Archive for July, 2009

Thursday Morning Riddle

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

I’m the selling of drugs, or the cars in the yard;
I am callous advice spent with little regard;
To distribute the deck, throwing card after card;
Or a price that’s agreed on by bargaining hard.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Asher. See comments for answer.

Conundrum: The Big Picture

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

This is a new 3D Pic Tac Toe puzzle. If you are unfamiliar with the format, you can check out my last 3D Pic Tac Toe for guidelines.

In this particular 3D Pic Tac Toe, each of the forty-nine themes will be a movie. Each of the three images in that theme will picture at least one actor who was in that movie.

In Image B1, you will use the actors who voiced the animated characters shown, but none of the forty-nine movies in the solution is animated, a documentary, or Robert Altman’s The Player. A few of the movies have not yet been released.

You can click on each image to see a larger version:

Top Level – Level A

Middle Level – Level B

Bottom Level – Level C

Please post whatever you come up with in the comments section.


UPDATE: Correct themes provided by Neel Mehta (36), Evan (10), Ken (1), and Rodney G (2). Alternate theme suggested by Evan. See comments for discussion, or click here to skip right to the answers.

Question of the Week

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Apple has chosen, as App Store Pick of the Week, an app called Shakespeare that was put together by and Readdle. It’s a great app. I have it on my iPhone, and it’s really useful for looking up a reference or browsing through the plays. It doesn’t do anything fancy; it’s just an easy way to navigate the text of the Complete Works.

When it got the Apple nod, I returned to the store to read the description of the app, which I was surprised to find now includes a warning that it may not be suitable for children under 12:

Rated 12+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or Reference
Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity
Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
Frequent/Intense Realistic Violence
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence

Parents, you’ve been warned.

I put the question to my readers: What might we be afraid our younger children will do after reading Shakespeare on their iPhones?

Poison their sisters? Usurp the crown? Dress like a boy and flee into the forest?

Let me know what you think.

Thursday Morning Riddle

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

I lay out the path for a trained engineer;
When I’m third, politicians all know to stay clear;
I’m a family of birds from the wetlands or near;
And a long bitter rant shared with all who can hear.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Asher. See comments for answer.

Thursday Morning Riddle

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

I am sidekick to Spenser; and Foghorn’s small foe;
I am selling a product; I lead G.I. Joe;
When debating a war, I am generally pro;
I am Ethan in movies, and Tony to go.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Asher. See comments for answer.

Thursday Morning Riddle

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

I’m a hip kind of music; or old kind of dance;
I’m a plant used in beer, for the taste I enhance;
I’m to jump while maintaining a one-legged stance;
Or with bars in succession, to quickly advance.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Asher. See comments for answer.

Shakespeare Anagram: Richard II

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

From Richard II:

Ay, no; no, ay; for I must nothing be;
Therefore no no, for I resign to thee.
Now mark me how I will undo myself:
I give this heavy weight from off my head,
And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand,
The pride of kingly sway from out my heart;
With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
With mine own hands I give away my crown,
With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
With mine own breath release all duteous rites:
All pomp and majesty I do forswear;
My manors, rents, revenues, I forego;
My acts, decrees, and statutes I deny:
God pardon all oaths that are broke to me!
God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee!
Make me, that nothing have, with nothing griev’d,
And thou with all pleas’d, that hast all achiev’d!

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

Sarah Palin idly leaving as Governor of newly-widowed green Alaska for no apparent reason makes little sense. If she runs for President, it won’t win votes, and this tough woman has more ambition than that.

What was the real reason? To save face over impending ethics idiocy? Did an enemy’s muddy-eyed blackmail jimmy her out? Do the kids want their mommy more? Or was she moved over the Letterman thing more than it seemed? Why would a “my way or the highway” leader modify to go for the highway?

My augury: maybe we will find her the host of a hip new talk show on that right-wing cable news network. Running a state must be a dull toy compared to the fame and fortune of television.

Thursday Morning Riddle

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

I indent on the keyboard a five-spaces span;
In a bar or a club, I’m the bill that you ran;
I am notes for guitarists, a fingering plan;
And a cult diet soda; I’ll open the can.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Asher. See comments for answer.

Folger Conference

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

I’ve been finishing up some end-of-the-year work, which is why posting has been light. But I did want to give an update on the Elementary Education Conference at the Folger last week.

The conference was two days, and was aimed at exploring ways to teach Shakespeare in the elementary school classroom. I had a great time attending the other presentations, and took away a lot of great activities to use with my students.

For my own presentation, I did this activity, and showed this project, both of which were very well received. The latter was done with 8th grade students, but it gave me a chance to talk a little bit about the cognitive differences between students in elementary school and students in junior high school. This was mostly taken from my dissertation, which was specifically on teaching Shakespeare in the elementary school.

Perhaps that’s why what struck me the most seemed to be the novelty of it all. When I worked for the Folger’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute, all of the participants were experienced teachers of Shakespeare. In fact, we hand-picked teachers who would be most likely to be able to implement what we were teaching them. But for this conference, about half of the elementary school teachers had never taught Shakespeare before, and were attending because they were intrigued by the idea. Plus, there were a number of junior high school teachers in attendance as well, looking for adaptive activities they could use to make Shakespeare more accessible to their students.

Elementary school is the best time to introduce Shakespeare to children (unless they happen have a dad like Duane who does it earlier) because they’re too young to be afraid of it. Once they get past the strangeness of the language and develop an appreciation for real human emotion and masterful storytelling of the plays, they have the whole rest of their lives to learn everything else.

Clearly, we still have a lot of work to do to get the word out!