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Archive for May, 2019

Winner: Judge Judy, then Pluto, Rock, and Rosebud

Pluto whines every week that there’s not any sports questions. Well tonight there were 4 sports questions and Judge Judy still beat him. Better find another excuse Pluto. Well done, Judy.

We wished a hearty goodbye and good luck to Cara, our fave Main Street Cafe hostess who is headed to Hawaii to be with her boyfriend and continue her education. We’ll miss her.

Good Question!: What sport introduced the term southpaw?

Choices: a. boxing  b. baseball  c. polo  d. discus

Answer: baseball

In base ball, a southpaw is the pitcher who throws the ball with his left hand.

Traditionally, baseball fields were oriented so that the batter, catcher, and umpire faced east to ensure that the setting sun wasn’t in their eyes. As a result, when a pitcher is on the mound facing home plate, his left hand pointed south, so lefty pitchers came to be known as southpaws. Well, at least that’s the conventional wisdom.

BUT numerous big-league stadiums were not oriented with the pitcher facing west.

As the third edition of “The Dickson Baseball Dictionary” points out, however, that origin story is a little too simplistic. The earliest baseball mention of a “southpaw”—as found by Tom Shieber, senior curator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame—appeared in the New York Atlas in 1858, but in reference to a left-handed first baseman, not a pitcher.

Boston Globe baseball writer and former ballplayer Tim Murnane also recalled in a 1908 edition of Arizona’s Bisbee Daily Review that a St. Louis newspaper had called him a “southpaw” in 1875 because he was a left-handed batter. Murnane adopted the term in describing pitchers “simply because they were left-handed, and not because they pitched the ball towards the sunny south on certain grounds.”

John Thorn, Major League Baseball’s official historian, told Wall Street Journal language columnist Ben Zimmer that he believes the term for lefties likely originated with a wholly different sport—boxing. In its coverage of an 1860 bare-knuckle prizefight, the New York Herald reported that left-hander David Woods “planted his ‘south paw’ under [his opponent’s] chin, laying him out as flat as a pancake” in the ninth round.

So, there you are. It could be baseball or it could be boxing, you takes your choice.

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Winner: the Driver, then Tall Paul and Frank the sports guy, along with the injured Mistress Daphne.

Tonight was the Drivers birthday and he celebrated with a tiramisu cake and a win. The birthday was a milestone, either 70 or 75, he’s not saying. In any case, we were way short of candles.

Mistress Daphne returned from her most recent voyage with her shoulder in a sling. Story I heard was that she got in a fight with some old lady who tried to take her assigned window seat in the main dining room.

Good Question!: The oldest building in the United States, 800 years old, is located in which city?

Choices: a. Panama City  b. Pueblo   c. St. Agustine  d. Santa Fe

The “Oldest” House – 215 East de Vargas Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Answer: Santa Fe

The oldest house in the U.S. is an adobe structure in downtown Santa Fe, circa 1646. The doors and windows are so small to both combat the desert heat and because people were smaller back then. This Adobe house sits on a Pueblo ruins foundation at least 800 years old.

The house was originally constructed as a part of the Pueblo de Analco, a Pueblo Indian community that existed in what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico. While the exact date of the construction of the house itself is not known, it was probably constructed some time in the thirteenth or fourteenth century as the community itself existed from about 1200 AD to about 1435 AD.

What about St. Augustine?

How can the oldest house be in Santa Fe, New Mexico when St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest city in the nation? Logically, if the oldest house in the nation is in Santa Fe, how come St. Augustine is the oldest city?

Easy – St. Augustine is only the oldest continuously occupied European city in the United States.

What is the Oldest Building in New York City?

 The Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, at 5816 Clarendon Road, Brooklyn, is the city’s oldest surviving stucture and it’s pretty darn old. Built in stages beginning around 1652, it housed descendants of Pieter Claesen Wyckoff until 1901, when they sold the property. Repurchased by the Wyckoff Family Association in 1961, it was the first building granted protection by the newly-formed Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965.

Not all buildings survive to a ripe old age, as Paul Newman and Steve McQueen found:

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Winner: Barbara, then Chris, the Driver, Frank the sports guy, and Almond Joy

Nice to see Barbara come back on top after an absence. Bit of a surprise to find Chris in second. Well, more than a bit surprised, we were shocked. What probably put him over the top was his extensive knowledge of aardvarks. Only Chris knew that aardvarks have no teeth. In any case Chris was quite proud of his finish, wanted the top 3 podium photo to be a solo portrait – just of him.

Good Question!: Which sea creature has three hearts?

Choice’s: a. giant squid   b. lobster   c. blue whale   d. octopus

Answer: octopus

Well actually, both squid and octopus have three hearts.

An Octopus has 3 Hearts, 9 Brains & Blue Blood

Just like squids, octopuses are also classified in cephalopods which means they have 3 hearts. Since they are from the same family, and their hearts also work in the very same way as well. 2 hearts pump blood to the gill while the other one circles the blood in the whole body. Apart from 3 hearts, the interesting thing about squids and octopuses is that they have blue blood. Their blood contains the copper-rich protein hemocyanin, which is more efficient than hemoglobin for oxygen transport at very low temperatures and low oxygen concentrations.

Strange Creatures from the Deep

A 50-pound octopus can squeeze through a hole only 2 inches in diameter.

An average female Giant Pacific Octopus in Alaska can lay 90,000 eggs.

Fishermen like to cut off the tip of an octopus’ arm and use it for halibut bait because it continues to wiggle even after being cut off.

Giant Pacific Octopus are cannibals. They will happily kill and eat smaller octopus.

Octopus frequently lose an arm to predators, but they grow back.

Finally, they also make a great James Bond film

 

 

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Winner: TomTwin, then Tall Paul and Rosebud

Last week Tom lost a tough playoff to Rosebud. This week he didn’t take any chances and led from start to finish.

Tonight we learned that there are 27 books in the New Testament and that the youngest Beatle was George.

Good Question!: In which country was the Buddha born?

Choices: a. Bhutan    b. Nepal   c. Bangladesh   d. Pakistan

Answer: Nepal

Just who is the Buddha?

Siddhartha Gautama (also known as the Buddha “the awakened one”) was the leader and founder of a sect of wanderer ascetics, one of many sects which existed at that time all over India. The teachings of Siddhartha Gautama are considered the core of Buddhism: after his death, the community he founded slowly evolved into a religious-like movement which was finally established as a state religion in India by the time of Emperor Ashoka, during the 3rd century BCE.

The “Ancient History Encyclopedia” has a good piece about the life of Buddha, but it’s way too long to summarize here.

According to legend, Buddha sat under the Bo tree for 49 days and was tempted by demons. He discovered four noble truths and the Eightfold Path to Nirvana, or ultimate bliss.

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism:
1) existence is suffering,
2) the cause of suffering is craving and attachment,
3) suffering ceases at some point and turns to Nirvana (liberation or total bliss) and
4) there is a path to Nirvana which is made up of eight steps, sometimes called the Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold Path to Nirvana is to be “right” in all these areas: concentration, views, speech, resolve, action, livelihood, effort, and mindfulness.

Buddhists believe in reincarnation and that one must stop the cycle of rebirth as a suffering, selfish individual, and must attain Nirvana, which is the highest point and the end of the self.
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Karma is the belief that good deeds/behavior will be visited back on individuals as well as bad deeds/behavior. This is the basis for living a good, moral life.
The site “Religious Tolerance” has a good discussion of Buddhism’s core beliefs.

Some have said that one of the great teachers of our age, Gandhi, was in fact, following in the footsteps of the Buddha in showing the connection between the service of suffering humanity and the process of self-purification. Here is Ben Kingsley as Gandhi:

 

 

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