Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
10…Title from the Aramaic for “father”..ABBOT
Our word “abbot” ultimately derives from the Aramaic word “abba”, an honorific title extended to one’s father.
15…Subject of the 2015 Erik Larson nonfiction bestseller “Dead Wake”..LUSITANIA
The RMS Lusitania was a Cunard ocean liner that was sunk off the coast of Ireland in May 1915 during WWI. The Lusitania was on it’s traditional route between Liverpool and New York City, having departed New York six days before the sinking. She was attacked by a German U-boat, with 1,198 of the 1,959 people on board being killed. The main result of the sinking was to turn public opinion against Germany, greatly contributing to the US entering the war.
19…Saruman soldier in “The Lord of the Rings”..ORC
Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction and in fantasy games.
A dory is a small boat, around 20 feet long with a shallow draft, a flat bottom and a sharp bow. Dories are commonly used for fishing.
28…19th-century dancer Lola..MONTEZ
Despite the stage name, Lola Montez was an Irish dancer and actress. Montez was born Eliza Gilbert in Sligo, in the west of the country. She grew up in India, where her father was posted by the British Army. After eloping with soldier at 16 years of age, she separated from him after five years of marriage and became a professional dance. She first used the Montez name and adopted the persona a Spanish dancer in London in 1843. Soon after, she earned the reputation of a courtesan, and eventually became the mistress of Ludwig I of Bavaria, who gave her the title Countess of Landsfeld, along with a large annuity. She traveled the world as a dancer, eventually dying at the age of 39 in New York City from syphilis.
Some pool players use talcum powder on their hands and on the cue itself, so that the cue moves smoothly when taking a shot.
34…Capital of South Africa..RANDS
The Rand is the currency of South Africa. Much of South Africa’s famed gold comes from mines around Johannesburg in the Witwatersrand (Afrikaans for “the ridge of white waters”). The Rand currency takes its name from this ridge.
By definition, a cocktail known as a Fizz includes lemon or lime juice and carbonated water. The most popular of the genre is the Gin Fizz, made from 3 parts gin, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and 5 parts soda water. There is also a variant known as a sloe gin fizz.
41…Four-time Depp role..SPARROW
Captain Jack Sparrow is the protagonist in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series of movies. Sparrow is of course played by Johnny Depp. Depp has said that he based his portrayal of Sparrow partly on the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. I could believe that …
43…Either 2010 “True Grit” director..COEN
The classic 1969 western movie “True Grit” starring John Wayne is a screen adaptation of a 1968 novel by Henry Hathaway. The Coen brothers made another big screen adaption of the novel in 2010 starring Jeff Bridges in the Rooster Cogburn role previously played by John Wayne.
Abe Fortas was a US Supreme Court Justice from 1965 to 1969. Fortas has to resign his position on the bench due to a scandal about payments received, allegedly for favors granted.
51…Riddick portrayer..VIN DIESEL
Vin Diesel is the stage name of actor Mark Sinclair Vincent. He was born in New York City with his twin brother Paul. The twins never knew their father, and their mother is an astrologer. Vincent was given the nickname of “Diesel” by his friends early in his life, as he was said to have a bottomless supply of energy.
“Riddick” is a series of sci-fi movies starring Vin Diesel as an antihero title character. The first film in the series was “Pitch Black”, released in 2000. Never seen one, and probably never will …
54…They often precede garage sales..ESTIMATES
I suppose the reference is to estimates for the costs of repairs by a garage.
55…Some RPI grads..ENGRS
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.
3…Minute part of a minute, for short..PSEC
A picosecond is one trillionth of a second, and is correctly abbreviated to “ps” in the SI system of measurements. I guess that’s what “psec” is meant to be …
4…ID with a photo..LIC
6…Garb named for an island..CAPRIS
Capri pants first became popular on the island of Capri, apparently. They were invented in Europe in 1948, but only became stylish in the US in the sixties. Mary Tyler Moore often wore Capri pants on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and to some extent she sparked a fashion trend. After a lull in the seventies and eighties there was a resurgence in sales after Uma Thurman wore them (and danced in them) in “Pulp Fiction”. Can’t stand the look of them myself …
As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names “cation” and “anion” come from Greek, with “kation” meaning “going down” and “anion” meaning “going up”.
Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua in the north, and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, a leader on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army … permanently!
9…Art form offering plenty of kicks?..TAEKWONDO
Taekwondo is the national sport of Korea. “Tae” means “to strike or break with foot”; “kwon” means “to strike or break with fist”; “do” means “way” or “art”. Along with judo, taekwondo is one of only two martial arts included in the Olympic Games.
11…Informal talk..BULL SESSION
The phrase “bull session” was popularized by American college students in the 1920s. The term refers to a discussion, particularly between male friends. The phrase “to shoot the bull”, meaning to talk freely and pretentiously about something one knows very little, is derivative of “bull session”.
12…Wedding planner’s nightmare..BRIDEZILLA
A bridezilla is a difficult and demanding bride, with the term first used in 1995 in “The Boston Globe”.
13…City near the Great Salt Lake..OGDEN
Ogden, Utah was the first permanent settlement by people of European descent in what is now the state of Utah.
Justin Bieber is a young pop singer from London, Ontario. Bieber was actually discovered on YouTube by talent manager Scooter Brown. Fans of Bieber call themselves “Beliebers”. Personally, I’m no believer in Bieber …
24…Sisyphus’ stone, e.g…ONUS
In the Greek myth, Sisyphus is condemned to roll a boulder up a hill, watch it fall back, then roll it up the hill again for eternity.
25…Morse “H” quartet..DITS
In Morse code, the letter H is represented by 4 dots.
34…First female attorney general..RENO
Janet Reno was Attorney General of the US from 1993 to 2001. Reno was the person to hold the office second longest, and was our first female Attorney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life.
Porter is a dark beer that originated in London in the 1700s and is named for the street and river porters with whom it was very popular. Porter is a well-hopped beer made using brown malt, which gives it the dark color.
40…Best Supporting Actress two years before Cloris..GOLDIE
Goldie Hawn won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in “Cactus Flower” (1969). Cloris Leachman won the same award for her performance in “The Last Picture Show” (1971).
42…Fibonacci or Galileo..PISAN
Leonardo of Pisa was a famous and respected Italian mathematician, also known as simply “Fibonacci”. He is remembered for writing about a number sequence (although he didn’t “discover” it) that later was given the name “Fibonacci sequence”. He wrote about the series of numbers in his book called “Liber Abaci”, a celebrated work that introduced Arabic numerals (i.e. 0-9) to the Western world.
Galileo Galilei may be the most famous son of the city of Pisa in Italy and was considered by many to have been the father of modern science. In the world of physics, Galileo postulated that objects of different masses would fall at the same rate provided they did so in a vacuum (so there was no air resistance). There is a story that he dropped two balls of different masses from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate this, but this probably never happened. Centuries later, Astronaut David Scott performed Galileo’s proposed experiment when he dropped a hammer and feather on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission and we all saw the objects hit the moon surface, at exactly the same time.
A canto is a section of a long poem, and is a term first used by the Italian poet Dante. “Canto” is the Italian for “song”.
46…Mrs. Addams, to Gomez..TISH
Gomez and Morticia (“Tish”) Addams were the parents in “The Addams Family”, a creation of the cartoonist Charles Addams. In the sixties television show, Gomez was played by John Astin and Morticia was played by Carolyn Jones.