Wednesday, October 9, 2013


If someone asked you what the deepest gorge in the U.S. was, would you say it was the Grand Canyon?  Well, if you said that, you would be wrong!  The deepest gorge is really Hells Canyon, which was created by the Snake River, between Idaho and Oregon.  Hells Canyon is 7,993 feet deep, which is half a mile deeper than the Grand Canyon.

The Snake River is more than 1 mile (1.6 km) below the canyon's west rim on the Oregon side and 7,400 feet (2,300 m) below the Seven Devils Mountains, which are in Idaho, on the east side of the canyon.

Hells Canyon and the Snake River

Electric fans have been around for a long time, and people use them to make themselves feel cooler.  But electric fans do not really cool the air.  They actually make the air a little warmer because of the heat from their motors.  But what happens when you sit in front of a fan is that your sweat evaporates faster, and that's why you feel cooler.

At least that's how it works for people.  Dogs don't sweat, except on the bottoms of our feet, but sometimes we like to sit in front of fans anyway.  I think this is because the fan stirs up lots of interesting smells and blows them past us.  Which is easier than having to go out sniffing around to find all those smells ourselves.

Photo:  Infrogmation of New Orleans

All the early settlers in America built log cabins to live in, right?  Wrong!  The English settlers such as the Pilgrims didn't even know what a log cabin was, so it never occurred to them to build one.  They started out by living in tents or wigwams.  Then they built huts and cottages covered with bark, grass, or clay.  And as soon as they could, they made wooden frame houses like the ones they were used to in England.

But log cabins were used in other parts of Europe, such as Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia.  So when some Swedish immigrants came here in 1638 and settled on the Delaware River, they built the first American log cabins.  Then when colonists started moving farther west, where there were lots of trees and forests, everybody built log cabins because they were easy to build and practical to live in.  After a while, the log cabin got romanticized, and the ultimate American Dream was to end up in the White House after being born in a log cabin.

Maybe you have heard this story about how the sirloin cut of beef got its name:  One day a prince was served a really yummy steak, and he was so impressed with it that he sprang to his feet, drew his sword, and tapped the meat with it, saying, "I dub thee Sir Loin!"  Well, you will be shocked to learn that this story is not true at all!  It's just the way some people tried to explain how a name got started.  The real story of sirloin is that it came from the two French words, sur and loigne, which if you put them together, mean "above the loin."

This looks like something a dog could really sink her teeth into!

It seems like there are always some UFO sightings somewhere.  I thought these only started sometime in the last 50 years or so, but guess what!  The first UFOs were reported in 214 BCE by the Roman Livy.  He said that "phantom ships had been seen gleaming in the sky."  There have been other recorded sightings throughout the years.  In 1952, the CIA got involved, but after some investigation, they decided that UFOs were not a threat to national security.  After which, they stopped worrying about them.  But the sightings keep happening, including one just last week in Colombia.

Mom was born in 1952, when there were so many sightings that the CIA got interested.  So now I am wondering if Mom was actually brought to earth by aliens.  I asked her this question, but she says she doesn't know the answer because she was too young back then to remember how she got here.

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