National Whatever Day: March 12th

March 12th is choc-full of National Whatever Day celebrations! Alfred Hitchcock Day, Girl Scouts Day, Plant a Flower Day, and World Against Cyber Censorship Day.

Alfred Hitchcock Day
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (August 13, 1899 – April 29, 1980) was an English film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, renowned as England’s best director, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood in 1939 and became a U.S. citizen in 1955.

Over a career spanning more than half a century, Hitchcock fashioned for himself a distinctive and recognizable, directorial style. He pioneered the use of a camera made to move in a way that mimics a person’s gaze, forcing viewers to engage in a form of voyeurism. In other words, he framed shots to maximize anxiety, fear, or empathy, and used innovative film editing. His stories often feature fugitives on the run from the law alongside “icy blonde” female characters. Many of Hitchcock’s films have twist endings and thrilling plots featuring depictions of violence, murder, and crime. Many of the mysteries, however, are used as decoys or “MacGuffins” that serve the film’s themes and the psychological examinations of the characters. Hitchcock’s films also borrow many themes from psychoanalysis and feature strong sexual overtones. Through his cameo appearances in his own films, interviews, film trailers, and the television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents, he became a cultural icon.

Hitchcock directed more than fifty feature films in a career spanning six decades. Often regarded as the greatest British filmmaker, he came first in a 2007 poll of film critics in Britain’s Daily Telegraph, which said: “Unquestionably the greatest filmmaker to emerge from these islands, Hitchcock did more than any director to shape modern cinema, which would be utterly different without him. His flair was for narrative, cruelly withholding crucial information (from his characters and from us) and engaging the emotions of the audience like no one else.” The magazine 'MovieMaker' has described him as "the most influential filmmaker of all time," and he is widely regarded as one of cinema’s most significant artists.

Girl Scouts Day
Girl Scout Day is celebrated on March 12th of each year in remembrance of when Girls Scouts of the United States of America was established on this day in 1912. We are all familiar with Girl Scouts because of their amazing cookies. When Girl Scouts start selling their cookies, everyone is aware of it; it's almost a season in itself. But there are much more to these young ladies than we realize.

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) is a youth organization for girls in the United States and American girls living abroad. It was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912 and was organized after Low met Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, in 1911. Upon returning to Savannah, Georgia, she telephoned a distant cousin, saying, “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight!”

In Girl Scouts, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as extraordinary field trips, sports skill-building clinics, community service projects, cultural exchanges, and environmental stewardships, girls grow courageous and strong. Girl Scouting helps girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision-making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others.

Girls at home and abroad participate in troops and groups in more than 92 countries through USA Girl Scouts Overseas, and over 100 local Girl Scout councils offer girls the opportunity for membership across the United States.

Through its membership in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a worldwide family of 10 million girls and adults in 145 countries.

In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an industry publication, released the results of the largest study of charitable and non-profit organization popularity and credibility. The study showed that the Girl Scouts was ranked as the 8th “most popular charity/non-profit in America” of over 100 charities researched with 41% of Americans over the age of twelve choosing Love and Like A Lot for the Girl Scouts. It describes itself as “the world’s preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls.”

Plant a Flower Day
Every girl loves flowers because of their decorative touch, sweet smells, and receiving them as romantic gestures. People also use flowers for rituals, religion, medicine and as a source of food. But everyone should love flowers because it promotes health in nature and allows our environment to function as it was intended to.

A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs. Flowers may facilitate outcrossing (fusion of sperm and eggs from different individuals in a population) or allow selfing (fusion of sperm and egg from the same flower). Some flowers produce diaspores without fertilization (parthenocarpy). Flowers contain sporangia and are the site where gametophytes develop. Flowers give rise to fruit and seeds. Many flowers have evolved to be attractive to animals, so as to cause them to be vectors for the transfer of pollen.

World Against Cyber Censorship Day
World Day Against Cyber Censorship was first observed on March 12, 2008 at the request of Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International. A letter written by Jean-Francois Julliard, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders, and Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International, was sent to the Chief Executive Officers of Google, Yahoo!, Inc., and Microsoft Corporation to request observation of the day.

The extent of Internet censorship varies on a country-to-country basis. While most democratic countries have moderate Internet censorship, other countries go as far as to limit the access of information such as news and suppress discussion among citizens. Internet censorship also occurs in response to or in anticipation of events such as elections, protests, and riots. An example is the increased censorship due to the events of the Arab Spring. Other areas of censorship includes copyrights, defamation, harassment, and obscene material.

Although I believe it is needed to have some form of regulation on the internet for high tension topics, it is our right as Americans to say what we believe. But remember the golden rule before you go on a rant, "treat others the way you would like to be treated," which means just as you have your thoughts so do others.

So on this beautiful Spring Break day, watch an Alfred Hitchcock film and eat some Girl Scout cookies, then plant a flower and speak your mind. #Murica


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