October 13th - Holidays and Observances
(click on the day for details)
- Azerbaijani Railway Day (Azerbaijan)
- Christian feast day:
- Doi taikomatsuri October 13–15 (Shikokuchūō, Ehime, Japan)
- International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction (international)
- Paramedics' Day (Poland)
- Rwagasore Day (Burundi)
Observances (click on the day for details)
International Skeptics Day
Are you one of those people who takes everything they hear with a grain of salt? Do you question everything and never accept things at their face value? Then, International Skeptics Day on October 13 is the holiday for you.
This unofficial holiday is sometimes also celebrated on January 13. Or is it?
Whether you are skeptical of when the holiday is celebrated or not, we can all agree that the day encourages people to be skeptical and to never accept anything without questioning its veracity.
Attitude of Doubt
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, skepticism is an attitude of doubt towards a particular object or a piece of knowledge, whether it is philosophical, religious or scientific. It is only with this attitude that human society and its understanding of the world around it has been able to evolve and develop - many scientific claims, myths and hoaxes throughout history have been brought to light and debunked due to the hard work of skeptics who refused to stop questioning and doubting. Who knows, without Galileo Galilei's skepticism, for example, we may still be believing that the Sun moves around the Earth?
How to Celebrate?
- Be skeptical (or sceptical if you live in a country that follows British English) of everything! Don't accept any claims made by family, friends, colleagues or strangers without doing your own research.
- Is there a mystery that intrigues you? Try solving it!
- Know of someone who believes in UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster or the Big Foot? Maybe it's time to sit with them and ask them to be skeptical about their claims?
- Watch TV shows that debunk myths and pseudoscience. We recommend Penn and Teller's show and Mythbusters.
- Read books written by literary skeptics such as Shakespeare and Herman Melville.
Did You Know...
...that the opposite of skepticism is trivialism, the notion that everything is true and possible? The word comes from the Latin word, trivialis, meaning commonplace.
A poodle and a collie were walking down the street. The poodle turned to the collie and complained, "My life is a mess. My owner is mean, my girlfriend is having an affair with a German shepherd, and I'm nervous as a cat."
"Why don't you go see a psychiatrist?" asked the collie.
"I can't," replied the poodle. "I'm not allowed on the couch."
Two campers are hiking in the woods when one is bitten on the rear end by a rattlesnake.
"I'll go into town for a doctor," the other says. He runs ten miles to a small town and finds the only doctor delivering a baby.
"I can't leave," the doctor says. "But here's what to do. Take a knife, cut a little X where the bite is, suck out the poison and spit it on the ground."
The guy runs back to his friend, who is in agony. "What did the doctor say?" the victim cries.
"He says you're gonna die."
A pair of cows were talking in the field.
One says, "Have you heard about the mad cow disease that's going around?"
"Yeah," the other cow says. "Makes me glad I'm a penguin."
Short one today,