Thursday, September 24, 2015

Holidays and Observances for September 24 2015

Festival of the Latest Novelties

September 24 is Festival of the Latest Novelties!

This holiday celebrates the newest fads and odd novelty items that usually make the most exciting new inventions. Observe this wacky holiday by getting some new, fresh products that are out on the market. Who knows? Whatever you pick may be the next big thing!

The giving of novelty gifts goes as far back as the early modern period (1500s and 1600s).  During this time period, a French mathematician and astronomer named Pierre Hérigone (1580-1643) described an unusual goblet constructed in such a way that someone drinking it could in effect spy on others while taking a drink.  This ingenious novelty item featured a 45-degree angle mirror with a stylized opening for the lens, a cup made of glass where images could be seen, and a lid bearing a magnifying lens at the top!  This fun item was only the beginning…

Over the following centuries, famous novelty items would include the Big Mouth Billy Bass, bobbleheads, Groucho glasses, and X-Ray Specs, in addition to a wealth of other items, some of which we are absolutely certain you have owned at least some of at some point in your life!

Given their pervasiveness in our culture, it is not surprising that an as yet unidentified brainiac decided to finally honor these amusing items with their own holiday.  As far as we can tell, this holiday dates back to at least the early 2000s, but its “official” origins are thus far mysterious. Perhaps you can illuminate us as to this peculiar holiday’s origins by posting in the comments section below.  No, you do not win a prize, but you will help contribute to our knowledge of this “important” event!

The oldest internet references we can find to the holiday via a Google search date back to 2001. These include this site and a host of other sites that merely mention the holiday’s name and date.

Now, if you are considering some recent novelty items to purchase as gifts for the upcoming holiday season, we recommend these top ten novelty gifts.  The author of this article can say from personal experience that you will not be disappointed with many of the ones found on that well-written list!

Innergize Day

September 24th is Innergize Day. Innergize Day was created by Michelle Porchia from inner dimensions, llc. It is a day set aside for us to make some time for ourselves. A "do anything you want to do for yourself "day. A day of relaxation, rejuvenation, and fun!

It seems like life just keeps getting busier and busier with nary a time to recharge.

Work is good; it forces us to learn and grow, keeps us from being lazy and bored, keeps our minds and bodies active, as well as giving us a way to support our families. Helping others is good; besides providing relief, comfort, and joy to those we help, it keeps our spirits active, helps us forget our own troubles, and helps us feel worthwhile. But remember the old adage: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Or does it make Jack this kind of a boy?

Men and women alike need a day here and there to recharge their batteries. Ms. Porchia would like to see us take advantage of Innergize Day by taking this one day a year to take some time off for ourselves and then progress to taking one day a month, then one day a week, and then one hour a day as a time for "self-celebration". I like that - self-celebration!

When I was younger and I had seven little boys running around filling my life with both chaos and joy, along with my working sundry part time jobs, and dealing with a depression problem, life was at best overwhelming! I think the one thing that kept me sane was that my husband would watch the boys every Tuesday night while I went to a ceramics shop and painted cute little critters and fun decorations for every holiday. It was my time to relax, to build friendships, and to explore my creative side. It was wonderful as well as life saving!

Please take some time this Tuesday to refill your cup before you're completely drained. And then I hope you'll schedule some "me time" every week so that you can cope with the challenges of life and be a happier you. And remember, do it without feeling guilty, you deserve it and you need it!

National Bluebird of Happiness Day

Mister Bluebird's on my shoulderIt's the truth, it's actualEv'rything is satisfactualZip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ayWonderful feeling, feeling this way

The symbol of a bluebird as the harbinger of happiness is found in many cultures and may date back thousands of years. One of the oldest examples (found on oracle bone inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty, 1766-1122 BC) is from pre-modern China, where a blue bird (qingniao) was the messenger bird of Xi Wangmu, the 'Queen Mother of the West' who began life as a fearsome goddess and Immortal. By the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) she had evolved into a Daoist fairy queen and the protector/patron of "singing girls, dead women, novices, nuns, adepts and priestesses...women [who] stood outside the roles prescribed for women in the traditional Chinese family". Depictions of Xi Wangmu often include a bird—the birds in the earliest depictions are difficult to identify, and by the Tang Dynasty, most of the birds appear in a circle, often with three legs, as a symbol of the sun.

Three species of blue-headed North American thrushes (Turdidae) occupy the genus Sialia. The most widespread and best-known is the Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis), breeding from Canada's prairie provinces to Texas and from the Maritimes to Florida; discrete populations of this species are also found from southeastern Arizona through west Mexico into Guatemala and Nicaragua. The Mountain Bluebird (S. currucoides) breeds on high-elevation plains from central Alaska to Arizona and New Mexico, and the Western Bluebird (S. mexicana) inhabits dry coniferous forests from extreme southwestern Canada to Baja California and from the Great Basin south into west Mexico.

A popular American song of 1934, "Bluebird of Happiness" by Sandor Harmati and Edward Heyman, was recorded twice by Jan Peerce and also by Art Mooney and His Orchestra. That song is probably the origin of the American phrase "the bluebird of happiness," which is also mentioned in the film K-Pax and alluded to in the song "Over The Rainbow" from the "Wizard of Oz."

In 1942, the popular song (There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover used them among other imagery to lift spirits. In reality, though several species of birds nest of the cliffs, the bluebird is not one of them as it is not native to Britain.

The Academy Award-winning song, "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," from Disney's 1946 live-action and animated film "Song of the South" makes reference to "Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder" as a symbol of good cheer.

In the 1946 Japanese film No Regrets for Our Youth, directed by Akira Kurosawa, when Yukie and Noge reunite in Tokyo during the war, Yukie laments that she is not happy with her career and wants to do something truly meaningful in the struggle for freedom. Noge responds, "Who finds work like that even once in their lives? It's like finding The Blue Bird of Happiness."

In the film Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird, the Sleaze Brothers kidnap Big Bird and press him into service in their fun fair, where he is painted blue and billed as the Blue Bird of Happiness. In a witty play on the polysemy of the word "blue," Big Bird sings the mournful song"No Wonder I'm So Blue."

A scene in the Disney film "The Rescuers" uses the bluebird as a symbol of "faith ... you see from afar."

The The Allman Brothers Band's song "Blue Sky" has the lyric "Don't fly, mister blue bird, I'm just walking down the road".

Also mentioned in the "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" episode "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya part III"

The lyrics of the They Might Be Giants song Birdhouse in Your Soul, by John Linnell, include the phrase "blue bird of friendliness."

The bluebird is mentioned at the end of the 1968 Beatles movie Yellow Submarine, when the leader of the Blue Meanies claims that his "cousin is the bluebird of happiness".

National Cherries Jubilee Day

Today is a day to celebrate a tasty dessert. September 24 is National Cherries Jubilee Day. What is a cherries jubilee?

Cherries jubilee is a classic dessert made with cherries served over vanilla ice cream. Most of the time brandy or another liqueur is added to a hot pan and poured over the cherries and ice cream to make a nice sauce.

The original recipe is said to have been designed by French chef Auguste Escoffie who prepared the dish for one of Queen Victoria's jubilee celebrations. It is unclear whether it was her Golden Jubilee in 1887 or the Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Hence the name "Jubilee" because it was at one of the jubilees.

The cherries jubilee quickly became one of the most fashionable desserts of the era. Cherries jubilee became a standard menu item at America’s finest restaurants. Cherries jubilee's popularity became more evident in the 1950s and 1960s.

You do not have to wait to have a dinner party to enjoy cherries jubilee. You can enjoy this popular desert whenever you want to taste something delicious.

Make this easy dessert for yourself and your family. If you do not feel like making it yourself, it is sure to be on the menu of your favorite restaurant.

National Punctuation Day

Prepare yourself, people who love words and writing and those symbols we use to designate pauses and emotions and inflections (and such) throughout our prose and occasionally poetry as well. Monday is the annual holiday of National Punctuation Day (which is fittingly just five days after the birthday of punctuation art known as the emoticon) and we are gearing up to have the most exciting one, ever! (Ever!!!). In honor of the day, we'll be baking this punctuation meatloaf, wearing our favorite "Comma? I Hardly Know Her!" T-shirt, scanning photos of punctuation tattoos, and parsing the web for an array of punctuation mishaps. Speaking of the latter, please send us your most abhorred mistakes—it's for its? Your for you're? Simple yet horrific excesses? Carelessly incorrect use? We'll have some other surprises, too. This is bigger than our own birthday, which we would appreciate if you'd ignore as getting older is no fun ... no fun at all. (&!@%!!) :(. 

There is, however, some fun already kicking up over at the New Yorker, where at Questioningly, a blog based itself in punctuation (the question mark, that is), Ben Greenman presents an evocative new challenge, to "combine two existing pieces of punctuation into a new piece of punctuation." Greenman adds, "Oh, also, you have to name your fused punctuation mark and give some sense of its function. An already existing example is the interrobang, ‽, which conveys excited disbelief. But maybe there should be a ,? mark, which indicates slowness and confusion, or a /\, which indicates disingenuous differentiation between two otherwise similar elements. (What?!) Anyway, you get it. Knock two pieces of punctuation together. Name the resulting ungodly hybrid. That’s your mission." (Tweet your response, as per the rules of the game, with the hashtag #tnyquestion.)

If we're mashing together punctuation, though, consider that you'll have to take into account their personalities and lifestyles as well. Should you really, for instance, pair the proud colon with the passive agressive, timid ellipses (:...) to create a one-eyed perplexed man with an extremely wide face who only eats soft foods? Or, perhaps, the attention-loving semi-colon with her dutiful sister, always on the brink of rage, (;,) to create... an impossibly fit runner, or maybe some sort of amoeba? Or what about just ampersanding ourselves into a stupor: &&&&&&&&&&& (ouch), the way we do with the punctuation mark of the year (!!!!!)? Ooh, that might be one in itself. We'll call it The Everything Bagel, and dub it complicated but delicious with tofu cream cheese. (!)

National Teach Ag Day

National Teach Ag Day is a day to celebrate school-based agricultural education and to encourage agricultural education advocates, especially current agricultural educators (middle school, high school, post-secondary, pre-service programs, etc.) to share with others the great career opportunities in agricultural education.

National Teach Ag Day is for anyone who wants to celebrate school-based agricultural education, share the story of agricultural education’s importance and effectiveness in the United States, and encourage students to consider careers as agricultural educators. Anyone who wants to participate can find a variety of resources to help them talk about agricultural education at

Agricultural educators and agricultural education advocates will engage in a variety of activities to celebrate and promote the career of agricultural education. These activities may include capitol rallies, special lessons, community activities, and more. The Teach Ag website is a clearinghouse of resources to help teachers and advocates, and free resources found there include a video, suggested teaching activities, games, and giveaway items.

National Teach Ag Day is a component of the National Teach Ag Campaign, an initiative to bring attention to the career of agricultural education, get students thinking about a possible career in agricultural education, and to support current agricultural educators in their careers.

The Teach Ag Campaign is an initiative of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). It is sponsored by the CHS Foundation and DuPont Pioneer as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

World Maritime Day

The United Nations (UN), via the International Maritime Organization (IMO), created World Maritime Day to celebrate the international maritime industry’s contribution towards the world’s economy, especially in shipping. The event’s date varies by year and country but it is always on the last week of September.

World Maritime Day focuses on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO's work. The day also features a special message from the IMO’s secretary-general, which is backed up by a discussion paper on the selected subject in more detail.

World Maritime Day is celebrated in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Many maritime organizations and unions hold special events and activities to celebrate this day. These activities and events range from symposiums to luncheons, as well as school lessons that focus on the day. Some classes may organize a trip to a maritime museum so students can understand the significance of the maritime industry in shaping world history and its importance in world trade.

Throughout history, people have understood that international regulations that are followed by many countries worldwide could improve marine safety so many treaties have been adopted since the 19th century. Various countries proposed for a permanent international body to be established to promote maritime safety more effectively but it was not until the UN was established that these hopes were realized. An international conference in Geneva in 1948 adopted a convention formally establishing the IMO, a specialized UN agency that develops and maintains a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping.

The IMO’s original name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) but the name was changed in 1982 to IMO. The IMO focuses on areas such as safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.

World Maritime Day was first held on March 17, 1978 to mark the date of the IMO Convention’s entry into force in 1958. At that time, the organization had 21 member states. It now has about 167 member states and three associate members. This membership includes virtually all the nations of the world with an interest in maritime affairs, including those involved in the shipping industry and coastal states with an interest in protecting their maritime environment.