Thursday, April 24, 2014
- The 1877 novel by English author Anna Sewell is Black Beauty written during 1871 to 1877 and was Anna’s only published work.
- A shape described as an enneagon has nine sides which is also known as a nonagon.
- South Australian suffragette Mary Lee was commemorated with a $5 coin by the Australian Mint in 1994.
- A gerontologist studies old age – its diseases and phenomena.
- While researching his 2012 book, In the Shadow of the Sword, British novelist and popular historian Tom Holland found that the oldest biography of Mohammed was written two hundred years after he had died.
- In October 2013, the West African country of The Gambia withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations.
- Although Canadian actor, musician, singer, author, film director William Shatner became a cultural icon for his portrayal of Captain James Tiberius Kirk in the science fiction television series Star Trek, from 1966 to 1969, he also played the eponymous veteran police sergeant in the American police drama TV series T. J. Hooker from 1982 to 1986.
- In the book identification, the acronym ISBN stands for International standard book number created by Gordon Foster, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at Trinity College, Dublin, for the booksellers and stationers in 1965.
- There are 24 circles in the standard Twister mat when introduced in 1966.
- The second novel in the Passage trilogy by US author Justin Cronin is The Twelve. The first novel was The Passage released in 2010; the second book The Twelve released in 2012, with the third book The City of Mirrors due to be released in 2014.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
- Modern Arnis is a martial art that originated in the Philippines and founded by Remy Presas as a self-defense system.
- The mountain originally named Mount Kosciuszko in Australia is the peak next to the present day Kosciuszko.
- The Australian states of South Australia and Queensland meet at Haddon Corner which was first surveyed by Augustus Poeppel in 1880 and lies at the intersection of the 26th parallel south circle of latitude and the 141st meridian.
- London Still was the 2002 breakthrough song for The Waifs, an Australian folk rock band formed in 1992.
- The 1972 Miss World contest was won by Belinda Green representing Australia, at the age of 20.
- Compote is a dessert originating from 17th-century France made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup and is served either warm or cold.
- The giant panda is native to China and is easily recognized by the large, distinctive black patches around its eyes, over the ears, and across its round body.
- 2012 Paralympian Iraqi born Australian swimmer Ahmed Kelly lived at Baghdad's Mother Teresa Orphanage with his brother until he was seven years old.
- The Children's Memorial Health Institute Warsaw, Poland was founded as a monument to the heroism and martyrdom of children during World War II. The first patients were admitted 17 October 1977.
- The pasta that is means Little Tongues in Italian is Linguine and originated in Genoa and the Liguria region of Italy.
- Extremadura is an autonomous community in the west of Spain whose capital city is Mérida and the birthplace of many legendary Spanish conquistadors including Vasco Núñez de Balboa the first European to lead an expedition to reach the Pacific from the New World.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
- Blanche Dubois is one of the main characters in the 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennesse Williams and was a fading, though still attractive, Southern belle whose pretensions to virtue and culture thinly masked her alcoholism and delusions of grandeur.
- In Spanish, tapas mean lid or cover but generally refer to a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine.
- It is in the well known fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin that straw is spun into gold. The German originated story was collected by the Brothers Grimm in the 1812 edition of Children's and Household Tales.
- Bette Davis Eyes was a 1981 hit for American singer-songwriter Kim Carnes and although song was written in 1974 by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon who recorded the song that same year on her album New Arrangement it was not until 1981, when Kim Carnes recorded her version of the song, that it became a commercial success.
- Matthew Charlton was the leader of the Labor Party in Australian Federal politics in the 1920’s.
- In 1981, Nintendo released to arcade game known as Donkey Kong which features the adventures of a large gorilla called Donkey Kong, created by Shigeru Miyamoto.
- The best known spice from the Piperaceae family of flowering plants is pepper.
- A dhow is a type of boat with one or more masts with lateen sails used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region.
- The desert rain frog, found in Namibia and South Africa, leaves distinctive footprints on the dunes and a little pile of sand showing the location of its burrow.
Monday, April 21, 2014
An important aspect a sequel should adhere is to keep it simple. Many have used a new entry to up the ante in terms of plot and CGI. In Hollywood terms sequels mean ‘more, bigger, better’. Sadly some have been so over-stuffed with poorly written characters that an engaging plot never materialises. ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ becomes an unwitting victim. Whilst superficially entertaining it marks a cinematic nadir for a superhero film designed to launch further franchises.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is still adjusting to life as New York’s finest superhero Spider-Man. Knowing the sinister Oscorp foundation had a hand in the creation of his last foe The Lizard, he investigates further. Meeting its new owner and friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), his search is interrupted by a deadly new villain called Electro (Jamie Foxx). With girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone) looking on, Spidey’s determined nature gives him the power and responsibility he needs to combat anyone standing in his way.
Director Marc Webb had his work cut out helming this movie. Introducing three new villains, adding elements for future instalments, and attempting to progress established characters one would have expected a mess. It manages not to become one although occasionally it comes dangerously close. Much of its success is due to Garfield’s take on Parker/Spider-Man. He still conveys the character’s rough edges of the early comic-books and handles himself very well in the action sequences.
Unfortunately his co-stars don’t fare as well. From Foxx’s Electro to DeHaan’s tortured role, they are given short-shrift with caricatured personas. Although we are talking about a fantasy film, others such as the recent ‘Captain America’ outing proved an intelligent superhero caper can be made. The lack of any true style or logic hurts ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ with the messy CGI washing over the story. The long run-time does no favours with its few intriguing elements becoming lost.
‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ isn’t a film – it’s a tool used to create more spin-offs. Commercialism obviously isn’t a dirty word in Tinseltown but the lack of transparency the production shows grates. It can be hoped the inevitable third outing rises to the occasion and gives the character the justice it deserves.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 5
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.
- The 1957 play The Room was the first play by Nobel Prize-winning English playwright Harold Pinter.
- In 2013, The US Ambassador to Australia made a plea via Facebook for Australians to stop illegally downloading the TV Series Game of Thrones.
- Australian 2012 Paralympic wheelchair rugby player Andrew Harrison was part of a campaign called "Don't Drink and Dive" which encouraged people to be careful when diving.
- On 20 March 1969, John Lennon married Yoko Ono at The Rock Hotel in Gibraltar that was built in 1932.
- 2012 Paralympics table tennis player Rebecca McDonnell was the first Australian woman ever to compete at the table tennis Para World Championships.
- As Time Goes By is a 1992 to 2002 British romantic sitcom, starring Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, that follows the relationship between two former lovers who meet unexpectedly after not having been in contact for 38 years.
- ’74 Jailbreak is a compilation EP released in 1984 by Australian rockers AC/DC who are considered pioneers of heavy metal and are one of the highest-grossing bands of all time.
- The lunula ("small moon") is the visible the whitish crescent-shaped base of the nail and can best be seen in the thumb and may not be visible in the little finger.
- Featured on the Australian one hundred dollar note is Dame Nellie Melba, an Australian operatic soprano, who one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century and was the first Australian to achieve international recognition as a classical musician.
- Opened in October 2013, the Marmaray rail transport project connects the Asian and European sides of the Turkish city of Istanbul.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
- Zambian author Wilbur Smith’s 2007 novel Those in Peril features Somalian Pirates.
- The historic La Playa Trail in San Diego is the oldest commercial trail in the western United States connecting the settled inland areas to the commercial anchorage at Old La Playa, "the beach" in Spanish, on San Diego Bay. The trail was already established by the time the Spanish settlers arrived in 1769.
- In the game of snooker, the yellow ball is worth two points.
- In 1995, fashion designer Collette Dinnigan was the first Australian to launch a ready-to-wear collection in Paris
- Green carpenter, blue banded, teddy bear and leaf cutter are all types of Bees.
- The Australian Tiffanie is a cat that is derived from crosses between the shorthaired Burmilla and the longhaired Chinchilla.
- On 27 July 1942 at the Château Pastré in Marseille, France, a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream was held with a young Christian Dior making the costumes from the draperies of the chateau.
- Brussels is capital of the European country of Belgium.
- The disease, tuberculosis, mainly effects the lungs and is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease.
- The original video game of Doom, first released on December 10 1993, starts on the moons of the planet of Mars.
- Harris's antelope squirrel, found in Arizona and New Mexico in the United States, doesn't sweat, but instead salivates in order to keep cool.
- A piste is the playing area in the sport of fencing required to be 14 metres long and between 1.5 and 2 metres wide.
- Australian super swimmer Ian Thorpe, affectionately known as the Thorpedo and Thorpey, was 15 when he won the world 400 m freestyle events at the 1998 Perth World Championships and became the youngest champion in history.
- Feline is to cat as piscine is to fish.
- Model and actor Riley Keough is the grand-daughter of internationally acclaimed musician Elvis Presley.
- Alicia Jayne Coutts an Australian medley, butterfly and freestyle swimmer won one gold, three silver medals and 1 bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
- The US state of Alaska is often nicknamed The Last Frontier.
- A Finn class dinghy in Olympic sailing events is operated by one person and was designed by Swedish canoe designer, Rickard Sarby, in 1949 for the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki.
- In the sport of table tennis, you would use a shakehand or penhold grip.
- The prominent religion of the South American country of Paraguay is Roman Catholicism which Spanish settlers and Jesuit missions introduced both Christianity and Spanish culture to Paraguay in the 16th Century.