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Archive for the ‘Regular Features’ Category

The Questions…

1. What breed of dog is the speediest?

2. Which state is the flattest, and which is the most mountainous?

3. The three angles in a triangle always add up to how many degrees?

4. When filmmaker George Lucas was in high school, what career did he plan to pursue?

5. What’s the difference between herbs and spices?

The Answers…

1. The Greyhound. In competitive racing, Greyhounds run at up to 45 mph. From a standing start, they can attain top speed in six strides.

2. Florida is the flattest, followed by Illinois, North Dakota, and Louisiana. West Virginia is, on average, the most mountainous. The mountains of Alaska, California, and Colorado are higher, but the valleys and plains in those states lower the average.

3. 180.

4. Young George was obsessed with motorcycles and fast cars, and he wanted to be a professional race car driver. His mind got changed three days before graduation when he barely survived a car wreck and spent months in a hospital. He went to film school instead.

5. Both come from plants, but herbs are from the fleshy, leafy parts, and spices are from dried, woody parts — root, stalk, seed, etc.

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More favorite photos I’ve taken over the years.

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This Just In

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN — Lake Superior State University has released its annual list of words and terms that should be banned because they are over-used and irritating.

The 10 banishments for 2021 are COVID-19 (plus rona, coronavirus, and other variations), social distancing, we’re all in this together, in an abundance of caution, in these uncertain times, pivot, unprecedented, Karen, sus (short for suspicious), and I know, right?

The university has released the list since 1976 to “uphold, protect, and support excellence in language by encouraging avoidance of words and terms that are overworked, redundant, oxymoronic, clichéd, illogical, nonsensical — and otherwise ineffective, baffling, or irritating.”

The list has grown to over 1,000 offending words and terms. They are listed here by year.

LSSU President Rodney Hanley said the terms flatten the curve and new normal almost made the list, but not quite.

RIO LINDA, CALIFORNIA — A local man dressed as Santa Claus was rescued after he crashed his motorized parachute into power lines and became entangled, authorities said.

The incident happened shortly before Christmas as the man was flying to a school to deliver candy canes to the children. He swerved too late to avoid the power lines and wound up trapped and dangling upside down. Power to about 200 customers was shut off during the rescue.

Neighbors said the man flies his parachute around the area regularly, but this was his first time playing Santa for students. He was not injured in the accident.

BEIJING, CHINA — McDonald’s restaurants in China are selling a new “Lunchmeat Burger” consisting of a hamburger bun topped with two slices of Spam, crushed Oreo cookies, and a dollop of mayonnaise.

McDonald’s said the menu addition will be for a limited time and only available on Mondays.

Global brands in several fields are known to introduce offbeat, attention-getting products in China.

Based on comments on the McDonald’s website, Chinese customers have not reacted positively. One comment said the new item is ideal for “when you hate someone, but have to invite him to dinner.”

A comment that read, “There is no need to release unnecessary products” received over 2,000 “likes.”

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The cure for poverty has a name. In fact, it’s called the empowerment of women. If you give women some control over the rate at which they reproduce, if you give them some say, take them off the animal cycle of reproduction to which nature and some doctrine — religious doctrine — condemns them, and then if you’ll throw in a handful of seeds, perhaps, and some credit, the floor of everything in that village — education, health, and optimism — will increase. Try it in Bangladesh, try it in Bolivia. It works. It works all the time. Name me one religion that stands for that, or ever has.

Christopher Hitchens

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America will never be destroyed from the outside.

Abraham Lincoln

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A sign of intelligence is an awareness of one’s own ignorance.

Niccolò Machiavelli

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Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.

Jacques Yves Cousteau

Hitchens

Cousteau

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The song “Dreaming” by OMD has the sad distinction of being the last single by the group’s original members before they split up, as rock bands often do.

Also typically, OMD reunited and is touring again today.

Although the song was a hit and popular with music critics, co-writer Andy McCluskey said he never liked the lyrics, and he wishes the song had never been released. Go figure.

The subject of “Dreaming” is simple enough: some poor guy lamenting unrequited love.

Dreaming

By Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark, 1988
Written by Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey

If you were born in heaven girl, I’d understand so well.
But ever since I’ve met you, child, you’ve made my life such hell.
With every day that passes, I fall nearer to the ground.
It seems that I’ve been looking for something that won’t be found.

I was only dreaming.
I was only trying to catch your eye.
I was only wishing you would notice me.
Instead, you said goodbye.

Could this be the new answer, then, to all the dreams we’ve made.
Could there be some solution, please, to rid me of this grace.
But every single second that you held me in your arms,
You build me up, you raise me up, you kill me with your charms.

I was only dreaming.
I was only trying to catch your eye.
I was only wishing you would notice me.
Instead, you said goodbye.


Would you stay with me tonight?
Won’t you make these feelings last?
Can we start this all again?
Would that be just to much to ask?

I was only dreaming.
I was only trying to catch your eye.
I was only wishing you would notice me.
Instead, you said goodbye.

I was only dreaming.
I was only trying to catch your eye.
I was only wishing you would notice me.
Instead, you said goodbye.


https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/dreaming-omd.mp3


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The Questions…

1. What is the only breed of dog that doesn’t bark?

2. Carrots weren’t always orange. The orange color appeared in the 1600s, when Dutch farmers began cultivating mutant strains, and the orange version turned out to be higher yielding and better tasting. What color were carrots originally?

3. In what month is Earth closest to the sun?

4. What is responsible for more allergic reactions than any other food or drink?

5. The ratel is a small mammal native to Africa, Asia, and India. By what name is the ratel better known?

The Answers…

1. The Basenji, a small hunting dog closely related to the non-domesticated Australian dingo. Basenjis and dingos vocalize with howls and yodels, but do not bark like most dog breeds.

2. Purple.

3. January. Paradoxically, we experience winter then because the earth’s axis is tilted, and the sun’s rays hit the planet at an angle at that time of year. In July, when we are farthest from the sun, its rays hit us more directly, and we have summer. Science.

4. Cow’s milk.

5. AKA the honey badger, a bad-tempered relative of weasels and martens. The label badger is a misnomer.

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More random photos I’ve taken over the years that still make me smile.

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This Just In

MILAN, ITALY — Customs officials in Milan intercepted a suspicious package from Colombia and found 130 grams of cocaine hidden inside hollowed-out coffee beans.

The officials investigated because the package was addressed to a crime boss in a John Wick movie. Members of the Guardia di Finanza, which deals with financial crimes and smuggling, observed that the package was addressed to Santino D’Antonio, a character from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

The package contained over 500 coffee beans that had been scooped out, filled with powdered cocaine, and resealed with brown tape.

The cocaine was confiscated, and the package was delivered to its final destination, a tobacco shop in Florence. A 50-year-old man who showed up to claim the package was arrested.

OLATHE, KANSAS — A dog that disappeared from her family’s home in Olathe was found a week later at the family’s previous residence 60 miles away in Lawson, Missouri.

Cleo, a four-year-old golden retriever, turned up at the Lawson home of Colton Michael. Cleo’s microchip revealed that she belonged to Drew Feeback, who had sold the house to Michael two years earlier.

Michael checked Facebook, found a post from Feeback about the missing dog, and Cleo was returned to her family.

Olathe, Kansas, and Lawson, Missouri, are located on opposite sides of the Kansas City metro area and on opposite banks of the Missouri River. No one knows how Cleo made the journey.

UEHLFELD, GERMANY — A Uehlfeld brewery has been forced to halt beer production because storks, a protected species in Germany, built a nest in one of the factory’s chimneys.

A family of storks built the nest at the Zwanzger Brewery in early spring, and the baby storks have since hatched. The brewery planned to relocate the nest so production could resume, but new coronavirus restrictions temporarily prevented it.

Brewer Christian Zwanzger said his stock of beer is running low, but he thinks production will be back to normal shortly. He said Uehlfeld is fond of the storks, which often return to the same spots every year. The town has about 35 nests.

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Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.

Jacques Yves Cousteau

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America will never be destroyed from the outside.

Abraham Lincoln

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Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away.

Benjamin Franklin

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This above all: to thine own self be true.

William Shakespeare

Cousteau

Shakespeare

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