Monday, September 28, 2015

Holidays and Observances for September 28 2015

Family Day

Family Day is a national initiative created by CASAColumbia to promote simple acts of parental engagement as key ways to help prevent risky substance use in children and teens.  

What started out in 2001 as a grassroots initiative to inform parents about all the benefits of frequent family dinners, has grown into a national movement that is supported by a network of partners and sponsors across the country.

Family Day has evolved and expanded to reflect how important it is to connect with your kids at various times throughout the day including while driving your kids to soccer practice, tucking little ones into bed or having frequent family dinners.

These every day activities have a lasting effect on your children. Each of these moments offers an opportunity to communicate with your kids and to really listen to what’s on their mind.

As children age, it is vital to keep those lines of communication open, especially during adolescence when they are at risk of engaging in risky behavior including smoking, drinking or using other drugs.

At CASAColumbia we know that:
  • Adolescence is the critical period for the initiation of risky substance use and its consequences. 
  • Nine out of 10 Americans who meet the medical criteria for addiction started smoking, drinking, or using other drugs before age 18.  
  • Addiction is a disease that in most cases begins in adolescence so preventing or delaying teens from using nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs for as long as possible is crucial to their health and safety.

While there are no silver bullets – addiction can strike any family regardless of ethnicity, affluence, age or gender – parental engagement can be a simple, effective tool to help you prevent substance use in your kids.

Make every day Family Day in your home!

Fish Tank Floorshow Night

Fish Tank Floorshow Night is a funny concept that can be taken two ways - gather 'round the fish tank and let them entertain you, or gather 'round the fish tank and entertain the fish.

Day in and day out our finned friends in the little glass houses. For years they have offered us the peace and tranquility of their lives swimming around in their fish tanks. Now it’s time to pay up. Return the favor. Put on a floor show for your fish.

Don’t be shy or embarrassed. Gather up the family and sing some songs. Dance a number or two.

Don’t have a fish? No problem, head down to the pet store and give those fish a show. The fish will enjoy it. If not, you can film it and place it on YouTube.

For those of you who don't have a fish tank, I've scoured the net for a superior video:

International Right To Know Day

Sept. 28 is International Right to Know Day, a day to celebrate the right of citizens to access information held by public bodies (the right to information or RTI). Originally proclaimed on Sept. 28, 2002, International Right to Know Day is now formally recognized in countries around the world with activities ranging from conferences, prize-giving ceremonies, online discussions (the Centre for Law and Democracy will host a discussion on RTI this year, and the like.

More generally, International Right to Know Day provides an opportunity to reflect on progress regarding the right to information, protected as a human right under international law, as well as the Constitution of Indonesia. 

This year we have a major milestone to celebrate, the passage of the 100th right to information law globally, with the formal signing, on Sept. 18, of Paraguay’s Access to Information Act. With this law, over one half of the world’s countries, including of course Indonesia, covering some three-quarters of the world’s population, have put in place legal regimes guaranteeing the right to information. 

How does Indonesia weigh up globally on this important human rights issue? The good news is that the legal framework in Indonesia, and in particular the Public Information Disclosure Act, No. 14 of 2008, is relatively strong. According to the RTI Rating ( (a globally accepted methodology for assessing the strength of legal frameworks for RTI developed by the Centre for Law and Democracy and Access Info Europe), Indonesia’s legal framework scores 101 points out of a possible total of 150, putting it in 28th position globally. 

This is a very respectable position, which Indonesians can be proud of. Readers may be interested to know that Serbia tops the rating, with a score of 135 points, while nearby Austria languishes in last place, with just 37 points. 

There is no single, accepted global measure of how well RTI laws are being implemented (the RTI Rating only measures legal provisions). However, anecdotal evidence suggests that Indonesia is not doing quite as well on this front. 

The demand for information (i.e. by civil society and members of the public) remains somewhat weak, especially for a country the size of Indonesia, although this is starting to build. 

Some organizations are increasingly making demands for information, but the overall buzz around the issue is far less animated than in countries like Bulgaria, India and Mexico, where there are almost daily newspaper reports on citizens using RTI to achieve social goals.

There is also room for improvement on the supply side (i.e. the measures taken by public bodies to be transparent). Many public bodies have not even appointed the Information Management and Documentation Officers (PPIDs) that Article 13 of Law No. 14 of 2008 requires them to. And even fewer have gone so far as to adopt internal rules — Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) — on this issue.

Indonesia is not alone in this, inasmuch as it is much easier to pass a law than to implement one and many countries struggle with the latter. Indeed, to some extent implementation is an ongoing challenge, even many years after the law has been passed. The Canadian law was passed over 30 years ago, but there are continuous efforts to improve implementation.

However, the Indonesian law came into effect in May 2010, nearly four and a half years ago, and so the various Indonesian stakeholders do need to make an effort to improve implementation. The imminent prospect of a new government, which is on record as being committed to becoming more open, provides an ideal opportunity for this.

It is up to local stakeholders to decide what they want to do, but some suggestions based on what has been successful in other countries may be helpful. Media outlets often file RTI requests to obtain information about medium- or longer-term stories they are working one. 

Sometimes, not getting the information makes for just as good a story as getting it. Media outlets in some countries have, for example, made similar requests to different public bodies, and then produced great reports based on the different types of responses they received.

Civil society groups could also use the law more extensively. Practically every organization, regardless of the issues they work on, needs information held by government; this is certainly not an issue which is limited to groups working directly on RTI. 

And, if the request is refused, one can always lodge an appeal with the Central or relevant Provincial Information Commission, which has the power to order public bodies to disclose information. 

Finally, public bodies need to do their part, in the first place by appointing a PPID and adopting a standard operating procedure. These are, actually, formal legal obligations for all public bodies in Indonesia. In the short term, such measures may seem rather burdensome. 

But experience in countries around the world has shown that, in the longer-term, being open leads to better relations with citizens and improves the effectiveness of public bodies. Surely this, along with the satisfaction of doing one’s bit to respect a fundamental human right, should be motivation enough.

Many observers, including this author, consider Indonesia to be the strongest democracy in Southeast Asia. With a little bit more effort, the right to information could be held up as a pillar of that democracy. Let’s work together to make that happen.

Happy International Right to Know Day!

National Ask A Stupid Question Day

This annual “holiday” is typically observed on September 28 unless the day falls on a weekend - then it’s observed the last school day in September. Ask a Stupid Question Day is a holiday that is sometimes celebrated in the United States, usually by school students and teachers. Although Ask a Stupid Question Day's default date is September 28, in practice it is usually observed on the last school day of September.

This holiday was created by teachers in the 1980s to encourage students to ask more questions in the classroom. According to, "at the time, there was a movement by teachers to try to get kids to ask more questions in the classroom. Kids sometimes hold back, fearing their question is stupid, and asking it will result in ridicule."

If you were ever a kid once, a teacher or adult probably told you there is no such thing as a stupid question. But let’s be honest. Have you ever blurted out a question that was so lame, you couldn't believe the words actually came out of your own mouth? It was almost like you were in the middle of an out-of-body experience and someone else uttered the words! Most of us have probably kept a few questions to ourselves because we were so worried we’d be ridiculed or laughed at by co-workers, fellow students or friends.

But today is a new day! In honor of National Ask a Stupid Question Day, go ahead. Take your best shot and ask away!

National Drink Beer Day

Today is Drink Beer Day! Raise a pint and toast to one of the oldest and most popular beverages in human history.

There are hundreds of different varieties of beer, but they all fall into one of two categories—ale or lager. Historians believe that humans have been producing beer, or some form it, since the Neolithic Era. The oldest continuously operating brewery in the world is in the Bavaria region of Germany. The Weihenstephan brewery began producing beer in the year 1040. Today, the company exports fourteen different brews all over the world.

Ale is one of the oldest beverages humans have produced, dating back to at least the 5th millennium BC and recorded in the written history of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. As almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneousfermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, it is possible that beer-like beverages were independently developed throughout the world soon after a tribe or culture had domesticated cereal. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran, and is one of the first-known biological engineering tasks to utilize the process of fermentation. In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is believed to be a 6,000-year-old Sumerian tablet depicting people drinking a beverage through reed straws from a communal bowl. A 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honouring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread.

The invention of bread and/or beer has been argued to be responsible for humanity's ability to develop technology and build civilization. The earliest chemically confirmed barley beer to date was discovered at Godin Tepe in the central Zagros Mountains of Iran, where fragments of a jug, at least 5000 years old was found to be coated with beerstone, a by-product of the brewing process.

Beer may have been known in Neolithic Europe as far back as 5000 years ago, and was mainly brewed on a domestic scale.

Ale produced before the Industrial Revolution continued to be made and sold on a domestic scale, although by the 7th century AD beer was also being produced and sold by European monasteries. During the Industrial Revolution, the production of beer moved from artisanal manufacture toindustrial manufacture, and domestic manufacture ceased to be significant by the end of the 19th century. The development of hydrometers and thermometers changed brewing by allowing the brewer more control of the process, and greater knowledge of the results.

Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries. More than 133 billion liters (35 billion gallons) are sold per year—producing total global revenues of $294.5 billion (£147.7 billion) in 2006.

There’s really only one way to celebrate Drink Beer Day! Gather a group of friends for a beer tasting at home or at your favorite bar. Be sure to check for promotions and giveaways that might be going on in your area. Cheers!

National Good Neighbor Day

National Good Neighbor Day is observed on September 28. Being good neighbors is an important part of the social life. In 2003, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution, sponsored by Montana Senator Max Baucus, making September 28, National Good Neighbor Day. 

A Neighbor is a person who lives nearby, normally in a house or apartment that is next door or, in the case of houses, across the street. Some people form friendships with their neighbor, and help them by sharing their tools and helping with gardening tasks. Other people become frustrated with their neighbors, if the neighbor makes a lot of noise or makes messes.

A group of people living close together in a small community is called a neighborhood. Some neighborhoods have many community organizations, where people volunteer and do charitable activities. Other neighborhoods in poor communities may have no community organizations, and there may be many problems in the community, such as illegal drugs, prostitution, and homelessness. 

National Strawberry Cream Pie Day

Today is National Strawberry Cream Pie Day! Did you know that 70% of a strawberry cream pie’s weight comes from the strawberries themselves? That's a lot considering that the fruit isn't even in season in September!

No one knows who ate the first slice, but pie in some form has been around since the ancient Egyptians made the first pastry-like crusts. The first pies were probably made by the early Romans who probably learned about it from the Greeks. The Roman, Cato the Censor, published the first written pie "receipt" or recipe: a rye-crusted, goat cheese and honey pie.

The Romans then spread the word around Europe including England. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word pie was "evidently a well-known popular word in 1362."

In 1475, the Italian writer Platina offered a recipe for a squash torta or pie hat concludes:

"Put this preparation in a greased pan or in a pastry shell and cook it over a slow fire. ... When it is cooked, set on a plate, sprinkle it with sugar and rosewater."

More often than not, the early pies were main dish meat pies. Fruit pies or tarts ("pasties") were probably first made in the 1500s. English tradition credits Queen Elizabeth I with making the first cherry pie but it's unlikely that Her Highness actually spent much time in the kitchen. In Tudor and Stuart times, English pies were made with pears and quinces as often as with apples."Thy breath is like the steame of apple-pyes," wrote Robert Greene in "Arcadia" in 1590.

Prior to this time many "pyes" or pies were crustless, being simply hollowed out pumpkins filled with mincemeat (which was mostly meat), baked in ashes and served in wedges.

Pie came to America with the first English settlers but chances are Christopher Columbus knew of his native dish "pizza" which is Italian for "pie." The early colonists cooked their pies in long narrow pans called "coffins." The early crusts were frequently inedible and tough designed more to hold the filling together during baking than to be actually eaten.

"If one were to conduct a survey of Americans to determine the typical American pie, chances are it would be a large, deep-dish, two-crusted affair, which is actually a combination of two European pies: the tartlet and the savoury," writes Lee Edwards Benning.

If the food-loving Pennsylvania Dutch people didn't invent pie, they certainly perfected it. Evan Jones in "American Food The Gastronomic Story" writes:

"Some social chroniclers seem convinced that fruit pies as Americans now know them were invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Potters in the southeastern counties of the state were making pie plates in the early eighteenth century, and cooks had begun to envelop with crisp crusts every fruit that grew in the region. 'It may be,' Frederick Klees asserts, 'that during the Revolution men from the other colonies came to know this dish in Pennsylvania and carried this knowledge back home to establish pie as the great American dessert.' "

"I was happy to find my old friend, mince pie, in the retinue of the feast" wrote Washington Irving in 1820.

Pies became a common part of American life. A Vermont housewife, itemizing her baking for the year 1877, counted 152 cakes, 421 pies and 2,140 doughnuts.

In 1878, Mark Twain made up a menu of American foods he missed in Europe for "A Tramp Abroad" which concludes "Apple pie ... Peach pie. American mince pie. Pumpkin pie. Squash pie. All sorts of American pastry."

Every cook knew how to make them. "One of the things noticeable about early pie recipes is their lack of detail; it was assumed that any cook who knew her way around a kitchen could put together a pie" writes Richard Sax in "Classic Home Desserts."

Although modern Americans don't eat pie for breakfast—although we might LIKE to—pie remains a favorite, whether apple, cherry, mince, pecan, chess, lemon meringue, pumpkin or a myriad of others.

"Cakes, pies and sweet puddings have remained the most popular American desserts. They gained popularity because they pleased the palate but also because they satisfied voracious hunger and provided energy for hardworking people," writes Evan Jones.

When you set out to find the perfect strawberry cream pie there are many variations from which to choose. Some recipes use cream cheese in the filling while others call for whipped cream or custard. Crusts can be sweet or savory, strawberries can be whole or whipped into a mousse, and there are dozens of different toppings.

Find your favorite kind of strawberry cream pie or sample a selection to celebrate National Strawberry Cream Pie Day!

Read a Child a Book You Like Day

Today is “Read a Child a Book You Like Day?” This day celebrates the birthday (1856) of Kate Douglas Wiggin, author of “Rebecca at Sunnybrook Farm” and other wonderful children’s stories.

Kate Douglas Wiggin (1856-1923), American author and educator, wrote Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm (1903). Though not the perfect child and driven by strong independence, the gregarious Rebecca Rowena Randall eventually softens the heart of her severe Aunt Miranda with her innocence and sensibility. She goes on to win the hearts of all those who meet her and read about her life from poverty to a richness of spirit and hope in a tale generous in humour that is acclaimed for its authentic portrayal of rural Maine, its people and culture. Mark Twain said it was "beautiful and moving and satisfying." The enduring classic was translated to many languages and adapted for the stage and screen. A proponent of early childhood education, Wiggin is also now noted for establishing the first free kindergarten in San Francisco, California.

Kate Douglas Wiggin was born on 28 September 1865 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her mother was Helen Elizabeth Dryer Smith and her father Robert Noah Smith. In 1877 she started her career of teaching kindergarten in Santa Barbara, California. A firm believer in the merits of starting education at a young age and making it accessible for all children, she was involved with the founding of the San Francisco Silver Street Kindergarten.

World Rabies Day

World Rabies Day is an international campaign coordinated by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, a non-profit organization with headquarters in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is a United Nations Observance and has been endorsed by international human and veterinary health organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Veterinary Association. World Rabies Day takes place each year on September 28, the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur who, with the collaboration of his colleagues, developed the first efficacious rabies vaccine. World Rabies Day aims to raise awareness about the impact of rabies on humans and animals, provide information and advice on how to prevent the disease, and how individuals and organizations can help eliminate the main global sources.

Rabies is still a significant health problem in many countries of the world. Over 99% of all human deaths that are caused by infected dogs usually occur in Africa and Asia, especially in regions with large numbers of unvaccinated community and domestic dogs. With the exception of Antarctica, people and animals on every continent are at risk of contracting rabies.

The first World Rabies Day campaign took place in September 2007 as a partnership between the Alliance for Rabies Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA (CDC), with the co-sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/AMRO). In 2009, after three World Rabies Days, the Alliance for Rabies Control estimated that rabies prevention and awareness events had taken place in over 120 countries, that over 100 million people worldwide had been educated about rabies and that nearly 3 million dogs had been vaccinated during events linked to the campaign.

The World Rabies Day campaign is organized through a system of global partnerships from government to local level, and a worldwide community of volunteers. Over 50 organizations partner in the campaign, supporting and promoting the outreach of educational messages about rabies in person, in print and online. The campaign aims to bring together all relevant partners in an effort to address rabies prevention and control. Health workers, scientists and personnel in communities at risk of rabies are encouraged to access an education bank of materials through the organization’s website for use in local educational initiatives.

As rabies is a disease that crosses borders, especially in wild animal populations, the campaign encourages the transnational collaboration of rabies control and prevention organizations. It also promotes a One Health approach to rabies prevention, part of a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans and animal health. The WRD logo (pictured above) represents the complexity of rabies, which can infect human beings, wildlife and domestic animals.

The advocacy work of the World Rabies Day campaign includes promoting government involvement in rabies prevention and control programs, increasing the vaccination coverage of pets and community dogs, and improving the educational awareness of how to prevent rabies in all levels of society. It also promotes the utilization of an integrated model of disease management, the Blueprint for Rabies Prevention. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO) considers that World Rabies Day plays an important role in advocating the prevention and control of rabies among policy makers, especially in countries where rabies is still neglected.