Sunday, September 6, 2015

Holidays and Observances for September 6 2015

Ted’s Birthday

Since I have this blog I can be a little narcissistic and plug my own birthday. Besides I'm turning fifty and am old enough to do what I like to do.

In many portions of the world an individual's birthday is celebrated by a party where a specially made cake, usually decorated with lettering and the person's age, is presented. The cake is traditionally studded with the same number of lit candles as the age of the individual, or a number candle representing their age. The celebrated individual usually will make a silent wish and attempt to blow out the candles in one breath; if successful, a tradition holds that the wish will be granted. In many cultures, the wish must be kept secret or it won't "come true". Presents are bestowed on the individual by the guests appropriate to her/his age. Other birthday activities may include entertainment (usually by a hired professional, i.e. a clown, magician, or musician), and a special toast or speech by the birthday celebrant. The last stanza of Patty Hill's and Mildred Hill's famous song, "Good Morning to You" (unofficially titled "Happy Birthday to You") is typically sung by the guests at some point in the proceedings. In some countries a piñata takes the place of a cake. An occasional activity is spanking the birthday individual, with one usually gentle "swat" for each year since birth.. In North America, the celebration of a birthday is fundamentally about celebrating the role of friends and families in an individual's life and recognizing their importance.

Barbie Doll Day

The first Barbie doll was sold in the United States on September 6, 1959. If you happen to be lucky enough to have one of the first Barbie dolls, you could make a lot of money. That first pony-tailed Barbie is worth about $10,000 today, according to a Barbie collecting website.

The first year, 351,000 dolls sold for $3 each. Within 10 years, $500 million worth of Barbie products had been purchased. Since then, sales of Barbie and her friends, Ken, Midge, Skipper, Christie and others, have exploded.

Barbie is the most popular doll ever invented. The first doll was created by Ruth Handler, who modeled the doll after a "Lilli" doll she had purchased in Germany.

Ruth and Elliott Handler were married in 1938. In 1945, Mattel was founded by Harold Matson. The Handlers made picture frames for Mattel and purchased the company from Matson in 1946.

Ruth Handler had noticed that her daughter Barbara and friends enjoyed playing with adult female dolls just as they enjoyed playing with baby dolls.

Barbie debuted in New York City at the American Toy Fair in 1959 and the rest is history. Barbie was named after the Handler's daughter and Ken, who debuted in 1961, was named after their son.

Mattel went public in 1960 and Ruth Handler became president of the company in 1967. In 1974, the Handlers left the company.

Fast forward to today. The Barbie brand is now much more than just dolls. Computer and video games, fashions and design studios, movies and more are included with the traditional fashion doll that girls have loved for years.

Most of today's moms remember playing with or collecting Barbies as children and enjoy seeing their daughters play with the dolls they remember from their childhood.

Many of today's grandmothers remember their daughters playing with Barbies and some are young enough that they played with Barbies themselves as young girls.

A doll that has spanned three generations is pretty fantastic. Barbie is an icon and some collectors have been saving them since they were young girls.

Celebrate the day on September 6 by bringing out your old Barbies for your daughters to see. Go through your old photos and maybe you will find a few of you or your daughters playing with Barbies. Maybe you could even play Barbies with your daughters or granddaughters to bring back old memories.

Fight Procrastination Day

Fight Procrastination Day is celebrated on September 6th (though often delayed until the 7th) of each year. We were unable to discover the origin of Fight Procrastination Day, though it does come right after Be Late For Something Day which is celebrated on September 5th of each year.

In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. In accordance with Freud, the Pleasure principle may be responsible for procrastination; humans do not prefer negative emotions, and handing off a stressful task until a further date is enjoyable. The concept that humans work best under pressure provides additional enjoyment and motivation to postponing a task. Some psychologists cite such behavior as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision. Other psychologists indicate that anxiety is just as likely to get people to start working early as late and the focus should be impulsiveness. That is, anxiety will cause people to delay only if they are impulsive.   Schraw, Wadkins, and Olafson have proposed three criteria for a behavior to be classified as procrastination: it must be counterproductive, needless, and delaying. Similarly, Steel (2007) reviews all previous attempts to define procrastination, indicating it is “to voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay.”   Procrastination may result in stress, a sense of guilt and crisis, severe loss of personal productivity, as well as social disapproval for not meeting responsibilities or commitments. These feelings combined may promote further procrastination. While it is regarded as normal for people to procrastinate to some degree, it becomes a problem when it impedes normal functioning. Chronic procrastination may be a sign of an underlying psychological disorder. Such procrastinators may have difficulty seeking support due to social stigma and the belief that task-aversion is caused by laziness, low willpower or low ambition.

National Coffee Ice Cream Day

Ice cream lovers have the opportunity to celebrate an unofficial food holiday on September 6: This day is observed as National Coffee Ice Cream Day in the United States. Haagen Dazs, Ben and Jerrys, and Starbucks all sell a commercially available coffee ice cream which can be found in local grocery stores. National ice cream manufacturers Edy's and Dreyers also offer a coffee ice cream. Coffee ice cream combines the flavor of the morning drink with ice cream to make a flavored dessert. Coffee ice cream may be used in gourmet coffee drink recipes.

The origins of the unofficial holiday are unknown as is the history of coffee ice cream itself. However, the documented history of both coffee and ice cream are available. One version of the history of coffee dates back to the 700AD in East Africa when shepherd found the overactive behavior of sheep to be odd and tried eating what the sheep did. He later showed the coffee shrub to a monk who ground the berries into a powder and mixed with hot water. This drink allowed the monks to stay awake longer during prayer sessions. Today's coffees are enjoyed in many varieties for the flavor, not just for the impact of the caffeine.

Ice cream origins in the United States date back to 1770 when an ice cream shop was opened by an Italian emigrant in New York. Several historical documents mention President George Washington enjoying the dessert item and even mention him purchasing a cream machine for ice.

The combination of coffee and dairy products in the United States was seen in 1930 when Rhode Island coffee milk was first made by adding a coffee syrup to milk. The syrup was made from leftover coffee grounds, milk, and sugar.

National Coffee Ice Cream Day can be observed by purchasing a carton of commercially available product and preparing an ice cream dessert for the family. Coffee ice cream can be used as a flavor in a sundae, made into an ice cream sandwich, or served with a topping such as caramel or fudge. Ice cream chain stores may offer discounts on specialties made with coffee ice cream on this day. Local ice cream parlors may also celebrate the day with a discount or free ice cream offer.

Read a Book Day

On the heels of a long holiday weekend, today is all about relaxing with a good read. September 6 is Read a Book Day, also known as National Read a Book Day. While the origins of this particular holiday are unknown, reading has many benefits. Not only will reading improve your vocabulary, memory and concentration, reading is an essential skill that also helps reduce stress. Reading is also a great way to “visit” other places, learn about other cultures and travel back in time. And reading is an affordable means of entertainment too.

Instead of turning on the radio, watching television or firing up the computer, why not turn off all those electronic devices and curl up with a favorite book? Head out to the hammock or the backyard patio and enjoy some much-deserved peace and quiet. Instead of watching a movie, read the book instead! And if you have small children, why not encourage them to read one of their favorite books or read a book to them? Reading builds a stronger bond between parent and child and helps improve logical thinking skills. Select a book from the New York Times Best Sellers List and be the first in your office to read it!

Here are a few of the reasons you should join in on this holiday and read a book. How cool would it be if everyone in America was sitting down right now to read a book?! Please add your own reasons for reading  in the comments section below.

Read a book today BECAUSE…
  • It’s the best excuse for peace and quiet.
  • You love sitting in your favorite chair.
  • That stack of borrowed books needs a dent.
  • All your friends are busy.
  • You need a new favorite quotation.
  • Books are on your schedule: you can pick them up and put them down at your own convenience.
  • Walking to the library is good exercise.
  • You saw the movie, but you heard the book is way better.
  • You've always wanted to read  Anna Karenina.
  • You've always wanted to reread  Anna Karenina.
  • There’s a swath of history you’re sick of having to admit you know NOTHING about.
  • Some sentences are better than kissing (See Nabokov).
  • Your perspective can be changed by a single passage (See Vonnegut).
  • Your life can be changed by a book (See The Year of Magical Thinking).
  • You’re going through something and you just need to get lost in a beautiful, made-up world.
  • You haven’t gotten to use your imagination in a really long time.
  • Today’s world  is so loud, hyper-connected and busy.
  • The world inside your head is yours and yours alone.
Stillbirth Remembrance Day

Today is the Stillbirth Remembrance Day in the United States and Canada. This is a day set aside each year to honor and remember babies that have been stillborn.

Please take a minute out of your day to think of all the babies who passed away before they ever got a chance to see this world. Please think of all the mothers with empty arms who gave birth to babies that never cried, the families with a huge hole where their baby should be, the grandparents with one less grandchild to hold and love, the aunts and uncles with one less niece or nephew to spoil, the siblings who play alone; And of course please remember someone in your life that has been directly affected by the loss of these precious children.

The idea of an annual day to remember stillborns followed perhaps the most notable stillbirth in recent years, that of Breanna Lynn Bartlett-Stewart in September 2000. In Breanna Lynn's home state of Arkansas, widespread media coverage following her stillbirth sparked an unprecedented public awareness of the seemingly random and largely unknown killer of more than 26,000 babies each year in the United States alone. In response to public lobbying, the state legislature of Arkansas passed a law proclaiming Breanna Lynn's birthday, September 6, to be Arkansas Stillbirth Remembrance Day; the day was first observed on what would have been Breanna Lynn's first birthday, September 6, 2001. This proclamation was warmly welcomed by most Arkansans, even if they had no personal connection to a stillborn baby. On this day, the noon news in Little Rock showed motorists on Interstate 30 traveling with their lights on in memory of the stillborn.

Following Arkansas' example, several other Southeastern U.S. states passed laws enacting September 6 to be Stillbirth Remembrance Day in time for Breanna Lynn's second birthday in 2002. With each passing year, more U. S. states issued similar proclamations; on September 6, 2005, Breanna Lynn Bartlett-Stewart's fifth birthday, 39 U.S. states officially paused to remember babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.

Stillbirth is often defined as fetal death after 20 weeks of gestation. A wide variety of definitions exist. Once the fetus has died, the mother may or may not have contractions and undergo childbirth or in some cases, a Caesarean section. Most stillbirths occur in full-term pregnancies. The cause is often unknown. 

The term is often used in distinction to live birth (the baby was born alive, even if it died shortly thereafter) or miscarriage (early pregnancy loss). The word miscarriage is often used incorrectly to describe stillbirths.

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