By CHRIS HAMBLE
I learned many things during my years as a young lad in the public school system. I learned my ABC’s, geography, mathematics and how to fake an illness when the Twins are playing an afternoon game.
Important lessons all, but there are many, many more important life lessons, and basic information, that I either missed while watching sports or just wasn’t taught. Now, before you call me anti-teacher (again), let me just say that many of my favorite educators were teachers, and they do a … job. But as life goes on, there is just so much more to learn than can fit in the standard K-12 career, and sometimes even the most basic information can get "overlooked."
For example: Why is the sky blue? It’s a simple question right? So what’s the answer? You learned this is school didn’t you?
This is just one of the questions I’m surprised most people have no answer for. And, for the record, it’s the way light from the sun interacts with our atmosphere that causes the blue color of the visible spectrum to become visible.
So, as a public service, and because I have nothing else to write about this week, I’ve compiled a list of things I’ve picked up over the years that just isn’t taught in school, or perhaps was, but was glossed over and not thoroughly explained.
"There is nothing to fear but fear itself."
FDR’s famous line is a good example of something I did learn in school. History wasn’t my best class, but I got through it. I learned the line, but it was never elaborated on beyond the context of the speech. "There is nothing to fear but fear itself," a true statement, but over the years I’ve learned that fear, itself, is horrifyingly scary, and should be avoided at all costs.
Salt vs. pepper
The great condiment battle has been won. The victor is pepper, by a long shot. This type of important information was never touched on in school, other than, "salt is bad, MSG is worse." Which is total bull and completely wrong, as there is no real conclusive proof that MSG is bad for you (seriously, look it up,) and the fact that as a flavor enhancer, MSG is so much better.
Don’t get me wrong, I like salt, but as one of the main two condiments on the table, I find I never use it. Pepper on the other hand, I’m pretty sure makes everything better. That, and it doesn’t give you high blood pressure, stop your heart and those little black peppercorns are full of cancer fighting antioxidants. How does pepper not win?
Two-ply or not two-ply
That is the question, and the answer is "two-ply at least." I know there are some hippies out there hwo say, "Save the trees, buy single-ply, sandpaper base toilet tissue." But as they are on many things, completely wrong while meaning well. Caring for the environment is all well and good, but where are all the trees coming from for all these paper-based products out there?
I know it wasn’t mentioned in school. Because when I brought it up, I got in trouble because it wasn’t "politically correct," which I thought was kind of ironic because all my teachers were Mac users.
Now, back to my point. These products are made from trees, from fully sustainable tree farms. So treat your butt like the king it is, Go two-ply, or even better, go three-ply, and thank your rear for putting up with you all day. And support growers by buying paper. So clean in comfort, and save a tree farmer.
Chris Hamble is a freelance writer and humor columnist serving newspapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is a lifelong Stillwater resident.