Rain Silverhawk News Letter
Inside This Issue
· Give It A Second Thought
· July Quiz Question
· Gone Fishing
· Perfectly Peelable Hard Boiled Eggs
· Get Back Up
· The Nautical Origins Of Garage Sales
· Refreshing Kitchen Updates
· Workplace Satisfaction
· Sound Waves Fight Water Waves
· Assume The Opposite
· Innovations We Couldn’t Live Without
Give It a Second Thought!
An American Indian tells about a brave who found an eagle’s egg and put it into the nest of a prairie chicken. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All its life, the changeling eagle, thinking it was a prairie chicken, did what the prairie chickens did. It scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. It clucked and cackled. And it flew in a brief thrashing of wings and flurry of feathers no more than a few feet off the ground. After all, that’s how prairie chickens were supposed to fly.
Years passed. And the changeling eagle grew very old. One day, it saw a magnificent bird far above in the cloudless sky. Hanging with graceful majesty on the powerful wind currents, it soared with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.
“What a beautiful bird!” said the changeling eagle to its neighbor. “What is it?”
“That’s an eagle – the chief of the birds,” the neighbor clucked. “But don’t give it a second thought. You could never be like him.”
So the changeling eagle never gave it a second thought and it died thinking it was a prairie chicken.
The Moral- Don’t limit who you are or what you can be just because someone tells you to.
A millionaire walked past an old man sitting on the curb outside a bar. The old man had a fishing rod, and he seemed to be trying to catch fish in the storm drain.
Taking pity, the millionaire took the old man to a nearby restaurant for a meal. As they ate, the rich man asked, “So how is fishing in that storm drain working out for you?”
“Not bad,” said the old man. “You’re the third one I’ve caught today.”
Perfectly Peelable Hard Boiled Eggs
Getting ready for summer picnics, you may be thinking of egg salad or just hard boiled eggs on the side. Here’s how to get perfect eggs that peel easily.
- Start with boiling water. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, lower the eggs gently and boil vigorously for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to a gently simmer over low heat, cover with a lid and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Shock in cold water and gently shake. Immediately pour off the hot water, leaving the eggs in the pot. Gently shake it back and forth to lightly crack the shells. Immediately add cold water and a few ice cubes and let sit until cool enough to handle; it will take about five minutes to serve warm or 15 minutes to serve cold. The idea here is that cracking while warm and then cooling rapidly allows the cold water to shrink the whites just enough to separate them from the shells a bit.
Two additional peeling tricks:
- Use a spoon. Crack the eggs at the fat end and peel a tiny bit with your fingers. Slip a spoon under the shell so that the curve of the spoon follows the curve of the egg. Rotate the egg and move the spoon to release the shell.
- If peeling a larger batch of eggs for egg salad or such, place the eggs in a plastic storage container. Add some cold water, put the lid on tightly, and then gently shake until the shells break and fall away.
Get Back Up
Bringing a giraffe into the world is a tall order. A baby giraffe falls 10 feet from its mother’s womb and usually lands on its back. Within seconds it rolls over and tucks its legs under its body. From this position, it considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last vestiges of the birthing fluid from its eyes and ears. Then the mother giraffe rudely introduces its offspring to the reality of life.
In his book, A View from the Zoo, Gary Richmond describes how a newborn giraffe learns its first lesson.
The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heels.
When it doesn’t get up, the process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts. Finally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs.
Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible to stay with the herd, where there is safety.
It’s no secret that life will knock us down from time to time. Take a lesson from the giraffe and learn to get back up quickly.
The Nautical Origins Of Garage Sales
Whether you call it a garage sale, rummage sale, or yard sale, you are doing the same thing…selling your unwanted possessions for small change.
You may not know that yard and garage sales really got their start in shipyards in the early 1800’s with “rummage” or “rommage” sales, where shipping companies would sell unclaimed cargo at a discount.
The word rummage comes from the Middle French word arrumage, which meant the “arrangement of cargo in a shop’s hold.” The associated verb was arrumer “to stow goods in the hold of a ship.”
In the 1600’s, the term came to mean “to closely search the hold of a ship, especially by moving things about.”
Then in the 1800’s, ships began to hold popular “rummage/rommage” sales, though by now the cargo was unloaded from the hold before the sale. (The words rommage and rummage are phonetic differences, like po-tay-to/po-tah-to.)
In the late 1800’s, the sales moved to community centers like churches. Then in the 1950’s and 1960’s, they became what we call them today…rummage, yard, and garage sales.
Refreshing Kitchen Updates
You don’t need to break down the walls or strip the cabinets to renew your kitchen. Here are 8 little approaches to sprucing up the kitchen without major remodeling.
- Choose 3 complimentary colors and update everything you can to match, like paint, towels, rugs, small appliances, canisters, curtains.
- Change your cabinet and drawer pulls. Buy a size that fits existing holes so you don’t need to drill new holes.
- Add rope lighting under or over your upper cabinets.
- Paint your refrigerator or an unused wall with chalkboard paint. Use colorful chalk to write a quote each day or week.
- Add a new backsplash using peel and stick tile.
- Replace the faucet one that is ultra-modern.
- Add some kitchen-relevant art, such as a café painting or kitschy spoon and fork mosaics.
- Replace boring lighting with ones that are interesting or unusual.
Some years ago, the following exchange was broadcast on an Open University sociology TV program in the UK. An interviewer was talking to a female production line worker in a biscuit factory. The dialogue went like this:
Interviewer: How long have you worked here?
Production Lady: Since I left school (probably about 15 years).
Interviewer: What do you do?
Production Lady: I take packets of biscuits off the conveyor belt and put them into cardboard boxes.
Interviewer: Have you always done the same job?
Production Lady: Yes.
Interviewer: Do you enjoy it?
Production Lady: Oooh yes, it’s great, everyone is so nice and friendly, we have a good laugh.
Interviewer (with a hint of disbelief): Really? Don’t you find it a bit boring?
Production Lady: Oh no, sometimes they change the biscuits!
Sound Waves Fight Water Waves
Tsunamis—massive waves caused by earthquakes, landslides, or other major geological phenomena—can be incredibly destructive. Scientists are now looking at a possible defense: acoustic-gravity waves (AGWs), which are essentially underwater sound cannons.
AGWs can travel for miles and stretch several thousand feet under the surface of the ocean. Scientists at Cardiff University (as reported on the UPI website) theorize that a single blast could shorten the length of a tsunami wave and spread its force over a wider area, dissipating its destructive power. Furthermore, they think a series of blasts could weaken the tsunami’s momentum and power completely.
Like tsunamis, natural AGWs are triggered in the ocean by geological events. If the scientists find a way to create them on demand, they may be a viable defense against the next great catastrophe.
Assume The Opposite
Creativity expert Yoram Solomon conducts workshops that teach people to approach problems with an open mind. In one exercise, he asks participants to build a structure out of a sheet of paper. Some cut the paper into smaller pieces, although his instructions don’t specifically say they can.
Once everyone is finished, Solomon asks, “Did the instructions allow you to cut the paper?” Most believe they’ve done something wrong. But one person usually pipes up with, “You didn’t say we couldn’t, either.”
The notion that assumptions can stop our creativity is not new by any means. But within our assumptions lies the key to unleashing our creativity, too. Here’s how:
When you feel faced with a problem, make a list of all your assumptions. For example: “I assume I can only use the paper. I assume I can’t cut it. I assume I can’t use tape.” Keep listing assumptions well past the obvious. “I assume someone who knows origami could do this better.”
Then examine those assumptions by stating the opposite. “I assume I can use other things besides the paper. I assume I can cut it. I assume I can use tape.” And even, “I assume someone who doesn’t know origami could do this, too.” By actually stating the opposite assumption out loud, we allow ourselves to examine the validity of the assumptions.
Innovations We Couldn’t Live Without
We take for granted certain “technologies” in our daily lives. Here are three of the more common innovations that permeate our existence today.
The sandwich. This innovation came about because the Earl of Sandwich disliked leaving the card table to eat supper. He requested his meat to be placed between bread to keep his hands clean.
Velcro. Swiss engineer George de Mestral was hunting with his dog, and noticed the tendency of burrs to stick to its fur. Later, looking under a microscope, Mestral observed the tiny “hooks” that stuck burrs to fabrics and fur. Mestral experimented for years with a variety of textiles before settling on the newly invented nylon.
The microwave oven. Percy Spencer, an engineer at Raytheon, was fiddling with a microwave-emitting magnetron — used in the guts of radar arrays — when he felt a strange sensation. Spencer found that a chocolate bar in his pocket had started to melt. Spencer immediately set out to realize the culinary potential of the device.
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