Being a few days past the solstice, we are officially into those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Although with climate change causing so many serious events of nature and temperature fluctuations, summers along with other seasons are becoming more unpredictable. That being said, let’s look at the lighter side. Following are some interesting facts about summer.
The first modern Olympic Games were held in the summer in 1896 in Athens, Greece.
Did you know that watermelons are not a fruit, but a vegetable instead? They belong to the cucumber family of vegetables.
The Eiffel tower actually grows in the heat of the summer. Due to the iron expanding, the tower grows about 6 inches every summer.
July is national ice cream month.
The month of June is named after the Roman goddess Juno.
The first women’s bathing suit was created in the 1800’s. It came with a pair of bloomers.
The “dog days of summer” refer to the dates from July 3rd to August 11th. They are named so after Sirius the Dog Star. This star is located in the constellation of Canis Major.
Frisbees, invented in the 1870’s as a pie plate, but in the 1940’s, college students began throwing them around. They have since stopped being used for pie plates and are now a summertime staple.
Roman general Marc Antony named the month of July after Julius Caesar.
July is national blueberry month.
Mosquitos, we know, are most prevalent during summer months. Mosquitos have been on earth for more than 30 million years. Ugh!
August was named after Julius Caesar’s nephew. He had received the title of “Augustus” which means “reverend”.
The first National Spelling Bee was held on June 17th, 1825.
Ice pops were invented in 1905 by an 11 year old boy.
Finally, Sea turtle walks are a popular event on Florida beaches in June and July when huge mama turtles weighing in at around 200 to 250 pounds come ashore to lay their eggs. About two months later, the tiny and adorable sea turtles hatch but they don’t just make a run for the water. They wait until the sand cools, which is usually at night, and begin their journey to the water. If you’re lucky enough to see them at night, don’t shine any light on them. It could really interfere with their sense of direction and set them off course.
Comments are welcomed
The school year is fast coming to an end, if it hasn’t already for some. Do you remember how you felt that very last day of school whether it was grade school, high school or beyond? I recall having a big burst of joy, feelings of freedom, wonder and anticipation of what was next. I recently read a newsletter from Angela Duckworth, psychologist, researcher, founder and CEO of the Character Lab, and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. In it she talked about endings and their importance.
Angela writes, “When it comes to human memory, not all moments are created equal. Instead, our remembered experiences are disproportionately influenced by peaks (the best moments as well as the worst) and endings (the last moments). Nobel laureate Danny Kahneman, discovered this phenomenon.” This phenomenon is known as the Peak End Rule.
Endings are not limited to the big events like that last day of school. How do we end an event, a visit either personal or professional, wrapping up the day’s end with family, and so on?
“Don’t mistake all moments as equal in significance. There’s a reason why yoga classes end with savasana. There’s a reason we eat dessert last. Do orchestrate endings. Finish strong. Last impressions are especially lasting.”
Comments are welcomed.
You know how it is when you sit down with a blank page before you, a blank canvas, a pile of papers that need to be filed, appointments that need to be made, and so on. Maybe we sit there for awhile thinking, ”Hmmm. A cup of coffee or tea is just what I need to get started.” As we prepare our beverage, we might then think, “I should have a muffin or scone to have with that coffee or tea. Okay. What kind of muffin or scone? It has to be the right flavor.” We have our drink and snack, enjoy them thoroughly, and find we no longer have the time to start that project.
We can often be at our creative best for finding reasons to postpone beginning a project. Recently, I wrote about procrastination and delay. However, I do not feel this issue falls into those categories. Some of you might disagree. Maybe my perspective is a matter of semantics or, dare I say, bimbo logic. Regardless, the point is about the difficulty to just begin. What do we do when there is no concrete starting point, no obvious first step, no perfect word, when our head suddenly feels like an empty vessel?
The key is to take what is unstructured and generate something of substance. Put some paint on a canvas, write down words, start sorting those papers. Suddenly we will have something concrete. We will have that beginning be it, good, bad or ugly. Then we can move forward.
There are 2 morals to this:
One: Always begin without the perfect beginning. If we just begin, things more often than not, morph into something just right.
Two: If there’s a bad beginning, we need to invoke the wisest of old words, “So what?”
Comments are welcomed.
Rumor has it (as do psychologists) that there is an upside even with downsides running amuck. This sorry saga began December 4, 2018 when my Outlook email crashed and burned. The upside of that was everything else on my computer remained in tip top working order. The first downside of the crash was losing folders that contained information integral to a couple of courses I teach. The upside was we had backed up the email account as well as my contacts before the crash. The downside was I would not be able to upload the backed up material until I got a new Outlook program. (Hopefully)
It’s important to mention I have a vision impairment and use a screen reader. There are specific key strokes which are used to navigate. The tech guy installed a temporary email application until I would be getting a new upgraded system. While grateful for the temp email, the downsides were becoming a big pile-on. This application required a different set of key strokes than what I was used to. Additionally, I was unable to do more than write an email and do a basic reply. The screen reader for this email was intolerably verbose and spewed a lot of useless information.
Another important component is that our government has an assistive devices program through which I get my computers. Until this year the paperwork for the government would be completed, the computer would be ordered and it would arrive within a couple of weeks. With it came a trainer for 20 hours of lessons. Those lessons are invaluable for learning the changes that come with upgrades. Okay. Here’s what happened.
On January 8, 2019 the paperwork was completed and the order put in for Office 2019. Because everything in life changes, there was no getting the new computer in a couple of weeks. We had to wait until the government got around to signing off on the order. The downsides were proliferating almost uncontrollably.
After 5, I repeat, 5 months of frustration, after having to reschedule a couple of courses I teach because of the limitations of the temporary email, the new computer finally arrived. It wasn’t until the following week that the trainer came and set everything up. As he was setting up, we discovered I received Office 2016. What the heck happened to Office 2019. The sales person I’d been dealing with was out of the office until the following week. We decided to go ahead and install what was here. Due to some glitches with the transfer of information from the old computer to the new one, he was here for 6 grueling, agonizing hours. Still, the transfer was incomplete. He would not be returning for a full week while I was left to try to figure a whole lot of stuff out for myself. Downside number 367.
There were so many changes to the upgrade, it felt like this was a job for a cryptology maven. As I tried to figure some things out for myself, and still not having access to needed info from the old computer, I was teetering on the edge of a major melt down.
The thing is that I was prepared for a big learning curve, but this felt like the uber of all learning curves. Change can sure be challenging, can’t it? I’m still hanging on to the belief that the end result, whenever that is, will have been worth it. Just to be sure, I will check with a Magic 8 Ball.
Comments are welcomed.