Cupcakes, Women’s Health, Bridges, Evaluation and more

Friday, October 18, 2013


Sunday, October 20, 2013


“All morning I struggled with the sensation of stray wisps of one world seeping through the cracks of another. Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes — characters even — caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you.”

Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale


Happy Friday to you! With October more than half over many writers have turned their attention to preparing for NaNoWriMo. Each November thousands of writers throughout the world participate in National Novel Writing Month. If you have ever considered writing a novel yourself, November is a great time to start. The community aspect of NaNoWriMo will keep you motivated. The goal of the month is to write at least 50,000 words of your first draft. That amounts to 1,667 words a day. For many people this is an hour or two worth of work each day for a month to reach that goal. There are events throughout the month to keep you motivated such as write-ins at local bookshops, libraries, coffee shops and anywhere else participants decide to host an event. It’s a fun ride that at points can make you question your sanity but when all is over you will be proud of yourself for all the words you got to the page and all the friends you make in the process. We will likely be mentioning this month long event again as it has been an important part of some members of the VBS family for years.


peace love reading round

The African American poet Phillis Wheatley was freed from slavery on October 18, 1775.


Herman Melville‘s Moby-Dick was published on October 18, 1851 as The Whale by Richard Bentley of London.


The United States took possession of Alaska on October 18, 1867 after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million. This day is celebrated annually in the state as Alaska Day.


National Chocolate Cupcake Day

October 18th is Chocolate Cupcake Day! Chocolate cupcakes are a delightful treat served at gourmet bakeries and kitchen tables across the country. Cupcakes first emerged during the 19th century in the United States. There are two theories about how they got their name. One claims that the miniature cakes were originally baked in cups. The other suggests that the name comes from the recipe, which was measured out by the cup—one cup butter, two cups sugar, three cups flour, four eggs, one cup milk, one spoonful baking soda. Cupcakes are now made with a variety of flavors, ingredients, and decorations, but simple chocolate cupcakes remain a perennial favorite. Bake, frost, and decorate a batch today to celebrate National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

books in field

World Menopause Day

To celebrate World Menopause Day, October 18th 2013, IMS is launching a new campaign with the theme ‘Oncology in midlife and beyond’. After the menopause there is an increased risk of cancer and therefore being proactive in managing a healthy lifestyle will significantly reduce this risk. Preventative strategies, such as decreasing smoking and alcohol consumption, losing weight, eating a healthy diet and undertaking physical activity, and implementation of screening could help to significantly decrease the incidence and mortality from cancer. October is also World Menopause Month.

books wrapped in pink ribbon

Mammography Day

The third Friday in October each year is National Mammography Day, first proclaimed by President Clinton in 1993. On this day, or throughout the month, women are encouraged to make a mammography appointment.



Bridge Day

Bridge Day is held on the third Saturday in October every year in Fayetteville, West Virginia, and it’s the largest extreme sports event and largest gathering of BASE jumpers in the world. More than 450 BASE jumpers from 10+ countries and 40+ US states will leap from the 876′ tall New River Gorge bridge, hundreds of rappellers will descend on fixed ropes, and up to 200,000 spectators are expected to attend this year’s Bridge Day on Saturday, October 19, 2013 from 9am-3pm EDT.


Evaluate Your Life Day

Evaluate Your Life Day gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect upon our life, where it’s been, and where its going. Are things going well? What is bothering you? What do you need, or want, to change? How’s your appearance? Are you gaining too much weight? With a self evaluation, you can then make big changes to improve the quality of your life, as necessary. Or, if things are going well, just tinker with small adjustments.


Sweetest Day

Sweetest Day is a holiday celebrated primarily in the Great Lakes region, and parts of the Northeast United States, on the third Saturday in October. It is described by Retail Confectioners International as an “occasion which offers all of us an opportunity to remember the sick, aged and orphaned, but also friends, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed.” The first Sweetest Day was pronounced as October 8, 1921 in Cleveland.

The origin of Sweetest Day has always been suspect. Most believe it to be a “made up” holiday strictly for big business to reap profits at the expense of perpetrating romance. Of the twelve Cleveland committeemen who planned Cleveland’s Sweetest Day, eleven directly profited from the sale of greeting cards or candy. Three were on the Board of Directors for Hallmark, four on the boards of various candy companies and four owned card and candy shops in the Cleveland area.

Friends, family, and lovers often give each other candy, flowers, and cards on Sweetest Day. Like Valentine’s Day, the Sweetest Day is associated with heart-shaped boxes, and the colors pink and red. 80% of Hallmark’s greeting cards designed for Sweetest Day are romantic.



The Louisiana Purchase was ratified by the United States Senate on October 20, 1803.

gold book

Birth of the Bab

On October 20th, Bahá’ís around the world celebrate the Birth of the Báb, one of eleven Holy Days in the Bahá’í calendar. The Báb is often referred to as the Herald of the Bahá’í Faith, because it was His mission to prepare the way for Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. Like John the Baptist some 2,000 years before, the Báb called upon the people to purify themselves for the coming of the day of God. Unlike John, however, He founded an independent religion and claimed equal station with Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Bahá’ís view the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh both as “Manifestations of God” even though by the Báb’s own testimony His mission was subordinate to Bahá’u’lláh’s.

The similarities between the missions of Jesus and the Báb are often noted with awe. In his popular book Thief in the Night, William Sears listed a number of them. Both were known for their meekness. Both condemned the corruption present in religious and secular society. Their chief enemies were the religious authorities. Both were taken before the authorities and publicly interrogated, after which both were scourged. Both went first in triumph then in suffering through the streets of the cities where they were to be killed. Both were suspended before a multitude as they were put to death. Both spoke words of comfort to one who was to die with them. Yet in spite of the many similarities, there is one major difference. Almost nothing, it seems, is known about the circumstances attending the Báb’s birth. It is known that He was born on October 20, 1819 (Muharram 1, 1235 A.H.) in Shiraz, Persia. In contrast to the paucity of information about the Báb’s birth, there are stories of His childhood that bear remarkable resemblance (in spirit at least) to the stories told in the Gospels about the young Jesus.

With little or nothing in the way of historical details to go on, and with no established traditions at this early stage of the religion’s history, Bahá’ís celebrate the birth of the Báb in various simple but joyous ways. This day is one of the nine Holy Days on which work is to be suspended. In most communities, parties will be held. After beginning with prayers and devotional readings, these parties can take any of a number of forms. Most often they are simply social gatherings. However they are celebrated, they are open to all who would like to attend.

rose in book

Miss American Rose Day

Miss American Rose recognizes and rewards girls and women of all ages for their accomplishments through an online and online/mail-in format competition. It is based primarily on achievements. There are optional competitions in: achievement, academics, talent, community service, career, and beauty. Miss American Rose is a 100% online/mail-in pageant so there are no travel or clothing expenses, no worrying about hair and make-up and no stage fright.


World Osteoporosis Day

World Osteoporosis day is observed annually on October 20, and launched a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. Organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), World Osteoporosis Day involves campaigns by national osteoporosis patient societies from around the world with activities in over 90 countries. World Osteoporosis Day was launched in 1996.

Happy Birthday:

happy birthday author

Some of the writers born October 18th include:

Heinrich von Kleist (1777), Thomas Love Peacock (1785), Ernst Didring (1868), Mikhail Kuzmin (1982), James Truslow Adams (1878), H. L. Davis (1894), Tibor Dery (1894), Isabel Briggs Myers (1897), Esther Hutzig (1930), Chris Albertson (1931), Chuck Swindoll (1934), James Robert Baker (1946), Ntozake Shange (1948), Wendy Wasserstein (1950), Terry McMillan (1951), Bao Ninh (1952), Rick Moody (1961), Charles Stross (1964), and Bristol Palin (1990).

Some of the writers born October 19th include:

Thomas Browne (1605), James Hendry Leigh Hunt (1784), Lewis Mumford (1895), Miguel Angel Asturias (1899), Russell Kirk (1918), Jack Anderson (1922), John le Carre (1931), Sylvia Browne (1936), Andrew Vachss (1942), L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (1943), Martin Welz (1945), Philip Pullman (1946), Giorgio Cavazzano (1947), Deborah Blum (1954), Dan Gutman (1955), Steve Doocy (1956), Susan Straight (1960), Tracy Chevalier (1962), Dimitris Lyacos (1966), and John Edward (1969).

Some of the writers born October 20th include:

Isabelle de Charriere (1740), George Ormerod (1785), Thomas Hughes (1822), Arthur Rimbaud (1854), Samuel Flagg Bemis (1891), Frederic Dannay (1905), Hans Warren (1921), Art Buchwald (1925), Joyce Brothers (1927), Robert Pinsky (1940), Lewis Grizzard (1946), Elfriede Jelinek (1946), David Profumo (1955), Lynn Flewelling (1958), and Michelle Malkin (1970).

This Week:

snoopy reading

National Character Counts Week

Every year, the U.S. President, U.S. Senate, state governors, and officials around the world proclaim the third week in October CHARACTER COUNTS! Week. And every year millions of kids in dozens of countries participate. No matter what your political or religious affiliation, this event is about the universal values we share. Make Character Your reason for celebration October 20-26th.

i heart books white

National Chemistry Week

The American Chemical Society (ACS) National Chemistry Week is October 20-26, 2013. This year’s theme is “Energy Now and Forever!” NCW encourages chemists and chemistry enthusiasts to build awareness of chemistry at the local level. Local Sections, businesses, schools, and individuals are invited to organize or participate in events in their communities with a common goal: To promote the value of chemistry in everyday life.


National Forest Products Week

National Forest Products Week is a time to recognize the many products that come from our forests, the people who work in and manage our forests, the people who make the products, and how they all contribute to our lives.


National Save For Retirement Week

Retirement is closer than you think. The third full week of October is National Save For Retirement Week. The week has three primary goals:

• Make employees more aware of how critical it is to save now for their financial future

• Promote the benefits of getting started saving for retirement today

• Encourage employees to take full advantage of their employer-sponsored plans by increasing their contributions



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