Random Intelligence II

  1. The term “dramedy” first came into use in the mid-1980s to describe a new wave of similarly genre-blurring series such as Moonlighting, The Wonder Years, and Hooperman. It appears in an early Usenet post [1] in January 1990.
  2. The first television show to incorporate a laugh track was The Hank McCune Show in 1950.
  3. Canada is governed as a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, Canada is a federation of ten provinces with three territories. Initially constituted in 1867, the country’s constitution was patriated in 1982 from the United Kingdom.Canada’s Prime Minister, currently Paul Martin, recently lost a vote of non-confidence in the Canadian House of Commons, which required the dissolution of Parliament. A federal election has been called for January 23, 2006.
    As of December 2005, its official population estimate is approximately 32.4 million [1].
  4. The name Viking is a borrowed word from the native Scandinavian term for the Norse warriors who raided the coasts of Scandinavia, the British Isles, and other parts of Europe from the late 8th century to the 11th century. Vikings traveled to the west and Varangians, who were best known as the Varangian Guards of the Byzantine emperors, to the east. This period of European history (generally dated to 793 – 1066 AD) is often referred to as the Viking Age.The word “Viking” was introduced to the English language with romantic connotations in the 18th century. Today, somewhat controversially, the word is also used as a generic adjective, referring to the Viking Age Scandinavians. The medieval Scandinavian population, in general, is more properly referred to as Norse.
  5. The Blòt was the pagan Germanic sacrifice to Norse gods and Elves. The word is related to the English word bless and they are derived from blood, an important component in the rites.The verb blòta meant to “strengthen” and the intention was to strengthen the powers (gods and Elves). The most powerful means was the sacrificed object or being. It was usually animals and in particular pigs and horses. The meat was boiled in large cooking pits with heated stones, either indoors or outdoors. The blood was considered to contain special powers and it was sprinkled on the statues of the gods, on the walls and on the participants themselves.
    When they were drunk, the participants believed they felt the power of the gods (see sumble).
  6. Symbel (from Proto-Germanic *sumlan “banquet”, continuing *sm-lo-, i.e. “congregation”, see copulative a) was an important Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian Blòt ritual drinking feast in which mystical revelation was achieved through drinking alcohol, usually mead.
  7. Icelandic (íslenska) is a North Germanic language spoken in Iceland.Written Icelandic has changed relatively little since the 13th century. As a result of this, and of the similarity between the modern and ancient grammar, modern speakers can still understand, more or less, the original sagas and Eddas that were written some eight hundred years ago. This ability is sometimes mildly overstated by Icelanders.The Icelandic alphabet is notable for its retention of two old letters which no longer exist in the English alphabet: Þ (thorn) and Ð (eth or edh), representing the voiceless and voiced “th” sounds as in English thin and this respectively.

    The preservation of the Icelandic language is taken seriously by the Icelanders –rather than borrow foreign words for new concepts, new Icelandic words are diligently forged for public use.

    Icelandic does not have any dialect differences that can cause misunderstanding.

  8. The letter Þ (minuscule : Þ), which is also known as thorn or Þorn is a letter in the Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic alphabets. It was also used in medieval Scandinavia, but was later replaced with th. The letter is called “thorn” in Anglo-Saxon and thurs (giant) in Scandinavia.  It has the sound of either a voiceless interdental fricative, like ‘th’ as in the English word “thick”, or a voiced dental fricative, like ‘th’ as in the English word “the.”The letter was used in writing Middle English before the invention of the printing press. William Caxton, the first printer in England, brought with him type made in Continental Europe, which lacked thorn, yogh, and eth. He substituted the letter Y in place of thorn. This was not an arbitrary choice on his part: in some manuscripts of the earlier 1400s the letters Y and thorn were identical. In fact Y in place of thorn is still seen on gravestones and in the stock prefix “Ye olde…”

    The definite article spelled with Y for thorn is often jocularly or mistakenly pronounced “yee” or mistaken for the archaic nominative case of you, written ye.

    Þ is the only Latin alphabet equivalent to the Greek letter Theta (?,?).

  9. Some credit the printing press with giving Europe the technological and communication edge over Eastern countries in the end, one of the major questions in world history.
    Because of the printing press, authorship became more meaningful. It was suddenly important who had said or written what, and what the precise formulation and time of composition was. This allowed the exact citing of references, producing the rule, “One Author, one work (title), one piece of information” (Giesecke, 1989; 325). Before, the author was less important, since a copy of Aristotle made in Paris might not be identical to one made in Bologna. For many works prior to the printing press, the name of the author was entirely lost.
  10. A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with precious metals, usually to make jewelry. Goldsmiths must be skilled in forming metal, through filing, soldering, forging, casting and polishing metal.At one time, the name was synonymous with banker, since they dealt in gold and had sufficient security for safe storage of valuable items.

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