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April 11, 2013

Today we celebrate:

World Cinema Day – This day celebrates movies with the Wisconsin Film Festival and brings teachers together with high school students to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to view a screening of an international film. This year they are going to see Le tableau, directed by Jean-Francois Laguionie.

National Cheese Fondue Day – Originating in Switzerland sometime in the 1700's, it endures today because, as everyone knows, cheese makes everything taste better.

Eight Track Tape Day – I know I'm dating myself, but I remember having these wonderful musical devices from the 1960's and 70's, as a child. My parents probably still have our 8-track collection and our 8-track tape player, which may or may not still work. My favorite one, which I listened to over and over was the Magic of Abba. Sadly, my children have never even seen one of these, let alone held one in their hands.

Barbershop Quartet Day – Barbershop Quartets have been around for a very long time. They were kind of dying out and you didn't see or hear of them as much so on this day in 1938, 26 people gathered in Tulsa, Oklahoma and formed the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America.

National Submarine Day – On this day in 1900, the United States Navy commissioned it's first modern submarine for a price of $150,000. It started out being called Submarine Torpedo Boat #1 and was eventually named USS Holland (SS-1). Holland refers to the name of the inventor, John Philip Holland, not the western region of the Netherlands.

International “Louie Louie” Day – On this day in 1935, Richard Berry was born. He later composed “Louie Louie”, a song that is considered by some to be the best party song of all time.

National Pet Day – This day was created by Colleen Paige (you may recognize her name from yesterday's National Farm Animals Day. She orchestrated a bunch of animal related celebration days.). This is a day that will hopefully inspire you to help out the over-crowded and under-staffed and under-funded animal shelters all over the country. Thousands of animals are killed in shelters every year because no one wants them and there's not enough money or room to keep them all at the shelters.

World Parkinson's Disease Day – It is estimated that 6.3 million people suffer with Parkinson's Disease in this world. Today is a day to wear a red tulip to raise awareness of the disease and show support for all those suffering with it and their families.

To celebrate today, first head to Wisconsin to see Le tableau. It starts at 10am so don't be late. When you get home this afternoon, dig out your old eight track tapes and tape player (maybe your parents still have them even if you don't) and play them for your kids. If you can't find any, find some pictures on line and at least show the kids what they looked like. Then dance around like maniacs and sing the chorus to “Louie Louie” since that is probably all you remember of the song. Then go around to the neighbor's and collect items like blankets, bleach, paper towels, money and dog and cat food and deliver it to your local animal shelter. While you're there, take a look around, maybe you'll see an animal that you just have to take home with you. Next, you can get four of your closest male family members or friends (3 will do if you are male and want to sing with them) and get them to sing to you in a lovely quartet. You can reward them with some cheese fondue and a trip to the nearest naval yard housing old submarines to pay tribute to submarines everywhere. If you live in a place like Oklahoma and there is nothing nearby, you can watch a submarine related movie instead like The Hunt for Red October. Finally, before you go to bed, go online to and pledge support for Parkinson's Disease research.

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