Archive for July 31st, 2008


Is It Corn Yet?

July 31, 2008

I consider myself an expert on corn. No pun intended — I mean corn, the crop.

For example, I know it should be knee-high by the 4th of July. I look to see how it’s doing when I drive around Indiana, nice and green or too brown. I know it needs to be detasseled and that kids and teens often do that as a summer job. I even found out, finally, what a combine is–a combination harvester and thresher (thanks to Richard Rhodes’ book Farm: a Year in the Life of an American Farmer).

My late mother loved to tell a story from her visit to Iowa when I lived there in the 1970s. As we drove along the country highway, she asked me to stop and get some corn for dinner, to which I replied disdainfully, “That’s field corn. You can’t eat it.” I don’t know why she thought that was so hilarious. To me, it was just something you know if you know corn, the way you know that local home-grown corn isn’t ready before August.

This has been an stressful year for corn. Thanks to the ethanol craze, corn prices doubled and farmers planted more to meet the demand. Sadly, floods in the Midwest devastated many potentially lucrative fields.

I will continue to keep an eye on the corn as I drive around this summer. As a Hoosier, I consider it part of my job.

This entry was posted by: Nancy

Rhymes Needed

July 31, 2008

I feel bad posting this blog in full so allow me a small digression by way of advertisement first. Futility Closet has been one of my favorite blog reads since I first discovered it years ago. It is the only blog I go to absolutely every day and the one I most frequently send my friends links to.

The entries are a not-so-eclectic mix of riddles, sea monsters, natural oddities, quotes, and mathematical perplexities. Even though I’m giving the entirety of this particular quote, I hope that you will head over to the site anyway and see it beneath the picture I’m not reproducing, and hopefully you will keep checking it out in the future.

I play a game with Futility Closet such that if a topic of one its posts is on something that I’m caring about that day anyway, I pretend it means something. It’s a game that works with Futility Closetb-based coincidences in a way it doesn’t with other coincidences.

So here’s the quote from yesterday that I thought Hoosierati readers would appreciate.

A whimsical letter written by W. S. Gilbert notes ‘a great want’ among poets. ‘I should like to suggest,’ he says, ‘that any inventor who is in need of a name for his invention, would confer a boon on the rhymsters, and at the same time insure himself many gratuitous advertisements, if he would select a word that rhymes to one of the many words in common use, which have but few rhymes or none at all. A few more words rhyming with ‘love’ are greatly wanted; ‘revenge’ and ‘avenge’ have no rhyming word, except ‘Penge’ and ‘Stonehenge’; ‘coif’ has no rhyme at all; ‘starve’ has no rhyme except (oh, irony!) ‘carve’; ‘scarf’ has no rhyme, though I fully expect to be told that ‘laugh,’ ‘calf,’ and ‘half’ are admissible, which they certainly are not.’

Miscellaneous Notes and Queries, March 1894