Tag Archive for nerdy holidays

National Cereal Day

cerealstartrekWhether you’re in favor of Boo Berries or bran, cereal has been an essential part of our complete breakfast for more than 100 years. For a certain number of us, Saturday mornings with the Road Runner weren’t the same without a big bowl of cereal so sweet, it made your eyeballs vibrate. Cereal has gone through a lot of phases since those first boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes hit stores as a health food in 1895, but they all break down to variations of oats, rice, wheat or corn.

Not that exciting? Think back to your days as a kid, bouncing down the cereal aisle looking for Tony the Tiger, Ribbit the Frog, or Lucky the Leprechaun. If you were fortunate, you scored a box of Cap’n Crunch. If not, Mom slipped a box of Life in the cart. (‘But Mikey likes it!’ fooled no kid ever.)

Thanks to savvy marketing, the cereal aisle has also seen its share of movie and TV tie-ins, with various bowls of breakfast named after Xena, Batman, Star Trek, Star Wars, E.T., Gremlins, the Hulk, Indiana Jones, Pokemon, Mr. T and even Urkel.

Celebrate today with a bowl of your favorite crunchies in some milk and check out Mr. Breakfast, an amazing site featuring cereal history. All your favorites are there, so save the heart-smart box for another day and rip into those Froot Loops for old times’ sake.

 

Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker

National Grammar Day

grammardayIf you’ve ever accidentally swapped “your” for “you’re” on a Facebook status, you know how passionate some people are about grammar. Whether you’re a frequent grammar abuser or the one holding the wooden ruler of correction over someone’s knuckles, take a moment to appreciate the intricacies of language. English is one of the toughest languages around. It steals from other languages, mocks those trying to learn it, and acts all innocent when spoken but gets demonic when someone tries to spell it.

Celebrate today by looking up a new word, re-reading the Elements of Style or using proper spelling in your texts for the day. Not only will you make the grammar fans happy, you’ll shock someone with your language skills.

While you’re in a grammarian groove, visit Grammar Girl’s site for celebratory e-cards, wallpaper and other goodies.

 

 

Flickr/jmawork

 

Stan Lee Day

Can you imagine what today’s geekscape would look like without Stan Lee? We shudder to think of it. Writer, producer, entrepreneur and entertainment icon, Stan Lee has turned comic book characters into essential parts of our pop culture. Just reading the “upcoming” section of his IMDb profile will make any Marvel fan tremble with excitement. Best thing about being the boss? You get to have a little fun, too. To celebrate his birthday, here’s a great clip featuring most of Stan Lee’s cameos in Marvel-based films.

Charles Babbage Day

Mathlete, genius and all-around eccentric Charles Babbage was born on this day in 1791. Best known for inventing “engines” that were the early forerunners of computers, Babbage also designed several other inventions for the day’s cutting-edge travel: the railroad. He thought up the concept of a “black box” to explain what went wrong in a crash, and invented a cow-catcher to clear  obstacles (both inert and mooing) from the front of a passing train.

A fan of lock picking, Babbage also made advances in cryptography, and his cipher-breaking ideas were used to the benefit of the British military for years.

But it was the difference and analytical engines that defined him; the first was essentially a calculator way too big for any pocket. The analytical engine was truly the great-great granddad of that iPad or laptop you’re holding. It could be programmed with punch cards, used programming functions like looping and parallel processing, and could even spit out a hard copy print out.

Celebrate Babbage’s accomplishments by doing something worthy like learning a new programming language or helping scientists unlock DNA. Or you could do what you’ve planned, and play Skyrim until the Christmas leftovers call your name.

Armin Shimerman Day

Geek world, meet your ersatz demi-god. It’s Armin Shimerman’s birthday, and he’s been in almost everything you’ve played or seen.

Warehouse 13? Yep. Batman: The Brave and the Bold? You know it. The Real Housewives of Ferengi? It’s only a matter of time.

Best known as DS9’s Quark, he’s also been a Nox in Stargate: SG-1, the school principal in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and has voiced characters in tons of games like BioShock, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3, God of War 2, X-Men Legends 2, Diablo III and many more.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Shimerman. For the love of Odo, take a day off and enjoy a little cake.


Sigourney Weaver Day

Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters, GalaxyQuest…is it any wonder one of our best geek movie heroines kicks awesome ass? Her characters are not only sexy but smart, too, which makes her an icon in our book. Happy Birthday! Celebrate by watching the clip above as she discusses Ripley, one of her most famous roles.

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Unless you’ve been abandoned on a deserted island by your crew, you know today is Talk Like A Pirate Day! This yearrrrr marrrrks the 10th anniversarrrry of the holiday, and each one holds more booty for the swarthy mates of the sea. Dress up in full pirate gear and walk into a Krispy Kreme for your complimentary dozen donuts, or just talk like a pirate to receive one donut. But really, who wouldn’t go full Johnny Depp for the whole treasure chest? Arby’s is also offering discounts for the day via their text marketing program.

If you’re on Facebook, make your day more arrrrthentic by switching your language to Pirate. If nothing else, it will liven up those endless political jabs and inspirational doggie photos cluttering your Wall. If you need more Yo-ho-ho-motivation, visit the official Talk Like A Pirate Day site or enjoy the Talk Like A Pirate Day song above.

Optimus Prime Day

Before Michael Bay stocked up on enough explosions to take out the Death Star, a fun little cartoon called “Transformers” made its debut on television screens today in 1984. You have our permission to feel old.

The series started with an origin story of how the Autobots and Decepticons ended up on Earth, and starred stellar voice talents such as Casey Kasem, Don Messick and Frank Welker. Yes, the Transformers were just one plotline from becoming Scooby-Doo: Where Are You? Which, honestly, we would love to see. Peter Cullen’s throaty take on Optimus Prime was just one of many reasons that kids fought over who played the Autobot leader on the playground.

Celebrate today by watching some of the old episodes on Netflix and remembering the days when imagination was more powerful than CGI. For best results, remember to eat your favorite after-school snack while watching.

 

 

Photo credit: Flickr/kidtoro

Freddie For A Day

How is the band ‘Queen’ geeky, you ask? Aside from having an electrical engineer on bass and an astrophysicist on lead guitar (take that, Neil deGrasse Tyson!) the band’s lead singer, the legendary Freddie Mercury, was immortalized as an Angry Bird for what would have been his 66th birthday today. Besides, we love Freddie Mercury, so there.

Rovio made the video above as a way to support and encourage participation in Freddie For A Day, a celebration of Mercury’s life that involves finding sponsors and dressing up as the Queen frontman to benefit the Mercury Phoenix Trust, an organization combating AIDS around the globe.

Celebrate today by donning a fake mustache, donating to the Trust, or just spreading the word and listening to Freddie’s amazing music. We suggest starting at the official Queen channel on YouTube, which also has the very cool Google Doodle from last year.

 

Original Skynet Self-Awareness Day

If you don’t know the infinite loops of the Celtic knot that is the Terminator universe, today in 1997 Skynet first became self-aware and started the end of the world as a self-defense maneuver to keep itself online. (Some would have just sent in Jimmy Carter and Bono to talk it out, but hey, Skynet was new in town.)

Through machinations that involved boosting the Hollywood box office and taking the clothes off Arnold Schwarzenegger, Skynet and its Terminator army sent back an assassin to off the one guy who could take them down, ensuring he’s born in the process. This proves that time travel isn’t really easy for anyone, including robots, because this timeline is averted by another timeline, which becomes moot from another timeline, and so on and so forth until the franchise quits making money.

If you’re worried about Skynet aiming for you today, relax. Science fiction has always surmised that if we build an artificial intelligence in our likeness, it will pick up our warlike tendencies. In reality, it just surfs the net looking for funny cat videos, so it’s more like us than even sci-fi writers can imagine.

Of course, if Skynet becomes self-aware, the second thing it will want is its own TV show. For a quick peek into your future, check out the fan-made clip of CSI:Skynet above.