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15 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in October

The spookiest month of the year has arrived, and with it, a calendar full of offbeat holidays. Between your autumnal walks, horror movie marathons, and oh, NATIONAL CAT DAY (October 29—basically the most important holiday here at mental_floss) see if you can squeeze in a few of these unconventional celebrations.

1. OCTOBER 1: BAKING DAY

Even if you don't eat vegan, we can probably all agree on honoring baked goods.

2. OCTOBER 4: NATIONAL SHIPS-IN-BOTTLES DAY

Someone spent a lot of time making this art happen, so let's take a little time to appreciate it.

3. OCTOBER 7: WORLD SMILE DAY

If the calendar says you have to do it, you have to do it.

4. OCTOBER 11: SOUTHERN FOOD HERITAGE DAY

Sorry, but if you're not eating this on October 11, you're doing life wrong.

5. OCTOBER 12: INTERNATIONAL TOP SPINNING DAY

A good day to head to the toy store and take a spin.

6. OCTOBER 15: NATIONAL CAKE DECORATING DAY

Making a boxed cake recipe and applying the frosting with a butter knife definitely counts.

7. OCTOBER 15: SWEETEST DAY

Traditionally celebrated in the Midwest and Northeastern United States, Sweetest Day is a lot like Valentine's Day, which, depending on your outlook, is either a very good thing or a very bad thing.

8. OCTOBER 19: HAGFISH DAY

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These eel-shaped, slime-producing fish are fairly disgusting (seriously), but they're also kind of awesome. They have four hearts, have been around for hundreds of millions of years, and can feed through their skin. So while it might not be beautiful, the humble hagfish does deserve a little love and respect.

9. OCTOBER 20: GET SMART ABOUT CREDIT DAY

This American Bankers Association holiday is all about educating the public on credit—and if that stresses you out, you should probably be observing this quirky commemoration.

10. OCTOBER 23: CANNING DAY

Nicolas Appert—the inventor of hermetically sealed food preservation and the "father of canning"—was born around this time circa 1750, and this day celebrates all things that come in jars. So, you know, put a lid on it.

11. OCTOBER 28: FRANKENSTEIN FRIDAY

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Held annually on the last Friday of October, this holiday celebrate Frankenstein's monster, its creator, and the woman who created it all, Mary Shelley.

12. OCTOBER 30: CHECKLISTS DAY

Put this one on your to-do list!

13. OCTOBER 30: CREATE A GREAT FUNERAL DAY

Much of October is spent focused on ghouls and goblins, but this day is all about confronting the scariest thing of all: mortality. Between your apple orchard outings and haunted house trips, make sure you and your loved ones have a plan for after you've shuffled off this mortal coil. Happy October?

14. OCTOBER 30: HAUNTED REFRIGERATOR NIGHT

This offbeat holi-night is about exploring the darker corners and containers of your fridge. After all, we've all got some metaphorical skeletons lurking in there.

15. OCTOBER 31: NATIONAL KNOCK-KNOCK DAY

There's no better time than the spookiest day of the year to tell some good (or bad) jokes.

Holidays found in Chase's Calendar of Events 2016. All photos courtesy of iStock unless otherwise noted.

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Live Smarter
Here's What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy
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Americans indulged their sweet tooth in a major way this Halloween, spending an estimated $2.7 billion on candy intended for front porch distribution. Rather than confronting a weepy child with an empty bowl because they bought too little, shoppers tend to buy in bulk. Come November, that can mean pounds of sugar-packed temptation still sitting in the house.

The good news: You can remove the risk to your waistline and do some good at the same time. A number of charitable organizations take leftover candy and send it to troops stationed overseas. Operation Gratitude has set up a number of drop-off centers around the country—you can search by zip code—to accept your extra treats. Once collected, they’ll send them to both troops and first responders. Last year, the group collected nearly 534,000 pounds of goodies.

Often, drop-off locations will be located in dental offices as a way of reminding everyone of the perils of tooth decay from excess sugar consumption. Some dentists even offer buy-back programs, paying $1 for each pound returned.

If donating to a national program is proving difficult, you can always deliver the extra candy to local food pantries or homeless shelters.

[h/t weartv.com]  

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Health
The FDA Has a Warning for People Who Love Black Licorice
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Most versions of black licorice contain glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound found in the licorice root. While tasty, glycyrrhizin can affect potassium levels in the body, causing them to fall to dangerously low levels. High blood pressure, swelling, and even heart issues can develop as a result.

It’s not just bingeing that can cause issues. According to the Food and Drug Administration, adults over 40 who eat more than two ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could suffer heart problems like arrhythmia. If you have a history of heart disease, you’re even more susceptible to complications.

The FDA recommends using a little common sense when consuming black licorice, eating it in moderate amounts and stopping if you notice any adverse symptoms. If you do experience potassium level drops, it’s usually reversible once you put the bag down. Treats that are licorice-flavored are typically artificial and won’t have the same effect as the actual plant root—but for your waistline’s sake, try to avoid gorging on anything.

[h/t Consumerist]

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