19 November

National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day

Smoky Cokey

So we are drinking a...

Smoky Cokey

Niche it may be, but this unique celebration of carbonated beverages with caffeine feels like the boost we all need.

Fizzy drinks with caffeine can be a heady mix, but millions of us reach for a can of soda every day. But who came up with this refreshing, somewhat addictive, combination?

Carbonated water was invented when Englishman, Jospeh Priestley, suspended a bowl of distilled water above a beer vat at a Leeds distillery in 1767. Carbonated water was born, and remains the major component of soft drinks across the world.

Perhaps the most famous producer of carbonated beverages with caffeine is Coca-Cola, and a staggering 1.9 billion servings of the drink are served in over 200 different countries each day. The company is so much part of our zeitgeist that even the jolly Saint Nicholas we all imagine today is down to the branding they created for their Christmas advertising campaign back in 1931, aiming to lift America's spirits during the Great Depression. Our minds are officially blown.

"Gives you wings!" It may well do, but the Smoky Cokey gives so much more.

Kindle's birthday

This day in 2007, Amazon released its very first Kindle. Four and a half hours after that, the device sold out. And a technology that many had been talking about for years sprang fully-fledged into life.

Jeff Bezos' baby was, of course, not the first e-reader. Project Gutenberg had been making digital books since 1971; books had been available as CD-Roms since the mid-80s; the first ebook readers had been released as early as 1998; and Sony had its own version out in 2006. It was, however, the Kindle that tipped the casual reader away from the notion that books have pages to be turned towards the idea that it might just be easier to pack all the reading you need for a holiday onto one small device.

Happy birthday, Kindle. We are enjoying a Hemingway Special Daiquiri, our take on the oh-so-literary Papa Doble. Or perhaps you may prefer a Last Word or even a Book of Kells.

World Toilet Day

Today is World Toilet Day, an awareness day promoted by the WTO (that's the World TOILET Organisation, not the World Trade Organisation, and definitely not the World Toilet ASSOCIATION, which is a competing group).

And, no, we're not taking the piss. At the head (sorry) of this fantastic organisation is one of two competing Mr Toilets, a Singaporean entrepreneur named Jack Sim, who, long before the awful "Let's Talk Bums" sewer-clogging campaign, was working to promote good toileting around the world.

This World Toilet Day, Mr Toilet would like us to take to social media and inform the world that #wegiveashit. Why? Because 1.1 billion people around the world defecate in the open; 2.5 billion people do not have a clean toilet; and that every dollar spent on sanitation returns $5 in public health.

So we'll be marking World Toilet Day with - what else? - a Mucky Bottom. Cheers!

It's also International Men's Day

Since the 1960s, there have been plenty of women's days around the world, but not so many for the chaps. International Men's Day, which falls on this day every year, is an occasion to honour positive male role models, while raising money for men's health charities and the like.

It's also a great chance for anyone who's been growing a 'tache for Movember to get out and about with like-minded chaps. Let's raise a toast to male role models with a Made Man and hope it brings them luck and happiness. Young Man and Coolman cocktails would also be appropriate to toast the occasion.

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