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Old 27 December 2011, 09:09 AM
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MacLloyd MacLloyd is offline
Join Date: 02 July 2005
Location: Temple City, CA
Posts: 2,152
Default Last Week's Answers


1. What South African region takes its name from the fact that Vasco da Gama first sighted it on December 25, 1497? This is the province of Natal, whose name ("birth") is the Portuguese word for Christmas.

2. What traditional holiday item often includes a succade made of citron? "Succade" is candied fruit--citron peel is often used to make those suspiciously radioactive-looking yellow and red and green chunks in your fruitcake.

3. In 1906, what American author wrote, "In a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest"? This is the penultimate line of "The Gift of the Magi," by O. Henry.

4. How many candles are there in a Kwanzaa kinara? Seven! Here's how to remember: "Kwanzaa" has one letter fewer than "Hanukkah." But then you half to remember how to spell Kwanzaa and Hanukkah without the extra 'C' and...

5. Dr. Christmas Jones, a nuclear physicist who wears a D-cup, is a "Bond girl" from which 007 film? She was played by Denise Richards (a real life nuclear physicist!) in The World Is Not Enough. Yeah, I know, all those Brosnan ones run together for me too.

6. In the Roman calendar, December 25 was Brumalia. What's the scientific name for the occasion marked by Brumalia? "Bruma" means "short," and Brumalia marked the shortest day of the year. We call it the winter solstice. (By "we" I mean owners of New Age bookstores.)

7. What unusual distinction is shared by all these works of art? Cassatt's Mother and Child, Degas's The Ballet Rehearsal, Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergere, Escher's Three Spheres, Fuseli's The Nightmare, Van Eyck's Arnolfini Wedding, Velazquez's Las Meninas, Vermeer's Woman with a Pearl Necklace. These classic works all feature a mirror--a topologically impossible one, in the case of the Manet painting. (We accepted "reflection" as well.)
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