Seven weeks ago I began working at Forum Communications with the incredible AreaVoices team, and it’s been a fun ride ever since. Not only have I been writing about some pretty different topics (adults drinking breast milk, big hair, holiday shaming, etc.), I’ve also been learning a ton from these people I’m lucky enough to share cube walls with.
It’s too hard for me to list everything I’ve learned, so here is my list of the top nine items:
1. Didgeridoo – When my boss uttered this word, I actually thought he was sneezing. Nope. Turns out the wind instrument indigenous Australians developed possibly 40,000 years ago is still used today. It makes incredible music. A didgeridoo is also recognized as the world’s oldest musical instrument. #socool
2. A President and an Alien – A conspiracy theory popular among alien enthusiasts, President Dwight Eisenhower allegedly met with aliens three different times in 1954 at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The theory posits that Eisenhower traveled to Palm Springs in February 1954 but “disappeared” on February 20. When the press learned of his absence, a story about an unexpected dentist visit was fabricated, even though the tale could not be corroborated. #mindblown
4. Tuvan Throat Singing – This topic came up tangentially from a discussion about House of Cards and the Tibetan monks who created a beautiful sand mandala in the White House. The conversation devolved into chatting about the similarities to throat singing and the difficulties of creating harmonies other instruments cannot.
5. Fountain of Youth Gene – Considering my height (and big hair), I’ve always been mistaken for being older. So imagine my surprise when I learned that a youth gene actually exists. People lucky enough to have this perpetually look ten years younger than they are. #thatsawesome
6. Monks Make Beer – Apparently monks aren’t just meditating and praying. They’re also brewing some great beer. #hadnoidea Brewing beer allows these holy places to be self-sustaining. It also allows them to get drunk…maybe?
7. UFOs – I love Independence Day and Men in Black as much as the next ‘90s kid, but I’ve never really bought into the whole extraterrestrial life theory. It just doesn’t jive with me. Until I saw this footage:
The creepiest part is not the appearance of those crazy things; it’s how quickly NASA disabled the video feed. #itsaliens
8. How to Use a Menstrual Cup – I first heard about menstrual cups back in 2012 when I read a Forum article about green hygiene. I was disgusted, to be sure, but I was also curious about how one worked. Enter my co-worker and her inimitable ability to explain even the grossest of topics in the most straight-forward, albeit sarcastic way.
9. Leap Second – And I thought June 30 was going to be just another Tuesday. Turns out it was a second longer than any other Tuesday I’ve experienced, thanks to Earth’s slowing rotation. I’m just glad that extra second didn’t break the internet. #whew #thatwasclose
10 Intermittent Fasting – I guess shedding baby weight is tricky. Literally. You can trick your body into shedding fat by fasting for four days. Who knew?
While I’m sad I couldn’t include all the astonishing things I’ve learned from my co-workers in a mere seven weeks, I am glad to have shared a few with you. (Keep your fingers crossed; perhaps I’ll share more from our conversations with you in the future.)
In the meantime, maybe now you can walk around all day like this:
Just me? I’m cool with that.