Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Holidays and Observances for September 23 2015

Autumnal Equinox

An equinox is an astronomical event in which the plane of Earth's equator passes the center of the Sun. Equinoxes occur twice a year, around 21 March and 23 September.

The equinoxes are the only times when the subsolar point (the place on Earth's surface where the center of the Sun is exactly overhead) is on the Equator, and, consequently, the only times when the Sun is at zenith over the Equator. The subsolar point crosses the equator, moving northward at the March equinox and southward at the September equinox. The equinoxes are the only times when the solar terminator is perpendicular to the Equator. As a result, the northern and southern Hemispheres are equally illuminated.

At an equinox, the Sun is at one of the two opposite points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator (i.e. declination 0) and ecliptic intersect. These points of intersection are called equinoctial points: classically, the vernal point (RA = 00h 00m 00s and ecliptic longitude = 0°) and the autumnal point (RA = 12h 00m 00s and ecliptic longitude = 180°). However, the axes of an equatorial or ecliptic coordinate system may be defined so as to be aligned with the ecliptic and vernal equinox at a fixed point in time (or aligned with an average); therefore due to the Earth's axial precession and changes in orbital parameters, the Sun position during equinoxes in an equatorial or ecliptic coordinate system may slightly differ from the aforementioned idealized values.

The oldest meaning of the word "equinox" is the day when daytime and night are of approximately equal duration. The word equinox comes from this definition, derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). The equinox is not exactly the same as the day when period of daytime and night are of equal length for two reasons. Firstly, sunrise, which begins daytime, occurs when the top of the Sun's disk rises above the eastern horizon. At that instant, the disk's center is still below the horizon. Secondly, Earth's atmosphere refracts sunlight. As a result, an observer sees daylight before the first glimpse of the Sun's disk above the horizon. To avoid this ambiguity, the word equilux is sometimes used to mean a day on which the periods of daylight and night are equal. Times of sunset and sunrise vary with an observer's location (longitude and latitude), so the dates when day and night are closest together in length depend on location.

Celebrate Bisexuality Day

Celebrate Bisexuality Day is observed on September 23 by members of the bisexual community and their supporters.

This day is a call for the bisexual community, their friends and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexuality,bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and all the bisexual people in their lives.

First observed in 1999, Celebrate Bisexuality Day is the brainchild of three United States bisexual rights activists: Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida, and Gigi Raven Wilbur of Texas. Wilbur said,
Ever since the Stonewall rebellion, the gay and lesbian community has grown in strength and visibility. The bisexual community also has grown in strength but in many ways we are still invisible. I too have been conditioned by society to automatically label a couple walking hand in hand as either straight or gay, depending upon the perceived gender of each person.
This celebration of bisexuality in particular, as opposed to general LGBT events, was conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of the bisexual persons by some in both the straight and greater LGBT communities. To quote Wendy Curry, "We were sitting around at one of the annual bi conventions, venting and someone--I think it was GiGi--said we should have a party. We all loved the great bisexual, Freddie Mercury. His birthday was in September, so why not Sept? We wanted a weekend day to ensure the most people would do something. GiGi's birthday was Sept 23rd. It fell on a weekend day, so, poof! We had a day." In its first year, an observance was held during the meeting of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, which occurred during the week of the 23rd.

While at first it only took hold in areas with an extremely strong bisexual presence, it is now celebrated in some countries outside the United States, including Canada and Australia. It features discussions, dinner parties and dances in Toronto, and a large masquerade ball in Queensland, Australia. At Texas A&M University, the week featured discussion panels and question-and-answer sessions. It has also been celebrated in Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

On September 18, 2012, Berkeley, California became what is thought to be the first city in the U.S. to officially proclaim a day recognizing bisexuals. The Berkeley City Council unanimously and without discussion declared Sept. 23 as Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day.

In 2013 on Celebrate Bisexuality Day, the White House held a closed-door meeting with almost 30 bisexual advocates so they could meet with government officials and discuss issues of specific importance to the bisexual community; this was the first bi-specific event ever hosted by any White House.

On the same day in the UK, government minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson MP issued a statement saying, "I welcome Bi Visibility Day which helps to raise awareness of the issues that bisexual people can face and provides an opportunity to celebrate diversity and focus on the B in LGB&T."

Great American Pot Pie Day

Great American Pot Pie Day is always celebrated  on September 23rd.

Great American Pot Pie Day celebrates an American creation that has been around for decades to warm us from the inside out, the Pot Pie. Pot pies are the American answer to British meat pies.

This holiday was created in 2002 by Marie Callender's, a licensed brand of ConAgra Foods. That year, they made a donation for each of their pot pies that were sold during the holiday's date. Originally, it was intended that this holiday be celebrated on the first day of Fall, which in 2002 fell on September 23rd. Though, it appears the September 23rd date for this holiday has stuck as references going back as early as 2007 quote this holiday's date as September 23rd.

That old American standby, the meat pot pie, has a long history. Back in the days of the Roman Empire, these pastries were served at banquets, sometimes with live birds under the crust, which must have startled unwary guests.

In the 16th Century, the English gentry revived the ancient custom of meat pies. The fad soon swept the country, moving a British food writer to comment that his countrymen were especially fond of deer meat, "which they bake in pasties, and this venison pasty is a dainty rarely found in any other kingdom."

In fact, Britons during that era consumed meat pies of all sorts, including pork, lamb and game. They were especially fond of birds, and during the reign of Elizabeth I, English cooks made pot pies using "chicken peepers," which consisted of tiny chicks stuffed with gooseberries.

Around the middle of the 16th Century, one cookbook included a sort of telescopic pie in which five birds were stuffed one inside the other, then wrapped in dough.

This trend toward the grotesque reached its peak when an English food writer took a page from the ancient Romans and featured a recipe that began "to make pies that the birds may be alive and fly out when it is cut up. . . ."

This fondness for meat pies soon spread to the New World. In the 19th Century, Americans became enamored of a pie that featured robins.

The settlers who came to America took their pot pie recipes with them when they moved westward. By the present century, chicken pot pies and meat variations have become as American as corn on the cob.

National Checkers Day And  Dogs In Politics Day

Today is National Checkers Day And Dogs in Politics Day, which marks the anniversary of the one of the greatest speeches in U.S. political history.

And it’s named after a dog.

On Sept. 23, 1952, Sen. Richard Nixon of California gave a televised and radio-broadcast address to refute charges he used some of an $18,000 campaign fund for personal use. He was on the presidential ticket with Dwight Eisenhower, the former World War II Supreme Allied Commander, and the duo was running against Illinois Democrat Governor Adlai Stevenson.

Nixon was accused of taking campaign funds and diverting them for personal use. As last-minute scandals have a way of changing the tide of a presidential contest, calls came for Ike to dump Nixon from the ticket. Rather than duck for cover, however, Nixon fought back with a televised address. For approximately 30 minutes, Nixon refuted the charges by providing and detailed breakdown of his finances.

But the speech earned its nickname when Nixon mentioned one donated item sent to his family as a personal gift, and he had no intention of returning it:
“A man down in Texas heard Pat [Nixon’s wife] on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was?" 
“It was a little Cocker Spaniel dog in a crate that he’d sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. And our little girl — Tricia, the six-year old — named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.”
The “Checkers” speech had an estimated 60 million viewers and listeners, and the reaction was overwhelmingly favorable toward Nixon. It is also regarded as one of the greatest political speeches in U.S. history, and a milestone in terms of demonstrating the effectiveness of television.

Aided by the “Checkers” speech and the positive response, Nixon remained on the GOP ticket, and was vice president for two terms. Nixon narrowly lost the 1960 presidential election to John Kennedy, but ultimately won the Oval Office in 1968 and was handily re-elected 1972. He resigned from office in 1974 amid the Watergate scandal; he died in 1994.

Checkers died in 1964, and she was buried in Bide-a-Wee Pet Cemetery, located in Long Island, NY.

Restless Legs Awareness Day

Restless Legs Awareness Day aims to promote awareness of this medical condition or syndrome. It is held on the same day each year to coincide with the birth date of Professor Karl-Axel Ekborn (born 23rd September 1907, died 1977). This eminent Swedish neurologist first wrote and described the disease in 1945. Since then, a lot has been learned about its symptoms although (to date) there is no known primary cause. It may be associated with dopamine or blood iron levels.

Characterised by urges to move the legs even when at rest, it can also sometimes occur in the arms. Secondary causes include some medication or other pre-disposing medical conditions.

International Awareness Day aims to increase understanding of RLS and the jerky movements and in some cases distress caused. A cure is still being sought. In 2013, the North Carolina (USA) proclaimed that this day should be observed by all citizens.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that causes a strong urge to move your legs. This urge to move often occurs with strange and unpleasant feelings in your legs. Moving your legs relieves the urge and the unpleasant feelings.

People who have RLS describe the unpleasant feelings as creeping, crawling, pulling, itching, tingling, burning, aching, or electric shocks. Sometimes, these feelings also occur in the arms.

The urge to move and unpleasant feelings happen when you're resting and inactive. Thus, they tend to be worse in the evening and at night.

RLS can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. It may make you feel tired and sleepy during the day. This can make it hard to learn, work, and do other daily activities. Not getting enough sleep also can cause depression, mood swings, or other health problems.

RLS can range from mild to severe based on:
  • The strength of your symptoms and how often they occur
  • How easily moving around relieves your symptoms
  • How much your symptoms disturb your sleep
One type of RLS usually starts early in life (before 45 years of age) and tends to run in families. It may even start in childhood. Once this type of RLS starts, it usually lasts for the rest of your life. Over time, symptoms slowly get worse and occur more often. If you have a mild case, you may have long periods with no symptoms.

Another type of RLS usually starts later in life (after 45 years of age). It generally doesn't run in families. This type of RLS tends to have a more abrupt onset. The symptoms usually don't get worse over time.

Some diseases, conditions, and medicines may trigger RLS. For example, the disorder has been linked to kidney failure, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, and iron deficiency. When a disease, condition, or medicine causes RLS, the symptoms usually start suddenly.

Medical conditions or medicines often cause or worsen the type of RLS that starts later in life.

RLS symptoms often get worse over time. However, some people's symptoms go away for weeks to months.

If a medical condition or medicine triggers RLS, the disorder may go away if the trigger is relieved or stopped. For example, RLS that occurs due to pregnancy tends to go away after giving birth. Kidney transplants (but not dialysis) relieve RLS linked to kidney failure.

Treatments for RLS include lifestyle changes and medicines. Some simple lifestyle changes often help relieve mild cases of RLS. Medicines often can relieve or prevent the symptoms of more severe RLS.

Research is ongoing to better understand the causes of RLS and to find better treatments.

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