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  1. 1 point
    What's the Word? - NURDLE pronunciation: [nər-dl] Part of speech: noun Origin: Unknown, 1990s Meaning: 1. A very small pellet of plastic which serves as raw material in the manufacture of plastic products. Example: "Jess filled the box with nurdles, hoping to protect the tea cups inside." "Eric cleaned the beach every weekend, hoping to stop the dangerous environmental effect of nurdles." About Nurdle Like so many things plastic, this word came about during the 1990s. While its exact origins are unknown, nurdle has become synonymous with the little pellets used for plastics manufacturing. Did you Know? A nurdle can also refer to the wave-shaped blob of toothpaste seen in commercials. The next time you go to put the dentist recommended pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush, you have a name for it.
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    Fact of the Day - A CHRISTMAS CAROL Did you know.... that A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall in 1843 and illustrated by John Leech. A Christmas Carol recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man. (Wikipedia) What You Might Not Know About ‘A Christmas Carol’ By Amy Brady • December 20, 2016 Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is one of the most popular and beloved holiday tales of all time. But the history surrounding it isn’t nearly as well known. To celebrate the season, we’ve compiled some interesting facts that you may not know about A Christmas Carol. Check out the list below! Charles Dickens wrote it in just six weeks. Dickens began writing A Christmas Carol in October 1843 and finished it in under two months — just in time for the holidays. The quick turnaround took its toll on the author, though, and he reportedly “broke out like a madman” upon finishing the story. The story is based on a character from another Dickens classic, The Pickwick Papers. In “The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton,” which appears in The Pickwick Papers, a gravedigger named Gabriel Grubb is determined to have a miserable Christmas. But some goblins kidnap him and convince him otherwise. Only one review of A Christmas Carol was printed around its publication. The Knickerbocker reviewed the story in 1844, writing, “We have in conclusion but three words to say to every reader of The Knickerbocker who may peruse our notice of this production: Read the Work.” A library pirated the story, and Dickens sued. Parley’s Illuminated Library illegally reprinted the book two months after its release. Dickens won the case, but still had to pay £700 in fees. Today, that would be over £60,000. Weeks after its publication, the book was developed into a play. Adapted by Edward Stirling, the theatrical version played for 40 nights in London before traveling to New York City. Dickens gave several public readings of A Christmas Carol. According to reports, Dickens drank rum mixed with cream, a half bottle of champagne, and a glass of sherry leading up to his performances. Regardless, audiences loved them, and one critic wrote that attendees “fell into a kind of trance, as a universal feeling of joy seemed to invade the whole assembly.” During his last public reading of A Christmas Carol, Dickens predicted his own death. In March 1870, Dickens said to the audience, “From these garish lights, I vanish now for evermore, with a heartfelt, grateful, respectful, and affectionate farewell.” He died three months later. A Christmas Carol is one of the most popular books of all time and has been adapted for decades. The book has been adapted for the screen more than 20 times, including a 1901 version that’s only six minutes long! Source: Wikipedia - A Christmas Carol | Facts about A Christmas Carol
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    Fact of the Day - LEWIS CARROLL DId you know... that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of children's fiction, notably Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. He was noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy. (Wikipedia) Facts About Lewis Carroll BY SCOTT BEGGS | APRIL 5, 2018 Born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, the writer known as Lewis Carroll was a Renaissance man of the Victorian Era. He was an accomplished mathematician, poet, satirist, philosopher, inventor, and photographer in the art form’s earliest days. Yet most of us know him best as a children’s author because of Alice and her adventures through the nonsense and tea of Wonderland. HE INVENTED A WAY TO WRITE IN THE DARK. Nyctography Like a lot of writers, Dodgson was frustrated by losing the excellent ideas that inconveniently come in the middle of the night, so in 1891 he invented the nyctograph. The device is a card with 16 square holes (two rows of eight) that offers a guide for the user to enter a shorthand code of dots and dashes. Dodgson also considered it useful for the blind. HE SUFFERED FROM A STUTTER MOST OF HIS LIFE. Dodgson had a rough childhood. Calling it his “hesitation,” he developed a stutter at an early age that stuck with him throughout adulthood and ultimately became part of his personal mythos—including the evidence-free claim that he only stuttered around adults, but spoke without problem to children. A childhood fever also left him deaf in one ear, and a bout of whooping cough at 17 weakened his chest for the rest of his life. Late in life, he developed debilitating, aura-hallucinating migraines and what doctors at the time diagnosed as epilepsy. HE WAS THE DODO IN ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Dodgson delivered the original story concept for Alice in Wonderland while on one of his boating trips with the Liddells—the children of his boss, Henry Liddell, the dean of Christ Church, Oxford—and he marked the July 4, 1862, event in the book itself as the Caucus Race. Alice is Alice Liddell, the Lory is Lorina Liddell, the Eaglet is Edith Liddell, the duck was colleague Reverend Robinson Duckworth, and the dodo was Dodgson himself. The popular story is that he used the bird as his caricature because his stammer made him sometimes introduce himself as “Do-Do-Dodgson,” but there’s no evidence to back up the claim. DODGSON SPELLED OUT HIS INSPIRATION FOR ALICE IN THE LAST CHAPTER OF THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. Throughout his life, Dodgson denied that Alice was based on any real-life person, but “A boat beneath a sunny sky,” the poem at the end of Through the Looking-Glass, is an acrostic that spells out Alice Pleasance Liddell. HE WROTE 11 BOOKS ON MATHEMATICS. A master logician, Dodgson's work in the fields of linear algebra, geometry, and puzzle-making is noteworthy. He wrote almost a dozen books that ranged from An Elementary Treatise on Determinants, With Their Application to Simultaneous Linear Equations and Algebraic Equations to The Game of Logic to The Theory of Committees and Elections. His interests and expertise widely varied; he also wrote the first printed proof of the Kronecker-Capelli theorem [PDF] and a conceptual system for better governmental representation. THE ALICE STORIES ARE POSSIBLY SATIRES OF NON-EUCLIDEAN MATH. As with several elements of his life, Dodgson was a conservative mathematician, living and working in an age in which the discipline was dramatically changing. In a 2010 op-ed for The New York Times, Melanie Bayley made a compelling case that Alice’s adventures parodied an incipient, conceptual math that featured imaginary numbers and quaternions, which Dodgson scoffed at. The Cheshire Cat may represent the growing abstraction in the field, and the overall absurdity of Wonderland may be meant to match the “absurdity” the conventional Dodgson saw emerging in his discipline. ONE ABSURD PERSON THOUGHT DODGSON WAS JACK THE RIPPER. The list of people suspected of being Jack the Ripper is a long one, and, for some reason, the mind behind Alice is on it. The Ripper and Dodgson were contemporaries; the murders took place in 1888, when Dodgson was in his mid-50s. Author Richard Wallace theorized that Dodgson, following a strict religious upbringing and potential bullying during his unhappy school years, grew up to become a serial murderer following his successful teaching and writing careers. The bulk of the theory stems from Wallace rearranging Dodgson’s writing into “confessions.” While Dodgson did bury codes and clues in his books, scrambling random paragraphs into syntactically awkward statements about killing is more than a stretch. HE WAS AN ACCOMPLISHED PHOTOGRAPHER. Beginning in his mid-20s and continuing for over two decades, Dodgson created over 3000 photographic images, including portraits of friends and notable figures (like Alfred, Lord Tennyson), landscapes, and stills of skeletons, dolls, statues, paintings, and more. According to Lewis Carroll: A Biography, Morton N. Cohen’s biography of the artist, Dodgson had his own studio and briefly considered making a living as a photographer in the 1850s. HE WAS A LIFELONG BACHELOR, WHICH HAS LED TO SOME SPECULATION ABOUT HIS ROMANTIC INTERESTS. Dodgson’s photography has also been at the center of a modern reconsideration of Dodgson’s sexuality. The author was a lifelong bachelor whose surviving photographic work is 50 percent comprised of depictions of young girls, including Alice Liddell, as well as several prints where the girls are nude. The most famous of these is a portrait of one Oxford colleague’s daughter, Beatrice Hatch. Not much is directly known about Dodgson’s personal relationships, which has led to speculation—notably by Cohen—that he had romantic feelings for the 11-year-old Alice, but author Karoline Leach suggested that the reframing of Dodgson as a pedophile is a myth born from ignorance of Victorian morals and the popularity at the time of nude children in art combined with Dodgson’s family burying information about the writer’s relationships with adult women. HE BECAME A DEACON, BUT NEVER A PRIEST. So much of Dodgson’s life invites speculation, including his refusal to become a priest, counter to the rules of Christ Church during his residency there. He was ordained as a deacon on December 22, 1861 but had to petition Dean Liddell to avoid becoming a priest. Once again, his stammer appears to be one possible explanation as to why he refused priesthood, but there’s no evidence that it might have impeded his ability to preach. Other possible reasons include a love of theater (which the Bishop of Oxford spoke out against), tepid interest in the Anglican Church, and a growing interest in alternative religions. Source: Wikipedia - Lewis Carroll | Facts About Lewis Carroll
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    What's the Word? - DULCIFY pronunciation: [dəl-sə-fai] Part of speech: verb Origin: Latin, late 16th century Meaning: 1. Sweeten. 2. Calm or soothe. Example: "He used honey to dulcify his trademark lemonade." "She attempted to dulcify the crying child with a lullaby." About Dulcify This verb comes from the Latin words "dulcinficare" (to sweeten) and "dulcis" (sweet). This allows it to be used to indicate sweetness of all kinds — whether dulcet tones or a dulce de leche. Did you Know? Dulcify is a word with a double meaning — it can mean to sweeten, but used in context with a person, it can mean soothing or calming them down. This means that you can dulcify a friend, but you can also dulcify your coffee, too.
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    What's the Word? - SAPID pronunciation: [SA-pihd] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, early 17th century Meaning: 1. Having a strong, pleasant taste. 2. (of talk or writing) pleasant or interesting. Example: "Lunch consisted of finger sandwiches and a sapid tea." "The cheese was sapid and savory, and paired well with freshly baked bread." About Sapid Sapid originated from the Latin word "sapidus," from the verb "sapere," which means "to taste." Did you Know? Here's a memory trick: syrup is made from the sap of a tree. It has a strong, pleasant taste, which is the exact definition of the adjective "sapid." If you're using the adjective to describe pleasant words, they're pretty sweet, too.
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    What's the Word? - CRAIC pronunciation: [krak] Part of speech: noun Origin: Irish, 1970s Meaning: 1. Enjoyable social activity. 2. A good time. Example: "Tim's birthday was such a good craic." "My neighbors are always up for a craic and a laugh." About Craic Craic is an Irish Gaelic word that developed in the 1970s. It originated from the English and Scots word "crack" (which is often used to indicate having a good time). Did you Know? While you'll hear mostly English in Ireland, a lot of people also speak Irish, or Gaelic. "Craic" means a good time, but you might also hear "fáilte," or welcome, "grá," for love, and "saoirse," for freedom. Fair warning: Don't try to pronounce any of these words with English phonetics.
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    Fact of the Day - SUPERHERO FICTION "Captain Marvel smacks the Axis" on the cover of Captain Marvel Adventures number 17 (Fawcett Comics, November 1942). Did you know... that a superhero fiction is a genre of speculative fiction examining the adventures, personalities and ethics of costumed crime fighters known as superheroes, who often possess superhuman powers and battle similarly powered criminals known as supervillains. The genre primarily falls between hard fantasy and soft science fiction spectrum of scientific realism. It is most commonly associated with American comic books, though it has expanded into other media through adaptations and original works. (Wikipedia) Facts Phenomenal About Superheroes by Sammy Tran Why do people love superheroes? It’s an almost unanswerable question—not because there’s not an answer, but because there’s so many. Who can deny the childlike thrill of paging through a comic book, or sitting in a dark theater surrounded by other fans, waiting to be blown away by the best action that Hollywood has to offer? Through multiple generations, these characters have remained as popular as ever. Here are 44 super facts about DC and Marvel superheroes. Unexpected Power In Superman 2, Superman famously reacts to being charged at by a bad guy by revealing a bizarre power of his—ripping the letter S off his shirt, throwing it, and having it magically engulf and knock down his pursuer. The powers of Kryptonians just never end! This moment was so unique and memorable that it was once parodied by Family Guy. Activate! When the Justice League comics were adapted for TV as Super Friends, a bunch of new characters were added who had never actually appeared in comics. The most memorable of these would have to be the Wonder Twins, an alien brother and sister who could transform into whatever animal or object they wanted to upon fist-bumping each other. They also had a monkey sidekick named Gleek. It’s safe to say that this superhero team pops into many people’s heads when they think of corny 1970s cartoon shows. Radio Days Shortly after Superman’s comic book life began, he became the star of what would help solidify his spot as a household name for decades to come—The Adventures of Superman radio series. This weekly program, mainly geared towards children and families, became a national sensation and gave birth to many of Superman’s most identifiable aspects which we still associate with him to this day—including the concept of Kryptonite. Punctuation Problems Spider-Man is spelled with a hyphen, while Superman, Batman, and most other hero names are not. In fact, Stan Lee specifically decided to spell it with a hyphen to distinguish Spidey from some of these already established heroes. You’ll upset a lot of fans if you ever get that wrong so watch out! Catchy Tune The ‘60s Spider-Man cartoon theme song, composed by Paul Francis Webster and Paul Harris, is one of the most popular superhero themes out there. It’s so popular that it was brought back and referenced in several of the more recent Spider-Man films. A Competitive Field Never fear, the DC Comics heroes have also had memorable music associated with them. Superman has had acclaimed soundtracks written for his movies by two of the most popular movie composers of all time, John Williams and Hans Zimmer. As for Batman, need I say more than “na-na-na-na-na-na?” Bruce McWayne Batman’s billionaire secret identity, Bruce Wayne, was inspired by and named after a famed Scottish king and an American Revolutionary hero, Robert Bruce and Anthony Wayne. Speed Limit Reached In the DC comics universe, The Flash is not just a really fast guy—he is the fastest person in the world. Founding Fathers The original members of the DC’s Justice League of America were Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Flash, Martian Manhunter, and Aquaman. The league has since expanded many times and their missions had them defend the world’s population against just about every kind of danger imaginable on earth—and beyond. Roster Changes Marvel’s answer to the Justice League was the Avengers, and the founding team may not be as familiar—at least until the MCU came along. The original lineup consisted of Ant-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and The Wasp. Noticeably absent were Thor and Captain America, two of the main stars of the recent films. Team Effort The Avengers are not Marvel’s only popular superhero team—the X-Men debuted in 1963 and have been an extremely popular franchise ever since, with an also consistently growing roster. Click the link below to read about Superheroes Source: Phenomenal Facts About Superheroes | Wikipedia - Superhero Fiction
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    https://store.steampowered.com/app/729660/Blackout_Z_Slaughterhouse_Edition/ Blackout Z: Slaughterhouse Edition is currently free on Steam.
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    https://freebies.indiegala.com/clockwise Clockwise is currently free on IndieGala. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1455380/Quiet_Godo/ Quiet Godo is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1315390/Verse_Surf/ Verse Surf is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1452850/Tiny_Toy_Tanks/ Tiny Toy Trucks is free on Steam.
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    What's the Word? - RETROJECT pronunciation: [reh-trə-JEKT] Part of speech: verb Origin: Latin, mid 19th century Meaning: 1. Project backwards. Example: "He presented a hypothesis that retrojected the previous learnings." "He was reminiscing about his youth, retrojecting about his past accomplishments." About Retroject Retroject originated in the mid-19th century from the combination of the Latin words "retro" (backwards) and "project" (to throw forth). It's a bit of an oxymoron, but we'll allow it. Did you Know? Have you heard of the psychological term "projection"? It means to attribute your feelings or opinions onto someone else. "Retroject" means to apply current beliefs or learnings onto the past.
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    Fact of the Day - TET Tết at the Saigon Tax Trade Centre (2012) Did you know... that Tết, Vietnamese New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year or Tet Holiday, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. The word is a shortened form of Tết Nguyên Đán, which is Sino-Vietnamese for "Feast of the First Morning of the First Day". Tết celebrates the arrival of spring based on the Vietnamese calendar, which usually has the date falling in January or February in the Gregorian calendar. (Wikipedia) ABOUT TET 01/11/2019 BY STEPHEN NGUYEN Tet holiday or Vietnamese Lunar New Year, even known as Tet Nguyen Dan, is truly an important event in Vietnamese traditional & culture. Because of being calculated by the lunar calendar, the Tet holiday takes place at the end of January that is obviously later than the globally New Year’s Day. The traditional event itself is the longest public holiday in Vietnam and also the most fantastic time for all travelers from all around the world to spend their time in Vietnam (if you are planning to enjoy the cheerful multi country Asia tours for New Year, do not ignore Vietnam). On January, 25th, 2020, Vietnamese Lunar New Year will occur. What is the Tet Holiday? In Vietnam, Tet holiday is celebrated to greet the New Year (Lunar New Year) and it is also the time for people to recall what they’ve done last year. The event is considered an important mark for changes, plans, and a new beginning. Additionally, Vietnamese people believe that on the first day of the Tet holiday, what they do will affect their rest. Thus, they pay their great attention to every single word they say, every single thing they do. One more thing is that the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, perhaps, is the only occasion for family members having a good moment together after a year of working and studying hard. The Features of Vietnamese Tet Holiday Vietnamese Lunar New Year Not Chinese Lunar New Year Many people reckon that the Vietnamese have been celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year and yes, it must be a misunderstanding. Both of the two countries use the lunar calendar though, the customs and traditions of Vietnam are totally different from China. According to the Vietnamese historical document, in the 13th century, the Vietnamese tended to organize Tet holiday by painting on themselves as well as drinking traditional rice wine and using betel nuts to greet guests, tasting Banh Chung and pickled onions. In the period of the Ly dynasty (1009 – 1226), a huge number of important rituals were given birth such as setting up a dome to pray for rains, structuring communal holidays to crave for a lucky year of abundant harvests. During the period of King Le Thanh Tong (1442 – 1497), Tet holiday in Vietnam featured as the most essential festival and hundreds of mandarins had to gather at the court to celebrate such a meaningful event with the royal family. Tet Holiday Cuisine The Vietnamese Lunar New Year also means eat that affirmed the essential role of the cuisine in Tet Nguyen Dan. According to a Vietnamese traditional proverb, you can be hungry throughout a year; however, in the 3 days of the Tet holiday, never more. It is because dozens of scrumptious dishes will be prepared to feast the ancestors along with family members. So, let check out what dishes are served. Banh Chung – Vietnamese Square Sticky Rice Cake Banh Chung is a traditional cake in Vietnam which only appears on the Tet holiday. The cake is made from immensely familiar ingredients such as sticky rice, green beans, and pork. All ingredients will be wrapped in green leaves in square-shaped and boiled overnight. It's the shape of the square stands for a symbol of Earth – according to a legend. Currently, one can strive Banh Chung all year round though, tasting this kind of cake at Tet holiday brings the Vietnamese people special feelings, especially when they stay up late to take care of Banh Chung which are boiled with their grandfathers and grandmothers. At the moment writing such these things, the memories when I spent time taking care of the boiled Banh Chung with my grandmother are vividly visible in my mind. Such a wonderful moment it was. Jam Jam is a prevalent snack to greet guests on the Tet holiday. The snack itself is mainly made from dried fruits such as coconuts, carrots, apples or other kind of seeds like roasted watermelon seeds, sunflower seeds mixed with sugar. It is believed that eating such sweet things on the Lunar New Year will bring people luck for the year ahead. Pickled Onions The Vietnamese people, in the Lunar New Year event, tend to eat more fat and oiled foods that easily cloy their appetites. Thus, it is the time for something low calories and fresh like pickled onions. This simple food helps the digestive system digest high protein food affectively. In Vietnam, the Tet holiday will only complete when people totally eat fat meat, pickled onions, and red distiches. Along with such delicious dishes, there are manifold different signature dishes like spring rolls, boiled chicken, sticky rice, and Vietnamese sausages. Tet Holiday Mascots Vietnamese Zodiac Each Lunar New Year in Vietnam has its own symbolic animals. 12 Vietnamese Zodiac signs are truly different from Chinese ones as the 4th Zodiac sign of Vietnam is Cat while in China, it is Rabbit. Each animal is believed to bring unique luck in its year; thus, you can see them everywhere in Vietnam from decorations to advertisements. Vietnamese Tet Holiday 2020 is the year of Rat. Tet Holiday Trees & Flowers People in northern Vietnam tend to have Peach blossom while others in southern Vietnam have apricot blossom trees for their Tet holiday. The red color of peach blossom is considered to bring luck while the yellow one which is from apricot blossom trees stands for the fortune to the owners. Besides Peach blossom, people living in northern Vietnam also buy kumquat trees for the Tet holiday. Neu Tree The tree is originally a 5-meter-tall bamboo shot. Based on each region of the owner, the chop of the Neu tree will hang different things such as votive papers, alcohol bottles which are made of straw, or amulet exorcism. Neu tree stands for a symbol that lets devils away from the place of living people. Tray of Five Fruits In Tet holiday, each family has a tray of five different fruits like bananas, oranges, grapefruits, or other tropical fruits that are only prepared on the Lunar New Year of Vietnam. However, it is based on which region the families follow to choose fruits. The tray of five fruits is tended to used to express the wishes of the family by the names, colors, and arrangements. Click the link below to read more on Tet. Source: Tet Holiday in Vietnam | Wikipedia - Tet
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    What's the Word? - MULTIVOCAL pronunciation: [muhl-TIH-və-kəl] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, mid 19th century Meaning: 1. Having or open to many different meanings, interpretations, or applications. Example: "The issue was truly multivocal, giving the scientists multiple possible solutions." "Since one of the math problems was multivocal, the teacher decided to give the point to every student." About Multivocal Multivocal developed from the Latin word "multivocus" (expressed by many words) by way of poet, critic, and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Did you Know? If you encounter a word that is multivocal, you are looking at a homonym. Homonyms are often spelled and pronounced alike, but have different meanings — such as aunt and ant, byte and bite, and flow and floe.
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    Fact of the Day - HOT WHEELS Did you know.... that Hot Wheels is a brand of die-cast toy cars introduced by American toy maker Mattel in 1968. It was the primary competitor of Matchbox until 1997, when Mattel bought Tyco Toys, former of Matchbox. (Wikipedia) 11 Collectible Facts About Hot Wheels BY MARK MANCINI | SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 An estimated 41 million people have played with them. They vary in price from $1 to more than $100,000. They can zip along orange trackways at speeds of almost 600 scale miles per hour. And they're about to get a big-screen adaptation courtesy of Fast & Furious director Justin Lin. Here are 11 other things you might not know about those iconic racing toys called Hot Wheels. 1. HOT WHEELS WERE THE BRAINCHILD OF ELLIOT HANDLER, WHOSE WIFE CREATED BARBIE. Elliot and Ruth Handler, along with their friend Harold Matson, founded a picture frame company named Mattel in 1945. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Handler started using spare parts to make dollhouse furniture, which was sold on the side. By 1946, toy manufacturing had become Mattel’s specialty. In its early years, the company’s biggest hits were novelty items like cap guns and ukuleles. Then, in the late 1950s, Ruth hit on what would prove to be a brilliant idea: The Handlers' young daughter, Barbara, loved to play with paper dolls; inspired, Ruth decided to create a three-dimensional replacement for the primitive toys. Elliot had his doubts, telling his wife that “no mother is ever going to buy her daughter a doll with breasts.” But he was wrong: Barbie debuted in 1959, and within 12 months, Mattel had sold 351,000 of the dolls. But soon, Elliot would have his own multimillion-dollar idea. In the 1960s, tiny die-cast car toys were all the rage. The dominant force in that market was the English Matchbox brand, whose scaled-down vehicles left a lot to be desired (at least in Handler’s opinion). For one thing, these little cars were all based on existing automobiles. Surely, Handler felt, kids would rather play with designer hot rods. More importantly, the wheels made Matchbox cars difficult to get moving. Convinced that he could break into the die-cast game, Handler joined forces with a team of designers to create a series of aesthetically-pleasing, lightning-fast cars. Production started in 1967. Matchbox Car. 2. THERE ARE A FEW CONFLICTING STORIES ABOUT WHERE THE NAME CAME FROM. In his 2003 book Hot Wheels: 35 Years of Speed, Power, Performance, and Attitude, Randy Leffingwell summarizes the two most popular explanations. Most people credit Handler with coining the name. According to some sources, when the businessman saw designer Fred Adickes testing out a prototype one day, he remarked “That’s one set of hot wheels you’ve got there.” But Handler himself traced the origin to a chat he once had with Alexandra Laird, who worked in the packaging department. Between 1964 and 1969, she named more or less every outfit in Barbie’s closet and became known as Mattel’s “namesmith.” In her version of the story, Laird started cooking up ideas as soon as she learned about the die-cast project. “I went back and looked at these funny little cars and then wrote a whole bunch of names on a list the way I always did,” Laird said. Suggestion number one was Big Wheels. “Elliot looked at it, half-smirked, and asked me for another word, different from ‘big,’” Laird recalled. “He talked about the custom styling and wondered aloud if that was what people would call ‘hot.’” After that, Handler allegedly blurted out “Hot Wheels,” and the rest is history. 3. ONE OF THE ORIGINAL HOT WHEELS DESIGNERS LATER PUT A NEW SPIN ON THE OSCAR MAYER WIENERMOBILE. Most of Mattel’s first 16 Hot Wheels cars, which hit the shelves in 1968, were designed by GM's Harry Bentley Bradley. Hot Wheels aren't the only pop culture cars he left his mark on, though: In 1995, Bradley designed an all-new Wienermobile for Oscar Mayer. It had aerodynamic windows and hot dog-shaped dashboards. Wienermobile. 4. A CAR IN THE ORIGINAL LINE WAS BASED ON THE 1965 DODGE DEORA—WHICH DIDN’T HAVE DOORS! Among the maiden 16 Hot Wheels, this might have been the strangest. In lieu of doors, the cab of an actual ’65 Deora was equipped with a hatch at the very front of the car. A driver would need to open the hatch and climb in backwards before he or she could sit down behind the wheel. Vehicle customizers Mike and Larry Alexander went to Harry Bradley, and together they created the experimental pickup for the 1967 Detroit Autorama, where it won nine trophies. Full-sized Deoras were never mass-produced. '65 Dodge Deora. 5. 16 MILLION HOT WHEELS CARS WERE SOLD IN 1968 ALONE. Demand for these toys hasn't waned: Mattel estimates that over 4 billion cars have been produced and claims that eight of them are bought every single second. 6. IF YOU’VE GOT ONE WITH RED CIRCLES ON THE WHEELS, IT MIGHT BE WORTH SOME MONEY. From 1968 to 1977, thin red lines were typically painted around the sidewalls of Hot Wheels tires. But in an effort to cut costs, Mattel went with all-black wheels partway through 1977. Collectors prize the old “redline” Hot Wheels—in fact, certain mint-condition models sell for thousands of dollars. 7. A TIE-IN TV SERIES TOOK SOME HEAT FROM THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. In 1969, a Hot Wheels cartoon series, sponsored by Mattel, premiered on ABC. The show featured a teenage car racer named Jack “Rabbit” Wheeler who, along with his buddies, always did his best to promote safe driving. The gang also took a firm stand against underage smoking, which they deemed “non-cool.” Mattel’s competitors wrote the FCC to complain that this Hot Wheels cartoon was a program-length commercial in disguise, which undermined federal advertising laws. The FCC concurred, and the resulting changes compelled ABC to cancel Hot Wheels in 1971. Mattel was able to kick off another tie-in series in 2009, thanks to deregulatory measures that had taken effect during the 1980s. Titled Hot Wheels: Battle Force Five, it ran for two seasons on Cartoon Network. 8. FOR COLLECTORS, THE HOLY GRAIL IS A PINK VOLKSWAGEN WITH REMOVABLE SURFBOARDS. In 1969, the company unveiled its most famous car to date: the Volkswagen Beach Bomb. With a surfboard loaded onto either side, it looked like the perfect rig for a summer road trip down the California coast. Designing the iconic toy cars was a challenge: Originally, Mattel’s engineers wanted the surfboards to be removable units that could be loaded into the back of the van through wide-open rear windows. Keeping these specifications in mind, the toymakers built 16 prototypes. Then the team discovered that the Beach Bombs were too narrow to be used on Mattel's Super Charger race tracks—so they had to come up with a different design. The new VWs were wider and featured side compartments for the boards. Most of the 16 prototype Beach Bombs are now worth around $15,000 apiece. But a pair of them command a price tag that’s normally reserved for full-sized, driveable Porsches: These are the bright pink, rear-loading 1969 Volkswagen Beach Bombs. According to collector Bruce Pascal, only two such Hot Wheels were ever made (most of the prototypes received a different color scheme). In 2011, one sold for $125,000. 9. THE BRAND HAS COLLABORATED WITH NASA. In 1998, Mattel teamed up with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory—a NASA research and development center—to create the Hot Wheels JPL Sojourner’s Mars Rover Action Pack Set. The product included a replica of the Sojourner rover, which landed on Mars that summer. Then, in 2012, Mattel renewed its alliance with NASA to manufacture scale models of yet another Red Planet vehicle: the six-wheeled, $2.5 billion Curiosity rover. Curiosity Rover. 10. THE BIGGEST HOT WHEELS TRACK LOOP ON RECORD WAS OVER 12 FEET HIGH. In 2015, dynamometer technician Matt West built a 5-foot, outdoor Hot Wheels track loop for Blade, his 6-year-old son. “It started as a part-fun, part-physics lesson with my son at home,” West said. Before long, word of their exploits had spread to the technician’s workplace, namely, the Ford Motor Company’s Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Inspired by West’s playful afternoon, the staff decided to raise the bar for an upcoming Take Your Child to Work Day. Using 4-by-8 sheets of plywood as a stabilizer, Ford’s team set up an enormous Hot Wheels raceway with a massive loop. Guinness World Records later confirmed that, at 12.5 feet tall, it qualified as the largest Hot Wheels Track Loop ever built. On April 23, 2015, this monument to the creative spirit dazzled a crowd of adults and children alike; the very first car to brave the track was a Hot Wheels Ford Mustang. 11. IN 2011, THE HOT WHEELS BRAND WAS INDUCTED INTO THE NATIONAL TOY HALL OF FAME. Located in Rochester, New York, the National Toy Hall of Fame honors the world’s most influential playthings, from the cardboard box to Raggedy Ann. Mattel’s Hot Wheels line was formally inducted in 2011, along with the dollhouse and the blanket. Source: Wikipedia - Hot Wheels | MentalFloss - Hot Wheels
  14. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - APPLES Did you know.... that an apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree? Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. (Wikipedia) Facts About Apples Apples are part of the rose family, just like pears and plums. The apple tree originated in Central Asia. They have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. There are more than 8,000 varieties of apples – the largest variety of fruit to exist. Apple are one of the most widely grown tree fruit. Apple trees take 4 to 5 years to produce their first fruit. Apple trees are deciduous and have a period of dormancy followed by a flurry of activity in spring. Bees pollinate the flowers in late spring, moving from one tree to the next. By the time the fruit is ready to be picked, the buds for next fall’s fruit are already in place. The apple tree generally standing 1.8 to 4.6 meters (6 to 15 feet) tall in cultivation and up to 12 meters (39 ft) in the wild. Life expectancy for apple tree is about 100 years. China is by far the largest apple producer. The Apple is popularly known as the supposed forbidden fruit of Eden. But this is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible! Apples can help you improve your memory. Apples contain high levels of boron, which stimulates electrical activity of the brain and increases mental alertness. Most of the antioxidants in apples, including Quercetin, are found in the skin. A medium sized apple contains 80 calories. The soluble fiber contained in apples is called pectin, and can help lower cholesterol levels. To produce one apple, it takes energy from 50 leaves. Pomology is the science of apple-growing. The apple genome was decoded in 2010. Apples float in water because they are 25% air. The most expensive apple in the world is Sekai Ichi apple it cost $21.00 each. Sekai ichi means “world’s number one” in Japanese. The largest apple ever weighed 1.849 kg (4 lb 1 oz) and was grown and picked by Chisato Iwasaki at his apple farm in Hirosaki City, Japan October 24 2005. Apples are also said to symbolize health, love and fertility. Apple blossoms are a symbol of feminine beauty. Apples were popular in Ancient Greece and Rome and were a sign of opulence. In Norse mythology, the goddess of youth, Iðunn was believed to grow magic apples that kept the gods youthful. In the Chinese culture, the word for apples is pronounced as ‘ping’ which also stands for peace. This is why apples are a popular gift to give when visiting someone in China. There is a classic story that Sir Isaac Newton came up with his law of gravity when an apple fell on his head. The most famous saying involving apples is, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The fear of apples is known as Malusdomesticaphobia. New York City is nicknamed “The Big Apple.” Note: I made apple sauce today. I used 2 costco bags of gala apples. I removed the skin, cored them and chopped them up. I put them in a large pot, added ¼ cup of water and ground cinnamon. You can add the cinnamon to taste. Just don't put too much. Then you boil until the apples are softened, take it off the heat and let cool for half an hour. Then you mash them and put them into mason jars. I was able to get 6 medium-size jars filled. I put the lids on and put them in the freezer. Source: Wikipedia - Apple Tree | JustFunFacts About Apple Tree
  15. 1 point
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1438440/Aurora_A_Childs_Journey/ Aurora: A Child's Journey is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1424520/Astria/ Astria is free to play on Steam. https://freebies.indiegala.com/brigade-e5-new-jagged-union Brigade E5: New Jagged Union is currently free on IndieGala.
  16. 1 point
    Law comes across a Poneglyph, Franky comes in and gives Yamato a hand, Big Mom heads for the top, and Sanji senses something is amiss. Not sure if OP will be on break next week or not.
  17. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - BASSET HOUND Did you know... that the Basset Hound is a short-legged breed of dog in the hound family? The Basset is a scent hound that was originally bred for the purpose of hunting hare. Their sense of smell and ability to ground-scent is second only to the Bloodhound. Basset Hounds are one of six recognised "basset"-type breeds in France. The name basset is derived from the French word bas, meaning 'low', with the attenuating suffix -et—together meaning 'rather low'. Basset Hounds are usually bicolours or tricolours of standard hound colouration. (Wikipedia) 9 Floppy Facts About Basset Hounds BY REBECCA OCONNELL | NOVEMBER 30, 2015 Don't let their droopy looks fool you: There's more to this noble breed than meets the eye. Below, a few things you might not know about the stout dogs from France. 1. THEIR NAME REFERS TO THEIR SIZE. Basset comes from the French word bas, which means low, or short. But just because they’re short doesn’t mean they’re delicate: These dogs are typically only 14 inches tall but weigh a whopping 50 to 60 pounds on average. 2. THEY WERE BRED TO HUNT. French aristocrats bred these dogs from bloodhounds to use while hunting (both bassets and bloodhounds are said to be descendants of St. Hubert hounds). They were used to track a variety of animals, but especially rabbits and hares. The squat canines were tasked with scaring the animals out of the brush, allowing hunters to swoop in and nab their prey. 3. THEY'RE THE SECOND-BEST SNIFFERS IN THE CANINE KINGDOM. Second only to one (the bloodhound), these dogs have a serious sense of smell. Bassets have over 220 million smell receptors, and the portion of their brains responsible for the sense of smell is 40 times that of a human's (humans, by the way, have just five million scent receptors). Using their complex noses, they can take in a big range of smells simultaneously and zone in on just one. Once they've targeted a scent, the dogs can follow it for impressive distances. 4. THEIR LONG EARS SERVE A PURPOSE. The dog's large, floppy ears have a job to do. As a basset hound trots across the ground, its ears help bring smells directly to its face, while its dewlap (the loose skin underneath its chin) helps trap them. 5. SO DOES THEIR SHORT STATURE. Short legs keep the dogs close to the ground—and thus, closer to the scents they're tracking. Bassets can keep their noses on the trail of a scent without having to crane their necks like others dogs, which means they don’t tire as quickly while running through brush. Their stubby limbs also limit how quickly the dogs can travel, which, back in the day, allowed hunters to keep up on foot, instead of having to follow on horseback. 6. THEY MAKE GREAT MAYORS. Victoria the basset hound was elected co-mayor of Concord, Ontario, in 2011. She held the office with Nelson, a very serious-looking Great Dane. Victoria made appearances in parades, traveled to neighboring towns, and raised over $1000 for the animals at the Concord Merrimack-County SPCA. She had this to say to The Concord Insider as her term came to an end: “Being the first co-canine mayor of Concord has been an amazing experience. I’ve met many wonderful people, who believe in the betterment of the lives of all canines, and, of course, the anti-squirrel movement.” 7. EXPECT TO GIVE THEM A LOT OF BATHS. As a result of being so low to the ground, bassets pick up more dirt than other dogs—which means they need frequent baths if you want your house to stay clean. Additionally, their eyes need frequent wiping to prevent infection, and because those large ears don’t circulate air very well, they need to be cleaned at least once a week. 8. DON’T THROW THEM IN THE WATER. Thanks to their stubby legs and thick bodies, basset hounds have trouble swimming. Stick to outdoor activities away from large bodies of water. While the dogs are generally happy to hang out on the shoreline, you don’t want to run the risk of them falling in. 9. THEY’RE FUNNY. Basset hounds are natural scene-stealers. From Flash on The Dukes of Hazard to Sam on That’s So Raven, plenty of the charming dogs have hammed it up on television. Most notably, the breed inspired Droopy, the slow-talking cartoon character created by Tex Avery. Source: Wikipedia - Basset Hound | Floppy Facts About Basset Hounds
  18. 1 point
    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/elite-dangerous/home Elite Dangerous is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/the-world-next-door/home The World Next Door is currently free on Epic Games Store.
  19. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - LEGO HISTORY Hilary Fisher Page's Interlocking Building Cubes of 1939 Did you know... that the History of Lego began in 1932 in a Danish carpentry workshop and continues into the 21st century as a popular and very profitable line of construction toys and related products and services, including Lego board games, retail stores, Lego video games, Lego films, Legoland theme parks, and Lego Serious Play consultant services, with a significant impact on various areas of popular culture. Despite its expansion, the company remains privately held. (Wikipedia) LEGOs Came To The US In The '70s And Still Rule Our Lives Today Culture | Rebeka Knott | February 8, 2019 Benny the astronaut from 'The Lego Movie' served as a bridge between past and present in the 2015 film. Parents in the audience recognized Benny's faded planetary insignia and broken helmet. Source: lego.com The LEGO System -- or as most call them, LEGOs -- came to America in the 1970s but has been around in one form or another for over 60 years. And with the release of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, the LEGO entertainment empire just continues to build on its American (and global) dominance. But LEGOs didn't come to the United States until 1972, when LEGO USA was established. The products swiftly captured the imagination of American kids, becoming one of the must-have toy brands for younger Baby Boomers, Generation X and all who've followed. Those who grew up in the '70s learned to mash together plates, baseplates, bricks, tiles, wheels, slopes, arches, wedges -- and that's before the arrival of Minifigures, with their spaceships, police cars and medieval weaponry. And don’t let the word "toy" fool you -- the joy of assembling LEGOs has an almost addictive quality that makes these little plastic doodads attractive to parents and grandparents as well. The phrase "for kids of all ages" is usually an exaggeration, but in the case of LEGOs, it really does ring true. Invasion Of The Little People The LEGO Knight's Joust play set from 1979. Those of us who grew up with LEGOs in the '60s and early '70s remember them as very basic: brightly-colored square and rectangular bricks. In 1969, LEGO introduced Duplo, a system of larger bricks for younger kids. Then in 1977, LEGO brought forth a line that came to be known as Technic, featuring more specialized and technical parts. Technic sought to appeal to older kids, allowing them to construct accurate scale models of race cars, helicopters, bulldozers, and the like. It wasn't actually until 1978 that LEGO introduced "Minifigures," the small people who would turn out to be the basis for the brand's empire decades later. Minifigure sets were introduced with various themes, including medieval knights, intrepid astronauts, vikings, the wild west, and city workers such as police officers and firefighters. You Oughta Be In Pictures The Lego Movie managed to pull together original characters like Emmet and Wildstyle with the classic superhero Batman. The Minifigures continued to proliferate throughout the 1980s and '90s, with increasingly specialized bricks and larger casts of characters within the worlds LEGO had created. But this toy company remained just that -- toys -- until 1999, when LEGO struck licensing deals to produce a line of LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Winnie the Pooh sets. The story for the last two decades has been one of expansion into entertainment via licensing. LEGO Harry Potter kicked off the LEGO console gaming venture, and LEGO thrived in animated TV series as well. A movie seemed the next logical step, although getting the first LEGO Movie made wasn't easy. According to a Hollywood Reporter story, it took seven years. First, there was the challenge of hammering out deals with diverse properties, so that superheroes and Hobbits could fraternize on screen as they do in a child's toy box. And then the filmmaking itself, with the insistence that every CGI-bit on screen be a recognizable LEGO, took three years. In the end, everything was indeed awesome, and The Lego Movie hit theaters in February 2014. It was the fifth-highest grossing film of the year, pulling in over $250 million and remaining in theaters through September. Can Lego Movie 2: The Second Part top that impressive feat? That remains to be seen. But the hoopla over LEGOs today provides an opportunity to look back at the origins of this iconic and oddly-named toy that is everywhere we turn these days -- not just the kids, but also those of us who are parents or grandparents. LEGO's origins are humble, and hardly portended such massive success. Bricks of the Trade Even the little nubs (or bumps) on top of Lego pieces, that hold them together, have a name. They are called studs! This simple yet satisfying interlocking brick toy was manufactured by a Danish mastermind named, Ole Kirk Christiansen. Christiansen was a master carpenter by trade. In 1932, he opened a modest workshop where he made stepladders and ironing boards, with his 12-year-old son, to support the family. Later, in 1934, he named his company LEGO, which is derived from a Danish saying, leg godt. In English, this translates to, “play well.” The name turned out to be more than appropriate. One Word: Plastics Ole Kirk Christiansen. In 1934, the humble LEGO company had only six employees. By 1942, Christiansen’s business operations expanded, thereby expanding the number of employees to 40, thanks to his progressive and innovative thinking. He tended to embrace new technology, which led to the LEGO Group becoming the first Danish company to own a machine to inject molten plastic into a mold. The form was that of a block of a certain, uniform shape with a hollow bottom and bumps on top to lock it into another block. Because of the locking factor, each block had to be precise. Plastic wasn't yet a common material in the manufacture of toys in the late '40s and early '50s. Up until that time, toys were typically made of wood or metal. Products manufactured by LEGO, however, may have been the one exception to this rule. Because these building bricks were so well made, they were widely accepted and appealing. Additionally, certain materials were in short supply due to WWII, so plastic seemed to be a reasonable alternative. After Christiansen perfected his manufacturing process, there was no stopping him. Putting The Pieces Together The first Lego manufactured building bricks were called, Automatic Binding Bricks. While LEGO was definitely on the right path, the name of their new product -- "Automatic Binding Bricks" -- just wasn’t catchy or exciting. Later, Christiansen changed the name to LEGO Mursten, or LEGO Bricks (1953). The name hit its mark and got the attention the product deserved, but the design and composition still needed to be perfected for stability. Christiansen died in 1958, which is the year that the LEGO brand really arrived. His son, Godtfred, took control of the business and catapulted it to the power brand it became and remains. He perfected the design of the LEGO brick to make it sturdier and more versatile. Godfred was every bit as innovative as his father and took the brand to the next level with vehicles, roofs, building sets, mini figures and more. He also went a step further than his father when he patented the LEGO stud and tube brick configuration. Although Ole Christensen never lived to see the magnitude of his brand's achievement, it's certain that he would have been proud of its success and (like any father) his son's leadership. LEGO expanded its operations to several other countries during the 1960s, although the U.S. market remained untapped. Lego Toys Are A Fixture In Households All Over The World Early Lego building set. Often, when a LEGO building set is put together, there are a few stray extra pieces. This is because LEGO understands that sometimes the pieces are so small that they are easy to lose. Since there is no way to predict which pieces will be lost, they typically like to include the extra pieces. Some pieces are also so small that when a machine fills the box, they don’t weigh enough to register on the scale which also accounts for extra pieces. A Hole In The Head Lego minifigure heads. You may have noticed that LEGO mini figures have small holes in the top of their heads. You might be interested to know that the reason for that is the hole provides a way for air to pass through if a small child were to swallow the head or get it stuck in their throat. There Are 62 Times As Many Lego Bricks As People On Earth Lego Production. In one hour, 2.16 million LEGO pieces are molded. That is 36,000 every minute. The staggering number of total Lego pieces manufactured each year is approximately 19 billion. Since 1958, over 400 billion LEGO bricks have been produced. That equals approximately 62 pieces per person worldwide. It has been estimated that the number of LEGO pieces produced each year would stretch around the world five times. A Family Business For Over 80 Years Evolution of the Lego logo. The LEGO Group was passed from Ole Christiansen to Godtfred Christiansen to Kjeld Christiansen, who is now in charge. Kjeld is the son of Godtfred and the grandson of the founder, Ole. The reason for LEGO’s continued success is probably that the family shares the same ideals. The brand strives to meet strict quality standards; for each million LEGO bricks produced, about 18 fail to meet the standard, and are rejected. Lego Toy of the Year Award. If you were to buy a set of LEGO bricks today, they would interlock perfectly with all the bricks manufactured since 1958. Now that’s perfection! That same perfection has resulted in LEGO bricks being been named Toy of the Year multiple times by various organizations, and in 2000 Fortune magazine acclaimed LEGO as Toy of the Century. There is no doubt that with their history, they are sure to earn many other distinctions. Source: Wikipedia - History of Lego | Groovy History - Lego
  20. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - WILDFIRES The Rim Fire burned more than 250,000 acres (1,000 km2) of forest near Yosemite National Park, in 2013 Did you know... that wildfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an unplanned, unwanted, uncontrolled fire in an area of combustible vegetation starting in rural areas and urban areas. Depending on the type of vegetation present, a wildfire can also be classified more specifically as a forest fire, brush fire, bushfire (in Australia), desert fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, prairie fire, vegetation fire, or veld fire. Many organizations consider wildfire to mean an unplanned and unwanted fire, while wildland-fire is a broader term that includes prescribed fire as well as wildland fire use (WFU; these are also called monitored response fires) (Wikipedia) CLIMATE 101: WILDFIRES BY CLAIRE WOLTERS WILDFIRES CAN BURN millions of acres of land at shockingly fast speeds, consuming everything in their paths. These rolling flames travel up to 14 miles an hour, which converts to about a four-minute-mile pace, and can overtake the average human in minutes. In 2020, the wildfire season in the United States—which lasts from June through September—promises to be particularly devastating. This summer is expected to be the hottest on record, with drought conditions predicted in California through September. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has derailed mitigation efforts—such as homeowner assistance programs and controlled burns—due to concerns over social distancing and respiratory dangers. By the end of June, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection had responded to nearly double the number of fires than it had in the entire 2019 season. Destruction caused by wildfires in the United States has significantly increased in the last two decades. An average of 72,400 wildfires cleared an average of 7 million acres of U.S. land each year since 2000, double the number of acres scorched by wildfires in the 1990s. In 2015, the largest wildfire season recorded in U.S. history burned more than 10 million acres of land. Because much of the U.S. is expected to get hotter and drier with climate change, wildfire risk is generally expected to rise. At the same time, as the population in the United States rises and people increasingly move into rural and wilderness areas, more homes and other structures are likely to be placed in harm’s way. That’s why it’s critical to understand how wildfires get started, how to stop them, and what to do when they occur. A mobile home and car burn at Spanish Flat Mobile Villa as the LNU Lightning Complex fires tear through unincorporated Napa County, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 How wildfires start Though they are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as natural disasters, only 10 to 15 percent of wildfires occur on their own in nature. The other 85 to 90 percent result from human causes, including unattended camp and debris fires, discarded cigarettes, and arson. Naturally occurring wildfires can spark during dry weather and droughts. In these conditions, normally green vegetation can convert into bone-dry, flammable fuel; strong winds spread fire quickly; and warm temperatures encourage combustion. With these ingredients, the only thing missing is a spark—in the form of lightning, arson, a downed power line, or a burning campfire or cigarette—to wreak havoc. SEE RECENT CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES The Woolsey Fire Malibu, California Natural or man-made, three conditions must be present for a wildfire to burn: fuel, oxygen, and a heat source. Firefighters call these three elements the fire triangle. Fuel is any flammable material surrounding a fire, including trees, grasses, brush, even homes. The greater an area's fuel load, the more intense the fire is likely to be. The most wildfire-prone state is California, which lost 259,148 acres of land to 8,194 wildfires in 2019. Air supplies the oxygen a fire needs to burn. California wildfires are often made worse by the hot, dry Santa Ana winds, which can carry a spark for miles. Heat sources help spark the wildfire and bring fuel to temperatures hot enough to ignite. Lightning, burning campfires or cigarettes, and even the sun can all provide sufficient heat to spark a wildfire. Violent infernos are most common in the western states, where heat, drought, and frequent thunderstorms create ripe conditions. Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and California experience some of the worst conflagrations. Wildfires also occur around the world and in most of the 50 states. Wildfires - Dry, Hot and WIndy How they are stopped Firefighters battle blazes by depriving them of one or more of the fire triangle fundamentals. One traditional method is to douse existing fires with water and spray fire retardants. Firefighters also sometimes work in teams, often called hotshots, to clear vegetation from the land around a fire to contain and eventually starve it of fuel. The resulting tracts of land are called firebreaks. Firefighters may also employ controlled burning, creating backfires, to stop a wildfire. This method involves fighting fire with fire. These prescribed—and controlled—fires remove undergrowth, brush, and litter from a forest, depriving an otherwise raging wildfire of fuel. Granite Mountain Hotshots Benefits of wildfires Although they can be dangerous to humans, naturally occurring wildfires play an integral role in nature. By burning dead or decaying matter, they can return otherwise trapped nutrients to the soil. They also act as a disinfectant, removing disease-ridden plants and harmful insects from an ecosystem. New wildfires scorch nearly 10K acres in Northern California Wildfires thin forest canopies and undergrowth, allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor and a new generation of seedlings to grow. In fact, some species of trees, like sequoias, rely on fire for their seeds to even open. What to do in a wildfire Wildfires devastate anything in their path. In 2018, the most destructive California wildfire of all time caused 85 deaths and was the world’s costliest single natural disaster that year with losses exceeding $16 billion. While they are difficult to stop, there are many steps people can take before, during, and after wildfires to limit their damage. Before: If you know a wildfire is traveling toward your area, the best thing to do is leave. Immediately. If you live in a fire-prone area, its best to prepare for that course of action ahead of time. Have an evacuation plan in mind and a “go bag” with emergency supplies already packed during fire season. Keep brush, weeds, and other potential fuels trimmed back on your property, especially around your home. Put away grills, propane tanks, or other flammable materials that may be in your yard. Close all doors and windows and fill sinks, tubs, and other containers with water to discourage fire. Shut off natural gas, propane, or fuel oil supplies. When you purchase a home in a wildfire-prone area, try to avoid neighborhoods on slopes that are steep or barren of vegetation, suggests the California Chaparral Institute. Although some people fear that houses near shrubs are more likely to burn, that’s not necessarily the case, the institute says. Rather, a landscape without vegetation can be the perfect runway for winds to bring embers, which are one of the biggest threats to homes during a wildfire. Wetting your roof may help reduce the risk of airborne embers catching, says the California Chaparral Institute. In fact, some people in fire-prone areas even install rooftop sprinklers for that purpose. If you cannot leave as a fire approaches, dial 911. Then don a face mask, or better, an N95 respirator to help reduce smoke and particle inhalation. During: If you can still leave, leave. Listen for emergency alerts. If you cannot leave, stay inside. Go to the safest building or room with the lowest smoke levels. Crouch low for the best air. If you don't have a mask, breathe through a wet cloth. If you are caught outside, try to find a body of water to crouch in. If you can't, find a depression with the least vegetation and lie low, covering yourself with wet blankets, clothes, or soil if possible. After: Do not return until instructed to do so. Listen to authorities before drinking water from the area. Avoid items that are hot, smoky, or charred. Text friends and family, but don’t call. Lines may be busy. Wear a dust mask and document property damage. Beware of the risk of flooding, since trees and protective vegetation might have been removed, exposing loose soil. Source: Wikipedia - Wildfire | National Geographic - Wildfires
  21. 1 point
    https://freebies.indiegala.com/showing-tonight-mindhunters-incident Showing Tonight: Mindhunters Incident is currently free on IndieGala. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1454430/Arc_Apellago/ Arc Apellago is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1451110/Lawyer_Guy_Defender_of_Justice/ Lawyer Guy: Defender of Justice is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1452830/Disc_Space/ Disc Space is free to play on Steam. https://farfewgiants.itch.io/change-architect The Change Architect is currently free on Itch.io.
  22. 1 point
    What's the Word? - PROSPICIENCE pronunciation: [pros-PIH-shee-ens] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, late 15th century Meaning: 1. The action of looking forward. 2. Foresight. Example: "The inventor had the prospicience that his creations would change the world someday." "Grandma has an almost uncanny sense of prospicience with her weather predictions." About Prospicience This word originates from the Latin word "prōspicientia," which both describes the act of looking forward and divine providence. Did you Know? Meteorologists are masters of prospicience — especially when people rely on them to report weather conditions for travel, traffic, and daily life. Through satellites and other technology, meteorologists use weather data to generate a forecast model. These forecast models help meteorologists predict future weather conditions.
  23. 1 point
    What's the Word? - LITTÉTATEUR pronunciation: [lid-ər-ə-TER] Part of speech: noun Origin: French, early 19th century Meaning: 1. A person who is interested in and knowledgeable about literature. Example: "She considered herself a littérateur and enjoyed giving book recommendations." "As a littérateur, I like analyzing the written word." About Littérateur We've held onto the French spelling for this word describing a lover of literature, but it can be traced back farther to Latin. In Latin, "littera" means letter of the alphabet, but in the plural it gains the meaning of literature or culture. Did you Know? A littérateur is someone knowledgeable about literature. If you want to find someone who loves literature, however, you would look for a bibliophile. They just might be one and the same!
  24. 1 point
    https://www.gog.com/game/butcher Butcher is currently free on GOG. https://zarude.pokemon.com/en-us/#vg-distro Add Zarude to your Pokemon Sword or Shield game this December. Sign up for the Pokemon Trainer Club newsletter, opt in to email marketing by November 20, and then watch for a special email with a password to add the Pokémon to your game.
  25. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - DANCE Indonesian Dancers Did you know... that dance is a powerful impulse, but the art of dance is that impulse channeled by skillful performers into something that becomes intensely expressive and that may delight spectators who feel no wish to dance themselves? These two concepts of the art of dance—dance as a powerful impulse and dance as a skillfully choreographed art practiced largely by a professional few—are the two most important connecting ideas running through any consideration of the subject. In dance, the connection between the two concepts is stronger than in some other arts, and neither can exist without the other. Ballet, modern dance, and Indian classical dance are forms of theatre dance, the dancers usually being highly trained professionals performing for audiences in particular venues and on special occasions. Tribal and ethnic dance, on the other hand, may be characterized by a number of almost opposite features. They are not necessarily the province of trained specialists (although they may be). Such dances may be participatory (i.e., with no real distinction between dancer and spectator), and, while they may take place in special venues or on special occasions, these are often intimately related to the everyday life of the community. Tribal dance A tribal society is essentially a self-contained system. While it may possess sophisticated cultural and social structures, its technological and economic structures are generally primitive. Consequently, by the late 20th century such societies had become increasingly rare, and many tribal dances had either died or become transformed. Some tribal dances have been preserved, however, even in cases where tribes have been absorbed into other social structures, as a means of preserving cultural identity and a sense of historical continuity. This is quite common in many African states. A frequently cited case is that of King Sobhuza II, the Ngwenyama (“Lion”) of Swaziland, who in 1966 joined his people in a six-day Incwala, or ritual ceremony. Dressed in animal skins and elaborate plumage, Sobhuza performed dances that would ensure the renewal of the land, the king, and the people. South African performing a tribal dance in a traditional animal skin costume with elaborate plumage during a ceremonial gathering of regional bands. In extant tribal societies, such as the Hopi Indians of northeastern Arizona, dance retains most of its traditional form and significance. The Hopi still dance as a form of worship, with specific dances for different ceremonies. Such dances, however, as in any other tradition, have undergone inevitable change and development throughout history, and they cannot be used as accurate evidence of what the tribal dances of early man were like. Generalizing about tribal dance is made difficult not only by the lack of evidence concerning its origins and the rapid dying of extant forms but also by the fact that the term tribal covers so many different kinds of dance. Tribal dances not only vary from one tribe to another but also fall into many different categories, such as weapon dances, fertility dances, Sun- and Moon-worshipping dances, initiation dances, war dances, and hunting dances. The following are two examples of tribal dance that survived into the 20th century. The musicologist Curt Sachs quoted a description of the fertility dance of the Cobéua Indians of Brazil: The dancers have large [artificial] phalli…which they hold close to their bodies with both hands. Stamping with the right foot and singing, they dance…with the upper parts of their bodies bent forwards. Suddenly they jump wildly along with violent coitus motions and loud groans.…Thus they carry the fertility into every corner of the houses…; they jump among the women, young and old, who disperse shrieking and laughing; they knock the phalli one against another. Joan Lawson described the tree-worship dance performed both in Australia and up the Amazon River: A solemn circling of the tree is followed by an ecstatic raising of the head and hands to the branches, leaves, and fruit. Hands are then gradually run down the trunk and finally the men kneel or lie grovelling at the roots. They hope that by so doing the strength of the tree will enter into them. An interesting parallel with tribal dances may be found in the break-dancing and “body-popping” craze that swept the United States and Britain in the 1980s. While the dancers clearly were not members of a tribe in any strict sense, they were often members of a distinct group or crew that had its own style and identity. These crews were part of a larger group of young people, again with its own style and customs, that could be differentiated from other groups such as punks or skinheads. The two dance forms were characterized by an energetic spinning action, whereby the dancer propelled himself around on his neck, head, or shoulders and by small, jerky movements of the joints that traveled in a wave through his body. Rival crews often competed with one another in the street, showing off the skill and ingenuity of their moves. Breakdancing Ethnic dance In describing many dances, reference is often made to their ethnic, rather than their tribal, origins. An ethnic dance is simply a dance that is characteristic of a particular cultural group. Under this definition even the polka, which is almost always considered a social dance, may be called ethnic, as it began in a culturally distinct region of Europe. Flamenco, which began as an improvised dance among Andalusian gypsies, combines toe and heel clicking with body movements similar to Indian dance. Indian dances may be regarded as a general ethnic type, but there are numerous forms and traditions within the type: some are classical, while others are popular, being danced by non-specialists for communal festivities and for recreation. In this discussion of the art of dance, it is most useful to reserve the designation ethnic for those genres that, while perhaps in a state of transition, are still practiced by a unique cultural group, still retain some of their original communal or ritual functions, and have not yet reached the professionalized state of classical or folk dance. The many Afro-Caribbean dance forms are usually considered to constitute a distinct ethnic form because they share certain characteristic movements. As in Indian dance, the legs are frequently bent, with the feet stamping out rhythms against the ground. The torso and back are also very mobile, executing sinuous rippling actions or more jerky, rhythmic movements. The body is frequently bent slightly forward, and there is greater use of the hips, which sway and circle in syncopated rhythms. Gestures and facial expressions are used in some narrative dances, but they tend to be much less sophisticated or strictly codified than in Indian dance. Carnival in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Women dancing in a Carnival parade, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In performance today, most Afro-Caribbean dance companies are made up of both dancers and drummers, the percussion marking out the rhythm and helping to intensify the emotion. Frequently the dancers take turns performing, and there is usually a great deal of informal communication among members of the company on stage. Participation by the audience is often encouraged at the end of the performance, reflecting the communal, rather than theatrical, origins of the form. Folk dance When tribal societies in Europe gave way to more structured societies, the old dance forms gradually developed into what are now called folk or peasant dances. For a long time these retained much of their original significance and therefore could have received the modern classification of “ethnic.” The Maypole dance, still sometimes performed in England, is a descendant of older tree-worshipping dances, the ribbons that the dancers hold as they dance around the pole symbolizing the tree’s branches. The Morris dance, also called the moresque because the blackened faces of the dancers resembled the Moors, is a survival of early weapon dances, which were not war dances but an ancient form of religious worship. The types and styles of these different dances were numerous, and, as with tribal dances, many were lost so that information about them often remains sketchy. In the 20th century, efforts to collect national music and dances were made by, among others, Cecil Sharp in England and Béla Bartók in Hungary. These efforts resulted in the revival of certain dances, but they are now danced mainly for recreation, and their original significance has been lost. It is in this conscious revival or preservation of ethnic and national dances for purposes of entertainment that modern folk dance has its origin. Maypole dance Traditional Maypole dance from England, with circle formation of dancers interweaving; detail from a 19th-century drawing. Although different areas and countries have different styles of dance, most of them share common formations and styles of movement. The earliest and simplest formation, the closed circle, is found in all folk dances and derives from the ritual of circling around an object of worship. The dancers grasp one another by the hands, wrists, shoulders, elbows, or waists and face the centre of the circle. In more complex forms, dancers move into and out of the circle to perform individual movements or to join into couples, or, as the dancers circle, they may weave around one another. In some dances there are two concentric circles, sometimes the inner one of men and the outer one of women. Portuguese folk dancers from Algarve performing one of the traditional regional folk dances. Another common formation, the chain, involves a long line of dancers, often holding hands or linked by handkerchiefs. The leader may trace a complex, serpentine pattern for the others to follow. Processional dances may travel a long way—even through an entire village. The dancers are mostly in couples, with the procession halting at times for them to dance together. Greek women performing a folk dance. Many folk dances today are performed in sets, groups of about eight dancers who may perform in all of the above formations but within a restricted space. In other dances, individuals may leave the group and dance on their own. Folk dance steps are usually quite simple variations on walking, hopping, skipping, and turning. Depending on the particular dance form, these steps may be long, slow, and gliding or short, fast, and springing. The hips are usually held still, though in more vigorous dances the men in particular may crouch, kneel, or even lie on the floor. Some dances involve large jumps and lifts, usually with the man seizing the woman by the waist, lifting her into the air, and possibly turning with her. There are numerous kinds of holds. For example, two dancers may face each other and hold hands with the arms crossed, link arms, or use a hold similar to that of ballroom dancers. Individual folk dances may also contain distinctive motifs: the dancers may clap their hands, wave handkerchiefs, or clash sticks with one another. Some dances contain elements of mime—not only the bows and curtsies of courtship dance but also gestures such as those performed in certain Slavic harvest dances, where the arms are brought up to the chest and opened outward as if presenting something. Many European folk dances are characterized by a strong emphasis on pattern and formation. The dancers frequently move in an ordered relation to one another, and the steps follow clearly delineated floor patterns on the ground. The circle is the simplest pattern, but the chain, the procession, and the longways dance are also common. (Some of the more complicated patterns are probably due to the influence of the court dances, which systematized and polished the more robust peasant forms.) Although there are numerous exceptions to the rule, the emphasis in many of those dances is on the footwork, rather than on large or vigorous movements of the body. Click the link below to read more about Dance. Source: Britannica - Dance
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    What's the Word? - NISUS pronunciation: [NAI-səs] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, late 17th century Meaning: 1. Effort, endeavor. 2. Especially impulse, tendency. Example: "He put a lot of nisus into completing his final project a week before the due date." "My nisus is to skip my Monday morning workout, but I always feel better when I do it." About Nisus Nisus comes from the Latin words "nīsus" (effort) and "nītī" (to strive). If someone uses this word to describe you, take it as the highest compliment — they're recognizing that you are working hard to achieve your goals. Did you Know? The word "nisus" was originally published in "Philosophical Transactions" from The Royal Society of London. It makes sense that a noun for effort and endeavor comes from the world's first and longest-running scientific journal, launched in 1665.
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    Fact of the Day - NOMAD Mongol Nomads in the Altai Mountains Did you know... that a nomad is a person with no settled home, moving from place to place as a way of obtaining food, finding pasture for livestock, or otherwise making a living. The word "nomad" comes ultimately from the classical Greek word νομάς (nomás, "roaming, wandering, especially to find pasture"), from Ancient Greek νομός (nomós, "pasture"). Most nomadic groups follow a fixed annual or seasonal pattern of movements and settlements. Nomadic peoples traditionally travel by animal or canoe or on foot. Today, some nomads travel by motor vehicle. Most nomads live in homes or other homeless shelters. (Wikipedia) NOMADS - THE FACTS | April 5th, 1995 Tibetan Nomad LIFE ON THE EDGE The term nomadic is now a common metaphor for aimless wandering. In fact the movement of traditional nomadic peoples is far from haphazard: it is both predetermined and systematic. Most nomads live in marginal areas like deserts, steppes and tundra, where mobility becomes a logical and efficient strategy for harvesting scarce resources spread unevenly across wide territories. Who they are? There are three main groups of nomads: Photo by JOTH SHAKERLEY / PANOS PICTURES Pastoralists: the word ‘nomad’ is derived from the Greek word for pasture – nomos. Pastoral nomads move with their households in search of pasture for their animals. There are an estimated 30-40 million of them in the world. Livestock is central to their livelihood and the basis of their culture. Their movement is seasonal, linked to rainfall and the availability of good forage for their animals. Goat herders in the Peruvian Andes graze their animals on richer grasses at lower altitudes during the wet season, then move to higher altitudes during the dry season. Of the 60,000 Sami in Scandinavia only 6,000 are still nomadic. They may migrate with their reindeer up to 300 kilometres from sheltered forests in the winter to coastal grasslands in the summer. Hunter-gatherers: groups like the San of the Kalahari Desert, the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic, native people of the Amazonian rainforest and various hill tribes of Southeast Asia are nomadic in that they move in search of particular animals to hunt or foodstuffs to gather. These hunting cultures are now disappearing or changing under the influence of modern consumer society and the cash economy. Traders and Craftworkers: Other groups may have nomadic lifestyles although they are neither pastoralists nor hunter-gatherers. In the West the best known of these are the Rom or Gypsies, sometimes known as Travellers. Originally from northern India, the Rom moved north-west about 1,000 years ago and scattered across Europe, working as petty traders, musicians, farm workers and day-labourers. Romani mother and child ANIMALS Animal mythology and symbolism permeate all aspects of nomadic society. Animals provide milk, meat and blood for food; hides, hair, wool, horn and bone for clothing, shelter and tools; and dung for fuel and fertilizer. Nomads also use animals for transport, freight carriage and traction (milling, threshing and ploughing). The Bedouin of Saudi Arabia have a special vocabulary to describe their camels. The Arabic word for camel (jamal) comes from the same root as the word for beautiful (jamil). In Somali, the word raadraa which means ‘to track down animals’ is now used to describe modern research. The word layis which means ‘to tame a young camel’ is also the term given to exercises in a student workbook. Mongols use different words to describe the age, colour and size of horses. The word saaral is used for a white horse, ke’er for a bay and je’ered for a reddish-brown steed. Cattle as Capital Almost all English words for money come from the world of pastoral nomads. Cattle, chattel and capital come from the same root. Pecuniary comes from the Latin word for cattle, pecus. THREAT TO MOVEMENT Nomadic peoples face many threats today, but the most serious is the attempt to stop them moving around. Over the last 40 years the Raika camel nomads in Rajasthan, India, have lost access to half of the common lands previously used as pasture. In Kenya, Government attempts to bring traditional Maasai lands under private title have ended up removing large areas of land from grazing. In some cases nearly half the land is now in the hands of non-Maasai. In Inner Mongolia much of the best grazing land has been turned over to irrigated farming. With privatization nomads have to contract for the right to graze traditional lands. More and more are becoming semi-nomadic and even sedentary ranchers. Rabari, a caste of camel-herders - Tashrih al-aqvam (1825) SURVIVAL STRATEGIES Mobility Because nomads live in areas of climatic extremes they’ve had to be flexible and opportunistic. Mobility allows them to profit from widely-dispersed resources whose availability varies from year to year. Mixed Economies Pastoral nomads raise several kinds of animals: usually one large prestigious species and several smaller animals like goats and sheep. Disease or drought affects each species differently, thus increasing the nomads’ chances of survival. They also combine animal raising with small-scale farming, fishing, petty trading or migrant labour. And though nomads are subsistence-oriented, they have strong commercial skills, trading or selling animal hides, milk and meat in exchange for grain, tea and modern consumer goods. Tribal Sharing Most nomadic peoples are organized into tribes or clans which have a customary claim over a specific territory. Tribal elders control who has access to common property like water, pasture, game or wild foodstuffs. Outsiders have to ask permission if they want to use resources on land which traditionally belongs to another group. Strong tribal identities are also one way pastoral nomads have of banding together to defend their livestock against theft by their neighbours. Source: New Internationalist - Nomad Facts | Wikipedia - Nomad
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    https://www.gog.com/game/teleglitch_die_more_edition Teleglitch: Die More Edition is currently free on GOG. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1368430/Streets_Of_Kamurocho/ Streets of Kamurocho is currently free on Steam. https://freebies.indiegala.com/contract-with-the-devil/ Contract with the Devil is currently free on IndieGala. https://freebies.indiegala.com/kill-em-all Kill 'Em All is currently free on IndieGala.
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    Fact of the Day - GOUACHE Gouache paints come in many colors and are usually mixed with water to achieve the desired working properties and to control the opacity when dry. Did you know... that gouache, body color, or opaque watercolor, is one type of watermedia, paint consisting of natural pigment, water, a binding agent, (usually gum arabic or dextrin), and sometimes additional inert material. Gouache is designed to be opaque. Gouache has a considerable history, going back at least 1200 years. (Wikipedia) WATERMEDIA MYSTERY: REALLY, WHAT IS GOUACHE? At the Palais de Justice, gouache on paper by Honoré Daumier; in the Musée du Petit Palais, Paris. We’ve all been wooed by that stand adjacent to the watercolor paints: gouache. We bring it home and stare. What is it? Will it work with watercolor paints? Then it sits in a drawer for a year. Maybe 10. Time to dust it off. Because it could be real love after all. On the surface, gouache (pronounced ‘gwash’) and watercolor seem very similar, confusingly so. But transparent watercolorist Sue Archer would never be caught dead with gouache while artists like Donna Zagotta and Carla O’Connor rely on its properties as a major part of their painting style. So what’s happening here? Below we hope to clear up some of the confusion of watercolor vs gouache. Can gouache be used like watercolor? Gouache, a member of the watermedia family, can absolutely be used like watercolor. Artists can use gouache on watercolor paper and any other surface suitable for watercolor. You can use your watercolor brushes with gouache without fear of ruining them (looking at you acrylics!), and you won’t need to buy any special chemicals for clean up because, like watercolor, gouache is water soluble and can be cleaned up with water. As with watercolor, you can rewet gouache with water to make alterations or thin it with water to make it more transparent. In fact, you can mix gouache paints with watercolor paints and use them together. Artist Donna Zagotta does. Nothing will explode, we promise. Wait, so are gouache and watercolor the same then? No. While you can use the same paper and brushes, gouache will handle differently than watercolor. That’s because on a structural level, it’s manufactured differently than watercolor. How is gouache different than watercolor? The quick overview: Gouache is opaque, matte and can be blended. Gouache dries quicker and darker than watercolor. Here's what’s going on: On a structural level, all paint consists of color particles (color dust) suspended in medium. Oil paint is color particles suspended in oil. Acrylic is color particles suspended in polymer. Watercolor and gouache are color particles suspended in gum arabic. And not all particles are created equal. Compared to watercolors, gouache has larger particles of pigment, and its particles are packed more tightly together. Large, tightly packed particles leave less space for light to slip through, and that’s what makes gouache opaque. Some manufacturers include a white chalk additive to further reduce transparency. This level of opaqueness makes gouache great for illustrators who want to ensure accurate photography and reproduction of their work. That same quality makes gouache terrible for those glowing effects so sought after by transparent watercolorists. Painters like Carl Dalio and Sue Archer reach for transparent watercolors because they want to create luminous paintings. Transparent pigments have tiny particles that aren’t packed together. This allows light to bounce through their paintings, hit the white paper and then bounce back out to the viewer’s eye, which creates spectacular luminosity. Then why would I choose Gouache? Artists like Sarkis Antikajian use gouache for his plein air kit because it’s easy to carry a palette (like watercolor) and he can still paint light on dark. It’s also water-based so it’s easy to clean up. Watermedia artists Donna Zagotta uses gouache because she knows there are ways she can manipulate gouache paint that she can’t with transparent watercolor. For example, she can melt colors into one another. She does this by starting with a base color (in this case ultramarine blue.) When the color is dry she can add a second color on top. “The first stroke down will stick,” says Zagotta in her workshop, The You Factor: Powerful, Personal Design in Opaque Watercolor. “But the more I play with it the more it starts melting the colors that are underneath….So I’m using an undercolor and an overcolor mixed together to create the third color.” Zagotta has two palettes. One with her transparent watercolors and one with her gouache colors. She adds white gouache paint to her transparent watercolors so that they take on gouache characteristics. (Sort of like mixing watercolor paints with acrylic paints makes them acrylics a la Nicholas SImmons’ workshop, Innovative Water Media.) For artist Carla O’Connor, gouache is her go to watermedia because she loves the textures she can achieve. “This medium brought me full circle in my career,” she says. “I can paint with gouache much the same way as I painted in oils.” “Gouache sits on the surface of your paper so it allows you tremendous freedom in lifting possibilities and corrections and changing, which then again gives more and more different textures and technique possibilities,” says O’Connor in her workshop Figure Design in Gouache: The Process. O’Connor also loves the grays you can get with gouache. She loves the gouache grays so much that she keeps part of her palette dedicated to them. “I use to clean it up all the time,” she says of the lid of her palette where the greys live. “ I don’t do that anymore...I just keep adding paint to it and I can make it darker or lighter or a different color all together. But I use it for mixing all my greys.” That grey, which she calls her Mother Color because it’s a combination of all her colors, is now a signature of her work. Are Gouache paints just opaque watercolor? This gets confusing because of language and how artists use terms. Some artists refer to gouache and watercolor as totally separate media. However, some artists, like Donna Zagotta, use the word opaque watercolor to mean gouache. So then when you hear artists talk about opaque watercolor they could either be referring to gouache or to particular watercolor pigments, like the cadmiums, that are naturally opaque. How do I make my gouache transparent? If you have a set of gouache paints, and you’d like to have transparent washes in your paintings, no need to run out to the art store just yet. The good news is that you can make almost any pigment transparent. With watercolor and gouache, you simply add more water. This creates more space between those big pigment particles and allows light to bounce back through. Just make sure to allow a layer to dry completely before going back in for a second glaze. Does any of this matter? Yes! (But also no.) Artists at the level of Sue Archer, Carl Dalio, Carla O’Connor, and any of the other artists you see at CCPVideos.com are skilled and practiced enough to achieve very particular effects in their paintings. They know exactly where they want to go, and they want to use the best available tools to get there. Carl Dalio’s paintings are all about luminosity and clean color, so he uses only the most transparent of watercolor pigments, and he cleans his palette constantly. Carla O’Connor wants rich, greyed color and freedom to create texture that is normally not available to transparent watercolorists, so she reaches mainly for gouache. And she cleans her palette far less frequently than Dalio. Try Some Gouache! So the next time you’re looking for a new medium to try or are just are curious about the differences watercolor trv gouache, grab some colors and start to play. If you want some great guides in the process, we highly recommend Steven Quiller’s Water Media Foundation workshop to give you a good overview of gouache (and other watermedia). If you'd like to see how the media can be worked through an entire painting, check out both Donna Zagotta’ The You Factor: Powerful, Personal Design in Opaque Watercolor and Carla O’Connor’s Figure Design in Gouache: The Process. Check out the trailer to Mike Hernandez's excellent gouache video, "Creating Drama with Light and Color." Source: Wikipedia - Gouache | Watermedia Mystery
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    What's the Word? - MATRONYMIC pronunciation: [ma-trə-NIM-ik] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, late 18th century Meaning: 1. Denoting or relating to a name derived from the name of a mother or female ancestor. Example: "By tracing her matronymic heritage, she was able to find the grandmother she was named after." "She used her matronymic last name instead of her married one." About Matronymic If you are familiar with the word "maternal," you already know part of this word. The Latin word "mater," or mother, forms the first half of matronymic, while "nym" is the Latin word for name. Did you Know? Curious about family history? Traditionally, women changed their maiden names when they were married, making it difficult to trace your maternal side. Tracing matronymic lines is a helpful alternative; look into birth and marriage certificates for last names and clues into where to look next.
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    Fact of the Day - MUSIC Did you know... that musicians and artists of all time have always given people joy, solace, and perspective? And while musicians die, their music never does. The greats will always stand the test of time and be remembered and referred to in deserted bedrooms, music classrooms, and, empty minds, staring out the window, when travelling long distances, or standing, in a crowded metro, on the way to work. Facts About Music That Really Sing By ALEX DANIEL | FEBRUARY 27, 2019 They say music is a universal language. And, you know, they're probably right. After all, who doesn't love a great, foot-tapping tune? (If you believe the plot of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, even aliens do!) But as much as you love music and music theory in all its forms—and as much as you think you know about your favorite songs and artists—there are still plenty of opportunities to be totally floored. Musicians Have Shorter Life Spans Than the General Population One study, conducted by a University of Sydney professor, titled "Stairway to H*ll: Life and Death in the Pop Music Industry," examined the deaths of artists which took place between 1950 and June 2014. The study specifically looked at longevity and the proportion of suicides, homicides, and accidental deaths. Longevity was determined by calculating the average age of death for each musician by sex and decade of their death. These averages were then compared with averages by sex and decade for the general U.S. population. The results? Musicians' lifespans are 25 years shorter. In 2016, Mozart Sold More CDs than Beyoncé In fact, Mozart sold the most CDs in 2016, beating out Adele, Drake, and Beyoncé, even though all of those artists had Grammy-winning hits that year. So, how'd an 18th-century composer sell more than pop music's greatest names? Well, in October 2016, the Universal Music Group released a box set commemorating the 225th anniversary of Mozart's death. Each disc included in the box set counted as one CD sold, and each set contained 200 discs. Throw in the proliferation of streaming—which has significantly dampened CD sales—and voila. Plus, the box set itself flew off shelves: As of this writing, there are only four remaining on Amazon ($686). Singing in a Group Boosts Mood Multiple studies have been conducted that prove singing as a part of a group provides numerous physical and emotional benefits. Researchers have discovered that singing is soothing and does indeed raise one's spirits and mood. When you sing with others, the body releases feel-good hormones, like oxytocin, and reduces stress-causing ones, like cortisol. Some People Feel Nothing Toward Music Per the results of one study conducted at the University of Barcelona, 5 percent of participants did not feel any emotion whatsoever—didn't feel any chills or want to tap their feet—when listening to music. Before you start calling these study subjects monsters, know that they're totally normal in other ways: they received pleasure from other things, like food and sex, and had no other evident psychological issues. These were happy, healthy college students who just naturally did not care for any kind of music. Listening to Music Enhances Physical Performance Research has consistently shown that the synchronization of music with repetitive exercise provides enhanced physical performance, helping people both work out for longer and train more efficiently. In one study, participants who cycled in time to music found that they required 7 percent less oxygen compared to cycling with background (asynchronous) music. In other words, music provides temporal cues that have the potential to make more efficient use of physical energy. Rod Stewart Hosted the Largest Ever Free Concert Several free concerts have been reported to have an audience of one million (or more), but such numbers tend to be exaggerated. However, according to Guinness World Records, Rod Stewart's 1993 New Year's Eve concert on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, remains the most-attended free concert that ever took place. An estimated 4.2 million people were in attendance at this performance. The second most-attended free concert was Jean-Michel Jarre's September 6, 1997, performance at the University of Moscow, which reportedly had an estimated audience of 3.5 million. Wanna Be" by The Spice Girls is the Catchiest Song of All Time In 2014, a group of researchers from The Museum of Science and Industry in England released an online test called "Hooked on Music." It contained one thousand quips from pop hits, going all the way back to the 1940s, and it asked 12,000 participants to identify songs as fast as possible. They found that "Wannabe" by The Spice Girls was the catchiest song: people were able to recognize it in about 2.3 seconds, which was way below the 5-second average of identifying other popular songs. Finland Has the Most Metal Bands Per Capita Amorphis Perhaps head-banging an effective way to keep warm. According to a Reddit user who created a map using data from Encyclopaedia Metallum' archive of metal bands, Finland is home to the most bands of this genre, with 53.5 metal bands per 100,000 people. Second place was tied between two other Nordic nations Sweden and Norway (27.2), while Iceland stole third (22.7). Though heavy metal music originated in the United States and the United Kingdom, their numbers for those countries were 5.5 and 5.2, respectively. An Astronaut Released an Album with All Songs Recorded in Space In 2015, a Canadian astronaut named Chris Hadfield released his first album, which was entirely recorded while he was in orbit. Not only was he the first Canadian to walk in space, he's also a talented musician whose went viral with a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity." Hadfield spent 144 days at the International Space Station recording his 11 original songs for his appropriately-titled album, Space Sessions: Songs for a Tin Can. The British Navy Uses Britney Spears Songs to Scare Off Pirates According to reports, British naval officers play Britney Spears songs to scare away Somali pirates off of Africa's eastern coast. Her songs "Oops I Did It Again" and "Baby One More Time" are the songs which are used. The rationale of playing these songs is because, supposedly, Somali pirates have a strong dislike for western culture and music, which make Britney Spears' songs a perfect fit to make the bandits move on as quickly as possible. "Jingle Bells" Was Originally a Thanksgiving Song "Jingle Bells" is a Christmas classic, but it didn't originate that way. Written by James Lord Pierpont and published in 1857, it was meant to be sung during Thanksgiving. The song's original title was "One Horse Open Sleigh" then it was changed to "Jingle Bells", or "the One Horse Open Sleigh" when it was reprinted in 1859. There is a plaque in Medford, Massachusetts, at the former site of a tavern, where the song is said to have been written, in an area where, and an era when, sleigh races were popular. Click the link below to read the next 29 facts about Music. Source: 40 Facts About Music That Really Sing
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    What's the Word? - TERPSICHOREAN pronunciation: [tərp-sih-kə-REE-ən] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Greek, early 19th century Meaning: 1. Relating to dancing. Example: "The middle schoolers' terpsichorean routine was the highlight of the holiday pageant." "He loved attending the terpsichorean society's annual dances." About Terpsichorean Terpsichorean — which can be used as either an adjective or a noun — originated from the Greek word "terpsichore." "Terpsichore" translates to "a love of music and dancing," and referred to the Greek muse of the same name. Did you Know? Lace up your dancing shoes, because dancing is good for your physical and mental well-being. The National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute found that dancing reduces stress and tension, and also helps to prevent heart disease.
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    What's the Word? - IRENIC pronunciation: [aye-REN-ik] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Greek, mid 19th century Meaning: 1. Aiming or aimed at peace. Example: "I try to read irenic poetry before bed, because it helps me sleep better." "The yoga retreat aimed to put us all in a more irenic frame of mind." About Irenic Irenic originated from the Greek word "eirēnē," which means "peace." If you use this word, you are describing something truly serene. Did you Know? If you are trying to make your home environment more irenic, look into feng shui. This ancient Chinese practice aims at improving energy flow through small changes — such as making sure the path to your front door is always clear.
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    Fact of the Day - CAPOEIRA Capoeira or the Dance of War by Johann Moritz Rugendas, 1825, published in 1835 Did you know.... that Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music? It was developed by enslaved Africans in Brazil at the beginning of the 16th century. It is known for its acrobatic and complex maneuvers, often involving hands on the ground and inverted kicks. It emphasizes flowing movements rather than fixed stances; the ginga, a rocking step, is usually the focal point of the technique. The most widely accepted origin of the word capoeira comes from the Tupi words ka'a ("forest") paũ ("round"), referring to the areas of low vegetation in the Brazilian interior where fugitive slaves would hide. A practitioner of the art is called a capoeirista (Portuguese pronunciation: [kapuejˈɾistɐ]). The dance and music was incorporated in the system to disguise the fact that they were practicing fighting techniques. After the abolition of slavery in Brazil, capoeira was declared illegal at the end of the 19th century. However, by the 1920s, authorities began to relax enforcement on its prohibition, and martial artists began to incorporate capoeira technique into their practices. By the 1970s, capoeira masters started traveling around the world, helping the art become internationally recognized and practiced. On 26 November 2014, capoeira was granted a special protected status as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. (Wikipedia) Simple animation depicting part of the ginga. History As a form of martial arts for slaves Capoeira's history probably begins with the beginning of African slavery in Brazil. When Portuguese colonists began exporting West African slaves, Brazil, with its vast territory, received most of the slaves; almost 40% of all slaves sent across the Atlantic Ocean. Although rebellions were rare, capoeira was invented as a hope of survival for slaves. If they managed to escape, as after an escape attempt, colonial agents were sent after the escapees. The martial arts were incorporated into a dance, to escape detection–with music and rhythmic moves, no suspicion could be raised regarding potential martial art training. Due to city growth, more slaves were brought to cities and so made capoeira more prominent and allowed it to be taught and practiced among more people. In Rio, the colonial government tried to suppress it and established severe physical punishments for its practice. Post-slavery After slavery was abolished in 1888, free former slaves had nowhere to live and no jobs. They were thought of by the public as lazy workers. Capoeira then found a new role—as a dance of criminals. They used capoeiristas (capoeira dancers) as bodyguards and hitmen. In 1890, the Brazilian government prohibited capoeira when police identified it as an advantage in fighting and they didn’t want criminals to have this advantage. After the ban, anybody caught practising capoeira for any reason would be arrested and tortured by the police. Some practices still occurred in remote places with guards to warn of police. By the 1920s, repression of capoeira had declined. Mestre Bimba from Salvador, a strong fighter in both legal and illegal fights, thought capoeira was losing its martial roots due to the use of its playful side to entertain tourists. Bimba began developing the first systematic training method for capoeira, and in 1932 founded the first capoeira school. He called it Luta Regional Baiana because it was illegal to use capoeira in the name. By 1940, capoeira was legalized. Mestre Bimba Today Today, capoeira is viewed as one of the symbols of Brazilian culture all around the world and in 1970 it was taught outside of Brazil for the first time. Capoeira presentations, normally theatrical and with little martiality, are common sights around the world. The martial arts part, however, is still present and still disguised, just as it was in the time of slavery, and trickery is still present and expert dancers used. An attack can be disguised even as a friendly gesture, such is the expertise gone into the research of new moves. Capoeira is now a symbol of Brazilian culture, its ethnic amalgam, and of resistance to oppression. Capoeira, dance-like martial art of Brazil, performed to the accompaniment of call-and-response choral singing and percussive instrumental music. It is most strongly associated with the country’s northeastern region. The basic aesthetic elements of capoeira were brought to Brazil by enslaved people, primarily from west and west-central Africa. These elements were recombined and reinterpreted within the diverse enslaved community of Brazil to create a unique means of self defense, both driven and disguised—as merely a dance—by its musical accompaniment. Slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888, but capoeira continued to flourish within the Afro-Brazilian population, particularly in the northeastern state of Bahia. The government, however, recognizing the physical and spiritual potency of the art form and considering it a threat to society, continued to outlaw the practice until the early 20th century. capoeira Capoeiristas in Salvador, Brazil. Capoeira is best described not as a dance but as a sport in which the participants—historically, sometimes with blades strapped to their ankles or held between their toes—swing their legs high in attack, perform aerial somersaults, and pass within a hairsbreadth of each other’s knees, head, groin, or stomach. Flexibility, stamina, rapidity of movement, and malicia (deception) are more important than sheer muscular strength. Although marked by the use of graceful, fluid, and often acrobatic movements as a means to escape rather than block an attack, the “game” of capoeira, as it is called by its practitioners, can nonetheless be lethal when contact is actually made with a well-timed, well-placed blow. Click here for list of capoeira techniques In current practice, two opponents face each other within the roda—a circle of capoeiristas (practitioners of capoeira)—emulating in a stylized manner the strikes and parries of combat, in time with the rhythms of a small musical ensemble. Music is indeed integral to the practice of capoeira. The ensemble typically consists of one to three berimbaus (struck musical bows), one or two atabaques (single-headed, standing, conical drums), a pandeiro (tambourine), an agogô (double bell), and sometimes also a reco-reco (scraped bamboo tube), all of which accompany call-and-response songs, usually led by one of the berimbau players. berimbau and pandeiro Musicians playing berimbaus and (right) a pandeiro (tambourine). Since about the 1930s in the state of Bahia and somewhat later in Rio de Janeiro, clubs have trained students in precise kicking, passing, and strategic deception. In the late 20th century capoeira began to gain an international following, and by the early 21st century active clubs existed in many cities throughout the world. Moreover, the art had gained many highly skilled female practitioners, though in its early years capoeira was an exclusively male domain. Source: Wikipedia - Capoeira | Britannica - Capoeira | Capoeira Facts
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    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1363810/Astra/ Astra is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1121680/Remnants/ Remnants is free to play on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1441570/Cubiscape_2/ Cubiscape 2 is free to play on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1387480/Farmer_And_Tree/ Farmer and Tree is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1204740/How_Stories_Die/ How Stories Die is free on Steam. https://toq-games.itch.io/big-fish https://toq-games.itch.io/annulus Big Fish and Annulus from TOQ Games are currently free on Itch.io.
  36. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE Did you know... that dramatic monologue is a type of poetry written in the form of a speech of an individual character. M.H. Abrams notes the following three features of the dramatic monologue as it applies to poetry: The single person, who is patently not the poet, utters the speech that makes up the whole of the poem, in a specific situation at a critical moment […]. This person addresses and interacts with one or more other people; but we know of the auditors' presence, and what they say and do, only from clues in the discourse of the single speaker. The main principle controlling the poet's choice and formulation of what the lyric speaker says is to reveal to the reader, in a way that enhances its interest, the speaker's temperament and character. (Wikipedia) Definition of Dramatic Monologue Dramatic monologue means self-conversation, speech or talks which includes interlocutor presented dramatically. It means a person, who is speaking to himself or someone else speaks to reveal specific intentions of his actions. However, in literature, it is a poetic form or a poem that presents the speech or conversation of a person in a dramatic manner. Features of a Dramatic Monologue A dramatic monologue has these common features in them. A single person delivering a speech on one aspect of his life The audience may or may not be present Speaker reveals his temperament and character only through his speech Types of Dramatic Monologue There are three major types of dramatic monologues such as: Romantic monologue: One of the most important influences on the development of the dramatic monologue is romantic poetry. However, the long, personal lyrics typical of the Romantic period are not dramatic monologues, in the sense that they do not, for the most part, imply a concentrated narrative. Philosophical and psychological monologue: Poems such as William Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey and Percy Bysshe Shelley's Mont Blanc, to name two famous examples, offered a model of close psychological observation and philosophical or pseudo-philosophical inquiry described in a specific setting. The conversation poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge are perhaps a better precedent. The genre was also developed by Felicia Hemans and Letitia Elizabeth Landon, beginning in the latter's case with her long poem The Improvisatrice. Conversational monologue: The novel and plays have also been important influences on the dramatic monologue, particularly as a means of characterization. Dramatic monologues are a way of expressing the views of a character and offering the audience greater insight into that character's feelings. Dramatic monologues can also be used in novels to tell stories, as in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and to implicate the audience in moral judgements, as in Albert Camus The Fall and Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Dramatic Monologue Examples from Literature Example #1 “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning “That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now; Fra Pandolf’s hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands. Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said “Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, But to myself they turned (since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I) And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst, How such a glance came there; so, not the first Are you to turn and ask thus.” This extract is from the famous monologue of a duke. He tells his audience, possibly the father of his new bride, about his last duchess who could not survive his severity. It is a type of psychological monologue which tells the psychological state of mind of the speaker. Browning has exposed the duke’s cruel state of mind through this poem “My Last Duchess.” Example #2 “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot “Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, The muttering retreats Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question … Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our visit.” This extract is from the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot, a famous and popular modern poet. He has highlighted the thoughts of a modern young man who is madly in love but still hesitates from expressing it. Therefore, he faces an existential dilemma. The poem highlights his psychological state of mind through this contemporary monologue. This extract highlights this dilemma of hesitation in the very first line and then is repeated in the last line. Example #3 “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath I have done it again. One year in every ten I manage it— A sort of walking miracle, my skin Bright as a Nazi lampshade, My right foot A paperweight, My face a featureless, fine Jew linen. This extract is from the famous monologue of Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus.” It also highlights her psychological state of mind about her act of committing suicide and subsequent failure. She has likened this act to The Holocaust to create her own powerful monologue. Example #4 “Dover Beach” By Matthew Arnold “The sea is calm tonight. The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits; on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!” “Dover Beach” is another example of such an autobiographical monologue of Matthew Arnold. He has highlighted his own situation and his reaction over the sorrow that he is experiencing. This monologue expressed his thoughts about his bride when they were on honeymoon on the same breach. He recalls the past and writes about the sea again. Example #5 “Hawk’s Monologue” by Ted Hughes “I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed. Inaction, no falsifying dream Between my hooked head and hooked feet: Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat. The convenience of the high trees! The air’s buoyancy and the sun’s ray Are of advantage to me; And the earth’s face upward for my inspection.” These are the first two stanzas of the famous monologue of Ted Hughes. This poem presents a hawk perching high on a tree, thinking about his power and dreams. It presents a psychological state of mind of personified megalomaniac bird how he thinks when he holds power over the lives of other weak birds. This dramatic monologue is an example of how powerful people think when they have control over others. Dramatic Monologue Meaning and Function A monologue functions as a tool to give vent to one’s thoughts. It provides an opportunity for the poets to use powerful words spoken through their characters. So, the characters can express themselves or their ideas without an obstacle or hindrance. A dramatic monologue is also a convenient device to present different characters and their inner thoughts through verses. Source: Wikipedia - Dramatic Monologue | Literary Devices  - Dramatic Monologue
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    Saturday's Fact of the Day - LOLLIPOPS Whirly Pop Lollipops Did you know.... that a lollipop is a type of sugar candy usually consisting of hard candy mounted on a stick and intended for sucking or licking. Different informal terms are used in different places, including lolly, sucker, sticky-pop, etc. Lollipops are available in many flavors and shapes. (Wikipedia) HISTORY The idea of an edible candy on a stick is very simple, and it is probable that the lollipop has been invented and reinvented numerous times. The first confectioneries that closely resemble what we call lollipops date to the Middle Ages, when the nobility would often eat boiled sugar with the aid of sticks or handles. The invention of the modern lollipop is still something of a mystery but a number of American companies in the early 20th century have laid claim to it. According to the book Food For Thought: Extraordinary Little Chronicles of the World, they were invented by George Smith of New Haven, Connecticut, who started making large hard candies mounted on sticks in 1908. He named them after a racehorse of the time, Lolly Pop - and trademarked the lollipop name in 1931. The term 'lollipop' was recorded by English lexicographer Francis Grose in 1796. The term may have derived from the term "lolly" (tongue) and "pop" (slap). The first references to the lollipop in its modern context date to the 1920s. Alternatively, it may be a word of Romany origin being related to the Roma tradition of selling candy apples on a stick. Red apple in the Romany language is loli phaba. Ever been a sucker for suckers? A majority of us know them as lollipops or suckers. Whatever you call them, there’s one thing we know for sure----they’re delicious. In honor of National Lollipop Day, we've shared some fun (and strange) facts about the popular, hard, confectionery candy. Here are 10 random facts about lollipops: 1. The largest lollipop was created by See’s Candies See’s Candies created the massive sugary giant on July 18, 2012 in Burlingame, California. The 7,003-pound, chocolate-flavored lollipop was 4 feet 8.75 inches in length, 3 feet 6 inches in width, and 5 feet 11 inches in height. (To put this in perspective, the lollipop is 1 inch taller than Kendall Jenner!) 2. Lil Wayne aka Weezy F. Baby made a song about Lollipops in his 2008 hit “Lollipop”. Side Fact: "Lollipop" was the highest-selling ringtone of 2008. 3. Speaking of songs about lollipops, Ronald & Ruby recorded the iconic hit “Lollipop” in 1958. The 60-year-old bubble gum pop song was inspired when songwriter, Julius Dixson, was late for a songwriting session with Beverly Ross. He explained that he was late because his daughter had gotten a lollipop stuck in her hair. 4. $90 for a lollipop? Feeling bougie? Imagine paying $90 for the world’s most expensive lollipop. DeLafée sells luxurious strawberry-flavored lollipops with edible gold. Buy your bae one of these lollipops so they know it’s real... 5. Guys, we’re having lollipops for dinner! Who said lollipops had to be sweet? You can now combine your need for candy and bacon in this quirky combination. 6. There is also a record for the longest chain of people licking lollipops! The Coordinadora de Peñas de organized the sweet event to take place September 7th, 2008 in Valladolid, Spain. The chain of jolly lollipop eaters involved 12,831 people. 7. BRB, gotta make 16 million lollipops today. The O.G. candy company, Tootsie Roll, makes and wraps over 16 million lollipops a day, more lollipops than anyone else produces in the world. I just want to know how I can put in an application to wrap lollipops for a living. 8. George Smith invented the first lollipop Before there was Willy Wonka, George Smith of New Haven, Connecticut invented the first modern lollipop. Smith added a stick to the confectionery sugar to make them easier to eat. 9. There’s no age limit on lollipops The candy company, Lollyphile, produces a variety of beer flavored ones. Not feeling up for beer? Lollyphile also offers flavors in merlot, chardonnay, cabernet, and absinthe. 10. Lollipops are medicine...well, kinda In 2011, it was reported that moms across the U.S allegedly ordered lollipops that had been licked by kids infected with chickenpox. The intention of ordering the infected lollipops was to introduce the virus to their own children in hopes of building immunity and avoiding vaccinations….that’s definitely not a fun treat to receive. Click the link to learn more on the History of Lollipop Candy Source: WIkipedia - Lollipop | National Lollipop Day that don't suck
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    What's the Word? - PUERPERAL pronunciation: [pyoo-ER-per-əl] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, early 18th century Meaning: 1. During or relating to the period of about six weeks after childbirth during which the mother's reproductive organs return to their original nonpregnant condition. Example: "Therese and her baby had a lot of support during the puerperal period." "The OB/GYN instructed the couple to check in often during the puerperal period." About Puerperal Puerperal comes from the Latin words "puer" (child) and "para" (bearing) — translating to "woman who has given birth." Did you Know? The six weeks following childbirth are important for both parents to bond with their baby and recover. For this reason, many countries offer paid maternal and paternal leave for a minimum of six weeks. Some countries, such as New Zealand, offer 18 weeks or more.
  39. 1 point
    https://freebies.indiegala.com/fall-of-the-new-age/ Fall of the New Age is currently free on IndieGala. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1416130/Perfect_Vermin/ Perfect Vermin is now available on Steam, and still free. https://itsthemaceo.itch.io/perfect-vermin Perfect Vermin is also free on Itch.io. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1433330/Happys_Humble_Burger_Farm_Alpha/ Happy's Humble Burger Farm Alpha is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1416260/SpellForce_3_Versus_Edition/ SpellForce 3: Versus Edition is free to play on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1181790/Circle_of_Sumo_Online_Rumble/ Circle of Sumo: Online Rumble! is free to play on Steam.
  40. 1 point
    What's the Word? - JUVENILIA pronunciation: [joo-və-NIL-lee-ə] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, early 17th century Meaning: 1. Works produced by an author or artist while still young. Example: "Mozart's impressive juvenilia was just a hint of the work to follow." "It's no surprise she won a Pulitzer Prize as an adult, especially since her juvenilia was incredibly popular." About Juvenilia This word originated as a plural to the Latin word "juvenilis," which translates to juvenile. If you practiced a hobby as a juvenile, you probably have juvenilia of your own. Did you Know? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart produced amazing juvenilia during his younger years. He began composing music at age five; by the time he was 12 years old, he had composed whole symphonies and performed in front of royalty.
  41. 1 point
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1384400/LA_Monsters/ LA Monsters is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1387510/Last_Mortem/ Last Mortem is free to play on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1449750/Space_Commander_War_and_Trade/ Space Commander: War and Trade is free to play on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1422380/Witches_x_Warlocks/ Witches x Warlocks is free to play on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1444670/Greed_Knights/ Greed Knights is free to play on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/898010/Ratten_Reich__Dance_of_Kings/ Ratten Reich - Dance of Kings is free to play on Steam.
  42. 1 point
    What's the Word? - EDIFY pronunciation: [EH-də-fi] Part of speech: verb Origin: Middle English, 14th century Meaning: 1. Instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually. Example: "The professor looked forward to the chance to edify her students." "My parents wished to edify me in multiple languages from an early age." About Edify Edify came from the Latin words "aedis" (dwelling) and "facere" (make), which means building a structure. Your moral structure may not be a physical building, but it's no less sturdy. Did you Know? A clergyman's sermon attempts to edify an audience, usually by instilling moral practices into a religious congregation. However, anyone trying to instill a moral or intellectual concept is practicing edification.
  43. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - THE SOVIET NIGHT WITCHES A Polikarpov Po-2, the aircraft type used by the regiment. Did you know... that "Night Witches" was a World War II German nickname for the all female military aviators of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, known later as the 46th "Taman" Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment, of the Soviet Air Forces. Though women were initially barred from combat, Major Marina Raskova used her position and personal contacts with the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, Joseph Stalin, to obtain permission to form female combat units. On October 8, 1941, an order was issued to deploy three women's air-force units, including the 588th Regiment. The regiment, formed by Major Marina Raskova and led by Major Yevdokiya Bershanskaya, was composed of primarily female volunteers in their late teens and early twenties. (Wikipedia) Meet the Night Witches, the Daring Female Pilots Who Bombed Nazis By Night They were a crucial Soviet asset to winning World War II. by BRYNN HOLLAND They flew under the cover of darkness in bare-bones plywood biplanes. They braved bullets and frostbite in the air, while battling skepticism and sexual harassment on the ground. They were feared and hated so much by the Nazis that any German airman who downed one was automatically awarded the prestigious Iron Cross medal. All told, the pioneering all-female 588th Night Bomber Regiment dropped more than 23,000 tons of bombs on Nazi targets. And in doing so, they became a crucial Soviet asset in winning World War II. The Germans nicknamed them the Nachthexen, or “night witches,” because the whooshing noise their wooden planes made resembled that of a sweeping broom. “This sound was the only warning the Germans had. The planes were too small to show up on radar… [or] on infrared locators,” said Steve Prowse, author of the screenplay The Night Witches, a nonfiction account of the little-known female squadron. “They never used radios, so radio locators couldn’t pick them up either. They were basically ghosts.” Women pilots of the “Night Witches” receiving orders for an upcoming raid. Using female bombardiers wasn’t a first choice. While women had been previously barred from combat, the pressure of an encroaching enemy gave Soviet leaders a reason to rethink the policy. Adolf Hitler had launched Operation Barbarossa, his massive invasion of the Soviet Union, in June 1941. By the fall the Germans were pressing on Moscow, Leningrad was under siege and the Red Army was struggling. The Soviets were desperate. The 588th’s first mission, on June 28, 1942, took aim—successfully—at the headquarters of the invading Nazi forces. A Woman Leads the Charge The squadron was the brainchild of Marina Raskova, known as the “Soviet Amelia Earhart”—famous not only as the first female navigator in the Soviet Air Force but also for her many long-distance flight records. She had been receiving letters from women all across the Soviet Union wanting to join the World War II war effort. While they had been allowed to participate in support roles, there were many who wanted to be gunners and pilots, flying on their own. Many had lost brothers or sweethearts, or had seen their homes and villages ravaged. Seeing an opportunity, Raskova petitioned Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin to let her form an all-female fighting squadron. Marina Raskova, Moscow, 1938. On October 8, 1941, Stalin gave orders to deploy three all-female air force units. The women would not only fly missions and drop bombs, they would return fire—making the Soviet Union the first nation to officially allow women to engage in combat. Previously, women could help transfer planes and ammunition, after which the men took over. Raskova quickly started to fill out her teams. From more than 2,000 applications, she selected around 400 women for each of the three units. Most were students, ranging in age from 17 to 26. Those selected moved to Engels, a small town north of Stalingrad, to begin training at the Engels School of Aviation. They underwent a highly compressed education—expected to learn in a few months what it took most soldiers several years to grasp. Each recruit had to train and perform as pilots, navigators, maintenance and ground crew. Beyond their steep learning curve, the women faced skepticism from some of the male military personnel who believed they added no value to the combat effort. Raskova did her best to prepare her women for these attitudes, but they still faced sexual harassment, long nights and grueling conditions. “The men didn’t like the ‘little girls’ going to the front line. It was a man’s thing.” Prowse told HISTORY. Making Do With Hand-Me-Downs and Relics The military, unprepared for women pilots, offered them meager resources. Flyers received hand-me-down uniforms (from male soldiers), including oversized boots. “They had to tear up their bedding and stuff them in their boots to get them to fit,” said Prowse. A partisan airplane, the Polikarpov Po-2, during World War II. Their equipment wasn’t much better. The military provided them with outdated Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes, 1920s crop-dusters that had been used as training vehicles. These light two-seater, open-cockpit planes were never meant for combat. “It was like a coffin with wings,” said Prowse. Made out of plywood with canvas pulled over, the aircraft offered virtually no protection from the elements. Flying at night, pilots endured freezing temperatures, wind and frostbite. In the harsh Soviet winters, the planes became so cold, just touching them would rip off bare skin. Due to both the planes’ limited weight capacity and the military’s limited funds, the pilots also lacked other “luxury” items their male counterparts enjoyed. Instead of parachutes (which were too heavy to carry), radar, guns and radios, they were forced to use more rudimentary tools such as rulers, stopwatches, flashlights, pencils, maps and compasses. There was some upside to the older aircraft. Their maximum speed was slower than the stall speed of the Nazi planes, which meant these wooden planes, ironically, could maneuver faster than the enemy, making them hard to target. They also could easily take off and land from most locations. The downside? When coming under enemy fire, pilots had to duck by sending their planes into dives (almost none of the planes carried defense ammunition). If they happened to be hit by tracer bullets, which carry a pyrotechnic charge, their wooden planes would burst into flames. Long Nights, Stealth Tactics The Polikarpovs could only carry two bombs at a time, one under each wing. In order to make meaningful dents in the German front lines, the regiment sent out up to 40 two-person crews a night. Each would execute between eight and 18 missions a night, flying back to re-arm between runs. The weight of the bombs forced them to fly at lower altitudes, making them a much easier target—hence their night-only missions. Captain Polina Osipenko (Co-Pilot and Commander of the plane), Deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Valentina Grizodubova (Navigator), and Senior Lieutenant Marina Raskova right before taking flight. The planes, each with a pilot upfront and a navigator in back, traveled in packs: The first planes would go in as bait, attracting German spotlights, which provided much needed illumination. These planes, which rarely had ammunition to defend themselves, would release a flare to light up the intended target. The last plane would idle its engines and glide in darkness to the bombing area. It was this “stealth mode” that created their signature witch’s broom sound. There were 12 commandments the Night Witches followed. The first was “be proud you are a woman.” Killing Germans was their job, but in their downtime the heroic flyers still did needlework, patchwork, decorated their planes and danced. They even put the pencils they used for navigation into double duty as eyeliner. Disbanded and Overlooked Their last flight took place on May 4, 1945—when the Night Witches flew within 60 kilometers (approx. 37 miles) of Berlin. Three days later, Germany officially surrendered. According to Prowse, the Germans had two theories about why these women were so successful: They were all criminals who were masters at stealing and had been sent to the front line as punishment—or they had been given special injections that allowed them to see in the night. Altogether these daredevil heroines flew more than 30,000 missions in total, or about 800 per pilot and navigator. They lost a total of 30 pilots, and 24 of the flyers were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Raskova, the mother of the movement, died on January 4, 1943, when she was finally sent to the front line—her plane never made it. She was given the very first state funeral of World War II and her ashes were buried in the Kremlin. Despite being the most highly decorated unit in the Soviet Air Force during the war, the Night Witches regiment was disbanded six months after the end of World War II. And when it came to the big victory-day parade in Moscow, they weren’t included—because, it was decided, their planes were too slow. Source: Wikipedia - Night Witches | History - Facts about the Night Witches
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    What's the Word? - QUOTIDIAN pronunciation: [kwo-TIH-dee-ən] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, 14th century Meaning: 1. Of or occurring every day; daily. 2. Ordinary or everyday, especially when mundane. Example: "Steve looked forward to his quotidian chore of collecting eggs." "Washing the dishes was a quotidian task, but she made the time pass quickly by listening to music." About Quotidian Quotidian originated from the Latin word "cotidie," or "daily," before further developing through Old French and Middle English. If you're talking about your daily tasks, you might refer to them as your quotidian tasks. Did you Know? Do most tasks feel quotidian to you? Try gamifying your to-do list. By keeping a bullet journal or using an app to map your day, you can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
  45. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - THEREMIN A Moog Etherwave, assembled from a theremin kit: the loop antenna on the left controls the volume while the upright antenna controls the pitch. Did you know.... that the theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist. It is named after its inventor, Leon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. (Wikipedia) The Theremin, (also thereminvox or aetherphone) is one of the first fully electronic musical instruments. It was invented by Russian inventor Léon Theremin in October 1920 after the outbreak of the Russian civil war. Its invention grew out of a search for ways to detect movement. It was the first musical instrument to be played without being touched. The control section has two metal antennae to sense the positions of the player's hands. One hand controls the pitch. The other hand controls the volume. To play the theremin, the player moves his hands around the two metal antennas. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. The sound of the theremin is associated with "alien," surreal, and eerie-sounding portamento, glissando, tremolo, and vibrato sounds. It has been used in film soundtracks such as Spellbound, The Lost Weekend, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks! and The Day the Earth Stood Still. The BBC Radiophonic Workshop used the theremin to provide the electronic sounds in demand in the mid-century. Theremins are also used in art music (especially avant-garde and 20th century "new music") and in popular music genres such as rock and pop. The Russian Dmitri Shostakovich was one of the first to include parts for the theremin in orchestral pieces, including a use in his score for the 1931 film Odna. Alexandra Stepanoff playing the theremin on NBC Radio, 1930. Below are 10 fun facts about the Theremin by Ariana Milligan Have you ever wanted to control sound waves? Or spook your friends with an eerie melody? Are you a hip electronic music producer, who wants to embrace the ghoulish spirit of vintage electronica? If you answered yes, you might want to invest in a theremin. This instrument is controlled by slight hand movements. The hand always lingers and it never makes contact with the instrument itself. The sound is controlled by movements in space, producing a visual performance and auditory experience sure to send chills up your spine. Here are ten fun facts about the theremin, OUP’s eerie instrument of the month: Lev Termen playing his instrument, US public domain via Wikimedia Commons The theremin is a ‘space-controlled’ electronic instrument that was invented by Lev Sergeyevich Termen in the early 20th century, which makes it one of the earliest electronic instruments and the first successful one. If you’re into vintage electronica, we suggest looking into Lev’s orchestral demos. The theremin is monophonic, meaning it only uses one channel of transmission to create sound. The theremin is similar to a radio receiver. It has two antennae: one on the right that is vertical and one to the left that is loop-shaped. To play the theremin, you cannot touch it. The single pitch comes from its loudspeaker and depends on how far away the performer keeps their right hand from the instrument’s vertical antenna. The volume is controlled by a similar process. As the left-hand pulls away from the horizontal loop antenna, the amplitude of sound increases. The first orchestral work with a solo electronic instrument was Andrey Pashchenko’s Simfonicheskaya misteriya (‘Symphonic Mystery’) for theremin and orchestra, which received its first performance in Leningrad on 2 May 1924. Lev Termen was a soloist. The theremin was popular in science-fiction films. The first film the instrument appeared in was a Soviet science fiction called Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924). The theremin was quickly picked up by Hollywood film composers, appearing in Max Steiner’s score for King Kong (1933), Franz Waxman’s score for Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and in Bernard Herrmann’s score for The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). The theremin’s pop culture stardom was not limited to science fiction movies. An instrument with a similar sound, an “electro-theremin” or tannerin, was used in the Beach Boys’ song Good Vibrations (1966). The theremin is a close instrumental relative to the terpsitone, which is a dancefloor that responds to dance movement with electronic sound. King Kong French Movie Poster, 1933, RKO Radio Pictures; Roland Coudon, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons Source: Wikipedia - Theremin | Theremin Facts | Fun Facts about Theremin
  46. 1 point
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/368230/Kingdom_Classic/ Kingdom: Classic is also currently free on Steam. https://freebies.indiegala.com/renzo-racer/ Renzo Racer is currently free on IndieGala.
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    What's the Word? - CENTENARY pronunciation: [sen-TEN-ə-ree] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, early 17th century Meaning: 1. The hundredth anniversary of a significant event; a centennial. Example: "The town was excitedly anticipating the parade for the centenary." "The school had a festival to mark the centenary of its founding." About Centenary Centenary can be used as both an adjective and a noun. It comes from the Latin words "centenarius" and "centum," which mean "denoting a hundred" and "a hundred," respectively. Did you Know? Places or events are not the only subjects of a hundred year anniversary — people celebrating their hundredth birthday are observing a centenary of their own.
  48. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - SEAN CONNERY (1930-2020) Did you know... that Sir Thomas Sean Connery was a Scottish actor. He gained recognition as the first actor to portray fictional British secret agent James Bond in film, starring in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983. Originating the role in Dr. No, Connery played Bond in six Eon Productions' entries and made his final appearance in the Jack Schwartzman-produced Never Say Never Again. (Wikipedia) He appeared in 94 movies. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Jimmy Malone in The Untouchables (1987). His first job was as a milkman in Edinburgh. Oddly enough, he delivered milk to Fettes School - the same school that James Bond attended in the books. He also worked as a bricklayer and coffin polisher before becoming an actor. In his younger years he used to be a bodybuilder and even placed third in the Mr. Universe contest in 1953. He was also good at football, and was offered a contract from Manchester United but turned it down, claiming that any sports career is short, but actor's career can be very long. Sean attended Scottish dancing classes for 11 years. From Russia with Love (1963) was his favorite Bond movie. Connery was offered the role of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings series but turned down the role because he didn't understand the script. Connery also turned down the opportunity to appear as the Architect in The Matrix trilogy for similar reasons. Sean was once stopped for speeding. The cop's name turned out to be James Bond. Connery during filming for Diamonds Are Forever (1971) Top 10 Fascinating Facts About The Late Sean Connery 2020 JONATHAN H. KANTOR On October 31st, 2020, the world awoke to the sad news of Sir Sean Connery’s death. Connery was one of the most celebrated actors of his time, but there’s far more to his gilded legend than his film career.Whether you know him from his time as 007 or from any of the dozens of movies he headlined, it’s a fair bet that you know a bit about the man. Still, there are some fascinating facts about the life of Sir Sean, and these ten are just the tip of the iceberg. He Was Knighted By Queen Elizabeth II Becoming a Knight or a Dame in the 21st century is significantly different than it was in ages past. Instead of becoming a commander for the King or Queen, people are knighted for their contributions to the United Kingdom. In the case of Sir Sean Connery, he was honored by the Queen for his services to film and drama. Connery was knighted in July 2000 at the age of 69. There was talk of knighting him a couple of years earlier, but his support of the Scottish National Party, which became the official opposition to the Scottish Parliament, likely put his knighthood on the back burner. Connery was a supporter of Scottish Independence. Despite his unwillingness to back down from that position, he was knighted by the Queen of England. His knighting ceremony commenced with the actor wearing full Highland dress, consisting of a dark green MacLeod tartan. At the event, an incredibly proud Connery described his knighthood as “One of the proudest days of my life. It means a great deal for it to happen in Scotland.” Though it took a bit of time for Connery to receive the recognition, he remained a proud Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for the remainder of his life. He Served In The Royal Navy Of The United Kingdom When he was only 16 years old, Connery joined the Royal Navy. He served in the armed forces for three years, having been discharged for medical reasons related to a duodenal ulcer. The condition was hereditary and affected most of the men in earlier generations of his family. While serving in the Navy, he trained in Portsmouth at the Naval Gunnery School to serve in an anti-aircraft crew. Later in his naval career, he was assigned as an Able Seaman on the HMS Formidable, an illustrious-class aircraft carrier. Connery’s naval career saw him take part in a tradition common to all navies around the world; he got some tattoos. While serving, he was inked twice, though, “unlike many tattoos, his were not frivolous—his tattoos reflect two of his lifelong commitments: his family and Scotland … One tattoo is a tribute to his parents and reads ‘Mum and Dad,’ and the other is self-explanatory, ‘Scotland Forever.’” After leaving the Royal Navy, he spent some time driving a truck and working various labor jobs. He was a coffin polisher, and he modeled for artists at the Edinburgh College of Art. He Was Fully Retired Actors tend to retire in some sort of public statement, every so often. Still, they eventually come back to the world of acting when an interesting project comes along. Several actors have retired multiple times, but for Sir Sean Connery, when he called it quits, he really meant it. Connery retired from acting in 2003 after working on the live-action adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The movie was a complete and total failure at the box office, but that’s not why he retired. Connery was fed up with the process, and he only signed on to the picture to try and make it better through editing. Unfortunately, he failed in his attempt, and it frustrated him to no end. He was vocally unsupportive of director Stephen Norrington, even going so far as to say that he should be “locked up for insanity.” He did record some voice-over work in 2013, but that was his only work in the arts since his retirement. He considered coming back to reprise his role as Henry Jones in a new Indiana Jones movie, but he ultimately declined, saying, “If anything could have pulled me out of retirement, it would have been an Indiana Jones film. But in the end, retirement is just too much fun.” He Truly Was The Best James Bond While it’s certainly a subjective opinion as to determining which actor handled the role of James Bond the best, poll after poll continues to place Sir Sean Connery at the top. RadioTimes.com conducted a poll published on the day he died, and after 14,000 votes were cast, Connery took the lead in a tournament-style round-robin. In the first round, Connery came in first above Daniel Craig, who managed to score 43% of the vote (compared to Connery’s 56%). Underneath Craig came Pierce Brosnan beating out George Lazenby at 76% to 24% in the second round. The third round ended with Roger Moore being fully kicked out of the competition, having lost to his successor, Timothy Dalton, who managed to pull in 59% of the vote. This left Dalton and Brosnan going up against the original Bond, and he came out on top. By the end of the tournament, Sean Connery was awarded 44% of the vote to Dalton’s 32% and Brosnan’s 23%. Connery played the character six times in the film series, beginning with Dr. No in 1962, and ending his run in 1971’s Diamonds are Forever. He did reprise the role in 1983’s Never Say Never Again, though that fell outside the film series’ canon. He Fell Into Acting In A Roundabout Way While there are plenty of people who study and prepare to become professional actors early in life, Sir Sean Connery was not one of them. He developed an interest at the age of 21 while supplementing his income. He took a job to help out backstage at the King’s Theater in 1951 and found that he developed an interest in the theater. While helping out during a bodybuilding competition, he learned of open auditions for a production of South Pacific, so he gave it a shot. Connery managed to land the part of one of the Seabees chorus boys, and his career was launched. By the time the production made its way to Edinburgh, he had advanced to play the part of Marine Corporal Hamilton Steeves while simultaneously understudying for two of the leads.The following year, South Pacific was back by popular demand, and Connery was working as the featured role, Lieutenant Buzz Addams. His time in the theater helped solidify his interest in becoming a professional actor, so he devoted his time to study and practice. He Was Sexy As Hell! Sir Sean Connery may have been a talented actor and a Knight of the British Empire, but he was another thing: the man was sexy (and suave) as hell! Sure, that’s generally a subjective statement, but in Connery’s case, he has the creds to back it up. Connery worked as a model early in his life, and his good looks and charismatic demeanor only served to attract others’ attention. That definitely helped him throughout his career, which was filled with numerous accolades describing him as one of the most attractive men in the world.In 1989, People Magazine awarded him the coveted “Sexiest Man Alive", and a decade later, he took home a prize that nobody had ever received: he was determined to be the “Sexiest Man of the Century” by New Woman Magazine. Sure it’s just a magazine, and yes, it’s based on reader’s votes, but when you get right down to it, he’s the only person who could literally claim to be the Sexiest Man of the 20th Century because there’s a magazine cover to prove it. The vote was determined from 16,000 votes, but in the end, Connery beat Brad Pitt, Mel Gibson, and Paul Newman, among many others. He Became Bond, Thanks To The Producer’s Wife It’s difficult to look back and think of another actor playing James Bond at the beginning of the franchise, but a lot of men were up for the role in the early ’60s. Names like Cary Grant, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, and Lord Lucan were being thrown around, but it was producer Cubby Broccoli’s wife, Dana, who pointed her finger at Connery. She described him as a man with the magnetism and sexual chemistry to make the part work, and her advice went a long way in landing him the role. Of course, writer Ian Fleming had to be convinced, and when he was approached with Connery’s name, he said, “I’m looking for Commander Bond and not an overgrown stuntman.” It took a little convincing, but when Fleming finally saw Connery on screen, he rewrote Bond’s backstory to make him half-Scottish — that’s how much Connery looked and acted the part. Granted, he did make the character his own, managing to blend his mannerisms and wit into the character who blew everyone away at the box office. Dr. No was an incredible success, having made just over $16 million at the box office off a $1 million budget. While $16 million may not seem like a lot of money, it amounts to more than $136 million in 2020. Dr. No’s success launched a franchise that has since released 25 movies — and counting. His Career Was Filled With Accolades While Sir Sean Connery is best known for playing James Bond, it’s hardly the only role he had throughout his life. Connery acted in nearly 70 movies, and he appeared in 20 television series and TV movies. He may have retired in 2003, but when he was working, he was working hard. His numerous roles earned him a ton of awards during his life, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the British Academy Film Award for Best Actor, multiple Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actor, and the Cecil B. DeMille Award. He was awarded the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters from France in 1987. He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1999 and his knighthood the following year. In 2006, he was honored by the American Film Institute with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Connery worked across so many genres; he’s remembered by people for vastly different roles. Many know him as Bond, but others know him best as Professor Henry Jones. His work in The Untouchables is as well remembered as his time on screen in Highlander and The Hunt for Red October. He Never Overcame His Accent — And Nobody Cared Despite taking elocution lessons as he was getting into the arts, Sir Sean Connery never managed to adjust his rather thick Scottish accent. While this might have been an impediment to other actors, it wasn’t for him, and it’s the reason James Bond was retooled as being half-Scottish. Throughout his career, he played characters who were about as far from being Scottish as anyone could be, but it didn’t matter. In Highlander, he played an Egyptian who spent time in Japan before coming to Scotland (where he sounded more like a Scott than the actual Highlander). In The Hunt for Red October, he played a Russian submarine captain, and he didn’t alter his accent one bit. Did anyone care that a Russian man who had never been to Scotland somehow sounded like a Scott? Sure, people mentioned it over the years, but it didn’t detract from his performance in any way. It says a lot about an actor’s skills that he can perform as any character in any setting while keeping his accent the same, and it doesn’t detract from the performance or receive criticism. In the end, it was far better to hear Sean Connery sounding like Sean Connery than to hear him attempt an accent poorly. His Passing Was Peaceful Though it wasn’t common knowledge leading up to his death, Sir Sean Connery was ailing for an undisclosed period of time before his passing at the age of 90. He passed away in his sleep while at his home in the Bahamas. His son, Jason, released a statement, saying, “We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time. A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.” Connery was among his family at the time of his death. He is remembered for his numerous contributions to the arts. When news of his passing broke, countless statements of love and appreciation flooded the Internet; many coming from noteworthy celebrities while others came from the fans who appreciated his performances throughout his life. This article was written in honor of Sir Sean Connery, who will be missed by hundreds of millions of people across the world. He gave us James Bond, but he gave so much more, and he will, most certainly, be missed. Requiescat in pace. Source: Wikipedia - Sean Connery | Sean Connery Facts | Top Fascinating Facts about Sean Connery
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    What's the Word? - ANDRAGOGY pronunciation: [AN-drə-gah-jee] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, 1920s Meaning: 1. The method and practice of teaching adult learners. 2. Adult education. Example: "I prefer andragogy; I work better with adults than with kids." "Since she was teaching adult learners this time, she had to quickly adapt to techniques of andragogy." About Andragogy This noun was created in the 1920s by combining the word "andro" (man) and "pedagogy" (the practice of teaching) — meaning that andragogy directly translates to "the practice of teaching man." Did you Know? No matter how old humans get, we never stop learning. Some ways for adult learners to engage in andragogy is by auditing a college class, picking up a new hobby, or attempting to learn a new language.
  50. 1 point
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