A nation that does not know

History students, remember this important event! Lexington, Virginia, August 2004

History students, remember this important event!  Lexington, Virginia, August 2004

“In the words of a very famous dead person, ‘A nation that does not know its history is doomed to do poorly on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.’…We constantly see surveys that reveal this ignorance, especially among our high school students, 78 percent of whom, in a recent nationwide multiple-choice test, identified Abraham Lincoln as ‘a kind of lobster.’ That’s right: more than three quarters of our nation’s youth could not correctly identify the man who invented the telephone.”Dave Barry

In honor of April Fool’s Day, I’m featuring a funny quote from (who else?) Dave Barry.  Feel free to send along links to your favorite online jokes or You Tube videos.  And beware of anyone who gives you information that might be a prank in disguise.

Wishing you a day of fun and laughter!

One year ago today:

A little nonsense


  1. raynard

    Julia I think it’s pretty sad with all the techonology and especially Google that they have not developed or people encouraged them to “have a zest” for learning, and experiencing new things.. I often share”the history I lived through and still remember. Me and my childhood friend talk about growing up in NYC during the 60′, and the 70’s to us “were not a TV show”..( My wife even calles me”the 70’s man when I take those “wayback machine trips on Youtube. Funny story as we both spoke of vans. I have no DVD player for my kids or Grandkids, got the satellite radio turned off and now “the latest craze is having a dash cam to record your road trips. and speaking of cell phone. After my wife gave me her “hammy Down phone, I went online and brought one on sale.. I can see the screen, it takes good pictures and i dont have to use my ipod and tablet as much( only to read my book and maybe listen to the music I got stored on it. I think today “is a ice cream day and Rita’s has sugar free and the custard is”smooth and dreamy errr I mean creamy.. lol be blessed

    • Raynard, I hope you were able to enjoy some ice cream at Rita’s today! We had a sunny day, relatively warm, although I did not get to be outside quite as much as I would have liked, too many errands to run but I enjoyed it in between tasks. I have never heard of a “dash cam” but I have shot video through the windshield with Jeff driving, only a few seconds at a time though. I can’t imagine wanting more than a few seconds here and there of a road trip as they seem so long a time to sit down while they are happening! Maybe the zest for life will catch up with some of our kids who are too plugged in right now. I’m afraid to get a smart phone myself as I would probably be the world’s worst at getting distracted by it and not paying attention to what is going on all around me. I hope you have a nice warm week!

  2. singleseatfighterpilot

    April 1st . . . I’m racking my brain . . . Got it! Yesterday was an immutable deadline. Hey, it’s the law!

    • I kept waiting for someone to come on the news and say “APRIL FOOL – everybody gets another year to sign up!” 🙂

  3. Julia… April Fool’s Day!! May your day be blessed with lots of laughter! 🙂

    • Thank you Merry! My nephew from South Carolina was visiting with us tonight and we did have some great laughs. He is a jolly sort so we loved being with him.

  4. Sheila

    Julia, I hope that you enjoyed turning your “Out On The Porch” calendar page as much as I did. I thought of you. Think pink…. think spring! 🙂

    • Sheila, I got a kick out of the fact that JEFF is the one who turned the page 🙂 but I noticed it right away so he must enjoy it as much as I do! YES this month is perfect – I love pink! We are working with a landscaper and I told them to keep that in mind when choosing flower colors; they showed me a few white blooming shrubs and I said, “Those are lovely but…” 🙂 We need to do quite a bit of work first and they said fall is the best time to plant shrubs, so it will be a few months, but I hope to have lots of pink in our front yard (York) next spring! Our hollies have gotten too enormous for us to dig them up on our own. Jeff wants them gone but the landscaper sided with me about keeping one of them, and will just prune it down to size. Maybe I can still hang Christmas lights on it. I digress, as Raynard likes to say…

      • Sheila

        Julia, I’m glad y’all take pleasure ON the various porches! Isn’t it fun to plan new landscaping? We’re in the planning stages, too. We have wax myrtles and pink Indian Hawthorn trees that have aged and are far larger than we ever imagined. Hawthorne’s are usually in shrub form but the tree version appealed to me. I love Raynard’s signature statement, “I digress!”….. 🙂

        • Sheila, I just love the Indian Hawthorn which were very common in San Antonio. I don’t see many of them here, at least not to recognize, but I’d love to have some. Hmmm, I must ask the landscape lady about them. I didn’t know they came in tree form! Are your wax myrtles the bayberry-scented kind? I just love the scent of bayberry. BTW I think I should name this blog “Digress HERE!” 🙂

  5. Michael

    I was reading something about Henry Ford who supposedly said–“All history is bunk.”
    Growing up on the west coast with a short history of white folks, though Native Americans were here for centuries, when I travel to the right coast I am amazed at the time span of events. Today an Afghan leader was interviewed and said my family has lived in this place for 600 years. I have no concept of that.
    I ran across this quote sent to me by a co- hospice-volunteer – from Rumi an Islamic poet.

    Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”


    • Yes, the term “historical” is relative – I noticed after a week of touring England that soon anything before 1400 sounded relatively recent to me! Coming to Virginia from California, it was interesting to drive frequently past the signs en route to Fort Monroe (where we went to the gym) that read “Fortified in 1609” and even the signs at the York County line that say “America’s future since 1781.” But even that is recent compared to the recorded history of much of the rest of the world.

      I like the Rumi quote. It sounds somewhat familiar so I may have even saved it in some forgotten file someplace to use here. Thanks for sharing it. I just wrote a post for Good Friday that touches on that theme.

  6. Michael

    Pink Indian Hawthornes? Sounds nice.
    Planted some Zucchini yesterday and am soaking some Snow Pea seeds. Garden centers are beginning to thaw out. And Verie has been weeding out the raspberry patch.

    • A raspberry patch, how cool! Reading this comment made me feel as if spring is really, finally here!

  7. Michael

    Speaking of April Fools, there was a story on NPR of how the group,” Country Joe and the Fish” put out a rumor that smoking banana peels was an alternative to marijuana in the 70’s. The FDA did a test on the peels- revealing no active hallucigens, but it was a great joke at the time. I don’t even remember this group, but they may have been at Woodstock. Which is kind of interesting.
    Yesterday I heard an interview of Garrison Keilor. He never reads any comments about the show. Never. And only writes for his own amusement. Interesting.

    • I have a vague memory of the banana peels rumor – one of the original urban legends, I suppose. In high school our English class once did an experiment to track how fast a concocted story could spread, and how many people would buy into it; the small class of only about a dozen honors students began telling people (as if it were a known fact) that a local radio station would be coming to the school and giving freebies to everyone who was wearing orange that day (orange being a color that people don’t commonly wear, even back then in the ’70s). The results were quite interesting although we felt a little bit guilty a week or two later when all these kids showed up wearing orange and we had to come clean that it was all a hoax.

      Matt is a great fan of Garrison Keillor, although he seemed to tire a bit of Prairie Home Companion (the end about Lake Wobegon was the only part he used to really get into). He still loves the Writer’s Almanac, as do I. It doesn’t surprise me that Keillor claims (perhaps truthfully) to disregard critics. For him, it’s been a recipe for success.

  8. Michael

    Recently a church in Texas put out an announcement that an ex- president would be visiting. The church was packed in anticipation.
    A George W Bush lookalike came and gave an evangelistic message.

    • Michael, when I read your comment the idea of a church doing that made me so angry! I looked up the story and apparently it was in Mississippi (or maybe both states) — it was confusing because the video report was from a Texas news station. I can’t stand “bait and switch” in any form, but for a church to do it seems especially shameful. The idea of trying to trick people into showing up at church seems to me like something God would not like at all. Having said that, I do have to admit that this impersonator (especially in the last part of the clip) was amazingly realistic. If I looked that much like a famous person I might be tempted to do something fun with it.

  9. Michael

    It was very definitely a” bait and switch” operation. Yes- God is not smiling at that one.

    • I think it cheapens the beauty and power of the gospel when people resort to sleazy salesmen tactics, which happens far too often. To me it’s like putting precious jewels in a gumball machine thinking people would rather have candy than rubies. I guess some people would prefer the candy – instant gratification and no attention or maintenance required – but it still makes me sad.

  10. Michael

    Did you see the one in Sunday parade magazine put out by Burger King in 98″ for the left handed Wopper burger? Made for left handers- the condiments are put on in reverse order so it is easier for left handers to pick it up. When I first saw it – I thought it was real. Pretty funny and got my attention as I am left handed.

    • No, I missed that, but it sounds clever. I still can’t figure out how that would be easier to pick up, though. Maybe because I’m right-handed. As you say, it gets your attention and makes you think for a minnute.

  11. Michael

    Famous April fools joke from Burger King. I don’t remember ever seeing it. The add came out on April 1.

    • I don’t think I have ever been creative enough to think of a really good April Fool’s joke. It’s fun to hear about others though.

  12. Michael

    I know you can do it.

    • 🙂 We’ll see next year!

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