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Do a Grouch a Favor Day

grouchFebruary 16 is Do a Grouch a Favor Day. Is there someone in your life who constantly has a sour face on? Someone who passes the time with pessimism? Someone whose spirit animal is Grumpy Cat? Today is the perfect day to bring a smile to someone’s face who can be classified as having a “perma-frown.”

The origin of this holiday and why it falls on this particular February day is unknown, but we think it’s a great chance to make the world a little brighter and a little less grim, even if it is for just one person. Now, we’re not saying we haven’t experienced our own form of grouchiness from time to time. Sometimes you don’t get enough sleep or the sunshine hasn’t been out in days or your boss, significant other, parent, teacher, or whoever else just won’t stop nagging you. Everyone has their grumpy days, and everyone appreciates it when someone does something nice for them, so why not use the latter to help cure the former? Find a way to alleviate the situation of that person who seems like they’re angry at the world today.

Whether you buy this person a gift, big or small, lend an ear to their problems, or just give them a sincere compliment, anything can be helpful in making a grouch less grouchy. Even if your attempts fail, at least they’ll put a smile on your face.

Now get out there and turn some frowns upside down!

Sources: Holiday Insights, Examiner.com, Yahoo

 

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Ferris Wheel Day

ferris wheel modelFebruary 14 is Ferris Wheel Day! This day celebrates the rotating wheel-shaped amusement ride featuring seats or capsules which stay upright, allowing riders to have a slow, elevated view of wherever they are.

Ferris Wheel Day is celebrated on February 14 as an homage to the Ferris wheel’s creator, George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., who was born on this day in 1859.  He created the original Ferris wheel in 1893 for the  World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This original Ferris wheel, also known as the Chicago Wheel, was 264 feet tall and was built to rival the Eiffel Tower, which made its debut a few years earlier in 1889 at the Paris Exposition. The original wheel held 36 cars, each able to hold 60 people, making the capacity for the wheel 2,160. It would complete two full revolutions in 20 minutes.

www.richard-seaman.com

The Singapore Flyer, the tallest Ferris wheel in the world.

The Ferris wheel has since become the single most common ride at state fairs across the United States. Ever since the original wheel was built in 1893, Ferris wheel creators have constantly tried to outdo each other in order to have the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. There have since been eight tallest-ever Ferris wheels, and the current record holder is the  Singapore Flyer which was opened in March 2008 and stands 541 feet tall.

Though state fairs are not commonly opened during this time of year, there are several permanent Ferris wheels across the world that are typically open year-round. If you’re not near one of these wheeled wonders, you can reminisce about the last time you rode a Ferris wheel and plan your next fair visit and subsequent Ferris wheel ride.

Happy Ferris Wheel Day!

Sources: Wikipedia, Holiday Insights, Yahoo

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World Radio Day

radio calendarFebruary 13 is World Radio Day! This day was created to raise awareness about the importance of radio and the significant role it plays in transmitting information, especially to those who are vulnerable or who are in remote communities without access to other communication devices.

World Radio Day was created on November 3, 2011 during the 36th General Conference of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), and the idea for the day was initially proposed by the Spanish Radio Academy in September 2010. The decision to celebrate the day on February 13 was made to commemorate the anniversary of the day the United Nations established United Nations Radio in 1946.

The discovery of radio waves was made in the mid-19th century, and the invention of the radio itself came in the late 19th and early 20th century, with a plethora of scientists contributing to its eventual creation and evolution.

Radio has since become the most used and easiest way relay information, to provide interchange between social groups, to save lives during natural and human-caused disasters, and to educate scores of people across the globe. It gives people everywhere the ability to widely engage with others discuss topics that effect them, and allows journalists to have a platform with which they can report news and stories.

Every year, World Radio Day is celebrated through planned activities and events put on by organizations and broadcasters around the world. UNESCO has used the day to follow through with their commitment to promote human rights and gender equality issues.

You can celebrate by tuning in to your favorite radio station and listening to music, news, talk shows, and whatever else you desire to hear.

Happy World Radio Day!

Sources: World Radio Day, UNESCO.org, Wikipedia, Time and Date

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Toothache Day

February 9 is Toothache Day – ouch! Toothaches are a sharp pain in the mouth, often centered around the tooth or gums. Why would anyone want to celebrate that?

The origin of this day is speculated to correspond with the day the Hershey Corporation was founded. Hershey is the largest producer of chocolate in North America, so the origin of this day coinciding with Hershey’s beginnings in 1894 makes sense. February 9 is also known as St. Apollonia Day. In 249 A.D., Apollonia, who was a Deaconess in Alexandria in Egypt, was attacked by a mob who knocked out her teeth. The Egyptian government had given the group permission to burn anyone who would not give up their Christianity. Refusing, Apollonia threw herself into the fire and took her own life. She was then made the Patron Saint of dentistry and toothaches.

Toothaches can be caused by any number of things, but the most common are cavities, wisdom teeth coming in, gum disease, a cracked tooth, infected dental pulp, jaw disease, or tooth root exposure. They can also be caused by more serious things such as heart problems like angina or a myocardial infarction, causing a referred pain in your mouth.

To celebrate Toothache Day, educate yourself on what you can do to keep yourself from going through this pain. Here are just a few ways:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day.
  • Flossing regularly.
  • Use mouthwash.
  • Eating foods that are beneficial to tooth health and consuming water with fluoride added.
  • Staying away from detrimental foods like those high in sugars.
  • Do not smoke.

Sources: Examiner.com, Holiday Insights, Gone-ta-pott

 

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Hedgehog Day

hedgehogWhile most people in America know February 2 as Groundhog Day, it is thought to have grown its origins from another woodland critter – the hedgehog. February 2 is also known to some as Hedgehog Day!

Hedgehogs are spiny mammals that have become widely domesticated across the world. Domesticated hedgehogs are mostly docile and friendly creatures, but keep your distance when both wild and tame hedgehogs get frightened or angry. These little guys are covered in quills or spines which are hollow hairs filled with keratin, causing them to be stiff and pointy. As a defense mechanism, hedgehogs will roll into a ball, allowing their quills to stick straight out and harm anyone or anything that tries to touch them.

The origin of Hedgehog Day has two stories behind it. The first dates back thousands of years to ancient Roman times. Just as we celebrate Groundhog Day by waiting to see if the famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow and thus predicts the continuation of winter for six more weeks, the Romans had a similar tradition involving one of their native critters, the hedgehog. Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures, so their tradition varied slightly. If the hedgehog sees his shadow it means there is a clear moon and six more weeks of winter, so he returns to his burrow. Punxsutawney Phil, on the other hand, is observed looking for his shadow during the day. The tradition spread to Germany, and when German immigrants came to America and found no indigenous hedgehogs, they replaced it with the groundhog.

sonic the hedgehogAnother story behind the creation and popularization of Hedgehog Day came about due to one of the most famous hedgehogs in the world – a speedy blue video game character called Sonic. On February 2, 1994, Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog 3 in the United States, and re-popularized the lesser-known Hedgehog Day.

Celebrate today by learning more about hedgehogs, playing your favorite Sonic the Hedgehog game, or maybe even adopting an adorable new hedgehog friend from your local pet store!

Happy Hedgehog Day!

Sources: Sega BlogHedgehog CentralDays of the Year

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National Croissant Day

croissantsJanuary 30 is National Croissant Day! Croissants are flaky, buttery pastries, identified by their crescent shape.

Just as we are unsure why January 30 has been made this unofficial holiday, tales abound about the origin of the croissant itself as well. What is thought to be the precursor to the croissant, the Kipferl, dates back to 13th century Austria. The Kipferl is usually made plain in a variety of shapes or with the addition of nuts. The first of the tales about origin of the crescent-shaped treat goes back to the Battle of Tours in 732. A Frankish victory over Umayyad forces led to Islamic crescent-shaped treats being made in celebration. Another story states that when Turkish forces tried to invade Vienna in 1683 by tunneling underground, Viennese bakers who were working in a basement heard the Turks and alerted the army. In celebration of outwitting the Turks, the bakers shaped breads to look like crescent moons, which was the symbol of the Ottoman Empire.

How the pastry arrived in France and received the name croissant, meaning crescent in French, also has varied origins. Some think that Marie Antoinette, the formerly Austrian princess who married Louis XVI, introduced the pastry to France from her homeland of Austria 100 years after the Turks failed to invade Vienna. Others say that the croissant came into being in France in 1839 when August Zang, an Austrian artillery officer, opened a Viennese bakery (Boulangerie Viennoise) in Paris. His Viennese pastries became popular and the French began to imitate this baking style, using yeast-leavened dough. From this the French version of the Kipferl was created and named croissant for it’s crescent shape. It’s recognizable shape and name became known all over the world.

If you’re not already enjoying a delicious croissant with your breakfast, we’ve gathered up some recipes to help you celebrate!

Sources: Punchbowl, Wikipedia, Examiner.com, CNN’s Eatocracy

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Fun at Work Day

funatworkJanuary 28 is Fun at Work Day! In an ideal world, everyone would have a job they loved every part of, so the words “fun” and “work” would be synonymous. For most of us, however, work is not always fun because, well, you have to get work done! For the lucky few who enjoy doing every aspect of their job, every day is Fun at Work Day. For everyone else who dreads at least a little bit of their work day, today is meant to make things more bearable.

According to several reports produced over the years, over half of Americans feel uninspired or disengaged at work and have a perpetual case of the “Mondays.” If your monotonous schedule has got you feeling a little down in the dumps, liven up your work environment.  Personalizing your desk with decorations, photos, or other personal mementos can make you feel more comfortable and relaxed while you’re working because your space will really become your own. Socializing with and having a good rapport with your co-workers can also make time pass more quickly and make working more like hanging out with your friends (while still being productive, of course).

Dilbert 014Desk Covercomp.inddThose are just small suggestions for things you can do on a daily basis to make your work life more tolerable. Since today isn’t just any other day though, you can be a bit more elaborate with your “fun.” Buzzfeed has come up with a list of 26 Delightful Ways to Make the Work Day More Fun that we give our stamp of approval. Some of our favorites are: using break room condiments to bring your favorite video game characters to life, starting a new silly filing system, and giving your office some decorative flair using only Post-It notes.

Take a break (or two… or three) today – you deserve it! Just make sure to check with your supervisor before you start having TOO much fun.

Sources: Holiday Insights, World’s Special Days, USA Today

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Opposite Day

opposite-dayJanuary 25 is NOT Opposite Day. Remember not to celebrate and believe everything you hear. Today is not special and it’s just like every other day.

Okay, all jokes aside – Opposite Day DOES have a real date, though its origin is unknown, and it is typically celebrated today. The general rule of thumb behind Opposite Day is that you are supposed to do or say the opposite of what you actually mean, and likewise take everything everyone else says with a grain of salt. ‘No’ means ‘yes,’ ‘left’ means ‘right,’ ‘up’ means ‘down,’ and… you get the picture. Young children are the biggest proponents of this silly holiday, but it can be a welcome excuse for adults to break up the monotony of their daily routines as well. Doing things you wouldn’t usually do and living your life the opposite of your norm could bring about surprising results. Maybe you’ll discover some new hobbies or interests that you used to be opposed to. One can begin to wonder though, since today was declared Opposite Day, is it even really today? Before we confuse you any more, we’ll give you some tips on how to properly celebrate:

  1. Start by inverting your statements to others. In other words, say the opposite of what you mean. It’s in good taste to keep these statements playful and silly – don’t say anything that could potentially offend your friends and family! This is typically best practiced with others who know it is Opposite Day so you can laugh and joke together.
  2. Eat your meals in the opposite order. Who wouldn’t want dessert first?
  3. Walk backwards! Just be sure you’re still watching where you’re going.
  4. Wear clothing that is opposite of the way you normally dress. Explore new fashions that you were too afraid or self-conscious to before!
  5. Take a different route to work, school, or anywhere else you may be traveling. Who knows – maybe you could discover a new scenic way of getting around!
  6. Try taking on a new hobby that varies from any you already have or would typically take on. You could find that something you originally opposed doing may not be that bad after all.
  7. Opposite Day aficionados have been known to start their Opposite Days by saying, “After this phrase is over, it will be officially opposite day.”

Now, don’t go out into the world, and please stick to your normal routine!

Sources: Examiner.com, Geekdays, Wikipedia

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Answer Your Cat’s Question Day

Why Cats Do That Calendar from Calendars.com.

Why Cats Do That Calendar from Calendars.com.

January 22 is Answer Your Cat’s Question Day! Our feline friends can be quite mysterious. Are those meows masking their true feelings? Or are they feeling purrfectly fine, and just want you to know it? Today is meant for us to try and figure out the meaning behind their many different meows, and answer our curious cats’ questions.

As the most popular pet in the world, according to Scientific American, cats have been domesticated companions of humans for about 9,500 years. Because they have been active partners of humans for many centuries, cats are now found in almost every area of the world humans inhabit. Though they have played a pivotal role in human happiness, we still do not fully understand one another. Today was created as a way for us to gain some insight into the minds of our furry friends. Our loyal buddies deserve a day where we make a more conscious effort to figure out and satisfy their wants and needs.

What Cats Teach Us Calendar from Calendars.com.

What Cats Teach Us Calendar from Calendars.com.

Not sure what sort of questions your fuzzy feline may be pondering? We’ve compiled a potential Q&A to prepare you:

  • Cat: Is it really necessary for you to bathe me?
  • Person: I know you bathe yourself regularly, but a few baths a year are good to get rid of any leftover dirt you may have missed. Just be glad you’re not a dog.
  • Cat: Why do you take away my favorite resting spots?
  • Person: Oh, you mean that newspaper or book I was reading? I’ll try and be more conscientious next time.
  • Cat: Why do you get mad when I go to the bathroom somewhere besides that stinky box you gave me?
  • Person: Because it’s gross! But I’ll try harder to make sure your litter box is always clean so that this doesn’t happen.
  • Cat: Why do you keep petting me when I tell you to stop? Do you not know what this swishing tail means?
  • Person: Because you’re soft and adorable! I’ll be more aware of your subtle cat cues in the future though.
  • Cat: Who is this stranger and why won’t they stop trying to pick me up before I’ve even got to know them?
  • Person: They’re my friend and they love cats! I’ll be sure to tell them to leave you alone until you’ve sniffed around and decided if you want to be friend back first, sorry!
  • Cat: If cats have nine lives, which one am I on?

… we’ll let you ponder the answer on that last one!

Sources: Punchbowl, Cat Channel, Petcentric, Wikipedia

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National Hugging Day

two-children-huggingJanuary 21 is National Hugging Day! Today is a day to spread love and happiness by embracing the embrace!

National Hugging Day was created in 1986 by Kevin Zaborney. Zaborney published the holiday idea in Chase’s Calendar of Events, and though he was certain his idea would fail to take hold, it has become a widely popular holiday. So many countries across the world now unofficially celebrate this holiday that many have expressed interest in renaming it “International Hugging Day.” He chose January 21 as the celebration date because it falls between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and Valentine’s Day, a time which Zaborney thought most people were not in high spirits. ”American society is embarrassed to show feelings in public,” expressed Zabroney, hoping that the holiday would help Americans to be less self-conscious and more emotive. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School conducted a study in 2003 which proved that French couples touch three times the amount that Americans do.

Not only is hugging a way to greet your loved ones or show affection, but it has also been proven to have some great health benefits. Physical contact between human beings has been proven to benefit both physical and psychological development. Hugging is an excellent way to improve your immune system. A simple embrace between you and someone you care for can help lower your blood pressure and decrease your risk for heart disease. Women who give and receive hugs can decrease the levels of cortisol in their bodies, which is a hormone that is released in response to stress. Higher levels of oxytocin, a stress reducing hormone, has been found in couples who hug for more than 20 seconds. Stress can have harmful physical effects, and a study done by the American Psychosomatic Society has found that even holding hands with a romantic partner for as little as 10 minutes can quell those harmful levels of stress. Higher blood pressure and heart rates have been found in those who do not enjoy regular physical contact.

hugcalendarIt is recommended by doctors that 4-6 hugs per day can help maintain a good physical and emotional well-being. Nick Vujicic holds the record for most hugs given in one day. In 2010, he gave 1,749 hugs to visitors at an expo center in Oregon.

To help you celebrate today, we’ve compiled a list of some of the many different hugs you can give today (or any day):

  • The Full Hug: This hug is the most common hug, in which both parties participate in equal amounts of embracing and affection for one another.
  • The Back to Front Hug: This hug can be given to a loved one even if they are busy doing something else. It is a great way to show someone you will always be there for them because it is given without expecting a reciprocal hug back.
  • The Side Hug: While this hug may seem like it is not as affectionate as other hugs, it is a good way to quickly express gratitude, love, or simply to tell someone “hello” in a more sincere way.
  • The Bear Hug: Considered the strongest of all hugs, this type of hug is usually given in a moment of excitement or when someone wishes to display strong affection for whoever they are hugging.

No matter what your hugging style is, remember to give a squeeze to those special people in your life today!

Sources: Wikipedia, National Hugging Day, Punchbowl 

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