Monday, July 13, 2015

Holidays and Observances for July 13 2015

Barbershop Music Appreciation Day

Barbershop Music Appreciation Day is celebrated on July 13th of each year. Barbershop Music Appreciation Day was established in 2005 in honor of the 60th anniversary of Sweet Adelines International.

The date was Friday, July 13, 1945, when Edna Mae Anderson of Tulsa, Oklahoma, brought a few women together in her home. The women wanted to participate in – the “chord-ringing, fun-filled harmony” that their husbands, members of the men’s Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA), were singing. From that meeting grew the nucleus of what was to become Sweet Adelines International.

Barbershop Music
Barbershop vocal harmony, as codified during the barbershop revival era (1940s–present), is a style of a cappella, or unaccompanied vocal music characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture. Each of the four parts has its own role: generally, the lead sings the melody, the tenor harmonizes above the melody, the bass sings the lowest harmonizing notes, and the baritone completes the chord, usually below the lead. The melody is not usually sung by the tenor or bass, except for an infrequent note or two to avoid awkward voice leading, in tags or codas, or when some appropriate embellishment can be created. Occasional traveling may be sung by fewer than four voice parts.

According to the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS), “Barbershop music features songs with understandable lyrics and easily singable melodies, whose tones clearly define a tonal center and imply major and minor chords and barbershop (dominant and secondary dominant) seventh chords that resolve primarily around the circle of fifths, while making frequent use of other resolutions.”

Slower barbershop songs, especially ballads, often eschew a continuous beat, and notes are often held (or sped up) ad libitum.

The voice parts in barbershop singing do not correspond closely to the correspondingly named voice parts in classical music. Barbershop singing is performed both by men’s and women’s groups; the elements of the barbershop style and the names of the voice parts are the same for both.

Bean 'n' Franks Day

Every 13th of July in the United States, people everywhere enjoy the classic lunch and dinner combination of hot dogs and baked beans in honor of the holiday called Bean 'n Franks Day. Although this dish is consumed on a regular basis by many Americans, on this food holiday the combo is put on a pedestal. Bean 'n Franks Day provides an opportunity for lovers of the traditional combo to share their favorite recipes, treat their friends and family to a plate of the stuff, and spread awareness of this food to others.

Bean 'n Franks Day is a fairly obscure food holiday, and it is not entirely clear how the whole thing got started. In fact, there is very little documentation about the holiday available. However, baked beans have been served with frankfurters for decades in the United States, and the two have become a favorite combination for American diners.

Most commercial baked beans are made with navy beans (also known as haricot), and the beans are generally stewed and not baked (despite the name). Baked beans were among the first canned "convenience foods" to emerge in the U.S., dating back to the civil war.1 The frankfurter is a German creation, and originated in the city of Frankfurt (hence the name).

Bean 'n Franks Day may be celebrated alone by indulging in a plate or bowl of the dish, or lovers of the food may choose to host a bean 'n franks party. Because the holiday falls in the month of July the weather is likely to be warm, making this an ideal opportunity to host a barbecue featuring beans and franks.

Embrace Your Geekness Day

Embrace Your Geekness Day is observed on July 13. The word geek is a slang term originally used to describe odd or non-mainstream people, with different connotations ranging from "an expert or enthusiast" to "a person heavily interested in a hobby", with a general pejorative meaning of "a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual".

The definition of geek has changed considerably over time, and there is no longer a definitive meaning. The term nerd has a similar, practically synonymous meaning as geek, but many choose to identify different connotations among these two terms, although the differences are disputed.

There are many subclassifications of geeks such as the following: Science geeks, Math geeks, Computer geeks, History geeks, Engineering geeks, Language geeks, Art geeks, Music geeks, Sci-Fi geeks, Fantasy geeks, Comic Book geeks, Video Game geeks, Board Game geeks, Role-Playing Game geeks, Pop Culture geeks and even Sports geeks.

Fool’s Paradise Day

This special day seems a bit like an oxymoron. How can a fool reach, or experience, Paradise? And, how could a place BE Paradise, if fools inhabit the place? We don't know the answers to these important questions. We can only speculate, as we have yet to find the creator of this special day. We will leave the philosophical thought about this day to you the reader. 

In the meantime.................. 

Have a wonderful Fool's Paradise Day!

Gruntled Workers Day

On Gruntled Workers Day, the question comes up -- what is gruntled? To find the answer, we ask the question a different way... How can someone be disgruntled without there being a grunted? So apparently, grunted is the opposite of disgruntled. Thus, on Gruntled Workers Day we celebrate the people who are satisfied in their work and are truly having fun at their jobs. Unfortunately, there aren't too many of them out there these days, but when you do run into them it definitely does make a difference.

International Puzzle Day

International Puzzle Day celebrates the birth of Dr. Erno Rubik, the inventor of Rubik’s Cube.

Rubik was born on July 13, 1944 in Budapest, Hungry during World War II. Rubik’s famous invention, the Rubik’s cube, became a worldwide craze in the 1980s. Within a year after the toy was first exported from Rubik’s native Hungary in May of 1980, sales of the toy topped five million. Manufacturers of the puzzle found it difficult to keep up with the skyrocketing demand, and production centers around the world had to be expanded.

Over 100 million Rubik’s cubes were sold between 1980 and 1982. The Rubik’s cube won the highest prize in Hungary for the best invention, as well as top toy awards around the world. The makers of the original Rubik’s cube, Ideal Toy Corporation, won lawsuits around the world against the makers of the fake cubes. Interestingly, the patent for the Rubik’s cube, a 1974 patent for the “Magic Cube,” applies only in Hungary. The toy is not protected from unauthorized copies under patent law. Instead, the Rubik’s cube is protected from reproductions as a work of art.

When Erno Rubik invented the toy in 1974, he created one hand-made cube, and part of his goal was to create a challenging three-dimensional puzzle with aesthetic value. Thus, the cube is protected by copyright law until 70 years after the death of its creator.

The Rubik’s cube was placed on exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1981. Rubik still lives in Hungry. He founded the Rubik Studio where he designed furniture and games. He became the president of the Hungarian Engineering Academy and created the International Rubik Foundation to support talented engineers and industrial designers. Today he is retired but the Rubik’s Studio continues its work with young designers.

International Town Criers Day

International Town Criers Day celebrates the important court-appointed town criers. The tradition came from the British as back then this was the only way people found out the latest news as many, back then, were illiterate. Since being replaced by the newspaper, Town Criers spoke on behalf of the rulers and their safety was key as killing a town crier was treason and often punishable by death. Hence the term "Don't shoot the messenger". So today, loudly and clearly announce whatever information others should know like "by official degree of me it is dinner time" or loudly announce your local news, new product release, weather update, any pertinent information will do.

In order to gain the attention of the crowd, the crier would yell, "Hear ye" - "Oyez".

In Medieval England, town criers were the chief means of news communication with the townspeople, since many were illiterate in a period before the movable type was invented. Royal proclamations, local bylaws, market days, adverts, even selling loaves of sugar were all proclaimed by a bellman or crier throughout the centuries—at Christmas 1798, the Chester Canal Co. sold some sugar damaged in their packet boat and this was to be advertised by the bellman.

The crier also escorted the destitute to the workhouse, installed minor criminals in the stocks and administering floggings. During public hangings he read out why the person was being hung, and helped to cut him or her down.

Chester records of 1540 show fees due to the bellman included 'of every worshipful gentyllman that goyth onye gounes at ther buryall goune [at funerals gowns would be given to mourners]. when he gythe or aneything that is lost ...jd [one penny]. for every bote lode with powder mellwylle [salted fish] fyshe, for every boute lode with fresh fyshe that he goeth for ...jd [one penny].' In 1556 a record shows 'To ye belman for p'claimyng ye Founder's dyryge 27 Januarij ...ijd [two pence on Henry VIII's death, the founder of the King's School].

In 1620, there was a fight at the Chester cross between the butchers and the bakers where the 'Cryer brake his Mace in peeces Amonge them'. In 1607, one public notice read by George Tunnall, the bellman, forbade tipping rubbish in the river. In 1715, a local man recorded that the 'Belman at the Cross ... Reads publicly a proclamation in the Mayor's name, commanding all persons in the City to be of peaceable and civil behaviour, not to walk around the Streets or Rows at unreasonable hours of night'. Chester once had a crier, a day bellman and a night bellman but in 1734, John Posnitt took over as 'Day and Night Bellman'.

A 1701 will of the vicar at Waverton stated that notice was to be given 'by the Belman to the People of Chester, of the time when, and the place where my Corpse is to be buried'

Salmon fishing season was also closed by the bellman.

The term "Posting A Notice" comes from the act of the town crier, who having read his message to the townspeople, would attach it to the door post of the local inn. Some newspapers took the name "The Post" for this reason.

Town criers were protected by law, as they sometimes brought bad news such as tax increases. Anything done by the town crier was done in the name of the ruling monarch and harming a town crier was considered to be treason. The phrase "don't shoot the messenger" was a real command.

There are two organizations representing town criers including the Ancient and Honorable Guild of Town Criers and Loyal Company of Town Criers.

By tradition, a copy of the Royal Proclamation about the dissolution of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is delivered by hand from the Privy Council Office to Mansion House in the City of London. It is then read out by the Common Crier (aka Mace-bearer) of the City on the steps of the Royal Exchange in the heart of the City, having been handed to him by the Common Serjeant of the City, ahead of its being also read out in the London boroughs.

National French Fries Day

If you love crispy, salty fried potatoes, then you have a reason to celebrate on the 13th of July. On this date falls National French Fries Day, a holiday that commemorates this American favorite and encourages people across the United States of America to dig in to a batch of fries.

There are many ways to enjoy french fries, and they can be much more than mere filler thrown onto a plate beside a hamburger or sandwich. They may be topped with chopped garlic and herbs, accompanied by an array of flavorful dipping sauces, or artfully presented in a cup or cone, possibly alongside a bowl of freshly steamed mussels. However you enjoy your fries, National French Fries Day offers you an excuse to indulge without guilt.

Like many food holidays, the history of National French Fries Day is not easy to pinpoint. Many of these such holidays are proposed by food manufacturers or individuals somehow connected to the food or industry.

French fries themselves, however, have a long history. They did not originate in France as the name implies, but actually in Belgium during the 1600's. It is speculated that the term "French fries" was coined in World War 1 by American soldiers who were introduced to them there, and were so named because Belgians speak French.

You may find French fry specials on the menu at restaurants, along with reduced prices (or, if you are lucky, free fries). You can celebrate at home by hosting a French fry party, and frying up a batch to share with friends and family members. You may also choose to celebrate this holiday by simply enjoying a serving of fries at a restaurant, fast food joint or at home.