I really like politics. I study social and political philosophy for part of my job, and I get really jazzed about things like social contract theory (like that of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and John Rawls.) I also love researching and writing about practical political issues like immigration, human rights, environmental issues, and political theories about inequality.
Growing up, my dad and I discussed politics together. He frequently asked me my opinion on the current president and his politics, and I loved these discussions. I have told this story elsewhere, but my mom says that when I was a baby and the Nixon- McGovern debates were on TV, my dad watched the debates with me sitting on his lap, and he explained the issues to me. Mom says I listened attentively.
Me and Dad
Also, fun fact about me: I used to teach American history to middle school students, and as part of the curriculum, my students and I memorized all of the presidents. I can still recite most of them in order.
All of this is to say that I like politics, and I can get really, really absorbed in it. Sometimes I get too absorbed, and I get caught up googling one political story after another. This isn’t the healthiest habit in the world, especially when politics is full of drama and tension, as it has been lately.
Maybe you have this problem, too.
The other day, because of the Mueller report, etc. I found myself getting anxious and obsessed with politics again. I’m not a help to anyone–democratically or otherwise–when I get into this state. When I realized this, I googled, “What can I google besides politics?”
And then I decided I would make my own list. So, here are 26 things you can google besides politics and the president if you find yourself feeling anxious or obsessed. I have included a question or activity with each of them.
A: Alhambra pictures: Where is the Alhambra? Why is it significant?
B. Bermuda Triangle mystery: What is the Bermuda Triangle? (If you don’t already know.) What is one of the scariest or weirdest stories you can find about it?
C: Catfish (giant) pictures: There are some surprisingly big catfish out there. You should check it out.
D: Delorean disaster: Remember the funky car in Back to the Future? That was a Delorean. You can read some interesting facts about it here.
E: Emergency kit: Do you have your own personal emergency kit, just in case? Google it and figure out how to make one.
F: Fudge fantasia: This is an awesome name for a dessert, in my opinion. Also, the recipe looks delicious. Check it out and consider making it.
G: Gerrymandering: Okay, this one is political, but only abstractly so. What is gerrymandering? Why are people concerned about it?
H: Humblebrag: Check out what humblebragging is, if you don’t know. Have you ever humblebragged before? Does it bother you when other people humblebrag?
I: Iditarod Trail: Where is the Iditarod Trail? How long is it? What is an interesting fact about it that stands out to you?
J: Jackalopes of Wyoming: What is a jackelope? Do they exist? Why do people talk about them?
K: Kaleidescope Pictures: Just google this and check out the pictures. They are beautiful.
L: Lemming Suicide Myth: What is this myth? Why did it get started?
M: Meatball monster sandwiches: These look like great sandwiches for a children’s party or a party with friends. Check it out and consider making them.
N: Nosferatu: Nosferatu is one of the first vampire movies. It’s in black and white. You can watch it here. Watch first fifteen minutes or the whole thing.
This is Nosferatu. And also me when I google politics too much.
O:Olfactory Fun: Google this and try one of the activities you find.
P: Pina Colada or Pina Colada Song: Do you know the ingredients of a Pina Colada? Considering googling it to find out and making the drink. How about the Pina Colada song? Have you ever listened to it? Google it and listen to it. Bonus points for making a Pina Colada while listening to the song.
Q: Quantum mechanics for dummies: Quantum mechanics is weird and fascinating. Google this and watch the video or read the article. What is something interesting you found out?
R: Recondite, redolent, repartee, riposte, ribald, recidivist: Look up one of these words, the definition of which you don’t know. Learn the definition and try using it in a sentence.
S: Surprising solar salamanders: Look this up and read the article.
T: Triskadeskaphobia: What is triskadeskaphobia? Do you know anyone with this fear?
U: Ugli Fruit: Did you know there is a fruit called Ugli Fruit? What is it? Where can you find it?
V:Vernal equinox: This just happened recently. What is it? When does it happen?
W: Weird facts: Google this and find a weird fact that surprises you.
X: Xenomorph: What is a xenomorph? What would happen if a human was a xenomorph?
Y: Yiddish: Find an article with common Yiddish words and find out how many you know.
Z: Zambia: Where is Zambia? What is one interesting fact about it? Would you like to visit there?
Challenge: Google all of these over the next day, week, month, or year. Report below one interesting thing you learned.
And remember: It’s okay to take a break from politics if you need it. It will be here waiting when you return.
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