Saturday Surprise — Saving Bees!

bees-toonI almost didn’t do a Saturday Surprise again this week, for as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been unable to corral my mind and it just wasn’t working.  But then, I was going through some notes I had of saved topics and realized I could do Saturday Surprise on a topic I’ve been wanting to do for a while, just never found time … BEES!  Don’t worry … I promise you won’t get stung!

Now, we all know that the bee population in the U.S. and globally has been declining for years.  Most of the reasons are attributable to humans … loss of habitat and bee-killing pesticides being two of the main causes.  And, all living creatures depend on bees for food … one-third of all our food depends on bee pollination, so those little guys are pretty important!

Since this is a Saturday Surprise post, one of the rules is ‘no politics’, so I won’t mention what some governments are doing to exacerbate the decline of the bee population, but instead will focus on some of the good things people are doing to try to save the bees!  Rather a hybrid of Saturday Surprise and Good People!


Let’s start with a trip to the Netherlands, the city of Utrecht, to be specific.  This city has transformed all 316 of its bus stops into bee sanctuaries.  The Netherlands is home to 358 different bee species but more than half of them are already endangered and have been placed on the Dutch Red List of threatened species.utrechtThese bee sanctuaries or rather ‘bee stops’ are essentially standard bus stops with grass and wildflowers planted on the roofs to encourage pollination. Not only do bee stops support the city’s biodiversity by attracting honey bees and bumblebees, they also help capture fine dust and store rainwater.

Bee stops are tended to by workers who drive around the city in electric vehicles. But the scheme requires little maintenance because the roofs are mainly composed of sedum plants, which are a favourite among pollinators and require very little water to survive. To improve facilities for the human visitors, the bus stops have also been fitted with energy-efficient LED lights and bamboo benches.utrecht-2This is just one of the many measures Utrecht has introduced to improve urban biodiversity. It also runs a similar scheme which allows residents to apply for funding to transform their own roofs into bee sanctuaries. And as part of its clean transport goals, the aim is to introduce 55 new electric buses by the end of the year and to have “completely clean public transport” by 2028. The electricity used to power these buses will come from one of the Netherland’s most iconic attractions: windmills.

Now THAT’S what I call an environmentally conscious city!  And one of the most bee-friendly I know of.


You all know actor Morgan Freeman from such movies as Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and others, but I bet you didn’t know that he owns a 124-acre ranch in Mississippi that he has turned into a bee sanctuary! morgan-freemanFreeman’s foray into beekeeping began in 2014, where he discussed his new hobby with Jimmy Fallon during The Tonight Show. Freeman had taken up beekeeping just a couple of weeks before appearing on the show and talked about his experience keeping bees and the need to preserve and save wild bees for healthy environments.

Freeman imported 26 bee hives from Arkansas to his ranch in Mississippi. There, Freeman works to feed the bees sugar and water and has help planting bee-friendly magnolia trees, lavender, clover, etc.

“There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet…We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation…”

bee-thumbs-upTwo thumbs up to Morgan Freeman … and a sincere ‘thank you’ from all of us who care about the future of life on this planet.


Ever hear of the National Pollinator Garden Network?   Neither had I until a few hours ago.  What is it?

The National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN) is a partnership between conservation organizations, gardening groups, volunteer civic associations and participating federal agencies to inspire people and organizations to create more pollinator habitats. The nine founding organizations launched NPGN in June 2015.

The focus of the NPGN is: to inspire individuals and community groups, institutions and the garden industry to create more pollinator habitat through sustainable gardening practices, habitat conservation and provide these groups the tools to be successful.

The organization launched an initiative called the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, in hopes of getting one million organizations and individuals to plant and maintain ‘pollinator gardens’, consisting of pollinator-friendly plants and wild grasses that are both native and non-invasive species. Well, they now have more than met their goal with 1,040,000 as of last February.

Since the campaign launched, many gardening centers have also contributed to the challenge by offering more pollinator-friendly plants, services, and education.

Increasing the number of pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes will help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across the country.

cute-beeBe sure to check out their website … if you have a garden and can take part, this is certainly a worthy venture to join!  We plant bee-friendly flowers in our tiny 2’ x 4’ postage-stamp ‘garden’ and have for years, but I haven’t got quite enough space to make much of a difference.


It’s encouraging to know that people are becoming more aware of just how crucial the bee population is to life … all life … on earth and are doing something about it, don’t you think?  And now, since I always try to end Saturday Surprise with a cute animal video, I thought this one would be appropriate today!

Have a bee-ootiful weekend, my friends!

Jolly Monday … Sans Jolly

Good Monday morning, friends!  I regret to inform you that Jolly has gone AWOL, so this might be a shorter than usual Jolly Monday.  I never realize how much I rely on his help until he’s not here!  I made a disaster in the kitchen trying to get the treats ready, the house is a mess, and I’m just not sure if I can go it alone this morning, but I shall give it my best shot.  Jolly, I’m pretty sure, has gone in search of two of our special friends who’ve been missing lately, and I hope he finds them …

Anyway, grab a snack, if you can find something salvageable in that mess, and let’s try to find some humour in this morning, shall we?

burnt breadburnt toast

spilt coffeebananas

Some days, it seems that nothing goes right … sigh.


Scratch the surface …

At first glance, this sounded like one heck of an opportunity!  Heck, I was about ready to pack up and move to London for this job!  The headline read …

British couple offering $40,000 for full-time dog-sitter

Nov. 25 (UPI) — A British couple are offering nearly $40,000 a year for a full-time dog-sitter to take care of their two golden retrievers.

The position, which requires work Monday through Friday and some weekends, pays $38,676-$41,254 a year, plus room and board.

golden-retreiversThe posting said the dog-sitters would also be called upon to perform some light housekeeping duties.  Note to readers:  red flags should go up with you hear “light housekeeping duties”.  A visit to the actual employment service site where the full ad was posted put it all in a bit of a different light.

job-adA six-storey townhouse … daily housekeeping to a “high standard” … laundry … cooking???  Who the heck has a six-storey townhouse???  I can barely climb the stairs in my two-storey townhouse!!!  Suddenly $40,000 doesn’t sound like nearly enough.  And what the heck is ‘dairy management’?  Guess I’ll cancel that trip to London, eh?


When in Rome … er, France …

If you move from the city to the country, then you should be prepared for a bit of adjustment.  You certainly don’t expect your neighbor, who has lived in the countryside for a long time, to change his lifestyle to accommodate your own.  But that was just what a couple who moved in next to retired farmer Dominique Douthe in the foothills of the Pyrenees, southwestern France, did.  In fact … they took her to court … or was it the ducks they took to court?

Farmer Douthe has some 60 ducks on her farm, and the people who moved in next to her, about 50 meters away, took umbrage at the quacking!  Ducks quack.  Dogs bark.  Cows moo.  Get over it … all of these are more pleasant sounds than those made by most humans!

The unnamed couple, seeking peace and quiet in the French countryside, took Farmer Douthe to court, saying the quacking of the ducks was making their lives miserable.  I’m confused … after the honking of car horns 24/7, the yammering of hoardes of humans, the stench of unwashed bodies, the sound of jets flying overhead … they are made miserable by the sound of ducks taking joy in life?

The court ruled that the sounds made by the ducks and geese are within acceptable limits, and the city folk wasted their money on lawyers to sue ducks!  Score one for common sense and justice.  Said Mme Douthe …

“The ducks have won. I’m very happy because I didn’t want to slaughter my ducks.”


I told you I’m not much good without Jolly’s help, so … how about a few ‘toons, memes, ‘n pictures to round out the morning?

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4toon-5toon-6toon-7

meme-1meme-2meme-3pic-1pic-2pic-3

Y’know … friends don’t always have to look or act just like us to be friends … I think these guys prove that point …

friendsfriends-2friends-3

I found this over on Phil’s Phun, advertised as the season’s best holiday ad, and while I’m not a fan of any ads, especially holiday ads, I have to admit this one stole my heart!

I apologize for Jolly’s absence, and for my ineptitude in being a “jolly sub”, but hopefully by next week Jolly will return and we can get back to normal.  Meanwhile, please remember to share a smile with someone who needs an extra.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa … and Jolly in absentia.

Short, Snarky Snippets

If you think that the fact that it’s Thanksgiving, the fact that I have a turkey to roast, stuffing to make, potatoes to cook, and all the other stuff is going to keep me from being a snarky you-know-what today, then you don’t know me well.  Last Thanksgiving, I managed my usual two posts plus a music post, and while I may or may not have a second post today, I at least have some short snarky snippets to share with you!  I consider it my civic duty … it’ll give you something to discuss over your turkey & gravy!


Who knew …

… That those of us whose humanitarian values have led us to be called “liberals”, as well as some other less savoury names, were trying to change the name of the holiday presently known as “Thanksgiving”?  Funny, but I hadn’t heard that one until this morning when I was reading that in Trump’s rally yesterday, he claimed …

“But now we’re going to have to do a little work on Thanksgiving. People have different ideas why it shouldn’t be called ‘Thanksgiving,’ but everybody in this room I know loves the name ‘Thanksgiving,’ and we’re not changing it.”

And the crowd cheered.

To the best of my knowledge, there has been no movement to change the name of Thanksgiving.  There were numerous humorous responses on Twitter, but one of the responses to his foolish remark was spot on:

“Well, many Natives, like myself, call it #nationaldayofmourning & as far as I’m concerned, if you don’t like it, grab a ship back home and shove some crumpets up your bum and let us repair this land.”

He also returned to one of his favourite themes, what he refers to as “the war on Christmas”.  He claims that he has now “made” everyone say “Merry Christmas”, rather than “Happy Holidays”.  Bullshit.  I typically go for the “Have a great holiday” line, though sometimes I may say “Merry Christmas”.  Thing is, see … not everyone celebrates Christmas as a religious holiday.  Many of us celebrate it as a secular holiday, a way to begin the long, dark winter season with light and festivity.  If you choose to celebrate it according to your religion, fine.  If you don’t, then that’s fine also.  Once again, Trump has overstepped his boundaries.


And about that rally …

Not surprisingly, Trump used much of his time at his aforementioned campaign rally in Sunrise, Florida, talking about his pending impeachment.  He cast the impeachment inquiry as a desperate effort by democrats to win back the White House in 2020. He went so far as to call the impeachment proceedings ‘bullshit,’ prompting a new audience chant containing the expletive. And he put those proceedings in the same category as the Mueller investigation, labeling all of it a ‘scam’ and a ‘hoax.’

“They’re attacking me because I’m exposing a rigged system that enriched itself at your expense and I’m restoring government of, by and for the people.”

Say WHAT???  I’m still speechless and have steam coming out of my ears over that blatant, bald-faced lie!

“The radical Democrats are trying to overturn the last election because they know that they cannot win the next election. It’s very simple.”

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr 👿


Tucker said WHAT???

tucker-carlsonTucker Carlson of Fox News fame is a grade-A jerk.  No surprise there, we’ve known that for years.  But, he may have crossed a line this time.

“Why do I care … what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? And I’m serious. Why do I care? Why shouldn’t I root for Russia, which I am?”

After the predictable backlash from those who remember that Russia is a domineering, bullying nation that is seeking to restore an ‘empire’ ala the Soviet Union, ol’ Tucker said, halfheartedly, that he was only joking.  Right, Tuck.


Spencer speaks …

Funny, isn’t it, that Trump who dodged the draft back during the Vietnam War, who has never served a single day in the military, is now micromanaging the military of which he knows absolutely nothing?  Ousted Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, has written an OpEd in response to his firing.  The thing he wrote that struck me as being 110% true is that Trump …

 “… Has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices.”

Can’t argue with that … Trump has no clue what the words “ethically” and “rules” mean.  Commander-in-Chief???  Hah!  The most unlikely of candidates for that job.


For the love of animals?  Doubtful

In December 2010, President Obama signed into law a bipartisan bill, H.R.5566 – Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, that banned videos that show animals being crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or subjected to other forms of torture.  On Monday, Trump signed into law another bill, H.R.724 – Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, that is essentially an expansion of the original.  This one makes such cruelty to animals a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Since the bill had bipartisan support in Congress, and since it is basically a no-brainer, there would have been absolutely no justification for Trump to not sign it, but some have found a morsel of redemption for Trump in the signing of this bill, saying, “See … he did something good!”  We are, it would seem, desperate for him to have one little redeeming quality.  But wait …

Do you see the irony here?  Trump’s two elder sons are both big game hunters who have killed numerous beautiful animals for sport.  No contest, they are guided by experts, they have big guns, the animal is in a preserve and has no guide, no gun.  Senseless slaughter, pure and simple.  Sorry, folks, but this bill does not apply to people who slaughter animals for food or to those who hunt, trap and fish.  Too little … far too little.


And now, I leave you to enjoy your Thanksgiving with friends and family.  Have a great one, my friends!

Good People Doing Good Things — A Helping Hand/Paw

Earlier this evening, my girls were watching the movie Elf … you know, the one with Ed Asner as the real Santa Clause, Bob Newhart as Papa Elf, and Will Ferrell in the title role.  I glanced up to catch a minute of it every so often … I’ve only seen it a few dozen times, after all.  When I glanced up toward the end, I was struck by a woman saying that Santa’s sleigh couldn’t fly for there wasn’t enough ‘Christmas spirit’ here on earth.  And then, as I began working on my ‘good people’ post, I found myself thinking about that.  I think these people I am writing about tonight have what I would define as ‘Yearlong spirit’.


Grandma goes postal!

Meet Laura Landerman-Garber, a grandmother and full-time clinical psychologist living in Hollis, New Hampshire.  Laura has a ‘spare time’ project.  It started on Thanksgiving Day, sixteen years ago, when Laura told her family that nobody was getting a bite to eat until they had each written cards to military members. She called it the “ticket to turkey.” With the threat of turkey on the line, of course, they all pitched in.

Through the years, the project gained momentum, with other families pitching in to help.  Five years ago, her daughter’s friend was deployed in the Navy to the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Landerman-Garber pledged she would send cards to all the soldiers on what she then called a “boat.”  Her project really expanded when she found that the USS Theodore Roosevelt was actually an aircraft carrier with more than 5,000 crew members!

Ms. Landerman-Garber has a ‘can-do’ attitude, and she wasn’t about to break this promise!  So, she began to call it a “challenge” and enlisted the help of churches, synagogues, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and even politicians! cards-1The project kept growing … and growing … and this year, Ms. Landerman-Garber will be sending out over 100,000 cards to military personnel in all branches of the service!  Heck, it taxes me to mail one or two cards!  Presidential candidates Mark Sanford, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have even contributed handwritten messages on cards!

“The thought of someone being away at a time when in our culture, in American culture particularly, the holidays are all about gathering together… for me, I wanted to be able to reach out and just maybe give a little bit of a bridge so that person who is far away feels a little tiny bit closer to home. I just love the idea that whether you’re a presidential candidate — and those people have a lot of experience in our country — or you’re a 3-year-old preschooler that you can send holiday cheer to someone that’s away from home and let them know you appreciate what they’re doing.”

It may be a small thing she does, but I bet that if you asked a service member stationed far from home, he or she would tell you that to them, it’s a pretty big thing.


Cleaning up after everyone else …

Afroz-ShahAfroz Shah is a lawyer in Mumbai.  In 2015, he moved to a community in Mumbai called Versova Beach. He had played there as a child and was upset to see how much it had changed. The sand was no longer visible because it was covered by a layer of garbage more than five feet thick — most of it plastic waste.

“The whole beach was like a carpet of plastic. It repulsed me.”

Mr. Shah is not, however, one of those people who shakes his head and soon forgets about it.  In October 2015, Shah began picking up trash from the beach every Sunday morning. At first, it was just him and a neighbor, and then he began recruiting others to join in. Word spread and with help from social media, more volunteers got involved.versova-beach-plastic.jpgThe unsightly mess Shah had stumbled upon is part of a global environmental crisis. More than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans each year — the equivalent of a garbage truck dumped every minute. It’s predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish!

Mr. Shah has dedicated every weekend for the past 209 weeks to cleaning up the beach.  He inspired as many as 200,000 volunteers to pitch in, and it took three years, but by October 2018, Versova Beach was once again beautiful!Versova-Beach-before-afterIt has been called the world’s biggest beach cleanup.  But, Mr. Shah didn’t stop there.  He turned his sights elsewhere and began spending every weekend cleaning another beach as well as a stretch of the Mithi River and other regions of India.

Mr. Shah has my appreciation, and I definitely think he is one heck of a ‘good people’!  And folks … we gotta do better on this plastic thing, alright?


A good guy named Guy …Guy-BryantHis name is Guy Bryant, but they call him … Mister B.  Who is Mr. B?  Well, he’s a good people, of course!  Mr. Bryant has worked for 32 years as a community coordinator at New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. His job focuses on a specific age group:  18-21 year old kids that have ‘aged out’ of foster care, yet are in no way prepared to face the world on their own.

“It’s a big population. There’s definitely a need for the services because what happens is when a youth gets 18 years old, a lot of times they feel like, ‘I can do this.’ Most of the kids, they can’t admit who they are. Their identity is lost somewhere between the home they’ve lived in and the other 10 foster homes they might have lived in.”

In 2007, one of the young men in Bryant’s caseload asked him a question: “Will you be my father? Will you take me?” After some thought, Bryant decided to take the chance.  It worked out well.  It worked out so well, in fact, that Bryant also decided to foster the young man’s friend, as well as the friend’s brother!  But wait …

Before Bryant knew it, he had nine young men in his home and rented the floor above his apartment to have additional space.  Bryant initially had some trepidation about being a foster parent, especially as a single dad.

“Some of my fears were this: People say, ‘Why is this man doing this?’ People always think you have ulterior motives, not understanding who I am.”

Bryant does more than just provide these young people with a roof over their heads … he gives of himself.  He gives the most important thing any adult can give to a young person … he spends time with them.  He talks to them, does things with them, he plans fishing expeditions a few times a year and sometimes cooks meals with the young men, developing bonds over time.

“The difficult thing about building trust is their past interactions with adults. If I can get you to engage in conversation with me about how you’re feeling and what’s going on, then that right there, my job is done. They constantly need to be reinforced that ‘I am here. I am going to do what I say.’ My kids will tell you whatever I say, I’m going to do for you. I always do it because I don’t want you to look at me like one of those adults who let you down.”

To date, Mr. Bryant has taken in more than 50 young men, and he says he isn’t finished yet …

“The Mr. Bryant approach is I love you regardless. You could become a brain surgeon or you could be a bathroom cleaner — it doesn’t matter. Once you come into my home and you’ve been with me and you’ve been here, you’re my kid for life. That’s my approach. You’ll always have a bed to come to, a shower to take — you’ll always be able to come home. This is home.”

MrB-and-kidsMrB-cooking-lessonsFolks … I love all of my ‘good people’, but this one brought a lump to my throat.  What an awesome man, don’t you think?

And last, but not least …


Who says good people have to be humans?

The Pet and Wildlife Rescue in Chatham Kent, Ontario, found a dog curled up on the side of the road.  When they investigated further, they found the dog was taking care of … four tiny baby kittens!dog-kittens-1

dog-kittens-2

Wait!  Didn’t they say ‘four’?  I’m counting five … or is it six???

The shelter plans to keep them together until they can locate owners or find them homes.


That’s all I’ve got time for tonight, my friends, but remember … let’s all try to be ‘good people’. You don’t have to take in 50 foster kids, or spend three years cleaning a beach … there are opportunities all around you.  Just do something nice for somebody, and you’ll see how great it feels to be a ‘good people’!

Jolly Monday Before Thanksgiving

Welcome to the Monday before Christmas Thanksgiving, my friends!  Today is partly a redux of a post I did in 2017 just ahead of Thanksgiving, with a few humorous additions!  Thanksgiving is 3 days away, and I have not prepared a menu, a shopping list … nothing.  I’m lacking motivation and inspiration this year, for reasons that are no doubt obvious to most of you.  Still, however, I tried to rally to the cause this morning, and with Jolly’s help have prepared you a mini-Thanksgiving snack array, so help yourself and then lets find a reason to smile, shall we?


turkeyNext week brings Thanksgiving here in the U.S. Most of us both in the U.S. and abroad know about the traditional Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, that “officially” kicks off the Christmas season, and the turkey/stuffing/mashed potatoes and all the rest, topped off by traditional pumpkin pie, followed by football and people falling asleep with their mouths open.  But I thought it would be fun to kick it up a bit … see some of the stranger parts of the holiday … and top it off with a bit of history.FRANKLIN, LINUS, SALLY, CHARLIE BROWN, PEPPERMINT PATTY, SNOOPY AND MARCIE


Food:

 

turkey-gravy-sodaTofurkey & Gravy Soda – If you’re a big soda drinker who loves Thanksgiving dinner, then your wildest dreams have come true. Jones Soda Co., which is famous for its limited-edition holiday concoctions, offers Tofurky & Gravy Soda this season. Based on the vegetarian Thanksgiving meal, the Tofurky flavor is vegan-friendly and sugar-free.

turkey-dinner-layer-cakeTurkey dinner layer cake – The ultimate one-stop Thanksgiving meal. What looks like a cake is actually alternating layers of stuffing and ground turkey mixed with instant oatmeal, “frosted” with mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, and topped with lightly browned mini marshmallows.

pumpkin-pie-fortune-cookiesPumpkin Pie Fortune Cookies – If you’re feeling lucky this Thanksgiving, try these pumpkin pie–flavored fortune cookies from Fancy Fortune Cookies. Made with real pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, the cookies come covered in dark, milk or white chocolate and contain one of five custom fortune cookie messages inside.

turkey-gravy-cranberry-cupcakeTurkey Gravy Cranberry Cupcake – Made by Los Angeles–based Yummy Cupcakes, the treat features a turkey-flavored cake that’s baked with savory turkey gravy, filled with cranberry relish and topped with cranberry cream cheese.

Lays-turkey-potato-chips.jpgLay’s Turkey Potato Chips – This savory chip is only available in China, and according to a contributor at Taquitos.net: “They really do taste like turkey with gravy…It’s like combining the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner, all in one bag.”

roasted-turkey-doritos.jpgRoasted Turkey Doritos – What’s better than roasted turkey? Roasted turkey-flavor Doritos. What’s better than roasted turkey-flavor Doritos? Roasted turkey–flavor Doritos in the shape of a Christmas tree, of course! Though these festive snacks aren’t available in the U.S., you can easily find them in Taiwan.

jelly-beansMashed Potatoes And Gravy Jelly Beans – Part of the unusual Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s Jelly Beans Bag, the Mashed Potatoes and Gravy beans are just two unusual flavors in a mix that includes everything from ketchup to sausage.


Facts:

Thomas JeffersonPresident Thomas Jefferson thought making Thanksgiving a National Holiday was “a ridiculous proposition.” – Thomas Jefferson was not a fan of Thanksgiving. Despite being first proclaimed by George Washington in 1789, Jefferson believed a national day of thanksgiving was not consistent with the principle of separation of church and state and refused to recognize the holiday in any of the eight years in which he was president of the United States.

ben franklinThe Turkey was Ben Franklin’s vote for the national bird. – After the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, it next tasked Benjamin Franklin—along with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson—with designing a seal to represent the new country. Given the opportunity to choose a national symbol, the Founding Father never suggested a turkey.

beerThe night before Thanksgiving is the single biggest day for bar sales in the U.S. – Four reasons:  1) Nearly all Americans have Thanksgiving off; 2) No one wants to entertain the night before hosting a big Thanksgiving meal; 3) Everyone is home for the holidays and wants to see old friends; 4) Thanksgiving dinner is a perfect hangover cure.


The first-ever Macy’s Day Parade actually took place on Christmas of 1924.

Macys 1926 paradeMacy’s employees dressed as clowns, cowboys, and other fun costumes, and traveled with Central Park zoo animals and creative floats a lengthy six miles from Herald Square to Harlem in Manhattan.

The parade was meant to draw attention to the Macy’s store in NYC, and the gimmick worked – more than 250,000 people attended the inaugural Macy’s Day Parade. It was decided that this NYC parade would become an annual NY event in Manhattan.

In 1927, Felix the Cat became the first giant balloon to ever take part in the Macy’s Day Parade. In 1928, Felix was inflated with helium, and without a plan to deflate this massive balloon, NYC parade organizers simply let Felix fly off into the sky. Unfortunately, he popped soon thereafter.

float-felix

The Macy’s Day Parade continued to let the balloons fly off in subsequent years, only these balloons would have a return address written on them, and whoever found the balloon could return the balloon for a prize from Macy’s. However, the results of this experiment weren’t exactly successful.


Then there’s the time a lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but couldn’t find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, “Do these turkeys get any bigger?” The stock boy replied, “No ma’am, they’re dead.”


The Turkey Popped Out of the Oven

The Turkey popped out of the oven
and rocketed in to the air;
It knocked every plate off the table
and partly demolished a chair.
It ricocheted into a corner
and burst with a deafening boom,
Then splattered all over the kitchen,
completely obscuring the room.
It stuck to the walls and the windows,
it totally coated the floor,
There was turkey attached to the ceiling,
where there had never been turkey before..
It blanketed every appliance,
it smeared every saucer and bowl;
There wasn’t a way I could stop it;
that turkey was out of control.
I scraped and I scraped with displeasure
and thought with chagrin as I mopped,
That I would never again stuff a turkey
with popcorn that hadn’t been popped.

Written by Jack Prelutsky


And, we cannot have Jolly Monday without a ‘toon or two, can we?

thanksgiving-toon-1thanksgiving-toon-2thanksgiving-toon-3thanksgiving-toon-4thanksgiving-toon-5thanksgiving-toon-6thanksgiving-toon-7


I even found a video of cute animals enjoying their own Thanksgiving feast!


And with that, I must be off, for Thursday is Thanksgiving, in case you didn’t know, and we will be sharing ours with our friends & neighbors, Maha, Ali, and their three boys.  So … this ol’ Filosofa needs to get to the grocery and buy ingredients, plan a menu, and try to find some inspiration somewhere.  I hope you all have a wonderful week, and please, remember to share your gorgeous smiles with others!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa!thanksgiving-maxine

Jolly Monday … Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Good Monday morning, my friends!  Come in, shed those coats for it’s nice and toasty in here.  Jolly and I have had the oven on all morning, baking up some special goodies for our friends, so it’s almost hot in here.  How was your weekend?  Mine was just a bit hectic, but no complaints.  My only complaint is that I need to find a way to slow down time by about 50%!  Here Thanksgiving is just over a week away, and Christmas only about 4 weeks after that!  I do have a few … well two … Christmas gifts bought, but … I cannot even take credit for those, as Miss Goose found them and picked them out for the boys … all I did was provide the money.  Anyway, if any of you know where the knob is to dial back the speed of time a bit, would you please let me know?

I hope you brought your appetite along, for we really have been baking all morning. I apologize in advance, though, for I got a late start, and Jolly Monday may be just a bit shorter today than some other weeks.  But, as long as it starts your week off with a smile, then that’s the important thing, yes?

And, for you bacon-lovers …


A most undesirable job …

A friend sent me this the other day …

‘Hallmark Dream Job’ offers $1,000 to watch 24 Christmas movies

“We’re looking for a lover of all things Christmas, G-Rated romcoms, and too-close-to-home family dramas to watch 24 Hallmark Christmas movies in 12 days.  We want you to have opinions-lots of them! Think the grumpy Grandpa turned jolly Santa was a little overdone? Felt like the plot was a bit half-baked? Be as honest as possible in your review.”

Applicants have to send a short video explaining why they would be perfect for the job.  The winner will receive $1,000, a streaming service subscription and a “movie watching kit” including cookies, cocoa, a mini Christmas tree and some Hallmark merchandise.

Sorry, folks, but there would have to be a much bigger prize at the end of the day than $1,000 to get me to sit through 24 sappy Hallmark Christmas movies … I’m thinking I might consider it for a half-million dollars … might.


World’s most polite firefighters

Parts of Australia, just like California, have been suffering dreadful wildfires this autumn.  Paul Sekfy’s home in New South Wales, Australia, came into the line of the fires last week, but luckily firefighters were on the scene.  They fought valiantly, and while they were unable to save his outbuildings, they did manage to save the main house.

When Mr. Sekfy was able to return to his house, he found a note from the firefighters …milk-noteThe firefighters, exhausted, hungry and thirsty after hours without food or water, had helped themselves to the milk in Mr. Sekfy’s fridge.  It seems they also ate some peanut butter and cheese, but Mr. Sekfy doesn’t mind one bit …

“They don’t have to pay back the milk, I’ll just sort them a couple of cases of beer.”


And it’s only 10,000 calories!

I can only eat about ½ of a burger (hamburger/beef burger) at a time anyway, especially if it’s accompanied by a few fries (chips), so I’m probably not the best judge, but it seems to me this is an awful lot of burger …Bangkok-burgerNo, it wasn’t done as some promotion, nor was it done for a Guinness record … this is actually on the menu at a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand.  Chris Steaks and Burgers is offering a 10,000 baht ($330) prize for anyone who can finish the mammoth snack in nine minutes.  So far, three people have actually succeeded.

The burger consists of a 13-pound patty (beef or pork), covered in fried onion rings, bacon and mayonnaise.  The cost for the beef burger is 2,500 baht ($82.75) and the pork one 3,500 baht ($115.86).  Any takers on that challenge?


I found a few ‘toons ‘n funny pics for your Monday morning viewing pleasure …pic-3pic-4pic-5pic-6pic-7pic-8pic-9toon-1toon-2

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And one especially for you, Hugh …

Maxine


And, I cannot forget the cute animal video … this week’s is critters playing in the snow!


jollyAnd that, my friends, is all we’ve got time for today!  You guys need to go earn a living, and I need to go earn my keep here by doing laundry and cleaning the house, plus Miss Goose is insisting that I get out some Christmas decorations today.  Sadly, they are all buried somewhere in the mess of my closet.  If you don’t see any further posts from me for a few days, you can assume I never made it out of the closet.  Keep safe and have a wonderful week, my friends.  And, as always, please … share a smile and maybe even a hug with someone who might really need one today.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

Jolly Monday Wishes A Happy Birthday To Sesame Street!!!

Welcome to another episode of Jolly Monday on this cold Monday morn.  This is a special day in many ways, but one of those ways is that it is Remembrance Day (Canada and the Commonwealth countries) and Veteran’s Day (in the U.S.), a day to remember and honour those who died while in military service.  I’ll have more about that in a later post today, but I just wanted to mention it here.  Well, toss your coats over there, and grab a nice hot drink and a snack off the table, for I have a couple of cool things to bring smiles to those blue lips this morning!

fruit              autumn-cookiescroissants

Sorry guys, no bacon today!  I forgot to buy any, and I used the last of it last week!


🎈 Happy Birthday Sesame Street!!! 🎈

The anniversary was actually yesterday, November 10th, but since yesterday was Sunday, there was no appropriate venue for me to celebrate, so we are celebrating this event one day late.  Do you know what the event is?  I’ll give you a hint … 1969.  Still don’t know?  Okay, how about this … Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Elmo, Bert & Ernie … NOW you got it?  That’s right, folks, it was fifty years ago yesterday that Sesame Street made its television debut!

The show was the brainchild of Joan Ganz Cooney, a former documentary producer for public television. Cooney’s goal was to create programming for preschoolers that was both entertaining and educational. She also wanted to use TV as a way to help underprivileged 3- to 5- year-olds prepare for kindergarten. “Sesame Street” was set in a fictional New York neighborhood and included ethnically diverse characters and positive social messages.  There was Linda, the librarian who taught sign language, and Tarah who taught us about wheelchairs …

Sesame Street taught ABCs and 123s, but also much more … it taught our children about diversity and acceptance, taught them how to deal with tough situations and emotions.  And most important of all, it made learning completely painless and even fun!

They had a foster child character, an HIV-positive character, and once Elmo even testified before Congress! Elmo-CongressWhen Will Lee who played the shopkeeper Mr. Hooper, died unexpectedly of a heart attack, Sesame Street tackled the concept of death …

Well, okay, now I’ve gone and made you cry on Jolly Monday.  But, say ‘Hi’ to the gang over at Sesame Street, wish them a Happy 50th Birthday, and then I promise to make you laugh!Sesame-Street


Big Foot has been STOLEN!

Police in Florida are seeking information on the disappearance of an unusual piece of property — a 300-pound Bigfoot statue.Bigfoot-missing.pngThe Boynton Beach Police Department said the 8-foot-tall Sasquatch statue was stolen from in front of a store called Mattress Monsterz in October.

“Bigfoot is missing,” the department tweeted.


But if you think that’s bad …

In Marysville, Ohio (I used to work at the Honda plant in Marysville!) thieves made off with a roller coaster!!!kiddie-coaster-2The Union County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a white, Dodge Ram with a flatbed that was spotted by a traffic camera taking the roller coaster.coaster-thievesThe roller coaster, which is worth about $50,000, has alligator-themed cars that measure 20 feet in length.

Who the heck steals a roller coaster???  What are they thinking they can do with it … give it to their kids for Christmas?  Set it up in the back yard?  Sheesh.


Campus parking fines payable by … WHAT???

This one caught my eye, and while I expected to find humour, and I did, I also found something kind of nice.  I never had to pay parking fines during my undergrad years, but when I went to grad school, I racked up quite a few.  They were all written off thanks to a couple of kindly profs, but still …

This happened at University of Alaska in Anchorage.  Students can pay outstanding parking fines with donations of peanut butter and jelly for fellow students facing hunger.

“Any nut butter-almond, cashew, peanut butter- or any flavor jam, jelly, marmalade, preserves, etc. will be accepted. All donations must be commercially produced (no home canning), unopened and not expired.”

The jars will be distributed through the UAA Emergency Food Cache at the UAA Student Health and Counseling Center.  Two jars can erase $10 worth of fines, while five jars eliminates $60.

I think that’s really nice, don’t you?


Time for a few ‘toons, don’t you think?toon-1

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And a few cute or funny picturespic-1

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I’m sorry guys … I just couldn’t resist!  You know I don’t mean it, right?  Right?  Guys???

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And that wraps up another …

jolly{pssssst … Gwammie … did ya forget about the aminamal video?}

Oh … Jolly just reminded me … how could I possibly end Jolly Monday without a cute animal video???


jollyOkay, folks, this is really it for this morning, for some of you have jobs (you know, the kind where they pay you to go there and do work?), and others of us have … um … jobs that pay only in the currency of personal satisfaction!  Please, remember to share those lovely smiles with others you see today … speak kindly, for you don’t know what people are dealing with.  Have a great week, dear friends!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

How Have We Lasted This Long?

Remember not long ago, I told you that Popeye’s had come out with a chicken sandwich that was said to be the equal of Chick-Fil-A’s?  I was happy to hear this, for I refuse to set foot in a Chick-Fil-A restaurant because of their overt bigotry, but I did like their chicken sandwiches long ago.  Well, before the girls and I got around to trying Popeye’s new sandwich, it was announced that they were sold out and would have more in the near future, so I rather forgot about it.  Apparently, though, the Popeye’s sandwich is … um … I don’t even know what word to use … controversial?  Worth risking life and limb for?  Just in the past week …

On Monday, the headlines read “Man Is Fatally Stabbed Over Popeyes Chicken Sandwich”, and on Wednesday it was “Driver Damages Own Car Trying To Jump Popeye’s Drive-Thru Line”Popeye-1.jpgThis post is not about those two events specifically, and I won’t waste my time or yours going into detail.  But rather, this post is about the thought that occurred to me upon seeing these two stories:  I wonder how the human species has managed to survive this long?

Ever since humans evolved from their simian cousins, it seems that they have been trying to kill one another, sometimes with cause, but more often for no good reason.  The more laws we make in our effort to establish a ‘civil society’, the more violent we become.  The more we enhance our education systems, the more ignorant we become.  The more we claim to care about others, the less we seem to care.

Part of the problem, of course, is that we don’t know when to stop reproducing.  The population on earth today is roughly 7.7 billion people, which is more than double the number of people on earth in 1972, just 47 years ago.  The amount of land on the planet, however, remains roughly the same, although with rising sea levels it is on the downturn.  The land on the planet is roughly 196.9 million square miles, which translates to .03 square miles per person.  But, of course, some of that is taken up by forests that are critical for the survival of life on earth.  The bottom line is that we cannot continue to double the population on the planet every 50 years and survive!  Maybe China’s ‘one-child’ rule wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

But, there is more to the problem than overpopulation.  I think that technology has a role in the way people treat each other these days, as well.  Mind you, I’m not putting down man-made technology in general … there have been many amazing inventions, as evidenced by the fact that I am sitting in my comfy chair, and within minutes I have discovered the amount of land and the number of people on planet earth without moving more than my fingertips. Then with a few more clicks of the fingertips, I was able to make the calculations I needed.  Now, I am writing words, again with my fingertips, and in a couple of short hours, people across the globe will be reading my words.  Back in 1972, nobody would have believed it possible.

However, in some ways I think that technology has made our lives too easy.  If the Internet died tomorrow, how many high school kids would know how to go to the library and look up the information I just found at my fingertips?  I’m betting very few.  And, technology has put distance between us – not physical distance, but we are emotionally disconnected from others as we text messages on our cell phones, play video games, watch movies, or troll the ‘net.  We have become emotionally isolated, and when we do have the occasion to interact with others, we have little tolerance.

We are easily frustrated by the actions of others.  Going back to the chicken sandwich example … a man was rude and cut in line in front of another, and the other was so frustrated that he pulled out his knife and stabbed the rude man to death.  Is this what we call ‘civilization’?  All species will kill if they feel their lives or the lives of their pack are threatened, but humans are the only species I know that will kill a person because of the colour of his skin, or where his ancestors came from, or because he was in a hurry to buy a sandwich.

At the same time as we are losing more and more of our humanity, we are also failing miserably to take care of the Earth on which our lives, in fact the lives of every living thing, depend.  The human species seems, as it becomes less tolerant toward one another, to either have a death wish or to believe that they are invincible – I’m not sure which it is.

There are those that will say “Well, species come and go, it’s the natural progression of life”.  Not true.  This extinction will be near-total, and it differs from the extinction of other species in the past because this one was completely, entirely avoidable.  Our fate was in our hands all along, yet we chose to take the path of least resistance, the path that gave us the greatest pleasure, but at the highest cost. It is the arrogance of mankind that has led us to the brink of extinction, and as I ponder it, the only real surprise is that humans have survived this long.

Saturday Surprise — Wildlife and … Crocodile Hunter Junior!

Good Saturday morn, and welcome to the …weekendI have two fun things planned for today.  First, this may come as a big surprise to you, but Filosofa is a big lover of critters!  Shocked, aren’t you?

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the largest wildlife photography competition in the world. It is an annual international wildlife photography competition owned by the Natural History Museum.  The first competition was held in 1964, with three categories and around 600 entries. By 2008, the competition had grown to over 32,000 entries from 3100 photographers in 82 countries!

There are far too many for me to post here, so I have picked only a few of my favourites this year, but your can see more of the winners at Bored Panda, if you’re interested.

This first one is the #1 winner, titled “The Moment”, and taken by Yongqing Bao of China. 

"The Moment" By Yongqing Bao, China, Behaviour: Mammals, Grand Title Winner

This Himalayan marmot was not long out of hibernation when it was surprised by a mother Tibetan fox with three hungry cubs to feed. With lightning-fast reactions, Yongqing captured the attack – the power of the predator baring her teeth, the terror of her prey, the intensity of life and death written on their faces.

“Bee Line” by Frank Deschandol of France

"Bee Line" By Frank Deschandol, France, Behaviour: Invertebrates, Highly Commended 2019

Bees buzzed in the long grass around the lake as evening fell. To Frank’s delight, they were settling down in little rows along the stems. These were solitary bees, probably males, gathering for the night in suitable resting places, while the females occupied nests they had built nearby.

“Land Of The Eagle” By Audun Rikardsen of Norway

"Land Of The Eagle" By Audun Rikardsen, Norway, Behaviour: Birds, Winner 2019

Audun carefully positioned this tree branch, hoping it would make a perfect lookout for a golden eagle. He set up a camera trap and occasionally left road-kill carrion nearby. Very gradually, over the next three years, this eagle started to use the branch to survey its coastal realm. Audun captured its power as it came in to land, talons outstretched.

“Lucky Break” By Jason Bantle of Canada

"Lucky Break" By Jason Bantle, Canada, Urban Wildlife, Highly Commended 2019

A raccoon poked her head out of an abandoned car and paused to assess her surroundings, allowing Jason just enough time to use a long exposure in the twilight. The back seat was an ideal den for the raccoon and her five cubs as the only entrance – through a blunt-edged hole in the glass – was large enough for her but too small for predators such as coyotes.

“Portrait Of A Mother” By Ingo Arndt, of Germany

"Portrait Of A Mother" By Ingo Arndt, Germany, Animal Portraits, Highly Commended 2019

When you are eye to eye with a wild puma,’ says Ingo, ‘excitement is guaranteed.’ Tracking these elusive cats on foot meant lugging heavy gear long distances, often in freezing temperatures and unrelenting winds. Mutual respect gradually earned him the trust of a female and her cubs, allowing him to capture this intimate family portrait.

“Cool Drink” By Diana Rebman of the U.S.

"Cool Drink" By Diana Rebman, USA, Behaviour: Birds, Highly Commended 2019

Despite the bitterly cold temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius, Diana spent hours mesmerised by what she described as the ‘well-choreographed dance’ of a group of long-tailed tits taking turns to peck at an icicle. With the fast movement of the birds and her fingers feeling like blocks of ice, capturing their behaviour was no easy task.

“If Penguins Could Fly” By Eduardo Del Álamo of Spain

"If Penguins Could Fly" By Eduardo Del Álamo, Spain, Behaviour: Mammals, Highly Commended 2019

A gentoo penguin flees for its life as a leopard seal bursts out of the water. Eduardo was expecting it. He had noticed the penguin resting on a fragment of broken ice and watched the seal swim back and forth. ‘Moments later, the seal flew out of the water, mouth open,’ he says.

“The Huddle” By Stefan Christmann of Germany

"The Huddle" By Stefan Christmann, Germany, Wildlife Photographer Portfolio Award, Winner 2019

More than 5,000 male emperor penguins huddle on the sea ice, backs to the wind, heads down, sharing body heat. ‘It was a calm day,’ says Stefan, ‘but when I took off my gloves to focus the lens, the cold felt like needles piercing my fingertips.’ Antarctic winters are fierce, with temperatures below minus 40 degrees Celsius.

“Big Cat And Dog Spat” By Peter Haygarth of the United Kingdom

"Big Cat And Dog Spat" By Peter Haygarth, UK, Behaviour: Mammals, Highly Commended 2019

In a rare encounter, a lone male cheetah is set upon by a pack of African wild dogs. At first the dogs were wary, but as the rest of their 12-strong pack arrived their confidence grew. They began to encircle and probe the big cat, chirping with excitement. It was all over a few minutes later, when the cheetah fled.

“Night Glow” By Cruz Erdmann of New Zealand (in the age 11-14 category)

"Night Glow" By Cruz Erdmann, New Zealand, 11-14 Years Old, Grand Title Winner

Cruz was on a night dive with his dad when he saw a pair of bigfin reef squid in the shallow water. One swam off but Cruz quickly adjusted his camera and strobe settings, knowing that the opportunity was too good to miss. He shot four frames of the remaining squid before it too disappeared into the inky blackness.

“Face Of Deception” By Ripan Biswas of India

"Face Of Deception" By Ripan Biswas, India, Animal Portraits, Winner 2019

Ripan was photographing a red weaver ant colony when he spotted this slightly strange individual. It may have the face of an ant but its eight legs give it away – on closer inspection Ripan discovered that it was an ant-mimicking crab spider. By reverse mounting his lens, Ripan converted it to a macro capable of taking extreme close-ups.

Some pretty awesome shots there, don’t you think?


And my second surprise … you all remember Steve Irwin, aka the Crocodile Hunter?  He hosted a television series that aired on Animal Planet, becoming the network’s highest-rated series at the time (1997-2004). 

Steve tragically died in Batt Reef, Australia, in 2006 when a stingray’s barb pierced his heart.  But, his children, Bindi and Robert, are both lovers of wildlife and conservationists. steve-irwin-kidsBindi is an Australian television personality and conservationist. When she was 9, she hosted Bindi the Jungle Girl, a children’s wildlife documentary TV series.  Son Robert is an Australian television personality and wildlife photographer. He hosts Robert’s Real Life Adventures, a program on his family’s zoo’s internal TV network. He co-hosted the Discovery Kids Channel TV series Wild But True and co-created the book series Robert Irwin: Dinosaur Hunter, and currently stars on the Animal Planet series Crikey! It’s the Irwins with his mother, Terri, and sister, Bindi.

In February 2017, young Robert, then age 13, made his late-night television debut when he appeared on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.  This clip will warm your heart, make you say “Awwwwww”, and make you laugh, all at once.  Who could ask for anything more?  And my youngest reader, Benjamin, will enjoy this, for one of his Hallowe’en costumes was the Crocodile Hunter!

And that’s all I’ve got for this morning, my friends!  Go forth and have a wonderful weekend!  Enjoy every minute … remember, Monday is lurking right ‘round the corner!

weekend

J-J-Jolly M-M-Monday

Good morning, friends!  Once again it is that day of the week, the dreaded … Monday.  But, at least you gained an hour over the weekend, so you should all be happy and rested, yes?  Then why the glum looks on your faces?  Looks like Jolly and I have our work cut out for us this morning, turning those scowls into smiles before you leave here.  Well … grab a snack from the table, and let’s see what we can find!


World’s oldest ‘Happy Meal’?

It has probably been 15 years since I have eaten a McDonald’s hamburger.  Never my favourite fast food, when Miss Goose was little, she liked McDonald’s, so like any grandparent worth their salt, I took her there about once a week after picking her up from the sitters after work.  But those days are long in the past.

monday-mcdonalsdsMcDonald’s closed its last restaurant in Iceland in 2009, the year after the financial crisis devastated the nation’s economy, and one of the last meals sold at the location in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, was bought on Oct. 31, 2009, by marketing consultant Hjörtur Smárason.  He had read about online rumors of never-rotting McDonald’s burgers and wanted to put the myth to the test. He bought a cheeseburger with fries, drove home and left the box on a shelf in his garage.

Three years went by, in which Smárason forgot about the souvenir of a bygone era. He had other problems to worry about.  The financial crisis had hit him hard.

“I lost all my savings. My clients were going bankrupt. I was trying to hang on to my house.”

Three years on, as he was preparing to move to Copenhagen, he came across the McDonald’s meal in his garage.  When he opened the box, he was shocked — but not for the reason he expected. Contrary to the rotten remnants he was prepared for, he found what appeared to be a fully intact meal.McDonalds-burgerLast week marked the burger’s 10th birthday, and it still looks as fresh as it did the day Mr. Smárason purchased it!  For a while, it resided in Iceland’s National Museum, but it is now on display at a small hotel, the Snotra House in Þykkvibær, South Iceland.  AND … there is a livestream video of the burger and fries if anybody feels inclined to watch it!

McDonald’s apparently felt this was not the best publicity for their product and has attempted to debunk the myth that its burgers do not decompose, arguing there is a scientific explanation for Iceland’s never-rotting burger …

“Without sufficient moisture — either in the food itself or the environment — bacteria and mold may not grow and therefore, decomposition is unlikely.”

Think about this next time you consider taking the kids to Mickey D’s!


Astronauts like cookies too …ISS-1At any given time, there are between three to ten people on the International Space Station (ISS).  The three ‘permanent’ crew members rotate periodically, generally every six months, though some have stayed as long as a year.  No doubt, spending six months confined in small quarters with two other people, can be trying.  Think about it … no walks in the park, trips to the mall, dinners in restaurants, no family.  Most of us wouldn’t last six days, let alone six months.  And then, add to that, the fact that there are no chocolate chip cookies!!!  This is trauma beyond belief!

But never fear, for help is on the way to the brave crew of the ISS!  An oven has been launched to the International Space Station (ISS) for astronauts to bake chocolate chip cookies in.  A cargo craft containing the specially-designed “space oven” and baking ingredients took off from the US state of Virginia on Saturday.

cookiesNever let it be said that NASA doesn’t have a heart!

Actually, this is all part of an experiment to test what impact high heat and zero gravity have on the shape and consistency of the cookies.  The experiment is being dubbed the first instance of baking in space.  Hilton’s DoubleTree hotel chain, which provided the dough, said the “landmark microgravity experiment” was aimed at making long-duration space travel “more hospitable”.


Hedgehog cakes???

I have mentioned a few times that I have no artistic talent.  Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. And that extends to cake decorating.  I can make an awesome tasting cake, but it will not look like a work of art.  Recently, for some reason unbeknownst to me, people attempted to bake cakes resembling a hedgehog.

hedgehogShouldn’t be a big deal, right?  Well, the results … I didn’t know whether to shake my head and roll my eyes, or laugh out loud!  Take a look for yourself …

Funny hedgehog cake fail.

Funny hedgehog cake fail.

Funny hedgehog cake fail.

Funny hedgehog cake fail.

Funny hedgehog cake fail.

Funny hedgehog cake fail.

Funny hedgehog cake fail.

Some of those were downright creepy looking!!!  At least I don’t feel quite so bad about my own lack of decorating talent now!


For Larry, rawgod, and Emily …

I came across these, and couldn’t help thinking about my bacon-loving friends …

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We need a few ‘toons, don’t we?

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And a few fun pics …

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And last, but not least … a cute animal video!!!


jollyWell, folks, that’s all I’ve got … you’re looking a little happier than when you first got here.  Keep those smiles in place today, but share them, okay?  A smile is one of the few things in life that actually grows the more you give it away!  Have a safe and wonderful week, dear friends!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!