Look! It's Optimus Lime, leader of the Transfruiters!
Well, not all of them. Just the Autofruits.
You're right. I'm sorry. That was really lame. But the opening joke I wanted to go with, I couldn't. You try and find a royalty-free picture of a lime, with legs, running.
All I could find was some lame-ass guy in a lime wedge costume. And it was a lame one, at that. Plus, he looked like a dork.
As you know, I try to fit my opening joke with the subject of the days post. Sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly. And sometimes, it's very obscure. But the link is usually there. Today, I wanted to feature a lime that looked like it was running, so I could make a joke about today's subject, Calcium Oxide.
Get it? Hilarious, right?
What do you mean you don't get it? A lime, moving fast? Calcium Oxide? Isn't it obvious? Or, do you need me to tell you that the common name for Calcium Oxide is 'Quicklime"?
Huh? Is it funny now? It is, isn't it.
Yeah....I'm a comedic genius. Provided you use my definitions of 'comedy' and 'genius'.
I'm sure many of you have heard a reference to the term, 'limelight'. Someone who is in the limelight is someone who is the center of attention. The person everyone is focusing on. Generally it's used to describe a Hollyweird star, but can also be used to refer to an attention whore. "Look at otter...trying to be funny with his dumb lime jokes, trying to steal the limelight from todays Roll Call."
But how many of you know the reason for the term? No one? Wait....you in the back, you know? Good. Sit down and keep it to yourself. This is my post, and I'll tell the story my way.
Many phrases and terms in the English language have roots in actual things. Take the phrase, "Look before you leap". Someone didn't just come up with that to warn someone to be careful before proceeding. No, that was a lesson learned the hard way by many people who jumped over/on to/in to something without looking to see what they were jumping over/in/on. Lots of deaths was the result.
Same with "You can't tell a book by it's cover". Don't criticize or dismiss something until you know what it is. (ok, fewer deaths involved in this one). You get the idea.
Limelight is the same. Back in the 1820's, a scientist named, (I assure you, I am not making this up), Goldsworthy Gurney, found that if he took a chunk of calcium oxide, or quicklime, and heated it in an oxyhydrogen flame, if gave off an incandescence. He also found that, using a series of brass reflectors, he could change the intensity and brightness of the light. He could also aim it.
In 1837, for the first time ever, this new Lime Light was used in a theater. The lighting effects were fantastic. Never before could the director manipulate light like this. Before, they were limited to making it light, or dark. Now, they could put an actor in the 'limelight' while they were delivering a soliloquy.
No longer were theaters lit by candle and oil lamp. They now had a light source they could control. And it improved theater all over the world. For a while.
Electrical lighting started being used at the end of the 19th century. So, while the performers were no longer illuminated with super-heated quicklime, they were still said to be in the limelight.
Learned you something today, didn't I? And it didn't involve feminine hygiene or the ingestion of bodily waste. Tomorrows Friday though. I have to come up with something good for Friday.