Special Sub-Topic: My True Love Guild to Me - 4th Day
|Blackbirds were considered a delicacy in medieval times, hence the nursery rhyme Sing a "Song of Sixpence". The king is rumored to have been counting his money in the counting house when the pie was opened and the four and twenty blackbirds began to sing. What was the Queen doing?|
Eating bread and honey. The exact origins of the rhyme are unknown. First printed in Volume II of "Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book", in the mid 18th century, the rhyme has since been quite popular with songwriters and authors. Dame Agatha Christie references it in at least two of her works: "A Pocket Full of Rye" (1953) and a short story titled "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" (1960).
|"There Were Two Blackbirds Sitting on a Hill" is a popular Mother Goose nursery rhyme. What are the names of the two little blackbirds?|
Jack and Jill. "The Little Mother Goose", published around 1912, is a particularly delightful Mother Goose Collection, due to the illustrations of Jessie Willcox Smith. Miss Smith was a student of Howard Pyle, founder of the Brandywine School. She is best known for her cover illustrations for "Good Housekeeping" magazine between 1918 and 1933.
|The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was the fastest, highest flying manned jet aircraft ever to take flight. First entering service in 1966, this blackbird was not covered in feathers. Over 90 percent of the SR-71's airframe consisted of what?|
Titanium alloy. If not for its exhaust, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird's fuselage shape and radar absorbing paint would have been very hard to detect on radar. It was never hit by missiles, not because of any stealth capabilities, but due to its amazing speed. In 1990, the Blackbird crossed the United States at the record speed of 2,124 mph. Titanium alloy was used in order to survive the heat generated at Mach 3. Aluminum is the most common aircraft skin. ACM is a newer technology not widely in use for aircraft during the SR-71's time of service. Zinc alloy is mostly used in galvanizing steel and iron.
|The Old World Blackbird, a type of thrush (Turdidae), is found throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is one of the most common British birds. The Americas have their own collection of blackbirds, belonging to the Icteridae family. How are these birds commonly known? |
New World Blackbirds. The Icteridae are a group of small to medium birds restricted to the Americas. The majority of the Icteridae family live in the tropics, but there are a number of more temperate species. These include the American blackbirds and the long-tailed meadowlark. Included in the Icteridae group are New World blackbirds, New World orioles, the bobolinks, meadowlarks, grackles, cowbirds, oropendolas and caciques.
|Mmmm, pies are delicious and so easy to make. From sweet to savory, pies really are the perfect food. What are Pie Birds? |
A device for venting pies. Pie birds are hollow ceramic devices, traditionally from Europe. Pie birds are used to prevent a pie from boiling over by allowing steam to escape while the pie is baking. Early versions were plain funnels, but later ones were made into birds, inspired by the nursery rhyme "Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie". Eventually, they developed into all sorts of animals, characters and objects.
|The operatic voices of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald warbled to one other like lovesick "calling birds" in the lyrics of "When I'm Calling You" from "Indian Love Song". Which is the 1924 Broadway operetta that prominently featured the classic (and often spoofed) melody and lyrics of "Indian Love Song"? |
"Rose Marie". The 1924 Broadway musical "Rose Marie" has inspired four MGM films with the same title. In the 1936 film starring Eddy and MacDonald, an opera singer goes undercover in the Canadian wilderness to find her escaped criminal brother. The film also features Jimmy Stewart in a small role as MacDonald's brother; his last film before becoming a leading man.
|If a "colly" is a blackbird, what is a "colliery"? |
A coal mine. In the United States, the United Kingdom, and some other countries, a coal mine and its surrounding structures are known as a colliery. Started in 1805, the oldest continuously worked deep-mine in the UK, and possibly the world, was Tower Colliery in the South Wales coalfield. In the mid 1990's, the mine was bought out by its miners rather than be closed. However, Tower Colliery finally closed in January, 2008.
|One of the most chilling scenes of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" features Tippi Hedren waiting outside the school while crows silently gather on the playground behind her. This film is unique in that it has no musical score, though it does have a soundtrack. What instrument was used to achieve the desired effects?|
Mixtur-Trautonium. The Mixtur-Trautonium was used to produce the eerie bird voices in "The Birds". The "Mixtur-Trautonium" was developed between 1948 and 1952 by Oskar Sala, a student of Friedrich Trautwein, inventor of the trautonium. A predecessor of the modern synthesizer, the trautonium is a monophonic electronic instrument invented in the late 1920's that looks somewhat like an organ.
|Perhaps the most famous of all black birds, the Common Raven (Corvus corax), has also featured in numerous myths and legends. One English legend maintains that England shall not fall to foreign invaders so long as ravens habituate which important structure?|
The Tower of London. Often thought to be an ancient myth, newer research contends the legend actually began in the 19th century as an invention of Victorian romantics. The government now maintains several ravens on the tower grounds to please the tourists (or is it, perhaps, to provide insurance against the fall of England?). The tower ravens have their wings clipped periodically to make sure that they will not leave.
|In 1887, who authored "History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan", the first authoritative account ever published of the daily lives of the Ottawa and Ojibwa Indian tribes?|
Andrew Jackson Blackbird. "History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan" (1887) is notable for being one of the first authoritative accounts of Ottawa and Ojibwa peoples ever published. Blackbird was baptized Roman Catholic in 1825 but later became a Protestant. Being that his father was a chief, Blackbird received a comprehensive education in traditional Ottawa practices and culture. He held his Ottawa tribal education as responsible, in part, for his frustration with perfecting his knowledge of the English language. However, he transformed his frustration with English grammar into his inspiration to write what he knew, appending a basic grammar of both the Ottawa and Ojibwa languages to the conclusion of his volume.
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