Saturday, December 13, 2014

Holidays and Observances for December 13 2014

Ice Cream Day


Ice Cream Day is observed on December 13th. Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavors. The meaning of the phrase "ice cream" varies from one country to another. Phrases such as "frozen custard", "frozen yogurt", "sorbet", "gelato" and others are used to distinguish different varieties and styles. In some countries, such as the United States, the phrase "ice cream" applies only to a specific variety, and most governments regulate the commercial use of the various terms according to the relative quantities of the main ingredients.

Ice cream's origins are known to reach back as far as the second century B.C., although no specific date of origin nor inventor has been undisputably credited with its discovery. We know that Alexander the Great enjoyed snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar. Biblical references also show that King Solomon was fond of iced drinks during harvesting. During the Roman Empire, Nero Claudius Caesar (A.D. 54-86) frequently sent runners into the mountains for snow, which was then flavored with fruits and juices.

Over a thousand years later, Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Far East with a recipe that closely resembled what is now called sherbet. Historians estimate that this recipe evolved into ice cream sometime in the 16th century. England seems to have discovered ice cream at the same time, or perhaps even earlier than the Italians. "Cream Ice," as it was called, appeared regularly at the table of Charles I during the 17th century. France was introduced to similar frozen desserts in 1553 by the Italian Catherine de Medici when she became the wife of Henry II of France. It wasn't until 1660 that ice cream was made available to the general public. The Sicilian Procopio introduced a recipe blending milk, cream, butter and eggs at Café Procope, the first café in Paris.

Ice Cream for America
The first official account of ice cream in the New World comes from a letter written in 1744 by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen. The first advertisement for ice cream in this country appeared in the New York Gazette on May 12, 1777, when confectioner Philip Lenzi announced that ice cream was available "almost every day." Records kept by a Chatham Street, New York, merchant show that President George Washington spent approximately $200 for ice cream during the summer of 1790. Inventory records of Mount Vernon taken after Washington's death revealed "two pewter ice cream pots." President Thomas Jefferson was said to have a favorite 18-step recipe for an ice cream delicacy that resembled a modern-day Baked Alaska. Check out President Jefferson's vanilla ice cream recipe here. In 1813, Dolley Madison served a magnificent strawberry ice cream creation at President Madison's second inaugural banquet at the White House.

Until 1800, ice cream remained a rare and exotic dessert enjoyed mostly by the elite. Around 1800, insulated ice houses were invented. Manufacturing ice cream soon became an industry in America, pioneered in 1851 by a Baltimore milk dealer named Jacob Fussell. Like other American industries, ice cream production increased because of technological innovations, including steam power, mechanical refrigeration, the homogenizer, electric power and motors, packing machines, and new freezing processes and equipment. In addition, motorized delivery vehicles dramatically changed the industry. Due to ongoing technological advances, today's total frozen dairy annual production in the United States is more than 1.6 billion gallons.

Wide availability of ice cream in the late 19th century led to new creations. In 1874, the American soda fountain shop and the profession of the "soda jerk" emerged with the invention of the ice cream soda. In response to religious criticism for eating "sinfully" rich ice cream sodas on Sundays, ice cream merchants left out the carbonated water and invented the ice cream "Sunday" in the late 1890's. The name was eventually changed to "sundae" to remove any connection with the Sabbath.

Ice cream became an edible morale symbol during World War II. Each branch of the military tried to outdo the others in serving ice cream to its troops. In 1945, the first "floating ice cream parlor" was built for sailors in the western Pacific. When the war ended, and dairy product rationing was lifted, America celebrated its victory with ice cream. Americans consumed over 20 quarts of ice cream per person in 1946.

In the 1940s through the ‘70s, ice cream production was relatively constant in the United States. As more prepackaged ice cream was sold through supermarkets, traditional ice cream parlors and soda fountains started to disappear. Now, specialty ice cream stores and unique restaurants that feature ice cream dishes have surged in popularity. These stores and restaurants are popular with those who remember the ice cream shops and soda fountains of days past, as well as with new generations of ice cream fans.

Most varieties of ice cream contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners. In some cases, artificial flavorings and colorings are used in addition to, or instead of, the natural ingredients. The mixture of chosen ingredients is stirred slowly while cooling, in order to incorporate air and to prevent large ice crystals from forming. The result is a smoothly textured semi-solid foam that is malleable and can be scooped. By the way: National Ice Cream Day is observed in the United States on July 20.

International Shareware Day


Of all of the underdogs and unsung heroes of our generation, computer programmers might be the most unsung of all. Spending hours upon hours in front of their computers daily, looking at screens of line of seemingly random letters, numbers and commands, they spend their lives making our lives better and rarely, if ever, get any sort of recognition for it. You may not think of it this way, but almost every little thing that you use in your 21st century life is operated by some sort of computer chip running on some sort of computer program that one or more computer programmers spent days on to make sure it worked so it could make your life easier. The electric windows in your car you can’t remember what life what like before, the blender you use so religiously to make all of your healthy shakes every single day, and that smartphone taxi app that prevents you from getting ripped off every time you come back from a party–these are all based on more or less complicated computer programs that people do their best to avoid paying for, thus stifling the programmers’ efforts. All in all, I think we can agree that International Shareware Day, a day dedicated to the programmers typing their lives away to make yours easier, is a day that needed to happen.

The first piece of software called ‘freeware’ was PC-Talk, a telecommunications program created by Andrew Fleugelman in 1982, who called the undertaking “an experiment in economics more than altruism”. The term ‘shareware’ was first used with the program PC-Write (a word processing tool), created and released by Bob Wallace in early 1983. Few shareware and freeware downloads are ever paid for, which means that the chances of supporting yourself on shareware income as a programmer remains fairly slim. This is particularly unfortunate because this mode of software production has resulted in some wonderful software tools being made available to users around the globe, such as virus protection software, audio or video file players, and much more. A lack of financial returns also means that many shareware and freeware projects are abandoned instead of being updated; after all, everyone needs to eat and pay rent, and software development is generally not charity work.

International Shareware Day was created to remind shareware users about the value they've gained through their use of these programs, most of them for free or ridiculously low fees. And to perhaps inspire them, in the spirit of the upcoming festive season especially, to send off a few payments to the authors of their favorite shareware apps. Has a certain antivirus saved you from malware on a number of different occasions? Have you been using the same program that has never failed you to watch videos or listen to music for the last few years? Show some appreciation! Just as you would leave a tip in a restaurant where the waiter or waitress was courteous, informative and brought your order quickly, so should you reward the efforts of the designers and creators of your favorite programs with a donation, however small. We should remember never to take anything for granted, or we may suddenly fin ourselves paying for every little app and program we need, and we definitely need an increasing amount of them!

National Day of the Horse


Celebrate National Day of the Horse on December 13. The first official Day of the Horse was recognized by the U.S. Congress in 2004. This event was created to remind congress and others what this day and the horse represents. Congress needs to finally ban horse slaughter and pass the SAFE Act and stop the roundups of wild horses.

Encouraging citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States and expressing the sense of Congress that a National Day of the Horse should be established.

Whereas the horse is a living link to the history of the United States;
Whereas, without horses, the economy, history, and character of the United States would be profoundly different;
Whereas horses continue to permeate the society of the United States, as witnessed on movie screens, on open land, and in our own backyards;
Whereas horses are a vital part of the collective experience of the United States and deserve protection and compassion;
Whereas, because of increasing pressure from modern society, wild and domestic horses rely on humans for adequate food, water, and shelter; and
Whereas the Congressional Horse Caucus estimates that the horse industry contributes well over $100,000,000,000 each year to the economy of the United States: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress–
(1) encourages all citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States;
(2) expresses its sense that a National Day of the Horse should be established in recognition of the importance of horses to the Nation’s security, economy, recreation, and heritage; and
(3) urges the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States and interested organizations to observe National Day of the Horse with appropriate programs and activities.
The noble horse not only enriches the lives of all of us who ride and care for them, they have made the town of Woodside a unique community. The Day of the Horse, held yearly on the second Saturday of December, is the brainchild of two Woodside horse lovers who wanted to bring the community together in support of the horse. It is a chance to pay tribute to our equine friends with a day of fun and festivities.

National Wreaths Across America Day


Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, was a 12 year old paper boy for the Bangor Daily News when he won a trip to Washington D.C. His first trip to our nation’s capital was one he would never forget, and Arlington National Cemetery made an especially indelible impression on him. This experience followed him throughout his life and successful career in business, reminding him that his good fortune was due, in large part, to the values of this nation and the Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their Country.

In 1992, Worcester Wreath found themselves with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Remembering his boyhood experience at Arlington, Worcester realized he had an opportunity to honor our country’s Veterans. With the help of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington in one of the older sections of the cemetery, a section which had been receiving fewer visitors with each passing year.

As plans were underway, a number of other individuals and organizations stepped up to help. James Prout, owner of local trucking company Blue Bird Ranch, Inc., generously provided transportation all the way to Virginia. Volunteers from the local American Legion and VFW Posts gathered with members of the community to decorate each wreath with traditional red, hand-tied bows. Members of the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C. helped to organize the wreath-laying, which included a special ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The annual tribute went on quietly for several years, until 2005, when a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. Suddenly, the project received national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to help with Arlington, to emulate the Arlington project at their National and State cemeteries, or to simply share their stories and thank Morrill Worcester for honoring our nation’s heroes.

Unable to donate thousands of wreaths to each state, Worcester began sending seven wreaths to every state, one for each branch of the military, and for POW/MIAs. In 2006, with the help of the Civil Air Patrol and other civic organizations, simultaneous wreath laying ceremonies were held at over 150 locations around the country. The Patriot Guard Riders volunteered as escort for the wreaths going to Arlington. This began the annual “Veterans Honor Parade” that travels the east coast in early December.

The annual trip to Arlington and the groups of volunteers eager to participate in Worcester’s simple wreath-laying event grew each year until it became clear the desire to remember and honor our country’s fallen heroes was bigger than Arlington, and bigger than this one company.

In 2007, the Worcester family, along with veterans, and other groups and individuals who had helped with their annual Christmas wreath ceremony in Arlington, formed Wreaths Across America, a non profit 501-c3 organization, to continue and expand this effort, and support other groups around the country who wanted to do the same. The mission of the group is simple:

Remember. Honor. Teach.
In 2008 over 300 locations held wreath laying ceremonies in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 overseas cemeteries. Over 100,000 wreaths were placed on veterans’ graves. Over 60,000 volunteers participated.

December 13, 2008 was unanimously voted by the US Congress as “Wreaths Across America Day”.

In 2010, Wreaths Across America and our national network of volunteers laid over 220,000 memorial wreaths at 545 locations in the United States and beyond. We were able to include ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, as well as Bunker Hill, Valley Forge and the sites if the September 11 tragedies. We accomplished this with help from 902 fundraising groups, corporate contributions, and donations of trucking, shipping, and thousands of helping hands.

The wreath laying is still held annually, on the second or third Saturday of December. Our annual pilgrimage from Harrington, Maine to Arlington National Cemetery has become known as the world’s largest veteran’s parade, stopping at schools, monuments, veteran’s homes and communities all along the way to remind people how important it is to remember, honor and teach.

Wreaths Across America also conducts several programs to honor our Veterans, including our popular “Thanks a Million” campaign which distributes cards to people all over the country to give Veterans a simple “thank you” for their service. We participate in Veterans’ events throughout the year, and have a Veteran liaison on staff to work with local Veterans organizations.

WAA is committed to teaching younger generations about the value of their freedoms, and the importance of honoring those who sacrificed so much to protect those freedoms. We offer learning tools, interactive media projects, and opportunities for youth groups to participate in our events. We also work to create opportunities to connect “the Greatest Generation” with the “Generation of Hope”. The inspirational stories of our World War II Veterans must be passed on to the leaders of the future.

Wreaths Across America would not be successful without the help of volunteers, active organizations and the generosity of the trucking industry. We thank them for working with us to remember the men and women who served our country, honor our military and their families, and teach our children about our freedom and those who protect it.

World Violins Day


World Violin day is celebrated on 13th of December every year. Just twelve days before Christmas. So, World Violin day is the Christmas Seasons celebrations as well that take place across the world and in these celebrations violin plays a very vital role. Also International Violin Day is celebrated in the month of June on the 17th every year.

Violin is said to be one of the best instruments to play, though it is equally tough. Origin of violin was during the time of 9th century in Europe or rather Asia. No body actually knows as to who invented this instrument. Violin came into limelight in the fifteenth century in Italy where violins were made in the town of Cremona in northern Italy. Violin took almost 450 years to bring it in the form what it looks like today. I Violin is a sophisticated kind of string instrument. Violin has one musical bow as well as an arched stick where a string is strongly tied to its two ends. The string is separated by a bridge or loop. For enhancing its resonance, the primitive bow is placed in front of the mouth.

Arnold Rosé the world's first violinist. Arnold Rosé was one of most renowned violinist of Europe. Arnold Rosé became heart of instrumental in Vienna for over half a century. Arnold Rosé e was born on 24th of October in the year 1863 in Romania. Arnold Rosé began his career at Leipzig Gewandhaus on the 30th day of October of 1879, Arnold Rosé started it with Carl Reinecke. This proved to be the wonderful start of his career. On the 10th April in the year 1881, Arnold Rosé took part at the Goldmark Concerto held in Vienna accompanied by the Philharmonic under the supervision of Hans Richter. Then Arnold Rosé was appointed by Wilhelm Jahn. Wilhelm Jahn was the director of the Court (later State) Opera. He was working for the position of deputy concertmaster and the first soloist. Rose bid farewell to his life and music in the year 1946 on 25th of August. Arnod Rose was a great personality and an exceptional artist who enjoyed a golden career and was denied only the serene old age which was his right. Not only him but his daughter was also a Violinist.

In today's time Violin has become one of most popular instruments across the world. Today violin is not limited to the little peace that could be held with hands and supported be the chin but now it available in all sizes. Across the world there are concerts held by big violin Maestros who have their full orchestra that travels and entertain the people. High profile personalities come over to attend these concerts to enjoy the fiddling melodies and leaving them with the lovely remembrance of the melodies that fill the air with the fragrance of music leaving all speechless.