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Posts Tagged ‘Dave’

Winner: Droppin’ followed by TomTwin, the Driver, and Donna.

Tonight’s game was close, but they couldn’t quite catch Droppin’ who had returned just in time from Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. Post game we celebrated Darin’s birthday. She looks remarkable, doesn’t look 63 at all.

Tonight we learned that the last sale of a complete Gutenberg Bible took place in 1978, for the bargain basement price of $2.2 million. This copy is now in Stuttgart. The price of a complete copy today is estimated at $25−35 million.

Although it was a bit early, we were joined by a group of pilgrims ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, which as it turns out has quite a muddied history. This recent piece on Thanksgiving in the NYT may surprise you.

The pilgrims who gathered at Main Street Café (and one lone Italian immigrant.)

Good Question!: Which squash shaped country, with up to 200,000 lakes, is nicknamed “Land of 1000 Lakes”?

Choices: a. Spain   b. Finland  c. Holland  d. Canada

 

Answer: Finland

“Drive through Finland in the summer and you’ll find two colors dominating the scenery: green and blue. The forested landscape is dotted with patches of water – or, in some areas, vice versa – so numerous they have earned Finland the nickname “the land of the thousand lakes”.

In fact, the moniker is an understatement, as there are a total of 188,000 lakes in Finland. From the metropolitan area around Helsinki all the way up to Inari in Lapland, Finland is filled with oases of the clean blue. Finland has more lakes in relation to a country’s size than any other. Indeed, with a population of about five million, Finland has one lake for every 26 people.

And where there are lakes there are forests: two-thirds of Finland’s surface area is forest – pine, spruce and birch. Finland, one of the most densely forested countries in the world, contains 10 times as much forest per person as any other part of Europe. Because public access to lakes, forests and other outdoor areas is granted every Finn by law and custom – it’s known as ”everyman’s rights” – anybody may walk in the woods, pick berries along the footpaths and swim in the lakes, as long as they keep a respectful distance from the owner’s front door. If anything is off-limits in Finland, it is high fences and ”keep out” signs.” Hooray!

“A visitor’s experience of Finland is not complete without two initiations – immersion in a Finnish lake and a trial by fire, the traditional wood-burning sauna stoked to a melting 171 to 212 degrees and supplied with fragrant birch branches for whisking the body to induce further sweating. Better yet, and more authentic, is combining the baptisms – alternating the sauna with dips in a lake. The sauna (pronounced SOW-na, the first syllable rhyming with cow) is a Finnish cultural institution and can be found not only in almost every home in Finland but also in hotels, holiday villages, holiday cottages and even many campgrounds.”

This video gives a good sense of the country:

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Winners: Droppin’ and Oh Donna, followed by Almond Joy.

Winner: Droppin’, followed by Judge Judy, Brian, and Tall Paul.

Today’s post is a doubleheader, a catch up. Droppin’ was a winner in the last two games, but he was in a dead heat with Oh, Donna in the earlier game. Droppin’ surprised us all when he was the only one to answer that North Korea was threatening to fire missiles near Granada. Of course, we explained to him that it was Guam, not Granada. He said he knew it started with a G.

Tonight we said sayonara to Mistress Daphne who showed up in her kimono, but left early. She had a plane to catch. From Vancouver she would board a slow boat to Japan. Maybe even get to duck one of kim jong un’s missiles.

Good Question!: Where in Massachusetts is the only island, county, and town in the US that share the same name?

Choices: a. Cape Cod   b. Chappaquiddick   c. Nantucket               d. Martha’s Vineyard

 

Answer: Nantucket

Had to be either Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. Half guessed wrong. Never been to Nantucket, so I thought it would be worth taking a look.

This guy has a nice portfolio of aerial photos of the island.

Travel info: Nantucket is about seven hours from Long Island by car via I-95

You have 6 ways to get from Long Island to Nantucket. The cheapest way is bus and ferry which costs $88. The quickest way is bus to New York JFK and fly.

One perfect day on Nantucket

So you don’t have a friend with a seaside mansion on Nantucket, nor the budget to shell out big bucks for a resort room? No problem: This gorgeous island, with its preserved village of sea captains’ homes and bumpy cobblestone streets, is a day-tripper’s dream, especially for Cape Codders. The island is relatively small, a mere 14 miles long and 3.5 miles wide, but includes some 800 pre-Civil War-era homes, many now housing fine restaurants, inns, museums, and one-of-a-kind boutiques. There are more than 80 miles of beaches on the island and acres of preserved and protected lands. You could wing it: Wander the village, pop into a shop or two, take your chances on a restaurant. But we won’t let you do that. To get the most out of Nantucket (and the cost of your ferry ticket), you need a plan. (see this fine piece from the Boston Globe)

A couple of informative Nantucket videos:

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VIDEO – Steamship Company Island Survey

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Winner: Droppin’ followed by 2nd place finishers Pluto, Sheena, Music Mark, and David.

A hearty welcome back to the Top 3 podium for Sheena. All that computer study seems to have paid off. Droppin’ had no problem finishing first, but surprisingly he was the only one of 20 players who didn’t know that the largest freshwater lake in the US is Lake Superior. Heck, Dave, it’s the largest freshwater lake in the whole world!

Good Question!: What childhood name did Custer and Crazy Horse share?

Choices: a. Speedy   b. Curly   c. Happy   d. Crazy

Answer: Curly

As with tradition Crazy Horse was not originally named Crazy Horse. He happened to start out in this world as “Curly”, aptly named this because he had wavy hair. He would be called Curly until he earned his father’s name, Tasunka Witco (Crazy Horse), by proving himself in battle. Contemporaries of Crazy Horse described him as fairer skinned than the “typical” Native American of the time, with lighter wavy hair than most.

Crazy Horse and Custer will always be linked together. Here is an interesting piece from CBS Sunday Morning, “Custer’s Last Stand, More to the Battle.”

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Crazy Horse – The Man

Crazy Horse was born as a member of the Teton Sioux tribe on Rapid Creek about 40 miles northeast of Thunderhead Mt. in the year 1843. He was killed at Fort Robinson by an American Indian soldier around midnight on September 5, 1877 while under a flag of truce – age 34.

Not much is known of the very early years of Crazy Horse. He would have grown up with the traditional ways of the Lakota. As a very young child he would have learned things like recognizing animals & what types of plants were edible. He would have lain in the tall grass of the prairie listening to and attuning his senses to nature, hoop toss, whipping toss game and whirling bone games with his friends. He would have been taught the ways of his people from multiple sources: his father, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers and any other member of the tribe. Learning happened every day and was always something that prepared the young man for his future life as a warrior for the tribe. A boy of 4 or 5 would have already mastered the use of tomahawks, bows and horseback riding.

Once Crazy Horse was old enough he would have set out on one of the most important rites of passage to a Lakota warrior…the Vision Quest (Hanblecheya – which is defined as “crying for a visions “or “to pray for a spiritual experience”). This rite of passage would have given Crazy Horse guidance on his path in life. He would have gone alone into the hills for four days without food or water and cried for a dream to the great spirits.

By the time Crazy Horse was in his mid-teens he was already a full-fledged warrior. His bravery and prowess in battle were well-known by the Lakota people. He rode into battle with a single hawk feather in his hair, a rock behind his ear and a lightning symbol on his face. The symbols and rituals that went into preparing for war was meant to allow the warrior to draw power and protect themselves from harm during battle.

In 1876 Crazy Horse led a band of Lakota warriors against Custer’s Seventh U.S. Cavalry battalion. They called this the Battle of the Little Big Horn or Custer’s Last Stand. Custer, 9 officers and 280 enlisted men all lay dead after the fighting was over. According to tribes who participated in the battle 32 Indians were killed. Although Crazy Horse is often given credit for killing General George A. Custer, there is no proof that he was the one who took Custer’s last breath.

source: crazyhorsememorial.org/crazy-horse-the-man.html

 

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Winner: Droppin’, followed by Big John, the Driver, and Eric.

Lots of players tonight, but Doppin’ was able to stay ahead of the pack, probably because he was the only one to know that the ancient Egyptians used stones as pillows and that only 22% of the river Nile is located in Egypt.

Good question!: Which of the following empires had no written language?

Choices: a. Inca   b. Aztec   c. Mayan  d. Olmecs

Atahualpa, last of the great Inca emperors, murdered by that dirtbag soldier of fortune, Francisco Pizzaro.

Answer: Inca

How could the highly developed Inca civilization, the largest empire in the western hemisphere, have no written language? If you have ever been to the magnificent ruins at Machu Picchu, the question becomes even more baffling.

BTW, the Incas did have a spoken language, Quechua, which Rosebud is somewhat proficient in, having learned it from a native taxi driver in Cusco, Peru.

Questioning the Inca Paradox

Did the civilization behind Machu Picchu really fail to develop a written language?
By Mark Adams (slate.com)

 

 Historic Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru

“When the Yale University history lecturer Hiram Bingham III encountered the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru 100 years ago, on July 24, 1911, archaeologists and explorers around the world (including Bingham himself) were stunned, having never come across a written reference to the imperial stone city. Of course, the absence of such historical records was in itself no great surprise. The Inca, a technologically sophisticated culture that assembled the largest empire in the Western Hemisphere, have long been considered the only major Bronze Age civilization that failed to develop a system of writing—a puzzling shortcoming that nowadays is called the “Inca Paradox.”

The Incas never developed the arch, either—another common hallmark of civilization—yet the temples of Machu Picchu, built on a rainy mountain ridge atop two fault lines, still stand after more than 500 years while the nearby city of Cusco has been leveled twice by earthquakes. The Inca equivalent of the arch was a trapezoidal shape tailored to meet the engineering needs of their seismically unstable homeland. Likewise, the Incas developed a unique way to record information, a system of knotted cords called khipus (sometimes spelled quipus). In recent years, the question of whether these khipus were actually a method of three-dimensional writing that met the Incas’ specific needs has become one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Andes.”

Werner Herzog’s great film “Aguirre, the Wrath of God,” about a ruthless Spanish conquistador, takes place a few decades after the destruction of the Inca empire.

 

 

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Winner: Droppin’, Maureen (2nd), Carol St. Martin (3rd)

Tonight we learned some interesting information about the Old West. In poker, pairs of black aces and eights are known as the “Dead Man’s Hand,” because that’s what Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was shot dead in Deadwood, Dakota Territory in 1876. Seems that card playing was not the only recreational activity in Deadwood. We also learned that it’s estimated that 90% of the women living in Deadwood at that time were prostitutes.

Good Question!: Which of the following measures the amount of damage done by an earthquake?

Choices: a. Selvaggi scale  b. Richter scale  c. Mercalli scale        d. Kanamori scale

Answer: Mercalli scale

Most of us thought it was the Richter scale. Who ever heard of this guy Mercalli?

Giuseppe Mercalli (1850-1914) was an Italian seismologist, vulcanologist, and Roman Catholic priest best known for developing an earthquake intensity scale.

Mercalli’s most famous contribution to earth science is his work on the earthquake intensity scale.  While studying seismic activity in Italy in the late 19th century, his access to seismic instrumentation was limited.  Some seismographs and seismoscopes (devices that signal that an earthquake has occurred, and sometimes also indicate direction) were available, but most of Mercalli’s information came from personal accounts and observations of damage. To provide some consistency to his earthquake analyses, he decided he needed some method to rate the relative effects of each event.  Mercalli developed a scale with ten degrees, meaning the most disastrous earthquakes would have had an intensity of 10. The scale looked like this:

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Enough of this dry stuff. Let’s get to Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move.”

One of the highlights of Broadway’s “Beautiful, ” which a bus load of theater goers from Main Street Cafe were privileged to see in previews, due to the good taste and perspicacity of our fearless leader, Darin.

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For you earthquake geeks wondering about the difference between Mercalli and Richter:

The strength of an earthquake is usually measured on one of two scales, the Modified Mercalli Scale and the Richter Scale. The Mercalli Scale is a rather arbitrary set of definitions based upon what people in the area feel, and their observations of damage to buildings around them.

Whilst this scale is fine if you happen to experience an earthquake in an inhabited area of a developed country, it is of no use whatsoever in the middle of a desert or in any other place without trees, houses and railways!

Clearly this scale has advantages, but something else is required if we are to be able to compare the magnitude of earthquakes wherever they occur. The Intensity Scale differs from the Richter Magnitude Scale in that the effects of any one earthquake vary greatly from place to place, so there may be many Intensity values (e.g.: IV, VII) measured for the same earthquake. Each earthquake, on the other hand, should have only one Magnitude, although the various methods of calculating it may give slightly different values (e.g.: 4.5, 4.6).

The Richter Scale is designed to allow easier comparison of earthquake magnitudes, regardless of the location. The Richter scale for earthquake measurements is logarithmic. This means that each whole number step represents a ten-fold increase in measured amplitude. Thus, a magnitude 7 earthquake is 10 times larger than a 6, 100 times larger than a magnitude 5 and 1000 times as large as a 4 magnitude.

This is an open ended scale since it is based on measurements not descriptions. An earthquake detected only by very sensitive people registers as 3.5 on his scale, whilst the worst earthquake ever recorded reached 8.9 on the ‘Richter Scale’.

 

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Winner: Droppin’

For some reason tonight’s theme was Valentine’s day and to celebrate, Darin served a very delectable selection of petit four pastries. Droppin’ nipped Erik and Rhys for the win, but each of us received a chocolate heart, so we were all winners.

Tonight’s stunner question – who created the first Valentine’s Day candy? It was Richard Cadbury. Who knew.

Good question!: Who was Saint Valentine?

Choices:  a. soldier    b. roman senator    c. roman martyr        d. roman emperor

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Answer: roman martyr

Best we can tell, because so little is reliably known of him, St. Valentine was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius Gothicus. He was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome.

Since the high middle ages he has been associated with a tradition of courtly love.

The romantic nature of Valentine’s Day may have derived during the Middle Ages, when it was believed that birds paired as couples in mid-February. According to English 18th-century antiquarians, Valentine’s Day was most likely created to overpower the pagan holiday, Lupercalia.

Many of the current legends that characterize Saint Valentine were invented in the fourteenth century in England, notably by Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle, when the feast day of February 14 first became associated with romantic love. Although the exact origin of the holiday is not widely agreed upon, it is widely recognized as a day for love, devotion and romance.

For a treat, try this haunting “My Funny Valentine” by Chet Baker, who definitely was not a saint.

 

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Winner: Droppin’
Followed closely by Nancy, Rosebud, Donna, newbie Diana and most shockingly, Chris.

While it’s never surprising to see Droppin’ win, it is quite astonishing to see Chris finish a strong second. Maybe that was due to the good Karma he earned by buying the bar a drink to celebrate his Super Bowl box win. Classy move, Chris.

Tonight we learned that Victorian Pythagoreans were not mathematicians, but were, in fact, vegetarians. Who knew. And let’s not forget that all the numbers on a roulette wheel add up to 666. We’ve seen that question before.

Mike, the mild mannered moderator, continued to hold court, while Mistress Daphne continues her census of all the Buddha’s in Bangkok. She is up to 22 and says she isn’t coming home until she visits them all.

Good Question!: Which European city has more bridges inside its city limits then any other city in the world?

Choices: a. Rome  b. Amsterdam  c. Hamburg   d. London

Hamburg Blue Port - KšhlbrandbrŸcke

Answer: Hamburg

You think that Venice, Amsterdam, or St.Petersburg have lots of bridges? Then you don’t know Hamburg! There are so many bridges that I can’t find a reliable source about the exact number of them. According to one source there are exactly 2579 bridges within the city limits, other sources just state “over 2300 bridges” or “over 2500 bridges”. Can’t say they are all beautiful, but some of them are worth seeing.

800px-harburger_elbbruecke_suedportal

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geography-travel-germany-hamburg-new-bridge-over-the-elbe-lithography-db5rbc

Hamburg-City of Bridges

Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and considered to be one of the most beautiful in the country. It is also a popular tourist destinations because of its scenic beauty and unique blend of historical monuments and modern pubs and nightclubs, including the world-renowned red light district, the Reeperbahn.

Despite being located astride the River Elbe, some 100 kilometres from the North Sea, Hamburg is a major port city. It has the country’s biggest port – the second-busiest in Europe and the third largest in the world, after London and New York. For those who love water, ships and harbors, Hamburg is hence, a must visit.

Hamburg is practically surrounded on all sides by water. The Alster river has been divided into two lakes that lie on either side of the city, the Binnen and Aussenalster (Inner and Outer) and the River Elbe flows right through into the North Sea. All this water means an abundance of canals, streams and bridges. In fact, it’s a little known fact that Hamburg has more bridges inside its city limits than any other city in the world and more canals than Amsterdam and Venice combined. The number of bridges has been put somewhere around 2,300 to over 2,500 – more than London, Amsterdam and Venice put together.

source: amusingplanet.com/2012/11/hamburg-city-of-bridges.html

 

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