Everyone loves April.  The weather gets warmer, the flowers bloom, everybody's twitterpated, you know the drill.  Twitterpation aside (or concurrent.  Whatever.) there's a whole bunch going on at KU this month!  Click READ MORE to find out what!

April is Alcohol Awareness Month!  We happen to be plenty aware of alcohol here at KU, but that's not exactly what AAM is about.  The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) founded AAM in 1987 to increase public awareness and reduce the stigma toward getting help for alcoholism.  Far be it from me to discourage alcohol enjoyment, but alcohol abuse is bad, kids (mmmmkay?).

April is also Grilled Cheese Month!  I don't necessarily consider grilled cheese to be a seasonal food, but hey, I'll take a month to appreciate it.  Man, back in the day I used to make grilled cheese with mozzarella and pepperoni and call it a pizza sandwich.  And thus the culinary genius was born.  Or something.  Anyway, go grill yourself a cheese!


Also, marbles are gorgeous.

Now, if someone had said to me a week ago that April was National Knuckles Down Month, I would have been like, "A) What the hell are you talking about? and B) Why would we have a month to celebrate Neanderthals?  Or whoever walks with their knuckles down?"  Turns out, though, that Knuckles Down Month is actually about marbles.  The term 'to knuckle down' actually comes from the game, where a player places his knuckle(s) (at least one) on the playing surface in order to shoot.  In case you were wondering, Allegheny County has a long connection with the game of marbles and over the past ten years, half of the National Marbles Champions (boys and girls) have hailed from our hometown.  If you're not into old timey children's games (though, as readers of the KU blog, I think I can safely assume that you are), give marbles a try this month.  It's like a small-scale version of...bocce?  Billiards?  Not really bocce, at all, actually.  I don't know.  The point is, it's cool and nostalgic and we're all about that.  Also, if you need a set of marbles, we totally have that!

April is also STDs Month!  The exclamation point kind of feels out of place because STDs are the opposite of exciting.  Let's try again.  April is STDs month.  Blah.  The CDC estimates that half of all new STD cases occur in patients between the ages of 15 and 24.  So you young 'uns, be careful!  Always wear a condom, kids.  STDs are the very worst.  For real.


This is Liesl. She's the craziest of all crazy dogs. But she's also the sweetest. So, there's that.

Finally, something way happier and more adorable, April is National Pet Month!  I love my pets.  I've had a lot.  I think at one time my family had more than 20 animals in the house and approximately half of them were mine.  Birds, reptiles, cats, dogs, a ferret, and one wild-caught newt.  Because why not?  Oh, and don't forget approximately all the fish ever.

Important Dates in April:

1 - April Fools' Day:  Though there is rather extensive information available about the origins and celebration of April Fools' Day around the world, I'm not inclined, for obvious reasons, to not believe or relate any of it.  Play some pranks, send one or two of our sweet cards, and don't get hurt!

1-7 - Laugh At Work Week:  Closely related to AFD, one assumes.  This is another one of those observances that doesn't really make sense to the staff of KU because laughing at work is something that we literally do every day.

2 - Peanut Butter and Jelly Day:  Everyone who is anyone has had occasion to enjoy a simple PB & J at least several million times in his life.  The debate rages fiercely, as it always does, over what jelly makes the best sandwich.  I'm a staunch concord grape supporter, but there are merits to other jellies one must acknowledge.

6 - New Beer's Eve AND International Pillow Fight Day:  I find it almost unbelievable that a person who went to Penn State didn't know this was a thing, but I didn't until like 2 weeks ago.  New Beer's Eve commemorates the last night of Prohibition in the USA, which was April 6, 1933.  Apparently people lined up outside of saloons and breweries and whatnot to buy their first legal beer in 13 years at exactly midnight.  Presumably they drank illegally from their flasks and whatnot the whole time they were in line because Prohibition was the dumbest thing ever.  And of course, International Pillow Fight Day needs no explanation.

The Barbershop Quartet_jpg

Being in a barbershop quartet is a little bit my secret dream.

11 - Barbershop Quartet Day:  Vocal harmonies and old timey slang are just the cat's pajamas.

12 - Drop Everything and Read Day:  We make no secret that KU is a place where books are loved.  We even have a staff library.  Whether you're prose or verse, novella or epic, Romantic or Post-Modern, pick up something to read today and let go of everything else.  Reading's the best, you guys.

13 - Scrabble Day:  I'm pretty terrible at real life Scrabble, but I'm pretty good at Words With Friends.  Weird, right?

14 - Pictionary Day:  I assume that these two days are right next to each other on purpose...  Maybe not, though.  Curiously, the internet is not very enlightening with regard to that question.

14-20 - National Robotics Week AND National Library Week:  Funny that these two events should be concurrent, since Pittsburgh has both great libraries and one of the foremost institutions for robotics in the world and they were both initially funded by the same person.  Curious.

17-21 - International Whistlers Week:  Marbles, whistling, and Barbershop quartets?  1901 called, they want April back.

18 - National High Five Day AND National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day AND Support Teen Literature Day:  Triple Threat!  Now I just have to figure out how to organically fit a high five in while I'm sitting in my pjs at work reading Eragon.  Lol, like I won't be getting high fives from everyone at all times.

20 - 420:  Dude, it's like...it's like...all holidays are actually the same holiday, man.  And they're all just about snacks.

arbor tree

Trees kind of rock, no joke.

22 - Earth Day AND National Jelly Bean Day:  Save the planet!  Our resources are all, like, uncannily finite, my friends.  Not to be a downer, or whatever...  But hey, jelly beans!

23 - Movie Theater Day AND Talk Like Shakespeare Day:  Forsooth, I'm to the Globe on the morrow for a showing of Memento.

26 - Arbor Day:  Going back to the saving the Earth thing for a second, Arbor Day is a great day to help do that.  The Siberian Taiga is home to approximately one third of all the trees in the world and produces more than a quarter of the world's oxygen.  Yeah trees.

27 - Morse Code Day:  Morse code is one of those things that everyone wishes they knew but no one really puts forth the effort of finding out what it is and how to use it.  Mostly because the medium is pretty much dead.  You can't just type out dits and dahs.  I mean, you can, but it doesn't have the same feel, you know?  It'd be like sending someone a text while you're already on the phone with them.  Or something.

29 - Zipper Day:  The modern zipper was invented in 1913!

30 - Bugs Bunny Day AND Walpurgis Night:  Bugs Bunny first appeared in a short cartoon entitled "Porky's Hare Hunt" on April 30th, 1938.  That's one old wabbit.  Walpurgis Night is traditional northern European Spring festival celebrated in the Czech Republic, the Baltic states, Sweden, and elsewhere.  It mainly involves dancing and bonfires, apparently.  Though there seems to be a significant attachment to witches?  In the Czech Republic, for instance, an effigy of a witch is burned in the Walpurgis bonfire to signify the end of winter.  So.  Yeah.


Cupcake cakes are great because it's like, "Hey, let's take a cupcake which is conveniently small on purpose and make it unmanageably huge!

April Birthdays!

1 - Anne McCaffrey AND The Weasley Twins AND Bart Simpson (They would.  Except Anne McCaffrey.  Don't know what that's about.

2 - Hans Christian Anderson  (Father of fairy tales!  Also guy with an awesome name.)

4 - Robert Downey Jr.  (Anyone who is Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes is alright in my book.  Drugs and all.)

6 - Paul Rudd  (Paul Rudd is like ice cream.)

8 - Chandler Bing  (Wa-pah!)

15 - Emma Watson AND Henry James AND Leonardo da Vinci  (Sexiest intellectual threesome ever.  (That's assuming Hermione, not Emma herself, who I'm sure might be smart enough in her own right, but she's no Hermione.))

22 - Vladimir Nabokov  (If you haven't, read Transparent Things)

23 - William Shakespeare  (Stratford-upon-Avon's favorite son.)

25 - Hank Azaria  (at least 24 different characters on The Simpsons!)

27 - Eeyore  (Good day.  If it is a good day.  Which I doubt.)

28 - Terry Pratchett AND Harper Lee  (Yet another literary power couple.  Crazy.)

29 - Jerry Seinfeld  (And what is with that KU blog, am I right?)

30 - Lisbeth Salander  (Wish I had an eidetic memory.  :/ )  




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