Welcome once again to “No-Politics Monday”. I have decided to make this a weekly tradition, as the one I did last Monday seemed to make a few people happy, and as I said last week, Mondays are hard enough already. So every Monday I will abstain from my usual socio-political commentary and attempt to find more light-hearted, upbeat topics. Mondays only, though!
Saturday night the time changed here in the U.S. Clocks went forward by an hour … yes, a whole 60 minutes … whether we wanted them to or not. I awakened yesterday morning with a headache, so I have decided that I will not participate in daylight savings time all at once, but shall accept the time change in increments of ten minutes per day for six days, starting today (Monday). Therefore, dinner will be served at 7:50 p.m. tonight, 7:40 p.m. on Tuesday, and so on until finally on Saturday we will be back to eating at 7:00. Apologies to my family for rumbly tummies or other inconveniences, but I simply cannot lose the entire hour at once.
I came across a few bits of interesting trivia this morning:
- That lovely red condiment, ketchup, that which makes most any food palatable, is banned in primary school cafeterias in France. Not for any health reasons, but rather because “We have to ensure that children become familiar with French recipes so that they can hand them down to the following generation,” implying that ketchup is in some way ruining French cuisine,” according to the chairman of the National Association of Directors of Collective Restaurants. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/8806553/The-French-have-some-sauce-to-ban-tomato-ketchup.html
- I bet there are a lot of parents in the U.S., especially in the month of December, who wish we could adopt this Swedish law: television advertisements that are specifically directed at children under the age of 12 have been banned in Sweden since 1991. At the time, research showed that children could not clearly differentiate between advertising and regular programming until this age. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0529-05.htm
- Last month I told you my feelings about Valentine’s Day, so imagine my goofy grin when I found out the Valentine’s Day is, in fact, banned in Saudi Arabia! But not for the reason you might think … it is banned because, although it no longer has a religious connotation, it began as a Christian holiday, and Saudi Arabia is an Islamic nation. Saudi Arabia actually bans Valentine’s Day and actively prevents celebration by raiding and confiscating any floral arrangements, chocolates, or gifts for sale in mid-February that may be seen as symbols of love. http://worldnews.about.com/od/saudiarabia/qt/vdaysaudis.htm
- Do you chew gum? I don’t, have not since before I was a teenager with braces many years ago, but if you do chew gum, you may want to avoid Singapore on your next trip to Asia. Chewing gum has been banned there since 1992 in an effort to make the country more sanitary and progressive, as the habit was seen as old-fashioned and disgusting. I can’t say that I disagree with them, especially the way some people chew gum! http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32090420
- Want to name your child “Bailey”, or “Lee”, or some other name that could be suitable for either a boy or a girl? Not in Germany! In Germany a person’s first name must clearly indicate their gender. This means that babies cannot be named unisex names (i.e. Sam, Alex), names for the opposite gender (i.e. naming a girl Robert), or last names (i.e. Anderson, Emerson). If you want to challenge one of these rules you must go through a lengthy and expensive appeals process wherein a government office will evaluate your chosen name and it’s suitability. Other countries also have laws regulating what you may name your baby … be sure to check out the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/24/banned-baby-names_n_5134075.html
Just a few days ago, I updated my October 2014 piece about driverless cars, then yesterday I came across this snippet and just couldn’t resist passing it along:
Spend enough time behind the wheel, and chances are you’re going to see some pretty wild things — if you work for Google, at least.
One time, an onlooker was so excited to see one of the company’s self-driving cars pass by that he ran out onto the street completely naked and leaped onto the vehicle.
Another time, the car had to slow down because there were as many as three other cars driving the wrong way up the street toward it.
There was the time a group of people hopped across the street in front of a Google car, interrupting its route with a real-life game of Frogger.
And then there was the mysterious case of a woman in an electric wheelchair chasing a duck in circles in the middle of the street.
So, that wraps up my non-political Monday. I leave you with this from Calvin & Hobbes, arguably the best cartoon strip ever written: