Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Is the piano a percussion instrument?

Why yes, as a matter of fact, it is! My daughter and son and I were talking outside this morning while waiting for the bus and Sammie said something about the piano being a percussion instrument. And at first, I was like, "What?!" That's crazy. But the more I thought about it, the more I could see that it did, indeed, make perfect sense. I told her I was going to have to look that up when they left.

So I did - and it's true! That silly, smart girl is always teaching me stuff!

And I almost always have this running list in my head of stuff I need to "Google". And don't you just love the way we all turned 'Google' into a verb? The kids and I were talking about that the other night, as well - assigning new parts of speech to words. We were trying to think of more examples of that. Patrick came up with a few, I think. Perhaps I need to 'Google' that, too! What I am saying, though, is there is a little notepad up in my brain, that constantly is has a list on it, long or maybe short, of 'things' that I want to look up. Sometimes it takes me months to take the time to do it, and sometimes, like the piano thing this morning - I do it within hours of thinking of it. And it's funny, because when I finally look up 'that thing', it feels good. Like really scratching something off of my to-do list. Silly, huh?

Another thing I was wondering, that I've been wondering since last July, and been meaning to look up ever since, is about pecan trees. See, we have one in our yard - just one. And my mother-in-law says that you need two to really see a good crop of the wonderful nuts that hubby and I just go crazy for! She said that you need a female tree and a male tree. Ok, I can see that - as there are female and male cottonwoods, and only one of the little buggers actually produces cotton. Messy thing that it is, I can't remember which one it is. But I can tell you that it makes a gigantic mess - we had one at my folks house for years and years until we had to cut it down because the roots were messing with the neighbor's yard and maybe even her pipes. And then you've got mulberry's and fruitless mullberry's - I just love the fruitless mullberry's - great trees those are! (Hey, did I just sound like Yoda? Cool! Maybe I'm becoming wise!) But the fruited ones - oh my! I hope you don't have sidewalks - because they will be almost solid purple! So purple, it's almost black. Good heavens, what if you had a white car and forgot to not park it under the tree? Yikes!

So you see, what she was saying could definitely be feasible, but, being the good daughter-in-law that I am, I really wanted her to be wrong. And I really didn't agree that there were female and male pecan trees - I figured being number one, from Texas, and number two, niece of Uncle Pat, who loved to take all of us kids gathering pecans in the fall - that I would've/should've heard of such a thing.

And then there's God - always steppin' in to teach me a lesson! We are both wrong and we are both right. Deflate my balloon, why don't ya?

On a page from the Clemson University website, I discover that you do need two pecan trees, but that they both have female flowers and male flowers. And the reason that you need two is for adequate pollination of the female flowers by the male flowers. So there you have that.

Now, the one thing that I am having trouble finding out today is why, when we're dingy (which I really rarely am!) people call us space cadets. I mean, think of the people who work at NASA - pretty smart group o' dudes, there, right? Is it from the old BBC television show? Is it from the book from 1987, called Space Cadet, written by Robert A. Heinlein? There seems to also have been a 1997 movie, but, I swear people have been saying it longer than that. And how would you word the query properly to find the answer, anyway?

Things that make you say - hmmm.....


Sindy said...

I believe that the term space cadet comes from "empty" space between your ears. I went looking for the "origin of slang" and found this that tends to lean that way ... look at "space king" or "space queen".

Lisa said...

Ahhh, right - and put that together with the fact that 'cadet' is the lowest rank (right?) and then that would make total sense!

This mystery (with lots of guesses!!) may be solved!!

Thanks, Sindy!!

latt├ęgirl said...

Without having read the entire post yet (I will, though) I would say that technically no, the piano is not a percussion instrument, but it is ALMOST percussive in that it has hammers.

Close enough?

Lisa said...

I know - right. My first reaction was 'no way', but, then as I thought about what truly is inside the piano...oh yeah, it does sound like the little shrimp could be right! Hahaha!

And sure enough - Google led me right to the answer - she was definitely correct!