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May 7 is Mother Ocean Day

mother ocean dayToday is the fourth annual Mother Ocean Day. It takes place on the day before Mother’s Day and spotlights the magnificent bodies of water that make life on Earth possible.

Begun in 2013 in Miami, Florida, the holiday’s goal is to bring attention to the challenges we face as a consequence of  our use and abuse of the planet.

Participants observe this day by tossing roses on the water, from the shore or sea vessels. While throwing things into the ocean to raise awareness of the dangers of pollution may seem a bit wrongheaded, at least the flowers are biodegradable. It is also a tradition associated with memorializing the dead and the oceans are still alive, for now.

Coral reefs are the proverbial canary in a coal mine, fragile ecosystems that cannot withstand changes of more than  2° Celsius. With sea temperatures and acidification on the rise due to manmade CO2 emissions, reefs around the world are beginning to die of a process called bleaching.

This may seem a problem only for scuba divers and underwater nature photographers but it is of importance to us all. Reefs protect coastlines, shelter 25% of ocean-dwelling species and support the fishing and tourism industries.

In the future, perhaps a more fitting tribute would be tossing ice cubes into the water.  However you decide to celebrate, have a very happy Mother Ocean Day!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

National Hairball Awareness Day

Today is National Hairball Awareness Day, observed annually on the last Friday of April.

National Hairball Awareness Day

Hairballs are a nuisance and just plain gross, as anyone who’s stepped on one in bare feet can attest. They’re no fun for cats, either, causing discomfort and irritation. In some cases, they can be an indicator of serious illness. Talk to your veterinarian to learn more, and be sure to brush your pets often and keep your home clean to prevent dust and other particles from adhering to their fur, where they can be ingested.

P.S.: We’re not advocating the nuclear option you see above for every pet. Rocky, the cat shown here, hated to be brushed but for some reason enjoyed the shearing process. His groomers always remarked on how mellow he was and charged much less for his visits. Despite his dyspeptic look, Rocky loved his lion cut. We’d even say he rocked it!

Have a safe and happy National Hairball Awareness Day!

More cat holidays:
Respect Your Cat Day – March 28
Cat Herders’ Day – December 15
National Cat Day – October 29

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

 

National Equal Pay Day 2016

Twenty years ago, Equal Pay Day was established to illustrate how far into the new year women have to work to earn the same wages that men make in the previous year.

national equal pay dayBecause Census data is released later in the year, Equal Pay Day has long been scheduled on the Tuesday in April that falls most closely to the estimated date. Tuesday was chosen to represent the extra time a woman must work to earn what men take home the previous week.

Well, congratulations, ladies! Your day has arrived. No, you aren’t going to be paid the same amount as men. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, making it illegal to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job, signed into law by President John F. Kennedy remains nothing more than a well-intentioned piece of paper with a very valuable autograph.

We know the suspense must be killing you. Here goes: Yesterday President Obama proclaimed April 12 to be National Equal Pay Day. It’s official! No, you can’t have the day off. Honestly, you are a riot.

We know the president has worked hard for women’s equality because it says so in this White House press release. What’s more, he’s unveiled plans for a monument honoring the women’s equality movement to be erected in Washington, D.C.

We have a suggestion. Why not save the self-congratulatory groundbreaking until equal pay is achieved? Until then, reserve an empty spot to represent the net worth of legislators’ good intentions to the livelihood of their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters.

Set up a booth where Congresspeople can explain to children why their future efforts lose value the moment they are born girls. Raise money for the monument by garnishing 21% of their wages until they enforce the Equal Pay Act. (They don’t even need to write a law. It’s already on the books.)

Perhaps we would end up with a solution to this ridiculous situation, instead of a succession of declarations and photo ops. But we’re pretty sure that by the time that happened, we’d have the money for a really big statue.

Until then, have an angry National Equal Pay Day!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

March 10 is World Kidney Day

world kidney day

©World Kidney Day 2006-2016

World Kidney Day

March 10th is World Kidney Day (WKD), created in 2006 to promote awareness of kidneys, their vital role in our bodies, and their susceptibility to often preventable diseases.

The holiday is co-sponsored by the International Society of Nephrology  (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). Nine thousand healthcare professionals in 126 countries are members of ISN, a non-profit society founded in 1960. The IFKF was created in 1999 to improve treatment and promote research; members include 63 kidney foundations and patient associations in 41 countries.

WKD 2016

Each year’s observance focuses on a different theme. 2016’s WKD theme was “Kidney Disease & Children. Act Early to Prevent It!” Its goal was to get the word out that children are vulnerable to Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) due to kidney blockage or traumatic injury, and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) caused by birth defects, hereditary or systemic diseases and nephrotic syndrome, among other factors.

world kidney day

©World Kidney Day 2006-2016

Move Your Feet

WKD 2016’s social media campaign encouraged everyone to get moving, take a photo of their feet and post it with the hashtag #moveyourfeet4wkd. From the World Kidney Day site:

World Kidney Day 2016 ‘Move your feet’ campaign urges everyone around the globe, from all cultures and ages, to keep fit and active. This campaign is a symbol to encourage people to maintain a minimum level of physical activity in any way they can, with their own means and frequency, regardless of their physical condition. Small steps can make a difference to keep healthy kidneys and we value every single effort.

Facts about Kidney Health

Most people know that high blood pressure raises risk for heart attack and stroke; it’s also the most common cause of CKD. Exercise helps lower blood pressure and has many other health benefits.

Half of all diabetics will develop kidney damage at some point. Keeping blood sugar at a healthy level and having kidney function monitored with regular blood tests can reduce or prevent damage.

Staying hydrated helps the kidneys flush sodium, urea and toxins from the body. Some studies claim it can lower the risk of kidney damage. There is little agreement on how much water is optimal, although experts agree that extremely high intake can cause life-threatening side effects.

Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs are known to cause kidney damage if taken regularly. Chronic users should consult their doctors to find a safe way to manage their pain.

Finally, here’s yet another reason to quit smoking: It slows blood flow to the kidneys, impairing their ability to function normally. Smokers also have a 50% increase in the risk of kidney cancer. After cessation of smoking, risk drops; after ten years, it is the same as that of a non-smoker.

Let’s Go!

Events are going on worldwide right now. Not near one? Start your own. All you have to do is put your best foot forward. Have a happy and healthy World Kidney Day!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays