Archive for April, 2012

Winner: Droppin’ Dave

With the NYS primary vote today (guess who won), our theme was “primary” in all it’s flavors. Droppin’ returned to the winner’s circle after a surprisingly long absence. He was followed by Rosebud, who would have “fared” better had she known that the primary ingredient in Scrapple was hog’s head. Dave, who grew up in Philly, says that Scrapple is a delicacy down there. With Philly also famous for their cheesesteak, it may be time to declare a health emergency in Philadelphia.

Although it was a small group of players, Mistress Daphne was especially disagreeable this evening. She acted as if she was trying out for the lead role in “Mean Girls”. She seemed bummed that we didn’t come attired in our primary colors, like the Crips and Bloods, I guess. Later she mellowed and her guilty conscience led her to award a special prize to Sheena – a JetBlue sleep mask.

Good Question!: Which of the following colors ( Red, Green, Yellow, Blue ) is not a primary color?

Answer: Green

Actually, it depends on which color system you are using. It could be Green, or it could be Yellow. Nothing is as simple as it seems. Green when you are using the traditional color system and Yellow when using the additive color system.

Almost all visible colors can be obtained by the additive color mixing of three colors that are in widely spaced regions of the visible spectrum. If the three colors of light can be mixed to produce white, they are called primary colors and the standard additive primary colors are red, green and blue. Two colors that produce white when added together are called complementary.

Media that combine emitted lights to create the sensation of a range of colors are using the additive color system. Typically, the primary colors used are red, green, and blue. Television and other computer and video displays are a common example of the use of additive primaries and the RGB (red, green, blue) color model.

RYB (red, yellow, and blue) is a historical set of subtractive primary colors. It is primarily used in art and art education, particularly painting. It predates modern scientific color theory. Using red, yellow, and blue as primaries yields a relatively small gamut, in which, among other problems, colorful greens, cyans, and magentas are impossible to mix, because red, yellow, and blue are not well-spaced around a perceptually uniform color wheel.

During the 18th century, as theorists became aware of Isaac Newton’s scientific experiments with light and prisms, red, yellow, and blue became the canonical primary colors—supposedly the fundamental sensory qualities that are blended in the perception of all physical colors and equally in the physical mixture of pigments or dyes. This theory became dogma, despite abundant evidence that red, yellow, and blue primaries cannot mix all other colors, and has survived in color theory to the present day.

Painters have long used more than three “primary” colors in their palettes—and at one point considered red, yellow, blue, and green to be the four primaries. Red, yellow, blue, and green are still widely considered the 4 psychological primary colors.

Now if you like classic old “Woodie Station Wagons”, one of the best photo galleries of wooden bodied cars anywhere can be found at Primary Colors Photography:  wavecrest woodie

And, of course, no discussion of primary colors would be complete without the trailer from the movie: 

When presenting a design or an idea your choice of colours is very important. Many surveys  have been carried out on the general public to find out what people like. The findings suggest that very young children like bright, vibrant colours (reds, yellows and oranges etc…) while older people like more gentle or sophisticated colours and tones such as shades of blue. It is very important for a designer to understand the way colours are put together as this may help in the selection of the right colour scheme for a particular age group.

Blogger’s Note: TNBE blog celebrates it’s 2nd anniversary this month. You keep reading, we’ll keep writing.

sources: wikipedia, technologystudent.com

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Winners: Judy and Pluto

Judy, Judy, Judy!

She just sat at a table in the corner, and very quietly answered all the questions better than anyone else. After winning the big game (with 18 players), she dominated on the $ questions and went home the big winner. Pluto somehow tied her in the big game, followed by Coffee Bill.

It was nice to see some of our regulars returning for the game tonight. Ellen rejoined us from her coast guard tour of duty on PT 109 (although daughter Jaime must still be in the witness protection program), and Inappropriate Bob joined us for a game before his busy spring / summer season of air shows. Also putting in an appearance were JohnnyG and Bobby Barcelona, but the way they played, they “shoulda stood in bed.”

We learned that the clavicle (collar bone ) is the most common broken bone in the human body (who knew?), so you rugby players better be careful out there.

Good Question!: Which state is called the treasure state?

Answer: Montana

Turns out Montana is a state with many nicknames. Most of us know it as “The Big Sky Country”, home of the Marlboro man.

That is  a relatively recent nickname, originating with a 1962 promotion of the Montana State Highway Department. It is a reference to the unobstructed skyline in the state that seems to overwhelm the landscape at times. The name came from a book by Alfred Bertram Guthrie Jr., “Big Sky”. The legend “Big Sky Country” appeared on Montana license plates from 1967 to 1975. This was shortened to “Big Sky” on license plates stamped from 1976 to 2000.

Treasure State is another popular nickname for Montana. “The Treasure State” legend was featured on standard license plates from 1950 to 1966. Montana is referred to as the “Treasure State” because of its rich mineral reserves. Mining has been an economic cornerstone of the state and the state’s motto “Oro y Plata,” Spanish for gold and silver, refers to two of the minerals that gave rise to the nickname. It also happens to be on the current Montana license plate, which fact has escaped us eastern tenderfoots.

Other nicknames for Montana are: The Bonanza State, Land of Shining Mountains, The Mountain State, The Stubtoe State, and The Headwaters State. I won’t bore you with the reasons for these names, but “The Bonanza State” might lead you to believe that the TV show “Bonanza” was filmed here. Not So.

For fourteen seasons in the 1950s and 60s, fans watched the adventures of Pa, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe on the program Bonanza. The fictional Cartwright family lived on the Ponderosa Ranch at Lake Tahoe, and parts of Bonanza were filmed on its shores. The famous opening scene of Bonanza was filmed on location at North Lake Tahoe near Incline Village, and Lake Tahoe was among the outdoor locations used to film the weekly episodes. The house, both interior and exterior, was located on a Hollywood sound stage.

Perhaps the most interesting thing (and the most disturbing to idyllic childhood memories) was that Bonanza was created to sell a commercial product. Hours spent watching Bonanza, dreaming of the Wild West and swooning over Little Joe came about because RCA, NBC’s parent company, wanted to sell more color televisions!

Just for old times sake, here is the opening scene and theme song from “Bonanza”:

sources: netstate.com, gocalifornia.about.com

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Winner: FrankC

The themes for tonight’s game were two of my favorite pastimes – baseball and beer. We learned that the first beer company to distribute beer in 6 packs was Pabst in the 1940’s. Why a 6 pack? The brewery found that 6 cans were the ideal weight for the average housewife to carry home from the store. Now, those were the days, my friends.

FrankC, who has been on a hot streak recently, edged out Driver Shea (again). Pluto, recently returned from the Big Easy, forgot that he wasn’t still on Bourbon Street. While loudly discussing a question about Roberto Clemente, he pretty much gave away the answer. He knows better and was properly chastised by all the other players. After he self-forfeited the question, he pledged to behave better. We’ll see.

Good Question!: Why did the Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock instead of travelling to warmer climes as was originally planned?

Answer: They were running out of beer!

Now this is a great story and I hate to be the one to question it’s veracity, but question I must.

First the story:

Barrels of beer were the most voluminous and important item in the hold because water couldn’t stay drinkable on a ship for that long. The Mayflower colonists decided to settle at Plymouth because they were running low on beer. In an age when so many have lost their moral compass, it’s comforting to know that people in the old days had their priorities straight.

Beer was a dietary mainstay in those days. Chances are the beverage in question was “ship’s beer,” a not-very-alcoholic concoction that, along with the even weaker “small beer,” was drunk in formidable quantities during the colonial era (upwards of a quart per day seems to have been a typical ration). Undoubtedly an advantage was that, unlike more perishable foodstuffs, ship’s beer would keep during long voyages and, having been boiled, was likely purer than ordinary water.

On November 9, 1620, after 64 days at sea, the Mayflower sighted Cape Cod. You may inquire: What sort of idiot would sail across the north Atlantic at the height of storm season? The voyagers probably asked themselves the same question. They’d initially left Southampton, England, in August, but one of their two ships, the Speedwell, sprang a leak. Repair attempts failed, and by the time the travelers had consolidated themselves on the Mayflower, a month had passed. Then they spent an extra couple weeks under sail due to bad weather, arriving just in time for winter. That was problem one.

Problem two was that Cape Cod was not where the colonists were supposed to be. Their patent from the Virginia Company of London authorized them to establish a plantation between 38 and 41 degrees north latitude; the tip of Cape Cod was just north of 42 degrees. Many colonists questioned if they had the legal right to settle in Cape Cod.  The last thing you wanted to do was colonize the land and have another group of settlers take the land from you over a legal dispute.  That was ok to do to the natives, but not so cool to each other.  That’s why they wrote the Mayflower Compact.  It was to alleviate the legal fears of the settlers.

The question remained exactly where the colonists should set up shop. The voyagers weren’t disposed to be fussy: “We could not now take time for further search or consideration, our victuals being much spent, especially our beer, and it being now the 19th of December” (Mourt’s Relation, 1622, commonly attributed to colonists William Bradford and Edward Winslow). Plymouth it was.

It’s important to remember that accounts of what happened were not written until many years later.

Now the alternative narrative:

The pilgrims got the heave ho from the Mayflower because they were out of time, not out of beer.  And they really didn’t get the “heave ho” as many would imply.  The Mayflower set sail for the return trip to England April 5th the following year.  That’s five months after reaching America.  If the crew was worried about supplies, they would have left much earlier. The ship had at least half of their beer left at this point, because they needed it for the return trip.  They were not low on beer.

The pilgrims wasted five weeks running around New England, robbed a few Native American graves for buried corn and beans, and eventually landed on Plymouth Rock on December 17th.  They picked the spot because the ship needed to get the colonists established before winter really set in, not because they were low on beer.  Three days later, December 21st, they agreed on a site to settle and set out on their first task.

Was the first pilgrim structure a brewery?

If you’ve been on a ship for two months, winter is already here, people are dying, and someone told you the first building was going to be a brewery you would laugh at them,  probably after beating the silly person senseless. The first structure was not a brewery, it was shelter.  The pilgrims planned on building nineteen structures, but they only made four common houses.   Only 45 people of the original 102 settlers survived the first winter.  A brewery was the last thing on anyone’s mind.

Now for the true story of the Pilgrim’s, check out Popeye’s version:

sources: straightdope.com, fermantarium.com

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Winner: David, the Brit

Tonight’s game was an Easter theme with many religious questions. This caused one of our players to exclaim: “Hey, Not fair! They never taught me this in Hebrew school!” Apparently, David was paying attention in his religion classes and finished first. Always the gallant Brit, he asked that his winner’s photo include our lovely hostess, Darin. For those paying attention we learned that the most expensive jeweled egg in the world is made by Faberge, and that the word lent means the lengthening of days.

Good Question! : Which country had an armed uprising called “the Easter Rebellion” which started on Easter in 1916?

Answer: Ireland

On April 24, 1916, Irish nationalists proclaimed the formation of the Irish Republic in a doomed uprising that would galvanize the republican movement.
In 1914, after years of campaigning by moderate Irish leader John Redmond, British Parliament passed the Irish Home Rule bill, granting self-government to Ireland. However, the implementation of the bill was delayed due to the outbreak of WWI. Redmond, hoping to retain positive relations with Britain, advised Irishmen to join the British Army, but a group of militant nationalists saw the war as an opportunity to launch an insurrection.
Five men—Patrick Pearse, Joseph Plunkett, Sean MacDermott, Eamonn Ceannt and Thomas Clarke—in the clandestine Irish Republican Brotherhood formed the IRB Military Council in 1915; they were joined a year later by socialist labor leader James Connolly, head of the Irish Citizens Army, and Thomas MacDonagh.
They formulated a plan to launch an insurrection in Dublin on the weekend of Easter, using an army of men from the IRB, ICA and Irish Volunteers, a paramilitary group of moderate nationalists. However, days before the uprising, Irish Volunteers leader Eoin MacNeill heard of the plan and ordered his men not to participate. The plan was further compromised when a shipment of German arms was intercepted.
“The leaders of the Rising may have begun with the notion of staging a real military revolt that would overthrow British rule, but by Easter Monday, when the hoped-for German aid had failed to materialise and a countermanding order had weakened their mobilisation, they knew that this was an impossibility,” writes the Irish Times. “They settled for a symbolic act, a dramatic gesture.”

On Easter Monday, the rebels marched through Dublin to the General Post Office, where they took down the British flag and replaced it with the Irish tricolor and a flag with the words “Irish Republic.” The rebels seized other points in the city with little resistance, as the British were not prepared for such a rebellion. The outnumbered British troops waited for reinforcements, as intense street battles broke out during the week. Some soldiers killed unarmed men, including pacifist Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, who was killed by firing squad.

By Friday reinforcements had arrived and the British forces, roughly five times the size of the Irish fighters, launched an assault on the post office. On Saturday the rebels were forced to surrender, thereby ending the Easter Rising. According to the BBC, 116 British soldiers died and were 368 wounded, while 64 rebels and 254 civilians died.

Leaders executed, remembered as martyrs
The British arrested 3,430 men and 79 women, and began court-martials on May 2. Pearse, Clarke and MacDonagh were executed the following day; 13 others would also be executed, including Connolly, who had been so seriously injured during the fighting that he had to be propped up to face the firing squad.
The majority of Dubliners had not supported the Easter Rising, and indeed some were angered by the rebels’ actions. The brutal British response, however, made martyrs out of the leaders and galvanized the republican cause. The republican party Sinn Fein gained widespread support and won a landslide victory in the 1918 elections. It formed its own Irish legislative body—the Dail Eireann—and, as its first act, ratified the Easter Proclamation and declared the founding of the Irish Republic.
Other members of the rebellion were imprisoned in Frongoch internment camp, which became known as the “university of revolution.” Prisoners such as Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera plotted future resistance and became leaders of the republican movement upon their release.
For a fine introduction to this period, you can’t beat the movie “Michael Collins” with a great performance by Liam Neeson (it also features a young Julia Roberts):

Though a military failure, the Easter Rising is celebrated as the first step toward the independence that was won in 1921, and its leaders are remembered as Irish heroes.

source: nydailynews/findingdulcinea

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