TODAY’S WORD is the Latin root word sent or sens. What does it mean, and what are some words in English that come from it? Example: Margorie was rather plain as a young woman, but she became quite sensational once she hit her 60s and 70s.
WEDNESDAY’S WORD is the Latin root word sen. It means old. Some English words formed with it include senior, senator and senile, but we wish we could add to that list, but can’t because it has a different root word — sensational (see above). Example: The formerly sharp senator was going senile.
Piedmont Arts is planning to open June 10, as long as the pandemic situation doesn’t get worse. There are some online classes in May, and the first event will be a garden party June 12.
The yucky side of science
Now that we have your attention with that headline, we have to add that gross is just a matter of opinion. Don’t let it stop you from having fun — or from learning.
Though we’re all cooped up at home, local organizations still are providing interesting ways to keep involved. One of the best is the Facebook page of the Virginia Museum of Natural History.
On Tuesday, its education department offered a video lesson on owls, and people interested could pick up owl pellets the day before, to dissect them during the program. As the Stroller and Junior picked up theirs, Stroller explained to the youngster what owl pellets are.
“Oh!” said Junior. “I’ve done that before, at a VMNH summer camp. But we didn’t know we were digging through poo!”
“What did you think it was?” the parent asked.
“They just said ‘owl pellets,’ and we were too young to think about it or figure it out,” she replied.
Nonplussed, she enthusiastically picked away at her owl pellet, uncovering a mouse skull and some bones she decided to keep forever.
Then, on Wednesday, Science Administrator Ben Williams posted a video about eating cicadas. This was a day after an entertaining and informative 12-minute video he did on cicadas, which would inspire anyone to safeguard and appreciate them.
Use cicadas that just have emerged from their exoskeleton, while they still are light colored, he advised, over a plate of them.
“That’s not bad,” he said after his first bite. “I mean, you batter anything and deep-fry it with some Old Bay and some hot sauce and it’s going to be pretty tasty — but, um, it’s better than I expected. If I didn’t know what this was I’m sure I’d enjoy it a lot more. A fun way to surprise dinner guests.”
He added that the taste was a bit similar to that of shrimp.
» WEDNESDAY’S TRIVIA ANSWER: With an estimated population of 23 billion, there are more chickens on the planet than any other bird.
TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: What is the most abundant wild bird in the world?
The Stroller appreciates readers calling or emailing to share jokes, stories, comments, Words of the Day and trivia questions. We’re at 276-638-8801 ext. 243 and email@example.com.