Nugget of Knowledge: Mother Nature

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One expression you’ll hear in the news way too often is Mother Nature.

So just who is Mother Nature?

The ancient Greeks called her Gaia, the goddess of the Earth.

To the Babylonians, she was Ishtar, and the Egyptians called her Isis.

The Chinese called her Empress Earth, and the Native American tribe known as the Hopi called her the Blue Corn maiden.

In every case, it’s a she. Mother Nature was a fertility goddess.

The phrase Mother Nature is very old, coming into the English language around 1400 in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

Closer to our time, the phrase appears in Jack London’s 1904 novel, “The Sea Wolf.” London writes “Old Mother Nature’s going to howl for all that’s in her.”

If you have to put a real name to Mother Nature, it’s Dena Dietrich, an actress who portrayed the dear gal in a TV commercial for Chiffon margarine in 1971. Fooled into thinking Chiffon is butter, Dena throws a lightning bolt and warns it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.

The commercial was so successful, it ran until 1979.

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