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September 1, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Emma M. Nutt Day – Emma Mills Nutt was born sometime in 1860 and became the world's first female telephone operator on this day in 1878. She worked 54 hours a week for the Edwin Holmes Telephone Dispatch Company for a salary of $10 a month. The company began hiring women for this job because the men they had been employing showed poor attitudes such as a lack of patience with customers, pulling pranks on customers, and bad language. A few hours after Emma was hired, her sister Stella Nutt was also hired. The customer response was so overwhelmingly positive that more women were hired to replace the men.

Building and Code Staff Appreciation Day – These are the people who work hard to keep our buildings safe for us to work and live in. Show them some appreciation today instead of getting mad if they find some violations to the building code.

Calendar Adjustment Day – In 1751, the British government passed the British Calendar Act of 1751. This meant that Britain and the American Colonies had to make the “Gregorian Correction” in 1752. The correction entailed the loss of 11 days. Life went as normal through Wednesday, September 2, 1752 but the very next day became Thursday, September 14, 1752. This act also changed New Year's Day from March 25th to January 1st which meant that instead of the year changing over in March, it happened on January 1, 1752 and every year after that. This caused the year 1751 to have only 282 days because 1751 began on March 25th and ended on December 31st and the year 1752 had 355 days because of the 11 day loss I mentioned earlier.  Can you imagine what an uproar a change like that would cause these days?  I imagine that there were a lot of people asking each other, “What day is it again?”  It’s probably a good thing that this happened before the Revolutionary War.  If it happened during or after, our founding fathers were so obstinate that they probably would have refused to comply and we would probably still have a calendar that is different from the rest of the world.

Chicken Boy's Day – Today we celebrate the birthday of a giant statue of a person with a chicken head that used to stand on top of a fried chicken restaurant in Los Angeles from the 1960's until 1984. It was then given to Amy Inouye, an art director who kept it in storage until she found the right place for it. In 2007, it was moved to the top of her art studio in Highland Park, Los Angeles.

International Day of Awareness for the Dolphins of Taiji – Apparently in Taiji, Japan, they have dolphin hunts. This is a day to remember the dolphins that have been killed in these hunts, as well as the ones who will be killed in the future as they are still ongoing.  I find this to be a very sad situation and don’t understand the reason behind it.  Maybe the reason, whatever it was, is no longer relevant but many people find that traditions are hard to part with.

National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day – This is a day to celebrate words that do not rhyme with any other words in the English language like “purple”. Words like these are completely unique and therefore more creative on the part of the people who came up with them.

Toy Tips Executive Toy Test Day – This is an annual day celebrated in New York City where the senior executives of different companies get to gather together to play with toys. Well, they call it testing the toys, but we all know that it is really just playing. They are supposedly learning how to incorporate creativity into their workplaces.

To celebrate today, check your calendar to make sure that today is really today.  Next, use your phone, pretend to be a phone operator, and call up the Building Inspectors in your area to thank them for keeping our buildings safe. Then, fly to NYC to help the executives play with toys before you, head to Los Angeles to see if you can find Chicken Boy.  While  you are traveling, make a list of all the words you can think of that don’t rhyme with any others, and go online to express your opinion of the dolphin hunt.

August 31, 2015

Today we celebrate:

National Trail Mix Day – Dried fruit, nuts and sometimes bits of chocolate make up this protein filled snack that is good for a little extra energy when you’re out on the trails.

Eat Outside Day – I hope it's not raining where you live today because it is a day to take your meal outside to eat among nature. Enjoy the chirping of the birds, the breeze, fresh air and bugs.  Try to ignore the bugs if you can, they are not the best part of nature.  When they try to share your meal, however, they can be hard to ignore.

Love Litigating Lawyers Day – Everyone loves to make fun of lawyers, but the fact is that we live in a litigious society and we need lawyers from time to time to be on our side. They are also very helpful when it is time to make a will, buy a house, get a divorce or make a contract of any kind.

International Overdose Awareness Day - This is a day to acknowledge the pain felt by friends and family when someone dies or suffers a permanent injury because of a drug overdose. This is a preventable tragedy, all we need to do is make sure everyone is educated at a young age.  This is not just an American problem.  It happens all over the world in every country.  

We Love Memoirs Day - Created in 2013 by Victoria Tweed and Alan Parks, this is a day for Memoir readers and authors to connect and converse.  They are both authors of memoirs themselves and they have created a community that is welcoming and encouraging.  They discourage authors from pushing their books at the readers so it is a place where new friendships are formed every day across the globe.

To celebrate today, go visit your lawyer and take him/her outside to share some trail mix in the beautiful weather.  Then join the Memoir group and warn them about the dangers of overdosing.

August 30, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Pony Express Day - Celebrated on the last Sunday in August for the purpose of honoring the men who were part of the mail service delivering mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California by horseback.  It was a 2,000 mile stretch that they traveled in 10 days.  it only lasted 18 months but it employed 120 riders, and nearly 400 support personnel and was a very demanding and dangerous job.

International Whale Shark Day - I had never heard about whale sharks but you learn something new every day.  Whale sharks are the largest living fish in the oceans right now.  They are not whales, they are definitely sharks, but apparently they are so named because they eat in a way that is similar to whales.  But they use gills and so do not need to come to the surface to breathe like whales do.  A couple of years ago, the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center celebrated this day by having a party which included music, food, drinks and a walking a slackline over water competition. I don’t know what they did to up the game last year.  Maybe it’s a secret.

Slinky Day - Invented by Richard James in the 1940’s, its popularity has waxed and waned over the years.  I remember when they were made out of metal and I could start it at the top of our long staircase and it would go all the way down.  They are generally plastic now and too short to go down full size steps.  It makes me wish I had kept my old one except that it had bent all out of shape after a while and once they get all tangled and bent, there is no fixing them.

National Toasted Marshmallow Day – Who hasn't had toasted marshmallows over a campfire? There is nothing on this world that tastes even remotely that good.  If you combine it with chocolate and graham crackers in a s’more it’s even better.

National Holistic Pet DayMore and more people are moving toward a holistic lifestyle, but we don't always think of our pets. You can put your pets on an organic, green, and healthy lifestyle as well. Look into what that would entail today.

Frankenstein Day – This is a day to celebrate the life and creativity of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. She was born on this day in 1797 and although she wrote other books, she is best known for this famous monster, which is known today as Frankenstein even though that is not the name of the monster but the name of the doctor who created the monster.

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances – There have been times throughout history, as well as the present time, when governments have caused people to disappear. They are arrested, or abducted, by the government or people acting on behalf of the government, who will then deny having taken that person or knowing anything about their fate. This clearly violates any number of human rights, but many governments in the world don't care about human rights. This is a United Nations day that reminds us that this is a problem we need to fight against.

To celebrate today, read up on how to put your pet on a holistic lifestyle, then go online to find out if there is anything you can do to help fight against governments that make their citizens disappear.  While you are there, look up pictures of whale sharks so you know what to look for the next time you’re on the ocean.  Next, send your slinky down the stairs and read Frankenstein before you sit out this evening by your campfire eating toasted marshmallows and telling your kids pony express stories.  If you don’t know any, make something up, they won’t know any better.

August 29, 2015

Today we celebrate:

According to Hoyle Day – On this day in 1769, Edmond Hoyle died. Mr. Hoyle was an Englishman who was the first to publish a book of rules for the game of Whist. He went on to publish other books with rules for other games like chess and backgammon to name just a few. He became known as the authority for game rules of all kinds and the phrase, “according to Hoyle” was used to indicate the right way to play and even eventually the right way to do anything.

National Lemon Juice Day – Lemon juice has so many different uses from drinking to cooking to skin care to cleaning your house. You name it and you can probably find a way to utilize lemon juice for it.

Marine Corps Reserve Birthday – The mission of the Marine Corps Reserve is to provide reinforcements for the active Marine forces whenever needed. They are called during wars, national emergencies and for a host of other reasons. They are also very involved in community events such as Toys for Tots at Christmastime. They were established by Congress on this day in 1916. Most of the time, unless they have been called for duty, Marines in the reserve units have training on one weekend a month and two weeks a year to keep up their skills so that they are ready when they are needed.

National Swiss Winegrowers Day - I’m thinking this should be a grape growers day or winemakers day, because you don’t grow wine, but no one asked my opinion when choosing the name for this day which honors the winemakers of Switzerland.  In any event, this is a day to focus on a skill that the Swiss are not famous for, but I understand that even though we typically think of chocolate, clocks or cheese when we hear “Swiss,” they are actually quite good at making wine as well.  Give them a try and judge for yourself.

Individual Rights Day – On this day in 1632, John Locke was born. He was a popular philosopher who argued that humans had basic rights simply because they were human and the government's job was to protect those rights and not enslave its’ citizens with laws that took their rights away.  Our founding fathers used some of his ideas when they created our Constitution.

International Day Against Nuclear Tests – Declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2009, this is a day to increase awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.”

More Herbs, Less Salt Day – Today we need to focus on how healthy you are eating. If you have a tendency to put salt on your food, try using some interesting herbs instead.  We tend to eat too much salt with our food which isn’t good for us, and we have a tendency to forget that anytime we purchase food that was prepared by someone besides us, it probably has a lot of salt in it.

International Bat Night – Created by an organization called EUROBATS, this is a two day event that usually takes place on the last weekend in August and is celebrated by more than 30 countries with bat walks, presentations, exhibitions and generally a lot of love for bats.

Chop Suey Day – This is a day to head to a good Chinese restaurant near you and enjoy some chop suey. It's a stir fry with eggs, meat, and vegetables and usually some rice or noodles.  My mother used to make chop suey but it was very different.  Her chop suey had elbow macaroni, spaghetti sauce and whatever vegetable and meat happen to be leftover in the fridge.  I didn’t have Chinese chop suey until I was an adult so that was a bit of a shock for me the first time I ordered it.  My husband was with me and laughed his head off when I told him that I thought they gave me the wrong food.

National Sarcoidosis Awareness DayPresident George Bush proclaimed this day in 1991 to increase awareness of the disease and to support those suffering from it and those who are working to find a cure. Doctors are not yet sure, but it seems likely that Sarcoidosis is caused by a virus. They do know that it is an immune system disorder and some people can recover with few symptoms while others get very sick.  It mimics a lot of diseases so it can be difficult to diagnose.  It mostly attacks the lungs although it can attack other organs as well.

To celebrate today, make some lemonade using lemon juice and and play a fun game of backgammon with your friends, making sure you follow Hoyle's rules. Then teach your children all about their rights as humans before you head down to the Marine recruitment office to enlist in the Marine Reserves. Next, write a letter to someone in your government to let them know where you stand on the nuclear testing issue. Have some Swiss wine and chop suey with lots of herbs and very little salt for dinner outside so you can watch for bats, and tell your friends about the symptoms of sarcoidosis so if any of them have it, they can get treated quickly.

August 28, 2015

Today we celebrate:

National Red Wine Day - This is a day to enjoy a glass of red wine according to creator Jace Shoemaker-Galloway.  There are many different red wines to choose from so I’m sure you will find one you like.  I have heard that red wine is actually very healthy for your heart. Of course, you have to drink a lot of it to really get that benefit and that is not so good for your liver or your driving skills, but well, we all have to make sacrifices.

National Cherry Turnovers Day – Cherry is not my favorite flavor of turnover. I prefer apple, but whoever decides these things didn't ask me before they chose this day.  I know that there are a lot of people out there who do love cherries so you should definitely enjoy this day.

Dream Day Quest and Jubilee – This is the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. The third of three Emancipation Days of Respect which honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. by promoting respect, unity and remembrance.

Radio Commercials Day – On this day in 1922, WEAF of New York sold the first radio commercial spot. This revolutionized the broadcasting world because prior to this, radio stations all over were trying to figure out how to make radio a sustainable enterprise. There were other radio stations that made financial deals with businesses that involved sponsoring a weekly program in exchange for being mentioned now and then, but they weren't official commercials.

Bow Tie Day - In fashion off and on for the last few hundred years, the bow tie still has its' place....with the right outfit, of course.  Even women wear bow ties now and then these days.  They don't even need a tuxedo to go with it.

To celebrate today, wear your bow tie and listen to the radio and pay attention to the commercials, instead of just tuning them out like I usually do, while you eat cherry turnovers and red wine and draft your own “I Have A Dream” speech.

August 27, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Tarzan Day - On this day in 1912, Tarzan made his debut in a magazine, or so I am led to understand.  I haven’t found proof of that and I have seen some evidence that it may have been an October issue of the magazine.  I am certain, however, that Tarzan was the creation of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and two years later Mr. Burroughs published the first of a series of novels based on this amazing character.

Kiss Me Day - Not ME specifically, I’m sure you understand.  My husband would object.  However, it was on this day in 1929, that the first on-screen kiss between Popeye and his lady love, Olive Oyl, occurred.  I’m sure there were many raised eyebrows in the audience as well as hands placed over the kids eyes.  Henceforth, this has become a day to kiss the one you love.

Just Because Day - This is a day to do something….well, just because.  Is there something you would like to do but don’t really have a good reason to do it?  Well, now is your chance.  Do it today...just because.

National Petroleum Day - This is a day to think about petroleum.  We use it every day, whether you have a car or take public transportation and there is a lot of buzz about how we should conserve our fossil fuels and use alternative energy, which is a great idea.  But like all great ideas, it takes time for them to become mainstream.  So until that happens, we must be grateful for the petroleum fuel we use right now.

National Pots de Creme Day – Pots de Creme (pronounced poh-deh-krem) is French for “pot of cream.” It is a custard that is heavier than you are probably used to and is baked in a small, single serving pot or ramekin. They can be vanilla or chocolate and they look delicious.

Banana Lover's Day – I love bananas and have one nearly every day in my cereal in the morning. How do you feel about them?  They are not just delicious fruits that have only been readily available in this country for about a hundred years, but they are also very healthy and full of potassium which is very useful for preventing muscle cramps, something that I used to suffer from on a daily basis.  But not since I started eating bananas everyday.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Day – This is a state holiday in Texas to honor President Lyndon Baines Johnson who was born on this day in 1908.

The Duchess Who Wasn't Day – You have probably heard the quote, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Who hasn't?  But you may not know who said it. It comes from a novel I had never heard of, Molly Bawn, which was written by Margaret Wolfe Hungerford who used a pseudonym, “The Duchess”, which was also the title of her most popular book. She was born in Ireland on this day in 1850 and died in 1897.

To celebrate today, kiss the one you love before you find a copy of Molly Bawn,  read it, and make sure you use that famous quote at least once or twice today. Also read a biography about Lyndon B. Johnson and the very first Tarzan book while you enjoy some Pots de Creme and a banana.  Then, hop into your petroleum fueled vehicle and take a road trip somewhere, just because.

August 26, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Musical Yoga Day - On this day in 1967, the Beatles, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was instrumental in spreading Yoga throughout the Western world.  In order to celebrate this momentous occasion, we are encouraged to practice yoga while listening to rock music today.  That is not generally the kind of music you think of when you think of yoga, but give it a try.  You just might like it.

National Toilet Paper Day - While there is evidence that some form of toilet paper has been used for more than a thousand years in some countries, the TP that we have come to know and love was likely created by Joseph Gayetty in 1857.  It has evolved over the years because humans can’t resist taking a perfectly good item and changing every nuance to make it better so we can call it “New and Improved” and sell it for more money.  But the basic principle is unchanged and the importance it has in our lives is really pretty impossible to  measure.  I don’t know about you but I have no desire to go out in the yard and gather leaves or rocks to use as a replacement.  So make sure you use your TP today.  And then wash your hands.

National Cherry Popsicle Day – Not any old popsicles mind you. Just the cherry ones.  No other flavor will suffice for this particular day.  Since children can be rather particular about which flavor they will or will not eat, I suggest you remove all other flavors from the box before you show it to the kids.

National Dog DayEstablished in 2004, this is a day to recognize the fact that incredible numbers of dogs need to be rescued either from a bad living environment or from being on the streets trying to scrounge for food. Beyond that, there are all of the working dogs that make people's lives easier or safer as well as the ones who simply make us feel better.

Make Your Own Luck Day - This is a day to take your fate into your own hands.  Don’t trust to chance or just expect good things to happen to you.  Make your own luck by seeking out new experiences and being open to new opportunities.

Women's Equality Day – On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed and women were granted the right to vote. In 1971, Bella Abzug introduced legislation to Congress for Women's Equality Day. Since then, every year each president has proclaimed this celebration day. It is a day to recognize that women have been treated as second class citizens in the past but with the passage of the 19th Amendment, that began to change as we work toward the goal of complete equality.

To celebrate today, utilize some toilet paper and then go out and create some good luck by finding a dog that needs to be rescued and rescue it, possibly by adopting it if you can. Then you can share some cherry popsicles with your female friends and family to congratulate them for gaining the equality that they have achieved so far. Discuss with them what they think still needs to be done before everyone is equal.  Finish up the evening by doing some yoga while listening to rock music.

August 25, 2015

Today we celebrate:

National Banana Split Day According to Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the banana split was invented in 1904 by David Evans Strickler, an apprentice Pharmacist at Tassel Pharmacy.  Wilmington, Ohio disagrees as you read right here on June 13th.  You might be wondering why a pharmacist was messing around in the kitchen. The answer would be that this particular pharmacy, as was common at that time, had a soda fountain in it. Soda fountains served lots of ice cream, snacks and sodas. It is also important to note that bananas were a new food at the time since they had just begun to be imported to this country.  That would be why this was a very innovative idea at the time.

Founders Day – On this day in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act which was basically a mission statement for the National Park Service that had also just been created. There are probably some celebratory activities going on in the National Park near you.

National Whiskey Sour Day – Celebrated by most on this day, but some celebrate on the 29th of August. There is recipe here at the Cocktail Enthusiast if you are interested in trying it.

Kiss and Make Up Day – On this day, give up all your grudges and arguments and squabbles. It is time to kiss and make up with whomever you are upset with, whether it's your spouse or your sibling or a friend or that person who is driving so darn slow in front of you and making you late for work.

National Second-hand Wardrobe Day – This is a day for recycling clothes. Clothes do not have to be purchased brand new in order to be worn by you or your kids. You can get some great deals at thrift shops, consignment shops and second-hand stores. You can also hand clothes down from kid to kid and even give them to friends for their kids. Use them until they cannot be used anymore before you throw them away.

To celebrate today, kiss and make up with everyone you are upset with before you go through your wardrobe to pull out clothes to hand down to someone else.  Then, head to a National Park near you for a Founders Day picnic consisting of banana splits and whiskey sours.

August 24, 2015

Today we celebrate:

National Knife Day - I could not find out who created this day or why.  It seems to be a day to appreciate and utilize knives because without them, life would be pretty difficult.  There was a time when a person needed a knife in order to survive.  They were used for almost everything people had to do in pioneer days and before.  Nowadays, we could probably get along pretty well with other tools for most things, but cooking would definitely be a challenge.  That’s what I use my knives for most often.

National Peach Pie Day – A couple of days ago we had National Eat A Peach Day and could eat peaches in any form we wished. Well, today is also for peaches, but today you must eat them in a pie. I mean, the peaches have to be in the pie, not you. Although if you are ambitious enough to make a person sized pie, I say have at it and make sure you send me a picture.

Pluto Demoted Day – On this day in 2006, Pluto was demoted. It is no longer considered a planet and instead is considered by scientists to be a “dwarf planet”. It was a sad, sad day for all of us. That same year, NASA sent a spacecraft to Pluto to take some pictures and send them back to us. It took a few years for the spacecraft to get there but it finally did just a few months ago and that was pretty exciting for all the space enthusiasts out there. That was a big, expensive project and demotion or not, NASA was committed to see it through. However, if Pluto was demoted sooner, I wonder if NASA would have bothered to go look at it.

Vesuvius Day – On this day in 79A.D., Mount Vesuvius, in Southern Italy, awoke from its’ centuries long sleep and erupted causing the devastation of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killed thousands of people. The ones who evacuated immediately survived, but approximately 2,000 people hid in cellars and buildings hoping the volcano would stop and leave them be. They died in the toxic cloud that descended upon them and were buried when the flow of rock and ash followed. Today some 700,000 people live around Mt. Vesuvius which hasn't had a major eruption in about 400 years. I'm not sure that location would be my choice for a retirement home.

William Wilberforce Day – Born on this day in 1759, William Wilberforce was a politician, philanthropist and one of the leaders of the abolitionist movement who worked tirelessly to put an end to the British slave trade for twenty six years. When the Slave Trade Act of 1807 was passed, abolishing the slave trade, he began working to abolish slavery completely in the British Empire. He died three days after he was sure the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 was going to pass.

National Waffle Day – Back in March, we had International Waffle Day, but this day is just for the United States of America because we love our waffles so much that we really don't want to share them this time.

To celebrate today, use a knife to cut up your waffles for breakfast and contemplate how different the world would be without dedicated people like William Wilberforce in it. Then have waffles for lunch while you search the internet for pictures from the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum which have been ongoing for a couple of hundred years. Finally, have waffles and peach pie for dinner while you look through your telescope to see if you can find Pluto.

August 23, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Valentino Day – On this day in 1926, Rudolph Valentino, an enormously popular star of the silent-screen died because of a ruptured ulcer at the very young age of 31 years old. He was Hollywood's first sex symbol and was idolized by millions of female fans.

Hug Your Boss Day – This is a day to increase motivation and morale by loosening up a little and giving your boss a hug. Unless you think that it would not be welcome, in which case, don't do anything to jeopardize your job.

National Spongecake Day – This is a day to make a fluffy, spongy cake. I like to eat cake like this with strawberries and whipped cream, but there are a multitude of other options out there.

International Day For The Remembrance Of The Slave Trade & Its Abolition – Created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), this is a day to remember the inhumanity of the transatlantic slave trade. It was on this day in 1791, that a revolt began in Haiti which set in motion events that eventually culminated in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in 1807 in Great Britain and in 1808 in America. Something that was certainly a step in the right direction toward ending slavery in America although that took a lot longer.

Go Topless Day – This is a day that is celebrated on the Sunday closest to Women's Equality Day, which is in two days. It is all about the “if men can do it, women can too” premise. I believe that to a certain degree, but I have no desire to prove it by going topless. I don't particularly care that men can go topless, I just think that means they have more surface area to put sunscreen on and frankly, I don't have that kind of time. If you do, there are many cities throughout the nation that will be having Go Topless Day protests, feel free to join in.

To celebrate today, keep your top on while you go to work and give your boss a hug.  Then you can go topless at home while you eat sponge cake while you watch one of Valentino's silent-screen movies. Then read a book about the transatlantic slave trade. I'm sure there are many out there, but if you can't find one that interests you, I recommend Alexander Haley's book, Roots: The Saga of an American Family.