I seem to be unable to write anything news-worthy without a rant that includes a large number of four-letter words. And yet, today is National Let’s Laugh Day, so it hardly seems proper to start the day with my usual grousing fare. And so instead of an X-rated rant, I’ve decided to eschew the socio-political scene just for this post (don’t get used to it!), and go with a few things that might make you smile in this #$%@-ed up world of today.
Another good people …
Most of my readers on ‘the other side of the pond’ are likely familiar with the name Gary Neville. Neville, for the rest of us, is an English football coach and former football player. Now, remember that when the Brits refer to ‘football’, what they mean is what we call soccer, played with a round ball that is black & white, rather than a brown ovoid pigskin.
Anyway, back to Gary Neville … he also happens to be the co-owner of two hotels … hotels that he is closing during the coronavirus pandemic in order to give the rooms to health workers fighting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In addition, he has promised that the staff will retain their incomes, with no layoffs on the horizon and no one being asked to take unpaid leave.
Another of many good people who care more about humanity than their own profit. Thumbs up, Mr. Neville!
Tree of the Year!!!
This lonesome little pine tree …… believed by superstitious locals to act as sentinel over a flooded Czech village has been chosen as Europe’s tree of the year, beating stiff competition from a Croatian gingko tree, a Portuguese chestnut and an English oak.
The Guardian of the Flooded Village has grown for 350 years on a rocky height near the village of Chudobin, said locally to play host to a devil that sat under it at night, playing the violin and warding off intruders – though in reality the eerie sounds are more likely to have come from the strong winds blowing over the valley.
Supernatural powers attributed to trees ranked multiple times in this year’s competition: another guardian tree, from Romania, took fifth place and two witch trees – in the Netherlands and Ireland – also scored highly.
The UK’s entry, the Allerton Oak, came in seventh place. Growing in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park, the oak tree was where judges would meet to hold trials in medieval times, instead of a courthouse. A large crack in the tree is said to date from 1864 when a ship carrying gunpowder exploded on the Mersey – the explosion was heard 30 miles away and shattered thousands of windows.
Who knew there was even such a thing as a “Tree of the Year” contest? Rather a cool idea, though … honouring trees instead of chopping them down!
Watch da penguins!
Many entertainment centers and places of business around the globe have closed their doors (temporarily, we hope) in the past month. Our local Barnes & Noble sent out an email today saying they are, for the time being, still open, but that they have removed all the chairs. 🤷
One such business is the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. But, not to waste a rare opportunity, they allowed the penguins free run of the place …
And another aquarium, Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa, did the same …
And in honour of National Let’s Laugh Day, I give you a couple of quotes:
“Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.” — Elsa Maxwell
“We don’t laugh because we’re happy — we’re happy because we laugh.” — William James
Try it and let me know how it feels, okay?
Okay, friends, that’s as much ‘fun’ as I can handle for one day, so I will now return to being my usual snarky, curmudgeonly self. Until later …