The cartoon calendar is the most popular method of keeping track of a year, narrowly beating out the rutabaga-of-the-day calendar, counting a rutabaga's rings, and pronouncing “rutabaga” 15,778,463 times. Give your chops a break with today's Groupon: for $11, you get a 2012 The Economist wall calendar, including shipping (an $18.98 value).
Editorial cartoonist of The Economist since 1978, Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher turns his satirical eye on history and holidays in the third edition of An Illustrated Look at the World Ahead. Unlike those that only print federally mandated opposite days, this month-counter pairs conventional holidays with quirkier factoids, such as James Joyce's birthday and the anniversary of the earmuff's patent. The auspicious persons, places, and dates of the month are then laid out in a cartoonish mise en scène, making an excellent gift for those who have an offbeat sense of humor or an offbeat understanding of backwardation.
The Economist's globe-spanning scope, comprehensive analysis, and unflinching grasp on world issues make it required reading to stay up to date on world news, politics, and business. First published in 1843, the publication still casts itself as a newspaper despite its magazine-style layout; each issue covers the main events of the week, with analysis and opinion sprinkled across its pages for good measure. A conversational tone and anonymity remain calling cards of The Economist's writers, keeping with the belief that what is written is more important than who writes it.