Archive for September, 2018

Winner: Eric, followed by Carol St. Martin (aka Sleepy), and Mary

The game finished in a dead heat between Eric and Carol. In the playoff Eric took advantage of a sleepy Carol and finished first.

Good Question!: What does the female praying mantis do after she has made love?

Choices: a. sleeps   b. runs in circles   c. eats her mate   d. dies

Answer: eats her mate

Be warned this image may be too gruesome for some of you.

Never make a pretty woman your wife – better to find a fat, well fed woman.

Why? Hungry females are more likely to cannibalize.

So when thinking about mating, the male praying mantis has to use physical and chemical cues to determine the foraging abilities of the female. Males courted well-fed females significantly more than starved females.

Here are the gruesome details

Mating ritual

To mate, the male must mount a female while pinning down her back and thorax with his forelegs. During this process, there are three opportunities for sexual cannibalism to happen — before copulation, during copulation, and post copulation. In the pre-copulation stage, the female can decide to eat the male if she doesn’t perceive him as a suitable mate. Remarkably, females can also sever the male’s head during sex. The male continues to deposit sperm and sometimes even attempts an escape, despite the beheading. Finally, and most commonly, females cannibalize the male immediately after sperm deposition.

Check out this video, if you dare, for some fascinating footage of sexual cannibalism in praying mantises!:

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Winner: Judge Judy, followed by Rosebud and Honest Alix.

Yes, that is a giant stock pot that Judge Judy is holding. Good thing a guy didn’t win this evening, he wouldn’t know what to do with the pot. We were all happy to welcome Darin back this evening, looking fit as a fiddle.

Pluto, who’s always whining about the lack of sports questions, missed an easy tennis question. He said he had spent too much time in the sun at the US Open and his brain was still frazzled.

Mistress Daphne and the Driver stopped by. Seems they had a short layover in Northport after their return from the land of the Inca and before their journey to Japan. They were kind enough to bring back a bottle of Pisco sour for us to sample – very nice.


Good Question!: A heavily used subway station, destroyed when the twin towers collapsed, finally reopened Saturday. What is the name of the station?

Choices: a. One World Trade   b. Rector St.   c. Park Place   d. Cortlandt St.

Answer: Cortlandt St.


When the twin towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001, they came crashing down on the Cortlandt Street subway stop on the No. 1 line. The station was buried under debris, its sturdy beams bent like paper clips.

For nearly 17 years, the station has sat unused, even as a new sprawling World Trade Center complex has sprouted aboveground.

At long last, the station reopened at noon Saturday Sept. 8 with transit officials, politicians and eager riders gathering to welcome it back. To put this 17 year station reconstruction in perspective, the original IRT subway line from City Hall all the way to 145th St., took only four years to build when it opened in 1904. It included 28 stations!

The new subway stop, dubbed WTC Cortlandt, is sleek, bright and airy, and bears little resemblance to its old, dank self. The new station has been constructed in the footprint of the old one, but will have some of the modern improvements found at newer subway stops—notably wheelchair access, and air tempering, which keeps platforms cooler on brutally hot days. (It’s already in use at the 1 stop at South Ferry, along with the Second Avenue subway stops.)

There’s also a new piece of art: Ann Hamilton created an installation, titled “Chorus,” that incorporates text from the Declaration of Independence, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which can be seen on the platform level.

The new station is part of the larger World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which links multiple subway lines across several stations (the Fulton Street transit center, the E at World Trade Center, and the R at Cortlandt Street among them) and the PATH. Though the Oculus, the most visible piece of the WTC hub, cost more than $4 billion, the new Cortlandt station had a comparatively low price tag of $158 million.

The Oculus


Quite close to the Cortlandt St. station is One WTC and this is a wonderful photo gallery showing 1WTC from start to finish:

From Cornerstone to Skyscraper: One World Trade Center


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Winner: Pluto, followed by Carol St. Martin and Rosebud

Pluto, who always does better when Mike is the moderator, finished way ahead this evening. If he had only known that the term “sounder” refers to a group of wild pigs, he would have had a clean sheet. Who doesn’t know that!

Surprisingly some folks did not know that the lowest rank of a US Army soldier is private. Pluto, who spent most of his short army career as a private, was all over that one.

Good Question!: La Sagrada Familia, located in Barcelona Spain, was designed by which architect?

Choices: a. la Corbusier  b. Michelangelo  c. Mimar Sinan  d. Gaudi

Answer: Gaudi

The Sagrada Familia is an exceptional -place of worship, as much for its beginnings and foundation as for its ambition. Five generations have already witnessed the temple’s rise in Barcelona. Currently, 70% of the Basilica is finished and they are working on building the six central towers. Construction could be finished in the first third of the 21st century.

If you don’t have enough time, then just watch the first minute of this video and skip the rest of the video and all of the text that follows. That first minute of video will give you a real sense of La Sagrada Familia:


What’s taking so long?

When the foundation stone of the Basílica was laid in 1882, it’s unlikely that anyone involved anticipated that the construction of this church would take well over a century to complete. But when Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, now famous for his unique take on the Modernista movement, took charge of the project a year later, he scrapped the original neo-Gothic design plans and exchanged them for a grander vision, unlike any the world had ever seen.

Gaudí worked steadily on his masterpiece until his death in 1926, at which point an estimated 20 percent of the total design was complete. Since then a series of architects have attempted to -continue his legacy. Not surprisingly, progress on Sagrada Família’s construction has faced a few setbacks over the past 130+ years. Vandalism in 1936 following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War resulted in the destruction of many of Gaudí’s models. The sacristy was destroyed in a fire in 2011.

When complete, the church will be composed of three major facades, two of which — the Passion facade and the Nativity façade — have already been completed, while construction of the Glory facade, expected to be the largest and most impressive of the three, remains ongoing.

The church’s interior is defined by columns that stretch like tree branches toward the ceiling. Gaudí’s plans also called for 18 spires, eight of which are complete, as well as numerous towers, chapels, portals, and other interior features. When built, the tallest spire, which symbolizes Jesus Christ, will secure Sagrada Família’s -place as the world’s largest church building.

Because of the nature of the existing designs, Gaudi’s work is partly open to interpretation and interpretation of the designs by present day architects is particularly challenging because the actual construction stones are irregularly shaped.

Some projections have Sagrada Família’s completion date as 2026, the centennial anniversary of Gaudí’s death, while others estimate construction could -continue into the 2040s. Though still incomplete, the church sees an estimated 2.8 million visitors each year.

Know Before You Go

The building is still under construction so be prepared to see a lot of work continuing when you visit. It’s best to visit in the early morning or late evening as the sun shines through the stained glass -windows on the walls filling the church with an abundance of color. You’re also likely to have less of a wait and crowd to navigate through around these times. Timed tickets are available in advance and the lines can be long so take advantage of this service.



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