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February 7 is Super Bowl Sunday

super bowl dayToday is the 50th annual Super Bowl Sunday. At 6:30 pm, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, the Carolina Panthers will battle the Denver Broncos for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the coach who won the first two Super Bowls. The trophy is 22 inches tall, made of sterling silver by jeweler Tiffany & Company, weighs nearly seven pounds and is worth more than $25,000.

A 50th wedding anniversary has long been identified as “golden.” (The 25th is “silver,” the 75th is “diamond” and so on.) The National Football League (NFL) has gone to great lengths to use the tradition in advertising and logos for Super Bowl 50.

This year, the NFL has suspended its use of Roman numerals to identify the game. (This year’s game would have been called “Super Bowl L.”) This has enabled it to prominently display “50” (Arabic numerals) on all logos. In addition to the Lombardi trophy, the winning team will receive an 18-karat gold-plated “50” trophy.

According to the Department of Environmental Protection, water usage drops, especially in cities whose teams are playing, rises for a few minutes at halftime, and then peaks after the game as viewers relieve themselves and flush their toilets. 

Super Bowl 50 will be broadcast live in over 170 countries. Last year’s game had a record 114.4 million viewers in the U.S. Over the years, it has become famous for its commercials. CBS, broadcaster of this year’s telecast, is charging advertisers as much as $5 million for a 30-second spot. That’s over $166,666 per second. By contrast, winning players receive $97,000; losers, $49,000. (Still, it’s hard to feel sorry for them.)

Fans paid $6 for tickets to the first Super Bowl in 1967. This year, tickets purchased at face value cost $850 to $1,800 while “club seats” that include amenities such as cushioned seats and private bathrooms cost up to $3,000. Suites run from 150,000 to $400,000. According to tracking site SeatGeek, regular tickets to this year’s game have been selling on the secondary market for an average of $5,000.

Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving Day in consumption of food and drink. The National Chicken Council estimates 1.3 million chicken wings will be consumed in the U.S., up 3 percent from last year. Domino’s anticipates the sale of 12 million pizzas. The National Retail Federation says Americans will spend $15.5 billion on team apparel, decorations and food.

Of course, statistics compiled by companies, councils and federations that benefit from their own hype aren’t always reliable. We can’t track down the source, reported as fact by many news outlets, that states Americans will drink 325.5 million gallons of beer today. If 114.4 million people watch the game, every viewer—man, woman and child—will have to consume 2.85 gallons of beer.

According to a recent Nielsen Media survey, only 53% of U.S. adults polled said they planned to drink beer during the game. If that’s true, then tomorrow should be called World Hangover Day. We predict sales of aspirin will spike.

Happy Super Bowl Day!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

American Fancy Rat and Mouse Show 2016

January 30th is the 2016 American Fancy Rat and Mouse Show, sponsored by the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association (AFRMA). AFRMA was founded in 1983 to promote breeding and exhibition of fancy rats and mice, to educate the public about their positive attributes as intelligent, affectionate pets, and provide information on their proper care.

Like the canines in the Westminster Dog Show, the rats and mice that compete today at Woodcrest Community Center in Riverside, CA, must meet high standards of physiology and temperament. See the process in video footage taken at the 2013 show.

A developmental problem such as “square butt” is grounds for disqualification from the show. It can usually be detected at a young age, which is why AFRMA judges advise breeders, called ratteries, to present their rats and mice for evaluation when they are still kittens. (Babies under nine weeks old are called kittens. Adult females are known as does; males, bucks.)

fancy rat and mouse show

You’ve probably never considered a rodent–other than the hamster you had as a kid–as a potential pet. Someone we know had a rat named Sid and took him everywhere, including spring break. She insisted we share with you the following fun facts.

  • Rats are not dirty animals by choice, only by circumstance. They clean themselves many times a day, much like a cat.
  • Rats are social and affectionate, taking care of sick or injured rats in their group. They become lonely and depressed if they’re left alone and make laughing noises when they’re having fun. (It doesn’t sound like human laughter. That would be so creepy.)
  • Rats have excellent memories. They can learn tricks and come when they’re called, recognizing their own names. (We’re talking about the names humans give them, of course. We have no idea what they call themselves.)

Learn more at AFRMARat Assistance & Teaching Society (RATS), The Rat Fan Club, RatChatter and many other sites. Yahoo group ratlist is accepting applications for membership. No rat haters need apply. Take a moment to see rats anew. Start your own club and start making plans to go to next year’s show!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

Banished Words List Day of 2015

banished words list daySince 1976, Lake Superior State University (LSSU) has issued an annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use or General Uselessness. LSSU accepts nominations for banishment from around the globe, covering all manner of words and phrases worthy of exile.

Without further ado, we bring you the Banished Words List of 2015

Bae
Polar vortex
Hack
Skill Set
Swag
Foodie
Curate/Curated
Friend-raising
Cra-cra (cray-cray)
Enhanced interrogation
Takeaway
____-Nation (sports)

Our Favorites from 2014

Selfie (named Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionary!)
Hashtag
_____ On Steroids
_____ –Ageddon
_____–Pocalypse
Twerk
Twittersphere

Words and phrases banished in previous years include: Pre-Plan, Quality Time (’85); Conferenced, Free Gift (`88); Infotainment, Forced Relaxation (’89); Minor Emergency Clinic,  A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste (’90); My Bad, Talk to the Hand (’98); Metrosexual, Companion Animals (’04); Gitmo, We’re Pregnant (’07); Man Cave, Pet Parent (’12).

University officials note that even with this year’s focus on elections, most entries do not concern politics. Nominations for the 2016 list roll in via e-mail at a steady pace from the fields of academia, advertising, business, the military, sports, as well as politics.

We can’t wait to see the newest entries!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

December 19 is Super Saturday

Did you miss Black Friday, sleep through Cyber Monday and get confused by Green Monday? (The latter isn’t a day to shop for eco-friendly gifts. “Green” stands for money and was dreamed up by the folks at eBay, who deserve style points for their honesty.)

Super Saturday always falls on the last Saturday before Christmas. It’s great news for procrastinators who need to swell the ranks of shoppers desperate to spend hard-earned credit on tchotchkes that will be forgotten the day after Christmas.

super saturday

In the UK, it’s more accurately referred to as Panic Saturday. Of course, there will still be five more days before Christmas to panic…but try not to think about that now.