Z is for Zee, Zed, & Zebra: The Vagaries of Language, Pronunciation, & “Proper English”

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If you stumbled upon me through the A to Z Blog Challenge, welcome.  If not, check out the challenge and all those participating at their site.

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My very last strange thing for the month, is Z.  Yep, my topic is the letter itself.  It’s strange for a number of reasons, but today, I’ll be focusing on global pronunciation (in English).

People who speak the US version of English pronounce the letter z like it rhymes with see/sea/tea.  Most everyone else in the world follows the British lead and pronounces z like it rhymes with head/bed/dead.  If I’m unaware of some other pronunciation, please let me know.  I’m always happy to expand my understanding of how various people use and pronounce English. Continue reading

Y is for Yearbooks: Nostalgia in Glossy Pages

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The second to last strange thing for this April adventure is yearbooks.

I don’t know how ubiquitous yearbooks are in other countries, but most folks in the US had an option to get one every single year they were in school from kindergarten all the way up through college. Continue reading

X is for Xenophobia: What Are We So Afraid Of?

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If you stumbled upon me through the A to Z Blog Challenge, welcome.  If not, check out the challenge and all those participating at their site.

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Today’s strange thing is xenophobia.

Let me start off by explaining which definition I’m using for the purposes of my post today.

Wikipedia defines it thus, “Xenophobia is the fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange.”

According to FreeDictionary.com, the psychological definition of xenophobia is “hatred or fear of foreigners or strangers or of their politics or culture.” Continue reading

W is for World of Darkness: My First and Favorite RPG World

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If you stumbled upon me through the A to Z Blog Challenge, welcome.  If not, check out the challenge and all those participating at their site.

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The strange thing of the day is the World of Darkness, a table-top RPG by White Wolf.

For anyone who doesn’t already know, and RPG is a role-playing game.  These come in many varieties.  There are video games, table-top games, and even live-action RPGs.  You’ve probably heard of some of the more famous video game RPGs like Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, and The Legend of Zelda.  You’ve probably also heard of the most famous table-top RPG, Dungeons & Dragons. Continue reading

V is for Vultures: Feathery Igors

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Our strange thing of the day is vultures.

Vultures certainly look strange.  They have bald heads and seems to have hunched shoulders and hop around awkwardly on the ground.  The one pictures above is even named Igor.  He’s a rescue and tours with a group that rescues raptors and similar birds.  They have hawks and falcons and owls, but one of my favorites is Igor the vulture. Continue reading

U is for Urban Fantasy: Mixing Your Fantasy with Your Reality

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Today’s strange thing is something I really love, Urban Fantasy.

It doesn’t get much stranger than mixing your present day fictional world with whatever magical, mythical, and fantasy elements you desire.  I stretch the definition of the genre a little when I write it myself.  It’s not always a very urban setting when I’m doing it, but the typical urban fantasy is set in some big city or another, whether it’s real or fictional. Continue reading

T is for Truth: Stranger than Fiction and Twice as Weird

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If you stumbled upon me through the A to Z Blog Challenge, welcome.  If not, check out the challenge and all those participating at their site.

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For today’s strange thing, I will be talking about truth.

Truth is strange in a number of different ways.  There’s the “truth is stranger than fiction” saying that is born out quite often.  There’s also the methods by which we define truth.  And then there’s the various ways that the truth is used and conceptualized.

We’ll start with the most fun one.  Truth is stranger than fiction. Continue reading

S is for Science Versus Religion: Why Do These Conflict Again?

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Today’s strange thing is the argument between science and religion.

You hear about it a lot when you live in the south.  Science is about facts and doesn’t believe in God.  And religion is about God and sometimes doesn’t believe in facts.

This is a gross generalization from either perspective.  What I find strange about the whole thing is why there’s an argument to begin with.  Why can’t science and religion coexist?  Do they really contradict each other? Continue reading

R is for Red Crab Migration: Critters Moving across Christmas Island

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The strange thing of the day is red land crabs that migrate across Christmas Island in Australia to lay their eggs in the ocean.

I’m speaking specifically of the gecarcoidea natalis, which are normally red but can occasionally be orange, and apparently purple on rare occasions.

It’s strange enough that they can be purple, but they’re also terrestrial critters.  They live on land.  I, and probably most of you, are used to thinking of crabs as aquatic creatures that live in the ocean.  But these critters live on land in forests, at least as juveniles and adults.  They do spend the first 304 weeks of life in the ocean before coming home to the land. Continue reading

Q is for Quokka: The Happiest Critter

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I was struggling so hard with finding a Q to use for my strange thing of the day for April.  But a friend of mine told me to google quokka.  And this thing is both strange and adorable!  Check out this YouTube video to see just how cute they are. Continue reading