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INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY/Facebook
INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY/Facebook

TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY!

INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY/Facebook
INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY/Facebook

IF YOU ARE WONDERING WHY THERE IS SO MUCH SHOUTING GOING ON IN SOCIAL MEDIA TODAY, IT IS BECAUSE OCTOBER 22 IS INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY! YOU CAN'T WRITE IN ALL CAPS UNLESS YOU ALSO HAVE AN EXCLAMATION POINT! IT ONLY SEEMS NATURAL!

But of course, writing in all caps does NOT seem natural for me. INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY is celebrated twice a year, on June 28th and October 22nd. Occasionally, someone else will proclaim a different day as Caps Lock Day, so everyone can have another round of fun.

Since the internet developed into a global meeting place, writing in all caps has been considered the equivalent of shouting. Some users only need to be told that once, and they either dial it back or begin to shout all the time to emphasize how IMPORTANT THEIR OPINION IS. National Days made a greeting card that emphasizes that opinion.

Others just don't like having to switch back and forth between capitals and lower case letters, so they capitalize everything because it's just easier for them, even though it annoys everyone they correspond with.

Kombijdepolitie, which I believe is a Dutch police academy, offered their own joke.

October 22nd was the original day set aside for INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY, but June 28th was added in honor of famed pitchman Billy Mays, who died on June 28th, 2009. He always sounded like he was talking in all caps. You can download an app that turns your caps lock key into a Billy Mays key. When you use the key, you'll hear his memorable voice. But some people just relabeled their caps lock key the old fashioned way.

For tips on using your caps lock key, and for celebrating INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY, see this Facebook page, which for some reason celebrates the holiday June 1-2.

This holiday is a convenient day to look at the work of Don Marquis, the creator of Archy and Mehitabel, who were a cockroach and a cat that appeared in Marquis' newspaper column. Archy loved to type out his thoughts, which were all lowercase because he had to jump on the keys one at a time, and could not deal with the shift key. However, one day he discovered the shift lock key, and the result was the poem "CAPITALS AT LAST," originally published in 1933. (via METAFILTER)

Happy INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY, everyone!

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Yes, You Can Put Your Christmas Decorations Up Now—and Should, According to Psychologists
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We all know at least one of those people who's already placing an angel on top of his or her Christmas tree while everyone else on the block still has paper ghosts stuck to their windows and a rotting pumpkin on the stoop. Maybe it’s your neighbor; maybe it’s you. Jolliness aside, these early decorators tend to get a bad rap. For some people, the holidays provide more stress than splendor, so the sight of that first plastic reindeer on a neighbor's roof isn't exactly a welcome one.

But according to two psychoanalysts, these eager decorators aren’t eccentric—they’re simply happier. Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown told UNILAD:

“Although there could be a number of symptomatic reasons why someone would want to obsessively put up decorations early, most commonly for nostalgic reasons either to relive the magic or to compensate for past neglect.

In a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of the childhood.

Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early extend the excitement!”

Amy Morin, another psychoanalyst, linked Christmas decorations with the pleasures of childhood, telling the site: “The holiday season stirs up a sense of nostalgia. Nostalgia helps link people to their personal past and it helps people understand their identity. For many, putting up Christmas decorations early is a way for them to reconnect with their childhoods.”

She also explained that these nostalgic memories can help remind people of spending the holidays with loved ones who have since passed away. As Morin remarked, “Decorating early may help them feel more connected with that individual.”

And that neighbor of yours who has already been decorated since Halloween? Well, according to a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, homes that have been warmly decorated for the holidays make the residents appear more “friendly and cohesive” compared to non-decorated homes when observed by strangers. Basically, a little wreath can go a long way.

So if you want to hang those stockings before you’ve digested your Thanksgiving dinner, go ahead. You might just find yourself happier for it.

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How Mammoth Poop Gave Us Pumpkin Pie
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When it’s time to express gratitude for the many privileges bestowed upon your family this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to be grateful for mammoth poop. The excrement of this long-extinct species is a big reason why holiday desserts taste so good.

Why? Because, as Smithsonian Insider reports, tens of thousands of years ago, mammoths, elephants, and mastodons had an affinity for wild gourds, the ancestors of squashes and pumpkin. In a 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a Smithsonian researcher and colleagues found that wild gourds—which were much smaller than our modern-day butternuts—carried a bitter-tasting toxin in their flesh that acted as a deterrent to some animals. While small rodents would avoid eating the gourds, the huge mammals would not. Their taste buds wouldn't pick up the bitter flavor and the toxin had no effect on them. Mammoths would eat the gourds and pass the indigestible seeds out in their feces. The seeds would then be plopped into whatever habitat range the mammoth was roaming in, complete with fertilizer.

When the mammoths went extinct as recently as 4000 years ago, the gourds faced the same fate—until humans began to domesticate the plants, allowing for the rise of pumpkins. But had it not been for the dispersal of the seeds via mammoth crap, the gourd might not have survived long enough to arrive at our dinner tables.

So as you dig into your pumpkin pie this year, be sure to think of the heaping piles of dung that made the delicious treat possible.

[h/t Smithsonian Insider]

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