Category: Pop Culture & Lifestyle

  • NATIONAL SELF-EMPLOYED DAY | May 4

    NATIONAL SELF-EMPLOYED DAY | May 4

    National Self-Employed Day on May 4 honors the dedicated individuals that bravely venture out to create their own business to support themselves, their families, and their community.

    #NationalSelfEmployedDay

    Self-employed business owners are amongst the hardest working individuals you’ll ever meet. They  continuously strive to meet their goals to be successful. The self-employed business owner never quits and faces every obstacles they encounter head on. In fact, there is very little that can stop a self-employed business owner from succeeding. 

    What Does Self-Employed Mean?

    Being self-employed means a person does not work for a specific employer or business. Instead, they work for themselves and earn their income by doing business directly. Even though self-employment provides more job flexibility and freedom, it also requires a lot of commitment and dedication. A self-employed person must devote valuable time and energy to earn their wages and pay their bills.

    Controlling Your Destiny

    As a self-employed individual, you are in complete control of your destiny. Your passion to move forward and become an independent employee enables you to take your dream as far as you want. You have creative control over your ideas and how you want to implement them. In fact, you choose your own work environment, which includes whether or not you want or need employees to help you on your journey.

    Establishing self-employment allows you to grow your knowledge and fine-tune your skill set. Your learning curve never ends because being self-employed gives enough variety in your daily routine to allow constant growth. In fact, self-employment helps you build and create your own network of clients.

    Network building when you are self-employed is an important piece of your success. By increasing your network, you learn more about business than your realize from your peers. In addition, you learn from their successes and failures, which help you make better decisions for yourself in the long run. A good, strong network brings a group of like-minded people together, yourself included, that encourage, help, and assist each other as your businesses grow.

    CELEBRATING SELF-EMPLOYMENT

    • Learn about how to become self-employed.
    • Take a class about owning a business.
    • Support the local self-employed business owners in your community.
    • Take a self-employed friend or family member out to dinner to celebrate their accomplishments.
    • Offer to speak at a start-up networking gathering to share your experience with others who are looking to start a new business to become self-employed.
    • Lend a helping hand to a self-employed friend or family member by offering to file paperwork, answer phones, or look up contact information for potential clients.
    • Treat yourself to a little self-care time if you are a self-employed individual.
    • Share your love and support for the self-employed person in you life using #NationalSelfEmployedDay on social media.

    THE VOICE OF THE SELF-EMPLOYED

    In 2022, National Day Calendar formed a partnership with Jeffrey Shaw, the founder of The Self-Employed Business Institute. The collaboration created National Self-Employed Day to be celebrated each year on May 4.

    Jeffrey Shaw is the founder of the Voices of the Self-Employed advocacy group and The Self-Employed Business Institute. He is also the creator of The Self-Employed Summit. He is a well-known leader and advocate for self-employed business owners. As a speaker and small business coach, Jeffrey helps self-employed and small business owners gain control of their business in what seems like otherwise uncontrollable circumstances. Drawing on his experience as a renowned portrait photographer, Jeffrey shows business owners how to see business through a different lens. He shares strategies to compose the often-chaotic pieces of life and business into sustainable success.

    In addition, Jeffrey is also a sought-after keynote speaker whose TEDxLincolnSquare talk is featured on TED.com. He has a passion for bringing his message to audiences through live and virtual presentations.

    Printed Publications

    • The Self-Employed Life: Business and Personal Development Strategies That Create Sustainable Success
    • LINGO: Discover Your Ideal Customer’s Secret Language and Make Your Business Irresistible.
  • NATIONAL SPRAY TANNING DAY | Third Thursday in March

    NATIONAL SPRAY TANNING DAY | Third Thursday in March

    Get your glow on and celebrate National Spray Tanning Day on the third Thursday in March by getting a fresh spray tan!

    #NationalSprayTanningDay

    After the winter, our skin can be dull and dry. Today on National Spray Tanning Day, prepare to glow all spring and summer with a natural spray tan. In fact, spray tanning is a great way to achieve a healthy head-to-toe glow and is customizable for any skin tone.

    There are two types of spray tanning. The first uses an automated spray booth. The second uses a professional spray tan artist creating an air-brushed glow using a handheld spray machine. Both options allow for a customizable and desirable color that compliments all skin tones. In addition, both types of spray tanning involve being sprayed with a liquid solution that contains dihydroxyacetone (DHA).

    Dihydroxyacetone is a naturally derived and fermented active ingredient that reacts with your skin to mimic a tan for a temporary amount of time. After getting a spray tan, it’s important to leave the solution on your skin for between four and 24 hours, rinsing when you have achieved your desired color. A spray tan:

    • Provides a sun-kissed glow in just minutes.
    • Evens out uneven skin complexion.
    • Gives skin a more toned appearance.
    • Boosts confidence.
    • Can be customized based on your preferences.
    • Contains vitamins to lock moisture into skin.
    • Gives an even and streak-free tan.
    • Offers an option for tan lines.
    • Includes optional scents based on your preferences.

      Tantalizing Benefits

      There are many benefits to spray tanning. Not only can you achieve a sun-kissed look in just minutes, spray tanning also gives you a major confidence boost! The average spray tan, whether it be in an automatic booth or by a professional spray tan artist, takes about 5 minutes. For most people, when taking the route of traditional sun tanning, it can take hours or days to begin seeing a sun-kissed glow. Sadly, many people receive a sunburn instead of a tan when choosing the traditional sun tanning.

        How Do You Prepare for a Spray Tan?

        Preparing for a spray tan can help to elevate your overall experience. To get the most natural looking and long-lasting tan, be sure to:

        • Shower, exfoliate, and shave/wax 24-28 hours before your session.
        • Arrive for your appointment with clean skin. Do not apply moisturizers, deodorant, oils, or make-up before your appointment.
        • Wear loose-fitting, dark colored clothing to prevent bronzer transfer.
        • Schedule your manicure and/or pedicure appointments prior to your spray tan appointment, so that your tan does not fade prematurely.
        • Bring a rain jacket if there is a chance of rain to protect your tan while it is developing.
        • Avoid rinsing or getting wet for a minimum of 4 hours. You can leave your tan on for up to 24 hours before rinsing.

        Post Spray Tan Tips

        Your post-spray tan care is just as important as the preparation! Be sure to keep in mind the following tips to help your tan last as long as possible:

        • Rinse your spray tan with warm water and minimal soap/scrubbing.
        • Pat dry after rinsing your tan instead of wiping off moisture.
        • Apply moisturizer after your shower and then daily to extend your tan.
        • Avoid swimming/bathing for the first 24 hours after your spray tan.
        • Use self-tanners to help extend the length of your tan.

        SKIN GLOW CELEBRATION

        • Make an appointment for a spray tan at a location near you.
        • Flaunt your favorite outfit to wear once your spray tan is fully developed and rinsed.
        • Encourage your friends and family to utilize spray tanning as a healthy way to glow.
        • Share photos of your spray tan on social media using the hashtag #NationalSprayTanningDay.
        • Be on the lookout for giveaways, promotions, and events nationwide surrounding National Spray Tanning Day by following @mystictan, @versaspa, and @norvellsunless on Instagram.

        ABOUT #NationalSprayTanningDay

        National Day Calendar designated National Spray Tanning Day on behalf of Sunless, Inc. brands Mystic Tan, Norvell, and VersaSpa in 2022, to be celebrated on the third Thursday in March each year. National Spray Tanning Day encourages people to safely enhance their skin with a natural-looking glow!

        Sunless, Inc. is the leading industry authority in the sunless tanning industry with over 30 years of experience. The company offers sunless tanning technology alternatives such as spray tanning and self-tanning products in the place of harmful UV rays. Sunless, Inc. creates the best of the best when it comes to spray tanning booths, equipment, and solutions. The advanced spray technology delivers streak-free and natural-looking tans every time.

        With decades of experience, Sunless, Inc. creates the best of the best when it comes to spray tanning equipment, solutions, and self-tanners. The brands Mystic Tan, Norvell, and VersaSpa are iconic among frequent spray tan users.

        You can instantly locate a salon that provides spray tans by Mystic Tan, VersaSpa, or Norvell by using their salon locator.

        .

      • NATIONAL IEP WRITING DAY | First Monday in April

        NATIONAL IEP WRITING DAY | First Monday in April

        The first Monday in April is National IEP Writing Day to honor all special education teachers and team members who write Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities.

        #IEPWritingDay

        On National IEP Writing Day, let’s pay it forward by thanking the team of professionals that write and implement IEPs that lead to the success of every student they work with on a daily basis.

        What is an IEP? An IEP, or Individualized Education Program, is a compilation of legal documents that are the layout of special education instruction and services needed for student with disabilities to thrive while in school, at home, and in the community.

        Writing an IEP is an under-appreciated job requirement special education teachers and teams provide each year. Statistically, almost 65% of teachers don’t like writing IEPs, and an additional 80% dislike writing Present Levels and the  Goals/Objectives of an IEP. The amount of paperwork that needs to be submitted per student is extremely time consuming.

        IEP Season

        Special education teachers and their teams go to great lengths writing and providing IEPs. In fact, no two IEPs are alike because no two students are alike. The professionals that create these IEPs and implement them are managers of legal documents, medical documents, and educational documents. According to school districts across the country, the average time it takes to write an IEP is between 1 to 2.5 hours per student. However, special education teachers and teams say they actually spend nearly 4 hours writing one IEP. Can you imagine the time it takes to write an IEP for nearly 50 students?

        On average, a special education teacher will write 16 IEPs in one school year. For some, it can be over 100 in a school year. In the Spring many schools have what they call an “IEP Season.” Even though most school districts have teachers writing IEPs year-round, the IEP season is 4-6 weeks in length. During this time teachers will write all IEPs in this short time frame, plus hold IEP meetings with teams and families.

        SPECIAL EDUCATION CELEBRATIONS

        • Write quick note or email to your fellow IEP team members thanking them for helping.
        • Praise your special education students for being a part of your teaching life. 
        • Send in a little treat, a handwritten card, gift card, or flowers to show appreciation to your child’s special education teacher and the rest of the IEP team.
        • Visit The Intentional IEP website and watch videos on the best practices for IEP writing.
        • Use #iepwritingday and #NationalIEPWritingDay to share yourself writing an IEP for a student without giving away confidential information. 
        • Give a public shoutout to the special education teachers and their teams at your school and share on social media using #makingpositivewaves.

        BEHIND NATIONAL IEP WRITING DAY

        National Day Calendar and The Intentional IEP collaborated to form National IEP Writing Day in 2022. Each year during the first Monday in April, we will celebrate special education teachers and their teams for making positive waves in the lives of students.

        The Intentional IEP is a website that helps special education teachers write IEPs more effectively and efficiently. Unsurprisingly, The Intentional IEP celebrates special education teachers and all IEP team members by working together to complete IEPs more collaboratively as a team. This collaboration helps to further facilitate the positive waves in education. The organization offers both free training using blog posts and videos. In addition, they offer paid services that includes video training, a searchable IEP goal bank, and an IEP writing course for teachers.

        Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

        On November 29, 1975, the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law giving disabled students access to services through an IEP. The intent was to help them access the same curriculum as their same-aged, neurotypical peers.

        The IDEA law states public schools must write IEPs for each student with disabilities who qualify for special education services. These IEPs are intended to help students and families:

        • Access the same-aged general education curriculum as their classmates.
        • Provide individualized and specific accommodations based on the student’s needs.
        • Allow special education teachers and teams to modify, adapt and make support changes based on individual IEP details. 
      • NATIONAL CAREER COACH DAY | January 8

        NATIONAL CAREER COACH DAY | January 8

        Each year on January 8 we celebrate National Career Coach Day and recognize the important work of career coaches across the United States.

        #NationalCareerCoachDay

        Today, we bring awareness to the impact career coaches have on their clients’ career paths and future potential. Not only are career coaches helping shape the future of the workplace, they are also helping people find fulfilling careers they deserve. On National Career Coach Day, we bring comradery to the profession, give coaches a day to come together, and create a space to celebrate all of the  accomplishments made during the process.

        What is a career coach? Career coaches are expert professionals who are up-to-date on current employment and hiring practices. These individuals wear specialized hats in helping people plan careers, create dynamic resumes, teach interview and wage negotiation skills, and guide you through the process of landing an amazing career. Most importantly, a career coach will work hard to help you accomplish your career goals.

        Why would I need a career coach? People choose to work with a career coach for a variety of reasons. Your current job situation may not bring you enjoyment or you might feel you are on the wrong career path. A career coach will help you understand your potential by learning about your past experiences and guide you towards a happier life.

        Choosing a Career Coach

        • Decide what type of career coach you want to hire. Like any profession, some career coaches specialize in specific areas. Make sure your decision is the best fit for you.
        • Narrow down the services you will need before hiring a career coach. This avoids paying for unnecessary services.
        • Interview career coaches to determine if they are a good fit for you. Personality plays an important roll when working together. Choose someone that you “click” with and will provide you the best value.
        • Check references your career coach provides. Verify training, certification, and clients.

        Benefits of a Career Coach

        Career coaches are in high demand in today’s business world. In fact, the career coaching profession is growing at rapid rate and is quickly reaching a $20 million dollar industry. Previously thought of as a service available for the wealthy, career coaching is now affordable to everyone.

        The career coach industry has expanded into the business sector, too. Companies are employing career coaches full time for a variety of services, such as:

        • Reviewing applications for specific job skills for potential employees.
        • Preparing correspondence and inquiries for employers.
        • Working with current employees to increase productivity.
        • Improving and updating personal goals company-wide.
        • Encouraging and inspiring employees to keep moral high.

        SUPPORT CAREER COACHES

        • Host a career coach summit.
        • Provide free resources or tools to perspective clients.
        • Make referrals to a career coach who has helped you.
        • Become a career coach.
        • Send a thank you card to your career coach thanking them for helping you find your dream job.
        • Support your career coach by sharing their services with friends and family.
        • Recognize and share your experiences with a career coach and use #NationalCareerCoachDay on social media.

        FOUNDER

        Career Benders and National Day Calendar are excited to announce the newly established National Career Coach Day. Beginning in 2023, this new National Day will be celebrated on January 8, and each year after. Join us as we recognize the important work career coaches provide to people across the country.

        Dream Big

        Founder of Career Benders, Angie M. Callen, is a Carnegie Mellon University graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering. In 2008, after working over six years as an engineer, she set out to pursue a career move into a more creative, communicative environment. After an unexpected career change journey, which included more  than four years as a nonprofit executive, Angie set out to create a business of her own. 

        Angie has always been told she had a gift for seeing others’ strengths, and after making career choices that led to professional gratitude and fulfillment, she set out on a mission to do the same for others. She also has a gift for helping people leverage their strengths to build confidence, overcome career trauma, achieve a level-up, and navigate the chaotic world of job searching. Through her work at Career Benders, Angie is helping people find new careers, improve management skills, move into leadership, and even start businesses.

        Achieving your dreams and creating a career path that supports your personal and professional goals is possible. The sky is the limit, and we’re #inspiringconfidentprofessionals one client at a time.

      • NATIONAL CIVIC PRIDE DAY | November 10

        NATIONAL CIVIC PRIDE DAY | November 10

        On November 10 we celebrate National Civic Pride Day and inspire everyone to promote the dynamic communities they live in.

        #NationalCivicPrideDay

        Civic pride belongs to the people who are at the heart of the city they live in. It brings communities together and encourages everyone to feel a sense of pride by creating and maintaining a healthy city or town. Today, we want to inspire everyone to get involved in their community and show support by improving the place you live and work.

        Why is civic pride important? The importance of civic pride means every community member feels a sense of pride for where they live. The people who live in a community are the same people who help their hometowns become better places to live. Businesses, schools, public service agencies, and community members all contribute to the efforts of making their community thrive. These contribution efforts are called civic pride.

        How can I support civic pride? Supporting civic pride is easy to do. In fact, most people participate in civic pride and don’t realize it. Participating in civic pride is essential for any community member. It builds trust between members in the community and in office, keeps dialog open about key issues, and creates better relationships between all residents. Civic pride:

        • Enables citizens to influence local laws and policies that effect their community.
        • Helps promote and learn local values of businesses and residents.
        • Supports economic growth.
        • Encourages people who are overlooked or underheard to become a part of solutions and ideas.

        Community Engagement

        Engagement or participating in civic pride is when any member or groups of members engage in public concerns, issues, or activities. When community members work together to protect the public interests and improve the standard of living within their community, the values of civic pride are taking place. Addressing and promoting concerns and ideas increases the quality of life for every member of a community.

        Support for civic pride is needed in every city and town to encourage fair democracy. The importance of having  representation for all demographic backgrounds is essential. Oftentimes, minority groups feel underrepresented in communities because many are unaware of the benefits of civil engagement. Good civic engagement encourages everyone in their community to become a part of civic pride. It also means providing opportunities in neighborhoods to engage in civic pride.

        Symbolism of Civic Pride

        Many towns and cities across the world have their own symbol of civic pride. Normally, the symbolism is in the form of a landmark, such as a statue, monument or special marker. In fact, you can find most of these items in the middle of the town, such as a center or town square.

        The United States has amazing places to visit and explore. You can find the real meaning behind civic pride when you realize how communities work together to provide visitors an unforgettable experience.

        Extraordinary Civic Pride Destinations

        • Griffith Observatory – California
        • Cliff Palace – Colorado
        • Amana Colonies – Iowa
        • Cabildo – Louisiana
        • Faneuil Hall- Massachusetts
        • September 11 Memorial and Museum – New York
        • Chaco Culture National Historical Park – New Mexico
        • Fort Union Trading Post – North Dakota
        • Fort Sumter – South Carolina
        • The Alamo – Texas
        • United States Capital – Washington, DC

        PARTICIPATE IN CIVIC PRIDE

        • Volunteer for an organization in your community.
        • Attend fundraisers that raise money for community projects.
        • Start a community garden to encourage community engagement.
        • Participate in regular clean-up weeks to keep your city looking nice.
        • Work with the local tourist agency to encourage visitors to your city.
        • Provide information about ways to get involved in organizations.
        • Share your story and photos of civic pride engagement and post on social media using #NationalCivicPrideDay

        FOUNDER OF NATIONAL CIVIC PRIDE DAY

        Explore Houma and National Day Calendar announce the newly founded National Civic Pride Day to be celebrated each year on November 10. The idea to create the day started with Explore Houma’s efforts to revitalize their downtown. They promote a strong belief for residents to have pride in their hometown and encourage everyone to participate and value to their city. 

        A Look Back

        Civic pride has been around for a very long time. In fact, people around the world have always participated in ways to make their communities better. For Americans, the war of 1812 played a pivotal roll in how our country would unite as one and step away from the identification of single states or territories.

        During the war of 1812, people were identifying with the colony they lived in. For example, people from Maryland were Marylanders, while people from Virginia were Virginians. Whether you were fighting for the British or fighting for the Americans, the split between people who all lived in the United States began thinking about one group of people as Americans. In addition, the creation of the American flag during this time also became a prominent symbol uniting all people in the nation.

      • NATIONAL CRYPTOCURRENCY MONTH | October

        NATIONAL CRYPTOCURRENCY MONTH | October

        The entire month of October is a celebration of cryptocurrencies and the cultivation of new economic growth opportunities they bring.

        #CryptocurrencyMonth

        Cyptocurrency is a class of digital currencies that exist outside the governance of any one country’s economy or government. While fiat currency is a system of money used and accepted in a particular country, cryptocurrencies are digital coins and tokens, minted electronically on a blockchain using cryptography. Cryptography is the science of protecting data by transforming it into a secure format.

        How does cryptocurrency work? All cryptocurrencies run and operate on something called blockchain. A blockchain is a record of transactions updated and held by currency holders that cannot be altered, deleted, or destroyed. Each transaction also affects succeeding transactions, which makes tampering with a previous transaction virtually impossible. This visibility establishes trust, accountability, and transparency.

        Can you buy things with cryptocurrency? Absolutely. Many cryptocurrency platforms allow you to use your digital funds to purchase items. For example, Expedia allows you to book a vacation for a small fee. Retailers are beginning to allow payment of goods using cryptocurrency. If you have a large amount of cryptocurrency in your digital wallet, you might be able to secure a home loan using your currency as collateral. Of course not everyone takes cryptocurrency as payment, but if you have PayPal, you can use your currency to pay for goods through their new service Checkout With Crypto.

        Crypto Facts

        • The first cryptocurrency purchase of a physical product was in 2010 for two pizzas.
        • A man in Wales accidently threw out his hard drive containing 7,500 Bitcoin (now worth millions) and is appealing to his local city council to excavate the landfill it ended up in.
        • It’s virtually impossible to ban cryptocurrency, but many countries have implemented strict regulations on exchanges.
        • In 2018, someone bought a CryptoKitty Dragon for 600 Ethereum valuing at $170,000. Amazingly, that same CryptoKitty now has a value of $1.5 million.
        • There are there more than 9,500 cryptocurrencies in existence today.

        There are thousands of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and others. The value of these assets is largely determined by how much people invest in them, and they hold the same value everywhere in the world.

        Top 3 Cryptocurrencies

        1. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency in the digital world making it’s debut in 2008 and still holding the #1 spot in cryptocurrency. Money transfer occurs through the bitcoin network of registered users. All transactions are verified and authenticated by nodes and recorded on the blockchain.
        2. Ethereum is the second largest open-source blockchain with a large variety of financial services. According to Ethereum.org, “While Bitcoin is only a payment network, Ethereum is more like a marketplace of financial services, games, social networks and other apps that respect your privacy and cannot censor you.”
        3. Tether is the largest stablecoin in cryptocurrency.
        4. Stablecoins differ from other cryptocurrencies in that their value is “pegged” to a particular fiat currency (for example, the US Dollar), so its value is as stable as the asset it’s pegged to. Tether and other stablecoins are used for lending and converting one crypto to another.

        ENGAGE IN THE CRYPTOCURRENCY WORLD

        • Take a class to learn about cryptocurrency.
        • Invest in cryptocurrency.
        • Learn the history of cryptocurrency, including who is credited with being the “founder” of this digital currency.
        • Teach a class to beginners if you are an expert cryptocurrency user.
        • Share #NationalCryptocurrencyMonth on social media.

        DIGITAL MONEY HISTORY

        In 2022, Guy Gotslak from My Digital Money and National Day Calendar created National Cryptocurrency Month to be celebrated each year the entire month of October. My Digital Money allows customers to invest cash or part of a self-directed IRA into cryptocurrency.

        The first mention of cryptocurrency appears in 1983 by David Chaum. After introducing his concept of encrypted electronic money in a conference paper, Chum began to develop a proto-cryptocurrency named Digicash. Using key encryption to withdraw money from a bank, Chaum successfully transferred money to a recipient without using a financial institution.

        In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto (not his/her real name) introduced Bitcoin and information on how to operate it using blockchain technology. However, it is know Nakamoto would make reference to current economic conditions involving financial institutions, including bank bailouts. In fact, a headline in The Times ran announcing a new method to exchange currency without financial institution involvement. 

        Early exchanges of currency made a lot of money for people and their investments. Unfortunately, that money was sometimes associated with illegal activity, such as drug sales, prostitution, and theft. Luckily, like all technology, knowledge increases resulting in substantial improvements. Today, anyone can use cryptocurrency to secure their own financial portfolio.

      • NATIONAL EASTERN BOX TURTLE WEEK | First Full Week in May

        NATIONAL EASTERN BOX TURTLE WEEK | First Full Week in May

        We celebrate National Eastern Box Turtle Week the first full week in May to praise the remarkable resilience of the Eastern Box Turtle.

        #NationalEasternBoxTurtleWeek

        The entire first full week of May celebrates a resilient and popular reptile, commonly known as the Eastern Box Turtle. A subspecies of the common box turtle, the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) is native to eastern parts of the U.S. and radiates beautiful colors on its shell. Today, we want everyone to celebrate by learning about the Eastern Box Turtle.

        “Eastern Box Turtles are walking wildflowers of color who move forward with patient perseverance.”

        What is the Eastern Box Turtle? As a part of the hinge-shelled turtles, Eastern Box Turtles are not a tortoise and are mostly terrestrial. They are considered slow moving reptiles that live a long life and are fairly slow to reproduce. Their attractive appearance and gentle disposition are admired by children and adults alike. Sadly, Eastern Box Turtles are susceptible to high mortality due to the pace they move when crossing roads, or when trying to escape harm. Unfortunately, illegal poaching also contributes to declining numbers. In addition, habitat loss has also been an increasing problem for the Eastern Box Turtle and it’s survival.

        How can you identify an Eastern Box Turtle from other turtles? Eastern Box Turtles are beautiful turtles, especially the male species. Even though female Eastern Box Turtles mostly have brown shells, male turtles of this species have radiant lines of yellow, orange, red, or white on their shell. In addition, they also have very distinct spots. On occasion, the female species also has bright colors on their shells, making identification between male and female tough. Interestingly, the easiest way to tell the male species from the female is all male Eastern Box Turtles have red eyes.

        Interesting Facts

        There are interesting facts about the Eastern Box Turtle that are worth knowing. For example, Eastern Box Turtles:

        • Are the official reptile in North Carolina.
        • Can regenerate and reform their shell when injured or damaged.
        • Have fives toes on front legs and four toes on the hind legs.
        • Range in size from 4.5 to 8 inches long.
        • Feature sharp stout limbs with webbed feet at the base of the feet.
        • Tend to cool off in ponds, shallow streams, and mud.

        SUPPORTING EASTERN BOX TURTLES

        • Volunteer with a turtle Rescue team to treat sick and injured turtles.
        • Visit a turtle habitat.
        • Learn about Eastern Box Turtles.
        • Visit the TRT website to learn about Eastern Box Turtles.
        • Donate to a local vet clinic that treats injured and sick turtles.
        • Share your support on social media using #NationalEasternBoxTurtleWeek.

        FOUNDER

        National Day Calendar began working with Bruce Worf to form National Eastern Box Turtle Week in 2022. Each year during the first week in May, we will celebrate this reptile holiday. The week also honors the work of the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Turtle Rescue Team. The Turtle Rescue Team (TRT) is a veterinary student-run organization that treats native, sick, and injured wild turtles. Eastern box turtles make up the majority of the patients treated.

        Turtle Rescue Team

        The TRT was founded in early 1996 by Dr. Gregory Lewbart and has been treating over 500 turtle patients in recent years. Dr. Lewbart, Professor of Aquatic, Wildlife, and Zoological Medicine is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in these fields of Veterinary Medicine. He provides expert advice and supervision to veterinary students rotating through the clinic with the help of Zoological Medicine Research Specialist, Kent Passingham.

        After a generous donation by wildlife rehabilitator, Linda Henis, TRT has expanded significantly. The clinic has consultations and diagnostic equipment provided by NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital to allow students the opportunity to work, diagnose, and treat turtles with state-of-the-art equipment.

        Dr. Bruce Worf, a physician and longtime sponsor of the TRT, with the help of Representative Rosa Gill, spearheaded the effort to get the North Carolina Legislature to designate the TRT as a Special License Plate, featuring the TRT logo, an Eastern Box Turtle with a Red Cross adorning it’s shell. In addition, Niki Theobald, Development Director, NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine also supported the creation of a NEBTW to honor the work of the TRT.

        Other Achievements

        Students at TRT:

        • Contribute to published research on their turtle patients.
        • Participate in various Outreach Programs with North Carolina museums, aquariums, and parks.
        • Established the Turtle Ally Certification Program to help veterinarians across North Carolina improve their skills in treating injured native wild turtles.
        • Volunteer in a very successful anti-poaching operation that results in a significant period of incarceration and legal sanctions for a poacher of wild turtles in North Carolina.

        Dr. Bruce Worf also contributed to founding National Megalodon Day, which is celebrated June 15 each year.

      • NATIONAL WHOLE HOG BARBECUE DAY | Third Saturday in October

        NATIONAL WHOLE HOG BARBECUE DAY | Third Saturday in October

        The third Saturday in October is National Whole Hog Barbecue Day and we invite you to indulge in one of the South’s most revered traditions.

        #WholeHogBarbecueDay

        Wood smoke and smoldering charcoal are a sign of the season. Traditionally cooked over wood and charcoal, whole-hog barbecue uses the whole pig, everything from the nose to the tail. Every year, pitmasters and barbecue lovers from all over the Southeast celebrate National Whole Hog Barbecue Day coinciding with North Carolina’s historic State Fair in October.

        The tradition of whole-hog barbecue started in Eastern North Carolina and dates back over 350 years to the first settlers in the region. Although barbecue lovers may disagree on the best type of barbecue sauce for their pork, everyone agrees that vinegar-based chopped whole-hog barbecue is where it all began.

        Smoking a whole hog takes anywhere between 10-12 hours, and requires attention to keep it smoky and cooking at a consistently low temperature. As long as you have a pit, hard-wood charcoal with oak or hickory, plenty of time and something brown to drink, you can create this delicious Southern delight. Whether you have a homemade brick pit or a custom-made steel fire box, the trick is to keep the cooking temperature steady and low. However you decide to smoke your hog, extra help is always appreciated to do the heavy lifting, including flipping the pig a few hours into the cooking process.

        Seasoned Hog Tips

        Seasoning your whole hog depends on your preferences. But traditionalists will lightly salt the pig before cooking, and after flipping use their own special blend of vinegar-based sauce with salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Many pitmasters use plenty of sauce throughout the cooking process to keep the hog moist and juicy as the hog renders down in the last few hours of cooking. The more the better!

        What is a pitmaster? Technically, a pitmaster is someone who oversees cooking done in a barbecue pit. But, a pitmaster is more than that. A pitmaster is considered an expert in the field of barbecue. They control the temperature, along with the flavor output of the meat. Most importantly, they make sure the barbecue is kept tender during the cooking process. At the end, during the chopping, they taste and add dry seasoning and sauce to make the perfect-tasting barbecue.

        Famous Pitmasters

        • Kiki Longo
        • Max Lavoie
        • Aaron Franklin
        • Greg Hatem
        • Myron Mixon
        • Rob Rainford
        • Ted Reader
        • Steven Raichlen

        SMOKIN’ FUN

        • Gather your recipes and get cooking!
        • Host a pig pickin’ with whole-hog barbecue or attend a festival where you can taste some of the best in the country.
        • Give a shout-out to the best pitmasters out there.
        • Let us know if you like your barbecue sauce sweet, spicy, or both?
        • Attend a whole hog barbecue competition.
        • Attend the North Carolina State Fair.
        • Share and post your #WholeHogBarbecueDay celebrations on social media.

        NATIONAL WHOLE HOG BARBECUE DAY HISTORY

        In 2022,The Pit Authentic Barbecue in Raleigh, North Carolina, founded National Whole Hog Barbecue Day to celebrate the traditions and history associated with whole hog barbecue. Each year during the third Saturday in October, we recommend everyone find some place to host or attend a whole hog barbecue celebration.

        The tradition started in 1980 in Halifax County, North Carolina, when friends reunited at the Roanoke River for a pig pickin’. Then in 1983, the tradition moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where friends gathered again during the third weekend in October to go to the N.C. State Fair and celebrate the fall harvest with whole-hog barbecue. The festivities moved to downtown Raleigh in 2007 with the opening of The Pit Authentic Barbecue, which has been serving whole-hog barbecue ever since. The restaurant opened for guests in Raleigh who didn’t have time to drive into Eastern North Carolina to get their taste of whole-hog barbecue.

        Whole-hog barbecue is such an important part of North Carolina’s culinary heritage, in 1985, the North Carolina Pork Council organized and sanctioned the first Whole Hog Barbecue Championship. It has become the culmination of the Whole Hog Barbecue Series local competitions across the region. The chefs who qualify in the local events come together to duke it out for the title of Champion. 

        Many people across the country consider grilling to be barbecue. However, if you ask any North Carolinian, barbecue has always been referred to as pork. Since the early settlers in the 1500s, pork has been the king of barbecue. In fact, there is historical evidence showing natives of the West Indies roasting meat over wood coals. It wasn’t until the 1600s the technique of cooking barbecue became adapted by everyone in the South. Even George Washington loved a good pig pickin’, journaling about going to a “barbicue” near Halifax, North Carolina, in the 1790s.

        The Great Debate

        There is a great debate about barbecue sauce. The eastern parts of North Carolina lean towards a clear sauce made with vinegar, salt and crushed red pepper. The western parts of North Carolina add sugar and ketchup to their sauce, creating a light red sauce.

        Developed in the late 1600s, vinegar sauce was born out of convenience. Colonists would use ingredients available to them to make their barbecue sauce, which was also used to preserve the meat. Unfortunately, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous so using them was not an option. It wasn’t until around the early 1800s tomatoes were finally considered to be safe to eat, which was about the time settlers came down to Western North Carolina and started adding tomatoes and brown sugar to the vinegar-based sauce. In addition, unlike their Eastern North Carolina neighbors, they would cook only the shoulder of the hog, not the entire pig. As for our barbecue brethren in South Carolina, they added mustard to their whole-hog barbecue sauce.

        Today, depending on where you live in North Carolina, barbecue sauce changes slightly. There could possibly be hundreds or thousands of sauces with different spices. Subtle differences in sauce occur about every 50 miles within the state. Interestingly, North Carolina also has a debate on how you should eat barbecue. Some like it chopped, while others like it pulled. But everyone enjoys pulling right off the pig in a traditional pig pickin’.

        DATES
        15 October 2022
        21 October 2023
        19 October 2024
        18 October 2025
        17 October 2026
        16 October 2027
        21 October 2028
        20 October 2029
        19 October 2030
        18 October 2031
        16 October 2032

      • NATIONAL MERRI MUSIC DAY | October 25

        NATIONAL MERRI MUSIC DAY | October 25

        October 25 celebrates National Merri Music Day to honor an innovative sound system and a music concept that began post World War II in Jamaica.

        #NationalMerriMusicDay

        On National Merri Music Day, we are celebrating the Merritone Sound System as the oldest sound system on the planet. Merritone is the only sound system founded in the original sound system era of the 1940s and 1950s that is still in operation. As the last sound standing, Merritone Music encourages music lovers around the globe to learn about the historical movement that has influenced musical genres in Jamaica and the world.

        What is a Sound System? 

        A sound system of the late 1940s and 50s is a public address apparatus with turntables attached to it for sound reinforcement and the amplification of music. Today, sound systems are still a big part of the Jamaica musical scene with many famous selectors, aka DJs.

        The original sound systems were born out of a need to bring music and entertainment to Jamaica’s working class. Before the sound systems, musical entertainment in Jamaica came from live bands. The cost associated with these events limited attendees to upper class Jamaicans and tourists. Thus, with the introduction of the sound system, contemporary music was brought to the masses. Sound systems played at house parties, lawns, and dancehalls.

        How old is Merritone Music? Originating over 55 years ago, Merritone Music turns 72 years old in 2022. Merritone sound system hails from Morant Bay, which is the capital of the parish of St. Thomas in southeastern Jamaica. Merritone’s founder, Val Blake loved Latin music and dances, such as cha cha cha, waltz, and slow love songs, which gave this sound system its distinctly identifiable music formula.

        Iconic Influence

        Merritone Music is credited for directly influencing the rise of ska, reggae, rock steady, and the present-day dancehall music culture. In fact, unlike live music where a single or a few genres of music are played, Merritone offers a variety of Jamaican mento, calypso, American R&B, and country during a session or party.

        Many musicians and producers sought out Merritone Music to play their records, such as Bob Marley and producers Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Winston ‘Niney’ Holness, and Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee, to name a few. Often, they would play songs not found on the radio. In fact, they were famous for making B-side records instant hits. This was one of the main reasons local artists flocked to Merritone Music performances. If they could  get their song played at a Merritone session, it was going to be a hit. Their influence made local artists highly successful.

        MERRI SOUNDING MUSIC

        • Learn the complete history of the Merritone Sound System.
        • Attend Merritone Sound System sessions.
        • Research Jamaican culture and history.
        • Make plans to attend a future Merritone Reunion.
        • Share and post your Merritone Music stories using #NationalMerriMusicDay.

        HISTORICAL SOUND

        National Day Calendar gives credit to Monique Blake of Merritone Music Inc. as the founder of National Merri Music Day. The day honors her grandfather Val Blake’s birthday, October 25th. Val died in 1956, leaving behind four sons, Trevor, Winston, Tyrone, and Monte. His 2 oldest sons, Trevor, and Winston took charge of the sound system after his death.

        Trevor would eventually migrate to the U.S leaving Winston and his 2 younger brothers to continue Merritone. The Blake brothers stood out as the only sound that would feature a family of DJs. While all brothers played, Winston and Monte are the two most recognized selectors. Winston was instrumental in making the Merritone sound a Jamaican national treasure and a global phenomenon.

        National Merritone Music Memories

        Winston Blake was born on November 19, 1940, to Ruthlyn and Winston St. Valentine “Val” Blake. Ruthlyn died shortly after the birth of Monte, the youngest Merritone brother. Val was left to care for his 4 sons. As a Public Works accountant and a part time Philips Electronics salesman, he searched for additional ways to support his family.

        Trevor and Winston attended school in Kingston. One day after school, while waiting at a bus stop, they heard music pumping from Mr. Chin’s Sky Rocket Sound System. They came home and urged their father to start a sound system as a means to generate extra income. In the beginning, Val resisted because sound systems were not considered socially acceptable for the middle class. Eventually, he gave in and Merritone Music was born. The sound system went on to break down the stigma of sound systems and brought music to both working and middle class people, national and international politicians, Jamaican prime ministers, world renowned musicians, and music lovers from around the world.

        Facts and Tidbits

        Merritone Music is the last ‘sound’ standing. It is the only sound system that began in the original sound system era of the 1940s and 1950s that continues to play today. In addition, it is the only sound system to play on all modern musical formats, including shellac 78 RPM, vinyl records, 8 track, cassette, CDs, and digital music.

        As many firsts in sound system, music, and Jamaican history, Merritone Music stands out as a historic presence. Always using music to unite the people of the world, Merritone has been breaking down social barriers since its creation. In the 1960s the Merritone brothers played at the University of West Indies, exposing students from middle-class families to a sound system. In the 1970s, Merritone became the first sound system to play at a world class hotel, the Sheraton in New Kingston.

        Winston sought to showcase Jamaican talent and started the Merritone VIP Talent Exposure. This show discovered some of Jamaica’s most prominent singers including the following:

        • Cynthia ‘Songbird’ Schloss
        • Beresford Hammond
        • The Tamlins
        • Jacob Miller
        • Ruddy Thomas
        • The Mighty Diamonds.

        Merritone Music began playing in New York in the late 60s, but it was not until the 70s that international tours became a mainstay. They played in US cities like Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, New York, as well as Toronto and London where Merritone fans moved to during the Great Migration. It was the first Jamaican based sound system to play internationally.

        In 1972, Winston opened the Turntable Club. It became the home of Merritone Music for the next 29 years. It was the site of the first live recording session at a night club in Jamaica featuring Dennis Brown. Entertainers like Marvin Gaye, Keith Richards, Johnny Nash, Bob Marley, and Jimmy Cliff frequented the club.

        Turntable Club is Jamaica’s longest running nightclub. In fact, in honor of its contribution to Jamaica’s musical culture, Turntable Club was designated a National Heritage site in 2018 by the Government of Jamaica.

        Awards & Commendations

        1997: The Government of Jamaica awarded Winston Blake with the Order of Distinction (OD), the highest civilian recognition, in honor of his contributions to Jamaican music.

        2000: St Thomas Municipal Council renamed Bay Mount (the original Merritone Music home site) to Blake Hill in recognition of Merritone Music’s 50th anniversary.

        2000: Reggae Canada honored Winston Blake with the Icons Award.

        2008: The United States House of Representatives 11th Congressional district honored Winston Blake for his contribution to Brooklyn, NY and its citizens.

        2008: University of West Indies, Mona School of Business held a Symposium on Merritone Sound System as one of Jamaica’s longest running family-owned businesses.

        2012: Nassau County New York honored Winston Blake for his dedicated service to the community.

        2015: International Reggae Day honors Merritone Music with a Pioneer Sound Award

        2017: JARIA (Jamaica Reggae Industry Association) posthumously honors Winston Blake for exceptional contribution to the reggae industry.

      • STAR TREK DAY | September 8

        STAR TREK DAY | September 8

        Fans across the globe celebrate Star Trek Day on September 8 to remember the timeless legacy Star Trek has made on society and pop culture.

        #StarTrekDay

        On September 8, 1966, a television series pilot known as Star Trek was introduced on American television. Aiming for an adult audience, this was the was the first time a scientific fiction series would explore morality through scientific narratives. Most movies or television shows would contain science but would often create conflict of suffering and injustice to solve problems. However, Star Trek was different. The series would put actors in the forefront making scientific arguments, while providing peaceful solutions to problems without using violence.

        What was the first episode of Star Trek? In a galaxy far, far away “The Man Trap” aired as the pilot episode for Star Trek: The Original Series. Creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision to successfully deliver a storyline of intergalactic drama full of diversity, acceptance and hope became a reality on todays date. Though the series intention was to be a fictional story, Star Trek would become a futuristic franchise, showcasing humans living in harmony with space and Earth.

        The Starship Enterprise

        The original cast of the Star Trek series was one of the most diverse looking characters ever seen on television at the time. The main crew consisted of:

        • Ship Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner)
        • First Officer and Science Officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy)
        • Chief Medical Officer: Leonard H. “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelly)
        • Opening Credits Narrator: William Shatner

        Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. ~ William Shatner

        LIFT OFF

        • Watch the original Star Trek pilot series.
        • Host a Star Trek Marathon with your friends and family.
        • Dress up in your favorite Star Trek character and host a Treki party.
        • Learn Klingon (the official Star Trek language).
        • Find a Star Trek convention and attend.
        • Introduce Star Trek to a new generation.
        • Post your Star Trek moments on social media and tag #StarTrekDay.

        EARTHING CONTRIBUTIONS

        For 56 years, Star Trek has been captivating audiences across the world. Now considered one of the most successful franchise, the legacy of the original series continues to greet millions of fans. In 2022, Paramount+ is paying special tribute to fans by hosting a variety of celebrations honoring Star Trek through the years.

        Future Events

        For more information visit the Star Trek Day website.