Trivia I Learned from Books, Vol. 2

So the last time I had a “trivia” post was a few weeks ago, not because I haven’t picked up any new trivia, but because I was bad at keeping track of it. Even if a word or item is unknown to me I can figure it out based on the context, but more often I just skim over it without bothering to look it up, so I’m going to try and get better at that, which is where my first bit of trivia comes in:

1. Cowslip: As in “Fiver nibbled on his exciting discovery of cowslip until a member of the Owsla pushed him aside.” Now that sounds like a right bit of gibberish, n’est ce pas?

Well I was reading Watership Down where the rabbits have their own language (Lapine) and unique social structure. Even though I learned to understand Lapine I’m not going to count that as trivia, like just because I know what I muggle is and what wingardium leviOHsa (not leviosA) would do to someone doesn’t count.

cowslipSo, back to cowslip, the author Richard Adams is a nature enthusiast and wrote several other non-fiction works about nature, botany, and the English countryside, and throughout Watership Down he includes paragraphs and pages on these topics as well. When I first read this book as a child I’m sure I skimmed over all these bits, and to be honest I definitely did a bit of skimming this time around too, but cowslip was mentioned so often (and was even one of the rabbit’s names) that I felt I should look it up.

Cowslip is a flowering plant with tiny yellow flowers and is generally found in open ground such as fields and meadows. The picture didn’t look too familiar to me, but hey, now I can keep an eye out for it!

2. Imagineer:As in “Randy always knew he wanted to be a Disney Imagineer when he grew up.”

Randy in his Disney shirt

Randy in his Disney shirt

I just finished The Last Lecture by Dr. Randy Pausch, and anyone riding the orange line metro at rush hour yesterday would have seen me awkwardly tearing up. Randy’s childhood dreams were inspiring, even more so since he worked hard to make EVERY SINGLE ONE come true! But I don’t know how I could have missed out on knowing what a Disney Imagineer was!

I mean I am a horrible drawer (or any type of art really) but I love Disney as much as the next person, I just never knew what the behind the scenes people were called, I just enjoyed their work. (Wow that sounds snobby, but sadly true, I mean I don’t think about where the chicken breasts at the grocery store come from either)

So apparentlyan Imagineer is like an engineer but better – “an employee of Walt Disney Imagineering…developing ideas and attractions for Disney parks. During the construction of a major project, Imagineers sometimes are deployed to work on-site for six months to a year. Imagineers may include artists, writers, architects, landscape architects, engineers, model builders, construction managers, technicians and designers.”

Well those are the two that I remembered recently, keep an eye out for more consistent installments!


5 Responses

  1. The Last Lecture is sad but very inspiring isn’t it?

  2. I loved it, very awe-inspiring, he really accomplished the most amazing things that I could never hope to do but still had such a healthy sense of self-awareness about his weaknesses and mentioned them enough he didn’t come off as an annoying martyr.

  3. My love for Disney is strong. I wanted to be an animator for a really long time (well, really long in kid years; so like 4 years). I’ve heard of the imagineers, and if I’d kept up that whole architect dream I also had, maybe I’d be an imagineer by now…

  4. I think we’re all Imagineers, in our own little ways…

    Wow, that was schmoopy.

  5. I’m only good at the “imagine” half of that word, definitely not an “engineer” in any little way (getting a D in Calculus TWICE being the perfect example). But I would say I have an “Expert” level imagination…

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