A Little Synchronous

Last night, while eating dinner, I was watching an episode of The West Wing, in the episode, CJ, the press secretary was explaining to Donna how a bad situation was going to play with the press. She said there would definitely be some schadenfreude.

Donna, a secretary, said, “schadenfreude?”

CJ replied “you know, enjoying the suffering of others. The whole rationale behind the US House of Representatives.”

It was a funny moment, but hardly one that would stick in my mind, until I came to work, about 12 hours later and the first email in my inbox was my word of the day email.

Today’s word?

Schadenfreude (n.) Pleasure derived from another’s misfortune.

Well, how about that?

That’s not so common a word that you’d expect to keep hearing it. It’s moments like that, moments of synchronicity that make my day. And also, it’s a lovely addition to our TYNKYNK and the first one of 2013!

Galileo, the Straight Dope, and Apollo 15

I keep running into this same information and decided that I love to learn new things, so I’m going to share it with you.

It began yesterday, with the Word of the Day email. They tend to separate the words into themes, so each week are themed words. Last week, it was words that derived from animal names, this week, it is 18-letter words. 18 letters because yesterday marked the 18th anniversary of their first issue (March 14, 1994). To celebrate the octodecennary – that’s a real word that means group of 18, which is pretty cool in and of itself – they are running 18 letter words all week long. Yesterday’s word was:

gedankenexperiment

which means “an experiment carried out in imagination, only”.

The site goes on to give examples of the word in actual usage. In this case, they touched upon one of the most famous gedankenexperiments, Galileo dropping items from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is believed that Galileo did not actually do this experiement, he just used it as an example to prove his hypothesis. Prior to Galileo’s time, the major brain of the world was Aristotle, it was Aristotle who surmised that two objects, falling, do not travel at the same speed, the heavier one falls faster. In theory, it sounds correct, but Galileo’s thought experiment showed it false. The classic example is if you drop a feather and a hammer off a building, they will hit the ground at the same time, regardless of the fact that a hammer is much heavier.

Now, of course, this must be under specific conditions, as air resistance will slow down a falling feather, having much less effect on a solid and smooth hammer.

Well, that was interesting enough, and I read it all and moved on. Then, this morning, I was looking something up on The Straight Dope, a website dedicated to giving answers to random questions, a site which I adore. After learning whatever brought me there, I decided to click on the “read a random question” link, just to see what else I could learn. The first thing that came up was about spiders, which creeped me out. I clicked the link to move on and the next thing that came up was this post, entitled, “If a hammer and a feather are dropped together, won’t the hammer hit the ground first?

What are the odds?

Pretty good if you’re the Mistress of the Universe, I suppose.

It’s another clear cut case of synchronicity, which always just tickles me. Then, that post by the Straight Dope went on to explain that this had been scientifically proven true, in an experiment done on the moon, by the Apollo 15 mission.

That’s the video of the actual experiment. It was pretty cool. It’s awesome when learning just comes upon me so easily, must be birthday week! (Tomorrow’s the big day, people, are you so excited!?!?!?!)

Hope you enjoyed your birthday week rendition of TYNKYNK.

Meatball Synchronicity

I follow two food blogs. Only two. I’m kind of a blog junkie, but food blogs get to be a bit overwhelming if you don’t cook. If Tom Colicchio started a food blog, I’d be an avid devotee, but so far, he doesn’t blog outside of Bravo’s Top Chef website.

Having said that, the two blogs that I follow are just perfect for me. Both are simple enough and have items featured that fall within my range of experience, with just enough “outside” food to tempt me into trying something new.

Which is the point, really.

So this morning, I cue up my reader and start checking what happened in the blogosphere over the weekend. I always hit my top three favorite first, then do the rest of them either alphabetically or reverse-alphabetically, if I’m feeling punchy.

Today, on this tired Monday morning, I was going alphabetically.

This brought me first to Budget Bytes. This is a food blog for cheap recipes. And when you tend to make simple things into utter disasters, cheap is the way to go. The recipe this morning was for Turkey Meatballs. They sounded delicious and the recipe seemed very easy, so I saved it to my recipe file. I don’t do this often, only for things I really think I might make. However, my first thought was “what do you do with them?” This isn’t a meal, just how to make these particular meatballs. The author said she’ll feature them in upcoming recipes, but that doesn’t really help me today, now does it?

(As a side note, I’m not actually going to make these today, so it shouldn’t matter, but it bugged me nonetheless, because what if I DID want to make them today?)

Well, I moved on with my life, because I don’t have that much open time to blog read on a daily basis–and I follow so very many.

Several minutes later, I hit upon the second food blog, Smitten Kitchen. This is a little more “high-test” (to quote my dad) than the other, and some of the stuff she makes is out of my league. But her variety is good and she seems to have similar food tastes to me. I’ve made one of her recipes (Mediterranean Pepper Salad) and it was delicious and EASY, not to mention pretty. However, today, her Monday morning recipe was for Meatball Subs!

What?!?

The odds of that are unbelievable. In a matter of minutes, I found a recipe that in which I can use the Turkey Meatballs and I wasn’t even looking. Obviously, I saved that recipe as well and now I have a new food item to try out. Let me know if you’re daring and want to come over for Turkey Meatball Subs–I’m feeling good and might be crazy enough to say yes!