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Read this and be the sharpest person in the room–or the Zoom–for the month of March

By J.C. Bruce

What March flowers grow on faces? Tulips!

Why are so many people tired on April 1st? They just finished a 31-day March.

Okay, okay. Enough with the puns, already.

What? You want more?

Alright. Read on. There are more below.

But, in the meantime, a few things to know about the month ahead:


March is the official meteorological beginning of spring. While the vernal equinox — the day when the hours of daylight and darkness are the same — doesn’t arrive until Monday, March 20, weather experts say the first day of the month marks the end of climatological winter as average temperatures begin to rise.

So, if you hear people say, “Yay, it’s March, spring has sprung,” they’re not wrong, even though the calendar says you have to wait until the 20th.

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 12. Remember: Spring ahead, fall behind. So, you need to move your clocks forward one hour. Some people think DST was invented by Ben Franklin. That’s a myth. Germany was actually the first country to implement Daylight Saving Time. They did it in 1916 to save fuel during World War I. And it’s Saving not Savings. Oh, you can also mark your calendar for Nov. 5. That’s when we’ll do this all over again.

March Madness starts March 12 and ends April 3. That’s inclusive of both the women’s and men’s college basketball tournaments. The NCAA women’s tourney begins on March 12 will be broadcast at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The men’s first games will be held, as usual, in Dayton, Ohio, on March 14.
The 95th Academy Awards will be broadcast on March 12 on ABC starting at 8 p.m. ET. Nominees up for the Oscar in the Best Picture category are:

Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Banshees of Inisherin

Triangle of Sadness

The Fabelmans

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water



Click here for a complete list of nominees in all categories.

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17. Here are a few bits of trivia you can use to impress your friends while downing your green beer:

* The odds of finding a lucky four-leaf clover are 1 in 10,000.

* How do leprechauns earn their gold? By making and mending shoes.

* Chicago has dyed its river green every St. Patrick’s Day since 1962.

* What is St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, best known for? Driving out all the snakes.

* Is that true or blarney? There never were any snakes or other reptiles in Ireland.

National Anthem Day, honoring the Star Spangled Banner, is celebrated on March 3. Some interesting trivia: Ironically, the Star Spangled Banner has English origins — the melody was set to an old drinking song. Francis Scott Key wrote the words for the anthem originally in 1814 as a poem entitled Defense of Fort McHenry after witnessing an American flag raised above the Baltimore stronghold the morning after the British bombardment that lasted 27 hours. The actual flag was hidden by President Franklin Roosevelt during World War II because he feared the Japanese might attack the Smithsonian Museum where it was stored.
National Pi Day is March 14. And no, we’re not talking about grandma’s pumpkin pie or Life of Pi, but that weird number that describes the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It is what mathematicians call an “irrational” number, which is why mathematicians are so hard to get along with. No. Stop. I just made that up. Look up the definition of an irrational number and you get this: “In mathematics, irrational numbers are all the real numbers that are not rational numbers.” There. Glad to have cleared that up for you.
March 15 is the Ides of March. Which is a very unlucky day if your name is Julius Caesar. It was on this date in 44 BC that the Roman general, author, and emperor was stabbed to death by a gaggle of senators who thought he’d grown too big for his sandals by naming himself dictator for life. The kill squad was headed by Caesar’s best friend, Marcus Junius Brutus. In William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, he has Caesar uttering these last words: “Et Tu Brute?” Translated from the Latin: “You too Brutus?” There is no way to know for sure what Caesar’s last words might have been since none of the several dozen senators who stabbed him 23 times bothered to record it on their cell phones.
Freedom of Information Day is celebrated on March 16. It’s celebrated on the birthday of James Madison, widely regarded as the father of the Constitution and a powerful advocate for openness in government.

Other important March dates include…

  • March 1: National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day
  • March 2: Read Across America Day
  • March 4: National Grammar Day, National Pound Cake Day
  • March 6: Fall of the Alamo Anniversary (1836)
  • March 8: Nationil Proofreeding Day, International Women’s Day
  • March 9: National Barbie Day, Get Over It Day
  • March 10: National Bagpipe Day
  • March 11: National Johnny Appleseed Day,
  • March 12: National Girl Scout Day, Working Moms Day
  • March 18: Forgive Mom and Dad Day
  • March 19: Certified Nurses Day, Let’s Laugh Day
  • March 22: National Goof Off Day
  • March 25: National Tolkien Reading Day
  • March 29: Manatee Appreciation Day

As Promised, a Handful of March Jokes and Puns

Why is March the most popular month to use a trampoline?

Because it’s spring time.

Celebrate the Ides of March with a donut. In fact…

Eat two, Brute!

What can be seen in the middle of March, but can’t be seen at the beginning or the end?

The letter “r”

What’s Irish and comes out during March?

Paddy O’ Furniture

What is a general’s favorite day?

March Forth.

Reading, Watching, Listening

Cunk on Earth is the funniest and most irreverent mocumentary I’ve seen on TV in forever. The five-part Netflix series follows Philomena Cunk, played by the brilliant Diane Morgan, as she walks us through the history of mankind asking penetrating questions of experts such as: “Why are pyramids that shape — is it to stop homeless people from sleeping on them?”

I’ve been gobbling up lots of science fiction lately. Some from authors such as Daniel Suarez (Critical Mass) who I’ve been a fan of for years, and newly discovered writers such as Douglas Phillips whose spellbinding trio of novels — Quantum Void, Quantum Space, and Quantum Time — were unputdownable and chock full of informative hard science.

And thanks to Cunk on Earth, I have a new ear worm, Pump Up the Jam by the Belgian group Technotronic that Philomena Cunk squeezes into each of her episodes. Can’t get it out of my head.

They Said It …

“Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age”

–Colin Powell

“It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.”

–Jerry Seinfeld

“Fake news is cheap to produce. Genuine journalism is expensive.

–Toomas Hendrik Ilves

News You Can Use

Cancer Vaccine Trials to Start in the Fall

The British government recently announced that it is partnering with German firm BioNTech to test vaccines for cancer and other diseases.

The project aims to build on the mRNA vaccine technology that BioNTech became famous for developing and which has been so successful at preventing serious illness and death from COVID.

Last 8 Years The Hottest Ever Recorded.

The last eight years were the warmest on record even with the cooling influence of a La Niña weather pattern since 2020, the European Union’s climate monitoring service says.

Average temperatures across 2022 – which saw a cascade of unprecedented natural disasters made more likely and deadly by climate change – make it the fifth warmest year since records began in the 19th century, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service.

How to Offset the Health Risk of Sitting

To reduce the harmful health effects of sitting, take a 5-minute light walk every half-hour. That’s the key finding of a new study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Six Minutes of Exercise Can Ward Off Dementia

Six minutes of high-intensity exercise is enough to produce a key protein in the brain, one that’s important in brain formation, function, and memory, and which has been implicated in the progress of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The specialized protein in question is called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and it promotes both the growth and survival of neuron cells in the brain, as well as facilitating the development of new links and signaling pathways.

Late breaking news

As this newsletter went to press, we were following the massive blob of seaweed approaching Florida’s east coast. A spokesman for the University of South Florida Optical Oceanography Lab called it “probably the biggest event we’ve ever seen.” It weighs 8.9 tons and is growing in size.

Not only is it yucky and bad for tourism, it can be hazardous to human health as it gives off dangerous hydrogen sulfide gas as it decomposes.

There is no truth to the rumor (that I’m starting right here) that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to ask the state Legislature for a special appropriation so he can fly the seaweed to Kamala Harris’ house.

Readers Write…

Dear J.C.

Is it true that Daniel Suarez, the author of the bestselling science fiction novels Delta V and Critical Mass, posed with one of your novels at a recent book signing in Phoenix?

M. Meyerson

You should know, Marv. You talked him into it. Thanks.

Dear J.C.

I heard lately that future life on earth is being threatened by a new strain of “fact resistant” humans. Any truth to this rumor?

G. Gargan

My understanding is that Dr. Anthony Fauci is working in a secret underground Chinese laboratory to find an antidote. Stay tuned.

Dear J.C.

A mutual friend tells me you are well into writing the sixth in your Strange Files series of books and that it will be a reunion of sorts with a bunch of our favorite characters from earlier novels. Any truth to that?

Daniel S.

Yep. Hope to have it completed before the end of the year. Thanks for asking.

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Parting Shot

J.C. Bruce is the author of The Strange Files series of mystery and adventure novels (available on Amazon and other fine online booksellers). He also writes this free monthly newsletter. He holds dual citizenship in the United States of America and Florida. And he wants you to know that the misspellings in the item about National Proofreading Day were on porpoise.