Category: February 28

  • RARE DISEASE DAY USA – Last Day in February

    RARE DISEASE DAY USA

    Each year on the last day in February, Rare Disease Day brings awareness and education about rare diseases and the suffering they cause. 

    A rare disease is defined differently in different parts of the world. In Europe, a rare disease is one that affects fewer than one in 2,000 people, and in the United States, the standard is 1 in 200,000. Driving home how infrequent some of these conditions are, the observance sometimes occurs on the rarest date of the year – February 29th. Even so, the day is more predictable than many rare diseases. They can be difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to understand. While a majority of the conditions are genetic in origin, still others are the result of infections, environmental or degenerative factors.

    Often people with rare diseases face a multi-faceted uphill battle; with few sufferers, there are fewer voices to bring awareness to their needs for research, medical and financial support. As a result, their physical, social and oftentimes mental burdens add up.

    Rare Disease Day brings those voices together to help lift some of those burdens and bring awareness to light.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #RareDiseaseDayUSA

    • Help raise awareness among the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives.
    • Learn more about a rare disease impacting someone you love.
    • Find out how you can make a difference in their life.
    • Donate to a rare disease organization to support research into cures and treatments.
    • Use #RareDiseaseDayUSA to post on social media.

    RARE DISEASE DAY HISTORY

    First observed in Europe in 2008, Rare Disease Day was established by Eurordis, (the European Rare Disease Organization). In 2009, NORD was asked by EURORDIS  to sponsor Rare Disease Day in the United States. NORD accepted and 2014 celebrates the 6th annual RARE DISEASE DAY USA.

    For more information see: 

    Rare Disease FAQ

    Q. How many people are impacted by rare diseases?
    A. It may seem like rare diseases have a lesser impact on the human population, but when you consider how many rare diseases there are, the impact adds up. By the numbers, 1 in 10 Americans is impacted by a rare disease.

    Q. Why are rare diseases difficult to diagnose?
    A. There are several factors:

    • Symptoms may be similar to another condition.
    • There are no available tests to diagnose the disease.
    • The treating physician or medical team may not be familiar with the condition.
  • NATIONAL CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE DAY – February 28

    NATIONAL CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ DAY

    National Chocolate Soufflé Day celebrates a delightfully delicious dessert on February 28th each year. 

    The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler, which means “to blow up” or more loosely “puff up” which describes a soufflé perfectly.  A soufflé is a lightly baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites that are combined with other ingredients to make the dish either a savory main dish or a sweet dessert.

    Two essential components make up every soufflé.

    1. A French crème patisserie base/flavored cream sauce or puree
    2. Egg whites beaten to a  soft peak meringue

    A soufflé gets its flavor from the base, and the egg whites provide the lift to puff it up. A variety of cheeses, jams, fruits, or chocolates can be baked into the base of the soufflé. Many soufflé bakers like to puncture the top of the soufflé after removing it from the oven. Then they pour mouth-watering sauces onto it, such as chocolate, vanilla, or for a savory flavor cheese and herbs.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #ChocolateSouffleDay

    • Show off your soufflé flair by inviting friends to celebrate with you.
    • Order a soufflé from your favorite restaurant. Don’t forget to give them a shout-out!
    • Take a picture of the delicious soufflé and post it for all to see.
    • Use #ChocolateSouffleDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ DAY HISTORY

    Within our research, we were unable to find the creator of National Chocolate Soufflé Day.

    Soufflé FAQ

    Q. Can a soufflé be prepared ahead day or so ahead of time?
    A. Yes. Prepare the soufflé following the recipe’s instructions but stop before baking. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for up to a day. When ready to bake, allow the soufflés to come up to room temperature before baking?

    Q. Can I re-heat leftover soufflé?
    A. Yes. Store the covered soufflé in the refrigerator. But again, allow it to come to room temperature before reheating.

    Q. Can I freeze a soufflé?
    A. Check the recipe, but most soufflés can be frozen. Thaw completely before reheating.

  • World Spay Day – Last Tuesday in February

    WORLD SPAY DAY

    World Spay Day annually aims to decrease stray pet populations by increasing awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering programs. Around the world, a variety of effective programs reduce stray populations. These programs target both strays in neighborhoods and in shelters. 

    Through education, spay and neuter programs in shelters raise awareness prior to the adoption of cats and dogs. In neighborhood programs, spay and neuter programs effectively reduce stray populations over the long term with the help of the community. These types of programs are especially effective where feral cat populations exist. Since feral cats cannot be domesticated, spaying and neutering in the communities where they live to offer the most humane way to reduce the population. 

    Other programs may be offered through veterinarian clinics and communities, too. The observance offers an opportunity for programs to highlight the benefits of spaying and neutering and increase support for their individual programs.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldSpayDay

    • Support a spay and neuter program in your area.
    • Host a fundraiser or approach your community leaders to create a program in your town.
    • Learn more about the importance of spaying and neutering.
    • Ask your veterinarian questions or volunteer at your local shelter.
    • Use #SpayDayUSA to post on social media.

    WORLD SPAY DAY HISTORY

    Doris Day Animal League founded Spay Day USA in 1994 to bring attention to the pet overpopulation problem in the United States and encourage animal population control by neutering pets. The movement later spread globally and is now known as World Spay Day.  

    Spay and Neuter FAQ

    Q. What is the youngest I can spay or neuter my puppy?
    A. Your veterinarian can give you the most accurate answer based on your puppy’s breed and size. Usually, though, puppies can be spayed or neutered as early as 2 months of age.

    Q. How long does recovery take?
    A. Female animals usually stay overnight at the veterinarian and then will recover at home with you in about 7-14 days. Male animals typically go home the same day but will still have a 7-14 day recovery period.

    Q. Can I spay or neuter my house rabbit?
    A. Yes. For information on spaying and neutering house rabbits visit rabbit.org.

  • NATIONAL TOOTH FAIRY DAY – February 28

    NATIONAL TOOTH FAIRY DAY

    February 28th, National Tooth Fairy Day, encourages us to take a look back on the history of one of dental care’s little helpers. It’s one way our children develop good dental hygiene. 

    Like some of the fantastic creations who oversee children, the tooth fairy is a relative newcomer to the world of childhood fantasies.

    1920s

    In the mid-1920s, fairies were used for all sorts of health education, from bath fairies to fresh air fairies as a way to get kids to remember to eat their vegetables, wash behind their ears and get a good night’s rest. Like toothpaste today advertises fruity flavors and sparkles to get kids excited to brush their teeth, in 1925, it was probably quite a bit more difficult considering the pastes were mostly peroxide and baking soda. One advertisement was for a Fairy Wand Tooth Whitener. This product promised to brush away cigarette and coffee stains. The ad was aimed at both children and adults, we hope!

    Then in 1927, Esther Watkins Arnold printed an eight-page playlet for children called The Tooth Fairy. The same year Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “proved” his claim that fairies and gnomes are real and “verified” with pictures of two little girls surrounded by fairies. The world was ripe with imagination and primed to have a tooth fairy to come collect the lost teeth of little boys and girls and leave a coin or two behind.

    Arnold’s play began to be performed in schools the following year, and the tooth fairy has been slipping into homes ever since. She (or he) started leaving nickels and dimes under the pillows of sleeping children. Over the years, there have been variations on the theme.

    1942

    In 1942, in an article written by columnist Bob Balfe in the Palm Beach Post, his children received War Stamps to put in their books when they lost a tooth. It was a popular alternative during a time when giving to the war effort was a motivating factor.

    Today

    Today, the tooth fairy jingles less often. The average payout for a lost tooth ranges from $3 to $4 and can go even higher if Dad is on duty or if the tooth is lost late at night with no time for a parent to run to an ATM.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalToothFairyDay

    • Make an appointment for your next cleaning.
    • Ask your parents if they still have the first tooth you lost.
    • Be a tooth fairy!
    • Volunteer or give to dental organizations. Many of them provide free or low-cost dental care to those who cannot afford it. Others support dental students in their educational journey. These organizations are a vital part of our communities and states. You can also give a shout-out to your favorite organization. Be a tooth fairy to those near you. We found a few that might interest you.
    • Download this coloring page to celebrate!
    • Use #NationalToothFairyDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL TOOTH FAIRY DAY HISTORY

    Children’s author, Katie Davis, created the February 28th observance of National Tooth Fairy Day. While there is also an August 22nd observance, it is interesting to note the two observances are six months apart and the American Dental Association’s recommendation to have cleanings twice annually. 

    Toothfairy FAQ

    Q. Do other countries believe in the tooth fairy?
    A. Fairies, in general, are found worldwide, but the tooth fairy is a unique creature. The United Kingdom practices similar tooth fairy traditions. However, in other parts of the world like Spain, France, and Mexico, a little mouse pays a visit leaving little treats in exchange for the tooth.

    Q. Are adults visited by the tooth fairy?
    A. No. Losing an adult tooth usually means a visit to the dentist.

    Q. When do children usually lose their first tooth?
    A. Children lose their first tooth around the age of 6 years old.

    February 28th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

    1827

    Baltimore, Maryland merchants chartered the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the first railroad in America to offer commercial service to both people and freight. They hoped to better compete with New York for trade from the west.

    1935

    Dr. Wallace Carothers develops the synthetic polymer nylon. The chemist developed the material while working for DuPont, and its invention led to many applications including toothbrush bristles, women’s stockings, cord, fabrics, furniture, and more.

    1940

    The University of Pittsburgh squares off against Fordham University at Madison Square Garden in the first televised basketball game. NBC broadcast the hoops event with Pittsburgh winning 57-37.

    1976

    Paul Simon takes home two wins at the 18th annual Grammy Awards. Still Crazy After All These Years won Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance. Andy Williams hosted. Other winners included Natalie Cole won Vest R&B Vocal Performance for “This Will Be” and Stephen Sondheim took home Song of the Year for “Send in the Clowns” from the Broadway hit A Little Night Music.

    1983

    The beloved television show M*A*S*H airs its final episode. A record 106 million viewers tune and the show still holds the record for a season finale viewership.

    February 28th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    John Tenniel – 1820

    The political cartoonist is better known for his illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s fantasy novels Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

    Dee Alexander Brown – 1908

    The historian and author of numerous books is better known for his work Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.

    Vincente Minnelli – 1910

    The American film and stage director is known for directing classic musicals, including Meet Me in St. Louis and The Band Wagon. He won Academy Awards for An American in Paris and Gigi.

    Tommy Tune – 1939

    The 10-time Tony-winning actor, dancing, director, and choreographer is known for his Broadway productions. From Seesaw to A Joyful Noise and Grand Hotel, his performances and productions are always stellar.

    Mario Andretti – 1940

    For 36 years, the Italian-born American racing driver kept the heat on stock car, U.S. championship, and Formula One racers. He drove them all.

    Bernadette Peters – 1948

    The award-winning actress graced both stage and screen, sharing her humor and musical talents. Peters keeps us in stitches in The Jerk and plays a memorable Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun.

    Mercedes Ruehl – 1948

    The immensely talented dramatic actress, Mercedes Ruehl, has earned several awards for her performances on both stage and screen. Her role as Anne in The Fisher King earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Ruehl earned a Tony for her role as Bella in the Neil Simon drama Lost In Yonkers. She revived the role for the 1993 opposite Richard Dreyfus.

    Notable Mentions

    Bugsy Siegel -1906
    Bubba Smith – 1945
    John Turturro – 1957
    Rae Dawn Chong – 1962

  • NATIONAL FLORAL DESIGN DAY – February 28

    NATIONAL FLORAL DESIGN DAY        

    National Floral Design Day on February 28th recognizes the art and history of floral design. For thousands of years, floral design has been an important cultural art form. This is the day we celebrate that art form. It may be in a bouquet, painting, in textiles, a garden or a floral arrangement.

    Floral design is a multi-billion dollar industry that brightens our lives on a daily basis.

    From majestic, historic gardens to a bridal bouquet on that special day, floral designers have an eye for color, style, and perspective. Floral design can complete a space, complementing existing structures and bringing brightness and color to them.

    As with many arts, floral design has traditional roots hearkening back to Egyptian temple offerings to gods. The design changed from era to era, each having distinct customs and traditions.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #FloralDesignDay

    Share your floral design skills. Give a shout out to your favorite floral designer. Search for floral designs around you. Use #FloralDesignDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL FLORAL DESIGN DAY HISTORY

    Floral Design Day was created as a unique way to celebrate a special birthday of Carl Rittner, the founder of the Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston over 60 years ago.  Mr. Rittner is a pioneer in floral art education. The people at Rittners felt that the idea of a holiday that celebrates floral design as an art form is a wonderful one whose time had come.  So they, along with Mr. Rittner, wanted to see Floral Design Day continue to be observed as an event in its own right.

    In 1995, Governor William F. Weld of Massachusetts, proclaimed this day as Floral Design Day.  

  • NATIONAL PUBLIC SLEEPING DAY – February 28

    NATIONAL PUBLIC SLEEPING DAY

    If you’re tired on February 28th, it might be because National Public Sleeping Day encourages a mid-day nap right where you are.  It is a day for anyone and everyone to take a nap on a blanket at the beach, at the park, in the movie theater, on a bus, train, or subway or any other public place that may work for you.  However, it may not be a good idea to take that nap at your desk during work!

    Types of Naps

    There are different types of naps. The Power Nap is approximately 10 to 20 minutes long and can give a boost of energy to get us through the rest of the day. It also doesn’t leave us drowsy like some longer naps might and will also allow us to fall asleep at a decent time at night.

    The Hangover is about 30 minutes long, 10 too many, leaving us loopy and wanting just to stay asleep. We will snap out of it and feel much like we had a Power Nap, but it may take a bit of effort before we feel those benefits.

    The Brainiac lasts about 60 minutes and includes the deepest sleep. While we may feel a little grogginess upon waking, much like the Hangover, our ability to recall facts, names, and faces, will be improved. This type of nap may be the best nap after a round of studying or before a big test.

    The California King lasts about 90 minutes and is typically a full cycle of sleep. It will also include REM or a dream stage. This nap avoids the hangover like the power nap does and improves creative thinking and motor memory, but nighttime sleep may become elusive.

    Good husbands have been keen on these benefits long since the invention of the shopping mall. They are not strangers to public sleeping or the power nap. It may be something the modern non-napping woman should consider.

    Some employers have begun to recognize the value of a nap. Studies have shown certain types of naps fuel the brain and recharge our batteries. Naps can improve productivity, decrease health risks and improve morale.

    Employers such as Google, HuffPost/AOL, and Nike offer sleep pods or sleep rooms to their employees to reap these benefits.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #PublicSleepingDay

    • Take a nap in public.
    • Tell a story about a time you fell asleep at the airport, on a train or bus, in a waiting room, or where ever you fell asleep in public.
    • Share your favorite public places to sleep.
    • Need some ideas for National Public Sleeping Day? Read the Top 5 Places to Sleep in Public.
    • Use #PublicSleepingDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL PUBLIC SLEEPING DAY HISTORY

    Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of National Public Sleeping Day. Our research did show that it appears this holiday has been celebrated since 2011.

    Public Sleeping FAQ

    Q. Is it safe to sleep in public?
    A. Generally speaking, it is. However, we don’t recommend leaving your wallet or purse where it is easily accessible. And be aware of your surroundings. Taking a nap on a park bench is one thing. However, taking a name near a precipice might increase the risk a little.

    Q. Would a beach be a good place for a nap?
    A. Yes. Be sure to wear sunblock and give yourself some shade. An umbrella will offer some protection. And stay hydrated, too.

    Q. Do I need a pillow to sleep in public?
    A. No, but they do help. Try a neck pillow, especially if you’ll be sleeping on public transportation or anywhere upright.

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