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  1. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - SKATEBOARDING Lenna performs a 360 flip in front of the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY Did you know.... that the first skateboards started with wooden boxes, or boards, with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. Crate scooters preceded skateboards, having a wooden crate attached to the nose (front of the board), which formed rudimentary handlebars. The boxes turned into planks, similar to the skateboard decks of today. Skateboarding is an action sport that involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard, as well as a recreational activity, an art form, an entertainment industry job, and a method of transportation. Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2009 report found that the skateboarding market is worth an estimated $4.8 billion in annual revenue, with 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world. In 2016, it was announced that skateboarding will be represented at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Since the 1970s, skateparks have been constructed specifically for use by skateboarders, freestyle BMXers, aggressive skaters, and very recently, scooters. However, skateboarding has become controversial in areas in which the activity, although illegal, has damaged curbs, stoneworks, steps, benches, plazas, and parks. (Wikipedia) History of Skateboarding by SkateDelux.com Skateboarding is more than just cruising around. Skateboarding is a lifestyle. Skateboarding is love. Over the past 60 years Skateboarding went through a kind of evolution. The main points of the story we clarified for you in our skateboarding history: THE 1950S By the early 1950s, surfing can be traced as the source of skateboarding. Some surfers had the idea to transfer the feeling of riding waves onto the streets to defy times of days with a gentle swell. Not without any reason these dudes were called “asphalt surfers”. At two spots in the world a kind of a skateboard was developed at the first time in the early 1950s: California and Hawaii. They used shorter surfboards and wheels made out of metal without some bearings. In the late 1950s, skateboarding had a first peak. During the post-war period, the U.S. economy boomed and this also affected the toy industry. During that time, the toy industry became aware of the board with wheels. In 1959, Roller Derby released the first official skateboard with some new technical developments. Thereby, the handling characteristics have been improved. For this reason, skateboarders were able to develop new tricks and maneuvers. THE 1960S Between the years 1959 and 1965, skateboarding became more and more popular in the United States. Particularly affected were the states on the east and west coasts. Due to the industrial development, the skateboard’s status changed from toy to sports equipment. In 1962, the surf shop “Val-Surf” in Hollywood sold the first self-produced skateboards. These boards featured a typical surfboard shape and roller skate trucks and were sold as complete boards. In the same year, the company Patterson Forbes developed the first industrially produced complete boards with more developed trucks. In 1963, the publisher of the “Surf Guide Magazine” Larry Stevenson released the first advertisement for skateboards in his magazine. Also the clothing industry specialized more and more on skateboarding. One of the most famous skateboarding shoe brand named Vans was established in 1966. From this day on, Vans supported skateboarders from all over the world. Especially shoe companies like Vans, Etnies, Converse and DC Shoes developed and manufactured skateboarding related footwear and streetwear. Another landmark event in 1963 was the first skate contest in Hermosa Beach, California. Skateboarding was not just cruising anymore. Skateboarders showed their skills in different disciplines like slalom or freestyle and companies started to assemble a team to sponsor the riders. As the popularity of skateboarding began to expand, the first skateboarding magazine “The Quarterly Skateboarder” was published in 1964. A next big step was the further development of the shape of the boards. Larry Stevenson invented the “kicktail“, and with it came a lot more possibilities to ride a skateboard. THE 1970S The only consistent thing is change and so it came to a point where everything changed for skateboarding. Frank Nasworthy’ invention of polyurethane wheels in 1972 made it possible for skateboarding to come back. Nasworthy started the company Cadillac Wheels and with the new material it was possible to ride smoother, faster and more comfortable. A variety of disciplines such as freestyle, downhill and slalom experienced a real high point. New magazines like the “Skateboarder Magazine” from 1975 were published and new events were launched. In 1976, the first artificially created skate park was inaugurated and new parks emerged with new elements such as vertical ramps and kickers. In the mid-1970s, skateboarding reached Germany. The American soldiers brought the trend with them and by 1976 Munich became the first German skateboard center. In Munich Neuperlach, the first skate park was built, first skateboard magazines followed and in 1978 the first German skateboard championships were held in Munich. All the different riders with their individual styles enhanced lots of new tricks. Therefore, skateboarding hardware was developed further and further: Shapes changed, boards became wider, got more concave and they featured nose and tail. Then in 1978, Alan Gelfand invented a maneuver that gave skateboarding another revolutionary jump: The “Ollie”, which counts as the greatest trick ever invented and completely revolutionized skateboarding. That was the birth of street skateboarding! THE 1980S Rodney Mullen was one of the first riders who transferred the Ollie for different maneuvers onto the streets and spread a new style of skateboarding. Next to other fun sport activities like BMX or inline skating, street skateboarding developed more and more and became very popular. In 1981, the “Thrasher Magazine” was founded and since then, this magazine stands for street skateboarding, the core scene, punk rock and the lifestyle slogan “Skate And Destroy”. In 1983, another well-known magazine was founded, namely the “Transworld Skateboarding Magazine”. Next to these magazines, a few smaller ones were founded and more skate shops opened. Because of this, the popularity of skateboarding continued to grow. A global dissemination of new tricks and unseen skate maneuvers allowed the first skate videos on VHS. Videography has become increasingly important to the scene. Titus Dittmann was instrumental in the development of skateboarding in Germany. He imported skate-related products from the US and organized contests and various skateboarding events. The “Münster Monster Mastership” became one of the biggest international skateboarding competitions in the 1980s. For that reason, skateboarding became more and more famous in Germany. From the mid-1980s on, it was possible to earn good money as a professional skateboarder and the skateboard industry boomed in the US. In the late 1980s, companies like Powell Peralta, Santa Cruz and Vision dominated the international market of the scene. The fashion was mainly determined by shoes. Shoes by Vans, Converse or Vision became flagships for the skateboarding scene. Skateboarding was now absolutely established the US and in Germany and vert skateboarding was replaced by street skateboarding. The number of skateboarders increased significantly and professional skateboarders became more and more famous just like baseball or football stars. FROM THE 1990S In the early 1990s, skateboarding went through a further depth phase due to the increase in various trend sports. So skateboarding went back to its roots. But because of the digitalization, skateboarding maintained its presence in public. From the mid-1990s, the modern skateboarding experienced a next high phase, which continues until today. Mega events like the “X-Games” were launched and televised. Due to numerous magazines, all the events, videos and last but not least the internet, skateboarding became common worldwide. Because of brands like Chocolate, Girl Skateboards or Flip Skateboards, the skateboarding hardware was developed more and more and skateboarders could buy high-quality skateboards in every bigger city. More indicators are the big and worldwide known events of “Street League”. “Street League Skateboarding” is a contest series for international pro skaters. Here, you only see the best street skateboarder you can think of like Nyjah Huston, Eric Koston, Paul Rodriguez, Andrew Reynolds, Ryan Sheckler or Torey Pudwill. Due to the cash prizes of 200.000 US Dollars or more for the winner and 10.000 visitors at the “Street League” stops, skateboarding has become a professional sport. 2012 Champion, Nyjah Huston In Germany, street skating is the most popular discipline at contests just like in the USA. The European and German skate scene is independent, has its own industry, pros and a national contest series. This is an evidence of how big the role of skateboarding is in our society. Skateboarding has become a job for a lot of people. Because of the increasing networking inside the skate scene, skateboarding will grow and bring more innovations in the future. But for the most of us, skateboarding is and will be a hobby and an attitude to life. The only thing we have left to say is: Thank you skateboarding! Source: Wikipedia - Skateboarding | History of Skateboarding
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    What's the Word? - DEMIURGIC pronunciation: [dem-ee-ER-jik] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Greek, early 17th century Meaning: 1. A powerful creative force or being. Example: "When she's in her studio, she's a demiurgic force." "I meditate before I work to try to access a demiurgic state." About Demiurgic Demiurgic is thought to have originated from the Greek word "dēmiourgós," or "skilled worker." Did you Know? While demiurgic describes a powerful creative force or state of being, a demiurge is a creative entity — such as an artisan or craftsman. One notable demiurge is the Greek god Hephaestus, who was a talented blacksmith known as the god of the forge.
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    Fact of the Day - ICE CREAM Black Sesame Soft Ice Cream, Japan Did you know... that ice cream is a sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. It may be made from dairy milk or cream and is flavoured with a sweetener, either sugar or an alternative, and any spice, such as cocoa or vanilla. It can also be made by whisking a flavored cream base and liquid Nitrogen together. (Wikipedia) Ice Cream facts You Might Not Know The Introduction of Ice Cream is Unclear No one really knows who invented ice cream. We have bits and pieces of information. It’s enough to put together a basic story, but we don’t have all of the answers. In Ancient Rome, Emperor Nero enjoyed mixing snow with fruit and honey. He frequently sent messengers out to gather snow from the mountains. Some historians credit Marco Polo with being the first one to bring some type of ice cream to Europe. He had learned it from the Chinese, who had flavored snow with rice and milk to make a creamy dessert. From there, it progressed. Eventually, ice cream recipes reached the United States a few centuries after Christopher Columbus landed on American soil. Ice Cream Sundaes Were Actually Made For Sundays There are two competing stories about the invention of the ice cream sundae. Here is the most popular one. Ice cream sodas were a popular drink you could buy at the local soda shop. However, religious laws forbade shop owners from selling them on Sundays because people were not allowed to indulge in the sugary treats on the Sabbath. The owner of Ed Berners’ Ice Cream Parlor, Edward Berners, decided to get around this law. One day, he served a customer ice cream soda without the actual soda part, so it was just ice cream and syrup. Soon, the concoction was sold on Sundays as an alternative to ice cream sodas. However, it became so popular it was sold every day. Berners changed the spelling to “sundae” to avoid associating it with the holy Sabbath. The Waffle Cone Was Invented by Accident In 1904, an ice cream vendor ran out of cones. He was at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, and he was facing high demand from guests. Desperate for a solution, he turned to a waffle vendor nearby. Together, they came up with the idea to mold the waffles into cones and serve the ice cream in there. Customers loved the idea, and the waffle cone was officially born. America Loves Ice Cream! The United States is one of the top 3 countries in the world with the highest ice cream consumption. California is the country’s top ice cream producer. That’s no surprise, since it’s also the top dairy producer in the country. Can you guess what America’s favorite flavor is? If you guessed chocolate, rocky road, or cookies n’ crème, you’re wrong. It’s actually vanilla. The Ingredients of the First Handwritten Ice Cream Recipe Will Disgust You Sometime around 1668, English noblewoman Lady Anne Fanshawe wrote down the first official ice cream recipe. She originally called it “icy cream,” and it called for some pretty strange things. To prepare the ice cream, the recipe states to boil cream with mace. If that doesn’t throw you off, wait till you see what comes next. For flavor, Fanshawe wrote to use orange flower or ambergris with some sugar. If you don’t know what ambergris is, it is essentially whale vomit. Occasionally, sperm whales suffer from a buildup in their intestines, which ends up coming up in the form of a vomit-like substance. This is known as ambergris, and in the past it was commonly used to make things like candles or perfumes. Which Came First: Chocolate or Vanilla? If you thought the answer was vanilla, you’re wrong. Chocolate was actually invented first. We generally assume that vanilla ice cream came first because it’s the common base that creates many other flavors. However, it wasn’t always that way. Ice Cream Used to be a Luxury Back in the day, ice cream was seen as a luxurious dessert that only the elite could enjoy. It was considered rare and exotic, and remained this way until the late 1800s. The elite and rich upper-class society members were the only ones who could afford the imported ingredients and the cold storage. These were also the days before the commercialization and manufacturing of ice cream. Therefore, it wasn’t as easy to get for everyone, which led to the exclusivity. There is an Ice Cream Fruit in Hawaii That’s right. There’s a Hawaiian fruit that tastes exactly like vanilla ice cream. It’s called the Inga feuilleei, but locals call it the ice cream bean. It grows on perennial trees in hot climates, and it is enjoyed in many different ways by locals. Astronaut Ice Cream Has Never Actually Been to Space You’ve probably seen astronaut ice cream in a handful of gift shops and candy stores. It’s essentially freeze-dried ice cream. But astronaut ice cream is actually not used on space missions. In fact, astronaut ice cream has never been to space at all. Some reports have said it did once, on the Apollo 7 mission in 1968. However, those reports have been dismissed by Walter Cunningham, the only living astronaut on that mission, who claims that there was never such a thing. NASA scientists are now coming up with new inventions to help astronauts enjoy ice cream in space. However, this form of ice cream isn’t exactly the freeze-dried Neapolitan you might have tasted as a kid. Freeze-dried Neapolitan ice cream There’s a Simple Trick to Help Brain Freeze The real word for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. But you can keep calling it brain freeze or frozen headache. What is brain freeze? In simple terms, you have temperature sensors on the roof of your mouth. When cold objects hit it before your body has time to process, your nerves send a message to your brain that signal heat loss. This is what brings on that massive headache halfway through eating your ice cream. To combat brain freeze, hold your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This will help warm your sensors and get your brain out of panic mode. Brain Freeze Cat We Know How Many Licks it Takes to Get Through a Scoop The magic number is 50. We’re just jealous we weren’t the person who got to do the taste test to get that data! Source: Wikipedia - Ice Cream | Ice cream Facts
  4. 1 point
    What's the Word? - BOÎTE pronunciation: [bwat] Part of speech: noun Origin: French, unknown Meaning: 1. A small restaurant or nightclub. Example: "Pierre was delighted to learn the new boîte was not too far from his apartment." "This boîte has the best happy hour in town." About Boîte Boîte means "box" in French. This word's origins and how it became widely used to describe restaurants and nightclubs is, unfortunately, unknown. Did you Know? Not every restaurant is a boîte. If a restaurant is small and has a vibrant nightlife, then it is considered a boîte.
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    Fact of the Day - BASKETBALL James Naismith Did you know... that the history of basketball began with its invention in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts by Canadian physical education instructor James Naismith as a less injury-prone sport than football. Naismith was a 31-year old graduate student when he created the indoor sport to keep athletes indoors during the winters. (Wikipedia) Basketball in Canada Article by Frank T. Butler | April 30, 2006 Updated by Tabitha Marshall | March 10, 2017 Basketball is a game played between two teams of five players each. The objective is to score by throwing a ball through a netted hoop located at each end of the court. Invented by Canadian James Naismith in 1891, while he was teaching at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, basketball is now one of the most popular sports in the world. James Naismith, inventor of basketball Invention of Basketball Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith at the YMCA International Training School (now Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith, an instructor at the school, responded to the need for an indoor winter recreational activity that could be easily learned and played in teams. Naismith wanted to develop a game that emphasized skill instead of force. The result was a team sport in which the object was to score by throwing a large ball into a (peach) basket placed about 3 m (or 10 feet) above the floor. Naismith also defined 13 basic rules, including prohibitions against running with the ball and “shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or striking in any way.” Naismith's original rules There were only thirteen rules of "basket ball": The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands. A player cannot run with the ball, the player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball when running at good speed. The ball must be held in or between the hands, the arms or body must not be used for holding it. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed. The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute. A foul is striking the ball with the fist, violation of rules 3 and 4, and such as described in rule 5. If either side makes three consecutive fouls it shall count a goal for opponents. A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from grounds into the basket and stays there. If the ball rests on the edge and the opponent moves the basket it shall count as a goal. When the ball goes out of bounds it shall be thrown into the field and played by the person first touching it. In case of a dispute, the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The "thrower-in" is allowed five seconds. If he holds it longer it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on them. The umpire shall be the judge of the men and shall note the fouls, and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. The referee shall be the judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in-bounds, and to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee. The time shall be fifteen-minute halves, with five-minute rests between. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner. In the case of a draw, the game may, by agreement of the captains, be continued until another goal is made Graduates of the YMCA training school in Springfield helped to spread basketball throughout the world. By the 1930s, it was played in countries around the world, prompting its acceptance as an official Olympic men’s competition in 1936. Basketball in Canada Many students at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield were Canadian, and these young men (e.g., Lyman Archibald, J. Howard Crocker, William H. Ball) helped establish the new game across the country. By 1900, basketball was being played in Canada by both men and women at local YMCAs and YWCAs, and in schools and clubs. In 1923, the Canadian Amateur Basketball Association (CABA) was formed in Port Arthur [Thunder Bay], Ontario. As the official governing body for basketball in Canada, its main function was to assist with national championships, but its programs, beyond men's and women's national championships, now include: men's and women's national team development; technical development with coaching; official and player certification; youth programs; a Hall of Fame; educational services; and promotion and revenue generation. In 1973, the organization voted to adopt the international playing rules of the Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur/International Amateur Basketball Federation (FIBA). The CABA was renamed Basketball Canada by 1980, and later became Canada Basketball. Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Canada. According to the Canadian Youth Sports Report, around 354,000 youth (age 3–17) played basketball in 2014, making it the sixth most popular sporting activity for young Canadians after swimming, soccer, dance, hockey and skating. Among new Canadians (those whose parents were born outside Canada), basketball was second only to soccer. The first basketball court: Springfield College Professional Basketball in Canada Canada’s first professional basketball teams began playing in the 1946–47 season. The Toronto Huskies played that season as part of the Basketball Association of America, a forerunner of the National Basketball Association. On 1 November 1946, Toronto hosted the league’s first game, playing the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens. The Huskies lost to the Knickerbockers that evening and folded at the end of the season. On the West Coast, the Vancouver Hornets played in the Pacific Coast Professional Basketball League (1946–47 and 1947–48), before the league folded. It would be several decades until professional basketball returned to Canada. In the 1980s, Canadian teams began playing in minor professional leagues such as the Continental Basketball Association and the World Basketball League. A new era in Canadian professional basketball began in 1994, when the National Basketball Association (NBA), the major professional league in the United States, awarded franchises to two Canadian cities. The Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies, who both began play in 1995, brought major professional basketball to Canada for the first time. The Grizzlies were unsuccessful and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 2001. The Raptors continue as the league's only Canadian team. Support for the Raptors has grown, with increasing numbers watching or attending games. In 2005–06, the average attendance at Raptors home games was 17,056 (17th of 30 teams in the NBA), but by 2015–16, attendance had risen to 19,825 (4th of 30 teams). Between the 2010–11 and 2014–15 seasons, TV viewership for the Raptors more than doubled, from 108,000 to 246,000. A growing number of Canadians have played on National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) teams in the United States, and in the professional National Basketball Association and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Canadian NBA players include Bob Houbregs, Bill Wennington, Rick Fox, Steve Nash, Cory Joseph and Andrew Wiggins. In 2005, while playing for the Phoenix Suns, Nash won the league's MVP award, becoming the first Canadian to receive the honour. Steve Nash International Competition Basketball appeared as a demonstration sport for male athletes at the 1904 Olympic Games in St Louis. The Edmonton Grads, a women's team, played a series of matches in conjunction with the 1924, 1928 and 1936 Olympic Summer Games. In 1936, men’s basketball first appeared as an official Olympic sport. Canada's team at the 1936 Berlin Olympiad, the Windsor Ford V8s, made up of players primarily from Windsor, Ontario, and strengthened by players from the West Coast, won the silver medal, losing in the final to the United States 19 to 8. Women’s basketball became an Olympic sport in 1976. Neither team has won an Olympic medal in basketball since 1936, but both have reached the podium at the Pan American Games and the FIBA Americas Championships. The women’s team has also won bronze medals at the FIBA World Championships. Wheelchair Basketball In 1946, about half a century after basketball was invented, American Second World War veterans played the first documented wheelchair basketball game. Two Canadian teams soon formed — the Vancouver Dueck Powerglides in 1950 and the Montréal Wheelchair Wonders in 1951. The game quickly became popular, and in 1968 the first Canadian championships were held in Edmonton, Alberta. Wheelchair basketball is now one of the most popular team sports for athletes with disabilities. The national men’s and women’s teams are among the best in the world, and since 1992 have won several Paralympic and world championships. Source: Wikipedia - History of Basketball | Basketball in Canada
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    What's the Word? - TOHUBOHU pronunciation: [toh-hoo-BOH-hoo] Part of speech: noun Origin: Hebrew, unknown Meaning: 1. A state of chaos; utter confusion. Example: "The mayor's unexpected announcement left the press in a tohubohu." "After recess the students were always in a tohubohu." About Tohubohu This word developed from the Hebrew word "tōhū wa-ḇōhū," which translates to "emptiness and desolation." Tohubohu is also found in the Bible, used in context to mean "without form and void." Did you Know? In a modern sense, tohubohu refers to a state of chaos. Originally, however, it meant something very different. The Hebrew phrase "tōhū wa-ḇōhū" refers to the world just before the creation of light. In this context, it means a lightless, endless void.
  7. 1 point
    Hey no worries... I enjoy the stuff you post here.
  8. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - DRIFTWOOD Driftwood provides a perch for a bald eagle on Fir Island, Washington. Did you know... that driftwood is wood that has been washed onto a shore or beach of a sea, lake, or river by the action of winds, tides or waves. In some waterfront areas, driftwood is a major nuisance. However, the driftwood provides shelter and food for birds, fish and other aquatic species as it floats in the ocean. (Wikipedia) The Surprising Beauty and Benefits of Driftwood By Russell McLendon | Updated August 15, 2018 Trees are pillars of their communities, a role they can maintain even in death. An upright dead tree offers vital habitat to certain birds and bats, for example, while a fallen tree is a bonanza for life on the forest floor, including future trees. Yet rotting in place is not the only natural afterlife for a tree. Sometimes, instead of giving back to its birth forest, a tree will embark on an odyssey to pay it forward, carrying its ecological wealth away from the only home it has ever known. These traveling trees don't mean to betray their roots; they're just going with the flow. They've become driftwood, a term for any woody remnants of trees that wind up moving through rivers, lakes or oceans. This journey is often brief, merely leading to a different part of the same ecosystem, but it can also send a tree far out to sea — and maybe even across it. Driftwood is a common sight at beaches around the world, although many people dismiss it as unremarkable scenery or useless debris. And while some driftwood is a little short on mystique — like twigs from a nearby tree, or boards that fell off a fishing pier — it can also be a ghost from a distant forest or shipwreck, transformed by its adventures into something beautiful. Along the way, driftwood tends to return the favor by reshaping and enriching the environments it visits. In an age when oceans are plagued by plastic trash, driftwood is a reminder that natural marine debris can be benign, even beneficial. It embodies the fragile ecological links between land and water, as well as the subtle beauty commonly hiding in plain sight. In hopes of shedding more light on these qualities, here's a deeper look at why driftwood deserves more attention: Windows of opportunity Long before humans built boats from dead trees, the raw materials were out there exploring uncharted waters on their own. Driftwood may have even inspired our first wooden rafts and boats, as ancient people noticed its strength and buoyancy. Dead trees have always served as boats, though, just usually for smaller passengers. Driftwood not only feeds and shelters lots of tiny wildlife, but can also help them colonize otherwise unreachable habitats. And its arrival can benefit local residents, too, introducing new resources to sustain coastal wildlife and help buffer their exposed home from wind and sun. Depending on the driftwood and where it washes up, seafaring trees can be valuable additions to waterfront habitats that lack the canopy and roots of live trees, such as rocky beaches or coastal sand-dune ecosystems. Even in places with plenty of trees, like the banks of a forested river, driftwood often plays an integral role in building up and shaping the habitat's infrastructure. Logging off The adventures of driftwood often begin in rivers, and many of them stay there. Driftwood is an important part of virtually all natural waterscapes around the world, including freshwater streams, rivers and lakes as well as oceans. Rivers that flow through or near forests tend to collect pieces of dead trees, sometimes resulting in accumulations of driftwood known as logjams. Over time, these clusters can help build up the banks of rivers and even shape their channels, influencing not only the way water moves through the ecosystem, but also what kind of solutes, sediments and organic matter it contains. Driftwood also slows down the flow of a river, helping it retain more nutrients to nourish its native wildlife. And by forming lots of different microhabitats within a river channel, driftwood has a tendency to boost local biodiversity, too. Similar to long-lived beaver dams, driftwood logjams have been known to persist for centuries if left alone, eventually becoming huge, landscape-altering rafts. One such logjam, known as the Great Raft, may have been growing for 1,000 years before the Lewis and Clark expedition encountered it in 1806. The raft, reportedly sacred to the native Caddo people, held tens of millions of cubic feet of cedar, cypress and petrified wood, covering nearly 160 miles of the Red and Atchafalaya rivers in Louisiana. The Great Raft may have been a natural wonder, but because it blocked navigation of the Red River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launched an effort to dismantle it. Initially led by steamboat captain Henry Shreve, the project kicked off in the 1830s and took decades to complete, inadvertently transforming the geology of the Lower Mississippi River watershed in the process. "The many lakes and bayous that the Red River had created in Louisiana and East Texas drained away," according to the Red River Historian. "The river shortened its path to the Mississippi. To stop the destabilization of the land surrounding the river, the Corps of Engineers had to implement billions of dollars in lock and dam improvements to keep the river navigable." Even under natural conditions, however, rivers rarely hold onto all of their driftwood. Depending on the size of a waterway, it may let trees and woody debris keep flowing downstream, eventually reaching a new environment like a lakeshore, estuary or beach. Although driftwood often decays within two years, some pieces last much longer under certain conditions. The Old Man of the Lake, for one, is a 30-foot-tall (9-meter) tree stump that's been bobbing vertically in Oregon's Crater Lake since at least 1896. Branching out As streams and rivers carry driftwood seaward, large "driftwood depositories" sometimes collect at a waterway's mouth. These buildups have existed for roughly 120 million years, dating back almost as far as flowering plants themselves. Some of their driftwood may eventually continue out to sea, while other pieces stick around in a river delta, estuary or a nearby shoreline. Click the link below to read more about Driftwood. Source: Beauty and Benefits of Driftwood | Wikipedia - Driftwood
  9. 1 point
    Thank you for the correction. I got this on a website but they don't go in-depth on the colors, so it's always good to know when I get something off and someone corrects me!
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    What's the Word? - AILUROPHILE pronunciation: [aye-LOO-rə-fayhl] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, early 20th century Meaning: 1. A cat lover. Example: "She must be an ailurophile after fostering cats for 15 years." "Even though I only have dogs, I'm an ailurophile at heart." About Ailurophile Ailurophile developed in Greek, specifically from a combination of the Greek word "ailuros" (cat) and "phile" (a love or fondness for something). Did you Know? If you would like to indicate your identity based on your love for something, you can follow this pattern: use its Greek or Latin name + the suffix "phile." Some examples include ailurophile (cat lover), bibliophile (book lover), and Anglophile (a lover of England and English culture).
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    Correction: Muslims have nothing to do with red. Wearing red on a wedding is a Hindu thing, but gained popularity over the past 70 or so years among the whole of the sub-continent.
  12. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - COLOR Did you know... that color, or colour, is the characteristic of visual perception described through color categories, with names such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple. This perception of color derives from the stimulation of photoreceptor cells by electromagnetic radiation. (Wikipedia) Interesting Color Facts COLORS About colors. The world around us is not black and white. It is beautiful, colorful, and it offers itself to us in a multitude of different colors. The human eye can distinguish between at least 2000 different shades of different colors and those also in many different combinations. We use and express ourselves with them. They serve as a tool for communication and help us as changing the welfare, surroundings. Using them, we also disclose our spiritual and cultural orientation. We can enrich our world with colors, making it more aesthetic and adjusted to your own needs and desires. It is also good to know something about the colors so that we do not spoil the climate in which we live. ABOUT COLORS There are three basic colors: yellow, red, and blue. These are called primary colors. They are basic because they can not be derived from other colors. When mixed, they form black. This is called subtraction of color mixtures. From the original primary colors mentioned above, they differ in that: we get them by the removal of light. Primary Colors When we mix the neighboring colors, the circle, we get secondary colors: orange, violet, and green. Secondary Colors And if we mix the primary and secondary colors, we get tertiary colors: red-violet, red-orange, blue-green, yellow-green, blue-violet, and yellow-orange. Tertiary Colors Harmonic colors are those who are the neighbors of the color circle. These are, for example: yellow, lemon yellow, orange-yellow, orange-brown. All 4 of these are originating from the area between yellow and orange, so they fit together nicely. Harmonic Colors Complementary colors are those that are lying on the opposite side from one another and are generating a voltage. Yellow is complementary to purple; orange is complementary to blue, and green is complementary to red. Complimentary Colors Warm colors are red, orange, and yellow. Cool colors are blue, green, and purple. Neutral colors are white, brown, and beige. Color Wheel CONCLUSION We practically never see a single solitary color, not even if we want to isolate it on purpose. Each has its color tone, brightness, and saturation, and is more or less under the influence of the colors that surround it, or those that form its background: – Brightness: color on a dark background seems to be brighter than on a lighter background. – Tint: Cyan on a green background looks bluer and on a blue background looks greener. – Saturation: any color is greyish on the background of pure, clean tone; however, if the background is bright, it looks greyish. WHITE COLOR FACTS The white flag is a symbol of peace. Pharaohs of Egypt wore a white crown. A wedding in a white dress is supposed to bring good luck. Therefore, it is the traditional color of wedding dresses in the Western world and Japan. Whitelist (opposite to blacklist) contains big things. The knight in shining white armor is supposed to be the savior. White Room is usually a clean room, dust-free, temperature-controlled, meant for Inhalt precise instruments. Old Persians believed that all gods wore white clothes. The white feather is a symbol of a coward. Angels are mostly dressed in white. White is the color of mourning in China and some parts of Africa. By the 16th century, it was also the color of mourning in Europe. The ancient Greeks were dressed in white while sleeping due to dreams, more pleasant thoughts. YELLOW COLOR FACTS Yellow is the color of mourning in Egypt and Burma. For holistic healers, it is the color of peace. The yellow ribbon is a sign of support to the soldiers at the front. If someone is said to have yellow lines, it means that a person is a coward. Yellow can symbolize jealousy and deceit (France) and sadness (Greece). Hindus in India wear yellow when celebrating the festival of spring. In the 10th century, in France, criminals and traitors got their front door painted with yellow. Executioners in Spain in the old days wore yellow. In the US, taxis and school buses are yellow. For old Aztecs, yellow symbolized food (corn). The yellow flag means quarantine. In India, it can symbolize farmers or traders. ORANGE COLOR FACTS Orange is Dutch national color from their War for Independence, which participated in the rebel “Orange” prince. In China and Japan, the orange symbolizes happiness and love. RED COLOR FACTS In South Africa, red is the color of mourning. Red in Russia represents beauty. In India, red is a symbol of a soldier. “Red-shirts” were soldiers of the Italian leader Garibaldi, who united and founded modern Italy in the 19th century. In Greece, Easter eggs are colored in red for good luck. For old Romans, red was also a sign of conflict. In England, telephone booths and double-decker buses are red. The Aztecs associated red color with blood. In China, red is the color of happiness and is used for weddings. Also, with Hindus and Muslims. Red amulets prolong life for many cultures. The highest arc in the rainbow is red. In financial circles, red represents a negative outlook. Bees can see all the colors except red. In India, the red dot on the forehead of women is bringing good luck. When you blush, it means that you feel embarrassed. A red flag means danger. VIOLET COLOR FACTS Purple is the color of mourning in Thailand. Violet’s heart is a reward for the injured and dead soldiers. Purple gowns represent authority and high positions. BLUE COLOR FACTS In Iran, blue is the color of mourning. Pharaohs in ancient Egypt wore blue for protection against evil. Blue blood means royal roots. We believe that blue protect against witches. Even in ancient Rome, public officials wore blue. GREEN COLOR FACTS In the ancient Egyptians, the floor of the temple was painted green. Green with envy means that jealous and envious. In ancient Greece, green symbolized victory. Greenhorn means a new man, a newcomer, someone fresh without experiences. If anyone gets the green light means that a person can start with a task or project. Green Room is a special room in concerts and theaters, where performers rest and relax before performing. In Scotland’s Highlands, the green is worn as a sign of pride. Green is the national color of the Irish people. If you’re green, it means that you got sick. Green means go. BLACK COLOR FACTS Black Sheep is an outcast. With the ancient Egyptians and Romans, the black was the color of mourning. Black is often the color of secrets and mysteries. A person who has “a black heart” is evil. The black market stands for illegal trafficking in goods or money. Blacklist is a list of people or organizations which are punished or boycotted. If a business is in the black, it means it is doing well and brings in some money. The ancient Egyptians believed that black cats possess divine power. Experts in karate are wearing black belts. The black flag in car racing means that the driver needs to drive into the boxes. Source: Wikipedia - Color | Interesting Color Facts
  13. 1 point
    What's the Word? - BADINAGE pronunciation: [bad-in-AHJ] Part of speech: noun Origin: French, mid 17th century Meaning: 1. Humorous or witty conversation. Example: "After a badinage, it's nice to sit beside each other in quiet contentment." "Fred's badinage always kept his friends laughing." About Badinage The word badinage has a rich genealogy — it is thought to have developed from the French word "badiner" (to joke), which came from the word "badin" (fool), which is an evolution of the word "badar" (gape). Did you Know? If you're trying to incorporate badinage into your conversations, first establish a rapport with your audience. Empathy is just as valuable as a witty conversation.
  14. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - BLACKSMITH Did you know.... that a blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal, using tools to hammer, bend, and cut. (Wikipedia) Blacksmithing Jean-Claude Dupont Published Online: February 6, 2006 Last Edited: March 4, 2015 All these workers practiced a technology that came from the great French craft tradition; their highly skilled art derived from trade guild knowledge, instruction and scientific treatises. Blacksmithing Until the mid-18th century, few ironsmiths practiced their trade full-time. Those who repaired arms and tools in the forts and trading posts also engaged in the fur trade. During the same period other metalworkers became established in the towns and countryside. These craftsmen included locksmiths, gunsmiths, nailsmiths, cutlers, edge-tool makers and farriers, who shod draught horses and oxen, polished runners, put metal rims on wheels and repaired various objects. All these workers practiced a technology that came from the great French craft tradition; their highly skilled art derived from trade guild knowledge, instruction and scientific treatises. Apprenticeship, usually lasting 3 years, was rigorous and entry to the trade was virtually restricted to the sons of ironsmiths, the descendants of other tradesmen, orphans under religious guardianship and the sons of protected habitants. In English Canada, the first blacksmiths were brought to Canada by the HBC in the 1670s. Young journeymen were brought from England to help build trading posts and to make and repair goods that would be too costly to ship from England. Metalworkers were important in society and set up business mainly in the major centers, clustering in the same parts of the town. At the end of the 17th century, they incorporated farming and animal husbandry into their trade. Around the mid-18th century, about one-quarter of these artisans changed occupations to become carpenters, masons, merchants or contractors. Merchants engaged in international trade began to develop a more outward-looking mindset. The various craftsmen produced work of high aesthetic and technical quality: their products were as remarkable for their symmetry and proportional motifs as for their complex mortice-and-tenon joints, reinforced by dowels and flanges. Their work drew its inspiration from religious symbols or copies of well-known motifs. Their customers were mainly religious communities, factories, administrators, merchants and wealthy families. In the early 19th century, most of the iron trades in rural areas tended to be performed by separate craftsmen. Around 1850 the blacksmith's shop became the new reality: here a single craftsman performed all the varied forms of ironwork that could no longer support those who practiced the individual crafts. Although the blacksmith made objects that were less refined than those of his predecessors, he built a unique technology based on knowledge derived from the various iron trades and from skilled habitants, blacksmiths from Ireland, Scotland and England, and artisans who had worked with metal in small American industries (eg, quarries, brickworks). Blacksmiths were particularly important in the new towns that sprang up in the West along the railway lines. They were needed not only for shoeing horses and repairing wagon wheels but for making and repairing parts for the new farm machinery that was revolutionizing farming on the prairie. The smith's basic means of working the metals were physical and chemical: air from the bellows, fire from the forge, water for tempering and tools operated by hand. Transformation processes were heating, hammering and tempering (mainly with water). Besides shoeing horses and sometimes trading in them as well, the blacksmith made and repaired all the tools needed for agriculture, cattle rearing, fishing, forestry, heating and transportation. He also fashioned objects with decorative motifs (eg, fleur-de-lys, rattail, leaf, heart, cross, sun, rooster). Blacksmiths also practiced veterinary medicine and, in some areas, doctored humans as well. In rural Québec in the 19th and early 20th centuries, blacksmiths practiced a magico-religious medicine based on vaguely scientific notions, combined with folk beliefs and superstitions. The Furnace Motif The village smithy was always brimming with activity. It was a meeting place where men held their stag parties, learned to drink, played power and parlour games and discussed politics. The blacksmith indulged in certain popular practices: he was called to re-establish order in the village; he struck the new fire of Holy Saturday in his forge and carried it into the church; he headed the labour group and maintained the fire used in flax crushing; his horses drew the hearse. The blacksmith himself, the theme of tales, legends and songs, held a privileged place in folklore. 1916 illustration for the folk tale, ‘The Smith and the Devil' The end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century saw the development of the country blacksmith's role. At that time, there was an average of one blacksmith for every 100 families, 3-5 blacksmiths per village. The blacksmith enabled the community to save money. Inhabitants paid a fixed price for the year and could have their horses shod as often as they wished. Clients used a barter system and paid in kind with farm or forest products. Sometimes the blacksmith lent money at interest; sometimes he resold grains, vegetables, meats and other produce that he received in payment. When the colony of New France was established, there was a movement to set up associations similar to those found in France; however, the best that could be done was to form societies of artisans that were more symbolic than corporate in nature. These associations had no control over the quality and conditions of work. The masterpiece required for entry to the trade was never a tradition in Québec; in the early days of the colony, the only requirement was an agreement between the master and his apprentice, drafted by a notary. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the terms of engagement were less and less official. By the turn of the century, toolmaking machines had already been in use for a long time and complex implements were produced industrially. Gradually, horses were replaced by traction engines for most draught purposes. Blacksmiths became garage mechanics or wandering smiths, shoeing horses at forest work sites or setting up in an area where race or riding horses were found. In the traditional shop, machine tools had been adopted by the mid-19th century to accelerate production and organize human energy; however, except for a general decline in knowledge of the trade and some diversity in manual tools, the physical nature of the blacksmithing trade changed little up to its final disappearance in the 1950s. The country blacksmith has left behind him the memory of a strongly individualistic, boasting, swearing, noisy man who associated mostly with other men and worked with percussion tools. The urban smith, working first in a shop and then in industry as a worker, belongs to an era characterized by scientific knowledge. If he persisted in his trade, the city smith had to adapt to the evolving industrial process of working with cast iron and steel. Source: Wikipedia - Blacksmith | Canadian Encyclopedia - Blacksmithing
  15. 1 point
    What's the Word? - SKUEOMORPH pronunciation: [SKYOO-oh-morf] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, late 19th century Meaning: 1. An object or feature which imitates the design of a similar artifact made from another material. 2. (Computing) An element of a graphical user interface which mimics a physical object. Example: "The museum had several skueomorphs of original indigenous weaponry." "I love a pen and paper but the notepad skeuomorph on my phone is handier." About Skeuomorph Skeuomorph originated from the Greek words "skeuos" (container, implement) and "morphē" (form). Did you Know? Apple has incorporated skeuomorphs into much of the iPhone design. Your note-taking app is represented by a skeuomorph of a notepad, and the timer is a skeuomorph of a clock. This design element is everywhere!
  16. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - DUCKS Did you know... that ducks are often the most familiar types of birds to many beginning birders and non-birders, but even experienced birders or duck hunters may not know just how unique these birds can be. These duck facts are sure to surprise you! Facts About Ducks Quacking Good Duck Trivia! Written by Melissa Mayntz | Updated 12/15/20 All types of ducks are part of the bird family Anatidae, which also includes swans and geese. There are between 140-175 birds in the Anatidae family, depending on how different subspecies are classified, though not all of them are considered ducks. There are species of ducks found worldwide on every continent except Antarctica. Some duck species, such as the mallard, are found throughout the world, while others have very small, restricted ranges. The Mallard is the archetypal "wild duck". A baby duck is called a duckling, and an adult male is a drake. An adult female duck is called a hen or a duck, and a group of ducks can be called a raft, team, or paddling. Generic terms like bird, chick, and flock also apply to ducks. All ducks have highly waterproof feathers as a result of an intricate feather structure and a waxy coating that is spread on each feather while preening. A duck's feathers are so waterproof that even when the duck dives underwater, its downy underlayer of feathers right next to the skin will stay completely dry. The uropygial gland at the base of the tail produces the waxy oil that coats feathers so well, and many other birds also have the same gland. Ducks are precocial, which means that ducklings are covered with down and able to walk and leave the nest just a few hours after hatching. This helps protect the young chicks from predators, since they do not need to stay in the vulnerable nest area for long. A hen will lead her ducklings up to a half mile or more over land after hatching to find a suitable water source for swimming and feeding. As soon as a baby duck's down is dry after hatching, they will be able to swim. It isn't unusual to see very tiny ducklings swimming after their mother. Male ducks have an eclipse plumage similar to females that they wear after the breeding season for about a month as their new feathers grow. During that month, they are completely flightless and more vulnerable to predators. At this time, many male ducks stay in isolated, remote areas or flock together for protection in numbers. Most duck species are monogamous for a breeding season but they do not often mate for life. Instead, they will seek out new mates each year, choosing the healthiest, strongest, best mate who can help them pass on their genes to a new duckling generation. When constructing her nest, a hen will line it with soft down feathers she plucks from her own breast. This gives the eggs the best possible cushioning and insulation, and exposes the hen's skin so she can keep the eggs warm more efficiently. Other duck nesting material includes grasses, mud, twigs, leaves, reeds, and other plant material. Ducks are omnivorous, opportunistic eaters and will eat grass, aquatic plants, insects, seeds, fruit, fish, nuts, crustaceans, and other types of food. Some ducks, such as mergansers, are more specialized in their dietary needs, but most ducks can adapt well to different food sources. This helps ensure they always have adequate food to eat and can often stay in the same range year-round as different foods become available. Red-breasted Merganser (male) A duck's bill is specialized to help it forage in mud and to strain food from the water. A hard nail at the tip of the bill helps with foraging, and the lamellae, a comb-like structure on the sides of the bill, strains small insects and crustaceans from water. Most male ducks are silent and very few ducks actually "quack." Instead, their calls may include squeaks, grunts, groans, chirps, whistles, brays, and growls. Females can also make a wide range of different noises, and they are usually more vocal than males. It is a myth that a duck's quack won't echo. This has been conclusively disproved through different scientific acoustic tests, and was even featured as "busted" on an episode of the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters. Ducks have been domesticated as pets and farm animals for more than 500 years, and all domestic ducks are descended from either the mallard or the Muscovy duck. Mallards, especially, are easy to crossbreed with other types of ducks, and mallards often hybridize with all types of ducks at local ponds. This can lead to very unusual feather shapes and color patterns that can be confusing to identify. There are more than 40 breeds of domestic duck. The all-white Pekin duck (also called the Long Island duck) is the most common variety raised for eggs and meat, especially on large commercial farms. Smaller organizations or individual farmers often try different duck breeds depending on their needs and tastes. American Pekin duck Because of their familiarity and comic nature, ducks are often featured as fictional characters. The two most famous fictional ducks are Disney's Donald Duck, who premiered in 1934, and Warner Bros.' Daffy Duck, who premiered in 1937. Ducks have also been spokesbirds for companies or featured in advertising campaigns, and some ducks are even mascots for schools, businesses, or sports teams. Source: Fun Facts About Ducks
  17. 1 point
    What's the Word? - PREPRANDIAL pronunciation: [pre-PRAN-dee-əl] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, early 19th century Meaning: 1. Done or taken before dinner or lunch. 2. (medicine) Occurring or done before a meal. Example: "He made sure to fit in several preprandial workouts throughout the week." "Pam set an alarm to take her preprandial vitamins." About Preprandial Prepandial developed twofold in Latin from the words "pre" (before) and "prandium" (a meal). Did you Know? Looking for some preprandial practices? Try to drink a glass of water before you eat dinner. Drinking water during your meal can dilute your digestive enzymes and make it hard for your body to break down your food.
  18. 1 point
    https://freebies.indiegala.com/corrosion-cold-winter-waiting Corrosion: Cold Winter Waiting is currently free on IndieGala. https://www.gamerpower.com/free-desert-child Desert Child is currently free on IndieGala.
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