A Paper Clip…

is one of those inventions that I never really considered who invented it. (or cared, really)

I considered this for the first time while watching the documentary Paper Clips (naturally) which is not about the invention of the paper clip, but is about students in a rural town in Tennessee learning about the Holocaust. It is worth watching and you can learn more about here.

In that documentary, they mentioned the paper clip was invented in Norway.

However, if you google that information, you will find varying reports on the who, where & when it was actually invented.

Some accounts claim that the first patent was given to John Vaaler, a Norwegian inventor, in Germany in 1899. (As there were no patent laws in Norway at this time) In 1901, John Vaaler received an American Patent.

However, the Early Office Museum begs to differ…

Sigh, will we ever know the truth?

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Talk About a Love Nest…

Take the time to watch this video, it will be worth it. Promise.

The Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis inornata), also known as the Vogelkop Gardener Bowerbird, is a medium-sized, bowerbird of the mountains of the Vogelkop Peninsula at Western New Guinea, Indonesia.

The bower is a cone-shaped hut-like structure some 100 cm high and 160 cm in diameter, with an entrance usually propped up by two column-like sticks. A front “lawn” of some square meters area is cleaned of debris and laid out with moss. On this, and in the entrance of the bower, decorations such as colorful flowers or fruit, shining beetle elytra, dead leaves and other conspicuous objects are collected and artistically arranged.

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By Jove, I think I’ve got it!

Did you ever wonder where the phrase “By Jove” originated from?

Well, I will tell you anyway…

Let’s start with the definition of Jove:

Jove |jōv|
another name for Jupiter

& a simple definition lead to a simple origin:

by jove is an exclamation of surprise. Jove is a euphemism for Jupiter, the Roman King of Gods. The Greeks call him Zeus. The expression seems first to have appeared in the 1500’s (Cassells). Putting it into a simpler way, it is like saying My God, By God, (in this case, by Jupiter.)

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I suppose people in Boston are as familiar with this story as Detroit is with the 69 riots, but I have to say it again – HOLY MOLASSES!

Aftermath of the Disaster

The Boston Molasses Disaster, also known as the Great Molasses Flood and the Great Boston Molasses Tragedy, occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts in the United States. A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph (56 km/h), killing 21 and injuring 150. The event has entered local folklore, and residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses.

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Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann was a tax collector & also ran the Apolda dog pound in Germany in the 1800’s.  As it may be easy to imagine, collecting taxes door to door may warrant need for some protection.

Given his access to many breeds at the pound,  he aimed to create a breed that would be ideal for protecting him during his collections.

So what do you get when you cross a

German Pinscher,  Beauceron,  Rottweiler, Thuringian Sylvan Dog,  Greyhound, Great Dane, Weimaraner, German Shorthaired Pointer,  Manchester Terrier and Old German Shepherd Dog?

A Doberman Pinscher, of course!

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Kiwis Come Out at Night

I am not talking about the fruit

I was aware of the chicken-sized flightless bird of New Zealand, but only recently learned that it was nocturnal. (Thanks once again to David Attenborough)

Here are more fun facts about this small flightless bird:

  • The kiwi lays the biggest egg in proportion to its size of any bird in the world
  • They are unique among other birds in that they have a functioning pair of ovaries
  • Because their nostrils are located at the end of their long beaks, Kiwi can locate insects and worms underground without actually seeing or feeling them, due to their keen sense of smell

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Snow Squall

En route from Chicago to Detroit, I have driven through many, many squalls.

However, I didn’t know the official term for it until my friend Heather told me over drinks.

squall—1. A strong wind characterized by a sudden onset, a duration of the order of minutes, and then a rather sudden decrease in speed.

in U.S. observational practice, a squall is reported only if a wind speed of 16 knots or higher is sustained for at least two minutes (thereby distinguishing it from a gust). See line squall, white squall, williwaw. 2. In nautical use, a severe local storm considered as a whole, that is, winds and cloud mass and (if any) precipitation, thunder and lightning.

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Spawn of David Bowie


The director of the recent movie MOON is Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie.

How was Duncan’s directorial debut? It was a lovely homage to the genre of science fiction movies. I will leave it at that.

And no, there were no David Bowie songs in the movie.

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Hot Dog! (06/12)

have you ever seen one of these?

Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees

I had not, but I met one named Mookie (I think I had an ewok with the same name).

Here is some info on the breed:

The Great Pyrenees, also known as Pyrenean Mountain Dog, is a very old breed, and has been used for millennia by the shepherds which includes Basque people, who inhabit parts of the region in and around the Pyrenees Mountains of southern France and northern Spain. More recently, the breed served as the official dog of the royal French court (whose prominence began circa the Middle Ages, and lasted until the middle of the nineteenth century). During World War II the dogs were used to haul artillery over the Pyrenean Mountain range to and from Spain and France. They are related to several other large white European livestock guardian dogs (LGD), including the Italian Maremma Sheepdog, Kuvasz (Hungary), Akbash Dog (Turkey) and Polish Tatra or Polski Owczarek Podhalański.


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Caddyshack (06/11)

Mary Queen of Scots, first known female golfer, (Gentleman Only, Ladies Forbidden – my ass! ) – is believed to have brought the term ‘caddy’ into the golf lexicon around 1552.

In France, where Mary grew up, military cadets carried golf clubs for royalty, and it is possible that Mary brought the custom to Scotland, where the term evolved into the word “caddy.


Here caddy, caddy...

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