Saturday, August 1, 2015

Holidays and Observances for August 1 2015

Homemade Pie Day

Homemade Pie Day  is a fine food holiday, particularly for pastry chefs and bakers. Why not host a pie baking or pie eating contest to celebrate Homemade Pie Day on August 1st? Or, simply fill up a few pie pans with whipped cream or shaving cream and have a pie-throwing contest or a pie-in-the-face contest to mark the occasion?

They’re simple, they’re American and come Thanksgiving, everybody saves room for them. But the pies we know today are a fairly recent addition to a history that goes back as long as mankind has had dough to bake into a crust and stuff to put inside it. In medieval England, they were called pyes, and instead of being predominantly sweet, they were most often filled with meat — beef, lamb, wild duck, magpie pigeon — spiced with pepper, currants or dates. Historians trace pie’s initial origins to the Greeks, who are thought to be the originators of the pastry shell, which they made by combining water and flour. The wealthy Romans used many different kinds of meats — even mussels and other types of seafood — in their pies. Meat pies were also often part of Roman dessert courses, or secundae mensea. Cato the Younger recorded the popularity of this sweet course, and a cheesecake-like dish called Placenta, in his treatise De Agricultura.

Contrary to grade school theater productions across the United States, there was no modern-day pie — pumpkin, pecan or otherwise — at the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621. Pilgrims brought English-style, meat-based recipes with them to the colonies. While pumpkin pie, which is first recorded in a cookbook in 1675, originated from British spiced and boiled squash, it was not popularized in America until the early 1800s. Historians don’t know all the dishes the Pilgrims served in the first Thanksgiving feast, but primary documents indicate that pilgrims cooked with fowl and venison — and it’s not unlikely that some of that meat found its way between sheets of dough at some point. The colonists cooked many a pie: because of their crusty tops, pies acted as a means to preserve food, and were often used to keep the filling fresh during the winter months. And they didn’t make bland pies, either: documents show that the Pilgrims used dried fruit, cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg to season their meats. Further, as the colonies spread out, the pie’s role as a means to showcase local ingredients took hold and with it came a proliferation of new, sweet pies. A cookbook from 1796 listed only three types of sweet pies; a cookbook written in the late 1800s featured 8 sweet pie varieties; and by the 1947 the Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking listed 65 different varieties of sweet pies.

There are few things as American as apple pie, as the saying goes, but like much of America’s pie tradition, the original apple pie recipes came from England. These pre-Revolutionary prototypes were made with unsweetened apples and encased in an inedible shell. Yet the apple pie did develop a following, and was first referenced in the year 1589, in Menaphon by poet R. Greene: “Thy breath is like the steeme of apple pies.” (500 years later, we have “I’m Lovin’ It”, thanks to McDonald’s and its signature apple pie in an individual-serving sleeve.) Pies today are world-spanning treats, made with everything from apples to avocados. The winners of this year’s annual APC Crisco National Pie Championship included classic apple, pumpkin and cherry pies, but citrus pies, banana foster crème and Wolf Pack trail mix pies have all made the awards list. Pies have come a long way since the days of magpie and pepper, but many bakeries — including The Little Pie Shop in New York City, in the audio below — say a classic apple pie is still their top holiday seller.


In some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere, August 1 is Lammas Day (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, "loaf-mass"), the festival of the wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year. On this day it was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide.

The loaf was blessed, and in Anglo-Saxon England it might be employed afterwards to work magic: a book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the lammas bread be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain.

In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called "the feast of first fruits". The blessing of first fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August (the latter being the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ).

Lammas has coincided with the feast of St. Peter in Chains, commemorating St. Peter's miraculous deliverance from prison, but in the liturgical reform of 1969, the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori was transferred to this day, the day of St. Alphonsus' death.

In medieval times the feast was sometimes known in England and Scotland as the "Gule of August", but the meaning of "gule" is unclear. Ronald Hutton suggests following the 18th-century Welsh clergyman antiquary John Pettingall that it is merely an Anglicisation of Gŵyl Awst, the Welsh name of the "feast of August". OED and most etymological dictionaries give it a more circuitous origin similar togullet; from O.Fr. goulet, dim. of goule, "throat, neck," from L. gula "throat,".

Several antiquaries beginning with John Brady offered a back-construction to its being originally known as Lamb-mass, under the undocumented supposition that tenants of the Cathedral of York, dedicated to St. Peter ad Vincula, of which this is the feast, would have been required to bring a live lamb to the church, or, with John Skinner, "because Lambs then grew out of season." This is a folk etymology, of whichOED notes that it was "subsequently felt as if from LAMB + MASS".

For many villeins, the wheat must have run low in the days before Lammas, and the new harvest began a season of plenty, of hard work and company in the fields, reaping in teams. Thus there was a spirit of celebratory play.

In the medieval agricultural year, Lammas also marked the end of the hay harvest that had begun after Midsummer. At the end of hay-making a sheep would be loosed in the meadow among the mowers, for him to keep who could catch it.

In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1.3.19) it is observed of Juliet, "Come Lammas Eve at night shall she [Juliet] be fourteen." Since Juliet was born Lammas eve, she came before the harvest festival, which is significant since her life ended before she could reap what she had sown and enjoy the bounty of the harvest, in this case full consummation and enjoyment of her love with Romeo.

Another well-known cultural reference is the opening of The Battle of Otterburn: "It fell about the Lammas tide when the muir-men win their hay".

William Hone speaks in The Every-Day Book (1838) of a later festive Lammas day sport common among Scottish farmers near Edinburgh. He says that they "build towers...leaving a hole for a flag-pole in the centre so that they may raise their colours." When the flags over the many peat-constructed towers were raised, farmers would go to others' towers and attempt to "level them to the ground." A successful attempt would bring great praise. However, people were allowed to defend their towers, and so everyone was provided with a "tooting-horn" to alert nearby country folk of the impending attack and the battle would turn into a "brawl." According to Hone, more than four people had died at this festival and many more were injured. At the day's end, races were held, with prizes given to the townspeople.


Lughnasadh is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Originally it was held on 1 August, or about halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox. However, over time the celebrations shifted to the Sundays nearest this date. Lughnasadh is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals; along with Samhain, Imbolc and Beltane. It corresponds to other European harvest festivals such as the Welsh Gwyl Awst and the English Lammas.

Lughnasadh is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and is believed to have pagan origins. The festival itself is named after the god Lugh. It involved great gatherings that included religious ceremonies, ritual athletic contests (most notably the Tailteann Games), feasting, matchmaking and trading. There were also visits to holy wells. According to folklorist Máire MacNeill, evidence shows that the religious rites included an offering of the first of the corn, a feast of the new food and of bilberries, the sacrifice of a bull and a ritual dance-play. Much of this would have taken place on top of hills and mountains.

Lughnasadh customs persisted widely until the 20th century, with the event being variously named 'Garland Sunday', 'Bilberry Sunday', 'Mountain Sunday' and 'Crom Dubh Sunday'. The custom of climbing hills and mountains at Lughnasadh has survived in some areas, although it has been re-cast as a Christian pilgrimage. The best known is the 'Reek Sunday' pilgrimage to the top of Croagh Patrick on the last Sunday in July. A number of fairs are also believed to be survivals of Lughnasadh, for example the Puck Fair. Since the later 20th century, Celtic neopagans have observed Lughnasadh, or something based on it, as a religious holiday. In some places, elements of the festival have been revived as a cultural event.

In Irish mythology, the Lughnasadh festival is said to have been begun by the god Lugh (modern spelling: Lú) as a funeral feast and athletic competition (see funeral games) in commemoration of his mother (or foster-mother) Tailtiu. She was said to have died of exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture. Tailtiu may have been an earth goddess who represented the dying vegetation that fed mankind. The funeral games in her honour were called the Óenach Tailten or Áenach Tailten (modern spelling: Aonach Tailteann) and were held at Tailtin in what is now County Meath. The Óenach Tailten was similar to the Ancient Olympic Games and included ritual athletic and sporting contests. The event also involved trading, the drawing-up of contracts, and matchmaking. At Tailtin, trial marriages were conducted, whereby young couples joined hands through a hole in a wooden door. The trial marriage lasted a year and a day, at which time the marriage could be made permanent or broken without consequences. A similar Lughnasadh festival, the Óenach Carmain, was held in what is now County Kildare. Carman is also believed to have been a goddess, perhaps one with a similar tale as Tailtiu. After the 9th century the Óenach Tailten was celebrated irregularly and it gradually died out. It was revived for a period in the 20th century as the Tailteann Games.

From the 18th century to the mid 20th century, many accounts of Lughnasadh customs were recorded by folklorists and other writers. In 1962 The Festival of Lughnasa, a study of Lughnasadh by folklorist Máire MacNeill, was published. MacNeill drew on the historic accounts and on earlier medieval writings. She concluded that the evidence testified to the existence of an ancient festival on 1 August that involved the following:
[A] solemn cutting of the first of the corn of which an offering would be made to the deity by bringing it up to a high place and burying it; a meal of the new food and of bilberries of which everyone must partake; a sacrifice of a sacred bull, a feast of its flesh, with some ceremony involving its hide, and its replacement by a young bull; a ritual dance-play perhaps telling of a struggle for a goddess and a ritual fight; an installation of a head on top of the hill and a triumphing over it by an actor impersonating Lugh; another play representing the confinement by Lugh of the monster blight or famine; a three-day celebration presided over by the brilliant young god [Lugh] or his human representative. Finally, a ceremony indicating that the interregnum was over, and the chief god in his right place again.
Many of Ireland's prominent mountains and hills were climbed at Lughnasadh into the modern era. Over time, this custom was Christianized and some of the treks were re-cast as Christian pilgrimages. The most well-known is Reek Sunday—the yearly pilgrimage to the top of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo in late July. As with the other Gaelic seasonal festivals, feasting was part of the celebrations. Bilberries were gathered on the hills and mountains and were eaten on the spot or saved to make pies and wine. In the Scottish Highlands, people made a special cake called the lunastain, which was also called luinean when given to a man and luineag when given to a woman. This may have originated as an offering to the gods.

Another custom that Lughnasadh shared with Imbolc and Beltane was visiting holy wells. Visitors to holy wells would pray for health while walking sunwisearound the well. They would then leave offerings; typically coins or clooties (see clootie well). Although bonfires were lit at some of the open-air gatherings in Ireland, they were rare and incidental to the celebrations.

Mead Day

Organized by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) in 2002, Mead Day was created to increase mead awareness and foster camaraderie among meadmakers. Homebrewers and meadmakers around the world are encouraged to invite friends and family to celebrate Mead Day by making a delicious batch of mead together!

The history of Mead is as long and rich and captivating as the beverage itself. Mead is thought to be the oldest alcoholic beverages known to man. It was most likely discovered quite by accident, when some thirsty hunter-gathers discovered an upturned beehive filled with rainwater. They drank the sweet water completely unaware of what fermentation and alcohol were and experienced the first intoxication. Likely it was in a quest to replicate this experience the art of mead-making was begun. Unfortunately, fermentation was not understood until the mid 1800’s. Consequently, two things occurred: First, fermentation was very unpredictable. And second, fermentation took on mystical and religious qualities.

The ancient Greeks called mead, Ambrosia, or Nectar (history gives us many names & varieties of Mead). It was believed to be the drink of the gods, and was thought to descend from the Heavens as dew, before being gathered in by the bees. Because of the believed ties to the gods, it is easy to see why the ancient Greeks believed mead to have magical and sacred properties. The Greeks believed that mead would prolong life, and bestow health, strength, virility, re-creative powers, wit and poetry. The bees themselves, we are told by Virgil’s Georgics are driven to the sky to honor the goddess Aphrodite. And, the prophetess’ at Delphi are suspected of drinking mead made from a honey from slightly toxic plants in order to induce their prophetic states, and visions of the future.

Mead declined in production in the south of Europe, where grapes were discovered as a less expensive, more predictable source of wine production. But, in the north, where vine fruits were less available, the popularity of mead continued. In Norse/Aryan mythology a draught of mead, delivered by the beautiful divine maidens, was the reward for warriors that reached Valhalla. And, the Norse god of poetry, Brage, is said to have drunk mead from a Brage-beaker, later called the bragging cup. While the great Norse god, Odin, was said to have gained his strength but suckling Mead from a goats’ udder as an infant. Celtic mythology tells of a river of mead running through paradise, while the Anglo-Saxon culture held mead up as the bestower of immortality, poetry and knowledge. In fact the mythology of mead exists in our culture today, unnoticed by most. The very term “honeymoon” comes from the ancient tradition of giving bridal couples a moons worth of honey–wine. This was long ago thought to ensure a fruitful union. In fact the payment to the meadmaker was often increased, dependent on the promptness and the male-gender of the first-born child.

Bees were thought, by most European cultures, to be the messengers of the gods. Therefore, even as mead production declined it was still used for the temples rites, and the grand ceremonies, while ales were used for every day life. The same mystic properties that kept mead in the temples, made mead a natural adjunct to early ideas of western medicine. In England there were a number of meads, flavored with specific herbs that were used to cure any number of ailments. For example, mead made with balm was thought to aid digestion and expel melancholy, and mead made with borage was used to revive hypochondriacs and the chronically ill. The name for these spiced meads is Metheglin, and comes for the Welsh word “medcyglin”, meaning medicine.

The middle ages took mead to different heights. The stature afforded to mead can be seen in the fact that the King’s mead cellar was under the direct care of the Steward of the household, who was the chief officer of the court. And, payment for meadmakers was as high as one third of the mead made for the customer. Unfortunately, during this same time the demand by the church for bees wax candles helped the decline of mead-making by creating an economic incentive to rob the bee hives of their honey laden wax.

The tapestry of mead history is rich and wonderful. References are littered throughout history and literature. Chaucer speaks of making Claret sweeter with the addition of honey. In 1771 Smollett writes that knowledge of mead-making is considered one of the arts of a true country gentleman. Queen Elizabeth was known to have her own favorite recipe, including rosemary, bay leaves, sweet briar and thyme. But perhaps Howell, Clerk to the Privy Council, said it best in 1640 when he wrote, “The juice of bees, not Bacchus, here behold, Which British Bards were wont to quaff of old; The berries of the grape with Furies swell, But in the honey comb the Graces dwell.”

Making mead at home is simple, and if you have equipment to make beer, you should be ready to make a batch of delicious mead!

What better way to celebrate mead then by brewing a batch with your friends? The AHA has all the resources you need to make mead and teach others the secret of fermenting honey into wine.

National Girlfriends Day

August 1st is the National Girlfriends Day. Though the origin of this day is unknown, this is a day to celebrate the friendship between women. So on this day girls and women meet their best girl friend or friends to dedicate the day to all those moments that make their friendship very special. It could be just friends, sisters, mother or daughters. That best friend is very essential to every woman and hence they deserve all the attention. 

You can think of and organize many different things on this day. Five things that could form a part of your list are:
  • Meet at the coffee shop for a chat.
  • Organize a sundae party with your group of girl friends at your home.
  • Organize a girl’s night out. Go for a movie and then dinner at a hip restaurant.
  • If you are working and do not have much time or energy after a long day then you can organize to meet at your local spa in the evening.
  • If eating out and spas are not your type then you could meet at a park and beach for a walk.
National Minority Donor Awareness Day

National Minority Donor Awareness Day is observed on 1st of August every year. It started in the year 1996 on a single aim to raise awareness among the entire ethnic groups on donation misconceptions and issues related to minority donation. The sole objective of National Minority Donor Awareness Day was to promote healthy living and to increase the number of donors. This is very easy to do with the national observance day as it increases the awareness to a very high percentage rather than just speaking about it on a normal day. This also leads to the fact that the need for transplant is greater in minority populations rather than majority one. Though minority only make up 20 to 25 percent of population yet the need for transplantation waiting list is 51%.

With more than half of the candidates waiting for transplant are from minority groups; thus it is very important that minorities become the active member of the transplant group and get involved in the noble cause. To get involved is easy but to proceed there are lots of ways. Firstly donors have to register themselves to a donor transplant organization and then they will get the licence as an organ donor. In the mean time the other organization who also works for donor transplantation will be informed about their existence and if required necessary connection may be made immediately.

National Minority Donor Awareness Day: National Minority Donor Awareness Day is celebrated to educate each and every individual that there is a need for minority donors and the facts that about organs, blood and tissue donation. This day is also observed to promote healthy lifestyle and disease prevention tactics in order to reduce the need for transplant of organs. Out of 1 million people on the transplant waiting list more than 50% are minorities. Among all the nations including Africa, America & Asian countries research & study has proved that the minority waiting list is 27% higher than the other group.

August 1 is the National Minority Donor Awareness Day which encourages people to have a verbal conversation and let their wishes to come true. It gives you an opportunity to register yourself for the Donor’s Card and be a part of this noble cause. In the event of crisis the people can contact you and you can save a life just by donating blood only. It is not necessary for a person to be dead before he or she can donate something. While being alive also you can donate; this is called living donation. You may donate blood, bone marrow and organs like kidney, lung or a small segment of your liver. You can lead a perfect normal life even after donating these organs and this may also help a life to survive beside you.

National Mustard Day

Today is National Mustard Day! Are you a mustard lover? Do you find an excuse to put mustard on everything you eat? Today we honor this delicious yellow condiment and all the flavor it brings to our lives.

Mustard grows wild; food historians believe it was first cultivated in India around 3,000 B.C.E. Mustard seed is mentioned in the Bible: The Hebrews used mustard for cooking, and Abraham is said to have served cow tongue with mustard—a delicious combination that can be found today at a good delicatessen.

The Greeks used mustard as both a condiment and a medicine: The mathematician and scientist Pythagoras (570-ca. 490 B.C.E.) prescribed it for scorpion stings and the pioneering physician Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.E.) used it as a medicine and for poultices, a use that continued until recent times as mustard plasters. According to Colman’s Mustard, an early reference to the potent nature of the mustard seed was in exchange between King Darius of Persia and the young Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.E.). Darius gave Alexander a sack of sesame seeds to represent the number of men in his army, and Alexander responded with a sack of mustard seeds to represent both the number and the fiery nature of his army.

The Romans followed the Greeks. While recipes for mustard paste appear as early as 42 C.E.—Pliny the Elder (23-79 C.E.) made mention of its strong flavor and developed a recipe that involved crushing the seeds in vinegar—mustard was not an everyday condiment in ancient Greece or Rome—they preferred a fermented fish sauce called garum (similar to today’s Asian fish sauces, like nam pla, made of anchovies). When it was used, mustard was often prepared freshly: Diners crushed the seed on their plates as we would freshly crack pepper, and mixed it with wine or water to taste. (Try it at home!)

By the 9th century, French monasteries were generating considerable income from mustard sales. By the 13th century, Parisian merchants included mustard among their daily sauces for sale. Pope John XXII of Avignon (1249-1334) loved mustard so much that he created the post of “Grand Moutardier du Pape” (Grand Mustard-Maker to the Pope), Grey Poupon Mustardand gave the job to an idle nephew who lived near Dijon. Dijon soon became the mustard center of the world. Mustard-making was so important that in 1634, a law was passed to grant the men of the town the exclusive right to make mustard.

In 1777, the modern history of mustard began when two townsmen, Maurice Grey and Antoine Poupon, founded a company using Grey’s recipe and Poupon’s money (answering the question, for those of you who have been wondering all these years, of what a poupon is, much less a grey one). Their original store still stands in downtown Dijon. The House of Maille was founded in 1747, in Paris. Benjamin Franklin, ambassador to France, may have brought mustard to the U.S. upon his return in 1758. (Was it Maille? Was it Grey Poupon? Perhaps the answer will be discovered in a diary someday.)

Maille MustardEngland’s Keen & Sons was founded in the same year as Maille; but the most notable English mustard-maker did not come along for another 50 years. Jeremiah Colman, a miller, initiated clever business practices that led to the establishment of Colman’s Mustard of England in 1814, and would make his name synonymous with mustard. He perfected the technique of grinding mustard seeds into a fine powder without creating heat, which evaporates the oil, and the pungent flavor along with it. In 1866, Colman was appointed mustard-maker to Queen Victoria; the proclamation and coat of arms are at the top of the can.

Colman's MustardDespite the wide acceptance of mustard and the regulations governing its production, its popularity declined by the early 18th century, partly because of the attraction of new spices available from the Far East. The mustard market was revived in 1856, however, when Jean Naigeon substituted verjus for the vinegar in prepared mustard. The result—a smooth, less acidic mustard. Dijon once more became the undisputed capital of the once-more-beloved condiment.

To celebrate this unique occasion, break out your favorite kind of mustard and use it to enhance your food at lunch and dinner today. You can also invite some friends and family over for a mustard tasting party! The truly dedicated can head to Horeb, Wisconsin to witness the annual National Mustard Day Parade, which is sponsored by the Mustard Museum. Enjoy!

National Raspberry Cream Pie Day

Cream pie lovers will enjoy celebrating the unofficial food holiday National Raspberry Cream Pie Day on August 1. This day is a time to enjoy the pie and celebrate the combination of the whipped cream pie texture with the tartness of the raspberry. Cream pies may be served as individual pies or as a full pie cut in slices to share with other celebrants. Raspberries may be combined with other fruit as a part of the cream pie, may be purred or left whole, and can be served fresh or from frozen berries. A cream pie can be a baked pie or a no bake depending on the ingredients.

Pie is an ancient sweet dessert and cream pies, pies filled with custard and pudding pies date back to Medieval times. Raspberries are documented in both Asia and North America to the earliest days of settlements. Red raspberries were gathered wild by the people of Troy and in the foothills of Mount Ida in the times of Christ. The British exported them to the United States in 1771. Black raspberries were grown wild in the U.S. originally. By the 1800s, different varieties existed. Today the black raspberry is less used commercially than the red.

Celebrating National Raspberry Cream Pie Day is as simple as stopping by the grocery store and grabbing one to share with a friend. The day may be celebrated by meeting a friend at a coffee shop or bakery to enjoy a slice of pie. To celebrate in the comfort of home, a raspberry cream pie might be made the day before so the pie is firm and cold when served. Individual raspberry cream pies can easily be made by purchasing ready made single serving graham cracker crusts.

Play Ball Day

August 1st is Play Ball Day. In the United States, baseball umpires call out, “Play ball!” to start games. However, many sorts of sports involve playing with balls of all kinds. How many different kinds of ball games do you know?

Here are a few ball-based sports to get the proverbial ball rolling: baseball, basketball, billiards, bocce ball, bowling, carpet ball, croquet, dodge ball, field hockey, foosball, football, four square, golf, handball, jacks, juggling, lacrosse, marbles, paddleball, paddle tennis, paint ball, polo, racquetball, softball, squash, stickball, tee ball, tetherball, tennis, volleyball, water polo and waffle ball. Can you name any other ball sports?

A ball is a round, usually spherical but sometimes ovoid, object with various uses. It is used in ball games, where the play of the game follows the state of the ball as it is hit, kicked or thrown by players. In the context of sports, "ball" need not refer to a spherical object, as is the case in American football. Balls can also be used for simpler activities, such as catch, marbles and juggling. Balls made from hard-wearing materials are used in engineering applications to provide very low friction bearings, known as ball bearings. Black-powder weapons use stone and metal balls as projectiles.

Although many types of balls are today made from rubber, this form was unknown outside the Americas until after the voyages of Columbus. The Spanish were the first Europeans to see bouncing rubber balls (albeit solid and not inflated) which were employed most notably in the Mesoamerican ballgame. Balls used in various sports in other parts of the world prior to Columbus were made from other materials such as animal bladders or skins, stuffed with various materials.

As balls are one of the most familiar spherical objects to humans, the word "ball" is used to refer to, or to describe, anything spherical or near-spherical.

A ball, as the essential feature in many forms of gameplay requiring physical exertion, must date from the very earliest times. A rolling object appeals not only to a human baby but to a kitten and a puppy. Some form of game with a ball is found portrayed on Egyptian monuments, and is played among aboriginal tribes at the present day. InHomer, Nausicaa was playing at ball with her maidens when Odysseus first saw her in the land of the Phaeacians (Od. vi. 100). And Halios and Laodamas performed before Alcinous and Odysseus with ball play, accompanied with dancing (Od. viii. 370).
Ancient Greeks - Among the Greeks games with balls (σφαῖραι) were regarded as a useful subsidiary to the more violent athletic exercises, as a means of keeping the body supple, and rendering it graceful, but were generally left to boys and girls. Of regular rules for the playing of ball games, little trace remains, if there were any such. The names in Greek for various forms, which have come down to us in such works as the Ὀνομαστικόν of Julius Pollux, imply little or nothing of such; thus, ἀπόρραξις (aporraxis) only means the putting of the ball on the ground with the open hand, οὐρανία (ourania), the flinging of the ball in the air to be caught by two or more players; φαινίνδα (phaininda) would seem to be a game of catch played by two or more, where feinting is used as a test of quickness and skill. Pollux (i. x. 104) mentions a game called episkyros (ἐπίσκυρος), which has often been looked on as the origin of football. It seems to have been played by two sides, arranged in lines; how far there was any form of "goal" seems uncertain.
Ancient Romans - Among the Romans, ball games were looked upon as an adjunct to the bath, and were graduated to the age and health of the bathers, and usually a place (sphaeristerium) was set apart for them in the baths (thermae). There appear to have been three types or sizes of ball, the pila, or small ball, used in catching games, the paganica, a heavy ball stuffed with feathers, and the follis, a leather ball filled with air, the largest of the three. This was struck from player to player, who wore a kind of gauntlet on the arm. There was a game known as trigon, played by three players standing in the form of a triangle, and played with the follis, and also one known as harpastum, which seems to imply a "scrimmage" among several players for the ball. These games are known to us through the Romans, though the names are Greek.
Modern ball games - The various modern games played with a ball or balls and subject to rules are treated under their various names, such as polo, cricket, football, etc.

Respect for Parents Day

Respect for Parents Day is August 1st. Who knew we needed a day set aside out of the year to respect our parents? Maybe you're already respectful of your parents, and all your elders. Maybe you just need a little reminder to be a little more respectful, a little more patient, a little more kind.

If your parents have passed, perhaps you could take a moment today to smile at someone who is old enough to be your parent. Visit or call an aunt or uncle or family friend who may be like a parent to you. Or perhaps take a few moments to participate in some activities to strengthen your relationship with your own children, teach them to respect you as a parent, as well as their elders.


Whereas self-trust is a necessary quality for parents who raise and guide children, and "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" Respect for Parents Day will reinforce the worth of parents to themselves and to the citizens of our country; and

Whereas the qualities of competence, worthiness and belongingness empower parents, citizens of our country can foster empowerment of parents by acknowledging the virtues of competence, worth and feelings of belonging by recognizing Respect for Parents Day; and

Whereas the knowledge that all citizens within a community are responsible for the moral fiber of that community, and in a sense are parents in that community, celebration of Respect for Parents Day honors all within that community; and

Whereas people believe that which they are told about themselves, the recognition of Respect for Parents Day will fortify parents' belief that they are valuable and necessary components of our society and will enhance their abilities in that role; and

Whereas the Greek dramatist and great tragic poet of Athens, Aeschylus, believed "Reverence for parents stands written among the three laws of most revered righteousness," the citizenry of this country also acknowledges this fact and proclaims the first day of August, each year to be "Respect for Parents Day."

Rounds Resounding Day

Let’s sing the praises of Rounds Resounding Day. This annual event aims to celebrate the art of singing rounds, or part-songs – with different voices taking up various elements of the melody.

English nursery rhymes Three Blind Mice and Row, Row, Row Your Boat and the Australian song Kookaburra are among the most popular rounds, often sung around the campfire by Scouts and Guides. However, serious composers have also written many songs in this format. The oldest published English part-songs date back to the 17th century. More recently a cappella groups and barbershop quartets have put a whole different spin on singing in the round.

The special day was founded in 1987, to promote singing in harmony. A great way to mark the occasion is to join forces with family or friends and try singing a mixture of songs, both old favourites and new discoveries. The day is likely to prove a resounding success!

Spider-man Day

Today, August 1, is Spider-Man Day. Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can. Spins a web, any size. Catches thieves, just like flies. Look out! Here comes the Spider-Man.

Don’t ask me why, where or how this day got started because I’m not too sure myself. There is almost no information on it and it's not very well known, so spread the word!

Spider-Man is personally one of my favorite superhero. He’s funny, awkward and says the lamest lines- he’s a nerd, who doesn't love a nerd? I’m also a huge fan of the movies. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco were amazing. My favorite character though, is definitely J. Jonah Jameson, portrayed by J.K. Simmons, he is hilarious. With all that said, you bet I’ll be getting into the holiday spirit today, and you should too.

Spider-Man is a fictional character and superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics existing in its shared universe. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko, and first appeared in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962) in the Silver Age of Comic Books. Lee and Ditko conceived the character as an orphan being raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and as a teenager, having to deal with the normal struggles of adolescence in addition to those of a costumed crime-fighter. Spider-Man's creators gave him super strength and agility, the ability to cling to most surfaces, shoot spider-webs using wrist-mounted devices of his own invention, which he calls "web-shooters", and react to danger quickly with his "spider-sense", enabling him to combat his foes.

When Spider-Man first appeared in the early 1960s, teenagers in superhero comic books were usually relegated to the role of sidekick to the protagonist. The Spider-Man series broke ground by featuring Peter Parker, the high school student behind Spider-Man's secret identity and with whose "self-obsessions with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness" young readers could relate. While Spider-Man had all the makings of a sidekick, unlike previous teen heroes such as Bucky and Robin, Spider-Man had no superhero mentor like Captain America and Batman; he thus had to learn for himself that "with great power there must also come great responsibility"—a line included in a text box in the final panel of the first Spider-Man story but later retroactively attributed to his guardian, the late Uncle Ben.

Marvel has featured Spider-Man in several comic book series, the first and longest-lasting of which is titled The Amazing Spider-Man. Over the years, the Peter Parker character has developed from shy, nerdy high school student to troubled but outgoing college student, to married high school teacher to, in the late 2000s, a single freelance photographer, his most typical adult role. In the 2010s, he joins the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, Marvel's flagship superhero teams. In a 2012–2014 storyline, Peter Parker dies while his mind is in the body of his enemy Doctor Octopus; Doctor Octopus then lives on inside of Parker's body, taking the role of Spider-Man in The Superior Spider-Man. Until returning to his own body. Separately, Marvel has also published books featuringalternate versions of Spider-Man, including Spider-Man 2099, which features the adventures of Miguel O'Hara, the Spider-Man of the future; Ultimate Spider-Man, which features the adventures of a teenaged Peter Parker in an alternate universe; and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, which depicts the teenager Miles Morales, who takes up the mantle of Spider-Man after Ultimate Peter Parker's supposed death.

Spider-Man is one of the most popular and commercially successful superheroes. As Marvel's flagship character and company mascot, he has appeared in countless forms of media, including several animated and live-action television series, syndicated newspaper comic strips, and a series of films starring Tobey Maguire as the hero in the original trilogy. Andrew Garfield took over the role of Spider-Man in a reboot of the films. Reeve Carney starred as Spider-Man in the 2010 Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Spider-Man has been well received as a superhero and comic book character. Being usually ranked as one of the greatest comic book characters of all time with DC Comics characters such as Superman and Batman.
So, how can you celebrate our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? It’s pretty simple; you can read up on the comics or get some popcorn ready and watch a Spider-Man movie. If you’re daring, wear your Spidey costume out today.

US Air Force Day

Air Force Day was established on August 1, 1947, by President Truman "in recognition of the personnel of the victorious Army Air Forces and all those who have developed and maintained our nation's air strength." August 1 was chosen to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment, in 1907, of the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army.

Air Force Day came into being immediately after the signing of the National Security Act of 1947, although the status of the air element of the military was uncertain. Thus, although it was called Air Force Day, its first celebration was staged by the Army Air Forces and not by the U.S. Air Force.

Underlying the Air Force Day celebration was a need to increase "both official and public awareness of the priority of importance of air forces in any system of national security," according to Mr. Truman. "The great strategic fact of our generation is that the United States now possesses live frontiers -- the frontiers of the air -- and that the oceans are no longer sure ramparts against attack."

In his message to the nation on the first Air Force Day, Mr. Truman said, "I remind all of our citizens that the air power of the nation is essential to the preservation of our liberty, and that the continued development of the science of air transportation is vital to the trade and commerce of a peaceful world."

Air Force Day was last observed on August 1, 1949.

World Lung Cancer Day

Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This uncontrolled growth may lead to cells invading surrounding tissues or spreading to the organs outside the lungs.

Lung cancer was a rare disease in early 20th century but its incidence has gradually increased with increased smoking and it has become the most common type of cancer in the world. The lung cancers accounts for 12.8% of cancer cases and 17.8% of mortalities of cancer worldwide.

The incidence of lung cancer increases with age and peaks at 6th and 7th decades. It is less common in young adults (under 50 years old, around 5-10%). This community has often a family history and adenocancer is the most common type of cancer. However, the incidence of adenocancer is higher in young adults than in elderly in the country, and the most common type of cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. The incidence of lung cancer increases in women with increased smoking.
Lung cancer is a preventable disease. The factors that play a role in cancer development include tobacco products, industrial products (uranium, radiation, asbestos) air pollution, and nutritional deficiencies. Recent studies have demonstrated that the critical factor increasing the risk of lung cancer is the long-term respiration of carcinogenic materials. Epidemiologic case-control studies by 1950s proved that smoking was strongly correlated with lung cancer. The first findings that smoking was a cause of lung cancer were published in 1962. Smoking is responsible for developing lung cancer by 94%. The risk of lung cancer is 24-36 times higher in smokers than in non-smokers. The risk is 3.5% in passive smoking. Age to start smoking, period of smoking, number of cigarettes smoked, and type of tobacco and cigarette have influence on the risk of developing lung cancer.

Symptoms of lung cancer may vary depending on location of the disease, how it has spread, and presence of reaction of the body to disease. The most common symptoms include shortness of breath, cough and weight loss. Since these symptoms are not only specific to lung cancer, the patients may be diagnosed late. Chest radiography and computerized tomography (CT) are used to diagnose lung cancer. Positron emission tomography (PET) provides information on if the tumor is benign or malignant, or if it has spread to any organs outside the lungs. It is a method that is highly effective in diagnosing solitary pulmonary nodules. The final diagnosis of lung cancer is established by biopsy. Biopsy is usually performed by bronchoscopy or CT-assisted biopsy. Factors determining the treatment and prognosis are histological type of cancer, stage of cancer, and general performance of the patient. Despite many histological subtypes of lung cancer, clinical types are small cell and non-small cell lung cancer. It is important to identify the type of cancer cells for treatment planning and prognosis because this will help determine the way to follow for treatment. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are chosen for small cell lung cancer whereas the first option is surgery for non-small cell lung cancers.

Surgical treatment in early stage of lung cancer can prolong the length of life up to 85%. There is no chance to cure an advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer. Response rate or survival period is not a criterion alone in evaluating treatments. Small cell lung cancer is a more aggressive tumor and has a higher rate of distant metastasis. However, response to chemotherapy is higher. Palliation of symptoms should improve the quality of life and prolong the survival.
Radiotherapy is often prescribed with chemotherapy and can be used for therapeutic purposes in patients with non-small cell lung cancer that are not suitable for surgery. Therapeutic radiotherapy is administrated at high doses which is called radical radiotherapy. It has a curative potential for patients with small cell lung cancer. Administration of radiotherapy on the chest in addition to chemotherapy is often prescribed.

Several targeted treatment methods for cancer have recently been developed at various molecular levels for patients with advanced stage cancer. Majority of the patients with non-small cell lung cancer has epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Therefore drugs targeting on tyrosine kinase in epidermal growth factor receptor have been developed. Developments in cytotoxic drugs, pharmacogenetics and targeted drugs are promising. Although most of the targeted drugs have been clinically researched, they are only in the early stage of clinical.

World Wide Web Day

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989, about 20 years after the first connection was established over what is today known as the Internet. At the time, Tim was a software engineer at CERN, the large particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. Many scientists participated in experiments at CERN for extended periods of time, then returned to their laboratories around the world. These scientists were eager to exchange data and results, but had difficulties doing so. Tim understood this need, and understood the unrealized potential of millions of computers connected together through the Internet.

Tim documented what was to become the World Wide Web with the submission of a proposal to his management at CERN, in late 1989, This proposal specified a set of technologies that would make the Internet truly accessible and useful to people. Believe it or not, Tim’s initial proposal was not immediately accepted. However, Tim persevered. By October of 1990, he had specified the three fundamental technologies that remain the foundation of today’s Web (and which you may have seen appear on parts of your Web browser):

  • HTML: HyperText Markup Language. The publishing format for the Web, including the ability to format documents and link to other documents and resources.
  • URI: Uniform Resource Identifier. A kind of “address” that is unique to each resource on the Web.
  • HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Allows for the retrieval of linked resources from across the Web.

Tim also wrote the first Web page editor/browser (“WorldWideWeb”) and the first Web server (“httpd“). By the end of 1990, the first Web page was served. By 1991, people outside of CERN joined the new Web community. Very important to the growth of the Web, CERN announced in April 1993 that the World Wide Web technology would be available for anyone to use on a royalty-free basis.

Since that time, the Web has changed the world. It has arguably become the most powerful communication medium the world has ever known. Whereas only 25% of the people on the planet are currently using the Web (and the Web Foundation aims to accelerate this growth substantially), the Web has changed the way we teach and learn, buy and sell, inform and are informed, agree and disagree, share and collaborate, meet and love, and tackle problems ranging from putting food on our tables to curing cancer.

Tim Berners-Lee and others realized that for the Web to reach its full potential, the underlying technologies must become global standards, implemented in the same way around the world. Therefore, in 1994, Tim founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as a place for stakeholders to reach consensus around the specification and guidelines to ensure that the Web works for everyone and that it evolves in a responsible manner. W3C standards have enabled a single World Wide Web of information and people, and an increasingly-rich set of capabilities: Web 2.0 (personal and dynamic), Web 3.0 (a semantic Web of linked data), Web services, voice access, mobile access, accessibility for people with disabilities and for people speaking many languages, richer graphics and video, etc. The Web Foundation supports the work of W3C to ensure that the Web and the technologies that underpin it remain free and open to all.

With over 1 trillion public pages (in 2008) and 1.7 billion people on the Web (in 2009), we do not really understand how these pieces work together and how to best improve the Web into the future. In 2005, Tim and colleagues started the Web Science Trust (WST). WST is building an international, multidisciplinary research community to examine the World Wide Web as “humanity connected by technology”. WST brings together computer scientists, sociologists, mathematicians, policy experts, entrepreneurs, decision makers and many others from around the world to better understand today’s Web and to develop solutions to guide the use and design of tomorrow’s Web. The Web Foundation believes the discipline of Web Science is critically important to advancing the Web, and supports WST‘s efforts to build and coordinate this new field of study.

Most of the history of the Web is ahead of us. The Web is far from reaching its full potential as an agent of empowerment for everyone in the world. Web access through the world’s 4+ billion mobile phones is an incredible opportunity. New Web technologies will enable billions of people currently excluded from the Web community to join it. We must understand the Web and improve its capabilities. We must ensure that Web technologies are free and open for all to leverage. The work of the Web Foundation aims to have a substantial, positive impact on all of these factors, and on the future history of the Web.

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