Thursday, October 20, 2016


Kir is the name of a popular French cocktail. It is very simple to make and has only two ingredients. To make it you need white wine and blackcurrant liqueur known as creme de cassis.

Here is the recipe:

Put two tablespoons of cassis in a wine glass. Add a 3/4 cup of dry white wine and stir.

Traditionally it is made with a white wine from the Burgundy regjon of France, but other wines are also used. If champagne is added instead of white wine, it's called a kir royal.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Similarity of Romanian and Spanish to Latin

Romanian and Spanish are both Romance languages. They are descended from Latin and show a number of similarities to Latin and to one another. Here is a list of ten words with the Latin, Romanian and Spanish equivalents:

chair sella silla scaun
cloud nubes nube nor
flower flos flor floare
fruit fructus fruta fruct
gold aurum oro aur
milk lactis leche lapte
sun solis sol soare
table mensa mesa masa
time tempus tiempo timp
tooth dente diente dinte

Most of the words on the list are very similar. The exceptions are the Romanian words scaun and nor. With the exception of the Spanish word oro, all the words begin with the same letter. A few Spanish and Romanian words are almost identical- they include mesa/masa (table), tiempo/timp (time), diente/dinte (tooth) and fruta/fruct (fruit).

The Spanish words for chair, cloud and sun show more similarity to Latin than do the Romanian words. The Romanian word for gold reflects greater similarity to Latin than does the Spanish word. With the remaining six words, both languages have words similar to Latin.

Romanian has word-final consonant clusters which do not occur in Spanish. These clusters occur in fruct and timp. Nine of the Spanish words end in a vowel, but only four of the Romanian words do.

The vocabulary list shows that Spanish and Romanian are descendants of Latin. The three languages share many similar words. In contrast to Spanish, Romanian permits word-final consonant clusters.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Apple Crisp

Apple crisp is delicious and easy to make. It's a great alternative to apple pie. Here's a simple recipe:

6 apples, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oats
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
Mix the apples with sugar and cinnamon and put into a baking dish.
Mix the sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Mash the butter into the mixture until it resembles crumbs.
Spread evenly over the apples in the dish.
Bake in the oven until golden brown for about 40 minutes.

The Mystery

Sarah Teasdale wrote The Mystery. Here is her poem:

The Mystery

Your eyes drink of me,
Love makes them shine,
Your eyes that lean
So close to mine.

We have long been lovers,
We know the range
Of each other's moods
And how they change;

But when we look
At each other so
Then we feel
How little we know;

The spirit eludes us,
Timid and free--
Can I ever know you
Or you know me?

The poem consists of four stanzas. Each stanza has four verses and the second and fourth verses of each stanza rhyme. The poem ends with a question: Can I ever know you or you know me?

The first stanza expresses the intimacy of the couple. This is revealed in their eyes that lean closely to one another. In the second stanza the reader learns that they have been together for a long time and know how their moods change. The third stanza explains that even though they know each other well, they feel they know little about each other. The fourth verse is connected to the title. Love can be a mystery. Even though the two have been together long, there is so much they don't know about one another.

Sarah Teasdale tells the reader that relationships are complex and develop over time. Regardless of how long couples have been together, they'll never know everything about one another. In this regard, relationships are like a mystery.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Victory in 18

In a game of chess my opponent resigned after 18 moves. He was apricotshandy of Australia. In this game I played white. Here are the moves of the game with my commentary:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 exd
4. Bc4 h6

I decide to develop rather than capture the pawn. Black's move fails to develop a piece.

5. 0-0 Bd7

Black should develop a piece on the kingside so that he can castle quickly.

6. e4 dxe

My aim is to open the centre of the board.

7. Nxe5 Be6
8. Bxe6 fxe6

The black king is exposed.

9. Qh5+ Ke7
10. Qf7+ Kd6
11. Bf4 Nc6
12. Ng6+ Kd5

I use a discovered check to win the black rook on h8.

13. Nxh8 Nf6
14. Ng6 Nh5
15. Bxc7 Qg5

I win a pawn.

16. Qf3+ Kc5
17. Nxf8 Nf6

I win a piece. Black wants to capture my knight.

18. Nxe6+

My knight check forks the king and queen, so black resigns.

I force an early resignation with my quick development and material advantage. Black makes a number of mistakes in the game. His most critical is probably Bd7. It fails to develop his kingside and keeps his king in the centre.


Frisian is a Germanic language closely related to English. Most Frisian speakers are located in the northern Netherlands. The language also has speakers in Germany and Denmark. Here are the Frisian numbers from one to ten:

1) ien
2) twa
3) trije
4) fjouwer
5) fiif
6) seis
7) sân
8) acht
9) njoggen
10) tsien

With the exceptions of one, eight and nine, all the numbers start with the same letter as in English. They are also similar to the numbers in Dutch. The Dutch numbers from one to ten are een, twee, drie, vier, vijf, zes, zeven, acht, negen, tien. Frisian is thus also closely related to Dutch.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

City Demonyms

Demonyms refer to the people of a place. English uses different suffixes for the residents of cities. Here are examples:

-ite Lisbonite, Vancouverite, Denverite, Seoulite, Tokyoite
-ian Parisian, Budapestian, Bangkokian, Madridian, Bostonian
-er Praguer, Berliner, Dubliner, New Yorker, Hamburger
-an Hanoian, Nairobian, Mumbaian, Chicagoan, Miamian

Here is a list of irregular city demonyms:

Warsaw-Varsovian Moscow-Muscovite Los Angeles-Los Angelino Liverpool-Liverpudlian
Manchester-Mancunian Florence-Fiorentine Venice-Venetian Naples-Neapolitan
Athens-Athenian Sydney-Sydneysider Glasgow-Glaswegian New Orleans-Orleanian
Cambridge-Cantabrigian Oxford-Oxonian Damascus-Damascene Aberdeen-Aberdonian
Oslo-Oslovian Cairo-Cairene New Castle-Novocastrian Halifax-Haligonian

English doesn't have a single suffix for city demonyms. However, the suffix -an occurs with cities that end with a vowel sound and -er, -ian and -ite with words that end with a consonant sound.  English also has a number of irregular city demonyms.