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January 24 is Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day

Today is Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day. On January 24, 1848, James Marshall discovered gold while building a sawmill for John Sutter in Coloma, California. Those few nuggets ultimately led to the Gold Rush.

This holiday was introduced in 2010 by Chris Jepsen as a “fun way to commemorate an important moment in California history.” Need a quick lesson in Prospector-ese? Watch Jack Starrett speak frontier gibberish in Blazing Saddles.

Then kick up your heels and dance like Walter Huston in Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

We also highly recommend the Frontier Doctor skit on the Dean Martin Comedy Hour. There’s no useful jargon but Foster Brooks is the most convincing Old West drunk we’ve ever seen. We hope you’ll agree.

Congratulations. You’re ready to talk like a grizzled prospector, Get out there and give those dadblamed claim-jumpin’ varmints what for. Happy Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day!

Copyright notice Worldwide Weird Holidays 2021

 

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

September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day

International Talk Like a Pirate DayToday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

On June 6, 1995, John Baur and Mark Summers were playing racquetball when one decided it would be amusing to shout encouragement to the other using pirate slang. Soon the two were trading pirate-speak with every swing. Afterward, they agreed the game had been especially entertaining and that time had seemed to pass quickly.

On the spot, they created a new national holiday, Talk Like a Pirate Day, but needed to choose a new date since June 6 marks the anniversary of World War II’s D-Day. Mark suggested September 19, his ex-wife’s birthday. They agreed that Dave Barry, a world-famous humor columnist, would be the perfect mouthpiece. Then they dropped it.

Each year, they celebrated the holiday only because their buddy Brian Rhodes had added it to his computer calendar and reminded them when it was coming up. In 2002, John stumbled upon Dave Barry’s email address, and the guys decided to ask him to be the spokesperson for the big day.

To their surprise, Barry answered that it was a great idea and wrote a column about it. The response was so strong that within months, the guys had been interviewed on Irish radio and traveled to Sydney, Australia, to discuss it. Talk Like a Pirate Day instantly became an international holiday.

Baur and Summers have turned out a total of five books. Their website includes tips on how to pick up a pirate, talk like a German or Dutch pirate, and mix grog like a, well, you know. It describes a party game called Snapdragon that entails lighting a pan of alcohol-soaked raisins on fire, reaching in, grabbing one and eating it while it’s still burning. (Is the winner the one who requires the most skin grafts or the fewest?)

Visitors will also find links to two Talk Like a Pirate Day songs, a translator, a pirate name generator, the ITLAPD Facebook fan page, as well as information about local participation. Per the site, Krispy Kreme will give a free glazed donut to anyone who talks like a pirate today, a dozen to those who dress like pirates. Long John Silver’s will give a free piece of Alaskan whitefish to customers who talk like pirates while ordering, and a free 2-piece fish or chicken basket to those who dress and talk like pirates.

People planning to take advantage of one of those offers should make sure they have the correct date. Pirate talk and garb may not be so well-received on another day of the year.

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

 

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