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The Questions

1. The logo of which NFL team is a flower?

2. A porter who handles luggage at a railroad station is called a redcap. What is a porter at an airport called?

3. Hg is the symbol for what chemical element?

4. What country is the world’s largest producer of coffee?

5. What and where is the world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall?

The Answers…

1. The logo of the New Orleans Saints is a fleur-de-lis, a stylized lily associated with the French monarchy. (New Orleans was founded by French colonists in 1718.) Fleur, as you may know, means flower in French, and lis means lily.

2. A skycap.

3. Mercury. The symbol Hg comes from the chemical’s original name, hydragyrum, which means “water-silver” in ancient Greek.

4. Brazil has been number one for 150 years. It produces one-third of the world’s coffee.

5. Angel Falls in Venezuela, which drops 3,212 feet.

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Tune o’ the Day

Toad the Wet Sprocket has been one of my favorite bands forever. Tucked away among the music files on my desktop is a folder entitled “Rocky’s Favorite Toad Songs” that contains 13 tunes.

Usually, I like a Toad song because of the melody. Toad lyrics tend to be forgettable, but the band has a knack for songs that are pleasing to the ear.

Lyrics-wise, the song below is an exception. It’s about a man’s horrified reaction to a gang rape. It’s chilling and awful, and Toad went out on a limb by making it. Not all of their fans approved.

But it’s memorable stuff, and certainly one of “Rocky’s Favorite Toad Songs.”

Hold Her Down

By Toad the Wet Sprocket, 1991
Written by Glen Phillips and Todd Nichols

Take her arms and hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
Until she she stops moving.

Take her arms and hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
Until she she stops kicking.

And they don’t know her,
But what the f**k.
They’ve got nothing else they can do.
And they’ve no reason,
But still they come.
And I would have a hard time facing you.
This crime — I’ve seen what a man can do.

Take her arms and hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
Until she she stops screaming.

Take her arms and hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
And hold her down
Until she she stops breathing

And they don’t know her,
But what the f**k.
They’ve got nothing else they can do.
And they’ve no reason,
But still they come.
And I would have a hard time facing you.
This crime — the shame of what a man can do.

I want to die
For all the hell that you’ve been through.

Take the night back.
All they’ve stolen.
All we took from you.

Take the night back.
All they’ve stolen.
All we took from you.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2021/11/hold-her-down.mp3

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More favorite photos I’ve taken over the years.

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Being open to data, facts, and science doesn’t make you liberal, it makes you literate. It means you favor data, facts, and evidence over conspiracy theories, manufactured misinformation, and cherry-picked industry spins.

Former Senator Paul H. Douglas (D-IL)

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Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience; this is the ideal life.

Mark Twain

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Few men think, yet all will have opinions.

George Berkeley

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Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser then when it reached only to the end of the bar.

Edward R. Murrow

Douglas

Murrow

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This Just In

ANKARA, TURKEY — A Turkish man joined a party looking for a missing person, not realizing he was the subject of the search.

Beyhan Mutlu, 51, went drinking with a friend in a forest in northwest Turkey. When he did not return home, and his wife learned he had wandered drunk into the forest, she reported him missing.

The next morning, Mutlu came across the search party and volunteered to help. When the searchers began calling his name, he realized he was the missing person.

Mutlu identified himself, but the others didn’t believe him and continued the search. Half an hour later, the party encountered Mutlu’s drinking buddy, and the search was ended.

UNIDENTIFIED CITY, GERMANY — Since June, two men have been trading cryptocurrencies based on choices made by a hamster.

The hamster, Mr. Goxx, has a specially constructed enclosure adjacent to his living quarters. When he runs on a hamster wheel, his paws highlight certain cryptocurrencies.

Also inside the “Goxx Box” are two tunnels, one marked buy and one marked sell. After Mr. Goxx makes his selections and runs through one of the tunnels, his owners send his decisions over a real trading platform.

In its first month, Goxx Capital was down 7.3 percent. But by September, the hamster’s career performance was up 19.4 percent — which is better than the NASDAQ 100, the S&P 500, Bitcoin, and Berkshire Hathaway.

TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA — A lost pet parrot was reunited briefly with his British owner, but ultimately was returned to the family the bird lived with for the four years he was missing.

Nigel, an African gray parrot with a British accent, disappeared from the home of Darren Chick and at some point was purchased by a Torrance family at a yard sale for $400. Nigel, who was called Morgan by the family, learned to speak Spanish from the Guatemalan grandparents.

Morgan flew away again and showed up at the home of a woman in a nearby town, who traced Nigel’s microchip and found the original owner.

The Torrance family saw a newspaper story about Nigel’s return and contacted Mr. Chick. When Chick saw how attached the parrot was to the family, he decided to let Nigel return to being Morgan.

Morgan can whistle the first bars of the theme from the movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and he likes to imitate the beeping sounds made by the garbage truck. He also knows the names of the family’s three dogs and barks like them.

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The Questions…

1. What color is gamboge?

2. What is the origin of the word cereal?

3. Shellbark, shagbark, pignut, mockernut, bitternut, nutmeg, and pecan are varieties of what type of tree?

4. Define the noun argle-bargle, which originated in Scotland in the early 19th century.

5. Which state was the first to ratify the U.S. Constitution?

The Answers…

1. Gamboge is yellow-orange, ranging from deep saffron to mustard yellow. It’s the traditional color used to dye the robes of Buddhist monks. The dye comes from the resin of the gamboge tree in Southeast Asia.

2. Cereal is named for Ceres, the Roman goddess of fertility and agriculture, notably grain crops and other food plants.

3. All are hickory trees, members of the walnut family.

4. Originally, it meant a noisy argument, but it evolved to describe meaningless talk or writing, as in “endless bureaucratic argle-bargle.”

5. Delaware ratified the Constitution on December 7, 1787, five days before Pennsylvania.

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Tune o’ the Day

The fictional astronaut Major Tom was introduced in 1969 in the David Bowie song “Space Oddity,” which Bowie said he wrote after watching the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” while stoned. Bowie also alluded to Major Tom in three other songs.

In 1982, German singer Peter Schilling continued Tom’s story in the song “Major Tom (Völlig Losgelöst)“. Translation: Major Tom (Coming Home). Schilling’s song, in which Major Tom decides that space is his home and breaks off contact with Ground Control, was released in English in 1983.

In 2009, the synthpop band “Shiny Toy Guns” covered the Schilling song for a TV commercial promoting the Lincoln MKZ. It turned out good enough to release as a single — and a pretty good one, at that.

Major Tom (Coming Home)

By Shiny Toy Guns, 2009
Written by Peter Schilling

Standing there alone, the ship is waiting.
All systems are go. Are you sure?
Control is not convinced,
But the computer has the evidence.
No need to abort.
The countdown starts.

Watching in a trance, the crew is certain.
Nothing left to chance. All is working.
Trying to relax up in the capsule.
“Send me up a drink,” jokes Major Tom.
The count goes on.

Four, three, two, one — Earth below us,
Drifting, falling, floating weightless,
Calling, calling home.

Second stage is cut. We’re now in orbit.
Stabilizers up, running perfect.
Starting to collect requested data.
“What will it affect, when all is done?”
Thinks Major Tom.

Back at ground control, there is a problem.
“Go to rockets full” — not responding.
“Hello Major Tom, are you receiving?
Turn the thrusters on. We’re standing by.”
There’s no reply.

Four, three, two, one — Earth below us,
Drifting, falling, floating weightless,
Calling, calling home.

Across the stratosphere, a final message:
“Give my wife my love.”
Then nothing more.

Far beneath the ship, the world is mourning.
They don’t realize that he’s alive.
No one understands, but Major Tom sees.
Now the light commands. “This is my home.

I’m coming home.”

Earth below us, drifting, falling,
Floating weightless, calling home.

Earth below us, drifting, falling,
Floating weightless, calling home.

Earth below us, drifting, falling,
Floating weightless, calling, calling home.

Home.
Home.
Home.
Home.
Home.
Home.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/major-tom.mp3

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Pix o’ the Day

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Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Gautama Buddha

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A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.

Elbert Hubbard

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I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all, I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.

Agatha Christie

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It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Herman Melville

Buddha

Melville

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