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International Harry Potter Day

Magic Bus

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Magic Bus

All aboard the Hogwarts Express, May 2nd marks the day Harry Potter fans around the globe celebrate the infamous wizard with International Harry Potter Day.

It was announced in 2012 by the then UK Prime Minister David Cameron that May 2nd was to become an international day of celebration of J.K Rowling's literary contributions.

Any true Potterheads will know this but in case your Potter facts aren't up to scratch, May 2nd actually marks the date of the Battle of Hogwarts during which Harry Potter heroically defeats Lord Voldemort. Many assume the day marks Harry's birthday but he actually happens to share a birthday with his creator J.K Rowling on July 31st.

The world fell in love with the story of Harry Potter and his two best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger in the first book The Philosophers Stone published in 1997. Joined by a whole host of other key characters, some loveable, some not so much, we're shown a magical existence that could be right under our very noses and as mere muggles, we'd never know. The first book was followed by six more that allowed everyone to see Harry and his friends grow up and battle against the increasingly dangerous dark arts whilst showing us what true friendship is. If you aren't a reader, the eight film adaptations have created a beautiful visual of this fantastical world with its magical creatures, spells, potions and so much more, and have become classics adored by children and adults alike across the globe.

Fun fact: J.K Rowling holds the Guinness World Record for becoming the first billion-dollar author with over 400 million copies of the Harry Potter series being sold worldwide. That's a lot of books.

In honour of the mysterious night bus from the Prisoner of Azkaban we're enjoying a tequila-laced Magic Bus. Alternatively, why not take the opportunity to make some magic and create your own cocktail/potion?

Austin Powers arrived on this day in 1997

May 2nd marks the anniversary of the day the 'Shagadelic' icon that we know and love, Austin Powers arrived on the scene in 1997 in the film The International Man of Mystery.

This free-loving member of the swinging 60s with his unique (we think that's the best way to describe it) smile, and excessive body hair, written and played by Mike Myers became a spy unlike any other. A comedic take on a 60's James Bond gave us not only a supposedly irresistible lady's man but also a collection of timeless phrases such as 'Oh behave', 'Yeah baby!' and of course 'Do I make you horny?' The film was in years to come followed by The Spy Who Shagged Me and Goldmember, both equally full of slapstick, innuendo fuelled comedy.

So why not join us and celebrate the day the 'International Man of Mystery' landed on our cinema screens with a Flower Power Martini.

Flag Day in Poland

A country that has suffered so much loss of independence during its tumultuous history takes its flag day seriously.

Partitioned in 1772 between Prussia, Russia and Austria, then in 1793 between Russia and Prussia, and again in 1795, Poland ceased to exist as a nation-state for 123 years and only regained independence in 1918. But within months the newly established Second Republic of Poland again had to defeat a predatory Russia.

Then in September 1939 it was attacked by Germany from the west and a couple of weeks later by Russia from the east and suffered its fourth partition. Hitler and Stalin's objective was to eradicate Polish culture - everything from playing Polish music to flying the Polish flag.

After World War II ended, Poland remained behind the Iron Curtain for over four decades. However, with the growth of the Solidarnosc movement under Lech Walesa and with the spiritual help of the Polish-born Pope John Paul II, it broke free.

Today is part of a three-day celebration that also takes in International Workers' Day on 1st May and Constitution Day on 3rd May. Today we will be drinking to Poland's freedom with a Polish Martini.

It's Robobee's birthday

This time in 2014, a robotic bee made its first public flight in Harvard University. Half the size of a paper clip, powered by wafer-thin wings that flap 120 times per second, Robobee was inspired by the anatomy of (confusingly) a fly.

Why? Because flies perform incredible aerial acrobatics, despite their tiny brains - just think of how little flies survive high winds. And a tiny brain, limited fuel requirements and extreme agility are exactly what the miniaturised spy robots of the future need.

We're sorry. Did we say "miniaturised spy robots"? Robobee's applications, naturally, will not be military or espionage-oriented in the slightest, and it is in no way a micro air surveillance vehicle. Researchers hope it could double as a real bee for pollinating crops, keep an eye on the environment, or help in search and rescue operations where flies on the wall are needed.

In honour of a world that's getting more sci-fi by the second, we're toasting Robobee with a Honey Bee Mine, a drink we created for Valentine's Day, but that's worth enjoying at any time of year. And, rest assured, Robobee will need a deal more camouflage before it's hanging out unnoticed on any wall.

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