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  1. Fact of the Day - THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW Did you know... The Mary Tyler Moore Show is a 1970s sitcom starring Mary Tyler Moore (b. December 29, 1936 – d. January 25, 2017), one of America’s most beloved actresses. Despite the show’s title that was based on Moore’s real name, she played the lead character otherwise named as Mary Richards — a 30-ish single and independent career woman who experiences ups and downs, but not without their bone-tickling moments. While the show seems dated to today’s standards, there’s no doubt that the The Mary Tyler Moore Show was one of the most progressive and groundbreaking TV sitcoms at the time. More importantly, it radically changed the society’s perceptions towards working single women. Such type of women were not usually portrayed (or were not portrayed favorably, more likely) in those days, so the show’s concept centering on an unattached and career-driven female was quite novel in the 1970s TV-landia. The Mary Tyler Moore Show is pretty much a feminist sitcom, which inspired more women to take charge of their own lives, loves and careers. (Mental Itch) Enduring Facts About “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” by Interesting Facts The Mary Tyler Moore Show is one of the most influential and groundbreaking sitcoms in the history of television. The series follows Mary Richards, played by Mary Tyler Moore, as a 30-something working as an associate producer on a local news series and navigating single life in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its portrayal of an unmarried working woman finding satisfaction outside of home and family — and openly enjoying sex and dating — was unheard of in the early 1970s, but it’s not just the show’s forward-thinking writing that made it a classic. Its heartfelt relationships, witty writing, and relatable conflicts made the sitcom a hit with audiences and critics alike and cemented Moore (already an established TV star when the show debuted) as an enduring cultural icon. It went on to win 29 Emmy awards during its seven-season run on CBS. Here are eight things you might not know about the sitcom. 1. Lou Grant Was Ed Asner’s First Comedic Role — And He Almost Blew It The late Ed Asner is remembered now as a strong, versatile actor, but at the time, some CBS executives questioned whether he’d be up for a prominent role in a comedy series, according to Jennifer Keisin Armstrong’s 2013 book Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted. Although he was casting director Ethel Winant’s first choice, the producers had kicked around some other choices before signing on, like The Odd Couple’s Jack Klugman, fellow cast member Gavin McLeod, and Second City alum Shelley Berman, who later had a small role as one of Mary’s dates. Winant pointed to Asner’s role as a journalist in the political drama Slattery’s People as evidence that he had the right vibe. With everybody on board, they brought Asner in for an audition — and he completely biffed it, hitting the famous line, “You’ve got spunk… I hate spunk,” with a dramatic fervor that turned everybody off, according to Armstrong. The decision had already been made not to cast him when Asner, rather than getting in his car and leaving, turned around and walked right back into the studio. “You just sat there on your asses and let me bomb like that?” he said. “I was terrible. And you know it was terrible and you were too polite to tell me. Don’t be so f******g polite. Tell me what you want in this character.” They worked through the character for half an hour, then did a second try at the reading. He’d won everyone over except for Moore, but according to Asner, producers boldly told her, “That’s your Lou Grant,” and she was sold. 2. Mary Was Originally Supposed To Be a Divorcée Working for a Gossip Columnist When the show was in development in the late 1960s, producers James L. Brooks and Allan Burns had pitched Mary as a recent divorcée, writes Armstrong. Moore, who had gone through a divorce herself, was on board. The original vision differed in another major way, too: Mary was supposed to be the assistant to a snappy gossip columnist in Los Angeles. They were less attached to the Los Angeles idea, so that was quickly scrapped for a news show in Minneapolis. As for the divorcée bit, Brooks and Burns considered throwing in the towel but didn’t like the optics of quitting, so they went back to the drawing board and came up with a concept they felt played to Mary’s strength: She was setting off to the big city on her own after a big breakup rather than a doomed marriage. 3. Producers Loved the Fashion Possibilities of Minneapolis While re-evaluating the show’s premise and setting, Brooks and Burns landed on Minneapolis for a few reasons, according to Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: It stood out against the New York- and Los Angeles- dominated media environment, they loved the dynamic of the city being huge for Mary and tiny for New Yorker Rhoda, and the bad weather could provide plot points and unique visuals. Another thing Minneapolis could provide: coats, and lots of them. The costume department certainly took full advantage, because Mary’s coats went on to become iconic. 4. Betty White Was Supposed to Be in Only One Episode One of the series’ most beloved roles didn’t come around until season four, and it was only supposed to be temporary. Betty White played Sue Ann Nivens, an outwardly sweet host of a show called “The Happy Homemaker,” with an aggressive, sex-crazed side. In her first episode, she wantonly tries to seduce Phyllis Lindstrom’s (Cloris Leachman) husband, leading to escalating tension as Phyllis and Sue Ann film a cooking segment about a chocolate soufflé. White was a longtime friend of Moore — and a big fan of the show — before being offered the role, and the episode was such a hit that she was brought on as a regular. The morning after that first episode, according to Armstrong, Moore came to White’s doorstep with a real-life soufflé. 5. It’s Likely the First American Sitcom to Feature Birth Control Pills On The Dick Van Dyke Show, which Moore starred in from 1961-1966, the actress and her on-screen husband, Dick Van Dyke, slept in separate beds and couldn’t say the word “pregnant.” However, just a few years later on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, not only did Mary have sex out of wedlock, she openly took birth control pills. In a 1972 episode — the same year that a supreme court decision made birth control available to unmarried women in all states — Mary is having dinner with her father when her mother shouts, “Don’t forget to take your pill!” Mary and her father both yelled, “I won’t,” and the embarrassed look on Mary’s face shows that she doesn’t just take a pill, but The Pill. Its realistic portrayal of the sex lives of women in the 1970s walked a fine line for the audiences of the time, with a lot of it hiding in quips like that one. But the series was still open about what it was doing. “I’m hardly innocent,” Mary says in one episode. “I’ve been around. Well, maybe not around, but I’ve been nearby.” 6. Valerie Harper Almost Didn’t Get the Role of Rhoda Because She Was Too Pretty Rhoda Morgenstern, Mary’s Bronx-born sidekick, was the last major role to be cast in the series, with more than 50 actresses reading opposite Moore for the part. Valerie Harper nailed her audition as Rhoda and even brought her own cloth for washing Mary’s apartment window in her first scene. But the producers weren’t sure she matched their vision. “She was something we never expected the part to be… which is someone as attractive as she was,” Burns said in Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted. “But you’ve got to go with the talent.” Director Jay Sandrich felt strongly Harper was right for the role and suggested she not wear any makeup for her callback. Producers immediately changed their minds when they brought Moore in to read a scene with Harper. Rhoda’s character switched gears a little bit — rather than being unattractive, which is subjective anyway, Rhoda just felt like she was unattractive. “Rhoda felt inferior to Mary, Rhoda wished she was Mary,” Harper later recalled. “All I could do was, not being as pretty, as thin, as accomplished, was: ‘I’m a New Yorker, and I’m going to straighten this shiksa out.’” 7. The Real Owner of Mary’s Apartment Building Displayed Political Banners to Keep Producers From Coming Back The 1892 home that provided the exteriors for Mary’s apartment became so famous that the owners were inundated with visitors and tour buses, and eventually, they’d had enough. When they got word that the crew was coming back to film more exterior shots in 1972, owner Paula Giese displayed a large “Impeach Nixon” banner prominently across the front. (She was a prominent political activist, so it was a two-for-one deal.) It worked. They didn’t get their new shots, and Mary eventually ended up moving. 8. The Character Ted Baxter Was Based on News Anchor Jerry Dunphy Jerry Dunphy was a legendary news anchor in the Los Angeles market, known for his head of white hair, and his signoff: “From the desert to the sea to all of southern California.” His style became so well-known in broadcast journalism that he often played a small role as a newscaster in movies, too. He inspired the egotistical, dim-witted Ted Baxter (Ted Knight), although Dunphy had a better head on his shoulders — and much better ratings. Dunphy also inspired the character Kent Brockman on The Simpsons. Source: Facts About The Mary Tyler Moore Show | More Facts About The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  2. What's the Word: BEL-ESPRIT pronunciation: [bel-es-PREE] Part of speech: noun Origin: French, 17th century Meaning: 1. A witty person. Example: "My uncle Ken was a bel-esprit whose presence livened up every family party." "Hoping to absorb enough wit to become a bel-esprit, Laura read the collected works of Dorothy Parker and Oscar Wilde." About Bel-Esprit “Bel-esprit” comes directly from the French expression which literally means “nice spirit,” but is defined as “fine mind,” or “wit.” Did You Know? In the 18th-century, dinner parties could be multi-hour affairs with strict etiquette around conversation, but if one were lucky enough to be seated next to a bel-esprit, then the night was sure to be entertaining. This particular conversationalist was not just clever, but likely had a reputation for witty remarks that every one at the dinner table or party could enjoy and laugh at. A bel-esprit brought such wit, humor, and insight to a conversation that it was considered a privilege — or very good luck — to spend time talking with such a person.
  3. Fact of the Day - PALM TREES Did you know... Palm trees are not native to Los Angeles. There are an estimated 75,000 palm trees in Los Angeles, all of which have one thing in common: They aren’t native there. Despite being an L.A. icon on par with the Hollywood sign and Dodger Stadium, the tropical tree is no more a native Angeleno than, well, the Dodgers. Not unlike the Hollywood sign, palms were originally a marketing technique for developers hoping to attract newcomers to the area in the late 19th century. They got the idea from the French Riviera — another area palms aren’t actually native to — where like-minded developers had successfully used them just a few decades before to cultivate an image of glitz and glamour. In addition to being beautiful, palms are surprisingly easy to uproot and transport from their native tropical and sub-tropical environments in the Middle East, Mexico, and elsewhere, so tens of thousands of them were planted all across the California city that had once been desert scrubland. It seems fitting that one of Los Angeles’ most enduring symbols was essentially a branding strategy chosen for its aesthetic appeal, doubly so because palm trees’ association with the city was (and is) further cemented by their ubiquity in the many films shot there. After all, most of the directors, actors, and studio executives who made Hollywood what it is today weren’t originally from the City of Angels either. Palm trees were a symbol of victory in ancient Rome. Romans who emerged victorious in battle or athletic contests didn't just receive the admiration of their peers — they also received palm branches, which were a symbol of victory and triumph in the Roman Empire. So close was the association that the Latin word palma was nearly synonymous with victory, and generals would wear a special toga known as the tunica palmata after successful campaigns. The garment, which had a purple background embroidered with gold thread, was loaned to the generals for special ceremonies and was later worn exclusively by the emperor. (Interesting Facts) Shocking Facts You Probably Don’t Know about Palm Trees by Xcalak Mexico Sure, you know palm trees represent tropical bliss; but what do you really know about this gentle plant? Probably not as much as you think. Here are 5 facts about Xcalak palm trees that you don’t know. Watch the video or read on, whatever you’re into. 1. Palm Trees Aren’t Trees One of the first palm trees in Xcalak you’ll meet, is the coconut palm. And unless you’re an expert on the Arecaceae plant family, you probably assumed that because it’s called a “palm tree” that it’s a tree. Not so! A palm tree is actually a type of grass. Two key differences: a palm tree does not create rings as it grows – it’s yearly growth isn’t marked on the tree a palm tree does not grow bark – it’s basically the same on the inside as the outside Calling a palm tree “palm grass” is technically correct. But with a trunk, a crown of leaves, and everyone in the English-speaking world calling them “palm trees”, don’t change your vocabulary now. 2. Palm Trees Live Longer Than You Unless you’re unusually long-lived, a palm tree will probably outlast you. The palm trees in Xcalak live around 100 years or more. Of course, as you already learned, palm trees don’t have growth rings like regular trees. This makes it tough to determine their age, right? Luckily, scientists can use other methods to estimate a palm tree’s life. One species was estimated to live up to 740 years old! Although a coconut palm lives longer than you, it takes about as long to mature – palms take around 5 years to grow a trunk and another 15 years to produce coconuts. So a coconut palm tree only starts its real job once it hits its 20’s. Just like a human! Also like a human, the trees production slows down as it ages and stops about age 70. What does palm tree retirement look like? Well, it’s all the fun stuff (waving in the breeze, providing shade) without the work (growing coconuts). And coconut palms don’t even have to worry about which tropical location to move to, because they’re already in a great location (especially Xcalak palm trees). 3. There are 2,600 Species of Palm Trees That’s right, there are more types of palm trees then there are flavors of hot sauce in Mexico. OK, I can’t actually validate that statement. But with nearly three thousand different species of palms, you’ve got to admit that’s a lot. After all, how many species of human are there? Oh right. One. Anyways, back to palm trees. Some have fan-leaves, some have feather-leaves, and some grow fruit. Some grow tall, some stay small; some only grow outdoors, some can grow indoors. Check out this small list of palm tree species and you’ll see some pretty interesting names. Here’s a sampler: Blond flame thrower palm Fishtail lawyer cane palm Purple crown shaft king palm Zombie palm In Xcalak, palm trees are mostly coconut palms because the area used to be a coconut plantation. That is, until the Hurricane Janet came along and wiped out the plantations. During your visit, look around and see which other kinds of palm trees you can spot. 4. Palm Trees Grow More than Coconuts The gentle palm tree provides the world with more than coconuts for serving tropical drinks. Many trees grow edible fruit, while some provide other valuable crops. Popular tasty treats that grow on palm trees include: coconuts (duh) bananas (of course) dates acai berries Yes, the power-health ambassador, the acai berry, grows on a palm tree! Unfortunately, it’s not an easy palm tree to grow so don’t get your hopes up about saving money by growing your own acai berries. Palm oil is another reason to start a palm tree farm – palm oil is popular throughout the world (even if it isn’t the healthiest). Now you know palm trees grow more than coconuts, but in Xcalak you’ll see plenty that do. Be sure to enjoy their delicious bounty during your visit. Safety Tip: Don’t a nap under a coconut tree – the heavy nuts fall without warning! 5. Palm Trees Can Grow in the Snow Surprise! Palm trees don’t just belong on sandy beaches or in tropical jungles. They can handle sub-zero temperatures too. But not every kind of palm tree can survive a freeze-thaw cycle. Xcalak’s palm trees are definitely warm-weather plants. Types that can weather cold weather (see what I did there?) best are small palm trees, notably the Windmill palm, Needle palm and the Mazari palm. When a palm tree is considered ‘cold hardy’, it means that the plant can tolerate the cold, but not forever. When a plant is subjected to cold weather photosynthesis stops and the tree’s leaves start to die off. Without warm daytime temperatures, a palm tree’s stem starts freezing, then the crown, and finally the trunk. A that point, you’ve got a frozen tree statue that will never grow again. While tough palm trees can withstand the cold, they get tired of it, like you and me. But unlike you and me, they don’t can’t catch a flight to Mexico to thaw out. So while you’re in Xcalak enjoying the shade of the many palm trees, take a moment to appreciate these amazing plants – they’re more than a pretty backdrop for your postcard. Source: Facts About Palm Trees | Facts You Might Not Know About Palm Trees
  4. What's the Word: CORUSCATE pronunciation: [KOR-ə-skeyt] Part of speech: verb Origin: Latin, 18th century Meaning: 1. (of light) flash or sparkle. Example: "The sun coruscated across the many glimmering surfaces of the crashing waves." "Mark had lit candles before we arrived, and we could see them coruscating in the window from the street." About Coruscate “Coruscate” is based on the Latin “coruscāre,” meaning “to glitter.” Did You Know? “Coruscate” — generally a positive action associated with bright sparkles — is frequently confused with the similar sounding verb “excoriate,” which has the very different meaning to “damage or remove part of the surface of (the skin),” or to “censure or criticize severely.” Though “coruscate” and “excoriate” sound similar, they have different Latin roots. “Excoriate” is built on the Latin root “excoriat-,” meaning “skinned,” while “coruscate” refers back to the Latin word “coruscāre” and invokes sparkling, gleaming lights.
  5. Fact of the Day - UNEXPLAINED MYSTERIES Copper Scroll Did you know... There are some historical mysteries that may never be solved, from the date that Jesus was born to the identity of Jack the Ripper to the location of Cleopatra's tomb. Sometimes, that's because the relevant excavated material has been lost or an archaeological site has been destroyed. Other times, it's because new evidence is unlikely to come forward or the surviving evidence is too vague to lead scholars to a consensus. The lack of answers only makes these enigmas more intriguing. Here, Live Science takes a look at 14 of these historical questions that may never have definitive explanations. (Owen Jarus | July 2022) Unexplained Mysteries Around the World by Interesting Facts To travel is to embark on new adventures, and the places we visit are often steeped in history, folklore, and legends. For example, many have long been fascinated by the unexplained disappearance of planes and ships in the Bermuda Triangle. But the Triangle only scratches the surface of the many travel-related mysteries that exist around the world. From a debated ascent of Everest in 1924 to a European castle erected over the supposed “gateway to hell,” here are five mysteries for you to debunk — or just revel in. 1. The Depopulation of Easter Island The remote Rapa Nui (Easter Island) lies 2,300 miles west of Chile. No written historical records exist concerning the island; however, it's commonly agreed that seafaring Polynesians settled there sometime between 800 and 1200 CE. The island is famous for a collection of around 900 moai statues — stone-carved figures that stand in rows on cliffs, hillsides, and shorelines, most of them with their backs to the sea. The average moai is 13 feet tall and weighs 14 tons; the tallest is a whopping 72 feet high. Archaeologists believe that the colossal statues portray gods and tribal leaders, and it’s thought that ropes and trees were used to move and position the statues upright. While the moai have long intrigued researchers, the rapid demise and depopulation of Easter Island has puzzled them. When Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen arrived here in 1722, he encountered 3,000 or more islanders living in a flourishing and developed society. In 1774, Captain James Cook visited the island and reported around 700 islanders. By 1877, only 111 inhabitants remained. Deforestation, cannibalism, the introduction of the Polynesian rat, warfare, and the slave trade are all possible theories for the dramatic change in fortune; however, anthropological, archaeological, and historical research has yet to uncover the truth. 2. Houska Castle and the Gateway to Hell One of the Czech Republic’s best-preserved Gothic castles, Houska Castle stands on a clifftop surrounded by dense forests about 40 miles north of Prague. Built in the 13th century by Bohemian King Ottokar II, the castle subsequently passed between the hands of several aristocratic families. While it appears like a noble mansion from the outside, the structure has a number of peculiarities that have inspired spine-tingling folklore. It has fake windows, no water supply, no fortifications, and is far removed from any notable trade routes. It also had no known occupants at the time of completion. So why make the effort to erect a castle that serves no obvious purpose? According to historians, Houska Castle was built by Ottokar II as an administrative center, yet local villagers might tell you otherwise. As the legend goes, the castle was instead built to trap demons, and it stands over a hole that is believed to be the gateway to hell — so deep that it’s impossible to see the bottom. During construction, prisoners were offered pardons if they consented to being lowered to the bottom to document their findings. Reports of half-human, half-animal creatures climbing out of the hole were common, as were black-winged beasts that dragged people into the abyss. Consequently, the castle chapel was built to cover the supposed demonic gateway and prevent evil from escaping. This, however, hasn’t stopped claims of screams and scratching claws coming from the castle floors — making the site one of the most haunted places in Europe. 3. Australia’s Morning Glory Cloud Located along the Gulf of Carpentaria in a remote corner of North Queensland is the outback town of Burketown, Australia. For much of the year, this coastal settlement of just a few hundred residents is visited by anglers in search of Australian barramundi (also known as Asian sea bass). That changes in September and October, when crowds gather instead to witness a spectacular meteorological phenomenon called the Morning Glory Cloud. It’s a wavy and snake-like roll cloud that can reach heights of up to 1.2 miles and stretch over 600 miles long. Meteorologists have studied this mystical atmospheric wave extensively, but still aren’t exactly sure what causes it — or why it’s only regularly observed in this remote stretch of Australia. One possible explanation is that it occurs when a humid easterly front of the Coral Sea converges with a warm westerly front from the Gulf of Carpentaria. It can take the form of a single cloud or appear as up to 10 individual clouds passing eerily above the skies of Burketown. The Indigenous Gangalidda Garawa peoples call the cloud Mabuntha Yipipee and believe that it was created by Walalu, the aboriginal Rainbow Serpent. Daredevil pilots from the region also worship the cloud and take to the skies to ride the wave when it comes around. They gather at the Burketown Pub in the hope of seeing the bizarre signs that signal the cloud is on its way — the pub’s fridges reportedly frost over and the table corners curl upwards. Whatever explanation they believe, the cloud attracts thrill-seekers who can see it from above: A local aviation company offers cloud flights and the chance to ride the wave on a hang-glider. 4. Mallory and Irvine’s Everest Ascent In May 1953, New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay reached the top of Mount Everest. Their groundbreaking climb to the 29,035-foot summit made them the first people to officially stand atop the world’s tallest mountain. Rewind to 1924, however, and the fatal expedition of British climbers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine leaves open the question of the date of the first Everest ascent. Mallory and Irvine were last sighted by fellow climber Noel Odell on June 8, 1924 at the Second Step, just 820 vertical feet from the summit. About an hour later, an intense snow squall obscured Odell’s view, and the mountaineers were tragically never seen alive again. Did they make it to the top? Why did they vanish without trace? How did they scale the infamous Second Step, which wasn’t officially climbed until 1960 with far more advanced equipment? A breakthrough in this Everest mystery was the discovery of Mallory’s body in 1999 during an expedition to search for the missing mountaineers. The corpse showed signs of injuries from a fall that would have left him unable to continue on foot. His rib cage was compressed by a rope, thus suggesting that Mallory and Irvine were attached at the time of the fall. Gone from the body was a photo of Mallory’s wife, Ruth Dixon Turner, that he had promised to leave at the summit. Despite rumored sightings, Irvine’s body is yet to be found. Also missing are two Kodak Vest Pocket cameras owned by Mallory and Irvine. If discovered, the cameras could once and for all confirm what the mountaineering world has waited almost a century to know. 5. The Disappearance of Amelia Earhart On May 20, 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, in her Lockheed Vega 5B aircraft and flew for almost 15 hours to Derry, Northern Ireland. In doing so, she became the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Almost three years later, she was the first to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Oakland, California. Fueled by her success, Earhart began making preparations to circumnavigate the globe — what was supposed to be a 29,000-mile world record. Following a failed first attempt, Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan departed from Miami on June 1, 1937. On June 29, they landed in Lae, New Guinea, after flying almost 22,000 miles. They took off from Lea three days later on the first leg of the 7,000-mile journey across the Pacific to the U.S., but Earhart and Noonan tragically disappeared en route to Howland Island. Despite extensive search parties and millions of dollars in funding, the Lockheed Elektra wreckage has never been found. The most likely explanation is that extreme weather conditions and a lack of fuel forced the plane to crash-land and sink in the Pacific. However, conspiracy theories abound — some say Earhart was taken hostage by the Japanese, while others believe she worked as a spy for President Roosevelt and later returned to the U.S. under an alias. In 1991, an aluminum map case thought to be debris from the aircraft washed up on Nikumaroro, an atoll of the tiny South Pacific island nation of Kiribati. Could Earhart and Noonan have perished on the uninhabited island after living as castaways? The lack of any real evidence only adds to the mysterious legacy of one of the world’s greatest aviators. Source: Historical Mysteries That Will Probably Never Be Solved | Facts About Unexplained Mysteries
  6. What's the Word: ERRANT pronunciation: [EHR-ənt] Part of speech: adjective Origin: French, 15th century Meaning: 1. Erring or straying from the proper course or standards. 2. Traveling in search of adventure. Example: "An errant seagull ended up in my bathroom when I left the window open." "My brother believes any errant French fries that fall off my plate are free for him to eat." About Errant “Errant” came into English through the French “errant,” based originally in the Latin “errāre,” meaning “to stray.” Did You Know? In its earliest meaning, “errant” (as in “a knight errant”) referred to a state of being an itinerant traveler, often in search of adventure. In modern use, the term refers to a stray state, in which a thing or person moves or behaves unpredictably and not according to an accepted course.
  7. Fact of the Day - DEEPEST CAVES Did you know... The four deepest caves in the world are all found in the same region. Tucked away in the Western Caucasus mountains where Europe meets Asia is a hidden geological wonder. Thousands of feet below the limestone surface, enormous caves stretch downward like the hollow roots of some gigantic tree. Called the Arabika Massif, this area is home to the four deepest caves in the world, including the very deepest, Veryovkina. Would-be spelunkers may have to use their imaginations, though: The mountainous terrain is less than hospitable, and the caves themselves are located in fraught political territory. All are within the borders of Abkhazia, a breakaway state recognized by much of the world as part of Georgia but with increasing ties to Russia. The location of Arabika Massif’s limestone, its thickness, and its gentle slope toward the Black Sea create the perfect conditions for these huge caves, and the world record holder isn’t set in stone — pun intended. It was only in 2018 that speleologists (cave scientists) discovered that Veryovkina was actually deeper, at 7,257 feet, than its rival Krubera’s roughly 7,215 feet. Veryovkina may not hold onto its record forever, though, as speleologists plunge ever deeper into the world’s caves in search of unknown species and the secrets of Earth’s geological past. Yet based on the current rankings, it seems like a fair bet that the deepest-cave crown won’t leave the mountains of Abkhazia any time soon. Many animals that live in caves don’t have eyes. Vision is useless in most cave environments because sunlight can’t penetrate into the depths of these natural rocky fortresses. Evolution has thus slowly eliminated vision from many animals living in caves, sometimes by completely removing their eyes. For example, a variety of the blind cave fish (Astyanax mexicanus), native to Mexico, evolved to lose its eyeballs after leaving open waters for the comfort of limestone caves. Instead, these fish “see” by sucking in water and sensing the magnitude of the pressure changes as the water flows around them and surrounding objects. Other animals, like some amphibians, spiders, and scorpions, have similarly lost their vision as they’ve adapted to the gloomy interiors of their lightless world. (Interesting Facts) What Are the 5 Deepest Caves in the World? by Rob | StartCaving While European caves ruled the depth-hit-charts for a long time, from 2001 onwards Georgia has been the unbeatable champion. Four out of five of the deepest caves in the world are located in Georgia – two of them being over 1.24 m (or 2 km) deep. Impressive. However, the charts change often. Cavers and speleologists regularly explore these cave systems further, setting new record highs (or lows). Especially in the last decades a lot of progress has been made, with cavers going deeper evermore. But for now, these are the numbers. The 5 Deepest Caves in the World Veryovkina – At 2,212 m or 7,257 ft, this is the deepest cave in the world. It’s located in Abkhazia, Georgia. Krubera – For a moment, the Krubera was the deepest known cave, at 2,198 m or 7,208 ft. Can be also found in Abkhazia, Georgia. Sarma – The Sarma cave is 1,830 m or 6,004 ft deep. Also situated in the southwestern Caucasus Mountains, Georgia. Snezhnaya – Georgia truly seems to be the deepest country on earth. The ‘snow cave’ is 1,760 m or 5,774 ft deep. Gouffre Mirolda – This French cave is the deepest European cave. It’s 1,733 m or 5,686 ft deep. Locations of the caves The three deepest caves in the world (Veryovkina, Krubera, Sarma) are all located in the Arabika Massif in Georgia. If you want to learn more on this special region, I encourage you to read my previous article on caves in Georgia. I’ve compiled all the data in the table below. I wasn’t able to find the GPS coordinates of the Snezhnaya cave. I hope to update it later. Let’s Put Them on a Map On this map, you’ll find the 10 deepest caves on Earth. The five deepest (actually, four) are in blue. Number 5 – 10 are in yellow. More About Each Cave 1. Veryovkina Discovered in 1968, the Veryovkina cave is the deepest cave of the world. It’s one of two known caves deeper than 2,000 m. It’s actually 2,212 m, or 7,257 ft deep, and runs for 13,500 m. It’s located in Georgia, or Abkhazia (see map). It’s part of the Arabika Massif in the Greater Caucasus Mountains. This area has amazing speleological potential. In fact, it’s home to three of the deepest caves on earth. The Veryovkina shaft leads to a massive underground system, of at least 6 km long. The entire cave is accessible without diving. Unfortunately, there are no good photos available, but I’ve found this expedition video. You can turn on English auto-captions (skip to the middle for an impression of the cave): Exploration The full exploration and mapping of Veryovkina were done by the Perovo-speleo team from Moscow. Initially, they explored the cave from 1983 – 1986 up to a depth of 1,444 ft (440 meters). From 2000 – 2015, they did not succeed to discover new shafts. In 2015 however, they uncovered a new shaft, which led the way to a series of discoveries. In February of 2017 the cave became the second deepest in the world; in August 2017 the Veryovkina cave became the deepest in the world, at 7,203 ft (2,204 m). 2. Krubera The Krubera Cave actually was the deepest cave from 2004 – 2017. It extends for 16 km. It is named after Alexander Kruber, who studied the cave in 1909. Before, it was called Voronya cave. This is the second known cave that reaches beneath 2 km. The cave was explored in the 1960s but never surpassed the 1,444 ft (440 m) mark, until the late 2000s. In 2010, the deepest point was 5,610 ft (1,710 meters). In 2012 the explorations passed the 6,562 ft (2,000 m) mark, making it the first cave deeper than 2 km. The expedition beyond the 2,000 m marks was led by the Ukrainian Speleological Association. They are responsible for the majority of the explorations in the last decades. 3. Sarma Sarma cave is the third deepest cave in the world at 1,830 m or 6,004 ft. It’s about 19 km long. The current depth originates from 2012 when a team led by Pavel Rudko measured it. It’s also located in the Gagra District, Georgia. 4. Snezhnaya The Snezhnaya shaft reaches up to 1,760 m or 5,774 ft deep. Apart from being deep, it’s also the longest cave on this list: 32 km (or 20 miles). Snezh is Russian for ‘snow’ – so this cave is actually called ‘Snowy shaft’. It’s part of the Snezhnaya-Mezhennogo-Illyuziya cave system, a large underground water system that also contains a cave river. This huge system is still to be explored further. 5. Gouffre Mirolda This French cave is 1,733 m or 5,686 ft deep. It’s located in Samoëns, France, and is part of the Giffre limestone massif. For about a year (from early 2003 – 2004), the cave was the deepest known in the world. Then it lost its title to the Krubera cave in Georgia, which is currently the second deepest. It was originally discovered in 1971 by a young shepherd (Marc Degrinis). Other Impressive Caves Lamprechtsofen-Vogelschacht – To make it easier, this cave is also called Lamprechtsofen. This Austrian cave was the deepest cave on Earth from 1998 to 2001, at 1,632 m or 5,345 ft. Gouffre Jean-Bernard – Close to the Gouffre Mirolda, 1,602 m. Torca del Cerro del Cuevon – Spain, 1,589 m. The Problem With Exploring Deep Caves Deep caves like these are in another ballpark. It’s just a different kind of cave from the large chambers you can leisurely stroll through. Our mental image of caves is way off base here. Usually, a very deep cave consists of long (vertical) shafts, with very narrow passages, that will in some case be prone to flooding, or underwater altogether. So they are not easy to explore. This is another kind of caving. Exploring these caves involves a lot of squeezes, crawling, and heroic, claustrophobia-inducing maneuvers. The Krubera, for example, was impossible to explore without the help of very experienced cave divers. They needed to squeeze their bodies through passages – underwater! Risking to damage their equipment. So it’s very dangerous. Why Does the Longest Cave Change So Often? We find new caves every day. It’s estimated that we have explored about 1% of all caves on Earth. So it’s no wonder longer and deeper caves are discovered regularly. But it also has to do with new explorations in existing caves. Each expedition tries to find new passages and then push through. You never know what to expect on the other side of a new passage. Sometimes, a long shaft all of a sudden connects to a massive system. This is what makes caving so exciting. Sometimes, a new exploration finds that two long caves are actually one, making it the new champion. This happened with the Lamprechtsofen-Vogelschacht cave when explorers discovered a connection between a known vertical shaft and a known horizontal shaft. If you take a close look at the exploration timeline of the current champion Veryovkina, you see that it sometimes takes decades to connect the dots. In Conclusion There are still large underground systems left to explore. There are even some areas where cavers expect these systems, but they are not yet accessible. We will find longer, deeper, and larger caves as we continue to explore new passages and systems. There is plenty left to explore. It’s unlikely that we have penetrated the Earth’s crust to the deepest point; we have probably only just started to scratch the surface. New to caving, and want to know what to expect? I encourage you to check out our Beginner’s Guide here. Source: Facts About the Deepest Caves | Deepest Caves Facts
  8. What's the Word: PLAGE pronunciation: [plahzh] Part of speech: noun Origin: French, 19th century Meaning: 1. A beach by the sea, especially at a fashionable resort. Example: "As soon as we unpacked our bags, we took a stroll on the resort’s wide, sandy plage." "My best childhood memories are at the plage at the resort my family went to every summer in Acapulco." About Plage “Plage” comes into English directly from the French word “plage,” meaning “shore.” The French “plage” is rooted in the Italian “piaggia,” based on the Latin “plagia,” meaning “shore” or “coast.” Did You Know? The English word “plage” is drawn from the same word in French, but those more familiar with Spanish — particularly those who’ve taken beach holidays to Spanish-speaking countries — will recognize the similarity with the Spanish term “playa,” also meaning “beach.” The two words are based on the same Latin root, and like “plage,” “playa” is sometimes used in English as a fancy way of describing a beach. However, in English “playa” has an additional geographical meaning describing a flat area in a desert basin. By contrast, “plage” specifically describes seaside beaches at resort locations.
  9. Fact of the Day - LEFTIES IN HISTORY Did you know... It's not always easy being a left-handed person in a right-handed world. In fact, only around 10 percent of the population is left-handed, which means that most things are designed for righties, often leaving lefties to fend for themselves. But being left-handed doesn't have to stand in the way of anyone's success. Actually, some of the world's most accomplished people—including guitarist Jimi Hendrix, superstar Lady Gaga, and former President Barack Obama—are lefties. Find out who else is in the club with our list of the most famous left-handed people in history. (by DESIRÉE O | JANUARY 26, 2021) Famous Lefties in History by Interesting Facts At only about 10% of the global population, left-handed people are definitely in the minority. But even though left-handers are few and far between, some of society's most notable figures have written, thrown a ball, or played an instrument with their left hand. There are even some famous fictional characters who are avowed southpaws, including Ned Flanders from The Simpsons, who runs a store, the Leftorium, catering to left-handed people. As we celebrate International Left Handers Day — a holiday that falls each August 13 — let's get to know a little more about some of the most prominent lefties throughout history. 1. Leonardo da Vinci Though there's some argument over whether Leonardo da Vinci was exclusively a lefty or actually ambidextrous, his peers referred to him by the term "mancino," which is Italian slang for a left-hander. Leonardo was known for a unique style of taking notes, referred to as "mirror writing," in which he wrote from right to left. (One theory is that the method was meant to avoid ink smudges with his left hand.) His left-handedness also now plays a key role in authenticating his drawings, as experts often look for signs of left-handed strokes and slants in order to confirm whether a piece is a genuine Leonardo da Vinci work. While the Renaissance polymath embraced being a lefty, one of his contemporaries defied it — Michelangelo actually retrained himself to write and draw with his right hand instead of accepting his natural left-handedness. 2. Babe Ruth Known for being arguably the greatest baseball slugger of all time, the left-handed-hitting Babe Ruth began his career as one of the most dominant southpaw pitchers of the 1910s. Ruth switched to the outfield after being sold from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees, where his lefty power stroke earned him nicknames like the "Great Bambino" and "Sultan of Swat." All told, Ruth socked 714 homers during his illustrious career, good enough for third place behind the scandal-plagued Barry Bonds and legendary Hank Aaron. On rare occasions, Ruth would experiment with batting right-handed, though his success from that side was limited. 3. Jimi Hendrix Revered as one of the greatest guitar virtuosos in rock history, Hendrix made the unique choice to play a right-handed guitar upside down in order to accommodate his left-handed proclivities (although he also performed some tasks with his right hand). His father, Al, forced Jimi to play guitar right-handed, because he believed that left-handedness had sinister connotations (a belief that was once common — the word “sinister” comes from Latin meaning “on the left side”). While Jimi did his best to oblige his father when Al was present, he would flip the guitar as soon as his dad left the room, and he also had it restrung to more easily be played left-handed. Hendrix isn't the only legendary lefty rocker: Paul McCartney of the Beatles and Nirvana's Kurt Cobain also strummed their guitars with their left hands. 4. Marie Curie Given the fact that men are more likely to be left-handed than women, this list has been sorely lacking thus far in terms of famous females. One of history's greatest left-handers, however, was none other than the groundbreaking scientist Marie Curie. A Nobel Prize winner, Curie helped to discover the principles of radioactivity and was the matriarch of a family full of lefty scientists; her husband Pierre and daughter Irene also possessed the trait. Left-handedness is surprisingly common among well-known scientists even outside of the Curie family — Sir Isaac Newton and computer scientist Alan Turing were southpaws too. 5. Neil Armstrong According to NASA, more than 20% of Apollo astronauts were lefties, which makes them more than twice as likely to be left-handed compared to the average person. Neil Armstrong was no exception to this statistical oddity — the first man to walk on the moon was indeed left-handed. Needless to say, Armstrong's left-handedness was truly out of this world. 6. Barack Obama The 44th President of the United States was the eighth left-handed individual to hold said office, though prior to the 20th century, only President James Garfield is known to have been a lefty. Lefties were elected to the presidency more frequently beginning in 1929 with Herbert Hoover: Six Presidents since have been left-handed, including a run of three straight with Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. While signing his first executive order in 2009, Obama quipped: "That's right. I'm a lefty. Get used to it." Presidential left-handedness may not be a coincidence — some experts believe that lefties have a stronger penchant for language skills, which could help their rhetoric on the campaign trail. 7. Queen Victoria (And Other Members of the Royal Family) England's great monarch Queen Victoria (who ruled 1837-1901) was known for her left-handedness. Though she was trained to write with her right hand, she would often paint with her natural left. She's just one of a few members of the royal family with the trait. Victoria's great-grandson, King George VI — as well as George's wife, Elizabeth — were also regal lefties, and George's left-handedness was often prominently on display while playing tennis, one of his favorite hobbies. Two current heirs to the throne and presumed future kings are also proud lefties: Prince William has joked that "left-handers have better brains," and his young son George has shown a penchant for using his left hand while doing everything from clutching toys to waving at adoring fans. Source: Famous Left-Handed Celebrities in History | Facts About Famous Lefties
  10. What's the Word: ISOPOLITY pronunciation: [ay-sə-POL-ih-tee] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, 19th century Meaning: 1. Equal citizenship rights, and mutual political rights, across different communities Example: "Our town encouraged modern values of isopolity by offering free parking for cars with licenses from neighboring states." "A current example of isopolity is the European Union, in which citizens of one country mutually share rights enjoyed by citizens of other member nations." About Isopolity “Isopolity” is based on the Greek expression “ἰσοπολῑτεία” (“isopoliteia”), referring to a citizen who has a reciprocal right. Did You Know? As a political idea, “isopolity” emerged from the city-states of ancient Greece during the Hellenistic period, between 323 BCE and roughly 30 BCE. These states were ruled by citizens rather than kings or emperors, and they developed “isopolity” treaties offering equal citizenship rights between kindred communities. “Isopolity” usually referred to two-way citizenship between two friendly nation-states, where a person from one state did not need to participate in the political life of the second state to which they were a citizen. Still, male citizens from one nation state could marry women, or own land, in another state that they shared isopolity with.
  11. Fact of the Day - LONGEST-RUNNING TV SHOWS 'Sesame Street' has been entertaining, and educating, kids since 1969. Did you know.... Television is a competitive industry, so any TV series that gets picked up past its first season should consider itself lucky. It's rare when a series is popular enough to survive casting changes, cultural shifts, and disruptions in the media landscape. From daytime soap operas to late-night comedy programs, these are the 45 longest-running TV shows in history. (Michele Debczak | May 31, 2021 | Updated: Jul 22, 2022) Longest-running TV Shows By: Jesslyn Shields | Updated: Dec 3, 2021 The Queen's Messenger (1928) Before Netflix was turning out binge-able content by the truckload, we had television shows. They're still around, of course, but since the first television drama aired in 1928, things have changed. Sometimes shows are only meant to last one season — or three. But since the concept of the TV show really took off after World War II some, TV programs have shown some real staying power. Although many news programs and soap operas have lasted longer, here's a list of the longest-running dramas and sitcoms in United States television history. 1: "The Simpsons" (1989-present) Who would have thought that an animated sitcom featuring a family of severely jaundiced-looking, accident-prone oddballs would have made it this far! The AVClub has called it "the best animated series of all time, and television’s crowning achievement regardless of format." With more than 700 episodes in the can, its longevity is leagues ahead of any other show. 2: "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999-present) If you like a good crime drama, "Law and Order: SVU" is probably on your guilty pleasures list. It’s also the only live-action primetime television show that debuted in the 20th century and is still running. Over the course of over 500 episodes, main character Olivia Benson, played by Mariska Hargitay, has investigated sex crimes of all kinds, and has been promoted up the NYPD's 16th precinct’s ranks, from detective to captain. "Law and Order: SVU" has made Olivia Benson the longest-running main character in any live-action primetime show. 3: "Gunsmoke" (1955-1975) "Gunsmoke" tops the list as the longest-running dramatic series in network television history with 635 episodes. Set in Dodge City, Kansas, during the 1870s, "Gunsmoke" began as a radio program in 1952, switched to the land of visual entertainment in 1955, and finally ended its 20-year run in 1975. 4: "Law and Order" (1990-2010; 2022) Unlike its spinoff "Law and Order: SVU", "Law and Order" had an undeniably good run, but not without interruptions. This successful police procedural sired six spinoffs and a made-for-TV movie, and lasted an incredible 20 seasons and 456 episodes. In 2010, after 20 years on air, NBC cancelled "Law and Order," and after an unsuccessful attempt to shop it around to three networks, "Law and Order" became a thing of the past. Until 2021, when NBC announced "Law and Order" would come back with a new season in 2022. 5: "Family Guy" (1999-present) It seems Americans love animated sitcoms about dysfunctional families. "Family Guy" premiered in 1999, and 20 seasons and almost 400 episodes later, we're still turning in to find out what kind of trouble a diabolical baby and an anthropomorphic dog will get into. 6: "Lassie" (1954-1972) Running for 588 episodes, "Lassie" centered around a loyal canine companion who rescued her human family from various predicaments. Over the years, Lassie was portrayed by nine different male dogs, all descendants of the original Lassie, whose real name was Pal. During the show's run, Lassie had various owners, most notably Timmy and Jeff. Only three dogs have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart. 7: "NCIS" (2003-present) A blend of police procedural and military drama, "NCIS" follows a team of criminal investigators for the Navy, solving everything from poisonings to terror attacks. Premiering in 2003, "NCIS" is approaching 450 episodes. 8: "Grey's Anatomy" (2005-present) If you have ever received medical advice from someone who was not a health care professional, it's possible they've been watching "Grey's Anatomy" for a couple of decades. Premiering in 2003, its ABC's longest-running scripted primetime show, and after all these years remains one of the most watched shows on broadcast television. After 18 seasons and almost 400 episodes, we still can't wait to find out what's going to happen once the surgical interns, residents and attending physicians scrub in. 9: "American Dad!" (2005-present) Since its debut in 2005, "American Dad!" has served up 18 seasons of the animated family sitcom chuckles America loves. Republican dad with a humongous chin? Check! Existentially addled teenaged children? Check! Pet goldfish that thinks it’s a German elite athlete? Check? Neurotic alien pet? Well, you get the idea. 10: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (2000-2015) "Somebody in Las Vegas has been murdered! But who did it and how?!" That’s the basic premise of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." Consult a gas spectrometer and recruit an exotic dancer into the police force as blood splatter specialist and you’ve got yourself a forensic crime drama! CSI ran for 15 seasons and produced 337 episodes of grizzly who-done-its. Source: Longest-Running TV Shows of All Time | Facts About Some of the Longest-Running TV Shows
  12. What's the Word: ANTHOPOGLOT pronunciation: [an-THRə-poh-glot] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin/Greek, 18th century Meaning: 1. An animal (e.g. a parrot) whose tongue is similar to a human tongue, making possible sounds similar to human speech. Example: "Harry had an affinity for anthropoglots and had several talking birds as pets." "An anthropoglot doesn’t actually know what it’s saying, but sometimes the animal’s “statements” sound convincingly real." About Anthropoglot “Anthropoglot” is based either on the Latin “anthropoglottus” or the related Greek “ἀνθρωπόγλωττος,” both meaning “speaking like a human being.” As a prefix, “anthropo-“ indicates human beings, while “glot” indicates knowledge of language. Did You Know? The definition of “anthropoglot” usually refers to animals with tongues — such as parrots and other talking birds — who can “speak” like humans. Yet one of the most fascinating animals to learn to “speak” human language does so without using its tongue. Rather, South Korea’s Koshik the elephant has proven himself capable of “speaking” Korean by placing his trunk in his mouth against his molars and tongue, and using his trunk as a stand-in for a tongue in order to simulate what scientists called “very accurate imitations of speech.” In 2006, Koshik was capable of simulating the words “yes,” “no,” “sit,” and “lie down,” among a few others, in Korean.
  13. Fact of the Day - FRAGRANCES Did you know.... We as humans have been always fascinated with our history since history teaches us about our past, our culture, and who we are today. When it comes to the history of perfume, one shouldn’t be surprised that it also goes back to ancient times as well. I’m always interested in learning new things such as perfume ingredients, perfume history, and raw materials that make modern perfumes, and modern perfumery. After doing thorough research based on this topic, I have made a compact article which I believe you’ll enjoy, and learn something new without having to read through a wall of text filled with dry information. (Marin Kristic | January 27, 2021) The History of 6 Bestselling Fragrances From the 20th Century by Interesting Facts Not all fragrance companies have the staying power of Chanel. For example: Chaqueneau, a New Jersey-based perfume company, made headlines in the 1950s for selling their perfumes only to men. “After all, there ought to be something a man can buy for a woman that she can’t buy for herself,” read a Saks Fifth Avenue brochure for one of the aforementioned scents, Chaqueneau-K. “Chaqueneau-K will never be sold to a woman.” For obvious reasons, the brand lacked staying power. But Chaquenau’s story is by no means indicative of the booming billion-dollar fragrance industry, which is expected to be valued at more than $40 billion annually by 2025. 1. Chanel No. 5 by Chanel (1921) A vacation to the South of France changed Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s young business forever. During her trip, she met Russian Frenchman Ernest Beaux, a second-generation perfumer. Instead of joining the market of mere floral and fruity scents, Chanel desired “an artificial perfume” that was constructed, like a couture gown. Beaux’s mixture contained a healthy pour of soapy-smelling aldehydes; some think this ingredient reminded Chanel of her mother, a laundress she lost at age 12. Each ounce of the fragrance also boasts the essence of 1,000 jasmine flowers and 12 roses, both sourced from the same 50-acre field in Pégomas, France. The first Chanel No. 5 ad featured a flapper-era Chanel sketched by the caricaturist Sem, while the designer was photographed for a 1937 follow-up. For many women, owning Chanel No. 5 remains a rite of passage — a bottle is sold every 30 seconds. 2. Shalimar by Guerlain (1921) Favored by Rita Hayworth and Mad Men’s Joan Holloway (played by Christina Hendricks), Shalimar takes its name from the Sanskrit word meaning “abode of love.” The direct inspiration for Guerlain’s signature scent comes from gardens commissioned by 17th-century royalty. India’s Shalimar Gardens were masterminded by Mughal Emperor Jahangir, while his son Shah Jahan — overseer of the Taj Mahal’s construction — had a royal refuge built with around 450 fountains in Pakistan. Thus Shalimar’s Baccarat crystal bottle is designed to mirror an Eastern garden basin. The fragrance’s notes include bergamot, leather, and vanilla, a blend that earned praise from Chanel No. 5 architect Beaux. “If I had used that much vanilla, I would have ended up with sorbet or custard,” said Beaux. “But Jacques Guerlain created a masterpiece, Shalimar!” As of 2017, 108 bottles were purchased around the globe every hour. 3. Miss Dior by Dior (1947) Ginette “Catherine” Dior had a life worthy of a biopic. A member of the French Resistance during World War II, she was arrested and deported to Germany, where she labored in a concentration camp and factories supporting the Axis effort. Once free, she returned to France to farm flowers. In between, the British and French governments bestowed Catherine with honors for bravery. But the most sentimental accolade might have come from her older brother, Christian, when his fashion house named Miss Dior perfume after her. Featuring notes of narcissus, iris, and orris root, the fragrance was crafted by Jean Carles and Paul Vacher — after Carles lost his sense of smell (amazingly, he worked from memory). Natalie Portman has fronted the scent since 2010. 4. Charlie by Revlon (1973) When model-actress Shelley Hack posed for the debut Charlie ad, she wore a three-piece suit, loafers, and a bowtie. Another campaign featured a woman toting a briefcase as she pats a man’s bottom. Revlon targeted liberated women seeking to buy their perfume with their own wages. Oprah Winfrey was so riveted that she brought Hack on her show in 2008 to discuss “the Charlie girl.” “I wanted to stride like her with confidence,” Winfrey said. “I wanted to be this fabulous.” Among the scent’s notes are lily of the valley, geranium, and coriander, and its golden bottle is in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. While the fragrance predated Charlie’s Angels by three years, Hack eventually co-starred in 25 episodes. 5. Opium by Yves Saint Laurent (1977) In the late ‘70s, would-be customers for Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium perfume were known to pocket samples and yank posters when a store sold out. They yearned to sniff the cinnamon, sandalwood, and patchouli fragrance feted by Cher and Truman Capote at Studio 54. Yet for decades, Opium’s name and campaign imagery earned condemnation on multiple continents. A 1980 commercial followed supermodel Linda Evangelista’s search for the scent in a crowded Chinese marketplace, wielding a fan of cash. Twenty years later, London’s British Advertising Standards Authority forced YSL to take down Opium billboards that displayed writhing model Sophie Dahl — wearing only shoes and jewelry — when the photo generated more than 900 complaints. Nonetheless, the label never apologized. The Musée Yves Saint Laurent celebrated its late founder with a 2018 exhibition called “Yves Saint Laurent: Dreams of the Orient.” 6. White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor (1991) The most successful celebrity perfume empire is a tale of two Lizes: Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) partnered with Elizabeth Arden on a line that bloomed into 16 scents. To promote the first, “Passion,” future-dame Taylor embarked on a month-long American tour in 1987. Then the two-time Best Actress Oscar winner made her love of precious gems accessible to mall-goers with White Diamonds (notes: Egyptian tuberose, jasmine, and carnation). Along with the launch came “White Diamonds: The Movie,” a lilac-hued commercial from the '90s, where Taylor offered her earrings to help a strapped poker player, saying, “These have always brought me luck.” The fragrance’s lifetime sales surpassed $1 billion in 2013, and a portion of earnings from each of the star’s perfumes supports the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Source: History Of Perfume: 24 Interesting Facts And Insights | Fact About Bestselling Fragrances
  14. What's the Word: SILT pronunciation: [silt] Part of speech: noun Origin: Middle English, 15th century Meaning: 1. Fine sand, clay, or other material carried by running water and deposited as a sediment, especially in a channel or harbor. Example: "There was mostly silt and a few rocks at the bottom of the pond." "Chris has a special attachment for his pool vacuum to pick up silt so fine it would otherwise clog the machine." About Silt “Silt” is a centuries-old word with uncertain origins, though it came into English through the Middle English words “silte” and “cylte” which also indicate sediments left by water sources. Did You Know? There are many words similar to “silt” across northern European languages. In Norwegian and Dutch the word “sylt” refers specifically to a “salt marsh,” as does the word “sylta” in Swedish. These words were preceded by the Middle Low German “sulte,” also meaning “salt-marsh.” All are related to the Old English “sealt” (circa 11th century) meaning “salt.” Between the 15th and 16th century, “silt” developed its modern meaning of fine sediment deposited by water.
  15. Fact of the Day - CINNAMON Did you know.... Cinnamon used to be more valuable than gold. The woody, warming spice we sprinkle with abandon on top of holiday cookies, baked goods, and seasonal coffees is native to Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and India. But very few people knew where cinnamon came from when merchants first began selling spices throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa as far back as 3,000 years ago — and spice traders capitalized on that lack of knowledge to charge high prices. Harvested from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees, cinnamon has been used for thousands of years as medicine, for religious practices and funerals, and in cuisine, but with a big price tag: It was once considered more precious than gold. In an effort to conceal cinnamon’s origins from competitors and explain the extravagant markup to wary customers, spice traders of the past provided elaborate backstories. By some fifth-century accounts, cinnamon traders asserted that collecting the spice was a dangerous task thanks to angry “winged creatures” that lived in the trees; cinnamon harvesters supposedly donned protective outerwear made of thick hides and risked their personal safety to collect a few measly pieces of cinnamon bark. Other vendors claimed cinnamon was transported from far-off lands by birds who used it as nesting material (in this tale, harvesting cinnamon sticks from nests required a cow sacrifice to provide the birds with a meaty distraction). Yet another story declared that cinnamon grew in dangerous, snake-infested valleys. Cinnamon’s origins remained an enigma for centuries, but luckily for chefs and bakers today, the secret eventually got out thanks to global exploration brought on by a surging interest in spices. Now, the flavoring is a low-cost mainstay in modern pantries. Scientists have recreated a cinnamon perfume Cleopatra may have worn. What did our ancestors smell like? Archaeologists and historians have pieced together how numerous cultures ate, dressed, relaxed — in short, lived — but it’s generally been harder to tell how people once smelled. Thanks to one archaeological find, however, we have a clue as to how Egyptians may have perfumed themselves, perhaps even Cleopatra — a royal known for a cinnamon-laced scent so seductive, it’s credited with attracting Julius Caesar. In 2012, archaeologists unearthed ruins north of Cairo suspected to be an ancient Egyptian perfume factory; that dig inspired a team of historians and perfume experts to recreate fragrances that hadn’t been worn in nearly 2,000 years. Using recipes from ancient Greek texts that may have borrowed from Cleopatra’s own formulas — a book of recipes that no longer exists, but was often referenced by other perfumers — researchers blended cinnamon, myrrh, and other herbs with olive oil to create a viscous fragrance akin to what ancient Egyptians once donned. While we’ll never know for sure if Cleopatra wore this specific scent, the experiment gives us an olfactory link with history. (Interesting Facts) Unique Facts That You Didn't Know About Cinnamon by Jake Kilroy | Sep 24, 2016 You think of cinnamon as some fun spice you toss around, from the disaster that is Fireball Whiskey to the even bigger disaster that is the “Cinnamon Challenge.” Maybe it’s something you sprinkle on your toast when you’re sick or place around the house in stick form to ensure your wintry pad is more festive than your neighbor (Karen, ugh). But cinnamon is way more powerful of a food entity and you’re not showing it the proper respect. Here’s a few things you didn’t know about cinnamon. 1. There are actually two kinds of cinnamon, and the more common type is the dangerous one. Yeah, that’s what’s up. Right off the bat, cinnamon is already rattling your world. Americans are used to the “Cassia” variety (from Indonesia and China), even though the “Ceylon” plant is considered the real, true spice (from Sri Lanka, Madagascar and the Seychelles), which is popular for tea. A key difference between the two is that Cassia has much, much more coumarin in it than Ceylon. This toxic chemical compound is what makes consuming cinnamon in large quantities such a terrible and dangerous idea, and actually, what makes cinnamon in general kind of a risky move for pregnant women. 2. A Roman emperor burned a whole lot of cinnamon because he felt bad for killing his wife. Supposedly, during a petty argument about him spending too much time at the races, Roman emperor Nero kicked his wife in the gut so hard that it led to her death. To atone for the accidental murder, he torched as much cinnamon as he could find at the funeral pyre, since it was a much rarer commodity than it is today. In some twisted logic, Nero thought this would suffice in showing his dead wife how sorry he was. 3. Cinnamon oil will prevent bugs from feasting on you. Cinnamon oil, which sounds like a delicious addition to anything, destroys the hell out of mosquito larvae, as it turns out. So think of cinnamon as an environmentally friendly pesticide in a way by adding a few drops or sprinklings to your sunscreen or lotion. 4. You can lighten your hair with cinnamon. Mixing a few spoonfuls of cinnamon into a paste — with honey or actual conditioner — will lighten your hair once applied and allowed sunshine to get at it. 5. Cinnamon used to be at least 15 times more expensive than silver. Back in the day — talking the first century A.D. here — cinnamon carried an ungodly price tag, especially in Rome. It was considered a precious commodity, given its high demand and low supply. Once the regularity of foreign exploration kicked in, the spice became more available and therefore more affordable. 6. Cinnamon was an ingredient in embalming and blessings in ancient times. Though you may think of cinnamon as a light, fun taste, it has some heavy background. It helped preserved the dead in ancient Egypt (with a nice scent to boot) and Moses, according to the Old Testament, added it to holy oil for anointing. 7. Cinnamon can regulate your blood sugar (and do a whole lot more). According to analysis and studies, cinnamon has been proven to be beneficial for those concerned with diabetes. There's also been studies that suggest cinnamon can lower lipid levels, such as LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Source: Fun Fact About Cinnamon | Cinnamon Facts
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