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

Foxtrot Alpha Charlie Tango Sierra

For Independence Day, we’re doing a two-parter on heroic animals, innovations from the field, and noteworthy bad-asses. Topics include a pigeon who saved hundreds of lives, a crossbow for grenades and Jack Churchill, who went into WWI with a claymore and bagpipes, despite not being Scottish. Part 2 is in the Read More.

3,150 soldiers and 54,000 pigeons made up the United States Army Pigeon Service, from 1917 to 1957, who delivered messages with an astounding 90 percent success rate. One American pigeon known as G.I. Joe, no joke, even received a medal for gallantry after delivering a vital, last-minute message informing British forces that the Italian village they were about to attack was actually under British control, thus preventing a friendly fire disaster that might have resulted in a thousand deaths.

Though I’m related by blood, marriage, and ex-marriage to a member of all five branches of the service – yes, the Coast Guard counts – I myself am civilian through and through and not intimately familiar with daily life in the military. I’d probably be more useful, and less dangerous, in a support role than in the infantry. It takes between 1 and 4 support roles to keep one soldier in the field. There can be obvious things, like medics and supply, and more niche jobs like writers and graphic design. We had a poll on your Facebook and Instagram last week on what the topic for this week should be. Strange military jobs took a slight lead, but when I started researching, the other topics starting falling into my lap, so we’ll get to the jobs on another episode, possibly for Veteran’s Day.
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Lunules and Tittles and Barms, Oh My!

From the skin between your thumb and forefinger to the stringy things you have to pick off bananas, today’s episode will teach you dozens of names for everyday items, even if you can’t tell your natiform from your weenus.

Here are your new vocab words, in order of appearance:
acnestis
niddick
feat
glabella
caruncula
philtrum
weenus
rasceta
pericule
lunules
Morton’s toe
minimus
Brannock device
hallux
throat
vamp
aglet
paresthesia
obdormition
dysania
armscyes
nurdle
wamble
borborygmus
crapulence
crepuscular rays
apricity
petrichor
chrysalism
pareidolia
natiform
phosphene
zarf
anecdoche
kenopsia
monachopsis
vellichor
joska
masticate
misophonia
vagitus
accumbation
scurryfunge
muntin
punt
agraffe
ulage
barm
cornicione
phloem bundle
druplets
anemoia
defenestrate
zugzwang
mondegreen
eggcorn
malaproprism
spoonerism
grawlix
agitron
octothorpe
intterobang
griffonage
jot
tittle
apthong
palindrome
semordnilap
contranym
lemniscate
obelus