Fast Blurbs: October 2010

In Awe

On October 6, 1910, Bill Collins of the Boston Doves became the first major-league player to hit a "natural cycle" (single, double, triple, and home run in sequential order).

In History

Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. The holiday dates back to 1578, 43 years before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, when Martin Frobisher arrived in present-day Newfoundland.

In The Air

"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October." — Nathaniel Hawthorne

In Pride

October is German-American, Hispanic-American, Italian-American, and Polish-American heritage month.

In Envy

In the 1890s, diamond merchants spread the rumor that opal, October's birthstone, is unlucky, to curb its rising popularity. Many still believe opals bring bad luck to those not born in October.

Flowers

October's flower is the calendula, also known as pot marigold. It can be used in cookery — the bright orange petals add a touch of bitterness — and is reputed to have antiseptic qualities. But though this is officially the hardy annual's month, it's best to wait until spring to sow seeds outdoors. ($3.95 for a packet of 100 seeds, burpee.com)

Footwear

Autumn rain always seems to hit at the most inconvenient times, like when you're picking pumpkins or walking around town or trying to live your life. But don't let the weather dampen your spirits or your style: Keep your feet dry with Hunter's Carnaby Boa Tall rain boots, which feature a subtle animal print. ($225, hunter-boot.com)

Drink

Can't make it to Munich for Oktoberfest, which this year runs through October 4? Try creating your own biergarten at home and serving seasonal Bavarian beers such as Spaten Oktoberfest Ur-Märzen and Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest. (Both $12.50 per six-pack, bierkraft.com, lederhosen not included)

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