Archive | November, 2012

Lou Ferrigno’s Birthday

Happy 61st Birthday, Lou Ferrigno!

In addition to being an actor who is most known for his role as the Hulk in the CBS television series The Incredible HulkFerrigno is also a fitness trainer/consultant and retired professional bodybuilder whose bodybuilding accomplishments include winning an IFBB Mr. America title (1973) and two consecutive IFBB Mr. Universe titles (1973 and 1974). In 1974, Ferrigno came in second at his first attempt at winning the Mr. Olympia title. The following year, he attempted and failed to beat Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had won the title for the previous five years. The attempt was the subject of a documentary titled Pumping Iron. However, Ferrigno did win the role of The Hulk over Schwarzenegger, who was considered for the part.

Celebrate Lou’s birthday by pumping iron and watching a few episodes of The Incredible Hulk. Don’t forget your recovery shake – Lou likes egg whites in his post-workout shake!

Sources: Wikipedia, Lou Ferrigno

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Interview with Randy Lotowycz

Randall Lotowycz is an obsessive author who read his first DC comic—Superman #75—at age 11, has seen every DC movie on opening day, and had to build a custom bed frame to fit his dozens of crates of comic books. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

You can enter to win the Darts 2013 Wall Calendar autographed by Randy Lotowycz in our 30 Days of Giveaways contest! We have several other great prizes to give away in November as well.

How did you come up with the concept for a dartboard calendar?
Funny story, actually. At the time, I worked in the editorial department and it was part of my job to come up with new calendar ideas, which we’d have to present during weekly editorial meetings on Wednesdays. I prepared as I usually did, coming up with ideas at the last minute while riding the subway to work. I wanted to do something interactive, because I really hadn’t seen much of that with wall calendars, and the idea of darts jumped out. So when I was in the meeting, I started with a clever/obnoxious play on words, saying “I’ve got a wall calendar idea. I’m just going to throw it out there. If it sticks, it sticks…” and presented the calendar. The pitch was well-received, but the group then asked, “How do the magnetic darts stick?” I replied by saying we’d include a metal sheet in calendar. No one thought we’d be able to do it with manufacturing costs, but somehow our fantastic production department made it work.

Which month is your favorite board from the 2013 calendar?
I’d say Pinball in January (that’s not to say the boards go downhill after that). I work with a wonderful designer, John Passineau, whose designs have made the calendar what it is. He’s indispensible to the calendar. Pinball is one of those times where I’ve come up with a crazy idea but he makes it work.

Other than playing darts, how do you like to spend your free time?
Reading comics, watching horror movies, running in Prospect Park, volunteering at a local creative writing and tutoring center. I try to keep busy.

You are also known for the DC Comics Super Heroes and Villains Fandex. Who is you favorite hero/villain?
Superman, of course! I’ve even got a pretty ridiculous and large tattoo of Superman and Lois Lane on my arm, which was done to celebrate finishing the Fandex.

What characters, preferably from different comics, would you like to see fight one another? Who would win?
I’ll resist the urge to be snotty and ask “why do they have to fight? Can’t they just once team-up and try to make the world a better place?”
I’d like to see Superman and Archie fight. Perhaps Archie was infected by some sort of alien virus that drove him crazy and gave him super strength, or maybe Archie was being too
much of a jerk to Betty and Veronica, and Superman had to step in. But I’d still like to see them settle their dispute over a game of chess and a few cups of hot chocolate. Either way, Superman would win, because he’s Superman.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I’m going with invisibility, and not just for its seedier perks. Observation is powerful tool for an author, but as soon as you’re present to observe, your presence is already affecting the moment. To be invisible, to take yourself out of a moment, you can experience things you never would otherwise.

If you had said superpower for one day, how would you spend that day?
I’d watch people. And, I swear, I’m not trying to be creepy. I’d simply like to observe people in their everyday lives, like 1000s of personal and mostly likely mundane documentaries.

What is your next big goal for your life?
Getting my novel published.

If you had to do anything else, what would it be?
Had to? Like an earnest desire to do something? Or being held at gunpoint? Either way, I guess I’d want to start or work for a non-profit organization involved with literacy and children’s education.

What one calendar, other than yours, could you not get through the year without?
Probably Pocket Pigs, because it features adorable and tiny pigs! The only way it could be better is if the pigs were wearing proper evening wear. Hmmm…  now I need to attend another editorial meeting.

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Dunce Day

Museum of Lincolnshire Life, Lincoln, England - DSCF1726November 8 is Dunce Day!

Dunce Day celebrates the term “dunce,” or someone who is incapable of learning, unwilling to learn, a slow learner, lazy, dull, ignorant…you get the idea. Pointed hats called “dunce caps” were once used by teachers as a form of punishment for misbehavior in the classroom or, of course, for being a dunce. Though a rare to non-existent punishment today, you’ve probably seen the dunce cap depicted in pop culture as a cone-shaped paper had marked with “dunce” or a “D.”

Celebrate Dunce Day by crowning the dunces in your life with dunce caps, then do them (and society) a favor by forcing them to learn something…anything.

Did You Know?…The term “dunce” was derived from the name John Duns Scotus,  one of the most influential philosophers and theologians of the High Middle Ages. Dunce Day marks the day of his death in 1308.

“Duns,” later “dunce” was originally applied to followers of Duns Scotus by humanists and reformers during the 16th century as an insult for being incapable of scholarship. Learn more about Duns Scotus and his theories by clicking here.

 

Sources: theultimateholidaysite.com, wikipedia.org
Photo Source: Green Lane (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons
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Interview with Jennifer Holland

Jennifer Holland is a senior writer for National Geographic magazine, specializing in science and natural history. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her husband, two dogs, and dozens of snakes and geckos; none of whom, to her dismay, have crossed the species barrier to befriend the others.

You can enter to win the 2013 Unlikely Friendships Wall Calendar autographed by Jennifer Holland in our 30 Days of Giveaways contest! We have several other great prizes to give away in November as well.

What is your definition of friendship?
Friendship is a relationship in which you can be yourself—sing off key, cry openly, watch bad reality television, compare intimate notes. A friend is allowed to tell you that you’re being a jerk and expected to tell you that you have spinach in your teeth.

Where did you get your inspiration for this project?
My love for animals is in my DNA; my mother was a huge fan of every little critter (minus roaches) and I’m now carrying that torch. This particular project just made sense: sweet animal stories and adorable photos make people happy. People pass animal pictures and videos on the Web probably more than anything else. It’s a hard world out there…we all need a little reprieve.

What is you unlikeliest friendship?
Wow, hard question!!  I guess I’d have to say the one with my Mom. She passed away about 7 years ago but our friendship has continued in a certain way…I “talk” to her in my head all the time, asking her for advice or expressing my worries and frustrations. I’m not religious or anything, but it’s comforting to pretend she’s listening.

How do you select which images should be included and how do you come up with the stories?
I look for the stories everywhere—and ask friends and family to clue me in if they hear of something. I contact wildlife and rescue centers, zoos, any facility where unlikely friendships might occur.  I scour the Web, where so many stories make rounds. As for images, we simply look for the very best, sweetest, most intimate moments we can find.

What is your favorite story you have written for an image so far? Why?
Hard to pick a true favorite but I loved the story of the cat and the iguana. Iguanas aren’t really that nice. So to see one that liked having its face licked by a cat, that was hard to beat. I also loved the dog-cheetah story because of the conservation aspect. (Dogs are trained in Namibia to protect cheetahs from farmers by scaring the cats away. But in captivity here in the States, the same kinds of dogs help keep cheetahs calm.)

What is your favorite photograph from the 2013 Wall Calendar?
That cover photo, of the young chimp with the white tiger cub, is amazing. If ever animals looked to be smiling and full of joy, that’s the moment!

What is your favorite wild animal? Domestic animal?
I wouldn’t dare choose favorites and disappoint all the others! But I can say that I love octopi for their amazing smarts and behaviors. They’re certainly not cute and furry, but I think they’re loveable anyway. I also have a special place in my heart for wolves, dolphins, and underappreciated slow lorises (tiny primates). As for domestic animals, I’m definitely a dog person. I have three of them and my life is chaos as a result. Wouldn’t have it any other way (unless I had room for 4).

What is your next big goal for your life?
I’m working on 2 books and an article at the moment. If I can get all three projects done on deadline without imploding, that would be a big step forward.

If you had to do anything else, what would it be?
Not surprisingly, I might want to run a wildlife rescue center. Or travel the world in search of emerging artists. Or just spend my days antiquing in small towns.

What one calendar, other than yours, could you not get through the year without?
The one on my phone. I never know what day or date it is but my phone always knows.

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International Tongue Twister Day

November 7 is International Tongue Twister Day!

A tongue twister is a phrase containing a combination of alliteration and rhyme strategically designed to be stumbled over, producing humorous results when the words are mispronounced.

Celebrate International Tongue Twister Day by practicing a few tongue twisters and challenging your family and friends to a tongue twister duel!

Warm up by saying these short tongue twisters three or more times, as fast as you can:

Red leather, Yellow leather
Unique New York
Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper
Irish Wristwatch

Then try something a bit more challenging:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

 

Sources: punchbowl.com, wikipedia.or
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Election Day

The day set by law for United States citizens to elect public officials into office is known as Election Day. Election Day always occurs the first Tuesday after the first Monday of every November, meaning that every year election day falls between or on November 2 and November 8.

Elections for federal offices only take place on even-numbered years, and the election of President and Vice President of the United States occurs every four years. Elections for the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate are held every two years. “Midterm elections” are elections in which a presidential candidate is not on the ballot. Those who are elected start their terms in January of the upcoming year. State and local government offices are often elected on Election Day as well to stay cost effective.

November was selected as the time Election Day would be held because in agrarian societies, the year’s harvest was done at this point and the cold winter had not quite set in yet. Because most people used to travel far distances to vote, and usually did not travel on Sundays for religious reasons, Election Day was set to be on a Tuesday because Monday would be spent traveling. November 1 was never chosen to be an Election Day because most shop keepers would do their books this day, and others would celebrate All Saints Day.

Some states consider Election Day a work holiday including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Other states allow their employees to get paid time off to vote.

For more interesting Election Day facts, go here!

Sources: Wikipedia, timeanddate.com, Elev8

 

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Election Day 2012

Today is Election Day!

The day on which general elections for public officials (at local, state, and national levels) are held, Election Day takes place on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November and, for federal offices, is only held on even number years. Presidential elections are held every four years while elections to the House of Representatives and the Senate are held every two years, with Representatives serving two terms and Senators serving six terms (though Senate terms are staggered so that 1/3 of Senators are elected or re-elected every two years.)

In addition to voting for Representatives and Senators, registered voters will also be voting (by popular ballot) for the next U.S. President on Election Day 2012. Celebrate Election Day by heading to the polls today to exercise your right to vote! If you voted early, all that’s left to do is sit back and wait for the results.

Head over to the election center at CNN.com (or your favorite news and media site) to learn more about the candidates, the issues, and the Presidential race.

Sources: Wikipedia, Timeanddate.com

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Guy Fawkes Day

Guy FawkesWhat is Guy Fawkes Day?

Guy Fawkes Day, also called Bonfire Night, marks a group of 13 conspirators’ plot to blow up the British Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. On November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes, one of the conspirators, was caught in the cellar under Parliament that contained the gunpowder, and was arrested and executed.

Learn more about the history of Guy Fawkes Day and the gunpowder plot by clicking here.

When is Guy Fawkes Day?

November 5 of each year.

How do people celebrate Guy Fawkes Day?

Guy Fawkes Day celebrations in Britain include firework displays and bonfires. Children make effigies of Guy Fawkes from old clothes stuffed with newspaper and walk through the streets with their “Guy” while asking passersby for “a penny for Guy.” They use the money to buy fireworks. Effigies of “Guy” are then tossed into the bonfires and burned. The events of November 5, 1605 are also remembered in the following nursery rhyme:

Remember, remember, the 5th of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Find out how you can celebrate Guy Fawkes Day at home by clicking here.

 

Sources: history.com, bonfirenight.net, holidays.kaboose.com
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Interview with Cynthia Hart

Cynthia Hart is a renowned designer and artist.

Her designs have been licensed to fragrance, gift, stationery, and home furnishing companies. She is the author of several books, both for children and adults, and has served on the Board of Directors of The Ephemera Society of America. Hart is also the owner and curator of The Cynthia Hart Collection of Cherished Images, an archive of over 40,000 full color images and photographs.

You can enter to win the 2013 Victoriana Wall Calendar autographed by Cynthia Hart in our 30 Days of Giveaways contest! We have several other great prizes to give away in November as well.

When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?
Making art has been a part of my life since I was 4 or 5, but thinking like an artist started with photography when I was about 12 years old.

What were some of your first projects?
When I was in grade school I made an entire miniature circus out of clay. Professionally, one of the earlier things I designed were craft kits for Woman’s Day magazine to sell to their readers.

What is the strangest product your art has been used for?
The strangest product was probably woven cotton throws–because they could only be woven in a few colors and my work is normally over-the-top multi-colored.

Where do you find inspiration?
Usually the inspiration for a collage is one spectacular piece of antique paper ephemera.

Do you collect things you think you may use in your art someday, or do you seek out certain objects once you start a project?
I constantly collect items for my collages.

Has this always been your style or has it evolved through the years?
This is one style that I love to work in, but I have others.

What is your favorite month from the 2013 Victoriana Wall Calendar?
July and November are my very very most favorites, but 2013 is called the “Classic Edition” because it is made up entirely of my favorite images from past years. 

What is your next big goal for your life?
Simplify life and have more fun.

If you had to do anything else, what would it be?
Arrange flowers and write more books.

What one calendar, other than yours, could you not get through the year without?
I love David Schiller’s “Guitars” Calendar–it is beautiful and fabulous for giving as gifts.

 

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National Deviled Egg Day

November 2 is National Deviled Egg Day!

National Deviled Egg Day celebrates a popular holiday and party appetizer: the deviled egg. Deviled eggs are hard-boiled eggs cut in half and filled with a mixture containing the hard-boiled egg’s yolk, mayonnaise, mustard and other flavorings, such as garlic, horseradish, black pepper or paprika.

Celebrate National Deviled Egg Day by making dozens and dozens of deviled eggs for you and your friends to enjoy. Need a recipe? Click on the links below:

Basic Deviled Eggs

Salmon-Stuffed Eggs

Coaches Deviled Eggs

Spinach Deviled Eggs

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, punchbowl.com, wikipedia.org
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