Feb. 8: Extraterrestrial Culture Day, Laugh and Get Rich Day, Broken Needle Day, Molasses Bar Day

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Extraterrestrial Culture Day

If Daniel R. Foley of Roswell, N.M., and a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives had his way, the second Tuesday of February would officially be Extraterrestrial Culture Day in New Mexico. He introduced the bill "to celebrate and honor all past, present and future extraterrestrial visitors in ways to enhance relationships among all citizens of the cosmos, known and unknown," according to HB77. The bill might have died, but the holiday has a permanent place in the odd holiday hall of fame.

Laugh and Get Rich Day

Laughter carries power. It also adds to the bottom line. "People who laugh are more effective and tend to remember things better" according to retail author and speaker Rick Segel. Segel has a book/presentation series on the same topic. Laughter can do more than help you with retail sales.

"Norman Cousins, who first suggested the idea that humor and the associated laughter can benefit a person's health in the 1970s," according to the American Physiological Society. In 1995, Madan Kataria "discovered many modern scientific studies that described in depth, the many proven benefits of laughter on the human mind and body" and Laughter Yoga was born, according to Laughter Yoga. He started a small club and now there are laughter yoga clubs in more than 60 countries. So whether you want to use laughter to be more successful or relieve some stress, have a good laugh.

Broken Needle Day (Hari-Kuyo)

If you knit, embroider, crochet or sew, celebrate Broken Needle Day. In Japan, "seamstresses and embroiderers take a day of rest from their craft, and bring their used, bent and broken needles and pins to their temple or shrine. As they pay their respects, their needles and pins are stuck upright into blocks of tofu. ... The essence of hari-kuyo is to honor the needles for their hard work, give thanks for their service over the preceding year, and also to pray for improved needlework skills in the future," according to the Japan Foundation. For which small but useful tools are you grateful?

Molasses Bar Day

Molasses bars are similar to hermits, but without the chewy, dried fruits. They sometimes have a sweet glaze, similar to a molasses cookie. Molasses, touted as a good source of iron, flavors various treats including ginger snaps, gingerbread , shoofly pie and even Cracker Jack. It can be found as a substitute for other sweeteners, or in a recipe that also has honey. Molasses was more popular as a sweetener before the Molasses Act of 1733 which caused its price to rise according to "The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink." Maple sugar became a cheaper substitute for molasses.

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