Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 26, 2013 is:
insuperable \in-SOO-puh-ruh-bul\ adjective
: incapable of being surmounted, overcome, passed over, or solved
Though it had appeared that the visiting team had an insuperable lead, the home team rallied to win in the end.
"The project faced a perpetual lack of funding, constant bureaucratic delays, and, by the '30s, the near-insuperable hurdles of reconciling parts of Tolstoy's work (especially his religious writings) with the state's demands." From a post by Sal Robinson on Melville House Press's MobyLives blog, October 21, 2013
Did you know?
"Insuperable" first appeared in print in the 14th century, and it still means now approximately what it did then. "Insuperable" is a close synonym of "insurmountable." In Latin, "superare" means "to go over, surmount, overcome, or excel." The Latin word "insuperabilis" was formed by combining the common prefix "in-" (meaning "not" or "un-") with "superare" plus "abilis" ("able"). Hence "insuperabilis" meant "unable to be surmounted, overcome, or passed over," or more simply, "insurmountable." The word "insuperabilis" was later anglicized as "insuperable." Related words such as "superable," "superably," and even "superableness" have also found a place in English.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill officially establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
The tradition of celebrating the holiday on Thursday dates back to the early history of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies, when post-harvest holidays were celebrated on the weekday regularly set aside as "Lecture Day," a midweek church meeting where topical sermons were presented. A famous Thanksgiving observance occurred in the autumn of 1621, when Plymouth governor William Bradford invited local Indians to join the Pilgrims in a three-day festival held in gratitude for the bounty of the season.
Thanksgiving became an annual custom throughout New England in the 17th century, and in 1777 the Continental Congress declared the first national American Thanksgiving following the Patriot victory at Saratoga. In 1789, President George Washington became the first president to proclaim a Thanksgiving holiday, when, at the request of Congress, he proclaimed November 26, a Tuesday, as a day of national thanksgiving for the U.S. Constitution. However, it was not until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November, that the modern holiday was celebrated nationally.
With a few deviations, Lincoln's precedent was followed annually by every subsequent president--until 1939. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt departed from tradition by declaring November 23, the next to last Thursday that year, as Thanksgiving Day. Considerable controversy surrounded this deviation, and some Americans refused to honor Roosevelt's declaration. For the next two years, Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation, but on November 26, 1941, he admitted his mistake and signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.
Last week I bought a word processor small enough to fit in my pocket.
It can write in any language and also add, multiply, subtract, divide.
It has a delete facility that will correct any error made and no electricity or batteries are required to operate it.
Amazingly, it only cost me 25p. Why?
Complete the grid such that every row, every column, and the nine 3x3 blocks contain the digits from 1 to 9.
[Copyright: Kevin Stone]
Your mission is to save the bears.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 25, 2013 is:
dragon's teeth \DRAG-unz-TEETH\ noun
1 : seeds of strife 2 : wedge-shaped concrete antitank barriers laid in multiple rows
The political analyst insisted that the government's policy was misguided and would only sow dragon's teeth by increasing poverty and discontent.
"Assiduously sown by the Kremlin, the dragon's teeth of demagoguery, paranoia, xenophobia, anti-Westernism, intolerance, and obscurantism are bound to yield a toxic harvest when the regime falters or loses control outright." From an article by Leon Aron, posted October 24, 2013 at american.com
Did you know?
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne's child, Pearl, "never created a friend, but seemed always to be sowing broadcast the dragon's teeth, whence sprung a harvest of armed enemies, against whom she rushed to battle." In Hawthorne and elsewhere, "dragon's teeth" alludes to a story involving Cadmus, the legendary Phoenician hero reputed to have founded Thebes and invented the alphabet. The tale holds that Cadmus killed a dragon and planted its teeth in the ground. From the teeth sprang fierce armed men who battled one another until all were dead but five. These founded the noblest families of Thebes and helped build its citadel.
"The Mousetrap," a murder-mystery written by the novelist and playwright Agatha Christie, opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London. The crowd-pleasing whodunit would go on to become the longest continuously running play in history, with more than 10 million people to date attending its more than 20,000 performances in London's West End.
When "The Mousetrap" premiered in 1952, Winston Churchill was British prime minister, Joseph Stalin was Soviet ruler, and Dwight D. Eisenhower was president-elect. Christie, already a hugely successful English mystery novelist, originally wrote the drama for Queen Mary, wife of the late King George V. Initially called "Three Blind Mice," it debuted as a 30-minute radio play on the queen's 80th birthday in 1947. Christie later extended the play and renamed it "The Mousetrap"—a reference to the play-within-a-play performed in William Shakespeare's "Hamlet."
On November 25, 1952, 453 people took their seats in the Ambassadors Theatre for the London premiere of Christie's "Mousetrap." The drama is played out at "Monkswell Manor," whose hosts and guests are snowed in among radio reports of a murderer on the loose. Soon a detective shows up on skis with the terrifying news that the murderer, and probably the next victim, are likely both among their number. Soon the clues and false leads pile as high as the snow. At every curtain call, the individual who has been revealed as the murderer steps forward and tells the audience that they are "partners in crime" and should "keep the secret of the whodunit locked in their heart."
Richard Attenborough and his wife, Sheila Sim, were the first stars of "The Mousetrap." To date, more than 300 actors and actresses have appeared in the roles of the eight characters. David Raven, who played "Major Metcalf" for 4,575 performances, is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" as the world's most durable actor, while Nancy Seabrooke is noted as the world's most patient understudy for 6,240 performances, or 15 years, as the substitute for "Mrs. Boyle."
"The Mousetrap" is not considered Christie's best play, and a prominent stage director once declared that "'The Mousetrap'" should be abolished by an act of Parliament." Nevertheless, the show's popularity has not waned. Asked about its enduring appeal, Christie said, "It is the sort of play you can take anyone to. It is not really frightening. It is not really horrible. It is not really a farce, but it has a little bit of all these things, and perhaps that satisfies a lot of different people." In 1974, after almost 9,000 shows, the play was moved to St. Martin's Theatre, where it remains today. Agatha Christie, who wrote scores of best-selling mystery novels, died in 1976.
What letter comes next in this sequence:
P O I U Y T ==?==