Saturday, February 17, 2024

The world keeps changing before our eyes

Things that once were true are now false. For example, I learned in school that there are nine planets orbiting our sun. Kids today are told there are eight. Pluto got the axe (translation: was reclassified as a dwarf planet not in the same league with the others).

Things that used to be described one way are now described another way. Take dates, which for the past couple of thousand years in the western world have been referred to as either AD or BC (or, more accurately, A.D. or B.C. before periods/dots/points fell out of fashion). More and more frequently nowadays I see dates referred to as either CE (Common Era) or BCE (Before Common Era). I believe this particular change has occurred in recognition of the fact that adherents of the Jewish and Muslim faiths with calendars of their own prefer not to measure the passing of the years with a Christian reference point. 2024 AD (Latin, Anno Domini, "in the year of the Lord") is 5784 AM (Latin, Anno Mundi, "in the year of the World") to members of the Jewish community, 1445 AH (Latin, Anno Hegirae, "in the year of the Hegira") to members of the Islamic community, and we won't go into either the Mayan calendar or the Chinese calendar because they are complicated. You can read fascinating articles about them in -- where else? -- wikipedia.

Allow me a little Jeopardy! stuff before we continue.

The Clue: Minnesota is bordered on the north by Manitoba and this other Canadian province.

One contestant said Alberta, one said Manitoba, and one didn't buzz in at all.

The Answer: What is Ontario? More on geography later in the post.

It made me feel especially old when no contesdant buzzed in for these two:

Category: Presidential TV
Clue: The Man From Independence
Answer: Who is Harry Truman

Category: Notable Names
Clue: This woman was America's first black Congresswoman
Answer: Who is Shirley Chisholm?

Well, that's enough of that. Too much, probably.

I have been improving my geography and international skills by playing three online games every day -- two versions of Worldle (not Wordle) and Globle (not spelled Global). If you want to try your hand, here are the three addresses:

The second of the Worldle games is played in French and includes identifying the country's neighbors, capital city, flag, unit of currency, and population range.

Today, for the first time since I began playing these games several months ago, the answer to Globle and the English version of Worldle was the same country, Sierra Leone. The French version's answer was Australia (spelled the French way, Australie). I enjoy these games a great deal and can now recognize the silhouettes of such places as Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, United Arab Emirates, Lithuania, Venezuela, Myanmar, and many others that I couldn't have recognized before.

Which in the overall scheme of things doesn't matter to a hill of beans, but playing each day has helped me keep my mind active. I used to do that by playing the piano, but between my failing eyesight and my stiffening fingers, those days are pretty much over.

I close today's post with a question. Did you know there is a connection between Donald Trump and John F.Kennedy besides the fact that they were both presidents of the United States? Well, there is. Mar-a-Lago, Trump's palatial home in Palm Beach, Florida (126 rooms, 62,500 sq ft on 17 acres), which he purchased in 1985, was built during the 1920s by Post Cereal heiress Marjorie Meriweather Post while she was the second of three wives of financier E.F. Hutton (yes, that E.F. Hutton). Their daughter bcame the actress Dina Merrill, whose second of three husbands (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree), actor Cliff Robertson, starred in a film called PT-109 as U.S. Naval Lieutenant (junior grade) John F. Kennedy, who was commander of the vessel when it was rammed and sunk by the Japanese in the Solomon Islands during World War Ii. It is of only passing interest that President Kennedy's parents, Joseph and Rose Kennedy, lived in Palm Beach, Florida, when they were away from Hyannisport, Massachusetts. That is a coincidence, not the sort of connection I meant.

If I have told you any of these things before, I do apologize. My memory is not what it once was either.


  1. I have often said that my mind is full of useless information. You keep adding to it. And I thank you.

  2. You remind me that i played globle for a while. I must get back to it./ Have you tried the NYT game "connections"? Its on my daily rotation.
    You must miss the piano. games are good but they are not the soul food that music is

    1. I think you are the person who suggested globle to me in the first place. And you are righ, games are good for the mind but music is good for the soul. Thank you, kylie.


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