3 August

Playmate cocktail image

It's National Play Day

So we are drinking a...

Playmate cocktail

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Today is the day (the first Wednesday in August) when the British government, in its wisdom, celebrates children's freedom to play. We believe that adults should have the right to play too - and so today we are drinking a Playmate Cocktail, named for Hugh Hefner's famous centerfolds.

Amazingly, Playboy - and its Playmates - has been running for over 60 years now, from the days when the famously, ahem, venerable Hef was a positive stripling, and only had one girlfriend at a time.

The Playmate roster includes some very famous names. Not just Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy and Betty Page, but icons like Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield have stripped down for the centrefold. The drink that bears their name is also fruity, and slips down as easily as a starlet's undies.

Nautilus Under the North Pole

Navigating under the North Pole is no mean feat but at 11.15pm on 3 August 1958, Captain Anderson and the crew of the USS Nautilus submarine did exactly that - despite magnetism confusing conventional guidance systems, and there being absolutely nothing to see.

They discovered that the Arctic Sea stretched more than (2½ miles 4,000 metres) below the North Pole's ice floes. Avoiding antagonising the USSR, they travelled between Alaska and Iceland at the impressive speed of around 25 mph (40 kph). Anderson hoped that passenger submarines would one day ply the route. They don't - yet his achievement deserves celebrating with the aptly named Submarine Kiss.

"The lamps are going out all over Europe"

This day in 1914, the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, looked out over a darkening London and remarked: "The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

Germany declared war on Russia on the 1st August 1914 and France on the 3rd, also invading Belgium on the same day. Britain had promised to protect Belgium so the invasion effectively forced Britain's entry into the First World War. Millions would die in the trenches, and millions more would live the rest of their lives with injuries and trauma.

In the hope we never see a Third World War, we're toasting Sir Edward with a Moonlight Cocktail, a riff on the Aviation created by the great Garry 'gaz' Regan. We'll leave you with our favourite joke about American defence policy. They've been late for the first two World Wars so they're trying to be really punctual for the third.

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