Thought for the day: Frank Sinatra was one of New Jersey's favorite sons. So howcum one of his signature songs is about ... New York, New York???
|Atlantic City convention hall|
I'm not sure why, but New Jersey is the butt of more ribbing than all the other states combined. I mean, how can anybody make fun of a place with such a wonderful nickname as the Garden State
, for heaven's sake? Hmmm, maybe because everybody knows Jersey-ites are tough, can take a joke, and harbor no hard feelings? Well, maybe a little attitude. They may possibly take that joke, wad it up in a ball, and shove it up your nose, but really, no hard feelings. None at all. Unless you call the state New Joi-sey.
I mean, come on, nobody in New Jersey really talks like that. Don't be such wise guys, okay?
See that convention hall up there? That's the famous hall where America's beauties strut their stuff every year for the Miss America pageant. Atlantic City's four-mile boardwalk happens to be the longest in the world, and once upon a time, Rudolph Valentino, one of Hollywood's earliest heartthrobs, actually taught tourists how to tango there. Alas, the days of boardwalk tango lessons and penny arcades are long gone, and have since been replaced by high rollers and gambling casinos. Lots of glitz and neon lights now, but you can still find good ol' boardwalk fries and salt water taffy. By the way, did you realize the streets in the game of Monopoly are named after Atlantic City's roadways?
Um okay, let's clear the air right away. I admit it. New Jersey IS
the car theft capital of the world. Allegedly, more cars are stolen every year in Camden than in New York City and Los Angeles put together. And okay, so they also have more toxic dumps (108) than anywhere else in the country. But they also
have some really good
stuff too, okay? Like the most diners of any other state. And some really neat firsts. Like, did you know the very first drive-in in the country was in Camden? (HUSH
! Has nothing
to do with the car theft stuff!) Some more neat firsts: New Jersey's Passaic River is the site of the country's first submarine ride, by inventor John P. Holland. Also, in 1948, the first transistor was developed at Bell Labs in Murray Hill. You probably knew that one already, but how about this? Didja know there are more horses in New Jersey than there are in Kentucky? And that Wildwood hosts a kite flying festival every year?
What else? Let's take a look, shall we?
Ever hear of the ... Jersey Devil? This mysterious beast was first spotted as early as 1735, and in 1909, there were more than a thousand reported sightings from thirty different cities around the state. Alleged to have leathery wings like a bat, the head of a horse, a forked tail, and hooves, some scientists believe this creature may actually exist. Whether folklore or fact, it's an interesting part of New Jersey's history.
Okay, we're gonna dispose of this
one real quick-like. Yes, New Jersey actually does
have a Trash Museum. It's located in Lyndhurst. But before ya start pointing fingers, Connecticut has one, too.
How about this? New Jersey has its very own castle. Originally called Belle Vista when it was built in 1892, it is now known as Lambert Castle, and belongs to the New Jersey Historical Society. Inside the castle museum rests, among other things, the largest collection of spoons in the world. Yes, spoons. More than 5400 of them.
This is the Edison National Historic Site, residence and laboratory of the Wizard of Menlo Park
, Thomas Edison, who invented such things as the light bulb, the phonograph player, and motion picture projector. (Very thoughtful of him, huh?)
This unassuming place is Speedwell Ironworks, the site of the first public demonstration of electric telegraph in 1838, by Alfred Vail and Samuel Morse.
New Jersey is home to many important historical sites including this, the Old Barracks, which is the only remaining barracks from colonial days. Hessian troops were captured here after George Washington crossed the Delaware in 1776.
And beautiful Sandy Hook lighthouse is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States.
This area near Haddonsfield, New Jersey, may not look like much, but it marks the place where modern paleontology was born in 1838. This is the Hadrosaurus Foulkii Leidy Site, where Joseph Leidy discovered fossils of the world's first nearly complete hadrosaurus foulkii skeleton.
You should feel your intelligence level rise by just looking at this picture. This is the home of Albert Einstein. Located near Princeton, Einstein lived here from the time he left Germany until his death.
This Horn Antenna, located at Bell Labs in Holmdel, was used by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson to discover the microwave background radiation permeating the universe. Their discovery in 1964 earned them the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics, and led to confirmation of the Big Bang theory.
Recognize this place? It's Ellis Island, the entry point for countless immigrants over the years. Thought it was in New York, didn't ya? I did. Actually, the two states had a long-standing disagreement about it, and in 1998, a Supreme Court ruling settled the dispute once and for all by ruling that most of the island lies within the state of New Jersey.
This is something you don't see every day. Meet Lucy the Margate Elephant. Built in 1882, this six-story elephant is the country's oldest example of zoomorphic (shaped like an animal) architecture.
And this is a picture of the Cape May Historic District, which happens to be the country's oldest seaside resort.
And finally, the lovely author and New Jersey-ite Jennifer Shirk
gave me the link to an article about her state's annual Doo Dah Parade. Know what this parade celebrates? Humor! It includes stuff like bed racers, a motorcycle and beach chair drill team, impersonators of comedic greats, and my personal favorite: the Basset Hound Waddle, starring more than four hundred of these sweet critters. Know what I think? Ya gotta
love a state that not only knows how to take a joke ... but also celebrates humor.
And now, let's peek at some of the laws still lolling on the books in this fine state.
- It's illegal to wear a bullet-proof vest while committing murder. (Takes the sport out of it, I suppose.)
- You must yield the phone line to a person in an emergency. (A sudden hankering to call one's bookie probably doesn't qualify.)
- All motorists must honk before passing another motor vehicle, bicyclists, skater, or skateboarder. (Bet that leads to a lot of racket, not to mention a certain amount of finger-flipping.)
- It's against the law to pump your own gas. (New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states with this still-active law on the books.)
- It's against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season. (What? You suppose some guy needled the bass?)
- It's illegal to frown at a police officer. (What if the officer frowns first?)
- If you're convicted of a DUI, you may never again apply for personalized license plates. ( Might be more effective if people convicted of DUI had to buy personalized plates that began with the letters SOT.)
- You may not slurp your soup.(Better save the slurping for your coffee.)
- It's illegal to open a car dealership on Sundays. (Six days a week provide more than adequate time to bilk the public.)
- Automobiles are not permitted to pass horse-drawn carriages on the street. (Not even if they honk first?)
- It's against the law to delay or detain a homing pigeon. (After all, that little guy probably has a curfew.)
- In Bernard's Township, you'd better wipe that frown off your face. It's been designated a frown-free zone.
- In Blairstown, no street-side trees may be planted that obscure the air, and it's also illegal to throw ashes on the sidewalk.
- In Caldwell, it's illegal to dance or wear shorts on the main avenue. (Stick to the alley.)
- In Cresskill, all cats must wear three bells to warn birds of their whereabouts. (HA! Really???)
- In Elizabeth, women walking on Broad Street on Sundays must wear a petticoat. (Betcha some of you don't even know what that is.)
- In Haldon, cross-dressing is illegal, and it's also against the law to annoy someone of the opposite sex. (If they're cross-dressing, how can ya tell if they're of the opposite sex or not?)
- In Manville, it's against the law to offer whiskey or cigarettes to any of the animals in the local zoo. (I'm thinking beer and cigars. Beer and cigars.)
- Mount Laurel laws say it's illegal to get drunk and annoy others in your house. (In your own house? Can't the annoyed people just leave?)
- Better get a note from your doctor. That's the only way Newark vendors can sell you an ice cream after six PM. No note, no ice cream.
- Profanity is against the law in Raritan. (How rare.)
- In Sea Isle City, you absolutely may not boil any bones. (Well, darn. Bone soup is one of my favorites. Beats stone soup hands down.)
- And in Trenton, it's against the law to throw a bad pickle in the streets. (Yep, you can only thrown the well-behaved ones.)
- And pickles may not be consumed on Sundays. (Maybe you can get away with just sucking all the juices out ...)
Okay, boys and girls. It's that time again ... the time you've all been waiting for. Time for (ta-DA!)
The Weirdest News Stories of the Week
*** It was the end of the school day, so I guess when this Connecticut teen doused himself with scented body spray, he was hoping for some kinda action.
Well, he got action, all right, but not the kind he had in mind. Evidently, he's not a passenger on the less is more
train of thought, because his misty cloud of scent triggered the fire alarm. So the action he got arrived on a firetruck. Sirens, flashing lights, the whole smoking enchilada. Actually, firefighters were quite forgiving. Called it a routine accident.
I dunno. Smells like a major cover-up to me.
*** The Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa heeded the public outcry, and opened its Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition
without a certain (ahem) hands-on video. The exhibit is designed with the intention of teaching youngsters about sex in a scientific, frank, and accessible manner.
That video? Let's just say it depicted an animated youngster (ahem) taking matters into his own hands.
I guess the video just must've rubbed some people the wrong way.
*** Ever get in trouble for chewing gum in school? A bunch of Danish students were actually encouraged to chew it. For a project, an art project. Students from two art schools joined forces ... and their wads of well-chewed gum ... to create a fifteen feet tall sculpture. Let's see, most gum takes about five years to biodegrade, so it looks like this dude with his arms up in the air will be sticking around for a while. Maybe they should name it. Hmmm, Gumby's already taken. How about ... Students Chews Success
*** Here we go, ladies, just what we've all been waiting for ... a truly cool bra. Dunno how comfy this thing is, but it's definitely cool.
Japanese underwear maker Triumph Japan actually added built-in ice packs to it. Wow, huh? That's even cooler than Aeroshot Chocolate, a lipstick-sized taste of chocolate made for inhaling, a gadget designed to give all the taste without any of the calories. That particular dream-come-true item is being introduced at this week's Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago, and will be available for purchase next month. Hmmm, package the bra and chocolate together, and you'd have a darn good start on a menopause survival kit.
messed up. Some of you already got a sneak preview of next Monday's post when it accidentally went live on Wednesday afternoon. Who's to blame? Not mentioning any names, but her initials are Susan Swiderski. Sorry about that. Hopefully, when I pulled it down, all your comments were saved, too, and will reappear when the post pops back up on Monday morning. If not, cut and paste is a very good friend.
Oh, yeah, I guess you noticed this Yammy Friday post isn't split into two parts, and you got the whole en-chihuahua, after all. That's because I'm not gonna be around for a while, so you can take as looooooong as you want to wade through this uber-long post.
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.