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National Intern Day

National Intern Day, celebrated on the last Thursday in July, recognizes the hard work and dedication of interns across the country. It was created in 2017 by WayUp, a unique platform that connects college students and recent grads with job opportunities and career advice.

The task of getting an internship has always been a difficult one, often dependent on luck or “who you know.” Most people just starting out don’t have access to traditional on-campus recruiting services.

WayUp, the brainchild of CEO Liz Wessel, has democratized and streamlined the process, introducing a single common form which makes it easy to apply for jobs and helps prospective employers find candidates and set up interviews. To date, more than 3.5 million students and recent grads have become users of WayUp to connect with startups, local businesses and Fortune 500 companies that are hiring.

It’s only fitting that WayUp would seek to acknowledge the bright young people who help make the venture a success. Companies are encouraged to submit nominations for its Intern Awards, which will reward outstanding interns in six areas of expertise. Businesses that visit the holiday’s website and pledge to observe National Intern Day will receive a free kit with information and materials to hold their own in-office intern celebration.

As WayUp grows exponentially, it still has a sense of humor. We noticed this in the Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need a picture?
A profile picture is not mandatory, but according to industry standards it increases your chances of getting hired by 14x. That does NOT, however, include the following: selfies, awkward pictures taken against white walls, or pictures where a red cup has been cropped out.

Sage advice! Happy National Intern Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

June 30 is Social Media Day

social media dayToday is Social Media Day, created in 2010 by Mashable “to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication.” (In related news, we just found out Mashable still exists!)

You might be thinking, “Wait just a goldarned minute! Isn’t every day Social Media Day?” The answer is yes, but rein in the potty-brained self-talk, please.

Today is momentous because it pays tribute to social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Quora, Vine, WhatsApp and others, some of which hadn’t been invented seven years ago.

We would be foolish not to mention Google+. Google is everywhere and knows everything: It’s like SkyNet met the Matrix and learned it’s better to keep us all alive in a continuous biofeedback loop of consumption than to crush our bones into dust.

One of today’s festivities is the “tweetup,” where people who follow each other on Twitter get to meet IRL. That stands for In Real Life, which we figure can’t be cool anymore since we know it. How awkward might it be to have a conversation that hasn’t been condensed into 140 characters?

From 2016’s #SMDay page:

From Kanye’s Twitter rants to DJ Khaled’s Snap Stories, you can say social media has us feeling #blessed. Join Mashable, Splash and feedfeed as we celebrate the seventh-annual Social Media Day in NYC! We’ll have food, drinks, music and other surprises. Don’t get #FOMO, and RSVP now!

Hashtag, pound sign, count us in! Happy Social Media Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY

international caps lock day

Today is INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY, celebrated on June 28 and October 22 each year. Derek Arnold created the unofficial holiday in October 2000 to bring attention to those who abuse the caps lock key and, by extension, everyone who receives their emails, texts, and Internet screeds.

Arnold claimed he had a higher purpose in mind, stating:

International Caps Lock Day is in fact a testament to the small mindedness of certain Western individuals: the majority of the world’s population writes in scripts which have no concept of letter casing. Therefore it is advised to laugh at anyone who invokes this day as an excuse to dismiss local typographical conventions: they are simply making an ass out of themselves.

That’s a lofty goal, but we suspect its popularity has more to do with the joy of hitting the caps lock key and capitalizing with impunity.

With the rise of the Internet has come the evolution of netiquette, which dictates that writing in capital letters is considered shouting: boorish, rude and aggressive. Although many protest this reading, it has become an accepted interpretation of the practice.

Why do we celebrate this twice a year? Arnold added the second iteration to honor Billy Mays, the beloved pitchman who said everything in capital letters, who died on June 28, 2009.

Looking for the easiest possible way to celebrate? If you use Chrome, there’s an extension for that. Designed by Baptiste Candellier, on each holiday, it will make you unable to type in lower case and display almost every web page in upper case.

Or download Billy Mays Caps Lock by John Haller, another fan of the infomercial king. When you hit the Caps Lock key, you’ll hear Billy Mays say:

“Hi, Billy Mays here!”
“It’ll make your whites, whiter!”
“Order right now and we’ll double the value!” or
“Here’s how to order!”

When we first observed this holiday on October 22, 2015, we had a few niggling observations about capslockday.com: the site’s HTML listed the title as “internetonal caps lock day home page” and the page itself featured a photo of Billy Mays captioned, “GOOD NIGHT, SWEAT PRINCE.” Arnold also stated he was on SNAPCHET, which we can only assume is a social media network for country western music fans, and pointed out the caps lock key with the description “AT THE BOTTOM, WHERE IT SAY CASP LOCK.”

While we realize that correcting grammar and spelling is considered annoying by many these days, we can’t help but wonder: here are two holidays predicated upon the notion of irritating everyone else, yet there is no International Editors’ Day? THAT AIN’T ISN’T RIGHT.

On November 3, 2015, we noticed that the site had been taken down. With the help of the Wayback Machine, we captured the archived page. The Internet is forever….

CAPSLOCK DAY SITE SCREENGRAB

INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY SCREENGRAB

INTERNATIONAL CAPSLOCK DAY SCREENGRAB

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY, EVERYBODY!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

June 26 is Barcode Day

barcode day

Today is Barcode Day. On June 26, 1974, at Marsh’s Supermarket in Troy, OH, a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum became the first product bearing a barcode to be rung up by an electronic scanner.

That historic moment had been a long time coming. In 1952, American inventors Norman J. Woodland and Bernard Silver were granted a U.S. patent for a classification method and apparatus utilizing identifying patterns. Diagrams showed code in straight lines and concentric circles with varying degrees of reflectiveness. Unfortunately, they were ahead of their time and eventually sold off the patent for $15,000.

Railroads began to use bar codes in the late 1960s; companies encoded identifying information onto plates mounted on the sides of each car. Trackside scanners read them and transmitted the results so owners could keep track of their rolling stock on a grand scale.

As usage spread,  the establishment of a universal standard became imperative to avoid confusion between disparate systems.  In 1970, a company called Logicon, Inc. created the Universal Grocery Products Identification Code (UGPIC) for use throughout the retail industry.

The UGPIC evolved into the Universal Product Code (UPC) symbol set, still used in the U.S. today. The first piece of equipment built to use UPC was installed in the Troy, OH, grocery store which, along with that pack of gum, made history.

barcode day

visual approximation

In 2002, Forbes magazine reported that the same pack of gum was on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History. While the scanner is housed there—no longer on view—a staffer has clarified that the 10-pack of Juicy Fruit accompanying it is not the 10-pack of Juicy Fruit, just a representation.

Our guess is that the gum was chewed over 40 years ago without a thought to its cultural significance, which is okay if you think about it. It served its purpose, maybe even got stuck to more than a few shoes—it had 50 sticks in it, after all.

Happy Barcode Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays