Friday, November 21, 2014

Holidays and Observances for November 21 2014

False Confession Day

False Confession Day is celebrated on November 20th of each year. False Confession Day is said to be a day where you are to make a false confession; as opposed to calling awareness to improperly obtained false confessions via heavy-handed law enforcement or government tactics. We've found no sources that identify the origin of this holiday which would help establish its true meaning, though, we find it interesting that it does happen to be the Voltaire's birthday, born on November 21st, 1694, whom some believe made a false confession of his faith to the Church in order to get a proper burial. So we're thinking there could be a logical connection for this holiday to be tied to making a false confession.

Have you ever taken the fall for a friend? Told a lie to protect someone in a tight spot? If you are a compulsive liar, you probably make false confessions on the daily. Or maybe you are trying to sound cool and tough to a new coworker, and in trying to impress her, you say that you once robbed a bank and gave the spoils to the poor. Really? Okay, Robin Hood, not sure if she’s buying it, but good luck with that.

Interestingly enough, approximately one in four innocent defendants in DNA exoneration cases deliver incriminating statements, give outright confessions or plead guilty. There are many reasons that false confessions may occur in such circumstances, but unfortunately the most common reason is intense pressure from the prosecutor. This is sad not only because someone is going to receive punishment for this crime, but also because the real criminal is escaping justice.

I know I just took us to a kind of depressing place, so let’s bring it back in. Confessing to something that isn’t true can be a funny joke. For example, I have never seen Star Wars. WHAT!?! What is wrong with you!?! Just kidding, of course I have seen Star Wars. What kind of horrible person do you think I am?

Play the game “Three Lies and a Truth”. You can play this game over lunch with coworkers, at a coffee shop with your BFFs, or even on Facebook as a wall post. It’s simple: Make four statements, three of them being false and one being true. The other people playing the game listen to your “confessions” and must pick out which one is for real.

As an example, I will give the following four “confessions” and you do the guessing!  1. Last month, I kept a “souvenir” towel from the Marriott in Anaheim.  2. I once called in sick to work, but really I just wanted to finish binge watching the new season of Breaking Bad on Netflix.  3. When I was little, I told my mom I had a stomach ache just so I could score a few Tums.  4. I love the smell of gasoline.

False confessions can get you into trouble if you’re not careful, so while celebrating this silly holiday, please censor your confessions. During my research, I found this list of things not to confess to:
  • Don’t falsely confess to a crime. Saying you held up the Apple Store and stole a bunch of new iPhones might give your friends a good laugh, but it’s not so funny to that one paranoid coworker that has always had a bad feeling about you and overheard your “confession”.
  • Don’t falsely report someone lost, killed or injured. This isn’t funny. To anyone. Ever.
  • Don’t falsely confess a relationship or love affair. When you start involving others in your false confessions, you run the risk of hurting feelings and starting some real rumors.
Real talk. Let’s not go crazy here! There are plenty of silly, lighthearted false confessions to make without causing panic or creating dangerous situations.

National Gingerbread Day

Grab Hansel and Gretel, November 21 is National Gingerbread Day!

Gingerbread was brought to Europe in 992 by the Armenian monk Gregory of Nicopolis (Gregory Makar) (Grégoire de Nicopolis). He left Nicopolis Pompeii, to live in Bondaroy (France), near the town of Pithiviers. He stayed there for seven years, and taught gingerbread baking to French Christians. He died in 999.

During the 13th century, gingerbread was brought to Sweden by German immigrants. In 15th century Germany, a gingerbread guild controlled production. Early references from the Vadstena Abbey show how the Swedish nuns were baking gingerbread to ease indigestion in 1444. It was the custom to bake white biscuits and paint them as window decorations.

The first documented trade of gingerbread biscuits dates to the 17th century, where they were sold in monasteries, pharmacies and town square farmers' markets. In Medieval England gingerbread was thought to have medicinal properties. One hundred years later the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, UK became known for its gingerbread, as is proudly displayed on their town's welcome sign. The first recorded mention of gingerbread being baked in the town dates back to 1793; however, it was probably made earlier, as ginger was stocked in high street businesses from the 1640s. Gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century.

Gingerbread can come in many forms – it can be hard or soft, baked as a loaf or as cookies, served with a lemon glaze or none at all, but in all cases it contains some form of ginger. Some recipes call for dried, powdered ginger, others for crystallized, and even some for fresh.

Other staples in most gingerbread recipes are honey, molasses or treacle. These typically take the place of honey.

The Germans are well known for their gingerbread, which is called Lebkuchen which can either mean cake of life or loaf cake depending on how you say it. The harder version of Lebkuchen is used to make gingerbread houses.

Speaking of which, according to the Guinness World Records, the largest gingerbread house ever built was done so in 2006 by Roger Pelcher at the Mall of America in Minnesota. It was more than 45 feet long, 35 feet wide and 60 feet tall.

National Stuffing Day

November 21 is the perfect day to celebrate National Stuffing Day as Thanksgiving day is right around the corner and we are already thinking about the delicious turkey stuffing that is a traditional part of Thanksgiving dinner.

While cooking gourmet recipes(specifically for poultry), stuffing (also known as dressing or filling) is a mixture, often a starch, used to fill a cavity in another food item. However, there are many foods that are prepared stuffed such as different meats, vegetables, eggs, easy appetizers and etc.

The typical turkey stuffing consists of bread cubes or crumbs combined with onions, celery, salt and pepper along with spices and herbs such as summer savory, sage or poultry seasoning. Other varieties include adding sausage, hamburger, tofu, oysters, egg, rice, apple, raisins or other dried fruits.

The first known documented stuffing recipes appeared in the Roman cookbook, Apicius “De Re Coquinaria”. Most of the stuffing recipes in this cookbook included vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts and spelt (an old cereal) with some of them also including chopped liver and other organ meat.

In addition to stuffing the body cavity of poultry and fish, various cuts of meat are often stuffed once deboned and having a pouch or slit cut in them. A few examples of other meats that are frequently stuffed include: stuffed pork chops, stuffed meatloaf, stuffed meatballs, stuffed chicken breast, stuffed lamb chops and stuffed beef tenderloin.

Popular vegetables that are prepared stuffed include, but are not limited to, are: tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and cabbage.

World Hello Day

World Hello Day may sound extremely basic, as it encourages us to take the opportunity to simply greet people, and to recognize how important simple communication is in our daily lives. The story of how it came to be, however, is a long and interesting one.

World Hello Day was first created in 1973 in order to show people, especially the people of the Middle East that conflicts can and should be resolved through communication, and not violence. The idea is that clear, honest communication breeds peace. In the 1970s, the conflict between Egypt and Israel was quite severe, and many people began to fear yet another huge war would end up coming of it. World Hello Day was in fact created as a direct response to the Yom Kippur War that had just finished in October of 1973, during which thousands of both soldiers and innocent civilians were killed. Some soldiers had also been tortured and flat out executed. The peace discussion at the end of the war was the first time that Arab and Israeli officials met for direct public discussion in 25 years. The concept of World Hello Day was created by Brian McCormack, a Ph.D. Graduate of Arizona State University, and Michael McCormack, a graduate of Harvard. Over the last 42 years since its creation, World Hello Day has been celebrated in 180 countries, as citizens of each of these countries take advantage of this time to express their concerns for world peace. Thirty-one winners of the Nobel Peace Prize have stated that World Hello Day carries substantial value as an instrument for preserving peace, and as an occasion that makes it possible for anyone in the world, individual, organization or government, to contribute to the process of creating peace.

Participating in World Hello Day is quite simple: all you have to do is say hello to at least 10 people during that one day. This is supposed to send a message of openness and goodwill to others, and the creators of the holiday hoped this small gesture alone would demonstrate how communication can be instrumental in resolving disputes and preventing conflicts. If you would like to take this a step further, you could always think about a person in your life that is important to you, but that you have fallen out with over something that is perhaps not quite worth it. Time tends to be a great healer, so if enough time has passed from your conflict for you to be able to analyze the situation and all of its aspects, seeing your own faults and wrongdoings as well as those of the other party, maybe it’s time to put the conflict behind you? Many people do not know how good it actually feels to admit you were in the wrong and say sorry—instead, they see such behavior as a display of weakness, when it is actually a display of strength and confidence. People also often make the mistake of thinking that the other person will lose respect for you if you apologize to them, and this too is incorrect. Most people will respect you more for being able to admit you were in the wrong, than if you decide to stubbornly hold onto your convictions after being proven incorrect. It may seen a bit daunting at first, but if the person you’ve fought with is important enough to you, it will always be worth the struggle to make the first move and extend your hand to them in a gesture of peace.

World Television Day

The United Nations’ (UN) World Television Day is annually observed in many places around the world on November 21. The day recognizes that television plays a major role in presenting different issue that affect people.

World Television Day is a day to renew governments’, organizations’ and individuals’ commitments to support the development of television media in providing unbiased information about important issues and events that affect society. News about World Television Day may be shared via print, online and broadcast media. Television and radio bloggers may write comments, editors may write in the editors’ columns, and writers, academics and journalists may write feature articles about the meaning behind this event.

Educational institutions may mark World Television Day on their calendars and educators may use this day as an opportunity to invite guest speakers to discuss media and communication issues relating to television. Discussion topics may include: how television promotes cultural diversity and a common understanding; the links between democracy and television; and the role of television in social, political and economic developments.

The UN acknowledges that television can be used to educate many people about the world, its issues and real stories that happen on the planet. Television is one of the most influential forms of media for communication and information dissemination. It is used to broadcast freedom of expressions and to increase cultural diversity.  The UN realized that television played a major role in presenting global issues affecting people and this needed to be addressed.

On December 17, 1996, UN General Assembly proclaimed November 21 as World Television Day to commemorate the date on which the first World Television Forum was held earlier that year. The UN invited all member states to observe the day by encouraging global exchanges of television programs focusing, among other things, on issues such as peace, security, economic and social development and cultural change enhancements.

The UN logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map depicts the area of concern to the UN in achieving its main purpose, peace and security. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles.

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