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  1. 2 points
    I went back on resuming Sonic Generation for the PS3 as one of my backlog and finally wiped the floor with it. My main intention was earning S Rank on every main acts while I was trying to collect the red rings and obtaining collectables from the challenge acts on the way. After I finished the game, it didn't occur to me that each level are actually from the original Sonic games. I was aware about the few Zone's such as Green Hills, Chemical Plant, etc. I grew up playing through Sonic 3 & Knuckles and a bit of Sonic Adventure from the first level.
  2. 1 point
    https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/chess-ultra-91bba3 Chess Ultra is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/world-of-warships--starter-pack-ishizuchi World of Warships Starter Pack: Ishizuchi is currently free on Epic Games Store.
  3. 1 point
    What's the Word: MULIEBRITY pronunciation: [myoo-lee-EB-ri-tee] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, 16th century Meaning: 1. Womanly qualities; womanhood. Example: "Women express muliebrity in many different ways, ranging from motherhood to paths at home, in the workplace, and in the public sphere." "Eileen felt most at home in her muliebrity when she became a grandmother." About Muliebrity “Muliebrity” is based on the Latin “muliebritās,” meaning “womanliness.” Did you Know? “Muliebrity” is a way of describing womanhood, with roots stretching back to Latin, so it records a history of the way the Romans, and later English-speaking civilizations, thought of women. The Latin root “mulier” can mean either “woman” or “wife.” Such similarities exist in modern languages as well: The French word “femme” can mean both “woman” and “wife.” However, today, womanhood and womanly qualities are expressed across a spectrum of characteristics and experiences that span beyond matrimony.
  4. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - EMPIRE STATE BUILDING Did you know.... In a metropolis filled with architectural marvels both new and old, the Empire State Building still carries major clout as a defining landmark of New York City. Whether it’s because of the classy art deco design, the attention-grabbing light displays, or the far-reaching views offered from its observation decks, the Great Depression-era skyscraper remains a top tourist attraction and one of the most photographed buildings in the world. Here are six facts you might not know about the longtime stalwart of 34th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. 1. The Empire State Building Was Built in 410 Days The brainchild of financier John J. Raskob, the Empire State Building was conceived at a time when multiple developers were racing to leave their imprint on the New York City skyline — and it became a reality with mind-boggling speed. Fueled by the labor of as many as 3,400 daily workers, the structure climbed off the ground at a peak rate of 4.5 stories per week following its formal groundbreaking on March 17, 1930. Remarkably, the massive building — comprising 60,000 tons of steel, 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone and granite, 730 tons of aluminum and stainless steel, and 10 million bricks — was completed ahead of schedule (and below budget) after just 410 days. President Herbert Hoover officially dedicated the new skyscraper on May 1, 1931. 2. The Empire State Building Was the Tallest Building in the World for Four Decades Although it's since been dwarfed by giants such as the United Arab Emirates' 2,720-foot Burj Khalifa, the Empire State Building once set the standard for human ambition to reach for the skies. At 102 stories and 1,250 feet tall (not counting the later addition of an antenna, which added 204 feet), it was the first building to pass the 100-story mark, and its height easily surpassed the 1,046-foot record previously established by the Chrysler Tower in 1930. The Empire State Building remained the world's tallest building until the 110-story Twin Towers of Lower Manhattan's World Trade Center both pushed past 1,360 feet in the early 1970s. 3. The Empire State Building Has Its Own Zip Code Since May 1980, with the designation of the skyscraper’s very own 10118 ZIP code, the Empire State Building’s tenants have enjoyed the postal privileges of a small city. This was the result of an effort to speed up mail delivery in Manhattan by giving higher-volume areas their own digits. Of the 63 new ZIP codes introduced in the borough that year, 39 were buildings that received at least 5,000 pieces of mail per day. The Empire State Building easily surpassed that cutoff with a daily intake of 35,000 pieces of mail. 4. The Building’s Colorful Light Displays Began in 1976 Among the Empire State Building's famed features are the crowning lights that frequently change colors to honor cultural events, organizations, and local sports champions. The building first shone a beacon following Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidential election in November 1932, but the multicolored displays that New Yorkers have come to know and love date back to the red, white, and blue bicentennial celebration of July 1976. The lights have since flashed in a range of colors, such as pink to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, blue for Frank Sinatra's 1998 death, and even neon green in 2009 for the 25th anniversary of the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book. The building switched to LED lights in 2012, giving operators the ability to choose from 16 million colors and add special effects like ripples, sparkles, and strobes. 5. Competitors Race to the Top in the Annual Empire State Building Run-Up For those with energy to burn (and maybe a masochistic bent), the Empire State Building Run-Up offers runners from around the world a chance to scale the majority of the skyscraper by foot. An annual tradition since 1978, the Run-Up covers 1,576 steps over 1,050 vertical feet, from the lobby to the 86th-floor observatory. The fastest record for what is billed as "the world’s first and most famous tower race" was set by Australian Paul Crake, who completed the grueling climb in nine minutes and 33 seconds in 2003. And while that's obviously slower and more strenuous than the sub-minute it would take to ride an elevator, it does hold some appeal, given the lines to visit the observatory stretch the average elevator wait time to upwards of 45 minutes. 6. It's Been Featured in More Than 250 Movies As one of the world’s most famous structures, the Empire State Building has made numerous appearances on the big screen. Just how many is impossible to determine, considering the number of low-budget films that fly under the radar, but the Empire State Building's website once cited an estimate of "more than 250 movies." The most famous ones include King Kong (1933), which features the titular ape swatting at planes from the newly completed skyscraper; Independence Day (1996), which sees the Empire State Building destroyed by a giant alien spaceship; Sleepless in Seattle (1993), which features an unforgettable meeting between the main characters in the film’s finale; and Andy Warhol's Empire (1965), which focuses solely on the iconic building over the course of its eight-hour run time. Source: Towering Facts About the Empire State Building
  5. 1 point
    What's the Word: ALLUVIUM pronunciation: [ə-LOO-vee-əm] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, 17th century Meaning: 1. A deposit of clay, silt, sand, and gravel left by flowing streams in a river valley or delta, typically producing fertile soil. Example: "Thanks to a layer of alluvium covering the ground, the valley was easy to walk through." "Soil full of alluvium makes a fantastic garden." About Alluvium “Alluvium” is based on the Latin “alluvius,” meaning “washed against.” Did you Know? Alluvial deposits are sediments that are moved around and left behind by rivers. Often, “alluvium” refers to existing deposits of silt, sand, clay, and gravel left long ago by water that no longer exists where it once did. But the sediments can also appear with seasonal shifting river currents, and be filled with nutrients. The nutrient-rich soil will be distributed to areas downstream by the river current.
  6. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - ALCATRAZ Did you know....Alcatraz Island, known colloquially as “The Rock,” was once the most notorious prison in the United States. Located 1.25 miles offshore from San Francisco, the island saw Civil War prisoners in the 1860s, mob bosses in the 1930s, and much more. Today, it’s one of the Bay Area’s most popular tourist attractions, and an on-island museum tells the story of the prison’s past. These seven facts span the many ages of Alcatraz and reveal how it became one of the most infamous sites in American history. 1. The Word “Alcatraz” Means “Pelican” in Archaic Spanish In 1775, Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala became the first European to sail into San Francisco Bay. He named the bay and its islands, including one he called “Alcatraces.” Although the island’s name was anglicized over the decades, its origin is widely believed to mean “pelican” or “strange bird.” The island was once a particular hot spot for California brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus), which were so plentiful in the 19th century that one French observer noted that when a group of pelicans took off in flight, it created winds like a hurricane. Although the birds’ numbers dwindled sharply due to hunting and the use of DDT over the decades, the pelican rebounded in the latter part of the 20th century, and was removed from the Endangered Species List in 2009. 2. Before Becoming a Prison, Alcatraz Was a Military Outpost Although Alcatraz is known as one of America’s most infamous prisons, its first official U.S. role was as a military outpost. With California joining the U.S. in 1850 after being ceded from Mexico two years prior, and with hundreds of thousands of people flooding the state as part of the California Gold Rush, the U.S. military needed to protect San Francisco Bay. Alcatraz, along with Fort Point and Lime Point, formed a “triangle of defense” that guarded the bay’s entrance. At one point, the U.S. even installed 100 cannons on the 22-acre island, making it the most heavily armed military outpost in the Western U.S. But by the decade’s end, the first prisoners had been brought to the island, and Alcatraz played host to both Confederate prisoners and Union deserters during the Civil War. 3. Alcatraz Was Home to the First Lighthouse on the U.S. West Coast During the island’s days as a military outpost, the U.S. constructed a lighthouse to serve vessels crisscrossing the busy shipping lanes of San Francisco Bay. Although the lighthouse tower was built by 1852, the Fresnel lens — a compact lens designed to make lighthouses brighter — didn’t arrive until 1854. Luckily, the delay didn’t cost the lighthouse the impressive accolade of being the first lighthouse constructed on the West Coast of the United States. Sadly, the structure was damaged beyond repair following the catastrophic 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It was rebuilt, however, and still operates to this day. 4. Prison Life at Alcatraz Wasn’t Always Bad Alcatraz became a federal prison in 1934, after being transferred to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It was designed as a maximum security penitentiary meant for the most difficult inmates in the federal system, and was partly an attempt to show the public that the government was being tough on the widespread crime of the 1920s and ’30s. Although Alcatraz cut an intimidating figure, some prisoners reported that the experience wasn’t so bad. The first warden of Alcatraz made sure the food was good to dissuade rioting, and a menu in the 1940s even included “bacon jambalaya, pork roast with all the trimmings, or beef pot pie Anglaise.” Prisoners lived one man to a cell, which wasn’t a certainty in other federal prisons, and had basic rights to food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. Through good behavior, prisoners could earn privileges that included work on the island and even playing music. In fact, Alcatraz’s reputation far surpassed those of some other federal prisons, and occasionally inmates around the country even requested transfers to “The Rock.” 5. Al Capone Wrote Love Songs While an Inmate at Alcatraz Arguably the prison’s most famous inmate was Al Capone, who was known at Alcatraz as Prisoner 85. Although a ruthless mob leader who ran the Italian American organized crime syndicate known as the Chicago Outfit, Scarface was finally put behind bars for tax evasion in 1931. In a few instances, he resorted to violence when provoked, but he mostly spent time playing banjo in the prison band the Rock Islanders, and writing love songs. In 2017, Capone’s handwritten lyrics to one song, titled “Humoresque,” sold at auction for $18,750. The lyrics included such memorable lines as “You thrill and fill this heart of mine, with gladness like a soothing symphony, over the air, you gently float, and in my soul, you strike a note.” Capone was eventually released from prison in November 1939, after more than seven years behind bars, by which time he was in ill health due to an untreated case of syphilis. 6. No One Has Ever Escaped From Alcatraz (Probably) Of the 14 escape attempts at Alcatraz, all failed — except one daring attempt (forever immortalized in the 1979 film Escape From Alcatraz). On June 12, 1962, an early morning bed check at the prison revealed that three inmates were missing from their beds — and in a made-for-Hollywood twist, they’d been replaced by papier-mâché heads constructed in secret to fool the night guards. While hacking together homemade life vests (an idea they got from the DIY magazine Popular Mechanics), the escapees tried their luck across the bay toward San Francisco. The FBI discovered the vests on Cronkhite Beach and found other bits of evidence (including letters sealed in rubber) scattered throughout the bay — but the authorities never found any evidence of the men living in the U.S. or abroad, and believed they actually drowned in the bay’s frigid waters. The FBI closed the case on December 31, 1979, but the U.S. Marshals Service has continued to investigate. 7. Native Americans Occupied Alcatraz One problem with running a prison on an island is that it can be pretty expensive to maintain, and so in March 1963, the century-old military outpost-turned-penitentiary closed its doors — but that wasn’t the end of its story. In November 1969, a group of Native Americans led by activist Richard Oakes traveled to Alcatraz and began an occupation of the island that lasted 19 months. The group referenced the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which allowed Native people to repossess retired or abandoned federal land, as the basis for their seizure. They issued a proclamation that included a letter to the “Great White Father and All His People,” which highlighted the hypocrisy of the U.S. government’s treatment of Native Americans both past and present. Over the following months, the occupation grew in size to as many as 600 people, before numbers began to dwindle in January 1970. The government cut off electrical and water supplies to the island, food became scarce, and in June 1971 U.S. marshals forcibly removed the final 15 occupiers from the island. A highly publicized moment of Indigenous activism, the protest brought considerable attention to the plight of America’s Native peoples. In 1970, President Richard Nixon even ended the U.S.’s decades-long termination policy — an effort to forcibly eliminate tribes and assimilate Native Indians into American society. The occupation of Alcatraz was the first intertribal protest, and part of a rich history of modern Native American activism. Source: Amazing Facts About Alcatraz
  7. 1 point
    What's the Word: TOCSIN pronunciation: [TOK-sin] Part of speech: noun Origin: Old French, 16th century Meaning: 1. An alarm bell or signal. Example: "We awoke every morning to the blaring tocsin of the alarm in our neighbor’s apartment." "The flooding was the tocsin our county needed to take coastal erosion more seriously." About Tocsin “Tocsin” is based on the Old French “toquesain,” which combined the Old Occitan roots “tocar” (meaning “to strike”) and “senh” (meaning “bell”). Did you Know? In modern terms, a “tocsin” can refer to any kind of alarm, whether literal or figurative. Historically, though, a tocsin was specifically an alarm sounded by bells. Prior to modern communication, a tocsin could be used to warn residents of an entire city of important events. The word comes from Old French, so tocsins were notably sounded during the French Revolution, and then, during the Cold War of the 20th century, the “alert” implication of the term was applied in English-speaking countries to describe that era’s tensions and concerns.
  8. 1 point
    Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition for the PS4. I originally bought the Duke Nukem Version. My guess was only that but happened to got the original version along it's way. Decided to play the original and beat it on very hard mode. Might think to throw a 2nd playthrough. This time, it will be Duke. It real good to hear and play him again like another DN franchise. Since DN Forever I think- Wait, it's 20th Anniversary.
  9. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - GRACE KELLY Did you know.... Although she appeared in just 11 feature films, Grace Kelly endures as a larger-than-life figure due to her magnetic screen presence, her impeccable fashion sense, and a fairy-tale marriage that whisked her from Tinseltown to the royal palace of a glamorous European city-state at the height of her career. Here are seven facts about a leading lady who lived a life seemingly scripted by the Hollywood machine she left behind. 1. Grace Kelly Hailed From an Accomplished Family The Philadelphia-based Kelly clan was a group of high achievers: Grace's father, Jack Sr., won three Olympic gold medals for rowing, earned a fortune from his construction business, and had significant political connections; her mother, Margaret, was a model and the first woman to teach physical education at the University of Pennsylvania. Two of Grace's uncles also enjoyed success in the entertainment industry: Walter Kelly was a vaudeville star whose career stretched to the advent of talking pictures, and George Kelly, who served as a valuable mentor to his niece, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. 2. Pre-Fame, Grace Kelly Was a Highly Paid Model Despite her parents' finances (and because they disapproved of her acting ambitions), a teenage Kelly insisted on paying her own tuition to attend New York City's American Academy of Dramatic Arts in the late 1940s. Fortunately for her, the beauty and poise that soon became familiar to theater audiences was already apparent, and Kelly quickly found work with the John Robert Powers modeling agency. According to Donald Spoto's High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly, the budding actress appeared in a series of print ads and commercials for shampoo, soap, toothpaste, beer, and cigarettes, with earnings of more than $400 per week making her one of the city’s highest-paid models at the time. 3. A Failed Screen Test Fueled Her Later Success Sometime between 1950 and 1952 (sources differ on the year), Kelly auditioned for the part of a desperate Irish woman in a New York City-based drama called Taxi (1953). She was passed over for the role, but her screen test eventually found its way to celebrated director John Ford, who lobbied for the little-known actress to be included in his high-profile adventure film Mogambo (1953). Separately, Alfred Hitchcock also saw something intriguing in the same Taxi screen test, leading to Kelly’s first true starring role, in Dial M for Murder (1954). 4. She Enjoyed a Running Gag With Alec Guinness As told in Spoto's High Society, Kelly and Alec Guinness engaged in a running gag that lasted more than two decades after their time together on the prank-filled set of The Swan (1956). After Kelly relentlessly teased her co-star about an overzealous fan, Guinness retaliated by having a concierge slip a tomahawk into her hotel bed. A few years later, Guinness was surprised to return to his London home and discover the same tomahawk nestled between his bedsheets. He later enlisted English actor John Westbrook to redeliver the item while Kelly and Westbrook toured the U.S. for a poetry reading during the 1970s, but her highness got the last laugh when Guinness again found the tomahawk in his Beverly Hills hotel bed in 1979. 5. Her Romance With Prince Rainier Got Off to a Rocky Start Per High Society, Kelly was in France to attend the 1955 Cannes Film Festival when she agreed to travel to Monaco to meet Prince Rainier III (part of a scheme put together by the magazine Paris-Match for a photo story). However, the prince was delayed by a commitment elsewhere, and by the time he rushed back to his palace an hour late, his fed-up guest was ready to leave. When Rainier asked if she wanted to tour the palace, Kelly coolly replied that she'd already done so while waiting. They subsequently relaxed while walking through the palace garden, their brief meeting giving rise to an epistolary friendship that turned romantic, and eventually led to their "wedding of the century" in April 1956. 6. As Princess Grace of Monaco, She Devoted Herself to Charity Along with giving birth to Prince Albert and Princesses Caroline and Stephanie, Kelly transitioned to life as Princess Grace by immersing herself in charitable initiatives in her adopted country. After taking over the presidency of the Monaco Red Cross in 1958, the erstwhile actress launched the World Association of Children’s Friends (AMADE) in 1963 and the Princess Grace Foundation the following year. Additionally, the princess opened the city-state's first day care in 1966, and channeled her longtime love of flowers into the formation of the Monaco Garden Club two years later. 7. Princess Grace Starred in a Little-Seen Comedy Just Before Her Death A glance at a standard Kelly bio gives the impression that her screen career ended with her marriage, save for the occasional documentary appearance. However, the princess did deliver one final acting performance — albeit as a fictionalized version of herself — in the early '80s mistaken-identity comedy Rearranged. Initially intended as a promotion for the Monaco Garden Club’s annual competition, the half-hour-long short was a hit, sparking plans to expand the piece into an hour-long American TV special. However, its star's untimely death following a September 1982 car accident torpedoed those plans, and the original short remains within Monaco’s royal archives, largely unavailable to viewers. Source: Facts About Hollywood Star Turned Real-Life Princess Grace Kelly
  10. 1 point
    What's the Word: NOSISM pronunciation: [nah-si-zəm] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, 19th century Meaning: 1. The use of a first-person plural pronoun (such as “we”) instead of a first-person singular pronoun (such as “I”) to refer to oneself. Example: "We could tell our AirBnB host was a character from his use of nosism and the way he referred to the condo as “The Manor.”" "These days, using what is called “the royal we” is so uncommon that anyone who lapses into nosism sounds affected." About Nosism “Nosism” was created by combining the Latin plural first-person pronoun “nōs” with the English suffix “-ism.” Did you Know? “Nosism” is the practice of using what is popularly called “the royal we,” or a single person’s use of a plural pronoun to describe themselves. (This is also known as “majestic plural.”) The practice has been associated with the English monarchy since the 12th-century rule of Henry II, who used the pronoun “we” to signify that because he ruled by divine right, he represented both himself and God simultaneously.
  11. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - ELEVATORS Did you know.... Today, riding an elevator is a mundane activity, but little more than two centuries ago, these mechanical contraptions were steam-powered, death-defying wonders. In the years since, these mostly unseen pieces of urban infrastructure have become a key part of what makes modern cities possible. Without them, a city’s upward trajectory would be impossible, and the design of our world would be unimaginably different. Here are six amazing facts about the humble elevator, from its surprisingly ancient origins to the many places it may take us in the future. 1. Greek Mathematician Archimedes Invented an Elevator in 236 BCE The elevator is a surprisingly old invention. According to writings from the ancient Roman engineer Vitruvius (the same Vitruvius who inspired Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”), the Greek mathematician Archimedes invented a primitive elevator back in 236 BCE. Archimedes’ contraption bore little resemblance to today’s people-movers: It worked via manpower, with ropes drawn around a drum that was then turned by a capstan, a large revolving cylinder often used to wind ropes on ships. Although the attribution was written after Archimedes’ death, the invention makes sense for the great Greek thinker, who was famous for his exploration of compound pulley systems. Elevators join the list of other surprising ancient inventions, including such wonders as the world’s first steam engine and the world’s first computer. 2. Before the Modern Elevator, Top Floors Were Undesirable Today the most luxurious high rises are crowned with multimillion-dollar penthouses, but before the rise of elevators (pun intended), the most desirable floors were those closest to the ground. The first building to include elevators at the design stage was the 130-foot Equitable Life Building in downtown Manhattan, which was built in 1870. Society was slow to adjust to the elevator, and the building was designed to look like it had fewer floors than it did. Also, the insurance company that worked out of the building still occupied the “valuable” lower floors, while the custodian enjoyed the upper floors. The era of the penthouse didn’t arrive in full swing until the 1920s, when the decade’s economic boom brought a flurry of construction projects to New York City and other cities around the world. 3. An American Inventor Created the First Modern Passenger Elevator A key part of the very first passenger elevator was invented by Elisha Graves Otis, who founded the Otis Elevator Company, a manufacturer still in business today. Otis invented a safety device that would prevent an elevator car from falling if the cable broke. Before Otis’ invention, elevators were dangerous contraptions primarily reserved for moving cargo in factories, warehouses, and mines. In 1854, Otis introduced his “safety elevator” at New York City’s Crystal Palace, also known as “Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations,” where he asked someone to cut the rope that was holding him up. Once cut, the platform dropped only a few inches before catching him. This enhanced safety feature helped sway public opinion by demonstrating that elevators could be a safe means of vertical transportation. Today, elevators are considered statistically safer than stairs. 4. People Once Trained for Years To Be Elevator Operators Although Elisha Otis invented a safer elevator, that didn’t mean the device was foolproof. For decades, operating an elevator was considered a highly skilled job that required years of study in some parts of the world, such as Germany. In the late 19th century, elevators were operated using “shipper ropes,” and operators were trained on the precise timing of pulling these ropes to arrive at the right floor. A well-trained operator was highly desirable, since they made the difference between a smooth ride or a death-defying jumble of starts and stops. Over the decades, the job of the elevator operator became increasingly automated. In 1887, American inventor Alexander Miles designed the first automatic elevator doors, after reading about several accidents involving people falling down elevator shafts. But it wasn’t until the 1960s — a little over a century after Elisha Otis introduced the first safety elevator — that automated elevator cars began to replace human operators entirely. 5. The Fastest Elevator in the World Travels Up to 67 Feet Per Second In the early days, elevators could only travel at about 40 feet per minute. After some 150 years of innovation, the world’s fastest elevator can now travel 67 feet in a second (or around 46 miles per hour). This elevator is located in Shanghai Tower in China, which also includes the longest continuous elevator run, at 1,898 feet. Originally installed by the Japanese company Mitsubishi Electric in 2015, the elevator got an upgrade in 2016, allowing it to traverse a path from the second-level basement to the tower’s 119th floor in just 53 seconds. The elevator in the CTF Finance Center, also located in China, comes in a very close second, traveling at 65 feet per second. 6. German Engineers Designed a Sideways Elevator in 2017 Since their invention two millennia ago, elevators have done just two things — go up and go down. However, in 2017 a German elevator company began testing an elevator that can travel in any direction. Nicknamed the “Wonkavator” after the multidirectional elevator seen in 2005’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, the machine was hailed as “the biggest development in the elevator industry” since the device’s invention. However, a sideways elevator is only the beginning of what’s in store for the technology’s future. Scientists (and sci-fi writers) have also hypothesized about the feasibility of a space elevator that can ferry future astronauts from the Earth’s surface to outer space — completely forgoing the need for expensive, pollution-belching rockets. Source: Amazing Facts About the Ups and Downs of Elevators
  12. 1 point
    What's the Word: MARMOREAL pronunciation: [mar-MOR-ee-əl] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, 18th century Meaning: 1. Made of or likened to marble. Example: "As the artists drew him, the model stood so still, he was practically marmoreal." "Sarah doubted the contractor’s claim that his new application process would give her driveway asphalt a marmoreal appearance." About Marmoreal “Marmoreal” is based on the Latin “marmoreus,” meaning “like marble.” Did you Know? In recent years, the vogue for marble countertops and bathroom tiles has given rise to an industry of marmoreal building materials. These products are not real marble, but many buyers are just looking for a marmoreal appearance without the cost (and weight) of authentic marble. Some of these replacements might be other stones, such as quartz or granite, but the cheapest means of achieving a marmoreal aesthetic is the least durable: Peel-and-stick paper can give any flat surface a marble pattern.
  13. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - COOKIES Did you know.... The Girl Scouts organization is known for exuding compassion, promoting leadership, and perhaps most famously of all, selling cookies. Since the group was established in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low, Girl Scouting has blossomed into a global movement — a far cry from its humble origins as a single troop of 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia. In the United States, Girl Scouts raise money for their cause by selling their highly popular and ultra-decadent namesake brand of cookies. In honor of those mouthwatering snacks (which are on sale now!), here are six delectable facts about Girl Scout Cookies to sink your teeth into. 1. There Are Three Mandatory Flavors Sold Each Year Though there have been many changes to the kinds of Girl Scout Cookies sold over the decades, three stalwart flavors are mandated each year: Thin Mints, Do-si-dos (also called Peanut Butter Sandwiches), and Trefoils. None of these varieties existed in their current form in the earliest years of cookie sales, but a version of Thin Mints can be traced back to 1939, when troops started selling a flavor known as “Cooky-Mints.” By the 1950s, shortbread had joined the lineup, alongside the renamed Chocolate Mints and sandwich cookies in vanilla and chocolate varieties. Peanut Butter Sandwiches hit the scene soon after, and by 1966, all three of the aforementioned flavors were among the group’s bestsellers. Other cookies came and went in the decades that followed, but Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, and Trefoils have been staples since the 1970s — and for good reason. Thin Mints are the Girl Scouts’ No. 1 bestselling cookie variety, and the most searched-for Girl Scout Cookies in the majority of U.S. states. Do-si-dos rank fifth in sales (after Samoas/Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs, and Adventurefuls), and Trefoils feature a version of the Girl Scout logo and were inspired by the original Girl Scout Cookie recipe. 2. The “Cookie Queen” Sold 100,000 Boxes Elizabeth Brinton may not be a household name, but she’s a legend among Girl Scout Cookie sellers. From 1978 to 1990, Brinton sold 100,000 boxes of cookies before ultimately hanging up what she called her “cookie coat.” She began by selling cookies door to door, but in 1985 she pivoted to setting up shop at a local Virginia metro station to sell the treats to passengers during rush hour. Brinton sold 11,200 boxes in that year alone, and was soon dubbed the “Cookie Queen” by the media. She went on to set the record for the most Girl Scout Cookies sold in a single year, with 18,000 boxes, though that number was nearly doubled in 2021 by Girl Scout Lilly Bumpus, who sold a staggering 32,484 boxes. Brinton’s career record of 100,000 boxes has since been surpassed, too, but the Girl Scout who broke it, Katie Francis, actually consulted the Cookie Queen for advice. Brinton told Francis to “think outside of the box” — a maxim that served her well back in the 1980s. In 1985, Brinton wrote to her local congressman, Frank Wolf, to ask for his help in selling cookies to then-President Ronald Reagan, and in 1986, Wolf accompanied her to the White House, where she sold one box of every flavor to President Reagan. She also sold a few boxes to Reagan’s Vice President, George H.W. Bush, and Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Harry A. Blackmun, and William H. Rehnquist. 3. Girl Scouts Sold Calendars Instead of Cookies During World War II Due to wartime shortages, the Girl Scouts briefly pivoted away from the culinary world during World War II. The U.S. government began rationing sugar in May 1942, and butter in March 1943 — both integral ingredients in the Girl Scout Cookie creation process. Because of this, the Girl Scouts had trouble filling orders, though in certain instances local troops were supplied ingredients by benefactors, or Girl Scouts baked cookies specifically for members of the military. Most troops, however, had to find other ways to raise money, so in 1944, the Girl Scout National Equipment Service began producing calendars to be sold for 25 cents. Fortunately for both the Scouts and their customers, the cookie drought was only temporary. By 1946, ingredients were no longer being rationed, and cookie sales resumed and then grew; by 1950, the line of Girl Scout Cookies had been expanded to add new flavors. 4. Girl Scout Cookies Were Originally Homemade It may be hard to fathom today, given the sheer breadth of the current cookie operation, but Girl Scout Cookies were originally homemade. A troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked and sold the first cookies in a school cafeteria in 1917, and other troops soon followed suit. A few years later in 1922, a Chicago-based magazine called The American Girl published a recipe to be used by Girl Scouts all over the country. It was just a simple sugar cookie containing butter, sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, flour, and baking powder, but it was a hit with consumers. Throughout the 1920s, Girl Scout Cookies were baked by troop members with help from their parents and members of the local community. The treats were subsequently packaged in wax paper, sealed with a sticker, and sold for 25 to 35 cents per dozen. It wasn’t until 1934 that the Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council became the first council to sell commercially baked cookies; within two years, the national organization began licensing the cookie-making process to commercial bakeries. 5. Girl Scout Cookies Differ Slightly Depending on Which Bakery Made Them In the late 1940s, 29 bakers were licensed to make Girl Scout Cookies. Today, Girl Scouts get their goods from just two licensed bakeries: ABC Bakers in Virginia and Little Brownie Bakers in Kentucky. Depending on which bakery produces the cookies your local troop sells, you may find that the snacks have slightly different names. For instance, Tampa residents receive Samoas from Little Brownie Bakers, whereas people who live just a few hours away in Orlando chow down on the virtually identical Caramel deLites from ABC Bakers. And it’s not just the branding that may differ from city to city. Cookies might also look or taste different due to minor discrepancies in each bakery’s recipes. For example, ABC’s Thin Mints are crunchier and mintier than Little Brownie’s richer and chocolatier version, and Caramel deLites are heavier on the coconut flavor than Samoas. A few cookies are also specific to one bakery: Currently, S’mores are made only by Little Brownie Bakers, while Lemonades are exclusive to ABC Bakers. (Little Brownie has a completely different lemon cookie called Lemon-Ups.) No matter which bakery provides the cookies, though, you’re in for an indulgent treat. 6. Over 50 Flavors Have Been Discontinued Some Girl Scout Cookie flavors are likely never to go away, due to their enduring popularity, but not all cookies are so lucky. Some 51 former varieties have come and gone in the decades since the snacks were first introduced. That’s not to say these bygone flavors didn’t have their fans, of course; many people look back fondly upon these scrumptious but discontinued treats, which include Kookaburras, a combination of Rice Krispies and chocolate, and Golden Yangles, a savory cheddar cheese cracker. There’s always the possibility of a comeback, though, as Lemon Chalet Cremes made a brief return in 2007 after having been phased out in the 1990s. It was a short-lived run, but you can still hold out hope that your favorite former flavor may return someday. Source: Delectable Facts About Girl Scout Cookies
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    What's the Word: KLUDGE pronunciation: [kloodj] Part of speech: verb Origin: Invented word, 1960s Meaning: 1. Use ill-assorted parts to make (something). Example: "The campers kludged a rickety lever and pulley system to carry buckets of water up from the river." "The computer that ran the house lights was on the fritz, but Svend managed to kludge a repair, despite his minimal tech skills." About Kludge The root of “kludge” is unclear, but the word may be related to the German word “klug,” meaning “clever,” or the Danish term “kludder,” meaning “disorder.” Did you Know? The word “kludge” was popularized in the 1962 article “How to Design a Kludge,” published in the computing magazine “Datamation,” but that was not the birth of the term. The Oxford English Dictionary considers “kludge” an invented word based on the existing words “bodge” and “fudge,” but there are some potential etymological ties to German and Danish terms. “Kludge” is related to — but distinct from — the U.S. military slang word “kluge,” meaning “something that shouldn’t work but does.” Because “kludge” was associated with computing quite early on, that has become the most commonly used context for the term. Though “kludge” began life as a noun describing a solution cobbled together out of unlikely parts, today it is also used as a verb to describe the process of implementing a crude but functional solution.
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    Fact of the Day - DINOSAURS Did you know... For nearly 200 million years, Earth was the domain of the dinosaurs. Although many people picture giant, green-skinned reptiles roaming the hothouse jungles of the Mesozoic, dinosaurs were incredibly varied creatures — large and small, warm- and cold-blooded — and roamed every continent (yes, including Antarctica). But with some 66 million years or so of separation between humans and dinosaurs, and with many of these wondrous creatures’ secrets hidden away under layers of rock, paleontologists are still trying to understand these amazing beings. Here are six fascinating facts about dinosaurs that debunk long-lasting myths, and explain why paleontology is one of the most exciting scientific fields today. 1. An Asteroid Didn’t Kill All the Dinosaurs According to the prevailing theory among scientists, some 66 million years ago, an asteroid we now call Chicxulub slammed into the coast off the Yucatan Peninsula, triggering Earth’s fifth mass extinction in its more than 4 billion-year-long history. The debris ejected into the atmosphere streaked through the sky, and the resulting friction superheated the atmosphere, causing forest fires around the globe. After a prolonged winter caused by a thick haze of ash blotting out the sun, some 75% of all living species on Earth went extinct. Although many of those species were land-dwelling dinosaurs, one group largely survived the devastation — beaked avian dinosaurs known today as birds. The first avian dinosaur, archaeopteryx, popped up around 150 million years ago. This proto-bird had teeth, though through evolution, a subsect of these flying dinos dropped teeth for beaks instead. Some scientists theorize that these beaks gave birds a post-apocalyptic advantage, because they could more easily dine on the hearty nuts and seeds found throughout the world’s destroyed forests. 2. Science Is Still Debating the Existence of the Brontosaurus Paleontologists have been debating the existence of the giant sauropod named brontosaurus for nearly 150 years. The story starts during the fast-and-loose “Bone Wars” period of paleontology in the late 19th century. During that time, a bitter rivalry developed between American paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. It was Marsh who discovered the skeleton of a long-necked Apatosaurus in 1877, but the fossil was missing its skull. Marsh incorrectly paired the body with the skull of another dinosaur (likely a Camarasaurus). Two years later, when a more complete Apatosaurus skeleton wound up in his possession, the specimen was unrecognizable compared to Marsh’s Frankenstein dino, so he instead created a whole new species — Brontosaurus, meaning “thunder lizard.” Scientists spotted the mistake in 1903, but the name stuck in the public’s mind. However, a century later, scientists examining more fossils determined that a close cousin of Apatosaurus who had a thinner and less robust neck did exist, and resurrected the name brontosaurus to describe it. However, not all paleontologists accept the revived name for the genus — as beloved as it is. 3. Dinosaurs Didn’t Live in Water Although many aquatic reptiles existed during the Age of the Dinosaurs, they were not dinosaurs. The most famous of these water-dwelling creatures was Ichthyosaurus, which is actually a distinct marine vertebrate — not a dino. The term “dinosaur” instead mostly refers to terrestrial reptiles who walked with their legs under them (not to the side like crocodilians). Other factors such as foot and neck size also help define what is and isn’t a dinosaur. Despite the fact that nearly all dinosaurs were terrestrial, a few lived a semi-aquatic existence. The Spinosaurus, which lived 99 million to 93 million years ago, shows evidence of eating fish, and Ankylosaurus lived near coastlines. Similarly, species like the flying Pterodactyls (also known as Pterosaurs) — which could be as large as a fighter jet or as small as a paper airplane — are distant cousins of dinosaurs, not dinosaurs themselves, although media coverage frequently refers to them that way. 4. Dinosaurs and Mammals Coexisted Mammals and dinosaurs coexisted during most of the Mesozoic Era (252 million to 66 million years ago). The first known mammal, called Morganucodontids, appeared around 200 million years ago and was about the size of a shrew. During the Age of the Dinosaurs, mammals remained small, never really exceeding the size of a badger, and were a go-to food source for carnivorous dinos (though sometimes the opposite was also true). Things changed when a giant asteroid smacked into Earth at the end of the Cretaceous period. Mammals’ small size meant they could burrow underground and escape scorching surface temperatures. As for food, mammals were perfectly content with eating insects and aquatic plant life (which also survived the asteroid’s impact), while large herbivorous dinosaurs went hungry. Over the next 25 million years, mammals underwent a drastic growth spurt as the Age of Mammals began to take shape. 5. The Film "Jurassic Park" Is a Bit of a Misnomer The entry point for many into the world of dinosaurs is Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film Jurassic Park, which inspired an entire generation of paleontologists. Despite its outsized impact on the field, the film does get a few things wrong about dinosaurs. For one, dinosaurs are now thought to sport feathers, whereas Jurassic Park’s dinos represent the lizard-esque depiction popular in times past. Also, the film’s very name is a misnomer, as the dinosaurs that take up the most screen time — such as the Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor, and Triceratops — all lived during the Cretaceous period (145 million to 66 million years ago). This may seem like a small difference, but the Age of the Dinosaurs is surprisingly long. In fact, the T. rex lived closer to humans, separated by more than 60 million years, than to the Stegosaurus, which lived in the Jurassic period some 80 million years before the “king of the tyrant lizards.” 6. We’re Living in a Golden Age of Dinosaur Discovery Paleontology is far from a static field. Every year, an estimated 50 new dinosaur species are discovered — that’s basically a new dinosaur every week. Roughly half of those species are being discovered in China, a country that only recently opened up to paleontological pursuits. Technology has also upended the field, with CT scans able to examine the interiors of dino skulls, while other tomographic image techniques can render 3D recreations of bones. Dinosaurs may be a species buried in Earth’s geological past, but uncovering that past has a bright and exciting future. Source: Fascinating Facts About the World of Dinosaurs
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    What's the Word: FACTITIOUS pronunciation: [fak-TIH-shəs] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, 17th century Meaning: 1. Artificially created or developed. Example: "Outside the fun house, a factitious talking horse gave instructions to those about to enter." "The restaurant’s dim lighting is factitious and helped by enormous shades that block out the sun." About Factitious “Factitious” is based on the Latin “facticius,” meaning “made by art.” Did you Know? The Latin root of “factitious” means “made by art” (or “artificial”). In this way it differs from the near-homonym “fictitious,” which is based on the Latin verb “fingō,” meaning “to deceive.” In the early days of modern chemistry, between the 17th and 19th centuries, the term “factitious air” was used to describe gases generated by human intervention. For example, the bubbles in fermenting beer occur as a result of mixing water, barley, and yeast. Even though such gas is naturally occurring, an early scientist might have believed each carbon-dioxide bubble contained factitious air created by human endeavor.
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    Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin launches on Steam April 6th.
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    https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/warhammer-40000-gladius-relics-of-war Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/chenso-club Chenso Club is currently free on Fanatical via newsletter. https://freebies.indiegala.com/spring-bonus Spring Bonus is currently free on IndieGala. https://justtomcuk.itch.io/silent-nights Silent Nights is currently free on Itch.io.
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    Event Update 0.8.17 Greetings. Below you will find the update 0.8.17 details. A new optional boss is added to Chapter 3. The Azure Eques is available near Val Réal's city gates during either the start of chapter 3 or its end. Upon defeating the Azure Eques optional boss you will receive the "Espadon Azure" Greatsword for the Knight Class and with it, you can inherit the Aqua dance skill. New fragments and new elemental skills are added to three areas from the start of the game. Upon assembling these fragments you can acquire new Anima Stones and unlock additional skills. The Anima Stones' fragments are the following: The Aard Anima Stone fragments can be acquired in the Garnier Core Unit during chapter 1. The Ventus Anima Stone fragments can be acquired in the High Council Building at the start of the game. The "Core Lumiere" Anima Stone fragments can be acquired in Serenza city at night. All the skill thumbnails are updated with new colors. Each skill thumbnail color will correspond to the elemental type it will inflict on your enemies. The Ignat Sentinel boss fight (Chapter 3) cameras are adjusted. The giant HXP drone's UI and camera lock are fixed. Serenza city's dominant texture (Trimsheet) is redesigned as a 4K texture instead of the previous 2K one. Bug conflict in the Garnier tower roofs between the optional and main story boss is fixed.
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    Fact of the Day - IDES OF MARCH Did you know... As mid-March approaches, you’ll no doubt hear the oft-repeated saying “Beware the ides of March.” It’s a strangely archaic phrase that doesn’t make much sense to modern ears without knowing some important historical context, as well as the ins and outs of ancient moon-based calendars — what are “ides,” anyway? Here are six amazing facts about this famous phrase, and its relation to arguably one of the most important moments in Western history. 1. The Phrase Comes From William Shakespeare In Act 1, Scene 2 of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Roman politician (and future assassin) Marcus Junius Brutus and the play’s eponymous character are approached through a crowd by a soothsayer who has a warning — “Beware the ides of March.” The two Romans dismiss the fortuneteller as a “dreamer” and go about their business as usual. Of course, the warning proved deadly accurate; for the Romans, the “ides” was the middle of the month, and Julius Caesar was famously assassinated on March 15, 44 BCE. Roman historians say that in reality (not just Shakespeare’s fictionalized version), the soothsayer’s name was Spurinna. He was Etruscan, an ancient people often associated with divination, and served as a haruspex — someone who inspects the entrails of sacrificed animals for clues about the future. However, there’s no record of Spurinna pinpointing the ides of March specifically; instead, he warned Caesar to be wary of the next month generally, a period that would end on March 15. Scholars believe this was likely just a calculated guess, as Roman politicians were already turning against Caesar, who had been named dictator for life, and the famed military leader was leaving the capital for another military campaign on March 18. If Caesar was going to be assassinated, it would likely be in the month of March. 2. The “Ides” Were Part of Rome’s Archaic Lunar Calendar Although the phrase “the ides of March” carries with it a sinister connotation because of the bloody business done on that day two millennia ago, the ides — along with the nones and kalends — are simply ancient markers of the moon’s phases that were part of Rome’s lunar calendar. “Kalends” referred to the new moon (or first of the month), “ides” meant the middle of the month (the 13th in some months and the 15th in others), and “nones” referred to the quarter moon. For a time, the ides of March was actually the beginning of the new year in Rome. 3. Caesar Himself Got Rid of Ides Entirely Although the ides of March is closely related to Julius Caesar, the famous Roman leader was directly responsible for tossing out the old, lunar-based calendar entirely. In 45 BCE, Caesar — after consulting top mathematicians and astronomers — instituted the solar-based Julian calendar, a timekeeping system remarkably similar to the calendar we use today. To implement the new system, Caesar created what has since become known as “the year of confusion,” in which the year 46 BCE lasted for 445 days so the new Julian calendar could begin on January 1. One scholar even argues that this drastic change could’ve been seen by conspiratorial senators as an attack on Roman tradition, and the assassins might’ve purposefully selected the “ides of March” as a symbolic gesture against Caesar and his reforms. 4. Every Year Romans Reenact Caesar’s Assassination on March 15 Every year (barring worldwide pandemics) Romans reenact the murderous drama that unfolded near the Curia of Pompey two millennia ago. (A curia is a structure where Roman senate members would meet.) However, it wasn’t until 2015 when members of the Roman Historical Group got the chance to recreate Caesar’s final moments on the exact spot where it happened, after finally getting access to the ruins of the curia itself. The reenactment generally unfolds in three parts — first with the senators’ accusations, followed by Caesar’s actual assassination, and then concluding with speeches from both Brutus and Mark Antony justifying their actions. In an interview with NBC News, the Caesar impersonator said this annual bit of theater is about honoring the ancient leader, because “Rome wouldn’t have been as great without him.” 5. Caesar Was Deified as a Roman God Although the Roman pantheon was largely borrowed from ancient Greece, Rome added a few deified originals of its own. One of the most important was the two-headed Janus, the god of doorways and transitions and the namesake of the month of January. But Rome also deified many of its most important leaders, and named months after some of them. After Caesar’s death on the ides of March, a Roman cult known as divus Julius pushed for Caesar’s official divinity. Caesar’s adopted heir, Octavian (known to history as Augustus), later became Rome’s first emperor and similarly received the divinity treatment. The effects of this Roman imperial cult can be seen in today’s calendar, as July and August are named for the two ancient rulers. 6. The Location of Caesar’s Murder Is Now a Cat Sanctuary The Curia of Pompey used to be home to the hustle and bustle of toga-wearing senators going about the business of empire, but it’s now the domain of cats. First excavated during the reign of Benito Mussolini in 1929, the Largo di Torre Argentina houses the remains of the curia where Caesar met his end, as well as the ruins of several temples. However, today the Colonia Felina di Torre Argentina takes care of more than 100 cats that prowl the ancient grounds. Although visitors can glimpse the ruins from street level some 20 feet above ground, only cats are usually allowed to slink among the grounds where the ides of March earned its infamous reputation. Source: Intriguing Facts About the Ides of March
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    The story of aspiring hero Lloyd Bannings continues in Trails to Azure! Set just a few months after the events of Trails from Zero, a temporary peace has settled over Crossbell and the Special Support Section find themselves with newfound fame and status, thanks to their heroic actions. However, the peace is soon broken with the rise of multiple organizations with ulterior motives. Framing these growing tensions is the increasing pressure from the Erebonian Empire and the Republic of Calvard, with Crossbell caught between them. With the safety of their home and the foundations of their team now on the line, Lloyd and his allies must gear themselves for the threats that loom ahead. Little do they know that Crossbell will soon become the stage for a climactic conflict that will determine its future... The Fate of the City-State: Play through the finale of the Crossbell arc, a key thread within the Trails universe. What lies ahead for Lloyd Bannings and his ragtag squad of allies? Crossbell’s Finest Forces: Experience new combat features introduced by Trails to Azure, including Burst, Back Attack, and even your own customizable car. Also, meet a few familiar faces from the Trails of Cold Steel series! Power from the Past: Import save data from Trails from Zero for a different story experience, including additional event scenes and entirely new scenes! Also, use your save data from Trails to Azure for bonuses in the upcoming release of Trails into Reverie!
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    What's the Word: HILLOCK pronunciation: [HIL-ək] Part of speech: noun Origin: Middle English, 14th century Meaning: 1. A small hill or mound. Example: "As we drew closer to it, what first appeared to be a minor hillock revealed itself to be a far more significant peak." "Our farmland includes a hillock that’s always popular with our goats, who like to find the highest point to view their surroundings." About Hillock “Hillock” was formed in Middle English from the existing word “hill” and the Middle-English diminutive suffix “-ock,” suggesting a smaller hill. Did you Know? A hillock — also known as a “knoll” — is a small hill that stands on its own, disconnected from other hills or mountains. Hillocks appear worldwide, but the specific geographies of the U.K. and China mean hillocks are common in both countries. Though they can be described as minor versions of mesas and buttes, both of which are common in the United States, hillocks tend to be less rocky or craggy than mesas and buttes, and instead are often covered in grass, trees, and other greenery.
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    Released today with a -10% off Launch Discount: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1848070/Absinthia/
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    Fact of the Day - FINGERNAILS Did you know.... Fingernails are an amazing biological invention that play an important and active role in our day-to-day lives, and in the bigger picture of human history. Nails help us grasp and grip objects, which gave earlier Homo sapiens a distinct advantage in manipulating tools and building our modern society. But beyond their primarily utilitarian purpose, nails have also served as status symbols or miniature art canvases in a number of societies throughout history. These six facts explore the biology, history, and artistry of fingernails, and why they’re so intimately tied to the human experience. 1. The Only Mammals With Fingernails Are Primates Among mammals, fingernails are unique to the order of primates; other mammals instead have claws to take down prey or climb trees. Fingernails are essentially flattened claws but are better suited to support broad fingertips, which help some primates swing among tree branches. Homo sapiens developed especially broad fingertips to help grip and manipulate tools some 2.5 million years ago, and nails provide strength and protection for those fingertips. Small blood vessels in the nails maintain blood flow to our fingers even when we’re gripping something very tightly, and the hard covering helps protect against injury. Fingernails also offer protection from viruses and bacteria, aid in fine motor movements (such as scratching or picking), and provide a level of sensation via an intricate network of nerves underneath the nail bed. 2. Hair and Nails Are Made of the Same Protein Human hair and nails (along with the outer layer of our skin, aka the epidermis) are made of a fibrous protein called keratin, which offers structure and helps protect cells against damage. Your body produces it naturally, but foods such as broccoli, kale, salmon, and sweet potatoes may help boost production. Hair is formed from three cylindrical layers of keratin, while nail plates are made of multiple layers of transparent keratin. Alpha-keratin can also be found in animal fur and claws, and beta-keratin (which differs slightly on a molecular level) is present in reptiles and birds. 3. Human Nails Grow 1 Nanometer Per Second Fingernails are always growing. In the second it took you to read the previous sentence, your nails grew 1 nanometer (or one-billionth of a meter). But even with 86,400 seconds in a 24-hour period, it’s virtually impossible to notice any day-to-day growth without a microscope. In a month, the average human’s fingernails grow roughly 3.47 millimeters (and toenails grow even more slowly, gaining an average of just 1.62 millimeters). However, there are a few factors that can affect the speed of nail growth. Some research suggests our nails grow faster when we’re younger, and then slow down as we age. There also appears to be a correlation between faster nail growth and a person’s dominant hand. And many people experience rapid nail growth during pregnancy, due to increases in the hormones estrogen and progesterone. 4. Manicures Are as Old as History Itself Manicures can’t be traced to one specific culture, but there’s evidence that they’ve existed in some form for millennia. Archaeologists have discovered Egyptian mummies with gilded nails, and a gold manicure set from Babylonia dating to around 3200 BCE. Some cultures also used henna and kohl to color their fingertips. Around 3000 BCE, the Chinese formulated an early version of nail polish, using gelatin, beeswax, egg whites, and crushed rose petals and orchids to produce different shades of red. The practice eventually fell out of fashion during the Middle Ages, but it made a comeback among wealthy women in Europe during the Renaissance and Victorian eras. Today, the nail care industry is worth billions of dollars, and an estimated 120,000 manicurists and pedicurists work in the U.S. alone. 5. Fingernails Can Help Diagnose Certain Diseases Fingernails can be a great indicator of your overall health. Although a majority of malformed nails can be explained by external injury or poor nutrition or digestion, some abnormalities may be caused by more serious medical conditions. Extreme rounding of the nails, known as clubbing, can be a symptom of oxygen deficiency, for example, possibly related to various lung disorders. Horizontal ridges, known as Beau’s lines, could be a sign of kidney problems or diabetes. The color of your nails can indicate that something is amiss, too. Yellow nails are commonly associated with fungal infections but may also be a sign of thyroid disease, while very white nails may point to liver problems such as hepatitis. 6. Fingernails Don’t Really Keep Growing After You Die There’s a common myth that our fingernails continue to grow even after death, but it’s just that — a myth. When we’re alive, our nails grow at a rate of around 0.1 mm per day (a little more than 3 mm per month), thanks to something called the germinal matrix at the base of the nail. The germinal matrix uses glucose to create new cells that push the old cells up and out toward the fingertip. However, once the human body stops functioning, it also stops producing glucose, which means the matrix can’t create new cells. The origins of this myth may have something to do with a different biological function, though: While our nails don’t continue to grow after death, the dehydrated skin around them does shrink, which can make nails look like they’ve grown longer. Source: Amazing Facts About Fingernails
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    What's the Word: RUTHFUL pronunciation: [ROOTH-fəl] Part of speech: adjective Origin: English, 13th century Meaning: 1. Full of sorrow; sorrowful; woeful; rueful. 2. Full of ruth or pity; merciful; compassionate. Example: "Even though our Great Dane is a pampered creature, my husband always gets ruthful when the dog whines at not being allowed to sleep in our bed." "My grandfather was a ruthful man who took great pride in helping neighbors during their times of need." About Ruthful “Ruthful” was formed within English, based on the word “ruth,” an early term for compassion or sadness at the suffering of others. Did you Know? Most people are more familiar with the opposite of “ruthful” — “ruthless” — but both are based on the early Middle English word “ruth,” describing sadness for the suffering of others, or compassion. (In Middle English, “ruth” had dozens of spellings, from “rauþe” to “ræuðe” to “reuþthe” to the more recognizable “ruith” and “reweth.”) To be ruthful, therefore, is to have so much compassion — “ruth” — that one is filled with sorrow at the sufferings of others. By contrast, to be “ruthless” is to act without any sorrow for others’ pain and suffering.
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    What's the Word: NIDIFICATION pronunciation: [NID-ə-fe-keh-shən] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, 17th century Meaning: 1. Nest-building. Example: "My newlywed sister and her husband were so busy with nidification that they skipped almost every invitation for a year." "From my porch, I can watch the nidification each spring as birds and squirrels begin their nests." About Nidification “Nidification” is taken from the same word in Latin, meaning “building a nest.” Did you Know? The secret to nidification isn’t just gathering nest-making materials — the quality of the materials is crucial, too. Nidification is a process of finding the best-quality materials (such as twigs and dry leaves), then weaving them together. Whether they’re making a “cup nest” (a common bowl-style bird’s nest) or an “adherent” nest attached to the side of a building, birds work hard to make their nests into solid and reliable living spaces. During nidification, birds use their beaks to interlace and move nest materials around, and some species use mud, sap, and saliva as glue.
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    Fact of the Day - FAMOUS TOYS Did you know.... Think back to holiday seasons and birthdays past — what was the toy you dreamed of unwrapping? Year after year, the “it” gift that every parent scrambles to find changes, from Cabbage Patch Dolls to Beanie Babies and Game Boys to Tamagotchis. While many are soon forgotten, others have stood the test of time. Discover how breakthrough experiments, bold innovation, and even bizarre accidents created some enduringly popular classic toys. 1. Slinky As the famous jingle goes: “What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, and makes a slinkity sound? A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing! Everyone knows it's Slinky.” But did you know the beloved toy was created by accident? In 1943, while stationed at a Philadelphia shipyard, U.S. Naval engineer Richard T. James was searching for a way to use springs to help sensitive equipment hold up in turbulent seas. One day, Richard knocked a spring off a shelf and watched as it gracefully “stepped” from a stack of books to a table and then to the floor, where it landed upright. James told the story to his wife, Betty, who wondered if the industrial spring could be transformed into a toy. Richard soon took that idea and designed a machine to coil 80-feet of wire into a 2-inch spiral, which Betty named “Slinky,” inspired by the flowing movement and distinct sound of the spring in motion. The toy was introduced during the 1945 Christmas season at a Gimbels department store in Philadelphia. Priced at $1, the Slinky was an immediate hit, with 400 Slinkys selling out in just 90 minutes. However, in 1960, Slinky sales began to decline when Richard left his family to become a missionary in Bolivia. Betty took over the business, even mortgaging her home to keep it afloat. She reintroduced the Slinky at a 1963 New York Toy Show. The Slinky toy line expanded through the decades with plastic Slinkys and Slinky animals. In 1995, the Slinky Dog became a hot ticket item after it was featured in Pixar’s Toy Story, with 800,000 Slinky Dogs selling that year. Today, more than 300 million Slinkys have been sold, enough to circle the globe 150 times if stretched. 2. Candy Land Candy Land is one of the top-selling children’s board games of all time, wIth an average of one million games sold a year. Players began traveling through the Peppermint Stick Forest and the Molasses Swamp in 1948, when retired schoolteacher Eleanor Abbott invented Candy Land in the polio ward of a San Diego, California, hospital. Abbott’s hand-crafted game became a welcome distraction for the sick children during their most difficult moments. This inspired Abbott to bring the game to Milton Bradley, and it debuted on shelves in 1949. The post-World War II Baby Boom created a huge market for children’s games, and Candy Land quickly became Milton Bradley’s highest-selling game. Marketed as the “sweet little game for sweet little folks,” Candy Land’s legacy is even sweeter because Abbot donated all the royalties she received from her invention to children’s charities. 3. Magic 8 Ball Since the 1950s, the Magic 8 Ball has been a consistent source of advice for all of life’s problems. The toy’s inventor, Albert C. Carter, was the son of a Cincinnati clairvoyant, and completely fascinated by her work. Carter’s mother, Mary, would often use the fortune-telling invention the Psycho-Slate — a small chalkboard sealed inside a container — with her clients. When someone asked a question of the “other world,” Mary would reveal the answer on the Psycho-Slate, as if the spirits scribbled it down themselves. Thus inspired, in 1944, a grown-up Carter completed his version of a fortune-telling tool called the Syco-Seer, a liquid-filled tube with a window allowing a view of two floating worded dice. The Syco-Seer attracted the attention of Cincinnati store owner Max Levinson, who turned to his brother-in-law Abe Bookman to help with production. Under the company name Alabe Crafts, the Syco-Seer’s design was further tweaked to a smaller tube with only one floating die inside a crystal ball. In 1950, Chicago company Brunswick Billiards was looking for a promotional item to give to their customers and came across the Syco-Seer. Brunswick Billiards tweaked the design once more and replaced the crystal ball with a black eight billiards ball. After ending its contract with Brunswick, Alabe Crafts went on to market the now-named Magic 8 Ball as a paperweight before repositioning it as a children’s toy, which launched its international popularity. Today, the Magic 8 Ball continues to respond with its 20-sided die that includes 10 positive, five negative, and five vague responses. Now owned by Mattel, over a million Magic 8 Balls are sold every year. 4. Play-Doh In the early 20th century, Cincinnati’s Kutol Products was known for its pliable compound used for cleaning coal soot from wallpaper. But by the 1950s, during the transition to cleaner heating fuels, there was far less demand for Kutol’s cleaner. When Joseph McVicker was tasked with turning the company’s fortunes around, his sister-in-law Kay Zufall, a nursery school teacher, read that wallpaper cleaner could be used as a type of modeling clay, and tested the nontoxic material in her classroom. The children loved it, and Zufall suggested a new name for the product: Play-Doh. When Play-Doh was launched in 1956, the product was only available in white and would harden when left exposed to air. In 1957, chemist Dr. Tien Liu tinkered with the formula allowing Play-Doh to remain pliable longer and make its color more vibrant. Initially, sales were modest, but in 1958, they began to soar when Play-Doh was featured in ads during the hit TV show Captain Kangaroo. Eventually, additional colors were included in the line, and in 1960, the first Play-Doh Fun Factory set hit shelves. In 1965, McVicker sold his Play-Doh company to General Mills, with Hasbro taking the brand in 1991. Today, more than 3 billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold in more than 80 countries. 5. The Easy-Bake Oven The Easy-Bake Oven debuted in stores in November 1963. It was inspired by Norman Shapiro, a sales manager at toy manufacturer Kenner, who saw a New York City vendor warming pretzels in a cart’s tiny oven and thought it would make an excellent toy. The original oven was made up of three cubes with a stovetop and carry handle, all painted bright teal. While users were invited to come up with their own recipes, the oven came with mixes for baked goods, bubble gum, candy bars, and complete “kiddie dinners” of meat, macaroni, and peas. Packet contents were mixed with water, poured into supplied bakeware, and cooked by the heat of two lightbulbs, with temperatures reaching up to 350 degrees. The toy was originally priced at a then-high $15.95 (around $115 in 2022), which surprisingly did not deter sales of 500,000 units in the oven’s first release. The quick-baking toy’s popularity paralleled America's interest in kitchen technology and the increased use of mixes and packaged products. In 1968, Kenner was acquired by General Mills, who introduced Betty Crocker recipes into the Easy-Bake Oven’s repertoire. Over the years, production increased along with changes to the toy’s design to reflect the interior design trends of the time, from the harvest-gold and avocado tones of the 1970s to a redesign of the oven to resemble the new microwaves of the 1980s. Recently the Easy-Bake Oven, now owned by Hasbro, has adopted a more gender-neutral design, acknowledging its popularity with both girls and boys. Since its inception almost 70 years ago, more than 30 million Easy-Bake Ovens have been sold and more than 150 million mixes have been cooked. 6. Nerf Balls After the incredible success of the game Twister, its Inventor Reyn Guyer wanted to create another sensation. In 1968, Guyer and his team began work on a game they called “Caveman,” using “rocks” cut out of mattress foam which were to be thrown at opponents. During development, Guyer thought the rocks would be better shaped into balls for safer indoor use. The original concept was scrapped in favor of making an indoor game using the newly named Muffball. Parker Brothers acquired Guyer’s ball, and in 1969, introduced the renamed Nerf ball in four colors: yellow, orange, red, and blue. While some think the name is an acronym for “non-expanding recreational foam,” Guyer says it came from the foam-padded roll bars on Jeeps, known as “NERF bars.” With ad copy of “throw it indoors; you can’t damage lamps or break windows. You can’t hurt babies or old people,” 4.5 million Nerf balls were sold in the first year of production. In 1971, Parker Brothers expanded the product line to include a Super Nerf Ball and Nerf Disk. In 1972, Fred Cox, former Minnesota Vikings field-goal kicker, came up with the idea of making a football out of foam, using an injection molder to give the soft ball a durable surface that could be gripped. Cox brought the invention to Parker Brothers, where it became the Nerf Football which further propelled its international fame. Today, NERF is probably best known for its series of foam dart blasters, which debuted in 1992. 7. Simon In the 1960s, Ralph Baer, a military engineer, would spend his free time developing early video games, dreaming of a system that would allow gameplay on a television. He eventually succeeded and in 1971, Baer and his employer Sanders Associates received the first-ever video game patent for the Magnavox Odyssey, which went on sale in 1972. In 1976, Baer, who was now working as a consultant for toy company Marvin Glass and Associates, took inspiration from an Atari arcade game called Touch Me, where players had to repeat a bright light and annoyingly loud musical sequence. Over the next two years, Baer worked on a portable game with four pleasing bugle horn notes. Originally called Follow Me, the new game was licensed by Milton Bradley as Simon, after the children’s game Simon Says. In 1978, Simon debuted at the disco palace Studio 54 in New York City. That Christmas season, stores reported long lines of people hoping to nab one of the highly desired machines, despite its original price of $25 (around $90 in 2022). While Simon could only play one sequence, was bulky, and required many D batteries, it was a huge step forward in home electronic gaming. The popularity of Simon was boosted by its coincidental connection to Steven Spielberg’s 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. During the science-fiction classic’s finale, aliens communicate using a sequence of musical notes and lights on their spaceship that resembles Simon’s gameplay. By the end of the 1980s, 10 million Simons were sold despite many knock-offs of the original game entering production. Newer versions of the game, including Simon Optix, where users wear a virtual reality-style headset to play, have brought the game to new audiences — but the retro appeal of the original remains. Source: The Origins of 7 Famous Toys
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    What's the Word: FURBELOW pronunciation: [FUR-bə-loh] Part of speech: verb Origin: French, 17th century Meaning: 1. Adorn with trimmings. Example: "Most of the office dressed business casual, but Katia arrived to work each day furbelowed with designer shoes, vintage glasses, and eye-catching jewelry." "I find taking the time to furbelow myself before I leave the house gives me confidence and pride in my appearance." About Furbelow “Furbelow” is a corruption of the French term “falbala,” describing a ruffle or flashy ornament. Did you Know? “Furbelow” entered the English language as a noun describing pleated or gathered strips of skirts or petticoats, but the word has nothing to do with either the noun “fur,” or the preposition “below.” Rather, it’s a corruption of the French word “falbala,” which describes ornamentation in dress.
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    What's the Word: VESPERTINE pronunciation: [VES-pər-tahyn] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, 16th century Meaning: 1. Relating to, occurring, or active in the evening. Example: "The pub is lovely in the daytime, but it comes alive when the vespertine crowd arrives after supper." "There are a few different vespertine animals, including owls, living in our acre of forest." About Vespertine “Vespertine” is based on the Latin “vespertīnus,” meaning “evening.” Did you Know? While there are many crepuscular animals — those active at dawn and dusk — the animals active only in evening are described as “vespertine.” (Those active in the pre-dawn hours, meanwhile, are known as “matutinal.”) The best-known vespertine animals are bats and owls, but many insects also appear during the vespertine hours, and there are even vespertine flowers, which bloom in the evening. However, "vespertine" does not describe the whole night: Those creatures and plants that continue their activity all night are nocturnal, not vespertine.
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    Resident Evil 4 is an upcoming survival horror game developed and published by Capcom. It is a remake of the 2005 game Resident Evil 4, scheduled for release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S on March 24, 2023. The game player follows agent Leon S. Kennedy who faces several enemies in a mission to save Ashley Graham, daughter of the President of the United States. Players control Resident Evil 2 lead, U.S. agent Leon S. Kennedy, on a mission to rescue Ashley Graham, daughter of the President of the United States, from a Spanish village dominated by Los Illuminados, a violent cult worshipping an ancient parasite, years after the events of his introduction. Other characters appearing in the remake involve the returning Ada Wong, Leon's operator Ingrid Hunnigan, as well as the civilian Luis Serra, and the antagonists Bitores Mendez and Ramon Salazar. Resident Evil 4 is a remake of the 2005 game of the same name. It will feature "over-the-shoulder" third-person shooter gameplay similar to the original game, while drawing from the remakes of Resident Evil 2 (2019) and Resident Evil 3 (2020). In an innovative step to the Resident Evil series, Resident Evil 4 will be the first game to offer six optional control schemes, including one that is styled after the control scheme in the original game. Resident Evil 4 features modernized and improved visuals compared to the original, with a tenser atmosphere, improved character designs and enhanced backgrounds. As in the original game, the player will organize their inventory with an "attache case". The Merchant also returns, allowing the player to buy, upgrade, and trade items. He will also provide new side quests that may be completed during the main story. In combat, Leon can roundhouse kick enemies to push them away, as well as new parry mechanics which include blocking attacks from a chainsaw with a knife.
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    Demo is now out: https://store.steampowered.com/app/2231770/Resident_Evil_4_Chainsaw_Demo/
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    Fact of the Day - DOGS Did you know..... Some dogs can understand 250 words. Dogs are man’s best friend, and the canine ability to understand human words has gone a long way to solidify that world-changing relationship. According to the American Psychological Association, the average dog can understand 165 words, and “super dogs” — those in the top 20% of canine intellect — can understand around 250 words. Dog intelligence can be divided into three main types: instinctive (what the dog is bred to do), adaptive (what a dog learns from its environment), and working/obedience (what a dog is trained to do). Research into the levels of working/obedience intelligence in various dog breeds shows that border collies displayed the highest levels, followed by poodles, German shepherds, and golden retrievers. With the ability to also understand simple math (1+1 = 2, for example), these “super dogs” have an estimated cognitive ability of 2- to 2.5-year-old humans. Although 250 words is already impressive, it’s by no means the absolute limit. The Einstein of the dog world is a border collie named Chaser. According to the journal Behavioural Processes, Chaser had the ability to recall and correctly identify 1,022 words. This far exceeds the vocabulary of any known dog, and pushes Chaser into the cognitive ability range of a 3-year-old. Now, that’s an extremely good girl. (Interesting Facts) Dogs are great – they provide us with love, companionship and are always there when we need them. But did you know there’s far more to dogs than meets the eye? We all know dogs have been ‘man’s best friend’ for thousands of years, but there’s loads more to our four-legged friends which makes them really amazing. We’ve put together some of our favourite canine facts so you can learn a little more about your pooch. 1. Their sense of smell is at least 40x better than ours The area of cells in the brain that detect different smells is around 40 times larger in dogs than humans. This means that your dog can pick up on way more smells than we ever could. This is why dogs are often used to sniff out people, drugs and even money! In fact, a number of our own hero hounds were awarded PDSA medals for their noses! Arms and explosives search dog Buster (pictured above) was awarded his PDSA Dickin Medal in 2003 for his remarkable service in Iraq – he located a large amount of weapons and explosives linked to an extremist group, saving the lives of many civilians and service personnel. Read more stories about our incredible medal recipients. 2. Some have such good noses they can sniff out medical problems Yup, medical detection dogs are a thing. Because their sense of smell is so great, some dogs can be trained to sniff out medical conditions. They are used to diagnose a particular condition or to alert their owners if they need more medication. Some are even being trained to sniff out Covid-19! One of these incredible dogs is Medical Detection Dog Pal (pictured above), who was awarded the PDSA Order of Merit. Pal played a vital role in diabetic owner Claire’s life by alerting her of changes in her blood sugar. If not caught in time, these changes could have killed her. Read more about their incredible bond. 3. Dogs can sniff at the same time as breathing Dogs rely a lot on their sense of smell to find food, potential dangers, and friends, so needless to say they sniff a lot. Their noses are designed so smells can stay in their nose while air can move in and out of their lungs at the same time, which means they can breathe freely and still work out what that smell is! 4. Some dogs are incredible swimmers So, not all dogs like water, but the ones that do tend to be pretty good swimmers (but again, not all are so always keep an eye on your dog in case they decide to take a dip out and about). Newfoundlands' are so good in the water that for years they’ve been used as water rescue dogs. In 2016, a brave Newfoundland called Whizz was awarded the PDSA Order of Merit for saving nine people from the sea over his career as a water rescue dog. Read more about Whizz’s amazing rescues. 5. Some are fast and could even beat a cheetah! Most dogs could easily outrun a human – they’re built to run and chase! The fastest breed of dog by far, though, is the Greyhound. These speedy sight hounds can reach a top speed of 45mph within seconds of starting to run ‘But how does this beat a cheetah?’ we hear you ask. Well, while a cheetah can get up to almost 70mph, they can only keep this going for around 30 seconds. Greyhounds, on the other hand, could easily run at speeds in excess of 35mph for seven miles. So despite the cheetah’s head start, they’d soon overtake! 6. Dogs don’t sweat like we do While dogs do sweat, don’t expect them to be getting damp armpits any time soon. Where humans sweat watery liquid to cool down, dogs produce a pheromone laden oily substance that us humans can’t detect (dogs know it’s there because of that great sense of smell). The only place that dogs sweat like us is on their paws, so instead they pant to cool down. This is why it’s so important to keep your dog cool on those warmer days to make it easier on them. 7. Your dog could be left or right-pawed There have been a few studies around this and it turns out that just like us, dogs have a preferred hand (well, paw) to lead with. You can find out whether your dog is left or right-pawed by giving them their favourite toy or interactive game and seeing which paw they use to help them first. 8. Along with their noses, their hearing is super sensitive We all know dogs can hear much higher frequencies than us, but did you know they can also hear further? Generally, dogs can hear much softer sounds than we can, so they can hear things that are much further away. This is another trait that makes them great search and rescue dogs. While they will mainly use their nose for tracking, their hearing can also be a real help (especially as they get closer to whatever they are looking for!). Dogs like K9 Killer (pictured above), who was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal for helping to track down Rhino poachers, are excellent at tracking using both smell and hearing. Read more about K9. 9. Dogs have 18 muscles controlling their ears If you have a dog, you might notice that their ears move around a lot. They actually have around 18 muscles responsible for moving their ears. These help them to change the direction of their ears slightly to hear noises around them better, and play a really big part in telling us how our dogs are feeling. A lot of a dog’s body language is expressed through what their ears are doing so a dog’s ears are vital in helping them communicate both with us and other dogs. Read more about canine body language. 10. Dogs are about as intelligent as a two-year-old Studies have shown that dogs can learn over 100 words and gestures, which puts their intelligence and understanding of us on a par with a two year old. However, dogs are much easier to train than a two year old! They’re used for all sorts of jobs, from military roles to assistance dogs, because they’re both clever and extremely loyal animals. To start training your pup the basics, take a look at some top tips from our qualified behaviourist. Source: Amazing Facts About Dogs
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    What's the Word: LONGANIMITY pronunciation: [long-gə-NIM-ih-tee] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, 15th century Meaning: 1. Patience or tolerance in the face of adversity. 2. Forbearance, long-suffering. Example: "My mother impressed me with her longanimity in the face of my 2-year-old’s temper tantrum." "The high school principal practiced longanimity by trading detentions in exchange for community service." About Longanimity “Longanimity” is based on the Latin “longanimitās,” meaning “patient” or “forbearing.” Did you Know? Television loves characters that embody extreme longanimity: Think of the infinitely patient Leslie Higgins on “Ted Lasso,” the adorably unflappable Jerry Gergich on “Parks and Recreation,” or the maniacally uncomplaining Ned Flanders on “The Simpsons.” Especially on shows such as these comedies, with over-the-top personalities, a character radiating longanimity makes a hilarious counterpoint and foil for extreme behavior. This calls back to the vaudevillian comedy tradition of a “straight man,” or a comedian who keeps a straight face and deadpan composure in order to contrast the eccentric and bizarre behavior of another.
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    What's the Word: CONCATENATE pronunciation: [kon-KAT-ən-eyt] Part of speech: verb Origin: Latin, 15th century Meaning: 1. Link (things) together in a chain or series. Example: "One of the first things I learned in my virtual computer science class was to concatenate, or string together, a list of variables." "Instead of scrolling a long list of individual tweets, it’s easier to use an app that concatenates strings of tweets into a single thread." About Concatenate “Concatenate” is based on the Latin “concatēnāre,” meaning “to link together.” Did you Know? “Concatenate” is a very old word with many modern applications. It entered English from Latin in the 15th century — first as an adjective describing things chained together, then as a verb describing that chaining. “Concatenate” has become an important verb for the age of abundant digital data. Microsoft Excel includes the option to “concatenate data,” and data-entry workers might enter reams of unorganized information, and later concatenate it into more accessible databases for easier searching and reading.
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    Fact of the Day - BREAKFAST FOODS Did you know.... While health experts don’t always agree that it’s the most important meal of the day, breakfast is often a favorite meal, one filled with crowd-pleasers such as pancakes, doughnuts, bacon, eggs, and all the sugary concoctions that fill the cereal aisle. But the stories behind some of our favorite breakfast foods go far beyond the modern grocery store, spanning nearly the entire human story from the Stone Age to the space race. Here are six amazing facts about some of the foods that fuel our mornings. 1. “Continental Breakfast” Is a British Term for Breakfast on the European Continent Many hotels offer guests a free “continental” breakfast with their stay, but what exactly makes a breakfast “continental”? The term originated in the mid-19th century in Britain as a way to distinguish the hearty English breakfast — typically consisting of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, and beans — from the lighter fare found in places like France and other Mediterranean countries in continental Europe. It typically consists of pastries, fruits, toast, and coffee served buffet-style. As American breakfasts also tended to feature outsized helpings of protein and fruits, the “continental” moniker proved useful for hotels on the other side of the Atlantic as well. 2. The First Breakfast Cereal Was Called “Granula” and Had to Be Soaked Overnight Today, hundreds of varieties of breakfast cereal — both hot and cold — can be found in supermarkets around the world, but the very first manufactured cereal was quite different from the ones we’re used to eating today. In 1863, a nutritionist named James Caleb Jackson, who ran a health spa and resort in upstate New York, came up with the idea to bake graham flour into brittle, flaky cereal, which he thought would aid in digestion. The one downside of his “granula” concoction was that it had to soak in milk overnight to be edible. Around the late 1870s, another nutritionist and sanitarium owner, John Harvey Kellogg, created a similar cold cereal concoction using wheat flour, oatmeal, and cornmeal. He also called it “granula.” After a legal battle between these two cereal pioneers, Kellogg changed the name of his invention to “granola,” and, later, patented his invention as Corn Flakes. 3. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Once Flew to the Moon Not content with just filling breakfast bowls on Earth, the Kellogg brand exported its Corn Flakes to space as the breakfast of choice for the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Fruit-flavored Corn Flakes (as well as Frosted Flakes) were part of the astronauts’ recommended 2,500-calorie daily diet. The cereal was stored in packets, and astronauts needed to add 3 ounces of water before eating them. Corn Flakes were an attractive candidate for space food because they were nutritious, lightweight, compressible, and zero-gravity edible. On early missions, they also needed to go without refrigeration. Today, the National Air and Space Museum still has packets of unopened Corn Flakes from the Apollo mission in its collection. 4. French Toast Wasn’t Invented in France Contrary to its name, French toast — sliced bread soaked in milk and beaten eggs and then pan-fried — existed before modern-day France ever took shape. Historians trace the dish to a fourth-century Roman cookbook called Apicius, which describes a recipe similar to French toast called pan dulcis. Once France coalesced into a nation, the French called the recipe pain a la Romaine (“Roman bread”) before eventually adopting its modern name pain perdu, or “lost bread.” In fact, many countries around the world use a translation of that name, because the dish was originally made with stale bread being saved from going to waste. North America refers to the concoction as French toast in the same way that fried potatoes are also decidedly “French” — French immigrants popularized both dishes in the 17th and 18th centuries. 5. Humans Have Been Eating Pancakes for Several Thousand Years Although French toast has origins in the Roman Empire, it’s likely that no breakfast food is as old as the humble pancake. Although scholars can’t be certain, pancakes — or at least a close approximation of them — likely existed in the Paleolithic era because of their relatively simple ingredients. Stone Age cooks probably created flour from nearby plants, mixed it with water, and cooked pancakes on a hot rock. Those same basic ingredients are what make up the pancake today. The first documented evidence of the pancake comes from Ötzi the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old human mummy encased in ice in the Italian Alps. After his discovery in 1991, scientists examined his stomach and determined that his last meal contained wheat mixed with charcoal, suggesting Ötzi had eaten a pancake cooked over coals. 6. Donuts Were Originally Called “Oily Cakes” The doughnut made its first appearance in North America in 17th-century New York City, then a Dutch colony known as New Amsterdam. This fried dough recipe was known in Dutch as olykoeks, or “oily cakes.” However, oily cakes were missing one important innovation of the modern doughnut — the hole in the center. That particular characteristic didn’t take shape until the 19th century. Although there are several competing theories, it’s likely that New England ship captain Hanson Crockett Gregory, spurred on by indigestion due to his mother’s oily cakes, decided to cut out the doughier middle of the cake. Gregory soon discovered that his mother’s cakes received a more even fry, and thus the modern doughnut was born. Source: Amazing Facts About Breakfast Foods
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    What's the Word: DELIMIT pronunciation: [dih-LIM-it] Part of speech: verb Origin: French, 19th century Meaning: 1. Determine the limits or boundaries of. Example: "The neighbors gathered each spring to mend the wall delimiting each person’s property from the other’s." "The geography of Long Island is delimited by water on three sides." About Delimit “Delimit” entered English from the French word “delimiter,” meaning the same thing. The French word was based on the Latin “dēlīmitō,” meaning “to mark boundaries.” Did you Know? While cities, towns, and settlements around the world have often been located close to water and other natural resources, these factors also delimit the growth of such cities. This is especially extreme in the case of San Francisco, which is not an island but is delimited by water on three sides, giving it a limited maximum of available land. However, there is more land in San Francisco today than there was 200 years ago. In the 1800s and 1900s, swamps and marshy areas around the city were drained and filled in with sand and other materials in order to expand the limits of the city. But even with those expanded areas, San Francisco remains strictly delimited by the bordering bodies of water.
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    What's the Word: FELICITATE pronunciation: [fih-LIS-ih-teyt] Part of speech: verb Origin: Latin, 17th century Meaning: 1. Congratulate Example: "We wanted to be the first to felicitate our niece on her spelling-bee victory." "The CEO felicitated me for leading my division to record profits in the past year." About Felicitate “Felicitate” is based on the Latin “felicitatus,” meaning “to make happy,” from the Latin “fēlīx” (meaning “happy”). Did you Know? “Felicitate” is often thought of as a pure synonym for “congratulate,” though the term is more complicated than that. In order to understand it best, it helps to look at the Latin root “felicitatus,” meaning “to make happy.” More than simply offering congratulations, a person who felicitates is celebrating another’s happiness, or wishing joy upon that person. To felicitate suggests congratulating in a way that makes it clear the person has earned the right to happiness.
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    Fact of the Day - MILK Did you know... Milk plays a major part in human life — even for the most dedicated of vegans. Homo sapiens are biologically wired to be raised on our mother’s milk; the substance protects against short- and long-term illnesses while also sharing the mother’s antibodies with the newborn. Milk has also been the backbone of entire empires, and the substance even describes the very galaxy in which our planet resides. Here are seven amazing facts about milk (and its tasty plant-based alternatives) that’ll make you appreciate that carton in your fridge in a whole new way. 1. Milk Is Mostly Water Although milk tastes much different than the H2O that comes out of the tap, the beverage is mostly water. Whole milk, for example, is 87% water, and the other 13% contains protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Because of its high water content, milk is also a good hydration source during hot summer days. For all the talk of different milk types (whole, 2%, or skim), the difference in water content is only 3% at most. 2. Protein and Fat Content Is What Makes Milk White Milk looks white because it’s reflecting all the wavelengths of visible light, and the combination of reflected colors creates white. The particles in milk — including the protein casein, calcium complexes, and fat globules — scatter light, much as light scattering on snow makes it appear white. Sometimes milk can have a slight yellow hue caused by a cow’s diet — the pigment carotene, found in carrots and other vegetables, can cause color variations — and the vitamin riboflavin can also cause a yellowish-green hue. Skim milk, which is low in fat content, can sometimes be a bluish color because casein scatters blue slightly more than red. 3. Humans Are the Only Mammals That Drink Another Animal’s Milk Humans stand alone as the only mammals that drink the milk of another mammalian species. This is due to our history of animal husbandry, along with a genetic mutation that allows some humans to retain the enzyme lactase — which breaks down milk’s lactose sugar in the digestive system — beyond infancy. However, this mutation is not found in the majority of the 8 billion Homo sapiens on planet Earth — in fact, 68% of us experience some form of lactose malabsorption. Although humans stand alone when it comes to mammals, some other species do drink milk from other animals. The red-billed oxpecker is known to steal milk from the udders of impala, and shorebirds such as seagulls have similarly swiped milk from the teats of elephant seals. 4. Milk Helped Build the Mongol Empire The horse tribes of the Eurasian Steppes were one of the first cultures to adopt dairying, some 5,000 years ago. Because their vast plains weren’t fertile ground for agriculture, these nomadic tribes instead relied on animals and their milk for sustenance. Because they received much-needed calories from horse’s milk, these tribes could travel across land more quickly and maintain larger empires than their neighbors. One of the remaining mysteries of milk’s importance in this era of human history is that 95% of Steppe people today lack the gene variant for digesting lactose, yet the population still gains a large portion of their calories from dairy products. One theory is that the microbiome found in the gut of Mongolians has somehow adapted to a millennia-long, dairy-heavy diet. 5. Dairy Milk Was Revolutionized by Bacteriology In 1857, French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur discovered that microorganisms in the air caused lactic acid fermentation, aka the souring of milk. Pasteur also discovered (after a request from Emperor of France Napoleon III) that certain microbes caused wine to go bad, but by briefly heating the libation to around 140 degrees Fahrenheit, those microbes died off, leaving behind a sterilized (or as it would be later known, “pasteurized”) liquid that would stay fresh for longer. Pasteurization for milk wasn’t introduced until 1886, but it was a game-changer, as diseases introduced via contaminated milk killed scores of infants in the 19th century. With the introduction of pasteurization, that number dropped significantly. 6. Plant Milks Have Been Around for 5,000 Years For years, dairy producers have sued alternative milk companies for using the word “milk” on their packaging — but history is not on their side. Evidence suggests that Romans had a complex understanding of the word “milk,” as the root of the word “lettuce” comes from “lact” (as in “lactate”). Many medieval cookbooks make reference to almond milk, and the earliest mention of soy milk can be found on a Chinese stone slab from around the first to third century CE. However, coconut milk has the longest history; archaeologists have recovered coconut graters among relics from Madagascar and Southeast Asia that date back to around 3000 to 1500 BCE. 7. Our Galaxy’s Name, “Milky Way,” Comes From a Greek Myth The galaxy is home to hundreds of billions of stars, and stretches for truly mind-boggling distances. If you traveled the speed of light, it’d still take you 200,000 years just to cross its entirety. Its Western name — Milky Way — comes from a Greek myth in which the queen goddess Hera, while nursing the hero Heracles, pulled away her breast and sprayed her divine lactation across the cosmos. In fact, the root of the word “galaxy” is the Greek gála, meaning “milk.” The Romans also referred to the cosmos in Latin as Via Lactea, or “Road of Milk.” However, other cultures use different names to represent the great expanse of the starry sky. China, for example, calls it “銀河,” meaning “silver river,” and Sanskrit’s “Mandākinī” roughly means “unhurried.” Source: Amazing Facts You Might Not Know About Milk
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    https://store.steampowered.com/app/493540/Figment/ Figment is currently free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/582660/Black_Desert/ Black Desert is currently free on Steam.
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    https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/rise-of-industry-0af838 Rise of Industry is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://freebies.indiegala.com/skiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid https://freebies.indiegala.com/last-dream SKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID and Last Dream is currently free on IndieGala.
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    Fact of the Day - BLUE JEANS Did you know... While many types of apparel go in or out of fashion, blue jeans retain a timeless appeal. Denim pants are not only versatile, fashionable, and comfortable, but they also have a rich history dating back to the 1800s, evolving from a workwear staple into one of the world’s most popular clothing items. From the U.S. President who once banned them in the Oval Office to the legendary crooner who inspired the Canadian tuxedo, zip up these six fascinating facts about blue jeans. 1. Blue Jeans Were Initially Called “Waist Overalls” When businessman Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davies received their patent for denim pants with metal rivets at the stress points to make them more durable on May 20, 1873, they marketed the trousers as “waist overalls,” intended for miners and other workers. The utilitarian pants underwent their first marketing shift in 1890, when the company introduced Levi’s 501 waist overalls made from blue denim, a move to widen their appeal in advance of the patent’s imminent expiration. (Why Levi’s chose the number 501 is unclear; many of the company’s records were destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.) This marked the start of a shift in blue denim’s fashionability. In the following decades, the pants began to grace the silver screen, worn by movie stars such as Marlon Brando (in 1953’s The Wild One) and James Dean (in 1955’s Rebel Without A Cause). As the product garnered mainstream attention, the focus of marketing campaigns transitioned away from the working man to a wider audience interested in everyday fashion. By 1960, the pants became known as “blue jeans” — a term that originally referred to a type of twilled cloth from Genoa, Italy — replacing the “overalls” designation for good. 2. George W. Bush Banned Blue Jeans From the Oval Office Shortly after assuming the presidency in 2001, George W. Bush banned jeans from the Oval Office, reverting to a dress code that was set in place during his father’s administration but had been relaxed during the Clinton years. (The stricter dress code also required men to wear neckties and women to wear “appropriate business attire.”) Prior to Bush taking office, several Presidents publicly sported blue jeans, including Jimmy Carter, who donned the pants to embrace his farming roots, and Ronald Reagan, who owned a ranch in California and was frequently seen wearing blue jeans while riding on horseback. President Clinton was the first to flaunt blue jeans around the White House, and he was even known to wear them while working from the Oval Office on weekends. While Bush’s executive order sought to restore more of a classic formal atmosphere for official business at the White House, he was often seen wearing blue jeans at his Texas ranch. And he did make at least one notable exception to the White House dress code — in 2005, he welcomed U2 lead singer Bono to the Oval Office, despite the rocker being clad in black jeans and sunglasses. 3. A Denim-Themed Car Hit the Market in the 1970s In 1970, the American Motors Corporation unveiled an unusual-looking two-door subcompact car called the Gremlin, which was met with mixed reactions. Three years later, the company debuted an even more distinctive version of the vehicle that was the result of a partnership with Levi’s. The new automobile was advertised as an “economy car that wears the pants,” and featured Levi’s-inspired trim lining each seat along with orange stitching, copper buttons, and denim pockets affixed to the blue color-coordinated doors. Due to concerns regarding denim’s flammability, AMC and Levi’s were forced to use a lookalike material in lieu of actual denim, though the visual similarities were spot-on. The AMC-Levi’s partnership would further extend into the motor company’s Jeep division years later, and limited-edition denim-themed cars were also introduced by other brands including Mitsubishi. 4. Bing Crosby Helped Define the “Canadian Tuxedo” Legendary crooner Bing Crosby wasn’t just a music icon — he inadvertently popularized the “Canadian tuxedo,” an all-denim outfit that consists of blue jeans and a blue jean jacket. The reason the outfit boasts its regional moniker is because its creation was inspired by a 1951 incident in which Crosby attempted to check into a hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia — only to be turned away by the front desk for wearing Levi’s jeans. Because denim went against the hotel’s dress code, the staff refused to admit Crosby, despite his megastar status. When Levi’s caught word of the kerfuffle, the company designed a custom full-body denim outfit for Crosby, which would later come to be known as the Canadian tuxedo. The jacket even featured a message inside stating, “Notice to All Hotel Men: a perfectly appropriate fabric and anyone wearing it should be allowed entrance into the finest hotels.” 5. The FBI Analyzed Faded Blue Jeans to Catch Criminals Forensics analysts at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have examined the unique patterns of faded blue jeans in an effort to nab fugitives. The method was first developed in 1996 after a series of bombings and bank robberies in Spokane, Washington, and the findings played a part in the successful conviction of a group responsible for the crimes. Knowing that blue jeans fade in unique patterns after being washed, the FBI analyzed fade marks and dark splotches on the hems of jeans seized during a search warrant and matched them to photographs taken from the crime scenes. While the FBI has employed the technique in other investigations, its usefulness is often limited because it requires high-quality photographic surveillance. The reliability of the technique has also recently come under scrutiny. 6. The Largest Pair of Jeans Ever Made Was Over 200 Feet Tall Measuring 214 feet and 10 inches tall by 140 feet and 1 inch wide, a pair of jeans sewn together by the Paris brand department store in Lima, Peru, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest pair of jeans ever created. The trousers were unveiled on February 19, 2019, in a mall parking lot, where they remained on display for the following week. It took a team of 50 people around six months to craft the enormous pair of pants, which weighed a whopping six tons. Beyond just a publicity stunt, the effort had a positive environmental impact: The giant jeans were subsequently broken down and converted into 10,000 reusable bags to be sold at Paris’ line of department stores in an effort to promote the reduction of plastic bag use. Source: True-Blue Facts About Blue Jeans
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    Fact of the Day - COLLEGE MASCOTS Did you know... From the Michigan State Spartan to the Duke Blue Devil, college sports are full of charismatic mascots that exemplify school spirit. Among those legendary characters are several oddball creatures boasting amorphous shapes and unlikely origin stories. These wacky sideline staples are beloved by students at their respective institutions. In their honor, here are some spirited facts about seven of the most endearing and unusual college mascots. 1. Sammy the Banana Slug, University of California, Santa Cruz Banana slugs aren’t the most animated creatures — National Geographic deems them among the slowest beings on Earth — but that reputation hasn’t stopped Sammy the Slug from riling up fans on the sidelines. Sammy has been the official mascot for UC Santa Cruz’s athletic program since the mid-1980s, though the slug was once a point of contention between students and members of the administration. As far back as 1965, students noticed banana slugs crawling around local hiking trails; given that UCSC had no NCAA sports teams at the time, they felt that the mollusk’s low-key, docile nature suited the school well. But when UC Santa Cruz joined several Division III sports leagues in 1980 and had to submit an official team name, it settled on the Sea Lions — a nod to the school’s geographic proximity to the Pacific Ocean. That’s when the protests (in good fun) began: Students would show up to basketball games and chant, “Slime ’em!” in support of their beloved banana slugs. The school ultimately held a vote in 1986 that ended up overwhelmingly in favor of adopting the banana slug as the official mascot, and Sammy the Slug was born. Sammy has since appeared in publications such as People and Sports Illustrated, and in the character’s 25th year, the Santa Cruz City Council declared September 27, 2011, the “Day of the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slug.” 2. Big Red, Western Kentucky University Few college mascots are more mysterious than Western Kentucky University’s Big Red. Though WKU’s athletic teams are the Hilltoppers, Big Red is a huge, furry, red, amorphous character who was intentionally designed to be unlike other college mascots. Big Red’s creator, Ralph Carey, didn’t want to go with a tired animal mascot, and also wanted to avoid any “hillbilly” stereotypes. So, after spending $300 on foam, fake fur, plastic tubing, and aluminum framing, Carey fashioned a unique costume and debuted Big Red on the sidelines at E.A. Diddle Arena on December 1, 1979. Known for its signature belly slide and belly shake, Big Red has appeared on ESPN, been named to the Capital One All-America Mascot Team, and even reportedly inspired a beloved Italian children’s television character named Gabibbo. 3. WuShock, Wichita State University WuShock is an anthropomorphized, muscular bundle of wheat that represents the Wichita State Shockers athletics program. A reference to the practice of “shocking” or harvesting wheat, the “Shockers” nickname first appeared on a poster advertising a football game in 1904. It wasn’t until 1948, however, that WuShock debuted as the official mascot, named for the abbreviation “W.U.,” from a time when the school was known simply as “Wichita University.” For the first few years, WuShock appeared as just a drawing on promotional materials, but in 1954, cheerleader Dave Johnson finally brought the character to life using a prototype outfit made for $20. In the years since, WuShock has undergone several redesigns, only a few of which have been considered official. The mascot now wears a black turtleneck with the letters “WSU” emblazoned on the front, and dons a messy, wheat-like haircut as he patrols the sideline rooting for his beloved Shockers. 4. Artie the Artichoke, Scottsdale Community College Artie the Artichoke was the culmination of an act of protest. In the 1970s, disagreements over intended budget priorities at Arizona’s Scottsdale Community College led to a period of unrest. During a 1972 vote to determine a school mascot, disillusioned students selected “the Artichokes” in an effort to embarrass school leadership, with other finalists including “the Scoundrels” and “the Rutabagas.” The administration was not happy and called for a second election, but the result was once again the same. And despite the initial discord, Artie has become beloved by students and administrators alike. Fans now colloquially refer to the school as “Artichoke Nation” and the sports teams as the “Fighting Artichokes.” 5. Otto the Orange, Syracuse University New York’s Syracuse University first adopted the color orange in 1890, in part to stand out from other schools, none of which used the hue as their sole primary color for collegiate sports at the time. In the decades after, Syracuse’s mascots included a gladiator, a goat, and even a dog wearing a football helmet. None had as big of an impact, however, as the school’s current mascot, Otto the Orange. The character, an anthropomorphic orange wearing a blue baseball cap, made its debut in the early 1980s, and is said to have been designed by a former SU student named Eric Heath. Known as “Clyde” or simply “the Orange” in those early days, the mascot quickly became universally beloved across campus — so much so that in 2004, when Nike proposed redesigning Otto, objections from students and alumni alike ensured that the Orange remained largely unchanged. 6. The Stanford Tree, Stanford University Though California’s Stanford University doesn’t have an official mascot — its athletic teams are known as the Stanford Cardinal, a reference to the color, not the bird — the school’s unofficial symbol is the Stanford Tree. First created in 1975, the Tree is technically a member of the Stanford Band, and was originally meant to be a spoof on mascots, before its popularity made it what it is today. It’s supposed to represent a famous redwood tree called El Palo Alto, but the costume (which is remade by each student who performs as the Tree) tends to be more goofy than majestic, boasting big eyes, big lips, buck teeth, and other striking features that add to its cartoonish nature. Several past Tree costumes are now preserved and stored in the school library, where current and former Trees can access them for special occasions. The mascot is not without controversy, however. In 2022, the 44th Stanford Tree was suspended for displaying a sign that read, “Stanford Hates Fun,” during halftime of a football game. A previous Tree was also busted for drinking alcohol on the sidelines. But despite these follies, the Stanford Tree remains as popular among students as it ever was. 7. The Blue Blob, Xavier Universit Cincinnati’s Xavier Musketeers have long featured a swashbuckling mascot named D’Artagnan. But in 1985, the school spirit squad coordinator decided they needed a new mascot that wouldn’t scare children like D’Artagnan did — and thus the Blue Blob was born. The Blue Blob — who, true to its name, is blue and amorphous, with a furry white nose and a wide smile — is known to “lick” fans with its 22-inch-long tongue and has even starred in a SportsCenter commercial for ESPN, alongside former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly. Blobby’s main job, however, is to act as a mischievous and childish foil to the more serious, sword-wielding D’Artagnan. When the Blob isn’t posing for photos with kids, you’ll find it sitting alongside the cheerleaders at each Xavier basketball game, or rolling around the court (its signature move) as fans chant, “Roll, Blob, Roll!” Source: Spirited Facts About 7 Unusual College Mascots
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    Fact of the Day - SHORTEST WARS Did you know... When tensions escalate into full-fledged war, series of gruesome battles often ensue that sometimes may last for years on end. Some wars, however, are settled much more quickly, whether due to one side's absolutely dominance over their opposition, or lack of enthusiasm and commitment from military leadership on either side to begin with. Each of the wars listed below lasted no longer than a matter of weeks, with the shortest on the list being discussed in terms of minutes. 1. Falklands War, 1982 (10 Weeks) Argentine soldiers and Falklanders in 1982 The Falkland Wars took place starting on April 2nd, 1982, when Argentinian forces landed on the Falkland Islands off of the coast of Argentina under the authorization of President Leopoldo Galtieri. At the time, the islands were British territory, and after the Argentinians captured two of the islands, the British responded by dispatching troops into the area. They sent part of their navy for support, as well as an amphibious task force. After ten weeks, on June 14th, the British forces had the Argentinians surrounded on land and barred at sea. During these 10 weeks, the British suffered 258 casualties and 777 wounded, while the Argentinians suffered 649 casualties, 1,068 wounded, and 11,313 captured. 2. Polish-Lithuanian, 1920 (37 Days) Depending on which side is telling the story, the Polish-Lithuanian War in 1920 ranges in length. According to the Polish, the war only consisted of the fight for the Suwałki Region, which took place from September to October of 1920 as part of the Polish-Soviet War. The Lithuanians, on the other hand, argue that the war was fought from the Spring of 1919 until November of 1920 as part of their war for independence. The aftermath of this war saw an uneasy armistice between the two countries in October, followed by a break in diplomatic relations after the events and ceasefire in November. 3. Second Balkan, 1913 (43 Days) Serbian troops with wireless field telegraph station during the Second Balkan War, in June 1913. Spanning from June 29th to August 10th of 1913, the Second Balkan War took place as a result of unsettled disputes lingering from the First Balkan War. Therein, Bulgaria had had its sights set for the land of Macedonia, but walked away with far less than it had expected. In retaliation, Bulgaria attacked its former allies of Serbia and Greece. The war did not last very long, with Romania, Montenegro, and the Ottoman Empire joining in to add those being attacked, nearly doubling Bulgaria in manpower. The short, but violent, war left a number of places razed. In the face of enemies on all sides, Bulgaria soon surrendered and called for an armistice. This was soon followed by the signing of the Treaty of Bucharest. 4. Greco-Turkish, 1897 (34 Days) Known by a number of other names, including the Thirty Days’ War, the Black ’97, and the Unfortunate War, the Greco-Turkish War was fought between the Kingdom of Greece and the Ottoman Empire. The combatants' immediate concerns were for the possession of Crete, which was then under Ottoman Turkish rule yet considered itself Greek (as shown in the Cretan Revolt that took place from 1866 to 1869). Taking place beginning on April 5th, 1897, the Greco-Turkish War did not last very long. In the end, the Ottoman Empire came through with a decisive military victory, and took parts of Thessaly from Greece as well. However, through diplomacy and the intervention of other European nations, Crete was later given autonomy. 5. Sino-Vietnamese, 1979 (27 Days) Ma Quanbin, a Chinese PLA officer reports to his command after a battle against Vietnamese forces on 14 October 1986 Taking place from February 17th until March 16th of 1979 between the People’s Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Sino-Vietnamese War was a retaliation to the Cambodian-Vietnamese War of 1978. In that earlier conflict, the Khmer Rouge had demanded land and massacred ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia, and Vietnam had responded by invading and occupying Cambodia and persecuting ethnic Chinese therein. The majority of the fighting took place along the Chinese-Vietnamese border, and both sides claimed to have won the war. There is no exact number of causalities, as both sides downplayed their own losses while exaggerating those of their rivals. Although China eventually withdrew, there continued to be skirmishes on the border until as late as the 1990s. 6. Georgian-Armenian, 1918 (25 Days) The Georgian-Armenian War of 1918 took place between the Democratic Republic of Georgia and the First Republic of Armenia over the border territories of Lori, Javakheti, and Borchalo. Georgian-Armenian relations had already been strained since the time of Russian dominance in the region before the Russian Empire had been overthrown in the Russian Revolution. On December 5th, Armenian troops moved into Borchalo, and two days later war was declared. Both the Armenians and the Georgians living in the borderlands suffered from both of the invading armies, and the war lasted until December 31st, when both sides finally agreed to a British-mediated ceasefire. In the end, the disputed land of Lori became a neutral zone, which was later divvied between the countries when they were Sovietized. 7. Serbo-Bulgarian, 1885 (15 Days) Street fighting in Pirot. On November 14th, 1885, the Kingdom of Serbia declared war on the Principality of Bulgaria. Although the Bulgarians had a younger, less experienced army, they did not suffer as much division amongst themselves. War was not a popular option in Serbia, but Serbian King Milan mobilized his army anyway, as he was expecting a quick victory. The Serbs expected to occupy Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, but after suffering a decisive defeat at Slivnitsa, they started retreating. They retreated until November 28th, when Austria-Hungary stepped in and threatened Bulgaria with military action if it did not stop its own advances. Winning the war did much to further reinforce the patriotism of the Bulgarians, further solidifying the nationalist bonds of their recent unification. 8. Indo-Pakistani War Of 1971 (14 Days) One of several conflicts between the two nations since the partition of British India following World War II, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 took place during the same time as the Bangladeshi Liberation War in 1971. This occurred when India supported separatists in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh who were engaged in a civil war and fighting for their autonomy. On December 3rd, as a preemptive attack, Pakistan launched airstrikes on multiple Indian airbases, which led to India joining the civil war. Quickly outnumbered and outmaneuvered, the war came to an end on December 16th, when Pakistan signed the Instrument of Surrender, which marked the separation of East Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh as a new nation. However, as a result of the fighting and violence, millions of civilians were killed, injured, or displaced. Even today, tensions remain high along the Indo-Pakistani border. In fact, even well before the partition and independence of British India, religious and ethnic strife had become well-entrenched between the predominately Hindu populations of what is now India, the predominately Muslim populations of what is now Pakistan, and the ethnically Bengali, religiously Muslim populations of what is now Bangladesh. 9. Six Day War, 1967 (6 Days) The Six Day War took place between June 5th and June 10th in 1967, when tensions boiled over and Israel nearly wiped out the Egyptian air force by way of preemptive attacks. The war took place on three fronts. Namely, these were the Egyptian Front, the Syrian Front, and the Jordanian Front. Although the war began in June, the conflict between Israel and the other Arab nations can be traced back several decades to even before the Arab-Israeli War of 1948. The United Nations immediately began working on ceasefire resolutions to the war as soon as the Israeli army had started to advance, and by the time all of the concerned parties had signed the ceasefire, Israel had captured the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank. 10. British-Zanzibar, 1896 (38 Minutes) Also known as the Anglo-Zanzibar War, the war is estimated to have lasted for 40 minutes (+/- 5 minutes), occurring in the archipelago of Zanzibar, off the coast of what is now Tanzania. On August 25th, 1896, two days before the war commenced, the sultan of Zanzibar had died, and his cousin, Khalid bin Bargash, took over the throne. This was despite a treaty that had said all successors had to be British-approved prior to their ascension to the throne. The British saw this violation as a proclamation of war, and gave Khalid until 9:00 am to surrender the throne. Khalid barricaded himself inside his palace, not believing the British would open fire. The British called his bluff, and the palace was decimated. By the time the shelling stopped around 9:45 am, over 500 Zanzibaris were either killed or injured, and Khalid had fled from the palace to the German consulate. Zanzibar would remain a British protectorate until becoming the People's Republic of Zanzibar in 1964, merging with the also newly independent United Republic of Tanzania later that year. Decimated palace of Zanzibari Sultan Khalid bin Bargash following the ~38-minute long British-Zanzibar War on August 27th, 1896. Source: Shortest Wars In Human History
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    What's the Word: HETEROCLITE pronunciation: [HET-er-ə-klahyt] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, 16th century Meaning: 1. Abnormal or irregular. Example: "My grandfather held a number of heteroclite beliefs, including that one must always drown out heavy rain with loud music." "My neighbor is a friendly but heteroclite person who feeds raccoons." About Heteroclite “Heteroclite” is based on the Latin “heteroclitus,” which was based on the Greek “ἑτερόκλιτος” (“heteróklitos”). That term combined “héteros,” meaning “different,” with “klínō,” meaning “to lean.” Did you Know? “Heteroclite” is usually an adjective describing behavior or opinions out of the ordinary. However, like its synonym “eccentric,” “heteroclite” can also be a noun describing a person who behaves in an irregular manner. British culture has long celebrated heteroclite people — or “heteroclites” — in works such as John Timbs’ 1866 book “English Eccentrics and Eccentricities,” and Edith Sitwell’s 1933 book “The English Eccentrics.” In more recent decades, the British newspaper The Telegraph ran a special obituary series called “Eccentric Lives.”
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    What's the Word: DAEDALIAN pronunciation: [dih-DEI-lee-ən] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Ancient Greek, 17th century Meaning: 1. Ingeniously or cunningly designed; artistic, ingenious, intricate, skillful. 2. Difficult to comprehend due to complexity or intricacy. Example: "The walls of the mansion concealed a Daedalian series of hidden passages to which only the owner and architect knew the entrances." "The dungeon master guided the role-playing gamers through a Daedalian series of worlds and scenes that tested the limits of their imaginations." About Daedalian “Daedalian” is based on the Latin “Daedalus,” from the ancient Greek “Δαίδαλος” (“Daídalos”). Did you Know? In ancient Greek myth, the inventor and architect Daedalus was a figure of wisdom and creativity, known for building the Labyrinth for King Minos, and for crafting the wax wings with which his son Icarus flew too close to the sun. Ancient Greeks credited Daedalus with designing the original structures upon which classical Greek buildings were based. In modern English, “Daedalian” pays tribute to his genius by invoking his name to describe anything ingeniously or craftily designed. “Daedalian” is distinct from the similar adjective “daedal” (which means “crafty” or “skillful”) through its specific description of design or imagination.
  46. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - X-RAYS Did you know... When X-rays were first discovered in 1895, the “X” stood for “unknown.” Today, scientists know a lot more about them. X-rays are a kind of electromagnetic radiation, part of a spectrum of waves of various wavelengths. Longer wavelengths in the spectrum include radio waves, ultraviolet waves, and visible light. X-ray wavelengths are much smaller — between 0.03 and 3 nanometers — and that means they’re also higher in energy than many other waves. That high-energy attribute, while not exactly healthy for humans, is also what makes X-rays so useful. When X-rays hit an object, their energy is absorbed or scattered at different rates by different components of our bodies. X-rays have a harder time passing through bones, which show up as white on the resulting images, while they more easily penetrate our skin and internal organs, which show up darker. X-rays revolutionized medicine upon their discovery, but that’s only one aspect of their amazing story. These six facts showcase just how important X-rays are to modern life, and how they’ve made the invisible visible. 1. The Discovery of X-Rays Was an Accident Many of the world’s most important discoveries came about by accident, and you can add X-rays to that list. On November 8, 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was experimenting with cathode rays in his laboratory in Würzburg when he noticed that a nearby screen had begun to glow. Not knowing what the mysterious rays causing the effect could be, he eventually called them “X-rays,” with the “X” referring to an unknown item (as in solving for “X” in mathematics). Röntgen noticed that these rays passed through soft tissue, like human skin, but didn’t penetrate harder materials such as metal and bone. For the next seven weeks, Röntgen continued working in his lab in complete secrecy. When Röntgen’s wife asked what was the matter, he answered that if people knew what he was doing, they would say, “Röntgen must have gone mad.” Finally, on December 28 of that year, he published a paper titled “On a New Kind of Rays.” The world was never the same. Later, when asked what went through his mind when he first discovered X-rays, Röntgen answered: “I didn’t think; I investigated.” 2. The Discoverer of X-Rays Won the First Nobel Prize in Physics In December 1896, a year after Röntgen published his groundbreaking paper, Alfred Nobel — famous for inventing dynamite — died in Sanremo, Italy, bequeathing his fortune to the establishment of a prize awarding the greatest advancements in literature, chemistry, physics, medicine, and peace (economics was added in 1969). Following five years of legal wrangling, in 1901 Wilhelm Röntgen became the first recipient of the Nobel Prize for physics, an award that eventually honored such titans of science as Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Niels Bohr. Röntgen also received an honorary degree of medicine from the University of Würzburg because of his invention’s immense medical benefits, but he never took out patents related to his invention. 3. People Used to Take “Bone Portraits” Using X-Rays Many X-ray entrepreneurs and photo studios began offering “bone portraits” in the early years of the 20th century. The fad didn’t last, though, and that’s probably a good thing, because frequent, intense exposure to X-rays isn’t healthy for you. Those who regularly operated early X-ray machines developed skin lesions and other maladies because of prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation. However, humans are constantly exposed to what’s called “background radiation.” The American Cancer Society estimates that today’s chest X-ray is the equivalent of 10 days of normal exposure — not terrible, but also not something you want to expose yourself to many times a day. So wearing those heavy X-ray vests probably isn’t a bad idea. 4. There Are “Hard” and “Soft” X-Rays Not all X-rays are alike. Medical X-rays, CT scans, airport security scanners, and other devices most commonly associated with X-rays use what are known as “hard X-rays,” because they have smaller wavelengths and can therefore carry more energy. This makes them perfect for penetrating soft tissue to examine the harder structure lying underneath. Soft X-rays, on the other hand, have longer wavelengths, almost approaching the length of UV light. These X-rays can’t carry very much energy at all. However, these X-rays also have their uses in catalysis — the study of chemical reactions caused by catalysts — and biology. 5. X-Rays Helped Scientists Discover the Structure of DNA On May 6, 1952, British chemist Rosalind Franklin at King’s College London took her 51st X-ray diffraction pattern of deoxyribonucleic acid, also known as DNA. For the first time in history, the image revealed DNA’s double helix structure. Known simply as Photo 51, the image had been produced by scattering X-rays off a pure fiber of DNA using a process known as X-ray crystallography. Franklin’s colleague Maurice Wilkins showed the photo to two other scientists without her knowledge, and it was those three men who then won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1962 — without any mention of Franklin’s contribution. (Sadly, she had passed away four years earlier.) Although she never received recognition from the Nobel Prize committee, scientists and historians now recognize her crucial contributions to molecular biology; the European Space Agency even named its Mars rover the Rosalind Franklin. 6. X-Rays Revolutionized the Study of Art History Although X-rays have an obvious application in hospitals, art historians also have a need for technology that can delicately penetrate layers on a canvas to reveal the secrets beneath. X-rays are perfect at surpassing low-density materials to reveal high-density pigments (such as those containing metals like mercury, iron, zinc, and lead) below. This is particularly useful at uncovering underpaintings — the first layer of paint on a painting, often done historically with lead white — and other painted-over areas, which reveal an artist’s step-by-step approach to creating a masterpiece. The technology has been used to examine the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, and a variety of Dutch masters. Source: Amazing Facts About X-Rays
  47. 1 point
    What's the Word: ANSCHAUUNG pronunciation: [AHN-shou-əng] Part of speech: noun Origin: German, 19th century Meaning: 1. (Philosophy, Kantianism) Sense-perception. Example: "Being raised off-grid without electricity or running water gave Jodi an excellent Anschauung, or intuition related her senses." "While kindergarten lessons seem simple, they’re often designed to help children develop their Anschauung, or skills related to the five senses." About Anschauung “Anschauung” is taken directly from German. Did you Know? In German, “Anschauung” is associated with a person’s perspective, point of view, or opinion in general. However, in the field of philosophy, where it has been used and defined by a variety of major thinkers such as Hegel, Kant, and Schopenhauer, “Anschauung” (still capitalized as a German noun) refers to something closer to a blend of sensory observation and intuition, meaning the way the mind can recognize an object before it has any opportunity to interpret or assign it meaning. The idea of sense perception has extended to mean any sort of knowledge gained from the use of the five senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste.
  48. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - HAIR Did you know... Long, beautiful hair Shining, gleaming Streaming, flaxen, waxen Give me down to there (hair) Shoulder length or longer (hair) No, these aren’t the words of a shampoo commercial. When American men were drafted to fight in Vietnam, their hair was cut short. Long locks on men became a sign of defiance, and such hairdos seemed thrillingly shocking to theatergoers, who flocked to the rock musical Hair (which featured the song above) when it opened on Broadway in 1968. Hair has sent cultural messages for millennia. It also sends signals about our body chemistry, including our age and health (which may be the unconscious reason some of us get so upset about “bad hair” days). Let these six facts about hair show you a whole new side of your crowning glory. 1. Human Hair Contains Silicon and Gold Although each person’s hair is a bit different, one strand usually contains 45% carbon, 28% oxygen, and 15% nitrogen. Hair also contains up to 12% to 15% water and traces of mineral elements, including copper, zinc, iron, and silicon. Our hair even contains gold, which is excreted from our bodies through both hair and skin. Babies have more gold in their hair than adults, because gold is passed along in breast milk. Overall, the average human body is said to contain around .2 milligrams (less than the weight of a poppy seed) of gold. 2. Some Hair Loss Is Normal During your life, your hair grows, falls out, and regrows around 20 times. In fact, it’s normal to lose 100 hairs a day, and even more during the fall and spring. The reason may be that in areas with four seasons, the sun damages the hair bulbs during the summer, leading to hair loss in the fall. Winter cold restricts blood flow to the scalp, causing the spring shedding. The solution: Cover your head! However, if you’re suddenly noticing much more hair in your brush or in your shower drain, you may be suffering from low iron, or anemia. This is more likely in people who menstruate if they have heavy periods. People also can experience temporary shedding after a sickness like COVID-19, with a change in estrogen levels after pregnancy or stopping birth control pills, or during menopause. 3. Hair Reveals Stress It’s true: Stress can make hair go gray or white faster. But there’s good news, too. Gray or white strands can sometimes turn back to their previous color, according to a large international study in 2021. “Just like tree rings hold information about past decades, and rocks hold information about past centuries, hairs hold information about past months and years,” the researchers wrote. These transformations can happen on hair anywhere on the body — sometimes quickly. One person in the study regained five hairs with color after they took a two-week holiday. 4. We Can Go White Overnight Extreme stress can even turn hair white overnight (or at least very quickly). This may have happened to Queen of France Marie Antoinette before the morning she walked to the guillotine. Sir Thomas More’s hair is also said to have turned white overnight in the Tower of London before his execution. Dermatologists now call this rare phenomenon “Marie Antoinette syndrome.” 5. Wigs and Hair Dye Are Nothing New Because hair reflects our mental and physical health, people have gone to great lengths throughout history to change its appearance. We dye away gray, use chemical products to fight hair loss, or wear wigs. Dye to camouflage gray dates back at least to the ancient Egyptians, who used henna. The ancient Greeks used henna too (and even colored their horses’ tails with it). In the Roman Empire, blond was a popular hair color. It had an exotic allure, and was associated with people from Gaul (modern France and Germany). Roman prostitutes were also required by law to have yellow hair to signal their status. Some very wealthy Romans even powdered their hair with gold dust. That was a more pleasant option than one dye that was used to turn hair black: fermented leeches. The first commercial hair dye was created in 1907 by a French chemist, Eugene Schueller. He initially called his creation Aureole, but later renamed it L’Oréal, which was also the name of the company he founded two years later. 6. People Save Their Cut Hair Among the sentimental Victorians, it was common to give locks of your hair to friends, family members, or lovers. The New York Public Library’s archives contain, for example, an auburn lock from Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein; a lock from Walt Whitman, author of Leaves of Grass; and a lock from Charlotte Bronte, who wrote Jane Eyre. To this day, we continue to value hair as a memento. In 2009, a bidder paid $15,000 for a lock of Elvis Presley’s hair at an auction. That’s actually cheap: In 2021, a jar of the rock icon’s hair sold for $72,500. Source: Interesting Facts About Our Hair
  49. 1 point
    What's the Word: INVOLUTE pronunciation: [IN-və-loot] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, 17th century Meaning: 1. Involved or intricate. 2. Curled spirally. Example: "The professor offered an involute explanation of the roots of World War I that many students struggled to follow." "One of the great hurdles of learning coding is grasping the involute new vocabularies of programming languages." About Involute “Involute” is based on the Latin “involutus,” meaning “enveloped.” Did you Know? The common use for “involute” describes things that are involved, intricate, and complex. But “involute” is also a vocabulary word in botany, where it describes the state of leaves that curl up and inward onto themselves — such as when leaves roll into spirals. In other areas of biology, “involute” describes the complex whorl patterns visible in marine shells, such as the mollusks nautilus and spirula, and the shells of some snails that live on land.
  50. 1 point
    Last time I completed was Hitman 3. I got hooked of wanting to replay Hitman 1 for the first time in a few years, then followed by 2. Basically, they are the same, except 2 and 3 provided better upgrades. I have repeately played H1 campaign three times in a row. Couldn't get enough of the silent assassin.
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