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March 11 is World Plumbing Day

World Plumbing Day

Today is World Plumbing Day, a day of observance established in 2010 by the World Plumbing Council to raise awareness of the vital role plumbers play in our daily lives.

We’re willing to bet that everyone must heed nature’s call. (Call it a hunch.) World Toilet Day celebrates the need for clean water and sanitation. Global Handwashing Day emphasizes proper hygiene. World Plumbing Day recognizes those who install and maintain the facilities so many of us are lucky enough to use.

According to the World Health Organization, 2.3 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation. UNICEF reports that 450,000 children under five die from diarrhea every year. Drought conditions threaten much of the world, including California.

Lead and other contaminants have been poisoning the water supply of Flint, Michigan, since 2014. Three years later, the EPA allocated $100 million for cleanup, a federal judge approved a $97 million settlement, and the state agreed to pay to replace water lines for 18,000 Flint households by 2020.

So the next time you turn on the tap, raise a glass to the plumber who’s always there when you need him to unclog a drain, fix a leak or get the toilet back in business so you can do your business.

Happy World Plumbing Day!

Copyright © 2018 Worldwide Weird Holidays

January 3 is Festival of Sleep Day

Festival of Sleep Day

Do you like slefestival of sleepeping? Of course you do! Today is Festival of Sleep Day, your perfect excuse to lock your door, turn off your devices and take a long, guilt-free nap. We don’t know who invented this holiday, but we’d like to shake his (or her) hand. We assume it was created for anyone in need of rest and relaxation after Christmas shopping and New Year’s celebrations.

 

How to Celebrate

Unlike most holidays, which revolve around parties and togetherness, Festival of Sleep Day encourages nothing more stressful than a trip to the Land of Nod, a journey that can only be enjoyed solo. Take a quick catnap or doze all day, the choice is up to you.

Note: We don’t recommend napping at work. Rest isn’t relaxing if you wake up without a job. Sleeping on a date, at the gym, on public transportation: no-nos. Same goes for operating machinery–and that includes curling irons and skateboards.

Five Fun Facts About Sleep

  1. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that being tired causes the highest number of fatal single-car crashes—even more than alcohol.
  2. Sleep is a universal characteristic of complex organisms and has been observed in insects, mollusks, fish, amphibians, birds and mammals.
  3. Rats generally live from two to three years. However, those deprived of REM sleep survive only about five weeks, and rats deprived of all states of sleep live only about three weeks.
  4. Dolphins experience unihemispheric sleep; one hemisphere of the brain goes into a deep sleep while the other remains awake. This allows them to sleep under water without drowning.
  5. Dolphins spend approximately a third of their lives asleep, just like humans.

While we may share Fact #5 with dolphins, the similarities end there. We can’t sleep with only half our brains. So do yourself a favor: tune out, unplug, close the shades and take a well-deserved siesta. Have a great Festival Sleep Day.

Copyright © 2018 Worldwide Weird Holidays

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day

global handwashing day

Today is Global Handwashing Day. We know, we know: eww! When it comes to that ill-advised hot dog wolfed at a highway rest stop, we are all like Mulder on the X-Files: we want to believe. That counter’s clean, the food freshly prepared by people who treat every day as handwashing day. So this must be one of those silly made-up holidays. Right? Why are we still talking about this?

Global Handwashing Day was founded in 2008 by The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing to raise awareness of how proper hygiene can prevent disease transmitted by hand.  Here’s a tweet promoting the holiday and the graphic embedded in it.

Why #GlobalHandwashingDay? B/C 1 trillion germs can live in 1 gram of poop (abt weight of a paper clip)! http://bit.ly/1JUaOrD

global handwashing feces facts

Wait a minute. The numbers in the tweet and its graphic don’t match. Although I think we can all agree that either number is unsettling, we feel it’s our duty to get to the bottom of this. Who knew that researching this would end up in such a dark place?

Okay, now that we’ve gotten our juvenile punning (mostly) out of the way, let’s learn a little bit about the strangers in our poop. According to a study cited by the Centers for Disease Control, a gram of feces can contain a total of 1 trillion germs. So the tweet is right. Reporting of the number of viruses and bacteria, however, varies wildly. You might want to take our word for it. The Google search alone will make you want to douse yourself in hand sanitizer (which, by the way, isn’t as effective as you might think.)

Now that you’ve got a face full of feces facts, here’s a dollop more. A German site called my.microbes aims to be the first social network to connect members with similar microbial profiles to “share experiences, remedies, health and diet tips.” Watch out, Match.com!

If you’ve got your mind on your manure and your manure on your mind, track your output with the PoopLog app. According to the developer, he updated it to include the ability to attach photos because “it is the most requested feature from my users.” PoopLog allows you to track your bowel movements using the Bristol Stool Scale.

The Bristol Scale was devised in England and is very, well, descriptive. Click here to view it but maybe not when you’re eating sausage. We’re not showing it here because we don’t want to support poop porn. We will show you this enthusiastic review of PoopLog, though:pooplog review Leland, we wish you the best in your turd analysis. Perhaps Places I’ve Pooped might be a useful app for you, too. Just a quick word of advice: turn off the flash when you take a shelfie™* in a public place, which we fervently hope is a restroom. The uninformed might frown on you taking a photo of what came from your posterior for posterity.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go wash our hands. We may never stop.

*sh– + selfie: don’t make us spell this out

 

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

August 27 is National Petroleum Day

national petroleum dayToday is National Petroleum Day, also known as Oil and Gas Industry Appreciation Day.

Crude oil was first pumped from the ground in China’s Sichuan Province 2,500 years ago. Its discovery in the U.S. is credited to Edwin L. Drake who, on August 27, 1859, struck oil 70 feet below the surface of Titusville, PA.

The word “petroleum” translates as “rock oil,” derived from the Greek word petra (rock) and oleum (oil). The combination of liquid crude oil and natural gas is called a fossil fuel because it has been created by the decomposition of organic matter over millions of years, formed in sedimentary rock under intense heat and pressure.

Petroleum is an integral part of modern life. Some of the world’s largest businesses extract and process it while others create products that use hydrocarbons or are petroleum-based: asphalt, plastics, fertilizers, car tires, candles, ammonia, CDs, crayons, perfumes, deodorant, heart valves, pharmaceuticals, synthetic fabrics and bubble gum, to name a few.

Saudi Arabia produces 8.1 million barrels of oil per day and has the largest amount of reserves at 267 billion barrels. The U.S. consumes 19.4 million barrels per day, more than any other country. It has the 11th largest reserve at 21 billion barrels—enough to last for up to eight years at current consumption levels.

The U.S. has 4 percent of the world’s population but uses 25 percent of the world’s oil. Approximately half of that is utilized by the transportation industry. U.S. drivers use almost twice as much oil as drivers in China and India combined.

Because fossil fuels have taken millions of years to form, they are a non-renewable resource. Eventually, we will run out. Petroleum use has had a negative impact on the environment as carbon is released into the atmosphere, increasing temperatures and accelerating global warming. Many products made with petroleum derivatives don’t biodegrade quickly, while fertilizer runoff can damage the water table.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, the largest in history, spilled 4.2 million barrels into the Gulf of Mexico. But spills account for only about 5 percent of the oil that enters the world’s oceans. According to the Coast Guard, sewage treatment plants discharge twice as much oil into U.S. waters each year as tanker spills.

On National Petroleum Day, let’s consider all the ways petroleum has enhanced our lives while coming to terms with the fact that it won’t last forever. The strides we make now toward finding alternatives will make a better world for our children, their children and their children’s children.

Happy National Petroleum Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays