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December 10, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Dewey Decimal System Day – Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey was born on this day in 1851. Mr. Dewey was a librarian, educator and inventor of the Dewey Decimal system which has been used to organize libraries for many decades now. Although he was a brilliant innovator, he was a difficult person to like for many reasons. Hence the title of his biography by Anna Elliot, “Melvil Dewey: A Singular and Contentious Life.”  I do not know why his first name in the title of the book is so different from the actual spelling of his first name, unless my source for the second is less accurate than the first.  Or maybe he chose to shorten it himself.  You know, “My name is Melville, but call me Melvil.”

International Animal Rights Day – This is a day to recognize the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights (UDAR) and to remember the animals who have suffered at the hands of humans. The goal is to persuade all of humanity that animals deserve the same basic human rights that humans enjoy.  Alas, so far the government disagrees.

National Lager Day – The most common kind of beer in the world, except in England, lager is German and ferments and ages slowly at cool temperatures. As opposed to ale which is common in England and ferments and ages quickly at warm temperatures. There is apparently a big difference in the flavor of the two kinds of beer. I haven't yet met a beer that I enjoy so I am hardly an expert. But those of you who are, enjoy your lager today.

Human Rights Day – Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950, this is a day to tell the world about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and encourage every country on the planet to adopt it. The United Nations is dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights for all.

Nobel Prize Day – Alfred Nobel, who was born on October 21st, 1833 in Sweden, was a chemist, engineer and inventor. In the eve of his life, his brother Ludvig died but the obituary wrongly named Alfred as the deceased. This got him to thinking about what his legacy would be when he did eventually pass and caused him to revise his will several times in his remaining eight years. The final version declared that his considerable fortune should be used to create prizes for those who confer the “greatest benefit on mankind” in the areas of physics, chemistry, peace, physiology or medicine and literature. Mr. Nobel died on this day in 1896 at the age of 63 years old. In 1897, the executors of his will created the Nobel Foundation.

US National Guard Birthday – Today the National Guard celebrates its' 378th birthday. It was created on this day in 1636 when the Massachusetts General Court mandated that all able-bodied men between 16 and 60 were required to join the Militia. It has since grown into a huge military force that is still firmly rooted in the community it has served for so long.

To celebrate everything in one day, go to the library and use the Dewey Decimal System to find the biographies of Mr. Nobel and Mr. Dewey and read about these very interesting men while you are enjoying a lager. Next you can tell your kids about the human rights that we enjoy which are protected by the U.S. National Guard and tell them how you feel about allowing animals to enjoy the same rights.

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