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Jul. 14th, 2007 | 02:05 am
posted by: captaincanada in fact_snacks

I know I never post to this thing, but here's something I was curious about today, and found out, and will now share. :D

[Q] "What is the meaning and origin of the phrase 'right as rain?' Is it an aesthetically pleasing but essentially meaningless alliteration, or is rain really correct in some way?”

[A] "Perhaps surprisingly, there have been expressions starting right as ... since medieval times, always in the sense of something being satisfactory, safe, secure or comfortable. An early example, quoted as a proverb as long ago as 1546, is right as a line. In that, right might have had a literal sense of straightness, something desirable in a line, but it also clearly has a figurative sense of being correct or acceptable. There’s an even older example, from the Romance of the Rose of 1400: “right as an adamant”, where an adamant was a lodestone or magnet.

Lots of others have followed in the centuries since. There’s right as a gun, which appeared in one of John Fletcher’s plays, Prophetess, in 1622. Right as my leg is also from the seventeenth century — it’s in Sir Thomas Urquhart’s translation of Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Rabelais, published in 1664: “Some were young, quaint, clever, neat, pretty, juicy, tight, brisk, buxom, proper, kind-hearted, and as right as my leg, to any man’s thinking”. There’s right as a trivet from the nineteenth century, a trivet being a stand for a pot or kettle placed over an open fire; this may be found in Charles Dickens’s Pickwick Papers of 1837: “ ‘I hope you are well, sir.’ ‘Right as a trivet, sir,’ replied Bob Sawyer.” About the same time, or a little later, people were saying that things were as right as ninepence, as right as a book, as right as nails, or as right as the bank.

Right as rain is a latecomer to this illustrious collection of curious similes. It may have first appeared at the very end of the nineteenth century, but the first example I can find is from Max Beerbohm’s book Yet Again of 1909: “He looked, as himself would undoubtedly have said, ‘fit as a fiddle,’ or ‘right as rain.’ His cheeks were rosy, his eyes sparkling”. Since then it has almost completely taken over from the others.

It makes no more sense than the variants it has usurped and is clearly just a play on words (though perhaps there’s a lurking idea that rain often comes straight down, in a right line, to use the old sense). But the alliteration was undoubtedly why it was created and has helped its survival. As right as ninepence has had a good run, too, but that has vanished even in Britain since we decimalised the coinage and since ninepence stopped being worth very much.


from World Wide Words

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Feb. 8th, 2006 | 01:19 pm
posted by: captaincanada in fact_snacks

The world's largest pigeon is the Victoria Crowned Pigeon. It is the size of a small turkey.




It's also wayy trendy.

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fact lunch!

Oct. 17th, 2005 | 03:08 am
posted by: captaincanada in fact_snacks

I feel guilty for taking some of this from a podcast, but I felt it was worth sharing, and hey, paraphrasing is fun. :)

October 15th marked the 100th anniversary of Claude Debussy's "La Mer" (The Sea), a piece that was said to have been the groundwork for the post-Romantic era of music (also called Impressionism), based largely in France. Originally a work that baffled contemporaries and audiences alike, Debussy's work suggested new ways of looking at tone and structure, and, like the ocean, shifts between chaos and tranquility almost arbitrarily. It seems to have no real structure; some critics of today still don't quite know what to make of it. [more on the piece if you're interested]

While Debussy's French contemporaries (notably Maurice Ravel) continued to explore the emotional and experimental themes of Impressionism, other -isms began to arise as well. While Stravinsky's primitivism still had some basis in tonality, serialism rejected tonality and the Classical-Romantic tradition completely, believing that those periods had produced all that they could. Eventually, this lead the way to the birth of modernism, the end of romanticism, and a lot of very silly movie soundtracks.

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useless movie trivia!

Sep. 3rd, 2005 | 11:04 pm
posted by: captaincanada in fact_snacks

Halfway through the shooting of a scene in Swingers where Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn have a conversation on the side of an interstate highway, policemen arrived on set to notify the crew that it was illegal to be shooting a movie on government-financed property. The director secretly continued to roll camera while he and some of his crew negotiated with the cops - stalling, moving equipment around, unplugging wires that didn't matter, etc. The scene finished before things got too heated, but if you watch the scene, just know that there were cop cars about 30 feet away on the opposite side of the road. :p

There is a famous scene in Citizen Kane where Kane (Orson Welles), following the divorce of his wife, tears apart an entire room full of valuables and antique furniture. This scene was done in one take and one take only, as the props were irreplaceable. Welles was in such a blind rage that all he remembers from the experience was having to wash off his bloody hands afterwards (he destroys a mirror at one point).

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was filmed on an ultra-low budget in Spain - so cheap, in fact, that Clint Eastwood was only given one outfit to wear for the entire movie (one hat, pair of chaps, one pair of jeans, one sheepskin vest, one Spanish blanket). Had he lost anything (hat especially), there would have been no way to find a duplicate to match up to it - for safety, Eastwood would take his entire wardrobe to his hotel room every night.

For the chest-waxing scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin, Steve Carrell actually went through with the real process in one take...and yes, the drops of blood on his shirt afterwards are real.

:

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Sep. 4th, 2005 | 12:43 am
posted by: allisino in fact_snacks

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

Thanks, o colorful bulletin board in the hallway.

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Three more reasons why Walken is my hero

Aug. 14th, 2005 | 06:14 pm
posted by: captaincanada in fact_snacks

- He's campaigning for the 2008 presidency.
- He and his brothers are accomplished tap dancers.
- He's acted in over a hundred films to date, averaging five a year.

(taken from here)

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Aug. 4th, 2005 | 02:42 am
posted by: allisino in fact_snacks

Napoleon Bonaparte was able to get by on a half-hour of sleep at a time, even on the battlefield.

(from this site)

I had read somewhere awhile back he required only an hour of sleep per day, either way he's got the envy of many a college student!

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Aug. 4th, 2005 | 03:24 am
posted by: captaincanada in fact_snacks

Welch's Fruit Snacks are not only made without preservatives, but have real fruit in them.

[this may or may not be true; I think I'll have to eat more of them to be completely sure.]

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