Thursday, January 22, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Jan 22 2015

Celebration of Life Day

Celebration Of Life Day is when we take a step back and truly appreciate our children and grandchildren. Granted, some may do this on an everyday basis, but it’s an opportunity to look at our young ones’ lives from a different angle, think about what it is that makes them truly special, and of course, to lavish treats upon them if we so wish, be it an ice cream or a trip to Disneyland.

It can be easy to forget that our children and grandchildren are people in their own right. You've helped them to discover themselves over the years, but you can't take all the credit. Their life choices are ultimately down to them; sometimes they’ll do you proud, and other times, as is the case with us all, they'll make mistakes. So be the one who’s there to offer congratulations, or encouragement to pick themselves up when they fall. And above all else, as cheesy as it may sound, show that you love them.

Data Innovation Day

Today, massive amounts of information are collected, analyzed, integrated and disseminated, transforming virtually every industry and offering a wealth of opportunities to enable leaders to make more strategic and better informed decisions that can help shape the world around us.

To mark the important opportunities and diversity that exist within the data economy, Azavea, GeoPhilly and many others from across the world have joined together to present the second annual Data Innovation Day. The celebration promotes the benefits generated by the current revolution in data, and gives participants the opportunity to showcase the latest data innovations and the economic value of the information economy.

GeoPhilly and PhillyPUG is proud to host Philadelphia’s Event, a joint meetup by the two groups, featuring talks by those who add value to public data and make it more accessible by the public. Philadelphia’s Chief Data Officer, Mark Headd, will be opening the event with exciting announcements of newly released data, never before available to the public. Andrew Thompson of Azavea will be presenting on a Python Wrapper for Cicero. Mark Chadwick of Vistar Media will be talking about Processing Geospatial Data with Python and Hadoop. Brian Jacobs, a former Azavean, will talk about MIT SENSable cities project in Singapore. Jen Lowe will also be speaking about data science and her work in this sphere.

Our participation in Data Innovation Day highlights our role in the evolution and openness of data and our commitment to promoting continued access of high quality public data. We hope our participation in today’s event helps inform others about the valuable contributions that open and accessible data makes daily to the global economy, the improvement of government, and overall quality of life for citizens around the world.

Data Innovation Day is held today, January 22, and will feature events in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, Austin, TX, and Palo, Alto, CA among others. In addition, over 100 global partners in India, Ireland, England, Turkey, Nepal, Russia, Ukraine and Australia, will participate in social media and other virtual activities.

National Answer Your Cat's Questions Day

If you love life with your cat, making her happy, and untangling the mysteries of her felineness, mark your calendar - January 22 is National Answer Your Cat's Questions Day.

If you love life with your cat, making her happy, and untangling the mysteries of her felineness, mark your calendar - January 22 is National Answer Your Cat's Questions Day. Your boss probably won't let you off work for it, and there won't be any parades, but consider it a fun holiday you can enjoy with your cat. If done right, your cat will enjoy it too.

The proper way to participate in National Answer Your Cat's Questions Day is to be aware of your cat on a more conscious level, and notice when your cat is trying to ask you something. Your job is to stop what you're doing and try to figure out what your cat is asking, and do your best to answer the question.

Now, you know your cat pretty well - or at least you think you do. You and your cat are different species with different languages and behaviors, different needs and desires, and a completely different way of perceiving the world. Yet, you live together in the same home, love each other, and you both endeavor to make each other happy. (As we all know, a cat makes a human happy with her very existence, while the human must perform daily to make the cat happy. That's just the way it is!)

So even though you live a nice life together, you and your cat may never completely understand each other. You will always have questions about why your cat does this or that, and your cat most certainly has questions about your behavior. Just as you have no idea why your cat would demand that you open a door, only to refuse to walk through it, your cat has no idea why you would even have a door.

We've put together a few questions from cats, asked from the cat's point of view, of course. These questions may seem like those that would likely be asked by a cat you know and love. These are written as questions, answers and rebuttals, because we all know that cats like to have the last word.

Cat Questions, From Your Cat's Point of View

Cat's Question: Why do you keep shutting the doors in the house?
Person's Answer: Lots of reasons, my dear cat. To keep you out of some rooms, to conserve energy, sometimes out of habit. What's the big deal?
Cat's Rebuttal: Okay, well I need to know what's going on in my own house. I've marked it all as my territory and I want it accessible at all times. When you close doors, you cramp my style.

Cat's Question: Why do you bring strangers into our home?
Person's Answer: They're my friends. And they love cats. There's no need to hide when they come over.
Cat's Rebuttal: Oh yeah? I didn't invite them over! They scare me. They always want to pick me up. If they'd just leave me alone and let me sneak up and investigate them, I could decide if they are my friends too, and then I might be ok with them petting me.

Cat's Question: Why do you get so upset when I go potty behind your bed?
Person's Answer: Because that's gross. You have a nice litter box. Use it.
Cat's Rebuttal: Have you seen where you put my litter box? Have you seen what's in my litter box? How would you feel if your toilet were out in the open where anyone could see you using it? I may be an animal, but I need my privacy, and I like things clean. The litter box is really nice, but if I don't use it, there's a reason. (And sometimes the reason is I'm sick and I can't help it. You'll have to ask my veterinarian about that.)

Cat's Question: Why do you keep petting me when I tell you to stop it?
Person's Answer: Well, you're so soft and cute and adorable I can't help it. And you like being petted.
Cat's Rebuttal: I know I'm irresistible and I do love being petted, but I have my limits. When you see my tail swishing from side to side, I'm letting you know that I've had enough. When you don't get the hint, I have to get up and walk away.

Cat's Question: Why am I not I allowed on top of the refrigerator?
Person's Answer: I'm afraid you'll fall. And you'll knock stuff over.
Cat's Rebuttal: Dude, I'm a cat. It's unlikely I'm going to fall and if I did, I'd land on my feet. I need to be up high. That's how I observe and supervise my domain. If you don't want me on top of the refrigerator, can you give me some other high places to perch?

Cat's Question: Why do you give me interesting things to lie down on, then take them away?
Person's Answer: Oh, you mean, the book or newspaper I happen to be reading? Those aren't for you - those are people things.
Cat's Rebuttal: Really? When you sit quietly staring at paper, it feels like a nice moment to be with you. Besides, I think I'm more interesting than whatever you're reading…don't you?

These are just a few general questions your cat may have for you. To understand your cat's questions, you have to try to see things from your cat's point of view. Your cat does try to tell you things, with her meows, her ears, tail, general body language and behavior. The more you know about your cat, the more she will love living with you.

National Blonde Brownie Day

National Blonde Brownie Day is celebrated on January 22nd of each year.

A blondie (also known as a “blonde brownie” or “blondie bar”) is a rich, sweet dessert bar. It is made from flour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, and vanilla, and may also contain walnuts or pecans. Chocolate chip blondies may contain white or dark chocolate chips. A blondie may have a taste reminiscent of butterscotch.

Blondies resemble the traditional chocolate brownie, but are based on brown sugar instead of cocoa; they are sometimes referred to as blonde brownies. They are baked in a pan in the oven similar to how traditional brownies are baked, then cut into rectangular shapes for serving.

Blondies are often confused with white chocolate brownies, although they are highly different, as unlike the white chocolate brownie or the normal brownie, they contain no chocolate or chocolate flavouring, not inclusive of chocolate chips, which are often put in blondies.

Like brownies, blondies may include chocolate chips. They may also contain coconut, nuts, toffee, or any other chunky candy for added texture. Blondes aren't usually frosted; the brown sugar flavor tends to be sweet enough.

Another popular variation is the Congo bar, which contains chocolate chips with either walnuts or coconut.

Blondies are sometimes served in sundaes, often topped with caramel sauce.

The history of National Blonde Brownie Day is unknown. No clear evidence has been found to indicate who had the idea for it or when it was conceived.

People have been baking brownies for over a hundred years. The first time brownies were referred to in a publication was in an 1897 edition of the Sears Roebuck catalog.7 The first published recipe for brownies found in a cookbook was in a 1906 edition of The Boston Cooking School Cookbook. This recipe made a brownie with more of a cake texture. The second known recipe was in a 1907 cookbook called Lowney's Cookbook. This version called for an extra egg and additional chocolate, giving it more of a fudge texture.

The blonde brownie may have come about because of people who could not eat chocolate due to allergic or other dietary issues. Another theory is the blondies came about by people who preferred other flavors over chocolate, such as vanilla or butterscotch. Blonde brownies usually have the same chewy texture as darker brownies, but tend to have a buttery taste if made without any chocolate at all.

National Hot Sauce Day

It’s National Hot Sauce Day.

The big day is finally here! That’s right National Hot Sauce Day is January 22nd, and this year, we're celebrating with you. Well, technically, the Mad Dog team celebrates Hot Sauce Day pretty much every day, but we do get super excited about this national foodie holiday; so excited that we're offering consumers a special one day sale. But first, we should probably take a look at what we're celebrating.

Chilies have been around for ages and ages. They're not a new discovery. Indeed, there’s evidence that chilies were harvested and traded in several regions of South America long before the Europeans made it to the continent.

But, the first commercially available, bottled hot sauce only appeared in the US in 1807 (in Massachusetts, mind you. It’s not that people didn’t love spicy food (remember that Columbus was responsible for bringing chilies back to Europe centuries before). Before this time, buying pre-packaged food simply wasn't done. You’d head off to the general store to buy grain to make your own bread and seeds to grow your own vegetables. Trading and sharing happened within small communities only. So, when hot sauce emerged in bottles, it was part of a larger food revolution. Though, it did take some time for the trend to kick in.

Consider that Tabasco only hit the market in 1868, and artisanal hot sauces only took off in the late 1980s. That’s a long time for the market to catch on to the fiery goodness we know and love today. Of course, in the past 30 odd years, hot sauce producers – and consumers – have completely pushed the boundaries of this condiment. Today’s hot sauces are hotter than most people can imagine, and they're more varied than most people realize. Just think of the first time you heard the word Sriracha, and then consider how popular this garlicky sauce is today.

If you're like most chili heads, then you’re after the burn. It’s just so good when the tears are streaming down your cheeks, and you're forced to remove jackets and sweaters to cope. Even better is the buzz that lasts for hours after having a few Scovilles too many (is there such a thing?). But part of the allure of hot sauces is the medicinal benefits that capsaicin offers.

Again, this is not exactly news. In 1877, hot sauces were touted for their healthy benefits by Chicago businessman William Railton. And, capsaicin has been used in traditional healing since chili peppers were first traded all those years ago. It’s just that now, more scientists are catching on – and technology and testing have advanced to a stage where the effects of capsaicin can be better studied.

As a chili head, you likely know all this. What’s more amazing is the number of people that just don't have a clue how incredible a good hot sauce can be. That’s why we're so excited about National Hot Sauce Day 2015. It’s a good chance to spread the flavor and the fire. And, to help you celebrate with your friends this year, we’re having a special sale. For one day only, you’ll get 15% your order at Ashley Food’s online consumer store. It’s just our way of celebrating the hot sauce trend with you. We’re looking forward to years of incredible industry growth – and we’re sure you are too. So, happy Hot Sauce Day – we hope it burns you like crazy!

Roe v. Wade Day

The Supreme Court decriminalizes abortion by handing down their decision in the case of Roe v. Wade. Despite opponents' characterization of the decision, it was not the first time that abortion became a legal procedure in the United States. In fact, for most of the country's first 100 years, abortion as we know it today was not only not a criminal offense, it was also not considered immoral.

In the 1700s and early 1800s, the word "abortion" referred only to the termination of a pregnancy after "quickening," the time when the fetus first began to make noticeable movements. The induced ending of a pregnancy before this point did not even have a name--but not because it was uncommon. Women in the 1700s often took drugs to end their unwanted pregnancies.

 In 1827, though, Illinois passed a law that made the use of abortion drugs punishable by up to three years' imprisonment.  Although other states followed the Illinois example, advertising for "Female Monthly Pills," as they were known, was still common through the middle of the 19th century.

Abortion itself only became a serious criminal offense in the period between 1860 and 1880. And the criminalization of abortion did not result from moral outrage. The roots of the new law came from the newly established physicians' trade organization, the American Medical Association. Doctors decided that abortion practitioners were unwanted competition and went about eliminating that competition. The Catholic Church, which had long accepted terminating pregnancies before quickening, joined the doctors in condemning the practice.

By the turn of the century, all states had laws against abortion, but for the most part they were rarely enforced and women with money had no problem terminating pregnancies if they wished. It wasn't until the late 1930s that abortion laws were enforced.  Subsequent crackdowns led to a reform movement that succeeded in lifting abortion restrictions in California and New York even before the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.

The fight over whether to criminalize abortion has grown increasingly fierce in recent years, but opinion polls suggest that most Americans prefer that women be able to have abortions in the early stages of pregnancy, free of any government interference.