Archive | November, 2013

When does Hanukkah begin in 2013?

November 28, 2013

Learn more about Hanukkah.

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Go For a Ride Day

hotairballoonNovember 22 is Go For a Ride Day! As we approach the start of the holiday season, Go For a Ride Day provides  us with a chance to relax before the stress and pandemonium of the holidays seep into our souls.

We’re not exactly sure why this day was designated as Go For a Ride Day, but there are a few historical events that took place on this day that could have led to the creation of this unofficial holiday. On November 22, 1904, Mathias Pfatischer of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received a U.S. patent for the first direct current, interpole, electric motor. On November 22, 1927, Carl J.E. Eliason of Saynor, Wisconsin patented the snowmobile. On November 22, 1977, regular passenger service between New York and Europe on the supersonic Concorde began on a trial basis.

We realize that you “go for a ride” every time you get on or into your everyday transportation. However, the point of Go For a Ride Day is to go for a ride for the sake of going for a ride. Don’t worry about destinations or schedules. Enjoy the scenery. Discover places you’ve never been to or seen before, whether a park, a coffee house or the other side of town.

A ride is even more relaxing when someone else is doing the work. If possible, find someone else to take over the steering, pushing, pulling or pedaling so that all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride. Don’t limit yourself to a car, city bus or bicycle, though these types of transportation are completely acceptable for today’s celebrations. Today could be a day to branch out and go for a ride in a new in different way. Why not take a peaceful ride in a horse-drawn carriage? Or how about racing around some go-carts with friends? Get a bird’s eye view of the world from the basket of a hot air balloon or grab a mechanical bull by the horns! Today is a day where even the strangest forms of transportation are acceptable. If you would rather stick with more normal forms of transportation and you feel like taking a longer trip, hop on a train or take off in a plane. If it’s snowy where you are, sled down the steepest hill or if you’re near a body of water, go for a boat ride. Wherever you are, take advantage of the scenery and explore the outdoor world.

We advise to not worry about where you’re going today – just enjoy the journey!

Sources: Holiday Insights, Examiner, Yahoo

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When is Cyber Monday in 2013?

December 2, 2013

Learn more about Cyber Monday by clicking here.

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Alfred Anderson Dies

wwiOn November 21, 2005, Alfred Anderson died at age 109. He was Scotland‘s last known World War I veteran, the last member alive of the “Old Contemptibles,” the last known soldier who took part in the 1914 World War I Christmas truce, and Scotland’s oldest man for over a year.

Anderson was born on June 25, 1896, and joined the volunteer reserve of the British Army in 1912 when he was only 16 years old. Unbeknownst to him, he had volunteered to fight on the Western Front, which was where the German Army had invaded France through neutral Belgium shortly after the outbreak of WWI.

On December 24 and 25, 1914, when Anderson was 18 years old, he participated in the Christmas Truce. This odd occurrence involved British and German troops going through a ceasefire and celebrating Christmas in comradery by decorating their trenches, singing carols together, and even participating in soccer games together in the muddy No Man’s Land.  Over 80 years later, Anderson recalled these days saying,

I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence. All I’d heard for two months in the trenches was the hissing, cracking and whining of bullets in flight, machine-gun fire and distant German voices. But there was a dead silence that morning, right across the land as far as you could see. We shouted ‘Merry Christmas,’ even though nobody felt merry. The silence ended early in the afternoon and the killing started again. It was a short peace in a terrible war.

During the war he was also briefly appointed to be a batman, or personal servant, to Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon, brother of the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. A brave and calm servant, Anderson would often go into No Man’s Land at night with Bowes-Lyon to listen for enemy activity. He continued to fight in France during the first World War until he was injured by a piece of shrapnel during one of his late-night outings with Bowes-Lyon.

In 1988, Anderson was awarded by the French Legion of Honor along with other WWI veterans who fought on French soil, and he was visited by Prince Charles in 2003 after news that Anderson was batman for the prince’s uncle, Bowes-Lyon, was brought to public attention.

A few weeks after being featured on the BBC One documentary The Last Tommy along with other WWI British Army vets, Anderson died in his sleep in Sweden. At the time of his death, he was the oldest man in Sweden.

Sources: Wikipedia, The New York Times

 

 

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G.O. H.A.R.D.

51117_cover“G.O. H.A.R.D.” is the acronym for Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day which is celebrated today, November 20! G.O. H.A.R.D. was inspired by a Facebook event called, “National Hug a Cross Country Runner Day” created by Michaela McGuigan on November 20, 2009. The Facebook event showed a whopping 42,000 attendees.

Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano, running aficionados and creators of Run the Edge, took inspiration from Michaela’s event and ran with it (pun intended)! They created Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day to include runners all over the world of all ages, sizes, genders, ethnicities, speeds, and styles of running. The first annual G.O. H.A.R.D. took place 2 years after the original event on November 20, 2011 and has been going hard ever since. With the motto “Share the Sweat,” Goucher and Catalano have even created a Hug a Runner Day training guide which includes the following:

  • Interval Hugging: Try both long and short intervals and don’t forget to change leads with your hugging partners so everybody gets a chance to set the pace. We recommend starting with 10 X 40-second hugs with ample recovery. More experienced huggers may want to cut down on the rest between hugs.

  • Long Slow Hugs: This should be a staple of your training program. Set aside time twice a week to share a hug lasting several minutes. Up to 20% of your weekly hugging time can be spent in a single hug. Be sure to choose your LSH partners carefully because this kind of training might scare off newcomers.

  • Speed Hugging: Don’t overdo this especially if you are not already an experienced hugger. Speed training is important but can lead to injury if huggers try to do too much too soon.

  • Hug Visualization: To be at your best you must prepare mentally. In order to be ready for anything, make sure to visualize hugging runners of all sizes, genders, ages, and ethnicities. Unlike in running, we do not recommend hug visualization (HV) while engaged in interval hugging (IH), speed hugging (SH), or Long Slow Hugging (LSH). Leave hug visualization to moments when you are alone.

  • Cross Training: Running couples may want to engage in some “cross training” activities. In fact some of the above workouts (especially the LSH) can lead to cross training. While not necessary, these activities can add a little spice to the day-to-day grind.

If you would like to celebrate Hug a Runner Day, make sure you hug as many runners as possible or organize a group hug with some of your running buddies. Also be sure to join the Hug a Runner Day Facebook event on the Run the Edge Facebook page and check out the pages they suggest to follow for special Hug a Runner Day giveaways!

Sources: Run the Edge, Facebook, headinthegame.net

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Calvin Klein’s Birthday

calvinkleinToday is American fashion designer, Calvin Klein’s birthday. Klein launched his brand in 1968 and has expanded into an internationally-known label which produces clothing, perfumes, and accessories for men and women.

Klein was born in 1942 in the New York City borough of the Bronx. He held an interest in sketching fashion designs when he was younger and attended the High School of Art and Design before studying briefly at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. To concentrate more on developing his design skills by working in the industry, Klein left school and began an apprenticeship with

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How to Reuse Your Old Calendars (Part Two)

Use old calendar art to make paper beads for jewelry.

Use old calendar art to make paper beads for jewelry.

For the second part of our “How to Reuse Your Old Calendars” series, we’re sharing some great crafting tips and ideas to inspire you to reuse your old calendars instead of throwing them in the trash can at the end of the year.

  • If you use a large desk pad as a calendar, you can now use your old desk pad as a crafting table. Because of desk calendars’ typically large size, they make the perfect space for you to paint, glue, decoupage, and do whatever else you need to do in your D.I.Y. adventures without worrying about making a mess on your work space. Then, just tear off the page when you’re done crafting to have a new clean craft space.
  • Make cards! Calendar art can be turned into beautiful and unique greeting cards for your loved ones.
  • Buy an origami book and teach yourself some new origami tricks! Use calendar pages to make decorative origami boxes, cranes, and whatever else your heart desires.
  • Use calendar art and numbers alongside your scrapbook photos. Use calendar pieces as embellishments around your photos or use calendar boxes or numbers to mark when important and memorable events happened in your scrapbook.
  • Cut your old calendar into strips and make bookmarks.
  • Use old calendar art to make puzzles! Glue an entire picture to cardstock and cut out various jigsaw-shaped pieces. If the calendar has thumbnail images on the back cover, these can be used as the completed puzzle view to work from. Store pieces in a ziplock box or small container.
  • You can use old calendar images that are large enough to make placemats by placing clear contact paper over them or by laminating them. If calendar photos are too small, you can place the images on poster board or cardstock that is larger in a color that is complementary.
  • Make postcards to send to relatives and friends who live in other places by gluing old calendar art to cardstock to make it durable enough for mailing.
  • Use old calendar pages as gift wrap.
  • Use calendar pictures to make magnets. You can also cut out days from a calendar and make a magnetic calendar for your fridge.
  • Roll up calendar pages into colorful beads you can use to make jewelry.

Hopefully these projects got your D.I.Y. creative juices flowing! Stay tuned for the last two parts of our “How to Reuse Your Old Calendars” series.

Sources: thriftyfun, Popsugar

 

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National Apple Cider Day

appleciderpuzzleNovember 18 is National Apple Cider Day! Apple cider is a raw unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic drink made from apples. Apple cider can be differentiated from apple juice in that apple juice is typically filtered to take out apple particles, pasteurized to maximize shelf-life, and sugar and water are often added to the beverage. Because of its limited shelf-life, untreated cider has become a seasonal beverage produced mostly in fall and winter months, making it a popular holiday beverage.

Apples are not a fruit native to the North American continent. After finding only inedible crab apples on the continent, apple seeds were brought to America by colonial settlers from England in the 17th century. The first apple orchard in North America was planted in Boston in 1625. Seeds from Europe were cultivated on Colonial farms as well as spread throughout Native American trade routes. John Chapman, known by many as “Johnny Appleseed,” traveled ahead of western-bound settlers in America and began to plant small cider apple orchards across the Midwest.

Cider can be enjoyed cold or “mulled” by making the cider hot and adding spices like clove and cinnamon. If you would like to celebrate Apple Cider Day, try some of these great recipes!

Happy Apple Cider Day!

Sources: Wikipedia, Almanac of Eats, Serious Eats

 

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Take a Hike Day

The Appalachian Trail is known as one of the best hiking spots in the U.S.

The Appalachian Trail is known as one of the best hiking spots in the U.S.

November 17 is Take a Hike Day! We’re not sure how Take a Hike Day came to be, but you can celebrate by meandering through your favorite nature spot, or by telling someone to “get lost” – whichever you prefer.

Hiking refers to walking in nature for recreational purposes, typically in a place that is scenic. This outdoor recreational activity has been known to have many health benefits including improving cardio-respiratory fitness, improving muscular fitness, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, weight loss, and improving mental health. Day hiking refers to hiking which can be completed within a single day, while backpacking is the term used for multi-day hikes which include camping in between. In more densely forested areas where vegetation must be cleared while taking your hike is called bushwhacking.

If you’re planning on going on a hike today make sure you bring these hiking essentials: water (to prevent possible dehydration), food, a map, a compass, and a backpack to carry any other items you may need. Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots are a must as well! A hiking club known as The Mountaineers recommends bringing the Ten Essentials with you which also includes other survival items like a flashlight, a knife, and a first aid kit.

To see the 10 Best Hiking Spots in the United States, go here!

If you’d rather avoid nature and tell someone who’s annoying you to, “Take a hike!” then all we have to say is try not to be TOO mean about it…

Happy Take a Hike Day!

Sources: Holiday Insights, National Whatever Day, Wikipedia, Good Hiker.com

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Have a Party With Your Bear Day

Charlie Bear Plush - CALENDARS.COM

Charlie Bear Plush – CALENDARS.COM

November 16 is Have a Party With Your Bear Day! Though the origin of Have a Party With Your Bear Day is unknown, we speculate from our research that the date came from when a cartoon featuring President Teddy Roosevelt (whom the Teddy bear was named after) refusing to shoot a bear on a hunting trip was published in The Washington Post on November 16,1902. Today is not the only bear holiday out there. Teddy Bear Day was September 9, Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day was October 11, Teddy Bear Picnic Day was July 10, and lest we forget one of the most famous bears out there – Winnie the Pooh Day was January 18. It’s about time we celebrated our bear love again!

If you would like to have a party with your bear today, we’ve come up with a few different ways you can!

  1. Throw a special tea party just for your teddy bear. Time to make that little guy the guest of honor.
  2. Watch some television shows or movies featuring of your favorite celebearties together – Winnie the Pooh, Fozzie Bear, or Yogi Bear, just to name a few!
  3. Listen to and dance to Elvis’ “Teddy Bear” with your teddy bear!

This day isn’t just limited to celebrating your stuffed friend though! You can also:

  1. Visit your local zoo or animal sanctuary and see some real life bears.
  2. It’s football season, so if you’re a Chicago Bears fan, take a look at their schedule and celebrate by watching a game!

However you decide to celebrate, we hope you have a bear-y good day!

Sources: Wikipedia, Holiday Insights, A Year of Holidays

 

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