First Tweet Day

Seven years ago today, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent out the very first tweet, spawning a micro-blogging sensation that has changed how we communicate. Twitter has more than 300 million users, and it’s helped topple regimes, break news and connect us to everyone from Ashton Kutcher to the the Dalai Lama. Celebrate this day like you every day, by tweeting your little heart out until the fail whale strikes. By the way, you can still check out that first tweet.

 

 

 

Pi, Einstein and Chips Day

Has math ever looked so delicious?

Has math ever looked so delicious?

Today celebrates three things geeks love: Pi, Albert Einstein and potato chips. The numerical shorthand for today is 3/14, which corresponds to 3.14, the beginning of pi. Diehard fans will likely celebrate at 1:59 and 26 seconds, so have a slice of apple pie nearby. While no one knows the exact hour and minute Albert Einstein was born (although it would be awesome if it was 1:59:26) he’s still a rock star in the physics world, and his name has even become shorthand for genius in the mundane, everyday world. As for potato chips, do we need to elaborate? Any day is a great day to celebrate them, but this is, in fact, National Potato Chip Day.

Celebrate all three by taking a physicist out to lunch (with pie for dessert, of course) today, and if you find a potato chip on your plate that looks like Albert Einstein, head straight to eBay. Ka-ching, baby.

 

 

 

Photo credit: Flickr/djwtwo

 

Douglas Adams Day

douglasadamsHe was an honorary Python, wrote for Doctor Who, and gave us Zaphod Beeblebrox, Arthur Dent and Dirk Gently; Douglas Adams, born on this day in 1952, was a giant of a man in many ways, especially his contributions to science fiction and comedy. He left us far too soon, but his impact on geekdom and science fiction is still powerful today. Who else could inspire a massive inside joke with a simple “42?” He also loved technology and would have been awesome on Twitter, better than Steve Martin and Nathan Fillion combined. Yeah, we said it.

Celebrate today by carrying your towel or donating a little cash to save endangered animals, one of his favorite causes. If you don’t know who Adams is and you think BabelFish is just a translation website, get yourself to a bookstore immediately for a copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Also, check out the lovely Google Doodle in his memory today, or watch his last interview filmed shortly before his untimely death in 2001 on the now defunct TechTV show, Big Thinkers.

International Women’s Day

2013internationalwomensday

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

 

Valentine, Schmalentine…Let’s Go Full Werewolf

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.

Star Wars Holiday Special Day

It only appeared once, but that was enough.

On this day in 1978, this televised holiday special followed Han Solo and Chewbacca to the Wookiee home planet Kashyyyk for a LifeDay celebration, and to imply that things get weird is an understatement.

This special included Bea Arthur and Harvey Korman, and no Star Wars fan should see it without a blankie and the phone number of a good therapist. On George Lucas’ personal list of Things That Never Should Have Happened, this ranks way ahead of Jar Jar Binks. Even more frightening is the thought that this show could be topped by a future Disney project.

It still floats around the Internet in bootleg form, if you have a free evening and feel the need for some emotional trauma. (Hint: YouTube.)