Well, it’s a lovely day here in the Northland – we are expecting about an inch of rain before all is said and done. It is dark as a tomb here in the morning, which tells us that daylight savings time has about run out of its magic for us, if stays dark until after 8am. Still, we have until November 5 to live with summer-time.
On this wonderful October day, I thought I would share some things that you may not have run across before. It’s all part of my world-wide effort to fill our lives with information/data that is most likely useless to the normal human, but I believe any knowledge is probably of some value, so here goes:
54AD Our friend, Nero, became the Roman Emperor. We don’t know if he owned a fiddle or not, but the legend remains…
1670 – this is an interesting one. Look at the date again… Virginia passed a law on this date that any black person arriving in Virginia who was a self-professed Christian could not be sold or used as a slave. In Virginia…
1792 – the cornerstone of what became known as the singularly unimaginative title of “The White House” was laid by George Washington. It actually was called the White House because it was built with white/gray sandstone, which stood in contrast to the normal red brick buildings in Washington at that time. Further, it was painted with whitewash to protect the sandstone from erosion in the Virginia winters. By the way, it take 570 gallons to paint the house…
1926 – A.A. Milne published Winnie the Pooh. Strangely, in 1958, the first book that introduce Paddington Bear was also published in this date.
1582 – With the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, this day did not exist for a number of European countries. It was just gone…
1964 – Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize…
1807 – The atomic element #11 was discovered -- it was sodium.
1982 – The Concord finished flying around the world in 33 hours one minute. Really? They couldn’t goose it to make it under 33 hours? C’mon…
We are also honored to have some random facts offered to us today:
Brown eyes are actually blue underneath.
A polar bear’s fur is not white – it is transparent. That’s why, at times, when they swim in algae filled areas, they will turn green.
When you blush, the lining of your stomach also turns red.
Dolphins actually recognize themselves in mirrors, and will often spend time admiring themselves.
The proper pronunciation of Mt. Everest is not Ever-est – it’s actually Eve-rest.
Bald eagles are named that way because the Old English balde means “white.”
A pineapple is actually a berry.
The space between your eyebrows is actually called “nasion.”
And finally – the use of bridesmaids in a wedding originally was not meant to assist or honor the bride. They were originally dressed to confuse evil spirits and therefore protect the bride from danger.
Isn’t it amazing how much there is to know about our lives and our world? I consider a great tragedy when someone loses their curiosity… when we no longer wonder, or discover things that either amaze or cause us to pause in our normal lives, then we will find ourselves very quickly on the path to death, or at least great boredom, which is about the same thing.
Enjoy your day of discovery! Find something you never knew before and take the time to share with someone else – whether they want to know it or not!
Word for the day: uitwaaien. Pronounced (with an accent) OUT-vy-en. This is one of the rarely identified Dutch words, from the Netherlands. The word comes out of uit, meaning “out” and waaien, which is simply translated as “to blow, or wind.” The activity of uitwaaien is particular to the Dutch, although I am sure other cultures participate as well, just without the word. It is an exercise in going out on a windy day, especially in the winter, and walking straight into the breeze blowing into your face. The process is meant to help you clear your mind, or to feel a bit more alive as you walk into the wind. I expect it neither gets as windy, nor as cold in the Netherlands as it does on a brisk (read freezing cold) morning in North Dakota…
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.