Arizona Oddities’ Top 10 Posts of 2011

Thank you to all of the new and loyal readers of Arizona Oddities. 2011 has been an amazing year and we look forward to 2012. We believe we have a truly special publication and a very special audience. Here’s a look at our most popular posts of 2011.

Movie Film StripDrum roll please…

  1. Why Do People Paint Citrus Trees White? – To celebrate, we asked an actual newcomer in the office if she knew why citrus trunks are painted white, and she said it was to repel insects. These comical newcomers.We were going to laugh at her until we remembered she is much higher up the food chain.
  2. How Did Arizona Get its Name? – The name Arizona comes from the Papago “ali-shonak” meaning “small spring.” The name became popular following the discovery of rich lodes of silver “so pure you could cut it with a knife,” some 25 miles southwest of present-day Nogales in 1736. (Be sure to read Marshall’s comment!)
  3. How to Keep Scorpions Away from Your Home – There are about 35 species of scorpions in Arizona, but only five or six in the Phoenix area, including our personal favorite, the giant hairy scorpion.
  4. What Kind of Plant is a Tumbleweed? – Tumbleweeds really are a specific plant, the mature form of the Russian thistle, Salsola iberica.We think of them as being a real symbol of the West: wide-open spaces and the Sons of the Pioneers and all that.
  5. Why Don’t Palm Trees Blow Down in the Wind? – This is the deal: Palm trees are monocots as opposed to other trees, such as paloverdes or oaks, which are dicots. Kim Stone, a horticulturist at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior, went to some pains to explain the differences to me. He is a very patient man.
  6. Original Bethany Home was Early 1900s Tuberculosis Sanitarium – How did Bethany Home Road get its name? Is there such a place as “Bethany Home’’? I can understand how Camelback, Washington, Central, Indian School and just about all the other major thoroughfares got named, but not Bethany Home.
  7. Rhino Beetles Found Only in Arizona – You know, if I were rich, I would just buy you people bug books and let you figure these things out by yourselves. I usually just throw away the bug questions because they are usually pretty vague.
  8. How Did Phoenix Gets its Name? – Arizona’s capital city might have been called “Salina,” “Stonewall,” or even “Pumpkinville,” had it not been for a spurious English “Lord” named Darrell Duppa.
  9. A Brief But Fascinating History of the Hohokam – Most scientists believe the Hohokam arrived in Arizona from Mexico around 300 B.C. Apparently, they arrived with a strong culture intact and had an immediate influence on the area and the people already living here.
  10. ASU Make’s PLAYBOY’s Top 10 List of Party Schools for 2011 – To anyone familiar with the nightlife scene at Arizona State University, this shouldn’t come as a huge shocker. The behemoth university has once again gained notoriety as one of  North America’s top party schools.

Did any of your favorite posts make or miss the list?

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