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February 28, 2017

Today we celebrate:

Car Keys and Small Change Day - This is a day that is not what it seems. It has nothing to do with car keys and small change, rather it is a day to celebrate the pockets that we put these items in. What would we do with all this little stuff if we didn’t have pockets? I have no idea.

National Science Day - This is a day to celebrate science in all of its’ forms. This isn’t an official day yet, but there is a petition circulating out there to ask President Obama to make it one.

Floral Design Day – This day was created by Governor Weld of Massachusetts as a way to celebrate Carl Rittner's birthday. Mr. Rittner founded The Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston and has spent years imparting his skills and knowledge of floral design to his students and fellow lovers of floral beauty. For thousands of years, people have used flowers to create beautiful works of art and to bring color and beauty to places where you don't usually find it naturally.

National Tooth Fairy Day – Once again we have a discrepancy here as some believe that the Tooth Fairy should be celebrated today and others believe that celebration should take place on August 22nd. Well, the Tooth Fairy works incredibly hard, if you think about it. Do you have any idea how many children lose teeth every day? Way too many for me to think about. So maybe she should have two days to celebrate. Let's all do her a favor today and not lose any teeth so maybe she can have a day of rest today.

National Public Sleeping Day – The general public is desperately sleep deprived. I talk to some of my friends who routinely get only three or four hours of sleep every night and I am amazed that they manage to remain vertical all day. But many of these sleep deprived individuals have learned to grab a few zzzz's wherever and whenever they can. Go into any train station or airport or bus depot and you are almost guaranteed to find someone sleeping. Park benches and public libraries are another good place to see some snoozers. This is a day to join the crowd, wherever you your desk, in a restaurant, in a parking lot (Please don't try to sleep while you're driving, but if you're parked, it's quite okay.), wherever you can find a place to rest your weary head, close your eyes and have a catnap.

National Chocolate Souffle Day – I have seen a reference to the possibility that the first souffle recipe appeared in 1742, in France. They were fairly common by the mid 1800's and could be found in most any cookbook. They do indeed have a tendency to collapse when removed from the oven so you have to be really, really careful. You can make them without chocolate, but I don't personally recommend it.

Paczki Day – This is a Polish dish that looks a lot like a doughnut without the hole in the middle. It is traditionally made on this day to use up ingredients that could not be eaten during Lent. You can find some delicious recipes here.

Mardi Gras – This is the last day of a celebration that seems to last for weeks. It is the last day because Lent starts tomorrow and I guess you can't have parties like this during Lent. The parades began last month, I believe, and as far as I know, New Orleans is the only place in the world where you can experience Mardi Gras the way it's supposed to be. I have never even heard of any other place celebrating it, but if you have, please let me know.

Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday or Fastnacht Day – This is the day before Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent. This is a day to eat lots of food in preparation for the fasting of Lent. Hence the pancakes since they are rich in eggs, milk and sugar. The other purpose that I can think of is to use up ingredients that you won't be using during Lent which might go bad before Lent is over and they can be used again.

International Pancake Day – This day is tied into the Shrove Tuesday celebrations as I described above, but this day needs more explanation and a paragraph of its' own. Especially if you have never heard of or seen the pancake race. You can read about how the pancake race got started if you read the section entitled, “The Story,” at this website. You will also see why there has been a competition between Olney, England and Liberal, Kansas for the last 60+ years involving head scarfs, pancakes, aprons and skillets. It has apparently turned into an event lasting 4 days, of which this is the last so you better head over to Kansas now before it's over. You don't want to miss the pancakes, talent show, races, cooking contests and more.

World Spay Day – Always celebrated on the last Tuesday in February, this is a day to get the word out that it is a very good idea to spay or neuter your pets. Spaying and neutering keeps the cat and dog population from getting out of control resulting in mega quantities of feral cats and stray dogs running around in groups terrorizing the street gangs that are trying so hard to take over the cities. Seriously, there are enough animals in need of loving homes out there, you don't need your own home overrun by puppies or kittens because you can't find enough people who want to adopt them.

International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day - Celebrated on the last day of February, this is a day to be aware of the danger of straining your body by doing the same movements over and over again either through work or in your personal life. If you type constantly, you can have problems with your wrists and fingers. If you are a deli meat slicer, you can have problems with your shoulder and elbow. Be aware of the movements you make and try to make sure that you adjust the way you move so that it causes less strain on your body, such as using an ergonomic keyboard, or using more of your body to move something instead of just your arms or back.

Rare Disease Day – Celebration is probably not the best term for what people do on this day. It is really a day that is more about raising awareness of rare diseases and trying to raise money for research to find cures for them. Unfortunately, since rare diseases affect only a small percentage of the population, there isn't the same level of financial support for research that you find with the diseases that affect more people such as breast cancer and heart disease. This means that progress on fighting these diseases is slow, which is heartbreaking for the families that are profoundly impacted. This day takes place on the last day of February.

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