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Shields & Splits
Open me before you open work email.
Today we’re going to learn about continental shields, weather phenomena, and somehow tie in family crests.
The Daily Rabbit Hole: The Canadian Shield extends for 3 million square miles.
If you ever wanted to know why Canada has a weird population map, after you dig a bit on this one - you’ll understand why.
On January 5th, 1997 the New York Times released an obituary. This is quite normal for major publications - putting in print a pre-prepared obituary of notable people, making last second changes to accommodate for the details of what befell them in the end. This one is particularly interesting in that its subject is rather sterile. I have a hard time believing anyone would dedicate 528 words to the man who invented Crest toothpaste in 2023.
I mean this opening is sensational:
“Joseph Charles Muhler, a latter-day alchemist who helped turn stannous fluoride into tubed gold -- a dentifrice named Crest -- died on Dec. 24 at St. Joseph Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Ind. He was 73 and lived in nearby Sturgis, Mich.”
A latter-day alchemist, stannous flouride into tubed gold, a dentifrice named Crest … any child in the 90s - with a mother whose common refrain when asked “what does this word mean?” was “get the dictionary” - would have taken an hour to read all 528 words of this.
The ‘Wait, What?’ Vortex: There are hills in Kansas that have convinced the local population that they part the weather.
“The Tonganoxie Split is a vaporous local legend that ‘purports the mystical power of the hills’ to divert severe weather away from the Kansas City metropolitan area”
Family crests …
“The oldest documented example of a coat of arms borne on a shield is where King Henry I of England is said to have bestowed on his son-in-law, Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, in 1127 A.D.: the azure shield bore four gold lions rampant.”
Like many things from Medieval Times, the origins of family crests, coat-of-arms, and the like are a bit murky. Whether bestowed by a king for winning a jousting tournament, made up to mark the family lineage, or just simply glorious displays of vanity - it’s probably all true.
It did get me thinking though - what if we brought them back?
I guess you’re right, emojis would look pretty silly on a shield.
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