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Partially Present

Photo taken from Flickr user: Robert S. Donovan

Leap day today, meaning we have a February 29th in our calendars. For a day meant to get everything in sync, it sure throws me off. Here are 29 questions I have:

  1. Why is leap day at the end of the second month of the year?
  2. Why not add leap day to the end of December?
  3. Why is February 2-3 days shorter than all other months?
  4. How did the Romans decide the structure of the calendar?
  5. Do we really need to worry about the Earth’s rotation over time?

Ok, I only have 5. What I’m really more concerned about though are the babies who will be given birth to today, since today will not exist for another four years. How do you handle having a birthday that can only be accurately celebrated every four years? It’s like counting your birthday in dog years, only that instead of 7 it’s 4.

I find it weird that we can have a day that only partially exists in our calendars. I say, either get rid of it or add it permanently, and just have fun with whatever seasonal changes occur over time.

What We Can Learn From MLK, Jr.

Photo taken from Flickr user: javacolleen

Today marks the 27th year of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Having a national holiday named after yourself does not come without reason. With a prominent role in attaining equal rights for African Americans, Martin Luther King, Jr. was the main figure of the Civil Rights Movement.

Despite having a non-violent approach, MLK Jr. was met with much violent resistance. And unfortunately, he was shot and killed in 1968 due to his strong and successful involvement. Sadly, this shows us that even non-violence begets more violence. The main reason for this, in my opinion, is because people, even today, roughly half a century after the movement, are constantly unwilling to accept others who are seemingly different than they are, when really we are all humans who long for the same things.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated,

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

Forming an opinion about others when we meet them, or sometimes even before we meet them, is an innate process. But retaining the same static opinion about them over time is a conscious choice due to our unwillingness to get to know them. So, what we can learn from MLK, Jr. is to have an open mind, interact, and, most importantly, approach each other with non-hostility. Doing this will, hopefully, prevent us from wanting to deny each other of the same rights and opportunities, and actually get along.

Friday The 13th

Did you know that the most times Friday the 13th can happen in a year is three? Well, this year will have all three of them, the first being today and the next two on April and July. I also heard that they happen to be 13 weeks apart. I counted, and they are indeed. The only way this could be even more interesting is if the year was 2013 instead of 2012.

There are two terms for those who are fearful of today, they are friggatriskaidekaphobia and paraskevidekatriaphobia. Whoever is responsible for starting this fear is probably laughing out loud in their grave somewhere. This person might possibly be Thomas W. Lawson, who wrote a book a hundred years ago, Friday, the Thirteenth, which is about crashing the stock market on the day of the week and number considered to be unlucky. Whatever the case may be, it’s funny how some things can catch fire and lead to such a large “following.”

There’s no real data to show that Friday the 13th is noticeably more dangerous than other days. But, even if you’re not superstitious it’s hard to ignore today’s preconceived bad luck and if you’re like me, you will second guess things you have planned to do. For example, I was planning on cutting my hair today but, supposedly, if you cut your hair on a Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die. While this may or may not be true, do I really want to test it? No. I just hope my family members can return the favor.

Pant-less Public Parade

Photo taken from Flickr user: Schaffner

Have you ever been caught without your pants? I have, by accident. But that’s a story for another day…

Today is a day that many people will be caught without their pants, on purpose. What apparently started as a prank has developed into a national event. The intention is to ride the subway without your pants and basically go about your ride as you normally would. In other words, you don’t point out the fact that people are not wearing pants.

But, why? Who knows, but I guess it’s a perfect opportunity for people to expose themselves, so to speak. And I suppose there’s no harm done, though, based on some of the pictures I’ve seen, some people do take the stunt a bit too far by wearing only underwear and/or underwear that is quite revealing.

As with any other celebration, event, or parade, this one has officially gone from being the obscure-but-eye-catching episode that it once started as, to the excuse-to-do-something-unusual event that it is now. While it’s not causing serious harm to anyone, I still question the reasoning behind this yearly January-event.

For more information on this, check out Improv Everywhere.