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What Young Things Don’t Know…

picture of yodeling

Some of the most bizarre stuff comes my way from people who read my blog. I'm not sure what exactly to think of that sometimes, but it definitely keeps life interesting. I recently learned about a website where you can learn to yodel [1]. That may be just the thing some of you were looking for and didn't know existed! I have not explored the site much at all, but let me know if you find it helpful....

One of my father-in-law's favorite songs was Cattle Call by Eddy Arnold. It contained some great yodeling. Here's a little sound clip of Cattle Call [2].

picture of Americana

Each year when I'm gearing up for a new school year, I visit the beloit.edu site to see what the frame of reference of this year's freshmen [3] will be.

From Beloit's long list, here are some of my favorite bits of information about this year's freshmen:

States and Velcro parents have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets.

The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.

There have nearly always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships.

American tax forms have always been available in Spanish.

Amazon has never been just a river in South America.

O.J. Simpson has always been looking for the killers of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Life has always been like a box of chocolates.

Unlike their older siblings, they spent bedtime on their backs until they learned to roll over.

Music has always been available via free downloads.

While they’ve been playing outside, their parents have always worried about nasty new bugs borne by birds and mosquitoes.

They've always wanted to be like Shaq or Kobe: Michael Who?

They've often broken up with their significant others via texting, Facebook, or MySpace.

When they were 3, their parents may have battled other parents in toy stores to buy them a Tickle Me Elmo while they lasted.


The older I get, the older I feel as I realize how little of what is part of "my world" is even known to my students. And I never know when I'm going to mention something that I think any American would know about, and they don't!

Here's something that even my oldest readers might not know about in great detail. The English language has some wonderful names for various groups of animals. We're most familiar with such words as herd, flock, pack, colony, troop, and swarm. But there are many lesser known terms, such as a gaggle of geese, a bevy of quail, an army of ants, a pride of lions, a murder of crows (as well as their cousins the ravens and the magpies), a puddle of platypus, a cote of doves, and a parliament of owls.

Now consider a group of baboons. Baboons are loud, dangerous, obnoxious, viciously aggressive, and among the least intelligent of all primates. And what is the proper name for a group of baboons? Believe it or not, it is a congress!

That may explain a lot of things!

You might find this page on Wikipedia [4] an interesting source of information about animals, including many more names of groups of animals, as well as the names for a male, female, and their young of various species. Amazing stuff!


I'll end this post with a story about a young worker and a surprising tidbit he learned about animals.

A young man was a slow worker and found it difficult to hold down a job. After a visit to the town employment office, it was suggested he apply at the local zoo. The man stopped by the zoo and was directed to the office of the zookeeper. Despite the man's reputation, the keeper decided to take a chance on him anyway and thought he might have the perfect job for him.

"You're hired," he said to the young man after interviewing him. "You can start tomorrow."

When the man arrived for his first day, the keeper showed him where he would be working. "You'll be taking care of the tortoises," he told his new employee.

"All right!" the young man said.

Later that day the keeper dropped by to see how the young man was doing and found him standing by an empty enclosure with the gate open. "Where are the tortoises?" he asked.

"I can't believe it," said the new employee. "I just opened the door and whooosh, they were gone!"


Did you learn anything new from this post? Do you have any tidbits to add? I look forward to your comments.

a few personal updates...

The school year is off to a good start, and classes are going well with some really good students in them. Becka is loving being at home and keeping our grandson Ryan week days. Here's a recent picture of our happy little guy.

picture of Ryan


"Sometimes our 'gift of gab' overrides our sense of responsibility to God." — Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

A friend posted a funny "best quote of the day" on her Facebook wall this week: "I'm just one stomach virus away from my ideal weight."