At Your Leisure
by William Hirsh | published Nov. 3rd, 2013
Word of the month:
Pettifogger (verb): To quibble over petty things.
Jon pettifoggered on the grade of his midterm.
"Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic." -Lewis Carroll
Stream of Facts:
Play-doh was originally used as wallpaper cleaner to remove the sooty residue left by coal fireplaces. When gas became a standard of home heating systems, Play-doh was rebranded as a kid’s toy because of its similarity to clay and its non-toxic nature.
Natural gas is odorless because it is mostly methane. The chemical mercaptin is added to natural gas to give it a scent so people can protect themselves from gas leaks. The process of adding this chemical is called stenching.
To remove toxins from the soil at the site of Chernobyl, scientists in 1998 planted hemp into the soil to be used in a process called phytoremediation. Other plants such as sunflowers are also effective at this procedure.
Ascension Island, once barren and volcanic, was transformed by Charles Darwin and Joseph Hooker into a green ecosystem. Beginning in 1850, plants from across Europe were brought to the little island off the coast of Africa, creating an environment of unlike plants. Most ecosystems form over millions of years but the environment found at Ascension Island was created over a few decades.
Cascadia Now is a movement to form an independent state of the same name, unifying British Columbia, Oregon, Washington, parts of Idaho and Alaska. The goal of the movement is to bring together a united bioregion with the purpose of empowering individuals and promoting autonomy. The term Cascadia was coined in 1970 by a Seattle University professor.
Gotham, the home city of Batman, was actually a nickname for New York City coined by Washington Irving in the early 1800s. New York was originally the setting of the caped crusader until it was changed to something fictional so people wouldn’t have a city to relate to. The moniker was mostly used for satirical skits.
Howard Shore, well known for composing the soundtracks for the Lord of the Rings films, was the original music director for Saturday Night Live and has appeared in skits where his band was renamed to fit a certain sketch, like The All Bee Band.
The famous Dead Parrot Sketch has roots in a 1600 year old sketch performed by Greek comedy duo Hierocles and Philagrius in which a person complains of a recently purchased slave dying in his service.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, Kirsten Dunst’s highest rated movie performance is as the titular heroine of the classic Studio Ghibli film, “Kiki’s Delivery Service.” It rests at a 100 percent rating.
The movie “This is Spinal Tap” is the only film on IMDB to have a rating out of 11. This is a reference to a joke in the film about the band turning their amps up to 11.
Reporter Recommends:Wii U
It took nearly a year for the system to pick up steam but the Wii U is beginning to grow in top form. After being burnt by the release of the 3DS which saw a price cut nearly five months after launch with few games to purchase, I was really averse to buying this system when it first came out last November. Since overcoming a growth spurt of delayed titles and general third party apathy towards the system, I feel the Wii U is on the path to becoming a great console. Starting with a price drop to $300 along with solid bundles, the value of the Wii U has greatly increased.
Much of what I loved about my experience is how much the Gamepad, a controller with a touch screen in the center, changes how I play games. In a busy apartment room where TV real estate is a commodity it’s incredible how much I can play just on the Gamepad. From “Wind Waker HD” to “Mighty Switch Force Hyper Drive Edition” to even classic games like “Earthbound,” I find so much satisfaction in being able to play these games pseudo-portably.
With a slew of full game releases like Super Mario 3D Land and Kickstarter games such as Mighty No. 9, Shovel Knight and more coming in the future, the Wii U places itself in a great spot to succeed moving forward. With the imminent release of the next Smash Bros and Mario Kart 8, the Wii U will finally be on its feet.
Live with it