Puns, Dunces, X-Rays, Bold and Pungent Foods, Cappuccino, and Harvey Wallbangers

November 8, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning punsters. Today is Monday, November 8, 2021. November 8th is the 312th day of the year, and 53 days remain.

Abet and Aid Punsters Day 

Abet and Aid Punsters Day as celebrated each year on November 8th. You needn’t be a wordsmith to ascertain that this holiday urges us to assist and encourage punsters whenever possible – at least for today.
The word ‘pun‘ is defined as: “the humorous use of a word or phrase to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning.” In other words, a play on words. We all know people who use puns regularly. They can’t help themselves. I think it might even be in their DNA. They will take any opportunity provided to them to turn an innocent and unsuspecting phrase into a painful and tortured pun. This holiday encourages us to be their “straight man” and set them up to use as many puns as possible today.
To celebrate Abet and Aid Punsters Day, opun your minds and celebrate this holiday in the spirit in which it is intended. Torture your friends with a few of your favorite puns. Naturally, I am obligated to give you a few examples – merely for the sake of clarity, naturally.

  • The man loved a good play on words but his wife couldn’t stand the punishment.
  • Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down.
  • I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  • I couldn’t quite remember how to throw a boomerang, but eventually, it came back to me.
  • Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

National Dunce Day

National Dunce Day is celebrated annually on November 8th. As its name implies, this holiday celebrates dunces. However, to be more precise, this holiday celebrates the anniversary of the death of John Duns Scotus, a medieval scholar, and educator. He was also a philosopher and theologian. Born in Duns, Scotland in 1308, he became known as the originator of the “dunce cap”. This was a conical cap, probably made of felt or other materials that kept it rigid in an upright position. He believed that the cone-shaped hat would funnel knowledge into the brains of students. Scotus was educated at Oxford University and an ordained priest in the Order of Friars Minor, also known as the Franciscans, at Saint Andrew’s Priory in Northampton, England. He wrote several books, and his philosophy was popular during his time – although it was somewhat convoluted and hard to understand. Even so, he had a following of people who agreed with him. However, he fell out of favor with the King when he disagreed with him and sided with the pope during a dispute, and was expelled from the country. His beliefs soon became a target of derision and jokes. The “dunce cap”, once believed to make people smart, was now used instead as a method of calling someone stupid.
Eventually, the use of a ‘dunce cap’ was used to punish, embarrass, or humiliate someone who had said or done something considered brainless or dumb. Many schools also used the cap, making students sit on a stool in the corner of the room while the rest of his classmates made fun of him (or her).
Today, the dunce cap is no longer used in schools; however, the term “dunce” is still used quite frequently when referring to a person  that has been viewed as doing something unintelligent. It is habitually applied to government officials. It is also used in jokes, cartoons, and books while poking fun at someone.
I can offer no suggestions to you regarding how to celebrate National Dunce Day.

 X-Ray Day 

X-Ray Day is celebrated each year on November 8th. As you might suspect, this holiday (aka: International Day of Radiology) celebrates the invention of X-Rays.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then serendipity is the father. According to NASA, X-rays were first observed and documented in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a German scientist who found them quite by accident when experimenting with vacuum tubes. Although he was not technically the first to observe X-rays he was the first one to observe and successfully repeat the process and therefore gets the credit.
A week after he ‘discovered’ them, he took an X-ray photograph of his wife’s hand which clearly revealed her wedding ring and her bones. The photograph electrified the public and aroused great scientific interest in the new form of radiation. Roentgen called it “X” to indicate it was an unknown type of radiation. The name stuck, although (over Roentgen’s objections), many of his colleagues suggested calling them Roentgen rays. They are still occasionally referred to as Roentgen rays in German-speaking countries.
Today, X-Rays have a wide variety of applications; medical, agricultural, industrial, scientific, and many more. X-Rays even exist in outer space. Most planets, comets, and even the sun emit X-Rays, and they are of use to astronomers in their research.
I can’t think of a practical way to celebrate X-Ray Day – but you might want to use it as a reminder to schedule your next dental check-up or physical exam.

Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day 

Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day is celebrated annually on November 8th. You don’t need to be a 5-Star Chef to deduce that this holiday urges us to deviate from our ordinarily bland meals today and instead spice them up with something a little more exciting.
While the word “pungent” may sound like a negative food descriptor, it’s not. Pungent, along with sweet, sour, salty, bitter and astringent, is one of the six tastes of food. Examples of pungent foods include garlic, which can be made into a tasty rub for any type of meat. Onions, chili peppers, ginger, black pepper and cayenne pepper are also considered pungent. These foods can be warming and are good for you.
Onions, like garlic, are members of the Allium family, and both are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent odors and for many of their health-promoting effects.
So, when preparing tonight’s dinner, celebrate Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day by starting with garlic and onions. Your house will immediately begin to smell like “home”. It is not a coincidence that this holiday is celebrated in November. This is the time of year when we begin closing our homes for winter, and therefore, the aromas are retained for a long time.

National Cappuccino Day 

National Cappuccino Day is celebrated each year on November 8th. You don’t need to be a barista to conclude that this holiday celebrates cappuccino – a world-renowned coffee beverage.
Cappuccino was created in Italy in the 1600s. It got its name from an Italian order of monks known as the Catholic Capuchins – a group of friars that wore dark brown hoods, similar to the color of the drink. Cappuccino is usually topped with ground cinnamon or other spices, or with ground chocolate or sweetened cocoa powder.
Prepared with two parts espresso and one part steamed and foamed milk in equal thirds, cappuccino is the customary way to jumpstart your day in Italy. In the rest of Europe and America, it’s just the opposite – cappuccino is most popular as an after-dinner drink.
To celebrate National Cappuccino Day, simply enjoy a cup of cappuccino – no matter what time of day.

National Harvey Wallbanger Day 

National Harvey Wallbanger Day is celebrated annually on November 8th. Even if you aren’t a professional mixologist, you should be able to discern that this holiday celebrates the Harvey Wallbanger – a popular adult mixed cocktail.
A Harvey Wallbanger is a cocktail made with the Italian herbal liqueur Galliano (more formally, Liquore Galliano L’Autentico) plus vodka and orange juice (think a Screwdriver – topped with Galliano).
Galliano liqueur was created in 1896 and named after an Italian war hero, Giuseppe Galliano. It’s flavored with anise, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, juniper, lavender, musk yarrow, peppermint, star anise, and vanilla. The vivid yellow color is made with a lemon-yellow dye called tartrazine.
But, what about Harvey? Well, according to legend, Harvey was a Manhattan Beach surfer. After losing a competition, in 1952, Harvey tied one on at his favorite bar, Duke’s Blackwatch Bar on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. He asked Donato “Duke” Antone, a world champion mixologist, to create a new drink for him. Being a little busy, Duke quickly made a screwdriver and topped it with a little Galliano. After serving Harvey a few of these, Duke noticed that Harvey had begun banging into a few walls, so he named his new creation the Harvey Wallbanger. (Duke also created the Rusty Nail, the White Russian, and other popular cocktails).
Originally, the Harvey Wallbanger was a California phenomenon, served mostly in trendy bars in the beach cities around Los Angeles, however, the drink gained national attention in 1970 when TWA featured the cocktail on its in-flight menu.
Since I no longer imbibe in alcoholic beverages, I won’t be celebrating National Harvey Wallbanger Day with you. However, don’t let my absence deter you from enjoying a Harvey Wallbanger (or two)* at your favorite ‘watering hole’.
*Always drink responsibly! 
Author’s Note:
I cannot vouch for the veracity of the story about the creation of the Harvey Wallbanger, but true or not, it seems as plausible as any other story concocted about the creation of any other cocktail. 

Listed below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that deserve mention. 

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