Monday, January 12, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Jan 12 2015

Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day

Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day is celebrated on January 12. According to random Internet sources, January 12th is the Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day. OMG…what does that even mean? It sounds like it was invented by an all-male revue in Vegas to attract bachelorette parties. I did some digging around, and it appears that no one really knows what the heck this holiday is, or where it came from, but the conclusion seems to be that we should enjoy feasting our eyes on some hot guys.

Henry David Thoreau wrote the famous phrase, "In wildness is the preservation of the world." Attempts to identify the characteristics of wildness are varied. One consideration sees wildness as that part of nature which is not controllable by humans. Nature retains a measure of autonomy, or wildness, apart from human constructions.

The extent to which masculinity is a result of nature or nurture, a matter of what someone is born with or how they are socialised, has been the subject of much debate. There is an extensive debate about how children develop gender identities. On the nature side of the debate, it is argued that masculinity is inextricably linked with the male body.

National Clean Off Your Desk Day

There seems to be a “national day” for almost everything, from celebrating rubber duckies and bittersweet chocolate to advocating for awareness of the Heimlich maneuver. (Yes, there’s a National Heimlich Maneuver Day folks.)

Today just happens to be National Clean Off Your Desk Day, and as frivolously ridiculous as it might sound to some, a tidy workspace can do wonders for productivity and peace of mind. A recent survey by Officemax found that 90% of Americans admit that unorganized clutter at home or at work has a negative impact on their life and said their productivity (77%), state of mind (65%), motivation (53%) and happiness (40%) are affected when there is disorder.

There has also been correlations noted between office disorganization and possibility of promotion, with organization expert Peter Walsh adding, “If you have a cluttered office, you risk being seen as inefficient or not on top of your work. [Disorganization] suggests a degree of incompetence that clouds your abilities. You run the risk of jeopardizing your chance of a promotion.”

Try out these steps (that I've actually decided to take on myself), to declutter your workspace and gain more piece of mind:

  1. If the emails are more than 30 days old, get rid of them. Digital workspace is often a large part of the physical. My inbox can have thousands of emails in it at a time, which is definitely not ideal since eventually the inbox fills, and I can’t receive new mail. Take the time to get rid of emails that are old, or archive them (by sending them to another host that has more space, ie. Gmail.) You can also change your email settings to get rid of mail from spammers or those newsletters and party updates you never really read anyway.
  2. Go paperless. This may seem a bit scary, especially if you're like me and you’ve worked in a business environment that included less reliance on emails and virtual meetings and more on actual file folders and paper. However, many of the everyday products you handle can be kept electronically, from invoices to magazines, so try to figure out what you really need to have via snail mail and what can truly be digital only. Tools, apps and resources like NeatConnect, QuickBooks, TaskRabbit, Evernote, and Dropbox make going paperless so easy.
  3. If it’s been sitting on your desk for more than 2 weeks and has no real, practical use, get rid of it. I’m talking about that old, dusty mug, those books you never read, and that old file tray that never has files in it. Donate or recycle those useless items. You should treat your desk as you'd treat your refrigerator. You wouldn't keep—or eat—expired or old food, right? So why keep items on your desk that you hardly have use for or that serve no practical role in making your day more productive?
  4. If the decor doesn't fit, you must chuck it. Excuse my bad Johnnie Cochran reference, but if you're like me, you love a good inspirational quote, knickknack or Christmas card to add pizazz (and a pick-me-up) to your day. Well sometimes, these sticky notes and keepsakes can cause more clutter than cleansing to the mind. How about scanning photos and cards and making them one big, framed image to put in your space? You can take the rest of the keepsakes home and find ways to incorporate them there. Limit your extra items—whether they’re for decoration or inspiration—to the main two or three that really put a smile on your face.
  5. Invest in chic organizing gear. Invest in a few lucite paper trays and accessories. The clear look will give the illusion of more space and less clutter. Get a chic cork board to pin up reminders or keepsake. Add stackable storage bins that could be both decor-friendly and useful for the things you just can't throw out. Find items that have a multipurpose use, like this desk organizer.
  6. Follow DIY blogs and organization resources on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. I always find savvy DIY ideas for storage and organization via social media. Companies like General Electric and Lowes provide tips on how to declutter your workspace, and Twitter accounts like @ClutterAway2 provide daily advice on making your life that much more organized. Blogs like IKEA Hackers give great tips on adding organization to your workspace as well.
  7. Get help. I actually hate throwing away receipts and keepsakes thinking someday I may want to reference them or dig them up for some unknown reason. If you're truly a hoarder and find it hard to throw away or donate things that are piling up in your office, find a friend, family member or coworker who can help you filter through everything. There are also professional organization services that can do the work for you.
If you think you may have a more serious issue, such as compulsive hoarding, there resources available to help with that as well.

National Curried Chicken Day

Today will curry favor with spice lovers - January 12 is National Curried Chicken Day!

Perhaps the best way to enjoy this exotic, spicy chicken is by indulging in chicken curry. One thing is for sure, you know exactly where you stand with this practically named dish.

Curry powder, saffron, ginger, masala powder and other spices form the base of an aromatic sauce to blend in with the chicken. Depending on the culture or region, "chicken curry" and "curry chicken" are either the same or completely different. Adding chicken to the curry sauce is considered to be chicken curry, but curry chicken can mean dredging the chicken in curry powder before cooking. It's all in the details, people!

Country Captain Chicken is our own Americanized version of the Indian dish. A British sea captain who traveled to Bengal, India, shared the recipe during a stop in Savannah, Georgia. "Country Captain," a nickname for officers stationed in India, became the name of the dish as it gained popularity across the South.

It also became a favorite of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and General George Patton when they enjoyed it during a dinner at Roosevelt's "Little White House" in Warm Springs, Georgia. After that, Country Captain Chicken became a staple in Southern cuisine.

Fix yourself a light and tasty curried chicken sauté, or take a nostalgic bite of heritage and history by cooking up some Country Captain Chicken. It's a dish fit for a president, and sea captains to boot.

National Glazed Doughnut Day

Now there's a day I can support! lol Who doesn't like glazed doughnuts? Do you like cake glazed or yeast raised glazed. January 12 is National Glazed Doughnut Day.

If there is one thing that standard doughnuts lack, it’s sugar. Glazed doughnuts gallantly make up for that pitfall, so if you see children who aren't running along the ceiling with their face caked in frosty goodness you now know what to give them.

While no one really knows when doughnuts were invented or who invented them. Doughnuts were originally made as a long twist of dough – not in the ring form that is most common these days. It was also common in England for donuts to be made in a ball shape and injected with Jam after they were cooked – this is still very common. Both methods of cooking involve no human intervention as the ball and twist will turn itself over when the underside is cooked. The ring donut common to America just seemed to appear – but one Hansen Gregory, an American, claimed to have invented it in 1847 when he was traveling on a steamboat; he was not satisfied with the texture of the center of the donut so he pressed a hole in the center with the ship’s pepper box.

  • Doughnuts vs. Donuts? There has been much debate among experts as to whether “doughnut” or “donut” is the proper spelling. “Doughnut” is actually proper, but “donut” is acceptable. If you look in older dictionaries, you'll only find “doughnut.” However, the Merriam-Webster dictionary now lists “donut” as a variant of “doughnut.” Either way you spell it, they're still delicious!
  • January 12th is National Glazed Doughnut Day.
  • June 6th and November 5th are National Doughnut Day.
  • June 8th is National Jelly Filled Doughnut Day.
  • November 5th is National Doughnut Day.
  • National Doughnut Day was officially established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression.
  • In the U.S. alone, more than 10 billion doughnuts are made every year.
  • The largest doughnut ever made was an American-style jelly donut weighing 1.7 tons, which was 16 feet in diameter and 16 inches high in the center.
  • Per capita, Canada has more doughnut shops than any other country.
  • Adolph Levitt invented the first doughnut machine in 1920.
  • The US doughnut industry is worth 3.6 billion dollars.
  • The Guinness World record for doughnut eating is held by John Haight, who consumed 29 donuts in just over 6 minutes.

National Marzipan Day

The mighty almond, crushed and mixed with sugar and egg whites, takes a fancy form: marzipan. January 12th is National Marzipan Day!

This dainty confection has elaborately covered cakes with commendable definition, is rolled into an infinite variety of imaginative shapes, may be stuffed into chocolate pieces or dipped in liquid chocolate. Marzipan has a sweet, nutty flavor worth revealing about!

Marzipan’s pliability makes it a favorite with pastry chefs. Oftentimes, marzipan is tinted with food coloring, leaving the artist-molded marzipan shape to be so realistic as to be confused with the real thing!

Almond paste is not marzipan! Rather, marzipan is one of many forms of almond paste. Marzipan may be differentiated from almond paste in that marzipan contains more sugar. The exact ratio of sugar to almond paste may be debated for hours, as no concrete formula has evolved.

There are proposed two lines for its origin; they are not necessarily contradictory and may be complementary, as there have always been Mediterranean trade and cooking influences. In both cases, there is a reason to believe that there is a clear Arabic influence for historical reasons (both regions were under Muslim control). Other sources establish the origin of marzipan in China, from where the recipe moved on to the Middle East and then to Europe through Al-Andalus.

Although it is believed to have originated in Persia (present-day Iran) and to have been introduced to Europe through the Turks (badem ezmesi in Turkish, and most notably produced in Edirne), there is some dispute between Hungary and Italy over its origin. Marzipan became a specialty of the Baltic Sea region of Germany. In particular, the city of Lübeck has a proud tradition of marzipan manufacture (Lübecker Marzipan). The city's manufacturers like Niederegger still guarantee their marzipan to contain two thirds almonds by weight, which results in a product of highest quality. Historically, the city of Königsberg in East Prussia was renowned for its marzipan production. Today, the term Königsberger Marzipan still refers to a special type of marzipan in Germany. In Sicily it was (1193) known as panis martius or marzapane, i.e., March Bread.

Another possible geographic origin is in Spain, then known as Al-Andalus. In Toledo (850-900, though more probably 1150 during the reign of Alfonso VII) this specialty was known as Postre Regio instead of Mazapán) and there are also mentions in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights of an almond paste eaten during Ramadan and as an aphrodisiac. Mazapán is Toledo's most famous dessert, often created for Christmas, and has PGI status. Almonds have to be at least 50% of the total weight, following the directives of Mazapán de Toledo regulator counseil. Another idea to support this line is the important tradition of another Spanish almond-based Christmas confectionery, the turron.

Under EU law, marzipan must have a minimum almond oil content of 14% and a maximum moisture content of 8.5%. Optional additional ingredients are rosewater, honey, pistachios, preservatives, and sometimes hazelnut. In the U.S., marzipan is not officially defined, but it is generally made with a higher ratio of sugar to almonds than almond paste. One brand, for instance, has 28% almonds in its marzipan, and 45% almonds in its almond paste. However, in Sweden and Finland almond paste refers to a marzipan that contains 50% ground almonds, a much higher quality than regular marzipan. In Germany, Lübecker Marzipan is known for its quality. It contains 66% almonds. The original manually produced Mozartkugeln are made from green pistachio marzipan.

National Pharmacist Day

The day is dedicated to the pharmacists who play a very important role in medical care. A pharmacist is the person who has the knowledge of the chemical composition of all medicines. They are the ones who can explain you about all the aspects of the prescribed medicines and the side-effects of the drugs. There are people who have to take lots of drugs together. The pharmacists can only realize and warn you about the interaction of drugs together. National Pharmacist Day is about recognizing the important role of the pharmacists. If you are visiting a pharmacy on the day, make sure that you wish your pharmacist a very happy National Pharmacist Day.

There is no doubt about it that the National Pharmacist Day was created by some pharmacist group. But there are still studies and researches going on to find that group. Another important thing about the day is, though it is a very important day in medical care, it is not truly a "National" day which would have required an act of Congress.

National Pharmacist Day is all about honoring our pharmacist friends, all those men and women, who are an integral part of the medical care. The day is about saying them “Thank You,” the words that they don’t get to hear too often. Let’s take the day as the perfect occasion for thanking them for being in the front lines of pharmacy, and having lots of patience and compassion. Let’s thank them for being committed and dealing with love and sympathy to rude patients, reading the doctors handwriting and for smiling always, in spite of working that extra hour.

The most loving gift that you can gift your pharmacist is a big ‘thanks’. You can also give him/her a pharmacist themed gift to bring a smile on his/her face. Here is a list of all the things you can do on National Pharmacist Day:
  • If you are a pharmacist or a pharmacy manager, you should organize an event to honor the pharmacists who are hard-working and invaluable to the society.
  • You can organize something like a luncheon, pizza party or pot luck on the day.
  • Give out some tokens as recognition for their hard work, like gift certificates, corsages, name tag holders, mugs etc.
  • Arrange an education and cross-training program for them where they will exchange their experiences as a pharmacist.
  • Give out a certificate of appreciation from the pharmacy management to the pharmacists.
  • Take a picture of all the pharmacist staffs, pin it on the bulletin board, and write an inspiring message to them.

Stick To Your New Year's Resolution Day

Besides ringing in the New Year with a glass or two of your favorite bubbly with friends and family, part of the New Year tradition for many folks includes making resolutions. Whether you are determined to finally quit smoking, manage those overwhelming finances, exercise on a regular basis and/or finally fit into those skinny jeans that have been hanging in your closet for eons, resolutions provide incentives to let go of old habits and look forward to a newer and better you. That is, if we can keep them!

January 12 is Stick to Your New Year's Resolution Day, an annual "holiday" that gently reminds us to stick to those resolutions, whatever they may be. While you may have gotten a bit off track, today is the perfect day to start back up again and stick to those resolutions.

It's very easy to make New Year's resolutions in the heat of enthusiasm and glowing joy but most of us are more familiar with the difficulty of sticking to the resolutions! It is possible but it does take focus, planning, and a determination to stick with the resolutions for the same amount of time it takes to change a habit, so that the resolutions also turn into new habits.

1) Realize that New Year's day is just another day and that making resolutions on this day is no different from making a resolution on any other day. While it's a convenient time because it's a new year and therefore feels like a new beginning, placing too much emphasis on it being a brand new start of the day your whole life is going to change is unrealistic. Think of the occasion more as a catalyst for change and a jumping-off point.

2) Pinpoint your most realistic resolutions. Review the different areas in your life and think about what is working as well as what isn't. Instead of picking the same old resolutions that you can never seem to keep, like losing weight, giving up smoking or winning an award, choose an area that you know needs improvement rather than a radical change. Think long term and make sure it's something you can realistically see happening. And reduce the amount of resolutions you make – hone down that list of 10 resolutions to just one or two, or be prepared to approach your resolutions one after another rather than all at once.

  • For instance, perhaps you don't see enough of your friends or you never ring your mum. Working on these seemingly simple things may be more rewarding in the long run.
  • Get this app: Lift - Daily Motivation
  • Longer term goals such as learning a new language or controlling your temper are also fine but they must be broken down into chunks so that you don't have unrealistic expectations and then give up too easily.
3) Write down your resolutions. Once you have decided on your achievable resolutions, write them down. You could even make a contract with yourself stating what you will set out to do and sign it to make it official. Writing down the resolutions creates a greater connection between your thinking self and your doing self and makes the resolution appear more real than if you simply think it in your head.

4) Focus on one change at a time. Rather than trying to have several large changes underway at once, such as trying to lose weight, quit smoking, and increase your exercise regime, break the changes down into smaller lots and focus on one single resolution at a time. Your focus and energies won't be spread too thinly this way and you can give the single resolution all of your attention.
  • Break down each change into smaller steps and make the first step incredibly easy. For example, if you want to start flossing, the first step can be to locate the floss in the supermarket.
  • Find routine trigger points during your day for implementing your resolution. For example, when you're eating a meal, brushing your teeth, putting out the pets, etc. Choose times that provide natural triggers for doing whatever it is your resolution is about an tack the resolution behavior onto the existing habit.
5) Use positive language rather than negative demands when thinking about doing your resolution. For example, rather than thinking "I can't be bothered going to the gym", think "I always feel so much better for going to the gym and I love that feeling." Highlighting the benefit to you is far more motivating than focusing on the negatives and self-deprecation for not doing it as expected.

6) Make the change a gradual one. A resolution is unlikely to be enduring if you implement it in its totality the first day. Giving up your favorite daily treats cold turkey will probably cause you to think about them endlessly and finally give in to resuming eating them. Instead, slowly wean yourself off the treats by eating less of them each week, until you are no longer including them in your daily eating regime.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to make the change. At least 21 days of pursuing a new habit are needed to break the old habit, and a good period of time to set a new resolution in place is around two months, after which time it should feel much easier to meet your resolution.
7) Get some support. Tell a friend or your loved ones whom you trust about your resolution. They will provide you with support and keep you focused on your goal. And if you are wavering at all, their support will ensure you don't give up, just in case you feel like a quitter.
  • Consider joining an online support group for specific resolutions such as losing weight, giving up chocolate, or training for the next marathon. Having people you can talk to at any time of day or night can be an enormous source of instant support, especially if the people are going through the same experiences and concerns as you. In turn, be sure to help boost other people's resolutions!
8) Review your progress. Break your resolution down into stages so you can track your progress. Look back after a couple of months and see what you're doing right. Try to fix anything that you're doing wrong. For instance, if your resolution was to go to the gym three evenings a week, perhaps you haven't been sticking to it because you always work late. Try going in the mornings instead. Making a minor adjustment could be the key to success.

9) Build on your resolutions. When you're doing well at keeping your resolution, you may discover that you are feeling better about other areas of your life too. Going to the gym may lead you to cut out smoking too. Similarly, if you have given up something as part of your resolution, try to find a pleasant and diversionary substitute to keep your mind occupied. Quitting smoking may encourage you to exercise more

10) Celebrate. Remember to celebrate your successes, but make sure the way you celebrate doesn't go against your resolution. If you cut down on drinking alcohol, clearly it's best not to reward yourself with a glass of wine. Instead, treat yourself to those shoes you've had your eye on, or tickets to a play you've been dying to see. You deserve it!
  • Keep going. Why stop now when you've done this well? Extend the timeline of your resolution and work it into your everyday routine. By next year, you'll be more than ready to face your next challenge.