May 22: Buy a Musical Instrument Day, Vanilla Pudding Day, Toothpaste Tube Birthday, International Day for Biological Diversity

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Buy a Musical Instrument Day

Join the global band and buy a musical instrument. Have you always wanted to learn to play guitar? Do you want to practice your piano on a portable keyboard? For kids, consider an inexpensive plastic flute, harmonica or maracas. If you're not in the market for a pricey instrument, indulge with a free, virtual musical instrument:

* Virtual piano

* Virtual guitar

* Virtual pan flute

Vanilla Pudding Day

Vanilla was once used to flavor chocolate beverages, for Aztec noblemen and the people of Europe. The elongated pods containing the vanilla seeds grew on tropical vines in Mexico. Attempts to cultivate the plant in Europe failed before the 19th century because the Melipona bees which pollinate the plants did not live outside of southern Mexico according to "The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink."

Despite its popularity in French dishes, vanilla was not a popular flavoring in Colonial America due to its cost. Once an extract was created from the beans, vanilla became a popular flavoring in the late 19th century. It was used in ice cream well before pudding. Puddings used to be more of a savory than a sweet dish. Enjoy some vanilla pudding with your favorite cream topping on May 22.

Toothpaste Tube Birthday

Do you squeeze from anywhere or always from the bottom? Does cap go missing or get full of gunk because someone else shares your toothpaste tube? It's better than the round pots that were used to store toothpaste before Washington Sheffield came along. Sheffield, a dentist in of New London, Conn., invented the collapsible metal toothpaste tube according to Today in Science, on May 22, 1892. This was not the first time collapsible metal tubes were used commercially, as American artist John Rand patented oil paint tubes in 1841.

International Day for Biological Diversity

"Without life in the ocean, there would be no life on Earth." That's a powerful statement from the Convention on Biological Diversity. "Tiny marine plants called phytoplankton produce energy, like plants on land, through photosynthesis. As a result of that photosynthesis, they release oxygen. In fact, phytoplankton release half of all oxygen in the atmosphere." That's just one good example of the important of marine biodiversity, the theme for 2012's International Day for Biological Diversity.

The United Nations proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity "to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues." The observance is an attempt raise interest in marine life and raise awareness of the issue and increase practical action according to the U.N.

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