Kill it with fire!

Fire. Without it, we would be cold, hairy people eating raw food.

Fire is usually a good thing. But, sometimes, it's not. And when it's not, we depend on a special group of people to help us.

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I'm not talking about your insurance adjuster, silly. I'm talking firefighters. (note the non-gender specific nomenclature? I'm so PC it makes me sick)

Fire putty-outtie people do a lot more than most people think when it comes to putting out fires.

They have formulas for estimating the amount of water needed, (volume of burning material divided by three to get gallons per minute needed). They have different reagents to use on different types of fires. They use different size hoses and nozzles depending on the type of fire.

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But there is one thing firefighters use to fight fires that everybody sees, but most don't understand. In fact, you have probably commented on it at some point.

Have you ever seen a fire hydrant? Of course you have. They're these large red hunks of iron sitting in seemingly random locations. Well, most are red. Sometimes you'll see a yellow one. Or a red one with a blue top. Or a green one.

But, as any homeowner who has one on their property knows, don't you dare try painting that hydrant.

You see, those colors aren't random. They serve a very important purpose.

The color of a hydrant tells firefighters how many gallons per minute the hydrant will supply.

Not every municipality colors theirs the same way. Some will paint the bodies the same, then code the tops by GPM and then the caps by PSI.

OSHA, of all people, recommend that hydrants the supply non-potable water, (not safe for drinking), be painted violet. And hydrants that are no longer in use be painted black. If the hydrant is to be out of service temporarily, they recommend putting a black flag over it.

Hmm....this post seems a little weak. I mean, you know what I mean? It's good, but....just not quite good enough.

Tell you what. How about I throw in a bonus oddity?

OK. I'll do it. Just this once. But only because it's a Friday, and I like you guys.

You see this thing? You know what it is?

Of course you do. It's called an orange.

But, did you know that oranges were first cultivated in Asia? And they didn't arrive in Europe until the 11th century when some crusaders brought them to Italy.

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Now, if you think about it, before they showed up in Europe, what did Europeans call the color orange?

The word orange came to Europe with the fruit.

But, we know the mixture of red and yellow had been around for a long time before the word showed up.

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In England, they called it 'yellow-red'. Actually, no. They didn't. Back then, they spoke English, but you wouldn't understand it. It was 'Old English'. And their word for yellow-red was 'geoluhread'.

Apparently it was easier to pronounce 'orange' instead of 'geoluhread', and that's why you enjoy a nice cold Orange Crush instead of a Geoluhread Crush.

Enjoy the weekend, and don't forget, I accept tips. (monetary preferably)