Abracadabra – the magic words of conjuring are attributed to many languages including possibly Hebrew. If Hebrew it would mean “I create what I speak”
Athlete’s Foot – ringworm of the foot. A fungal infection. 100% effective cure --- being barefoot. At least 20 hours a day.
Antipasto – Italian for “before the meal” plural – antipasti – cheese, fruit, prosciutto. In French the same course is called Entrée.
Animal Crackers – since 1906 featured Barnum’s Circus animals and the distinctive Railroad car Christmas ornaments. 1928 – Marx Brothers Broadway musical “Animal Crackers” which was filmed in 1930. “Animal Crackers in My Soup” was a signature song for 7 year old Shirley Temple in 1935’s “Curly Top”.
Alaska is the only US state without counties or county fairs. Also the only US state occupied by an enemy in the 20th Century. Its 710,231 residents makes it the 4th least populated state.
Ambidextrous comes from the Latin for “both” “right”. Leonardo DaVinci was able to paint with both hands simultaneously. Knitting is an ambidextrous activity. Phil Mickelson is considered ambidextrous. He is a righty except as a golfer.
Arkansas – pronunciation determined by state legislature in 1881. The river that shares a name with the state is pronounced Ar Kansas in Kansas and Oklahoma. In 1819, All but the panhandle of Oklahoma was part of Arkansas.
Avocado – is a berry. Technically a drupe – like a cherry. Avocados are produced mainly from cuttings. All trace back to Puebla, Mexico. 80% of all US avocados are of the Hass variety. Named for a US postal carrier.
Atlanta, GA is the largest city in Georgia. Its name is a shortened version of the original –Atlantica-Pacifica. It is home to the world’s busiest airport.
AAA- The American Automobile Association was founded in 1902 and is still a non-profit. US Headquarters in Heathrow. 69 Automobile Clubs across the country.
Agoraphobia- although often described as a fear of open places – the Agora was the Greek market area or meeting place. Agoraphobia is a panic disorder … the fear of uncontrollable social interactions. It accounts for about 60 % of all phobias or about 2% of adults 18-54 … mostly women.
Aurora Borealis- Northern Lights (also Aurora Australis – Southern Lights) are Geomagnetic. Enough energy is released to power a telegraph. 1859 two hour telegraph communication was powered entirely by the Aurora between Boston and Portland.
Achilles – a hero not a god. Achilles tendon refers to the cacaneal tendon that attached the calf muscles to the heel.
Annie ! is performed 700-900 times per year in the US. FDR is a character in the musical.
Apple – part of the rose family. Over 7,500 cultivars of apples. China grows half of the world’s apples. US is second.
Aluminum – or outside of North America – Aluminium. And it’s not just pronunciation. In the US we used a convention of naming it with a – UM … as used in molybdenum and platinum … In the balance of the world – aluminium like strontium, uranium, magnesium.
It is the third most abundant element on earth – after Oxygen and Silicon. Most abundant metal. 8.3% of the earth is aluminum.
Rarely -- practically never found as aluminum in nature. Either as an oxide or as a salt. Science did not figure out the best way to isolate aluminum until after 1900.
100 % recyclable (theoretically). It requires 5% of the energy to recycle it as compared to the amount of energy needed in order to produce it.
In 1884 – it was as valuable as silver. An ounce of aluminum in 1884 cost about a day’s wages for a skilled laborer. The Washington Monument when it was completed was capped with a very valuable 100 ounce capstone of aluminum. Today at a dollar per pound… A Pound is 16 ounces. The capstone would not cost $8 in aluminum.
Ready for the Questions?
1) The Washington Monument, at 555 feet, was the tallest man-made structure on earth for 5 years, until it was passed by what taller structure created for the 1889 World Exposition in Paris?
2) Gustave Eiffel was also instrumental in creating what French sculpture that was dedicated in 1886?
Statue of Liberty
3) Which of these sports groups also began their history in 1886? Football’s Arsenal FC, Baseball’s New York Yankees, Hockey’s Mapleleafs, in Cricket – Calcutta Cricket Club
4) Arsenal has played in the Premier League since 1992. That is two years before which online retailer that is headquartered in Seattle Washington?
5) The nearest distribution center for Amazon is which state? Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania
6) The US Civil War began in South Carolina. The westernmost conflict of the Civil War took place in what modern US state that was the last contiguous state to join the union?
7) Arizona is home to The Grand Canyon and Monument Valley and the largest stand of Ponderosa Pine in the world. The deserts of southern Arizona are home to several species of scorpions. Scorpions are most closely related to which of the following: ants, crabs, ticks, wasps,
Ticks, like scorpions, are arachnids.
8) Ants on the other hand, like wasps, are insects. Ants and Termites are eaten by aardvarks on what continent?
9) Asia has an armored anteater called a pangolin. Asia is/was a British Progressive Rock Supergroup of the 1980s -- that has operated on again off again for 30 years. The first live via satellite concert on MTV was Asia in Asia in 1983. Their first hit was their biggest hit. What was it? (I Bless the Rains Down in) Africa (Toto), Owner of a Lonely Heart (Yes), Heat of the Moment, Lucky Man (ELP)
Heat of the Moment
10) Heat of the Moment can also refer to passion. Passion fruit grow on what? A tree (like apples and avocados), a shrub (like blackberries) , a vine (a grape), a plant (like asparagus)
11) And Passion that makes the music… what was the title of the 1982 Steve Miller #1 hit that may or may not rhyme with “I wanna reach out and grab ya”?