Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.
I love this topic! Here are some things I’ve recently googled and why I looked them up online.
Do pigeons recognize individual humans?
As you all know, I like to say good morning or good evening to the pigeons who live in my neighbourhood when I pass by them.
I sometimes wonder if they recognize the friendly human who greets them so often.
Yes, it turns out they can recognize individuals.
Isn’t that neat?
Signs of a migraine attack
Best ice pack for migraine
I’ve had occasional but horrid headaches for years. It was during a conversation with a relative who has the same issue recently that I realized my headaches might actually be migraines.
This is something I plan to discuss in detail with my family doctor the next time I have a checkup. In the meantime, I’ve been researching steps I can take to help reduce their frequency, predict when they’re about to happen, and numb the pain without opioids.
(This is in no way a judgement of people who need them, by the way. I’m simply cautious about taking any new medications for a laundry list of reasons that would derail the purpose of this post).
How did Victorians make ice cream?
On a more cheerful note, I recently watched a long video called How the Victorians Made Their Exquisite Ice Cream and was curious to learn more about the process as well as what flavours were popular in the 1800s. Imagine spending 5 hours making cucumber ice cream! I think I’ll stick to mint chocolate chip, but kudos to previous generations for trying everything under the sun.
Cheugy refers to things that are off-trend and out of date. Some sites say that owning Harry Potter merchandise and/or being too into the franchise in general is cheugy now because that’s only for “old” folks. I can’t stop giggling at that idea.
Every year I take the last two weeks of December off from serious blogging to recharge. One of the lighthearted topics I save for the end of this month has to do with answering search engine questions.
The phrases and sentences in bold below are the most amusing, thought-provoking queries that have sent new readers to this site over the past twelve months that didn’t warrant their own blog posts.
My responses are below them. This is a 1500-word post because new visitors, and therefore I, had a lot to say this year.
how to fly in air by meditation.
Some people do believe it is possible to levitate or even fly while meditating.
I’m quite skeptical about claims like these, especially if they’re made by anyone who is making money by selling anything that will teach you how to do this. When in doubt, do not pay anyone to give you magical powers unless you are a self-aware character in a story you know will end well.
Lydia’s barber shop
I do not own a barber shop, although my spouse and I did start trimming each other’s hair during the first wave of Covid-19 and have continued that practice to this day.
Lydia’s apple orchard
I also do not own an orchard. When I was a child, I lived in a few different farmhouses that were originally built in the 1800s. At least one of them had a single apple tree on the property, but that was the extent of their orchard-like properties.
how to fix a Mary Sue
Step 1: Start working to unlearn sexism (and all other forms of prejudice). If you are human, this is an ongoing process. If you are not human, please comment and tell us what your species is like.
Step 2: Hold male characters to the same standards you hold female characters to.
Step 3: Write characters who have realistic and meaningful flaws no matter what their gender identities might be.
Star Trek fluffy creatures
The word you’re looking for is Tribbles, and I will talk your ears off about them if you allow me to. They’re delightful.
why do I prefer to be alone?
You might be an introvert. Alone time is what recharges us from socialization.
reasons to go to the mall
In pandemic times, you should only go if you truly need something there and can’t find it anywhere else.
In non-pandemic times, you should only go if you truly need something there and can’t find it anywhere else.
(Can you tell I’m not a fan of malls?)
what being an adult feels like.
Uncertain. I thought I’d have it all figured out by now.
You can learn a lot from Lydia.
Thank you. You use proper punctuation and grammar which easily puts you in the top 1% of search engine queries. We might be life partners and/or chosen family now. If you wish, I’ll even start trimming your hair. 😉
why are gym teachers so mean?
my English teacher hates me.
Teaching is a skill that is not possessed by everyone who is employed at a school by any means. I also wonder if some teachers aren’t terribly burned out and should be retrained for different careers.
I had an awful teacher in school one year. When I was much older I learned some things about her personal life that helped me develop a little compassion for her, but I still think she should have sought employment that didn’t involve children in any way.
However, understanding why someone may have behaved the way they did is never an excuse for the harm they cause.
what make a good gym teacher
Someone who genuinely enjoys teaching and spending time with children.
Someone who is cognizent of the fact that their students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and ability levels and who takes all of these things into consideration when lesson planning.
Someone who is responsive to their students and adjusts their teaching methods to appeal to everyone, especially kids who have not had positive experiences with gym class or exercise in general. Athletic kids will continue to enjoy working out regardless, so I think it’s important to help non-athletic kids discover the many other types of exercise out there.
I could talk about this topic all day. I love mindfulness gifs.
cool things to collect
Memories. Photos. Delicious meals and snacks. Smiles. Random acts of kindness. Amusing stories. Hugs (in non-Covid times and with consent, of course).
how to have a friendly face
Smile gently and make eye contact. Use these powers carefully if you’re a woman or non-binary person who wants to avoid the occasional odd encounter with a stranger.
the bear who wasn’t there
This sounds like something my dad would google. He likes to sing lighthearted folk songs, so I choose to imagine that one of them is about an invisible or missing bear.
There are more than seven rabbits in this gif. Is that close enough?
how to make playground equipment
I haven’t the foggiest notion how to do that. May I refer you to my brother who builds all sorts of things out of scrap wood for fun? If you ask him for a poem or story about it, he will refer you back to me for an artistic interpretation of his work. We’re a good team like that.
I love this query and hope one of my readers will have a suggestion for it. This is also a great segway to the second portion of this post.
Jean M. Auel and Earth’s Children Questions
On that note, let’s end this with some of the many questions about Jean M. Auel and Earth’s Children I’ve received here since the Internet has decided I’m an expert on this topic.
Beware of a few spoilers from a nearly 40-year-old series if you want to read Earth’s Children without knowing anything in advance.
Where does Clan of the Cave Bear take place?
Answer #1: It takes place between 29,500 and 26,500 years ago in what is now known to be southern Europe.
Answer #2: A regrettable film from 1986 that seemed to have only briefly skimmed the blurb for this book instead of, you know, actually reading and comprehending the entire story.
Answer #3: Your imagination.
When was Clan of the Cave Bear written?
It was published in 1980, so I’d guess it was written in the late 1970s. If you meant the geographic location, I’d assume it was either in Jean M. Auel’s home or at the libraries where she studied all sorts of stuff related to hunter-gatherers and prehistory while writing this tale and its sequels.
Is Jean Auel still writing?
Is Jean Auel writing a seventh book?
What happened to Jean Auel?
Jean Auel is in her mid-80s now and retired from writing new stories so far as I know.
Does Ayla see Durc again
Canonically, she does not see him again, but there are many fan fiction stories out there that give this mother and son a much more satisfying resolution to their forced separation.
What happened to the clan after Ayla left?
Based on the foreshadowing in Clan of the Cave Bear, the current leader probably wasn’t in power for very long due to his narcissism, impulsivity, and bad temper. Based on promises their mothers made when these characters were babies, Durc was assigned a mate who was half homo sapien and half Neanderthal like he was. As an adult, he may have left his tribe with anyone who wanted a more stable living situation and moved elsewhere.
Earth’s Children’s series book 7
There is a fan fiction book written to wrap up all of the loose ends that were left unresolved in Jean M. Auel’s official sixth and final book in this series.
Clan of the Cave Bear movie remake
The Valley of Horses movie
Is Clan of the Cave Bear on Netflix?
Will some streaming network please buy the rights to this series and turn them into films or a TV show! There’s clearly demand for it from people other than me.
Is Ayla a common name?
It depends on which culture you live it and what your definition of “common” might be.
Ayla is a traditional name in Turkish,Hindi, Spanish and Scottish cultures and sometimes pop up in Hebrew ones as well.
In 2017 it was within the 100 most popular names in Scotland, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.
If I had a dog, Ayla would be a top contender for her name.
What is Ayla’s real name?
No one knows the answer to this for sure. I suspect that Ayla was part of her original name. For example, she might have been called Shayla or something by her birth parents before her adoptive (Neanderthal) parents shortened it because they couldn’t pronounce those extra syllables.
Someone, or possibly more than one person, keeps finding this blog by searching for creepy Christmas poems.
If they ever read this post, I hope they know it was written in direct response to the multiple queries that have popped up in my analytics.
I more or less stopped celebrating Christmas years ago when I moved far away from home, deconverted from my childhood religion, accepted a job in an industry that was always busy and stressful in December, and found myself overwhelmed by the sentimentality and consumerism of secular Christmas.
Now I sound like a grumpy character at the beginning of a Christmas movie who is about to learn a valuable life lesson, but that’s honestly not how I think about this holiday at all.
I enjoy the lights, food, and music that is traditionally shared now, and I cheer for everyone who finds meaning in the other aspects of Christmas (and/or any other winter holiday) as well.
I simply know what my limits are. Luckily, those limits include creepy Christmas poems when new readers show up here looking for them. Here are some poems that celebrate Christmas without a single ounce of sentimentality.
As I mentioned here, the idea for today’s post came from numerous hits my site has gotten over the last year or so about mindfulness exercises for bad moods.
I purposefully narrowed down this list to a a few exercises that are quick and easy to do because that’s exactly what I need when I’m down in the dumps. Complicated instructions and lengthy lists are best saved for more cheerful days, I think.
If you know of other quick and easy exercises like these, do jump into the comment section below and share. There are many other visualization techniques out there, and they range from simple ones like I’m about to share to much more complex routines.
A Gratitude Challenge
Time commitment: 1 minute
Best for: Reframing your thoughts
Step 1 – Close your eyes
Step 2 – Make a list of three things you’re genuinely grateful for. Literally anything counts, and there are no wrong answers. Sometimes I count the friendly pigeons who live in front of my building as one of my answers. They’re also so curious to see what the humans are up to when we wander by.
Step 3 – Open your eyes
The Balloon Game
Time commitment: 1-5 minutes
Best for: Letting go and interrupting rumination
Step 1: Close your eyes and make a list of the things that are currently bothering you. They could be anything: unresolved conflicts, regrets, old conversations that keep replaying in your mind, and anything else that can’t be fixed right now or ever.
Step 2: Visualize as many balloons as you need for your list. I like to spend at least a minute picturing their colours and shapes in detail before imagining my problems listed on them.
Step 3: Imagine releasing each balloon into the sky on a windy day. (I once lost a balloon this way as a kid. They escape so quickly you can never chase them down again!) If or when that thought pops up again, remind yourself that it’s been blown away now. There’s no way to chase it down again.
Big Deep Breaths
Time commitment: As long or as short as you want it to be.
Best for: Living in the moment and calming racing thoughts.
Step 1: Search for breathe calming gifs like this one. You’ll want to keep your eyes open for this exercise.
Step 2: Synchronize your breathing so that you inhale when the image expands and exhale when it contracts. Some of these gifs are specifically designed to slow down the breathing cycle a little for users. That in and of itself can distract you from thoughts that stubbornly stick around.
Every year I take the last two week of December off from serious blogging, so here’s a lighthearted topic for today that I’ve been slowly compiling since last winter.
The phrases and sentences in bold are the funniest, most interesting queries that have sent new readers to this site over the last year. My responses are below them.
Will we ever run out of new music
Only when we run out of people. Even then, I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t leave behind a few machines that knew how to make music and continued to churn out new songs.
How popular is the name lydia
It was #85 on the top 100 list for baby girl names in 2017. I love my name and hope it becomes more widely used someday.
How much do gym teachers make
According to this site, it’s about $51,000 a year for elementary gym teachers and $53,000 for middle/high school gym teachers in the United States. Depending on your years of experience and where you live, the salary can be as low as $35,000 or as high as $80,000.
teleport lydia to me how to teleport lydia to me
If this is a Star Trek thing, sign me up! I’d love to explore your ship, have a few minor health issues fixed in your medical bay, eat replicator meals, and visit all of the cool holodeck programs.
Your wish is my command.
Gif description: a man sneezing repeatedly into a handkerchief.
What is gender treachery in the handmaid’s tale
Having a physical and/or romantic relationship with someone of the same gender. LGBT+ people didn’t fare well in Gilead at all. We’d give it 0 out of 10 stars.
compliments that begin with t
how to summon Lydia
Other than teleportation, you could offer me dairy-free chocolate and an engrossing story. Or, you know, text me and say you want to get together for tea or something.
Is The Magicians worth watching?
Yes. I found the first season a little slow in the beginning, but the storylines become really good once you get to the end of that season and the start of the second one.
wtf facts about silent people
Sometimes we have top secret meetings about talkative people. The ones that think it’s funny to ask us why we’re so quiet or treat our temperaments like they’re a character flaw get added to the naughty list. Everyone else gets fresh, homemade cookies (unless they don’t want cookies).
I’d say more, but I don’t know that the Silent People Board of Elders ™ would approve. 😉
How do I get to Mordor
Just about any other destination in Arda would be a safer place to visit. I’d much rather visit The Shire, Rivendell, or Treebeard’s Hill. If you insist on going to Mordor anyway, I’d suggest flagging down a Nazgul or wandering into Orc territory.
I’d follow you into the Mists of Avalon
Thank you. I’d lead you into the Mists of Avalon if I knew where to find it and that I could get us home safe again. Ideally, we’d use your teleporter and be back home again before anyone missed us.
Is Jean M. Auel dead?
Not so far as I can tell. She’s in her 80s now and isn’t particularly interested in spending much time online from what I’ve heard, so I suspect any future notices about her health will come from one of her children.
How to make lembas bread
I blogged about a recipe that’s the closest thing us mortals will ever get to true lembas bread. It’s pretty delicious, but it has yet to give me superhuman endurance.
Happy Labour Day to everyone in Canada and the United States. Most schools here in Canada reopen after Labour Day weekend, so thoughts of making lists and cracking open books are bouncing around in my head. This is the time of year when I’d try to squeeze the last bit of fun out of the… Read More
This blog has seen a surge in visits over the past two months. Welcome, new readers! It’s nice to meet all of you. I thought I’d answer some of the questions that some people typed into search engines in order to find this site. Hopefully, the things you might have been wondering about will be… Read More