What is the Sume­rian god­dess Inanna associated with?

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Your Daily Break - Les­lie El­man

You’ve heard the ex­pres­sion “all’s fair in love and war”? No one would know that bet­ter than Inanna, the Sume­rian god­dess of both love and war­fare. It’s un­usual for one de­ity to be associated with two such con­flict­ing “pas­sions.” Maybe her ca­pac­ity for mul­ti­task­ing is what made Inanna the most sig­nif­i­cant god­dess in Sume­rian mythol­ogy and the pa­tron god­dess of Uruk, Me­sopotamia’s largest city.

Trivia ques­tion: The name Me­sopotamia comes from the Greek for “be­tween two rivers;” which two rivers? A) Bha­gi­rathi and Alak­nanda

B) Blue Nile and White Nile

C) Chobe and Zam­bezi

D) Ti­gris and Euphrates

A hun­gry Asian fish­ing cat (Pri­on­ail­u­rus viver­ri­nus) taps the wa­ter’s sur­face with its paw to at­tract fish. When the fish pop up to in­ves­ti­gate the hub­bub, the cat dives in and grabs them. Fish­ing cats are nat­u­rally adapted to this un­cat­like hunt­ing be­hav­ior. Their feet are webbed, their heads com­pact and their tails short. But their most dis­tinc­tive adap­ta­tion is a dense, wa­ter-re- sis­tant un­der­layer of fur that pro­tects their skin when they hunt in the wa­ter. They’ll even swim un­der un­sus­pect­ing wa­ter­fowl and tug them down by the legs.

Sheila Young went to the 1976 Win­ter Olympics, and came home with three medals in speed skat­ing — gold in the 500 me­ters, sil­ver in the 1,500 me­ters and bronze in the 1,000 me­ters — mak­ing her the first Amer­i­can ath­lete to win three medals at one Win­ter Olympic Games. That same year, she won the world sprint cy­cling cham­pi­onships, mak­ing her the first ath­lete any­where to be world cham­pion in two sep­a­rate sports in the same year.

There are four Na­tional Lakeshores ad­min­is­tered by the Na­tional Park Ser­vice, all on the Great Lakes. The first and largest is Pic­tured Rocks Na­tional Lakeshore in Michi­gan, es­tab­lished Oct. 15, 1966 and now en­com­pass­ing more than 73,200 acres of land and wa­ter. The small­est, at about 15,350 acres, is In­di­ana Dunes Na­tional Seashore in In­di­ana, au­tho­rized on Nov. 5, 1966. Sleep­ing Bear Dunes Na­tional Lakeshore in Michi­gan and Apos­tle Is­lands Na­tional Lakeshore in Wis­con­sin were es­tab­lished in 1970.

The term “white lie,” mean­ing a harm­less fib, turns out to be older than we re­al­ized. Un­til re­cently, the ear­li­est doc­u­mented use of the term was in 1741, but some smart de­tec­tive work ear­lier this year by a team of vol­un­teer tran­scribers work­ing with the Fol­ger Shake­speare Li­brary in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and the Ox­ford English Dic­tio­nary in the U.K. found it in a let­ter dated April 10, 1567. The let­ter-writer used the ex­pres­sion to de­scribe his brother-in­law’s habit of not telling the truth, a habit as old as time.

Peo­ple as­sumed Billy Richards, who pro­vided the voice of Ru­dolph in the an­i­mated TV clas­sic “Ru­dolph the Red-nosed Rein­deer,” was a young boy. In fact, the “Billy Richards” in the cred­its was ac­tu­ally 40-some­thing Bil­lie Mae Richards, a Cana­dian voice ac­tress known for por­tray­ing chil­dren in ra­dio dra­mas of the 1940s and ‘50s.

Trivia an­swer: Me­sopotamia was lo­cated be­tween the Ti­gris and Euphrates rivers.

TRIVIA FANS: Les­lie El­man is the au­thor of “Weird But True: 200 As­tound­ing, Out­ra­geous and To­tally Off the Wall Facts.” Con­tact her at triv­i­abit­sleslie@gmail.com.

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