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10 Odd and Awesome 2013 Calendars

The calendar you hang on your wall or set on your desk can say a lot about what kind of person you are. And they make great gifts, as long as they appeal to the interests and personality of the person you're giving one to. Here are some unique 2013 calendars that will stand out in an office and draw lots of interest from those around you.

1. 12 Months of Dead Ken

12 Months of Dead Ken is a project by Sniperphotog, who describes himself as a "Doll Photographer with a subversive sense of humour" who poses Barbie and Ken dolls in extreme situations. The calendar features mostly scenarios of Barbie murdering Ken while maintaining that smile she is famous for.

2. Practicon Dental Supply Calendar

Practicon is a company that supplies dentists and dental schools with specialty items, from office equipment to simulation patients on which dental students can practice. The mannequins are the focus of the company's 2013 desk calendar. They are posed in seasonal scenes as if they are people! The calendars were given out to clients, but one dentist posted it to reddit, and Practicon responded by making the calendar available to the public.

3. Lindner's Coffins

Lindner's Coffins is a Polish wholesale coffin supplier. For years, the company has issued a calendar featuring their coffins with scantily-clad (and sometimes topless) models. The Catholic church is not amused, but the calendars are very popular. Their 2013 Calendar is available online. The cover is shown here because the images inside are NSFW.

4. Vancouver Ice-o-Topes

The Vancouver Ice-o-Topes are women hockey players with the Adult Safe Hockey League. For the third year in a row, members are baring a little more than usual in a calendar to raise funds for the Britannia Ice Rink programs in east Vancouver, which provide hockey training and games for underprivileged children. This year, the photos are set on the ice, which wasn't easy for the players, but the results are truly unique. Order a calendar at their site. Photograph by Rebecca Blissett.

5. The Periodic Calendar

The Periodic Calendar is a complete redesign of our traditional calendar based on the design of the periodic table of elements. Ape Con Joey can explain it better than I can (because I don't understand it).

The IndieGoGo campaign is complete, and the calendar is for sale. An interactive tutorial at the site helps you figure out how to use it.

6. How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You

Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal released a book called How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You. The adjunct is a wall calendar featuring Inman's cat illustrations and comics to keep you on track through 2013.

7. Guinea Pig Games

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has many calendars featuring cute pets and exotic wildlife, but the most fun version features guinea pigs engaging in sport. The Guinea Pig Games calendar for 2013, from the sales page:

Fresh from this Olympic year our rodent friends are trained, toned and going for gold once again in 2013. Hilarious sporting antics throughout this month-to-view wall calendar. Designed using cleverly manipulated photography.

8. Barenaked Caving Calendar

Photographer Laura Brown shot photos of cavers from the Westminster Speleological Group without clothing for Barenaked Caving 2013. Proceeds from the sales of the calendar will help support two cave rescue groups, the South & Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team and Yorkshire’s Cave Rescue Organisation, both of which serve the United Kingdom. Shown here is Brown's self-portrait. Other photos are more explicit.

9. Honey Badger Don't Care

The internet meme that began with a (NSFW) video The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger, a nature documentary overdubbed with a scathingly funny narration, is now a calendar. Honey Badger Don't Care 2013 features photographs of honey badgers that just don't care -and explanations of what they don't care about.

10. Zombie Girl Calendar

The 2013 Zombie Girl Calendar has 13 months of scantily-clad women dressed in undead fashion, from Buy Zombie.

And here are the links for the 2013 versions of calendars we've featured in previous years.
Nice Jewish Guys

RoadKill Calendar Now available in a black and white version for the squeamish!
Passive-Aggressive Notes
Hot Guys and Baby Animals
Calendario Romano (featuring attractive Catholic Priests)
The Girls of Ryanair
Heavy Equipment Calendar
Hooters Calendar

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iStock
Why Was February Chosen for Black History Month?
iStock
iStock

Every February since 1976, the United States has celebrated the achievements of African-Americans during Black History Month. The month-long celebration puts those accomplishments and milestones in focus via the media and in classrooms.

But why February? Was that part of the calendar chosen for any specific purpose?

It was. Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” a label applied by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926. Woodson was bothered by the fact that many textbooks and other historical reviews minimized or ignored the contributions of black figures. Along with his Association for the Study of Negro Life and History—later the Association for the Study of African American Life and History—Woodson earmarked the second week in February to raise awareness of these stories.

Woodson chose that week specifically because it covered the birthdays of Frederick Douglass (February 14) and Abraham Lincoln (February 12). The ensuing publicity led many mayors and college campuses to recognize the week; through the years, the groundswell of support allowed the occasion to stretch throughout the entire month.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford made Black History Month official, saying that he was urging everyone to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Philibert Louis Debucourt, Detail from "Calendrier républicain" // Public Domain
211 Years Ago Today, the French Abandoned Their Decimal Calendar
Philibert Louis Debucourt, Detail from "Calendrier républicain" // Public Domain
Philibert Louis Debucourt, Detail from "Calendrier républicain" // Public Domain

In 1793, the French switched to French Revolutionary Time, creating a decimal system of time. A day had 10 hours, 100 minutes per hour, and 100 seconds per minute. The system was elegant, doing away with the complex math required for time calculations under a 24 hour/60 minute/60 second system. But it also brought huge headaches.

French Revolutionary Time came alongside the French Republican Calendar, a further attempt to rationalize time. Months were divided into three 10-day weeks, and there were 12 months. The leftover days needed to add up to 365 or 366 for the year were tacked onto the end of the year as holidays. This was a bit inelegant (days and years being hard to divide cleanly by 10), but at least it was less confusing than trying to sort out what time "noon" was (it was 5 o'clock).

French Revolutionary Time only lasted 17 months. By April 7, 1795 (in the Gregorian calendar), the time system became optional. Decimal clocks and decimal/standard hybrid clocks continued to be used for years, but for practicality, France returned to the same system of time as its neighbors.

The French Republican Calendar lasted far longer. It began in late 1793 and ran all the way through the end of 1805 (again in the Gregorian reckoning). On December 31, 1805, the French government chucked the system—in the year XIV, by Republican reckoning. This was due, of course, to the reign of Napoléon Bonaparte as Emperor. (Incidentally, his coronation occurred on 11 Frimaire, Year XIII of the French Republican Calendar—also known as 2 December, 1804. It took him more than a year to roll back the revolutionary calendar.) In any case, January 1, 1806 rolled around using the Gregorian calendar and the rest is history.

Of course, all this calendar-nerd stuff leads to the fact that you could still choose to use the French Republican Calendar. Indeed, Wikipedia will tell you the current day and year using the system, although you'll want to read up on the exquisite problems related to leap years (also helpfully detailed on Wikipedia).

For a bit more on decimal time (including several modern variants), check out our article Decimal Time: How the French Made a 10-Hour Day.

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