Most of us are well aware that lobster shells change color when exposed to heat (like in a pot of boiling water, for example). But the sea creatures’ blood is also intriguing. Lobster blood is initially clear and turns blue when it hits oxygen.
Did you know that the longest place name in the world is 85 letters long.
Unfortunately, this is one of the facts you probably can’t repeat to your friends—and that’s because it’s nearly impossible to pronounce. Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is in New Zealand and is 85 letters long. And when it comes to other super long place names, it’s followed by Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales, Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in the U.S., Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein in South Africa, and Azpilicuetagaraycosaroyarenberecolarre in Spain.
Shakespeare wrote some of the most beloved and revered pieces of literature the world has ever known, but in order to craft his plays and poems, he sometimes resorted to making up his own words. In fact, The Bard is said to have come up with more than 1,700 words including moonbeam, laughable, eyeball, bump, puking, champion, bedroom, excitement, and zany.
Did you know that Santa Claus was given an official pilot’s license in 1927?
When Santa Claus makes his trip around the world on Christmas Eve, you can rest assured that he’s legally allowed to drive his sleigh—at least in the United States. In 1927, the jolly man in the red suit was given a pilot’s license from the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics William P. MacCracken.
According to the Library of Congress, “The old saint called at the Commerce Department in Washington” and when he arrived, his picture was taken as he was given his license, airway maps, “and the assurance that the lights would be burning on the airways on Christmas Eve.”
Did you know that Einstein’s brain was stolen when he died?
When Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein passed away on April 18, 1955, he left behind specific instructions when it came to the disposal of his body, according to one National Geographic investigation. Einstein didn’t want his corpse to be worshiped or his brain to be studied, so he instructed those who were responsible for his remains to “cremate them, and scatter the ashes secretly in order to discourage idolaters.”
However, Thomas Harvey, the pathologist on call when Einstein died at New Jersey’s Princeton Hospital, didn’t quite follow those instructions. Instead, he stole Einstein’s brain. From there, things got even weirder. When Einstein’s family found out, his son apparently didn’t object to the theft and Harvey was able to keep the brain in two jars in his basement before moving it to “a cider box stashed under a beer cooler.”
Quote of the day:
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”–Brian Tracy
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”–Joshua J. Marine
Today’s Weather Report:
5 Wisdom Seed for today:
- Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NRSV)
2. Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.
Psalm 146:3 (NLT)
3. A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank.
Proverbs 22:1 (MSG)
4. Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3 (NLT)
5. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Jokes of the Day:
Teacher: “Kids, what does the chicken give you?”
Teacher: “Very good! Now what does the pig give you?”
Teacher: “Great! And what does the fat cow give you?”
My friend thinks he is smart. He told me an onion is the only food that makes you cry, so I threw a coconut at his face.
A teacher asked her students to use the word “beans” in a sentence. “My father grows beans,” said one girl. “My mother cooks beans,” said a boy. A third student spoke up, “We are all human beans.”
Tips for making exercise more enjoyable
As previously noted, you are much more likely to stick with an exercise program that’s fun and rewarding. No amount of willpower is going to keep you going long-term with a workout you hate.
Think outside the gym
Does the thought of going to the gym fill you with dread? If you find the gym inconvenient, expensive, intimidating, or simply boring, that’s okay. There are many exercise alternatives to weight rooms and cardio equipment.
For many, simply getting outside makes all the difference. You may enjoy running outdoors, where you can enjoy alone time and nature, even if you hate treadmills.
Just about everyone can find a physical activity they enjoy. But you may need to think beyond the standard running, swimming, and biking options. Here are a few activities you may find fun:
- horseback riding
- ballroom dancing
- paddle boarding
- martial arts
- rock climbing
- Ultimate Frisbee
Make it a game
Activity-based video games such as those from Wii and Kinect can be a fun way to start moving. So-called “exergames” that are played standing up and moving around—simulating dancing, skateboarding, soccer, bowling, or tennis, for example—can burn at least as many calories as walking on a treadmill; some substantially more. Once you build up your confidence, try getting away from the TV screen and playing the real thing outside. Or use a smartphone app to keep your workouts fun and interesting—some immerse you in interactive stories to keep you motivated, such as running from hordes of zombies!
Pair it with something you enjoy
Think about activities that you enjoy and how you can incorporate them into an exercise routine. Watch TV as you ride a stationary bike, chat with a friend as you walk, take photographs on a scenic hike, walk the golf course instead of using a cart, or dance to music as you do household chores.
Make it social
Exercise can be a fun time to socialize with friends and working out with others can help keep you motivated. For those who enjoy company but dislike competition, a running club, water aerobics, or dance class may be the perfect thing. Others may find that a little healthy competition keeps the workout fun and exciting. You might seek out tennis partners, join an adult soccer league, find a regular pickup basketball game, or join a volleyball team.
Getting the whole family involved
If you have a family, there are many ways to exercise together. What’s more, kids learn by example, and if you exercise as a family you are setting a great example for their future. Family activities might include:
- Family walks in the evening if weather permits. Infants or young children can ride in a stroller.
- Blast upbeat music to boogie to while doing chores as a family.
- Seasonal activities, like skiing or ice skating in the winter and hiking, swimming, or cycling in the summer can both make fun family memories and provide healthy exercise.
Try a mindfulness approach
Instead of zoning out or distracting yourself when you exercise, try to pay attention to your body. By really focusing on how your body feels as you exercise—the rhythm of your breathing, the way your feet strike the ground, your muscles flexing as you move, even the way you feel on the inside—you’ll not only improve your physical condition faster but also interrupt the flow of worries or negative thoughts running through your head, easing stress and anxiety. Exercising in this way can also help your nervous system become “unstuck” and begin to move out of the immobilization stress response that characterizes PTSD and trauma. Activities that engage both your arms and legs—such as walking (especially in sand), running, swimming, weight training, rock climbing, skiing, or dancing—are great choices for practicing mindfulness.
Easy ways to “sneak” more movement into your daily life
If you’re not the kind of person who embraces a structured exercise program, try to think about physical activity as a lifestyle choice rather than a task to check off your to-do list. Look at your daily routine and consider ways to sneak in activity here and there. Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day.
Make chores count. House and yard work can be quite a workout, especially when done at a brisk pace. Scrub, vacuum, sweep, dust, mow, and weed—it all counts.
Look for ways to add extra steps. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Park farther from a building entrance, rather than right out front. Get off your train or bus one stop early. The extra walking adds up.
Ditch the car whenever possible. Instead of driving everywhere, walk or bike instead when the distance is doable.
Move at work. Get up to talk to co-workers, rather than phoning or sending an email or IM. Take a walk during your coffee and lunch breaks. Use the bathroom on another floor. Walk while you’re talking on the phone.
Exercise during commercial breaks. Make your TV less sedentary by exercising every time commercials come on or during the credits. Options include jumping jacks, sit-ups, or arm exercises using weights.
How getting a dog can boost fitness
Owning a dog leads to a more active lifestyle. Playing with a dog and taking him for a walk, hike, or run are fun and rewarding ways to fit exercise into your schedule. Studies have shown that dog owners are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements than non-owners. One year-long study found that walking an overweight dog helped both the animals and their owners lose weight (11 to 15 pounds). Researchers found that the dogs provided support in similar ways to a human exercise buddy, but with greater consistency and without any negative influence.
In another study, public housing residents who walked therapy dogs for up to 20 minutes, five days a week, lost an average of 14.4 pounds in a year, without changing their diets. If you’re not in a position to own a dog, you can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. You’ll not only be helping yourself, but by helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, you’ll make them more adoptable.
How to stay motivated to exercise
No matter how much you enjoy an exercise routine, you may find that you eventually lose interest in it. That’s the time to shake things up and try something new or alter the way you pursue the exercises that have worked so far.
Pair your workout with a treat. For example, you can listen to an audiobook or watch your favorite TV show while on the treadmill or stationary bike.
Log your activity. Keep a record of your workouts and fitness progress. Writing things down or tracking them on an app increases commitment and holds you accountable to your routine. Later on, it will also be encouraging to look back at where you began.
Harness the power of the community. Having others rooting for us and supporting us through exercise ups and downs helps to keep motivation strong. There are numerous online fitness communities you can join. You can also try working out with friends either in person or remotely using fitness apps that let you track and compare your progress with each other.
Get inspired. Read a health and fitness magazine or visit an exercise website and get inspired with photos of people being active. Sometimes reading about and looking at images of people who are healthy and fit can motivate you to move your body.
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