Tuesday, September 16, 2014

An Ernest Hemingway Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 16 September

 

Galdhopiggen Norway

Galdhopiggen (pictured) is the highest mountain in Norway, Scandinavia and Northern Europe, at 2,469 m (8,100 ft) above sea level.

The pink ball is worth six points in a game of snooker.

French apothecary and reputed seer Michel de Nostredame better known as Nostradamus is noted for his quatrains and predictions contained in his book Les Propheties, the first edition of which appeared in 1555.

The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972, which was largely overshadowed by the Munich massacre in which eleven Israeli athletes and coaches, a West German police officer, and five Black September terrorists were killed.

Charon is the largest moon of the dwarf planet Pluto which was discovered in 1978 by the United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station (NOFS)and may also be referred to as (134340) Pluto I.

The 2007 non-fiction book Lone Survivor, written by Marcus Lutrell is set in Afghanistan with the film, Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana, and Alexander Ludwig and was released on January 10, 2014.

Clootie dumplings originated in Scotland and is made with flour, breadcrumbs, dried fruit, suet, sugar and spice with some milk to bind it, and sometimes golden syrup mixed well into a dough, then wrapped up in a floured cloth, placed in a large pan of boiling water and simmered for a couple of hours before being lifted out and dried before the fire or in an oven.

Dark eggplant skins were historically used by aristocratic women in China to make black dye, which they often used to stain their teeth to a black lustre which in Japan is called ohaguro.

The 1934 published novella by English writer James Hilton that featured the character Mr Chipping was Goodbye Mr Chips and has been adapted into two films and two television adaptations.

Georgie Porgie is a popular English language nursery rhyme in which Georgie Porgie kissed the girls and made them cry with the first recorded version of the rhyme collected by James Orchard Halliwell in the mid-19th century.

Quotables 16 September

 

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Monday, September 15, 2014

An Ernest Borgnine Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 15 September

 

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Located in the south-central part of North West England, the Theatre Royal (pictured) is the oldest surviving theatre building in Manchester opened in 1845 and was commissioned by Mancunian businessman John Knowles who wanted a theatre venue in the city.

The Asian capital city of Seoul, capital and largest metropolis of South Korea, lies on the banks of the Han River.

The Durian, a fruit native to South-east Asia, has been described as emitting an odour similar to rotten onions or raw sewerage.

When Italian chef Nadia Santini's restaurant Dal Pescatore was awarded three Michelin stars in 1996, she was the first female chef in Italy so honoured.

The tadpoles of the Sri Lanka rock frog and the Kirtisinghe's rock frog are often found on wet rocks near mountain streams.

The chemical element of silver has the Latin name of argentum.

Australian television soap opera Echo Point aired from 1 June 1995 until 1 December 1995 focusing on several families and teenagers in a coastal community, and a key on-going storyline concerned renewed interest in a long-unsolved local murder mystery.

In the 1950 novel for children by C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is set in the fictional land of Narnia, a land in which some animals can talk, mythical beasts abound, and magic is common.

Premièred on 5 January 1953 in the Théâtre de Babylone, Paris, the play Waiting for Godot was written by Samuel Beckett in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot.

The title character in the 2013 movie Philomena was Judy Dench and co-starred Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark and was written and directed by Steven Frears.

Quotables 15 September

 

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

An Erna Morena Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 14 September

 

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

As described in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (pictured), Famine rides the black horse.

Set in Chiswick in west London My Family is an eleven series British sitcom starring Robert Lindsay as Ben Harper, Zoë Wanamaker as his wife.

The annual Australian Day Balnarring Cup horse race is held in Victoria, Australia, in the south-eastern Mornington Peninsula.

A blog, a truncation of the expression web log, is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order with the most recent post appears first. Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject but more recently "multi-author blogs" (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited.

Between 2000 and 2004, British para-equestrian Deborah Criddle and Figaro IX were the first rider and horse pairing to win three gold medals at consecutive European, World and Paralympic competitions.

American Great Lakes freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew of 29.

American attorney, author and diplomat best known as one of the leading China experts in the U.S. government John Van Antwerp MacMurray predicted the American war with Japan in a 1935 memorandum commissioned by the U.S. State Department.

Playing Ava Gardner in the 2004 movie The Aviator directed by Martin Scorsese was Kate Beckinsale whose co-stars included Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett.

Launched in 1931, pain reliever antacid Alka-Seltzer had the tagline Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is and was first marketed by the Dr. Miles Medicine Company.

Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf and Draculaura are part of the Monster High an American fashion doll franchise created by Mattel in July, 2010.

Quotables 14 September

 

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

An Eric Clapton Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 13 September

 

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Known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship, French artist Henri Matisse painted Landscape at Coolioure (1905) (pictured) and The Dance (1909/1910).

South African retired badminton and baseball player Alan Phillips wasn't allowed to compete in badminton for South Africa in the 1992 Olympics because he was too old at 36, but he played baseball in the 2000 Olympics at 44.

Johann Sebastian Bach composed two cantatas with similar music at the same time: Ihr Tore zu Zion, BWV 193, to celebrate the new town council on 25 August 1727, and the secular BWV 193a for 3 August that year

Billie Jean King won one title in the Australian Open singles in 1968 when she defeated Australia player Margaret Court 6–1, 6–2.

Fragments of wall painting from the Japanese Buddhist temple of Kamiyodo Haiji in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, Japan have been dated to the late Asuka period which lasted from 538 to 710 AD.

The uppercase form of the Greek alphabet letter omega looks like a horseshoe.

The ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest eggs of any living bird and is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs, and can run at up to about 70 km/h (43 mph), the fastest land speed of any bird.

In Little Lost Bear, the comic strip created by Mary Tourtel and first published on 8 November 1920 in the British newspaper The Daily Mail, Rupert was a bear.

1975 East German-Czechoslovakian Holocaust film Jacob the Liar was the first East German film to be entered into the Berlin International Film Festival and the only one to win a nomination for the 49th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Stephen Fry’s 1997 autobiography Moab is My Washpot covering the first 20 years of his life with the title selected because Fry saw the book as scrubbing at the grime of years.

Quotables 13 September

 

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Friday, September 12, 2014

An Errol Flynn Moment

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Trivia Bits 12 September

 

Tim Winton

Australian novelist and short story writer Tim Winton (pictured) wrote the series of novels featuring the character Lockie Leonard who is a fictional character in a series of children's novels written from 1990 to 1997.

In geological terms, the Cretaceous period followed the Jurassic which extended from 201.3± 0.6 Ma (million years ago) to 145± 4 Ma.

American writer and an influential editor, Sarah Josepha Hale is best known for having written in 1830 the nursery rhyme Mary had a Little Lamb.

In 2008, the only songs to spend two weeks at number one on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Songs chart were Madonna's 4 Minutes, featuring Justin Timberlake, and Donna Summer's Stamp Your Feet.

The Meredith Music Festival is a three-day outdoor music festival held every December at the "Supernatural Amphitheatre", a natural amphitheatre located on private farmland near the town of Meredith in Victoria, Australia that is a self-funded, non-commercial event that was first held in 1991.

Lonesome Dove is a 1985 Pulitzer Prize–winning western novel written by American novelist, essayist, bookseller and screenwriter Larry McMurtry.

The Anglo-Saxon Bamburgh Sword is thought to be unique due being formed by six strands of iron and pattern welded into a blade, resulting in speculation that it may have been the sword of a king in the 7th century and is on display at Bramburgh Castle in Northumberland, England.

Pre-Tolstojan refers to the oldest period in the history of planet Mercury from its moment of formation.

Rumpole of the Bailey is a British television series created and written by the British writer and barrister John Mortimer starring Leo McKern as Horace Rumpole, an aging London barrister who defends any and all clients.

The Sovereign Hill open air museum depicts the first ten years after the discovery of gold in 1851 in the Victorian city of Ballarat and was officially opened on 29 November 1970 and has become an Australian nationally acclaimed tourist attraction.

It’s Chocolate Milkshake Day

 

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The concept of the milkshake as a treat has been around since the late 1800′s. The most common recipe called for a shot of whiskey, ice cream, and malted milk, while other holiday recipes called for eggnog additions.

In1922, a Walgreens employee in Chicago officially founded the milkshake at the fountain shop. It is believed that the first milkshake was made by adding two scoops of vanilla ice cream to malted milk. Ice cream parlours used syrups or chocolate ice cream mixed with another rich ice cream to achieve maximum flavour and consistency.

 

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Quotables 12 September

 

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Movie Review ... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 

tmnt-posterIn 1990, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-mania was at its peak.  Based on a comic book series, the four heroic amphibian warriors cut a swath through fan’s hearts.  Spinning off into a successful movie and animated TV franchise, the Ninja Turtle craze conjured many dollars.  As with all crazes, the hype died down and it seemed the heroes would be distant memories. Now the 2014 movie comes to revive their fortunes.  No longer portrayed as ‘men in rubber suits’ as previously, the new film re-invigorates the series in time to garner a new legion of devoted fans.

New York is in the grip of unending terror.  Overseen by evil tyrant Shredder, the city has descended into a maelstrom of violence and decay.  Witnessing this moral bankruptcy is reporter April O’Neill (Megan Fox) and cameraman Vernon (Will Arnett).  Hoping something will happen their wishes come true when four ninja trained turtles appear.  Led by a giant rat called Splinter, the turtles aim to free the city from Shredder’s wicked vice and show evil-doers the true might of turtle power.

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ is a fun ride.  Whilst perhaps pulling its punches in terms of reducing the violence seen in the comics, it generally does the series justice.  It doesn’t talk down to its audience like previous entries and ensures it can be enjoyed for all ages.  The CGI rendering of the turtles works effectively due to a freedom of movement ensuring each has their own personality.  Their human co-stars do a fine job with their cartoonish roles deftly veering away from being too over the top.

All handle themselves well in the many action sequences.  The creativity gone into crafting new ways to test the heroes is easily seen.  Much has to do with Jonathan Liebesman’s astute direction respecting the ‘rules’ of the franchise whilst adding new twists.  The very basic story is a mere cipher to the fast moving action allowing viewers to dive head-first into the heat of battle.

The reliance on newer technology has greatly improved the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ cinematic series.  This should ensure its longevity with old and new fans sure to cheer for the ‘heroes in a half shell’ further into the 21st Century.

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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 ... Into The Storm

 

into-the-storm-posterHollywood knows how to exploit genres.  If one is a hit the aim is to repeat until the money pit is emptied.  Combining multiple genres has seen even greater financial rewards as they encompass many fan-bases.  ‘Into the Storm’ dabbles in the mega-facsimile business with ease.  Blending the ‘found footage’ and ‘disaster movie’ staples, it wears its B-grade origins with pride.  As implausible and vapid, it’s fun seeing how it ‘borrows’ from the genres to which it pays homage.

The township of Silverton gathers for a special occasion.  Enjoying the spectacle of Graduation Day, all hope the sun shines on its citizens.  Unfortunately Mother Nature has other plans.  When a colossal storm hits, hell breaks loose.  The school’s vice-principal Gary (Richard Armitage) attempts to maintain calm in the face of catastrophe.  His efforts aren’t helped by the presence of Pete (Matt Walsh) a storm-chaser wanting to film the event for a documentary.  As everyone faces the increasingly ferocious cataclysm, the fight for survival becomes harder with each passing second.

If you think ‘Into the Storm’ will provide something akin to Shakespeare, then you’ll be disappointed.  If you’re after decent CGI, thinly-drawn characters and dodgy acting, then this is for you.  Basically an updated version of the 1996 hit movie ‘Twister’, it does the job in conjuring mindless escapism.  The dilemmas characters face is familiar as is the risible dialogue.  None of it really matters as it’s the explosive storms everyone expects.  The cloudy visions certainly are magnificent with the CGI boffins having a field day dreaming up new ways to place characters in deadly peril.

Steven Quale doesn’t need to do much direction as this sort of film moves itself.  He does have a good sense of rhythm with the pacing and tension handled well.  Armitage’s heroic role makes for a solid character with which it is easy to engage.  His co-stars do little except react to events with minimal acting required.  The fierce seems to have more personality than the people it frightens although such quibbles are minor for such a disposable movie.

‘Into the Storm’ is trashy nonsense sure to please undemanding viewers.  From its opening moments it’s on auto-pilot with the wind-swept frenzy unleashing a fury of campy fun.

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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

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Movie Review ... Predestination

 

Predestination Movie PosterTime travelling themed movies can often be compelling.  Exploring the paradoxes of changing certain moments offers genuine dilemmas for protagonists.  Works such as ‘The Terminator’ series has made this a virtue.  ‘Predestination’ uses this hook to great effect.  In examining the moral implications in adding a new fragment to time, it’s consistently engaging.  Genre fans may perhaps know where its story may lead although it’s an entertaining sci-fi film worth anyone’s time.

The Bartender (Ethan Hawke) is a Temporal Agent travelling through time pursuing criminals.  Nearing retirement, his final mystery begins as customer (Sarah Snook) enters the bar.  Telling him a strange true story, the customer provides the bartender with clues to his latest assignment.  Wanting to capture an elusive bomber, his target is closer than he realises.  With mysterious Mr. Robertson (Noah Taylor) lurking in the shadows, time soon runs out with history potentially changed in unimaginable ways.

‘Predestination’ demands total concentration.  Like a jigsaw puzzle, each plot point needs to gel in order to reach the answer.  That’s what makes ‘Predestination’ captivating as the characters slowly learn the truth.  Directed by the Spierig Brothers, the film takes some-time to fully fly but when it does it offers satisfying viewing.  Whilst some sequences seem confusing, the Spierig’s skills in telling the story ensure the conclusion is easily understood.

None of this would work without the strong performances.  The quality of the acting from the small cast heightens the tension and action in equal measures.  Hawke, Snook and Taylor under-play their roles to good effect without resorting to shrill melodramatics.  Science fiction fans should enjoy this futuristic crime noir occasionally echoing ‘Bladerunner’ in feel.  Although essentially a small film, its ideas are big in scope with much thought required.

A refreshing antidote to the plethora of dumb action yarns ‘Predestination’ is a solid movie.  Treating its audience with some intelligence, it makes one yearn for similar films that engage the mind and eyes in equal measures.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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

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Movie Review ... Magic In The Moonlight

 

magic-in-the-moonlight-pstr02Woody Allen’s films are renowned for their fine ensembles.  The veteran director has the gift for assembling great actors who are perfect fits for his interesting characters.  Rarely has anyone been mis-cast with the performers knowing exactly how to tease out the humour from any dramatic situation.  ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ is no exception.  As stylish and charming as previous movies, the cast excel in bringing life to Allen’s unique and sometimes dazzling visions.

Performing as an illusionist in Berlin during the 1920’s, Stanley (Colin Firth) enjoys dabbling in the mystic arts.  One of his hobbies is unmasking fake spiritualists intent on making illicit monetary gains.  One is noted clairvoyant Sophie (Emma Stone). Eager to expose her seemingly fraudulent behaviour, Stanley is shocked by discovering how good her abilities are.  Questioning that her gifts are real, Stanley searches for answers to life’s seemingly impossibilities.

‘Magic in the Moonlight’ revels in elegant wit.  Providing fine banter amongst the romantic entanglements, it’s one of Allen’s best recent movies.  The last decade has seen renewed energy to his directorial style with the European settings of his last several films highlighting this fresh vigour.  Scenes set amidst the French Riviera are very pleasing to the eye without feeling like a contrived travelogue.  These add to the flights of fancy in which the characters partake with revelations and personal discovery around every picturesque corner.

Making it work are the finely drawn performances.  Firth and Stone make for a beguiling duo as their characters slowly reveal the truth behind their illusionary facades.  How they complement the other makes for engaging viewing.  Their co-stars, including the always wonderful Jackie Weaver, enter the film’s light spirit with aplomb.  The production design and music mirrors the overall quality and excellent attention to detail.

Whilst not as emotionally deep as previous efforts ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ should please Allen’s enthusiasts.  It’s a light confection with numerous moments of genuine charm and grace not often seen but always welcome.

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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.

Official HomePage click HERE

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