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October 13 is International Skeptics Day

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, still exists.
Philip K. Dick

I’m not sure how he’d feel about International Skeptics Day since there’s no evidence that it’s an official holiday anywhere. If you consider the number of skeptical organizations worldwide, almost 100 according to one source, maybe it should be.

international skeptics day

The sticklers among us might point out that Skeptics Day is also listed in some quarters as occurring on January 13.

Others might say the dearth of critical thinking calls for as many reminders of the need for skeptical inquiry as possible.

Perhaps the weirdest thing about this holiday is that we seem to need it at all.

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To learn more:

  • Watch the Youtube channel of the James Randi Foundation. Many tried and failed to win Randi’s years-long Million Dollar Challenge, which promised the prize to anyone who could show proof of the paranormal. The challenge ended recently, the money unclaimed.
  • Plumb the resources of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
  • Find like-minded skeptics in your neighborhood at meetup.com.
  • Consult Snopes.com, the Web’s Google search for hoaxes and misinformation, before you forward that chain email about how the government is poisoning us all with cheese.
  • Watch an old episode of Mythbusters, a show that made testing urban legends entertaining. (After the series wrapped, it became clear that the biggest myth was that the two hosts got along.)
  • Read A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking, which is sure to help you resist that midnight infomercial, win an argument, and separate fact from fiction in almost any situation.

No matter how or when you choose to celebrate International Skeptics Day, have fun!

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 10 is International Creepy Boston Dynamics Horse Day

Today is International Creepy Boston Dynamics Horse Day. On September 10, 2012, Boston Dynamics released footage of a rough-terrain robot it developed with funding from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Marine Corps.

The robot’s official name is The Legged Squad Support System (LS3). Its sensors allow it to follow a human leader while avoiding obstacles. It carries up to 400 pounds and travels 20 miles before it requires refueling.

It is an impressive feat of engineering. There is also a nightmarish quality to its movement. Check it out:

Happy International Creepy Boston Dynamics Horse Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

International Bacon Day

international bacon day

Today is International Bacon Day, celebrated on the Saturday before Labor Day since 2009 as indicated on a blog which includes helpful translations for the globetrotting bacon lover:

English – Can I have some Bacon?
Dutch – Kan ik wat Bacon hebben?
French – Est-ce que je peux prendre du lard ?
German – Kann ich etwas Speck haben?
Greek – Μπορώ να έχω κάποιο μπέϊκον;
Italian – Posso avere certa pancetta affumicata?
Japanese – 私はベーコンを食べてもいいか。
Korean – 나는 약간 베이컨이 있어서 좋은가?
Portuguese – Posso eu ter algum bacon?
Russian – Могу я иметь некоторый бекон?
Spanish – ¿Puedo tener un poco de tocino?

Perhaps the ultimate celebration would involve preparation of the Bacon Explosion: a pound of basket-woven bacon wrapped around two pounds of sausage which are stuffed with a pound of fried bacon crumbles. Not in the mood to cook? Order it directly from BBQ Addicts and have a happy International Bacon Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays