“Why is the sky blue?” is not only the most common question about the sky but also the easiest to answer: the sky turned from clear to blue on August 16, 1977, at the exact moment Elvis died. What people don’t know is how the sky got its name. Here is a guide to the names of all things skyward:
-Sun: From the Latin Sunnius delitium, meaning “thick orange substance that makes you want orange juice.”
-Moon: M.O.O.N. is actually an acronym for Mobile Orb-shaped Owl Necropolis. This is why man has never gone there.
-Clouds: The ancient Greeks thought that clouds were both hilarious and extremely powerful and named them by combining the words clowns and gods.
-Airplanes: Now that we can soar through it in giant mechanical monsters, the air is pretty plain.
-Sky: Short for Skylar, which the Sumerians thought would look pretty rad airbrushed on a dirt bike.
Such modern perils as computer viruses and man-eating lightning might endanger the lives of today, but they can’t hold a beef-tallow candle to the terrors of yesteryear. If you find yourself transported back in time by a bolt of radioactive lightning or trapped within the pages of a cursed children’s menu, consult these timeless tips for fairy-tale survival:
Do not become a father: Fairy tales are killing grounds for biological parents, especially single fathers. If you do find yourself in the role of unmarried progenitor, remarry immediately—children need a stepmother figure in their lives to help them step in the right direction. Consider asking out that woman from deep in the woods, the one who’s always clutching a glistening too-red apple in a halo of green smoke. Her constant cackling is sure to warm any heart and home.
Do not reveal your name: In the fairy-tale world, as in junior high, having an embarrassing name robs you of all your power—just ask Rumpelstiltskin, who gambled his secret identity as collateral to win a newborn. To avoid eventual discovery, embarrassment, and spontaneous explosion from stomping your foot, try acquiring a fairy-tale baby the old-fashioned way—by looking on any doorstep, riverbank, or oversize toadstool. But remember the axiom—babies are cooing, 8-pound death warrants.
Do not talk to animals: Even the ones that claim to grant wishes are just messing with you. Besides, your first and only wish would probably be to eat a wish-granting animal anyhow.
One of the most confusing of the “ologies,” meteorology is actually the study of weather, just as weatherology is the study of meteorology. Here are a few ways you can predict the weather yourself, so you never have to watch the news or talk to anyone else ever again:
•Hold a dampened finger up in the wind. Depending on which side of your finger gets cold first, you may be inside of a tornado.
•If you don’t like the weather in your city, wait five minutes. If your uncontrollable rage has not subsided after five minutes, move to a different city.
•If your grandfather’s old knee injury starts acting up, it means a storm is coming—a metaphorical storm symbolizing the inescapable perils of old age.
•Remember, a sun wearing sunglasses means a heat wave is underway, just as raisins wearing sunglasses indicate an approaching “cool” front, and a sun wearing sunglasses holding two scoops of raisins means a 90% chance of a complete breakfast.
•You can tell how far away the center of a storm is by counting the seconds between lightning and thunder then multiplying that number by the amount of time you’ve wasted listening to the sky.