Ask Me a Stupid Question

We’ve all been there. We raise our hand, ask a question, and everyone laughs. It’s humiliating—as much now that we’re adults as it was back in elementary school. Everyone is capable of asking a stupid question. Perhaps it’s because we aren’t thinking before speaking—or maybe we really are that ignorant. (There’s no shame in ignorance, unless we then forego the opportunity to learn better.)

Thankfully, there’s a solution. Save up all your stupid questions for today—because today is officially “Ask a Stupid Question Day.” Yup. Today we are supposed to ask stupid questions! (Although Ask a Stupid Question Day actually falls on September 28, it’s usually celebrated on the last school day of September.) Continue reading

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Fifth Friday Fun: Fake News

Fake newsSince Fake News is in the headlines, I thought that my very own fake news quiz would be the perfect post for a Fifth Friday.

How many times do you pick up the paper, or click through your favorite news site, and encounter some very strange headlines? Some of those stories are real doozies! Could they possibly be true? I was reading along, scratching my head, when it occurred to me that some of these headlines would make a fun game. Below I’ve listed a dozen headlines. Some are real. Some are clearly made up. You can tell the difference, right?

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The Numbers Don’t Lie—Do They?

correlation chartDo any of these conclusions sound familiar? They’ve all appeared in the news at one time.

  • Children living near power lines have higher rates of leukemia; therefore, the electric field around the lines causes cancer.
  • Because the number of children diagnosed with autism has climbed at the same rate that the number of children receiving vaccines, we can conclude that vaccines cause autism.
  • The rise in global temperatures at the end of the 20th century is due to the increased use of fossil fuels in that same period.

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Ghastly Gargoyles

gargoyle over Paris

Notre Dame gargoyle overlooking Paris.

Have you visited a medieval cathedral such as Notre Dame, Westminster Abbey, or the incredibly tall cathedral in Cologne, Germany? I love the soaring arches, ornate architecture, stained glass windows, and the quiet, contemplative spirit inside. In fact, I think they’re altogether lovely, except for one thing: the gargoyles. It just makes no sense. Why in the world would the Christians of the Middle Ages put such evil-looking monstrosities on the very buildings they were dedicating to the worship of God?

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Fifth Friday Fun: Getting Things Done

I was going to post this last Friday, but I got distracted…

FamilyCircus090201Having enjoyed my breakfast, I grabbed my mug of tea and headed for the bedroom to put the finishing touches on my outfit for the day. On the way past the living room, I noticed that I’d left the knitting loom, yarn, and finished hat on the couch, so I grabbed the loom and headed to my home office to pick out a new project.

Once in the office, I noticed that the plants needed watering, and the gecko’s food bowl lacked meal worms. So I headed back to the kitchen to get the tub of worms out of the refrigerator.

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Alliens Among Us?

y2k bugToday is Halloween. While I resolutely avoid anything that smells like evil—demons, mediums, and the like—I’ve always enjoyed the idea of firing up my imagination and dressing up as something fun and interesting.

Past costumes have included Pete and I as two frogs from the plague in Exodus 8), me as an aspen tree infected with Cytospora (a scary costume for a master gardener Halloween party), and our interpretation (see Pete, left) of the Y2K bug (remember those from 1999?)

Aliens_Roswell-NM_LAH_9578-001Last summer Pete and I drove through Roswell, New Mexico—probably the universe’s most famous destination for extraterrestrials on vacation. If the signs around town are any indication, aliens are certainly welcome there! It occurred to me that if aliens want to visit earth, the best time to do it would be on Halloween. Think of all the complements they’d get on their costumes!

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Fifth Friday Fun: Books or Baloney?

I’ve been browsing our library’s card catalog in search of a good book to read—or at least an entertaining one. I always assumed that the librarians carefully weigh which books they acquire. After all, the budget only goes so far, and they have a responsibility to spend wisely. After reading the blurbs in the online catalog recently, however, I have to question their judgment.

As I sift through a lot of dubious plots to find the rare gem, it occurred to me to create a fun little quiz. Below, I’ve listed thirteen blurbs—those little descriptions the publisher writes to capture our interest. Can you tell which ones are actually real books—and which are merely figments of my imagination?

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