A celebration for “Hussein”

7 03 2008

HolidaysToday is the widely (and by widely I mean not at all) celebrated Middle Name Pride Day, a day for all those embarrassing and obscure names people hide between the guise of a single letter. Whether it be George W. Bush, Michael J. Fox, or Susan B. Anthony, many popular figures decide to use their middle name publicly, but not the entire thing. It may make the name more memorable, but it certainly shows no pride in the middle name.

Supposedly, middle names were originally used in Germany during the 1400s as a status symbol for nobility. In the U.S. they became popular several hundred years ago as a way of passing on the mother’s maiden name in addition the the father’s surname. Today, however, they seem to be of little relevance more than a way of distinguishing between the ever-increasing number of people with the same first and last names. Because of this, parents have also decided to give their children ever-increasingly odd middle names that children are more than content to keep hidden for eternity.

So today we celebrate those names we wouldn’t wish upon anyone, among them names like President Warren Gamaliel Bancroft Winnipeg Harding, President Richard Milhous Nixon, Harry S Truman (Yes, his middle name is the letter S), basketball player Lorenzen Vern-Gagne Wright, and of course Barack Hussein Obama (His name is Hussein; therefore, he must be a terrorist!). Then there are the names that should be burned alive ASAP: Filbert, Jebediah, Eugene, Winifred, Fanny, Abner, Egmont, and Hildegard to name a few. Those unfortunate souls…

Remember when Pluto was… plutoed?

18 02 2008

HolidaysIn celebration of Pluto Day, I will reflect on the sudden ripping of Pluto from all our cherished elementary school memories. Here is an small expanse of silence in memory of the the planets mnemonic we all learned: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine

And now for the new mnemonic devices to mess with the minds of a new age of poor innocent children:

Many Venerated Experts Make Jest, Screwing Up mNemonic

Man Verifies Eight Masses, Just Slightly Under Nine

Or God forbid:

My Very Educated Mother Clearly Just Showed Us New Planets Can X-ist (including Ceres, Pluto, Charon, and Xena)

I say let’s just keep adding new planets. The more letters there are to memorize, the more those children will have to think about what a horrible idea it was to remove a planet. Then, when they grow up and the mnemonic contains forty words, they’ll realize that our childhood memories should have just been left alone.


Happy Chocolate Consumption Day!

15 02 2008

HolidaysPeople across America have a love/hate relationship with Valentines Day, much in the same way they often have a love/hate relationship with their valentines. Of course, chocolates and other gifts make that all better. For those who are depressed and their valentine-less state, chocolate make a wonderful comfort food. For those who are glad to be single with no expensive responsibilities to others, chocolate can add to the celebration. All in all, America has gained more than a few collective pounds within twenty four hours. Add to that the groundbreaking discovery that artificial sweetener can contribute to weight gain. (gasp!) You didn’t actually think the word diet in front of the word cola made it healthy, did you?


Anyway, there are also people like me who failed to realize what day it was. While I do not advocate apathy, Valentine’s Day is certainly a good holiday to try and skip over if you can. Love/hate relationships just aren’t usually worth it.

Happy Safer Internet Day!

12 02 2008

HolidaysToday is the fifth annual Safer Internet Day across Europe. Public events and school programs took place across the continent warning both children and parents of the many dangers on the internet. A large part of the programs warned about virtual friends and online acquaintances who may not always be who they pretend to be. Unfortunately, they all fail to recognize the biggest danger of the internet: the internet itself.

The internet is known far and wide as a killer of at least three South Koreans who remained online until their deaths, a stealer of time and money, and an unequal replacement for live social interaction. I thought it was fairly obvious that there are bad people in the world. I also thought it was fairly well-known that there are bad people on the internet. A government shouldn’t have to have a day dedicated to encouraging parents to control their children. If the parents wanted all the information they could have… well… just looked it up on the internet. What European continent (because Americans aren’t involved in this) needs to understand more is the negative effect the internet can have on the population as a whole. After all, governments should be focused more on the whole than the individual. It’s up to the individual to realize that a stranger on the internet isn’t any different than a stranger in the real world, unless of course the stranger on the internet is controlled by a computer, in which case the individual needs to learn to differentiate between reality and fantasy.