Jan. 4: Trivia Day, Dimpled Chad Day, National Spaghetti Day

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Trivia Day

Impress your friends with useless knowledge, including, "Did you know Jan. 4 is Trivia Day?" In the 1980s when video games like "Indiana Jones in the Lost Kingdom" were few and far between, Trivial Pursuit was a top choice for family game night. The popular TV show "Jeopardy" has been airing intermittently since it first debuted in 1964 as a daytime game show. Trivia Day honors anyone who knows a lot facts or has a "doctorate in uselessology," according to Robert L. Birch of Puns.

Dimpled Chad Day

With the 2012 presidential election's primaries and caucuses underway, Wellcat wants to commemorate "dimpled chads, left over from various and sundry contested elections." A paper chad is that small piece of paper removed from a ticket stub or a punch card election ballot. The dimpled, pregnant or hanging chad from the "butterfly ballots" was only one of the issues that contributed to the chaos following the 2000 presidential election.

Florida's 25 electoral votes were the determining factor. Because the vote was so close the votes had to be manually recounted, a process that mired in controversy and irregularities. The U.S. Supreme Court halted recounts and ultimately selected Bush as the winner. It was only the fourth time in U.S. history the winning candidate did not also win the popular vote. That vote went to Al Gore, according to the State Elections Office.

Related trivia: John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876) and Benjamin Harrison (1888) won the electoral vote but not the popular vote.

National Spaghetti Day

Mmm ... spaghetti. It might seem like the easiest pasta shape to make, but it's not. Other shapes including long and flat lasagna noodles and elbow macaroni predate the long, thin strands of pasta. Colonial Americans enjoyed macaroni with white or cheese sauces, not tomato sauce. Thin spaghetti served with tomato sauce dates only as far back as the 19th century, to Naples, Italy, according to Food Timeline. In Naples the sauce was served with fatty meats like bacon, ham or sausage. Meatballs made with beef as an accompaniment to spaghetti started showing up in American cookbooks around World War II.

Celebrate the holiday with:

* Seven great spaghetti dinners

* Easy spaghetti with meat sauce

* Lemon-pepper pasta and chicken

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