Have a Heart!

If  you are a card player, then you know the answer to our last trivia question. In a standard deck of playing cards, the king of hearts is the only one that doesn’t have a moustache.

Salt of the Earth

Salary comes from the Latin ‘salarium,’ which has as it’s root the word “sal,” or salt.  In the days of ancient Rome, salt was a precious, necessary and extremely expensive commodity and Roman soldiers were allotted a certain amount of money to buy salt.  Over time it began to be referred to as the regular amounts of money paid to soldiers and from there the word salary came to mean wages generally.

. . . and the rest of the day to yourself!

The correct response to the Irish greeting, “Top of the morning to you” is “and the rest of the day to yourself! ” That said,  there are many who believe that the purported phrase “top o’ the morning”  is nothing more than a myth to the Irish themselves.   Most of the Irish today may tell you they have never, heard even any one (other than the Lucky Charms commercials) use that phrase.  The greeting does appear in a World War I poem written by Henry Newbolt, which goes:  “So I laughed, and felt quite well disposed to the youngster, And shouted out “the top of the morning” to him, And wished him “Good sport!” and then I remembered, My rank, and his, and what I ought to be doing. . . “.  But Newbolt wasn’t Irish, he was British!    The greeting may have been used in Ireland during the Victorian era, since a novel written by Irish author Charles J. Kickham in 1879 contains a reference to the greeting: “And the words —”The top of the morning to you, Miss Grace,” suggested the idea that Father Hannigan affected the phraseology of the peasantry.” If anyone knows better, let me know!

G’day Mate

What is the correct response to the Irish greeting “Top of the morning to you”.

Here Comes the Sun

In answer to our solar eclipse question, in theory a total solar eclipse viewed from the surface of the Earth can never be longer than 7 minutes, 32 seconds long.  A total solar eclipse occurs when a new moon passes directly in front of the Sun, casting a shadow on part of the Earth. Consequently, geometry and the motion of the Earth, Moon and Sun are the time-limiting factors.

The next total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017, following a path across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina.  People directly within the approximately 70 mile wide path the moon’s shadow will take, will see the sun disappear, will see daylight turn to twilight and will feel the temperature drop.  Outside that band, others will see a partial eclipse of the Sun.

You should never look directly at the sun, but if you learn how to view the eclipse properly, anyone directly in the shadow will see the Sun’s corona – appearing to have streamers of light surrounding the silhouette of the moon. NASA has information that can help you understand how to protect your eyes: Eye Safety During a Total Solar Eclipse.

Jack Benny

This week we asked you to tell us the real name of comic Jack Benny and why he picked that as his stage name. His real name, Benjamin Kubelsky, drew the attention of concert violinist Jan Kubelik, who felt a violin-playing vaudeville comic would damage his reputation. Kubelik threatened to sue unless Benjamin changed his name. So he did. To “Ben K Benny.” Unfortunately, another well known entertainer, Ben Bernie, also threatened to sue over the use of that name. So he decided to use “Jack Benny” and keep playing violin and, as they say, the rest is history.

A Violin, a Butler and Laughter: What’s in a Name?

Some of you may remember (or look up) the renown violin-playing comic who, together with his butler-friend Rochester, who had audiences roaring with laughter – facial expressions, comic timing and comedy – for decades. But as you might have guessed, Jack Benny wasn’t his real name. This week we want you to not just tell us his real name, but why he picked “Jack Benny” as his stage name?