As Americans continue to stay home under COVID-19 restrictions, many are using alcohol to help ease the boredom. A recent survey by the Recovery Village, a Florida-based substance abuse group, found that 55% of us say we are drinking more booze than before the pandemic arrived. Apparently, Virginians are guzzling right along with the rest of the country. On Wednesday, the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Authority announced retail sales of $1.2 billion for fiscal year 2020, which ended June 30. That is a nearly $120 million increase from the previous year. Perhaps the increased levels of imbibing explain a Sept. 1 Wall Street Journal article that reports record numbers of folks claiming that they have seen an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO), or Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP) as the Department of Defense prefers to call them. The National UFO Reporting Center says sightings have increased 51% since this time last year. The soaring interest in little green men and flying saucers might have something to do with the stunning archived footage recently released by the U.S. Navy of UAPs filmed by military pilots. Or, on the other hand, it might have something to do with the increased amounts of booze Americans are consuming.
After 430 years, the Lost Colony mystery has been solved. Every school child who grew up in the mid-Atlantic knows the story of the missing English settlers from Roanoke Island, N.C. The early English settlement was founded by John White and about 100 others in 1587. White went back to England to get more supplies but was unable to return to the island until August 1590. Upon his return, it was discovered that everyone had vanished. The only trace of the Lost Colony was the word “CROATOAN” carved on a post and the letters “CRO” on a tree. But a new book, “The Lost Colony and Hatteras Island” by amateur archaeologist Scott Dawson, posits that the missing colonists did not vanish, nor did they die of devastating disease. The settlers simply left their digs to go and live with their friends, the Croatans of Hatteras. “They were never lost,” said Scott Dawson, who has researched records and dug up artifacts where the colonists lived with the Indians in the 16th century. “It was made up. The mystery is over.” Teams of archaeologists, historians, botanists and others have uncovered thousands of artifacts showing a blend of English and Native American tools and weapons. Dawson writes that the two groups lived together, had mixed families and thrived. We are glad the mystery had a happy ending. And we’re very happy to learn they weren’t abducted by a UFO.
Tired of being morose and want to be happier? Try smiling. According to major research institutions and countless studies, the desire to be happy is a universal trait. A study completed in November in the United Kingdom presented participants with a multitude of different stimuli to see what worked the best to improve their moods. According to the researchers, the simple act of smiling trumped all the other options. It was as stimulating to the brain as receiving $25,000 or 2,000 chocolate bars. When you smile, the brain produces feel-good hormones. Studies also have shown that people who smile more often tend to live longer. And almost everyone knows that smiling produces a lot less wrinkles than frowning. On top of that, researchers say people tend to think you’re more competent, likeable and courteous when you smile. A smile is contagious — as the old saying goes, give one to the world and the world will give it right back.
Sick of the foul language and raunchy antics heard and seen on TV and social media? Apparently, you are not alone. Someone in Houston might share your sentiments. On Tuesday, in what we assume was a mission to spread good, clean fun, a prankster poured soap into the city’s iconic Buffalo Bayou Park fountain. Within minutes, massive amounts of bubbles were pouring forth from the Houston landmark, filling the surrounding green space and blowing giant bubbles onto a nearby parkway. Thankfully, no accidents or damages were reported. In a video of the incident, a reporter can be heard trying to stifle a chuckle as he reports the story. We cannot blame him. After spending the past three months viewing scenes of destruction and rioting, a little bubbly fun was a welcome relief. You can view the sudsy shenanigans at: http://bitly.ws/9BL6