Saturday, January 31, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Jan 31 2015

Appreciate Your Social Security Check Day


Statistically people start receiving their monthly Social Security checks between the 31st of the month and 5th of the following month. Today is a day set aside to really appreciate that check you get in the mail if you have been lucky enough to enjoy your retirement.

Ida May Fuller was the first beneficiary of recurring monthly Social Security payments. Miss Fuller (known as Aunt Ida to her friends and family) was born on September 6, 1874 on a farm outside of Ludlow, Vermont. She attended school in Rutland, Vermont where one of her classmates was Calvin Coolidge. In 1905, after working as a school teacher, she became a legal secretary. One of the partners in the firm, John G. Sargent, would later become Attorney General in the Coolidge Administration.

Ida May never married and had no children. She lived alone most of her life, but spent eight years near the end of her life living with her niece, Hazel Perkins, and her family in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Miss Fuller filed her retirement claim on November 4, 1939, having worked under Social Security for a little short of three years. While running an errand she dropped by the Rutland Social Security office to ask about possible benefits. She would later observe: "It wasn't that I expected anything, mind you, but I knew I'd been paying for something called Social Security and I wanted to ask the people in Rutland about it."

Her claim was taken by Claims Clerk, Elizabeth Corcoran Burke, and transmitted to the Claims Division in Washington, D.C. for adjudication. The case was adjudicated and reviewed and sent to the Treasury Department for payment in January 1940. The claims were grouped in batches of 1,000 and a Certification List for each batch was sent to Treasury. Miss Fuller's claim was the first one on the first Certification List and so the first Social Security check, check number 00-000-001, was issued to Ida May Fuller in the amount of $22.54 and dated January 31, 1940.

Backwards Day


.day good a is Today

The above sentence is backwards, I might wear my shirt backwards, maybe I will walk down the street backwards:  all in celebration of Backward Day!   There are many other ways you can celebrate this fun day so just let your imagination be your guide.  Maybe you want to eat your dessert before you eat your meal!!

This day is very popular with school aged kids but there is no age limit on who can participate in all of the backward fun. So EVERYONE, let’s have some fun!! 

FUN FACT:  Leonardo da Vinci wrote backward.  Not only did the artist and inventor write from right to left, he wrote his letters backward.

If you are stuck in a rut or like to do things a bit differently than everyone else, today may just be your lucky day! Today is Backward Day, also referred to Backwards Day or yaD drawkcaB! Not to be confused with National Opposite Day, this annual event is celebrated every year on January 31st.

How to Celebrate Backwards Day
  • Instead of waking up on the wrong side of the bed today, try waking up on the right side!
  • While reading a book from cover-to-cover is always recommended, begin with the end and end with the beginning!
  • Eat your dessert before the main course! And to kick things up even more, eat dinner in the morning and breakfast in the evening!
  • Instead of eating a sandwich with the goodies in the middle, put the goodies on the outside of the bread today!
  • Wear your shirt, coat, gloves and/or cap backwards.
  • Wear your socks inside out, on top of your pants!
  • As long as you are careful or have a “spotter”, walk backwards.
  • Try your hand at writing backwards, except on legal documents of course. See what it’d look like online.
  • Try writing backwards on a mirror.
  • Call people by their last names today.
  • Sit at your desk facing backwards.
  • Talk to people facing the wrong direction.
  • Answer the phone “goodbye.”
  • Play a board game and start at the end.
  • No matter how old or young you happen to be, recite the alphabet backwards.
Eat Brussels Sprouts Day


Let's be honest. January 31 celebrates a vegetable that is not on everyone's favorite food list. It's Eat Brussels Sprouts Day, an annual food holiday that encourages folks to give Brussels sprouts a second, third or fourth chance.

Brussels sprouts, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have potent anticancer properties. Although boiling reduces the level of the anticancer compounds, steaming and stir frying do not result in significant loss.

Brussels sprouts and other brassicas are also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.

Consuming Brussels sprouts in excess may not be suitable for heart patients taking anticoagulants since they contain vitamin K. In one such reported incident, doctors determined that the reason for a heart patient's worsening condition was eating too many Brussels sprouts.

Production of Brussels sprouts in the United States began in the 18th century, when French settlers brought them to Louisiana. Thomas Jefferson grew them at Monticello. The first plantings in California's Central Coast began in the 1920s, with significant production beginning in the 1940s. Currently, several thousand acres are planted in coastal areas of San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties of California, which offer an ideal combination of coastal fog and cool temperatures year-round. The harvest season lasts from June through January. They are also grown in Baja California, Mexico, where the harvest season is from December through June.

Most of the United States production is in California, with a smaller percentage of the crop grown in Skagit Valley, Washington, where cool springs, mild summers and rich soil abounds, and to a lesser degree on Long Island, New York. Total United States production is approximately 32,000 tons, with a value of $27 million. Ontario, Canada produces about 1,000 tons per year.

About 80% to 85% of US production is for the frozen food market, with the remainder for fresh consumption. Once harvested, sprouts last three to five weeks under ideal near-freezing conditions before wilting and discoloring, and about half as long at refrigerator temperature. American varieties are generally 2.5–5 cm (0.98–1.97 in) in diameter.

Hell is freezing over Day


Hell is Freezing over Day is celebrated annually on January 31 in the United States! On this day we are encouraged to to pull out those old lists of things you said you were going to do when hell freezes over!

Hey, it's Hell Is Freezing Over Day! Time to bring up all the odd ideas of having fun that you said you'd do when hell freezes over.

Remember all those things you said you'd say and/or do when
Hell froze over? Today’s the day!

So pull out your list of all the things you thought you'd never really do and pick something! Have fun with the day, share your list and talk about all those things you said you'd never do…until today!

Inspire Your Heart with Art Day


January the 31st is Inspire Your Heart With Art Day. On this day, you can give your heart a special treat. You can create your very own work of art or go and visit art galleries and museums. People should take the time to search out art and make it a bigger part of their lives. Art is full of inspiration and can change our way of looking at the world. It has changed people’s hearts for centuries. Maybe looking at a masterpiece painting or a superb piece of sculpture will inspire you to be creative. We all have creative juices in us. Unfortunately, many of us stop being creative when we move from childhood to adulthood. Inspire Your Heart With Art Day may get your creative juices flowing again.

There is so much art around us but many people take little notice of it. There is art in the architecture we work, live and play in. There are gardens full of statues and floral displays. We walk past graffiti on walls and fail to see the art in it. We also see thousands of advertisements every day that have an artistic side to them. We don’t even have to step into a gallery. It’s everywhere. One of the best ways of exploring art is on the Internet. There are thousands of sites showing art and artists over thousands of years. There is little excuse for us not to find art. What we need to is to stop, look and think for a short time. If we do that, then we just might inspire our heart with art.

National Bug Busting Day


Parents have always needed to get alert on those nasty nits which have got a habit of striking kids when they are in school. Nits have become major headaches for most of the families, rather with the recent increase in the percentage of the survey done for Lice Attack School Gates has made this subject to be a talk of the town. To beat the bugs a community which is concerned for hygiene has been holding a National Bug Busting Day on 31st January, 15th June and 31st October. Bug Busting Day is entitled to be an educational programme that heads to louse detection. It not only delivers the whole school approach but also reforms with some information and a special bug busting kit in order to help the parents to detect and eliminate the bugs or lice.

None of the parents have ever managed to escape the dreaded hand out of school that announces that there has been an outbreak of head lice and they are suggested to keep a check on their kids’ hair. It is a kind of scourge for the kids and their parents but surprisingly they can deal with this problem very easily if they know the right course of action.

As 31st January, 15th June & 31st October heralding as the National Bug Busting Day; the hygiene community is keen for all parents and schools to take some serious steps to eradicate lice.

All parents are requested to detect the lice as early as possible. An early detection in children or family members reduces the treatment time and helps break the Bonding to reduce the breeding cycle. The most effective way to reduce and find the head Lice is by using the hair conditioner, an ordinary comb and a fine tooth head lice comb.

One may not be aware of this special day but the problem of head lice continues to be an ongoing issue for everyone and is been highlighted recently as the major cause of concern. National Bug Busting Day celebration is recommended by the health department and is emphasised as it is an educational programme organized for head lice detection and treatment.

The treatment for the same will work when you combine specially designed combs, shampoos and conditioners. All the three present will give an effective result in removing and prevention of bugs or lice.

Though this programme is held on three special dates but it is recommended to follow the National Bug Busting Day round the year and the participants should come from both the side school as well as parents. The united action of both will prevent the lice circulating and if all the cases are identified and treated well and successfully then at the same time only fewer opportunities will be left for lice to circulate amongst the children and the families.

If you are able to draw the attention of as much as people as you can and bring in maximum participation from most of the schools and parents on this National Bug Busting Day; you will definitely see a mark decreased in the number of infestation of head lice. There is as such no treatment to kill all the head lice and their eggs but there are measures of identifying them and eradicating them to some extent. National Bug Busting Day promotes such theory only. Therefore it becomes everyone’s responsibility to participate in such a day and bring in maximum support too.

National Child Labor Day



One of the defining characteristics of the Progressive Era was the desire of reformers to protect children from laboring in industries with unsafe working conditions for children. Their desire to regulate child labor stemmed from new social science research suggesting that protecting children would benefit society by safeguarding the country's future human resources.

In 1902, the Association of Neighborhood Workers, an organization of settlement workers in New York, founded the Child Labor Committee to campaign for legislation to regulate child labor in New York. Led by Florence Kelley, Lillian Wald, and Jane Addams, the Child Labor Committee eventually grew into the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) in 1904.

The NCLC attracted wide support from many of the diverse groups that supported the progressive reform movement, including social workers, academics, businessmen, and political reformers. The committee was comprised of the presidents of Vanderbilt and Harvard University, the publishers of The New York Times and The Atlanta Constitution, the Catholic Cardinal of Baltimore, the Episcopal Bishop of New York, the president of the General Association of Women's Clubs, labor union presidents, and settlement house workers. Though the committee had many New Yorkers, it had southern members who counteracted perceptions that the NCLC was simply a group of northern agitators. This regional balance was exemplified by the fact that its two principal investigators, Owen R. Lovejoy and Alexander McKelway, had experience working in northern and southern labor campaigns, respectively.

Beginning with the NCLC's first campaigns against child labor in the coal and glass industries, it harnessed the power of propaganda to influence public opinion. In 1907, for instance, the NCLC launched a National Child Labor Day, through which it encouraged clerical action against child labor. Lovejoy and McKelway also wrote voluminous reports detailing their investigations of industrial exploitation of children. Finally, the NCLC hired photographer Lewis Hine in 1908 to document child labor abuses in order to help turn public opinion against child labor.

At the same time it was launching its national campaign in 1907, however, the NCLC became riven by internal conflict over the proper role of the federal government in regulating child labor. The Supreme Court had repeatedly struck down federal legislation restricting child labor, but some northern reformers argued that child labor was a national problem that would only be abolished through federal action. The different factions of the NCLC reached a truce, however, by agreeing to lobby for the creation of a federal Children's Bureau to investigate child labor, which was created in 1912 by President Taft. In the 1920s, the NCLC unsuccessfully lobbied for a constitutional amendment to empower the federal government to ban child labor. The National Child Labor Committee continues to promote the principles of its founders to uphold the general practice that underage children should not be full-time workers.

National Seed Swap Day


Winter is when gardeners in the northern hemisphere start leafing through the seed catalogs and begin to plan their spring gardens, but did you know there's a special day when gardeners all over the nation gather to exchange seeds with each other? It's the National Seed Swap Day and it's held on the last Saturday in January every year.

Seed swap events are where you can take your packets of excess seeds and trade them for something new you'd like to grow. They can be commercially packaged seeds or ones you've collected yourself. It's helpful if you can include a photo of the mature plant, the date the seed was collected, and any specific germination or growing requirements.

This is a chance to acquire heirloom varieties, or rare species not found in catalogs. Local seed swaps are also a good place to find cultivars that perform well in your area. Plants that thrive in your climate will produce plenty of seed to harvest and share with others.

The seed swap day concept started with Washington Gardener Magazine when they organized a seed swap in 2006. The event was so popular it was repeated the following year and more groups have been joining in every year since. It's now celebrated nationally.

Most seed swap events have a few rules for how the swap will be conducted, so check with the organizers ahead of time to make sure you comply. Even if you don't have seeds to exchange, there may be seed packets available for purchase, or even free seeds.

You might be able to find a local event in this seed swap listing, but also check with local garden centers, botanical gardens or gardening clubs. If you don't find one in your area, consider organizing one for next year.

Scotch Tape Day


Double or single-sided, folks have been dispensing this sticky product since it was invented back in 1930. In case you've never heard of him, chances are pretty good you've used his products a time or two!

It's a Wrap!
Engineer Richard Gurley Drew found himself in a bit of a "sticky situation" when he invented a moisture-proof, transparent product first used by grocers, bakers and meat packers to seal cellophane wrap. January 31st is Scotch Tape Day! And not only did Drew develop the transparent “Scotch Cellulose Tape” for the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M), but he also invented masking tape and Duct tape too!

During the Depression, many used tape to make simple repairs to items around the house. 1939, the company invented its famous “snail” handheld tape dispenser which is still used today. In the 50s, Scotty McTape debuted on television commercials. Although he served as company mascot for more than 20 years, he didn't really “stick.” Today, 3M makes more than 400 kinds of tape.

Get Creative with Scotch Tape
Besides wrapping , securing and/or mending everything under the sun and making our lives a bit easier, what other things can you do with Scotch tape? Believe it or not, Scotch tape was actually used on the Goodyear Blimp as an “anti-corrosive shield.”
  • Smack dab in the middle of winter, why not make your own version of a Nerf ball? Just use tape instead.
  • Remove pet fur and lint from clothing and upholstery. Just wrap some tape, sticky side out, around your hand and rub.
  • If you reuse folders and files, place a strip of tape on the label section of the file. When you need to replace the old label, the old one will rip right off.
  • If you have a new crayon that is broken, wrap a piece of tape around the break and get your color on!
  • Tape can be a temporary fix for broken glasses.
  • Express yourself during 3Ms Valentine’s Day project for a chance to win a “fabulous gift basket” filled with all sorts of Scotch Brand goodies – $90 value.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Jan 30 2015

National Croissant Day


Have a croissant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. January 30 is National Croissant Day.

We think of French when mention Croissant. It is not the general knowledge that Austria is the country of “birth” of this famous pastry. The journey from Austria to France of Croissant is as interesting as any of mysterious historical stories.

In 1683, Vienna (the capital of Austria) was under siege by over a hundred thousand Ottoman Turks. After several months of trying to starve the city into submission, the Turks attempted to tunnel underneath the walls of the city. Fortunately for the entire city, some bakers hard at work in the middle of the night heard the sounds of the Turks digging and alerted the city’s defenders. This advance warning gave the defenders enough time to do something about the tunnel before it was completed. Soon, King John III of Poland arrived at the head of an army that defeated the Turks and forced them to retreat.

To celebrate the end of the siege and the part they had played in lifting it, several bakers in Vienna made a pastry in the shape of the crescents they had seen on the battle standards of the enemy. They called this new pastry the “Kipferl” which is the German word for “crescent” and continued baking if for many years to commemorate the Austrian victory over the Turks in 1683. It was not until 1770 that the pastry came to be known as the croissant when Austrian Princess married King Louis XVI of France.

Marie Antoinette introduced the Austrian pastry to the France but the legends about the lady and her favorite pastry are various.

Princess Marie came to France as a new bride when she was only 15. The young queen missed the simple cake in the shape of crescent of her homeland. To honor their new queen, the bakers in Paris made some “kipferls” of their own. The only difference was that they called it by the French word for crescent, “croissant” and made it looks more complex for royal dining table.

There is another story telling that Marie Antoinette with easygoing temperament refused to dine with members of royal French family. She often sat at the table, not removing the gloves. Until she came back her room, she required the dishes from her homeland – which always included Kipferl and she gradually accepted its complex version – Croissant.

Whatever the legend, we must mention Marie Antoinette as an important factor in the history of Croissant, as a symbol of nation pride of a princess – a queen.

Basically, Croissant is an frugal kind of breakfast pastry, made from pate feuilletee (soft flour of flour, yeast, butter, milk and salt). Croissant is simple without the filling, so that the quality of the pastry depends totally on the quality of dough. Currently in Austria and Italy, Croissant retain the traditional characteristics, given that the lightness of Croissant is perfectly suitable for breakfast.

When introduced into France, Croissant becomes more sophisticated, influenced by the cuisine style of this country. French Croissant might have the filling from chocolate, jam, raisins or cream cheese. Even in some regions, they make croissants with fruity or meaty filling.

Traditional or modern style, simple or complex, the croissants always give elegant taste and sweet features. The simplicity in appearance and taste of croissants is exactly what European people love about it as a frugal but delightful breakfast.

Celebrate National Croissant Day by enjoying a delicious croissant.

National Escape Day


Are you feeling a little down in the dumps lately? Have those depressing winter blues set in? If you're sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, well, no worries. Today is all about taking a well-deserved break from all the hassles and struggles of everyday life. January 30th is National Escape Day.

So go ahead and make a run for it! Whether you escape to a tropical paradise or head to your nearest restroom to soak in some suds, today is all about taking a moment out of your hectic day to pamper the most special person in your life – you!

While anywhere warm and tropical sounds perfect right about now, for many people, a cruise or tropical vacation just isn't in the budget. But there are some affordable and free things you can do for a virtual escape.

How to Celebrate National Escape Day
  • Pamper yourself - Get a message.
  • Get a manicure/pedicure.
  • Take a relaxing bubble bath surrounded by scented candles and a glass of your favorite bubbly. Let Calgon take you away!
  • If you've been considering a new look lately, today’s the day. Change your hairstyle or color then celebrate the new and improved you!
  • Put out the Do Not Disturb Sign and tell your family you are taking a moment. Then do it.
  • Get out of the house! Go for a walk or run despite the weather.
  • Love the one you're with!
  • Make it date night!
  • No housework or cooking today - you are officially off duty!
  • Order in!
  • Start that yoga class you've been putting off.
  • Go out with the girls!
  • Crank up your favorite music and get your dance on!
  • Grab a few of your favorite flicks, curl up with a nice blanket, some sweet treats and delicious snacks, and make it movie night and laugh or cry your heart out!
  • Enjoy your four-legged friends. Take them for a walk, play, cuddle and enjoy!
  • While it’s not quite as good as actually being there, check out this online virtual vacation to popular destination spots around the globe with the Robot Flaneur site.
  • Get yourself some bubble wrap and go at it in honor of Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day!
  • Do something nice for someone in need.
National Inane Answering Message Day


If you've ever had to push 200 buttons to talk to an actual human being, endure blaring music, annoying background noises or long-winded messages when calling a friend, acquaintance or business, today is your lucky day!

January 30th is National Inane Answering Message Day! This annual "holiday" was created by the folks at Wellcat to encourage folks to "change, shorten, replace or delete those ridiculous and/or annoying answering machine messages that waste the time of anyone who must listen to them."

Whether you have an answering machine or handy-dandy gadget with voice mail, today is the perfect opportunity to get rid of the old and bring on a brand new, creative and much more appropriate greeting! Changing your outgoing message from time-to-time only takes a few minutes and is much more fun for listeners. Whether your message is humorous, professional or short-and-sweet, kick things up a notch or two by changing that outgoing message. Some people may be so impressed they may have to call back just to listen again!

If you need a few suggestions to get you started, check out the helpful outgoing message tips below.

Outgoing Message Examples & Tips That Don't Suck
  • Listen to Radio Shack's outgoing messages, with and without music.
  • Carl Kasell shares some interesting outgoing message ideas.
  • Cutesy and silly messages may not be the right choice if you are a business or on the hunt for a job. Check out the Professional Business Voicemail Etiquette for helpful tips.
  • Be careful not to divulge too much personal information on your outgoing message. Check out a few of these safety tips.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Jan 29 2015

Curmudgeons Day


Whether you work with one, live next door to one or happen to live with one, we all know one. January 29th is dedicated to all the Ebenezer Scrooges, Oscar the Grouches and the Grinches of the world. It's Curmudgeons Day, an annual event that actually celebrates the birthday of the legendary William Claude Dukenfield, also known as W.C. Fields. The famous actor and writer frequently portrayed a grumpy old man in his films.

According to Merriam-Webster, a curmudgeon is defined as a miser, a "crusty, ill-tempered and usually old man." And with the winter blues setting in, today is as good a day as any to celebrate those crotchety grumps we all know and, well, love?

In honor of Curmudgeons Day, why not gather up the family and enjoy a few family-friendly flicks guaranteed to put a smile on the sourest sour-puss?

Best Grumpy Old Men Movies:
  • "On Golden Pond" is a must-see movie starring Henry and Jane Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Dabney Coleman. This 1981 film won a slew of Academy awards.
  • Not one but two old grumps star in the 1993 film, "Grumpy Old Men."
  • Walter Matthau is perfect in another grumpy performance in the 1993 film, "Dennis the Menace."
  • Clint Eastwood portrays the perfect curmudgeon in the 2008 film, "Gran Torino."
  • Billy Crystal and Daniel Stern head out on the range in the 1991 film, "City Slickers." But it's Jack Palance who steals the show!
  • It doesn't take too much imagination to see Jack Nicholson play an old grouch in the 1997 movie, "As Good as It Gets."
  • Even though the holiday season is officially over, "A Christmas Carol" is always fun to watch.
  • Based on the popular Dr. Seuss book, the 2000 film, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," stars the delightful Jim Carrey and is directed by Ron Howard.
  • Watch one of W.C. Fields' films including "It's a Gift," "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man" or his 1940 film, "The Bank Dick. "
Freethinkers Day/Thomas Paine Day


Freethinkers Day, also known as Thomas Paine Day, is an opportunity to promote appreciation of freethought thought the life and works of Thomas Paine. Freethought supports reason over faith, and rejects arbitrary authority.

Thomas Paine was a courageous freethinker, whose life and work inspired great social and political advancement across world. Raised in England, Paine played a vital role in the American and French Revolutions. His books and pamphlets, including The Age of Reason, The Rights of Man, and Common Sense gained a mass audience for the liberating philosophy of the Enlightenment.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) arrived in America in 1774 at Benjamin Franklin's request. On January 10, 1776, he published Common Sense, a remarkable and powerful republican pamphlet which had an immediate success. He served in the Revolutionary War under General Greene and later in official positions appointed by congress and in the Pennsylvania legislature. In his later publication, Age of Reason, Paine expressed that "all religions are in their nature mild and benign" when not associated with political systems. Paine was the quintessential Deist of the 18th century.

Between March 1791 and February 1792 he published numerous editions of his Rights of Man, in which he defended the French Revolution. The words of Thomas Paine inspired many to strive for political, economic and social advancement. He was among the first to call for an end to slavery and the establishment of human rights around the world.

In the 1990s, the Truthseeker magazine began celebrating Freethinkers Day on Thomas Paine's birthday in order to educate the public on the importance of Thomas Paine in the history of freedom. Also in the 1990s, the Thomas Paine Foundation began celebrating the birthday of Thomas Paine on January 29th, a Thomas Paine Day proclamation on June 8 and other Paine theme events during the year.

National Corn chip Day


Every once in a while, people love to munch on chips. The chips do not always have to be potato chips. January 29 is National Corn Chip Day.

Up until about fifty years ago, few Americans knew what corn chips were. Today, most American cannot imagine life without them.

A corn chip is a tasty, crunchy snack that can be eaten alone or dipped in cheese, salsa, or other Mexican dips. Corn chips can even be sprinkled on top of salads to give salads that crunchy taste.

In the United States, the Fritos corn chip is one of the oldest and most widely recognized brands of corn chips that were first marketed in 1961.

There is a difference between corn chips and tortilla chips even though they are both made from corn. Corn chips are thick, rigid and very crunchy. Corn chips have the strong aroma and flavor of roasted corn, and are often heavily dusted with salt.

The tortilla chip is milder in flavor and aroma and has a less rigid texture. Tortilla chips also tend to be larger, thinner, and less salty than American-style corn chips.

On National Corn Chip Day, enjoy eating some corn chips with the rest of the nation.

National Puzzle Day


If you love to use your noggin, today may be your lucky day! It’s National Puzzle Day. While the origins of this holiday are well, puzzling, this annual event is celebrated each year on January 29th.

Stimulate Your Mind
The old expression, “if you don't use it, you'll lose it” certainly holds true in this case. In fact, many experts believe the key to keeping the mind healthy and sharp as a tack is to USE it. Just like your body, exercise is beneficial for the brain too.

Researchers discovered that people who participated in mind-stimulating activities including reading, writing, playing crossword puzzles and/or challenging games especially during early and middle life, were less likely to develop brain plaques which are often associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It is estimated that over 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth leading of cause of death in America.

In honor of National Puzzle Day, try your hand at one of the free crossword puzzles, word games and riddles listed below!

Note – many of the online games listed below require various free plug-ins like Adobe Shockwave or Java.

20 Free Brain Games, Riddles & Puzzles
  • Play a Google a Day – Google is getting into the action with the Google a Day game. Search online for today’s question. And there is only one correct answer.
  • Classic New York Times Crossword Puzzle – No one does crossword puzzles like the New York Times!
  • Jumble Crossword Puzzle - Try your hand at this super-fun, timed Jumble Crossword puzzle. You can even print it out too! Fun!
  • Online Crossword Puzzles Guide – Speaking of crossword puzzles, check out this listing of free crossword puzzle games for kids and adults.
  • Online Crosswords – In case you don’t want to play online, this online site offers several printable crossword puzzles each and every day.
  • A Game a Day – Select from two different levels and play a new game every day of the month. You’ll need Java for this online game.
  • Sudoku Puzzle of the Day - If you're a Sudoku fan, try a new game every day!
  • Daily Word Sleuth Puzzle – Simply select the word search puzzle from HP and print!
  • Word Twist – Love Boggle? Try this online game on for size! Type in the words – each word must have 4 letters or more.
  • JigZone’s Jigsaw Puzzles – Think you’re pretty good at jigsaw puzzles? See how fast you can put this online puzzle back together again. An Auto Solve feature is available in case you get stuck.
  • Daily Jumble – See if you can unscramble the words before time runs out!
  • Make Your Own Maze with this free online maze creator from BrainBashers.
  • PictoPuzzle – A picture is worth a thousand words – or is it?
  • Riddle of the Day – Think it sounds easy? Guess again!
  • Patch Words - Be warned - this game is not for the faint of heart! Drag the tiles over to the blank box. Each row must make a word.
  • Daily Logic Puzzle – See if you can figure it out. Clues and answers are included.
  • Fowl Words – This fun word game, from KewlBox, is great for kids and adults. Hurry – spell as many of the words as you can before time runs out!
  • Word Hunt – Check out this word search game. Once you find the word in the box, hold down the mouse on the first letter of the word and drag the mouse to the last letter. You only get 3 hints so.
  • Letter Rip - Try to come up with as many words in adjoining boxes as you can before time runs out. From KewlBox.
  • Drop Quotes - Each puzzle contains a hidden quote. Drag the letter from the column into the box below to try to figure out the quote. Good luck!
  • Seeing Eye Dog Day
National Carnation Day


January 29th is National Carnation Day.

The carnation was originally called dianthus (it is officially Dianthus caryophyllus) by the Greek botanist Theophrastus. It has been cultivated for over 2,000 years.

The name carnation has two possible origins. One thought is that the name comes from “coronation” or “corone” since it was used in Greek ceremonial crowns. Another thought is that the name is derived from the Greek carnis meaning flesh (a light pinky-peachy color), which was the flower’s original color.

Carnation Trivia:
  • It is the birth flower for January and the National Flower of Spain.
  • A Mothers’ Day tradition is to wear a red carnation if your mother is living and to wear a white carnation if your mother has passed away.
  • For the Korean New Year, girls place three carnations in their hair. If the top flower dies first, the girls’ later years of life will be arduous. If the middle flower dies first, her earlier years will bring her the most grief. If the bottom flower dies first, the girl will be miserable her entire life.
  • In France, a purple carnation is a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one.
  • According legend, carnations first appeared as Jesus carried the Cross. The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus’ plight, and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell.
  • Carnations in general symbolize fascination, love, and good luck. A white carnation stands for innocence, devotion, and pure love.
Carnation Colors and Their Meanings:
  • general: fascination
  • solid color: yes
  • striped: no, refusal, I can’t be with you or wish I could be with you
  • pink: I’ll never forget you
  • light red: my heart aches for you, admiration
  • dark red: deep love and affection
  • purple: capriciousness
  • white: sweet and lovely, innocence, pure love
  • yellow: disappointment, rejection
Seeing Eye Dog Day


Dogs have been lending a helping paw to man for centuries; however, there was not a demand for “seeing eye dogs” until after World War I. During the war, many men were blinded from combat and needed assistance once they returned home. To help these veterans, a formal school and training program for guide dogs (using only German Shepherds) began in Germany. Unfortunately, the program was short lived.

Luckily though, a dog trainer from Philadelphia named Dorothy Harrison Eustis was living in Switzerland and heard of the program in Germany. She wrote an article about the Guide school for The Saturday Evening post called The Seeing Eye, it was published in 1927.

Across the pond in Nashville, Tennessee, a blind man named Morris Frank read her article. Morris wrote to Dorothy asking if he could to come to Switzerland to train and receive a guide dog of his own. He promised that if he received a dog, he would return home and teach others.

Dorothy accepted his request and Morris traveled to Switzerland to receive his training. He returned home with a female German Shepherd named Buddy. Buddy was the first Guide dog in America and Morris the first man in America to partner with a seeing-eye dog!

Morris kept his promise and founded a guide school on January 29, 1929 in Nashville. Dorothy donated $10,000 to help him get started and Morris named the school The Seeing Eye, which was the title of the fateful article written by Dorothy. In 1931, the school moved to New Jersey where it still operates today!

Guide dogs begin their training as puppies and finish their education with their new partners by the time they are one and a half years old. As the guide dog team graduates they are prepared to safely travel in public.

A guide dog will notify their handler when there are changes in elevation, and help them avoid any obstacles. The guide dog follows the handler’s instructions only if it is safe to do so to keep the guide team out of harm’s way. A regular trained dog would cross the street if instructed to even if there was oncoming traffic. A guide dog would only cross the street if there was no oncoming traffic or any other dangerous obstacles.

Guide dogs help their handlers find certain places like an exit to a room, or a store in the mall. Guide dogs also help their handlers with other common tasks like retrieving dropped objects or other wanted objects like the mail.

Not surprisingly, handlers trust their dogs with their lives and often feel as if they’ve been given  a new lease on life. A guide dog provides another set of eyes to help them independently navigate  the world.

Although handlers know how a service dog should be treated when they are “working,” some of the general public might not. As tempting as it may be, when you encounter a service dog you have to pretend he or she is not there. This may sound easy but there is a certain allure when you see a dog, in uniform, in a place that does not ordinarily allow dogs. For a dog lover, we naturally want to go and be a part of it.

Just remember that distracting the guide dog can prevent the dog from performing their important tasks. If you would like to know more about the dog, you can politely approach the handler and give them all of your attention.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Jan 28 2015

Challenger Remembrance



This week marks the somber 28th anniversary of the accident that killed seven astronauts aboard NASA's space shuttle Challenger less than two minutes into their flight, as millions of people around the world were watching.

Challenger launched on its 10th mission on Jan. 28, 1986. A mere 73 seconds after liftoff, live television coverage showed the shuttle break apart and disappear from view. Here is an overview of what happened, how, and the consequences for NASA.

Who were the crew members?
The seven-astronaut crew of Challenger's STS-51L mission consisted of commander Francis "Dick" Scobee, pilot Mike Smith, mission specialists Judy Resnik, Ellison Onizuka and Ron McNair, and payload specialists Greg Jarvis and Christa McAuliffe.

Commander Scobee had first flown as a pilot on Challenger's STS-41C mission, which launched April 6, 1984. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Scobee had been selected as an astronaut candidate in 1978. He was 46 at the time of his death.

Pilot Mike Smith was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1980 and was set to make his first spaceflight on Challenger's STS-51L mission. Smith was also assigned to pilot the future space shuttle mission 61-N, which at the time was scheduled to launch in the fall of 1986.

Smith's voice saying "Uh-oh" was the last thing heard on the crew's voice recorder, just before NASA's Mission Control in Houston lost telemetry data from the shuttle. Smith was 40.

Judy Resnik first flew as a mission specialist on the STS-41D mission – the maiden flight of the space shuttle Discovery. Resnik, who had been selected as an astronaut candidate in 1978, was the second American woman in space. She was 36.

Mission specialist Ellison Onizuka made his first spaceflight on the shuttle Discovery's STS-51C mission, which launched Jan. 24, 1985. Onizuka had been selected as an astronaut candidate in 1978 and went on to log 74 hours in space. He was 40.

Ron McNair previously flew as a mission specialist on Challenger's STS-41B mission, which launched Feb. 3, 1984. From that flight, McNair logged a total of 191 hours in space. McNair, who was the second African-American to fly in space, was 35.

Payload specialist Greg Jarvis was making his first spaceflight on Challenger's STS-51L mission. Jarvis had been selected by NASA as a payload specialist candidate in 1984. He was 41.

Christa McAuliffe was selected on July 19, 1985, as NASA's first educator astronaut under the agency's Teacher in Space Project. McAuliffe, who was 37, taught social studies at Concord High School in New Hampshire. As a civilian and teacher, McAuliffe brought extra public interest to the Challenger mission. Many schoolchildren were watching the TV broadcast of the flight to cheer her on.

Where and when did the accident occur?
Challenger's STS-51L mission was the first shuttle liftoff scheduled for Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. After several technical and weather-related delays, Challenger launched at 11:38 a.m. EST on Jan. 28, 1986.

What went wrong?
Analysis later showed that a seal, called an O-ring, on the shuttle's right solid rocket booster had failed at liftoff, allowing pressurized hot gas to escape from inside the booster. This vaporized material impinged on the strut connecting the solid rocket booster to the shuttle's huge orange external tank, causing both pieces of hardware to break down.

About 72 seconds into Challenger's flight, there was a massive, almost explosive, burning of the hydrogen that was streaming from the failed tank bottom, combined with liquid oxygen leaking from a part of the fuel tank known as the intertank. Under severe aerodynamic loads, the space shuttle Challenger broke apart over the Atlantic Ocean one second later, or one minute and 13 seconds after launch. [Remembering Challenger: NASA to Mark Space Tragedy Anniversaries]

In video footage of the catastrophe, several large sections of the shuttle can be identified, including the main engine and tail section with the engines still burning, one of the orbiter's wings, and the forward fuselage with a trail of umbilical lines that had been pulled loose from the payload bay.

What led to the accident?
After studying the disaster, a review board determined that exceptionally cold weather contributed to the failure of the O-ring seal. NASA concluded that the shuttle is not safe to fly at such cold temperatures.

How did the crew die?
While the precise timing of the crew's death is unknown, some of the astronauts may have survived the initial disintegration of the spacecraft. Ultimately, however, none survived the impact of the crew cabin hitting the Atlantic Ocean.

Fragments of the orbiter, including the crew compartment, were eventually recovered off the coast of central Florida.

Could Challenger's crew have escaped?
The space shuttle does not have a launch escape system, so the astronauts onboard Challenger would have been unable to safely abandon the orbiter during its breakup.

Following the Challenger catastrophe and, 17 years later, the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew, the possibility of implementing launch escape systems, including ejector seats and tractor rockets, was examined. Ultimately, however, none was put into action.

What happened in the aftermath?
The loss of Challenger and its seven-astronaut crew shone a very public light on NASA and the risks involved with human spaceflight. Media coverage of the launch was extensive due to the involvement of McAuliffe, the agency's first educator astronaut.

The Challenger disaster halted NASA's space shuttle program for almost three years as the agency investigated the causes of the accident. During that time, NASA worked to implement suggestions from the Rogers Commission – the presidential panel charged with studying Challenger's doomed STS-51L mission.

In a 225-page report that was published June 9, 1986, the Rogers Commission meticulously documented the physical and organizational causes of the in-flight catastrophe. The commission found issues in NASA's decision-making processes and construction flaws in O-rings and the shuttle solid rocket boosters.

The commission offered nine main recommendations, and NASA's space shuttle program saw a 32-month hiatus as the agency implemented changes and reformed launch procedures. Space shuttle flights resumed Sept. 29, 1988, with Discovery's STS-26 mission.

The space agency would not see another disaster until Feb. 1, 2003, when seven astronauts lost their lives as the space shuttle Columbia broke apart during its return from its STS-107 mission.

Daisy Day


Daisy Day is celebrated annually on January 28 in the United States! Happy Daisy Day everyone! On this day we are encouraged to remember the daisy!

It's Daisy Day! Celebrate the beauty of the Daisies that symbolize innocence and purity.

It is thought that the name "daisy" is a corruption of "day's eye", because the whole head closes at night and opens in the morning. Chaucer called it "eye of the day".  The Latin name for daisy comes from the word bellus, which literally means beautiful.

Daisy is also a common girl's name and is a nickname for girls named Margaret.

Bellis perennis has astringent properties and has been used in folk medicine.  Definition of astringent: An astringent (also spelled adstringent) substance is a chemical that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application. The word "astringent" derives from Latin astringere, meaning "to bind fast". Two common examples are calamine lotion and witch hazel.  Some information says its leaves and petals are edible and it can also be brewed as a tea to sooth sore throats and stomach aches.

Data Privacy Day


Data Privacy Day is celebrated internationally on January 28th of each year. The purpose of Data Privacy Day is to raise awareness and promote data privacy education. It is currently ‘celebrated’ in the United States, Canada, and 27 European countries.

Data Privacy Day’s educational initiative originally focused on raising awareness among teens and young adults about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online, particularly in the context of social networking. The educational focus has expanded over the past four years to include families, consumers and businesses. In addition to its educational initiative, Data Privacy Day promotes events and activities that stimulate the development of technology tools that promote individual control over personally identifiable information; encourage compliance with privacy laws and regulations; and create dialogues among stakeholders interested in advancing data protection and privacy. The international celebration offers many opportunities for collaboration among governments, industry, academia, nonprofits, privacy professionals and educators.

The Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data was opened for signature by the Council of Europe on January 28, 1981. This convention is currently in the process of being updated in order to reflect new legal challenges caused by technological development. The Convention on Cybercrime is also protecting the integrity of data systems and thus of privacy in cyberspace. Privacy including data protection is also protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

On January 26, 2009, the United States House of Representatives passed House Resolution HR 31 by a vote of 402–0, declaring January 28 National Data Privacy Day. On January 28, 2009, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 25 also recognizing January 28, 2009 as National Data Privacy Day. The United States Senate also recognized Data Privacy Day in 2010 and in 2011.

Data Privacy Day 2012 occurred on January 28, 2012. The celebration within the United States and Canada was coordinated and promoted by the National Cyber Security Alliance.

Fun at Work Day


Not all are privileged to do work that they love to do. This seems to be possible only for the children of rich families. A majority of the world’s populace study a course just to get a college diploma which will entitle them to work. In many occasions, especially for those living in third world countries, to finish schooling, one has to do part time jobs.  Fun at Work Day is always celebrated on the 28 of January each year.

There is no record as to the origin of this day. The work force and even employers understand though the need for this special day. It has been found that having fun at work develops a positive staff culture. It improves teamwork by boosting morale and motivation among members.

It also is a good staff retention strategy and cuts on hiring and training cost. Assured of the employees’ work satisfaction and loyalty, it opens the door for a company to have personnel who are creative and problem solvers. At the end of the day, productivity and performance is enhanced making it possible for any company to earn more.

Enjoying work needs the support of the company to be successful. This can be done through two ways: first, through the initiative of the employees; and, second, through activities supported by the company. In the former, personalizing workplace is a good start. Socializing with coworkers after
work hours, such as, gym workouts, sports activities or simply dining out, can add fun to working.

The company, on the other hand, promote fun at work through organized events, such as, having annual company outings, out-of-town team building activities and allocating a social hour for birthday celebrants of the month. At times, companies fund a monthly buddy date for an officer and a staff to enable them to know the employee’s dissatisfaction, if any.

National Blueberry Pancake Day


Time to flip out! January 28 is National Blueberry Pancake Day.

There’s something special about a day that begins with pancakes. Their warmth and sweetness really sets the right tone. Historically, pancakes started out simply no funky flavors or special toppings. Today, everything from bacon to bits of chocolate can be added to the batter.

Pancakes rose in popularity in Europe when Catholicism dominated the continent. During Lent, eating eggs and fat was forbidden, but back then, pancake recipes consisted only of milk and flour. In the Medieval era, pancakes became particularly popular on Shrove Tuesday and remain so to this day.

Fast forward to present day, and pancakes are made from a simple batter of eggs, milk, a leavening agent and fat. The leavening agent helps ensure you’ll have light and fluffy pancakes but a few simple tricks can aid in that area as well. Don’t over-mix your batter, it’ll result in tough and chewy pancakes. And, if you can, let your batter rest for a bit before hitting the griddle. Once you see bubbles form on the top side of your cooking pancake, you know it’s ready to turn.

Now for the blueberry part. These can be added to the batter before you start cooking, but you’ll likely get blue-ish pancakes which isn't especially appealing. Instead, add them onto an already cooking pancake before you flip it. This way you can space the blueberries out evenly.

You can use fresh or frozen blueberries for pancakes, just make sure they’re thawed and dry.

Did you know?
  • Pancakes have featured in cookbooks since 1439.
  • The French pancake is called a crêpe. It is thin and crispy and often served with sweet or savory fillings.
  • Blinis are pancakes from Russia that are served with caviar and sour cream or folded over and filled with cream cheese or jam!
  • The world’s largest pancake was cooked in Rochdale in 1994. It was 15 meters in diameter and had an estimated 2 million calories
  • Ralf Laue holds the world’s pancake tossing record. He flipped a pancake 416 times in just two minutes!
Blueberry Health Benefits:
  • With just 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries offer many noteworthy nutritional benefits.
  • According to nutrition expert, Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D., L.D., blueberries, as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan, help reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as the accumulation of belly fat.
  • According to the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, laboratory studies show a diet including blueberries may improve motor skills and reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging or age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

National Kazoo Day




Do you kazoo? If so, today is your lucky day. It’s National Kazoo Day. This annual event, usually celebrated on January 28th during National Kazoo Week, was founded by Chaplin Willard Rahn.

All About Kazoos
Folks have been hummin’ on kazoos ever since they were invented back in the 1840's. Originally made to disguise one’s voice, today’s pocket-sized musical instruments are made out of a variety of materials including metal, wood or plastic.

And just in case you've never tried one, you don’t have to be a classically trained musician to become an expert kazooer either. Carefully put the kazoo up to your lips and blow, or rather, hum! While beginners have the tendency to blow – experts know humming is the key to kazooing success!

How to Celebrate National Kazoo Day
  • The Original American Kazoo Company in Eden, New York, is the only remaining metal kazoo factory in North America. The company is still hummin’ along, making the submarine-shaped kazoos just liked they used to in the early 1900's. Today, folks can stop by and watch the kazoos being made on the original equipment or can even make their very own kazoo for about $2! Open all year long, hours for the factory, museum and gift shop vary.
  • Captain Kazoo KazooMobile, the world’s only traveling museum and music show.
  • If you are in Beaufort, South Carolina, stop by the Kazoo Museum to see the nearly 200 “unique” kazoo-related items on display. It’s free!
  • Visit the studio of America's "leading folk kazoo maker, Doc Kazoo, on his YouTube Channel.
  • View the patents of the original kazoos.
  • Check out the world’s most famous kazoo orchestra.
Pop Art Day


Pop Art Day is celebrated annually on the anniversary of Jackson Pollock‘s birth. When Damion and I first decided to celebrate this day we were a little confused –
Jackson Pollock’s works are classified as abstract expressionism, very different from the pop art of artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.  But after further research we discovered that he was highly regarded among his contemporaries, serving as the “model of a painter who had successfully fused art and life.” Pollock was a strong influence on future movements, and his work is considered  fundamental in laying the groundwork for the creation of the Pop Art and Op Art movements.

Like many others, I have mixed feelings about abstract art.  Though it may evoke an emotion or feeling in me, I think I’m one of those people that can’t help but wonder, “what does it mean?”  But tonight, as we commemorated Pop Art Day by watching the movie Pollock, I started to realize that this type of art is less about meaning, and more about experience.  So I think as long as it does evoke a reaction or feeling, it has accomplished what it was meant to do.  Of course, after a long work week, these realizations were made between involuntary episodes of nodding off.  The movie was well done, and I’m a big fan of Ed Harris (especially after seeing him in Copying Beethoven), but I found it difficult to stay awake through the critically acclaimed movie.  Now, as I’m writing this post, we have something a little more upbeat streaming from our Netflix — Comic Book Confidential.  This documentary, which chronicles the comic book’s rise to pop art status, has interviews with interesting artists like Robert Crumb and Frank Miller, so it’s holding my attention in spite of my heavy eyelids.

But really, what better way is there to celebrate Pop Art Day than by creating some pop art!  Chris has been using his own artistic skills to play with some our photos and create some pretty cool works of art.  If he’s not careful they might just end up in one of our empty picture frames and grace our upstairs hallway.

Thank a Plugin Developer Day


In 2009, when the WordPress repository passed the 4,000 plugin mile marker, Matt Mullenweg declared January 28 to be “Thank a Plugin Developer Day.”
It’s an official WordPress holiday. If you have a few minutes, please join in recognizing the hard work that makes WordPress a platform that can literally do anything.
To celebrate take a look at the plugins you use and love, visit the author’s site, find their contact form, and drop them a note thanking them. (Or Paypal!) Look for the links in the plugin directory to “author homepage” and also to donate directly if they've specified a Paypal address.
While we’re thanking developers, here are a few tips for interacting with people who create free plugins:
  • If you have occasion to email a plugin developer, your first sentence and/or paragraph should include something to the effect of: “Thank you for your time.” They'll be much more likely to listen to any of your suggestions or requests for help.
  • Don't publicize complaints about a plugin developer on Twitter if they aren't able to release a plugin as expected. They have to pay the bills some way and sometimes that’s more important than making you a free plugin.
  • If you're asking for support, please offer to pay or consider a donation.
The WordPress repository now has 12,884 plugins. This represents thousands of hours of people’s time. I know it may be frustrating if a plugin doesn't work the way you expected, but if you remember these simple tips, you’ll be able to interact with developers in a polite way that will help them to help you. Now go send some Thank You’s!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Jan 27 2015

Auschwitz Liberation Day


On this day, Soviet troops enter Auschwitz, Poland, freeing the survivors of the network of concentration camps—and finally revealing to the world the depth of the horrors perpetrated there.

Auschwitz was really a group of camps, designated I, II, and III. There were also 40 smaller "satellite" camps. It was at Auschwitz II, at Birkenau, established in October 1941, that the SS created a complex, monstrously orchestrated killing ground: 300 prison barracks; four "bathhouses" in which prisoners were gassed; corpse cellars; and cremating ovens. Thousands of prisoners were also used for medical experiments overseen and performed by the camp doctor, Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death."

The Red Army had been advancing deeper into Poland since mid-January. Having liberated Warsaw and Krakow, Soviet troops headed for Auschwitz. In anticipation of the Soviet arrival, the German Gestapo began a murder spree in the camps, shooting sick prisoners and blowing up crematoria in a desperate attempt to destroy the evidence of their crimes. When the Red Army finally broke through, Soviet soldiers encountered 648 corpses and more than 7,000 starving camp survivors. There were also six storehouses filled with literally hundreds of thousands of women's dresses, men's suits, and shoes that the Germans did not have time to burn.

e-Day


e-Day celebrates the mathematical constant e (2.7182818) on February 7 (2/7) in the month/day date format or January 27 (27/1) in the day/month format.

Euler’s constant “e” is also known as “Euler’s number” after the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler. The constant e was discovered by several mathematicians who didn't know of its significance until Euler started to use the letter e for the constant around 1727. It is an irrational number that represents the idea that all continually growing systems are a scaled version of a common rate. The constant e is mostly used in logarithms, exponential growth, and complex numbers.

The letter e in e-Day is also used to represent other events and words that begin with the letter e.

Many celebrate e-Day as Euler’s constant day on February 7 (2/7) in the month/day date format. It is a day where people recognize the significance of the number e, which is approximately 2.71828. Although this is the most commonly recognized holiday for e-Day, there are other worldwide events that are observed that have nothing to do with the e number constant.

Euro day occurred in European countries that simultaneously adopted the Euro on January 1, 2002. In New Zealand, eDay is a day where people can get rid of e-waste or old electronics such as computers and old appliances, so they can be recycled rather than being placed in a landfill. Engineer’s Day is observed in Paducah, Kentucky on February 21 where many have an egg drop contest, create edible cars and tape people to walls. Eday is also an island in Northern Scotland.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day


On January 27 each year, the United Nations (UN) remembers the Holocaust that affected many people of Jewish origin during World War II. This day is called the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

The day also commemorates when the Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland on January 27, 1945. It is hoped that through remembering these events, people will remember the Holocaust and prevent genocide.

Holocaust survivors and various leaders make their voices heard on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Many of them speak publicly about the Holocaust or their experiences around the event, its aftermath and why the world should never forget what happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Many statements emphasize the need for future generations to learn about and remember the Holocaust and for everyone to work towards preventing genocide.

The UN organizes and supports events such as: concerts by musicians who survived the Holocaust or are survivors' descendants; art exhibitions influenced by the Holocaust; presentations of special stamps; the introduction of special educational programs; and film screening and book signing focused on the Holocaust.

Israel and many countries in Europe and North America mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Many academics present discussion papers or hold seminars or round table discussions on the Holocaust and its legacy in the modern world. Schools or colleges may also have special lessons on the Holocaust. The Holocaust and how people commemorate it receive special attention on the Internet, television, radio, print media.

The Holocaust, or Shoah (Sho'ah, Shoa), is the term used to describe the deliberate murder and desecration of millions of people prior to and during World War II in Germany and German occupied areas in Europe. Many of them were Jewish but the Roma people, Soviet civilians and prisoners of war, ethnic Poles, people with disabilities, homosexuals and political and religious opponents were also killed. Many people died in concentration and death camps spread across Nazi-occupied Europe. One of the most notorious camps was Auschwitz-Birkenau, near Oświęcim, Poland. More than one million people died in Auschwitz-Birkenau before Soviet troops liberated it on January 27, 1945.

On January 24, 2005, the UN General Assembly commemorated the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. Following this session, a UN resolution was drafted to designate January 27 as the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The resolution called for education programs on the Holocaust to help prevent genocide. It also rejected denials that the Holocaust occurred. On November 1, 2005, the assembly adopted this resolution so the day could be observed each year. It was first observed on January 27, 2006.

Many Jewish groups, particularly in Israel, also observe Yom HaShoah, which is a day of mourning for Holocaust victims on 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, which falls in April or May of the Gregorian calendar.

The symbol of the "Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme" consists of four elements on a solid black background. Two elements are the words "Remembrance and Beyond" and the UN symbol, both depicted in white. The UN symbol consists of a projection of the globe centered on the North Pole surrounded by two olive branches.

The other two elements are a piece of barbed wire and two white roses. The strands of the barbed wire merge into the stems of the roses. The barbed wire represents: the concentration camps; the loss of freedom of Jewish people and many other groups before and during World War II; and their pain and suffering.

The white roses represent peace, freedom and remembrance. These flowers also remind people of the White Rose, a non-violent resistance movement that was active in Germany from June 1942 until February 1943. In the United States and United Kingdom, white roses symbolize the investigation, remembrance and prevention of genocide.

National Chocolate Cake Day


Here we are, three weeks into 2014 already. How's the year going so far? Are you keeping those New Year's resolutions? Are all the holiday decorations put away? Have you recovered from the shock of of your holiday spending? With all the post holiday discipline we impose on ourselves January can be a bit of a drag. It's time to snap out of those January blues and celebrate because Monday, January 27th is National Chocolate Cake Day!

Chocolate has been celebrated for centuries. Since its use by Mayan kings, it has played a role in religious ceremonies, been used as currency, used as rations to feed our military during the American Revolution and the Civil War and even been used to secure sexual favors! Perhaps I should save that information for Valentine's Day.

Chocolate was originally consumed as a beverage but in 1764 Dr. James Baker discovered how to make chocolate by grinding cocoa beans between two massive circular millstones...and the first chocolate "cake" was born.

Chocolate cake as we know it in this country came onto the scene in the mid- 1930's when the Duff Company of Pittsburg (a molasses manufacturer) introduced Devil's food chocolate cake mixes. Additional cake mixes were introduced a few years later by General Mills and Duncan Hines and chocolate cake rapidly gained in popularity.

According to TLC Cooking, chocolate cake is the second most popular dessert in America - second only to fudge. That being said, a fudgy chocolate cake should definitely top the list. By the way that all-American apple pie came in at number six. It's time to change the saying to "as American as chocolate cake!"

Punch the Clock Day


Punch the Clock Day is celebrated annually on January 27 in the United States!

This holiday celebrates the system of calculating employee work hours through the Punch Clock system and it's invention. On this holiday you are encouraged to share a day of celebration at your workplace. Management needs to have plenty of coffee, tea and doughnuts in the break room so you and all your work mates can get together on your coffee break and celebrate the punch clock.

A time clock, sometimes known as a clock card machine or punch clock or time recorder, is a mechanical (or electronic) timepiece used to assist in tracking the hours an employee of a company worked. In regards to mechanical time clocks this was accomplished by inserting a heavy paper card, called a time card, into a slot on the time clock. When the time card hit a contact at the rear of the slot, the machine would print day and time information on the card. This allowed a timekeeper to have an official record of the hours an employee worked to calculate and pay an employee.

The first time clock was invented in November 20, 1888, by Willard Bundy, a jeweler in Auburn, New York. A year later his brother, Harlow Bundy, organized the Bundy Manufacturing Company, and began mass producing time clocks." "Bundy Manufacturing, along with two other time equipment businesses, was consolidated into the International Time Recording Company (ITR)." "In 1911 ITR and two other companies were merged, forming Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR), which would later change its name to IBM." "In 1958 IBM's Time Equipment Division was sold to the Simplex Time Recorder Company." "The time cards usually had the workdays and time in and time out areas marked on them so that employees could "punch in" or "punch out" in the correct place. The employee was responsible to line up the correct area of the card to be punched with an indicator on the time card. Software applications offer such a system.

The first punch-card system to be linked to a Z80 microprocessor was developed by Kronos Incorporated in the late 1970s and introduced as a product in 1979. In the 1990s, time clocks started to move away from the mechanical version to computer based, electronic time tracking systems. On these systems, the employee either enters an employee number, swipes a magnetic stripe card, or brings an RFID tag into proximity with a reader, or uses some other device to identify the employee to the system. Based on the system being used, the employee then enters what should be recorded. This could be "punching in", "punching out", lunch breaks, reason for leaving early, or any other type of information the employer requires.

Thomas Crapper Day


Today serves as an important day in history. Not only is January 27 National Chocolate Cake Day and one of the world’s most prolific composer’s birthday, but today also honors a man that deserves his own throne! Literally! Thomas Crapper

Thomas Crapper was born in Yorkshire in 1836, into a family of modest means. At 14 years of age he was apprenticed to a Master Plumber in Chelsea, London. After serving his apprenticeship and then working as a journeyman, he set up in his own right in 1861 as a plumber in Robert Street, Chelsea.
Five years later he moved to larger premises, Marlboro' Works, in nearby Marlborough Road. He quickly gained a singular reputation for quality and service; the company expanded and by 1907 had established a flagship store on the King's Road opposite Royal Avenue.

It is popularly thought that Mr. Crapper invented the W.C., and that the vulgar word for faeces is a derivative of his name, but neither belief is true. However, etymologists attest that the American word, "crapper", meaning the W.C. is directly from his name. He relentlessly promoted sanitary fittings to a somewhat dirty and sceptical world and championed the 'water-waste-preventing cistern syphon' in particular. Indeed, he invented the bathroom showroom and displayed his wares in large plate glass windows at the Marlboro' Works. This caused quite a stir and it is said that ladies observing the china bowls in the windows became faint at this shocking sight!

Mr. Crapper's inventiveness was well known; he registered a number of patents, one of which was the 'Disconnecting Trap' which became an essential underground drains fitting. This alone was a great leap forward in the campaign against disease. Amongst others was one for a spring-loaded loo seat which, as the encumbent arose, leapt up pulling rods which automatically flushed the cistern! This was rather less successful. Over time, the rubber buffers on the underside of the seat began to perish, and became sticky. This caused the seat to remain down, attached to the loo pan for a few seconds as the user got to his feet. Seconds later the seat, under stress from the powerful springs, would free itself and sweep violently upwards - striking the unfortunate Victorian on the bare bottom! The device became popularly known as the 'Bottom Slapper', consequently was not a commercial triumph.

By the 1880's, Crapper & Co.'s reputation was such that they were invited to supply the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) at Sandringham. Subsequently, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey all benefited from Crapper goods and services. Today, the Crapper manhole covers in the Abbey are popular for brass rubbings! Crapper & Co. remained by Royal Appointment to Edward when he became king and was also warranted by George V, as Prince of Wales and once again as king.

Thomas Crapper died in 1910 and was buried near the grave of the cricketer, W.G. Grace, in Elmers End Cemetery. The company continued under the guidance of his old partner Robert M. Wharam, his son Robert G. Wharam and Mr. Crapper's nephew George Crapper. However by the late 1950s, after the demise of the original partners, it was evident to Robert G. Wharam that with no Crappers or Wharams left to run the business, the sale of the company was becoming inevitable. In addition, perhaps people cared little for quality and tradition during that period. In 1963 came the end of an era; Thomas Crapper & Co. became the property of a rival, Messrs. John Bolding & Sons, Ltd..

Subsequently this distinguished firm endured fallow years - BUT SURVIVED - and is now an independent company once again. Having held four royal warrants and having existed through five reigns over 148 years, Thomas Crapper & Co. is once again manufacturing the finest bathroom fittings.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Birthday


January 27 is an important day in history for a variety of reasons. Not only is today National Chocolate Cake Day and Thomas Crapper Day, but today is also the birthday of one of the world’s most significant and prolific composers in history!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Austria on this day in 1756. He was the only surviving son of his parents, Leopold and Maria. His father was a violinist and composer and both Wolfgang and his sister were introduced to music at young ages. The children soon embarked on several European tours showcasing their musical talents.

A few years later, an archbishop appointed Mozart assistant concertmaster where he composed operas, symphonies and sonatas. At the age of 21, he wrote Piano Concerto Number 9 in E Flat Major, and the rest, as they say, is history! Despite his father’s disapproval, Mozart went on to marry his sweetheart, Constanze. The couple eventually had six children together - only two survived. Although a success, he was plagued with financial problems and failing health for years. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in 1791. He was only 35 years old.

Vietnam Peace Day


The United States, South Vietnam, Viet Cong, and North Vietnam formally sign "An Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam" in Paris. Due to South Vietnam's unwillingness to recognize the Viet Cong's Provisional Revolutionary Government, all references to it were confined to a two-party version of the document signed by North Vietnam and the United States—the South Vietnamese were presented with a separate document that did not make reference to the Viet Cong government. This was part of Saigon's long-time refusal to recognize the Viet Cong as a legitimate participant in the discussions to end the war.

The settlement included a cease-fire throughout Vietnam. It addition, the United States agreed to the withdrawal of all U.S. troops and advisors (totalling about 23,700) and the dismantling of all U.S. bases within 60 days. In return, the North Vietnamese agreed to release all U.S. and other prisoners of war.

Both sides agreed to the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Laos and Cambodia and the prohibition of bases in and troop movements through these countries. It was agreed that the DMZ at the 17th Parallel would remain a provisional dividing line, with eventual reunification of the country "through peaceful means." An international control commission would be established made up of Canadians, Hungarians, Poles, and Indonesians, with 1,160 inspectors to supervise the agreement. According to the agreement, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu would continue in office pending elections. Agreeing to "the South Vietnamese People's right to self-determination," the North Vietnamese said they would not initiate military movement across the DMZ and that there would be no use of force to reunify the country.

Footnote: The last U.S. serviceman to die in combat in Vietnam, Lt. Col. William B. Nolde, was killed by an artillery shell at An Loc, 60 miles northwest of Saigon, only 11 hours before the truce went into effect.