Hop Up Your Word Horsepower


A new year, a new chance to know your nouns, verify your verbs, and perfect your prepositions. Take the quiz to test your grip on the language. Need we explain how a multiple choice quiz works? One word, one answer. Go.

adamantine (ă də măn′ tēn)

  1. unbreakable
  2. stubbornly stupid and proud of it
  3. adolescent from Adaman
  4. teeny-weeny, especially applied to a person; Lilliputian

homologate (hō mäl′-ə gāt)

  1. scandal involving diluted milk
  2. to approve; confirm or ratify
  3. to process extracted seed oils into margarine
  4. metaphorical door that separates the men from the boys

morass (môr-ăs′)

  1. wild Scottish donkey
  2. third buttock
  3. complicated or confused situation
  4. to repeatedly abuse with a slap to the face or a two-fingered poke in the eyes

omphaloskepsis (ŏm fŭ-lō skĕp′-sĭs)

  1. disbelief in little green chocolatiers
  2. contemplation of one’s navel in meditation
  3. male crotch rot
  4. transverse crest on a hoplite helmet

tactile (tăk′ tīl)

  1. self-stick flooring
  2. shaped like a tiny nail
  3. in a discreet manner
  4. perceptible by touch

Mouseover for answers

adamantine: unbreakable
homologate: to approve; confirm or ratify
morass: complicated or confused situation
omphaloskepsis: contemplation of one’s navel in meditation
tactile: perceptible by touch

Five correct – word stalion
Four correct – word thoroughbred
Three correct – word workhorse
Two correct – word mule
One correct – word nag
Zero correct – off to the glue factory

Got all five? Consider your word horsepower homologated.

Filed 1/17/18

Avian Arsonists Down Under


Some time back we reported how Australia has some of the most poisonous critters around. Mostly reptiles and spiders. Well, it seems they also have bird firebugs. Raptors that help spread brush fires. Australia, the land of great big hopping marsupials, killer arachnids, deadly snakes in the grass, and plumed pyromaniacs. Makes you wonder what Mother Nature is up to down there. From Australia’s National Post:

Raptors on at least four continents have been observed for decades on the edge of big flames, waiting out scurrying rodents and reptiles or picking through their barbecued remains.

What’s new, at least in the academic literature, is the idea that birds might be intentionally spreading fires themselves. If true, the finding suggests that birds, like humans, have learned to use fire as a tool and as a weapon.

Read it all: Australian birds have weaponized fire…

Filed 1/15/18

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