April 23rd National Lost Dogs Awareness Day

I have been fortunate enough to have a dog, or two, for over 85% of my life.  They are more often than not a major part of my life.  They are my best friends, loyal companion and they expect nothing more from me than a little food and a little loving.  They give so much more back.

Lost Dogs Awareness Day was created by Susan Taney and Kathy Pobloskie in an effort to help reunite lost dogs with their families. They are the directors of Lost Dogs, Illinois and Lost Dogs, Wisconsin.  In only  few years they have opened chapters in Arizona, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Colorado, New Jersey and Iowa. Since they opened their doors they have helped bring lost dogs back to their families over 21,000 times.  I cannot imagine a more rewarding moment than witnessing when a dog and human are reunited after a long and scary absence for both of them.

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Every dog you see on the street, every dog you see alone, every dog you see like the one above is likely missing their reason for living, their human.  Their human is likely feeling the same thing.  There are stories of dogs that have traveled hundreds of miles to find their home gain in their dearest loves arms. To think that the dog does not have feelings, does not care and does not even know where they belong just look at the face of this puppy above.  They live for us humans and many of us live for them.  People may call the human the master but they are not, they are the best friend the dog can have, the dog is the best friend the human will ever have.  There is no master here.  The good news on the photo above is that this dog was eventually reunited with his best friend.

To abuse an animal, dog or any other species, can only be done by a sub-human.  In my opinion, someone whose value sinks below even a worm.  But that is not what this day is all about.  This is a celebration, of sorts, for those who do their best to bring friends back together again.

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I assure you the smile on this dogs best friend is equal to the dogs smile.  Or maybe he’s thinking about what Susan Taney and Kathy Robloskie have started.  Please visit the LDOW community on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/findfido or on Twitter @LostdogsofWisc.  I am sure they could use your help but I know their clients can.

How to celebrate: Don’t put yourself in danger, a lost dog is frightened and their best defense is to bite… but if you see a dog that looks lost, don’t just walk by them, try to help them. (Imagine if you were lost how much a friendly voice, a touch of kindness or even a cool drink of water might mean to you). Contact the LDOW and see how you can help.  Donate some food to a local animal shelter to help feed someone who really would do the same for you if they could.

Unbox Bizarre – May Box

Thank you Subscription Box Girl for the review!

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How bizarre how bizarre! Unboxing the bizarre focuses on those not so mainstream wacky holidays that you didn’t even know existed…. or maybe you did if you are getting a box like this (tee hee) Eggs Benny Day? Penguin Awareness Day? Space Day? Loving it! I’m a huge fan of celebrating the holidays in style and now I’m good and ready for May! I was actually quite stunned by how cool this box was. When I initially opened it I thought it was only the blanket, but all the smaller items were hidden underneath and this box was actually full of bizarre surprises! I can be a bit of a geek sometimes, so this box was right up my alley, I love trying new things and would never think of a box like this, but was happy about everything in it! In this box;

  1. Duke imports Darth Vader Star Wars blanket –…

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April 22nd Earth Day

The world was in a rather negative place in the late sixties, anti-war, political scandals and social issues were just a few of the problems not just America, but every country, faced.  Gaylord Nelson, a Senator from Wisconsin, realized that if he could harness even just a portion of that negative energy and turn it into something positive he would be doing the world a great service.  He found his cause when there was a huge oil spill on the California coast in late 1969.

He formed a union with another Senator, McClosky, and sought out the the help of Professor Hayes from Harvard and together they came up with the idea of Earth Day.  Hayes formed a unit of 85 people and went to work to establish Earth Day, picking April 22nd because it fell between Spring Break and Final Exams.  They all knew youth was going to be important to their cause.  The first Earth Day came on April 22nd, 1970 and to everyone’s surprise found a following of over 20 million people that showed up to support the efforts.

By 1990 Earth Day had grown to 200 million people in 141 countries around the world.  The Environmental Protection Agency came about due directly to the efforts of the supporters of Earth Day which led to the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endanger Species Acts passed by Congress.  Today there are over 5,000 environmental groups supported by 184 countries.

Sadly, like everything else humans get involved with we have distorted the original premise.  We have made it political with groups from both sides issuing out lies to try and prove their points and gather in as many votes as they can.  There are those who have taken it too far on both sides of the issues and we may never get back to what it was originally all about.  Its first true message was, lets all do what we can to help save our world and make it the best it can be.  All the exaggeration, from all fronts, do is confuse that so simple of an idea.  It was meant to bring us all together, not tear us apart.

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How to celebrate:  First, and the easiest, is just go outside and look at all the natural beauty of the earth.  You could join a group trying to save the environment but please check it out and make sure you can support all they are trying to do.  Maybe even just plant a tree, or a bush, or even a single flower to make your part of this earth a little better than it was the day before.

April 21st Kindergarten Day

I have worked at an elementary school for nearly 23 years now.  While my job requires me to work with all ages from Kindergarten to fifth grade I daily see those kindergarten teachers after working with their classes all day.  The students seem fine and full of energy, the teachers look like death warmed over and ready to trade places with Rip Van Winkle.

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The idea for a school for small children started in 1779 when Johann Frederich Oberlin and Louise Scheppler opened a place for working parents to drop their children off for the day.  This was in Bavaria, Germany but rapidly begin to spread to other areas throughout the region.  In 1816 Robert Owen opened the “Infants School” in Scotland where children would be taught very basic things like manners and elementary skills.  Samuel Wilderspin elaborated on the idea in London and created the first ever “playground”.  In 1828 Countess Theresa Brunszuik opened what could be called a chain of “Infant Schools” in Hungry. But it was Frederich Flobel who opened the first “Play and Activity” institute in 1837 and gave it the name, Kindergarten in 1840.  That too is German and translated means, a “Garden for Children”.

The first Kindergarten opened in the US in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1856 but was only available to German speaking people.  Elizabeth Peabody opened the first English speaking school for tots in 1860.  The first free Kindergarten in the US opened in 1870 under the guidance of Conrad Poppenhusen.  From start to finish, this seems to be led heavily by the German influences all over the world.

Kindergartens exist in every modern day community, though there are still many children unable to attend for numerous reasons.  It varies in age, taking students anywhere for 2 years old to 7 years of age.  The roughest day is always the first day with lots of crying and anxiety… but after the mothers leave (they are the ones doing most of the crying)… the day gets down to a routine that children rapidly learn to accept and enjoy.  Children begin to learn how to cope with social expectations and the elements of what will be expected of them in the higher grades.

God bless those kindergarten teachers!  Those of us fortunate enough to have a child know what one or two of them demand at home.  Imagine that same demand coming from 12-20 of them everyday for 6-8 hours a day!

How to celebrate:  Buy your favorite kindergarten teach a box of candy, they deserve it.  Volunteer for a day to help out a kindergarten class.  Try to recall what your first day in kindergarten was like.

 

April 20th Penguin Awareness Day

The Sphenisciformes of the Spheniscidae family, more commonly known as a penguin, is a flightless bird that lives almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere.  Only the Galapagos penguin is seen further north but still below the equator.  They use their wings to help propel them in the water, not to fly.  They live in colonies and are camouflaged by the white bellies, reflecting the surface of the water, and dark backs, making them hard to see from above.  Their only real enemies are the shark, the Orca and the leopard seal.  They show no fear of man, in fact in most cases they are more curious than anything else.  his can be good, and bad, since man seems to find a way to be the enemy of every wild creature on earth.

Though they may have been around since the dinosaurs walked the earth, man did not run into them until sometime in the 16th century.  There is a great deal of confusion about how they got their name, though it seems it comes from the Dutch, using the Latin term, “pinguis” which means “fat”.  The Dutch seem to have enhanced this term to “fat goose” and applied it to the penguin.

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There are nearly 20 different species of penguins, the smallest living around the coastal waters of Australia and New Zealand, the “little blue penguin”.  The fastest is the Gentoo, capable of reaching speeds of 22 miles per hour in the water. (Around the equator).  The largest is the Emperor Penguin, tough there were penguins called the Giant penguin that grew to over 5 foot tall.  They are now extinct.  Other penguins include; the King, Adelie,Chinstrap, White Flippered, Magellanic, Humbolt, African, Yellow Eyed, Waitaka, Fiordland, Snares, Erect-Crested, Western Rockhopper, Eastern Rockhopper, Macaroni and Chatham.

The penguin is able to drink salt water.  They are able separate out the salt and dispose of it keeping the fresh water for themselves.  They stay warm not only because of their heavy feathers covering their bodies but also because they can recycle their blood, using warm blood to heat the blood that has grown cold.  The process is called the “Heterothermic loophole”.

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Penguins need to be respected by humans, and where possible left alone.  They will do well without our interference but can be a source of joy to watch and learn from.  They are loving and care for their own.  We humans have started to recognize the penguin by putting them in movies such as “Happy Feet”, “Surf’s Up” the “Penguins of Madagascar” and the “March of the Penguins”.   Perhaps with them, we still have a chance to be friends with another of God’s creatures here on earth.

To celebrate: Go see one of the above movies (Most are out on DVD now), plan a trip to the Antarctic or even visit Sea World.

April 19th National Garlic Day

Have you ever noticed that in the field of horror there are very few Asian Vampires? I think that it is due to the fact that most of the garlic grown these days comes from Asia.  In fact, China produces over 44 billion pounds a year for 81% of the garlic grown in the world.

Garlic has been in use for over 7,000 years and became a staple of the Mediterranean diet.  So you would think vampires would avoid that area as well, apparently the warm waters make it irresistable no matter how bad their alliumphobia is.  (That is the fear of garlic.  I never knew someone could have a fear of garlic, except for vampies that is.)

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Allium Sativum (garlic) is a relative of the onion and the chive, it’s an odor thing.  It can be eaten raw or cooked and has many medicinal properties.  It is a natural antibiotic, fights colds and flu, reduces cholesterol, lowers fungal and yeast infection, reduces blood pressure, treatment against cancer, relief from toothaches, to lessen acne and warts and decreases clot formation.  It is also believed to be a sexual enhancer and has been used by those in black and white magic.  It adds flavor, or mixes well with other flavors and, used properly, can make any dish better.  (Well, maybe not cereal)

If garlic has one fault it is the smell.  You can certainly tell when it is in use, and even worse, when it has been used and lingers along with the user. One thing garlic will never be used for is perfume.  (At least I hope it is never used)

How to celebrate: Eat practically anything these days as most dishes have some garlic in them (You should be aware however that there are many people that are finding they are actually allergic to garlic). Make yourself a garlic necklace in case you ever feel you are being hunted by a vampire.  Keep it in a safe place, preferably sealed.

April 18th Newspaper Columnist Day

On April 18th, 1977, the National Society of Newspaper Columnist created “Newspaper Columnist Day” in honor of Ernie Pyle, a front line journalist who lost his life on Okinawa during World War 2.  He was literally on the front lines, looking up over a ridge when he was shot and killed.

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While the holiday is unofficial, it is recognized by those in the industry as a day to honor themselves for all they do, they would like your admiration as well.  Their credo is to Inform People, Create Public Opinion, Keep those in power accountable to the people and to Bring light to stories that might not otherwise be told.

For as long as their have been newspapers, their have been columnist.  Frank Leslie put reporters in the field during the civil war to report on what they saw.  The oldest newspaper  in the world is the Ordinary Post Tijdender in Sweden which has been in operation since 1645. I wonder how many columnist they have gone through!?!

Believe them or not, they are the ones (hopefully) on the frontlines finding out for those of us sitting at home, what is going on in the world.  They are due that respect, so long as they keep their personal opinions out of the subject, they deserve.  Their job is to report the news and let us decide, not tell us how we are supposed to think.

Here’s a list of those they admire the most themselves.  You can decide whether they should be on the list or not (Cause I’m not gonna tell you!).  Walter Winchell, Mike Royko, Art Buchwald, Irv Kupcinet, William Safire, Art Rooney, Carl Bernstein, Ed Bradley, David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, William F. Buckley Jr., Walter Cronkite, Ernest Hemingway, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, Charles Kuralt, Bill Moyer, Edward R. Murrow, Dan Rather, John Steinbeck, Gloria Steinem, Dorothy Thompson, Barbara Walters and Bob Woodward.

How to celebrate:  Read a newspaper (If you can actually find one in print anymore), listen to those reporters you usual listen to and try to decide if they are reporting the news or telling you what to think, try sending the reporter what you think, see if they report that!