just keep walking

I just heard about a book called “Pedestrianism.” It’s about the walking craze of the late 1800s.

Now, when I say “walking craze,” I don’t mean people walked for exercise. People walked as a competitive sport. I am NOT making this up. Guys would walk while people watched them.

And they did this for Six. Days. Straight. They had Sunday off. It was like a much, much slower Indy 500. Instead of cars going in circles, walkers would walk all day long.

I guess they had cots in the middle of the track to nap on, but you don’t want to nap too long! You might lose the race! (“Race” might be too strong a word for what they were doing.)

People would go and watch this! Like, celebrities! Or the equivalent of celebrities back then. You remember James Blaine, right? Yeah, nobody else does, either. (“Celebrity” might be too strong a word for these people.)

Again, people watched this for hours. I guess because nobody invented…um…anything mildly entertaining yet.

Just like people now, they made the sporting event more exciting by placing bets.

The “walkers” would also try to spice it up a little. I’m sure you’ve heard about Edward Payson Weston’s famous outfits. Ruffled shirts. A cape. Maybe a cane.

Boy howdy, that’s a spectacle. Who needs TV when I can see ruffled shirt action!

Also, for some reason, they thought champagne was good while walking. Like it was Gatorade. So they drank it. A LOT. I suppose THAT made it a better show!

Then somebody invented a bicycle. This LITERALLY blew their minds. The SPEED! The world just blazed ahead 6.4 mph!

This book sounds so amazingly awesome that I might just read it. And then I’ll try to get competitive walking on ESPN. Because if you’ve ever seen me walk, you’d think I did it for a living.

I’m off to pedestriate.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

time is atomical

The National Institute of Standards and Technology just got a new clock! And when they get a new clock, they do NOT mess around.

The NIST F-2 will work with the old NIST F-1 to keep time for everything. F-2 will never gain nor lose a second for about 3 million years!

So now you won’t have to be late or early ever again! It uses a cesium atom to measure time. It measures “the frequency of a particular transition in the cesium atom-which is 9,192,631,770 vibrations per second.”

No, I did not know that as a random fact. I found it on the very informative NIST website!

And yes, just like every other government agency, their website if full of totally amazing bits of info that you would NEVER think came from that government agency!

I encourage you to check out the “Did You Know” and the “For Kids” sections.

They have riddles, a word scramble, and hidden pictures all about stuff that rely on the NIST! Also, the best part, find out your Nano IQ!

Ok, so there are some glitches in the Nano IQ section. I tried to take the quiz and never got a score. But that’s ok, because the questions ARE COMPLETELY CRAZY HARD FOR CHILDREN!

And the riddles are little lessons about what NIST has done for the world. Seriously…it’s…it’s just glorious.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it every time I see a dot gov page, YOU HAVE TO CHECK THESE SITES OUT! When you have time, please, just go to these pages.

Also, NIST is on twitter. And it’s amazing. “NIST’s Simple Microfluidic Devices Now Have Valves”

That makes me laugh every time I read it. I don’t know why.

NIST, I say all of this out of love. I truly want people to learn more about you and all government agencies because you all do so much more than we think. Also, I have, like, 20 clocks, so I LOVE being on time.

I’m off to get valves.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

bring in da nose, bring in da funk

Smell anything? I bet you do! You probably smell everything! Because your nose is awesome!

They say that one does not simply walk into odor, but I’m pretty sure you do. I don’t know why Boromir said that. Maybe he wasn’t involved with this study.

Yes! A study! Olfactory science is a booming business! Scientists had people smell a bunch of stuff and they figured out that you can smell over a trillion different scents!

That’s an intense scents sense! I mean, you can hear about 340,000 tones. See maybe 10 million colors. But that’s nothing compared to a TRILLION!

They had people smell a whole bunch of different odor molecules to get to the trillion mark. But they think that’s still too low.

Everything we smell is made up of different combinations of odor molecules. Like, a rose, which has 275. I’m sure you know that, though. Even Shakespeare wrote “that which we call a rose by any other name would still smell like 275 odor molecules.”

Maybe you don’t know that one. It’s in the original script. Not the Leo and Claire one.

I’m a big smeller. Wait…that sounds weird. I mean that I like to smell things. Mostly food. It’s fun to get a scent of some new treats before you eat them.

Especially when you open a new bag of jelly beans. Those are odor molecules that know how to get my nose hairs tingling!

I’m sorry if you think that’s gross. But I don’t care. Because my nose is a valued part of my body and I will not let its propensity to get snotty make me lose any respect for it!

So when you’re enjoying the smell of something, make sure you thank your nose for giving you that special moment.

And if you smell something stinky, well, don’t blame your nose. It’s just letting you know that those odor molecules are bad and you should throw away the evil, lumpy milk!

I’m off to tear open a bag of jelly beans. Mmmmmmmm…

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

the universe on your plate

Franklin Chang Diaz has been to space. A lot. When he’s not in space, he’s thinking about cooking with items FROM space.

He teamed up with some chefs in Costa Rica to let you “Taste the Stars.”

I mean, theoretically, everything I eat is from space. Since the Earth is in space, I actually enjoy space-food all the time. I’m travelling in space RIGHT NOW! So are you!

Pretty, cool, right?!

Sadly, most of my food has been stuck on Earth for a while. Franklin knew that this bothered me, so he helped create a “meteorite jus.”

I don’t know fancy food words beyond “toast,” so I’ll explain. It’s a steak sauce. It’s made with a wine called “Meteorito,” which is a wine that is “steeped with a 4.5-million-year-old meteorite.”

There you have it! You are kinda-sorta eating a meteorite when you eat this steak sauce!

I would like them to somehow get an actual star into the meal. Like a star tartar. A Startar!

Or get some Supernachovas! Nachos that explode with flavor! And radiation!

These are things that I eat. Because I sometimes travel through space. And if I forget to pack a banana, I get hungry.

I’m off to the restaurant at the end of the universe.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

the tag says irregular

I’m not as tense and nervous as you think. I may LOOK like I am, but I’m really not!

Over the years I realized something. I look like I’m not relaxed. EVER.

It’s something else to add to the list of “irregularities” about my build. Don’t believe me? Here are many examples!

My size. My arms are too long. When I buy shirts that fit, the arms are too short. But if I buy a bigger size, it looks funny.

Also, my legs. I’m very bow-legged, so my knees will never touch! And it makes me walk funny.

I shake. I have tremors so it’s VERY HARD for me to thread a needle. That’s why I’m not a seamstress. Or a surgeon. (Also I’m too lazy for both.)

Guess what! I have a new oddity to add to the list! My shoulders! I found out that it looks like I’m stiff all the time. Apparently my shoulders sit higher than average, so when I’m standing totally relaxed, it still looks like I’m tense!

I found this out because every time I get a shot, the doctor tells me to relax my arm. I always say I am, but they don’t believe me! Trying to make my arm hang lower hurts my shoulder! It’s very strange.

Also, if I put my arms any lower, the sleeves will just look shorter, and really, nobody wants to see that much wrist-action.

It’s a good thing shoulder pads aren’t still hip like they were in the 80’s. It would look like I was shrugging all the time. I would constantly look like I was saying, “Huh?”

Luckily, none of this bothers me. I’m like the irregular clothes at the store. Not everybody needs me, but when somebody does, I’m the perfect fit.

Wow…that’s almost poetic! I should write a Disney movie. I’ll call it “The Irregulars.” A group of misshapen clothes think nobody wants them until they find an oddly-shaped person who couldn’t live without them.

I already feel the tears forming.

I’m off to be TOTALLY RELAXED, even though I don’t look it.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

boffin is a real word

I’m not kidding. I never heard this before, but I guess it’s British slang for a scientist! Because that helps people take science seriously.

Oh! But guess what! You don’t have to take science seriously in Britain! Because boffins spend time studying the best biscuits (what they call cookies in England) for dunking in tea (what they call tea in England, because they dunk cookies in tea, not milk). (Oh, I’m in the United States. That’s why I’m translating. Just in case you didn’t know.)

THIS IS A REAL STUDY. Done by real scientists. With deadly serious consequences.

They tested different biscuits in tea. Timed how long they took to fall apart. And decided that Rich Tea biscuits are the sturdiest because they stayed together for 20 seconds.

Hobnobs only lasted 4 seconds. Pfffft! No Hobnobbin’ for me!

Boffins also checked different dunking angles to determine the best way to approach the tea cup.

I am NOT making this up.

This real boffin, Dr. Farrimond, is worried that weaker cookies could cause problems. If you dunk a Hobnob quickly and go to eat it, it could fall apart on your shirt.

Since this is a horrible problem in society, he suggests having a “dunk-o-meter” traffic light system on every biscuit package. If they crumble under 5 seconds, there would be a red light; 5-10 seconds would get a yellow light; over 10 seconds gets a green light.

I remind you, this is real.

Now I think we know the reason scientists are called “boffins” in England.

I’ve never actually tried biscuits in tea. It sounds pretty good. First I have to check the dunk-o-meter. Because, you know, I value my LIFE.

I’m off to science…er…boffin.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

resume resuyou

Japan needs a ninja! I’m not kidding! Let me put down the actual job posting.

“Wanted: Part-time ninja for entry-level position. No experience required.”

What?! How awesome is that?! Guess who’s going to Japan? I’ll give you a hintMEEEEEEE.

The pay isn’t great. But I would be a ninja. They provide a black costume and a “book of secrets.” Then, I would teach children how to be little ninjas. No big deal. JUST THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE UNIVERSE.

I decided to get my resume in order so I could make this transition in life. And, as luck would have it, I found a handy article telling me what words I should and should not put on a resume!

For example, do NOT put these on your resume: best of breed (unless you’re applying for a dog job), team player (unless you’re applying for a football job), dynamic (unless you’re applying for a duo job), track record (unless you’re going for a jog job)

You should put these words (without parenthetical jokes): launched, under budget, created, volunteered

Oddly enough, my resume does not say any of these things. It says “I’m totally awesome and you should hire me to be a ninja.”

I’ve had the same resume for years. I think it will finally make sense when I send it to Japan. Now that I think about it, it has become clear why I did not get that public relations job at the United Nations. (But saying United Nations Public Relations if so much fun!)

I will now put “I’m totally awesome and you should hire me to be an under budget ninja.”

The job offers will come flooding in now.

I’m off to pack for Japan.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

coffee and aloe

Before I am gone from this Earth, I want to let everybody know something. Coffee and aloe are essential in life.

The other day I realized that I don’t have a lot of good advice handy in my mind. But, I do know TWO things. Coffee is good. And aloe is good.

Coffee is good because it has a lot of health benefits.

Also, it makes my brain tingle with smiles.

Aloe is also good. Especially on tissues! When you buy tissues, YOU NEED TO BUY TISSUES WITH ALOE.

Seriously, why would you not buy that?! I don’t even know WHY they make tissues without aloe!

Store clerk: Well, we have these tissues with aloe and these tissues without.

Me: What’s the difference?

Store clerk: The aloe will make your nose feel like it’s getting caressed by a cloud of love. Without aloe, you will get a red nose that will feel like it’s getting burned by hot knives.

Me: Hmmm…that’s a tough choice…I think I’ll go with the aloe.

Store clerk: Excellent choice. And can I offer you some coffee as well? It has many health benefits. And will make your brain giggle like a kitten.

Me: YES.

That is an actual conversation I had at the store the other day. I shop at very fancy stores. That only sell coffee and tissues.

I’m off to tingle my brain and pillow my nose.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

never go against a sicilian when space is on the line

Apparently Sicily has a space program. They sent a cannolo into space.

Let me start of by saying that “cannolo” is the singular version of the pastry-filled tube. “Cannoli” is the plural. I always thought “cannolis” was a real word. It is not.

Also, pastry-filled tube is not the sexiest description of one of nature’s most wonderful creations. But that’s kinda what it is.

Back to the topic! They sent a cannolo into space! Because that’s important! I did not know this, but I guess people seem to have “negative connotations” of the home of the cannoli. (Is that negative cannolotations?)

A few guys decided to give their Sicilian image a positive spin by creating a space program. For $485.45, they sent a cannolo into space. Filmed it. And told the world. Now people won’t make fun of Sicily anymore!

Seriously. This is what they thought would give them a better image. A helium balloon, a “Cannolo Transporter,” a camera, and a cannolo in space. A space pastry. A spastry.

Due to the unstable flakiness of a real pastry-filled tube, they had to create a model of a pastry-filled tube. Also, a model of a cherry-on-top was added for scientific accuracy.

I can see the brochures now. “Come to Sicily! The organized crime isn’t what you should worry about! Worry about pastry-filled tubes falling on your head! We have so many pastry-filled tubes that we just send them into space for funsies! They’re literally out-of-this-world! With a cherry-on-top!”

Now that I think about it…that’s actually really awesome! I want to go there! I just sold myself on the trip!

I should really go into marketing. I’m, like, a genius-filled tube.

Tube is a funny word.

I’m off to fill a tube with pastry. And maybe some gummy bears.

Enjoy everything.

-dj

the continents

I saw something in the news the other day about Africa. I can’t remember what the news was, but I started saying the word “Africa” over and over again.

Sometimes, when I find a fun word, I will say it a LOT for a few hours/days. This is one of the many reasons I’m not allowed out in public.

I started wondering where the name came from. And not just Africa, but ALL the continents. I mean, was something just picked and everybody agreed?

The answer is yes. The names are mostly Latin and Greek. They would randomly describe chunks of land and those descriptions eventually spread around larger areas of land until it basically became the continent!

The stories are actually pretty interesting, so you should look them up. It would take me Too Long to describe them, but it IS very educational!

Guess what else is educational! Finding out there’s some place called “Oceania!” I guess it’s actually considered a continent? Sorta? It includes Australia and a bunch of islands. So, it’s like “Australia and Friends.”

I don’t know if I paid attention in school (I didn’t), but I feel like I should have heard about this!

And if that can be a continent, why isn’t the Arctic a continent? Antarctica is! Why not make it “Arctica?” Is it not “landy” enough?

Oh…I just looked it up online. I guess it isn’t “landy” at all. Just ice. So maybe land is a requirement.

But still, Oceania has a ton of water! How come that kinda counts?!

Whoever created the Earth certainly did NOT get a GARP degree. (YES! I know what that is. I knew the one person at my college getting a degree in Geography and Regional Planning. Though, I don’t know if I would have trusted her to plan out the Earth.)

I’m off to garp. GARP!

Enjoy Everything.

-dj