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July 1 is International Joke Day

international joke dayToday is International Joke Day. In 2001,  Richard Wiseman enlisted the aid of the British Association for the Advancement of Science(BAAS), founded in 1831 and now known as the British Science Association (BSA), in conducting a yearlong study designed to discover the world’s funniest joke and learn about the psychology of humor.

They created the LaughLab website to enlist the participation of people around the world. Its survey asked each test subject to share his or her favorite joke, then collected demographic information such as age, sex and country of residence, and finally asked them to rate a random selection of jokes submitted by others.

To elicit quantifiable results, the survey required all participants to rate the jokes’ funniness using a special “giggleometer” invented specifically for the study.

By the end of the experiment, LaughLab had received more than 40,000 jokes and 1.5 million ratings. After collating the results, and taking into account which jokes made men laugh versus women, kids versus adults, country versus, well, other countries, Wiseman and the BAAS determined the world’s funniest joke. It was submitted by Gurpal Gosall, a 31-year-old psychiatrist from Manchester, England.

Here it is:

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?”. The operator says “Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says “OK, now what?”

Have a happy International Joke Day! What’s your favorite?

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

June 15 is Magna Carta Day

magna carta dayMagna Carta Day, explained in the style of Jeff Spicoli:

In 1215, the king of England was a total wad, so a bunch of rich baron dudes got together and decided his divine right was bogus, so they drew up some cool rules they called the Great Charter until somebody said it sounded way more righteous in Latin. They took it to the king on June 15th and told him, “Sign it, or you’ll never party again,” which was a gnarly scene for a minute, but then he signed it. 

The Pope was not cool with that and said, “Later, dudes!” and kicked all the baron guys out of the church. But none of it matters anyhow because Julius Caesar’s calendar was a mess so we use a different one now, which means the Carta got signed on June 8th but then, like, did it even happen?

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

Donald Duck Day

donald duck dayJune 9 is Donald Duck Day. It celebrates the date in 1934 when he first appeared in a Disney cartoon called “The Wise Little Hen.”

In his 1941 authorized biography, The Life of Donald Duck, he revealed he’d been born on Friday the 13th. When he starred in “Donald’s Happy Birthday” in 1949, his car’s license plate number read 313, which many fans took to mean he was born on March 13th.

This has caused a schism between those who celebrate Donald Duck Day on June 9th and those who insist it should be observed on March 13th. Although his publicist has not returned our calls, we believe Donald Fauntleroy Duck would approve of at least two days dedicated in his honor.

His performance in “Der Fuehrer’s Face” helped it win the 1943 Academy Award for best animated short film. In it, he awakens in a nightmare world where he is a Nazi. (Its original title was “Donald Duck in Nutzi Land” but was changed to “Der Fuehrer’s Face” after the novelty song by that name became a runaway hit.)

Propaganda films weren’t unusual, but because Donald appeared as a Nazi, however unwillingly, the cartoon was considered objectionable and relegated to the Disney vault after the end of World War II. In 1994, a group of 1,000 members of the animation industry voted it one of the 50 greatest cartoons ever made. Ten years later, Disney finally released it in a set called “Walt Disney Treasures: On the Front Lines.”

It’s possible to find the compilation for sale on eBay but prices are high because Disney made only 250,000 sets in 2004. We can’t find it on the Disney youTube channel but if you’re curious, the cartoon is available through a few unofficial sources. Here’s one:

There are links here and here to a version that includes a short explanatory prologue.

We’d like to leave you all with an observation made by Chandler Bing on the TV show “Friends.”

You know what’s weird? Donald Duck never wore pants. But whenever he’s getting out of the shower, he always puts a towel around his waist. I mean, what is that about?

Happy Donald Duck Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

June 3 is Repeat Day

Repeat DayToday is Repeat Day, an unofficial holiday of unknown provenance that celebrates the do-over. But does it imply that we must reenact this moment exactly as it is, in excruciating detail? Can we achieve that level of granularity or even comprehend it?

If we are able and willing to participate in this endeavor, must we start right now? (If so, must we keep reading the foregoing sentence over and over?) When is it acceptable to stop: at 11:59:59? How will we know if we can’t get past the preceding questions?

We feel the creator of Repeat Day didn’t fully consider the possible ramifications of this lighthearted holiday unless he or she is a disgruntled philosopher bent on destroying the world. We have attempted to avert an endless time-loop of navel-gazing existential paralysis by making this post so annoying that we would never be tempted to subject ourselves to a repeat reading.

Mission accomplished.

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays