Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Franklin Pangborn Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 23 October

 

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Published on September 8, 1998, Spencer Johnson’s motivational book was Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life (cover pictured) and is written in the style of a parable or business fable.

Royal Mail painted a post box gold to commemorate each gold medallist for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The bagel originates from Poland being traditionally shaped by hand into the form of a ring from yeasted wheat dough, roughly hand-sized, which is first boiled for a short time in water and then baked.

The earliest known usage of brainwashing occurred during the Korean War being was originally used to describe methodologies of coercive persuasion used under the Maoist government in China, which aimed to transform individuals with a reactionary imperialist mindset into "right-thinking" members of the new Chinese social system.

Darwin glass is a natural glass found in the found south of Queenstown in West Coast, Tasmania.

Soviet actor Pavel Luspekaev played in the 1970 classic Russian Ostern movie White Sun of the Desert with both feet amputated with the movie being blend of action, comedy, music and drama, as well as memorable quotes, made it wildly successful, achieving the status of a top cult film in Soviet and Russian culture.

Bach composed his chorale cantata Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 33 (Towards you alone, Lord Jesus Christ), on a hymn by Konrad Hubert with a melody by Paul Hofhaimer, and first performed it on 3 September 1724.

In British television detective drama Midsommer Murders, based on the books by Caroline Graham, the character Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby is played by English actor and writer John Nettles.

The first Muslim country to have a female prime minister was Pakistan when Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani politician and stateswoman served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from November 1988.

Ella Maria Lani Yeich-O’Connor is now better known by her stage name of Lorde, a New Zealand singer-songwriter.

Quotables 23 October

 

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Frankie Avalon Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 22 October

 

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Releasing his first single in 1941 and his last album in 2005, Smoky Dawson (pictured) is considered as Australia’s first singing cowboy complete with yodel, in the style of Gene Autry.

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Sukhanand became an umpire after retiring as a player and was the first international cricket umpire from the city of Vadodara, and second from the Indian state of Gujarat.

Al-Hanajira was one of the five principal Bedouin tribes inhabiting the Negev Desert between Gaza and Beersheba prior to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and was expelled to the Gaza Strip during that period.

While doing a genealogy show, Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr. (2010), Eva Longoria she discovered that she is related to cellist Yo-Yo Ma after turning out that Eva is 7% Asian and shares a common ancestor with Ma in the last 250 years.

Set in Peckham in south London, starring English actor David Jason as ambitious market trader Derek "Del Boy" Trotter Only Fools and Horses is a British sitcom originally broadcast in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991.

Originating in 2004 in the United Kingdom Supernanny is a reality TV programme about parents struggling with their children's behaviour featuring professional nanny Jo Frost, who devotes each episode to helping a family where the parents are struggling with their child-rearing and through instruction and observation, shows the parents alternative ways to discipline their children and regain order in their households

The Black Echo is the 1992 debut novel by American author of detective novels and other crime fiction Michael Connelly and won the Mystery Writer's of America Edgar Award in 1992.

Establishing the first democracy in 508 – 507 BCE was the country of Greece.

The Macaque is a species of primates with ranging from Japan to Afghanistan and, in the case of the barbary macaque, to North Africa.

The Mayan ruins in Belize called Nim Li Punit take their name from the "big hat" headdress on an 8th century stela which is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected as a monument, very often for funerary or commemorative purposes.

Quotables 22 October

 

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Frank Zappa Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 21 October

 

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The traditional stone gift for a fortieth wedding anniversary is a ruby (ring pictured).

A Heya is a place and organisation where people involved in Sumo train and live with all wrestlers in professional sumo must belong to one.

When referring to a magazine title, the initials GQ stand for Gentlemen’s Quarterly which is an American monthly men's magazine focusing on fashion, style, and culture for men, through articles on food, movies, fitness, sex, music, travel, sports, technology, and books.

In musical notation the term ritardando means to gradually slow down and is generally abbreviated as rit. or ritard.

Vaduz is the capital of the principality of Liechtenstein, the seat of the national parliament and is believed to have been founded circa 1322 by the Counts of Werdenberg.

An exhibition hall located in Buen Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain, Palacio de Velázquez by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco was built for the 1883 Exposición Nacional de Minería, with ceramic tiles by Daniel Zuloaga.

An 1853 expedition led by French Canadian merchant and explorer of the American Southwest François Xavier Aubry discovered that the Indians of northern Arizona manufactured bullets from gold.

Quito, the capital of Ecuador is in the Southern Hemisphere and is a World Cultural Heritage Site declared by UNESCO in 1978.

The wife of Zeus and queen of the gods was Hera whose chief function was as the goddess of women and marriage.

Airing between 27 August 2007 and 30 March 2011 Australian television drama series City Homicide was set on the Homicide floor of a metropolitan police headquarters in Melbourne with the main characters six detectives, who solve the murder cases, and their three superior officers and starred Australian stand-up comedian, award winning actor and a television host Shane Bourne as Detective Senior Sergeant Stanley Wolfe.

Quotables 21 October

 

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Monday, October 20, 2014

A Frank Sinatra Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 20 October

 

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American Internet entrepreneur and investor Jeff Bezos founded amazon.com (logo pictured) in 1994.

2012 Paralympics competitor and Gold Coast Wheelchair Rugby Titans captain Ben Newton was a member of the undefeated 2011 Australia national wheelchair rugby team.

In the English proverb, necessity is considered to be the mother of invention.

First aired from 1999 to 2005 American crime drama series Third Watch was set and filmed in New York City, and with an ensemble cast of characters the storylines cantered on the lives of police officers of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the firefighters and paramedics of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), all working the same fictional precinct during the 3pm to 11pm shift - the Third Watch.

The Sinhalese people are native to the island country of Sri Lanka with the Sinhalese identity based on language, historical heritage and religion.

In the comic strip created by Jim Davis in 1978, Garfield’s teddy bear is named Pooky.

Jan Nepomucen Głowacki, considered the father of the Polish school of landscape painting, was the first to devote an entire series of works to the Tatra Mountains starting in 1836 on the series.

The freezing point of water on the Fahrenheit scale is 32.9.

Despite early concerns that the course at Doncaster Racecourse, Doncaster, England would be too long for Black Jester, the colt won the 1914 St. Leger Stakes by five lengths and set a new record time.

Salma Hayek was executive producer from 2006 to 2010 of the American comedy-drama television series Ugly Betty starring America Ferrara as Betty Suarez.

British swimmer James Crisp has won medals in every different competitive stroke style in varying Paralympic Games.

Quotables 20 October

 

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Movie Review ... A Walk Among The Tombstones

 

A Walk Among The Tombstones posterBased on Lawrence Block’s popular book series, ‘A Walk among the Tombstones’ is a solid thriller.  The central character, Matthew Scudder, has previously appeared on screen in 1982’s ‘8 Million Ways to Die’.  Portrayed by Jeff Bridges, the character’s cinematic debut didn’t register with that era’s audience.  Hopefully this second big screen outing set in 1999 will do justice to a potentially long-running franchise. 

Matthew Scudder (Liam Neeson) is a former cop turned private eye.  A recovering alcoholic, he constantly searches for challenging cases.  When asked by local drug lord Kenny (Dan Stevens) to find those responsible for the kidnap and murder of his wife, Matthew reluctantly accepts.  Searching for clues, he discovers the kidnappers have previous form with equally deadly consequences.  With danger at every turn, Scudder’s life hangs in the balance as the hunt intensifies.

‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ is unafraid in delving into dark spaces.  Exploring ‘evil that men do’, Scudder doggedly survives in a grim world.  His shady past matches the murky dealings of his clients adding to the constant atmosphere of dread.  Whilst the story is occasionally prone to repetitive exposition, Scott Frank’s direction successfully conveys its’ grittiness.  You receive a true sense of danger Scudder faces and the dodgy moral codes everyone lives by.

Despite a somewhat far-fetched conclusion, ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ wouldn’t have worked without Neeson’s presence.  He holds the movie together with a performance steeped in weary reality.  Neeson has turned into a reliable mainstay of commercial movies with his newest role cementing this.  He is aided well by his co-stars who embody their sleazy roles with ease.  The cinematography of a pre- 21st Century New York effectively conjures a distant past continually haunting Scudder.

In spite of some short-comings, ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ is a generally engaging thriller.  Riding much on Neeson’s coat-tails, hopefully it builds towards further instalments of a frequently intriguing character.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.

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Movie Review ... Before I Go To Sleep

 

Before I Go To Sleep  posterMemory often cheats with rose-coloured glasses often obscuring the truth.  Movies like ‘Memento’ made a virtue of memory loss by telling gripping stories.  Based on S.J. Watson’s novel ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ follows the same line.  Attempting to spin a thrilling yarn, the way of using the amnesia device is left wanting.  Whilst having moments of inspiration, it is a pale imitator of better tales where memory is always subjective.

Christine (Nicole Kidman) wakes up next to a stranger.  Claiming to be her husband, Ben (Colin Firth), Christine has no memory of him.  Disturbed by her lack of memories, she receives treatment from Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong).  Hoping to regain her full faculties, as each piece of her life returns, new questions arise.  Becoming suspicious of those around her, Christine learns all is not as it appears as lies and deceptions entangle her life.

Clumsily directed by Rowan Joffe, ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ gives new meaning to mediocrity.  Badly mis-cast and full of illogical plot holes, it falls under its self-inflicted burdens.  You don’t believe in the characters due to an increasingly silly story and contrived atmospherics.  Despite her predicament, Kidman’s character comes across as being really dumb with obvious clues ignored.  This deflates any sympathy with the cast’s over-acting turning ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ into a bad cinematic pantomime.

‘Before I Go to Sleep’ has few good points with the cinematography being one.  Effectively capturing the muddied world Christine tries to escape, it adds to the overall sense of danger.  The orchestral score makes the outlandish climax appear better than it is.  The flaws are many in this poor adaptation doing no favours to what has been a popular book. 

A pot-boiler quickly going nowhere, ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ is less than scintillating.  Offering evidence that a big-name cast can’t save a movie without a good script, the temptation to erase this one from the memory banks would be palatable.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  3

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.

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A Frank Capra Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 19 October

 

Edward VIII

Edward VIII (pictured) preceded George VI as King of the United Kingdom.

The formula C.H.N. is used for the stimulant drug Nicotine being the natural product of tobacco with a half-life of 1 to 2 hours.

Manila is the capital of the Philippines with the earliest written account of the city is the 10th-century Laguna Copperplate Inscription which describes a Malay kingdom in what is now Manila maintaining diplomatic relations with the Indianized Kingdom of Medang in modern-day Java

F.W.de Klerk was succeeded by Nelson Mandela as the President of South Africa in 1994 and went on to serve as Deputy President in the government of national unity under Mandela.

The Holden Commodore is an automobile manufactured since 1978 by the Holden subsidiary of General Motors (GM) in Australia to replace the long-serving Kingswood nameplate with a smaller, model.

2012 Australian Paralympic athletics competitor Matthew Silcocks has Poland's syndrome, a syndrome he had at birth that caused development problems with his right arm.

The German medieval Margraviate of Brandenburg, a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire from 1157 to 1806, was called the sandbox of the Holy Roman Empire.

The sport of Netball has a variation called Fast5 featuring shortened games and goals worth multiple points and was first introduced in 2008.

The Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, a private art gallery in Sydney, Australia, was about to exhibit Australian contemporary art photographer Bill Henson's artworks in 2008, when police seized over 20, following complaints claiming they were child pornography.

Sir Percy Blakeney is the secret identity of The Scarlet Pimpernel created by Emma Orczy, Hungarian-born British novelist, playwright and artist of noble origin and is most known for her series of novels featuring the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Quotables 19 October

 

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Franchot Tone Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 18 October

 

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Created in 1976 as the first street mall in Australia, Adelaide's Rundle Mall (pictured) is the biggest pedestrianised shopping mall in the Southern Hemisphere and includes over 800 shops and 14 interconnected arcades.

A Basset Hound is used as the logo for the brand Hush Puppies, an international brand of contemporary, casual footwear for men, women and children and was founded in 1958.

The Treaty of Paris in 1856 ended the Crimean War between Russia and an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, Second French Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia.

English is the official language of the Solomon Islands consisting of a large number of islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu and covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi).

The character Mr McGregor first appeared in The Tale of Peter Rabbit, a British children's book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter and first printed as a trade release in 1902.

With the façade dating from the early 17th century and built on foundations laid c.1477, Moubray House, one of the oldest buildings on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, was once the premises of Archibald Constable, the owner of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Italy is located in Southern Europe and comprises the boot-shaped Italian Peninsula and a number of islands including the two largest, Sicily and Sardinia.

The Zelter-Plakette has been awarded annually by the President of Germany since 1956 to German and foreign choirs which have served cultural life continuously for 100 years or more and was awarded to the 55-member male choir in Tanunda, South Australia, Tanunda Liedertafel in 1980.

Former Australian cricketer Dennis Lillee took seven out of his twenty-three Test five-wicket hauls at the Melbourne Cricket Ground making his Test debut during the sixth Test of the 1970–71 Ashes series where he claimed a five-wicket haul on debut.

In 1983, American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University Isaac Asimov won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for the science fiction novel Foundation’s Edge.

Yay! Chocolate Cup Cake Day

 

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Pink cupcakes. At Eleni's in Chelsea Market in New York, NY. 7/3/11

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