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  1. 4 points
    Go to the Settings tab, scroll down to Advanced Settings. Then use the Search to find and disable (uncheck) the options which appear: premium alert Special Deals oboom Donate Banner Then simply exit JDownloader and re-open it. Voila!
  2. 3 points
    Today Square Enix revealed Final Fantasy XVI, the newest entry in the Final Fantasy series, is coming to the PlayStation 5 (PS5) system. Final Fantasy XVI is an all-new standalone single player action RPG produced by Naoki Yoshida (Final Fantasy XIV, Dragon Quest X) and directed by Hiroshi Takai (Final Fantasy XIV, The Last Remnant). No release date though, however Square Enix did state that their next big information reveal is scheduled for 2021.
  3. 3 points
    Fall Anime 2020 AniChart | MAL Chart | AniDB Chart My Personal Autumn Watch List is currently as follows: Left-Overs: Fire Force Season 02 Definite Pick-ups: Golden Kamuy Season 03 Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Season 03 Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon Possible Pick-ups (Pending Impressions on further PVs and/or first couple episodes): Akudama Drive Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai Higurashi: When They Cry (2020) Jujutsu Kaisen Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear MWZ Nobelesse Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World The Day I Became a God The Journey of Elaina Movies BEM: Become Human Burn The Witch Demon Slayer: Infinity Train Fate/Grand Order: Camelot 1 - Wandering; Agateram Josee, the Tiger and the Fish You are Beyond OVAs Eden
  4. 2 points
    Legend: Start Final Fantasy XVI Spiderman Miles Morales Hogwarts Legacy Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War Resident Evil VIII (8): Village Death Loop Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition Oddworld Soul Storm Five Nights At Freddy's Security Breach Demon's Souls Fortnite PlayStation Plus Price Global Launch God of War 2: Ragnarok
  5. 2 points
    For everyone that got the Borderlands collection when it was free on Epic, now they are giving away dlc as well. https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/borderlands-2/commander-lilith
  6. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - FINAL FANTASY Did you know.... that Final Fantasy is a Japanese anthology science fantasy media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and developed and owned by Square Enix. The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games. The first game in the series was released in 1987, with 15 other main-numbered entries being released since then. The franchise has since branched into other video game genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, racing, third-person shooter, fighting, and rhythm, as well as branching into other media, including CGI films, anime, manga, and novels. Final Fantasy is one of the highest-grossing video game franchises of all time, having grossed $10.9 billion in lifetime revenue, as of 2019. (Wikipedia) What You Might Not Know About ‘Final Fantasy’ NATHAN BIRCH | APRIL 9, 2014 The creator of Final Fantasy also popularized the Japanese dating sim. While not particularly well known on this side of the Pacific, dating sims in which the player attempts to romance various virtual ladies are a staple in Japan. These games are, at best, kind of sad and at worst just outright porn, so it may come as some surprise that the whole misbegotten genre was more-or-less spawned by Final Fantasy mastermind Hironobu Sakaguchi. Before he made Final Fantasy Sakaguchi created all kinds of different games for Square, including Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School, a game in which you, as a high school kid, try to woo popular-at-the-time Japanese idol Miho Nakayama. The game wasn’t the first Japanese dating sim, but it was the first to feature a real-life celebrity and the first to be a mainstream hit. Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School Also interestingly, the game was co-produced with Nintendo itself, with Metroid co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto working on the game. Final Fantasy is also linked to the creation of first-person shooters. The lead programmer of Final Fantasy was Nasir Gebelli, an Iranian-American whiz programmer who created groundbreaking first-person shooters such as Horizon V and Zenith for the Apple II in the early 80s. John Romero, designer of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom has cited Gebelli as a major inspiration and influence. The game originally had a more badass name. Originally Final Fantasy was going to be called Fighting Fantasy. Frankly I’m kind of shocked Square-Enix has never done a Final Fantasy fighter called Fighting Fantasy. Final Fantasy really could have been the final game in the series. We’ve all seen the snarky comments — hell, we might have made a few of them ourselves. “Final Fantasy? Lol! There’s been, like, 50 of them! When’s the ‘final’ part happening?” Well, Final Fantasy’s name could have been much more literal. Back in 1987 Square was coming off a series of flops and was on its last legs financially. After Dragon Quest hit big in Japan in 1986, Sakaguchi convinced his bosses to let him make an RPG, but few in the company had high hopes that the game would be a success. Most assumed Final Fantasy would be Square’s final glorious gasp before going out of business. Sakaguchi also assumed it would be his final shot at being a video game writer and designer and that he’d be forced to drag his ass back to university. It was this air of finality and gloom that led Fighting Fantasy to be renamed Final Fantasy. Thankfully the original release of Final Fantasy would sell over 400,000 copies in Japan, save Square and give birth to a very ironically named series. Final Fantasy was almost Fighting Fantasy Final Fantasy was made with a team of just 7 people. By comparison, a decade later planning sessions for Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 after the release of Final Fantasy VI. At the time, Final Fantasy VII was planned to be another 2D project for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi has noted the game's central theme of "life" dating back to when his mother passed away while he was working on Final Fantasy III (uncertain whether the interview is referring to Final Fantasy III or Final Fantasy VI), after which he always wanted to explore the theme of "life" in a "mathematical and logical way to overcome the mental shock." Sakaguchi intended the story to take place in modern New York City in the year 1999. Several of the staff were working in parallel on Chrono Trigger, and development for Final Fantasy VII was interrupted when the other project became significant enough to require the help of director Yoshinori Kitase and other designers. Some of the ideas originally considered for Final Fantasy VII ended up in Chrono Trigger and other ideas, such as the New York setting and the sorceress character Edea, were kept unused until the later projects Parasite Eve and Final Fantasy VIII respectively. Square opened graphic research facilities in Japan and the United States, including one located in Los Angeles, for which in 1995 they advertised job vacancies for roles in high-end graphics development and animation production. Development of Final Fantasy VII resumed in late 1995, and required the efforts of approximately 120 artists and programmers, using PowerAnimator and Softimage 3D software. This was the largest game development team at the time, and included Japanese CG artists working alongside Hollywood CG visual effects artists, such as Ron Sabatino, former British ILM artist Paul Ashdown who worked on Star Wars and Jurassic Park, and artists from Digital Domain who worked on Terminator 2: Judgement Day and True Lies. Final Fantasy VII was the most expensive video game of its time, with a production budget of around US$45 million, equivalent to $67 million in 2015. Aside from the story, Final Fantasy VI had many details undecided when development began with many things filled out along the way. In contrast, with Final Fantasy VII the developers knew from the outset it was going to be "a real 3D game," so from the earliest planning stage detailed designs were drawn up. The script was also locked in, and the image for the graphics was fleshed out. So when the actual work began "storyboards" for the game were already in place. Around a decade after that, nearly 300 people worked on Final Fantasy XII. The Final Fantasy series’ most iconic melody was written in five minutes. Every version of Final Fantasy has featured some take on the song “Prelude”, a beautiful little melody that inspires instant nostalgia in anyone who’s ever touched a Final Fantasy game. Well, turns out the song was just farted out in five minutes by Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu when Sakaguchi barged into the studio one day demanding one more song. Given the results, maybe Sakaguchi should have been totally unreasonable more often. Cid is not in the game. As all Final Fantasy fans know, every game in the series has featured an appearance by a gruff, airship owning character named Cid. Obviously this includes the original Final Fantasy, right? Nope! The original NES version of Final Fantasy is completely Cid-less, although later versions of the game for the Playstation and GBA retconned Cid into the game’s world. Oh, and there’s no Chocobos in the game either. The game’s battle system was inspired by American football. Hiroyuki Ito, the designer of Final Fantasy’s battle system, had never played a tabletop or video game RPG in his life before working on Final Fantasy. Instead his inspiration was American football, with it’s back and forth action, two teams taking turns on offense and heavy emphasis on pre-planning. You can definitely see the football influence in Final Fantasy’s iconic side-view battles (up until Final Fantasy, most RPGs used a first-person or over-the-shoulder view for battle). A large portion of the game’s spells are completely useless. When you were playing through Final Fantasy as a kid, did you ever get the sense that the game didn’t quite work like it was supposed to? Well, you were exactly right! Final Fantasy may have been a groundbreaking title, but it was also a completely busted shmozz of a game. For instance, a large portion of the game’s spells either do nothing, or worse, may do the complete opposite of what they’re supposed to do. Tmbr and Sabr are supposed to buff your party, but actually do absolutely nothing. Lock misses 100% of the time. Lok2 is supposed to decrease your enemy’s ability to evade, but it actually increases it. And these examples are just the tip of the iceberg. The Intelligence stat is completely meaningless. In Final Fantasy games the “Intelligence” stat is supposed to indicate the strength of your magic power. In the original Final Fantasy it has no effect on anything. In other words, despite what the game tells you, the White, Red and Black Mages all have the exact same magical ability. A Red Mage can cure just as well as a White Mage, but don’t tell Red or White mage fans that. The game contains an accidental grinding paradise. Named the Peninsula of Power by fans, this small, unremarkable chunk of land located northeast of the town of Pravoka, is accessible by ship. Due to a programming error, enemies you should only encounter once you get the airship can be fought here, allowing you to artificially pump up your party’s levels early in the game. Nearly every classic 2D Final Fantasy game had its own example of a Peninsula of Power. The game contains a secret puzzle game. Once you’ve got your hands on the ship, press the A and B buttons together a whopping 55 times, and you’ll unlock a little slide puzzle. You can solve the minigame as many times as you want, with 100 gil being your prize for each completion of the puzzle. The game contains morbid Legend of Zelda and Dragon Quest references. As for the tomb at Elfheim (or Elf Land in the NES version), the tomb reads "Here lies Erdrick" in the American NES version of Final Fantasy I, a reference to the Dragon Quest game. It reads "May Link rest in peace," in the American Final Fantasy Origins version (in reference to the hero of the Legend of Zelda series.) It reads "May Erdrick rest in peace," in the PAL Final Fantasy Origins version (interestingly, the text referencing Link was only slightly changed in Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls, even though that version was made for a Nintendo system. In Dawn of Souls, it reads "Here lies Link"). Elf Land or Elfheim The game contains a creepy invisible woman. In the original NES version of Final Fantasy there’s a strange invisible NPC in Cornelia that you can talk to, but can’t see. For years gamers assumed that the ghost NPC was a man, until somebody figured out how to make the glitched out character reappear using a Game Genie and discovered the ghostly voice actually belonged to a woman. Europe didn’t get their hands on Final Fantasy until 2003. Unbelievably Europe didn’t get to play the game that launched one of the biggest franchises of all time until the 2003 remake Final Fantasy Origins was released there. In fact, Europe didn’t get a true Final Fantasy game until Final Fantasy VII in 1997. On a side not: To Final Fantasy gamers out there. If I have some facts wrong, don't hesitate to correct me. The info I post comes from the Internet and I know they're not always accurate. Source: Wikipedia - Final Fantasy | Facts You May Not Know About Final Fantasy | Final Fantasy Fandom
  7. 1 point
    What's the Word? - SEMPITERNAL pronunciation: [sem-pə-TUHR-nl] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, 15th century Meaning: 1. Eternal and unchanging; everlasting. Example: "As an astronaut, I'm intrigued by the sempiternal vastness of space." "The young couple's heartfelt vows promised their love was sempiternal." About Sempiternal You might have seen monuments and memorials engraved with the words "semper fidelis," meaning "always faithful." The Latin words "semper," means always. Joined with the word "aeternus," or eternal, it represents a word with an enduring, everlasting presence. Did you Know? Bring Me the Horizon, a British metalcore band, had their 2013 album "Sempiternal" debut at No. 3 on the UK Album Chart — an album that later went on to receive critical acclaim. The band obviously wanted their album to last forever; whether they succeeded or not is up to their fans.
  8. 1 point
    According to Dusk Golem, Full Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness details are It's an episodic 3D CG animated television series. Netflix exclusive, but will release globally. A collaboration between Capcom, TMS Entertainment & Marza Animation Planet. Canon to the games, and covers the series history. The series is part of the 25th anniversary celebration of Resident Evil. Pays special attention to sound design - Recommend wearing headphones while watching. Stars Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, the events of the series set-off when Claire stumbles upon "something" late one night, and Leon helps "someone", setting things into motion. The series is described as "Horror-Action", with scenes of "Horror Suspense" and "Breath-taking Dynamic Action". Tease there may be other familiar faces as side roles.
  9. 1 point
    What's the Word? - SCUTTLEBUTT pronunciation: [SKUH-dl-bət] Part of speech: noun Origin: North American English, early 19th century Meaning: 1. Rumor. 2. Gossip. Example: "Tell me everything! I need the scuttlebutt." "The scuttlebutt is that she's found a new job." About Scuttlebutt Sailors have the best words for things. On a 19th century ship, a "butt" was a cask of drinking water, and a "scuttle" was the hole made for drinking. The sailors would gather at the scuttlebutt for a bit of chit-chat. Now we have the term "scuttlebutt" for watercooler gossip. Did you Know? If you're in Australia, "furphy" is slang for a story too good to be true. It comes from the name of the manufacturer of water carts used to supply soldiers in World War I. Scuttlebutt or furphy, it's all just a bit of watercooler gossip.
  10. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - TETHER CAR A tether car with 1.5 cc engine. Did you know... that Tether Cars are model racing cars powered by miniature internal combustion engines and tethered to a central post. Unlike radio control cars, the driver has no remote control over the model's speed or steering. (Wikipedia) Tether cars were developed beginning in the 1920s–1930s and still are built, raced and collected today. First made by hobby craftsmen, tether cars were later produced in small numbers by commercial manufacturers such as Dooling Brothers (California), Dick McCoy (Duro-Matic Products), Garold Frymire (Fryco Engineering) BB Korn, and many others. Original examples of the early cars, made from 1930s to the 1960s, are avidly collected today and command prices in the thousands of dollars. Dooling brothers Mercury Midget rear drive, 1939-41 Building model cars has been a longtime hobby of car enthusiasts both young and old, but most model cars, whether built for display or to be raced, don't quite stack up to the sheer speed that tether car racing produces. Tether cars are built for maximum speed, which is why some people describe them as bullets on wheels, rather than cars. The world record for the top tether car speed is 214 miles per hour (344.4 kilometers per hour), well above the top speed of most model cars and perhaps more impressively, well above the top speed of most full-size cars [source: AMRCA]. Tether car racing is so named because each car races while tethered to a pole. The cars race individually on a circular track while attached to the center pole by a steel wire. Similar to rally car competition, the cars race individually and the winners of the tether car races are determined based on average speed of several laps. Once the cars get up to top speed, they can exert a force of about 91 Gs. That means the car is pulling away from the pole with a force about 91 times heavier than its own weight. Although tether cars reach extremely high speeds, the actual construction of the cars and time spent building them is the true focus of the hobby. Each car, called a racer, has many of the same components of a real car, but on a much smaller scale. The cars easily come apart so they can be worked on. Those who build and race the cars are called drivers and they constantly modify and tweak the cars to outperform others on the track. Each car receives many hours of preparation time and testing before a race. Tether car racing earns a certain unique cachet among other types of model car building, because of its long history and unique style of racing. History of Tether Cars Two pictures of Ed Baynes -- after the Nationals competition at Anderson, Ind., in 1956, and after the same event held in the same place 50 years later. Shortly after Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly his airplane over the Atlantic Ocean, model airplanes and cars quickly became a hobby in the United States. In the late 1930s, hobbyists started adapting their model airplane engines for use in model cars. One such hobbyist, Tom Dooling and his brothers, often referred to collectively as the Dooling Brothers, receive much of the credit for starting the tether car sensation. After building and flying model airplanes, the brothers decided that they could build a car using an airplane engine. It worked, and the Dooling Brothers began building their own tether cars immediately. The first unofficial tether car races were held in an abandoned lot in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1937 [source: Macropoulos]. In 1939, they held their first official miniature car race in Fresno, Calif., and one year after that they had built a car that reached a top speed of about 64 miles per hour (103 kilometers per hour). The brothers began building tether car engines and racers to be sold to the public in the late 1930s and early 1940s. They created a famous car design called the Frog, and also a popular engine called the Dooling 61. The Dooling Frog During this time, tether car racing grew in popularity in the United States. By 1948, there were about 2,500 to 3,000 racers nationwide, with about 440 tracks throughout the country. However, during World War II, the demand for scrap metal contributions almost brought an end to the hobby. After the war, land development across the nation eliminated many of the tracks throughout the country. Mainly because the hobby can be very time consuming, people began to lose interest during the 1980s, and by 2008 there were only 150 members remaining in the American Miniature Racing Car Association, or AMRCA. Although membership in the states is low, the hobby is still popular in many European countries and Australia. The AMRCA holds races in the United States and other countries under the World Organization for Model Car Racing, or WMCR, association. In 2009, an Italian driver, Gaultier Picco, set a new world record of 214 miles per hour (344.4 kilometers per hour) with his racer in Sydney, Australia [source: AMRCA]. Achieving that speed takes a significant amount of off-track tinkering and engine modifications. Vintage tether cars. See pictures of classic toys. Tether Car Specifications On the outside, tether cars look a lot like the vehicles that break land-speed records. The cars are narrow and most of the engine parts are enclosed inside the body of the racer. They're comprised of parts similar to a full-size car, including a combustion engine, exhaust pipe, air intake, flywheel, gearbox, driveshaft and wheels. The racers also have a tailskid, located in the back that stabilizes the vehicles at top speeds. The cars are typically about one to two feet (30.5 to 61 centimeters) long, and weigh anywhere from two to six pounds (0.9 to 2.7 kilograms). In the international competitions, there are five different engine sizes that compete. The smallest is the 1.5 cubic centimeter (cc) engine, which has a top speed over 65 miles per hour (104.6 kilometers per hour). The other engine sizes are the 2.5cc, 3.5cc, 5cc and 10cc classes. The 10cc engine class cars are capable of producing speeds over 200 miles per hour (321.9 kilometers per hour). These two-cylinder engines typically run on a fuel mixture of 80 percent methanol and 20 percent castor oil and are capable of producing engine speeds up to 45,000 revolutions per minute. Drivers can spend hours modifying the cars to squeeze just a little more speed -- perhaps a half a mile per hour more -- out of the engines. In fact, making adjustments and changes to the engine are a huge part of the hobby. One of the main components contributing to the car's speed is the tuning pipe. The tuning pipe not only acts as the exhaust pipe, but it also helps to propel the car. The pipe's design sucks out any unspent fuel in the engine, shoots it to the back of the pipe where it becomes vaporized, and then forces part of it back into the engine. The vaporized fuel gives more power to the engine and helps it reach its top speed, but this effect only kicks in after the car reaches 100 miles per hour (160.9 kilometers per hour). With cars regularly achieving speeds well over 100 miles per hour (160.9 kilometers per hour), the tracks they race on have to be specially built to accommodate the tether cars and protect the people watching the races. Tether Car Races Ed Baynes readies a tether car for competition in the moment called "pushing off." The tether itself is faintly visible in the photo, attached to the frame of the car. We already know that the cars can achieve speeds faster than 200 miles per hour (321.9 kilometers per hour) and they pull with a force of up to 91 times their own weight, but how do these cars actually race on a track? Each car has a metal bar attached to the body called the panhandle. The panhandle attaches the car to the steel cable and post in the center of the circular track. Official WMCR racetracks are made of flat concrete and are built in two different sizes. The first size is a 70-foot (21.3-meter) diameter track that provides the cars with six laps for a total distance run of one-fourth of a mile (.4 kilometers). However, the WMRC rulebook states that new tracks should be built at 19.9 meters (65 feet, 3 and 1/2 inches) in diameter and allow 8 laps of running time, equaling 500 meters (.3 miles) total. Races are won by averaging the speed of eight laps compared to the averages of other drivers. The driver decides when his or her car is at its maximum speed, and then the laps are counted from that point forward. Drivers have three minutes to stop the race if they feel their car isn't performing correctly. Each driver is assisted by up to two helpers to start his or her vehicle. To start the car, the driver or a helper pushes it forward with a stick, turning on the fuel switch. Another helper, called the horser, holds the 33-foot (10.1-meter) long steel cable off of the ground until the car is going fast enough to hold the cable up by its own force, which usually occurs around 80 miles per hour (128.7 kilometers per hour). To stop the tether car, a broom is used to knock the fuel switch down, shutting off the fuel to the engine. In the United States, there are only three official tracks still in use. They're located in Whittier Narrows, Calif., Seaford, N.Y., and now there's a portable track located in northern California, too. Protective fences are built around each track due to the extreme top speeds and the tremendous force exerted on the car can cause parts of the vehicle to fly off or break during a race. Although there are only a handful of tether car members and racetracks across the United States, those involved in the sport are committed to this 70-year-old hobby. 210 mph Electric Powered Vector Tether Car Source: Wikipedia - Tether Car | How Tether Car Racing Works
  11. 1 point
    @Kid Boruto shared this with me https://www.pushsquare.com/news/2020/09/final_fantasy_xvi_coming_sooner_than_people_think_reportedly_in_development_for_at_least_4_years No 10 year wait this time!! Lots of people are speculating we'll see it late 2021 or early 2022 Yeah... I'll definitely take that.
  12. 1 point
    What's the Word? - PANTOPHAGOUS pronunciation: [pan-TAH-fə-ɡəs] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Greek, mid-19th century Meaning: 1. Eating all kinds or a great variety of food. 2. Omnivorous. Example: "We promise the wedding reception menu will be pantophagous." "I've always been a pantophagous eater, and I don't have any food aversions." About Pantophagous You might have thought "omnivorous" was a fancy way of saying you eat everything, but we'll give you one level up with "pantophagous." The prefix "panto-" is Greek for "all," and "-phagous" means subsisting on a specific food. All food, that is. Did you Know? To be pantophagous can mean that you have a preference for a variety of foods, but evolution also has something to do with it. If a carnivorous (meat eating) species cannot find enough meat in their environment, they might adapt to eat more vegetation. Being pantophagous usually means that a species has more food security during stressful times.
  13. 1 point
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/465760/Scrap_Garden/ Scrap Garden is currently free on Steam. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.MDeeApp.dark_legend_of_war_1917 Dark Legend of War 1945 is currently free on Android. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.waywaystudio.rowrow Row Row is currently free on Android.
  14. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - JACK-IN-THE-BOX Victorian Wooden Jack-In-The-Box Did you know.... that a jack-in-the-box is a children's toy that outwardly consists of a box with a crank. When the crank is turned, a music box mechanism in the toy plays a melody. After the crank has been turned a sufficient number of times (such as at the end of the melody), there is a "surprise": the lid pops open and a figure, usually a clown or jester, pops out of the box. Some jacks-in-the-box open at random times when cranked, making the startle even more effective. Many of those that use "Pop Goes the Weasel" open at the point in the melody when the word "pop" would be sung. In 2005, the jack-in-the-box was inducted into the American National Toy Hall of Fame, where are displayed all types of versions of the toy, starting from the beginning versions, and ending with the most recently manufactured versions. (Wikipedia) The Jack-in-the-Box has been one of the most enduring toys throughout the centuries. There are many stories and theories circulating about the origin of this classic toy. One is that it was popularized in the 15th and 16th centuries, based on the very popular “Punch” puppet featured in the “Punch and Judy” shows seen in public squares throughout England beginning in the Middle Ages. Early Jack-in-the Box toys resembled the jester Punch, with his white painted face. Another theory is that the name “Jack” was a reference to the devil, referred to as a “jack”. There is a legend in England about a medieval ecclesiastic who claimed to have captured the devil by trapping him a boot. This story may have contributed to the toy’s invention as well, as illustrations were made of him holding a boot with the devil’s head popping out of it. Of course, wind-up toys had been evolving since early Grecian days and there was a revival of this earlier technology with clockmakers beginning in the 13th century. The first documentation of a Jack-in-the-Box toy was of one made in Germany in the early 16th century by a clockmaker as a gift for the son of a local prince. The wooden box had a handle on the side that when cranked, would play music until a “jack”, or devil on a spring was suddenly released. Word spread among the nobles, creating demand for the toy. Technology improved, and by the 1700s, the Jack-in-the-Box had become easier to produce, thus becoming a common toy for people of all ages. The Cockney tune known as “Pop Goes the Weasel” became a frequently used melody in the toy. The Jack-in-the-Box itself became a frequently used image in political cartoons, featuring the face of the latest politician to be lambasted. Out again,Political cartoon,Theodore Roosevelt as jack-in-the-box, fists raised. In the 1930s, the Jack-in-the-Box began to be made out of tin, rather than wood. The exterior of the boxes were stamped with images from nursery rhymes and the “jack” was changed to one of the characters featured in the rhymes. The music was sometimes the tune traditionally sung along to the rhyme. In 1951 restaurateur Robert O. Peterson opened the first Jack in the Box hamburger stand. The top of the building featured a clown head sprouting from a SpeakerBox. In 1980 the company rebranded and the clown’s head became a simple sphere, often sitting atop a human body. The Jack-in-the-Box character continues to be made today and it makes for a great toy for young children, due to the surprise factor associated with it. Of course, many people who are merely young at heart enjoy them, too. Charlie-in-the-Box from Island of Misfit Toys, TV's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 1964 Snoopy Jack-in-the-Box Snoopy Peanuts Characters on tin box 1966 Mattel. Source: Wikipedia - Jack-in-the-Box | Classic Toys: Jack-in-the-Box
  15. 1 point
    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/rollercoaster-tycoon-3-complete-edition/home RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition is free on Epic Games Store. https://www.totalwar.com/access-amazons/ A Total War Saga: Troy Amazons DLC is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1414700/The_Imagined_Leviathan/ The Imagined Leviathan is free on Steam.
  16. 1 point
    What's the Word? - MOLESKIN pronunciation: [MOHL-skin] Part of speech: noun Origin: Middle English, 17th century Meaning: 1. The skin of a mole used as fur. 2. A thick, strong cotton fabric with a shaved pile surface Example: "I found a vintage coat lined with moleskin in exactly my size." "I need to buy three yards of moleskin to make my new comforter." About Moleskin While moleskin originally meant the fur from an actual mole, it now applies to a cotton fabric with a soft nap, similar to the animal's fur. It's also used in American English to refer to the soft adhesive fabric you'll put in a new shoe to avoid blisters. Did you Know? Say "moleskin" and people might think you're talking about Moleskine, an Italian stationery company. It produces notebooks, sketchbooks, and various writing accessories favored by writers and creative types across the world.
  17. 1 point
    Yeah, I'll be watching AoT Season 4 whenever the dub begins. Seems like we're getting 4 weekly recap episodes in November:
  18. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - ARBORICULTURE An arborist practicing tree care: using a chainsaw to fell a eucalyptus tree in a park at Kallista, Victoria. Did you know.... that arboriculture is the cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants. The science of arboriculture studies how these plants grow and respond to cultural practices and to their environment. The practice of arboriculture includes cultural techniques such as selection, planting, training, fertilization, pest and pathogen control, pruning, shaping, and removal. (Wikipedia) The basic principles and objectives of arboriculture are of ancient origin. Early Egyptians transplanted trees with a ball of earth and originated the practice of shaping the soil around a newly planted tree to form a saucer to retain water, both still practiced. About 300 BC the Greek philosopher Theophrastus wrote Peri phytōn historia (“Inquiry into Plants”), in which he discussed transplanting of trees and the treatment of tree wounds. Virgil’s Georgics portrays Roman knowledge of tree culture. The English horticulturist John Evelyn, in his Sylva, or a Discourse of Forest-trees, and the Propagation of Timber (1664), offered advice on pruning, insect control, wound treatment, and transplanting. Trees or plants may be propagated by seeding, grafting, layering, or cutting. In seeding, seeds are usually planted in either a commercial or home nursery in which intensive care can be given for several years until the plants are of a size suitable for transplanting on the desired site. In soil layering, the shoots, or lower branches of the parent plant, are bent to the ground and covered with moist soil of good quality. When roots have developed, which may require a year or more, the branch is severed from the parent and transplanted. In an alternative technique, air layering, the branch is deeply slit and the wound covered by a ball of earth, moss, or similar material. The ball, enclosed in a divided pot supported from underneath, or in a sturdy paper cone, is kept moist. As in soil layering, the branch is severed and transplanted after roots have developed. Root cuttings can be used for propagating trees that do not normally produce roots from stems. Tree species such as willow and poplar that sucker, or send up shoots readily, are usually propagated from stem cuttings. Cuttings are made from deciduous plants during dormancy, preferably from the terminal growing shoots of the current season. Pieces 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 centimetres) long with two or more buds are tied in bundles and stored in damp sand or moss for callus formation before planting in prepared beds. Root formation may be stimulated by application of growth-promoting chemicals or growth hormones. In treating tree-trunk wounds in which large areas of bark are torn away, the bark around the wound is trimmed back to sound tissue and, at the top and bottom of the injury, trimmed to form a pointed ellipse of the wound area. The exposed wood is covered with wound dressing material, protecting it from wood decay fungi. Repairing Damaged Tree Bark Flexible cables (guys) or rigid braces are used to support recently transplanted trees until the roots become established, or to lessen the danger that a tree with a weakened root system will be blown over by the wind; bracing is also used to support unduly long or heavy branches, to prevent splits developing at branch forks, or to permit healing of splits already developed. Cavities in trunks, caused by decay-inducing fungi, may be treated with antiseptic dressing and left open, with drains installed at the bottom, or filled with concrete or other material after removal of the decayed wood. See also graft; pruning; transplant. Fun Facts About Arboriculture The general aim of arboriculture is to cultivate trees for amenity reasons. Arborists recognize these trees as a source of beauty to homes and gardens. The difference between arboriculture and forestry is that arboriculture is concerned with cultivating trees and shrubs to enhance the pleasantness and desirability of a garden. On the other hand, forestry, also known as silviculture, is an art of establishing and managing trees mainly for the production of timber. Forest Ecosystem It is also essential to recognize that both arboriculture and forestry share certain similarities. Both disciplines require specific sets of scientific skills to establish. In addition to this, the two are equally important and there is a need for advocating the importance of planting trees and taking care of the already existing ones. That is why there is a need for professional arborists, especially in urban areas where trees can pose some dangers to people or vehicles passing by. The people behind Maple Leaf recognize these threats and have made the jobs of arborists not only easier, but safer as well by providing them with quality gear that allows them to work more efficiently in an urban community. They believe that there is absolutely no need to cut down a tree way ahead of its time, and that maintenance will be more beneficial not only to the tree but to the community as well. Below are some fun facts about arboriculture: 1. There Are More Tree Species Than There Are Tribes Of The World Surprisingly, it was until 2007 when a world census for trees took place. Yes, trees get counted too! This is to ascertain the tree species that are either near extinction or are already extinct. The research conducted back then revealed that there were more than 600,000 tree species on the face of the earth. The data was compiled both from the field, botanical centers, agricultural centers, and museums. Some tree species have played a crucial role in human development both economically and culturally. Economically in the sense that certain tree species will specifically be used for the production of high-quality timber, ropes, paper, and rubber. You'll bear witness that man can not do without paper and rubber. The databases of ancient trees such as the Old list dates certain species of trees at White Mountains of California as over 4,800 years old! 2. Can Trees Really Communicate With Each Other? The ability to signal each other when there is an attack coming either from insects or from the changes in the environment has for the longest time baffled scientists globally. Trees will use the networks they share when drawing nutrients from the ground to send distress signals about eminent insect attacks, diseases, and drought. When various trees receive these signals, they'll change their behaviors including folding their leaves or shedding them. Arborists and other scientists have established that trees can defend themselves against insect attacks by folding their leaves or by shedding them. 3. Certain Species Of Trees Have Gender Like human beings and other living organisms, there is a need for reproduction. Some trees, such as pine reproduce sexually. The male pine cone secretes pollen grains and sheds on the female pine cones for pollination. The female pine cones then make seeds which will then, on the ground, germinate and grow into adorable pine “babies”! A mature female Coulter pine (Pinus coulteri) cone, the heaviest pine cone. 4. Planting Of Trees and Shrubs Drastically Reduces The Cost Of Energy When you start smart landscaping, you save energy costs. Having trees and shrubs on your property can save you up to 25% of your energy bills. When trees are strategically positioned, they'll provide your home with natural air conditioning thus slashing those air conditioning bills by nearly half and in addition to this, they'll block the winter draft so you don't have to keep your heaters running. In a way, trees care about your economic well being and it's time you gave back by protecting them! 5. Trees And Shrubs Offer Excellent Protection And Add Value To A Property They’ll provide vegetative cover to your property, protecting it from soil erosion, and provide food to insects that would otherwise become a menace in your household. The proper selection, cultivation, and maintenance of trees and shrubs can help to increase the value of your property. They provide shade to your land by preventing excessive heating by the sun’s radiation. 6. Trees Can Be Used as a Compass In the northern hemisphere, the moss plant grows in the temperate climates on the north side of tree trunks. This is the side associated with more shade. You can follow the direction using the shadows to find your way. This is an old wisdom that has been passed from one generation to the other. If your compass is stuck, don't worry, stay calm, and follow the moss! Aren't these facts amazing! You probably didn't know that trees actually cared about your well being, right? For centuries, trees have existed peacefully with mankind but unfortunately, man is almost driving some tree species into extinction. This means that there is a great need to plant more trees and take care of the already existing ones. This will help restore a harmonious balance. Source: Wikipedia - Arboriculture | Britannica - Arboriculture | Fun Facts about Arboriculture
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    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/rocket-league/home Rocket League is now free to play on Epic Games Store. Add this game to your library to receive a $10 coupon. Players will also receive the Sun Ray Boost and Hot Rocks Trail for free. https://freebies.indiegala.com/unforgiving-trials-the-darkest-crusade/ Unforgiving Trials: The Darkest Crusade is currently free on IndieGala. https://store.steampowered.com/app/346850/Chips_Challenge_1/ Chips Challenge 1 is free on Steam.
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    What's the Word? - SONIFEROUS pronunciation: [sə-NIF-ə-rəs] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, early 18th century Meaning: 1. That conveys or bears sound. 2. That produces (a lot of) sound. Example: "The bell is so soniferous it can be heard from the edge of town." "We need a more soniferous system to reach the full crowd." About Soniferous This is a pretty high-falutin' way to say "it's loud." In Latin, "son" words have to do with sound and "ifer" means bearing or carrying. Add an "-ous" in English and you have an adjective describing something carrying sound. It could be any old sound, but it's most often LOUD. Did you Know? If you followed the Grateful Dead in the '70s you would have witnessed the soniferous display of "The Wall of Sound," a massive PA system thought to be the largest of its time. This soniferous system of amps, speakers, subwoofers, and tweeters stood over three stories tall and 100 feet wide.
  21. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - SWING MUSIC Did you know.. that swing music is a form of jazz that developed in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s. The name came from the emphasis on the off–beat, or weaker pulse. Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement. The danceable swing style of big bands and bandleaders such as Benny Goodman was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1946, known as the swing era. The verb "to swing" is also used as a term of praise for playing that has a strong groove or drive. Notable musicians of the swing era include Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Harry James, Louis Jordan, Glenn Miller, Louis Prima, and Artie Shaw. (Wikipedia) Ellington sits with Billie Holiday and pianist and music critic Leonard Feather in this 1945 photo. Holiday starred in a short film with Ellington in 1935 and toured Europe with Feather in 1954. Swing, in music, both the rhythmic impetus of jazz music and a specific jazz idiom prominent between about 1935 and the mid-1940s—years sometimes called the swing era. Swing music has a compelling momentum that results from musicians’ attacks and accenting in relation to fixed beats. Swing rhythms defy any narrower definition, and the music has never been notated exactly. Swing is sometimes considered a partial dilution of the jazz tradition because it organized musicians into larger groups (commonly 12 to 16 players) and required them to play a far higher proportion of written music than had been thought compatible with the fundamentally improvisatory character of jazz. Nevertheless, it was the first jazz idiom that proved commercially successful. The swing era also brought respectability to jazz, moving into the ballrooms of America a music that until that time had been associated with the brothels of New Orleans and the Prohibition-era gin mills of Chicago. Benny Goodman Band - 1937 The big swing bands organized their players into sections of brass, reeds, and rhythm and hired skilled orchestrators to write music for them. This structure encouraged a relatively simple compositional technique: sections were played off against each other, sometimes in counterpoint, sometimes in musical dialogue. A popular device was the riff, a simple musical phrase reiterated by a band or by a section in counterpoint with other sections’ riffing until, by sheer power of repetition, it became almost hypnotic. The bands led by the black pianist Fletcher Henderson in the 1920s were especially important in disseminating these musical ideas, which were picked up by white orchestras riding the later tide of swing’s popularity. Henderson and his brother Horace remained among the most influential swing arrangers of the following decade. Equally as important was Duke Ellington, whose music was infused with a unique range of harmonies and sound colours. As the wind basses and banjos characteristic of earlier jazz were replaced in the swing band of the 1930s by stringed basses and guitars, the effect of the rhythm section became lighter, and musicians accustomed to playing in 2/2 metre adapted to 4/4 metre. The flowing, evenly accented metres of Count Basie’s band proved especially influential in this regard. Count Basie with his band and singer Ethel Waters in the film Stage Door Canteen, 1943 The swing era was in many ways an exercise in public relations. To succeed on a national scale, a band—especially its leader—had to be commercially exploitable; in this period of U.S. history, this meant that its leader and members had to be white. Although several black orchestras—e.g., those of Basie, Ellington, Chick Webb, and Jimmie Lunceford—became famous during the period, the swing age was in the main a white preserve whose outstanding bandleaders included Benny Goodman, Harry James, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, and Glenn Miller. Although Goodman was billed as the “King of Swing,” the best band was that of Ellington, and Basie’s was perhaps next. Concurrent with the big-band craze came a flowering of the solo art among both small-group musicians, such as pianists Fats Waller and Art Tatum and guitarist Django Reinhardt, and big-band players with after-hours careers. The great virtuosos of the second category included saxophonists Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, and Ben Webster; trumpeters Roy Eldridge, Buck Clayton, Henry (“Red”) Allen, and Cootie Williams; pianists Teddy Wilson and Earl Hines; guitarist Charlie Christian; bassists Walter Page and Jimmy Blanton; trombonists Jack Teagarden and Dicky Wells; and singer Billie Holiday. Billie Holiday The swing era was the last great flowering of jazz before its period of harmonic experimentation. At its best, swing achieved an art of improvisation in which current harmonic conventions counterbalanced the stylistic individuality of its great creators. The swing era also coincided with the greatest popularity of dance bands in general. But when singers who began as swing stylists, such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, and Sarah Vaughan, became more popular than the swing bands they sang with, the swing era came to an end. The harmonic experimentation of the late swing era, evident in, for example, the Woody Herman and Charlie Barnet bands of the early 1940s, presaged the next development in jazz: bop, or bebop. Source: Wikipedia - Swing Music | Britannica - Swing Music
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    What's the Word? - MISCELLANY pronunciation: [MIH-sə-leh-nee] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, late 16th century Meaning: 1. A group or collection of different items; a mixture. 2. A book containing a collection of pieces of writing by different authors. Example: "There's just a bunch of miscellany in the attic — nothing valuable." "My poem will be published in an upcoming volume of miscellany." About Miscellany From Latin, "miscellanea" is the plural noun for miscellaneous items. The French borrowed it for "miscellanées" and we use "miscellany" as a more charming description for a collection of items that don't deserve to be called junk. Did you Know? As a publishing term, "miscellany" describes a volume that collects work from different authors or sources. It could even be a novelty book gathering trivia or bits of memorabilia. Miscellaneous writing and knowledge can be gathered in a miscellany.
  23. 1 point
    https://freebies.indiegala.com/the-tomorrow-war The Tomorrow War is currently free on IndieGala. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.SarangKoding.Requence Requence is currently free on Android.
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    https://store.steampowered.com/app/532210/Life_is_Strange_2/ Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 is currently free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1304450/Die_Again/ Die Again is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1304900/Die_Again__Soundtrack/ Die Again soundtrack is also free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1383770/Interstate_Drifter_1999/ Interstate Drifter 1999 is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1409710/Escape_from_Tatris/ Escape from Tatris is free to play on Steam. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teachyourmonstertoread.tmapp https://apps.apple.com/us/app/teach-your-monster-to-read/id828392046 Teach Your Monster to Read: Phonics & Reading Game is currently free on Android and iOS. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.CEGame.SLOCA2DRubicCube Sloc - 2D Rubik Cube is currently free on Android.
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    https://freebies.indiegala.com/dino-run-marathon-of-doom/ Dino Run: Marathon of Doom is currently free on IndieGala. https://freebies.indiegala.com/rc-cars/ RC Cars is currently free on IndieGala. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1389630/High_Entropy_Challenges/ High Entropy Challenges is free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1408110/Grounded/ Grounded is free to play on Steam.
  26. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - SUNGLASSES Did you know.. that sunglasses or sun glasses (informally called shades or sunnies) are a form of protective eyewear designed primarily to prevent bright sunlight and high-energy visible light from damaging or discomforting the eyes. They can sometimes also function as a visual aid, as variously termed spectacles or glasses exist, featuring lenses that are colored, polarized or darkened. In the early 20th century, they were also known as sun cheaters (cheaters then being an American slang term for glasses). (Wikipedia) A Brief History of Sunglasses The right pair of shades can make or break an outfit. But just who do we have to thank for this sartorial — yet practical — invention? Primitive sunglasses were worn by the Inuit all the way back in prehistoric times, but these were merely walrus ivory with slits in them — good for helping with snow blindness but not particularly fashionable (unless you were a prehistoric Inuit). These snow goggles shielded the eyes with only narrow slits in the front. Inuits also rubbed them with gunpowder or soot mixed with oil to further combat the sun glare off of the snow. Although these weren’t “glasses” per se, the Inuits were onto an idea that wouldn’t be fully realized until centuries later. Image: Anavik at Banks Peninsula, Bathurst Inlet, Northwest Territories (Nunavut), May 18, 1916, Photo by Rudolph Martin Anderson, Canadian, 1876–1961, Canadian Museum of Civilization, 39026. Legend has it that the emperor Nero watched gladiator fights wearing emerald lenses, but many historians cite this claim as iffy. The Chinese made a slight improvement over the Inuit model in the 12th century, when they used smoky quartz for lenses, but the specs were used for concealing judges’ facial expressions rather than style or sunlight purposes. Smoky Quartz Sunglasses were seen again in the 1400s in Italy, where it’s said that the first pair of darkened glasses was first introduced, although there isn’t a lot of evidence to verify this. In the mid-1700s, a London optician began experimenting with green lenses to help with certain vision problems — and, indeed, green is the best color for protecting your peepers from the sun’s rays. Emerald-tinted specs remained quite the rage for some time, as evidenced by several mentions in the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe. From there, lenses that were tinted blue and green were developed. Ayscough often is credited with being a major sunglasses pioneer. The last major development that would ultimately influence future sunglasses came from Sir David Brewster (who also invented the kaleidoscope), during his studies on polarized light. Brewster figured out the angle at which light on a reflective surface may be transmitted as plane-polarized. This came to be known as “Brewster’s Angle,” and without it, we wouldn’t have polarized sunglasses today. It wasn’t until the 20th century that modern sunglasses as we know them were invented. In 1929, Sam Foster began selling the first mass-produced shades, which soon became a hot fashion item on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. A few years later, Bausch & Lomb got in on the act when the company began making sunglasses for American military aviators, a design that has changed little since General Douglas MacArthur sparked a new trend when he wore a pair to the movies. Douglas MacArthur Sunglasses go mainstream Little by little, people began wearing tinted glasses to deal with eye issues including light sensitivity, which was a symptom of syphilis. Sunglasses weren’t something that people with regular vision wore or wanted. In fact, people who wore them often stood out for having something wrong with their eyes. All that changed in 1929, thanks to Sam Foster. Foster sold the first pair of sunglasses on the Atlantic City boardwalk intended for the mass market, and it was quite the hit among beachgoers. The brand became known as Foster Grant, "The Original American Sunglass Brand." Meanwhile, in Hollywood, sunglasses were also starting to be associated with glamour and glitz. Back then, the strong lighting on movie sets and photographer flash bulbs were causing eye strain, so movie stars began wearing sunglasses in public to protect their eyes. Then came 1936, when the American inventor Edwin H. Land (who also co-founded Polaroid) created a polarizing lightweight filter that could be produced inexpensively for use on sunglasses. With that polarization technology in place, Bausch & Lomb developed Ray-Ban sunglasses, intended as anti-glare spectacles for pilots, and soon after, marketed them to outdoor enthusiasts. While regular sunglasses cost a few cents, this style was considered a specialty item costing several dollars. The shape and tint of these sporting gear sunglasses ushered in the popular aviator sunglasses still popular today. Sunglasses and pop culture From the mid-20th century to the present, sunglasses have become a huge part of pop culture, with fashion icons, rock stars, actors and politicians sporting shades. Tom Cruise in Top Gun John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Audrey Hepburn and Bono are just a few celebrities who have their own signature sunglasses style. John Lennon Glasses Other famous shades include Jackie O’s large, round sunglasses and the cat eye style worn by Marilyn Monroe that dominated the 1950s and 1960s. The 1970s was all about oversized frames (think Lynda Carter in “Wonder Woman”), while the 1990s trend was smaller with colorful tints. Tom Cruise’s “Risky Business” role made Wayfarers a popular look in the 1980s. And perhaps no pop culture figure has done more to promote sunglasses than Elton John, who probably has one of the largest and most eclectic collections. Elton John and his most fashionable glasses. Songs that have been written about sunglasses or that mention sunglasses include ZZ Top’s “Cheap Sunglasses,” Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night,” and The Eagles song “Boys of Summer,” which mentions Wayfarers. And in film, sunglasses have had supporting roles in everything from “They Live” to “Men in Black,” not to mention giving so many characters memorable looks from “The Matrix” to “Scarface.” Sunglasses today: So many options With more awareness than ever before about the potential harm that can be done by the sun’s UV rays, sunglasses aren’t just a cool accessory, but a necessity – something the Inuit knew many centuries ago, even if they didn’t actually know about UV protection. Today, though, from babies to seniors, you’ll see people wearing sunglasses year-round. We even have a National Sunglasses Day celebrated annually on June 27 to raise awareness about how wearing shades can protect your eyes. Those who spend a significant amount of time outdoors or have a hard time with sun glare should invest in a good pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses that offer protection from both UVA and UVAB rays. Today, you also can find sunglasses that fit over prescription glasses, flip up or clip onto regular frames, sports sunglasses and more. Photochromic lenses are another option as they automatically darken outdoors and lighten again indoors. The good news is, with a range of retail options in store and online, you can find just about any style, shape, color and size sunglasses to fit your budget. Source: A Brief History of Sunglasses | Wikipedia - Sunglasses | History of Sunglasses
  27. 1 point
    What's the Word? - ASTROLATRY pronunciation: [ə-STRAH-lə-tree] Part of speech: noun Origin: English, late 17th century Meaning: 1. The worship of stars and other celestial objects. Example: "My grandmother believed in astrolatry so much that she named all of her children after stars." "There's more to astrolatry than just following the phases of the moon." About Astrolatry Not astrology, but close. Where astrology looks to the stars for guidance, astrolatry takes it one step further and worships the stars. Did you Know? The "-latry" suffix comes from Greek and denotes worship of a certain thing. In addition to worshipping idols (idolatry) and stars (astrolatry), you can worship books (bibliolatry), Shakespeare (bardolatry), the sun (heliolatry), images (iconolatry), and animals (zoolatry).
  28. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - WRESTLING Ancient Egyptian Wrestling Did you know... that wrestling and grappling sports have a long and complicated history, stretching into prehistoric times. Many traditional forms survive, grouped under the term folk wrestling. More formal systems have been codified in various forms of martial arts worldwide, where grappling techniques form a significant subset of unarmed fighting (complemented by striking techniques). (Wikipedia) History - December 21, 2019 | Eric Kiarie The first real traces of the development of wrestling date back to the times of the Sumerians, 5000 years ago. The Epic of Gilgamesh written in cuneiform, the sculptures and the low reliefs, are numerous sources that reveal the first refereed competitions, accompanied by music. There are also many historical and archaeological traces of wrestling in Ancient Egypt. Among them, it is worth mentioning in particular the drawings discovered in the tombs of Beni-Hassan representing 400 couples of wrestlers. These drawings, as well as many other vestiges, witness the existence of corporations of wrestlers in Ancient Egypt, wrestling rules and refereeing codes. Detail of the wrestling scenes in tomb 15. For the Greeks, wrestling was a science and a divine art, and it represented the most important training for young men. Athletes wrestled naked, with their bodies coated with olive oil and covered with a layer of very thin sand to protect the skin from sunlight or from cold during winter. The Wrestlers - Andre the Giant (1970s) After wrestling, they scraped this layer off with an instrument called strigil and washed themselves with water. Fights were similar to those of freestyle wrestling, as shown by drawings and inscriptions from that time. The competitor who first threw his opponent or first brought him down - either on his back, hips, chest, knees or elbows - was proclaimed the winner. During the Ancient Olympic Games, from 708 B.C., wrestling was the decisive discipline of the Pentathlon. In fact, it was the last discipline to be held – after the discus, the javelin, the long jump and the foot race – and it designated the winner of the Pentathlon, the only crowned athlete of the Games. The most famous of all wrestlers was Milon of Croton (student of the philosopher Pythagoras), six times Olympic champion (from 540 to 516 B.C.), ten times winner of the Isthmian Games, nine times winner of the Nemean Games, and five time winner of the Pythian Games. Legend has it that when he tried to splinter a tree with his own hands, his fingers got stuck in the split tree-trunk and he was devoured by a lion. Milo of Croton by Joseph-Benoît Suvée (18th century, oil on canvas), depicting Milo with his hand stuck in a trunk. Further Developments Wrestling in Roman Times was developed on the basis of the legacy of the Etruscans and the restoration of the Greek games. Wrestling was the favourite sport of young aristocrats, soldiers and shepherds. According to Cassius Dion, the palestra was at the origin of the military success of the Romans. In 393, Emperor Theodosius I prohibited all pagan games and outlawed the Olympic Games. Olympic Values sank into the dark Middle Ages, but they were always latent, without ceasing to exist. During Middle Ages and Renaissance, wrestling was practiced by the social elite, in castles and palaces. Numerous painters and writers celebrated wrestling and encouraged its practice : Caravaggio, Poussin, Rembrandt, Courbet, Rabelais, Rousseau, Montaigne, Locke, etc. It is also interesting to mention that the first book to be printed came out in 1500, and that already in 1512 came out the wrestling manual in color by German artist Albrecht Dürer. Page from Book The attempts made to restore the Olympic Games were numerous, but it was not until 1896 that they were re-established by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. After the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894, the development of new international sport federations and Olympic committees were accelerated. The first Olympic Congress took place in 1894 at « la Sorbonne » and decided of the ten sports that would be part of the Olympic program : athletics, wrestling, rowing, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, weightlifting, swimming, shooting and tennis (see the congress minutes). During the wrestling tournament in Athens, there were no weight categories and all five competitors wrestled under rules similar to those of the professional Greco-Roman wrestling. The matches lasted until one of the competitors won. It was allowed to interrupt and resume the matches on the following day. The first Olympic champion – the German athlete Schumann – who was not a trained wrestler, was also the winner of horse jumping and parallel bars. Wrestling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's Greco-Roman Schuhmann (left) before the Olympic wrestling final, which he won (10–11 April) Schumann succeeded to beat the English weightlifting champion Launceston Elliot, who was heavier than him, by executing a quick and accurate body lock. In Paris, in 1900, and for this unique occasion in the history of the modern Olympic Games, the Games did not include wrestling in their program, even if at the same time, professional wrestling was at its best shape at the Folies Bergères and the Casino de Paris. Professional Wrestling Martin “Farmer” Burns – The Godfather of Pro Wrestling Professional wrestling began in France around 1830. Wrestlers who had no access to the wrestling elite, formed troupes that travelled around France showing their talent. Wrestlers thus frequented wild animals’ exhibitors, tightrope walkers and bearded women. Showmen presented wrestlers under names such as “Edward, the steel eater”, “Gustave d’Avignon, the bone wrecker”, or “Bonnet, the ox of the low Alps” and challenged the public to knock them down for 500 francs. In 1848, French showman Jean Exbroyat created the first modern wrestlers’ circus troupe and established as a rule not to execute holds below the waist. He named this new style « flat hand wrestling ». Upon Mr. Exbroyat’s death in 1872, Mr. Rossignol-Rollin attorney from Lyon assumed the direction of this troupe and was soon noticed for his ability to advertise, to « arrange » matches and to reward wrestlers in the name of the audience. The French influence extended to the Austrian Hungarian Empire, to Italy, to Denmark and to Russia and the new style circulated under the name of Greco-Roman wrestling, classic wrestling or French wrestling. Professional wrestling matches were thus organized everywhere in Europe with variable programs and competition rules according to the taste of wrestlers, of managers and of the audience. In 1898, the Frenchman Paul Pons, also named “the Colossus”, was the first Professional World Champion just before the Polish Ladislaus Pytlasinski. Paul Pons Some other great champions succeeded him, like the Turkish Kara Ahmed (the eastern Monster), the Bulgarian Nikola Petrov (the lion of the Balkans) or the Russian Ivan Poddubny (the Champion of Champions). At the end of the 19th century, professional wrestling was the most in vogue sport in Europe, but it started to degrade from 1900 because of the pre-arranged matches, the announcement of forgery, false victories and false nationalities of the competitors. The rediscovery of Olympic amateurism encouraged the creation of numerous clubs and schools that finished professional wrestling off. However, from a historical point of view, professional wrestling has its indisputable merits. Competitions contributed to making wrestling more popular, the physical aspect of wrestlers served as a model to young men and the training system allowed amateur wrestling clubs to rapidly become more structured. Modern Olympic Wrestling Wrestling at the 1904 Summer Olympics In 1904, freestyle wrestling was first introduced during the St. Louis Games and was only disputed by American wrestlers. It was only during the fourth Olympic Games held in London in 1908 that competitions were organized for both styles. At the Stockholm Olympic Games in 1912, freestyle wrestling was again absent from the program and glima competitions (Icelandic wrestling) were organized. Wrestling matches took place on three mats in the open air. They lasted one hour, but finalists wrestled without limit of time. The match which confronted the Finnish wrestler Alfred Johan Asikainen and the Russian Martin Klein lasted 11 hours and 40 minutes and appears on the Guinness Book of Records. Both wrestlers, having the same score, were separated by two periods of three minutes of ground wrestling. Asikainen (right, in black) and Klein wrestling at the 1912 Olympics The Russian finally defeated the Finnish who weighed 8 kilos (17.64 lbs) more than he did. Exhausted by this match, Martin Klein could not beat the Swedish Johansson who won the gold medal for the 75 kilos (165.35 lbs). From this date, and encouraged by the newly created International Federation, wrestling developed in every country. Northern Europe countries maintained during many years the monopoly of Greco-Roman wrestling, whereas freestyle wrestling was largely dominated by the English and the Americans. In Amsterdam, in 1928, the Egyptian wrestler Ibrahim Mustafa was the first African wrestler to win an Olympic title. The Japanese Shohachi Ishii won the first Asian title at the Olympic Games in Helsinki, in 1952. Numerous legends shaped the history of wrestling around the world and it would be impossible to name them all. However, four wrestlers have deeply changed the history of Modern Olympic Games by winning three Olympic titles : the Swedish Carl Westergren (Greco-roman wrestling in 1920, 1924 and 1932), the Swedish Ivar Johansson (Greco-roman and freestyle wrestling in 1932, and freestyle wrestling in 1936), the Russian Alekandr Medved (freestyle wrestling in 1964, 1968 and in 1972) and the Russian Aleksandr Karelin (in 1988, 1992 and 1996). After obtaining his third title, Aleksandr Karelin decided to conquer his fourth title at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, but to the general surprise, he was beaten by the American wrestler Rulon Gardner. Gardner's win over Russian Alexander Karelin "shocked the wrestling world." After defeating Karelin, who was previously undefeated in 13 years, he became a local hero in his hometown of Afton, Wyoming. In 2002, during the World Championship held in Moscow, FILA awarded the title of Best Wrestler of the Century to both Russians : Aleksandr Medved (for freestyle wrestling) and Aleksandr Karelin (for Greco-roman wrestling), offering them the FILA Gold necklace, award generally reserved for heads of state. A hundred years after the introduction of freestyle wrestling in the Olympic program, worldwide wrestling entered a new era with the acknowledgement of female wrestling as an Olympic discipline on the occasion of the Athens Games in 2004. This decision is part of the policy of the IOC that aims at establishing equality in sport, and legitimized the efforts made by FILA to sustain the development of female wrestling since the end of the 80s. Source: Wikipedia - History of Wrestling | Origins and History of Wrestling
  29. 1 point
    What's the Word? - CHAMBRAY pronunciation: [SHAM-brey] Part of speech: noun Origin: American English, early 19th century Meaning: 1. A linen-finished gingham cloth with a white weft and a colored warp, producing a mottled appearance. Example: "He wore a blue chambray shirt with pearl snap buttons." "Chambray will be making a comeback in stores this fall." About Chambray Chambray is a specific type of fabric woven with a white weft and colored warp. If you're not a weaver this might not mean much, but it produces a slightly mottled colored fabric. Did you Know? Fans of the "Canadian Tuxedo" will have a bit of chambray in their closet. Most modern chambray is a lightweight verson of denim, and will complete an all-blue jeans ensemble quite nicely.
  30. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - BLOODLETTING Did you know... that bloodletting is the withdrawal of blood from a patient to prevent or cure illness and disease. Bloodletting, whether by a physician or by leeches, was based on an ancient system of medicine in which blood and other bodily fluids were regarded as "humours" that had to remain in proper balance to maintain health. It is claimed to have been the most common medical practice performed by surgeons from antiquity until the late 19th century, a span of over 2,000 years. In Europe the practice continued to be relatively common until the end of the 18th century. The practice has now been abandoned by modern-style medicine for all except a few very specific medical conditions. It is conceivable that historically, in the absence of other treatments for hypertension, bloodletting sometimes had a beneficial effect in temporarily reducing blood pressure by reducing blood volume. However, since hypertension is very often asymptomatic and thus undiagnosable without modern methods, this effect was unintentional. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the historical use of bloodletting was harmful to patients. Today, the term phlebotomy refers to the drawing of blood for laboratory analysis or blood transfusion. Therapeutic phlebotomy refers to the drawing of a unit of blood in specific cases like hemochromatosis, polycythemia vera, porphyria cutanea tarda, etc., to reduce the number of red blood cells. The traditional medical practice of bloodletting is today considered to be a pseudoscience. (Wikipedia) Several thousand years ago, whether you were an Egyptian with migraines or a feverish Greek, chances are your doctor would try one first-line treatment before all others: bloodletting. He or she would open a vein with a lancet or sharpened piece of wood, causing blood to flow out and into a waiting receptacle. If you got lucky, leeches might perform the gruesome task in place of crude instruments. Leeches Considered one of medicine’s oldest practices, bloodletting is thought to have originated in ancient Egypt. It then spread to Greece, where physicians such as Erasistratus, who lived in the third century B.C., believed that all illnesses stemmed from an overabundance of blood, or plethora. (Erasistratus also thought arteries transported air rather than blood, so at least some of his patients’ blood vessels were spared his eager blade.) In the second century A.D., the influential Galen of Pergamum expanded on Hippocrates’ earlier theory that good health required a perfect balance of the four “humours”—blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. His writings and teachings made bloodletting a common technique throughout the Roman empire. Before long it flourished in India and the Arab world as well. In medieval Europe, bloodletting became the standard treatment for various conditions, from plague and smallpox to epilepsy and gout. Practitioners typically nicked veins or arteries in the forearm or neck, sometimes using a special tool featuring a fixed blade and known as a fleam. In 1163 a church edict prohibited monks and priests, who often stood in as doctors, from performing bloodletting, stating that the church “abhorred” the procedure. Partly in response to this injunction, barbers began offering a range of services that included bloodletting, cupping, tooth extractions, lancing and even amputations—along with, of course, trims and shaves. The modern striped barber’s pole harkens back to the bloodstained towels that would hang outside the offices of these “barber-surgeons.” Three Blade Fleam Barber-Surgeon As hairdressers lanced veins in an attempt to cure Europeans’ ailments, in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica bloodletting was believed to serve a very different purpose. Maya priests and rulers used stone implements to pierce their tongues, lips, genitals and other soft body parts, offering their blood in sacrifice to their gods. Blood loss also allowed individuals to enter trance-like states in which they reportedly experienced visions of deities or their ancestors. Bloodletting as a medical procedure became slightly less agonizing with the advent in the 18th century of spring-loaded lancets and the scarificator, a device featuring multiple blades that delivered a uniform set of parallel cuts. Respected physicians and surgeons extolled the practice, generously prescribing it to their most esteemed patients. Marie-Antoinette, for instance, seemed to benefit from a healthy dose of bloodletting while giving birth to her first child, Marie-Thérèse, in 1778, 14 years before the guillotine would shed more of the queen’s blood. As an excited crowd thronged her bedchamber, hoping to witness a dauphin’s arrival, the mother-to-be fainted, prompting her surgeon to wield his lancet. Marie-Antoinette immediately revived after the bloodletting—perhaps because the windows were simultaneously opened to let in fresh air. A collection of single and multibladed mechanical scarificators. These include examples from England, France and Germany and they date from between 1780 and 1900. Instruments such as these were designed to create wounds on the surface of the skin, principally for wet cupping procedures. Cupping is a form of bloodletting historically used to 'treat' a range of ailments by removing surplus bodily 'humours' (fluids within the body). America’s first president was less fortunate than France’s most infamous queen. On December 13, 1799, George Washington awoke with a bad sore throat and began to decline rapidly. A proponent of bloodletting, he asked to be bled the next day, and physicians drained an estimated 5 to 7 pints in less than 16 hours. Despite their best efforts, Washington died on December 17, leading to speculation that excessive blood loss contributed to his demise. Bloodletting has also been implicated in the death of Charles II, who was bled from the arm and neck after suffering a seizure in 1685. By the late 1800s new treatments and technologies had largely edged out bloodletting, and studies by prominent physicians began to discredit the practice. Today it remains a conventional therapy for a very small number of conditions. The use of leeches, meanwhile, has experienced a renaissance in recent decades, particularly in the field of microsurgery. Source: A Brief History of Bloodletting | Wikipedia - Bloodletting
  31. 1 point
    What's the Word? - GONZO pronunciation: [GAHN-zoh] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Italian, 1970s Meaning: 1. Of or associated with journalistic writing of an exaggerated, subjective, and fictionalized style. 2. Bizarre or crazy. Example: "The long-time columnist was known for his gonzo writings." "That mural down the street is just gonzo." About Gonzo In Spanish, "ganso" means goose or fool. In Italian, "gonzo" means foolish. There might be some pretty outrageous activities described, but "gonzo" was adopted into English to describe the wild, literary, stylized journalism popularized in the 1970s. Did you Know? Perhaps the most famous figure of gonzo journalism is Hunter S. Thompson. His book, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream," was brought to the big screen in an adaptation featuring Johnny Depp. His work was often controversial, but it earned him a place in magazines including "Esquire," "Harper's," and "Rolling Stone."
  32. 1 point
    https://freebies.indiegala.com/desert-law/ Desert Law is currently free on IndieGala. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1341280/NotreDame_de_Paris_Journey_Back_in_Time/ Notre-Dame de Paris: Journey Back in Time is free to play on Steam. (VR only)
  33. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - COAL MINING Did you know... that coal mining is the process of extracting coal from the ground? Coal is valued for its energy content and since the 1880s, has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United Kingdom and South Africa, a coal mine and its structures are a colliery, a coal mine is a 'pit', and the above-ground structures are a 'pit head'. In Australia, "colliery" generally refers to an underground coal mine. In the United States, "colliery" has been used to describe a coal mine operation, but this usage is less common. Coal mining has had many developments over the recent years, from the early days of men tunneling, digging, and manually extracting the coal on carts to large open cut and long wall mines. Mining at this scale requires the use of draglines, trucks, conveyors, hydraulic jacks and shearers. (Wikipedia) Coal is used in many industrial processes, and by electric power plants. Accounting for 18 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. in 2012, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, coal is used to generate 44 percent of electricity produced in the country (per the Union of Concerned Scientists). It also supplies nearly 30 percent of energy use worldwide and accounts for 44 percent of the CO2 emitted into the air around the globe. Coal mining has detrimental impacts on human health, the environment, and water supplies. Here are some important facts related to coal mining and burning that cannot be ignored. TYPES OF COAL MINING 1. Different types of coal are used depending on the amount of heat released when it is burned. How much heat released is determined by the levels of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Brittle and glassy, Anthracite is 86 to 97 percent carbon and yields almost 15,000 BTUs per pound. Bituminous coal is the most commonly used type of electric power (accounting for over 45 percent of U.S. coal production in 2010); a softer variety, it contains anywhere from 45 to 86 percent carbon content. Sub-bituminous coal is also used and has a carbon content of up to 45 percent. Suited for electric power and synthetic gas production, lignite can be up to 35 percent carbon. 2. Coal is mined directly from the surface if deposits are less than 200 feet down. The recovery ratio for a surfaced mine can be over 90 percent. Underground mines are dug to access coal formations hundreds of feet below the surface but allow for recovery of less than 40 percent of the coal there. AIR POLLUTION 3. Coal mining contributes to global warming because it releases up to 3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas, every year. This is in the U.S. alone, where there were no regulations limiting how much CO2 is released until new Environmental Protection Agency regulations were introduced in 2015, which set limits on how much coal and other power plants can emit. For coal plants, the top end is 1,400 pounds of CO2/megawatt-hour. 4. Coal burning also releases 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide per year, which causes acid rain, and 10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide, also a contributor to acid rain in addition to smog. Tons of hydrocarbons are released into the air and small particles are emitted as well, which are less than 10 microns in size and can cause major lung damage if inhaled. 5. Locomotives transport coal by rail from many plants and a typical plant uses 40 railroad cars. Using diesel fuel, these emit close to a million tons of nitrogen oxide every year in the United States, plus 52,000 tons of additional particulates that blow through the air as coal dust. OTHER POLLUTANTS AND HEAVY METALS 6. Smokestack scrubbers from coal plants produce up to 125,000 tons of ash and 193,000 tons of sludge. They use powdered limestone and water to remove pollutants from the exhaust, but these go to landfills, where toxic metals such as lead and mercury may be introduced. Sometimes, ash and sludge are used to make concrete and drywall, taking these pollutants with them. 7. Toxic metals released from coal plants include arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Mercury has been a problematic pollutant connected with coal production. It has been identified in lakes and rivers in Wisconsin, and bodies of water in other northern and northeastern states, as well as in Canada. 8. Most naturally occurring elements have been found in coal, including uranium. Traces of this radioactive element have been found through coal combustion in greater amounts than when producing nuclear power, according to a Department of Energy study at Oak Ridge National Lab. Researchers have detected less than 1 part per million of uranium to about 10 parts per million. There is also 2.5 times more thorium than uranium in coal. WATER USE 9. Typically, a coal plant takes between 70 and 180 billion gallons of water from lakes, rivers, and oceans, and consumes up to 1.1 billion gallons of that. Plants with once-through cooling systems withdraw more water, but even a plant with a wet-recirculating cooling system can consume up to 4 billion gallons every year. Dry-cooled coal plants consume less. 10. Young and adult fish, fish eggs, and larvae are drawn into intakes by the millions. Those trapped are often injured or killed before they can escape. 11. An integrated gasification combined-cycle can reduce water consumption in coal plants by 35 to 60 percent. The technology is currently being commercialized and can also reduce the number of pollutants released into the air. 12. Around the world, there are over 8,000 coal-burning power plants. The amount of water they use is enough to serve one billion people. Water goes toward maintaining boilers and handling coal ash. Even plants that use seawater use a substantial amount of fresh water in their processes. CLIMATE CHANGE 13. The largest source of carbon dioxide emissions is coal burning, according to Greenpeace. A 500 MW coal power plant can release 600,000 cars worth of emissions and may operate for at least 40 years. Methane, another greenhouse gas, is 84 times more powerful at affecting the climate. At the current pace of growth, the organization says, coal will account for 60 percent of CO2 emissions by 2030. 14. Dust can blow from piles of burned coal, usually stored outdoors on the site of a power plant. It can settle in nearby houses, soils, and backyards. When it rains, this dust can run off and further contaminate land and water. ILLNESS AND INJURIES 15. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the coal mining industry has nearly six times the rate of fatal injuries compared to other private industry sectors. In 2007, 20 of the 28 reported fatalities were related to underground bituminous coal mining. Most fatal injuries resulted from transportation mishaps and injury from objects and equipment. In 2008, non-fatal injury and illness rates were 13 percent higher than for private industries in general. Mining and burning coal, therefore, don’t just pollute the air, water, and land; they also jeopardize human health and contribute to excessive resource consumption and climate change. Source: Wikipedia - Coal Mining | Facts about Coal Mining and Burning
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    Fact of the Day - HEDGEHOGS Mrs. Tiggy-winkle with Jenny Wren's wine-stained table cloth Did you know... that long before Beatrix Potter unleashed the twinkly-eyed hedgehog washerwoman Mrs. Tiggy-Winkles upon the world, children have been enamored by the spiny mammals. In fact, a carved toy hedgehog — presumably a prized possession — was found buried next to a child’s grave unearthed near Stonehenge dating back some 3,000 years. But the love for hedgehogs doesn’t stop when childhood does; one look at YouTube’s nearly 2.5 million videos featuring the prickly creatures points to the fact that we are a people obsessed with hedgehogs. Forget the Digital Age; future historians may just as well refer to this as the Hedgehog Age. Unfortunately, as Daniel Allen of Keele University in Staffordshire, U.K., points out, Britain's favorite mammals (named so by the Royal Society of Biology) are being threatened. In the 1950s, Britain had 30 million hedgehogs running around. Now? Under a million. Farming methods have led to a loss of habitat and a change in hedgehogs' diets, which largely explain the alarming drop in population. And busy roads don't help. It's estimated that more than 100,000 hedgehogs are killed by vehicles on Britain's roads every year. Many in Britain are banding together — note the British Hedgehog Preservation Society — to help their prickly neighbors by providing feeding stations, making small holes in fences to allow them free access through gardens (thus keeping them off of streets) and being more cautious in their use of pesticides. It's all in the spirit of hedgehog love. But love them as we do, what do we really know about hedgehogs? Consider this your crash course on the quilled cuties. LANGUAGE 1. The hedgehog was named for its unique foraging methods. They root through hedges seeking their prey — mostly insects, as well as worms, centipedes, bird eggs, snails, mice, frogs and snakes — while emitting snorts, squeaks and grunts. Like a hog, of the hedge ... hence, “hedgehog.” 2. Shakespeare gave a nod to hedgehogs in “The Tempest” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” calling them “hedgepigs” and “urchins.” 3. The collective noun for a group of hedgehogs is "array" or "prickle." GEOGRAPHY Fifteen species of hedgehog can be found all over the world. This is an African Pygmy hedgehog and Albino. 4. There are 15 species of hedgehog; they are found in Europe, Asia and Africa, but they have also been introduced into new areas such as New Zealand. 5. Importing hedgehogs in the United States can only be done at certain ports, and the animals must have proper permits. Importing them from New Zealand — or any region that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has designated as a place where foot-and-mouth disease exists — is forbidden. Smuggling hedgehogs is highly frowned upon. Hedgehog importing recently made headlines in Iceland, where a resident imported the nation's first hedgehog. As the Iceland Monitor reports, Eszter Tekla Fekete has owned Bernie since 2015 and her father applied to have him imported in May 2016. After many tests and a four-week quarantine, he got the all-clear in November 2017. 6. Because they are considered wildlife, it's illegal to keep a hedgehog as a pet in many parts of the United States, including California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, New York City and Pennsylvania. Hedgehogs need a lot of special care to be kept as pets, and anyone considering doing so should do their research first. ANATOMY 7. The earliest known member of the family that includes hedgehogs lived about 58 million years ago. The smallest hedgehog ever, Silvacola acares, lived 52 million years ago in a rainforest in northern British Columbia. It was about 2 inches long. The European hedgehog is the largest species of all and reaches 14 inches in length. 8. Today’s hedgehogs measure roughly from 5 to 14 inches (plus a 1- to 2-inch tail), depending on the species. 9. The hedgehog can thank its spines for its signature look; they are 1-inch long modified hairs that cover the critters’ back and sides. The face, chest, belly, throat and legs are covered in fur, helping to give them the appearance of having tough-guy haircuts. 10. There are somewhere between 5,000 to 7,000 spines on an average adult hedgehog. (Kudos to whoever counted them.) They are neither poisonous nor barbed, and unlike the quills of a porcupine, the hedgehog's prickers stay firmly attached to the animal. 11. That said, they use their quills defensively, more like armor than projectiles. When threatened, hedgehogs roll up into a ball, thereby becoming an orb of hard-to-eat spines. This is how they sleep (which they do during the day, by the way). 'Do not disturb, please.'. 12. Rolled into a ball is also how hedgehogs were employed by the Queen of Hearts in Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." PETA would not be pleased with the queen's use of live hedgehogs for croquet balls and flamingos for mallets, but fortunately the hedgehogs natural protection allowed them to scamper away, much to the queen's chagrin. BIOLOGY 13. Hedgehogs can live for four to seven years in the wild, a relatively long time for animals of their size. Smaller species live two to four years (though longer in captivity). 14. Like opossums, hedgehogs have some natural immunity against snake venom, yet they will still succumb to it if stricken by a more virulent snake. 15. Hedgehogs take part in an odd behavior called “anointing” when they first come upon a new object or bit of food. They will lick the substance until a frothy saliva forms, and then they rub said spit onto their skin and spines. No one is quite sure why they do this; possibilities include making them taste less palatable to predators or as some type of olfactory camouflage. 16. Depending on the species, the gestation period is 35 to 58 days, and in the end produces a litter of five to six pups for smaller species and three to four pups for larger species. Human moms should appreciate not having to give birth to babies with quills. 17. Hedgehogs are loners; they generally only match up for mating (are you trying to picture that?) – moms kick the babes out of the nest sometime between four and seven weeks. RELATIONSHIP WITH HUMANS 18. The most popular species of hedgehog that is kept as a pet is a hybrid of the four-toed hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris) and the North African hedgehog (A. algirus); these are usually referred to as African pygmy hedgehogs and are bred in the U.S. for the pet trade. 19. Hedgehogs get some of the same diseases that humans do, including cancer, fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease. A medical condition that only hedgehogs get, however, is balloon syndrome. This fun-sounding but actually serious condition involves air or gas trapped under the skin and the hedgehog grows in size. According to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, remedying it only involves a incision on the skin to release the air and then monitoring for any complications related to the collection of air in the first place. Hedgehog suffering from balloon syndrome before deflating 20. Cute as they may be, hedgehogs can give humans a fungal skin infection caused by Trichophyton erinacei, also known as ringworm. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, major microbial infections associated with hedgehogs include bacteria such as salmonella and mycobacteria. 21. In 2006, McDonald’s launched a new design of McFlurry containers that are hedgehog-friendly. What? Yep. It seems that hedgehogs were consistently getting their heads stuck in the cups while licking up the last drops of McFlurry goodness, leading to many an untimely hedgehog death. (McDonald's, savior of hedgehogs? Who knew?) 22. Some people eat hedgehogs — but enough about that. A more amusing fact is that in 1981, a London potato chip maker launched a line of hedgehog "flavoured crisps" — and fortunately for hedgehogs everywhere, the potato chips were not actually flavored with hedgehog. And on that note, bye bye!. Source: Things You Didn't Know About Hedgehogs
  35. 1 point
    I'd be nice to live in a nation not run by idiots. :/
  36. 1 point
    What's the Word? - HELICOID pronunciation: [HEL-ə-koyd] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, late 17th century Meaning: 1. An object of spiral or helical shape 2. A surface formed by simultaneously moving a straight line along an axis and rotating it around it (like a screw thread). Example: "The helicoid staircase was the focal point of the ballroom." "I always got the helicoid measurements wrong on my geometry homework." About Helicoid The thread on a screw is a perfect example of a helicoid. It's a shape formed by moving a straight line along an axis as it turns. You can find manmade helicoid structures like a spiral staircase, or you can find many examples of helicoids in the natural world. Did you Know? Visit the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan and you will find yourself inside a helicoid. The works of art are on display in galleries that shoot off a massive spiral-shaped ramp. You can view the helicoid from either the inside or outside of the Guggenheim.
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    Fact of the Day - WAR DOGS Did you know... that dogs in warfare have a very long history starting in ancient times. From being trained in combat, to their use as scouts, sentries, and trackers, their uses have been varied and some continue to exist in modern military usage. (Wikipedia) In October 2019, a Belgian Malinois military working dog named Conan joined a long list of heroic military working dogs. Military working dogs have been around for centuries worldwide — although in the U.S. they were not officially recognized until March 13, 1942. Considering their long history, there is a wealth of information out there about military dogs and war dogs. Today, there is a huge demand for military dogs — did you know one fully-trained bomb detection dog is likely worth more than $150,000? The American Kennel Club (AKC) even works with the U.S. government to help develop a breeding program for military dogs. U.S. Army military working dog searches among rubble and trash outside a target building in Rusafa, eastern Baghdad, Iraq. Dogs have been in combat with US soldiers during every major conflict, but they were not officially recognized until WWII. Sergeant Stubby c. 1920 Born: 1916 Died: March 16, 1926 (aged 9–10) Sergeant Stubby of the 102nd Infantry, Yankee Division went from mascot to hero during WWI after being smuggled into battle by Private J. Robert Conroy. Stubby went on to detect enemy gas, bark out warnings when rival troops were near and locate the wounded on the battlefield. By the start of WWII, the military had recognized the value canine soldiers could bring and began using them primarily for recon. Stubby forged the way for all canine soldiers who followed and remains a symbol of military bravery and heroism to this day. They are trained in bomb, weapon and drug detection, tracking, and to attack the enemy. Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX has been training sentry dogs since 1958. K9history.com details the manpower and dog power that goes into training the amazing pups of the Department of Defense Military Working Dogs Training School (DoD MWD) at Lackland. Today, more than 1,000 dogs are trained at any given time by a staff of 125 from all branches of military service. The complex training techniques are designed to utilize the dogs’ natural gifts for focus and aggression to their advantage. German Shepherds and Labradors can detect weapons, bombs, gases and drugs more accurately than any available military equipment. There are about 2500 dogs in active service today and about 700 deployed overseas. Military dogs play an integral role in the current overseas conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Stewart Hilliard, Chief of Military War Dog evaluation and training at Lackland Air Force Base told San Antonio Magazine in 2013, “These dogs are among our most effective countermeasures against terrorists and explosives.” 85% of military working dogs are purchased from Germany and the Netherlands. The 2013 article “Canines in Combat” from San Antonio Magazine notes that the bloodlines of these dogs go back hundreds of years, making these pups literally “born for the job.” The Air Force Security Center, Army Veterinary Corps, and the 341st Training Squadron are combining their efforts here in the States to breed suitable dogs for military service. Currently the other 15% of working dogs are USA born and bred, and the military hopes to increase this number. They are extremely valuable, and not just for their service. According to retired Air Force K9 Handler, Louis Robinson, a fully trained bomb detection dog is likely worth over $150,000. But really, these animals are priceless. With an average of 98% accuracy in their detection skills, the peace of mind they provide to the troops is immeasurable. Robinson resides in Phoenix, AZ and runs Robinson Dog Training. He’s using the extensive skills he learned as a Military Police K9 handler to help civilian dogs learn basic obedience, search and rescue, therapy skills and advanced protection Only about 50% make it through training. Military working dogs are not just chosen for their breeding or the keenness of their sense of smell, they must possess several other qualities. They must be free of physical issues like hip dysplasia and be highly reward motivated. Trainers at Lackland use mostly toys like Kongs that can be hidden to represent bombs, but treats are also utilized. Suitable dogs for military service must also be able to attack on command. Pups have actually been dropped from the program due to extreme stress at having to bite a human. Military dogs must have just the right level of aggression and excitability. They aren’t all German Shepherds. When we think about military dogs, muscular German Shepherds tend to come to mind. But several different breeds have shown patriotic heroism over the years. Many branches use the highly trainable Labrador Retriever. The elite US Navy SEALS use the Belgian Malinois, a breed similar to the German Shepherd, but smaller. These dogs are incredibly compact and fast with a sense of smell 40 times greater than that of a human. Their small stature make them ideal for parachuting and repelling missions with their handlers. The SEALS were accompanied by a Belgian Malinois named Cairo during their raid on Osama Bin Laden in 2013. They can get PTSD. Just like their human brothers and sisters in arms, pup soldiers are susceptible to the horrors of PTSD. War dogs experience severe emotional trauma during deployment, and for some it becomes too much. Gunner, a Marine bomb sniffing dog became so skittish and unpredictable during active duty that he was declared “surplus” by the military and released from service. Gunner was adopted by the family of Corporal Jason Dunham who was killed near the Syrian border in 2004. He and the Dunhams' are working on healing together. They mourn the loss of their handler and vice versa. In Rebecca Frankel’s book, War Dogs she explores the remarkable bond that develops between service dog and handler. One such pair was Marine Lance Corporal Joshua Ashley and “Sirius”. They were the number one team during training at Yuma military base, but tragically Josh was killed by an IED just two months after deploying to Afghanistan. “Sirius” at first refused to take commands from his new handler and showed significant signs of agitation at the loss of his partner. Such stories are all too common among canine and handler teams. If a dog of war is lost in combat, he or she is honored by the entire squad. Feeding dishes are symbolically placed upside down and a poem called "Guardians of the Night" is read in their honor. Until November 2000, military dogs were euthanized or abandoned after retirement. Before this time service dogs were considered “military surplus equipment” and deemed unfit to adjust to civilian life. These heroes were thrown away or put down instead of honored. President Clinton passed “Robby’s Law” in 2000 which allows handlers and their families first dibs at adopting military animals at the end of their useful service. The dogs are next offered to law enforcement, then adoptive families. Organizations like Saveavet.org place these retired heroes with suitable families and ensure they are given the honorable discharge they deserve. There are currently long waiting lists of civilians who want to give these veterans a loving home in which to retire. Source: Wikipedia - Dogs in Warfare | BarkPost - Facts about Military Dogs
  38. 1 point
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/266310/GameGuru/ GameGuru is currently free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/496580/GameGuru__Expansion_Pack/ The GameGuru Expansion Pack is also currently free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1397220/Patricia/ Patricia is free on Steam.
  39. 1 point
    Mulan [2020] It was okay. Seems weird they were trying to be a bit more grounded/realistic when the result seemingly seems less so. In any case not nearly as bad as the review bombing would have you believe. It's a decent re-imagining on the Mulan tale, but falls short of what the animated classic is.
  40. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - MUSKRATS Muskrats typically make their homes in marshes, swamps and wetlands. Did you know... that the muskrat, the only species in genus Ondatra and tribe ondatrini, is a medium-sized semiaquatic rodent native to North America and an introduced species in parts of Europe, Asia, and South America. The muskrat is found in wetlands over a wide range of climates and habitats. It has important effects on the ecology of wetlands, and is a resource of food and fur for humans. The muskrat is the largest species in the subfamily Arvicolinae, which includes 142 other species of rodents, mostly voles and lemmings. Muskrats are referred to as "rats" in a general sense because they are medium-sized rodents with an adaptable lifestyle and an omnivorous diet. They are not, however, members of the genus Rattus. (Wikipedia) Size Muskrats are around the size of large rats. They grow from 16 to 25 inches (41 to 63.5 centimeters) long and weigh around 1.5 to 4 lbs. (0.7 to 2 kilograms). Their tails add another 7 to 11 inches (18 to 28 cm) to their length, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. Habitat Muskrat Habitat The muskrat is native to North America. In the early 20th century, though, the animal was introduced to northern Eurasia, according to the Animal Diversity Web (ADW). They are now found in Ukraine, Russia, adjacent areas of China and Mongolia and the Honshu Island in Japan. Muskrats like wetter areas with at least 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) of water. They typically make their homes in marshes, swamps and wetlands. They particularly like marshes. Hot, dry weather is bad for muskrats, which is why they prefer wet areas and cool burrows dug on the banks of water sources. They even have a special mechanism, called regional heterothermy. Regional heterothermy regulates the flow of blood to the feet and tail. This keeps them cooler than the body's core. In addition to burrows, muskrats also build lodges out of cattails and other vegetation. These lodges can sometimes clog up waterways, making them a nuisance to humans. Cattails Habits Muskrats are very social and live in large, territorial families, according to the ADW. They communicate with others and mark their territory with a secretion from their glands called musk. The scent serves as a warning to intruders. Muskrats are considered nocturnal, though they are sometimes active during the day. Their most active times are late afternoon and right after dusk. Diet Muskrats aren't picky. In fact, they will even resort to cannibalism in their own family, according to the ADW. Mostly though, they tend to prefer vegetation like cattails, waterlilies, roots and pondweed. They also eat snails, mussels, salamanders, crustaceans, fish and young birds. These small animals are very big eaters. Muskrats eat one-third of their weight every day, according to the ADW. Though they need a large supply of food, muskrats usually don't travel any farther than 150 feet (46 meters) away from their homes. Offspring Muskrats make their nests on tree stumps sticking out of 15 to 40 inches (38 to 102 cm) of water using vegetation. Females have a gestation period of three to four weeks and give birth to three to eight young, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. They can have up to three litters each year. Baby muskrats are called kits. At 30 days old, kits can swim, dive and feed themselves. Kits are fully grown at six weeks and typically stay with their family, unless there is overcrowding. In this case, the mother will often kick the young out of the group. These creatures can live around three years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity. Classification/taxonomy Here is the taxonomy for muskrats, according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS): Kingdom: Animalia Subkingdom: Bilateria Infrakingdom: Deuterostomia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Infraphylum: Gnathostomata Superclass: Tetrapoda Class: Mammalia Subclass: Theria Infraclass: Eutheria Order: Rodentia Suborder: Myomorpha Superfamily: Muroidea Family: Cricetidae Subfamily: Arvicolinae Genus: Ondatra Direct children Species: Ondatra zibethicus Conservation status Muskrats are listed as least concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. This means that their populations are generally stable and widespread. Though thought of as pests because they sometimes eat crops and block waterways with their lodges, muskrats are very helpful. By eating aquatic plants, they open other areas of the waterways, giving ducks and other birds clear places to swim. Their lodges are also used by other animals as resting areas and nests. Goose resting on Muskrat lodge Other facts The muskrat's dense fur traps air to keep them warm. It also helps them float in water. Though not great on land, muskrats are fantastic swimmers. They can hold their breath underwater for 12 to 17 minutes, according to the ADW. They can swim up to about 3 mph (5 km/h) thanks to their paddle-like webbed feet. Muskrats can even swim backward. Additional resources Department of Energy and Environmental Protection: Muskrat Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: Muskrats New Hampshire Public Television: Common Muskrat Source: Wikipedia - Muskrat | LiveScience - Muskrat Facts
  41. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - HALLEY'S COMET Halley's Comet taken in 1986 Did you know... that Halley's Comet or Comet Halley, officially designated 1P/Halley, is a short-period comet visible from Earth every 75–76 years? Halley is the only known short-period comet that is regularly visible to the naked eye from Earth, and the only naked-eye comet that can appear twice in a human lifetime. Halley last appeared in the inner parts of the Solar System in 1986 and will next appear in mid-2061. (Wikipedia) Halley's Comet is arguably the most famous comet. It is a "periodic" comet and returns to Earth's vicinity about every 75 years, making it possible for a human to see it twice in his or her lifetime. The last time it was here was in 1986, and it is projected to return in 2061. The comet is named after English astronomer Edmond Halley, who examined reports of a comet approaching Earth in 1531, 1607 and 1682. He concluded that these three comets were actually the same comet returning over and over again, and predicted the comet would come again in 1758. Halley's Comet, 1682 Halley didn't live to see the comet's return, but his discovery led to the comet being named after him. (The traditional pronunciation of the name usually rhymes with valley.) Halley's calculations showed that at least some comets orbit the sun. Further, the first Halley's Comet of the space age — in 1986 — saw several spacecraft approach its vicinity to sample its composition. High-powered telescopes also observed the comet as it swung by Earth. While the comet cannot be studied up close for many decades, scientists continue to perform comet science in the solar system, looking at other small bodies that can be compared to Halley. A notable example was the Rosetta probe, which looked at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko between 2014 and 2016 and concluded that the comet has a different kind of water than Earth's water. Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko taken by NAVCAM on the Rosetta mission reveals the outgassing jets. Halley's in history The first known observation of Halley's took place in 239 B.C., according to the European Space Agency. Chinese astronomers recorded its passage in the Shih Chi and Wen Hsien Thung Khao chronicles. Another study (based on models of Halley's orbit) pushes that first observation back to 466 B.C., which would have made it visible by the Ancient Greeks. When Halley's returned in 164 B.C. and 87 B.C., it probably was noted in Babylonian records now housed at the British Museum in London. "These texts have important bearing on the orbital motion of the comet in the ancient past," noted a Nature research paper about the tablets. This portion of the Bayeux Tapestry shows Halley's Comet during its appearance in 1066. Another appearance of the comet in 1301 possibly inspired Italian painter Giotto's rendering of the Star of Bethlehem in "The Adoration of the Magi," according to the Britannica encyclopedia. Halley's most famous appearance occurred shortly before the 1066 invasion of England by William the Conqueror. It is said that William believed the comet heralded his success. In any case, the comet was put on the Bayeux Tapestry — which chronicles the invasion — in William's honor. The Adoration of the Magi (circa 1305) by Giotto, who purportedly modelled the star of Bethlehem on Halley, which had been sighted 4 years before that painting. Astronomers in these times, however, saw each appearance of Halley's Comet as an isolated event. Comets were often foreseen as a sign of great disaster or change. Even when Shakespeare wrote his play "Julius Caesar" around 1600, just 105 years before Edmond Halley calculated that the comet returns over and over again, one famous phrase spoke of comets as heralds: "When beggars die there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes." Discovery of Halley's recurrence Astronomy began changing swiftly around the time of Shakespeare, however. Many astronomers of his time held that Earth was the center of the solar system, but Nicolaus Copernicus — who died about 20 years before Shakespeare's birth — published findings showing that the center was actually the sun. It took several generations for Copernicus' calculations to take hold in the astronomy community, but when they did, they provided a powerful model for how objects move around the solar system and the universe. Andreas Cellarius's illustration of the Copernican system, from the Harmonia Macrocosmica The comet appeared in 1531, 1607 and 1682. Halley suggested the same comet could return to Earth in 1758. Halley did not live long enough to see its return – he died in 1742 – but his discovery inspired others to name the comet after him. On each successive journey to the inner solar system, astronomers on Earth turned their telescopes skyward to watch Halley's approach. This photo of Halley's comet was taken by the Russian Vega 2 spacecraft, one of two Soviet probes (Vega 1 was the other) to rendezvous with the comet during its 1986 trip through the solar system in March 1986. The closest approach of Vega 1 to Halley was 8890 km while Vega 2 had a close encounter at 8030 km. The comet's pass in 1910 was particularly spectacular, as the comet flew by about 13.9 million miles (22.4 million kilometers) from Earth, which is about one-fifteenth the distance between Earth and the sun. On that occasion, Halley's Comet was captured on camera for the first time. Halley's Comet as photographed May 13, 1910, by a wide-angle camera at Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Ariz., during the comet's last appearance. A streak across the comet near the coma is a meteor trail, and not a scratch on the negative. Streaks at the bottom right are the city lights of Flagstaff Bright spot above the city lights is the planet Venus. According to biographer Albert Bigelow Paine, the writer Mark Twain said in 1909, "I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it." Twain died on April 21, 1910, one day after perihelion, when the comet emerged from the far side of the sun. Halley's in the Space Age When Halley's Comet came by Earth in 1986, it was the first time we could send spacecraft up to look at it. That was a fortunate occurrence, as the comet ended up being underwhelming in observations from Earth. When the comet made its closest approach to the sun, it was on the opposite side of that star from the Earth — making it a faint and distant object, some 39 million miles away from Earth. Several spacecraft successfully made the journey to the comet. This fleet of spaceships is sometimes dubbed the "Halley Armada." Two joint Soviet/French probes (Vega 1 and 2) flew nearby, with one of them capturing pictures of the heart or nucleus of the comet for the first time. The European Space Agency's Giotto got even closer to the nucleus, beaming back spectacular images to Earth. Japan sent two probes of its own (Sakigake and Suisei) that also obtained information on Halley. Additionally, NASA's International Cometary Explorer (already in orbit since 1978) captured pictures of Halley from 17.3 million miles (28 million km) away. "It was inevitable that this most famous of all comets would receive unprecedented attention, but the actual magnitude of the effort has surprised even most of those involved in it," NASA noted in an account of the event. Sadly, the astronauts aboard Challenger's STS-51L mission were also scheduled to look at the comet, but they never got the chance. The shuttle exploded about two minutes after launch on Jan. 28, 1986, due to a rocket malfunction, killing all seven astronauts. Space Shuttle Challenger It will be many decades until Halley's gets close to Earth again, but in the meantime you can see its remnants every year. The Orionid meteor shower, which is spawned by Halley's fragments, occurs annually in October. Halley's also produced a shower in May, called the Eta Aquarids. When Halley's sweeps by Earth in 2061, the comet will be on the same side of the sun as Earth and will be much brighter than in 1986. At least one study has pointed out that it is difficult to predict Halley's orbit on a scale of more than 100 years, and that the comet could collide with another object (or be ejected from the solar system) in as little as 10,000 years, although not all scientists agree with the hypothesis. When Halley next returns to Earth's vicinity, one astronomer predicted it could be as bright as apparent magnitude -0.3. This is relatively bright, but well below that of the brightest star in Earth's sky: Sirius, at magnitude -1.4 as seen from Earth. There is a group of comets called "Halley family comets" (HFC) because they appear to share the same orbital characteristics of Halley, including being highly inclined to the orbits of Earth and other planets in the solar system. However, this family has a range of inclinations, which prompts other astronomers to suggest they may have a different origin than Halley. Some suggest these comets could have evolved from members of the Oort Cloud, or from Centaurs (objects that generally have a closest approach between Jupiter and the Kuiper Belt.) Alternatively, HFCs could have come from somewhere just beyond Neptune. Known objects in the Kuiper belt beyond the orbit of Neptune. (Scale in AU; epoch as of January 2015.) While it will be decades before we can send another spacecraft to Halley's Comet, there have several other missions that have studied comets from up close. Between 2014 and 2016, for example, the Rosetta probe examined Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko up close and made comparisons to other comets. One of its key findings was uncovering that Comet 67P had a different kind of water (specifically, a different deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio) than what is seen on Earth. Back in the 1980s, similar examinations of Halley by the Giotto probe also showed that Halley has a different D-to-H ratio in its water than on Earth. Other notable cometary missions include NASA's Stardust (which captured samples of comet 81P/Wild and returned them to Earth), NASA's Deep Impact (which deliberately sent an impactor into 9P/Tempel on July 4, 2005), and the European Space Agency's Philae (which landed on Comet 67P in 2014.) Rosetta’s Philae successfully lands on comet 67P Watch it live (updated) Source: Wikipedia - Halley's Comet | Space.com - Halley's Comet
  42. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - JAILHOUSE ROCK Did you know... that on September 24, 1957, RCA Victor released single record #47/20-7035—“Jailhouse Rock”/“Treat Me Nice” by Elvis Presley. Its instant success in record stores and on Billboard’s charts made “Jailhouse Rock” Elvis’ third blockbuster hit of the year. Once and for all, it blasted the predictions of his early critics that the popularity of Presley’s brand of rock ’n’ roll was a fad destined to fade away rapidly. In the words of “Jailhouse Rock” co-writer Jerry Leiber, Elvis had become an “automatic hitmaker.” The genesis of “Jailhouse Rock” traces back to around March 1957, when Leiber and his partner Mike Stoller, arrived in New York City for a planned visit of a few weeks. Having established themselves as rhythm and blues songwriters in Los Angeles, the pair came east to check out the New York scene. While there they had agreed to write four songs for possible use in Elvis Presley’s upcoming film, tentatively titled The Hard Way. Since Leiber and Stoller had written a couple of songs used in Presley’s previous film, Loving You, Hill and Range music publisher Jean Aberbach included them in a group of writers he had chosen to submit new songs for use in Elvis’s next movie. For Leiber and Stoller, though, writing for Elvis was not a priority for two young men in New York for the first time. In an interview with Ken Sharp, Mike Stoller recalled, “Jean Aberbach had given us a script, and we kind of threw it in the corner with some magazines. We were having a great time in New York, really having a ball, cabarets and jazz clubs and the theater.” Their focus changed on a Saturday morning, when there was a knock on the door of their room at the Gorham Hotel. Stoller explained what focused them on writing songs for Jailhouse Rock: “Jean Aberbach walked in. He said, ‘Well, boys, where are my songs?' We said, ‘Don't worry. You're gonna get ‘em.’ And he said, ‘I know, because you're not going to leave this room until I get them.’ And then he pushed a big overstuffed chair in front of the door, the only way out. He said, ‘I'm going to take a nap.’ He literally went to sleep, and we couldn't get out. So we thumbed through the script and wrote four songs in about four or five hours. (“Jailhouse Rock,” “Treat Me Nice,” “I Want To Be Free,” and “(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care.”) I can't say that the songs were overworked. We didn't have time to overwork them. We were in too much of a hurry to get out of that hotel room.” Stoller confirmed that the tune designed for the film’s production number came easily to them. “The script indicated that Elvis was in prison and there was an amateur show among the prisoners. That's where the idea for the song came from. We wrote it quickly. Jerry's very fast and very funny.” “We realized he was a very special talent” Leiber and Stoller first met Elvis on April 30, 1957, the day that “Jailhouse Rock” was recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. Stoller explained how a comfortable working and personal relationship quickly developed between the songwriters and the singer: “Elvis had requested us to be at the Jailhouse Rock recording sessions. He knew of the records that we produced, so he requested that we be there. That's how we met him. He was very easy going and very easy to be with. I was showing him some figures on the piano, and he joined in the upper registers. And we were doing some freehand boogie-woogie. The studio was like his living room … We'd show Elvis the way we thought the songs should go. I think Elvis had heard demos, but I don't remember making them. There must have been because he had approved the songs … While we were working on the Jailhouse Rock recording sessions, we realized he was a very special talent.” In his 2002 autobiography, drummer D. J. Fontana explained how he and guitarist Scotty Moore came up with the intro for “Jailhouse Rock:” “‘Jailhouse Rock’ was supposed to be like prisoners breaking rocks on a rock pile. I remembered way back in the ’40s they had a song called ‘Animal Chorus.’ It was a big band thing like Woody Herman or someone like that. I remember someone was beating on what sounded like an anvil, actually. They were playing kind of like a bump, beep, beep, boop. And I said, ‘That might be good.’ So Scotty and I got over in a corner and I’d play the first beat and he’d play the one in the middle. We were actually just piddling around with it. They had the mics on and they asked what we were doing. So we said, ‘Well, we don’t know. We were just trying to find something that you could use for the soundtrack to make it sound like a chain gang smashing rocks.’ So they said, ‘Man, whatever you were doing just then, that’s great. Don’t touch it. That’s exactly what we need.’ So that’s how we originated that one. It was one of those things that we accidentally came up with.” Elvis was a "workhorse" in the studio In a 1990 interview for Rolling Stone, Jerry Leiber recalled Presley’s work ethic in the studio. “Elvis was incredibly cooperative. He would try anything. He wasn't a diva, no prima donna. When it came to work, he was a workhorse.” Mike Stoller added, “If he didn't like something—his own performance, primarily—he would say, ‘Let's do another one.’ And this would go on and on until he felt he had it. We thought we already had it! We'd got it twice.” In the Ken Sharp interview, Stoller said, “We were up to take 27 or something on ‘Jailhouse Rock’ when he finally said, ‘OK, let me hear that take that you think is the one.’ And he came back in and listened and said, ‘Yeah, you're right. That's the one.’” (According to Ernest Jorgensen in his Presley sessions book, take 6 became the record master.) Although he had already recorded “Jailhouse Rock” and RCA had decided it would be his next single, it had not yet been released when Elvis went on his late summer tour of the Pacific Northwest. So he did not perform the song in his stage shows then. Meanwhile, to capitalize on the anticipated success of the record, MGM had decided to rename Elvis’s new movie Jailhouse Rock. The single record’s release was set for September 24, 1957, to coincide with the nationwide opening of the film. The first on-stage performances of the song then came in Elvis’s Bay Area and Los Angeles shows in late September. Billboard & Variety predicted success for “Jailhouse Rock” When Elvis’s new single hit record store racks, the music industry gave its blessing to “Jailhouse Rock.” In its September 23 issue, Billboard put the double-sided disc in its “Review Spotlight”: “Another sock platter by the phenomenal artist. ‘Rock’ is a vigorous rocker and is the title tune from Presley’s forthcoming flick. Flip (‘Treat Me Nice’) is an equally strong side somewhat like ‘Don’t Be Cruel.’” The following week, in its October 2 issue, Variety put “Jailhouse Rock” at the top of its “Jocks, Jukes and Disks Best Bets” list: “‘Jailhouse Rock’ is a wild blues rocker that can’t help but be another hit for Elvis Presley. ‘Treat Me Nice’ is in the Presley mumbling tradition and will grab his ready-made aud. Both tunes are from Metro’s Jailhouse Rock.” On Billboard’s Top 100 pop chart, “Jailhouse Rock” took a rocket ride to the top. It entered the chart at #15 on October 15, and a week later leaped up to #3. The next week it went to #2, and on November 11, on only its fourth week on the chart, it push The Everly Brothers' “Wake Up Little Susie” aside and took over the top spot. It stayed at #1 for six weeks, before giving way to “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke on the December 16 chart. Still “Jailhouse Rock” remained in the top 10 for another six weeks. It slowly dropped down the chart, making its final appearance on the list on April 14, 1958. Its final numbers on the Top 100 came to 27 total weeks on the chart, including 14 weeks in the top 10, 10 weeks in the top 5, and 6 weeks at #1. “Treat Me Nice” on the flip side also charted. It spent 10 weeks on the Top 100, peaking at #27 on November 4, 1957. “Jailhouse Rock” also dominated “The Cashbox Best Selling Singles” chart in the fall and winter of 1957. It remained on that list for 20 weeks, including 14 weeks in the top 10, 11 weeks in the top 5, and 3 weeks at #1. “Jailhouse Rock” made 1957 a “perfect” year for Elvis Overall, “Jailhouse Rock” was the fifth biggest chart single record in Elvis’s career. Only “Don’t Be Cruel,” “All Shook Up,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “Hound Dog” did better. In the final analysis, “Jailhouse Rock” became an iconic rock recording due to the teamwork of Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, and Elvis Presley. In addition to writing the song, Leiber and Stoller made a vital contribution in the recording studio, noted by Ernst Jorgensen in his “Elvis Presley: A Life in Music”: “The session had been a revelation on every level, with the team of Leiber and Stoller offering just the kind of strong musical counterpoint Elvis thrived on—the first real studio support he’d had since leave Sun. Jerry and Mike had guided him surely toward new musical territory.” Elvis then put his own stamp on the song. “That song was a vehicle that Presley could really work,” Mike Stoller noted many years later. “Jailhouse Rock” remains an iconic recording in the history of rock ’n’ roll music. When Rolling Stone magazine compiled its “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” it placed “Jailhouse Rock” at #67, and on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll,” it’s listed at #204. No list, though, can capture the astonishing success of “Jailhouse Rock” in 1957 and the role it played in making that the greatest musical year in Elvis Presley’s career. “All Shook Up,” “Teddy Bear,” and “Jailhouse Rock”—a trio of back-to-back blockbuster Presley hits—spent a combined total of 21 weeks at #1 on the Top 100 pop chart in 1957. With the help of “Love Me Tender” and “Too Much,” Elvis had at least one song, and usually multiple ones, in the Top 100 every week during 1957. And “Jailhouse Rock” was the record that anchored Elvis Presley’s only “perfect” year on the record charts. — Alan Hanson | © January 2016 Source: Elvis History Blog
  43. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - COPPER Did you know... that copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (from Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, and as a constituent of various metal alloys, such as sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used to make marine hardware and coins, and constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples for temperature measurement. (Wikipedia) The oldest metal object found in the Middle East consists of copper; it was a tiny awl dating back as far as 5100 B.C. And the U.S. penny was originally made of pure copper (although, nowadays, it is 97.5 percent zinc with a thin copper skin). Copper ranks as the third-most-consumed industrial metal in the world, after iron and aluminum, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). About three-quarters of that copper goes to make electrical wires, telecommunication cables and electronics. Aside from gold, copper is the only metal on the periodic table whose coloring isn't naturally silver or gray. Chemical description Atomic number (number of protons in the nucleus): 29 Atomic symbol (on the periodic table of elements): Cu Atomic weight (average mass of the atom): 63.55 Density: 8.92 grams per cubic centimeter Phase at room temperature: solid Melting point: 1,984.32 degrees Fahrenheit (1,084.62 degrees Celsius) Boiling point: 5,301 degrees F (2,927 degrees C) Number of isotopes (atoms of the same element with a different number of neutrons): 35; 2 stable Most common isotopes: Cu-63 (69.15 percent natural abundance) and Cu-65 (30.85 percent natural abundance) History and characteristics Most copper occurs in ores and must be smelted, or extracted from its ore, for purity before it can be used. But natural chemical reactions can sometimes release native copper, according to the chemistry database site, Chemicool. Humans have been making things from copper for at least 8,000 years and figured out how to smelt the metal by about 4500 B.C. The next technological leap was creating copper alloys by adding tin to copper, which created a harder metal than its individual parts: bronze. The technological development ushered in the Bronze Age, a period covering approximately 3300 to 1200 B.C, and is distinguished by the use of bronze tools and weapons, according to History. Archaeologists unearth a Bronze Age warrior's personal toolkit. Copper artifacts are sprinkled throughout the historical record. Archaeologists discovered a tiny awl, or pointed tool, dating to 5100 B.C., that was buried with a middle-age woman in an ancient village in Israel. The awl represents the oldest metal object ever found in the Middle East. The copper probably came from the Caucasus region, located in the mountainous region covering southeastern Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia more than 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) away, according to 2014 article published in PLOS ONE. In ancient Egypt, people used copper alloys to make jewelry, including toe rings. Researchers have also found massive copper mines from the 10th century B.C. in Israel. About two-thirds of the copper on Earth is found in igneous (volcanic) rocks, and about one-quarter occurs in sedimentary rocks, according to the USGS. The metal is ductile and malleable, and conducts heat and electricity well — reasons why copper is widely used in electronics and wiring. Copper turns green because of an oxidation reaction; that is, it loses electrons when it's exposed to water and air. The resulting copper oxide is a dull green. This oxidation reaction is the reason the copper-plated Statue of Liberty is green rather than orange-red. According to the Copper Development Association, a weathered layer of copper oxide only 0.005 inches (0.127 millimeters) thick coats Lady Liberty, and the covering weighs about 80 tons (73 metric tons). The change from copper-colored to green occurred gradually and was complete by 1920, 34 years after the statue was dedicated and unveiled, according to the New York Historical Society. Who knew? Here are some interesting facts about copper: According to Peter van der Krogt, a Dutch historian, the word "copper" has several roots, many of which come from the Latin word cuprum that was derived from the phrase Cyprium aes, which means "a metal from Cyprus," as much of the copper used at the time was mined in Cyprus. If all of the copper wiring in an average car were laid out, it would stretch 0.9 miles (1.5 km), according to the USGS. The electrical conductance (how readily a current can flow through the metal) of copper is second only to that of silver, according to the Jefferson Laboratory. Pennies were made of pure copper only from 1783 to 1837. From 1837 – 1857 pennies were made of bronze (95 percent copper, with the remaining 5 percent made up of tin and zinc). In 1857, the amount of copper in pennies dropped to 88 percent (the remaining 12 percent was nickel) and returned to its previous recipe in 1864. In 1962, a penny’s content changed to 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc. From 1982 through today, pennies are 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper. People need copper in their diets. The metal is an essential trace mineral that's crucial for forming red blood cells, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Fortunately, copper can be found in a variety of foods, including grains, beans, potatoes and leafy greens. Too much copper, however, is a bad thing. Ingesting high levels of the metal can cause abdominal pain, vomiting and jaundice (a yellowish tinge to the skin and white of the eyes that may indicate the liver is not functioning correctly) in the short term. Long-term exposure may lead to symptoms such as anemia, convulsions and diarrhea that is often bloody and may be blue. Occasionally, increased levels of copper are found in the water supply due to old copper pipes. For example, in August 2018, the public school system in Detroit turned off all drinking water in public schools as a precaution due to high levels of copper and iron found in the water, according to the Seattle Times. Copper has antimicrobial properties and kills bacteria, viruses and yeasts on contact, according to a 2011 paper in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. As a result, copper can even be woven into fabrics to make antimicrobial garments, like socks that fight foot fungus. Copper is also included in certain types of intrauterine devices (IUDs) used for birth control, according to the Mayo Clinic. The copper wiring creates an inflammatory reaction that is toxic to both sperm and eggs, in order to prevent pregnancy. There is, with any medical procedure, a risk of side effects. Although, copper toxicity doesn’t appear to be one, according to a 2017 article published in Medical Science Monitor. Electron configuration and elemental properties of copper. (Image credit: Greg Robson/Creative Commons, Andrei Marincas Shutterstock) Current research Medicine: Copper's antimicrobial properties have made it a popular metal in the medical field. Multiple hospitals have experimented with covering frequently touched surfaces, such as bed rails and call buttons, with copper or copper alloys in an attempt to slow the spread of hospital-acquired infections. Copper kills microbes by interfering with the electrical charge of the organisms' cell membranes, said Cassandra Salgado, a professor of infectious diseases and a hospital epidemiologist at the Medical University of South Carolina. In 2013, a team of researchers led by Salgado tested surfaces in intensive-care units (ICUs) in three hospitals, comparing rooms modified with copper surfaces attached to six common objects that are subjected to many hands to rooms not modified with copper. The scientists found that, in the traditional hospital rooms (those without copper surfaces), 12.3 percent of patients developed antibiotic-resistant infections such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). By comparison, in the copper-modified rooms, only 7.1 percent of patients contracted one of these potentially devastating infections. SEM micrograph of vancomycin-resistant enterococci "We know that if you put copper in a patient's room, you're going to decrease the microbial burden," Salgado told Live Science. "I think that's something that has been shown time and time again. Our study was the first to demonstrate that there could be a clinical benefit to this." The researchers changed nothing else about the ICU conditions beyond the copper; doctors and nurses still washed their hands, and cleaning went on as usual. The researchers published their findings in 2013 in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. Salgado and her team have also tested copper lining on stethoscopes, according to a 2017 article published in the American Journal of Infection Control, where the researchers found that there were significantly fewer bacteria on copper-coated stethoscopes and 66 percent of the stethoscopes were entirely free of bacteria. Further research is continuing to test the idea of copper plating in other medical wards, particularly in areas where patients are more mobile than in the ICU. There also needs to be a cost-benefit analysis weighing the expense of copper installation against the savings gained by preventing costly infections, she said. Electronics: Copper also plays a huge role in electronics, and because of its abundance and low price, researchers are working to integrate the metal into an increasing number of cutting-edge devices. In fact, copper may help produce futuristic electronic paper, wearable biosensors and other "soft" electronics, said Wenlong Cheng, a professor of chemical engineering at Monash University in Australia. Cheng and his colleagues have used copper nanowires to create an "aerogel monolith," a material that is highly porous, very light and strong enough to stand up on its own, similar to a dry kitchen sponge. In the past, these aerogel monoliths have been made from gold or silver, but copper is a more economical option. Silver nanowires By mixing copper nanowires with small amounts of polyvinyl alcohol, the researchers created aerogel monoliths that could turn into a sort of sliceable, shapeable rubber that conducts electricity. The researchers reported their findings in 2014 in the journal ACS Nano. The ultimate result could be a soft-bodied robot, or a medical sensor that melds perfectly to curved skin, Cheng told Live Science. He and his team are currently working to create blood pressure and body temperature sensors out of copper aerogel monoliths — another way copper could help monitor human health. Physics: In a 2014 experiment, a chunk of copper became the coldest cubic meter (35.3 cubic feet) on Earth when researchers chilled it to 6 millikelvins, or six-thousandths of a degree above absolute zero (0 kelvin). This is the closest a substance of this mass and volume has ever come to absolute zero. Researchers at the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics put the 880-lb. (400 kilograms) copper cube inside a container called a cryostat that is specially designed to keep items extremely cold. This is the first cryostat, or device for keeping things at low temperatures, that is capable of keeping substances so close to absolute zero. Building the extreme temperature cryostat is just the first step in a new experiment in which the cryostat will act as a particle detector. Researchers hope the detector, which is in the process of being commissioned according to a 2018 status update, will reveal more about the subatomic particles called neutrinos and why there is so much more matter than antimatter in the universe. Agriculture: Researchers at Cornell University have been studying the effects of copper deficiencies in crops, especially wheat. Wheat is one of the most important food staples in the world, and copper deficiencies can lead to both a lower crop yield and lower crop fertility. Wheat The researchers have been studying how plants absorb and process the copper. They have found two proteins within the wheat, AtCITF1 and AtSPL7, that are vital to the uptake and delivery of the copper to the wheat's reproductive organs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Early tests have shown that when copper and other nutrients are enriched in the soil and then absorbed by the wheat, crop yields increase by as much as seven times. While the knowledge of copper and other minerals are known to be beneficial for the health and fertility of crops, the how and why of the fact is not well understood. The knowledge of why copper is beneficial and how it functions within a plant’s growth and reproduction can further be used on crops such as rice, barley and oats, and can introduce these crops with a mineral-rich fertilizer, which includes copper, to soil that was once unsuitable for farming. Additional resources The American Cancer Society examines the research about copper and claims that it may have a role in preventing or treating cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency provides information about exposure to high levels of copper and the effects of copper corrosion in household pipes. The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator facility (Jefferson Lab) explores the history and uses of copper. This article was updated on Sept. 12, 2018, by Live Science contributor Rachel Ross. Source: LiveScience - Facts about Copper | Wikipedia - Copper
  44. 1 point
    What's the Word? - GADZOOKS pronunciation: [gad-ZOOKS] Part of speech: exclamation Origin: English, late 17th century Meaning: 1. An exclamation of surprise or annoyance. Example: "Gadzooks! This coffee is hot!" "I was just walking down the street, and gadzooks, it starting pouring!" About Gadzooks Gadzooks is an exclamation (sometimes known as an interjection). This part of speech is a word or short phrase that can stand on its own, grammatically. It's used to insert surprise, excitement, or even pain and sadness. Anything that packs a punch — like the "pows!" and "bams!" of the old Batman cartoons. Did you Know? In the same family as "cheers," "good grief," "hooray," "kaboom," and "yabba dabba doo," "gadzooks" has a more religious origin story. It's an alteration of "God's hooks," i.e. the nails that held Jesus to the cross. Just like invoking a holy figure in your swears, "gadzooks" fits a similar purpose.
  45. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - ICE CREAM Ice cream served with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a wafer. Did you know... that ice cream is a sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. It may be made from dairy milk or cream and is flavoured with a sweetener, either sugar or an alternative, and any spice, such as cocoa or vanilla. Colourings are usually added, in addition to stabilizers. The mixture is stirred to incorporate air spaces and cooled below the freezing point of water to prevent detectable ice crystals from forming. The result is a smooth, semi-solid foam that is solid at very low temperatures (below 2 °C or 35 °F). It becomes more malleable as its temperature increases. (Wikipedia) The origins of frozen desserts are unknown, though there are several often repeated legends dated as early as the 3rd millennium BCE in ancient China. According to one legendary origin myth, the Roman Emperor Nero had ice collected from the Apennine Mountains to produce the first sorbet mixed with honey and wine. Other legends say ice cream originated in the Mongolian empire and first spread to China during its expansion. Raspberry Sorbet Its spread throughout Europe is sometimes attributed to Arab traders, but more often to Marco Polo. Though it's not mentioned in any of his writings, Polo is often credited with introducing sorbet-style desserts to Italy after learning of it during his travels to China. The Italian duchess Catherine de' Medici is said to have introduced flavored sorbet ices to France when she brought some Italian chefs with her to France upon marrying the Duke of Orléans (Henry II of France) in 1533. One hundred years later, Charles I of England was reportedly so impressed by the "frozen snow" that he offered his own ice cream maker a lifetime pension in return for keeping the formula secret, so that ice cream could be a royal prerogative. There is no evidence to support any of these legends. Snow was used to cool drinks in Greece around 500 BC and Hippocrates is known to have criticized chilled drinks for causing "fluxes of the stomach". Snow collected from the lower slopes of mountains was unsanitary and iced drinks were believed to cause convulsions, colic and a host of other ailments. Seneca criticized the extravagant costs associated with iced desserts in an era without refrigeration. Despite this, ice and snow were prized ingredients in ancient cuisines including Japanese, Chinese, Greek and Roman cuisines. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs show a snow-filled vessel next to fruit juice. There are Tang dynasty records of a chilled dessert made with flour, camphor and water buffalo milk and recipes for snow-chilled sweets are included in a 1st-century Roman recipe book. There are Persian records from the 2nd century AD for sweetened chilled drinks with ice made by freezing water in the desert at night. Water Buffalo Ice cream was made possible only by the discovery of the endothermic effect. Prior to this, cream could only be chilled but not frozen. It was the addition of salt, that lowered the melting point of ice, which had the effect of drawing heat from the cream and allowing it to freeze. The first known record of this comes from the Indian poem Pancatantra, dating to the 4th century AD. The earliest written description of the process is known not from culinary texts, but the 13th-century writings of Ibn Abu Usaybia concerning medicine. The technique of "freezing" is not known from any European sources prior to the 16th century. One of the first places to serve ice cream to the general public in Europe was Café Procope in France, which started serving it in the late 18th century. The ice cream was made from a combination of milk, cream, butter, and eggs. After the dessert was imported to the United States, it was served by several famous Americans. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson served it to their guests. The first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City in 1776. American colonists were the first to use the term “ice cream”. The name came from the phrase “iced cream” that was similar to “iced tea”. The name was later abbreviated to “ice cream” the name we know today. Ice Cream Cone Until 1800, ice cream remained a rare and exotic dessert enjoyed mostly by the elite. Around 1800, insulated ice houses were invented. In 1843 Nancy Johnson invented a hand-cranked freezer that established the basic method of making ice cream still used today. In 1851, Jacob Fussell in Baltimore established the first large-scale commercial ice cream plant. Contrary to popular belief, the ever-popular ice cream cone was not invented at the 1904 World’s Fair. For instance, ice cream cones are mentioned in the 1888 Mrs. Marshall’s Cookbook and the idea of serving ice cream in cones is thought to have been in place long before that. However, the practice didn’t become popular until 1904. As to who specifically at the World’s Fair served the cones that popularized the treat, nobody knows exactly. Agnes Bertha Marshall According to legend, at the World’s Fair an ice cream seller had run out of the cardboard dishes used to put ice cream scoops in, so they could not sell any more produce. Next door to the ice cream booth was a Syrian waffle booth, unsuccessful due to intense heat; the waffle maker offered to make cones by rolling up his waffles and the new product sold well, and was widely copied by other vendors. Ice cream novelties such as ice cream on sticks and ice cream bars were introduced in the 1920’s. Ice cream became popular throughout the world in the second half of the 20th century after cheap refrigeration became common. A chemical research team in Britain (of which a young Margaret Thatcher was a member) discovered a method of doubling the amount of air in ice cream creating soft ice cream. Ice cream can be made in many types – ordinary ice cream, frozen custard, frozen yogurt, reduced-fat ice cream, sherbet, gelato, and others. Worldwide, around 15 billion liters (3.3 billion gallons) of ice cream are consumed every year, enough to fill 5,000 Olympic swimming pools. New Zealand leads the world in ice cream consumption with a per capita consumption of 28.4 liters per year; followed by the United States with a per capita consumption of 24.5 liters per year. Ice cream can be flavored with anything, so it is impossible to say how many flavors have existed throughout history. Vanilla seems to be the most popular flavor, with chocolate coming in second, butter is coming in third, strawberry coming in fourth and neapolitan coming in fifth. The world’s most popular ice cream toppings are: chocolate syrup, hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, Oreo and sprinkles. Hawaiian Punch was originally an ice cream topping. Some ice cream brands are known for offering new and interesting flavor combinations. For instance, Ben & Jerry’s has dozens of notable flavors, including Cinnamon Buns, Crème Brûlée and Lemonade Sorbet. Craziest ice cream flavors around the world include Raw horse flesh - If you've often thought that there's nothing better than the taste of raw horse flesh, then raw horse flesh ice cream is the delightful frozen treat for you! Try a scoop at Ice Cream City inside Namja Town, an indoor amusement park in Tokyo. Foie gras - French ice creamery Philippe Faur combines fatty foie gras and diet-busting ice cream—how is it again that French women don't get fat? (Probably because they don't eat this ice cream.) This duck-liver flavor was invented by Faur, who says the dessert took four months to perfect. Jellyfish - Brushing up against a jellyfish in the ocean can bring searing pain, so why wouldn't you look at one and think, "I should put that in my mouth?" Crazy Charlie Francis, founder of Lick Me I'm Delicious ice cream company, apparently had that thought, because he's created ice cream that uses jellyfish protein as the main ingredient. Even cooler: When you lick it, the ice cream glows. Unfortunately, jellyfish don't come cheap—a single scoop sells for more than $200! Octopus - Who says you can’t have dessert with seafood? The chewy tentacle bits that come with every scoop will certainly overwhelm your sensory system! Lobster - With its vanilla bean and butter base and lobster pulled fresh from the Atlantic (then cooked and chopped!), this ice cream steals the show at the Chocolate Emporium…despite the fact that it doesn’t contain any chocolate at all. Also cool: The candy-red flecks of lobster make for a gorgeous treat that’ll make Instagram followers freak Mushy peas and fish - Scotland has its famous deep-fried Mars bars, and now England can compete in the disgustingly delicious dessert wars with the fish and chips ice cream from Teare Woods Luxury Ice Cream Parlour. It's a scoop of minty mushy peas flavor and a scoop of fish flavor, topped with bits of battered cod and served with a french fry. And this odd creation isn't even an original in England—in 2010, Frederick's Dairies launched a creamed cod-flavored ice cream served in a vanilla and pepper batter with potato ice cream chips. Haggis - Scotland’s national dish turned into a savory ice cream. Don’t know what haggis is? Haggis is a savory pudding containing a sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs) minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours. Still hungry? Roasted garlic - Roasted garlic, almond, and ice cream—three great things separately, but combined? Decide for yourself if the mash-up works at Sebastian Joe's Ice Cream in Minneapolis. Wasabi - Wasabi may be complementary to sushi… But this ice cream, which is available in the mountains of Nagano, takes the cake for bringing wasabi to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL. Go forth and challenge your tastebuds to a creamy, tingling sensation! Mint leaves with sea urchin meringues - Portland's Salt & Straw serves up this herbaceous ice cream, steeped in fresh Oregon mint leaves and mixed with meringues made from sea urchins and Italian espelette peppers. Your move, vanilla. Mamushi snake - What doesn't kill you makes a great ice cream—isn't that how the old saying goes? That must be the principle behind the mamushi ice cream found in Tokyo. For your reference, mamushi is one of the most venomous snakes in Japan and it's actually listed as one of the ingredients in the ice cream. In November 2007, Serendipity unveiled a $1,000 dessert called the "Golden Opulence Sundae", which Guinness World Records declared the world's most expensive dessert. The restaurant also serves the Frrrozen Chocolate Haute dessert, priced at $25,000. Serendipity 3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate In May 2012, Serendipity 3 was recognized as the Guinness World Record holder for serving the world’s most expensive hamburger, the $295 Le Burger Extravagant Source: JustFunFacts - Ice Cream | Wikipedia - Ice Cream | Ice Cream Flavors From Around the World | Weird Ice Cream Flavors in Japan
  46. 1 point
    What's the Word? - ANON pronunciation: [ə-NAHN] Part of speech: adverb Origin: Old English, pre-12th century Meaning: 1. Soon. 2. Shortly. Example: "Don't worry — I'll see you anon." "I'll explain everything anon." About Anon Instead of promising that you'll do the dishes soon, pacify your partner with "anon." This Old English adverb means "soon" or "shortly." It's a fancy word to mask your procrastination. Did you Know? In Old English, "on ān" meant "into one," and the original meaning was about something in one state or course of action. Over time the meaning of "anon" evolved into the temporal sense of "at once."
  47. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - EASTER PARADE (1948) Did you know... that Easter Parade is a 1948 American musical film starring Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Peter Lawford, featuring music by Irving Berlin, including some of Astaire and Garland's best-known songs, such as "Easter Parade", "Steppin' Out with My Baby", and "We're a Couple of Swells". Upon its release, the film was both a critical and a commercial success. As well as being the highest-grossing musical film of 1948, Easter Parade was the second-highest grossing MGM musical of the 1940s after Meet Me in St. Louis. (Wikipedia) Arthur Freed wanted to make a musical using Irving Berlin’s music and using a holiday that had been untapped for a movie: Easter. The Easter Parade was a real event in the early 20th century where New Yorkers walked around 5th avenue sporting their best. Ruben Natal-San Miguel Snaps NYC’s Fifth Avenue Easter Parade The film was shot in ten weeks in order to be released in time for Easter, and it was a box office smash, becoming one of the highest earning films for MGM that year. The film was the first and only pairing of Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. Interestingly, Astaire came out of a self-imposed retirement to make the film; he had been focusing on racing his horse, Triplicate. Afterward, Garland and Astaire were supposed to be paired again in Royal Wedding but Jane Powell took the lead instead. The film includes a reference to an Astaire-Rogers’ picture. Judy Garland wears a feather gown similar to the one Ginger Rogers wore in Top Hat. While making that musical, Fred was bothered by the feathers that flew into his face (more about that here). Gene Kelly was originally supposed to play the lead. However, he injured his ankle when he stomped his foot after losing a volleyball game the weekend before production was scheduled to start. The first script for Easter Parade was more of a “heavy-handed” behind-the-scenes look at show business. Sidney Sheldon was brought in to bring out the comedy. “There was a kind of heaviness to their script. There was no fun,” Sidney Sheldon said. An injury also kept Cyd Charisse from taking the role that eventually went to Ann Miller. Unfortunately, Miller was also injured at the time and performed in a back brace. She also made sure to wear ballet slippers, so not to be taller than Fred Astaire (a worry that is also used in The Band Wagon). The first scene that Judy Garland had to shoot with Fred Astaire included a kiss. Garland was nervous because she had never met the dancing legend. Garland later said, “He put me completely at my ease. He is a gentleman and he is lot of fun to work with.” Judy Garland inspired a song. While posing for photographs with Irving Berlin, she casually said that perhaps their cheeky pictures would inspire a song. And it did. Berlin gave Garland a small slip of paper that had the word “It only happens when I dance with you”, which became the film’s love song. Source: Facts about Easter Parade | Wikipedia - Easter Parade (film)
  48. 1 point
    Friday Fact of the Day - OPERA Mariinsky Theatre is a world-famous opera house in St. Petersburg Did you know... that opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theatre. Such a "work" (the literal translation of the Italian word "opera") is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor. (Wikipedia) An opera is normally divided into two, three, four or even five acts. In older operas the music was mostly recitative and arias. During the recitative things would happen in the story. The aria was a song for a solo singer, a setting of a lyric. As well as recitative and aria there would be choruses. The chorus were a group of singers who sing in the crowd scenes. The opera would start with an overture for the orchestra. The overture would usually include tunes that are going to be heard later in the opera. The Pirates of Penzance In operas from the 19th century onwards there is often little or no difference between recitative and aria. Composers like Wagner wanted to get away from operas which had lots of separate arias in which the singers showed off, with the audience clapping loudly after each one. He wanted continuous music so that the mood would not be broken. Sometimes operas have a lot of dancing in them. French opera especially would often have one act which was full of dances. Not all operas have music all the time. Grand opera is opera which is all set to music. Opéra buffe (French) or Opera buffa (Italian) is comic opera. The story is very light-hearted and funny. Opéra comique is a French term for opera which has some spoken words. Surprisingly it does not mean a “comic” opera. An opera like Carmen, which is a tragedy, is still an opéra comique due to the fact that it uses spoken dialogues instead of recitatives. Singspiel is a German term for a type of opera with lots of magic and fantasy in the story. There were spoken words between the songs. Mozart’s Magic Flute is an example. Operetta is a short opera which is light-hearted and usually has some spoken words. The Singers Opera singers have to have powerful voices as well as a good technique. Most opera houses are very big, and the singers need to be heard at the back. They also need to be good at acting. They need to be able to learn their music quickly and to sing from memory. It is a help to be good at languages because operas are often in Italian, German, French, English or Russian etc. Some opera companies, like the English National Opera, sing their operas in English. Others, like the Royal Opera House, sing operas in whatever language they were composed in. Translations are printed on a screen above the front of the stage ("subtitles") so that the audience can understand what is being sung. Although singers train to get a wide range (good top and bottom notes) they cannot be expected to sing any role in their voice range. For example: some sopranos may have big, dramatic voices, suitable for parts like Tosca in Puccini’s opera Tosca. Some may have a very light and high voice, called “coloratura”, suitable for parts like the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute. Some may have a medium range, called mezzo-soprano, suitable for parts like Carmen in Bizet’s opera Carmen. Very often in opera the heroine is a soprano and the hero is a tenor. Basses may often have the part of a powerful king, or he may be the bad guy. Operatic conventions The 18th century lexicographer and critic Dr Johnson described opera as an “exotic and irrational entertainment”. By “exotic” he meant that it came from a foreign country (which in those days was true: all opera at the time came from Italy). By “irrational” he meant that the things which happened in the stories were strange and not like real life. A play can be like real life, but an opera is being sung, so things are not going to happen like they normally do in real life. A singer might be singing “I must go, I must go!” and he may stand on the stage and sing this for several minutes before at last he goes! A singer may be pretending to die, and will sing a beautiful song before he or she finally dies. These things are “conventions”, which means that they are a kind of habit we have to accept when watching and listening to opera. Another convention of earlier operas was to have the part of young men sung by women. This is sometimes called a breeches role or trouser role. They are often small parts such as page boys, or teenagers who flirt with older women, such as the part of Cherubino in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro or Oktavian in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. It should be remembered that in the 18th century it was usual for the main female part to be sung by a man who was a castrato. That seems a very strange (and cruel) convention to us now. The Marriage of Figaro There are lots of famous operas, and the best ones have some of the greatest music ever written. The music could not have been written like that if it had not been written for opera. For example: Mozart is very clever at writing music where maybe six people are all singing different things at once because they all have different ideas about the situation in the story. Click the link below to read the history of opera. Source: WikiKidzSearch - Opera | Wikipedia - Opera
  49. 1 point
    What's the Word? - TRICHROMATIC pronunciation: [tri-kro-MAD-ik] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Greek, early 17th century Meaning: 1. Having or using three colors. 2. Having normal color vision, which is sensitive to all three primary colors. Example: "Have you noticed that most flags are trichromatic?" "My brother is colorblind, but I'm lucky to be trichromatic." About Trichromatic What's black, white, and red all over? A newspaper! This punny joke is also trichromatic — that is, using three colors. "Chromatic" comes from the Greek "khrōma," meaning color. Did you Know? Most humans have trichromatic vision. There are three types of cone cells in the eye, which interpret different colors. These three colors are then transmitted to the brain to produce the vast array of colors you see. People with colorblindness cannot see one or more of these three colors.
  50. 1 point
    Hey everyone! It has come to my attention that many people were coming across bookmarked/linked threads that led to a 'no permission' message. Let me take the time to clarify this for you. As you may or may not have been aware, quite some time ago Kametsu was the victim of copyright trolls - we were forced to make a very difficult decision. Do we care more for keeping the download sections? Or do we prioritize the site and its members? Ultimately, to protect the site's members, we made the difficult decision to remove all the download sections from the site. Unfortunately, there was no right or wrong decision here, as there would have been highly negative consequences with either decision. We were stuck between a rock and a hard place with no other way out. As it would turn out, though, the initial purge of those sections didn't exactly go as I planned. While the vast majority of those threads were indeed purged...what ended up happening in the end was, many of the old download threads were somehow missed in the initial round, and thus ended up "orphaned" when their parent forum/content they were attached to were purged. Thus, there were no longer any parent permissions to inherit - which resulted in the "No permission" message. Koby discovered this only recently and executed a more thorough cleanup, which now should correctly result in a "Not found" message instead. This does not change anything - we are not in any position to "go back" to the way things were. We have instead asked repeatedly what sort of site you'd like to see Kametsu become. To that end, we are most certainly open to ideas as to format change. That aside, please stop asking us about downloads. There's nothing we can tell you that hasn't already been said. We want to refocus the site, so if you have something constructive to contribute to that, you are more than welcome to send us a PM. Thanks for taking the time to read and understand this. As we've said many times in the past, we know this is a heartbreaking thing, we didn't want to have to do it but there was just little alternative left. We care more about the site, and of course the people that make up its community, than any 'downloads'.
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