Archive for humor

Corncob Pipe Day

Sometimes invention happens in a shiny lab, but most of the time Necessity gives birth in someone’s garage or cluttered workshop. Today in 1878, Henry Tibbe patented the design for the corncob pipe, which joins the ranks of “Huh, that was patented?” along with safety pins and paper clips. Corncob pipes were handcrafted by locals who just needed to wind down after a long day in the fields, but Tibbe brought mechanical engineering into play to make the pipe smooth and uniform.

Tibbe’s creation not only brought pleasure to pipe smokers, it brought several improvements to the Missouri town where he lived; his Missouri Meerschaum Company was responsible for bringing electric light and the telephone to Washington, Missouri. He retired a rich man in 1921, but his pipes would march on: fans of the corncob pipe included General Douglas MacArthur, President Eisenhower and Popeye.


Photo credit: Flickr/massdistraction

Captain Video Day

Love Star Trek, Firefly, Fringe, Twilight Zone, Battlestar Galactica, The Outer Limits or Quantum Leap? Doff your metaphorical chapeau to the program that started it all: Captain Video. Today in 1949 marked the premiere of American television’s first foray into science-fiction, and it became a phenomenal hit. It was the first televised science fiction program to be turned into a movie, and the writers’ list of the TV show is a who’s who of science fiction literature, including Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Sheckley, Isaac Asimov, James Blish and many more.

Captain Video and his Video Rangers protected all that was right and good on the DuMont Network daily for six years. Watching early episodes now can make even the creators of Lost do their best RCA dog impersonations, because padding each episode was footage from old cowboy movies in between the live segments. The Old West clips gave the crew time to quickly set up or move sets, and the cowboys were supposedly “undercover agents” for Captain Video.

The switch between interstellar adventure and a posse on the trail didn’t faze kids of the 1950s, though; it became daily Must-see TV for kids and adults alike. Celebrate by watching an episode below complete with 1950s-era commercials, or head to the Internet Archive and download a few to watch later. It’s trippy, historic fun.

Filk Day

Today we celebrate a very special fan of Pure Geek, writer and technology expert extraordinaire, Bill Mullis! Since we missed his birthday, we’re declaring a holiday for one of his geeky passions, filk music. If you’ve never experienced filk music because you go to the all-night George Romero movie marathons at the con, you’ve missed one of the great joys of fandom. Filk has been around for decades, providing science fiction lovers with a creative outlet and social interaction way before Facebook came along.

Since we couldn’t find a suitable video of Bill singing filk, we’ve done the next best thing and turned to the Internet. Enjoy the Firefly filk above, or the Star Trek one below. You’ll need the practice, because the summer con season is now underway!

It’s Towel Day. But wait, there’s more!

Don’t forget your towel, and don’t panic! Towel Day celebrates the work of author Douglas Adams, who wrote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Feel free to celebrate any way you want, you zarkin’ frood—read a book, show off your “42” tattoo or lay down in front of a demolition if you’re feeling very brave and somewhat stupid.

This is also Geek Pride Day, a chance to wear your dice bag out in the open or argue over the virtues of Apple vs. Linux.

Of course, this is Star Wars Day, the annual celebration of the first movie’s release date in 1977, which was really the fourth movie and the official first movie was released fourth. Confused you are? It all makes sense in a galaxy far, far away.

Finally, May 25 marks a tongue-in-cheek serious note ( like there’s any other kind with Discworld fans.) This is Wear the Lilac Day, which mixes a fictional holiday with a real cause in true nerd style. Originally written into the Discworld mythos by Pratchett as a day to remember those lost in the Glorious Revolution of Treacle Mine Road, it’s now also a day for fans to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s Disease, which Pratchett now suffers from.

This day is the holidapocalypse for geek celebrations—pick one, or get creative with the costuming and go for all four. Personally, we think that a towel-toting Jedi with a lilac corsage and duct-taped glasses would sweep any costume contest held today. No matter how you celebrate, enjoy being the awesome geeks you all are!

Photo credit: Flickr/markbult

Alyson Hannigan Day

She’s an actress with an amazing career from the age of four, but in the geek world, she’ll always be Willow from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Happy Birthday, Alyson! Above is a special treat, an interview from 2001.

Geek E-card Day

It’s Geek E-card Day! While we’re waiting for our tech nerds to finish the new e-card plug-in, we invite you to drop by Pinterest and check out a few new designs you can like or re-pin. When we are once again “fully functional,” we’ll have a caption contest with cool prizes!

Today’s pic is captioned by the lovely and paranormally talented Stacey Graham, and is available on the Pinterest board. Photo credit: Flickr/JD Hancock under a Creative Commons license.

National Memo Day

Take a memo! There’s nothing nerds like better than laying out all the information in detail, which makes today perfect for lining out your plans for world domination on 2,400 Post-It Notes. Remember to include a sketch of your supervillain volcano lair, and a memo to your henchmen about Casual Friday. Be sure to look over that memo recalling those off-the-rack laser beams for sharks, too. Don’t want personal chafing in the shark tank.

Whatever you do, don’t stash your memos in Google Calendar for your network of evil. A paper trail makes it so much easier for the superheroes to find you, plus it all burns so nicely when you self-destruct the volcano.



Photo credit: Flickr/Kevin H

International Monty Python Status Day

Tired of posting what you had for breakfast or the latest cute puppy photo on Facebook? Say no more! Today is International Monty Python Status Day, a chance to break out of your whiny social media rut and fill the Internet with nonsensical quotes sure to irritate and befuddle all your humor-impaired friends.

Need some help? We’ll get you started.

“It’s quite simple to defend yourself against a man armed with a banana.”

“I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay.”

“Well, there’s Spam, egg, sausage and Spam, that doesn’t have much Spam in it.”

“He’s not pining, he’s passed on!”

If you need even more, watch the video above from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” or just head into a crowd and yell, “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Your fellow Python geeks will shout back enough lines to keep you well-stocked all day long.

Paranormal Day

Are you excited about things that go bump in the night? No, not those things. Ghosts! Today is a day for paranormal investigators of all spooky stripes to meet up and tell stories. Amateurs and pros alike will also talk tech; if you want gadgets, pair up with a ghost hunter. That EMF detector will give you something to hold onto when a see-through hand reaches out and tugs your hair.

Whether you’re a big kid at heart or have some ghost-lovin’ little ones, celebrate today by telling a few ghost stories tonight, or pick up THE GIRLS’ GHOST-HUNTING GUIDE by Stacey Graham. It’s packed with activities and stories that are perfect for Paranormal Day, and it takes a nice, common sense approach to the popular field of paranormal research.

Spock Day

If Jedi can be considered a religion, why not Trek? Today celebrates everyone’s favorite resurrected Vulcan science officer, and the holiday comes to us from the sly, funny Church of Spock website. Now all we need is a YouTube video of Trekkies in uniform and pointy ears spreading the good word. Get on that, fandom!