federal public land areas that have entrance fees.
The 2008 event featured an initiative to plant one million trees in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps. This goal was exceeded, with more than 1.6 million trees planted.
The 2009 event featured a preview of The National Parks: America's Best Idea, which began airing the next night on PBS stations nationwide. The preview was sent to each national park on DVD and aired in their visitor center auditoriums.
Those interested in volunteering can visit www.publiclandsday.org to find a site. Public land managers can go to the website to register a volunteer event.
RAINN Day (Rape Abuse Incest National Network)
RAINN Day is RAINN’s annual day of action to raise awareness and educate students about sexual violence on college campuses. It is a grassroots program designed to empower college students to educate their peers about risk reduction and recovery resources on their campus.
You can sign up as an individual, department, student organization or campus resource center to create an event that is as unique as you are! RAINN Day organizers will receive the complete RAINN Day event planning and promotion guides and have a chance to be profiled by RAINN.
RAINN Day organizers can motivate their campus to take a stand against sexual violence. Events can be tailored to fit your campus and personal style and work for any sized group or campus. Organizers can make a difference on their campus through educational events, fundraisers and peer empowerment activities.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of "America's 100 Best Charities" by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.
World Tourism Day
Many people around celebrate the United Nations’ (UN) World Tourism Day, which is on September 27 each year. The day aims to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values.
The United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) invites people worldwide to participate in World Tourism Day on September 27 every year. The UNWTO Secretary-General annually sends out a message to the general public to mark the occasion. Many tourism enterprises and organizations, as well as government agencies with a special interest in tourism, celebrate the event with various special events and festivities.
Different types of competitions, such as photo competitions promoting tourism, as well as tourism award presentations in areas such as ecotourism, are held on World Tourism Day. Other activities include free entries, discounts or special offers for the general public to any site of tourism interest. Government and community leaders, as tourism business representatives, may make public announcements or offer special tours or fares to promote both their region and World Tourism Day on or around September 27.
Tourism has experienced continued growth and deeper diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Modern tourism is closely linked to development and includes more new destinations for tourists. These dynamics turned tourism into a key driver for socio-economic progress. Tourism has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income sources for many developing countries.
The UNWTO decided in late September 1979 to institute World Tourism Day, which was first celebrated on September 27, 1980. September 27 was chosen as the date for World Tourism Day because that date coincided with an important milestone in world tourism: the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on September 27, 1970.
The UNWTO believes that the date for World Tourism Day is appropriate because it comes at the end of the high tourist season in the northern hemisphere and the start of the tourist season in the southern hemisphere, when tourism is of topical interest to many people worldwide, particularly travelers and those working in the tourism sector. Each year has a different theme – for example, “Tourism – Celebrating Diversity” was designated as the theme for 2009, with Ghana as the event’s host country for that year.