Bartleby Productions

Filled with the profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best.

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Celebrate Biological Diversity and Maritime Industry!!

by joegio

Hello!  Long time no see.  Have you been well?  Me too.  Thanks for asking.

Sometimes, two holidays fall on the same day and they totally have nothing to do with each other.  Sometimes they have a lot to do with each other in a good way.  But sometimes they have a lot to do with each other.  In a bad way.  Regretfully, today is kind of one of those days.

1) International Day for Biological Diversity

Diverse

International Day for Biological Diversity has kind of a troubled past.  It was sanctioned by the U.N. in 1993, basically to call awareness to the fact that there are a lot of things on the planet and tradition indicates we (people, internationally speaking) tend to extinct a lot more of them than we save.  In fact, some biologists suggest that about 1-3% of all the species that have ever existed are still existing.  “That’s just evolution!” you might say.  “Sure, fair enough, whatever, I don’t really want to talk about this all that much anyway, it’s just what day it is,” I would reply.  Then maybe we’d both have a good laugh and our friendship would deepen.  I don’t know, or not, whatever.

Okay, so originally, International Day for Biological Diversity was observed on December 29 to commemorate the adoption of the Convention of Biological Diversity.  However, it quickly (7 years later) dawned on the U.N. that December actually already has a pretty fair share of holidays.  And a lot of the biggies at that.  So the moved it to May 22, the day they voted to adopt the Convention of Biological Diversity.  Each year has it’s own theme.  Last year was “Maritime Biodiversity.”  This year, it’s “Water and Biodiversity,” which is a little bit broader.

And frankly, as a world, we’re not actually doing so hot in the water and biodiversity department.  In fact, the U.N. has also declared the period of 2005-2015 the year of “Decade of Water Cooperation.”  A cooperative study out of Southern Cross University suggests that as much as 80% of people on the planet are currently experiencing some level of threat to their water supply.  And as wealthy nations devise technology to address the threat without addressing the underlying issues, the threat level both to the waterways of poorer nations and the lives in that water increase.

So be aware!

2. National Maritime Day

Today is also the day for Americans to celebrate our merchant marines.  The merchant marine in the U.S. is made up of privately held maritime shipping companies.  They move stuff and people on ships.  During wartime, they may also be called on to move warthings.  They are also a big threat to our water biodiversity, particularly due to the constant dredging of inland waters necessary to make way for large ships carrying tomatoes from Chile (yum!) for us to eat in the winter.

Not only that, but they’re also pretty prolific dumpers of garbage (which is often found washing up on the shores of Scotland) and fuel.

That being said, the merchant marine are also super useful.  Our top two imports and exports are the same (fuel, nuclear stuff), but while the rest of our major exports (TV stuff, iron and steel, machine parts) are the sort of major industrial components that you and I never really need to think about that hard, the remainder of our top imports are all things worth loving: clothes, toys, electronics, winter fruits.  It’s a classic “everything we do destroys something, and I love my iPhone” situation.

I mean, I do love getting my tomatoes in the winter, so I’m not trying to harp on the people and large tankers that make that necessary.  But maybe we should just combine these holidays into one major holiday called “All Human Activity Threatens Our Ecosystem Day” and uh, call it a day.

 

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There are many Constitution Days, but today is Micronesia’s!

by joegio

There are a lot of constitutions on this big blue Earth, but only one was ratified May 10, 1979: the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia.

micronesia

Those states, incidentally, are Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae.  In lieu of making stupid jokes about constitutions or about islands or anything, here’s the preamble to that constitution.  It is pretty great:

  WE, THE PEOPLE OF MICRONESIA, exercising our inherent sovereignty, do hereby establish this Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia.

     With this Constitution, we affirm our common wish to live together in peace and harmony, to preserve the heritage of the past, and to protect the promise of the future.

     To make one nation of many islands, we respect the diversity of our cultures. Our differences enrich us.  The seas bring us together, they do not separate us. Our islands sustain us, our island nation enlarges us and makes us stronger.

     Our ancestors, who made their homes on these islands, displaced no other people.  We, who remain, wish no other home than this.  Having known war, we hope for peace.  Having been divided, we wish unity.  Having been ruled, we seek freedom.

     Micronesia began in the days when man explored seas in rafts and canoes. The Micronesian nation is born in an age when men voyage among stars; our world itself is an island.  We extend to all nations what we seek from each: peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity.  With this Constitution we, who have been the wards of other nations, become the proud guardian of our own islands, now and forever.

Today is the 63rd Anniversary of Dianetics!

by joegio

Real science

Today is the 63rd Anniversary of Dianetics!  Like most things scientology, there isn’t a lot of information out there about the actual celebration of this day.  It seems like maybe if you’re a scientologist, you might go to your Scientology Center today for a “cup of coffee” for “ten minutes, maybe two hours”, but beyond that, it is unclear what you might do.  Maybe watch Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol.  It’s surprisingly good!

But never fear!  In the true tradition of Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard, I have undertaken years of (unverifiable) pain-staking research into the rites of celebration for the Anniversary of Dianetics.  I am now an expert in the rites of this particular holiday.  I’d like to share with you my findings.

1) L. Ron Hubbard, the author of Dianetics lo these 63 years ago, was (among other things, and according to a movie on Scientology’s website) a master mariner, the youngest Eagle Scout of all time, and a “giant in the golden age of pulp fiction.”  That’s why on the Anniversary of Dianetics, all scientologists sleep in tents in their backyards and read back issues of Marvel’s Sub-Mariner with a flashlight.  JUST LIKE A REAL EAGLE SCOUT!

Just like L.Ron

2. 

This is the Scientology Tree.  Maybe they decorate it for the Anniversary of Dianetics!

3. Scientology on the whole is as as spoiler-averse as the cast and crew of Mad Men.  So it’s hard to know exactly what they believe, what they do, what they like, what their vision for the world is, or why they are called “scientologists.”  Among other things!  But if we know nothing else about what Scientologists actually do and think all day, we know this: above all else, scientologists are AWESOME at making videos.  Seriously, so many well-produced videos in the House of Xenu.  There are even digital displays at the scientology churches with “play” buttons and “pause” buttons so that in as little as two minutes you can have “a handle on that concept.”  Which could be anything!  Like, that you DO NOT have ghosts in you.  Or maybe the concept is that you have super powers.  WHATEVER.  Videos will show you how to get down.  That is why on the Anniversary of Dianetics, scientologists all go see Oblivion.

Tom!

4. Another thing you might do on the Anniversary of Dianetics is maybe have another scientology family over to your house for a light supper and maybe everyone can take a walk afterwards.

Going clear

There you have it!

A final word: special thanks to everyone who came out for Bartleby’s Ocho De Mayo celebration last night.  It was a blast.  Mark your calendars for June 14th and Bartleby Productions Presents: Flag Day!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: In what ways is a thetan like or unlike a wheat thin?

 

It is a beautiful morning after Walpurgis Night!

by joegio

Once again, we check in with our foreign correspondent an Kathy Palm.  Thanks for taking time off from sun bathing to post for us, Kathy!!

Walpurgis Night, is held on the eve of April 30 going into May 1st in many countries in Europe.

While this is a common holiday in many northern and central European countries lets focus on Sweden’s version commonly know as Valborg, or technically known as Valborgsmässoafto. (Literally  Walpurga mass eve).

This holiday celebration is generally accompanied with dancing and bonfires!

No, this is a party. Trust us.

It also happens to be exactly six months from All Hallow’s Eve!!

This holiday goes all the way back to Viking fertility celebrations where the goal of the fire was to drive off evil spirits (witches, ghouls, those sorts of things). The vikings called this Walpurgisnacht (not very different from waht we call it now) and followed it with the Viking festival of Thrimilci on May 1st. They considered this the beginning of Summer.  After the scary rituals and conquering of evil spirits it is time for Joy and fertility! (Not to mention time for the snow to melt in the North!)

So what’s the big deal about Walpurga?  If you suffer from rabies, she is your patron saint!

Saint Walpurga (also spelled Walburga and even Valderburg), was an english missionary who’s “day” just happens to be May day. Her relics were transferred from her burial site in Heidenheim, Bavaria, to  Eichstätt (also in Bavaria) on May 1st which is why Sweden (and Finland) celebrates when they do. She is the patroness of Eichstätt and several other cities in the area.

The beginning of May symbolizes a plethora things, including the need for bonfires to clear the air before real joy can begin! Now is the time to send out your livestock and let them feast on the fresh grass and enjoy that almost summer weather. So go outside and feast on May!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you suffer from rabies?

Look ahead and celebrate Ocho de Mayo with us…in person!!

by joegio

Can't you just see yourself here?

Can’t you just see yourself here?

HELLO AND WELCOME TO THIS INFORMATION!

Thanks for taking the time to look at this. Bartleby Productions’ OCHO DE MAYO CELEBRATION (7:30pm at Black Rock Pub and Kitchen, 3614 N. Damen Ave) is intended to kick off a new series of events celebrating holidays notable and obscure, unusual and expected. To that end, this event will consist of work (new, old, untested, and recently devised) inspired by the actual holiday Cinco de Mayo as well as some other holidays on May 8th, which you can read about here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_8

We’re personally looking forward to Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War and Truman Day.

Basically, anything connected with the day is fine: notable births, deaths, or events are also up for grabs.

WHAT DO WE WANT FROM YOU?

Great question!  Come to our event.  Better yet, perform at our event!

We’re looking for basically any type of act, running between 5 and 10 minutes, performable with nothing more than a PA system or a projector. Literally anything. Our last show of this kind had sketch comedy, stand up, magic, some monologues, and a movie. Read something, do a dance, whatever. We’d love to see it. New work is especially encouraged. Last time, much of our material was written the day of which gives the whole thing a fun, loose, anything-can-happen vibe.

WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT LIKE?

The show will be May 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM. Ideally, we’d like all acts to be there by 6:30 the night of and stay for the duration. But when is life ever ideal, you know? Do what you gotta do. That’s it. And your first beer is on us.

Please let us know if you’re interested by May 5th. Shoot us an email at enjoy.bartleby@gmail.com

Love,

Bartleby Productions

Celebrate International Dance Day!

by joegio

According to UNESCO partner the International Theatre Institute’s International Dance Committee, today is INTERNATIONAL DANCE DAY!  You might think this is one of those days where you’re supposed to do a wacky dance in a very public place to celebrate  “interconnectedness” or some crap like that and load it on youtube.  Thankfully, it is not that.  But you can do that, too.

No, today is primarily about dance as kind of an abstract thing.  Your basic International Dance Day seems to consist of a well-known dance personage distributing a message.  This year it’s Lin Hwai-min, the artistic director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, and you can watch or read his message here: http://www.international-dance-day.org/en/index.html

And that’s kind of it.  There was a show in Chicago yesterday, which makes sense because today is a Monday.  Incidentally, the date April 29 was chosen because it’s the birthday Jean-Georges Noverre, the inventor of modern ballet.  So sometimes it falls on a Monday and you don’t know you missed the only celebration in Chicago until the next day.  Isn’t that always the way?

Anyway, here’s your major take away for the day: in most schools and governments around the world, apparently dance isn’t a budget line item.  It’s usually lumped in generally with performing arts and doesn’t get the same attention that say, music programs or visual arts programs get.  A lot of today is about reminding people that hey, dance is a thing.  Don’t forget about dance.  Maybe it’s to the performing arts what poetry is to fiction (more obtuse, fewer people like it), but it’s still totally awesome.

I just spent a week running lights for a dance show and it’s true: dance is totally awesome.  Actually, Lin Hwai-min probably says it better:

Come, turn off your television, switch off your computer, and come to dance. 
Express yourself through that divine and dignified instrument, which is our body.
Come to dance and join people in the waves of pulses. 
Seize that precious and fleeting moment.
Come to celebrate life with dance.

Seriously.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Shall we dance?

Know your trees for Arbor Day!

by joegio

The mighty oak

 

The graceful maple

 

The coy birch

 

The weirdly named gingko

 

The nondescript white ash

 

The unexpectedly colorful black tupelo

 

Really sorry if trees are not your bag.  Today is also National Pretzel Day and a day of remembrance for the incident at Chernobyl.  So you’ve got options.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Don’t ask questions, just climb a tree.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Feast of St. Mark or Liberation Day!

by joegio

Rawr

Today’s blog post was written by Bartleby company member and foreign correspondent (for a couple weeks, at least) Kathy Palm.

Either way, the Italian’s do quite like April 25th.

St. Mark is Venice’s Patron Saint. If you are ever blessed enough to get there (or glance at a map) you’ll notice you have a Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square), Basilica Di San Marco (St Mark’s Basilica), Tesoro di San Marco, Venezia San Marco, Garage San Marco spa… etc. There is plenty of San Marco to go around all year round!

On April 25th, the rest of Italy celebrates too!  (Although they might just be celebrating Liberation Day, a national holiday honoring the liberation of Italy from the Nazi-Fascists in WWII, 25 April 1945). In the region of Sardinia, in the small village of Tresnuraghes, they are said to celebrate St. Mark by having a feast with lots of grilled sheep as they are a large pastoral community.

Happy feasting!

However! Italy is not the only country in on these April 25th festivities or the only country with lots of recognition for St. Mark!

Other places which are inspired by St. Marks, but don’t feel the need to flaunt it today include:

  • The city of St. Marks, FL home to the St. Marks Light, the second oldest lighthouse in Florida.

  • St. Mark’s School in South Borough MA. Perhaps their One Acts Festival tonight will have some St. Mark recognition!

  • Church of St. Mark in Venice California. Today gives you sound logic to justify a pilgrimage to California, and their weather.

And lastly, some fun facts about St. Mark! (From the encyclopedia of Religion)

1) He wrote a book of the bible, but isn’t one of the 12 disciples.

2) His name is most likely John Mark.

3) The Egyptian Church claims Mark as their founder and patron saint.

4) Under the symbol of the winged Lion, refugees from Aquileia established him as the patron saint and defend of the future in Venice.

5) Needless to say, he’s a tad mysterious!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Why is St. Mark always pictured with a lion?  Seriously, we don’t know.

 

Happy National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day, America!

by joegio

awwwwwww

Wait, no.

That’s better.

There we go.  OK, so today is National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day.  Which at first might seem like the kind of thing that doesn’t need a day, but now stop and think: how often do you have pigs-in-a-blanket?  Don’t you wish it were more often?  Doesn’t this seem like maybe, just maybe, it’s an awareness problem and not a problem of people not liking pigs-in-a-blanket?  Because everyone likes pigs-in-a-blanket?  We just forget about them because we are busy people with problematic lives.  Hence: Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day.

The day was (is?) declared by the American Farm Bureau Foundation of Agriculture, who apparently has assigned all kinds of holidays throughout the year for different kinds of foods that can be grown on U.S. soil.  One of these foods is pigs.  The other one may or may not be Pilsbury crescent roll dough.

In any case, basically you make these by taking some little smokies, then wrapping them in Pilsbury crescent roll dough.  Bake them for a little while.  Then eat them.  Some people like to get all fancy and use something other than Pilsbury crescent roll dough, but those people clearly have something to prove and we probably wouldn’t want to talk to them at this party we’re going to where we’re apparently all bring pigs-in-blankets as an appetizer.  Cuz it’s a holiday.

Anyway, that’s about all there is to it.  Some holidays are just simple, you know?

OH, if you are not an American, sorry for the cultural specificity of today’s post.  Americans really love foodstuffs that are made out of pig, so you can just expect there will be a few more like this throughout the year.  Incidentally, wikipedia says that in the UK pigs-in-blankets are often a feature of Christmas dinner, where they are served alongside the turkey (instead of stuffing?) and something else called “Devils on horseback” which are probably dates stuffed with peppers or something.  Either way, I hope there is a British Devils-on-Horseback Day soon.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Are you going to have pigs-in-a-blanket today?  Why not?

 

 

Today is World Book Day!

by joegio

Technically, it is UNESCO’s “World Book and Copyright Day,” but we’ll get to that.  Technically, the holiday is a little older than that and is totally in the public domain.

Book Day (more or less) has been celebrated in Spain since the 1920’s, where the day was recognized to mark the death of Miguel Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote and more or less the first novelist.  Never mind that Cervantes actually probably died on the 22nd and was buried on the 23rd.  Spanish booksellers, in a pique of smart self-promotion, observed the day by distributing roses to book buyers.  Romantic, simple, sweet.

Fast forward to 1995, when UNESCO noticed that not only did Cervantes die on the 23rd (22nd, whatev), but so did Shakespeare (who was also born on the 23rd ooooh creepy) and Nabokov was born on the 23rd, and a bunch of other writers too.  So they declared the 23rd “World Book and Copyright Day” in order to celebrate “reading, publishing, and protecting intellectual property through copyright.”  Not quite as romantic, simple, or sweet.  But hey, let’s make sure the kids are reading.  And protecting their intellectual property.  Those are important things.

Here are some ideas for celebrating today.

1) Read Don Quixote.  Or, like I did in high school, start Don Quixote and then never finish it, but call lots of things quixotic for a little while.

2) Illegally download all current episodes of Game of Thrones and watch them.  Mentally apologize to George R.R. Martin and HBO, but then justify yourself to yourself because if they really wanted to protect their intellectual property, they should have made it less cool.  Also because what the heck is going on with Daenerys?!

3) OK, I just googled and apparently in 2012, World Book Day was on April 23rd, but this year it might have fallen on March 7.  It’s really hard to say.  So….shut it down.  Just shut it down.

And celebrate Saint George’s Day instead, which is also (sometimes) April 23rd!!!!

Maybe there is a good book about this.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How are you going to celebrate St. George’s Day???