Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 28, 2013 is:
foison \FOY-zun\ noun
1 : archaic : rich harvest 2 : chiefly Scottish : physical energy or strength 3 : plural, obsolete : resources
"Earth's increase, foison plenty, / Barns and garners* never empty; / Vines with clust'ring bunches growing, / Plants with goodly burden bowing. " From Shakespeare's 1623 play The Tempest
"Thither the extremely large wains bring foison of the fields ." From James Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses
[*"Garner" can refer to a building or a bin in which grain is stored. It is entered in Merriam-Webster's Unabridged.]
Did you know?
The definition of "foison" is amply supplied with labels; they appear at each of the definition's three senses, and they all suggest that it's unlikely that you'll come across "foison" in your general reading. The word did appear, however, in some reading material that was probably familiar to some of the Mayflower's pilgrims: the late 16th century sermons of Henry Smith. One of those sermons included the following: "Such a foison hath your alms, that by the blessing of God it increases like the widow's meal ." "Foison" comes from Latin "fusion-, fusio," meaning "outpouring," which in turn comes from "fundere," meaning "to pour"the same source as that of the words "profuse" and "refund," among others.
After sailing through the dangerous straits below South America that now bear his name, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan enters the Pacific Ocean with three ships, becoming the first European explorer to reach the Pacific from the Atlantic.
On September 20, 1519, Magellan set sail from Spain in an effort to find a western sea route to the rich Spice Islands of Indonesia. In command of five ships and 270 men, Magellan sailed to West Africa and then to Brazil, where he searched the South American coast for a strait that would take him to the Pacific. He searched the Rio de la Plata, a large estuary south of Brazil, for a way through; failing, he continued south along the coast of Patagonia. At the end of March 1520, the expedition set up winter quarters at Port St. Julian. On Easter day at midnight, the Spanish captains mutinied against their Portuguese captain, but Magellan crushed the revolt, executing one of the captains and leaving another ashore when his ship left St. Julian in August.
On October 21, he finally discovered the strait he had been seeking. The Strait of Magellan, as it became known, is located near the tip of South America, separating Tierra del Fuego and the continental mainland. Only three ships entered the passage; one had been wrecked and another deserted. It took 38 days to navigate the treacherous strait, and when ocean was sighted at the other end Magellan wept with joy. His fleet accomplished the westward crossing of the ocean in 99 days, crossing waters so strangely calm that the ocean was named "Pacific," from the Latin word pacificus, meaning "tranquil." By the end, the men were out of food and chewed the leather parts of their gear to keep themselves alive. On March 6, 1521, the expedition landed at the island of Guam.
Ten days later, they dropped anchor at the Philippine island of Cebu—they were only about 400 miles from the Spice Islands. Magellan met with the chief of Cebu, who after converting to Christianity persuaded the Europeans to assist him in conquering a rival tribe on the neighboring island of Mactan. In fighting on April 27, Magellan was hit by a poisoned arrow and left to die by his retreating comrades.
After Magellan's death, the survivors, in two ships, sailed on to the Moluccas and loaded the hulls with spice. One ship attempted, unsuccessfully, to return across the Pacific. The other ship, the Vittoria, continued west under the command of Basque navigator Juan Sebastian de Elcano. The vessel sailed across the Indian Ocean, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and arrived at the Spanish port of Sanlucar de Barrameda on September 6, 1522, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the globe.
They are three errers in this puzzle. What are they?
Complete the grid such that every row, every column, and the nine 3x3 blocks contain the digits from 1 to 9.
[Copyright: Kevin Stone]
How far can you keep the ball inside the track?
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 27, 2013 is:
divers \DYE-verz\ adjective
: made up of an indefinite number greater than one : various
"He is descended from the issue of Dudleys who managed to escape Bloody Mary's ax as well as the divers other perils of Tudor England." From an article by Christopher Buckley in the Architectural Digest, April 1989
"The tale that unfolds touches on such divers themes as a world-wide terror conspiracy, bioweapons, automated submarine drones, a Vatican spy, and even the lost kingdom of Atlantis." From a book review by Gloria Feit in the Reviewer's Bookwatch, May 1, 2013
Did you know?
Did you think we had misspelled "diverse"? We didn't! "Divers" is a word in its own right, albeit a fairly formal and uncommon one. Both words come from Latin "diversus," meaning "turning in opposite directions," and until around 1700 they were pretty much interchangeableboth meant "various" and could be pronounced as either DYE-verz (like the plural of the noun "diver") or dye-VERSS. Both words still carry the "various" meaning, but these days "divers" (now DYE-verz) is more likely to emphasize multiplicity (as in "on divers occasions"), whereas "diverse" (now dye-VERSS) usually emphasizes uniqueness. "Diverse" typically means either "dissimilar" (as in "a variety of activities to appeal to the children's diverse interests") or "having distinct or unlike elements or qualities" ("a diverse student body").
On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II makes perhaps the most influential speech of the Middle Ages, giving rise to the Crusades by calling all Christians in Europe to war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land, with a cry of "Deus vult!" or "God wills it!"
Born Odo of Lagery in 1042, Urban was a protege of the great reformer Pope Gregory VII. Like Gregory, he made internal reform his main focus, railing against simony (the selling of church offices) and other clerical abuses prevalent during the Middle Ages. Urban showed himself to be an adept and powerful cleric, and when he was elected pope in 1088, he applied his statecraft to weakening support for his rivals, notably Clement III.
By the end of the 11th century, the Holy Land—the area now commonly referred to as the Middle East—had become a point of conflict for European Christians. Since the 6th century, Christians frequently made pilgrimages to the birthplace of their religion, but when the Seljuk Turks took control of Jerusalem, Christians were barred from the Holy City. When the Turks then threatened to invade the Byzantine Empire and take Constantinople, Byzantine Emperor Alexius I made a special appeal to Urban for help. This was not the first appeal of its kind, but it came at an important time for Urban. Wanting to reinforce the power of the papacy, Urban seized the opportunity to unite Christian Europe under him as he fought to take back the Holy Land from the Turks.
At the Council of Clermont, in France, at which several hundred clerics and noblemen gathered, Urban delivered a rousing speech summoning rich and poor alike to stop their in-fighting and embark on a righteous war to help their fellow Christians in the East and take back Jerusalem. Urban denigrated the Muslims, exaggerating stories of their anti-Christian acts, and promised absolution and remission of sins for all who died in the service of Christ.
Urban's war cry caught fire, mobilizing clerics to drum up support throughout Europe for the crusade against the Muslims. All told, between 60,000 and 100,000 people responded to Urban's call to march on Jerusalem. Not all who responded did so out of piety: European nobles were tempted by the prospect of increased land holdings and riches to be gained from the conquest. These nobles were responsible for the death of a great many innocents both on the way to and in the Holy Land, absorbing the riches and estates of those they conveniently deemed opponents to their cause. Adding to the death toll was the inexperience and lack of discipline of the Christian peasants against the trained, professional armies of the Muslims. As a result, the Christians were initially beaten back, and only through sheer force of numbers were they eventually able to triumph.
Urban died in 1099, two weeks after the fall of Jerusalem but before news of the Christian victory made it back to Europe. His was the first of seven major military campaigns fought over the next two centuries known as the Crusades, the bloody repercussions of which are still felt today. Urban was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 1881.