To be a full-time geek is to live life on expert mode. All the shows to keep up with, the comics to read, the games to play, the cons to attend, the Game of Thrones characters to mourn—it’s one hell of a work load. That’s not to mention actual employment! So I thought, hey, maybe I can help out by taking one thing off your plate. At the beginning of each month, I’ll provide an overview of the holidays that take place during that month, complete with some suggestions on how to celebrate. There may even be a few you’ve never heard of—this is either because you are deeply uncultured, or because I made them up. Your call.
October 16: Ada Lovelace Day
We’re past the 16th, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate all October! Named for Ada Lovelace, considered to be the world’s first computer programmer, this day is to celebrate the many achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Celebrate by discussing the women who you find to be inspirational—learn about the contributions women have made to science even before they had the right to vote. Be sure to talk to the young women in your life and encourage them to pursue their geeky dreams, even if they involve male-dominated fields such as math, science, and engineering. They have excellent female company there!
October 23: Mole Day
In celebration of Avogadro’s number, Mole Day celebrates both chemistry and moles. Started in 1991 by Maurice Oehler, Mole Day has been celebrated with themed parties (2013 is to be the “Animole Kingdom”) and fun experiments. So go out and hug a chemist, titrate something, and set various unknown powders on fire and see what pretty colors they burn*. I was in Science Olympiad in high school for some unknown reason and this was pretty much exclusively how we “trained”. We may or may not have accidentally made nitrous oxide. Anyway, if you don’t have any Bunsen burners handy, an interestingly-shaped cake—a beaker, or the molecular structure of sugar—is always a crowd-pleaser.
*Don’t do this. This is a terrible idea. I have no idea why we didn’t die.
October 31: Halloween
Finally, there’s Halloween. It’s not a geek-exclusive holiday, but as Halloween is basically nationally-sanctioned cosplay, I’m pretty sure it totally counts. Halloween is also two days after my birthday, so it is naturally the best-ever holiday. Of the national holidays, this is easily the most geekifiable. Dressing up as your favorite geek anything is, of course, traditional. A few other ideas? Try some nerdy pumpkin art (tardis-o-lantern, anyone?) or some creatively-decorated candy apples (maybe PacMan and the ghosties that pursue him?).
Need some help in the costuming department? Head over to Sachie’s vlog and all your many questions can be answered by the master! You can also head over to Critical Hits Cocktails with Mitch Hutts on our vlogger channel for tips on how to make some fantastically geeky (and potent) drinks if you’re having a Halloween party! His take on Mudder’s Milk is basically the greatest thing ever. Mitch, if you’re listening, I want a recipe for delicious butterbeer. Make it happen.
So! If you celebrate these or any other geek holidays this month, tell me about them! Show me your nerdy Halloween costumes or Animole Kingdom t-shirts, and we’ll talk about your favorite women of math and science.
By Catie Lau