Monday, August 31, 2015

Holidays and Observances for August 31 2015

Eat Outside Day

It's Eat Outside Day! Today is the last day of August, which makes this a very timely celebration. It's the perfect opportunity to take your breakfast, lunch, or dinner into the great outdoors and enjoy the last few days of warm summer weather.

Today there are many opportunities to eat outdoors, but for much of our history it was fairly uncommon. Partly explained by dust and dirt from unpaved roads, even in the 20th century when this had been overcome there were still few outdoor restaurants, particularly with the spread of air-conditioning after World War II. Though impossible to quantify, it’s possible that dining in open air was more in vogue in the late 18th century than in 1960.

“Pleasure gardens,” as they were called, were enjoyed in 18th-century American cities. Smaller ones were called tea gardens. Patrons, including whole families, were invited to lounge, stroll, and possibly spend the day. They offered a variety of food and drink, but by far the most popular order was ice cream. Many gardens were run by English tavern-keepers or French confectioners. New York’s Vauxhall Gardens, which contained a wax museum, was managed in the 1760s and 1770s by Sam Fraunces of the West Indies, later steward to George Washington. In 1798 a tea garden behind a Philadelphia tavern advertized it was “laid out in grass plats, provided with tables, benches, boxes, bowers, etc. and delightfully shaded by fruit trees.”

Outdoor gardens where patrons consumed mead, lemonade, and light snacks gave way around the Civil War to German beer gardens (Bismarck Gardens, Chicago, pictured) which, like tea gardens, were often situated on the outskirts of cities. They continued until the second decade of the 20th century when burgeoning suburbs wishing to eliminate alcohol purveyors succeeded in closing them down. Prohibition also defeated the dreams of American soldiers returning from WWI who had enjoyed sidewalk cafes in Paris and wanted to reproduce them in their homeland. But would they have caught on in a pragmatic country like America so dedicated to business and industry that sitting at a sidewalk café seemed like decadent loafing?

In truth dining outdoors was enjoyed by Americans mostly when they were in tourist mode, at the seashore or in Europe. Seasonal tea rooms delightfully situated in places such as Marblehead MA (pictured) commonly offered afternoon tea, lunch, and dinner on porches, lawns, and patios. World’s fairs were another place to enjoy Continental ways. Beginning with the 1876 Centennial in Philadelphia, fairs always included provisions for dining al fresco.

There were a few 20th-century exceptions to the general disinclination to dine outdoors. Rooftop restaurants, usually atop hotels such as the Astor (pictured here), attracted fashionable patrons around 1900 and persisted through the 1920s. New York had more than most cities, but they did flourish elsewhere, such as at San Antonio’s St. Anthony hotel. The title of “first” was claimed by St. Louis restaurateur Tony Faust who added rooftop dining in 1877.

And some odd artistic types — “bohemians” — enjoyed summertime dinners in the backyards of small Italian and French restaurants as early as the 1890s. By 1905, Town & Country magazine declared this habit had attained fad status among adventure seekers.

Louis Sherry claimed to have set up the first sidewalk café in this country, outside his Fifth Avenue restaurant in 1900. He wasn’t actually the first. In 1891 women out shopping in Manhattan liked to “eat al fresco under the vineclad, bush-shaded bower” in front of the Vienna Café. Not too surprisingly, the warmer climates of Florida and California proved most hospitable to sidewalk dining. The custom did not really catch on in a big way across the U.S., though. Those sidewalk cafes that were created in the mid-20th century, such as the St. Moritz Hotel’s Café de la Paix (NYC, pictured), usually advertised their Continental atmosphere, suggesting that eating on sidewalks had not yet earned true American status.

There are many ways that you can participate in Eat Outside Day. Eat at your favorite outdoor restaurant, enjoy a popsicle on your porch, organize a barbeque in your backyard, or have a picnic at a local park. Whatever you decide to do, just be sure to enjoy some time outside. Have fun!

International Overdose Awareness Day

The Silver Badge is the global symbol to commemorate those who have lost their lives or are living with a permanent injury after suffering overdose.

International Overdose Awareness Day, observed August 31st each year, is a commemorative day for those who have died from drug overdose, or are living with a permanent injury after suffering from drug overdose. It is also a day dedicated to raising awareness about drug overdose from both licit and illicit drug use and aims to lower stigma attached to drug use. Ceremonies to honour those who have passed away after suffering overdose, or educational sessions about overdose are commonly held on the day. The events are recognized by the United Nations, the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) and International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)  The Salvation Army auspices the day which is acknowledged in a growing number of countries including the USA, Australia, Russia and Britain.

In world wide epidemiological studies carried out by the IHRA a global summary on drug overdose prevalence was unable to be collated. However, studies carried out in discreet jurisdictions show drug overdose to be a major cause of death. For example, in the USA a report published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), drug overdose killed more than 33,000 people in 2005. In that particular year that made drug overdose the second leading cause of accidental death, behind only motor vehicle accidents (43,667) and ahead of firearms deaths (30,694). A 2008 report written for the Eurasia Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) and funded by the World Health Organization – summarizes the current situation with regard to overdose as being one of the leading causes of death among young people and the top cause of death among injection drug users – often exceeding deaths from AIDS-related illnesses (Coffin P., 2008)

International Overdose Awareness Day comes under the umbrella of Harm reduction programs which hope to decrease the harms associated with all drug use which includes overdose. The day proclaims that by improving ones knowledge ones ability to raise awareness and respond to drug harms will also improve. A 2009 You Tube film called Overdose Awareness Day was launched by the organizers of the day.

International Overdose Awareness Day originated in 2001 after a discussion between Sally J. Finn and Peter Streker. Sally was managing a needle and syringe program for The Salvation Army in St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia  at the time and Peter was co-ordinator of the Community and Health Development Program at the City of Port Phillip. They planned to hold a local event and give ribbons out for anyone who wished to commemorate a friend, partner or family member who had passed away. Any member of the community, even if not directly affected, could wear a ribbon to offer their condolences to those who had suffered overdose. On that first year 6,000 ribbons were distributed not only locally but throughout the state and further. The following year the steel badge was designed and requests for information and badges came from New Zealand as well as all over Australia. In 2008 the day was recognized by the UN, IHRA, EHRA and the IDPC.

Over the years many organizations including church groups and community-based programs have held events on the day and in the weeks leading up to the day. Prayer vigils and religious services have been held to remember people who have been lost as well as outdoor functions or non-denominational events such as tree plantings and banner signings. Government and non-government organisations such as hospitals, community health centers and user groups both in large cities such as Minneapolis, USA, Aligarh, India and Perth, Australia have held events to raise awareness and commemorate those who have been lost to drug overdose. Educational seminars are also held in schools and in drug and alcohol services world wide. Overdose Awareness Day targets the broader public through political rallies with additional involvement in lobbying governments for better health services and drug law reform that would assist drug users to stay as safe and as healthy as possible.

Love Litigating Lawyers Day

That's right folks, August 31 is a national holiday, and an important one at that. It's "Love Litigating Lawyers Day!" Today is the perfect opportunity to go up to your favorite litigator, give him (or her) a big hug, and hear him say those three little words: "Don't touch me." Just kidding. 

Litigating lawyers, get a bad rap, thanks to all the jokes out there. But the truth is, people don't come to lawyers when they are having a good day- you come when you need help, guidance, and someone to listen after you or someone you love has been injured. They don't call us "counselors" for nothing! Litigating lawyers work hard to right wrongs and make a difference in the lives of the public they serve.

 Litigation attorneys, also known as “litigators” or “trial lawyers,” represent plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases and manage all phases of the litigation process from investigation, pleadings and discovery to pre-trial, trial, settlement and appeal.

Below is an overview of the diverse tasks litigation attorneys undertake during the course of litigation. These tasks vary based on the nature of the dispute, the experience level of the attorney and whether the litigation attorney is representing the plaintiff or defendant.

Initial Case Investigation/Assessment
Litigation attorneys often conduct an initial case investigation to determine, in the plaintiff’s case, if enough evidence exists to file a lawsuit or, in the defendant’s case, what evidence exists to defend a potential suit. The investigation process may include locating witnesses, taking witness statements, gathering documents, interviewing the client and investigating the facts leading to the dispute. Litigation attorneys often engage in pre-litigation settlement discussions to resolve the matter before a lawsuit is filed.

Litigation attorneys draft a variety of pleadings and motions on behalf of the plaintiff or defendant. Plaintiff attorneys will draft a summons and complaint to commence the lawsuit. Defense attorneys collaborate with the client to investigate the allegations of the lawsuit and formulate responses. Litigation attorneys also draft a variety of motions including motions to strike, dismiss, amend or change venue and motions for judgment on the pleadings.

The discovery process involves the exchange of relevant information between the parties. Litigation attorneys employ a variety of discovery devices to gain information relevant to the lawsuit. These devices include interrogatories, depositions, requests for production and requests for admission. Litigation attorneys may also examine physical evidence and inspect the scene of the accident as well as collect, process and analyze information gathered during e-discovery. Litigation attorneys also draft and argue discovery-related motions including motions to compel, protective orders and summary judgment motions. The discovery process helps litigators gain relevant information, identify issues and formulate a case strategy.

In the weeks before trial, litigation attorneys wrap up discovery and prepare for trial. In the pre-trial stage, litigators consult with and advise clients; retain expert witnesses; attend pre-trial conferences and develop a trial strategy based on the facts and evidence. Litigation attorneys also conduct pre-trial depositions of experts and key witnesses; prepare demonstrative to be used as trial exhibits; and draft and argue pre-trial motions.

The majority of all lawsuits filed in civil court are settled prior to trial. In cases that proceed to trial, litigation attorneys are busy around the clock presenting their case before the judge or preparing for the next day in court. In the trial stage of litigation, litigators collaborate with experts and clients to craft a trial theme, identify strengths and weaknesses in a case; develop persuasive arguments; prepare witnesses for testimony and draft and argue trial motions.

At trial, litigation attorneys conduct voir dire, select a jury and present their case in court. Litigation attorneys present opening and closing statements, examine and cross-examine witnesses and craft a persuasive story for the fact-finder (judge or jury) through testimony and evidence. Litigation attorneys also prepare jury instructions and conduct post-trial interviews of the jury.

Most cases never reach trial but instead are settled in order to eliminate the risk and expense of trial. Litigation attorneys may settle a case at any time during the life cycle of the litigation.

At settlement, litigators engage in negotiations with opposing parties; participate in mediations and settlement conferences with the parties and the judge; and create settlement brochures, agreements, releases and other settlement materials.

If the litigation attorney does not obtain a favorable outcome at trial, he or she may appeal the case. Litigators draft post-trial motions; identify and preserve issues for appeal; develop appellate strategies; gather evidence for the appellate record; research procedural issues; draft appellate documents; and present oral arguments before appellate courts. If the case is particularly significant or complex, litigators may retain the assistance of attorneys who specialize in appellate practice.

So love your favorite litigator today... because where would you be without them?! Read a blog post from last fall about history's greatest lawyers here.

National Trail Mix Day

Next time you are standing in the grocery aisle, contemplating a healthier snack option, take a moment to ponder upon the timeless trail mix. Yup you read that right - timeless.  Why?  Well, with today being National Trail Mix day I decided to do a little investigation.  Come to find out, trail mix is thousands of years old. 

Ancient nomadic tribes used to mix up dried berries, fruits, nuts and meats together. It wasn't called Trail Mix then, but nevertheless it was just that.  Trail mix was (and is) high in energy, needs no specialized storage, and does not require cooking prior to consumption.

The history of trail mix and and gorp-type foods (nutritious, high-energy snacks composed variously of nuts, seeds, dried meats, dried fruits berries and candy) begins with the ancient nomads. These people were professionals at making easy to take on trips high-energy snacks that could handle any weather, that you didn't have to cook. Many different cultures would do this because it was the easiest way to keep storage of food for long periods of time.As time went on, so did the trail mix. Ancient travelers, explorers, pioneers, hunters, soldiers, hikers, scouts, even our very own cowboys, have enjoyed their own version of this easy to keep treat. Even today you will find various version of trail mix. 

Trail mix makes an easy snack for on the go people. It's easily customized to your tastes, and the recipe can be modified to include whatever you have on hand. The key to a successful trail mix is to vary flavors, including both sweet and salty, as well as textures, including both crunchy and soft.

Later, explorers continued the use of trail mixes, for the very same reasons, taking the high-energy food with them on their travails over many a trail, mountain or ocean. Native Americans had a special spin on trail mix, which they shared with those explorers they had good relations with. Their mix was called pemmican, and consisted of dried buffalo, moose or caribou, mixed with animal fat and berries, and lasted for months. Pieces were often broken off and used to make a stew, called rubbaboo, by adding flour, water, and maple sugar.

Despite this long, storied history, two separate companies, Harmony Foods and Hadley Fruit Orchards of California, state that the name “trail mix” was invented in 1968 by surfers who mixed together peanuts and raisins to keep their energy levels up during more “gnarly surf” periods. They hold to this statement despite trail mix is also mentioned in Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel The Dharma Bums as the two main characters describe their planned meals in their preparation for a hiking trip.

Trail mix is considered an ideal snack food for hikes, because it is tasty, lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious, providing a quick boost from the carbohydrates in the dried fruit and/or granola, and sustained energy from the mono- and polyunsaturated fats in nuts.

Today’s trail mix often includes fruit, grain cereals, nuts, flavorings, chocolate or carob, coconut, pretzels, and sometimes crystallized ginger. What is easy about Trail Mix is that it is portable.  It is easy to throw your favorite recipe into a ziplock bag and go.  Many local convenience stores also carry prepacked Trail Mix.  The drawback to these items are is that they often include candy, i.e. M & M's taking the place of carob.  Choose carefully and make it even better by making your own.

We Love Memoirs Day

We Love Memoirs was set up on 31st August 2013 by two memoir authors, Victoria Twead and Alan Parks, who wanted to create a place where memoir readers and authors could come together and chat. Victoria Twead is a New York Times bestselling author of “Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools” and the “Old Fools” series, while Alan Parks is the author of “Seriously Mum, What’s an Alpaca?” and the “Seriously Mum” series.

Victoria and Alan were determined to foster a warm community and have always discouraged authors from pushing their own books at readers. The results have been astounding, and WLM has grown quickly. New friendships are formed every day, and WLM meet-ups across the globe have become common. Small wonder that We Love Members is often described as “the friendliest group on Facebook”.

Memoir is a literary nonfiction genre. More specifically, it is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private that took place in the subject's life. The assertions made in the work are understood to be factual. While memoir has historically been defined as a subcategory of biography or autobiography since the late 20th century, the genre is differentiated in form, presenting a narrowed focus. A biography or autobiography tells the story of a life, while a memoir often tells a story from a life, such as touchstone events and turning points from the author's life. The author of a memoir may be referred to as a memoirist.

Memoirs have been written since the ancient times, as shown by Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, also known as Commentaries on the Gallic Wars. In the work, Caesar describes the battles that took place during the nine years that he spent fighting local armies in the Gallic Wars. His second memoir, Commentarii de Bello Civili (or Commentary on the Civil War) is an account of the events that took place between 49 and 48 BC in the civil war against Gnaeus Pompeius and the Senate. The noted Libanius, teacher of rhetoric who lived between an estimated 314 AD and 394 AD, framed his life memoir as one of his literary orations, which were written to be read aloud in the privacy of his study. This kind of memoir refers to the idea in ancient Greece and Rome, that memoirs were like "memos", or pieces of unfinished and unpublished writing, which a writer might use as a memory aid to make a more finished document later on.

In the Middle Ages, Geoffrey of Villehardouin, Jean de Joinville, and Philippe de Commines wrote memoirs, while the genre was represented toward the end of the Renaissance, through the works of Blaise de Montluc of France. Until the Age of Enlightenment encompassing the 17th and 18th centuries, works of memoir were written by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury; François de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac of France; and Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, who wrote Memoirs at his family's home at the castle of La Ferté-Vidame. While Saint-Simon was considered a writer possessing a high level of skill for narrative and character development, it wasn't until well after his death that his work as a memoirist was recognized, resulting in literary fame.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Holidays and Observances for August 30 2015

Frankenstein Day

Frankenstein Day is celebrated on August 30th of each year to commemorate the birth of Mary Shelley, author of the novel Frankenstein.

Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Godwin’s mother died when she was eleven days old; afterwards, she and her older half-sister, Fanny Imlay, were raised by her father. When Mary was four, Godwin married his neighbour, Mary Jane Clairmont. Godwin provided his daughter with a rich, if informal, education, encouraging her to adhere to his liberal political theories. In 1814, Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Together with Mary’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont, they left for France and traveled through Europe; upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy’s child. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816 after the suicide of Percy Shelley’s first wife, Harriet.

In 1816, the couple famously spent a summer with Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont near Geneva, Switzerland, where Mary conceived the idea for her novel Frankenstein. The Shelleys left Britain in 1818 for Italy, where their second and third children died before Mary Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm in the Bay of La Spezia. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, probably caused by the brain tumour that was to kill her at the age of 53.

Until the 1970s, Mary Shelley was known mainly for her efforts to publish Percy Shelley’s works and for her novel Frankenstein, which remains widely read and has inspired many theatrical and film adaptations. Recent scholarship has yielded a more comprehensive view of Mary Shelley’s achievements. Scholars have shown increasing interest in her literary output, particularly in her novels, which include the historical novels Valperga (1823) and Perkin Warbeck (1830), the apocalyptic novel The Last Man (1826), and her final two novels, Lodore (1835) and Falkner (1837). Studies of her lesser-known works such as the travel book Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844) and the biographical articles for Dionysius Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopaedia (1829–46) support the growing view that Mary Shelley remained a political radical throughout her life. Mary Shelley’s works often argue that cooperation and sympathy, particularly as practiced by women in the family, were the ways to reform civil society. This view was a direct challenge to the individualistic Romantic ethos promoted by Percy Shelley and the Enlightenment political theories articulated by her father, William Godwin.

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

Enforced disappearance has frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within the society. The feeling of insecurity generated by this practice is not limited to the close relatives of the disappeared, but also affects their communities and society as a whole.

Enforced disappearance has become a global problem and is not restricted to a specific region of the world. Once largely the product of military dictatorships, enforced disappearances can nowadays be perpetrated in complex situations of internal conflict, especially as a means of political repression of opponents. Of particular concern are:
  • the ongoing harassment of human rights defenders, relatives of victims, witnesses and legal counsel dealing with cases of enforced disappearance;
  • the use by States of counter-terrorist activities as an excuse for breaching their obligations;
  • and the still widespread impunity for enforced disappearance.
Special attention must also be paid to specific groups of especially vulnerable people, like children and people with disabilities.

On 21 December 2010, by its resolution 65/209 the UN General Assembly expressed its deep concern, in particular, by the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction, when these are part of or amount to enforced disappearances, and by the growing number of reports concerning harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared.

By the same resolution the Assembly welcomed the adoption of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and decided to declare 30 August the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, to be observed beginning in 2011.

International Whale Shark Day

The bunnies have got Easter sewn up and Christmas is all about Rudolph, so it’s only fair that everyone’s favorite fish, the whale shark, gets a bite at the cherry.

Started in 2012, International Whale Shark Day celebrates these gentle giants. Growing up to 14 meters long and 12 tons heavy, whale sharks have a face only a mother could love: no whale shark will ever win a beauty contest, so it’s right they’re made to feel special one day a year. However, there’s a serious purpose to the day, which aims to raise awareness of how this animal has been hunted to vulnerability for its highly prized fins and meat.

As the largest fish in the sea, reaching lengths of 40 feet (12 meters) or more, whale sharks have an enormous menu from which to choose. Fortunately for most sea-dwellers—and us!—their favorite meal is plankton. They scoop these tiny plants and animals up, along with any small fish that happen to be around, with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water's surface.

The whale shark, like the world's second largest fish, the basking shark, is a filter feeder. In order to eat, the beast juts out its formidably sized jaws and passively filters everything in its path.  The mechanism is theorized to be a technique called “cross-flow filtration,” similar to some bony fish and baleen whales.

The whale shark's flattened head sports a blunt snout above its mouth with short barbels protruding from its nostrils. Its back and sides are gray to brown with white spots among pale vertical and horizontal stripes, and its belly is white. Its two dorsal fins are set rearward on its body, which ends in a large dual-lobbed caudal fin (or tail).

Preferring warm waters, whale sharks populate all tropical seas. They are known to migrate every spring to the continental shelf of the central west coast of Australia. The coral spawning of the area's Ningaloo Reef provides the whale shark with an abundant supply of plankton.

Although massive, whale sharks are docile fish and sometimes allow swimmers to hitch a ride. They are currently listed as a vulnerable species; however, they continue to be hunted in parts of Asia, such as the Philippines.

So, why not show a little solidarity on International Whale Shark Day and celebrate our finned friends? Go coastal and try and glimpse a whale or perhaps bake a (fish)cake. Whatever you do, just don’t watch Jaws.

National Holistic Pet Day

This August 30th you have the chance to change your pet’s life just by celebrating Holistic Pet Day. The goal of this special day is to highlight the importance of whole pet health instead of singular systems or problems. Holistic pet health can help improve nutrition, increase energy and remedy lingering ailments.

National Holistic Pet Day was founded by Colleen Paige of Animal Miracle Network. She is considered to be one of America's premier family and pet lifestyle experts. She has also founded such holidays as National Dog Day, National Cat Day, National Kids & Pets Day, and several others. Ms. Paige has said of National Holistic Pet Day, “I want people to understand that with the already short life spans our pets have, they need a fighting chance these days to live as long as they were meant to. Pet owners really need to start looking at their pet’s diet, lifestyle and environment. I want to ensure that I have done my best to bring about public awareness of the need for a healthy lifestyle with our pets. I don’t blame myself for Tinkerbelle’s death, but now that she has died from cancer – I know I could have done better. I don’t want anyone else to have to feel how I feel…wondering if I could have prevented it.”

You play a very important role in the health of your dog. Its food, amount of exercise and mental stimulation lead to excellent health and well-being, affecting your dog's physical, behavioral and emotional health. Holistic Pet Day is a chance to help improve your pet's quality of life by strengthening each of the following:
Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of holistic pet care. A diet of natural and organic food is has numerous health benefits such boosting your pet’s immune system, which is an easy way to prevent diseases and other health problems. Try not to feed your dog food that is difficult to digest. Our dogs’ digestive systems aren’t mean to deal with many of the preservatives and chemicals found in cheap pet food. Good quality, natural dog food also helps our dogs fight allergies, intestinal problems, obesity, diabetes and other food-related diseases.

Water is the most important nutrient for long, healthy life. Dogs need plenty of fresh water that isn't potentially contaminated with fluoride, chlorine and other chemicals. Keep your dog's water safe by using filtered water, never reusing plastic water bottles to fill their water bowls, and using stainless steel dog bowls instead of plastic.

One of the best ways to keep your dog healthy in body is to give it plenty of exercise. It helps keep your dog physically fit, aids weight loss, lowers cholesterol levels, decreases diabetes risk, lessens the risk of heart disease, helps with anxiety and helps fight certain cancers. Exercise also helps your dog behave too; you know the saying that a tired dog is a good dog.

It doesn’t take much to get your dog moving around and exercising. Go for plenty of walks or maybe a run. How about a fun game of fetch? Dogs love to chase down their favorite ball or toy. Another added benefit of exercising your dog is that you get plenty of exercise and in turn help improve your own health. It’s a win-win situation!

Use only natural grooming products when giving your dog a bath. This includes items with natural oils and extracts instead of synthetic chemicals which can leave harmful residues and strip away your pet’s natural oils.

While keeping your dog physically active is important so is keeping it mentally stimulated. It keeps him or her happy and well-balanced. There are all sorts of different and fun ways to get your dog's brain cells firing. Some dog toys are specifically designed to challenge your dog to solve a puzzle for a treat. Hide treats in different areas of your home or apartment and have your dog search them out using its sense of smell. Try taking an alternative route when going for a walk. Your dog will love the new smells, sounds and sights! Have your dog interact with others dogs with a trip to the local doggie park.

The overall goal of Holistic Pet Day is to help improve your dog’s quality of life. It’s a wonderful opportunity to keep your dog happy and healthy in all aspects of its life. Remember to follow the tips you learned on Holistic Pet Day everyday for a long-lasting and happy relationship with your pet.

National Toasted Marshmallow Day

Fall is just around the corner, and with it comes cooler weather. Don’t be disheartened by the dropping temperatures; instead, light the hearth, stoke the outdoor fire pit or wait a while before putting the grill in the garage. Toasted marshmallows are the ultimate way to usher in the cooler season.

Marshmallows have a pretty interesting history. The althea officinalis, or marshmallow plant, was initially used for its healing properties (Althainein in Greek means "to heal"). The root of this native African plant also produces a sticky white substance which the Egyptians combined with honey to make candy.

Not surprisingly, in the mid-19th century, the French turned the treat into the fluffy puff we know today as a marshmallow. They combined egg whites, water, sugar and the marshmallow root and then molded the mixture into individual candies. They were also dusted with corn starch to prevent them from sticking to everything. Over time, the marshmallow root has been replaced with gelatin, but the basic homemade recipe remains the same.

Marshmallows are pretty easy to make, but you will need a candy thermometer and an electric mixer or beater. You can use them in all sorts of ways: in cocoa, for puffed rice treats or for dipping in chocolate or caramel.

Toasted marshmallows are probably best known for their starring roles in sweet potato casserole (a Southern staple at Thanksgiving) and s’mores. The technique you use for toasting is very personal. Some prefer the rotisserie method, gently turning their mallow until it’s evenly browned. Others jump right in and engulf the puff in flames. Whatever your preferred technique, there’s something very satisfying about enjoying this treat outdoors before the cold really sets in.

Pony Express Day

Pony Express Day is observed the last Sunday in August and is to honor and celebrate the brave riders who were a part of the mail service (with the same name) delivering mail, messages, newspapers, and small packages from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California.

Pony Express Day celebrates those brave souls who made up the unique mail delivery system of the same name. Back in the days of the wild west, there was no Fed Ex, no Postal Service that ran that far west, no planes, and delivery by ship was likely to take months if it ever got there at all. Seeing this need for a specialized delivery service, Leavenworth and Pike’s Peak Express Company took an opportunity to expand into this void. From this important decision was born one of the most iconic pieces of American History, whose influence is felt in hundreds of Pony Express Day Festivals throughout the American Midwest.

The Pony Express existed for 18 months between the days of April 3, 1860 to October 1861. In these days there was no air mail, no great American Highway, all there was was hundreds of miles of wide open spaces with not much in between but animal filled wilderness and bandito filled hollows. During this time, if you wanted to send a letter or small package from anywhere East past the gateway of St. Joseph, Missouri, there was only one way to go. The Pony Express was a massive employer for it’s time, with up to 80 young riders employed at any given stage, with stringent requirements on their age, size, and weight.

The Pony Express preferred to employ the youngest riders they could, in part for their resilience, and in part for how light they were. The lighter a man was the longer the horse could run and the more cargo the rider could carry, and since the horses were put to go full tilt for 10 to 15 miles at a stretch before changing, this was of vital importance. The rider changed out every 75 to 100 miles, but the mail never so much as slowed even in the worst of weather. While the average trip from coast to coast (On Horseback!) took 10 days, when they delivered Lincoln’s Inaugural Address, the trip was made in a mere 7 days and 17 hours.

With Pony Express Day Festivals being a staple all throughout the United States, there are tons of opportunities to celebrate the bravery of these young mailmen. You can spend Postal Express Day dressed up as one of these adventurous young souls who served as the heart of America’s fast tracked postal line, while watching equestrian events commemorating the challenges they faced. Speaking of equestrian events, lets not forget the true heroes of this endeavor, the horses that carried men and post across the nation time and time again. These events often have a broad range of related events, including food related events. Chili was one of the staples of the old American West, and as you might imagine there was often a pot of this spicy staple bubbling to keep the riders fed as they came in and out with the packages.

If you find yourself without a local event, you can host one at your home. Make Chili and Cornbread, find logos and the like to print out online, and get the 1953 movie ‘Pony Express’ featuring Charleston Heston and Rhonda Fleming! This is a classic about this amazing American institution and the trials and efforts of the men and women who fought to make it a reality. So get together with your friends and family on Pony Express Day, and celebrate the Pioneer spirit of the Old West!

Slinky Day

Spring into action on August 30! It's Slinky Day.

Who remembers this popular coiled spring toy, which clinks and clanks and steps downstairs all by itself? The Slinky first appeared in the 1940s, created by American naval engineer Richard James. Apparently James invented the classic plaything by accident. He was working on a set of metal springs for shipboard instruments. Suddenly, a section of spring fell off his laboratory shelf and stepped down several stacks of books, papers and counter before landing in a neat upright stack. A legend was born. Celebrating this auspicious occasion, August 30th is Slinky Day.

Slinky is a toy; a precompressed helical spring invented by Richard James in the early 1940s. It can perform a number of tricks, including travelling down a flight of steps end-over-end as it stretches and re-forms itself with the aid of gravity and its own momentum, or appear to levitate for a period of time after it has been dropped. These interesting characteristics have contributed to its success as a toy in its home country of USA, resulting in many popular toys with slinky components in a wide range of countries.

The toy was invented and developed by naval engineer Richard T. James in 1943 and demonstrated at Gimbels department store in Philadelphia in November 1945. The toy was a hit, selling its entire inventory of 400 units in ninety minutes. James and his wife Betty formed James Industries in Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania to manufacture Slinky and several related toys such as the Slinky Dog and Suzie, the Slinky Worm. In 1960, James' wife Betty became president of James Industries, and, in 1964, moved the operation to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. In 1998, Betty James sold the company to Poof Products, Inc..

Slinky was originally priced at $1, but many paid much more due to price increases of spring steel throughout the state of Pennsylvania, and has remained modestly priced throughout its history as a result of Betty James' concern about the toy's affordability for financially disadvantaged customers. Slinky has seen uses other than as a toy in the playroom: it has appeared in the classroom as a teaching tool, in wartime as a radio antenna, and in physics experiments with NASA. Slinky was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York, in 2000. In 2002, Slinky became Pennsylvania's official state toy, and, in 2003, was named to the Toy Industry Association's "Century of Toys List." In its first 60 years Slinky has sold 300 million units.

In 1943, Richard James, a naval mechanical engineer stationed at the William Cramp and Sons shipyards in Philadelphia, was developing springs that could support and stabilize sensitive instruments aboard ships in rough seas. James accidentally knocked one of the springs from a shelf, and watched as the spring "stepped" in a series of arcs to a stack of books, to a tabletop, and to the floor, where it re-coiled itself and stood upright. James' wife Betty later recalled, "He came home and said, 'I think if I got the right property of steel and the right tension; I could make it walk.'" James experimented with different types of steel wire over the next year, and finally found a spring that would walk. Betty was dubious at first, but changed her mind after the toy was fine-tuned and neighborhood children expressed an excited interest in it. She dubbed the toy Slinky (meaning "sleek and graceful"), after finding the word in a dictionary, and deciding that the word aptly described the sound of a metal spring expanding and collapsing.

With a US$500 loan, the couple formed James Industries (originally James Spring & Wire Company), had 400 Slinky units made by a local machine shop, hand-wrapped each in yellow paper, and priced them at $1 a piece.[4] Each was 21⁄2" tall, and included 98 coils of high-grade blue-black Swedish steel. The Jameses had difficulty selling Slinky to toy stores but, in November 1945, they were granted permission to set up an inclined plane in the toy section of Gimbels department store in Philadelphia to demonstrate the toy. Slinky was a hit, and the first 400 units were sold within ninety minutes. In 1946, Slinky was introduced at the American Toy Fair.

Richard James opened shop in Albany, New York after developing a machine that could produce a Slinky within seconds. The toy was packaged in a black-lettered box, and advertising saturated America. James often appeared on television shows to promote Slinky. In 1952, the Slinky Dog debuted. Other Slinky toys introduced in the 1950s included the Slinky train Loco, the Slinky worm Suzie, and the Slinky Crazy Eyes, a pair of glasses that uses Slinkys over the eyeholes attached to plastic eyeballs. James Industries licensed the patent to several other manufacturers including Wilkening Mfg. Co. of Philadelphia and Toronto which produced spring-centered toys such as Mr. Wiggle's Leap Frog and Mr. Wiggle's Cowboy. In its first 2 years, James Industries sold 100 million Slinkys (At $1 apiece, that would be the equivalent to $1 Billion, adjusted for inflation, in gross revenue over those 2 years).

In 1960, Richard James left the company after his wife filed for divorce and he became an evangelical missionary in Bolivia with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Betty James managed the company, juggled creditors, and in 1964 moved the company to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. Richard James died in 1974. The company and its product line expanded under Betty James' leadership.[4] In 1995, she explained the toy's success to the Associated Press by saying, "It's the simplicity of it."

Betty James insisted upon keeping the original Slinky affordable. In 1996, when the price ranged from $1.89 to $2.69, she told The New York Times: “So many children can't have expensive toys, and I feel a real obligation to them. I'm appalled when I go Christmas shopping and $60 to $80 for a toy is nothing." In 2008, Slinkys cost $4 to $5, and Slinky Dogs about $20.

In 1998, James Industries was sold to Poof Products, Inc. of Plymouth, Michigan, a manufacturer of foam sports balls. Slinky continued production in Hollidaysburg. In 2003, James Industries merged with Poof Products, Inc. to create Poof-Slinky, Inc.

Betty James died of congestive heart failure in November 2008, aged 90, after having served as president of James Industries from 1960 to 1998. Over 300 million Slinkys have been sold between 1945 and 2005, and the original Slinky is still a bestseller.
Or simply sit back and wax nostalgic by watching this old Slinky television commercial. Just try not to sing along. See? You can't help yourself!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Holidays and Observances for August 29 2015

"According to Hoyle" Day

"According to Hoyle" Day is a day to honor Edmond Hoyle. In 1741 he instructed people how to play the game of whist, a 18th and 19th century card game. Needing a standard set of rules for the game he wrote A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist. He was encouraged to publish it since it was so well received by his students. He published several versions of the book adding rules for other games such as chess and backgammon. The phrase "according to Hoyle" was used to describe the correct rules or procedures in any activity or game.

Edmond Hoyle (1672 – 29 August 1769) was a writer best known for his works on the rules and play of card games. The phrase "according to Hoyle" came into the language as a reflection of his generally perceived authority on the subject; since that time, use of the phrase has expanded into general use in situations in which a speaker wishes to indicate an appeal to a putative authority.

Chop Suey Day

Pass the chopsticks - August 29 is National Chop Suey Day!

Chop suey is one of those dishes with a history that needs to be taken with a grain of salt. While most have settled on the version that ties its origin to Toisan, a region in China from where many immigrants to American came from, there are some more colorful options.

Chop suey is widely believed to have been invented in America by Chinese Americans, but the anthropologist E.N. Anderson concludes that the dish is based on tsap seui (“miscellaneous leftovers”), common in Taishan (Toisan), a county in Guangdong Province (Canton), the home of many early Chinese immigrants to the U.S. This "became the infamous ‘chop suey’ of third-string Chinese restaurants in the western world, but it began life as a good if humble dish among the specialist vegetable farmers of the area. At the end of the day, they would stir-fry the small shoots, thinnings, and unsold vegetables—up to ten species in a dish!" The Hong Kong doctor Li Shu-fan likewise reported that he knew it in Toisan in the 1890s.

The long list of colorful and conflicting stories about the origin of chop suey is, in the words of the food historian Alan Davidson, “a prime example of culinary mythology” and typical of popular foods.

One account claims that it was invented by Chinese American cooks working on the transcontinental railroad in the 19th century. Another tale is that it was created during Qing Dynasty premier Li Hongzhang's visit to the United States in 1896 by his chef, who tried to create a meal suitable for both Chinese and American palates. Another story is that Li wandered to a local Chinese restaurant after the hotel kitchen had closed, where the chef, embarrassed that he had nothing ready to offer, came up with the new dish using scraps of leftovers. Yet recent research by the scholar Renqui Yu led him to conclude that "no evidence can be found in available historical records to support the story that Li Hung Chang ate chop suey in the United States." Li brought three Chinese chefs with him, and would not have needed to eat in local restaurants or invent new dishes in any case. Yu speculates that shrewd Chinese American restaurant owners took advantage of the publicity surrounding his visit to promote chop suey as Li's favorite.

Yet another myth is that, in the 1860s, a Chinese restaurant cook in San Francisco was forced to serve something to drunken miners after hours, when he had no fresh food. To avoid a beating, the cook threw leftovers in a wok and served the miners who loved it and asked what dish is this—he replied Chopped Sui. There is no good evidence for any of these stories.

Chop suey appears in an 1884 article in the Brooklyn Eagle, by Wong Chin Foo, "Chinese Cooking," which he says "may justly be called the "national dish of China."  An 1888 description calls it "A staple dish for the Chinese gourmand is chow chop svey, a mixture of chickens' livers and gizzards, fungi, bamboo buds, pigs' tripe, and bean sprouts stewed with spices."In 1898, it is described as "A Hash of Pork, with Celery, Onions, Bean Sprouts, etc."

During his travels in the United States, Liang Qichao, a Guangdong (Canton) native, wrote in 1903 that there existed in the United States a food item called chop suey which was popularly served by Chinese restaurateurs, but which local Chinese people did not eat.

In earlier periods of Chinese history, "chop suey" or "shap sui" in Cantonese, and "za sui", in Mandarin, has the different meaning of cooked animal offal or entrails. For example, in the classic novel Journey to the West (circa 1590), Sun Wukong tells a lion-monster in chapter 75: "When I passed through Guangzhou, I bought a pot for cooking za sui – so I'll savour your liver, entrails, and lungs." This may be the same as the "Chop Suey Kiang" found in 1898 New York. The term "za sui" is found in newer Chinese-English dictionaries with both meanings listed: cooked entrails, and chop suey in the Western sense.
Regardless of the origin, the simple dish can now be found in most Chinese restaurants.

"Most Americans know it's not real Chinese food. A handful of them don't care," writes Jennifer 8. Lee in her book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food. "Yet it still endures."

Chop suey primarily consists of stir-fried vegetables, meat and eggs with a starchy sauce served over rice or noodles. Translated, chop suey means "mixed bits."

The dish is relatively easy to put together, and can be altered for dietary and taste preferences. So, how will you take yours?

Franchise Appreciation Day

What is Franchise Appreciation Day? Franchise Appreciation Day is an initiative to help create an awareness to increase customers knowledge of the importance of using social media networks and location-based services to connect with, and continue to support local franchises. It's also a day to celebrate franchises and allow you the consumer to enjoy a day in support of your favorite franchises by receiving Discounts and Giveaways.

When is Franchise Appreciation Day? The last Saturday in August [Labor Day Weekend]. We encourage everyone to support local franchises daily.

Who can participate? Anyone. We encourage everyone to support local franchises.

Why should I get involve? To help with building and strengthening the relationships between consumers and franchisees using mobile applications and social media to connect with their local consumers. This would drive more traffic and in-turn would create more revenue for that franchisee to hire more people in your community, and do more community involvement activities.

What is a Franchise? A franchise is a right granted to an individual or group to market a company's goods or services within a certain territory or location. Some examples of today's popular franchises are McDonald's, Subway, Domino's Pizza, Golden Krust Bakery and the UPS Store.

There are many different types of franchises. There are over 120 different types of franchise businesses available today, including automotive, cleaning & maintenance, health & fitness, financial services, and pet-related franchises, just to name a few.

Who are Franchisees? A franchisee is an individual who purchases the rights to use a company's trademarked name and business model to do business. The franchisee purchases a franchise from the franchisor. The franchisee must follow certain rules and guidelines already established by the franchisor, and in most cases the franchisee must pay an ongoing franchise royalty fee to the franchisor.

What are the Franchises Facts?

  • The number of jobs filled within and because of franchised businesses (17,430,700)
  • The number of franchise establishments (over 828,138)
  • Direct and indirect economic impact of franchised businesses; ($2.1 trillion)
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of franchised businesses ($1.2 trillion)
  • Franchised businesses account for nearly 50% of all retail sales in the United States.
  • Franchised businesses supplied an annual payroll of $304.4 billion, or 4.2 percent of all private non-farm payrolls in the United States in 2007!
What is Sociallybuzz? Sociallybuzz is a social media management, marketing and advertising company, working with businesses and franchises to help them understand the importance of having a local social web presence and the values of having a great relationship with their consumers.

Individual Rights Day

Individual Rights Day is celebrated on August 29th, the birth date of John Locke, the philosopher who first prominently argued that a human being has a basic property right based upon his status as a sovereign human being and that it is the government's role to protect that right and not to treat its citizens as slaves.

Individual Rights Day was started by Dr. Tom Stevens, the founder of the Objectivist Party. It was created so people can contemplate the importance of this concept to man's right to life and to use reason to ensure his own survival.

John Locke stated in "The Second Treatise On Civil Government" - "Every man has a property in his own person this no body has any right to but himself. The labor of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say are properly his...The great and chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property."

John Locke quotations on "Individual Rights":

“Reason...teaches all Mankind, who would but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions.”

"Government can never have a Power to take to themselves the whole or any part of the Subjects Property, without their own consent."

“’Tis a Mistake to think this Fault [tyranny] is proper only to Monarchies; other Forms of Government are liable to it, as well as that. For where-ever the Power that is put in any hands for the Government of the People, and the Preservation of their Properties, is applied to other ends, and made use of to impoverish, harass, or subdue them to the Arbitrary and Irregular Commands of those that have it: There it presently becomes Tyranny, whether those that thus use it are one or many.”

"Whenever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge...against Force and Violence. Whensoever therefore the Legislative shall transgress this fundamental Rule of Society; and either by Ambition, Fear, Folly or Corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty.”

Ayn Rand quotations on "Individual Rights":

"A 'right' is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)...Thus, for every individual, a right is the moral sanction of a positive—of his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice. As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligations on them except of a negative kind: to abstain from violating his rights."

"The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave."

“Man holds these rights, not from the Collective nor for the Collective, but against the Collective—as a barrier which the Collective cannot cross...these rights are man’s protection against all other men."

“The source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A—and Man is Man. Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work. If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational. Any group, any gang, any nation that attempts to negate man’s rights, is wrong, which means: is evil, which means: is anti-life."

"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)."

"The concept of individual rights is so prodigious a feat of political thinking that few men grasp it fully—and two hundred years have not been enough for other countries to understand it. But this is the concept to which we owe our lives—the concept which made it possible for us to bring into reality everything of value that any of us did or will achieve or experience."

International Bat Night

International Bat Night - Bats live in a forest near where I live and I'll sometimes see them flapping past the window.  It's pretty cool!

EUROBATS is back to organize the seventeenth International Bat Night as darkness falls between the 29th and 31st of August.

Over 30 countries celebrate bats on International Bat Night - from Belgium and Sweden to the UK!   In Worcestershire, you'll be taken a walk in the dark to learn about our 'enigmatic' friends.

Why don't you organize your own International Bat Night event?   To receive posters to promote the event, email EUROBATS at:

It's well know that bats can be seen as a bit scary!   This probably comes from the fact a lot of vampire movies have made bats out to be blood-sucking and terrifying!

And while it's true that they do drink insects' blood they don't come near ours!  Yet the scare stories are endangering our flying friends.   If bats were to become extinct we'd be in big trouble - there would be insects everywhere!

Although bats have been used for good symbolism too.  Take Batman for instance!  The superhero that protects the city of Gotham in movies like The Dark Knight.

But how much do you know about real bats?   Did you know that they pollinate lots of plants?  Like bees, bats are essential pollinators for the growth of our natural world.   In fact there are nectar-feeding bats!   They help disperse seeds - and are really good for the economy too!

The bat conservation international organisation knows just how important it is to help our bats.  And recognize how special they are too!   Did you know that some males sing when trying to attract a female?  Or that vampire bats adopt orphans?  Unusual for any animal, never mind a supposedly scary bat!

I had heard of a few bat species, for example, the Common pipistrelle, Daubenton's bat and the Greater horseshoe bat, but I didn't realize that in the UK we have 18 species of bats - wow!   There's lots of information about bat species in the UK at the Bat Conservation Trust website, and what's more you can even listen to them as well!

If you are planning a bat event why not post the details on the events page so that everyone knows what you are doing.

International Day Against Nuclear Tests

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day against Nuclear Tests brings public awareness and education about the effects of global nuclear weapon tests. The day aims to end nuclear testing and to promote peace and security.

The International Day against Nuclear Tests aims to raise people’s awareness on the need to prevent nuclear catastrophes to avert devastating effects on humankind, the environment and the planet. Many people use the day as an opportunity to share their perspective on the issue of nuclear weapons and testing.  Different organizations may host educational and public activities to bring awareness of the use of nuclear weapons and the dangers involved with nuclear weapons testing and usage.

The history of nuclear testing began on July 16, 1945, when an atomic bomb was used at a desert test site in Alamogordo, New Mexico, in the United States. More than 2000 nuclear tests were carried out worldwide between 1945 and 1996. Nuclear weapons tests are generally broken into different categories reflecting the test’s medium or location:
  • Atmospheric tests.
  • Underwater tests.
  • Underground tests.
Over the years, there have been calls to ban nuclear test to ensure the protection of people’s lives and the environment around them. The UN approved a draft resolution in late 2009 for an international day against nuclear tests to raise public awareness about the threats and dangers of nuclear weapons.  It was also hoped that UN’s member states would move towards the idea of nuclear disarmament.

The International Day against Nuclear Tests was declared to be annually held on August 29, which marks the closing of one of the world’s largest nuclear test sites (in Kazakhstan) in 1991. The day is devoted to enhancing public awareness and education about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. It also promotes the need for a nuclear weapon-free world. The day’s first official observance was marked for August 29, 2010.

Lemon Juice Day

According to a website that charts national day, here's a day to celebrate. August 29 is National Lemon Juice Day.

Lemon juice and its uses
The juice of the lemon is about 5% to 6% citric acid, which gives lemons a sour taste. The distinctive sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods such as lemonade.

Almost all foods taste even better with a little lemon juice squeezed on top of it. Such foods include fish, chicken, and gravy. Of course, almost everyone knows lemon juice is good in iced tea. It is even good in just plain water.

Unlike salt, butter, or other seasonings that can make good foods bad for you, lemon juice won't do you any harm. In fact, it might even help you lose weight.

A lot of people have lemon juice in a hot cup of water as soon as they get out of bed in the morning. The benefits of the lemon juice last throughout the day.

10 Reasons Lemon Juice Is Good For You
Saying that lemons are a superfood is an understatement. Not only do they add abundant flavor to a variety of dishes, but they also boast a ton of health benefits. The flavonoids within the juice are said to contain antioxidants, which is why lemons are useful in treating so many ailments and conditions. Here are 10 reasons to enjoy them ASAP.
  1. Prevent kidney stones: Drinking one half-cup of lemon juice every day raises citrate levels in the urine. Studies have shown that this could protect against calcium stones in the kidney.
  2. Soothe a sore throat: Mixing lemon juice with honey can help alleviate the discomfort that comes from a nasty sore throat.
  3. Support weight loss: Beyond the old notion that the Master Cleanse was the only way lemons could help you lose weight, new studies have shown the ways lemon juice supports your goals. Lemon juice contains pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to aid in weight-loss struggles.
  4. Start your day right: Leave caffeinated drinks behind, and start your day off with hot water and fresh lemon juice to stimulate your digestive track and add vitamin C.
  5. Stop an itch: When it comes to poison ivy or insect bites, rubbing lemon juice on the area can soothe the skin, since it has anti-inflammatory and anesthetic effects.
  6. Aids in digestion: Dr. Oz is a big believer in the power of lemon juice for weight loss. He suggests drinking a mixture of lemon juice and flaxseeds in order to eliminate waste more quickly from your body.
  7. Anticancer properties: Studies have supported the anticancer activity of citrus liminoids, compounds that protect your cells from damage that can lead to the formation of cancer cells.
  8. Potassium power: Bananas aren't the only way to get a big helping of potassium in your system. In addition to vitamin C, lemons offer 80 milligrams of this mineral that helps your body stay strong and nimble.
  9. Bring down a fever: Forget the days of starving a fever! When your temperature goes up, drinking a lemon juice mixture can help bring your fever down faster.
  10. Balance pH: While lemons may seem quite acidic, they're a surprisingly good source of an alkaline food that can help balance your body's pH.
More Herbs, Less Salt Day

More Herbs, Less Salt Day takes place on 29th August each year.  The aim of More Herbs, Less Salt Day is to promote the use of healthy herbs as seasoning instead of salt.

Late in the month of August is actually a very good time for a day such as More Herbs, Less Salt Day, for the simple reason that this is a time when the harvesting of herbs from the garden is reaching its annual peak.  After all, there are few things in this world that are better than being able to garnish your all-time favorite recipes with fresh garden herbs.

More Herbs, Less Salt Day was the brainchild of, which has actually created and copyrighted a whole range of other special days throughout the yearly calendar as well.  Perhaps oddly, has not given much in the way of information about the day, other than to take note of the fact that herbs are much better for your overall health than is the case with salt, which is certainly true enough.

Of course, perhaps simply did not see the need to give too much other information about More Herbs, Less Salt Day given that it more or less effectively speaks for itself.  All you need to take part in More Herbs, Less Salt Day are some herbs, a fun and tasty recipe, a desire for a healthier diet, and perhaps just a dash of imagination as well.

National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day

Sarcoidosis, a disease that affects many of our fellow citizens and people around the world, remains shrouded in mystery. Skin-related symptoms of this chronic, multi-system disease were first recognized more than 100 years ago; however, the effects of Sarcoidosis on other bodily organs were not observed until the first quarter of this century. Today researchers are still trying to learn more about the cause and the nature of this affliction.

Sarcoidosis can strike people of all races and of all ages, but, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it is most common among black Americans who are between the ages of 20 and 40. While no cause has yet been identified, it is thought that heredity predisposes some individuals to the disease. Intensive research during the past decade has not only supported this belief but also enabled physicians to diagnose and to manage Sarcoidosis more effectively.

Today researchers at both the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute are leading studies on the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of Sarcoidosis. On this occasion, we recognize their work and that of other concerned physicians and scientists throughout the United States. We also salute the victims of Sarcoidosis who demonstrate great courage and determination in their efforts to cope with the disease; and we pay tribute to their family members and to other concerned Americans who are engaged in grass-roots efforts to promote awareness of Sarcoidosis, as well as improved treatment and support for its victims.

To focus national attention on Sarcoidosis, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 309, has designated August 29, 1991, as "National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim August 29, 1991, as National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day. I invite all Americans to join in observing this day with appropriate programs and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixteenth.

National Swiss Winegrowers Day

It's National Swiss Winegrowers Day! 

France, Germany, Italy – all great wine growing countries. Right in the middle sits Switzerland. Logically, it should also be a prominent wine producer. But as you probably know from wandering up and down the aisles of your local liquor store, there isn’t ever a sign between “Italy” and “France” where you’ll find the Swiss wines tucked away.

The numbers pretty much tell the story: Swiss wine production in 2009 was just over 1.1 million hectoliters, compared to:
  • 7 million hectolitres in Canada
  • 9 million hectoliters in Germany
  • 50 and 60 million hectolitres in each of France and Italy
Nearly all the national production is drunk within the national boundaries; less than 2% of Swiss wine is exported. So consider a glass of Swiss wine a treat, outside of Switzerland – it’s likely 0.00001% of the wine shipped around the world today*.

There was only one bottle of Swiss wine in Victoria’s largest liquor store: “Swisswine” (not a very catchy name!) – of the Chasselas varietal. Chasselas is mostly vinified to be a full, dry and fruity white wine. The internet tells me it is considered an ideal pairing for Raclette or Fondue, and I would agree with that– this bottle was fresh, fruity with a bit of a mineral tang. For $25 it is a nice bottle, but not in my opinion a GREAT bottle.

If you’re interested in learning more about Swiss wines, you’re in for a bit of a struggle (unless you are more bilingual than I!). As one website puts it: “Wine information is easy to find. Swiss wine information is somewhat more elusive, and Swiss wine information in English is rare.” However, I did come across this walking tour along one of Switzerland’s premier wine routes, where the tour group is accompanied by three St. Bernards! That’s gotta be fun and educational, right?

So here’s to the Swiss Vintner’s – Long may your grapes produce!

Happy National Swiss Winegrowers Day!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Holidays and Observances for August 28 2015

Crackers Over The Keyboard Day

Shut down your computers, turn your keyboard upside down and give it a few good shakes. Now check to see what fell out. Those little crumbs there, those are the remnants of months of cracker snacks and office potlucks.

Now go wish your co-workers a happy Crackers Over the Keyboard Day.

Kind of makes you wonder who comes up with these wacky holidays. In this case — and in many, many others — 80 at last count — it’s the husband and wife team of Tom and Ruth Roy. He’s an occasional actor and radio talk show host. She’s been a college administrator, touring actress, and now the proprietor of a mail-order herb business, You’ll also find a list of their zany and copyrighted holidays there.

About that little pile of keyboard debris on your desk. Besides those crumbs, which today’s holiday encourages you to sprinkle over your keyboard rather than clean out, the detritus includes loose hairs, paper particles, office dust, and maybe an errant staple.

Harmless? Yes, for the most part. Though eating or drinking on, over or around any electronic device they maintain will give the IT techs palpitations.

Biologically however, our keyboard may be more of a nature preserve for germs than the office toilet. The latter, at least, gets a nightly once-over from the cleaning crew. Your keyboard may never have been cleaned, making it a breeding ground for all sorts of bugs. A study by a University of Arizona biologist found computer keyboards contained more germs per square inch than did toilet seats in the same office; 67 times as many!

That’s not a reason to call out the hazmat unit. Most of the germs are, well, germs that are everywhere and to which we all have some degree of immunity, especially since those on your keyboard come mostly from you. As microbiologist Dr Peter Wilson told the BBC when a study in the U.K. turned up results similar to the Arizona study: “If you look at what grows on computer keyboards, believe it or not, it’s more or less a reflection of what’s in your nose and in your gut.”

But it is gross to consider that most of us will tap on that electronic petri dish, then with those same fingers, pick up a sandwich and take a bite.

If today’s celebration of Crackers Over the Keyboard Day has prompted you to do the crackers out of the keyboard shake, and now you want to do a thorough summer cleaning, you’ll need some rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs. Step-by-step directions are here.Enjoy the day!

Daffodil day

4th Friday of August of every year is observed as Daffodil Day. It’s a day that gives hope for a brighter and cancer free future not only for us but also for our friends, family and others. Daffodil Day began in the year 1957 and was led by the Irish Cancer Society. This day is said to be the annual flagship for the cancer’s society. It is also one of the most important days for the fundraising and awareness campaigns. Daffodil Day also provides an opportunity to everyone to raise the awareness about the cancer in the society.

Daffodil is one of the first flowers to blossoms out in spring and its bright yellows gives us a reminder of joy and that a new season has arrived. It also represents hope of life and an inspiration for the people who are suffering from cancer. It resembles new life and vital growth.  Thus in the year 2001 Daffodil became the logo of the Irish Cancer Society. Most of the Cancer Charity institutions use the symbol of Daffodil as a symbol of hope for all who have been affected by cancer whether directly or indirectly.

Daffodil Day is one of the largest fundraising even ever hosted for cancer patients. On this auspicious day everyone is invited to hold hands together and stand united for the fight against cancer. All should get together and celebrate the spirit of those patients who have survived life and won the battle against cancer and also of their families who have passed out through the toughest phase of their lives. The specialist doctors who are helping the patients to fight against cancer tries and bring out hope and goodwill to ones who have pass through this disease on Daffodil Day.

This day is bright and positive to support the ones who have been touched by the most impeccable disease cancer. On Daffodil Day we can focus on the thought that one day there will be cancer free future. It is held every year in almost all the countries and with lots of special events and activities held it raises the fund for the research of cancer prevention and cure.

On this day people give fresh daffodil flowers to their near and dear ones which definitely resembles their love and hope for their good health. It is more than just giving beautiful flowers; it is an opportunity given to everyone to create a world of less cancer deaths and more birthdays. A world where cancer could not steal one’s beloved from anyone.

Over the years some outstanding events have been held on Daffodil Day. All have their own way to rekindle the hope of life on this special day. Some sent fresh daffodil flowers to their beloved ones, some raise the fund by selling these flowers and while some purchase the Daffodil Day merchandise in order to make some donation to the Cancer Charity. All have different ways but the purpose is same is to raise the funds for the cancer patients and bring in hope for new life, vitality & growth.

Dream Day Quest and Jubilee

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the African American civil rights movement reaches its high-water mark when Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks to about 250,000 people attending the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The demonstrators--black and white, poor and rich--came together in the nation's capital to demand voting rights and equal opportunity for African Americans and to appeal for an end to racial segregation and discrimination.

The peaceful rally was the largest assembly for a redress of grievances that the capital had ever seen, and King was the last speaker. With the statue of Abraham Lincoln--the Great Emancipator--towering behind him, King used the rhetorical talents he had developed as a Baptist preacher to show how, as he put it, the "Negro is still not free." He told of the struggle ahead, stressing the importance of continued action and nonviolent protest. Coming to the end of his prepared text (which, like other speakers that day, he had limited to seven minutes), he was overwhelmed by the moment and launched into an improvised sermon.

He told the hushed crowd, "Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair." Continuing, he began the refrain that made the speech one of the best known in U.S. history, second only to Lincoln's 1863 "Gettysburg Address":

"I have a dream," he boomed over the crowd stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, "that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.' I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."

King had used the "I have a dream" theme before, in a handful of stump speeches, but never with the force and effectiveness of that hot August day in Washington. He equated the civil rights movement with the highest and noblest ideals of the American tradition, allowing many to see for the first time the importance and urgency of racial equality. He ended his stirring, 16-minute speech with his vision of the fruit of racial harmony:

"When we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'"

In the year after the March on Washington, the civil rights movement achieved two of its greatest successes: the ratification of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished the poll tax and thus a barrier to poor African American voters in the South; and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public facilities. In October 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On April 4, 1968, he was shot to death while standing on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee--he was 39 years old. The gunman was escaped convict James Earl Ray.

National Bow Tie Day

The bow tie set the new fashion style of necktie in the early 17th century. French soldiers brought the cravat back to France following the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). They elevated the design from Croatian soldiers that used this necktie to keep the collars of their shirts together.

In 1886, tobacco magnate, Pierre Lorillard wore a bow tie with his new style of formal wear to the Tuxedo Club. The tuxedo and black bow tie, called black tie attire, became an instant hit among wealthy fashion enthusiasts.

The bow tie has been worn by great American bow tie connoisseurs such as Sinatra and Martin, Jerry Lewis, Humphrey Bogart, Orville Redenbacher, Colonel Sanders, Barney Fife, Charlie Chaplin, Pee-wee Herman and Bill Nye-the Science Guy. The bow tie has found itself as a compliment to many design styles.

Marlene Dietrich donned a bow tie and top hat in her 1930s film “Morocco.” The bow tie is for those that have an eclectic style of wardrobe, like notables Janelle Monae, Rihanna, and Drew Barrymore.

The bow tie has been revamped to tie into the wardrobe of the fashionably astute. It is an accessory that has withstood the test of time. Every person that incorporates a bow tie into their wardrobe has a special attachment to every piece of clothing that they own. No longer just constructed of black silk, the bow tie comes in a plethora of colors and fabrics to suite an individual’s unique taste.

History may be a boring subject but when mixed with fashion, it’s worth your full attention. The bow tie dates back in the 17th century back in Croatia. Here mercenaries would use neck wears that somehow resembled scarves to bind the collars of their shirts. These neck wears were called the cravats. In no time they were adapted the Upper Class French citizens who had the reputation of being highly influential in the fashion world at that time. The cravats evolved into today’s neck wear; the bow ties and neckties.

In the beginning of the century, the bow tie was a vital component of a full attire. This changed in the 1900s when it became common among surgeons and men in the academic arena. In as much as it became less fashionable following the end of the Second World War, it still makes up an essential part in men’s formal wear in today’s world.

Let’s take a flash forward to the future. You will envision a world where this neck accessory has adapted a more relaxed kind of look. Over the recent years, this accessory has regained lots of recognition among men who can be termed as fashionable and also among women. It is quite common these days to see a woman adorned in men’s attire such as a tuxedo, complete with a bow tie to boot. Bow ties have now found their way into cocktail parties, the workplace and casual activities. Men are incorporating them into almost any outfit they see fit.

National Cherry Turnovers Day

It’s National Cherry Turnover Day! Turnovers are a delicious pastry that can be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert. They originated in ancient times and are classified as "portable pies." Other dishes in this culinary family include pasties, empanadas, and spring rolls.

A traditional cherry turnover recipe calls for puff pastry, which is stuffed with a gooey cherry filling and then baked until golden brown. There are many variations on this classic treat though. Some recipes call for cream cheese, extra lemon juice, or even ice cream.

A turnover is a type of pastry made by placing a filling on a piece of dough, folding the dough over, and sealing it. Turnovers can be sweet or savory and are often made as a sort of portable meal or dessert, similar to a sandwich. They can be eaten as a breakfast or a dessert.

It is common for sweet turnovers to have a fruit filling and be made with a shortcrust pastry or puff pastry dough; savory turnovers generally contain meat and/or vegetables and can be made with any sort of dough, though a kneaded yeast dough seems to be the most common in Western cuisines. They are usually baked, but may be fried.

Savory turnovers are often sold as convenience foods in supermarkets. Savory turnovers with meat or poultry and identified as a turnover in the United States (for example, "Beef Turnover" or "Cheesy Chicken Turnover") have to meet a standard of identity or composition and should contain a certain amount of meat or poultry meat.

In Ireland, a turnover is a particular type of white bread, commonly found in Dublin.

To celebrate National Cherry Turnover Day, bake your own homemade cherry turnovers to share with friends and family! Bon appétit!

Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day

It’s almost unresistable – when your computer is slow to load, and when you’re waiting for something to happen, you can’t resist the urge to play with the mouse and the cursor.

Whether you’re procrastinating, plain bored or it’s actually one of your favorite sporting activities (if so, you should probably re-evaluate a few things… just saying), then this day is your day to go nuts.

Race Your Mouse Around The Icons Day embraces this, and encourages you to go crazy with your cursor!

Race Your Mouse Day is a copyrighted holiday. It was created and is provided, courtesy of the great folks at

You're getting bored while that program takes forever to do its thing. Grab the mouse, and start chasing the icons. It's even an officially sanctioned pastime with its own celebratory day – Race Around the Icons Day! So it's time to stop staring vapidly at the screen and start a little mousing.

1) Prepare your mouse.
  • Give your mouse a good clean. If you don't know how yet, read wikiHow's article on how to clean a mouse.
  • Clean the mousepad too while you're at it.
  • Check your mouse cursor. Still happy with it? Or is this a good opportunity for an upgrade to something a little funkier?
2) Find something that needs doing on your computer. Use this as a good opportunity to do some application or program updating that you've been putting off because you can't stand just staring at the screen while it happens. Get it rolling.
  • Really slow-to-load web pages are also a good choice. Try any webpage aimed at providing you with answers about why your taxation refund hasn't arrived still.
  • Note, it needs to be something that allows you to a) see your desktop; and b) still move your mouse. If this isn't possible, lose the program sprucing and just start mousing.
3) Race around the desktop nabbing icons with your mouse. If you're not sure that going around in circles, or squares, or whatever shape you're tracing over your icons with the mouse cursor is fulfilling enough for you, try to smarten up the experience with a few added hurdles:
  • Try following patterns, such as skipping some icons but not others. Or try to trace out the shapes of animals, food, favorite computer symbols using the icons positioned as they are.
  • Use mathematical formulas to work out which icons to touch and not touch on.
  • Randomly click on an unused icon now and then. Once it opens, have the mouse chase around anything of interest on the opened item, then click close again and return to desktop mousing.
  • Alternatively, take a penalty for every accidentally opened icon or drop-down box.
  • Think up any other amusing ways to prolong your procrastination.
4) Feel peppy. Apparently that is a standard requirement following chasing your icons. Peppy means "full of energy, high spirits, and lively". Possibly you might need some other boost to help you reach this state. Some suggestions include:
  • Healthy snacks at the desk
  • Slightly less but definitely delicious chocolate snack stash at the desk
  • Caffeine - coffee, chocolate, tea, whatever way you like it most.
5) Focus on the rest of your day. You can always resume chasing the icons around with your mouse whenever the desire takes you.

  • If you don't have a mouse pad, and you're really out of ideas for doing something, how about making a mouse pad? And while you're at it, how about building your own mouse too?!
  • This is a handy method for looking like you're doing something productive, when clearly, you're not.
  • This can be even more fun if you're stuck on an old clunker with a black and white background. Use it as a good excuse to get the old Mac out for a play.
  • If you're doing this on the official day for racing a mouse around the icons, why not send someone an invitation to race their mouse around the icons? Spread the word that it's Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day (August 28 each year). There are sites with special e-cards for you to personalize and send - just do an online search and they'll pop up. With any luck, you might encourage your coworkers and friends to get into a peppy enough state to keep playing online games all day. Just be sure not to let the boss in on your secret.
For more procrastination of a similar vein, try seeing how fast you can type out the alphabet on your keyboard, first conventionally and then backwards. Time wasting = achieved.

Radio Commercial Day

Did you know that in 1922 the first radio commercial was broadcast? Queensboro Realty received 10 minutes of air time on New York station WEAF for $100.

Commercial radio stations make most of their revenue selling "airtime" to advertisers. Of total media expenditures, radio accounts for 6.9%. Radio advertisements or "spots" are available when a business or service provides valuable consideration, usually cash, in exchange for the station airing their spot or mentioning them on air. The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), established under the Communications Act of 1934, regulates commercial broadcasting, and the laws regarding radio advertisements remain relatively unchanged from the original Radio Act of 1927, enacted to deal with increasing problems of signal interference as more and more stations sprung up around the country.

The first radio broadcasts aired in the early 1900's. However, it wasn't until 1919 that radio stations began to broadcast continuously, similar to the modern practice. In the United States, on November 2, 1920, KDKA aired the first commercial broadcast. As more stations began operating on a continuous basis, station owners were increasingly faced with the issue of how to maintain their stations financially, because operating a radio station was a significant expense.

In February 1922, AT&T announced they would begin selling "toll broadcasting" to advertisers, in which businesses would underwrite or finance a broadcast, in exchange for being mentioned on the radio.[ WEAF of New York is credited with airing the first paid radio commercial, on August 28, 1921, for the Queensboro Corporation, advertising an apartment complex. However, it appears other radio stations may actually have sold advertising before WEAF. As early as May 1920, an amateur radio broadcaster leased out his "station" in exchange for $35 per week for twice-weekly broadcasts. And, in Seattle, Washington, Remick's Music Store purchased a large ad in the local newspaper advertising radio station KFC, in exchange for sponsorship of a weekly program, in March 1922. Additionally, on April 4, 1922, a car dealer, Alvin T. Fuller, purchased time on WGI of Medford Hillside, Massachusetts, in exchanges for mentions.

During radio's Golden Age, advertisers sponsored entire programs, usually with some sort of message like "We thank our sponsors for making this program possible", airing at the beginning or end of a program. While radio had the obvious limitation of being restricted to sound, as the industry developed, large stations began to experiment with different formats. Advertising had become a hot commodity and there was money to be made. The advertising director at Shell Oil Co., urged radio broadcasters to deal directly with relevant advertisers, and sell tie-in commercial spots for established radio programs. Like newspaper ads at the time, Sanders figured that advertisers and radio would both benefit from selling ad spots to get the attention of listeners. Radio was an already prominent medium, but Sanders referred to his initiative as radio 'growing up' in terms of its business aspects and how it dealt with advertising.  The "visual" portion of the broadcast was supplied by the listener's boundless imagination.  Comedian and voice actor Stan Freberg demonstrated this point on his radio show in 1957, using sound effects to dramatize the towing of a 10-ton maraschino cherry by the Royal Canadian Air Force, who dropped it onto a 700-ft. mountain of whipped cream floating in hot-chocolate filled Lake Michigan, to the cheering of 25,000 extras. The bit was later used by the USA's Radio Advertising Bureau to promote radio commercials.

The radio industry has changed significantly since that first broadcast in 1920, and radio is big business today. Although other media and new technologies now place more demands on consumer's time, 95% of people still listen to the radio every week. Internet radio listening is also growing, with 13 percent of the U.S. population listening via this method. Although consumers have more choices today, 92 percent of listeners stay tuned in when commercials break into their programming.

Red Wine Day

Whether you consider yourself a connoisseur, novice or somewhere in between, get ready to raise your glass, America. Aug. 28 is Red Wine Day (RWD)! This annual 'spirited' holiday, created by wine-lover and freelance writer, Jace Shoemaker-Galloway, was created to raise awareness about the numerous health benefits of red wine.

Whether you prefer a fine wine after a hard day at work, with a few of your favorite friends at the local pub, or enjoy a glass or two during dinner with the family, red wine is perfect any time!

Red Wine Benefits - Today's red wine is produced all over the world and available in many tasty varieties. From Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir to Beaujolais Nouveau, Malbec, Zinfandel or Chianti, red wine not only tastes great, but many believe red wine, in moderation, is good for you, too!

  • Good for your heart - Grapes are loaded with antioxidants. Resveratrol, a powerful type of antioxidant, is believed to be the key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and increases the good kind of cholesterol - HDL. One to two glasses of red wine a day raises your good cholesterol by 12 percent and that is good for your heart!
  • Cancer - Evidence suggests drinking dark red wine may also reduce the risk of colon, lung and prostate cancer as well. Quercetin, another antioxidant in red wine, may also help prevent lung cancer. Drinking one glass of wine three to four times a week may help starve "nascent cancer cells." Some believe resveratrol attacks cancerous cells and "inhibits their ability to function."
  • Brain Power - Resveratrol may also help keep your memory sharp-as-a-whistle.
  • Colds - Red wine may help keep the common cold at bay!
  • Red wine may also prevent tooth decay!
  • Resveratrol testing on animals suggest the antioxidant may also help protect against obesity and diabetes! The skin of red grapes may help regulate blood sugar!

It is important to remember drinking alcohol in excess is bad for you. Moderation is key!