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INTERESTING STUFF – 2 February 2019

MORE THAN YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT GROUNDHOG DAY

Today is Groundhog Day on which Punxsutawney Phil predicts how much longer winter will last depending on whether he sees his shadow.

Here's a story about how this annual ritual came about – and it's not even very interesting, but there you are.

MAKING SNOW FROM BOILIING WATER

As anyone not hibernating knows, this past week gave the U.S. a record-breaking cold spell, a dangerous one that killed several people.

In no way ignoring that terrible outcome, there suddenly are dozens of videos online of people showing what happens when you throw boiling water into sub-zero air. Actually, it's beautiful. Take a look:

How does this happen - that water turns instantly to snow? And why does the air need to be super cold? Wired magazine explains for us:

”Actually, this is a great example of water in all three phases: solid, liquid, and gas. The boiling water starts off mostly in the liquid phase. However, since it's so hot, the water has enough energy to make the transition from liquid to gas.

“Hot water evaporates faster than cool water, which is why this trick works better with boiling water.”

There is a more detailed explanation at Wired.

HORSES FROLICKING IN THE SNOW

Take a look at this – footage of horses playing aorund in deep snow earlier this month in Austria. Who knew horses enjoy snow?

THE SMITHSONIAN COLLECTS THE WORLD

Here is a nice little video showing off a few items in the vast collections at the Smithsonian Institution.

ARE THESE THE WORLD'S SNEAKIEST ANIMALS?

The wild monkeys of Gibralter appear to have fleecing tourists down to a science.

MODERN CAVEMAN

The YouTube page tells us that

”...real-life caveman Angelo Mastropietro has made his hermit dream a reality - by spending over £160,000 turning a 700-year-old cave, carved into 250 million year old sandstone cliffs in the the Wyre Forest, into his dream home.

“The 38-year-old, originally from Worcestershire, was living a high-flying life as the head of a successful recruitment company in Australia when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007. The condition led to him being temporarily paralysed - and inspired him to seek a simpler life.”

I'm not so sure about “simple” but this cave home has all the modern conveniences and is amazing.

HOW DOES YOUR KITTEN GROW

You know how it goes: you bring home a tiny little kitten (or puppy), so fragile and so cute. Then the next thing you know, like human children, the animal if full grown and you can't remember when that happened.

Now we can see how that works right in front of our eyes.

”A photographer from Warren Photographic Ltd documented the growth of their silver tabby Maine Coon kitten named Freya over the course of 10 months.

“The photographer then distilled this footage into a brilliant 26 second time-lapse that shows Freya growing from a tiny newborn kitten to a gorgeous long haired cat.”

* * *

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.



Comments

Addy (age 4): It's Beaver Day!

Me (age 69): Groundhog Day...

Addy: Whatever...

Horses in the snow my favorite.........so powerful and playful. Horses in pasture as a thunder storm approaches race around madly, head and tail lifted high, and it's beautiful but worrisome because they are frightened. But the next day, when released from the barn, they are madly racing around again, but this time with playful joy and probably relief. Thanks for all the Saturday fun.

The video of Freya reminds me of my life - how did it speed by so fast?

I loved the video of the horses, but I do not share their love of snow. Right now I am giving thanks that I live in Arizona and not in the frozen North.

Darlene, me too, except I’m In California. I enjoy the pictures or videos, though!

I loved the monkey thieves, and the photographer's understanding of their barter system! I also loved the horses - I've seen video of dogs playing like this in the snow, but never horses.

LOVE the Maine Coon cat!

Re: Darlene's comment..."The video of Freya reminds me of my life - how did it speed by so fast?" It reminds me of a comment from a friend of our vintage.

"Aging is like bathroom tissue, don't you think? The closer one gets to the end of the roll, the FASTER it disappears."

With a brain that is holding 81 years of stored "stuff" everything and anything can remind me of something....it seems. So we may as well keep our sense of sense of humor whenever we can. It helps.

The video with the cat made my day. Thank you!

Still, I've often wondered why GROUNDHOG DAY is included on most printed claendars, where other more well-known holidays are not? Yes, I know GroundHog Day is not a holiday in the traditional sense, but still - it gets mentioned on calendars? Why?

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