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Interesting how cliches morph into phrases totally disconnected with the original. Tonight I heard ‘Beats into a cocktail’. The speaker didn’t mean egg flip, just that A was hugely better than B.
But that’s how language changes and all power to it.
I got this message in my Celestial Mailbox
For maintenance reasons, the Milky Way will be unavailable for up to 10,000 Earth years from next Tuesday.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
The Galactic Team
It’s hot now and we complain.
But soon the snow will blow.
At the first flake, we’ll shiver and shake.
Wishing summer back again.
Problem 1358 at gogeometry  asked for a proof that in a regular 12-sided polygon the four diagonal shown all meet at a point. This is quite surprising; it\'s not hard to find threee diagonals the meet at a single point but four is rarer.
After playing arouind for a while I found a proof which was reasonably neat, but I had to use sines and cosines at one point, and I'd hoped for something simpler; and there was nothing very illuminating about my proof in any case. Stan Fulger came up with something much more insightful. Here is his beautiful answer.
It uses two well-known facts about triangles.
The altitudes of a triangle, i.e. the lines drawn from each vertex at 90° to the opposite side, meet at a point.
The angle bisectors of a triangle, i.e. the lines which divide each angle in half, meet at a point.
Now for a "look and see" proof.
In the picture below three diagonals are angle bisectors in the blue triangle, so they meet at a point. Also three diagonals are altitudes of the orange triangle and therefore meet at a point. Two of the diagonals are both a bisector in one triangle and an altitude in the other. Therefore all four diagonals meet at a point.
I drew the figures above using GeoGebra classic.
You can marshal an argument, or you might be a marshal in a sporting event, or you might be a Field Marshal, and there are many other usages but they generally are to do with organising or leading some activity.
Where does the word descend from? Well rather amazingly it originally meant someone who looked after horses. It's from early Germanic *markhaz "horse" + *skalkaz "servant". The asterisks indicate that these words are not actually attested - we don' thave them written down anywhere, so the exact words are a guess. But the first element is like "mare" and a word "scealc" appears in Old English.
The word came to us from Norman French and the French for a farrier (a smith who shoes horses) is still "maréchal-ferrant".
To conclud, here is a rather nice quote from an early printed book, courtesey of the OED.
1474 W. Caxton tr. Game & Playe of Chesse
iii. ii. 85
All maner of werkemen, as goldsmithes, marchallis, smithes of all forges.
Thanks also to RobWords for his excellent YouTube video on military titles.
I bought some drops for removing earwax. They contain Urea Hydrogen Peroxide...
So you are literally putting urea in your ear.
Trivial yet extraordinary subject of theory (10)
In my garden I’ve got quite a few climbing plants.
Cultivated: Roses, Runner Beans, Sweet Potato, Nicotiana
Wild: Bindweed, Ivy, White Bryony, Blackberry
I’ve always marvelled at climbers and there’s a famous Flanders and Swann song containing the lines
The fragrant honeysuckle spirals clockwise to the sun,
And many other creepers do the same.
But some climb anti-clockwise, the bindweed does, for one,
Or Convolvulus, to give her proper name.…
So today I was thinking about climbers and a bit of research came up with this wonderful summary. See what you think.
How do you persuade a profiterole to go away? Say choux.
Most people are just ordinary crastinators but I’m a pro.
Mind you, it’s taken 10,000 hours of putting things off to get where I am.
lachsschinken: A kind of cured, salted, smoked ham originally from Bavaria. The name derives from the German lachs + schinken = ‘salmon ham’, from the bright pink colour of the meat. I found the word from today’s Word watch in The Times and what impressed me was the consonant cluster ‘chssch’ in the middle.
If I say the best thing to do about Eeyore is ignore him, then I haven’t ignored him, have I?
I went into a marquee and hung about a bit. A bloke came up and asked me what I was doing. I said loitering within tent.
My friend Michèle videoed these cygnets playing. I didn't know they did this but as you see they are very lively and quite chaming. This is a YouTube video and if you click on it you can make it full screen in the usual way.
What do you call mouse with a poisonous bite?
A photo shared by a friend.
This beautiful flower is a sweet potato. I did not realise that the plant is a vine, related to bindweed and morning glories. Like morning glories each flower lasts only a day.
When I talk with fellow gardeners the word 'perennial' comes up over and over again.
Why is vermi a lot of money?
Cos it’s half vermillion.
This elegant little bird, that visited our garden today, is a young moorhen. It was unafraid of us and came really close to take food we put down. We're hoping it will return tomorrow.
Following my earlier post about CHECKBOOK, I wrote a Python program to find dictionary words with the property they have symmetry about a horizontal mirror line; if you invert them, they remains the same. I used the UK Advanced Cryptics Dictionary, by Ross Beresford (240732 words) as my word source.
Here is the full list of then 352 results. As you might expect some of the words are a wee bit obscure.
['B', 'BE', 'BECK', 'BECKED', 'BED', 'BEDDED', 'BEDE', 'BEDECK', 'BEDECKED', 'BEDIDE', 'BEE', 'BEEB', 'BEECH', 'BI', 'BIB', 'BIBBED', 'BIBCOCK', 'BICE', 'BICKIE', 'BID', 'BIDE', 'BIDED', 'BIKE', 'BIKED', 'BIKIE', 'BIO', 'BIOCIDE', 'BO', 'BOB', 'BOBBED', 'BOBBIE', 'BOCCE', 'BOCHE', 'BOCK', 'BOCKED', 'BOD', 'BODE', 'BODED', 'BODICE', 'BODIED', 'BOH', 'BOK', 'BOKE', 'BOKED', 'BOKO', 'BOO', 'BOOB', 'BOOBED', 'BOOBOO', 'BOOBOOK', 'BOODIE', 'BOODIED', 'BOOED', 'BOOH', 'BOOHED', 'BOOHOO', 'BOOHOOED', 'BOOK', 'BOOKED', 'BOOKIE', 'BOX', 'BOXED', 'C', 'CEDE', 'CEDED', 'CEDI', 'CEE', 'CH', 'CHE', 'CHECK', 'CHECKBOOK', 'CHECKED', 'CHEEK', 'CHEEKED', 'CHI', 'CHIC', 'CHICH', 'CHICHI', 'CHICK', 'CHICO', 'CHID', 'CHIDE', 'CHIDED', 'CHIK', 'CHOC', 'CHOCHO', 'CHOCK', 'CHOCKED', 'CHOCKO', 'CHOCO', 'CHOICE', 'CHOKE', 'CHOKED', 'CHOKO', 'CHOOK', 'CHOOKIE', 'CID', 'COB', 'COBB', 'COBBED', 'COCCI', 'COCCID', 'COCCO', 'COCCOID', 'COCK', 'COCKED', 'COCO', 'COD', 'CODDED', 'CODE', 'CODEBOOK', 'CODED', 'CODEX', 'COED', 'COHO', 'COHOE', 'COKE', 'COKED', 'COO', 'COOED', 'COOEE', 'COOEED', 'COOK', 'COOKED', 'COOKIE', 'COX', 'COXED', 'D', 'DEB', 'DEBBIE', 'DECCIE', 'DECIDE', 'DECIDED', 'DECK', 'DECKED', 'DECKO', 'DECKOED', 'DECO', 'DECODE', 'DECODED', 'DECOKE', 'DECOKED', 'DEE', 'DEED', 'DEEDED', 'DEEK', 'DEICIDE', 'DEID', 'DEKKO', 'DEKKOED', 'DEO', 'DHOBI', 'DI', 'DIB', 'DIBBED', 'DICE', 'DICED', 'DICH', 'DICK', 'DICKIE', 'DID', 'DIDICOI', 'DIDO', 'DIE', 'DIEB', 'DIED', 'DIKE', 'DIKED', 'DIODE', 'DIOXIDE', 'DIXI', 'DIXIE', 'DO', 'DOB', 'DOBBED', 'DOBBIE', 'DOBCHICK', 'DOC', 'DOCK', 'DOCKED', 'DOD', 'DODDED', 'DODO', 'DOE', 'DOEK', 'DOH', 'DOO', 'DOOB', 'DOOK', 'DOOKED', 'E', 'EBB', 'EBBED', 'ECCE', 'ECCO', 'ECHE', 'ECHO', 'ECHOED', 'ECHOIC', 'ECO', 'ECOCIDE', 'ECOD', 'ED', 'EDDIC', 'EDDIE', 'EDDIED', 'EDDO', 'EDH', 'EE', 'EEK', 'EH', 'EHED', 'EKE', 'EKED', 'EO', 'EX', 'EXCEED', 'EXCEEDED', 'EXCIDE', 'EXCIDED', 'EXE', 'EXODE', 'EXODIC', 'H', 'HE', 'HEBE', 'HECH', 'HECK', 'HEED', 'HEEDED', 'HEID', 'HEIDE', 'HEX', 'HEXED', 'HI', 'HIC', 'HICK', 'HICKOK', 'HID', 'HIDE', 'HIDED', 'HIE', 'HIED', 'HIKE', 'HIKED', 'HO', 'HOB', 'HOBO', 'HOBOED', 'HOC', 'HOCK', 'HOCKED', 'HOD', 'HOE', 'HOED', 'HOH', 'HOI', 'HOICK', 'HOICKED', 'HOIK', 'HOIKED', 'HOKE', 'HOKED', 'HOKI', 'HOO', 'HOOCH', 'HOOD', 'HOODED', 'HOODIE', 'HOODOO', 'HOODOOED', 'HOOK', 'HOOKE', 'HOOKED', 'HOX', 'I', 'IBEX', 'IBO', 'ICE', 'ICEBOX', 'ICED', 'ICH', 'ID', 'IDE', 'IDO', 'IKE', 'IO', 'IODIC', 'IODIDE', 'K', 'KEBBIE', 'KEBBOCK', 'KEBOB', 'KECK', 'KECKED', 'KED', 'KEECH', 'KEEK', 'KEEKED', 'KEX', 'KHOIKHOI', 'KIBE', 'KICK', 'KICKED', 'KID', 'KIDD', 'KIDDED', 'KIDDIE', 'KIDDIED', 'KIDDO', 'KIKE', 'KIKOI', 'KO', 'KOB', 'KOBE', 'KOI', 'KOODOO', 'KOOK', 'KOOKED', 'KOOKIE', 'O', 'OB', 'OBECHE', 'OBI', 'OBIED', 'OBO', 'OBOE', 'OCH', 'OCHE', 'OD', 'ODD', 'ODE', 'ODIC', 'OE', 'OH', 'OHIO', 'OHO', 'OI', 'OIK', 'OK', 'OKE', 'OKED', 'OO', 'OOH', 'OOHED', 'O', 'OX', 'OXHIDE', 'OXIDE', 'X', 'XEBEC', 'XI']
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