Monthly Archives: April 2009

Ketchup time…(04/12-04/18)

I have been traveling lately and have fallen behind on these postings, but I have been keeping up in my journal. Here is a weeks worth in one post:

DOUBLE, DOUBLE TOIL AND TROUBLE; FIRE BURN, AND Blood BOIL? (04/12)

I learned about this Saint from a homily on Easter Sunday & it’s quite a story.

A sealed glass vial containing a dark unknown substance, allegedly the clotted blood of San Gennaro (St Januarius), is shown several times a year to a packed crowd in the Cathedral of Napoli (Naples). Whilst the container is being handled during a solemn ceremony, the solid mass suddenly liquefies before everybody’s eyes.

read more.

NIGHT BASEBALL (04/13)

In 1988, Wrigley Field was the last major league park to install lights for night games.

August 8, 1988

August 8, 1988

It wasn’t for lack of trying though, lights were to be installed for the Cubs 1942 season. But after Pearl Harbor was attacked, all of the equipment was donated to the United States Armed Forces.

(The following 3 “WORD OF THE DAY” entries were learned from Dr. Oliver Sack’s book Musicophilia)

WORD OF THE DAY (04/14)

daven |’dävən|
verb (davened, davening) [ intrans. ]
(in Judaism) recite the prescribed liturgical prayers.

ORIGIN Yiddish.

WORD OF THE DAY (04/15)

bonhomie |’bänə,mē; ‘bänə,mē|
noun
cheerful friendliness; geniality : he exuded good humor and bonhomie.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from French, from bonhomme ‘good fellow.’

WORD OF THE DAY (04/16)

dyskinesia |diski’nē zh ə|
noun Medicine
abnormality or impairment of voluntary movement.

DERIVATIVES
dyskinetic
|-‘netik| adjective

CHICORY, DICKORY DOCK (04/17)

CHICORY

CHICORY (Cichorium intybus)

I learned all about the chicory flower from my sister (& about.com), who recently became fascinated with the flower.

It’s best known for its association with coffee.

At many points through history, coffee has become unavailable or too costly. During these times, people have often turned to roasted chicory as a substitute. Folks also used to make coffee from roasted acorns, yams and a variety of local grains.

There is no caffeine in chicory, and it produces a more ‘roasted’ flavor than coffee does. Many coffee producers offer blends with up to 30% chicory, which cuts down on the caffeine content of your cup. (It cuts down on the bitterness, too)

AQUATIC APE THEORY (04/18)

This is a theory that I was not aware of and will now share it with you…

One suggestion is that there was a good living to be made on the sea shore for any ape that left the forests to exploit it. Gradually adopting an upright stance would have been useful since it would free the hands to poke around and find food, while maybe also allowing the ape to wade into deeper water. Some suggest that a semi-aquatic past can also explain many modern human peculiarities (reduced body hair, subcutaneous fat, and our descended larynx for example).

read more theories here.

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Don’t Get Hysterical (04/11)

I knew hysteria was a medical condition, thought to be particular to women. However, I didn’t know the etymology of the word.

HYSTERICAL

1615, from L. hystericus “of the womb,” from Gk. hysterikos “of the womb, suffering in the womb,” from hystera “womb” (see uterus).

Originally defined as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus. Hysterics is 1727; hysteria, abstract noun from hysteric, first recorded 1801 as a medical term.

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Number Game (04/10)

While at Opening Day at Comerica Park I was viewing the statues of Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Willie Horton, Al Kaline and Hal Newhouser. I started to wonder about the numbers of some of Detroit’s finest players and then I learned the following:

There had been a couple of attempts to use numbers in the major leagues before the idea caught on. In 1916, and again in 1917, the Cleveland Indians experimented with numbers on their sleeves, as did the Cardinals in 1923.

On January 22, 1929, the Yankees became the first team to use numbers regularly, thinking that fans could recognize players more easily that way. Initially, players were given numbers based on the batting order – for example, Babe Ruth batted third, so he wore No. 3. It took until 1937, however, for every team to have their numbers on all their shirts – the last to change being the home uniforms for the Philadelphia A’s.

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The Edge of Space (04/09)

pigs_in_space

Are we there yet?

In case you have always wondered where outer space begins, scientists have found the answer….

With data from a new instrument developed by scientists at the University of Calgary, scientists confirmed that space begins 73 miles (118 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.

from space.com

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Seth Bullock (04/08)

Seth Bullock may not be my favorite character on the HBO series Deadwood, but thanks to the DVD extras I learned some interesting facts about the actual man who was referred as “a true Westerner, the finest type of frontiersman” by his good friend Theodore Roosevelt.

seth_bullock

He helped create Yellowstone National Park in 1872.

He was a close friend of Theodore Roosevelt’s beginning with their first meeting in 1884.

Although the camp never left Louisiana, Bullock made Captain of Troop A in Grigsby’s Cowboy Regiment of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War.

After Roosevelt’s death in January 1919, Bullock created a monument to him with the aid of the Black Hill Pioneers, dedicated on July 4, 1919, on Sheep Mountain, which was renamed Mount Roosevelt.

Bullock dies shortly there after of cancer. He is buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Deadwood, along with Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, with his grave facing Mount Roosevelt.

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Different but the Same (04/07)

Another random fact about the Oscars…

The nominees for best picture for this years Oscar ceremony were:

Milk

The Reader

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Slumdog Millionaire

Frost/Nixon

Now, look closely – can you notice what these movie titles have in common?

I will give you a hint, the last time the Best Picture nominees had the same thing in common was in 1964 when the following films were up for the Academy’s biggest award:

Mary Poppins

My Fair Lady

Becket

Zorba the Great

Dr. Strangelove

Still don’t have the answer?

Here it is: Each of the 10 titles above refer to the main character(s) in each of the films.

I thought that was interesting and so will any other movie nerd.

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Electronic-Eating ‘Crazy Rasberry Ants’ (04/06)

them

We used to think that giant radioactive insects would be the most terrifying intruder, but as it turns out the truth is more frightening than fiction (and the size of fleas). They are electronic-eating ‘crazy raspberry ants’ and they are making Texas their new home.

Billions of tiny reddish-brown ants have arrived onshore from a cargo ship and are hell-bent on eating anything electronic.

Computers, burglar alarm systems, gas and electricity meters, iPods, telephone exchanges – all are considered food by the flea-sized ants, for reasons that have left scientists baffled.

Having ruined pumps at a sewage facility, the ants are now marching towards Nasa’s Johnson Space Centre and William P. Hobby airport, Houston, putting state officials in a panic. “They’re itty-bitty things, and they’re just running everywhere,” said Patsy Morphew, a resident of Pearland, on the Gulf Coast.

Crazy is the the right word. The ants are known as “crazy rasberry ants”: crazy because they seem to move in a random scrum as opposed to marching in regimented lines, and rasberry after a pioneering exterminator, Tom Rasberry, who first identified them as a problem.

Unfortunately, the ants also like to suck the moisture from plants, feed on precious insects such as ladybirds and eat the hatchlings of a small, endangered type of grouse known as the Attwater prairie chicken. They also bite humans – although not with a sting like fire ants.

read full article.

& more here.

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