Sunday, September 30, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Sunshine and Some News with a Bit of Zen

Official Scrabble Players Dictionary 
by Peggy Robin

If you have spent much of the past week glued to the Kavanaugh hearings on TV followed by the endless post-hearing Talking HeadFest, you are probably still on political overload this weekend. I hope you have taken advantage of the glorious weather – the first beautiful weekend after an August and September of unrelenting, unprecedented rains – to get away from the TV and Twitterverse and enjoy the kinder face of nature. 

While you were hooked on the hearings, you may have missed some of the smaller, sillier or gentler stories in the news – stories that have no lasting impact on the future of our society but stories that were worth your time nevertheless. 

Here are three pieces of not-so-newsworthy news from the week that was:

Dog Warms Up Baby Koala:

Maryland Zoo Creates Lego Wheelchair to Heal Injured Turtle

And the best news for word game lovers to come along in four long years:

300 New Words Added to the Scrabble Dictionary:

The legally playable words now include:

* “OK” and “EW” – expanding the list of two-letter words that serve as the basic building blocks of any Scrabble game
* QAPIK, adding one more “Q without a U” word to those that keep you alive when you draw the Q but all the U’s have been played. (See for the others)
* BIZJET, a small airplane used for business, worth 24 points without hitting any bonus squares. And if played in the plural, BIZJETS, with the Z hitting the double letter score and the 8-letter word hitting both triples, the value of the play would be 374!
* ZOMBOID, resembling a zombie – letters worth 21 points, and any play putting down these 7 letters at once would bring in a 50 point bonus, for a minimum score of 71 points.
* And finally, your moment of ZEN. Yes, that’s right….ZEN, which up until now has been considered a proper noun because it’s the name of a religious movement within Buddhism. Now it’s recognized in its everyday, generic sense of a state of mind achieved through meditation, bringing tranquility and a sense of understanding.

Now that’s news you can use (well, at least you can if you are a Scrabble player)!

Enjoy the last day of September!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on weekends (usually on Saturday but occasionally on Sunday).

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