#SomethingNewEveryDay – Smell and Memory

One of my favorite “ice breaker” type questions is this:  Had you to give up one of your five senses – sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell – which one would you choose?

I know from my own experiences that there is a strong association between smell and memory.  Whenever I smell a humid basement – that strange mix of wet concrete specific to New England – I can immediately remember a hundred things about my grandparents’ house.  Years ago, I walked past a man wearing the same cologne a long-ago, long-time boyfriend wore, and I found myself a little choked up before I pieced together what I remembered and why.

But, I never studied why smells can trigger memories.  So, I went in search of an article that might explain, and I found a great one on HowStuffWorks.  It’s worth a read.  The most interesting fact I learned was about anosmia.  Anosmics are people without a sense of smell.  I had no idea that there was an actual name for this condition.  I also did not really appreciate how global sense of smell is in terms of how the human brain works (or doesn’t work).


#SomethingNewEveryDay – Desert Rain Frogs

I love frogs.  It was a surprise even to me.  The year I was waiting for my bar exam results, two of my best girlfriends took me to a little town in California called Murphys.  It’s a wonderful place to eat, shop and wine taste.  But, Murphys is also known for its frogs (or, more specifically, its frog-jumping contest).  In one of the many shops we visited to kill the s  l  o  w  e  s  t  day ever, I found a ceramic frog with huge eyes that I immediately found comforting – the way a child might find comfort in a teddy bear.

But up until yesterday, my experience with frogs was limited to the kind that croak that throaty ribbit people who live near golf courses know and hate. (Yeah, I’m talking to you, G.)  Then, I saw and heard this:

He’s like a real-life squeak toy. And, the juxtaposition of that adorable squeak with his puffy posturing is so stinkin’ cute. I mean terrifying. (Sorry, dude. I mean cute. It can’t be helped.)

You can learn more about desert rain frogs at The Eco-LOL-ogist (which is a great blog if you like science-y type stuff or need a not-so-boring-you-want-stick-a-pencil-in-your-eye resource for a research paper).

#SomethingNewEveryDay – Moon Jellyfish

Moon jellyfish, or Aurelia aurita, look like tiny, translucent, dancing buttons.  We met them today on a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  They are in a tank installed in a dark room, where speakers pipe in hypnotic music.  I could watch them for hours.

Took this today at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Took this today at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

You can read more about them here.

#SomethingNewEveryDay – Life Savers

Life Savers were invented in 1912 by a chocolatier.  He was frustrated by chocolate that melted in the summer heat, so he wanted a candy that would boost his sales in hotter months.  Thus, the Life Saver was born.  The name came from the flotation devices, which were installed on passenger ships that same year.  And the chocolatier found his production by happenstance, watching a pharmacist using a pill maker while waiting at the drug store.

I don't if it saves lives, but folks sitting next to me in a meeting after I've had coffee probably really appreciate a well-timed wintergreen-flavored Life Saver.

I don’t know if it saves lives, but folks sitting next to me in a meeting after I’ve had coffee probably really appreciate a well-timed wintergreen-flavored Life Saver.





#SomethingNewEveryDay – Meditation

Meditation is not new to me.  I’ve tried it in the past, but I’ve not found it as effective as others.  Today, though, I saw this quote posted on the wall of a Facebook friend, and I realized that meditation wasn’t working for me, because I was doing it wrong.  Now, I am inspired to try again.

Let it go!  Let it go!  (Sorry, I could not resist.)

Let it go! Let it go! (Sorry, I could not resist.)

#SomethingNewEveryDay – Chinese Tea Eggs

I am not a fan of hard-boiled eggs.  I make them once a year at Easter so that the kids can color them.  But, until I saw this post from Savorychicks, I had no idea you could actually infuse a hard-boiled egg with other flavors.  And, I definitely had no idea they could be so beautiful.  I’m wondering if balsamic vinegar would work in place of the soy sauce and what the color result might be.  I will report back.

Photo credit:  Savorychicks via Pinterest

Photo credit: Savorychicks via Pinterest



#SomethingNewEveryDay – Lemon Cucumbers

My husband and I went to the farmer’s market in our town the other night.  As I was looking at cucumbers, I spied this:

Found at our trip to the local farmer's market.

Found at our trip to the local farmer’s market.

It is a lemon cucumber.  It’s not lemony in flavor; it gets its name from its appearance.  This one isn’t that yellow but some were.  I think these have a stronger flavor than green cucumbers, but the basic flavor profile is the same.  They are much prettier than green cucumbers when cut open, so if I wanted to feature cucumbers in a salad, I would definitely use these.