10 Most Bizarre Courthouse Suicides

Unfortunately, it is not that uncommon for tragedies to unfold in a courtroom, often where tensions are high and the dangerous linger. We’ve seen it throughout history with numerous judges being shot, lawyers being murdered, and people taking the law into their own hands.

However, when one inflicts the harm solely on themselves to end their own misery, it leaves those who bear witness not only haunted by the memory of what they’ve seen but forever questioning one’s despair and desperation. The following is a list of 10 people who refused to allow the legal system to play out, thus determining their own fate.

Featured image credit: TomoNews US via YouTube

10 It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s . . .

In 2015, 22-year-old Tyquan Richardson of Atlanta, Georgia, was appearing at the Fulton County Superior Court Diversion Center at 10:00 AM for a pretrial interview. His case was about a previous drug charge in which Richardson was going to have to enter a drug intervention program.

When Richardson appeared at the courthouse, he had in his possession a .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun. Richardson tried to conceal the pistol but to no avail. When it was discovered, Richardson was immediately placed in handcuffs and brought to a conference room on the third floor to await the consequences of a gun charge.

Understanding that he had made a major error in judgment and fearing jail time, Richardson panicked, stood up, and bolted past four officers toward the window. Throwing his body through the glass, he fell 12 meters (40 ft) and landed face-first on the concrete below. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

9 Going Down

In 2015, a 25-year-old man by the name of Erik B. Barnett was once again in front of a judge to answer for a recent failed drug test. The type of drugs in Barnett’s system for the failed test was not released to the public.

However, the judge at the Bell County Courthouse in Pineville, Kentucky, decided that due to Barnett’s violation, he would have to go back to jail. After the ruling, Barnett was led away by a bailiff, and in a clear breach of protocol, he was not handcuffed.

Barnett and the bailiff entered an elevator, and when the doors closed, fearing his future imprisonment, Barnett made his move. He struck the bailiff, knocking him down to the floor. He then proceeded to grab the bailiff’s gun and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. The bailiff was not injured in the ordeal but, not surprisingly, was very shaken up and most likely was drenched in a lot of blood not his own.

8 Justice Served?

In 2013, 48-year-old Steve Parsons was found guilty by a jury of his peers in a Maryville, Missouri, courtroom on two felony counts of sodomizing a 14-year-old girl. Moments after the verdict was read, Parsons fell to the floor and began convulsing violently.

To say the least, those who knew Parsons personally, such as his family and friends, were shocked at the sight of him flapping around like a fish out of water. Parsons was sentenced to a maximum of seven years in prison and selfishly thought that was too much time even though his young victim had received a life sentence.

After an autopsy was performed, it was concluded in the coroner’s report that Parsons had swallowed a cyanide pill following the guilty verdict. Parsons was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. It turns out that a week or so prior, Parsons had received an overnight delivery of cyanide. Apparently, he wasn’t too confident in his defense.

7 ‘Drop It! Drop It!’

On March 7, 2000, Anne Faville was found dead in her Virginia home of what appeared to be an accident by choking on a piece of chicken. Twelve years later, new light was shed on the case and her husband, Mark, was charged with murder. He had suffocated her because she was about to leave him for another man.

In 2015, 70-year-old Mark Faville was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter at the Montgomery County Courthouse. Following the verdict, Mark was led from the courtroom to an adjacent holding cell.

Moments later, shouts from deputies demanding “drop it, drop it” could be heard echoing through the courtroom. At first, few details were released to the public as to what had transpired behind the closed doors. But one thing was certain: Mark was dead.

It turns out that Mark had in his possession a “nonmetallic” item that he had used to slice himself, thus bleeding out and succumbing to his wound(s). Details about the item in question have not been released to the public out of concerns as to how that could impact future courthouse security.

6 Six Feet Off The Floor


On December 15, 2015, 48-year-old Kenneth Ray Thornhill of Texas was standing before a jury at the 75th District Court. The previous year, he had been busted for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.

On that December morning at 11:15 AM, Thornhill was found guilty on the felony drug charges and was facing some pretty serious jail time. The judge called for a lunch recess, and upon returning to court, Thornhill would be sentenced accordingly.

The jury was excused for the hour, and Thornhill was to be brought to his holding cell, which was located immediately adjacent to the courtroom. The officers followed protocol by removing Thornhill’s belt and personal property, fingerprinting him, and then placing him in his cell to await his sentencing.

One hour later, Thornhill was dead. While alone in his cell, he had removed his blue dress shirt, secured it to a cell bar approximately 2 meters (6 ft) off the floor, and hanged himself. Medical personnel attempted to revive him, but it was too late.

5 Mad Scientist


We have already seen the use of cyanide as a means of suicide on this list, and we will see it once again after this. However, what is very intriguing about the case surrounding Alan Bruce Chmurny is that he was a scientist who undoubtedly was extremely intelligent yet had a dark and evil soul.

In 2001, Chmurny was on trial for attempted murder at Howard Circuit Court in Maryland. His plot to kill a former coworker was intriguing as well. Was he planning on using a gun? No. A knife? No. Strangulation? Wrong again.

Perhaps those were beneath him on an intellectual scale. Instead, Chmurny placed mercury tablets in the air ducts of his former coworker’s station wagon. You have to give him credit for originality.

After being found guilty of attempted murder, he faced a maximum sentence of more than 30 years behind bars, and at his age, most likely that meant a life sentence. In saying so, he took his fate into his own hands, said goodbye to his attorney, and swallowed a cyanide pill in open court, which obviously proved fatal.

4 The Garage


Wylie Chambers, 57, was described as a handsome man who presented himself well. However, he was known to have quite the temper from time to time, and that proved true on June 6, 2014.

On that summer day, Chambers apparently lost his cool when he pulled a gun on two female relatives, demanding that they tell him the whereabouts of his girlfriend. We can assume that his girlfriend had good reasons for keeping her distance that particular day.

In frustration, Chambers fired a warning shot at the ground. No one was hurt, and nothing further happened other than Chambers being arrested. Chambers was apparently unaware of the consequences that would result from his actions. He had hoped for only probation, and having turned down a plea deal for a three-year stint in prison, he now faced up to 40 years.

His attorney described Chambers as being “unusually upset” about the idea of being behind bars. He was also extremely concerned about the well-being of his dog, which was undergoing surgery at the time of the trial.

When the judge called for a lunch recess, Chambers made his way to the courthouse garage, took a gun from his car, and shot himself in the head. The courthouse went on lockdown for about an hour, not allowing anyone to enter or exit the building. Chambers’s attorney described him as not being “prison material.”

3 The Basement


In January 2015, 48-year-old Robert Newell shot himself in the head at the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse at 40 Centre Street in Lower Manhattan. The incident took place around 5:30 AM in the basement locker room when Newell was nearing the end of his shift as a security officer for the courthouse. It was reported that Newell was alone at the time, and no one bore witness to the suicide.

A further investigation into this story shows that Newell was a retired police officer for the NYPD. He had joined the force in 1986, serving in both the US Marshals Service as well as the Narcotics Division. However, following an on-the-job injury that Newell sustained when a criminal slammed into his patrol car, he was forced to retire in 2000. He had been on disability and was suffering from neck and spinal injuries. Apparently, years of pain and an unwanted retirement drove him to the edge.

2 France


In October 2015, 63-year-old lawyer Joseph Scipilliti entered a courthouse in Melun, France—located on the outskirts of Paris—and calmly walked past guards. He planned to end not only his life but the life of France’s youngest court “president of the bar,” Henrique Vannier.

To clarify, a president of the bar is an individual whose professional duties are to oversee conflicts between lawyers and their clients. Upon entering Vannier’s office, Scipilliti pulled a gun and shot Vannier three times and then turned the gun on himself.

Vannier was shot in the shoulder, hip, and chest. However, he was not killed and was rushed to the hospital in critical but stable condition. The day before the shooting, Scipilliti had had a disciplinary meeting with Vannier about verbal and written threats that Scipilliti had made toward Vannier. Scipilliti was facing a three-year suspension from practicing law.

The attack was premeditated. Scipilliti had written in a diary that he published online: “Suicide on its own achieves nothing. A few days later, no one will remember. To make people take notice, you must make a big noise.”

1 Michael Marin

Michael Marin’s death stunned the state of Arizona and perhaps the nation when in 2012, after being convicted on arson charges for burning down his Phoenix mansion, he placed his head in his hands and calmly slipped a cyanide pill into his mouth. As stunned viewers watched on TV, Marin began snorting, gagging, and turning red as a beet. He ultimately collapsed to the floor.

The one-time millionaire—who had once been seen in scuba gear along with an oxygen tank as he emerged from a bedroom window of his home that he had engulfed in flames—was later pronounced dead of cyanide poisoning.

What captivated Arizona was that a man had not only committed suicide in an open court but that they had seen it unfold on television, which was hard for one to comprehend. A feeling of justice was felt for his guilty verdict yet a sense of sadness in regard to an unnecessary means to an end.

Woman Gets Trolled After Announcing Her Pregnancy To The Wrong Person

Having a baby is a life-changing experience. It might even change your life for the better. But when you get pregnant by someone else’s boyfriend, and then announce it in a string of furious texts to the person who you think is the dude’s girlfriend but actually isn’t, well, that can also change your life. But not in a good way. Especially when it ends up on the internet.

That’s exactly what happened recently, and since the hilarious exchanges were shared on Imgur they’ve been viewed more than 200k times. The story starts normally enough (sort of), when the user – named OddOod – received a text from a random person stating that “Youre (sic) boyfriend made me pregnant”. But realizing that the sender had the wrong number, and spying a golden opportunity for some trolling, the recipient decided to have a little fun. Read the full hilarious conversation below.











Blue Wine Is A Thing Now

Everybody knows that red wine is for red meat, white wine is for white meat, and rosé is for, well, whatever rosé is for. But what about blue wine? What does that go with? We have no idea. It’s not something we’ve ever had to think about before. Until now that is.

Because believe it or not, blue wine is now actually a thing thanks to Gik, a Spanish startup that’s hoping to redefine our drinking experience. They made it in collaboration with the University of the Basque Country and Azti Tecnecalia, a food research team, and the wine consists of both red and white grapes sourced from various vineyards across Spain. The blue tint comes from a combination of anthocyanin (a pigment found in grape skin) and indigo dye, and as Gik explains on their website, they chose the color because it represents “movement, innovation and infinity.” The wine will soon be available throughout selected countries in Europe, and each bottle will cost around £8.

More info: Gik

Forget red and white, now blue wine is a thing


It was invented by Gik, a Spanish company that hopes to redefine our drinking experience


They made it with the help of the University of the Basque Country and a food research team

The wine consists of both red and white grapes sourced from various vineyards across Spain


The blue color comes from anthocyanin, a pigment found in grape skin


The only question is, what food will it go with?

25 Most Loved and Successful YouTubers

One of the most thrilling things about living in the twenty-first century is witnessing all the drastic technological and cultural changes taking place. Despite being quite young, the Internet has undoubtedly played a significant role in this phenomenon since the rapid changes taking place in modern society are best illustrated on the Web than anywhere else in the world. According to Socialnomics, more than a billion unique users per month will join YouTube and watch some of the most successful YouTubers out there. As one easily understands, in a more fair and balanced economical society these numbers would be even higher.

But what makes YouTube so special and popular? To begin with, anyone can launch a video channel on YouTube and post regular updates that are entertaining, informational, or just promote your website. So, only eleven years after launching, YouTube has become the absolute indicator of a performer or celebrity’s popularity, and in many cases can predict a film’s success from the number of views its trailer gets. More impressively, YouTube has produced its own superstars—everyday people who have become rich and/or famous exclusively through the site—with some of them making millions annually thanks to their success. We’re not even exaggerating! These are 25 Most Loved and Successful YouTubers.

Submitted by YouTuber MineFall MG fnaf timmy mangle


BBQ Pit Boys (Over 600,000 Subscribers)

BBQ Pit Boys

Source and Image: YouTube

YouTube hosts a lot of food channels, but if you want the best tips for your next BBQ adventure, there’s no channel like the BBQ Pit Boys. This is the spot for old-school barbecue and grilling recipes to serve up at your next pit, family picnic, or tailgate party.


Superwoman (8.5 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

Superwoman, whose birth name is Lilly Saini Singh, carries the title of the most famous YouTuber of Indian descent. Since she started in October 2010, her videos have received more than a billion views, and her channel has reached 8.5 million subscribers and counting. Additionally, Lilly is one of the highest paid YouTubers, ranking eighth on Forbes’s list of the World’s Highest Paid YouTube Stars, earning a reported $3 million in 2015.


Limitless EXP (947K Subscribers)

Limitless EXP

Source and Image: YouTube

Vincent Valentine is one of the coolest and most honest pranksters online, and if you’ve ever watched any of his videos, you’ve probably noticed he never sets up pranks to get views, as many pranksters have been accused of doing. The Las Vegas–based YouTuber has nearly a million subscribers on his main channel, Limitless EXP, and also has a vlog where he posts videos about his personal “mythology.”


Kassem G (2.6 Million Subscribers)

Kassem G

Source and Image: YouTube

Kassem G is a popular Web-based comedian and the most famous YouTuber of Middle Eastern descent. Born in Jordan to a Jordanian father and Egyptian mother, he moved to Florida when he was four and grew up in California. With more than 2.6 million subscribers and nearly half a billion views, Kassem G has posted several hundred videos on his channel, with the California On, Going Deep, and Street Music web series being some of the most watched in the States.


SkyDoesMinecraft (11.9 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

Twenty-three-year-old Adam Dahlberg is a massively popular Minecraft YouTuber who originally became popular as part of a Minecraft team called Team Crafted. Just as Michael Jackson left the Jackson 5 and Justin Timberlake left NSYNC for glorious solo careers, in 2014 Adam stated on Twitter that he was leaving the group to go solo. With nearly 12 million subscribers to his YouTube channel in less than two years we all agree he made the right choice.


Bethany Mota (9.9 Million Subscribers)

Bethany Mota

Source and Image: YouTube

Bethany Mota is a YouTuber from California who posts videos about her biggest passion: fashion and style. She started her stellar online career by uploading videos about outfit ideas, makeup and hair  tutorials, recipes, and DIY ideas. After her immense success on YouTube, she ended up on Dancing with the Stars, where she reached the finals, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, especially after taking into account how her channel has nearly 10 million hard-core subscribers who would probably vote for her no matter what.


Zoella (10.4 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

Zoe Elizabeth Sugg is an English fashion and beauty vlogger who goes by the YouTube nickname Zoella. To get an idea of how huge this young lady has become, back in November 2014, her debut novel broke the record for highest first-week sales for a first-time novelist since Nielsen BookScan began compiling such records in 1998. Yep, she even broke J. K. Rowling’s records.


Markiplier (12.4 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

Mark Edward Fischbach might just be another name to you, but his YouTube channel under the pseudonym Markiplier has attracted more than 12 million dedicated subscribers and more than 4 billion views. What does Fischbach do that he has so many fans, you ask? Well, he plays survival horror and action video games and sometimes comments on them, while having fun! Not bad, huh?


Ray William Johnson (10.6 Million Subscribers)

Ray William Johnson

Source and Image: YouTube

Ray William Johnson is an American comedian, writer, and rapper, who is probably better known for his YouTube channel and web series, Equals Three. As of April 2016, the channel has reached more than 3 billion views and almost 11 million subscribers, making it one of the most viewed channels on YouTube.


Furious Pete (2.8 Millions Subscribers)

Furious Pete

Source and Image: YouTube

Peter Czerwinski, better known by his stage name Furious Pete, is a Polish-Canadian competitive eater. Furious Pete currently holds nine Guinness World Records in eating, but he became famous worldwide thanks to his YouTube channel, which has reached nearly 3 million subscribers—more than any other competitive eater in the world.


VitalyzdTv (8.9 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, better known by his YouTube username VitalyzdTv, is a Russian-born YouTube personality and the undisputed champion of pranks. If you’re a soccer fan then you probably remember him for entering the field and interrupting the 2014 World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina. His main channel videos, as of April 2016 had garnered more than 1.1 billion views and more than 8.7 million subscribers, while his vlog channel has more than 107 million views and 1.6 million subscribers.


El Rubius (17.5 Millions Subscribers)

El Rubius 

Source and Image: YouTube

El Rubius is a Spanish YouTuber whose channel primarily consists of gameplay and video blogs. His channel is currently the fourth most subscribed to and the second most successful in Spanish, with more than 17 million subscribers and 3.5 billion views.


TheFineBros (13.8 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

Benny Fine and Rafi Fine are the guys behind The Fine Brothers YouTube channel and the creators of the extremely successful React series. In React’s various iterations (Kids React, Teens React, Elders React, and YouTubers React), TheFineBros show viral videos to subjects and film their reactions. Many consider TheFineBros to be two of the first YouTube stars because they have been creating online content since 2004. Their channel has more than 14 million subscribers.


Epic Rap Battles of History (13.1 Million Subscribers)

Epic Rap Battles of History

Source and Image: YouTube

Epic Rap Battles of History is a YouTube series created by Peter Shukoff (a.k.a. Nice Peter) and Lloyd Ahlquist (a.k.a. EpicLLOYD). The series pits famous historical and pop culture figures, real and fictional, against each other in a rap battle format. As of April 2016, Epic Rap Battles of History has more than 13.1 million subscribers and over 2.7 billion views.


KSI (12+ Millions Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

KSI is an English comedian and YouTube personality who will occasionally rap if he’s in the mood to. KSI became famous thanks to his FIFA gameplay/commentary videos and his obsession with soccer. His YouTube channel currently has more than 12 million subscribers.


Smosh (22 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla are the American Web-based sketch-comedy duo known as Smosh. Their channel has attracted more than 21 million subscribers and has attained an incredible 5.4 billion views. The good news for fans is that they are currently expanding to include others to handle animated, foreign-language, and gaming videos, while—as you may have noticed—their sketches already include more actors.


PrankvsPrank (10 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

Jesse M. Wellens and his girlfriend, Jeana Smith, had the brilliant idea back in 2007 to play pranks on each other and then post the videos of them on YouTube. These videos usually show how they prepare to prank each other and of course record their reaction, which is usually very funny. With more than 1.7 billion views and nearly 10 million subscribers, the happy couple is quite rich as well these days.


TheWillyrex (7 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

The Willyrex is the YouTube username of the Spanish videogame commentator Guillermo Diaz, who is known for his Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto V, Happy Wheels, and Minecraft videos. With nearly 7 million subscribers, Willyrex does nothing more than play certain video games with his fellow YouTube friends in front of his millions of fans.


VanossGaming (over 16 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

Evan Fong, whom you most likely know as VanossGaming, is the most famous Canadian YouTuber and one of the most popular videogame commentators in the world. He focuses almost exclusively on gaming culture and usually offers helpful gameplay tips in his videos. Since starting his channel in 2011, Fong has gained more than 16 million subscribers, and his videos have reached and begun to surpass an astonishing 4 billion views.


Yuya (14 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

Mariand Castrejon, best known as Yuya, posts about all things beauty on her super successful channel and is considered an icon among the youth in her native Mexico. She currently ranks as one of the most subscribed to YouTubers in history with more than 14 million subscribers.


JennaMarbles (15 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

You might not know her as Jenna N. Mourey, but you definitely know her by the pseudonym Jenna Marbles. This American YouTube personality, vlogger, and comedian is considered the “queen” of YouTube. With more than 15 million subscribers, her channel is the most subscribed to on YouTube operated by a female.


TheDiamondMinecart (10 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

Daniel Middleton, widely known as TheDiamondMinecart, is one of the most popular British YouTubers. He’s known for uploading many videos (he has nearly two thousand videos and counting), and his channel has more than 10 million subscribers. He is considered by many to be the “king” of Minecraft on YouTube.


HolaSoyGermán (27 Millions Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

HolaSoyGermán is a Chilean YouTube comedian, musician, and writer, among other things. When he’s not making funny videos, he is producing songs with his band, which you can find on his YouTube channel. He is the second most successful YouTuber in the world at the moment with more than 27 million subscribers and the top non-English-speaking YouTuber in history.


Ryan Higa (16 Million Subscribers)

Ryan Higa

Source and Image: YouTube

Ryan Higa, also known by his YouTube username Nigahiga, is a Japanese-American YouTuber and comedian. His hilariously funny videos have been viewed over 2.6 billion times and as of April 2016, his YouTube channel has reached over 16 million subscribers.


PewDiePie (43 Million Subscribers)


Source and Image: YouTube

YouTube personality PewDiePie is a Swedish comedian and the undisputed king of YouTube. With more than 43 million subscribers, he’s by far the most famous and rich YouTuber in the world. Back in 2014 his channel surpassed Rihanna’s Vevo account on YouTube to become the most viewed channel of all time. As of April 2016, his channel had received over 11.5 billion views.

April | Special Days of the Year

The month of April has universal significance as being the month that welcomes the season of spring. April’s origin has it ranked as the second month of the year by ancient Romans before King Numa Pompilius came along and shoved Ianuarius (January) and Februarius (February) at the beginning of the year, leaving poor old April to languish at fourth place in the calendar. Not even a place on the podium for April. Further research indicates that the most metal name April ever held was given by, unsurprisingly, the Finnish, who in the past referred to it as the “slash-and-burn-[month]”. This was in reference to the practice of burning sections of forest to make fields. So lets take a look at some special days in April!

April 1st – One Cent Day. I vow that what I am about to tell you is not a joke, because I never joke on April Fool’s Day if I can help it. April 1st is One Cent Day, which has borne Abraham Lincoln’s face since 1909, and costs the U.S Mint 2 cents to make. If you fall victim to some kind of “penny glued to the floor” trick today, just remember that it’s that coins day to shine.

April 2nd – Ferret Day. According to the American Ferret Association, today is the day to focus on “ferret issues such as welfare, care, nutrition and responsible ownership”. But once you have finished that, I suggest that you go and play with a ferret immediately, their preferred method of playing is called the “weasel war dance” and involves hopping around and bumping into things.

April 3rd – Find A Rainbow Day. Today you are not looking for the pot of gold, but rather the rainbow itself, Find a Rainbow day falls on April 3rd every year because this is the most likely time to see rainbows with the rains of spring and the sky getting brighter. They even form at night, if the moonlight is bright enough, though they are usually just white and are more commonly referred to as moonbows.

April 4th – Walk Around Things Day. The name is meant to be taken both literally and figuratively. Today you must avoid physical obstacles by walking around them, but also avoid uncomfortable situations like getting out of helping a friend to move, by walking around the situation verbally. This day was obviously created by somebody who thought that a) trying to get out of an awkward situation just isn’t tricky enough, and b) as a species we tend to walk into things an awful lot.

April 5th – Deep Dish Pizza Day. Deep Dish Pizza Day is yet another day where we can celebrate pizza, this time a variation that was invented in Chicago in 1943.  With a much thicker crust than its flatbread counterpart, deep dish pizza is baked in a pan similar to a cake pan, to allow room for all those beautiful toppings.

April 6th – Teflon Day. On Teflon Day we salute the accidental invention of of polytetrafluoroethylene (more commonly known as Teflon) on April 6th 1938. Its inventor, Dr. Roy Plunkett, was inducted into the Inventors’ Hall of Fame in 1985 for trying to make a CFC coolant and getting distracted by the slippery white substance blocking his equipment. But your refrigerator’s loss was your frying pan’s gain.

April 7th – No Housework Day. A personal favourite, is that day when you don’t have to feel guilty when you convince yourself that the giant pile of clothes on your floor can wait another day, it’s practically mandatory. Or, if you are the kind of person who has morals, perhaps you could help somebody else celebrate this No Housework Day by doing a few chores for someone who deserves break.

April 8th – Empanada Day. The name means to wrap in bread, and just about anything can come wrapped in that bread, because empanadas have possibly the most varieties of anything, ever. They can be sweet, they can be savoury, you can have them for lunch, they can be spicy, they can be vegetarian, they can come with chicken, you can have them for breakfast, they can come with beef; basically if you can wrap it in pastry you can have it as an empanada. Originating in Portugal and the north west of Spain, empanadas are believed to be a derivative of Indian samosas. So go out today and eat an empanada, if you’ve never tried one then make today the day you try this tasty pastry.

April 9th – Name Yourself Day. Ever wonder what your life would have been like if your mother hadn’t changed her mind at the last second and called you Moonbeam? Well today you can find out. Name Yourself Day is celebrated every April 9th,  and invites you to try out a new name for 24 hours. Just don’t choose Moonbeam, I’ve got dibs this year.

April 10th – Encourage A Young Writer Day. Today we celebrate the future of all things literary, though it sounds suspiciously like something a well-meaning English teacher thought up. However, extensive research has found nothing on the official origins of this date, so there’s nothing to stop me from taking a guess. So if you happen to come across somebody who is young, and could feasibly be a writer, then tousle their hair and say something encouraging, because we’re all counting on you to make sure the next great novel is better than Twilight.

April 11th – Teach Children To Save Day. The American Bankers Association have sponsored this day since its inception in 1997. Volunteers from the banking world give talks at schools across America about the importance of saving money from an early age.

April 12th – Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. Don’t let the name fool you, not only can you grill cheese sandwiches, you can fry them, make them in a toaster oven, or even on the barbecue. Eat a grilled cheese sandwich today, and if you accidentally get burned, don’t blame us.

April 13th – Scrabble Day. Triple letter scores and rare consonants abound as today is Scrabble Day. Scrabble started out life as Criss-Crosswords, a variation of the earlier invented Lexiko by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938. Ten years later Connecticut resident James Brunot bought the rights to Criss-Crosswords and simplified the rules, changing the name to Scrabble. Brunot’s family actually lost money when they started to distribute the game, and so the rights were sold in 1952 to the company that made Scrabble a household name Slechow and Righter. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise the name, because after a business world game of musical ‘buy-the-company’, the company went bankrupt after being bought by Coleco and Hasbro ended up owning the game.

April 14th – Reach As High As You Can Day. Today is all about pursuing your dreams – Achieving your goals & actively trying to make your dream a reality. Have you always wanted to write a book? Maybe start a band and get famous? Do you want to start a business and be the world’s sexiest china dolphin salesperson? Today is the day to make it happen, and when you have achieved your goal, remember where you got this sage advice. We do take cheques, but cash is preferred.

April 15th – Take a Wild Guess Day. Created by Jim Barber, specifically to coincide with tax day in the U.S., April 15th. While we hope that those doing their taxes neglect to take the spirit of the day to heart, the more sensible of us can use this day to just be really silly when somebody says “Guess what?”.

April 16th – Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day. Fairly self-explanatory, but I think it’s only really appropriate for office workers and those unlucky souls in retail. Your pyjama bottoms may be comfy, but can you imagine the pain of a cut or abrasion caused by the fact that those same pyjama bottoms didn’t quite cover the places that your uniform does?

April 17th – Haiku Day. Haikus began life as a poetic abstract that introduces a longer, collection of linked poems; by 1644 it had become an independent, legitimate, art form of its own. Here is our own attempt at a Haiku, and don’t judge too harshly because they almost never rhyme and don’t seem to have a hint of a rhythm:

April seventeenth

Is the day we celebrate

Haiku poetry

Okay so it’s not exactly Shakespeare, but today you’ve got to count your syllables because if it isn’t 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables then you’ll look pretty silly at that haiku battle you’ve got coming up.

April 18th – Animal Crackers Day. These cute little treats have been in production since 1902, and today we celebrate that little monkey that helped Ben Affleck seduce Liv Tyler in Armageddon, and all 36 of his tasty friends.

April 19th – Hanging Out Day. Don’t let the name fool you, this kind of hanging out does not involve your Xbox, a bunch of friends, and a very large bag of chips. Instead it involves hanging out your laundry rather than using your dryer. Founded in 1995, Hanging Out Day is meant to highlight the energy that we use on a daily basis, and to cut it by one appliance. Since electric clothes dryers can count for up to 10% of a household’s energy usage, and sunshine and wind cost the planet nothing, dryers were selected as the appliance to be turned off. So hang out your laundry and help to save the world, one laundry load at a time.

April 20th – Chinese Language Day. Mandarin has the most native speakers, 955 million as of 2010, that’s 145 of the world’s population. So today learn a simple Mandarin phrase and say it incessantly till everyone around knows what it means. That’s teaching your friends, a little at a time.

April 21st – Kindergarten Day. You have the perfect excuse to nap, finger paint and sing songs about various barnyard animals. The first kindergartens to open and deal with all those toddler tantrums were in 18th century Bavaria. And while the name literally translates to “child garden”, it was coined by a German man, Friedrich Frobel, who intended the name to be metaphorical, as the idea behind kindergarten is to allow children to grow into social creatures naturally.

April 22nd – Jelly Bean Day. These tasty treats come in literally any flavour you can think of, so there’s something to please everyone. Jelly beans have been around since the mid-19th century, when people used to send them to soldiers during the American Civil War.

April 23rd – Talk Like Shakespeare Day. Unlike the oddly formed haiku, April 23rd is the day we talk like Shakespeare. Iambic pentameter and lots of telling the air around you exactly how you feel and exactly what you’re going to do about it.

April 24th – Pigs In A Blanket Day. Today you can celebrate in two main ways, you can a) eat a sausage wrapped in some kind of croissant or pastry, or b) you can eat the British version of pigs in blankets: a small sausage wrapped in bacon. Various version of pigs in a blanket are found in and around eastern Europe, where they are called “sausage in dough” in Russia, and “sausage in a dressing gown” in Germany.

April 25th – DNA Day. On April 25th we salute James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin, and Maurice Wilkins, who on this day in 1953, published their first papers on the discovery of DNA and its double helix formation. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) can also be referred to as the “building blocks of life”, since this molecule features in all known living organisms and a number of viruses.  There has been controversy over the discovery of DNA since the single female on the list, Rosalind Franklin, was only recognised for her contributions to the scientific discovery after she died in 1958. Her male colleagues were awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1962 for the discovery of DNA.

April 26th – Pretzel Day. Whether you like them crunchy and by the handful, or soft and big enough to fill you up, celebrate the knotted bread that can trace its origins as far back as 610 AD. There are many different accounts of the origin of the humble pretzel, but most agree that they held religious significance within Catholicism over a thousand years ago. One version of the pretzels inception states that they began life as a treat given to children who learned their prayers. And a Germanic folk story involves desperate bakers inventing them when they were held hostage by “dignatories”.

April 27th – Tell A Story Day. You know how there’s always that one person you know who can talk and talk about the most inane details of their lives? And no matter how hard you try you just cannot seem to escape the incessant boredom? Well April 27th is Tell A Story Day, so you have to put up with it. More fun ways to celebrate Tell A Story Day include reading a story to someone younger than you, going to the local library and taking part in the various activities there, or saying hello to your grandparents and just waiting for the stories of way back when.

April 28th – Blueberry Pie Day. Celebrate with a big slice of blueberry pie and the hope that since it’s a holiday, the calories won’t count. Blueberry pies have been eaten in America since the first settlers arrived in the 16th century.  Blueberry pie is considered to be the easiest fruit pie to make because the blueberries themselves require no preparation besides a quick wash. But the people who think that bake pies all the time, so don’t feel bad if you burn yours.

April 29th – Zipper Day. The day we appreciate the simple clasping mechanism that keeps our jeans closed, our dresses proper, and prevents all of our stuff from falling out of various bags. Elias Howe patented a precursor to the zipper in 1851, under the much less catchy name of “Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure”.  At least 64 years and four additional engineers contributed to the debut of the modern zipper in 1925, where it was used for fastening boots and tobacco pouches. By 1930 zippers were used on children’s clothing because of how easy they are to use.

April 30th – Bugs Bunny Day. On April 30th we salute [one of] animations oldest and wiliest characters, it’s Bugs Bunny Day. Bugs Bunny was originally voiced by Mel “man of a thousand voices” Blanc, who also voiced, most notably, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester the Cat, Speedy Gonzales, Pepé Le Pew, Wile E. Coyote, and the Tasmanian Devil. Originally Bugs Bunny was white, but by the third cartoon to feature him, the animators had settled on the iconic grey colour. The “wascally wabbit” gained his immense popularity during World War II, apparently because of his free attitude. However, an incredibly racist cartoon was made in 1944 featuring Bugs Bunny, since many animation studios pitted their characters against the likes of Hitler and Mussolini at that time. The cartoon has since been pulled from distribution. If you’re wondering who they pitted Bugs against, it was the Japanese.

Please check back next month for the special days in May!

May | Special Days of the Year

Known in Britain as the National Smile Month, May is the door to summer, and with it comes beer-gardens, BBQs, and kick-a-bouts at the park – a good reason for anybody to smile. May is a pretty unique month as during any given year no other month will start and end with the same days that May does. It was called Tri-Milchi by the Anglo Saxons for the knowledge that lush, green grass lead to milking cows three times a day! However, May was originally named after Maia, the Greek Goddess of Fertility, and this month celebrates the products of fertility with Baby Day on the 2nd of May. But past Baby Day May sure holds some real gems in the special calendar, including one of my personal favorites – Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day! There are many wacky and crazy days in May so let’s get started with…

1st May – Batman Day. The caped crusader made his first appearance on the 1st of May 1939 in Detective Comics Issue #27, which means that today he is 77 years old! So today don your cape and mask and become the symbol your city needs.

2nd May – Baby Day. Yup, today is Baby Day. They’re pink, squishy, noisy, and occasionally cute. But more importantly they’re the next generation. They’re not really great at doing anything now, but give them a little time and they could be the world’s next genius.

3rd May – Two Different Colored Shoes Day. After becoming tired of the monotony and routine of day-to-day life, Dr Arlene Kaiser created what has become a day of celebrating the courage taken to step outside your routine. It’s also a great excuse to be your normal, quirky and colorful self in a grey corporate world.

4th May – Star Wars Day. Go without saying, this one should, but say it for you I will. May the fourth be with you. Today is the day that all wings report in, that Order 66 is executed, the day that there is an awakening in The Force. Kick back and enjoy a great excuse (as if you need one) to watch something – anything – Star Wars. Just keep your lightsaber handy, you never know when you’ll need it.

5th May – Cartoonists Day. This day celebrates the first ever publication of a cartoon, The Yellow Kid by Richard F. Outcault, in 1895. Since all those years ago cartoons have seeped into our lives through every media outlet possible. If it weren’t for The Yellow Kid all those years ago we probably wouldn’t be watching Iron Man and Captain America slugging it out on the big-screen.

6th May – Beverage Day. This day celebrates the humble beverage. The lush liquid with which we wash down our meals. For me, Beverage Day is all about that first beer-garden beer, but for you it can be about any beverage you’d love to gulp down.

7th May – Roast Leg of Lamb Day. Crispy, brown, and crusted in aromatic herbs, a leg of lamb is a wonderful thing when roasted. Today is an easy day to celebrate and a tasty one too!

8th May – No Socks Day. Today is day all about freedom of movement… for your toes. That’s right people, ditch the socks, go barefoot, and feel the freedom of the wind upon your feet.

9th May – Lost Sock Memorial Day. What a perfect day to follow No Socks Day. Today we spare a thought for the fallen brothers of our sock drawers, and those lonely single socks sitting there without their companions. Missing socks, you are gone but not forgotten.

10th May – Stay Up All Night Day. On the surface of it all, this day is about rebelling against sleep, capturing your youth, and pulling a legendary all-nighter. But it’s worthwhile thinking of those who have no option but to stay up all night: the taxi driver who takes you home in the early hours of the morning, the clerks at the 24-hour corner shop, and the doctors treating patients until the rise of the dawn.

11th May – Eat What You Want Day. For some of us, this is every day. But for those who are always counting calories and stressing about diets, today is the day just to forget about all of it and eat what you want. Just go all out: burgers, chips, cookies and milkshakes – eat them all!

12th May – Limerick Day. Named after the Irish town of Limerick,

This type of rhyme is as solid as brick,

Today we celebrate,

It’s really great,

The humble rhyming Limerick.

I tried, okay?

13th May – Leprechaun Day. They’re tiny, green, Irish, and they’re guarding that magical pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow. So if you’re out and about today and you see a rainbow you better get chasing it – because there’s no doubt that the Leprechauns are sat on that gold waiting for you!

14th May – Dance Like A Chicken Day. Created in the 1950’s by Swiss Accordion player Werner Thomas and originally called ‘The Duck Dance’, no wedding or school disco is complete without a good old Chicken Dance. So bust out your chicken-moves and get in chicken-shape for the summer!

15th May – Chocolate Chip Day. You get them in pretty much anything sweet and baked – muffins, cookies, brownies – chocolate chips have lived in the desert world ever since making their appearance first in cookies in 1937. So grab a cookie, muffin or brownie and enjoy the divine power of the chocolate chip!

16th May – Sea Monkey Day. If you don’t know what a Sea Monkey is, then it’s probably safe to say you grew up in the digital age. Developed in 1957 one year after the popularisation of Ant Farms, Sea Monkeys were sold everywhere as the ‘instant pet’ that you’d take home in a powdered form, put into water, and then sit back and watch as they swam around like crazy! So there’s no better way to celebrate then getting yourself a packet of Sea Monkeys and watching them come to life in front of your very own eyes.

17th May – Pack Rat Day. This is a day that celebrates our inner-hoarder, and encourages us to give a second thought to throwing away things that might seem like rubbish – as you never know whether or not they’re hidden treasures.

18th May – No Dirty Dishes Day. As I write this whilst looking over at the pile of dishes needing to be done, I can’t help but wish today way the 18th of May. Today is a day that’s all about going 24 hours without washing your dirty dishes. So let them pile up in style to celebrate No Dirty Dishes Day!

19th May – May Ray Day. Today is all about celebrating the first rays of summer. Go to a park for the day or have some friends over for a BBQ – just make sure you soak up those May Day Rays today… unless it’s raining!

20th May – Pick Strawberries Day. Today, much like the day before is a day all about celebrating the coming of summer. As everybody knows, with summer comes the re-emergence of ‘Pick Your Own’ fruit farms, the king of which is by far the ‘Pick Your Own’ Strawberry farms. So today get outside, find your local PYO, and enjoy the heavenly delights of the most delicious fresh-picked, local fruit.

21st May – Rapture Party Day. This is a day that’s all about living life as though the world was about to end. For some of us that might mean partying until you drop, whereas for others it might mean a simple day on the couch watching your favorite films and eating your favorite junk-food. Regardless of what it means to you make sure you live this day as though it was your last day on Earth – because you never know, it very well might be!

22nd May – Goth Day. Goths are kind of like the Sith of the fashion world. They gravitate towards the dark side and enjoy black clothing. Why not dress up in your darkest black clothes and embrace your inner Goth today.

23rd May – Turtle Day. I think I speak for just about everybody when I say that I like turtles! Today is a day for celebrating these wonderful creatures that have lived on our Earth in one way or another for 220 million years! A great way to celebrate is to get online, find out some cool turtle facts and tell them to your friends. Like this one: did know that turtles can breathe through their butts?

24th May – Brother’s Day. Today is about the bond between brothers, and cherishing that bond and celebrating just how special it is. Over the years there have been many famous brothers including the Kennedy brothers and the Wright Brothers. So today give your bro a call and tell him just how much he means to you.

25th May – Towel Day. This day acts as a tribute to author Douglas Adams, who wrote famed novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s a rather easy day to celebrate and it’s done by taking a towel with your wherever you go, be it work, school, or just to the shops. The only thing that’s important on this day is that you don’t forget to bring a towel!

26th May – Blueberry Cheesecake Day. I am a guy with a sweet-tooth, so I can’t deny blueberry cheesecake the honour it deserves. Today I suggest everybody celebrates alongside me by stuffing your face with blueberry cheesecake!

27th May – Sun Screen Day. Although synthetic sunscreen has existed since the late 1920’s, in early times such as those of Ancient Greece people would use many different things as sunscreen – including olive oil! Today is a day about raising awareness of the health benefits that sunscreen brings to our lives – and ironically coincides with Don’t Fry Day which is all about applying sunscreen!

28th May – Hamburger Day. Hamburgers can trace their lineage all the way back to the late 1800’s before they became hugely popular in 1904. Since then they have become the staple of takeaway food and come in many sizes and shapes, so it’s safe to say you won’t be far away from a place where they have all the burgers you could want!

29th May – Put A Pillow On Your Fridge Day. This bizarre holiday can actually trace its roots back to the early days of the Industrial Revolution, where families would place a piece of cloth either on or in their larder in order to bring prosperity and good luck to their household. Although this day died out, it became revived with people choosing to place a pillow on their fridge rather than cloth on their larder. So today your pillow becomes a multi-purpose tool and it brings you good luck. Just make sure to post your pictures online and spread the joy of this wonderful day with everyone!

30th May – Water A Flower Day. This is a day all about bringing a little color and life to our world. Without plants that flower it’s safe to say that our world would consist of far more barren tones. So brighten up your garden and your lives and water a flower today!

31st May – Save Your Hearing Day. When you’re young you tend to often turn everything up to 11 and not think about the ramifications. That’s why today is celebrated with something called the 60:60 rule. This is about listening to your MP3 or watching TV at 60% of the volume for 60 minutes less. For such a small sacrifice it may have a very large pay-out when you’re older and your hearing is immaculate.

Please check back next month for the special days in June!

June | Special Days of the Year

The month of June is one of the four months that contain only 30 days. June 1st brings with it new seasons, with meteorological summer beginning in the Northern Hemisphere, and meteorological winter beginning in the Southern Hemisphere. The month of June, like all the best superheroes, has several origin stories. One theory states that June was named after the Roman goddess Juno, wife to Jupiter and goddess of marriage. Another theory states that June got its name from the Latin word “iuniores” which roughly translates to “younger”, since it follows the month of May which is rumoured to have been named after the Latin word for “elders” (which is “maiores” if anyone is interested).

The days of June are a varied bunch, with three separate days devoted to eating your vegetables, and another five devoted to deliciously sweet treats that are best eaten in moderation. Whatever the celebration, from Dare Day (June 1st) to Meteor Day (June 30th), we have all you need to spread a little random joy in your corner of the world.

1st June – Dare Day. Today is the day to dare yourself, or someone else, to do something crazy. Just make it legal and preferably safe! We can’t afford a lawsuit because you decided that dodging traffic was something you just had to do today.

2nd June – Rocky Road Day. Chocolate, marshmallows and nuts. What’s not to love about this day? You can eat it as a candy bar, you can eat it in delicious oddly shaped chunks, and above all, you can eat it in ice cream. Don’t worry about all the extra calories though, because we have several days of healthy eating coming our way to make up for all the rocky road related treats we can eat today (it’s practically mandatory).

3rd June – Repeat Day. 3rd June – Repeat Day. 3rd June – Repeat- Okay I think you get the idea. Today is Repeat Day, and because it’s Repeat Day, you have to repeat things over and over again… Because it’s Repeat Day. Now, not all the things you do in your day warrant a repeat, you can probably leave off the extra tooth brushing, if only for your poor gums. But why not try watching the same film a couple of times? Maybe you missed something the first time. Or you could really annoy people by repeating everything you say like Foghorn Leghorn. Like Foghorn Leghorn. Like F- I’ll let myself out.

4th June – Cheese Day. Cheese pre-dates recorded history. How cool is that? Archaeologists theorise that cheese has been around since about 8000BC. Everyone made cheese, so nobody is really sure where it originated. There is evidence of early cheese making in Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East. In England they roll it down hills and chase after it. Celebrate today by ordering everything with cheese!

5th June – World Environment Day. This day was started in 1974 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Each year has its own theme to do with the environment and how we, as a species, can improve it. This year’s theme is “Illegal trade in Wildlife”, which is not as punchy as last years “Seven Billion Dreams; One Planet; Consume With Care”, but catchiness is not usually at the top of the list when it comes to bettering our environment and undoing the damage humans have wrought upon the world since the industrial revolution. If the environment and preventing illegal animal trade is not something you want to celebrate today, just keep in mind that poaching has increased by over 7,700% since 2007. We have entered a period of mass extinction that is even more deadly than the meteor that helped kill off the last of the dinosaurs, and part of that is due to the exponential rise in illegal wildlife trades.

6th June – Yo-Yo Day. The humble yo-yo can trace its roots back to ancient Greece; we know this because of a number of vases and plates that can be found with pictures of children playing with them. But, enough about the peculiar record keeping of the ancient Greeks, and onto the 1920’s, when the modern yo-yo (the kind you can do tricks with) was designed by Pedro Flores. Flores was a Fillipino immigrant who redesigned the humble “bandalore” into a more trick friendly “yo-yo”. Thanks to him you can go “around the world” without moving an inch. Celebrate by trying out a trick, or, failing that, watching the pros online.

7th June – Chocolate Ice Cream Day. Yet another day lauding the beautiful foods that keep gyms in business. Chocolate Ice Cream Day falls at the beginning of summer (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere), so this is a perfect opportunity to go out into the sunshine and enjoy some tasty chocolate ice cream.

8th June – Best Friends Day. Today is all about your best friend, be they animal or human. Spend some time with your best friend today and spoil each other. Or hurl insults at each other if that is more your style.

9th June – Donald Duck Day. Good old Donald Duck made his debut in 1934 in a cartoon entitled “The Wise Little Hen”. Walt Disney’s previous creation Mickey Mouse had become a role model for many children, and so he needed a new character to showcase just how funny a short temper can be. However, Donald Duck is not just Mickey’s angry friend, he happens to be the Disney character that has featured in the most Disney films. He is also the most published comic book character outside of the superhero genre.

10th June – Ballpoint Pen Day. The original ballpoint pen was devised in 1888 by John J. Loud. However this first incarnation of everyone’s favourite chew toy was full of problems and the patent held by Loud eventually lapsed. It was not until 1938, when Hungarian newspaper editor Laszlo Biro got fed up of ink smudges and refilling fountain pens, and enlisted his brother, a chemist, to help him come up with the perfect kind of ink to couple with the ball and socket design, that the world at large was introduced to the humble biro. When ballpoints came to America, in 1945, they were priced at $12.50 each.

11th June – Corn On The Cob Day. This staple food is by far the most difficult to eat politely. Apparently is has caused many an etiquette expert to hang up her pearls in dismay and quit telling rich people how to avoid insulting other rich people. Apparently eating it with your hands is permissible, but using a knife or spoon to scrape off the kernels for easier consumption is preferred. I say cover it in butter and try not to burn your fingers, because corn on the cob is the perfect side dish for a BBQ and June is a perfect time to have one.

12th June – Loving Day. On this day in 1967 the Supreme Court struck down all anti-miscegenation laws, which stated that interracial couples were not allowed to marry. It began when Mildred, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, got married in Washington DC and returned home to Richmond, Virginia. Virginia was one of the remaining 16 states of America that still outlawed interracial marriage, so they had to plead guilty to “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace & dignity of the Commonwealth”, because history is full of idiots. They avoided having to go to jail for being in love by agreeing to leave Virginia, but the sheer stupidity of the laws there urged them to take the matter to the Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and after a court case hilariously entitled “Loving vs. Virginia”, they won the right to be married in the last 16 states that were dragging their heels. The Lovings returned to Virginia and, to the surprise and dismay of a lot of bigots, the world did not end.

13th June – Sewing Machine Day.  The first attempt to mechanise sewing happened in 1755, and the first “sewing machine” was used mainly to sew saddles and canvas ship sails. It was not until 1842 that the sewing machines that we are familiar with came into being. There are seven billion people in this world, and most of them, being unable to grow a thick enough coat of fur, need clothes. Imagine how hard this task would be if they had never invented the sewing machine.

14th June – Pop Goes The Weasel Day. You know the tune, even if you’ve forgotten the words. What other song gives you the excuse to make the “pop” noise? This nursery rhyme dates back to 1850’s England, where it seemed to have come into being in two separate parts. The tune began life as a simple, and very popular, dance song, and the lyrics were added two years later.

15th June – Smile Power Day. Smiles are universal. All human beings (barring the most tragic ones) smile. Smiles can be used to dispel tension, put people at ease, and are, evolutionarily speaking, a good indicator that the human smiling at you isn’t about to steal your wallet and rip your ears off (unlike chimpanzees, who smile to show you their teeth and warn you that they might be about to use them). However, culturally speaking, smiles can mean many different things around the world. For example, in parts of Asia people smile when they are embarrassed. And if you smile too much at people in the former Soviet Union, they will think you are a dishonest person. If you don’t happen to live in the former Soviet Union, spread the joy today with the power of a smile.

16th June – Fresh Veggies Day. Today you pay for all the chocolate and cheese that June has indulged you in. The good thing is that vegetables are about the healthiest thing around, packed with everything good for us just short of financial stability. Vegetables are essential for maintaining a well-balanced, healthy diet. And they taste great roasted or smothered in cheese.

17th June – Eat Your Veggies Day. Yesterday we rejoiced at the health benefits of the fresh vegetable, from humble carrot, to the just plain weird cauliflower. And today you have to eat them. Yes, even the broccoli.

18th June – Splurge Day. Created in 1994 by Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith, Splurge Day is all about treating yourself. Take yourself out for an expensive meal. Buy yourself those shoes/that game/that giant pizza you always wanted but couldn’t get because you’re sensible with money. Celebrate by indulging yourself, and don’t feel guilty about it!

19th June – World Sauntering Day. Nothing makes me happier than a day created out of spite. And here it is; World Sauntering Day was created in 1979 by W.T Rabe, because jogging had gotten popular in his neck of the woods and he hated it. He felt that these trendy new joggers did not take in enough of the world around them, so he decided to create a day devoted to wandering around slowly and taking in all the sights. He probably ate chocolate in front of gym windows as well, the legend.

20th June – Ice Cream Soda Day. This tasty beverage was invented in 1874 in Philadelphia by Robert McCay Green. The phrase “necessity is the mother of invention” is extremely applicable here, since Mr. Green ran out of ice for his soda and used the coldest thing he had on hand – ice cream. And the rest is history. Ice cream soda is popular around the world, in the U.K. they call it a “coke float”, and in Australia they call is a “spider” because of course they do.

21st June – Daylight Appreciation Day. In the Northern Hemisphere, June 21st is generally recognised as the summer solstice, the day with most hours of daylight. So in accordance with ancient Pagan tradition, we enjoy the sunshine all the way from 3am to 11pm. Spend today outdoors, getting a good dose of Vitamin D, avoiding housework and any other kind of work you have to be indoors to do.

22nd June – Chocolate Eclair Day. The name eclair is French, and means “flash of lightning”, the name was given to the delectable pastry because they could be eaten so quickly (in a flash). Chocolate eclairs are made with choux pastry, which is the only pastry that is made in a pan. Once the choux pastry is cooked it is hollow, and persons unknown back in nineteenth century France decided that that was just not good enough, so they filled it with cream and topped it with chocolate. And we thank them for it, though our waistlines might not!

23rd June – Pink Day. The color pink has been described by many of the great authors, from Homer to Lucretius, which is impressive since they didn’t actually name it “pink” until the 17th Century. Until the 17th Century “pink” was a verb that meant “to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern” (which is why they’re called “pinking shears”) and the color pink was always referred to as “rosy” or as a “pale red”. Now, you don’t have to dress in pink from head to toe today if you have a particular aversion to the color, but it sure would confuse a lot of people around you. Pink is the color people associate with: love, beauty, charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, childhood, femininity, and the romantic.

24th June – Pralines Day. Pralines are not just something they make on Masterchef to show off. They are a mixture of nuts and sugar syrup, and sometimes cream. The nuts can be ground or whole, the sugar syrup can be milky or pure caramel. There are commonly three main types of pralines. French pralines are simply almonds and caramelized sugar. American pralines are made with either pecans or hazelnuts, with a creamy sugar syrup. And Belgian pralines are just chocolatey, nutty, tiny parcels of heaven. If you’ve never tried anything more adventurous than a praline cookie (a cookie containing ground nuts) then indulge yourself and try all three!

25th June – Catfish Day. Today is not about celebrating those twisted individuals who make money off the lonely by pretending to be a hot, blonde, 23 year old. No, today dates back to 1987, when President Ronald Reagan decreed that the 25th of June was Catfish Day. I’m sure there was a discussion beforehand. Catfish are an excellent source of vitamin D and get their name from the prominent “barbels” on their face, giving them the appearance of having whiskers. Fish is an excellent alternative to meat and carries many health benefits, so you can have it deep fried and not feel so guilty.

26th June – Chocolate Pudding Day. We have finally come to the last food themed day of June, and what a day to go out on. Chocolate Pudding Day is celebrated by eating massive amounts of chocolate pudding, which can trace its origins all the way back to 1903, where it debuted in Mary Harris Frazer’s “Kentucky Receipt Book”. Buy it ready-made, or make it from scratch, either way this is the last day of June that you can stuff yourself silly with a food not meant to be consumed in great quantities.

27th June – Sunglasses Day. Just like our skin gets sunburn, so do our eyes. And sunburn to the eyes results in a big patch of your field of vision just disappearing and not coming back for a while. Like when a camera flash goes off. In cases of prolonged staring at the sun (thirty minutes), vision disturbances did not get better for 3 months. Buy yourself a pair of sunglasses, you’ll look cool and your eyes will thank you.

28th June – Paul Bunyan Day. You should all have heard of Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack whose best friend is Babe the Blue Ox. He is a staple of American folklore, though many experts have questioned the legitimacy of his origins as a folklore hero, arguing that he was simply a hero of “fakelore”, being a literary invention passed off as an older character whose origins lie in the oral tradition of storytelling. Either way, what a day to dress up like a lumberjack and paint the local cows blue. You could attempt to imitate some of his exploits today, but skating on a hot skillet with pats of butter on your feet is quite dangerous. We suggest getting to know some of the stories of this American icon.

29th June – Waffle Iron Day. Does your waffle iron sit dejected in your cupboard? Do you even own a waffle iron? Well today is the day to remedy that. Waffle irons have been around since the 14th Century, originating in the Netherlands and Belgium. And, while there have been a lot of days this June dedicated to stuffing yourself with delicacies or adding cheese to everything, today is different, you can have waffles as part of a healthy breakfast, safe in the knowledge that if it was good enough for the Vikings, then it’s good enough for you.

30th June – Meteor Day. The word meteor comes from the Greek word meteoros, which means high in the sky. Since most meteors occur from between 42 and 77 miles from the surface of the earth, this name is very fitting. Meteors shed glowing material once they come into contact with heated air particles in our atmosphere, creating the famous “tail”, and they come in orange, yellow, blue, red, and purple. The middle of summer is approaching and what better way to make the most of the warm evenings than by placing a blanket somewhere grassy and watching for a shooting star?

Please check back next month for the special days in July!

10 Fascinating Theories To Explain Déjà Vu

Déjà vu is the name given to the unsettling feeling we get when we feel we have been in the exact same situation before. For a few seconds, we are convinced that we have lived the moment previously—to the point where it almost feels like we can predict what is going to happen next. Then just as quickly as the bizarre feeling comes, it goes and we’re back to our normal reality.

Although an actual cause of déjà vu has yet to be confirmed by science, over 40 theories have been proposed to try to explain it. This list includes 10 of the most interesting and thought-provoking examples!

10 A ‘Mix-Up’ Of Senses And Memory


This hypothesis tries to explain the sensation of déjà vu by linking it to our sensory perspectives. A famous psychological experiment, the Grant et al study, shows that our memory is context dependent, meaning that we can recall information better when placed in the same environment in which we studied it.

This helps to explain déjà vu by showing how stimuli in the environment can easily provoke a memory. A certain sight or smell might trigger our subconscious mind to recall a time when we saw or heard the same thing.

This would also explain why the same déjà vu experiences can recur. When we remember something, it increases the strength of our neural pathways, meaning we are more likely to recall something which we repeatedly think about.

However, this theory doesn’t offer an explanation as to why déjà vu occurs when the person experiencing it doesn’t recognize any of the stimuli involved in the déjà vu.

9 Dual Processing


Similar to the previous theory, this hypothesis is another that involves memory acting incorrectly or using “higher processing.” When we originally perceive something, our brain places it into our short-term memory. If we continue to revise the processed information, it will eventually be transferred into our long-term memory where it is easier for us to retrieve.

Items stored in our short-term memory will be lost if we do not make an effort to fully encode them. (For example, we will only temporarily remember the price of an item we bought.)

This theory suggests that when we perceive something, our brain is simultaneously trying to encode the new memory into our long-term memory, thereby creating the uncomfortable illusion that we have experienced it before. This theory may be confusing because it doesn’t explain why the brain has timing errors in some moments but not others, although this could be due to a small malfunction in the brain that is common to us all.

8 Parallel Universe Theory


The idea that we live among millions of parallel universes containing millions of versions of ourselves carrying out our own lives with a diversity of different possibilities has always been a somewhat exciting thought. Déjà vu could actually contribute to this theory!

Believers in this theory claim that the human experience of déjà vu can be explained by considering the unsettling feeling of having lived a moment before as a “crossover” with a parallel universe. This would mean that whatever you’re doing while experiencing the déjà vu, a parallel version of you is doing it in a different universe simultaneously, therefore creating an alignment between the two universes!

Although intriguing, this theory is not backed with much scientific evidence, which makes it difficult to accept. However, the multiverse theory, which states that millions of universes form randomly side by side with only an exceptional few forming with the accessories to support life like ours, could help to assist this hypothesis.

7 Familiarity-Based Recognition

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When we recognize a stimulus in our environment, we are using our “recognition memory” which comes in two forms: familiarity and recollection.

Recollection memory is when we recall seeing something which we have seen before (such as recognizing someone who lives on your street in a local store). This is our brain retrieving and applying true information which we have encoded into our memory.

Familiarity-based recognition, however, is a little different. This is what happens when we believe we are seeing something we recognize, but we have no memory of it actually happening previously (such as seeing someone familiar in a local store but not being able to recall why we recognize them).

Déjà vu could be a form of familiarity-based recognition, which would explain why we have such strong feelings of recognition when we experience the déjà vu. This theory has also been psychologically tested by having participants look at a list of celebrity names and later a collection of celebrity photos. However, some of the photos were not included in the names given to the participants earlier.

Even so, the participants still showed faint recognition of the celebrities they could not identify solely through the photographs if their names had appeared on the list earlier. This could mean that déjà vu occurs when we have a faint memory of something happening previously, but the memory is not strong enough for us to recall where we remember it from.

6 The Hologram Theory


The hologram theory is the idea that our memories are formed like three-dimensional images, which means they have a structured frame network to them. This theory, proposed by Hermon Sno, suggests that the entire formation of a memory can be reconstructed by one element.

Therefore, if one stimulus in your environment (a sound, smell, etc.) reminds you of a previous moment you have experienced, the entire memory can be recreated by your mind like a hologram. This explains déjà vu by suggesting that when something in our current environment reminds us of our past, our brain makes a connection to the past event and produces a “hologram” of the memory to make it feel like we are reliving it.

The reason we don’t recognize the memory after the moment of déjà vu has passed is because the stimulus that triggers the formation of a hologram memory is often hidden from our conscious perception. You may experience déjà vu when picking up a can because the feeling of the metal is the same as a bike handle you once had.

5 Precognitive Dreams

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A precognitive dream is where a dream we have predicts something that happens in the future—someone finds themselves in a situation they had previously dreamed about. A lot of people report having precognitive dreams about great tragedies (such as the sinking of the Titanic), suggesting that humans have a subconscious sixth sense!

This could explain déjà vu by suggesting that the moment we have the experience of living something before is when we have previously dreamed about the present happenings. For example, you may have a dream about driving on a certain road and then later you drive on the same road as the one in your dream.

You have a precognitive recollection of the road which allows you to recognize it. As dreaming is not a conscious process, this explains why we don’t consciously recognize the stimulus (the road from the example) yet still feel that it is familiar.

4 Divided Attention


Divided attention theory suggests that déjà vu occurs due to a subliminal recognition of the object in our experience of déjà vu. This means that our subconscious mind (the thoughts that we are unaware of) recalls the stimulus, but our conscious mind doesn’t.

This theory was tested in an experiment involving student participants who were shown a series of images of different locations and then asked to identify which locations they were familiar with. However, prior to the experiment, the students were flashed images of some of the locations they had never visited. (The images didn’t last long enough for their conscious minds to register them.)

Students were much more likely to recognize the locations they hadn’t visited that had been shown to their subconscious than the locations they hadn’t visited that hadn’t been shown to them subconsciously. This demonstrates how our subconscious mind is able to hold an image, allowing us to show recognition of it.

This means that déjà vu could be our recognizing a message we have received subconsciously. Believers in this theory believe that subconscious messages can be communicated to us through the Internet, TV, and other social media devices.

3 Amygdala


The amygdala is a small region of our brain. With one located in each cerebral hemisphere, the amygdala is involved in our experience of emotion (most commonly anger or fear).

The amygdala is responsible for our fear response to things in our environment. So if you’re afraid of spiders, your amygdala will process your response when you see one. When we’re put in a dangerous situation, our amygdala may act to temporarily disorient our brain. If you were standing underneath a falling tree, your amygdala may have a panic response that causes your brain to malfunction.

The amygdala can be used to explain déjà vu if we consider the moment as a temporary brain malfunction. If we are placed in a situation that is almost the same as a situation we have been in before but it is changed somehow (for example, the layout of a house may be identical to another you have been in, but the actual furniture could be different), our amygdala could produce a panic response. This means we are put in a temporary state of confusion, and this could be our experience of déjà vu.

2 Reincarnation


The general theory of reincarnation is that we lived as someone else in a previous life before we were born into this life. Although there are some intriguing accounts of people who seem to recall accurate personal details of their past lives, believers in reincarnation claim that the majority of us move into the next life with no recollection of the previous one.

This means that we carry no direct memories from our old life. Believers in reincarnation say that we come into our new life with a set of signals that reflect states of consciousness. This means that memories created on one level of consciousness cannot be retrieved in another (like being unable to recall something that happened while you were drunk).

As déjà vu occurs in an abnormal level of consciousness, the theory of reincarnation would explain the experience by referring to the moment as a signal from a previous life. There could be a trigger in the environment which allows the transition of consciousness to occur. Perhaps we recognize a certain sound, smell, or image from our previous existence and momentarily remember our previous life (which would explain why we feel we are reliving the past in the present).

However, there is no way to scientifically prove or disprove this theory. It all comes down to a matter of faith!

1 A ‘Glitch’ In Reality


The “glitch” theory is perhaps the most bizarre yet exciting explanation included on our list. Déjà vu may seem like a minor moment in your lifetime which you soon forget after it happens, but if this theory is true, déjà vu could actually be a phenomenal event.

Glitch theory describes déjà vu as a momentary breakdown in our reality. Einstein famously suggested that there is no such thing as time—that time is a human creation made to establish order and structure.

However, time might simply be an illusion from which déjà vu gives us a small break. This would explain why we feel we have lived the moment before. If time is a made-up convention, then what we believe to be the past, present, and future are actually all happening simultaneously. Therefore, when déjà vu occurs, we are simply slipping into a greater level of consciousness where we are able to live more than one experience at the same time.

This theory has wider implications, too. If déjà vu is really a glitch in reality, this may mean that damage to the foundations of our universe are created whenever an experience of déjà vu occurs. Some people hypothesize that these are the moments when UFOs can be sighted because déjà vu opens up bridges between different realities.

Exciting . . . yet so far impossible to prove.