Gwendoogle Part CXIV – Cerberus, a Whale, and Prince Charming Walk Into A Desert

GwendoogleAnswers served with a literary reference that I almost missed

Flip the Otter searched: How would you go about wooing prince charming?
Without becoming an expert in fauna-linguistics, acquiring a fairy godmother, or getting cursed, I think my best bet is the Modified Rapunzel Method.

That’s right, I will stay in my room, throw open all the windows, and sing along to my favorite songs to catch him as he wanders by. I may even dance or put on concerts with my hairbrush microphone. When I feel like it, I’ll read or write or do any of the other things that I usually do. It’s not like the hairbrush shows are that strange for me either. (I’ve always wanted a tower bedroom.)

I will also keep the key to the tower in my back pocket, a lock pick kit strapped to my ankle, and a rope ladder in the closet at all times. I’ll be leaving my tower frequently.

Trebez searched: Of the standard issue pets (dogs, cats, birds etc) which are you most partial to?
One day I will have a cocker spaniel and chihuahua mix named Cerberus. Or some other pointy-nosed little dog named Cerberus. I have no urge to own any other pet.

Does that answer your question?

Kate Kearney searched: Form or function?
I lean toward function, but my affections like to zig-zag between the two.

Flip the Otter searched: What is the emotional significance of the color purple?
Purple, as a combination of warm and cool tones, seems to be a color that can evoke a wide range of reactions. In one context, it can be soothing, and in another, energizing. It’s brighter tones are popular with children, so it can sometimes signal us back to youth and playfulness, but it’s darker tones are often perceived as gloomy.

The only thing that seems to be certain, is that it often signals a feeling of decadence, magic, or imagination, probably because purples and violets are relatively rare in the natural world.

After reading up on this, I now have an explanation for all those people who couldn’t understand why I had to specify exactly which purple was my favorite when I was a kid. I’m only ten-fifteen years too late…

Neekers searched: Why does bat poop have a special name?
Guano can actually refer to the excrement of either bats, sea birds, seals or walruses. The original Quechuan word was used to refer to any dung that was used for agricultural purposes. Through history, people just decided that the excrement of bats, birds, seals, and walruses served best, and the term became more specific.

Kate Kearney searched: How do you feel about collaborative boardgames?
Guilty, mostly, because I don’t like them nearly so much as when I get to gleefully tromp around the board on my own secret plans. I always feel like I turn into a puppet when I play collaborative games, doing whatever someone with a quicker mind for the puzzle tells me. And then I feel sorry, because put in different words, the thing I’m objecting to could be called “teamwork.” But I’d still rather tromp.

Trebez searched: How are deserts formed?
Here’s what I know about deserts: the term comes from the Latin desertum (“abandoned place”), deserts can be either hot or cold, and the only thing that really matters in defining them is how little precipitation they receive (usually less than ten inches per year).

Here’s what I’ve been told about the three main ways we get areas of low precipitation:

1) Equatorial wind belts – the warm air at the equator is always rising, pushing wind belts both north and south. When the air comes back down – around the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, thanks to the pressure of other wind belts – it’s too dry for rain, and we end up with deserts like the Sahara. Thank you, wind patterns.

2) Rainshadow – High mountain ranges catch all the moisture in the air and turn it into rainfall. The clouds rain themselves out in the high peaks and there’s nothing left for the area on the other side of the mountains. Thus, the Mojave desert.

3) Cold currents – Cold ocean currents cool the air above them which in turn force the clouds above them to rain themselves out before they reach land. Without rain on the coasts, we get the long, thin deserts that populate the western edges of Africa, South America, and North America.

Here’s what I know about why they tend to be sandy, sandy places: Without cloud cover, the days and nights in deserts have a greater disparity in temperature. The days get very hot, the nights get very cold, and shifting temperature is the perfect recipe for breaking rocks. So is hot days making hot rocks that get cooled suddenly in the downpours that occasionally strike desert areas. The rocks break apart in to smaller and smaller pieces and the wind scatters. The finer the gravel and sand in any given desert, the greater the temperature disparity tends to be.

Trebez searched: And secondary question, do you find them beautiful?
Sometimes. Sometimes I walk away from my encounters with deserts, reminded yet again that I need a healthier respect for Mother Nature.

But, should someone arrive with a couple of camels and a promise to get me across a desert safely, I would take the trip in a heartbeat.

Flip the Otter searched: If you could pick one desert to have for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I have no idea how to choose between a hundred places I’ve never been. But I hear the Russian Arctic Desert is pretty good deadly.

(Also, because I suspect there was supposed to be an extra “s” somewhere in that sentence: you can’t make me choose between cheesecake and ice cream.)

Kate Kearney searched: Is there a whale in your book?
Having not written it yet, I took a mental inventory of the plans, and discovered the answer is either “no” or “just the one.”

Kate Kearney searched: Is this question a metaphor?
… Ooooooh. The above answer still stands.

Have a question for Gwendoogle? Leave it in comments below and I’ll be back next week to answer it.

The question bucket currently has: 46 questions

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