Monday, April 27, 2020

Vocabulary Quiz #7 (Ten words beginning with the letter "Q")




Number 16 Vocabulary Quiz #7
Ten words beginning with the letter "Q"

Number 16 presents a multiple choice vocabulary quiz.  Choose the correct definition of each word listed.  There are ten words for you to define and they all begin with the letter "Q."  Ready, set, go!


1.  quixotic (adjective)
'
A.   Silly and immature

B.  Lacking in intelligence

C.  Foolishly impractical especially in pursuit of ideals.

D. Having a pleasant and personable manner

E.  Stubborn and uncompromising



2.  quell (verb)
'
A.   To thoroughly overwhelm and reduce to submission or passivity; to quiet or pacify

B.  To shake with terror; to be extremely fearful

C.  To ask someone many questions

D.  To hibernate or hide for a long time, to isolate oneself

E.  To warm up after feeling chilled




3.  quotidian (adjective)
'
A.   More than necessary, surplus

B.  Everyday, ordinary, commonplace

C.  Relating to the middle ages, medieval.

D.  Wordy, verbose, talkative

E.  Careful and cautious



4.  quota (noun)
'
A.  An overdrawn bank account

B.  The amount necessary to break even financially

C.  A proportional part or share; the number or amount constituting a proportional share

D.  A retirement savings fund, especially for small business owners

E.  The number of soldiers in an army battalion



5.  quorum (noun)
'
A.  In real estate, the difference in price between two homes of the same size but in different locations.

B.  The name for a group of Muslims on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca.

C.  The number of votes necessary to pass legislation in the British House of Commons.

D.  A certain kind of Egyptian pyramid

E.  A select group.  The number of (such as a majority) of officers of a body that when duly assembled is legally competent to conduct business,



6.  quisling (noun)
'
A.  A baby goose

B.  A mysterious stranger

C.  A beginner or novice tennis player

D.  A traitor, a collaborator

E.   A miniature puppet



7.  quintessential (adjective)
'
A.  Very necessary

B.  Perfectly typical or representative of a particular kind of person or thing

C.  Unrecognized and unappreciated

D.  Ancient

E.  Noticeable in an unwelcome way, obtrusive in manner



8.  quinoa (noun)
'
A.  A 16th fortress used to protect Spanish cities from attack

B.   A type of dog breed originating in South America

C.  An annual herb of the goosefoot family

D.  A type of Spanish ship

E.  A kind of Mexican bread eaten on special occasions



9.  quiescent (adjective)
'
A.  A description for one who doesn't speak much

B.  Having very little light

C.  Marked by extreme weariness

D.  Marked by inactivity or repose

E.  One who chooses words very carefully as  not to offend



10.  quagmire (noun)
'
A.  Quicksand or unsteady ground

B.  A very difficult crossword puzzle

C.  A riddle that is very difficult to solve

D.  A mysterious dream

E.  A difficult, puzzling, or embarrassing situation








ANSWERS 
(Note:  The definitions for the correct answers have been taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary or thesaurus)

1.  C
quixotic (adjective):  Foolishly impractical in pursuit of ideals especially: marked by rash lofty romantic ideals or extravagantly chivalrous action

The word "quixotic" is derived from the name "Don Quixote," the idealistic hero of the 17th century Spanish novel El Ingenioso Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes.  Quixote tilted at windmills, imagining himself to be a shining knight on a gallant steed.


2.  A
quell (verb): To thoroughly overwhelm and reduce to submission or passivity as in quell a riot; to quiet or pacify as in quell fears


3.  B
quotidian (adjective):  Everyday, ordinary, commonplace; examples - Not content with the quotidian quarrels that other couples had, they had arguments that shook the entire neighbourhood.  He was plagued by a quotidian coughing fit, the result of years of smoking.



4.  C
quota (noun):  A proportional part or share; the number or amount constituting a proportional share, especially the share of proportion assigned to each in a division or to each member of a body
Examples: The agency imposes strict fishing quotas.
                  The company has imposed quotas as on hiring.


5.  E.
quorum (noun):  A select group; the number of (such as a majority) of officers of a body that when duly assembled is legally competent to conduct business.
Example: We need five people to make a quorum.


6.  D
quisling (noun): A traitor, a collaborator
Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian army officer and founder of Norway's fascist party.  In 1933, he met with Adolf Hitler and encouraged him to occupy Norway.  His name became used in English to refer to any traitor.


7.  B
quintessential (adjective): Perfectly typical or representative of a particular kind of person or thing
Example: He's your quintessential streetwise New Yorker.


8.  C
quinoa (noun): An annual herb of the goosefoot family that is native to the South American Andean highlands and is cultivated for its starchy seeds which are used as food and ground into flour.


9.  D
quiescent (adjective): Marked by inactivity or repose; tranquility at rest (as in a group of quiescent loungers recovering from the Thanksgiving feast); causing no trouble or symptoms (as in quiescent gallstones)


10.  E
quagmire (noun): A difficult, puzzling, or embarrassing situation from which there is no easy escape; a dilemma, a Catch-22, a predicament
Example: The job seeker was facing the usual quagmire of not having full time experience and the inability to gain full time experience without being hired.


- Joanne

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Meditations at Home During the Pandemic #2


This is the second in a series of meditations while I am at home during the COVID-19 crisis.  

These are dark times and many people are physically and mentally exhausted from worry and pain.  I've been at home for about five weeks now.  I've been keeping busy but the five weeks have gone by at a snail's pace..  Sometimes I feel like I've been in isolation for five years.  Sometimes life before the virus seems so distant, as if it's a dreamy past life that feels further and further away.  Everything is surreal.  There is so much human suffering and so many lives have been disrupted.  We have seen humanity at its worst and humanity at its best.  Thank goodness for our health care workers who are underpaid and overworked.  They are the salt of the earth and they continue to put their lives on the line every day.

Unfortunately, there is a dearth of strong leadership in the world, with some notable exceptions such  Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Jacinda Adern of New Zealand.  If only there was a Franklin Roosevelt or a Winston Churchill to help us get through these tough times.  Alas, the United States has Donald Trump and the United Kingdom has Boris Johnson.  Sadly, some selfish and irresponsible politicians, such as Trump and President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, are encouraging people to relax social distancing measures.  They want to reopen businesses again, no matter the consequences and the risk to human lives.   For them, it's all about money.  The sick and elderly are not as important as the economy.  They are not as important as getting Trump re-elected.

This mentality is reflected in the words of disgraced former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly who said, "Many people are dying, both here and around the world were on their last legs anyway, and I don't want to sound callous about that."  Really, Mr. O'Reilly?  Well, you could have fooled me.

Fortunately, the words of great leaders live on, as do comforting quotations during this terrible pandemic of 2020.  Here are some words that I hope with help to get you through this extremely challenging time.  As difficult as this is, we must carry on.  We must endure. We must triumph.


"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
First Inaugural Address"
March 4, 1933



"We must accept finite disappointments but we must never lose infinite hope."


- Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), American civil rights leader
From Strength to Love, published in 1963



"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars."


- Augustine "Og" Mandino (1923-1996), American author
From The Greatest Salesman in the World, Chapter 9, "The Scroll Marked II,"published in 1968


- Joanne

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Meditations at Home During the Pandemic #1



This is the first in a series of meditations while I am at home during the COVID-19 crisis.  

One of my favourite compositions is "No Man Is an Island," written by the great English scholar and poet John Donne.(1572-1631).  "No Man Is an  Island" is an  extract from a work of prose entitled Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, and several steps in my sickness.  Devotions was written while Donne was suffering from a life-threatening illness.  In 1623, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, he came down with what was believed to be "relapsing fever or typhus."

During the time of his illness, Donne was isolated at home, just as we are today.  He did some deep soul searching.  He reflected on the similarities between his physical and spiritual afflictions, resulting in the publication of Devotions upon Emergent Occasions in 1624.   Devotions is divided into 23 parts, each containing three subsections, namely the "mediation" "the expostulation" and a prayer.  Each of the 23 parts reflects Donne's thoughts and feelings on a single day of his sickness.  The 17th Devotion or "Meditation XVII" includes the oft-quoted phrases "No man is an island" and " . . . for whom the bells toll."  Inspired by Donne's words, American writer Ernest Hemingway titled  his classic 1940 novel For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Below is a painting of John Donne by Isaac Oliver, an English portrait miniature painter.


John Donne's words couldn't be more appropriate during this chaotic time in human history.  Although Donne wrote "No man is an island," in the 17th century, his words are just as meaningful in the turbulent 21st century.  Our world is too divided and our politics are too partisan.  Ultra-nationalism is a moral disease.  Slogans such as "America First" are but the stepping stones to disaster.

There is nothing wrong with self-reliance and individual responsibility per se.  In fact, those are laudable traits.  However, unless those traits are accompanied by a sense of community and a connection to others, there will be severe social inequality, selfishness, unfettered capitalism, Trumpism and greed.  That's why I believe that far-right leaders and their followers are leading us down a very perilous path.  There is only one world and countries are unwise to try to fence themselves in.

Here are John Donne's immortal words:


No Man Is an Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the continent, 
A part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
As well as if a promontory were:
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were.

Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

- John Donne


The world would be a better place if more people took those words more seriously.

- Joanne

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter in a time of global darkness and despair



"Do not abandon yourselves to despair.  We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song."

Pope John Paul II


Last Easter I wrote about the fire at the venerable Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  Nearly a year after
that terrible inferno, Notre Dame opened for a a small Good Friday Service in the midst of a pandemic lockdown.

USA Today reported that a small group of seven worshipers gathered inside the historic Gothic structure (which is closed to the public) for 40 minutes of prayer, music and readings. The group presumably remained far apart and took every precaution to protect themselves from COVID-19.

 In a video news conference, Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit stated, "This message of hope is especially important in these days where we are particularly affected by coronavirus, which is sowing anguish, death and paralysis in our country and the world."

This Easter, I find myself trying to find hope in a time of global chaos and suffering.  This is the first Easter that I and countless others around the world are unable to spend with family members.  It is the first Easter that I have had to attend church online.  Still, I know I am more blessed than millions of people in the world.  I have food and a roof over my head.  I have not contracted the virus and I am not in physical pain.  Yes, it is a stressful and worrisome time.  In fact, to be absolutely honest, it is a global nightmare.  People are suffering and dying and it's difficult to stay positive when the news is filled with so much doom and gloom. 

Yes, we can use our time at home to take stock of our lives, to figure out what is really important to us.  Yes, we can lend a hand to those who are alone and vulnerable.  Still, I will not sugarcoat this disaster.  This is not easy.  Our lives are not normal and there is so much sickness and death.  We can not come and go as we please.  So many events in our lives have had to be cancelled or delayed.  However, as Queen Elizabeth II, stated in her Easter message," Easter has not been cancelled."  It can't be cancelled and it will go on forever.




This pandemic cannot last forever, so I wait for a better day.  Next year I hope to celebrate with family and friends.  We will stand together.


"This too shall pass"

- Persian proverb expressing the temporary nature or ephemerality of the human or earthly condition.


"And not only this, but we also exalt in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance proven character, and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

- Romans 5:3-5


- Joanne

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Amazing and rare historical photos #4

Here are some more rare, historical photos to entertain you as you isolate yourself at home during this horrific pandemic.  I hope they will provide a distraction for you so that you can get your mind off all the sad news.  I found these photos fascinating and I hope you do too.

This is the fourth and final installment of four sets of rare historical photos on Number 16.  

- Joanne


MORE RARE AND HISTORIC PHOTOS



Back when airlines served a full meal, in flight, 1958






Motorola remote control TV, 1962






President John F. Kennedy, moments before being assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963





"Earthrise" over the moon, taken by members of Apollo 8 crew in 1968





Niagara Falls without water, 1969





Opening ceremony at the Woodstock music festival, August 1969





The Jackson family, 1970





McDonald's menu in the early 1970s





Said to be the last known photo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, 1974






President Gerald R. Ford and PelĂ©, 1975






Opening day of Star Wars, 1977



DISCLAIMER - Please Note: If I have mistakenly posted a photo that is not in the public domain or have violated a copyright, please notify me and I will remove the photo immediately.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Amazing and rare historical photos #3

Here are some more rare, historical photos to entertain you as you isolate yourself at home during this horrific pandemic.  I hope they will provide a distraction for you so that you can get your mind off all the sad news.  I found these photos fascinating and I hope you do too.

This is the third of four sets of rare historical photos on Number 16.  I will be posting  the fourth and final installment of photos tomorrow.

- Joanne


MORE RARE HISTORICAL PHOTOS



Women demonstrating against Prohibition, 1932





The rarely seen back of the Hoover Dam before if filled with water 1936





Golden Gate Bridge construction, San Francisco, 1937





When the Hindenburg exploded, May 6, 1937






Children wearing gas masks while playing, 1941






Unwanted babies for sale in Italy, 1940a







Oranges for 1 cent, 1942





The famous Hollywood sign, which originally said "Hollywoodland."  The last four letters were removed in 1949.





Martin Luther King Jr, arrested outside a courtroom, 1958






Singer Freddie Mercury of Queen, 1958




DISCLAIMER - Please Note: If I have mistakenly posted a photo that is not in the public domain or have violated a copyright, please notify me and I will remove the photo immediately.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Amazing and rare historical photos #2

Here are some more rare, historical photos to entertain you as you isolate yourself at home during this horrific pandemic.  I hope they will provide a distraction for you so that you can get your mind off all the sad news.  I found these photos fascinating and I hope you do too.

This is the second of four sets of rare historical photos on Number 16.  I will be posting some more photos tomorrow.

- Joanne


MORE RARE HISTORICAL PHOTOS



The day after the Titanic disaster, London, April 16, 1915




Grand Canyon, 1914





William Harley and Arthur Davidson, 1914





Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, 1915





1922 Beach police - No swimsuit was allowed to be six inches (15.2 centimetres) above the knee





This is how people took selfies in 1920






The unbroken seal on Tutankhamun's (King Tut's) tomb, 1922





London bus, 1928





View from the top on the opening day of the Empire Stare Building, New York City, 1931





Al Capone's free soup kitchen, Chicago, 1931


DISCLAIMER - Please Note: If I have mistakenly posted a photo that is not in the public domain or have violated a copyright, please notify me and I will remove the photo immediately.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Amazing and rare historical photos #1

Here are some rare, historical photos to entertain you as you isolate yourself at home during this horrific pandemic.  I hope they will provide a distraction for you so that you can get your mind off all the sad news.  I found these photos fascinating and I hope you do too.

This is the first of four sets of rare historical photos on Number 16.  I will be posting some more photos tomorrow and in the coming days.

- Joanne


RARE HISTORICAL PHOTOS



Construction of Eiffel Tower 1880