Got Your Goat

In addition to my previously mentioned career in burlesque, I also used to make my living raising the internet’s second favorite animal, a ruminant quadruped that gives us milk, meat, fiber, and hilarious videos.  Legend has it they also discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls, cataract surgery, and coffee. They can climb seemingly impossible heights and escape every kind of fence mankind has invented. They feature in the zodiac and the mythologies of most of the world.  

 

 

Goats and humans have a long and productive history together.  They were first domesticated some 11,000 years ago in the Near East, one of our earliest livestock species, as we transitioned from hunter-gatherers to agriculture-based societies.  There are approximately 500 million goats in the world, of which China has 170 million. Much of the worldwide goat population is in the developing world. Bonus fact right off the bat: Developing nation is the preferred term over third world country.  For starters, third world was a reference to a country’s alignment, or lack thereof, during the Cold War, with the US and capitalistic nations being the first world and the eastern bloc nations being the second world. The largest importer of goats is the U.S. and the largest exporter of goats is Australia. Continue reading

What’s In A Nickname? Places edition

What’s in a name?  That which we call a city by any other name would smell as sweet.  Some nicknames are obvious. Denver, CO is the Mile High City because it’s precisely one mile above sea level.  Dallas, Texas is The Big D; everything’s bigger in Texas. But which American city can also be called The Emerald City, which state is the Land of Lincoln and what’s a buckeye or a Sooner?

Let’s start our tour of land labels and city sobriquets here in the States. One of the cuter-sounding nicknames is Boston, MA’s moniker of “Beantown.” The origins are a bit nebulous. It could come from baked beans which Puritan settlers would cook on Saturdays and keep warm in crocks by the hearth all day on Sunday when they were forbidden from working, including cooking, on the Sabbath. Continue reading