Scrabble's Teacher: Not so bright?

One of the reasons why I like the Scrabble app better than Words With Friends is that it has that wide-smiling Teacher. (I also don't like that Word With Friends doesn't have TWs in the corners, but that's a whole other post.) If you don't know about the Teacher, or haven't used EA's Scrabble app, here's how it works: After you play a word, you hit the little teacher button and the app shows you the best word you could have played. It's fun to see if you are as smart as the computer and even more fun to learn new words when it plays something like globate, which I recently played for a bingo and 99 points. (It means "shaped like a globe.") Oh, and if you wind up playing a word that the Teacher taught you in a future game, you had better look it up first. I've played against people who will play a word and I'll ask them what the heck that word was and they'll just respond, "I don't know, but Teacher suggested it the turn before." That's just lame, IMHO.

Anyway, here's the real point of this post: In the last few games I played, Teacher has suggested words with lower point values than the ones I've played. At first I thought, well it must have something to do with strategy - playing defensively - staying away from a TW or something. But as I combed through the moves and boards on which the Teacher made these recommendations, that didn't seem to be the case. On the contrary! My plays not only had higher point totals, but also were good defensive moves. And we're not talking about fancy words here. This leads me to believe that Scrabble's Teacher ain't so bright after all. And I'm writing this post because I know you guys ARE bright and must have similar experiences you can share in the comments. So let's hear from you. Am I right on this point?

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

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