Things I learned while looking for something else
When I was a young guy I enjoyed sitting in the reference section of a library reading encyclopedias, almanacs and atlases. I was (and remain) a nerd.
These days I enjoy discovering things on the Internet via Google and Bing. When I look for something specific on the Internet, I usually find some other tidbit of knowledge as well.
For instance, did you know that idiots are not allowed to vote in New Mexico? This was written into the State Constitution in 1911 when “idiot” referred to someone with an IQ of less than 20. Now if we could only make a law preventing idiots from appearing on the ballot.
Speaking of state laws, it is unlawful in Wisconsin to serve margarine to students and prisoners. We all know that Wisconsin is The Dairy State so we should not be surprised that state law makes it illegal to serve margarine to students and patients in state institutions. I don’t think it’s a big deal for most Wisconsinites. A Norwegian from Westby told me that Lena likes Ole better than butter.
Math was not one of my stronger subjects in school, but I do enjoy playing with numbers. For instance, did you know that 111,111,111 multiplied by 111,111,111 results in 12,345,678,987,654,321? My calculator won’t handle that many digits so I’ll have to take the word of the website that says this is true.
I love cheese; even Velveeta (processed cheese product.) You can imagine my distress when I read about casu marzu, a Sardinian cheese that contains live maggots. According to a website I stumbled upon, the casu marzu maggots can jump up to five inches out of cheese while you eat it. A nice sharp cheddar for me, thank you.
If you want to experience the full spectrum of eternity, go to Michigan where you can visit Hell and Paradise. Hell is in southeastern Michigan and Paradise is in the northeastern part of the Upper Peninsula. For what it’s worth, Hell is an unincorporated village and does not have a post office. The ZIP code for Paradise, however, is 49768. I never thought of Paradise being that far north.
Missouri has some strangely named towns. I am familiar with Peculiar and Humansville, for instance. Then there is a town named Licking southeast of Fort Leonard Wood. And there’s a town named Butts southwest of St. Louis. The two towns are about 70 highway miles apart. That’s good; I don’t even want to think about a school merger.
Be warned that your spouse will accuse you of wasting time if you are caught doing this. For a little fun open up Google on your computer screen. Type “do a barrel roll” in the search box and watch the image do a flip. Worthless information, for sure, but all work and no play makes one dull.
Having spent the majority of my career in the newspaper industry I am intrigued by things typographical. Do you know why upper and lower case letters are so named? It’s because back when type was all handset, the “upper case” letters were stored in the case on top of the case that stored the smaller “lower case” letters. That’s a capital idea, but I didn’t know about it until I read it on the Internet.
I love words and languages. I read on the Internet that people who know such things estimate the number of actively spoken languages in the world today around 6,000. Also, most of us speak about 4,800 words a day. I know some folks who skew the average.
Doctors claim it takes food seven seconds to go from the mouth to the stomach via the esophagus. Then it takes only seven more seconds to go right to your rear end and stomach. That’s my claim.
Everyone has a phobia or two. According to the Internet, taphephobia is the fear of being buried alive. My grandfather told me of an incident when he was a boy where a supposedly deceased man sat up in his casket during the funeral. I think I have a phobia about seeing that.
There you are – some things I discovered while looking for something else.