Daily TWiP Archives

Something interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.

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Daily TWiP – May 25: Towel Day and Geek Pride Day

Here at Daily TWiP, we are overjoyed to celebrate the most exciting confluence of holidays since the International Day of Awesomeness and Chuck Norris’ birthday. Today (May 25) is both Towel Day and Geek Pride Day.

Towel Day was instituted in 2001, two weeks after the death of Douglas Adams, author of the wildly successful novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and the other four books that round out the Hitchhiker trilogy. Adams had quite a sense of humor when it came to numbers, as evidenced by the answer his books provided to the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything: 42.

The key ingredient to successful hitchhiking is the common, everyday towel. Adams describes a few of the towel’s myriad uses in this excerpt from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:

“You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

Towel Day is best celebrated by carrying a towel wherever you go today. You probably won’t need to outsmart the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, but you may need to combat a messy hamburger or lasso an errant pencil. A good hitchhiker always knows where their towel is. To learn more about Towel Day, visit www.towelday.org.

If you knew what Towel Day was before we explained it, you are a prime candidate to celebrate today’s second holiday, Geek Pride Day.

Originally, the word “geek” denoted a sideshow performer whose act consisted of particularly unsettling feats, such as biting the head off a live chicken. In that sense of the word, Ozzy Osbourne may just be the ultimate modern geek.

Today, however, a geek is broadly defined as anyone with a passionate interest in one specific area. You can have history geeks, cinema geeks, computer geeks and so forth, but geeks are often associated with more unconventional areas of interest, such as science fiction, comic books, role-playing games or anime.

Being labeled a geek used to be a social stigma, but as the digital revolution has expanded our world and provided us with more areas in which to be geeky, geekiness has become increasingly accepted.

And because there are so many different things to be geeky about, no one type of geekiness will ever be completely mainstream. Even with something as ubiquitously loved as Star Wars, different people will be drawn to different aspects, resulting in different areas of expertise.

We encourage you to celebrate Geek Pride Day by sharing your unique brand of geekiness with those around you and enjoying theirs in return. Enlighten them as to the batting averages for the 1914 Red Sox team and listen in amazement as they give you a detailed explanation of the function of the flying buttress in sacred medieval architecture. Embracing one another’s geekiness not only makes the world a happier place, but a smarter one as well.

– Teresa Santoski


Originally published May 25, 2010.

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