Year of Celebration—April

So I’ve sucked at Blogging for March, but it’s been a busy month, particularly with a family vacation to Cuba. Perhaps April will be better.

We’ll start with the days of the month for Year of Celebration.

April starts with Foolishness Day. Yes, I’m not celebrating April Fools’ Day. The ethics of pranking your friends and family are dubious at the best of times, so I don’t see the point in taking a day (or half a day, depending on your tradition) to celebrate something I disagree with.

However, I can certainly do something foolish today, something silly. I may even share what it is. I encourage everyone else to bypass the practical jokes and just engage in something mindlessly fun and possibly publicly embarrassing if anyone notices.

For the rest of the month, there are lots of things to celebrate. If you don’t like mine, make up some of your own.

  • 1-Apr-13         Foolishness Day
  • 2-Apr-13         International Children’s Book Day
  • 3-Apr-13         1st of of Dark Sky Week
  • 4-Apr-13         Vitamin C Day
  • 5-Apr-13         One Day Without Shoes Day
  • 6-Apr-13         Plan Your Epitaph Day
  • 7-Apr-13         World Health Day
  • 8-Apr-13         Cherish an Antique Day
  • 9-Apr-13         Name Yourself Day
  • 10-Apr-13       National Sibling Day
  • 11-Apr-13       Eight Track Tape Day
  • 12-Apr-13       Yuri’s Night
  • 13-Apr-13       James Bond Day
  • 14-Apr-13       Look Up at the Sky Day
  • 15-Apr-13       Rubber Eraser Day
  • 16-Apr-13       National Stress Awareness Day
  • 17-Apr-13       Pet Owners Independence Day
  • 18-Apr-13       High Five Day
  • 19-Apr-13       Day of Silence, Garlic Day
  • 20-Apr-13       Astronomy Day
  • 21-Apr-13       Kindergarten Day
  • 22-Apr-13       Earth Day
  • 23-Apr-13       Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day
  • 24-Apr-13       Hug Your Kids Day
  • 25-Apr-13       Take Your Daughter to Work Day
  • 26-Apr-13       Richter Scale Day
  • 27-Apr-13       Morse Code Day
  • 28-Apr-13       Great Poetry Reading Day
  • 29-Apr-13       Greenery Day
  • 30-Apr-13       Honesty Day

 Be well, everyone.

Year of Celebration—March

February had lots of neat days in it, though I spent quite a few of them ignoring the internet. A couple of small internet vacations helped me be more productive and active in other areas of my life. There’ll be one a week long in March, too, for a family vacation.

But that doesn’t mean the Year of Celebration ends or gets put on hold.

March begins with Harry Belafonte Day. Musician, actor, activist, Harry Belafonte sticks out in my mind first for an episode of the Muppet Show, the finale for which he sang “Turn the World Around” which, aside from being one of my favourite songs in any genre, eventually served as the inspiration for a story that almost qualifies as a novel. Mr. Belafonte turns 86 today, and he still speaks in public, arguing for a better, brighter future. Here’s a recent sample: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/2/18/we_must_unleash_radical_thought_harry.

There’s other stuff coming up, too. Have a look at what I’m celebrating and join me, or pick some of your own.

01-Mar-13       Harry Belafonte Day
02-Mar-13       Dr. Suess Day
03-Mar-13       Namesake Day
04-Mar-13       Grammar Day
05-Mar-13       Multiple Personality Day
06-Mar-13       Frozen Food Day
07-Mar-13       Alexander Graham Bell Day
08-Mar-13       International Women’s Day
09-Mar-13       Barbie Day
10-Mar-13       Day Of Awesomeness
11-Mar-13       Plumbing Day
12-Mar-13       Plant a Flower Day
13-Mar-13       Earmuffs Day
14-Mar-13       Pi Day
15-Mar-13       Ides of March
16-Mar-13       Lips Appreciation Day
17-Mar-13       Submarine Sandwich Day
18-Mar-13       Goddess of Fertility Day
19-Mar-13       Farscape Day
20-Mar-13       Spring Equinox
21-Mar-13       Common Courtesy Day
22-Mar-13       Goof Off Day
23-Mar-13       National Chip and Dip Day
24-Mar-13       Ada Lovelace Day
25-Mar-13       Tolkien Reading Day
26-Mar-13       Make Up Your Own Holiday Day
27-Mar-13       Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day
28-Mar-13       Something on a Stick Day
29-Mar-13       Festival of Smoke and Mirrors
30-Mar-13       Something on a Stick Day
31-Mar-13       World Backup Day

Be well, everyone.

Year of Celebration—February

Well January was pretty fun and had lots of great little moments in it. February is a new month and that brings new celebrations. We’re going to start off with Serpent Day. Yup, celebrate the snake. Snakes are cool, and I don’t just say that because my oldest daughter keeps one as a pet.

Serpent apparently comes from Latin, meaning roughly “something that creeps”. Sometimes guardians, sometimes evil, often reviled or misunderstood, snakes are pretty neat animals, from how they move to how they eat to the wicked and scary poisons some of them have access to.

Oh and don’t forget dragons and sea serpents in today’s celebration, either. If you can’t find it in your heart to cuddle with a snake, spend a moment in reflection on the wise and massive serpents of legend. Or, if you like, your local lake monster, who’s probably a fresh water sea serpent.

For the rest of February, there’s a lot of stuff coming up. Pick your favourite or make up your own. Can you guess which of the below celebrations sprang from my slightly odd imagination?

01        Serpent Day
02        Groundhog Day
03        The Day the Music Died
04        World Cancer Day
05        Disaster Day
06        International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
07        Ballet Day
08        Boy Scout Day
09        Read in the Bathtub Day
10        Umbrella Day
11        Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day
12        Darwin Day
13        Get a Different Name Day
14        Valentine’s Day
15        Gumdrop Day
16        Do a Grouch a Favor Day
17        Random Acts of Kindness Day
18        Battery Day
19        Set some new Writing Goals Day
20        Love Your Pet Day
21        Pancake Day
22        International World Thinking Day
23        Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
24        Epic Poetry Day
25        Chilli Day
26        Tell a Fairy Tale Day
27        Polar Bear Day
28        Rare Disease Day

Be well, everyone.

Chimps in Spaaaaaaace!

I officially declare today to be Chimps in Space Day.

On January 31st, 1961, NASA launched a Mercury-Redstone rocket to do a capabilities test on the Mercury capsule. A four year-old chimpanzee named Number 65 was on board to enjoy the sub-orbital flight, lasting about 16 ½ minutes with 7 minutes of weightlessness. On his successful return to Earth, Number 65 received the name Ham (For a Chimpanzee? Really?) and a long, relaxing retirement at the National Zoo in Washington and then the North Carolina Zoo. He was only 26 when he died (average for a chimp is around 40).

Ham went up to see if it was safe to send people. During the flight, he duplicated pre-programmed tasks and had some heavy duty (for 1961) medical monitoring to make sure he was operating within normal parameters. The NASA scientists must have decided he worked out okay since they sent Alan Shepard sub-orbital only three months later.

Not the first primate in space, but among the earliest to survive the trip (a number of launch and parachute failures claimed early simian astronauts), Ham should be considered a pioneer, and certainly a hero of the early space age. The title of this post notwithstanding, neither the training nor the trip were probably all that fun for him.

Be well, everyone, and take a look at the stars tonight.

The Day the Sky Fell

No, not a Chicken Little Reference.

On this day in 1997, Lottie Williams of Tulsa, Oklahoma was struck a glancing blow on the shoulder by a 6 cm piece of space junk. Later identified as a tiny bit of a Delta Rocket launcehd by NASA launched a few months before, the bit of trash was the first (and so far only) piece of junk to ever strike a human being on reentry. While I’m keen to keep it that way, it’s a testament to how much crap we’ve thrown into orbit and just left there or forgotten about. I’m plenty eager for the second Space Age to get under way, but I have this feeling that a good chunk of the early work involved is going to be cleaning up the stuff we don’t use anymore.

So why celebrate it? Well, the fact that there’s enough stuff we’ve put in the big black to consider some of it garbage is a testament to the pretty incredible things the human race has accomplished in its time in the universe, at least when we put our hearts and minds into it. Greater things are coming, without a doubt, and it’s a good reason to ask ourselves two questions:

  1. What do I want the future to look like?
  2. What am I doing to help that future get here?
  3. What else can I do?

All things we each need to answer for ourselves and then reach out to other like minded people. It’s the only way we’ll get the future we really want.

Be well, everyone.

Happy Universe Expansion Day!

The first of my created holidays for the Year of Celebration, Universe Expansion Day celebrates the release of the paper by Sir Edwin Hubble, “A RELATION BETWEEN DISTANCE AND RADIAL VELOCITY AMONG EXTRA-GALACTIC NEBULAE” which, by showing that the farther away things are from us, the faster they’re moving away from us, ultimately showed we live in an expanding universe.

Reason enough to celebrate? Well, I suppose that depends on your point of view. It’s certainly neat and gives us more to appreciate about the universe, but unless you’re a science or science fiction geek, it probably doesn’t play much into your everyday life.

So how about this: try expanding your personal universe today. Consider a viewpoint on something that’s completely different than yours and see if it has any merit. Search for something random on Google and click the “I feel lucky” button. Talk to a stranger.
The universe is expanding whether we like it or not, but we get to choose how we expand our view of it.

Be well, everyone.

Year of Celebration—January

So, I blogged last month that 2013 would be a year of celebration, that I’d find something to celebrate every single day this year. While I still have a few days to figure out (including several in February), I’m pretty set up for the year, so the Year of Celebration™ begins today.

Not everything is an official holiday, of course, or even necessarily related to anything that actually happens on that day, but that’s fine. The idea is more about finding a little extra joy or meaning in life this year. And, while not every day is an excuse to party, there may be a couple of those mixed in with the joy. Who knows?

January 1st is pretty obvious. It’s New Years Day, the day the calendar turns over and we get that brief feeling of ‘this year can be anything’ before life settles back down onto us and reminds us that nothing has changed. (I’ll take an aside here that this year can be anything if you want it to be, but you also don’t have to take my word for it. Make the new year whatever you want and find as much joy in it as you can.)

But what about the rest of the month? Well, here’s what else I’ve got outlined:

 2         Run it Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day
3         Festival of Sleep
4         Trivia Day
5         12th Day of Christmas
6         Cuddle Up Day
7         Old Rock Day
8         Bubble Bath Day
9         Mermaid Day
10       Houseplant Appreciation Day
11       1st day of Carmentalia
12       Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day
13       International Skeptics Day
14       Huygens Day
15       Youngest’s Birthday
16       Religious Freedom Day
17       Universe Expansion Day
18       Thesaurus Day
19       Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday
20       X-Ray Day
21       National Hug Day
22       The Sky is Falling Day
23       Pie Day
24       Compliment Day
25       Opposite Day
26       Spouses Day
27       Chocolate Cake Day
28       Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
29       Puzzle Day
30       School Day of Non-violence and Peace
31       Chimps in Space Day

I’ll probably tweet and post to Facebook for each one, along the lines of “Happy {blank} day, everyone!” and maybe with a link to the source of the holiday. If I’ve made it up, it’s more than likely I’ll do a quick blog entry about it.

Happy New Year, everyone, and be well.