Monday, May 18, 2015

Holidays and Observances for May 18 2015

Accounting Day

Accounting Day is May 18! Accounting Day is designed for the accounting, finance and other related professionals. This is the ultimate networking and education event.

Let’s face it, for some unthinkable reason most of us avoid accountants like the plague, which is perfectly forgivable throughout the year, with one exception: Accounting Day. It may not be the most cheerful time of the year for those of us who still haven’t filed their tax returns, but this day is not about us.

No, this is the day we pick up the phone and call our accountants to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication. This is the day business owners spoil their bookkeepers with a petty cash lunch on the house, the self-employed shower their accountants with wine vouchers, the audited give their auditors a pat on the back, and European and American accountants put their differences aside and pay each other compliments on their accounting standards. Let us celebrate this joyous occasion by paying off our accountants’ fees and by making a phone call to say ‘Happy Accounting Day!’, because luckily for us, they’re tax-deductible.

The first Accounting Day was believed to be held in 1972. It's believed by some that the San Diego Chapter of the California Society of CPA's organized the event to interest young people in pursuing an accounting career. Others remember IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) as the original organizer. These early events were called "Accounting Career Days." In 1976, other professional organizations were invited to participate (see the Organizations link) and the event became known as simply "Accounting Day" with an overall change in format. Today, speakers of local and national prominence present a wide variety of seminars to participants of the event.

I Love Reese's Day

Today I found out the history of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups.

A popular chocolate cup filled with delicious peanut butter, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were created by a man named Harry Burnett (H.B.) Reese. Reese was born May 24, 1879 in Pennsylvania to a farming family. He married in 1900 and went on to have sixteen children. (Yes, 16!) By 1903, not surprisingly, he was struggling to support his growing family, so took on all manner of jobs from butcher to factory worker.

In 1917, Reese found an advertisement to work on a dairy farm owned by Milton S. Hershey, owner of the Hershey Chocolate Company, in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Though he didn’t know it at the time, taking the job would shape the rest of Reese’s future. He worked on the farm for several years and later began working in the company’s chocolate factory, where he became inspired by Hershey and set out to make his own chocolates.

Initially, Reese considered his chocolate venture to be a means of providing a little extra money for his family. He started creating confections in his basement, naming bars and candies after his many children. He used fresh ingredients for his candy creations, along with a large quantity of Hershey’s chocolate.

In the 1920s, Reese’s basement-born enterprise was doing much better than expected, with the candies selling successfully to the local market. He decided to take the business even more seriously and set up the H.B. Reese Candy Company. In 1928, Reese also started selling chocolate and peanut butter confections he simply called peanut butter cups or “penny cups” as they cost just one penny each at the time. They were so successful that Reese was able to sell five-pound boxes of the cups to local retailers for their candy displays.

Reese was soon able to quit his job at the Hershey factory to concentrate on his own business. He even built a 100,000 square foot factory on Chocolate Avenue in Hershey, Pennsylvania, making a wide assortment of candies including raisin clusters and chocolate covered dates. However, during World War II, Reese was forced to abandon his other projects due to scarcity of supplies and economic hardship. He chose to focus solely on his peanut butter cups, which were his most popular product, and the investment paid off.

Unfortunately, as his cups were growing rapidly in popularity, Reese died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1956, just a few days before his 77th birthday. Seven years later, six of Reese’s sons decided to sell the family business. The Hershey’s Chocolate Company, that had inspired Reese, purchased the H.B. Reese Candy Company for $23.5 million in 1963 with H.B. Reese’s children getting roughly a five percent share in the Hershey Company (which is today worth about $20B, 5% of which is $1B).

Reese’s Cups continued to prosper under Hershey’s. There have been dozens of variations on the candy, including “big cups,” miniatures, and minis, as well as dark chocolate, white chocolate, caramel, marshmallow, and hazelnut cream flavours. Other variations include Reese’s cookies, Reese’s Pieces, and Reese’s Puffs Cereal (of the “It’s Reese’s for breakfast!” fame—promoting “healthy” breakfast options for children everywhere).

  • Contrary to popular belief, George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter.  The earliest known people to make such a paste out of peanuts were the Ancient Incas around 1000 BC.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are most popular in America. In Australia, they can only be found in specialty candy stores that sell other American candy. Recently, Hershey’s products were made available in Tesco stores across the UK.
  • The cups are a recent sensation in Japan, where they were previously only available on U.S. Army bases. Hershey began selling its products in Seiyu, the Japanese branch of WalMart, where Reese’s cups have now become wildly popular. The cups are the top selling chocolate in Seiyu, selling 1.7 times more than the runner-up (KitKat minis).
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups sold overseas have just one difference from those sold in the U.S.- they don’t contain a type of preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ. The preservative isn’t even approved for use in Japan. The controversy surrounding the compound is that in doses above .02% (the FDA allowed concentration in food), it has been shown to damage DNA and cause the precursor to stomach tumors, among other issues.  However, studies seem to indicate at the allowable levels found in various food items, like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, there shouldn’t be any adverse effects.
  • Milton Hershey was said to keep a stash of peanut butter cups in his desk. He saw Reese as a customer rather than a rival because Reese used Hershey’s chocolate for his peanut butter cups. Reese is buried in the Hershey Cemetery just meters away from Milton Hershey’s grave.
  • Reese’s makes so many peanut butter cups each year that it could feed one cup to every person in the USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, China, Africa, and India with its annual production.
  • May 18 is the official “I Love Reese’s” Day. It was established after nearly 40,000 fans joined a campaign page on Facebook asking for their favourite candy to have its own special day.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are one of the most popular candies sold during the Halloween season, ranking behind candy corn and Snickers. (KitKats and M&Ms round out the top 5).
  • The cups are available in different shapes during different holidays, including a heart for Valentine’s Day and pumpkins for Halloween. For the release of The Dark Knight in 2008, Reese’s even came out with a limited edition cup in the shape of the Batman logo.
  • Though it’s certainly a treat, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups also contain a modicum of positive health benefits to go along with the negative: depending on the size, they contain roughly 5 grams of protein and also have some iron and calcium.
  • If you’re looking for a more in-depth overview of the History of Reese’s than is appropriate for an article like this, Andrew R. Reese, the grandson of H.B. Reese, has written a book titled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: The Untold Story. The book was published in 2008 and contains details of Reese’s life and the invention of the peanut butter cup.
The candy is now available in many countries around the world and enjoyed by millions of people every year. Starting from its humble beginnings in the basement of a determined entrepreneur just looking for a way to support his enormous family, it’s now an extremely popular candy, counted among the top ten favorite chocolate treats in the U.S.

International Museum Day

International Museum Day (IMD) is a celebration that held every year on or around 18 May, coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). The event highlights a specific theme that changes every year and that is at the heart of the international museum community’s preoccupations.

The International Museum Day provides the opportunity for museum professionals to meet the public and alert them as to the challenges that museums face. Indeed, following the definition of museums provided by ICOM, a museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment. International Museum Day therefore serves as a platform to raise public awareness on the role museums play in the development of society today, on an international level.

Each year, all museums in the world are invited to participate in IMD to promote the role of museums around in the world, creating unique, enjoyable and free activities around a theme discussed within the ICOM community for this special day. Since its creation in 1977, International Museum Day has gained increasing attention. In 2009, International Museum Day attracted the participation of 20,000 museums hosting events in more than 90 countries. In 2010, 98 countries participated in the celebration, with 100 in 2011, and 30,000 museums in 129 countries in 2012. In 2011, the official IMD poster was translated into 37 languages. In 2012, this number jumped by one to 38.

National Cheese Soufflé Day

Do we seem a little puffed up today? It's not without reason - May 18 is National Cheese Soufflé Day!!

Souffle - A French word which literally means "puffed up," is a culinary term in both French and English (and used in many other languages) for a light, frothy dish, just stiff enough to hold its shape, and which may be savory or sweet, hot or cold. The basic hot souffle has as its starting point a roux--a cooked mixture of flour and butter...This type of souffle was a French invention of the late 18th century. Beauvilliers was making souffles possibly as early as 1782 (though he did not publish his L'Art du cusinier until 1814). Recipes for various kinds appear in Louis Ude's The French Cook of 1813, a work which promises a "new method of giving good and extremely cheap fashionable suppers at routs and soirees. Later, in 1841, Careme's Patissier Royal Parisien goes into great detail on the technique of making souffles, from which it is clear that cooks had been having much trouble with souffles that collapsed. The dish acquired a reputation for difficulty and proneness to accidents which it does not really deserve...There are some Ukranian and Russian dishes of the hot souffle type, independently evolved and slightly different in composition.

There's a reason soufflés are so often played for laughs in film and television. They're temperamental little suckers, prone to falling flat as a result of temperature shifts and excess vibrations.

Soufflés also take a goodly chunk of time to make, so if they're desired for dessert, diners are often asked to place their orders along with the main courses.

But a classic cheese soufflé can be a showstopping main course for an at-home dinner party or holiday event - with plenty of careful attention paid to timing. The base can be made and refrigerated ahead of time, but once baked, it's best served steaming hot from the oven. It will deflate a tiny bit on the table, but still earn gasps from guests.

National No Dirty Dishes Day

Piles of dirty dishes, endless scrubbing, and careful storing in cabinets: This is what we do every day. Washing up is the mother of all chores which we love to hate. National No Dirty Dishes Day helps relieve the pain and resentment we all feel towards this daily obligation. It brings 24 dish-washing-free hours during which not a single dish or other eating utensil may be dirtied. Putting off the chore until tomorrow is not the point; eliminating it altogether and enjoying a sponge- and detergent-free day is!

The celebration of this day is having no dirty dishes in the sink, in the dishwasher, under the bed or out in the yard by the grill either. This is a day where we celebrate not having any dirty dishes. Now this day is not intended for you to pile them up until tomorrow. No way! It's intended for you to catch up on all the dishes in the house and that's scattered all over the place. You know, all those coffee cups that's sitting in the garage where the hubby likes to work on the truck at. You know under the bed where the kids like to slide the plate after they finish eating those cookies. You know beside the grill outside when you had your last BBQ cookout. Lets see... when was that?  Around 3 weeks ago?!!  Yes we all know that's how real life really is and today is the day to have all the family do a ground search and bring them all inside so they can be washed up and put away in the cabinets.

National No Dirty Dishes Day also means you have permission to use those paper plates! Yipppp eeeee!  Use disposable plates, cups and silverware for all meals. Choose snacks to snack on that don't require plates such as bagged snacks like chips. Or celebrate this day by taking the family out to eat for all three meals and avoid eating at home all together. Wow what a treat that would be!

Mother Whistler Day

Whistler’s Mother is a painting done by James McNeill Whistler. IT’s actually called Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1. It was done by an American artist but resides in France. It’s kind of a somber painting with a overwhelming sense of the proper and staid. Not a whole lot of nurturing motherhood emanating from the painting but something intriguing nonetheless. I particularly like the curtains as they have so much detail and life. The severe protestant look of the woman is contrasted by the beauty and textures around her.

According to Yahoo News, today isn’t a day celebrating Whistler’s Mother at all, but rather Mother’s Whistlers is a day to celebrate anyone who can whistle.

Whistling is the production of sound by means of carefully controlling a stream of air flowing through a small hole. Whistling can be achieved by creating a small opening with one's lips and then blowing or sucking air through the hole. The air is moderated by the lips, tongue, teeth or fingers (placed over the mouth) to create turbulence, and the mouth acts as a resonant chamber to enhance the resulting sound by acting as a type of Helmholtz resonator. Whistling can also be produced by blowing air through enclosed, cupped hands or through an external instrument, such as a whistle or even a blade of grass or leaf.

In many cultures, whistling or making whistling noises at night is thought to attract bad luck, bad things, or evil spirits.

In the UK there is a superstitious belief in the "Seven Whistlers" which are seven mysterious birds or spirits who call out to foretell death or a great calamity. In the 19th century, large groups of coal miners were known to have refused to enter the mines for one day after hearing this spectral whistling. The Seven Whistlers have been mentioned in literature such as The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, as bearing an omen of death. William Wordsworth included fear of the Seven Whistlers in his poem, "Though Narrow Be That Old Man's Cares". The superstition has been reported in the Midland Counties of England but also in Lancashire, Essex, Kent, and even in other places such as North Wales and Portugal.

In Russian and other Slavic cultures (also in Romania and the Baltic states), whistling indoors is superstitiously believed to bring poverty ("whistling money away"), whereas whistling outdoors is considered normal. In Estonia it is also widely believed that whistling indoors may bring bad luck and therefore set the house on fire.

Whistling on board a sailing ship is thought to encourage the wind strength to increase. This is regularly alluded to in the Aubrey-Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian.

Visit Your Relatives Day

Today is Visit Your Relatives Day! In today's fast paced lifestyle, it is easy to lose touch with the people you care about. Sometimes you only get to see relatives around the holidays or if they live really far away, you may not get to see them at all.

There is a special connection that binds family members together. They provide an unyielding support system to get you through the hardest of times and they are there to celebrate and create memories during important life milestones. Either way, we need our families and they need us.

To celebrate Visit Your Relatives Day, stop by and say hello to family members that you don’t get to see that often. Send them an ecard, call them, or better yet, host a family reunion! The older generations of your family will be so proud of you for bringing everyone together and starting a new family tradition.

World AIDS Vaccine Day

World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, is observed annually on May 18. HIV vaccine advocates mark the day by promoting the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. They acknowledge and thank the thousands of volunteers, community members, health professionals, supporters and scientists who are working together to find a safe and effective AIDS vaccine and urge the international community to recognize the importance of investing in new technologies as a critical element of a comprehensive response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The concept of World AIDS Vaccine Day is rooted in a May 18, 1997 commencement speech at Morgan State University made by then-President Bill Clinton. Clinton challenged the world to set new goals in the emerging age of science and technology and develop an AIDS vaccine within the next decade stating, “Only a truly effective, preventive HIV vaccine can limit and eventually eliminate the threat of AIDS.”

The first World AIDS Vaccine Day was observed on May 18, 1998 to commemorate the anniversary of Clinton’s speech, and the tradition continues today. Each year communities around the globe hold a variety of activities on World AIDS Vaccine Day to raise awareness for AIDS vaccines, educate communities about HIV prevention and research for an AIDS vaccine and bring attention to the ways in which ordinary people can be a part of the international effort to stem the pandemic.