www.whyville.net Apr 25, 2003 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Encyclopedia of Useless Information

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Hello Whyville! I am starting a series today called Encyclopedia of Useless Information. Yep, that's right, I said useless. Why am I telling you this useless information? Well, sometimes it's fun to learn things you never would have learned before. Sometimes during war, you need a distraction from all the news. Anyway, on with the first article.

Lucky bamboo. Have you heard of it before? You may have seen it in nature stores, right next to the waterfalls and incenses. But what is the real history of them? While in Florida, I started reading on the tag of the bamboo the history, but it wasn't enough. So, I have decided to do some research and tell you what I have discovered.

First let me tell you about Feng Shui. The definition of Feng Shui is the Chinese practice of creating harmonious surroundings that enhance the balance of yin and yang. What is yin and yang? Well, according to Chinese philosophy and religion, they are both principals. Yin is negative, dark, and feminine, and yang is positive, bright, and masculine. It is said that their interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.

Feng Shui masters highly recommend buying lucky bamboo. They believe and have even proven that you are more energized while in a room with lucky bamboo. They also believe it's beautiful structure makes you feel safe and secure. At many websites where you can buy lucky bamboo, it states that wealth and good fortune will come to those who possess it.

You're probably wondering how all this began. Well, bamboo had been a symbol of good luck in Asia for more than four thousand years. It is a folk tale that it started having its waves when a gardener accidently grew it wrong, but his prestigous owner loved it. There is no proof that that story is true though, since it took place so long ago.

If you've ever seen lucky bamboo, you've probably seen that they have waves and curls. A common rumor is that it grows naturally like that. But that is not the case at all! It takes a year and a half just to make one curl. What farmers do is cover three sides of the bamboo, and leave one side to grow naturally. Every few days they rotate the side that grows naturally, and eventually, a curl is made!

How do you take care of this bamboo? Well, in some cultures it is said that Buddha watches over it, and that is why it needs only water. All you have to do is water it once a day, and your bamboo will be happy.

Believe it or not, lucky bamboo isn't actually bamboo. It was thought of bamboo a long time ago when it originated, but now scientists have discovered it is actually a Dracaena Sanderiana, a popular Oriental plant as well.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the first article in the Encyclopedia of Useless Information. More articles coming soon!

Hope I Helped,


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