Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Summary #15

Cats cause more allergies than do dogs, an male cats are more likely to cause allergies than female and some evidence suggests that dark colored fur causes more allergic reactions than light. Those who compiled these facts did not mention that light colored cats especially love to leave their fur on dark colored clothing, especially when the wearer is going to an important event.

It's true, as many of us hoped, that chocolate is good for us. Modest amounts can help lower blood pressure and Swedish women who eat chocolate one or two times a week have fewer heart attacks than those who never eat chocolate. However daily indulgence in large quantities has adverse effects, like obesity which may lead to diabetes and more heart attacks. Some of the best things in life should be rationed, not gorged on.

Who would think of a banana peel as "real estate"? A marketing expert, of course. People at Chiquita Banana consider the peels prime real estate for building their brand -- via those little stickers which have been designed to welcome you to the land of Delicious. Lately Chiquita has decided to redesign those stickers, which they announced on their website. Some 25,000 people supplied possible new versions -- all sticking to the familiar blue and yellow color scheme. Some 1355 were chosen as finalists and will be voted on. 18 winners will eventually appear on a banana near you -- perhaps as near as in the hand approaching your mouth.

The more complex our civilization grows the longer it takes our human offspring to be ready for adulthood. For most of history a child was treated like a smaller adult and at very early ages set to work as part of the family. In early industrial society [some parts of the world are still at this stage] children worked in factories from as young as 9 or 10. But then, in the US and elsewhere, a stage called adolescence was recognized when children grew rapidly and become unruly, about that time adulthood began to be defined as either 18 or 21 [depending on local laws]. Since then young people accepting adult responsibilities, like marriage, has changed too. In the '70s, the average age for marriage was women, 21, men, 23; by 2009 it was women 26, men 28. Now the whole 20-something period has become an extended pre-adulthood with many young people returning to their parents' nest after college.

Enough soft "science." A couple of political facts, civilians in Iraq are safer than those in Venezuela. Last year 4,644 civilians in Iraq died violently; in Venezuela the number was a staggering 16,047. Mexico may be trying to compete in numbers with Venezuela, but many of their dead are hidden in mass graves.

Finally, the worlds biggest traffic jam -- between Hohhut, a city in Inner Mongolia, and Beijing is about 60 miles long. For more than a week the traffic jam on that four to six lane road is so bad many people have been stuck for up to five days on a journey they could probably walk in five days. Some reports say it is easing, others say this kind of jam is going to go on for as much as five years while the government, a bit belatedly, builds rail lines to carry the coal mined in Hohhut, thus getting the many coal carrying trucks off the road. People who live along the route are taking advantage and selling apples, noodles and such for whatever exorbitant prices they can get. Nothing has been written as far as I've seen about the sanitary facilities, or lack thereof. Labor Day travelers in the US may have to deal with heavy traffic but before road rage sets in they might consider that 60 mile traffic jam and take a few grateful breaths.

3 comments:

Marie aka Grams said...

So interesting to read about Iraq vs Venezuela. Who knew?
Your commentaries on the tidbits is even more fascinating than the tidbits. Thanks for the weekly wrap.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- I'm glad I don't live in Venezuela, I'm glad I was an adult in my teens, I'm glad I don't have to worry about 60 mile traffic jams, and I'm glad I don't have a cat. You made my weekend with your updates. I do have a good life. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks both of you -- sometimes reading the papers and other news can be depressing, but then they give us reasons to rejoice at our life.