Day 4: Tacos and Ships and Vodka, Oh My!

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tacosIt’s October 4th and we have several choices of holidays and observances to celebrate. None of them seemed particularly interesting to be honest, but sometimes you never know what little nuggets of curiosities you may uncover by consulting The Google.

  1. National Vodka Day

When I say Vodka, you say… Russia. The two seem to go hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly. Vodka became super-popular because it could remain in liquid form in the frigid Siberian weather. Interesting fact: It’s so popular and so widely consumed by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, all Nordic and Baltic countries, Poland and areas of Slovakia and Hungary, that these regions are known as the “Vodka Belt”. As seen here. (I guess it’s like the “Bible Belt”… in that the second word is “belt”.)

Vodka has a whole host of uses. Among other things, it soothes jellyfish stings, cleans chrome and glass, makes your hair shinier, and dissolves adhesive on Band-Aids so they come off easier. (Which makes one wonder what it’s doing to a person’s insides?)

  1. National Taco Day.

Ah, Tacos. If I’m ever on death row and had to choose my last meal, an assortment of tacos would definitely make the cut.

According to NationalTacoDay.com, “last year Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos! That’s 490,000 miles of tacos, which could take you to the moon and back or if you prefer, could, at 775-million pounds, equal the weight of two Empire State Buildings.” I guess that seems like a lot, but it only comes out to 14 tacos a year per person. I don’t know, it seems like a wasted life if you’re only eating a taco once every 0.038 days.

If you’re hankering for some real, in-depth history on the taco and Mexican food, the Smithsonian put out an article a few years ago about a man named Jeffrey M. Pilcher, a history professor at the University of Minnesota who (and no, this isn’t a typo) has “traveled around the world eating tacos.” I’m not a professor of history, but I have a degree in history. Where can I sign up for this job? Gosh, life is so unfair.

  1. National Ship in a Bottle Day

I’ve always been intrigued how “ship bottlers” (that’s what they’re called, apparently) managed to get those big ol’ ships in those tiny ol’ bottles. I never wondered enough to actually look it up – until today, where I happily discovered, ala YouTube, a circa 1980’s special on the craft. It’s a pretty interesting, albeit tedious, process that I would never, ever have the patience to try. (Side note: Turn on the closed captions and skip to 7:55 for a bit of a chuckle.)

Enjoy your celebrating, whichever observance you choose, and see you tomorrow!

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