WEDNESDAY READER | JANUARY 18
Hello – hello! How’s the week going so far? We have had crazy temperatures here in the past couple of weeks – 40’s, 50’s and 80’s!
Oh, well, like they say EVERYWHERE “If you don’t like the weather, just stick around for a day or two.” Haha
Thanks for stopping in for the read today. Grateful. Have a great rest of your week!
- “GOODY TWO-SHOES” WAS THE FIRST SOLO HIT FROM WHICH LEAD SINGER OF A 1980s BAND?
a) Adam Ant
b) Boy George
c) Chrissie Hynde
d) Andy Partridge
- ANOSMIA IS A MEDICAL CONDITION THAT LIMITS WHICH SENSE?
- WHICH WATER BIRD FIGURES PROMINENTLY IN SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE’S POEM “THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER”?
- “UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY” IS A 1983 LIVE ALBUM FROM WHICH BAND?
a) Guns N’ Roses
b) The Police
- STONE LIBRARY IN MASSACHUSETTS HOUSES THE BOOKS AND ARCHIVE OF WHICH TWO AMERICAN PRESIDENTS?
a) John Adams and John Quincy Adams
b) George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush
c) Benjamin Harrison and William Henry Harrison
d) Andrew Johnson and Lyndon Baines Johnson
- WHAT DOES THE LATIN PHRASE “CAVEAT EMPTOR ” MEAN?
a) All is well.
b) Beware of the dog.
c) Buyer beware.
d) Hello, friend.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THIS CHAPTER OF YOUR LIFE?
POP QUIZ ANSWERS
- “GOODY TWO-SHOES” WAS A 1982 HIT FOR ADAM ANT.
- SOMETIMES CALLED “SMELL BLINDNESS,” ANOSMIA IS THE LACK OR LOSS OF OF THE SENSE OF SMELL.
- THE ALBATROSS FIGURES PROMINENTLY IN SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE’S “THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER.”
- “UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY” WAS A 1983 LIVE ALBUM FROM U2.
- STONE LIBRARY AT ADAMS NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK IN QUINCY, MASSACHUSETTS, HOUSES THE BOOKS AND ARCHIVES OF JOHN ADAMS AND JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
- THE LATIN PHRASE “CAVAET EMPTOR” MEANS “BUYER BEWARE.”
~ Leslie Elman, Leslie’s Triviabits, TRADEMARK
THE LIGHTBURNE “MADSTONE”
Our neighbors and friends in Liberty, Missouri, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Lightburne and their son, John, owned a mysterious liver taken from a deer called a MADSTONE. It was used to determine if people had rabies. Lee Lightburne had acquired this mysterious stone from his father who was born in Scott County, Kentucky in 1811.
The MADSTONE was famous in Northwest Missouri. The theory was it was formed by petrification in the stomach of a deer. The MADSTONE in our community was known as the “Lightburne Stone.”
Leon and I saw the MADSTONE. It was an irregular shaped cube — a little larger than a nickel. It was gray in color, quite porous, and looked very much like the marrow structure of a large bone. It was always kept in a small case.
When a person was bitten by a dog, which was suspected of being mad, he took no chance but came as quickly as possible to the Lightburne home. The MADSTONE was taken out of its case and placed in a glass of warm milk. It was never touched by the human hand but always handled with tweezers.
Never was the stone placed directly on the wound.
The left wrist of the patient was shaved and washed clean. Then the warm stone was placed upon the skin and tightly bound to the wrist with a strip of clean linen to be left there for a little over two hours.
After this wait, the wrist was unbound.
This was a tense moment.
If the patient was infected with rabies, the stone would adhere to the wrist. If the patient was not infected, it would not adhere, but would fall off immediately.
Sometimes the stone would adhere for several hours.
When this happened the MADSTONE was soaked an hour or so in the glass of warm milk and the “operation” was repeated.
If the patient was still infected, the MADSTONE would be placed on the wrist again.
Process continued until the MADSTONE fell off and patient was free of danger.
So far as is known, no person to whom the stone was used was ever the victim of hydrophobia.
The Lightburne’s granddaughter, Virginia Donaldson Douglas, is still living as I write this story. She told me they understand a woman in Kansas has the MADSTONE .
~ written by Harriette Miller, 1994
KNOWLEDGE WILL GIVE YOU POWER, BUT CHARACTER RESPECT
~ Bruce Lee
(( Starve the Landfills. Recycle. ))
RIDDLE ME THIS
WHAT HAS THREE FEET BUT CANNOT WALK?
I think almost everyone knows the broccoli-rice-cheese casserole recipe. This one, not so much. Asparagus casserole was as popular in our family at gatherings as the broccoli rice casserole. I like the broccoli rice casserole … but I LOVE this one best.
In a medium size bowl combine:
- 2 – 16 ounce cans of asparagus, drained
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 – 1/4 cup milk
- 1 melted stick butter (microwave)
- 1 – 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 – 1/2 cups crushed saltine crackers
- salt and pepper to taste
Pour ingredients into a casserole dish and bake at 350* for about 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, gently test the middle of the casserole with your finger to see if it’s firm. If it “jiggles” bake another 10 minutes or so.
** Optional splash of color – add a tiny jar of chopped pimento peppers with ingredients before baking.
I GUESS WE‘RE SUPPOSED TO USE BeReal NOW, AND I’M TIRED
I was proud. After denying it for years, I finally accepted that TikTok is a fun and useful app. I produced my first contribution, a clip of my wee dog hugging a stuffed bear. Intellectual? No. Exquisite serotonin juice? Absolutely. If I had more than nine followers, it might have gone viral. (It would not have, but don’t tell my Rocket. He’s very vain.)
I met a friend the next night at a Dracula-themed wine bar in Florida complete with a winged throne and gargoyle toilet paper holder. Yes, a Dracula wine bar. All the house wines come from Romania!
Anyway, not the topic. My pal mentioned sharing the Dracula bar on BeReal. I pretended to know what she was talking about and quietly Googled “BeReal” in the same window where I’d been Googling “perimenopause age.” Not another social network, the description insisted. I huffed, wondering if I was warm from the Romanian wine, indignation or the other thing.
The next day, my boss, unprompted, described BeReal as the only good social media app. She held up her phone and showed off shots of what appeared to be … her friends sitting in parking lots.
Why was this arguably boring platform suddenly everywhere? The thing was happening where you buy a blue Toyota Camry and start to notice beaucoup blue Toyota Camrys on the road. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon for Rapidly Aging People.
BeReal, a French app born in 2020, grew so popular this year that TikTok has already ripped it off. It’s a come-as-you-are party. Once a day, BeReal urges users to post whatever lies before them, no matter how mundane (parking lots). Then the app assaults users with a selfie. If the picture turns out traumatic, as my first one did, you can retake it. But there’s a catch; the app tattles, alerting everyone that you are not real. Real people display their chin acne once a day!
You might be reading this and going, “Wait, I’m just now getting on Instagram.” Or “I’m still using Facebook; should I get my affairs in order?’ Or “Any advice for my abundance of Kodak disposable cameras?”
Dreadful, the realization that culture moves on with or without you. Exhausting, the quest to keep up. BeReal isn’t the only newcomer. Heard of Supernova? Applaudable? Sunroom? Polywork? Are you sweating? Does it happen for, like, just a few minutes and then it passes or … never mind.
It’s always the coolest, least-exposed people who seem to know new things first. They keep a sophisticated internet presence while I employ all the nuance of Corn Kid. They visit Europe without a single nugget online evidence. I visit the grocery store and post six Instagram stories, two tweets and a photo in a novelty llama mask.
Coolness is futile, friends. Irrelevance is beautiful. Perhaps not coincidentally, that’s why BeReal has caught on. At its best, social media functions as an incubator for connection and creativity, an illuminator of new talents, a treasure trove of stories. But people have grown weary of the hustle for influence, the constant monetization. They just want to live, and it turns out most living happens in parking lots.
We’re all stuck in this social media ecosystem, and it’s hard not to be cynical when even the most banal and boring moments inevitably become extensions of our Personal Brands. Perhaps the answer is to be generous to one another as we cope with the flattening of our vast and interesting selves into a series of triple-chin selfies and dull-as-bricks parking lot photos.
Check back with me next year, when my BeReal roll will rival the hallowed grounds of Costco.
~ Stephanie Hayes is a columnist at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. Follow her at @stephhayes on Twitter or @stephrhayes on Instagram. COPYRIGHT 2022 CREATORS.COM
- Although it originated earlier, the term “goody two-shoes” was popularized by a 1765 children’s book called “The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes.” It was the tale of an orphan girl — real name Margery Meanwell — so poor she had only one shoe but so pure of heart she won the admiration of everyone around her. Published by John Newbery, “The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes” was an instant hit. To this day, no one is certain who wrote it.
- Wombats are the only mammals known to produce cube-shaped poop. While this particular attribute might seem like a novelty, it actually provides a benefit to the wombats as they mark their territory. The cubes form piles that are easy to see, even for wombats whose eyesight is known to be poor.
- Ida Lewis made her first rescue of imperiled boaters in Rhode Island as a teenager in the 1850s, rowing into Newport Harbor to pick up four stranded young men. She eventually became a lighthouse keeper and single-handedly rescued more than a dozen stranded sailors through her career — the last when she was in her 60s. A U.S. Coast Guard cutter bears her name, and in 2018, she became the first woman to have a drive named for her at Arlington National Cemetery.
- Norwegian artist Edvard Munch made four painted versions of “The Scream,” in which a distressed figure is surrounded by a blood-red sky. That sky was probably something the artist actually saw. In August 1883, the Krakatoa volcano erupted in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), spewing dust and volcanic matter into the atmosphere. The volcanic cloud drifted north, and by November 1883, Norway was experiencing eerie blood-red sunsets caused by the ash in the atmosphere.
- The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, was founded in 1842, making it the oldest continuously operating public museum in the United States. In 1931, it became the first American museum to stage an exhibition of surrealist art and the first museum anywhere to purchase a painting by Salvador Dali — “La Solitude,” which it acquired for $120.
- When animals eat hair and other things they can’t digest, those undigestibles can clump together in the stomach to form a mass known as a bezoar. (This happens often in goats, deer, sheep and llamas — less frequently in humans.) Back in the 16th and 17th centuries, people harvested bezoars as a protection against poisoning. In fact, the word “bezoar” comes from Arabic and Persian words meaning antidote. It all sounds quaint until you learn that scientific tests of bezoars immersed in arsenic show they really do have some ability to neutralize the poison.
~ COPYRIGHT 2023 LESLIE ELMAN, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM