Monday, November 30, 2015

Trivia Bits 30 November


Woodstock Festival

Billed as An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music (poster pictured), The Woodstock Festival held near the town of Bethel, New York, from August 15 to 18, 1969.

Norwegian painter Mathias Stoltenberg, who died in poverty in 1871, was rediscovered following the 1914 Jubilee Exhibition in Kristiania, Oslo, and marked the centennial anniversary of the 1814 constitution and focused on industry and agriculture.

The Gothic-style Washington National Cathedral contains the remains of the only US president buried in Washington: Woodrow Wilson whilst William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy are buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

The word tip dates back to the old London coffeehouses where conspicuously placed brass boxes etched with the inscription To Insure Promptness encouraged customers to pay for efficient service with the resulting acronym, TIP, becoming a byword.

Beginning in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams but evolving into the highly competitive Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race which is an annual long-distance sled dog race run in early March from Anchorage to Nome and is officially set at 1,049 miles (1688 km), which honours Alaska's status as the 49th U.S. state.

The French word détente is used to describe the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation.

World Asteroid Day is held on June 30 the day in 1908 when a 50 metre asteroid or comet crashed into Tunguska, Siberia with the explosion recorded to have knocked down trees and the shock waves caused were measured as far away as England.

Formicidae is the scientific name for ants that form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals.

Mossman is a town on the Mossman River in Far North Queensland, Australia, which hosts the Bally Hooley Rail Tour tourist attraction where tourists from nearby Port Douglas can take an open carriage steam train to the town’s sugar mills.

Cable-stayed 5.4km bridge, the Suramadu Bridge, connecting the islands of Java and Madura, became the longest bridge in Indonesia after opening in June 2009.

Quotables 30 November



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Trivia Bits 29 November


Mothers of Invention

American musician, bandleader, songwriter, composer, recording engineer, record producer, and film director Frank Zappa performed with a band called the Mothers of Invention (pictured) with Zappa producing almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist.

The French inventor Félix du Temple accomplished a short flight with his steam-powered aircraft Monoplane in 1874 often considered the first manned powered flight in history.

Ray Charles Robinson was an American singer-songwriter, musician and composer known as Ray Charles who started to lose his sight at the age of five and went completely blind by the age of seven, apparently due to glaucoma.

Liverpool Football Club in the early 1960s began a signature tradition by using the song You’ll Never Walk Alone from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel.

The capital of Brunei, the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace, is Bandar Seri Begawan with Brunei rated the fifth-richest nation out of 182, based on its petroleum and natural gas fields.

2012 Australian rhythmic gymnastics Olympian Janine Murray had difficulties getting to school while growing up in Zimbabwe because of petrol shortages.

Comparing the death tolls of hurricanes with male and female names between 1950 and 2012, US scientists found the females have, on average, killed more than the males.

The bombing of Dresden was a major American and British attack that took place in the final months of the Second World War in the European Theatre from 13 to 15 February 1945.

The Costa Brava is a coastal region in the north-east of Spain with the coast named Costa Brava by Ferran Agulló i Vidal in an article published in the Catalan newspaper La Veu de Catalunya in September 1908.

In the 1936 Siege of the Alcázar, around 1000 Spanish Nationalists in Toledo held a medieval castle for two months despite aerial and artillery bombardments and a sustained assault by 8000 Republican troops.

Quotables 29 November



Saturday, November 28, 2015

Trivia Bits 28 November


Are you Being Served

The retail ladies' and gentlemen's clothing floor departments of a fictional London department store called Grace Brothers is the setting for the British television 1972 sitcom Are You Being Served? With original actors Frank Thornton, Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Wendy Richard and Nicholas Smith appearing in all 69 episodes of the programme's 13-year run (cast pictured).

The ABC Islands is the colloquial name for the Alaskan islands of Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof in the northern part of the Alexander Archipelago, which are all part of the Tongass National Forest.

African-American slave, freedman, and minister of religion, Samuel Green was jailed in 1857 for possessing a copy of the anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

In cricket, an over is the name given to six balls consecutively delivered by a single bowler from one end of the pitch, to the batsman at the other end.

English poet George Gordon Byron better known as Lord Byron, a writer of the Romantic Movement, published in 1819 the poem Don Juan which was based on the legend of Don Juan which Byron reverses, portraying Juan not as a womaniser but as someone easily seduced by women.

In 1990, Czech and Slovak politicians "fought" the Hyphen War, a political battle over whether "Czechoslovakia" should be spelled with a hyphen.

It took Stan and Jan Berenstain two years to revise 1962 children’s book The Big Honey Hunt, the first Berenstain Bears book, to Dr. Seuss's satisfaction.

An Omnibus is a book comprising previously published, related works by the same author is often called an omnibus edition of those works, or simply an omnibus.

The independent bookstore Politics and Prose located in Chevy Chase, Washington, D.C., on Connecticut Avenue, has had Barack Obama, J. K. Rowling, and Bill Clinton as readers at its author events.

Granite Island Recreation Park is just off the coast of Victor Harbor in South Australia connected to the mainland by a causeway, is 120 kilometres (75 mi) south of Adelaide and reported as being the most visited park in South Australia.

Quotables 28 November



Friday, November 27, 2015

Trivia Bits 27 November


Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I

The 1907 Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I  (pictured) is one of the best known works of Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt using the mediums of oil, silver, and gold on canvas and is now located in the Neue Galerie, New York.

Not regarded as a clinical condition, Empty nest syndrome is a form of depression that affects parents when a child leaves home.

Swedish is officially the main language of Sweden as enacted by the Riksdag, the Swedish national legislature, and entered into effect on 1 July 2009.

The popular dip taramasalata roughly translates to fish roe salad and is traditionally made from taramas, the salted and cured roe of the cod or the carp, though blends based on other forms of fish roe have become more common and the roe is mixed with either bread crumbs or mashed potato, and lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil.

In 1995, former Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European champion British athlete Jonathan Edwards set the world record for the triple jump with a jump of 18.29 m set on 7 August 1995 and still stands as at July 2015.

The pungent chemical smell of formic acid, the simplest carboxylic acid, is associated with crushed ants.

Manchega cheese is made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the manchega breed and is aged for a minimum of 60 days (30 days for cheeses weighing up to 1.5 kg) and a maximum of two years.

The 1960 comedy-drama movie La Dolce Vita was written and directed by Federico Fellini and won the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Costumes.

American writer Alex Haley told in his 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his alleged descendants in the U.S. down to Haley.

Three years after Anders Uppström had published his 1854 edition of the 6th-century Codex Argenteus, a dying library janitor presented him with ten leaves that had been missing from the manuscript for over two decades.

Quotables 27 November



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Trivia Bits 26 November


Andre Agassi

American retired professional tennis player and former World No. 1, Andre Agassi (pictured) won the Australian Open men’s singles title in 2000, 2001 and 2003.

Made up of 8,797 amino acids, enaptin has the second-longest chemical name to be written down, at 64,060 letters.

The trunk or boot of an automobile or car is the vehicle's main storage compartment with the term Trunk being used in North American English and Jamaican English, while boot is used elsewhere in the English-speaking world – except in South Asia, where it is usually called a dickie/dicky or slang diggy.

The headquarters of the NZX stock exchange is Wellington, New Zealand and began life as a number of regional stock exchanges during the gold rush of the 1870s.

Lyons was the Roman capital of Gaul with two Roman emperors born in the city, Claudius and Caracalla.

The cuckoo clock was thought to have been invented in Germany but it is unknown who invented it and where the first one was made although much of its development and evolution was made in the Black Forest in Germany.

With a beak the can puncture through a wet suit, the golf-ball size blue octopus found in the Great Barrier Reef, is deadly to humans with no known antidote for its venom.

The stratovolcano Mount Vesuvius is in the Gulf of Naples, Italy and is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and several other settlements.

Lamb Chop is a fictional sheep that was created by comedienne and ventriloquist Shari Lewis and first appeared on American children's morning television show Captain Kangaroo in 1957.

The best known name of the common medical condition ecchymosis is a bruise and also applies to the subcutaneous discoloration resulting from seepage of blood within the contused tissue.

Quotables 26 November



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Trivia Bits 25 November



Yoda (pictured) made his first appearance in the 1980 American epic space film The Empire Strikes Back directed by Irvin Kershner, and was the second to be released and the fifth in terms of The Star Wars chronology.

Usually formed less than 2000 feet, the nimbus cloud produces rain with nimbus being a Latin word meaning rain cloud or rain storm.

Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are the main characters in the 1952 musical film and the 1983 stage adaptation of the film Singin’ in the Rain.

The Ever Victorious Army, consisting of Chinese imperial forces led by a European officer corps, was instrumental in putting down the Taiping Rebellion which was a massive civil war in southern China from 1850 to 1864.

The leader of the African country of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, released a book entitled The Green Book in 1975 and was a short book setting out the political philosophy of the former Libyan leader.

The only breed of dag that can contract gout is the Dalmatian as their livers have trouble breaking down uric acid, which can build up in the blood serum (hyperuricemia) causing gout and can also be excreted in high concentration into the urine, causing kidney stones and bladder stones.

Red Leicester is a type of cheese which was originally made on farms in Leicestershire with milk that was surplus once all the Stilton desired was made and was originally coloured with carrot or Beet juice.

Launched by NASA and partners at 6:40 AM EST on April 1, 1960, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in the United States, the world's first weather satellite, Tiros 1, sent back thousands of images during its short life span of only 79 days.

The Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center located in Ponce, Puerto Rico, is believed to be the oldest astronomical observatory in the Caribbean due to the orientation of the ceremonial plazas.

The super-ego, id and ego are parts of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud’s model of the psyche discussed in the 1920 essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle, and fully elaborated in The Ego and the Id in 1923.

Quotables 25 November



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Trivia Bits 24 November



A cuttie-stool (pictured), or cutty-stool, is the Lowland Scots name for a three legged stool that was thrown by Jenny Geddes at the Dean of St Giles High Kirk, in protest at the introduction of Anglican style prayer books in 1637.

The terms dinosaur-dig, pepper and floater are used in the sport of Volleyball.

With headquarters in Washington, D.C., NASA is an acronym for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration established in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower with a distinctly civilian, rather than military orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science.

Frank Chee Willeto, a Navajo code talker with the U.S. Marine Corps during World War 2, became the Vice President of the Navajo Nation in 1998.

Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation, was chosen as the most beautiful of the gods by Paris, a Trojan prince.

The 2006 American romantic dance film Step Up starred Channing Tatum as Tyler Gage, a skilled but troubled dancer.

The three day music festival Woodstock, billed as "An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music", took place from August 15 to 18, 1969 and held at Max Yasgur's 600-acre (240 ha; 0.94 sqmi) dairy farm near Bethel, New York.

At a traditional Chinese wedding, the bride wears red which is considered the symbol of love and prosperity; hence most of the dresses include red as their base colour with the candles, flowers, ribbons and fireworks, all used in red.

Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University with Google incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998.

Someone who is born on May 11 has the star sign of Taurus with the characteristics of loving the rewards of the game, think physical pleasures and material goods, revel in delicious excess and are also a tactile lot, enjoying a tender, even sensual, touch.

The twenty sixth book of the Old Testament was written by Ezekiel who reveals prophecies regarding the destruction of Jerusalem, the restoration to the land of Israel and the Millennial Temple visions, or the Third Temple.

Quotables 24 November



Monday, November 23, 2015

Trivia Bits 23 November


Are You There God Its Me Margaret

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret (first edition cover pictured) was a 1970 novel written by American author Judy Blume and is about a girl in sixth grade who grew up without a religious affiliation with Margaret's mother being Christian and her father Jewish, and the novel explores her quest for a single religion.

The Beazley Medal education award can be won by students in Western Australia to the year-twelve secondary student with the highest Curriculum Council award score and is named after former Federal Education Minister Kim Edward Beazley.

In the history of neurology, Ancient Egyptians described the effect that some bodily functions can be impaired by brain injuries or injuries to the cervical spine.

The poodle is believed to have originated in Germany where it was known as the Pudelhund, was standardized in France, where it was commonly used as a water retriever and due to the breed's popularity in France became established as its national breed

Baw Baw National Park is a 13,530-hectare (33,400-acre) national park located on the boundaries between the Central Highlands and Gippsland regions of Victoria, Australia and is situated approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) east of Melbourne.

Actor Ashley Judd co-starred with Morgan Freeman in the 1997 movie Kiss the Girls an American thriller film directed by Gary Flede

The Madrid Codex, one of only three surviving pre-Columbian Maya books, contains almanacs and horoscopes that were used to assist Maya priests in their ceremonies and is made from a long strip of amate paper that was folded up accordion-style that was then coated with a thin layer of fine stucco, which was used as the painting surface. The complete document consists of 56 sheets painted on both sides to produce a total of 112 pages.

American journalist Shana Alexander was the first female columnist for Life magazine and was noted for "The Feminine Eye" column she wrote during the 1960s.

Alecia Beth Moore is better known by the stage name of Pink who ranked at number 10 on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music in 2012, and was awarded the Billboard Woman of the Year in 2013.

American actress, comedian and television host noted for her often controversial comedic persona, Joan Rivers was born Joan Alexandra Molinsky in 1933 the New York borough of Brooklyn the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants.

Quotables 23 November



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Trivia Bits 22 November


Carole Lombard starred as the rich girl in the 1936 American comedy-drama film My Man Godfrey (poster pictured) based on 1011 Fifth a short novel by Eric Hatch and concerns a socialite who hires a derelict to be her family's butler, only to fall in love with him, much to his dismay.

Colloquially, a mollydooker is a left-handed person and may have been derived from molly, fussy man who does women's work + dook, a variant of duke or fist.

The islands of Aruba, Bonair and Curacao are known as the ABC Islands are the three western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean, north of Falcón State, Venezuela.

Represented by the Roman numerals MCMXCVII is 1997.

Australia is the smallest continent and sixth largest country (in area) on Earth, lying between the Pacific and Indian oceans with an area of 2,969,978 sq mi (7,692,208 sq km).

American blues, jazz and rock guitarist Robben Ford has collaborated with Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, George Harrison and KISS and was named one of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century" by Musician magazine.

The Orkney Islands are an archipelago in northern Scotland, 16 kms/10 mi north of the coast of Caithness and comprise approximately 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited.

The world's highest railway is in Peru where the Central Railway climbs to 15,694 feet in the Galera tunnel, 108 miles from Lima and is used by tourists to travel to the ruins of Machu Picchu.

Nadezhda Durova, a woman who became a decorated soldier in the Russian cavalry during the Napoleonic wars, started as a private in 1807 and retired with the rank of stabs-rotmistr in 1816.

Born in Kazakhstan to Eduard and Irina Grigoryan, both professional violinists, Slava Grigoryan is an Australian classical guitarist and recording artist who, following his win at the Tokyo International Classical Guitar Competition where he was the youngest finalist in the history of that competition, was signed by Sony Music Entertainment in 1995 for whom he released four solo album.

Quotables 22 November



Saturday, November 21, 2015

Movie Review ... Secret In Their Eyes



Secret In Their Eyes posterEveryone likes a good mystery.  Sifting through clues trying to uncover a secret is something most enjoy.  Agatha Christie built a career on this as her countless books attest.  ‘Secret in their Eyes’ takes cue from these puzzle solvers.  An intriguing amalgamation of thriller and searing drama, crime enthusiasts should find much to divert their questioning attention.

FBI investigators Ray (Chiwetel Ejofor) and Jess (Julia Roberts) and supervisor District Attorney Claire (Nicole Kidman) form a close team.  Their bond is soon torn apart when Jess’s daughter is found murdered.  Years later Ray discovers new clues to the crime.  Determined to catch the killer, Ray re-teams with his friends to finally put to rest ghosts of the past.

‘Secret in their eyes’ is a decent thriller effectively engaging the mind.  Supporting by a fine trio of strong performers, the story’s twists are well handled.  Whilst primarily a mystery ‘Secret in their Eyes’ deals with the bonds of friendship and eternal regrets.  The trio’s emotional state flings them in unknown directions forcing them to confront buried issues.  How they handle these forms the basis of genuine conflict between them adding to the film’s intensity.

Billy Ray directs ‘Secret in their Eyes’ with workmanlike precision.  Although his direction highlights the plot’s predictable elements, Ray manages to draw the best from his cast.  ‘Secret in their Eyes’ is a character-driven movie rather than relying too much on action which suits the material.  Ray realises this with some powerful scenes between characters.  The central mystery is interesting with a conclusion hard to predict.

A serviceable thriller mystery mavens should enjoy, ‘Secret in their Eyes’ works.  The strong cast and nicely paced script make for an arresting few hours for budding detectives of any age.

  Secret In Their Eyes 9823

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 ... The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2


Mockingjay – Part 2 posterSuzanne Collins’ ‘The Hunger Games’ book series has been very popular.  Spawning several spin-offs and raking in dollars, it was inevitable Hollywood would call.  Perfectly capturing the ‘franchise’ mentality of current commercial film-making, ‘The Hunger Games’ has been a licence to print cash. Stretching out the finale in the bid for more filthy lucre, ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’ concludes the cash-cow to the expected sadness of its producers.

Determined to confront evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland), Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) aims to rid the nation of Panem of his wicked tyranny.  Helped by friends Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss risks her life to endure one final game in the hopes of creating a brighter future for her people.

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2’ bucks the recent trend of extended finales.  Whilst stretches of padding are evident, this second chapter of the last book works better than the endings for ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Twilight’.  Francis Lawrence’s direction has a lot to do with this, as he manages to keep the action and story moving.  It comes apart a little with a somewhat jumbled ending but until then it is diverting viewing.  The series’ themes of media manipulation and survival at any cost are mixed well into the narrative and are strongly conveyed.

Jennifer Lawrence and her co-stars effectively step into the breach for the final time.  Lawrence’s heroine is forced to endure the politicking as well as plotting revenge against the President.  As the evil dictator, Sutherland has the most fun, spitting forth his lines with velvety venom.  Their characters manage to hide the mechanical predictability of the franchise although the action sequences and moments of genuine tension make this instalment more memorable than most.

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2’ mostly delivers a stirring finale.  With news of a prequel/spin-off series being developed, it seems franchises can be squeezed for all they’re worth.  For now, the series ends on a reasonable high that should satisfy the book’s hard-core fans.

Mockingjay – Part 2 9876

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  6

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.

Official HomePage click HERE