A group of multi-genre authors blogging together
A group of authors writing interesting posts weekly and interacting with readers.
Did you know?
High heels were first designed for men. At the end of the 16th century, Persian-inspired style was all the rage in Europe, according to the J. Paul Getty Museum, and heels were seen as being virile and masculine—and a great way to boost the ego of short men.
Clever design for roosters. Considering a rooster's call can reach 140 decibels or louder, it might leave one to wonder how the rooster itself keeps from going deaf when it crows. It turns out, the rooster have built-in earplugs. Researchers found that when a rooster opens its beak to crow, its external auditory canals close off, preventing sound from coming in and doing any damage.
Don't say cheese. We say "cheese" when our picture is taken because the word leaves us with a big smile on our faces. But if Victorian-era folk were to see our gleeful expressions, they'd scoff. Once upon a time, smiling in photos was considered undignified and reserved for the poor and the drunk. To retain a more serious look in their photos, they would say "prunes," a word so dull, the chances of it inciting a smile were slim to none.
The smell of rain is called petrichor. It comes from an oil plants exude that dries on the ground. When it rains, the oil combines with a byproduct from a type of bacteria to produce the smell.
Calculate tips the easy way. Assuming you want to tip 20 percent for good service, move the decimal point one digit to the left and then double that number. It's that easy! For example, if a bill is for $35.50, you move the decimal to the left, which gives you $3.55. Double that number, and you've got $7.10—a 20 percent tip calculated in seconds.
Cats have fewer toes on their back paws. Just like most four-legged mammals, cats have five toes on the front, but their back paws only have four toes. Scientists think the four-toe back paws might help them run faster.
Turkeys can blush. When turkeys are scared or excited, the pale skin on their head and neck turns bright red, blue, or white. The flap of skin over their beaks, called a “snood,” also reddens.
Contrary to the popular belief, tomato juice doesn't really get rid of the skunk smell, but a mixture of dish soap, peroxide, and baking soda will do the trick. The skunk spray is oily, which your grease-fighting dish soap will take care of. Peroxide and baking soda add plenty of oxygen to the mix to get rid of the awful smell.
Tomatoes are native to the Americas, so there was no such thing as tomato sauce in Italy until at least the 16th century.
Independence Day. The British Empire grew extremely large before scaling back down. 62 countries eventually declared their independence from the empire, 48 of which celebrate an Independence Day from the United Kingdom.
The “Windy City” name has nothing to do with Chicago weather. Chicago’s nickname was coined by 19th-century journalists who were referring to the fact that its residents were “windbags” and “full of hot air.”
Pez candy was invented to help people quit smoking cigarettes; the original Pez dispensers were shaped similarly to a cigarette lighter.
Ice pops were invented by an 11-year-old by accident. In 1905, an 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson left soda powder and water outside overnight with its wooden stirrer still in the cup. The mixture had frozen in the chilly nighttime weather, and so the Epsicle was born. He sold the treat around his neighborhood and a nearby amusement park and even patented the recipe. Years later, he changed the name to Popsicle because that’s what his kids called their pop’s concoction.
Peanuts aren’t nuts. They’re legumes. According to Merriam-Webster, a nut is only a nut if it’s “a hard-shelled dry fruit or seed with a separable rind or shell and interior kernel.” That means walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios aren’t nuts either. They’re seeds.
If you like chewing ice, you might be suffering from anemia. Also known as "pagophagia," the compulsive eating of ice may not just be a nervous tick, but a way of cooling inflammation in the mouth caused by a lack of iron, according to the Mayo Clinic. So if you like chomping down on those cubes, see your doctor, stat.
Did you know that the little ball of cotton that comes in your bottle of pills is there to keep pills safe during shipping, is meant to be removed. It can collect moisture because of its absorbent nature, which makes your pills deteriorate faster.
Chewing an aspirin at the first sign of a heart attack can be a lifesaver. The drug inhibits platelets from forming a clot that can block and artery and cause a full heart attack. For the fastest relief (and time is of the essence), chew the aspirin instead of swallowing it.
Faking happiness and constantly reading about other people's happy life is bad for your mental health. Showing carefully selected pictures and selfies, boasting about everyday successes, and overall depicting a happy life to others creates resentments, jealousy, and self-loathing. You know your life is far from perfect and you know you're a fake.
And it's 3 meters high
My husband and I took a wonderful trip to the Dominican Republic. We tried to do everything while we were there, so of course, we signed up for white-water rafting. They loaded us up and dressed us in helmets and life jackets. The surrounding terrain was beautiful and I was enjoying myself. Until the guide told me about the waterfall!
He said it so calmly, too, in a perfect tour-guide voice. “And now we go over a waterfall, three meters high.” And it was too late to get out of the boat! I thought the raft would dive nose first into the pool below, flipping us all into the raging river. This was a real waterfall, not just a rapid. It was vertical. And it was coming fast. Off we went, but somehow we remained upright, and alive!
There are so many things in life that we are very worried about. They sound awful, and we don’t think we can do them. But if we just hang on, take a deep breath, maybe clench a little, we find we can do it! Don’t hesitate to scream if you need to! I think life often feels like being in a raft on a river, and sometimes it feels like my paddle is broken. Best wishes for your own voyage.
By A.J. Park
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As Far Back As I Remember
Some things about me have been true as far back as I remember. I absolutely love purple. It has been my favorite color my whole life...as far as I know. I do recall my mother saying I would outgrow it. I never did. Dark shades of royal purple and the lighter shades of lavender and lilac have always touched my heart and figured into my home decorating. I never have purchased much clothing in these colors, but if given any that were purple, I would wear them until they fell apart.
In addition to purple, I have other "favorites" which have held their positions in my mind since so far back I cannot recall what exactly happened that let them rise to their current position of importance. For instance, I love dragons, and fairies, and oriental knickknacks. I also have collections of shot glasses, jokers (from decks of cards) and salt and pepper shakers. Why I give them such a large place in my life, I have no clue.
Two things that have also been true about my likes is my total love of jasmine (which resulted in the naming of my only child), and the love of waves crashing against rocks.
To this day, I've never seen waves crashing. I do love waterfalls, though, and I had plenty of exposure to them growing up. Therefore, I always assumed the love of waves was just an extension of my waterfall obsession.
Where my love of jasmine came from, I really had no clue. It is not as if this tropical flower was readily available in Upstate New York.
Recently I have been watching a DVD set of one of my favorite shows from my youth, Dark Shadows. I remember rushing home from school and finishing my homework just so I could watch this "horror soap opera". After the first two episodes, I realized the sign on was, in fact, waves crashing against rocks. Could this be where the desire to see this phenomenon? I began to wonder...it did make sense. I watched this show for its entire run from 1966-1971, so my exposure to the opening credits was extensive.
As I continue watching this show, I find myself deeply enthralled again. It was while watching the second season that the scent of jasmine was mentioned as lingering scent, whenever the ghost of Josette was near. Once again, I had discovered the probable cause of my partiality to this delicate flower.
Finally, after 64 years, I have discovered the roots of my fondness for things I had no early exposure to.
I wonder when I might discover why I love purple...
~Cindy J. Smith
How do you pronounce that?
British place names are diverse, influenced by Saxon, Viking, Norman, Latin words, among other sources. What you see if definitely not what you get. At least not always.
Here is a selection of British place names that often throw those folks unfamiliar with the pronunciation – including my fellow Brits!
Confused? Yep, that’s English for you.
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