It’s amazing to hear the creative ideas people come up with to pass the time. Guinness World Records was approached by Fire & Smoke, a restaurant sponsor of the Jacksonville Jaguars, to document a world record for throwing a hot dog into a bun. To set the record: (1) the hot dog had to be thrown a minimum of 20 meters (65.62 feet); (2) the hot dog could not be tampered with in any way to aid its projection; and (3) the bun had to be pre-sliced.

The challenge took place on November 27, 2018. (Why didn’t we hear about this sooner?) Mark Brunell, the quarterback for the Jaguars at that time, was the thrower. “Everyone can throw a football,” he said, “and everyone can throw a hot dog.” The catcher was Ryan Moore, a British flat racing jockey. This photo–presumably taken from the catcher’s position–gives some perspective of the throwing distance. Note the cheerleaders and the team mascot on the left.

Here’s the throw . . .

. . . and the catch. Author’s query: There’s a hot dog on the ground. Was a previous throw a miss?

You can see the Guinness World Records stamp of approval in the lower right corner of the photo below. The distance thrown was 20.96 meters (68.76 feet). “It took just about everything I had to throw it that far,” said Brunell. “It’s a pretty big deal and I’m very proud of that.”

According to Guinness World Records, record challengers have the option of adding condiments to the hot dog. Go on, give it a try.

P.S. You can see a video of this awesome event on YouTube.

I learned today that April 7 (tomorrow) is National Beer Day, a beer-specific holiday in the United States. It follows that tonight is (this is true) designated as New Beer’s Eve. National Beer Day was first celebrated in Virginia in 2009 after Justin Smith, at the urging of a friend, posted the idea on his Facebook page. The holiday was officially recognized in the Congressional Record by Rep. Dave Bath (R-VA 7th Congressional District) in 2017.

The Volstead Act enforced the 18th Amendment (prohibition) by prohibiting more than 0.5% alcohol in beverages. It was widely thought that ratifying the 21st Amendment to repeal national prohibition might take years, in spite of strong support to legalize alcoholic beverages. To circumvent this problem, the Cullen-Harrison Act legalized the sale of beer with an alcohol content of 3.2% by weight–higher than allowed by the Vostead Act, but still believed to be too low to be intoxicating.  The Cullen-Harrison Act became effective April 7, 1933. After signing the legislation, FDR quipped, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” And so it began.

Image result for beer in a stein

Jeff recently shared this photo. Can you see what’s wrong with the picture?

The photo shows King Faisal of Saudi Arabia signing the United Nations charter in San Francisco in 1945. It’s an important and historically significant picture. Just for fun, a 26-year-old Saudi Arabian student “edited” the photo. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Education mistakenly used the edited photo in Saudi Arabian social studies textbooks in 2017. The Ministry later apologized for its error.

There’s a family in our subdivision that apparently admires the Clark Griswold style of outdoor Christmas lighting.

Here’s the front. That large tree overhangs most of the width of the street, so driving past the house provides a small taste of what it’s like to drive through one of those commercial “winter wonderlands.”

The back yard is also fully decorated. This is the visible portion of the back yard when viewed between the two houses behind the “Griswolds.” Not visible: the decorated above-ground pool and playset on the left, and the decorated storage shed on the right.

Can you say “jolly and bright”?

The exterior of the entire first floor of our house, as well as our beehive-style chimney, is made of antique bricks. (Antique = recovered from a torn-down structure.) Ted and I like the look of the antique bricks, but they’ve been here for 42 years and we noticed there are some bricks in the chimney that appeared to be loose, as well as some on the house that have broken edges from weathering. We called Mr. T, our chimney sweeper, and asked him to check things out and to do whatever tuckpointing is necessary. He replaced the loose bricks in the chimney about a week ago. After an entire week, I happened to look upward to the roofline and saw something on the roof ridge. It’s on the right end of the ridge.

Ted got out his ladder, climbed up on the roof, and removed the half-full can of diet 7-Up. Way to go, Ted!

I saw this truck while I was stopped at a red light. I can’t imagine why the owner / driver needs spikes on the front wheels, unless Q ordered it for a James Bond sidekick who drives a pickup truck. Those spikes look lethal.

2020 kept all of us close to home and, as a result, inspired many homeowners to improve their property in a variety of ways. Yesterday, Ted and I couldn’t help noticing that our usual walking route is becoming increasingly kitschy. This might be a sign too much time at home.

The gnome lover in the last photo has barely begun, compared to what Ted and I saw in Townsville, Australia. Shhh! Don’t tell the neighbors where to buy more gnomes!

Yesterday, Hasbro announced that it is neutralizing Mr. Potato Head. Hasbro’s senior vice president and general manager announced, “The way the brand currently exists—with the ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’—is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure.”

The outcry was loud:

Dr. D exclaimed, “For crying out loud–it’s a potato! It doesn’t have a gender!”

Media analyst Mark Dice tweeted, “It’s time for the Republican states to secede.”

Piers-Morgan tweeted, “Who was actually offended by Mr Potato Head being male? I want names. These woke imbeciles are destroying the world.”

Steven Colbert’s segment on Hasbro’s announcement asked, “What part of this do you see as gender-based?”

Sean Hannity tweeted, “MR POTATO HEAD 1953-2021, Hasbro: He Was ‘Limited When It Comes to Gender Identity’.” After Hasbro clarified that only the “Mr.” is being removed from the name and that Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head will be continue to be available as “just plain ‘Potato Head’,” Hannity responded, “Mr. Potato Head Lives!”

Long live non-gender potatoes!

Author’s note: When I was growing up, our Mr. Potato Head toy required actual potatoes; thus, the name of the toy. Complaints about rotten vegetables plus new government food safety rules prompted Hasbro to include a plastic potato body along with the facial parts in 1964.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Hint: Zoom in on the green sticker on the license plate.

By not renewing his license plate since 1992, this guy has saved about $1,500. Not to mention that he didn’t have to stand in line at the DMV office.

It went viral on social media. Celebrities and sports teams got into it. The broom challenge was hot. It made the news in USA Today.

The broom challenge has actually been around since 2012 and claims that at the spring and fall equinox, it is possible to make a broom stand alone.

Too bad the broom challenge is based on pseudoscience and false claims. It’s a harmless social media hoax that can be done at any time of the day on any day of the year. The secret to success is the broom’s center of gravity, not the earth’s gravitational pull. Who has time to think up this stuff?

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” starring Tom Hanks, is coming out in two days. Did you know that Tom Hanks is descended from Nancy Hanks Lincoln? (Third cousin, four times removed.) He is also a sixth cousin of Fred Rogers.

Really. Not just publicity.

I saw an article in USA Today that reported one-quarter of the West Antarctic ice sheet has been classified as “unstable.” According to the article, the ocean water in front of the glacier is too hot, causing the underside to melt where it grinds against the seabed. This allows the glacier to slide more quickly into the ocean and to become thinner.

My question is: How does anyone know where West Antarctica is? Every direction from the South Pole is north. Once you are north of the South Pole, moving in a clockwise direction around the pole will take you eastward, just like it does in the rest of the world; counterclockwise will take you westward. Where’s the starting point? Obviously, “West” Antarctica is an agreed-upon arbitrary area.

I saw this at Biltmore last spring.  Of course, every woman knows this is true, . . .

. . . but do you think Cinderella pictured shoes like these?  These pictures were part of an historical shoe exhibit at our Hawaiian resort.

The center shoe symbolizes Cinderella, who ran down the palace staircase and lost her glass slipper/shoe.  The 6″ high tiki head carved on the clog heel is pretty eye-catching too.  How long do you think the heel on the fish shoe will last?

The top sandal is called “Splendor in the Grass.”  The bottom one uses every part of a leek.  Check out its bulb toe.

Jeff wondered which of these jackets looked better on him.   Ted found the same jackets.  What do you think, Jeff?  Does it help to see them on someone else?

Flamingos?

Geometrics?

Or maybe the whole shebang with the matching pants and tie as well.(Note:  There was only one flamingo jacket left for Ted to try.  I can’t wait to see the owners of the other flamingo jackets wearing them around town.)

Albert Einstein was born March 14, 1879, making him a Pisces like me.  I’m sure that’s only one of the many amazing things Bertie and I have in common.  Today is the 62nd anniversary of Einsteins’ death.  To honor his unparalleled scientific mind, here are some things he said on subjects other than science.

I guess I’m not the only one who thinks about what “Grandma’s house” looks like to outsiders.  While the kids were here for my best birthday ever, we were gathered in the family room for conversation.  During the chitchat, Jeff brought up something he’s noticed over time.

Jeff:  “You know how old people’s houses always look dark and smell funny?”

Ted and me in our thoughts:  “Is he talking about us?”

Jeff:  “Well, your (i.e., our) house doesn’t.”

Ted and me:  “Whew!”

I think with the new, non-yellowed microwave, the light, and the lack of funny smells, our house passes the visitors’ litmus test.

As I was driving home from my volunteer time at school today, I noticed that there was some road construction work going on ahead of me.

A little farther down the highway, there was another sign.

Luckily, the left lane was closed at the point where the highway expands to three lanes, so we could all drive down the center lane.

On our flight to Seattle, there was an announcement from the cockpit.

“The captain has turned off the seatbelt sign, so you are now free to move about the cabin.  If you are seated, please remain seated with your seatbelt fastened.”

 

Ted and I went out to lunch today at one of our favorite restaurants.  The young woman who has been working as the cashier waited on us, so I asked if she has changed positions.  She said she has, and told us this is her third week waiting tables.  It’s her first week doing it on her own and the reason we haven’t previously seen her as a server, she said, is because she only works on Tuesdays.

Today is Monday.

Wehrenberg Theaters just started offering “$5 Movie Tuesdays.”  This might be in reaction to the long-running Regal Theater chain’s $5 Wednesday movies.  Wehrenberg, however, offers a bag of free popcorn for each ticket purchased, a perk not included at Regal.

Ted and I playfully wondered how the 46 oz. of popcorn would be measured.  Ounces can be a solid measure of weight (16 oz. = 1 lb.) or a liquid measure (16 oz. = 1 pint).  Since 46 oz. of liquid popcorn would be impossible, we assumed a measure of weight would be more likely and questioned whether the weight would be popped or unpopped corn–either being a huge amount of popcorn.  To cut the theater (and its advertising editors) a break, we decided it was probably reasonable to expect a container capable of holding 46 oz. of liquid (a little less than 1.5 quarts) to be filled with popcorn.

We would never eat that much popcorn together at a sitting, never mind one serving per ticket holder.  Still, imagine our surprise when we saw that the 46 oz. of free popcorn was handed to us in a bag with a volume slightly greater than that of a 12 oz. can!

46 oz? I think not.

46 ounces in that bag?  I think not.

I asked the server how they measured the 46 oz. and he told me that it’s a “new measurement” and is actually a “measure of value.”  So theaters can now set new measurement standards?  And what on earth is a “measure of value” in a food product?

Oh, well, the movie was good and that 46-ounce measure of value amount was plenty of popcorn for us to share as a snack.

Just wondering:  What if this is one of those ubiquitous editing errors I keep finding, and no one at Wehrenberg noticed it was supposed to read 4 point 6 oz. of free popcorn?  That certainly would have been closer to the actual measurement.

Today, every natural language that has words for colors identifies two to twelve basic colors.  English identifies eleven.  Do you know what they are?  If you want to quiz yourself, do it now, before reading the text below.  Hint:  Indigo is not one of them.

In early times, the only colors that were identified were bright (white) and dark (black).  As time went on, red became a recognized color.  The next two identified colors were green and yellow (or yellow, then green), followed by blue.  All languages that distinguish colors have these six colors.  Interestingly, these six colors roughly correspond to the sensitivity of the retinal ganglion cells.  This indicates that development of color identification might be related to biology.

Brown, orange, pink, purple, and gray were the next colors to appear as color names, but not in any particular order.  People started identifying pink and purple as colors from pinks (dianthus flowers) and from Tyrian purple, the dye that became the royal color (wearing the purple).  Orange is a color mystery.  Was the fruit named for the color, or the color for the fruit?  At this point, there’s no way of knowing.

The eleven colors identified in English are black, white, red, green, yellow, blue, brown, orange, pink, purple, and gray.  Italy, Greece, and Russia name azure as the twelfth color.  Other color names may be used in a language, but they are considered to be derivatives of the basic colors.  Languages and cultures are selective when deciding which hues to split into different colors, based on how light or dark they are.

“I learned this from the Grammarly blog” said grammar-nerd Diane, wearing a teal-colored shirt (derived from blue).

Where was waterproof fabric invented?

Clues:  A raincoat is called a mackintosh in Britain.  It rains a lot in Britain.  (Been there.  Experienced that.)  “Mac”-intosh.  (Scottish name.)

Right!  Charles Macintosh of Scotland invented rubberized fabric and first sold the coats in 1824.  Mackintosh (with a k) is the accepted alternate spelling for the coat.  Trust Google to commemorate this with a doodle.

 

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Gasoline tanks unearthed from the QT next door to the old Paul’s Donuts shop (also demolished).

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Contradiction?  The small sign attached to the fence says “Danger–Hard Hat Area.”

Jeff’s blog today touts the trivial fact that one buttload = 126 gallons.  He challenged readers to look it up, so I did.  The first thing I discovered was the amazing number of unusual units of measurement that can be found on the same Google search page as “buttload definition.”  As Jeff wrote, “It’s true. Look it up.”

To expand on Jeff’s newfound knowledge, I learned that the size of a buttload varies by country, and that two hogshead make one butt (or pipe), and two butts make one tun of wine or alcohol/beer.

Now we know.

From which state that is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean can you call a state that is bordered by the Pacific Ocean at the same clock time during the change from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time?  (Limit yourself to the lower 48 states.)

Fact:  There are actually some “calling parties” between these two states to celebrate the one hour each year that it is possible to do this.

Fact:  This is not a trick done with mirrors.

Do you need some help?  Here’s an example:  Daylight Time ends at 2:00 am, when it becomes 1:00 am Standard Time.  Pretend you want to make the call at 1:15 am.  In which two states, bounded by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as described above, can you make the call at 1:15 am in both states?

The answer is below the picture.  Cover the rest of this page if you don’t want to see the answer until you figure it out.

This is me relaxing in Paris while I wait for you to get the right answer.

This is me relaxing in Paris while I wait for you to get the right answer.

Answer:  You can make a call from western Florida (e.g., Pensacola, Panama City) where Central Daylight Time has changed to Central Standard Time, to eastern Oregon (e.g., Ontario), which is still on Mountain Daylight Time, at the same clock time for one hour during the change from Daylight to Standard Time.

Yesterday, as we were driving back from LaCrosse, WI, we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts for a snack.  I think the last time I had a Dunkin’ Donut was while I was in college.  Not much has changed, except that the company has become more environmentally conscientious.  Or has it?  The paper towel dispenser is right beside the air dryer which has a message telling the user that it is better for the environment than paper towels.  I guess it’s a “you choose” situation for the user.  Either way, Paul’s Donuts wins by a landslide.

 

“What day is it?” asked Pooh.

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.

“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

I’m reading a different book today.  It’s nearly Thanksgiving in New York City and the big parade is coming up.

“Talk about crazy,” says the lead character.  “Who wants to jump into that crowd?”

“Thousands,” replies her husband, “or it wouldn’t be a crowd, would it?”

On “Wheel of Fortune” tonight, Pat Sajak and Vanna White had their usual post-show chat.

Pat:  Today is March 2.

Vanna:  Yes, it is.

Pat:  If it wasn’t a Leap Year, today would be March 3.

What can you say when it’s true?  Not much gets past Pat!

On the news tonight, there was a report about the Zika virus.  We were assured that those in the St. Louis area who have contracted the disease were infected as a result of traveling to areas in which Zika is endemic.  In St. Louis, Zika is a concern, however, partly because, as the reporter said, “At least one mosquito native to this area is a known carrier of Zika.”

One mosquito???!!!  There’s one mosquito to worry about???!!!