10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1... Happy New Year! For many of us waking up on Jan. 1, New Year's Day, it's a time of optimism and planning—and resoluteness. There's a feeling that maybe this year we'll make the changes we've been meaning to: more rest, better eating habits, more exercise, or a new job. New Year's Day is about taking a moment — perhaps with family or a football game on the screen — to get ready for everything that is about to unfold.
Author: Vincent Mabutas
When it comes to fiction writing, the stories are only limited by one’s imagination. And no matter what type of fiction stories you like, chances are a few of them involve some sort of science fiction topics. If so, National Science Fiction Day on January 2 is the perfect day to celebrate this type of story. Science fiction touches so many different areas of literature that most people can find one area that they love. Science fiction can include stories based in space with aliens like E.T. or space battles like Star Wars. The genre also can include time travel, such as H. G. Wells famous book, The Time Machine, or the Doctor Who franchise. Even super hero movies can involve science fiction. After all, who would believe a talking raccoon as in Guardians of the Galaxy or the rock-like skin of the Thing in the Fantastic Four without the science fiction angle? So if you’re fascinated by the unknown and by the possibilities of what science can bring in the future, you probably would be – or already are – a fan of science fiction. And that’s why National Science Fiction Day is the perfect day to celebrate all of these different books, movies, and television shows. You may not love sci-fi enough to consume its stories every day, but this special day is a great opportunity to spark your imagination!
The Lord of the Rings fans will remember that Frodo used to toast his Uncle Bilbo on his birthday every year. And on The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday, you’re encouraged to have a birthday toast as part of JRR Tolkien Day on January 3. The Tolkien Society asks fans to honor the author’s birth, which was on January 3, 1892. Now, if you have no idea who Frodo or Bilbo are, you are missing out on one of the world’s most popular sets of fiction books. Tolkien wrote "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, all of which were made into highly successful movies after his death. Whether you loved the idea of all of the different races of people in the story working together, the idea of rabbit-like hobbits, or Orlando Bloom’s flowing blond elvish hair from the movies, Tolkien’s vision of Middle Earth has created millions of fans. Additionally, the world Tolkien created isn’t limited to the well-known books and movies, expanding into other books related to Middle Earth. Hobbits are gentle creatures, and they enjoy their food and drink, which leads to the idea of having a toast on Tolkien’s birthday. If you want to celebrate JRR Tolkien Day in true hobbit fashion with a few extra meals in addition to the toast, Bilbo would certainly approve.
Here's a little-known fact: Jan. 4 is National Trivia Day! The trivia craze has been a part of popular culture for many decades. One of the first established systems for trivia debuted on the 1940s radio program “Take It Or Leave It” and not too long after Jeopardy!, arguably America’s most iconic televised quiz show, appeared in 1964.
Birds have a special place in our hearts, their beauty, their songs, their flight, so it’s time to celebrate them on National Bird Day on January 5! While birds are amazing, they’re also a species under particular threat. And the phrase “canary in the coalmine” was named after birds for a reason—they’re the barometers of our planet’s environmental health, and our planet’s wellbeing. The fact that so many bird species are under threat thanks to the illegal pet trade, disease, and habitat loss means it’s more important than ever to raise public awareness of the needs of birds. The survival of hundreds of species depends on it!
Whipped cream is a sweet treat that we've been creating for centuries. As air is beaten into milk with a high enough fat content, the fats trap the air in tiny bubbles. With enough bubbles, the cream loses its liquid qualities and starts to hold its shape. The earliest recipes for whipped cream date back to Italy in the mid 1500's. Not actually called "whipped cream" until the late 1600's in England, early recipes dubbed the confection "snow milk" and recommended beating heavy cream with a willow branch until foamy. Now that we have sanitized whisks and modern food processing machinery, whipped cream is widely available in a range of flavors and textures. You can find chocolate whipped cream, mint whipped cream, and tubs of whipped-cream substitute that never goes flat. Then there's heavy whipped cream, which has a higher fat content for a richer taste and sturdier peaks. Whether you like the convenience of whipped topping from a can or the sweet satisfaction of whisking up a homemade batch, be sure to celebrate the joys that whipped cream has brought you personally —and to all of us around the world —on National Whipped Cream Day this January 5.