“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” That’s an old rhyme about items a bride should have at her wedding, but it’s appropriate for the photo below. I have titled it, Three Encyclopedias Propping Up Zoom. The OLD part is the 1979 World Book Encyclopedia. My husband grew up with this set. It was better than the 1965 version I grew up with that didn’t have the moon landing. The NEW part is the Zoom Sunday School class I attend on this computer.
Except Zoom doesn’t feel new anymore. I would rather read the 1979 World Book than do another Zoom meeting. Some days, I’d rather have a fingernail pulled out than attend another Zoom meeting. I like my friends in Sunday School, but the Holy Spirit and I are tiring of it all. I go to worship and wear a mask. The Spirit does not have to wear a mask in worship, which isn’t fair. I think Jesus is wearing a mask, in solidarity with the rest of us. Printed on Jesus’ mask: “Turn the Other Cheek and Cover It Up with a Mask. Cover Your Nose and Mouth While You’re at It.”
“Something old, something new, something borrowed . . . .” In 1982, a neighbor borrowed the encyclopedia for the letter C from our 1965 set. We never got it back. “Something blue” takes us back to Zoom, the laptop, and the Blue Screen of Death. It’s a screen in Windows software that follows a fatal system error.
“I never gave you the Blue Screen of Death when you leafed through me,” says World Book, “and I never threw pop-up ads at you. Now who’s the superior source of information? You humans haven’t discovered anything new about photosynthesis or Thomas Edison or bumble bees since 1979, so I’m just as good as Google.”
World Book makes a good point about the pop-up ads, but there is one thing about bumble bees that we’ve figured out recently. Years ago, scientists said bumble bees shouldn’t be able to fly because their bodies are so big and fuzzy and bumbling. And because a French entomologist said their wings flap around haphazardly.
No offense to the French, but another scientist videotaped a bee and played the film back slowly. The bee’s wings move back and forth, not up and down. Also, to the untrained eye (mine), there’s appears to be a twisting motion where the wing attaches to the body. That’s probably important. The reliable website I just stumbled upon says the bee’s wings create tiny hurricanes in the air. The eyes of the hurricanes have lower pressure than the outside air. This lack of pressure lifts the bee up.
Next time you’re bored in a Zoom meeting, look up bees on your phone. Or tiny hurricanes.
The bridal rhyme has one more line: “And a lucky sixpence in her shoe.” A sixpence was a British coin. After 2020, I could use a lucky sixpence. Looks like we’ll need that sixpence for 2021 as well. We’ve seen a few days of this year. The year 2021 looked at 2020 and said, “Hold my beer.”
Next Zoom meeting, keep the B encyclopedia handy. You can look up Bee and Beer. Learning opportunities abound.