weird and wacky holidays happening in April

April 30 is Bugs Bunny Day

Today is Bugs Bunny Day. On April 30, 1938, Bugs made his debut in a cartoon called “Porky’s Hare Hunt,” entertaining movie theater audiences awaiting the feature presentation.

As a young performer wet behind the floppy ears, much of his film work was uncredited. He sometimes appeared under the stage name “Happy Rabbit.”

Bugs finally shared his true identity in the credits of January 1941’s tour de force, “Elmer’s Pet Rabbit,” perhaps at the urging of his costar, Elmer Fudd.

While his appearance has “evolved” over the years, Bugs has always denied the rumors of plastic surgery, Botox and fillers. He attributes his agelessness to a healthy diet, long hops on the beach and his judicious use of lighthearted ridicule.

bugs bunny day

You go, Bugs! We love you! Happy Bugs Bunny Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

April 28 is National Cubicle Day

national cubicle dayToday is National Cubicle Day. Technically, it isn’t a “national” holiday, having never been decreed by Congress and the president. Then again, none of them work in cubicles, so what do they know?

The first cubicle was introduced by furniture company Herman Miller in 1968. Robert Propst designed the “Action Office” as an alternative to working in open areas, often called bullpens.  It had flexible configurations with partitions to pin up current projects and provide privacy, lots of desk space and varying desk heights so people could spend some of their time standing up to keep their circulation flowing.

In the real world, Propst’s partitions, meant as building blocks for various layouts, were used to reduce each workspace to the smallest footprint possible to cram even more people into a room. The standing desk detail was abandoned, although it sounds like a good way for a boss to keep an eye out for any slackers trying to take a walk on the company’s dime.

If it ever becomes legal to catheterize a workforce, we’re confident that proximity fences and shock collars will become standard employee retention features of “systems furniture” design. (Eventually, someone will realize folks need to be hydrated and add a hamster-style water bottle to one corner.) Maybe Jon Sanderson had that in mind when he pulled this incredible April Fool’s Day prank on his coworker:

national cubicle day

photo: the Chive

Here are a few more cubicles that almost make us want to work in one. Almost. This one is great, but you can’t see that the key to the restroom is attached to the rim:

Check out the chair on the left. It has an alien face hugger in it!

This one is pretty sweet, right down to the tiki gods.

National cubicle day

If you’re worried that you’d get the boot if you jazzed up your office space, you can always splash out on this  inflatable Instant Window:

national cubicle day

Happy National Cubicle Day, everybody!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

 

April 27 is Matanzas Mule Day

matanzas mule day

visual approximation

Today is Matanzas Mule Day. While Mule Appreciation Day (October 26) honors mules in general, today’s holiday is dedicated to one special mule.

On April 27, 1898, during the Spanish-American War, the U.S. Navy fired upon the coastal town of Matanzas, on Cuba’s northern shore. When the smoke cleared, the villagers discovered one casualty: a mule.

Perhaps to express their outrage at the attack, they held a funeral for the mule and buried it with full military honors. (Of course, we can’t discount the possibility that they just really loved that mule.) Word of the memorial spread, along with disbelief.

On August 5, 1898, the New York Times printed an eyewitness account given to the London Globe. Chief Officer Smails of the Myrtledene, a steamship in the area to pick up sugarcane, confirmed the story and reported that he had attended the funeral at the invitation of a Spanish dockworker. He described the scene:

“Altogether there were about 200 persons present, including many distinguished officers. They all walked in mournful procession to the final resting place of the ill-fated animal, a band rendering melancholy music all the while. The authorities were also present to give the obsequies an official aspect. At the grave more appropriate music was played, and eloquent addresses were made by Spanish officers….Then the signal for lowering the carcass into the earth was given. The body went down enveloped in the Spanish flag, amid a volley of musketry!”

The Times article concludes with three unattributed verses one could reasonably assume were an ode to a fallen comrade.

They marshaled men of every rank,
They summoned muffled guns to roll,
They called the merchant from the bank,
They caused the Church’s bell to toll.

And slowly to his grave they passed,
Obeying every martial rule,
And there with tears they took a last,
Long look at that bombarded mule.

Wrapped in the flag he served so well.
Amid a cloud of smoke he sank;
“The Slain” – by tons of shot and shell –
Went under with a round of blank.

We’re fairly sure it wasn’t sung at the funeral. In fact, since it would have been written in Spanish, that’s either an excellent translation—complete with rhyming—or the newspaper of record was having fun heaping ridicule on a small town and, by extension, the enemy.

May you have a better Matanzas Mule Day than the mule did!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

 

April 25 is DNA Day

DNA DayToday is DNA Day. On April 25, 1953, the journal Nature published three papers submitted by James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin, Raymond Gosling, Maurice Wilkins, Alexander Stokes and Herbert Wilson about the structure of DNA.

Swiss biochemist Frederich Miescher observed DNA in 1869, but its importance didn’t emerge until 84 years later. Watson and Crick are the scientists most often associated with the discovery of DNA. They used data from X-ray diffraction research done by Rosalind Franklin to unravel the molecule and learn its essential role in creating life as we know it.

In 2003, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives declared April Human Genome Month and April 25th DNA Day. Serendipitously, on April 14, 2003, the Human Genome Project, a publicly funded program begun in 1990, announced it had achieved its goal of sequencing nearly all of the euchromatic genome.

But the U.S. proclamation covered a one-time-only celebration, not an annual holiday. Since 2003, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has organized DNA Day festivities every year. Countries including Lithuania and Nepal have designated April 25th as International DNA Day.

Happy DNA Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays