Dial “M” for the Mounties – My son and I have been augmenting our study of Canada by learning about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We are going back and forth between Richard L. Neuberger’s book of 1953, “Royal Canadian Mounted Police” and the current RCMP website. There have been so many HR-type changes since 1953 (personnel numbers, duties, salaries, women in service, etc.) but the Mounties still stand for “Upholding the Right”. We are fans.
– We cannot ignore the obvious: my son and I love the spiffy scarlet jacketed outfits of the RCMP. These certainly set the standard for completely awesome uniforms, claiming second only to the dashing apparel worn by Vatican Swiss Guards.
– Author Neuberger was an American who encountered, and was tremendously impressed by, the RCMP while working on the Alaska Highway with the US Army Engineers in the 1940s. Speaking of the Alaska Highway – what a monumental feat! We had to break away from reading about the Mounties to read about the construction and trace the route of this 1,700 mile highway.
Two Entries from the Coincidences Files –
1) We purchased “Olivia Bean – Trivia Queen”, a teen novel by Donna Gephart, because we are always looking for fiction that emphasizes brain power vs. “coming of age” themes. We purchased “Maphead”, a geography biography by Ken Jennings, to further our knowledge of longitude and latitude. We were surprised to discover a common bond: JEOPARDY! While Olivia dreams of being part of Kids Week on Jeopardy (and even mentions her hero: Ken Jennings!), “Maphead” author Ken Jennings has the distinction of being the Jeopardy contestant with the longest winning streak! (74 games, total earnings over $3,000,000!)
BTW, we are enjoying both books, but how in the world did we end up reading “Olivia Bean” and “Maphead” at the same time? Serendipity (vocab)! We toasted the coincidence (vocab) by listening to the Jeopardy theme song:
2) What could the great big Northwest Territories (519,000 square miles) in Canada have in common with the teeny city of Idaho Falls, Idaho (22 square miles) (where our family lived from 1995 through 1999)? Both have the same population (around 41,000 people)! Gee, we thought Idaho Falls was pretty spacious; we really cannot imagine the elbow room (vocab) of 519,000 square miles. After we considered this coincidence we calculated the percentage of area that Idaho Falls would take up in the Northwest Territories. Guess?
A. .004% B. 1% C. 10% D. 40% (answer at bottom of post)
Dial “M” for Music at Le Fictitious Local Diner – Friday nights at the diner are now live music nights! Four local bands have signed up to perform: Farmer Brown’s “Amazing Fiddle Assembly”, “The Loco Ladies’ Flute and Lute Society”, the junior high’s “Fusion of Confusion”, and the local doctors’ jazz band, “Musical Emergency”.
– The diner is pleading with other talented musicians to sign up, but if no other groups join in, and these four take turns performing, how many times will each band get to perform over the course of a year?
A. 4 times B. 12 times C. 13 times D. 52 times
– Each band is to receive $50 per night for playing; how much will the diner spend during the course of a year on live music?
A. $50 B. $1,000 C. $1,300 D. $2,600
– If the diner realizes that live music is driving customers away, and they stop the program after six weeks, how much will they have spent for music?
A. $150 B. $300 C. $450 D. $600 (answers at bottom of post)
Dial “M” for Minuet –
Oh my gosh! Isn’t this Len from “Dancing with the Stars”, in full minuet regalia???
What a happy coincidence that Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Paderewski each composed a short melody entitled, “Minuet in G”! We reviewed the concept of a minuet: a slow, stately dance in waltz rhythm; the rage of 17th and 18th century France. We hadn’t listened to these for years, and we like them all:
Mozart, “Minuet in G”, mid 1700’s – one of Mozart’s first published works, written when he was about six years old! Whoa:
Bach, “Minuet in G”, 1725 – Well, wouldn’t you just know it. Even though we would like to think that Bach composed this piece, scholars give credit to one Christian Petzold. Christian!!!! Where ever you are, you done good – this is a piece my son and I have listened to several times – we love it! Note about the video: kudos to the very patient conductor who was charged with leading what looks like thousands of sullen teenagers:
Beethoven, “Minuet in G”, 1796 – Originally written for orchestra, the score was lost, but the piano version remains. This is the piece that was used by Professor Harold Hill (of “The Music Man”) for his “think system”:
Paderewski, “Minuet in G”, 1887 – My, my, Paderewski had his finger in many pies – in addition to being an accomplished musician, he was active in Polish politics, even serving as the second prime minster to the Republic of Poland (his term seems a bit short – he served from January 1919 to November 1919). We are loving this film clip: Paderewski playing himself, playing his Minuet in G, in the (not classic) movie, “Moonlight Sonata” (1937):
Welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH
Math problem answers:
(Idaho Falls: A. .004% the size of Canada’s Northwest Territories)
(Diner math: opportunities – C. 13; live music cost – D. $2,600; music for 6 weeks – B. $300)