Stroller

TODAY’S WORD is antidote. Example: “Today, the very density that the court scorned is viewed by environmentalists as an antidote to sprawling development patterns that feed gridlock and auto emissions.” (Source: “Cities Start to Question an American Ideal: A House With a Yard on Every Lot” by Emily Badger and Quotrung Bui, June 18, 2019, New York Times)

TUESDAY’S WORD was tautology. It means unnecessary repetition — in different words — of an already stated idea. Example: “We only hear half of what we listen to. Perhaps that is why most people instinctively use tautology when they write or speak.” (Source: “Tautology and the Art of Listening,” “Claims Journal,” Sept. 6, 2018)

{h4 class=”BodyType”}Neil Varner{/h4}

{p class=”BodyType”}The libraries will be silent for the first part of the day in honor of Neil Varner.

Varner was a longtime I.T. supervisor for the Blue Ridge Regional Library. He had battled cancer for the past 15 months, and on Sunday he passed away peacefully. His funeral will be held at 11 this morning at Mount Hermon Church of the Brethren. Branch libraries will open at 1 p.m.

Varner also was known as a pious man who joyfully spread the word of God and on more than one occasion has been seen reading the Bible outside the library his lunch breaks. He was a part-time pastor for Trinity Church of the Brethren in Daleville. Pastors Noel Naff and Mike Varner will officiate at his funeral.

Varner also was known as an upbeat, cheerful man, and to that end, a luncheon in the church fellowship hall will follow his funeral, in celebration of his life.

Gender-reveal cakes

A big fad in gender-reveal — cute or clever ways to announce to family and friends if an expected baby is a boy or girl — is a gender-reveal cake. Usually, the outside of the cake doesn’t give any clues, but when it’s cut into either pink or blue icing and/or cake is revealed.

In the article “It’s a Girl! It’s a Boy! And for the Gender-Reveal Cake, It May Be The End,” author Kim Severson says in Monday’s New York Times that the pink or blue cake may be on its way out.

She wrote about the history of the fad. It started becoming a thing around 2009, when reality TV stars and regular people started cutting open their blue or pink cakes on network morning shows or YouTube, which at that point was 4 years old. Both Pinterest and Instagram started in 2010, providing huge platforms for the drama of gender-reveals.

Meanwhile, fondant had become across-the-board popular by the late 1990s, and TV shows such as “Ace of Cakes” (2006-2011) made entertainment out of the dessert.

Severson was predicting that perhaps the fad is losing steam, in large part because many people no longer want to stick a gender on a person for life. However, that position may be gaining traction in New York City, but it’s not likely to do away with the pink and the blue in southern Virginia.

What fun ways have your friends or relatives revealed the gender of their babies? Call or email The Stroller (Stroller@martinsvillebulletin.com or call 276-638-8801 ext. 243.) to share.

TUESDAY’S TRIVIA ANSWER: Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks played baseball in 2009 in the Coastal Plain League against the Martinsville Mustangs, while a member of the Gastonia Grizzlies.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: Two of the Martinsville Mustangs’ opponents this year have rhyming mascots that are also food. What are they?