[Editor's note: In celebration of the holidays, we're counting down the top 12 Flavorwire features of 2012. This post, at #6, was originally published April 11.] Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves for a good, old-fashioned SAT-style analogy. Ready? Creed from The Office is to Hello Kitty as Don Draper is to ________? If you answered “Oscar the Grouch,” you win! Confused? Don’t fret — it’s easy to assume that these fictional folks are unrelated when, in actuality, they celebrate their birthdays on the same day. Fun fact, eh? On that note, so do Rocky Balboa and Seth Cohen, the Weasley twins and Bart Simpson, and Superman and Jerry from Parks and Recreation — and we’re just getting started! After the jump, we’ve made a series of monthly timelines charting hundreds of fictional birthdays from TV, film, literature, video games, and beyond. Of course, not every day can be Liz Lemon’s or Rambo’s birthday, so a few of us might find that our character birthday soul mate is an obscure anime character or a toddler on a soap opera, but hey, that ain’t so bad. Click through for upwards of 365 character birthdays, then hit the comments to announce your newfound birthday twin. … Read More
Dorthy Parker was born on this day in 1893 at a beach cottage in Long Branch, New Jersey, and was raised at 214 West 72nd Street in Manhattan. Before she died, she suggested “excuse my dust” as her epitaph. When she passed away on June 7, 1967, at the age of 73, she left her literary estate to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
By this time, Parker had written loads of poetry, fiction, and reviews for The New Yorker as a member of the Algonquin Round Table, though she got her first break at Vogue, then moved on to a staff writer position at Vanity Fair, which is where the fun really started. Parker adopted the moniker “Constant Reader” when she wrote book reviews for The New Yorker in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and was known for her humor, wit, and vicious critiques of second- and third-rate novels. By 1956, The Paris Review found her living in a hotel in midtown with a fluffy white poodle, still throwing out barbs. We’ve included excerpts of some of her reviews as “Constant Reader” from The New Yorker below. So, raise a glass to Ms. Parker today, kids. It’s the least you can do. … Read More
Howard Philips Lovecraft was born at home on August 20th, 1890, at 454 Angell Street in Providence, Rhode Island. He was a lanky, lonely child who suffered from a family history of depression, resulting in a nervous breakdown as a teenager. He never completed high school, though he was an incredible autodidact in the years to come, and was able to write some of the most bizarre and enduring “cosmic horror” novels in history that influenced a slew of writers as well as musicians like Mark E. Smith from the Fall and the guys from Rudimentary Peni (unsavory Brits apparently love the stuff). We’ve taken a few of his books from the pile in order to introduce you to the man that Stephen King called “the 20th century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.” So read on, dear readers, and tell us what Lovecraft novels you love the most. … Read More
Each September, charity: water asks people to request donations as birthday gifts, helping to build wells in impoverished countries.
For 2009, the organization’s Born in September campaign syncs with the launch of mycharity: water, a site that lets you create your own campaign page to raise money for the group’s humanitarian efforts. If it’s your birthday, get people to donate your age in dollars; if not, engage in any fundraising effort of your choice. Either way, you’ll see actual evidence of the difference you’re making via photos and GPS data. … Read More
On this day in 1934, an ugly duckling destined to quack through life fearlessly and pants-free flapped his wings for the first time. Yes, Mouseketeers, it is Donald Duck’s 75th birthday today, and Yahoo! News marks the occasion with a celebratory article, pointing us toward the improbable fact, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, that Herr Donald is something of an icon in… Read More