Tag: Holidays

Shamrock 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A shamrock painted on a window in New York City for St. Patrick’s Day 2005. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

One of the symbols associated with St. Patrick’s Day is the shamrock. It’s seen everywhere on the holiday, which honors the Patron Saint of Ireland and Irish culture. It’s believed that St. Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity.

The work “shamrock” describes a young clover. So, all shamrocks are clovers, but not all clovers are shamrocks.

As for the four-leaf clover, it doesn’t have anything to do with St. Patrick’s Day. The four-leaf clover represents good luck, but it wouldn’t have helped St. Patrick explain what the Holy Trinity is.

Here is what you need to know about the shamrock.


1. St. Patrick Used the 3-Leaf Clover to Represent the Holy Trinity

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An Aer Lingus jet. (Getty)

There’s a very specific reason why the three-leaf clover is associated with St. Patrick’s Day instead of the lucky four-leaf clover. It’s believed that St. Patrick used the shamrock to help explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish when he arrived there in 432 A.D.

According to Catholic Hot Dish, there are several different legends about how St. Patrick used the shamrock. In one, he used it in a sermon to explain it directly to King Laoghaire. In another, he saw a group of Irish chieftains in a meadow. He picked up a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.

St. Patrick showed that the three leaves represented the Father, the Son and the Spirit, but these leaves were part of one plant, or one God.

As for St. Patrick himself, he was born in Great Britain and has been venerated in the Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglicanism and Lutheranism. It’s believed that he lived during the second half of the 5th Century. March 17 is the supposed date of his death.

Catholic.org estimates that he was born in 387 and died in 461, meaning that he would have lived to be 74 years old.

Saint Patrick’s Day 2017: All the Memes You Need to See

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today we celebrate all things Irish. Whether your family comes from Ireland or not, enjoy these funny memes and jokes about this drunken holiday!

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2. The Odds of Finding a 4-Leaf Clover Are 1 in 10,000

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President Donald Trump accepts a bowl of shamrocks from Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on March 16, 2017. (Getty)

As Inside Science notes, scientists are still trying to figure out how four-leaf clovers happen. They are rare, as it is estimated that thee are only 1 in 10,000 plants that grow four leafs. Scientists are trying to determine if it has to do with genetics or the environment.

In 2010, there was a study published in Crop Science, by University of Georgia researcher Wayne Parrott. He said his lab found where the gene that creates the trait is, but couldn’t identify what the gene was. “You know it’s inside this locked trunk and we don’t have the key to open it,” he told Inside Science in 2017. But Parrott’s research also showed that the environment where a plant is grown can also play a role.

Parrott told Live Science that his real goal is to get more people interested in using white clovers as decoration because it’s better at keeping soil fertile for other crops and plants.

Saint Patrick’s Day 2017: Funny Irish Drinking Toasts

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today we celebrate Irish culture with friends by drinking. Here are some of the best Irish drinking toasts on a day we are all from Ireland!

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3. The Word ‘Shamrock’ First Appeared in English Literature in 1571

The word “shamrock” comes from the Irish word “seamair óg,” which means “young clover.” The word didn’t show up in English literature until 1571, when it appeared in Edmund Champion’s Boke of the Histories of Irelande.

In the book, Champion wrote that he saw Irish eat “shamrotes, water-cresses, roote, and other herbes.” He added that they “cramme together” oatmeal and butter and drink “whey, milke and beefe broth.”

Several other works throughout the 16th and 17th centuries claim that the Irish are shamrocks and by then, it was closely associated with the Irish for many English writers. But this was likely because English writers were confused by the word “seamsóg,” which means “wood sorrel.” The writers might have not realized that the shamrock was a clover.

Saint Patrick’s Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Also known as St. Paddy’s Day, today is the day we celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. The Irish holiday is a global phenomenon. Learn more about its history and origins here.

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4. Ireland Began Adopting the Shamrock as a National Symbol in the 1700s

By the 18th century, the Irish began using the shamrock as a national symbol, as it outgrew its association with just St. Patrick. In 1800, when the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland were united, the shamrock was added to the Royal Coat of Arms. As Northern Ireland is still part of the U.K., a sharmock and the Harp of Ireland remain on the Coat of Arms.

The shamrock is the national flower of Ireland and is used as a symbol throughout the government. It’s even part of Aer Lingus’ logo and its traffic control call sign is Shamrock.

Still, the harp is the real national symbol of Ireland and is featured in the country’s coat of arms.

When Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny visited the White House on March 16, he presented Trump with a bowl of shamrocks, as Irish leaders have done so in the past when first meeting their American counterparts.

After meeting with Trump, Kenny told RTE.ie that their conversation focused on immigration. Trump told Kenny that he wants to go to Ireland during his first term in office.

Pi Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Today is Pi Day, celebrating the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, as well as Albert Einstein’s birthday. Here’s a look at the holiday.

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5. Blue Was Originally the Color of St. Patrick

As many historians will remind people on St. Patrick’s Day, the original color associated with St. Patrick was blue. According to Time Magazine, St. Patrick’s Blue was used on ancient Irish flags. The Irish Coat of Arms also has the harp on a blue field and earlier versions used a lighter shade of blue.

During the 1798 Irish Rebellion, the clover became a national symbol and that’s how green became associated with Ireland and, ultimately, St. Patrick’s Day.

National Oreo Cookie Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

March 6 marks National Oreo Day, as Nabisco trademarked the name this month in 1912. Here’s a look at the cookie’s history and future.

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National Alien Abductions Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A possible UFO signing in Bulawayo in December 1953. (Photo by Barney Wayne/Keystone/Getty Images)

March 20, 2017 isn’t just the first day of Spring. It’s also National Alien Abductions Day, also known as Extraterrestrial Abductions Day.

The origins of the holiday are a mystery. However, back in 2008, Toronto hosted an Alien Abduction Festival on March 20. Since then, the holiday has been celebrated on March 20.

In addition to National Alien Abductions Day, there’s World UFO Day on July 2, 2017.

Here’s what you need to know about the bizarre holiday.


1. The Holiday Has its Origins in a 2008 Toronto Alien Abductions Festival

Back in 2008, the Toronto-based toy company Happy Worker hosted the one-day Alien Abduction Festival on March 20. The point of the event was to celebrate “all things extraterrestrial & sci-fi, for alien fanatics and creative types alike.”

Happy Worker didn’t take credit for creating the holiday, noting that it existed before 2008.

“Despite our extensive research, we don’t know who created the day or for what specific purpose,” a statement on the Happy Worker site reads. “But we assume it’s the special day chosen by our alien overlords themselves. Every year on March 20 they swoop down and select lucky humans from around the globe for a personal tour of their spaceships, along with the unique opportunity to take part in various exciting testing procedures.”

The event included free UFO rides, an “alien birthing room” and “tin hat tailoring.”

Although the holiday continues to be celebrated, it looks like this was a one-and-done event for Happy Worker.

Shamrock 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

The shamrock is a beloved symbol of Irish culture and seen everywhere on St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s a look at the symbol and why it’s so important.

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2. 80 Million Americans Believe UFOs Exist, According to a 2012 Study

According to a National Geographic survey published in 2012 that was timed with their Chasing UFOs series, 36 percent of Americans – or 80 million people – believe that Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) exist. Just 17 percent said they didn’t believe in them, while 30 percent said they were unsure. ABC News reports that 55 percent of those polled think there are government agents – like those in the Will Smith movie Men In Black – who threaten people who report UFO sightings.

Notably, the study showed that 77 percent of Americans think there are signs that aliens visited earth.

But National Geographic executive Brad Dancer told ABC News that the study could be open to interpretation since a “UFO” doesn’t necessarily have to be an alien spacecraft.

“UFO doesn’t necessarily mean alien spacecraft,” Dancer said. “There are things that are unexplained. They’re interesting because they’re unknown. People love a mystery.”

The study asked 1,116 Americans 18 and over about their thoughts on extraterrestrials.

Pi Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Today is Pi Day, celebrating the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, as well as Albert Einstein’s birthday. Here’s a look at the holiday.

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3. 79 Percent of Americans Think There is Life on Other Planets, Says a 2015 Study

A more recent study conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs shows that 79 percent of Americans think there is life on other planets. That’s probably why NASA’s announcement last month that it discovered seven new planets that could be conductive to life captured the public’s imagination.

The same study of 1,005 adults aged 18 and over found that 56 percent of Americans believe in UFOs, but only 45 percent think that aliens have visited the earth.

Ipsos also found that 57 percent of Americans believe in the Big Bang theory of how the universe was born. Also, 65 percent of those who were polled believe in the theory of evolution.

National Oreo Cookie Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

March 6 marks National Oreo Day, as Nabisco trademarked the name this month in 1912. Here’s a look at the cookie’s history and future.

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4. The Fascination With Alien Abductions Began With the Story of Betty & Barney Hill

America’s fascination with alien abduction stories is traced to the case of Betty and Barney Hill, whose papers are collected at the University of New Hampshire.

The couple claimed they were abducted by aliens in September 1961 in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. They were driving home in the middle of the night after a trip to Montreal, when they saw lights flashing from the sky. They claimed they saw a large spacecraft, with two “bipedal humanoid creatures” inside. They tried to drive away, but suddenly found themselves in the exact same spot where they saw the ship two hours later. They had no memory of what happened in those two hours.

According to the Boston Globe, the Hills later underwent hypnotherapy, which helped them remember the events. In 1965, their story was published in a Boston magazine and they gained national attention.

Barney died in 1969, but Betty lived until 2004 and became a prominent UFO researcher. Their story was told in the 1975 TV movie The UFO Incident with James Earl Jones.

Leap Day: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

February 28, 2017 is the last day of the month. Find out when’s the next February 29, or Leap Day, and why we need them in the first place.

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5. There Are Also Theories That Animals Have Been Abducted by Aliens

As Collective-Evolution points out, there have also been theories that animals have been abducted by aliens, too. As early as the 1906s, there have been strange animal mutilations found. Many of them are cattle, horses or sheep, who are discovered with the blood completely drained from their bodies and specific organs missing.

You can find a list of common traits among strange animal mutilations here. The essay “Alien Zoos” by Preston Dennett also suggests that aliens are abducting animals to create zoos.

Katharina Wilson of Oregon claimed she saw an alien zoo when she was abducted in 1988.

“This huge, dark area we are in looks like a zoo except, instead of cages, they use big glass rooms. They look like displays,” Wilson told Dennett. “I can walk all the way around them… Ooh! I’m looking inside one – I see two gorilla-like Beings and a large cat. The hairy Beings are very tall, and they don’t really look like gorillas, but they are all hairy like them. They are asleep.”

Susan B. Anthony Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

February 15 marks Susan B. Anthony’s birthday. This year marks the 197th anniversary of the women’s rights activist’s birth.

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National Puppy Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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While we all love adorable photos of puppies every day of the year, they are extra-special on March 23. Today marks National Puppy Day, which helps raise awareness for puppy adoption. The holiday was founded in 2006 by Colleen Page, a lover of all pets and aa prolific holiday inventor.

Here’s what you need to know about this special day.


1. National Puppy Day Was Founded to Raise Awareness for the Need to Adopt Puppies, Instead of Buying Them at a Store

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The main purpose for National Puppy Day is to make the public aware of how important it is to adopt puppies instead of buying them at retail. As the holiday’s site explains, pet stores get their dogs from puppy mills, who “don’t care about the animals more than a commodity to be sold.” They raise their puppies in cramped quarters and are usually taken from their mother far too early.

“After a female dog’s fertility wanes, she is often killed, abandoned or sent to another mill that will attempt make her produce one more litter. Puppy mills and backyard breeders are the number one reason we have an overpopulation of dogs in this country…that and a lack of spaying and neutering,” a statement on the site reads.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund also fights against puppy mills. The organization has filed lawsuits in Illinois, California and Pennsylvania and helped Oregon prosecute a man convicted of 43 counts of felony animal neglect.

In January 2017, Rolling Stone published an expose on puppy mills, telling the story of breeder Patricia Yates, who was charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty.

National Alien Abductions Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

March 20 marks National Alien Abductions Day, also known as Extraterrestrial Abductions Day. Here’s a look at this unique holiday and its origins.

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2. Founder Colleen Page Also Founded Cat Day, Pet Day & Wildlife Day

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Colleen Page is the founder of National Puppy Day. She also founded National Cay Day, National Dog Day and National Wildlife Day. She’s a pet lifestyle and safety expert with over 4,000 followers on Twitter.

According to Page’s website, she’s also the author of The Good Behavior Book for Dogs. She’s also contributed to OK! Celebrity Magazine and DogTime.com.

Paige said she created National Dog Day, which is on August 26, after she was disappointed by the lack of attention rescue dogs got after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

“There just was not any kind of recognition that those dogs worked so hard and so selflessly and so bravely to recover victims and bodies,” Paige told CBS Chicago in 2013 when asked why she created National Dog Day. “I felt like dogs really needed a day. I started thinking about all of the things that they do to protect us and guide us, love us and comfort us.”

Shamrock 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

The shamrock is a beloved symbol of Irish culture and seen everywhere on St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s a look at the symbol and why it’s so important.

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3. 5 Out of 10 Dogs Are Destroyed in Shelters Because No One Adopts Them

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According to Animals Abused & Abandoned, the ASPCA estimates that five out of 10 dogs in shelters are destroyed just because no one has adopted them. Seven out of 10 cats are also destroyed because no one adopts them. An estimated 5 to 9 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters across the country.

That’s why it’s important to adopt, but also important to address pet overpopulation. According to Animals Abused & Abandoned, 70,000 puppies and kittens are born in the U.S. every day, but only 10,000 humans are born each day. This is why having your pet spay or neurtered is important. According to the Humane Society, it can help reduce pet homelessness. It also helps your pet live longer, healthier lives and can curb bad behavior.

Pi Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Today is Pi Day, celebrating the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, as well as Albert Einstein’s birthday. Here’s a look at the holiday.

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4. the Labrador Retriever Is the Most Popular Dog Breed in the U.S.

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In March 2017, The American Kennel Club announced that the Labrador Retriever was the most popular dog breed in the U.S. for the 26th year in a row.

“The Labrador Retriever has a strong hold on the top spot, and doesn’t show signs of giving it up anytime soon,” AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo said in a statement. “The Lab is such a versatile dog that it’s no wonder it makes a great companion for a variety of lifestyles. Keep your eye on the Rottweiler, though. It’s been quietly winning hearts over the past decade.”

The No. 2 most popular dog breed in the U.S. is the German Shepherd. The Golden Retriever, Bulldog and Beagle rounded out the Top 5.

National Oreo Cookie Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

March 6 marks National Oreo Day, as Nabisco trademarked the name this month in 1912. Here’s a look at the cookie’s history and future.

Click here to read more


5. The Most Popular Dog Names for 2016 Were Max & Bella

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Rover.com released its list of the most popular dog names in the U.S. for 2016 in December. The most popular name for male dogs was Max, while Bella was the top name for female dogs.

The other top names for male dogs were Charlie, Buddy, Cooper and Jack. The top female dog names were Lucy, Daisy, Lola and Luna.

You can click here for the list of Top 100 male and female dog names in the U.S. for 2016.

Susan B. Anthony Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

February 15 marks Susan B. Anthony’s birthday. This year marks the 197th anniversary of the women’s rights activist’s birth.

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Take A Walk In The Park Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Today, March 30, marks National Take A Walk In The Park Day! The fun holiday is celebrated every March 30 and comes at a perfect time. Spring is in swing. Hopefully where you live, the sun is out today and you can enjoy a day in the park.

Here’s what you need to know about this fun holiday, and the benefits of walking.


1. The Origin of the Holiday Is Unknown

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It’s not clear what the origin of National Take A Walk In The Park Day is. Even when the National Wildlife Foundation mentioned the holiday in 2015, it didn’t know the history of it.

The sites World’s Special Days and National Day Calendar also couldn’t find the origins for the holiday.

Even if it doesn’t have a clear origin, it’s still a good idea for a holiday.

National Wear Red Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

February 3 is National Wear Red Day, which helps raise awareness for heart disease. Here’s a look at the holiday and how you can participate.

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2. A Simple Daily Walk Can Help You Live a Healthier Life

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While exercising may sound like a daunting task to many, just simply getting outside and walking will help you live a healthier life. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular “brisk” walking can help you maintain a healthy weight and help prevent conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. It also helps improve your balance and coordination.

Every Day Health also notes that walking can help those with type 2 diabetes, since exercising is just as important as your diet. The site suggests you use a pedometer to keep track of your steps. After figuring out what your average is, add 2,000 steps a day to that.

Ways to add steps are very simple. You could use stairs instead of the elevator, park your car far from a building and take walks during breaks. You can also make sure to walk your dog every day. It’ll help you and your pet!

National Oreo Cookie Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

March 6 marks National Oreo Day, as Nabisco trademarked the name this month in 1912. Here’s a look at the cookie’s history and future.

Click here to read more


3. There Are 59 National Parks in the U.S.

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There are 59 national parks in the U.S., and it’s the job of the National Park Service to keep an eye on these beautiful locations. If you live near any of these, they would be a great place to spend National Take A Walk In The Park Day.

The parks aren’t restricted to the 50 U.S. states. The Northern Mariana Islands is home to the american Memorial Park, which honors the American and Marianas people who died during World War II. San Juan, Puerto Rico is home to the San Juan National Historic Site, which is also classified as a World Heritage Site.

If you’re lucky enough to live near the National Park of American Samoa, you will see beautiful views that you can’t see anywhere else. There are also National Parks in Guam and the Virgin Islands.

You can visit NPS.gov for a full list of all the National Parks.

Pi Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Today is Pi Day, celebrating the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, as well as Albert Einstein’s birthday. Here’s a look at the holiday.

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4. New York’s Central Park Is the Most Visited Urban Park in the U.S.

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If you plan on spending National Take A Walk In The Park Day at Central Park in New York, you certainly won’t be the only one. According to the Central Park Conservatory, 42 million people visit the park each year. The 843-acre park is the most visited urban park in the U.S.

The conservatory is a non-profit organization that works to improve Central Park that has invested over $875 million in the park since it was founded in 1980. It provides three quarters of the park’s $67 million annual operating budget. The park is also considered a National Historic Landmark.

According to Statista, the second-most visited urban park in the U.S. in 2015 was the National Mall in Washington D.C., which had 29.72 million visitors. Other parks in the Top 5 include Chicago’s Lincoln Park, San Diego’s Mission Pay Park and Forest Park in St. Louis.

National Alien Abductions Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

March 20 marks National Alien Abductions Day, also known as Extraterrestrial Abductions Day. Here’s a look at this unique holiday and its origins.

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5. A February 2017 Study Found That Walking Could Help Those With Early Alzheimer’s

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In March 2017, the New York Times reported that a new February study published in PLoS One by University of Kansas researchers studied the effects of walking and light exercise on older people who were in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. While the study showed that frequent, brisk walks could help, the results ween’t universal and there are still no reliable treatments for Alzhimer’s.

The researchers split volunteers into two groups. One group exercised over several weeks, with the difficulty increasing slowly during the period. By the end, they were briskly walking for 150 minutes a week. The second group, considered the control group, exercising regimen was not as extreme and did not increase aerobic endurance.

The study’s results were mixed. The control group’s activities didn’t slow down the disease. But while the walkers didn’t perform better on their cognitive tests, they did seem to be remembering things better. “These volunteers also generally showed slight increases in the size of their brain’s hippocampus, an area of the brain affected early in the course of Alzheimer’s disease, whereas the other participants did not,” The NEw York Times’ Gretchen Reynolds wrote.

The National Institute on Aging also notes that exercise is important to stimulate the brain. According to the institute:

Researchers have also shown that exercise can stimulate the human brain’s ability to maintain old network connections and make new ones that are vital to healthy cognition. In a year-long study, 65 older people exercised daily, doing either an aerobic exercise program of walking for 40 minutes or a nonaerobic program of stretching and toning exercises. At the end of the trial, the walking group showed improved connectivity in the part of the brain engaged in daydreaming, envisioning the future, and recalling the past. The walking group also improved on execu­tive function, the ability to plan and organize tasks such as cooking a meal.

National Puppy Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Today is National Puppy Day! Here’s a look at the holiday and adorable photos of puppies to make you smile.

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