Life Day 25107: It’s a Zoo Out There Today

April 8, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning menagerie fans. Today is April 8th. The first holiday today is Zoo Lover’s Day. The word zoo is actually short for Zoological Garden and is mostly used to refer to the modern concept of a zoo. Prior to this the term menagerie was used, coming from a long history reaching back all the way to the ancient world. The oldest collection of this sort was discovered in 2009 during an archeological dig in Hierakonpolis Egypt. The animal remains they had found there included an impressive array of hippos, elephants, baboons, and wild cats.
The oldest modern styled zoo was established in 1752 by the order of Emperor Francis I, in the beautiful city of Vienna, Austria. It was intended solely for the viewing pleasure of the imperial family but was extended to the public in 1765. The next zoo to open was in 1775 in Madrid, and then another in Paris in 1795. There was an explosion of desire for such Zoo’s, as they were seen to represent the power of a nation to be able to have such strange and exotic animals from far-flung locales available for their peasantry’s viewing.
While zoos started out as a demonstration of  wealth and power, modern zoos today have become bastions for many of the endangered species of the world. In some of the bigger zoos, zoologists are working diligently to keep the last remaining members of a species in comfort and health, and attempting to nurse the species along to sufficient numbers where they could potentially exist in the wild again.
Zoo Lover’s Day encourages you to explore your local zoo with your family.

Zoo Facts

  1. Over 600 million people visit zoos each year.
  2. There are more than 2,800 zoos and aquariums in the world.
  3. Germany has 414 zoos – more zoos than any other country.
  4. America has more than 350 zoos…221 of which are accredited by the AZA (American Zoological Association).
  5. Over 30 zoos in America have more than 1 million visitors a year. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has the most with 9.5 million visitors each year.
  6. The Philadelphia Zoo is the oldest zoo in the US. It opened on July 1, 1874.
  7. The oldest running zoo in the world is the Vienna Zoo in Schonbrunn. It was founded in 1752.
  8. With over 1,500 species, Germany’s Berlin Zoo has the largest variety of animals in any zoo in the world.
  9. The largest zoo in America is Red McCombs Wildlife with over 12,500 acres.

The second holiday today is National Dog Fighting Awareness Day. Dog fighting is one of the cruelest and inhumane forms of animal abuse. It is a ‘blood sport’ in which dogs are forced to fight one another for the entertainment and/or profit of spectators. Fights can last just a few minutes or several hours, and both animals may suffer injuries including puncture wounds, lacerations, blood loss, crushing injuries and broken bones. Although fights are not usually to the death, many dogs succumb to their injuries later, and losing dogs are often discarded, killed or brutally executed as part of the “sport.”
Fighting dogs are raised generally in isolation so they spend most of their lives on short, heavy chains. They are regularly conditioned for fighting through the use of drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness. Although dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states, it continues to occur in every part of the country and in every type of community. Fights can happen in a variety of locations ranging from back alleys to carefully-staged enterprises.
National Dog Fighting Awareness Day was created last year by the A.S.P.C.A. to increase awareness about this barbaric sport, and to rescue as many of these animals as possible.

The third holiday today, although also canine related, is on a much lighter, albeit, more gaseous note – Dog Farting Awareness Day. Anyone who is planning on adopting a dog must understand they  have to deal with some pretty malodorous dog farts for the next several years. And, nothing will clear a room faster than a dog fart. My research could find no information about who created Dog Farting Awareness Day, or when it was created , or even why, but, those who own dogs, are already aware of Rover’s propensity towards flatulence and have to deal with it every day.
Hey, dogs fart…get over it. Like licking their genitalia, and sniffing people crotches, dog farting is a part of the less glamorous, more embarrassing side of dog ownership.

The next holiday is Draw a Picture of a Bird Day. You don’t have to be Rembrandt or Picasso, or even John James Audubon. Just put forth your best effort. Encourage your children or grandchildren to sit down with you and try to copy or freehand a picture of a bird. While you are perusing through your tomes trying to find a suitable picture to copy, take the time to learn a little about each one; especially if they are native to your area. That way, you can identify some of them on your next nature hike.
If you really want to get into the spirit of Draw a Picture of a Bird Day, you can post a “tweet” on Twitter with a picture of your drawing with the hashtag #drawapictureofabirdday.

The fifth holiday today is All is Ours Day. Please note that the title of this holiday uses the word ‘ours’ rather than the word ‘mine’. All Is Ours Day is not a day to pursue your selfish interests. Rather, this is a day to pursue your dreams for peace, harmony, kindness, love, and/or faith for the ones you care about. Almost anything is possible if you are willing to work for it.

Another holiday today is Buddha’s Birthday. This is the holiest of Buddhist holidays, celebrating the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha. However, not all Buddhist nations agree. While the three holy days are celebrated in all Buddhist countries, Japan, and other Malaysian countries celebrate them separately: his birth on April 8th, his enlightenment on December 8th, and his death on February 15th. Only in Theravada Buddhist countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore, are all three anniversaries celebrated together; on the full moon of Vaisakha. The Buddha was born as a prince in [present day] Nepal in an isolated spot near the border with India. Each year, thousands of Buddhists make the pilgrimage to this site, which is marked with a statue and a Buddhist temple.

The final holiday today is International Feng Shui Awareness Day. International Feng Shui Awareness Day (pronounced fuhng shwey) celebrates this ancient art or philosophy that was developed in China over 3,000 years ago. According to Merriam-Webster.com Feng Shui is “a Chinese system for positioning a building and the objects within a building in a way that is thought to agree with spiritual forces and to bring health and happiness“. The word Feng means the wind and the word Shui means the water and Chinese associate wind and water with good health. Feng Shui deals with energy flow and balance. Many people set up their homes using Feng Shui techniques so that everything is correctly aligned so they have good flows of energy.
In your home in Feng Shui?

The food-related holiday today is National Empañada Day. An Empañada is a bread (pastry dough) stuffed with a filling, then fried or baked. The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Spanish empañadas are usually pie-shaped, made with a broad variety of fillings (including pork, sausage, cod and sardines) and served in wedges; Latin American empañadas are typically made in individual  half-moon-shaped portions and filled with minced, seasoned meat. Some Mexican restaurants serve dessert empañadas filled with fruit fillings as well. Some “classy” restaurants now are serving “gourmet” empañadas which are “interpreted” by the resident chef. Jeez!
Empañadas were first served in the United States at Taco Bell™, however, they are now found on menus at most Latin American restaurants around the world.

On this date:

  • In 1789 – The U.S. House of Representatives held its first meeting.
  • In 1834 – In New York City, Cornelius Lawrence became the first mayor to be elected by popular vote in a city election.
  • In 1839 – The first Intercollegiate Rodeo was held at the Godshall Ranch, Apple Valley, CA.
  • In 1873 – Alfred Paraf patented the first successful oleomargarine.
  • In 1913 – The Seventeenth amendment was ratified, requiring direct election of senators.
  • In  1952 – President Truman seized steel mills to prevent a nationwide strike.
  • In 1953 – The bones of Sitting Bull were moved from North Dakota to South Dakota.
  • In 1962 – The Bay of Pigs invaders got thirty years imprisonment in Cuba.
  • In  1974 – Hank Aaron hits 715th home run breaking Babe Ruth’s record.
  • In 1975 – Frank Robinson of the Cleveland Indians became first black manager of a major league baseball team.
  • In 1985 – Phyllis Diller underwent a surgical procedure for permanent eyeliner to eliminate the need for eyelid makeup.
  • In 1986 – Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel, CA.
  • In 1987 – Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis resigned over remarks he had made. While on ABC’s “Nightline” Campanis said that blacks “may not have some of the necessities” to hold managerial jobs in major-league baseball.
  • In 1988 – Former President Reagan aide Lyn Nofzinger was sentenced to prison for illegal lobbying for Wedtech Corp.
  • In 1994 – Smoking was banned in the Pentagon and all U.S. military bases
  • In 1998 – The widow of Martin Luther King Jr. presented new evidence in an appeal for new federal investigation of the assassination of her husband.
  • In 2002 – Ed McMahon filed a $20 million lawsuit against his insurance company, two insurance adjusters, and several environmental cleanup contractors. The suit alleged breach of contract, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress concerning a toxic mold that had spread through McMahon’s Beverly Hills home.
  • In 2002 – Suzan-Lori Parks became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama for her play “Topdog/Underdog.”

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following distinguished people:

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