We kicked off July with a full-site celebration of Canada Day yesterday but there are still plenty of offbeat holidays to enjoy this month.
1. July 3: Compliment-Your-Mirror Day
It might just compliment you right back.
2. July 3: Dog Days of Summer Start
That's right, "dog days" is more than just an evocative, old-timey phrase. The Farmer's Almanac describes it as the period of the summer when Sirius, the Dog Star (hence the name), rises each day around the same time as the sun. Or as we know it now, the really hot stretch of summer running from July 3 to August 11. Interestingly, the start of this steamy stretch for the Northern Hemisphere actually coincides with the day Earth reaches its aphelion, the point in the orbit farthest from the sun.
3. July 6-12: Be Nice to New Jersey Week
A real holiday that was not made up by this sometimes-ashamed New Jerseyan. New Jersey-ite?
4. July 7: Father-Daughter Take a Walk Together Day
Not an excuse to avoid father-daughter walks the other 364 days of the year. Same goes for Tell the Truth Day, also July 7.
5. July 10: Don't Step on a Bee Day
More good advice for every day.
6. July 12: Night of Nights
On July 12, 1999 the US closed commercial Morse operations, but every year since, on that anniversary, the Maritime Radio Historical Society commemorates maritime radio by bringing stations KPH, KSM and KFS back on the air for one night. Other existing radio stations participate with related content.
7. July 13: Gruntled Workers Day
"Disgruntled" oft-forgotten antonym takes center stage in this celebration of contented employees.
8. July 14: International Town Criers Day
Annually the second Monday in July, this is a chance to honor the lost art of speaking loudly and starting proclamations with "Hear ye, hear ye!"
9. July 18: Mandela Day
Since 2009, Nelson Mandela's birthday has been celebrated as a chance to honor his life and inspire others to take action to change the world for the better.
10. July 20: National Ice Cream Day
Annually, the third Sunday ("Sundae") of July. I'm sure we don't have to tell you how to celebrate.
11. July 21: National Get Out of the Doghouse Day
It'll probably be too hot to hold grudges anyway.
12. July 24: National Tell an Old Joke Day
My favorite? Two peanuts were crossing the street. One was assaulted.
13. July 26: National Day of the Cowboy
First celebrated in 2005, this is a chance to head to a rodeo, listen to country music, and dust off your cowboy boots.
14. July 27: Walk on Stilts Day
If you can.
15. July 31: National Chili Dog Day
The last Thursday in July is your annual chance to proclaim your love for this truly American delicacy.
For an even more exhaustive list of holidays, historical anniversaries and notable birthdays, check out Chase's Calendar of Events.
All images courtesy of iStock unless otherwise noted.
Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead
BY Kirstin Fawcett
December 12, 2017
Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.
As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.
In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.
In all of Arnold Schwarzenegger's film oeuvre, Jingle All the Way might just be the one that most exhibits the ugliness of humanity. Set on a fevered Christmas Eve brimming with desperate last-minute shoppers, Schwarzenegger's Howard Langston and Sinbad's postal worker character Myron Larabee find themselves battling one another to make themselves look good to their sons by getting their hands on the elusive Turbo Man action figure. The comedic genius Phil Hartman; Rita Wilson; future young Anakin Skywalker, Jake Lloyd; Laraine Newman; Harvey Korman; Martin Mull; Curtis Armstrong; and Chris Parnell were the other willing participants in this cult comedy, directed by Brian Levant. Here are some things you might not have known about the contemporary holiday classic.
1. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER WAS ABLE TO PLAY THE LEAD BECAUSE OF A DELAY ON A PLANET OF THE APES REMAKE.
Arnold Schwarzenegger signed up to star in the Apes remake in March of 1994, but 20th Century Fox rejected multiple scripts for the movie, including one co-written by Chris Columbus (Gremlins, The Goonies). Columbus left the project in late 1995, and Schwarzenegger followed him soon after, freeing him to sign up for Jingle All the Way, produced by Columbus, in February 1996. Fox's Planet of the Apes reboot found its way into theaters in 2001, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Tim Burton.
2. SINBAD THOUGHT HE SCREWED UP THE AUDITION.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Filming was delayed so that Sinbad could follow through on his commitment to travel to Bosnia with Hillary Clinton. Even though Columbus agreed to wait for him, the comedian still thought he "messed up" his audition and told his manager-brother he was going to quit show business.
3. OFFICER HUMMELL WAS INITIALLY WRITTEN AS A WOMAN.
Though the role of Officer Hummell was written for a woman, the part went to Robert Conrad. Conrad's explanation was that the producers "wanted someone who could pull up next to Arnold and tell him to pull over and he pulls over."
4. IT WAS CHRIS PARNELL'S FIRST MOVIE.
The future SNL star played the toy store clerk. "Well, it was my first movie role, and I didn't know how they typically shot scenes," Parnell admitted in a Reddit AMA. "So I had to laugh a lot, and I sort of spent all of my laughing energy in the wider takes, so by the time we got to the close-up shots, it was a real struggle to keep that going."
5. MARTIN MULL STAYED ON SET FOR OVER TWO WEEKS LONGER THAN HE WAS SUPPOSED TO.
Mull (KQRS D.J. a.k.a. Mr. Ponytail Man) was told it would just be a one- to two-day shoot for him. Unfortunately, his part had to be shot on a rainy day, and it didn't rain in Minneapolis for two and a half weeks.
6. PHIL HARTMAN MADE UP A BACKSTORY FOR HIS CHARACTER.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Hartman (Ted Maltin) was probably joking for the film's official production notes, but you never know. "Ted is a guy who sued his employer for headaches caused by toner fumes and now hangs around the neighborhood and helps all the housewives," Hartman said. He also offered a take on how he was kind of being pigeonholed in Hollywood when he added, "Ted's another weasel to add my list of weasels."
7. HARTMAN ENTERTAINED HIS BORED YOUNG CO-STARS.
To keep young E.J. De la Pena (Johnny Maltin) and Jake Lloyd (Jamie Langston) from getting bored shooting a car scene all day, Hartman improvised songs designed to bring kids to hysterics. One tune contained the lyrics “You make my butt shine, the more you kiss it, the more it shines! The clock is ticking, so keep on licking, oh how you make my buttocks shine!”
"When you’re an 8 year old hearing that kind of potty humor, it was hilarious!" De la Pena remembered. "And we had a lot of fun."
8. JAMES BELUSHI HAD EXPERIENCE PLAYING SANTA BEFORE.
Belushi sort of trained to portray the Mall of America Santa in the movie by playing Kris Kringle for four years in "about 20" different homes, according to his estimation.
9. SHOOTING BEGAN IN MID-APRIL.
The Minneapolis/St.Paul areas were chosen because the producers figured they had the longest winter. But they also filmed in Los Angeles' Universal Studios for the big parade over a three week span, where it was typical hot California weather on the verge of summer. Sinbad remembered it was 100 degrees on the days when he wore the Dementor costume, and the water in his helmet had started to boil.
10. THE REAL TURBO MAN DIDN'T SWEAT.
Daniel Riordan's Turbo Man suit ensured he wouldn't have trouble with the scorching heat. He was wearing a vest underneath used by race car drivers. "They're very thin membrane vests that are filled with small, plastic tubing that's tightly coiled, back and forth, and they run cold water through it," Riordan explained. "So when they run it, it's like this cold water right up against your body and it was amazing. The sensation was fantastic."
11. TURBO MAN FIGURES WERE SOLD AT WAL-MART.
200,000 were originally produced and sold at 2,300 Wal-Mart shops for $25. They would have made more but, as Fox’s president of licensing and merchandising explained to Entertainment Weekly, there were only six and a half months to produce and promote Turbo Man toys, and it usually takes "well over a year."
12. THEY ALMOST SOLD DEMENTOR DOLLS TOO.
Sinbad recalled that the studio didn't sell Dementor action figures even though they tested high during research. "I had a prototype of the doll but they said 'give it back, we'll get you the real one when it comes out,'" Sinbad said." ...And dude, it NEVER came out!" Sinbad told Redditers his theory: "I think that they didn't want the competition between Turbo Man and my doll."
13. SOME PARENTS HAD ALCOHOL-RELATED COMPLAINTS AFTER TEST SCREENINGS.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Schwarzenegger and Sinbad talking at a bar over some alcohol, and the fact that reindeer also imbibed in beer, were among some of the problems mothers and other early viewers took issue with.
14. THE FILMMAKERS WERE SUED FOR PLAGIARISM, AND LOST.
Randy Kornfield penned the official script, but high school teacher Brian Alan Webster alleged his Could This Be Christmas? script was very similar. The publishing firm that had the rights to Webster's script won a $19 million lawsuit from 20th Century Fox, but the ruling was overturned in 2004. Webster's screenplay was about “the quest of a Caucasian mother attempting to obtain a hard-to-get action figure toy as a Christmas gift for her son. In the course of this pursuit, she competes with an African-American woman, similarly seeking to give the action figure doll as a Christmas gift.”
15. THERE WAS A SEQUEL STARRING LARRY THE CABLE GUY.
None of the original cast members nor characters returned in the straight-to-DVD Jingle All the Way 2 (2014). It was produced by 20th Century Fox and WWE Studios and featured wrestler Santino Marella. Sinbad expressed incredulity when a Redditer inquired if he was asked to return for it. "What they are doing a new version without me! Ain't gonna work!"
Schaefer, Stephen: "Sinbad leaps at the chance to go postal in Jingle All the Way," December 6, 1996; Des Moines Register