July 6, 2020

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Everybody’s Talking

Ice queen: It’s not all that unusual for young teenagers to drift away from their parents. After all, that is the time of life when young people want to start doing their own thing. But mother Rhian Hughes of Clayton-le-Moors,  Lancashire, England, found a way to stay close to her son Harry. She secretly took up figure skating, something Harry loves to do. While training with an instructor was gruelling, Rhian soon was able to perform a routine, which she tricked Harry into seeing. He was very impressed, and now Harry, Rhian, and the rest of the family go skating together regularly, cementing the parent-child bond.

Say “Yes” to the dress: A woman from Adelaide, Australia, is tired of consumerism. After visiting India, Tammy Hall came home and decided to stop buying new clothes and to be happy with what she had for at least a year. She didn’t have any trouble doing that, but she did have trouble with the thought of spending a large sum of money for her wedding dress, which she would wear for only a day. To avoid this wasteful practice, she started wearing the dress everywhere after her wedding day. That includes hiking trails, basketball courts, the gym, and even the voting station. She plans to continue saying  “Yes” to the dress! 

Garden solution: If you want to get rid of a nest of bugs in your backyard,  don’t use gasoline and a match. That’s what  Cesar Schmitz discovered. His wife didn’t want the bugs to eat her lovely garden on their property in Enéas  Marques, in southern Brazil. So, with an audience of two pet dogs, Schmitz poured gas into the bug nest and tried unsuccessfully to light it with a match. Finally, on the third try, the gas ignited. Sod flew everywhere and the dogs took off on a run. Luckily, Schmitz was in a safe place, but he had to replant the garden!

Nose For Golf Balls: The elderly Barry Gell of Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, loves playing golf, and he never has to buy golf balls. That’s because he trained his collie, Jess, to sniff out lost balls on the golf courses in the area. Over a 12-year  period, Jess has found more than 50,000 balls, some even buried in mud. The smart pooch never nabs one that’s in play, only lost ones. Gell uses some of the balls and gives some away, but he still has so many that he doesn’t know what to do with them all. Jess has even discovered antique golf balls lost decades ago by golfers.

Quoteable Quotes

“And we find at the end of a perfect day, the soul of a friend we’ve made.”
~Carrie Jacobs Bond~

“Becoming a father is easy enough, But being one can be rough.”
~Wilhelm Busch~

Trivia

1. What are the top universities in the U.S. called?

Ivy League

2. Which fruit has more Vitamin C, an orange or a kiwi?

Kiwi

3. In the world of basketball, who was known as “Houdini of the Hardwood”?

Bob Cousy

4. Bats are categorized as mammals—T/F?

True

5. What are geodes?

Crystal-filled Rocks

Games

Did You Know?

Good mood: Studies have linked low levels of the B vitamin folate to depression. Asparagus is a good source of folate, so eating it could help put  you in a better mood.

Magical places: A coral reef is a marine biome that exists in warm, shallow  water. Often located near the equator, they can be found around the world.  Examples are the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Devil’s Reef in Jamaica.

Big lizard: Komodo dragons of Indonesia are predators that eat large prey,  such as deer, water buffalo, and smaller lizards. They can run quickly for short  periods, reaching speeds of about 20 kilometres per hour (13 mph).

Hot air: Dust devils are swirling columns of air that move across the ground.  They pick up debris and dust, which makes them visible. They form when one  area of ground, such as asphalt, heats up faster than a nearby area, such as  grass.

Spectacular range: The Italian Alps have a mountain range called the  Dolomites. They are beautiful, geologically diverse, and offer world-class ski  resorts and hiking. The Dolomites are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

On the Lighter Side

Pat: “I’m sure I’ve seen your face somewhere else.”
Matt: “No, it’s always been right here in front of my head.”

What goes up when the rain comes down? An umbrella.

Q: A girl fell off a 30-foot ladder, but she didn’t get hurt at all. How is this possible?
A. She fell off the bottom step!

Sign outside a middle school: “You are unique—just like everyone else.”

What do you break before you use it? An egg!

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June 29, 2020

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Everybody’s Talking

Small but beautiful: Visitors to Iceland might want to try booking a tiny house for their vacation. The tiny house in question has some very special qualities.  It’s part of the Panorama Glass Lodge, located about a 30-minute drive from Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital. The bedroom walls and ceiling are made of glass so visitors can go to sleep watching the Northern Lights dance in the sky. The amazing scenery includes Hvalfjör˘our (fjord of the whales) as well as snowcapped mountains. The little place has many luxury amenities, including an outdoor hot tub.

Big banknote: When people open a new bank account, they usually take a cheque or a bit of cash to deposit into their chosen financial institution.  However, tellers at a bank in Lincoln, Nebraska (U.S.), were surprised when a  man presented them with a $1 million banknote and asked them to open an account and deposit the money.  The bank employees knew that a real $1 million bill doesn’t exist. In fact, the largest bill currently in circulation in the United States is $100. The bank manager called the police, who are trying to find the man. 

Raining unicorns: Folks working at a television station in Calgary, Alberta  (Canada), got a bit of a shock one Halloween morning when their weatherman arrived on the set. Jordan Witzel, a meteorologist, pranced in front of the camera dressed as a white unicorn, including pink hair, a horn, hooves, and a  multi-coloured tail. A banner appeared on the screen identifying him as  “Ferdinand: Mystical Meteorologist.” With the anchors laughing and exclaiming in disbelief, “Ferdinand” proved he could work the clicker with his hooves to present the weather report.

Pet rooster: Some people might love dogs, while others enjoy the company of cats, parrots, or hamsters. But for Martin Herrera of San Jose, Costa Rica,  roosters are his pets of choice. He has been domesticating and training the birds for many years. His favourite is a rooster named Paquito. Herrera can be found walking the streets of the city with Paquito on a leash, taking him to markets and cafés. In San Jose, people are allowed to bring pets onto city buses, so Herrera takes his favourite bird on bus rides, too. The bird lover trained Paquito to sit on his shoulder, to the delight of onlookers.

Quoteable Quotes

“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.”
—Amelia Earhart

“Show me a person who has never made a mistake and I’ll show you a person who has never achieved much.”
—Joan Collins

Trivia

1. Which sport was featured in the movie Hoosiers?

Basketball

2. If a glow-worm is not a worm, what is it?

A beetle

3. Which breed of dog won the first “Best in Show” prize at Westminster in 1908?

Smooth Fox Terrier

4. Incisors, canines, and molars are three types of what?

Teeth

5. A jellyfish has a brain and a heart—T/F?

False

Games

Did You Know?

The sunshine vitamin: Vitamin D is produced in the skin in reaction to sunlight. People who don’t get enough sunlight may need to take a  supplement, as this vitamin only naturally occurs in a few foods, such as fatty fish.

Big lakes: Located between Asia and Europe, and bordering five countries,  the Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world. The second largest is Lake  Superior, which straddles the Canadian-American border in North America.

Season: Earth is tilted at 23.5 degrees in relation to our orbit around the Sun.  When the North Pole has pointed away from the Sun, it is winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere. Vice versa when the North Pole is pointed toward the Sun.

Odd sea creature: The dugong lives in the warm coastal waters of the Red  Sea, Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean. This large mammal looks a little bit like a  manatee. Dugongs are herbivores and like to eat seagrass.

Wind watch: Prevailing winds are winds blowing in their most frequent direction in a certain location. Depending on  the latitude, prevailing winds  generally blow from east or west, rather than from north or south.

On the Lighter Side

Teacher: “Why can’t freshwater fish live in saltwater?”
Student: “The salt would give them high blood pressure.”

If the world keeps getting smaller every day, why does the cost of a stamp keep going up?

What can run, but never walks? Has a mouth, but never talks?
Has a head, but never weeps? Has a bed, but never sleeps?
A river.

Starting next month, I’m going to stop procrastinating.
Where is the ocean the deepest? On the bottom!

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June 22, 2020

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Everybody’s Talking

Doodle art: A young, grade school student from Shrewsbury, Shropshire,  England, used to get into trouble for doodling at school. Joe Whale didn’t mean any harm; he just likes to draw. His parents, Greg Whale and Vanessa Jameson, decided to do something positive with their son’s skill and enrolled him in an  art class. The teacher was amazed at his talent, posting some of his doodling  pieces on social media. Soon, a restaurant owner called who wanted him to  decorate a wall in the dining room. It’s the boy’s first commercial work, and his  family has high hopes for his future.

Sandy landscape: The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve in the United Arab  Emirates is a national park that’s home to plants, birds, reptiles, and mammals,  including the Arabian oryx, sand cats, hedgehogs, and pygmy shrews. Visitors can book an adventure into the park, which might include going on a trek by camel, fat-bike riding, or sandboarding on the desert’s dunes. The reserve is located 60 kilometres (37 miles) southeast of Dubai. Since temperatures soar in the summer months, it’s best to go between November and March when it’s usually around 27° C (80° F). 

Flare for drama: A horse named Jingang, who shares a name with a town in  China, has gained fame through social media postings showing his acting abilities. This smart steed has a unique way to avoid giving people rides. He lies down on the ground and refuses to get up until the would-be rider walks away. Not even a carrot or a sugar cube will lure him up! Apparently, Jingang does give people rides, but he plays this trick when he doesn’t want to cooperate.

Living simply: Daniel Price doesn’t need much to live on. Originally from the state of Kentucky (U.S.), he now lives in the state of Oregon in a hillside dugout in the forest. He considers himself a “minimalist.” Many years ago, he left his job as a photojournalist to try to live as simply as possible. Before making his dugout, he lived in tents, a teepee, a hut, and a shed. He has made his dugout comfortable with rugs and furnishings, and he even has electricity. He pays only $100 (U.S.) a month in rent to the land’s owner, and he has a self-imposed annual budget of $5,000 to pay for all his needs.

Quoteable Quotes

“Adornment is never anything except a reflection of the heart.” 

Coco Chanel

“Work consists of what a body is obliged to do…. Play consists of whatever a  body is not obliged to do.”

Mark Twain

Trivia

1. Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of what?

Number 13

2. How many grams of protein are found in a hen’s egg—0, 3, or 6?

6

3. What are female elephants called?

Cows

4. In the sport of curling, where does the tee sit?

Centre of the house.

5. Who is older—Mick Jagger or Paul McCartney?

Paul McCartney

Games

Did You Know?

Welcome stop: The Sahara Desert in northern Africa has about 90 major oases with fresh water near the surface from the water table below. Oases are important stops for travellers as they can restock with water and food.

Rock hounds: Mineralogists are scientists who study the Earth’s minerals.  Petrologists study the composition, texture, and structure of rocks.

Pink shell: Argentina is home to the pink fairy armadillo, also known as the pichiciego. It is the smallest armadillo in the world at only six inches long. It gets its name from its pink bony armour shell.

Warm versus cold: When an El Niño weather pattern occurs in the Pacific, the effect in North America is unusually warm temperatures in the winter.  When it’s a La Niña, the southeastern part of North America will be warmer  and the Northwest will be cooler than normal.

Circus laughs: Monty Python’s Flying Circus was a 45-episode English sketch comedy show that ran from 1969 to 1974. Its six creators were Graham  Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.

On the Lighter Side

Q: A man rode into town on Tuesday, and left two days later on Tuesday. How so?
A: His horse is named Tuesday!

Which month has 28 days? All of them!

Restaurant customer: “This egg doesn’t look fresh.”
Server: “It’s so fresh, the hen hasn’t even missed it yet.”

A psychologist received this postcard from a vacationing patient: “Having a wonderful time. Why?”

When you want to use me, you throw me away. When you’re done using me, you bring me in. What am I? An anchor.

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June 15, 2020

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Everybody’s Talking

Coffee Time: Move over watercolours. Coffee has become the new medium for an artist in the small town of Ontinyent, Spain. Nuria Salcedo, an architect by training, learned to draw on her own. She loves to draw and do illustrations of famous people, but she didn’t think she had much skill. To differentiate herself from other artists, she focused on coffee. She uses diluted coffee of different tones in her work, as well as brown pencils. The result is an interesting sepia look with various shades of brown and tan. She often uses photos as her source material but is moving towards painting original works of art.

Loyal Friends: Nurses at a hospital in Rio do Sol, Santa Catarina, Brazil, treated a patient in the emergency department who appeared to be homeless, but certainly wasn’t alone. The man, known only as César, had come to the facility to obtain treatment for a medical condition. Nurse Cris Mamprim and her coworkers wondered if he would be okay when he was released a little while later. They needn’t have worried. Waiting happily at the door for César were four, tail-wagging dogs, excited to see their master again. The nurses realized that, while César may have been homeless, he was a kind man to have such loyal friends.

Extras: Finding chocolates on the pillow is a nice experience when staying at a hotel. Some luxury hotels are known to offer outlandish “extras” which may be part of the room rate or may incur an extra charge. A Fender guitar, for example, is available to Hard Rock Hotel guests around the world who choose the “Sound of Your Stay” program. The Acqualina Resort in Miami, Florida (U.S.), provides a Rolls-Royce Ghost to those renting a certain deluxe suite. And, if you are athletic, you can enjoy a free acrobatic skills program from Cirque du Soleil while staying at Club Med Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Splashy Entrance: Guests at a wedding in Anglesey, Wales, got a big surprise when the groom arrived at the venue. Wearing his tuxedo, Matt Knight rode a wakeboard behind a boat on the Menai Strait. Accompanying him were his groomsmen — brother Chris and friend Paul — who also wore tuxes. The three did a few tricks for the assembled guests who were waiting outside the hotel where the nuptials would be held. The trio was soaking wet, of course, but all had dry formal wear waiting for them. The bride, Kirsty, loved the show and said the groom made the exciting entrance due to his love of James Bond movies.

Quoteable Quotes

“Literature is my Utopia.”
Helen Keller

“If everyone minded their own business…the world would go round a deal faster than it does.”
Lewis Carroll

Trivia

1. A harpoon is a barbed spear or a string on a harp?

Barbed Spear

2. Which plant is known to devour insects?

Venus Fly Trap

3. Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1925, 1935, or 1945?

1935

4. Name the firstborn of England’s Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Prince George

5. What is the fruit of the blackthorn bush?

Sloe Berry

Games

Did You Know?

Earth’s Layers: Earth’s crust is between about five and 100 kilometres (three and 62 miles) thick. The next layer is the mantle, which is approximately 2,900 km (1,800 mi.) deep.

Very Venomous: Deinagkistrodon acutus, commonly known as the Chinese moccasin, is a venomous snake found in parts of southeast Asia. Its venom has been used for centuries to treat tendon and bone pain.

Peppermint Beginnings: The American sitcom The Brady Bunch ran for five seasons between 1969 and 1974. A band called The Peppermint Trolley Company originally performed the show’s theme song.

Measuring the Weather: Anemometers and barometers are both meteorological instruments. The former measures airflow speed while the latter measures atmospheric pressure.

Bone Health: Calcium, which can be obtained naturally in such things as dairy products, leafy green veggies, and some fish, is important for bone health in both children and adults. The amount of a person’s daily need depends on age.

On the Lighter Side

  • My cat constantly looks at me like I asked her to give me a ride to the airport.
  • Q: What type of cloud is so lazy that it never gets up?
    A: Fog!
  • In a recent poll, 78 per cent of those polled said they didn’t like being polled.
  • You can break me without touching me, or even seeing me. What am I? A promise.
  • If you don’t like cheese with holes in it, eat around them.

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June 8, 2020

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Everybody’s Talking

Seeing Red: Zorica Rebernik of the small town of Breze, Bosnia, loves the colour red. In fact, she loves it so much that she tries to make sure everything around her is red. The retired schoolteacher lives in a red house filled with red furniture. Her hair is dyed bright red, and she dresses in red clothes. Red flowers adorn her table, she sleeps on red bedsheets and drinks out of red glasses. Rebernik claims that her love of red started at about age 18 and hasn’t abated. She wore a red wedding dress when she married her husband, Zoran.

Arctic adventure: Adventure tourists looking for a little luxury might want to call a travel agency called Luxury Action. The Scandinavian company plans to place portable “igloos” on the ice at the North Pole during the month of April. The igloos are heated and have glass walls and ceilings so guests can admire the northern lights in the Arctic sky. Those interested in the adventure, which also includes hikes on glaciers and wildlife sightings, will fly in by helicopter. Guests hoping to stay there will need plenty of money. The trip costs about $100,000 (US) per person.

Reunited: Mike Plas of Thunder Bay, Ontario (Canada), lost his dog Jack in 2015 when Jack disappeared from his yard. When Jack didn’t come home, Mike had to face the fact that he might never see his canine friend again. Imagine his surprise when, four years later, he got a call from an animal hospital located in Winnipeg, Manitoba – 800 kilometres (500 miles) away. They had found a dog with a microchip that contained Mike’s contact information. Mike drove all the way to the hospital and was reunited with Jack, who whined and jumped and gave him lots of doggy kisses. It was a happy reunion!.

Making up time: Jenny Wilson and Kath Millns lived all their lives only 20 minutes away from each other near Rothingham, England. However, the twin sisters in their seventies didn’t know each other. Millns never knew she had a twin, but at age 11, Wilson had discovered that their mother had placed them for adoption when they were born. Wilson’s daughter, Nicole O’Halloran, initiated a search on social media, and eventually found Millns. Since their emotional reunion, the sisters have become very close, visiting each other’s homes regularly and going out for coffee.

Quoteable Quotes

“Time does not become sacred to us until we have lived it.”

John Burroughs

“To find in ourselves what makes life worth living is risky business, for it means that once we know we must seek it.”

Marsha Sinetar

Trivia

1. What is a dreidel?

A Spinning Top

2. Carob is a caffeine-free substitute for what popular ingredient?

Chocolate

3. Pharmacology is the scientific study of what?

Drugs

4. N.C., Andrew, and Jamie represent three generations of which family of artists?

Wyeth

5. What is pinchbeck?

Imitation gold

Games

Did You Know?

Plant-eater: The Iguanodon was a dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous Period. Fossils have been found around the world. The first one was discovered by Mary Mantell in Sussex, England, in 1822. The Iguanodon was an herbivore.

Big tree: The Hollow Tree is a famous stump of a western red cedar tree. Located in Stanley Park in Vancouver, on Canada’s west coast, it is about 1,000 years old. People stand inside the tree and get their pictures taken.

Exploding pod: The invasive Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) has a seedpod that explodes when disturbed. Native to India and the western Himalayas, it is found elsewhere in Asia, North America, and Europe.

Foggy view: When the lens in a person’s eye becomes cloudy, usually that means they have a cataract. Cataracts are common. They form slowly, cause blurry or foggy vision, and can be fixed with surgery.

Twisting winds: Tornados are funnel-shaped columns of rotating air that descend from thunderclouds. When they touch the ground, they move forward and can destroy anything in their paths.

On the Lighter Side

I have a neck, but no head and I wear a cap. What am I? A bottle!

Student: “There was a typo on a test I was taking. Instead of ‘(D) None of the above,’ it said ‘(D) one of the above.’ So I circled it.”

We are all time travelers moving at the speed of exactly 60 minutes per hour.

What do pandas have that no other animal has? Baby pandas!

Politics wouldn’t be so bad if we could just get rid of the politicians.

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June 1, 2020

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Everybody’s Talking

Map of America American Shannon Downey of Chicago, Illinois loves to embroider. She finds and buys unfinished craft projects at estate sales, which she finishes and donates. She met her match, however, when she bought a huge unfinished quilt and embroidery project of a United States map showing each state’s flower. Not knowing how to quilt, she put out a plea on social media and soon had lots of help. She mailed sections to her helpers, who were asked to mail them back. Downey intends to finish the project that had been started by a woman named Rita Smith, who passed away at age 99.

Long lashes: Two pretty cocker spaniels, who are sisters, are apt to make fashion models jealous. The dogs, Cloe and Nena, have extremely long eyelashes that amaze onlookers. Owner Vittoria Di Castri of Milan, Italy, insists that her pets’ lashes are real. She spends hours grooming the dogs, who love all the attention. Di Castri trims and combs the lashes that can grow more than five centimetres (two inches). The canine pooches have become a social media sensation, and they love to pose for the camera.

Natty knitter: Samuel Barsky of Baltimore, Maryland (U.S.), loves knitting and also loves travelling with Deborah, his wife. This creative fellow has found a way to combine the two. Before leaving for a trip, he designs and knits a sweater with an image of a landmark at his destination. He has knit images of the Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls, and Stonehenge onto sweaters. Others feature the Statue of Liberty and London’s Tower Bridge. When he visits each landmark, he takes a photo of himself wearing the appropriate sweater. Barsky is starting to make a name for himself on social media.

Missing boy found: A thermal camera drone operator helped bring about a happy ending to the story of a missing boy. Steve Fines offered to help search for Ethan Haus, a little boy who got lost in the woods with his dog near his home in Sherburne, Minnesota (U.S.). Many volunteers came to help as darkness fell. In the past, Fines had used his camera to find missing cattle, but never children! Coordinating efforts with ground searchers, he was able to zero in on Ethan and his dog, remotely lighting the drone so the searchers could find the spot.

Quoteable Quotes

“A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.”
— Dorothy Canfield Fisher

“Our way is not soft grass, it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun.”
—Ruth Westheimer

Trivia

1. Is a doubloon coin gold or silver?

Gold

2. In the Queen’s English, what is a brolly?

Umbrella

3. Whose initials might you find carved in a tree?

Sweethearts

4. Name the bird that can swim but cannot fly.

Penguin

5. A pummel horse is used in which sport?

Gymnastics

Games

Did You Know?

Night flower: A cactus known as Queen of the Night (Selenicereus grandiflorus) blooms only once a year for one single night. They grow wild in Mexico, Florida (U.S.), and parts of the Caribbean.

Young singer-songwriter: Canadian musician Shawn Mendes quickly rose to international fame for his pop music. In 2014, his first single was “Life of the Party,” which was released when he was only 15.

Frightful: Someone who is afraid of clowns is said to have coulrophobia. This phobia is not very common. Some researchers think it may come about because a clown’s makeup hides their feelings, and they are mischievous.

Paint the room: If a wall is painted with matte paint, there will be no shine when it dries. Gloss paint, on the other hand, has a lot of shine and therefore will show all the imperfections on the wall.

Wild and free: There are wild horses on the barrier islands of the Outer Banks, off the coast of North Carolina (U.S.). The original horses were left there by Europeans who landed there over 500 years ago.

On the Lighter Side

What goes through towns, up hills, and down hills but never moves? The road!

Found in a heap of recycled folders donated to a school was one labelled “Excuses I Have Used.”

Customer: “Do you have anything that will cure fleas?” Veterinarian: “Maybe. What made them sick?”

I’m the size of an elephant, but I weigh nothing. What am I? An elephant’s shadow!

Jury: Twelve people brought together to decide who has the best lawyer.

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May 25, 2020

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Everybody’s Talking

Deep dive: Belize, on the east coast of Central America, is home to some of the best diving in the world. One reason for that is the existence of the Great Blue Hole, located off the country’s coast in the Caribbean Sea. Surrounded by coral reefs, the circular Great Blue Hole is an underwater sinkhole that attracts many species of marine life. It measures 300 meters (984 ft.) across and is 125 meters (410 ft.) deep. Divers can reach the Great Blue Hole by a more than two-hour boat ride from Belize City. Boats also can be rented on Ambergris Caye, which is closer.

Money giver: Charities in the city of Braunschweig, Germany, are amazed and grateful for an anonymous donor who has been providing cash to help them do their good deeds. The donor sends a bag of euros to a newspaper office with instructions to give the money to a certain charity. One such “miracle bag” contained €100,000 to be given to a local hospice. For over eight years, bags of money, some containing over €200,000, have intermittently appeared, with the mystery giver identifying soup kitchens, churches, and other worthy causes as recipients.

Turf tradition: For centuries, the traditional home used by the people of Iceland was the turf house. These houses had roofs and thick walls made of a top layer of sod with grass growing out of it. People used turf because trees were not as available for building material. Turf also has good insulating qualities against the winter cold. In the early 1900s, many people still lived in turf houses, but now few remain. However, some have been preserved and maintained by the National Museum of Iceland, allowing visitors to view these traditional abodes.

Peaceful people: A street in Vienna, Austria, is a monument to peace. The winding, dead-end street is called Blutgasse and is one of the oldest in the city. On the street is Peace Museum Vienna, which has a mission to educate visitors toward achieving world peace. The museum is free for anyone who wants to visit the exhibits or attend a discussion. One of the displays, called Windows for Peace, is intriguing. In the museum’s street-facing windows are images of peace heroes, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Bertha von Suttner, author of the novel Lay Down Your Arms.

Quoteable Quotes

“All things are to be examined and called into question. There are no limits set to thought.”
—Edith Hamilton

“The greatest liberty that man has taken is with nature.”
—James Bryce

Trivia

1. What is the German word meaning finished, defeated, or destroyed?

Kaput

2. The average person blinks how many times a minute?

15-20 times

3. In the world of ice hockey, what is a “blueliner”?

Defenceman

4. Name the leader of the English rock band The Who.

Roger Daltry

5. What are filled dumplings of Central and Eastern Europe called?

Pierogi

Games

Did You Know?

Using names: Anthropologist Jane Goodall studied chimpanzees for 45 years in Tanzania. Rather than numbering the primates she was studying, she named them instead. Some names she chose were David Greybeard, Flint, and Goliath.

Extinct pigeon: Passenger pigeons became extinct about 100 years ago. These pigeons, native to North America, were able to fly very fast, attaining speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 km).

Museum founder: Francisco Moreno of Argentina was a famous naturalist and geographer in the 1800s. He founded the La Plata Museum of Natural History in Argentina in 1888, which is an important museum today.

Hot stuff: The Datil pepper is a small, hot pepper grown near St. Augustine, Florida (U.S.), where there’s even an annual Datil Pepper Festival. It is used to make hot sauces, mustards, infused vinegar, and jellies.

Big but gentle: Whale sharks, which are docile giants that live in tropical oceans, are the largest living fish. Their life span is about 70 years, but they have been known to live to be 100.

On the Lighter Side

  • What question can you never answer “Yes” to? “What does ‘N-O’ spell?
  • I wonder how many miles I’ve scrolled with my thumb.
  • Why was the math book sad? Because it had so many problems.
  • Patient: “I’m terribly nervous, doctor. This is my first operation.”
    Doctor: “I know what you mean. It’s mine, too.”
  • What is easy to get into, but hard to get out of? Trouble.

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May 18, 2020

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Everybody’s Talking

Bear scare: Two women in the northern Canadian city of Whitehorse, Yukon, had to take evasive action to get away from a mama bear, which had two cubs in tow. Michelle Beaulieu and Anya Zimmerman were biking along a narrow trail near the Yukon River when the protective mother confronted them. The women ended up abandoning their bikes and swimming across the river to the other side. Luckily, a boat came along. The driver picked them up, retrieved their bikes, and got them safely out of the area.

Looking for Dinner: Diners in a restaurant in the town of Canmore, Alberta (Canada), got quite a surprise when a bear wandered in through the open doors to check things out. The cooking aroma coming from the Gaucho Brazilian Barbecue must have been too much to resist. The young bear scared the restaurant’s customers but didn’t stay long. After only a few seconds, it turned around and walked out, taking another look through the window before running away. Peter Holub, the restaurant’s owner, plans to keep the front door closed from now on.

Sticky stuff: A certain type of glue made by an industrial adhesives company in Germany really sticks. DELO went to great lengths to show the strength of its brand of strong glue. Company representatives arranged to suspend a truck, which weighed over 17.20 metric tonnes (37,919 lbs.), one metre above the ground by attaching it to a crane using a small amount of their glue. The stunt worked. The glue held the truck off the ground for an hour. Because this adhesive is used in the automotive industry and is not commercially available, it’s not possible to get it at a local hardware store!

Waterlogged: Television reporters will do lots of things to get their stories to viewers, but Azadar Hussain of Pakistan did something unique to bring the plight of his country into the limelight. Kot Chatta, in Pakistan’s Punjab region, had experienced damaging flooding, so Hussain decided to stand in floodwaters, with only his head, hand, and microphone above water. From there, he proceeded to do his report of the repercussions of the flooding. Although what he did could be perceived as dangerous, the reporter was able to attract worldwide attention from his on-location newscast.

Quoteable Quotes

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
—Lord Acton
“…we find at the end of a perfect day When Silence speaks for Love she has much to say.”
—Richard Garnett

Trivia

1. What is wasabi?

Japanese horseradish

2. Is our “funny bone” a bone or a nerve?

Nerve

3. Identical twins have identical fingerprints—T/F?

False

4. In which sea would you find the Great Barrier Reef?

Coral Sea

5. Who said, “Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else”?

Will Rogers

Games