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Junior Member
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I was reading an article about building model planes and was startled to see that the wood most commonly used, balsa, does not come from a tree with that name. It comes from a corkwood tree!

Have you run into any other incongruities like this?
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Well, how many plywood trees have you seen?
 
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Nice thread, Amanda!

Jagger--from a German word "Jager" means gentleman or sportsman; sure doesn't sound like that to me!
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Say, Amanda, what ae you doing reading about model airplanes? I spend most of my allowance on those darned things! When I sneeze, I expell balsa dust!
 
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You sneeze balsa dust? Thank you so very much for sharing that. Do me a favor, Asa? Turn your head away when you sneeze! [big-kiss-e]
 
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amanda says, Have you run into any other incongruities like this? I'd bet there are quite a few, and it feels "on the tip of my tongue". But the best I can come up with at the moment is:

hamburgers don't come from Hamburg, Germany;
franfurters don't come from Frankfurt, and
in french, the term for french fries has nothing to do with France.

But surely there are more serious examples, as where an item was mis-named due to a misunderstanding?
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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"You sneeze balsa dust? Thank you so very much for sharing that. Do me a favor, Asa Turn your head away when you sneeze!"
___________________________

OK, I'll do that IF you'l tell me your source for the assertion that the tulip tree produces balsa. As far as I know, the North American tulip tree, [i]Liriodendron Tulipifera[i] is of the magnolia family.
 
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Well, turkeys don't come from Turkey, and Guinea Fowl don't come from Guinea...
 
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a ring-tailed cat is not a feline; it is a racoonlike animal
a crayfish is not a fish; it is a crustacean
a firefly is not a fly, it is related to the beetles
a glass snake is not a snake; it is a lizard
a horned toad is not a toad, or even an amphibian; it too is a lizarrd
a civit cat is not a feline; it is related to the mongoose
a Barbary ape is not an ape. An ape is a tailless primate (contrast monkeys), but the Barbary ape is not a primate; it is a tailless macaque.
 
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astral, funny you should talk about hamburgers! On our way home, we passed through Hamburg, New York and encountered a detour! It is the weekend of the "Burger Fest"! Hamburg claims to be the home of the first hamburger. smile
 
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asa says: "OK, I'll do that IF you'l tell me your source for the assertion that the tulip tree produces balsa..."

And I said at the beginning of this thread: "...balsa, does not come from a tree with that name. It comes from a corkwood tree!"

Now, unless a corkwood tree is also known as a tulip tree, I think you have been inhaling wayyyyyyyyy too much balsa dust there, my friend! wink
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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"Now, unless a corkwood tree is also known as a tulip tree, I think you have been inhaling wayyyyyyyyy too much balsa dust there, my friend!"
______________________

Nah, been pulling too many corks from bottles and consuming the contents! However, I still stand staggeringly by my challenge. Balsa is of the corkwood family, according to my dictionary (I just looked) but it isn't known as anything except balsa, whether wood or tree, as far as I know. Maybe we could ask one of them?
 
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OK...Amanda, Asa...back to your corners!

According to [u]The 21st Century Webster's International Encylcopedia[/i] (and no, I didn't forget the dipthong!):

Balsa or corkwood, tropical tree (Ochroma lagopus), known for its extremely light wood. Ecuador is a large producer of balsa wood, which is an effective insulating material and is also popular for making model airplanes and boats.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Well, shut my mouth! In well nigh onta fifty years of building model airplanes outa balsa, I ain't NEVER heard anyone call it corkwood! Who does, and where? The stuff we commonly call "cork" comes from the bark of a species of oak. Man, oh, man, this here's gettin' cornfoosin'!
 
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Picture of shufitz
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Asa says, >>Nah, been pulling too many corks from bottles and consuming the contents!

In the immortal words of W.C. Fields, "Hey! Who took the cork off my lunch??!"

("Once, in the wilds of Afghanistan, I lost my corkscrew, and we were forced to live on nothing but food and water for days.")
 
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From AHD: "cork...(def 1 only)...1. The lightweight elastic outer bark of the cork oak, used especially for bottle closures, insulation, floats, and crafts."

Also from AHD: balsa...(def 1 only)..."1a. A tropical American tree (Ochroma pyramidale) having wood that is soft, very light in weight, and that is used as a substitute for cork in insulation, floats, and crafts such as model airplanes. b. The wood of this tree. Also called corkwood."
 
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Each elementary school classroom has a cloakroom, though kids don't wear cloaks to hang there. Coats yes; cloaks no.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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"from AHD: balsa...(def 1 only)..."1a. A tropical American tree (Ochroma pyramidale) having wood that is soft, very light in weight, and that is used as a substitute for cork in insulation, floats, and crafts such as model airplanes. b. wood of this tree. Also called corkwood."
_____________________________________

I think the AHD has made a mistake. I posted a query as to whether anyone on the rec.models.rc.air newsgroup (radio controlled model airplanes) had EVER heard of balsa called corkwood. Aside from a few funny comments such as, "Only after I crash," I got some erudite comments from all over the world, and all averred that balsa was not called anything but balsa
 
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Part of a limerick from NPR yesterday:
"There's so little kicking, / Then why do you call the game 'football'?"
quote:
This week Syracuse University offered Football 101, its second annual one-day introductory clinic for confused women. The idea came from the wife of Syracuse head football coach Paul Pasqualoni, who felt the school should help area women understand why their men stared at the television for entire Sundays, occasionally screaming profanely. Students get an overview of the game, chalk board lessons in plays, and a tour of the university facilities. One attendee, Jo Anne Phang, had a most basic question: "I wanted to know why it's called football."
 
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P.S. One might similarly wonder why we call another game "basketball", when the so-called "baskets" are unlike any other type of basket.
 
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P.S. One might similarly wonder why we call another game "basketball", when the so-called "baskets" are unlike any other type of basket.

I am certainly no expert here, but didn't the game start with putting a bushel basket with a hole in the bottom of it on a pole and throwing a ball through it?

Do we have anyone knowledgeable of the game on board? confused
 
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I think you're right about that, Morgan. I remember my 5th grade gym teacher telling us that exact thing!
 
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Basically right, Morgan. The first games were played with peach baskets -- because that's what Dr. Naismith had handy when he invented the game.

He invented it trying to find winter (that is, indoor) exercise that would be more fun than boring calisthenics. The first games were played in an indoor gym , with the baskets nailed to the side to the track that ran around at the 2nd-floor level. The poles were used as soon as the game was brought outside, with the coming of spring.

This will give a bit more of the early history of basketball

[This message was edited by shufitz on Sun Aug 4th, 2002 at 11:54.]
 
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quote:
"I wanted to know why it's called football."


Well, over here, where football was invented, the reason is obvious. In Association Football ("soccer" to Americans) the ball is propelled by the feet most of the time. Only the goalkeepers can handle the ball.

The other, later, versions, such as Gaelic Football, Rugby Union, Rugby League, American Football and Australian Rules Football, all allow handling of the ball in play to some extent, and show their heritage in the name. wink
 
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Here's a tidbit for you Balsa fans:

The very first artificial Christmas tree, invented in mid-19th century London by Dr. Richard Hallswith, was made out of Balsa wood. Sadly, due to the custom of decorating real Christmas trees with lit candles (hazardous enough as it was considering the fact that the evergreen trees were inside homes made mostly of wood themselves) this first artificial tree burnt to the ground along with most of Dr. Hallswith's house. Locals jeered the good doctor and called the idea of an artificial tree as pure folly.

He'd be completely forgotten today if it weren't for that one line of the popular Christmas carol:

"Dr. Hallswith's Balsa folly!
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!"

(Heh, heh, heh...)
 
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Dear lord, CJ, my sides are splitting! big grin
 
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<groan>
 
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Good one, CJ!:D
 
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Did I really start this? big grin
 
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Glad you all enjoyed the history lesson.

The Dr. Hallswith story is, alas, not my original. I think I heard it when I was 10 or 12 years old (mid-60's) for the first and only time.

It's amazing the sludge we carry around upstairs just waiting for a prompt to be unleashed.
 
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quote:
It's amazing the sludge we carry around upstairs just waiting for a prompt to be unleashed.


I can't wait to take you off your leash, C. J. big grin
 
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