Posted in Events

World Population day

World Population day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year. The purpose of World Population Day is to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987-approximately the date on which the world’s population reached five billion people. World Population Day aims at increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.

The world population refers to the total number of humans currently living at any one time. The world population was estimated to have reached 7,500,000,000 at 16:21 on April 24, 2017. The United Nations estimates it will further increase to 11.2 billion in the year 2100. The World population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine of 1315–17 and the Black Death in 1350, when it was near 370 million. The highest population growth rates – global population increases above 1.8% per year – occurred between 1955-1975 peaking to 2.06% between 1965-1970. The growth rate has declined to 1.18% between 2010-2015 and is projected to decline to 0.13% by the year 2100. Total annual births were highest in the late 1980s at about 139 million, and are now expected to remain essentially constant at their 2011 level of 135 million, while deaths number 56 million per year and are expected to increase to 80 million per year by 2040. World population reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011 according to the United Nations Population Fund, and on March 12, 2012 according to the United States Census Bureau.

In 2016 The median age of the world’s population was estimated to be 30.1 years, with the male median age estimated to be 29.4 years and female, 30.9 years. The 2012 UN projections show a continued increase in population in the near future with a steady decline in population growth rate; the global population is expected to reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion by 2050. 2003 UN Population Division population projections for the year 2150 range between 3.2 and 24.8 billion. One of many independent mathematical models supports the lower estimate, while a 2014 estimate forecasts between 9.3 and 12.6 billion in 2100, and continued growth thereafter. Some analysts have questioned the sustainability of further world population growth, highlighting the growing pressures on the environment, global food supplies, and energy resources. While press interest and general awareness in the global population surges only at the increments of whole billions of people, the world population increases by 100 million approximately every 14 months. The world population reached 7,400,000,000 on February 6, 2016; and 7,500,000,000 on April 24, 2017.

Posted in Events

Town criers day

Town Criers day takes place Annually on 11 July. A town crier, is an officer of a royal court or public authority who makes public pronouncements as required. The town crier can also be used to make public announcements in the streets. Criers often dress elaborately, by a tradition dating to the 18th century, in a red and gold coat, white breeches, black boots and a tricorne hat. They carry a handbell to attract people’s attention, as they shout the words “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!” before making their announcements. The word “Oyez” means “hear ye,” which is a call for silence and attention. Oyez derives from the Anglo-Norman word for listen (modern French, oyez, infinitive, ouïr, but largely replaced by the verb écouter). The proclamations book in Chester from the early 19th century records this as “O Yes, O Yes!”

Prior to widespread literacy, town criers were the means of communication with the people of the town since many people could not read or write. Proclamations, local bylaws, market days, adverts, were all proclaimed by a bellman or crier. In ancient Rome, they typically proclaimed public business during the market days that formed a kind of weekend every 8 days. In Goslar, Germany, a crier was employed to remind the local populace not to urinate or defecate in the river the day before water was drawn for brewing beer. Ewww!

Criers were not always men either. many town criers were women. Bells were not the only means used to get people’s attention, in the Netherlands, a gong was the instrument of choice for many, and in France a drum was used, or a hunting horn.
In the observance of Allhallowtide, “it was customary for criers dressed in black to parade the streets, ringing a bell of mournful sound and calling on all good Christians to remember the poor souls.

In England the crier would yell, “Hear ye” In order to gain the attention of the crowd,
In Medieval England, town criers were the chief means of news communication with the townspeople, since many were illiterate in a period before the moveable type was invented. Royal proclamations, local bylaws, market days, adverts, even selling loaves of sugar were all proclaimed by a bellman or crier throughout the centuries—at Christmas 1798, the Chester Canal Co. sold some sugar damaged in their packet boat and this was to be advertised by the bellman. The crier also escorted the destitute to the workhouse, installed minor criminals in the stocks and administered floggings. During public hangings he read out why the person was being hanged, and helped to cut him or her down.

Chester records of 1540 show fees were due to the bellman. In 1556, a record shows “To ye belman for p’claimyng ye Founder’s dyryge” i.e two pence on Henry VIII’s death, the founder of the King’s School). In 1620, there was a fight at the Chester cross between the butchers and the bakers Which was sorted by the town Crier. In 1607, one public notice read by George Tunnall, the bellman, forbade tipping rubbish in the river. In 1715, a local man recorded that the “Belman at the Cross … Reads publicly a proclamation in the Mayor’s name, commanding all persons in the City to be of peaceable and civil behaviour, not to walk around the Streets or Rows at unreasonable hours of night”. Chester once had a crier, a day bellman and a night bellman, but in 1734, John Posnitt took over as “Day and Night Bellman.” A 1701 will of the vicar at Waverton stated that notice was to be given “by the Belman to the People of Chester, of the time when, and the place where my Corpse is to be buried”. Salmon fishing season was also closed by the Town Crier/Bellman. The term “Posting A Notice” comes from the act of the town crier, who having read his message to the townspeople, would attach it to the door post of the local inn. Some newspapers took the name “The Post” for this reason.

Town criers were protected by law, as they sometimes brought bad news such as tax increases. Anything done by the town crier was done in the name of the ruling monarch and harming a town crier was considered to be treason. (Hence the term “Don’t shoot the messenger”). There are two organizations representing town criers including the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers and Loyal Company of Town Criers, both of which take part in the Lord Mayors Procession.

By tradition, a copy of the Royal Proclamation about the dissolution of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is also delivered by hand from the Privy Council Office to Mansion House in the City of London. It is then read out by the Common Crier (aka Mace-bearer) of the City on the steps of the Royal Exchange in the heart of the City, having been handed to him by the Common Serjeant of the City, ahead of its being also read out in the London boroughs.

Gradually the need for a town crier disappeared, and the position passed into local folklore. Nevertheless Informal and later formal town crier competitions were held from the early 20th century. Subsequently, some cities and towns reinstated the post purely for ceremonial purposes. Many local councils in England and Wales reinstated the post of town crier from the mid-1990s onwards (e.g. Chester). Many are honorary appointments or employed part-time by the council. In October 2010, there were 144 towns in England and Wales with town criers registered with the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers. They mainly perform ceremonial duties at civic functions. Local councils with a paid town crier often make them available for charity events. In the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, the town crier is also appointed the Tipstaff, an appointment which exists in no other local council. In the 2010s in England, town criers still announce the births of royal heirs and occasionally the arrival of the royal family. Having previously served as town crier for the nearby city of Romford! Ton Appleton, an octogenarian and self-proclaimed “royalist crier,” took it upon himself to announce, as loudly as he can, important news about the royal family.

There are also several town crier guilds in both Canada and the United States. These include the Ontario Guild of Town Criers, the Nova Scotia Guild of Town Criers and the American Guild of Town Criers. In 2016, the town of Burlingame, California added a town crier. In Australia, as of October 2010, the City of Sydney, City of Hobart, City of Greater Geelong, City of Portland, City of Ipswich, City of Gosford, City of Salisbury, City of Gold Coast and 22 other local councils had an official town crier.

Cheer Up the Lonely Day
All American Pet Photo Day
Bowdler’s Day
National Blueberry Muffin Day
National Mojito Day
National Rainier Cherries Day
National Swimming Pool Day
Slurpee Day
World Population Day

Posted in books, Events

Gothic Novel day

Gothic Novel Day takes place annually on 9 July to commemorate the birth of English Gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe (Ann Ward) who was born on 9 July 1764 in Holborn, London, on 9 July 1764. Her father was William Ward (1737–1798), a haberdasher, who moved the family to Bath to manage a china shop in 1772. Her mother was Ann Oates (1726–1800) of Chesterfield Radcliffe occasionally lived with her Uncle, Thomas Bentley, in Chelsea, who was in partnership with, Josiah Wedgwood, maker of the famous Wedgwood china. Sukey, Wedgwood’s daughter, also stayed in Chelsea. Sukey later married Dr Robert Darwin and had a son, Charles Darwin. In 1787, Ward married the Oxford graduate and journalist William Radcliffe (1763–1830), part-owner and editor of the English Chronicle. Radcliffe began to write and to read her work to him when he returned.

Little is known of Ann Radcliffe’s life however she travelled widely at first gradually led a more retired life, never visiting the countries where the fearful happenings in her novels took place. Her only journey abroad, to Holland and Germany, was made in 1794 after most of her books were written. The journey was described in her A Journey Made in the Summer of 1794 (which was written in 1795) . Ann Radcliffe also published five other novels during her lifetime, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne (1 vol.) in1789, A Sicilian Romance (2 vols) 1790, The Romance of the Forest (3 vols) in 1791, The Mysteries of Udolpho (4 vols) in 1794, The Italian (3 vols) in 1797 and Gaston de Blondeville which was published posthumously in 1826. Radcliffe did not like the direction in which Gothic literature was heading – one of her later novels, The Italian, was written in response to Matthew Gregory Lewis’s The Monk. Radcliffe portrayed her female characters as equal to male characters, allowing them to dominate and overtake the typically powerful male villains and heroes, creating new roles for women in literature previously not available. Jane Austen also parodied The Mysteries of Udolpho in Northanger Abbey.

Radcliffe’s fiction is marked by seemingly supernatural events that are then provided with rational explanations, traditional moral values are asserted, the rights of women are advocated, and reason prevails. Radcliffe stated that terror aims to stimulate readers through imagination and perceived evils while horror closes them off through fear and physical dangers. “Terror and Horror are so far opposite, that the first expands the soul and awakens the faculties to a high degree of life; the other contracts, freezes and nearly annihilates them.”

Radcliffe courted controversy by presenting a prejudiced view of catholics. Her works, especially The Italian, often have Catholic ideas portrayed negatively including the Inquisition, negative depictions of convents and nuns, monks as villains, and ruined abbeys. The confessional is often portrayed as a danger zone controlled by the power of the priest and the church The Italian and The Mysteries of Udolpho are both set in Italy, a land historically predisposed towards Catholicism and against Protestantism. Radcliffe’s works would have left her contemporary readers with an impression of Catholicism as something ultimately cruel and corrupt, and of the author as alienated from the denomination and its practitioners.

Radcliffe sadly died on 7 February 1823 and was buried in a vault in the Chapel of Ease at St George’s, Hanover Square, London. In 1823, the Edinburgh Review said, “She never appeared in public, nor mingled in private society, but kept herself apart, like the sweet bird that sings its solitary notes, shrouded and unseen. Christina Rossetti attempted to write a biography of her, but abandoned it for lack of information. Nevertheless Radcliffe influenced many later authors, including the Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), and Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), Harriet Lee and Catherine Cuthbertson and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Jane Austen’s parodies The Mysteries of Udolpho in Northanger Abbey and Honoré de Balzac’s novel of the supernatural L’Héritière de Birague (1822) also parodies Radcliffe novels. After Radcliffe’s death, her husband also released her unfinished essay “On the Supernatural in Poetry”, which details the difference between the sensation of terror and horror.

Posted in Events, Food

World Chocolate day

World Chocolate Day, sometimes referred to as International Chocolate Day, is observed globally on July 7. Celebration of the day includes the consumption of chocolate. Chocolate was introduced to Europe By Christopher Columbus and the Spanish conquistadors after They first reached the shores of the New World on 12 October 1492, initially believing that he had reached India. This voyage was carried out to expand markets by establishing new trade routes and therefore rival the Portuguese Empire, which was already well established in Asia. Following the success of that first voyage to the New World, others were organised with the intention of exploring and creating new trade routes. On his fourth voyage, Columbus, in 1502, met an unexpected storm and was forced to temporarily land on 15 August on the Bay Islands.

In their first explorations of the area, Columbus’ group came upon a boat of Mayan origin travelling from the Yucatán Peninsula. The Spaniards were surprised by the large size of the vessel. Columbus detained the vessel and examined the cargo, which contained cocoa beans that he called almonds in his diary. However, he did not attach importance to these, and after this original inspection he let the boat proceed with its cargo. from 1517 to 1519, the Spanish conquistadors Bernal Díaz del Castillo (who referred to the use of cocoa by Aztecs in his book Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España) and Hernán Cortés both tried the drink and found it to have both bitter and spicy tastes due to the use of achiote. On occasions cornmeal and hallucinogenic mushrooms were also added to the drink. After the conquest of Mexico, the Aztec emperor, Montezuma, offered Hernán Cortés and his companions fifty jars of foaming chocolate. According to the account of Francisco Cervantes de Salazar, the great emperor had a stockpile of several thousand ‘charges’ (tens of thousands of cocoa “kernels”). Surprisingly Both The Italian Girolamo Benzoni in his book La Historia del Mondo Nuovo (1565) .José de Acosta disliked the drink, comparing the frothy foam capping chocolate to feces. Despite this, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo characterised it as an interesting ingredient, while showing some reluctance to describe how some Indians, after drinking it, had stained their lips as if they had ingested human blood.

As the Spanish settlers began to run out the stocks they brought with them, they had to find substitute foods. They therefore began to plant vegetables, such as chickpeas, cereals such as wheat and fruits like oranges or pears. Additionally they introduced the cultivation of olives, grapes and sugar cane. The latter ingredient became important. From the end of the 16th century onwards, sugar cane began to be added to the cocoa paste, which led to greater acceptance of cocoa among the Spanish settlers. around the 1520s, the Spaniards had to get used to new foods and flavours while they attempted to adapt old world cultivation methods to the new climate. Equally, however, the new ingredients brought by the Spanish settlers such as wheat and chickpeas struggled to find acceptance among the native populations who preferred their own homegrown dishes. Spaniards from humble economic backgrounds often married richer Aztecs, often as concubines. Thus, they tended to eat food influenced by Aztec gastronomy. This hastened the spread of cocoa among both cultures. Bernal Díaz del Castillo mentioned that in a banquet held at the Plaza Grande in Mexico (built on the ruins of the Aztec capital) to celebrate peace between Carlos I of Spain and Francis I of France chocolate was served in golden tablets. The wide acceptance of cocoa by the Spanish conquistadors, especially the women, was also described by the Jesuit José de Acosta in his book Historia natural y moral de las Indias (published in 1590).

The Spanish modified Chocolate For example, sugar was added, mirroring the native Mexican and Mayan practice of adding honey to cacao beverages. New World spices were replaced with similar Old World spices, in part for the sake of familiarity, but also out of practicality. The Madrid physician Colmenero de Ledesma recommended substituting the rose of Alexandria for mecaxochitl flower blossoms and black pepper for Mexican chilies, when necessary. Cacao beverages containing maize, such as atole, gradually phased out because maize-less chocolate lasted longer, making it more suitable for cross-Atlantic trips. Eventually, cocoa became more popular and, supplies were sent to Spain. The second major transformation of chocolate at the hands of the Spanish was in the serving method: the cocoa was heated until it became a liquid. This was in contrast to the natives of the New World, who generally drank it cold or at room temperature.The third change was the addition of spices from the Old World like cinnamon, ground black pepper or aniseed.

By the 15th century, the Aztecs gained control of a large part of Mesoamerica and adopted cacao into their culture. They associated chocolate with Quetzalcoatl, who, according to one legend, was cast away by the other gods for sharing chocolate with humans,and identified its extrication from the pod with the removal of the human heart in sacrifice. In contrast to the Maya, who liked their chocolate warm, the Aztecs drank it cold, seasoning it with a broad variety of additives, including the petals of the Cymbopetalum penduliflorum tree, chile pepper, allspice, vanilla, and honey. The Aztecs were not able to grow cacao themselves, as their home in the Mexican highlands was unsuitable for it, so chocolate was a luxury imported into the empire. Those who lived in areas ruled by the Aztecs were required to offer cacao seeds in payment of the tax they deemed “tribute”. Cocoa beans were often used as currency.

Chocolate has been prepared as a drink for nearly all of its history. For example, one vessel found at an Olmec archaeological site on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, Mexico, dates chocolate’s preparation by pre-Olmec peoples as early as 1750 BC. On the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico, a Mokaya archaeological site provides evidence of cacao beverages dating even earlier, to 1900 BC.The residues and the kind of vessel in which they were found indicate the initial use of cacao was not simply as a beverage, but the white pulp around the cacao beans was likely used as a source of fermentable sugars for an alcoholic drink. Around 400 AD. Documents in Maya hieroglyphs stated chocolate was used for ceremonial purposes, in addition to everyday life. The Maya grew cacao trees in their backyards, and used the cacao seeds the trees produced to make a frothy, bitter drink.

By the 15th century, the Aztecs gained control of a large part of Mesoamerica and adopted cacao into their culture. They associated chocolate with Quetzalcoatl, who, according to one legend, was cast away by the other gods for sharing chocolate with humans, and identified its extrication from the pod with the removal of the human heart in sacrifice. In contrast to the Maya, who liked their chocolate warm, the Aztecs drank it cold, seasoning it with a broad variety of additives, including the petals of the Cymbopetalum penduliflorum tree, chile pepper, allspice, vanilla, and honey. The Aztecs were not able to grow cacao themselves, as their home in the Mexican highlands was unsuitable for it, so chocolate was a luxury imported into the empire. Those who lived in areas ruled by the Aztecs were required to offer cacao seeds in payment of the tax they deemed “tribute”. Cocoa beans were often used as currency. For example, the Aztecs used a system in which one turkey cost 100 cacao beans and one fresh avocado was worth three beans.

Chocolate is derived from Theobroma cacao seeds, roasted and ground, often flavored, as with vanilla. It is made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, or used as a flavoring ingredient in other foods. Cacao has been cultivated by many cultures for at least three millennia in Mesoamerica. The earliest evidence of use traces to the Mokaya (Mexico and Guatemala), with evidence of chocolate beverages dating back to 1900 BC. In fact, the majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl Nahuatl . The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted. The shell is removed to produce cacao nibs, which are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because the cocoa mass is usually liquefied before being molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids. Cocoa solids are a source of flavonoids and alkaloids, such as theobromine, phenethylamine and caffeine.

Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, and a vast number of foodstuffs involving chocolate have been created, particularly desserts including cakes, pudding, mousse, chocolate brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. Many candies are filled with or coated with sweetened chocolate, and bars of solid chocolate and candy bars coated in chocolate are eaten as snacks. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes (e.g., eggs, hearts) have become traditional on certain Western holidays, such as Easter and Valentine’s Day. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages such as chocolate milk and hot chocolate and in some alcoholic drinks, such as creme de cacao. Although cocoa originated in the Americas, in the 2000s, Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, with Ivory Coast growing almost half of it. In 2009, Salvation Army International Development stated that child labor and the human trafficking and slavery of child laborers are used in African cocoa cultivation. In the United States International Chocolate Day is celebrated on 13 September, so Chocolate Ice-cream Day is observed on 7 July instead. Various other more specific chocolate-themed days are celebrated throughout the world and on various dates, including Milk Chocolate Day on 28 July.

Posted in Events

United States Independence day

United States Independence Day, takes place annually on 4 July in the United States to Commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. On this day The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire. Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors. all non-essential federal institutions (such as the postal service and federal courts) are also closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation’s heritage, laws, history, society, and people. Many firework displays, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies also take place in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.

Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue; many take advantage of the day off and, in some years, a long weekend to gather with relatives or friends. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades are often held in the morning, before family get-togethers, while fireworks displays occur in the evening after dark at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares.

The night before the Fourth was once the focal point of celebrations, marked by raucous gatherings often incorporating bonfires as their centerpiece. In New England, towns competed to build towering pyramids, assembled from barrels and casks. They were lit at nightfall, to usher in the celebration. The highest were in Salem, Massachusetts (on Gallows Hill, the famous site of the execution of 13 women and 6 men for witchcraft in 1692 during the Salem witch trials), where the tradition of celebratory bonfires had persisted, with pyramids composed of as many as forty tiers of barrels. These made the tallest bonfires ever recorded. The custom flourished in the 19th and 20th centuries, and is still practiced in some New England towns. Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner,”, “God Bless America,”, “America the Beautiful,” “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” “This Land Is Your Land,” “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and, regionally, “Yankee Doodle” in northeastern states and “Dixie” in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812.

Firework shows are held in many states, and many fireworks are sold for personal use or as an alternative to a public show. Safety concerns have led some states to ban fireworks or limit the sizes and types allowed. In addition, local and regional weather conditions may dictate whether the sale or use of fireworks in an area will be allowed. Some local or regional firework sales are limited or prohibited because of dry weather or other specific concerns. On these occasions the public may be prohibited from purchasing or discharging fireworks, but professional displays (such as those at sports events) may still take place, if certain safety precautions have been taken.

A salute of one gun for each state in the United States, called a “salute to the union,” is fired on Independence Day at noon by any capable military base. In 2009, New York City had the largest fireworks display in the country, with more than 22 tons of pyrotechnics exploded. It generally holds displays in the East River. Other major displays are in Chicago on Lake Michigan; in San Diego over Mission Bay; in Boston on the Charles River; in St. Louis on the Mississippi River; in San Francisco over the San Francisco Bay; and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. During the annual Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival, Detroit, Michigan hosts one of the world’s largest fireworks displays, over the Detroit River, to celebrate Independence Day in conjunction with Windsor, Ontario’s celebration of Canada Day. The first week of July is typically one of the busiest United States travel periods of the year, as many people use what is often a 3-day holiday weekend for extended holidays.

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain in 1776 actually occurred on July 2, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain rule. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it two days later on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more”

Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress Historians have long disputed whether members of Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believe. Coincidentally, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, James Monroe, another Founding Father who was elected as President, also died on July 4, 1831. He was the third President in a row who died on the anniversary of independence. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872; so far he is the only U.S. President to have been born on Independence Day.

Posted in Events

Salvation Army founding day

Salvation Army Founding Day takes place annually on 2 July to commemorate the date of 2 July 1865 when one-time Methodist circuit-preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine  founded the Protestant Christian and  international charitable  organisation “the Salvation Army” In the Blind Beggar tavern. The objective Of the Salvation Army is “The advancement of the Christian religion … of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole”.

In 1878 Booth reorganised the mission, becoming its first General and introducing the military structure which has been retained as a matter of tradition.The purpose theology of the Salvation Army is derived from that of Methodism, Its founders sought to bring salvation to the poor, destitute, and hungry by meeting both their “physical and spiritual needs”. A peculiarity of the Army is that it gives its clergy titles of military ranks, such as “lieutenant” or “major”. It does not celebrate the rite of Baptism and Holy Communion. However, the Army’s doctrine is otherwise typical of holiness churches in the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition.

The current international leader of The Salvation Army and chief executive officer (CEO) is General Brian Peddle, who was elected by the High Council of The Salvation Army on 3 August 2018. The organisation currently reports a worldwide membership of over 1.7 million,consisting of soldiers, officers and adherents collectively known as Salvationists. It is present in 131 countries,running charity shops, operating shelters for the homeless and disaster relief and humanitarian aid to developing countries. Its highest priority is its Christian principles.

Posted in Events

World UFO Day

World UFO Day Day takes place annually on 2 July to commemorate the date of 2 July 1947 when an unidentified object crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, leading many to speculate that it was an alien space craft/flying saucer. Following wide initial interest in the crashed “flying disc”, the US military stated that it was merely a conventional weather balloon.

Then in the late 1970s, ufologists began promoting a variety of increasingly elaborate conspiracy theories, claiming that one or more alien spacecraft had crash-landed and that the extraterrestrial occupants had been recovered by the military, which then engaged in a cover-up.

In the 1990s, the US military published two reports disclosing the true nature of the crashed object: a nuclear test surveillance balloon from Project Mogul. Nevertheless, the Roswell incident continues to be of interest in popular media, and conspiracy theories surrounding the event persist. Roswell has been described as “the world’s most famous, most exhaustively investigated, and most thoroughly debunked UFO claim”.

More International and National events happening on 2 July

Ducktona 500
Freedom From Fear of Speaking Day
Hop-a-Park Day
I Forgot Day
Made in the USA Day
National Anisette Day
Special Recreation for the Disabled Day
World Sports Journalists Day

Posted in Art, Events

World watercolour Month🧑🏻‍🎨🎨

World Watercolour month takes place annually during July. Watercolour describes a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-based solution. Watercolor refers to both the medium and the resulting artwork. Aquarelles painted with water-soluble colored ink instead of modern water colors are called “aquarellum atramento” (Latin for “aquarelle made with ink”) by experts. However, this term has been more and more passing out of use. The traditional and most common support—material to which the paint is applied—for watercolor paintings is paper. Other supports include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, vellum, leather, fabric, wood and canvas. Watercolor paper is often made entirely or partially with cotton. This gives the surface the appropriate texture and minimizes distortion when wet. Watercolors are usually translucent, and appear luminous because the pigments are laid down in a pure form with few fillers obscuring the pigment colors. Watercolors can also be made opaque by adding Chinese white.

Watercolour paint is an ancient form of painting. In East Asia, watercolor painting with inks is referred to as brush painting or scroll painting. In Chinese, Korean and Japanese painting it has been the dominant medium, often in monochrome black or browns, often using inkstick or other pigments. India, Ethiopia and other countries have long watercolor painting traditions as well. American artists in the early 19th century seemed to regard watercolor primarily as a sketching tool in preparation for the “finished” work in oil or engraving. cave paintings of paleolithic Europe May also be watercolour, and has been used for manuscript illustration since at least Egyptian times but especially in the European Middle Ages. However, its continuous history as an art medium begins with the Renaissance. The German Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), who painted several fine botanical, wildlife, and landscape watercolors, is generally considered among the earliest exponents of watercolor. An important school of watercolor painting in Germany was led by Hans Bol (1534–1593) as part of the Dürer Renaissance.

A number of factors contributed to the spread of watercolor painting during the 18th century, particularly in England. Among the elite and aristocratic classes, watercolor painting was one of the incidental adornments of a good education; mapmakers, military officers, and engineers used it for its usefulness in depicting properties, terrain, fortifications, field geology, and for illustrating public works or commissioned projects. Watercolor artists were commonly brought with the geological or archaeological expeditions, funded by the Society of Dilettanti (founded in 1733), to document discoveries in the Mediterranean, Asia, and the New World. These expeditions stimulated the demand for topographical painters, who churned out memento paintings of famous sites (and sights) along the Grand Tour to Italy that was undertaken by every fashionable young man of the time.

During the late 18th century, the English cleric William Gilpin wrote a series of hugely popular books describing his picturesque journeys throughout rural England, and illustrated them with self-made sentimentalized monochrome watercolors of river valleys, ancient castles, and abandoned churches. This example popularized watercolors as a form of personal tourist journal. The confluence of these cultural, engineering, scientific, tourist, and amateur interests culminated in the celebration and promotion of watercolor as a distinctly English “national art”. William Blake published several books of hand-tinted engraved poetry, provided illustrations to Dante’s Inferno, and he also experimented with large monotype works in watercolor. Among the many other significant watercolorists of this period were Thomas Gainsborough, John Robert Cozens, Francis Towne, Michael Angelo Rooker, William Pars, Thomas Hearne, and John Warwick Smith.

From the late 18th century through the 19th century, the market for printed books and domestic art contributed substantially to the growth of the medium. Watercolors were used as the basic document from which collectible landscape or tourist engravings were developed, and hand-painted watercolor originals or copies of famous paintings contributed to many upper class art portfolios. Satirical broadsides by Thomas Rowlandson, many published by Rudolph Ackermann, were also extremely popular.
The three English artists credited with establishing watercolor as an independent, mature painting medium are Paul Sandby (1730–1809), often called the “father of the English watercolor”; Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), who pioneered its use for large format, romantic or picturesque landscape painting; and Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), who created hundreds of superb historical, topographical, architectural, and mythological watercolor paintings. His method of developing the watercolor painting in stages, starting with large, vague color areas established on wet paper, then refining the image through a sequence of washes and glazes, permitted him to produce large numbers of paintings with “workshop efficiency” and made him a multimillionaire, partly by sales from his personal art gallery, the first of its kind. Among the important and highly talented contemporaries of Turner and Girtin were John Varley, John Sell Cotman, Anthony Copley Fielding, Samuel Palmer, William Havell, and Samuel Prout. The Swiss painter Abraham-Louis-Rodolphe Ducros was also widely known for his large format, romantic paintings in watercolor.

The confluence of amateur activity, publishing markets, middle class art collecting, and 19th-century technique led to the formation of English watercolor painting societies: the Society of Painters in Water Colours (1804, now known as the Royal Watercolour Society) and the New Water Colour Society (1832, now known as the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours). (A Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colour was founded in 1878, now known as the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour.) These societies provided annual exhibitions and buyer referrals for many artists. They also engaged in petty status rivalries and aesthetic debates, particularly between advocates of traditional (“transparent”) watercolor and the early adopters of the denser color possible with body colour or gouache (“opaque” watercolor). The late Georgian and Victorian periods produced the zenith of the British watercolor, among the most impressive 19th-century works on paper, due to artists Turner, Varley, Cotman, David Cox, Peter de Wint, William Henry Hunt, John Frederick Lewis, Myles Birket Foster, Frederick Walker, Thomas Collier, Arthur Melville and many others. In particular, the graceful, lapidary, and atmospheric watercolors (“genre paintings”) by Richard Parkes Bonington created an international fad for watercolor painting, especially in England and France in the 1820s.

The popularity of watercolors stimulated many innovations, including heavier and more sized wove papers, and brushes (called “pencils”) manufactured expressly for watercolor. Watercolor tutorials were also first published by Varley, Cox, and others, establishing the step-by-step painting instructions that still characterize the genre today; The Elements of Drawing, a watercolor tutorial by English art critic John Ruskin, has been out of print only once since it was first published in 1857. Commercial brands of watercolor were marketed and paints were packaged in metal tubes or as dry cakes that could be “rubbed out” (dissolved) in studio porcelain or used in portable metal paint boxes in the field. Breakthroughs in chemistry made many new pigments available, including synthetic ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, viridian, cobalt violet, cadmium yellow, aureolin (potassium cobaltinitrite), zinc white, and a wide range of carmine and madder lakes. These pigments, in turn, stimulated a greater use of color with all painting media, but in English watercolors, particularly by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Watercolour was less popular in Continental Europe. In the 18th century, gouache was an important medium for the Italian artists Marco Ricci and Francesco Zuccarelli, whose landscape paintings were widely collected. Gouache was used by a number of artists in France as well. In the 19th century, the influence of the English school helped popularize “transparent” watercolor in France, and it became an important medium for Eugène Delacroix, François Marius Granet, Henri-Joseph Harpignies, and the satirist Honoré Daumier. Other European painters who worked frequently in watercolor were Adolph Menzel in Germany and Stanisław Masłowski in Poland. Unfortunately, brightly colored, petroleum-derived aniline dyes (and pigments compounded from them), tended tofade rapidly on exposure to light, This led to A reevaluation of the permanence of pigments in watercolor and caused a sharp decline in their status and market value. Nevertheless, isolated practitioners continued to prefer and develop the medium into the 20th century. Gorgeous landscape and maritime watercolors were done by Paul Signac, and Paul Cézanne developed a watercolor painting style consisting entirely of overlapping small glazes of pure color.

Among the many 20th-century artists who produced important works in watercolor, were Wassily Kandinsky, Emil Nolde, Paul Klee, Egon Schiele, and Raoul Dufy. Meanwhile I n America, major exponents included Charles Burchfield, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Demuth, and John Marin. Between the 1920’s and 1940’s American watercolor painting often imitated European Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, but significant individualism flourished in “regional” styles of watercolor painting. In particular, the “Cleveland School” or “Ohio School” of painters centered around the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the California Scene painters were often associated with Hollywood animation studios or the Chouinard Art Institute (California Institute of the Arts). The most influential among them were Phil Dike, Millard Sheets, Rex Brandt, Dong Kingman, and Milford Zornes. The California Water Color Society, (National Watercolor Society) was founded in 1921. The largest watercolor in the world at the moment is Building 6 Portrait: Interior. Produced by American artist Barbara Ernst Prey on commission for MASS MoCA, which can be seen at MASS MoCA’s Robert W. Wilson Building.

Although there was a temporary decline in the popularity of watercolor painting after c. 1950, watercolors continue to be utilized by artists like Martha Burchfield, Joseph Raffael, Andrew Wyeth, Philip Pearlstein, Eric Fischl, Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, and Francesco Clemente. In Spain, Ceferí Olivé created an innovative style followed by his students, such as Rafael Alonso López-Montero and Francesc Torné Gavaldà. In Mexico, the major exponents are Ignacio Barrios, Edgardo Coghlan, Ángel Mauro, Vicente Mendiola, and Pastor Velázquez. In the Canary Islands, where this pictorial technique has many followers, there are stand-out artists such as Francisco Bonnín Guerín, José Comas Quesada, and Alberto Manrique.

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Helen Keller day

Helen Keller Day, is held yearly on 27 June to commemorate inspiring deaf-blind American author, political activist, and lecturer Helen Adams Keller, who was born June 27, 1880 and overcame her disability to make a huge impact on the quality of life of deafblind people the world over.

Helen Keller was born with the ability to see and hear. However At age 19 months she contracted an illness described by doctors as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain”, which might have been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness left her both deaf and blind. At that time, she was able to communicate somewhat with Martha Washington, the six-year-old daughter of the family cook, who understood her signs; by the age of seven, Keller had more than 60 home signs to communicate with her family. In 1886, Keller’s mother, inspired by an account in Charles Dickens’ American Notes of the successful education of another deaf and blind woman, Laura Bridgman, dispatched young Helen, accompanied by her father, to seek out physician J. Julian Chisolm, an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist in Baltimore, for advice. Chisholm referred the Kellers to Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children at the time.

Bell advised them to contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the school where Bridgman had been educated, which was then located in South Boston. Michael Anagnos, the school’s director, asked former student 20-year-old Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired, to become Keller’s instructor. It was the beginning of a 49-year-long relationship during which Sullivan evolved into governess and then eventual compaion.Anne Sullivan arrived at Keller’s house in March 1887, and immediately began to teach Helen to communicate by spelling words into her hand, beginning with “d-o-l-l” for the doll that she had brought Keller as a present. Keller was frustrated, at first, because she did not understand that every object had a word uniquely identifying it. In fact, when Sullivan was trying to teach Keller the word for “mug”, Keller became so frustrated she broke the doll. Keller’s big breakthrough in communication came the next month, when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on the palm of her hand, while running cool water over her other hand, symbolized the idea of “water”; she then nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world. Due to a protruding left eye, Keller was usually photographed in profile. Both her eyes were replaced in adulthood with glass replicas for “medical and cosmetic reasons”.

In 1888, Keller attended the Perkins Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan moved to New York to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf, and to learn from Sarah Fuller at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. In 1896, they returned to Massachusetts and Keller entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College, where she lived in Briggs Hall, South House. Her admirer, Mark Twain, had introduced her to Standard Oil magnate Henry Huttleston Rogers, who, with his wife Abbie, paid for her education. In 1904, at the age of 24, Keller graduated from Radcliffe, becoming the first deaf blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She maintained a correspondence with the Austrian philosopher andpedagogue Wilhelm Jerusalem, who was one of the first to discover her literary talent. Determined to communicate with others as conventionally as possible, Keller learned to speak, and spent much of her life giving speeches and lectures. She learned to “hear” people’s speech by reading their lips with her hands—her sense of touch had become extremely subtle. She became proficient at using Braille and reading sign language with her hands as well Shortly before World War I, with the assistance of the Zoellner Quartet she determined that by placing her fingertips on a resonant tabletop she could experience music played close by

Keller went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. She is remembered as anadvocate for people with disabilities, amid numerous other causes. She was a suffragist, apacifist, an opponent of Woodrow Wilson, a radical socialist and a birth control supporter. In 1915 she and George Kessler founded the Helen Keller International (HKI) organization. This organization is devoted to research in vision, health and nutrition. In 1920 she helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Keller traveled to 40 some-odd countries with Sullivan, making several trips to Japan and becoming a favorite of the Japanese people. Keller met every U.S. President from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson and was friends with many famous figures, including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain. Keller and Twain were both considered radicals at the beginning of the 20th century, and as a consequence, their political views have been forgotten or glossed over in popular perception. Keller was a member of the Socialist Party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working class from 1909 to 1921.

she supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs in each of his campaigns for the presidency. Newspaper columnists who had praised her courage and intelligence before she expressed her socialist views now called attention to her disabilities. Keller joined the Industrial Workers of the World (known as the IWW or the Wobblies) in 1912, saying that parliamentary socialism was “sinking in the political bog”. She wrote for the IWW between 1916 and 1918. In Why I Became an IWW, Keller explained that her motivation for activism came in part from her concern about blindness and other disabilities:I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. And the social evil contributed its share. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness.The last sentence refers to prostitution and syphilis, the former a frequent cause of the latter, and the latter a leading cause of blindness. In the same interview, Keller also cited the 1912 strike of textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts for instigating her support of socialism.

Keller was a prolific author, and wrote a total of 12 published books and several articles. One of her earliest pieces of writing, at age 11, was The Frost King (1891). There were allegations that this story had been plagiarized from The Frost Fairies by Margaret Canby. An investigation into the matter revealed that Keller may have experienced a case ofcryptomnesia, which was that she had Canby’s story read to her but forgot about it, while the memory remained in her subconscious. At age 22, Keller published her autobiography, The Story of My Life (1903), with help from Sullivan and Sullivan’s husband, John Macy. It recounts the story of her life up to age 21 and was written during her time in college. Keller wrote The World I Live In in 1908, giving readers an insight into how she felt about the world. Keller was well-travelled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women’s suffrage, labor rights, socialism, and other radical left causes. She also wrote Out of the Dark, a series of essays on socialism, which was published in 1913.

When Keller was young, Anne Sullivan introduced her to Phillips Brooks, who introduced her to Christianity, Keller famously saying: “I always knew He was there, but I didn’t know His name!” Her spiritual autobiography, My Religion, was published in 1927 and then in 1994 extensively revised and re-issued under the title Light in My Darkness. It advocates the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, the Christian revelator and theologian who gives a spiritual interpretation of the teachings of the Bible and who claims that the second comingof Jesus Christ has already taken place. Adherents use several names to describe themselves, including Second Advent Christian, Swedenborgian, and New Church. The story of how Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker.

Sadly Keller suffered a series of strokes in 1961 and spent the last years of her life at her home. On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the United States’ two highest civilian honors. In 1965 she was elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame at the New York World’s Fair. Keller devoted much of her later life to raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind. She died in her sleep on June 1, 1968, at her home, Arcan Ridge, located in Easton, Connecticut, a few weeks short of her eighty-eighth birthday. A service was held in her honor at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and her ashes were placed there next to her constant companions, Anne Sullivan and Polly Thompson. She was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1971 and Helen Keller Day was authorized in her honour at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, her 100th birthday.

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National Sunglasses day🕶🕶

National Sunglasses Day takes place annually on 27 June. National Sunglasses Day was launched by the Vision Council on 27 June 2011 to educate people concerning the importance of protecting your eyes from too much Ultraviolet Exposure which can severely damage them. Ultraviolet (UV) designates a band of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelength from 10 nm to 400 nm, shorter than that of visible light but longer than X-rays. UV radiation is present in sunlight, and contributes about 10% of the total output of the Sun. It is also produced by electric arcs and specialized lights, such as mercury-vapor lamps, tanning lamps, and black lights. Although long-wavelength ultraviolet is not considered an ionizing radiation because its photons lack the energy to ionize atoms, it can cause chemical reactions and causes many substances to glow or fluoresce. Consequently, the chemical and biological effects of UV are greater than simple heating effects, and many practical applications of UV radiation derive from its interactions with organic molecules.

Suntan and sunburn are familiar effects of over-exposure of the skin to UV, along with higher risk of skin cancer. Living things on dry land would be severely damaged by ultraviolet radiation from the Sun if most of it were not filtered out by the Earth’s atmosphere. More energetic, shorter-wavelength “extreme” UV below 121 nm ionizes air so strongly that it is absorbed before it reaches the ground. Ultraviolet is also responsible for the formation of bone-strengthening vitamin D in most land vertebrates, including humans (specifically, UVB). The UV spectrum thus has effects both beneficial and harmful to human health. The lower wavelength limit of human vision is conventionally taken as 400 nm, so ultraviolet rays are invisible to humans, although some people can perceive light at slightly shorter wavelengths than this (see below). Insects, birds, and some mammals can see near-UV (i.e. slightly lower wavelengths than humans can see).



Industrial Workers of the World Day

Industrial Workers of the World Day commemorates the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), whose members are nicknamed the ‘Wobblies,’ in Chicago Illinois, on 27 June 1905. The Industrial Workers of the World was the first union in the U.S. open to women and men of all races. Some of the union’s better-known members were “Big Bill” Haywood, James Connolly, Eugene V. Debs, Daniel De Leon, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Thomas Hagerty, William Trautmann, Lucy Parsons, Frank Bohn, “Mother” Jones, Vincent Saint John, and Ralph Chaplin

National HIV TESTING day

National HIV Testing Day takes place annually on 27 June. The first National HIV Testing Day was initiated by HIV.gov ON the date of 27 June 1995.