Happy Last Friday in July! 🏖

Even though it’s been hot, summer is half over. Enjoy it while you can … Those colder, dark months are just around the corner :wink:


How about some Summer Trivia!

  • The word “summer” is from the Proto-Indo-European root *sam-, meaning summer. The root *sam is a variant from the Proto-Indo-European root *sem-, which means “together/one.”

  • The “dog days of summer” refer to the weeks between July 3 and August 11 and are named after the Dog Star (Sirius) in the Canis Major constellation. The ancient Greeks blamed Sirius for the hot temperatures, drought, discomfort, and sickness that occurred during the summer.

  • Summer is the by far the busiest time at movie theaters, and Hollywood always hopes to earn a significant portion of total annual ticket sales through summer blockbuster months. To date, the top 10 most famous summer blockbusters of all time are 1) Jaws, 2) Star Wars, 3) Jurassic Park, 4) The Dark Knight, 5) Raiders of the Lost Ark, 6) E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, 7) Forrest Gump, 8) Ghostbusters, 9) Animal House, and 10) Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

  • In the United States, over 650 million long-distance summer trips are made.

  • In the United States, the top 5 most popular summer vacations are 1) beach/ocean (45%), 2) a famous city (42%), 3) national parks (21%), 4) a lake (17%), and 5) a resort (14%).

  • The top 5 most popular summer vacation activities in the United States are 1) shopping (54%), 2) visiting historical sites (49%), 3) swimming/water sports (49%), 4) going to a park or national park (46%), and 5) sightseeing tours (46%).

The Eiffel Tower is 6 inches taller in the summer than in the winter

Interesting Eiffel Tower Fact

  • In the summer heat, the iron in France’s Eiffel Tower expands, making the tower grow more than 6 inches.

  • The month of June was named after either Juniores, the lower branch of the roman Senate, or Juno, the wife of Jupiter.

  • Marc Antony named the month of July, in honor of Julius Caesar.[

  • The month of August was named for Julius Caeser’s adopted nephew Gaius Julius Caesar Octavius, who held the title “Augustus.” He named the month after himself.

  • “September” is from the Latin wordseptem, meaning “seven.”

  • Both “equinox” and “solstice” refer to the path of the sun throughout the year. During a solstice, the sun is either at its northernmost point (Tropic of Cancer) or it is at its southernmost point (Tropic of Capricorn). An equinox is either of the two days each year when the sun crosses the equator and both day and night are equally long.

  • The word “solstice” is from the Latin solstitium, which is from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop) because it seems as if the sun stops at the solstice.

  • In the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice occurs sometime between June 20 and June 22, and between December 20 and December 23 in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • Scientists argue that summer babies are significantly more likely to suffer from mood swings than babies born in other seasons.

  • In southern England, over 37,000 people gather at Stonehenge to see the summer solstice. Druids and pagans are among those who celebrate the longest day of the year at this notable place.

  • Around the summer solstice, some Christians celebrate St. John’s Eve, which marks the birth of John the Baptist. John supposedly was born 6 months before Christ, which is traditionally considered to be around December 24.

  • The word “season” is from the Old French season, which means “sowing/planting” or “seed time.”

  • Ancient pagans celebrated midsummer with bonfires. It was believed that the crops would grow as high as a couple could jump across the fire. Additionally, bonfires would generate magic by boosting the sun’s powers.

  • Warmer weather causes certain diseases to peak during the summer, such as Valley Fever, West Nile Lyme Disease, and food poisoning.

  • The first Olympic Games in the modern era were the 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece. The Games featured the Panathinaiko Stadium, the first giant stadium of the modern world that housed the largest crowd to ever watch a sporting event.

  • According to custom, in the United States, a person can wear white pants only during the summer, or between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Watermelon is a classic summer treat

  • A ubiquitous summer treat is watermelon. Watermelon is part of the cucumber, pumpkin, and squash family and consists of 92% water. On average, Americans consume 15 pounds of watermelon annually.

  • Popsicles, a popular summer treat, was accidentally invented by an 11-year-old boy in San Francisco in 1905. He left a glass of soda sitting outside and by the next morning the soda had frozen. He began selling them at an amusement park in New Jersey. In the U.S., cherry is the number 1 flavor.

  • July, the hottest summer month in the Northern Hemisphere, is National Ice Cream Month, not surprisingly. Americans eat an average 20 quarts of ice cream a year. Vanilla is the most popular flavor, with chocolate coming in a distant second.

  • Contrary to popular belief, crime rates do not increase during the summer. However, the types of crimes change as the seasons change. For example, during the summer, bike thefts and items stolen from cars increase. During the winter, criminals are more likely to steal cars and Christmas presents left in cars.

Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream

  • Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream takes place on Midsummer’s Eve, a time that Elizabethans would have associated with celebration. The summer solstice was associated with dancing drinking, mystery, and magic. In his bewitching play, Shakespeare captures the festive atmosphere of the season and even includes some summer rituals.

  • The longest summer bikini parade on record happened on August 19, 2012, in China with 1,085 participants.

  • Many ancient civilizations celebrated the summer solstice. For example, the ancient Greeks celebrated the agriculture god Cronus; the ancient Romans paid tribute to Vesta, the goddess of the hearth; and the ancient Chinese honored femininity and the force known as yin.

  • Many Native Americans held ritual dances to honor the sun during the summer solstice. For example, the Sioux would set up teepees in a circle to represent the cosmos, and participants would decorate their bodies in the symbolic colors of the sun: red (sunset), blue (sky), yellow (lightning), and black (night).

  • Before the Civil War, schools did not have summer vacation. In rural communities, kids had school off during the spring planting and fall harvest while urban schools were essentially year-round. The long summer holiday didn’t come about until the early 20th century.

  • According to Forbes, the top 9 most hazardous summer injuries are caused by 1) playground equipment; 2) skateboards; 3) trampolines; 4) lawn mowers; 5) amusement attractions; 6) non-powder guns, BBs pellets; 7) beach, picnic, camping equipment; 8) barbeque grills, stoves, equipment; and 9) trimmers, small garden tools.

  • Studies reveal that most American babies are born in the late summer (September 12, 18, 25, and 26), while the least are delivered on major holidays.

  • According to Rolling Stone, the top 10 best summer songs of all time are 1) “Dancing in the Street,” Martha & The Vandellas; 2) “Summertime Blues,” Eddie Cochran; 3) “School’s Out,” Alice Cooper; 4) “California Girls,” The Beach Boys; 5) “Rockaway Beach,” The Ramones; 6) “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” Sly & the Family Stone; 7) “Summer in the City,” Lovin’ Spoonful; 8) “Vacation,” The Go-Gos; 9) “Summertime,” DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince; and 10) “Cruel Summer,” Bananarama.

  • In some European pagan traditions, picking certain plants, such as roses, verbena, rue, and St. John’s wort on the summer solstice gave them certain properties that they wouldn’t have if they were picked at any other time.

  • The most dangerous time to go to the hospital is during the summer, especially July. The most experienced medical residents graduate and leave hospitals in July, just as new physicians (or last year’s medical students) arrive. Death rates increase between 8%–24% in July.

  • Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans eat over 7 billion hot dogs.



Damn KK, that’s quite a post! Thanks for the legwork. As anyone who knows me well would expect, I’ve got a few comments:

I don’t get that at all. Maybe it’s because I don’t care about movies in general enough to make the effort to see them as soon as they premiere, but I think it’s just weird that “good weather” = peak of indoor activity.

Hmmm…apparently parts of me could be made of better materials.

All the good self-promotion ideas are already taken.

I think it’s Interesting how that fact opens with “scientists argue”. Friggin’ babies.


Damn, I’m doing the work of like, 6 people here.

Okay, maybe I’m not doing my part so much. I haven’t had real, full-strength ice cream in over 20 years.

That makes even less sense than the theater-in-the-summer thing. Everydamnedthing should look and taste ORANGE (except watermelon).

Whoa, a bike bought as a Christmas present and stashed in a car doesn’t stand a chance!

All the currently-living people capable of conceiving this kind of imagery have already been taken into custody.

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Someone somewhere is eating 30lbs of watermelon a year to make up for what I don’t eat. :slight_smile:Can’t stand watermelon.

Spending the day here today making sure I don’t have to spend the day here tomorrow.

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“Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Midday Sun”, wrote Noel Coward.

I, being slightly smarter, stay inside.

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Two words; Air Conditioning


lmaooo HB !!! Love the commentary :wink:

and …

I’m a Summer baby … and I don’t have mood swings.

I mean it …


Oh hey … want some watermelon?


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Give me PD’s too. Guy hates the stuff.

Oh, and Happy Birthday! (recently or soon)


Why thank you :smiley:

I’m a late June baby … On the cusp of Cancer/Gemini … and yes I am highly emotional and empathic at times lol … but, I recover fairly quickly :smiley:

Same here. My sense of taste is apparently different from others. Every now and again, someone convinces me to take a bite of watermelon, which looks like it should taste good, but it always tastes the same — bad.

I don’t eat 20 quarts per year, but that’s only because it’s banned from our house except for special occasions. The reason for that ban being that I love the stuff and would eat 50 quarts per year if it were always within walking distance to the freezer.

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Much to my heart break I don’t eat much Ice Cream at all. I love it … but, it doesn’t love me. I have some odd lactose thing. I could eat cheese, yogurt and sour cream ‘till the cows came home lol … but Milk, Ice Cream or Milkshakes and I’m dyin’. I can put a small splash of milk in my tea or coffee. But that’s it.

I do treat myself to a couple bites of Black Cherry or Butter Pecan or Pistachio about once a year and get a small vanilla soft serve at Martha’s usually on my birthday. A few licks and I’m done … I swear I’m the only adult that orders a kiddie cone … other than kiddies lol :smiley:

Needless to say our freezer never has Ice Cream either :wink:

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You know, when I think about it sometimes, the whole milk thing seems sort of yucky (my picky eater complex kicking in).

We’re the only things on the planet that drink the milk secreted for the babies of other animals, and we continue to eat and drink it as adults. Gross! We even let the stuff get so old and rotten that it turns into yogurt and cheese.

The whole lactose intolerance problem makes sense. We’re not supposed to be drinking other animals’ milk — especially as adults. I get the same kind of creepy feelings about eating eggs sometimes — bird embryos. (None of this applies to ice cream, though, which, for whatever reason, never kicks into gear my picking eating problem.)

Hmmm…granted, more store-bought melons will be bad than good, but sweet, ripe watermelon is so delicious to me that I can eat myself sick on it. Cantaloupe (all muskmelon, actually), even more so but good ones and the timing needed to get them, are even more rare.

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Must be a thing. I can’t stand any kind of melon either. Cantelope, green ones, orange ones, yellow ones, all of them smell like spoiled garbage. Literally.
Every year I grow one or two Charentais melon vines in my garden and will get a couple melons I can ripen on the vine, but still can’t barely get past the smell of them. I usually end up giving one away.

Watermelon, I try every couple years and nope, just tastes bad.

Ice Cream on the other hand, have to set limits there. Only between the months of may and October, only on every other Saturday, and we have to go to a local farm stand ice cream place to get it. Cannot have it in the house. This weekend is ice cream weekend! Two scoop butter crunch butterscotch sundae with the works on top and a cone on the side.

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That’s what I was referring to when I mentioned that it might taste different to me than others, like yourself. I’ve had people rave about a particular watermelon, so I’ll take a bite. The sweetness might be there, but it’s overpowered by a hard-to-describe slightly rancid, bitter and astringent taste and smell. Like PrintDriver mentioned, that’s true to one extent or another with all melons. I can sometimes eat pieces of cantaloupe, but I can’t say I like it.

I read the results of a study that concluded that some people’s taste receptors are not sensitive to certain chemicals in broccoli (glucosinolate compounds) that taste terrible (at least to those who can taste the stuff). Apparently, I can’t taste these compounds because I totally love broccoli. I wonder if something similar might be the case with melons.

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I’m sure it’s a chemical make up type deal …

@Just-B and @PrintDriver
You two might have something similar to me when it comes to Cilantro. Everyone loves the stuff … I could gag. I have that perfume/soap reaction.

If you two are smelling garbage and a rancid taste … it’s definitely something in your make up. The only smell from watermelon is a bit of an earthy smell. What do you two smell when it rains? Do you smell “Petrichor” … earthy smell or something else?

Otherwise … I’m with HB … we’ll take all the melons :smiley: … and I love broccoli too :smiley:

I didn’t know it was petrichor, but yes, it smells especially good after a rainy summer thunderstorm. That’s definitely not what I smell in watermelon, though.

There’s a nice watermelon flavor beneath the acrid, astringent, pungent taste that isn’t bad, but it’s overwhelmed by the bad flavors. When I eat watermelon-flavored candy (not a big candy eater other than chocolate, but that’s another story), the good watermelon taste is there, minus the not-so-good flavors in actual watermelons. I have a good friend who will eat most anything except melons. He describes the taste like PrintDriver and I mentioned, so I suspect it’s a real thing.

Now that I’m thinking about it, there’s a similar (but different) bitter, astringent, acidic taste that overwhelms the good flavor in tomatoes too. I can eat raw tomatoes on a sandwich, but by themselves, um, I’m not a big fan. When I eat salads at restaurants, the tomato pieces always get left on the plate, which usually end up on Mrs. B’s plate. To her, they’re sweet and tasty. To me they’re bitter and mouth-puckering.

I’m not all that big on cilantro either, but I don’t dislike it. it’s just one of those ingredients that go into making things I do really like, like Mexican food.

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I think we may have stumbled upon a new food conundrum :smiley:

I just found this:

Cucumbers and melons contain phytochemicals. Scientists have identified an organic substance Phenylthiocarbamide - often simply called PTC - that either tastes bitter, or is completely tasteless depending on the genetic makeup of the individual.

Cucumbers contain related organic compounds that are thought to cause the taste some people find repugnant (and others don’t notice at all). A gene called TAS2R38is responsible for the ability to taste the earlier-mentioned PTC, and another bitter compound called PROP. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that there could be some more unpleasant chemicals that only certain people can taste.

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Cucumbers taste bitter to me raw, but that chemical must die when they get boiled in the hot water bath when doing pickles. I love my pickles (actually gran’s recipe.)
Cilantro has absolutely no taste to me. It doesn’t even taste like green leaves. But I still add it to Mexican recipes because other people like it.

Tomatoes are tasty. So is broccoli. Bell peppers, not a fan, but I like fried light green Italian peppers. Again cooking might kill the bitter thing in those or it may not even be in them. Bell peppers I don’t like even when cooked.

Eggplant is another, the skins taste bitter to me cooked or raw. The pulp is ok boiled then mixed in spaghetti sauce.

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