Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Holidays and Observances for June 16 2015


James Joyce called Dublin the "center of paralysis," and complained in a letter:
"How sick, sick, sick I am of Dublin! It is the city of failure, of rancor and of unhappiness. I long to be out of it." (22 August 1909)
He spent the last thirty years of his life in exile, settling for periods in Trieste, Rome, Zurich, Paris—anywhere but Dublin.

It is a much remarked-upon irony that his masterpiece Ulysses is not only set in Dublin, but never allows us to forget it. The novel recounts the hour-by-hour events of one day in Dublin—June 16, 1904—as an ordinary Dubliner, Leopold Bloom, wends his way through the urban landscape, the odyssey of a modern-day Ulysses.

Streets, shops, pubs, churches, bridges—something of Dublin pops up on nearly every page. The city is always in our peripheral vision no matter how notoriously impenetrable Joyce's prose becomes.

Bloomsday—June 16th—is an annual celebration among Joyce fans throughout the world, from Fort Lauderdale to Melbourne. It is celebrated in at least sixty countries worldwide, but nowhere so imaginatively, of course, as in Dublin. There the events of Leopold Bloom's day are reenacted by anyone who cares to participate, and his itinerary is followed all across Dublin.

At lunchtime it's traditional to stop off for a glass of burgundy and a Gorgonzola sandwich at Davy Byrne's Pub on Duke Street, just as Bloom did. In the afternoon the Ormond Hotel is the spot for an afternoon pint, where Bloom was tempted by the barmaids in the Sirens chapter.

The years since 1904 have made an exact replication of Bloom's route impossible—Bloom's home at 7 Eccles Street no longer exists and the red-light district ("Nighttown"), in which the hallucinatory Circe chapter takes place, has been leveled; only the street pattern remains.

Bloomsday celebrations also feature readings of Ulysses, James Joyce lookalike contests, various other semi-literary activities, and a good excuse for hoisting a few Guinnesses. In the eyes of many, it's easier and a lot more fun than trying to work your way through Ulysses.

Fresh Veggie Day

Fresh Veggie Day is celebrated on June 16th of each year.  The staff at National Whatever Day was unable to discover the origin of Fresh Veggie Day.  However, that is no excuse to not enjoy fresh veggies today!

The noun vegetable means an edible plant or part of a plant, but usually excludes seeds and most sweet fruit.  This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant.

Some vegetables can be consumed raw, some may be eaten cooked, and some must be cooked in order to be edible.  Vegetables are most often cooked in savory or salty dishes.  However, a few vegetables are often used in desserts and other sweet dishes, such as rhubarb pie and carrot cake.  A number of processed food items available on the market contain vegetable ingredients and can be referred to as “vegetable derived” products.  These products may or may not maintain the nutritional integrity of the vegetable used to produce them.  Examples of vegetable-derived products are ketchup, tomato sauce, and vegetable oils.

Vegetables are eaten in a variety of ways, as part of main meals and as snacks.  The nutritional content of vegetables varies considerably, though generally they contain little protein or fat, and varying proportions of vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin B6, provitamins, dietary minerals and carbohydrates.  Vegetables contain a great variety of other phytochemicals, some of which have been claimed to have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anticarcinogenic properties.  Some vegetables also contain fiber, important for gastrointestinal function.  Vegetables contain important nutrients necessary for healthy hair and skin as well.  A person who refrains from dairy and meat products, and eats only plants (including vegetables) is known as a vegan.

However, vegetables often also contain toxins and antinutrients such as a-solanine, a-chaconine, enzyme inhibitors (of cholinesterase, protease, amylase, etc.), cyanide and cyanide precursors, oxalic acid, and more.  Depending on the concentration, such compounds may reduce the edibility, nutritional value, and health benefits of dietary vegetables.  Cooking and/or other processing may be necessary to eliminate or reduce them.

Diets containing recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables may help lower the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.  These may also protect against some cancers and decrease bone loss.  The potassium provided by both fruits and vegetables may hep prevent the formation of kidney stones.

International Day of the African Child

International Day of the African Child takes place on June 16. The Day of the African Child has been celebrated every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organisation of African Unity. It honors those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 on that day. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.

In Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young students were shot, the most famous of which being Hector Peterson. More than a hundred people were killed in the protests of the following two weeks, and more than a thousand were injured.

The theme of this year's Day of the African Child - Right to participate: Let Children be seen and heard -  is an excellent one.

Too often the young are not able to participate and their voices are not heard. In many emergencies they are portrayed as the striking but mute victims. Some countries are still not listening to them and laying good foundations for the world they will inherit. Not only are there too few opportunities for children and young people to actively participate in civic society, the awful truth is that far too many are silenced before they even have a chance of life.

In West and Central Africa two out ten children do not reach the age of 5.    Much more needs to be done. We need to make sure that communities and families are better resourced to save children and give them lives where their potential is fulfilled.

Today we are releasing a publication called 'Drops of Life'. Based on experience in this region, it demonstrates children will have more of a chance of surviving if they get Vitamin A.  The facts are dramatic and conclusive. The report concludes that of all the challenges to reducing child mortality in this region, preventing Vitamin A deficiency is one that can be overcome.

On this Day let us think about the voices of the children of Africa, and think about how we can prevent many more being lost.

Ladies' Initiated in Baseball Day

The year was 1883.

The team was the New York Gothams. (The team that later became the NY Giants.)

The idea? Let's attract more women to watch baseball games—and hopefully they will become fans, so we can sell more tickets to games, and fill the grandstands.

In order to lure women to baseball, the Gothams' owner declared this date in 1883 Ladies' Day, and all women were allowed in to the game for free. It wasn't one of those strings-attached offers; you didn't have to pay for one ticket to get one ticket free, for example. That meant that women could go to the game for free either alone or in groups of women, rather than having to be escorted by a man.

And, guess what? It worked so well that there were Ladies' Days in many different ball parks all over the U.S., for about 100 years! Women really did become fans who would pay for tickets all through the season.

I don't know if umpire Bill Carpenter would think that Ladies' Day was such a good idea. Apparently the Washington Senators team had a Ladies' Day in 1897, and about 1,000 women went to the game. One of the players, “Win” Mercer, was very popular with women fans, and when he got into an argument with the umpire and was thrown out of a game, many of those women stormed the field. They either chased him all over the field, threatening him with their parasols, as one account would have us believe, or they shoved Carpenter to the ground and ripped his clothing, as another story said. Either way, this extraordinary event is called the Ladies' Day Riot.

To celebrate the day, perhaps you can attend a baseball game—whether you are male or female, adult or kid. Just don't forget your parasol!

Morticians Day

It is difficult to imagine one working in the funerals or cemeteries but it true there are many who do this work to earn there living and to salute them for the work they do the World celebrates Mortician s Day.

This is an event which is celebrated every year on the 16th of June to mark especially for the honor of all morticians and the others who work in the funerals or cemeteries.

In more casual words it can be termed as- people who work in the "Death Industry." Horrifying to the ears isn't it but yes it is true. But in today's time it is not as horrifying as it sounds. Today it has been taken up more likely as a full fledged profession .or business. Small families run it as their family businesses. When ever a death takes place in a family then the grieving family members contact these people who are responsible for making all the arrangements that is from the point of what kind of arrangements till the time of the burial everything. Even many organizations are coming up with this idea.

Morticians have an interesting past that dates back to the 18th century where if a person died then his/her family had to contact the College of Arms which was then responsible for managing out the funeral. It is said that the first mortician was William Russel who was a coffin maker who is said to have come up with this idea of running business in 1688. Though there were a lot of revolts against it but it just kept on growing. The responsibilities of morticians kept on gradually growing that included more intensive involvement of funeral services from the beginning to the very end that is from carrying the funeral from the Church to the graveyard.

As time caught its speed also this turned out to be more professional and a money making business. Morticians Day is celebrated across countries like USA, England, Australia etc. The life of a mortician is very complicated, tiresome yet rewarding. People go to the morticians at the moment when they their emotions are quite out of control and in need of comfort of the soul and mind.

Many a times it happens that morticians also play the part of a psychologist. It is when somebody loses a loved one they tend to go to the funeral home and let their emotions in the form of tears flow freely. A mortician not only does the funeral arrangements but also helps people in consoling and making them realize that everything would be fine.

Being a mortician is quite similar to that being a priest many a times because the he does both the work efficiently. Not many people are aware of the fact that morticians are said to be insensitive and also cold blooded when they are actually the ones who many a times help in rejuvenating oneself. It is not easy for a mortician to get a good night sleep which they hardly get.

Thousands of people across the world do the kind of work which many can't even imagine to. It is difficult for the others and even more difficult for the morticians for the kind of work they do regardless that this is their normal routine work. So one should appreciate the work they do and make them feel good and special as well since this is one day that celebrated only and only for them.

National Fudge Day

Today is National Fudge Day! Fudge is a delicious confection made with sugar, milk, butter, and your favorite flavoring. Some of the most popular varieties include chocolate, peanut butter, maple, caramel, peppermint, and marshmallow.

Fudge is a drier version of fondant,* made by boiling sugar in milk to the soft-ball stage and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy texture. Fudge is an American invention: Some food historians peg the date to February 14, 1886, but the exact origin and inventor are disputed. Most stories claim that the first batch of fudge resulted from an accident with a bungled (“fudged”) batch of caramels, when the sugar was allowed to recrystallize; hence the name from the interjection, “Oh fudge!”

*An icing made of sugar syrup and glucose, or sugar, water and cream of tartar, cooked to the soft-ball stage and then kneaded to a smooth, soft paste. The paste can be colored or flavored and used as a center for chocolates or as an icing for cakes—it is especially popular as a covering for wedding cakes—and petit fours.

One of the first documentations of fudge is in a letter written by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, then a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She wrote that a schoolmate’s cousin made fudge in Baltimore in 1886 and sold it for 40 cents a pound. She obtained the recipe, and in 1888, made 30 pounds of it for the Vassar Senior Auction. Word of the confection spread to other women’s colleges. Wellesley and Smith developed their own versions of this “original” fudge recipe.

The original fudge recipes were famously delicate: Precise measurements, cooking time and constant stirring were crucial for perfect fudge. The recipe looks simple—heat a mixture of sugar, butter and milk or cream to the soft-ball stage (224°-238°F), then beat it to a smooth, creamy consistency while it cools. But it is easy to undercook or overcook a batch (not every home cook had—or has—a candy thermometer) and to end up with “crystallized” fudge through insufficient stirring.

As a result, “foolproof” recipes were developed for the home cook that included corn syrup, which prevents crystallization and produces smooth fudge. Later recipes substituted sweetened condensed milk, marshmallow creme, or other ingredients for the milk/cream that were better guarantees of a perfect fudge texture. Of course, they didn't guarantee the same creamy taste as the original recipe. If you want the best-tasting fudge, forget the sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup and marshmallow cream and go for the original ingredients.

To celebrate National Fudge Day, pick up your favorite type of fudge at a local chocolate shop and share it with friends and family!