Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
“Time” magazine has a readership of about 25 million, making it the largest circulation weekly news magazine in the world.
10…Decorative Japanese porcelain..IMARI
Imari is a port city located on the island of Kyushu in Japan. What Europeans know as Imari porcelain actually isn’t made in Imari, but rather in the nearby town of Arita. The name Imari was given to the porcelain because it was the port through which the ceramic ware was shipped. In Japan, the porcelains are called Arita-yaki.
16…Warms with waves..NUKES
One might rewarm a meal by nuking it, zapping it in the microwave.
17…Shelled omnivore..BOX TURTLE
The box turtle truly is a turtle, even though it lives on land. Because of its terrestrial home it is sometime wrongly referred to as the box tortoise.
21…Features of some ‘Vettes..T-TOPS
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.
The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The Corvette has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.
22…Johnny Vander __, only pitcher to throw back-to-back no-hitters..MEER
Johnny Vander Meer was professional baseball pitcher, mainly with the Cincinnati Reds. Vander Meer threw a no-hitter against the Boston Braves in June, 1938. He three another no-hitter just four games later in his next game, against the Brooklyn Dodgers. That made Vander Meer the only man to ever throw two consecutive no-hitters in the Majors.
28…Nut in a cupule..ACORN
A cupule is that “cup” on the base of the acorn, in which the nut sits.
The delicious Swiss chocolate sold under the Lindt brand name has its origins in a small confectionery store in Zurich in the 1840s. Lindt purchased our local chocolate company here in San Francisco (Ghirardelli) back in 1998.
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).
40…Trailers often precede them..FILMS
The term “trailer” was originally used in the film industry to describe advertisements for upcoming features. These trailers were originally shown at the end of a movie being screened, hence the name. This practise quickly fell out of favor as theater patrons usually left at the end of the movie without paying much attention to the trailers. So, the trailers were moved to the beginning of the show, but the term “trailer” persisted.
Our word “repast”, meaning “meal”. came to us via French (in which language “repas” is “meal”). Ultimately the term comes from the Latin “repascere” meaning “to repeatedly graze”.
42…Home to Mount Kinabalu..BORNEO
Mount Kinabalu on the island of Borneo is the highest peak in Malaysia.
51…One-named musician whose last name is Chryssomallis..YANNI
Yanni is a remarkable Greek musician, very successful in the world of New Age music. What I find so remarkable is that he is a self-taught musician. Yanni was born Yiannis Chryssomallis in Kalamata, Greece and moved to the US in 1972 to attend the University of Minnesota.
The Druze community is a religious sect that is mainly found in Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. The Druze split off from Ismaili Muslims (a branch of Shia Islam) in the 11th century.
“Rigmarole” is a lovely word, used for an elaborate and complicated procedure. According to the OED, the term evolved from a medieval game of chance called “Ragman’s Roll”. I guess it was a complicated game …
56…Best Moment and Best Upset..ESPYS
The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.
57…Mental comparison..STEEL TRAP
Someone with “a mind like a steel trap” is someone able to think clearly and intelligently. The concept is that such a person can grasp something instantly, just like a steel trap snapping shut on an animal.
“Nib” is a Scottish variant of the Old English word “neb”, with both meaning the beak of a bird. This usage of “nib” as a beak dates back to the 14th century, with “nib” meaning the tip of a pen or quill coming a little later, in the early 1600s.
An enol is an alkene with a hydroxyl group, sort of part-alkene and part-alcohol. The term “enol” therefore, is a portmanteau of “alkene” and “alcohol”.
4…Boomer until 2003..SST
Supersonic transports (SSTs) like the Concorde broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. As a plane flies through air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot “get out of the way”. When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.
A “turret” is a small tower, and a word coming to us from Latin via French. The French word is “tourette” meaning small “tour”, small “tower”.
8…Emeril’s French Quarter restaurant..NOLA
Emeril Lagasse is an American chef, born in Massachusetts. Lagasse first achieved notoriety as executive chef in Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Now famous for his television shows, his cuisine still showcases New Orleans ingredients and influences. Lagasse started using his famous “Bam!” catchphrase in order to keep his crew awake during repeated tapings of his show.
The oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orlean is the French Quarter, also called the “Vieux Carré (French for “Old Square”). After being founded by the French in 1718 as “La Nouvelle-Orléans”, the city developed around this central square.
The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has the nickname “The Big Easy”. This name might come from the early 1900s when musicians found it relatively “easy” to find work there. The city is also known by the acronym NOLA, standing for New Orleans (NO), LA.
9…Sandford opponent in a landmark 19th-century case..DRED SCOTT
The landmark case of Dred Scott vs. Sandford came before the US Supreme Court in 1857. Scott had been born a slave, but lived with his owner in a free state for several years before returning to the slave state of Missouri. Scott’s argument was that living in a free state entitled him to emancipation. A divided US Supreme Court sided with Scott’s owner John Sandford. The decision was that no African American, free or enslaved, was entitled to US citizenship and therefore Scott was unable to petition the court for his freedom. The decision heightened tensions between the North and South, and the American Civil War erupted just three years later.
11…Feature of Civil War General Ambrose Burnside..MUTTON CHOPS
Ambrose Burnside was a Union Army general during the Civil War, and a successful businessman. When the National Rifle Association was formed in 1871, Burnside was chosen as the organization’s first president. Burnside was also noted for the very lush growth of hair on his face and the distinctive style in which he cut it. We now know that style of cut as “sideburns”, a term derived from the Burnside name. When sideburns connect with the mustache, they might be termed “mutton chops”, a reference to their similarity in shape to the cut of meat.
For part of the 1800s, the Ohio city of Akron was the fasting growing city in the country, feeding off the industrial boom of that era. The city was founded in 1825 and its location, along the Ohio and Erie canal connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River, helped to fuel Akron’s growth. Akron sits at the highest point of the canal and the name “Akron” comes from the Greek word meaning “summit”. Indeed, Akron is the county seat of Summit County. The city earned the moniker “Rubber Capital of the World” for most of the 20th century, as it was home to four major tire companies: Goodrich, Goodyear, Firestone and General Tire.
14…Web connectors, for short..ISPS
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is just what the name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet. One way that ISPs differentiate themselves from each other is in the way in which end users are connected to the ISP’s network. So, there are cable ISPs, DSL ISPs, dial-up ISPs and satellite ISPs.
24…Like penthouse suites..POSH
No one really knows the etymology of the word “posh”. The popular myth that POSH stands for “Port Out, Starboard Home” is completely untrue, and is a story that can actually be traced back to the 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. The myth is that wealthy British passengers travelling to and from India would book cabins on the port side for the outward journey and the starboard side for the home journey. This trick was supposedly designed to keep their cabins out of the direct sunlight.
Originally, the term “penthouse” was used to describe a modest building attached to a main structure. In fact, in centuries past, the manger in which Jesus was born was often referred to as a penthouse. The modern, more luxurious connotation dates back to the early twenties.
In days past, health was said to depend on the balance between the body’s four “humors”, four vital fluids. These humors were blood, phlegm, yellow bile (aka “choler”) and black bile. Excesses of yellow and black bile were thought to produce aggression and depression. As a result, we use the term “bile” today to mean “ill temper”.
The exact etymology of “snit”, meaning “fit of temper”, isn’t really known. The term was first used in print in the play “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” by Clare Booth Luce, which dates back to the 1930s and is set in the American South.
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, the most common form of the condition. The disease is named for German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906.
33…Test with arguments, for short..LSAT
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.
35…Five-point K, e.g…TILE
The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.
38…”Dancing With the Stars” numbers..LINDIES
The Lindy hop (sometimes just “lindy”) is a swing dance that evolved in Harlem in the twenties and was especially popular during the swing Era of the thirties and forties. Allegedly, the dance is named for aviator Charles Lindbergh. Lucky Lindy “hopped” the Atlantic in 1927, making the first nonstop solo flight from the US to Europe.
When I was growing up in the British Isles, there was a surprisingly popular BBC television show featuring professional ballroom dancing called “Come Dancing”. It ran almost every year from 1949 to 1998, and in 2004 the BBC resurrected it with a new twist, adding celebrities to dance with the professionals. The new show, called “Strictly Come Dancing”, is a huge success and has become a worldwide franchise. Over here we watch the American version called “Dancing with the Stars”. It really is fun television …
42…Brown University athletes..BEARS
Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, is one of the eight Ivy League schools. Brown has been around a long time, founded in 1764, years before America declared independence from England. The university took the name of Brown in 1804 after one Nicholas Brown, Jr. gave a substantial gift to the school. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Brown Bears, and their mascot is Bruno.
45…Fictional dark side..HYDE
Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was first published in 1886. There are many tales surrounding the writing of the story including one that the author wrote the basic tale in just three to six days, and spent a few weeks simply refining it. Allegedly, Stevenson’s use of cocaine stimulated his creative juices during those few days of writing.
49…Golden State sch…UCLA
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) gets more applications from students than any other university in the country. UCLA also has more students enrolled than any other university in the state.
“The Golden State” has been the official nickname of California since 1968. The nickname reflects the expansion of the state’s economy that followed the discovery of gold, and also the fields of golden poppies seen growing wild across California in the spring.
53…”Anything you can get away with”: Marshall McLuhan..ART
Marshall McLuhan was a Canadian philosopher who is noted for his work in the field of media theory. McLuhan’s work held most sway in the sixties, at which time he coined the expressions “the medium is the message” and “global village”. He also predicted the development of the World Wide Web almost 30 years before it became a reality.