November Recap

In case you missed a post or two this month, here’s a quick recap of what I wrote about during the month of November:

Questions I Asked –

Why Are Campaign Signs Found On Street Corners? – If you are just dying to relive the election, you can learn why we see so many campaign signs on street corners.

Who Named The Colors Of A Rainbow? – Spoiler: It is not the leprechaun from Lucky Charms.

Wonder Why Wednesday: Thanksgiving Edition – Home to all of my Thanksgiving related questions.

Things We Learned –

Your mom can make you more creative – WARNING: After you read this, you will want to give your mother a call.

There is good news tonight – No matter when you read this, it still applies.

This Is What Can Happen When You Talk To Strangers – This will be the best video you watch all day.

Fun With Numbers –

5 Reasons You Should Talk To Strangers – In a new article I wrote for a great site called The Daily Positive, I look at 5 reasons we might want to start introducing ourselves to more people.

5 Things We Can Learn From Books – It was hard to limit it to just 5.

101 Things I am Thankful For – What do you like better #53 or #77?

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GivingTuesday

Did you buy anything on Black Friday?

How about on Cyber Monday?

If you have any money left, I would encourage you to be a part of GivingTuesday.

GivingTuesday is a new movement to create a national day of giving on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Created by New York’s 92nd Street Y, GivingTuesday has partnered with The United Nations Foundation to help spread the word on this awesome idea.

Today marks just the second annual GivingTuesday.

According to GivingTuesday.org, the launch in 2012 saw more than 2,500 recognized GivingTuesday partners from all 50 states of the United States. “The collective efforts of partners, donors and advocates helped fuel a marked increase in charitable giving on GivingTuesday. Blackbaud processed over $10 million in online donations on 11/27/12 – a 53% increase when compared to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving the previous year. DonorPerfect recorded a 46% increase in online donations and the average gift increased 25%. More than 50 million people worldwide spread the word about GivingTuesday – resulting in milestone trending on Twitter.- from GivingTuesday.org“

I think GivingTuesday is an awesome idea!

I would encourage you all to help out by giving your time, money or support (or all of the above) to someone in need today.

If you want to learn more about this idea and how you can get involved, visit www.GivingTuesday.org.

101 Things I am Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are a few things I am thankful for…

  1. Ice cream
  2. Sandwiches
  3. Ice cream sandwiches
  4. Mavis Beacon
  5. Cell phones
  6. November
  7. Cruise control
  8. Drive through parking spots
  9. Thursdays
  10. College
  11. Basketball
  12. College basketball
  13. December
  14. Ping pong
  15. The Noticer
  16. Kid President videos
  17. Not having to parallel park
  18. Seat belts
  19. Fridays
  20. January
  21. Kazaam the movie
  22. Shazam the app
  23. Sarcasm
  24. Modem medicine
  25. Christmas
  26. Music
  27. Christmas music
  28. February
  29. The Summer Olympics
  30. Saturdays
  31. Nic Cage movies
  32. Auto-correct wanting to change the above to “Nice Cage movies”
  33. Lysol wipes
  34. Floss
  35. Maury C. Moose
  36. Game 1 of the 2001 World Series
  37. March
  38. Math
  39. Calculators to help me with math
  40. Sundays
  41. Sleep
  42. Walking
  43. Sleepwalking
  44. Receiving a thumbs up emoji from my mom
  45. When I remember something
  46. The Transcriber
  47. Falling asleep at 9pm on New Years
  48. April
  49. Mondays
  50. Crossing something off my to do list
  51. Crash Bandicoot
  52. Techno Super Bowl
  53. Pancakes
  54. Dinner
  55. Pancakes for dinner
  56. May
  57. Puns
  58. Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward points
  59. Smiling
  60. Tuesdays
  61. Phoenix Children Hospital
  62. Laughing with my grandma
  63. Grand Slams – the tennis tournaments
  64. Grand slams in baseball
  65. Grand Slams – the Denny’s menu item
  66. Work field trips with my dad
  67. Rhyming words
  68. June
  69. The moon
  70. Walking
  71. If you thought I was going to say moon walking
  72. Brickhouse Podcast
  73. My grandpa’s ability to remember things
  74. Wednesdays
  75. July
  76. Mr. Feeny
  77. Pineapples
  78. Anyone who is still reading this
  79. Ralph Wiggum
  80. Pretzels
  81. Whozits and whatzits galore
  82. Celebrating with milkshakes
  83. Drowning sorrows in milkshakes
  84. August
  85. Learning something new
  86. Remembering something I’ve learned
  87. Things that are fancy
  88. Audiobooks
  89. People with Australian accents
  90. September
  91. The Room
  92. Movie trailers
  93. Soundball
  94. Spellcheck
  95. Public libraries
  96. Waking up to see you still have 3 more hours to sleep
  97. October
  98. Buddy the Elf
  99. Self checkout aisles at the grocery store
  100. 70 degree days in the winter
  101. Being able to think of 101 things with relative ease

Wonder Why Wednesday: Thanksgiving Edition

Just one more day until Thanksgiving! In honor of the holiday with the longest name (probably, I didn’t actually look it up), I thought it would be fun to revisit a couple of Thanksgiving themed Wonder Why Wednesday posts from previous years. Yes, that is the reason. It has nothing to do with me being lazy and not taking the time to write a new post today.

Enjoy the Wonder Why Wednesday: Thanksgiving Edition!

Why Do We Eat Turkey On Thanksgiving?

I’ve never quite understood why, when on a day to celebrate everything we have to be thankful, we settle for eating the 95th most popular food. Here’s why.

Why Do the Dallas Cowboys & Detroit Lions Always Play on Thanksgiving?

The Lions and Cowboys have become as much of a Thanksgiving tradition as cranberry sauce, stuffing & not caring about cranberry sauce or stuffing for the other 364 days of the year. Here’s why.

 

Bonus Thanksgiving content – Five Things We Can Learn From Thanksgiving

A Poem About Room

Many times, I will read something online and immediately think, “that was great, I wish I wrote it.” I may not have written it, but I can still share it. Here’s the latest…

A Poem About Room by Brad Montague

If you’ve followed this blog, you know I am a sucker for rhyming. I am also quite fond of Kid President. So, it should come as no surprise that I was drawn to a fun rhyme by KP’s pal Brad Montague. The poem is short, sweet and has a great message. Make me wish I wrote it. Enjoy!

 

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5 Things We Can Learn From Books

The great thing about learning is that it is not confined to certain times or a specific location. Learning can happen anytime, anywhere.

I like to highlight this fact by, once a month, looking at things we encounter on a daily basis and seeing what important lesson we can from them.

In today’s installment of “Five Things We Can Learn From Everyday Objects” we are going to talk about books…

5 Things We Can Learn From Books

1. The Cover Is Actually Kinda Important

The old saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” I agree that this is good advice, but I think we should reword it to “don’t only judge a book by its cover.” The cover doesn’t tell the whole story, but it does say a lot. Publishers spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to create a cover that catches the eye of the reader. Yes, the cover can only do so much. Not even a perfect cover can save a terrible book, but I think it is okay to be influenced a little by the first thing you see. Just don’t let that be the only thing that influences you.

2. References Carry Weight

I haven’t done the math, but I would bet that more than 50% of the books that I read I learn about because they were recommended by other authors I follow. Either I hear about them on Twitter, or I read the endorsements on the back of the book. Knowing that someone I trust and respect feels strongly about a book makes a big difference. No wonder employers ask for references in a job interview.

3. Greatness Comes In All Shapes & Sizes

At the time I am writing this, the top 10 best selling books on Amazon include both Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan by Bill O’Reilly and First 100 Words by Roger Priddy. The former is a 6″ x 9″, 336 page book described as “An enthralling, gripping account of the bloody battles, huge decisions, and historic personalities.” The latter is 4″ x 6″, 26 pages and said to have a cover that is “softly padded for little hands to hold.” They are about as different as Dr. Seuss is from Dr. Frankenstein. Yet, they both sell a ton of copies. You can be different and still be great.

4. Sharing Is Caring

Non-fiction books share knowledge. Fantasy books share imagination. Children’s books share fun. And book readers share experiences. If you’ve ever read a great book, chances are you have told someone about it. Whether in books or other aspects of life, friendships have been strengthened and bonds have been tightened thanks to sharing.

5. Your Work Finishes Quickly But It Can Last Forever

Books are funny things. They can take many years to write, but just a few hours to read. However, the great ones stay with us long after we put down turn the last page.

Who Named The Colors Of A Rainbow?

How were you taught to remember the colors of a rainbow? Perhaps you learned the acronym Roy G. Biv. Or maybe you were told of one of the mnemonic devices – Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain, Read Out Your Good Book In Verse, or Rinse Out Your Granny’s Boots In Vinegar.

However you were taught, chance are you would not have to phone a friend when asked to name the seven colors of a rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo & violet.

Seeing a rainbow the other day, I started to wonder about these colors. The rainbow I saw must have been having a rough day, because it appeared to be lacking a few colors. It was less Roy G. Biv and more Rob V.

How often do we see a rainbow so perfect that we can easily recognize all seven colors? Who was the eagle-eyed scientist that was able to spot the difference between indigo and violet? Was he/she just making it up so that we would have a catchy acronym?

Let’s find out in today’s edition of Wonder Why Wednesday…

Who Named The Colors Of A Rainbow?

Answer: Sir Issac Newton.

That’s right, the 2nd most famous Newton (behind Fig, ahead of Cam) is credited with naming the colors of a rainbow. He spotted these colors after he placed triangular prism in the path of a beam of light and found that the white light was split into seven colors. This is known as the the process of dispersion.

Originally, Newton said that the light was divided into five main colors: red, yellow, green, blue and violet. Later he included orange and indigo. Many people believe he increased the number to seven because of his religious beliefs, the days of the week or the known objects in the Solar System.

Good News Tonight

America during World War II was not a pretty picture. Times were tough, the outlook was bleak and a grey cloud of uncertainty hung over the country. Picture The Walking Dead with less zombies and more polka dot dresses.

News was almost always negative…unless you were listening to a radio broadcast by Gabriel Heatter.

As uncommon as a celebrity marriage that doesn’t end in divorce, Heatter was a newsman known for his optimism. He began each broadcast with the following statement,

Good evening, everyone — there is good news tonight.”

He started this tradition after the U.S. Navy successfully sank a Japanese destroyer. The response was so positive that he kept the opening line alive every night, even when the only good news was of a dog doing something silly (I can only imagine what he would have done if he’d had the endless supply of funny cat videos on YouTube at his disposal). The country was looking for a reason to smile and Heatter took pride in being able provide that reason.

What’s most impressive is that Heatter wasn’t making up stories or ignoring bad news that need to be reported. He didn’t have exclusive access to a super-special good news network. He found a bright spot, even in the darkest of times, simply because he was looking for it.

Just by pointing out one good thing that happened that day, he became a breath of fresh air and booster of morale.

I would love to know what he would report today.

Many people are going to be upset with the results of tonight’s election. You may be one of them. But despite what happns, remember one thing. “There is good news tonight.”

You just have to look for it.