Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Free Rice

Because I'm such a nerd, I find myself drawn to word games. Yes, I'm addicted to Scrabble and Scrabulous. Friends and family hate playing with me. I admit, my love for words is sometimes a bit frightening. Some people like Sudoku...and then there are people like me who are no good at solving math problems. I suppose this is why I became an English teacher. I'm not saying that English teachers aren't good at math. I'm not good at math! My ten-year old niece keeps trying to teach me how to solve Sudoku problems. I just can't wrap my brain around it. To me, it's like trying to solve that Rubik's Cube puzzle! Thank you, but I'll stick to my word problems.

I found this site called Free Rice. According to the site, for each word you get correct, 20 grains of rice will be donated through the United Nations to help end world hunger. Anyway, I was curious and tried my hand at the the quiz. I'm always curious to see just how good (or bad) my knowledge of vocabulary is.

On Free Rice you are given words and you must choose the proper meaning. You will be given a list of four words or phrases and you just click on the one you think is correct. For example:
deign means:
lower oneself

If you chose "lower oneself" then you answered correctly and you will be given another question. It's pretty neat and if you remember your root words or have some knowledge of Latin, French, Spanish (and other similar languages), it makes it easier to choose the correct answer.

Apparently, I "donated" 9040 grains of rice. My vocab level was 40 and my best level was 40. I don't know how vocabulary is scored, but it was an interesting quiz. I was going to continue, but work kind of cuts into internet time. Phooey!

Just so you know just how much of a nerd I am, I used some of the skills I teach my ESL students. For the words I wasn't sure of, I broke them down, found the roots, prefixes, suffixes, origins (Latin, French, etc) and then tried to put them together. For example, with the word pilosity I remembered that pil is related to hair or fur and the -osity part signified the quantity of something or an abundance of something. I guessed that it meant hairiness and that was the correct answer. The same went for the word bonhomie. In French, bon means good. The -homie sounded a lot like ami/amie (friend), so I guessed that bonhomie meant good-fellowship.

For lack of anything interesting to post for you today, here are a few photos.
A few years ago, one of my Swiss students did his presentation on "the health benefits of chocolate". He went on to say that pure cocoa is good for your health, so you should have a piece of chocolate every day! Nice!

Of course, he talked about how it's the milk chocolate and white chocolate that aren't that great for you. Darn! I don't like dark chocolate!

Anyway, Hubby likes hot drinks in the winter and we were looking for alternatives to hot apple cider, coffee and hot chocolate. The hot apple cider has LOTS of sugar. The hot chocolate also has lots of sugar. Coffee? Well, if you've been reading my blog for a while, you already know about the weird adverse effect coffee has on me.
My truly amazing sister-in-law brought us some goodies over the holidays. In the above photo, you will see some cinnamon sticks, cinnamon leaves and some chocolate (cocoa) balls. These ingredients are used to make 'chocolate tea'...or as Hubby and my uncle call it, 'real' hot chocolate! My uncle is a hot cocoa connoisseur and he only drinks the 'good' stuff. When we were in Montreal, he showed us how to make this hot drink. This should be a good alternative. Pure cocoa is supposed to be better for your health. Right?

You will need:
3 cups of water
1 cinnamon stick
1 cinnamon leaf
1 ball of cocoa

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Strain and put into coffee mugs. You can add sugar, nutmeg and/or milk if you wish. I forgot to strain my chocolate tea and I didn't add anything to it. For all you dark chocolate lovers out there, I don't know how you do it. That stuff is STRONG! I ended up putting just a wee bit of sugar and milk and it was delicious.

Check out how dark that drink is! I don't know if I'm a loyal fan of this drink yet. Perhaps it's an acquired taste. I don't really want to put sugar in my drinks and dark chocolate is so strong. Maybe this will teach me a lesson. Forget trying to find the perfect hot drink and just drink more water.


lisa marie said...

I've played that rice game and it was fun and hopefully helped. :)

Jeanna said...

That looks delicious, C. I don't know as I've seen a cocoa ball before. I suppose it's about time I did.
I'm touching on the whole dark chocolate health thing in my next post. I just read somewhere that even if you have dark chocolate with a glass of milk, it loses the benefits.

C said...

Lisa Marie:
The Rice Game was fun :) Some of the words were pretty challenging! I like that though! I hope it helped too.

Ooooooh! Seriously? Okay, now I'm crushed! Even if you have a glass of milk with dark chocolate, it loses its benefits? Urgh.

t said...

hey chris, you didn't like the hot chocolate or you're not sure if you like it or not? does j like it?i had that pure hot chocolate before and i like it. then again, i'm the type of person who drinks my coffee black. i don't believe in putting milk or sugar in coffees or teas since i think it takes away from their real taste

and you are right. playing against you in scrable is no fun! you rack up points for 2 or 3 letter words- no fair !

Uncivil said...

Oh, I really suck at Sudoku! Had an engineer try to teach me, but it was hopeless! And the Rubiks Cube would probably just make me violent and destructive.
As for scrabble.....I'll find all the dirty words!
I'm craving chocolate now!!!!

C said...

I think Hubby likes it. He says it smells really good.
Oh, come on :) ZA and QI are words!

I once got so frustrated with that stupid Rubik's Cube that I peeled the stickers off and put all the colours in their proper groups. I know I'm a cheater, but I never said that patience was a virtue that I possessed!

Uncivil said...

I never thought of solving the Rubiks Cube that way?
I like the way you think!!!!
Maybe I could just show it a picture of Chuck Norris and it would solve itself?

C said...

LOL! Yeah, good 'ol Chuck has certainly been poked fun at recently! As for the Rubik's Cube...My cousin got angry (it was his Rubik's Cube that I peeled the stickers off of) and said that I HAD TO do it the correct way. He mixed up all the colours again and handed it to me. I looked at it, tried to get all the colours in the right spots, got frustrated...and threw the darn thing out the window. No joke.

C said...

P.S. Before you think I've got a volatile personality, I must include the fact that I was ten years old when I did that! LOL!

Starshine said...

I love Scrabble! Hubs and I are both a little addicted, which is fun because we're nearly always up for a game when one or the other of us wants to play. :)

Uncivil said...

"volatile personality" Sounds like something I would do at twenty! I'm so immature like that sometimes!
I still can't picture you throwing it out the window? You could be one bad mamma when ya have too!

C said...

Thanks for popping by :) Glad to see I'm not the only one who is addicted to Scrabble! It's gotten to the point where I've added the Scrabulous application on Facebook (I know...sad!). Whenever I'm on there, I play. I check in the morning and at right before bed. I currently have 13 games going with different people. Crazy!

My mom tells me that the hot temper and volatile bit comes from our Spanish side. I'm really not that bad. I'm a pretty laid back person, but once I've been pushed to my limits, it gets ugly! LOL!

C. K. said...

This rice game is good. I saw it a few weeks ago on Jellyjules' blog. I could only get to round 10 and words got so hard, I didn't know they existed.

C. K. said...

Wow, just reading your comments, I never knew anyone who would unpeel a rubix cube! LOL You crack me up!

C said...

LOL! Yes, I'm kinda crazy that way ;)

Deb said...

I found my way to your blog by way of super snooping...and I thoroughly enjoy your blog!

I too am a freaky lover of words. The dictionary is one of my favorite texts...I am not as great as you in the "finding the meaning of the root" talent...I am incredibly jealous.

And I LOVE dark chocolate! I find myself lucky that I j'adore something sweet and lovely that is considered "good for you." I think I probably take it to the "not a good idea for your rear end" level, though, since I eat so much of it.

Calfkeeper said...

Loved the rice game, will have to visit it again.

Hey, I used to peel Rubik's cubes too. Ha! It's the fastest way.

Love dark chocolate! That chocolate tea sounds good!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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