Monthly Trivia Archives: April 2012

Week of April 22 – 100 years ago this month

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RMS Titanic was a passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean  April, 15 1912 after colliding with an iceberg  during her maiden voyage from Southhampton, UK to New York City, US.  The sinking of the Titanic caused the deaths of 1,514 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.  Titanic sinks at 2:27 AM off Newfoundland as band plays on.

Fenway Park is a baseball park near Kenmore Square in Boston, Massachusetts. Located in Boston, MA, it has served as the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox baseball  since it opened in 1912, and is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium currently in use. It is one of two “classic” Major League ballparks still in use, the other being Chicago’s Wrigley.

Electric starter 1st appeared in cars.

The Greek athlete Konstantinos Tsiklitiras breaks the world record -in standing long jump jumping 3.47 meters.

16th Boston Marathon won by Mike Ryan of NY in 2:21:18.2

Chinese republic proclaimed in Tibet

Steamers collide in Nile, drowning 200



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Week of April 1 – Origin of words and phrases

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“Raining Cats and Dogs:”  The origin of this saying dates back to the 1600s. Poor drainage systems on buildings in the 17th century caused gutters to overflow, spewing out along with water, garbage and a few unexpected critters. It is possible that animals such as rodents lived in the thatched roofs and when it rained heavily, the dead carcasses would fall––undoubtedly unpleasant! As far as large dogs falling from the sky…well…that one will have to remain a mystery.

“To be Stumped:” Being “stumped” comes from the pioneering days when the land was cleared to lay down train tracks. When the workers came across a tree stump, it would cause a dilemma or “to be stumped.”

“Wrong Side of the Tracks:”-Before there were cars, trains were an important means of transportation. Of course, pollution wasn’t a big concern so when a train rolled by, heavy black smoke and soot went with it. Usually the wind blew the black smoke to one side of the tracks and only the poorest of people would endure living in that hard to breathe environment. No one wanted to be on “the wrong side of the tracks.

“Vis-à-Vis'” the first meaning was the literal translation from the French, i.e. “face to face. ”  Another meaning is a small two seater carriage in which passengers sit face to face.  These carriages are similar to the four seater version that Queen Elizabeth uses each year to tour the course at the Royal Ascot race meeting.  Also defined as “in relation to” or “with respect to”  For example:  the position of our organization vis-à-vis global warming to support efforts to reduce carbon emissions.   

“Everything but the kitchen sink: – comes from World War Two when everything possible was used to contribute to the war effort…all metal was used for the U.S arsenal. The only objects left out were porcelain kitchen sinks. 

“Don’t  throw the baby out with the bath water” – What’s one to do when they only have one basin of bath water and a litter of children to be bathed? Easy! Use the same bath water and dump it out when your last child gets lost in it! Back in the pre-running water days, the order of the household determined which family member got to take the bath first. The man (or head of the household) naturally went first, followed by the children and the baby last. The water would become so dirty that when a baby was bathed in it, he could possibly be lost or even tossed out! 



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