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Barber Poles—Their Real Meaning Might Make You Cringe

This is from Reader’s Digest BY MARISSA LALIBERTE
Those rotating red, white, and blue poles outside barbershops have become an icon. At first glance, you’d probably assume barber pole designs have a patriotic background. But the reality is pretty gruesome.
Barbers have been cutting hair for centuries, but they used to have a longer job description. In medieval times, the professionals were known as barber-surgeons, which is just what it sounds like. They weren’t just there to give customers a trim—they’d also perform minor surgery, pull teeth, and amputate limbs, according to PBS. But one procedure—bloodletting—led to the barbershop poles you see today.
At the time, people thought having too much blood in a certain area could cause disease like fevers or the plague, and letting some out would make them healthy. In 1163, Pope Alexander III ordered monks and priests to stop performing bloodletting anymore, so barbers started offering the service instead, according to History.
During the treatment, barber-surgeons would give patients poles to hold. Grasping the staff made their veins pop out a bit, making them easier to find while the barbers went all Sweeney Todd. (Some historians think the demon barber on Fleet Street might have been real—find more horror films inspired by true stories.)
Even back then, people knew there was a limit to bloodletting, so barbers would stop the bleeding with a white cloth. They’d then tie those towels to the poles and hang them outside their shops, according to History. Some towels stayed blood-stained even after they were washed (learn how they could have gotten rid of blood stains), so it was common to see a pole with white and red swirling around in the breeze.
These days, barbers leave the medical treatment to doctors, but their poles are a nod to their bloody past. In Europe, barber poles are just red and white—reminiscent of the poles from the Middle Ages. There are a couple theories about why the United States added blue to its design. Some say it represents the blue of the veins barber-surgeons would target when bloodletting; others think it’s just copying the American flag as a sign of patriotism.
Some places are very selective about who’s allowed to display a barber pole. In certain states, it’s against the law to have one outside a salon unless a licensed barber works there. Licensed or not, though, we’re just happy to know there won’t be any bloodshed.
[h/t Mental Floss]

MORE: This Barber Cuts Kids’ Hair for Free, But There’s a Catch

May is Military Appreciation Month–God Bless Our Soldiers

I had planned to share this in May, but it got lost in my email list. Maybe we should celebrate our military every month! I hope you all enjoy. ~ Connie


I love America. I love our military. I love my Navy daughter and my Army son.

You don’t have to watch all of these. I got carried away on YouTube. I just couldn’t pick a favorite…

And the ever-favorite (17 million views):

If you want to simply click play and meditate, here’s a great playlist with a lot of my favorites:

Bless our warriors.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four DaysShe is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech…

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I don’t want to be a shallow Christian

My apologies. I just realized I did not do my Faith Filled Friday blog. It’s 11:35 PM my time! Love to all. Connie

Life Within Him

Every day, I ask the Lord to continue transforming me more into His likeness.

I don’t ever want to enter a situation in life and try to apply the last sermon I heard at church. I don’t want to try and remember catch phrases or gimmicks to “get me through” difficult times.

I don’t want to come to a crossroads and try to figure out the right path.

The Bible isn’t a book of promises and principles to apply in life. It’s an introduction to a relationship with the Father.

If we come face to face with a trial and aren’t already walking in faith and pursuing Jesus, that trial is going to eat our lunch.

Jesus paid much too high a price for me to sell out cheap.

Matthew 6:22-23 says: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good (or translated into…

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Writing inspiration and a whole bunch more funnies

I enjoyed her sense of humor!

Jessica Bakkers

Have a laugh and some inspiration on me.

Hope you enjoyed!

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13 Weird Scholarships

These wacky, unconventional, but absolutely real scholarships may be the answer you never knew you needed to pay your way through college.
Reader’s Digest By CLAIRE NOWAK
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This is the link if you prefer: 13 Weird Scholarships that Can Pay Your Tuition »

For tall people
Yes, your height can affect your health, but it can also help you rake in some much-needed college funds. Tall Clubs International awards $1,000 scholarships to incoming college freshmen or current college students (21 and under). The most important requirement: Women must be at least 5’10” and men at least 6’2”.
For duck lovers
Would you do a duck call for $2,000? The Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Scholarship Duck Calling Contest has been awarding scholarships for duck calls for 38 years. Participants must do four duck calls—hail, feed, comeback, and mating—in 90 seconds to qualify. May the best duck impersonator win.
For paranormal enthusiasts
If real-life ghost stories have sparked an interest in studying the paranormal, let the Parapsychology Foundation help fund your education. The Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship awards $3,000 to an undergraduate or graduate student completing a degree or a research project in any field of parapsychology. That includes telepathy, near-death experiences, and reincarnation.
For anyone who seriously loves potatoes
You say “potato,” I say “$10,000 scholarship.” That’s what the National Potato Council (yes, that exists) awards each year to one graduate student researching ways to improve the potato industry. Think about it: If you’ve ever eaten French fries, you’re benefiting from the work this scholarship funds.
For sugar addicts
Normally we’d tell you to quit your sugar addiction, but you may want to hold off until you finish this scholarship app. The American Association of Candy Technologists gives out a $5,000 award to college students interested in confectionary technology, aka making candy. And presumably eating it once it’s made.
For caddies
Consider this a hole-in-one for all caddies bound for college. The Chick Evans Scholarship for Caddies gives awards of various amounts to high school seniors and recent high school grads who have caddied for at least two years. The application requires other essential information, like a two-page essay and a transcript, but if you’re a caddy, you’ve already completed part of the app.
For aspiring cartoonists
Cartoons have the special ability to explain daily life in the most hilarious and surprisingly relatable way possible, so it definitely takes a special person to create them. That’s why the National Cartoonists Society founded the Jay Kennedy Scholarship—$5,000 awarded to the best college cartoonist chosen by the industry’s top cartoonists.
For vegetarians
If you’re thinking of going vegetarian, consider this your tipping point. The Vegetarian Resource Group gives out $20,000 worth in scholarships every year to high school seniors who promote vegetarianism in their schools and/or communities.
For students who “got milk”
Milk has more uses than just providing you with calcium. The Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year award is a yearly scholarship given to high school athletes who, in addition to having exemplary academic and service records, love their milk and aren’t afraid to show it.
For Trekkers
Star Trek actor Wil Wheaton once explained why it’s great to be a nerd. We’ll add another reason: college money. Unless you’re a die-hard Star Trek fan, you may not know that the Klingon Language Institute is a very real organization. It also gives out a $500 scholarship to a student who showcases creative uses for the Klingon language used in the Star Trek universe.
For aspiring costume designers
We’re talking more than makeshift Halloween costumes. The National Costumers Association has scholarships for students interested in pursuing careers in costuming, and one even involves a runway fashion show.
For bowlers
This isn’t for your average joe who goes bowling at birthday parties. The United States Bowling Congress offers scholarships to the top high school bowlers, including the $6,000 Star of Tomorrow scholarships, one for men and one for women.
For people who never get grossed out
Usually, fungus and mold are things that we avoid and try to get rid of at all costs. But the Mycological Society of America encourages it—and gives out several scholarships each year for students that enjoy researching it.
For lefties
Sure, there are some myths about left-handed people circulating the Internet, but here’s the truth: They have access to a lot of awesome scholarships designed specifically for them. Considering lefties only make up about 10 percent of the population, your odds are pretty darn good.

Happy July 4th!

Happy 4th to all! My many thanks to those who are currently serving and those who have served our great country.


july 4thIt’s America’s birthday and I’m celebrating. My Army Sergeant son is visiting, in preparation for going to Japan–Okinawa. My Navy Lieutenant daughter’s still in the DC area but moving on to a new job with the Navy. Usually she calls 4-7 times a week. Soon, it will be much less. Sigh. I’m here, thanking both of them and all those soldiers who fought for America’s uncertain future so long ago.

God be with all of us.

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Canada Day weekend

LORIEB (Lor-eee-bee)


In case you haven’t heard, Canada celebrated its 150th birthday this past weekend.  Although Mother Nature had to put her two cents in with a few thunderstorms and torrential rain, the party atmosphere was rampant coast to coast as Canadians young and old, rich and poor, lifelong citizens and new immigrants celebrated our wonderful country, together.



The fireworks lit up the skies across the country, although some displays were a bit rain delayed (and in some areas rescheduled)…



This video is just one of the many fireworks displays:



Even royalty showed up to help celebrate our country.  Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall attended the ceremonies on Parliament Hill and were escorted out of the Ottawa area Sunday morning by fighter jets and other military aircraft.  We heard the roar of the engines overhead as we came out of Canadian Tire (appropriately) and I…

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