Archive for the ‘General Musings’ Category

Fun Fact Friday, Number One Hundred Fifteen!

February 22, 2019

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “famous people.”  Do you know . . . in which wars or conflicts did Ernest Hemingway fight?

None, Ernest Hemingway was never a soldier (he was rejected for poor vision when he attempted to enlist during WWI).  However, he did join the Red Cross (ambulance driver) and was wounded by mortar fragments in 1918.  During the many decades that followed, he served as a civilian correspondent in: the Greco-Turkish War, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II.

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

First Native American Newspaper!

February 21, 2019

Today marks the day (in 1828) the first Native American newspaper was published.  The Cherokee Phoenix, a bilinguual weekly newspaper (English and Cherokee), was published between February 21, 1828 through October 1835.  It was published in New Echota, Georgia (capital of the Cherokee nation), and printed using the Cherokee writing symbols that were invented by Sequoyah (Sikwayi).

In addition, February 21st was the day for several other “firsts,” such as the first . . .

  • telegrapher who was a woman (Sarah G. Bagley, Lowell, MA, 1846)
  • Burglar alarm (installed by Edwin Thomas Holmes, Boston MA, 1858)
  • execution for slave trading carried out by the federal government (hanging of Nathaniel Gordon, Tombs prison, New York City, 1862)
  • dentist who was a woman to obtain the D.D.S. degree (Lucy B. Hobbs, Ohio College of Dental Surgery, Cincinnati, OH, 1866)
  • telephone directory (New Haven, CT, 1878)
  • bacteriology laboratory (Hoagland Laboratory, Brooklyn, NY, 1887)
  • transcontinental airplane flight made within 24 hours (William Devoe Coney, San Diego, CA, to Jacksonville, FL, 1921)
  • camera exposure meter (William Nelson Goodwin, Weston Electrical Instrument Corporation, Newark, NJ, 1932)
  • instant camera (Polaroid [Edwin Herbert Land], 1947

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

Amazing Adjectives, Number Forty-Seven!

February 20, 2019

Here is a word from the French mal à propos, meaning “inopportune,” literally “badly (suited) to the purpose.”  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate.

“Sara had a knack for choosing malapropos moments for asking personal questions.”


\ mal-ap-ruhpoh \, adjective;

  1. inappropriate; out of place; inopportune; untimely.

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

So, You Think You Are Funny?!

February 19, 2019

Some jokes you run across really are funny; some are just lame (we sometimes laugh out of politeness, or perhaps do not laugh at all).  Here are a few I ran across lately . . . you decide into which category you’d place them.

John: “Whenever one door closes another one opens?”
Tom: “That’s nice, but until you fix it, I’m not buying this car.”

Q: “What’s the saddest dog?”
A: “The melan-collie.”

Hiring Manager: “Wages are $12 an hour, but after six months, that goes up to $18 an hour.  When can you start?”
Candidate: “In six months.”

Joe: “Somebody’s been adding layers of dirt to my garden!”
Fred: “So . . . the plot thickens!”

Source: AARP Bulletin, October 2018, p. 54.

It’s Heart Health Month!

February 17, 2019

Happy February!  February is “American Heart Month.”  Here is an infographic (courtesy of the American Heart Association) with some facts about heart disease.


Fun Fact Friday, Number One Hundred Fourteen!

February 15, 2019

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

  • a turkey can run at 20 miles per hour?  (Real Fact #97)
  • only male turkeys gobble?  (Real Fact #111)
  • Abraham Lincoln’s son had a pet turkey, which he gave a pardon so it wasn’t killed and eaten?  (Real Fact #1186)


Happy Valentine’s Day, 2019!

February 14, 2019

On this the day of romance and love, how about a poem (from long ago) that basically is calling Cupid a pussy for having been stung by a bee?

The Wounded Cupid.  Song

Cupid as he lay among
Roses, by a Bee was stung.
Whereupon in anger flying
To his Mother, said thus crying;
Help! O help! your Boy’s a dying.
And why, my pretty Lad, said she?
Then blubbering, replied he,
A winged Snake has bitten me,
Which Country people call a Bee.
At which she smil’d; then with her hairs,
And kisses drying up his tears:
Alas! said she, my Wag! if this
Such a pernicious torment is:
Come tell me then, how great’s the smart
Of those, thou woundest with thy Dart!

Source: Anacreon (6th Century BC), translated by Robert Herrick.  Public Domain Poetry – Robert Herrick

Japanese Art Form!

February 13, 2019

“Nampo made calligrphies ( calligraphy ) mainly in the tanzaku and kakemono format.”  Once I hang art on the wall, I usually keep it there.  The kakemono format (e.g., like a scroll) allows the work to be displayed when needed, but then rolled up to be stored when not in use.


\ kah-kuhmoh-noh; Japanese kah-ke-maw-naw \, noun;

  1. vertical hanging scroll containing either text or a painting, intended to be viewed on a wall and rolled when not in use.
Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich, and

The Mixup!

February 10, 2019

I have always been a fan of puns, wordplay, limericks, etc.  So, when I discovered this collection of limericks, I just couldn’t resist sharing one from time to time.  This one was authored by Morris Bishop.

Said a lady beyond Pompton Lakes
“I do make such silly mistakes!
Now the car’s in the hall!
It went right through the wall
When I mixed up the gas and the brakes.”

Morris Bishop

Folded Money!

February 9, 2019

In honor of the fact that it is American Heart Month, here is an origami heart made out of a bill of currency.  I’m not sure that origami would be classified as a “heart-healthy” aerobic activity, but it might just work as a stress reduction technique.  Happy folding!