Kori and Amanda Learn

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Order! Order! May 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda @ 11:42 AM

I’m sad to say that yesterday’s crossword was a flop. Yes, it was sad. Yes, there were tears.

One interesting tidbit did come from yesterday’s failed attempt at puzzlry: Robert’s Rules of Order.

Robert’s Rules of Order is the short title of a book containing rules for conduct at meetings that allows everyone to be heard and to make decisions without confusion (also known as parliamentary procedure).   Most organizations, governments, etc. use a procedure resembling Robert’s Rules. 

The first edition of the book, whose full title was Pocket Manual of Rules of Order for Deliberative Assemblies, was published in February 1876 by then U.S. Army Brigadier General Henry Martyn Robert (1837–1923) with the short title Robert’s Rules of Order placed on its cover.  The procedures were modeled after the US House of Representatives.

Mr. Robert was a big, underconfident nerd.  His interest in parliamentary procedure started when he was asked to preside over a church meeting, but didn’t feel like he had what it would take to run a successful meeting.  He thought to himself, “there should be a manual for this!”

And so, Mr. Robert published 4 editions of this book before he died in 1923.  It has become the most commonly adopted parliamentary authority among societies in the United States.  The most current edition, published in 2000, contains provisions dealing with videoconferences, teleconferences, and email. 


Typical Example of Robert’s Rules

  1. Call to order.
  2. Roll call of members present.
  3. Reading of minutes of last meeting.
  4. Officers reports.
  5. Committee reports.
  6. Special orders — Important business previously designated for consideration at this meeting.
  7. Unfinished business.
  8. New business.
  9. Announcements.
  10. Adjournment.

What the Veldt?! April 27, 2010

Filed under: Crossword,Geography,Uncategorized,Vocabulary — Amanda @ 2:40 PM

Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa, United States

Today’s crossword threw us for a little loop with the clue “Open grassland.”  We had 4 of the 5 letters (_ELDT) and, for the life of us, could not figure out the first letter of the word.  Luckily, we deduced that the answer to “End of a Shakespeare play” should be “ACT V,” thus giving us the V for veldt!  

Turns out that Veldt (also commonly spelled Veld) refers primarily (but not exclusively) to the wide open rural spaces of South Africa or southern Africa and in particular to certain flatter areas or districts covered in grass or low scrub. The word veld (velt in Middle High German, and feld in Old High German) is preserved also in the Afrikaans and Dutch, literally meaning ‘field’.  Veldt can also be likened to “prairie,” “outback,” or my personal favorite: “boondocks.” 

For our musically inclined readers, you might know of an English band called The Veldt.  

Any video gamers out there might recall in the video game Final Fantasy VI, the Veldt is a large flatland in which the characters can fight most previously encountered enemies.