Crackers Over The Keyboard Day
Shut down your computers, turn your keyboard upside down and give it a few good shakes. Now check to see what fell out. Those little crumbs there, those are the remnants of months of cracker snacks and office potlucks.
Now go wish your co-workers a happy Crackers Over the Keyboard Day.
Kind of makes you wonder who comes up with these wacky holidays. In this case — and in many, many others — 80 at last count — it’s the husband and wife team of Tom and Ruth Roy. He’s an occasional actor and radio talk show host. She’s been a college administrator, touring actress, and now the proprietor of a mail-order herb business, Wellcat.com. You’ll also find a list of their zany and copyrighted holidays there.
About that little pile of keyboard debris on your desk. Besides those crumbs, which today’s holiday encourages you to sprinkle over your keyboard rather than clean out, the detritus includes loose hairs, paper particles, office dust, and maybe an errant staple.
Harmless? Yes, for the most part. Though eating or drinking on, over or around any electronic device they maintain will give the IT techs palpitations.
Biologically however, our keyboard may be more of a nature preserve for germs than the office toilet. The latter, at least, gets a nightly once-over from the cleaning crew. Your keyboard may never have been cleaned, making it a breeding ground for all sorts of bugs. A study by a University of Arizona biologist found computer keyboards contained more germs per square inch than did toilet seats in the same office; 67 times as many!
That’s not a reason to call out the hazmat unit. Most of the germs are, well, germs that are everywhere and to which we all have some degree of immunity, especially since those on your keyboard come mostly from you. As microbiologist Dr Peter Wilson told the BBC when a study in the U.K. turned up results similar to the Arizona study: “If you look at what grows on computer keyboards, believe it or not, it’s more or less a reflection of what’s in your nose and in your gut.”
But it is gross to consider that most of us will tap on that electronic petri dish, then with those same fingers, pick up a sandwich and take a bite.
If today’s celebration of Crackers Over the Keyboard Day has prompted you to do the crackers out of the keyboard shake, and now you want to do a thorough summer cleaning, you’ll need some rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs. Step-by-step directions are here.Enjoy the day!
Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day
It’s almost unresistable – when your computer is slow to load, and when you’re waiting for something to happen, you can’t resist the urge to play with the mouse and the cursor.
Whether you’re procrastinating, plain bored or it’s actually one of your favourite sporting activities (if so, you should probably re-evaluate a few things… just saying), then this day is your day to go nuts.
Race Your Mouse Around The Icons Day embraces this, and encourages you to go crazy with your cursor!
Race Your Mouse Day is a copyrighted holiday. It was created and is provided, courtesy of the great folks at Wellcat.com
You're getting bored while that program takes forever to do its thing. Grab the mouse, and start chasing the icons. It's even an officially sanctioned pastime with its own celebratory day – Race Around the Icons Day! So it's time to stop staring vapidly at the screen and start a little mousing.
1) Prepare your mouse.
- Give your mouse a good clean. If you don't know how yet, read wikiHow's article on how to clean a mouse.
- Clean the mousepad too while you're at it.
- Check your mouse cursor. Still happy with it? Or is this a good opportunity for an upgrade to something a little funkier?
2) Find something that needs doing on your computer. Use this as a good opportunity to do some application or program updating that you've been putting off because you can't stand just staring at the screen while it happens. Get it rolling.
- Really slow-to-load web pages are also a good choice. Try any webpage aimed at providing you with answers about why your taxation refund hasn't arrived still.
- Note, it needs to be something that allows you to a) see your desktop; and b) still move your mouse. If this isn't possible, lose the program sprucing and just start mousing.
3) Race around the desktop nabbing icons with your mouse. If you're not sure that going around in circles, or squares, or whatever shape you're tracing over your icons with the mouse cursor is fulfilling enough for you, try to smarten up the experience with a few added hurdles:
- Try following patterns, such as skipping some icons but not others. Or try to trace out the shapes of animals, food, favorite computer symbols using the icons positioned as they are.
- Use mathematical formulas to work out which icons to touch and not touch on.
- Randomly click on an unused icon now and then. Once it opens, have the mouse chase around anything of interest on the opened item, then click close again and return to desktop mousing.
- Alternatively, take a penalty for every accidentally opened icon or drop-down box.
- Think up any other amusing ways to prolong your procrastination.
4) Feel peppy. Apparently that is a standard requirement following chasing your icons. Peppy means "full of energy, high spirits, and lively". Possibly you might need some other boost to help you reach this state. Some suggestions include:
- Healthy snacks at the desk
- Slightly less but definitely delicious chocolate snack stash at the desk
- Caffeine - coffee, chocolate, tea, whatever way you like it most.
5) Focus on the rest of your day. You can always resume chasing the icons around with your mouse whenever the desire takes you.
- If you don't have a mouse pad, and you're really out of ideas for doing something, how about making a mouse pad? And while you're at it, how about building your own mouse too?!
- This is a handy method for looking like you're doing something productive, when clearly, you're not.
- This can be even more fun if you're stuck on an old clunker with a black and white background. Use it as a good excuse to get the old Mac out for a play.
- If you're doing this on the official day for racing a mouse around the icons, why not send someone an invitation to race their mouse around the icons? Spread the word that it's Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day (August 28 each year). There are sites with special e-cards for you to personalize and send - just do an online search and they'll pop up. With any luck, you might encourage your coworkers and friends to get into a peppy enough state to keep playing online games all day. Just be sure not to let the boss in on your secret.
For more procrastination of a similar vein, try seeing how fast you can type out the alphabet on your keyboard, first conventionally and then backwards. Time wasting = achieved.
National Bow Tie Day
In 1886, tobacco magnate, Pierre Lorillard wore a bow tie with his new style of formal wear to the Tuxedo Club. The tuxedo and black bow tie, called black tie attire, became an instant hit among wealthy fashion enthusiasts.
The bow tie has been worn by great American bow tie connoisseurs such as Sinatra and Martin, Jerry Lewis, Humphrey Bogart, Orville Redenbacher, Colonel Sanders, Barney Fife, Charlie Chaplin, Pee-wee Herman and Bill Nye-the Science Guy. The bow tie has found itself as a compliment to many design styles.
Marlene Dietrich donned a bow tie and top hat in her 1930s film “Morocco.” The bow tie is for those that have an eclectic style of wardrobe, like notables Janelle Monae, Rihanna, and Drew Barrymore.
The bow tie has been revamped to tie into the wardrobe of the fashionably astute. It is an accessory that has withstood the test of time. Every person that incorporates a bow tie into their wardrobe has a special attachment to every piece of clothing that they own. No longer just constructed of black silk, the bow tie comes in a plethora of colors and fabrics to suite an individual’s unique taste.
History may be a boring subject but when mixed with fashion, it’s worth your full attention. The bow tie dates back in the 17th century back in Croatia. Here mercenaries would use neck wears that somehow resembled scarves to bind the collars of their shirts. These neck wears were called the cravats. In no time they were adapted the Upper Class French citizens who had the reputation of being highly influential in the fashion world at that time. The cravats evolved into today’s neck wear; the bow ties and neckties.
In the beginning of the century, the bow tie was a vital component of a full attire. This changed in the 1900s when it became common among surgeons and men in the academic arena. In as much as it became less fashionable following the end of the Second World War, it still makes up an essential part in men’s formal wear in today’s world.
Let’s take a flash forward to the future. You will envision a world where this neck accessory has adapted a more relaxed kind of look. Over the recent years, this accessory has regained lots of recognition among men who can be termed as fashionable and also among women. It is quite common these days to see a woman adorned in men’s attire such as a tuxedo, complete with a bow tie to boot. Bow ties have now found their way into cocktail parties, the workplace and casual activities. Men are incorporating them into almost any outfit they see fit.
National Cherry Turnovers Day
It’s National Cherry Turnover Day! Turnovers are a delicious pastry that can be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert. They originated in ancient times and are classified as "portable pies." Other dishes in this culinary family include pasties, empanadas, and spring rolls.
A traditional cherry turnover recipe calls for puff pastry, which is stuffed with a gooey cherry filling and then baked until golden brown. There are many variations on this classic treat though. Some recipes call for cream cheese, extra lemon juice, or even ice cream.
A turnover is a type of pastry made by placing a filling on a piece of dough, folding the dough over, and sealing it. Turnovers can be sweet or savory and are often made as a sort of portable meal or dessert, similar to a sandwich. They can be eaten as a breakfast or a dessert.
It is common for sweet turnovers to have a fruit filling and be made with a shortcrust pastry or puff pastry dough; savory turnovers generally contain meat and/or vegetables and can be made with any sort of dough, though a kneaded yeast dough seems to be the most common in Western cuisines. They are usually baked, but may be fried.
Savory turnovers are often sold as convenience foods in supermarkets. Savory turnovers with meat or poultry and identified as a turnover in the United States (for example, "Beef Turnover" or "Cheesy Chicken Turnover") have to meet a standard of identity or composition and should contain a certain amount of meat or poultry meat.
In Ireland, a turnover is a particular type of white bread, commonly found in Dublin.
To celebrate National Cherry Turnover Day, bake your own homemade cherry turnovers to share with friends and family! Bon appétit!
Radio Commercial Day
Did you know that in 1922 the first radio commercial was broadcast? Queensboro Realty received 10 minutes of air time on New York station WEAF for $100.
Commercial radio stations make most of their revenue selling "airtime" to advertisers. Of total media expenditures, radio accounts for 6.9%. Radio advertisements or "spots" are available when a business or service provides valuable consideration, usually cash, in exchange for the station airing their spot or mentioning them on air. The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), established under the Communications Act of 1934, regulates commercial broadcasting, and the laws regarding radio advertisements remain relatively unchanged from the original Radio Act of 1927, enacted to deal with increasing problems of signal interference as more and more stations sprung up around the country.
In February 1922, AT&T announced they would begin selling "toll broadcasting" to advertisers, in which businesses would underwrite or finance a broadcast, in exchange for being mentioned on the radio.[ WEAF of New York is credited with airing the first paid radio commercial, on August 28, 1921, for the Queensboro Corporation, advertising an apartment complex. However, it appears other radio stations may actually have sold advertising before WEAF. As early as May 1920, an amateur radio broadcaster leased out his "station" in exchange for $35 per week for twice-weekly broadcasts. And, in Seattle, Washington, Remick's Music Store purchased a large ad in the local newspaper advertising radio station KFC, in exchange for sponsorship of a weekly program, in March 1922. Additionally, on April 4, 1922, a car dealer, Alvin T. Fuller, purchased time on WGI of Medford Hillside, Massachusetts, in exchanges for mentions.
During radio's Golden Age, advertisers sponsored entire programs, usually with some sort of message like "We thank our sponsors for making this program possible", airing at the beginning or end of a program. While radio had the obvious limitation of being restricted to sound, as the industry developed, large stations began to experiment with different formats. Advertising had become a hot commodity and there was money to be made. The advertising director at Shell Oil Co., urged radio broadcasters to deal directly with relevant advertisers, and sell tie-in commercial spots for established radio programs. Like newspaper ads at the time, Sanders figured that advertisers and radio would both benefit from selling ad spots to get the attention of listeners. Radio was an already prominent medium, but Sanders referred to his initiative as radio 'growing up' in terms of its business aspects and how it dealt with advertising. The "visual" portion of the broadcast was supplied by the listener's boundless imagination. Comedian and voice actor Stan Freberg demonstrated this point on his radio show in 1957, using sound effects to dramatize the towing of a 10-ton maraschino cherry by the Royal Canadian Air Force, who dropped it onto a 700-ft. mountain of whipped cream floating in hot-chocolate filled Lake Michigan, to the cheering of 25,000 extras. The bit was later used by the USA's Radio Advertising Bureau to promote radio commercials.
The radio industry has changed significantly since that first broadcast in 1920, and radio is big business today. Although other media and new technologies now place more demands on consumer's time, 95% of people still listen to the radio every week. Internet radio listening is also growing, with 13 percent of the U.S. population listening via this method. Although consumers have more choices today, 92 percent of listeners stay tuned in when commercials break into their programming.
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the African American civil rights movement reaches its high-water mark when Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks to about 250,000 people attending the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The demonstrators--black and white, poor and rich--came together in the nation's capital to demand voting rights and equal opportunity for African Americans and to appeal for an end to racial segregation and discrimination.
The peaceful rally was the largest assembly for a redress of grievances that the capital had ever seen, and King was the last speaker. With the statue of Abraham Lincoln--the Great Emancipator--towering behind him, King used the rhetorical talents he had developed as a Baptist preacher to show how, as he put it, the "Negro is still not free." He told of the struggle ahead, stressing the importance of continued action and nonviolent protest. Coming to the end of his prepared text (which, like other speakers that day, he had limited to seven minutes), he was overwhelmed by the moment and launched into an improvised sermon.
He told the hushed crowd, "Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair." Continuing, he began the refrain that made the speech one of the best known in U.S. history, second only to Lincoln's 1863 "Gettysburg Address":
"I have a dream," he boomed over the crowd stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, "that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.' I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."
King had used the "I have a dream" theme before, in a handful of stump speeches, but never with the force and effectiveness of that hot August day in Washington. He equated the civil rights movement with the highest and noblest ideals of the American tradition, allowing many to see for the first time the importance and urgency of racial equality. He ended his stirring, 16-minute speech with his vision of the fruit of racial harmony:
"When we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'"
In the year after the March on Washington, the civil rights movement achieved two of its greatest successes: the ratification of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished the poll tax and thus a barrier to poor African American voters in the South; and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public facilities. In October 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On April 4, 1968, he was shot to death while standing on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee--he was 39 years old. The gunman was escaped convict James Earl Ray.