The Park Logbook
Welcome to our section of site news, announcements and background stories.
The items here are cross-posted from our main blog, Half Notes, which is at AhaCentral.com. This page does not support comments, so please go there if you wish to comment on a post. The title of each post here is a link to the same article on AhaCentral. Please check back periodically either here or there to see what’s new with us.
July 30, 2019
Like nearly all things to do with the sport of cricket, the Ashes, a long-standing rivalry between the national teams of England and Australia, has a story behind it.
In fact, a lot of stories.
For instance, the fact that the Ashes got started at all is largely due to the singular efforts of an Australian fast bowler named Fred Spofforth, seen at right.
One fateful day in 1882, Spofforth’s diabolical deliveries demolished the cream of English batting, bringing consternation on the land.
A pundit gloomily announced the death of English cricket, adding that its ashes would be taken to Australia.
And thus was born one of the great traditions of international sport.
To learn some of what happened next, please go ahead and…
July 10, 2019
Our Tolkien series of quizzes continues this week with The Two Towers, which sees the Fellowship split up or, as Tolkien would say, sundered, not to mention riven.
Frodo and Sam go off in one direction, while Merry and Pippin head off in another, though not voluntarily.
The remaining members of the Company are left wondering which pair to go after.
Meanwhile, Orcs — including the fearsome Uruk-hai — are butting in everywhere, Saruman is plotting new wickedness, and Nazgûl keep flitting about on their winged steeds and making your blood run cold.
We hope you enjoy it.
By the way, if you need to catch up on our quizzes about The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, not to mention Tolkien himself, those are all still up and available.
The final entry in our Tolkien series, covering The Return of the King, will appear in a few weeks.
June 30, 2019
Lahiri Mahasaya, pictured at right, was a 19th-century guru and an example of a yogi who devoted himself to the lifelong study and practice of both the physical and the mystical aspects of the discipline. Yoga is broad, however. In the West, where being an ascetic seems to have less popular appeal, yoga is more likely to take the form of a weekly class at the local gym. Despite its many remarkable powers, our Yoga Quiz won’t necessarily provide enlightenment in the yogic sense, but we hope its ten questions do illuminate some aspects of yoga that you might not have known about previously.
June 9, 2019
With this new quiz we continue the theme of our The Hobbit and Tolkien quizzes while embarking on a new series of quizzes covering the three volumes of J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings. This time we cover the first third of the story, following Frodo and his companions from their safe homes in The Shire through many dangers to the Elf haven of Rivendell, and from there through many further dangers to the other Elf haven of Lothlórien. One learns two main life lessons. First, when traveling, always stay at an Elven facility if available. Second, and even more important, do not answer the door if it’s Gandalf. Avoid his company altogether. Such are the benefits of literature. We hope you try our The Fellowship of the Ring Quiz, and return for the two quizzes yet to come in our The Lord of the Rings series.
May 26, 2019
Evolution has been going on for what seems like for ever, although in reality it’s only been billions of years. During that time, life on Earth has taken a dizzying array of twist and turns. It has brought forth amazing innovations, adaptations and specializations. It has even brought forth Charles Darwin, the serious-looking man at right who worked out many key principles of evolutionary theory. However, it is only in recent geological times that beings like us who are capable of creating an online Evolution Quiz have co-existed within the same ecological sphere as beings like you who are capable of enjoying one. Shouldn’t you take advantage of that?
May 13, 2019
Our latest quiz continues our current series on J.R.R. Tolkien by looking at the author himself: the man who invented Middle Earth, its history, and perhaps above all its languages. Tolkien was a respected scholar and teacher of languages who found both professional interest and literary inspiration in stirring medieval narratives like Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. That inspiration eventually merged with his love of the English countryside to produce the hobbits of the Shire, and the whole wide landscape of Middle Earth and its peoples. Try our new Tolkien Quiz and learn a little more about the man behind his ever-popular stories.
April 28, 2019
If all you know of hobbits is that they are small in stature and have hairy feet, this quiz exploring the adventures of Bilbo will be an exercise in remedial education. For normal people, steeped in hobbit-lore since infancy, we offer you the chance to demonstrate your mastery of the many details that go into a really uncomfortable adventure. This quiz is the first of several covering the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien that we will be presenting in the weeks to come. Give our new Hobbit Quiz a try and see how you fare.
April 20, 2019 Our newest quiz comes out today, April 20, the traditional date on which marijuana is celebrated, often by consuming marijuana. For those who think Hannibal Lecter was a cannabinol and who don’t know their cannabinoids from their adenoids, this quiz may be just what you need to expand your mind in unexpected new directions. Why not try the Cannabis quiz right now and see how high you score?