First, I want to thank everyone who wished me a happy birthday last week. I appreciate all the kind comments. Some people asked if I was “really” 29. The answer is yes. I am 29 mentally, but 46 physically. Actually, some people say I am nine mentally, but that is another story (that’s a different question or issue)!
Today’s post is called potpourri, which means a mixture of different things, sometimes used in talking about music or literature, but more generally about a set of topics that are not necessarily related to each other. This post is a potpourri, since the paragraphs do not related to one another very well – it’s a mix of ideas. I confess that it has been a really busy week for me, so I’m going to talk about some recent headlines in the news for today’s post, mostly for some of the difficult vocabulary that sometimes appears in newspaper headlines (story titles). All of these are from today’s New York Times online edition. Here goes (here we go, now we will begin):
Bernanke refers to Ben Bernanke, who is head (leader) of the Federal Reserve, sort of like our national bank (or at least, it has become one in recent months). To nod means to acknowledge someone else’s idea by agreeing to do it, even though you didn’t like the idea initially (at the beginning). Often the verb is used to show that the person is trying to make his critics happy by doing something they suggest. Bernanke is “nodding” to his critics by taking up one of their suggestions: That there be a board of regulators (government officials who make sure companies are following the law) for the control of US banks and financial institutions.
Fossils are the remains of some animal or human body part that are found in rock, usually hundreds of thousands of years old. A skeleton refers to the bones of a human or animal. To predate means to come before. Lucy is not our own Dr. Lucy Tse; it refers to a famous skeleton found many years ago named Lucy. The story is that scientists have dated (determined the age of)* a skeleton that is 4.4 million years old, older than the skeleton named Lucy, which is “only” 3.2 million years old. This new skeleton is being called Ardi (which is short for the technical name, Ardipithecus ramidus). It is considered the oldest skeleton from the human “branch” or part of the primate family (which includes apes, monkeys, and my neighbor).
To curl up means to sit with your legs up against you for warmth or comfort, sort of like a ball. There is an expression “to curl up into a ball” for this reason. To curl up with a book means to sit down to read a book in a comfortable chair. A hybrid is a mixture of two different things. We now have hybrid cars that use both electricity and gasoline for power, for example. Here is what this headline is all about: With the changes in technology (iPhones, Kindles, e-book readers), some publishers are now starting to include videos with the books they are releasing in electronic format (such as for the iPhone). “Readers” will read the text and can also watch videos in some chapters of the book that are related to the story. These “vooks” (video + book) are still very new, but many think that these multimedia (more than one media, such as sound, text, video) “vooks” will become more and more popular.
This post does not include any videos, sorry.
* = To date can also mean to go somewhere romantic with your girl/boyfriend or spouse. Scientists did not actually go to dinner with the skeleton, however, since it appeared to be rather hungry and they didn’t want to pay for a big meal (scientists can be rather cheap (unwilling to spend money), I guess).