Fun Fact January 28, 2022.

As we enjoy this winter, I’m reminded that Spring will be here before we know it.  Maybe not before we want it, but before we know it.  One sign of Spring is the sound of crickets.  Here are a few fun cricket facts.  There are over 900 species of crickets and each one has it’s own unique chirp.  They chirp louder when it’s hot outside.  In fact, you can apparently figure out the temperature outside by listening to cricket chirps.  Count the number of chirps in one minute, divide that number by 4 and add 40.  The result is the temperature.  The sound they make is a result of them rubbing their little wings together.  Crickets are nocturnal, resting during the day and doing cricket stuff, like looking for food, at night.  In some cultures crickets are a delicacy and a sign of good luck.  Probably not both at the same time. Crickets don’t have lungs and their ears are on their legs.  Come on Spring so I can see if that cricket chirp formula really works.   Listen to the podcast here;    

Fun Fact January 27, 2022.

How busy are you?  We all, at least at times, claim to be very busy.  How busy, you ask?  Perhaps busier than a one armed paper hanger in a hurricane?  Maybe you’re as busy as a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.  Then there’s as busy as an ant at a family reunion picnic or a moth in a sweater closet.  You could be as busy as a bee at a flower farm or a termite at a sawmill or as busy as a toothless beaver.  A cat at a laser show would be pretty busy, don’t you think?  A cross eyed rooster on an ant hill surely has his work cut out for him.  Are you as busy as a vacuum on a dirt floor?  Busier than Lonnie coming up with these fun facts!  No matter how busy you are, I appreciate you taking the time to read or listen to my fun facts.  Listen to the podcast here; 

Fun Fact January 26, 2022.

Are you, or do you know someone who is persnickety?  Perhaps you are or you do, but you’re not sure exactly what persnickety means.  I’m here to help.  According to etymo online dot com, the word first shows up around 1808 and is most likely an extended version of the Scottish pernickty.  Where that came from is not clear.  The Latin prefix, per, means thoroughly, which fits in with the definition of persnickety.  It means a person who is precise, fastidious or fussy especially about trivial matters.  A person who is persnickety may also be considered a snob.  Situations can also be persnickety.  Consider a task that requires a great deal of attention to detail.  You may describe that as a persnickety job.  Listen to the podcast here; 

Fun Fact January 25, 2022.

Tool time Tuesday and today a brief history of one of the most common small engines on the market today.  I’ve been working on my “vintage” snow thrower.  It has a 3.5 HP Briggs & Stratton engine on it, built in June of 1979.  Like I said, it’s “vintage.”  According to Briggs And Stratton dot com, In the early 1900’s, Briggs & Stratton developed the revolutionary stationary Type “P” engine. This was a game changer in the 4-cycle gasoline engine industry and set the course for Briggs & Stratton to become the world’s largest manufacturer of air-cooled gasoline engines.  In 1953 Briggs & Stratton revolutionized the lawn and garden industry by developing the first lightweight, air-cooled aluminum engine. The 1970’s brought a fuel shortage to the Unites States and Briggs & Stratton responded to the need to use less gas with the development of electric motors and one of the first gas/electric hybrid car prototypes.  Briggs continues to innovate the small engine industry by developing more fuel efficient engines and manufacturing engines comprised of 98% recycled aluminum.   Listen to the podcast here;

Fun Fact January 24, 2022.

Ninety nine cans of beer on the wall!  According to History dot com, it was on January 24, 1933 that the first can of beer debuted in Richmond, VA.  The Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company, In partnership with the American Can Company, delivered 2,000 cans of Krueger’s Finest Beer and Krueger’s Cream Ale to faithful Krueger drinkers. Ninety-one percent of the drinkers approved of the canned beer, driving Krueger to give the green light to further production.  Cans had been in use to distribute food since the late 19th century, but it wasn’t until 1909 that the American Can Company tried, unsuccessfully, to can beer.  They had to wait until after prohibition to try again.  Finally in 1933, after two years of research, the company developed a can that was pressurized and had a special coating to prevent the fizzy beer from chemically reacting with the tin.  That’s right, tin, not aluminum.  Today, canned beer accounts for approximately half of the $20 billion U.S. beer industry and it all started on this date in Richmond, VA.  Listen to the podcast here;

Fun Fact December 8, 2021.

Not a great time of year if you suffer from officinaphobia.  Officinaphobia is the fear of shopping.  This phobia is related to agoraphobia, the fear of crowded places, of leaving your own home, or of being in places from which escape is difficult.  Officina is Latin for shop, the place not the act.  This phobia is more about fear of the place you go to shop rather than the shopping itself.  I’m not afraid to shop, although Covid has certainly made me less comfortable when I do go into a store.   I’m just not a shopper, I don’t like to shop.  I like to go, get what I need and get out. Listen to the podcast here;

Fun Fact November 1, 2021.

Have you ever flipped your lid?  No doubt you have.  The saying is a uniquely American slang expression.  According to Free Dictionary dot com it means to react to something with strong emotion. The reaction can be to something positive or negative or, used as a joke  to go insane.  It dates from the twentieth century and it implies the metaphor of a pot boiling over and pushing off its cover. It appeared in the 30’s and 40’s and in 1951 in the New York Times Book Review: “The funniest book of the lot is enough to make a reader ‘flip’ or ‘flip his lid.”  Your lid is not the only thing you can flip. You might just flip, flip your lid or even flip your wig.  Listen to the podcast here;

Fun Fact October 14, 2021.

On this date, October 14, 1892, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle, was published.  According to History dot com, The book was the first collection of Holmes stories. After medical school, Conan Doyle moved to London, where his slow medical practice left him ample free time to write. His first Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet,” was published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887. Starting in 1891, a series of Holmes stories appeared in The Strand magazine, and Conan Doyle was able to give up his medical practice and devote himself to writing.  In addition to dozens of Sherlock Holmes stories and several novels, Conan Doyle wrote history, pursued whaling, and engaged in many adventures and athletic endeavors.  Arthur Conan Doyle died in 1930.    Listen to the podcast here;

Fun Fact October 12, 2021.

Tool time Tuesday and today we’re cutting up.  It was sort of rainy over the weekend, but there was enough of a break for me to do a bit of outside work and I used one of my circular saws in the project.  These are handy for various cutting jobs, but their invention is somewhat cloudy.  According the York Saw dot com, some say they were invented in Brittan in 1722 by Samuel Miller.  Another is that a German invented it in 1780 and still another says that Walter Taylor did it a little while after that.  Here in the US, a Shaker woman named Tabitha Babbitt is said to have also invented a circular saw entirely of her own volition and design in 1810.  The early saws were powered by hand or a treadle that was mounted underneath, sort of like your Grandma’s Singer sewing machine.  The idea for a portable version came along in 1929 by a guy named Art Edmond.   No matter who invented it, it remains a go to tool for professionals and DIYer’s alike.  Listen to the podcast here;