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  1. 2 points
    Hotfix for patch 1.1 Fixed a possible softlock in Crystal tutorial if the player have already bought a yellow crystal to a shopkeeper Fixed an UI lock when using Daryon crystal tree with a controller Fixed some localization issue with the new content Fixed multiple NPCs T-Pose stance Fixed multiple invisible colliders Japanese voice over for Edge of Eternity! In preparation during the last few months, this work was made with love by Amuzio, a famous japanese company specialized in this kind of localisation. And because we know you are looking forward, here is the cast members of this new version: Jin Ogasawara - Daryon Hisako Tojo - Selene Kohsuke Toriumi - Ysoris Yoko Hikasa - Myrna Asami Imai - Fallon Chihiro Kamijo - Theia Kenta Sasa - Alpharius Kodai Sakai - Vaughn Hiroshi Nakamura - Derek Yu Kitada - Gavin Yuji Kameyama - Kora / Oboros Kanehira Yamamoto - Reynan Hiyori Kono - Sil Shuhei Iwase - Ordo Rika Kinugawa - Zandra Yosuke Eto - Kino Minoru Shiraishi - Supplicant Kaori Nakamura - Heranna This new vocal addition to the game will be available for free in an update scheduled at the same time of the console versions release on February 10th 2022. Update 1.2 - Japanese Voice Acting We are very pleased to announce that Japanese voice acting is now available in the 1.2 update! Full Patch Notes Feature Added Japanese Voice Acting Fixes Audio fixes Subtitles Fixes Multiple cutscenes fix Performances improvements Minor UI improvements Skill element icon added on scan UI Fixed some UI navigation issues Fix some minor issues on a few bosses Minor animations cleanups Deployed new NPC models for crowds in cities Added Kickstarter backers NPCs Cleanup Japanese localization New Game + Update Postponed to November 9th Two weeks ago we announced that the New Game + update would be available this Wednesday, October 26th. Due to various technical issues and our desire to offer you an optimal and refreshing game experience, we preferred to postpone the release of this free update to November 9th. We apologize for the inconvenience, see you in two weeks! The news of October 10th has been deleted for a better clarification, its content was the following: In this new mode you will be able to explore the world of Heryon in a completely new way. Your weapons and progressions are saved for a new adventure starting directly on the shores of Inel. Although the overall difficulty of the enemies has been increased, you will be able to activate two modifiers at will during your game: The Mirror World The Big Head mode We've also scattered numerous steles throughout the open world so you can change the weather to your liking. To conclude, this update brings a new feature that the community has been waiting for over the years: the auto-battle mode. Let your computer fight for you. Combine it with gear shifting to smooth out the overall experience. We have also fixed many annoying bugs. New Game + update is available now! New Game + This time it's the right one! After several weeks of development, iteration and testing, we are pleased to announce that the New Game + update is now available. Begin your journey directly on the shores of Inel with your equipment, level, crystals, skills and spells. Enhance this adventure by activating the Mirrored World, which gives the environments a fresh look. Take a step back with the Big Head Mode, which will put a smile on your face when the going gets tough... This update includes two new features: Weather Stones and Auto Battle mode. 21 weather stones have found a home on the soil of the Astryan continent. Meet them and choose between Clear, Heavy Snow, Heavy Rain and Fog weather to master enemy weaknesses on the battlefield. A map is available to help you find them: Ever dreamed of putting down the controller or keyboard and letting your computer fight for you? Now you can with Auto Battle mode! Combine this feature with the battle speed for fast and smart battles throughout your progression, whether it's against the simplest of Heryon's creatures or the most imposing of bosses (not recommended though...). You can activate this feature at will during each fight. What's next ? In parallel to the development of our unannounced project we have created a new team dedicated to the monitoring, maintenance and development of Edge of Eternity. We are currently working on a number of "Quality of Life" patches for the next few months. These patches will improve the overall player experience, fix long-broken elements, development errors, unfinished features, or stubborn bugs. We'd like to offer these patches in dribs and drabs, with one update per month, to ensure an optimized and polished experience. New playable content is currently being considered. Unfortunately, the various remaining additions announced in the roadmap have been pushed back to 2023. Patch Note Update Content Auto-battle New Game + Content transferred from the previous game: - the level of the characters - the equipment - crystals - skins - unlocked crafting recipes - unlocked dishes - The game starts at Inel. - Enemies are more powerful. Different modes can be activated and deactivated at will: - big heads mode - mirror mode You can change the weather with Weather Stones which are scattered around the world. Fix: Many players' progress was blocked in the Vanguard generator room in Chapter 5. If you have completed all three battles and destroyed all three generators but the door still won't open, dash the switches to activate them manually. New Game + Hotfix The softlock that prevents you from going beyond the Inel area in New Game+ mode has been fixed. As a result, the "Useless Bauble" item is no longer needed to craft the Orokko trap and thus leave this area. Improved localization in several languages Note: the next patch of improvements and fixes to the overall experience is still scheduled for release early next month. Community Update #1 is Out Now! For this first Community Update we wanted to improve theergonomy and the general accessibility of the game. Several elements of Quality of Life have been revamped, many bugs have been fixed and new features have been added! Improvements The resources for crafting new weapons now appear in a new dedicated sub-menu called "Resource". Here you will find all the materials you need to craft new weapons from the different workshops in the open world. For more convenience and accessibility, all resources can be filtered by category. The old HUD icon for calling your mount Nekaroo has been redesigned from scratch to better match the interface aesthetic. You can now double-click on quests in the quest menu to follow them directly instead of selecting them and clicking "Start Following". The animation and VFX of the dandelions are disabled when you are on foot and will re-enable when you are on Nekaroo's back in the open world. While waiting for a dedicated tutorial that will come later, our intention is to make you understand that crossing them will only make your mount gain speed (which by the way is very fond of it!). Press the "J", "C" and "P" keys on your keyboard to display the "Quest", "Crystal" and "Equipment" menus respectively. If you are playing with a controller, use the up, down and right arrow keys to display these two sub-menus. Patch Note The softlock of the tutorial in the Inel chest has been fixed Various localization corrections in all languages It is no longer possible to have Zandra in your party once you arrive in Inel Changed the description of the quest "The Resurgent" which was spoiling the plot The term "Restart" replaces "Restart the fight" during the puzzle phases When the characters in the "Main" tab are changed, the "Tactic" tab will update without leaving the menu The "N" key will no longer appear to activate the auto-battle mode when playing with the controller The quest "Taint & Honor" now ends after the siege of Tyr-Caelum Added a box "Is your game updated?" when sending a bug report through the pause menu Added multiple invisible walls in the open world to avoid softlock Fixed the bug that prevented the display of the Nintendo controller keys on the HUD Fixed the bug that placed the main quest at the bottom of the quest list in Chapter II Fixed the problem that prevented access to the "Equipment" menu Fixed a UI window that remained in-game after closing the "Character" menu Removed duplicate quest area in "The Resurgent" quest What's Next? The second update focused on Quality of Life is scheduled to be released next month and will bring new global improvements. Coming soon: a rebalancing of the final boss, a reworked UI, new icons in the menus, improved weather stones, improved save/load menu and many bug fixes. Community Update #1 Hotfix We uploaded a patch by mistake three hours ago, the real hotfix is available since a few minutes. We apologize for the inconvenience. It is once again possible to craft resources at the consumable and resource crafting table. After opening the "Quests", "Crystal" and "Characters" menus with the "J", "C" and "P" keys, press the keys again to close these menus. Community Update #2 is Out Now! For this second Community Update, we have continued to focus on Quality of Life features. Improvements The final boss is now easier to defeat,his health points have been decreased. New icons have appeared in the "Inventory" menu. New weather conditions are now available from the Weather Stones: Sandstorm, Light rain and Heavy rain. Hunting boards have been visually improved. Patch Note Final dungeon enemies have been rebalanced Corroded Spawn in the Clockwork Field have less hit points A puzzle has been removed from your journey through the Crelk Forest The description of the "Haste" stat in the "Characters" menu has been revamped The term "Heyr" now replaces the term "Gold" at vendors You can now indicate if your game is up to date when you report a bug in game Your party of companions will have their energy restored when the party falls asleep during events in Olphara Pass Quests in Solna Plain that require a Nekaroo are now unavailable until you obtain your trusty steed Auto-Battle mode can now be toggled on and off during the Red Widows' assault on the Jungle Refugee Village Teleportation to Inel from Olphara Pass has been disabled to prevent softlocks Ysoris' "Crippling Sweep" skill removes magic defense from enemies instead of giving it The number of prey has been increased to make it easier to complete the various hunting contracts in Tyr-Caelum What's Next? The third Community Update scheduled for next month will bring many changes to the User Interface, new bug fixes and new features. We are currently working on improving the start of your adventure. We look forward to telling you more about this in the coming weeks. A year of updates.... I had stopped posting them, but figured I'd knock them out now for some reason. Crazy how much work they're still putting into this game despite it having already released and no longer in "Early Access".
  2. 1 point
    What's the Word: HELIOTROPIC pronunciation: [hee-lee-ə-TRAHP-ik] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Greek, 19th century Meaning: 1. Exhibiting the property of some plants of turning under the influence of light. Example: "When recorded in slow motion, many plants can be seen making a heliotropic turn every morning when the sun comes up." "The sunbathers continually readjusted themselves in a heliotropic route around the pool." About Heliotropic “Heliotropic” was formed by combining the ancient Greek “ἥλιος” (“hḗlios,” meaning “sun”) and “τρόπος” (“trópos,” meaning “a turn”). Did you Know? A heliotropic plant follows the sun throughout the course of its daily cycle. The sunflower is the best-known heliotropic plant, as it follows the sun from east to west over the course of the day, before turning toward the east again overnight to prepare for the next day’s dawn. Many other plants and flowers engage in similar heliotropic movements. By the late 19th century, researchers were discovering that these plants responded to light in any form, not just solar light. As a result, “heliotropic” is often replaced with the term “phototropic.”
  3. 1 point
    https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/city-of-gangsters-6c2974 City of Gangsters is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/dishonored-death-of-the-outsider Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://freebies.indiegala.com/hamsterdam Hamsterdam: Paws of Justice is currently free on IndieGala.
  4. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - WOMEN'S HISTORY Did you know.... It's 2023, and while many strides have been made for women in the past few decades, there's still a long way to go. Inequality and sexism still exist in the United States (as well as the rest of the world). In a 2017 Pew Research Center survey, four-in-ten women (42%) said they experienced gender discrimination at work. These prevailing inequities (in addition to the strives made by our heroes) are why it’s so important to celebrate Women's History Month in March. It's a great time to read up on Women's History Month facts and historic women, as well as sharing inspiring quotes by and for women. Cheering on those still fighting for and representing women today is equally important, because there’s still plenty of work to be done. In addition to March being Women’s History Month, International Women's Day is celebrated globally on March 8. Many companies schedule events to celebrate the women at their organizations and their accomplishments. Others will take to social media platforms like LinkedIn, to share how grateful they are for the women who paved the way forward for their success. How will you honor the day? If you need some inspiration, begin with these facts about the evolution of women’s rights and how women's contributions throughout history are remembered and celebrated today. 1. The first Women's History Day was held in 1909. February 28, 1909 marked the first Woman's History Day in New York City. It commemorated the one-year anniversary of the garment workers' strikes when 15,000 women marched through lower Manhattan. From 1909 to 1910, immigrant women who worked in garment factories held a strike to protest their working conditions. Most of them were teen girls who worked 12-hour days. In one factory, Triangle Shirtwaist Company, employees were paid only $15 a week. History.com describes it as a "true sweatshop." Young women worked in tight conditions at sewing machines, and the factories' owners didn't keep the factory up to safety standards. In 1911, the factory burned down and 145 workers were killed. It pushed lawmakers to finally pass legislation meant to protect factory workers. 2. The day became Women's History Week in 1978. An education task force in Sonoma County, California kicked off Women's History Week in 1978 on March 8, International Women's Day, according to the National Women's History Alliance. They wanted to draw attention to the fact that women's history wasn't really included in K-12 school curriculums at the time. 3. In 1987, Women's History Month began. Women's organizations, including the National Women's History Alliance, campaigned yearly to recognize Women's History Week. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8 Women's History Week across the country. By 1986, 14 states had declared the entire month of March Women's History Month, according to the Alliance. The following year, in March of 1987, activists were successful: They lobbied Congress to declare March Women's History Month. 4. The president declares every March Women's History Month. Since 1995, every president has issued a proclamation declaring March Women's History Month, usually with a statement about its importance. 5. Every Women's History Month has a theme. The 2023 Women's History Month theme is Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories. This year, the National Women's History Alliance "will encourage the recognition of women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, news, and social media." The 2020 theme was "Valiant Women of the Vote" and honored women from the original suffrage movement, as well as women who continued the struggle in the 20th and 21st centuries, in recognition of the centennial of the 19th Amendment. Due to the pandemic, this theme was extended into 2021 and renamed as: “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.” The 2022 theme was "Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope." This theme not only honored the tireless work of caregivers and frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, but also women of all backgrounds who have provided compassionate healing and hope for the betterment of patients, friends, and family. 6. Wyoming Territory was the first place to grant women the right to vote. Never take it for granted that you can vote, ladies. The Wyoming Territorial legislature gave every woman the right to vote in 1869, according to History.com. They elected the country's first female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, in 1924. Click on the link below to learn more of Women's History. Source: Women's History Month Facts to Read and Share This March
  5. 1 point
    What's the Word: WIZEN pronunciation: [WIZ-ən] Part of speech: verb Origin: Old English, ninth century Meaning: 1. To wither; to become, or make, lean and wrinkled by shrinkage, as from age or illness. Example: "We left the cabin in good shape, but four undisturbed winters gave it plenty of time to wizen." "Sam’s features will wizen as he gets older, but he believes wrinkles give people character." About Wizen “Wizen” appeared in Old English as “wisnian,” from the proto-Germanic “wesaną,” meaning “to consume.” Did you Know? The process of “wizening” is often used to describe changes to people’s features that occur with age and exposure to sun and air. However, wizening fruits and vegetables has been an important means of preservation since at least 1500 BCE. Some of the same factors that wizen a person’s appearance — the sun and the wind — were used to wizen vegetables for preservation in the Mesopotamian era. Today’s sun-dried tomatoes are prepared in ways that aren’t dramatically different from the ways Mesopotamians made sun-dried figs and dates 3,500 years ago.
  6. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - AUSTRALIA Did you know.... Nestled between the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean, Australia is the largest country in Oceania and the sixth-largest country in the world by land area. But that’s just the beginning when it comes to the many amazing things about this ancient land. From its one-of-a-kind wildlife species to the planet’s oldest civilization, here are seven fascinating facts that you might not know about the Land Down Under. 1. Australia Is Home to the World’s Oldest Civilization When Dutch explorer WIllem Janszoon landed in Australia in 1606, the first known European to do so, the continent had already been inhabited for tens of thousands of years by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In 2016, an extensive DNA study by Cambridge University deduced that Aboriginal Australians are the world’s oldest civilization. Indigenous Australian and Papuan ancestral groups migrated to Sahul (a prehistoric subcontinent made up of present-day Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania) about 50,000 years ago. Eventually, rising sea levels caused the separation of the islands, and forced the Aboriginal peoples into genetic isolation that developed unique communities. 2. Around 80% of Australia’s Fauna and Flora Is Unique to the Country Australia has some of the cutest, most interesting, and most venomous animals on the planet. In fact, thanks to its isolated island geography, over 80% of the country’s plants and animals can only be found here. That includes the cuddly koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and wombats that often feature high on tourists’ bucket lists. Many tourists also hope to spot the notoriously feisty Tasmanian devil, the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial, and the rainforest-dwelling, sound-mimicking lyrebird. Meanwhile, other national animals strike fear into tourists — Australia has approximately 100 venomous snakes, 12 of which can cause fatalities. 3. Uluru, the World’s Largest Monolith, Extends for Over 1.5 Miles Underground The most sacred site in Aboriginal culture is the huge red sandstone monolith known as Uluru (or Ayers Rock). This landmark — the largest monolith in the world — is emblematic of the Australian Outback and rises 1,142 feet above its desolate desert surroundings. But what’s perhaps more impressive is that it’s estimated to extend for more than 1.5 miles beneath the Earth’s surface, almost like an iceberg on land. The Anangu people are the traditional owners of this 500-billion-year-old rock, and consider it to be a resting place of ancient spirits. 4. Australia Has 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites From natural wonders to architectural masterpieces, Australia has an impressive 19 properties on UNESCO’s World Heritage List — more than either Greece or Turkey. You may already be familiar with some of them, as several rank among the country’s most popular tourist attractions, including the Sydney Opera House. Visitors can also get a taste of Australia’s natural beauty at places such as the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and Fraser Island. They can also catch a glimpse into the nation’s past as a penal colony at the Australia Convict Sites. 5. Highway 1 Is One of the Longest Highways on the Planet With wide open roads running along meandering coastlines, cutting through vast deserts, and crossing mountainous terrain, Australia is a dream destination for a road trip. Highway 1 (nicknamed the Big Lap) is a 9,010-mile-long road that follows the coastline in one enormous loop. It connects almost all of Australia’s major cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, and Brisbane. It’s also the second-longest highway in the world, after the Pan-American Highway. One of the many fascinating sections of the highway is the “90 Mile Straight.” This perfectly straight stretch passes through the flat, tree-less landscapes of the Nullarbor Plain between Balladonia and Caiguna, in Western Australia. 6. The First Australian Police Force Was Assembled of Convicts When the colonization of Australia began in the late 1700s, there was no recognized formal police force. As a penal colony of Great Britain, there were more convicts than people with non-criminal backgrounds. Upon arrival in New South Wales in 1788, the Royal Navy Marines were given the task of policing, although it wasn’t a role that they wanted. Soon after, Governor Arthur Phillip selected 12 of the most upstanding convicts and created a civilian law enforcement department called the Night Watch. They continued as the Sydney Police until 1862, when they merged with other New South Wales colonial forces. 7. Australia Boasts the World’s Longest Golf Course Golfers with time to spare can play an 18-hole, par-72 course that spans two Australian states. Starting in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, the Nullarbor Links feature one hole at each participating town or roadhouse along the Eyre Highway, before finishing 848 miles away in Ceduna, South Australia. The course incorporates the rugged outback terrain of the Nullarbor Plain, and play can often be interrupted by kangaroos and wombats. Golfers should set aside four days to complete the entire course, and clubs are available for rent at each course (for those who don’t wish to carry them for the multi-day journey). Source: Mind-Blowing Facts About Australia
  7. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - POOR INVENTORS Did you know... In the grand mythology of America, one of the surest paths to wealth is through invention. Build a better mousetrap, as the saying goes, and you'll be able to sell mouse corpses for a profit. And there have been inventors who have amassed enormous personal fortunes on their ingenuity. But not all of them do. In fact, some inventors end up with squat from their hard work and have to watch as other people rake in the big bucks. For numerous reasons, making a profit off your bright idea can be hard to do. Some didn't have the capital to manufacture, others had their concept swiped and produced before they could take action. Come with us as we meet 10 men and women who had the spark of genius but weren't able to translate it into a fat wallet. 1. Catherine Hettinger If you're reading this from some distant time in the future—like, say, 2019—you might not have any idea what a "fidget spinner" is. For a hot minute, they were the most unavoidable fad of 2017. Consisting of a ball bearing around which a piece of plastic or metal rotates, they burst into the public consciousness like thunder, and it seems like every person under the age of 18 owns at least one. That would normally be good news for the inventor, but Catherine Hettinger—who had a patent on the design—was forced to let it lapse in 2005 because she couldn't afford the $400 it cost to renew it. That decision came back to haunt her in a big way, because she might be a millionaire by now—or maybe not, as the vast majority of spinners are made in fly-by-night Chinese factories who don't give a rat's ass about your patent. 2. John Walker Your perception of the world around you changes when you realize that every single man-made object in your life was deliberately thought up by another human being. Case in point: matches. The idea of scraping a little stick to make fire seems like it's been around forever, but they were actually invented in 1824 by a British chemist named John Walker. Walker was unusual among his peers for his willingness to experiment with various man-made substances, and when he came up with a sulfur paste that sparked when it was scraped on a rough surface, it wasn't long before he was selling the world's first friction matches. Walker refused to patent his invention because he was concerned with the safety of the flame, so billions of dollars in profit was made off of it without him seeing a dime. 3. Daisuke Inoue It's hard to think of a cultural phenomenon that has had the reach or staying power of karaoke. That kind of invention comes along once a generation at most. That's why it's painful to hear that the man who came up with the concept and built the first karaoke machines never saw a dime from it. Daisuke Inoue was the drummer in a Japanese bar band that would let salarymen hop up on stage and croon along to their favorite hits. One day, a guy asked him to record backing tracks so he could sing without the band, and karaoke was born. In 1971, Inoue produced eleven units of the Juke 8, a standalone machine with an 8-track tape player, a microphone, and a coin slot. He never patented the idea, and it wasn't long before more technologically sophisticated karaoke machines were all over Tokyo. 4. Tim Berners-Lee Without the invention of Tim Berners-Lee, you wouldn't be reading this article. No, he didn't come up with the bathroom break. While working at CERN in the late 1980s, he wrote a proposal for a method to share hypertext documents over the Internet, creating what we know as the World Wide Web. That nefarious network of websites has come to reshape the way we live in the modern world, but Berners-Lee didn't patent his concept. Instead, he released the protocol out into practice, and it wasn't long before everybody was using it. He's done pretty well for himself even without that payout, though, and was knighted a member of the Order of the British Empire in 2004. 5. Ron Klein There are hundreds of millions of copies of Ron Klein's invention in the United States alone, one of the most important developments modern capitalism has ever seen. You see, he invented the magnetic stripe on the back of your credit or debit card that lets stores scan and connect to your account to pull money out. Back in the day, stores had to check numbers against a huge list of bad cards manually, and it was a royal pain. Klein took the same technology used in reel-to-reel tape recorders and affixed it to the back of a card, then encoded the number on it and created a scanner to compare that data with a regularly updated database of bad cards. He never patented the magnetic stripe idea, so it was quickly adopted by pretty much every company under the sun. Don't cry for Klein, though, as he did just fine from a bunch of other inventions. 6. Nick Holonyak, Jr. Here's a great example of an inventor who was way too ahead of the game. Nick Holonyak was an engineer at General Electric, working with a group that was trying to find a way to get diodes to produce visible light. Holonyak suggested mixing gallium arsenide and gallium phosphide, which was mocked by the chemists until it worked. The era of the LED was born, and in 1963 he did an interview with Reader's Digest where he predicted that they would replace incandescent bulbs someday. That did happen, but Holonyak didn't stop, working at the University of Indiana to develop multiple other colored LEDs as well as the first quantum well laser (the kind used in CD players). And he was right— incandescents are finally on the way out, although he's not getting a royalty for every LED bulb you buy. 7. Laszlo Biro To be fair, László Bíró did sell the patent for his invention fair and square to the Bic corporation for $2 million, so we can't say he made "nothing" from it. But considering that over a trillion ball-point pens have been sold in the interim, Biro certainly could have done better for himself. The Budapest-born inventor was frustrated by the ink in fountain pens taking too long to dry, so he developed a rolling ball tip that could work with thinner, faster-drying pigment. The end result was the ball-point pen, which he debuted in 1938. Unfortunately, financial struggles dogged his company and he was forced to sell the patent to Italian businessman Marcel Bich, who used it to found a multi-billion dollar company. 8. Shane Chen There's only so much time to cash in on a fad, and if you don't strike while the iron is hot, you can miss out. The inventor of the "hoverboard"— the deceptively named two-wheeled motorized vehicles that were all the rage a few years ago— missed his chance, but he's pretty chill about it. Shane Chen patented the idea in 2011 and started a company, Hovertrax, to sell them at around a thousand dollars a pop. The problem, though, was that Chinese companies could manufacture them in bulk of inferior materials and retail them for a fraction of that. Sure, they caught fire sometimes, but what doesn't in this fast-paced modern world? Chen is a relentless inventor, though, and already has a handful of ideas for what he thinks will be the next big thing. 9. Douglas Engelbart A lot of these tales involve inventions that are simply too far ahead of their time to be profitable. In 1961, Doug Engelbart came up with a device that would let computer users select a coordinate on the screen. It involved a pair of wheels at the bottom of a wooden block that would record movement and translate it to the machine. The patent was granted to his employer in 1970, but shortly after, a Xerox scientist took Engelbart's concept and modified it to use a ball instead, which was enough to file for a separate patent and cut him out of compensation entirely. Just being the first person to have an idea isn't enough if someone else can implement it more effectively. 10. Jonas Salk When Salk came up with the vaccine to eradicate polio and released it to the world in 1955, newsman Edward R. Murrow asked him who the patent belonged to. "The people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?" Common wisdom says that Salk refused the patent because he wanted the global health crisis of polio to be abated, but actually the Salk Institute had explored the possibility only to conclude that an application would likely be denied due to the "prior art" clause. Whatever the reason, the fact that such a nightmarish disease has been mostly swept from the earth is a testament to how an invention can change the world without making its creator a ton of money. Source: Inventors Who Made No Money on Their Inventions
  8. 1 point
    What's the Word: TESSELLATE pronunciation: [TESS-ə-leyt] Part of speech: verb Origin: Latin, 17th century Meaning: 1. Decorate or cover (a surface) with a pattern of repeated shapes, especially polygons, that fit together closely without gaps or overlapping. Example: "The kitchen floor was tessellated with hexagonal linoleum tiles." "The artist is known for tessellating mosaics with clay geometric shapes." About Tessellate “Tessellate” comes from the Latin “tessella,” meaning “small paving stone.” Did you Know? Tessellation (the noun form of the verb “tessellate”) is best known as a pattern made out of repeating geometric shapes — especially triangles, squares, and hexagons, but also combinations of different shapes. Tessellated geometric mosaics are a common design motif dating back to ancient Rome; however, some of the best-known tessellated works of art are more modern. Dutch artist M.C. Escher is known for his complex and impossible tessellated images, such as his drawings of infinite stairways. But Escher also used the pattern to impressive effect by tessellating images of birds, fish, reptiles, and insects that fit seamlessly together into mesmerizing mosaics.
  9. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - SLEEP Did you know.... “That we are not much sicker and much madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed and blessing of all natural graces, sleep,” the British writer Aldous Huxley once observed. Huxley, who died in 1963, had no idea what temptations would get in the way of our sleep in the digital age. About 35% of American adults get less than seven hours of sleep a night, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which isn’t enough. Often we either can’t get to sleep, or we think of sleep as wasted time. What actually goes on while we’re lying there? Why are we designed to do nothing for a third of our lifetimes? The answer is that our bodies are doing necessary work to keep us going when we’re awake. But scientists still have plenty to learn about how. 1. What Is REM Sleep, Really? In 1951, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, Eugene Aserinsky, hooked up his 8-year-old son, Armond, to a device that tracked eye movements and brain waves. After Armond fell asleep, Aserinsky noticed from another room that the eye-tracking “pens” were swinging back and forth. Thinking Armond must be awake and looking around, Aserinsky went to investigate and found the boy sleeping deeply, his eyes closed. Aserinsky’s paper, published in 1953, was the first time REM sleep had been described; before that, scientists had believed that the sleeping brain was more or less turned off. We now know that not just humans but all land mammals and many birds undergo spells of REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, sleep. In those spells, the heart rate speeds up, breathing becomes irregular, and brain waves are more variable. Major muscles that we normally control can’t move. REM sleep first occurs about an hour to 90 minutes after falling asleep. As we age, we get less REM sleep, and its function is still not entirely clear. It’s thought to be key to memory formation, but people who take antidepressants spend far less time in REM sleep, and that doesn’t seem to consistently affect their memory. Also, it’s a myth that we only dream during REM sleep. Our most vivid dreams occur during REM sleep, but dreaming can occur at any stage of sleep. 2. What Is Sleep Paralysis? Sleep paralysis is an inability to move that happens sometimes for a short period as you’re falling asleep or waking up. The mind is awake, but the body lags behind for a minute or two. Although the feeling is bizarre and can be scary, sleep paralysis isn’t rare or dangerous. It occurs most often in young people, beginning in the teens, and in people with other sleep issues, including narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and nighttime leg cramps. It is also more common in people with post-traumatic stress or panic disorder. In those moments of paralysis, some people feel that they are falling, floating, or having an “out-of-body experience.” Others hallucinate a presence in the room, hovering nearby, and may conclude they have been abducted by aliens or visited by ghosts. According to one theory, people who feel outside of their own bodies or sense ghostly presences might be experiencing a glitch in their mirror neurons, the part of the brain that fires when we observe activity in other people. 3. It’s a Myth That Many Adults Only Need Five Hours of Sleep or Less We’ve all heard people boasting that they’re perfectly functional on five hours of sleep or less. Adults do vary in their sleep needs, but the number who are at their best with such little sleep is vanishingly small. Long-term sleep deprivation is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and traffic accidents. So why do people say they’re fine on a sleep-deprived schedule? A rush of cortisol, the hormone that revs us up to manage stress, can create the sensation of alertness. It’s an illusion; the sleep-deprived still do poorly on objective tests of their short-term memory and motor skills. For optimal functioning, seniors usually need seven to eight hours, and other adults need seven to nine. Teens need eight to 10 hours and younger children need even more. People who are getting enough sleep take at least 15 minutes to fall asleep when they get into bed. 4. But an All-Nighter Might Be Good for Your Mental Health Although losing an entire night’s sleep zombifies most of us, there are exceptions: Some people feel much happier or calmer after an all-nighter. That’s probably because the jolt is a reset for their body clocks, which were out of whack, an idea first described in an 1818 German psychiatric textbook. Depression or bipolar disorder almost always involves a disruption in sleep, which may be a symptom or a trigger. According to British psychiatrist David Veale, staying up for 36 hours relieves mood symptoms in about half of these patients. To maintain this state, he prescribes a sleep schedule that requires waking up in the wee hours for the next several days. After that, they may be able to stay in a more standard sleep schedule, supported by light therapy. Our body clocks are set by light: Veale prescribes exposure to intense white light in the morning for six months to a year. 5. Medieval Peasants Slept Better Than We Do Artificial light has made sleep far less pleasant. We get too little sunlight and too much light when we need darkness. In medieval Europe, there were no glowing smartphones or bedside lamps. At sundown, families blew out a candle and retreated to soft heaps of rags in one room. After about four hours of sleep, at midnight, adults awoke for a blissful hour or two of prayer, sex, reading, writing, or chatting, before they dozed off and awoke at dawn. That’s apparently the natural rhythm. In an experiment in the 1990s, in which participants lived away from artificial light, after three weeks they gradually drifted into the pre-artificial light pattern of waking in the middle of the night. Tests of their blood in the interlude showed that even without sex, they were awash in prolactin, a hormone released after orgasm that gives us the “afterglow.” Eight hours seems to be the key, but ideally, we’d all have a sweet interlude. Just don’t turn on your lights or use your laptop or phone. Source: Fascinating Facts (And Myths) About Sleep
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    What's the Word: DRUTHERS pronunciation: [DRUH-therz] Part of speech: noun Origin: U.S. English, 19th century Meaning: 1. (Usually “one's druthers”) A person's preference in a matter. Example: "I wish my neighbors would exert their druthers to city council about the speed of traffic on our street." "Raphael would have been an architect if he’d had his druthers, but he ended up a baker." About Druthers “Druthers” is formed in English out of the expression “I’d rather.” Did you Know? One of the earliest instances of the word “druther” is in Mark Twain’s 1876 novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” in which a character says “I druther” in place of “I’d rather.” The word made other appearances in the early 19th century, suggesting it was already widely used by that time. The term is strongly associated with the South, where the expression “drather” was also common in the 19th century. Over time, “druthers” became a noun on its own.
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    Fact of the Day - LIGHTHOUSES Did you know.... For millennia, lighthouses have guided wayward ships away from hazardous waters, providing safety during powerful storms. Lighthouses still help seafarers today, though modern sailors have many more navigational tools at their disposal, from GPS to detailed nautical charts, buoys, and radar beacons. These days, many lighthouses have become romantic relics of another era, one in which people set sail with only the power of the wind and looked toward lighthouses to guide them back home. These seven illuminating facts about lighthouses include just a few reasons why these structures continue to fascinate us and remain popular tourist destinations today. 1. Antiquity’s Most Famous Lighthouse Is One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World The Lighthouse of Alexandria, also known as the Pharos of Alexandria, was built during the reign of Ptolemy II of Egypt, around 280 BCE. For centuries, it was one of the tallest structures in the world, with reports estimating that it reached about 350 feet high. The lighthouse stood on the island of Pharos in the harbor of Alexandria, named after Alexander the Great and the capital of the Ptolemaic Kingdom (which lasted from 305 BCE to 30 BCE). Sadly, frequent earthquakes in the Mediterranean region badly damaged the lighthouse, and it was completely destroyed by the 14th century. However, the lighthouse served as an archetype from which all other lighthouses derived, and its importance is embedded in many Romance languages — for instance, the word “pharos” is sometimes used in English to mean “lighthouse.” In 1994 French archaeologists discovered remains of the famous lighthouse on the seabed, and UNESCO is working to declare the area a submerged World Heritage Site. 2. The U.S. Has More Lighthouses Than Any Other Country The United States’ first lighthouse was built in 1716 on Little Brewster Island near Boston, Massachusetts. Lighthouses were so important to early America that in 1789 the first U.S. Congress passed the Lighthouse Act, which created the United States Lighthouse Establishment under the Department of the Treasury. Today, the U.S. is home to over 700 lighthouses — more than any other country in the world. However, the state with the most lighthouses isn’t located on the coast of the continental U.S. Michigan — surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes — is home to 130 lighthouses, including the remote lighthouse on Stannard Rock, nicknamed “the loneliest place in North America.” 3. The Romans Built the Oldest Surviving Lighthouse In the first century CE, the ancient Romans built the Farum Brigantium, known today as the Tower of Hercules — the world’s oldest lighthouse that is still functional. The lighthouse continues to guide and signal sailors from La Coruña harbor in northwestern Spain. An 18th-century restoration of the tower thankfully preserved the original core of the structure while improving its functionality. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tower of Hercules is the only Greco-Roman lighthouse from antiquity that has retained such a high level of structural integrity, and it continues to shine its light across the Atlantic to this day. 4. “Lightships” Once Sailed the Seas Although lighthouses were originally designed as immovable land structures, in 1731 English inventor Robert Hamblin designed the first modern lightship and moored it at the Nore sandbank at the mouth of the Thames River. As its name suggests, the ship had a lighted beacon and was used to provide safe navigation in areas where building a land-based lighthouse was impractical. The U.S. had its own lightship service, which began in 1820 and lasted 165 years. The country’s last lightship, the Nantucket, retired in 1985 after being replaced by more modern technology such as automated buoys. Today, the United States lightship Nantucket (LV-112) is registered as a National Historic Landmark. 5. An 1819 Invention Gave Lighthouses a Major Upgrade That Still Exists Today In the early 19th century, lighthouses weren’t particularly good at steering ships away from land, as the most common lenses used in lighthouses at the time, known as Lewis lamps, were not nearly powerful enough. Enter French inventor Augustin-Jean Fresnel, who in 1821 introduced his eponymous lens. The Fresnel lens used a series of prisms to focus all the light from a lamp in one direction and magnify it into a much more powerful beam. Soon, Fresnel lenses were installed in lighthouses all over the world. Not only did they offer vastly improved functionality, they were also stunningly beautiful. The Fresnel lens was so revolutionary that the technique is still used today in flood lights and professional lighting equipment. 6. The U.S. and Soviet Union Experimented With Nuclear-Powered Lighthouses In 1964, the Baltimore Harbor Light, which sits at the mouth of the Magothy River, became the first — and last — nuclear-powered lighthouse ever built by the United States. Originally constructed in 1908, the Baltimore Harbor Light operated as a far more typical lighthouse for 56 years, until it became the subject of a Coast Guard experiment. The U.S government installed a 4,600-pound atomic fuel cell generator, and the lighthouse ran on nuclear power for a year before the project was dismantled (thankfully with no signs of nuclear contamination). Although the U.S.’s experiment with nuclear lighthouses was short-lived, the Soviet Union embraced them more enthusiastically, building 132 nuclear-powered lighthouses along the notoriously inhospitable Northeast Passage, a shipping route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans along Russia’s Arctic coast. After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Russia abandoned the upkeep of these lighthouses. But, being nuclear-powered, they kept shining their light for years afterward. 7. A Remote Scottish Lighthouse Was the Sight of an Enduring Mystery The Flannan Isles Lighthouse is located on the remote, uninhabited island of Eilean Mòr in northern Scotland. From the outside, the lighthouse is remarkably similar to many other lighthouse structures built around the turn of the 20th century — so you might not guess that it was the setting of a notorious unsolved disappearance that inspired the 2018 film The Vanishing starring Gerard Butler. On December 15, 1900, the transatlantic steamer Archtor noticed the lighthouse wasn’t lit while traveling to the port town of Leith. A team from the local lighthouse board visited the island a few days later and discovered no sign of the three lighthouse keepers who were supposed to be on duty. The table was set for dinner, and an oilskin (a type of raincoat) was still on its hook. A preliminary investigation concluded that two of the lighthouse keepers likely traveled to the west platform to secure a supply box during a storm and accidentally tumbled into the sea. When the last keeper went to investigate (without his oilskin), he likely met a similar fate. Rumors on the mainland posited more fanciful explanations, including mythical sea serpents or even murder. While those explanations have been largely dismissed, it’s unlikely we’ll ever know for sure what happened at Flannan Isles Lighthouse. Source: Illuminating Facts About Lighthouses
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    Fact of the Day - MEMORABLE SPEECHES Did you know... Many famous moments in history — whether they involve inspiring troops before a battle or inspiring a nation against injustice — involve equally inspiring speeches. Spoken by Presidents, activists, wartime leaders, and abolitionists, these famous speeches live on decades after they were delivered. Here are seven amazing facts about them that will make them seem even more remarkable. 1. The Gettysburg Address Is Only Two Minutes Long Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address looms large in American history, but the speech itself is very short. On November 19, 1863, only four and a half months removed from the bloody Battle of Gettysburg, a crowd gathered to hear the President’s remarks at the official dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery (now Gettysburg National Cemetery). The speaker before Lincoln, a famous orator named Edward Everett, had delivered a two-hour-long speech, which means the crowd might have been ready for something shorter. At only 272 words (about two minutes long when spoken), Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address masterfully encapsulates the unimaginable anguish of a nation at war with itself, but also that same nation’s hope to persevere through the bloodshed. After the speech, Everett admitted to Lincoln, “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself, that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” 2. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Refrain Was Improvised Around 4 a.m. on August 28, 1963, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. finished the final draft of his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. There’s just one problem with that title: Those words appeared nowhere in his prepared remarks. Hours later, King stood before the Lincoln Memorial — a century removed from Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation — and addressed a crowd of more than 200,000 people. In previous speeches from Birmingham, Alabama, to Detroit, Michigan, King had evoked the imagery of a dream of racial equality, but had no intention of revisiting that dream on that hot day in August. That is, until Mahalia Jackson, one of the world’s greatest gospel singers, who had performed earlier in the day, urged him on, yelling from offstage: “Tell ’em about the dream, Martin.” Then, according to one MLK speechwriter, King pushed aside his prepared text, grabbed the podium, and launched into those famous words that echo through history. 3. FDR’s “Fear Itself” Line Was Likely Inspired by Henry David Thoreau On March 4, 1933, with the country in the grips of the Great Depression, newly elected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his first inaugural address, uttering the famous phrase that served as a bulwark against the dark days ahead: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Although the words perfectly fit the times, they were likely first written more than 80 years before by transcendentalist writer Henry David Thoreau. In a journal entry dated September 7, 1851, Thoreau wrote: “Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.” Historians haven’t made a direct connection between Thoreau and Roosevelt’s famous line, but when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was asked about the phrase’s possible origin, she guessed he had discovered it in a collection of Thoreau’s writings that he had with him in Washington. 4. Winston Churchill’s “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” Speech Was Not Broadcast The dramatic conclusion to the 2017 Oscar-winning war drama Darkest Hour, a film that follows Winston Churchill as Britain descends into World War II, places the prime minister’s famous “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” speech front and center. Although it was a rallying cry for members of the U.K. Parliament to continue the fight, the British public didn’t hear Churchill’s stirring words, originally delivered on June 4, 1940, until years after the war. Despite not being broadcast at the time, the speech was well-received, with one member of Parliament writing in a letter that it was “the finest speech that I have ever heard.” Today Churchill’s words encapsulate Britain's dogged determination in the face of overwhelming odds as well as Churchill’s firm belief that the U.S. needed to join the Allied cause. 5. Ronald Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” Line Was Almost Cut From the Speech Arguably the most famous words uttered during the four decades of the Cold War came on June 12, 1987. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin — a city still divided by the 27-mile-long Berlin Wall — President Ronald Reagan posed a challenge to the leader of the Soviet Union: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” However, those words were almost never said. Weeks earlier, Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson flew to Berlin to interview locals about the Berlin Wall. With strong support for its removal, Robinson was determined to mention the wall’s destruction in the speech. Many officials and aides fought against the line, however, thinking it “unpresidential.” The line remained — the wall, of course, did not. 6. JFK Prefaced His “We Choose to Go to the Moon” Line With a Football Jok One of John F. Kennedy’s most famous speeches arrived on September 12, 1962, at Rice University Stadium in Houston, Texas. With the famous phrase “we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,” Kennedy’s words committed the U.S. to besting the Soviet Union in the ongoing space race. But an often overlooked legacy of Kennedy’s speech comes directly before that famous line. Comparing the moon mission to other human feats, Kennedy questioned why we climb Everest, fly across the Atlantic, and “why does Rice play Texas?” The joke, added by the President himself, got a rise out of the audience at the time, but according to ESPN, those five words added some serious fuel to the long-standing football rivalry. 7. Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” Speech Likely Didn’t Contain That Phras On May 29, 1851, Sojourner Truth — a former enslaved woman, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist — delivered her famous “Ain’t I a Woman” speech at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio. In the speech, Truth powerfully advocated for the right of Black women to be involved in the fight of American women for equality. Although history knows Truth delivered a powerful oration at the convention, the only surviving versions of the speech come from secondhand accounts. The oldest account of the speech, transcribed weeks later by a journalist who attended the convention, makes no mention of the famous “Ain’t I a Woman” line, whereas a later 1863 version repeats the phrase frequently. Whether Truth uttered the words or not, the message is one that still resonates today. Source: Amazing Facts About 7 of the Most Memorable Speeches in History
  13. 1 point
    What's the Word: FLOCCULENT pronunciation: [FLAHK-yə-lənt] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, early 19th century Meaning: 1. Having or resembling tufts of wool. 2. Having a loosely clumped texture. Example: "The flocculent sheep were ready for their spring shearing." "Your potting soil should be slightly damp and flocculent." About Flocculent If the word flocculent makes you think of a flock of sheep, well, you'd be correct. In Latin, "floccus" means tuft of wool, so the adjective flocculent can apply to the woolly sheep themselves, or anything with a similarly tufty texture. Did you Know? The adjective flocculent describes a tufty texture, but there's also a noun, flocculation. This chemical process occurs when clumps of a substance start to form. It's important for water treatment processes and even beer brewing. Yeast flocculation is a vital step in brewing your favorite IPA.
  14. 1 point
    https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/adios-b378b4 Adios is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/hell-is-others-789262 Hell is Others is currently free on Epic Games Store.
  15. 1 point
    What's the Word: EMOLUMENT pronunciation: [ih-MOL-yə-mənt] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, 15th century Meaning: 1. A salary, fee, or profit from employment or office. Example: "A lease on a luxury car is among the college dean’s emoluments." "When the hiring team explained the emolument I would receive, I agreed it was perfectly fair for the position." About Emolument “Emolument” is based on the Latin “ēmolumentum,” meaning “payment to a miller for grinding corn.” Did you Know? “Emolument” is a formal term for “payment” with a very specific root: In Latin, it referred to the amount one paid a miller to grind one’s corn. In modern terms, every paying job can be described as having an emolument, but originally the term came from either the Latin word “ēmōlior,” meaning “to remove with effort,” or “ēmŏlĕre,” meaning “to grind out.” Both words stress the labor of the activity for which the worker receives their emolument.
  16. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - EYES Did you know.... They've been described as the windows to the soul by William Shakespeare and the jewel of the body by Henry David Thoreau, and featured in song titles by musicians ranging from Van Morrison and The Who to Billy Idol and Billie Eilish. Needless to say, eyes hold a prominent place in our lives, both for our dependence on their functionality as well as the aesthetic qualities that have inspired so many artists. Here are six eye-opening facts about these amazing organs. 1. The First Eyes Appeared at Least 540 Million Years Ago The first known organism to demonstrate the leap from light-sensitive receptors to complex eyes was the trilobite, which left records of its evolutionary impact from approximately 540 million years ago. The orbs of these early arthropods more closely resembled the compound eyes of modern insects, with multiple lenses, as opposed to the single lens-to-retina camera-style eye built into humans. Because they offered trilobites a clear advantage in hunting prey (and thus encouraged their predators to evolve in response), the emergence of working eyes in these and subsequent life forms may have helped drive the so-called "Cambrian Explosion," which gave rise to most of the creatures that now populate the animal kingdom. 2. The Human Eye Can See Objects Millions of Miles Away While the majority of us wouldn't consider our vision to be extraordinary, the human eye can see much farther than most of us realize. That's because our ability to perceive an object is based not only on its size and proximity, but also on the brightness of the source. Practically speaking, our sight is hindered by factors such as the Earth's curvature, which creates the dropoff point of the horizon just 3 miles away, and atmospheric conditions. However, a trip outside on a clear night reveals the true power of our vision, as most of us are able to make out the faint haze of the Andromeda Galaxy some 2.6 million light-years into space. 3. Some People Can Distinguish Between 100 Million Colors Most people are trichromatic, meaning they possess three types of cone cells in their retinas to detect variations of red, green, and blue light. Dichromatic or colorblind people are those with missing or defective cone cells; normally this means they have trouble differentiating between two colors, with red and green being the most common combination. On the extreme ends of the spectrum, those suffering from achromatopsia lack the ability to see any colors, while those born with an extra set of cone cells, tetrachromats, are said to be extraordinarily sensitive to light wavelengths and capable of distinguishing between 100 million colors. 4. We Blink Around 7.8 Million Times Per Year There are a few established reasons for why we blink: This rapid closure triggers secretions that flush away foreign particles, while also providing a lubrication that keeps our precious eyes functioning smoothly. However, this action, which can be voluntary or involuntary, is also affected by a raft of psychological reasons. We blink less when concentrating, for example, and more when we're nervous. Recent studies also indicate that blinking may be a way of providing the brain a brief moment of rest. Regardless of the reasons, we all blink a lot. Most people average at least 15 per minute, which translates to 14,400 for each waking 16-hour period, and a whopping 7.8 million blinks per year. 5. The Colossal Squid Boasts the Largest Animal Eyes The human eye measures about two-thirds of an inch across at birth, before growing to its full size of 1 inch by adulthood. By comparison, the eye of the 45-foot-long colossal squid has been measured at 11 inches in diameter, making it the largest such organ in the animal kingdom and possibly the largest in the history of recorded life. Among land-dwelling creatures, the ostrich tops the pack with an eye that measures around 2 inches from the cornea to the retina — dimensions that also happen to be bigger than its walnut-sized brain. 6. All Humans Had Brown Eyes at One Point Eye color (along with skin and hair color) is determined by the amount of melanin our bodies produce; those with blue or green eyes simply possess a lower density of this pigmentation in the iris than those with dark brown peepers. According to research published by a University of Copenhagen team in 2012, all humans had brown eyes until sometime between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, when a genetic mutation created the first blue-eyed individual. Nowadays, 70% to 79% of the world's population has brown eyes, with 8% to 10% sporting baby blues, approximately 5% featuring hazel or amber, and just 2% showing green. Less than 1% of people possess two completely different colored eyes — a condition known as heterochromia. Source: Look Here! 6 Fun Facts About Eyes
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    What's the Word: ULTRONEOUS pronunciation: [əl-TROH-nee-əs] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, 17th century Meaning: 1. Spontaneous; voluntary. Example: "Our host made an ultroneous offer at the end of the afternoon to make us all supper." "If I win the lottery, I will take ultroneous vacations whenever the mood strikes me." About Ultroneous Taken directly from Latin, based on the Latin “ultrō,” meaning “on one’s part.” Did you Know? Ultroneous combustion of certain materials is not only possible, but also quite dangerous. In order for a material to catch fire of its own accord, first it must have a low ignition point (straw and hay fit the bill). Second, there must be a heat source — which can occur, for example, if sugar in the material begins to ferment. If that heat can’t escape, eventually the material can reach its ignition point and combust ultroneously (spontaneously). This is a concern for compost piles, where ultroneous combustion happens due to fermentation, but also with certain kinds of oil seeds, which can dramatically heat up in the presence of moisture.
  18. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - KETCHUP Did you know... Ketchup was once sold as medicine. The ketchup we slather onto hot dogs, burgers, and fries today once had a different purpose: Doctors believed it was best consumed as a health tonic. Ketchup has come a long way from its roots in China as far back as the third century BCE, when cooks fermented seafood to create a salty, amber-colored sauce that resembles modern fish sauce (an anchovy-based condiment that adds umami flavor to many Asian dishes). By around the 16th century, British sailors had taken word of ketchup back to their home country, and British cooks tried to replicate it with their own versions made from walnuts and mushrooms. It’s not clear exactly when tomatoes came on the scene, though the first known tomato ketchup recipe appeared around 1812, published by Philadelphia horticulturist James Mease. (Interesting Facts) 1. The American staple was actually inspired by a Chinese condiment. The Hokkien Chinese word kê-kê refers to a sauce made from fermented fish. It’s believed that the British found the condiment while in Southeast Asia and when they returned home, attempted to replicate the flavor. Initially, recipes included everything from mushrooms to oysters, anchovies and walnuts. Feeling inspired to create your own ketchup? Start with this Spicy Ketchup Recipe for a sauce that packs some heat. 2. The one thing missing from early recipes? Tomatoes. In the 1700s, tomatoes were believed to be poisonous, and in fact were nicknamed “the poison apple.” The theory was eventually debunked when it was discovered that the pewter plates upper-class Europeans were eating tomatoes on were leaching lead. It wasn’t until 1812 that a scientist in Philadelphia published the first-known recipe for ketchup that incorporated tomatoes. Browse through our favorite recipes for fresh tomatoes, here. 3. Ketchup wasn’t always a condiment. Initially, ketchup was strictly used as a flavoring agent for soups, meats, sauces and more. Thanks to the addition of tomatoes and the popularization of hamburgers and hot dogs, its primary purpose shifted. Now we’re just as likely to squirt it on a bun as we are to add flavor to a stovetop dinner. Take this Sweet Barbecued Pork Chop recipe, for example. 4. In the early days, you would have wanted to think twice before buying ketchup. Since the tomato-growing season was so short, early ketchup producers had to overcompensate with preservatives to keep their stock fresh. This came at a highly unhealthy price. Unsafe levels of coal tar (among other things) were found in ketchup bottles. It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that companies decided it was time for a change. H.J. Heinz was one of the biggest proponents of quality. The American company began developing seeds for higher-quality tomatoes and made it mandatory for produce to be processed the same day it was harvested. 5. There’s a secret to Heinz’s “57” slogan. Speaking of Heinz, have you ever noticed the slogan “57 varieties” printed on each bottle? That’s actually a marketing myth. When Heinz invented the slogan, the company was producing over 60 flavors of ketchup. The marketing master simply thought the number was catchy, so it stuck. Today, the company sells more than 5,700 products. 6. There’s an easy way to get your ketchup out of the bottle. The trick to getting stuck-on sauce flowing from Heinz’s iconic glass bottle is hidden in plain sight. Tap the number “57” on the bottleneck a few times as you shake the ketchup out. Amazingly enough, the ketchup will start to pour out smoothly. We’ll definitely test this method during the upcoming grilling season. 7. Heinz invented the individual ketchup packets. H.J. Heinz introduced individual ketchup packets to consumers in 1968. The foil wrapper is actually safer to use than its glass counterpart. Today, the packets are a staple at most fast-food restaurants—and in your refrigerator door. Here’s how to open a ketchup packet the right way. 8. Ketchup is found in nearly 97 percent of American households. With 125 million households in the U.S., that’s a lot of ketchup. In fact, if every household had a 14 oz. bottle of the stuff, the ketchup’s combined weight would measure up to a resounding 54,000 tons. That’s heavier than the Titanic. 9. The average American eats 71 pounds of ketchup each year. Slathered on hot dogs, smashed between a sandwich, or drizzled on potato chips-we sure do love our sauce. But if that statistic makes your stomach churn, you’re not alone. For ketchup producers, it means big bucks. They produce about 12 million tons of ketchup every year, valued at more than $900 million. I’d call that a ketchup ka-ching! 10. The condiment could help you live longer. OK, so that might be a slight overstatement. Ketchup contains the phytochemical lycopene, which has been linked to reducing the risk of cancer. There are other things you can consume, like tomato juice and tomato sauce, that will give you more lycopene with far less salt and sugar. But I say: Whatever floats your boat! Well, there you have it, folks. Go forth and bestow all this tomatoe-y knowledge on your friends and family. Dish these ketchup facts out with one of our favorite grilled burger recipes at your next backyard barbecue or holiday cookout this summer. Source: What You Don’t Know About Ketchup (It’s Not Just America’s Favorite Condiment)
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    What's the Word: FUNAMBULISM pronunciation: [fyoo-NAM-byə-lizm] Part of speech: noun Origin: English, 19th century Meaning: 1. The art of walking on a tightrope or a slack-rope. Example: "While at school in Paris, my nephew got involved in funambulism and joined a circus." "Slack lines have proved funambulism is a fun and engaging physical exercise." About Funambulism “Funambulism” is based on the English word “funambule,” a synonym for “tightrope walker.” This is based on the Latin word “fūnambulus,” meaning the same thing. Did you Know? The contemporary master of funambulism is Nik Wallenda. As a seventh-generation member of the family of high-wire performers known as the Flying Wallendas, Nik Wallenda first walked a tightrope when he was 13 years old in 1992. Since that time, he has amassed 11 Guinness World Records, most notably for being the first person to walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls, live on television in 2012. Wallenda has stretched the limits of funambulism by performing increasingly elaborate stunts on tightropes, such as creating the first-ever eight-person pyramid on a high wire.
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    Fact of the Day - HIDDEN MESSAGES Wikipedia Wikipedia is a massive source of information, and there’s a reason the site’s puzzling logo isn’t totally complete. The unfinished globe, made of puzzle pieces with characters from various languages, represents the “incomplete nature” of the company’s mission to be the go-to information portal—and the fact that a site built on user submissions can never be complete. Did you know.... Get ready to have your mind blown. Things aren’t always what they seem at first glance, and these logos prove it. Check out these 13 famous logos that you may not have realized actually have a hidden double meaning. 1. FedEx The shipping company’s logo is probably one of the best-known in the world of “hidden image” logos. For those who are unaware, take a look between the “E” and the “X,” where the negative space forms an arrow. In an interview with Fast Company, the logo’s designer, Lindon Leader, said, “The arrow could connote forward direction, speed and precision, and if it remained hidden, there might be an element of surprise, that aha moment.” The design has won over 40 awards and was ranked as one of the eight best logos in the last 35 years by Rolling Stone magazine. 2. Wendy's Famously founded by Dave Thomas, the Wendy’s brand identity highlights a personal and “home-cooked” feeling. Take a closer look at Wendy’s collar and you might just see the word “mom.” Wendy’s, named after Thomas’ daughter, now has more than 6,500 restaurants worldwide. “This is something you may not notice consciously for years, but unconsciously it will leave an imprint on your brain and you will associate it with the brand,” stocklogos.com wrote. 3. Baskin-Robbins Baskin-Robbins, owned by Dunkin’ Brands, is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, best known for its 31 flavors. The company’s pink and blue logo depicts a large “BR” that doubles as the number “31.” Carol Austin, VP of marketing for Baskin-Robbins, told CNBC that the logo is “meant to convey the fun and energy of the Baskin-Robbins brand” as well as the iconic 31. “The 31 stands for our belief that our guests should have the opportunity to explore a fun, new ice cream flavor every day of the month,” Austin explained. The logo was introduced in 2005 as part of an entire brand refresh. 4. LG At first glance, the dark pink logo for LG Electronics looks like a winking face. But if you look a little closer, you’ll see the face’s “nose” is an “L” and the outline of the “face” is a “G.” Some fans have even noted a similarity between LG’s logo and a modified Pacman. 5. Tostitos The logo for tortilla chips and dips manufacturer Tostitos, owned by PepsiCo, is a prime example of “once you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it.” Initially, the logo appears to be the Tostitos name in front of a vibrantly colored background. However, the two “T’s” of this logo make up people, as they dip a tortilla chip into the bowl of salsa on top of the letter ‘I’. 6. Hershey’s Kisses Famous for their chocolate and appropriately themed amusement park, Hersheypark, the logo on The Hershey Company’s Hershey’s Kisses product has a hidden logo: an extra Kiss. Turn your head to the left and you’ll see that between the ‘K’ and the ‘I’ there is a Hershey’s Kiss baked into the logo. Click the link below to read more about Hidden Messages in famous logos Source: Famous Logos With Hidden Messages
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    What's the Word: SWIZZLE pronunciation: [SWIZ-əl] Part of speech: verb Origin: Unknown, 19th century Meaning: 1. Stir (a drink) with a swizzle stick. Example: "The bartender didn’t mix the drinks, but left patrons to swizzle their beverages themselves." "Ernestine has a habit of swizzling her drink while she talks." About Swizzle The exact source of “swizzle” is unknown, though it may be a variation on the U.S. English word “switchel,” describing a sweetened beverage. Did you Know? The verb “swizzle” began its life in the early 19th century as a noun describing cocktails (and sometimes as a general term for alcoholic beverages as a class, similar to “booze”). In particular, “swizzle” was a popular term for a frothy mixed drink that required stirring, from which the verb “to swizzle” was coined in the late 19th century. Until the mid-19th century, “to swizzle” also meant “to drink excessively.” Though the root of “swizzle” is unknown, many believe it is related to the American word “switchel,” describing a vinegar-water beverage sweetened with molasses or honey.
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    What's the Word: ANDIRON pronunciation: [AND-ahy-ərn] Part of speech: noun Origin: French, 14th century Meaning: 1. A metal support, typically one of a pair, that holds wood burning in a fireplace. Example: "The fireplace was missing its andirons, so burning logs sometimes fell directly against the grate." "Once the fire has burned down to coals, Johnny likes to balance skewers of marshmallows on the andirons to roast them." About Andiron “Andiron” is based on the Middle English “aundire,” from the Old French “andier,” meaning “heifer.” Did you Know? Fire has long been a source of heat and light, and also a place to cook food. But when the blaze moved from the campfire to a contained fireplace inside homes, new vocabulary was needed to describe it. “Andiron,” a word describing a metal support to hold wood burning in the fireplace, was first noted in English in the 14th century. Many houses had some form of andirons — usually a pair — as part of their fireplaces. The word is based on “andier” — an Old French term meaning “heifer” — plus “iron,” the material used to make them. Andirons were often compared to animals; they were also called “fire dogs.”
  23. 1 point
    This week, Anti rambles about Rokka no Yuusha
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    Fact of the Day - WINE Did you know... Wine has conquered the world. In 2021, global wine consumption topped 23.6 billion liters, or roughly 9,440 Olympic-size swimming pools' worth of vino. Here are some more surprising facts about reds, whites, and rosés, from their long and illustrious history to the reasons you might want to avoid drinking wine left over from shipwrecks. 1. People Have Been Making Wine for Thousands of Years Between 2007 and 2010, archaeologists excavated a cave near Areni, Armenia, which contained the remnants of an ancient winemaking operation. They unearthed a press for crushing grapes, jars for fermentation and storage, ceramic cups, and the remains of grape vines, skins, and seeds. (The organic material had been preserved by a hardened layer of sheep dung, which protected it from decay.) By analyzing a compound called malvidin, which makes grapes reddish-purple, the researchers estimated that the site was active around 4000 BCE, during the Copper Age, making it the oldest known winery. Even earlier biomolecular evidence of viniculture dates from about 6000 BCE. The oldest type of wine still made today is Commandaria, a sweet red-white dessert blend from Cyprus that dates back to 2000 BCE. 2. Almost All Wines Are Grown From a Single Species of Grape The mother vine of almost all wines today is Vitis vinifera, a grape likely native to Western Asia. Over millennia, winemakers have domesticated and cross-bred the vines to create subspecies with distinct colors, flavors, and suitability to different climates. About 8,000 cultivars exist today, including well-known varieties like pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and merlot. V. vinifera vines have long been cultivated in regions with hot, dry summers and mild winters, such as Italy, Spain, and France, but the U.S., Chile, Australia, and South Africa are also major producers, among other countries. 3. In the 19th Century, an Insect Nearly Wiped Out France’s Wine Industry One downside of basing a global wine industry on a single grape species is that it can be decimated by a particular disease or pest. A grape-attacking aphid called phylloxera, native to North America, was accidentally imported to France in the 1860s. Whereas indigenous American grape species had built up resistance to the pest, French winemakers had guarded the purity of their vines to ensure their wines’ high quality, which made the plants susceptible to assault from the foreign bug. As a result, phylloxera tore through French vineyards in the late 19th century and forced French winemakers to graft phylloxera-resistant American vines onto the French vines to save them. 4. A Wine’s Terroir Can Be Legally Protected The 19th-century French vintners initially resisted the plan to graft American rootstocks onto their precious vines over fears that their wines’ special flavor profile, or terroir, would suffer. “Terroir” refers to the whole environment in which the grapes are grown — soil and water characteristics, temperature, altitude, and so on — as well as the flavor and aroma that these factors impart. A wine’s terroir can be a legally protected entity in France, where the AOC system (an acronym for Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) classifies wines according to their region of production and quality. It’s this system that says Champagne can come only from the Champagne region to protect its unique terroir. 5. California Wines Beat French Rivals in a Blind Taste Test In a legendary event dubbed “The Judgment of Paris,” held on May 24, 1976, French wine experts preferred upstart California wines to the finest French ones in a taste test. An English wine shop owner staged the event to drum up business, and everyone assumed a French victory was a foregone conclusion. The nine experts swirled, sniffed, and sipped a variety of reds and whites, then tallied the number of points they awarded to each sample; shockingly, a cabernet sauvignon and a chardonnay from Napa Valley won out, proving that countries besides France could produce the world’s finest wines. A bottle of each winning wine is now in the Smithsonian collection. 6. Wine Is Often Found in Shipwrecks Wine has been traded around the world for centuries, and the vessels transporting it have occasionally run into trouble. Today, intact bottles of wine can sometimes be located among the wreckage of sunken ships. Experts advise against drinking their contents, but some curious gastronauts can’t be dissuaded. In 2009, a hurricane disturbed the seafloor around Bermuda and revealed still-corked bottles in the wreck of a Civil War-era ship; a panel of tasters said it was “awful.” Champagne recovered from a 170-year-old shipwreck in the frigid Baltic Sea gave tasters hints of cheese and “wet hair.” Among the recent finds yet to be sampled are unopened bottles of wine from the wreck of the HMS Gloucester, which sank while carrying the future king James II of England, and bottles that went down with a British steamship after a German torpedo attack during World War I. Source: Amazing Facts About Wine
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    https://www.gog.com/en/game/haven_park Haven Park is free on GOG.
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    Fact of the Day - RIVERS Did you know.... Few things are more central to human civilization than water. That’s why most ancient civilizations (Egypt, Indus, Sumer, etc.) flourished along rivers, and why many major cities today have followed suit. Around the world, 165 rivers are considered “major rivers” whose length and width tower over the competition. But there’s more to rivers than just size. While some of the world’s most important rivers are long, winding natural wonders, others have outsized historical impact, represent an amazing moment of human engineering, or are simply beautiful to look at. These six facts concern some of the six most amazing rivers in the world, from the backwoods of Colombia to major metropolises around the globe. 1. The Search Is Still On for the Source of the Nile Finding the source of the Nile, arguably the most famous and important river in human history, was one of the great adventures of the 19th century. Explorers including David Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley, and Richard Francis Burton searched the White Nile, the river’s longest tributary (the other major tributary being the Blue Nile), to no avail. Today, scientists still aren’t sure where the furthest headwaters of the White Nile are, although one leading contender is the Ruvyironza River in Burundi. 2. The Yangtze River Watershed Takes Up 20% of China’s Total Landmass The Yangtze is central to Chinese culture and civilization, and is the longest river to be contained inside only one country. Rising on the Tibetan plateau, the river travels east as it eventually empties into the East China Sea. The river ranks among the longest in the world, but its drainage basin is truly gargantuan. At 700,000 square miles, it takes up 20% of China’s total landmass. Some 250 million people live on or near the river, and the Yangtze provides the country with 35% of its fresh water. There is no China without the Yangtze. 3. The Danube Flows Through 10 Countries, More Than Any Other River in the World While the Yangtze flows in only one country, the Danube passes through more countries than any other river. Those countries are Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine. In those countries, the Danube also passes through four capital cities, including Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; Budapest, Hungary; and Belgrade, Serbia (an additional five capitals lie in the river basin). The Danube’s central location in Europe, along with its proximity to so many cities, easily makes it one of the most important rivers in the world. 4. Caño Cristales Has the Nickname “Rainbow River” Because of Its Multi-Hued Waters Caño Cristales isn’t one of the world’s longest or deepest rivers, and it doesn’t really feature prominently in Colombia’s history, but it does have one dazzling attribute that’s hard to ignore — it’s as colorful as a rainbow. Caño Cristales gets the nickname “Rainbow River” because it’s colored yellow, green, blue, black, and most especially red, hues that can be seen from May until November. This panoply of colors is derived from the reproductive process of aquatic plants (Macarenia clavigera) living on the riverbed. Because the river’s depth fluctuates between the wet and dry seasons, it’s only dazzlingly brilliant a few months out of the year. 5. No Bridge Spans the 4,300-Mile-Long Amazon River Although the Amazon is the second-longest river in the world and a vital artery of the Amazon rainforest, not a single bridge crosses its expanse. That’s surprising considering there are more than a hundred bridges crossing the similarly-sized Yangtze, and nine bridges crossing the Nile in Cairo. The simple answer for the Amazon’s lack of bridges is the lack of need for them. The cities and towns bordering the Amazon have ferries and boats; the river basin’s extensive marshes also make building a bridge a costly affair. Floating bridges, or pontoons, are also impractical as the width of the river can vary between 2 miles and 30 miles between the dry and wet seasons. 6. The Chicago River Is the Only River That Flows Backward As Chicago changed from a Great Lakes-adjacent village to a booming metropolis toward the end of the 19th century, city planners were faced with a conundrum. The Chicago River, which carried much of the city’s waste, emptied directly into Lake Michigan, which was also the source of the city’s drinking water. To fix the problem, engineer Ellis S. Chesbrough put forward an idea to reverse the river’s flow by building a ditch lower than both Lake Michigan and the river itself. When the project was finally completed in 1900, the Chicago River became the only river in the world that had reversed its flow. Source: Facts About Amazing Rivers
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    What's the Word: IMPLACABLE pronunciation: [im-PLAK-ə-bəl] Part of speech: adjective Origin: French, 16th century Meaning: 1. Unable to be placated. 2. Relentless; unstoppable. Example: "Charlie tried appealing to the principal to cancel his suspension for pranks and mischief, but she was implacable." "When it comes to enforcing our teenage son’s nightly curfew, my husband and I are implacable." About Implacable “Implacable” entered English from the same word in Old French, where it meant “harsh” and “unrelenting.” The Old French “implacable” was based on the Latin “implācābilis” (“unappeasable” or “irreconcilable”). Did you Know? The hardest thing for many new parents is getting their babies to sleep through the night. This challenge is known as “sleep training,” in which parents try to find the right set of circumstances to relax their baby enough that they will fall asleep on their own. By the time a baby is four months old, many experts say they can begin learning the self-soothing techniques necessary to fall asleep on their own and remain asleep through the night. However, sleep training is a challenge. Some babies take to it quickly, while others are implacable, rejecting every attempt parents can think of to soothe them. Implacable babies eventually learn to sleep by themselves, but require far more parental effort, ingenuity, and patience to get to that state.
  28. 1 point
    https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/epistory-typing-chronicles-445794 Epistory: Typing Chronicles is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://store.ubi.com/rayman-raving-rabbids/56c4948888a7e300458b47de.html Rayman Raving Rabbids is currently free on Ubisoft Connect. Genshin Impact: 60 Primogems, 10K Mora, 15 Adventurer's EXP, 5 fine enhancement ore, radish balls, satisying salad Player must be Adventure Rank 10. FTRUFT7AT5SV DAQS9FPX2U35 https://genshin.mihoyo.com/en/gift Redeem in-game under Settings > Account > Redeem Code or through your Mihoyo account
  29. 1 point
    What's the Word: EFFULGENCE pronunciation: [ih-FUHL-jəns] Part of speech: noun Origin: English, 17th century Meaning: 1. A state of being bright and radiant; splendor, brilliance. Example: "Camille was stunned silent by the effulgence of the sun rising across the Grand Canyon." "After walking an hour in the rainy dark, the effulgence of my living room’s bright lights and roaring fire was a welcome sight." About Effulgence The noun “effulgence” is based on the English adjective “effulgent,” meaning “shining brilliantly.” It was created by combining the Latin prefix “ex-” (meaning “out of”) and the Latin verb “fulgere” (meaning “to shine”). Did you Know? Whether by finding hope in the effulgence of the breaking dawn, or by warming ourselves beneath the effulgence of the noonday sun, people have always celebrated the warmth and light we receive from the sky. However, human-made effulgence — in the form of lighting schemes, light shows, and even works of art — is designed to reflect and showcase the movement of light. People seem attracted to effulgence, whether it’s a radiant dawn or a brightly lit exhibition of reflective glass.
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    Fact of the Day - CONTRIBUTIONS FROM INDIGENOUS NATIONS Did you know.... The human history of the United States begins with Native Americans. After stewarding the land for generations, Indigenous peoples introduced Europeans to “new food plants, new drugs, new dyes, tobacco, unheard-of languages, novel modes of life,” and much more, as the historian A. Irving Hallowell wrote back in 1957. This Thanksgiving, here’s a look at just a few of the ways Indigenous peoples impacted American culture. 1. Powhatan and Patuxet: Aided in the Survival of Early Settlers The survival of America’s first white settlements hinged on the knowledge of the native population. The settlers at Jamestown would have likely perished during the brutal winter of 1609-1610 were it not for the help of Powhatan captives, who managed 40 acres of maize. The same was true of the Mayflower pilgrims in Massachusetts, who learned how to plant corn thanks to the teachings of the famed Patuxent interpreter, Squanto. The settlers, however, did not return the favor, and continued to take more and more of the natives’ land. 2. Iroquois: Influenced Federal Power Today, students are often taught that American democracy has its roots in ancient Rome or Greece. But the American republic also took cues from the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Philosophers like John Locke, whose writings influenced the creation of the United States, wrote with amazement about how the Iroquois Confederacy vested power in people, not a monarch. Meanwhile, Benjamin Franklin wrote letters to the Iroqouis, seemingly calling out how people incorrectly viewed them as “ignorant savages,” and spent significant time learning about their federal-style government. In 1751, Franklin wrote, “It would be a strange thing if Six Nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a scheme for such an union, and be able to execute it in such a manner as that it has subsisted ages and appears indissoluble; and yet that a like union should be impracticable for ten or a dozen English colonies.” The idea that the American republic was influenced by the Iroquois can be polarizing, and is often over- or understated. Some argue that American democracy was copy-and-pasted from the Six Nations. Others argue that the Iroqouis had no influence at all. Most historians, however, occupy a middle ground. "It is a fairly important idea that a great many societies and networks influenced American constitutional thought, the Iroquois among them," historian Gautham Rao tells Politifact. 3. Pima: Developed Farm Irrigation Without water, there can be no agriculture — and no civilization, for that matter. The Pima understood this challenge intimately. Around 1,500 to 2,000 years ago, the nation developed sophisticated irrigation systems across the arid deserts of Arizona, making the region habitable. (And establishing life in what is now Phoenix.) Those technologies paid off. Today, agriculture first cultivated by Native Americans makes up 60% of the world’s food supply, including pumpkins, cranberries, squash, pineapple, avocados, peanuts, and, of course, corn. 4. Plains Indians: Initiated Early Sign Language Native Americans communicated through sign language centuries before the development of ASL. First recorded in the 1520s, the system — now called Plains Indian Sign Language — was used as a lingua franca by dozens of native nations across the American continent, including the Navajo, Cree, and Crow. The system allowed disparate tribes — many of which spoke completely foreign languages — to communicate and trade. While American Sign Language would later take inspiration from multiple language systems, the sign language developed by Native Americans remains one the world’s oldest and most widespread. 5. Algonquin: Created Lacrosse First played in southern Canada more than 200 years ago, early lacrosse games were a chaotic ballsport consisting of hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of participants at one time. When Europeans began settling on North America, some tribes used the game to win the newcomers’ trust. In 1763, the Ojibwa people of Michigan used lacrosse as a Trojan Horse. With the British troops watching in the audience, the native athletes slowly worked their way to Fort Michilimackinac, and once they got close enough, they took the fort. 6. Native Nations: Promoting Conservation Writers often attribute the rise of the American conservation and environmental movement to Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring. However, Native Americans have been promoting conservation since the beginning of time. In fact, some tribes, like the Anishinaabe, don’t have a word for “conservation” because, to them, it’s much more than a political philosophy — it’s simply a fact of life. A 2019 U.N. report found that land managed by Indigenous populations had stronger biodiversity than land managed through modern agricultural methods. 7. Native Nations: Shaped Modern-Day Words You cannot drive around the United States or speak English without bumping into a Native American contribution. At least 26 state names have native origins, including Arkansas (“downstream people”), Mississippi (“great water”), and Ohio (“beautiful river”). English words that have native origins include "chipmunk," "hammock," "chocolate," "tequila," "canoe," and "opossum." Source: Contributions From Indigenous Nations That Changed America
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    Fact of the Day - DEATH-RELATED IDIOMS Did you know..... In 2016, Chapman University conducted a survey of 1511 Americans to gauge their concern over common fears, including crime, natural disasters, and clowns. Predictably, the notion of death was on the minds of many. Roughly 38 percent of respondents said that the idea of a loved one dying made them afraid or very afraid. Approximately 19 percent feared their own death. That last statistic may speak less to fear of dying than our preference to simply not think about it. We often obscure or obfuscate our own mortality by ignoring it, joking about it, or cloaking it in a way that allows us to avoid confronting the reality that our bodies have expiration dates. For centuries, idioms have allowed us to dance around the topic, trading euphemisms for blunt language. Take a look at some of the more common expressions for death and their possible origins. 1. BUYING THE FARM A person who has ceased to be is sometimes said to have "bought the farm." This agricultural expression may have roots in the plight of military pilots in the 20th century. If a fighter jet crashed on a farm, the farm owner could theoretically sue the government for damages. In a roundabout way, the settlement might pay for the farmland, with the expired pilot having "bought" the property. Alternatively, the pilot's family might receive an insurance payment sufficient to pay off their farm mortgage. Another theory? The phrase stemmed from the idea of "the farm" as slang for a burial plot; "bought it" is also an older slang term for died. 2. DEAD AS A DOORNAIL Why would anyone associate someone's health—or lack thereof—with carpentry? The earliest usage of someone being "dead as a doornail" dates to a 1350 translation of the anonymous 12th-century French poem Guillaume de Palerne. William Shakespeare used it in Henry VI, Part 2, written around 1591, and Charles Dickens in 1843's A Christmas Carol, writing that "Old Marley was as dead as a door nail," then going on to explain (via the narrator) that he wasn't quite sure why it wouldn't be "coffin nail" thanks to its status as "the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade." One possible explanation is that wooden doors were often secured with nails that were hammered through and then bent on the protruding side for added strength. Once this process, called "clenching," was performed, the nail was basically useless for any other purpose. The idiom may also refer to the effort involved in driving the nail through the door. Struck with blunt force by a hammer, the nail was effectively "dead" from the trauma. 3. CROSSING THE RAINBOW BRIDGE A forlorn announcement of a pet's passing sometimes includes mention of the beloved animal "crossing the rainbow bridge." While the phrase is common on social media, its origins date to the pre-Facebook 1980s. Three authors have all claimed to have written a poem using the language, which refers to a mythical connection between heaven and Earth. On the crossing, pet and owner are said to be reunited. The idea of a rainbow-colored crossing may have stemmed from Norse mythology and the Bifröst bridge, which connected Midgard and Asgard. 4. SIX FEET UNDER As idioms go, this one is rather pointed. To die is to often be buried six feet underground. But why six feet? Blame the plague. In 1665, when the illness swept England, London's Lord Mayor ordered that corpses be buried no less than six feet deep in an effort to help limit the spread of the pestilence that eventually took more than an estimated 100,000 lives. There is no such regulation today, and graves can be as shallow as four feet. 5. PUSHING UP THE DAISIES This gardening-related euphemism takes a pleasant visual (daisies) to soften the subject (the rotting corpse residing underneath). The earliest incarnation of the phrase may have been to "turn one's toes to the daisies." A version appears in the story "The Babes in the Wood," in Richard Harris Barham's Ingoldsby Legends folklore collection of the 1840s, which used the expression "be kind to those dear little folks/When our toes are turned up to the daisies." Another variation, "I shall very soon hide my name under some daisies," was used by Scottish author George MacDonald in 1866. Click below to read more of theses idioms. Source: The Macabre Origins of 10 Death-Related Idioms
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    Fact of the Day - ROYAL LOVERS King Charles II's mistress, Barbara Palmer. Did you know.... Wallis Simpson is one of the most famous women in British royal history: Her romance with Edward VIII led to the abdication of 1936 and changed the line of succession. Not only was Britain spared the reign of a very questionable king, but it led to the accession of his niece, Elizabeth II, who is Britain’s longest reigning monarch. And yet, despite her immense influence, Wallis was never queen. And like her, some of the most influential people in British history have been the monarch’s lover rather than their spouse. Here are 11 royal lovers who left their mark. 1. Piers Gaveston and Edward II Piers Gaveston first met Edward in 1300 when he joined the Prince’s household. Both were about 16, and it was said that Edward “immediately felt such love for him that he entered into a covenant of constancy, and bound himself with him before all other mortals with a bond of indissoluble love, firmly drawn up and fastened with a knot.” There is no firm evidence that their relationship was sexual, but Edward was certainly devoted to Piers—to the detriment of others. Gaveston was low-born, arrogant, prone to insulting the nobility, and was hoovering up titles and wealth at the expense of those who thought themselves more entitled. The writer of the Vita Edwardi Secundi, a 14th-century chronicle of the king’s reign, declared that “I do not remember to have heard that one man so loved another … our king was incapable of moderate favour.” Edward created the title of Earl of Cornwall for him and gave him extensive lands. Edward also arranged for his niece, Margaret de Clare, to marry Piers. The one person who Gaveston seemed to show respect to was Edward’s wife, Isabella of France. Against Edward’s wishes, Gaveston was forced to leave England three times between 1307 and 1311, though he always came back. But by 1312 the nobility had had enough: Despite guarantees for his safety by the Earl of Pembroke, he was seized, subjected to a mock trial, and then executed on the orders of the Earl of Warwick. Edward’s bond with his barons never recovered; he spent the next 10 years plotting his revenge. He soon found another favorite in Hugh Despenser, and the same pattern began to repeat itself. But Despenser overstepped the mark when he appropriated Isabella’s lands and took control of her four children. In retaliation, she led a rebellion that resulted in Edward’s death in 1327 and the succession of their son, Edward III. 2. Alice Perrers and Edward III Edward III, King of England Alice Perrers was the widow of the king’s jeweler, Janyn Perrers, and one of the queen’s damsels when she met Edward III. The most likely date for the beginning of their relationship is 1364, when she would have been no older than 18 and the king 55. The birth of the first of their three children sometime occurred between 1364 and 1366. There’s no record of Edward having a mistress before Perrers, and out of respect for his ailing wife, Phillippa of Hainault, the affair was initially kept low-key. Perrers became more prominent at court after Phillippa’s death in 1369. Over the next eight years, as the king’s health deteriorated, he showered her with gifts, gave her jewelry once belonging to the queen, made her his “Lady of the Sun” at a public tournament, and allowed her to accumulate enough land and wardships to make her the richest and most powerful woman in England. She was also an independent businesswoman, moneylender, and property owner, and although she remarried in 1375 (without the king’s knowledge), she retained her image as a self-reliant woman (a femme sole). Perrers was not the only person seeking to use the aging king’s failing mental health for their own end, but her gender made her a target for the chroniclers of the time. The most famous was Thomas of Walsingham’s unreliable description of her as “a shameless, impudent harlot … [who] was not attractive or beautiful, but knew how to compensate for these defects with the seductiveness of her voice.” Her business acumen only served to antagonize the patriarchal hierarchy further, and the Good Parliament of 1376 resulted in her temporary banishment. She soon returned and remained with the king until his death a year later in June 1377. Although Perrers was not responsible for many of the failings of Edward’s government at the end of his reign, the king’s reputation fell from one of respect and authority to someone whose mistress had “such a hold over him that he allowed important and weighty affairs of the realm to be decided on her advice.” 3. Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt Katherine Swynford met John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and King Edward III’s third son, while she was a damoiselle in his wife Blanche’s household. In September 1371, John married his second wife, Constance of Castille, following Blanche’s death. It was a purely dynastic union that gave the duke a claim to the Castilian throne. Swynford’s husband died two months later, leaving her a widow with three children. Though their relationship seems to have remained platonic prior to her husband’s passing, by spring 1372, Swynford was openly acknowledged as John’s mistress. Between 1373 and 1379, Swynford and John had four children, all given the surname Beaufort. By 1381, the duke’s reputation was at an all time low, and Swynford was targeted as “an abominable temptress.” John was forced to make a public denouncement of her and end the relationship, but this was a ruse. The two continued to meet in private. Constance died in 1394, and two years later, amid a public scandal, John and Swynford were married at Lincoln Cathedral. Their children were legitimized by the Pope and, despite being barred from the line of succession by John’s eldest son from his first marriage, Henry IV, they would in fact go on to change history. Every English monarch since Edward IV (1461) and Scottish monarch since James II (1437) has been descended from Swynford. She is also the ancestor of numerous American Presidents, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and George W. Bush. 4. Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII The coronation of Anne Boleyn. For the four years after her return from the French court in 1522, Anne Boleyn lived a dazzling if inconspicuous life as a lady-in-waiting to Katherine of Aragon. If she had married Henry Percy, the future Earl of Northumberland, as she had hoped, she would have been just a footnote in history. But in 1526, she caught the attention of Henry VIII. Henry may never have set out to replace his wife with Boleyn. He had a history of infidelity and illegitimate children—including one with Anne’s sister, Mary. To further complicate matters, his Catholic faith prevented him from seeking a divorce. But Henry had only a daughter to succeed him and no male heir, and it was Boleyn’s good fortune that she was the woman who piqued his interest just when he came to the conclusion that he needed a new wife. Henry’s pursuit of Boleyn had repercussions that would irrevocably change England’s religious identity. The Reformation did not happen because of Anne Boleyn—it was already a growing force—but her continual assertion that she would not be just another mistress fueled Henry’s desire for the annulment from Katherine, no matter the cost. Boleyn’s own support for the reformers also significantly advanced Protestantism's progress in England. But their marriage only lasted a little over three years. At Henry’s connivance, Boleyn was charged with treason and executed on May 19, 1536. 5. James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell and Mary I of Scotland James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell—commonly known as Lord Bothwell and described by the English Ambassador as a “[vain] glorious, rash, and hazardous young man”—first met Mary in 1560 when she was still Queen of France. Although he was a Protestant, he was a supporter of the Scotland’s Catholic regent, and in 1561 he was appointed to the privy council by the newly widowed Mary on her return to Scotland. Despite being described as having a “near sybbe [close friendship] unto her grace,” there is no evidence that they were lovers at this time—in fact, Mary was said to be besotted by Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, who she married in July 1565. There does seem to have been a change, however, by June 1566. The English diplomat Henry Killigrew wrote that, “Bothwell's credit with the Queen is greater than all the rest together.” Mary’s son, James, had been born five days before, and although there is no question that he was Darnley’s son, her relationship with her husband had now completely broken down thanks to his involvement in the murder of her secretary David Riccio the previous March. Mary’s relationship with Bothwell grew. When Darnley was found half-naked and smothered in the garden of his bombed house in 1567, both she and the earl were accused of arranging his murder. Abandoned by the Protestant nobles who had also been complicit, Mary continued to support her lover and sat on the sidelines as he was prosecuted and acquitted for Darnley’s murder. It seems likely that she knew of his plan to abduct her on April 24, 1567, although perhaps not of the violent assault that followed. With her position compromised, and no one left to support her, she married Bothwell on May 15, 1567. After being forced to abdicate because of the scandal, Mary fled to England where she was executed on February 8, 1587, for plotting to murder Elizabeth I. 6. Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and Elizabeth I Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. Although Elizabeth may have known Robert Dudley as a child, and may have even had contact with him during her imprisonment in the Tower of London, any relationship that existed between them probably didn’t start until sometime shortly before her accession in 1558. By then he was already firmly entrenched as one of her most intimate advisors, and within a year she had become so emotionally reliant on him that the Spanish Ambassador noted that “they say she is in love with Lord Robert and never lets him leave her.” Dudley already had a wife, who now prevented him from marrying the queen. He had wed Amy Robsart for love as a teenager in 1550. If Elizabeth ever intended to marry Dudley, Amy’s death under suspicious circumstances in 1560 ended any chance of that. Elizabeth was too savvy a politician to risk her throne as Mary I of Scotland had, and although Dudley would spend the next 18 years trying to get her to change her mind, Elizabeth never married him. There is no evidence that they were ever physically lovers—the Spanish Ambassador recorded that Elizabeth herself swore that “as God was her witness nothing improper had ever passed between them,” and Robert had numerous sexual relationships with other women, including Lettice Devereux, who he married in 1578. But despite this, they were inseparable until Dudley’s death in 1588 and it’s said he remained her great love. Elizabeth was reportedly never happy when he was absent, and politician Sir Thomas Shirley told Dudley in 1586 that “you knowe the queen and her nature best of anny man.” She kept the last letter Dudley ever sent her in a casket by her bedside until she died in 1603. Click the link below to read more about Royal Lovers in British History. Source: Most Influential Royal Lovers in British History
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    What's the Word: PREFATORY pronunciation: [PREHF-ə-tohr-ee] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, 17th century Meaning: 1. Serving as an introduction; introductory. Example: "Before screening “Citizen Kane,” the cinema club president made a few prefatory remarks about the film’s place in history." "The new edition of Emily Dickinson’s poems comes with nearly 100 pages of prefatory essays on the poet's life and her influence on the history of literature." About Prefatory “Prefatory” is based on the classical Latin “praefatio,” meaning “a saying beforehand.” Did you Know? The adjective “prefatory” is not based on the noun “preface.” Rather, the two are based on the same Latin root “praefatio,” meaning “a saying beforehand.” In both cases, the two words are closely associated with literature. Over the years, prefaces to major works — such as Dr. Samuel Johnson’s preface to his “Dictionary of the English Language,” and Walt Whitman’s preface to “Leaves of Grass” — have sometimes earned their own place in literary history. As editor Charles William Eliot pointed out in a prefatory note to his book “Famous Prefaces,” the only time an author speaks directly to the reader is often in prefatory remarks, which means they offer a unique window into the author’s true personality.
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    Fact of the Day - FAMOUS TEACHERS Did you know.... Most of us can recall at least one teacher who made the classroom fun, inspired a love for learning, and provided sincere encouragement. While these wonderful educators are remembered by those who benefited from their lessons, they are often unheralded in the bigger picture. After all, the best teachers tend to keep the focus on their students, rather than themselves. Nevertheless, the legacies of some teachers have endured through time thanks to their groundbreaking contributions to the classroom — and beyond. Here are nine who truly deserved every apple placed on their desks. 1. Socrates Cutting a distinct figure in fifth century BCE Athens with his unkempt clothing and long hair, Socrates conducted his “classes” in the marketplace and other public areas by engaging passersby in discussions designed to winnow out the truths of existence from popular wisdom and ingrained assumptions. Ironically, he claimed he wasn't a teacher during his trial for corrupting the minds of Athenian youth, though that may have been part of what was ultimately a failed attempt to stave off execution. Socrates is remembered today as a towering figure in the formation of Western philosophy, while his “Socratic method” survives as a proven tool for fostering debate in the classroom. His method also lived on in his most famous student: Plato. 2. Anne Sullivan Rendered partially blind by disease and orphaned at an early age, Anne Sullivan had already faced numerous challenges by the time she agreed to teach a 6-year-old deaf and blind girl named Helen Keller. Sullivan famously penetrated her student's shell by holding one of Keller's hands under running water and tracing the word "water" on the other, commencing a series of accomplishments that remain awe-inspiring more than a century later. With Sullivan — who is often referred to as the “Miracle Worker” — at her side, Keller went on to publish an autobiography in 1903, graduate from Radcliffe College in 1904, and embark on a career as a world-famous humanitarian. As Bishop James E. Freeman eulogized at Sullivan's funeral in 1936, "The touch of her hand did more than illuminate the pathway of a clouded mind; it literally emancipated a soul." 3. William Holmes McGuffey William Holmes McGuffey served as a professor and college president at several schools from the late 1820s into the early 1870s. But his greatest contribution to academia came with McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers, the first textbooks to enjoy widespread use as the common school system found its footing in a rapidly developing nation. Expanding to a series of six books after the first two volumes appeared in 1836, the Readers progressed from the basics of the alphabet to advanced lessons in literacy, science, and history, eventually selling more than 100 million copies by 1900. McGuffey's Bible-based works largely disappeared from classrooms within a few decades, though they remain in print for those with a homeschool curriculum in mind. 4. Emma Willard Born in Connecticut in 1787, Emma Willard saw her intellectual curiosity fostered by the progressive men in her life. Her father enrolled her at a local girls' school, and a nephew later provided instruction from his college geometry and philosophy courses. Willard sought to pass along similar educational opportunities to other girls, starting with the launch of the Middlebury Female Seminary from her Vermont home in 1814. Seven years later, she opened the Troy Female Seminary, the nation's first higher-education institution for women, in upstate New York. Willard stepped away from its day-to-day management in 1838, but the school, which opened with 61 boarding and 29 day students, continued its steady growth. By 1872, more than 12,000 students had passed through its doors. Now known as the Emma Willard School, it retains the lofty goals of its founder as one of the elite girls' college preparatory schools in the country. 5. Savitribai Phule Like Willard, India's Savitribai Phule was fortunate to find others willing to nurture what was a gifted, ambitious mind. Married at age 9, she learned to read and write from her husband, Jyotirao Phule, before pursuing a formal education that made her India’s first female teacher. Phule teamed with her husband to open a rare school for girls in 1848 — a move that ignited controversy in a country with strict societal codes but also garnered accolades from the British government. Although she eventually opened 18 schools, Phule's accomplishments as an educator form just one component of her outsized legacy. She also famously set up support systems for India's "untouchables," child brides, widows, and abused women as part of efforts to spark widespread social reform. 6. Maria Montessori Already a distinct figure as one of Italy's first female physicians, Maria Montessori channeled her interest in childhood development into the launch of a daycare center in Rome in early 1907. She subsequently fine-tuned the "Montessori method," in which kids essentially learn subjects for themselves through immersion in preferred activities and adult guidance. Her schools spread to Europe and then the United States in 1911, before falling out of favor across the Atlantic by the 1920s. Montessori nevertheless continued writing and lecturing until she died in 1952, shortly before American educators began rediscovering the benefits of her methodology. Today, there are approximately 20,000 Montessori schools worldwide, with Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and former Amazon chief Jeff Bezos among the accomplished alumni. 7. Toru Kumon Amid a steady career as a high school math teacher in Osaka, Japan, Toru Kumon discovered that his young son was struggling to keep pace in his own math class. Kumon subsequently designed a series of worksheets for his son and, upon seeing notable improvement, began instructing other children around the city. In 1968, he retired from teaching to focus on his burgeoning educational service, which hit American shores in 1974. Unlike some of the other educators on this list, Kumon left little room for improvisation in a system that stressed the importance of rote memorization for his carefully detailed worksheets. But his Kumon Centers topped a total of 2 million enrolled students around the world before his death in 1995. 8. James Naismith The first full-time athletics instructor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, James Naismith went on to spend four decades as a professor, coach, and athletic director at the University of Kansas. Of course, he's best known for his stint at the Springfield, Massachusetts YMCA International Training College in the early 1890s, during which time he was asked to develop a winter activity for the students. Naismith devised a game in which two teams of players scored points by lofting a ball into peach baskets fastened at opposite ends of the gym. His “basket ball” quickly caught on to the point where college teams were competing against one another by the mid-1890s, en route to expanding into a global sport with an estimated 450 million participants by the early 21st century. 9. Jaime Escalante A Bolivian immigrant who had to rebuild his educational credentials from scratch, Jaime Escalante wound up teaching remedial math at Garfield High in East Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. Unwilling to accept the low expectations the school placed on their students, Escalante launched an advanced placement (AP) calculus course in 1979, and alternately pushed, cajoled, and charmed his troubled students into becoming college-ready scholars. In an incident dramatized in the 1988 movie Stand and Deliver, all 18 of Escalante's students passed the AP calculus exam in 1982. However, many of the students made similar errors, which the Educational Testing Services assumed was them cheating. Eventually, the students were allowed to retake the difficult exam and again passed. By the time the famed teacher left Garfield High in 1991, a whopping 600 students at the once-underperforming school had accepted the challenge to take AP courses across a wide range of subjects. Source: History’s Most Famous Teachers
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    What's the Word: SUBSUME pronunciation: [səb-SOOM] Part of speech: verb Origin: Latin, 16th century Meaning: 1. Include or absorb (something) in something else. Example: "YouTube started out as an independent company before it was subsumed by Google." "I was worried my promotion announcement would be subsumed by my brother’s news that he was getting married, so I waited for another day to tell my family." About Subsume “Subsume” is based on the medieval Latin “subsumere,” combining the prefix “sub-” (meaning “from below”) and “sumere” (meaning “take”). Did you Know? Years ago, Pepsi-Cola made its popular soft drink and nothing else, while the Tip Corporation produced Mountain Dew. When Pepsi bought the Tip Corporation and the rights to make Mountain Dew in 1964, the brand became subsumed under the Pepsi corporation, which continues to produce the drink.
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    Fact of the Day - ACRONYM Did you know... At its most basic, an acronym is a word formed from the letters of the words it represents, generally the first letter of each word, but sometimes syllables or other parts of the word. Some acronyms have become so ubiquitous that they are no longer thought of as acronyms, but are more commonly used as words in and of themselves. These acronyms in particular primarily grew out of World War II and the mid-20th century generation. 1. RADAR While the term started out as an acronym — standing for “RAdio Detection And Ranging,” “radar” is a technology used for many things, defined as “a system for detecting the presence, direction, distance and speed of aircraft, ships and other objects, by sending out pulses of high-frequency electromagnetic waves that are reflected off the object back to the source.” While the technology was developed over years by many scientists, Scottish physicist Robert Watson-Watt discovered its use for detecting enemy aircraft during WWII. While it’s still used in these sorts of military and detection contexts, it’s also now used more casually and metaphorically, as in, “Hey, I want to put this project on your radar.” 2. UFO “UFO” stands for “Unidentified Flying Object,” and first emerged in 1953 amid the era’s space craze. The interest in potential alien visitors began a few years earlier, when, in the summer of 1947, a private pilot named Kenneth Arnold described seeing nine objects flying in close formation at a seemingly supernatural speed in Washington state. He described them as “flat like a pie and somewhat bat-shaped,” and that they “flew like a saucer would if you skipped across water.” From there, journalists began referring to them as flying saucers, which eventually became “UFO.” One important distinction: technically, “UFO” is an initialism rather than a strict acronym, since the letters themselves are pronounced rather than a whole new word. 3. CARE (Package) Lucky summer campers and college students might receive a care package from mom when they are away from home for the first time. Colloquially, this is “a parcel of food, money, or luxury items sent to a loved one who is away.” However, the acronym comes from a program known as the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe. The first CARE package arrived in Le Havre, France, in May 1946, beginning a wave of responses to millions in need of food and other supplies at the end of WWII. The CARE packages usually contained staples such as butter, dried milk, canned meat, and even chocolate or chewing gum. 4. SCUBA You can’t get your SCUBA certification without learning what this acronym stands for. It means "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus," which is a pretty straightforward description of the equipment and the activity. The term originated in 1952, and “scuba-diving” came around by 1956. 5. SWAK “SWAK” is still defined as an acronym in the dictionary, meaning “sealed with a kiss.” During the war, soldiers and their sweethearts might write SWAK on the back of an envelope, perhaps even with a lipstick imprint. But as the war continued, soldiers and civilians came up with even more acronyms to express their love. Some were romantic (“OOLAAKOEW” meant “Oceans Of Love And A Kiss On Every Wave”), and some were more risqué (“CHINA” meant “Come Home, I’m Naked Already”). 6. SONAR Similar to "radar," "SONAR" refers to a different type of ranging. Instead of radio detection, this one’s all about using sound to navigate — it stands for "Sound Navigation Ranging." It entered the language in 1946. Source: Words You Might Not Know Are Acronyms
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    What's the Word: PHALANX pronunciation: [FEY-leynx] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, 16th century Meaning: 1. A group of people or things of a similar type forming a compact body. Example: "Getting off the plane, I passed a phalanx of families waiting to be reunited with loved ones." "Every Saturday just before lunch, a phalanx of parents with strollers makes the park nearly impassable." About Phalanx “Phalanx” comes from the same term in Latin, based on the ancient Greek “φάλαγξ” (“phalanx”), meaning “battle order.” Did you Know? The first phalanx was developed by militaries in ancient Macedonia: It was a military unit in a formation of closely arrayed soldiers overlapping their shields and crossing their spears, making themselves difficult to attack. However, even by the fourth century, the Latin term had expanded beyond its military meaning to describe any group of people gathered closely together. In modern use, “phalanx” often calls back to its military roots by evoking a hostile or demanding group, or a group that is difficult to pass. For example, a film star may find herself surrounded by a phalanx of fans asking for her autograph, and a kindergarten teacher giving out ice cream may be surrounded by a phalanx of hungry children.
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    Fact of the Day - PANDAS Did you know.... When we think of giant pandas, we think of lovely black and white bears. They are cute and have many fans all over the world. But do you really know pandas? The following are 15 interesting giant panda facts to help you know more about them. 1. A panda year is equivalent to three human years. A panda year is equivalent to about three human years in terms of life expectancy. Giant pandas live 18–20 years in the wild and 25 to 30 years in captivity. The world's oldest giant panda was Xinxing (‘New Star') in Chongqing Zoo at 38 years old and four months (1982–2020). That's the equivalent of 115 human years. 2. Pandas have 6 "fingers"! A panda's 6th "finger" is like a human thumb. It has the same function as a thumb, but it is actually an unusual wrist bone or opposable paw heel with strong muscles but no movable joints, which allows it to grasp food. They can press the bamboo into fat cigar shapes with their 6th digits for efficient eating. 3. Pandas will abandon a child if she has twins. Wild pandas usually have just one cub, while pandas in captivity are more likely to have twins. In the wild, if the mother panda has two cubs, she will only feed the one she thinks is stronger. The other one is left to fend for itself. The reason for this is that a newborn cub is very weak. Cubs start eating bamboo at around 12 months of age, but until then they are completely dependent on their mother. So, in the wild, female pandas don't have sufficient milk or energy to care for two cubs. A cub stays with its mother until she is pregnant again, when the cub is about a year and a half old. If the mother does not become pregnant, the cub will stay with its mother until it is two and a half years old. 4. Pandas like climbing trees and can swim. Giant pandas are good tree climbers. They can climb trees from 7 months old. In the wild, giant pandas (particularly cubs) climb trees to avoid their enemies and survey their surroundings. As it is safer in a tree, many giant pandas like to sleep in trees. Sometimes, they just climb to look at the scenery. Giant pandas are bears, and like other bears, they can swim. 5. Eating and sleeping make up pandas' daily life. A typical 45-kilo (100-pound) adult spends as long as 12 hours eating 12 to 38 kilos (26–84 lb) of bamboo a day. Pandas can reach 150 kg (330 lb) in captivity and eat even more! When not eating and looking for food, pandas sleep most of the rest of the time. In the wild, giant pandas sleep for two to four hours between feeds. 6. Pandas are loners. Giant pandas are solitary animals. In the wild, they have their own territory, and they do not allow it to be invaded by other pandas. That's because giant pandas feed on bamboo and do not need to hunt cooperatively. They need to eat a lot of bamboo to meet their nutritional needs. If giant pandas lived in groups, there would be conflict over getting enough bamboo, which would negatively affect the survival of all. A panda usually needs its own 3–8 square kilometers (1–3 square miles) of bamboo forest to survive. Click the link below to know about Pandas. Source: Fun Pandas Facts You Didn't Know
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    What's the Word: HARLEQUIN pronunciation: [HAHR-lə-kwin] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Italian, 16th century Meaning: 1. In varied colors; variegated. Example: "The leaves on the plant were a harlequin patchwork of dark greens and pale yellows." "Rainbow grasshoppers are distinguishable by their bright harlequin patterns." About Harlequin “Harlequin” is based on the Old French name “Herlequin” or “Hellquin,” the mythical leader of a group of demon horsemen. Did you Know? A “Harlequin” is a trickster-jester character in Italian “commedia dell’arte,” a style of theater featuring masked characters playing specific stock roles. Harlequin was the best known of a number of comic, servant characters called “Zanni.” Notably, Harlequin is easily recognized in his checkered outfit, which gives rise to the adjective “harlequin.”
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    What's the Word: AVOUCH pronunciation: [ə-VOWCH] Part of speech: verb Origin: Latin, 14th century Meaning: 1. Affirm or assert. Example: "The witness avouched that she saw a man in a blue sweatshirt enter the house after dark." "It’s wise to avouch one’s dietary needs to the waiter when ordering your meal." About Avouch “Avouch” is based on the old French “avouchier,” which was itself based on the Latin “advocāre,” meaning “to summon.” Did you Know? Anyone who makes a speech or publishes a declaration is engaged in avouching, meaning President Abraham Lincoln avouched both the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. avouched the “I Have a Dream” speech (and many others). Speechmaking is often associated with building nations and cultures, and certainly these speeches have been foundational to the character of the United States. “Avouch” is based on the Latin root “advocāre,” meaning “to call” or “to summon.” It is also the root of the word “avocat,” “avvocato,” and “abogado,” meaning “lawyer” in French, Italian, and Spanish, respectively.
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    Fact of the Day - Geography Did you know... Have you ever wondered about the difference between an ocean and a sea? Or questioned why Australia is a continent instead of an island? You’re not alone. The Earth is so mind-boggling in its size and scope that it fosters genuine curiosity. From the deepest point in the world to the Earth’s real age, here are 15 geography facts you’ve always wondered about. 1. How Old Is the Earth? (And How Do We Know Its Age? Although there is no way to know the Earth’s exact age, scientists have calculated it to be roughly 4.54 billion years old, give or take 50 million years. But how did they arrive at this number? Although scientists have pondered this question for centuries, more recent technological advances have made it easier for researchers to understand the Earth’s age. Above all else, radiometric dating has been the most helpful in figuring out the Earth’s birthday because it allows scientists to pinpoint the age of rocks. The oldest rocks on Earth — 4.03 billion years old — were found in Canada, while Greenland, Australia, and Swaziland are home to rocks that range from 3.4 to 3.8 billion years. To top that, scientists have discovered stardust that’s a staggering 7 billion years old, which means the Earth is relatively young in comparison to the rest of the universe. 2. What Does the Prime Meridian Denote A meridian is an imaginary line that runs from north to south on a map. With 360 meridians around the globe, the prime meridian is the starting point for measuring all other meridians. At a longitude of 0 degrees, it also denotes the separation between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres — with 180 meridians to the east and 180 meridians to the west. The implementation of the prime meridian in Greenwich, England, in 1884 unified the globe in its time and space measurements, resulting in all maps being drawn according to the prime meridian’s longitudinal location. 3. What Is the Tropic of Cancer? The Tropic of Cancer is a latitudinal line, also known as a parallel, that runs from east to west around the globe. In addition to the equator, it is one of the five major parallels on Earth (the other three being the tropic of Capricorn, the Arctic Circle, and the Antarctic Circle). Located 23.5 degrees north of the equator, the Tropic of Cancer plays an important role in the sun’s geographical relationship to the Earth. It denotes the northernmost point on Earth where the sun is directly overhead at high noon, which happens annually on the summer solstice (for the Northern Hemisphere) in June. After reaching this point, the sun’s rays travel south until they reach the same angle at the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere, which happens in December on the winter solstice. 4. Why Is the International Date Line Where It Is? After the world was divided into time zones, the International Date Late (IDL) became one of the most important meridians on Earth. Located halfway around the globe from the Prime Meridian, the IDL approximately follows the 180-degree meridian, with a few zig-zags here and there. Despite its significance, the IDL’s location was chosen arbitrarily, as it can be found in a section of the globe that is almost entirely ocean. In a sense, the International Date Line also makes time travel real — when you cross it, travelers will either add or subtract 24 hours from their day. However, since the International Date Line has no legal status, countries are free to choose which side they are on, which accounts for the IDL’s disjointed course. 5. What Is the Difference Between an Ocean and a Sea? In everyday vernacular, the words “ocean” and “sea” are often used interchangeably. But in geographical terms, the two are quite distinct. While oceans are referred to as the large bodies of water that take up much of the globe, seas are much smaller entities, a term geographers use to describe the location where the land meets the ocean. For example, the Bering Sea is part of the Pacific Ocean, but since it is located between the landmasses of Alaska and Russia, it is classified as a sea. 6. What Is the Deepest Point in the Ocean Located in the Mariana Trench southwest of Guam, the Challenger Deep — named for the first crew to record its depth — measures an astounding 36,200 feet deep, which is three times deeper than the average depth of the ocean floor. Using a sounding rope, the HMS Challenger calculated the trench’s depth to be 26,850 feet in 1875. As more teams flocked to the western Pacific over the years, researchers used advanced sonar techniques to measure the current recorded depth. To this day, the Challenger Deep is the deepest known point on Earth. But with an astounding percentage of the ocean yet to be explored, we never know what other fathomless depths will be discovered in the future. 7. Is a Marsh the Same as a Swamp While they may appear similar, marshes and swamps are technically quite different. Although they both are a type of wetland, a swamp can also be compared to a lowland forest, as it is classified based on the type of tree that grows in its ecosystem. For example, depending on the predominant tree, a swamp can be classified as a hardwood swamp, a cedar swamp, or a cypress swamp (like South Florida’s Big Cypress Swamp). On the other hand, a marsh has no trees and instead is dominated by plants and grasses that thrive on the waterlogged soil. Although many people believe the Everglades to be a swamp, it is actually the largest marsh system in the U.S. — before it was partially developed, it took up an astonishing 4,000 square miles of the Florida landscape. Click the link below to read more about Geography Facts Source: Geography Facts You've Always Wondered About
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    What's the Word: VENTURESOME pronunciation: [VEN-cher-səm] Part of speech: adjective Origin: English, 17th century Meaning: 1. Willing to take risks or embark on difficult or unusual courses of action. Example: "Our venturesome hiking guide insisted on taking us over the steep hills, rather than around them." "Gregory was the kind of venturesome eater who visited new restaurants and asked them to prepare their most surprising dishes." About Venturesome “Venturesome” is an adjective formed within English out of the existing noun and verb “venture,” meaning “a risky journey or undertaking.” Did you Know? The modern practice of bungee jumping appeared for the first time on April Fool’s Day, 1979, in Bristol, U.K. On that day, two venturesome members of Oxford University’s Dangerous Sports Club — clad in tuxedos and top hats — jumped off of the Clifton Suspension Bridge secured to elastic cables. They were inspired by the tradition of land diving from the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, in which venturesome young men prove their bravery by jumping from tall towers with tree vines tied to their ankles. After the Oxfordian jumpers were arrested and released, the Dangerous Sports Club made a second bungee jump off San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, this time including the first female bungee jumper. After they made the third bungee jump on television, the phenomenon of venturesome people jumping from great heights attached to elastics took on its own traditions.
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    What's the Word: SYLLABUB pronunciation: [SIL-ə-bəb] Part of speech: noun Origin: Unknown, 16th century Meaning: 1. A whipped cream dessert, typically flavored with white wine or sherry. Example: "We sampled syllabub for the first time while on vacation in Greece." "My aunt makes a delicious syllabub out of whipping cream, white wine, lemon juice, nutmeg, and sugar." About Syllabub It is not clear what root “syllabub” has in English, but variations of the word have appeared since the 16th century. Did you Know? Between the 16th and 17th centuries, there were roughly a dozen spellings of “syllabub” (including “solybubbe,” “sillabubbe,” “sallibube,” and “sullibub”). Many believe “syllabub” emerged as the standard spelling thanks to the similarity to the existing word “syllable.” Completely unrelated to that word, “syllabub” refers to a variety of types of drinks made by curdling milk with alcohol or acid, as well as to various desserts made out of this beverage. People have been eating and drinking something like solybubbe or sallibube for hundreds of years without knowing where its name came from, and we still don’t know, but today we spell it “syllabub.”
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    Fact of the Day - THE SUN Did you know....While there’s a lot happening on Earth, the sun is the real star of our show — pun intended. Hanging out at an average 93 million miles away from Earth, the sun is a perfect mixture of hydrogen and helium that spit-roasts our planet just right as we travel around its bright, glowing body. But although the sun is central to our survival, there’s still a lot we don’t know about it. For decades, space agencies have been sending missions to explore the sun and find answers; in 2021, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe became the first spacecraft to “touch” the sun by entering its upper atmosphere (still some 4 million miles away from its surface). Based on research from these missions and more, here are some of the most interesting things we’ve learned about the sun — and some of our best guesses at what its future might look like. 1. The Sun Is Middle-Aged The sun seems eternal — an ever-present, life-giving fireball in the sky — but not even it can escape the wear and tear of time. Some 4.6 billion years ago, the sun formed from a solar nebula, a spinning cloud of gas and dust that collapsed under its own gravity. During its stellar birth, nearly all of the nebula’s mass became the sun, leaving the rest to form the planets, moons, and other objects in our solar system. Even today, the sun makes up 99.8% of all mass in the solar system. Currently in its yellow dwarf stage, the sun has about another 5 billion years to go before it uses up all its hydrogen, expands into a red giant, and eventually collapses into a white dwarf. So at 4.6 billion years old, the sun could be best described as “middle-aged” — but we don’t think it looks a day over 3 billion. 2. 1.3 Million Earths Could Fit Inside the Sun The Earth is big, but the sun is bigger — way bigger. Measuring 338,102,469,632,763,000 cubic miles in volume, the sun is by far the largest thing in our solar system, and some 1.3 million Earths could fit within it. Even if you placed Earth in the sun and maintained its spherical shape (instead of squishing it together to fit), the sun could still hold 960,000 Earths. Yet when it comes to stars, our sun is far from the biggest. For instance, Betelgeuse, a red giant some 642.5 light-years away, measures nearly 700 times larger and 14,000 times brighter than our sun. 3. It Takes a Long Time for Light to Escape the Sun The sunlight that reaches your eyes is older than you might think. It takes a little over eight minutes for photons from the surface of the sun to reach Earth, meaning every time you glimpse the sun (hopefully with sunglasses!), it actually looks as it appeared eight minutes ago. However, this photon blazing at the speed of light is at the end of a very long journey. Once a photon enters the sun’s “radiative zone,” the area between the core and the convective zone (the final layer which stretches to the surface), energy is absorbed after a very short distance into another atom, which then shoots that energy into yet another direction. The overall effect is what scientists call a “random walk,” and the result is that it can take a single photon thousands of years — up to 100,000 years — to escape the sun. As our knowledge of the sun grows, scientists will likely refine this number, but for now it’s safe to say that it takes “a long time.” 4. The Sun’s Atmosphere Is Much Hotter Than Its Surface As you travel farther from the surface of Earth, things usually get colder and colder. Planes traveling at 35,000 feet, for example, travel through the stratosphere and experience temperatures around -60 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the sun’s atmosphere works in exactly the opposite way. While the surface of the sun hovers around 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the atmosphere (or corona) of the sun is hundreds of times hotter, with temperatures reaching up to 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why the sun’s atmosphere is so much hotter than the surface. One leading theory is that a series of explosions called “nanoflares” release heat upwards of 18 million degrees Fahrenheit throughout the atmosphere. Although small when compared to the sun, these nanoflares are the equivalent of a 10 megaton hydrogen bomb, and approximately a million of them “go off” across the sun every second. Another theory is that the sun’s magnetic field is somehow transferring heat from its core, which rests at a blazing 27 million degrees Fahrenheit, to its corona. 5. Different Parts of the Sun Rotate at Different Speeds The sun doesn’t rotate like your typical planet. While the Earth’s core does rotate ever so slightly faster than the planet’s surface, it mostly moves as one solid mass. The sun? Not so much. First of all, it’s a giant ball of gas rather than a rigid sphere like Earth. The gases at the sun’s core spin about four times faster than at its surface. The sun’s gases also spin at different speeds depending on their latitude. For example, the gases at the sun’s equator rotate much faster than the areas at higher latitudes, closer to the poles. A rotation that takes 25 Earth days at the sun’s equator takes 35 days to make the same journey near the poles. 6. The Sun Completes Its Own Galactic Orbit Every 250 Million Years Picture a grade-school model of the solar system, and it’s easy to forget that the sun is on its own galactic journey. While the Earth orbits the sun, the sun is orbiting the center of the Milky Way galaxy. On its orbiting journey, it travels roughly 140 miles per second, or about 450,000 miles per hour (by comparison, the Earth travels around the sun at only 67,000 miles per hour). Although blazing fast by Earth standards, it still takes our star roughly 230 million years to complete a full revolution. 7. In About 1 Billion Years, the Sun Will Kill All Life on Earth … In 5 billion years, the sun will enter its red giant phase and engulf many of the inner solar system planets, including Earth. However, Earth will lose its ability to sustain life much earlier than that, because the sun is steadily getting hotter as it ages. Scientists estimate that anywhere between 600 million and 1.5 billion years from now, the Earth will experience a runaway greenhouse effect induced by our warming sun that will evaporate all water on Earth and make life on our blue marble impossible (except for maybe some tiny microorganisms buried deep underground). Eventually, Earth will resemble Venus, a hellish planet warmed beyond habitability due to its thick atmosphere and proximity to the sun. Luckily, humanity has at least several hundred million years to figure out a plan B. 8. … But Life Only Exists Because of the Sun in the First Place You can’t get too mad at the sun for its warming ways, because life couldn’t exist without it. Earth is perfectly placed in what astronomers call a star’s “goldilocks zone,” where the sun isn’t too hot or too cold but just right. This advantageous distance has allowed life to flourish on Earth, with the sun bathing our planet in life-giving warmth. The sun also gives plants the light they need to grow and produce oxygen, which in turn forms the bedrock of the web of life — and it’s all thanks to the middle-aged, hydrogen-burning, massively huge star at the center of our solar system. Source: Dazzling Facts About the Sun
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    What's the Word: LARGESSE pronunciation: [lahr-JESS] Part of speech: noun Origin: Old French, 13th century Meaning: 1. Generosity in bestowing money or gifts upon others. Example: "I traveled to Europe when I was a student thanks to my uncle’s largesse." "The town completely renovated their community center and arena through the largesse of an anonymous donor." About Largesse “Largesse” is based on an Old French word, which was based on the Latin “largus,” meaning “abundant.” Did you Know? Some celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey, are so committed to giving to others and building philanthropic causes that they’re almost better known for their largesse than for their work as entertainers. Singer Rihanna is emblematic of this kind of generosity: She has given millions to fund climate-change research as well as to education and health care for people living in poverty. However, other celebrities are known for a more personal kind of largesse, stories of which spread as internet legends. For example, Keanu Reeves has made a name for himself as “a nice guy” who’s friendly to those who encounter him in person and quick to help out struggling individuals. (He also donated roughly 70% of his pay from “The Matrix” to cancer research.)
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    What's the Word: PRINK pronunciation: [prink] Part of speech: verb Origin: Middle Low German, 16th century Meaning: 1. Spend time making minor adjustments to one's appearance; primp. Example: "My brother claims I always prink for an hour before I can go out in public." "Before the wedding, Jina was in front of the bathroom mirror, prinking nervously." About Prink “Prink” is a combination of two words: the Middle English “prank” (meaning “to deck” or “to adorn”) and “primp” (meaning “to spend time on one’s appearance”). Did you Know? “Prink” is an uncommon word that is the product of several more common ones: It is closely related to “primp,” but it is also closely related to “prank” (in its original sense) and “prim.” Though today, “prank” is understood to refer to a trick or practical joke, it originally meant “to decorate or adorn.” To “primp” has always meant “to dress carefully and pay attention to one’s appearance,” though it is a variation on the adjective “prim,” meaning “formal” or “neat.” From the mingling of all these roots, “prink” emerged, meaning “to spend time on the minor details of one’s appearance.”
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    Fact of the Day - TITANIC (movie) Did you know... It’s been a quarter century since the historic epic Titanic, directed by James Cameron, hit the big screen on December 19, 1997, and became one of the highest-grossing films of all time. A technical and artistic marvel, Titanic forever changed the cinematic landscape with its groundbreaking set design and special effects, won over audiences with its romantic plotline, and catapulted the careers of now A-listers Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. The film portrays the tragic sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic during its maiden voyage across the Atlantic on April 4, 1912, from the perspective of two young passengers of different social classes — Rose DeWitt Bukater (played by Winslet) and Jack Dawson (played by DiCaprio) — who fall in love onboard and are forced to navigate the deadly disaster unfolding in the background. Even 25 years later, the film holds multiple records and is etched in pop culture memory. But how much do you know about what went into making Titanic? From the massive, custom-designed set to Kate Winslet’s famous improvised scene and the film’s controversial ending, discover seven facts about Titanic in celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary. 1. No Film Has Won More Academy Awards Than “Titanic” Titanic swept the 1998 Academy Awards, winning 11 of the 14 awards for which the film was nominated, including Best Picture and Best Director. That matched a previous record set in 1960 by the religious epic Ben-Hur, starring Charlton Heston. Only one other film since then has equaled Titanic’s awards haul — The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King in 2004 — but as of 2022, none has exceeded it. In addition, no film to date has secured more than Titanic’s 14 nominations, a record the film shares with the 1950 comedy All About Eve and 2017’s La La Land. Titanic was not only an awards success but also a box-office juggernaut. It held the worldwide record for highest lifetime gross for more than 20 years. The current record-holder is 2009’s Avatar, also directed by James Cameron, but Titanic still holds the No. 3 spot, just behind Avengers: Endgame. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Titanic kept playing in theaters for nearly 10 months after it was released. 2. The Watery Set of “Titanic” Held Nearly 17 Million Gallons of Water The film’s epic story required an elaborate custom-designed set that cost an estimated $20 million to build. The set’s primary feature was a horizon tank, a specialized tank that allows filmmakers to film an ocean scene with a view of the horizon without plunging actors into the middle of an actual ocean. There are only a handful of these tanks in existence worldwide. According to the technical journal JOM, the tank built for the film at Fox Baja Studios near Rosarito, Mexico (where the majority of the shots were filmed), was the largest shooting tank in the world at the time, containing nearly 17 million gallons of salt water. This allowed for a 774-foot-long set of the ship itself, although not everything was filmed in the giant tank. The dining room and the staircase, for example, were constructed on a hydraulic platform at the bottom of an interior tank, and were designed to be flooded with water piped in from the ocean. After shooting wrapped on Titanic, Fox continued to use the giant tank for other sea epics, including Pearl Harbor (2001) and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), until they sold the studio in 2007 to a group of local investors. Since then, recent projects filmed there include the second season of Fear the Walking Dead and the Netflix project Selena: The Series. 3. A Utah Video Store Once Charged $5 To Make “Titanic” More Family-Friendl Titanic earned its PG-13 rating in particular with two famously sexy scenes between Rose and Jack — one in which Rose poses nude so Jack can draw her portrait, and another where the pair steam up the backseat of an automobile in the cargo hold. Even though all we see in the latter scene is a hand against a steamy window, it was too much for some viewers — so the owner of a small video store in Utah came up with a creative solution. Sunrise Family Video in American Fork, about 25 miles northwest of Provo, began charging customers $5 to edit one or both of the racy scenes out of their home VHS copies. For an extra $3, employees would cut out any other scene customers wanted removed. The service was apparently popular, even after Paramount Pictures threatened legal action — by September 1998, the wait time for the service was five weeks. 4. James Cameron Drew the Iconic Nude Portrait of Kate Winslet’s Characte In the film’s famous portrait scene, Rose instructs Jack to “draw me like one of your French girls.” But it wasn’t actor Leonardo DiCaprio who sketched the portrait of Rose reclining in her suite wearing only the “Heart of the Ocean” diamond — it was, surprisingly, James Cameron. The director, also a talented sketch artist with a background in life drawing, used reference photos of Winslet to make the finished product, which he wanted to get exactly right. “I figured it was time to put all that time I spent doing life drawing to work,” he reflected in his book Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron. In the film, the sketch eventually ends up in Cal’s safe, but in real life, it ended up in the hands of the highest bidder, going for a reported $16,000 at auction in 2011. 5. A Mysterious Poisoning Incident Plagued the Crew During Filmin While filming in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in August 1996, more than 50 people working on Titanic — including star Bill Paxton, producer Jon Landau, and director James Cameron — were sent to the hospital after eating a late-night meal and beginning to feel confusion, nausea, and other strange bodily effects. (Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio weren’t filming in Nova Scotia at the time.) It certainly didn’t help that the dish apparently responsible for the incident — a chowder that crew members alternately described as lobster, clam, or mussel — was apparently quite delicious. It was later determined that the cause of the incident wasn’t food poisoning, but rather someone who spiked it with PCP, a hallucinogenic also known as angel dust. Paxton, Cameron, and set painter Marilyn McAvoy have all recalled the ensuing chaos in the press over the years. Cameron got lost on a set that he’d built himself and later got stabbed with a pen by another crew member feeling the effects. At one point, there was even a conga line. The person responsible has never been found, even though local police apparently investigated the incident for more than two years. Cameron suspected a disgruntled crew member who had been fired the day before for starting trouble with the caterers. 6. Spitting On Cal Was Kate Winslet’s Idea In a memorable scene from the film, Rose’s fiancé Cal (played by Billy Zane) grabs her arm as she attempts to run away from him, so she spits on him. The original script called for Rose to stick Cal with a hat pin — but Kate Winslet decided to spit in his face instead. Cameron called the move “genius,” a callback to the scene in which Jack taught her to “spit like a man.” Winslet reportedly swished K-Y Jelly around in her mouth beforehand for maximum effect. Zane, however, wasn’t as thrilled about the change, especially after filming multiple takes. “There are few things you remember as well as being spat upon, let [alone] 17 times,” Zane told Entertainment Tonight in 1997. Still, he “felt being on the receiving end of that juice was better than preparing it in one’s mouth prior to launch.” 7. James Cameron Insists That Jack’s Death Was Necessary One of the most controversial scenes in Titanic is Jack’s watery death at the end. Many contend that there was plenty of room for him to survive on the wooden board that Rose was floating on in the icy waters after the ship sank. The TV series Mythbusters even aired an episode on the topic in 2012. The show ran multiple simulations to determine whether Jack’s survival was possible, but in most scenarios, they found that Jack’s death was inevitable, as the weight of their two bodies would have sunk the board too low in the water. To James Cameron, however, the question misses the point entirely. “The script says Jack died. He has to die,” he said in response to the Mythbusters episode in 2012. “So maybe we screwed up and the board should have been a little tiny bit smaller, but the dude’s goin’ down.” Cameron doubled down on his stance in a 2017 interview with the Daily Beast: “Look, it’s very, very simple: You read page 147 of the script and it says, ‘Jack gets off the board and gives his place to her so that she can survive.’ It’s that simple.” Source: Unsinkable Facts About “Titanic”
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    What's the Word: OBTUND pronunciation: [ob-TUHND] Part of speech: verb Origin: Latin, 15th century Meaning: 1. Dull the sensitivity of; blunt; deaden. Example: "Katherine bought a new shovel each winter and used it on the ice until she had obtunded it." "I was pleased to discover children’s aspirin obtunds the pain from canker sores." About Obtund “Obtund” is based on the Latin “obtundere,” which means “to dull.” It is based on the roots “ob-” (meaning “against”) and “tundere” (meaning “to beat”). Did you Know? “Obtund” means “to blunt” or “to render dull.” This meaning is built right into its Latin roots “ob-” and “tundere,” meaning “to beat against.” To obtund, originally, meant to blunt a physical object by repetitious force, the same way a shovel becomes dull the more often the digger collides with buried rocks. Today, “obtund” is often used in medical contexts, in which it describes not dulling tools but dulling sensitivity. For example, a topical anesthetic is used to obtund areas of skin or tissue that might otherwise be more sensitive.
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    Fact of the Day - FLORIDA EVERGLADES Did you know.... The Everglades is the largest subtropical wetland ecosystem in North America, covering 1.5 million acres of central and southern Florida. This protected region is both a national treasure and a vital ecosystem for wildlife such as alligators and wading birds. Over a million people visit this wilderness every year. Before you join them, check out these five fascinating facts about one of the most amazing places on Earth. 1. Indigenous Peoples Have Resided in the Everglades for Thousands of Years Indigenous populations have long inhabited the Everglades. Among the earliest to call the area home were the Calusa Native Americans, who arrived sometime around 1000 BCE. They developed a powerful society that controlled much of South Florida. The Seminole and Miccosukee peoples also prospered here, and visitors can learn more about the history and culture of the former at the Big Cypress Reservation. Another notable group who made their living off the Everglades are Gladesmen, the husbands and sons of some of the area’s first Anglo American settlers in the early 20th century. They navigated the waterways via narrow boats called glade skiffs, at times spending several months in isolation while hunting and fishing in the vast wilderness. 2. The Everglades Is a River While many assume that the Everglades is one enormous swamp, it is technically a shallow and slow-moving river. Conservationist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who campaigned against development in the area, christened it the “River of Grass” in 1947 because of the swaying sawgrass marsh that grows up from the waterbed. Water in the region flows south from Lake Okeechobee — Florida’s largest lake — toward the Gulf of Mexico. Freshwater sloughs, which are deep marshy rivers, channel water through the wetlands and flow at approximately 100 feet per day. The two main sloughs are Shark River Slough, on the west, and Taylor Slough on the east. 3. The Everglades Is One of the World’s Largest Wetlands — But Was Once Much Larger The Everglades covers an area of about 1.5 million acres, making it one of the largest and most complex wetland ecosystems on the planet. Geologists have identified nine distinct habitats here, including coastal lowlands, marine waters, and pine rocklands. However, around 200 years ago, the Everglades formed part of a watershed that occupied almost one-third of Florida. It extended over 3 million acres from the Kissimmee River to Florida Bay; the rest has been lost over time to draining and reclaiming the land for agriculture and urban developments. In 1947, the southern portion of the original Everglades was protected as Everglades National Park. 4. It’s Teeming With Hundreds of Fascinating and Endangered Wildlife Species Thanks to the various habitats that exist in the wetlands, the region flourishes with extraordinary wildlife. More than 360 bird species have been sighted here, including 16 varieties of wading birds, such as the wood stork and white ibis. Almost 300 fish species are found in the freshwater marshes and along the marine coastline. Consequently, fishing is one of the most popular sporting activities inside the national park. Among the 40 mammal species, two of the most fascinating are the Florida panther and West Indian manatee. The Florida panther was once widespread throughout the southeastern United States, but it is estimated that less than 100 live in the wild today. 5. There’s a Missile Base Located Inside the Park Perhaps the last thing visitors to the Everglades expect to find when traveling around the breathtaking natural scenery is a preserved relic of the Cold War. Located a short drive from the city of Homestead, the Nike Missile HM-69 defensive base was constructed after the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Completed in 1964, it remained in use until 1979 and was once staffed by 140 soldiers. Tours of the barracks, missile barns, and other areas are available between December and March. Source: Surprising Facts About Florida’s Everglades
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    https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/kerbal-space-program Kerbal Space Program is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/shadow-tactics-aikos-choice-5678c1 Shadow Tactics: Aiko's Choice is currently free on Epic Games Store.
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