strange, bizarre and kooky holidays in October

October 19 is Stuck in Line with a Conspiracy Theorist Day

Today’s holiday, Stuck in Line with a Conspiracy Theorist Day, commemorates an event taking place this morning in local post offices across the United States. (The post office seems to be the locus of many of these incidents. Coincidence? You decide.)stuck in line with conspiracy theorist day post office line

An old man who speaks little English is trying to send a registered letter to Albania. This incenses today’s conspiracy theorist who helpfully informs everyone else within earshot, “That’s the oldest scam ever. They get you to fill it out for them and then later, they go, ‘Oh, I don’t know!'” It’s unclear what this scam could accomplish but the old man leaves to fill out his envelope, and it appears that the time for our theorist to elaborate has passed.

But that doesn’t stop him. “That’s like the Federal Building in Chicago.” (“That’s like” is a segue favored by the conspiracy theorist, obviating the need for any real connection between subjects.) No one looks at him. He takes this as a signal to proceed. “You know, the government, nobody lives in DC. There’s nobody there, they all live in the federal buildings. You can tell from their license plates.”stuck in line with a conspiracy theorist day

The utter lack of any reaction—in fact, everyone has stopped moving to avoid attracting his attention—urges him onward.”The diplomat plates have two lines and three stars. Get it? It’s like the donkey. That’s why they do that.” And here is where our man derails, goes off a cliff, where his sense factory explodes.

“It’s like tungsten. Tungsten.” He says it a third time. He must like the feel of the word on his tongue. “You know what tungsten is, like spark plugs, they put it in the spark plugs.”

His declarations devolve into conspiracy salad. They always do. The ultimate disappointment that follows being stuck in line with a conspiracy theorist is that we’ll never know what scam the Albanian was planning or the hidden meaning embedded in diplomatic license plates.

In 2015, Worldwide Weird Holidays created this unofficial holiday to celebrate the quest for truth and the desire not to have to hear about it while in line. Have a happy Stuck in Line with a Conspiracy Theorist Day, if you can. If you know the secret significance of tungsten, please let us know. But first, seek help, because that means you’re the conspiracy theorist. We just blew your mind!

Learn a little here:
Moon Landing Faked!!!-Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories – Scientific American

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

October 17 is Wear Something Gaudy Day

While Festivus may be the most famous holiday invented by sitcom writers, there is a lesser-known day called Wear Something Gaudy Day that’s fun and doesn’t require the airing of grievances.

Airing from 1977 to 1984, Three’s Company was adapted from a British show called Man About the House. Initially, it was turned down by all three networks—yes, there were only three networks—for its racy premise of two women sharing an apartment with a young, clumsy heterosexual man who pretends to be gay so the landlord will allow the living arrangement. Eventually, ABC came around and gave the show the go-ahead.

The sitcom soon became a hit, with its mashup of broad comedy, inspired farce and great slapstick. Though we’re not sure on which episode the following occurs, we can say with confidence that the plot involves a misunderstanding. (They all do.)wear something gaudy dayThe main male character, Jack Tripper, has a friend named Larry Dallas who is a sleazy used-car salesman. Larry’s sartorial elegance is questionable at best: he’s known as a three-button guy, meaning he has to have at least three buttons open to showcase his fluffed up chest hair for the ladies.
wear something gaudy day
After taking a little too much ribbing about his tacky clothing, Larry declares that it is Wear Something Gaudy Day. And just like that, an unofficial holiday is born. Why do we celebrate it today? Why not? Fans of this show are in good company.

It didn’t set out to change the world, it just made us laugh and that is why we love it.
Lucille Ball

Happy Wear Something Gaudy Day. You know what to do!

Here are two non-sitcom related holidays occurring today:
National Mulligan Day: learn how the “do-over” got its start
National Edge Day: celebrated by straight edge punks since 1999

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

 

October 16 is Dictionary Day

dictionary day

An immense effect may be produced by small powers wisely and steadily directed.
Noah Webster, 1821

Dictionary Day was founded to celebrate the life of Noah Webster, born on October 16, 1758. Why would anyone spend twenty-seven years of his life working in solitude to produce an American dictionary?

Webster sought to create a unifying, distinctly American standard for the spelling, usage, and pronunciation of words. He felt British spelling was unnecessarily complicated and changed words such as colour to color, plough to plow, musick to music.

In the process, Webster learned more than twenty languages, which allowed him to thoroughly examine each word’s origin and definition. This research significantly contributed to the fields of philology and lexicography.

By the time he finished in 1825 at the age of 66, Noah Webster had penned 70,000 words. Of those, 12,000 had never been included in any dictionary. (Among them: skunk, chowder, squash, and hickory.) American Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1828.

Critics disparaged Webster’s changes and additions, particularly his inclusion of non-literary scientific and artistic terminology, as presumptuous and detrimental to the purity of the English language. Despite such pronouncements, Noah Webster has become known as the father of the American dictionary.

You might be asking yourself right now, “What’s so weird about this holiday?” Nothing, except that few people other than English teachers and rabid word nerds know about it. This was a man of astounding tenacity who helped determine the very language we speak and the words you’re reading right now.

We just blew your mind.

More words:
TEDtalk: Erin McKean redefines the dictionary
Dictionary Day and the Quest for Words – visualthesaurus.com

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day

global handwashing day

Today is Global Handwashing Day. We know, we know: eww! When it comes to that ill-advised hot dog wolfed at a highway rest stop, we are all like Mulder on the X-Files: we want to believe. That counter’s clean, the food freshly prepared by people who treat every day as handwashing day. So this must be one of those silly made-up holidays. Right? Why are we still talking about this?

Global Handwashing Day was founded in 2008 by The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing to raise awareness of how proper hygiene can prevent disease transmitted by hand.  Here’s a tweet promoting the holiday and the graphic embedded in it.

Why #GlobalHandwashingDay? B/C 1 trillion germs can live in 1 gram of poop (abt weight of a paper clip)! http://bit.ly/1JUaOrD

global handwashing feces facts

Wait a minute. The numbers in the tweet and its graphic don’t match. Although I think we can all agree that either number is unsettling, we feel it’s our duty to get to the bottom of this. Who knew that researching this would end up in such a dark place?

Okay, now that we’ve gotten our juvenile punning (mostly) out of the way, let’s learn a little bit about the strangers in our poop. According to a study cited by the Centers for Disease Control, a gram of feces can contain a total of 1 trillion germs. So the tweet is right. Reporting of the number of viruses and bacteria, however, varies wildly. You might want to take our word for it. The Google search alone will make you want to douse yourself in hand sanitizer (which, by the way, isn’t as effective as you might think.)

Now that you’ve got a face full of feces facts, here’s a dollop more. A German site called my.microbes aims to be the first social network to connect members with similar microbial profiles to “share experiences, remedies, health and diet tips.” Watch out, Match.com!

If you’ve got your mind on your manure and your manure on your mind, track your output with the PoopLog app. According to the developer, he updated it to include the ability to attach photos because “it is the most requested feature from my users.” PoopLog allows you to track your bowel movements using the Bristol Stool Scale.

The Bristol Scale was devised in England and is very, well, descriptive. Click here to view it but maybe not when you’re eating sausage. We’re not showing it here because we don’t want to support poop porn. We will show you this enthusiastic review of PoopLog, though:pooplog review Leland, we wish you the best in your turd analysis. Perhaps Places I’ve Pooped might be a useful app for you, too. Just a quick word of advice: turn off the flash when you take a shelfie™* in a public place, which we fervently hope is a restroom. The uninformed might frown on you taking a photo of what came from your posterior for posterity.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go wash our hands. We may never stop.

*sh– + selfie: don’t make us spell this out

 

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays