Interesting Stuff: Who Knew?

7 Reasons Not to Hate Rain (The Proverbial Silver Lining)

Dear Kid,

What is with all the rain? Seriously.

Noah called, he wants people to stop stealing his gig.

Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated—that is, become heavy enough to fall under gravity.

That dang gravity.

I love my rainboots. DearKidLoveMom.comMore importantly, rain is bad for shoes. It’s fine for rain boots, but it’s May already. I had fun wearing my rain boots in April.

April, the traditional month for rain and rain boots; May, the traditional month for wearing cute spring shoes.

On average, we get 256 inches of rain in North America every year. I’m pretty sure we’ve gotten 200 of those inches in the last week and a half. I have webbing growing in between my toes. And I’m over it.

But I decided to go looking for the proverbial silver lining.

On Venus, rain is made out of sulfuric acid. That would be worse than our endless rain made out of water.

It could be snow. That would be worse. Unless we had snow days. (Silver lining! Look for the silver lining! Right. Snow would be worse.)

When it rains cats and dogs, it doesn’t literally rain cats and dogs. That would be worse.

The maximum speed of a falling rain drop ranges from 18 to 22 miles per hour. If they weren’t shaped like raindrops, they might have less friction, fall faster, and impale people. That would be worse.

Rain lands in droplets. An inch of rain on an acre of land weighs approximately 226,000 pounds. That would hurt if it feel all at once.

Rain isn’t purple. That would be bad for shoes, and clothes, and hair. But it would be pretty.

We have umbrellas and rain boots. And we don’t melt.

I can live with the rain.

Love, Mom

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Yoda and the Worm | May 21

Dear Kid,

I almost hate to mention it (in case you might be moved to celebrate). Today is National Speak Like Yoda Day.

Like it, I do.

“Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.” – YodaBut like it all day, I do not.

Meanwhile, in 2012, researchers discovered a new type of acorn worm (in case you weren’t sure, acorn worms live in the ocean, about a mile and a half deep).

And I quote: Yoda purpurata or “purple Yoda.” The reddish-purple acorn worm … has large lips on either side of its head region that reminded researchers of the floppy-eared Stars Wars character Yoda.

Who knew that worms had “head regions”?

And who woulda thunk scientists would be dumb enough to call Yoda “floppy-eared”?

Until 2012, the Yoda worm had been hiding and leaving crop-circle shaped poop on the ocean floor to puzzle scientists. (It’s important to keep scientists busy.) Now they’re leaving poop openly.

But back to the real Yoda.

At one point, Yoda was going to be blue. Since that would be wrong, they changed it. Even though it’s not easy being green.

Yoda lived to be exactly 900 years old. That is older than you.

There is a lot of mystery around Yoda. No one knows what planet he’s from, what his favorite color is, or whether he had a sense of humor when he was younger.

Enjoy the day, I hope you do.

Love, Mom

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Important Stuff to Know About Nashville

Dear Kid,

Dear Kid, So proud of you. Love, Mom. DearKidLoveMom.comOnce upon a time there were people living in the area currently known as Nashville.  Those people didn’t really care for country music since they were busy growing corn and fighting off saber tooth tigers. Then other people came along, and then other people, and blam! Before you could say “country twang” there was a thriving metropolis.

They named the thriving metropolis (and by “thriving metropolis” I mean the small fort) Fort Nashborough in honor of the war hero General Francis Nash. In 1784, the community decided to change its name to Nashville because that sounded more likely to attract country singers in the 20th century.

Tennessee became the 16th state in 1796 and Nashville became the capitol in 1843.

Happy Nashville-ing!

Love, Mom

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Fire Island, the Lighthouse, and the Deer

Fire Island, the Lighthouse, and the Deer

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, there was no such place as Fire Island. There were barrier islands, but no one had named them because only deer lived there and deer aren’t big on names or boundaries.

Fire Island Lighthouse at the Beach. DearKidLoveMom.comIn 1653, Isaac Stratford built a whaling station at one end of the island. He named it Whalehouse Point. The deer were not impressed with the name or the location’s activities.

Somewhere in the 17th century, William “Tangier” Smith was given title to the whole area under a Royal Patent. The deer continued to be unimpressed. One redwing blackbird looked up for a moment, but didn’t find much to comment about so went back to redwing blackbird-ing.

Jeremiah Smith built the first house on the as-yet-to-be-named Fire Island in 1795. For fun, Jeremiah lured boats to the shore and killed their crews. Deer opinion of humans dropped dramatically.

In 1826, the first lighthouse was built on F. I. it could only be seen from about 10 miles out to sea. A few of the deer began collecting miniature lighthouses.

Fun Fact: For many immigrants, the Fire Island lighthouse (not Miss Liberty) was their first sight in the New World.

By 1858, people had figured out that the lighthouse needed to be more visible, so they build the current one (which can be seen a respectable 22 miles out to sea). The deer were suitably impressed and added to their miniature figurine collections.

Somewhere along the way, people figured out that it was fun to go to the beach and Fire Island started to be built up. But only a little. 80% of Fire Island remains public park land and therefore undeveloped. The deer appreciate this and allow the crazy humans to enjoy the other 20%. At least most of the time.

You can drive to the tip of Fire Island and then walk about a mile to the lighthouse. If you want to go elsewhere on the 32 miles of island, grab a bike, walking shoes, or a cooperative deer, because only emergency vehicles are allowed (and even then it better be a dang good emergency).

If you go to Fire Island, leave the deer alone. If one comes up to you, don’t feed it. But be sure to inquire about its lighthouse collection.

Love, Mom

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What You Don’t Know About Bozeman, MT (And Why You Should)

  • Dear Kid,

You remember Bozeman, Montana, right? Of course you do. You watch Big Bang Theory.

It ain't the middle of nowhere, but you can see it from there. DearKidLoveMom.com

It ain’t the middle of nowhere, but you can see it from there. DearKidLoveMom.com

It’s a real place. In Montana. You can tell because it’s cold. Always. And near nothing. Ever.

The city was named for John M. Bozeman, who by the tender age of 32 had abandoned his wife and three daughters (back east), founded a city, and been murdered—probably by the husband of a woman he was having an affair with.

Bozeman is now the fourth largest city in Montana. This isn’t saying a lot.

There are a lot of high-tech companies there these days. Sheldon doesn’t work for any of them.

You can purchase Moose Drool beer in Bozeman (it’s made in Missoula—about a 3 hour drive).

There are more cows in Montana than people. But it’s ok, because the cows don’t drink Moose Drool beer. Montana also has a LOT of grizzly bears (the most of any state in the continental US). It’s unclear how the bears feel about Moose Drool.

There are two statues of Sacajawea in the Bozeman area. She didn’t actually pose for either of them.

Yellowstone National Park isn’t far (at least geologically speaking) from Bozeman. When, as, and if the “supervolcano” hits, Bozeman will go up in smoke. Or down in ash. Or something. Anyway it won’t be Bozeman. Then again, we probably won’t be able to breathe all that well in Ohio either.

Love, Mom

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Puppy Conversations | In Which We Learn About Corgis

Dear Kid,

Puppy: What are you doing?
Me: I was looking at things on my computer.
Puppy: Was?
Me: Now you’re in my way.
Puppy: We can watch together.
Me: That would be easier if you weren’t in my way.
Puppy: Not for me.

Puppy Conversations | In Which We Learn About Corgis DearKidLoveMom.comPuppy: So what are you looking at?
Me: Corgis.
Puppy: Am I a Corgi?
Me: You are not.
Puppy: How can you tell?
Me: Corgis have stumpy little legs.
Pi: He has stumpy little legs.
Puppy: I love my legs! They reach all the way to the ground!
Me: Corgis have ears that stick up.
Pi: Yep. Your ears definitely do not stick up, buster. You have very floppy ears.
Me: Corgi butts are called momos.
Puppy: What?
Pi: What? They have a special butt name? That’s ridiculous!
Puppy: I want a special butt name.
Kid: Your special butt name is butt-head.
Pi: Why do they have a special butt name?
Me: Momo means “peach” in Japanese. Apparently, Corgi butts look like peaches.

Everyone falls on the floor laughing at the idea of peach butts and furry Corgi peach butts.

Me: Corgis are herding dogs.
Puppy: What?
Pi: I heard you.
Puppy: I herd you.
Me: Because they are so low to the ground, Corgis would herd cattle by nipping at their ankles.
Puppy: It’s herdly surprising.
Everyone falls back to the floor making herd puns.

Me: When a Corgi flops on the floor, it’s not called flopping, it’s called “splooting.”

Everyone is laughing too hard to breathe.

Pi: I thought I herd you say splooting?!
Me: You did indeed.
Pi: I never knew Corgis were this funny.
Puppy: Sploot! Sploot!

Puppy: I think I look like the puppy in the picture. Maybe I really am a Corgi.
Pi: Your coloring is similar, but really you’re much more handsome.
Puppy: Oh. Well, that’s ok then.

Love, Mom

 
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