Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Brigitte Bardot Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 17 April

 

  • Fela Kuti was a famous Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician and composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre, human rights activist, and political maverick.
  • Macarons or Macaroons originated in France and are a sweet meringue-based confection made with eggs, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring.
  • The best friend of children’s character Bottle Top Bill is Corky featured in an Australian 2005 ABC2 children's animated television program.
  • In 1997, the powdered flavouring mix Quik was changed to the worldwide brand as Nesquik originally a chocolate powdered flavouring mix in the United States in 1948, as Nestlé Quik.
  • Weirdsister College is the sequel to the 1998 children’s British ITV television series The Worst Witch about a group of young witches at a school for magic.
  • Soleil Moon Frye starred as the title character in the TV series Punky Brewster.
  • Constance Edwina Lewes, the Duchess of Westminster was one of only two women to compete in sailing at the London 1908 Summer Olympics as owner and extra crewmember of the 8-metre bronze medal-winning yacht Sorais. The venue for all sailing races, named matches was Ryde, Isle of Wight.
  • Five-hole is a term used in the sport of Ice Hockey.
  • The most infamous person to be hung at the Old Melbourne Goal was Ned Kelly, an Irish Australian bushranger, on 11 November 1880.
  • American author, screenwriter, and educator Erich Segal wrote the 1970 novel Love Story a best-seller, and writing the motion picture of the same name, which was a major hit.

Quotables 17 April

 

Anton_chekhov

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Bob Dylan Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 16 April

 

  • Having a visual disability of retinitis pigmentosa, a heredity disease she was diagnosed with when she was four years old, Rachel Henderson, a 2012 Australian Paralympic goalball player, represented South Australia in swimming and athletics but gave up both sports in 2010 to pursue goalball.
  • If a dessert says la mode, it means that it is served with ice cream.
  • In the Transformers movies Shia LaBouf plays the character of Sam Witwicky initially a social outcast who unintentionally buys Bumblebee as his first car unbeknown to him being a Transformer.
  • The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is the largest airport in the African country of Kenya.
  • The Indian Ocean surrounds the island of Madagascar which is the coast of Southeast Africa.
  • A rip entry is associated with the sport of diving with the technique so named because if executed properly on a head first entry into the water, it sounds like someone has ripped a piece of paper and the water looks as if it is boiling as air bubbles rise to the surface.
  • The 1994 children’s novella One Day at Horrorland was written by R L Stine.
  • Canals in Thailand are called khlongs and are spawned by the Chao Phraya, the Tha Chin, the Mae Klong Rivers and their tributaries being used for transportation and for floating markets, also for sewage.
  • The seventh largest country in total area in the world is India.
  • Spanish painter José Cruz Herrera, born 1890 and given the birth name of José Maria Remigio, worked in Casablanca for much of his life, where he was a prolific painter of scenes of Moroccan everyday life.

Quotables 16 April

 

WAKE UP

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Bing Crosby Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 15 April

 

  • The winning run for Harvard over Yale in the 1902 baseball series was scored in front of 9,000 fans by William Clarence Matthews, the only African-American player in the game.
  • Famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India in 1498.
  • British mathematician Margaret Meyer was the first woman to be elected to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1916.
  • Michelle de Kretser , born in Sri Lanka in 1957, won the 2013 Miles Franklin Award for her fourth novel, Questions of Travel.
  • The official language of Brazil is Portuguese with Brazil claimed for the Portuguese Empire on April 22, 1500, with the arrival of the Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral.
  • World renowned Australian actress, Cate Blanchett was born in Melbourne, Victoria.
  • The ventral stream is associated with Brain in the human body and is associated with object recognition and form representation.
  • In Australian pre-decimal currency the shilling coin featured a Merino sheep.
  • The Puerto Rico Trench is on the boundary of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean with the trench being 800 kilometres (497 mi) long and with a maximum depth of 8,648 metres (28,373 ft) at Milwaukee Deep, which is the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Puck, Miranda and Ariel are moons of the planet Uranus which has the third-largest planetary radius and fourth-largest planetary mass in the Solar System.

Quotables 15 April

 

singing

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Betty White Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 14 April

 

  • Thailand’s largest island is Phuket off the south-west coast in the Andaman Sea. The island is connected to mainland Thailand by two bridges.
  • The internet country code top level domain of .va is the Vatican City.
  • Scottish scientist, engineer, innovator and inventor John Logie Baird is credited with inventing television with the first public demonstrations on 26 January 1926.
  • Having won many dancing titles and trained in jazz, tap, acrobatics and ballroom dancing, Australian entertainer Todd McKenney has been a judge on the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars in all series since starting in 2004.
  • The Murchison River is in the Australian state of Western Australia flowing for about 820 km (510 mi) from the southern edge of the Robinson Ranges to the Indian Ocean at Kalbarri.
  • Mount Elbert is the highest mountain in the North American range known as the Rocky Mountains standing at 14,440 feet (4,401 m).
  • Betty Nuthall and Patrick Spence formed a real-life couple after they won the 1931 French Championships mixed doubles title.
  • A Groovy Kind of Love was hit in 1988 for Phil Collins.
  • The disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, a landlocked region in the South Caucasus, is internationally recognised as part of the country of Azerbaijan.
  • The standard poker hand of Three of a kind falls between two pairs and a straight hand.

Quotables 14 April

 Fall_in_love

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Movie Review ... Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

captain-america‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ continues the furious pace set by Marvel.  Famed for many comic-book titles such as Spider-man and Thor, Marvel has recently enjoyed a cinematic renaissance.  With technology finally catching up with its fantasy, its characters have had many big-screen outings.  This latest effort is a sequel to the 2011 hit.  A more confident entry, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ provides a dazzling spectacle doing justice to Jack Kirby’s and Joe Simon’s creation.

Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) tries to adjust to his new life.  Attempting to become a hero for a modern era he is aided by The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) among others.  Facing a new threat when a villain dubbed The Winter Soldier emerges Rogers springs to action.  The Soldier’s presence unearths a conspiracy involving SHIELD agent Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and its mysterious boss Alexander Pearce (Robert Redford).  Untangling the web of intrigue, Rogers tries to fight dark forces trying to destroy all he has fought for.

If the first Captain America film was an ode to war movies, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ riffs 1970’s conspiracy thrillers.  Works such as ‘All The President’s Men’ come to mind which is appropriate given Redford appears in both.  His presence lends an air of unpredictability in a clandestine plot providing more depth than in other similar productions.  Anthony and Joe Russo’s tight direction wraps these events in a neat package full of visual flair and exciting rhythm.

Their handling of the action sequences counter-balance ‘quieter moments’ which allow each to effectively hold attention.  They are more than well served by the strong cast who bring much energy.  Most have been in previous Marvel films but still ensure the material is enlivened by their fresh rendering of their roles.  Their performances aren’t swamped too much by the CGI which is thankfully used minimally in favour of developing an engaging story.

Based on the evidence ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ provides, Marvel’s cinema adventures will continue.  An exciting and intriguing superhero movie, it does the job in conjuring escapist entertainment for which the Marvel movie genre is quickly establishing.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  8

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 ... Chef

 

hr_Chef_1Everyone loves food.  We can’t live without it and have our own culinary vices.  No wonder television cooking shows have been so enduringly popular.  Leading to the rise of ‘celebrity chefs’ these shows display people’s foibles as they create a delicious dish.  ‘Chef’ explores how someone uses social media to re-discover his gastronomic passion.  Often as light as a fluffy soufflé, it’s a charming confection of redemption and tasty cuisine.

Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is a respected chef adored in the food world.  Whilst having an artistic temperament, his abilities usually escape criticism.  When a famed food critic dares to give a bad review, all bets are off.  Beginning a war of words, Casper soon becomes disillusioned with his profession.  Deciding to begin a mobile food business with ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara) and son Percy (Emjay Anthony), he is forced to confront his past and re-claim his desired golden future.

Written and directed by star Jon Favreau, ‘Chef’ marks a departure to his recent output.  Known for directing big-budget blockbusters, ‘Chef’s’ smaller canvas seems more suited to his skills.  He tells a simple tale of a person trapped by his own ego and finding a way to break free.  Only then can he re-establish broken bonds and creative passions.  Favreau provides a light touch as he spins these elements in a comedy/drama with some genuine laughs. 

Whilst the narrative becomes occasionally repetitive, its charming affability shines through.  Carl’s relationship with his son is its main focus with the performers bringing genuine believability to their tentative relationship.  Adding to ‘Chef’s overall pleasantness is the cinematography which successfully conjures the flavour of each city the food truck passes.  The characters they meet aid their understanding of each other and of the once enclosed existence they led.

‘Chef’ isn’t particularly memorable but it has much authenticity and soft humour.  Apart from potentially making viewers hungry, the delights it offers may inspire some to dabble in the kitchen in search of fine food and delectable moments.

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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.

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Movie Review ... Divergent

 

hr_Divergent_27When is ‘The Hunger Games’ not ‘The Hunger Games? When it’s ‘Divergent’ based on Veronica Roth’s books.  Sharing many similarities the film adaptation conjures feelings of déjà vu. That isn’t to say it’s bad though – just a generic American film aiming to become a money-spinning franchise.  Many have been released over the years with few lasting the distance.  ‘Divergent’ gamely tries its best to differentiate itself although the shadow of previous failed franchises looms large.

In a post-apocalyptic future, Chicago is struggling to survive.  To maintain some sense of order people are placed in groups according to their abilities.  Discovering she has a multitude of forbidden talents, Beatrice (Shailene Woodley) realises she doesn’t belong in any.  Dubbed a ‘divergent’, she unearths a deadly plot spear-headed by totalitarian leader Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet).  With the help of fellow divergent Tobias (Theo James), Beatrice tries to save what’s left of her crumbling world.

An aim of a new franchise is to establish its mythology.  ‘Divergent’ reasonably does this despite its formulaic predictability.  Directed by Neil Burger, its successful moments are when it adheres to its central theme of discarding conformity.  When it focuses the many action sequences it loses some power as they aren’t anything we haven’t seen elsewhere.  ‘Divergent’ never feels like its own movie – just a first chapter in a potentially enduring series.

Winslet has the most fun amongst the performers with her wickedly icy maiden.  She out-shines her main stars who exhibit little chemistry.  It is difficult being engaged in the story due to Woodley’s and James’ somewhat lifeless performances.  Their listless rendition of the dialogue highlights the plot’s deficiencies and over-padding.  They’re fine in the battle scenes which are well-staged even if they elicit miniscule tension.

‘Divergent’ is a case of style over substance.  Whilst it has some depth, it fails to differentiate itself from similar film series.  Its’ by-the-numbers nature may appeal to undemanding viewers while others are advised to find seek films that don’t ride on another’s coat-tails.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  5

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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DIVERGENT – VARIOUS ARTISTS

A Betty Hutton Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 13 April

 

  • Florence Nightingale came to prominence while serving as nurse in the Crimean War being dubbed "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night.
  • There are 60 cards in the card game Blink.
  • Believed to have been written between 1590 and 1592, the play The Taming of the Shrew was written by William Shakespeare and has been adapted numerous times for stage, screen, opera, and musical theatre; perhaps the most famous adaptations being Cole Porter's musical Kiss Me, Kate and the 1967 film version of the original play, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
  • A Romanian mioritic is a large breed of a shepherd dog that originated in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania.
  • Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein wrote the 1958 musical Flower Drum Song.
  • In 1948, the team from India made history by playing the FIFA World Cup barefooted.
  • The colour of the Star of David on the Israeli flag is blue and is featured between two horizontal blue stripes on a white field.
  • The Queensland, Australia city of Ipswich was originally called Limestone Penal Station where, in 1827, a party of convicts quarried the limestone and erected a lime-burning kiln for cement for the infant building program at Brisbane. The Limestone penal station was closed in 1839.
  • Australian former professional tennis player Rod Laver never won the Grand Slam Doubles titles at the US Open.
  • In relation to medicine, HPV stands for Human pappillomavirus and is a DNA virus from the papillomavirus family that is capable of infecting humans.
  • The 1909 novel Anne of Avonlea was written by Canadian author Maud Montgomery. This was the second in a series of books – the first being Anne of Green Gables.
  • Australian swimmer, triathlete and motivational speaker and also a blind 2012 Paralympic swimmer Jeremy McClure completed the 2011 Ironman 70.3 Busselton with assistance from sighted guides in running, cycling and swimming.
  • When used as a food dye, tumeric is yellow in colour.
  • Nine reindeers pull Santa Claus’ sleigh during his world wide mission to deliver presents - Four male: Dasher, Prancer, Comet and Donder and four female: Dancer, Vixen, Cupid and Blitzen.
  • The Wind of Change speech was delivered by British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan in 1960.
  • The first America’s Cup yacht race on 22 August 1851 was raced around the Isle of Wight. The yacht America raced against 15 yachts of the Royal Yacht Squadron in the Club's annual 53-nautical-mile (98 km) regatta. Queen Victoria, who was watching at the finish line, was reported to have asked who was second, the famous answer being: "Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second."
  • In Korean cuisine, Naengguk is a cold soup mainly eaten in summer.
  • Soursop is the fruit of a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree native to Mexico, Cuba, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America and is on the same family as the pawpaw.
  • Jennifer Aniston plays stripper Rose O’Reilly in the 2013 comedy movie We’re the Millers.
  • Sabrina in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch had two aunts Hilda and Zelda. Sabrina, the Teenage Witch was an American sit-com TV series that ran from 1996 – 2003 starring Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina Spellman.

Quotables 13 April

goals

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Betty Grable Moment

 

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Trivia Bits 06 April

 

  • The central stripe on the Bolivian flag is Yellow.
  • Butts are practice fields with mounds or earth used as targets in the sport of Archery.
  • ONA is the Australian intelligence agency and stands for The Office of National Assessments. ONA was established by the Office of National Assessments Act 1977 as an independent body directly accountable to the Prime Minister of Australia.
  • The first Melbourne Cup was held in 1861 on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria, and was won by the horse Archer.
  • The Gaza Strip is bordered to the east and the north by Israel and the south west by Egypt.
  • First constructed in 1929, the State Farm Downtown Building in Bloomington, Illinois, features the intact 1951 office of company founder George J. Mecherle with approximately 90% of Mecherle's original material is still in the office.
  • In 1995, English writer and campaigner Jemima Goldsmith married Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan.
  • Australian musician, singer-songwriter, and actor Rick Springfield had a 1981 hit with the song Jessie’s Girl.
  • Georgia, a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, has a coastline on the Black Sea.
  • The Horn of Africa contains the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia jutting into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden.
  • The technical name for the lower jawbone is Mandible, a bone forming the skull with the cranium.
  • The pastry most commonly used to make spanakopita or spinach pie, a Greek savory pastry, is Filo or Phyllo pastry
  • Olive oil is used to make traditional pesto a sauce originating in northern Italy.
  • Australia’s longest river at 2,375 kilometres (1,476 mi) in length, The Murray River, meets the Southern Ocean at its mouth in Lake Alexandrina in South Australia
  • Originally using the pen-name of Richard Bachman for the 1982 novel Running Man was American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy writer Stephen King.
  • The music for the opera Don Giovanni, which premiered on October 29 1787, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
  • Jareth the Goblin King was played by English musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, actor and arranger. David Bowie in the 1986 movie Labyrinth a 1986 British-American fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, produced by George Lucas.
  • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I is beneath the Paris monument – the Arc de Triomphe which honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces.
  • The real surname of both Martin and Charlie Sheen is Estevez. Charlie is the youngest son of actor Martin Sheen and artist Janet Templeton. His paternal grandparents were immigrants from Spain and Ireland. Charlie Sheen has two older brothers, Emilio Estevez and Ramon Estevez, and a younger sister, Renée Estevez, all actors.
  • Christ the Redeemer (O Cristo Redentor) statue in Brazil was voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World in 2007.