Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Mar 31 2015

César Chávez Day

César Chávez Day is an official state holiday in the U.S. states of California, Colorado and Texas. The day is commemorated to promote service to the community in honor of César Chávez's life and work. Many, but not all, state government offices, community colleges, and libraries are closed. Many public schools in the state are also closed. Texas also recognizes the day, and it is an optional holiday in Arizona and Colorado. Although it is not a federal holiday, President Barack Obama proclaims March 31 as César Chávez Day in the United States, with Americans being urged to "observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor César Chávez's enduring legacy." In addition, there are celebrations in his honor in Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, and New Mexico and has been observed in California since 1995, in Texas since 2000 and in Colorado since 2003 as state holidays (optional in Texas and Colorado).

As a senator, Barack Obama made a call in 2008 for a national holiday in Chávez's honor, saying: "Chávez left a legacy as an educator, environmentalist, and a civil rights leader. And his cause lives on. As farm workers and laborers across America continue to struggle for fair treatment and fair wages, we find strength in what César Chávez accomplished so many years ago. And we should honor him for what he's taught us about making America a stronger, more just, and more prosperous nation. That's why I support the call to make César Chávez's birthday a national holiday. It's time to recognize the contributions of this American icon to the ongoing efforts to perfect our union." (Senator Barack Obama March 31, 2008) Grassroots organizations continue to advocate to create a national holiday. On March 30, 2011, President Obama reiterated his support for the cause: "César Chávez's legacy provides lessons from which all Americans can learn."

A model curriculum for teachers shows how students can learn about César Chávez's legacy through his work with other immigrants, farm workers, and how his work relates to the modern world.

César Chávez Day has been celebrated in Reno, Nevada, since 2003. A state law passed in 2009 (AB 301) requires Nevada's governor to annually issue a proclamation declaring March 31 as César Chávez Day.

Eiffel Tower Day

On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower is dedicated in Paris in a ceremony presided over by Gustave Eiffel, the tower's designer, and attended by French Prime Minister Pierre Tirard, a handful of other dignitaries, and 200 construction workers.

In 1889, to honor of the centenary of the French Revolution, the French government planned an international exposition and announced a design competition for a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars in central Paris. Out of more than 100 designs submitted, the Centennial Committee chose Eiffel's plan of an open-lattice wrought-iron tower that would reach almost 1,000 feet above Paris and be the world's tallest man-made structure. Eiffel, a noted bridge builder, was a master of metal construction and designed the framework of the Statue of Liberty that had recently been erected in New York Harbor.

Eiffel's tower was greeted with skepticism from critics who argued that it would be structurally unsound, and indignation from others who thought it would be an eyesore in the heart of Paris. Unperturbed, Eiffel completed his great tower under budget in just two years. Only one worker lost his life during construction, which at the time was a remarkably low casualty number for a project of that magnitude. The light, airy structure was by all accounts a technological wonder and within a few decades came to be regarded as an architectural masterpiece.

The Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall and consists of an iron framework supported on four masonry piers, from which rise four columns that unite to form a single vertical tower. Platforms, each with an observation deck, are at three levels. Elevators ascend the piers on a curve, and Eiffel contracted the Otis Elevator Company of the United States to design the tower's famous glass-cage elevators.

The elevators were not completed by March 31, 1889, however, so Gustave Eiffel ascended the tower's stairs with a few hardy companions and raised an enormous French tricolor on the structure's flagpole. Fireworks were then set off from the second platform. Eiffel and his party descended, and the architect addressed the guests and about 200 workers. In early May, the Paris International Exposition opened, and the tower served as the entrance gateway to the giant fair.

The Eiffel Tower remained the world's tallest man-made structure until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. Incredibly, the Eiffel Tower was almost demolished when the International Exposition's 20-year lease on the land expired in 1909, but its value as an antenna for radio transmission saved it. It remains largely unchanged today and is one of the world's premier tourist attractions.

International Transgender Day of Visibility

International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual holiday occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. The holiday was founded by Michigan-based transgender activist Rachel Crandall in 2009[4] as a reaction to the lack of LGBT holidays celebrating transgender people, citing the frustration that the only well-known transgender-centered holiday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance which mourned the loss of transgender people to hate crimes, but did not acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community.

In 2014, the holiday was observed by activists across the world — including in Ireland and in Scotland.

From Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera (see below) to modern-day activists and “possibility models,” like Angel Collie, Rev. Norma Gann, Rev. Miller Hoffman, Rev. Jake Kopmeier, Zach McCallum, Rev. Aaron Miller, Rev. Maxwell Reay, Stacy Sanberg, Steve Sills, Rev. Mykal Slack, and Julie Walsh, our proud trans* siblings that serve as members of MCC Trans* Gender Non-Conforming Advisory Council, we pay tribute to all those who have boldly shared their stories, spoken out against discrimination, and smoothed the path toward equality and acceptance for all those who follow in their footsteps like, Rev. Brendan Boone, Rev. Emma Chatton, Dr. Colt Meyer, Monica Roberts and many others.

Remembering Sylvia Rivera
Sylvia Rivera, the Bronx-born Puerto Rican LGBTQ icon, is rumored to have started the infamous 1969 Stonewall Riots, yet she remains generally unknown. A tireless advocate for LGBTQ rights until her death in 2002, Rivera worked to ensure that change was constantly on the horizon for her community. Since 1960, New York City has been home to a thriving LGBTQ community and gay scene, despite harassment, arrests and assault.
Historians of the period believe that earlier foreign migration in the city injected new life into the already established gay scene, making it renowned. Greenwich Village, Times Square and the streets in neighboring areas became home to gay, working class and homeless youth. Among them was Rivera, a self-identified “queen,” who was raised by her Venezuelan grandmother until Rivera left home at age 11. Transforming from Ray Rivera to Sylvia Rivera, she began dressing in drag and prostituting herself on 42nd street.

“It was a hard era. There was always gay bashing on the drag queens. We had to live with it, but none of us was very happy about it,” Rivera said during a recorded interview.

Rivera and other “street queens” were constantly in danger of being arrested, mainly because of the fact that cross-dressing was illegal at the time. Raids of gay bars were common, and by the time she was 17-years-old, Rivera had already made countless trips to Riker’s Island. The arrests and harassment bred frustration, and Rivera craved a revolution.

On June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, an establishment that’s widely considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement, that revolution came. When officers attempted to storm the Stonewall Inn, they quickly lost control, and the self-aware gay and transgender community reacted with riots and protest. Rivera was rumored to have thrown one of the first Molotov cocktails that evening, while others claim that she wasn’t at the Stonewall Inn at all.

The radical moment in history has been debated time and time again by historians, but one thing that’s evident is the whitening and “suburbanizing” of the Stonewall Inn Riots, leading to Rivera being dropped from historical texts related to Stonewall. However, what makes her involvement so profoundly important is that she represents working class, queer Latino and black street youth, who happened to be responsible for the more militant actions that took place that evening.

The homeless people living in Sheridan Square were non-white. They were predominately Puerto Rican/Latina and they were prominent and active. Their inclusion in the night’s riots helped make it what it was, and that contingent would go on to produce more fruitful actions.

The following year, Rivera and other activists organized the first Christopher Street Liberation march to commemorate the Stonewall Rebellion. That tradition became what’s presently known as the Gay Pride Parade. Rivera went on to do profound work in the transgender community, founding the Street Transvestite/Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR), and organizing with the Black Panthers and the Young Lords to drive change in the queer community as well as other disenfranchised communities.
 
International Hug a Medievalist Day

March 31st is International Hug a Medievalist Day! Yes, we medievalists need some love too and since 2011 it has been celebrated by the medieval community and even got noticed by the New Yorker.

The idea to have International Hug a Medievalist Day comes from Sarah Laseke, who is currently studying for an MST in Medieval Literature at the University of Oxford. We interviewed Sarah, asking her about this day started:

How did you come up with the idea of International Hug a Medievalist Day? My partner, who is a librarian, joined the Hug a Librarian Day on Facebook in 2011. This made me come up with the idea that medievalists also deserve an official celebration day, so I created the event on Facebook.

Why do medievalists deserve a day to get hugged (not that we’re complaining)? I wanted to create a day which puts medievalists in the center of attention. Medievalists come from various disciplines and our research is varied and exciting. Also, I see the Hug a Medievalist Day as an opportunity to introduce the wider public to Medieval Studies.

The idea of International Hug a Medievalist Day really became popular – why do you think that is? The last three years have seen an increase in the interest in and popularization of the Middle Ages, triggered by TV series such as Game of Thrones. As for medievalists, we are hard working and we have well deserved this special day of appreciation and celebration.

National "She's Funny That Way" Day

What could man be without women? With laughter being the only thing within reach of our comprehension (God and Human Folly is out of bounds), let us be thankful that women possesses the things that lighten our ills and burdens. Come and let’s partake of the special feeling on the National “She’s Funny That Way” Day! National “She’s Funny That Way” Day is celebrated on the 31 of March every year.

On National "She's Funny That Way" Day we pay tribute to the women that make us laugh. Show appreciation for the humorous side of women, the things they do and say. Watch a female stand up comedian, rent a funny movie or if you're a women be extra funny today.
Some sources point to the origin of this event to the compendium Chase’s Calendar of Events ‘sponsored events’ category. Sources say that Brenda C. Meredith, the author of the coming-of-age novel She’s Funny That Way published in March of 2003, as the sponsor of this day for the Chase’s Calendar editors to include in their list. Since then, the event has taken a life of its own, providing everyone a reason to celebrate the little quirks and idiosyncrasies of women all over the planet.

Trivia
  1. Some sources state that an average woman manages to eat some of her lipstick that amounts to 2 to 3 kilos or 4 to 6 pounds, in the course of her lifetime. 
  2. Some research states that the average woman spends about 120 hours in front of a mirror beautifying herself over the course of a year. That amounts to 5 whole days if done continuously! 
  3. Women consider their room aka the ladies room, as the ladies room and not just the room that contains the toilet. Some backroom dealing happens in there, too. 
  4. To guys, commenting on women’s appearance is a landmine, especially with these questions: “How do I look” and “Is that girl good-looking.”
How to celebrate the National “She’s Funny That Way” Day
  1. Keenly observe the main woman in your life on this day. She’ll probably notice it, and could lead to lots of embarrassing and hilarious revelations. 
  2. Discuss with your female friends the little quirks and habits of the ladies and have a discussion of separating fact from fiction. Makes for a wondrous time! 
  3. Give your lady a soulful rendition of John Legend’s All of Me. That song is a perfect fit to the spirit of this event. That or Frank Sinatra’s She’s Funny That Way. 
  4. Watch movie hits like Pretty Woman, Sister Act, There’s Something About Mary; better yet, get a copy of the classic Funny Girl starring Barbara Streisand These movies that tickles you pink and shows the weird and wonderful side of the ladies 
  5. Watch some female stand-up comedians in their best form or better yet, go to the downtown comedy bar and have a few laughs personally.
Some humorous women on TV, both past and present, include:
  • Lucille Ball
  • Carol Burnett
  • Jane Curtin
  • Tina Fey
  • Chelsea Handler, 
  • ne Kaczmarek
  • Betty White
  • Amy Poehler
  • Gilda Radner.
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Kathy Griffin
  • Whoopie Goldberg
  • Roseanne Barr
  • Phyllis Diller
  • Lily Tomlin
  • Minnie Pearl
  • Margaret Cho
  • Wanda Sykes
  • Sarah Silverman
National Bunsen Burner Day

National Bunsen Burner Day is a holiday that commemorates the date of birth of the inventor of the Bunsen Burner. While not enjoying the status of being considered a major holiday in any country or group of countries, Bunsen Burner Day has been observed for a number of years. The holiday occurs on the same calendar date each year, and is often recognized by persons with a strong interest in chemistry and science in general.

Celebrated on 31 March of each year Bunsen Burner Day is the celebration of the German chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunsen. Born in 1811, van Bunsen is the generally acknowledged inventor of Bunsen Burners. While there are some historians of the development of chemistry that maintain von Bunsen was not the creator but rather a refiner of the device, there is general agreement that the devices used in chemistry labs and classrooms around the world today is the work of von Bunsen.
 
The Bunsen Burner itself is a very simple device, consisting of a long hollow tube. A combination of gas and air help to form the flame that powers the burner, making it very easy to control the amount of flame and heat by adjusting the mixture of the two compounds. Many people get their first view of a Bunsen Burner while in junior high or high school, as part of scientific assignments and experiments. Large corporations that develop a wide range of chemically based products routinely make use of the device. In like manner, educational and research institutions also commonly utilize the Bunsen Burner in laboratories around the world.

There is some difference of opinion on when and where the actual observance of Bunsen Burner Day began. One theory is that the holiday originates in Germany, the birthplace of von Bunsen and was inaugurated in the early 20th century. A different theory places the beginning of Bunsen Burner Day in the middle of the 20th century, with a combination of UK and US chemists combining efforts to honor the work of von Bunsen. In general, celebrants agree the holiday came into being at some time after the death of von Bunsen in 1899.

National Clams on the Half Shell Day

National Clams on the Half Shell Day is celebrated on March 31st of each year.

In culinary use, within the eastern coast of the USA, the term “clam” most often refers to the hard clam Mercenaria mercenaria. It may also refer to several other common edible species, such as the soft-shell clam, Mya arenaria, and the ocean quahog, Arctica islandica. Another species which is commercially exploited on the Atlantic Coast of the US is the surf clam Spisula solidissima.

Clams can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, baked or fried; the method of preparation depends partly on the size and species of the clam. They can also be made into clam chowder (a popular soup in the U.S. and Canada) or they can be cooked using hot rocks and seaweed in a New England clam bake.

Stuffed clams are also known as stuffies. They are popular in New England and consist of a breadcrumb and minced clam mixture that is baked on the half shell of a quahog hard shell clam. Other ingredients typically found in the basic breadcrumb mixture are: meat such as sausage, bacon or chorizo, peppers, lemon juice, celery, garlic, spices and herbs. There are many different recipes for stuffed clams; many restaurants in New England have their own variety, as do many home cooks.

National Crayola Crayon Day

Binney & Smith, Inc. put Crayola Crayons on the market. On March 31st in 1903 the company began selling their Crayola Crayons to the public.

A crayon (or wax pastel) is a stick of colored wax, charcoal, chalk or other material. A crayon made of oiled chalk is called an oil pastel; when made of pigment with a dry binder, it is simply a pastel. A grease pencil or china marker (UK chinagraph pencil) is made of colored hardened grease. There are also watercolor crayons, sometimes called water soluble crayons.

Crayons, which are available at a range of price points, are easy to work with, often less messy than paints and markers, blunt (removing the risk of sharp points present when using a pencil or pen), typically non-toxic, and are available in a wide variety of colors. These characteristics make them particularly good instruments for teaching small children to draw in addition to being used widely by student and professional artists.

The history of the crayon is not entirely clear. The word "crayon" dates to 1644, coming from (chalk) and the Latin word creta (earth).

The notion to combine a form of wax with pigment actually goes back thousands of years. The Egyptians perfected a technique using hot beeswax combined with colored pigment to bind color into stone in a process known as encaustic painting. A heat source was then used to "burn in" and fix the image in place. This method, also employed by the Romans, the Greeks and even indigenous people in the Philippines around 1600-1800, is still used today. However, the process wasn’t used to make crayons into a form intended to be held and colored with and was therefore ineffective to use in a classroom or as crafts for children. 
Contemporary crayons are purported to have originated in Europe where some of the first cylinder shaped crayons were made with charcoal and oil. Pastels are an art medium having roots with the modern crayon and stem back to Leonardo da Vinci in 1495. Conté crayons, out of Paris, are a hybrid between a pastel and a conventional crayon; used since the late 1790s as a drawing crayon for artists. Later, various hues of powdered pigment eventually replaced the primary charcoal ingredient found in most early 19th century product. References to crayons in literature appear as early as 1813 in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Joseph Lemercier (born Paris 1803—died 1884), considered by some of his contemporaries to be “the soul of lithography”, was also one of the founders of the modern crayon. Through his Paris business circa 1828 he produced a variety of crayon and color related products. But even as those in Europe were discovering that substituting wax for the oil strengthened the crayon, various efforts in the United States were also developing. Prehistoric artists were the first to use makeshift chalks and clay sticks to express artistic views, all in natural pigments from which the clay and chalk was made. The use of wax being used as an artistic medium began back with Greek art in a period of time known as the Golden Age. The Wax Encaustic Technique was described by the Romans, even though created by the Greeks. Pliny the Elder, a Roman scholar, was thought to describe the first techniques of wax crayon drawings.

National Tater Day

National Tater Day is an unofficial food holiday set aside to celebrate the potato. It is celebrated annually on March 31. While it is a day set aside for potatoes, this day may have come about because of a different food celebration that occurs just days later. On the first Monday in April each year, there is a local observance for sweet potatoes in Marshall County, Kentucky. It has been an annual day for sweet potato celebration since the 1840's. The sweet potato is one of the main cash crops in that area.

The potato is the leading vegetable crop in the US, with 41.3 billion pounds produced per year and over 1 million acres of cropland dedicated to potato planting.

The exact reason that National Tater Day came about is unknown. It is also unknown who had the idea for National Potato Day. The history of the potato goes back over 2500 years. Archaeologists have found evidence that potatoes have been grown since 500 BC. The Incas grew and worshiped potatoes.

Potatoes sustained the economy in Ireland for centuries. In fact, the Irish were so dependent on potato production that when a great famine wiped out potato crops in the mid-1800's, close to one million people died and others were forced to migrate to North America and Australia to survive.

Americans did not start to use potatoes as a food until the 1870s. Prior to that, potatoes were primarily considered livestock feed. In 1872, the Russet Burbank potato was developed by horticulturalist Luther Burbank. He developed a hybrid potato that proved to be more disease resistant. He introduced it to farmers in Ireland to help stop the blight in that country. He also introduced it to Idaho farmers, thus beginning a boom in the Idaho potato industry after it had failed in that area nearly forty years earlier

National Tater Day is celebrated by consuming potatoes in any of the many ways they can be prepared. Potatoes come in many different varieties, including russet, red, white, blue/purple, yellow and fingerling. Each of these kinds of potatoes offer the consumer several different preparation ideas. Yellow potatoes are commonly used for potato pancakes, red for roasting for salads, russet for oven fries and baked potatoes.

World Backup Day

If you haven’t backed up your digital data yet, you are a fool. No offense. Seriously, though, it is so, so, so easy to lose everything. And guess what: A lot of people who want you to buy stuff have made up a holiday around the concept. Think Valentine’s Day, only this time it’s a good idea. Happy World Backup Day, everyone! Marketing scam or no, we urge you to celebrate.

Backing up your data isn't just practical — say, if you want to transfer everything from your current computer to a new one — it’s an incredibly important safeguard against total digital loss. Whether you get hacked, your hard drive crashes, or you accidentally spill a cup of coffee across your keyboard, you’ll want to make sure that a copy of your collection of Skrillex albums and selfies are safely stored elsewhere for retrieval.

Here are some ways to back up your computer and prevent digital loss. Of course, this isn't a comprehensive list, so go ahead and hit us in the comments with your best techniques.

The Old Standby: The External Hard Drive
One of the simplest ways to back up your computer is to clone a copy of everything you have onto an external hard drive. If you own a Mac, it’s as easy as hooking up a drive via USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt and firing up Time Machine, which you can find on the right side of the menu bar. Click the “Backup Now” button and Time Machine will make a copy of everything on your machine. It’s a painless process, though the initial backup will take a while. If you don’t want to deal with wires, you can set up a Wi-Fi enabled hard drive like Apple’s Time Capsule or Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite.

Windows users have a few more options, depending on which OS you’re running. Windows 7 users can use the simple Backup and Restore tool, located in the Control Panel under System and Maintenance. Windows 8 users need to do a bit of digging to back up a carbon copy of your computer system. You can set up a backup with File History — found in Control Panel’s System and Security — but that won’t make a complete clone. For that, you’ll need to go to the Windows 7 File Recovery link, located at the bottom left corner of the File History page.

Need help looking for a hard drive? We've reviewed a bunch of them.

The In-Crowd Option: Take It to the Cloud
If you don’t have the funds to throw down on a drive — or don’t trust yourself with one more piece of breakable/losable gadgetry — you can always back up your data to the cloud, as the cool kids are doing these days. There are plenty of services that let you back up all of your data via the internet. Take, Mozy for example. The company offers automatic online backups of your entire system, and throws in file syncing, too. And it’s pretty affordable at $6 a month for 50GB of storage and one computer. Plus, you can access your files on you mobile devices through the company’s iOS and Android apps.

(CrashPlan and Backblaze both sponsor World Backup Day. Both of their services are highly regarded and just as, or more, affordable than Mozy. But it felt a bit sleazy to plug them so directly, so we’re putting them here.)

The advantage to using these services is that you don’t have to worry about losing or breaking a physical drive. It’s also very unlikely that a highly-rated company would lose your data — and if it did, you could reasonably expect that it would go out of business. Cold comfort, but comfort nonetheless. The disadvantages: Online services might be unavailable due to maintenance, and there’s always the possibility of your account getting hacked. Plus, you’re signing up for yet another bill.

The Cheapskate’s Option: Dropbox It for Free
Dropbox isn't built as a backup service, but it’s not a bad option for safeguarding your most important files without spending any money. You can sign up for a free account, which gives you 2GB of storage. Refer your friends and Dropbox gives you another 500MB for each person. Or you can always pay $10 a month for 100GB of storage, but that kinda defeats the whole “free” thing.

You won’t be able to store your personal app data, like the information you have stored in your Contacts or in an offline calendar system. And 2GB isn’t a ton, but it should be enough to back up key files that you want to make sure never to lose — like your novel-in-progress or wedding photos. The good thing about Dropbox is that you can sync everything across different devices, all in one easy-to-manage Dropbox folder on your computer. And the more devices sync, the less likely you are to lose your data. Once you put a file into Dropbox, it syncs to all of your other computers (that are connected to Dropbox), and backs up a copy of that file on those devices as well. Dropbox also lets you look back on older versions of files or even deleted files.

If you’re a loyal Google, Microsoft or Apple user with all of your documents and files in a single companies’ products, then you can get good free file backups from them. Google Drive, Microsoft’s SkyDrive and iCloud all do the trick. Naturally, someone who lives in Google products will benefit from a paid Google Drive storage system, and SkyDrive is great for Windows, Office and Windows Phone users. Of course, you can always go iCloud for your Mac and iOS data. You’ll want to decide which free service works best for you depending on what other products you use. But you’ll want to make sure you have another backup in place (see below).

Back Up the Backup
The best way to make sure that you don’t suffer a huge digital data loss is to back up your backup. If you use iCloud to back up your photos and documents, it’s best to have those same photos and documents on another cloud service or hard drive (or both). Apple’s developer community has been especially outspoken about the difficulty of working with Apple’s cloud system with stories of data loss and corruption. It’s just not reliable as your sole backup. Your account can get hacked on any online service and an external hard drive can go bad or break. You should also consider having an offsite backup, like an external hard drive stored at your office or a storage locker or a trustworthy friend or relative’s house. No plan is totally bulletproof, but you can add extra armor to your backup plan by having more than one system in place.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Mar 30 2015

Grass Is Always Browner On The Other Side Of The Fence Day


Do you consider yourself an optimist or pessimist? Is the glass half-full or half-empty? If you tend to think the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, don't forget you still have to mow it! And speaking of grass...March 30 is the Grass is Always Browner on the Other Side of the Fence Day.

The Grass is Always Browner on the Other Side of the Fence Day reminds us to stop and reflect on our many blessings. While a relationship, job, living and/or financial situations may not be perfect, today is the perfect day to appreciate the things we have as well as the very special people in our lives who we hold near-and-dear to our hearts. Just because something or someone may sound perfect, things are not always as they seem.

This holiday was created to honor the people who never left their old life just because they thought the "grass was greener on the other side." It was also created to inspire people to be happy with what they have, rather than selfish and greedy and envious of other people.

National Doctors Day


National Doctors' Day is held every year on March 30th in the United States. It is a day to celebrate the contribution of physicians who serve our country by caring for its' citizens. The first Doctor's Day observance was March 30, 1933 in Winder, Georgia.  Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set aside a day to honor physicians. This first observance included the mailing greeting cards and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors. On March 30, 1958, a Resolution Commemorating Doctors' Day was adopted by the United States House of Representatives. In 1990, legislation was introduced in the House and Senate to establish a national Doctor's Day. Following overwhelming approval by the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, on October 30, 1990, President George Bush signed S.J. RES. #366 (which became Public Law 101-473) designating March 30th as "National Doctor's Day."

More than the application of science and technology, medicine is a special calling, and those who have chosen this vocation in order to serve their fellowman understand the tremendous responsibility it entails. Referring to the work of physicians, Dr. Elmer Hess, a former president of the American Medical Association, once wrote: "There is no greater reward in our profession than the knowledge that God has entrusted us with the physical care of His people. The Almighty has reserved for Himself the power to create life, but He has assigned to a few of us the responsibility of keeping in good repair the bodies in which this life is sustained." Accordingly, reverence for human life and individual dignity is both the hallmark of a good physician and the key to truly beneficial advances in medicine.

The day-to-day work of healing conducted by physicians throughout the United States has been shaped, in large part, by great pioneers in medical research. Many of those pioneers have been Americans. Indeed, today we gratefully remember physicians such as Dr. Daniel Hale Williams and Dr. Charles Drew, who not only advanced their respective fields but also brought great honor and pride to their fellow Black Americans. We pay tribute to doctors such as Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk, whose vaccines for poliomyelitis helped to overcome one of the world's most dread childhood diseases. We also recall the far-reaching humanitarian efforts of Americans such as Dr. Thomas Dooley, as well as the forward-looking labors of pioneers such as members of the National Institutes of Health, who are helping to lead the Nation's fight against AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening diseases. These and other celebrated American physicians have enabled mankind to make significant strides in the ongoing struggle against disease.

However, in addition to the doctors whose name we easily recognize, there are countless others who carry on the quite work of healing each day in communities throughout the United States -- indeed, throughout the world. Common to the experience of each of them, from the specialist in research to the general practitioner, are hard work, stress, and sacrifice. All those Americans who serve as licensed physicians have engaged in years of study and training, often at great financial cost. Most endure long and unpredictable hours, and many must cope with the conflicting demands of work and family life.

As we recognize our Nation's physicians for their leadership in the prevention and treatment of illness and injury, it is fitting that we pay special tribute to those who serve as members of the Armed Forces and Reserves and are now deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm. Whether they carry the tools of healing into the heat of battle or stand duty at medical facilities in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere, these dedicated physicians -- along with thousands of nurses and other medical personnel -- are ital to the success of our mission. We salute them for their courage and sacrifice, and we pray for their safety. We also pray for all those who come in need of their care.

In honor of America's physicians, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 366 (Public Law 101-473), has designated March 30, 1991, as "National Doctors Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 30, 1991, as National Doctors Day. I encourage all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.

National I Am In Control Day


The National I Am in Control Day is celebrated every year on the 30th of March. This day originated on the very day in the year 1981 when the then Secretary of State – Alexander Haig made the statement “I am in control here” in response to an interview regarding the assassination bid on President Ronald Regan in which he was wounded. So this is the day to get in the grip on you. This is the day to put your foot down and take control of your life. Show people that you are not a mess.

The out-of-control feeling happens to everyone at least sometime in life. Your work and home get so tangled that you feel you are on the edge. There may be days on end when everything seems to be malfunctioning – the printer is out of paper, the clocks are down without batteries, the kids have messed up the carpet with glue and glitter and so on. On March 30th, take the time off to set all such mess right. Get rid of all the clutter. Tell everyone to behave. Work it out with your family on how to make things run more efficiently and get them to stick to the plan.

National Turkey Neck Soup Day


March 30th is National Turkey Neck Soup Day

Who doesn’t love the week after Thanksgiving when we can enjoy that wonderful, comforting delight – Home Made Turkey Soup. Well, you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy it. Most butchers carry turkey necks which means we can now indulge ourselves in this cherry pleasure.

Despite the fact that we are a few days past the Spring Equinox, there are still a few chilly nights ahead of us. What better than a bowl of homemade turkey neck soup; even better if accompanied by fresh, crusty homemade bread.

A specific recipe for turkey neck soup is not really necessary. It can be one of those “clean the refrigerator,” sort of recipes.

Begin of course, with a large pot of water, several turkey necks, an onion or two, cut into quarters, several cloves of squashed garlic, some chopped celery, or the root end of a head of celery, and herbs of choice. No salt yet. Bring to a boil without a lid, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer and cover with a lid. Leave to it’s own devices until the meat is falling off the bones. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a while for safety’s sake.

Remove the necks from the pot and leave until they are cool enough to handle, then pick all the meat possible from the bones, chop it and set aside. Strain the broth and discard the now spent vegetable material. Clarify the stock if you wish. Taste the broth. If it seems a little on the wimpy side, (which it very well may, being that most turkeys are fed on growth stimulant hormones instead of grain and bugs these days,) you may wish to “kick it up a notch” with the addition of a bit of powdered chicken bouillon.

You are now ready to proceed with the completion of your soup. Add what ever you please: a hand full of beans, fine, but if they are dry beans, don’t add anything else until the beans are tender or the other things will be mush.

You can add a hand full of rice or lentils or split peas or pearl barley; a bit of pasta is a good thing, carrots, potatoes, celery, more garlic, more onion but chopped this time, some green beans, just about anything. I never add beets because they turn the soup a really nasty color. Do you make good dumplings? If so, they would be a wonderful addition at the last minute.

You now have a wonderful, nurturing and comforting soup.

Pencil Day


Today is Pencil Day! On this day in 1858, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the first-ever patent for a modern pencil with an eraser attached to it. Hymen Lipman created the wooden pencil and received high praise for how easy it was to use for writing and drawing.

Did you know that a single wooden pencil can write 45,000 words or draw a line that is 35 miles long? A pencil can also write under water, upside down, or in zero gravity. Manufacturers painted the first pencils yellow because the color was associated with royalty and honor. People quickly began assuming that yellow pencils were the best type!

To celebrate Pencil Day, set aside your laptop and use a pencil and paper to write today!

Take a Walk in the Park Day


March 30th celebrates Take A Walk In The Park Day.  After a long busy day, a calming and therapeutic way to relax would be a nice, long, leisurely walk in the park.

Taking walk at a local park is definitely a good way to clear one’s mind from the stresses of the day, re-energizing yourself and at the same time and helping to improve your health.

It may be a good idea to take your camera with you during your walk as parks offer many of the beauty’s of nature.  There is the possibility of capturing some great photographs of birds or other wildlife, flowers, budding trees, clouds or the sunset.

Today, on Take A Walk In The Park Day, call a friend (or walk alone if you like), find a walking trail in a park near you, relax, walk and enjoy nature’s beauty and being outside.

World Bipolar Day
 
 
World Bipolar Day, celebrated on March 30th each year, is an initiative of the International Bipolar Foundation, the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD) and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD), with the goal to increase awareness and knowledge about bipolar disorder and improve sensitivity towards individuals suffering from the illness and eliminate social stigma. The birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed as probably having bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder, also known as bipolar affective disorder (and originally called manic-depressive illness), is a mental disorder characterized by periods of elevated mood and periods of depression. The elevated mood is significant and is known as mania or hypo-mania depending on the severity or whether there is psychosis. During mania an individual feels or acts abnormally happy, energetic, or irritable. They often make poorly thought out decisions with little regard to the consequences. The need for sleep is usually reduced. During periods of depression there may be crying, poor eye contact with others, and a negative outlook on life. The risk of suicide among those with the disorder is high at greater than 6% over 20 years, while self harm occurs in 30–40%. Other mental health issues such as anxiety disorder and substance use disorder are commonly associated.

The cause is not clearly understood, but both genetic and environmental factors play a role. Many genes of small effect contribute to risk. Environmental factors include long term stress and a history of childhood abuse. It is divided into bipolar I disorder if there is at least one manic episode and bipolar II disorder if there are at least one hypo-manic episode and one major depressive episode. In those with less severe symptoms of a prolonged duration the condition cyclothymic disorder may be present. If due to drugs or medical problems it is classified separately. Other conditions that may present in a similar manner include substance use disorder, personality disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia as well as a number of medical conditions.

Treatment commonly includes psychotherapy and medications such as mood stabilizers or anti-psychotics. Examples of mood stabilizers that are commonly used include lithium and anticonvulsants. Treatment in hospital against a person's wishes may be required at times as people may be at risk to themselves or others yet refuse treatment. Severe behavioral problems may be managed with short term benzodiazepines or anti-psychotics. In periods of mania it is recommended that antidepressants be stopped. If antidepressants are used for periods of depression they should be used with a mood stabilizer. Electroconvulsive therapy may be helpful in those who do not respond to other treatments. If treatments are stopped it is recommended that this be done slowly. Most people have social, financial or work related problem due to the disorder. These difficulties occur a quarter to a third of the time on average. The risk of death from natural causes such as heart disease is twice that of the general population. This is due to poor lifestyle choices and the side effects from medications.

About 3% of people in the United States have bipolar disorder at some point in their life. Lower rates of around 1% are found in other countries. The most common age at which symptoms begin is 25. Rates appear to be similar in males as females. The economic costs of the disorder has been estimated at $45 billion for the United States in 1991. A large proportion of this was related to a higher number of missed work days estimated at 50 per year. People with bipolar disorder often face problems with social stigma.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Mar 29 2015

Brother and Sister Day


Brother and Sister Day is celebrated on the last Saturday in March each year. It is a day in which siblings celebrate one another. A sibling is one of two or more individuals having one or both parents in common. A male sibling is called a brother, and a female sibling is called a sister. In most societies throughout the world, siblings usually grow up together, facilitating the development of strong emotional bonds such as love, hostility or thoughtfulness.

The idea for this day came from a woman who realized-too-late-when her brother died, that she had never let him adequately know how much he meant to her.

Two years later, she proposed establishing a simple, non-commercial day on which brothers and sisters could make it a point to connect, or reconnect, acknowledging all they share.  “Because life is too short,” the woman said.  “I don’t want other people to miss what I missed.”

Brothers and Sisters play a unique role in one another lives that simulates the companionship of parents as well as the power and assistance of friends. Because Brothers and Sisters often grow up in the same household, they have a large amount of exposure to one another, but this relationship tends to be more egalitarian than with other family members. Furthermore, Brothers and Sisters relationships often reflect the overall condition of cohesiveness within a family.

 National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day


Lemon has never been this luscious - March 29 is National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day!

Following on the heels of Black Forest cake day, cleanse your chocolate, whipped cream and cherry-covered palate with the sweet taste of lemon chiffon cake.

This cake was invented by Harry Baker, a insurance salesman turned caterer, in 1927. He kept the recipe to himself for 20 years before selling it to General Mills. Betty Crocker soon released 14 recipes and variations in a pamphlet in 1948.

Chiffon cake gets its name from the lighter-than-air texture the cake is famous for. The secret to its airy success is its lack of butter. This might upset some of you, but never fear, it is still one seriously great cake.

Stiffened egg whites are folded into the cake batter because it is difficult to achieve an incredibly light cake with a fat like butter involved. And, no butter means that this cake isn't going to dry out anytime soon.

The unique structure is a combo of batter and foam cakes, using vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, flour and baking powder to achieve a fluffy, but incredibly moist texture. Because of this, it's a good idea to refrigerate chiffon cakes - and it gives you an excuse to use pasty cream, fresh fruit or ice cream fillings.

When compared to cakes with butter in their batter, chiffon cakes are lower in saturated fat. The lack of fat also means a lack of rich butter flavor, so don't forget to amp up the flavor of your fillings and icing.

That's not a problem for this lemon-orange chiffon cake, which pumps up the flavor with orange juice, orange zest and a citrusy sweet buttercream frosting.

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day



March 29th celebrates the American dream – it’s National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, an annual holiday that celebrates the millions of hard working folks that own small businesses. Today serves as an important reminder to support all those small business owners and keep Main Street in business.

In 2011, there were more than 27 million small businesses in the United States, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Not only do mom and pop businesses help our economy work, they keep Americans working! In fact, more than 60 percent of all new jobs are created by small businesses! “Small businesses play a vital role in the economic well-being of our nation.”

Whether it’s been in the family for generations or is a brand new start-up, owning your own business is a dream and ultimate goal for many Americans. And consumers' support is paramount to their success. Whether you are looking for a particular product, a great place to eat, a fun night on the town or a special service, stop by your local family-owned store today and help keep American strong!

Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day


1848: Niagara Falls stops. No water flows over the great cataract for 30 or 40 hours. People freak out.

The falls were already a tourist attraction by 1848, and villages had grown up on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the river to accommodate the sightseeing throngs. Residents also built waterwheels to harness the Niagara River’s power to run mills and drive machinery in factories.

An American farmer out for a stroll shortly before midnight on March 29 was the first to notice something. Actually, he noticed the absence of something: the thundering roar of the falls. When he went to the river’s edge, he saw hardly any water.

Came the dawn of March 30, people awoke to an unaccustomed silence. The mighty Niagara was a mere trickle. Mills and factories had to shut down, because the waterwheels had stopped.

The bed of the river was exposed. Fish died. Turtles floundered about. Brave — or foolish — people walked on the river bottom, picking up exposed guns, bayonets and tomahawks as souvenirs.

Was it the end of the world? Divine retribution for what some folks thought was a U.S. war of aggression against Mexico? Theological explanations abounded, because western New York state had been a Burned-Over District for half a century, with recurring waves of religious revivals and the rise of several new denominations and religions.

Thousands of people filled the churches to attend special services. They prayed for the falls to start flowing and the world to continue, or for salvation and forgiveness of their sins as the Last Judgment approached.

No one knew why the falls had stopped. The telegraph was still a new invention. Railroads served towns on both sides of the river, but the tracks were unreliable, and Buffalo — the nearest big city — was three hours away even when the trains ran on schedule.

But it was from Buffalo that word eventually arrived that explained the bare falls and dry riverbed. Strong southwest gale winds had pushed huge chunks of lake ice to the extreme northeastern tip of Lake Erie, blocking the lake’s outlet into the head of the Niagara River. The ice jam had become an ice dam.

And just as news traveled inward, news also traveled outward. Thousands came from nearby cities and towns to look at the spectacle of Niagara Falls without water. People crossed the riverbed on foot, on horseback and in horse-drawn buggies. Mounted U.S. Army cavalry soldiers paraded up and down the empty Niagara River.

Dangerous as that all may sound, for there was no telling when the rushing waters might return, one entrepreneur used the hiatus to do some safety work. The Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat had been taking tourists on river rides below the falls since 1846, and there were some dangerous rocks it always had to avoid, Now that the river was not running and the rocks were in plain sight, the boat’s owner sent workers out to blast the rocks away with explosives.

March 30 was not the only dry day. No water flowed over the falls throughout the daylight hours of March 31.

But that night, a distant rumble came from upriver. The low-pitched noise drew nearer and louder. Suddenly, a wall of water came roaring down the upper Niagara River and over the falls with a giant thunder.

The ice jam had cleared, and river was running again. Nothing like it would ever happen again.

Almost.

The Army Corp of Engineers turned off the American Falls (the U.S. side of the river) in 1969. They built cofferdams above the falls to divert all the water to the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. (Well, it was all the water not already diverted for hydroelectric generation.)

The corps was looking for a way to remove the rocks that have piled up at the base of the American Falls, threatening some day to turn the waterfall into rapids. Nothing doing: The engineers decided it just wouldn't be practical, and that removing the accumulated talus could undermine the cliff behind it and even speed the crumbling process.

They turned the river back on.

Smoke and Mirrors Day


Smoke and Mirrors Day, sometimes referred to as Festival of Smoke and Mirrors Day, is celebrated on March 29th of each year.

Smoke and mirrors is a metaphor for a deceptive, fraudulent or insubstantial explanation or description. The source of the name is based on magicians’ illusions, where magicians make objects appear or disappear by extending or retracting mirrors amid a confusing burst of smoke. The expression may have a connotation of virtuosity or cleverness in carrying out such a deception.
In the field of computer programming, it is used to describe a program or functionality that does not yet exist, but appears as though it does. This is often done to demonstrate what a resulting project will function/look like after the code is complete — at a trade show, for example.

More generally, “smoke and mirrors” may refer to any sort of presentation by which the audience is intended to be deceived, such as an attempt to fool a prospective client into thinking that one has capabilities necessary to deliver a product in question.

Texas Love the Children Day


Texas Loves Children, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve case outcomes for abused and neglected children by enhancing the quality of legal services they receive. The most important decisions about an abused or neglected child's future are made in court. TLC exists to help ensure that those decisions are the best possible for the child.

Texas Loves Children, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, was founded by Barbara Elias-Perciful in 1995 to provide specialized training about child abuse issues to Dallas judges and attorneys. Barbara had been practicing business litigation at the Dallas firm Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, L.L.P., when she took a probono court appointment to represent an abused child. The heartbreaking situation—a 12-year-old girl who had been methodically sexually abused by her father for years—was made even more desperate when Barbara saw the lack of tools, research, and expertise readily available to assist judges and attorneys handling these cases. Shortly thereafter, Barbara left the law firm and opened a private practice devoted exclusively to representing abused children. She then established Texas Loves Children, Inc. (TLC) to provide highly specialized training to the legal community on complex child abuse issues, subjects not typically covered in law school. For overt 15 years, TLC has sponsored high-quality training seminars on critical legal, medical, and mental health issues for judges, attorneys, CPS workers, CASA volunteers, and law enforcement personnel.

In May 2004, Texas Loves Children launched the Texas Lawyers for Children Online Legal Resource and Communication Center program — an interactive online legal resource center designed to bring training and information to the fingertips of judges and attorneys across Texas. TLC later expanded the Online Center to include a Communication Center with communication services enabling judges and attorneys to access colleagues, experts, and mentors. In November 2007, the Texas Supreme Court’s Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families selected TLC’s Online Center program as one of its Texas Court Improvement Program projects for improving the court system’s handling of child abuse cases. During 2008, TLC replicated its Online Center model for California’s Administrative Office of the Courts. California’s Online Center now serves over 3,500 judges, attorneys, and child welfare workers. This collaboration marked a momentous leap in realizing TLC’s goal of creating a national network of Online Centers that work together to help children by sharing information and best practices. TLC has also created Online Centers for Florida and Alabama. Today in Texas, over 2,000 Texas judges and attorneys trust TLC’s services providing critical updates on new developments in the field, a complete, consistently updated law library, and secure communication services. These legal professionals estimate that they handle the cases of over 105,000 Texas children annually.

In August 2009, TLC’s Founder and President, Barbara Elias-Perciful, was honored by the American Bar Association as the Distinguished Lawyer recipient of the 2009 Child Advocacy Award for her service on behalf of abused and neglected children, largely due to her work with TLC. This prestigious award is based on an individual's personal achievements and impact in helping abused and neglected children. Ms. Elias-Perciful was honored in a ceremony during the ABA’s annual meeting in Chicago. For details, please click here to see the ABA's announcement of the award.

In November 2010, TLC was honored with the 2010 Award for Excellence in Social Innovation by the Dallas Center for Nonprofit Management for the impact of the Texas Lawyers for Children Online Legal Resource and Communication Center in helping abused and neglected children. The award recognizes TLC's Online Center project as “a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient and sustainable…and demonstrates significant positive change around a specific social issue.”The 1-minute video on the home page describes TLC’s mission and was shown at the award ceremony in November 2010. Click here for further details about the award.

Texas Loves Children is confident that with the continued involvement and support of the community, its vision will be achieved—that abused children nationwide are protected from further harm.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Mar 28 2015

 Barnum & Bailey Day


The Barnum & Bailey Circus (The Greatest Show on Earth)

In 1875, Dan Castello and William Cameron Coup persuaded Barnum to lend his name and financial backing to the circus they had already created in Delavan, Wisconsin. It was called "P.T. Barnum's Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome". The moniker "Greatest Show on Earth" was added later.

Independently of Castello and Coup, James Anthony Bailey had teamed up with James E. Cooper to create the Cooper and Bailey Circus in the 1860s. The Cooper and Bailey Circus became the chief competitor, then they started looking at "Columbia," the first baby elephant born in the United States, in March 1880 in Philadelphia, to "Babe" and "Mandarin". Barnum attempted to buy the elephant.

They eventually agreed to combine their shows on March 28, 1881. In 1882, the combined "Barnum & Bailey Circus" was successful with acts such as Jumbo, advertised as the world's largest elephant. Barnum died in 1891 and Bailey then purchased the circus from his widow. Bailey continued touring the eastern United States until he took his circus to Europe. That tour started on December 27, 1897 and lasted until 1902.

In 1884, five of the seven Ringling brothers had started a small circus. This was about the same time that Barnum & Bailey were at the peak of their popularity. Similar to dozens of small circuses that toured the Midwest and the Northeast at the time, the brothers moved their circus from town to town in small animal-drawn caravans. Their circus rapidly grew and they were soon able to move their circus by train, which allowed them to have the largest traveling amusement enterprise of that time. Bailey's European tour gave the Ringling brothers an opportunity to move their show from the Midwest to the eastern seaboard. Faced with the new competition, Bailey took his show west of the Rocky Mountains for the first time in 1905. He died the next year and the circus was sold to the Ringling Brothers.
 
Earth Hour


Earth Hour 2015 date is 28th March

Earth hour is a very important global event which is conducted by World Wildlife Fund. The organization World Wildlife fund is also called as World Wide Fund for Nature which is abbreviated as WWF. Earth hour is celebrated on the last Saturday of March every year.

The main concern of earth hour is to take larger level of awareness for the change of climate. In earth hour, the foremost action is taken as to turn off non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour in all households and businesses. This is like offering an hour for further protection of the earth to reduce energy consumption as a whole. It is a unity towards the earth for less consumption of energy level.
  • The main focus of Earth Hour:
The main focus of earth hour is to be aware of energy level of the earth. The energy level of earth is getting decreased day by day because most of the time all sources of energy is not reused properly. Renewable energy is to develop a lot but the scientists are not getting further success in this category. Hence, people have to be educated for the usage of energy in a parsimonious way. We have to keep our energy level for longer time and this can be done when we use energy in a systematic and parsimonious way. Many a time, it has been observed that people do not know the usage of energy particularly, electricity, petrol, diesel and LPG etc and therefore if we continue the same usage for longer time, we may suffer extinct of energy from the earth. Common people have not much knowledge about it and therefore, earth hour tries to spread this education all over the world. By turning off all non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour in all households and businesses worldwide gives a high level of awareness for the same.
  • Earth Hour Celebrations:
In 2007, earth hour was first commemorated by WWF in Sydney as millions of people offered the helping hand to switch off all non-essential lights for an hour. With this considerable step held in Sydney, many other countries also came out and commemorated earth hour. Most importantly, earth hour 2013 will be held on March 30th. This time will be considered every country’s specific time according to their time zone however earth hour time is commemorated in the morning hours only.
  • Importance of Earth Hour:
Celebration of earth hour is very important as the people of the world have to be educated with the consumption of energy and its impact of our daily life. We should not use energy in a lavish way because energy is being extinct every time we use. People of the world should understand the bad result of much usage of energy. We have to avoid unnecessary usage of energies. As everyone knows, ‘Prevention is better than cure’ and therefore awareness of using energy in a parsimonious way can provide a good solution for us to live in our planet for much longer time happily.

National Black Forest Cake Day


Chocolate, cherries and whipped cream, oh, my! - March 28 is National Black Forest Cake Day!

Calling this traditional German dessert a Black Forest cake, which is a cherry torte on steroids, is a lot easier than the original moniker: Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.

The Black Forest region of southern Germany (Der Schwarzwald) is known for its sour Morello cherries and for Kirsch, or Kirschwasser, a double-distilled, clear cherry brandy made from them. It’s not surprising, then, that desserts made with both the cherries and the Kirsch are part of the regional repertoire. Its German name is Schwarzwälderkirschtorte, Black Forest Cherry Torte (torte is the German word for cake).

Black Forest Cake is a chocolate layer cake, with added layers of whipped cream and Kirsch-soaked morello cherries. The cake is then decorated with more whipped cream, morello or maraschino cherries, and chocolate curls or shavings. The cake layers are also soaked in a Kirsch syrup (although brandy or rum can be used). American recipes tend to omit the spirits to make the cake more family-friendly.

The earliest version of the recipe possibly dates back to the late 16th century when chocolate was first integrated into cakes and cookies (and was extremely expensive). The first “Black Forest Cake” was probably not a conventional cake but a dessert comprising cooked cherries, cream, Kirsch and a biscuit—similar to the original berry shortcake.

The recipe that follows on the next page, from Carlyn Berghoff of Chicago’s historic Berghoff restaurant,* cuts the overall richness by substituting the center chocolate layer with yellow cake. Morton’s doesn’t add liquor to the cake, but we’ve provided optional measurements for those who like it. We do—we think it provides authenticity for this quintessential Old World dessert. It transports us to eras past, when the thought of chocolate cake, cherries and whipped cream were the German equivalent of dancing sugarplums.

Make a slightly more streamlined version of Black Forest cake for a supreme treat that will find its way to your dreams. One thing is for sure, this is one forest you'll want to get lost in.

National Something On A Stick Day


Something on a Stick Day is observed on March 28. The holiday celebrates things on a stick like popsicles, corndogs and marshmallows. The celebration of Something on a Stick Day is really easy: 1. get a stick; 2. push something on it; 3. have fun with your creation! 

Ever since our ancestor discovered how to tame the flame, they enriched their diet with the variety of new foods. As one of the earliest recipes for preparing meat was roasting it over the flame, our ancestors discovered that the easiest way to accomplish that is to string pieces of meat on long thing pieces of wood. This invention of first skewer represented only the beginning of life for this popular eating utensil. Ease of creation, maintaining and simple use enabled it to remain one of the most popular utensils for cooking over the open flame, and was used regularly by all the civilizations and nations from the dawn of time up to today.

Tradition of using skewers was recorded in the histories of many areas. Japan has a very long history of cooking and grilling meat over charcoal, and Hawaii has a clash of many traditions of Pacific which entails roasting almost everything over the fire with skewers - from meat to fruits and pineapples.

In modern times, skewers are used in variety of ways. In addition of its traditional use, they also found their place as holders of candy and other sweet products, garnishes on cocktails, and many others types of food that are sold "on a stick" in many outdoor market/sidewalk businesses.

Small, often decorative, skewers of glass, metal, wood or bamboo known as "olive picks" are used for garnishes on cocktails and other alcoholic beverages. Many types of snack food are sold and served "on a stick" or skewer, especially at outdoor markets, fairs, and sidewalk or roadside stands.

Weed Appreciation Day


March 28th is Weed Appreciation Day, a day reserved for honoring the lowly weed.

You're thinking: Why would I celebrate weeds?

Well, there are many qualities about weeds to appreciate. For instance, some weeds have medicinal value. Others are extremely nutritious food for humans, birds and insects. Weeds are pioneers in land restoration. Some weeds have even have given mankind some very great ideas for inventions. Yes, really.

This isn't a holiday like the Fourth of July, so a fireworks celebration is out of the question. There are some small ways to honor the weeds on Weed Appreciation Day.

Whether you love them or hate them, weeds are powerful botanical pioneers, capable of restoring devastated lands that have been ravaged by nature or war. On the other hand, they are capable of taking over and destroying ecosystems.

For centuries, mankind has stomped, slashed, burned, and poisoned weeds. One of humanity's longest wars is and has been with these plants who were living peacefully on the land. Weeds have been ripped from their homes so that mankind could reclaim land for their own purposes.

This enormous foe, the weed, is so powerful that it is one of the primary reasons for the development of a 15 billion dollar pesticide industry. Even if you hate weeds, you've got to appreciate that kind of power!

When soil has been devastated by war or a catastrophic event, weeds are the first species to colonize. As mentioned earlier, these plants are powerful. They are adapted to survive these inhospitable environments.

There were some interesting projects instituted under President Franklin Roosevelt during the USA Dust Bowl era in the 1930's. Among the projects, one entailed large trenches being dug so that pioneer weeds could begin the work of restoration.

Weeds add vegetable material to the soil, shading it thereby helping it to retain moisture, also offering wind protection. The weeds, even when they die, provide a way for nutritious debris and new seeds to collect. I've watched this in the far section of my yard. The debris allows more moisture to be retained making a new environment for more new plants. Often there are several weeds growing at the base of an old dead one.

The other great things that weeds do is tell you things about the soil condition. For example, when wild mustard thrives in the soil, then phosphorus must be present. On the other hand, if Lamb's quarters are thriving, soil phosphorus may be very low. Salinity in soil is reflected by ample growth of Foxtail Barley. Some plants are nitrogen fixers, like some Clovers, improving the soil quality with their presence. Other very deep rooted plants are able to bring up nutrients from deep in the earth.

You can see from these examples, weeds can alter the environment in beneficial ways, both on cultivated farms and in natural environments.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Mar 27 2015

National “Joe” Day


National Joe Day is celebrated on March 27th of each year.  The absence of any clear origin for the use of joe to mean coffee has, as usual, led to stories being created to explain where it came from.

A persistent one alleges that it derives from the ban imposed by Josephus “Joe” Daniels, Secretary of the Navy during World War I, on serving alcohol aboard US Navy ships, except on very special occasions. Coffee, it is said, became the beverage of choice and started to be called Joe in reference to him. The problem with this story is the dates. Cup of joe first appears in print in 1930 but the order to ban alcohol — General Order 99 — was issued on 1 June 1914. It banned officers’ wine messes, which had only been permitted since 1893; ships had otherwise been dry since the spirit ration was abolished in 1862. It seems hardly likely that the loss of a wine mess limited to officers on board otherwise alcohol-free ships would have led to a nickname for coffee that only started to be written down 16 years after the order.

Professor Jonathan Lighter, in the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, leans towards another story: that it came from the Stephen Foster song Old Black Joe, with the resultant mental link between black and coffee. It is true that the song — written in 1860 — was extremely popular at one time, but it makes no reference to coffee, so linking the two is implausible.

The most boring, but most probable, suggestion is that it is a modification of java or jamoke for coffee, perhaps under the influence of one or other of the many expressions at the time that contained the word Joe — for example, “an ordinary Joe” (though “GI Joe” for an enlisted man in the US military is from the next decade). It is significant that an early example appears in 1931 in the Reserve Officer’s Manual by a man named Erdman: “Jamoke, Java, Joe. Coffee. Derived from the words Java and Mocha, where originally the best coffee came from”.

National Spanish Paella Day


Invite the whole family and then some for a pile-on paella party - March 27 is National Paella Day.

Not only is this dish rich in a multitude of flavorful ingredients, but paella is just bursting with a storied heritage as well. None of the three varieties are the same, so you'll have plenty to keep you occupied today.

Originally created in Valencia on the east coast of Spain, it has been called Spain's national dish by non-residents, but proud Valencians refer to it as one of their main symbols. Varieties include Valenciana (no surprise there), de marisco (seafood), mixta (a mixture of meat and seafood) and vegetariana (vegetable).

Valencian paella typically combines short-grain white rice, chicken, rabbit, snails, butter beans, great northern beans, artichokes, tomatoes, rosemary, sweet paprika, saffron and garlic. Seafood, as you can guess, substitutes fresh fruits of the sea for the meat and beans. And somewhere down the line, people living outside of Valencia mixed the two recipes together, creating mixed paella.

Making paella involves toasting a layer of rice at the bottom of the giant paella pan over an open flame or burner. The name of the crisp rice that sticks to the bottom of the pan is socorrat.

Try paella with poblanos for a spicy dinner. One thing is for sure - with paella, you won't need side dishes for the one-pan meal that makes enough to feed an army.

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day


Today is Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day! What country music song always puts a smile on your face? Perhaps it’s Johnny Cash's "Every Time I Itch I Wind Up Scratching You," Kenny Chesney's "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," or Homer & Jethro's "She Made Toothpicks Out Of The Timber Of My Heart." Today is the day to pay tribute to these unique songs!

Country music evolved from Appalachian folk music in the 1920s and became a nationwide sensation in the 1940s. The Grand Ole Opry radio station in Nashville, Tennessee began broadcasting weekly concerts that showcased all the different genres of country music—hillbilly, honky-tonk, bluegrass, western, rockabilly, gospel, and more.

In honor of today’s Reason to Celebrate, put on your cowboy hat, get out your banjo, and belt out your favorite quirky country music song!

Viagra Day


On this day in 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves use of the drug Viagra, an oral medication that treats impotence.

Sildenafil, the chemical name for Viagra, is an artificial compound that was originally synthesized and studied to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (a form of cardiovascular disease). Chemists at the Pfizer pharmaceutical company found, however, that while the drug had little effect on angina, it could induce penile erections, typically within 30 to 60 minutes. Seeing the economic opportunity in such a biochemical effect, Pfizer decided to market the drug for impotence. Sildenafil was patented in 1996, and a mere two years later–a stunningly short time compared to other drugs–it was approved by the FDA for use in treating "erectile dysfunction," the new clinical name for impotence. Though unconfirmed, it is believed the drug was invented by Peter Dunn and Albert Wood.

Viagra's massive success was practically instantaneous. In the first year alone, the $8-$10 pills yielded about a billion dollars in sales. Viagra's impact on the pharmaceutical and medical industries, as well as on the public consciousness, was also enormous. Though available by prescription only, Viagra was marketed on television, famously touted by ex-presidential candidate Bob Dole, then in his mid-70s. Such direct-to-consumer marketing was practically unprecedented for prescription drugs (now, sales and marketing account for approximately 30 percent of the pharmaceutical industry's costs, in some cases more than research and development). The drug was also offered over the internet–customers needed only to fill out an "online consultation" to receive samples.

An estimated 30 million men in the United States suffer from erectile dysfunction and a wave of new Viagra competitors, among them Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil), has blown open the market. Drug companies are now not just targeting older men like Dole, but men in their 30s and 40s, too. As with many drugs, the long-term effects of Viagra on men's health are still unclear (Viagra does carry warnings for those who suffer from heart trouble), but its popularity shows no signs of slowing. To date, over 20 million Americans have tried it, and that number is sure to increase as the baby boomer population continues to age.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Mar 26 2015

Legal Assistants Day


This day honors those skilled persons who work hard and  perform a variety of support jobs for supervising lawyers.  Legal assistants work diligently behind the scenes and are continuing to assume new responsibilities  in legal offices.

From the American Bar Association: "A legal assistant or paralegal is a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible." Under this definition, the legal responsibility for a paralegal's work rests directly and solely upon the lawyer.

National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day


Today is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day! If you've been following our daily Reasons to Celebrate, then you know how many interesting and unique holidays there are in the world. Today is your chance to make one up!

Establishing an official national holiday is not an easy process. For example, in the 1800s Sarah Josepha Hale decided that our nation should observe a national day of thanks. She wrote countless letters to politicians, governors, and even the president. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln agreed to Hale’s proposal, but Thanksgiving did not become an official national holiday until 1941!

A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition of cultural or religious significance. Holidays may be designated by governments, religious institutions, or other groups or organizations. The degree to which normal activities are reduced by a holiday may depend on local laws, customs, the type of job being held or even personal choices.

The concept of holidays has most often originated in connection with religious observances. The intention of a holiday was typically to allow individuals to tend to religious duties associated with important dates on the calendar. In most modern societies, however, holidays serve as much of a recreational function as any other weekend days or activities.

In many societies there are important distinctions between holidays designated by governments and holidays designated by religious institutions. For example, in many predominantly Christian nations, government-designed holidays may center around Christian holidays, though non-Christians may instead observe religious holidays associated with their faith. In some cases, a holiday may only be nominally observed. For example, many Jews in the Americas and Europe treat the relatively minor Jewish holiday of Hanukkah as a working holiday, changing very little of their daily routines for this day.

The word holiday has some variance in meaning across different locales. In North America the word refers to widely observed days of rest and recreation, whereas in the U.K. and many Commonwealth nations the word refers to any extended period of recreation. It is this first, more restricted sense of the word that concerns this article.

To celebrate Make Up Your Own Holiday Day, come up with a creative, meaningful, or quirky idea for a holiday. Invite friends and family over tonight for its first annual celebration!

National Nougat Day


National Nougat Day is one of the many food holidays celebrated in the United States. National Nougat Day is celebrated on March 26th each year. 

Nougat is a light, chewy, pink or white confection or sugar paste. It is similar to caramel in its consistency. It can contain chopped nuts or dried fruit. It is often found inside of candy bars but can also be seen in other food creations such as cheesecake and ice cream. Nougat can be made by a home cook but is considered somewhat challenging to make. Nougat is made of sugar, corn syrup, honey, egg whites, salt and vanilla. It can be eaten by itself or made into a candy bar by adding nuts to the nougat and coated with melted chocolate.

Although nothing is known on how or why National Nougat Day was started, there is some knowledge on the history of nougat. Most historians feel that nougat comes from Ancient Rome. One offering Romans made to their gods included a sweet made from honey, almonds and eggs. Torrone, the Italian word for nougat, was first documented in Italy in 1441. It was made for the wedding of Francesco Sforza and Maria Bianca Visconti in Cremona.

To celebrate National Nougat Day, people can look up the romantic history of nougat. The celebration can also include buying a candy bar that contains nougat. People who like a challenging recipe can make some homemade nougat and share it with friends and family. There are no official celebrations for the national holiday.

National Spinach Day


Celebrate your inner Popeye and pop open some spinach - March 26 is National Spinach Day!

Not only is spinach crazy good for you, but there are a multitude of delicious ways to enjoy this leafy green. See how many you can try today, and you'll be feeling as healthy and buff as the famous sailor man.

Spinach originated in ancient Persia, eventually making its way to Italy in 827 and finally gracing European tables in the 1300s. Its appearance in early spring made this a fast favorite when other vegetables were scarce during Lenten diets. For this reason, spinach has the great honor of being mentioned in the first known English cookbook.

When Catherine de'Medici became the queen of France in 1522, she insisted that spinach be served at every meal because she loved it so. Today when you hear of spinach dishes referred to as "Florentine," that is because Catherine was born in Florence.

Spinach is available in a variety of types: Savoy, flat leaf and semi-savoy. Savoy is a nice dark green color with curly leaves, sold in fresh bunches. Flat leaf shows up mostly canned, frozen, in soups or baby food. Semi-savoy is a hybrid variety with crinkly leaves and appears fresh and processed.

Spinach Festival Day


In 1936 the Winter Garden Chamber of Commerce organized its first Spinach Festival. Bushels of spinach surrounded the platform, and people dressed as Popeye and other Popeye cartoon characters danced with joy as the band played “La Paloma.” Texas Governor James V. Allred proudly proclaimed Crystal City as “The Spinach Capital of the World” that same year.

Virginia Speedy was the first Acelga Queen. Princesses were Evelyn Moore, Dorothy Cox, Charlotte Spun, Lanice J. Parsons, Marianne Reeves & Ruby Englert.

The first festival was a great success and the tradition of the annual event held until 1941 when World War II ended all festivals.

In 1982, forty-one years later, the Spinach Festival was revived. On March 6, 1987 Crystal City Festival Association President Mike Delgado presented a letter from President Ronald Reagan to the residents of Crystal City recognizing it as the nation’s leading producer and shipper of spinach in the world.

The Crystal City Festival Association commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Popeye statue during the Spinach Festival on November 12 – 15, 1987, and the entire community responded with enormous enthusiasm to the unforgettable celebration. During the Festival, Delgado unveiled a proclamation from King Features Syndicate, Incorporated wherein the President of the Board, Joseph F. DiAngelo, promoted every resident of Crystal City to captaincy in Popeye’s crew. Dignitaries from all over the United States, as well as special guests from all parts of the world, have gathered to pay special tribute to the Spinach Capital of the World and its patron Saint Popeye.

The Crystal City Spinach Festival is a family-oriented celebration of Crystal City’s agricultural heritage and is held every second weekend in November. More than 60,000 people come to Crystal City to celebrate during the three-day event that includes a parade, free musical entertainment by famous and soon-to-be famous musical groups, a spinach cook-off, 5K run, custom car show, dance contests, arts and crafts, sports tournaments, beauty pageant, carnival, and much more.

In 1996 the Festival was chosen as one of the top 200 events by Special Events Network magazine on their “Coast to Coast” event map, and has also been mentioned in issues of Texas Highway and Texas Monthly magazines, and has been recognized by the publishers of the Special Event Industry and Event Business News, two leading publications in the special event industry.

Sometime during 1936 Ernest Mortenson of the Winter Garden Chamber of Commerce suggested sending a note of appreciation to E.C. Segar for his promotion of spinach through his Popeye cartoons. E.C. Segar was the originator of the famous spinach-eating hero of the high seas. He replied to the Chamber letter, assuring them that spinach was his favorite food and that he wanted all his children to enjoy eating this nutritious food. His letter was printed in the local paper – the Zavala Sentinel – and eventually found its way to the San Antonio Express News. A reader of that paper, O.P. Schnabel, suggested that a Popeye statue be built funded by public donations. Plans for the statue were made and sent to Segar for approval; he loved the idea of having a statue that would symbolize the nutritional value of his beloved spinach. He sanctioned the creation of the statue in Crystal City, and drew a special cartoon with Popeye, Olive Oyl and Wimpy coming to the Crystal City Spinach Festival.

On March 26, 1937 the Popeye statue was dedicated and Schable visited to help dedicate the scultpture “To All The Children Of The World.” Two local beauties, Marion Brennan and Doris Williams, posed on the Popeye statue for National Geographic Magazine.

Segar never had the opportunity to visit the testament to his enduring cartoon character, though, as he died in 1938 of Hodgkin’s Disease at the age of 44.

Purple Day


Purple Day is an event designed to raise awareness of epilepsy. Beginning in 2008, people are encouraged to wear a purple-colored item of clothing on March 26. Purple and lavender are often associated with epilepsy, as for example in the wearing of a lavender ribbon.

Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada created the idea of Purple Day in 2008, motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy. Cassidy's goal is to get people talking about epilepsy in an effort to dispel myths and inform those with seizures that they are not alone. The Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia came on board in 2008 to help develop Cassidy's idea, which is now known as the Purple Day for Epilepsy campaign.

In 2009, the New York-based Anita Kaufmann Foundation and Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia joined forces to launch Purple Day internationally. The combined efforts of AKF and EANS have led to the involvement of numerous organizations, schools, businesses, politicians and celebrities around the world. On March 26, 2009, over 100,000 students, 95 workplaces and 116 politicians participated in Purple Day.

In March 2009, the official USA Purple Day Party was launch was organized[clarification needed] by the New York-based Anita Kaufmann Foundation - a charity dedicated to educating the public about epilepsy. Canadian Paul Shaffer of the Late Show with David Letterman was one of many special guests that attended the official launch at Dylan's Candy Bar in New York City. Paul Shaffer's cousin is an epileptologist in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Shaffer is familiar with some of the barriers that affect person's with epilepsy and wanted to attend the event to offer his support for Cassidy Megan's campaign 

As the global sponsors of Purple Day, both organizations are committed to partnering with individuals and organizations around the world to promote epilepsy awareness.

Deirdre Floyd, President of the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia and Chair of the Purple Day for Epilepsy Campaign, member agency of the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance says: “ "We are very proud of Cassidy Megan, and after reading various email postings we know her Purple Day for Epilepsy Campaign is making a difference to help others internationally to bring epilepsy out of the shadows. “ The Purple Day New York Party is the perfect way to get the message out there —with the help of some incredible celebrities to boot."