Ahh, December! I know it’s not technically here yet, but I’m going to be as obnoxious as hearing Christmas music before Halloween and bring it up anyway! Regardless of religion, there is an excitement in the air beginning in November because everyone knows that December is on its way. Songs start to fill the air and lights are put on display, whether they are for Christmas, Hanukkah, or other December-celebrated holidays.
December means snow, snow ball fights, holiday break, family gatherings and many other things that make the holiday special. Families drive through neighborhoods looking at light displays, winter carnivals are abundant, and wrapping parties are just another reason to gather together and have a good time. Enjoy your December, and read on for some fun!
- The Big Socio-Cultural/Religious Holidays celebrated during December include: the Christian Christmastide, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the Islamic Ramadan.
- December 3rd is Let’s Hug Day.
- In December of 1803 the Louisiana Purchase took place and France sold us a big ol’ chunk of land.
- December 6th is the day many people celebrate the patron Catholic saint of children and pawnbrokers — St. Nicholas.
- The Charles Dickens classic story ‘A Christmas Carol’ was 1st published in December 6, 1843.
- In the original poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” (now called “The Night Before Christmas”), the reindeer names “Donner” and “Blitzen” were actually “Dunder” and “Blixem”. There is a mystery as to who the author of “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” is, but it’s agreed that the original author was Dutch, as Dunder and Blixem are the Dutch words for thunder and lightning. When it was reprinted 15 years after it was originally composed, the spellings were changed to Donder and Blitzen. The common mispronunciation Donner is just due to some carolers back in the day singing it incorrectly, much like we do with many songs of the day.
- December 17th was known for centuries, as the beginning of the Roman/Pagan Saturnalia Festival, held in honor of the God of Agriculture.
- December 21st marks the beginning of the Winter Solstice (Yule) in the Northern Hemisphere of the world.
- True Story: Festivus is now actually considered a holiday, celebrated on December 23rd. The Show About Nothing (Seinfeld) just keeps on giving…
- Although Santa Claus is now widely considered secular (people from all religions leave cookies or some other offering to him on Christmas Eve and expect gifts), he did start his life as a Catholic Bishop known for donating all his considerable wealth to the poor. The current image that we have of Santa and his elves evolved from that original poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” which combined Christian and Pagan elements (and had different reindeer names), including a saint-like man and his magical elves and reindeer.
What possesses sane, normal people to wake up from a turkey-induced coma, throw on some semblance of clothing (most people just stay in their jammies though), and shuffle out into the cold, dark early morning hours? Not the threat of nuclear war, or a zombie invasion, but shopping. Shopping, shopping, shopping! Awesome deals, deep discounts, and the competition.
You know it as well as I do. There is something visceral about snatching the last video game, or computer, or Elmo doll out from under someone’s grasping fingers and knowing that you were the victor in that battle. You were faster, you were more observant, and they lost. You win!
With Black Friday getting closer and closer (not to mention T-Day) this wacky Wednesday trivia is all about the best shopping day of the year. Enjoy, be safe, don’t go crazy and get your shopping shoes ready!
- Black Friday is called that because it is the most profitable day of the year for retailers everywhere (followed closely by Cyber Monday for e-commerce)
- The term Black Friday was first used to refer to the shopping day after Thanksgiving in 1961…
- …But it originated in 1869 during the financial crisis that occurred on Friday
- The first city police department to have a problem with Black Friday shoppers was Philadelphia
- The shopping rush on Black Friday is responsible for at least one death, and many injuries.
- This is the only holiday, which is not made official and yet celebrated as a holiday. And retailers run midnight sales to attract customers.
- 2008 was the only year that saw a plunge in the sales of electronics in the Black Friday history.
Americans eat a lot of candy. A LOT. Not as much as Denmark, but we consume about 25 pounds PER PERSON every year. Even over cakes and cookies and other confections, candy is ranked number one in how we get our sweet tooth to shut up when it cries out for something sweet. Chocolate is ranked as the number one type of candy that we reach for, with hard candy close on its heels.
Of course, there are other types of candy, like sugar-free and taffy’s and I love them all. I do not discriminate on my candy. So our wacky trivia is all about the sweet stuff today! Wake up your taste buds, raid the Halloween candy, and enjoy!
- The basic hard candy recipe is just water and sugar. Depending on how you heat it is what gives it the texture, whether it’ll be hard or soft.
- Homosapiens have been craving sweets from the age of cavemen, who would raid bee hives for honey.
- In 1868, Richard Cadbury introduced the first Valentine’s Day box of candy when he decorated a candy box with a painting of his daughter and her kitten.
- Nearly 2 billion candy canes will be sold in the four weeks prior to Christmas.
- In 1920, the Baby Ruth, which is named for President Grover Cleveland daughter, was introduced.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were launched and named for the man who invented the candy in 1928.
- The scientific name for the cacao tree’s fruit is “Theobroma Cacao” which means “food of the gods.”
- The world’s largest lollipop was made on June 25, 2002. It weighed 4,031 pounds with the stick and it was 18 inches thick and about 15 feet tall.
- Milk Chocolate was introduced in 1875, but chocolate itself has been consumed since the time of the Mayans and Aztecs.
- And, for our horror movie fans, in 1960, chocolate syrup was used to simulate blood in the famous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “Psycho”. The scene, featuring Janet Leigh, took over seven days to shoot.
October is my favorite month, hands down. Temperatures are dropping (or the humidity, as is the case in Florida) and its getting cooler. Leaves are either turning or turned, and best of all; Halloween is at the end of the month. I prepare for Halloween like most people prepare for the December holidays.
At ReStockIt, we get into the Halloween spirit. All of our departments are decorated to the nth degree, and we have a bunch of games and a party on the big day. Usually the week of Halloween is filled with pumpkin carving contests, trivia games centered around Halloween trivia (or scary movies), and other party games.
In the spirit of Halloween, today’s trivia will be all about October! Enjoy!
- In Roman times, October was the eighth month of the Roman calendar, which is how it got its name.
- Our Canadian friends to the north celebrate their Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October
- Alaska became an American territory on October 18th, 1867
- President Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886.
- On October 1, 1896, free rural delivery of mail started in the United States.
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Book Month
- Dessert Month
- Pizza Month
Once a week, I like to blog about trivia and just general goofy stuff…mainly because I like to laugh and have fun at work. I am very fond of useless trivia. I’m one of those annoying people who do fairly well watching Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and all those other trivia shows. I’ve won Millionaire in my living room twice. Twice! Getting my pie slices in Trivial Pursuit is usually a piece of cake.
But enough about me! The word trivia has come a circuitous route to stand for meaningless information. In Latin, the meaning of the word trivia is “A meeting place of three roads”. Inconsequential facts abound! And what does trivia have to do with meetings and roads? Nothing. That’s the point.
Trivia has grown to be a large part of our culture, although after the scandals of the late fifties, it lost popularity for a while when it was found that quiz shows were rigged. A movie named “Quiz Show” starring John Turturro & Ralph Fiennes was even made about the scandals, and was even nominated for a slew of Academy Awards. How’s that for some trivia?
So to kick off your fabulous, fantastic Friday, here is some trivia for you! Enjoy!
- Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.
- 23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their butts.
- The average chocolate bar has 8 insects’ legs in it.
- Floccinaucinihilipilification, the declaration of an item being useless, is the longest non-medical term in the English language.
- There are more than 1,000 chemicals in a cup of coffee. Of these, only 26 have been tested, and half caused cancer in rats.
- Giraffes have no vocal cords.
- Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour (and causes brain damage, I’m sure).
- The dot over the letter ‘i’ and ‘j’ is called a tittle.
- Every person has a unique tongue print. (Say “aaah”)
- Bruce Lee was so fast that they actually had to SLOW a film down so you could see his moves. That’s the opposite of the norm.
Ah, Wednesday, that glorious hump day, the unit of measure that we gauge our work week by. You know when you get through Wednesday you’re almost done with the work week. Unless you work Saturdays and Sundays too. Which is no fun, I can tell you. I’ve been there.
Next to Friday, Wednesday is our favorite day of the work week. It’s also the second least productive day of the week, next to Monday. Wednesday’s the day for prolonged water-cooler talks and an extra minute or five in the break room. This is something I don’t indulge in…
So today, I bring you some interesting Wednesday facts, and some other really silly trivia because…well, because it’s Wednesday!
Wednesday is named for Woden (no, not Odin the Norse god, although they are virtually the same), an Anglo-Saxon god. He was later relegated to a lowly human whom past rulers of England like to say they are descended from.
Wednesday is associated with the color green, and the planet Mercury.
Wednesday’s child is full of woe, according to Mother Goose (good thing I’m a Tuesday’s child)
Now for some non-Wednesday trivia…
Did you know that the term “O.K.” is from the Civil War? When troops returned without any casualties, a sign was posted that read “0 Killed”, which was eventually shortened to “O.K.”.
Each King on a deck of playing cards represents a king from history.
A cockroach can live nine days without its head. It only dies because it can’t eat…I have no words.
All polar bears are left handed… I want to know who took the time to figure that out.
Statistically, people are more afraid of spiders than dying.
And on that note…have a great Wednesday everyone!
Okay, so I may be a day or two behind…er, okay, maybe a few years behind, but when Blu-ray came out, I refused to update my movie collection- AGAIN. I had just gotten every movie I had ever wanted in my collection and then BAM! here comes a different format. I was sad. Because I knew I would not buy another movie unless it was on Blu-ray, and I didn’t want to cave and buy a player. It’s not a money thing, it’s the principle. Never mind that they were promises great things to come for Blu-ray…
The tide started to change when we got our PlayStation 3 system. It had Blu-ray integrated. So I bought Pirates of the Caribbean on Blu-ray, and had family fun night. Whoa what a difference! Amazing color, awesome extra’s, and the picture was so crisp I thought the images were going to leap out from the screen. So I bought another movie. Then another. You have to understand though. We take our movies very seriously in our house. My husband and I are walking movie trivia buffs, and we speak in movie lines. Our son is following in our footsteps and can recall any actor or actress that he’s seen in a movie or show even if it was a bit part. Maybe it’s not healthy, but I promise we do actually leave the house and see sunshine occasionally.
At this point, I still hadn’t purchased a stand-alone Blu-ray player. Our movie collection grew, and we started to replace older movies as they came out on Blu-ray. My husband started to protest that his gaming system was now a movie system. And then I signed up for Netflix streaming. And found out that you can get a Blu-ray player that streams Netflix. That was all she wrote, folks. We are now the proud new owners of an LG Blu-ray player, and we live the movies, not just watch them.
I love my job, I really do. It’s a great place to work, we all get along and have fun together, but when Monday rolls around, the last thing I want to do is get out of bed. Monday’s have a bad reputation, really. It’s no different than other days though, and even Wednesday can win a Murphy’s Law award occasionally. So today, I want to cheer Monday up a little, make it fun. Monday has feelings too, and probably feels left out, like that last kid that gets picked for the scratch baseball game. That’s never a fun feeling, not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything…
Did you know…?
That on Monday’s, over 50% of employees are late for work
The average amount of time spent on complaining that its Monday is 12 whole minutes
Workers average only three and a half hours of producible work
Monday is the best day to buy a car (note to self)
The term “Blue Monday” actually comes from the fact that laundry was done on Mondays, and bluing was used (a precursor to bleach), so it became Blue Monday. And you thought it was because it depressed everyone.
And just think, you could have come to work on Monday and this is your cubicle: