Friday, February 27, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Feb 27 2015

International Polar Bear Day

A lot of animals serve as indicators of the world’s ecosystem. Just by studying certain animal species, our attention is focused on environmental problems we unconsciously created in our industrial developmental processes. Bees, for one, had called mankind’s attention on the harmful effects of insecticides. Polar bears, on the other hand, remind us of the harmful effects of climate change.

There is no record found as to the origin of this special day. It is, however, observed and supported by various animal and environmental groups. This day celebrates the existence and value of the world’s largest carnivore which can grow as tall as nine feet and weigh 1,400 pounds. Polar bears live at the North Pole region and are native to Alaska, Greenland, Russia, Canada and Norway.

The International Polar Bear Day is observed to prevent their extinction caused by loss of sea ice habitat through climate change. According to the World Wildlife Fund Canada, increased industrial activities on oil and gas are also causing threats to the polar bear population. Polar bears, generally left handed, are nature’s most impressive hunter but are also being hunted but men.

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a carnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is a large bear, approximately the same size as the omnivorous Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi). A boar (adult male) weighs around 350–700 kg (770–1,540 lb), while a sow (adult female) is about half that size. Although it is the sister species of the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time at sea. Their scientific name means "maritime bear", and derives from this fact. Polar bears hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present.

The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species, with eight of the nineteen polar bear subpopulations in decline. For decades, large scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the species but populations rebounded after controls and quotas began to take effect. For thousands of years, the polar bear has been a key figure in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of Arctic indigenous peoples, and polar bears remain important in their cultures.

Polar bears are important indicator of the well-being of the arctic ecosystem. Because of this, the Polar Bear International was created with the purpose of saving them by saving their sea ice habitat. This is currently the world’s leading polar bear conservation group actively supporting the observation of the International Polar bear Day.

Observance can be done by volunteering or donating to the Polar Bear International. Visiting local zoos and studying polar bears by watching nature television channels is another way to observe the day. If qualified, joining Project Polar Bear contest in America and Canada would be great. Checking websites on Polar Bear Day and joining activities are also highly suggested.

National Kahlua Day

It’s National Kahlua Day! Kahlua is a rich, creamy alcoholic liqueur from Mexico. People enjoy it straight up, on the rocks, and mixed in coffee or cocktails (like the White Russian). Kahlua is also used to flavor desserts such as ice cream, cakes, and cheesecakes.

The word “kahlua” means “house of the Acolhua people” in the Nahuatl language. Pedro Domecq began producing Kahlúa in 1936. It was named Kahlúa, meaning "House of the Acolhua people" in the Veracruz Nahuatl language spoken before the Spanish Conquest. (Kahlúa was Hispanicized as Ulúa, forming the name of modern San Juan de Ulúa fortress.)

The company merged in 1994 with Allied Lyons to become Allied Domecq. In turn, that company was partially acquired in 2005 by Pernod Ricard, the largest spirits distributor in the world since its merger with the Swedish Vin & Sprit in March 2008.

Since 2004, the alcohol content of Kahlúa is 20.0% (21.5% alc. is still available only in Ohio); earlier versions had 26.5%. In 2002, a more expensive, high-end product called "Kahlúa Especial" became available in the United States, Canada and Australia after previously being offered only in duty-free markets. Made with premium Arabica coffee beans grown in Veracruz, Mexico, Kahlúa Especial has an alcohol content of 36%, has a lower viscosity, and is less sweet than the regular version.

To celebrate National Kahlua Day, mix up your favorite Kahlua cocktail or bake a divine Kahlua-flavored cake to share with friends!

National Strawberry Day

Seeds on the outside, sweet on the inside - February 27 is  National Strawberry Day!

Even if these little red fruits bursting with sweet perfection aren't in season, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy them today!

Strawberries have grown wild for millennia in temperate regions throughout the world. While cultivation of strawberries doesn't date back this far, it still dates back hundreds and hundreds of years.

It was not until the 18th century, however, when cultivation of strawberries began to be pursued in earnest. In 1714, a French engineer sent to Chile and Peru to monitor Spanish activities in these countries "discovered" a strawberry native to this region that was much larger than those grown in Europe. He brought many samples back to France, which were subsequently planted. These plants did not originally flourish well until a natural cross breeding occurred between this species and a neighboring North American strawberry variety that was planted nearby in the field. The result was a hybrid strawberry that was large, juicy and sweet, and one that quickly grew in popularity in Europe.

The strawberry, like many other perishable fruits at this time, remained a luxury item only enjoyed by the wealthy until the mid-19th century. Once railways were built and more rapid means of transportation established, strawberries were able to be shipped longer distances and were able to be enjoyed by more people. Today, using a commonplace, layperson's definition of the word "berry," the strawberry has become the most popular berry fruit in the world. (In technical scientific terms, this distinction would go to bananas, since their seeds and pulp produced from a single ovary, and that characteristic is used to classify berries versus non-berries. In fact, when considered from a technical scientific standpoint, strawberries are not berries at all, but rather "accessory fruits" in which the delicious substance that we eat is not directly produced from the ovary. But for most of us, despite these technical scientific distinctions, strawberries count as some of the best berries ever!)

If fresh strawberries aren't at their best in your grocery store, don't forget the many accessible forms you can always get your hands on. Frozen and dried strawberries can help in a pinch if you're creating in the kitchen. Strawberry preserves, ice cream, yogurt, smoothies and milkshakes are nothing to shake a stick at either.

But if you are one of the lucky folks who stumbled on some great fresh strawberries, you can whip up a strawberry pie, shortcake or even a simple dish of strawberries and cream.
No Brainer Day

In case you haven't heard, February 27th is No Brainer Day. Since some of our daily tasks require little thought and we go about our day set on auto-pilot, it’s no wonder we have a No Brainer Day.

Well, isn't this one interesting?  By definition a “no- brainer” is doing something that is simple, easy, obvious and/or totally logical.  Today is a day to do all of those types of no brainer tasks and activities.  If it is a project that will require thinking, studying, or analyzing anything, then it’s not the chore for you today.

Some no-brainer activities that we do every day, simply because they don't require deliberate decisions to do them – would be breathing, swallowing, blinking, sneezing or yawing.  Of course, we all know someone who does just no brainer activities all the time  . . which isn't a very good life plan.  Be selective in the days you choose to do only no brainer tasks – limiting them to today, or holidays, vacation days, or weekends.  Since most of us have jobs that require more than those limited tasks, I'd suggest not irritating your boss by sitting in your chair, blinking into space as you breathe and stare out the window . . . and yet again, I do know someone who actually does that most of the time!

No Brainer day was created by Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith, who was called “America’s Premier Eventologist” per the Chicago Tribune – January 2001. Why it was created isn't something I could find.

So go ahead - give your brain a rest and celebrate No Brainer Day today! Then tomorrow, it's back to work we go!