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Archive for December, 2016

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Winner: Rosebud

Tonight was the last game of 2016 and we welcomed back the Mad Scientist (Nadia). She had been down in Maryland, either growing deadly bacteria or killing them – I’m not sure which. Rosebud pretty much killed the competition, with Babs, Pluto, and Tall Paul trailing badly.

Tonight we learned that Thomas Edison liked to keep busy and averaged one patent for every three weeks of his life. I guess his patent attorney was busy, too.

Good Question!: What is the name of the world’s highest waterfall?

Choices: a. Iguazu  b. Niagara  c. Victoria  d. Angel

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Answer: Angel

Not even close. Here are the stats:

Angel (Venezuela) plunges 2648 ft.

Iguazu (Brazil/Argentina) 269 ft

Victoria (Zambia / Zimbabwe) 354 ft.

Niagara (United States/Canada) 188 ft.

OK, Angel Falls is the tallest, but no way the most impressive. Let me present Iguazu Falls (courtesy of CNN Travel):

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You might have seen the photos.

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Even read about it.
You might have visited other great waterfalls before.
But you probably still have no idea what to expect when you come face to face with the almighty Iguazu Falls, on the border of the Argentina province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Parana.
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Unlike over-hyped destinations that can leave you feeling disappointed, Iguazu Falls instantly turns even jaded travelers into a raving fan.
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To describe the Iguazu Falls without gushing superlatives is a futile exercise.
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With water cascades as far as the eye can see — some massive and powerful, some small and dainty — the Iguazu Falls are a shock to the system.
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First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was reportedly so impressed when she saw them that she purportedly said “Poor Niagara.”
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You don’t want to miss this awesome video:
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Winners: Rosebud and Droppin’

Twas the week before Christmas and Darin gifted everybody on the winners podium a bottle of wine. A nice holiday touch – thanks Darin.

Now you’re probably wondering how the heck Chris ended up on the winners podium – we are too. Maybe it was because he knew that Phi Beta Kappa was the oldest college fraternity, established in 1776.

Good question!: Which country does Saint Nicholas originally belong to?

Choices: a.Italy  b.Germany  c.Denmark  d.Turkey

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Answer: Turkey

Turkey? Who Knew!

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration. Widely celebrated in Europe, St. Nicholas’ feast day, December 6th, kept alive the stories of his goodness and generosity. In the Netherlands and Belgium, St. Nicholas arrived on a steamship from Spain to ride a white horse on his gift-giving rounds. December 6th is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much of Europe. For example, in the Netherlands St. Nicholas is celebrated on the 5th, the eve of the day, by sharing candies (thrown in the door), chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles.

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How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus

This video tells the whole story, but it’s kind of serious:

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In the 16th Century in northern Europe, after the reformation, the stories and traditions about St. Nicholas became unpopular.

But someone had to deliver presents to children at Christmas, so in the UK, particularly in England, he became ‘Father Christmas’ or ‘Old Man Christmas’, an old character from stories during the middle ages in the UK and parts of northern Europe.

In some countries including parts of Austria and Germany, present giver became the ‘Christkind’ a golden-haired baby, with wings, who symbolizes the new born baby Jesus.

In the early USA his name was ‘Kris Kringle’ (from the Christkind). Later, Dutch settlers in the USA took the old stories of St. Nicholas with them and Kris Kringle and St Nicholas became ‘Sinterklaas’ or as we now say ‘Santa Claus’!

St. Nicholas became popular again in the Victorian era when writers, poets and artists rediscovered the old stories. In 1823 the famous poem ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ or ‘T’was the Night before Christmas’, was published by Dr Clement Clarke Moore, which certified old St. Nicholas in the popular imagination.

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On a less serious note there is always “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation:”

 

 

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Winner: Judge Judy

Tonight was ladies night, no man on the winners podium. Judge Judy nipped CarolD and  10 o’clock Judy for the win, her first. 10 o’clock Judy may not have won, but she did humiliate husband Bill on the NBA question.

Tonight we learned that New York makes the second most wine in the country after California, and that the Aussies call wine “plonk.” Not sure I want to drink anything called plonk.

Good question!: When asked during spring training what his hat size was, who answered: “I don’t know. I’m not in shape yet.”

Choices: a. Yogi Berra  b. Catfish Hunter  c. Johnny Bench           d. Roy Campanella

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Answer: Yogi Berra, of course

During these trying times I thought it would be fun to recap some of Yogi’s favorite aphorisms. But before we go there, let’s not forget what a great ballplayer Yogi was.

Between the years 1949 and 1955, Yogi led the Yankees in RBI in 7 consecutive seasons despite the likes of Mickey Mantle in the team. Yogi was selected as an All-Star for 15 seasons, and was also a three time winner of the American League MVP award. And he made his team a winner too. Berra appeared in 14 World Series as a member of the Yankees and won 10 of them.

Top 10 Yogi-isms

01. “No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.”

02.” Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”

03. “You can observe a lot by just watching.”

04. “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

05. “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

06. “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

07. “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

08. “It gets late early out here.”

09. “Even Napoleon had his Watergate.”

10. “Bill Dickey is learning me his experience.”

11. “He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious”.

and finally,

12. “I never said most of the things I said.”

Editor’s Note: Mark your calendar – Next Tuesday, Dec 20 for the annual Christmas Carols sing-along @ Main Street Cafe.

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