Bizarre holidays, observed

By PHOENIX STAFF  |  December 26, 2013

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SEPTEMBER

Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month | ’Nuff said. We accept money, hugs, and alcohol as forms of kindness. Also, articles submitted without spelling and grammatical errors, PR flacks not calling to follow up on press releases, and story pitches only after prospective freelancers know which publication they’re contacting.

Save the Koala Month | Koalas don’t need to drink water because they get sufficient moisture from gumleaves, the main component of their diet. They are not currently listed as an endangered species, but their habitat (eucalyptus forests in Australia) is fast-disappearing. The More You Know.

September 24: National Punctuation Day | The classic example of why punctuation matters is: “Let’s eat grandma” as contrasted with “Let’s eat, grandma.” Spend the day striving for better clarity through more accurate communication. Bolster your skills by reading Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks by Keith Houston.

OCTOBER

Squirrel Awareness and Appreciation Month | Until a local eatery puts squirrel on the menu, the best place to honor these rodents should be Squirrel Island, a summer colony off the coast of Boothbay Harbor. Though residents must vacate every winter, when above-ground pipes are drained, surely they must stay long enough to honor their namesake?

October 14: Ada Lovelace Day | Attention, girl geeks! Honoring the British mathematician known as the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace Day is marked worldwide by Wikipedia Edit-A-Thons, organized to shift the reality that women are underrepresented, both as entry subjects and as participants, on Wikipedia. Learn more at FindingAda.com.

October 23: National Mole Day | Commemorating Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 1023), which is the basis for a fundamental measuring unit in chemistry. It runs from 6:02 am to 6:02 pm. Here’s how big a mole is: If you were going to count from 1 to 6.02 x 1023 starting at 6:02 am, you’d need to count to 14 each quintillionth of a second to make it all the way before the end of the 12-hour span of Mole Day.

NOVEMBER

International Impotence Education Month | There’ll be more to celebrate starting in 2017, when Teva Pharmaceutical Industries starts selling a generic (less expensive) form of Viagra.

November 2: Cookie Monster’s Birthday | Though this loveable blue guy was forced in 2005 to say he enjoys cookies only as a “sometimes food” (health fascists, please go away), we’re positive he celebrates his own birthday with tons
of treats.

Day after Thanksgiving: Flossing Day | In Maine, where according to a 2012 report by the Center for Health Workforce Studies, the supply of dentists is relatively small and access to oral health care is uneven, flossing regularly is the least we can do to keep our mouths healthy. Of course, if you have too much floss, the internet tells us you can use it as a replacement shoelace, alternate clothesline, or material for a DIY dreamcatcher.

DECEMBER

December 5: Annual Day of the Ninja | Sign up today for adult ninjutsu (literal meaning, “ninja techniques”) classes at Discovery Martial Arts (34 Rainmaker Drive, Portland; discoverymartialarts.net). Because the best way to celebrate ninjas is to become one yourself.

First Saturday: Earmuff Day, a/k/a Chester Greenwood Day | Head to Farmington for a parade honoring the Maine native who invented earmuffs in 1873 at the age of 15.

December 30: Bacon Day | You started the year with an entire pig, but you’re one of those saving types who keeps the best part for last. End the year with fried slices of pork belly. If you’ve planned ahead properly, you’ll have enough to be able to start the year with it too! 

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