Out of the Blue
About a month ago, while driving to work, I was listening to whoever was yapping on AM 640. Its very rare that I ever tune into that station other than to listen to Dr. Laura blast nincompoops, but my radio was still on that station, and I decided to leave it there. All anyone was talking about was the horrendous Tsunami. A big wave deserves a capital letter, dont you think? Anyway, the DJ was commenting about it, and he used the phrase, it came out of the blue and continued commenting. My linguistical mind took over at that point, and it thought it was it an interesting comment. Out of the blue came this giant wave. It was a phrase with a double entendre, the wave literally came out of the blue water? Sky? And, it arrived unexpectedly and without notice, another meaning for out of the blue, to the people of Indonesia. Which way did he intend it to be interpreted? I would imagine the unexpectedly out of nowhere meaning rather than the literal one. It reminded me of homograph words, which are words that are written the same, but carry two distinct meanings. For example the word dove means, the past tense of dive and the beautiful white bird that is sometimes released at weddings or used in magic tricks. I haven't heard of too many phrases(?) that have this same quality. (Uh oh, doves being used for both religious and occult services? What is the symbolism behind that? I may have to research that at some point. Yet another example of one thing serving dual purposes.) Sorry for my digressing. That linguistical mind of mine takes over quite often. I think I may have Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. No joking matter. Its getting worse and worse! So, I thought it might be interesting to find out the origin of the phrase Out of the Blue. Seemed simple enough. Id go on the internet, type in the keywords origin of the phrase out of the blue and see what came up! Well guess what? Zip! The closest thing I found pertaining to that phrase was found at dictionary.com, which gave the meaning of appearing out of nowhere. It stated that the phrase may have originated around the time of Kitty Hawk when people started looking into the sky when planes were flying. Another version of this phrase is Out of the Clear Blue Sky. That's it. But when, where, and who said it? Nobody knows for sure. I broadened my search. What grammatical term do the words ,out of the blue fall into? Phrase? Colloquialism? Slang? Cliché? Quotation? I spent hours looking through collections where I might find the answer, all to no avail. I asked friends and relatives also to no avail, so I am giving up. I guess that phrase just came out of the blue!
Some things are not meant to be known which brings to mind another conundrum. Why did so few animals perish in the Tsunami? There was evidence of human death in huge quantities, but very few animals. Heck, if the elephants could move to higher ground, couldn't we? It lends credence to the belief that animals have a sixth sense of some sort. Here's what I found:
Did Animals Sense Tsunami Was Coming?
By Maryann Mott
for National Geographic News
January 4, 2005
Before giant waves slammed into Sri Lanka and India coastlines ten days ago, wild and domestic animals seemed to know what was about to happen and fled to safety.
According to eyewitness accounts, the following events happened:
Elephants screamed and ran for higher ground.
Dogs refused to go outdoors.
Flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas.
Zoo animals rushed into their shelters and could not be enticed to come back out.
The belief that wild and domestic animals possess a sixth sense and know in advance when the earth is going to shake has been around for centuries.
Wildlife experts believe animals' more acute hearing and other senses might enable them to hear or feel the Earth's vibration, tipping them off to approaching disaster long before humans realize what's going on.
The massive tsunami was triggered by a magnitude 9 temblor off the coast of northern Sumatra island on December 26. The giant waves rolled through the Indian Ocean, killing more than 150,000 people in a dozen countries.
Relatively few animals have been reported dead, however, reviving speculation that animals somehow sense impending disaster.
Ravi Corea, president of the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, which is based in Nutley, New Jersey, was in Sri Lanka when the massive waves struck.
Afterward, he traveled to the Patanangala beach inside Yala National Park, where some 60 visitors were washed away.
The beach was one of the worst hit areas of the 500-square-mile (1,300-square-kilometer) wildlife reserve, which is home to a variety of animals, including elephants, leopards, and 130 species of birds.
Corea did not see any animal carcasses nor did the park personnel know of any, other than two water buffalos that had died, he said.
Along India's Cuddalore coast, where thousands of people perished, the Indo-Asian News service reported that buffaloes, goats, and dogs were found unharmed.
Flamingos that breed this time of year at the Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary in India flew to higher ground beforehand, the news service reported.
Strange Animal Behavior
Accounts of strange animal behavior have also started to surface.
About an hour before the tsunami hit, Corea said, people at Yala National Park observed three elephants running away from the Patanangala beach.
World Wildlife Fund, an organization that leads international efforts to protect endangered species and their habitats, has satellite collars on some of the elephants in the park.
A spokeswoman said they plan to track the elephants on that fateful day to verify whether they did move to higher ground. She doesn't know, though, when the satellite data will be downloaded and analyzed.
Corea, a Sri Lankan who emigrated to the United States 20 years ago, said two of his friends noticed unusual animal behavior before the tsunami.
One friend, in the southern Sri Lankan town of Dickwella, recalls bats frantically flying away just before the tsunami struck. Another friend, who lives on the coast near Galle, said his two dogs would not go for their daily run on the beach.
"They are usually excited to go on this outing," Corea said. But on this day they refused to go and most probably saved his life.
Alan Rabinowitz, director for science and exploration at the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, says animals can sense impending danger by detecting subtle or abrupt shifts in the environment.
"Earthquakes bring vibrational changes on land and in water while storms cause electromagnetic changes in the atmosphere," he said. "Some animals have acute sense of hearing and smell that allow them to determine something coming towards them long before humans might know that something is there."
Did Humans Lose Their Sixth Sense?
At one time humans also had this sixth sense, Rabinowitz said, but lost the ability when it was no longer needed or used.
Joyce Poole is director of the Savanna Elephant Vocalization Project, which has its headquarters in Norway. She has worked with African elephants in Kenya for 25 years. She said the reports of Sri Lanka's elephants fleeing to higher ground didn't surprise her.
Research on both acoustic and seismic communication indicates that elephants could easily pick up vibrations generated from the massive earthquake-tsunami, she said.
Poole has also experienced this firsthand.
"I have been with elephants during two small tremors, and on both occasions the elephants ran in alarm several seconds before I felt the tremor," she said.
One of the world's most earthquake-prone countries is Japan, where devastation has taken countless lives and caused enormous damage to property. Researchers there have long studied animals in hopes of discovering what they hear or feel before the earth shakes. They hope that animals may be used as a prediction tool.
Some U.S. seismologists, on the other hand, are skeptical. There have been documented cases of strange animal behavior prior to earthquakes. But the United States Geological Survey, a government agency that provides scientific information about the Earth, says a reproducible connection between a specific behavior and the occurrence of a quake has never been made.
"What we're faced with is a lot of anecdotes," said Andy Michael, a geophysicist at USGS. "Animals react to so many things being hungry, defending their territories, mating, predatorsâ so it's hard to have a controlled study to get that advanced warning signal."
In the 1970s a few studies on animal prediction were done by the USGS, "but nothing concrete came out of it," Michael said. Since that time the agency has made no further investigations into the theory.
It's just amazing to me how such a huge event like this, which dominated the media for so long seems to have been forgotten so quickly. I realize that wonderful folks all over are still working to improve conditions, but it's not that talked about anymore. The old out of sight, out of mind. Who said that?
Roxanne Baker's Valentine Story (age 8)
(dictated on 2/2/05)
The Worst Valentine's Day Ever!
Whenever I try to have fun, I just have to clean. When they leave, I try to watch TV, but nothing good is on, and I get no Valentine Heart candy. When they come home, they ask me to decorate the house. I like doing that, but sometimes I run out of stuff. And after the day, at 9:00, I go to bed. And the next day I wish that I could have a better Valentine's day next year.
Baker Kids' Valentine Rhymes:
Roses are Pink,Your feet really stink.
Roses are yellow, keep your gas mellow.
Roses are blue, your butt has poo.
Roses are black, can you cut me some slack?
Roses are green, don't blow up your spleen.
Roses are brown, when you fart don't frown.
Icecream is white, my eyes are bright.
Roses are black, people yak.
Roses are black, don't make me hit your sac.
Roses are peach, don't make me screech.
Roses are red, can I please go to bed?
Roses are yellow, but your butt shakes like jello.
Roses are red, but I prefer gingerbread.
Roses are blue when they're used for voodoo.
Okay, one of these rhymes is different from allof the others. Can you find it, and if so, which child do you think penned it?
Origins of Valentines
As early as the fourth century B.C., the Romans engaged in an annual young man's rite of passage to the god Lupercus. The names of teenage women were placed in a box and drawn at random by adolescent men. Thus, a man was assigned a woman companion, for their mutual entertainment and pleasure (often sexual), for the duration of a year, after which another lottery was staged.
Determined to put an end to this 800-year-old practice, the early church fathers sought a "lovers" saint to replace the deity Lupercus. They found a likely candidate in Valentine, a bishop who had been martyred some 200 years earlier.
Traditionally, mid-February was a time for Romans to meet and court prospective mates. Young men offered women they admired and wished to court handwritten greetings of affection on February 14. The cards acquired St. Valentine's name.
As Christianity spread, so did the Valentine's Day card. The earliest one was sent in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was a prisoner in the Tower of London. It is now in the British Museum.
The first American publisher of Valentines was printer and artist Esther Howland. Her elaborate lace cards of the 1870s cost from five to ten dollars, with some selling for as much as thirty-five dollars. Since that time, the Valentine card business has flourished. Except for Christmas, Americans exchange more cards on Valentine's Day than at any other time of the year.
In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"
In some countries, a young woman may receive a gift of clothing from a young man. If she keeps the gift, it means she will marry him.
A love seat is a wide chair. It was first made to seat one woman and her wide dress. Later, the love seat or courting seat had two sections, often in an S-shape. In this way, a couple could sit together -- but not too closely!
Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.
If you cut an apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you will also know how many children you will have.
Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry, As you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.
Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.
In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
You may not "carrot" all for me
The way I care for you.
You may "turnip" your nose
When I plead with you
But if your "heart" should "beet" with mine
Forever "lettuce" hope
There is no reason in the world
Why we two "Cantaloupe."
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Tomorrow is Saint Valentines day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.
All mankind love a lover.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Love never claims, it ever gives.
Mohandas K. Gandhi
All you need is love.
Lennon and McCartney
Love doesn't make the world go 'round.
Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
Franklin P. Jones
I swear to thee by Cupids strongest bow,
By his best arrow with the golden head,
By the simplicity of Venus doves,
By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves, ...
By all the vows that ever men have broke
(In number more than ever women spoke).
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. - Robert A. Heinlein
Oh! little loveliest lady mine,
What shall I send for your valentine?
Summer and flowers are far away;
Gloomy old Winter is king to-day;
Buds will not blow, and sun will not shine:
What shall I do for a valentine?
I ve searched the gardens all through and through
For a bud to tell of my love so true;
But buds are asleep, and blossoms are dead
And the snow beats down on my poor little head.
Laura Elizabeth Richards
If music be the food of love, play on.
Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.
- Robert Browning
Love is the enchanted dawn of every heart.
Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.
- Albert Camus (1913-1960)
It's not the men in my life that count -- it's the life in my men.
- Mae West (1892-1980)
One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.
- Rita Mae Brown
Never judge someone by who he's in love with; judge him by his friends. People fall in love with the most appalling people. Take a cool, appraising glance at his pals.
- Cynthia Heimel
Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracket, or a holding pattern over Philadelphia.
- Judith Viorst
At the touch of Love every one becomes a poet.
Love may not make the world go round, but I must admit that it makes the ride worthwhile.
- Sean Connery
Love doesn't grow on trees like apples in Eden - it's something you have to make. And you must use your imagination too.
- Joyce Cary
Love is like the measles; we all have to go through it.
- Jerome K. Jerome
One advantage of marriage, it seems to me, is that when you fall out of love with him, or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until maybe you fall in again.
- Judith Viorst
Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.
- Jules Renard
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
- Oscar Wilde
It is never too late to fall in love.
- Sandy Wilson
* "Love is, above all, the gift of oneself."
- Jean Anouilh 1910-1987
* "The pleasure of love is in loving, and one is happier in the passion one feels than in the passion one arouses in another."
- Duc De La Rochefoucauld 1613-1680
* "The love we give away is the only love we keep."
- Elbert Hubbard 1856-1915
from "The Notebook"
* "The story of a love is not important - what is important is that one is capable of love."
- Helen Hayes 1900
* "Youth's for an hour
Beauty's a flower
But love is the jewel that wins the world."
- Moira O'Neill
from "Songs of the Glens of Antrim"
* Love, as told by the seers of old,
Comes as a butterfly tipped with gold.
Flutters and flies in sunlit skies,
Weaving round hearts that were one time cold.
- Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837-1909
* 'Tis that delightsome transport we can feel
Which painters cannot paint, nor words reveal,
Nor any art we know of can conceal."
- Thomas Paine 1737-1809
* "I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart."
- Alice Walker 1944
* "Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving."
- Kahlil Gibran 1883-1931
* "Two things cannot alter,
] Since Time was, nor today:
The flowing of water;
And Love's strange, sweet way."
- Japanese Lyric
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