Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Science Friday

Hello Friday!
I’ve always liked science.  Not the kind I had to take in school though.  I hated dissecting worms in Biology class, and Physics will never be something I fully grasp (though, if I’m honest, that might be because I spent all of those class periods screwing around in the back of the classroom with my buddies).
I remember taking field trips to OMSI with my grade school class.  We’d get a chance to play in the water shed exhibit and the earthquake house assuming it was all in the interest of fun.  We would stare up at the enormous animatronic dinosaurs (before they were sadly obsolete) while learning that they were really closer to birds than snakes or lizards and other gross slimy things.
On Wednesday, I went to see Body Worlds at OMSI After Dark with some friends.  I had never seen the exhibit and frankly, didn’t quite know what to expect.  While I was there, I was struck by the incredible strength and power of the human body.  Even the most delicate pieces, like our capillaries, and spinal column are so tiny but do so much. I am amazed how, even when our body hurts or when we are battling illness, our bodies respond and try to save us.
However, the best part for me was the fact that, in true Portland form, the whole place was FULL of grown-ups playing with science toys.  That water shed exhibit?  Still there.  And this time, it was surrounded by people my age and older learning about the water cycle.  The earthquake room?  Full of adults bracing themselves against the walls and laughing as “I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King played. 
Go to OMSI.  Go play for the sake of science and learning and playing.
Happy Friday!
Image from here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Popcorn Friday!

Yesterday was National Popcorn Day. 
I love popcorn. I love movies.  And movies and popcorn make my world go ‘round. 
When I was a kid I would camp out with my cousins in my grandparents’ rec room in front of the giant static-y big screen tv, and chow down on big buckets of popcorn split into 3 classic sections.  Grossly orange, salty cheese (gone first), caramel (gone second), plain (never finished, barely touched).
This usually involved bulky VHS tapes until we got interrupted by The Uncles so that they could watch the Bears play…or watch a tape of the Bears playing.  Or watch the news about the Bears playing.

In honor, please enjoy:

Image from here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy What I Learned about Friday the 13th

Hi Friday-ers,
Sometimes, I like to teach you guys, like, stuff.  You know, important stuff.  Like the things I learned this week about Friday the 13th:
1)     There’s an actual phobia, with a real name, for the fear of Friday the 13th.  Friggatriskaidekaphobia.  Yep, you read it here folks.  It might be named after a Norse goddess and/or the word for the fear of the number 13 (triskaidekaphobia), and/or Greek words for Friday, 13, and fear.  (Really, I don’t think it matters where the term comes from.  I think it’s amazing there even is a name for that phobia.)
2)     In some cultures, like many who speak Greek or Spanish, Tuesday the 13th is the day that is considered bad luck
3)     Here are my favorites. 
a.     The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimates that 17-21 million people are affected by some level of fear of Friday the 13th.  There is even an estimate that the US loses $800-900 million in business on the day.
b.    The Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics indicated that there are fewer accidents, fire, and theft on Friday the 13th because people are more careful, or more people simply stay home.
c.     BUT the British Medical Journal said (way back in 1993) that there are more traffic accidents on Friday the 13th than on other average weekdays.
Overall, I think all of these things are completely silly, but endlessly amusing.  If you suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia, my honest apologies if I am offending you.

Image from here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

UPDATE: How was my New Year's Eve?

Apparently, New Year's Eve is the busiest time of year at the happiest place on earth.  A fact that we did not know when booking our trip.  The park was at capacity every day we were there (read: 85-90 thousand people).  Those of you who know my little idiosyncrasies know that I’m not for close contact with people I don’t know, so this was a bit overwhelming.


Disney has brought back Captain EO, which was one of the major highlights of my trip.
Overall, it's one of the best things I've ever done, worth every penny, minute, and bump in the crowd. I definitely plan on going again (at any time of year other than early January). 

Be happy and safe this year!

*image from here.