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April 26, 2017

Today we celebrate:

National Golf Day - Celebrated for the last 10 years, this is a day to NOT play golf. I’m sure that this news surprises you and I hope you have someone close by who knows CPR. NO GOLF TODAY. Instead, this is a day to go to Capitol Hill and TALK about golf, which is almost as fun, I’m sure. The powers that be in the golf community want to make sure that rules and regulations governing golfing are fair and appropriate so they spend some time every year discussing this with our Senators and Representatives.

Hug A Friend Day - I am a hugger. I can admit it. I don’t think I need therapy for it because I don’t think I get out of hand with it, but you’d have to ask my victims….I mean...friends that get hugged, in order to be sure. I’m am sure of one thing, you most likely have one or more friends that need a hug today. There are a lot of health benefits associated with hugging so don’t hold back.

Static Cling Day - Do you like science?  If so, this is a day to do some experiments with static cling. We’ve all experienced it, the shock you get when you touch someone sometimes and the fun of rubbing a balloon on your head and sticking it to the wall. Do a search on the internet to see if there are other fun experiments you can try.

World Intellectual Property Day - On this day we are to encourage innovation and creativity by discussing what the role of intellectual property should be. Intellectual property is something that isn’t physical but still belongs to the person who thought it up.

Help A Horse Day - This is a day that was created by the ASPCA to support the organizations that work hard to make sure that horses are safe and not being abused or mistreated. If you are part of such an organization, check out the link and and see how you can sign up for the contest next year. It’s too late to sign up this year because the deadline was April 1st but see what is involved and see if you can plan to participate next year because you could win several thousand dollars to help your mission.

National Pretzel Day – Pretzels have been around for a long time. There’s a story that they were invented by either German or Italian monks back around 600 A.D., but I couldn’t find any documentation about that so I don’t know if it’s true. However, there is documentation in the form of illustrations dating back to the 12th century that proves that they are at least that old.

Richter Scale Day – The Richter Scale was created by Charles Richter in 1935 and, as everyone in California knows, it measures the size of earthquakes. The largest one measured so far since it's creation was the Great Chilean Earthquake which registered a 9.5 on May 22, 1960. Between the earthquake and the resulting tsunami, more than 6,000 people died. The only reason that number isn’t higher is because of the relative low population density in the area at the time.  Mr. Richter was born on this day in 1900.  

Audubon Day – John James Audubon was born on this day in 1785. He was an artist who dedicated more than 30 years of his life to drawing as many different kinds of birds as he could find. The Audubon Society was created after his death by one of his wife's students, George Bird Grinnell, for the purpose of studying and protecting birds everywhere. And yes, as far as I can find out, that was Mr. Grinnell's real name. Many Audubon societies will have special events or opportunities for volunteering today.

National Kids And Pets Day – Created by Colleen Paige, who has created a lot of different pet related holidays, this is a day to foster the belief that every child should have a pet to care for. I had pets for most of my childhood and I can tell you that caring for them taught me a lot. I loved them more than I can even begin to tell you.

Administrative Professionals Day or Secretary's Day – Celebrated on Wednesday of the last full week in April, this is a day to recognize the hard work of receptionists, secretaries, administrative assistants, and other administrative support personnel. Without their support, the management of almost any company would not be able to function. Other countries also have special days like this celebrated at different times of the year. Australia, for example, celebrates on the first Friday in May.

Denim Day - At first glance you might think that this day is about jeans. Well, while wearing jeans is indeed what Peace Over Violence wants you to do, the reason why is the important part. This is a day to spread awareness of the prevalence of Sexual Violence and to protest the fact that in many societies in this world it is allowed. In others, it may not be allowed, but it certainly isn’t punished as it should be. The day was begun when the Italian Supreme Court ruled against a victim because they decided that since she was wearing tight jeans, she had to have helped her rapist remove them which they said implied consent. So that is why jeans are the visual symbol of this social statement. Wear them today and remind the world that no one has the right to force any woman to do anything she doesn’t want to do. And if you don’t know if she wants to or not, ask her. Anything other than a “yes” means “NO”! This day is celebrated on the last Wednesday of April.

International Guide Dogs Day – There is some discrepancy on when this day is to be celebrated, so I could be mistaken but I believe it is on the last Wednesday of April. This is a day to celebrate the important role that guide dogs play in maintaining the independence and mobility of people with a wide range of disabilities. It started out in the late 1920's with Dorothy Eustis, who had heard about the possibility of training dogs for this purpose from a school in Pottsdam, Germany, that went out of business after World War I. She wrote an article about it which Morris Frank, a blind man from Nashville, heard about and it went from there. Mr. Frank was the first blind man to have a seeing eye dog and he went on to create a training program here in the states that is still going today. Guide dogs are such amazing creatures that can be trained to do an amazing number of things from the simple to the impressively complex. They can even detect when your sugar levels are going too high or too low so that a diabetic can fix it before it becomes a dangerous problem.

National Walk @ Lunch Day - Also celebrated on the last Wednesday of April. This is a day to encourage fitness for all people. Schools are encouraged to have their students participate, and businesses of all kinds are to encourage their employees to make the choice to get out there and walk as well. Hopefully it’s not raining in your area.

International Noise Awareness Day - Who doesn’t love to crank up the volume when jamming to Iron Maiden, Kelly Clarkson and Frank Sinatra? Don’t judge me, I have eclectic tastes. Today however is a day to raise awareness of the effect noise has on your health. We don’t usually think about it unless the police come knocking at our door telling us that the neighbors are complaining….not that that has ever happened, because of course it has not. But since we don’t usually think about it unless it comes to extremes like that or in the opposite direction with deafness, this day was created by the Center of Hearing and Communication (CHC) to be celebrated on the last Wednesday of April by taking part in in lectures from health specialists, sound specialists, and other assorted experts.

April 25, 2017

Today we celebrate:

National Telephone Day - We all know that the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell. He is the one who first successfully submitted a patent. He is not the only one who was working on such a device, however. Elisha Gray submitted a patent for a telephone on the very same day that Bell did, he was just a few hours too late.  

Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting Awareness Day - This is about recognizing that the behavior displayed by a parent, grandparent, or other relative or guardian, could create alienation between that parental figure and a child. It can cause a rift in the relationship, and can be harmful to the child both emotionally and mentally which can last for years and years.

Hairstylist Appreciation Day - This is a day to appreciate your hair stylist. Not the hair style, mind you...that day comes later in the month. But perhaps you could give your stylist a little extra tip today. They work hard to make you look good. Not to imply that it is hard work to make you look good because you are probably one of those people who look good from the moment you get up in the morning.

DNA Day – On this day in 1953, James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin published papers on the structure of DNA. Then, on this day in 2003, the genome project was declared as complete as it was financially able to be. The Senate and House of Representatives declared April 25, 2003 to be DNA Day, intending it to be just a one day celebration. However, several other non-governmental groups have declared it to be World DNA Day or International DNA Day, every year since then.

East Meets West Day – On this day in 1945, U.S. and Russian troops met in Germany for the first time. Some groups have turned this into a reason for having sporting events such as a team from the east of an area playing against a team from the west.

World Penguin Day – Who doesn't love penguins? Today is a day for the whole world to love them! Did you know that penguins are piscivorous? That means they only eat fish.

Malaria Awareness Day or World Malaria Day – Established in 2007 by the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization, this day is intended to focus our awareness on the plight of all of the people who suffer from this disease. They are primarily located on the continent of Africa where 3,000 children die every day and over a million people die every year from this treatable disease. We need to spread awareness of how to control the mosquito population that spreads the disease, and how to treat it once it has been contracted.

Hug A Plumber Day or Plumbers Day – For those of us who are not handy in this area, where do we go when the toilet stops flushing or the sink leaks? That's right, you go to someone who knows what they are doing with water and pipes and such, your friendly neighborhood plumber. Give him a hug before he climbs under the sink and gets all dirty.

Red Hat Society Day – Born of the simple idea of having fun as you age, this wonderful group of ladies has only been around for 16 years and in that time they have grown in number from one to thousands all over the country. Ladies 50 and up wear red hats and purple clothes (the clashing is on purpose) and Ladies under 50 wear pink hats and lavender clothes. Founded by Sue Ellen Cooper on this day in 1998, when this day falls during the week, some chapters will celebrate on a close Saturday instead.

ANZAC Day - Celebrated in Australia and New Zealand, today we remember the landing, on this day in 1915, of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps on the Gallipoli Penninsula in Turkey during World War I. More than 11,000 men from these two countries died and 25,000 were wounded. In total, there were more than 130,000 casualties among the Allied Forces for that very long battle that lasted many months. Today, this day is used to remember all of the Australian and New Zealander veterans who have died for their country.

Robigalia - According to the Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary by Cherie D. Abbey, Robigus was one of many Roman Gods but this one has the distinction of being the God of blights on crops. The Romans didn’t know what to do about the mildew, rust and other things that would attack their crops periodically, so on this day every year, they prayed and sacrificed to Robigus hoping that he would have mercy on them.

School Bus Drivers’ Day - This is a California day, as far as I can tell, and is to be celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of April. It is a day to honor the school bus drivers that we trust every day to transport our children to and from school and school related activities. They are a dedicated crew that get up ridiculously early, drive the same route every day, deal with loud, boisterous and frequently disobedient children. But they are a heroic group that will also do whatever they have to do to protect the children in their care.

April 24, 2017

Today we celebrate:

New Kids On The Block Day - Did you listen to the New Kids on the Block back in the 80s and 90s? Maybe you still do? Well then this is a day for you. In 1989, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts declared this day to be a holiday in honor of Danny, Jordan, Jonathan, Donnie and Joey, the members of the group.

World Day for Laboratory Animals - Created in 1979 by the British National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), this date was chosen because it was the birthday of former NAVS president Hugh Dowding. There will be demonstrations and protests in various places around the world to show opposition to the practice of using animals in laboratory research.

World Meningitis Day - Created by the Confederation of Meningitis Organizations and their partners around the world, this is a day to spread awareness of the symptoms and treatment for meningitis as well as the importance and availability of vaccines to prevent your loved ones from contracting this terrible, and life threatening disease.

Tax Freedom Day –This is a theoretical day. The Tax Foundation, which is a tax research organization based in Washington D.C., has counted every dollar that is officially considered income and every dollar that is officially considered a tax at all levels of government throughout the country. According to them, this was the day in 2016 that the nation as a whole made enough money to pay the taxes of the nation as a whole. I confess that I don't find this to be personally relevant and I kind of wonder why they bother and whether any of my tax dollars are paying for this research. I haven’t found out yet what day this falls on in 2017.

National Teach Your Children To Save Day – If we do not want to raise the next group of debtors, we need to teach our children how to save their money. Many financial institutions visit schools on this day to talk to the kids about how important it is. This day is celebrated in April every year but the day of celebration is decided by the American Bankers Association. Some people say that this day is celebrated on the 22nd or 28th of April this year.

National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day – Bite sized sausages or hot dogs wrapped in dough, these are commonly served as hors d'oeuvres at parties.

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day – Between 1915 and 1918, some 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks. Turkey remembers events differently and disputes the validity of this day. The Armenians keep this day going not out of a desire for revenge but out of a desire for recognition and remembrance. Particularly since Turkey continues to deny that it ever happened. In February 2014, Takouhie Keshishian, the last known survivor of this genocide who lived in California, passed away. She was 99 years old.

International Size Acceptance Day – Begun in the United Kingdom in 1992, this day is now being celebrated by many different countries. In the United States it has been sponsored by the International Size Acceptance Association since 1998. The purpose of the day is to focus on having a healthy lifestyle regardless of what size and shape your body may be. Dieting has limited success and some diets could be dangerous. Instead, simply eat healthy quantities of healthy foods and get plenty of exercise. Then accept yourself and your shape for what whatever it happens to be because that is you and you are beautiful.

Poem In Your Pocket Day - My kids used to do this in Elementary school, I can imagine what their reaction will be when I suggest it to them this morning. The idea is to select a poem, either your favorite poem, or one that inspires you or means something to you. Write it down and put it in your pocket. Then take it out periodically during the day and read it or share it with others. This day is celebrated on the 24th, the 27th, or the 4th Thursday of April depending on who you talk to.

April 23, 2017

Today we celebrate:

Impossible Astronaut Day - For all of those Whovians out there and in my house, this is a day for you. On this day in 2011, the Doctor Who episode called “The Impossible Astronaut” started off series 6 with some new monsters called the Silence. These particular monsters had the very odd effect of causing you to forget you had seen them the moment you took your eyes off them. So in order to remind themselves that they had seen them, the Doctor and his friends made tally marks on their arms. So if you see people with tally marks on their arms today, you will know what they are celebrating today.

Yom HaShoah - Beginning this evening and lasting until tomorrow evening. Also known as Holocaust Heroism and Remembrance Day, this is a national memorial day in Israel to remember the 6 million Jews and 5 million others who were victims of the Nazi occupation of much of Europe.

International Nose Picking Day - It pains me to have to tell you that this day has been celebrated for several years. How many years? I don’t know. I don’t know who created it either because that person is probably hiding their head in shame. This is disgusting and if you choose to celebrate, please don’t let me see you do it.

International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day - Created by Jo Walton and first celebrated in 2007, this is a day that encourages writers to post “professional quality” work for free on the internet. This day was created by Ms. Walton after Howard V. Hendrix complained that “webscabs” are “converting the noble calling of Writer into the life of Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Wretch.” It appears that Ms. Walton disagrees with Mr. Hendrix.

National Lost Dog Awareness Day - This is a day to remind us that not all dogs that appear to be strays are actually homeless. Every day dogs go missing from their loving homes. Sometimes it’s because they escape and think it’s a great idea to follow their noses to interesting smells until they don’t know how to go home. But there could be a thousand reasons for a dog to suddenly disappear. If you have a beloved dog that is missing, check Facebook. Some areas have websites where you can post a picture of your lost dog so that others in your area can keep an eye out for it. You can also check your local shelter in case someone has found it and dropped it off with them.

National Picnic Day - I imagine that when houses were first invented, picnics weren’t a big thing because everyone was excited about being able to eat indoors. But that got old after a while and it became exciting again to grab a blanket, some bug spray, sunscreen, and a basket of food and eat outside in nature. Back off ants, this is MY chicken salad. Don’t forget the baby wipes, napkins, beverages, cups, utensils, plates, condiments and….wow, this is a lot of work. Let’s just eat in the kitchen like we usually do.

World Book Night - This special day is run the The Reading Agency, a British organization dedicated to spreading the love of reading. To celebrate the day, thousands of books are given away to people who don’t read a lot or own any books. They are always looking for volunteers to help them with this goal.

National Cherry Cheesecake Day – If you love cheesecake and cherries, here's a recipe you can try.

National Lovers' Day – This is a day that is less about spending money, to give your significant other a card and a gift, and more about spending time together doing things you enjoy. You could ask someone to marry you or take them to the beach at sunset to tell them how much you love them. Let your inner romantic out today.

National Zucchini Bread Day – One of my kid's favorites. They hate zucchini, but if I put it in a bread product with lots of sugar, suddenly it's ok. Call me suspicious, but I suspect it's more because of the sugar than the zucchini.

Take A Chance Day – This is a day to try something new that you’ve never done before. Take a chance that you will like it. If you are very adventurous, take a chance with your life and do something I consider really radical like bungee jumping or skydiving. Some celebrate this on April 25th.

World Laboratory Day –There are laboratories all over the schools, hospitals, or research facilities. These are places where magic is made. Science is kind of magical, because in laboratories, scientists find answers that no one else can find. They solve problems that no one else can solve. They cure diseases and save lives that would otherwise not be saved.

National Drive It Day – Always on a Sunday close to April 23rd, this day celebrates April 23, 1900 and the 64 cars that left London and embarked upon the Thousand Mile Trial. Forty-six of the cars finally returned to London on May 12th. Don't forget that back then cars were very new and not accustomed to traveling very far or very fast for that matter because today it would only take about 15 hours give or take a little, depending on speed limits and street lights, to travel that distance. Plus they had the added handicap of not having paved roads because there were no such thing back then.  

Talk Like Shakespeare Day – England's National Poet, and one of the greatest poets and playwrights ever. Historians believe that this is the anniversary of his birth as well as his death.  We don’t know exactly when his birthday was, but people who study such things believe it could be today in the year 1564. It is definitely the day he died in 1616. Today you should grab one of his works and bone up on your Shakespearian language skills because you will be talking like one today.

World Book and Copyright Day (International Day of the Book) – The day was officially begun in 1995, but in 1932, Spanish booksellers connected this day to the date of the burial of author Miguel de Cervantes according to the Gregorian Calendar. Then England jumped in and decided that they would indeed celebrate this holiday but it was because Shakespeare died on this day according to the Julian Calendar. However, the interesting thing is that because of the use of different calendars by the different countries, the two men seem to have died on the same day, but Shakespeare actually died 11 days after de Cervantes.

UN English Language Day - One of the six main languages used in the United Nations, this is a day to celebrate the English language.  This day was chosen because once again, it is believed to be William Shakespeare’s birthday.

St. George’s Day - This is a feast day celebrated by Christians in England and other countries where St. George is the patron saint. It is believed to be the date St. George died in 303 AD.  Churches that use the Julian calendar celebrate this day on what would be May 6th for the rest of us. This day could be moved to another if it interferes with Easter. Which it doesn’t this year.

Heroes National Celebrity Golf Day - This is an event where celebrities get together to play some golf in support of the Help for Heroes organization.