Sunday, October 9, 2011


Hi guys, I’m sorry for not posting sooner! Last weekendwhen I should have been postingI was having the best time. I learned how to waltz, polka, and rumba. I also learned several different English Country Dances. I didn’t realize how many different ones there are! Mind you, my knowledge of the aforementioned dances is still very basic.  
     Some of our readers had rather random rhetorical questions, (boy that’s a tongue twister!) so I thought I’d answer a few today.

     Q. When was the first paper air plane made?
A. Folded paper gliders, or paper airplanes, are thought to have originated in China and Japan. Paper was being manufactured on a large scale in China in 500 BC and origami became very popular within a century of that, around 460 to 390 BC.

     Q. What is the definition of a Sonata?
A. A composition for one for more solo instruments, one of which is usually a keyboard instrument, usually consisting of three of four independent movements varying in key, mood or tempo.
     Q. What are Coptic Christians and how did they start?
A. Copts are native Egyptian Christians; they claim that Saint Mark came to Alexandria during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius, around 42 AD and introduced Christianity to Egypt. Copts were the majority religion in Egypt during the 4th -6th centuries AD until the Muslim conquest but still make up about 10-20% of Egypt’s population and in fact are the largest minority religion in the entire Middle East. They founded the Catechetical School of Alexandria around 190AD; one of the teachers, Origen, is considered the father of theology. The question-and-answer method of commentary began there, and also had a wood carving technique by which blind scholars could read and write, 15 centuries before Braille.
     Q. What does “the proof is in the pudding” mean and where did it come from?
A.  To fully test something you need to experience it yourself. 'The proof of the pudding' is just shorthand for 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating'. That longer version makes sense at least, whereas the shortened version really doesn't mean anything - nor does the often-quoted incorrect variation 'the proof is in the pudding'. The continued use of that meaningless version is no doubt bolstered by the fact that the correct version isn't at all easy to understand.
The meaning becomes clear when you know that 'proof' here is a verb meaning 'test'. The earliest printed example of the proverb that I can find is in William Camden's Remaines of a Greater Worke Concerning Britaine, 1605:"All the proof of a pudding is in the eating."
It is worth remembering that, as the phrase is quite old, the pudding wouldn't have been a sticky toffee pudding from the sweet trolley, but a potentially fatal savory dish. In Camden's listing of proverbs he also includes "If you eat a pudding at home, the dog may have the skin", which suggests that the pudding he had in mind was some form of sausage. The Oxford English Dictionary describes the mediaeval pudding as 'the stomach or one of the entrails of a pig, sheep, or other animal, stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, suet, oatmeal, seasoning, etc., and boiled'. Not quite sure what we would now eat for dessert!
     Q. What did Eve use as diapers for her children?

     As you can see, the ‘Answer’ is blank. Wonder why that is?

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