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  1. 3 points
    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/defense-grid Defense Grid: The Awakening is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/verdun Verdun is currently free on Epic Games Store.
  2. 2 points
    https://www.gog.com/game/wanderlust_transsiberian Wanderlust: Transsiberian is currently free on GOG. https://freebies.indiegala.com/still-life Still Life is currently free on IndieGala. https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/world-of-warships--exclusive-starter-pack World of Warships Exclusive Starter Pack is currently free on Epic Games Store.
  3. 2 points
    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/mothergunship Mothergunship is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/train-sim-world-2 Train Sim World 2 is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/samurai-warriors-costume-mitsuhide-akechi/9mz2tdx7pf99#activetab=pivot:overviewtab https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/samurai-warriors-costume-nobunaga-oda/9ng7m0pzc10n?activetab=pivot:overviewtab Samurai Warriors 5 Mitsuhide Akechi and Nobunaga Oda Costumes DLC are currently free on Microsoft Store for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
  4. 2 points
    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/obduction Obduction is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/offworld-trading-company Offworld Trading Company is currently free on Epic Games Store.
  5. 2 points
    https://www.gog.com/game/syberia_i_ii Syberia I and II are currently free on GOG. https://1010meha.itch.io/larger-than-light Larger Than Light is currently free on Itch.io. https://freebies.indiegala.com/33-rounds 33 Rounds is currently free on IndieGala.
  6. 2 points
    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/bridge-constructor-the-walking-dead Bridge Constructor The Walking Dead is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/ironcast Ironcast is currently free on Epic Games Store.
  7. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - TAP DANCE Did you know.... that tap dance is a type of dance characterised by using the sounds of metal taps affixed to the heel and toe of shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion, coupled with both characteristic and interpretative body movements. Its roots were in minstrel shows, it gained prominence in vaudeville, then emerged into an art form and means of expression alongside the evolution of jazz. (Wikipedia) History of Tap Dancing By Benna Crawford Tap, like jazz, is a uniquely American contribution to the performing arts. Its roots are buried in the antiquity of tropical and temperate tribal lands. However, its staccato and style are homegrown. From the West of Ireland to the West Indies to the dance halls of old New York, the drumming of rhythmic feet tapped out an American story that is still unfolding. A Timeline of Tapping The faint percussion of European and African feet echoes through the often brutal colonization of the Americas, across the wars that founded and nearly destroyed a nation, over dirt country roads and the scarred boards of stages, in the fading images of old celluloid, and under the pounding rhythm of a modern flashmob, hammering out a crowd-pleasing, syncopated beat. Tap is a relatively new dance form with an ancient provenance. It is an artifact of history with its own history of fusion and famous tappers. 1600s In the 1600s, indentured Irish servants were imported to the colonies to serve British families, and Africans were enslaved to work the Caribbean and mainland plantations. Their lives were often unspeakable, but their spirits were irrepressible, and dance -- a tapping, stomping, stylized dance -- was a gift of their heritage that survived. The choreography of these poor people's dances didn't require music; they seldom had instruments, anyway. The dance was the music, its sound as important as movement in expressing the emotion and telling the story. 1800s Over time, the two rhythmic dance styles borrowed from each other. By the mid-1800s, the fusion moves turned up in dance halls. Wooden shoes (or wooden soles) allowed tappers to transfix audiences with sound, as well as footwork. A Black tapper named William Henry Lane, renamed Major Juba, broke the color barrier in the late 1800s to appear alongside white acts in a segregated entertainment industry. (.Juba, the capital of the Republic of South Sudan, was also a term for slave dance used to communicate like tribal drumming, only with feet, not drums. The stomping, slapping and patting steps were early precursors of a more polished hybrid that eventually dominated minstrel shows.) 1900s By 1902, a show called Ned Wayburn's Minstrel Misses used a style of syncopated choreography called "Tap and Step dance," performed in clogs with split wooden soles. That was the first mention of "tap" and the precursor to split-soled shoes with aluminum heel-and-toe taps. "Buck and Wing" dancing came out of the 19th-century vaudeville, and minstrel shows and gave the nascent dance form time-step, a rhythmic tap combination that marks tempo. The shim-sham from the same period is a time-step with a shuffle -- more vaudeville steps from the Savoy ballroom that you'll still find in tap class. 1907 and tap exploded into mainstream entertainment when Flo Ziegfeld put 50 tap dancers in his first Ziegfeld Follies. The Follies eventually featured such marquee performers as Fred Astaire and used choreographers to advance the art of tap and create an enthusiastic audience. It worked. From the 1920s through the 1930s, you couldn't go to a movie, a club, a Broadway musical or a vaudeville act without tripping over a tap routine. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson captured public imagination during the heyday of tap until mid-century. His 1918 "Stair Dance" was a tour de force of light, graceful, exquisite tap, and his career encompassed Broadway and Hollywood fame. Robinson delivered some immortal film performances with tiny Shirley Temple in the 1930s. He was a towering figure who had a powerful influence over the next generation of tap dancers. Fred Astaire, Donald O'Connor, Ginger Rogers, Eleanor Powell, Ann Miller, Gene Kelly, Sammy Davis Jr., and other double- and triple-threats (performers who excelled at singing, dancing and acting) held sway over the world of tap from the 1930s through the 1950s and beyond. They were theatrical tappers, incorporating jazz, ballet and ballroom moves for sweeping and elegant dances that enthralled theater patrons and moviegoers. 1950s Rock 'N' Roll edged tap aside as the Swing turned into the Twist and gyrating replaced syncopation. Modern had its passionate devotees; ballet twinkled and sparkled in the concert halls and opera houses; Broadway had a love affair with jazz; and tap languished -- a true step child in the dance world. 1978 - Gregory Hines, a trained dancer who was mentored on the road by classical tappers throughout his childhood, receives a Tony nomination for the Broadway show Eubie and the tap phenomenon overtakes America again. Hines had a distinguished career on Broadway and in film (his 1985 film White Nights, with Mikhail Baryshnikov, is unforgettable) and mentored tap's next boy phenom Savion Glover. Savion Glover is a supernatural kind of tapper -- his sharp, pounding technique is called "hitting," and he was a child prodigy who studied with Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr., starred in Jelly's Last Jam, choreographed and starred in Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk (4 Tony awards), and found time to choreograph Mumble, the CGI penguin in Happy Feet. Today's Tap - Two Styles Glover is a rhythm tapper. He makes music with his feet. Theatrical tappers are "whole body" tappers, and you'll find them dancing as characters in Broadway shows or in those vintage movies you binge on where Gene Kelly delights in his puddle stomping and Ginger Rogers mimics every move of the incomparable Fred Astaire, in heels and backwards. Both rhythm and theater tap are staples of dance programs now. The Irish steppers and the African stompers merged their glorious fast-feet percussion and their considerable talents to contribute a novel dance form to a chaotic New World. Source: Wikipedia - Tap dance | Tap Dance Facts
  8. 1 point
    What's the Word? - RECHERCHÉ pronunciation: [rə-sher-SHAY] Part of speech: adjective Origin: French, 17th century Meaning: 1. Rare, exotic, or obscure. Example: "Adrianna had a recherché palate when it came to fine wines." "The pearls gave a refined, recherché quality to the necklace." About Recherché This word stems from the French past participle “rechercher,” meaning “carefully sought out.” "Research." Did You Know? French novelist Marcel Proust’s most prominent work is called “À la recherche du temps perdu.” Published in the early 20th century, the original English translation titled it “Remembrance of Things Past,” but a revised version retitled it “In Search of Lost Time.”
  9. 1 point
    What's the Word? - HYPOCORISTIC pronunciation: [hi-pə-kə-ris-tik] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, mid-19th century Meaning: 1. A form that denotes a pet name or diminutive form of a name. Example: "She found the hypocoristic to be childish." "The father of eight came up with a hypocoristic for each child." About Hypocoristic This word originates from the Greek “hupokorisma,” from “hupokorizesthai,” meaning “play the child.” “Hupo” translates to “under,” and “korē” means “child.” Did You Know? Hypocorism, another noun formation with the same root as hypocoristic, is another word for “baby talk.” Wordsmiths of the 19th century used this linguistic term to describe the “baby talk” adults use when they speak to very young children. That usage eventually faded out of fashion and took on the current definition of a nickname or pet name.
  10. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - WEDDING CUSTOMS Ethiopia custom Did you know.... that the wedding procedure starts with the groom's side sending elders who then request a union between the parties. The elders discuss a dowry and verify that the intended bride and groom are not relatives by checking their lineage a minimum of seven generations. After a dowry is agreed upon and it has been determined that there is no relationship between the intended bride and groom, the wedding is announced and the families begin preparations for a church/mosque ceremony and a mels/melsi ceremony. (Wikipedia) Unusual Wedding Traditions From Around The World by Helen Armitage | October 2016 We profile some of the world’s most unusual wedding traditions from France’s stomach-churning La Soupe ritual and German plate-smashing to Borneo’s post-wedding bathroom ban and China’s crying brides. South Korea: Beating the Groom’s Feet Following their wedding ceremonies, some South Korean grooms are subjected to a certain ritual before they can leave with their new wives: the beating of their feet. His groomsmen or family members remove the groom’s shoes and bind his ankles with rope before taking turns to beat his feet with a stick or, in some cases, a dried fish. Though obviously painful, the ritual is over quickly and meant to be more amusing than an act of punishment, and apparently – as the groom is often quizzed and questioned during the act – the beating of feet is meant as a test of the newly wedded husband’s strength and character. Kenya: Maasai Marriage Spitting During the weddings of Kenya’s Maasai people, it is often customary for the father of the bride to spit on his daughter’s head and breasts before she leaves with her new husband. What might seem a strange, disrespectful custom to certain cultures actually makes sense within Maasai culture in which spitting is seen as a symbol of good luck and fortune. Spitting can be seen in other areas of Maasai culture too – Maasai tribesmen will spit on their hands before shaking hands with elders as a sign of respect and it is also tradition to spit on newborn Maasai babies to ward off bad luck. Scotland: Blackening Taking stag and hen traditions to the extreme, in parts of Scotland – usually in the Orkney Islands, Fife, Aberdeenshire and Angus – grooms and brides-to-be are subjected to a particularly grimy ritual known as ‘blackening’. Usually taking place the day before a wedding, blackening involves the bride or groom’s friends seizing the soon to be wed and covering them in a mixture of treacle, soot, feathers and flour before noisily parading them through the streets. According to the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness, the tradition is carried out to ward off evil spirits. India: Kumbh Vivah An old peepal tree in Andhra In India, women born under Mangala Dosha (a Hindu astrological combination) are termed ‘Mangliks’ and thought to be cursed with bad luck, especially in marriage, where the curse is said to bring tension and even death. In order to remedy this, a kumbh vivah – a ceremony in which the woman marries either a peepal or banana tree or an idol of the god Vishnu – is performed before their actual wedding to break the curse. Bollywood actress and Miss World 1994 winner Aishwarya Rai Bachchan underwent a kumbh vivah before her marriage to fellow actor Abhishek Bachchan in 2007. Germany: Polterabend & Baumstamm Sägen On the eve of some German weddings, guests of the couple will gather at the house of the bride and smash pieces of crockery in a tradition known as Polterabend believed to bring good luck to the bride and groom. The couple are then required to clean up the debris to demonstrate that by working together they can overcome any challenge the face in married life. A similar tradition is that of Baumstamm sägen, in which newlyweds saw a log in half in front of their guests, again symbolizing the importance of cooperation in their marriage. China: Crying Ritual Weddings are often an emotional affair, but in certain parts of China crying is a required part of preparation for marriage. A month before their forthcoming nuptials, Tujia brides will cry for one hour each day. Ten days into the ritual, the bride is joined by her mother and ten days after that, the bride’s grandmother joins the weeping duo and eventually other female family members will join in the cacophony of crying. Termed Zuo Tang in the western Sichuan province, the ritual is said to date back to China’s Warring States era when the mother of a Zhao princess broke down in tears at her wedding. France: Le Pot de Chambre Though we might associate France with haute cuisine, a certain stomach-churning French wedding tradition known as La Soupe is about as far from cordon bleu as you can get. Following the wedding reception, guest would traditionally gather leftover food and drink and place into a chamber pot before presenting to the newlyweds to drink, supposedly to give them energy for their wedding night. Thankfully, when the tradition is observed nowadays, the bride and groom are usually served a slightly more appealing concoction of chocolate and champagne. Malaysia and Indonesia: Borneo’s Bathroom Ban Members of Malaysia and Indonesia’s Tidong people in Borneo observe a tradition that states the bride and groom must not leave their home or use the bathroom for three whole days after their wedding ceremony and are kept under watchful guard and allowed only a small amount of food and drink. In Tidong culture, not observing the ritual is said to tarnish the bride and groom with bad luck often resulting in infidelity, the breakup of their marriage or the death of their children. Sweden: You May All Kiss The Bride In many western weddings, the immortal words ‘you may now kiss the bride’ signifies the sealing of a couple’s vows with a kiss but in Sweden, the kissing ritual is taken to a whole other level. At the wedding reception of newlywed Swedish couples, if the groom should leave the room the male guests of the bridal party are permitted to kiss the bride. Similarly, if the bride leaves the party female guests will hone in to kiss the groom. Inner Mongolia: Chick Liver Before they can even set the date of their wedding, couples from the Daur people of China’s Inner Mongolia must observe a tradition that involves the killing of a chick. The couple take a knife and together kill and gut the baby chicken before inspecting its liver. If the chick’s liver is in a healthy condition, the couple can set a date for their wedding but if they discover that the chick’s liver is of poor quality or diseased they must repeat the process until they find a healthy liver. Source: Wikipedia - Wedding Customs by Country | Around the World Wedding Traditions
  11. 1 point
    What's the Word? - ENCOMIUM pronunciation: [en-KO-mee-əm] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, mid 16th century Meaning: 1. A speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly. Example: "Adlai Stevenson gave a moving encomium about Eleanor Roosevelt to the United Nations." "The mayor praised the first responders in his encomium." About Encomium This word hails from Latin, deriving from the ancient Greek “enkōmion,” meaning “eulogy.” The “en-” means “within” + “komos” means “revel.” Did You Know? The ancient Greeks developed this word to describe the public congratulatory speeches given to Olympic winners in the original games in 776 BCE.
  12. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - VINCENT PRICE (actor) Did you know.... that Vincent Leonard Price Jr. was an American actor best known for his performances in horror films, although his career spanned other genres. He appeared on stage, television, and radio, and in more than 100 films. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures and one for television. (Wikipedia) Things You Didn't Know About Vincent Price by Skunk Uzeki | 2 years ago in CELEBRITIES Vincent Price was one of the biggest names in horror—but there was far more to him than meets the eye. Don't believe me? You will after reading about these things you didn't know about Vincent Price. Vincent Price was one of the most successful horror actors of all time. Known for such titles as House of Wax, House of Usher, Edward Scissorhands, and The Masque of the Red Death, his career spanned decades, and remains the stuff of legend. His trademark mustache, "evil" laugh, and sonorous voice became a part of pop culture that remains well-known long after his death. Most horror fans you know love Price's work, his amazing voice acting skills, and his one-of-a-kind stage persona, but there was far more to the iconic actor than his horror work. Here are some things you didn't know about Vincent Price that will leave you completely shocked. Vincent Price might be one of the very first actors to really brand himself as a cameo-friendly star. He was known for making surprise appearances on shows and movies that were far outside of the horror genre. He has made surprise appearances on shows like The Simpsons, The Muppet Show, and even The Brady Bunch. In some, he appeared as himself. In others, he used his voice to narrate what was going on. And, in the case of The Brady Bunch, he played a deranged archeologist. Price was a massive art aficionado. Though he was a famous horror actor, Price's true love was actually fine art. He had a degree in art history, was an avid art collector, and even worked as a fine art consultant for the rich and famous. When he wasn't acting, he would offer lectures and write books on the subject of art history. His love of artwork was so deep, he even founded the Vincent Price Art Museum in California. It's about time that art house films are changing horror anyway, right? Everyone knows that Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video is one of the most iconic music videos of all time. It follows the story of Michael Jackson and a woman being accosted by zombies on a cold Halloween night, only to have Jackson himself be a hidden member of the undead. Remember that evil laugh that sent chills up everyone's spine at the end? That evil laugh belonged to none other than Vincent Price! Disneyland almost has a little bit of Vincent Price in it, too. Disneyland's attractions are typically known for being upbeat, sunny, and totally magical. There's a number of top 10 tips for Disneyland trips out there on the internet that don't even scrape the surface of what is possible at "The Happiest Place on Earth." They're also known for being created by people who make every effort to make rides as realistic as possible. There's one ride in particular that has become famous for its special effects and for its spookiness: The Haunted Manor. It's even rumored to be literally haunted. When Disneyland was going to build a French park, they needed to start planning. Disney executives became enamored with the idea of recreating the Haunted Manor's success, so they created a second ride similar to it called the Phantom Manor. The original star of the Disneyland Paris attraction is none other than Vincent Price himself. He recorded the entire narration, but then it was discovered that the narration had to be in French. Ultimately, his narration was scrapped. If you thought this actor was just about acting, you're wrong. He was a very well-known gourmet chef who regularly discussed his epicurean interests. He even wrote a book featuring his favorite recipes that was published in 1965. Recently, the Vincent Price cookbook came into reprint, but remains difficult to source. It's a collector's item, you know! Price was exceptionally progressive for his time. Most people assume that those who were born in the 1910s would be a "product of their time" when it came to homophobia, racism, and religious discrimination. Even during the 30s and 40s though, Price was known for having extremely liberal views. By the 70s and 80s, he was an outspoken advocate for gay rights, and publicly denounced people who would spread anti-homosexuality propaganda. Along with being very LGBT-friendly, he was staunchly against racism and religious discrimination. Horror movies tend to attract a certain type of fan, don't they? Many horror fans become inspired by the people who contributed to the genre and try to follow in their footsteps... or become inspired to create their own works in the field. It's safe to say that Vincent Price inspired a multitude of people in his lifetime. We're pretty sure that there were a bunch of actors who were inspired by him, but one of the most vocal fans of his work was none other than Tim Burton. Saying Tim Burton was inspired by him is no exaggeration. A little fast fact about Tim Burton and some of his movies involves the creation of a film called Vincent. It's a short story about a boy who pretends to turn into Vincent Price. Want to guess who makes a guest appearance? That's right, Vincent Price, himself. He was a wine aficionado. Along with fine food, Price was a huge fan of drinking. He was a bon vivant like that. He was the speaker for the California Institute of Wines after all, defining him as a serious oenophile. After his death, the community came together to create the Vincent Price Signature Wine Collection, a series of wines dedicated to his love of horror literature and his wild acting career. Despite Price's sophisticated tastes in art and cooking, his taste in booze that wasn't wine was pretty simple. He was known for enjoying Negra Modelo as his favorite beer, and for liking cocktails that weren't too heavy on the liquor. When dinners are held in his honor, they often take a queue from the subtle palate he had. Price was also from a pretty prestigious family. One of the things you didn't know about Vincent Price is that his family's pedigree was pretty impressive, too. His grandfather, Vincent Clarence Price, was the man who invented cream of tartar. He sold it as Dr. Price’s Baking Powder. Vincent Price's father, Vincent Leonard Price, was the head of the National Candy Company. This was once the largest candy company in America! It's no wonder how he became the man he did, right? Source: Wikipedia - Vincent Price | What You Didn't Know About Vincent Price
  13. 1 point
    What's the Word? - PULCHRITUDINOUS pronunciation: [pəl-krə-TOOD-ən-əs] Part of speech: adjective Origin: English, 15th century Meaning: 1. Beautiful. Example: "Her pulchritudinous looks charmed everyone at the table. " "The wedding planner provided lush, pulchritudinous flower arrangements." About Pulchritudinous This word stems from the American English “pulchritude,” from the Latin “pulchritudo,” meaning “beauty.” Earlier English had “pulcrious,” meaning “beautiful, fair,” but that term is now obsolete. Did You Know? According to Google users, “pulchritudinous” is a confusing word. One of the most common queries related to the word: “Is pulchritudinous a bad word?”
  14. 1 point
    This week, Anti rambles about 86
  15. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - MARIO BROS. Did you know... that Mario Bros. is a platform game developed and published for arcades by Nintendo in 1983. It was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Gunpei Y,okoi, Nintendo's chief engineer. Italian-American plumber Mario and his brother Luigi exterminate creatures emerging from the sewers by knocking them upside-down and kicking them away. It is part of the Mario franchise, but originally began as a spin-off from the Donkey Kong series. (Wikipedia) Mario Facts You Didn’t Know The iconic plumber has a remarkable history by Walid AO | Sep 18, 2020 When you think about video games, the name “Mario” pops immediately in your head. He is the face of an entire industry and has been around since the ‘80s. No video game character is as famous as Mario. A survey from the early ‘90s famously revealed that Mario was more recognizable to American children than Mickey Mouse. September 13th, 2020 marked the official 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., and we are here to celebrate our most beloved video game character and his brother Luigi (whose name, by the way, is a pun from the Japanese word Ruiji, which means “similar”). Super Mario Bros. was one of the first games to feature a continuous side-scrolling platforming experience. It offered a richness in design and presentation that went beyond many of the far simpler arcade-style games of the era. This was a world you entered, not simply a place where the next high score could be found. It is fair to say that there were video games before Super Mario Bros. and video games after it. Shigeru Miyamoto’s little plumber changed the industry forever. After 35 years, you might think you know everything there is to know about Mario. But let’s put that knowledge to the test. Here are ten interesting facts about the Mario brothers that you may not necessarily know. MARIO WAS ACTUALLY BORN IN 1981 Jumpman versus the king of the apes Even though Super Mario Bros. debuted in 1985, Mario himself emerged back in 1981. His first appearance was as a nameless protagonist in Donkey Kong; well, not entirely nameless. He was known as “Jumpman”. In Donkey Kong, Mario has to avoid obstacles, climb ladders, and jump over gaps in order to reach the top of a construction site. Donkey Kong himself is perched atop the structure, holding Pauline (Mario’s girlfriend) hostage in a cage. This was the first example of the “damsel in distress” trope in video games. Although Jumpman and Donkey Kong appeared to be “friendly rivals”, the game’s manual actually reveals that Donkey Kong is Jumpman’s pet and that Donkey Kong was motivated to abduct Pauline due to being mistreated. Oof. The game is divided into four single-screen stages; each four stages combine to form a full level. Every time the player finishes the four stages, they repeat the process with increased difficulty. In Donkey Kong Jr. (1982), Mario played the antagonist. Players controlled Donkey Kong Junior on his path to saving his father from his capturer Mario. MARIO WASN’T ALWAYS A PLUMBER A man of many talents When Mario first arrived on the scene, he was actually a carpenter. He had to climb an enormous construction site to save Pauline. It made sense given the game’s narrative. But in 1983’s Mario Bros., Mario and brother Luigi were plumbers from New York. They had to investigate the city’s sewers after strange creatures began appearing there. The fact that the game featured so many pipes caused creator Shigeru Miyamoto initiate a career change for the brothers. Miyamoto felt it made sense for New York to be the game’s setting, given the jungle of pipes beneath the city. He was also inspired by several manga that featured wastelands littered with pipes. Also, fun fact: Mario didn’t have his iconic blue overalls with the red shirt and hat that we now know him for. Rather, the colours were inverted. He had red overalls and a blue hat with a blue shirt. POPEYE INSPIRED MARIO A lucky licensing mishap Shigeru Miyamoto originally wanted to develop a Popeye game with Popeye, Olive, and Brutus. However, Nintendo was unable to secure the license required to develop the title. Instead, they created Donkey Kong. A year later — after Donkey Kong’s release in 1982 — Nintendo actually did release a Popeye game. It’s strikingly similar to Donkey Kong, but Popeye himself can’t jump, and instead punches his way through the level. TECHNICAL LIMITATIONS ARE BEHIND MARIO’S DESIGN Necessity is the mother of invention Mario has a rather distinguished look thanks to his moustache and large cap. But this design came out entirely due to the technical limitations that existed in the ‘80s. Why the hat? Well, realistic hair was difficult to portray. And the moustache helped to emphasise the nose and hide the mouth (which would have been incredibly difficult to represent on a small, low-detail sprite). Finally, the boldly-coloured overalls make his movements more visible and noticeable. SUPER MARIO BROS.: THE FIRST GAME TO MOVIE ADAPTATION The awkward but loveable ’90s film The 1993 film Super Mario Bros. was Hollywood’s first attempt to create movie based on a video game. Bob Hoskins, Dennis Hopper, and John Leguizamo starred in the critically and commercially panned film. Reports claimed that Dustin Hoffman was interested in the role of Mario as his children were fans of the game. In the end, Shigeru Miyamoto felt that the movie tried too hard to copy the game instead of aiming to be a good movie. It turns out that a Super Mario CG film is coming in 2022, with Miyamoto as producer. According to Nintendo, the film development (which is a collaboration with Illumination, the company that brought Minions to life) is going smoothly. NINTENDO OWNS THE RIGHTS TO TWO MARIO PORN MOVIES Mamma mia! In 1993 — and after the release of the Super Mario Bros. movie — two porn films titled Super Hornio Brothers and Super Hornio Brothers II were released. Both movies starred porn legend Ron Jeremy as Mario. Nintendo bought the rights to both films and buried them to prevent further distribution. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS ALMOST KILLED THE FRANCHISE Clash of the titans In 1981, Donkey Kong was a major hit that cemented Nintendo’s leading position in the world of video games. It was a cash cow for Nintendo of America; Nintendo signed deals for everything from board games, lunch boxes, and cartoon shows. They even signed licensing agreements to port the game to multiple platforms. But the party stopped when Nintendo in Japan received a telex from Universal (the enormous film conglomerate). More specifically, the telex came from their lawyers. Universal were giving Nintendo 48 hours to hand over all profits earned from Donkey Kong and destroy all unsold inventory. Universal claimed that Donkey Kong infringed on their King Kong copyright. Nintendo of America met with Universal (then known as MCA Universal) and asked for a reprieve. The MCA Universal lawyers granted the request, as they saw no possible way out of the dilemma for Nintendo. But only a month later, the two companies met again. After dinner, Nintendo (via their all-star corporate attorney Howard Lincoln, who would later become NoA Chairman) informed Universal that they would not settle; the lawsuit was on. Nintendo had discovered that MCA Universal did not, in fact, own the King Kong copyright. They actually used Universal’s own argument against them (as Universal had once won a lawsuit by proving that King Kong was actually public domain). With the evidence on its side, Nintendo asked the court to dismiss the case, which the judge swiftly granted. MCA Universal was ordered to pay $1.8 million in damages to Nintendo and to pay back all the money it had bulled out of Donkey Kong-affiliated licenses. SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY’S WEIRD ESRB RATING Pushing the boundaries? Since the ESRB was introduced in 1994, no Super Mario game ever received a rating higher than E (Everyone). However, Super Mario Odyssey received an E10+ rating — higher than any previous game, though still lower than T (Teen). According to the ESRB, the E10+ rating contains mild violence, mild language, and minimal suggestive themes. Something similar happened in Japan. The game was rated there with a CERO B “Aged 12 and up” classification, making it the first Super Mario game in Japan to receive such a rating. MARIO HAS A LAST NAME — OR DOES HE? Did the movie influence the game? Since the famous Italian brothers are known as the Super Mario Brothers, it has been suggested that their last name is Mario. This concept emerged in the script for the Super Mario Bros. movie. It would mean that they are actually called Mario Mario and Luigi Mario. Shigeru Miyamoto has always maintained that the brothers actually don’t have last names. But he did kind of accept that the movie’s interpretation may have become a widely-accepted default in a 2012 interview: “This is an old story, but Hollywood did a film version of the Mario Bros. many years back. There was a scene in the script where they needed a last name for the characters. Somebody suggested that, because they were the Mario Bros., their last name should be Mario. So, they made him “Mario Mario.” I heard this and laughed rather loudly. Of course, this was ultimately included in the film. Based on the film, that’s [how] their names ended up. But, just like Mickey Mouse doesn’t really have a last name, Mario is really just Mario and Luigi is really just Luigi.” Shigeru Miyamoto MARIO HAS APPEARED IN OVER 200 TITLES The ubiquitous plumber Mario has appeared in more than 200 games since his debut as Jumpman. No other video game character has appeared in as many games as Mario. It’s not just that he appears in Nintendo console exclusives, either. Throughout the 1980s, multiple games featuring Mario were licensed for PC, Atari, and arcades. And more recently, games like Super Mario Run have come to mobile devices. Mario is also the regular star of multiple cross-over games. These include games such as Super Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. is a chance for gamers to reflect on gaming’s most iconic character and his development over time. The Mario games defined entertainment for an entire generation, and to this day, he remains one of the most highly-recognised, and influential figures in entertainment. Source: Wikipedia - Mario Bros. | Facts About Mario
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    What's the Word? - COMPENDIOUS pronunciation: [kəm-PEN-dee-əs] Part of speech: adjective Origin: French, late 14th century Meaning: 1. Containing or presenting the essential facts of something in a comprehensive but concise way. Example: "Jared’s compendious recitation of archaic literature impressed his professors." "The book was a compendious study of film history. " About Compendious This word stems from the Old French “compendieux,” from the Latin “compendiosus,” which means “advantageous, brief.” Did You Know? R.D. Trivedi’s 888-page “A Compendious History of English Literature” was published in India in 1976. The literature in it ranges from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 20th century. The volume is used by many Indian students to gain a better grasp on the literature and history of the English language.
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    What's the Word? - MENTATION pronunciation: [men-TAY-SHən] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, mid-19th century Meaning: 1. Mental activity. Example: "Celine’s mentation became muddled when she was sleep deprived." "The bar exam requires extreme focus and mentation." About Mentation This word comes from the Latin “ment-,” a stem of “mens” that means “mind,” plus “-ation,” an ending for certain nouns of action. Did You Know? The Maudsley Mentation Test was developed in the early 1990s as a way to monitor the mental functions of patients who have suffered certain kinds of brain hemorrhages. This test can provide evidence of mental deterioration in early stages of treatment and prevent further damage.
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    https://freebies.indiegala.com/yesterday-origins Yesterday Origins is currently free on IndieGala. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1314765/Battlefield_1_Shortcut_Kit_Vehicle_Bundle/ Battlefield 1 Shortcut Kit: Vehicle Bundle DLC is currently free on Steam.
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    What's the Word? - GESTALT pronunciation: [ɡə-SHTalt] Part of speech: noun Origin: German, 1920s Meaning: 1. An organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts. Example: "Gestalt in art refers to an ability to recognize patterns and group objects." "Families form their own unique gestalt over time." About Gestalt Gestalt stems from the Proto-Indo-European root “-stel,” meaning “to put, stand, or put in order.” Did You Know? Gestalt psychology came from early twentieth-century Germany and Austria. It highlighted the human ability to recognize patterns and configurations, not simply the individual components of a thing or scenario.
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    https://freebies.indiegala.com/the-art-metamorphosis The Art: Metamorphosis is currently free on IndieGala.
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    Fact of the Day - MOON LANDING Did you know.... that a Moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both crewed and robotic missions. The first human-made object to touch the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2, on 13 September 1959. The United States' Apollo 11 was the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, on 20 July 1969. There were six crewed U.S. landings between 1969 and 1972, and numerous un-crewed landings, with no soft landings happening between 22 August 1976 and 14 December 2013. The United States is the only country to have successfully conducted crewed missions to the Moon, with the last departing the lunar surface in December 1972. All soft landings took place on the near side of the Moon until 3 January 2019, when the Chinese Chang'e 4 spacecraft made the first landing on the far side of the Moon. (Wikipedia) Little-Known Facts About the Moon Landing When Neil Armstrong stepped down a ladder and onto the moon on July 20, 1969, the nation achieved an audacious vision. But there were surprising moments along the way and not everything went as expected. by HISTORY.COM EDITORS | ORIGINAL: JUL 2019 | UPDATED: JUL 2020 It was a feat for the ages. Just seven years before, a young president had challenged the nation to land a man on the moon—not because it was “easy,” as John F. Kennedy said in 1962, but because it was “hard.” By July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong backed down a ladder and onto the moon’s surface. Along the way to achieving JFK's vision, there was plenty of hard work, drama and surprise. Here are some lesser-known moments throughout the epic U.S. effort to reach the moon. Apollo 11 crew: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin Aldrin Jr. 1. Moon dirt smells. A big question facing the NASA team planning the Apollo 11 moon landing was what would the moon’s surface be like—would the lander’s legs touch down on firm ground, or sink into something soft? The surface turned out to be solid, but the real surprise was that the moon had a smell. Moon soil is extremely clingy and hard to brush off, so when Armstrong and Aldrin returned to the lunar module and repressurized it, lunar dirt that had clung to the men’s suits entered the cabin and began to emit an odor. The astronauts reported that it had a burned smell like wet fireplace ashes, or like the air after a fireworks show. Scientists would never get the chance to investigate just what the crew was smelling. While moon soil and rock samples were sent to labs in sealed containers, once they were opened back on Earth, the smell was gone. Somehow, as Charles Fishman, author of One Giant Leap, says, “The smell of the moon remained on the moon.” 2. JFK was more focused on beating the Soviets than in space. In public, President John F. Kennedy had boldly pledged that the United States would “set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people." But secret tapes of Kennedy’s discussions would later reveal that in private, JFK was less interested in space exploration than in one-upping the Soviets. In a 1962 meeting with advisors and NASA administrators, JFK confessed, "I'm not that interested in space." But he was interested in winning the Cold War. Just months after JFK’s inauguration, the Soviet Union had sent the first man into space. Kennedy asked his vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson, how the U.S. could score a win against the Soviets. One of the best ways to show U.S. dominance, Johnson reported back, was by sending a manned mission to the moon. Johnson, in fact, had long been a space advocate, saying in 1958, "Control of space is control of the world." Watch video: Apollo 11: JFK’s Secret Space Tapes 3. The Soviets covered up their efforts to get to the moon first. It turns out that the United States wasn’t alone in wanting to demonstrate its dominance by landing humans on the moon. The Soviet Union was also gunning to accomplish the feat. But once U.S. astronauts got there first, the Soviets tried to keep their efforts on the down-low. At first, “secrecy was necessary so that no one would overtake us,” wrote journalist Yaroslav Golovanov in the Soviet newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda. “But later, when they did overtake us, we had to maintain secrecy so that no one knew that we had been overtaken.” READ MORE: The Soviet Response to the Moon Landing? Denial. 4. Astronauts trained for microgravity by walking “sideways.” How do you prepare to send someone to a place no one has ever gone before? For NASA in the 1960s, the answer was to create simulations that mimicked aspects of what astronauts could expect to encounter. Armstrong and Aldrin rehearsed collecting samples on fake, indoor moonscapes. Armstrong practiced taking off and landing in the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle in Houston. And, to simulate walking in the moon’s lower-gravity atmosphere, astronauts were suspended sideways by straps and then walked along a tilted wall. NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey even blasted out craters at Cinder Lake, Arizona to create a landscape that matched part of the moon’s surface—because, after all, practice makes perfect. A test subject being suited up for studies on the Reduced Gravity Walking Simulator at Langley Research Center, 1963. SEE PHOTOS: How Astronauts Trained for the Apollo Moon Missions 5. Civil Rights activists got a front-row seat to the Apollo 11 launch. Not everyone was gung-ho about the U.S. effort to land people on the moon. A few days before the scheduled launch of Apollo 11, a group of activists, led by civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy, arrived outside the gates of the Kennedy Space Center. They brought with them two mules and a wooden wagon to illustrate the contrast between the gleaming white Saturn V rocket and families who couldn’t afford food or a decent place to live. Amid the heady build-up to the launch, the NASA administrator, Thomas Paine, came out to talk to the protestors, face-to-face. After Paine and Abernathy talked for a while under lightly falling rain, Paine said he hoped Abernathy would “hitch his wagons to our rocket, using the space program as a spur to the nation to tackle problems boldly in other areas, and using NASA’s space successes as a yardstick by which progress in other areas should be measured.” Paine then arranged to have members of the group attend the next day’s launch from a VIP viewing area. Abernathy prayed for the safety of the astronauts and said he was as proud as anyone at the accomplishment. READ MORE: Why Civil Rights Leaders Protested the Moon Landing 6. Buzz Aldrin took holy communion on the moon. When Apollo 11‘s Eagle lunar module landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to wait before venturing outside. Their mission ordered them to take a pause before the big event. So Aldrin used some of the time doing something unexpected, something no man had ever attempted before. Alone and overwhelmed by anticipation, he took part in the first Christian sacrament ever performed on the moon—a rite of Christian communion. The communion bag and chalice used by Buzz Aldrin during his lunar communion. Read more: Buzz Aldrin Took Holy Communion on the Moon. NASA Kept it Quiet 7. Scientists were worried about space germs infecting Earth. After risking their lives for the advancement of humanity, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins had the dubious pleasure of being stuck in planetary protection quarantine on their return. Since humans had never been to the moon before, NASA scientists couldn’t be sure that some deadly space-borne plague hadn’t hitched a ride on the astronauts. As soon as their re-entry capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, the trio was transferred to a mobile quarantine facility inside which they were transported to NASA Lunar Receiving Laboratory at Johnson Space Center where they had access to a larger quarantine facility until their release on August 10, 1969. President Richard Nixon speaking with Apollo 11 crew members Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin who were subjected to a period of quarantine upon their return to Earth. READ MORE: 5 Terrifying Moments During the Apollo 11 Moon Landing Mission 8. President Nixon was anxious the mission could fail. While President Kennedy had rallied the nation to land a man on the moon, he was assassinated before he could see the Apollo mission achieve his vision. That nerve-racking honor fell to President Richard Nixon, who had been elected in 1968. Watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take their first steps on the moon, Nixon’s anxiety reached a peak. If anything went wrong, he would have to manage America’s outrage over billions of tax dollars culminating in the death of two astronauts. His staff had prepared a statement to be read in the event the worst happened and organized a priest to commit their souls to the deep, much like a burial at sea. Watching Apollo 11 live from the moon, the President could only hope he wouldn't have to read it. He didn’t. The men who had traveled more than 200,000 miles to the moon and then stepped foot on an alien world had survived. And the United States would go on to complete six crewed missions that landed a total of 12 astronauts on the moon from 1969 to 1972. Listen: Nixon Calls Apollo 11 Astronauts Read more: How JFK, LBJ and Nixon All Put Their Stamp on the Apollo 11 Moon Landing Read more: How Many Times Has the U.S. Landed on the Moon? Read more: Why the Air Force Almost Blasted the Moon with an H-Bomb Read more: The Amazing Handmade Tech That Powered Apollo 11's Moon Voyage Source: Wikipedia - Moon Landing | Moon Landing Apollo 11 Facts
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    Fact of the Day - TUSKEGEE AIRMEN Portrait of Tuskegee airman Edward M. Thomas Did you know.... that the Tuskegee Airmen were a group of primarily African American military pilots and airmen who fought in World War II. They formed the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces. The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel. (Wikipedia) Inspiring Facts About the Tuskegee Airmen BY MARK MANCINI | MARCH 12, 2021 Col. Benjamin O. Davis (left), commanding officer of the 332nd Fighter Group, and Edward C. Gleed, group operations officer, stand in front of a plane in Ramitelli, Italy, in March 1945. The first Black pilots to serve in the United States military—along with the navigators, mechanics, instructors, and other personnel who supported them—are today remembered as the Tuskegee Airmen. Established in 1941, they built an impressive combat record, helped the Allies win World War II, and put the U.S. armed forces on the road to integration. 1. THE TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE TRAINED THE COUNTRY’S FIRST BLACK MILITARY PILOTS. Now called Tuskegee University, the Tuskegee Institute was founded in 1881 as a school for training Black teachers. In its first five decades, the school employed and produced leading Black scientists and thinkers, including botanist George Washington Carver and architect Robert Taylor. In 1939, the institute secured federal funding under the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) to train Black pilots in response to the outbreak of war in Europe; the program intended to create a pool of trained aviators for potential military service. The institute quickly leased an airstrip, acquired multiple planes, and hired its own instructor pilots. The Tuskegee Institute was one of six historically Black colleges and universities that participated in the CPTP. 2. THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN HAD ROOTS IN ILLINOIS. Before 1941, the U.S. military—which was officially segregated—prohibited Black pilots. Civil rights organizations and Black newspapers pressured the government to open up the role to Black aviators. In 1941, the government contracted Tuskegee Institute to offer primary training for the military’s first Black airmen. On March 22, 1941, the 99th Pursuit Squadron (later the 99th Fighter Squadron) was formally constituted [PDF]. Not only was it the very first Tuskegee Airmen unit, it was also the first Black flying unit of any kind in American military history. The inaugural members began their training at Chanute Field in central Illinois, about 16 miles north of Champaign, Illinois. But they didn’t stay there very long. By the end of the year, the 99th had relocated to Tuskegee, Alabama. 3. NO ONE CALLED THEM “TUSKEGEE AIRMEN” DURING WORLD WAR II. A group of Tuskegee Airmen attend a briefing in 1945. The “Tuskegee Airmen” nickname was coined by author Charles E. Francis in the title of his 1955 book [PDF]. The Tuskegee Airmen encompass several different squadrons and groups with connections to the training facilities in Tuskegee: the 99th, 100th, 301st, and 302nd squadrons, which together made up the 332nd Fighter Group. The 447th Bombardment Group, a Black bomber unit, is also included under the Tuskegee Airmen umbrella, along with the instructors, mechanics, and ground crew at the Tuskegee Institute’s training facilities between 1941 and 1946. 4. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT SUPPORTED THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN WHEN OTHERS DIDN’T. The First Lady put a spotlight on the Tuskegee program when she visited the Tuskegee Institute in 1941. Charles A. Anderson, a pilot now known as “the father of Black aviation,” was its chief civilian flight instructor. At Roosevelt’s request, he took her on an aerial tour and the pair spent 40 minutes flying over the countryside together. The resulting news photograph of Roosevelt and Anderson helped to dispel the notion that Black Americans were unfit to fly aircraft—and encouraged many to apply to the program. 5. THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN BUILT AN EXEMPLARY RECORD IN THEIR BOMBER ESCORT MISSIONS. Members in the 332nd Fighter Group were tasked with escorting bomber planes on their missions. The escorts protected the bombers in flight and attacked enemy aircraft that might fire at the bombers. The Tuskegee Airmen flew these important missions around the Mediterranean theater and racked up an admirable number of hits. According to historian Daniel Haulman, the Tuskegee Airmen flew 312 missions, of which 179 were bomber escort missions, between June 1944 and April 1945. “They lost escorted bombers to enemy aircraft on only seven of those missions,” totaling 27 American planes, he said in an interview with the National World War II Museum. Each of the six other escort groups in the U.S. command lost an average of 46 bombers [PDF]. 6. SOME TUSKEGEE AIRMEN WERE DUBBED “RED TAILS.” Tuskegee Airmen Marcellus G. Smith (left) and Roscoe C. Brown work on a plane nicknamed Tootsie in Ramitelli, Italy, in March 1945. During World War II, individual fighter groups set themselves apart by giving the tails of their planes a distinctive paint job. This made it easier to coordinate large flight formations and helped bomber crews recognize friendly aircraft. In July 1944, members of the 332nd Fighter Group began flying P-51 Mustang planes with tails painted solid red [PDF]. Soon, the Tuskegee Airmen (as a group) were nicknamed the “red tails.” A 2012 George Lucas-produced film by the same name fictionalizes this unit’s success in shooting down German fighter planes. 7. THE FIRST THREE BLACK GENERALS IN THE U.S. AIR FORCE WERE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN. The life of four-star general Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. (1912-2002) is a series of firsts. Davis was the son of the Army’s first Black general, and in 1932, became the first Black cadet admitted to the U.S. Military Academy since Reconstruction. The career officer served for 33 years, fought in three wars, and commanded the 332nd Fighter Group in the Tuskegee program. Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr. (1920-1978) served as a fighter pilot in the Second World War, Korea, and Vietnam, and became the first four-star African American general in any U.S. military branch in 1975 when he was appointed the commander of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command). After enlisting in the Army Air Forces in 1942, Lucius Theus (1922-2007) served as a training officer at the Tuskegee Air Field before going on to serve or command at numerous U.S. and international air bases and at the Air Force headquarters. He was the first Black combat support officer to be promoted to major general. 8. THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN FACED SEGREGATION ON BASE. A nonviolent protest at Freeman Field in Indiana in 1945 became known as the Freeman Field Mutiny. Its commander separated accommodations by race, which was against Army rules. When the 477th Bombardment Group was transferred there, its Black personnel were miscategorized as trainees so the base’s white officers wouldn’t have to share their officer’s club with them. On April 5, 1945, some of the Black airmen peacefully walked into the club anyway. All the Black officers at Freeman Field were then told to sign a document agreeing to “separate but equal” policies on military bases, and the 101 Black personnel who refused were arrested. Eventually, three were court martialed and one was convicted of insubordination. 9. A TUSKEGEE AIRMAN LED A CLASSIFIED INQUIRY INTO UFOS. Tuskegee Airmen (left to right) Richard S. "Rip" Harder, unidentified airman, Thurston L. Gaines, Jr., Newman C. Golden, and Wendell M. Lucas leave the parachute room in Ramitelli, Italy, in March 1945. Robert Friend served as a wingman for Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. during WWII. He went on to direct Project Blue Book, a classified Air Force research initiative that investigated 12,618 alleged UFO sightings beginning in 1948. In 1969, the Air Force concluded that “there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as ‘unidentified’ are extraterrestrial vehicles,” and shut down the project. 10. IN 2007, THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN WERE AWARDED THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL. The airmen, including military and civilian support staff, received the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States Congress for their “unique military record that inspired revolutionary reform in the armed forces.” Other Congressional Gold Medal recipients include the crew of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Source: Wikipedia - Tuskegee Airmen | Facts About the Tuskegee Airmen
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    What's the Word? - CONVIVIAL pronunciation: [kən-VIV-ee-əl] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, mid-17th century Meaning: 1. (Of an atmosphere or event) friendly, lively, and enjoyable; (of a person) cheerful and friendly; jovial Example: "The housewarming party was convivial and welcoming." "Thérèse was a charming, convivial dinner host — and a good cook, too." About Convivial This term originates from the Latin “convivialis,” which stems from “convivium,” meaning “a feast.” “Con-” is “with,” and “vivere” means “live.” Did You Know? Convivial is also the name of a popular French bistro in northwestern Washington, D.C. Like the definition of “convivial,” the interior is casual and welcoming.
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    Fact of the Day - HYBRID ANIMALS Pizzly Polar/brown bear hybrid Did you know... that hybrid animals are a result of a crossing from two animals of different species. These such crossings result in animals whose appearance presents mixed characteristics, and trust us, they are beautiful! Some of these animal hybrids are so incredibly fascinating that it’s hard to believe they are even real. Additionally, not all species are able to mate with each other, so when this does happen it is incredible rare. (Animal Wised) Hybrid Animals That Are Actually Real A-Z Animals | July 2020 What is a hybrid animal? Is it a creature that only exists in fables and myths? No! In fact, many crossbred animals are real! Hybrid animals are usually the reproductive result of intercourse between two similar animals, like lions and tigers. Lab hybrid animals also exist. Scientists call the process is “somatic hybridization,” and it allows them to manipulate genes to create new species with useful traits from both parents. 1. Liger: Male Lion and Female Tiger Hybrid Animal The offspring of a male lion and female tiger, the liger is probably the most famous hybrid animal of all and the largest of the big cats. Ligers are usually much bigger than either parent. The largest non-obese liger in the world weighs 1,000 pounds, and the heaviest one ever recorded weighed an astounding 1,600 pounds. Unlike some hybrid animals, it would be nearly impossible to find ligers in the wild because lions and tigers don’t naturally inhabit the same regions. They usually look and behave more like lions than tigers, but they do show tiger traits such as a love for swimming and striped backs. You can read more about ligers here. 2. Tigon: Male Tiger and Female Lion Hybrid Animal Nobody could fault you for thinking a tigon should basically be the exact same animal as a liger. After all, they’re both mixes of lions and tigers. However, when a male tiger mates with a female lion, the resulting offspring is a tigon. Tigons are much smaller than ligers, and they tend to be smaller than both of their parents. They typically look more like their tiger fathers, but they possess traits from their lion mothers, such as the ability to roar and a love for socialization. 3. Wholphin: False Killer Whale and Dolphin Hybrid Animal Wholphins are one of the rarest hybrid animals. They come from the crossbreeding of a female bottle-nosed dolphin and a male false killer whale (a member of the dolphin family that isn’t related to killer whales). Citizen wholphin sightings in the wild are common, but concrete evidence still eludes scientists. Currently, we can only reliably see them in captivity. Wholphins are an extremely interesting balance of their parents. Their skin is a dark gray — the perfect blend of light gray dolphin skin and black false killer whale skin. They also have 66 teeth, which is the precise average of dolphins’ 88 teeth and the false killer whale’s 44 teeth. 4. Leopon: Leopard and Lion Hybrid Animal Leopons are beautiful and uncommon hybrids resulting from a male leopard and female lion union. Leopons grow to be nearly as large as lions, but they have shorter legs like a leopard. They also have other leopard traits, including a love for water and climbing chops. Did You Know? When a male lion mates with a leopardess, the resulting offspring is called a lipard. Male lions are typically about 10 feet long and weigh around 500 pounds, but a female leopard is usually only about 5 feet long and weighs about 80 pounds. Because of the immense size difference between a male lion and a female leopard, this pairing happens very rarely. 5. Beefalo: Buffalo and Cow Hybrid Animal Beefalo are the hybridization of buffalo and domestic cattle. In most cases, breeders create beefalo by pairing a domesticated bull with a female American bison. Unlike many other types of animal hybrids, beefalo are able to reproduce on their own, which is useful. These animals were intentionally crossbred by humans to improve beef production and carry the best traits of both species. They produce leaner, more flavorful meat like bison, but are more docile and easier to raise like domestic cattle. Typically, beefalo are 37.5% bison and mostly resemble cattle. Some breeds are 50% or more bison and sometimes called “cattalo.” In addition, any hybrid that resembles a bison more than a cow is usually considered an “exotic animal” rather than livestock. 6. Grolar Bear: Grizzly and Polar Bear Hybrid Animal Grolar bears, as you might expect, are a cross between a grizzly bear and polar bear. These animals are also sometimes called “pizzly bears,” and some First Nations peoples call them “nanulak,” which is a blend of their words for polar bear, “nanuk,” and grizzly bear, “aklak.” Grolar bears are interesting because, generally speaking, polar bears and grizzlies have a mutual contempt for one another and will rarely coexist in captivity or in their natural habitats. However, extreme situations and human interventions have produced more of these adorably shaggy, caramel-colored hybrid bears. They typically grow to be slightly smaller than polar bears, averaging 60 inches tall at the shoulder and around 1,000 pounds, but they’re better able to survive in warmer climates thanks to their grizzly bear genes. 7. Jaglion: Jaguar and Lion Hybrid Animal Another stunning and intriguing big cat hybrid is the Jaglion, which comes from the mating of a male jaguar and a female lion. Not much is known about jaglions simply because so few exist. However, an unintentional mating between a black jaguar and a lioness resulted in two jaglion cubs. One has the coloring of a lion and the rosette-pattern spotting of a jaguar, but the other sports a breathtaking dark gray coat with black spotting thanks to the dominant melanin gene found in black jaguars. Offspring produced by the opposite pairing of a male lion and female jaguar are called liguars. 8. Zebroid: Zebra and Horse Hybrid Animal Technically, a zebroid is actually a hybrid of a zebra and any equine species. When paired with a horse, the result is called a “zorse.” Zebra hybrids are usually infertile and pairings are rare. For example, we call the offspring of a male donkey and a female zebra a ‘hinny,’ but they’re extremely uncommon. Zebra hybrids usually have the appearance of whichever animal they have been crossbred with while still retaining the striped coat of a pure zebra. Most of these hybrid animals don’t have fully striped coats. Instead, the stripes are usually found on just the legs or non-white areas of the body, depending on the genetics of the non-zebra parent. For more information about the zorse, click here. 9. Geep: Goat and Sheep Hybrid Animal One of the cutest and cuddliest hybrid animals is the geep, an endearing cross between a goat and a sheep. Despite being absolutely adorable, the geep is exceptionally rare. Some experts debate whether or not the geep is a true hybrid or simply a sheep with genetic abnormalities. After all, since goats and sheep carry different numbers of chromosomes, cross-species conception is nearly impossible. If it happens, very few babies are carried to term, and even fewer survive birth. Regardless, looking at pictures of these animals is sure to make you smile. 10. Cama: Camel and Llama Hybrid Animal Like beefalo, the cama was created to produce an animal that was more economically viable than either of its parents. Camas are hybrids of dromedary camels and llamas, typically via artificial insemination. This is the best and safest way to breed them since male dromedary camels can weigh six times more than female llamas, and the reverse pairing isn’t fruitful. Camas don’t have camel humps and are covered in soft, fleecy fur similar to llamas’. They were bred with the intent of creating a mega-wool-producing animal that’s strong and docile enough to be used as a pack animal in desert climates. 11. Savannah Cat: Domestic Cat and African Serval Hybrid Animal Savannah cats may be house pets, but they’re also exotic hybrids — the result of breeding a domestic cat with a wild African serval. Savannahs are striking animals that are around the same size as a large domestic cat. However, their tall bodies, slender forms, and spotted coats give them a wild, exotic appearance. Savannah cats with more serval blood can be twice as large as domestic cats! So anyone interested in owning one should do plenty of careful research. Savannah cats are extremely intelligent, loyal, and loving creatures. Plus, they’re prized household pets. 12. Green Sea Slug: Algae and Slug Hybrid Animal Possibly the most unusual hybrid animal on this list is the green sea slug. It is a sea slug that incorporates genetic material from the algae it eats into its own DNA. The strange result is a plant-animal hybrid that can consume food like an animal or create its own nutrients via photosynthesis. Scientists call these sea slugs “emerald green elysia.” Their ability to turn solar energy into food is what gives them their brilliant green hue. Scientists acknowledge that they will have to do more research in order to determine how this phenomenon happens. But as of now, this is the only successful instance of gene transfer from one type of complex organism to another. Source: Animal Wised | AZ Animals
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    Fact of the Day - PARLIAMENT HILL Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario (2014) Did you know... that Parliament Hill, colloquially known as The Hill, is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Its Gothic revival suite of buildings, and their architectural elements of national symbolic importance, is the home of the Parliament of Canada. Parliament Hill attracts approximately three million visitors each year. Law enforcement on Parliament Hill and in the parliamentary precinct is the responsibility of the Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS). Originally the site of a military base in the 18th and early 19th centuries, development of the area into a governmental precinct began in 1859, after Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital of the Province of Canada. Following several extensions to the parliament and departmental buildings and a fire in 1916 that destroyed the Centre Block, Parliament Hill took on its present form with the completion of the Peace Tower in 1927. Since 2002, an extensive $3 billion renovation and rehabilitation project has been underway throughout all the precinct's buildings; work is not expected to be complete until after 2028. (Wikipedia) Facts about Parliament Hill in Ottawa Posted by Pamela | December 2020 Parliament Hill alludes to a bunch of structures in Ottawa, Ontario, the capital of Canada, where the Government of Canada meets and Members of Parliament make laws. It is called Parliament Hill since it is on a slope over the Ottawa River. There are three principal structures: the West Block, the East Block and the Center Block. A fire in 1916 consumed the Center Block and just the library was saved. The structure was modified and the Peace Tower was done in 1927. The top of each building is made of copper which turns green over the long haul. There are numerous sculptures around Parliament Hill including numerous previous Prime Ministers and 5 popular ladies who assisted ladies with picking up equivalent rights in Canada. There is additionally a centennial fire that was lit when Canada turned 100 years of age. From mystery ways to the Speaker’s Scotch, here are the main 10 things you presumably didn’t think about Parliament Hill. 1. One man controls time on Parliament Hill Public Works representative Robert Labonté is liable for a considerable lot of the most unmistakable components on Parliament Hill, yet the most obvious might be the Peace Tower clock. Controlled from a little room inside the pinnacle, Labonté sets the large clock utilizing a pilot clock that reenacts a similar time. The pilot clock is bolted, with just three or four individuals holding a key for it, he said. 2.The fire in the yard isn’t everlasting — however, coins tossed into the wellspring store research Numerous individuals allude to the Centennial Flame as an endless fire — however, the fire is killed four times each year for careful cleaning of the wellspring. Public Works representatives consistently gather the mint pieces tossed into the wellspring around the fire, and the House of Commons HR board utilizes the $4,000 to $5,000 gathered each year to finance investigation into handicaps. The 2013 honour, as per the parliamentary site, went to Sara Carleton for her examination taking a gander at Olympian Clara Hughes and how she has influenced how Canadians consider psychological well-being messes. Hughes assists with bringing issues to light about discouragement. 3.There’s a mystery entryway in Tom Mulcair’s office The head of the Official Opposition gets an intricate office on the fourth floor of Center Block, simply over the Prime Minister’s Office, that incorporates a chimney and definite frescoes portraying troopers in a fight. The workplace likewise has what might be Center Block’s just mystery entryway. Indistinguishable wood boards brighten the divider on one or the other side of the chimney, however, one really sits on concealed pivots. “This board on this side here,” Mulcair revealed to CBC News, highlighting the board to one side of the chimney, “is really a mystery entryway.” The entryway opens into the following office, involved by Mulcair’s chief aide, George Smith. “The legend is that former leader William Lyon Mackenzie King, particularly in the day when there wasn’t a ton of security, individuals used to simply meander in and when there were individuals out there he would not like to see, there was another entryway and he could escape the back way,” Mulcair said. 4. Creatures have large amounts of Center Block While Center Block is a Gothic structure, House custodian David Monaghan says that style of engineering can be light and unconventional just as dim. “The choice of subjects in the structure, for a Parliament, isn’t generally political,” he said in the structure’s fundamental corridor, known as the rotunda or Confederation Hall. “A repetitive topic in the structure is Canadian greenery. You see pictures of owls and snow geese and fish. It’s not actually frightfully genuine when you consider everything: that you have a spot where rulers and executives stroll through [and it] is enhanced with fish and fowl,” Monaghan stated, calling attention to that the creatures, including beavers and bears, are in any event, skipping around. The principal entrance, one story over the guest entrance and utilized by parliamentary staff and writers, is loaded up with compositional detail. One Monaghan loves to call attention to begins from the focal section in the lobby. Green and white marble are orchestrated as a compass rose (the plan on the compass face), with a wavy green strip surrounding the rotunda. A straight green circle envelops the wavy one. 5. An gigantic picture of Sir John A. Macdonald hangs in the PMO Leader Stephen Harper’s office has minimal other than certain seats and an overwhelming work area, leaving one thing to rule the stylistic theme: a representation of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first executive — a Conservative. At the point when Google Streetview was permitted into Harper’s office, it was similarly as clean as when press secretary Carl Vallée indicated CBC News around. A Beatles mug sits on the work area and photographs of Harper with his family hold tight the divider that would be to one side when he’s situated at the work area. 6.The first sculpture raised on Parliament Hill This was the principal sculpture raised on Parliament Hill, to the quick west of the Center Block, at the prompting of Sir John A. Macdonald. From among proposition from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy, Louis-Philippe Hébert was picked to frame the landmark, which was set up during the 1880s. 7. A Clock Behind the Time Did you realize the wonderful legacy clock that decorates the Parliament Tower falls 15 seconds behind consistently? For André Viger, the “guardian of time,” each subsequent checks! Viger, an expert clockmaker for a very long time at this point, does his wizardry each Tuesday and physically twists back the clock. He is one of not many with the essential ability to chip away at old mechanical tickers. 8. Je me souviens: More Than Just a License Plate Since 1978, the Quebec licence plate has featured the phrase "Je me souviens" The celebrated maxim Je me souviens (I recall), found on all Québec tags, was made by Eugène-Étienne Taché, planner of the Parliament Building. Engraved over the primary passage, it inspires the design of the Parliament. As the show-stoppers enhancing the exterior represent, the saying praises the legends of New France and driving figures of the British system. 9. Busy Bees The National Assembly flaunts wonderful nurseries for you to investigate, including a metropolitan vegetable nursery where many various spices, vegetables, berries, eatable plants, and natural product trees are developed utilizing natural techniques. There are even apiaries on the rooftop! In 2017, more than 250,000 honey bees created 175 kg of metropolitan nectar, sold at the Boutique de l’Assemblée. 10. Prehistoric Fossils in a Beautiful Library Open to people in general, the National Assembly Library is the ideal spot to unobtrusively study or read in an astounding setting. The dividers, floors, and steps are shrouded in 7 kinds of marble that add to the palatial impact. You can even discover 50-million-year-old fossilized ammonites and mollusks in the marble of the columns—genuinely astonishing! The library additionally houses uncommon and valuable books, the most established going back to 1473. Source: Wikipedia - Parliament Hill | Facts About Parliament Hill
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    Fact of the Day - AESOP Did you know.... that Aesop was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales are characterized by animals and inanimate objects that speak, solve problems, and generally have human characteristics. (Wikipedia) Interesting Facts about Aesop by admin | June 2014 Those who really love to read Aesop’s fables must have known one of these following facts about Aesop. However, do you know who Aesop was? Aesop’s Life Scattered details of Aesop’s life can be found in ancient sources, including Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. An ancient literary work called The Aesop Romance tells an episodic, probably highly fictional version of his life, including the traditional description of him as a strikingly ugly slave. Birthplace The earliest Greek sources, including Aristotle, indicate that Aesop was born around 620 BCE in Thrace at a site on the Black Sea coast which would later become the city Mesembria. A number of later writers from the Roman imperial period say that he was born in Phrygia. The place of Aesop's birth was and still is disputed: (Africa)Thrace, Phrygia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Samos, Athens, Sardis and Amorium all claimed the honour. It is thought by modern writers that he may have been of African origin, it is said that his name is likely derived from "Aethiopian", a word used by the Greeks to refer mostly to dark skinned people of the African interior and that the stories are full of animals present in Africa, many of the creatures being quite foreign to Greece and Europe. Aesop was also briefly mentioned in the classic Egyptian myth, "The Girl and the Rose-Red Slippers", considered by many to be history's first Cinderella story. In the myth, the freed slave Rhodopis mentions that a slave named Aesop told her many entrancing stories and fables while they were slaves on the island of Samos. According to the historian Herodotus, Aesop met with a violent death at the hands of the inhabitants of Delphi, though the cause was not stated. The Aesop Romance The Aesop Romance became a folkbook, a work that belonged to no one, and the occasional writer felt free to modify as it might suit him. Multiple, sometimes contradictory, versions of this work exist. The earliest known version “was probably composed in the 1st century AD”. Aesop’s Fables Aesop’s Fables continued to be revised and translated through the ensuing centuries, with the addition of material from other cultures, so that the body of fables known today bears little relation to those Aesop originally told. The fables remain a popular choice for moral education of children today. Many stories included in Aesop's Fables, such as The Fox and the Grapes (from which the idiom "sour grapes" was derived), The Tortoise and the Hare (see Zeno's paradoxes) and The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf (also known as The Boy Who Cried Wolf), are well-known throughout the world. Question of African Origin A much later tradition depicts Aesop as a black African from Ethiopia. The presence of such slaves in Greek-speaking areas is suggested by the fable “Washing the Ethiopian white” that is ascribed to Aesop himself. This concerns a man who buys a black slave and, assuming that he was neglected by his former master, tries very hard to wash the blackness away. Art and Literature Ancient sources mention two statues of Aesop, one by Aristodemus and another by Lysippus, and Philostratus describes a painting of Aesop surrounded by the animals of his fables. None of these images have survived. Play A raposa e as uvas (“The Fox and the Grapes”), a play in three acts about the life of Aesop by Brazilian dramatist Gulherme Figueiredo, was published in 1953 and has been performed in many countries, including a videotaped production in China in 2000 under the title Hu li yu pu tao. Popular Culture Occasions on which Aesop is portrayed as black include Richard Durham’s “Destination Freedom” radio show broadcast (1949), where the drama “The Death of Aesop,” portrays him as an Ethiopian. In 1971, Bill Cosby played Aesop in the TV production Aesop’s Fables. Animated Shorts Beginning in 1959, animated shorts under the title Aesop and Son appeared as a recurring segment in the TV series Rocky and His Friends and its successor, The Bullwinkle Show. Aesop’s Fables Transmission The body of work identified as Aesop’s Fables was transmitted by a series of authors writing in both Greek and Latin. Demetrius of Phalerum made a collection in ten books, probably in prose (Αισοπείων α) for the use of orators, which has been lost. Next appeared an edition in elegiac verse, cited by the Suda, but the author’s name is unknown. Source: Wikipedia - Aesop
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    What's the Word? - EIDOLON pronunciation: [ay-DOH-lən] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, early 19th century Meaning: 1. An idealized person or thing. 2. A specter or phantom. Example: "Marilyn Monroe was once the eidolon of femininity." "The movie “Poltergeist” has a menacing eidolon that haunts a family’s new home." About Eidolon This word, which first appeared around the 1820s, stems from the Greek “eidōlon,” from “eidos,” meaning “form.” Did You Know? The eidolon of Hamlet’s father is a somber presence in the Shakespeare play. According to some accounts, the playwright took on the role of the ghost himself in its original productions.
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    Fact of the Day - FEMALE SCIENTISTS Mary Somerville, for whom the word "scientist" was coined. Did you know.... that a scientist is a person who conducts scientific research to advance knowledge in an area of interest. In classical antiquity, there was no real ancient analog of a modern scientist. Instead, philosophers engaged in the philosophical study of nature called natural philosophy, a precursor of natural science. It was not until the 19th century that the term scientist came into regular use after it was coined by the theologian, philosopher, and historian of science William Whewell in 1833. In modern times, many scientists have advanced degrees in an area of science and pursue careers in various sectors of the economy such as academia, industry, government, and nonprofit environments (Wikipedia) Female Scientists Your Children Should Imitate by Amber Guetebier | 2021/05/22 When it comes to changing the world, having a positive role model can help spurn action, confidence and imagination. These female scientists have invented, researched and collected their way to a place in scientific history. From discovering new elements to inventing Wi-Fi, the following seven women will wow you and your kids. Read on to get inspired for Women’s History Month and every day! 1. Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) More widely known for her Hollywood starlet status during the 1930s and 40s, Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, aka Hedy Lamarr, was much more than a pretty face. Native to Austria, she was incensed over the Nazi takeover of her beloved home country. Highly intelligent and fearless, Lamarr worked with scientist and inventor George Antheil to develop a secret communication system. They manipulated radio frequencies at irregular intervals to form an unbreakable code which she envisioned helping submarines deploy missiles and allow them to not be detected by enemy ships. This is what is known as spread spectrum technology, and it is what modern-day digital communications are based on. Without her work (for which she obtained a patent) wireless technology as we know it today would not exist. She received very little recognition for her work during her lifetime although today she is acknowledged as being the mother of wi-fi. Communicate like Hedy: Try making a tin can telephone to represent the idea of sending messages. We love the one here from Crafts by Amanda. A game of telephone will also do the trick: try to scramble the messages on purpose to see what funny results you get. Hedy says: “All creative people want to do the unexpected.” 2. Ameenah Gurib Fakim Bibi Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim was born in 1959 in Mauritius, the country for which she now serves as the first woman President. She is a biodiversity scientist who has spent countless hours researching and documenting the indigenous plants of Mauritius and their medicinal and nutritive properties. She has held many high positions in the fields of both politics and science and was awarded the 2007 UNESCO Award for Women in Science. Be Like Ameenah Develop their love of plants at a young age with this super cool transformation of a mere cardboard box into a natural lightbox. Gather local plants, leaves and flowers to make yours. Ameenah says: “My dream is to be a voice from a part of the world that is rarely listened to, speaking on behalf of a part of the planet that is often overlooked.” 3. Grace Hopper Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (1906-1992) was one of the first computer programmers ever in the U.S. A Navy Rear Admiral, in 1944 she worked on the Harvard Mark I Computer and invented the first compiler for computer programming language. In other words, she figured out how to explain computer code to mere humans (and how to program a computer to do what humans want). In the 1940s!!! She continued working for the Navy and later for other government agencies as a high-ranking official. She even worked as a senior consultant to a private company until she died at the age of 85. Code Like Grace: Promote a little active screen time with your future programmer when you have her complete an hour of code for 20 minutes each day. Everything you need to know is mapped out online, and although the hour is best spent on a screen, you can opt to use screen-free alternatives to teach the same concepts to your cutie at home. The best part? A sweet certificate your tiny techie can earn when she’s learned it all. Gold stars all around! Splurge-worthy: This cool wooden toy can teach a kid as young as three to code. Grace says: “A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” 4. Mae C. Jemison (Born in 1956) On June 4, 1987, Mae C. Jemison became the first African-American woman to enter the space program. On Sep. 12, 1992, she joined the crew of seven astronauts on the Endeavour, becoming the first African-American woman in space. Born in Decatur, Alabama and raised mostly in Chicago, Il, Jemison holds multiple awards and degrees including a B.S. in biomedical engineering and an M.D. She has worked as a medical doctor (including in the Peace Corps). As a child, Jemison spent a lot of time in her school library, reading especially books about space. Blast Off Like Mae Let your dreamers build a rocket ship of their own and join a mission into outer space. Or try this super sweet shooting-star craft. Fun fact: Mae is one of the six women of NASA LEGO figurines. Mae says: “We look at science as something very elite, which only a few people can learn. That’s just not true. You just have to start early and give kids a foundation. Kids live up, or down, to expectations.” 5. Marie Curie (1867–1934) A physicist and chemist who was not only the first woman ever to win a Nobel Prize, Marie Curie was also the first person and only woman to win it twice, once for Chemistry and once for Physics. Her pioneering work includes the theory of radioactivity and discovering not one but two elements (radium and polonium). Be Like Marie We don’t want you having any radioactive waste in your house but you can get in the spirit of Marie Curie’s work by creating some glow-in-the-dark science. Try making glow bubbles or splashing in a (non) toxic pool of bathwater. Marie says: “A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales.” 6. Alice Eastwood (1859-1953) Born in Canada, Eastwood is best known for her work as a renowned (and self-taught!) botanist who is credited with building the extensive collection of botanical specimens at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Ca. Not only did she collect them, in 1906 after the big earthquake she rescued the collection from the fire, managing to save 1497 irreplaceable botanical specimens. She lost her own home and all of her possessions, choosing to save the collection over all else. There are 17 plant species (and two plant genera) named for her, including the above pictured Fritillaria eastwoodiae. She went on many expeditions, especially in and around the California Sierra Nevada mountains, hiking with the Sierra Club and documenting the plants. She also hiked Mt. Shasta by herself. She published over 300 scientific articles in her lifetime. Follow Alice Try your hand at some homespun botany with an indoor garden project you can do in your own kitchen, windowsill or balcony. After the great fire, Alice wrote: “I did not feel the loss to be mine, but it is a great loss to the scientific world and an irreparable loss to California. My own destroyed work I do not lament, for it was a joy to me while I did it, and I can still have the same joy in starting it again… .” 7. Tu Youyou (Born 1930) Chinese-born Tu Youyou took the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, primarily for her work in researching and discovering artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin, two compounds used to treat malaria. Her work has saved millions of lives. More than 240,000 other compounds had been previously studied as a treatment for malaria by scientists all over the world for years, but in 1960 Tu began analyzing plants from Chinese medicine. Tu and her team selected 2000 potential plants and eventually narrowed them down to just one. The compound comes from an artemisia (wormwood) plant and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Tu’s extensive knowledge of the vast pharmacopeia of traditional and Western medicine has made her one of the most important scientists in her field. She found what no one else could. Interestingly her father named her Youyou after a sentence from the Chinese Book of Odes: “Deer bleat ‘youyou’ while they are eating wild Hao.” Hao is Artemesia! Be Like Tu Foster their love of experimenting with some at-home chemistry like this super basic vinegar and baking soda volcano, or get more complex (and messier) by making elephant toothpaste. Tu says: “As a scientific worker we need innovation spirit to find new things.” Source: Wikipedia - Scientist | Facts About Female Scientists
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    What's the Word? - BASTION pronunciation: [BAS-chən] Part of speech: noun Origin: French, mid-16th century Meaning: 1. An institution, place, or person strongly defending or upholding particular principles, attitudes, or activities. 2. A projecting part of a fortification built at an angle to the line of a wall, so as to allow defensive fire in several directions. Example: "By the time Tim got tenure, he was a bastion of academia." "The naval base has a bastion that juts out into the ocean." About Bastion This word is French, by way of the Italian “bastione.” That comes from “bastire,” meaning “build.” Did You Know? “Bastion” is also a role-playing video game that was released in 2011. Complete with narration, players have to create and fight for civilization’s last stronghold in the game’s imaginary setting.
  30. 1 point
    https://www.gog.com/game/symphonia https://isart-digital.itch.io/symphonia Symphonia is free on GOG and Itch.io. https://lp.gog.com/the-witcher-hub/en Download GOG Galaxy and get The Witcher: Enhanced Edition as a a gift. https://freebies.indiegala.com/defense-of-roman-britain Defense of Great Britain is currently free on IndieGala. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1642130/Runo/ Runo is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1625450/Muck/ Muck is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1600530/3D_Aim_Trainer/ 3D Aim Trainer is now on Steam and still free.
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    Fact of the Day - THE RED BARON Did you know... that Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, known in English as Baron von Richthofen was a fighter pilot with the German Air Force during World War I. He is considered the ace-of-aces of the war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories. (Wikipedia) Surprising Facts About WW1’s Greatest Flying Ace by: MHN | JANUARY, 2014 IN DECEMBER, MilitaryHistoryNow.com ran this article about the eight air combat maxims of the highest scoring combat pilot of the First World War — Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron. While researching the piece, we stumbled across a number of fascinating and lesser-known details about the Kaiser’s most famous flier. Since we didn’t have room enough to include them in December, we’re offering them to readers now. Enjoy! He came from money Manfred Von Richthofen was born on May 2, 1892 in the town of Kleinburg, which today isn’t even in Germany at all, but rather near Wroclaw, Poland. Raised in an aristocratic Prussian family, Manfred inherited the medieval title of Freiherr or “free lord”. The designation is roughly equal to a baron in English — it’s one of the lower levels of nobility. He began in the saddle Germany’s most famous flying ace began the war in the cavalry. Manfred enlisted in the German army in 1912. When war broke out two years later, he served as a mounted scout on both Eastern and Western Fronts in the war’s opening months. Later, his cavalry regiment was forced to give up its horses and fight in the trenches alongside the infantry. The young lieutenant pondered a transfer to supply and logistics but then reconsidered and pushed to join Germany’s fledgling air corps instead. “I have not gone to war in order to collect cheese and eggs, but for another purpose,” he wrote his superiors. His first kills weren’t counted The first plane von Richthofen shot down was a French aircraft, similar to the one seen here. Since no wreckage was found, the victory was unconfirmed. Von Richthofen’s very first air-to-air kill was never officially counted. While serving as an observer and rear gunner on a two-seat reconnaissance plane in late 1915, young Manfred shot down a French pusher bi-plane above the Champagne sector. Since the enemy machine went down over unfriendly territory, the victory couldn’t be confirmed and as such was never added to his official tally of 80 kills. Neither was his second kill. In April of 1916, Von Richthofen riddled a French fighter with bullets while at the controls of an Albatross C.III bomber. Again, since the encounter occurred over enemy territory, the victory couldn’t be confirmed and was never counted. He had a curious way to celebrate his victories Tom Rees of Britain’s Royal Flying Corps has the unfortunate distinction of being the Red Baron’s first official victim. Manfred celebrated his first official victory on Sept. 17, 1916 shortly after being transferred to a fighter squadron. To mark the occasion, he ordered a silver cup for himself that was engraved with the date as well as the make of the enemy aircraft he shot down — a British F.E. 2b. Von Richthofen ordered another new cup for every subsequent victory. He had to discontinue the ritual by the time of his 60th triumph however as silver was becoming scarce in war ravaged Germany. He made squadron leader at 24 The pilots of Jasta 11. Von Richthofen is in the cockpit. Von Richthofen’s notoriety grew with each new victory. He became an ace on Oct. 16, 1916 and won the Blue Max, formally known as the Pour le Mérite citation, for his 16th confirmed kill in January 1917. That same month, the young flier was appointed commander of Jagdstaffel or Jasta 11. Manfred’s legend only grew from there. He brought down 22 planes in April of 1917 alone – four of those in just one day! Eventually, he became the most famous (and feared) pilot of the war. German propagandists even circulated rumours that the Allies were so terrified of von Richthofen that they vowed to award at Victoria Cross to any pilot who shot him down. He acquired his famous tri-plane at the end of his career Von Richthofen may be famous for his Fokker tri-plane (RIGHT), but he shot down far more planes in Albatrosses like this one (LEFT). In early 1917, von Richthofen, ever mindful of his growing status as a celebrity, painted the wings of his aircraft a brilliant shade or red. Later he’d colour his entire plane crimson. Eventually, he became known to friend and foe alike as “the Red Knight,” “the Red Devil,” “Little Red” and finally “the Red Baron.” Interestingly enough, he only began flying his signature Fokker Dr.I tri-plane in the final months of his life. Nearly three-quarters of his victories were won in various makes of Albatross as well as the Halberstadt D.II. He became a best-selling author After being hospitalized following a crash in July of 1917, Manfred penned a shamelessly self-aggrandizing autobiography from his hospital bed. Entitled Der rote Kampffliegeri or “The Red Battle Flier”, the book sold well in Germany and was even translated into English (and heavily censored) the following year. Von Richthofen was later embarrassed by the boasts he’d made and was even hoping to edit out some of the book’s more self-serving aspects. He’d never get the chance. Controversy surrounded his death A dramatization of the final moments of the Red Baron’s life. Von Richthofen was killed in action on the morning of April 21, 1918 near the Somme. He met his end while chasing a 22-year-old rookie flier from the Canadian prairies named Wilfred “Wop” May. During the low-level dogfight, Manfred was fatally struck in the torso by a .303 round fired by either one of May’s squadron mates, Roy Brown, or by Australian army machine gunners in the trenches below. The angle of von Richthofen’s wounds suggested that it was indeed ground fire that killed the Red Baron. The wounded ace, who was still wearing his pajamas beneath his flight suit when he was hit, managed to force land his plane in a meadow but died from his injuries just as Allied infantrymen arrived at the crash site. His enemies buried him with full military honours Von Richthofen’s funeral. Von Richthofen’s body was turned over to a nearby Australian fighter squadron who buried him with all the pomp and ceremony of a genuine war hero. His largely intact aircraft on the other hand was pulled apart by souvenir hunting solders. Von Richthofen’s body was disinterred in 1925 and repatriated to Germany for a second funeral. The wreckage of his plane became a trophy Australian soldiers pose with remains of von Richthofen’s famous tri-plane. The seat from Manfred’s famous red triplane was recovered by Brown and later handed over to the Royal Canadian Military Institute where it’s been displayed for decades along with some of the plane’s fabric and a wingtip. Despite what many believe, the hole that’s clearly visible in the back of the seat isn’t from the fatal shot. His great grand niece is serving a 40-year prison sentence Suzane von Richthofen, her brother Andreas, and their parents Manfred and Marisia. Von Richthofen never married and had no known children. His younger brother Lothar, also member of Jasta 11, survived the war but was killed while flying a commercial aircraft from Berlin to Hamburg on July 4, 1922. He was survived by a son and a daughter. Interestingly enough, Lothar’s great granddaughter, Suzane von Richthofen, was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2006 for beating her parents to death in Brazil. She is the Red Baron’s great grand niece. (photo gallery) Source: Wikipedia - Manfred von Richthofen | Facts About The Red Baron
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    What's the Word? - VALOROUS pronunciation: [VAL-ər-əs] Part of speech: adjective Origin: French, late 15th century Meaning: 1. Showing great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle. Example: "George Washington proved valorous during the Battle of Trenton in 1776." "Joan of Arc was considered such a valorous heroine that she was canonized as a saint." About Valorous This word stems from the French “valeureux” and “valeur,” which came from the Latin stem “valere,” meaning “be strong.” Did You Know? One of the traditions of the Jewish faith is to read or sing “Eshet Chayil,” a 22-verse poem from Proverbs 31, verses 10-31, during the Shabbat celebration on Friday evenings. Many know it as the “Woman of Valor” song that extols the valorous virtues of an ideal Jewish woman: hardworking, industrious, and God-fearing.
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    https://thewitcher.com/en/giveaway The WitcherCon Goodies Collection is currently free on GOG. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/inops/9mx3zlk7n799#activetab=pivot:overviewtab Inops is currently free on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
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    Fact of the Day - GODZILLA Did you know.... that Godzilla is a fictional monster, or kaiju, originating from a series of Japanese films. The character first appeared in the 1954 film Godzilla and became a worldwide pop culture icon, appearing in various media, including 32 films produced by Toho, four Hollywood films and numerous video games, novels, comic books and television shows. Godzilla has been dubbed the "King of the Monsters", a phrase first used in Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956), the Americanized version of the original film. (Wikipedia) Fun Facts About Godzilla BY MARK MANCINI | MAY 31, 2019 A scene from Godzilla (1954). Wherever Godzilla goes, fire-breathing destruction is set to follow—along with a whole lot of fun for moviegoers. To celebrate his legacy, we’ve put together a list of things that even hardcore fans might not know about the world’s greatest city-stomper. 1. HIS ORIGINAL NAME, GOJIRA, WAS RUMORED TO BE THE NICKNAME OF A TOUGH GUY AT TOHO STUDIOS. According to Ishirō Honda (who directed the first Godzilla film), “There was this big—I mean huge—fellow working in Toho’s publicity department, and other employees would say, ‘That guy’s as big as a gorilla.’ ‘No, he’s almost as big as a kujira [the Japanese word for whale].’ Over time, the two mixed and he was nicknamed 'Gojira.'" It's a fun story, but in 1998, Honda’s widow dismissed this account, telling the BBC: “The backstage boys at Toho loved to joke around with tall stories, but I don’t believe that one." 2. GODZILLA’S CLASSIC ROAR IS A SURPRISING MIX OF SOUNDS. In the original 1954 movie, Godzilla's iconic roar was produced by rubbing a pine tar-coated leather glove over a double bass string. As you can hear in the video above, Godzilla's roar has changed quite a bit over the years. 3. GODZILLA WAS ORIGINALLY GOING TO BE A GIANT, MUTATED OCTOPUS. It's part of movie lore by now: the original idea for Godzilla was that he would look something like a giant octopus. Ultimately, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka (smartly) decided to go with a more dinosaur-like design instead. 4. GODZILLA WENT HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH CHARLES BARKLEY. In 1992, Godzilla and NBA star Charles Barkely faced off in a Nike ad. The commercial, which was filmed over the course of eight days, was also adapted into a comic book. 5. GEORGE TAKEI GOT HIS SHOW BUSINESS START DUBBING JAPANESE MONSTER MOVIES. Listen for George Takei's rich baritone in the English-language version of Godzilla’s second film, Godzilla Raids Again, which was first released in Japan in 1955. Previously, the Star Trek legend had broken into the film industry by doing similar work on Rodan, another Toho monster flick. GODZILLA FRANCHISE Aaron Neuwirth | May 16, 2019 Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla: King of the Monsters hits theaters this summer. The film is sure to be the literal biggest film of the year (size does matter). As many prepare to see what happens in this epic brawl between Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah, among others, I thought it would be fun to go over some of the more interesting, wild, and obscure facts about the kaiju franchise that has been around for 65 years, with no signs of stopping. Keep reading if you want to learn about the Italian cut of the original film Toho doesn’t want you to see, the many other wacky abilities Godzilla has, the extent of Kim Jong-Il’s Godzilla fandom, and more. 1. A SIZE RANGING FROM CITY SMASHER TO WORLD CRUSHER Godzilla’s size has changed from film to film (sometimes scene to scene), depending on the filmmaker’s vision for the particular movie they were working on. The original Godzilla was designed to be 50 m. As Tokyo’s skyline expanded with more prominent buildings, Godzilla’s height grew to 100 m, so as not to be over shown by man’s creation. For 2014’s American Godzilla, the monster’s size rose to 108.2 m. Not to be outdone, Toho’s 2016 entry, Shin Godzilla, was made even taller, standing at 118.5 m. However, the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters now has Godzilla at his tallest (in live-action*) at 119.8 m. *The anime films that began with 2017’s Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters has the creature standing at 300 m. 2. SUITMATION OVER STOP-MOTION Today’s Godzilla movies utilize CG versions of the giant monster; conversely, most of the series relied on actors in large rubber suits, a filmmaking technique referred to as “Suitmation.” The initial idea was to use stop-motion, taking inspiration from King Kong; however, a mix of budget limitations, lack of experience, and deadlines prevented the follow-through on this. Developed by special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya, to make Suitmation work, actors would perform their movements while moving through sets composed of miniatures to give the impression of a giant creature. Additionally, these scenes would be filmed at a higher framerate, with the actor moving at a deliberate pace, creating a final product that would allow the monster a proper sense of immense scale. Haruo Nakajima was the most notable suit actor in this role, having played Godzilla in twelve consecutive films. The former stuntman also appeared in other Kaiju films and is considered the best actor to have embrace Suitmation. While having passed in 2017, he has an asteroid named in his memory. 3. KAIJU ITALIANO: THE STORY OF COZILLA In 1976, Italian director Luigi Cozzi, a protégé of horror and giallo maestro Dario Argento, decided he wanted to bring Godzilla to Italy. Unable to obtain the rights to the original version, he was only able to license the American cut of the film, Godzilla, King of the Monsters, which led to Cozzi creating a new cut of the film. Now known infamously as “Cozilla,” Cozzi’s version colorized the picture using a technique called Spectrorama 70. Additionally, Cozzi re-edited the movie by replacing various scenes with stock footage of death and destruction from WWII newsreel footage. A new Italian dubbed track, and new original music was added as well. There were even attempts to augment the soundtrack with in-theater effects to shake the audience’s seats every time Godzilla took a step. Toho approved of none of this and decreed that this version of the film may only be legally distributed in Italy. That said, bootleg versions are out there. 4. MULTIPLE GODZILLA PERIODS There are currently 32 Japanese Godzilla films produced by Toho and fans recognize four distinct eras in the history of this ongoing franchise. Three are named for the Japanese Emperors of the time, and the eras include the Showa period (1954-1975), the Heisei period (1984-1995), the Millennium period (1999-2004) and the Reiwa period (2016-present). The Showa series opens with its serious franchise-starter, before evolving into a more comical monster-action series, with Godzilla even going from villain to anti-hero, to monster superhero. This period also included other monsters that would have their own solo films, including Mothra and Rodan. The Heisei series is unique in that all of the films are set on a single timeline, allowing for a shared continuity from one film to the next. Godzilla is also more of a villain again, though occasionally still fought for the greater good. The Millennium series was a series of anthology stories, as each entry (with one exception, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.) served as a sequel to the original 1954 film. Lastly, the Rewia period currently only features Shin Godzilla and the three animated films, though Toho plans to create a “World of Godzilla” that will function as a series similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 5. SATURDAY MORNING GODZILLA Movies could not contain the King of the Monsters, which is why Godzilla was able to transcend mediums and become the star of a couple of animated shows. First was Godzilla, a 1978 animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera. The series aired for two seasons (26 episodes) on NBC and much like many of the films in the Showa era, Godzilla would help people by fighting off other monster threats. Additionally, despite failing to launch a theatrical sequel, the 1998 American Godzilla did lead to the development of Godzilla: The Series, an animated series that aired on Fox Kids for two seasons (40 episodes). Picking up where the film left off, the remaining egg that survived hatches and imprints on Dr. Nick Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick’s character in the movie), becoming a monster on the side of the humans, helping to fight off other mutated monsters. The reception of this series was actually stronger than the movie. Source: Wikipedia - Godzilla | Facts About Godzilla Franchise | Godzilla Facts
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    What's the Word? - CONCORD pronunciation: [kahNG-kord] Part of speech: noun Origin: French, 14th century Meaning: 1. Agreement or harmony between people or groups. 2. A chord that is pleasing or satisfactory in itself. Example: "The two sides of the case reached a concord in mediation." "Jerry played a variety of concords on his Gibson guitar." About Concord This is a Middle English word from the Old French “concorde.” That stems from the Latin “concordia” from “concors,” meaning “of one mind.” Con- means “together” + cord-, meaning “heart.” Did You Know? Another use for “concord” is via the Concord grape, a dessert grape developed in Concord, Massachusetts. It’s a versatile grape used for wine, juice, table grapes, jelly, and more.
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    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1469550/Plokoth/ Plokoth is currently free on Steam. https://freebies.indiegala.com/8bitboy 8BitBoy is currently free on IndieGala. Genshin Impact codes. Redeem in-game under Settings > Account > Redeem Code or through site below. https://genshin.mihoyo.com/en/gift 100 Primogems, 10 Mystic Enhancement Ore for Genshin Impact AS6BQKLY9GLD 100 Primogems, 5 Hero's Wit GBNA9J5H9Y4H 100 Primogems, 50,000 Mora LS6T4L9ZZ7TH
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    Fact of the Day - BLUE NOON A blue moon during the December 2009 lunar eclipse Did you know.... that a blue moon is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year: the third of four full moons in a season. (Wikipedia) What’s A Blue Moon, And When’s The Next One? Posted by Bruce McClure and Deborah Byrd | June 23, 2021 Most Blue Moons are not blue in color. This photo of a moon among fast-moving clouds was created using special blue filters. Next Blue Moon August 22, 2021 Our last Blue Moon came on October 31, 2020, the night of Halloween. Like most Blue Moons, it was blue in name only. It was called a Blue Moon because it was the second of two full moons in a single month. There’s another definition for Blue Moon. It can also be the third of four full moons in a single season. A season is the period between a solstice and an equinox. The next Blue Moon will be of this sort, and it’ll happen on August 22, 2021. In recent years, people have been using the name Blue Moon for these two different sorts of moons: second of two full moons in a calendar month, or third of four full moons in a single season. Blue-colored moons in photos – like the ones on this page – are usually made using special blue camera filters or in a post-processing program such as PhotoShop. Usually … but not always. Are moons ever blue in color? Sure, they are, and someday you might see a true blue-colored moon in the sky. Blue-colored moons are rare – aren’t necessarily full – and happen when Earth’s atmosphere contains dust or smoke particles of a certain size. The particles must be slightly wider than 900 nanometers. You might find particles of this size in the air above you when, for example, a wildfire is raging nearby. Particles of this size are very efficient at scattering red light. When these particles are present in our air, and the moon shines through them, the moon may appear blue in color. For more about truly blue-colored moons, click here. First, seasonal Blue Moons By season, we’re referring to the period of time between a solstice and an equinox. Or vice versa. We’re talking about winter, spring, summer, fall. Each season typically lasts three months and typically has three full moons. The upcoming seasonal Blue Moon of August 22, 2021, happens because June’s full moon falls just a few days after the June solstice, early in the season of northern summer (southern winter). And thus there’s enough time to squeeze four full moons into the current season, which will end at the September equinox on September 22, 2021. Weirdly, it’s not the fourth of these four full moons that’ll be called a Blue Moon. It’s the third. Go figure. Full moons between June 2021 solstice and September 2021 equinox: June solstice: June 21, 2021 June full moon: June 24, 2021 July full moon: July 24, 2021 August full moon (a Blue Moon): August 22, 2021 September full moon: September 20, 2021 September solstice: September 22, 2021 How often do seasonal Blue Moons happen? Pretty often! There was a seasonal Blue Moon on November 21, 2010, another on August 20-21, 2013, another on May 21, 2016, and another on May 18, 2019. You get the idea. The upcoming Blue Moon will be on August 22, 2021. Desert Blue Moon from our friend Priya Kumar in Oman, August 2012. Now, the 2nd full moon in a month In modern times, most of us know Blue Moons as the second full moon of a single calendar month. These happen a lot, too! By this definition, there was a Blue Moon on July 31, 2015; January 31, 2018; March 31, 2018; and October 31, 2020. The time between one full moon and the next is close to the length of a calendar month. So the only time one month can have two full moons is when the first full moon happens in the first few days of the month. This happens every two to three years, so this sort of Blue Moon comes about that often. Very rarely, a seasonal Blue Moon (3rd of four full moons in one season) and a monthly Blue Moon (2nd of two full moons in one calendar month) can occur in the same calendar year. For this to happen, you need 13 full moons between successive December solstices for a seasonal Blue Moon – and, generally, 13 full moons in one calendar year for a monthly Blue Moon. This will next happen in the year 2048, when a monthly Blue Moon falls on January 31, and a seasonal Blue Moon on August 23. Then 19 years later, in the year 2067, there will be a monthly Blue Moon on March 30, and a seasonal Blue Moon on November 20. In this instance, there are 13 full moons between successive December solstices – but only 12 full moons in one calendar year and no February 2067 full moon. Blue Moons don’t really look blue in color. Greg Hogan got this shot of a Blue Moon (blue in name only!) on July 31, 2015. He wrote: “Having some fun with the blue moon idea … I blended the same image twice one with a blue tint, and one normal. “ Why call them Blue Moons? The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month is more recent – more modern – than the idea of a Blue Moon as the third of four full moons in a season. It stemmed from the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. The magazine published an article called “Once in a Blue Moon” by James Hugh Pruett. Pruett was referring to the 1937 Maine Farmer’s Almanac, which defined Blue Moons as the third of four full moons in a season. But he inadvertently simplified the definition. He wrote: Seven times in 19 years there were – and still are – 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon. Had James Hugh Pruett looked at the actual date of the 1937 Blue Moon, he would have found that it had occurred August 21, 1937. Also, there were only 12 full moons in 1937. You generally need 13 full moons in one calendar year to have two full moons in one calendar month. However, that fortuitous oversight gave birth to a new and perfectly understandable definition for Blue Moon. The notion of a Blue Moon as the second full moon of a calendar month was buried for decades. Then, in the late 1970s, EarthSky’s Deborah Byrd happened upon a copy of the old 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope in the stacks of the Peridier Library at the University of Texas Astronomy Department. Afterward, she began using the term Blue Moon to describe the second full moon in a calendar month on the radio series StarDate, which she wrote and produced. Later, this definition of Blue Moon was also popularized by a book for children by Margot McLoon-Basta and Alice Siegel, called Kids’ World Almanac of Records and Facts, published in New York by World Almanac Publications in 1985. The second-full-moon-in-a-month definition was also used in the board game Trivial Pursuit. Today, it has become part of modern folklore. As the folklorist Philip Hiscock wrote in his comprehensive article Once in a Blue Moon: ‘Old folklore’ it is not, but real folklore it is. It’s very rare that you would see a moon that’s actually blue in color. This photo was created using special filters. Most Blue Moons you hear about are Blue in name only. Resources: Phases of the moon: 2001 to 2100 Solstices and equinoxes: 2001 to 2100 What most call a Blue Moon isn’t blue in color. It’s only Blue in name. Bottom line: Modern folklore has defined two different kinds of Blue Moons. The last Blue Moon – second full moon of a calendar month – came on October 31, 2020. The other sort of Blue Moon – third of four full moons in a single season, with a season being between a solstice and equinox – will come on August 22, 2021. Possible to have only 2 full moons in a single season? Source: Wikipedia - Blue moon | Blue Moon Facts
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    What's the Word? - INVOCATION pronunciation: [in-və-KAY-shən] Part of speech: noun Origin: French and Latin, 14th century Meaning: 1. The action of invoking something or someone for assistance or as an authority. Example: "The chemistry department’s invocation of new methodologies opened up possibilities for research." "Pastor Stanley gave an invocation at the beginning of his sermon." About Invocation This word comes from late Middle English via Old French. It originated from the Latin “invocatio(n-),” from the verb “invocare.” Did You Know? Practicing Christians will likely recognize the word “invocation” in its religious context, meaning the act of calling for God’s assistance, presence, and guidance. It’s one of the most common forms of prayer. In a non-religious context, it can be used in an instance of summoning help from an authority.
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    Fact of the Day - FAMOUS POETS Victor Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist. Did you know... that a poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience. (Wikipedia) Things You Might Not Know About Famous Poets by Ana Sampson | Interesting Literature Matthew Arnold struggled a bit with the ageing process circa, 1883 At Oxford University, Matthew Arnold made a name for himself as something of a dandy. It was only when he fell in love, and needed to prove that he had prospects, that he finally settled into the position of Schools Inspector, rattling around provincial Victorian Britain on the newborn railway network. Most of his poetry was written during his younger years – he once said that after his thirtieth birthday he felt ‘three parts iced over’. His most famous poem, ‘Dover Beach’, was begun during his honeymoon in 1851, but was not published until sixteen years later. There was a sad story behind Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s beard photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron in 1868 Longfellow, best remembered now for The Song of Hiawatha, numbered among New England’s ‘Fireside Poets’, so called because their verses were easy to learn and recite due to their musical rhythms, and were written to be shared with families. Longfellow’s first wife, Mary, died young and his second, Frances, burnt to death while using sealing wax on a letter. He grew his iconic bushy beard to hide the burn scars he sustained while trying to save her. Edward Lear went to extraordinary lengths to make moving house easy on his cat 1866 Lear suffered from epilepsy – which he termed ‘the Demon’ – and depression – ‘the Morbids’. He was also rather ugly, though happy to lampoon his own odd appearance (‘His nose is remarkably big… his beard it resembles a wig’). As well as being one of the world’s best-loved nonsense writers, Lear was a talented artist and gave Queen Victoria drawing lessons. He found Court etiquette understandably confusing (the Queen was almost certainly not amused.) There has been some speculation that his verses were actually written by his patron the Earl of Derby, ‘Lear’ being an anagram of ‘Earl’. The Owl and the Pussy-cat was inspired by Lear’s tailless cat Foss, whom he adored so much that, on moving, he had his new house built as a replica of the old to make the move easier on the cat. G. K. Chesterton was prone to getting lost Born; May 1874 Despite being rather a scatterbrain, Chesterton managed to produce journalism, biographies, short stories – including the Father Brown mysteries – and the anarchic thriller The Man Who Was Thursday as well as poetry. Considerable credit must go to his wife, Frances, who occasionally redirected him by telegram when he had misjudged public transport and arrived at the wrong town. Chesterton was a large man, but happy to lampoon his own bear-like figure. He once told his lean friend George Bernard Shaw, ‘To look at you anyone would think there was a famine in England,’ to which Shaw retorted: ‘To look at you, anyone would think you caused it.’ Robert Frost recited the wrong poem at John F Kennedy’s inauguration 1941 Frost was dogged by poor health and bereavements: his father died young leaving his mother with only $8, only two of his six children outlived him, his wife predeceased him by twenty-five years, and mental illness haunted the family. Despite these setbacks, Frost achieved huge popularity, winning the Pulitzer Prize four times and declaiming at JFK’s 1961 inauguration aged eighty-six. He had written a new poem for the occasion but, with the sun half blinding him, found he couldn’t read it, and so recited his 1942 poem ‘The Gift Outright’ from memory to rapturous applause. John Betjeman helped inspire Brideshead Revisited’s Sebastian Flyte Photograph of Sir John Betjeman (1906-1984). Betjeman threw himself into undergraduate life at Oxford with a vengeance – the friendships and carousing, though, rather than the academic side of things. He had brought his teddy bear, Archibald Ormsby-Gore, along for the ride, thereby providing inspiration for his fellow undergraduate Evelyn Waugh. During the Second World War Betjeman worked in the British Embassy in Dublin, where the IRA considered assassinating him as a spy, something only revealed many years later. Betjeman was knighted in 1969 and was a popular choice for Poet Laureate in 1972 – he replied personally by hand to every member of the public who sent him a poem. Poe’s biographer had a gruesome talking point at his dinner parties 1849 "Annie" daguerreotype of Poe Poor old Poe died in poverty, despite his lack of self-doubt: he called ‘The Raven’ ‘the greatest poem that was ever written’. Poe was orphaned at three and it is no surprise that he suffered night terrors as a child; drink and depression haunted him all his life. He married his thirteen year-old cousin Virginia who died from tuberculosis aged only twenty-four. Her bones fell into the hand of an early biographer of Poe, who displayed them to lucky dinner guests until they were finally reburied with those of her husband. It could have been ‘The Walrus and the Butterfly’ Carroll in 1857 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was a stammering professor of mathematics at Oxford who found himself most at home in the company of children, to whom he recounted fantastic tales. His pseudonym Lewis Carroll was created by translating his first and middle names into Latin, reversing the order of them, and translating them back into English, a typically scholarly piece of word play. Carroll gave his illustrator John Tenniel three choices of second character in ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’: Tenniel was to choose between a carpenter, a butterfly or a baronet as each one would scan equally well. Wordsworth was prone to tantrums Wordsworth on Helvellyn By the last decade of his life the rural idylls Wordsworth depicted were in many places already being gobbled up by Victorian industrialisation. He was quite the firebrand as a child, throwing terrible tantrums and once skewering a family portrait with a fencing sword. How did the young iconoclast, fired up by the French Revolution, whose poems peppered with ‘farmyard’ language shocked critics, end up as the eminent Poet Laureate? His reputation helped: he was the least scandal-ridden of the racy Romantics (the fact that he had an illegitimate daughter was hidden for a hundred years), as well as the longest lived. Wordsworth’s vast output was studied in schools during his lifetime, and tourists flocked to his beloved Lakes hoping to glimpse him striding about. Robert Herrick’s pet pig drank out of a tankard Herrick, 1904 illustration Rather suspiciously, the infant Herrick’s father fell out of a window two days after writing a will, though the courts generously didn’t confiscate the family’s estate as they did in those days in the case of suicide. His support for the Royalist cause during the Civil War lost Herrick his position as vicar of Dean Prior, Devon, but he was reinstated at the Restoration of Charles II. Initially he found life as a country parson dull, though he eventually grew to love Devon. Teaching his pet pig to drink from a tankard presumably helped to pass the time. Source: Wikipedia - Poet | Facts About Famous Poets
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    What's the Word? - LYCEUM pronunciation: [ly-SEE-əm] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, late 16th century Meaning: 1. The garden at Athens in which Aristotle taught philosophy. 2. (U.S. archaic) A literary institution, lecture hall, or teaching place. Example: "Sandra found she really learned the most from the lyceum lectures." "Rick preferred the lyceum structure over online classes. About Lyceum This word came about via Latin from the Greek “Lukeion,” the neuter of “Lukeios.” Did You Know? A number of literary societies in late 18th-century France and early 19th-century England named their literary societies lyceums as a nod to their place in academia during ancient times.
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    What's the Word? - XIPHOID pronunciation: [ZY-foyd] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Greek, mid 18th century Meaning: 1. Sword-shaped. Example: "The children looked for any xiphoid objects they could use to play-duel with." "The face masks had small medieval helmets and xiphoid figures printed on them." About Xiphoid This word hails from the Greek “xiphoeidēs,” which comes from “xiphos,” meaning “sword.” Did You Know? The lowest third of the human sternum is called the xiphoid process. You can actually see or feel the tip of it in some newborns. Between ages 15 to 30, the xiphoid process typically fuses to the rest of the sternum, but it doesn’t ossify (harden) until around age 40.
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    Fact of the Day - HOTTEST PLACES Image of a Desert Did you know.... that when you dream of jetting off to somewhere warm and sunny, you likely picture a beachy destination with temperatures in the 80s or even 90s — not a desert known for its infamous heat. With temperatures regularly soaring past 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest places on Earth range from busy cities to stunning desert landscapes. (Travel and Leisure) Hottest Places on Earth (If You Want To Melt) By Mark Stock | March 27, 2021 We’re just entering spring and still a few months away from summer, but if you’re already dreading the impending heat, know this: It could be a lot worse. There are places on the planet so hot that a 100-degree day would seem mild. Places so hot that locals talk about phenomena like melting lights and spontaneously-combusting trees. Places so humid you could cut the hot air with a knife. A lot of the world’s hottest places are far removed. They’re so remote that they often lack the ground-based thermometers and weather stations used elsewhere, which means much of the heat info is sourced from satellites. Many are deserts, but some are cities, small towns, and jungles. Death Valley, California While somewhat disputed, the hottest temperature on record was registered in our very own country. In July of 1913, in Furnace Creek, California, the mercury read 134 degrees F. Some think a sandstorm caused superheated material to confuse the weather equipment. Others think it was just a hotter-than-normal kind of afternoon. Either way, the tiny town within the larger Death Valley is no stranger to scorching weather, registering record temperatures almost annually. Flaming Mountains, China You can’t call a range the Flaming Mountains unless they’re practically on fire. The lifeless-looking strip of red topography resides within the Taklamakan Desert and routinely breaks 122 degrees F. And with so much radiation from the rocks, it can often feel hotter. An unverified soil surface reading in 2008 read 152.2 degrees F! How do locals cope? Long ago, the Chinese would beat the heat with silk or even bamboo clothing. The latter material is still used to cover beds and things like car seats today to insulate from the heat. There’s also a tendency to enjoy a cup of mung bean juice, which is believed to be able to cool your core temperature. Lut Desert, Iran Iran’s Lut Desert looks like another planet with its dramatic plateaus and countless colossal sandcastles that dot the salty desert. One of the hottest areas within the Lut is called Gandom Beryan, Persian for “toasted wheat.” It’s believed that here, some wheat was left out and roasted by the sun in a matter of a few days. Sahara Desert The Sahara is the largest hot desert on earth, pretty much making up the entire top half of Africa. It’s a sunbaked mass of some 3.6 million square miles that are easily identifiable from outer space. It’s a place of few clouds and harsh heat. In fact, where there is water, it evaporates at the quickest rate anywhere on earth. There is sand almost everywhere, and it draws heat immensely. Ground temperatures often surpass 170 degrees F in the Sahara, warranting special shoes or, better still, a trusty camel. El Azizia, Libya (Aziziya) This town of about 25,000 in northwestern Libya was believed to have the hottest temperature recorded on earth for many years until it was disproved back in 2012. Regardless, it’s home to extreme heat, as well as an ancient trade route that led up to nearby Tripoli. The landscape is pretty quintessential when we think of scorching deserts, with its golden sand dunes, occasional oases, and cloudless skies. Here, residents tend to be much more active at night, taking on chores and going to the market in the wee hours when it’s more tolerable outside. Sonoran Desert A cactus-strewn expanse in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico, the Sonoran Desert bakes. It’s a surprisingly diverse place in terms of biology, and it’s even home to a rare jaguar population. The rather large region is home to Phoenix, a city so hot most simply stay indoors during the summer months. Here, in July, temperatures average in the mid-90s, and it’s quite common to break 115 degrees during peak heat hours. Bangkok, Thailand The heat of Bangkok is a deceptive one. The Thai city is never setting any all-time highs, but it’s so consistently warm year-round that it’s one of the hottest inhabited places around. And there’s often very little relief at night when so many cities cool off. Locals like to combat the warmth with things like boat transit, fresh fruit juices, squirt guns (which are especially popular here), or food dishes that are so often spicy they distract you from the hot weather. Kuwait City, Kuwait The capital of Kuwait is one of the hottest cities in the Middle East and the world. With a population of more than 4 million, it’s also one of the hottest metropolises out there. Here, average summer highs hover around the stifling 115 degrees F mark. Strangely, it’s also quite cold during the short winter, with lows dipping into the 40s. The heat, which dominates most of the year, can feel even more extreme due to common sandstorms. Dallol, Ethiopia Extremely remote and set in the far north of Ethiopia, Dallol is a tiny village known for setting records. It’s the hottest year-round spot in the world, with the average annual high temperature coming in at a blistering 106.1 degrees F. A study that took place over six years in the 1960s determined that the record low over that stretch was a remarkable 70 degrees F. The Amazon Earth’s most famous tropical rainforest may be veiled in trees, but it’s still damn hot and humid. Granted, it’s misty, and rainfall is common, but it’s also very close to the equator and quite toasty. A thick type of heat pervades here, the kind you can feel in your lungs with every breath. With an average temperature of more than 80 degrees F, it’s always warm and amplified by off-the-charts humidity levels. Source: Hottest Places on Earth
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    Got another 2 week break till the next chapter. In the meantime, we see Jimbei take on Who's-Who, and wow is it a brutal fight thus far.
  44. 1 point
    What's the Word? - CLAQUE pronunciation: [KLAK] Part of speech: noun Origin: French, mid 19th century Meaning: 1. A group of sycophantic followers. 2. A group of people hired to applaud (or heckle) a performer or public speaker. Example: "Some political leaders arrange to have claques at their public speeches." "A lot of high school movies present friend groups as claques." About Claque This word came from the French word “claquer,” meaning “to clap.” The practice of paying audience members for their praise originated at the Paris opera. Did You Know? The use of claques in public performances goes back to ancient times. It only became an organized, permanent system — and controlled by claquers themselves — in 1800s Paris. Members of a claque are called claquers.
  45. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - DONKEYS Did you know... that the donkey or ass is a domesticated member of the horse family, Equidae. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African wild ass, E. africanus. The donkey has been used as a working animal for at least 5000 years. The donkey has been used as a working animal for at least 5000 years. There are more than 40 million donkeys in the world, mostly in underdeveloped countries, where they are used principally as draught or pack animals. Working donkeys are often associated with those living at or below subsistence levels. Small numbers of donkeys are kept for breeding or as pets in developed countries. (Wikipedia) Surprising Facts About Donkeys By Jaymi Heimbuch | Updated January 07, 2021 The donkey is one of the most underappreciated animals around. With roots in both Asia and Africa, it has a long and varied history. As far as its characteristics, you've heard of its famed obstinance, but do you know the intelligent reason behind it? How about their skillful ears or the way they can act as guards for livestock? Keep reading for 10 facts that will make you want to give more thought to this common working animal. 1. Donkeys' Large Ears Help Them Stay Cool Wild asses such as donkeys evolved in arid locations in Africa and Asia, where most herds tend to be more spread out. The large ears help heighten a donkey's sense of hearing, so it can pick up the calls of herd mates — and predators — from miles away. Another use for the donkey's long ears is heat dissipation. The larger surface area helps the donkey expel its internal heat at a high rate to stay cool in the hot desert environments. 2. Donkeys' Vocalization Is Unique The donkey's characteristic sound is called braying. It is unique among the equids because it requires an ability that donkeys have but horses and zebras lack: vocalizing while both inhaling and exhaling. The hee occurs during air intake, and the haw comes during air outflow. Despite this sound being specific to donkeys, there is still some variation. The duration and frequency of a bray, for instance, is unique to each individual animal. 3. One Donkey Breed Is Impressively Hairy The Poitou donkey was developed in the French Poitou region in the 18th century, and it is a standout among breeds created by humans. Used primarily to breed mules across Europe, it is known for its distinctive long coat that hangs in thick, matted cords called cadenettes, similar to dreadlocks. The longer and more matted the coat, the more prized the donkey. But as the use of donkeys and mules declined in the modern era, so too did the breeding of Poitou donkeys. By 1977, there were only 44 individuals left. Since then, numbers have been rising thanks to private breeders and conservation efforts.1 4. Their Ancestors Are on the Brink There are two species of wild ass: the African wild ass and the Asiatic wild ass. However, only the former is the ancestor to which today's domesticated donkeys can be traced. Unfortunately, despite being the start of domesticated donkeys 5,000 years ago, the African wild ass is in danger. According to the IUCN, the African wild ass is critically endangered with between just 23 and 200 adults left in the wild as of 2014. It is hunted for food and traditional medicinal purposes, and also suffers from human encroachment; human-tended livestock outcompetes the wild creatures for what little water can be found in their arid habitat. 5. There Are Conservation Efforts To Protect Endangered Wild Asses The future for the African wild ass may seem bleak, but there are people working to protect them. The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), an environmental treaty of the United Nations, created a plan in 2017 called the "Roadmap for the Conservation of the African Wild Ass Equus africanus." The thorough strategy hones in on each geographic area that holds a significant African wild ass population and outlines tailored objectives and actions to be taken over the next 20 years. Meanwhile, there is also legislation in place to protect these donkey ancestors, including full legal protections in Eritrea and Ethiopia and the establishment of protective nature reserves. 6. Donkeys Are Part of Many Hybrids Donkeys are key to a number of the world's hybrid creatures; because they are closely related to horses and zebras, donkeys can produce offspring with both. In fact, creating hybrids was standard practice for centuries because mules were popular working animals. The long history of creating donkey hybrids has led to an abundance of names for the mixed-species animals. Here are just a few: Mule: a hybrid of a male donkey and female horse Hinny: a hybrid of a female donkey and male horse John mule: the male offspring of a horse and donkey Molly: the female offspring of a horse and donkey Mules are almost always sterile. But despite the slim odds of foal, folks still came up with names for them: Jule, donkule: the offspring of a male donkey and female mule Hule: the offspring of a male horse and female mule Because donkeys can mate with zebras, there are creative names for those offspring too: Zebra hinny, zebret, zebrinny: a hybrid of a male donkey and female zebra Zebroid, zebrass, zedonk: a hybrid of a female donkey and male zebra 7. They Are Highly Social Donkeys are social animals that don't like to be alone. They evolved as herd animals and form deep, lifelong bonds with other donkeys or animals with whom they share a pasture. Close bonds between two donkeys are called pair bonds, and there is also research to prove their legitimacy. Separating a pair has negative effects on the donkeys that include stress, pining behavior, and loss of appetite. This is why for those interested in owning a donkey, it's commonly advised to bring home two, or at least place your donkey with potential friends such as a horse. 8. They Can Act as Guard Animals Donkeys are naturally aggressive toward canid animals. As a result, they are sometimes used as "guardians" for livestock — they can defend against a dog, coyote, fox, or even bobcat that's bothering a herd of sheep or goats. The livestock will begin to see the donkeys as protectors and gravitate toward them when they feel they are in danger. 9. They're Stubborn for a Reason Donkeys are known for being obstinate, planting their feet and staying put regardless of how hard a handler pulls. But just because they have a tendency to resist doesn't mean they're dumb, as commonly assumed. Quite the opposite. Donkeys have a keen sense of self-preservation. If they feel they're in danger, rather than running away, they'll stand their ground and refuse to move, giving them time to make their own decision about whether or not it's safe to keep going forward. It's a distinct difference from horses which, when frightened, usually flee immediately. 10. Some Donkeys Are Tiny Miniature donkeys are impressively small. Native to Sicily and Sardinia, they stand no taller than three feet high at the shoulder. The Guinness World Record for shortest donkey currently belongs to KneeHi at 25.29 inches tall, but another miniature donkey, Ottie, stood at 19 inches high when fully grown in 2017 and never officially received the title. It's important to note that unlike many other miniature animal breeds, the miniature donkey is not a bred-down version of the "normal" animal — its size is natural. Source: Wikipedia - Donkey | Facts About Donkeys
  46. 1 point
    What's the Word? - PERDURABLE pronunciation: [pər-DUR-ə-bl] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Middle English, 14th century Meaning: 1. Enduring continuously; imperishable. Example: "My grandfather always claimed his love for my grandmother was perdurable." "One selling point of cast-iron cookware is how seemingly perdurable it is. " About Perdurable This word is from late Middle English via Old French. It originates from the late Latin “perdurabilis,” which stems from Latin “perdurare,” meaning “endure.” “Per-” is throughout and “durare” means “to last.” Did You Know? It’s easy to mistake “perdurable” for another adjective, “perturable,” because there’s only one letter difference. However, “perdurable” means long-lasting; “perturable” means testy or prickly in temperament.
  47. 1 point
    Yeah, it only lasted close to one day. https://store.steampowered.com/app/65790/ARMA_Cold_War_Assault/ ARMA: Cold War Assault is currently free on Steam. https://dreamtime.indiegala.com/dreamtime Dream Time is currently free on IndieGala.
  48. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - ANDRÉ THE GIANT Did you know.... that André René Roussimoff, better known by his ring name André the Giant, was a French professional wrestler and actor. He was best known for his time in the World Wide Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Federation promotion from 1973 to 1991. (Wikipedia) Facts About The Life Of Andre The Giant by Stephen Randle | 2015 Professional wrestling has had more than its share of giants, but none stood taller in the eyes of wrestling fans than the legendary Andre The Giant. During the 70’s and 80’s, Andre was legitimately the biggest wrestling star in the entire world, and his fame expanded outside the squared circle, even into the realm of Hollywood. Tales of his exploits are numerous, as it seems that every wrestler from that era has a story about Andre, whether about his prodigious size and strength, his impressive capacity for alcohol, or his genial, friendly nature with nearly everyone he met. You could fill a very large book about the legend of Andre The Giant (and several already have been written), and only scratch the surface, but here are some of the most interesting facts we found about wrestling’s most unique Superstar. Driven To School By Samuel Beckett Any English major or theater buff worth their salt should recognize the name of playwright Samuel Beckett, who wrote dozens of plays and poems, including the famous Waiting For Godot, and received a Nobel Prize for his contributions to literature. That same Samuel Beckett also purchased a large plot of land in France, becoming neighbours and friends with Boris Roussimoff, the father of the man who would one day be known as Andre The Giant. Even at a young age, Andre’s acromegaly made him awkwardly large, to the point that he could not take the bus to school. Upon hearing of Andre’s troubles, Beckett offered to drive him to school in a truck, and the two bonded, apparently over a love of cricket. It’s possible that Beckett was at least partially responsible for Andre’s professed love of the theater, although he never went, because he was afraid that he would block the view of other patrons. Drafted By The French Army Andre’s massive size caused many incredible complications over his life, from being forced to modify his house to accommodate him, to purchasing multiple seats on airplanes, to being forced to use bathtubs and other fixtures for certain bodily functions when travelling around the world, due to toilets being far too small for him. His large size also managed to make him ineligible for the French army, which he was drafted into during peace time in 1965. When he arrived, however, it was discovered that he was too large to fit into any of the required uniforms, as well as the bunks. In fact, Andre’s size also made it impossible for him to fit inside trenches, which was still a large part of ground combat at the time. In the end, Andre was told to go home. Appeared In Multiple Films/TV Shows Everyone remembers Andre’s role as Fezzik in the film The Princess Bride, however, Andre actually had several roles in both film and TV that are less well-remembered. He appeared on several popular TV shows in minor roles, such as BJ and the Bear and The Greatest American Hero. He also found his way into more than one Hollywood film in addition to The Princess Bride, including an uncredited role as Dagoth in Conan The Barbarian, where he became friends with Arnold Schwarzeneggar. Ironically, in the original casting for The Princess Bride (the first attempt to make the movie fell through, before finally being made several years later), Schwarzeneggar was supposed to play Fezzik, because at the time, Andre was too big of a star to have time for filming a movie! After his death, Andre was also the inspiration for the movie My Giant, starring Billy Crystal, who had become good friends with Andre during the filming of The Princess Bride. The Greatest Drunk On Earth Andre’s love of alcoholic beverages was legendary, as he reportedly consumed over 7,000 calories worth of alcohol every day. Several confirmed stories exist of Andre drinking over a hundred beers or several bottles of wine in a single sitting, and he was given the unofficial title of the “Greatest Drunk on Earth”. In fact, an urban legend (which has never been confirmed) exists which claims that when Andre was having surgery, a problem arose when it came to determining how much anesthesia to use, due to his size, and the doctors allegedly used his level of alcohol tolerance in order determine a basis for the medication. Unfortunately, Andre’s fondness for drinking had a dark side to it, as Andre used it as a form of self-medication due to the massive amount of pain caused by his condition, and also to deal with how awkward his size made him feel in public. The Highest-Paid Wrestler In The World In 1974, Andre made his way into the Guinness Book of World Records, however, it wasn’t for the reason you might think. In fact, Andre was listed in the book as the highest-paid wrestler in the entire world, with an annual salary of roughly $400,000, which equates to about $2 million by modern standards. While he did make a lot of money (and made several wrestling promoters even more), much of Andre’s wealth went towards the expenses necessary to make him comfortable in a world that was far too small for him. He required custom-made clothing, furniture, and even his home in France had extensive modifications. Andre’s bar bills were also extensive, and the cost of travelling to wrestling events in other countries was prohibitive, given the challenges of finding planes and hotel rooms that could manage his bulk. Andre Always Paid While he was well-paid for his work, Andre was never selfish with his wealth. Multiple stories have been told about his generosity, especially when dining with friends. Whether he was invited to attend or taking friends out on the town, when you ate and drank with Andre, you never paid the bill. One of the most famous stories of Andre’s insistence on picking up the cheque came from Arnold Schwarzeneggar, who talked about trying to secretly pay for dinner while Andre was distracted. When Andre discovered what Arnold had done, he enacted a swift revenge on his friend, reportedly picking up the future Governor of California (who, let’s not forget, was not a small man) with the assistance of another friend, basketball star Wilt Chamberlain, and dropping the action star on the roof of his car. Not The Tallest Wrestler Ever Andre may have been a true giant, and the Eighth Wonder of the World, but in wrestling history, there have actually been several other wrestlers who stood taller than his 7’4″ height. Many are not that well-known, but among the names on the list is Giant Gonzalez, a former NBA player who spent time in both WCW and WWE, and was an amazing 7’7″. Gonzalez suffered from a similar condition as Andre, and passed away in 2010 due to diabetic complications resulting from it. Of course, much like the Big Show is now billed as the World’s Largest Athlete, height isn’t the only measurement of size, as Andre also weighed over 500 pounds by the end of his wrestling career. Andre was so large, that when he died, his cremated remains reportedly weighed over 17 pounds. His Daughter Andre never married, although he was reportedly quite the ladies man, and he did have one daughter, Robin Christensen Roussimoff, who was born in 1979. Andre’s daughter has said that her father’s stardom caused some problems in her life, making it nearly impossible to date. She maintains a professional relationship with WWE, mostly in terms of receiving royalties for use of her father’s likeness, but she also has spoken publicly about disliking the current WWE product, and Vince McMahon in particular, saying that Vince’s father was a far better man than him. She also reportedly wasn’t thrilled with the “OBEY” images of Andre, which were done without permission, although she has been receptive to anyone who wants to use Andre’s legacy for projects, as long as they ask ahead of time. He Wasn’t Really Undefeated Before WrestleMania III Despite what WWE continues to tell people, Andre was never undefeated for 15 years, and had lost or gone to draws several times in his career before losing to Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III. Hogan also was not the first man to bodyslam Andre, as that feat was accomplished over a dozen times in the years before WrestleMania III. In fact, Hogan himself bodyslammed Andre during Hogan’s first, unheralded run in WWE, when Hogan actually played a heel against the babyface Giant. However, in an age before the Internet and instantaneous access to information, it’s likely that very few people actually knew the truth. Besides, it did make for a better story, didn’t it? First Inductee Into The WWE Hall of Fame After Andre’s passing in 1993, WWE established their Hall of Fame, making him the very first and only inductee. At the time, there was no ceremony, and the induction didn’t even take place at WrestleMania. Instead, a video package announcing Andre’s induction was played on an episode of Monday Night Raw. Andre wouldn’t be alone for long, however, as WWE would induct three more classes of Hall of Famers from 1994-1996, before abandoning the concept. WWE would resurrect the Hall of Fame in 2004 for the twentieth edition of WrestleMania, turning it into the yearly ceremony full of spectacle that continues to this day. In 2014, as part of the promotion for the thirtieth edition of WrestleMania, WWE also created the Andre The Giant Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the winner of an annual battle royal at the Pay Per View. Source: Wikipedia - André the Giant | André the Giant Facts
  49. 1 point
    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/the-spectrum-retreat The Spectrum Retreat is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1048540/Kao_the_Kangaroo_Round_2_2003_rerelease/ Kao the Kangaroo: Round 2 is currently free on Steam.
  50. 1 point
    https://freebies.indiegala.com/kick-ass-commandos Kick Ass Commandos is currently free on IndieGala.
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