Recently in Fun Odds n' Ends! Category

Wordle

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds� from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends. http://wordle.net/

This is what you get from Wordle when you enter the lyrics to Copacabana by Barry Manilow.
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The Wiz

As some of you may be aware, Sabrina is currently staring in The Wiz, as the Wiz. The Wiz is a musical adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The Star Tribune ran a review of show in today's paper. Read the review here:http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/onstage/17825639.html


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an infamous day in history ~

To memorialize the 143rd anniversary of this dark day in American history, the bonus trivia of the week is a three-parter about architecture (because that makes sense, right?)! Careful now, this one might be tricky!

1. Here's the easy one: name four things that Ford's Theater was used for since the original building was erected in 1833.

2. This one is a bit harder: This is a picture of Ford's Theater as it is restored today. Name one important piece of the presidential box and/or its detailing that is original (in other words, from 1865 and not a reproduction)?

3. This one might be the hardest of all: This is a picture of Ford's Theater as it is appeared in 1865. What color were the original heavy curtains (not the lace ones) hanging above the presidential box?

bonus bonus question (super hard for those trivia superpeople!): On June 9, 1893 an accident at Ford's Theater in which several floors collapsed killed 22 people and injured another 68. What coincidental event also happened on this day, leading people to believe (once and for all) that the building was cursed?

NEW PLANETS!!!!!

So here is something that boggles my mind: New planets have been added to our solar system. I grew up learning that there were 9, yes 9. Then they plutoed Pluto. (Yes. to pluto is a verb. Check out www.plutoed.com). Now they have added Pluto back into to the mix, along with two new planets. The count is now 11!

Here they are:
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Eris.

Here is the winning mnemonic devise:
"My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants."

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Awesome book collections!

A great link list of online manuscript collections has been compiled by The Classical Bookworm. Click the manuscript page to see a lot of really cool medieval illuminations!

mini-quiz question: what's the fancy word for the earliest books produced by the printing press?

Right Brain, Left Brain

Are you more right brain or left brain?
Find out here: http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22535838-5012895,00.html

2008 is here ~ !

Happy New Year everybody!

'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE FINALS

Most of you have probably seen this, if not enjoy!
Good Luck on your Finals!!

'Twas the night before finals and all through the college,The students were praying for last-minute knowledge.
Most were quite sleepy but none touched their beds, While visions of essays danced in their heads.
Out in the taverns a few were still drinking, And hoping that liquor would loosen their thinking
In my own room, I had been pacing, and dreading exams I soon would be facing.
My roommate was speechless, his nose in his book, And my comments to him drew unfriendly looks.
I drained all the coffee, and brewed a new pot, No longer caring that my nerves were shot.
I stared at my notes, but my thoughts were all muddy; My eyes went a blur, and I just couldn't study.
"Some pizza might help," I said with a shiver, But each place I called refused to deliver.
I'd nearly concluded that life was too cruel, With futures depending on grades earned in school.
When all of a sudden our door opened wide And Patron Saint "Put-It-Off" ambled inside.
His spirit was careless, His manner was mellow, But summoning effort he started to bellow:
"What kind of student would make such a fuss To toss back at teachers what they toss at us?
On Cliff Notes! On Crib Notes! On Last Year's Exams! On Wingit and Slingit, and Last-Minute Crams!"
His message delivered, he vanished from sight, But we heard him laughing outside in the night:
"Your teachers have pegged you, so just do our best... Happy Finals to All, and to All, a good test."

Literary MadLib

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If you have never heard it, Billy Joel's "Piano Man" is a narrative song about a man who plays piano in a piano bar and the various characters he interacts with on a regular Saturday night. You can find the lyrics at his official website, here.

The characters in the "story" of the song include:

Manager (who gives him a smile)
Waitress (who is practicing politics)
Paul (a real-estate novelist)
Davy (a lifer in the navy)
John (get him his drinks for free)
Old man (making love to his tonic and gin)
Businessmen (getting stoned)
and, of course, the Piano Man himself.

Using famous literary figures (anyone from Plato to Grisham), cast these roles with whomever you think appropriate. The most creative answer will win a prize.

Good luck!

Guess me! Guess me!

Here's a movie trivia picture challenge that is a different kind of pre-Halloween horror. Because this one is so difficult, I will give you a couple of clues: Viet Nam, Motion Pictures Association of America ratings controversy, and this was one of the first films made by the female lead, who went on to become a very popular tv series star (and no, the female lead is not K. D. Lang, and that's a man in the picture).

If no one gets it, I will give you another clue later on.

Good luck!

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