Friday, July 31, 2015

Holidays and Observances for July 31 2015

Mutt Day


In 2005 Mutt Day was created by Colleen Paige, Celebrity Pet Expert and Animal Welfare Expert.  The day which takes place on July 31 and December 2 each year is about celebrating mixed breed dogs - the mutt! Sadly, the largest number of dogs euthanized in animal shelters each year are unwanted, medium to large mixed breed dogs.

The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the plight of mixed breed dogs in shelters around the USA and to educate the public about the number of mixed breed dogs that are waiting to be given a loving and caring home.

Did you know that mixed breed dogs are usually healthier than their pedigree pals, they are generally better behaved and they live longer. And what's more they are every bit as capable as pure bred dogs and they are just as good at performing specialized duties, for example guiding the blind and bomb and drug sniffing.

It is so sad that millions of unwanted healthy mixed breed dogs are housed in shelters just waiting for that special new home so they can share their love with a kind family.

This December, on Mutt Day, Colleen Paige would like you visit your local shelter and find a new four-legged friend.  You can adopt a mixed breed dog or alternatively, please donate at least $5, or whatever you can afford to your local animal shelter - as they need all the financial help they can get to ensure these dogs have a comfortable and happy life!

There are other ways you can get involved to help your local animal shelter, for example, you can become a volunteer and walk a dog, or get your friends and family to donate food and other doggie supplies and treats.  You could even hold an event to raise funds and donate them to your local animal shelter - every dollar helps!

So ... get your thinking caps on and do what you can to support Mutt Day.

National Cotton Candy Day


National Cotton Candy Day is an annual celebration that falls on two days during the year December 7th and July 31st. On this unofficial holiday, Americans celebrate by paying tribute to this delicious confection made of sugar. Cotton candy, also known has candyfloss and fairy floss, is spun sugar with added coloring. First the sugar is melted, then brought back to a thin solid state. It is commonly sold at fairs, carnivals, festivals and the circus. This confection is usually served on a cardboard stick or comes enclosed in a plastic bag. The fluffy, cloud like candy is most commonly found in pink and blue.

The history behind National Cotton Candy Day seems to be a mystery. However, it is not a mystery where this melt-in-your mouth candy come from. Although, it was made before in the 1700s, cotton candy was expensive and timely to make. Then in 1897, William Morrison and John C. Warton invented the machine spun variety. In 1899 this invention was patented. Fairy Floss made its claim to fame, when it was introduced at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. Guest paid a whopping 25 cents for a bag for this big hit. It wasn't until 1920 that this treat renamed cotton candy.

National Cotton Candy Day is simple to celebrate. On July 31st, you'll probably be able to enjoy cotton candy at a fair, amusement park, or at boardwalk concessions. However, there aren't many fairs and carnivals within the United States during the month of December. If there are any events going on, by all means, go out and have a bag. The circus would be an excellent place to start. It is pretty easy to find this confection already premade and packaged in candy shops and grocery stores for a more modest celebration. What a special treat it would be for children to see it actually being made. Cotton candy machines can be rented for this special occasion.

National Jump for Jelly Beans Day


Every year on the 31st day of July falls a little known food holiday known as National Jump for Jelly Beans Day. Not to be confused with National Jellybean Day, which falls on April 22nd each year, this holiday presumably requests that lovers of the tiny, sweet, gummy candies work for their treats with an enthusiastic leap.

July 31 is indeed a popular day for food holidays, as two others fall on this very date: National Cotton Candy Day and National Raspberry Cake Day. Those who love sweet fruity flavors can push the envelope by celebrating all 3 of these holidays, and make this a day of true indulgence.

It is difficult to find information on the Internet regarding the origins of National Jump for Jelly Beans Day, just as it is for many of the more obscure food holidays. This holiday may have been started by makers of jelly beans, or by fans of the candies.

The jelly bean itself is thought to date back to biblical times with Turkish delight, although modern jelly beans are quite different than this ancient ancestor. Jelly beans as we now know them stemmed from Jordan almonds, as they are made by the same process of shaking a filling in a container of a syrup to coat. This process, which was invented in France in the 1600's, used to be done by hand but machines now generally perform the job.

While major celebrations of this holiday may be hard to find, you may see regional festivities or special promotions by jelly bean manufacturers. This holiday lends itself well to throwing a children's party, where young ones can enjoy jumping up and down and eating plenty of jelly beans.

National Raspberry Cake Day


National Raspberry Cake Day is observed on July 31. Raspberry pie is pie composed of raspberry filling or topping, usually in the form of either raspberry jam, actual raspberries themselves, or some combination thereof. Raspberries can be stewed or soaked in water prior to baking to prevent burning.

The raspberry or hindberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves. Raspberries are perennial. The name “raspberry” originally referred to the red-fruited European species Rubus idaeus, and is still often used to refer to just this particular species.

Raspberries are grown for the fresh fruit market and for commercial processing into individually quick frozen (IQF) fruit, purée, juice, or as dried fruit used in a variety of grocery products. Traditionally, raspberries were a mid-summer crop, but with new technology, cultivars, and transportation, they can now be obtained year-round. Raspberries need ample sun and water for optimal development. While moisture is essential, wet and heavy soils or excess irrigation can bring on Phytophthora root rot which is one of the most serious pest problems facing red raspberry. As a cultivated plant in moist temperate regions, it is easy to grow and has a tendency to spread unless pruned. Escaped raspberries frequently appear as garden weeds, spread by seeds found in bird droppings.

National Talk in an Elevator Day


Each year on the final Friday in July, the United States observes National Talk in the Elevator Day, an annual reminder of just how much time we spend waiting for and riding in these vertical people movers. While elevators are among the safest forms of public transportation, they’re also one of the most uncomfortable, and they can lead to some strange encounters. So in honor of the big day, which will be celebrated on July 25 this year, we decided to explore some of the oddest behavior seen in elevators and to find out just why these vehicles inspire such strange activities.

Awkward but Harmless Behavior
You don't have to be claustrophobic to feel tense when dealing with the forced closeness of elevator travel. According to Jodi R.R. Smith, author of The Etiquette Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Manners, (Sterling), elevators break down the careful boundaries we all create, especially in our professional lives. “In an elevator, especially a crowded one, we are well within other people’s bubbles. And occasionally we are even touching, shoulder to shoulder. This makes us here in the United States very uncomfortable.” Regular riders have come up with a host of coping methods to handle the daily interactions that can stretch the borders of normal social relations to the breaking point. Here, some of the most common avoidance techniques:
  • The smartphone escape: This move says, I’m so busy emailing I don’t have time to acknowledge other passengers.
  • The quick smile with barely any eye contact: Lets others know you see them, but tells them that if you wanted to talk, you would have said hello.
  • The ‘Don’t box me in’ stance: Give your fellow passengers their space and communicate with your body language that you expect the same courtesy.
  • The pointless comment: It could be about the weather (could it get any hotter?) or the day of the week (thank God it’s Friday!). The topic is irrelevant; this friendly gesture acknowledges that we’re all in this together.
  • The information overload: No one wants to be stuck with a chatty Cathy, but have some sympathy – fear of elevators is a common phobia, and some sufferers try to distract themselves by striking up a conversation. Of course the incessant talker may just be under the impression that she’s fascinating.
The Mirror Effect
Fun fact: Elevator companies first installed mirrors to distract people from thinking about their fear of the elevator crashing down. Instead of staring at a blank wall and worrying about impending doom, riders could focus on whether their hair looked okay or check for spinach in their teeth. These days, some folks view the presence of mirrors as a license totreat the elevator like their own personal grooming station.

When Careerbuilder.com asked American workers to share the weirdest behavior they had seen in an office elevator, respondents were only too happy to vent about inappropriate grooming. Corporate America has seen fellow travelers change a baby’s diaper; floss teeth; clip fingernails; and flash a rash and ask for a diagnosis while riding between floors.

Bizarre Behavior
Of course, not all tales of elevator annoyances are as harmless as watching a lipstick touchup. That same Careerbuilder.com survey cited a number of in-your-face instances of elevator misbehavior, including “pantsing” another passenger, fist fighting and even boogying for the duration of the ride.

Smith’s favorite tale of an awesomely bad elevator experience happened to a friend of hers, who was riding in a New York City lift with women speaking another language – one she happened to be fluent in. “The two women riding the elevator tore her apart,” says Smith. “When my friend got to her floor she turned and, in the same language, said that she had thought she actually looked pretty good that day. The women were shocked!”

Taking Charge of the Elevator Experience
While these instances are pretty extreme, it turns out that simply getting on an occupied elevator – and even waiting for the elevator to arrive – are among the least enjoyable moments of the day, according to the same survey. So do a little check-in to make sure you’re bringing your best manners to the elevator:
  • Do: Hold the elevator door when someone is rushing to catch it.
  • Don’t: Talk on your cell phone as if you are completely alone.
  • Do: Make sure to give others in the elevator their breathing room by automatically adjusting where you stand as others enter the elevator.
And, in honor of National Talk in the Elevator Day, take a chance and make a light connection with other riders and own your vertical commute. Smith, the etiquette expert, offers some tips to get you started:
  • If you're riding with a stranger, you could use the holiday as an ice breaker: “Good morning. Have you ever heard of National Talk in the Elevator Day?”
  • If you’re onboard with your boss: Keep it light and polite. A simple “Good morning” will do. If she makes eye contact and responds, you can ask, “Any big vacation plans coming up?”
  • If you’re sharing the car with your crush: Avoid work talk, avoid politics and avoid turning into an interrogator with rapid-fire questions. Try a simple flirt: Make eye contact, smile and look away. Keep the conversation positive and lively.  
And remember, don’t go too far. You’ll probably see these people in the elevator again very soon.

System Administrator Appreciation Day


Your network is secure, your computer is up and running, and your printer is jam-free. Why? Because you’ve got an awesome sysadmin (or maybe a whole IT department) keeping your business up and running. So say IT loud; say IT proud…

Friday, July 25, 2014, is the 15th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day. On this special international day, give your System Administrator something that shows that you truly appreciate their hard work and dedication. (All day Friday, 24 hours, your own local time-zone).

Let’s face it, System Administrators get no respect 364 days a year. This is the day that all fellow System Administrators across the globe, will be showered with expensive sports cars and large piles of cash in appreciation of their diligent work. But seriously, we are asking for a nice token gift and some public acknowledgement. It’s the least you could do.

Consider all the daunting tasks and long hours (weekends too.) Let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t know our System Administrators as well as they know us. Remember this is one day to recognize your System Administrator for their workplace contributions and to promote professional excellence. Thank them for all the things they do for you and your business.

Wait… what exactly is SysAdmin Day? Oh, it’s only the single greatest 24 hours on the planet… and pretty much the most important holiday of the year. It’s also the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the heroic men and women who, come rain or shine, prevent disasters, keep IT secure and put out tech fires left and right.

At this point, you may be thinking, “Great. I get it. My sysadmin is a rock star. But now what?” Glad you asked! Proper observation of SysAdmin Day includes (but is not limited to): Cake & Ice cream, Pizza, Cards, Gifts, Words of gratitude, Custom t-shirts celebrating the epic greatness of your SysAdmin(s), Balloons, Streamers, and/or Confetti.

Uncommon Instruments Awareness Day


Break out your euphoniums, dulcimers, mellophones and hurdy-gurdys because it's that time of the year again. It's Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day, you know, that holiday that's only a holiday because someone named "Monkeyboy290" created a website. (PS—you're gonna wanna turn down your volume before you click on that.) But now, thanks to the viral nature of the Internet we can all celebrate this little known non-holiday! Obviously, Step 1 is looking up what those instruments we mentioned above even are. Step 2 is to get out there and make some noise. Don't just tell people about your love of the xaphoon, go out there and play one!

University of Maryland has its own collection of rare and early instruments, including the very fun-to-say hurdy-gurdy, which, FYI, is a favored instrument of Arcade Fire. Open to both students and the public, this is your chance to party like its 1699. Visit the website here.

If you're looking to get into the hammered dulcimer, email DC native Jody Marshall. No prior experience is necessary, she'll teach you the ways of this bizarre stringed instrument for $60 an hour in her McLean studio. Go on, play that funky music...

Finally, if you're just looking to purchase or rent some wacky instruments for your inevitable Uncommon Instruments House Party, check out Takoma Park's House of Musical Traditions (7010 Westmoreland Ave., Takoma Park, Md.), where you can find a gazillion different kinds of flute-like instruments, as well as our personal favorite, the Bowed Psaltery. The less sure we are of how to pronounce it, the more we want to play it.

World Ranger Day


World Ranger Day is observed on the 31st of July each year. It is the day to commemorate the many Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty. It is also the day to celebrate Rangers and the work they do to protect the world’s natural and cultural treasures. World Ranger Day is promoted by the 54 member associations of the International Ranger Federation (IRF), by our partner the Thin Green Line Foundation, and by individuals who support the work of Rangers and the IRF.
The first World Ranger Day was observed in 2007 on the 15th anniversary of the founding of the IRF. 

You can celebrate World Ranger Day in a number of ways:
  • Light a candle and observe a minute’s silence to think about those Rangers who have died in the line of duty
  • Plant a tree as a living tribute to Rangers around the world
  • Host a screening of the international Ranger documentary The Thin Green Line
  • Take the time to talk with park visitors and partners about the work of Rangers around the world
  • Host a special public event in or near your park dedicated to the work of Rangers in your particular area and highlight the role they share with Rangers around the world
  • Meet with your local communities, partners, and support groups to talk about the work of the IRF and how they can help support Rangers and protected areas
  • Visit a school – engage young people in the future of world parks, biodiversity, and conservation
  • Invite a Ranger from another park or country to join you and your co-workers for a week in your park, encompassing the 31st of July
  • Rangers may wish to meet with fellow park staff and/or your boss to discuss World Ranger Day and the role of Rangers, including the work of the IRF
  • Seek partners and donors interested in supporting and sustaining the work of your protected area and the IRF
  • Write an article for your local newspaper about Rangers and the significance of World Ranger Day
  • Present an award to a Ranger in your park or ranger association who has made a special contribution to the management of protected areas, their association or the IRF
  • Lobby your state or national government to establish a National Ranger Day
  • Have fun!  Celebrate your role in protecting the world’s natural and cultural treasures

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Holidays and Observances for July 30 2015

Father-in-Law Day


July 30th honors all of those hard-working and fun-loving father-in-laws that we love so much.  This day is dedicated to your spouse’s father who rarely gets the recognition he deserves.  The day provides a wonderful opportunity to thank your father-in-law.  Most have never heard of this day, so take the opportunity to surprise him leaving no trace of your plans to acknowledge him this day.

A great way to celebrate the day with your father-in-law and make him feel special is to collaborate with other relatives in making it a grand celebration.  Communicate the plans with your mother-in-law and spouse to work together in making the day even more special.  Below are some gift ideas that will make July 30th the most memorable of the year for the special father-in-law.
  • Take him lunch - Your father-in-law is a hard worker and deserving of some special treatment as he goes out of his way to care for others.  Showing up at his work just before lunch time with a hand-prepared meal is a nice touch.  Cook his favorites and bring the food warm and fresh from the oven.  Another idea is to take him out to lunch.  He will feel much loved when the family shows up to acknowledge the day by taking him out his favorite restaurant for lunch.
  • Prepare a gift basket - A gift basket filled with his favorites is a nice way to show you care about the things he cares about.  If your father-in-law has a favorite cookie or candy, be sure to include those in the gift basket.  Aside from food items, you may include a cap with his favorite sports team, fishing or golf paraphernalia, fun t-shirts with sayings printed on the front, and special hand-made cards created by the grand-children and other family members.  A gift basket can hold anything that will fit and you believe your father-in-law will enjoy.
  • Bake a cake - No, it’s not his birthday but any celebration calls for cake.  Making the cake yourself, or having a special cake made on his behalf will make him feel special. It is important to select the flavor and design that you think he would love. Think about his hobbies and design a cake surrounding the theme.  If your father-in-law loves to fish, make sure to incorporate a fishing theme.  Party decorations can even be implemented from the cake theme tying everything together.
  • Throw a surprise party - While your father-in-law is at work all day, gather the team and start the planning. A surprise party on his behalf can be a fun way to celebrate the love you have for him.  Be sure to invite all of his close family members and friends, especially the grandkids.  Treat the celebration as you would a birthday party with balloons, cake and great food. Games can even be incorporated but be sure to include all of the things your father-in-law would love; after all the celebration is about him.
Health Care Now!  Medicare's Birthday


On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare, a health insurance program for elderly Americans, into law. At the bill-signing ceremony, which took place at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, former President Harry S. Truman was enrolled as Medicare's first beneficiary and received the first Medicare card. Johnson wanted to recognize Truman, who, in 1945, had become the first president to propose national health insurance, an initiative that was opposed at the time by Congress.

The Medicare program, providing hospital and medical insurance for Americans age 65 or older, was signed into law as an amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935. Some 19 million people enrolled in Medicare when it went into effect in 1966. In 1972, eligibility for the program was extended to Americans under 65 with certain disabilities and people of all ages with permanent kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplant. In December 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), which added outpatient prescription drug benefits to Medicare.

Medicare is funded entirely by the federal government and paid for in part through payroll taxes. Medicare is currently a source of controversy due to the enormous strain it puts on the federal budget. Throughout its history, the program also has been plagued by fraud--committed by patients, doctors and hospitals--that has cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

Medicaid, a state and federally funded program that offers health coverage to certain low-income people, was also signed into law by President Johnson on July 30, 1965, as an amendment to the Social Security Act.

In 1977, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) was created to administer Medicare and work with state governments to administer Medicaid. HCFA, which was later renamed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is part of the Department of Health and Human Services and is headquartered in Baltimore.

International Day of Friendship


The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

The resolution (A/RES/65/275) places particular emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.

The Day is also intended to support the goals and objectives of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010).

To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations and civil society groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

The International Day of Friendship is an initiative that follows on the proposal made by UNESCO and taken up by the UN General Assembly in 1997 (A/RES/52/13), which defined the Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by addressing their root causes with a view to solving problems.

In its resolution of 1998, proclaiming the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001–2010) (A/RES/53/25), the General Assembly recognized that enormous harm and suffering are caused to children through different forms of violence. It emphasized that the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence should be instilled in children through education. If children learn to live together in peace and harmony that will contribute to the strengthening of international peace and cooperation.

The Declaration and Program of Action on a Culture of Peace (A/RES/53/243) adopted in 1999 set 8 areas of action for nations, organizations and individuals to undertake in order for a culture of peace to prevail:
  • foster a culture of peace through education;
  • promote sustainable economic and social development;
  • promote respect for all human rights;
  • ensure equality between women and men;
  • foster democratic participation;
  • advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity;
  • support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge;
  • promote international peace and security.
The International Day of Friendship is also based on the recognition of the relevance and importance of friendship as a noble and valuable sentiment in the lives of human beings around the world.


National Cheesecake Day



Today is National Cheesecake Day! Cheesecake is a rich, decadent dessert made with cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add a crumbly graham cracker crust and a fruit topping for the ultimate cheesecake experience!

Cheesecake is a beloved dessert around the world. While many assume that it has its origins in New York, it actually dates back much further. Let's go back over 4,000 years to ancient Greece! Sit back, grab a creamy slice of cheesecake and learn all about this dessert’s rich history.

The first “cheese cake” may have been created on the Greek island of Samos. Physical anthropologists excavated cheese molds there which were dated circa 2,000 B.C. Cheese and cheese products had most likely been around for thousands of years before this, but earlier than this goes into prehistory (that period in human history before the invention of writing) so we will never really know. In Greece, cheesecake was considered to be a good source of energy, and there is evidence that it was served to athletes during the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. Greek brides and grooms were also known to use cheesecake as a wedding cake. The simple ingredients of flour, wheat, honey and cheese were formed into a cake and baked – a far cry from the more complicated recipes available today!

The writer Athenaeus is credited for writing the first Greek cheesecake recipe in 230 A.D. (By this time, the Greeks had been serving cheesecake for over 2,000 years but this is the oldest known surviving Greek recipe!) It was also pretty basic - pound the cheese until it is smooth and pasty - mix the pounded cheese in a brass pan with honey and spring wheat flour - heat the cheese cake “in one mass” - allow to cool then serve.

When the Romans conquered Greece, the cheesecake recipe was just one spoil of war. They modified it including crushed cheese and eggs. These ingredients were baked under a hot brick and it was served warm. Occasionally, the Romans would put the cheese filling in a pastry. The Romans called their cheese cake “libuma” and they served it on special occasions. Marcus Cato, a Roman politician in the first century B.C., is credited as recording the oldest known Roman cheesecake recipe.

As the Romans expanded their empire, they brought cheesecake recipes to the Europeans. Great Britain and Eastern Europe began experimenting with ways to put their own unique spin on cheesecake. In each country of Europe, the recipes started taking on different cultural shapes, using ingredients native to each region. In 1545, the first cookbook was printed. It described the cheesecake as a flour-based sweet food. Even Henry VIII’s chef did his part to shape the cheesecake recipe. Apparently, his chef cut up cheese into very small pieces and soaked those pieces in milk for three hours. Then, he strained the mixture and added eggs, butter and sugar.

It was not until the 18th century, however, that cheesecake would start to look like something we recognize in the United States today. Around this time, Europeans began to use beaten eggs instead of yeast to make their breads and cakes rise. Removing the overpowering yeast flavor made cheesecake taste more like a dessert treat. When Europeans immigrated to America, some brought their cheesecake recipes along.

Cream cheese was an American addition to the cake, and it has since become a staple ingredient in the United States. In 1872, a New York dairy farmer was attempting to replicate the French cheese Neufchatel. Instead, he accidentally discovered a process which resulted in the creation of cream cheese. Three years later, cream cheese was packaged in foil and distributed to local stores under the Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand. The Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand was purchased in 1903 by the Phoenix Cheese Company, and then it was purchased in 1928 by the Kraft Cheese Company. Kraft continues to make this very same delicious Philadelphia Cream Cheese that we are all familiar with today.
New York Style Cheesecake

Of course, no story of cheesecake is complete without delving into the origins of the New York style cheesecake. The Classic New York style cheesecake is served with just the cake – no fruit, chocolate or caramel is served on the top or on the side. This famously smooth-tasting cake gets its signature flavor from extra egg yolks in the cream cheese cake mix.

By the 1900s, New Yorkers were in love with this dessert. Virtually every restaurant had its own version of cheesecake on their menu. New Yorkers have vied for bragging rights for having the original recipe ever since. Even though he is best known for his signature sandwiches, Arnold Reuben (1883-1970) is generally credited for creating the New York Style cheesecake. Reuben was born in Germany and he came to America when he was young. The story goes that Reuben was invited to a dinner party where the hostess served a cheese pie. Allegedly, he was so intrigued by this dish that he experimented with the recipe until he came up with the beloved NY Style cheesecake.

New York is not the only place in America that puts its own spin on cheesecakes. In Chicago, sour cream is added to the recipe to keep it creamy. Meanwhile, Philadelphia cheesecake is known for being lighter and creamier than New York style cheesecake and it can be served with fruit or chocolate toppings. In St. Louis, they enjoy a gooey butter cake, which has an additional layer of cake topping on the cheesecake filling.

Each region of the world also has its own take on the best way to make the dessert. Italians use ricotta cheese, while the Greeks use mizithra or feta. Germans prefer cottage cheese, while the Japanese use a combination of cornstarch and egg whites. There are specialty cheesecakes that include blue cheese, seafood, spicy chilies and even tofu! In spite of all the variations, the popular dessert’s main ingredients – cheese, wheat and a sweetener –remain the same.

No matter how you slice it, cheesecake is truly a dessert that has stood the test of time. From its earliest recorded beginnings on Samos over 4,000 years ago to its current iconic status around the world this creamy cake remains a favorite for sweet tooths of all ages.

To celebrate National Cheesecake Day, grab a slice of your favorite cheesecake from your local bakery! Remember to keep an eye out for special cheesecake deals and giveaways in honor of the occasion.

National Chili Dog Day


It’s been less than a week since National Hot Dog Day, but it’s already time to celebrate National Chili Dog Day! National Chili Dog Day is always observed on the last Thursday of July, which is also National Hot Dog Month. Chili dogs are hot dogs that are usually topped with chili con carne (sans the beans), and other optional ingredients like cheese, onions, or mustard. When the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council ran a pole in 2005, they discovered that chili was the third most popular hot dog condiment, receiving 17% of the votes tallied. The chili dog’s popularity has spawned many variations, like the Coney Dog (actually from Michigan) with added onions and mustard, and the Texas Hot Dog (actually from Pennsylvania!), which is topped with hot sauce. Chili dogs are particularly popular in the western U.S., with several restaurant chains featuring them on their menus. Arizona is home to the Sonoran dog, a chili dog that’s also topped with bacon and salsa.

Sausage vendors in the late 1800s hawked their spicy wares on the streets of New York and Chicago. But who really invented the first hot dog as we know it is lost to antiquity, in spite of conflicting claims. It might have been at a Giants baseball game at the New York Polo Grounds, or in St. Louis, Mo. However, this German sausage in a bun caught on quickly and its popularity remains unchallenged.

The origins of the chili dog are equally murky. A logical choice for the birth of the chili dog would be Texas, chili capital of the world, but this is not substantiated. What is known about the chili dog is that the basic blueprint is a wiener in a bun topped with some kind of chili.

The chili dog is one of those foods that sparks controversy everywhere. Should the chili have beans? No beans? Should it be a straight chili sauce, or the same thing one would eat from a bowl? Should a chili dog have only chili on it, or should it also feature ketchup, mustard, onions, kraut and even cheese? The possibilities are as endless as those who favor this spicy treat.

Chili sauce is available canned, or recipes are available online. Chili sauce is a much thinner chili, with small tidbits of ground beef, flavored largely with salt, pepper, chili powder and paprika. A canned chili for eating from a bowl usually has larger chunks of meat and may be flavored with tomato and other spices.

Fast food restaurants, such as Krystal and Sonic, both feature a chili dog on their menus, as indeed, do most drive-in burger places. The chili, wieners and toppings are individual to each establishment. This writer prefers a “garbage” dog with chili, kraut, onions, mustard ketchup and a little dill relish if the bun will accommodate it. Chili-only dogs are tasty, too.

When nothing but a savory, hot, spicy hot dog will do, adding some chili makes it just a little better.

Paperback Book Day



A paperback (also known as softback or softcover) is a type of book characterized by a thick paper or paperboard cover, and often held together with glue rather than stitches or staples. In contrast, hardcover or hardback books are bound with cardboard covered with cloth; although more expensive, hardbacks are more durable. Inexpensive books bound in paper have existed since at least the 19th century in such forms as pamphlets, yellowbacks, dime novels, and airport novels. Most modern paperbacks are either "mass-market paperbacks" or "trade paperbacks".

Paperback editions of books are issued when a publisher decides to release a book in a low-cost format. Cheap paper, glued bindings, and the lack of a hard cover contribute to the inherent low cost of paperbacks. Paperbacks can be the preferred medium when a book is not expected to be a major seller, or in other situations where the publisher wishes to release a book without putting forth a large investment. Examples include many novels, and newer editions or reprintings of older books.

Since hardcovers tend to have a larger profit margin, publishers must balance the profit to be made by selling fewer hardcovers against the potential profit to be made by selling many paperbacks with a smaller profit per unit. First editions of many modern books, especially genre fiction, are issued in paperback. Best-selling books, on the other hand, may maintain sales in hardcover for an extended period in order to reap the greater profits that the hardcovers provide.

The early 19th century saw numerous improvements in the printing, publishing and book-distribution processes, with the introduction of steam-powered printing presses, pulp mills, automatic type setting, and a network of railways. These innovations enabled the likes of Simms and McIntyre of Belfast, Routledge & Sons (founded in 1836) and Ward & Lock (founded in 1854) to mass-produce cheap uniform yellowback or paperback editions of existing works, and distribute and sell them across the UK and Ireland, principally via the ubiquitous W H Smith & Sons newsagent found at most urban British railway stations. These paper bound volumes were offered for sale at a fraction of the historic cost of a book, and were of a smaller format (110x175mm) aimed at the railway traveller. The Routledge's Railway Library series of paperbacks remained in print until 1898, and offered the traveling public 1,277 unique titles.

The German-language market also supported examples of cheap paper-bound books: Reclam published Shakespeare in this format from October 1857 and went on to pioneer the mass-market paper-bound Universal-Bibliothek series from 10 November 1867.

The German publisher Albatross Books revised the 20th-century mass-market paperback format in 1931, but the approach of World War II cut the experiment short. It proved an immediate financial success in the United Kingdom in 1935 when Penguin Books adopted many of Albatross' innovations, including a conspicuous logo and color-coded covers for different genres. British publisher Allen Lane launched the Penguin Books imprint in 1935 with ten reprint titles, which began the paperback revolution in the English-language book-market. Number one on Penguin's 1935 list was André Maurois' Ariel.

Lane intended to produce inexpensive books. He purchased paperback rights from publishers, ordered large print runs (like 20,000 copies—large for the time) to keep unit prices low, and looked to non-traditional book-selling retail locations. Booksellers were initially reluctant to buy his books, but when Woolworths placed a large order, the books sold extremely well. After that initial success, booksellers showed more willingness to stock paperbacks, and the word "Penguin" became closely associated with the word "paperback".

In 1939, Robert de Graaf issued a similar line in the United States, partnering with Simon & Schuster to create the Pocket Books label. The term "pocket book" became synonymous with paperback in English-speaking North America. In French, the term livre de poche was used and is still in use today. De Graaf, like Lane, negotiated paperback rights from other publishers, and produced many runs. His practices contrasted with those of Lane by his adoption of illustrated covers aimed at the North American market. In order to reach an even broader market than Lane, he used distribution networks of newspapers and magazines, which had a lengthy history of being aimed (in format and distribution) at mass audiences. This was the beginning of mass-market paperbacks.

Because of its number-one position in what became a very long list of pocket editions, James Hilton's Lost Horizon is often cited as the first American paperback book. However, the first mass-market, pocket-sized, paperback book printed in the US was an edition of Pearl Buck's The Good Earth, produced by Pocket Books as a proof-of-concept in late 1938, and sold in New York City. It has since become very collectible.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Holidays and Observances for July 29 2015

National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day


This is without a doubt the most mysterious and weird national food holiday on the entire calendar! What the hell is “Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day”? There’s absolutely no consensus on the holiday’s origin or meaning that I can find on the Internet; all of us food holiday junkies are stumped. The speculation that runs around the Internet about Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day is that, originally, people would buy cheese on this day and “sacrifice” it to their household pest problems, using the cheese in mouse traps to snare the little buggers. In modern days, however, this practice has long since been pushed to the realms of classic cartoons and history books. We no longer need to sacrifice our cheese to our rodent miscreants!

So how do we celebrate Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day nowadays? (Well, technically, lots of people could still probably use to get rid of their rodent problems, but I hope we’re using other methods than cheese these days.) Lots of people have creative, new suggestions for observing this food holiday: you can “sacrifice” a little of your budget and buy an expensive cheese you love, but don’t normally indulge in because of its price. Or try a new and interesting cheese you've been hesitant to taste. 

Virtually every mammal on Earth produces milk to feed their offspring; and, milk, when cultured, processed, and aged, can become cheese. I’m not saying go out there and try like, cat’s cheese or anything. (God, do they even make cat’s cheese?! Don’t answer that, I don’t want to know!) But there are domestic animals other than cows that we use for their milk, and thus, sometimes make cheese out of it. The most popular non-cow cheeses come from goats and sheep. I’ve very rarely tried goat’s milk cheese, and I don’t think I ever tried sheep’s cheese, so here are some restaurants today that feature these rare cheeses for both you and me to enjoy!

Goat’s cheese has become more popular in the culinary world recently, especially in New York, where locavore trends have veered towards the small goat farms in surrounding regions (as apart from the larger dairy cow farms, which, while local, can be anathema to locavore beliefs). It tends to have the consistency of firm cream cheese, but with a tangier, almost sour taste, due to the milk having more fatty acids in it than cow’s milk. To counter that sour taste, many culinary cultures around the world–who favor goat’s milk to cow’s milk for the goat’s value as a herding animal–use honey as a sweetener, either in the blend of the cheese itself or as an added ingredient to a dish. Try honeyed goat’s cheese at Alta, a Mediterranean restaurant in Greenwich Village that makes lots of mountain-animal-inspired dishes, like lamb meatballs and mushroom risotto. They have their goat’s cheese as an appetizer, mounded into balls and then deep fried (can’t go wrong!), and served with lavender-infused honey. Deep-frying leaves a crispy crust on the cheese, which stays gooey and soft, not melty, when warmed; the honey adds sweetness to the dish, and the lavender leaves a sweet floral note. It’s definitely a different cheese experience from any cow’s milk you've had, so if you’re looking to pop your goat’s cheese cherry, this is the app to do it with!

National Chicken Wing Day


July 29 is National Chicken Wing Day. Over a billion chicken wings are consumed each year. And in 1977 they received their own day in Buffalo, New York when then Buffalo Mayor Stan Makowski proclaimed July 29 as National Chicken Wing Day. Thousands of pounds of chicken wings are consumed each week in Buffalo and around the world. That's why they are called Buffalo wings.

A chicken wing can be cooked whole or cut into sections. The big part of a chicken wing when cut is called a drumette. When chicken wings are cooked without breading and then covered in a vinegar-based cayenne pepper sauce, they are called hot wings.

The classic Buffalo-style chicken wing sauce is composed of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter. Buffalo wings are traditionally served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.

There are several different claims about how Buffalo wings were created.

One of the more prevalent claims is that Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, by Teressa Bellissimo. who owned the bar along with her husband Frank. Several versions of the story have been circulated by the Bellissimo family and others:
  • Upon the unannounced, late-night arrival of their son, Dominic, with several of his friends from college, Teressa needed a fast and easy snack to present to her hungry guests. It was then that she came up with the idea of deep frying chicken wings (normally thrown away or reserved for stock) and tossing them in cayenne hot sauce.
  • Dominic Bellissimo (Frank and Teressa's son) told The New Yorker reporter Calvin Trillin in 1980: "It was Friday night in the bar and since people were buying a lot of drinks he wanted to do something nice for them at midnight when the mostly Catholic patrons would be able to eat meat again." He stated that it was his mother, Teressa, who came up with the idea of chicken wings.
  • There was mis-delivery of wings instead of backs and necks for making the bar's spaghetti sauce. Faced with this unexpected resource, Frank Bellissimo says that he asked Teressa to do something with them.
However, a long article about the Anchor Bar in a local newspaper in 1969 does not mention Buffalo wings.

Another claim is that a man named John Young served chicken wings in a special "mambo sauce" at his Buffalo restaurant in the mid-1960s. His wings were breaded. Young had registered the name of his restaurant, John Young's Wings 'n Things, at the county courthouse before leaving Buffalo in 1970.

Marketing materials for Frank's RedHot claim that it was the hot sauce used in the Bellissimos' original recipe.


National Lasagna Day



Celebrated annually on July 29, National Lasagna Day celebrates the Italian food lasagna. Select restaurants, such as Buca di Beppo and Spaghetti Warehouse, have historically given away free lasagna in honor of the holiday. Other Italian style restaurants may feature specials of the day with discounts on the dish.

Lasagna is a main dish that traditionally features layers of sheet pasta, tomato sauce and cheese. Lasagna may use a meat sauce containing beef, pork, or sausage or may be served as a vegetarian dish. To celebrate at home, check out Mahalo's guide to How to Make Lasagna.

The word lasagna takes its name from a Greek name of a cooking pot, lasanon. The cooking pot name transitioned to lasagne, the Italian plural of lasagna when the pot was used to cook flat sheets of pasta. Lasagna eventually became the common name of the noodle itself.

Lasagne is one of the crowning glories of the Italian-American table: a many-layered baked dish of pasta, sauce, meat, and molten cheese that comes together as a single, sumptuous whole. It's also one of Italy's oldest recipes: its name stems from the Greek laganon, the world's earliest form of pasta; in fact, those ancient sheets of dough went on to inspire the Greek version of lasagne, pastitsio.

When Italians emigrated to this country, they brought their own ways of making this special-occasion fare: Some added sausage, others ground beef, still others embellishments like hard boiled eggs and chicken livers. "We always had lasagne for Christmas, and we'd wait all year for it" says Albert di Meglio, the chef at Rubirosa in New York City. "My father would get fresh pasta from the store, and he'd make mini meatballs and layer them between the sheets and sauce." It's a similar style of lasagne to the kind that the family of Rubirosa's owner, Angelo Pappalardo, makes: not surprising considering that both families originally hail from Naples. When the two men started working in high-end New York restaurant kitchens in the 1990s, they made lots of lasagne, none of it the kind they grew up with.

"Nowadays, everyone serves the northern Italian style, with spinach pasta and besciamella," Pappalardo says. So when they opened Rubirosa, their families' lasagne went on the menu. It's a glorious thing, served in a casserole sized so that two people can share, with enough for delicious leftovers.

In honor of the day celebrating the Italian dish, consider making lasagna at home using fresh ingredients. If time doesn't allow making the sauce from scratch, try a jarred sauce with seasonings already added to obtain a taste close to a homemade simmered sauce. For other celebration activities, choose a local Italian restaurant and join in the festivities planned in honor of the food holiday.

National Lipstick Day


July 29th is National Lipstick Day, a day for cosmetics lovers everywhere to enjoy their favorite lipstick. Cosmetic product always fascinated human race with their ability to make us distinct, pretty and more confident. No matter how large fashion changes swings occurred during last few thousand years, some cosmetic products always managed to remain popular and in widespread use. Soaps, shampoos, eye liners, nail polishers, make up paints, and various medicinal and protective balms survived trough the rise and falls of many civilizations, but one cosmetic item managed to survive for a long time without widespread popularity, only to become one of the most important cosmetic items of a modern woman - Lipstick.

There is no way for us to determine who discovered first lipstick. It was with us from the prehistoric times when women and men used various potent fruit and plant juices to mark their faces in religious ceremonies or to make themselves more pretty for the opposite sex. Of course, very large reason for lipstick use was also for medicinal purposes, to protect our lips from natural elements such as dry wind, moisture and sun (lip tissue does not have melanin that protect us from UV rays).

As modern civilizations started to make rapid advances in technology and chemistry, first manmade lipstick appeared as a cosmetic tool for the wealthy women and men of ancient Mesopotamia, Indus Valley Region and Egypt. Egypt especially managed to advance the art of lipstick making, managing to produce bright red carmine lipstick that are made from cochineal insect pigments, which is a timeless technique that is in use even today. Those lipsticks were made from powdered and processed bodies of cochineal insects or purple extracts of seaweed, mixed with various oils and waxes. History book will forever remember various important Egyptian figures that were depicted in their hydrographic images with various cosmetic enhancements – Nefertiti’s black eyeliner or Cleopatra’s bright red lips.

History of the lipsticks tells us that European dark Middle Ages almost totally removed lipstick from the fashion. Harsh living conditions, constant wars, poor medicine, plagues, lack of food and many other factions led to the period of around 1000 years where very little or no advancements were made in arts, sciences and many areas of knowledge. In such environment, Church was the only constant presence in the mind of the Europeans, and church was responsible for maintaining fashion and common laws. Sadly, it was them who actively discouraged lipstick use, linking it to the Satan worshipers and cults. Because of that, only the female population of the lowest statue (prostitutes) continued to use lipstick on regular basis, with actors occasionally painting themselves in facial colors.

One of the most important moments in the lipstick history happened during the Islamic Golden Age when famous cosmetologist and chemist Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi managed to perfect his formula for solid lipsticks. These perfumed sticks represent the basis for all the modern lipstick that can be found in any fashion shop.

Several centuries later, lipstick returned to the popular fashion during the reign of English Queen Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603), but only for a short while. It was only in late 19th century when industrial advancements enabled French cosmetologist to start producing lipsticks for commercial sales. From that point, lipsticks slowly become more and more popular. New inventions enabled their packaging to get the form we known today (swivel-up tube), new types (sparkle, gloss), introduction of lip gloss, no smear formulas, new colors, and last but not least, very famous introduction of flavored “Lip Smackers” in 1973.

Today lipsticks are considered to be one of the most popular and cheapest ways for females to showcase their femininity and beauty.

Rain Day


Rain Day got its beginning in the Daly & Spraggs Drug Store, located in the center of Waynesburg. Legend has it that one day a farmer was in the drugstore and mentioned to Byron Daly that it would rain the next day, July 29. Mr. Daly asked him how he knew and he replied that it was his birthday and that it always rained on his birthday. He had a journal for several years in which he recorded the weather and always had noted rain on July 29th. Mr. Daly thought this was too sure a thing to let pass, so he started betting salesmen who came into his drugstore that it would rain in Waynesburg on July 29. The bet was usually a new hat, which of course he would win.

In later years, Byron Daly's son, John, continued the tradition of wagering a hat on Rain Day. John was an attorney in Waynesburg, a very gentlemanly individual, who always tipped his hat to the ladies he passed on the street, and spoke with a kind soft voice. Although he had fun with Rain Day, he also took it very seriously. He liked the idea of keeping it as a local phenomenon.

John Daly was the Rain Day Prophet, who kept the tradition alive that was started by his father Byron, when he bet a hat that it would rain on Rain Day. In keeping up the night vigil (usually in a yellow slicker, hat & umbrella) sitting on the courthouse wall waiting for the first drop of rain to fall. He was almost always rewarded for his efforts and would give a gentle smile, put up his umbrella and head for home after the first drips fell.

John Daly had won hats from such notables as Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Johnny Carson, Cassius Clay and Arnold Palmer just to name a few. He also would bet local TV personalities from the Pittsburgh Area. In 1967, he bet Del Miller, who owned the Meadows Race Track in Washington, PA. That year, not only did Mr. Miller give John Daly a hat, he gave him a complete set of racing silks.

John Daly kept a box under his bed of the hats he had collected over the years. Many years ago, a non-profit talked Mr. Daly into donating his hat collection for a fund- raising auction. The hats were sold to the highest bidders! Special Events Commission has tried several times to determine the purchasers of the memorabilia unfortunately, to no avail, and none of the hats have never been recovered.

In more recent years, the Special Events Commission has won hats from people like Jay Leno, Fran Drescher, Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Troy Aikman, Mr. Rogers and Mr. McFeely, The Dixie Chicks and Chubby Checker. Harry Anderson, star of TV's Night Court, was the unsuspecting bettor in 1988; that year it didn't rain, so the commission sent Harry a hat. The hat appeared on the bookshelves behind his desk on the set for several episodes next to his armadillo.

What Makes our Annual Rain Day Festival? It's the Special Events Commission, which was formed in 1979 as an offshoot of Waynesburg Borough. The Commission is composed of nine members.

In the early days the celebration was varied; one year the main street might be closed with a carnival setup through the center of town, complete with a ferris wheel, carousel, games and food. The next year there might not be more than a mention of Rain Day in the local newspapers. The Special Events Commission was to bring continuity to the event and has brought both national and international fame to Waynesburg. In 1979, an annual street festival that continues to this day was born.

In 1983, Willard Scott the weatherman on NBC's Today Show was the bettor who gave Rain Day the most notoriety. Willard, being a weatherman, the phenomenon of Rain Day was of special interest to him. Mr. Scott not only mentioned Waynesburg on Rain Day, but talked about it the day before and the day after. Although it didn't rain for Willard's year, he sent us a beautiful Stetson cowboy hat.

In 1992, the commission bet the town of Niceville, Florida. A resident there was a former Waynesburgian, who thought that Niceville and Waynesburg were perfect opposites. Of course, Waynesburg won a hat from the Florida town.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Holidays and Observances for July 28 2015

Buffalo Soldiers Day


In 1992 the U.S. Congress passed a law designating July 28 as Buffalo Soldiers Day in the United States. This day commemorates the formation on that date in 1866 of the first regular Army regiments comprising African-American soldiers.

African-American soldiers fought for the Union during the Civil War. But it was not until after the war that permanent all-black regiments were established, maintaining the U.S. armed forces policy of segregation. The African-American regiments were deployed in the southwest and in the plains states to serve U.S. interests against Native American tribes, to protect important shipments, and to construct roads and trails. A longstanding debate ranges around the origin of the term "Buffalo Soldier," with some maintaining that the nickname reflected the toughness of the soldiers and others claiming that it was a disparaging racial term used by Native Americans to describe the dark-skinned soldiers they met in battle. The segregated regiments served in the Spanish-American War, World War II, and other conflicts, before being disbanded during the 1940s and 1950s as the U.S. armed forces embraced integration.

Since 1992, Buffalo Soldier Commemorations have been held throughout the country and typically include reenactments, museum displays, educational forums, prayer services, and dedication or groundbreaking ceremonies for sculptural or other permanent memorials. A monument to the Buffalo Soldiers was dedicated at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., on the first Buffalo Soldiers Day in 1992 by General Colin Powell, who had originated the idea of a memorial to the black soldiers when he was stationed at the fort. Ceremonies and reenactments honoring the Buffalo Soldiers are not limited to July 28, however. Communities throughout the United States present special programs designed to educate audiences about the history of the Buffalo Soldiers throughout the year, particularly during Black History Month in February and on such patriotic holidays as Memorial Day and Veterans Day, with displays of memorabilia and speeches recounting the accomplishments of the troops.

National Hamburger Day


Eagle-eyed readers may note that we already celebrated National Cheeseburger Day in September, National Hamburger Day waaaayyyy back in December and others raise high the burger flag on May 28th. However, while there's a fleck of red tape residue on the process, there's not exactly a federal regulatory agency for food holidays, so we'll go with it as an excuse to get beefy.

The hamburger was invented many greasy, cheesy, meaty decades ago, but exactly when and by whom a matter of hot dispute. Time Magazine's Josh Ozersky asserts in his 2008 book, "The Hamburger: A History" that the modern day incarnation of the formed patty between two halves of a bun is "an American invention" with endless regional variations like the Connecticut steamed cheeseburger, Mississippi slugburger or Oklahoma onion burger.

Various inventors have laid claim to that innovation, from Charles "Hamburger Charlie" Nagreen, a vendor at the Seymour Fair in Wisconsin in 1885 and Fletcher Davis in Athens, Texas in the 1880s, to Frank and Robert Menches at the Erie Agricultural Fair in Hamburg, New York in 1885 (they also take credit for the invention of the ice cream cone at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904), or possibly Louis Lassen at Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut in 1900.

While it took some American ingenuity to slap meat on some bread and render it a hand held sandwich, the concept of the patty itself was brought to the United States by German immigrants who had become fans of the Hamburg Steak. This cheap, chopped or roughly ground beef was mixed with fillers like breadcrumbs, suet and onions, bound with eggs and seasoned with nutmeg. The meat, often salted and smoked for preservation, was brought over to the United States by immigrants on the Hamburg America Line and became a popular menu item on New York City restaurants that catered to German sailors and European immigrants, hungry for the flavors of home.

National Milk Chocolate Day


July 28 is National Milk Chocolate Day, meaning you have the perfect excuse to indulge that chocolate hankering over the weekend. Not that most Americans even need a reason — according to a recent study nearly half of Americans nibble on a chocolate treat every day.

Daniel Peter was born in the village of Moudon, located in the Canton of Vaud, in beautiful, mountainous Switzerland in 1836. Peter attended school and graduated there. At the age of 19, his professor of Latin became sick and the local Board of Education asked Daniel to instruct the Latin class. As one can imagine, this was a difficult task for him as he had to teach students who were only one or two years his junior; nevertheless, he gave a good account of himself and his record is good on this score.

During the summer of 1852, Peter worked in the local food store of the widow, Madame Clement, who also owned a candle-making factory for the locality. The conscientious, dedicated working qualities of Daniel Peter were first evidenced here and he gained the esteem of Madame Clement. Four years later, Daniel and his brother, Julien, operated the candle-making factory while Madame Clement retained its control. The two brothers developed and improved the candles, which at that time in history were the only light source, and they sold well locally. In fact, the demand was such that the factory required a larger working space, and the brothers purchased a building at 19 Rue des Bosquets, in Vevey, Switzerland.

The purchase of this building was made from the estate of Francois Louis Cailler. It was through Madame Clement that the young Daniel Peter was introduced to the Cailler family and through them, he met Fanny Cailler, the eldest daughter of the family, whom he married on October 1, 1863.

In the United States, a Colonel Drake of Pennsylvania had discovered oil in that state in 1859 and subsequently, kerosene was introduced in Switzerland about 1864 or 1865 which greatly affected the candle-making business of Daniel and Julien Peter. Daniel realized that the earnings from the candle-making business would not suffice for both brothers n ow, so he proposed to his brother-in-law, August Cailler, an association for the manufacture of chocolate, however, this did not take place. It appeared to Daniel that the chocolate business had received such a favorable public reaction that it would soon overcome the Caillers' capacity to produce the product. It was for this reason that Daniel decided to go into business on his own. Peter was a very determined young man and he realized that in going on his own in this business, he would be a competitor to his wife's family, however, his lovely Fanny gave him her full confidence and support.

Julien Peter remained in the candle-making business and used only a part of the building originally established for this purpose. Daniel Peter installed his chocolate business in the remainder of the space. It is interesting to note that sometime during this period, Daniel Peter, in order to know as much about the chocolate business as he could, worked as an employee of a chocolate factory in Lyon, France, for a few weeks. He spent his time in the evenings and on Sundays documenting the technical questions raised in the manufacture of chocolate in order to know the mechanics and chemistry of the business. He also studied the cocoa harvest and transportation of the basic cocoa ingredients from the tropics.

Within a few years, Daniel Peter had formed a strong friendship with his neighbor, Henry Nestle, who had settled in Vevey, Switzerland, about 1843. Nestle had developed a process to make baby food in which he used what was then called a "milky flour." It was at this point in his life that Daniel Peter asked himself the question, "Why not try to make a chocolate containing milk?" This idea stayed with the young Daniel Peter to the point of becoming an obsession with him. He further realized that in order to stay in the chocolate market, already principally controlled by Caliller, Suchard, Kohler, and others, he must produce a new product that would become pleasing and desired by the consumer.

Peter said of this period in his life:
"It did not take me long to convince myself that if I wanted to place myself and my product within the already existing factories, I must try for a specialty. Therefore, it appeared that if I could unite the milk and the chocolate in a state which would assure conservation and satisfactory transportation, I would make useful work for many, while being sure at the same time that the ownership of this industry would be difficult to exploit by anyone."
In 1869, Julien Peter died, leaving Daniel in charge of both businesses and still carrying on the major problems of research associated with the manufacture of milk chocolate. Daniel Peter, therefore, gave up the candle-making business at this point and devoted every waking hour to the manufacture of milk chocolate.

At this time, Peter's personnel consisted of one employee and his wife. He manufactured his chocolate products in the daytime and did his office work and research in the evenings and often late into the night. He obtained a stable product, composed of cocoa, sugar and milk that was unlike the milk-flour in baby food used by Nestle. Wheat flour, as used by Nestle, has little if any fatty body, while cocoa contains, depending upon its source and the degree of maturity of the harvested bean, from 45% to 55% of fatty matter.

As was well know to most persons interested in the product at the time, water ad fat do not mix. Not only is the mixture unstable, but the fatty product is simply not suitable to work with. Therefore, it remained that a certain percentage of the fat had to be extracted from the cocoa bean. This process was known and was relatively simple. It was also important to dehydrate, at least partially, as much as possible of the water content - 87% to 89% from the milk. The equipment for this operation was complex and complicated. It required various tools and machines which were relatively costly and quite difficult to obtain in those days. In fact, such an installation represents in itself an industry which should be and would become integrated into the making of milk chocolate. Unfortunately, Daniel Peter was not in a position to acquire this equipment.

In persistently seeking the process for a more economical manufacture of the baby food, Daniel Peter started his laboratory work by evaporating the milk itself in the free air, which was a time consuming process and required constant surveillance and attention. By mixing first sugar with the milk, the evaporation was aided, but it was hard to determine the te proportions of each product. As it was simply not enough to merely taste a finished product, weeks led to months in the checking of each individual test. Peter conducted many tests, all of which were quite expensive and none of which produced the desired results.

Speaking of his early tests, Peter expressed himself at the dedication of the Orbe factory on the send day of February, 1901:
"My first tests did not give or produce the milk chocolate as we know it today. Much work took place and after having found the proper mixture of cocoa and milk - a mixture I was told was impossible to obtain - my tests, I thought, were successful. I was happy, but a few weeks later, as I examined the contents, an odor of bad cheese or rancid butter came to my nose. I was desperate, but what was I do do? go back and try a different procedure? Being as it was, I did not lose courage, but I continued to work as long as circumstances allowed."
In 1873, Peter went to Guin, a canton of Fribourg, for the purpose of ordering a sugared condensed milk from the Anglo-Swiss there who had jut opened a branch of the Cham factory. Peter expressed himself to the director of that factory in this manner:
"This condensed milk is to be used in the fabrication of a new item, which I am certain we will require before too long in very large amounts. I anticipate, therefore, the ordering of large quantities in due time."
At this time, the American brothers, known as the Page brothers, had come to Cham, Switzerland, but they were not yet in competition with Henry Nestle since they only made condensed milk while Nestle was producing the "milky flour" for the baby food process. There was in fact, actually no competition with Peter's friend, Nestle.

The results of the tests, however, conducted by Daniel Peter toward the manufacture of milk chocolate did improve. Peter asked that his agents put his product for sale in cooler and dryer parts of the territory served by the factory. It is interesting to not that Daniel Peter sold a small quantity which he personally guaranteed to take back for refund should the merchandise prove unsatisfactory. It can here be seen that Daniel was optimistic, but unfortunately too much so.

The immediate produce was favorably received, but after a few weeks, Peter received the unsold merchandise back. It had become rancid and he received some unflattering commentaries from his outlets because of this. He recognized that the criticism was justified. It turned out that the milk from Guin was not sufficiently condensed and therefore Peter hesitated to order more until he had achieved his goal for milk chocolate. He needed to avail himself of a proper vacuum with other supporting equipment which he could not afford at that time.

Peter then equipped a small room which he called a "drying room" in which the product he made was transformed into flakes, spread out on trays, and exposed to a high temperature for further evaporation. This material was weighted before and after its exposure in order to determine the amount of evaporation. For Peter, the results were favorable. He was convinced that he was near his goal. He wished to confirm for himself these last results by getting all the moisture that he could out of the drying process. Finally, in 1875, Daniel Peter obtained his impossible victory. Through his hard work, he could not offer to his friendly dealers fro the Lac Leman region of Switzerland a milk chocolate of which the normal length of shelf life was assured.

Very quickly throughout this region of Western Europe, the Daniel Peter milk chocolate found favorable acceptance, and the demand far exceeded the supply, making it necessary for Daniel to increase his production. The big decision for Peter had now to be made. He obtained sufficient credit from Swiss bankers to install a small copper vacuum and the equipment for manufacture with a capacity of from 60 to 80 liter. Difficulties and worries were never spared Peter during those long, tiring years, and although he declared himself pleased with the results of all testing, he still wanted to improve upon the taste of his milk chocolate.

With tireless effort, Peter worked out the desired proportions, the choice of the best cocoas from all over the world, searching for a proper balance between bitterness in the choice of the cocoa, or an exaggerated sweetness from too much sugar. He sought guidance from all those who would help him, from people in the area, his family, friends, clients, and workers, asking their opinions during the testing period. Finally in 1887, Daniel Peter adopted the original formula for what was to become the first successful milk chocolate in the entire world. Peter called his product, "Gala" from the Greek, which means, "from the milk."

It should be noted by all that since the early 20th century, the countries of Europe have been producing milk chocolate of varying qualities. It should also be understood that the development of the process by Daniel Peter was created in the community of Vevey, with the Canton of Vaud, in Switzerland, and further pointed out that the first chocolate process, although not milk chocolate, was also created in Vevey, Switzerland, by Francois Louis Cailler, at the age of twenty-three, upon his return to that community from France and Italy in 1819.

In 1901, the Peter milk chocolate was introduced in the British Isles. That same year, the city of Vevey, Switzerland, was unable to supply sufficient milk nor a large enough labor force to meet the expansion of the Peter plant. Therefore, a second milk chocolate plant was built in Orbe, Switzerland, which is also located in the Canton of Vaud. In 1904, Daniel Peter merged his successful operation with Amedee Kohler Chocolate Company located in Echandens, about three miles from Lausonne and fifteen miles from Vevey, and traded under the firm's name of Societe Generale Suisse de Chocolat. Peter and Kohler sent a specialty team of four trained men with their families to be the general overseers of the company and to head various sections in the Fulton plant. Mr. G. Dentan was in charge of the treatment of the cocoa; Mr. Louis Michaud was in charge of the processing of the milk; Mr. Ernest Brechon was charged with the mixing and refining process for the manufacturer. Mr. Louis Ducret was responsible for conching and moulding. Mrs. Dentan was in charge of the wrapping and a Mrs. Gustave Ansermrt was the director of the entire process.

In 1904, an agreement as reached establishing that the Societe Generale Suisse de Chocolat would manufacture a new chocolate with less cocoa and more sugar, thereby creating a sweeter milk chocolate which would be produced by that firm under the name of Nestle, and that all of the chocolate products would be sold worldwide by the Nestle selling organization. In 1911, the descendants of the F. L. Cailler Company joined to form the now famous company name of Peter, Cailler, and Kohler, Swiss Chocolate Company. Finally, in 1929, this company and Nestle merged in what was then known as the Nestle Anglo-Swiss Corporation.

Daniel Peter, the inventor of milk chocolate for the entire world, died on November 4, 1919. At his funeral in Switzerland, he was highly eulogized for his work and his kind generosity towards the organization of cultural groups which are still active and befit all of the people of that country, and the region of Vevey, especially.

World Hepatitis Day


Every year on July 28th, World Hepatitis Day aims to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis as a major global health threat. All types of viral hepatitis can cause inflammation of the liver; however, hepatitis B and C infection can result in a lifelong, chronic infection.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 400 million people have chronic viral hepatitis worldwide and most of them do not know they are infected. More than 1 million people die each year from causes related to viral hepatitis, commonly cirrhosis and liver cancer.

The date of July 28th was chosen for World Hepatitis Day in honor of the birthday of Nobel Laureate Professor Baruch Samuel Blumberg, who discovered the hepatitis B virus.

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus that can cause mild to severe illness but does not lead to chronic infection. Globally, there are an estimated 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A every year. The hepatitis A virus is spread by ingestion of contaminated food and water, or through direct contact with an infectious person.

Hepatitis A is a virus that is usually spread through food or water contaminated with fecal matter—even in microscopic amounts. This occurs most often in countries where Hepatitis A is common, especially where there is a lack of safe water and poor sanitation.

Although rare, foodborne outbreaks of Hepatitis A still occur in the United States. Contamination of food can happen at any point: growing, harvesting, processing, handling, and even after cooking. The best way to prevent getting infected with Hepatitis A is to get a safe, effective vaccine. In the United States, the Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all children at age 1 and adults at risk of infection.

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus that can cause both acute and chronic disease. Globally, there are an estimated 240 million people living with chronic Hepatitis B. The hepatitis B virus is spread through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.

The best way to prevent getting infected with Hepatitis B is to get vaccinated. In the United States, the Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all babies at birth and adults at risk of infection.

Hepatitis B is common in many areas across the world, especially Asian and African countries. Left untreated, up to 25 percent of people with hepatitis B develop serious liver problems such as cirrhosis and even liver cancer. The good news is that treatments are available that can help slow down or prevent liver damage.

CDC launched Know Hepatitis B,a national, multilingual campaign aiming to increase testing for Hepatitis B among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in 2013. An estimated 1 in 12 AAPI is living with hepatitis B, but most don't know they are infected. The campaign delivers culturally relevant messages in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. The Know Hepatitis B campaign was created in partnership with Hep B United, a coalition of Asian community groups from around the country. Visit www.cdc.gov/knowhepatitisbfor more information.

Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus that can cause both acute and chronic disease. Globally, there are an estimated 130–150 million people living with chronic Hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus. There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C.

Unlike Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, there is no vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis C. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, such as sharing needles or other equipment to prepare and inject cosmetic substances, drugs, or steroids.

In addition to recommending testing for anyone at risk for infection, CDC also recommends that everyone born from 1945-1965 get a blood test for hepatitis C. People born during these years are five times more likely to be infected and account for more than three out of every four Americans living with hepatitis C. CDC's national Know More Hepatitis campaign educates people born from 1945-1965 about the importance of getting tested.

People with Hepatitis C often have no symptoms and can live with the disease for decades without feeling sick. Even without symptoms, liver damage may be silently occurring. Fortunately, new treatments are available that can cure Hepatitis C.

World Nature Conservation Day


Celebrated on July 28 each year, World Nature Conservation Day recognizes that a healthy environment is the foundation for a stable and productive society and to ensure the well-being of present and future generations, we all must participate to protect, conserve, and sustainably manage our natural resources.

We all depend on natural resources like water, air, soil, minerals, trees, animals, food, and gas to live our daily lives. To keep the balance in the natural world, we must also help various species to continue to exist. A report from the global conservation organization World Wildlife Foundation suggests that since 1970, the pressure that we exert on the planet has doubled and the resources upon which we depend have declined by 33 percent. Despite the efforts put into conservation by organizations and conservation activists, their work has been undermined by those who have interests.

Conservation of nature is very important, with scientists warning of mass extinctions in the near future. Many nature documentaries show resources that are being wasted. We have made this planet a world of steel and concrete to sustain humanity but at the cost of other species, and it has become more imperative upon us to conserve these resources that are vital to human survival. Trees and plants consume carbon which has increased the planet's temperature, increased storms and sea level rises and freshwater glacier melting that threatens lives. Glaciers are connected to rivers and lakes which we depend on for drinking water through city/town/community services (where did you think your water came from?). Birds, bees and other insects pollinate the plants we need to eat to stay healthy nutritionally. Factory foods provide reduced quality in favor of the financial incentive. Children who spend time exercising their senses in nature have been shown to increase their skills at a faster rate than those who don't. Our planet provides us with all of the resources that modern exploitation have given us, through wood, medecin, water, plants and animals to eat, metals, vitamins, minerals - yet it's exploited for money with systems of varied complexity. Nature has given us SO much. If we don't conserve, we lose these precious privileges to exploitation and abuse of resources.

The natural world is facing an increasing threat from unsustainable practices and the challenge is how to preserve and conserve nature in the process of achieving sustainable development. The state of nature has an impact on human survival, local and global economics, community life, human health and wellbeing.

On this day, let us make a conscious effort to contribute to the local, national, and global efforts in conserving nature and the benefits they provide for the present and future generations.