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”?
Z and Zed - Our twenty-sixth letter is pronounced Zee. Contrast that with how the British say the same letter – Zed. So why is it different? Same reason that we spell color and flavor without a “u” and have words like center with the standard “er” ending. Patriot and lexicographer Noah Webster thought that we should speak and spell differently from England. Noah and Shakespeare both agreed that it was odd that Zee/Zed got so much extra attention. And Noah felt that since it was so little used it would be easiest to change.
Zed is a nod to the Greek sixth letter Zeta (pronounced dzeh ta in Ancient Greek … Zita in modern Greek).
Zurich – One of my favorite cities in Europe. Nestled at the northern end of the Zurich Zee (Lake Zurich) and although there are mountains, they are not the Alps. The Alps are found to the South of Switzerland’s Central Plain. Although they are at over 1300 feet above sea level.
At 390,000, Zurich is the most populated city in Switzerland. But it’s hard to tell. They have a large airport and train station.
Founded by the Romans the city as Turicum during the first Century. People have lived along the river for 150,000 years.
Zurich is in the German speaking section of Switzerland with over 2/3rds of the population identifying as primarily German speakers at home. Over a third of the city’s residents are NOT Swiss.
Monocle Magazine listed Zurich as the highest quality of life for any city in the world in 2012. Unemployment is at just 3.2%. Third most expensive city in Europe to live in after Paris and Geneva.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Zooh! in Zurich. It has a large internal environment to house lemurs and other flora and fauna from Madagascar.
The word Zoo and the concept of a public menagerie both lead us back to London.
The word is newer. The London Zoo dates back to 1828 but was known as the Gardens and Parks of the Zoological Society of London. The shorter Zoo first appeared in print in 1847.
Kings and Emperors have kept wild animals in Assyria, Egypt, Alexander and of course the Romans.
The Tower of London held a menagerie starting in 1204 when a gift of three leopards was given to King John in 1204. By the early 1800s there were many animals held in the Tower Zoo. Cost to enter was 1 and ½ pence or a cat or dog to feed to the lions.
In the US, Zoos are subject to inspection and approval by USDA, EPA, the DEA and OSHA. In addition, many participate with the non-profit Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The AZA lists 2400 zoos about 250 are accredited by AZA, but all 2,400 are approved by the government agencies required.
Florida has a dozen listed zoos, including : Lion Country Safari, Busch Gardens, Animal Kingdom, Central Florida Zoo and the Brevard Zoo.
The National Zoo is free and run by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC since the zoo was founded in 1889.
Ready for the Questions?
Zellwood, Zanzibar or Zaire - Zellwood was named for early settler T Elwood Zell.
1 -- population of 2817. Let’s call him Lee.
Green – in roulette.
Curling after the ice is smoothed -- water droplets are added to create the surface that they are sweeping.
Houston (over 2 million residents)
Florida – Animal Kingdom at WDW – Notazu
In honor of the Late, Great Slim Whitman … born in Tampa… died in Orange Park, FL yesterday at age 89. (by the way Orange Park has been a suburb of Jacksonville for years, but has not been home to a serious orange crop since 1894)
Slim was noted for his yodeling.
Yodeling was one of the earliest forms of long distance communication. The oscillation of sound from the chest to the head and back often spanned several octaves.
The specific oscillations that we refer to when we say yodeling trace their roots back to the Alps. German, Swiss, Italian herders of cattle and sheep would use the yodel to communicate over greater distance than they could be heard by shouting.
Yodel comes to English via the German “johdel”. Which essentially means “say the word ‘yo’”
Persians, Indians, Pakistanis, Central Africans, and Central Asians all have similar yodeling traditions.
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is considered the best selling yodeling song of all time.
Always enjoyed the story of how a British marching tune with lyrics originally meant to harass the less well-trained continental militiamen during the French and Indian War became a rallying cry of the American Revolution.
In the first verse, sticking a feather in his cap did not turn it into pasta… “macaroni” was a Georgian English term for highly … almost absurdly fashionable. Similar to “phat” or “preppy” . It’s how the kids dressed.
The voice of America begins and ends its broadcast day with an instrumental verse of Yankee Doodle.
Yankee Doodle is the state anthem of Connecticut.
The single Y chromosome determines gender in almost all mammals. Males have it females do not.
It is the gene that has the greatest number of irregularities over time. But are very reliable indicators of patrimony over several generations.
Because it’s found in sperm. Spermatozoa are created by cell division rather than combination.
Y chromosome is smaller than it’s paired X chromosome.
The discovery of the Y Chromosome is attributed to a female scientist named Nettie Stevens in 1905.
While an X chromosome is shaped like an X when viewed until high magnification, the Y is not. It was simply the next letter after X. Nettie recognized that male’s chromosome pairs differed from females.
The Platypus does not have its gender determined by a single pair of chromosomes but by the combination of 10 pairs of chromosomes.
There are some conditions carried by Y chromosomes but not hemophilia. That is prevalent amongst males but carried by the mother as a recessive gene.
It is possible to have a spare Y chromosome… but not ideal. It happens about once every 1,000 births. These boys tend to be taller and grow faster, earlier. Some earlier studies seemed to indicate that there may be a genetic link to lower intelligence and a propensity for crime BUT later studies have drawn the methods used and therefore the results into question.
Ready for the Questions?
11 million views
2005 – sold to Google in 2006.
They worked together at PayPal.
There are no rivers in the Yucatan (Belize is English Speaking)
Nile (Amazon is second longest, Mississippi/Missouri is the third longest)
The Yardbirds formed in London in 1966
10. The Yardbirds were formed in 1966 and have had over 20 members over the years, including legendary guitarists Eric Clapton , Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. What classic rock band formed from the members of the New Yardbirds in 1968?
X – Rays
So called because the first scientist to study them, Wilhelm Rontgen did not know what they were … but knew they were not gamma radiation.
Scientists had known for some time that vacuum tubes produced a light outside the visible spectrum that could penetrate the tissues of the hand.
Rontgen found a way to use this to see the underlying bone structure. His first X-ray was of his wife’s hand wearing rings.
The WHO has classified X-rays as a carcinogen. And we kind of know that. Think about the technician at the dentist’s office hiding behind the wall. But it isn’t terrible. The amount of X-ray and the amount of exposed time are very important to determining your risk. X Rays only account for about 10% of the total exposure risk. The sun is the biggest contributor.
A dental x-ray is equivalent to about one day’s normal exposure to X rays, a full chest X-ray is about 10 days, a full CT span – 2-3 YEARS ! But most medical experts feel that the risks are outweighed by the benefits because the X rays are not repeated in the same intensity.
A CRAZY part of the tail end of Edward Teller’s career and the SDI or Space Defense Initiative of the Reagan Administration was the use of X-rays to blow up missiles in space. The source of the X-rays were meant to be satellites with nuclear bombs whose energy could be tapped.
Virtually unchanged for millions of years. Shallow warm waters around the world. Three species in Asia, one Atlantic.
They have gills but can breathe through their mouths.
Their blood is blue because they carry oxygen in hemocynin that uses copper as opposed to iron.
Ten pairs of legs, four have pincers. They swim upside down.
They mount each other for reproduction …. But they don’t really have to. Female on the bottom digs a depression in the sand, lays thousands of eggs. Male climbs on top and fertilizes the eggs. Then the female covers the eggs.
Chi – X – is the antepenultimate letter of the Greek alphabet … followed only by Psi and Omega. Its sound is the hard K sound – sometimes misunderstood as a softer “ch” sound.
However the Etruscans had taken the letter X and they used it the way the Latin language would with the EX sound.
X sounds like X usually at the start of words. EX in the middle or end of words. Sexual … relax. And can sound like “c-sh” when used with – ion. We respell it in American.
It’s more complicated in Spanish … where “X” is pronounced as J is pronounced “hu” Mexico.
Moving on. In Roman Numerals X is Ten … evolved from a double tally mark. In Greek Numerals it is 600.
The expression “X marks the spot” dates back to the early 19th Century and was not regularly ascribed to pirate treasure maps until the second half of the 1800s. You’ll find it in Treasure Island.
“X Marks the Spot” is also a position that Cosmo gives five of five “flames” for. It is not the same as the scatological reference that Urban Dictionary gives for “X marks the Spot.”
This bring is to
A non-trademarked rating of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). MPAA will assign the rating if the film is not suitable for minors but because it is not trademarked it can also be applied BY filmmakers. Some pornographers decided that if X rating was good then they could add Xs to indicate that a movie was even more pornographic … thus Triple XXX.
In the US an X rated film meant no one under 17 until 1990 when it was replaced with NC 17. Henry and June was the first US film rated NC 17. Since 1996, NC 17 has meant no Children 17 and under.
In Australia, the sale of X18+ to a minor can result in a fine of over $5,000.
In Great Britain ratings can change over time… Plan 9 from Outer Space was rated X in 1960 and changed to PG in 1990. Battleship Potemkin was rated X due to Bolshevik Propaganda.
In FRANCE, the land of nude beaches and relaxed continental sexual mores… X rated films can only be shown in specific types of theaters (which are severely restricted by zoning) and taxed at 33% of revenue.
Ready for the Questions?
Vietnam Vet in Coming Home.
New York Rochester is home to Xerox.
Disney – through ESPN.
The Orlando Rage are still the reigning XFL best record but they lost in the playoffs.
Hercules: the Legendary Journeys – starring Kevin Sorbo. Xena had 24 more episodes than Hercules.
Sony -- Play Station
X Box One.