MY FRIEND THE GARLIC GURU
My friend, Tony Sarmiento, grows his own garlic in his backyard and is considered a guru of garlic. Recently, reporter Adrian Higgins of the Washington Post took notice:
”Tony Sarmiento, who gardens in the Woodside neighborhood of Silver Spring, is a guy versed in the theory and practice of garlic cultivation.
“From simple raised beds between the neighboring garage and his own vine-clad garden shed, he cultivates approximately 120 bulbs a year, setting the cloves in loamy soil in simple grids a hand span apart.”
Here's Tony in his garden, photographed by Higgins.
If you're interested in growing your own garlic, the Post story has some useful information.
PEANUT BUTTER AND MAYO – I AM VINDICATED
I grew up eating peanut butter sandwiches with mayonnaise. Whatever else might be included – banana, cucumber, jelly, etc. - there was peanut butter on one slice of bread and mayo on the other.
To this day, that is the only way I enjoy peanut butter sandwiches but when it has come up in conversation that I use mayonnaise, people recoil. Not only are they disgusted, they've never heard of it. Now I learn from Atlas Obscura:
”During the Great Depression, people valued high-calorie combinations of protein and fat. Meat and dairy were costly, and consuming enough energy could prove challenging. Enter peanut butter and mayonnaise on white bread.
“The combination became a staple in Southern households in the United States and, in some regions, it was as ubiquitous as peanut butter and jelly.
“For the next 30 years or so, the PB&M was a favorite in many American kitchens, perhaps because adding mayonnaise to the era’s rustic, coarse nut butter may have been key for spreadability. Newspapers from the 1940s in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Troy, New York, both advised adding mayonnaise to 'moisten' or 'thin' peanut butter before adding bacon or shredded American cheese.”
So you see? I'm vindicated at last. You can read more here.
MONARCH BUTTERFLY ANNUAL MIGRATION
The largest insect migration in the world ends each year in Michoacán, Mexico. Millions of monarch butterflies travel from the United States and Canada to pass the cold months in the towering trees of this beautiful forest. On their incredible journey, the butterflies travel around 2,800 miles.
Take a look:
CANNON BEACH'S BUNNY PROBLEM
According to the Oregon Public Broadcasting website, the coastal town of Cannon Beach is overrun with bunny rabbits. It seems that many years ago, someone released pet bunnies into the town and nature took its course.
”Pets don’t usually do well in the wild. They can’t easily find food and aren’t well prepared for predators. But for some reason, these rabbits survived to do what their species does best: Reproduce, again and again and again.”
And now Cannon Beach is split between those who love their fluffy neighbors and those who want them gone. As one resident, Melodie Chenevert, explains, she and her husband
”'...took to buying 10 pound bags of organic carrots at Costco. We’d cut them up,' she said. 'And every morning Gary would put the flag up and pretty soon there were 10 or 12 bunnies sitting in the driveway staring at him.'”
That image is taken from the banner of the Facebook page Mrs. Chenevert started for the bunnies.
You can read more about the controversy here.
THE BECKHAM CREEK CAVE HOUSE
Take a look at this huge and astonishing cave house in the Ozarks near Parthenon, Arkansas. (The most fabulous shot is at the every end.)
The Cave House was for sale earlier this year. Another source says rooms can be rented overnight, hotel-style. There is more information and some additional photos at Travel and Liesure magazine.
OR, HOW ABOUT LIVING IN AN ORIGAMI APARTMENT?
A company called Orisystems (derived from origami, the art of paper folding) has designed a one-room apartment that hides several other rooms – more or less.
Here is the company's sales video:
As the sales copy explains:
”Guided by the principal that interior space, particularly in high-density urban innovation centers around the world, has become too expensive to be static and unresponsive, Ori’s breakthrough innovation, technology and design create dynamic environments that act and feel as though they are substantially larger.”
What do you think?
THE ACHOO AFFECT
Have you ever heard of the “Achoo Affect”? I never had. Here's how it's explained:
”Have you ever stepped out on a sunny day only to be struck by a bout of sneezes? If yes, you likely suffer from a rare genetic condition that has been baffling scientists for millennia. Photic sneeze reflex — also known as autosomal compelling helio-ophthalmic outburst, or ACHOO—affects 10% of the world’s population.
“Scientists from Aristotle to Francis Bacon have had their own conjectures about the syndrome, but modern science has proved all these theories wrong. As scientists today continue to try to solve the ACHOO effect, the answer might not be as simple as you think.”
Here is more about it:
WHO INVENTED THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR AND WHY?
It had never occurred to me to ask and now I discover that the reason it was invented isn't what I - or you, probably - would think.
THE HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN
Halloween is nearly upon us and you undoubtedly already know that the holiday goes back centuries. I sort of recalled that but I was fuzzy on details. National Geographic got me back up to speed.
Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.
You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog.