strange, bizarre and kooky holidays in September

September 15 is Day Day

Google Search – 1988

Today is Day. On September 15, 1997, Larry Page and Sergey Brin registered the domain.

Page and Brin met at Stanford University in 1995. The following year, they collaborated on a search engine they named BackRub because it analyzed websites’ backlinks to determine their relative importance. It ran for a year but eventually took up so much bandwidth that it crashed Stanford’s servers.

By that time, they realized the name no longer fit their rapidly-evolving search engine. During a brainstorming session, graduate student Sean Anderson suggested “googolplex” and Page shortened it to “googol.” (Googol is the mathematical term for the digit 1 followed by 100 zeroes, while googolplex is 1 followed by a googol of zeros.)

So what’s up with the spelling? When Anderson checked to see if that domain name was available, he accidentally typed in “” instead of “” Page liked that even better, and registered the name on September 15, 1997.

According to Google, the play on words “reflects Larry and Sergey’s mission to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.” They’re doing a great job so far.

Happy Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

September 14 is National Cream-Filled Donut Day

Today is National Cream-Filled Donut Day. We don’t know who created this holiday and first celebrated it. We aren’t even certain who invented the cream-filled donut, but who cares? Take a look at this:

national cream-filled donut day

Image & recipe at

It is an edible work of art meant to delight the senses in its fleeting existence. There are millions like it right now in bakeries, cafés and supermarkets.  The ingredients may be in your kitchen right now, waiting to be assembled.

What we’re saying is this: donuts want to be eaten. It is their destiny. Do your part by enjoying one today. (You might as well throw in a couple more to offset the vegans, who aren’t going to do their fair share.)

Happy National Cream-Filled Donut Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

September 13 is Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl

Today is Roald Dahl Day. September 13, 2017, would have been the beloved children’s book author’s 101st birthday.

Dahl is best known for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, Matilda and Fantastic Mr. Fox. His dark, twisted sense of humor has endeared him to generations of young readers.


A lesser-known fact about Dahl is that he was a fighter pilot for the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II. On September 19, 1940, he ran low on fuel while searching for an airstrip in Egypt. The plane struck a rock as he attempted to land in the desert. His skull and nose were fractured and he was temporarily blinded in the crash. (The RAF’s inquiry found that the directions provided to Dahl had been completely wrong.)

He was rescued and taken to a hospital in Alexandria, where he recuperated for the next four months, then rejoined his squadron. He flew dozens of sorties and shot down several German planes in the next few months until he began having headaches so severe that he blacked out. He was sent home but still hoped to become a flight instructor for the RAF.

In March 1942, while in London, Dahl met Major Harold Balfour, who recruited him to supply intelligence to British Security Coordination, a Stateside arm of MI6, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. (His official title was “assistant air attaché” at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.) He later said,  “My job was to try to help Winston to get on with Roosevelt, and tell Winston what was in the old boy’s mind.”


Dahl also contributed to medicine. In 1960, his four-month-old son Theo’s carriage was hit by a taxicab in New York City. The baby’s skull fracture resulted in hydrocephalus, a condition treated with a shunt to drain excess fluid from the brain. But it often became blocked, causing pain and blindness, necessitating emergency surgery and risking permanent brain damage or death.

After moving his family to England, Dahl entrusted his son’s care to neurosurgeon Kenneth Till, who agreed that the standard shunt in use at the time was flawed. At his insistence, Till met with hydraulic engineer Stanley Wade, and they collaborated to invent the Wade-Dahl-Till valve, which was sturdy and easy to sterilize with negligible risk of blockage.

By the time the valve was perfected in 1962, Theo no longer needed it, but it proved so effective and inexpensive—the three men agreed to take no profit from its invention—that several thousand children benefited from it before technology advanced beyond it.


There are too many tales of triumph and tragedy in the life of Roald Dahl to enumerate here. A great place to find many of them is Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl by Donald Sturrock. We choose to share this last one with you and think he would laugh at its surprise ending.

On November 12, 1990, at age 74, Dahl was admitted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England, with complications of a blood disease called myelodysplastic syndrome. He knew the end was nigh; it would be fair to assume that, as an author and raconteur, he’d given the issue of his last words a bit of thought.

Eleven days later, surrounded by family, Roald Dahl said, “You know, I’m not frightened. It’s just that I will miss you all so much,” then closed his eyes and appeared to fall asleep. As everyone sat quietly around him, a nurse injected him with morphine to ease his passing, and he uttered his last words: “Ow, f*ck!” (He used a vowel; we’ll let you fill it in.)

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

September 12 is National Video Games Day

national video games day

Computer Space – Pong

Today is National Video Games Day. In 1971, a company named Nutting Associates released Computer Space, the first commercial arcade video game.

Although it wasn’t a huge financial success, it began a fruitful partnership between creators Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, who left and opened their own outfit called Atari. They introduced Pong the following year.

In May 1972, Magnavox launched the world’s first home video game system. Initially dubbed the Brown Box by designer Ralph Baer, the unit later became known as the Odyssey and Baer, “the father of home video games.”

The Odyssey was sold exclusively in Magnavox stores; customers were told it only worked with the brand’s television sets, a convenient lie. By the end of the year, the company reported it had sold 100,000 units for approximately $100 each.

The box contained no microprocessor, only a board of transistors and diodes. The display consisted of white squares on a black background and was accompanied by a user manual and six cards that contained pinouts to change game settings. Custom plastic overlays had to be taped over the television screen to create color and very simple graphics.

In 1975, Atari introduced a home version of its popular arcade game, Pong, which quickly surpassed Magnavox’s sales. In 1976, Fairchild Camera and Instrument introduced the first cartridge-based system. RCA released the cartridge-based Studio II in January 1977, but it focused mainly on educational titles.

In October 1977, Atari released the Atari VCS with an initial offering of nine games, including Air-Sea Battle, Basic Math, Blackjack, Combat, Indy 500, Star Ship, Street Racer, Surround and Video Olympics. This system, later renamed the Atari 2600, would go on to dominate the industry for many years.

Celebrate National Video Games Day on your home console or enjoy the latest massively multiplayer online game. Throw a party with game-themed decorations and food. Pick up some old Atari 2600 joysticks on eBay, spray paint them and give them as trophies for the best costumes.

Happy National Video Games Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays