Monday, March 9, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Mar 10 2015

International Bagpipe Day

International Bagpipe Day was first celebrated on 10 March 2012.

International Bagpipe Day was created after an idea by Andy Letcher from the Bagpipe Society. 

Together with Cassandre Balosso-Bardin, they imagined ways to promote the great diversity of bagpipes to the greater public. 

The First International Bagpipe Conference launched International Bagpipe Day world wide as it gathered scholars, musicians and instrument makers from all around Europe. 

International Bagpipe Day is now being celebrated every year all around the world. The International Conferences occur every 2 years.

Local pipers have organised events in many places include Minsk (Belarus), Athens (Greece), Texas Tech Uni (USA), Haninge (Sweden), London, Oxford, Chester, Glasgow (UK), Nigeria and Iran.

The International Bagpipe Organisation (IBO) was founded by Cassandre Balosso-Bardin in Autumn 2012, following the success of the First International Bagpipe Conference in March 2012.

The IBO has created a platform where bagpipe studies and music can be shared on an international level. Academic and non-academic studies of bagpipes have been carried out in many different parts of the world but the knowledge is often constrained to a geographical area. The IBO, with the organisation f a biennal International Bagpipe Conference, wishes to remedy this and bring the study of bagpipes to the world.

International Day of Awesomeness

The International Day of Awesomeness is a celebration of awesomeness. People are awesome every day, frequently don't realize it, and their feats of awesomeness are rarely recognized. We aim to fix that, with a special day to both perform and celebrate feats of awesomeness!

The easiest way to celebrate The International Day of Awesomeness is to be awesome. You could organize a group of your friends to perform feats of awesomeness with. You could write a blog entry about someone you think epitomizes the ideals of awesomeness. As we get closer to the day, we'll have more concrete tips for things you can do to celebrate this very important (but fun, fun, fun - we can't stress that enough - The International Day of Awesomeness should be fun and not taken too seriously).

This is mostly the fault of Kevin Lawver (that's me). At work, on August 6th, 2007, one of our interns (Freddie Maneiro) suggested that we have a celebration of my awesomeness (it's been a running joke on this project). This cracked me up, and I said there should be a International Day of Awesomeness, and said that I'd post it to twitter, which I did. That started a very funny, very un-serious conversation among my friends about just what this holiday would entail. And well, here we are.

The International Day of Awesomeness occurs every year on March 10th. Why? Because that's Chuck Norris' birthday. No offense to Mr. Norris, but this isn't really a salute to Chuck Norris, the man. This is a tribute to the awesomeness of the the myth of Chuck Norris (see the Wikipedia entry). The International Day of Awesomeness is also strongly inspired by The Show with Ze Frank. Ze's year-long internship in the League of Awesomeness is something special, and if you didn't experience while it was going on, you should go back and watch the shows. Ze and his audience frequently performed feats of awesomeness, which could be used as inspiration for your own feats.

Dan Lurie came up with the original tag line ("Because everyone needs an excuse to be awesome"), and my son, Max, came up with the new one. A bunch of people endorsed the date. I'm open to suggestions for where we take this next. This is a single page and only took about an hour to build. The domain name only took about five minutes to register. What I've done so far is not awesome, but I think this day could be extremely awesome. Any ideas are welcome!

So, there you have it: The International Day of Awesomeness. How will you be awesome? What feats of awesomeness will you perform?

If you were here the first day, you know this started as the National Day of Awesomeness, but, thanks to a blog post, I realized that confining the day to one nation was aiming low - and being awesome is definitely not about aiming low. So, I need some translation help! If you'd like to translate this page, please do! Just send me the text and I'll create a new version! There will probably be a blog here at some point, which will be in English, but this page's content should remain pretty much the same. We'll just build things up around it. Thanks!

Mario Day

In recognition of everyone’s favorite pizza-loving Nintendo character, take part in celebrating Mario Day. First appearing in Donkey Kong in 1981, Mario soon became not only the mascot for computer giant Nintendo, but also a worldwide sensation. The hugely successful Super Mario Bros. series, featuring Mario and his brother Luigi, defined the 1980’s and the 1990’s and Mario himself still remains one of the most adored, world-renowned computer heroes of all time.

So, gather your like-minded, Nintendo-loving friends, don your Mario t-shirts, order in some pizza and get those Nintendo games consoles, Gameboys and DS’s out for a whole day of Mario fun. You could even go one step further and host a Mario House Party! With plenty of ideas, games and activities to choose from, such as fancy dress parties and mushroom stomping competitions, you can be sure to make Mario Day a day to remember.
Napping Day

National Blueberry Popover Day

National Popover Day! Yah! And it falls on a Monday, so you can have a laid back and relaxed early Monday morning breakfast of hot out of the oven Blueberry Popovers and good coffee. Now that’s a grand way to begin the work week.

Why are they called popovers? Because when they are properly made they will actually turn themselves part way over in their cups. This is because the batter is so light and airy, filled with egg, that when the batter hits the hot cup it cooks first becoming lighter than the uncooked portion of the batter on the top and they partly turn over.

Now, to achieve this, the pans in which the popovers are cooked should be made of heavy cast iron, they must be liberally oiled and then put in a hot oven to heat before you pour in the batter. You must work quickly so that the pan doesn’t cool off while you pour in the batter.

There are special cast iron popover pans made especially for the purpose. They are frightfully expensive when bought in a specialty shop, so check out your thrift stores, collectible shops and garage sales. Often people don’t know what they are and get rid of “Grandma’s heavy ol’ muffin tin.” Their loss ... your gain.

Popovers are excellent just plain, served with way more homemade preserves than anyone has any business eating, but since it will be Blueberry Popover day, you may wish to gild the lily a bit and add blueberries. Use fresh blueberries, not frozen or canned ones, and fold the blueberries into the batter quickly, using just a few strokes of the spoon. Otherwise they will break apart, become mushy and turn the entire batter blue. Good luck and enjoy!

National Land Line Telephone Day

It’s National Land line Telephone Day. Some say that Land Line telephones will go away someday. It would be a change for the worse. Believe it or not people still use their land line phones. You also have to keep in mind that unless you're buying a prepaid cell phone, cell phone companies are usually based on credit. Not to mention that cell phone towers do go down(it happens in my area from time to time). I work in telecommunications and we use land lines for almost everything. Not to mention, land lines(unless you have a cordless phone) are the only communication device that will still run during a power outage. Cell phones rely on batter power that need to be charged. What happens if the power is out for days on in? Also it's easier to locate a land line location from a dispatch center than a wireless signal(especially if you live in the outskirts of town).

A land line telephone refers to a phone that uses a metal wire telephone line for transmission as distinguished from a mobile cellular line, which uses radio waves for transmission.

In 2003, the CIA reported approximately 1.263 billion main telephone lines worldwide. China had more than any other country at 350 million and the United States was second with 268 million. The United Kingdom has 23.7 million residential fixed home phones. The 2013 statistics show that the total number of fixed-telephone subscribers in the world was about 1.16 billion, which is an all time low. The number of land line subscribers continuously decreases due to upgrades in digital technology and the conveniences that come with switching to wireless (cellular) or Internet-based alternatives.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed on March 10 to raise awareness about how women can protect themselves and their partners from HIV by getting tested, using condoms, and checking with their health care provider about medicines that prevent and treat HIV.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a time each year when organizations and communities across the country come together to help women and girls take action to protect themselves and their partners from HIV—through prevention, testing, and treatment. The observance is sponsored by the Office on Women's Health External Web Site Icon, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

HIV Among Women and Girls
In 2010, women and adolescent girls (aged 13 years and older) made up about one in four of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States. Most of these infections (75%) were from sex with men, and the rest were from injection drug use.*

Black/African American** and Hispanic/Latino women are more affected by HIV at all stages of the disease than white women. Despite an encouraging decrease in new HIV infections among black women (21% between 2008 and 2010), 1 in 32 black women will be infected with HIV in their lifetimes (if current trends continue). One in 106 Hispanic/Latino women and 1 in 526 white women will be infected with HIV.

Many women who have been diagnosed with HIV are not getting the care they need. Only half of women who were diagnosed with HIV in 2009 were staying in care in 2010, according to a study of 19 areas in the United States, and less than half (4 in 10) had viral suppression. Viral suppression means that the level of virus in a person's blood is low enough to help her or him stay healthy. Viral suppression also leads to a greatly reduced chance of spreading the virus to others.

* A small number of women who are living with HIV were born with it because their mothers were infected.
** Referred to as black in this feature.

What Puts Women and Girls at Risk?
  • Some women may be unaware of their partner's risk factors for HIV (such as injection drug use or having sex with other men) and may not use condoms. In some cases, women may be afraid that their partner will leave them or even physically abuse them if they try to talk about condom use.
  • Vaginal sex without a condom carries a much higher HIV risk for women than for men, and anal sex without a condom is riskier for women than vaginal sex without a condom. More than one in five young women in one survey reported anal sex in the past year.
  • Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) greatly increase a woman's chance of getting or spreading HIV.
  • Exchanging sex for drugs, having multiple partners, or having sex with a partner who is physically abusive when asked to use a condom all increase risk of HIV.
  • Some HIV infections among women are due to injection drug and other substance use—either directly (by sharing drug injection equipment contaminated with HIV) or indirectly (by engaging in high-risk behaviors while under the influence of drugs or alcohol).
  • A higher percentage of African American and Hispanic/Latino women are living with HIV compared to other races/ethnicities. This coupled with the fact that women tend to have sex with partners of their same race/ethnicity increases the risk of HIV infection with each new sexual encounter.
What Can Women Do?
  • Get tested for HIV. To find a testing site near you, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), visit, or text your ZIP code to KNOW IT (566948). You can also use a home testing kit.
  • Choose not to have sex or choose to have sex with one partner and agree to be sexually active only with each other. It is still important that you and your partner get tested for HIV, and share your test results with one another before you make the decision to have sex.
  • If you currently have more than one partner, make the choice to limit the number of people you have sex with. The fewer partners you have, the less likely you are to have sex with someone who is infected with HIV or another STI.
  • Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
  • Choose less risky sexual behaviors. Anal and vaginal sex are the highest-risk sexual activities for HIV transmission. Oral sex carries much less risk.
  • Get tested and treated for STIs and insist that your partners do too. Having an STI increases the risk of getting or spreading HIV.
  • Talk to your doctor about HIV medicine to prevent HIV infection (known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP) if you routinely have sex without a condom with someone who may be HIV-positive.
  • See a doctor right away (within 3 days) if you have a single experience of sex without a condom with someone who is or may be HIV-positive. Starting medicine immediately (known as post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP) and taking it for about a month reduces the chance of getting HIV.
  • Do not share injection drug equipment, such as needles, syringes, or works.
  • If you are HIV-positive, start treatment as soon as possible with antiretroviral therapy (ART), and stay on treatment. ART can lower the level of virus in your body enough to improve your health and prevent you from spreading HIV to your partners.
Organize Your Home Office Day

Did you know that today is “Organize Your Home Office Day”?

Having a home office is a big deal these days, but for some, organizing it to fit your needs can be even more of a problem.  Most of us have very busy schedules whether it comes to managing your home, finances, your family’s activities and schedules, your college schedules or even running a business.  Some of us may be blessed with a large home office while others may only have a corner in a room to work from.  The key is to create an environment that is efficient and works for you and whoever else you share with.  Whatever the size of your space, here are some very important things to keep in mind while organizing your home office.

Purpose - What are your goals for your space?  What do you intend to accomplish there.  Do you pay bills?  Manage your family?  Do you run a business?  Do you study?  Does your family use the space?

How do you think you can accomplish these goals and achieve good results?  Write a list of things that you need to accomplish in your space.  If you do more than one activity in your office, then write a separate list for each one, and then you can proceed to the next step.

Functionality - Is your office capable of serving your purposes?  Do you have the right tools to help you to achieve your goals, like a computer, printer, fax, scanner, phone, shredder, filing cabinet, etc?  Is everything fully operational?  Are you being practical about where they are placed or are you more concerned about the decorative aspect?  Remember, when it comes to running a productive office, efficiency is more important than how things look.  The big picture is not a perfectly clean and decorated office space, but one that functions properly.

Logistics - This is one of the most important aspects of organizing your office space.  This is when you decide where everything needs to be placed.  This may be the hardest part for most, because some may have a very small space with a lot to accomplish.  This is where you would take the time to examine your space and create the flow for the activities taking place there.  This is where you refer to the lists you created and come up with solutions that will help you accomplish each goal.

Other considerations - Here are some examples of things that you should take into consideration while planning your space:

Are you right or left handed?  What activities take place here?  Do you have to create or produce products or services?  Do you have children?  Do you study?  How many people will be using the space?  From which direction does the traffic flow in and out?

This will help you decide where to put things like your telephone, filing cabinet, printer, in and out boxes, etc.  If you are right handed, keep your phone to the left and vice verse.  If you have a small space, wall mounted in and out boxes would be ideal.  Always keep your active files or in boxes at arms reach.  If you don’t have a desk drawer, use a good desktop organizer for miscellaneous items like paperclips, stapler, etc.  Your printer should be kept as close as possible as well as your most commonly used filing cabinet.  Rolling open filing drawers are also great to move around the room or hide if need be.

Don’t forget storage - Another thing to plan for would be storage for supplies.  If you have a small space, you can always use a space in a closet; otherwise, your drawers and cabinets are just fine.   Establish a place to keep trash and recycling. If you have a family keep an in box for each person and label them accordingly.  Keep a main in and out box for mail and separate in boxes for your business or school work.

Putting all of these things in place not only gives you a place for all the paper when it comes in but creates good flow and functionality. Just remember to refer to your list and create a place for everything you need to accomplish your goals. If things don’t work right, don’t give up or get frustrated. It’s okay to keep moving things around till you create your ideal work space. Even the pros know that!

Personality - What is your personality type? Are you a Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic person (hands on)?

A visual person might get distracted by things on the desk and keep them from getting their work done, yet they still like to see things or post things for reminders. Desktop file organizers and bulletin boards are great for this type of person.

Auditory personalities may get distracted by sounds or noises, so having a quiet place to work free from distractions would be ideal, yet they also work better if they have someone to bounce ideas off of. A good tape recorder comes in handy for someone like this who needs reminders of things to do or takes notes.

The Kinesthetic person is the one who probably needs more work space and doesn't mind having piles here and there. These are the ones that are more able to multi-task and like to do things on their own. I would keep plenty of notepads available for taking notes.

Some of you may have characteristics of all three types.

Comfort and Style - Last, but definitely not the least in my book is establishing a comfortable work space that fits is your personal style.

Choose appropriate lighting: Do you like it dim sometimes, but brighter at others?  A lamp would be ideal for someone who likes a little less lighting.

Make sure that you have a comfortable chair.  This might keep you from getting pain in your back or neck and help you sit for longer periods of time.

Surround yourself with things that you love, like pictures, favorite quotes, plants, books, etc.

Buy office supplies that fit your personal style and paint your space to make it feel cozier.

All of these things will help you want to be in your office more thus, help you to become more productive and efficient in your work space.

Pack Your Lunch Day

Many of us buy lunch everyday at work or school, rather than taking 10 minutes in the morning or the night before to make our own. Pack Your Lunch Day celebrates the humble homemade lunch, whether it’s a sandwich, leftovers, sushi or something altogether different.

The advantages of packing your own lunch are obvious: you can eat whatever you like without being restricted by what’s available to buy; you know what is in your food; and over time, you’ll save a lot of money compared to buying lunch!

The origins of Pack Your Lunch Day are unknown – perhaps it was just invented by a big fan of sandwiches! Some people choose to celebrate the day by donating the money they would have spent on lunch to charity. Another option is to get together with colleagues and all bring a different food item, then have a picnic lunch. Delicious!

Salvation Army Day

On this day in history, March 10, 1880, Salvation Army founder General William Booth sent the first official group to pioneer the Army’s work in the United States. Booth founded the organization in London, England in 1865 with a mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute.

Salvation Army Lieutenant Eliza Shirley was actually already in the United States in 1879 after leaving England to join her parents, who had migrated to America earlier in search for work. Shirley held the first meeting of The Salvation Army in America, in Philadelphia. The Salvationists were received enthusiastically. Shirley wrote to General Booth, begging for reinforcements, but none were available at first. Glowing reports of the work in Philadelphia, however, eventually convinced Booth, in 1880, to send an official group to establish the work in America.
On March 10, 1880, Salvation Army Commissioner George Scott Railton and seven women survived the long journey from England and arrived in Battery Park in New York City. They knelt on the dockside to give thanks for their safe arrival.

At their first official street meeting, these pioneers were met with unfriendly actions, as had happened in Great Britain. They were ridiculed, arrested, and attacked. Several officers and soldiers even gave their lives. Three years later, Railton and other Salvationists had expanded their operation into California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. President Grover Cleveland received a delegation of Salvation Army officers in 1886 and gave the organization a warm personal endorsement. This was the first recognition from the White House and would be followed by similar receptions from succeeding presidents.

The Salvation Army movement expanded rapidly to Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland, India, South Africa, Iceland, and local neighborhood units. Today, The Salvation Army is active in virtually every corner of the world, providing a variety of social services in 119 countries.

US Paper Money Day

The history of paper currency in the U.S. is closely intertwined with the growth of our nation. As we prepare for the Federal Reserve’s Centennial this year, we are reminded of the Fed’s critical role in maintaining confidence in U.S. currency. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was the foundation for the independent central bank, but the history of currency in the U.S. has a long and colorful past.

In 1690, early Americans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were the first to issue paper money in the colonies to meet the high demand for trade and as a response to the shortage of coins, which were the primary form of money at that time. Other colonies followed suit and, although this early money was supposed to be backed by gold or silver, some colonists found that they could not redeem the paper currency as promised, and it rapidly depreciated.

It was not until 85 years later, in 1775, that the Continental Congress authorized the limited issuance of paper currency, called “Continentals,” with the primary purpose to help finance the Revolutionary War. The Continentals were denominated in dollars and backed by the "anticipation" of future tax revenues once the colonies achieved their independence. Without solid backing in silver or gold, and with rising inflation, the Continentals soon became worthless. Following the Declaration of Independence, the new country needed a way to fund the ensuing war effort. Distrust in paper money notwithstanding, the Continental Congress issued the first notes bearing the words, “The United States” in 1777 and sought to give them credibility with well-known revolutionary figures as signatories.

The First Bank of the United States was chartered in 1791 and operated until 1811. It was succeeded by the Second Bank of the United States, which operated from 1816 to 1836. Although privately owned, these banks were chartered by Congress and performed several central bank functions, including the authorization to issue paper bank notes. President Andrew Jackson vetoed the recharter of the Second Bank, and for the next 25 years the “Free Banking Era” reigned. During this time, American banking consisted of state-chartered banks with no federal regulation or uniformity. These banks issued State Bank notes in various sizes, shapes and designs. By 1860, an estimated 8,000 different state banks were circulating bank notes in denominations from ½ cent to $20,000.

In 1861, to finance the Civil War, Congress authorized Demand Notes, which were the first issue of paper money by the government since the Continentals. In 1862, Congress discontinued Demand Notes and issued Legal Tender Notes, also known as United States Notes, which were the first national currency notes used as legal tender for most public and private debts. These notes, and all paper money issued since 1861, are still valid and redeemable in current cash at face value.

Congress passed the National Banking Act in 1863 to establish a national banking system and uniform national currency. The national banks were required to purchase U.S. government securities as backing for their National Bank Notes.
The Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) began printing all United States currency in 1877. August 29, 2012, marked the BEP's 150th anniversary.
President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act in December 1913, which created the Federal Reserve System as the nation's central bank. In 1914, Federal Reserve Notes, issued in denominations ranging from $1 to $10,000, replaced National Bank Notes. The first major change to affect the appearance of U.S. paper money occurred in 1929, when currency size was reduced and standardized designs were instituted for each denomination. This standardization made it easier for the public to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit currency notes. Beginning in 1990, new series notes were issued with advanced features, such as a security thread and micro printing, to deter counterfeiting.

In our world of rapidly advancing technology and payment alternatives, the Federal Reserve, the BEP and the U.S. Secret Service continually strive to ensure that the public remains confident in U.S. currency, and that it evolves to meet changing societal needs.