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Friday, April 27, 2018

2018 A - Z Challenge - X

X     Things We Appreciate

Xcaret (meaning small inlet), Mexico is located off the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatan peninsula, in the state of Quintana Roo. The above-ground area was home to the pre-Columbia Mayans, whose sudden disappearance remains steeped in supposition today.  And while archeologists continue digging and scientists keep researching, tourists arrive in droves each year to view the numerous archeological ruin sites by way of magnificent underground waterways called cenotes (sacred well). Dos Ojos (two eyes) is known as one of the most elaborate diving sites as well as (possibly) one of the most extensive underwater cave systems in the world.

The Xylophone is a percussion instrument made of wood (typically rosewood) bars which, when rapped with a rubber mallet create a rich melodic sound, deeper than the higher pitch sound of an instrument constructed of metal bars. The xylophone is a transposing instrument, meaning its written notes are one octave below the actual sounding notes. Xylophones are commonly used in music training classes for children, as they also learn to combine movement, singing, and speech. Fun fact: The sound of Fred Flintstone’s twinkling toes while bowling is that of a Xylophone.

As long as it doesn’t involve air travel, I appreciate X-Ray machines and techniques. After all, the concept revolutionized the treatment of Tuberculosis and is useful in a variety of professions, in addition to curative and homeopathic treatment. The introduction of the X-Ray by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895 was not only favorably and widely accepted, but it was also put to use by European surgeons within weeks of its inception. Then, it became a fad. No kidding. Smaller versions of the original were showing up in shoe stores and at carnivals and children’s birthday parties. It wasn’t until 1904 when Thomas Edison’s assistant Clarence Dally, died of skin cancer for having worked with the equipment extensively, that people began to consider the serious impact of the new technology. For instance, it can also cure cancer – with correct application ;-)

Have an X-tra Special Day!

Any thoughts? Can you add to the list of things we appreciate that begin with the letter X?


  1. Hi, diedre!

    While I might appreciate the opportunity to explore that area off the Yucatan coast, I think in the back of my mind I'd be worried about suddenly disappearing as did the Mayans. Putting on scuba gear and navigating a complex underwater cave system is surely an activity reserved for experienced divers.

    The Xylophone immediately brings to mind a bygone era when music variety shows were plentiful and popular on TV and the music played was geared toward older adults, not "the younger set" as Lawrence Welk called the burgeoning go-go generation. Welk's Champagne Orchestra included a Xylophone, and Xylophonists regularly showed up to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. By exposing me to programs like those, my parents were attempting to spark my interest in "good music" and steer me away from rock 'n' roll. Their plan failed. Shows like Bandstand, Shindig!, Hullabaloo, Lloyd Thaxton and Where The Action Is were tailor made for teens and I was the right age at the right time to take full advantage. I was hooked on the excitement of music made by young people for young people.

    I do not enjoy being X-rayed. Every time I have moved to a new city, and I have needed to move many times over the years, my new family doctor requires a new set of x-rays. I don't like the thought of being dosed with radiation that often.

    Remember the Roger Corman horror film entitled X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes starring Ray Milland? I paid tribute to it on SDMM:

    Thank you, dear friend diedre, and have an X-tra nice day!

    1. Hi Shady!

      Ha! Interesting that you'd worry about disappearing as well ;) Actually, you don't really need a lot of gear to traverse the waterways to Dos Ojos cenote. I'd worry more about the initial (short) walk through the jungle ;-)

      Lawrence Welk on TV always reminded me there was school the next day. I loved American Bandstand! "by young people, for young people" I like that.

      I know what you mean. I've had a lot of scans and it sure doesn't ease my mind to watch the technicians scurry out of the room when the machine starts up.

      I haven't seen X. The concept makes me want to bundle up in a lead trench coat ;-)

      I appreciate your X-traordinary comments, my friend! Thank you ;-)

  2. Never knew that about the xylophone. The guitar is also a transposing instrument, with the music written an octave above the actual notes.

    1. Now see? I didn't know that about the guitar! Thank you, John!

  3. Hi Diedre - rather a lot here I didn't know ... interesting about the Xylophone, yet the Xcaret word fascinates me ... cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary!

      Indeed, Xcaret is an enchanting place. Just stay with the guides ;-)


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