Be sure to celebrate National Nothing Day today by not celebrating it

In the United States, January 16 is National Nothing Day. San Francisco Examiner columnist Harold Pullman Coffin created the holiday in 1973 "to provide Americans with one national holiday when they can just sit without celebrating, observing, or honoring anything." From

It is ironic that it was created "to protest the proliferation of special days," as another holiday was started by its creation. Although it is meant to be a day when people do nothing, there are various other holidays that are observed on January 16 which undermine its message. Additionally, new holidays continue to be added on any given day of the year. Coffin also created the National Nothing Foundation, although it appears this no longer exists. Coffin himself passed away in 1981, but his holiday of nothing has continued to be celebrated—we think. It's a little hard to measure the popularity of a holiday where you do nothing.

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A store for flat earthers by flat earthers

It's not too late to get your conspiracy-theory-lovin' sweetie something they really want for the holidays: validation that the earth is flat. Read the rest

A look at some quirky, and downright strange, 2019 calendars

It hurts me to say this but 2019 is nearly here, and that means stores are filled with calendars.

Well, my daughter and I are traveling this week and while out at one of our favorite stores in Arizona, we saw a huge display of wall calendars. Because of the sheer quantity of them, we couldn't decide on one. So, we left empty-handed and I thought to search out what quirky calendars I could find online. I wasn't disappointed.

Here are some of the crazy calendars "kids" are into these days (notations in brackets are mine):

1. Animal Butts: "Welcome every month of the new year with a new animal butt!" [Or else!]

Available from Paper Source for $19.95

2. Animal Selfies: "did you know that animals love to take selfies too? Its true..." [that's 110% not true]

On Amazon for $10.39

3. NYC Taxi Drivers: "...features 12 of the city's most scintillating and good-humored yellow cab drivers." [Please, do not put jumper cables anywhere near your nipples!]

$14.99 and benefits charity

4. The RGB Workout: "Exercise with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg... get into supreme shape!" [She recovered so quickly from those broken ribs, I probably should follow RGB's exercise routine!]

$14.99 at Chronicle Books

5. Pooping Pooches: "Do you know someone who loves dogs...too much?" [No words.]

$15.99 and benefits charity

6. Merby's: The 'bearded men in fish tails' calendar by the Newfoundland and Labrador Beard & Moustache Club is back. [Sure, why not? Read the rest

Do you remember the 21st night of September?

"Do you remember the 21st night of September?"

Happy 40th anniversary to Earth, Wind & Fire's "September," which was actually released on November 18, 1978. What's the significance of September 21 in the lyrics? Well, none.

"We went through all the dates: 'Do you remember the first, the second, the third, the fourth ... ' and the one that just felt the best was the 21st," co-writer Allee Willis told NPR in 2014. "I constantly have people coming up to me and they get so excited to know what the significance was. And there is no significance beyond it just sang better than any of the other dates. So ... sorry!"

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There's a semi-secret Burning Man calendar that you can (shockingly) buy

While some can only think of the Burning Man as a party in the desert, diehard Burners, its citizens, will tell you that it's much more than it. They'll tell you that it's a year-round community whose leadership is, amongst other things, determined to protect their unique culture from commodification. People looking to exploit the culture with "commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising" will promptly be shutdown. Amazingly, besides some coffee and ice, nothing at the annual Burning Man desert event is for sale.

In fact, decommodification is so important to them that they've made it one of their 10 Principles.

Now, I've been in the Burning Man community since 1995 and I've just learned this week that the Project does actually have one product for sale: a calendar. You can buy it online, like I just did.

Through a recent blog post on her site, I discovered that my pal Arin Fishkin has been the calendar's designer since its beginning in 2004. In the post, she not only shares the calendar's history -- highlighted by lovely sample pages of each year's edition -- but also tells why an organization that protects itself from commodification is selling it to begin with. She writes:

The funds from the purchase price go to producing the calendar which is primarily gifted to staff, volunteers, visiting dignitaries, politicians and….mayors. As I understand it, having items available for purchase is one way to claim and protect their trademark. So we make this beautiful thing, that is mostly given away, and mostly kept secret.

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NYC yellow cab drivers pose for pin-up charity calendar

You have many choices when it comes to purchasing a calendar for the new year. Now there's another contender: the 2018 New York City Taxi Drivers Calendar.

Described as a "comedic take on the traditional pin-up," the calendar features the Big Apple's "most scintillating and good-humored" yellow cab drivers and a portion of its proceeds goes to charity.

A portion of each calendar sale will go to University Settlement, America’s oldest settlement house (1886), based in New York City and serving over 30,000 immigrant and working individuals and families every year with basic services like quality education, housing, recreation and wellness opportunities, and literacy programs.

The calendar is available online for $14.99.

(Dangerous Minds)

Previously: Bearded men don mermen tails for charity calendar Read the rest

Bearded men don mermen tails for charity calendar

The hairy-faced gents of the Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club are raising money for a mental health charity by posing as mermen for this 2018 MerB’ys calendar.

CBC reports:

Calendar proceeds are going to Spirit Horse NL, a group that offers support to people with mental health issues via therapeutic interaction with horses. "They're desperately in need of funds and awareness because it's expensive to raise and upkeep horses," says Hasan Hai, who founded the [club]. He knew instinctively this was a challenge fit for the MerB'ys. "I figured right away that this is a cause our club can get behind." Once they had a charity to champion, finding willing men with facial hair did not prove problematic. Hai says he was immediately inundated with at least seventy beardos more than keen to get fishy for the fund raising initiative.

...One happy byproduct of the initiative is that they're also getting to challenge some persistent gender norms.

Hai says rolling around as MerB'y has allowed him and the other MerB'ys a wholly "different take on what manliness and masculinity looks like." He says the response has been largely positive. "People blowing kisses at one another, guys holding hands, being whimsical and silly – it's a lot of fun." That the project ended up "poking a lot of holes at traditional gender roles and stereotypes" was a bonus. As was some added body confidence. Stripping down for charity has made the founder feel more at home in his own skin (and scales).

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Check out the hot women in the 2016 Pirelli Tire Calendar

For 50 years, the Pirelli Calendar has featured mostly naked models captured by famed photographers in exotic locales. Not this year. Read the rest

How to: Tell time like the ancient Maya

I promised to not speak of Schmapocalypse Miffy Melve on BoingBoing anymore, and I am standing by that. However, I do think that I would be remiss not to point you toward this nifty, interactive version of the Maya's long count calendar system. It does a great job of helping explain the Mayan number system and how those numbers come together to mark important dates. If you're interested in Mayan hieroglyphics, I'd also recommend reading the book A Forest of Kings, which explains how the ancient Maya wrote and what their writing really tells us about their history. Read the rest