Rix Quinn’s Minute Story Extravaganza: November 17, 2018

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Reading
I’d like to salute one of America’s greatest unsung heroes. His name was Sterl Artley, a famous reading teacher, who died in 1968.

He wrote wonderful stories about Dick and Jane. If you’re a Baby Boomer, or a Generation Xer, you may remember them. These kids had a dog named Spot, and a cat named Puff.

Mr. Artley’s simple stories began with basic words, gradually building children’s vocabulary and word recognition skills. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find Dick and Jane books anymore. Many educators chose to move on to different methods.

But I’ll always remember Dick and Jane, because they taught me to read. And they also taught me to keep building my vocabulary, and to treat my doggy and kitty friends well, too.

So sad. No more Dick and Jane. No more adventures, but many young reader friends.

See Rix cry. Can you say “Baby Boomers getting older?” Goodbye, Dick and Jane.

Goodbye, childhood. Hello, Arthur Ritus.

Want Rix to record Minute Stories for your company? For details, e-mail him at rix@rixquinn.com or call him at 817-920-7999.



Life Expectancy
The average life expectancy in the U.S. is 77.2 years. So if you’re an average person who’s 77.1, schedule that annual physical real soon.

Here’s something weird: the older you get, the longer you might live. If you’re 75 right now, you can expect to live 11.5 more years if you avoid high-risk behavior. For instance, driving a big car is low risk. Trying to lift one is high risk (and pretty dumb).

Other high-risk activities include driving without a seat belt, sky diving without a parachute, and cutting in line at a supermarket.

Did you know women outlive men by five years? I told my wife, and she laughed like crazy.

Why the longevity difference? I interviewed several women, who said, “ It’s because we’re smarter.” I asked guys the same question, and they said the dead men  “were just looking for a way to get out of the house.”

Way back in 1900, the average life expectancy was only 47.3 years. Then folks decided dropping dead before 50 was a stupid career move, so they started taking better care of themselves.

Last week I read about a lady over 100 who said a long life comes from “working hard, eating vegetables, and thinking clean thoughts.” So far, I’ve followed 66% of that advice.

Want Rix to record Minute Stories for your company? For details, e-mail him at rix@rixquinn.com or call him at 817-920-7999.



Rats
I live in a woody area, so I occasionally see some big rats in the neighborhood. One of my friends tells me that long ago, there were actually giant rats.

So I looked it up…and he’s right. Actually, the monster rats measured nine feet long, many times the size of my friend’s gerbil Gerald.

This giant rodent lived nearly eight million years ago. Fortunately for 21st century people, the animal is now quite sincerely extinct.

Scientists say this beast had huge teeth, a long tail, and weighed as much as a buffalo. This would make him a formidable foe, but a poor dancer.

What did he eat? I’m not sure, but I suspect the answer is “anything he wanted.”

Earlier scientific expeditions to that same region found bones of several huge reptiles, including one eight-foot turtle shell and a bunch of gigantic crocodiles.

Researchers also discovered the teeth of another giant mammal. We’re not sure what it was, but you wouldn’t want it for a house pet.

So, why did those massive rats disappear? No one’s sure, but here’s a guess:

Real, real, real big cats.

Want Rix to record One Minute Stories for your company? For details, e-mail him at rix@rixquinn.com or call him at 817-920-7999.



Hair
A young friend asked my advice the other day. He’s only 27, but he’s losing his hair.

I told him that when mine started falling out, I simply got rid of my mirror.

But seriously, I understand his plight. I also shed mountains of hair daily…much of it from my head.

So I asked him, “Is your hair really receding? Maybe you could comb it differently. Or maybe your forehead just had a growth spurt.”

Here’s a quick test: Get an old high school photo, and compare it with your hairline today. If you notice major mane loss – or if hair falls on the photo while you look at it – you might try remedial action.

I personally favor the “comb-over.” In this evasive maneuver, I simply rearrange hair to cover any bald spots.

Luckily, my eyebrows have grown as scalp hair has flown. I now comb head hair forward and brows backward, and look much like an attractive hedgehog.

Balding remedies have existed for years. Hippocrates developed one made of onions, horseradish, and pigeon droppings. Users named this fowl mixture “Why Is My Girlfriend Vomiting?”

Today, however, we’ve got wonderful options including toupees, chemical remedies, and hair transplants. So don’t despair. There’s repair out there somewhere for missing hair on a scalp that’s bare.

Want Rix to record One Minute Stories for your company? For details, e-mail him at rix@rixquinn.com or call him at 817-920-7999.

Rix Quinn is a former magazine publisher who works as an independent biographer and broadcaster.

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