Is it just us, or are there a disproportionate number of birthdays in 2006? Granted, we've never really counted them up before, but this year we've noticed there are some seriously significant milestones happening - and, lucky for you, there's some sort of party to go along with each one. Since we don't think that celebrating just one birthday per year is enough, raise your glasses and wish a bonne anniversaire to the following pieces of history.
Milton Bradley's Twister turns 40 in 2006 - the same number of years since Johnny Carson championed the ultimate party game on The Tonight Show (he played with Eva Gabor), giving it the sort of endorsement that separates here-today-gone-tomorrow games with those that … well … have been around for 40 years. Milton Bradley is commemorating the occasion with the Twister Dance DVD ($30).
Eames Lounge and Ottoman (50)
An icon of mid-century modern design, the Eames Lounge and Ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames made its debut in 1956 and proved to be a classic. In honor of its golden anniversary, Herman Miller has put together a traveling exhibition, The Eames Lounge Chair: An Icon of Modern Design, as well as a limited-edition version of the set, made with sustainably sourced tropical wood ($6,500).
What's childhood without this American classic? Hasbro is giving away $50,000 in a sweepstakes commemorating the 1956 invention of this modeling compound turned iconic toy. We were hoping for a new color too. Oh well - money is almost as good.
San Francisco Earthquake (100)
The tremor that ripped San Francisco apart 100 years ago was one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. The 8.25 quake (in comparison, 1989's Loma Prieta quake measured a paltry 6.7) displaced 250,000 people and caused a whopping $350 million in damage. So what is the city doing this year? Hosting a conference, of course.