Archive | July, 2012

Nelson Mandela’s Birthday

Happy 94th Birthday, Nelson Mandela!

In addition to being President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, “Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity – as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, and international peacemaker, and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.” – UN.org

Though July 18 has been celebrated as Mandela Day by a variety of groups since July 2009, the UN officially declared this date an international annual day in honor of Mandela in November 2009. Since then, July 18, or Mandela Day, has become a day to celebrate Mandela’s birthday while honoring the work and contributions he’s made toward peace, freedom, and equality by taking action and helping others in an effort to make the world a better place.

How do you celebrate Mandela Day? It’s simple!

Mr. Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. All we are asking is that everyone gives 67 minutes of their time, whether it’s supporting your chosen charity or serving your local community.”

- Mandeladay.com

For inspiration, check out Mandeladay.com’s 67 ways to change the world.

Sources: Wikipedia, UN.org, Mandeladay.com

Read full storyComments { 0 }

Peach Ice Cream Day

July 17 is Peach Ice Cream Day!

What better way to cool off on a hot summer day than with a big scoop or two of peach ice cream? It takes about 48 weeks for peaches to ripen, and they aren’t around for long after they do. In celebration of the short peach season, you can make peach smoothies, peach cobbler, or just enjoy one raw…but today it’s all about the ice cream! For a few weeks you’ll be able to find peach ice cream at the grocery store, but if you don’t want to scour the freezer, here is a great recipe from Scoopalicious.

Sources: Holiday Insights, Examiner.com

Read full storyComments { 0 }

National Personal Chef Day

Created by the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA),  July 16 is National Personal Chef Day and celebrates personal chefs and the unique service they perform – preparing meals for busy households, seniors, those with special dietary needs, or kitchen klutzes who should stay as far away from the kitchen as possible.

If you’re lucky enough to have a personal chef, thank him or her for the delicious food they prepare for you every day. You might even consider giving them the day off, even if it means living off of easy-to-make sandwiches for a day.

If you don’t have a personal chef and are interested in hiring one but don’t know where to start, the USPCA can help you find a personal chef in your area.

Interested in becoming a personal chef? What better day to get the ball rolling than National Personal Chef Day!? Check out “How to Become a Personal Chef” on eHow.com for a quick overview on what you need to do to become a personal chef, then find a training and certification program that best fits you. The USPCA recommends the Culinary Business Academy.

Sources: PRLog, The Ultimate Holiday Site

Read full storyComments { 0 }

Embrace Your Geekness!

July 13 is Embrace Your Geekness Day!

Celebrate today by playing a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock or solving a particularly difficult differential equation. Sport your glasses today instead of the usual contacts, and maybe try to bring back suspenders. However you choose to celebrate, May the Force be With You.

Read more about Embrace Your Geekness Day.

Read full storyComments { 0 }

George Eastman’s Birthday

July 12 celebrates George Eastman’s (July 12, 1854 – March 14, 1932 ) 158th birthday!

You might not recognize the name “George Eastman,” but no doubt you’ve heard of his company: Kodak. After inventing roll film, Eastman founded Kodak in 1880, setting out to, in his own words, “make the camera as convenient as the pencil.” In 1888, he introduced the Kodak camera, and the rest is history…Head over to Kodak to learn more about the history of Kodak and the man who started it all.

But Eastman was more than an inventor and entrepreneur. He was also well-known for his philanthropy, establishing and supporting the Eastman School of Music and contributing over $100 million to other various organizations and institutions, including the University of Rochester, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Tuskegee Institute, and several dental clinics.

Celebrate George Eastman’s birthday by releasing your inner photographer and/or philanthropist in honor of the man who made mainstream photography possible and used his profits to help others.

Sources: Wikipedia, Kodak, Idea Finder

Read full storyComments { 0 }

World Population Day

On July 11, 1987, the world population hit five billion. To mark this milestone and raise awareness of global population issues, such as the human right to plan a family, and their impact on development and the environment, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) designated July 11 as World Population Day in 1989.

Each year, World Population Day is centered around a specific theme and issue. World Population Day 2012 focuses on “Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services”:

Reproductive health is at the very heart of development and crucial to delivering the UNFPA vision – a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.”

- World Population Day, unfpa.org

Celebrate World Population Day by educating yourself on population issues, particularly reproductive health and rights.

Global reproductive health and issues by the numbers:

1.8 billion: Number of adolescents reaching their reproductive years – many without the knowledge, skills, and services needed to protect themselves.
4: Number of people who contract HIV every minute and the number of people who die of AIDS every minute.
$9: Amount you can donate to UNFPA to ensure that one couple can delay pregnancy for two years via oral contraceptives. Learn more at UNFPA’s support page. 
200 million+: Number of women worldwide who want to use safe and effective family planning methods, whether to avoid or delay pregnancy, but can’t due to lack of information, services, and/or support.
50 million (out of 190 million/year): Number of pregnant women  who have an abortion due to unwanted pregnancy – many of which are unsafe. According to UNFPA, 74,000 women die each year due to complications associated with unsafe abortions.
2015: The year UNFPA hopes to make universal reproductive health a reality.

(All statistics from unfpa.org: World Population DayReproductive Health, Support)

 

Sources: unfpa.org, timeanddate.com, earthtimes.org

Read full storyComments { 0 }

Teddy Bear Picnic Day

In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a small bear while on a hunting trip. The Washington Post created a cartoon in the paper about the incident, and toy store owners Morris and Rose Michtom decided to capitalize on the event. They created a stuffed bear and asked permission from the President to call the animal a Teddy Bear, and just like that an iconic toy was born.

July 10 is a day to celebrate our Teddy Bears and the fond memories they invoke by having a picnic with our furry friends. So, gather up your old collection, throw a blanket on the ground, and enjoy a good old-fashioned picnic with your Teddy Bears. The good news is you don’t even have to pack extra food!

It was raining today, but we still had a Teddy Bear Picnic in the office while listening to the classic song.

Sources: Yahoo, Holiday Insights

Read full storyComments { 0 }

National Sugar Cookie Day- July 9

Celebrate today by making a batch for friends and family, and read more about National Sugar Cookie Day!

Read full storyComments { 0 }

Frida Kahlo’s Birthday

I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”

- Frida Kahlo, quoted in Frida Kahlo 1907-1954: Pain and Passion by Andrea Kettenmann

July 6, 2012 celebrates Frida Kahlo’s 105th birthday. Though her paintings display the fantasy and dream-like quality of surrealism, Khalo, a Mexican painter well known for her self-portraits, never considered herself a surrealist, asserting that she didn’t paint her dreams but her reality. Khalo’s work reflects the physical and psychological pain she endured through out her life – from the 32 surgeries, long periods of isolation and recovery, miscarriages, and lifetime of pain that resulted from a traffic accident in 1925 to her volatile marriage to Mexican artist Diego Rivera. In a biography of Kahlo published in Oxford University Press’s Grove Art Online, Hayden Herrera described Khalo’s self-portraits as “a kind of exorcism by which she projected her anguish on to another Frida, in order to separate herself from pain and at the same time confirm her hold on reality.”

Though undoubtedly unwanted, Kahlo’s suffering led to beautiful works of art, literally – Khalo began her painting career while immobilized and isolated for three months after her accident. Constantly examining herself through her self-portraits, Khalo was not afraid of being vulnerable and openly displaying her physical and emotional wounds. Khalo’s personal subject matter combined with bright colors, surreal and primitive style, and the influence of Mexican culture resulted in close to 200 striking and powerful paintings, 55 of which are self-portraits.

Frida Kahlo’s 2013 calendars are for sale at Calendars.com.

Sources: Wikipedia, Modern Museum of Art, The Guardian

Read full storyComments { 0 }

National Graham Cracker Day

In the early 1800s, Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham devised a snack meant to curb appetite and carnal urges. He took hard whole-wheat flour known as graham flour and added bran and wheat germ to create this healthy and holy snack.

Today, graham crackers are made with bleached white flour and are typically  sweetened by adding cinnamon, sugar, or honey. We’re not sure if they suppress the urges of the flesh, but they make a great s’more!

Sources: Gone-ta-pott.com, Bits and Pieces

Read full storyComments { 0 }