TODAY'S WORD is the phrase bona fide. Example: "How Does an Artist Get a Gallery, Anyway? Here Are 11 Practical Steps That Could Lead to Bona Fide Representation" (Title of an article by Brian Boucher in Art World, Aug. 12)

TUESDAY’S WORD was brandish. It means to flourish or shake menacingly or ostentatiously. Example: Tiptoeing toward the bedroom, Jethro thought he had gotten away with a night out with the boys — until he turned the corner and was shocked by the sight of his wife brandishing the iron skillet as if she were a warrior.


The annual reunion of the descendants of Jim Henry Ramsey and Mary Davis Ramsey will be on Sunday, starting at noon, at the Oak Level Ruritan Club. The meal will be at 1:15 p.m. Ice, cups, plates, napkins and utensils will be provided. Bring covered dishes and drinks for sharing. Also, bring copies of favorite family recipes for a "Ramsey Family Cookbook," which is being developed. 

When time is tight

Isn't it funny how we get excited about an event when we first hear about it -- and RSVP to it -- but then, as it approaches, we would rather stay home and maybe even dread  the event?

There was some good advice on that matter on a recent rerun of the NPR podcast "Hidden Brain," called "You 2.0: Tunnel Vision." Show host Shankar Vedantam talks about how behavioral scientist Eldar Shafir deals with keeping a handle on how he spends time: "When an invitation to an event two months down the road comes along, he asks himself whether he would attend the event if it were tomorrow. If the answer is no, he declines the invitation, because his life is not going to be any less hectic two months from now."


  • What gets bigger every time you take from it? -- A hole.
  • What instrument can make any sound and be heard but not touched or seen? -- Your voice.
  • What occurs once in a minute, twice in every moment, yet never in a thousand years? -- The letter M.

» TUESDAY’S TRIVIA ANSWER: The lid to a Mason jar used in home canning is unique because it vacuum-seals the contents inside the jar. It has a rubber seal where it meets the glass jar. Before the jar is put inside the canner, a band is screwed loosely over the lid, to allow air and steam to escape. The jar is heat-sterilized in boiling water or steam, and the lid is secured. When the contents cool, a vacuum in the top of the jar (in the air above the contents) is created, which pulls the lid into tight contact with the jar, creating a hermetic seal. Most metal lids used today are slightly doomed. When the vacuum happens, it pulls the lid down to make the dome concave-shaped. It makes a little popping sound when that happens.

» TODAY'S TRIVIA QUESTION: "I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck" -- but what amounts of volume (or weight?) do a bushel and a peck measure?

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