Amazing Adjectives, Number Twenty-Six!

December 5, 2017

Here is a word from the Latin lanuginosus, meaning “downy,” from lanugo, meaning “wooliness, + -osus, an adjectival suffix meaning “abounding in.”   Also given as lanuginous.  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate,

“Where we had expected to find a scaly outer skin, we were surprised to find the creature had a lanuginose covering from neck to tail.”


\ luhnoo-juh-nohs, –nyoo– \, adjective;

1.  covered with lanugo, or soft, downy hairs.
2.  of the nature of down; downy.

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


College Basketball 2018, Week Four!

December 4, 2017

Following their big three-win week over last weekend (and PK80 Invitational Tournament Championship of the Victory Division), the Spartans moved up to #3 in the latest AP top-25 poll.  But, Purdue was dropped from the list which left the Big Ten conference with only two teams in the AP top-25: Michigan State [#3], and Minnesota [#12].  This week, the Spartans had to face yet another ranked ACC team in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (their third ACC team of the season having already lost to Duke [#1] in the second game of the season while defeating North Carolina [#9] a week ago Sunday). Thursday night they hosted the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame [#5] and dominated early and hung on for the victory down the stretched in a game that the Spartans led from wire to wire.  Yesterday, the Spartans began Big Ten play (slightly earlier than usual to accommodate the year-end Big Ten tournament at Madison Square Garden) and faced the Cornhuskers of Nebraska.  The Spartans were victorious and again never trailed as they cruised to the easy win at home!

Next up for the Spartans: on the road to take on Rutgers on Tuesday (December 5th) and then at home versus Southern Utah on Saturday (December 9th).

The upsets this week included:
Cincinnati (#11) losing to Xavier (#21).
USC (#14) losing to unranked SMU.
Baylor (#16) losing to Xavier (#21).
Louisville (#17) losing to unranked Purdue and then losing to unranked Seton Hall by two (2) points.
Texas Tech (#22) losing to unranked Seton Hall.
Alabama (#24) losing to unranke UCF by three (3) points.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Miami (#12) defeating Minnesota (#12) by five (5) points.
Alabama (#24) defeating unranked Louisiana Tech by three (3) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Michigan State (#3) defeating Notre Dame (#5).
Wichita State (#8) defeating Baylor (#16).
Miami (#12) defeating Minnesota (#12) by five (5) points.
Gonzaga (#15) defeating Creighton (#25).

Big Ten Conference Championship 2017!

December 3, 2017

The regular season of football has officially come to a close.  Wisconsin [#4] finished undefeated atop the Big Ten West Division while Ohio State [#8] survived the rigorous East Division, its only conference loss coming on the road at Iowa.  Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes who were crowned Champions of the Big Ten Conference.  It has been a thrilling season full of victories, defeats, upsets, rivalries, disappointments, and unbridled joy!  This is what makes college football so much fun to watch — you just never know what is going to occur from one week to the next.  Rankings and win/loss records don’t always guarantee a victory.  Many an underdog has managed to derail the plans of a ranked or favored opponent.  So, on Tuesday we will find out which four teams actually make the College Football Playoff.  Regardless of who does or does not get the “invitation” to the college football playoff this year, seven (7) teams from the Big Ten, including the Spartans who finished second in the East behind Ohio State, will be getting invitations to play in bowl games over the coming weeks.  But, with the end of college football, comes the gearing up of conference play in college basketball . . . ah, and that means that March Madness is not far behind!  Go Green.

Some of the other conference championship results this weekend included:

Clemson (#1) defeating Miami (#7) to win the ACC Championship.
Oklahoma (#3) defeating TCU (#11) to win the Big-12 Championship.
Georgia (#6) defeating Auburn (#2) to win the SEC Championship.
Ohio State (#8) defeating Wisconsin (#4) by six (6) points to win the Big Ten Championship.
USC (#12) defeating Stanford (#12) by three (3) points to win the Pac-12 Championship.
UCF (#14) defeating Memphis (#20) by seven (7) points in double overtime to win the AAC Conference Championship.
Unranked Boise State defeating Fresno State (#25) by three (3) points to win the Mountain West Championship.

Necktie of the Month – December 2017!

December 2, 2017

ChristmasNecktieHappy Saturday!  This month, the month of Christmas, I will be highlighting yet another one of my holiday neckties.  This one, a Jerry Garcia, is entitled “Trees” and is from the Sixty Collection.  Paired here with my solid red shirt, this necktie will look equally good with my dark green shirt, my black shirt, or the simple plain white shirt.  I acquired this one last year during the post-Christmas week or so and was yet another wonderful bargain — I paid less than $20 for this one.  I always enjoy a bargain.  My “holiday” necktie collection is up to eleven ties (if you include my solid red bow tie and my Christmas plaid [red/green] bow tie) — enough to wear a different tie each day for more than two weeks before Christmas.  Hmm, this could certainly help to get me into the holiday spirit.  Or, it could also be a signal that I already have way too many holiday neckties.  Could this be possible?

Fun Fact Friday, Number Fifty-Two!

December 1, 2017

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

  • a human brain weighs about three pounds? (Real Fact #55)
  • brain waves can be used to power an electric train? (Real Fact #59)
  • an ostrich’s brain is smaller than its eye?  (Real Fact #238)
  • a human brain takes up 2% of human body weight but uses 20% of its energy ? (Real Fact #737)
  • the human brain is about 80% water? (Real Fact #784)
  • the brain operates on the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb?  (Real Fact #786)
  • when creating a mummy, ancient Egyptians removed the brain by inserting a hook through the nostrils?  (Real Fact #984 . . . TMI?)
  • there are more nerve connections or “synapses” in your brain than there are stars in our galaxy? (Real Fact #1240)
  • you are always looking at your nose; your brain just chooses to ignore it? (Real Fact #1354)
  • the brain is the only organ in the human body without pain receptors?  (Real Fact#1378)



November 30, 2017

Affirmation_largeHere is another wonderful demoti-vator (courtesy of www-dot-despair-dot-com).This seems to be especially relevant in today’s world of the participation trophy generation.  And, to add credence to this phenomenon, Georgetown University celebrated “Millenial Day” back in September.  The director of marketing at Georgetown, Chris Grosse, stated: “We decided we could come up with something that would be clever and funny, kind of honoring millennials, but also poking fun at some of the stereotypes that I think are incorrect.” The headline for an article written about this event read: “Participation trophies abound as Georgetown celebrates ‘Millennial Day’.” Ha!  Too funny!  I must give credit where credit is due . . .  a very catchy idea.

Are You Visiting Your Dentist?!

November 29, 2017

Most people would probably self-report that they do not enjoying going to the dentist. And, there is probably a good chunk of the population that fails to go for economic reasons.  When you look at the senior population (aged 65+) the percentage varies drastically from state to state.  Here are the states with the highest percentage of seniors visiting dental professionals as well as the states with the lowest percentages.

Highest percentages
1.  Hawaii (78.1%)
2.  Minnesota (75.6%)
3.  Connecticut (75.1%)
4.  New Hampshire (74.1%)
5.  Michigan (72.4%)
6.  Vermont (71.9%)
6.  Massachusetts (71.9%)
8.  Wisconsin (71.6%)
9.  California (71.3%)
10.  Utah (71.0%)

Lowest percentages
1.  West Virginia (48.6%)
2.  Mississippi (54.0%)
3.  Arkansas (54.5%)
4.  OKLAHOMA (55.4%)
5.  Kentucky (57.0%)
6.  Louisiana (57.2%)
7.  Alabama (57.9%)
8.  Tennessee (58.6%)
9.  Missouri (58.8%)
10.  Nevada (9.7%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, October 2017, p. 44 and 2017 Heath Rankings Senior Report.

Allow Me to Offer the Eulogy!

November 28, 2017

It has recently become the tradition at many of the Catholic funeral masses I have attended to have an encomiast (or the invitation for any attendee(s) to provide an encomium).


\ en-koh-mee-ast, –uh st \, noun;

1.  a person who utters or writes an encomium; eulogist.

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

College Basketball 2018, Week Three!

November 27, 2017

Well, it was a busy week of college basketball with a host of holiday tournaments underway (Feast Week).  And a lot of ranked teams found themselves on the losing end of the scores . . . it is going to be an awesome season as we travel the road to the Final Four and March Madness.  The Spartans traveled to Portland to participate in the PK80 Invitational Tournament and amassed three victories in four days (over DePaul [NR], UConn [NR], and North Carolina [#9]) to be crowned the Champions of the Victory Division.  The Big Ten conference only has three teams in the AP top-25: Michigan State [#4], Minnesota [#14], Purdue [#18].

Next up for the Spartans: at home versus the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (#14) on Thursday (November 30th) and at home versus Nebraska on Sunday (December 3rd)

The upsets this week included:
Arizona (#2) losing to unranked NC State by six (6) points, losing to SMU by six (6) points, and losing to Purdue (#18).
Wichita State (#6) losing to Notre Dame (#13) by one (1) point.
Xavier (#15) losing to unranked Arizona State.
Purdue (#18) losing to unranked Tennessee by three (3) points and losing to Western Kentucky by four (4) points before defeating Arizona (#2).
USC (#10) losing to Texas A&M (#16).
Seton Hall (#20) losing to unranked Rhode Island by one (1) point.
St. Mary’s (#21) losing to unranked Washington State by five (5) points and losing to unranked Georgia by two (2) points in overtime.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Duke (#1) defeating unranked Texas in overtime and defeating Florida (#7) by three (3) points.
Florida (#7) defeating Gonzaga (#17) by six (6) points in double overtime.
Minnesota (#14) defeating Alabama (#25) by five (5) points.
Gonzaga (#17) defeating unranked Texas by five (5) points in overtime.
Baylor (#22) defeating unranked Creighton by six (6) points.
UCLA (#23) defeating unranked Wisconsin by two (2) points.
West Virginia (#23) defeating unranked Missouri by four (4) points.
Alabama (#25) defeating unranked UT Arlington by one (1) point.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Duke (#1) defeating Florida (#7) by three (3) points.
Michigan State (#4) defeating North Carolina (#9).
Florida (#7) defeating Gonzaga (#17) by six (6) points in double overtime.
Minnesota (#14) defeating Alabama (#25) by five (5) points.

College Football 2017, Week Thirteen!

November 26, 2017

The regular season has now come to a close and the Spartans finished out the regular season with a win on the road against the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers.  There continue to be five Big Ten teams in the CFP top-25 (Wisconsin [#5], Ohio State [#9], Penn State [#10], Michigan State [#16], and Northwestern [#22]) and following the week’s action, only two undefeated teams at the close of the regular season (Wisconsin and UCF).  Conference Championships will be played next weekend and for the Big Ten it will feature Wisconsin against Ohio State.   And with the top two teams losing this week, there could be a serious shake-up in this week’s CFP top-25.  Next up for the Spartans: a bowl game.  Woot!  Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Alabama (#1) losing to Auburn (#6)
Miami (#2) losing to unranked Pittsburgh.
Notre Dame (#8) losing to Stanford (#21).
Washington State (#13) losing to Washington (#17).
Mississippi State (#14) losing to unranked Ole Miss.
Boise State (#23) losing to unranked Fresno State.

The close calls this week (games that were won by a touchdown or less) included:
UCF (#15) defeating unranked South Florida by seven (7) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Clemson (#3) defeating South Carolina (#24).