Chaucer Day

Chaucer day takes place annually on 17 April it commemorates the anniversary of the date of 17 April1397 when Geoffrey Chaucer told the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. April 17 is also the start date of the book’s pilgrimage. The Canterbury Tales is a collection of 24 stories by Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote them Between 1386 and 1400 when he became Controller of Customs and Justice of Peace and, then Clerk of the King’s work in 1389. The tales are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from London to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.

Chaucer uses the Canterbury tales and descriptions of its characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society and the Church. Although the characters are fictional, they still offer a variety of insights into customs and practices of the time. It was written during a turbulent time in English history.

The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. Lollardy an early English religious movement led by John Wycliffe, is mentioned in the Tales, which mentions a specific incident involving pardoners (sellers of indulgences, which were believed to relieve the temporal punishment due for sins that were already forgiven in the Sacrament of Confession) who nefariously claimed to be collecting for St. Mary Rouncesval hospital in England. The Canterbury Tales is among the first English literary works to mention paper, a relatively new invention that allowed dissemination of the written word never before seen in England. Political clashes, such as the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt and clashes ending in the deposing of King Richard II. Many of Chaucer’s close friends were executed and he himself moved to Kent to get away from events in London.

Some readers have interpreted the characters of The Canterbury Tales as real historical figures while others maintain it is a mildly satirical critique of society during his lifetime. The Tales reflect diverse views of the Church in Chaucer’s England. After the Black Death, many Europeans began to question the authority of the established Church. Some started new monastic orders or smaller movements exposing church corruption in the behaviour of the clergy, false church relics or abuse of indulgences. Two characters, the Pardoner and the Summoner, are both portrayed as deeply corrupt, greedy, and abusive. Other Churchmen of various kinds are represented by the Monk, the Prioress, the Nun’s Priest, and the Second Nun.

The upper class or nobility, is also represented chiefly by the Knight and his Squire in the Canterbury Tales. In Chaucer’s time they were steeped in a culture of chivalry and courtliness as illustrated in the Knights Tale. This shows how the brotherly love of two fellow knights can turn into a deadly feud at the sight of a woman whom both idealise. Many other characters are included such as the Reeve, the Miller, The Cook, the Wife of Bath, the Franklin, the Shipman, the Manciple, the Merchant, Clerk at Oxford, the Sergeant at Law, Physician, the Parson

At the time Canterbury Tales was written Pilgrimage was a very prominent feature of medieval society. The ultimate pilgrimage destination was Jerusalem, but within England Canterbury was a popular destination. Pilgrims would journey to cathedrals that preserved relics of saints, believing that such relics held miraculous powers. Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, had been murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by knights of Henry II during a disagreement between Church and Crown. The concept of liminality also figures prominently within The Canterbury Tales. A liminal space, which can be both geographical as well as metaphorical or spiritual, is the transitional or transformational space between a “real” (secure, known, limited) world and an unknown or imaginary space of both risk and possibility. The Canterbury Tales remains popular and is regularly read in schools.

International and National holidays and events happening 17 April

  • Blah Blah Blah Day
  • Bat Appreciation Day
  • Ellis Island Family History Day
  • International Ford Mustang Day
  • International Haiku Poetry Day
  • National Cheese Ball Day
  • Nothing Like a Dame Day
  • World Hemophilia Day

Blah, Blah Blah Day takes place annually on April 17. The day is an opportunity for people to stop procrastinating and get all the stalled projects and broken promises sorted. These can range from quitting smoking, losing weight, vacuuming the car, Getting yourself vaccinated, starting a piggy bank, cleaning your laptop keyboard or calling a relative


BAT APPRECIATION DAY🦇

Bat appreciation Day also occurrs on 17 April. The purpose of Bat Appreciation Day is to highlight the conservation efforts being made to save endangered bat species and educate people concerning bats which are unfairly associated with darkness, malevolence, witchcraft, vampires, and death in many cultures.

Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera; with their forelimbs adapted as wings, they are the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. Bats are more manoeuvrable than birds, flying with their very long spread-out digits covered with a thin membrane or patagium. The smallest bat, and arguably the smallest extant mammal, is Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, which is 29–34 mm (1.14–1.34 in) in length, 15 cm (5.91 in) across the wings and 2–2.6 g (0.07–0.09 oz) in mass. The largest bats are the flying foxes and the giant golden-crowned flying fox, Acerodon jubatus, which can weigh 1.6 kg (4 lb) and have a wingspan of 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in).

The second largest order of mammals, bats comprise about 20% of all classified mammal species worldwide, with over 1,200 species. These were traditionally divided into two suborders: the largely fruit-eating megabats, and the echolocating microbats. But more recent evidence has supported dividing the order into Yinpterochiroptera and Yangochiroptera, with megabats as members of the former along with several species of microbats. Many bats are insectivores, and most of the rest are frugivores (fruit-eaters). A few species feed on animals other than insects; for example, the vampire bats feed on blood. Most bats are nocturnal, and many roost in caves or other refuges; it is uncertain whether bats have these behaviours to escape predators. Bats are present throughout the world, with the exception of extremely cold regions. They are important in their ecosystems for pollinating flowers and dispersing seeds; many tropical plants depend entirely on bats for these services.

Bats also provide humans with some benefits, at the cost of some threats. Bat dung has been mined as guano from caves and used as fertiliser. Bats consume insect pests, reducing the need for pesticides. They are sometimes numerous enough to serve as tourist attractions, and are used as food across Asia and the Pacific Rim. However They are natural reservoirs of many pathogens, such as rabies; and since they are highly mobile, social, and long-lived, they can readily spread disease.

ELLIS ISLAND FAMILY HISTORY DAY

Ellis Island Family History Day.” takes place on, April 17  “ to recognize the achievements and contributions made to America by Ellis Island immigrants and their descendants and commemorate the anniversary of 17 April 1907 when more immigrants were processed through Ellis Island than on any other day — 11,747 people. Over 40% of the U.S. population today — 100 million Americans – can trace their roots back to the 17 million brave and hopeful immigrants who took their first steps towards freedom and opportunity by going through the “Golden Door” of Ellis Island

World Hemophillia Day

World Hemophilia Day is an international observance held annually on April 17 by the WFH. It is an awareness day for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, which also serves to raise funds and attract volunteers for the WFH. It was started in 1989; April 17 was chosen in honor of Frank Schnabel’s birthday.

The word Haemophilia, (hemophilia) is derived from the Greek haima αἷμα meaning blood and philia φιλία meaning love. Haemophilia is a mostly inherited genetic disorder that impairs the body’s ability to make blood clots, a process needed to stop bleeding. This results in people bleeding longer after an injury, easy bruising, and an increased risk of bleeding inside joints or the brain. Those with a mild case of the disease may have symptoms only after an accident or during surgery. Bleeding into a joint can result in permanent damage while bleeding in the brain can result in long term headaches, seizures, or a decreased level of consciousness.

There are two main types of haemophilia: haemophilia A, which occurs due to not enough clotting factor VIII, and haemophilia B, which occurs due to not enough clotting factor IX. The differences between haemophilia A and B were discovered in 1952. They are typically inherited from one’s parents through an X chromosome with a nonfunctional gene. A new mutation may occur during early development or haemophilia may develop later in life due to antibodies forming against a clotting factor. Other types include haemophilia C, which occurs due to not enough factor XI, and parahaemophilia, which occurs due to not enough factor V. Acquired haemophilia is associated with cancers, autoimmune disorders, and pregnancy. Diagnosis is by testing the blood for its ability to clot and its levels of clotting factors.

Haemophilia can be prevented by removing an egg, fertilizing it, and testing the embryo before transferring it to the uterus. Treatment is by replacing the missing blood clotting factors. This may be done on a regular basis or during bleeding episodes. Replacement may take place at home or in hospital. The clotting factors are made either from human blood or by recombinant methods. Up to 20% of people develop antibodies to the clotting factors which makes treatment more difficult. The medication desmopressin may be used in those with mild haemophilia A.

Haemophilia A affects about 1 in 5,000–10,000, while haemophilia B affects about 1 in 40,000, males at birth. As haemophilia A and B are both X-linked recessive disorders, females are rarely severely affected. Some females with a nonfunctional gene on one of the X chromosomes may be mildly symptomatic. Haemophilia C occurs equally in both sexes and is mostly found in Ashkenazi Jews. During the 1800s haemophilia was common within the royal families of Europe.

Save the Elephant Day

Save The Elephant Day takes place annually on 16 April. Save the Elephant day was launched in 2012 by the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, to coincide with the documentary about their work, Return to the Forest, and an annual reminder of threatened extinction facing these magnificent mammals.

Elephants are large mammals of the family Elephantidae in the order Proboscidea. Three species are currently recognised: the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), the African forest elephant (L. cyclotis), and the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Elephants are scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Elephantidae is the only surviving family of the order Proboscidea; other, now extinct, members of the order include deinotheres, gomphotheres, mastodons, anancids and stegodontids; Elephantidae itself also contains several now extinct groups, such as the mammoths and straight-tusked elephants.

All elephants have several distinctive features, the most notable of which is a long trunk (also called a proboscis), used for many purposes, particularly breathing, lifting water, and grasping objects. Their incisors grow into tusks, which can serve as weapons and as tools for moving objects and digging. Elephants’ large ear flaps help to control their body temperature. Their pillar-like legs can carry their great weight. African elephants have larger ears and concave backs while Asian elephants have smaller ears and convex or level backs.

Elephants are herbivorous and can be found in different habitats including savannahs, forests, deserts, and marshes. They prefer to stay near water. They are considered to be a keystone species due to their impact on their environments. Other animals tend to keep their distance from elephants while predators, such as lions, tigers, hyenas, and any wild dogs, usually target only young elephants (or “calves”). Elephants have a fission–fusion society in which multiple family groups come together to socialise. Females (“cows”) tend to live in family groups, which can consist of one female with her calves or several related females with offspring. The groups are led by an individual known as the matriarch, often the oldest cow.

Males (“bulls”) leave their family groups when they reach puberty and may live alone or with other males. Adult bulls mostly interact with family groups when looking for a mate and enter a state of increased testosterone and aggression known as musth, which helps them gain dominance and reproductive success. Calves are the centre of attention in their family groups and rely on their mothers for as long as three years. Elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild. They communicate by touch, sight, smell, and sound; elephants use infrasound, and seismic communication over long distances. Elephant intelligence has been compared with that of primates and cetaceans. They appear to have self-awareness and show empathy for dying or dead individuals of their kind.

African elephants are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) while the Asian elephant is classed as endangered. One of the biggest threats to elephant populations is the ivory trade, as the animals are poached for their ivory tusks. Other threats to wild elephants include habitat destruction and conflicts with local people. Elephants are used as working animals in Asia. In the past, they were used in war; today, they are often controversially put on display in zoos, or exploited for entertainment in circuses. Elephants are highly recognisable and have been featured in art, folklore, religion, literature, and popular culture.

World Voice Day

World Voice Day (WVD) is a worldwide annual event that takes place on April 16. The purpose of  World Voice Day is  to celebrate the phenomenon of voice and demonstrate the enormous importance of the voice in the daily lives of all people. Voice is a critical aspect of effective and healthy communication, and World Voice Day brings global awareness to the need for preventing voice problems, rehabilitating the deviant or sick voice, training the artistic voice, and researching the function and application of voice. A goal of World Voice Day is to encourage all those who use their voice for business or pleasure to learn to take care of their voice, and know how to seek help and training, and to support research on the voice. Voice production is studied and applied in many disciplines such as medicine, speech-language pathology, music, physics, psychology, phonetics, art, and biology.

The idea to devote a special day, each year on April 16, to the voice was originally launched in 1999 by the Brazilian Society of Laryngology and Voice. In 2002 the Portuguese laryngologist Professor Mario Andrea, Portugal, then President of the European Laryngological Society, suggested that World Voice Day should be celebrated all over the world. This idea was further developed and adopted in various countries, and then in 2012 three voice researchers, Prof. Johan Sundberg (Sweden), Prof. Tecumseh Fitch (Austria), and Dr Filipa Lã (Portugal) invited voice experts from a number of countries to form an international group for the celebration of World Voice Day. Presently the group consists of 66 members who initiate and help coordinate events for World Voice Day in their respective countries. In 2016 more than 700 events took place, and all are listed on the web site world-voice-day.org where further information can be found.

Foursquare Day

Foursquare Day takes place annually on 16 April, April being the 4th month and the 16th being equal to four squared. Foursquare is a local search-and-discovery service mobile app which provides search results for its users. The app provides personalized recommendations of places to go to near a user’s current location based on users’ “previous browsing history, purchases, or check-in history”.

Some cities have made official proclamations of April 16 being Foursquare Day (Istanbul, Turkey; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Corpus Christi, Texas; Gaithersburg, Maryland; Indianapolis, Indiana; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Kennesaw, Georgia; Manchester, New Hampshire; New York City; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Seattle, Washington; Miami, Florida; Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Ramat Hasharon, Israel; Singapore). Foursquare Day was coined by Nate Bonilla-Warford, an optometrist from Tampa, Florida on March 12, 2010. The idea came to him while “thinking about new ways to promote his business”.

Foursquare was created in late 2008 and launched in 2009 by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai. Crowley had previously founded the similar project Dodgeball as his graduate thesis project in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University. Google bought Dodgeball in 2005 and shut it down in 2009, replacing it with Google Latitude. Dodgeball user interactions were based on SMS technology, rather than an application. Foursquare was the second iteration of that same idea, that people can use mobile devices to interact with their environment. Foursquare was Dodgeball reimagined to take advantage of the new smartphones, like the iPhone, which had built in GPS to better detect a user’s location.

Until late July 2014, Foursquare featured a social networking layer that enabled a user to share their location with friends, via the “check in” – a user would manually tell the application when they were at a particular location using a mobile website, text messaging, or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby. In May 2014, the company launched Swarm, a companion app to Foursquare, that reimagined the social networking and location sharing aspects of the service as a separate application. On August 7, 2014 the company launched Foursquare 8.0, the completely new version of the service which finally removed the check in and location sharing entirely, to focus entirely on local search.

As of December 2013, Foursquare reported 45 million registered users, though many of these will not be active users. Male and female users are equally represented and also 50 percent of users are outside the US. Support for French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Japanese was added in February 2011. Support for Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Thai was added in September 2011. Support for Turkish was added in June 2012. On January 14, 2016, Co-founder Dennis Crowley, stepped down from his position as CEO. He moved to an Executive Chairman position while Jeff Glueck, the company’s COO, succeeded Crowley as the new CEO.

In 2010 McDonald’s launched a spring pilot program that took advantage of Foursquare Day. Foursquare users who checked into McDonald’s restaurants on Foursquare Day were given the chance to win gift cards in 5 and 10 dollar increments. Mashable reported that there was a “33% increase in foot traffic” to McDonald’s venues, as apparent in the increase in Foursquare check-ins.

International and National Holidays and Events happening 15 April

  • Glazed Ham Day
  • Jackie Robinson Day
  • Rubber Eraser Day
  • World Art Day
  • U.S. Income Tax Day
  • Universal Day of Culture

National Rubber Eraser Day takes place annually on April 15. It Commemorates the date of April 15, 1770, when scientist Joseph Priestly (who was most famous for discovering oxygen) Recorded his discovery of a item made from vegetable gum imported from Brazil which would erase — “rub out” — pencil marks. Priestly dubbed the substance “rubber.”

Prior to his discovery Tablets of rubber (or wax) were used to erase lead or charcoal marks from paper. Another option for the eraser was crustless bread. A Tokyo student said, “Bread erasers were used in place of rubber erasers, and so they would give them to us with no restriction on amount. So we thought nothing of taking these and eating a firm part to at least slightly satisfy our hunger.

However Contrary to what many sources say, Priestley himself did not invent the eraser; that honor goes to an English engineer named named Edward Nairne who developed the first marketed rubber eraser after accidentally picking up a piece of rubber—or, as it was known at the time, gum elastic—instead of bread, and he was so impressed at its effectiveness at this task that he developed and sold these erasers commercially which also became known as a rubber because that was its purpose—it was a thing that rubbed. Later In 1839 Charles Goodyear discovered vulcanization (a method that would cure rubber and make it a durable material) This method made rubber erasers standard. Later in 1858 Hyman Lipman (Philadelphia, Pa.) patented the pencil with an eraser at the end.