Well, it’s a Wednesday in late June, with the temps planning again to reach into the mid-90s. It’s been a truly ridiculous year weather wise, but nothing dangerous or dramatic, at least up here in the northland. We are just moseying through summer, it seems, and so I thought today might be another great opportunity to share with you some knowledge about things you may not even care about, but still, I’m sure you will find them fascinating, and wish you could remember them to be able to drop into conversation from time to time. So here goes:
The full medical description of a black eye is “bilateral periorbital haematoma.” Imagine being in a fight, and telling someone you are going to give them THAT… by the way, the word, “shiner” connected with a black eye most likely came from the fact that with the surrounding skin discolored, it almost makes the eye look like it is shining…
Pearls melt in vinegar. I wouldn’t recommend trying that with Mom’s cherished jewelry.
After you see a flash of lightning, the sound of thunder travels a mile every five seconds. Therefore, when you see lightning, and there is an immediate crash of thunder – take cover…
The top speed of a Zamboni ice cleaner is nine miles per hour.
The first walkie-talkie was created in 1934. It was known officially as a “portable super-regenerative receiver and transmitter.” Only later, when they realized they could walk and talk with it without having it connected by a cord, it became known by its pretty silly name today.
The first drinking straw was developed by Egyptian brewers so they could taste the beer without stripping off the fermentation that floated on top of the container.
After you get a sunburn, the skin that peels off is called “blype.” That sounds pretty made up, don’t you think? It’s actually a Scottish word, which is probably why we just call it “peeling skin.”
If you ever find yourself in quicksand, try to lie on your back, and slowly raise your legs. Unless of course, you are the kind of person who can’t float in a pool of water, probably because your bones are too dense, in which case you will just sink to the bottom.
We blink more than ten million times per year. (You right now are finding yourself needing to blink, aren’t you?)
The planet Venus rotates clockwise. All others, including Earth, rotate counter-clockwise. They must have put the batteries in backwards with Venus…
Cats can make more than one hundred vocal sounds. A dog can really make only ten.
Mosquitoes are attracted more to the color blue than any other color.
Crocodiles can’t stick their tongues out.
In the Caribbean, there are oysters that can climb trees.
An orca, or killer whale, kills a shark by torpedoing into the shark’s stomach from underneath, causing the shark to explode.
Isn’t life full of amazing and un-thought-of information? Any one of those above is sure to stop conversation, and cause somebody in the group to ask, “How do you even know this stuff?” Your answer, of course, can be, “Well, Randy told me…”
What I find even more fascinating is that somebody, somewhere, somehow actually either thought to ask the questions these fact answer, or were observant enough to, for instance, watch an oyster climb a tree, or count someone blinking (you are blinking again, aren’t you?). Most of us are not that attentive, or intentional in our observational lives – or we just don’t fill our minds up with lots of trivia. I like to think of trivia as the screen saver for the brain. It gives it something to do while the brain is trying to figure out much more complicated and important things in our lives.
However you approach it, enjoy your life. Enjoy gathering information, and learning, even if it’s only to learn. I can honestly say that 7th grade biology class dissections only taught me that we know how to make a mess out of a frog’s body, especially when you put it in the hands of a 7th grader. Still, I am sure that perhaps someday I will come to appreciate cutting open a frog, for some reason…
Whatever the case, give your effort to find and understand something new today. Your brain will thank you, and there is always someone out there who needs to receive your trivia…
Word for the day: estivate. Pronounced ESS-tuh-vate. It’s a great gathering of forms of a Latin word, aestivatus, or aestivare, which means “reside in the summer.” The core Latin word is aestas, meaning “summer,” or “the hot season.” To estivate means to spend the summer at a specific place or doing a specific thing, like “We are estivating at the lake this season.” Even deeper, it means to really just slow down when it gets too hot. Enjoy the patio or the pool, and just get to the point where you find yourself not even talking, but perhaps only sighing with the sound of contentedness in living just a very nice day.
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.