Sunday, January 11, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Jan 11 2015

Amelia Earhart Day


January 11, 1935 was the historical day when Amelia Earhart became the first person, either gender, to fly solo crossing the pacific. Another popular flight was her solo flight across the Atlantic at a stretch on May 20-21, 1932 which made her the maiden woman to accomplish this feast.

Saluting the great feats of Amelia Earhart, the Congress, by joint resolution, called upon the Presidentto proclaim May 20, 1982, as ``Amelia Earhart Day'' as a tribute to the most daring and accomplished of the pioneer women aviators.

Therefore Ronald Reagan, the President of the United States of America, declared May 20, 1982, as Amelia Earhart Day.

Amelia Earhart is the most acclaimed aviatrix in the history of aviation and was one of the most popular women of her time. She established several aviation records, which includes becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger in 1928, the first woman (and second person except Lindbergh) to solo fly the Atlantic in 1932, and the first individual to fly solo across the Pacific, from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Oakland, California, in the year 1935.

Amelia Earhart was a modern woman coupled with immense courage, independency, and manifested a strong social conscience. She had been instrumental in fighting for international peace, equality for women, the involvement of women in aviation, and the competition of commercial aviation.

On July 2, 1937, after successfully finishing 22,000 miles of the journey, she took off from Lae, New Guinea, some 18 hours and 2,556 mile across the ocean to Howland Island.

When the plane was about to approach its destination, Earhart reported that she presumed that she was flying over Howland, but couldn't see it underneath. She was lost and confused, with her plane short of fuel, she asked for help by radio to the tiny island. She lost radio communications and the cutter's radio operators could not established communication with her. A comprehensive air, land, and sea search for almost two weeks failed to find her and any trace of the worlds most famous and daring female pilot, her navigator, or their plane.

Cigarettes Are Hazardous To Your Health Day


It's Cigarettes are Hazardous to your Health Day! Believe it or not, there is actually a day to remind us how harmful cigarettes are to our health as a smoker or a non-smoker. Terry Martin, from About.com Guide, wrote a great article about this very topic that we would like to share.

Most smokers don't think about the chemicals in cigarettes. They think about how cigarettes help them cope with the stress of daily life, calm them down when angry, or help them to relax at the end of a long day.

The truth of the matter is that smoking does the opposite of just about everything we give it credit for. When the chemicals in cigarettes are inhaled, they put the body into a state of physical stress by sending literally thousands of poisons, toxic metals and carcinogens coursing through the bloodstream with every puff taken. And those chemicals affect everything from blood pressure and pulse rate to the health of our organs and immune system.

While researchers are still working to uncover all of the hazards cigarettes present to human life, we do know that air tainted with cigarette smoke is dangerous for anyone who breathes it -- smoker or not.

Let's take a closer look at some of the harmful chemicals in cigarettes and how they affect our health:

Carcinogens - A carcinogen is defined as any substance that can cause or aggravate cancer. Approximately 60 of the chemicals in cigarettes are known to cause cancer.
  • TSNAs - Tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNAs) are known to be some of the most potent carcinogens present in smokeless tobacco, snuff and tobacco smoke.
  • Benzene - Benzene can be found in pesticides and gasoline. It is present in high levels in cigarette smoke and accounts for half of all human exposure to this hazardous chemical.
  • Pesticides - Pesticides are used on our lawns and gardens, and inhaled into our lungs via cigarette smoke.
  • Formaldehyde - Formaldehyde is a chemical used to preserve dead bodies, and is responsible for some of the nose, throat and eye irritation smokers experience when breathing in cigarette smoke.
  • Toxic Metals - Toxic / heavy metals are metals and metal compounds that have the potential to harm our health when absorbed or inhaled. In very small amounts, some of these metals support life, but when taken in large amounts, can become toxic.
  • Arsenic - Commonly used in rat poison, arsenic finds its way into cigarette smoke through some of the pesticides that are used in tobacco farming.
  • Cadmium - Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that is used in batteries. Smokers typically have twice as much cadmium in their bodies as nonsmokers.
  • Radioactive Toxic Metals - There are a couple of toxic metals in cigarette smoke that carry an extra punch of danger for anyone breathing it in: they are radioactive.
  • Radioactive Cigarette Smoke - Lead-210 (Pb-210) and polonium-210 (Po-210) are poisonous, radioactive heavy metals that research has shown to be present in cigarette smoke.
  • Poisons - Poison is defined as any substance that, when introduced to a living organism, causes severe physical distress or death. Science has discovered approximately 200 poisonous gases in cigarette smoke.
  • Ammonia - Ammonia compounds are commonly used in cleaning products and fertilizers. Ammonia is also used to boost the impact of nicotine in manufactured cigarettes.
  • Carbon Monoxide - Carbon monoxide is present in car exhaust and is lethal in very large amounts. Cigarette smoke can contain high levels of carbon monoxide.
  • Hydrogen Cyanide - Hydrogen cyanide was used to kill people in the gas chambers in Nazi Germany during World War II. It can be found in cigarette smoke.
  • Nicotine - Nicotine is a poison used in pesticides and is the addictive element in cigarettes.
A Word About Secondhand Smoke
Also known as environmental tobacco smoke, secondhand smoke is a term used to describe cigarette smoke that comes from two sources: Smoke that is exhaled by the smoker (mainstream smoke) and smoke produced by a smoldering cigarette (sidestream smoke). Secondhand smoke is known to contain at least 250 toxic chemicals, including 50 cancer-causing chemicals. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. That means if you can smell cigarette smoke in the air, it could be harming your health.

If you smoke...
There is no time like the present to stop the madness that cigarette smoking is. You'll be rewarded with benefits beyond what you can probably imagine and they'll start to occur faster than you think. Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your body will begin to heal and improvements to your mental and physical health will continue to grow with time invested in smoking cessation.

It is never too late to quit smoking!

International Thank You Day


Today is all about appreciating the many blessings and the wonderful people in our lives. January 11 is International Thank You Day (ITYD), an international holiday created by Mendota, IL., native, Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith.

In our busy and stressful lives, it is important to remember that each day truly is a blessing. We sometimes take things, and each other, for granted. Whether we are facing a health crisis, are currently unemployed or underemployed or are enjoying a rich and prosperous year, it’s important to remember circumstances can change when we least expect it.

Today is the perfect opportunity to be thankful for friends, family, freedom, food, shelter and basic necessities. Heck, we should even be thankful for that cranky co-worker or rotten boss because at least we have a job!

In honor of International Thank You Day, thank those around you. Try it all day long - people will wonder what you're up to! And who knows? Maybe that pearly white smile or sincere “thank you” will lift someone’s spirits more than you realize. And to all you fine folks out there in cyberspace who continue to enjoy these entertaining Our Nation's Haligdaeg articles, THANK YOU! Learn how to say "Thank You" in more than 465 languages.

Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day



There is a controversy among some Morse Code operators on who actually created the code: Samuel Morse or Alfred Vail. So, in order to not offend either side, I've chosen the date of January 11, because on January 11, 1838 both Morse and Vail did the first public demonstration of the electric telegraph together.

As of 2007, Morse Code is no longer a requirement in order to get a Ham Radio license.

There is concern that within 50 years or so, this form of communication will die off due to more modern technology replacing it and those that do currently know it, are mostly older and the newer generation isn't learning it to keep it going, once they pass on.

So, to help stir up some interest in Morse Code, I thought I'd start this observance to get people of all ages to try to at least learn their name in Morse Code. It's not that hard. And, you do not have to do it at the speed of lightning like the old timers do. (I can't even do that!) But it is a lot of fun. And, there are different style of keys to use also.

It's really simple. Just scroll down a little on this page and look at our Morse Code Chart and see the letters of your name. Then figure out the dits and dahs that make up your name and see what it looks like. (Although Morse Code is a sound communication not a visual one per se.)

We also have a Morse Code translator below for you to type in your name and then hear what your name sounds like in dits and dahs.

But, the best way to celebrate, "Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day" is to contact your local Ham Radio Club and perhaps someone can show you how your name sounds and teach you how to send it on a key. Morse Code Translator

Milk Day


The 11th of January is Milk Day.

This day was chosen because, reputedly, milk was delivered in glass bottles for the first time in 1878 on this day. Glass bottles allowed milk to be delivered in sanitary conditions to customers. Before that, it was brought round in large milk cans, often open to the elements, and you'd bring your pail and they'd ladle out what you wanted. Refrigerated delivery trucks, though, didn't come along until around 1938 (they used dry ice.)

The reason given for the choice of date, however, leaves much for desired. It's never stated exactly where this occurred. It wasn't in France, because by 1878 milk was already being delivered in bottles in France for some time. It wasn't in the UK. In 1880, the Express Daily Company was the first company in the UK to produce and use milk bottles, followed by Wiltshire United Dairies (later to become Unigate.) They were delivered 4 times a day until 1894, when the advent of pasteurization enabled milk to last longer and deliveries to therefore be reduced to 1 time a day.

The mostly likely candidate country is the US, because Americans are notorious for not thinking they ever need to specify a country. But the date doesn't work for America, either. The first milk "bottle" in America (the Lester Milk Jar, whose lid was held in place as a screw cap), wasn't patented until 29 January 1878 (18 days after the alleged first delivery), and no one is sure that it ever even actually saw use. The first viable milk bottles were patented by the Warren Glass Company in 1880. Nevertheless, it's clear [see the New York Times excerpt below] that bottled milk delivery was starting to happen in America by October 1878; and by 1880, was making enough headway for sellers of milk the old "milk can and dipper" way to be fighting back with dirty tricks.

World Milk Day, as declared by the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in 2001, is 1 June. The FAO also declared, as of 2000, that World School Milk Day is 28th September.

School Milk Week in the UK is the 2nd week of October each year.

Harvard Milk Days are held in Harvard, Illinois on the first weekend in June. The festival started in 1942. From 1945 to 1983, they elected a Queen. Today, they choose instead a Dairy Princess.

In northern Pakistan, the Kalash people celebrate a milk day during their spring festival (called "Joshi".)

It is repeated in a great many places that this first delivery was done in New York City by either an Alexander Campbell or by the New York Dairy Company. Sadly, a search by CooksInfo.com of the New York Times from 1870 to 1880 didn't turn up evidence of either name being involved in the dairy business in New York City at that time.
History Notes

"Difficulty of Selling Pure Milk: The mode of delivering milk in Paris, in sealed bottles, of standard quantity and quality, with the date marked upon the bottles is one familiar to traveled Americans, but one that has not been imitated here until very recently...." Credited to the New York Times. In Burlington Weekly Hawkeye. Burlington, Iowa. 19 October 1878. Page 7.

The following letter to the New York Times in 1880 presents a glimpse into the battle between those milkmen delivering milk the old way -- out of large milk containers dishing it out to the customer with a dipper, versus those trying to upset the milkwaggon by delivering it in sealed bottles:

"To the Editor of the New York Times:
I noticed in a recent issue of THE TIMES an article with reference to the supply of pure milk in cities, and referring to the method of delivering the same in sealed bottles. It is a subject in which I am much interested, as I am in this way serving families in New York with the milk produced on my farm, and, having considerable experience in the business, I would like to state briefly, for the benefit of your City readers, some serious obstacles to their being served with pure, fresh milk, which it is in their power to remove.

Incredible though it may seem, I say what I know to be a fact when I assert that it is impossible to serve many of the best families in the City with pure milk, except at a loss to the farmer or the dealer who may deliver it. The source of the trouble lies in the almost universal corruption prevalent with the servants employed in these families, by which the farmer, in order to retain their custom, must submit to continuous exacting fees, which he cannot afford to do, but which the dishonest dealer can and is willing to do. A customer is secured for the farmer or honest dealer, as the case may be, and one or two quarts per day are delivered. Very frequently it is thought prudent not to dismiss the old milkman, and he continues to leave a quart or two. The servant soon presents the state of affairs to both parties, and signifies that for a consideration she will make it all right with the mistress, and have the other party dismissed. In the majority of well-to-do families, where the mistress does not attend to the details of the house-keeping, the servant is in a position to do all that she promises. The milk delivered by the party against whom she is prejudiced will be put in a warm place, where it will speedily sour, and sometimes even vinegar and dirt put in it, and she will swear that it was delivered so.

Now, we thought when we decided to deliver the milk in sealed bottles put up on the farm, that we could guarantee to every customer milk as pure and clean as it is posslble to get from the cow, and so we can, if our customers will do their part, but so thoughtless and careless are they that we have nearly as much trouble as by the old method of delivery. The servants are allowed to break the seal and open the bottles. They drink the rich cream from the top of the bottle, or use it for their coffee, and fill up the bottle with water, or if an old milkman is at their elbow with his little present, with somethlng worse than water.

The head of the house is disgusted, and exclaims: " Why, this bottled milk is a perfect humbug." The deliverer of it is not allowed to make a suggestion, but is spurned from the door, the old milkman resumes his place, with a fair percentage of water in the dipper, and if he makes his little presents with some degree of regularity all goes smoothly again, the good people up stairs being entirely ignorant of the game played below.

In some cases where we have been permitted to suggest the source of the trouble with the milk, the mistress, while admitting that we might be correct, dare not request the servant to place the bottle of milk on the table unopened for fear of giving offense. What more can be expected of us in order to serve residents of the City with pure milk? There is no question but that milk put up and delivered in the manner alluded to by reliable farmers, will be found to be pure, sweet, and clean, much more so than by the old method of delivery. If the consumer will but insist upon having it put upon the table just as it is delivered at the door, and will see that it is kept in a cool place in warm weather." -- G.F. TABER. Ravinewood Farm, Wednesday April 21. "Can we have pure milk? By Permission of our servant girls we may". New York: The New York Times. Monday, 26 April 1880. Page 3.

National Hot Toddy Day



Today is a day to celebrate something we drink. January 11 is National Hot Toddy Day.

What is a hot toddy?
A hot toddy, also hot totty, and hot tottie, is typically a mixed drink made of liquor and water with sugar and spices and served hot.

There are many variations on the original hot toddy recipe. Some versions call for tea, coffee, cocoa, apple cider, spices, or even butter.

A hot toddy is a delicious drink made with honey, lemon, hot water, and the liquor of your choice; usually whiskey, brandy, or rum.
  1. Vitamin C for health.
  2. Honey to soothe.
  3. The alcohol to numb.
Ask the average person if they’ve ever heard of a Hot Toddy, and they're likely to say they have. Ask them what a Hot Toddy is, and you may get a variety of answers. The cocktail doesn't have a standard recipe. It needs to contain some type of liquor; a sweetener, such as honey or sugar; a warm base like coffee, tea, hot water or apple cider; and usually, lemon. The most common Hot Toddy recipe consists of bourbon, honey, hot water and lemon.

The cocktail’s origins are unknown, but we do know that it is an old drink, believed to have been invented in Scotland in the 1700s. The country’s staple liquor, Scotch, had a harsh smoky flavor that women were not fond of. The Hot Toddy may have been designed as a sweeter-tasting alternative for ladies.

The Hot Toddy’s name is the biggest mystery. No one knows for certain where it came from, but there are two popular theories.

In 1781, poet Allan Ramsay published a poem called “The Morning Interview” that mentions Todian Spring. This spring, also called Tod’s Well, was the main water supply to Edinburgh, Scotland, so the Hot Toddy may have been named after it. Ramsay’s poem refers to Todian Spring water being used for a tea party. Since Todian Spring existed anyway, regardless of Ramsay invoking its name in his poetry, it is unclear why Ramsay is given credit for the name of the Hot Toddy cocktail by those who adhere to this theory about its naming.

Another theory states that since Great Britain was involved in trade with India at the time the Hot Toddy was invented, the cocktail may have been named for toddy, an Indian drink made from palm tree sap. Whether or not this is true, one thing is for certain: Palm tree sap is not a usual ingredient in a Hot Toddy.

The name itself can vary, being spelled “Totty” or “Tottie” at times, though these spellings are uncommon, and some would say, simply wrong. There are no options when it comes to the hotness of the Hot Toddy, as it is one of the most popular cold-weather drinks, even more popular in ski lodges than in pubs. A Hot Toddy ideally should be made and enjoyed at home, with a good book or a good friend.

To celebrate National Hot Toddy Day, brew up your favorite type of hot toddy and enjoy!

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day


Many are captives who are trafficked for sex, sold by their poverty-stricken parents. Others toil in sweatshops, make rubber for our tires and harvest cocoa beans for our chocolate. Globally, there are more slaves now than ever before.

A number of nonprofits are calling on the government to do something about it on Jan. 11, Human Trafficking Awareness Day -- and in the wake of President Obama declaring January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Nonprofits are asking the Obama administration to renew the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), which would provide resources for those trying to protect the 27 million people who are considered modern-day slaves engaged in forced labor and sex.

Congress allowed the TVPA to expire in 2011 after years of bipartisan support, leaving programs that fight trafficking at risk, according to a release from the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST). Nonprofits say the political inertia is stalling real progress.

"The time for political games is over. Congressional inaction on this legislation continues to weaken US global leadership in the fight against modern day slavery," Jesse Eaves, Senior Policy Advisor for Child Protection of World Vision, said in the release.

A White House release marking January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month called upon businesses, religious groups and families to learn more about the fight against trafficking and outlined what the government will do:
"We will continue to take action by empowering investigators and law enforcement with the training they need, and by engaging businesses, advocates, and students in developing cutting-edge tools people can use to stay safe," the release stated. "We will invest in helping trafficking victims rebuild their lives. And as one of the world's largest purchasers of goods and services, the Federal Government will keep leading by example, further strengthening protections to help ensure that American tax dollars never support forced labor."
Obama outlined steps to fight human trafficking in September at the Clinton Global Initiative, declaring that the White House issued new executive orders that will combat modern-day slavery in government contracting. The administration also said it was providing more training on human trafficking to those employed in legal positions, among others.

"It is barbaric and it is evil and it has no place in a civilized world," Obama had said at the event, noting that many children who are trafficked are the same age as Sasha and Malia, his own daughters.

National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day


Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend's Day is observed on January 11. Puddles are often a source of recreation for children, who regard jumping in puddles as one of the "up-sides" to rain. A children's nursery rhyme records the story of Doctor Foster and his encounter with a puddle in Gloucester.

A puddle is a small accumulation of liquid, usually water, on a surface. It can form either by pooling in a depression on the surface, or by surface tension upon a flat surface. Puddles are usually formed from rainwater or from irrigation. A puddle is generally small enough for an adult to step over, shallow enough to walk through, and too small to traverse in a boat or raft.

Puddles commonly form during rain, and can cause problems for transport. Due to the angle of the road, puddles tend to be forced by gravity to gather on the edges of the road. This can cause splashing as cars drive through the puddles, which causes water to be sprayed onto pedestrians on the pavement.

Secret Pal Day


January 11th is the date when people celebrate Secret Pal Day all over the world. This is a very special day for all friends as there is nothing more precious than having a true friend. Therefore, value your friends and feel lucky to be blessed with good friends in your life.

Though the origin of Secret Pal Day is still not known, January 11th is declared world wide as this day. There are many activities that a person can do for friends. One can organize a party or just gift something to your friend. Below are a few Secret Pal Day ideas:

Baking a Gift- If you are looking to surprise your secret pal then you can try gifting something baked. You can make cookies in the shape of a heart coated with sugar. This is made of dough and to make it look attractive you can add some pink food color. You can also give different shapes to it like heart, circle or square. The cookies can also be coated with chocolate and cream. Get some colorful papers and gift wrap them. Place the colorful cookies in a basket and gift it to your friend.

There is nothing better than seeing your secret pal delighted and happy. This is a great gift that you can give to a friend. So sit back and enjoy with your friend.

Be Creative- It’s time to be a little more creative. If you like painting or sculptures then gift your secret pal with one of them. You can pick anything from a card or just use your imagination to paint. Painting doesn’t mean you do it only on paper; it can be done on any object like a t-shirt, pot, and shoes. This for sure your friend would treasure and remember it. You can choose bright colors to paint.

Other creative things like knitting, craft work or stitching can also be gifted to your secret pal. You can also decorate a mug or a photo frame with paper flowers and glitter. If you sit back and think, you can come up with many ideas to make your secret pal day special.