WEDNESDAY READER | JANUARY 4
Day 4 of 2023. How’s the New Year so far? Good here. I took my Christmas down. All packed up and ready to travel to the storage unit where it will wait until next year to come back home to bring ornamental magic and beauty.
Thanks for being here.
May 2023 be a year of wonder + awe + success + for + all.
- JOHN SYLVESTER WHITE PLAYED HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL MR. WOODMAN ON WHICH TV SERIES?
b) “Head of the Class”
c) “Saved by the Bell”
d) “Welcome Back, Kotter”
- THE WORD “HYSTERIA” COMES FROM THE ANCIENT GREEK FOR WHAT BODY PART?
- WHICH OF THESE CITIES LIES CLOSEST TO ANTARCTICA?
a) Cape Town, South Africa
b) Sydney, Australia
c) Nuuk, Greenland
d) Ushuaia, Argentina
- NELSON MANDELA SPENT 18 YEARS INCARCERATED AS A POLITICAL PRISONER AT WHAT LOCATION, NOW A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?
a) Alcatraz Island
b) Buru Island
c) Devil’s Island
d) Robben Island
- WHICH CHEMICAL ELEMENT CONTRIBUTES TO MAKING HUMAN BLOOD RED?
- Who wrote the tale of “Thumbelina”?
a) Hans Christian Andersen
b) Carlo Collodi
c) Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
d) Beatrix Potter
WHO IS THE FIRST PERSON YOU THOUGHT ABOUT TODAY?
POP QUIZ ANSWERS
- John Sylvester White played high school principal Mr. Woodman on “Welcome Back, Kotter”
- Hysteria comes from the ancient Greek word “hysteria” meaning uterus.
- Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Agentina, is about 620 miles from the Antarctic Peninsula.
- Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 prison years on Robben Island.
- Iron contributes to the red color of human blood.
- Hans Christian Andersen wrote the tale of “Thumbelina.”
BELIEVE IT OR NOT
Hard to believe, it’s said, that a little over a hundred years ago …
- The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47
- Only 8% of homes had a telephone. A 3 minute call from Denver to New Yo9rk City cost $11.
- There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S. and only 144 miles of paved road.
- The max speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
- Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.
- The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
- The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents/hour. the average worker made between $200 – $400/year.
- A competent accountant could expect to make $2,000/year, a dentist $2,500/year, a veterinarian $1,500 – $4,000/year and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 year.
- Sugar cost 4 cents/pound, eggs 14 cents/dozen, and coffee 15 cents/pound.
- Most women washed their hair only once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
- The 5 leading reasons for death were:
1) Pneumonia and Influenza
4) Heart Disease
- The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.
- Drive by shooting shootings, in which wild teenage boys galloped down streets on horseback and randomly shooting at houses, stores, carriages or anything else that caught their fancy, were an ongoing problem in Denver and other cities in the West.
~ data collected via Google
THAT’S WHAT I DO. I READ AND I KNOW THINGS.
(( Starve the Landfills. Recycle. ))
RIDDLE ME THIS
WHY IS EUROPE LIKE A FRYING PAN?
TRUCK STOP CHILI
This recipe will not disappoint. It’s sooooooo good.
Take advantage of a free afternoon and make this chili, filling your home with an aroma that has everyone asking, “When’s dinner?” In Montana, lots of my friends and family enjoyed a cinnamon roll and giant glass of cold milk with our hearty chili.
~ makes a lot. Share or freeze in gallon ziplock bags for another day
IN A GIANT STOCK POT:
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 TBSP dried garlic (I’m a big Litehouse brand fan! generally found in the produce section of grocery stores)
- 4 TBSP dried onion – or – 2 fresh yellow onions small chopped
- 2 TBSP dried Oregano (Again, Litehouse brand is my fav)
- 2 TBSP ground cumin
- 1 cup dark chili powder
- 1 TBSP ground cayenne
- 2 TBSP ground pepper
- 1 TBSP salt
- 2 TBSP canned chipotle, pureed
- 1 #10 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 #10 can diced tomatoes
- 1 #10 can pinto beans
- 2 TBSP concentrated beef base (I use the Better Than Bullion – in a jar in the spice section at most grocery markets)
- 2 cups strong coffee or 2 TBSP freeze dried, instant (Kava)
Over medium high heat, brown ground beef in large stock pot with dried onion and garlic. Drain beef grease.
Add spices + pureed chipotle + everything else. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Adjust heat so it just bubbles a little and cook on stove about 2 – 3 hours. Watch and stir every now and then.
Serve. Enjoy. Share. Freeze.
~ Hippie Cowboy recipe box
BECAUSE IT HAS GREECE AT THE BOTTOM
IS THE THUMBS-UP EMOJI PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE?
The surest way to know a topic has jumped the shark is when a person who know the origins of the phrase “jumped the shark” covers it. (See below.)
To that end, news outlets are reporting that the Gen Z finds the thumbs-up emoji passive-aggressive and confrontational, which means the Gen Z has found the thumbs-up emoji passive-aggressive and confrontational for a long time. They have moved on to hating something else the rest of us will learn about in 18 months via “Today,” in between the Smucker’s birthday jar and a segment on easy game appetizers.
The following emojis are apparently also out: the red heart, the poo (aww, lil’ friend), the face with streaming tears, the laugh-cry and more. Of course Gen Z is not a committee that votes using Robert’s Rules of Order. Rather the opinions of an entire generation emerge like Cthulhu when someone makes a Reddit post and us shark jumpers run with it. It’s all overblown.
Still the thumb is a fun conversation starter! Keep it on hand for the holidays when you’d like to talk about anything besides the conspiracy theories of school board candidates. I’ve found this ice breaker yields passionate takes. One friend says he does find the thumbs-up cold and dismissive, but only when others use it and not him. Somehow, this makes perfect sense.
Communicating via emoji is most fraught in a workplace. In my office, we use software called “Slack,” which is like … hmm … well, a purple graveyard for tone and nuance. It comes with a plethora of emojis, and this is where relations get tricky. Say you post, “Bagels by the copier!” and get a thumbs-up. Bomb. Dreadful. Humiliating. How could you choose bagels when doughnuts exist in the world? Now, if that same message gets 16 dancing party parrots? It’s going to be a bang-up day.
Confused? What are we to do when “universal’ symbols mean something different even to the people in our own homes? How do we keep up?? Once upon a time it was not considered icy to send a message ending with a period. Now? If there’s not at least six of these babies (!!!) you are definitely mad at me.
Let’s go deeper and translate canceled emojis as of 2022.
Thumbs up: “I don’t care where we eat. You pick. That place? That’s a bread-only restaurant and I’m off gluten, but I don’t mind getting sick. I said it’s really up to you. Really? I got hair in my salad there. No, it’s cool. I said you pick. I’m vegan, but I can find something at Meat Emporium. I think I’ll just stay in. I’m tired.”
Grimace face: “I can’t believe you used the thumbs-up”
Red heart: “I love you. Not in a casual way. I am passionately, desperately in love with you, and I’m sorry if it’s awkward to hear while you were just texting an article about the long-term mortgage rates topping 7%. The very thought of you turns my heart to doves and my soul to violins. Allow me to recite this poem by Robert Burns: ‘Oh my love is like a red, red rose …'”
Red lips: “This is over.”
Check mark: “Never speak to me again.”
Laugh-cry face: “I don’t know who I am or what I stand for. My cells are degenerating. I recently purchased orthotic inserts. My jeans are wrong, my hair is wrong, my socks are wrong. I will probably say something inappropriate and have to launch an apology tour, take down my social media accounts and disappear. Upon my return, everyone will be on new platforms, so I will try knitting while I await death. Am I laughing? Crying? Shaking? Sweating? Cold? Alone? All of the above.”
(On a 1977 episode of “Happy Days,” the character Fonzie jumped over a shark while water-skiing, signaling that the show was out of new ideas. You’re welcome.)
~ 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
- The word “gas” comes from the Greek word “chaos,” meaning disorder. Around 1630, Flemish scientist Jean Baptiste van Helmont first referred to gas in a scientific context to describe a vaporous state of matter that wasn’t solid and wasn’t liquid but existed nonetheless. The first “gas” he described was the smoke produced by burning wood. He called it “gas sylvestre,” meaning wild gas or wood gas. Today we call it carbon dioxide.
- Nellie Bly is most famous for her 72-day solo trip around the world in 1889, recreating the journey and beating the pace described in Jules Verne’s novel “Around the World in 80 Days.” But she made a greater contribution to investigative journalism with her 1887 expose “Ten Days in a Mad-House.” Faking mental illness, she had herself committed to a women’s hospital “with a view to writing a plain and unvarnished narrative of the treatment of the patients,” as she later said. Her description of the deplorable conditions faced by patients led to significant reforms in mental health care.
- Just about every square mile of land on Earth has been claimed by one or another, but not Marie Byrd Land. Its 620,000 square miles of Western Antarctica belong to no one and everyone — the largest unclaimed space on Earth. Although some parts of Antarctica have been claimed, in the interest of world peace and scientific progress, the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 decreed that Antarctica would remain a demilitarized space reserved for cooperative scientific research. Today there are more than 50 signatories to the treaty, which also bans dumping nuclear waste in Antarctica.
- While Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer was incarcerated as a political prisoner from 1965 to 1979, he was’t permitted writing implements. So, he composed the novels “This Earth of Mankind,” “Child of All Nations,” “Footsteps” and “House of Glass” in his mind and recited them to his fellow inmates to help him remember the stories. The four books, published after his release from prison, center on Indonesia’s uneasy political history They’re known as the “Buru Quartet” because they were written while he was imprisoned on Buru Island.
- The naturally blue blood of the horseshoe crab (genus Limulus) contains an extremely sensitive bacteria-detection compound. In the 1950’s, hematologists Frederick Bang and Jack Levin realized it could be used to test for harmful bacteria in substances that enter the human body for medical treatment. That led to the development of the Limulus amoebocyte lysate test, still widely used to determine whether vaccines, intravenous treatments and implantable medical devices are free of harmful bacteria.
- When you give a thumbs-up sign, does the tip of your thumb naturally bend backward? The fancy name for that type of double-jointedness is distal hyperextensibility of the thumb, but most people know it as hitchhiker’s thumb. It’s a recessive trait you inherit from your parents, and the amount of curvature can range from slightly tilted to a 90-degree bend.
~ Leslie Elman, Leslie’s Triviabits, TRADEMARK