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12 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in March (and a Contest!)

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Here are some reasons to celebrate this month, plus the once-in-a-lifetime chance to create your own holiday.

March 1st: National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day

Peanut butter image via Shutterstock

If you love peanut butter, today is the day to shout it from a mountaintop – and then polish off your PB-based sandwich of choice. Take some time to reflect on all the amazing qualities of peanut butter, from its delicious taste to its fantastic gum-removable capabilities. There’s even a year-round website for lovers of the peanut-y spread.

March 2nd: National Old Stuff Day

Sorry hoarders, this holiday is not about celebrating how much old stuff you have.

Instead, National Old Stuff Day is about taking a moment to recognize the same old stuff you do every day, and think about how you can break old routines. Seize the day, because tomorrow’s just more of the same old, same old.

March 5th: Cinco de Marcho

One of our readers tipped up off to a newer holiday called Cinco de Marcho. March 5th marks the beginning of the 12 Days of Cinco de Marcho, in which observers undergo a training regimen to prepare their livers for St. Patrick’s Day. For games and activities, check out the official site. For your inevitable 12-day hangover, aspirin or ibuprofen should help.

March 6th: Dentist Day

Have you thanked your dentist lately? Dentists may seem like arbiters of medieval tortures, but they also had a lot to do with that beautiful, toothy grin you have now. Make March 6th the day you make that dental appointment you’ve been putting off for two years, the day you start flossing, or just make sure to show off your dentist’s handiwork more often.

March 7th: Alexander Graham Bell Day

On this day in 1876, inventor Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his brand new invention called “the telephone.” For every text message you receive or send today, say a little thank you to AGB.

March 8th: National Nametag Day

March 4-10 is actually “Celebrate Your Name Week,” with different holidays for each day. But this one sounded like the most fun. The only rule is that you wear a “Hello my name is…” tag all day. Using your real name is optional.

March 9th: National Panic Day

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy enthusiasts may struggle with this holiday, but March 9th is to indulge all of your deepest fears and let loose on a rampage of unbridled hysteria. Observational practices may include, but are certainly not limited to, tearing out one’s hair, standing in public spaces and shrieking like a banshee, sobbing uncontrollably, or finally breaking ground on that underground bunker you have always dreamed of building.

March 12th: National Alfred Hitchcock Day

Did you know Alfred Hitchcock never won an Oscar for Best Director? Today is the day to regale your friends and family with your encyclopedic knowledge of Hitchcock trivia, or learn some new facts. Might we suggest a movie marathon for the evenings activity? If you dare…

March 14th: National Pi Day

Don’t let the sound of the name fool you, 3/14 is not a day celebrating the sweet, baked circuitous treat. It is the official day of the Greek letter symbolizing the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Although both “pis” prominently feature the circle shape. Coincidence? We’re listening…

March 18th: Goddess of Fertility Day

You don’t have to wait for the vernal equinox to get a little ethereal. World cultures have provided us with a cornucopia of fertility goddesses to worship and honor on this day. The name of Siberian goddess Ajysyt literally means “birth giver,” and she is believed to nurture the soul of newborn babies. This is not just a day for the ladies; some goddesses like the Irish deity Macha exclusively tend to male virility.

March 23rd: National Puppy Day

Puppppies!!! As if you need an excuse to observe some adorable young pups playing, today it is your nationally mandated duty. But if watching is not enough celebration for you, go to the official website to vote for America’s Most Beautiful Puppy, consider donating to your local animal shelter, or just take the plunge and adopt one! It might be wise to first consult your partner, parent or roommate on that last option.

March 26th: National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

It could be argued that every day on this list was once “national make up your own holiday day,” but March 26th is on hold for all future creations. So whatever nugget of inspiration or homage you have kept to yourself all this time, today provides the perfect platform for you to tell the world.

The National-Make-Up-Your-Own-Holiday-Day Contest!

We're going to celebrate this one this year. Leave a comment with your best idea for a March 26th holiday and we will celebrate it like crazy here on the site. Articles, quizzes, fake t-shirts, whatever it takes. You will be forever remembered in the history books for creating a holiday, plus you'll win three (3) mental_floss t-shirts. You have one week. Get excited.

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10 Memorable Neil deGrasse Tyson Quotes
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Neil deGrasse Tyson is America's preeminent badass astrophysicist. He's a passionate advocate for science, NASA, and education. He's also well-known for a little incident involving Pluto. And the man holds nearly 20 honorary doctorates (in addition to his real one). In honor of his 59th birthday, here are 10 of our favorite Neil deGrasse Tyson quotes.

1. ON SCIENCE

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
—From Real Time with Bill Maher.

2. ON NASA FUNDING

"As a fraction of your tax dollar today, what is the total cost of all spaceborne telescopes, planetary probes, the rovers on Mars, the International Space Station, the space shuttle, telescopes yet to orbit, and missions yet to fly?' Answer: one-half of one percent of each tax dollar. Half a penny. I’d prefer it were more: perhaps two cents on the dollar. Even during the storied Apollo era, peak NASA spending amounted to little more than four cents on the tax dollar." 
—From Space Chronicles

3. ON GOD AND HURRICANES

"Once upon a time, people identified the god Neptune as the source of storms at sea. Today we call these storms hurricanes ... The only people who still call hurricanes acts of God are the people who write insurance forms."
—From Death by Black Hole

4. ON THE BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY INVENTED FOR USE IN SPACE

"Countless women are alive today because of ideas stimulated by a design flaw in the Hubble Space Telescope." (Editor's note: technology used to repair the Hubble Space Telescope's optical problems led to improved technology for breast cancer detection.)
—From Space Chronicles

5. ON THE DEMOTION OF PLUTO FROM PLANET STATUS 

PBS

"I knew Pluto was popular among elementary schoolkids, but I had no idea they would mobilize into a 'Save Pluto' campaign. I now have a drawer full of hate letters from hundreds of elementary schoolchildren (with supportive cover letters from their science teachers) pleading with me to reverse my stance on Pluto. The file includes a photograph of the entire third grade of a school posing on their front steps and holding up a banner proclaiming, 'Dr. Tyson—Pluto is a Planet!'"
—From The Sky Is Not the Limit

6. ON JAMES CAMERON'S TITANIC

"In [Titanic], the stars above the ship bear no correspondence to any constellations in a real sky. Worse yet, while the heroine bobs ... we are treated to her view of this Hollywood sky—one where the stars on the right half of the scene trace the mirror image of the stars in the left half. How lazy can you get?"
—From Death by Black Hole

7. ON DEATH BY ASTEROID

"On Friday the 13th, April 2029, an asteroid large enough to fill the Rose Bowl as though it were an egg cup will fly so close to Earth that it will dip below the altitude of our communication satellites. We did not name this asteroid Bambi. Instead, we named it Apophis, after the Egyptian god of darkness and death."
—From Space Chronicles

8. ON THE MOTIVATIONS BEHIND AMERICA'S MOONSHOT

"[L]et us not fool ourselves into thinking we went to the Moon because we are pioneers, or discoverers, or adventurers. We went to the Moon because it was the militaristically expedient thing to do."
—From The Sky Is Not the Limit

9. ON INTELLIGENT LIFE (OR THE LACK THEREOF)

Perhaps we've never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there's no sign of intelligent life.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/neildegras615117.html
Perhaps we've never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there's no sign of intelligent life.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/neildegras615117.html

"Perhaps we've never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there's no sign of intelligent life."

10. PRACTICAL ADVICE IN THE EVENT OF ALIEN CONTACT 

A still from Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Universal Studios
"[I]f an alien lands on your front lawn and extends an appendage as a gesture of greeting, before you get friendly, toss it an eightball. If the appendage explodes, then the alien was probably made of antimatter. If not, then you can proceed to take it to your leader."
—From Death by Black Hole
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40 Fun Facts About Sesame Street
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Now in its 47th season, Sesame Street is one of television's most iconic programs—and it's not just for kids. We're big fans of the Street, and to prove it, here are some of our favorite Sesame facts from previous stories and our Amazing Fact Generator.

Sesame Workshop

1. Oscar the Grouch used to be orange. Jim Henson decided to make him green before season two.

2. How did Oscar explain the color change? He said he went on vacation to the very damp Swamp Mushy Muddy and turned green overnight.

3. During a 2004 episode, Cookie Monster said that before he started eating cookies, his name was Sid.

4. In 1980, C-3PO and R2-D2 visited Sesame Street. They played games, sang songs, and R2-D2 fell in love with a fire hydrant.

5. Mr. Snuffleupagus has a first name—Aloysius

6. Ralph Nader stopped by in 1988 and sang "a consumer advocate is a person in your neighborhood."

7. Caroll Spinney said he based Oscar's voice on a cab driver from the Bronx who brought him to the audition.

8. In 1970, Ernie reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the timeless hit "Rubber Duckie."

9. One of Count von Count's lady friends is Countess von Backwards, who's also obsessed with counting but likes to do it backwards.

10. Sesame Street made its Afghanistan debut in 2011 with Baghch-e-Simsim (Sesame Garden). Big Bird, Grover and Elmo are involved.

11. According to Muppet Wiki, Oscar the Grouch and Count von Count were minimized on Baghch-e-Simsim "due to cultural taboos against trash and vampirism."

12. Before Giancarlo Esposito was Breaking Bad's super intense Gus Fring, he played Big Bird's camp counselor Mickey in 1982.

13. Thankfully, those episodes are available on YouTube.

14. How big is Big Bird? 8'2". (Pictured with First Lady Pat Nixon.)

15. In 2002, the South African version (Takalani Sesame) added an HIV-positive Muppet named Kami.

16. Six Republicans on the House Commerce Committee wrote a letter to PBS president Pat Mitchell warning that Kami was not appropriate for American children, and reminded Mitchell that their committee controlled PBS' funding.

17. Sesame Street's resident game show host Guy Smiley was using a pseudonym. His real name was Bernie Liederkrantz.

18. Bert and Ernie have been getting questioned about their sexuality for years. Ernie himself, as performed by Steve Whitmere, has weighed in: “All that stuff about me and Bert? It’s not true. We’re both very happy, but we’re not gay,”

19. A few years later, Bert (as performed by Eric Jacobson) answered the same question by saying, “No, no. In fact, sometimes we are not even friends; he can be a pain in the neck.”

20. In the first season, both Superman and Batman appeared in short cartoons produced by Filmation. In one clip, Batman told Bert and Ernie to stop arguing and take turns choosing what’s on TV.

21. In another segment, Superman battled a giant chimp.

22. Telly was originally "Television Monster," a TV-obsessed Muppet whose eyes whirled around as he watched.

23. According to Sesame Workshop, Elmo is the only non-human to testify before Congress.

24. He lobbied for more funding for music education, so that "when Elmo goes to school, there will be the instruments to play."

25. In the early 1990s, soon after Jim Henson’s passing, a rumor circulated that Ernie would be killed off in order to teach children about death, as they'd done with Mr. Hooper.

26. According to Snopes, the rumor may have spread thanks to New Hampshire college student, Michael Tabor, who convinced his graduating class to wear “Save Ernie” beanies and sign a petition to persuade Sesame Workshop to let Ernie live.

27. By the time Tabor was corrected, the newspapers had already picked up the story.

28. Sesame Street’s Executive Producer Carol-Lynn Parente joined Sesame Workshop as a production assistant and has worked her way to the top.

29. Originally, Count von Count was more sinister. He could hypnotize and stun people.

30. According to Sesame Workshop, all Sesame Street's main Muppets have four fingers except Cookie Monster, who has five.

31. The episode with Mr. Hooper's funeral aired on Thanksgiving Day in 1983. That date was chosen because families were more likely to be together at that time, in case kids had questions or needed emotional support.

32. Mr. Hooper’s first name was Harold.

33. Big Bird sang "Bein' Green" at Jim Henson's memorial service.

34. As Chris Higgins put it, the performance was "devastating."

35. Oscar's Israeli counterpart is Moishe Oofnik, whose last name means “grouch” in Hebrew.

36. Nigeria's version of Cookie Monster eats yams. His catchphrase: "ME WANT YAM!"

37. Sesame's Roosevelt Franklin ran a school, where he spoke in scat and taught about Africa. Some parents hated him, so in 1975 he got the boot, only to inspire Gob Bluth’s racist puppet Franklin on Arrested Development 28 years later.

38. Our good friend and contributor Eddie Deezen was the voice of Donnie Dodo in the 1985 classic Follow That Bird.

39. Cookie Monster evolved from The Wheel-Stealer—a snack-pilfering puppet Jim Henson created to promote Wheels, Crowns and Flutes in the 1960s.

40. This puppet later was seen eating a computer in an IBM training film and on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Thanks to Stacy Conradt, Joe Hennes, Drew Toal, and Chris Higgins for their previous Sesame coverage!

An earlier version of this article appeared in 2012.

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