Monday, October 2, 2017

Readers Write and Brett's Monthly


Though we think of September, October, November, and December as months 9, 10, 11 and 12, these months were 7, 8, 9, and 10 on the ancient Roman calendar. This is how they got their names.
September: September's name comes from septem, Latin for “seven."
October: October's name comes from octo, Latin for “eight."
November: November's name comes from novem, Latin for “nine."
December: December's name come from decem, Latin for “ten."

Did those of us in the Oz States which started daylight saving yesterday remember to change clocks? 

Or did you do what I did: deliberately not change your wrist watch so that you could compare with electronic devices to see which had automatically updated?

As he does each month, Brett B (the US Brett B, not the local Brett B) has sent his list of unique and bizarre holidays, for October.

Thanks Brett.

Click on the daily ones in the last list to enlarge. There are many there that deserve a closer look.

  • Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
  • American Pharmacist Month
  • Apple Jack Month
  • Awareness Month
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Clergy Appreciation Month
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Cookie Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Eat Country Ham Month
  • International Drum Month
  • National Diabetes Month
  • National Pizza Month
  • National Vegetarian Month
  • National Popcorn Popping Month
  • Sarcastic Month
  • Seafood Month
Weekly Celebrations:
  • Week 1 Get Organized Week
  • Week 1 Customer Service Week
  • Week 2 Fire Prevention Week
  • Week 2 Pet Peeve Week
  • 14 - 20 Earth Sciences Week
  • Week 3 Pastoral Care Week
National Kale Day - first Wednesday of October
Sukkot - begins at sundown, date varies
World Smile Day first Friday of month
International Frugal Fun Day - first Saturday of the month
World Card Making Day - first Saturday of the month
Oktoberfest in Germany ends, date varies
Columbus Day - second Monday of month
11 Emergency Nurses Day- second Wednesday of month
17 National Fossil Day - Wednesday of Earth Sciences Week
11 Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day -Second Wednesday of month
13 World Egg Day  - second Friday of month
14 National Dessert Day - take an extra helping, or two
19 Hindu Dilawi Day - date varies
21 National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day - find a recipe, too.
21 Sweetest Day - third Saturday of month   
22  Mother-In-Law Day - fourth Sunday in October
27 Frankenstein Friday - last Friday in October
27 National Tell a Story Day - in Scotland and the U.K.
28 Make a Difference Day-  fourth Saturday of the month, neighbors helping neighbors.
31 Carve a Pumpkin Day - no surprise here

Some October dates from Graham Earp, aka Mr Trivia . . . 

LABOUR DAY, a public holiday to remember the Melbourne workers who marched in 1856 to win the worlds first 8 hour working day. Today it celebrates workers and their right to 8 hours work, 8 hours recreation & 8 hours rest. 

WORLD SMILE DAY, since 1999 it celebrates Harvey Ball who created the Smiley Face in 1963. Today the World Smile Foundation encourages everyone around the world to smile and perform acts of kindness for others. 

WOMBAT DAY, begun in 2005, this unofficial celebration of wombats and their place in Australia’s culture, uses "Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat" from the 2000 Sydney Olympics as its mascot. Here’s to our favourite marsupial. 

CHILDREN’S DAY, part of the national Children’s Week, it initiates action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children as defined in 1959 by the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child. 

OKTOBERFEST, this year the 7th annual Oktoberfest in the Gardens will see Sydney’s Domain become a traditional Bavarian festival village with entertainment, food and beer halls and so don’t miss out and get your tickets early.

Thanks, Graham

(Anyone wanting a great Trivia function, contact Graham:  
Tel: (02) 9797 0759
Mr Trivia, PO Box 405 Summer Hill NSW 2130
MrTriviaSydney on Twitter and Facebook)


An email from Sue P:
Morning Otto!
Heard an expression yesterday I remember my Mum say and wondered where it came from: "Well, that won't cut the mustard." 
Wondered if you knew? 
Regards and ongoing gratitude for the daily joy you bring. 
Thanks Sue

Cutting the mustard means, in popular usage, to succeed, to come up to expectations, with the expression of not cutting the mustard meaning the reverse, failing or not coming up to expectations.

Authoritative site Phrase Finder says that the origin is unclear. It has been suggested that the phrase refers to:
- Mustard seed, which is hard to cut with a knife on account of its being small and shiny.
- Mustard plants, which are tough and stringy and grow densely. 
- Culinary mustard, which is cut (diluted) and made more palatable by the addition of vinegar.
- Dried mustard paste, which was reputedly used to coat meat and then dried to form a crust.

There is, however, no evidence to support any of the above suggestions. Likewise, the explanation that it derives from the military term “to pass muster” has no evidentiary support.

According to Phrase Finder:
There has been an association between the heat and piquancy of mustard and the zest and energy of people's behaviour. This dates back to at least 1672, when the term 'as keen as mustard' is first recorded. 'Up to mustard' or just 'mustard' means up to standard in the same way as 'up to snuff'. 'Cutting' has also long been used to mean 'exhibiting', as in the phrase 'cutting a fine figure'. Unless some actual evidence is found for the other proposed explanations, the derivation of 'cutting the mustard' as an alternative way of saying 'exhibiting one's high standards' is by far the most likely.

Whatever the coinage, the phrase itself emerged in the USA towards the end of the 19th century. The earliest example in print that I've found is from the Kansas newspaper The Ottawa Herald, August, 1889:
He tried to run the post office business under Cleveland's administration, but "couldn't cut the mustard."
The use of quotation marks and the lack of any explanation of the term in that citation imply that 'cut the mustard' was already known to Kansas readers and earlier printed examples may yet turn up.

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