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November 27 is Pins and Needles Day

Pins and Needles DayToday is Pins and Needles Day but it has nothing to do with anxiety, diabetic neuropathy or the creepy sensation you get after sleeping all night on your arm. On November 27, 1937, musical revue Pins and Needles opened on Broadway in New York City.

Comprised of skits lampooning fascist dictators and their sympathizers, bigoted Daughters of the American Revolution, anti-labor groups and advertising agencies among many others, the play was performed by members of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, which was on strike at the time.

It became such a hit that the schedule was expanded and the players quit their day jobs to act in it full-time. New skits and songs were added periodically to keep the show topical. It closed on June 22, 1940, after 1,108 performances.

A revival ran for 225 shows in 1978. London’s Cock Tavern Theater mounted a production in November and December of 2010. In 2016, New York University staged an updated Pins and Needles, casting students who would’ve been roughly the same age as the original performers had been.

This play, which first entertained audiences in 1937, has reappeared many times, perhaps to remind us of the enduring spirit of satire and its important role in society. Have a fun-filled and happy Pins and Needles Day!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

October 18 is World Menopause Day

For women dealing with menopause, every day is World Menopause Day. The International Menopause Society (IMS), creator of the holiday, attempts to make it fun by choosing a new theme each year. It’s a little like the prom: full of sweaty, uncomfortable seniors driven crazy by hormones.

world menopause day

“What Comes to Mind: Menopause and the Aging Brain?” is a theme used recently. Is that a trick question to give English majors around the globe a collective hot flash/hissy fit? Does it mean that if it doesn’t come to mind, it’s already too late? Does it mean menopause and aging have nothing to do with each other? IMS has this to say:

During the menopause transition, there may…be modest reductions in aspects of attention, but natural menopause does not appear to lead to persistently poorer memory.

Okay, we’re done here, right?

There’s no definitive list of actions to take to help reduce memory loss but evidence does support some approaches over others. Brain health can be improved through mentally stimulating activities, such as work or leisure.

So, anything we do when we’re awake–got it.

Top 10 prevention tips

Oh no, here we go.

1.Nutrition: an antioxidant-rich Mediterranean diet with olive oil may help
2.Vitamin D and B-Vitamins: may improve brain health alongside other activities
3.Other dietary supplements: Soy isoflavones helping to improve memory
4.Physical activity: brisk walking and other forms of aerobic exercise are linked to a lower dementia risk 5.Mindfulness: Tai chi studies show positive outcomes for improving memory
6.Control alcohol consumption: moderating alcohol intake can help maintain brain health
7.Smoking cessation: reducing the intake of toxins can help boost brain health
8.Mental activity: important for boosting brain stimulation
9.Social interaction: engaging, challenging and creative communication
10.MHT: helping to alleviate distressful vasomotor menopausal symptoms

First, let us point out that #3 and #10 involve raising estrogenic activity, which can be a big no-no for anyone at risk of breast cancer. As the site states, its tips do not replace advice from your doctor.

We have a suggestion: why not integrate this holiday with two others taking place today? First, grab a razor, guys, for National No Beard Day, and shave off that chin Brillo. Skin gets delicate after menopause. No one needs the constant exfoliation your whiskers provide. Second, and most important, it’s National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Stress and hormonal changes can cause intense cravings for sugary treats. Buy a baker’s dozen for your menopausal loved ones. Don’t expect to get a cupcake for yourself unless you hide one in your car.

Have a happy World Menopause Day!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

May 28 is Julia Pierpont Day

julia pierpont day

Today is Julia Pierpont Day, named in honor of the woman who originated Decoration Day.

In 1866, Julia Pierpont, wife of the Governor of  Virginia, noticed that the graves of Civil War soldiers in Richmond’s cemeteries looked neglected.

She started Decoration Day to show respect for those who had given their lives by tending to their final resting places.

Decoration Day provided the inspiration for Memorial Day. It takes place every year on the Saturday before the federal holiday. In 2005, it was proclaimed an official holiday in West Virginia.

Happy Julia Pierpont Day, Decoration Day and Memorial Day!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

National Equal Pay Day 2016

Twenty years ago, Equal Pay Day was established to illustrate how far into the new year women have to work to earn the same wages that men make in the previous year.

national equal pay dayBecause Census data is released later in the year, Equal Pay Day has long been scheduled on the Tuesday in April that falls most closely to the estimated date. Tuesday was chosen to represent the extra time a woman must work to earn what men take home the previous week.

Well, congratulations, ladies! Your day has arrived. No, you aren’t going to be paid the same amount as men. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, making it illegal to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job, signed into law by President John F. Kennedy remains nothing more than a well-intentioned piece of paper with a very valuable autograph.

We know the suspense must be killing you. Here goes: Yesterday President Obama proclaimed April 12 to be National Equal Pay Day. It’s official! No, you can’t have the day off. Honestly, you are a riot.

We know the president has worked hard for women’s equality because it says so in this White House press release. What’s more, he’s unveiled plans for a monument honoring the women’s equality movement to be erected in Washington, D.C.

We have a suggestion. Why not save the self-congratulatory groundbreaking until equal pay is achieved? Until then, reserve an empty spot to represent the net worth of legislators’ good intentions to the livelihood of their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters.

Set up a booth where Congresspeople can explain to children why their future efforts lose value the moment they are born girls. Raise money for the monument by garnishing 21% of their wages until they enforce the Equal Pay Act. (They don’t even need to write a law. It’s already on the books.)

Perhaps we would end up with a solution to this ridiculous situation, instead of a succession of declarations and photo ops. But we’re pretty sure that by the time that happened, we’d have the money for a really big statue.

Until then, have an angry National Equal Pay Day!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays