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637904.  Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:23 am Reply with quote

Min. posts: 30


Sporcle is a trivia quiz website launched in July 2007, on which users have a set time limit within which to name all of the items within a given subject, such as Presidents of the USA or Countries of Europe. According to the website's founder Matt Ramme, the name Sporcle is inspired by the word 'oracle'.

The website was founded in response to Ramme's own desire to learn trivia, and his accompanying frustration that there was no existing website suitable for his needs.

Sporcle's mission statement is "We actively and methodically search out new and innovative ways to prevent our users from getting any work done whatsoever."

Despite Ramme's expectation that Sporcle would appeal to older users, the website has become particularly popular among students, with many admitting to checking the website frequently for recently added material. As well as serving as a means of procrastinating, the website also has educational value.

Last edited by joefoxon1 on Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:33 am; edited 1 time in total

637913.  Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:08 am Reply with quote

An oracle is a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion. It may also be a revealed prediction or precognition of the future, from deities, that is spoken through another object or life-form (e.g.: augury and auspice).
In the ancient world many sites gained a reputation for the dispensing of oracular wisdom: they too became known as "oracles," and the oracular utterances, called khrēsmoi in Greek, were often referred to under the same name—a name derived from the Latin verb ōrāre, to speak.

The earliest tradition of oracular practice in Hellenic culture is from the archaic period shortly after arrival of the Hellenes in their current place of settlement c. 1300 BC. The oracle was associated with the cults of deities derived from the great goddess of nature and fertility, the pre-eminent ancient oracle—the Delphic Oracle—operated at the temple of Delphi. Oracles were thought to be portals through which the gods spoke to man. In this sense they were different from seers (manteis in Greek) who merely interpreted signs sent by the gods through bird signs, animal entrails, and other various methods.

Last edited by monzac on Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:56 am; edited 1 time in total

638233.  Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:12 am Reply with quote

Delphi (Greek Δελφοί, [ðe̞lˈfi]) (pronounce and dialectal forms) is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis. Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, when it was a major site for the worship of the god Apollo after he slew the Python, a deity who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth. The Homeric Hymn to Delphic Apollo recalled that the ancient name of this site had been Krisa. His sacred precinct in Delphi was a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the four panhellenic (or stephanitic) games, precursors to the Modern Olympics.

Delphi was revered throughout the Greek world as the site of the omphalos stone, the centre of the earth and the universe. In the inner hestia ("hearth") of the Temple of Apollo, an eternal flame burned. After the battle of Plataea, the Greek cities extinguished their fires and brought new fire from the hearth of Greece, at Delphi; in the foundation stories of several Greek colonies, the founding colonists were first dedicated at Delphi

638255.  Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:22 am Reply with quote

Open-hearth process, or Siemens-Martin process:
Steelmaking technique that for most of the 20th century accounted for most steel made in the world. William Siemens made steel from pig iron in a reverberatory furnace of his design in 1867. The same year the French manufacturer Pierre-Émile Martin (1824–1915) used the idea to produce steel by melting wrought iron with steel scrap. Siemens used the waste heat given off by the furnace: he directed the fumes from the furnace through a brick checkerwork, heating it to a high temperature, and then used the same path to introduce air into the furnace; the preheated air significantly increased the flame temperature. The open-hearth process furnace (which replaced the Bessemer process) has itself been replaced in most industrialized countries by the basic oxygen process and the electric furnace.

638580.  Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:18 am Reply with quote

Siemens AG is Europe's largest engineering conglomerate. Siemens' international headquarters are located in Berlin and Munich, Germany. The company is a conglomerate of three main business sectors: Industry, Energy and Healthcare with a total of 15 Divisions.

Worldwide, Siemens and its subsidiaries employ approximately 480,000 people in nearly 190 countries and reported global revenue of 77.327 billion euros as of 2008. Siemens AG is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since March 12, 2001.

638582.  Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:51 am Reply with quote

Berlin is a 1973 album by Lou Reed, his third solo album and the follow-up to Transformer. In 2003, the album was ranked number 344 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The album is a tragic rock opera about a doomed couple, and addresses themes of drug use and depression. Upon its release, the response of fans and critics was not positive as many were expecting another upbeat glam outing. Despite lukewarm reviews the album reached #7 in the UK album chart (Reed's best achievement there). Poor sales in the US (#98) and harsh criticism made Reed feel disillusioned about the album and in subsequent years he rarely played any Berlin material in his live shows. Over time many have come to consider Berlin to be among Lou Reed's best studio albums as a solo artist.

Musically, Berlin differs greatly from the bulk of Reed's work, due to the use of heavy orchestral arrangements, horns, and top session musicians. Instrumentally, Reed himself only contributes acoustic guitar.

638588.  Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:13 am Reply with quote

An orchestra is an instrumental ensemble, usually fairly large with string, brass, woodwind sections, and almost always a percussion section as well. The term orchestra derives from the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus. The orchestra grew by accretion throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but changed very little in composition during the course of the twentieth century.

A smaller-sized orchestra for this time period (of about fifty players or fewer) is called a chamber orchestra.

A full-size orchestra (about 100 players) may sometimes be called a "symphony orchestra" or "philharmonic orchestra"; these prefixes do not necessarily indicate any strict difference in either the instrumental constitution or role of the orchestra, but can be useful to distinguish different ensembles based in the same city (for instance, the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra). A symphony orchestra will usually have over eighty musicians on its roster, in some cases over a hundred, but the actual number of musicians employed in a particular performance may vary according to the work being played and the size of the venue. A leading chamber orchestra might employ as many as fifty musicians; some are much smaller than that.

638595.  Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:51 am Reply with quote

Tree frog is the name for any of the small tree- or shrub-inhabiting frogs of the family Hylidae, characterized by an adhesive disk on the tip of each of the clawlike toes. This family has about 300 species distributed throughout most tropical and temperate regions, with the greatest number found in the New World tropics. Tree frogs, sometimes called tree toads, are usually under 3 in. (7.5 cm) long. They are grey, green, or brown, often blending with the natural background; in most species the color varies with the temperature and other conditions. Most tree frogs lay their eggs in or near water, where the tadpole develops. Many species, such as the spring peeper (Hyla gratiosa) and the chorus frogs (Pseudacris species), are known for the song they produce when they gather near ponds to breed in the spring. In one group of tree frogs the eggs are carried in a mass on the back of the female, exposed or in a pouch of skin. The tadpoles either are deposited in the water or continue their development in the pouch. A few members of the family, such as the North American cricket frog (Acris crepitans), are not arboreal. Tree frogs are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Amphibia, order Anura, family Hylidae.

638597.  Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:53 am Reply with quote

Cricket is a bat-and-ball team sport that is first documented as being played in southern England in the 16th century. By the end of the 18th century, cricket had developed to the point where it had become the national sport of England. The expansion of the British Empire led to cricket being played overseas and by the mid-19th century the first international matches were being held. Today, the game's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), has 104 member countries. With its greatest popularity in the Test playing countries, cricket is widely regarded as the world's second most popular sport.

The rules of the game are known as the Laws of Cricket. These are maintained by the ICC and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which holds the copyright. A cricket match is played on a cricket field at the centre of which is a pitch. The match is contested between two teams of eleven players each. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible without being dismissed ("out") while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the other team’s batsmen and limit the runs being scored. When the batting team has used all its available overs or has no remaining batsmen, the roles become reversed and it is now the fielding team’s turn to bat and try to outscore the opposition.

There are several variations in the length of a game of cricket. In professional cricket this ranges from a limit of 20 overs per side (Twenty20) to a game played over 5 days (Test cricket). Depending on the form of the match being played, there are different rules that govern how a game is won, lost, drawn or tied.

638608.  Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:30 am Reply with quote

The fruit bat is a fruit-eating bat found in tropical regions of the Old World. It is relatively large and differs from other bats in the possession of an independent, clawed second digit; it also depends on sight rather than echo-location in maintaining orientation. The Pteropodidae, or flying foxes, are South Asian fruit bats whose short jaws and powerful teeth are specially adapted for piercing the rinds of tough fruit. They include the largest of all bats, the kalang (Pteropus vampyrus), which has a wingspan greater than 5 ft (1.5 m). The Macroglossidae, or long-tongued fruit bats, are widespread throughout S Asia, Africa, New Guinea, and Australia. Specialized for a diet of pollen and nectar, their snouts and tongues are greatly elongated. All fruit bats are highly mobile, traveling as much as 30 miles (48 km) in search of food. They nest in trees and all but a few species are completely nocturnal. Fruit bats are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Chiroptera.

638610.  Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:35 am Reply with quote

The Australia national football team represents Australia in international association football competitions. Its official nickname is the "Socceroos". The team is controlled by Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation and also an invitee member of the ASEAN Football Federation since 2006.

Australia is a four-time Oceania Football Confederation champion and has been represented at two FIFA World Cup tournaments, in 1974 and 2006. 14th is Australia's highest ever FIFA World Ranking since the rankings were introduced in 1992. Australia topped their group in the 2010 World Cup qualification and became one of the first nations to qualify for the finals tournament without losing a match and only conceding one goal.

638614.  Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:12 am Reply with quote

A nickname is a name added to or substituted for the proper name of a person, place, et cetera, as in affection, ridicule, or familiarity. For example: He has always loathed his nickname of “Whizzer.”

A nickname can also be a familiar form of a proper name, as Jim for James and Peg for Margaret.

To nickname also means to give a nickname to a person, town, et cetera, or to call someone by a nickname. In archaic usage it means to call by an incorrect or improper name; to misname. The origin of the word is traced to 1400–50 and is from late the Middle English nekename, which developed from ekename (the phrase an ekename being taken as a nekename).

638621.  Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:19 am Reply with quote

"Peg" is a song by rock group Steely Dan, which was released as a single from their 1977 album Aja.

The guitar solo on the track was attempted by seven top session guitarists before Jay Graydon's version became the "keeper". He worked on the song for about 6 hours before they were satisfied. Rick Marotta played drums on the track.

Michael McDonald can be heard providing backup vocals in the choruses; keyboardist Paul Griffin can also be heard improvising background vocals in the final chorus and fadeout.

This song is heavily sampled on the 1989 song by De La Soul, "Eye Know." Peg was covered by Nerina Pallot, in 2007. Her version was produced by Richard X.

American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz has and currently performs this song as part of his concert set lists.

638623.  Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:28 am Reply with quote

The Pallot Heritage Steam Museum was founded by Lyndon Charles Pallot, (known as ‘Don'), who was born in the Parish of Trinity in Jersey and educated at the parish school. He developed an interest in mechanics from an early age and, after leaving school at the age of 14, started remaking bicycles until he became a trainee engineer at Jersey Railways where his enthusiasm for steam was born.

638626.  Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:31 am Reply with quote

The Bailiwick of Jersey (pronounced /ˈdʒɜrzi/; Jèrriais: Jèrri) is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands which are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and the Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and other rocks and reefs. Together with the bailiwick of Guernsey it forms the grouping known as the Channel Islands. Like the Isle of Man, Jersey is a separate possession of the Crown and it is not a part of the United Kingdom. Jersey has an international identity which is different from that of the UK, although it belongs to the Common Travel Area and the definition of "United Kingdom" in the British Nationality Act 1981 is interpreted as including the UK and the Islands together. The United Kingdom is constitutionally responsible for the defence of Jersey. Jersey is not a full member state of the European Union although it is included in the customs territory of the European Community.


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