Saturday, March 14, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Mar 14 2015

Genealogy Day

Lucky are those rare few who know their exact lineage. At the rate people are going these days, a person’s descendants are known only until their grandparents, meaning, up to three generations only. Wouldn't it be exciting to know who were your ancestors living in the 18 century? Wouldn't this knowledge give you confidence in answering the question “Who are you?” Genealogy Day is always observed on the second Saturday of March each year.

 There is no official record as to start of the observance of this special day. Probably this day was created to support the latest popular hobby of knowing one’s family history. After all, much self satisfaction is attained in finding a person’s particular place in one’s family in a wider historical illustration. It is also everyone’s responsibility to preserve ancestral chronicles for succeeding generations.

Genealogy came from the Greek words, “genea” and “logos,” which means generation and knowledge respectively. It is the study of kinfolk and the finding of their blood relations and memoir. This results to the creation of a family tree or chart after obtaining data about a family or clan through oral beliefs, chronological records and genetic probe.

Genealogy is commonly used in the United States of America while Europe prefers to use family history. The Guinness Book of Records recorded the family tree of Confucius as the largest family tree in existence. Having been sustained for more than 2,500 years, its latest 5 edition was published in 2009 by the Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee.

This special day is perfect for volunteering to do research for genealogy clubs or organizations. Joining family history societies or genealogy workshops are also encouraged. Starting on a family tree by finding family roots and knowing heritage and ancestors name by name is also an appropriate activity. Trying the DNA ancestry test is also an exciting thing to do on this unusual day.  

International Ask a Question Day

March 14th is International Ask a Question Day.  The goal of this day is to help people understand the benefits of asking more questions and how to ask better questions.

There are 12 main reasons to ask questions, they include:

  1. to gather information
  2. to maintain relationships
  3. to learn and to teach
  4. to build awareness
  5. to think clearly, critically and strategically
  6. to solve problems and to make decisions
  7. to challenge assumptions
  8. to set and accomplish goals
  9. to clarify and confirm in listening situations
  10. to resolve conflicts
  11. to engage in production conversations
  12. to create and innovate new possibilities
To ask effective questions we need to practice our questioning skills. Here are a few ideas that can help you work on your questioning skills.

Look at the 12 reasons to ask questions and pick one to work on each day or each week. Then practicing asking questions in that category. Try asking these questions to different people in different situations. When you use these skills in different situations it helps you become more efficient, more adept at the skill in question. You can also try to ask yourself these questions to help you practice.

Keep a daily journal of things that happen in your life and the world around you. A good observer has many things to ask questions about as they are engaged and thinking critically about the world around them and things occurring in their daily lives. Writing down these observations may spark a question you can ask someone else or research for yourself.

Remember that questioning is the way we learn new things. We have all been around the three-year-old who constantly asks “why?” They are not trying to frustrate anyone they are merely trying to learn more about their environment and the actions of the people around them. This curiosity is a valuable tool that should be nurtured as it will help them throughout their educational career.

Some children struggle with asking questions both in how to formulate the question and asking appropriate questions. Children often ask questions that don’t give them the answer or information they were looking for which leaves them feeling frustrated. Children may ask questions that do not fit in with the current conversation they may ask questions in a manner which confuses the listener so they are unsure of what information the child is trying to obtain.

We should also look at the flip side of this and mention answering questions. Answering questions is also challenging to many children. They may not understand what information the asker is looking for thus they do not appropriately answer the question. They may answer the first part of the question but not second part, etc.

Speech therapy can help children learn how ask meaningful, appropriate questions that get them the information the want or need. a child who is skilled at asking questions is more likely to ask questions when they are confused or when they missed some information or to check to ensure they understood what had been said. Speech therapy also helps children learn how to listen to the question so they are able to effectively answer the posed question. This is a skill children need to succeed in school as children are graded on their ability to answer questions on written and oral examinations.

International Fanny Pack Day

International Fanny Pack Day is held the 2nd Saturday of March Annually.

The fanny pack is so amazingly smart and functional, but gained such a bad rap.  Too bad.  Truth be told, I still have a one, because for certain around the block outings, it’s perfect.  People have found clever ways to utilize fanny packs for the ultimate hands-free experience, like we see in the picture below. Happy International Fanny Pack Day, I hope you still have one and perhaps one day, we can bring them back to fashion!

I find it charming that the creators of International Fanny Pack Day specifically made it international, since “fanny” isn't exactly a polite term in many parts of the world. I believe across the pond they call these monstrosities “bum bags”, which again has a different meaning here in the United States. But I’m sure we can all agree that they’re ghastly. (Although we used them many a time in the ’90s while vacationing, so maybe I’m not allowed to really dis on them too strongly.)

The name "fanny pack" is derived from the way they were traditionally worn facing the rear above the buttocks, for which "fanny" is a slang term in the United States. Despite the name, many users do not wear fanny packs on their rear because they are easier to pickpocket and harder to access. In the Anglosphereoutside of North America, other names are used since the word "fanny" means vulva, rather than buttocks, in those countries.

Many observers consider the fanny pack a sure mark of an out-of-place tourist, evoking the traditional tourist stereotypes known around the world, or regard them as an item worn by unfashionable or older people. Musician "Weird Al" Yankovic mocks the wearing of fanny packs in his song "White & Nerdy."

The handiness and ease of opening of fanny packs has also resulted in them being used as holsters for handguns in the USA. Many manufacturers make fanny packs that are designed for concealed carry. Some military and law enforcement units also utilize fanny packs to carry additional equipment, such as first aid, night vision, markers, etc.

Calling them "belted satchels" or "hands-free bags," several designer labels sought to bring the accessory back into vogue in early 2011, by offering stylish and expensive designs selling for as much as $1995.
Moth-er Day

In a world with so much natural beauty, there’s one creature that is often overlooked: the moth. While butterflies seem to get all the attention, moths are often feared, disliked or ignored, but Moth-er Day was set up to change all that.

Moth-er Day is a great opportunity to learn about moths and even get involved with their conservation. It’s an ideal study opportunity for children, who will be fascinated to learn more about the life cycle of egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and moth.

Some ways you can get involved with Moth-er day are to spend some time moth spotting and trying to identify and record the species you find. Moths, like butterflies, have suffered from dwindling numbers and difficult years in the past, so you can help them by planting caterpillar friendly plants in your garden. For Moth-er Day, you could research plants that caterpillars like and grow them yourself.

National Children's Craft Day

Celebrated each year on March 14th, it is National Children’s Craft Day.  This day is an attempt to bring awareness of crafting to children, to open their eyes to the wide world of crafts and have them see what their imagination can do within that world and the endless possibilities that there are.  National Children’s Craft Day is part of National Craft Month.

Crafting can give children a sense of accomplishment as well as help build their self esteem.  As with adults, in children, crafting is also a stress reducer.

Craft stores hold special classes throughout the month of March so there are opportunities for children to get involved, interact with others, learn something new, get away from the television and other electronics, move around and have fun.  When using their creativity, the opportunities for children in the crafting world are endless.

National Pi Day

Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the U.S. month/day date format), since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day.

In the year 2015, Pi Day will have special significance on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 a.m. and p.m., with the date and time representing the first 10 digits of pi.

Pi Approximation Day is observed on July 22 (or 22/7 in the day/month date format), since the fraction 22⁄7 is a common approximation of π.

The earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where Shaw worked as a physicist, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies. The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations.

On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224), recognizing March 14, 2009, as National Pi Day.

For Pi Day 2010, Google presented a Google Doodle celebrating the holiday, with the word Google laid over images of circles and pi symbols.

National Potato Chip Day

Today is National Potato Chip Day! Did you know that Americans consume 1.2 billion pounds of potato chips each year? It’s the nation’s favorite snack food!

George Crum invented potato chips in 1853. Native American George Crum was a chef at a Saratoga Springs, New York, resort, when customer Cornelius Vanderbilt complained that his french fries were too thick. George Crum fried up a serving of paper thin potatoes cooked to a crunchy crisp texture - the first potato chips. The dish dubbed "Saratoga Chips" became a favorite.

However, potato chips did not gain wide-spread popularity until the 1920s, when a Mrs Scudder began mass producing the first potato chips packaged in wax paper bags in 1926. In 1938, Herman Lay began producing Lay's potato chips, the first successfully marketed national brand.

"Betcha can’t eat just one” was the 1963 advertising campaign slogan and trademarked slogan designed by the advertising company Young & Rubicam for Lay’s Potato Chips. The first "Betcha can’t eat just one" commercial starred actor Bert Lahr (1895-1967).

To celebrate National Potato Chip Day, enjoy some of your favorite potato chips with your lunch or dinner!

National Learn About Butterflies Day

National Learn About Butterflies Day is celebrated on March 14th of each year.

A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly’s life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly colored wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight. Butterflies comprise the true butterflies (superfamily Papilionoidea), the skippers (superfamily Hesperioidea) and the moth-butterflies (superfamily Hedyloidea). All the many other families within the Lepidoptera are referred to as moths. The earliest known butterfly fossils date to the mid Eocene epoch, between 40–50 million years ago.

Butterflies exhibit polymorphism, mimicry and aposematism. Some, like the Monarch, will migrate over long distances. Some butterflies have evolved symbiotic and parasitic relationships with social insects such as ants. Some species are pests because in their larval stages they can damage domestic crops or trees; however, some species are agents of pollination of some plants, and caterpillars of a few butterflies (e.g., Harvesters) eat harmful insects. Culturally, butterflies are a popular motif in the visual and literary arts.

National Save a Spider Day

National Save a Spider Day is celebrated on March 14th of each year. Spiders (order Araneae) are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every habitat with the exception of air and sea colonization. As of 2008, at least 43,678 spider species, and 109 families have been recorded by taxonomists; however, there has been confusion within the scientific community as to how all these families should be classified, as evidenced by the over 20 different classifications that have been proposed since 1900.

Anatomically, spiders differ from other arthropods in that the usual body segments are fused into two tagmata, the cephalothorax and abdomen, and joined by a small, cylindrical pedicel. Unlike insects, spiders do not have antennae. In all except the most primitive group, the Mesothelae, spiders have the most centralized nervous systems of all arthropods, as all their ganglia are fused into one mass in the cephalothorax. Unlike most arthropods, spiders have no extensor muscles in their limbs and instead extend them by hydraulic pressure.
Their abdomens bear appendages that have been modified into spinnerets that extrude silk from up to six types of silk glands within their abdomen. Spider webs vary widely in size, shape and the amount of sticky thread used. It now appears that the spiral orb web may be one of the earliest forms, and spiders that produce tangled cobwebs are more abundant and diverse than orb-web spiders. Spider-like arachnids with silk-producing spigots appeared in the Devonian period about 386 million years ago, but these animals apparently lacked spinnerets. True spiders have been found in Carboniferous rocks from 318 to 299 million years ago, and are very similar to the most primitive surviving order, the Mesothelae. The main groups of modern spiders, Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, first appeared in the Triassic period, before 200 million years ago.

A herbivorous species, Bagheera kiplingi, was described in 2008, but all other known species are predators, mostly preying on insects and on other spiders, although a few large species also take birds and lizards. Spiders use a wide range of strategies to capture prey: trapping it in sticky webs, lassoing it with sticky bolas, mimicking the prey to avoid detection, or running it down. Most detect prey mainly by sensing vibrations, but the active hunters have acute vision, and hunters of the genus Portia show signs of intelligence in their choice of tactics and ability to develop new ones. Spiders’ guts are too narrow to take solids, and they liquidize their food by flooding it with digestive enzymes and grinding it with the bases of their pedipalps, as they do not have true jaws.

Male spiders identify themselves by a variety of complex courtship rituals to avoid being eaten by the females. Males of most species survive a few matings, limited mainly by their short life spans. Females weave silk egg-cases, each of which may contain hundreds of eggs. Females of many species care for their young, for example by carrying them around or by sharing food with them. A minority of species are social, building communal webs that may house anywhere from a few to 50,000 individuals. Social behavior ranges from precarious toleration, as in the widow spiders, to co-operative hunting and food-sharing. Although most spiders live for at most two years, tarantulas and other mygalomorph spiders can live up to 25 years in captivity.

While the venom of a few species is dangerous to humans, scientists are now researching the use of spider venom in medicine and as non-polluting pesticides. Spider silk provides a combination of lightness, strength and elasticity that is superior to that of synthetic materials, and spider silk genes have been inserted into mammals and plants to see if these can be used as silk factories. As a result of their wide range of behaviors, spiders have become common symbols in art and mythology symbolizing various combinations of patience, cruelty and creative powers.