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Fill Our Staplers Day

fill our staplers dayMarch 14, 2016, is Fill Our Staplers Day, a holiday that occurs twice a year on the day after the shift from Standard Time to Daylight Savings and vice versa, better known as “Spring Forward, Fall Back.”

Many people believe Daylight Savings Time was invented by Benjamin Franklin because of his 1784 essay called “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.” In it, he described being shocked upon accidentally awakening early in the morning to see that the sun was already up.

After painstaking analysis, he concluded that changing the hour, resetting all clocks, rationing candle wax, enforcing a mandatory curfew and firing cannons at sunup would encourage the citizenry, who would otherwise fail to realize they could simply rise earlier, to take full advantage of daylight.  One wonders if Franklin had to endure the utter lack of understanding of satire so commonplace since the invention of the Internet.

What has that got to do with office supplies? Not much, unless you work by lamplight or in a post-apocalyptic hellscape without electricity, which sounds like the saddest Dilbert cartoon ever. A nice bit of Benjamin Franklin trivia may not get you far at a cocktail party, but it could be the secret handshake that gains you entry into the Dull Men’s Club (DMC), originators of the biannual Fill Our Staplers Day.

In 2010, the DMC announced its establishment 0f biannual Fill Your Staplers Days to help spare its members the mild annoyance of discovering they have run out of staples at the last minute before a presentation to their boss, who might have a thing against paperclips. (They know who they are.)

Why has the club designated the day after the time change? “The day clocks change in the spring has been designated as Check Your Batteries Day, ” the DMC website explains. “We could designate Fill Your Staplers Day to be that day as well but, when added to changing clocks and checking on batteries — too much to do all in one day. So we’ll do it the next day.”

That sounds perfectly reasonable to us. Have a happy Fill Our Staplers Day!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

International Festival of Owls

international festival of owls

Alice

The International Festival of Owls takes place during the first full weekend of March at the International Owl Center in Houston, Minnesota. It celebrates the approximate “hatch-day” in 1997 of Alice, a Great Horned Owl rescued as a fledgling after falling from her nest. She now helps teach visitors to the Houston Nature Center about owls and their behaviors.

Today’s events include live shows featuring Ruby the Great Horned Owl and Uhu the Eurasian Eagle Owl. A discussion of the complexities of renesting young owls will include appearances by Barred Owls, red and gray Eastern Screech-Owls and a Barn Owl.  There is also a special live owl program just for children.

Tonight three buses, each with an expert owl caller onboard, will embark on an Owl Prowl. Calling stresses the owls: they respond out of alarm that there is an intruder nearby. To minimize ill effects, each group must travel to a different remote location where the birds are unlikely to be bothered again during the year. Of course, there is no guarantee that passengers will hear wild owls, in which case they’ve just endured a bus ride to listen to a grown person make strange noises.

Two of the buses are family-friendly; the other is reserved for adults. (Perhaps there will be potty talk about mating rituals that the kids shouldn’t hear?) Those who don’t want to make the trip can stay behind and look at the live owls on display, peruse the gift shop, cast votes in the photography contest, visit owl merchandise vendors and eat owl-themed foods.

Saturday’s Kid’s Hooting Contest is no joke. The International Owl Center lists the best species to mimic and links to audio files via Owlpages.com to help competitors perfect their hoots. Also recommended is Owling.com, which accompanies accompanying audio with streaming video, photo galleries and field notes.

Did you know that owls vomit up the parts of their prey—bones, feathers, fur—that they can’t digest?This daily activity causes the resulting “pellets” to accumulate on the ground below their nests, where they are retrieved by festival staff for the Owl Pellet Dissection sessions, scheduled on Saturday and Sunday.

Pellets cost $5.00 each; parents can economize by assigning more than one child per pellet. Under no circumstance is anyone allowed to BYOP (Bring Your Own Pellet). Management is not responsible for emotional scarring that may occur to children who connect the dots between beloved characters Ratatouille and Mickey Mouse and the rodent bones they have just fished out of a nugget of owl barf.

Have a happy International Festival of Owls!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

February 29 is International Underlings Day

international underlings dayInternational Underlings Day was created in 1984 by Peter D. Morris to recognize those not honored by National Boss Day, Administrative Professional Day, Programmers’ Day, Professional Speakers Day, International Working Women’s Day—the list goes on.

Do you sometimes feel like work is a cosmic joke, that the ladder of success has a few broken rungs?

Do you know how everyone else likes their coffee, lunch and dry cleaning?

Have you ever delivered bagels to a roomful of executives going through trust exercises?

Have you ever felt paralyzed by fear as you watched a coworker get fired for making a paperclip chain? Did you then feel:

a) relief that it wasn’t you
b) shame for feeling relieved
c) resentment that you’re still stuck in your crappy job
d) despair when you imagine that person walking around outside, free?

Have you ever quit a job, confident you would never work in such an insane asylum again, only to end up in progressively more horrifying workplaces?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, you might be an underling. Congratulations: you have a day. Unfortunately but perhaps fittingly, that day falls on February 29th, which occurs once every four years. That makes 2016 only the ninth celebration of this holiday.

Have a happy International Underlings Day. You deserve it. Just don’t expect cake.

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World Sword Swallower’s Day

world sword swallower's dayFebruary 27, 2016, marks the ninth annual World Sword Swallower’s Day, observed on the last Saturday of the month with performances at Ripley’s Believe it or Not locations across the U.S., Australia, Denmark, England and Malaysia.

Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI) president Dan Meyer explains the genesis of World Sword Swallowers Day:

“I established World Sword Swallower’s Day in 2007 to promote this ancient art, still carried on by a few dozen surviving performers, to celebrate the courageous and daring performers who risk their lives to entertain audiences, to honor veteran performers, to raise awareness of the medical contributions sword swallowers have made in the fields of medicine and science, and to raise funds for esophageal cancer research and the Injured Sword Swallowers’ Relief Fund. “

Meyer is a 39-time world record holding sword swallower and motivational speaker who has given TEDx Talks around the globe, performed and lectured at events in 35 countries. He is available for corporate team building retreats, medical conferences and high school assemblies through his company, Cutting Edge Innertainment. While you’re there, check out this disturbing gallery of X-ray fluoroscopes tracking the sword or swords as they enter and leave his esophagus.

SSAI is a non-profit organization accepting donations to enable website maintenance, historical research and bookings. It also supports charities that study esophageal cancer, dysphagia, and other swallowing disorders. SSAI explains the need for its Injured Sword Swallowers’ Relief Fund:

There are on average from 4 to 6 serious sword swallowing injuries per year that require hospitalization, with costs of treatment running from $50,000 to $75,000 USD per injury. Any donations submitted will be sent directly to SSAI members who are struggling to pay off staggering medical bills that are the result of sword swallowing injuries.

If you’re near any of these Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditoriums at 1:45 pm (local time), prepare to be amazed as sword swallowers demonstrate their craft. The free show will culminate in the simultaneous “Big Swallow” at 2:27:16 pm on 2/27/16. We guarantee that the next time you get a tickle in your throat, it won’t seem so bad. Funny thing, perspective.

Happy World Sword Swallower’s Day!

 

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays