Saturday’s FYI

On weekends I try to provide an FYI service for my readers that may not read the same stuff as me….and plus this virus has the news reports pretty much sown up and little else gets through…..

Let us bring our FYI day….

First, one of those probing questions……why are legal pads yellow?

Comic Jerry Seinfeld, former national security adviser John Bolton and the late American author Pat Conroy are just a few of its millions of devotees. We’re talking about the quintessential office supply the legal pad. It’s simple, professional, cheap and instantly recognizable.

Part of its lure is the unwritten rule that legal pads are for adults only; some people describe a feeling of satisfaction when they finally reach the point where they’re “sophisticated” enough to use them. After all, legal pads equal important business.

The most recognizable characteristic of a legal pad? The yellow color. But why are they yellow? Good question. To answer it, though, requires a brief explanation of its history first.

The legal pad was invented by a paper mill worker, Thomas Holley, in Massachusetts around 1888. Holley came up with the idea of collecting the tons of paper scraps off the floor of the mill and stitching them together to make pads of paper.

Most of us history nerds know of the Gutenberg Bible as  one of the first books published…..but there is another (to quote Yoda in “Return of the Jedi”)

The Gutenberg Bible went to press in the year 1454. We now see it as the first piece of mass media, printed as it was with the then-cutting-edge technology of metal movable type. But in the history of aesthetic achievements in book-printing, the Gutenberg Bible wasn’t without its precedents. To find truly impressive examples requires looking in lands far from Europe: take, for instance, this “Sino-Tibetan concertina-folded book, printed in Beijing in 1410, containing Sanskrit dhāranīs and illustrations of protective mantra-diagrams and deities, woodblock-printed in bright red ink on heavy white paper,” whose “breathtakingly detailed printing” predates Gutenberg by 40 years.

Do you ever suffer from “Aphantasia”?

The term “aphantasia” comes from the Greek words a, which means “without,” and phantasia, meaning “a capacity to form mental images.” The phenomenon was first described by psychologist Francis Galton – one of the pioneers in the science of eugenics – in 1880. The term, which denotes the lack of a “mind’s eye,” or inability to visualize in the mind, was coined to describe the phenomenon in 2015 by neurologist and University of Exeter Medical School professor Adam Zeman.

While Zeman believes that heredity and environment both are likely to be relevant causes, the exact cause of aphantasia is still unknown. Aphantasia could potentially occur in different ways in different people. Neuroimaging has shown that mental imagery is definitely associated with the left temporal lobe and requires an extensive series of pathways in the brain to occur. Scientists are still studying why these pathways might work in different ways in different people. Zeman theorizes that, while people with a functional ability to see things in the mind’s eye use visual circuitry, some people use non-visual paths to process visual data.

Now on to the absurd…..

Recent revelations that the Pentagon had an actual alien-hunting division have rocked conspiracy theorists everywhere, adding fuel to the long-held beliefs of many that the government is hiding the truth from us. Luis Elizondo, the military intel official who headed the now-defunct “Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program,” which ran from 2009 until 2012, was so convinced by what he saw that he continued his search for E.T. until this day. He now has a UFO-research startup and alerted CNN that there’s “compelling evidence” we are not alone.  

While Elizondo’s evidence may be based on being privy to a number of unexplained encounters with flying objects, the aliens haven’t made their presence very clear. If the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies full of billions of stars like our sun, shouldn’t there be other complex life forms out there by now? It would only make sense. So “where is everybody?” as the Nobel laureate physicist Enrico Fermifamously asked about the absence of evidence and the high probability of alien existence.

Then there is the story from my home state of Mississippi…..

Two Saucier residents are charged with five counts each of animal cruelty.

Wednesday, Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson arrested 57-year-old Sharon Bertok and 50-year-old Daniel Bertok after animal control officers found several species of animals living in deplorable conditions at their home on Wright Road in Saucier.

A total of 108 animals were taken from the property including 69 dogs, seven cats, one pale fox, one hedgehog, one skunk, 15 birds, one monkey, one pig, five goats, a miniature donkey, and six miniature horses.

The dogs, cats, the hedgehog, and the birds are in the care of the Humane Society of South Mississippi and are reportedly doing okay.

Some are expected to be up for adoption within the next few days.\


That about sums up the FYI portion for the day…..thanx for stopping by…..

Be Well….Be Safe….Enjoy Your Weekend…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

6 thoughts on “Saturday’s FYI

  1. Shocking news about that animal neglect Why do people continue to do that? It mystifies me.
    One extra fact about legal pads, the yellow colour actually helps people with dyslexia understand what is written on them 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Legal pads are yellow because yellow is the color most associated with paranoia and most court cases that require lawyers to use a lot of legal pads are minefields of paranoia for the participants. And as to animal abuse — I think the penalties for animal abuse should be exactly the same as those for child abuse, spousal abuse or any other kind of human abuse. I love animals of all kinds … especially the smaller ones … because the smaller ones are so good to eat.

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