THE NEFF ZONE -- BY JIM NEFF
CADILLAC NEWS -- JUNE 19, 2021
Have you noticed the world seems to be a little out of kilter? Politics aside, things are going on that seem to be a tad off, sort of like having a dizzy spell. It's like the road out of the pandemic still needs some pothole repair.
I mean, how can we find our way out of quarantine if we can't even spell it correctly? “An analysis of Google Trends data identified the most commonly misspelled words in each state -- with 'quarantine' topping the list in twelve states. The analysis found the most common misspelling of 'quarantine' was 'corn teen.'"
In Michigan, “Coronavirus” was the most misspelled word. At least we picked a tough word. A bunch of states bungled “which” and “every.” See a map of each state's most misspelled word at: https://www.attexperts.com/news/each-states-most-commonly-googled-misspelled-word.
Mother nature is also getting into the act. Earthworms are going bonkers. “What's rapidly reproducing in the Northeast (are called) 'crazy worms,' and they're a threat to maple syrup lovers.” These wigglers can jump out of your hand and launch themselves into the air. “If a bird grabs one, the worm can split in half, and the live part can slither away while the tail keeps thrashing about.” They are voracious eaters and can suck the nutrients out of the soil. “Maple trees are particularly vulnerable because they tend to have shallow roots. In Vermont, this could lead to “...a lot less regeneration of sugar maple trees.” Your pancakes may be in danger! (https://www.npr.org/2021/06/13/1005608878/crazy-worms-threaten-americas-trees-and-gasp-our-maple-syrup)
If there is any good news related to this it's that Quebec has plenty of syrup in reserve. In fact: “The most expensive commodity on your breakfast table is probably the maple syrup. Ounce for ounce, maple syrup is worth more than oil. It's worth so much that the Canadian province of Quebec has its own strategic reserve of the stuff like a Fort Knox for maple syrup spread out over three separate sites.” Quebec has seventy percent of the entire world's supply.” (https://www.npr.org/2019/04/17/714413348/how-quebecs-maple-syrup-stockpile-can-impact-an-entire-global-industry and https://ppaq.ca/en/sale-purchase-maple-syrup/worlds-only-reserve-maple-syrup/)
Well, if we ever do run out of maple syrup, you can just pour some plastic on your French toast. “Scientists at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have figured out a way to convert old plastic into vanilla flavoring that can be eaten. The first experiment—in which they converted a degraded water bottle into vanillin—proved the principle.” (https://www.newser.com/story/307408/heres-the-tastiest-suggestion-yet-on-plastic-waste.html)
All this is fine and dandy, but when it comes to being off-kilter humans lead the parade. For instance, a Chinese woman has set a Guinness World Record when her longest eyelash was measured at eight inches long. “Doctors are unsure of why her eyelashes grow to be so long.” She notes, “None of my family have long eyelashes like me, so it can't be explained." Wow, she may be the only woman on earth who can crack a whip by just batting her eyes. See at: https://www.arcamax.com/entertainment/weirdnews/s-2527771.
Long eyelashes not weird enough for you? How about the guy who didn't let anything stand in the way of his getting married? “According to the Times of India, it happened during a wedding taking place at the bride's house. As the wedding rituals were underway, she collapsed. The woman was rushed to the hospital but unfortunately was pronounced dead on arrival. However, instead of reeling from what just happened and mourning his wife-to-be, the groom asked the bride's parents if her sister could take her place and marry him. They said yes and the wedding went on with a new bride. No word on where the newlyweds will be honeymooning.” (https://www.iheart.com/content/2021-06-03-bride-dies-during-wedding-so-groom-marries-her-sister-instead/)
That groom turned a bad day into a good one, I guess, but sometimes a bad day can affect an entire town. What would be your reaction if Cadillac sold it's iconic water tower? This happened to a town in Florida.
“A small town in Florida accidentally sold its water tower in a blundered real estate transaction. A businessman purchased a municipal building underneath the city of Brooksville's water tower last April for $55,000 with the goal of converting it into a gym. However, when he went to the county to get an address for his new business location, he was told the parcel he bought included the entire water tower site.”
Fortunately, the buyer was a nice guy and returned his accidental purchase to the town. Would you be so magnanimous or would you be tempted to replace the city's name on the tower with your own name? Next time you look at the Cadillac tower, just for fun, imagine your name up there. (https://www.newser.com/story/307373/town-sells-its-water-tower-by-accident.html)
Finally, perhaps taking some time to recognize some “good oddities” would be appropriate. BuzzFeed has a list of “33 Things That Americans Do Better Than 95 Percent Of The World.” The list is at: https://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/things-americans-do-good.
The list is full of surprises. Apparently, we are unmatched when it comes to salads, clothes dryers, ice water and seasonal flavors. The item that surprised me the most was window screens. The comment reads: “Not sure why all of Europe decided to ignore the invention of the window screen, but at least my new wasp roomies don't attack me too often.”
Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.