Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Holidays and Observances for June 9 2015

Donald Duck Day

“One of the greatest satisfactions in our work here at the studio is the warm relationship that exists within our cartoon family. Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, and the whole gang have always been a lot of fun to work with. But like many large families, we have a problem child. You're right, it's Donald Duck.” ―Walt Disney
Donald Duck (full name first revealed as Donald Fauntleroy Duck in Donald Gets Drafted) is a character created by Walt Disney. He is a white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He usually wears a sailor shirt, cap, and a red or black bow tie, but no trousers at all. He is presented as a best friend of Mickey Mouse, who he sometimes envys.

Known for having a fiery temper, humorous voice and mannerisms, and having appeared in cartoons, films, video games, comic stories, and more, Donald is currently one of the most iconic Disney characters of all time, as well as among the most popular, arguably second, only to Mickey Mouse himself.

Donald's most famous personality trait is his uncontrollable temper.  This has gotten him into some tight spots with his relationship with Daisy, as she is easily annoyed by his constant anger issues. However, things always turn out right in the end. Donald's jealousy towards Mickey's popularity sometimes gets in the way of their friendship and causes him to almost be a villain at times because of his angry temper. Although Donald can be loud, rude and selfish, he is extremely loyal and will do anything to help a friend in need. Donald also has an obsession over being Disney's most famous and popular star and also obsessed with money, treasure, gold, etc., which he gets from his Uncle Scrooge, and can sometimes be found participating in a get-rich-quick scheme.

Donald's aggressive nature is a double-edged sword however, and while it at times is a hindrance and even a handicap for him, it has also helped him in times of need. When faced against a threat of some kind, Donald may get frightened and even intimidated (mostly by his nemesis Pete), but rather than getting scared, he gets mad and has taken up fights with ghosts, sharks, mountain goats and even the forces of nature. And, more often than not, Donald has come out on top.

In spite of the negativity, Donald is a generally easy going person. Most of his cartoons start with Donald relaxing, enjoying an activity, or simply not having a care in the world until something or someone comes along and ruins it, resulting in the duck exploding in rage. When not dealing with his scenes, Donald can often be found snoozing in his hammock. Donald Duck's girlfriend Daisy Duck's voice is much easier to understand unlike Donald's first girlfriend Donna Duck who sounded a lot like Donald and she lost her temper a lot just like Donald.

Donald has also been shown to be a bit of a show-off (especially towards his nephews). He likes to brag, especially when he is very skilled at something. This has a tendency to get him into trouble, however, as he also tends to get in over his head. In spite of their rivalries, Donald shares a very loving relationship with his nephews and treats them as his own children. They obviously love their "Unca Donald" with a particular scene in the first episode of DuckTales showcasing them having a heartfelt goodbye moment as Donald prepares to leave for the navy.

Among his personality traits is his stubbornness and commitment. Even though Donald at times can be lazy, and he has stated many times that his favorite place is in the hammock, once he has committed to something he goes in for it 100%, sometimes going to extreme measures to reach his goal. It has been shown several times that Donald is rather sensitive/embarrassed about his voice and often begins an uproar if someone notes their difficulties in understanding it.

Donald has a few memorable phrases that he occasionally comes out with in given situations. "What's the big idea?" is a common one, which Donald usually says when stumbling across other characters in the midst of planning some sort of retaliation or prank, and sometimes when certain things do not go as planned or do not work properly. "Aw, phooey!" is another memorable saying Donald makes, usually after giving up on a particular action or event. "So!" is Donald's usual declaration when confronting someone (or something) antagonizing him. Another popular phrase Donald says, in particular to Daisy, is "Hiya, toots!". "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!" is yet another common phrase Donald uses, usually muttered to himself when he's very excited about something.

Rivalry with Mickey Mouse
Throughout his career, Donald has shown that he's jealous of Mickey and wants his job as Disney's greatest star. In the early Disney shorts, Mickey and Donald were partners (except for The Band Concert, Magician Mickey and near the end of Symphony Hour), but by the time The Mickey Mouse Club aired on television, it was shown that Donald always wanted the spotlight. One animated short that rivaled the famous Mickey Mouse song was showing Huey, Dewey, and Louie as Boy Scouts and Donald as their Scoutmaster at a cliff near a remote forest and Donald leads them in a song mirroring the Mouseketeers theme "D-O-N-A-L-D D-U-C-K-! Donald Duck!" The rivalry would cause Donald some problems, in the 1988 TV special Mickey's 60th Birthday, where Mickey is cursed by a sorcerer to become unnoticed, the world believes Mickey to be kidnapped. Donald Duck is then arrested for the kidnapping of Mickey, as he is considered to be the chief suspect, due to their rivalry. However, Donald did later get the charges dismissed, due to lack of evidence.

Walt Disney, in his Wonderful World of Color, would sometimes make reference to the rivalry. Walt, one time, had presented Donald with a gigantic birthday cake and commented how it was "even bigger than Mickey's", which pleased Donald. The clip was rebroadcast in November 1984 during a TV special honoring Donald's 50th birthday.

The rivalry between Mickey and Donald has also been featured in House of Mouse. It was shown that Donald wanted to be the Club's founder and wanted to change the club's name from House of Mouse to House of Duck. However, in later episodes, Donald accepted that Mickey was the founder and worked with Mickey as a partner to make the club profitable and successful.

Mickey Mouse has failed to realize how much Donald does not like him at times, and always counts him as one of his best friends. Despite the rivalry, Donald seems to be an honest friend of Mickey's, and will be faithful to him in tough situations, such as working with Mickey and Goofy as a team akin to the Three Musketeers. In the Kingdom Hearts games, Donald is quite loyal to Mickey, even briefly leaving Sora to follow King Mickey's orders.

“Donald, I can't understand a word ya say.” ―Mickey[src]
Donald's voice, one of the most identifiable voices in all of animation, was performed by voice actor Clarence "Ducky" Nash up until his death in 1985. It was largely this semi-intelligible speech that would cement Donald's image into audiences' minds and help fuel both Donald's and Nash's rise to stardom. Since 1985, Donald has been voiced by Tony Anselmo, who was trained by Nash for the role.

His form of speech would be duplicated for characters such as his girlfriend, Daisy Duck and his newphews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. However, over the years, these characters were given more distinct voices of their own, most likely to keep Donald's voice a unique aspect to his character.

As a running gag in most of Donald's appearances, mostly in animation, the other characters around him (especially Mickey) prove to have difficulties understanding the duck, especially when he's upset or in a panic.
“Who's got the sweetest disposition?One Guess. Guess Who?Who never never starts an argument?Who never shows a bit of temperment?Who's never wrong, but always right?Who'd never dream of starting a fight?Who gets stuck with all the bad luck?No one but Donald Duck!”―Theme Song to most of Donald's Cartoons
According to Leonard Maltin in his introduction to The Chronological Donald - Volume 1, Donald was created by Walt Disney when he heard Clarence Nash doing his "duck" voice while reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Mickey Mouse had lost some of his edge since becoming a role model for children and Disney wanted a character that could portray some of the more negative character traits he could no longer bestow on Mickey.

Donald first appeared in the Silly Symphonies cartoon The Wise Little Hen on June 9, 1934, though he is mentioned in a 1931 Disney storybook. Donald's appearance in the cartoon, as created by animator Dick Lundy, is similar to his modern look, the feather and beak colors are the same, as is the blue sailor shirt and hat, but his features are more elongated, his body plumper, and his feet bigger. Donald's personality is not developed either; in the short, he only fills the role of the unhelpful friend from the original story.

Bert Gillett, director of The Wise Little Hen, brought Donald back in his Mickey Mouse cartoon, The Orphan's Benefit on August 11, 1934. Donald is one of a number of characters who are giving performances in a benefit for Mickey's Orphans. Donald's act is to recite the poems Mary Had a Little Lamb and Little Boy Blue, but every time he tries, the mischievous orphans eat his specially made pie, leading the duck to fly into a squawking fit of anger. This explosive personality would remain with Donald for decades to come.

Donald continued to be a hit with audiences. The character began appearing in most Mickey Mouse cartoons as a regular member of the ensemble with Mickey, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Pluto. Cartoons from this period, such as the 1935 cartoon The Band Concert — in which Donald repeatedly disrupts the Mickey Mouse Orchestra's rendition of The William Tell Overture by playing Turkey in the Straw — are regularly hailed by critics as exemplary films and classics of animation. Animator Ben Sharpsteen also minted the classic Mickey, Donald, and Goofy comedy in 1935, with the cartoon Mickey's Service Station.

Donald was redesigned in 1936 to be a bit fuller, rounder, and cuter. He also began starring in solo cartoons, the first of these being Don Donald, released on January 9, 1937. This short also introduced Donald's long-time love interest, Daisy Duck (here called "Donna Duck"). Donald's nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, would make their first animated appearance a year later in the 1938 film, Donald's Nephews, directed by Jack King (they had earlier been introduced in the Donald Duck comic strip).

National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day

So many people combine Strawberries and Rhubarb.  While it is extremely popular causing Rhubarb to also be called the "pie plant” there are two aspects I am compelled to disclose:
  1. I like Rhubarb (but I'll try to write impartially about this topics)
  2. Rhubarb is actually a vegetable.  Yes, it is true! This makes Strawberry Rhubarb Pie one of the rare (tasty) pies that combine fruits and vegetables.
Rhubarb is a very old plant. Rhubarb, botanically-known as Rheum rhabarbarum, comes from a combination of the Greek word Rha for the Volga River, and the Latin word barbarum, for the region of the Rha River inhabited by non-Romans. The popular edible species, Rheum rhaponticum, originated most likely in Mongolia or Siberia. It was introduced to Europe by Italian botanist Prosper Alpinus in 1608 as a substitute for Chinese Rhubarb whose roots were used medicinally.

The Italian botanist Prosper Alpinus introduced the more popular edible species to Europe in 1608. People did not recognize it as a food plant and cultivate it as such until 1750 in Germany.  Ben Franklin is credited for bringing rhubarb seeds to the North American east coast in 1772. Europeans also introduced rhubarb first to the New England region in the 1820s where it became a popular ingredient for pastry and pie fillings. Sometime in the nineteenth century it made its way south and became very popular among southerners. This sweet and tangy treat was first made popular during the early 1800's, about 30 years after Benjamin Franklin introduced rhubarb, nicknamed "pieplant," to the East Coast.  In the late 1800's, rhubarb was brought to Alaska by the Russians and used as an effective counter-agent for scurvy. By the mid-1900s, its popularity was firmly entrenched in the New England states where it was used as pastry and pie fillings and also to make homemade wine. 
Few people realize that rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but with a little sugar, it pairs perfectly with strawberries, which are in season and ready for picking.  Rhubarb pie is a pie which is particularly popular in those areas where the rhubarb plant is commonly cultivated, including Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the New England and Upper Midwestern regions of the United States. Besides diced rhubarb, it almost always contains a large amount of sugar to balance the intense tartness of the plant. Rhubarb pie is often eaten together with ice cream. In Canada and the United States, strawberry rhubarb pie is a popular late-spring pie, generally combining the first strawberries of the season with the last of the rhubarb. 

June 9 is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day.  What better way to celebrate the onset of summer than to make this sweet and tangy treat.  Don't worry...you don't have to save any for me...just enjoy....

World Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APS) Day

June 9, is World APS Day. We’d like to help bring more attention & awareness to this “rare” autoimmune disease.

What is Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APS)? APS is associated with recurrent clotting events (thrombosis) including premature stroke, repeated miscarriages, phlebitis, venous thrombosis (clot in the vein) and pulmonary thromboembolism (blockage of an artery found in the lung due to a clot that has traveled from a vein). It is also associated with low platelet or blood elements that prevent bleeding. Recently, however, even more disease states have been linked with APL including premature heart attack, migraine headaches, various cardiac valvular abnormalities, skin lesions, abnormal movement/chorea, diseases that mimic multiple sclerosis, vascular diseases of the eye that can lead to visual loss and blindness.

APS is an autoimmune disorder in which the body recognizes certain normal components of blood and/or cell membranes as foreign substances and produces antibodies against them. There are two known forms of APS. APS may occur in people with systemic lupus erythematosus, other autoimmune disease, or in otherwise healthy individuals. Sadly, when most people hear about APS and it being referred to as autoimmune disease, they incorrectly confuse the terms autoimmune with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); or they think this is a form of cancer.

Women are more likely than men to be affected by APS. Some estimates say that 75% to 90% of those affected are women. For example, it has been estimated by some doctors that one third of all of young strokes (defined as under the age of 50) are due to APS.

In obstetrics it is estimated by some doctors that up to 25% of all women with 2 or more spontaneous miscarriages have APS. Some doctors believe that 1 in 5 of all Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pulmonary Embolism (PE), and even worse, amputations are due to APS. And it is believed that 40-50% of patients with Lupus also have APS. Still, with these statistics, APS rarely is discussed as a women’s health issue and is misdiagnosed often. Therefore the total number of people affected and true statistics are unknown really.

APS is also referred to as APLS or APLA in the United States and Hughes Syndrome or Sticky Blood in the UK.

World Pet Memorial Day

World Pet Memorial Day is June 9. It’s a day to celebrate and remember the lives of all the pets we have come into contact with. Ponder the reasons we choose to bring animals into our lives, and the joy they bring!

Why do we adopt animals? Is it because they’re furry and cute? Or maybe it’s because they provide us with comfort and loyalty when no human can. Think back to your childhood pet; what is your favorite memory? Animals accompanied you on your wildest youthful adventures, provided you with moral support during long study sessions in college, and watched over your own children as they grew up. Where would we be without animals?

Although they are often categorized as “man’s best friend,” dogs have no gender bias! Maybe this is part of their appeal; pets don’t discriminate or judge. Whoever is there with a willing hand to pet or a plate of food gains their complete attention. Some people prefer the company of animals to that of humans, mainly for that reason.

Pets have also been proven to have positive effects on human mood and health. Doesn’t petting a warm, purring cat, or watching a clumsy puppy frolic cheer you up? When we’re at our lowest, dealing with human problems, animals can brighten our day. Videos of crazy cat antics and websites chock full of cute animal photos are abundant for a reason – they make people happy.

In a world full of ups and downs, positive and negative experiences, animals are always there with a smile. Just like your dog is always waiting at the door when you come home from work, pets will always be there for you. They can also provide an outlet for frustration, melting our cares away; a walk with your dog can soothe nerves, and cats always enjoy a relaxing catnap!

In return for all their mood-boosting benefits, it’s only fair that you provide your pet with quality care as well. Part of being a responsible pet parent is caring for your pet’s health, both physical and mental. Schedule regular checkups with your veterinarian to ensure your pet’s continuing good health. Feeding them a healthy diet with daily exercise is also important.

Pets have many benefits; they can improve your mood, help you release stress, and provide judge-free comfort when you’re in need. On June 9, National World Pet Memorial Day, remember all the animals that have touched your life.

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