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Final Issue: Thank you and Farewell!

APRIL FOOLS!

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World Cultures

Today is April Fools day. A day where we either send misleading messages (like today’s subject line) or pull unspeakably cruel pranks on each other that are usually more mean-spirited than funny. Our April Fools day is not a new tradition though. Many cultures around the world have celebrated days for jokes like the Roman holiday “Hilaria”, where Romans dressed up and went around town making fun of each other. April Fools day as we know it today can be traced back to France in the year 1582. At that time, the French people operated using a calendar that celebrated New Year’s Day on April 1st. In 1582, the Pope officially changed the date of New Year’s Day to January 1st and France adopted the change in holiday. Because there was no telephone, telegraph, internet, or email, it took a long time to inform all of France that the date for New Year’s Day had been moved from April to January. Because of this, many people continued to celebrate New Year’s on April 1st. Those who got the memo would make fun of the people celebrating by calling them “April Fools”. Eventually, the tradition of mocking others on April 1st stuck and spread around the world. This year, try and take April Fools day easy. There’s enough going on for people to worry about. That being said, jumping out and scaring someone is never not funny. I’m Going To Prank My Dad- Tik Tok Halloween Scare Gone Wrong

History

In honor of all the fools out there, we are taking a look back at the original fool, the jester in the medieval court. These funny guys wearing funny hats and pointy shoes are generally seen as idiots, but they actually played an important role in Medieval life. The job of jester has existed for as long as human’s have been able to laugh. Ancient Egyptian pharaohs hired jesters to entertain them and their families, Chinese emperors had jesters in the royal palace, and rich people from all parts of the world have shelled out money to be entertained by someone. By medieval times, jesters became extremely talented entertainers who could sing, tell stories, dance, and make jokes. Medieval times were kinda bleak. There was sickness and famine and people lived in dark, cold castles with very little sunlight. A jester’s job was to help people cope with their depressing surroundings by entertaining the nobles whenever they pleased. The jester was often asked to sing during meals, recite exciting stories after dinner, and pick up everyone’s spirits whenever they needed it. Because they were the life of the party, jesters were highly respected. Particularly eloquent or witty jesters were coveted by nobles and royalty and the richest people often sought out the best talent. As key members of the medieval courts, jesters were often asked to do other tasks outside of entertaining. The court jester was most often used as a messenger passing notes between lords and ladies. Because the jester was known by all, they were often trusted with secrets and would know more about every person in court. Best not to upset the jester because they might let you’re secrets out. Today we see jesters and idiots or pranksters, but they were really the equivalent of that one really cheery person in your office that everyone likes and always puts a smile on peoples’ faces. Shout out to the jesters for keeping the mood light! Devilstick Peat Medieval Jester Weirdest Jobs In History

Sports

Baseball has a long and storied history of outstanding pitchers. Cy Young racked up more than 500 wins, Bob Gibson had a 1.12 ERA in 1968, and Nolan Ryan struck out 5,714 batters and beat up one of them in a brawl on the mound. Even so, all the great pitchers in MLB history couldn’t hold a candle to one unexpected 1985 Mets pitching prospect, Sidd Finch. In the April 1st, 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine sports reporter George Plimpton wrote an article about the New York Mets latest prospect and his bizarre journey to the major leagues. Hayden Siddhartha (Sidd) Finch was born in England and eventually came to the U.S. to attend Harvard University. While at Harvard, studying for a degree in Music with hopes to become a professional French horn player, Sidd decided to try out for the Harvard baseball team. He had never played baseball before, but he had played cricket and knew how to throw a ball. Sidd’s tryout blew the college coaches away after they saw how hard he could throw the ball. Not only was he throwing harder than anyone on the team, he was also deadly accurate. One of the coaches of the Harvard baseball team contacted a friend in the New York Mets organization and set up a tryout for the young phenom. In his message to the Mets scout, the Harvard coach said that Sidd Finch could throw a ball 168mph (50% faster than any pitcher ever)! It later turned out that the coach meant 168km/h which translates to 104mph, still incredibly impressive. Because of the coach’s mistake, the rumor of an unknown pitcher that could throw 168mph spread through the baseball community and peaked George Plimpton’s interest. Plimpton traveled to Chicago and met Sidd Finch on a beach on the banks of Lake Michigan. He learned of Sidd’s troubled past being orphaned at a young age before being adopted by an archeologist and moving to Nepal. Sidd explained that he didn’t grow up with a strong passion for sports but he was extremely passionate about music and Yoga. According to Sidd, yoga is responsible for incredible pitching ability because it allowed him to master both his body and mind. After the interview, Plimpton photographed Sidd as he pitched to a friend. In the picture, Sidd is standing on the beach with one barefoot and one foot in a boot for traction (that’s how he preferred to pitch). In the next issue of Sports Illustrated, Sidd was the feature article and his name became famous around the world, problem was, it was all a lie! Sports Illustrated had created an outlandish story for their April 1st issue to play a prank on readers. The Mets fans that were so excited about their one of a kind prospect, had their hearts ripped out when the truth was revealed. Even the commissioner of major league baseball believed that the Sidd Finch was the real deal. The Mets went along with the prank by assigning Finch a locker next to one of their top stars and inviting the press in to take pictures. It wasn’t until the following week’s issue when Sports Illustrated announced Finch’s retirement and came clean about the joke. Baseball fans should have known that a Harvard educated yoga master that can throw 168mph was too good to be true. Guess if you’re a Mets fan, you’ll believe anything someone tells you.

This Week in History

On this day in 1889, the 1,063-foot-tall Eiffel Tower was dedicated in Paris, France. The enormous iron monument was created by designer Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution which brought democracy to the nation of France. The elevators in the tower were not complete upon the dedication so a crew of workers needed to carry fireworks, flags and other decorations up the stairs of the 100-story tower for the ceremony. At the time, the Eiffel tower was the tallest man-made structure in the world.

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