Archive | April, 2013

Edouard Manet Dies at 51

French Impressionist painter Edouard Manet died of rheumatism and untreated syphilis at the age of 51 on April 31, 1883.
Born into a wealthy, well-connected family in Paris on January 23, 1832, Edouard Manet was expected to practice law by his mother and father. Manet, however, had little interest in law and was instead fascinated by painting and the arts.
After failing his naval examinations more than once, Manet’s parents finally supported his career choice and sent him off to study under painter Thomas Couture. In addition to this, Edouard Manet would spend hours at the Louvre recreating classic masterpieces.
Manet was among the first of the 19th century painters to approach modern and post-modern subjects, and was an integral part of the artistic movement from Realism to Impressionism. Some of his most famous paintings are Olympia, The Luncheon on the Grass, and A Bar at the Folies-Bergere.

Sources: Wikipedia, Biography

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Greenery Day

Greenery Day was established in 1989 to celebrate the birthday of Japanese Emperor Hirohito. April 29 was set aside to connect with nature and show thanks for all of it’s beauty and gifts, as Hirohito (the Shōwa Emperor) loved plants.

A law was passed in 2005 pertaining to public holidays, and Greenery Day was officially moved to May 4 in 2007. April 29 is now celebrated as Shōwa Day, and commemorates the 63 year reign of the controversial wartime emperor, Hirohito (1926-1989). On this day, the Japanese people are encouraged to reflect on the tumultuous rule of the Shōwa Emperor and think about the future of their country.

Sources: Wikipedia, Office Holidays

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Kiss Your Mate Day

April 28 is Kiss Your Mate Day!

This holiday is a celebration of relationships and romance and for showing appreciation to your special someone. According to researchers, kissing is healthy and important in relationships, especially in the long term, as it usually fizzles out with time. Kissing your partner often will help you maintain a solid degree of intimacy that some lasting relationships may be lacking.

Observe Kiss Your Mate Day by engaging in a smooch session with your significant other. If you’re single, use today to let the object of your affections know how you feel and maybe you’ll be kissing by the end of the day!

The current Guinness World Record for the longest kiss is 58 hours, 35 minutes, and 58 seconds held by Ekkachai Tiranarat and Laksana Tiranarat from Thailand.

Sources: Examiner, Holidays Central, Guinness World Records

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Ashton’s Birthday

Happy birthday to an awesome employee here at, Ashton!

Ashton manages the Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as The Daily Grid. She also does a little graphic design work and moderates the customer reviews.

Ashton loves to be outside hiking, camping, rock climbing, or walking her three rescued pitbulls. Is she has to be stuck inside, Ashton prefers to be watching sports. She loves the Houston Astros and the Dallas Cowboys, and enjoys cooking and bowling. Ashton also just recently got married!

Here are a few of her staff picks, but see Ashton’s complete selection on our Staff Picks Page!

Goats in Trees 2013 Wall Calendar

Magic Places 2013 Wall Calendar

Crossing Bridges 2013 Wall Calendar

Sea Turtles 2013 Deluxe Wall Calendar

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Tell a Story Day

April 27 is Tell a Story Day!

This fun holiday celebrates the art of storytelling in all forms and genres, whether it is fiction, non-fiction, fairy tale, or folklore. This includes recalling a story from memory or reading it from a book; all versions of storytelling are welcome!

Storytelling was one of the earliest forms of entertainment for ancient peoples, who used narrative accounts to pass down their traditions, morals, and history. Today, take the time to tell a loved one your favorite story and set the atmosphere with decorations to provide an unforgettable storytelling experience. And remember, have fun!

Sources: Holiday Insights, Yahoo

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Lucille Ball Died

American comedian, actress, and television executive Lucille Ball died of an aneurysm at the age of 77 on April 26, 1989.

Lucille Desiree Ball was born on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. She attended the JohnMurrayAndersonSchool for the Dramatic Arts in New York City, which had also produced starlet Bette Davis.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Lucy was known as the “Queen of B’s” for the amount of starring roles she held in B-movies, but she never really achieved great stardom until she made the transition to television. Lucille Ball met Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz in 1940 while filming Too Many Girls, and the two eloped the same year.

I Love Lucy premiered in 1951 and proved to be a great success, starring Lucille Ball as Lucy and Desi Arnaz as Lucy’s husband Ricky. It was the most watched television show of its time and is frequently listed on television All-Time lists year after year.

After I Love Lucy, Lucille Ball went on to produce and star in The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy, and Life with Lucy. She became the first woman to run a television studio and had one of Hollywood’s most lengthy careers, especially on the small screen.

Sources: Wikipedia, Biography

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Take Your Daughter to Work Day

Take Your Daughter to Work Day falls on the 4th Thursday of April every year. In 2013, this holiday is recognized on Thursday April 25.

Take Your Daughter to Work Day dates back to 1993 when it was founded by Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women. This program was initiated to boost self-esteem in girls who otherwise lacked self-confidence, especially in academic and work related settings. Take Your Daughter to Work Day was founded as a way for women to explore the workplace, and assure them that they could have the same types of jobs as men.

Girls would “take off” from school and instead go to work with their mother or father. They would spend the day learning about what an office job might entail and how to act professionally in an office setting. The holiday expanded to include boys in 2003 and was renamed “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day”. Today, more than 37 million Americans at over 3.5 million workplaces participate.

Sources: Holiday Insights, Forbes

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Library of Congress Established

The Library of Congress was established on April 24, 1800 by an act of Congress when President John Adams signed a bill that transferred the seat of government from Philadelphia to Washington D.C.. However, the 3,000-volume library burned to the ground in August of 1814 when British troops invaded the capitol.

As a solution, Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library, which contained over 6,000 books and had taken him 50 years to accumulate. Congress accepted Jefferson’s offer and paid him $23, 940 for the entire collection of works.

Some congressmen believed Jefferson’s collection to be too comprehensive, as it contained books on many different subjects including architecture, science, geography, and foreign languages. Jefferson addressed this concern by commenting that there was “no subject to which a member of Congress may not have the occasion to refer.” Thomas Jefferson’s concept of Universality, the belief that any and all subjects may be useful to a library for the American government, continues to guide the collecting policies for the Library of Congress today.

Originally created as a reference library for the United States Congress, the Library of Congress has evolved into a national institution garnering over 2 million visitors each year.

Sources:, Wikipedia

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William Shakespeare’s Birthday

Despite his reputation as one of the most famous writers of all time, the personal history of William Shakespeare remains somewhat unknown. While April 23, 1564 is generally accepted as his birth date, many biographers and researchers still debate whether this is accurate or not. His place of birth was Stratford-upon-Avon, which is also where he was baptized (as records indicate) on April 26, 1564.

There is also some mystery surrounding William Shakespeare’s schooling, but many researchers agree that he probably attended King’s New School in Stratford. In 1582, William Shakespeare (then 18) married 26 year old Anne Hathaway, and the pair had three children together.

Records show that several of William Shakespeare’s plays were being produced in London around 1592. After 1594, his plays were exclusively put on by Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a play company owned and operated by a crew of players, including Shakespeare. They eventually opened their own open air amphitheater on the River Thames called The Globe.

Some of his most famous works include: Hamlet, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, and All’s Well That Ends Well, among others. All of his famous plays fall under histories, comedies, tragedies, or tragic comedies.

Much mystery surrounds Shakespeare’s death, although many biographers believe that he died on his birthday in 1616. Nearly two centuries after the death of William Shakespeare, many scholars began to question the authorship of plays allegedly written by him. There are official records that indicate that a William Shakespeare existed, but not that he was an actor or playwright. Many researchers also question whether such a minimally educated person could be responsible for such celebrated works, and if they were actually written by a more distinguished, formally trained writer.

Click here to get the Royal Shakespeare Company 2015 Wall Calendar!

Royal Shakespeare Company 2015 Wall Calendar

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Go Green This Earth Day!

This Earth Day, make a pledge to be green and save some green! By following the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra, you can help the environment while helping your wallet. Take a look at the list below, and try to find at least one thing you can change or improve.


1. Gas – The cost of gas is no joke. Carpooling with a spouse or coworker even one day a week can make a significant difference on emissions and how often you need to fill your tank. If your job allows it, you could also try working from home a few days a month, or working four 10 hour days to save a trip a week. If you are one of those lucky enough to live close to work, try walking or biking on nice days.
2. Electricity – Even when turned off, anything connected to a plug sucks energy. Try to unplug items that you aren’t using, or at least those that you don’t use very often. If your outlets are hard to get to, plug several electronics into a power strip that you can just flip off when you need to. Another easy way to save on electricity is to switch to Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs.
3. Water – Simply turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth can save enough water to make a difference, but there are several other ways to conserve water around your house. Get a low-flow toilet, or for a cheaper option, displace the water in the tank with a plastic water bottle or rocks. This will leave enough water to flush, but reduce the excess water that isn’t needed to do the job. Also, modern dishwashers tend to use less water than hand washing, and professional car washes use less than you would at home.
4. Paper/Plastic/Styrofoam – Do you find yourself constantly leaving notes around your house for yourself or others? Pick a central place in the home and put up a dry erase board instead! Another easy way to reduce the amount of paper/plastic you use is to move away from paper plates and plastic utensils. It is actually better for the environment to use the little bit of water to wash a plate and fork than to throw away disposable dishes. You should also take your own coffee mug and/or water bottle to work. By keeping these items at work and rinsing them daily, you are lowering the amount of trash you produce.


1. Containers – Those boxes or plastic containers are perfect for home or office organization! Simply cover them with wrapping paper or pretty duct tape to make them match your current décor.
2. Compost – Potato skins, egg shells, vegetable stems, coffee grounds, leaves, and even dryer lint can all be reused to fertilize your lawn or garden. Learn the basics of composting.
3. Water – Get a rain barrel and use the water for your lawn, garden, or outdoor water feature. You can also use this water to bathe your pets or wash your car.
4. Tools – Most homes will purchase a tool for one job then let it sit in the garage or shed for years. Buy cheaper tools at a garage sale, borrow from a friend or family member, or rent from a home improvement store.


1. The staples – Most neighborhoods and offices now allow you to recycle paper, plastics, and aluminum. The lucky ones can even recycle glass containers.
2. Electronics – Donate or recycle old phones, computers, or pretty much any other electronic device. A quick Google search can give you local recycling options, and many of them will actually pay you!
3. Styrofoam – This one is a bit more tricky, but can be done. For those that shop online, you may have an excess of Styrofoam packing or packing peanuts. Many shipping stores such as FedEx or UPS will take those packing peanuts off your hands, but larger chunks have to be recycled at a certain facility. Visit and enter your zip code to find a drop-off location near you!
4. Batteries – Batteries should never be thrown away with your normal trash. If there is a Best Buy near you, they normally accept batteries and recycle or dispose of them properly. You can also visit for other options.


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