Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Holidays and Observances for September 15 2015

Google.com Day

Google was founded on September 4th 1997, however, it became a domain officially on this day 18 years ago. I find it incredibly fascinating because it was in late 1999, early 2000 when I first discovered Google. Needless to say, I was modestly skeptical and didn't think it would go on to become one of the world's most popular websites.

Google began in March 1995 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Ph.D. students at Stanford University.

In search of a dissertation theme, Page had been considering—among other things—exploring the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web, understanding its link structure as a huge graph. His supervisor, Terry Winograd, encouraged him to pick this idea (which Page later recalled as "the best advice I ever got") and Page focused on the problem of finding out which web pages link to a given page, based on the consideration that the number and nature of such backlinks was valuable information for an analysis of that page (with the role of citations in academic publishing in mind).

In his research project, nicknamed "BackRub", Page was soon joined by Brin, who was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. Brin was already a close friend, whom Page had first met in the summer of 1995—Page was part of a group of potential new students that Brin had volunteered to show around the campus. Both Brin and Page were working on the Stanford Digital Library Project (SDLP). The SDLP's goal was “to develop the enabling technologies for a single, integrated and universal digital library" and it was funded through the National Science Foundation, among other federal agencies.

Page's web crawler began exploring the web in March 1996, with Page's own Stanford home page serving as the only starting point. To convert the backlink data that it gathered for a given web page into a measure of importance, Brin and Page developed the PageRank algorithm. While analyzing BackRub's output—which, for a given URL, consisted of a list of backlinks ranked by importance—the pair realized that a search engine based on PageRank would produce better results than existing techniques (existing search engines at the time essentially ranked results according to how many times the search term appeared on a page).

Convinced that the pages with the most links to them from other highly relevant Web pages must be the most relevant pages associated with the search, Page and Brin tested their thesis as part of their studies, and laid the foundation for their search engine.

In 1998, with an investment of $100,000, Google basically took off from there. Now it is 2014 and Google has managed to become a billion dollar brand. As I type this out, I am actually using a Google product (Blogger or Blogspot) to do so. I am extremely confident that Google will continue to become greater. In fact, by the time I am old and gray, Google will be even bigger than they are now, which is huge.

Greenpeace Day

On 15th September we celebrate Greenpeace Day, so this is the time to release your inner activist and get passionate about the environment. The now internationally renowned campaign organisation for ecological issues was originally founded by a group of 17 activists in Vancouver protesting against off shore nuclear testing in Alaska on this date in 1971.

Since then, Greenpeace has achieved an abundance of victories over eco-crimes, as well as making an enormous contribution to raising awareness of environmental issues across the globe. They constantly strive for their vision of a society which recognizes the Earth as an essential life support system whose resources are not infinite and must be protected and cared for. Their campaigns range from raising awareness of the receding ice of the Arctic to protecting the oceans and rainforests to working towards nuclear disarmament.

To recognize the contribution made by the organisation which came out of such humble roots yet now boasts 2.9 million members, Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver has pronounced September 15th Greenpeace Day. In Vancouver, celebrations include a free family-friendly outdoor festival, tree planting and workshops on activism.

Be inspired by Greenpeace today: sign petitions and encourage others to do the same, be green in the home and out and about by switching off unnecessary light bulbs and throwing that empty wrapper on the street in the bin. Think bigger and look into volunteering and helping raise awareness for Greenpeace issues. Finally let Greenpeace Day act as a reminder that as the anthropologist Margaret Mead once put it: ‘Never doubt that a … group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has’.

International Day of Democracy

Democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives.

While democracies share common features, there is no single model of democracy. Activities carried out by the United Nations in support of efforts of Governments to promote and consolidate democracy are undertaken in accordance with the UN Charter, and only at the specific request of the Member States concerned.

The UN General Assembly, in resolution A/62/7 (2007) encouraged Governments to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy, and also decided that 15 September of each year should be observed as the International Day of Democracy.

 This year's theme - Engaging Young People on Democracy - highlights the challenges and opportunities of young people engaging in democratic processes.

People between the ages of 15 and 25 constitute a fifth of the world’s population. In many developing countries, the proportion is even higher – with the majority of young people today living in low - and middle-income countries.

Yet study after study shows declining faith among young people in politics as we know it, with decreasing levels of participation in elections, political parties and traditional social organizations across the world. This applies to both established and emerging democracies.

At the same time, informal, youth-led movements for democratic change are on the rise in a number of countries – including in fragile states. Using new communication channels in social networks, young people are making their mark on democracy-building in untraditional ways. On social media, use the hashtag #DemocracyDay.

The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals, can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.

The values of freedom, respect for human rights and the principle of holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage are essential elements of democracy.  In turn, democracy provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights. These values are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and further developed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which enshrines a host of political rights and civil liberties underpinning meaningful democracies.

The link between democracy and human rights is captured in article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:
“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”
The rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and subsequent human rights instruments covering group rights (e.g. indigenous peoples, minorities, people with disabilities) are equally essential for democracy as they ensure an equitable distribution of wealth, and equality and equity in respect of access to civil and political rights.

International Dot Day

International Dot Day , a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration, began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds' book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to "make her mark". What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.

And each year on International Dot Day—with the help of individuals, teachers, and students—the inspiration continues. What started as a story in the pages of a book is transforming teaching and learning around the world as people of all ages re-discover the power and potential of creativity in all they do.

Make a Hat Day

Are you one of those people who are passionately fascinated with hats? Wearing hats and head gears had been part of mankind’s history. If you doubt me, go check the nearest museum and see paintings of ancient times. You need not even go that far. Check the web and see for yourself. Isn't that enough reason for you to join this year’s celebration of Make a Hat Day? Make a Hat Day is always observed worldwide on the 15 day of September each year.

Despite extensive research conducted, we could not find any official record as to the origin and purpose of this special day. It had been deduced though that this may had been created by preschool teachers to formalize their ice breaker activity. As the date of its observance is during the start of the school season, making a hat is one of those popular activities engaged by teachers with their very young students.

The Make a Hat day is a fun day for all preschool, elementary and kindergarten students and instructors. This day is always observed as the time to teach young children how to make hats and their value to mankind. This day calls for a lot of creativity in making and wearing hats especially designed to serve its chosen purpose.

What is a hat and why are they made for? Hats, defined as coverings for the head, are created:
  • As protection from too much sunlight, strong winds, snow and sudden rain;
  • For safety purposes, as in the case of helmets;
  • To signify social standing, as shown in historical records;
  • For spiritual and official uses; or,
  • As a fashion statement.
National Caregivers Day

You won't receive any cards or cakes for National Caregiver Day.  You won't be handed a box of chocolates or a new diamond ring either.  If you did, you would have made it or bought it and wrapped it yourself. 

That's the thing about caregiving, it's for someone else, usually someone we love.  And that's because caregivers learn, over time, how to derive deep satisfaction from a smile, a meal eaten by our loved one, washed hair, calmed anxieties and memories shared.  We don't need gifts of chocolates or diamond jewelry to understand how our loving acts are needed and appreciated (although we'd never turn down those earthly gifts, of course!). 

National Caregiving Day is an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of our caring lives and to thank ourselves, not for being perfect, but for being the best caregivers we know how to be.  National Caregiving Day is a chance to celebrate the nobility in our daily lives.  Because we are noble - more noble than bankers, clerks, lawyers, sales reps, even teachers and police officers.  Ours is the most noble work and all those working professionals know that their most noble work happens at home, with family.  Caregiving is the core of what is most meaningful in life - our most intimate relations with those we love who are vulnerable and need our care.  Caregiving teaches us all life's most important lessons.  Eventually, after years of giving care, we become wise elders.

This weekend, if you celebrate Easter or Passover, please take a moment to reflect on the meaning of our shared caregiving experience.  Take time to weave your story into the stories of religious texts or your family history.  Because National Caregiver Day is important.  Once a year, it's worth celebrating the most important role we will ever play - caring for those we love.

National Creme de Menthe Day

If you’re in the mood for a delicious, decadent grown-up drink, go grab your glass! September 15 is National Crème de Menthe Day in the U.S.A!

Crème de menthe is an alcoholic beverage with a sweet taste and a minty flavor, a flavor usually extracted from the Corsican mint. Crème de menthe is commercially marketed in a pair of versions, one of which is called “white,” since it is colorless and the other is called “green,” since it bears a deep green color either contributed by a coloring agent or by the addition of mint leaves in the liqueur. The most popular Crème de menthe recipe belongs to the cocktail category, while there are a few recipes which employ the liqueur in the making of cakes, brownies and chocolate drinks. The two best known cocktail recipes made with Crème de menthe include the Vodka Stinger and the Grasshopper, which are generally served as post dinner drinks. The strong minty flavor of this liqueur makes it an active ingredient in several food recipes.

The origin of Crème de menthe is attributed to a dispensing pharmacist Emile Giffard, who while undertaking a research on mint and its digestive and refreshing values, invented a white color minty flavored pure and clear liqueur, which she distributed to the customers of the Grand Hotel in Angers and it soon became immensely popular. That was back in 1885 and since then, Crème de menthe has been a popular liqueur and an active ingredient in several food and drink recipes.

National Double Cheeseburger Day

If you're in the mood for a juicy burger loaded with cheese, go grab some buns! It's National Double-Cheeseburger Day! Imagine biting into not one, but two delicious patties dripping with ooey, gooey cheese! Legend has it that foodie John-Bryan Hopkins of Foodimentary, "invented" National Double Cheeseburger Day, which is observed each year on September 15.

Adding cheese to hamburgers became popular in the late-1920s to mid-1930s, and there are several competing claims as to who created the first cheeseburger. Lionel Sternberger is reputed to have invented the cheeseburger in 1926 at the age of 16 when he was working as a fry cook at his father'sPasadena, California sandwich shop, "The Rite Spot," and "experimentally dropped a slab of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger."

An early example of the cheeseburger appearing on a menu is a 1928 menu for the Los Angeles restaurant O'Dell's which listed a cheeseburger smothered with chili for 25 cents. According to a report published by the independent public television station KCET, a person would have had the additional option to added spaghetti as an additional topping to their chili smothered cheeseburger for a total cost of 40 cents at this same eatery.

Other restaurants say they invented the cheeseburger. For example, Kaelin's Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, said it invented the cheeseburger in 1934. One year later, a trademark for the name "cheeseburger" was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, Colorado. According to Steak 'n Shake archives, the restaurant's founder, Gus Belt, applied for a trademark on the word in the 1930s.

Five Fun Facts About Hamburgers:
  1. The oldest fast food restaurant in the world is the White Castle franchise, which opened in 1921.
  2. The people of America eat more burgers out at restaurants or on the go than they do at home.
  3. The largest hamburger ever created was over 8,000 pounds and was cooked for a burger festival in Wisconsin.
  4. However, the hamburger in its current form, with ground beef and a bun, is a decidedly American creation.
  5. Hamburgers are made of beef, not ham, and there is much debate over whether they actually originated in Hamburg.
National Felt Hat Day

Up until the 20th century, hats played an incredibly important role in fashion and attire – arguably much more so than today. In the 19th century, felt was a common material for hats, and National Felt Hat Day encourages us all to don a felt hat in tribute to this historically significant, but now somewhat neglected accessory.

You may think Robin Hood, you may think 10-gallon cowboy, or you may think fedora -- but whatever you think, today you have carte blanche to sport your felt-hat-of-choice with pride. Disclaimer: you may still have to remind people the holiday technically prevents them from mocking your accessory.

It’s the time of year when the leaves are changing color, crisp breezes are blowing through and we get to enjoy nice, cool weather. Fall is the time of year for walks in the park, a nice cup of hot coffee and, of course, the time to bring out your felt hats. While felt is one of the oldest materials known to man, it is something that raises many questions – How are felt hats made and what exactly is the felt made of? How is it shaped into a hat? And what is the difference between the types of felt?

Felt is quite simply a fabric that is is made from a process of interlocking fibers of wool or fur by using friction, heat and moisture. It is one of the strongest fabrics due to every fiber being interlocked in every direction with a number of other fibers. This process accounts for felt being extremely smooth, highly resilient and more impervious to water.

While it is not clear when felt was first created, legend links its discovery to 750 AD-818 AD during the life of Saint Clement of Ireland. It is said that, while on pilgrimage, Clement used carded wool in his sandals to keep his feet warm. The friction of walking matted the wool which produced the earliest forms of felt. It is for this reason that St. Clement is celebrated as the Patron Saint of Felt Hat Makers.

The process of turning felt into a hat is a painstaking art. First, the felt is formed into a large, loose cone. Loose fibers are pulled and the cone is then immersed into very hot water. This shrinks the fibers, making a more dense felt. The next step is to shape the cone into a finished hat. This is done by steaming and compressing the hat over wooden hat blocks to gain the desired crown shape. Once this is accomplished, the milliner cuts the brim to the desired width and shape; this step is known as flanging the brim. When the hat is in its proper form, stiffener is applied to hold its shape. The felt is then sanded numerous times to create a consistent smooth texture. The final stage of the hat making process is trimming. This includes adding a liner, a hat band, binding the edge of the brim and adding feathers and other embellishments.

An interesting side note on felt hat making is Old World hatters in the 18th and 19th centuries would treat the fur with mercury nitrate. Hatters were exposed daily to trace amounts of this metal, which would accumulate in their bodies over time. Needless to say, this had adverse effects! Many hatters experienced dementia and developed characteristic tics and twitches which would associate hatters with madness. This is where the phrase “as mad as a hatter” originated from. Hats are no longer treated with mercury, so today it is a much safer profession!

When it comes to hat making, there are three main types of felt that are used – wool felt, rabbit fur felt and beaver felt. Wool felt is produced from sheep’s wool and is more coarse to the touch than fur felts. These hats are typically the warmest as well as the friendliest on your wallet. If taken care of, a wool hat can easily last 10 or more years. Rabbit fur felt is produced from the fur of specific breeds of rabbit, with a majority of fur being produced in Belgium. Only the undercoat is used as it is thick enough for the felting process. This felt is extremely soft and a hat made of rabbit fur felt can easily last 50 years or more. Beaver felt is known as the “gold standard” when it comes to the quality of felt hats. The higher the percentage of beaver fur, the higher the quality of the hat. Beaver fur felts tighter which gives you a very soft, lightweight and dense hat that is more resilient to rain. Like rabbit fur, it is another hat that will easily last 50 years.

One thing you may notice with beaver felt hats is many have an “X rating”. This system is used to rate the quality of the fur. Typically, the higher the X rating, the higher the quality of the hat. One thing to keep in mind is there is no industry standard for quality ratings on beaver hats. Each hat company can rate their products as they see fit. What one hatter rates as a 10X hat, another hatter may rate it as 100X or even 1000X.

Wool and fur felts are used to create hats of every shape, style and color imaginable. These hats range from being totally utilitarian in providing their wearer with warmth to being the perfect accessory for any fashionista. Felt hats are perfect for the colder months of the year and are an ever so classic addition to any wardrobe. Here at Hatbox, we have many choices for wool, fur and beaver felt hats. Come in today to find your own perfect hat for the season!

National Linguine Day

Today is Linguine Day! Linguine (often misspelled “Linguini”) is a long, flat, narrow type of pasta. It is most commonly used in seafood or pesto dishes such as linguine alle vongole (“linguine with clams”).

This pasta is accurately called linguine, its Italian name, but the word became Americanized to linguini. Show you’re a food connoisseur and use the original Italian! Originating in the Liguria region of northern Italy, linguine (lin-GWEE-nay), Italian for “little tongues,” is a narrow, flat version of round spaghetti (it is sometimes referred to as flat spaghetti). It is a narrower version of fettuccine. 

Linguine is often paired with white or red clam sauce, butter and cheese or cream sauces; but it is so versatile that it works with almost any type of pasta sauce. Pesto al Genovese (basil, pine nuts, Pecorino cheese, extra virgin olive oil and garlic) is popularly served with linguini; as is a sauce made of cream, peas and prosciutto.

Have a favorite linguine dish? Serve it tonight in honor of National Linguine Day!

National Thank You Day

In an on-the-go society, there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to get everything accomplished. Today reminds us to slow down and be thankful for the things we have and the special people in our lives. September 15 is National Thank You Day. While the origins of this annual event are unknown, National Thank You Day is observed on several different days throughout the year, depending on which holiday calendar you prefer.

Just Say Thank You
If you have trouble remembering the last time you said “thank you” to someone, this “holiday” is for you! Whether someone pays you an unexpected compliment, cleans the house all of their own accord, or says “Have a nice day” in passing, verbally thanking someone should be part of our daily routine.

And if you are feeling particularly adventurous today, why not let someone go ahead of you in the long line at the checkout counter or at a 4-way stop sign at a busy intersection? Don’t forget to thank the mailman, paper boy, salesman and pizza delivery person while you’re at it. And be sure to thank the person who holds the door open for you or goes out of their way to help.

Whether the gesture is big or small, be sure to say those two little words that are far too often neglected and difficult for some to say. Chances are you have an awful lot to be thankful for!

Thankful Quotes & Sayings:
  • The more you are thankful for what you have, the more you’ll have to be thankful for. ~ Zig Ziglar
  • People who live the most fulfilling lives, are the ones who are always rejoicing at what they have. ~ Richard Carlson
  • Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out. ~ John Wooden
  • Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. ~ Oprah Winfrey
  • It isn't what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart.~ Unknown
  • If you can’t be content with what you have received, be thankful for what you have escaped. ~ Unknown
  • The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest. ~ William Blake
  • Be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Gandhi
  • If we fill our hours with regrets over the failures of yesterday and with worries over the problems of tomorrow, we have no today in which to be thankful. ~ Unknown
  • Thanking God for letting me see another day on this beautiful earth because another day is never promised. ~ Unknown
  • Be careful what you take for granted, someone else is waiting to appreciate it. ~ Unknown
  • In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. ~ H.L. Mencken

Today is Someday. That’s right folks, the day of reckoning has arrived. Someday is here, and it’s time to do all of those petty tasks that you said you would get around to “someday”. Yup, it’s time to replace the light bulb that burned out in the hallway last month; it’s time to fix that wash tub in the laundry room that has been dripping since last Easter; it’s time to clean out the trunk of your car; etc, etc, etc, ad infinitum. I’m sure you get the idea. With the Autumnal Equinox nigh upon us, and colder weather on the horizon, it might be a good idea to do those tasks that require you to be outside first; before they become big jobs that require immediate attention in the middle of January.

There is little information about the origins, history, or the creator of this holiday. It was listed in only one source. There’s only one way to celebrate this holiday. Turn of NFL Sunday and get to work.

Take a Loved One to The Doctor Day

Take A Loved One to the Doctor Day, now planned for the third Tuesday of each September, has become a key element of the campaign. The focus of the day is to encourage individuals to take charge of their health by visiting a health professional (a doctor, a nurse, a dentist, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant or another health provider), making an appointment for a visit, attending a health event in the community, or helping a friend, neighbor, or family member do the same. HHS and its partners also encourage communities around the country to organize health events on this day. This year, Take A Loved One to the Doctor Day is September 15. Leading the effort for a second year as chairperson is ABC national radio personality Tom Joyner.

Are you already taking charge of your health? If so, help a family member or friend do the same thing.

Regular health care, including preventive care, can enhance and extend the lives of those you love. That's why September 15th is Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day. It's your chance to encourage those you love to visit a health professional -- or at least make an appointment to visit one. And look for a community-sponsored health event near you on this day. It's a great way to show you care.

When your loved ones are connected with the right medical care, they can find out about their health concerns. Certain health problems can be prevented and others can be treated.

World Lymphoma Awareness Day

In 2004, World Lymphoma Awareness Day was started to spread awareness about lymphoma which is a common form of cancer. World Lymphoma Awareness Day is held on September 15 each year since its inception. World Lymphoma Awareness Day was started by Lymphoma coalition which is a non profit organization of lymphoma patients spread across the world. As a matter of fact, very few people know about lymphoma form of cancer and its associated symptoms. Lymphoma is a life threatening disease and the number of people diagnosed with lymphoma is increasing every day. World Lymphoma Awareness Day is a step towards raising general public awareness about the symptoms and treatment associated with lymphoma. The aim is to help early diagnosis of lymphoma which will lead to early and more importantly timely treatment.

Lymphoma is a cancerous disease that attacks lymph nodes. World Lymphoma Awareness Day consists of two campaigns viz., know your node campaign and beacons of hope campaign. The know your node campaign aims to generate public awareness about the lymph nodes and functioning of lymph nodes and lymphatic system along with causes, symptoms and diagnosis of lymphoma. The know your node campaign was created with a basic fact in mind that very few people knew about lymphoma as a cancerous disease and even fewer people knew about lymphoma. The awareness about lymph nodes and lymphatic system was also found to be very poor among general public. These facts were gathered by the lymphoma coalition during an international survey conducted by it in 2006. With these statistics in mind the lymphoma coalition initiated know your nodes campaign. Since the signs and symptoms of lymphoma are very similar to the signs and symptoms of other illness, a general awareness about lymphoma will help people recognize the lymphoma symptoms and in turn will aid in better and timely treatment. This is a life saving initiative with a noble cause. The other part of the World Lymphoma Awareness Day is Beacons of Hope campaign. The beacon of hope campaign was also started in 2006 to encourage people suffering from lymphoma by bringing forth real life inspirational stories of people suffering from lymphoma. The aim is to provide the much needed encouragement to the people suffering from lymphoma and to help them fight the disease. Beacon of hope campaign appoints global beacon of hope ambassadors who in turn act to spread hope and vigor to fight the disease along with general awareness among the public about lymphoma. The beacon of hope ambassadors are nominated by the members of lymphoma coalition.

Since its inception in 2004, World Lymphoma Awareness Day has helped many people suffering from lymphoma. It is an international event and has made its mark by organizing various awareness campaigns and events. World Lymphoma Awareness Day celebration and events has provided a platform for various people associated with lymphoma like doctors, nurses, health associations, patients and their relatives to come together and share vital information and experience about lymphoma. World Lymphoma Awareness Day has not only helped the patients but also the human kind by giving such a wonderful platform to share, interact and exchange ideas and information about lymphoma.