Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z: A to Z Blogging Challenge

For my 2016 A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing three facts for each letter. The genres I write and love to read are mostly science fiction and high or epic fantasy. In fantasy, there is often magic associated with crystals or metals. They also used herbs both for medicine and for magical spells. Each day I will post a short description of an herb or a mineral you might find in medieval or fantasy writings. For the record, most of the herbal remedies I’ve investigated are not recommended by the FDA. Many are actually poisonous and dangerous. As tribute to my second love, I will post a scientific fact that may deal with physics, biology or health science. And because another name for a writer is wordsmith, each day I’ll share a strange word that I would probably never use in my writing, but that amuse me in some way. So enjoy my trio of quick facts. And don’t forget to visit the IWSG site where we’ll share a writer’s resource for every day of the challenge.

Zaftig: Having a full, rounded figure. Pleasingly plump.

Zircon is a gem worn for protection and sexual energy. 

Zika Virus has been in the news a lot. It is mostly spread by mosquitoes from one infected person to the next. Until a few months ago, most people hadn't heard of this virus. The devastating birth defects, microcephaly, have rocketed it to the news front lines. There's no vaccination, only prevention by avoiding mosquitoes. The CDC has lots of useful information about it.

So you did it! You made it through the challenge and here we are at Z. I'm taking a needed break tomorrow.

Did anyone ever call you a Zaftig? Do you know anyone who has traveled to areas where they have to worry about the Zika Virus? Did you make it through the challenge?

Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.  Spanish proverb

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y: A to Z Blogging Challenge

For my 2016 A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing three facts for each letter. The genres I write and love to read are mostly science fiction and high or epic fantasy. In fantasy, there is often magic associated with crystals or metals. They also used herbs both for medicine and for magical spells. Each day I will post a short description of an herb or a mineral you might find in medieval or fantasy writings. For the record, most of the herbal remedies I’ve investigated are not recommended by the FDA. Many are actually poisonous and dangerous. As tribute to my second love, I will post a scientific fact that may deal with physics, biology or health science. And because another name for a writer is wordsmith, each day I’ll share a strange word that I would probably never use in my writing, but that amuse me in some way. So enjoy my trio of quick facts. And don’t forget to visit the IWSG site where we’ll share a writer’s resource for every day of the challenge.

Yestreen: Yesterday Evening

Yarrow is an herb found across Asia, North America and Asia. Many believe it will help with digestive disorders, eczema, and female reproduction issues.

Yawning. Everyone knows yawning is contagious and not just in humans. All vertebrate animals yawn. It is the normal response to drowsiness. Some scientists think the contagious part is an evolutionary necessity to keep a group alert for predators. One starts yawning, then the entire group does and wakes up. Physiologically, most believe that yawning not only keeps us alert but does so by cooling the brain.

With only one more letter to go in the Challenge, have you had to yawn a few times? Did you yawn while reading about yawning? Ever have anything with yarrow in? Do you remember what you were doing yestreen?

"Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week." Spanish proverb

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X: A to Z Blogging Challenge

For my 2016 A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing three facts for each letter. The genres I write and love to read are mostly science fiction and high or epic fantasy. In fantasy, there is often magic associated with crystals or metals. They also used herbs both for medicine and for magical spells. Each day I will post a short description of an herb or a mineral you might find in medieval or fantasy writings. For the record, most of the herbal remedies I’ve investigated are not recommended by the FDA. Many are actually poisonous and dangerous. As tribute to my second love, I will post a scientific fact that may deal with physics, biology or health science. And because another name for a writer is wordsmith, each day I’ll share a strange word that I would probably never use in my writing, but that amuse me in some way. So enjoy my trio of quick facts. And don’t forget to visit the IWSG site where we’ll share a writer’s resource for every day of the challenge.

Xanthic: Relating to or tending toward yellow.

Xi Jiao is Rhinoceros Horn, a Chinese powder made from the horn of an endangered animal. The rhino is spiraling toward extinction as poachers hunt them for their horns. It's horribly, unbelievable that such a thing happens in our modern world. Chinese herbalists sell this to treat convulsions and other illnesses. Some reports say a Vietnamese buyer might pay as much as $300,000 for a single horn that they believe cures cancer and hangovers.



Xenon is one of the noble gases. It is found in trace amounts in our atmosphere. NASA has developed a Xenon Ion Drive Engine.

Can you think of a way to save the rhinos? How might you use that Xenon Ion Drive? Or can you base your own idea on it? Only two letters to go? Are you keeping up?

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." Confucius

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W: A to Z Blogging Challenge

For my 2016 A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing three facts for each letter. The genres I write and love to read are mostly science fiction and high or epic fantasy. In fantasy, there is often magic associated with crystals or metals. They also used herbs both for medicine and for magical spells. Each day I will post a short description of an herb or a mineral you might find in medieval or fantasy writings. For the record, most of the herbal remedies I’ve investigated are not recommended by the FDA. Many are actually poisonous and dangerous. As tribute to my second love, I will post a scientific fact that may deal with physics, biology or health science. And because another name for a writer is wordsmith, each day I’ll share a strange word that I would probably never use in my writing, but that amuse me in some way. So enjoy my trio of quick facts. And don’t forget to visit the IWSG site where we’ll share a writer’s resource for every day of the challenge.

Whiffler: One who clears the way for a procession.

Willow Bark has been used to treat inflammatory conditions since ancient Egypt.

Wormholes are tunnels through the fabric of space time. Some physicists believe this is possible according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Do you believe in wormholes? Ever had willow bark tea? Would you go through a wormhole if we could?

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V: A to Z Blogging Challenge

For my 2016 A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing three facts for each letter. The genres I write and love to read are mostly science fiction and high or epic fantasy. In fantasy, there is often magic associated with crystals or metals. They also used herbs both for medicine and for magical spells. Each day I will post a short description of an herb or a mineral you might find in medieval or fantasy writings. For the record, most of the herbal remedies I’ve investigated are not recommended by the FDA. Many are actually poisonous and dangerous. As tribute to my second love, I will post a scientific fact that may deal with physics, biology or health science. And because another name for a writer is wordsmith, each day I’ll share a strange word that I would probably never use in my writing, but that amuse me in some way. So enjoy my trio of quick facts. And don’t forget to visit the IWSG site where we’ll share a writer’s resource for every day of the challenge.

Vulgus: The common people. I don't think the common people gave themselves that name.

Venus Stone is another name for turquoise. Those who believe in the power of gemstones believe wearing turquoise will give you courage, love, luck and health. Can't beat that.

Volcanoes. I could read about volcanoes all day and watch those science shows about them. Super volcanoes are those that if they erupt could destroy the world like Mt. Vesuvius. Here in The States, of course, we have Yellowstone. If Yellowstone goes the best case the world could hope for would be a new ice age though it might wipe out most life as we know it.

Are you a member of the vulgus or do you call the rest of us that? Do you own any turquoise and has it made you lucky? Do volcanoes fascinate you?

"I have seen so many eruptions in the last 20 years that I don't care if I die tomorrow." 
Maurice Krafft (Volcanologist) on the day before he was killed on Unzen Volcano, Japan 1991
.

Monday, April 25, 2016

U: A to Z Blogging Challenge

For my 2016 A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing three facts for each letter. The genres I write and love to read are mostly science fiction and high or epic fantasy. In fantasy, there is often magic associated with crystals or metals. They also used herbs both for medicine and for magical spells. Each day I will post a short description of an herb or a mineral you might find in medieval or fantasy writings. For the record, most of the herbal remedies I’ve investigated are not recommended by the FDA. Many are actually poisonous and dangerous. As tribute to my second love, I will post a scientific fact that may deal with physics, biology or health science. And because another name for a writer is wordsmith, each day I’ll share a strange word that I would probably never use in my writing, but that amuse me in some way. So enjoy my trio of quick facts. And don’t forget to visit the IWSG site where we’ll share a writer’s resource for every day of the challenge.

Uxoricide: The murder of a wife by her husband.

True Unicorn Root was used by Native Americans to stimulate digestion and induce menstruation. I believe that means they might have used it to induce miscarriages.

Universal Language is always an interesting conundrum when you write science fiction. Remember how the TV show Firefly had every speaking English and Chinese. Language experts claim the world is close to having a universal language if you mean a language a large percentage of the world understands. The British Empire once covered a large part of the known world so many people knew the language and in modern times, the influence of the USA has spread world wide. The internet, travel and the entertainment industry has helped spread the USA influence. So American English is widely understood across the globe.

Do you think a husband murdering a wife needs a special word for that act? What do you think about the universal language idea? 

“ENGLAND AND AMERICA ARE TWO COUNTRIES SEPARATED BY A COMMON LANGUAGE.George Bernard Shaw





Saturday, April 23, 2016

T: A to Z Blogging Challenge

For my 2016 A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing three facts for each letter. The genres I write and love to read are mostly science fiction and high or epic fantasy. In fantasy, there is often magic associated with crystals or metals. They also used herbs both for medicine and for magical spells. Each day I will post a short description of an herb or a mineral you might find in medieval or fantasy writings. For the record, most of the herbal remedies I’ve investigated are not recommended by the FDA. Many are actually poisonous and dangerous. As tribute to my second love, I will post a scientific fact that may deal with physics, biology or health science. And because another name for a writer is wordsmith, each day I’ll share a strange word that I would probably never use in my writing, but that amuse me in some way. So enjoy my trio of quick facts. And don’t forget to visit the IWSG site where we’ll share a writer’s resource for every day of the challenge.

Thaumaturge: A performer of miracles.

Thyme is well-known as a seasoning but some herbal healers think it can treat coughs and headaches.

Tectonic Plates. Do you feel the movement as the land beneath your feet slides around? This is another science subject that can suck you into hours of interesting study. The plates move and cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. I live on the North America Plate which is pretty big but some of the plates are very small. Check the map to see where you live and go to this link to learn more about this very interesting subject.


What plate do you live on? Have you had thyme and what did you have it in? How many different tectonic plates have you stepped upon?

And today, April 23rd, is believed to be the birthday of William Shakespeare though it isn't known for certain.

"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves."
"We know what we are, but know not what we may be."
"Brevity is the soul of wit."

William Shakespeare