Friday, November 8, 2013

Say It Ain't So!

                I don’t know how you felt when they announced that Pluto was no longer a planet, but I felt as if my world had been turned upside down.  More accurately, my Solar System.  You do not do this to someone who spent hours in the third grade, making a mobile of little papier mache planets, and then watching them above her bed, turning in the moonlight.

                Facts have nothing to do with it.  It’s change that’s the problem.  So if you struggle with change, as I do, stop reading now.  If you feel daring and confident, proceed.  But remember, you were warned.  The following are five things you thought were so, but are not:
                German Chocolate Cake isn’t German.  150 years ago a chocolatier named Sam German came up with a baking bar called "BAKER'S German's Sweet Chocolate."   A hundred years later, when a woman in Texas sent a recipe using German’s  Sweet Chocolate to a Dallas newspaper, it went viral (well, as viral as a thing could be in 1957), and other newspapers printed it without the apostrophe and the s.  Hence, German Chocolate Cake.

                Platinum is actually very dull.  Yep, this pricey, shiny metal is dull as dirt in its natural state.  Its rarity makes it valuable.  And then you buff it up, of course.   But unlike gold and several other metals, this one does not sparkle in the least.

                Despite what you heard in The Lion King, stars—including our sun—are not burning balls of gas.  They’re plasma, not gas, and it’s fusion, not fire.  This is not the plasma you find in blood; it’s a fourth state of matter and fusion makes it glow.  I know, I know—I can hear you gasping through my computer monitor.

                Tin cans are not made of tin.  They are made of aluminum.  Tin is too rare and expensive these days, so it’s usually combined with other metals to make an alloy, and while it’s still used to preserve food, it is not on your supermarket shelf with a Del Monte label attached.  Oh, and this one’s a double: Goats do not eat tin cans.  Nor clothing, nor tires.  Goats are, in fact, picky eaters and may chew on something inedible, out of curiosity, but they won’t actually eat it.

                 Play Doh doesn’t just happen to smell that way from the ingredients which were used to make it.  Nope, they added that scent artificially and on purpose.  And they weren’t even trying to create a toy; they were trying to make wallpaper cleaner.  St. Bob, always eager to chime in, says he doesn’t think Plato got to vote on it, either.  The nerve.

                Play Doh, Pluto, Plasma—it’s all too confusing for someone who still misses the retired Crayola colors of orange red, maize, and teal blue.  And Twinkies were nearly extinct—remember dodging that bullet?  

Whew.  Just as long as there are Twinkies, I think I can cope with the rest.
Get your Christmas shopping done early!  Check out my 3 newest books and you’ll find something for everyone—a funny chick lit one, an adventure/romance, and a literary novel.  Kindle OR hard copies. And don’t forget one hot off the presses—Wishes for the LDS Child, available here.

1 comment:

  1. You ARE a fount of interesting trivia, Joni. And you got up at 7:00 a.m. to post it? You go, girl!

    By the way, I have a goat anecdote to share. When I was in college I lived for a semester or so in a ranch bungalow in Toquerville, Utah, 40-some miles south of Cedar City. My roommate's parents owned it and said we could live there rent free. So I spent some time in a small, rural town that wasn't really even a town; some houses and ranches and a tiny post office.

    Our neighbor down the (dirt) road owned some goats, and one early spring afternoon they wandered up to our place. The neighbor's kids came up to retrieve them, and I went out to help. While we stood chatting for a minute, one of the goats helped himself to a hunk of our picket fence; just reached out, bit off a piece of weathered, gray wood and began to chew. Now you tell me he wasn't really eating it, just curious. Okay. But I assure you, I never saw him spit it out!