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Laura Davis.

DRUM roll please. It's that time of the day when you rip the page off your desk calendar and read whatever nugget of information has been awaiting you.

Today's ritual has the added zest of being carried out on a Monday, so instead of just one page to rip off I have three.

I close my eyes and enjoy the sound of the paper being torn from the gluey spine. It's Monday morning - you have to find pleasure wherever you can.

One, two, three... "On this day in 1811, Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro published his memoir about the molecular content of gases."

Yes, my desk calendar is one of those historical events ones people give you when they think you're of a serious persuasion.

I preferred the one from a few years ago that featured French insults. Both intellectual and fun - exactly how I like to imagine myself when I'm watching repeats of Come Dine With Me.

Come calendar -your The molecules of gases - well, it's certainly not the gem of knowledge about times past I was hoping for.

Charles Dickens publishing The Tale of Two Cities or Britain pioneers HIV vaccine. The World Aids Conference announces trials of a new HIV vaccine would have been better. They both happened on July 11 - in 1859 and 2000 - according to the internet anyway.

I can't pin down the personality of my desk calendar. It's determinedly erratic, spewing out random bits of information as if it had been researched by a James Bond secretary - buttoned up and serious most of the time but whipping off her spectacles and shaking out her hair just in time to pop down a factoid about stilettos or white sambuca.

Over the past few months it has endowed the following facts: May 23: Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals (1785).

June 8: HMS Glorious sunk by German gunfire in the Norwegian Sea. More than 1,200 men lost (1940).

June 21: The Crucible playwright Arthur Miller refuses to name potential communist-sympathisers to House Committee on Un-American Activities (1956).

June 27: Days of Thunder, starring Tom Cruise as stock-car racer Cole Trickle, opens in cinemas (1990).

At the time, the release of Days of Thunder was pretty exciting. Tom Cruise was firmly between getting his teeth done and meeting Katie Holmes. All was right with the world.

But a world historical event on a par with Hitler invading Poland or the Battle of Hastings? I think not.

Come on calendar - where's your consistency? You're either an old-fashioned librarian sort with horn-rimmed eyeglasses and a bottle green cardi or you're a chick flick buff with a crush on Riley from Hollyoaks.

on Eclectic personality traits in people I positively admire, but with a desk calendar it's another story.

where's consistency? I want to know whether I am starting my day with a moment of careful reflection or a giggle at a fashion faux pas. Not being prepared with the right reaction is a lot to get your head around first thing in the morning.

I'm not necessarily looking for the former. A calendar themed on pointless historical facts you will never in a month of Sundays be examined on - and not just because exams are rarely held on the Sabbath - would be fair enough. Fun even.

I might create one myself... April 30: Candy floss introduced to the globe at the St Louis World's Fair (1904).

June 9: Ross and Rachel from Friends share their first kiss (1999).

July 11: Laura Davis has argument with desk calendar and loses.


* READ more of Laura's columns at davis
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 11, 2011
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