Daily Archives: January 20, 2009

Word of the Day (01/20)

I think it’s safe to say that I do at least (or at least attempt to) do one crossword a day. It can be enjoyable and relaxing, but other times I haven’t the faintest idea on what they want from me. For instance, how am I supposed to know what is ‘not decumbent’ when I don’t even know what decumbent is?

So to help you (and me) in future crosswords and/or life here is the definition:

decumbent
adjective Botany
(of a plant or part of a plant) lying along the ground or along a surface, with the extremity curving upward.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from Latin decumbent- ‘lying down,’ from the verb decumbere, based on de- ‘down’ + a verb related to cubare ‘to lie.’

decumbent

(by the way, the answer to this crossword clue was – erect) Use that tid bit any which way you please.

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Election of 1796 (01/19)

I knew that Thomas Jefferson was the second Vice President, but I had always assumed that Adams chose him as a running mate. (Oh, assuming and the trouble it will get you into.)

The truth is….

Presidents didn’t always run with an official running mate – The Constitution in 1796 required presidential electors to place the names of two individuals on their ballots; the candidate with the highest vote count, if a majority, became the president and the runner up the vice president.

This proved to be a bit of a predicament in 1796, when Federalist John Adams won the majority vote and Democratic -Republican Thomas Jefferson was the runner up. (This is the only instance that the President & VP were not from the same party.) Naturally , the two clashed over issues such as states’ rights and foreign policy.

ap_adams_jefferson_080703_ssh

Adams (Federalist) & Jefferson (Republican_Democrat)

I learned about this Constitution loop hole from Ken Burns’ documentary on Thomas Jefferson. I would recommend viewing this documentary to learn more or click here


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