WW: Mad Hatters

October 6th is Mad Hatter Day.  That's why I'm sharing photos of hats today.  Why today, since it's now already October 7th?  The answer is below in red.  (All of the information is directly from http://www.cs.cmu.edu/.)

1. What Is It?

MadHatterDay is a holiday in October. It fills the need for a second crazy day in the year, almost exactly half a year from April Fools' Day. The real spirit of MadHatterDay is turnabout: The nonsense we usually have to pretend is sane can be called madness for one day in the year; the superficially crazy things that really make sense can be called sane on MadHatterDay.

MadHatterDay is 10/6. The date was chosen from the illustrations by John Tenniel in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, wherein the Mad Hatter is always seen wearing a hat bearing a slip of paper with the notation "In this style 10/6". We take this as inspiration to behave in the style of the Mad Hatter on 10/6 (which is October 6 here, although in Britain MadHatterDay occurs on June 10....) Some astute observers have noted that the paper in the Mad Hatter's Hat was really an order to make a hat in the style shown, to cost ten shillings sixpence. However, it is well known that Time Is Money, and therefore Money Is Time, and therefore 10/6 may as well be the sixth of October.

MadHatterDay began in Boulder, CO, in 1986, among some computer folk who had nothing better to do. It was immediately recognized as valuable because they caused less damage than if they'd been doing their jobs. It was announced that first year on computer networks. In 1987 it gained minor local recognition. In 1988, it was first recognized as an official holiday by an area business, and also received its first national press coverage by news services (who are always desperate for an unlikely story). It is almost certain that the national election also gave MadHatterDay a good boost in 1988.

Detailed plans for this year's MadHatterDay observance will, of course, be announced on October 7. We have found that plans made after the fact are more accurate and much easier to have fulfilled. Or, as the Red Queen said, "sentence first, then the verdict!"

2. What Goes?

What do people do on MadHatterDay? In general, we celebrate silliness. But what if your work involves something inherently silly -- say marketing, where you put on a three-piece suit (five or six layers of fabric) in the summertime, tie a piece of cloth around your neck to restrict blood flow to the brain, and set about trying to convince people to buy things they don't want and can't afford because this will give the country a Healthy Economy? In this case, doing something absolutely sane will have a more startling effect than you can possibly imagine.

Your world is crazier than you think:

o We travel around by taking the juice from hundred-million-year-old rotten dinosaur food and exploding it in a metal can.

o A "sports fanatic" is not someone who participates in sports, but someone who sits indoors on a beautiful day, drinking beer while yelling at the picture on a little box. (Throw the ultimate football party: Forget the TV; just sit around eating and drinking with friends.)

o As much as we say we like to "get away from it all", the more successful we are, the more we take it all with us when we go. (Take a vacation with all the comforts of home: Just stay home!)

o We're so well-fed that we're getting food with intentionally reduced nutritional content--so we can take the trouble to eat without getting the benefit of doing so. (Enjoy the ultimate in fast-diet-food: Skip lunch.)

o We've saved so much gift-giving for the Christmas season that it has entirely unbalanced the flow of cash and consu mer goods through the year. So merchants decided to start the season early to have something to do the rest of the year. (There's now only one major gift-giving holiday -- but it lasts for five months. Surprise someone with a MadHatterDay present.)

...and it goes. Take a look around you, drop your assumptions about what must be proper and normal, and see how much of it is just silly. Better yet, try to find something that does make sense.

Don't hurt anyone. Save the pranks for April 1. This is "a Kinder, Gentler Fool's Day."  (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/)

Harrison's first birthday hat didn't make him happy.

Apparently he prefers to use a mixing bowl as a hat - perfect for "mad hatters."

These were the hats (caps) we wore for law school graduation.  Most of us thought they were hilarious-looking!

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Wordless Wednesday participants.   Wordful Wednesday participants.


Heidi said...

We just might have to adopt the madhatter day! I love all the pictures of hats you found! And I loved reading about the day!
If you'd like to stop by my blog I'm at Cake Crumbs.

jams o donnell said...

Haa I had not heard of Mad Hatter Day before. SOunds like a lot of fun!

Snowcatcher said...

You weren't kidding when you said you weren't quite wordless. But heck, we learned something new!

Carver said...

I love the mad hatter shots and also the one of the birthday boy. So cute even if he didn't like his hat.

SandyCarlson said...

That was a really fun post. I think it's time to return to Lewis Carroll. Thanks for making me laugh.

kayerj said...

what fun hats--and a fun day, I'd never heard of it before. My youngest daughter loves hats--I'll have to show her this post. If you want to wander down my road I’m home.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Great post! I'm not a hat girl so much, but I'd do it for that celebration!
Loved your list showing how crazy normal things really are!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Love to read about fun facts... about anything!

Love the photos, esp Harrison with his mixing bowl hat :o)

Blessings & Aloha!
(yay! I am taking a bit to get some blog posts read here :o)

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