Life Before Toilet Paper

Every body Poops, and necessity is the mother of invention. What would you do if there was no toilet paper? Well, to put that question in perspective, toilet paper as we know it was invented in the mid 1800’s. So for the larger part of our civilized world, humanity had none. And, all over the world still, many have a hard enough time finding the food which converts to that end product which requires wiping. So it isn’t likely they are using Charmin even today. As you consider this question (which is kind of funny) remember to be thankful.
Let’s take a look at that “situation” from a historical angle.
In the past wealthy Romans used wool and rosewater and others used sponge attached to a wooden stick, soaked in a bucket of salt water to help keep it sterile. The Greeks used clay.
In Coastal Regions, mussel shells were used (and sometimes coconut husk).
Europeans used their hands, often in a creek or river.
People from Middle Eastern cultures have used they left hand with little water.
The Eskimos would use moss or snow.
The Vikings used wool.
The Colonial Americans used the core center cobs from shelled ears of corn. If there where plenty, there might be a basket of them in the outhouse, but, some households shared a cob. Later Sears and Robuck catalouges and the Farmer’s Almanac served the purpose here in the U.S..
The Chinese have the oldest documented history with TP dating from the 6th century AD.
People have also been known to use leaves, grass, hay, stone, sand, husks, fruit skins, sticks and whatever else they could find.
The French are credited for the invention of the bidet which looks like a toilet, but is for washing the genitalia and anus. And we know what the cats and dogs do. Bon Appetit!

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>What’s a Rebus?

A rebus is a word puzzle. It is a sequence of pictures that represent syllabic sound. By adding images together in line we form “words” and “sentences.” Ancient Egyptian hyroglyphs read like rebuses, and the making of word puzzles was a favorite past time during the 18th and 19th centuries (1700’s & 1800’s).

Most recently rebuses have found there way into our culture in game shows and on the inside of bottle caps. That is the first place I remember seeing one. On the inside of a Lucky Lager bottle cap. Before littering wasn’t cool, bottle caps were plentiful on the side of the road. Finding one with a rebus inside was like treasure to me. Follow the link and you’ll find hundreds of examples of the rebuses on the inside of bottle caps. This one says “Sweetie Pie.” “S” + a picture of wheat + “E” + a picture of pie = sweetie pie.

These are a lot of fun to make up and draw, or cut and paste from magazines or on the computer. Send secret messages to your friends and challenge them to figure out the meaning!

For more examples of a rebus just google images of a rebus. Lots of examples will come up.
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>Morse Code __ ___ ._. … . _._. ___ _.. .

>Morse Code was invented by Samuel Morse for use over telegraph lines in 1835. The code uses a series of dashes and dots to represent letters of the alphabet. However, morse code can be sent using flash lights, whistles, horns, the tapping of stone on stone, a laser light reflected on an object or even by flag. When sending Morse Code by flag, a flag swung to the right represents a dot, to the left a dash. This is a really cool way to send secret messages and to communicate over distance without a phone or walkie talkie. Below is the alphabetic and numeric key for Morse Code.

In addition to the above codes there are procedural conventions for use by the sender and receiver of messages.
Used by Sender
AAAA = Attention; I have message are you ready?
EEEEEEEE= Error; Mistake made, I will begin with the last word sent correctly.
Pause= Period; End of word.
AR= End of Message; Did you get it?
Used by Receiver
K= Go Ahead; Start sending.
IMI= Repeat signal; Send again, I missed it.
T= Word received; to be used upon receipt of each word.
R= Message received; ok.
All of the signals using multiple letters are sent as if one letter. That is there is no pause between letters during transmission of these procedural signals. So the code for “Attention” which is 4 A’s, would be dot dash dot dash dot dash dot dash, then a pause.
This can take time to learn, but may one day prove invaluable. Practice with a friend and get good, you’ll have a blast!
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>Grass Whistle


A Grass whistle is a great way to make some noise. If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to blow a schrill whistle you now can with a simple tool; a blade of grass. pick a sturdy piece of grass, as flat as possible and long enough to easily span the distance from the first thumb joint to the second. The blade is held tightly between opposing thumbs first and second joints, and then blown through. It is important to get the positioning just right. A little movement will change the pitch of the whistle. The blade of grass works on the same principle as a kazoo. The grass vibrates between the two thumbs. Set your blade of grass up as in the picture below.

The grass must remain stretched tight. Make your lips thin, press them lightly against your thumbs between the top and bottom joints. Now blow lightly and consistantly. Make the gap between your thumbs bigger and smaller until you find the right spot. This noise will carry for a good distance.

The same trick can be accomplished by blowing through a small “Sun Made” raison box. Tear off the lid flaps, wrap your mouth around the end and blow. The result is a Very loud whistle. Have Fun making noise!
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>The lolliflower


Just in case someone says I don’t give equal time to the boys and girls, here is a great project for Valentine’s day, Birthday favors etc. The lolliflower. Good looking, fun, and easy to do at any skill level. Any excuse to eat lollipops is a good one right?
Supplies you’ll need:
Red and Green construction paper
A third patterned paper for the center of the flower
Lollipops (small)
Small hole punch (or something to push a hole for the “stem”)
1. Cut 3 similar hearts from the red paper
2. Cut  1 leaf ( for the note)
3. Cut a 4 pedaled pattern for the center top
4. Punch a hole for the stem of the lolli in all the pedals and leaf
5. Arrange pedals and leaf with the leaf on the bottom, then the 3 hearts equally fanned out and finally the 4 pedaled pattern on top
6. Push the lolli through the center
7. Tape the lolli in place from the bottom
8. Write your note on the green leaf now or before assembly
Now you’ve done it. Pretty, fun and sweet. Just like you!
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>Amazing Corks; Magic Trick

>Here is a great party trick. I have seen it done many times in my life but only recently learned the trick. We show it here using two corks, but you can easily substitute rolled dollars, marking pen caps, or any two similarly sized and shaped objects.
The way it appears to onlookers is that the magician shows the two corks. She then places them in the crook of the thumbs of each hand. Then, grabbing the ends of the corks with the thumbs and second fingers of each hand, she amazingly separates her two hands passing the corks right through each other. Spectators are then unable to repeat the magic.

The Trick:

1. Hold the corks in the crooks of the thumbs.

2. Twist your hands in opposite directions so you can take the left hand cork with the right thumb at A and right second finger at B, while taking the right hand cork with the left thumb at C and left second finger at D.

3. Done correctly your hands will give the spectators the illusion that your fingers are linked.

4. Twist your hands in opposite directions and pull your hands apart.

5. The corks have magically passed through each other.

It’s a great quick trick. It can be performed once and set aside, or, presented repeatedly to a group until someone catches on and can have fun with you sharing in the trick.

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>Cork Catapult


The cork catapult can be made in minutes, and be fun for hours. Use it in mini battles or make a game and see who can get the coin (or whatever else you want to launch) into a cup more times. I like this one because everyone has the stuff right now to make it. No corks; go ask a neighbor.

Plastic spoon
Plastic cup
Rubber band or hair tie

Secure the cork and spoon together as shown.

Start launching.

Careful, this will launch much farther than you might suspect so maybe stay away from the windows. You might just as well launch small rubber animals or erasers onto concentric circles for different scores or though hoops!

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