Stroller

TODAY’S WORD is sedulous. Example: "Elbakyan said, “'Our cultural figures need not only financial aid but also [supportive] behavior for their sedulous labor.'” (Source: “Tekeyan Awards Ceremony Held in Yerevan” by Gevorg Gyulumyan. The Armenian Mirror-Spectator, June 27, 2019)

TUESDAY’S WORD was vulcanize. It means to harden. The word got its start in the rubber industry as a chemical process, invented by Charles Goodyear, to harden rubber. (You may have seen “Vulcanizadoras” around town — that’s Spanish for a business that repairs tires.) Example: “You’d like to believe there’s a core of goodness in them, a spark of essential humanity, but you’d be dead wrong — these people are too far gone, too counterfeit, too shiftless and ill-equipped, and stealing and drinking and cutting and cursing and doping and fathering fatherless babies is vulcanized into their crooked natures, immutable.” (Source: “The Substitution Order” by Martin Clark of Patrick County. The Alfred A. Knopf book is being released today, feted with a party at the Patrick County Branch Library in Stuart.)

A huge bird

Bobbie Hairston has been talking about an unusual large bird he has seen twice in the area. He asked about it Tuesday through The Stroller, and Nancy Philpott wrote in with a suggestion.

It may be a great blue heron, she said. That bird can be up to 54 inches long. with a wingspan of 79 inches. The great blue heron has a slim body with a long neck. Its beak also is long, but it’s not hooked like Hairston had described on the bird he saw. It also doesn’t have a peak to its head as Hairston had described seeing, but it does have a few extra long feathers up there. Its legs bend sort of backwards, as Hairston had seen. The great blue heron can be seen in the river, Philpott said, and is “quite common this time of the year.”

Ben Williams, science administrator for the Virginia Museum of Natural History, said he would ask around at the museum, but his initial guess was a pileated woodpecker. That bird definitely has the pointed peak at the top of its head. It’s smaller, though — 19 inches long, with a wingspan of 30 inches.

What do you think? Call or email The Stroller about it.

Lacy Manufacturing

The Lacy Manufacturing reunion will be at 12:30 p.m. today at Clarence’s Steak & Seafood House in Ridgeway.

Participate in The Stroller

Send your jokes, announcements, funny anecdotes, local observations and more to Stroller@martinsvillebulletin.com or 276-638-8801 extension 243.

TUESDAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: A male donkey is a jack, and a female donkey is a jenny, or jennet.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: A horse has 64 chromosomes, and a donkey has 62. How many chromosomes does a mule have?