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October 13 is International Skeptics Day

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, still exists.
Philip K. Dick

I’m not sure how he’d feel about International Skeptics Day since there’s no evidence that it’s an official holiday anywhere. If you consider the number of skeptical organizations worldwide, almost 100 according to one source, maybe it should be.

international skeptics day

The sticklers among us might point out that Skeptics Day is also listed in some quarters as occurring on January 13.

Others might say the dearth of critical thinking calls for as many reminders of the need for skeptical inquiry as possible.

Perhaps the weirdest thing about this holiday is that we seem to need it at all.

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To learn more:

  • Watch the Youtube channel of the James Randi Foundation. Many tried and failed to win Randi’s years-long Million Dollar Challenge, which promised the prize to anyone who could show proof of the paranormal. The challenge ended recently, the money unclaimed.
  • Plumb the resources of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
  • Find like-minded skeptics in your neighborhood at meetup.com.
  • Consult Snopes.com, the Web’s Google search for hoaxes and misinformation, before you forward that chain email about how the government is poisoning us all with cheese.
  • Watch an old episode of Mythbusters, a show that made testing urban legends entertaining. (After the series wrapped, it became clear that the biggest myth was that the two hosts got along.)
  • Read A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking, which is sure to help you resist that midnight infomercial, win an argument, and separate fact from fiction in almost any situation.

No matter how or when you choose to celebrate International Skeptics Day, have fun!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

October 11 is Cephalopod Awareness Day

Technically, there are five International Cephalopod Awareness Days (ICAD) in the annual celebration of the most intelligent invertebrates in the world.

Cephalopod Awareness Day

The first Cephalopod Awareness Day was established in 2007 by members of The Octopus News Magazine Online forum (TONMO) to bring attention to the diversity, conservation, and biology of the world’s cephalopods.

Octopi have eight arms while squid and cuttlefish have eight arms and two tentacles. So the eighth day of the tenth month was chosen to show appreciation for animals with a combination of 8 or 10 appendages. Then four days were added to the holiday to celebrate all cephalopods.

Let’s Call it Kraken Day (please?)

October 11 is Myths and Legends Day, celebrating all the fantastical cephalopods of movies, literature, and legend.  Since ancient times, cephalopods have been a recurring motif in myth, arts, and literature and they remain a subject of popular culture today.

Cephalopod Awareness Day

Things to do today:
Stop by TONMO. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a live feed of the conference.
Check out https://www.facebook.com/CephDays/
Put Clash of Titans (the original) on your Netflix queue and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on your Kindle reader.

Happy Cephalopod Awareness Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

October 9 is International Beer and Pizza Day

international beer and pizza dayToday is International Beer and Pizza Day, an unofficial holiday founded in 2016 by website designer Nick Saulino to pay tribute to one of the greatest food and drink pairings in human history.

Beer is not a recent invention. When people began to cultivate grains about 10,000 years ago, they may have stumbled upon the tasty byproduct of the natural fermentation process.

The oldest known brewing recipe was included in the 1800 BC poem “Hymn to Ninkasi,” written in ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) and dedicated to the Sumerian goddess of beer.

The word “pizza” first appeared in payment records from 997 AD at a church in Gaeta, Italy. The discovery has led some food historians to challenge the common belief that nearby Naples is the birthplace of pizza. Most of us don’t care where it started out, as long as it ends up in our stomachs.

Beer and pizza, pizza and beer. It’s a perfect combination—for those over 21, of course. Brewers are doing some great things with non-alcoholic beers these days. Some of us prefer soda with a slice but International Pop and Pizza Day doesn’t have the same ring.

Was this event created solely to generate publicity and cash in on multiple marketing opportunities? Who cares? Nick Saulino has given us the holiday we didn’t know we needed. Have a happy and delicious International Beer and Pizza Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

September 20 is National Gibberish Day

National Gibberish DayToday is National Gibberish Day, which celebrates seemingly meaningless speech or writing. Unlike International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), there’s no need to learn any jargon or speak with a funny accent.

Although we were unable to identify the source of this unofficial holiday, we feel like Paul Krueger deserves some credit. In the 1990s, he created a Gibberish translator, swapping letters or groups of letters according to function and length. It can be used to translate English—or any Romance language—to Gibberish and vice versa.

Whaxappupp Naxatienaxar Kiffolisk Daxaupp! (Happy National Gibberish Day!)

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays