October 31 – National Knock-Knock Jokes Day

Posted on October 31, 2014

Well, it just makes sense.

On a day when so many go door to door, knocking or ringing the bell in a search for some Halloween candy, why not celebrate knock-knock jokes?

Here are a few:

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Canoe who?
Canoe take me trick-or-treating?

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock, knock
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock, knock
Who's there?
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn't say banana!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Henrietta who?
Henrietta worm that was in his apple.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
King Tut.
King Tut who?
King Tut-key fried chicken!

Knock-knock jokes are puns – jokes that take advantage of the fact that there are words that sound like other words but that have different meanings. To be perfectly honest, knock-knock jokes are usually bad puns!

Check out the short history of the knock-knock joke here

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest boards for:
And here are my Pinterest boards for:

October 30 – Mischief Night

Posted on October 30, 2014
This is not something that happens everywhere, and I am pretty sure that it is something that shouldn't happen ANYwhere.

Mischief Night is the night before Halloween, and it is (in just some places in the U.S. and world) a time for minor pranks and mild vandalism.

We're talking about toilet papering yards, egging things, setting off fireworks, smashing pumpkins, throwing rotting vegetables, soaping windows, and playing Ding-Dong Ditch by ringing doorbells and then hiding.

Some of these practices are not particularly bothersome or dangerous, but others are pretty bad. In Detroit in the early 1990s, Mischief Night escalated into widespread arson (setting fires) – destruction that was completely unnecessary.
Egging a car or building can cause costly damage (raw egg can damage a car's finish, for example), and egging a person can cause serious eye injury. Smashing someone else's property – even if it is just a pumpkin – is like stealing from them. Maybe that person put a lot of time into carving the pumpkin. Maybe he or she wanted to make a pumpkin pie.

Of course, many of these so-called pranks are strictly against the law! Silly mischief that could result in fines or jail time seems ridiculous, right?

Finally, I find the idea of causing problems for homeowners one night and then begging from candy from the same people the next night troublesome. I would hope that Mischief Night takes a turn for beautiful-and-non-harmful pranks or dies out altogether. 

Beautiful and non-harmful pranks?

Even in places where toilet papering is against the law, or police officers nab those who TP trees and houses on grounds of littering, TP-ing can be lots of fun and is (at least here in my community) totally okay if the homeowner has given approval. So ask the parents of the kid you want to surprise (secretly, ahead of time), and then have fun fun fun – in the dead of the night - decking out the place with loads of toilet paper!
This beautiful teepeed interior was created by artist Şakir Gökçebağ.

The folks at Disney World once teepeed their own castle!

Teepeed car

Also on this date:

Anniversary of the radio show “War of the Worlds”

Haunted Refrigerator Night

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest boards for:
And here are my Pinterest boards for:

October 29 – Internet Day

Posted on October 29, 2014

A loong, loong time ago, there were dinosaurs. Did you know that, at that time, there was no internet?

Have you ever wondered when the internet was first created? Or what that even means?

Today is Internet Day, sometimes called International Internet Day, and it celebrates the very first time two far-away computers communicated electronically. It happened on this date in 1969 – just a few months after the world was shook up by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landing on – and walking on – the moon.

But this much less grand even shook the world up, arguably, even more.

Here's how it went down:

UCLA student Charley Kline tried to send a message to a computer around 350 miles away, at the Stanford Research Institute.

The message was, perhaps, not the earth-shaking sort of message you might hope for. As a matter of fact, it was just one word:


Here's what happened, in Kline's words:

So I'm on the phone to SRI, and I type the L and say, “OK, I typed in L, you got that?”

Bill Duvall, the guy at SRI, is watching his monitor, and he has the L.

I type the O. Got the O.

Typed the G. “Wait a minute,” Bill says, “my system crashed. I'll call you back.”

So, yeah. This world-shaking event was the transmission of TWO LETTERS! The one-word message didn't get through, because one of the computers crashed partway through the attempt!

Still, this half-success was the beginning of something big. ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) was a system developed under the auspices of the Department of Defense to connect four university departments that were working on military R & D.

About an hour after “LO” was transmitted, Kline and Duvall tried again and were able to transmit the entire word “LOGIN.” And

Now, the Internet is:
  • worldwide
  • publicly accessible
  • a series of interconnected computer networks
  • networks that transmit data by packet switching, or breaking up the message into parts that are sent independently, and then reassembled at the other end
  • networks that use standard Internet Protocol (IP)

And of course, the Internet is:

  • videos of kittens

  • social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

  • millions and millions of blogs, in which we publicly journal our days or review local restaurants or otherwise self-publish our self-esteen

  • about a billion live websites – a milestone that was just reached last month! (September 2014)

  • bajillions of searchable images of everything from green thermos flasks to Ancient Egyptian-themed birthday parties for kids

  • irreverent and often ridiculous memes, most of them involving grumpy cats, Ted of Bill-and-Ted, the Dos Equis guy, or someone face-palming

Also on this date:

Creole Day in Dominica

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest boards for:
And here are my Pinterest boards for:

October 28 – Happy Birthday, Edith Head

Posted on October 28, 2014

Today's famous birthday holds a record for most Academy Awards in Costume Design.

Eight times she won an Oscar for her movie costumes!

Edith Head had a long career, of course – she worked in the industry for 57 years! That's more than half a century!

So...let's see if we can figure out how to copy the amazing success Edith Head had. Like, how did she get her start in the movie-costume-making industry? Did she get degrees or specialized training?

Brief Bio

In Head's case, the answer is “no.” No degree in costume design (or fashion design), and no specialized training.

Edith Head was born on this date in 1897 in San Bernardino, California. Her name was Edith Claire Posener. She did get degrees: a B.A. In French from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in romance languages from Stanford. (In case you don't know, those are both top schools.) She began to teach French and art, and she married a man named Charles Head. Unfortunately, the marriage didn't last, but her new name – Edith Head – did last from 1923 until her death in 1981.

In 1924, Head tried out for a job as a sketch artist for Paramount Pictures in Hollywood. And even though she had no experience in art, design, or costume design, she got the job. 

(Later, she admitted that she had done a really bad thing – she had borrowed others' sketches for her job interview!! Yikes!)

But she must've had talent, and she must've worked hard, because she quickly became one of Hollywood's leading designers. And this was back when movies were just starting to have sound!

  • Check out Edith Head's work here!

  • Dabble in design yourself! Do you want to draw costumes for the good guys and bad guys in a fantasy movie (the elves, orcs, and so forth)?
Or for a futuristic science-fiction movie? How about a movie set during Ancient Egyptian times...or during the 1400s in China?
  • Did you notice that the character Edna Mode, in the Pixar movie The Incredibles, is an homage to Edith Head?

  • Not necessarily meant for kids, the website Clothes on Film gives some interesting info on movie costume design. 

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest boards for:
And here are my Pinterest boards for:

October 27 – World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

Posted on October 27, 2014

 Here is something you may never have thought about: protecting our audiovisual heritage.

There are old tapes and records and movies that we may never get to see or hear again because their media is falling apart. Wouldn't it be wonderful to make digital copies of all of this stuff before it is gone?

And, remember, sometimes “gone” means “gone for good”!

The U. N. website promoting this special day talks about “archives at risk” and assures us that there is “much more to do.” Films, radio and television programs, and other recordings are humanity's common heritage, containing the “primary records” of the current and past century.

What can we do to help? Apparently, the organizers are calling on the people of the world to urge their governments to take steps to preserve audiovisual “documents” and to provide access to them to scholars and, when possible, the public.

Some activities held today include competitions, panel discussions, special film screenings, and local programs.

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest boards for:
And here are my Pinterest boards for: