October is almost over, but it's not too late to celebrate National Popcorn Poppin' Month! While everyone around you is stuffing their faces with Halloween candy, you can rebel and munch on this salty treat to your heart's content.
Popcorn, aside from its traditional reputation as buttered-up movie theater staple, can be enjoyed in any context. Caramel corn is another great classic flavor, and more adventurous popcorn fans can add spices like cayenne pepper, wasabi, and curry powder. Popcorn balls are a favorite for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the winter holidays, while popcorn.org goes a little insane with recipes for everything from popcorn soup to popcorn meatloaf. The crowning touch? Popcorn snack bowls made out of more popcorn.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 8:19 AM
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Just in time for Halloween, October 30th is Create a Great Funeral Day! This holiday sounds morbid and somewhat tasteless at first, but before you start phoning the police to report an impending murder, let me specify: on this holiday, you're planning your own great funeral--plotting your way out of life in style.
It's definitely a bright idea to make your loved ones aware if you want a solemn memorial, with flowers and candles and religious music, or that you'd prefer a wild drunken party full of personalized party favors for everyone to remember you by. You can avoid a stuffy church ceremony if your relatives know you want your ashes scattered into the great outdoors, and vice versa--no one will be dumping your remains into tropical seas against your will. The ultimate goal is to remove the taboos surrounding the discussion of mortality in order to make one's final moments easier on everyone.
My only problem with the holiday, I guess, is its name--can you really wish someone a "great" funeral? It's just a bit creepy...
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 8:22 AM
Monday, October 26, 2009
Just because the weather's getting colder doesn't mean you can't stay warm. October is National Chili Month! Whether you like yours mild, medium, spicy, or on fire, a mug of hearty chili is just what the doctor ordered for the winter doldrums.
Traditional Mexican chili is made with the eponymous peppers, onions, garlic, and beef, but today's varieties often include tomatoes and beans or a meat substitute. Any way you like your chili recipe, it's a great way to warm up on a "chilly" fall day. Just make sure you have fire safety measures in place if you eat too many jalapenos.
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 8:39 AM
Friday, October 23, 2009
October 26th will go down in history as the date of the first annual Planet-Wide Moon Howl! It's not every day we get to sit by and watch as a new holiday is born, but the organizers of the Moon Howl, a small publishing company called Umbrelly Books, are offering us front-row seats. At 9 p.m. on Monday, celebrants will make like werewolves and howl their hearts out.
The organizers of the Howl are splurging on promotional merchandise for maximum exposure, offering customized apparel from t-shirts to tank tops to pet sweaters--not to mention coffee mugs, reusable water bottles, and barbecue aprons. They're spreading the word through announcements online and in local newspapers all over the country, calling on werewolf and wild-thing enthusiasts to host parties and events to celebrate the holiday and even offering an official flyer on their website.
This is an interesting approach to creating a holiday. So far it seems to be working--I can't wait to see how many people are actually howling on Monday night...
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 10:35 AM
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tomorrow, October 22nd, is INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY. Never heard of it? INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY is perhaps the only holiday celebrated entirely on the internet. They don't make greeting cards, so when it comes time to wish your neighbor a happy CAPS LOCK DAY, you risk confused looks and embarrassment. This is a shame! Sure, you can type a stream of capital letters on your own personal computer, for yourself, but where's the fun in that? Too often, our only awareness of CAPS LOCK comes when we press it by accident while reaching for the shift key. Surely, this is no way to treat a valuable member of the keyboard. CAPS LOCK need not be the refuge of the lonely computer geek--CAPS LOCK is a party animal!
Want to bring INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY off the screen and into the street? Print up a bunch of informative flyers (in CAPITAL LETTERS, of course), or draw a comic strip stuffed with CAPS-LOCK-FRIENDLY GRAPHICS to get this sorely underappreciated holiday the recognition it deserves.
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 8:19 AM
Monday, October 19, 2009
Want to begin living a more sustainable lifestyle, but not sure how to mark the occasion? "Meatless Monday" is a great, flexible starting point--this holiday happens every Monday. Recently, even Baltimore's public school district has jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon, serving exclusively vegetarian meals in cafeterias on Mondays.
Meatless Monday provides a welcome alternative to the meat-centric dining of many American households separate from pure vegetarianism, which can alienate the curious with its all-or-nothing anti-meat stance. Try cutting out meat from your diet this Monday: according to some calculations you'll be slashing your environmental impact by up to 70%, as well as cutting back on your saturated fat intake significantly. If you're already a vegetarian, consider printing up pamphlets of meat-free recipes to encourage participation--you may find a surprisingly receptive audience, and cows everywhere will thank you!
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 7:27 AM
Friday, October 16, 2009
Sweetest Day, celebrated on October 17th, sounds like the most innocuous holiday ever--practically leaking puppies and kittens. Celebrants exchange small gifts, usually candy or flowers, with the loved ones in their lives to show their appreciation for one another. Totally innocent, if a little saccharine, right?
Supposedly, the holiday was invented by candy companies in the 1920s, intent on increasing candy purchases all over the country and catapulting Sweetest Day to the same prestige enjoyed by Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day. The "Sweetest Day Committee"--a sinister-sounding agglomeration of candy-making professionals--was assisted by movie stars in an aggressive public campaign to distribute boxes of candy to children in the streets, thus creating a critical mass of "sweetness" sure to incite a candy-buying frenzy in the populace.
Which story do you believe? Is Sweetest Day just an innocent invention, promoted these days to sell cards, candy, and cute little plush toys? Or have greeting-card companies whitewashed the real truth about the candy companies' plots? Please, pass the chocolate...
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 9:22 AM
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Today, October 14th, is International Top-Spinning Day! It's time to honor the classic twirling toy, enjoyed by children and adults alike. The tops of the world have been neglected for too long--spin them!
The city of Burlington, WI actually has an entire museum (complete with gift shop) devoted to tops of all shapes and sizes, as well as other spinning toys like yo-yos. If your devotion doesn't extend quite that far, there are other ways to recognize the magnificent spinning top. That spinning motion is quite relaxing--why not bring some to the office to relieve stress? They're even more fun than Slinkies!
Are you dizzy yet? Remember, technically the earth counts as a great big spinning top too...
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 7:47 AM
Monday, October 12, 2009
Hold on to your bird-feeders, everyone, because October is Squirrel Awareness Month! Whether you consider them pet or pest, it's hard not to be aware of these fuzzy fiends. Did you know that some squirrel species in Nepal can grow up to three feet in length? Imagine finding one of those in your garden! More squirrel facts: they can be right- or left-handed, they never travel in groups, and their tails are used for communication, balance, warmth, and cushioning if they fall. Oh, and flying squirrels don't actually fly like airplanes--they simply glide through the air like Frisbees.
There is a truly mind-boggling amount of information on squirrels floating around out there. If you can't get enough of these bright-eyed, bushy-tailed creatures and want to educate yourself further, visit your local library and you'll find enough books of squirrel lore to keep you busy for a very long time.
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 7:47 AM
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
According to American Music Preservation, this week--October 4th to the 10th--is National Carry a Tune Week. Their website seems to offer an awful lot of weird rules about what this tune can be and how exactly you may carry it, but I don't think they'll mind if you break a few of them. Basically, this week is a great time to recognize and appreciate some of your favorite music. Pick a few choice "tunes," preferably from ten years ago or earlier, and "carry" them around with you as if they're tangible memories, like cherished photographs or other souvenirs.
If you're a musician, try playing these songs yourself! It's a very rewarding experience. If not, you can still listen to them on your mp3 player, in your car, on your stereo, through your computer speakers, while exercising, while you sleep...the possibilities are as endless as the choice of available tunes. You could probably even carry a bunch of albums around in a suitcase, though people might give you funny looks and inch away from you in public if you tell them what you're doing.
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 12:19 PM
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Have you ever wanted to be a private detective, diligently tracking down clues with only your wits and trusty magnifying glass to solve the case? Or does that sound like a lot of work when you'd rather just watch a CSI marathon and play armchair detective from the comfort of your own home? Either way, it's time to celebrate: this week, October 4th to the 10th, is Mystery Series Week.
You could show your appreciation for the genre by solving a mystery of your own, but despite how easy those Nancy Drew books make it sound, few cases are cracked in a week outside the board game Clue. Try reading the latest books published by your favorite mystery writers instead. Use a bookmark to mark the spot where you figured out "Whodunit" before the detective did, and bask in your superior sleuthing skills. Congratulations--you've earned the right to wear a silly tweed Sherlock Holmes hat! Elementary, my dear Watson...
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 6:14 AM
Monday, October 5, 2009
Ever wonder why April Fool's Day only comes once a year? With all the silliness in the world these days, can we really afford to restrict our Fool Awareness to a solitary spring day? To suggest so would be the silliest thing of all. Fortunately, Mad Hatter Day (October 6th) was created to fix this tragic lapse in absurdity. Mad Hatter Day is a celebration of the sanity inherent in all that is supposedly Crazy, and the craziness lurking just below the surface of all that is considered Sane. Needless to say, there's plenty to celebrate.
Why October 6th? This date is the result of extensive scientific calculations which would no doubt require decades of research to duplicate. Actually, it's just taken from the sticker poking out of the Hatter's hat in common illustrations, which reads 10/6.
Take some time today to recognize and appreciate life's little absurdities. Wear outrageous clothes and an attention-getting hat to work, stage a Mad Tea Party in your local coffee shop, hand out nonsense pamphlets to unsuspecting passersby, walk an invisible pet. You'd be crazy not to explore all the possibilities!
[image from the Victorian Web]
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 7:04 AM