So, things I learned this week.
Well, from Fox59 I learned about an 8-year-old boy who lead police on a car chase in Goshen.
Other drivers had reported “a person driving recklessly.” After locating this person, the officers tried to pull him over, which launched a short downtown pursuit. But -- and here’s where it gets good -- the child was arrested for operating a vehicle without a license and resisting arrest with a vehicle.
He was later released to his family, but I wish I could have been that impressive at 8. I would have been driving “erratically,” and here’s this whiz kid driving “recklessly,” which is how I drive now.
And to rub it in deeper, National Geographic had the kindness to tell me about a 9-year-old boy who found a million-year-old fossil by tripping on it.
He was hiking in the Orange Mountains of New Mexico with his parents when he discovered the stegomastodon, a relative of mammoths. He shared his discovery with his brother, Hunter, who showed the usual interest in a sibling’s affairs.
“Hunter said it was just a big fat rotten cow,” Jude Sparks said. “I didn’t know what it was. I just knew it wasn’t usual.”
It makes the news every time, but a great deal of discoveries began with someone stumbling into something unusual. Just ask Alice about Wonderland.
Anyway, what else did I learn? I learned about a condition, also from National Geographic, called Williams syndrome. Rather than making a person shy and withdrawn like autism, Williams makes a person outgoing and outrageously friendly.
Basically, the brain produces too much oxytocin (the love chemical), which manifests itself as hugging complete strangers and forming attachments quickly. It affects 1 in 10,000 people, and 30,000 Americans.
I thought it was particularly interesting that they have strong reactions to music, crying or dancing easily. And when there’s no music to be heard, they will make their own music by singing or tapping a rhythm.
Speaking of music, I also learned that Renee Fleming is a top-notch vocal artist. Grant yourself the privelege of giving her a listen. I especially recommend “Casta Diva” and “Song to the Moon.” You haven’t heard the best of vocal prowess unless you’ve heard this voice.
I also learned about the house of Julia Felix, a wealthy woman who owned a large villa in Pompeii at the time of Vesuvius’s eruption.
To help pay for the expense of such an opulent house, she leased part of it to shops and opened her baths to the public.
Athough Egyptians originated the idea, the Romans are well-known for their baths. They featured gardens, a caldarium (the hot room), the tepidarium (lukewarm), and the frigidarium (cold).
A bather would undress, put on oil, do some exercising, visit the caldarium and steam room to get the oil off, then go to the tepidarium followed by the pool in the frigidarium. After one more application of oil, the spa visit was complete.
Although a few Romans participated in mixed bathing, nearly all baths kept the genders separate.
And there were lots of other things, but those were the more notable things I learned. What did you learn this week?