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Lighting the Way

Winner: Rosebud

then Carol St. Martin, Almond Joy, Chris, Tiff, and Oh, Donna.

A surprise game tonight when the Village cancelled “Family Night” due to bad weather. Neither rain nor wind keeps us from a game.

Rosebud won this one going away. A couple of women newbies at the back table were very enthusiastic all game long and sure enough, they finished tied for third. Their lament: “If only there had been more Justin Bieber questions.”

A beaming Tiffany was back to moderate the game in the absence of Mistress Daphne, who is in Alaska searching for the last of the Polar Bears. Nadia, the mad scientist, and Jonny Appleseed rejoined us after an extended absence. He has been busy helping to build Barry Diller’s futuristic new $250M park on the Hudson River at Pier 55. It’s a fascinating project. You should talk to him about it.

It’s late as Nadia consoles a sleepy Jonny Appleseed on his poor performance.

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Good Question!: What was traditionally made by a Chandler?

Choices: a. light bulbs   b. chandeliers   c. candles   d. matchsticks

Answer: candles

“Lighting The Way – A Brief History of Chandlery

Candles in history

Quick, think of an essential skill. A truly vital job, something society can’t do without. It’s very unlikely that you instantly thought of ‘chandler’ as an essential job – but for much of history, it very much was! From the humblest of rural cottages to the grandest of palatial fortresses, everyone relied on candles (and the people who made them) to continue living life after dark.

Tallow Fueled Candles For Centuries

For most of human history, candles were mostly made from tallow fat. In other words, waste material from meat! This meant that historic chandlers would generally have to have a strong stomach, in order to deal with everything that entailed. For easy access to tallow fat, most chandleries would be situated next to tanneries and abattoirs.

Candles in religion

Beeswax was a special option, as candles made from beeswax burned purely and cleanly, with none of the horrible smell. But it took a dizzying amount of beeswax to make a single 4” candle, which meant it was very expensive. For that reason – as well as a symbolic significance – it was mostly used in churches.

Can’t talk about candles without thinking of Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Gradual Evolution Chandlery

Thankfully, the usage of tallow declined towards the end of the 17th century. A few alternative materials were even found, like whale blubber. (Oh. We were hoping for something nicer.) Then in the late 19th century, gas lighting arrived, replaced itself by electricity just a few decades later. As a result, most commercial chandlers were basically made redundant, forced to move into other trades.

Today we have moved on from candles which were essentially fat, which gave off a particularly unpleasant smell, to the beautiful scents of our own handmade candles.” (themeltco.com)

and don’t forget: “better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness”

If you always wondered about Medieval candle making here it is:

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Snoopy’s Sopwith Camel

 

Winner: Pluto, then Christine, Tim, Rosebud, and John.

A close game until Pluto got lucky at the very end. He guessed the last two questions correctly, to finish just ahead of a pack of four players.

Tonight we learned that it was Isaac Newton who built the first reflecting telescope and that manzana is Spanish for apple. Who knew?

This was our last game before our summer recess. No games on August 6 and 13th as the village celebrates Family Night on Main Street.

Lot’s of fun activities planned and of course, Main Street Café will be serving its fine food and drink.

Good Question!: Used during World War I, what is a Sopwith Camel?

Choices: a. tank   b. plane   c. machine gun  d. ambulance

 

Answer: plane

Anyone who is a fan of Snoopy as the Flying Ace got this question right away. Throughout the decades, Snoopy comically embraced his fighter pilot role for delighted Peanuts readers. As Snoopy envisioned himself soaring through the clouds in pursuit of his nemesis, the infamous Red Baron, he sat atop his doghouse, which he imagined to be a real British biplane known as a Sopwith Camel.

But why a Sopwith Camel? Peanuts creator Charles Schulz once said, “Can you think of a funnier name for an airplane?”

Sopwith Camel in WWI

The air war of World War I continues to fascinate as this amazing new technology proved far more useful than most military and political leaders anticipated. Initially used only for reconnaissance, before long planes were armed with machine guns. Once Anthony Fokker developed a method to synchronize a machine gun’s fire with the rotation of the propeller, the airplane became a true weapon.

Early aircraft were flimsy, kite-like designs of lightweight wood, fabric and wires. The 80–120 horsepower engines used in 1914 produced top speeds of 100 mph or less; four years later speed had nearly doubled. Protection for pilots remained elusive, but most pilots disdained carrying parachutes regardless.

The Sopwith Camel was a British single-seat biplane fighter aircraft introduced on the Western Front in 1917. It was developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company as a successor to the earlier Sopwith Pup and became one of the best known fighter aircraft of the war.

The Camel was powered by a single rotary engine and was armed with twin synchronized machine guns. Though proving difficult to handle, it provided for a high level of manoeuvrability to an experienced pilot, an attribute which was highly valued in the type’s principal use as a fighter aircraft. In total, Camel pilots have been credited with shooting down 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter of the conflict.

To relive Snoopy’s “dogfight” exploits, follow the Royal Guardsman music video:

Placido v Pavarotti

Winner: Pluto, then Johnny and Rosebud

Pluto was surprised to learn that he won this evening. He told Judge Judy he had not played very well. She said:”You didn’t play very well, but we played worse.”

Tonight we learned that Kelly Clarkson was the first winner of “American Idol,” and that Sylvester Stallone has directed four “Rocky” films. Who knew.

Good Question!: In 1991, who made 101 curtain calls and set a world record of one hour 20 minutes for applause for his role in Verdi’s “Otello”?

Choices: a. Placido Domingo  b. Andrea Bocelli   c. Pavarotti   d. Avery Brooks

Answer: Placido Domingo

OK, turns out Placido set the record for longest applause. But he didn’t set the record for most curtain calls. That goes to Pavarotti with 165 curtain calls for his performance in the Donizetti opera L’elisir d’amore at the Deutsche Opera Berlin.

How did these two performances sound? Which do you like better?

First, Placido as Otello:

Second, Pavarotti in L’elisir d’amore

Who gets your applause?

 

Pandora’s Box

Winner: Tom Twin, then the Driver, Evelyn, Jenn, Shayna

Tom Twin joined us after an absence of a few weeks and and narrowly beat a pack of four, who were only one correct answer behind.

Just goes to show you, if you take some time off, sequester yourself and study, you too could be a winner.

Tonight we celebrated Judy and Celia’s birthdays with two birthday cakes, that’s right two birthday cakes.

(Photo to follow)

Tonight we learned that the first US president born in a hospital was Jimmy Carter (1924), so where did those other guys come from?

Good Question!: According to Greek mythology who was the first woman?

Choices: a. Hera   b. Eve  c. Pandora   d. Athena

Answer: Pandora

Some guys thought the answer should’ve been Wonder Woman.

If we’re going to talk about Pandora, I think we need to talk about Pandora’s box.

The myth of Pandora’s box

The myth of Pandora’s box is considered one of the most descriptive myths of human behavior in Greek mythology. Ancient Greeks used this myth not only to instruct themselves about the weaknesses of humans, but also to explain several misfortunes of the human race.

Pandora, the first woman on Earth

Pandora was, according to the myth, the first woman on Earth. She was created by Gods; each one of them gave her a gift, thus, her name in Greek means “the one who bears all gifts”.

Pandora was created as a punishment to the mankind; Zeus wanted to punish people because Prometheus stole the fire to give it to them. Her gifts were beautifully evil, according to Hesiod. Hephaestus created her from clay, shaping her perfectly, Aphrodite gave her femininity and Athena taught her crafts. Hermes was ordered by Zeus to teach her to be deceitful, stubborn and curious.

Pandora’s box

Pandora's box
Pandora’s box

Pandora was given a box or a jar, called “pithos” in Greek. Gods told her that the box contained special gifts from them but she was not allowed to open the box ever. Then Hermes took her to Epimetheus, brother of Prometheus, to be his wife. Prometheus had advised Epimetheus not to accept anything from the Gods, but he saw Pandora and was astonished by her beauty, thus he accepted her right away.

Pandora, who was created to be curious, couldn’t stay away from the box and the urge to open the box overcame her. Horrible things flew out of the box including greed, envy, hatred, pain, disease, hunger, poverty, war, and death. All of life’s miseries had been let out into the world. Pandora slammed the lid of the box back down. The last thing remaining inside of the box was hope. Ever since, humans have been able to hold onto this hope in order to survive the wickedness that Pandora had let out.

“Pandora’s box” now means anything that is best left untouched, for fear of what might come out of it.

Enough with Pandora, let’s get back to Wonder Woman.

How about a clip from her movie:

XX

 

 

Winner: Droppin’ Dave, then Callie, Erin, Jenn, and Nicole

Droppin’ who’s been sailing around in circles for weeks, finally figured out how to dock his boat and joined us for the game tonight. He won, so it was like old times.

27 players meant a full house, and we all learned a few things – watermelons are vegetables, and the evil queen in Snow White had a name – Queen Grimhilde.

We also learned that Chantenay is not a variety of melon, but rather a small, stout carrot.

Most importantly, we learned that in betting a “pony” or “macaroni” means 25to1 odds. Why?

A very British thing. Tic-Tac is the unusual betting slang where racing bookmakers used sign language to secretly communicate the odds.

25/1 odds – is sometimes called pony, or sometimes macaroni, and is signaled by punching the fists together twice then touching the right shoulder with the right hand.

This derives from the pony on an Indian 25 Rupee banknote and was used by British soldiers serving in India. Also called Macaroni, which is cockney rhyming slang for Pony.

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In honor of tonight’s winner, Droppin’ Dave, I thought we would listen to Richard Burton recite “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

Two Winners

Winner (07/02/19): Shannon, then Tall Paul and Karen.

A close game ended in a playoff between Tall Paul and Shannon. First playoff question: “How many pints of blood in the human body?” Both answered incorrectly. but Shannon was especially disappointed. She said: “I am studying to be a nurse, how could I miss that question!” Moderator Mike said: “Well, you’re not going to be my nurse.” Next question was about the periodic table. Shannon answered correctly and became a first time winner.

Winner: (06/25/19): Pluto, then Tall Paul, Erin, Jacqui, and Matt.

Darin had a special Mets bottle of wine that she had been waiting many weeks to award to big Mets fan Pluto, but like the Mets he never won. Finally, tonight he won and received his Mets bottle of wine. Someone said he better drink it quickly because by the sixth inning, when the bullpen comes in, it will probably go sour.

 

Winner: Steve, then a mob tied for second. We have Jacqui, Bklyn Gina, Judge Judy, Tall Paul, Frank the sports guy, Pluto, the Driver, and assorted photo bombers.

Thank goodness for Steve. If he had not answered one more question correctly than the pack of 8 that followed close behind, we would’ve had a nine person playoff. That could’ve been long and ugly, might have been here until midnight.

Good Question!: Which movement was founded by L Ron Hubbard?

Choices: a. Davidians   b. People’s temple   c. Scientology   d. Unification Church

Answer: Scientology

I bet we all have heard of Scientology, but What Is Scientology?

“Scientology is a set of religious beliefs created by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard wrote a self-help book that explored the relationship between body and mind called Dianetics in 1950. In 1952, he expanded upon the success of Dianetics by creating Scientology. Hubbard then incorporated the Church of Scientology in 1953.

Hubbard maintained a leadership role in the Church of Scientology until his death in 1986 — even during periods where he went into hiding because of controversy and legal actions against the church.

Scientologists believe that people are immortal alien beings (called thetans) who have forgotten their true nature and are trapped on earth in a human body. Scientologists believe that each thetan has lived numerous past lives, both on earth in our physical bodies, and on other planets. Scientologists also believe that by undergoing a series of classes and teachings (called auditing by the church), people can free themselves of their human form and reclaim their true selves.

The main way the principles of Scientology can be applied is through “auditing” where the auditor helps a person examine certain areas of their life and get rid of any unwanted influences to heighten ability and awareness. A device called an E-Meter is also used in this process. It measures a person’s mental state and it helps the auditor locate areas of distress. Auditing courses and study materials are available for Scientologists in exchange for monetary donations (the most advanced of these courses are quite expensive).

Scientologists also believe that all drugs are poisons that inhibit spiritual freedom. L. Ron Hubbard found that drugs and chemical residues are stored in the tissues of the body, and as long as they remain in the body a person’s abilities can remain suppressed. To dislodge the toxins, a person participates in a Purification Rundown which involves sweating in a sauna, mega-vitamin and mineral dosages, extra oil, good nutrition, and adequate rest.” (per Scott Barnes, and others)

If you want to learn more, the Church of Scientology has a building right in the heart of the NYC theater district, which seems like the right location for this bogus religion.

So now you know what Tom Cruise and John Travolta believe. Better to just watch the trailer from Tom Cruise’s latest film: