Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Weekly Folk Music Quiz (28mar06)

Benjamin Franklin White and E.J. King in 1844 published what famous collection of American shape-note hymns? a) The Sacred Harp, b) The Kentucky Harmony, c) The Missouri Hymnody, d) The Baptist Hymnal.

Weekly History Quiz (28mar06)

Bathurst Island was discovered in 1819 by what European polar explorer and seeker of the Northwest Passage? a) John Cabot, b) William Edward Parry, c) John Franklin, d) Roald Amundsen.

Weekly Amusement (28mar06)

What type of shoes require no leather, wood, cloth or synthetic material?


Charleston's Maritime Legacy

Nautical history buffs, particularly those in the Southeast, should be delighted to learn of the fledgling Charleston Harbor Society. Diane Scher and Bill Thomas-Moore, owners of Ship Shapes Maritime Museum Gallery on Queen Street, are spearheading the effort to educate the public about the rich legacy of the South Carolina port city. "There is no port in the United States that can equal the history we have here," Bill says. Founded in 1670, Charleston has been the scene of pirate attacks and important Revolutionary and Civil War battles. It was there that the famous H.L. Hunley submarine sank and, several years ago, was salvaged intact from the muddy harbor bottom.

To get on the society's e-mail list, contact Diane at Shipshapes05@aol.com or CHSharborsociety@aol.com. A Web site is under development: www.charlestonharborsociety.com.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Weekly Folk Music Quiz (21mar06)

Who wrote "Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms"? a) Thomas Moore, b) Robert Burns, c) Alice Richardson, d) Stephen Foster.

Weekly History Quiz (21mar06)

In what year was the University of Adelaide founded in South Australia? a) 1836, b) 1874, c) 1919, d) 1960.

Weekly Amusement (21mar06)

Why do doctors and nurses wear masks during surgery?

So the patient won’t know who to blame.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Recurring Word Plays

Deadline pressure from The Strand sometimes resulted in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle committing sloppy mistakes in drafting his Sherlock Holmes stories. He also was prone to a common weakness among writers: the tendency to overuse favorite words and phrases.

I've read and heard "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" scores of times but realized only recently that one of the more memorable expressions is used not once in the story, but twice. When Watson remarks that the plight of Miss Helen Stoner appears to be "a most dark and sinister business," Holmes replies, "Dark enough and sinister enough." Later in the story, after Holmes reveals his line of reasoning to his comrade, Watson exclaims, "I seem to see dimly what you are hinting at. We are only just in time to prevent some subtle and horrible crime." To which Holmes acknowledges, "Subtle enough and horrible enough."

Enough is enough. I submit the dialogue, while effective, is also redundant. (To which you well might respond, "Effective enough and redundant enough.")

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Weekly Folk Music Quiz (9mar06)

Who wrote the 1964 Folk Revival song "The Times They Are A'Changin'"? a) John Stewart, b) Joni Mitchell, c) Bob Dylan, d) Michelle Philips.

Weekly History Quiz (9mar06)

Which European nation colonized Mozambique during the 16th and 17th centuries? a) Spain, b) Russia, c) Portugal, d) Italy.

Weekly Amusement (9mar06)

A courtroom lawyer mindlessly proceeded through a litany of preliminary questions to a witness on the stand. “Are you related to the defendant?”

“He’s my brother.”

“And was he your brother last January, at the time of the alleged assault?”

Howard Burnham: New Site, New One-Man Plays

He's a friend of mine, but I believe I nevertheless can opine objectively that Howard Burnham is one of the most gifted and interesting theatrical performers currently blending the joint themes of history and literature onstage. An Englishman now residing in Columbia, SC, he has intently researched, written and delivered invaluable portrayals of such diverse characters as C.S. Lewis, Gen. John Burgoyne, Lord Charles Cornwallis, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Charles Dickens and Capt. Edward Smith of the Titanic. I was delighted to learn of his new Web site: www.howardburnham.com. Doubly delighted that he's adding a touch of Sherlockian lore to his repertoire: "Dr. Watson on Sherlock Holmes."

Howard performs primarily on the East Coast. Do attend, if he's booked for a presentation near you. (If not . . . book him.)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Weekly Folk Music Quiz (4mar06)

On what campus did The Highwaymen folk quintet organize in 1958? a) Menlo College, b) Wesleyan University, c) University of South Carolina, d) Michigan State University.

Weekly History Quiz (4mar06)

At approximately what point in history do linguists say "Modern Dutch" succeeded "Middle Dutch?" a) 1550, b) 1650, c) 1750, d) 1850.

Weekly Amusement (4mar06)

Wife: “Why do you never pay attention to what I say?”
Husband: “Don't you know? I’m hard of listening.”