Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween, Scare a Friend Day, 7 Billion Day, more

October 31st, 2012, is Halloween, Beggars' Night, National Knock-Knock Jokes Day, Carve a Pumpkin Day, Scare a Friend Day, Sneak Some of the Candy Before the Kids Start Knocking Day, National Magic Day, Books for Treats Day, Increase Your Psychic Powers Day, November Eve, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, Reformation Day, 7 Billion Day, and National Caramel Apple Day.

What better way is there to learn about Halloween than by visiting The word "Halloween" comes from All Hallow's Eve, the day before All Saints Day. Some refer to Halloween as Beggars' Night.

National Knock-Knock Jokes Day is always celebrated on October 31st. How convenient! Knock-knock jokes are perfect "tricks" to perform, in exchange for receiving treats.

Carve a Pumpkin Day is here. Today is your last chance, after all, if your jack-o'-lantern is meant to be part of your Halloween festivities.

Some people celebrate Scare a Friend Day on Halloween. Booo!

HaLife says today is Sneak Some of the Candy Before the Kids Start Knocking Day. A lot of grown-ups celebrate this one.

National Magic Day honors famous magician Harry Houdini, who died on this date in 1926.

The slogan for Books for Treats Day is: "Give Brain Candy. Feed Kids' Minds, Not Their Cavities." Nice sentiment, perhaps, but be aware that retaliation is a potential consequence. Kids expect sweets.

October 31st is Increase Your Psychic Powers Day - but you knew I was going to say that, didn't you?

Today is November Eve, signaling not just the coming of a new month, but also Samhain, the Celtic dark season, which begins on November 1st.

Some people opt to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF today, rather than for personal gain.

Some countries, including Germany and Slovenia, observe Reformation Day on October 31st. Many churches observe the event on the last Sunday in October.

Want to read something really, really scary this Halloween? The world's population hit 7 billion on or about today's date in 2011, designated as 7 Billion Day. Our world population hit 6 billion not so long ago, in late 1999! Check out this current world population counter - uber scary.

By now everybody should know it's a bad idea to give or receive homemade treats door-to-door on Halloween. It's perfectly okay, however, to share caramel apples with family and close friends today, in honor of National Caramel Apple Day.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Haunted Refrigerator Night, Devil's Night, Mizzy Night, more

October 30th, 2012, is Haunted Refrigerator Night, Mischief Night, Devil's Night, Hell Night, Cabbage Night, Gate Night, Mizzy Night, Miggy Night, Goosing Night, Egg Night, Frankenstein's Monster Day, Sugar Addiction Awareness Day, Create a Great Funeral Day, Checklists Day, Pumpkin Day, and National Candy Corn Day.

Haunted Refrigerator Night is either a time to raid your fridge for snacks in the wee hours, or a time to clean out the leftovers that have passed their prime.

Mischief Night, Devil's Night, Hell Night, Cabbage Night, Gate Night, Mizzy Night, Miggy Night, Goosing Night, Egg Night - whatever you call it, this is the night before Halloween, when mischievous types in parts of the United States, Canada, and the UK enjoy playing pranks. Some in the UK celebrate on November 4th instead, the night before Bonfire Night.

Frankenstein's Monster Day, always celebrated on October 30th, is yet another holiday celebrating Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's literary creation.

Today is Sugar Addiction Awareness Day, or SAAD. meant to warn us about the dangers of candy overload. But Halloween comes just once a year.

Create a Great Funeral Day offers the opportunity to plan your own funeral, thus sparing your loved ones from guessing what you might want during a time of great stress.

Many of us use checklists every day. There are apps for that! The original concept was invented by a group of pilots, following a plane crash on this date in 1935. The crash happened because the pilot had forgotten to disengage a gust lock. Voila - Checklists Day.

If the harvest season, Halloween, and Thanksgiving don't totally satisfy your need for pumpkin, celebrate Pumpkin Day every October 30th.

National Candy Corn Day honors the most traditional Halloween candy of them all. Don't worry, candy corn isn't a vegetable.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Cat Day, Internet Day, Oatmeal Day, more

October 29th, 2012, is Hermit Day, National Cat Day, Internet Day, World Psoriasis Day, Feast Day of Saint Thomas Bellacci, Turkey Republic Day, and National Oatmeal Day.

Hermit Day celebrates the solitary lifestyle. I envision a bearded man, living alone in a cave on a remote mountainside, but I suppose a hermit could dwell in an apartment, ordering supplies online and never setting foot outside.

Today is National Cat Day. Do something special with the feline in your life, perhaps involving a ball of yarn  or a laser pointer.

Internet Day comemorates the anniversary of the first message sent via the Internet back in 1969, between Stanford and UCLA. The message was supposed to be "Login," but the system crashed while trying to send the "g."

World Psoriasis Day is dedicated to those suffering with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

October 29th is the Feast Day of Saint Thomas Bellacci, patron saint of butchers.

Laos celebrates Boun Ok Phansa, the end of Buddhist Lent and the end of the rainy season, featuring boat races with candles.

Turkey observes Republic Day on this date.

Enjoy a breakfast staple that warms you on the inside today, National Oatmeal Day.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Full moon names for October 29th, 2012

Full moon. Image: morgueFile.

The full moon for October 2012 takes place on October 29th or 30th, depending on your location. Too bad it couldn't wait for Halloween. Oh well. Following is a list of full moon names for October, ranging from common to surprising.

Leaf Falling Moon - Abenaki
White Frost on Grass and Ground - Algonquin
Falling Leaves Moon - Anishnaabe
Time When the Corn Is Taken In - Apache
Falling Leaves - Arapaho
Joins Both Sides Moon - Assiniboine
Striped Gopher Looks Back Moon - Assiniboine
Vap Poya - Buddhist
Harvest Moon - Celtic
Harvest Moon - Cherokee
Moon When the Water Begins to Freeze on the Edge of the Streams - Cheyenne
Kindly Moon - Chinese
Big Chestnut Moon - Choctaw
Blackberry Moon - Choctaw
Hunter's Moon - Colonial American
Fall Season Moon - Comanche
The Moon the Birds Fly South - Cree
Big Chestnut Moon - Creek
Moon When Quilling and Beading Is Done - Dakotah Sioux
Blood Moon - English Medieval
Wine Moon - English Medieval
Bears Hibernate - Haida
Ashwin Purnima - Hindu
Kojagari Purnima - Hindu
Sharad Poornima - Hindu
Moon of Harvesting - Hopi
Moon of Long Hair - Hopi
Tugluvik - Inuit
After Harvest - Kalapuya
Start Getting Sagittair Roots - Kalapuya
Ten-Colds Moon (early October) - Kiowa
Leaves Full - Klamath
Middle-Finger Moon (counting on fingers, beginning in August) - Klamath
Halanyimcep - Kumeyaay
Moon When the Wind Shakes Off Leaves - Lakota
Time of Poverty - Mohawk
Small Tree Freeze - Mountain Maidu
Small Wind - Navajo
Blood Moon - Neo Pagan
Harvest Moon - Passamaquoddy
Trees Felled by Fire at Butt - Pomo
Moon When They Store Food in Caches - Ponca
Moon of the First Frost - Potawatomi
Wilted Moon - Shawnee
Rutting Moon - Shoshone
Moon of Changing Season - Sioux
Moon of Falling Leaves - Sioux
Corn Ripe Moon - Taos
Big Moon - Tlingit
Young Animals Moon - Tlingit
Dying Grass Moon - Unknown
Sanguine Moon - Unknown
Shedding Moon - Unknown
Snow Moon - Unknown
Spirit Moon - Unknown
Travel Moon - Unknown
White Frost Moon - Unknown
Windermanoth - Unknown
Winterfelleth Moon - Unknown
Acorns Cached - Valley Maidu
Blood Moon - Wiccan
Travel in Canoes Moon - Wishram
Yohti Meecha - Yaqui
Corn Ripening - Yuchi
Big Wind Moon - Zuni

Sources for full moon names:

More about the moon:

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Plush Animal Lover's Day, Mother-in-Law Day, Chocolate Day, more

October 28th, 2012, is Plush Animal Lover's Day, Mother-in-Law Day, XTERRA World Championship, Gone-ta-Pott Day, Reformation Day, Feast Day of Saint Jude, Ochi Day, Independence Day (Czech Republic), Wild Foods Day, and National Chocolate Day.

Children and kids at heart, gather your animal friends. No, not the real ones. Gather your beloved plush critters and celebrate Plush Animal Lover's Day.

The fourth Sunday in October is Mother-in-Law Day. If you have a mother-in-law, surprise her with something special.

The 2012 XTERRA World Championship takes place in Maui, Hawaii, USA. It is the "world's premier off-road triathlon," featuring a 1.5-kilometer rough water swim, a 29.5-kilometer mountain bike race, and a 9.8-kilometer trail run. Follow the action on Twitter at #XTERRA and #XTERRAMaui.

The 28th of every month is Gone-ta-Pott Day, as declared on the holiday website bearing the same name.

Reformation Day commemorates Martin Luther's posting of his Ninety-five Theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany, on October 31st, 1517. Thus began the Reformation movement. Many Lutherans and other Christians celebrate the event on the last Sunday in October.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Jude, patron saint of desperate cases and namesake of the incredible St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Greece observes Ochi Day (or Oxi Day), remembering when Greece said "ochi" (or "no") to Italian forces which wanted to invade the country in 1940. Greece then joined the Allied Forces against Hitler.

The Czech Republic observes Independence Day on this date.

October 28th is Wild Foods Day. Harvest some if you know what you're doing; visit a reputable health food store if you don't. At the very least, incorporate some fresh produce into your diet.

As if the upcoming Halloween doesn't offer enough sweet temptation, today we are tempted to indulge because it's National Chocolate Day.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cranky Co-Workers Day, Beer Day, Potato Day, more

October 27, 2012, is Cranky Co-Workers Day, Make a Difference Day, Pit Bull Awareness Day, Independence Day (Turkmenistan), American Beer Day, and National Potato Day.

Today we celebrate Cranky Co-Workers Day. If you can't pinpoint the cranky co-worker in your office, maybe it's you! Uh oh.

The fourth Saturday in October is Make a Difference Day. What can you do to make an impact in your community, or even for your neighbor?

Bless the Bullys promotes Pit Bull Awareness Day, "to raise awareness to the plight of the All-American pit bull terrier AND to make a united stand against breed specific legislation."

Turkmenistan observes Independence Day today, followed by a similar holiday tomorrow, October 28th.

Cheers - time to celebrate American Beer Day. If you don't drink, I'm sure root beer qualifies.

Today is National Potato Day. Believe it or not, potatoes are yummy when prepared many ways, beyond the ubiquitous french fries!

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Frankenstein Friday, Mule Day, Pumpkin Day, more

October 26th, 2012, is Frankenstein Friday, Planet-Wide Moon Howl, National Tell a Story Day, Mule Day, Cook Islands Gospel Day, National Day (Austria), National Pumpkin Day, and National Mincemeat Day.

The days leading up to Halloween include several devoted to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's iconic creation. The last Friday in October is Frankenstein Friday.

In years past, October 26th has been celebrated as the Planet-Wide Moon Howl, but the holiday seems to have fizzled. Do your part to reignite the spark tonight, if you're so inclined. Here's a Warren Zevon tune to get you in the mood:

Once upon a time, storytellers in Scotland decided to establish National Tell a Story Day on this date. And they lived happily ever after.

Today is Mule Day, commemorating the date in 1985 when Spanish mules were first brought to the New World. Goatview Farm offers the best ever "recipe" for making a mule: "Mix one male donkey and one female horse. Put in a warm place for 11 months." If you try this recipe, let me know how things turn out.

Cook Islanders celebrate Gospel Day on the local level several times a year, but all come together on October 26th to celebrate National Gospel Day.

Austria observes National Day on October 26th, commemorating the formation of the Second Republic after World War II.

Today is National Pumpkin Day. Whether you prefer pies or jack-o'-lanterns, enjoy the season and eat your pepitas!

Holiday traditionalists and foodies need to know that today is National Mincemeat Day. Mincemeat is made from dried fruits, meat suet, and sometimes minced meat. Alton Brown's Mincemeat Pie recipe takes 45 minutes of active prep, 30 minutes of cooking time, and - this is not a typo - 72 hours of inactive prep. Good luck with that!

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Say "Hey" Day, Greasy Foods Day, Pasta Day, more

October 25th, 2012, is Punk for a Day, Sourest Day, Say "Hey" Day, Feast Day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, Republic Day (Kazakhstan), Thanksgiving (Grenada), Retrocession Day (Taiwan), National Greasy Foods Day, and World Pasta Day.

If you're feeling punk in attitude or appearance (or just want to experiment), here's your chance - celebrate Punk for a Day. Just keep in mind that tomorrow is another day.

Tone down your sweetness today; embrace the sour. (That could tie in nicely with Punk for a Day, just sayin'.) Celebrate Sourest Day.

Hey - you know what? Today is Say "Hey" Day. So there. I said "hey."

October 25th is the Feast Day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, brothers and patron saints of shoemakers, cobblers, and leatherworkers. Enjoy the St. Crispin's Day speech from Shakespeare's Henry V.

Kazakhstan observes Republic Day on October 25th, the anniversary of the 1990 adoption of their Declaration on State Sovereignty.

Grenada officially celebrates Thanksgiving today, although some feel it is an artificial holiday, imported from the United States.

Taiwan observes Retrocession Day, commemorating the end of Japanese rule in 1945.

If you love fast food or diner food, if grease runs through your veins, then today is your special day - National Greasy Foods Day. Roll up your sleeves and keep some napkins handy.

The UN.A.F.P.A. (Union des Associations de Fabricants de Pates Alimentaires de l'U.E. or Union of Organizations of Manufacturers of Pasta Products of the E.U.) sponsors World Pasta Day, along with the National Pasta Association (United States) and the Associations of Venezuela and Turkey. They wish to "draw the attention of the media and consumers to pasta." Pasta is a global food, consumed on all continents, meeting basic food requirements and satisfying "those of high-level gastronomy." Hard to argue with that! 

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

United Nations Day, Good and Plenty Day, Bologna Day, more

October 24th, 2012, is Food Day, United Nations Day, World Development Information Day, Universal Children's Day, Independence Day (Zambia), National Good and Plenty Day, and National Bologna Day.

Food Day promotes healthy eating habits, sustainable and organic farming, reducing world hunger, and other food-related issues.

United Nations Day commemorates the formation of the United Nations on this date in 1945.

The United Nations sponsors World Development Information Day on October 24th: "Information and communications technologies have the potential to provide new solutions to development challenges, particularly in the context of globalization, and can foster economic growth, competitiveness, access to information and knowledge, poverty eradication and social inclusion."

Universal Children's Day is observed on the 4th Wednesday in October in Australia, while the United Nations observes the event in November. Everyone is encouraged to do their part so children can enjoy both a happy childhood and a quality education.

Zambia observes Independence Day on October 24th.

Today is Dashami, part of Bengal's Durga Puja.

Just one week before Halloween the spotlight falls on one specific candy - Good and Plenty. Especially if you're fond of licorice, celebrate National Good and Plenty Day.

It's okay to be full of baloney/bologna today, National Bologna Day.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Scorpio the Scorpion, October 23 to November 21

Scorpio. Image: Salvatore Vuono,

Everyone born between October 23rd and November 21st is a Scorpio, the sign of the Scorpion.

For more information about Scorpio:

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TV Talk Show Host Day, Mole Day, Canned Food Day, more

October 23rd, 2012, is TV Talk Show Host Day, iPod Day, National Mole Day, Chung Yeung Festival, Nabami, Chulalongkorn Day, National Canned Food Day, and National Boston Cream Pie Day.

TV Talk Show Host Day honors all TV talk show hosts, but the date commemorates the birth of legendary host Johnny Carson. Heeeeere's Johnny! (And here's a shout-out to my current favorite, Craig Ferguson. He is the sharpest knife in the drawer.)

The first iPod was unveiled on this date in 2001; the first iPod hit the market in November 2001. We've come a long way since then. Happy iPod Day, with a nod to Apple's co-founder, Steve Jobs.

National Mole Day isn't what you probably think it is. Celebrated from 6:02 am to 6:02 pm on 10/23, Mole Day celebrates Avogadro's Number, 6.02 x 10^23, and the mole, a unit of measure in chemistry.

The Chung Yeung Festival is the second of the Chinese "grave sweeping" holidays, a time to respect one's ancestors, traditionally by climbing a mountain and making a burnt offering.

Today is Nabami, a part of Bengal's Durga Puja.

Chulalongkorn Day is observed in Thailand, in memory of King Rama V.

Did you know a French chef invented canning? Me neither - I was shocked. National Canned Food Day commemorates the birth date of chef Nicolas Appert, the "Father of Canning." Many health experts recommend switching to fresh or frozen, but the canned food aisles remain stocked and popular in grocery stores everywhere.

October 23rd honors the official dessert of Massachusetts, Boston Cream Pie. Good thing it's not the official pie, because it's really a cake. Have some without question or guilt on National Boston Cream Pie Day.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Color Day, Stuttering Awareness Day, Nut Day, more

October 22nd, 2012, is National Color Day, INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY, International School Library Day, International Stuttering Awareness Day, Ashtami, Independence Day (New Zealand), and National Nut Day.

October 22nd is National Color Day. Learn more about the impact of color in your home from my friends at Your Decorating Resource.

October 22nd is INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY. The "international" part is tongue-in-cheek, apparently, because some languages don't even have upper- and lower-case letters. YELL IN TEXT if you choose or follow the Twitter action at #capslockday.

The fourth Monday in October is International School Library Day. Return those overdue books, kidlets!

International Stuttering Awareness Day is a time to learn more about stuttering, a communication disorder involving repetitions, prolongations, or abnormal stoppages.

Today is Ashtami, a part of Bengal's Durga Puja.

New Zealand celebrates Independence Day on the fourth Monday in October.

The United Kingdom observes the third annual National Nut Day in 2012 - presumably to celebrate edible treats, not crazy people. The United States has a longer tradition of observing this holiday.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Babbling Day, Count Your Buttons Day, Caramel Apple Day, more

October 21st, 2012, is Babbling Day, Count Your Buttons Day, Reptile Awareness Day, Global Iodine Deficiency Day, Feast Day of Saint Ursula, Saptami, Armed Forces Day (Honduras), Caramel Apple Day, Pop Rocks Day (proposed), and National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day.

Oh, I could go on and on about the wonders of this first holiday, honoring those who like to use many words when few would do, but then again perhaps you're busy and you're hoping I'll cut to the chase. What? It's already too late for me to cut to the chase? What does the expression "cut to the chase" mean, anyway? Wait - what was my original point? Oh, right. Today is Babbling Day.

Today is Count Your Buttons Day. I actually have a collection of odd buttons in my sewing kit. The array of colors and shapes pleases me, and some of the buttons are old enough to be antiques. But if I do take time to count them, should I stop with that? What about the buttons on the clothes my family and I have hanging in our closets? Perhaps I'll think about it next year, if the world is still turning.

Reptile Awareness Day celebrates those critters that some love, others despise (or misunderstand). The folks at point out that this holiday has a "RAD" acronym.

Global Iodine Deficiency Day is meant to raise awareness of the physical problems that result from iodine deficiency, including brain damage.

October 21st is the Feast Day of Saint Ursula. She is the patron saint of students.

Today is Saptami, a part of Bengal's Durga Puja.

Honduras observes Armed Forces Day on October 21st.

Today might be Caramel Apple Day, but if you have other plans this holiday comes around again in just ten days, on Halloween.

In the estimable opinion of the blogger(s) at Months of Edible Celebrations, October 21st should be designated Pop Rocks Day in honor of  William A. Mitchell, creator. I wholeheartedly agree! Mitchell, who was born on this date, also invented Cool Whip and Tang. One man, three iconic concoctions.

If you're hungry for an autumnal dessert not involving apples and caramel, celebrate National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Orionids Meteor Shower 2012

The 2012 Orionids Meteor Shower, potentially visible from October 2nd through November 7th, will be at its peak on the night of October 20th and the morning of October 21st. Like the ETA Aquarids Meteor Shower, the Orionids takes place when the earth passes through the dust of Halley's Comet. The meteor shower is visible in both hemispheres.

City lights, called light pollution, can interfere with viewing. So can reflected moonlight. The waxing crescent moon will block some but not all visibility. Pay close attention, because the Orionids are known to be especially speedy.

Meteor showers are named for the constellation they appear to be near. The Orionids Meteor Shower appears near Orion the Hunter.

Stargazing bench. Image: suphakit73; FreeDigitalPhotos

Check out these sites for more information about the Orionids Meteor Shower, including recommended viewing times for your corner of the globe:

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Astronomy Day, Sweetest Day, Toy Camera Day, more

October 20th, 2012, is Information Overload Awareness Day, Astronomy Day, Sweetest Day, Bridge Day, World Toy Camera Day, Shashti, World Statistics Day, Air Traffic Control Day, World Osteoporosis Day, Birth of the Bab, Kenyatta Day, Revolution Day (Guatemala), and National Brandied Fruit Day.

Does October 20th feature too many holidays for your taste? Are you suffering from information overload? If so, feel free to stop reading this Holiday Whiz post right now - just for today. Happy Information Overload Awareness Day!

Astronomy Day takes place twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. Check with local space and science museums for special events on this year's fall date.

Sweetest Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in October. The event originated in Cleveland, Ohio, in the middle of the twentieth century, when a man decided to distribute small gifts to orphans and shut-ins. Over time the sentiment expanded to included more cities and to embrace acts of kindness to anyone whose spirits could use a lift.

Bridge Day in Fayette, West Virginia is the one day every year when people are allowed to BASE jump from the New River Gorge Bridge into the gorge below. BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth.

Get out your inexpensive cameras and put them through their paces - it's World Toy Camera Day.

Today is Shashti, part of Bengal's Durga Puja Festival.

2010 marked the first observance of World Statistics Day, sponsored by the United Nations to "recognize the importance of statistics in shaping our societies."

The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers has designated October 20th as Air Traffic Control Day. Be thankful to the dedicated souls who help us arrive safely at our destinations with our tray tables in the upright position.

"Love Your Bones" is a fitting slogan for World Osteoporosis Day. Follow relevant tweets at #wod_2012.

Followers of the Baha'i faith celebrate the Birth of the Bab on October 20th. Some compare the mission of the Bab with the mission of Jesus.

Kenya celebrates the memory of founding father Jomo Kenyatta today, Kenyatta Day.

Guatemala observes Revolution Day on October 20th, remembering their 1944 uprising against dictatorship.

Do you enjoy brandy? If so, whip up a concoction of brandy, sugar, and your favorite fruits in honor of National Brandied Fruit Day.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Evaluate Your Life Day, Mammography Day, more

October 19th, 2012, is Evaluate Your Life Day, Panchami, National Mammography Day, Mother Teresa Day, and Seafood Bisque Day.

Today is Evaluate Your Life Day. Have you met your important goals? Touched the lives of others? Checked off a few items on your  bucket list? Take time to ponder and maybe set some new goals.

Panchami is a part of Durga Puja, the biggest festival in Bengal.

Get yourself checked and/or encourage your friends and family to do so, in honor of National Mammography Day. This event takes place on the third Friday in October.

Albania celebrates Mother Teresa Day on October 19th, the anniversary of the day in 2003 when she was beatified by the Vatican. Mother Teresa was born in Albania.

Warm your heart and your tummy with a steaming bowl of goodness on Seafood Bisque Day.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Great Shakeout, No Beard Day, Menopause Day, more

October 18th, 2012, is Great Shakeout, No Beard Day, Boost Your Brain Day, Get Smart about Credit Day, International Credit Union Day, Get to Know Your Customers Day, World Menopause Day, Saint Luke Feast Day, Independence Day (Azerbaijan), Alaska Day, and National Chocolate Cupcake Day.

On 10/18 at 10:18 a.m., practice your earthquake preparedness. It's the Great Shakeout, promoted by Citizen Corps.

Sorry, Santa Claus. Sorry, ZZ Top. Today is No Beard Day.

Ready for some mental gymnastics? Amp up your skill at chess or learn some mnemonic strategies. Celebrate Boost Your Brain Day.

The third Thursday of October is Get Smart about Credit Day. Most of us could use a refresher course at the very least.

As a companion to the holiday just above, International Credit Union Day is also observed today. The theme for 2011 is "Members Matter Most."

The third Thursday of each quarter is Get to Know Your Customers Day. Savvy salespeople will take this holiday to heart.

If you're a woman of a certain age, talk to your doctor about your menopausal symptoms. Confide in a trusted friend. There's no need for you to go through this transition all alone. October 18th is World Menopause Day.

October 18th is the Feast Day of Saint Luke. He is the patron saint of physicians and surgeons.

Azerbaijan observes Independence Day on October 18th, celebrating independence from the Soviet Union since 1991.

Alaska Day commemorates the day in 1867 when the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. The theme for the festival in 2012 is "the Alaska Native Brotherhood and its 100 Years."

Who doesn't love chocolate cake, and who doesn't love portable snacks? Combine the two and you've got chocolate cupcakes, one of my daughter's favorite foods. October 18th is National Chocolate Cupcake Day.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wear Something Gaudy Day, Black Poetry Day, Pasta Day, more

October 17th, 2012, is Wear Something Gaudy Day, Mulligan Day, Black Poetry Day, National Fossil Day, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Hurricane Thanksgiving Day, Death of Dessalines, Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day, and National Pasta Day.

Tired of being predictable? Bored with being a wallflower? Draw attention to yourself by celebrating Wear Something Gaudy Day. Here's some inspiration!

On Mulligan Day, don't stress your mistakes. Enjoy free do-overs! (In theory, at least. Don't test this out in situations that really matter, such as driving or performing brain surgery.)

Black Poetry Day commemorates the birth date of Jupiter Hammon, the first African American to publish poetry in the United States.

The third Wednesday in October is National Fossil Day, not to be confused with October 12th's plain Fossil Day.

October 17th is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes, "Rampant poverty, which has festered for far too long, is linked to social unrest and threats to peace and security. On this International Day, let us make an investment in our common future by helping to lift people out of poverty so that they, in turn, can help to transform our world." The theme for 2012 is: "Ending the Violence of Extreme Poverty: Promoting Empowerment and Building Peace."

The U.S. Virgin Islands celebrates Hurricane Thanksgiving Day, giving thanks that the most active months of the hurricane season have passed.

Haiti observes the Death of Dessalines as a national holiday. Jean-Jacques Dessalnes is remembered for his role in achieving Haiti's independence from France, even though he was not beloved as an emperor.

The third Wednesday in October is National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day.

National Pasta Day celebrates noodly food in all forms - ziti (bridegrooms), spaghetti (length of cord), fusilli (twisted spaghetti), farfalle (butterflies), gemili (twins), and countless others.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dictionary Day, Ada Lovelace Day, World Food Day, more

October 16th, 2012, is Dictionary Day, Ada Lovelace Day, Feral Cat Day, National Boss' Day, World Food Day, and National Liqueur Day.

Dictionary Day commemorates the birth date of Noah Webster, author of A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, considered to be the first American dictionary. Make a list of words you're unsure of - perhaps starting with "compendious" - then look them up!

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, "celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths." Spread the word about your favorite woman of science! I'm an admirer of Danica McKellar, an actress and mathematician who encourages young girls to explore the world of mathematics. Ada Lovelace, actually Lady Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was a computing pioneer of sorts. She published an article about an Analytical Engine in 1842.

Feral Cat Day is meant to prevent unnecessary killing of outdoor cats, via spay/neuter programs and educational outreach.

On National Boss' Day, show your boss some appreciation. Jobs are valuable commodities these days.

The theme for World Food Day 2012 is "Agricultural cooperatives - key to feeding the world."

Raise a glass or two in celebration of National Liqueur Day. Just make sure someone else drives you home.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day, Roast Pheasant Day, more

October 15th, 2012, is National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day, National Grouch Day, Global Handwashing Day, International Day of Rural Women, White Cane Safety Day, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, Mahalaya, National Heroes' Day, National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, Mother's Day (Malawi), National Chicken Cacciatore Day, National Roast Pheasant Day, and National Mushroom Day.

The third Monday in October is National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day. How many icons, shortcuts, and widgets do you need, anyway?

Today is National Grouch Day, endorsed by Sesame Street Magazine.

Global Handwashing Day was created in 2008 to "foster and support a global culture of handwashing with soap, shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in every country, [and] raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap."

October 15th is the International Day of Rural Women. United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-moon writes, "Empowering rural women is crucial for ending hunger and poverty. By denying women rights and opportunities, we deny their children and societies a better future. This is why the United Nations recently launched a programme to empower rural women and enhance food security."

White Cane Safety Day is a time to raise awareness among sighted people, regarding safety for independent individuals who happen to be blind.

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, a day to remember the little lives that ended all too soon.

Today is Mahalaya, observed seven days before Durga Puja.

Jamaica observes National Heroes' Day on the third Monday in October.

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is meant to raise awareness about prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics.

Malawi celebrates Mother's Day on October 15th, the centerpiece of a three-day festival.

Did you know "cacciatore" means "hunter" in Italian? Me neither. Celebrate National Chicken Cacciatore Day.

Fall brings cooler temperatures for all and freedom to crank up the oven for the home cook. Make a grand dinner in honor of National Roast Pheasant Day.

Fashion your favorite fungi into a foodie feast today, National Mushroom Day.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Be Bald and Be Free Day, Chocolate Covered Insect Day, more

October 14th, 2012, is Be Bald and Be Free Day, National Day (Yemen), Clergy Appreciation Day, and National Chocolate Covered Insect Day.

Who needs shampoo, blow dryers, and combs? As a matter of fact, who needs hair? October 14th is Be Bald and Be Free Day.

Yemen observes National Day on October 14th.

The second Sunday in October is Clergy Appreciation Day, sometimes known as Pastor Appreciation Day or Ministry Appreciation Day. Do something special and heartfelt.

Someone once said, everything is better with chocolate. Do you agree? If so, step up and embrace National Chocolate Covered Insect Day.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Costume Swap Day, Skeptics Day, Train Your Brain Day, more

October 13th, 2012, is Costume Swap Day, Universal Music Day, English Language Day, National Chess Day, International Skeptics Day, National Train Your Brain Day, International Day for Disaster Reduction, Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, International Migratory Bird Day, Saint Edward the Confessor Feast Day, and National Yorkshire Pudding Day.

Whoever came up with the idea for Costume Swap Day deserves a round of applause. Why not trade and reuse costumes that have been worn only once or twice? Swapping is both economical and green. Sooo.... what are you going to dress up as this year?

The theme for this year's Universal Music Day is: "Let YOUR HeART Lead YOUR Way!" This holiday is always celebrated on the second Saturday in October.

The theme for this year's English Language Day is: "The language of making and craft."

Celebrate National Chess Day on the second Saturday in October. It's "the Festivus for the Chess of us."

Are you skeptical about today's celebration of International Skeptics Day? Good job, if so, for some say the date should be October 13th, some say January 13th, and others say the first Friday the 13th of the year. Whatever.

Put on your thinking cap and do a mental workout in honor of National Train Your Brain Day.

The International Day for Disaster Reduction used to be known as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, but it was expanded in 2009 to include all disasters. The theme for 2012 is: "Women and Girls - the [in]Visible Force of Resilience."

Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day is observed every year on October 13th. Dr. Susan Love writes, "Reach out today to someone you know that represents the other side of breast cancer, the one that is not so pink."

In southern parts of the Americas, including Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, the second Saturday in October is International Migratory Bird Day. In the United States and Canada, the event is observed on the second Saturday in May.

October 13th is the Feast Day of Saint Edward the Confessor. He is the patron saint of difficult marriages.

Today is National Yorkshire Pudding Day, but be warned - Yorkshire pudding is neither sweet nor is it diet food. It consists of a pan of pancake batter, placed under roasting mutton to catch the drippings.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Native American Day, Moment of Frustration Scream Day, more

October 12th, 2012, is Columbus Day (actual date), Native American Day, Dia de la Raza (Day of the Race), Dia de la Hispanidad (Hispanic Day), Fiesta Nacional de Espana (National Day), Dia de la Resistencia (Day of Indigenous Resistance), Fossil Day, Day of Six Billion, Moment of Frustration Scream Day, Freethought Day, Old Farmer's Day, Feast Day of Our Lady of Aparecida, Independence Day (Equatorial Guinea), Cookbook Launch Day, World Egg Day, and National Gumbo Day.

October 12th is the actual date of Columbus Day or Native American Day, when Christopher Columbus first set foot in America, although the United States generally observes the holiday on the second Monday in October. The event is not a celebration for all, as the arrival of Europeans meant loss of land and freedom for many indigenous people. Spanish-speaking countries observe the event today as Dia de la Raza (Day of the Race), Dia de la Hispanidad (Hispanic Day), or Fiesta Nacional de Espana (National Day). Venezuela observes Dia de la Resistencia (Day of Indigenous Resistance).

Fossil Day honors all fossils, but the holiday is also embraced as the fifth and final event of Cephalopod Awareness Days. Don't confuse this celebration with National Fossil Day, which will take place this year on October 17th.

Day of Six Billion is a reason for concern, not for celebration. According to the UNFPA, the earth's population reached 6,000,000,000 on or about October 12th, 1999. Incidentally, the Day of Seven Billion occurred on October 31st, 2011. Most sobering of all is this World Population Clock, in real time. If this doesn't scare you, I don't know what will.

If you're having a bad day, if you're worried about overpopulation, if you're fed up with politicians and partisanship, or if you've simply run out of coffee, vent your stress with a primal scream. Today is Moment of Frustration Scream Day.

Freethought Day is meant to increase awareness and tolerance of others' beliefs or lack thereof. According to Secular Seasons, "In this day and age in the United States, discrimination, hatred, and bias against freethinkers is still allowed, even promoted, by many in this country."

During this harvest season, remember the ones who tend the crops. Celebrate Old Farmer's Day.

Brazil celebrates the Feast Day of Our Lady of Aparecida on October 12th. The Patroness of Brazil is also known as Our Lady Who Appeared.

Equatorial Guinea observes Independence Day on this date, celebrating freedom from Spanish rule since 1968.

Share your culinary creativity with the world today, Cookbook Launch Day. Alternatively, visit your favorite book retailer and purchase a new cookbook.

Don't miss World Egg Day - always the second Friday in October. For something different and so fabulous, whip up some Mexican chilaquiles!

Enjoy a flavorful dish that shouts "New Orleans!" today, National Gumbo Day.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

10-11-12, Kraken Day, World Sight Day, Sausage Pizza Day, more

October 11th, 2012, is 10-11-12, Kraken Day, "You Go, Girl" Day, It's My Party Day, Coming Out Day, World Sight Day, National Depression Screening Day, Macedonian National Uprising Day, General Pulaski Memorial Day, and National Sausage Pizza Day.

Number geeks, rejoice! Today is 10-11-12.

Kraken Day is part of the annual Cephalopod Days celebration. Enjoy the images below, in tribute:

"You Go, Girl" Day is a time to celebrate all things girly, feminine, and independent.

October 11th is always It's My Party Day. If you need a reason, feel free to embrace any holiday on today's list. How about a pizza party? You could serve sausage pizza for National Sausage Pizza Day, pepperoni cut to resemble kraken for Kraken Day, and eggplant pizza with ajvar for Macedonian National Uprising Day. Have fun!

Today is Coming Out Day, and there's an app for that. Show your support for the LGBT community by using a special Facebook app or tweeting to #comingout.

The World Health Organization promotes World Sight Day on the second Thursday in October, to "focus global attention on blindness, visual impairment and rehabilitation of the visually impaired."

The second Thursday in October is National Depression Screening Day. If you or someone you love might need help, please get screened.

Macedonia observes Macedonian National Uprising Day on October 11th, remembering the people's uprising against fascism during World War II.

General Pulaski Memorial Day honors the Polish-born Casmir Pulaski, who supported the colonists against England during the American Revolution. He became known as the "Father of the American Cavalry."

As if most of us need another excuse to eat pizza, today we celebrate National Sausage Pizza Day.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stop Bullying Day, Squid Day, Cake Decorating Day, more

October 10th, 2012, is National Stop Bullying Day, Stop America's Violence Everywhere, Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day, Squid Day, National Cake Decorating Day, Bonza Bottler Day, Emergency Nurses Day, Double Tenth Day, Moi Day, World Mental Health Day, Fiji Day, and Angel Food Cake Day.

National Stop Bullying Day is the perfect time to talk with the young people in your life, to find out if they are being bullied, if they have ever bullied, or if they have friends who are affected by bullying. Communication is so important! The theme for 2012 is: "Bullying is the cause of bullying. It's contagious. Don't catch it!"

Sponsored by the AMA Alliance, Stop America's Violence Everywhere (SAVE) is observed on the second Wednesday in October.

Need some comfort or moral support? Today is Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day. Just be prepared to answer a lot of questions as you go about your day with a teddy bear cradled in your arms.

Squid Day, also known as Cuttlefish Day, Squidturday, or Squittleday, is part of the  Cephalopod Days celebration.

Try a new outlet for your creativity today, National Cake Decorating Day.

Bonza Bottler Day occurs every month when the month's number and the date are the same. Today is 10/10!

The second Wednesday of October is celebrated as Emergency Nurses Day. They are special, dedicated individuals.

Taiwan observes Double Tenth Day on October 10th, commemorating the Wuchang Uprising of 1911. Events include a parade and a presidential speech.

Moi Day honors a former president of Kenya, Daniel arap Moi.

Today is World Mental Health Day. The theme for 2011 is "investing in mental health."

Fiji observes Fiji Day on October 10th, featuring religious and cultural events.

Feel free to indulge on Angel Food Cake Day. This cake is light and low-fat!

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Face Your Fears Day, Nautilus Night, Moldy Cheese Day, more

October 9th, 2012, is National Face Your Fears Day, Nautilus Night, Curious Events Day, Leif Erikson Day, World Post Day, National Pro-Life Cupcake Day, Hangeul Day, Guayaquil Independence Day, Independence Day (Uganda), Day of National Honor (Peru), Submarine-Hoagie-Hero-Grinder Day, and National Moldy Cheese Day.

What is your greatest fear? Fear of heights, fear of flying, fear of coming out of the closet, fear of failure, fear of public speaking? Begin the journey to self-improvement on National Face Your Fears Day.

October 9th is Nautilus Night, part of the Cephalopod Days. The nautilus uses its shell as a bouyancy control system.

Be on the lookout for curious events. Keys could go missing. Unmatched socks might find their mates. Chairs might float. Okay, that last one probably won't happen. But be warned that today is Curious Events Day.

Leif Erikson Day honors a famous viking, probably the first European to set foot on what is now the United States.

World Post Day commemorates the 1874 establishment of the Universal Postal Union in Bern, Switzerland.
On the theory that cupcakes are meant for birthdays and abortion robs children of their birthdays, National Pro-Life Cupcake Day was founded to discourage abortion.

Hangeul Day, also known as Korean Alphabet Day, celebrates what some call the most linguistically sophisticated writing system in the world.

Ecuador observes Guayaquil Independence Day today. Guayaquil, the largest city in Equador, declared independence from Spain in 1820.

Uganda observes Independence Day on October 9th

Peru celebrates the Day of National Honor, remembering the 1968 nationalization of their oil fields.

Are you hungry for a sandwich? Do you have a variety of meats, cheeses, veggies, and condiments on hand, along with some good bread? If so, you're all set to enjoy Submarine-Hoagie-Hero-Grinder Day.

If you love Blue or Gorgonzola, today is your day. Celebrate National Moldy Cheese Day.

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