October 21, 2020


Happy National: Back to the Future, Reptile Awareness, Reptile, and Apple Day! And also National Day of the Nacho (I wanted to be faithful to the correct syntax with that one). I don't know how you specifically plan to celebrate all of these wondrous holidays simultaneously, but if it involves a full back-to-back-to-Back to the Future trilogy screening while eating nachos garnished with apple salsa in the company of your favorite reptilian friend...PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN! 

Alright, cake time!

 First up, happy birthday to acclaimed English poet, literary critic, and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, born this day in 1772! Mr. Coleridge, along with his buddy William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement that was popular in the first half of the 19th century. He was a major influence on Ralph Waldo Emerson and American transcendentalism, but is perhaps best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner — which inspired the amazing Iron Maiden song of same name — and Kubla Khan. He also suffered mightily from anxiety and depression, and a life-long opium addiction.  

• Next, grattis på födelsedagen to Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, and philanthropist Alfred Bernhard Nobel, born this day in 1833! A controversial figure during his lifetime, Mr. Nobel held over 355 patents, the most famous of which was dynamite. It was a premature French obituary accusing him of profiting from arms sales ("the merchant of death is dead") that prompted Nobel to donate his fortune by creating the Nobel Prize in an effort to rehabilitate his legacy ahead of his demise. When you're that wealthy, you can control the story, I guess...

• Sling a jazzy slice across the table to famed trumpeter John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, born this day in 1917! Mr. Gillespie first came up as a luminary of the Swing movement before striking off with his contemporary Charlie Parker and becoming leading figures in the development of bebop and other modern jazz idioms. Key tracks: 'Manteca', 'A Night In Tunisia', 'Groovin' High', and 'Con Alma'.

• Cut a piece for sci fi & fantasy legend Ursula Kroeber Le Guin, born this day in 1929! Ms. Le Guin's most known works are probably found in her Earthsea series, as well as those set in her science fiction Hainish Cycle, and frequently featured elements of cultural anthropology, Taoism, and feminism.

• Finally, a very happy birthday to Princess Leia herself, Carrie Frances Fisher, born this day in 1956! When we think of living a public life, they don't get much more public than the child star daughter of a famous actor and singer who became an iconic star at the age of 21 with the release of the first Star Wars film. Don't sleep on her roles in When Harry Met Sally...The 'Burbs, and The Man With One Red Shoe, though!

OK, link time!

1. Still not sure if you should wear a mask? Maybe Lumiere and Mrs. Potts can convince you.

As Disney parodies go, this one is pretty great.

2. Still not sure if you should bother voting? Maybe this amazing woman can convince you.

Bring your chair, bring your snacks, and get your jush on!

3. Twitter user Decadent_Dayne like to narrate cooking videos on Tik Tok, and they are amazing!

Broccolini never looked so sexy. 

4. Miss Mexico contestants are competing in traditional costumes, and they are stunning!

Cool thing about this listicle: it also acts as a travelogue of Mexican states, their geography, and their cultural history!

5. DinosandComics.com offers a bittersweet glimpse into the lives of gigantic maudlin reptiles — eminently fitting for National Reptile Day!

Seriously — some of these poignant exchanges could be ripped right out of conversations Meredith and I have with each other. 

6. BONUS! The 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners have been announced, and these pix are positively gorgeous!

I'm partial to big (and small) cats, but ALL of these are very deserving winners. A feast for the eyes! Just don't lose sight of your nachos...