All sorts of sundry things to write about

Posted 6/28/23

It is a challenge to write a column every week, sometimes my brain is so full of mush that narrowing it down and finding one thing to write about is difficult.

There was an article that blows …

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All sorts of sundry things to write about

Posted

It is a challenge to write a column every week, sometimes my brain is so full of mush that narrowing it down and finding one thing to write about is difficult.

There was an article that blows the lid off of recycling, claiming that it is the plastics industry behind recycling in order to get more plastic to recycle, and that 99% of the plastic gets plopped in landfills anyway.  Reportedly the biggest villains are the large bottles of laundry detergent.  The article concluded with an ad for detergent sheets, similar to dryer sheets, that did not require much packaging. Hmmmm...

Another item I read about: the term "sideburns" was actually coined from Ambrose Burnside, a former governor of Rhode Island, (who had, of course, sideburns.) They were initially called burnsides in his honor, but the word was switched around to what we call sideburns today.

The first traffic law in the United States was created when authorities banned galloping horses on the streets in Newport. Newport was also the first place a speeding ticket was issued. In 1904, Judge Darius Baker handed down the first jail sentence ever for speeding in an automobile. The speeder was doing 15 miles per hour.

Rhode Island has the distinction of having the first ever penny arcade at Spring Lake, where the games are still pennies, nickels and dimes.  The Lions Club summer camp with which I have worked spends a day at Spring Lake every summer because of its clean beach, ice cream, and history making arcade.

 Rhode Island is home to the largest bug which can be seen on the roof of New England Pest Control, almost 1,000 times the size of a an actual termite.  This large bug has a warm spot in my heart.  When my son, Francis, (legally blind) was in kindergarten, a guest speaker from the pest control company came and talked to his class about termites, and this freighted him a great deal.  He had difficulty sleeping at night, and would wake up with night terrors.  When I tried to get to the bottom of what was bothering him, he relayed back to the guest speaker who told the kids that there were termites in their homes.  "Don't let THAT worry you.  Termites are only tiny and they would not bother you," to which he bolted upright in bed and said "Tiny? They are HUGE!" It seems that the only termite he had been able to see was the Big Blue Bug, and he thought all termites were that large.  35 years later we still laugh about it.

In 1939, Maine passed a law making it illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder, thus the development of New England Clam Chowder made with milk.  Maine also makes the most toothpicks in the world, with the largest manufacturing plant. Chewing gum was invented in 1848 when a gentleman from Bangor cooked up a batch of spruce chewing gum on his stove. The world's only Umbrella Museum boasts umbrellas from more than 30 countries, including one made from bullet-proof Kevlar. Maine also has the distinction of having the only Sardine Museum.

Massachusetts boasts the invention of Fig Newton cookies which were not named after Sir Isaac Newton, but the Boston suburb of Newton.  Agawam was the first city to be assigned a zip code, 01001. Massachusetts zip codes begin with 01, Rhode Island's begins with 02, New Hampshire's is 03, Connecticut's is 04,  Vermont's is 05 and Connecticut is 06. Zip codes stood for Zone Improvement Plan to make delivering mail easier, and the acronym was thought to inspire people to think the mail just zips along more quickly with this system.

I apologize for my column this week.  I just could not think of anything to write about...

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  • puffinbutt2

    Hi Linda

    We use those detergent sheets and they are great ! The clothes come out clean and smell fresh. The best part is that we don't have to lug those big jugs anymore! Give them a try.

    Amy

    PS. We use Fresh Breeze

    Monday, July 3, 2023 Report this