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Sky Etymology

“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.

Fairy-Tale Survival

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.

Guide to Meteorology

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.