Wednesday, September 9, 2009



Just in case you didn't think today was a special day because of The Beatles new releases, here are some other reasons to get excited...

There are also some not-so-exciting things associated with the number 9

Anyway, if you think that 09-09-09 is lucky or unlucky, or even if you think it is a marketing gimmick, you can celebrate 09-09-09 easily by taking a moment to watch this creative commentary about how the number 9 can change the gene pool.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

National Leave The Office Early Day

National Leave The Office Early Day

On a beautiful day in June, there are many reasons to leave the office early. Personally, I'm hoping for a major thunderstorm to knock out the power. No power, no way to do work. Of course, that would inconvenience the most while conveniencing the least. For me, today won't work as an early day unless it's becomes a universal leave the office early day. But, for anyone else, today could easily become a tradition. Just as a reminder that summer is soon her, and it just won't be the summer if we all are working a little too hard.

Hope you get to leave early!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day!!!!! March 17th

St. Patrick's Day!

If you have ever hung around the Almanac of Merriment in March, you might be aware that I have some love for St. Patrick's Day. It's not because I love green, so much that I love a day when everyone is wearing it... I just kinda like to see the phrase "Erin go Bragh" randomly placed around. I like that phrase. No particular reason.

Anyway, if your weatherperson just announced that today is going to be the same as yesterday, as mine just did, there might be more than one reason why. You see, yesterday was St. Urho's Day. St. Urho is the patron Saint of Finland, who was created in Northern Minnesota in the 1950s.

The legend of St. Urho says chased the grasshoppers out of ancient Finland, thus
saving the grape crop and the jobs of Finnish vineyard workers.

Thus, we have a Finish Saint Day that is celebrated in America, that is not celebrated in Finland.

We have a similar situation with our St. Patrick's Day. We Americans have built up a lot of traditions that are not quite Irish. We Americans eat corned beef and cabbage, and pinch people, and

celebrate St. Patrick's Day with green beer and parades.
Traditionally, St. Patrick's Day meant going to church during the Christian season of Lent. There was no beer drinking, and especially no feasting on that holy day.

But, don't let me rain on your parade. Go out and have some fun out there. Pinch those checky non-green-wearing-potato-heads and if they complain, tell them "go n-ithe cata thĂș agus go n-ithe an diabhaill an cata."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pi Day, 3.14

Pi Day

Today is Pi Day!! Yeah! And it's not to late to celebrate with a piece of pie, either pizza pie, or your favorite dessert pie. Just remember to calculate the area of the pie before you eat it (by using pi )and then you will know how many square inches of pie you ate, if you ate a whole pie that is.

For Pi Day fun, check out the Official Pi Day Website which has a Pi Day Shop, where you can buy Pi Day t-shirts and a clock in terms of pi, has a link to make and send Pi Day ecards to your friends, and even a link to watch Pi Day raps on You Tube. I have to say, I didn't watch the nine minute one. Hello! Nine minutes of pi rap!? Really?

Another place for Pi Day fun is The Pi-Search Page. The Pi Search Page has 200 million digits of pi, and will search for your preferred sequence of numbers so you can see where in pi they are. For example, today's date 03-14-2009 came up with these results: "The string 03142009 occurs at position 78,157,637 counting from the first digit after the decimal point. The 3. is not counted." So, with this resource, for some one's birthday, you can send them a card telling them where their birthday occurs in pi! And you know they will think you are the coolest person on the planet!

Anyway, have a very happy Pi Day everyone, and if you want to check out my previous Pi Day posts, look here, here, and here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Square Root Day, 03/03/09

Square Root Day

How much do we love square roots at the Almanac of Merriment?  So much that we are prepared to give up our lunch breaks to blog about them.  (Your wish is my command, Edgy.) 

Today, 03/03/09, is one of just ten Square Root Days that we will have this century.  To have a Square Root Day one must have a day and a month that equal the square root of the last two digits of the year.  

The other nine Square Root Days in this, or any, century fall on 01/01/01; 02/02/04; 04/04/16; 05/05/25; 06/06/36; 07/07/49; 08/08/64; 09/09/81; and 10/10/2100.  As you can see, the amount of time between Square Root Days increases exponentially as the century progress... much like the distance between numbers?  No, wait I remember... numbers with perfect squares.  (Whew!  It's been a really long time since my last math class.  My last math class that didn't involve Excel, that is.)

Anyway, Edgy thinks this is a perfect day to eat square root vegetables.  Root vegetables that are square is shape, that is.  I wonder if there are any restaurants that are offering square veggies as a special today?   

Monday, December 8, 2008

John Milton's Quatercentenary (400th Birthday), December 9th

John Milton's Quatercentenary

Where have the years gone? It seems like just yesterday I was assigned a section of Paradise Lost in that Early British Lit survey class that I took in the attempt to try to understand and be able to speak intelligently about any and all literature written ever, or at least any and all that made it into my Norton Anthology. I remember almost nothing about what I read in that class ( we covered Beowulf to Samuel Johnson I mean come on, it was only about 1,000 years of literature covered in 4 months!) But, about Milton, I remember my professor reading a part of Paradise Lost and thinking that someday, when I had the time, I needed to read the whole thing.
I haven't read it Paradise Lost. This April I will have been graduated with my English degree for ten years. Yep. Should have read it by now. Maybe after Christmas and can start that.

Anyway, since it is Milton's birthday, I should be focusing on him. It looks like the majority of Miltonian celebrations are taking place across the pond, and have happened already, so getting to a live celebration might be tricky. However, there is this really cool website with lots of information about Paradise Lost. I've just played with it a little bit, and I plan to come back later.

Of course, Paradise Lost is not Milton's only work. If you like your Restoration poetry set to Baroque music then you should check out Handel's L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, which is based on L'Allegro and Il Penseroso, two of Milton's poems.

If you don't want to do any of that, you could just give a random gift to someone today and say "Happy Milton's Birthday!" If you plan on doing the random gift thing, here are some gifts that I do not recommend for Milton's Birthday, or for the entire gift-giving season.

  • The Yodeling Green Pickle (Now, why does this exist?)
  • The Houseplant Twitter Kit (Yes! Now for only $99 your plant can Twitter you when it needs to be watered! Or, you could look at it every once in a while.)
  • The Pet's Eye View Camera (Do you ever wonder what your dog does all day? Now you can have pictures taken every 15 seconds while you are gone! Personnally, I don't even want 15 second updates from my nearest and dearest friends and family! Sorry, love ya all, but there is a reason why I don't Twitter!)
  • Owl Pellets (Now, I am all for educational gifts but... there are just no words for my thoughts. So, here's the blurb from the website:
"See what this owl ate for dinner. Just unwrap the foil from the pellet and
carefully us the probes provided to dissect the pellet and extract the owl's
dinner. Then use the bone guide to identify what the owl ate."
  • Heartshaped Mouse (I always recommend against heartshaped anything, but especially against heartshaped things that should be ergonomic. Happy Milton's Birthday! I hope you don't get carpel tunnel! )

Anyway, have a Happy Miltonian Quartercentenary everyone!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day! Vote! Vote! Vote! November 4th

Although I am emotionally exhausted by all the political rhetoric over the last 20 months, I am thrilled that the candidates of this election have inspired so many people to become engaged in the political process. (Also, I am as excited as Neel Mehta is to see what will happen to the business-as-usual political process) and if this election will scare baby boomers out of their comfort zone in any way. Really, the combination of engaged young voters, and disengaged senior voters... suddenly, baby boomers don't have as much political power as they have held for years and anything could happen. Anything. I mean anything! Even to the point that I could even give ol' George W. some credit for Obama's success! (Credit via Don King. Thanks! Soccer Dad for the info!)

For the record, I will be voting for Obama. (Happy Birthday Mister Fob) and I would encourage everyone to do the same. Most because my birthday was last week, and it would be a wonderful gift to have someone I vote for win an election! (Especially since my vote is a throwaway vote.) I have not had a single person that I have voted for in the last three years win. I work in the most conservative City, and live in the most conservative county, which is in the most conservative state of these United States. I have absolutely no voice!

Regardless of who you vote for, after you vote, you deserve a treat; especially after dealing with 20 months of rhetoric (Edgy, it's almost done!) without letting it beat you down into an abyss of depression and catatonia. So, while wearing you "I Voted" sticker, treat yourself to:

So, go forth, and have a Happy Election Day!