Archive for the ‘General Musings’ Category

A Song!

February 18, 2018

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Enjoy!

A Song

Miss Nanny, young and innocent,
Last night was made a bride;
But long ere day, in discontent,
She did kind Willie chide.

“Base wretch,” she said, and then she wept,
“Why told you things untrue?
“Would I my maidenhead had kept,
“Or not have given’t to you.

“To honor you have no regard,
“You false, you perjured man;
“You swore that something was a yard,
“When it is scarce a span.”

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of Mia treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).


Winter Enthusiast!

February 17, 2018

Happy Saturday!  We may be on the downside of the winter season (and spring is officially a little more than a month away), but we are smack dab in the middle of the Winter Olympics so here is a great infographic that shows the number of calories that can be burned by the various Winter Olympic sports.    Hmm, snow shoveling made the list . . . I wasn’t aware that this was an Olympic sport.  Enjoy!

Chart showing how various winter Olympics activities burn calories.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Sixty-Three!

February 16, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “biology.”  Do you know where gorillas sleep?

Gorillas sleep in nests which are created by weaving bent branches with soft foliage to form a mattress.  And, while the females (and young) prefer sleeping in the trees above the ground, male gorillas tend to prefer sleeping on the ground.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.


February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines Day!  As we ponder the day, the day in which we show our “love” to those close to us, the word “loving” is pretty straightforward.  However, according to my copy of The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate, there are a couple of other synonyms or variants (see below) that could be used to represent the word loving.  Enjoy!


\ luhv-ing \, adjective;

1.  feeling or showing love; warmly affectionate; fond.
Other words you may consider using (depending on your context/usage, of course):

Source: The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich. Definitions courtesy of

Air Force A Cappella!

February 13, 2018

I love a cappella singing (i.e., singing without instrumental accompaniment) — the precision and talent required to pull it off is extensive and when done well, never disappoints.  Here is a group from the Air Force Academy — thank you for your service, and thank you for your wonderful singing!

Fun Fact Friday, Number Sixty-Two!

February 9, 2018

Today’s real facts (courtesy of are all about cows.  Did you know that . . .

  • it is possible to lead a cow up stairs but not down? (Real Fact #40)
  • cows give more milk when they listen to music? (Real Fact #236)
  • a group of twelve or more cows is called a flink? (Real Fact #459)
  • dairy cows drink up to 50 gallons of water per day? (Real Fact #470)
  • in Texas, it is illegal to graffiti someone’s cow? (Real Fact #909)
  • when grazing or resting, cows tend to align their bodies with the magnetic north and south poles? (Real Fact #980)
  • cows do not have upper front teeth? (Real Fact #982)
  • William Taft liked milk so much that he had cows graze on the White House lawn? (Real Fact #1188)


The Art of Advertising!

February 8, 2018

I am certainly no expert when it comes to such things as advertising, but in today’s day and age with the amount of information available coupled with the speed with which it can be shared, the importance of good advertising cannot be over-emphasized.  However, on a lighter note, here are some noteworthy quotations on the topic of advertising (courtesy of The Cynic’s Dictionary, by Aubrey Dillon-Malone).  Enjoy!

Advertising is . . . .

“Legalized lying.”  (H.G. Wells)

“The greatest art form of the 20th century.”  (Marshall McLuhan)

“The most truthful part of a newspaper.”  (Thomas Jefferson)

“The cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if they’re worthless.”  (Sinclair Lewis)

“The rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.”  (George Orwell)

“The most fun you can have with your clothes on.”  (Jerry Della Femina)

The art of making whole lies out of half-truths.”  (Edgar A. Shoaff)


Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone, p. 7.

Amazing Adjective, Number Twenty-Nine!

February 7, 2018

Here is a word from the Latin lanuginosus, meaning “downy,” from lanugo, meaning “wooliness,” + –osus, and adjectival suffix meaning “abouinding in.”  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate,

“Where we had expected to find a scaly outer skin, we were surprised to find the creature had a lanuginose covering from neck to tail.”


\ luhnoo-juh-nohs, –nyoo– \, adjective;

1.  covered with lanugo, or soft, downy hairs.
2.  of the nature of down; downy.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich and

Eighty-Six Years Ago!

February 4, 2018

While the XXIII Winter Olympics official get underway a little later this week, today marks the anniversary of the very first Olympic Games competition to be held in the winter.  Yep, 1932, Lake Placid, New York.  The games opened on February 4th, by the then Governor of New York, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and included 307 athletes from 17 countries.  What is your favorite Winter Olympic sport?  I probably would be hard-pressed to single out a favorite, but I have always wished that I had given ski jumping a try (long before the movie “Eddie the Eagle” was released in theaters).

Source: Famous First Facts (6th ed.)by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

Binge Drinking!

February 3, 2018

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), binge drinking is defined as “a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks or women consume 4 or more drinks in about 2 hours.”  When it comes to the “who” re: binge drinking, the CDC further identified the following groups (for the full report, check out this CDC Fact Sheet):

  • One in six US adults binge drinks about four times a month, consuming about eight drinks per binge.
  • Binge drinking is most common among younger adults aged 18–34 years, but is reported across the lifespan.
  • The prevalence of binge drinking among men is twice the prevalence among women.
  • Binge drinking is more common among people with household incomes of $75,000 or more than among people with lower incomes. However, people with lower incomes binge drink more often and consume more drinks when they do.
  • Over 90% of U.S. adults who drink excessively report binge drinking in the past 30 days.
  • Most people younger than age 21 who drink report binge drinking, usually on multiple occasions.

Here is the breakdown by percentage per state (highest and lowest) for adults 65+ who report chronic (more than 1-2 drinks per day) or binge (more than 4-5 drinks at a time) drinking.

Highest percentage:
1. Alaska (10.7%)
2. Wisconsin (10.4%)
3. Nevada (9.8%)
3. Washington, DC (9.8%)
5. Hawaii (9.5%)
6. Oregon (9.4%)
7. Washington (8.5%)
8. Montana (8.3%)
8. Michigan (8.3%)
10. Illinois (8.0%)

Lowest percentage:
1. West Virginia (3.3%)
2. Tennessee (3.8%)
3. Mississippi (3.9%)
4. Arkansas (4.2%)
4. Oklahoma (4.2%)
4. Utah (4.2%)
7. Kentucky (4.3%)
8. South Dakota (4.5%)
8. Alabama (4.5%)
10. Kansas (4.8%)

Source: America’s Health Rankings: Senior Report 2017, AARP Bulletin, Jan-Feb 2018, p. 48.