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fun facts

May 9 2011

Mark Your Calendar!

by Greg H

It’s human nature.  When one holiday passes, we’re quick to scan the calendar for when our next one will be, paying special attention to those holidays that mean a day off from work.  But what if you can’t wait a whole month for Memorial Day? Just do a quick search on the internet and you can find lots of other observances and minor holidays to celebrate in the  interim. Some last a day, some just a week, some get a  full month,  but  many are thought-provoking while others are funny and, no doubt intentionally, ridiculous.  For example, May 16-20 is National Bike to Work Week. All that extra bicycling may have led to the creation of  Cover the Uninsured Week, which follows from May 21-28.  Melanoma Monday is always the first Monday in May. I’m all for increased awareness of any serious disease but it is unfortunate that their big day sounds like a Bangles song.  My personal favorite is May 4th’s  Respect for Chickens Day. It turns out that chickens don’t at all mind winding up deep-fried and served up with cole slaw as long as we don’t take them for granted. May 4th is also Star Wars Day (May the fourth be with you…get it?  Imagine Obiwan with a lisp.) The very next day is Martin Z. Mollusk Day in Ocean City.  Basically it’s Groundhog Day but with a hermit crab (which, FYI,  is not a mollusk) in place of Punxsutawney Phil.  May eleventh is Eat What You Want Day which, without knowing it, I observe every day.  Tuba Day and No Pants Day share the first Friday in May.   Be wary of anyone celebrating either but turn and run if you see anyone celebrating both!  So you see, there is no dearth of people, places and events to celebrate.  Just don’t expect your boss to green light  your leave request for National Sea Monkey Day (May 16).

May is also Get Caught Reading Month so be sure to visit your local library or your book shelves at home and read in plain sight.

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Jun 8 2009

Father’s Day Factoids

by Vivian A

portrait_of_george_washington

Although George Washington was Father of Our Country, he died in 1799 long before Father’s Day was invented.

The first Father’s Day was celebrated in 1908 in a church in Fairmont, West Virginia. On the other side of the U.S., Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington thought of the idea in 1909 while listening to a sermon on Mother’s Day. She honored her father in 1910 and solicited the idea of an official Father’s Day.

The idea of Father’s Day was initially met with a laugh. After years of jokes and satire, Father’s Day became officially celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 1966 by President Lyndon Johnson.

Despite promoting tools and electronics, gifts for Father’s Day sales were eleven billion in 2008 which was about seven billion less than gift sales for Mother’s Day. White and red roses are the official flowers of Father’s Day. White is in honor of a father who is deceased while red is in gratitude of one who is still living. According to Hallmark cards, 102 million cards will be sent, making Father’s Day the fifth largest card sending occasion.

In 2009, Father’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday, June 21. It’s no joke, honor your Dad. According to the Census Bureau there are 66.3 million of them in the United States.

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Jan 20 2009

Presidential Inauguration

by Heather S

Today marks a historic day for our nation.  And, it seems that everywhere I turn it’s what everyone is talking about.  As I channel surfed across the news stations on the television this weekend, one commentator mentioned a bit of interesting trivia. President-elect Obama has opted to include the phrase “so help me God” at the end of the oath of office, which every president has done since George Washington in 1789.  This made me wonder about other facts and tidbits about the inauguration. So, here’s a quiz on inaugural firsts:

  • Whose inaugural ceremony was the first to be broadcast on the radio?  Television?  Internet?
  • Who was the first president to take the oath of office in Washington, DC?
  • Who delivered the longest address?  The shortest address?
  • Who was the only unelected Vice President to become President?
  • Who was the first president inaugurated on January 20th?

To find the answers, look here.

And, if you aren’t able to make the trek to Washington, D.C. or want more information on the inauguration, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies’ website posts maps for the festivities, a program with the schedule of all the performers involved in the ceremonies, luncheon information that includes recipes from the menu, and pictures of the table settings, including the china and the flower arrangements.   If you can’t be there in person, this looks like the best site to make it seem like you really are there.  And, if you want to watch the inauguration with others in the DeKalb area, you can stop at the Chamblee, Clarkston, Redan-Trotti and Wesley Chapel – William C. Brown Libraries where the Inaugural Ceremonies will be shown on the big screen.

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Jan 8 2009

Judging a Place by its Cover

by Jimmy L

Can you recognize these legendary album covers?  If so, what about where these photos were actually taken?  Word magazine has created a Google Maps mashup called Album Atlas that makes it really easy to find out, so that you can be the most knowledgeable guy or gal at the music store (at least concerning this topic).  You can click anywhere on the map with a blue flag and it will show you an album cover taken at that location.  Alternately, you may click on an album title from the full list, and it will show you the location on the map.  Continue reading this post if you want the answers to the above questions… [read the rest of this post…]

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