TODAY’S WORD is calvary. Example: Alford faced his own personal calvary after Eunice told him she wanted a divorce.

WEDNESDAY’S WORD was commiserate. It means to share in another's sorrow or disappointment.  Example: Outwardly Beatrice commiserated with Lauren over the disappointment of not being named bridge club president, but inwardly she was delighted, because she felt Lauren was too much of a show-off as it was.

The Broom Challenge

Have you been wondering why you have been seeing so many pictures of brooms on people's social media sites lately?

It's all in response to the Broom Challenge hoax, which took the internet by storm this past week.

It all happened based on a fake claim spread on social media that NASA said on one specific date, Feb. 10, the earth's gravitational pull on the vernal equinox would make it possible for a broom to stand upright on its bristles. People everywhere stood their brooms on end Monday, then posted pictures of them on social media.

It can be done at any day. A broom stands up because the spread of bristles provides a wide base, and the center of gravity is low, allowing the balance on the bristles to hold up the broom.

Women veterans

The second annual Southwest Virginia Women Veterans Appreciation Day will be held on March 14, at the Salem VA Medical Center Auditorium, 1970 Roanoke Blvd., Salem. It's open to new and enrolled female veterans in this region, including the Martinsville-Henry and Stuart-Patrick areas.

Sign-in is at 9:30 a.m., and a program followed by lunch will from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will feature an open house, resources and guest speakers. To attend, RSVP to 540-982-2463 by Feb. 28.

The event is hosted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Va. Department of Veterans Services.

WEDNESDAY’S TRIVIA ANSWER: An 1895 poem published in The Advertiser hails Bob the Railway dog: "Let other dogs snarl and fight, And round the city prowl, Or render hideous the night With unmelodious howl; I have a cheery bark for all, No ties my travels clog; I hear the whistle, that's the call - For Bob, the driver's dog." Bob, a long-haired dog, perhaps a German Coolie crossed with a Smithfield or a bearded collie, traveled the South Australian Railways system between 1878 and 1895. He was quite popular, and he wore a collar (purchased by a train passenger) that read "Stop me not, but let me jog, for I am Bob, the drivers' dog." That collar is now on display in the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide, and a statue in his likeness is in Peterborough.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: Australia had popular wandering dogs Red Dog and Bob, but America had Owney. Why was Owney popular (his preserved body is on display in a museum in Washington, D.C.)?

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

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