A tall order
With all the hundreds of designated national and international "days" for everything imaginable like World Sauntering Day (June 19) and National Waffle Iron Day (June 29), it's surprising we've never had a World Giraffe Day -- until now.
Yes, for the first time ever, National Hollerin' Contest Day will have to share the spotlight on June 21 with the planet's tallest animals, who will not be winnin' any hollerin' contests because they are typically poised and quiet.
World Giraffe Day is a newborn initiative of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation designed to celebrate the giraffe and raise awareness about the challenges they face. There are currently fewer than 80,000 left in the African wild.
To honor the day, the Safari West wildlife preserve in Santa Rosa is offering guided tours and presentations from naturalists and keepers, plus stuff like face painting, African drummers and more. Reservations are required, 707-566-3667, www.safari west.com.
Trivia quiz: What's the Swahili word for giraffe? Twiga. Not Twiggy, which is the nickname for a super-skinny 1960s fashion model. Bonus question: What's Twiggy's real name? Lesley Lawson. You're welcome.
Han shot first
Yes, all true "Star Wars" aficionados already know that. But as we eagerly await J.J. Abrams' Episode VII (not out until December 2015 -- blasters!) here are a few more fun facts to hold you over, compiled by Buzzfeed.com in "29 Facts About 'Star Wars' You Probably Don't Know."
For one, Sir Alec Guinness is said to have called the original trilogy "fairy tale rubbish." No word on what the late, great Shakespearean actor thought of his $95 million in royalty rubbish, however. The noise made by the TIE fighters is an elephant roar mixed with the sound of car tires squealing on wet pavement. The language spoken by the Jawas, the beady-eyed scavenger natives of Tatooine, is based on a sped-up version of the Zulu language. The word "Ewok" is never actually said out loud in any of the films, and let us never speak of it again.
In case your dog looks like an Ewok (oops), it might be a good idea to cover him up with his own high-style, near-custom-fit suit. At http://zippydynamics.com, check out one out that starred on the catwalk (dogwalk?) in the recent New York Pet Fashion Show. It's BPA-free material is supposed to protect your pup from UV rays, fleas, ticks and other nasty stuff while you're out camping in the wilds this summer. Plus it's fashion forward and looks like something an X-wing starfighter pilot might wear.