Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Apr 29 2015

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is an annual event held on April 29 as a "tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism." It is officially recognized by the United Nations (UN) and has been celebrated since 2005. On the latest observance on April 29, 2013, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a speech where he stated:
On this Remembrance Day, I urge the international community to intensify efforts to rid the world of chemical weapons, along with all other weapons of mass destruction. Let us work together to bring all States under the Convention and promote its full implementation. This is how we can best honor past victims and liberate future generations from the threat of chemical weapons.
On November 11, 2005, during the last day of the United Nations' Tenth Session of the Conference of the State Parties, the members of the UN officially recognized the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare, following a suggestion by Rogelio Pfirter, Director-General of the Secretariat. In addition, Pfirter's proposal to erect a monument at the Hague commemorating all victims of chemical warfare was approved. April 29 was chosen as the date for the event's celebration because the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force on that day in 1997.

Although the majority of the world has either given up or destroyed their stockpiles of chemical weapons as of 2013, several nations have yet to do so. Five of these, Angola, Burma, Egypt, Israel, and North Korea, have not ratified the Convention and are suspected to possess chemical weapons. Syria is also known to possess a sizable stockpile and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted this in his 2013 speech, condemning the nation for its alleged exploitation of chemical weapons in its ongoing civil war. On September 14, 2013 the United States and Russia announced in Geneva that they reached a deal whereby Syria would ratify the treaty and give up its chemical weapons. The Syrian government has been cooperating and as of November 2013, all but one of Syria’s 23 publicly declared chemical weapon sites have been visited by international inspectors that are dismantling the Syrian chemical weapons program.

Denim Day

Denim Day is a campaign to prevent sexual violence through education and public awareness.  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Denim Day is a call to action for all people to come together by wearing denim as a visible sign of protest against sexual violence. By participating in Denim Day this April, you can play a role in the prevention of sexual violence. Every year we ask community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion and on April 29th to wear jeans as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault.

Why denim? Denim Day was originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent.  The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Denim Day was developed in response to this case and wearing jeans during this annual event has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.

Women of the Italian Legislature protested the decision by wearing jeans to work. As news of the decision spread, so did the protest. In April 1999, a social service agency in Los Angeles established the first Denim Day in the United States.

International Dance Day

On April 29, International Dance Day, also known as World Dance Day, is celebrated through promotion by the International Dance Council (CID). The day was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute. The date was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, who was born in 1727, a French dancer and ballet master and a great reformer of dance.

The annually observed World Dance Day should increase the awareness of the importance of dance among the general public. Its goal is also to persuade governments all over the world to provide a proper place for dance in all systems of education. 

Around the world, there are events on World Dance Day, such as open-door-courses, exhibitions, articles concerning all kinds of dance, dance evenings, street shows, and special performances, etc. Above this, every year a message from a well known dance personality is circulated throughout the world. 

The CID is a non-profit umbrella organization for all forms of dance in the world. It was founded in 1973 within the UNESCO headquarters and has its headquarters in Paris, France. CID advises the UNESCO, national and local government agencies, international organizations and institutions. Currently it is represented in over 120 countries.

International Guide Dog Day

Today is International Guide Dog Day! This day celebrates the importance of guide dogs and how they help the blind and visually impaired live their daily lives. Guide dogs are carefully trained to avoid obstacles, access public transportation, cross roads safely, and other daily tasks to help their handlers’ specific needs.

Guide dogs are assistance dogs trained to lead blind and visually impaired people around obstacles.

Although the dogs can be trained to navigate various obstacles, they are partially (red–green) color blind and are not capable of interpreting street signs. The human half of the guide dog team does the directing, based upon skills acquired through previous mobility training. The handler might be likened to an aircraft's navigator, who must know how to get from one place to another, and the dog is the pilot, who gets them there safely.

In several countries, guide dogs, along with most service and hearing dogs, are exempt from regulations against the presence of animals in places such as restaurants and public transportation.

References to guide dogs date at least as far back as the mid-16th century; the second line of the popular verse alphabet "A was an Archer" is most commonly "B was a Blind-man/Led by a dog". In the 19th-century verse novel Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the title character remarks, "The blind man walks wherever the dog pulls / And so I answered."

The first guide dog training schools were established in Germany during World War I to enhance the mobility of returning veterans who were blinded in combat, but interest in guide dogs outside of Germany did not become widespread until Dorothy Harrison Eustis, an American dog breeder living in Switzerland, wrote a first-hand account about a guide dog training school in Potsdam, Germany, that was published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1927. Earlier that same year, U.S. Sen. Thomas D. Schall of Minnesota was paired with a guide dog imported from Germany, but the guide dog movement did not take hold in America until Nashville resident Morris Frank returned from Switzerland after being trained with one of Eustis's dogs, a female German shepherd named Buddy. Frank and Buddy embarked on a publicity tour to convince Americans of the abilities of guide dogs and the need to allow people with guide dogs access to public transportation, hotels, and other areas open to the public. In 1929, Eustis and Frank co-founded The Seeing Eye in Nashville, Tennessee (relocated in 1931 to New Jersey).

The first guide dogs in Great Britain were German shepherds. Four of these first were Flash, Judy, Meta, and Folly, who were handed over to their new owners, veterans blinded in World War I, on 6 October 1931 in Wallasey, Merseyside. Judy's new owner was Musgrave Frankland. In 1934, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in Great Britain began operation, although their first permanent trainer was a Russian military officer, Captain Nikolai Liakhoff, who moved to the UK in 1933.
Did you know that Guide Dogs of America trains 70% Labrador retrievers, 15% Golden Retrievers, and 15% German Shepherds for their guide dogs? Once the dogs complete their formal 2-year training, they are matched with a blind or visually impaired student based on size, lifestyle, energy level, and personalities of both the student and dog to form a happy relationship.

Today honors guide dogs, as well as the hard working people who dedicate their time to train and match guide dogs to their owners. Celebrate International Guide Dog Day by expressing your gratitude to these dedicated dogs!

National Peace Rose Day

The story of the ‘Peace’ rose is one that can be told over and over again because it encapsulates everything that we hold dear in roses – drama, love and greatness of spirit. This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the naming of this enduring rose that remains an excellent garden rose, and a symbol of our desire for that ever-elusive peace. The creation of ‘Peace’ was beautifully chronicled in Antonia Ridge’s book ‘For Love of a Rose’ and it was something of a miracle that the rose ever saw the light of day.

In 1935, the French rose breeder, Francis Meilland, the third generation in a family of rose growers near Lyon, selected 50 ‘promising’ seedlings from his seedbeds. One was tagged 3 – 35 – 40 and over the next four years Francis and his father, Papa Meilland, watched its development with interest. In spite of war clouds gathering, the unnamed rose was introduced to friends and professional rose growers who gave it an enthusiastic ‘thumbs up’. But three months later Hitler invaded France and, with the nursery under threat of destruction, three parcels of budwood were hastily sent out of France, one of which was smuggled out in the diplomatic bag to America.

For the duration of the war the Meilland family had no idea whether any of the budwood had survived. In America their agent planted the rose in his own trial beds and gave it to other rose growers for testing in all the climatic zones throughout the United States. The rose did so well that it was decided to release it in the United States and thousands of plants were propagated. Although the war was still raging in Europe, the launch date was set for 29 April 1945, in Pasadena, California.

On the same day that two doves were released into the American sky to symbolise the naming of the rose, Berlin fell and a truce was declared. It was sheer coincidence. In naming the rose, this simple statement was read: “ We are persuaded that this greatest new rose of our time should be named for the world’s greatest desire: ‘PEACE’.”

‘Peace’ went on to receive the All American Award for roses on the day that the war in Japan came to an end. On May 8, 1945, when Germany signed its surrender, the 49 delegates who met to form the United Nations were each presented with a bloom of ‘Peace’ and a message of peace from the Secretary of the American Rose Society.

What is so touching about the story of ‘Peace’ is that back in France, the rose had been named ‘Madame Antoine Meilland’ in memory of Claudia Dubreuil, the wife of Antoine Meilland and mother of Francis. She had been the heart and mainstay of the Meilland family and died tragically young from cancer. At the same time news coming back from Germany and Italy where other budwood had been sent, revealed that in Italy the rose was called ‘Gioia’ (Joy) and in Germany, ‘Gloria Dei’ (Glory of God). For the family, all the names captured the qualities that they loved in Claudia.

The name ‘Peace’ seems to have outlasted all the others. The timing of its launch was perfect and it struck such a chord that within nine years some 30 million ‘Peace’ rose bushes were flowering around the world. But it wasn’t because of sentiment alone. ‘Peace’ truly was a superlative rose, superior by far to the roses before it in terms of vigour, hardiness, and the long lasting ability of its blooms. The colour was also magnificent, a pale, golden yellow deepening to red along the petal edges.

Its contribution to the rose world has been immeasurable. Because of its vigour and dependability, ‘Peace’ has been used in breeding programmes across the world. It is recorded that ‘Peace’ is the ‘mother’ in 150 varieties and the ‘father’ in a further 180 varieties. There would be many more if breeders always declared the parentage of new releases. Indeed it is probably safe to say that most of our modern roses are descended in some way from ‘Peace’. In South Africa a few of the great garden roses that have ‘Peace’ in their lineage are: ‘Double Delight’, ‘Casanova’, ‘Blue Moon’, ‘Soaring Wings’, and ‘Electron’.

‘Peace’ also breathed new life into the gardening world, which sorely needed reviving after the war. The huge amount of publicity it received internationally made people excited about growing roses again. I was told that in South Africa it was in every public park and the ‘must have’ variety for every garden. Because it grew so well and so easily, people were not afraid to try their hand at other roses and so the rose industry in this country took off, once again.

Although new varieties, like ‘Iceberg’ have become even more popular, ‘Peace’ is still a good garden rose with glossy green leaves and well shaped blooms that are slightly lighter than their European counterparts because of our bright South African sunlight. I recommend planting it with ‘Rudi Neitz’, which is a taller hybrid tea rose, more upright in growth, with fewer thorns and a deeper gold to red colouring that equals that of ‘Peace’ in Europe. A grouping of three ‘Rudi Neitz’ at the back and four or five ‘Peace’ in front makes a beautiful bed.

Francis Meilland died in 1958 but his son Alain and daughter Michelle and their children continue the Meilland tradition of breeding roses. After ‘Peace’ became so well known, Francis wrote in his diary: “How strange to think that all these millions of rose buses sprang from one tiny seed no bigger than the head of a pin, a seed which we might so easily have overlooked, or neglected in a moment of inattention.”

That’s the miracle of the rose!

National Shrimp Scampi Day

The National Shrimp Scampi Day is celebrated on April 29 in the United States. Shrimp Scampi refers to an American-Italian shrimp dish prepared by sauteing shrimp or prawns in garlic butter or olive oil, lemon juice and white wine. The shrimp is often served over pasta like linguine.

While the word “scampi” often signifies a cooking style in the United States, scampi are true living organisms particularly widespread in the Mediterranean and northeastern Atlantic, from North Africa to Norway and Iceland. Scampi are edible lobsters popular in Great Britain, Denmark, France, Italy and around the Adriatic coast. It is also called Dublin Bay Prawn, or Norway Lobster (Nephrops norvegicus).

The National Shrimp Scampi Day is an unofficial holiday of unknown origin although its history is unlikely to be long. The word scampi only came into the English-speaking world in the 1920's. While the Italian way of cooking shrimp is believed to be discovered in America after the World War II, the earliest reference to shrimp scampi in the New York Times was found in 1956.

The food holiday is for enjoying the special American shrimp dish. Some people may prepare the dish by using ones favorite recipe. While the basic way of cooking does not change, different kinds of shrimps or prawns can be used.

Viral Video Day

April 29 is Viral Video Day, an annual "holiday" created by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway, a freelance writer who has written thousands of articles covering all sorts of traditional, unusual and downright wacky holidays.

Viral videos are short video clips that catapult to popularity by sharing through social media or email. And thanks to the advances in technology and the availability of video cams on cell phones and digital cameras, creating short video clips are simple and affordable to make.

Whether used as a political or marketing tool or to capture an important event or popular dance craze, the most popular viral videos often inspire or educate us, touch our hearts, make us laugh or even make us cry.

While some of these popular videos star celebs, politicians or famous people, many of the most popular viral videos feature animals, children and everyday, ordinary people. Although there doesn't appear to be any magical formula to determine which videos will go viral and create the most buzz, some lucky folks who post their videos on video sharing sites can make some pretty nice cashola. And some viral videos become so popular, even Hollywood comes-a-calling!

Viral Video Day not only celebrates the best viral videos of the past, but also encourages folks across the country to create their own original content. Join in on the celebration by sharing your favorite viral videos of all time or creating your own video and sharing it en masses.

Go ahead - take your best "shot." Who knows? Maybe your video will rise to viral video stardom and make the Most Popular Viral Videos of All Time list?

Most Popular Viral Videos of All Time
Happy Viral Video Day!

World Wish Day

April 29, 2012 – the anniversary of the wish that inspired the creation of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. World Wish Day is a global celebration of wish granting. Wish-granting celebrations and events will take place in the 48 countries we serve. World Wish Day celebrates the day that sparked a global wish-granting movement.

The creation of Make-A-Wish was inspired in the U.S. in 1980 by the fulfillment of a wish of a 7-year-old boy with leukemia named Chris Greicius, who wished to be a policeman. On April 29th, his mother, several friends and a group of police officers, with the cooperation of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, granted his wish with a custom-made uniform, helmet, badge, and helicopter ride. Chris's magical wish touched the entire community and inspired the beginning of the Make-A-Wish.

Make-A-Wish has become the largest wish-granting organization in the world and can be found in 48 countries on five continents. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America grants the wishes of children in the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico through its 62 chapters, while Make-A-Wish Foundation International serves children outside the United States in 47 countries on five continents through its 36 affiliate offices. With the help of generous donors and over 30,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 290,000 wishes worldwide since inception.

Zipper Day

Zipper Day is celebrated each year on April 29.  This day celebrates something that we often do not think about and just automatically take for granted.

Manufacturers produce zippers by the billions each year, but the device wasn’t always such a success. In the early stages of development, zippers went through design revisions, unsuccessful marketing attempts and a few name changes. Zippers are abundant today due to the tremendous patience of investors, an engineer who gave the product its crucial final touches and World War I, when the zipper was mass produced for the first time.

First Zipper Versions - The first semblance of a zipper model traces back to Elias Howe, the founder of the sewing machine. In 1851, he created a patent for a device named An Automatic Continuous Clothing Closure, which had a similar function to the modern zipper, although the composition was significantly different. The product operated as individual clasps that were joined manually, and pulled shut by using a string, creating a “gathered” effect. Ultimately, Howe did not continue developing his model, and several years went by before another patent was created.

More than 40 years later, inventor Whitcomb L. Judson began devising the patent “Clasp Locker or Unlocker for Shoes.” The design was essentially a guide (now known as a fastener or slider) that was used to close the space between a shoe’s clasps on one side to the attachments on the other. The guide could be removed after use, and had the double function of pushing the bulky clasps down and subsequently pulling them together to close. The guide was difficult to produce due to its very specific functions, and was also seen as time consuming.

Whitcomb’s second patent in 1893 was a transition from the former bulky clasps to hooks and eyes. This device, later called “C-curity” was a series of loops (short metal extensions) that were manually laced into the boot or shoe. The improvement was significant because the device functioned as a unit instead of as individual clasps. Eventually, it proved to be ineffective because it had a tendency to spring open.

Engineer Gideon Sundback ultimately enhanced the previous zipper models by devising a model called the “Plako fastener.” The design featured oval hook units that would protrude from the tape they were attached to, and provided a more secure fit than the previous “C-curity” design. Although the model had a tighter fit, it was not flexible. Also, it did not stay closed when it was bent and posed some of the same problems as the earlier hook design.

The Final Design and Production - In 1913, Sundback revised and introduced a new model, which had interlocking oval scoops (instead of the previously used hooks) that could be joined together tightly by a slider in one movement or swoop. This final model is recognized as the modern zipper, which took many months to find success in the industrial market. Retailers, who were prone to sticking with traditional materials and design methods, were slow to purchase the product.  In the early stages of production, zippers were used exclusively for boots and tobacco pouches. During World War I, military and navy designers acquired zippers for flying suits and money belts, ultimately helping the reputation of the device’s durability.  It was B.F. Goodrich, (which used the product for boots and galoshes in the 1920’s) that gave the device the name zipper, after the sound, or “zip” that the slider created.

Originally, manufacturers produced metal zippers, which are effective when used for heavy weight or thick materials. These metal zippers were made in aluminum, nickel and brass and were eventually incorporated into every day wear, such as denim. Designers accelerated the success of zippers with even more materials, such as plastic zippers, which are soft, pliable and easy to maintain. Gradually, manufacturers saw the product’s selling ability and versatility, and zippers, now available in a variety of materials and designs like coils and colored metallic, finally achieved widespread success.