Saturday, October 10, 2015

Holidays and Observances for October 10 2015

Hug a Drummer Day


Hug a Drummer Day is celebrated annually on October 10th all around the world in order to pay tribute to and show appreciation for the drummers in bands. Because drummers sit at the very back of the stage during performances, it is often felt that they do not receive the recognition that they reserve and that they are unable to take their place in the spotlight with the rest of the band when they are on stage.

On Hug a Drummer day a number of special concerts are held around the world. For once, it is the drummer’s turn to shine as they take center stage. And of course, on this day the drummers will receive plenty of hugs and other tokens of appreciation from their fans. A large number of big drum manufacturers and percussionists have become involved with Hug a Drummer Day in recent years and the popularity of this annual event is rapidly increasing.

A drummer is a musician who plays drums, which includes a drum kit ("drum set" or "trap set", including cymbals) and accessory-based hardware which includes an assortment of pedals and standing support mechanisms, marching percussion or any musical instrument that is struck within the context of a wide assortment of musical genres. The termpercussionist applies to a musician who performs struck musical instruments of numerous diverse shapes, sizes and applications. Most contemporary western ensembles bandsfor rock, pop, jazz, R&B etc. include a drummer for purposes including timekeeping. Most drummers of this particular designation work within the context of a larger contingent (aka rhythm section) that may also include, keyboard (a percussion instrument) or guitar, auxiliary percussion (often of non western origin) and bass (bass viol or electric). Said ensembles may also include melodic based mallet percussion including: vibraphone, marimba or xylophone. The rhythm section, being the core metronomic foundation with which other melodic instruments, including voices, may present the harmonic/melodic portion of the material.

First and foremost, a drummer is a musician that performs music on the multi-percussion instrument known as the drum set, which usually consists of a bass drum (with pedal), a floor tom, tom-toms, a snare drum, hi-hats, a ride cymbal, and a crash cymbal.

In popular music, the primary function of the drummer is to "keep time" or provide a steady tempo and rhythmic foundation. However, in other musical styles, such as world, jazz, classical, and electronica, the function of a drummer is often shifted from "time keeper" to soloist, whereby the main melody becomes the rhythmic development generated by the drummer or percussionist.

There are many tools that a drummer can use for either timekeeping or soloing. These include cymbals (china, crash, ride, splash, hi-hats, etc.), snare, toms, auxiliary percussion (bells, Latin drums, cowbells, temple blocks) and many others. Also there are single, double, and triple bass pedals for the bass drum.

International African Penguin Awareness Day


Conservationist groups around the world will be celebrating International African Penguin Awareness Day on October 10th.

Most people do not know that the African penguin (spheniscus demersus) is the last remaining penguin species on the African continent.

Scientists have shown that others did exist eons ago, and it would seem that this raucous, much-loved “jackass” penguin proved to be tougher than the rest, claiming the southern tip of Africa as its own.

One cannot help but be entertained by this little bird in its black and white tuxedo – as conservationist Joe Moore states: “It is impossible to look at a penguin and remain angry.” We agree! And this may well be why hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to African penguin colonies along the Cape coastline every year. Spending hours marveling at these birds at Boulders Beach or Stony Point is sure to leave any onlooker with that warm and fuzzy feeling, which we try to share with our friends who could not make the journey with us.

When a species chooses a region of nature to inhabit this would imply that the selected habitat has shown itself to be most suitable to the animals’ needs. This must have been the case in order for the African penguin to settle and establish themselves in these popular colonies in Simonstown and Betty’s Bay.

Sadly the species is essentially holding on by a thread as you read this. It has been established by scientists that 50,000 unthreatened breeding pairs is what is required in order for the species to remain viable. The figures today show less than 40,000 remaining individuals propping up the population. Historical influences such as egg collecting for human consumption and guano scraping for fertilizer probably did the most damage.

Modern day concerns abound too with reduced food sources, oil spills and pollution as well as predation from wild animals, some of whose populations are thriving to the point of creating imbalances at the opposite end of the spectrum.

International Newspaper Carrier Day


"Extra! Extra! Read all about it." International Newspaper Carrier Day is celebrated on September 4th

International Newspaper Carrier Day is observed on varying dates, and is established by the Newspaper Association of America. Future dates: October 19, 2013, October 18, 2014.

International Newspaper Carrier Day honors everyone who is now, or once was, a newspaper carrier. The list includes thousands, if not millions, of people. Years ago, this job was primarily populated by kids, from pre-teen through approximately sixteen. At that age, many, but not all, kids moved to restaurant, grocery store and retail type of jobs.

This day commemorates the hiring of the very first newspaper carrier. Newspaper carriers date back to the early 1800s. On September 10, 1833, 10 year old Barney Flaherty became the first newspaper carrier. Benjamin Day, publisher of The New York Sun, hired Barney Flaherty to sell papers for his penny press. The only job requirement, was that he had to show that he could throw a newspaper into the bushes. Now, few kids deliver papers anymore except in small towns. But, but the "Carrier Day" tradition lives. This job is now largely held by adults, many of them delivering the paper from their cars.

Origin of International Newspaper Carrier Day: We found lots of references and information on National Newspaper Carrier Day. However, we do not know (yet) who created it.

About International Newspaper Carrier Day: This day recognizes the importance of newspaper carriers in getting the newspaper each day into the hands of millions of readers. This day honors carriers all over the world, as they deliver the paper diligently in all kinds of weather conditions. Even President Ronald Reagan got in on the act. On October 6, 1982, he wrote a brief message supporting this day.

We do not know who established International Newspaper Carrier Day. The Newspaper Association of America appears to take some ownership of this holiday, and publishes the dates for this event. They also sponsor an International Newspaper Carrier Week.

Have a very happy International Newspaper Carrier Day! How about watching the 1992 motion picture Newsies (featuring a very young Christian Bale) on Newspaper Carrier Day?

International Stage Management Day


International Stage Management Day is celebrated October 10. The first Stage Management Day took place last year on October 10. It’s being held again this year on the same day, but renamed the International Stage Management Day due to its popularity worldwide.

“Last year, as it turned out, Stage Management Day captured the imagination of people right across the world,” Andy Rowley, executive director of the Stage Management Association, told The Stage. “We traced Stage Management Day from New Zealand all the way across Australia, through Europe, the U.K. of course, and all the way across the U.S.A.”

The day celebrates all the work that stage managers do. Celebration examples from last year include letting stage managers take over Twitter feeds, food prepared for them by casts, and mentions in performance programs.

Stage management is the practice of organizing and coordinating a theatrical production. It encompasses a variety of activities, including organizing the production and coordinating communications between various personnel (e.g., between director and backstage crew, or actors and production management). Stage management is a sub-discipline of stagecraft. Stage managers may use a Stage Manager's book to help organize the production.

A stage manager is one who has overall responsibility for stage management and the smooth execution of a production. Stage management may be performed by an individual in small productions, while larger productions typically employ a stage management team consisting of a head stage manager, or "Production Stage Manager", and one or more assistant stage managers.

Between the Renaissance and the 16th century, actors and playwrights took upon themselves the handling of finances, general directorial duties, and stage management. Stage management first emerged as a distinct role in the 17th century during Shakespeare's and Molière's time, though it wasn't until the 18th century in England that the term Stage Manager was used. This was the first time a person other than actors and playwright was hired to direct or manage the stage. Over time, with the rise in complexity of theatre due to advances such as mechanized scenery, quick costume changes, and controlled lighting, the stage manager's job was split into two positions—director and stage manager.

Many playwrights, directors and actors had as their first job in the theatre work as an assistant stage manager. Writer and director Preston Sturges, for example, was employed as an ASM on Isadora Duncan's production of Oedipus Rex at the age of 16 and a half:
When one is responsible for giving an offstage cue, even the simplest ones, like the ring of a telephone or a bird call, demand considerable sangfroid, and the job is nerve wracking. One is very much aware that everything depends on the delivery of the cue at exactly the right microsecond. One stands there, knees slightly bent, breathing heavily...
Sturges didn't last long in this job, due to his calling for thunder and then lightning instead of lightning and then thunder, but 16 years later Brock Pemberton hired him as an ASM on Antoinette Perry's production of Goin' Home, which led to the first mounting of one of Sturge's plays on Broadway, The Guinea Pig, in 1929.

“It seems to be a chance to network and celebrate all the backstage really,” Rowley told The Stage. “Stage managers are such a linchpin backstage that they could hardly do it without all their colleagues—so it’s becoming more of a celebration backstage full stop.”

National Angel Food Cake Day


October 10th is National Angel Food Cake Day. Angel food cake, also called silver cake or cornstarch cake, is a relative of the sponge cake. It’s thought that the light and airy cake was invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch because they were the first to mass produce bake-ware, including the specialized pan used to make angel food cake.

While some historians claim that early Angel Food cakes were baked by slaves (the reason being that making this cake was labor-intensive, requiring a strong beating arm and lots of labor to whip the air into the whites), many signs point to the cake really planting itself in the common vernacular in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where the cake molds for the famous cake proliferate. "...angel (or angel food) cakes, which some believe evolved as the result of numerous egg whites left over after the making of noodles, may or may not be the brainchild of thrifty Pennsylvania cooks who considered it sinful to waste anything."

The first recipes do seem to crop up in cookbooks starting in the 1870s, shortly after the invention of a rotary beater. Not coincidentally, the cake also became more common then--much less physical labor involved.

1896 is the year it made its formal debut as “Angel Food Cake”, though, in that year’s updated edition of the Boston Cooking School cookbook. The recipe reads as follows:
"Angel Cake - One cup of flour, measured after one sifting, and then mixed with one teaspoonful of cream of tartar and sifted four times. Beat the whites of eleven eggs, with a wire beater or perforated spoon, until stiff and flaky. Add one cup and a half of fine granulated sugar, and beat again; add one teaspoon of vanilla or almond, then mix in flour quickly and lightly. Line the bottom and funnel of a cake pan with paper not greased, pour in the mixture, and bake about forty minutes. When done, loosen the cake around the edge, and turn out at once. Some persons have been more successful with this cake by mixing the sugar with the flour and cream of tartar, and adding all at once to the beaten egg."
Other names under which the cake may be seen are: Sponge Cake, Cornstarch Cake, Silver Cake, and/or Snow-drift Cake.

If you’re more of a chocolate fan, you can always try the angel food cake’s opposite - devil’s food cake.

National Cake Decorating Day


When it comes to October holidays,October 10 is the icing on the cake! Literally! It’s National Cake Decorating Day! Sweet!

Cake decorating is one of the sugar arts that uses icing or frosting and other edible decorative elements to make plain cakes more visually interesting. Alternatively, cakes can be molded and sculpted to resemble three-dimensional persons, places and things.

Cakes are decorated to mark a special celebration (such as a birthday or wedding). They can also mark national or religious holidays, or be used to promote commercial enterprises. However, cakes may be baked and decorated for almost any social occasion.

Cake decorating originated in 17th century Europe. During the 1840s, the advent of temperature-controlled ovens and the production of baking powder made baking cakes much easier. As temperature control technology improved, an increased emphasis on presentation and ornamentation developed. Cakes began to take on decorative shapes, were adorned with additional icing formed into patterns and flowers, and food coloring was used to accent frosting or layers of cake.

Cake decorating was rumored to be started by a French bakery in the 1840s where a French baker wanted to increase the prices of the cakes and hence thought to decorate it.

Even though baking from scratch decreased during the latter part of the 20th century in the United States, decorated cakes have remained an important part of celebrations such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, showers and other special occasions. Recently, cakes decorated with fondant have become extremely popular and resulted in several reality based TV shows across the country.

The rise in popularity could be due to fondant providing a smooth and elegant finish to a cake, as well fondant's versatility when it comes to texturing it. A cake turntable (or rotating tray) can be used when decorating a cake.

Whether you consider yourself a novice, pro or somewhere in between, today is the perfect time to try your “hand” at sprucing up an otherwise ho-hum cake. Whether you use homemade frosting or store-bought, sparkly sprinkles, colorful candies or other fun decorations, you can go all out and create an elaborate design or plain and simple. The sky's the limit when it comes to cake decorating! And with Halloween right around the corner, why not whip up a creepy cake or some boo-tiful cupcakes perfect for the occasion?

You really don't have to be a talented artist to create a pretty cake. If a whole cake is just too big to tackle, why not try decorating a smaller version instead? In honor of National Cake Decorating Day, check out some cake and cupcake recipes. Now you really can have your (decorated) cake and eat it too!

National Chess Day


Do you know that there’s a special day such as National Chess Day that we observe every year just for this particular board game? Whether you are an inexperienced player or somebody who usually competes in a championship level, this is something you got to look forward to.

As we all know, chess is a two-player board game of strategy played on a chessboard. Considering that it is famous around the world, even a 4-year old child can be able to play with it. It has already become part of the culture. Since it is a game that really challenges your intellectual skills, it also sharpens your mind because it thrust you to think ahead of certain scheme in order to capture a king before your opponent gets yours.

In giving an exceptional recognition to a game that engenders challenge, logical motivation, satisfaction, and delight for individuals of all ages, which somehow also caused families and friends to be bonded together, former President Gerald Ford proclaimed and designated National Chess Day in October 09, 1976. But before it happened, there were series of requests from other group concerned including the Regional Vice-president of United States Chess Federation-(The Origins of National Chess Day) who wrote a letter requesting about a proclamation of the said commemorative activity. He stated that roughly 30 million Americans are playing chess and that it wasn't being recognized and honored as a great game. It was then reviewed and later, accepted. Since then, it is remembered every year, but has gradually faded away over the years because it wasn't official.

For past several years, every second Saturday of October has been declared National Chess Day by the U.S. Congress. Based on the THOMAS. Gov (The Library of Congress) the agreed resolution was designating October 13, 2012 as National Chess Day which fell on a Saturday. Logically, the date that falls on a second Saturday this year is the 12 of October, which is considered official. According to Bill Summary & Status Search Results – THOMAS (Library of Congress) there are no resolutions on the 113 Congress that has been stated about National Chess Day. So it is inoffensive to go with this day.

Basically, in order to be a part of this national celebration, there are tournaments being held in most parts of the world that encourages people to go out and compete with other players. This may be your first time to join this competition, but don’t worry if you lose, at least you give it a try. But if you would prefer to stay in your comfort zone, here are some few things to push the boat out and enjoy this special day:
  1. It’s a perfect day to bond with your kids by playing chess with them. You may challenge them and have your prizes ready, so they’ll be motivated to play seriously.
  2. You may want to collect different kinds and designs of chess sets. You can start from the modern designs to the ancient ones. It will astonish you to see how these designs evolved through time.
  3. You may educate youngsters on how to play chess. It will build and develop intelligence and sharpness of mind in them.
  4. If you never tried to play chess, but you like to know how, you can have a research for tutorials in the web that will teach you the basics and the techniques.
National Costume Swap Day


Green Halloween & EcoMom Alliance launched National Costume Swap Day in 2010. The actual date always falls on the second Saturday in October—which means this year it’s on Saturday, October 10th.

Second to the candy haul your kids take in Halloween night is finding the perfect Halloween costume. Make your Halloween costume shopping easy this year at National Costume Swap Day where you’ll be able to trade in last year’s outfit for an even cooler one that’ll surely impress. Read on to discover all about the best swap meet you’ll attend this year.

Since we first told you about  Green Halloween, a Seattle-based non-profit started by a mother-daughter team, they have expanded to cities all over the country.  Their mission? To offer eco-friendly and healthier alternatives in place of the traditional massive candy consumption (and waste) surrounding the holiday.

This year, in collaboration with Swap.com and KIWI Magazine, Green Halloween encourages parents to take part in National Costume Swap Day on Saturday, October 12, 2013. While each swap operates slightly differently, the end goal of providing a fun and eco-friendlier Halloween is the same. The swaps are happening at a variety of locations, some at consignment shops, or neighborhood baby gyms.

Like the idea? Find a swap near you or host one of your own and register it on the site. It’s easy to do and is a great idea for schools, moms groups and more. Check out Green Halloween for more ideas on having your very own Green Halloween (party ideas, trick-or treat options and more) and in the meantime, round up those excess ladybug, bunny, and pirate costumes and get ready to swap!

National Handbag Day


October 10th, is the 3rd annual National Handbag Day. It’s no secret that many women love handbags, sometimes perhaps a little too much, but who would have thought that it would ever get to the point where an entire day of the year would be put aside especially for handbags to be celebrated in all their glory? Well, believe it or not, Handbag Day exists, and real people actually do take some time out of their day to celebrate it and pay tribute to their beloved collection of handbags as well as all those they wish they could afford. It is a day when women talk about handbags…even more than usual, both on the Internet, through blogs, and in real life with friends. It is a day where the greatest designs and designers are discussed and celebrated. And also a day through which the purchase of a new handbag, or bags, for the more extravagant, can be justified and needs no explanation.

Purses and handbags have their origins in early pouches used to carry seeds, religious items and medicine. Early on, both men and women carried pouches. In the 15th century, a purse was a traditional gift from a groom to his bride. The bags typically were elaborately embroidered with an illustration of a love story. In New Guinea, centuries ago, both men and women carry large knit bags which looked like nets decorated with feathers, seashells and other mementos. The more shells a person had was a sign that they had many people who lived by the sea.

Chenoune says that the similarity between an haute couture tote and a satchel belonging to an African witch is that both bags hold a secret of some sort. He says bags are very personal, it holds the things you need for the day and the things you want to have, just for comfort or hobby. People began carrying items from home when the traveled, even on short trips. Items such as a deck of cards, knitting, a diary as well as beauty and personal items could be brought along.
Traditional wallets began as early as the 16th century, as small leather pouches which a drawstring tie could loop through a belt. Also in the 16th century there were ‘sweet’ bags that women used often as lavender bags to scent their handkerchiefs. Pockets, called bagges were also introduced into clothes around the same time and allowed people to carry small personal belongings.

By the late 18th century, women’s clothing was more form fitting and pockets ere not easily accommodated into the garment. Women began carrying small, often silk embroidered drawstring bags or purses called reticules, or 'ridicules'. These bags often carried a handkerchief, fan, dance card, perfume, or face powder. Reticules were smaller version of what women used to carry their needlework. This is likely the origin of the Dorothy bag which has since emerged as shoe bags, dress bags, laundry bags and today, gym bags.

The Victorian period brought a large variety of bags. Bags often were made t coordinate with the outfit and were now made of many different fabrics. By the mid 1800’s, bags changed from simply drawstring styles, to a popular flat style, that could be made in either a circular or square shape and was generally heavily decorated with beading and needlework. Patterns and directions for making these types of purses became popular in ladies magazines at that time.

There were also smaller versions, used as coin purses which often included a metal fastener.
By the early 20th century, women were carry bags every time they left home, even for short periods while hats were popular accessories that began to loose popularity by the early 20th century, handbags became increasingly popular. The success of the handbag has much to do with the fact that it has adapted to the needs of the time. Handbags held cigarettes, sunglasses rather than seeds and medicines. Years ago, it was ladylike to carry as little as possible. A small bag was typical. Today women are gone form home for longer periods of time, frequently working or if not, often with children along . The size of the typical bag has increased to meet the need. Eleanor Roosevelt is noted as a sing of the time as a very busy and active woman herself, she carried a large leather handbag not necessarily typical of the time.

Shoulder bags became popular during World War II and twentieth century technology opened up a variety of new f textures and materials from synthetics to hand-woven straws. Casual bags were made in rain proof materials and special tote bags for the beach developed. The variety of fabrics carried over to all hand bag designs and it has become common place for women to have many handbags, to meet the need of the occasion. It became fashionable for men to carry bags during the 1970’s though they were generally hobo style casual bags and even today, while it is not unusual to see a man with a messenger bag, hobo or some other form of tote, it is surely not common place.

National Metric Day


The 10th day of the 10th month, October 10. However, National Metric Day is applicable only to the USA as most other nations already use metric 24/7.

The first National Metric Week was held on May 10, 1976. It was started by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics the year after the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 was enacted. It remained in May for the first 8 years. National Metric Week was moved to October because it was deemed that the May date was too close to the end of the school year. Because the number 10 is the “nuts and bolts” of the metric system, October 10th is National Metric Day and National Metric Week is the week that includes October 10th.

The metric system is an internationally agreed decimal system of measurement. It was originally based on the mètre des Archives and thekilogramme des Archives introduced by the First French Republic in 1799 but over the years, the definitions of the metre and the kilogram have been refined, and the metric system has been extended to incorporate many more units. Although a number of variants of the metric system emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the term is now often used as a synonym for "SI" or the "International System of Units"—the official system of measurement in almost every country in the world.

The metric system has been officially sanctioned for use in the United States since 1866, but it remains the only industrialised country that has not adopted the metric system as its official system of measurement. Many sources also cite Liberia and Burma as the only other countries not to have done so. Although the United Kingdom uses the metric system for most official purposes, the use of the imperial system of measure, particularly among the public, is widespread and is permitted by the law.

Although the originators intended to devise a system that was equally accessible to all, it proved necessary to use prototype units in the custody of national or local authorities as standards. Control of the prototype units of measure was maintained by the French government until 1875, when it passed to an inter-governmental organisation—the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM).

From its beginning, the main features of the metric system were the standard set of inter-related base units and a standard set of prefixes in powers of ten. These base units are used to derive larger and smaller units that could replace a huge number of other units of measure in existence. Although the system was first developed for commercial use, the development of coherent units of measure made it particularly suitable for science and engineering.

The uncoordinated use of the metric system by different scientific and engineering disciplines, particularly in the late 19th century, resulted in different choices of base units, even though all were based on the same definitions of the metre and the kilogram. During the 20th century, efforts were made to rationalize these units, and in 1960 the CGPM published the International System of Units which, since then, has been the internationally recognized standard metric system.

In 1586 the Flemish mathematician Simon Stevin published a small pamphlet called De Thiende ("the tenth"). Decimal fractions had been employed for the extraction of square roots some five centuries before his time, but nobody used decimal numbers in daily life. Stevin declared that using decimals was so important that the universal introduction of decimal weights, measures and coinage was only a matter of time.

One of the earliest proposals for a decimal system in which length, area, volume and mass were linked to each other was made by John Wilkins, first secretary of the Royal Society of London in his 1668 essay "An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language". His proposal used a pendulum that had a beat of one second as the basis of the unit of length. Two years later, in 1670, Gabriel Mouton, a French abbot and scientist, proposed a decimal system of length based on the circumference of the Earth. His suggestion was that a unit, the milliare, be defined as a minute of arc along a meridian. He then suggested a system of sub-units, dividing successively by factors of ten into the centuria, decuria, virga, virgula, decima, centesima, and millesima. His ideas attracted interest at the time, and were supported by both Jean Picard and Christiaan Huygens in 1673, and also studied at the Royal Society in London. In the same year, Gottfried Leibniz independently made proposals similar to those of Mouton.

In pre-revolutionary Europe, each state had its own system of units of measure. Some countries, such as Spain and Russia, saw the advantages of harmonising their units of measure with those of their trading partners. However, vested interests who profited from variations in units of measure opposed this. This was particularly prevalent in France where the huge inconsistency in the size of units of measure was one of the causes that, in 1789, led to the outbreak of the French Revolution. During the early years of the revolution, savants including the Marquis de Condorcet, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Adrien-Marie Legendre, Antoine Lavoisier and Jean-Charles de Borda set up a Commission of Weights and Measures. The commission was of the opinion that the country should adopt a completely new system of measure based on the principles of logic and natural phenomena. Logic dictated that such a system should be based on the radix used for counting. Their report of March 1791 to the Assemblée nationale constituante considered but rejected the view of Laplace that a duodecimalsystem of counting should replace the existing decimal system; the view such a system was bound to fail prevailed. The commission's final recommendation was that the assembly should promote a decimal based system of measurement. The leaders of the assembly accepted the views of the commission.

Initially France attempted to work with other countries towards the adoption of a common set of units of measure. Among the supporters of such an international system of units was Thomas Jeffersonwho, in 1790, presented a document Plan for Establishing Uniformity in the Coinage, Weights, and Measures of the United States to congress in which he advocated a decimal system that used traditional names for units (such as ten inches per foot). The report was considered but not adopted by Congress.

National Tuxedo Day


Word on the street is that October 10th is National Tuxedo Day. We’re not sure who invented this wonderful holiday, but they clearly knew what they were doing. Traditionally, parties are either formal or they’re not formal. Now we’re starting to see more people in business attire at events that require formal wear, and that’s never a good look. Here’s a rule of thumb for formal gatherings: If somebody’s going to be wearing a tuxedo, everybody should be wearing a tuxedo.”

Ever wonder about the story behind the tuxedo? Or how this special black and white ensemble, casually referred to as a "tux," or even "penguin suit," became men's expected attire for special occasions? There are several theories about the "invention" of the tuxedo, but popular belief credits a man with a name as fancy as his creation -- Pierre Lorillard IV.

Pierre Lorillard was a wealthy tobacco magnate of the 19th century. He and his family lived 40 miles northwest of New York City in a residential colony called Tuxedo Park, founded on land acquired from the Algonquin Indian tribe. The land was originally called P'tauk-seet-tough, named after the tribal chief and meaning "home of the bear." The town's founders kept the phonetics of the name and christened the area Tuxedo Park.

The Lorillards circulated among the highest social circles and Pierre Lorillard helped establish Tuxedo Park as an elite hunting and fishing destination. A large, Italian labor force comprised of skilled artisans was used to construct a series of elegant homes within the walled area which remain part of a designated historical area. Tuxedo Park thus became a high profile residence and resort for the world's rich and famous. And, as would be expected, an extravagant social scene soon followed. Tuxedo Park's residents and regular guests even established their own social organization called the Tuxedo Club.

The Tuxedo Club's first annual Autumn Ball was held in October of 1886. At the time, men's formal dress consisted of long tailcoat and white tie. However, the assumedly dashing Pierre Lorillard commissioned a modified "tailless" black jacket to wear to the ball. Some say Lorillard was inspired by a dinner jacket designed by Savile Row tailor Henry Poole & Co., tailor to England's Prince of Wales who later became King Edward VII. Others claim he simply had the custom-made jacket styled according to the shorter shape of the red jackets then worn for formal fox hunts. No matter the source of inspiration for the new formal attire, it was a small, but radical departure from the traditional long tailcoat.

Despite his intent, Pierre Lorillard did not go through with his fashion plans for the ball. However, his perhaps more rebellious son Griswold Lorillard, along with several of his friends, did wear the short jacket to the ball. Due to the lofty social status of the young men, the short jacket was instantly admired as a striking fashion statement rather than condemned as a fashion faux pas. Pierre Lorillard's short jacket, donned by his son Griswold, was quickly copied and when gentlemen wearing tuxedos were admitted to the Dress Circle of New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1889, the success of this new fashion was confirmed. The "tuxedo," so dubbed after the town of its debut, thus went from fashionable trend to timeless classic.

The tuxedo is a standard in American formal attire and is a ubiquitous symbol of celebration and special occasion for men of any and all levels of society. It is the quintessential men's attire for formal affairs and an obvious choice for all but the most formal of weddings, galas, balls, formals, and high school proms. Pierre Lorillard's fashion deviation has become the enduring standard for men's formal attire. Nothing says tradition and elegance like the tuxedo.

In general, dress codes have become more relaxed over the years. We see this in the business-casual workplace, and while we wholeheartedly endorse mixing business and casual (one of our favorite looks is a navy blazer with jeans), formal wear is best left on its own.

Powers of Ten Day


Today is Powers of Ten Day! The iconic Eames film, Powers of Ten, is about “the relative size of things in the universe and the effect of adding another zero.” The film is technically ingenious while also beautiful and educational—adjectives that often describe Charles and Ray’s work, whether a house, chair, photograph, toy or exhibition.

The influences of Powers of Ten can be seen in movies such as Men in Black and television shows such as The Simpsons; the film can also be considered a precursor to now common-place technologies and service applications like Google Maps. But how else does it impact us today? How can contemplating the relative size of things in the universe pertain to our daily lives?

For me, personally, Powers of Ten serves as a reality check. Problems that seemed insurmountable before watching it suddenly feel less stressful. Long before I knew about Charles and Ray’s film, I could generate a similar effect by climbing to a higher altitude. Whether standing at the summit of Pikes Peak or peering down from the Eiffel Tower (10+03 feet), I was always struck by the emotional, even existential, impact of my new perspective. Trees were dwarfed, trucks crawled and people looked like specks of lint across a vast, textured blanket.

Everything appeared so small as to seem inconsequential, which seemed to indicate that—from a certain height, vantage point and powers of ten—my problems and I were too. Perhaps this thought should have been panic inducing, but I found it comforting. Regardless of the emotion conjured up, the point is that changing my view prompted questions about my place in the universe.

The beauty of watching Powers of Ten is that the film transports viewers well beyond 10+03 feet above ground. Within a span of nine minutes, it zooms out to the farthest edge of the known universe and reels in to the inner depths of a carbon atom. I consider the vast array of perspectives an elegant reminder to remove my blinders and view the world from more than one lens. This might mean taking a step forward or a step back, looking from behind or even flipping the problem on its metaphorical head. Charles and Ray’s film offers many lessons, but one of the biggest is that, in reframing the the problem, new solutions inevitably emerge.

U.S. Naval Academy Day


The United States Naval Academy (also known as USNA, Annapolis, or Navy) is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States. Established October 10th 1845 under Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft, it is the second-oldest of the United States' five service academies, and educates officers for commissioning primarily into the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. The 338-acre (137 ha) campus is located on the former grounds of Fort Severn at the confluence of the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay, 33 miles (53 km) east of Washington, D.C. and 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Baltimore, Maryland. The entire campus is a National Historic Landmark and home to many historic sites, buildings, and monuments. It replaced Philadelphia Naval Asylum, in Philadelphia, that served as the first United States Naval Academy from 1834 to 1845 when the Naval Academy formed in Annapolis.

Candidates for admission generally must both apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination, usually from a Member of Congress. Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as midshipmen. Tuition for midshipmen is fully funded by the Navy in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation. Approximately 1,300 "plebes" (an abbreviation of the Ancient Roman word plebeian) enter the Academy each summer for the rigorous Plebe Summer, but only about 1,000 Midshipmen graduate. Graduates are usually commissioned as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps, but a small number can also be commissioned as officers in other US services, and the services of allied nations. The United States Naval Academy has some of the highest paid graduates in the country according to starting salary. The academic program grants a bachelor of science degree with a curriculum that grades midshipmen's performance upon a broad academic program, military leadership performance, and mandatory participation in competitive athletics. Midshipmen are required to adhere to the academy's Honor Concept.

Universal Music Day


No matter where you live, there is one language that is universal - music. It's Universal Music Day, an annual "holiday" observed each year on the second Saturday in October. Whether you prefer classical, country, jazz, rock or rap, Universal Music Day celebrates music of all genres.

Universal Music Day educates people about the power and importance of Music-making. It acts as a spark to ignite, encourage, and inspire people to take an active role in their own lives to Love their MUSIC and themselves, to create a life that enriches and creates compassionate communities. It’s about what Alfred Adler referred to as a spirit of belonging to this human family, self-esteem and social interest – all of which begins by claiming one’s own breathe, heart song and Music-making.


These tools and attributes, especially during challenging times of uncertainty and transition offer wonderful opportunities. These tools can help people effectively deal with many personal, national and world problems with the active involvement of all the world’s citizens. Active involvement will grow by each one of us claiming our own breathe, voice, music-making and Fun!

Author, speaker/consultant, Susan Golden, founded the event back in 2007 to encourage people around the world to "experience creativity, movement, healing and joy through sound, rhythm and melody." While Music Day should certainly be celebrated every single day of the year, Universal Music Day "brings the world together to make music from our hearts and create a world of peace, love, justice and joy."

Whether you are a classically trained musician, a talented singer with perfect pitch, a creative songwriter or someone who just enjoys listening to classic hits, music touches people's hearts and souls in such a profound way.

In honor of Universal Music Day, get ready to tap your toes and snap your fingers, and tune in or turn on your favorite tunes today. It's time to raise the roof and make some music!

World Day Against the Death Penalty


13th Annual World Day Against the Death Penalty

Every year on October 10, people around the world rally to the cause of ending capital punishment. This year, the theme of World Day is "The Death Penalty Does Not Stop Drug Crimes."

In spite of a marked global movement away from the death penalty, so far in 2015 we've seen an alarming number of executions for drug-related offenses. Whereas around 75% of the world's countries have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice, there are 33 that retain the option to execute people for drug use or trafficking, and 13 have actually done so in the last 5 years. This particularly the case in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East. (Although the US Supreme Court ruled in Kennedy v. Louisiana that executions are unconstitutional for crimes in which a victim was not killed, it did not bar the death penalty for crimes against the state. Theoretically, this means that drug trafficking could be considered a death-penalty offense, but it would be unprecedented.)

Perhaps the most notorious incident this year was the execution of 8 of the so-called Bali 9 by the Indonesian government. It led to a worldwide movement to spare their lives, with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao, and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson condemning the killings along with hundreds of thousands of other people around the world.

Reflecting on the executions, Branson wrote, "I hope some good will come out of these tragic events, as more and more people realize inhumane death penalty laws must end globally, now. [P]ublic disgust for the death penalty grows and hope increases that an end to the death penalty is in sight."

With these and other drug-related executions this year, it seems fitting that we turn our attention to this disturbing international aberration. Similar to a debunked, yet common, argument heard in the United States, the death penalty is said to be a deterrent to both drug abuse and drug trafficking in retentionist nations. As is the case with other crimes, there is no credible evidence to show that executions yield public safety benefits by decreasing drug abuse and importation. For example, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported that drug use remained fairly stable in countries that retain the death penalty for such offenses. Moreover, most of the people killed during this time frame were convicted for using cannabis, a drug that is relatively harmless when compared to others (including tobacco and alcohol), undermining the supposed "public health" interests retentionist governments cite to justify killing their own citizens and residents. The death penalty simply cannot solve the societal problems that lead people down the path toward serious drug abuse.

It is also argued that the death penalty is needed to prevent the illegal importation of drugs. That was, after all, the offense for which the Bali 9 were convicted. Many point to Singapore as an example of how such brutal and draconian polices do not even meet their own objectives, let alone live up to international human rights standards. Despite hanging hundreds of people, imports remain at record levels. Like drug abuse, the problem of drug trafficking will not be solved by executing people.

With all of that in mind, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty is advocating for common-sense replacements for killing people in response to drug offenses:
  • "Demand-reduction and harm-reduction programmes (prevention, treatment, education)."
  • "Supply-reduction interventions (drug interdiction, dismantlement of drug trafficking organizations,  alternative development programmes, eradication, control of precursor chemicals)"
  • "Efforts to control illicit financial controls"
For more information about how to join in this year's global advocacy day against the executions for drug crimes, visit the World Coalition's World Day 2015 page.

World Homeless Day


World Homeless Day is an annual event on the 10th of October.

The concept of 'World Homeless Day' emerged from online discussions between people working to respond to homelessness from various parts of the world.

The Inaugural World Homeless Day was marked on the 10th of October 2010.

Since its founding, World Homeless Day has been observed on every continent except Antarctica, in several dozen countries.

Use of the idea of 'World Homeless Day' is open for all to use... anywhere in the world.

The purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while taking advantage of the stage an ‘international day’ provides.

How To Make a Difference:
  • educate people about homeless issues
  • celebrate and support local good works
  • highlight local issues
Once you identify the local service provider for homeless people you want to rally support behind.... for example if they suggest clean socks; or canned food; or an item they need funds to buy.... use your local networks to rally even greater support:
  • schools
  • churches
  • service clubs
  • local businesses
  • where you work
  • who else?
World Homeless Day is something you can point to on the calendar each year and make a significant difference in your local community.

Suggestions for Politicians:
  • Acknowledge World Homeless Day officially
  • Point out the good works of service providers
  • Release new funds each year on the date
  • Form an advisory group on homelessness
World Hospice and Palliative Care Day


On 11 October 2014 it will be World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. Each year the day is organised by the World Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance.

The theme for this year's event is 'Who Cares?  We Do!'.  There are lots of materials available for you to download at the official website.  This will ensure that you can get planning for your local event to raise awareness and funds to support hospice and palliative care.

The aim of these kinds of care is to focus on the needs of both the patients and carers, and if like me you have ever known someone with a long-term illness, you will understand how important their care can be.

At the official website, you can find out all about the day and how you can get involved to help make a difference.

You could help the hospices by holding a Voices for Hospice event, which can be anything, from a poetry recital to a concert. Craft fairs, sponsored walks and raffles are also popular ways of raising money for this great cause. You could even hold an open day at your local hospice to show people the great work their donations are doing.

No matter what you do, you'll be raising awareness and funds for people with life-limiting illnesses and their families, so do your bit and get involved with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day.

World Mental Health Day


World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

The theme for 2014 is “Living with schizophrenia”. The focus of the World Health Organization will be living a healthy life with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder, characterized by profound disruptions in thinking, affecting language, perception, and the sense of self. It often includes psychotic experiences, such as hearing voices or delusions. It can impair functioning through the loss of an acquired capability to earn a livelihood, or the disruption of studies.

Schizophrenia typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. There are effective treatments for schizophrenia and people affected by it can lead a productive life and be integrated in society.

World Porridge Day


World Porridge Day aims to raise awareness of the role that porridge plays at Mary’s Meals projects in Malawi, where a daily mug of maize-based ‘likuni phala’ is an incentive for children to go to school.

This provides them with the nutrition they need to grow, play and also learn with the aim that education will help them escape from a life of poverty

It is a simple and cost effective idea – it costs just £6.15 (about €7.20 or $10) to feed a child in Malawi for a year.

You can support this worthy cause by getting together with family, friends or workmates and hosting your own World Porridge Day fundraising event. Just cook up a steaming pan of good hearty porridge or maybe bake some oatmeal cookies or flapjacks and ask everyone to make a donation, however large or small, to help support Mary’s Meals.

Providing meals in: Malawi, Haiti, Ukraine, Romania, Kenya, Sudan, Philippines, Albania, Bosnia, India, Burma, Thailand, Liberia, Uganda, Zambia and Ecuador.

Throughout the world, hunger blocks poor children from gaining the education that is their most likely escape route out of poverty. Mary’s Meals offers a simple solution to this problem by working with local communities to provide daily meals in school. Where Mary’s Meals is provided to children in a place of education, there is a rise in enrollment, attendance and academic performance.

The charity, which operates its international headquarters from a tin shed in the Argyll area of the Scottish Highlands, has one simple aim: To provide a daily meal in a place of education so chronically poor children are attracted to the classroom where they can gain a basic education that can provide an escape route from poverty.

Mary’s Meals works in 16 of the poorest countries in the world, providing daily school meals for over 500,000 hungry children.