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DarkRavie

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  1. Fact of the Day - COUNTRIES Did you know.... that a country is a distinct territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, a physical territory with a government, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics. It is not inherently sovereign. (Wikipedia) Fascinating Facts About Every Single Country on Earth By Max DeNike | updated on June 5, 2020 We know travel plans are impacted right now. But to fulfill your wanderlust, we'll continue to share stories that can inspire your next adventure. Have you ever wondered how many countries exist in the world? Do you know how many have “Guinea” in their name? Which one is the youngest? The answers might surprise you. The United Nations recognizes 193 countries plus two observer states, Palestine and the Vatican (Holy See). Besides big players like the United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, Mexico and Brazil, most of these countries have fewer than 50 million residents and might be difficult for people to find on a map. So, to make the world a bit more accessible and fun, we set out to find one no-way-it's-true, fascinating fact about all 195 of these countries/observer states, ranked by population. Armed with this information, you’ll be a big hit at the next office party, if maybe not so much on a first date. 1. China Population: 1.43 billion There are 63 million pairs of chopsticks — or 126 million single sticks — manufactured in China every year. These range from mass-produced disposable chopsticks to high-quality sticks that can take up to (yes) a month to painstakingly make. 2. India Population: 1.37 billion India gave the world its sweet tooth. Although sugarcane originated in Southeast Asia, it was first chemically refined about 2,500 years ago in India. (Thanks, India!) 3. United States Population: 329.1 million The stars and stripes make up one of the most recognizable flags of any country in the world. But did you know the modern iteration containing 50 stars was designed for a class project by an enterprising high school student in 1958, who anticipated the addition of Alaska and Hawaii a year later? Amazingly, the boy's unimpressed teacher gave him a B-. 4. Indonesia Population: 270.6 million This Southeast Asian country is the world’s largest island nation, but no one knows exactly how many islands it contains (thousands and thousands, to be imprecise). Indonesia attempted to count them all in 2017, but several differing figures still exist. 5. Pakistan Population: 216.6 million There’s a small city called Sialkot in this South Asian country that produces 40 percent of the world’s soccer balls. 6. Brazil Population: 211 million There are more uncontacted people in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon than anywhere else on the planet, with the number of isolated tribes believed to be more than 100. 7. Nigeria Population: 201 million The Yoruba people in the southwest part of this African nation are known for giving birth to more twins than anywhere else in the world, at a rate of 50 per 1,000 births. The best explanation so far is that Yoruba people eat a type of yam that contains an ovarian stimulate that might release more eggs. 8. Bangladesh Population: 163 million This South Asian country is very warm — so warm, in fact, that the lowest temperature ever recorded was 2.6 degrees Celsius (37.7 degrees Fahrenheit), which is just above freezing. Still, the 2018 cold spell was blamed for 12 deaths. 9. Russia Population: 145.9 million In 2012, Russian scientists were able to regenerate a plant from a seed found in Siberian permafrost that was more than 30,000 years old. 10. Mexico Population: 127.6 million This North American country is home to many pyramids built by the Mayans and other ancient civilizations, but perhaps its least famous triangular structure is actually the largest one in the world. The Aztecs are believed to have built the Great Pyramid of Cholula some 2,000 years ago, and its base is four times larger than Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza. Today, however, Cholula is mostly covered by dirt and plants. Click the link below to read more fascinating facts about every single country on earth. Source: Facts About Countries | Wikipedia - Country
  2. What's the Word? - EGRESS pronunciation: [EE-gres] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, mid 16th century Meaning: 1. The action of going out of or leaving a place. 2. A way out. Example: "The door was propped open for easy egress." "Before the lights dimmed, the ushers pointed out points of egress to moviegoers." About Egress Egress developed from the Latin words “egressus” (gone out) and “egredi,” which came from the combination of “ex” (out) + “gradi” (to step). Did You Know? Architects carefully construct egress windows into bedrooms and basements in order to keep buildings up to code. These windows are specifically designed for an easy exit in the case of an emergency, such as a fire or floods, and professionals often include a ladder for an even hastier exit.
  3. Fact of the Day - THE INCREDIBLE HULK Did you know.... that The Incredible Hulk is an American television series based on the Marvel Comics character The Hulk. The series aired on the CBS television network and starred Bill Bixby as Dr. David Bruce Banner, Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk, and Jack Colvin as Jack McGee. In the TV series, Dr. David Banner, a widowed physician and scientist, who is presumed dead, travels across America under assumed names, and finds himself in positions where he helps others in need despite his terrible secret: In times of extreme anger or stress, he transforms into a huge, savage, incredibly strong green creature, who has been named "The Hulk". In his travels, Banner earns money by working temporary jobs while searching for a way to either control or cure his condition. All the while, he is obsessively pursued by a tabloid newspaper reporter, Jack McGee, who is convinced that the Hulk is a deadly menace whose exposure would enhance his career. The series' two-hour pilot movie, which established the Hulk's origins, aired on November 4, 1977. The series' 80 episodes were originally broadcast by CBS over five seasons from 1978 to 1982. It was developed and produced by Kenneth Johnson, who also wrote or directed some episodes. The series ends with David Banner continuing to search for a cure. In 1988, the filming rights were purchased from MCA/Universal by New World Television for a series of TV movies to conclude the series' storyline. The broadcast rights were, in turn, transferred to rival NBC. New World (which at one point owned Marvel) produced three television films: The Incredible Hulk Returns (directed by Nicholas J. Corea), The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, and The Death of the Incredible Hulk (both directed by Bill Bixby). Since its debut, The Incredible Hulk series has garnered a worldwide fan base. (Wikipedia) Smashing Facts About The Incredible Hulk by Steven Y. | Factinate Created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Hulk has had along and tumultuous journey to becoming the iconic character he is today. In his comic book appearances, the Hulk is typically a massive, green-skinned humanoid with vast strength and healing capabilities, while his alter-ego, Bruce Banner, is a physically weak and socially withdrawn physicist. The storylines often play on the conflict between the two. In addition to comic books and graphic novels, the Hulk has appeared in television and film, both live-action and animated, as well as in his own videogames. Here are a few other things you might not have known about the Green Goliath. It Ain’t Easy Being Green Despite being one of the original Marvel characters, created around the same time as Spider-Man and Iron Man, the Hulk has always been on the verge of cancellation. In fact, his solo title was canned after just six issues in 1963. Hulk Bored In the Ultimate Universe, Bruce Banner triggers a Hulk transformation because The Ultimate's had nobody else to fight. Mad Jealous In that same storyline, Bruce happened to be insanely jealous that his ex-girlfriend Betty Ross was out on a date with Freddie Prinze Jr. The deranged Hulk tries to track down Freddie to eat him and the team has to stop his rampage. It’s just as well. Freddie Prinze Jr. does not look tasty. Involuntary Astronaut Thinking that it was the best way to contain him, the Illuminati, pretending to be Hulk’s friends, sent him into outer space to take out a satellite. This was a huge betrayal that will likely not result in the warmest and fuzziest feelings between everyone. A Dish Best Served Green After he was sent to space, he landed on the planet Sakaar which Hulk immediately conquered. Hulk then raised an army and returned to Earth to get revenge on The Illuminati for sending him away in the first place. B-B-But When the Hulk got his own TV series in 1978, they changed Bruce Banner’s first name to David because, as the show producer claimed, it was unrealistic to have a character with an alliterative name, conveniently forgetting the fact that Bruce Banner was played by Bill Bixby. Multiple Personalities Because “Hulk smash” got old fast, the Hulk has had a few iterations over the years including Joe Fixit, a Vegas mob enforcer, a smart version of the Hulk called “The Professor”, and a crazy Hulk who had to stay angry to stop reverting to a deranged Banner. Once a Hulk… Lou Ferrigno, the bodybuilder who played the Hulk, has actually been involved with every live-action Hulk adaptation ever including a cameo appearance in Ang Lee’s Hulk, The Incredible Hulk, and as the voice of the Hulk in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Fear Itself Although he was one of the founding members of The Avengers, Hulk actually left the group shortly after their first battle (against Loki) because he realized that his teammates were afraid of him. He stayed away for fifty years before finally returning. Hulk Sad In the storyline of “Hulk: The End,” everyone on Earth is killed by nuclear war leaving Bruce Banner to wander the wasteland by himself as an immortal kept alive against his will by the Hulk. Eventually, the Banner part of his psyche dies, leaving the Hulk alone forever which is depressing AF. Click the link below to read more facts about The Incredible Hulk Source: The Incredible Hulk Facts | Wikipedia - The Incredible Hulk
  4. What's the Word? - STALWART pronunciation: [STOL-wərt] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Late Middle English, mid 1300s Meaning: 1. Loyal, reliable, and hardworking. 2. (dated) Strongly built and sturdy. Example: "John remained a stalwart supporter of the Chicago Cubs no matter the outcome of the game." "The old house was still as stalwart as it was in 1902." About Stalwart Stalwart originated in Late Middle English as a Scots variant of the obsolete word “stalworth,” a combination of the Old English words “stǣl” (place) and “weorth” (worth). Did You Know? Many television and radio stations rely heavily on stalwart supporters in order to survive. PBS has been made famous by its slogan that says production is possible by “viewers like you.” The statement is formulated to emphasize the importance of viewer support.
  5. Fact of the Day - FAMOUS FIRSTS (WOMEN) Famous Firsts in Women’s History HISTORY.COM EDITORS ORIGINAL:JAN 4, 2010 | UPDATED:FEB 4, 2021 American women’s history has been full of pioneers: Women who fought for their rights, worked hard to be treated equally and made great strides in fields like science, politics, sports, literature and art. These are just a few of the remarkable accomplishments by trail-blazing women in American history. 1. First women’s-rights convention meets in Seneca Falls, New York, 1848 In July 1848, some 240 men and women gathered in upstate New York for a meeting convened, said organizers, “to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of women.” One hundred of the delegates–68 women and 32 men–signed a Declaration of Sentiments, modeled on the Declaration of Independence, declaring that women, like men, were citizens with an “inalienable right to the elective franchise.” The Seneca Falls Convention marked the beginning of the campaign for women’s suffrage. 2. Wyoming Territory is first to grant women the vote, 1869 In 1869, Wyoming’s territorial legislature declared that “every woman of the age of twenty-one years, residing in this territory, may at every election…cast her vote.” Though Congress lobbied hard against it, Wyoming’s women kept their right to vote when the territory became a state in 1890. In 1924, the state’s voters elected the nation’s first female governor, Nellie Taylor Ross. 3. Californian Julia Morgan is first woman admitted to the Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Paris, 1898 The 26-year-old Morgan had already earned a degree in civil engineering from Berkeley, where she was one of just 100 female students in the entire university (and the only female engineer). After she received her certification in architecture from the Ecole de Beaux-Arts, the best architecture school in the world, Morgan returned to California. There, she became the first woman licensed to practice architecture in the state and an influential champion of the Arts and Crafts movement. Though she is most famous for building the “Hearst Castle,” a massive compound for the publisher William Randolph Hearst in San Simeon, California, Morgan designed more than 700 buildings in her long career. She died in 1957. 4. Margaret Sanger opens first birth control clinic in the United States, 1916 In October 1916, the nurse and women’s rights activist Margaret Sanger opened the first American birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Since state “Comstock Laws” banned contraceptives and the dissemination of information about them, Sanger’s clinic was illegal; as a result, on October 26, the city vice squad raided the clinic, arresting its staff and seizing its stock of diaphragms and condoms. Sanger tried to reopen the clinic twice more, but police forced her landlord to evict her the next month, closing it for good. In 1921, Sanger formed the American Birth Control League, the organization that eventually became Planned Parenthood. 5. Edith Wharton is the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, 1921 Wharton won the prize for her 1920 novel The Age of Innocence. Like many of Wharton’s books, The Age of Innocence was a critique of the insularity and hypocrisy of the upper class in turn-of-the-century New York. The book has inspired several stage and screen adaptations, and the writer Cecily von Ziegesar has said that it was the model for her popular Gossip Girl series of books. 6. Activist Alice Paul proposes the Equal Rights Amendment for the first time, 1923 Alice Paul toasting (with grape juice) passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. August 26, 1920. For almost 50 years, women’s-rights advocates like Alice Paul tried to get Congress to approve the Equal Rights Amendment; finally, in 1972, they succeeded. In March of that year, Congress sent the proposed amendment–“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex”–to the states for ratification. Twenty-two of the required 38 states ratified it right away, but then conservative activists mobilized against it. (The ERA’s straightforward language hid all kinds of sinister threats, they claimed: It would force wives to support their husbands, send women into combat and validate gay marriages.) This anti-ratification campaign was a success: In 1977, Indiana became the 35th and last state to ratify the ERA. In June 1982, the ratification deadline expired. The amendment has never been passed. 7. Amelia Earhart is the first woman to cross the Atlantic in an airplane, 1928 After that first trip across the ocean, which took more than 20 hours, Amelia Earhart became a celebrity: She won countless awards, got a ticker-tape parade down Broadway, wrote a best-selling book about her famous flight and became an editor at Cosmopolitan magazine. In 1937, Earhart attempted to be the first female pilot to fly around the world, and the first pilot of any gender to circumnavigate the globe at its widest point, the Equator. Along with her navigator Fred Noonan, Earhart successfully hopscotched from Miami to Brazil, Africa, India and Australia. Six weeks after they began their journey, Earhart and Noonan left New Guinea for the U.S. territory of Howland Island, but they never arrived. No trace of Earhart, Noonan or their plane was ever found. 8. Frances Perkins becomes the first female member of a Presidential cabinet, 1933 Frances Perkins, a sociologist and Progressive reformer in New York, served as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor. She kept her job until 1945. 9. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League becomes the first professional baseball league for female players, 1943 Rockford Peaches Women had been playing professional baseball for decades: Starting in the 1890s, gender-integrated “Bloomer Girls” teams (named after the feminist Amelia Bloomer) traveled around the country, challenging men’s teams to games–and frequently winning. As the men’s minor leagues expanded, however, playing opportunities for Bloomer Girls decreased, and the last of the teams called it quits in 1934. But by 1943, so many major-league stars had joined the armed services and gone off to war that stadium owners and baseball executives worried that the game would never recover. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was the solution to this problem: It would keep ballparks filled and fans entertained until the war was over. For 12 seasons, more than 600 women played for the league’s teams, including the Racine Belles (Wisconsin) , the Rockford Peaches (Illinois) , the Grand Rapids Chicks (Michigan) and the Fort Wayne Daisies (Indiana) . The AAGPBL disbanded in 1954. 10. The FDA announces its approval of “The Pill,” the first birth-control drug, 1960 In October 1959, the pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle applied for a license from the federal Food and Drug Administration to sell its drug Enovid, a combination of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, for use as an oral contraceptive. FDA approval was not guaranteed: For one thing, the agency was uncomfortable with the idea of allowing doctors to prescribe drugs to healthy people; for another, the young bureaucrat assigned to the case was fixated on moral and religious, not scientific, objections to the pill. Despite all this, Enovid was approved for short-term use in October 1960. Click the link below to read more Famous Firsts in Women's History. Source: Firsts in Women's History
  6. What's the Word? - EQUABLE pronunciation: [EK-wə-bl] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Latin, mid 17th century Meaning: 1. (of a person) Not easily disturbed or angered; calm and even-tempered. 2. Not varying or fluctuating greatly. Example: "Dad is easier to bargain with because of his equable personality." "The sea was equable and glassy, with not a single wave in sight." About Equable Equable’s modern definition of “fair and equitable” comes from the Latin words “aequabilis” and “aequare” (make equal). Did You Know? If the continual temperature fluctuation in a climate with four seasons seems rough to handle, it might be time to seek out an equable climate. An equable climate is one that has very little temperature variation. Some parts of Florida and California, for example, largely experience the same temperatures throughout the year, making them popular destinations for retirees and snowbirds.
  7. Fact of the Day - THE PENNY Did you know... that the United States one-cent coin, often called the penny, is a unit of currency equaling one one-hundredth of a United States dollar. It has been the lowest face-value physical unit of U.S. currency since the abolition of the half-cent in 1857. The first U.S. cent was produced in 1787, and the cent has been issued primarily as a copper or copper-plated coin throughout its history. Its obverse has featured the profile of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909, the centennial of his birth. From 1959 (the sesquicentennial of Lincoln's birth) to 2008, the reverse featured the Lincoln Memorial. Four different reverse designs in 2009 honored Lincoln's 200th birthday and a new, "permanent" reverse – the Union Shield – was introduced in 2010. The coin is 0.75 inches (19.05 mm) in diameter and 0.0598 inches (1.52 mm) in thickness. Its weight has varied, depending upon the composition of metals used in its production. (Wikipedia) Things You Didn’t Know About the Penny As Canada eliminates its pennies from circulation, explore surprising facts about the one-cent coin. JENNIE COHEN | UPDATED: AUG 22, 2018 | ORIGINAL: MAR 30, 2012 1. The word “penny” and its variations across Europe—including the German “pfennig” and the Swedish “penning”—originally denoted any sort of coin or money, not just a small denomination. German Empire: 10 pfennig iron coin 1917 2. Offa, an Anglo-Saxon king, introduced the first English coin known as the penny around 790 A.D.; it was made entirely of silver. Today’s British pennies (called “pence” when referring to a quantity of money) are worth one hundredth of a pound and minted in copper-plated steel. Two silver pennies of Offa's reign. The right-hand penny portrays Cynethryth. 3. The official term for the American penny is “one-cent piece.” However, when the U.S. Mint struck its first one-cent coins—then the size of today’s half-dollars and 100-percent copper—in 1793, Americans continued to use the British term out of habit. 4. Benjamin Franklin reportedly designed the first American penny in 1787. Known as the Fugio cent, it bears the image of a sun and sundial above the message “Mind Your Business.” A chain with 13 links, each representing one of the original colonies, encircles the motto “We Are One” on the reverse. 5. Along with the first U.S. penny’s design, the phrase “a penny saved is a penny earned” has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Visitors to the founding father’s grave in Philadelphia traditionally leave one-cent pieces there for good luck. 6. The copper content of U.S. pennies has declined over the years due to rising prices. The expensive metal makes up just 2.5 percent of one-cent pieces minted in 1982 or later; nickels, dimes and quarters, on the other hand, are mainly composed of copper. Still, today’s pennies cost more than their face value—an estimated 1.8 cents each—to produce. 7. In 1909, Teddy Roosevelt introduced the Lincoln cent to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the 16th U.S. president’s birth. At the time, it was the first American coin to feature the likeness of an actual person (as opposed to the personifications of “liberty” appearing on earlier designs). Fifty years later the Lincoln Memorial was added to the penny’s reverse, complete with a tiny representation of the statue within. 8. The image of Abraham Lincoln on today’s American pennies was designed by Victor David Brenner, an acclaimed medalist who emigrated to the United States from Lithuania in 1890. Born Avigdor David Brenner, Brenner had fled his native land after being persecuted for his Jewish ancestry. Brenner holding a plaster model of the large design for the Lincoln cent (1909) 9. As copper supplies became vital to weapons manufacturing during World War II, the U.S. Mint decided to cast the 1943 penny in zinc-coated steel. Nicknamed “steelies,” these coins caused confusion because they closely resembled dimes; they also rusted and deteriorated quickly. 10. In the 1980s, U.S. military bases overseas abolished the penny and began rounding all transactions up or down to the nearest five cents. This is the system Canada plans to implement later this year. Canadian Penny Source: Wikipedia - Penny | What You Didn't Know About the Penny
  8. What's the Word? - CAPSTONE pronunciation: [KAP-stohn] Part of speech: noun Origin: Middle English, 1350s Meaning: 1. A stone fixed on top of something, typically a wall. 2. (Archaeology) A large flat stone forming a roof over the chamber of a megalithic tomb. Example: "Timothy chose white capstones for the top of the wall for the way they reflected the light." "The capstone was several hundred pounds, and it took all the assembled archaeologists some time to pry it loose." About Capstone This word originated in Middle English from a combination of the words “cap” and “stone,” and references the stone that often “caps” the top of an architectural structure, such as a wall. Did You Know? Capstone can be an architectural or archaeological term, but it also applies to other academics. A capstone can be an academic thesis students use to demonstrate their knowledge through a final body of work. A poetry student might create a portfolio focusing on a particular subject or technique for their capstone. What a capstone project looks like depends on the career path a student is pursuing.
  9. Fact of the Day - ALTERNATIVE ROCK Did you know.... that alternative rock is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1990s. "Alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream or commercial rock or pop music. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or simply the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music. (Wikipedia) Alternative Music What Does It Mean for Music to Be Alternative? By Anthony Carew | Updated April 14, 2018 Being defined as something "other" has always left alternative music with an essential identity crisis. Alternative to what, exactly? Well, to orthodoxy. To the status quo. To playing it safe. To being in the music business for the business, not the music. To the man. To repressive politics. To racism, sexism, classism, etc. Music has always attracted the free-thinkers and the radicals, and underground music has been the place where the most radical of the radicals has been championed. Does that answer your question? Well, no, not really. Let's just say that, if Alternative Music must be an alternative to something, the safe answer is this: to whatever your parents like. When Did Alternative Music Begin? Fittingly enough, right as rock'n'roll was becoming the dominant musical mode of the Western World. As soon as rock was king, there quickly grew an underground of acts providing, yes, an "alternative" voice. If you're looking for a ground zero, well... let's say 1965. That was the year The Velvet Underground first got together in a New York loft, that MC5 first turned up their amps in a Detroit garage, and that a kooky Californian kid started calling himself Captain Beefheart. If you're looking to go further underground (Note: doing this is the passion of any self-respective alt-music enthusiast), 1965 was also when a Texan teenager named Roky Erikson began pioneering psychedelic-rock with a crew called the 13th Floor Elevators. It was the year that a pair of New York poets formed a primitive, satirical rock-group named The Fugs. And, it was the year The Monks, a band of American GIs living in Germany, released the a melodic, highly-rhythmic, audience-baiting album Black Monk Time, possibly the first-ever underground rock album. What Does Alternative Music Sound Like? Existing as an "other," alternative music should, in theory, simply sound unlike whatever the prevailing popular-musical models of the day are. Meaning, if you don't know exactly what it is, at least you know what it's not. Yet, from the mid-'80s through to the mid-'90s, the notion of what was safely "alternative" underwent a radical change. Nowhere more so than in America. After punk-rock marked a momentary blip on mainstream America's radar, the 1980s settled into a steady diet of big-name pop-stars and hair-metal peacocks, with hip-hop the nation's undeniable rising cultural force. The Sex Pistols in Amsterdam in 1977 (L–R: Paul Cook, Glen Matlock, John Lydon and Steve Jones). That left a massive chasm between the mainstream and the underground. Punk had mutated into hardcore, a form of music devoted wholly to grass-roots activity. And, hardcore or not, there were whole networks of bands doing things independently, completely off the commercial grid. For the best part of the '80s, there existed a happy divide —and a mutual disinterest— between these two worlds. Whilst the masses had their Madonna and Michael, the freaks had the Butthole Surfers and Black Flag. Things made sense. But, inevitably, change came. First R.E.M., old "college-rockers," cracked the mainstream. Former avant-garde noise outfit Sonic Youth signed with a major-label. And, then, Nirvana came out of nowhere to be the biggest band in the world. Grunge was a license to print money, sending major-label A&Rs into a frenzy. They ransacked once insular musical scenes of any barely-competent band. Failing that, they engineered their own. The whole thing became an exercise in profiteering that was satirized, for the ages, by The Simpsons' Hullabalooza festival. This mainstream crossover (or, to use the language of the time, "sell out") lead to Alternative Music's crisis of identity: if what was once alternative was now the status quo, what did 'alternative' even mean? If Nirvana once could've defined alt music, where did that leave come-later corporate copycats? It left the alternative world in a confused state. Which Genres Are Considered Alternative Music? Genres attempt to tell us what music is, but often they don't. Most genres that have strong, defined parameters are ones consigned to a specific point in time. When someone talks about shoegaze, krautrock, grunge, riot-grrrl, or post-rock, they're not just talking about a specific style and sound, but a place in time, in the past, we can view from the safety of hindsight. To be honest, the notion of genre, as a straight-laced form of specific sound and accompanying identity, is dying. While we're not denying the rise of the emo cult, there's recently been a telling increase in outfits impossible to quantify. What does one make, for instance, of Animal Collective, or Gang Gang Dance, or Yeasayer; bands whose seamless fusing of many disparate genres leaves them sounding like none? Are "Alternative" and "Indie" Essentially Interchangeable Terms? Well, yes and no. Casually speaking, yes, indie and alternative can essentially mean the same thing. But if we want to get down to the semantics of it. That's a whole other story. Is Alternative Music Always an Alternative? Of course not. Look at it this way: in 1990, the Grammy Awards started giving out trophies for the Best Alternative Album. In the years since, winners have included such noticeably not-indie figures as Sinéad O'Connor, U2, Coldplay, and Gnarls Barkley. So, no matter how hard you try and define "alternative music," people—especially Grammy voters—will make it mean whatever they want it to. Source: Wikipedia - Alternative Rock | Brief Alternative Music Facts
  10. What's the Word? - PRIMACY pronunciation: [PRY-mə-see] Part of speech: noun Origin: Late Middle English, 1350s Meaning: 1. The fact of being primary, preeminent, or most important. 2. The office, period of office, or authority of a primate (chief bishop or archbishop) of certain churches. Example: "London has reaffirmed its primacy as the most visited city in the U.K." "The Bishop’s primacy lasted well over ten years." About Primacy This word came into prominence in Late Middle English, but originally started out as the Old French word “primatie,” derived from the Latin words “primatia,” “primas,” and “primat” (which all mean “of the first rank”). Did You Know? The development of the American highway system welcomed the primacy of automobile travel. The Interstate Highway System was approved in 1956 under President Eisenhower. Regular automobile traffic spread across the network of roads, but interstate commerce and trucking also expanded, thanks to the highway system.
  11. Fact of the Day - INVENTION Did you know... that an invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process. The invention process is a process within an overall engineering and product development process. It may be an improvement upon a machine or product or a new process for creating an object or a result. An invention that achieves a completely unique function or result may be a radical breakthrough. Such works are novel and not obvious to others skilled in the same field. An inventor may be taking a big step toward success or failure. (Wikipedia) Inventions & Discoveries Jack De Graaf | Published: May 29, 2014 It really is impressive to look back at the great inventions of our time. It is even more impressive to look at how quickly some of the greatest inventions were replaced by better technology. Most days we cruise through life not sparing a thought to where the many inventions in our life come from. Many of these inventions are purposeful, but a select few are accidental. Fireworks The discovery of fireworks, or namely the formulation of gunpowder is believed to have occurred by chance approximately 2,000 years ago in China. It is thought that a Chinese cook accidentally mixed three common kitchen ingredients: charcoal, sulfur, and saltpeter. Three items commonly found in kitchens back then. When he found that the mixture he’d created burned. He played about a bit with his new-found fire-powder, as any self-respecting kitchen-alchemist would, and found that when compressed into a bamboo tube it exploded. After a few more combinations the cook found that he could cause different colored explosions and different effects to create what we now know as fireworks. Velcro Out on a hunting trip in 1948 with his trusty canine companion, Swiss engineer George de Mestral noticed the annoying tendency burrs had to stick to his socks and his dog’s fur. Back at home, giving the burrs an examination underneath his microscope, George noticed the tiny ‘hooks’ that stuck burrs to both fabric and fur. Mestral experimented for years with a variety of textiles before having a play with the newly invented nylon, and Velcro was born. However, it wasn’t until roughly two decades later that Velcro’s popularity boomed after NASA took a particular liking to the stick-and-rip stuff. Safety Glass The year is 1903 and French chemist Édouard Bénédictus is chilling out in his lab, mixing up some potions, when he accidentally knocks a flask off his desk, sending it to fall to the ground and shatter… or not. Bemused by the way the flask had not smashed into a hundred pieces on impact, Édouard stooped down to take a closer look. Upon inspection the chemist realized that it had recently contained plastic cellulose nitrate and that this had coated the inside of the flask, thus keeping it from shattering upon impact. Inspired by this mere mishap, Édouard Bénédictus went on to invent Safety Glass, something used on a mass-global level even today. Super Glue In 1942, Dr. Harry Coover set out to create a new precision rifle sight but failed epically. The substance he created, cyanoacrylate, was an utter failure – it stuck to everything. Deflated and dejected, Coover gave up and moved on, his invention forgotten. Fast forward 6 years and Coover is overseeing an experimental new design for airplane canopies. Once again he found himself sticking to things because of that damned cyanoacrylate! This time, however, Coover had a light-bulb moment and observed how this substance formed incredibly strong bonds between objects with no heat applied. This set him and his team to thinking, and with a little tinkering, sticking objects in the lab together, they realized they’d found a use for this annoying gloop. Coover whacked a patent on the discovery and in 1958, 16 years after he’d first gotten stuck, Super Glue was being sold on shelves all around the world. Tea Bags The teabag was the accidental invention of American tea merchant Thomas Sullivan. In 1908, Sullivan started sending samples of tea to his customers in small silken bags. Many of his customers assumed that these samples were to be used in the same manner as metal tea infusers, by putting the entire bag into the teapot. After sending out his samples, Sullivan received comments from his customers that the mesh on the silk was too fine. So he started to develop sachets made of gauze; the first purposely made tea bags. During the 1920s these were commercialized and they grew in popularity. Lo and behold, the tea bag was invented! Penicillin Life before antibiotics was certainly grim. And short. Infections ran rampage, especially STDs, making simple diseases that we wouldn’t bat an eyelid at nowadays a death sentence. Luckily for us in 1929 a young Scottish bacteriologist called Alexander Fleming went on holiday, and before he left he must’ve had his holiday-head on because he forgot to cover a petri-dish of Staphylococcus he was cultivating in his lab. When tidying upon his return, Fleming noticed that a mold in the dish had killed off many of the other bacteria. He identified this mold as Penicillium notatum, and researched it further to find out that it could kill other bacteria and could be given to small animals without them becoming ill. A decade down the line, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain picked up where Fleming left off, isolating the bacteria-slaying substance and turning it into a fully administrable medicine. For their efforts in medicine and science, the trio was awarded the Nobel Prize – and rightly so! The Microwave Percy Spencer, a man orphaned at 18 months old and taken out of school at 12 to work in a paper mill, was the accidental inventor of the Microwave Oven. An engineer at Raytheon after his WWI stint in the American Navy was known to all as an electronics genius. Fiddling about with a microwave-emitting magnetron, a piece commonly found in the innards of radar arrays, Percy suddenly felt a strange sizzling sensation in his trousers. Startled, he took a pause and found that the chocolate bar in his pocket had started to melt. Figuring to himself that the microwave radiation of the magnetron was to blame, he immediately set out to reap the potential. The end-game was the Microwave Oven, savior of students and single-men worldwide. Dynamite Humanity didn’t just figure out how to blow things up with the invention of dynamite – nitroglycerin itself had been around for years. But as Arzt from Lost will tell you: “Nitroglycerin is the most dangerous and unstable explosive known to man”. Alfred Nobel himself can testify to this. He worked with nitroglycerin in a series of experiments, which tragically ended in a fatality that claimed the lives of him, his younger brother, and a few others. Knowing how unstable it could be, Nobel continually tested methods for the safe transportation of nitroglycerin. Whilst transporting some of the deadly explosives, a can fell from a crate, spilling its contents all over the nitroglycerin. Nobel noticed that the can’s contents, a sedimentary type of clay called Kieselguhr, absorbed the nitroglycerin perfectly. Inspired by this simple coincidence, Nobel ingeniously developed a formula where the explosive could be mixed with the clay without hindering its explosive power. He patented his discovery, naming it dynamite, and revolutionized both the world of construction and the world of warfare. Viagra In 1998, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer set out to cure Angina Pectoris, or spasms of the heart’s coronary arteries, in plain English. In order to do this, they developed a pill named UK92480. However, UK92480 failed at its desired effect rather terribly, but the secondary effect of their little blue pill was certainly arousing, pun intended. That pill went on to become one of the world’s biggest-selling drugs, Viagra. In fact, it is estimated that seven Viagra tablets are sold worldwide every second – that’s 604,800 a day! Insulin Although the discovery of insulin was not directly an accident, the discovery that allowed researchers to, later on, find insulin was an accident. In 1889, two doctors at the University of Strasbourg were trying to understand how digestion was affected by the pancreas. In order to do this, they removed a healthy dog’s pancreas, a few days later they noticed that flies were swarming around the dog’s urine. They decided to test the urine and found sugar in it. This led them to the realization that by removing the pancreas they had given the dog diabetes. The two doctors never realized that what the pancreas produced regulated blood sugar. It wasn’t until a series of experiments at the University of Toronto between 1920 and 1922 that researchers were able to isolate a pancreatic secretion that they called insulin. Thus turning diabetes from certain death into a treatable condition. Source: Wikipedia - Invention | Accidental Inventions and Discoveries
  12. What's the Word? - REDOUTABLE pronunciation: [re-DOW-də-bl] Part of speech: noun Origin: Late Middle English, mid 1300s Meaning: 1. (humorous) (of a person) Formidable, especially as an opponent. Example: "He was a redoubtable chess player, but still had to fight nerves before every match." "John earned his redoubtable reputation after leading his team to several victories." About Redoutable This word developed in Late Middle English by way of the Old French word “redoutable,” which comes from the combination of the words “redouter” (to fear) + “douter” (to doubt). Did You Know? Video game developers specialize in creating formidable antagonists. The goal is for a game to start at a moderate amount of difficulty, which increases as the player progresses and becomes more familiar with the material. The main villain, often referred to as the final boss, is the most redoubtable character and the hardest to overcome.
  13. Fact of the Day - FORGOTTEN SHOWS OF THE 50s, 60s, & 70s My Favorite Martian (1963) Did you know.... that the wonderful world of television is a vibrant hub of creativity, but with so many programs released every year, it can be easy to forget about the ghosts of productions past. These days, we have access to thousands of shows at the click of a button, but rewind a few decades and there were fewer choices. Back in the day, NBC, CBS and ABC were some of the biggest networks of the era (and they still are today). For sitcoms, the premise of these forgotten shows was pretty much the same as we see today; the same goes for police dramas and thrillers. Though humor and values may have changed, networks have kept pace as the years go on. Networks competed ruthlessly against each other to try and come up with the next hit program, but it didn’t always work out. This led to a stream of short-lived series that didn’t last long, and some that simply faded into the ether after they ceased production. Let’s take a look through the archives to see some titles long since forgotten. History By Emma Verner | Updated: Apr 5, 2021 Bourbon Street Beat Starring: Richard Long, Andrew Duggan, Arlene Howell, Van Williams First Aired: October 5, 1959 Number of Seasons: 1 People loved private-eye dramas, such as Columbo and Murder, She Wrote, so producers were sure that the Bourbon Street Beat would be a smashing hit. However, the show lasted only for one season. It simply didn’t have the right mix to keep viewers entertained enough. Still, in the ’50s this was one of the first major shows to feature a private detective agency. The show followed Rex Randolph (Long) and Cal Calhoun (Duggan) as they solved cases for 39 episodes before the show was canceled. However, Rex got another change as Long’s character moved to 77 Sunset Strip. Tales of Tomorrow Starring: Lon Chaney, Jr., Thomas Mitchell First Aired: August 3, 1951 Number of Seasons: 2 You have heard of Twilight Zone, and probably watched it, right? But did you know that Tales of Tomorrow paved the path to this planetary popular show? Episodes were packed with action and paranormal, and each episode lasted for 25 minutes. Stories like Frankenstein and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea were just some of the tales that kept people mesmerized in front of their screens. The show aired on ABC and every episode focused on a different story which made things interested. Famous actors were often seen as guests including Boris Karloff and Leslie Nielsen. Sadly, the show lasted only for two seasons. Shotgun Slade Starring: Scott Brady First Aired: October 24, 1959 Number of Seasons: 2 Oh, how much people loved western TV shows and movies in the the 1950s. In fact, this genre was so much loved that by the ’60s knocked in the audience was done with a western vibe. This is the main reason why Shotgun Slade proved popular because viewers wanted something different. This was one of a kind Western mystery, with guest appearances from big-name stars at the time, including, Ernie Kovacs, Brett King, Brad Johnson, and more. The main character, Slade was a private investigator who would take on special cases, which was unusual in a Western. This original show lasted for two seasons and in total had 78 episodes. After the show was canceled, Scott Brady continues with his acting career and appeared as Sheriff Frank in 1984’s Gremlins. Flying High Starring: Kathryn Witt, Connie Sellecca, Pat Klous, Howard Platt First Aired: August 28, 1978 Number of Seasons: 1 The ‘50s and ‘60s had been largely dominated by male-led TV shows. Then the ’70s came and television started offering more female-led shows. One of them was Flying High, a comedy about three beautiful air hostesses and their work and personal life. Production directly went after models to star in the show. They were hoping to attract viewers faster. n fact, the sales head of CBS, Harvey Shephard, saw the three models on the elevator after the pitch, he called the head of the network and said, “We need this show.” Hopes for the show were big, but the show ultimately lacked substance and the show was canceled after 18 episodes, due to low ratings and high compression to Charlie’s Angels. The Hathaways Starring: Peggy Cass, Jack Weston, Marcy Grace Canfield, Harvey Lembeck, Barbara Perry First Aired: October 6, 1961 Number of Seasons: 1 Experienced people from the show biz world claim that working with children and animals is a show new level, but ABC didn’t care much when they ordered The Hathaways. Peggy Cass and Jack Weston portrayed loving parents to chimpanzees. Talking about plot twists, right? The show was sponsored by General Mills and was one of the earliest sitcoms to feature animals on TV. From the commercial side, the show wasn’t successful, but viewers loved it, in a way. All in, the show was a disaster from day one, while costing the network a real fortune. Critics called the show “possibly the worst series ever to air on network TV” and dubbed it “utterly degrading.” Peck’s Bad Girl Starring: Wendell Corey, Marsha Hunt, Patty McCormick, Ray Ferrell First Aired: 1959 Number of Seasons: 1 The biggest issue with Peck’s Bad Girl from the 1959’s was the audience. They simply didn’t get it no matter how much the reduction team put the effort into it. At the time parodies weren’t understood or welcome. Moreover, the whole idea of a family sitcom was too much to digest. The original film Peck’s Bad Girl was actually a silent film released in 1918. The show was canceled faster than it was released. In fact, this show is so unknown that there isn’t even a Wikipedia page about it. Broadside Starring: Edward Andrews, Dick Sargent, Sheila James, Kathleen Nolan, Joan Staley First Aired: September 20, 1964 Number of Seasons: 1 War dramas tend to focus on the male side of things. However, the Broadside decided to shake things a bit. This 1964 show, focuses on the women of the Navy in the World War II, with Kathleen Nolan in a starring role. The show was a success because it was something that no one expected. This show had great lines, an appropriate setting, and an enthusiastic cast that loved the show. Sadly, the show was canceled after only 32 episodes, because the production company simply didn’t have enough space to use the tropical exteriors on the lot. Convoy Starring: John Gavin First Aired: September 17, 1965 Number of Seasons: 1 Convoy followed Commander Dan Talbot (John Gavin) and his faithful crew on a cargo ship and their daily adventures. Their main task was to supply troops with food and other items in World War II. The biggest downside was the show’s black and white color. They choose to go with black and white color, so they could use old war photos. However, the audience was more into shows with vivid colors. Plus, some real-life NAVY people disagreed with various moments of the show, including the fact that women also traveled in convoys. Due to low ratings, the show was canceled. Holmes & Yo-Yo Starring: Jack Sher, Lee Hewitt First Aired: September 25, 1976 Number of Seasons: 1 Every great network knows people love seeing fun duos on TV. Remember Starsky & Hutch, or Cagney & Lacey? Sadly, Holmes & Yo-Yo lasted shortly, although ABC had high expectations from the show. Holmes & Yoyo was an ambitious show, but it was eventually marked as a complete disaster. It was eventually named on TV Guide’s List of the Worst 50 TV Shows of All Time. Click the link below to find other Forgotten Show of the 50s, 60s, & 70s. Source: Forgotten Shows
  14. What's the Word? - CORRIGENDUM pronunciation: [kor-ə-JEN-dəm] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, early 19th century Meaning: 1. A thing to be corrected, typically an error in a printed book. Example: "The editor issued a corrigendum for the incorrect date in the final copy." "The small typo didn’t merit a corrigendum, but the newspaper still received emails with a correction." About Corrigendum Corrigendum originates from the Latin word “corrigere,” which means to “bring into order.” Did You Know? Books go through a lengthy process to get to publication. Part of that process involves Advance Readers Copies (ARC), which are printed copies of books used for promotional purposes. Not only are ARCs distributed with bloggers, reviewers, and PR in order to create some buzz; it is also a way for authors, editors, and publishers to evaluate their work for corrigendums before the book is finally published.
  15. Fact of the Day - BUS A New Routemaster double-decker bus. Did you know... that a bus is a road vehicle designed to carry many passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type is the ssingle-deck rigid bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses while coaches are used for longer-distance services. Many types of buses, such as city transit buses and inter-city coaches, charge a fare. Other types, such as elementary or secondary school buses or shuttle buses within a post-secondary education campus do not charge a fare. In many jurisdictions, bus drivers require a special license above and beyond a regular driving license. (Wikipedia) Bus Facts A bus is a large wheeled vehicle meant to carry many different persons along with the driver. It is larger than a car. The name is a shortened version of omnibus, which means "for everyone" in Latin. Buses used to be called omnibuses, but people now simply call them "buses". Buses are an important part of public transport in places all over the world. Many people who do not have cars, especially the third world countries, use buses to get around. Buses make it easy for them to get to where they want to go. A place on a sidewalk/pavement where people wait for a local bus is called a bus stop. A building where people wait for a long-distance bus or where lots of buses meet is called a bus station. History Shillibeer saw the success of the Paris omnibus in service and concluded that operating similar vehicles in London, for the fare-paying public with multiple stops, would be a paying enterprise, so he returned to his native city. His first London "Omnibus", using the same design and name as the Paris vehicle, took up service on 4 July 1829 on the route between Paddington (The Yorkshire Stingo) and "Bank" (Bank of England) via the "New Road" (now Marylebone Rd), Somers Town and City Road. Four services were provided in each direction daily. Shillibeer's success prompted many competitors to enter the market, and for a time buses were referred to as 'Shillibeers'. Benz-Omnibus, 1896 Although passenger-carrying carriages had operated for many years, the new 'omnibus' pioneered a new service of picking up and setting down customers all along a particular route without the need to book in advance. Buses soon expanded their capacity, with additional seats for a few extra passengers provided alongside the driver. By 1845, passengers were being accommodated on the curved roofs, seated back to back in a configuration known as 'knife-board'. In 1852, Greenwood's in Manchester introduced the double-decker vehicle that could seat up to 42. Parisian omnibus, late 19th century In Germany, the first bus service was established in Berlin in 1825, running from Brandenburger Tor to Charlottenburg. In 1850, Thomas Tilling started horse bus services in London, and in 1855, the London General Omnibus Company was founded to amalgamate and regulate the horse-drawn omnibus services then operating in London. By the 1880s, bus services were a commonplace in England, continental Europe, and North America; one company in London was operating over 220 horse-buses. Horse-bus use declined with the advent of steam-buses and motor-buses; the last horse bus in London stopped operation in 1914. Steam buses Amédée Bollée's L'Obéissante (1875) Regular intercity bus services by steam-powered buses were pioneered in England in the 1830s by Walter Hancock and by associates of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, among others, running reliable services over road conditions which were too hazardous for horse-drawn transportation. The first mechanically propelled omnibus appeared on the streets of London on 22 April 1833. Steam carriages were much less likely to overturn, they travelled faster than horse-drawn carriages, they were much cheaper to run, and caused much less damage to the road surface due to their wide tyres. However, the heavy road tolls imposed by the turnpike trusts discouraged steam road vehicles and left the way clear for the horse bus companies, and from 1861 onwards, harsh legislation virtually eliminated mechanically propelled vehicles from the roads of Great Britain for 30 years, the Locomotive Act of that year imposing restrictive speed limits on "road locomotives" of 5 mph in towns and cities, and 10 mph in the country. Trolleybuses World's first trolleybus, Berlin 1882 In parallel to the development of the bus was the invention of the electric trolleybus, typically fed through trolley poles by overhead wires. The Siemens brothers, William in England and Ernst Werner in Germany, collaborated on the development of the trolleybus concept. Sir William first proposed the idea in an article to the Journal of the Society of Arts in 1881 as an "...arrangement by which an ordinary omnibus...would have a suspender thrown at intervals from one side of the street to the other, and two wires hanging from these suspenders; allowing contact rollers to run on these two wires, the current could be conveyed to the tram-car, and back again to the dynamo machine at the station, without the necessity of running upon rails at all." The first such vehicle, the Electromote, was made by his brother Dr. Ernst Werner von Siemens and presented to the public in 1882 in Halensee, Germany. Although this experimental vehicle fulfilled all the technical criteria of a typical trolleybus, it was dismantled in the same year after the demonstration. Max Schiemann opened a passenger-carrying trolleybus in 1901 near Dresden, in Germany. Although this system operated only until 1904, Schiemann had developed what is now the standard trolleybus current collection system. In the early days, a few other methods of current collection were used. Leeds and Bradford became the first cities to put trolleybuses into service in Great Britain on 20 June 1911. Motor buses The first internal combustion omnibus of 1895 (Siegen to Netphen) In Siegerland, Germany, two passenger bus lines ran briefly, but unprofitably, in 1895 using a six-passenger motor carriage developed from the 1893 Benz Viktoria. Another commercial bus line using the same model Benz omnibuses ran for a short time in 1898 in the rural area around Llandudno, Wales. Daimler also produced one of the earliest motor-bus models in 1898, selling a double-decker bus to the Motor Traction Company which was first used on the streets of London on 23 April 1898. The vehicle had a maximum speed of 18 kph and accommodated up to 20 passengers, in an enclosed area below and on an open-air platform above. With the success and popularity of this bus, Daimler expanded production, selling more buses to companies in London and, in 1899, to Stockholm and Speyer. Daimler also entered into a partnership with the British company Milnes and developed a new double-decker in 1902 that became the market standard. Early LGOC B-type The first mass-produced bus model was the B-type double-decker bus, designed by Frank Searle and operated by the London General Omnibus Company – it entered service in 1910, and almost 3,000 had been built by the end of the decade. Hundreds saw military service on the Western Front during the First World War. Daimler CC Bus 1912. One of five Daimler buses exported to Australia The Yellow Coach Manufacturing Company, which rapidly became a major manufacturer of buses in the US, was founded in Chicago in 1923 by John D. Hertz. General Motors purchased a majority stake in 1925 and changed its name to the Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company. They then purchased the balance of the shares in 1943 to form the GM Truck and Coach Division. Models expanded in the 20th century, leading to the widespread introduction of the contemporary recognizable form of full-sized buses from the 1950s. The AEC Routemaster, developed in the 1950s, was a pioneering design and remains an icon of London to this day. The innovative design used lightweight aluminum and techniques developed in aircraft production during World War II. As well as a novel weight-saving integral design, it also introduced for the first time on a bus independent front suspension, power steering, a fully automatic gearbox, and power-hydraulic braking. Types Athens bus interior in 2013 Formats include single-decker bus, double-decker bus (both usually with a rigid chassis) and articulated bus (or 'bendy-bus') the prevalence of which varies from country to country. Bi-articulated buses are also manufactured, and passenger-carrying trailers—either towed behind a rigid bus (a bus trailer) or hauled as a trailer by a truck (a trailer bus). Smaller midibuses have a lower capacity and open-top buses are typically used for leisure purposes. In many new fleets, particularly in local transit systems, a shift to low-floor buses is occurring, primarily for easier accessibility. Coaches are designed for longer-distance travel and are typically fitted with individual high-backed reclining seats, seat belts, toilets, and audio-visual entertainment systems, and can operate at higher speeds with more capacity for luggage. Coaches may be single- or double-deckers, articulated, and often include a separate luggage compartment under the passenger floor. Guided buses are fitted with technology to allow them to run in designated guideways, allowing the controlled alignment at bus stops and less space taken up by guided lanes than conventional roads or bus lanes. Bus manufacturing may be by a single company (an integral manufacturer), or by one manufacturer's building a bus body over a chassis produced by another manufacturer. Types of buses Coach / Motorcoach - A bus that is used for driving long distances with as much comfort as possible and more room. It has fewer doors than a city bus. School bus - a bus that takes people to their school or university. In America school buses are yellow while in other countries they may be different. Shuttle buses - a bus that drives between places without many stops. It is often used for sport events and other places where lots of people meet, and at airports. Minibus - A bus that is smaller than normal buses. It can carry about 8 to 25 people. Double decker bus - A bus that has two floors (decks). It can carry about 70 people. Low-floor bus - A bus that is nearer the ground than other buses so you can get in and out more easily. This type is often used in cities. The floor may get lower when the bus stops and higher when it moves. Trolleybus - A bus that gets its energy from electric cables above the street, not from petroleum fuel. Articulated bus - A bus that can bend in the middle so that it can be long and still move in small streets. Guided bus - A bus that is guided on rails like a train but is used on normal streets. Often it can also be used like a normal bus. Neighbourhood bus - It is like a school bus. Training bus - A bus that is used for new drivers to practice with. It might not be safe for passengers and might have been changed so a teacher can easily help the new driver. Gyrobus - A bus which does not use a normal engine. It has a big flywheel of steel or other materials (weighing about one ton) rotating at very high speed (RPM).. Hybrid bus - A bus that has two engines, for example a fuel engine and an electric engine. Police bus - A bus that is used by the police to transport a large number of policemen. Offroad bus - A bus that is made to be used beyond normal roads, often used by the Army. Open-top bus - A bus that has no roof, often used for tourism. Source: Wikipedia - Bus | Facts About Buses
  16. What's the Word? - ANAMNESIS pronunciation: [an-əm-NEE-sis] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, late 16th century Meaning: 1. The remembering of things from a supposed previous existence (often used with reference to Platonic philosophy). 2. (Medicine) A patient's account of a medical history. Example: "The character spends most of the movie trying to resolve her anamnesis with her current life." "The nurse collected Mr. Collins’ anamnesis while the doctor continued his checkup." About Anamnesis This word originated from the Greek word “anamnēsis,” which means “remembrance.” Did You Know? Experiencing déjà vu — intense feelings of having experienced something before — is often attributed to anamnesis, but may have a more practical explanation. Rather than remembering specific moments from another life, researchers believe that déjà vu occurs because of a few different possibilities: a minor brain “glitch” where short-term memories can be confused with long-term memories, a memory that someone doesn’t properly remember, or possibly from a dream or other subconscious experience.
  17. Fact of the Day - CONSPIRACY THEORIES Eye of Providence Did you know.... that a conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable. The term has a negative connotation, implying that the appeal to a conspiracy is based on prejudice or insufficient evidence. A conspiracy theory is not simply a conspiracy; instead, it refers to a hypothesized conspiracy with specific characteristics, such as an opposition to the mainstream consensus among those people (such as scientists or historians) who are qualified to evaluate its accuracy. (Wikipedia) Facts About Conspiracy Theories BY ELLEN GUTOSKEY | JULY 16, 2020 Did the government fake this photo? NASA From President Kennedy’s assassination to the Roswell UFO incident, history is teeming with events so calamitous or uncanny that the “true” explanation—whether it’s presented by scientists, historians, or the government—just doesn’t seem good enough. That’s where conspiracy theories come in. But what exactly is a conspiracy theory, and why are people so inclined to believe them? In this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is delving into the psychology behind one of the most mysterious topics ever and shedding a little light on some popular conspiracy theories that did (or didn’t) turn out to be true. Did Lewis Carroll actually moonlight as Jack the Ripper? Also, what’s the deal with tinfoil hats? Watch the episode below to find out the answers to those questions and more—and do it quickly, before the Illuminati deletes this video. Historical Conspiracy Theories BY JAKE ROSSEN | SEPTEMBER 24, 2019 President Lincoln Assassination For some, the historical record just won’t do. For centuries, conspiracy theories have attempted to draw back the curtain on important world events, casting into doubt official accounts and accepted wisdom. While the internet has made the discussion and dissemination of conspiracy theories easier, suspicion over everything from Roman rulers to the moon landing has persevered for centuries (and some conspiracy theories have even turned out to be true!). Take a look at eight of history’s lesser-known—but no less fascinating—alternative explanations. 1. SHAKESPEARE DIDN’T WRITE HIS OWN PLAYS. Many consider William Shakespeare the greatest playwright who ever lived. But to some, he’s simply one of the great pretenders. So little is known about Shakespeare as a person—he was born in Stratford in 1564 as the son of a glove-maker, married a woman named Anne Hathaway, and died in 1616—that examining his life in any detail is all but impossible. Theorists have claimed that Shakespeare didn’t exist at all, and was instead merely a pseudonym for an accomplished (and well-educated) writer. That could have been Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, a courtier who visited many of the places depicted in the plays, or possibly Christopher Marlowe. The latter is one of the more elaborate ideas, as it maintains that Marlowe was not murdered in a tavern in 1593 but instead hustled away to France thanks to some well-placed connections. He allegedly then spent the next 20 years writing under the Shakespeare name. The belief that Shakespeare was not the author of works attributed to him has been voiced by several notable names throughout history, including Orson Welles, Sigmund Freud, and even Mark Twain. Twain once posited that Sir Francis Bacon could easily have been the Bard, and he believed the words "Francisco Bacono" appeared in code in the First Folio. The belief gained more credence in 2016, when the respected Oxford University Press actually credited Marlowe as co-author of the three Henry VI plays. Among other research, the publishing house cited an analysis of vocabulary between the work and Marlowe's plays. 2. JOHN WILKES BOOTH WASN’T KILLED. After drawing a weapon and fatally shooting President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth went on the lam. Authorities caught up to him 12 days later, when he was confronted by an Army sergeant and shot while hiding in a barn. He died on the porch of a nearby farmhouse shortly thereafter. Unless, that is, the person in the barn wasn’t Booth at all. One theory speculates that Booth succeeded in escaping and headed to Texas, changing his name to John St. Helen and living until 1903. The idea was put forth by author Finis L. Bates, who published The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth in 1907 after claiming St. Helen confessed to him he was Booth and that the assassination was planned by Andrew Jackson to secure the presidency. (The man shot in the barn, Bates said, was a patsy, his death allowing soldiers to collect the bounty on Booth’s head.) Not coincidentally, Bates was able to profit from this speculation by displaying what he claimed was the preserved body of the recently departed Booth, charging admission for the morbid curiosity. The notion that Booth escaped death has intrigued at least one salient party: Booth’s descendants, who have petitioned to have his grave in Baltimore dug up in order to make a positive identification. No court has yet granted their request. 3. OLIVER CROMWELL WAS NEVER EXHUMED. Oliver Cromwell's Head? There was no peace for Oliver Cromwell (the Lord Protector of England, Ireland, and Scotland in the 1650s) after his death. In 1661, King Charles II of England's parliament ordered Cromwell’s body and two others exhumed so they could be posthumously hanged, a vindictive bit of showboating resulting from the trio having ordered the execution of King Charles I. (Cromwell died of illness in 1658, denying King Charles II the pleasure of striking him down.) Cromwell, Henry Ireton, and John Bradshaw were left to hang and then decapitated, with Cromwell’s head left on a spike for several decades. But what if they got the wrong corpse? Some believe that Cromwell secretly moved his own planned tomb site in Westminster Abbey to avoid just such a fate, and that whoever was dug up was not Cromwell. In one spectacular flight of fancy that reads more like a D.C. Comics twist, there has been speculation that King Charles II’s men accidentally dug up his executed father instead, and were in the process of having him hanged before realizing their mistake. 4. MERIWETHER LEWIS DIDN’T COMMIT SUICIDE—HE WAS MURDERED. Famed explorer Meriwether Lewis met an unfortunate end on October 10, 1809. After stopping to rest at a lodge along the Natchez Trace—a formidable trail between Mississippi and Tennessee—Lewis apparently shot himself. The wounds were fatal, and he was soon buried nearby. There seemed to be motivation for Lewis’s decision to take his own life: While he was celebrated for the journey from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean with partner William Clark that ended in 1806, the two had not found the Northwest Passage to the Pacific, making Lewis feel as though they had come up short on one of the mission's primary goals. Lewis was also desk-bound, a disappointing outcome for someone who craved adventure. He was known to suffer from depression and even wrote a will before striking out on the Natchez. But others have argued that the trail was full of bandits, any one of whom could have confronted Lewis and engaged him in a lethal struggle. It was also curious that a trained marksman would need to shoot himself multiple times, as Lewis had, to achieve the desired result. The theory picked up steam in the 1840s, when Lewis’s body was exhumed and examiners made a comment about his injuries looking like the work of an assassin. His descendants have lobbied for another exhumation, which could look for gunpowder traces to see if a weapon was fired at close range or from across a room. Because Lewis's body is on National Park Service land, and the service rarely grants permission for exhumations, the theory remains untested. 5. NERO MAY HAVE SET FIRE TO ROME. Nero took control of Rome in 54 C.E. at the age of 17. Ten years later, a fire broke out around the Circus Maximus, the chariot stadium. The blaze ravaged the city over nine days, destroying three of its 14 districts and severely damaging seven others. Was it an accident, or did the formidable ruler set fire to his own kingdom? Those who argue the latter point out it was convenient that Nero was safely tucked away in Antium and miles from the fire. With the city partially destroyed, he could erect new buildings more to his liking, including one—the fanciful Domus Aurea—that would have been met with opposition among the social elite under normal circumstances. One of Rome’s historians, Tacitus, even claimed Nero merrily played his fiddle while Rome went up in flames. The fiddle had not yet been invented, but such details have not stopped suspicions that the young ruler was a bit of a firebug. 6. THE U.S. DEVELOPED AN INVISIBLE WARSHIP. Private citizens may never know the full extent of the weaponry and tools of war that the U.S. government has developed over the decades. One significant leap in technology was thought by some to have occurred in July 1943, when officials at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard took the USS Eldridge and successfully rendered it invisible using electrical field manipulation—or so some believed, anyway. Later, the Eldridge was allegedly teleported to Norfolk, Virginia, with the ship arriving a few seconds before it left. Thus, time travel had also been invented. These claims originated with a man named Carl Meredith Allen, who said he was a seaman stationed in Virginia who saw the Eldridge appear and disappear in front of his eyes. He sent his eyewitness account to author Morris K. Jessup, author of several books about UFOs. While Jessup never published the claims, they did become the focus of a 1979 book, The Philadelphia Experiment: Project Invisibility. The author, Charles Berlitz, was primed to buy the tale, as he had already explored the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. Naval records, however, contradict the claim. The Eldridge was not in commission on the day it was supposedly rendered invisible, and stationed in New York Harbor instead of Philadelphia or Virginia. The theory may stem from attempts by the Navy around that time to make ships undetectable to surface and underwater mines by running electrical currents through them, canceling out their magnetic field. That could technically make ships "invisible" to the mines, although not to the human eye. 7. QUEEN ELIZABETH I WAS ACTUALLY A MAN. Was the Queen a man? Queen Elizabeth I—who ruled England for 44 years between 1558 and 1603—defeated the Spanish Armada, rejoined what had been a divided country, and encouraged the arts to flourish. What she didn’t do was marry. The Queen refused any and all advances to enter matrimony, a policy that led to her nickname of the Virgin Queen. Her stance led some observers—including Dracula author Bram Stoker—to suspect she may have been a man. Stoker once visited the town of Bisley in the Cotswolds, where a May Day celebration involved a boy dressing as the May Queen in Elizabethan clothes. Intrigued by the ceremony, Stoker discovered a fantastic tale—that the queen-to-be had visited Bisley in her youth to escape the plague, got sick, and died. Knowing her father, King Henry VIII, had a famous temper, the governess found a boy who resembled her charge and disguised him as Elizabeth when the king, who apparently could not readily identify his own daughter, came to visit. The deception was never discovered, and the unknown boy grew to rule England, disguising his masculine features with wigs, heavy make-up, and neck coverings. While Stoker popularized the story in the early 1900s, it had appeared during Elizabeth’s reign, possibly as a way for male subjects to cope with the idea of having a female ruler. 8. LEWIS CARROLL WAS JACK THE RIPPER. To some, the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was no demure children’s book author. He could have been notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper. That was the theory offered up by author Richard Wallace, who assembled a laundry list of suspicious and potentially incriminating facts about Carroll in his book, Jack the Ripper: Light-Hearted Friend. Wallace believes Carroll—born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson in 1832—experienced traumatic events in boarding school that would plague him for the rest of his life. He also believes Carroll hid secret messages in his books in the form of anagrams that confessed to his involvement. Carroll was also geographically close to the sites of the Ripper murders. Doubters pointed out that “confessions” could be extracted from Wallace’s own words in the same fashion—including incriminating statements about murder and even that Wallace was the secret author of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Source: Wikipedia - Conspiracy Theory | Facts About Conspiracy Theories | Historical Conspiracy Theories
  18. What's the Word? - ZELIG pronunciation: [ZEL-ig] Part of speech: noun Origin: American English, 1980s Meaning: 1. A person who is able to change their appearance, behavior, or attitudes, so as to be comfortable in any situation.. Example: "Despite belonging to the PR Team, Harold was a Zelig who easily blended into any department." "Rather than joining a clique in school, Cathy was a Zelig who made friends in different interest groups." About Zelig This word originated in American English in the 1980s based off of a Woody Allen character Leonard Zelig, the titular character in the movie “Zelig” (1983). Eponyms are not always proper nouns, but “Zelig” is usually seen capitalized. Did You Know? A Zelig is a person who is able to change their appearance, behavior, or attitudes to be comfortable in any situation. Similarly, a chameleon is a reptile who is able to change its physical appearance, but not to simply camouflage itself against a background as cartoons might make one believe. Instead, chameleons often change colors to regulate temperature, indicate changes in mood, and communicate with other chameleons.
  19. Fact of the Day - FAIRY Did you know.... that a fairy is a type of mythical being or legendary creature found in the folklore of multiple European cultures, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural, or preternatural. (Wikipedia) Fairy Facts A fairy or færie (Old English spelling) is a supposed magical being that flies in the air. They are usually depicted as small girls or women. Some færies have certain jobs, such as the Tooth fairy, who gives money or treats under the pillow of small children who have had a tooth fall out. A fairy tale is a story with a plot involving fairies. These stories are usually for children. Fairies can also be found in folklore, for instance, in Ireland and Scotland, fairies are still held as creatures that were defeated by the human race thousands of years ago and now live in caverns in the world of faerie. These mystical creatures are believed to be made after a kind of angel. Fairies come up in many fictional books such as "Peter Pan" and "The Spiderwick Chronicles". Etymology According to Thomas Keightley, the word "fairy" derives from the Latin fata, and is from the Old French form faerie, describing "enchantment". Other forms are the Italian fata, and the Provençal "fada". In old French romance, "fee" was a woman skilled in magic, and who knew the power and virtue of words, of stones, and of herbs. Faie became Modern English fay. Faierie became fairy, but with that spelling now almost exclusively referring to one of the legendary people, with the same meaning as fay. The word "fairy" was used to represent an illusion, or enchantment; the land of the Faes; collectively the inhabitants thereof; or an individual such as a fairy knight. Description 1896 illustration of a fairy from Ernest Vincent Wright's The Wonderful Fairies of the Sun Fairies are generally described as human in appearance and having magical powers. Diminutive fairies of one kind or another have been recorded for centuries, but occur alongside the human-sized beings; these have been depicted as ranging in size from very tiny up to the size of a human child. Even with these small fairies, however, their small size may be magically assumed rather than constant. Some fairies though normally quite small were able to dilate their figures to imitate humans. On Orkney they were described as short in stature, dressed in dark grey, and sometimes seen in armour. Wings, while common in Victorian and later artwork of fairies, are very rare in the folklore; even very small fairies flew with magic, sometimes flying on ragwort stems or the backs of birds. Nowadays, fairies are often depicted with ordinary insect wings or butterfly wings. In some folklore, fairies have green eyes. Some depictions of fairies either have them wearing some sort of footwear and other depictions of fairies are always barefoot. Characteristics Much of the folklore about fairies revolves around protection from their malice, by such means as cold iron or charms of rowan and herbs, or avoiding offense by shunning locations known to be theirs. Some pranks ascribed to them, such as tangling the hair of sleepers into "Elf-locks", stealing small items or leading a traveler astray, are generally harmless. But far more dangerous behaviors were also attributed to fairies. Any form of sudden death might stem from a fairy kidnapping, with the apparent corpse being a wooden stand-in with the appearance of the kidnapped person. Consumption (tuberculosis) was sometimes blamed on the fairies forcing young men and women to dance at revels every night, causing them to waste away from lack of rest. Rowan trees are considered sacred to the fairies. Classic representation of a small fairy with butterfly wings commonly used in modern times. Luis Ricardo Falero, 1888. Classifications In Scottish folklore, fairies are divided into the Seelie Court, the more beneficently inclined (but still dangerous) fairies, and the Unseelie Court, the malicious fairies. While the fairies from the Seelie court enjoyed playing pranks on humans they were usually harmless affairs, compared to the Unseelie court that enjoyed bringing harm to humans as entertainment. Trooping fairies refer to fairies who appear in groups and might form settlements. In this definition, fairy is usually understood in a wider sense, as the term can also include various kinds of mythical creatures mainly of Celtic origin; however, the term might also be used for similar beings such as dwarves or elves from Germanic folklore. These are opposed to solitary fairies, who do not live or associate with others of their kind. Changelings Main page: Changeling A considerable amount of lore about fairies revolves around changelings, fairy children left in the place of stolen human babies. In particular, folklore describes how to prevent the fairies from stealing babies and substituting changelings, and abducting older people as well. The theme of the swapped child is common in medieval literature and reflects concern over infants thought to be afflicted with unexplained diseases, disorders, or developmental disabilities. In pre-industrial Europe, a peasant family's subsistence frequently depended upon the productive labor of each member, and a person who was a permanent drain on the family's scarce resources could pose a threat to the survival of the entire family. Protective charms In terms of protective charms, wearing clothing inside out, church bells, St. John's wort, and four-leaf clovers are regarded as effective. In Newfoundland folklore, the most popular type of fairy protection is bread, varying from stale bread to hard tack or a slice of fresh home-made bread. Bread is associated with the home and the hearth, as well as with industry and the taming of nature, and as such, seems to be disliked by some types of fairies. On the other hand, in much of the Celtic folklore, baked goods are a traditional offering to the folk, as are cream and butter. “The prototype of food, and therefore a symbol of life, bread was one of the commonest protections against fairies. Before going out into a fairy-haunted place, it was customary to put a piece of dry bread in one’s pocket.” In County Wexford, Ireland, in 1882, it was reported that “if an infant is carried out after dark a piece of bread is wrapped in its bib or dress, and this protects it from any witchcraft or evil.” Bells also have an ambiguous role; while they protect against fairies, the fairies riding on horseback — such as the fairy queen — often have bells on their harness. This may be a distinguishing trait between the Seelie Court from the Unseelie Court, such that fairies use them to protect themselves from more wicked members of their race. Another ambiguous piece of folklore revolves about poultry: a cock's crow drove away fairies, but other tales recount fairies keeping poultry. While many fairies will confuse travelers on the path, the will o' the wisp can be avoided by not following it. Certain locations, known to be haunts of fairies, are to be avoided; C. S. Lewis reported hearing of a cottage more feared for its reported fairies than its reported ghost. In particular, digging in fairy hills was unwise. Paths that the fairies travel are also wise to avoid. Home-owners have knocked corners from houses because the corner blocked the fairy path, and cottages have been built with the front and back doors in line, so that the owners could, in need, leave them both open and let the fairies troop through all night. Locations such as fairy forts were left undisturbed; even cutting brush on fairy forts was reputed to be the death of those who performed the act. Fairy trees, such as thorn trees, were dangerous to chop down; one such tree was left alone in Scotland, though it prevented a road being widened for seventy years. A resin statue of a fairy Other actions were believed to offend fairies. Brownies were known to be driven off by being given clothing, though some folktales recounted that they were offended by inferior quality of the garments given, and others merely stated it, some even recounting that the brownie was delighted with the gift and left with it. Other brownies left households or farms because they heard a complaint, or a compliment. People who saw the fairies were advised not to look closely, because they resented infringements on their privacy. The need to not offend them could lead to problems: one farmer found that fairies threshed his corn, but the threshing continued after all his corn was gone, and he concluded that they were stealing from his neighbors, leaving him the choice between offending them, dangerous in itself, and profiting by the theft. Millers were thought by the Scots to be "no canny", owing to their ability to control the forces of nature, such as fire in the kiln, water in the burn, and for being able to set machinery a-whirring. Superstitious communities sometimes believed that the miller must be in league with the fairies. In Scotland, fairies were often mischievous and to be feared. No one dared to set foot in the mill or kiln at night, as it was known that the fairies brought their corn to be milled after dark. So long as the locals believed this, the miller could sleep secure in the knowledge that his stores were not being robbed. John Fraser, the miller of Whitehill, claimed to have hidden and watched the fairies trying unsuccessfully to work the mill. He said he decided to come out of hiding and help them, upon which one of the fairy women gave him a gowpen (double handful of meal) and told him to put it in his empty girnal (store), saying that the store would remain full for a long time, no matter how much he took out. It is also believed that to know the name of a particular fairy could summon it to you and force it to do your bidding. The name could be used as an insult towards the fairy in question, but it could also rather contradictorily be used to grant powers and gifts to the user. In art At that moment she was changed by magic to a wonderful little elf by John Bauer. Images of fairies have appeared as illustrations, often in books of fairy tales, as well as in photographic-based media and sculpture. Some artists known for their depictions of fairies include Cicely Mary Barker, Arthur Rackham, Brian Froud, Alan Lee, Amy Brown, David Delamare, Meredith Dillman, Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Warwick Goble, Kylie InGold, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, Myrea Pettit, Florence Harrison, Suza Scalora, Nene Thomas, Gustave Doré, Rebecca Guay and Greta James. The Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor, MI are small doors installed into local buildings. Local children believe these are the front doors of fairy houses, and in some cases, small furniture, dishes, and various other things can be seen beyond the doors. The Victorian era was particularly noted for fairy paintings. The Victorian painter Richard Dadd created paintings of fairy-folk with a sinister and malign tone. Other Victorian artists who depicted fairies include John Atkinson Grimshaw, Joseph Noel Paton, John Anster Fitzgerald and Daniel Maclise. Interest in fairy-themed art enjoyed a brief renaissance following the publication of the Cottingley Fairies photographs in 1917 and a number of artists turned to painting fairy themes. Source: Wikipedia - Fairy | Fairy Facts
  20. What's the Word? - IMPRIMATUR pronunciation: [im-PRIM-ə-toor] Part of speech: noun Origin: Latin, mid 17th century Meaning: 1. (in singular) A person's acceptance or guarantee that something is of a good standard. 2. An official license by the Roman Catholic Church to print an ecclesiastical or religious book. Example: "Father Matthews decided to seek an imprimatur for his book on religious symbols in the Catholic faith." "His debut novel was marked with an imprimatur from the bestselling horror writer of the decade." About Imprimatur This word developed from the Latin word “imprimere” (let it be printed). Did You Know? The blurb is an example of imprimatur in the literary world. A blurb is a short promotional piece that accompanies a work; on a book, it can usually be found on the dust jacket, the back of the book, or sometimes on the cover. Seeing a blurb from a famous author or celebrity may persuade more people to buy and read it.
  21. Fact of the Day - CULTS Did you know.... that in modern English, a cult is a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by its common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal. This sense of the term is controversial, having divergent definitions both in popular culture and academia, and has also been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study. The word "cult" is usually considered pejorative. An older sense of the word cult involves a set of religious devotional practices that are conventional within their culture, are related to a particular figure, and are often associated with a particular place. References to the "cult" of a particular Catholic saint, or the imperial cult of ancient Rome, for example, use this sense of the word. While the literal and original sense of the word remains in use in the English language, a derived sense of "excessive devotion" arose in the 19th century. Beginning in the 1930s, cults became the object of sociological study in the context of the study of religious behavior. Since the 1940s the Christian countercult movement has opposed some sects and new religious movements, labeling them "cults" because of their unorthodox beliefs. Since the 1970s, the secular anti-cult movement has opposed certain groups, and in reaction to acts of violence which have been committed by some of their members, it has frequently charged them with practicing mind control. Scholars and the media have disputed some of the claims and actions of anti-cult movements, leading to further public controversy. (Wikipedia) Infamous Cults in History Thea Glassman | Dec 7, 2018 Members of the Manson Family In March 1997, 39 members of Heaven’s Gate, a cult started in the early '70s, put on matching dark clothes, swallowed barbiturates, and placed plastic bags around their heads. It was one of the largest mass suicides in the history of the United States. Although you may have heard of that incident, when it comes to the world's most infamous cults, that's just the tip of the iceberg. INSIDER looked back on some of the most dangerous and infamous cults throughout history and the charismatic leaders who founded them. The Manson Family famously murdered seven people over the course of two nights to start a race war. Charles Manson was convicted of first-degree murder in 1971. In the late '60s, Charles Manson brought together a group of displaced young people and called them his "family." They settled in Spahn Ranch, a sprawling former movie studio near Los Angeles, where drugs were free-flowing, mandatory orgies were enforced, and Manson pushed his ideas about an imminent race war. The cult leader told his followers he wanted them to go on a killing spree. On August 8, 1969, a few members of the cult headed to a Beverly Hills home and murdered five people, including actress Sharon Tate. They wrote the word "PIG" in Tate's blood on the door. The violence continued the next night when Rosemary and Leno LaBianca were murdered in their Los Feliz home by Manson's followers on his orders. Rosemary was stabbed 14 times. Manson was convicted of first-degree murder in 1971. He served out his prison sentence until he died on November 19, 2017, at age 83. Members of Heaven’s Gate were told that God was an alien. 39 members died by suicide. Bonnie Nettles, one of the founders of the cult. In the early '70s, Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles went on a road trip across America and found a group of people they dubbed "the crew." Applewhite told his followers many things, including that he was the second coming of Jesus Christ, the end of the world was upon them, and that God was an alien. He encouraged them to give away all their money and cut off contact with their families. Cult members were also put on a Master Cleanse diet of lemonade, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup, in order to get rid of sexual thoughts. Eight men volunteered to be surgically castrated. In March 1997, 39 members of Heaven's Gate donned dark outfits and matching Nike shoes. They drank vodka and ate applesauce and pudding that contained barbiturates and put plastic bags over their heads to suffocate themselves. When police officers entered the home, they found a line of bodies, each covered with purple fabric. It was one of the largest mass suicides in the history of the United States. Members of Aum Shinrikyo left five bags filled with a toxic nerve agent on three Tokyo train lines during rush hour. The cult was led by Shoko Asahara. The cult Aum Shinrikyo was founded in the '80s by Shoko Asahara. He claimed to be Christ and — at one point — garnered tens of thousands of followers across the world. His teachings started out spiritual and then became increasingly violent. Cult members even paid money to drink Asahara's blood. On March 20, 1995, members of Aum Shinrikyo left five bags filled with a toxic nerve agent on three Tokyo train lines during rush hour. Passengers began choking and throwing up. 13 people died because of the attack and 5,800 were injured. As months went by, the cult tried — and failed — to attack other subway stations with a deathly cyanide. Asahara was sentenced to death, along with 12 other members of Aum Shinrikyo. Seven members were executed in July of 2018, including Asahara himself. The other six members are still on death row in Japan. The Branch Davidians had a 51-day standoff with the FBI. Branch Davidian cult members Brad Branch, Kathryn Schroeder, and Kevin Whitecliff on their way to the Waco federal courthouse. David Koresh believed that he could talk to God. He also thought that the world was ending. The cult leader managed to convince more than 100 people to move to a compound outside of Waco, Texas, and follow his teachings (which included his belief that men could have multiple wives, including girls as young as 10). On February 28, 1993, the FBI arrived on the scene to arrest Koresh and ended up in a 51-day standoff. "Never before have so many heavily armed and totally committed individuals barricaded themselves in a fortified compound in a direct challenge to lawful federal warrants," a report from the Justice Department said. In the end, the standoff came to a close when the compound combusted into flames. 75 people died, and Koresh was found with a gunshot wound to the head. Children of God was accused by numerous members of child abuse. It later rebranded to The Family International. A Children of God family walking along t he Texas countryside in 1971. The Children of God was established in the late '60s by David Berg, a traveling preacher. They believed in "free love" that reportedly involved female members recruiting with sex (sometimes known as "flirty fishing") and survivors say children were regularly abused. Both Rose McGowan and Joaquin Phoenix grew up in the Children of God. "There was sexual abuse for myself from the age of 4, not just from my dad who got convicted, but from various other members of the cult, some related, some not," Verity Carter, who grew up in the cult, told BBC News. "I wasn't comfortable with the things being done to me but if I asked a question I got beaten or put on silence restriction. I was punished a lot because I was never able to stop asking questions." Berg died in 1994. The Children of God later rebranded and changed its name to the Family of Love, and later The Family International after it had been labeled a cult and was investigated by the FBI and Interpol. Jim Jones founded The People's Temple and instructed all of his followers to drink cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. More than 900 people died. Hundreds of people died in the Jonestown settlement. In 1955, Jim Jones founded The People's Temple in Indianapolis. He grew concerned that a nuclear attack would fall on the area, so he moved his congregation to Eureka, California, which he thought would be safer. Paranoia struck again in 1977 (this time born out of media attention), and Jones moved The People's Temple to a settlement in Guyana dubbed Jonestown. US Congressman Leo Ryan decided to visit The People's Temple's new location in Guyana in 1978 in order to investigate reports of abuse of members. He was shot and killed by four members of The People's Temple. Jones then instructed all of his followers to drink Flavor Aid laced with cyanide. Over 900 dead bodies were discovered at the settlement, including Jones, who had a bullet wound to the head. In an unsigned suicide note, one member of the cult wrote: "If nobody understands, it matters not. I am ready to die now. Darkness settles over Jonestown on its last day on earth." Category of Cults Cults come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Not every person’s experience will fit neatly into these following categories, but this list should provide some idea of the range of cults and their reach into every walk of life. Eastern cults Eastern cults are characterized by belief in spiritual enlightenment and reincarnation, attaining the Godhead, and nirvana. Usually the leader draws from and distorts an Eastern-based philosophy or religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, or Sufism. Sometimes members learn to disregard worldly possessions and may take on an ascetic and/or celibate lifestyle. Practices and influence techniques include extensive meditation, repeated mantras, altered states of consciousness, celibacy or sexual restrictions, fasting and dietary restrictions, special dress or accoutrements, altars, and induced trance through chanting, spinning, or other techniques. Religious cults Religious cults are marked by belief in a god or some higher being, salvation, and the afterlife, sometimes combined with an apocalyptic view. The leader reinterprets Scripture (from the Bible, Koran, Talmud, or Cabala) and often claims to be a prophet, if not the messiah. Typically the group is strict, sometimes using such physical punishments as paddling and birching, particularly of children. Often members are encouraged to spend a great deal of time proselytizing. Included here are Bible-based, neo-Christian, Islamic, Jewish or Hebrew, and other religious cults, many of which combine beliefs and practices from different faiths. Practices and influence techniques include speaking in tongues, chanting, praying, isolation, lengthy study sessions, faith healing, self-flagellation, or many hours spent evangelizing, witnessing, or making public confessions. Political, racist, or terrorist cults Political, racist, or terrorist cults are fueled by belief in changing society, revolution, overthrowing the perceived enemy or getting rid of evil forces. The leader professes to be all knowing and all powerful. In some cases, adherents may be more drawn to an extreme ideology rather than a leader per se. Groups tend to operate as secret cells. Often the group and/or individuals are armed and engage in violent activities, including arson, kidnapping, bombing, and suicide bombs. Such groups typically meet in secret with coded language, handshakes, and other ritualized practices. Members consider themselves an elite cadre ready to go to battle. Practices and influence techniques include paramilitary training, reporting on one another, fear, struggle or criticism sessions, instilled paranoia, violent acts to prove loyalty, long hours of indoctrination, or enforced guilt based on race, class, or religion. Psychotherapy, human potential, mass transformational cults Psychotherapy, human potential, mass transformational cults are motivated by belief in striving for the goal of personal transformation and personal improvement. The leader is self-proclaimed and omniscient, with unique insights, sometimes a “super-therapist” or “super-life coach.” Practices and techniques include group encounter sessions, intense probing into personal life and thoughts, altered states brought about by hypnosis and other trance-induction mechanisms, use of drugs, dream work, past-life or future-life therapy, rebirthing or regression, submersion tanks, shame and intimidation, verbal abuse, or humiliation in private or group settings. Commercial, multi-marketing cults Commercial, multi-marketing cults are sustained by belief in attaining wealth and power, status, and quick earnings. The leader, who is often overtly lavish, asserts that he has found the “way.” Some commercial cults are crossovers to political and religious cults because they are based on ultra-conservative family values, strict morals, good health, or patriotism. Members are encouraged to participate in costly and sometimes lengthy seminars and to sell the group’s “product” to others. Practices and influence techniques include deceptive sales techniques, guilt and shame, peer pressure, financial control, magical thinking, or guided imagery. New Age cults New Age cults are founded on belief in the “You are God” philosophy, in power through internal knowledge, wanting to know the future, or find the quick fix. Often the leader presents herself or himself as mystical, an ultra-spiritual being, a channeler, a medium, or a superhero. New Age groups, more so than some of the other types, tend to have female leaders. Members rely on New Age paraphernalia, such as crystals, astrology, runes, shamanic devices, holistic medicine, herbs, spirit beings, or Tarot or other magic cards. Practices and influence techniques: magic tricks, altered states, peer pressure, channeling, UFO sightings, “chakra” adjustments, faith healing, or claiming to speak with or through ascended masters, spiritual entities, and the like. Occult, satanic, or black-magic cults Occult, satanic, or black-magic cults are generated through belief in supernatural powers, and sometimes worship of Satan. The leader professes to be evil incarnate. Animal sacrifice and physical and sexual abuse are common; some groups claim they perform human sacrifice. Practices and influence techniques include exotic and bizarre rituals, secrecy, fear and intimidation, acts of violence, tattooing or scarring, cutting and blood rituals, sacrificial rituals, or altars. One-on-one or family cults One-on-one or family cults are based in belief in one’s partner, parent, or teacher above all else. Generally an intimate relationship is used to manipulate and control the partner, children, or students, who believe the dominant one to have special knowledge or special powers. Often there is severe and prolonged psychological, physical, and sexual abuse. Practices and influence techniques include pleasure/pain syndrome, promoting self-blame, induced dependency, induced fear and insecurity, enforced isolation, battering and other violent acts, incest, or deprivation. Cults of personality Cults of personality are rooted in a belief that reflects the charismatic personality and interests and proclivities of the revered leader. Such groups tend to revolve around a particular theme or interest, such as martial arts, opera, dance, theater, a certain form of art, or a type of medicine or healing. Practices and influence techniques include intense training sessions, rituals, blatant egocentrism, or elitist attitudes and behaviors. Source: Wikipedia - Cult | Facts on Infamous Cults | Cults in America
  22. What's the Word? - RAILLERY pronunciation: [RAY-lə-ree] Part of speech: noun Origin: French, mid 17th century Meaning: 1. Good-humored teasing. Example: "When John was the only one who fell for the prank, the crew engaged in a little raillery at his expense." "The mayor took the raillery at the reception in stride." About Raillery This word developed from the French words “raillerie” and “railler” (to rail). Did You Know? The roast — a comedic event where a guest of honor consents to be subjected to raillery by comedians, fans, friends, and family members — originated in a New York nightclub in the 1940s. A roast usually consists of a blend of insult humor, teasing, and genuine compliments, with the goal of making the audience (and the guest of honor) laugh.
  23. What's the Word? - OCHER pronunciation: [OH-kər] Part of speech: noun Origin: Middle English, 1350s Meaning: 1. An earthy pigment containing ferric oxide, typically with clay, varying from light yellow to brown or red. 2. A pale brownish yellow color. Example: "This artist’s work is characterized by her extensive use of yellow ocher." "All of Mary’s enamel pots are a beautiful ocher color to match her kitchen walls." About Ocher This word developed in its modern sense through Middle English via the Old French word “ocre.” However, before then it developed in Latin by way of the Greek word ōkhra (yellow ocher). Did You Know? Ocher is a naturally occurring pigment found in minerals and the earth, in use since prehistoric times. Many characteristic yellow, red, and orange cave paintings and paleolithic artworks, most of which remain remarkably well-preserved, were done using ocher pigments.
  24. Fact of the Day - DAFFY DUCK Did you know... that Daffy Duck is an animated cartoon character created by Warner Bros. Styled as an anthropomorphic black duck, the character has appeared in cartoon series such as Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, in which he usually has been depicted as a foil for Bugs Bunny. (Wikipedia) Facts About The Loud-Mouthed And Crazy Daffy Duck Unwind | April 19, 2017 | JLDelbert | April 19, 2017 Daffy's first appearance is a bigger landmark than expected. In April 1937, Daffy Duck made his first screen appearance along with Porky Pig in a cartoon named Porky’s Duck Hunt. Duck hunting was a favourite sport of the time and Warner Brothers cashed in on the popularity to create the perfect repeat murder-attempt victim— Daffy Duck. This would be the first time Mel Blanc would voice Porky Pig full time. Joe Dougherty voiced Porky originally, but had a hard time as he really stuttered. Blanc went to a pig farm to help better understand the voice and came to the conclusion that it's not a stutter, but rather a grunt. Blanc would voice the majority of the Looney Tunes characters ever since. The audiences instantly loved the loud-mouthed, crazy duck from the moment he uttered his first lines, “Don’t let it worry ya, skipper, I’m just a crazy darn fool duck.” and the rest is history. To chronicle the 80 years of all things Daffy, we bring you ten lesser known facts. Despite Bugs' star power, Daffy is a fan favorite. The cartoons and the studio would tell you that Bugs is the real star of Looney Tunes, but many Looney Tunes fans will admit that Daffy Duck is the favorite out of the group. This is because Daffy will 100% mess with his adversaries whenever he wants. Bugs, however, will only attack when provoked The Bugs and Daffy rivalry started in 1951 Bugs and Daffy never truly met until 1943 at then end of Porky Pig's Feat. It was there when he claimed Bugs to be his hero and calls him up. It wasn't until Chuck Jones teamed the two up in Rabbit Fire that changed the game for Daffy Duck. It marked the first time Daffy was the bad guy and there was no turning back for the rivalry between the two in future cartoons. Daffy's voice may be based on his producer's voice Chuck Jones claimed that once Daffy had a lisp, his would be based on Looney Tunes producer at the time, Leon Schlesinger. While not as strong as Daffy's, everyone there claimed he had a lisp when he spoke. When viewing Daffy with a lisp for the first time, he said, "Jesus Christ does he sound funny".....the crew laughed at that as Schlesinger said that with an unintended lisp. Daffy and Sylvester DO have different voices. No, more than just Blanc sped up for Daffy despite having lisps and phrases like Sufferin' Succotash. When voicing Sylvester, Blanc used a sloppier voice, so his phrases and dialogues were actually longer and deeper whereas Daffy was faster. Even if you don't speed up Daffy's voice, you can tell the difference as to whether he was Daffy or Sylvester. Mel Blanc holds the record for the longest lasting original voice Mel Blanc voiced Daffy from 1937 until his death in 1989. This brings a total of 52 years of voicing an original character. The only reason it wasn't for Porky Pig was because he filled in two years after Porky was created. Clarence Nash would come a close second for Donald Duck with voicing him for 51 years. Daffy Duck did crossover with the Groovie Goulies. And it wasn't pretty either. Daffy Duck and Porky Pig meets the Groovie Goulies aired on Saturday Morning as a TV special. It was produced by Filmation, meaning the Looney Tunes characters suffered from limited animation among other issues such as Daffy's voice sped up way too fast. This is still considered one of the worst Looney Tunes of all time by many fans and historians. Daffy never even received a nomination for an Academy Award Despite popularity and having some of the greatest cartoons ever made, the Academy never recognized that. Even Porky Pig at least received one nomination. Perhaps this sparked the Bugs and Daffy rivalry even further (Bugs won 1 Academy Award and at least 2 other nominations). Daffy Duck and Sailor Mars (from Sailor Moon) share the same birthday Porky's Duck Hunt was originally released April 17th, 1937. According to official Sailor Moon merchandise, Rei Hino/Sailor Mars celebrates her birthday on April 17 (though not the same year you understand). One episode of Sailor Moon Crystal even acknowledges her birthday when an episode aired close to her birthday. Could this be why both have the same argumentative personalities????? Eh....could be.... Daffy's Rhapsody, the CGI cartoon, would be based on the hit song of the same name Not only that, but WB tracked down the original soundtrack to the song which was sung by Mel Blanc as Daffy Duck. Using the original Mel Blanc tracks, WB was able to make a whole new CGI cartoon mixing the song with the storyline. Both this and I Taught I Taw a Putty Tat would use Mel Blanc's tracks based on those hit Capitol Records from the late 1940's. Source; Wikipedia - Daffy Duck | Daffy Duck facts | The Delbert Cartoon Report
  25. Fact of the Day - CONSTELLATION Did you know.... that a constellation is an area on the celestial sphere in which a group of visible stars forms a perceived outline or pattern, typically representing an animal, mythological person or creature, or an inanimate object. The origins of the earliest constellations likely go back to prehistory. People used them to relate stories of their beliefs, experiences, creation, or mythology. Different cultures and countries adopted their own constellations, some of which lasted into the early 20th century before today's constellations were internationally recognized. The recognition of constellations has changed significantly over time. Many changed in size or shape. Some became popular, only to drop into obscurity. Some were limited to a single culture or nation. (Wikipedia) Facts About Star Constellations Peter Christoforou | February 22, 2013 | Astronomy Lists | Star Constellations 1: Constellations Are Star Patterns In The Night Sky Constellations (“set of stars”) are basically groups of stars that have imaginatively been linked together to depict mythological characters, animals and objects from mankind’s past. This allowed early people to organize the night sky into a recognizable form to assist in their religious study of the celestial heavens, as well as more earthly applications, such as predicting the seasons for farming, measuring time or as a directional compass. 2: There Are 88 Official Constellations In 1922, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially recognized 88 constellations, 48 of which were recorded by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in his book ‘Almagest’ written around 150 AD. Ptolemy’s chart had gaps, especially near the south celestial pole as this area was uncharted at the time, but over the centuries new constellations have been added to the list, including by Dutch explorers Gerardus Mercator (1551), and Pieter Keyser and Frederick de Hautmann near the turn of the 16th century. Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius (1690), and French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille (1750s) later completed the remaining constellations we are now familiar with in the night sky. 3: Knowledge Of Constellations Came From Early Cultures The Greeks knowledge of the constellations stretches way back in time at least to the 8th century BC when Homer made the earliest known Greek reference to the constellations Boötes, Orion, and Ursa Major in his epic poem the Iliad and the Odyssey. Nevertheless, much of the Greek’s initial knowledge of the constellations came to them from the Ancient Egyptians, who likely inherited their understanding from Ancient Babylon and Sumeria before them. In fact, at least 30 modern constellations can be shown to date back to at around the Late Bronze Age (1650-1050 BC), with references to some of the constellations found in Mesopotamian clay writing tablets and Babylonian star constellation catalogs dating back to the 3rd millennium BCE. There are also references to be found in the Hebrew Bible, and Biblical texts. Orion is perhaps the most distinctive of all the constellations, and an amazing discovery was made in 1972 at the Ach valley in Germany after an image of Orion was found carved into a piece of mammoth ivory more than 32,000 years old. 4: Different Constellations Become Visible Throughout The Year Throughout the year different parts of the sky and therefore different constellations become visible to us as the Earth completes its annual orbit around the Sun. The constellations we see at night are those that are located behind the Earth on our side of the Sun, as we cannot see those constellations in the opposite direction behind the bright Sun during the day. To better understand why this is so, imagine sitting on a merry-go-round (Earth) with a very bright light (Sun) placed at its center. You will not be able to see past the light (Sun) because of its brightness, and so you can only see things by looking towards the outside of the merry-go-round, with the background changing as you spin around in a circle. Which constellations can be viewed throughout the year depends upon your latitude and will vary from different locations around the world. In the northern hemisphere, for instance, the constellation of Orion is a winter constellation, while Leo is associated with spring, Scorpius with summer, and Pegasus with autumn. 5: Constellations Travel From East To West Like The Sun Each night more stars and constellation begin to appear in the eastern part of the sky at dusk before moving across and disappearing over the western horizon by dawn. Likewise, those constellations which we had been able to see low near the western horizon after sunset will vanish from our view only to be replaced by constellations which had been higher in the sky at sunset just a few weeks earlier. The constellations which appear in the east have a daily shift rate close to one degree per day, as completing a 360 degrees circular journey around the Sun in 365 days produces roughly that rate. One full year later, and the stars subsequently return to the same position and rising time as the year before. 6: Rotation Of Constellations A Matter of Perspective The direction in which the constellations appear to rotate in the night sky is truly a matter of perspective, and is determined by the Earth’s rotation, as well as the direction in which an observer is facing. Looking north, the constellations appear to rotate counterclockwise around a fixed point in the night sky known as the north celestial pole, which is located near the north star Polaris. This is because the Earth spinning from West to East means the ground beneath you is rotating to your right, while above you the stars appear to follow an East to West direction (right to left) just like the Sun, Moon, and planets. If you face south, however, the stars would seem to revolve in a clockwise direction (left to right); while a person facing east would see the stars coming up in front of them and setting behind them. Likewise, a west facing observer will see the stars appearing to rise behind them before setting to their front (full article found here). 7: Zodiac Constellations Found Where Sun, Moon, and Planets Move The most commonly known of all the 88 constellations are the 12 zodiac constellations, which appear within an 18 degree wide band of sky called the ecliptic plane, which the Sun, Moon and planets seems to traverse throughout the year from the Earth’s perspective. Less well known, however, is that there is in actual fact a 13th constellation which also occupies this zodiacal band, namely Ophiuchus the ‘serpent-bearer.’ 8: Some Constellations Have Families A constellation family refers to a group of constellations located within the same region of the night sky. They usually take their names from their most important constellation, the most prolific of which is the Hercules Family containing 19 constellations. Others include the Ursa Major Family (10), the Perseus Family (9) and the Orion Family (5). 9: Notable Constellations The biggest constellation is Hydra which extends over more than 3% of the night sky, while the smallest is Crux covering a mere 0.165%. Centaurus contains the largest number of visible stars at 101; while Canis Major contains the brightest star in the celestial heavens, namely Sirius, which has an apparent magnitude of -1.46 and means ‘glowing’ in Ancient Greek. Mensa, on the other hand, is the faintest constellation in the night sky as its brightest star has a visual magnitude of just 5.09. 10: Asterism Not Considered True Constellation An asterism is a pattern of stars that are widely recognized and contained within an official constellation but is not counted as a true constellation in itself. The Big Dipper, for instance, is a famous asterism but the seven stars in this arrangement of stars represent less than half of the whole constellation known as Ursa Major. Another famous asterism is the three stars in a row which form Orion’s Belt. Source: Wikipedia - Constellation | Facts About Constellations
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