National Let’s Laugh Day!

Man laughing

National Let’s Laugh Day is celebrated every year on March 19th. It is a day dedicated to the joy of laughter and to encourage people to find humor in everyday life. Laughter is known to have numerous benefits for both physical and mental health, including reducing stress, boosting the immune system, and improving mood. On National Let’s Laugh Day, people are encouraged to share jokes, watch funny movies, and just let loose and have a good laugh.

Laughter is a powerful tool that can help us deal with difficult situations and cope with stress. It has been shown to lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and increase the production of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood enhancers. Laughter can also improve the function of blood vessels and increase blood flow, which can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Not only does laughter have physical benefits, but it can also have positive effects on mental health. Laughter can help us feel more positive and optimistic, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve overall well-being. It can also strengthen relationships and promote social bonding, as laughter is contagious and can bring people together.

On National Let’s Laugh Day, there are many ways to incorporate laughter into our lives. Watching a funny movie or TV show, reading a humorous book, or listening to a comedy podcast are all great ways to get a good laugh. Sharing jokes with friends and family or playing a silly game can also be a fun way to celebrate the day.

One of the best things about laughter is that it is free and accessible to everyone. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can always find something to laugh about. Whether it’s a funny meme on social media, a silly video on YouTube, or a joke from a friend, there are countless opportunities for laughter in our daily lives.

In addition to its physical and mental health benefits, laughter can also have a positive impact on our relationships. Sharing a laugh with someone can help break down barriers and build trust and intimacy. Laughter can also help diffuse tension in difficult situations and make it easier to navigate conflicts.

Laughter is a universal language that can bring people together regardless of their background or culture. It is a powerful tool for promoting empathy and understanding, and can help bridge divides between people. When we laugh together, we are reminded of our shared humanity and the things that make us all unique and special.

In today’s fast-paced and often stressful world, it can be easy to forget to laugh and have fun. National Let’s Laugh Day serves as a reminder to take a break from our worries and just enjoy life. It’s a day to let loose, be silly, and embrace the joy of laughter.

So, on National Let’s Laugh Day, let’s take some time to appreciate the power of laughter and all the ways it can enrich our lives. Let’s share a joke with a friend, watch a funny movie with our family, or just take a moment to find something to laugh about. Let’s celebrate the joy of laughter and all the positive benefits it brings.

In conclusion, laughter is an essential part of life, and National Let’s Laugh Day is a great opportunity to celebrate it. Laughter has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health, and can help strengthen relationships and promote social bonding. There are many ways to incorporate laughter into our lives, and it’s important to take the time to find joy and humor in everyday moments. So, on March 19th, let’s all take a moment to laugh and appreciate the many benefits of this powerful and universal tool.

 Cartier with funny glasses on

via Yvonne Wonder

Retro Gifts!

If the present is getting you down, then there's always the past to cheer you up! Nostalgia allows us to focus on the fun times without all that real-life stuff ruining our entertainment. If you're in the mood for a trip down memory lane, then these gifts will take you on a retro journey.

Tie Dye Kit

Tie Dye Craft kit

A throwback to the 1960s and 1970s, the classic tie-dye look never seems to go out of style. With spring just around the corner, it's time to get your t-shirts, shoes, hats, bags, etc. groovy!

CBC TV Heat Changing Mug

CBC TV Heat Changing Mug

This magical coffee cup of Canadiana will reveal all your favourite retro CBC classics, like 'Mr. Dressup', 'The Nature of Things', and 'Hockey Night in Canada'. Add your favourite hot beverage to the TV Heat Changing Mug and voilà! Watch magic happen!

80's 90's Trivia Game

Relive the glory days of Ghetto Blasters, Nintendo, Billy Idiol, and the Spice Girls. The cultural events of the 1980s included a nuclear war, an economic collapse, and a decaying ozone layer. Then the 90s arrived, and that meant the Berlin Wall collapsed, apartheid was ending, and the ozone layer was healing. The 80's and 90's Trivia Game is a totally fun and radical blast from the past! Categories include movies, music, TV, culture, and sports.

80s' Mixtape Pool Float

Mixtape Pool Float in water

Make it a summertime to rewind! Let the nostalgia of the classic cassette tape permeate your warm-weather vacation with this Mixtape Pool Float.

Pac-Man Ghost Lamp

Pac Man Light

How many of you spent all your allowance at the corner store playing Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man? While arcades are a thing of the past, there is nothing more that thrills our inner child than having an actual Pac-Man light in our own home. This will definitely light up our lives!

Brady Bunch Women's Crew Socks

Brady Bunch Women's Socks

It's the Brady Bunch theme song, with a twist! This novelty sock will make you feel like you're in the 1970s/1980s again, and in the company of your favourite TV family. These socks are perfect for anyone who enjoys a little nostalgia and loves the iconic intro credits! Who didn't dream to have pigtails like Cindy did? 😉

Cindy Brady

These retro gifts will make totally rad gift ideas for that person in your life who needs some fun distractions! These gifts are a childhood fantasy come true.

Mister Rogers 1000 Piece Puzzle

Mister Rogers Puzzle

Bring the old school back with this vintage puzzle. We all know Mister Rogers is our favourite neighbour, as he exudes so much love, joy, kindness, and neighbourly chitchat over the fence. This puzzle features dozens of colourful quotes and song lyrics, images of Mr. Roger's iconic sweater and trolley, as well as characters from the Neighbourhood of Make-Believe. This would make a perfect gift for the puzzle lover in your life.





Places In Toronto You Can Get FREE Stuff On Your Birthday!

You know what’s so great about birthdays? We’ve all got one coming up this year! Haha, okay, that was a pretty lame joke. But what isn’t lame is all the birthday freebies you can get in Toronto. Remember, aging is undeniable! :)

From snacks to goodies to drinks and more, these Toronto spots will let you take full advantage on your birthday.

Here are some places in Toronna that’ll give you birthday freebies:

1. David’s Tea: This spot’s point system has you situated for tons of great rewards. When you sign up with your birthday, you’ll get 5 free points to apply to future orders. Plus, enjoy great perks like your favourite teas and accessories and access to VIP events.

2. Indigo: Another year older, another year wiser. You’ll receive bonus PLUM Rewards points on your special day that can be redeemed for awesome books and goodies. Plus, when you sign up for the program, you’ll get 250 PLUM Points for free.

3. Starbucks: This spot is famous for their free birthday beverage. Come in to claim your drink as long as you’re part of their killer rewards program.

4. Holy Shakes: The ultimate birthday treat! Head to Holy Shakes on Queen Street on your birthday for a free regular milkshake. If you bring a friend, they get 10% off their order! Everyone celebrates.

5. Dairy Queen: Sign up for Dairy Queen’s Blizzard Fan Club and receive a birthday treat.

6. Harvey’s: Are you a fan of some good old Canadian fast food like Harvey’s? Well, if you sign up for their Burger Boss Club, you get a birthday freebie!

7. South St. Burger: The South St. Burger Birthday Club is great for folks looking for a fast-food bite. This spot will give you a free burger with the purchase of one on your birthday. Treat a friend and get yours free, or enjoy two all to yourself. It’s your big day, after all!

8. Red Lobster: Who doesn’t love Red Lobster? If the famous cheddar bay biscuits aren’t enough to draw you in, perhaps their birthday offer will be. You can enjoy a surprise special on your big day if you sign up for the chain’s mailing list. Ohhh la la, the suspense is killing us!

9. What A Bagel: What A Bagel is known for its sweet birthday offering for bagel lovers. Buy any six, and you’ll get another six for free to complete your birthday dozen. Remember to show up with your photo ID to take advantage of the deal.

10. Old Navy:  Shopping for jeans or sensible apparel? This spot will throw in someone extra special for your birthday. Just sign up online to enroll in the offer.

11. Medieval Times: You may be getting older, but this spot feels like you’re jumping back in time. Toronto’s Medieval Times has free admission up for grabs on your special day, as long as you show up with at least one other person. Sadly, your birthday buddy will have to pay full price, but you can return the favour when their birthday rolls around.

12. Elmwood Spa: You deserve a little R&R on your special day. So book a day at the Elmwood Spa and enjoy a complimentary three-course lunch (valued at $48) for your birthday while wrapped in your cozy spa robe.


Birthday Traditions From Around The World....! 🎉🎈🎂

The Western idea of celebrating a birthday with cake and candles has certainly caught on in other parts of the world, but many cultures have long-standing traditional ways to celebrate that don’t involve a sugar rush.

The practices found are not entirely representative of every household or individual, THANK GOODNESS! Many of them are more traditional and hypothetical than reality, but if you happen to be in Germany and see a group of men with a broom on the steps of city hall, you’ll at least know what they’re up to.

1. Canada: Nose Grease

On the Atlantic side of Canada, birthday boys and girls are sometimes "ambushed" and their noses are greased, usually with butter, to ward off bad luck. Someone who lives in Pictou said "the butter got worse as you got older. It was good luck as much as torture as I remember it." We would imagine so!

2. China: Long Noodles for Longevity

In China, some families celebrate a person’s birthday annually; others don't start celebrating until a person turns 60. Chinese birthday tradition maintains that one should symbolize their longevity by eating a plate of long noodles and slurping them in as far as possible before biting. Sounds appetizing...not!

3. Germany: Sweeping the Streets of City Hall

When single men in Germany turn 30, an old tradition is for them to sweep the steps of their local city hall as their friends toss rubble onto them. The "ordeal", meant to embarrass, is supposed to carry on until the birthday boy is able to plant one on a passing woman. You buy drinks for your friends on your birthday, unlike in Canada, where it is the other way around.

4. Ireland: Hit the Deck

Think the Irish had a few when coming up with this one? :) A child is held upside down and "bumped" on the floor once for every year of their age plus one for good luck. We’re guessing lawyers would have something to say about this in Canada. Geez!

5. Jamaica: Modern Day Antiquing

Jamaicans think dousing their friends with flour is fun. Regardless of age, tradition calls for the birthday boy or girl to be “antiqued,” or coated with flour, by friends and family, either at an organized party or as part of an ambush. 

6. Mexico: The Birthday Piñata

Mexicans sure know how to have a good time, and it’s no surprise that they have what is, in my opinion, the most fun tradition for children: the birthday piñata is filled with candy. Grab a blindfold and a broomstick, and let the celebration begin! I don’t know about you, but certainly I would trade my birthday cake for a piñata any day.

On the other hand, I think this birthday girl will stick with the tradition of celebrating with a fun outing, a delectable meal, a birthday cake, and being sung "Happy Birthday"! EmojiEmojiEmoji 

via mental floss

2023 Kids’ Birthday Party Trends!

Disco dance parties, spa days, and personalized everything are just a few of the trends being predicted to be big on the kids’ birthday party scene in 2023. Keep reading to see what else you should plan on seeing everywhere this year!

Classic themes that will continue to be everywhere

It’s no surprise that classic party themes continue to delight kids. Unicorns (Danna Bananas has lots: a Unicorn Color Changing Light, a Color Changing Unicorn Mug, a Unicorn Shower Cap, a Unicorn Giant Eraser, a Unicorn Liquid Pencil Case, a Giant Unicorn Pool Float, and a Giant Unicorn Wiggle Wobble Splashy Sprinkler), race carsMickey MouseToy Story, and rainbows. Those have all been around for years; they never change. Carnival, Candyland, and safari themes will continue to be great options for coed parties. Construction zones, car racing themes, sports, and hands-on activities will continue to be top choices for little boys(some girls too). Paris and disco/rock star themes might continue to be popular among young girls (and some boys too). Even classic trends are evolving. We went from a time when rustic/vintage and boho/chic with muted and pastel colours was the main trend. In 2023, the trending colours will be vibrant and bold, and the designs will be modern and clean.

Immersive, interactive activities + party favours

Interactive parties have started to become more popular. One example is making a party backdrop that’s not just a focal point for photos but also incorporating a dessert or snack wall into the design. Another example is creating a tablescape where kids can interact and do a fun activity. Such as, spa parties, carnival snack walls, and movie nights. By curating an activity that is cohesive with your decor and theme, you are adding value to the overall life of the party. Parties that are able to create a special, magical, and immersive environment will be the winners. Sleepovers and spa parties are great examples. These kinds of parties stay trendy as they get more sophisticated, elaborate, and organized every time. Picnic parties will also continue to be popular among every age group. Kids and teens will always look for adventures during their parties. A great party activity can serve as a unique party favour. In addition, the favour doesn't always have to be something that is store-bought. It can be a painting that the child creates at a craft party or a tie-dyed shirt from a tie-dye party. Check out Danna Bananas' Tie Dye Kit!

Don’t forget to make the party fun for adults, too! [Have] entertainment for all ages! For example, allow your guests (both adults and kids) to dress up to match the theme of the party. For instance, a castle backdrop with all of the guests dressed as fairy tale characters."

Teens are turning to the classics, too!

The hottest teen birthday party themes of 2023 look remarkably similar to the ones you may remember from your own teenage years. Neon! Definitely neon and disco. Pyjama parties, spa dates, and gaming trucks have been increasingly popular as well.

Personalized everything

"Happy birthday!" is no longer the only phrase you’ll see at a birthday party. Parents are personalizing everything at the party with their child’s name, the party’s name, you name it! For some, kids’ parties are like the new weddings! With creative backdrops, neon light signs with their names on them, party favours (like sunglasses and hats), and just personalization on everything. Soft play areas and bounce houses can even be personalized now! Personalizing and customizing parties can’t get any easier these days, as options are endless for any budget, theme, age, space, or style. If you are a balloon lover, you can go for personalized balloons. If you want to make a statement with lighting, options range from custom-made neon signs to giant marquee letters. You can also personalize sweet treats, ice sculptures, water bottles, totes, travel bags, etc. Just keep in mind that personalizing takes time, so start planning very early in advance.

Bounce houses + soft play

Soft play is no longer just for fun fairs and malls. Soft play is a newer trend that’s only a few years old, and there has been a surge in it lately. It’s popular for parties with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers—they’re mini versions of play zones in malls, and their popularity is going to increase a whole lot more. Soft play options for older kids are also very popular, like ball pits with slides that can be brought to their homes. Classic entertainment like themed bounce houseswater slides, dry slides, or obstacle courses will continue to be a must-have for any outdoor party. Keep in mind that not every inflatable is appropriate for every age group, so choose carefully.

Themed around their interests

When it comes to picking the party theme, kids play a big role—they have incredible resources to take inspiration from real parties everywhere, so they are aware of how creative and original they can get. Kids add character to their parties and love to see their interests— sports, hobbies, music, fashion, trips, favourite colours, characters, and animals—become a theme. Themes should be based on the child's interests. Themes can be based on anything your child loves: a favourite bedtime booka catchy YouTube songor a favourite foodOne theme that kids are still starry-eyed over? Space! Space themes are super big! And people are opting for this theme for every age and kid: younger kids, older kids, first birthday parties, girls, boys, etc. Party favours that are cohesive with the party theme are a great idea. A book related to the theme (animal books, superhero books) or a toy relevant to your age group are two examples.

Birthday party food

The results are in: kids love pizza and chicken nuggets! Give the kids what they love! Pizza, sandwiches, mac and cheese, and chicken nuggets. For a more unique presentation, you can serve personalized mini pizzas, colourful fruit on a stick, or a kid-friendly charcuterie board. Kids don’t like to spend a lot of time seated eating while a lot is happening around them.

New innovative sweets

Cake will always be a birthday party staple, but now it's joined by tons of exciting new sugary treats. Personalized dessert bars, called treat bars, are popular right now. Chocolate-covered Rice Krispies treats, chocolate-covered strawberries, cookies, and candy popcorn—all of these are popular and personalized for each party. Themed cake pops and cake popsicles are becoming very popular because they are easy to handle and serve and can also be personalized and given as a party favour. For dessert, cupcakes are a good alternative to cake. They are easy and convenient to pass out, and they taste like cake! Ice cream and cotton candy vendors are also great options if your budget allows for them. They can also double as entertainment for your guests. If you are going budget-friendly, you can create a self-serve ice cream station and have a fun array of toppings that kids can top themselves.

Keep it simple!

Back in the 70s and 80s, when life was different, my mom loved the word KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid! My birthday parties were simple and fun; they involved a fun activity—either tobogganing, skating, swimming, bowling, or games—and a home-made meal with a cake that looked like me. For a fun surprise, she wrapped coins in paper and then hid them in the cake. You would eat one and think, "What's this?" You thought to yourself, "You hit the jackpot with either a penny, nickle, dime, or quarter! Yes, those were the "birthday party" days of my childhood! via evite

 Danna celebrating her birthday


The Biggest Grammatical Mistakes In Songs We Love To Sing

Songwriters provide the soundtracks to our lives and have a knack for saying exactly what we are feeling, which, of course, we didn’t know how to express.

But, even with their superior rhyming skills and penchant for translating the human condition into beautiful lyrics, that doesn’t mean they always pronounce everything perfectly. Your favourite playlist is probably as full of simple spelling mistakes and hilarious grammatical errors as it is of beloved hit songs.

So, we’ve rounded up the iconic pop songs that leave us scratching our heads, even as we’re happily singing along...

"Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga

In the case of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” could it be that misuse of objective pronouns is what made the love go sour?

Lady Gaga sings: “You and me could write a bad romance,” when, as your schoolteacher will quickly tell you, it is properly you and I.

This is one of those tricky grammar rules that trips many people up, but there’s actually an easy way to know which pronoun is correct. Simply remove the you and from the sentence and see if what’s left makes grammatical sense. “Me could write a bad romance?” No. I could write a bad romance.

This one can’t really be chalked up to an issue with syllables or fitting the lyrics to the beat, since I and me are both short words. It’s just that in colloquial speech, which pop music often imitates, we commonly say you and me.

"Lay Lady Lay" by Bob Dylan

The use of lay versus lie confounds many people. Both lay and lie can be used in the present tense; however, lay technically requires an object. You can lay down a book or lay down the law, but if you’re talking about a person, they lie down.

Here’s where it gets even more tricky: people do lay down sometimes, but only in the past tense.

"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police

“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” has one of those great, explosive choruses that makes it impossible not to sing along, but it’s for grammar nerds not to cringe as you arrive at the lyric: “Everything she do just turns me on.”

In that sentence, the verb do should be does, and Sting had plenty of room there to sing: “Everything she does just turns me on.” This seems like it may have been a style choice, rather than a mistake—and a a magical one at that.

"Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr.

In the timeless Ghostbusters theme song, Ray Parker, Jr. asks over and over again, “Who you gonna call?” The answer, of course, is the Ghostbusters, which are a group of people.

Since the Ghostbusters are a group, they’d be described using the pronoun them, and that means their theme song should technically ask, “Whom are you going to call?”

That said, being haunted doesn’t leave a lot of time for considering proper grammar. Plus, nobody speaks like that. So, if there’s something strange in your neighborhood, don’t worry about pronouns. Just make the phone call!

"I'll Never Break Your Heart" by the Backstreet Boys

Grammar-minded boy band fans have probably been seething about this Backstreet Boys song since it came out in 1995. At one point in the song “I’ll Never Break Your Heart,” band member A.J. McLean actually sings: “As time goes by / You will get to know me / A little more better.”

Since better is a comparative adjective that already means something is “more than good,” putting more in front of it is kind of redundant.

Luckily for The Backstreet Boys, millions of adoring fans were willing to overlook the mistake and still get to know them … a little more better, making them one of the most successful pop acts of all time.

"I Don't Want to Wait" by Paula Cole

In the theme song for the late 1990s teen drama Dawson’s Creek, songstress Paula Cole sacrificed perfect grammar for the sake of a good rhyme. Her 1996–97 pop classic “I Don’t Want to Wait” includes the line: “So open up your morning light / And say a little prayer for I.”

The correct pronoun in that lyric would be me, not I. But “Say a little prayer for me” doesn’t rhyme with the first line of the verse, nor does it rhyme with the next two lines: “You know that if we are to stay alive / Then see the love in every eye.”

Whether or not any of those lyrics make sense is another issue entirely, but Paula Cole stuck to her own version of the grammar rules, and it paid off.

"Exercise Yo' Game" by Coolio

The rapper Coolio’s stage name suggests a penchant for inventing new words. But, in his 1995 song “Exercise Yo’ Game,” he took creating new words to a whole new level when he misspelled the word exercise as “E-X-C-E-R-I-S-E.”

A typical misspelling may have included a Z, as in exercize, or added an extra C, like excercise. But Coolio can’t misspell words like just anyone!

He took a difficult word to spell and made it entirely his own. For that, we have Aretha Franklin levels of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, although Coolio may prefer to spell it R-E-S-C-E-P-T.

"Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones

It’s one of the most iconic song lyrics of all time: “I can’t get no satisfaction.” Of course, any grammar nerd can immediately recognize that those lyrics don’t quite follow the rules.

Technically, can’t get no is a double negative, and the song should say, “I can’t get any satisfaction.” But, would it really be rock and roll if they followed all the rules? The Rolling Stones were rebels, and in this case, their rule-breaking ways paid off with a timeless hit.



Cupcake Day!

Celebrating Cupcake Day with SPCA

Attention, all bakers! It’s the sweetest day of the year for animals in Ontario! Cupcake Day for the Ontario SPCA is finally here, and they couldn’t be more thrilled! Tails are wagging, kittens are purring, and bunnies are jumping for joy! Cupcake Day is a fundraiser for the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society to help animals in need. With your support, they can give vulnerable animals a second chance! Changing the life of an animal in need is a piece of cake. Head to and change animals' lives!


via SPCA 


Three things to know about Black History Month

It's Black History Month. Here are 3 things to know about the annual celebration

February marks Black History Month, a tradition that got its start in the Jim Crow era and was officially recognized in 1976 as part of the nation's bicentennial celebrations. It aims to honor the contributions that African Americans have made and to recognize their sacrifices.

Here are three things to know about Black History Month:

It was Negro History Week before it was Black History Month

In 1926, Carter G. Woodson, the scholar often referred to as the "father of Black history," established Negro History Week to focus attention on Black contributions to civilization. According to the NAACP, Woodson — at the time only the second Black American after W.E.B. Du Bois to earn a doctorate from Harvard University — "fervently believed that Black people should be proud of their heritage and [that] all Americans should understand the largely overlooked achievements of Black Americans."

Woodson, the son of former enslaved people, famously said: "If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated."

Woodson chose a week in February because of Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday was Feb. 12, and Frederick Douglass, who was born enslaved and did not know his actual birth date, but chose to celebrate it on Feb. 14.

"Those two people were central to helping to afford Black people the experience of freedom that they have now," says W. Marvin Dulaney, president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), which Woodson founded in 1915 and today is the official promoter of Black History Month.

In the decades after the Civil War and through the racial violence that erupted across the country in the years following World War I, there was a concerted effort to repress the teaching of Black history.

"In the South, they tried to suppress Black history or African American history in the public schools," Dulaney says, "particularly about things like Reconstruction and slavery, literally distorting the curriculum."

At the university level, Black studies programs were almost nonexistent, he says. "California was the first state to actually mandate Black history in 1951 for the public schools."

Largely as a result of the civil rights and Black consciousness movements of the 1960s, "you saw an uptick in Black history courses," says LaGarrett King, an associate professor of social studies education at the University at Buffalo.

Across the country, public schools "created all these courses and mandates for Black history," unofficially creating a Black History Month, King says.

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Black press also helped push the idea, says Marcus Hunter, a sociology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

"The Chicago Defender, the Philadelphia Tribune, the Baltimore Afro-American ... they all started to say that this is something we're celebrating," Hunter says.

By 1976, it became official, with President Gerald R. Ford declaring February as Black History Month and calling on the public to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."

Today, Black History Month is also celebrated in Canada every February and the United Kingdom in October.

There's a new theme every year

Each year, the ASALH chooses a different theme for Black History Month. This year, the theme is "Black Resistance."

"African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings since our arrival upon these shores," the ASALH says of this year's theme. "These efforts have been to advocate for a dignified self-determined life in a just democratic society in the United States and beyond the United States political jurisdiction."

Dulaney says this year's theme was chosen, in part, because of the current politically charged environment around race.

He calls efforts in states like Florida, which recently rejected a new Advanced Placement course covering African American studies, and Alabama, where the State Board of Education has voted to limit how educators can talk about race in the classroom, "a strong retrenchment" against coming to terms with Black history. In light of that, the theme seemed appropriate this year, Dulaney says.

King acknowledges that some people might interpret this year's theme as politically provocative, but it shouldn't be seen that way. Rather, it's an effort to reframe the conversation about Black history around a theme of empowerment, he says.

"With resistance there is an implied understanding of oppression, and it seems to be a segment of the population who do not want to admit those historical facts," he says. "Yet, resistance helps us understand the power that Black people have in terms of their historical realities, which counters the concept of victimhood that many say drives Black History education."

Recent controversies over how race is taught echo a time when Black history was often ignored

For Dulaney, the culture wars playing out across the country over how students learn about race feel like a case of history repeating itself.

For many, recent events — the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, for example, and the ongoing controversy surrounding critical race theory, an academic framework stating that people who are white have benefited from ingrained racism in American institutions — look like a recurring pattern, he says.

"I grew up in Ohio and we didn't learn about a single African or African American man or woman who had ever done anything in history," the 72-year-old Dulaney says.

"Starting in the '60s, through the '70s, we were very successful in integrating African American history of culture into the curriculum," he says.

However, "now here we are back, having to push that agenda again ... [against those] trying to suppress the teaching of African American history and culture."

King thinks the current controversy surrounding critical race theory will die down. "My personal feelings are that they'll find another politically manufactured outrage and move on to the next thing," he says.

UCLA's Hunter thinks that debate is indicative of where the country is right now. What it really says is "there's a lot of work to still be done."

However, Black History Month has been and can continue to be a force for better understanding.

"It offers a certain amount of optimism about what is possible if people actually focus on the educational importance of it," he says.


Family-Friendly Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs

Ice Cream Cones in the snow

We’re in it now, aren’t we? Peak winter blahs season. And while moving to Australia is a nice thought, it apparently isn’t an option. And a vacation isn’t possible for everyone. That’s okay. We have some fun, low-cost ideas to help you get the family’s groove back during these grey weeks. Bye bye, blahs. We’re manufacturing our own sunshine. Here are some family-friendly ways to beat the winter blahs…


Vinyl Dance Party:

Trust us when we say that there is simply something better about holding a vinyl record, carefully putting it on a turntable, and cranking the tunes for a blahs-busting dance party. Find something the whole family can dance to (or at least take turns playing favourite songs), whether it's Sharon, Lois & Bram, Beach Boys, or Harry Styles. Big, exuberant movements win here!

Play In The Snow:

Just embrace the white stuff and play in it. Take colouring fun outdoors and express your creativity. Building a snowman just got that much better with the Sno-Man (he, him) Kit!

Shh... do you hear that? It's the sound of a dinosaur! Strap on a pair of Snow Stompers on your boots and take a walk through the fresh snow to leave cool dinosaur footprints! Stompers will assist kids in exploring in the snow—and sand, for that matter—in the warmer months.

Create, decorate, and play! The Sno-Art Kit has everything you need to express your creativity and take colouring fun outdoors to decorate those awesome sculptures you make.

All aboard The Polar Bear Express Big Snow Tube and we'll race you down to the bottom! 

If you need some indoor wacky play, get your downward dog on with the Goat Yoga Party Game.

Neon Fashion Show:

Remember the 80s and the neon fashion craze? My mom bought me a pair of bright pink socks. I was so excited to wear them on the first day of school in seventh grade.

Find the brightest clothes in everyone’s closets and start designing outfits for a colourful fashion show! Vibrant is in and we want to see the most epic colour combinations, complete with a strut down the catwalk.

Polaroid Session:

We’re all about the analogue, baby. Dust off or borrow a Polaroid or Instax camera, load some film, and have a creativity sustaining instant photography session! Grab some Danna Bananas props and craft a cardboard frame to make your own photo booth. Divvy up the photos, put some up on the walls, and tuck a few special ones into an album for immediate memory keeping.

Indoor Gardens:

Wanna check out some tropical plants from all over the globe in the middle of winter? Head to an indoor botanical garden: Allan Gardens Conservatory, Royal Botanical Gardens, Centennial Park Conservatory, Cloud Gardens, and Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. They are a welcome respite from the cold weather and are usually warm and full of leafy green things that make us feel alive again. If your budget allows, get the kids a small plant to bring the lush life back into the house. Bonus: Jot down some of the coolest plant names and look them up in a botanical encyclopedia with lots of great vintage illustrations.

Postcards for Everyone:

Why save the postcards for when you go away? It’s great fun to shop for postcards—pick the weirdest ones of your hometown you can find, or go for the neat artistic offerings. Take the time to write a fun message and update family and friends, and then go have a blast choosing the stamps (there are a variety on offer commemorating neat achievements). Enjoy plopping them in the mailbox—we'll guarantee you’ll hear back from the lucky recipients.

Photo walk:

Take your phone or cameras and go for a walk in an interesting area—it could be a park, a beach, downtown, or a nature area. Snap pictures of whatever catches your eye, from an empty playground slide to a spinning dryer at the laundromat. Avoid taking photos of people, and let the inanimate objects shine.

Have a campfire:

Use your woodstove, fireplace, or outdoor fire pit to host a campfire! Dress appropriately, enjoy the smell of wood smoke, and, of course, savour some hot chocolate and s’mores. Take turns telling stories or singing songs for the full campfire experience.

Go for ice cream.

It may be winter, but we can still enjoy ice cream(Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream, we all scream for it.)! Opt for the biggest creation you can find on the menu, from banana splits to enormous hot fudge sundaes with all of the toppings. Grab a bunch of spoons and dive in!

Start planting flowers:

We can’t wait for spring flowers, and we can start the joy by ordering seeds to start indoors or planting bulbs in pots. Choose the colours and varieties that speak to you, and get ready to reap the benefits when those gorgeous blooms emerge.

via savvymom

International Polar Bear Day - February 27, 2023

Celebrate by racing down the hill on a

Giant Polar Bear Snow Tube

The Polar Bear Express Big Snow Tube will provide lots of winter fun!

Girl on a Polar Bear Snow Tube

International Polar Bear Day on February 27 raises awareness on the issues facing polar bears and the ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint. Climate change is a huge threat to polar bears’ existence and it’s up to us to take action and protect their future. Polar bears are classified as marine mammals, carrying with them a thick layer of body fat and a water-repellent coat to keep them insulated against the icy cold air and water they encounter on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean. With their territory melting away beneath them, International Polar Bear Day is an important opportunity for us to remind ourselves what is at stake here, preserving the future of these magnificent mammals.


It’s been difficult for scientists to track down the origins of the polar bear but a recent discovery in Norway may have provided the answer. A rare jawbone found on the Norwegian island of Svalbard in 2004 allowed scientists to estimate that the species first walked the planet around 150,000 years ago.

Indigenous cultures have lived in the Arctic and hunted polar bears for thousands of years, contributing towards a balanced Arctic ecosystem. That all changed in the 1700s when hunters from Europe, Russia, and North America began to rapidly cut into the polar bear population. Without any regulations, people were able to trap as many polar bears as they liked, and the species suffered because of it.

By the 1950s things were getting worse due to the increasing use of fossil fuels. The burning of coal, oil, and gas melted the sea ice, causing ocean levels to rise and changing the landscape of the polar bear’s environment. Environmental groups began to push back on the polar bear’s behalf but their protests often fell on deaf ears as governments ignored their pleas to do more to protect the Arctic and in turn polar bears.

In 1973, the U.S, Denmark, Norway, and the former USSR signed the International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears and their Habitat. The agreement regulated commercial hunting and the U.S. government classified polar bears as endangered. The non-profit organization Polar Bears International (PBI) was formed in 1994 and they made it their mission to establish action programs to protect the endangered polar bear.

They introduced the first International Polar Bear Day in 2011 and it has been celebrated every year since.


A Day for the Polar Bears

Polar Bear International creates International Polar Bear Day to spread awareness through research, education, and activities.


Polar Bears are considered to be endangered by the US, Denmark, Norway, and the former USSR, and commercial hunting is regulated.

Fossil Fuels

The burning of fossil fuels melts the sea ice and puts the population of polar bears at risk.

Unregulated Times

Hunters from Europe, Russia, and North America disrupt the polar bear’s ecosystem with unregulated hunting.


  1. Let your voice be heard

    Familiarize yourself with the politics that affect the environment. Research local and national representatives to learn their stance on climate change and keep that in mind when you cast your support. You can also reach out to your representatives and let them know that the environment is important to you.

  2. Get creative with it

    Polar Bear International has various tools to raise awareness for this cause. You can download attention-grabbing stickers for promotional artwork and you can change your Facebook profile picture using their temporary profile frame. Use the hashtag #InternationalPolarBearDay and join others in the conversation.

  3. Become a community action superhero

    Make a difference close to home with community action toolkits that reduce your carbon footprint. The four challenges include information about thermostat conservation, rules for electronics, transportation accounts, and bicycling information. You can make a difference even from home.


  1. King of the Arctic

    Polar bears are the largest carnivorous land mammals on Earth.

  2. Winter weight

    A large male polar bear can weigh 1,700 pounds and that can double after a successful hunting season.

  3. Carnivorous

    Polar bears are primarily meat-eaters and feast on seals.

  4. Record fast

    Female bears have the longest known fasting period of any mammal species of about 180 days.

  5. Skin deep

    Underneath their white fur is black skin to soak up the sun’s warmth.


  1. We can still make a difference

    It’s not too late to turn this dire situation around. Research has shown that if we reduce carbon emissions, the sea ice and polar bears can still recover.

  2. Polar bears are vital to the ecosystem

    The Arctic ecosystem is fragile and if polar bears go extinct it could start a chain reaction that will be harder to turn around.

  3. Global warming is serious

    Less ice on the Arctic means less heat is reflected away from Earth and our planet will experience more intense heat waves as a consequence. We also need to consider the impact of rising sea levels, especially in coastal communities, and the damage to our crops.


Year Date Day
2023 February 27  Monday
2024 February 27 Tuesday
2025 February 27 Thursday

via national today

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