28 September

Drink Beer Day


So we are drinking a...


Marked annually On September 28th, National Drink Beer Day is undoubtedly a celebratory Day that will find broad appeal – beer is the world's No. 1 alcoholic beverage and even "non-drinkers" are able to participate due to the availability of so many increasingly good non-alcoholic beers.

In case you need further encouragement to drink beer today, here are a couple of persuasive quotes from Benjamin Franklin:

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

"In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria."

Sadly, like so many of the best drinking quotations, neither of these was actually by Benjamin Franklin. While the existence of God will be questionable to some, the word "bacteria" certainly didn't exist – it only emerged some 80 years after Franklin's death.

Happily, we don't need persuading, and we're enjoying our beer Dutch style with a Kopstoot.

World Rabies Day

Rabies is one of the world's most fatal diseases causing thousands of deaths every year, and World Rabies Day aims to spread awareness and advice on how to prevent this deadly disease.

Rabies is spread through the bite of an infected animal – be it wild or domestic dogs, cats, bats and so on. The virus takes hold of the nervous system and quickly creeps into the brain. Many animals show signs of increased salivation, aggression and a sort of madness, to the point of foaming at the mouth, chasing and biting anything that moves, which in turn spreads the disease to more unwitting victims.

Modern-day writers have found inspiration in the disease. Stephen King's St. Bernard in Cujo transformed into a vicious, rabid dog following a bat bite on the nose. Old Yeller portrays a dog in a similarly sad tale following a rabies outbreak. Not to mention, the award-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird also features a rabid dog that unnerves the neighbourhood.

While these bloodthirsty canines live among the pages of books, rabies is a present-day concern. If you happen to get scratched, licked or bitten by a wild animal, you're advised to wash the wound with soap and water, then seek urgent medical care.

Luckily for us Brits, no recent cases of rabies have been recorded, even though wild bats remain the last mammals in the UK to still carry the disease. But perhaps think twice before turning down a vaccination if you're travelling to Africa or Asia where the virus is primarily found.

With the United Against Rabies initiative committed to eliminating human rabies deaths by 2030, rabid animals may soon be a thing of the past. In the meantime, don't overlook the gravity of an animal bite. So deadly is this disease that, if not vaccinated, rabies is almost always fatal. On a brighter note, may we suggest an altogether more appealing Bat Bite made with light white rum, raspberry liqueur, cranberry juice and lime juice.

The Radio Times birthday

Happy Birthday, Radio Times! On this day in 1923, the first-ever edition of a magazine that we can barely believe is still going rolled off the presses. The masthead featured the snigger-inducing slogan "The Official Organ of the B.B.C."

For in those days, not only the interwebz but even telly were a distant dream, and the Beeb itself was barely a year old. Radio was broadcast for a bare hour a day, in London only, with a break every seven minutes, and only 30,000 households even had a license for the newfangled technology. But things would move on: before 1925, there were eight new stations with locally produced programs in other cities.

Today, as even listings dinosaurs like the Yellow Pages crawl into the digital era, the Radio Times is, well, still going strong. We are toasting it with a BBC Cocktail.

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