19 September

The Emoticon's birthday

Royal Smile

So we are drinking a...

Royal Smile

If you’re a user of emoticons, or even the humble :-) or :-( then you'll want to give Professor Scott E. Fahlman a big warm ({}), the emoticon for hug, because this day in 1982 he suggested that, to take the heat off threads on bulletin boards, people could use the sign :-) for "joking" and :-( for "serious".

Within months, smilies and similar had gone postal, and the smiley face was an icon of Acid House. Not that Fahlman entirely approves, although he does support the use of his serious face for sadness. He thinks the picture versions "Destroy[s] the whimsical element of the original."

In which, we suppose, he has a point. Today we will be enjoying an appropriately named (drink), the Royal Smile, one we found in David Embury's seminal The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ah! The wonders of the internet. It has brought us free video calls around the world, cat pictures on Facebook, cat videos on youtube, plus a few revolutions in the Middle East. It has also brought us, umm, International Talk Like A Pirate Day. How does one do this?

Well, according to the British Pirate HQ, "Double up on all your adjectives and you'll be bountifully bombastic with your phrasing... Drop all your 'g's and all of your 'v's..." Also, they advise, don't say "I am" but "I be".

Any excuse will do for a drink in these parts. And after a Pirate Daiquiri or two, you'll be dropping more than your 'g's and your 'v's. For they be fine fancy drinkin', those Pirate Daiquiris, m'hearties.

Chubby Checker Does the Twist

Chubby Checker's 1960s cover of Hank Ballard's song "The Twist" made No. 1 in the US charts on this day in 1960.

Not only that, but in September 2008 the song topped the American magazine Billboard's list of the most popular singles to have appeared in its Hot 100 since the list's debut in 1958, an achievement the song maintained in the August 2013 update of the list. Chubby Checker introduced the world to a dance craze that still gets everyone on the dance floor today - before the Twist, grown-ups did not dance to teenage music. He wasn't shy to capitalise on his success, releasing "Let's Twist Again" in 1961 and "Slow Twistin'" in 1962.

What a great excuse to mix a Twisted Sobriety cocktail and get on down to the dance floor. Or, perhaps mix the drink and forgo the dance floor.

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