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ENIGMA

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ENIGMA

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:16 pm

• enigma •

Pronunciation: ê-nig-mê • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A very difficult riddle. 2. An unsolvable mystery.

Notes: Today's Good Word comes from a rich if mysterious family, including an adjective, enigmatic with its adverb, enigmatically, and a verb, to enigmatize "to make mysterious or puzzling". Someone who loves to make up riddles or obfuscates issues for a reason is an enigmatist. If you would like to enigmatize your conversations a bit, use the old Greek plural, enigmata, rather than the simpler and more modern enigmas.

In Play: One of the most famous uses of this Good Word was Winston Churchill's declaration in 1939 that Russia ". . . is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." Later, during World War II the German Navy developed a code machine known as the Enigma Machine. A copy was passed to the British by sympathetic Polish engineers and became the key to the success of the Allies in their struggle against German U-boat attacks. Now you can enjoy our version of this machine when you spin the alphaDictionary Wheel of Fortunate Words.

Word History: Today's word is borrowed from the borrowed Latin word aenigma. Latin took this word from Greek ainigma "riddle, mysterious comment", the noun of ainissesthai "to speak in riddles", derived from ainos "fable, tale, praise". Although we don't know where this word came from, we do know that it also underlies the name of Aeneas (Greek Aineias), the hero of the Aeneid and son of Anchises and the goddess of love, Aphrodite. (Today let's thank Susan Lister, who becomes less and less of an enigma as she suggests more and of her favorite words—words like this one—to us.)
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:06 am

I've always enjoyed Churchill's
"a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma".
One hears it in other contexts these days besides
Russia, to which I think it still fits perfectly. Reading
sidebars of the Moscow Times leaves me that way often.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:10 pm

Luke frequently proclaims his ignorance of computing, but casually drops in sidebars of the Moscow Times. In English or Russian, friend? And congrats on the red type in another of today's posts!
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:46 pm

Luke bought a computer in 2008 and learned all he knows
from people in three different sites like these. If it
were't for them (like Slava and Saparris here on this site)
he would not know a thing. Just remembering how
to do them takes some doing, however.

I am totally disgusted with all American Media.
The bias and lack of fair reporting and useless never-ending
commentary on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBE, FOX, et. al.,
make me go to other places for world news and for
commentary on American news. They are all in English, I go daily to
BBC, France24, Moscow Times, Wales Online, and assorted
other International news media. That way I don't get
the party line, and I get more news. Today alone
there has been nothing but Obama and Buffet, Romney
and his comments about Obama, and Sports: on HLN. Since 8 AM that is all that is on that station.



How many people are aware of the child soldiers being
forced to fight in the recent war in Mali, wherein the
northern half of that country seceded to form the
nation of Azawad, just last week, and we are being asked to help?
Our news media are pathetic. Tsunami warnings are
out for Indonesia, Thailand,today,et.al., not one American
media outlet, that I've heard, has reported that.

So thanks for the comment. Slava told me a procedure
to use here on the computer, and I've saved it, for when
I get the "guts" to try....I am not very good with computers
really.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:09 pm

Luke,

Thank you for your candid assessment of media in the USA. I watch Public Television and it gives news from programs originating in England and Germany. We do need more thorough news reporting in the USA.

I know little about Mali and the rebel state Azawad. I have found no information on children being impressed into military service. Who has done this, Mali or the rebels? It is not a new thing in Africa. The only thing I really know about Mali, and now perhaps Azawad, is that the fabled city of Timbuktu is there.

Re your computer expertise: I was once on top of the computing world but an early stroke and years of inactivity have left me woefully behind.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:59 pm

The news on France24
reported the rebels in the North (Azawad) were impressing
boys in to service as has been done in Liberia, Sierra Leone,
Guinea, etc. The map on this link shows well the
rebel zone in Mali: and it includes Timbuktu in its
rebel zone.

http://www.france24.com/en/20120402-tua ... dine-mujao

That must be difficult being on top and then brought down.
I know it in other areas, and, however, am self taught
on computer. I just see something and then ask, and
they tell me. It does not work well because I don't know
the lingo, and am a 'hands on" type: if shown I can get
it, but following written instructions, especially by someone
well versed in it: I appear a dummy.

Yes Public Radio and TV are far better than the
other media. I long for the day when the news was
just reported without bringing in "experts" for hour of
discussion. It bores me silly.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:11 pm

The problem for print journalism is that people are getting their breaking news from TV and the net. Plus people don't read that much anymore. So the papers become like tabloids and feature on their front pages sensational (or local) stories that might induce people to buy them. I've often said the first nuclear strike or the return of Christ would be found on page 3 or 4 in a two-inch article.
I strongly recommend a book called BLUR by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel. Both are jounalists of 50 and 30 years and go into this situation in depth. They feel there is still a place for print journalism and news magazines because they have time to go into depth where the media roller coaster does not. I'd make it required reading in Journalism 101 and before that maybe every journalist in the country.
BTW, on child soldiers, etc. check out Krugman's columns in the NYT as well as his blog. He's onto this right now big time.
Oh, and Luke - every one of us with computer skills got them the same way you are, a piece at a time. And everytime we get a new program or dramatic update, it seems we're back at square one. So keep a'going.
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Postby bamaboy56 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:39 am

It's gotten to be almost impossible to keep up with the technology. About the time I get a handle on one aspect of it, they come out with a "new and improved" version.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:57 am

The problem for print journalism is that people are getting their breaking news from TV and the net. Plus people don't read that much anymore. So the papers become like tabloids and feature on their front pages sensational (or local) stories that might induce people to buy them.

-----Isn't that the truth? I laugh when I see front pages
of newspapers like the infamous "Dewey defeats Truman",
column after column of news. Our, anyhow, has a column
down one side and a huge photo expose of some
sensational story all over the rest of the front page.



Oh, and Luke - every one of us with computer skills got them the same way you are, a piece at a time. And everytime we get a new program or dramatic update, it seems we're back at square one. So keep a'going.


-thanks for the support, I feel so bogged down at times
and afraid I'll break something so much of the time.
You guys are great.

Thanks, too, for the blog on child soldiers. The concept
is repulsive, but we need to be informed to keep up.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:58 am

bamaboy56 wrote:It's gotten to be almost impossible to keep up with the technology. About the time I get a handle on one aspect of it, they come out with a "new and improved" version.




I am totally in your corner on this one.
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Postby bamaboy56 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:50 pm

Thanks, Luke, for the empathy and support. I recently had a granddaughter visiting me. I took several pictures of her on my digital camera before I realized I had forgotten to put the chip in the camera. She said "no problem", had me find the small cable that originally came with the camera (which I had no idea what it's function was and which, fortunately, I had saved), plugged my camera into my laptop and proceeded to transfer the photos from some internal memory I didn't know the camera had onto the chip through some program I didn't know my laptop had. I was glad she did it but talk about feeling like someone from the Stone Age. HA!
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:48 pm

My 7 yr old great granddaughter showed me that the birds will split on Angry Birds, which I had been playing for awhile (usually when I'm on the phone) and had no clue they'd do that!
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:53 pm

Never heard of angry birds. and as for chips in cameras
I don't even know where mine is.
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