February 16th World Whale Day

World Whale Day – February 16th

People use to think we would have whales forever, they are now learning we aren’t. In the past, hunting whales was their biggest threat as no other sea creature could even challenge them. Today, it’s the loss of natural habitat and pollution that is killing them off. World Whale Day started in 1980 in Maui, Hawaii and has become a ongoing affair.

How to celebrate – Go whale sighting if you get the chance. Learn what you can do to hello make the whales habitat safer. Visit Hawaii.

December 7th Pearl Harbor Day

Today was a dark day in American history. It marks the day Japan attacked Hawaii, nearly destroying our Pacific fleet. 2,400 servicemen and 68 civilians died today, in 1941. It isn’t the worst tragedy in America’s history but it was one of the most consequential, it started America’s active participation in World War 2.

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Caught totally off guard, 5 of the 8 battleships in the port were sunk, nearly every ship was damaged, the only saving grace was that America’s aircraft carriers were out at sea at the time. The funny thing about it is, the Japanese knew even with the blow to the American fleet, they could not win the war.

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As Admiral Yamamoto said, “We have awoken a sleeping giant”. He was right. American’s built more fleets, more planes and ended not only war in the Pacific but the war in Europe too. It was “… a day that will live in infamy” by those who died… and those who lived.

How to celebrate – Remember Pearl Harbor. Read about the causes of World War 2. Realize no one is innocent in war.

August 24th Vesuvius Day

August 24th 79 A.D. Mount Vesuvius erupted killing an estimated 3,360 people. In it’s wake it destroyed Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae. (Maybe because no one could spell the names of those cities). The destruction came so fast, or at least so fast for those living in those cities, that people were often frozen in time in it’s wake. (well, frozen may not be the right word)

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I guess back in the day, people did not know that the smoke and lava already spilling from the volcano could get worse, but it did. I think what may be even worse is that people later decided to build near the same spot and when it erupted again in 1631 another 3,500 people were killed.

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I think maybe the message here is, don’t build near a volcano, particularly one that is still active. Volcanoes are not like fires that can be put out if enough water can be put on them, the lava burns everything in its course, even water! So it’s not as though you can have a Volcano Department like a Fire Department.

Lava gushes from a fissure eruption of the Kilauea Volcano in the Leilani Estates near Pahoa, Hawaii

This is not to make light the situation happening in Hawaii now, it is horrible… but, maybe we should learn not to build homes and business around active volcanoes or those that might once again become active.

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Now many islands have been formed by volcanoes. They make wonderful vacation spots in the ocean, surrounded by blue water and generally in mild climates. But what do you think is going to happen to the island above, and the people living there, if it erupts?

How to celebrate – Learn from Mount Vesuvius. Take a tour of an in-active volcano. Do not tempt Mother Nature.

 

May 2nd National Play Your Ukulele Day

It use to be uncool to play ukulele, but now it is making a huge comeback! Just goes to show what was old is new again. Back in the 1920’s it was very cool to play the ukulele. All across the country students on college campuses played ukulele, wore fury coats, and straw hats to celebrate ragtime music.

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It then fell out with the population along with swallowing goldfish but lately it’s becoming very, very popular again. The band Train featured the ukulele in Hey, Soul Sister and all of a sudden the stringed instrument became  featured in many, many songs by many, many artists.

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Of course, it never stopped being popular in Hawaii. Nearly every Hawaiian song you hear uses the ukulele. There is just something fun about the instrument and it generally creates happy music, perhaps because it is a light sound and cannot really be used in anything over powering or dynamic.

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Did you know that there are seven different classes of ukulele though!?! The smallest is the pocket ukulele, next the soprano, tenor (the most popular), baritone, bass, and contra-bass. Each gets larger with the contra-bass almost appearing to be a small guitar.

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So there is a World Ukulele Day, February 2nd, but today is just a National Day. It is still considered more of an ‘artsy’ instrument but it is coming on strong and gaining use by national, and international artists.

How to celebrate – Learn how to play ukulele. Go to Hawaii. Revisit the Roaring 20’s.

May 1st May Day

Today is celebrated all over the earth, for several reasons, but it is recognized as the end of winter and beginning of spring with summer coming on fast. In many countries it is a national holiday, sadly not so in the United States, except for Hawaii.

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In Hawaii it is Lei Day. Since Hawaii is covered in flowers it is only natural that the beginning of spring should be celebrated… of course, Hawaii grows it’s flowers nearly all year round so it needs to set aside one day where they can celebrate what they actually have all year.

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Elsewhere, flowers will abound for the first time after winter. That is if winter in the northern regions ever ends. Mother nature gives us beautiful colors to brighten our day and lighten our moods. And the scent of the season leaves you with memories for later that you can recall by closing your eyes and envisioning the fields of flowers and blossoming plants.

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In the communist and socialist countries May Day celebrates the worker. I’m not exactly sure what workers and flowers have in common with each other but it doesn’t matter. (I’m pretty sure they don’t smell like flowers) However maybe it represents the blooming of their economic society.

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It’s also when all the Sprites and Fairies come out to play. They are particularly active since they have been cooped up all winter. They may also get a little carried away with themselves so give them a break and let them play.

How to celebrate – Enjoy the weather. Watch for Sprites and Fairies in the woods. Go outside and pick some flowers.

February 18th World Whale Day

World Whale Day – February 18th

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Founded in 1980 in Maui, Hawaii, today honors the humpback whale during the Maui Whale Festival put on by the Pacific Whale Foundation. The whales are regular visitors in the area and have long been honored with the natives there.

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These are among the largest mammals on earth and are said to be very gentle often coming to the rescue of swimmers and surfers.

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How to celebrate – Learn more about whales. Go to Hawaii! Become a member of the Pacific Whale Foundation.