February’s Chock Full of Holidays and Credo Reference Got the Topic Pages to Prove It


valentinesWhen you think about it, is there any month that compares to February? It starts with the Super Bowl, ends with the Oscars, and has Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day and two Rushmore calibre presidents’ birthdays in between.  Not to mention February’s now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t 29th day and that incognito ‘R.’ This month’s timely topics focus on four days in February you just can’t get in any other month.

Mardi Gras: Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, which initially seems counter-intuitive on account of the dancing,  liquid diet and bead economy. It originates as a kind of debauchery loophole before the fasting crackdown of Ash Wednesday and Lent, and the resulting six weeks of good behavior before Easter. In the UK, Shrove Tuesday, aka Pancake Day, rests upon the same concept as Mardi Gras, but substitutes flapjacks for beer and cajun food. Not surprisingly, Shrove Tuesday, while delicious, has yet to catch on in the US.

Super Bowl: If we have to go six months without football, at least we gave ourselves a grand spectacle on the last day of the season. This Super Bowl in particular featured a thirty-five minute blackout as the Louisiana Superdome seemed to say to both teams, “Let’s call it a night, gentlemen. No need to bother trying to top Beyonce’s performance, eh?” Ultimately the Baltimore Ravens, led by quarterback Joe Flacco, were able to hold off a late-game run by the San Francisco 49ers to become the first literature-mascotted team to win a major US title since they accomplished the feat in 2000.

Presidents Day: Lincoln-fever is sweeping the United States this winter on the heels of movies about such diverse topics as vampire-hunting and amendment-passing, threatening to turn this Presidents Day into an Abe-straviganza. Sometimes pop-culture can distort our view of history though, forcing us to wonder such questions as:  Did Abraham Lincoln really save the union to prevent a permanent “twilight” from settling over the land? Did George Washington invent the advertising strategy of mid-winter mattress sales in order to finance the revolution? We may never know. What we do know is that our Topic Pages for these two are as robust as the mountain that bears their faces.

Valentine’s Day: Is Valentine’s Day a celebration of love originating from the letter writing of a third century priest, a response by the early Catholic Church to the pagan festival Lupercalia, or just another byproduct of the Greeting Card Industrial Complex? Explore our Topic Page and judge for yourself!

For other topics be sure to check out the Library’s Hot Topics..

provide by Credo Current

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BrainTeaser: General Knowledge


credo refenenceThis one is about all kinds of subjects – to test the breadth as well as depth of your knowledge. Need help? Use Credo Reference Online.

1. Which US television series starred six people including Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer?

2. Which of these is not an island: Mauritius, Madagascar, or Mauritania?

3. Who wrote a famous 1892 poem about Gunga Din?

4. A regicide is someone who kills what sort of person?

5. Who directed the films “Rear Window”, “Notorious” and “The Birds”?

6. Which poet called autumn the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”? Was it Keats, Shakespeare or Wordsworth?

7. The Frenchman Jean-Claude Killy was famous in which sport?

8. Is toothwort a disease, a plant, or an insect?

9. Is “K” the chemical symbol for krypton, iron, or potassium?

10. The balls used in snooker have eight different colours. Name six of them.

How did you do?

0 – 1 Mmmm, not exactly brilliant.
2 – 5 A reasonable stab.
6 – 8 A good showing. But there’s still room for improvement!
9 – 10 You really know your stuff. Well done!

Questions set by Tony Augarde (www.augardebooks.co.uk)

Brain Teaser: Off Spring


What is the most common name for the offspring or babies of these animals? For instance, if the animal was “dog”, the answer would be puppy or pup. Need help? Use Credo Reference Online.

1. Cat.

2. Sheep.

3. Bear.

4. Pig.

5. Deer.

6. Eagle.

7. Swan.

8. Elephant.

9. Eel.

10. Hare.

How did you do?

0 – 1 Mmmm, not exactly brilliant.
2 – 5 A reasonable stab.
6 – 8 A good showing. But there’s still room for improvement!
9 – 10 You really know your stuff. Well done!

Questions set by Tony Augarde (www.augardebooks.co.uk)

Brain Teaser – Let the games begin!


Test your knowledge of the summer Olympic games. Need help? Use Credo Reference Online.

1. The organization responsible for the Olympics is called the IOC. What do these letters stand for?

2. How often are the summer Olympic Games held: every two years, every four years, or every six years?

3. The first modern summer Olympic Games were held in 1896 – in which Greek city?

4. Which black American athlete enraged Hitler by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin?

5. At the Olympics’ opening ceremony, do the host country’s athletes come first or last in the parade?

6. At the 1972 Olympics, members of the organization Black September took nine Israeli athletes hostage. The Olympics were held in which city that year?

7. Tarzan won three Olympic gold medals in 1924 and two more in 1928. What was his real name?

8. This year’s Olympic Games will be held in the United Kingdom. Is this the first, second, or third time that they have been held here?

9. Which Jamaican athlete won the 100 metres and the 200 metres in the 2008 Olympics?

10. In 1980 and 1984, rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union resulted in each country boycotting games hosted by the other. In which cities were these Olympics held?

How did you do?

0 – 1 Mmmm, not exactly brilliant.
2 – 5 A reasonable stab.
6 – 8 A good showing. But there’s still room for improvement!
9 – 10 You really know your stuff. Well done!

Questions set by Tony Augarde (www.augardebooks.co.uk)

Brain Teaser – Place Name Origins


Our brainteaser this week is about the origins of place names. Need help? Use Credo Reference Online a reference library at your figuretips!

1. Which continent was named after the Spanish explorer Amerigo Vespucci?

2. Which country is called by its natives Nippon, “the land of the rising Sun”?

3. Which city on Manhattan Island was originally called New Amsterdam?

4. Which American state is named after France’s King Louis XIV?

5. Which bay was discovered by Captain Cook in 1770 and named on account of the great variety of new plants observed there?

6. Which Central American country was given a name which meant “rich coast”?

7. In 1642, a Dutch navigator discovered an island southeast of Australia which he named Van Diemen’s Land. It is now named after him. What is its modern name?

8. Which African country was formed in 1964 when Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged?

9. Which South American country was explored in 1499 by Amerigo Vespucci and nicknamed with a name that means “little Venice”?

10. Which Australian city was founded in 1835 and named in 1837 after the British prime minister?

How did you do?

0 – 1 Mmmm, not exactly brilliant.
2 – 5 A reasonable stab.
6 – 8 A good showing. But there’s still room for improvement!
9 – 10 You really know your stuff. Well done!

Questions set by Tony Augarde (www.augardebooks.co.uk)