Humpday News Roundup: New Words Edition

The latest recap of the news you may have missed… we’re assuming by accident.  

New COVID Fun  

As the world churns its way through the pandemic, new conditions and side effects and warning signs are still coming in. The latest? Heart inflammation for young people who have gotten the vaccine. It’s curable and, to date, mild. So Oregon Health and Sciences University is telling us all to keep a heads up for it and go to the doc if you have chest pain, heart palpitations, discomfort, poor appetite, fever, difficulty breathing, or fainting. Actually, even if you haven’t recently had the vaccine and have those symptoms, call your doctor, okay? I mean, those are a serious set of maladies regardless of your vaccination status. Then again, COVID patients sometimes develop this same heart condition, called myocarditis, so it appears the benefits of vaccinating outweigh the risks.  

More COVID News…  

It also seems that women and those assigned female at birth who have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome have a higher risk of being COVID “long haulers.” Long haulers are those who get the virus and continue to present symptoms of the disease long after the standard “few weeks” it takes to get better. Many with PCOS who have had mild cases or asymptomatic cases have gone on to have serious health repercussions. PCOS affects about one in ten people of childbearing age, and is the result of an imbalance in reproductive hormones. It can also lead to diabetes, weight issues, heart disease, high blood pressure, and uterine cancer. So please, if you have PCOS, get vaccinated.  

In Other Words…  

Please get vaccinated! We need to make the world open and safe for everyone.   

Not All of Oregon is Conforming  

While people around the state were jumping for maskless joy in newly reopened maskless businesses, some of us must keep masks squarely on our faces. A collection of Portland area attractions – museums, OMSI, the zoo – will still be requiring masks to enter. Benton County is going with the Oregon Health Authority for mask guidelines, including asking the fully vaccinated to keep masked especially if they are in a health care setting, a shelter or transitional housing, or a correctional facility. The OHA is also leaving it up to the place of business/worship about whether or not they want to see your vaccination card before letting you in maskless.   

And a Few Counties are Really Not Conforming  

The law books of Oregon say that if a human being is 15 years of age or older, they can make medical decisions for themselves. [This means that, yes, your 15-year-old daughter can take the bus down to Reser Stadium and get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you are an anti-vaxxer.] Not so much for the daughters and sons of people in McMinnville, Newberg, Dundee or any other town in Yamhill County. The Yamhill Board of Commissioners voted last week, and decided by a vote of 2-1 that kids aged 15-18 need a parent’s consent for the vaccine. Linn County agrees with Yamhill, their Board also deciding that parental consent for this vaccine is a must.   

Therefore…  

In an effort to get people to just get the *%#*&@# shots, Oregon has stepped up as the latest to offer a lottery for only those who are listed as “VACCINATED”! In a press conference, Gov. Kate Brown announced the Take Your Shot Oregon campaign will pay $1 million to an Oregonian 18 or older with at least one shot. There are also $10,000 prizes for one resident in each county, and scholarships for anyone 12-18. Again, the ticket to win is all about that shot in your arm. The lottery runs through June 27. Notably, Linn County kids, no identification is required for vaccination here in Benton County (nudge nudge hint hint).  

Recipes for the Crawly at Heart  

Have you ever heard the mass voices of the cicadas? They come out every 17 years and just hum away the days and nights until you literally want to strangle somebody’s great-aunt-Becky to just make it stop already – I mean, for the love of the gods and goddesses just make them shut up! If you live where cicadas prosper, you have the opportunity to kill those little buggers and make them into food… provided, of course, you adhere to the eating practices of Seattle’s very own David George “The Bug Chef” Gordon. Gordon is the author of “Eat-a-Bug Cookbook” which contains recipes for Fried Green Tomato Hornworms, Deep Fried Tarantula Spider, and Cicada Stir Fry. If you can’t find a recipe of interest in Gordon’s various cookbooks, try the University of Maryland Cookbook which includes a chocolate cookie topped with baked protein-rich cicadas. Bug Appétit!  

New Word Alert: Nibling  

Here at The Corvallis Advocate we take words very seriously… well, somewhat seriously… okay, we make up words sometimes, but every word was made up at some point. And the Merriam-Webster Dictionary keeps track of them all! Our new favorite is “nibling” – an affectionate term to call your sibling’s kids, whether they be male, female, neither, or both. Nibling is credited to Samuel E. Martin, a professor of Far Eastern Linguistics at Yale. Marin created the word in 1951 and it sat around doing very little work until 1996, when it notably was considered a word with very little use. Then 2005 came along and people finally sat up and realized that this very little word of very little use was rather useful. So call your favorite nibling and wish them a happy day, because you don’t judge, you just love.  

New Word Alert: Shitcoin  

Another newish word that we’ve all gotten used to is “Cryptocurrency.” Whether you’re talking Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Stellar or Cardano, they are all just imaginary monies that were worth almost nothing, then a whole bunch of something, then almost nothing again, and we’re just Googling to find any of their names because we have none of any of them. Until… recently, the world that has money has looked in the mirror and asked if they have been bamboozled with all of the rollercoaster-esque winding turns they have been through. Bringing us to the word “Shitcoin” – meaning a cryptocurrency with no utility or unique features, one with little to no value especially to those late to the craze. Used in a sentence? There is nothing special about Ripple, it’s a shitcoin.   

This Bridge is Not in London   

In 2016, Barry W. Moore took a photo of the underside of a bridge making up I-40 that takes people from Memphis, TN to West Memphis, AR. They surfaced again once the government closed that bridge on May 11, 2021 due to a significant crack in a horizontal beam that sort of keeps the bridge out of the Mississippi River. And by “significant,” we’re talking all the way through and how the heck is this thing still in the air. The Associated Press checked out Moore’s photos and after stopping to be completely gobsmacked for about an hour, they agreed that the photos were the real deal and could be of interest to the respective DOT’s. The Arkansas Dept of Transportation was kind of ‘meh’-and-a-shrug about them, however an engineer at the University of Memphis believes that Moore’s photos are the beginnings of the fracture seen today, meaning the bridge has been iffy-at-best for at least five years. No matter when the cracks happened, the fix is going to take months.   

Namaste Ya’ll  

Well, they can’t actually say “namaste” or chant, but Alabama public schoolkids can now learn and practice yoga after a nearly 30 year hiatus. The ban was put in place in 1993 to keep the children from turning to Hinduism. Apparently, Alabama State Rep. Jeremy Gray is convinced that is no longer an issue, so he introduced a bill that would allow yoga – provided it’s taught in English. While this bill allows yoga to be taught, each school board in the state will have to independently decide to reinstate it.   

Open Mouth, Insert Tasteful Ferragamo Loafer  

Former Presidential candidate, former U.S. Senator, and now-former CNN conservative commentator Rick Santorum decided that thinking and speaking were mutually exclusive tasks. That’s why, in April, he said “we birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here” when speaking to conservative youths about the religious values Europeans brought to the Americas. Santorum went on with “I mean, yes, we have Native Americans, but candidly, that – there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.” When asked about these statements by a reporter at CNN, Santorum decided to go for the trifecta, saying, “I was talking about, and I misspoke in this respect, I was talking about the founding, and the principles embodied in the founding.” Indigenous people are understandably unhappy with the guy, and CNN wasn’t too thrilled either. Santorum no longer works for the news network.  

The West Coast Strikes Eastward  

“It looks like a few pairs of gloves that something laid eggs in.” Thus said someone who saw the glob of stuff that made its debut on Fox News on May 20. Personnel at Cape Lookout National Seashore, which is a national park in North Carolina, found the interesting blob and asked Facebook-folk to help them figure out what they had found. Luckily for the Seashore, the Facebook-folk figured it out! It’s an egg mass of several squids belonging to the species Lologinidae or the – wait for it – California Market Squid of the Pacific Ocean. For the geographically challenged out there, North Carolina is on the Atlantic Ocean… and the two oceans are not close to one another. [No, Toby, you cannot have a Market Squid as a pet.]  

Japan Plays Catch Up  

With Japan’s 2020 Summer Olympics two months away, the host country has begun their vaccination plan. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga maintains that all 36 million elderly people in the island nation will be ready when the athletes begin to arrive. Considering the population of Japan as of 2019 was 126.3 million, they will have a bit of a way to go after the athletes arrive. The primarily volunteer-based vaccination plan has many people calling for another delay to the Olympic games, and has led to a few protests – especially as the major population areas of the country, home to 40% of Japan’s people, are still under a state of emergency with tens of thousands sick or dying. To date, Japan has been able to vaccinate about 2% of their population.  

Snail Mucus Reimagined  

Have you ever looked at those cute little snails wandering around the garden and thought, “I bet that’ll get my hands clean”? If your answer is no, then you might not live in France. [Actually, if you’re reading The Corvallis Advocate you also might not live in France, but let’s not pull at that thread right now.] French artisan Damien Desrocher has been using those slimy little suckers to make soap. He has to tickle the snails with a single finger to get their mucus – a process that does not kill the gastropods. The proud owner of 60,000 snails, Desrocher uses the slime of about 40 of the critters to make 15 bars of soap. Snail mucus, apparently, contains collagen and elastin which are very good for looking younger… in spite of the “no f**king way” gut reaction of many.   

William Shakespeare Has Died  

The first man and second person in the world to get the COVID-19 vaccine died. From the United Kingdom, 81-year-old Bill Shakespeare was the second person in the world to get the Pfizer vaccine – something he proudly called a wonderful experience. A government official who once worked for Rolls Royce, Shakespeare died from an illness unrelated to COVID.   

Of the Sites There Are to See…  

What’s got four limbs, two nipples and two giant, erect clubs? The Cerne Abbas Giant of Dorset, England. Carved into a chalk hillside, the Giant has been called a “Greco-Roman Hercules,” a “mockery of Oliver Cromwell,” and a fertility ad – the last due to the fact that the Giant has an enormously erect penis… although we suppose the penis is average if one was to consider the size of the Giant, who is enormously large. At one point in history, the Englishfolk thought the Giant was carved around the body of an actual giant slain by the townsfolk. Through testing soil samples, they found that he is not prehistoric, and that he was likely made in the year 908 during the late Saxon period. He had been getting grown over with grass, and locals have recut him into the chalk… including his enormously erect penis. BTW He also has ribs.  

Correction: An earlier version of this column said that the mask guidelines were specific to Benton County, when they were actually put in place by the Oregon Health Authority.

By Sally K Lehman