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Posts Tagged ‘Dave’

Winner: Droppin’ Dave, then Callie, Erin, Jenn, and Nicole

Droppin’ who’s been sailing around in circles for weeks, finally figured out how to dock his boat and joined us for the game tonight. He won, so it was like old times.

27 players meant a full house, and we all learned a few things – watermelons are vegetables, and the evil queen in Snow White had a name – Queen Grimhilde.

We also learned that Chantenay is not a variety of melon, but rather a small, stout carrot.

Most importantly, we learned that in betting a “pony” or “macaroni” means 25to1 odds. Why?

A very British thing. Tic-Tac is the unusual betting slang where racing bookmakers used sign language to secretly communicate the odds.

25/1 odds – is sometimes called pony, or sometimes macaroni, and is signaled by punching the fists together twice then touching the right shoulder with the right hand.

This derives from the pony on an Indian 25 Rupee banknote and was used by British soldiers serving in India. Also called Macaroni, which is cockney rhyming slang for Pony.

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In honor of tonight’s winner, Droppin’ Dave, I thought we would listen to Richard Burton recite “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

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Winner: Droppin’Dave, then Pluto, and Frank the sports guy, with Mistress Daphne in the picture for a change.

Droppin’ joined us after a long absence and picked up where he left off with a hard fought win. Mistress Daphne also joined us after an absence. She had a week between trans Atlantic crossings and stopped by to moderate the game.

Tonight we learned onions are the vegetables with a very high sugar content, and that the only planet that rotates clockwise is Venus. Who knew?

Good Question! :
How many knights could be seated around King Arthur’s Round Table?

Choices: a. 6   b. 12   c. 24   d. 150

OR

Answer: 150

Well, that was a big surprise, fooled almost everyone. Could that possibly be true?

Everyone has heard of the Knights of the Round Table, but many people are not familiar with any of the Noble Knights save for Lancelot. The Knights were men of courage, honor, dignity, courtesy, and nobleness. They protected ladies and damsels, honored and fought for kings, and undertook dangerous quests.

We know of Arthur, Lancelot, Galahad (Son of Sir Lancelot), and Guinevere, but there were many other characters that were cornerstones to the legends and stories surrounding Camelot, the Round Table, and the Holy Grail.

So how many Knights were there really?
Who the heck knows. Different stories and traditions report different lists of the Knights of the Round Table. Some, like the Winchester Round Table, offer the names of 24 knights while other sources have ranged from 12 to 1600 in reporting the actual number of these Knights. That must have been some table accommodating 1600 Knights!

The Winchester Round Table was created, in imitation of King Arthur’s legends, during the reign of Edward I in 13th century. Edward I was an admirer of Arthurian legends and wanted to revive the chivalric styles of the Arthurian stories.

To that end, he had a table made which housed 24 knights
and the King. The names of the knights were inscribed on the top of the table, all of them being derived from King Arthur’s stories.

Queen Guinevere and Lancelot (where’s the King?)

If the Knights of the Round Table ever existed in real life, it wasn’t in the time of King Arthur. Medieval knights as characterised in Arthurian Legend belong to a period running from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries – the historical King Arthur is placed much earlier, around the fifth century. Nonetheless, the image of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table appeals to the imagination and has become an accepted one, if only in literature and legend.

We could use a hero like Arthur today. A man who was the epitome of good against evil, light against darkness, and that eternal, never-ending struggle between what is right and that which is wrong (and didn’t lie as often as he breathed.)

This movie reimagines King Arthur and his Knights in the fourth century. Historically very inaccurate, but still a good trailer:

 

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Winner: Droppin’ followed by the Driver, and Tom

A busy night, first the game, then the annual holiday re-gifting. Tonight’s questions were pretty difficult. Tough to believe that Dropin’ only missed two.

The re-gifting was energized when Darin brought an Amazon Echo. That was easily the pick of the litter and like a hot potato it changed hands just about every time, until finally Babs ended up with it. Now Babs will have Alexa to talk to, when she tires of baby talk with her grandchild.

Rosebud, recently returned from Scotland, brought back a bottle of fine 12-year-old single malt whiskey, which was enjoyed by all, especially by Rosebud.

Good Question!: What color is a giraffe’s tongue?

Choices: a. pink   b. white   c. black   d. red

Answer: black

“From their curious low-frequency humming to their propensity for violent, ritualistic behavior, giraffes are one of the most fascinating animals of Africa.

One part of a giraffe’s body that you may not know much about, however, is the tongue.

Much like their necks, giraffe tongues are exceptionally long — usually measuring between 18 and 20 inches long. They’re also prehensile, which means giraffes have fine-tuned muscular control over it. This allows them to grasp and pull leaves and shoots into their mouths.

Because their main vegetation of choice, Acacia, is thorny, giraffe tongues are equipped with thickened papillae and thick saliva to protect their mouths.

And the tongue’s dark purplish color? It’s meant to prevent sunburn. That might sound strange at first, but it makes sense when you consider that giraffes spend the vast majority of their day sticking their tongues out to grass shoots and leaves.” (mother nature network)

Some good info for you giraffe lovers here at National Geographic, includes a video slugfest between 2 bulls that ends in a knockout.

 

 

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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:

xx

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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