Posts Tagged ‘General Musings’

How About Some Shakespeare?!

May 27, 2017

ShakespeareDo you ever get that hankering to attend a Shakespeare play?  While there are numerous places throughout the country that offer the occasional play, the three best venues to do so in the United States include: the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), the Illinois Shakespeare Festival  (Bloomington/Normal, IL), and the Utah Shakespeare Festival (Cedar City, UT).

If you can’t make it to one of these, there are several other festivals around . . . then check out this list of Shakespearean Theatre Companies to find a company near you.

My college offers a week-long trip to Ashland to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in late summer every year (hosted by our resident Shakespeare Scholar, Dr. John Mercer).  I’ve been dying to go along on this trip, but the timing for me just hasn’t worked out yet (it has recently conflicted with my regularly scheduled vacation to Michigan to visit family) . . . one of these years the timing and the stars will align to allow me to attend.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Five!

May 26, 2017

This week’s fact comes under the category of “Literature.”  Do you happen to know what the “wherefore,” from “wherefore art thou, Romeo?” means? Hint: it doesn’t mean where.

The short answer: it means why?

The longer answer: spoken by Juliet whilst on the balcony, she is lamenting the antagonism between their two families (Juliet’s Capulets and Romeo’s Montagues).  Juliet is basically asking Romeo “why did you have to be a Montague?

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Grand Expedition!

May 24, 2017

Did you know that on this day, May 24th (in 1869), was the beginning of the first exploration of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado by a man other than a Native American?  Major John Wesley Powell left Green River City (above the head of the Colorado River) with nine men and proceeded through the canyon and emerged from the lower end on August 29, 1869.  Only five of the nine men who started the trip completed the trip.

Some other “firsts” for today throughout history include:

  • Commercial telegraph service (1844)
  • State adoption law to consider the interests of the child (1851)
  • Civil War combat action that earned the Medal of Honor (1861)
  • Union Officer killed in the Civil War (1861)
  • Artillery fire to be directed from the air (1862)
  • Army field telegraph used in warfare (1862)
  • Steel arch bridge (1874)
  • National banking association (1875)
  • Anti-saloon organization (1893)
  • Public garage (1899)
  • Oil journal (1902)
  • Strike settlement mediated by the federal Department of Labor (1913)
  • Air combat arm of the Army (1918)
  • Croix de Guerre awarded to an American (1918)
  • Air-conditioned train (1931)
  • Baseball game at night by major league teams (1935)
  • Food-O-Mat (1945)
  • House with a built-in nuclear bomb shelter (1959)
  • Spy satellite (1960)
  • Transatlantic supersonic jet service (1976)
  • Senator to change political control of the Senate by switching parties (2001)

Source: Famous First Facts (6th ed.) by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

Get the Right Flowers!

May 13, 2017

Mother’s Day is tomorrow!  If you have not yet picked out a gift, or if you are planning on getting her flowers, then here is an infographic that is right up your alley and timely to boot!  Of course, you may already know what your Mother’s favorite flower is (and can you ever really go wrong with roses?), but this infographic will outline the symbolic meaning behind different types of flowers.  Of course this could also come in handy for those “non-Mother” events in your life requiring the gift of flowers.  Enjoy!

How to Choose The Right Flowers [Infographic] - An Infographic from BestInfographics.co

Embedded from BestInfographics.co

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Three!

May 12, 2017

This week’s fact comes under the category of “Science.”  Do you happen to know the source of the bubbles in champagne?  No, it is not carbon dioxide.

The short answer: dirt, dust, or lint!

The longer answer: carbon dioxide molecules would evaporate without something causing the bubbles to form.  This something was originally believed to be the slight imperfections with the very glass itself.  However, it has since been discovered that the bubbles form on microscopic particles of dust/dirt within the glass which act as condensation nuclei for the dissolved carbon dioxide.

Who knew!  Even straight out of the dishwasher, my glasses are filthy!

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

How Farcical!

May 10, 2017

Most people would define “farce” as an absurd event and may even go so far as to use words like  buffoonery or horseplay; events such as these would including crudeness and highly ludicrous or improbable situations.  Here are some of my favorite quotations on the topic of farce . . . (Source:  The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone)

“A genre that’s nearer to tragedy in its essence than comedy is.”  (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

“Tragedy with the trousers down.”  (Brian Rix)

Additionally, I found some additional quotations that are equally amusing . . .

“Life is the farce which everyone has to perform.”  (Arthur Rimbaud)

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”  (Karl Marx)

“The farce is finished. I go to seek a vast perhaps.”  (Francois Rabelais)

“Farce treats the improbably as probable and the impossible as possible.”  (George Pierce Baker)

“There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce.”  (Mark Twain)

Amazing Adjectives, Number Sixteen!

May 9, 2017

Here is another word that I have never actually run across in any book I have read to date, but you just never know when you will encounter a new word or two.  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate,

“I will never again buy a house that is cursed with a declivitous driveway, no matter how attractive the price.”

declivitous

\ dih-kliv-i-tuh s \, adjective;

 1.  having a somewhat steep downward slope.

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

At Graduating Time!

May 8, 2017

Tonight marks the evening of our spring semester graduation ceremony.  To honor our graduates, here is a poem that I discovered several years ago.

At Graduating Time

The graduates are going forth —
God bless them every one! —
To run this hard and stubborn world
Just as it should be run;
But much I fear they’ll find that facts
Don’t always track with dreams;
And running this old world is not
As easy as it seems.

The graduate is prone to think
His wisdom is complete.
He’s but to ask — the world will lay
It’s trophies at his feet.
But school day done and work begun,
He learns to his regret
The college of experience
He has not mastered yet.

The world has garlands and applause
At graduating time;
But may forget him the next day
When he attempts to climb.
Life is a battle where each one
Must seek and hold his own.
He who wold rise above the clouds
Must scale the heights alone.

This is the rule of life today,
As it has ever been:
The world bestows its smile on those
Who have the strength to win.
Beneath all outward semblances
It looks for merit true.
It little cares how much you know,
But asks, what can you do?

Unknown

Source: Days and Deeds: a Book Verse for Children’s Reading and Speaking compiled by Burton E. Stevenson and Elizabeth B. Stevenson

International Holidays for May!

May 1, 2017

Here is an updated list of some selective holidays for May from around the World.

May 1 – Labor Day (Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand)
May 1 – May Day/Labor Day (Australia, India, Sweden)
May 1 – Maharashtra Din (India)
May 1 – May Bank Holiday (Ireland)
May 1 – Workers’ Day (South Africa)
May 2 – Independence Day (Israel)
May 2 – Community Day (Spain)
May 3 – Buddha’s Birthday (Hong Kong)
May 3 – Constitution Day (Japan)
May 3 – Sukka Tansin II (South Korea)
May 4 – Greenery Day (Japan)
May 5 – Children’s Day (Japan)
May 5 – Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla (Mexico)
May 5 – Liberation Day (Netherlands)
May 5 – Orininal (South Korea)
May 8 – Victory Day (France)
May 8 – Public Holiday (Russia)
May 9 – Rabindranath Tagor Jayanti (India)
May 9 – Victory Day (Russia)
May 9 – Public Holiday (South Korea)
May 10 – Buddha Purnima (India)
May 10  – Vesak Day (Singapore)
May 10 – Visakha Bucha Day (Thailand)
May 12 – Royal Ploughing Ceremony (Thailand)
May 14 – Mother’s Day (Puerto Rico)
May 15 – San Isidro (Spain)
May 17 – Dia de las Letras Gallegas (Spain)
May 22 – Victoria Day (Canada)
May 25 – First Government Day (Argentina)
May 25 – Ascension Day (France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland)
May 28 – Dragon Boat Festival Holiday (China)
May 28 – Maharana Pratap Jayanti (India)
May 29 – Dragon Boat Festival Holiday (China)
May 29 – Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji (India)
May 29 – Memorial Day (Puerto Rico, United States)
May 30 – Dragon Boat Festival Holiday (China, Hong Kong)
May 30 – Dia de Canarias (Spain)
May 31 – Shavuot (Israel)
May 31 – Dia de Castilla-la Mancha (Spain)

Source: http://www.qppstudio.net/publicholidays.htm

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-One!

April 28, 2017

Today’s fun fact will come from the category “food.”  Do you know after whom was the dish eggs Benedict  named?

They were NOT names after the American Revolutionary War traitor, Benedict Arnold, but rather Samuel Benedict, who, in 1894 ordered bacon and poached eggs on toast with Hollandaise sauce at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel.  Instead of the bacon and toast, he received ham on an English muffin and a new breakfast sensation was born.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong by Rod L. Evans.