Disobedience Day

Each July 3 we celebrate Disobedience Day. It is an international holiday. This day will mean different things to different people. For some, it will be more individual, especially for those stuck in situations where they have to do what is expected of them all the time. If this is you, I sympathize. I have been in your position when I thought if I had to be the good and obedient one another minute, I’d burst. For you, this can be a day to step away from the routine or the oppression, and do something different without anybody’s permission.

For many, however, this day celebrates civil disobedience. It is a day to remember all those who challenged unjust laws, putting themselves on the line. We have many modern examples of non-violence disobedience to look up to. Gandhi in India challenged the British rule there and eventually won freedom for his people. There was Nelson Mandela in South Africa, who led the fight against apartheid with peaceful protests. In the United States, we have Martin Luther King, Jr., who was an icon of the African-American civil rights movement. Probably the most prominent civil disobedience of recent years has been the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which shows that too often might and power win over right.

But civil disobedience didn’t start in the twentieth century. According to National Whatever Day,  “One of the oldest depictions of civil disobedience is in Sophocles’ play Antigone, in which Antigone, one of the daughters of former King of Thebes, Oedipus, defies Creon, the current King of Thebes, who is trying to stop her from giving her brother Polynices a proper burial. She gives a stirring speech in which she tells him that she must obey her conscience rather than human law. She is not at all afraid of the death he threatens her with (and eventually carries out), but she is afraid of how her conscience will smite her if she does not do this.”

So whether this is a day for you to rebel against your circumstances, or a day to get involved in more general movements, it is a time to remember than unjust situations and laws don’t change until somebody stands up and say “No.”

Quotes about Civil Disobedience

Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.–Howard Zinn

An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.–Martin Luther King, Jr.

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.–Henry David Thoreau

Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless or corrupt.–Mahatma Gandhi

We cannot, by total reliance on law, escape the duty to judge right and wrong… There are good laws and there are occasionally bad laws, and it conforms to the highest traditions of a free society to offer resistance to bad laws, and to disobey them.–Alexander Bickel

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.–Albert Einstein

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. –Desmond Tutu

I believe that Gandhi was correct. Non-violent civil disobedience is the only way to bring about change that allows people to enjoy the change and not get killed in the process.–Edward James Olmos

Dare to do things worthy of imprisonment if you mean to be of consequence.–Juvenal

Civil disobedience has an honourable history, and when the urgency and moral clarity cross a certain threshold, then I think that civil disobedience is quite understandable, and it has a role to play.–Al Gore

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Canada Day

Originally called Dominion Day, Canada Day is always July 1, though if it falls on a Sunday, it is celebrated the next day. In French, the day is called la Fête du Canada. On July 1, 1867, the British North Americas Act created the Dominion of Canada as a federation of four provinces. We call this event the confederation of Canada. The four original provinces were created from the former British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada, which was divided into the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. We often refer to this day as the birth of Canada, though that is partly symbolic, much as July 4 is in the United States.

This is called a statuary holiday in Canada, which means much of the country is closed, such as government offices, and most businesses. Buses are free, but run on a holiday or Sunday schedule. Canadians fly the flag today, and there are marches and festivities. These include pancake breakfasts, parades, concerts, carnivals, festivals, firework displays, and citizenship ceremonies for new Canadian citizens. The celebrations often have a patriotic mood.

I used to go up to Toronto a couple of times a year, back when it was difficult to obtain British books in the States. One year my brother and I arrived on Canada Day, not thinking about it at all, and were very surprised to find most things closed. I have become much more internationally aware of things since!

According to various sites around the web, here are some reasons Canada is the best country in the world.

  • Beautiful clear and pure tap water
  • You can call the government direct. They have an 800 number
  • Canada has the highest proportion of college graduates
  • Canadians are known for their politeness
  • Canadian chocolate is of a higher quality than American major companies
  • The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau
  • Universal health care
  • Affordable education (college costs $3000-$4000 a year)
  • Montreal, which is like being in Europe without having to leave the continent

Celebrating this special day with our neighbors to the north. Happy Canada Day!

Quotes about Canada

My dream is for people around the world to look up and to see Canada like a little jewel sitting at the top of the continent.–Tommy Douglas

Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world.–Jack Layton

Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity.–Marshall McLuhan

Canada will be a strong country when Canadians of all provinces feel at home in all parts of the country, and when they feel that all Canada belongs to them.–Pierre Trudeau

Canada has always been there to help people who need it.–Justin Trudeau

I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given to participate in that work as a representative of my country, Canada, whose people have, I think, shown their devotion to peace.–Lester B. Pearson

Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party.–Robin Williams

I love being Canadian. I think growing up in Canada gives you a world perspective that I certainly enjoy.–Ryan Gosling

Canada is the homeland of equality, justice and tolerance.–Kim Campbell

Every country is like a particular type of person. America is like a belligerent, adolescent boy; Canada is like an intelligent, 35-year-old woman.–Douglas Adams

It is incomprehensible that drug companies still get away with charging Americans twice as much, or more, than citizens of Canada or Europe for the exact same drugs manufactured by the exact same companies.–Bernie Sanders

I have a maple leaf tattoo over my heart, quite literally, and my two favorite things on Earth are being in Canada and making movies.–Jay Baruchel

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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry was born on June 29, 1900. His family were comfortably off until his father’s untimely death when Saint-Exupéry was young, which left then impoverished. After a series of odd jobs, he entered the army, and while there took flying lessons. This led to him being offered a transfer to the French Air Force. Eventually, he became one of the pioneers of international postal flight, in the days when aircraft had few instruments. He seems to have been born to fly, and we see that image in many of his literary works.

He worked for Aéropostale between Toulouse and Dakar, and then became the airline stopover manager for the Cape Juby airfield in the Spanish zone of South Morocco. Later he was transferred to Argentina, where he was appointed director of the Aeroposta Argentina airline. He surveyed new air routes across South America.

He first published a novella called The Aviator, then in 1929 his second and more widely known book Southern Mail. The 1931 publication of Night Flight established Saint-Exupéry as a rising star in the literary world. It was the first of his major works to gain widespread acclaim and won the prix Femina. The novel mirrored his experiences as a mail pilot and director of the Aeroposta Argentina.

In 1935, he crashed in the Sahara Dessert and barely made it out alive, being rescued by a Bedouin. This incident would serve as the basis of two of his works, one for adults, Wind, Sand, and Stars, and his most famous book, the children’s classic Little Prince.

In July 1944, returned to active duty in World War II, he took off on a reconnaissance mission over the Mediterranean and never returned. It is presumed he died on the mission.

The Encyclopedia Britannica says about him, “[his] works are the unique testimony of a pilot and a warrior who looked at adventure and danger with a poet’s eyes.” Enotes says he developed “his definitive literary form, a combination of essay, memoir, fable, and prose poem that is difficult to classify.” I only know I love his work and his way with words.

Quotes by Saint-Exupéry

But the conceited man did not hear him. Conceited people never hear anything but praise.

He who would travel happily must travel light.

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Love does not consist of gazing at one another, but in looking outward in the same direction.

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.

True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.

Let your dream devour your life, not your life devour your dream.

Every person that comes into our life comes for a reason; some come to learn and others come to teach.

The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.

As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.

All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.

Real love begins where nothing is expected in return.

The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.

I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them.

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National Pineapple Day

There is some dispute about the actual date of this holiday, but it at least started on June 27 in 2015, and so I am featuring it today. As I read somewhere online, it is a day to celebrate a fruit that is neither pine nor an apple. Instead, it got its name because someone thought it looked like a giant pinecone.

One reason I love this holiday is that my Dad, who was a grocer, was out visiting me on the west coast, far from his grocery store in the east. We were in the supermarket where I shopped when unexpectedly a woman approached him and asked how to pick out a ripe pineapple. We always teased him afterward that he must look like everyone’s idea of a grocer.

Pineapples are native to the Americas. They are herbaceous perennials, meaning they are leafy, not woody, plants that grow for more than two years. Like broccoli, when you cut off the main head, it will produce more fruit. Once harvested, they no longer continue to ripen, which gives them a long shelf life. According to an article called “Superfruit: Pineapple” Pineapple is known “for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Bromelain, an enzyme found in the juice and stem of pineapples, has been used medicinally since ancient times to help reduce inflammation, lessen hay fever symptoms, slow blood clotting, and even enhance the absorption of antibiotics. More than just anti-inflammation, researchers suggest bromelain can be used to control the growth of tumors and malignant cells.” It is also full of fiber and vitamin C, and although high in sugar, is low in calories. You can even make pineapple wine.

Pineapples are also a symbol of hospitality. This comes from a time when they were hard to obtain, having to come from the Americas via ship. When a pineapple was displayed at a dinner party, the guests knew no expense had been spared, and thus the pineapple became to signify hospitality. You will often find doilies crocheted with the pineapple to show they are welcoming guests to the home. They are sometimes carved on dining room tables for the same reason.

So have some pineapple today, either in slices or chunks out of a can, or get adventurous and buy a whole one at the store. Drink pineapple juice, or make a pineapple upside down cake. Or even – shudder – put it on pizza. Above all, enjoy!

Quotes about pineapples

He is the very pineapple of politeness.–Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Love is like a pineapple, sweet and undefinable.–Piet Pieterszoon Hein

I like pineapple. It’s delightful.–Sarah Drew

Somebody’s been putting pineapple juice in my pineapple juice!–W. C. Fields

I was in Cancun, Mexico, sitting in a disappearing-edge swimming pool, on a bar stool that was actually under the water, watching palm trees sway in a sultry breeze against the unmistakable aqua splendor of the Caribbean Sea; drinking coconut, lime, and tequila from a scooped-out pineapple, with salt spray of breaking surf and sun kissing my skin. Translation: I’d died and gone to heaven.–Karen Marie Moning

I always like to start my morning with a good amount of fruit. I really like pineapple, particularly because of the enzymes that it has.–Cynthia Nixon

Upon a low-hanging branch sat Tarzan directly above the majestic, supple body as it forged silently through the thick jungle. He hurled a pineapple at the ancient enemy of his people. The great beast stopped and, turning, eyed the taunting figure above her.–Edgar Rice Burroughs

When life gives you lemons, sell them and buy a pineapple. How to better your life 101.–Davin Turney

Be a pineapple: Stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside.–Jacqueline Wilson

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National Leon Day

June 25 is National Leon Day, which marks the halfway point between Christmas and Christmas, that is, the day when next Christmas is closer than last Christmas. Leon is noel spelled backward, and theoretically, on this day craters begin planning and making their handmade gifts and decorations for next Christmas. On the other hand, for those who prefer to buy Christmas presents, it is a time to start saving towards December, so you don’t have to finance those gifts all at once.

Finally, it is also a time for those who miss the winter to have Christmas in July and remember the cooler weather of Christmas and New Year. So if this describes you, get out the Christmas music and remember those cozy days when the house is decorated, and all those warm holiday smells are coming from the kitchen.

Apparently, some retailers go in for this in a big way, playing Christmas music in the stores all day. But more than retailing, nonprofit organizations, and charities may hold fundraisers to remind people that they need donations all year round, and not exclusively during the Christmas season. It can be a good time to go through your closets and find things to donate or to open your wallet to help the less fortunate.

Others can remember their own December holidays, such as Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or Yule.

As someone who loves Christmas, I am delighted to realize it is now getting closer to happening again. So celebrate today with Christmas music or Christmas movies or wearing an ugly sweater. Open up that fruitcake. Make Christmas cookies. And rejoice – Christmas is coming!

Quotes about Christmas that are good all year aound

Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you … to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old … Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world … stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death… Then you can keep Christmas! But you can never keep it alone.–Henry van Dyke

The … challenge of Christmas is this: justice is what happens when all receive a fair share of God’s world and only such distributive justice can establish peace on earth.–John Dominic Crossan

Christmas gift suggestions from Oren Arnold: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.

Christmas is a time to expand our giving encompassing the friendless and needy … near and far. Christmas is sharing.–Patricia Clafford

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.–Charles Schulz

Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.–Ruth Carter Stapleton

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.–Calvin Coolidge

Christmas is not just a day, an event to be observed and speedily forgotten. It is a spirit which should permeate every part of our lives.–William Parks

God grant you the light in Christmas which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth…–Wilda English

I like the Christmas that fulfills my needs … to be forgiven from greed and selfishness, to fill my empty soul with peace and compassion, for hope and faith and charity, for myself renewed and hope restored in an erring world.–Robert D. Wigert

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National Pink Day

PToday is the day we celebrate pink in all its various hues and shades. I have an ambivalent relationship with pink. I love pink flowers, especially roses, but am not particularly fond of pink in clothing or decorations, for instance. But this day is about more than simply featuring a color.

According to Days of the Year, “Pink Day was established in 2007 after a pair of students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, saw one of their fellow students at Central Kings Rural High School being bullied for no other reason than that they were wearing a pink shirt. In a stroke of brilliance, these two got together and decided to show support for the student and take a stand against bullying by getting everyone at their school to wear a pink shirt the next day. Pink Day was created to stomp out all bullying and spread understanding, and it’s a concept spreading throughout the world.” So one way to celebrate today is by wearing pink, particularly if you are a male.

Pink is also the color that reminds us to remember those with breast cancer. The pink ribbon is a reminder to us to donate to helping stamp out cancer of any kind. You can find information about the Breast Cancer Charities and how they are celebrating this holiday here.

Pink is also the color associated with the LGBTQIA community as PinkNews, a site for news that affects gays.

Some pink phrases from National Day Calendar:

  • In the pink –To be in top form, in good health, in good condition.
  • To see pink elephants – To hallucinate from alcoholism.
  • Pink slip – To be given a pink slip means to be fired or dismissed from a job. First recorded in 1915 in the United States.
  • Pink-collar worker – Persons working in jobs conventionally regarded as “women’s work.”
  • Tickled pink – means extremely pleased.

This is also Pink Flamingo Day, so there’s another reason to celebrate!

Quotes about the color pink

Pink isn’t just a color, it’s an attitude!–Miley Cyrus

People are people. Black, blue, pink, green – God make no rules about color; only society make rules…–Bob Marley

I don’t think I will ever get tired of wearing pink.–Emma Bunton

I love pink, it’s so girly!–Ashley Tisdale

Parenting girls makes you quite gender-conscious – it’s almost impossible to fight the power of pink. It’s not such a terrible thing to want to be a princess when you’re five, but it would be nice if there were some other options.–Robert Webb

I fell off my pink cloud with a thud.–Elizabeth Taylor

I’ve constantly tried new things, even as a child, and have always been obsessed with pink. Now I’m just a little more ladylike and fearless. You should never feel afraid to become a piece of art. It’s exhilarating.–Nicki Minaj

My parents told me I’d point to a bed of flowers and say ‘Pink. Pretty,’ before I knew any other words.–Joni Mitchell

My favorite jellybean is the pink one with the flavor inside.–Chester Bennington

I have as much pink as you can have. I love to see other women in pink. It’s good for every shade of skin and hair.–Evelyn Lauder

I can go without make-up and go fishing with my dad; other times, I buy pink shoes and shop for dresses.–Jordan Pruitt

I love pink – pink’s my favourite. I hardly ever – weirdly – wear it, but I love the colour pink.–Ellie Goulding

Pink is not a color – it’s a culture to me.–DeAngelo Williams

Pink is my favourite colour. I used to say my favourite colour was black to be cool, but it is pink – all shades of pink.–Roxane Gay

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World Giraffe Day

June 21 each year is World Giraffe Day. Initiated by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, it is observed annually on the solstice, so it is either the longest day for the tallest animal, or the longest night for the tallest animal.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed giraffes as Vulnerable to Extinction. Their numbers in the wild have plummeted in the last few years – some say by 40% in the last thirty years. There may be as few as 80,000 left. The main threat against giraffe (either giraffe or giraffes is an acceptable plural) is the expansion of human settlements. There is simply not as much room for them to live. Conservation efforts are underway all over their African habitats, but it’s a race against time.

Below are a few interesting facts about giraffe from the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. We call a group of giraffe a tower. A giraffe’s heart has to generate almost double the normal blood pressure of other animals to maintain blood flow to the brain against gravity. Giraffe have a complex pressure-regulation system called the rate miracle that prevents excessive blood flow to the brain when lowering its head to drink. And finally, giraffe have air conditioner skin to deal with the heat. I know more than one person who would like to have that in the summer!

Zoos and others all over the world are involved in celebrating giraffe this day. From the Aukland Zoo to Zoo Berlin to the Kenya Wildlife Project to Zoo Lyon to the Odense Zoo (Denmark) to the Prague Zoo to the Toronto Zoo to the Whipsnade Zoo in England, and any number of others in the United States, along with Disney’s Animal Kingdom. So check around. Your local zoo could very well be doing something special this day.

But whatever you do today, give a thought to these gentle giants who are now under threat.

Quotes about giraffes

Consider the biggest animals on the planet: elephants, and buffaloes, and giraffes. These are vegetarian animals. They grow to thousands of pounds of muscle and bone without ever eating cheeseburgers and pepperoni pizzas.–Michael Klaper

Wildlife is something which man cannot construct. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. Man can rebuild a pyramid, but he can’t rebuild ecology, or a giraffe.–Joy Adamson

Evolution is so creative. That’s how we got giraffes.–Kurt Vonnegut

I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe, and someone said I was a snake, I’d think, no, actually I’m a giraffe.–Richard Gere

However much you know giraffes, to see one in the wild for the first time feels prehistoric.–Jane Goodall

I’d hate to be a giraffe with a sore throat.–Mitch Hedberg

Did you ever see a giraffe? It is like something from between the regions of truth and fiction.–Geraldine Jewsbury

G. K.Chesterton once said that it is one thing to be amazed at gorgon or a griffin, creatures which do not exist; but it is quite another and much higher thing to be amazed at a rhinoceros or a giraffe, creatures which do exist and look as if they don’t.–Alan Watts

Giraffes stare over treetops, their huge brown eyes blinking, then lope away in seeming slow motion.–Thomas French

A giraffe has a black tongue twenty-seven inches long and no vocal cords. A giraffe has nothing to say. He just goes on giraffing.–Robert Fulghum

I can’t even explain the joy of riding through the Tanzania national park and seeing giraffes run across the road and elephants over in a pond and baboons running.–Emanuel Cleaver

The man who believes in giraffes would swallow anything.–Adrian Mitchell

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