This Day in History Entry #190

September 26th, 2012 by Wordsman

Though a candidate may be quite smart
One must ask, “Well, does he look the part?”
Th’answer carries great weight
Since that famous debate
Redefined our campaigning art

Event: The first televised U.S. presidential election debate pits a tanned, confident, relaxed John F. Kennedy against a pale, sickly, underweight, tired Richard Nixon
Year: 1960
Learn more:,_1960

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Know Your Picture Characters Entry #104

September 22nd, 2012 by Wordsman

A. 兵马俑 B. 长城 C. 故宫 D. 黄鹤楼 E. 少林寺 F. 天坛 G. 颐和园

Okay, so it might take a few tries to really get back into the swing of things here.  The Wordsman has been busy with this and that the past few weeks.  But let’s see if we can gradually work our way from “once per season” to “once per month,” and then on to “once every couple weeks,” and maybe even better than that.

A has a definite martial feel to it, at least according to Theoman and Shirley (A Fan, despite his Wikipedic knowledge, got off track a little bit and ended up in the capital of Hubei Province).  That first one is a warrior, the second is a horse, and the third is . . . a kind of figure buried with the dead.  Oops.  Good idea, Theorley, but these warriors are more along the lines of motionless clay statues.  Welcome to the Terra Cotta Army, which some French guy called the Eighth Wonder of the World.  I guess he never got the chance to see King Kong.

A Fan comes the closest on B, as he cleverly knew (from Wiki, perhaps?) that the second character there can mean “city.”  But originally it meant a wall (as in the kind that goes around a city), and that first character means “long.”  So this is some sort of very long wall, apparently.  Not sure what that refers to.  Moving on . . .

Is C a home for birds?  Or Kung Fu masters?  Or is it intended to honor the heavens above?  We’ll give “closest” credit to Shirley on this one, as C is the former residence of the son of heaven, star of A Fan’s favorite movie, the 1987 Best Picture winner.

More consensus on D, as Theorley teamed up again to identify this as the Forbidden City (NOTE: no longer actually forbidden).  We’ll say that they’re close, because this is the Yellow Crane Tower.  The Yellow Crane Tower is not at all forbidden, but the elevator inside is supposed to be restricted to the elderly and the handicapped.  However, if your lovely assistant’s uncle knows a guy who knows a guy . . .

Not sure what sort of seasonal imagery Theoman spotted in E, as these characters mean “few,” “woods,” and “temple.”  Shirley had a good idea when she decided that the first one is a guy balancing on one foot, but instead of going for a clay guy (who are not known for their balance), she maybe should have tried to picture him as a monk instead.  You know, one of those monks from that temple.

Even though Theoman is technically correct (“The best kind of correct!”) in saying that F is the Temple to Heaven, we’re going to give credit to A Fan here for his statement that “We should all have a summer palace.”  Because really, we should.  Bonus points to Shirley for following his lead.

G seems to look an awful lot like the Great Wall, and even I can’t deny how many squares and rectangles there are in there, but don’t squares and rectangles deserve a Summer Palace too?  Doesn’t everyone?

So what exactly has the Wordsman been busy with?  Who can say?  But, for NO PARTICULAR REASON WHATSOEVER, let’s have a quiz about wedding words.  We’ve got some people (bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen) and some things (the ring, the dress, and the ceremony).  You may notice that a lot of these words have characters in common with each other.  Well, you may do with that knowledge as you will, and at your own risk.

A。新娘 B。新郎 C。伴娘 D。伴郎 E。 婚礼 F。婚戒 G。婚纱

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This Day in History Entry #189

September 19th, 2012 by Wordsman

Giles Corey to his wife was true
And in time he was called a witch, too
But, resigned to his fate
He just called out “More weight!”
Under stones, he to life bid adieu

Event: Giles Corey is tortured to death during the Salem Witch Trials
Year: 1692
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This Day in History Entry #188

September 12th, 2012 by Wordsman

They say culture’s what animals lack
How far does this invention go back?
Most intriguing of all
Is when paint on a wall
Helps us to its development track

Event: Four teenagers discover a series of caves at Lascaux, France featuring cave paintings roughly 17,000 years old
Year: 1940
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This Day in History Entry #187

September 5th, 2012 by Wordsman

Though good George’s exploits were not poor
To the story of Yorktown there’s more
Gen’ral Cornwallis failed
Cuz he couldn’t have sailed
It was French ships that won us the war

Event: The Battle of the Chesapeake, in which a French fleet prevented the British from either reinforcing or evacuating the army under Cornwallis
Year: 1781
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