July 20th International Chess Day

The International Chess Federation was founded on this day in 1924. The celebration was set on this date by UNESCO in 1966. There are over 605 million chess players today, many organized into the 181 Chess Federations in 178 countries across the world.

The modern game of chess is believed to have started somewhere in the 1200’s.  There are tapestries depicting Knights of the Templar playing chess during the Crusades.

How to celebrate:  Find someone to play chess with, perhaps in a park. Join the International Chess Federation. Play an online chess game.

October 28th International Animation Day

October 28th International Animation Day

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Today was created by the ASIPA in honor of Charles-Emile Reynaud’s Theatre Optique at the Grevin Museum in Paris where his first animation appeared in 1892. UNESCO celebrates the day as the “art of Animation” in over 50 countries around the world.

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Since animation first appeared it has evolved to the point where some of the art is so real it is difficult to tell it from actual life itself.

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How to celebrate – Go to an animated show. Visit Disney. Learn the art of animation.

 

October 5th World Teacher’s Day

Some of the finest people I know are teachers. They work hard everyday trying to educate those that need to be educated, want to be educated or are forced to be educated. Let’s face it, there are those who want to learn, those that have to be forced to learn and those who just seem to learn no matter what the subject matter is.

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Most of us think of the old school spinster who put others education beyond their own happiness. Having spent 23 years working with teachers, in some cases that is true… but it has been changing over the that are vital, young and filled with life. It is the system that fails them, not the other way around.

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The teacher comes into class expecting to teach young minds and open doors for them. The system shuts those same doors by making teachers deal with administrators, parents and societies short-comings. In this ME-Me world, a teacher who generally is there for others gets caught between what is right and what they have to do because we all know, everybody’s child is perfect.

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Today was created by some of those worst offenders, UNESCO. Director-General Frederick Mayor suggested the day in 1993, at a conference in Geneva. In theory, it’s a great day, a day to celebrate those who do what we cannot… teach. But in all honesty, a teacher today spends 70% of their time doing what society forces them to do instead of teaching.

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As a result things like the arts, history and  anything but science and math. I do agree, we need science and math but not every child will become a scientist. The world still needs great auto mechanics, dramatist and historians. Let teachers teach what they know… not what society tells us they have to know. As much as we are in danger of losing the next great scientist, we are equally in danger of losing our what makes us unique.

How to celebrate – Thak your local teachers for all they do. Let the school system teach. Pay close attention to what those running for school boards are actually saying.

May 3rd World Press Freedom Day

Freedom of the press has been long fought for and in most countries, fairly won. For centuries the only news that got out to the people was whatever the controlling government of that country wanted the people to hear. It rarely was true, when it was it was one sided and often omitted many of the facts.

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After World War 2 many countries allowed their press to begin to right a lot of those wrongs. Newspapers, radio and television could report what was going on and why it was happening. Naturally there are always two sides to a story, but for the most part, the reporters tried to tell the truth. On May 3rd, 1993 the UN General Assembly created today to honor the freedom of the press.

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The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom prize honors those reporters who struggled to report the truth, often giving their lives in their efforts. That is why a lot of the press today should be ashamed of the way they report. The term reporter means to reveal a story, the facts, not as they assume them to be but only after they have investigated their sources and exposed the truth. It is not to speculate or give an opinion, it is all about the facts.

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It seems with the invention of the 24 hour news television networks the idea of reporting news became more competitive and often these same reporters had to create stories rather than report on them. Like so much of what is going on today in the world, it is about what someone thinks than what someone knows.

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It would be nice to know that we could trust what we hear. Most local radio and television stations do report the truth, it’s the national ones you have to be careful of. Their motto seems to have changed from reporting the news to making the news.

How to celebrate – Honor the true reporters of the world. Start a career in journalism. Compare the old newspapers to the new ones.

July 20th International Chess Day

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The International Chess Federation was founded on this day in 1924. The celebration was set on this date by UNESCO in 1966. There are over 605 million chess players today, many organized into the 181 Chess Federations in 178 countries across the world.

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The modern game of chess is believed to have started somewhere in the 1200’s.  There are tapestries depicting Knights of the Templar playing chess during the Crusades.

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How to celebrate:  Find someone to play chess with, perhaps in a park. Join the International Chess Federation. Play an online chess game.