Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Plane of Knowledge: Pomegranates

1) What does the word 'pomegranate' mean and in what language?

2) What gem derives its name from the similarity in color to the fruit?

3) What modern weapon derives its name from the similarity in shape to the fruit?

4) Under what conditions will pomegranate juice turn blue?

5) In Greek Mythology, who is famous for eating a pomegranate and what were the consequences of that action?

Bonus: Name two health benefits of pomegranate juice.

Answers to All Things Piratical:
1) What is the difference between a pirate and a privateer? As Maren implied, the difference is state sponsorship, usually in the form of Letters of Marque and Reprisal.

2) What language does the word buccaneer come from and what does it mean?
It comes from French boucan, a name for racks used to dry & smoke meat in the Carribean - thus, it basically means Barbecuer. Apparently some barbecuers took to piracy.

3) What was Blackbeard's given name? Edward Teach.

4) What group of pirates was the target of the US' first overseas military action and where were they based?

The Barbary Pirates were disrupting American shipping in the Mediterranean, which resulted in the First Barbary War, in which the port of Tripoli played a major role. This is the origin of the phrase "the shores of Tripoli" in the Marine Hymn.

5) The Island of Tortuga from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies is a real place. What modern country is it part of? The island is across a channel from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and is part of that country today.

6) What became of the famous pirate town Port Royal? Port Royal was a popular pirate town until, in 1692, an earthquake resulted in 2/3 of the city being sunk into the sea.

Bonus: In Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, what is Frederick the 'slave of'? What is the paradox that thus enslaves him?

As Tona correctly stated, the full title of the play is "The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty". Maren correctly articulated the paradox, that Frederick was apprenticed to serve the pirates until his 21st Birthday, not merely his 21st year. As somebody born on Leap Day, his 21st year meant he had as yet had only 5 birthdays.

Edit: While I was posting this, Davey posted in the comments of All Things Piratical and did very well, getting at least partial credit on all but #6. YAAR, Matey!


Anonymous said...

Alright this time I will be first instead of last.
1. Pomme is French for fruit and Granada is part of Spain, so I'm going with Pomegranate being a French word meaning Fruit of Spain.
2. Garnet? It's Red(ish)
3. Grenade? Really, that's why we call them that?
4. When you add Blueberry Juice?
5. Persephone [sp] she had to stay in the underworld half the year, causing the seasons.
Bonus. I'm gonna say anti-oxidants, b/c everything has those nowadays.

Maren said...

I feel like I should know the answers to these, but here are my guesses anyway.
1. french or spanish for "scarlet grains"?
2. garnet
3. granade
4. in contact with acid (vinegar, lemon juice)?
5. no idea
bonus: good for your heart, high in antioxidants


Anonymous said...

1) Pomegranate means, fruit of the ...
2) Garnet
3) Hand Granade
4) Scary Ones
5) No Clue

Bonus: Better eyesight and kiss enticing red lips?

Disco Mom said...

Well I can see that I need to get on the ball much earlier in the day if I'm to ever get credit for the first right answers. Not that I've ever even had any answers before this one. Dave how do you come up with these???

1. Apple with grains, french. I think Davey is onto something with his answer but I think it's the other way around, Granada named for the fruit. I'm reading a book about Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon and all her stuff had the pomegranate on it, symbol of Spain because when Anne Boleyn came in she wanted all the pomegranate carvings removed from everything. Apparently Henry VIII was the first person to plant a pomegranate tree in England, in honor of Katherine (before the whole Anne thing.)
2. yes, garnet
3. yes, grenade, love that. Again, how do you come up with these and where do you find all these facts???
4. I'm with Maren, add lemon juice
5. I knew it had something to do with making the seasons of harvest and winter or something but didn't know who.
bonus: decrease cholesterol, lower risk for cancer (don't know if these are true but my friend Corey is a health nut and told me these)

My own bonus question: What's the fastest/easiest way to remove pomegranate seeds, as seen by me several times on Iron Chef America?

Maren said...

Submerged in a bowl of water? That's what I learned it in Turkey.

Disco Mom said...

Am I the only sad sap who watches ICA? Love that show. I'll give it the day and then tell you. Hint: not the immersion thing. I'm sure it works but it's not the way I'm talking about.

Disco Mom said...

OK fine I'll tell you. They rip it in half and hold one half in hand, seeds to palm & fingers and enthusiastically pound on the back with a spoon or other utensil while doing a little dance with the fingers to let the loosened seeds fall through the fingers into a bowl. I haven't tried it but Alton Brown admired the technique very much, and it did seem very fast and effective.

Ehuatl said...

1. The name "pomegranate" derives from Latin pomum ("apple") and granatus ("seeded").

2. The name "garnet" may come from either the Middle English word gernet meaning 'dark red', or the Latin granatus ("grain"), possibly a reference to the Punica granatum ("pomegranate"), a plant with red seeds similar in shape, size, and color to some garnet crystals.

3.The pomegranate's (grenade in French) shape probably gave its name to the hand grenade.

4.Pomegranate juice will turn blue when subjected to basic (ie alkaline) conditions (similar to litmus paper).

5. Persephone was tricked into eating six pomegranae seeds by Hades and thus had to stay six months a year in the Underworld with him. This causes her mother Demeter to murn half the year thus causing the seasons.

a) A peer-reviewed study showed that men who had undergone surgery or radiation therapy for prostate cancer could significantly slow the increase of prostate specific antigen when they consumed a glass of pomegranate juice daily.
b)In preliminary laboratory research and human pilot studies, juice of the pomegranate was effective in reducing heart disease risk factors, including LDL oxidation, macrophage oxidative status, and foam cell formation, all of which are steps in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.