Archive for February, 2018


February 28, 2018

Discouragement_51279547-3d37-4e08-806e-b21344883a96_largeYes, we all can fall victim to discouragement from time to time but there are a few easy things that one can do to fight back a bit (and buying into this particular demotivator is not one of them).

1) Get a good night’s sleep (being well-rested and not fatigued can go a long way).

2) Schedule some exercise and get your endorphins working for you.

3) Set some goals (make sure they are small and achievable).

4) Commit to a random act of kindness (get your serotonin working).

I’m sure there are many more techniques or things you can do, but these four should be a great starting point.


Amazing Adjective, Number Thirty!

February 27, 2018

Here is a word from the Latin marmoreus, meaning “of marble, like marble”; from Greek mármaros, meaning “marble.”  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate.

“After we enjoyed the marmoreal pleasures of the Greek galleries, we sampled the armoreal offerings of the medieval rooms.”


\ mahr-mawr-ee-uh l, –mohr– \, adjective;

1.  of or like marble.
2.  of the nature of down; downy.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich and

College Basketball 2018, Week Sixteen!

February 26, 2018

The Big Ten conference regular season has officially come to a close and the Spartans are the conference champions; and March is right around the corner.   The Spartans finished the season this week with wins over Illinois (at home) on Tuesday and then over Wisconsin (on the road) on Sunday and will enter the Big Ten Tournament later this week as the top seed.    The Big Ten continues to have four teams among the AP top-25:  Michigan State [#2], Purdue [#9], Ohio State [#16], and Michigan [#17].

Next up for the Spartans: the Big Ten tournament where they earned a double-bye and won’t play their first game until Friday against the winner of Thursday’s game featuring Maryland (#8 seed) versus Wisconsin (#9 seed).

The upsets this week included:
Villanova (#3) losing to unranked Creighton by six (6) points.
Texas Tech (#6) losing to unranked Oklahoma State and losing to Kansas (#8) by two (2) points.
Auburn (#12) losing to unranked Florida by six (6) points.
Arizona (#14) losing to unranked Oregon by five (5) points in overtime.
Clemson (#15) losing to unranked Virginia Tech.
Houston (#23) losing to unranked Memphis by six (6) points.
Florida State (#25) losing to unranked North Carolina State.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Michigan State (#2) defeating unranked Wisconsin by five (5) points.
Gonzaga (#6) defeating unranked San Diego by five (5) points.
North Carolina (#10) defeating unranked Syracuse by four (4) points.
Wichita State (#13) defeating unranked SMU by six (6) points.
Ohio State (#16) defeating unranked Indiana by two (2) points in double overtime.
Rhode Island (#18) defeating unranked La Salle by two (2) points.
Tennessee (#19) defeating unranked Florida by five (5) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:

A Fine Impression[ist]!

February 25, 2018

Pierre_Auguste_Renoir,_uncropped_imageHappy Sunday!  Today marks the birthday of Pierre-Auguste Renoir (in 1841), a French painter and one of the leading artists in the development of the impressionism movement.

“He is best known for his paintings of bustling Parisian modernity and leisure in the last three decades of the nineteenth century.”  (Courtesy of The Art Story)

Renoir worked from 1862-1919 (and created more than 1,900 paintings) and was influenced by Raphael, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Francisco Goya, Eugene Delacroix, and Gustave Courbet.  Renoir in turn had an influence on such notable artists as Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

Photo source: By Unknown, Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt – Réunion des musées nationaux, Public Domain,



A Different Kind of “Cubism!”

February 24, 2018

Happy Saturday!  According to wikipedia, Cubism is the “early-20th-century art movement which brought European painting and sculpture historically forward toward 20th century Modern art,” is most widely identified with the works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque during the period from the 1910s though the 1920s.  This movement included numerous other French painters (Andre Lhote, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Robert Delaunay, Henri Le Fauconnier, Fernand Léger and Juan Gris).   Gris, born José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez, was actually born is Spain but worked and lived in France for most of his life.

Let’s shift our focus to a different kind of cubism . . . Rubik’s Cube art!  Yes, an art form that creates visual art using assorted Rubik’s Cubes.  Simply amazing to say the least.

Checkout Cubeworks to see some of the wonderful representations they have created.  They do more than just Rubik Cube representations as well; they create works of art using mixed media, coffee beans, pixel portraits, crayola crayons, lego bricks, spools of thread, lenticular tech niques, and vinyl record mosaics.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Sixty-Four!

February 23, 2018

Today’s real facts (courtesy of are all about goldfish.  Did you know that . . .

  • if you keep a goldfish in a dark room it will eventually turn white? (Real Fact #34)
  • a “twit” is the technical term for a pregnant goldfish? (Real Fact #431)



February 22, 2018

Luckily this has never happened to me (yet), but I can only imagine the sinking feeling if it ever did.  And, while this is meant as a joke, I wonder how many times in a day that this actually occurs?  Enjoy!

A woman went to the airport for a flight to Omaha. She joined the long line at the security checkpoint for Concourse B, and waited. By the time she reached the head of the line, it was clear that she would miss her flight if it took off as scheduled.

The guard took a look at her ticket, and said, “I’m sorry. You’ve got a problem here.”

“Yes,” she sighed. “It looks like I won’t make this flight to Omaha.”

“No,” the guard explained. “This is the line for missing the flight to Houston. The line for missing your flight to Omaha is at Concourse C.”

The Gallows!

February 21, 2018

Back in the day of public executions, the deceased were often times “left on display” for all to see.  An early attempt at deterrence, perhaps.  The means/device for doing so actually has a name (which I recently discovered).  “The executions took place on market days on a hill outside the town, the gibbet somewhat resembling a guillotine.”


\ jib-it \, noun;

1.  a gallows with a projecting arm at the top, from which the bodies of criminals were
formerly hung in chains and left suspended after execution. 

verb (used with object)gibbeted, gibbeting.
2.  to hang on a gibbet.
3.  to put to death by hanging on a gibbet.
4.  to hold up to public scorn.
Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich, and

What Are the Odds?!

February 20, 2018

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the record for the most siblings born on the same day is five (5).  The Carolyn and Ralph Cummins family (Clintwood, VA, USA) holds this distinction by producing five single children with coincident birthdays (all born on February 20th):

  • Catherine (1952)
  • Carol (1953)
  • Charles (1956)
  • Claudia (1961)
  • Cecilia (1966)

The random odds against five single siblings sharing a birthdate are one in 17,797,577,730 – almost 4 times the world’s population.

College Basketball 2018, Week Fifteen!

February 19, 2018

It is not yet March, but the “madness” has been going on all season as the list of ranked teams losing to unranked teams continued this week.  Following their big win over Purdue last week, the Spartans moved up to #2 in the rankings (in the AP-poll; they are #1 in the Coaches poll) and won easily (30-point margin) on the road at Minnesota on Tuesday but had to rally back from as many as 27 points down in the first half (we were down 22 points at the half) on the road at Northwestern on Saturday!  What a comeback win on the road (the largest comeback in Big Ten history)!  Woot!  After allowing the Wildcats to score 49 in the first half, the Spartans held them to only 11 points in the second half!  The Big Ten conference currently has four teams in the AP top-25: Michigan State [#2], Purdue [#6], Ohio State [#8], and Michigan [#22].

Next up for the Spartans: at home versus Illinois tomorrow (February 20th) and then finishing up the regular season on the road against Wisconsin on Sunday (February 25th).  Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Villanova (#3) losing to unranked Providence by five (5) points.
Cincinnati (#5) losing to unranked Houston by five (5) points and losing to Wichita State (#19) by four (4) points.
Purdue (#6) losing to unranked Wisconsin by four (4) points.
Texas Tech (#7) losing to unranked Baylor by two (2) points.
Ohio State (#8) losing to unranked Penn State and losing to Michigan (#22).
Auburn (#10) losing to unranked South Carolina.
Clemson (#11) losing to unranked Florida State by two (2) points and losing to Duke (#12).
Rhode Island (#16) losing to unranked St. Bonaventure by three (3) points.
Tennessee (#18) losing to unranked Georgia.
Texas A&M (#21) losing to unranked Missouri by four (4) points and losing to unranked Arkansas.
Oklahoma (#23) losing to unranked Texas.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Michigan State (#2) defeating unranked Northwestern by five (5) points.
Purdue (#6) defeating unranked Penn State by three (3) points.
Kansas (#13) defeating unranked Iowa State by six (6) points.
Tennessee (#18) defeating unranked South Carolina by three (3) points.
Nevada (#24) defeating unranked Boise State by five (5) points and defeating unranked Utah State by six (6) points..

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Villanova (#3) defeating Xavier (#4).
Texas Tech (#7) defeating Oklahoma (#23).
Kansas (#13) defeating West Virginia (#20).
Arizona (#17) defeating Arizona State (#25).