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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/08/2020 in all areas

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    What's the Word? - FANDANGLE pronunciation: [fan-DAYN-ɡəl] Part of speech: noun Origin: Unknown 19th century meaning: 1. A useless or purely ornamental thing. Example: "I couldn’t resist buying the little fandangle at the beachside souvenir store." "Her wedding dress was covered in bows and lace and fandangles." About Fandangle There’s not much use for this object, but it sure is pretty. Maybe you have a cabinet full of knick-knacks, or your bed is covered with ornamental pillows. Anything with purely decorative potential, but no real use — that’s a fandangle. Did you know? Fandangle can’t be traced back to a specific root language, but it’s safe to assume it’s related to fandango. This is the name for a lively Spanish dance accompanied by a tambourine, or the name for an elaborate process or activity. Fandangle came about in the 19th century, likely as an alteration of the second definition of fandango.
  2. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - CHERRY BLOSSOMS (PINK BLOSSOMS Spring Tree Blossom Flowers Art" by Baslee Troutman Fine Art Prints) Did you know.... that A cherry blossom is a flower of many trees of genus Prunus? The most well-known species is the Japanese cherry, Prunus serrulata, which is commonly called sakura. (Wikipedia) 1. YOU'LL ONLY FIND CHERRY BLOSSOMS IN A HANDFUL OF COUNTRIES. ("Cherry Blossom Avenue" in Bonn, Germany) Called sakura in Japan, the cherry blossoms of Yoshino and Kyoto are world-famous. Tourists flock to the country each spring to try their hand at a centuries-old activity called hanami, or “flower viewing.” You don’t have to fly to Japan to see them, though. In the U.S., the cherry blossoms of Washington, D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston are all beautiful in their own way. The flowers can also be viewed in many European and Asian countries, as well as Brazil and Australia in the southern hemisphere. 2. THE CHERRY BLOSSOM CAPITAL OF THE WORLD IS IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA. Believe it or not, the city of Macon in central Georgia is recognized as the “Cherry Blossom Capital of the World”—at least according to U.S. Congressional records. It’s home to 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees, while Washington, D.C. has fewer than 4000 trees. Those who organize the two cities’ respective cherry blossom festivals have engaged in some playful competition over the years. In 1987, representatives of the Macon festival sent army helmets to TV stations in D.C. “to dramatize the rivalry,” according to an article published at the time in The Record. Representatives in D.C. played it cool, with one spokesperson for the National Park Service stating, “I’m sure they have much more than we have here, but we’re still proud of our celebration.” 3. THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF CHERRY TREE VARIETIES. (The blossoms of a Kanzan tree) Japan in particular is home to hundreds of types of cherry tree—possibly more than 600, by more liberal estimates. Some types bear fruit, while others don’t. The flowers of many trees change from dark pink to light pink to white throughout the different stages of blossoming, while others progress from greenish yellow to white to pink. One variety, called Kanzan, was bred to have “double blossoms”—or up to 28 petals on each flower, compared to the Yoshino tree’s five petals. 4. THEY DON'T BLOOM FOR LONG. A cherry tree might only remain in bloom for one to two weeks. However, they only keep up their “peak color” for about three days, so it’s best to time your trip wisely if you’re visiting a cherry blossom destination from out of town. The timing depends on a number of factors, including location, heat, and daylight. In D.C., the florets typically start to appear in March, and peak bloom (when 70 percent of the flowers have blossomed) generally occurs in late March or early April. This year, the National Park Service predicts that peak bloom will occur from April 3 to April 6, 2019. 5. CLIMATE CHANGE COULD BE MAKING THEM BLOSSOM EARLIER. The projected peak bloom dates are right on track for 2019, but that hasn’t always been the case. Some scholars have suggested that the trees are blooming earlier and earlier as the planet gradually gets warmer. Dr. Soo-Hyung Kim, an ecophysiologist at the University of Washington who has studied the phenomenon, says that by 2080 we could expect to see cherry blossoms in D.C. as early as February. 6. YOU CAN GET ARRESTED FOR PLUCKING A CHERRY BLOSSOM IN WASHINGTON, D.C. (ISTOCK.COM/ROBERTDODGE) Resist the urge to take a cherry blossom home with you as a souvenir. In D.C. at least, breaking off a blossom or branch is viewed as vandalism of federal property. Those who break this rule could receive a citation, or worse, be arrested. (Though usually, law enforcement officers prefer to issue warnings or small fines.) It goes without saying that it’s also illegal to climb the trees. If they sustain damage to their branches, they will never be able to grow new blossoms on that particular bough again. 7. THE VERY FIRST CHERRY TREES TO ARRIVE IN AMERICA WERE A COMPLETE DISASTER. In 1909, Japan offered to send 2000 cherry trees to America as a symbol of friendship between the two countries. After all, just a few years earlier, U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt had helped Japan negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese War. Despite the good intentions, the execution was disastrous. When the trees arrived in D.C. in January 1910, the trees were weak—due to over-pruning of their roots—and they were also infested with wood-boring insects. Despite attempts to save them, the trees were ultimately thrown in a pile and burned. Everyone was pretty embarrassed about the whole ordeal, but Tokyo mayor Yukio Ozaki made a joke to ease some of the tension. “To be honest about it, it has been an American tradition to destroy cherry trees ever since your first president, George Washington,” he said. “So there’s nothing to worry about. In fact, you should be feeling proud.” (Washington's cherry tree story turned out to be untrue, but we digress.) Another shipment of trees was sent, and by 1912, the healthy trees were successfully planted in D.C. by then-First Lady Helen Taft. 8. THE CHERRY TREES IN ONE DUTCH MUNICIPALITY HAVE PROPER NAMES. Located in the largest park in the Netherlands, all 400 cherry blossom trees have proper names. Half of them have traditional Dutch women’s names, and the other half have Japanese women’s names. The Japan Women’s Club gifted the trees in 2000, and you can now find them at Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest) in the Amstelveen municipality. 9. BOTH THE BLOSSOMS AND LEAVES ARE EDIBLE. (JAPAN CRATE) In Japan, no part of the cherry blossom tree goes to waste. The preserved leaves are used as edible mochi wrappers (a rice cake filled with sweet bean paste), and a number of seasonal snacks feature sakura as a key ingredient. Sakura-infused versions of Pepsi, Coke, tea, and even Starbucks lattes are all popular drinks. You can also find two varieties of Kit Kats—sakura and roasted soy bean, and sakura sake—as well as Pocky snack sticks that taste like sakura and matcha (green tea). So what do cherry blossoms taste like? They have a “light, flowery, slightly cherry flavor,” according to Gabe Perez, social media director at Japan Crate, a subscription box service that ships many of the aforementioned snacks, plus other Japanese products, to customers. 10. THEY WERE THE INSPIRATION BEHIND A RECORD-SETTING LEGO SCULPTURE. LEGOLAND Japan, a theme park in Nagoya, set a Guinness World Record in 2018 for the largest LEGO brick cherry blossom tree ever made (although we’re not sure how much competition they had). The tree stood 14 feet tall, weighed over 7000 pounds, and consisted of more than 800,000 LEGO bricks. Source: Emily Petsko
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