Thursday, September 3, 2015

Trivia Bits 03 September

 

Puyi 

The Last Emperor of China was Puyi (pictured) who ruled as the Xuantong Emperor from 1908 until his abdication on 12 February 1912, after the successful Xinhai Revolution and from 1 to 12 July 1917, he was briefly restored to the throne as a nominal emperor by the warlord Zhang Xun.

The Introit, from Latin - introitus, entrance, is part of the opening of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist for many Christian denominations and in the Roman Catholic Mass in the Carmelite Rite is called the Officium.

Any ordeal or a soldier’s first battle is often referred to as baptism of fire with the military concept mentioned in the title song of the 1985 Dire Straits album Brothers in Arms, Through these fields of destruction, baptisms of fire.

American television and film producer, director and writer Chris Carter spent 13 years working for Surfing Magazine before creating The X-Files and Millennium.

The nape is at the back of the neck.

Yelverton Paperweight Centre, in Leg O'Mutton a small hamlet near Yelverton, in the English county of Devon, has over 1000 paperweights having its origins in the private collection of a Cornish postmaster, Bernard Broughton, the postmaster of St Tudy in Cornwall.

Tulaghi was the capital of the Pacific Island country of the Solomon Islands between 1896 and 1942 with the capital of what is now the state of Solomon Islands moving to Honiara, Guadalcanal after World War II.

The 1470 Korean Honil Gangni Yeokdae Gukdo Ji Do - Map of Integrated Lands and Regions of Historical Countries and Capitals - often abbreviated as the Kangnido map fully depicts the Old World, from Europe and Africa to Japan, long before European explorations.

In Swan Lake, a ballet by Tchaikovsky, the main character, Odette, a princess, is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse and the ballet was premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet on 4 March   1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Ice cream is the main ingredient in the German spaghettieis which is a German ice cream made to look like a plate of spaghetti and was created by Dario Fontanella in the late 1960s in Mannheim, Germany.

Quotables 03 September

 

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Trivia Bits 02 September

 

Slim Dusty

The first musician to be named Senior Australian of the Year in 1999 was Australian country music singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer Slim Dusty (pictured) who was also first Australian to have an international record hit with his 1957 song A Pub with No Beer.

Prince Tuesday and Prince Wednesday are characters from the American-Canadian animated children's television series Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood which debuted on September 3, 2012 and was designed for preschool-aged children.

The closest Queensland city to the popular Australian tourist destination Magnetic Island is Townsville, is a haven for wildlife as 54% of the island is Magnetic Island National Park, which is mostly located on the steep hilly interior and rugged north-western side and is famous for its angling opportunities.

Launched on 16 May 1850, the French Navy's 90 gun ship Le Napoléon was the first steam battleship in history carrying 3 months supply of food and 9 days supply of coal if travelling at full-speed of 12.1 knots.

Devastating Vanuatu in March 2015 was Cyclone Pam with a total of 15 – 16 people losing their lives either directly or indirectly as a result of Pam with many others injured.

The Auschwitz concentration camp, now an UNESCO World Heritage Site, is in Poland with World War II prisoners remaining at the camp were liberated on January 27, 1945, a day now commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Éamon de Valera was sentenced to imprisonment after the Easter Rising on 24 April 1916, was a leader of Ireland's struggle for independence from the United Kingdom in the War of Independence and of the anti-Treaty opposition in the ensuing Irish Civil War (1922–1923) began but went onto become Prime Minister and President of Ireland.

The coldest place on earth is Vostok Station in Antarctica where it reached minus 128.6F/minus 89.2C on 21 July 1983.

Leonarto, as the governor of Messina in Shakespeare’s play written about 1598 Much Ado About Nothing, offers hospitality to the powerful Don Pedro and his followers.

Cosby is an American situation comedy television series broadcast from September 1996 to April 2000, loosely based on the British sitcom One Foot in the Grave and stars Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashād.

Quotables 02 September

 

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Trivia Bits 01 September

 

 Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp

The autopsy depicted in Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (pictured) , an oil painting by Rembrandt, was a real event which took place on 16 January 1632.

Nihil, from Latin means nothing with Nihilism being a philosophical doctrine most commonly presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.

Situated at the Willkanuta River in the Sacred Valley, the Peruvian village Písac derives its name from a ruined Incan citadel which represents the wing of a partridge.

An immigrant from a strange foreign land, often speaking in his foreign tongue (actually composed of gibberish, often using invented phrases such as "ibi da" or "nik nik"), but when speaking English he speaks with a very heavy accent, working as a mechanic, fixing the taxis, Latka Gravas was played by Andy Kaufman on the sitcom Taxi, American sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982 on ABC and from 1982 to 1983 on NBC.

Linguistically a hyponym is the semantic relation in which one word is the hypernym of another as in chair to furniture, cherry to red and apricot to fruit.

When referring to mining company BHP-Biliton, the acronym BHP stands for Broken Hill Proprietary which was incorporated in 1885, operating the silver and lead mine at Broken Hill in western New South Wales, Australia and in 2001, BHP merged with the Billiton mining company to form BHP Billiton.

In his poem Dushenka, the 18th-century Ukrainian-born poet Ippolit Bogdanovich changed the setting of Apuleius's story about Cupid and Psyche to a contemporary Russian village.

The famous mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the centre of the universe with the publication of this model in his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) just before his death in 1543.

Though human noses have an impressive 5 million olfactory cells with which to smell, sheepdogs have 220 million, enabling them to smell 44 times better than man.

The Sargasso Sea is a region in the gyre in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean and is the only sea on Earth which has no coastline with the ocean water in the Sargasso Sea is distinctive for its deep blue colour and exceptional clarity, with underwater visibility of up to 200 feet (61 m).

Quotables 01 September

 

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Movie Review ... The Transporter Refuelled

 

THE TRANSPORTER REFUELLED posterSeven years after its last cinematic outing, ‘The Transporter’ series returns to screens.  Initially a vehicle to show off the physical talents of star Jason Statham, it morphed into an enjoyably silly action trilogy.  ‘The Transporter Refuelled’ re-boots the franchise with new action and new stars.  Ed Skrein replaces Statham but still shows the same gift for battling wicked villains amidst glamorous surrounds.

After a lifetime of transporting shady packages for dodgy customers, former mercenary Frank (Ed Skrein) enjoys retirement. Spending time with his father, Frank Snr (Ray Stevenson), Frank revels in the quiet time.  Unfortunately his idyll is interrupted by the mysterious Anna (Loan Chabanol).  Anna is a lady of sinister disposition who employs Frank to join her in a daring bank heist.  Quickly discovering that the plan is more than it seems, Frank battles an armada of baddies and seeks vengeance as only he can.

‘The Transporter Refuelled’ is one of those movies you can’t take seriously.  A ridiculously outrageous romp, it delivers on its promise.  Slightly steering the franchise towards a more realistic sheen, director Camille Delamarre does an admirable job.  Aided by Skrein’s energetic performance, Frank is a street-wise hero determined to use his wits to untangle himself out of bad situations.  Bringing a dangerous edge to the fight scenes, you can feel Frank’s determination to overcome obstacles and the zeal he has in defeating his enemies.

The series isn’t known for its in-depth characterisation and ‘The Transporter Refuelled’ follows suit.   It isn’t a total hollow vessel with enough character moments to maintain interest in between explosions.  The action is what everyone wants and there are plenty.  From car, boat and plane chases, the vehicle destruction runs high.  All are expertly photographed with the vistas of the French Riviera used to maximum effect.  The locales add a glossy, James Bond-feel with the pacing never running out of steam.

Whilst not the most mind-blowing action movie made, ‘The Transporter Refuelled’ fulfils its purpose.  Re-starting the series with ease and full of the elements making for diverting viewing, it’s an agreeable entry in a furiously thunderous series.

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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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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Movie Review ... The Gift

 

 

The Gift posterA good thriller should creep up on you.  It doesn’t have to be filled with violence but a level of suspense refusing to surrender.  Those from famed director Alfred Hitchcock such as ‘Psycho’ and ‘North by Northwest’ still linger in the memory.  ‘The Gift’ deftly borrows from Hitchcock’s malevolent handbook.  Full of tension and sinister occurrences, ‘The Gift’ has a low-key feel hiding a dark, terrifying heart.

Married couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are starting a new life.  Moving into a new house and job, they look forward to the future.  Dark clouds gather when Simon unexpectedly meets old school acquaintance Gordon (Joel Edgerton) who carries secrets threatening to unravel their lives.  As Gordon slowly integrates himself into their existence, the past’s deadly spectre looms large like a voice from the grave.

An unsettling and atmospheric piece, ‘The Gift’ is an excellent thriller.  Delivering on its promise of an intense physiological mystery, all credit goes to writer, director and star Edgerton.  Careful to never over-reach the clichés his creepy character could have shown, his under-stated performance intrigues.  Crafting a compelling narrative and authentic scares from his taut screenplay, Edgerton ensures audiences are kept guessing.  Predictability isn’t something ‘The Gift’ has, discarding the conventions of the genre in a twist-driven tale leading to a shocking finale.

It isn’t all Edgerton’s show as Bateman and Hall deliver very strong performances.  You are never quite sure where their characters will end up, with the actors embracing the script’s complexities.  Their paranoia at Gordon’s activities is understandable although the slowly emerging secrets make for delicious viewing.  Just when the story goes one way it ends up elsewhere, with just one element changing things.  This marks ‘The Gift’ as one of the smarter and adventurous films made recently.

Anyone looking for a well-made thriller can look no further than ‘The Gift’.  Captivating from its first frame, it marks Edgerton’s directorial debut a success with his future endeavours eagerly awaited.

The Gift 6stre4

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  9

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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Monday, August 24, 2015

On Leave

 

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I am on a week’s leave.

See you next week just in time for Spring in Australia.

Cheers

Graham

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Trivia Bits 23 August

 

Porky Pig

Known for the line Th-Th-Th-T-Th ... That’s All Folks was Porky Pig (pictured) an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, known as Ada Lovelace, was an English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine with her 1842–43 notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine and because of this, she is often regarded as the first computer programmer.

In South Australia, the six o’clock swill or the closure of hotel bars serving alcohol stopped during 1967 when the closure was extended to 10 pm.

The Mojave Desert in the United States crosses four states - California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona and whose boundaries are generally defined by the presence of Yucca brevifolia, Joshua trees, considered an indicator species for this desert.

The 1955 painting Police Gazette was painted by Dutch American abstract expressionist artist Willem de Kooning and is a landscape painted on canvas using abstract elements, and colours such as yellow, green and red that is currently in a private collection.

The tiny municipality of Notre-Dame-des-Anges, Quebec was set up in 1722 to protect its only occupant, a hospital, from taxes.

Five-time Gold Logie winning Australian television journalist and entertainment personality Ray Martin was born Raymond George Grace into an Irish-Australian Catholic family in Richmond, New South Wales, Australia, the youngest of four children and only son who in the early 1990s found out that his great, great grandmother was an Indigenous Australian woman from the Kamilaroi nation, near Gunnedah.

Founded in September 25, 1928, Motorola was the company in 1973 to produce and first publicised hand held mobile phone.

Australian actress, singer and film producer Nicole Kidman was born in 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were temporarily in the United States on educational visas.

A national junta in the name of Ferdinand was formed on 18 September 1810 with the Government Junta of Chile proclaimed Chile an autonomous republic within the Spanish monarchy and in memory of this day Chile celebrates its National Day on 18 September each year.

Quotables 23 August

 

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Movie Review ... Southpaw

 

southpaw_posterBoxing movies have been a mainstay for years.  ‘Rocky’, ‘Raging Bull’ and others have examined the dynamics of those brave enough to tussle in the ring.  What they have in common is not the focus on the sport but the people.  Using boxing as a cipher to explore all facets of humanity – from the players to the spectators – every emotion is covered.  ‘Southpaw’ delves into these in a reasonably fresh way.  It’s difficult conjuring something original in the boxing genre but the performers and direction highlight its enduring popularity.

A world light Heavyweight champion, Billy (Jake Gyllenhaal) is at the top of his game.  Watched by his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) and daughter, he thinks life is good.  Events take a sad turn when Maureen dies during a fight.  Falling into a spiral of despair, Billy’s life crumbles.  After his daughter is given to welfare, Billy resolves to turn things around.  With the help of trainer Tick (Forest Whitaker), Billy aims to reclaim his life and climb his way back up the career ladder.

An intense exploration of self-destruction and redemption, ‘Southpaw’ is gripping viewing.  Whilst the fight sequences are of the usual nail-biting standard, it’s the psychological elements gaining interest.  It only takes one fatal mis-step to wreck Billy’s world leading to an emotional cataclysm. How he deals with fate’s dark hand provides him another chance of re-building his life.  His relationships with others aid in his re-discovery of who he is and his former passion for boxing.

Directed with intensity by Antoine Fuqua, ‘Southpaw’ succeeds in having a gritty, urban feel.  Although Fuqua occasionally delves into the clichés the genre brings, he is able to put his own unique stamp on the story.  He is helped by Gyllenhaal’s strong performance, again confirming his ability to successfully inhabit characters.  Whitaker makes the most of what could have been a clichéd ‘mentor role’, giving it depth.  The boxing scenes are expertly handled, with the precise skill in developing each move seen.

‘Southpaw’ may not be anything particularly new, but it delivers its own impact.  There is no doubt boxing movies will continue to be seen with the ‘against all odds’ motif always finding favour with audiences in and out of the ring.

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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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Trivia Bits 22 August

 

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Quentin Tarantino (pictured) wrote and directed the multi-award winning 2012 American western film Django Unchained and is a highly stylized variation of the spaghetti Western taking place in the Old West and America's pre-Civil War South.

Situated on the Mediterranean Sea gulf, the Gulf of Tunis, behind the Lake of Tunis and the port of La Goulette, Tunis is the capital of the northern African country of Tunisia and has a long history with in the 2nd millennium BC a town, originally named Tunes, was founded by Berbers and also over time occupied by Numidians.

Diego, Iago, Giacomo and Jacques are all foreign equivalents of the English name James.

First used in 1798, Vaccine comes from the Latin word vacca which means cow and was chosen because the first vaccination was derived from cowpox which was given to a boy.

English sculptor and artist Henry Moore was born in Castleford, West Yorkshire, England who is best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art.

Danish-born American trombonist and jazz composer Kai Winding's song Time Is on My Side became a U.S. top ten hit for The Rolling Stones in 1964, and has been covered by Michael Bolton, Wilson Pickett, Paul Revere & the Raiders and Vanessa Carlton, among others.

The first surfer to win the World Surfing Championship five times was Australia surfer Mark Richards who was born in 1957 and grew up in Newcastle, son of Ray and Val Richards, both keen beachgoers.

Will Robie, a highly skilled U.S. Government assassin, first appeared in the 2012 novel The Innocent by American novelist David Baldacci.

Once important in western herbal medicine, Orris root is now used mainly as a fixative and base note in perfumery, the most widely used fixative for potpourri and is also an ingredient in many brands of gin.

In the history of wound care, the Ancient Greeks were the first to differentiate between acute and chronic wounds, calling them fresh and non-healing, respectively.

Quotables 22 August

 

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Trivia Bits 21 August

 

The Wedding Dance

In The Wedding Dance (pictured), a 1566 oil painting by Flemish Renaissance painter and printmaker Pieter Bruegel the Elder, the movements of the people show that they are acting inappropriately or in an epitome of rustic buffoonery.

Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia with the old town of Riyadh within the city walls didn't exceed an area of 1 km sq, therefore very few significant architectural remnants of the original walled oasis town of Riyadh exist today.

In the 1978 television sitcom series Mork & Mindy alien Mork’s home planet was Ork was sent to observe human behaviour and mentions many times that Orkan scientists grew him in a test-tube.

The first English professional cricketer to be knighted was John “Jack” Hobbs in 1953.

German businessman and a pioneer of field archaeology, Heinrich Schliemann claimed to have found Priam's Treasure in the ruin of Troy but the treasure disappeared from Germany in 1945 after World War II and turned up at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow in 1993.

The first official cricket Test Match between Australia and England was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground between 15 and 19 March 1877 which Australia won by 45 runs.

In the sport of sailing people compete in the Etchells Class a racing class of one-design sailing boats which was named after a naval architect, boat builder and world championship sailor Elwood Widmer (E. W.) Etchells and the 30’6” keelboat he designed in 1966.

The parallel of latitude of 66o 33’ 44” south of the Equator is the Antarctic Circle.

With a length of 260.1 metres and width of 27.8 metres, the Palace Bridge is a road traffic and foot bascule bridge spanning the Neva River in Saint Petersburg between Palace Square and Vasilievsky Island that was opened on December 23, 1916.

Barstow, California, and Strong City, Kansas, are both named in honour of William Barstow Strong, former president of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

Quotables 21 August

 

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Trivia Bits 20 August

 

Edsel Bermuda station wagons

An estimated 892 Edsel Bermuda station wagons were produced in 1958 by the Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln (M-E-L) Division of the Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan, before the model was dropped after a single year of production.

Cardiothoracic surgical fellow Cristina Yang, portrayed by actress Sandra Oh, is one of the main characters in the American medical drama television series Grey’s Anatomy that premiered in the US on March 27, 2005.

Margrethe II of Denmark became Queen in 1972 and became the first female monarch of Denmark since Margrethe I, ruler of the Scandinavian countries in 1375–1412.

An area known as exurbia suggests that residents sleep in these neighbourhoods, generally outside of any suburban areas, but normally work elsewhere and that these communities have little commercial or industrial activity beyond a small amount of retail, oriented toward serving the residents.

Ohm’s law defines electrical resistance and was the result of his work on resistance in the years 1825 and 1826, and published his results in 1827 as the book Die galvanische Kette, mathematisch bearbeitet ("The galvanic circuit investigated mathematically").

The Yippies were members of the Youth International Party which was a famous youth movement that started in the USA in the 1960’s and was a countercultural revolutionary offshoot of the free speech and anti-war movements.

In the Greek Orthodox Church an eparchy is a territorial diocese governed by a bishop of one of the Eastern churches.

In a natural cave, the Cave Bath of Miskolc, Hungary is an unusual thermal bath that low salt content allowing people to bath for a longer time and became a popular bathing place only after the Ottoman occupation of Hungary (16th-17th century).

The Last Ship, premiering the Bank of America Theatre, Chicago in 2014, is a musical by rock musician Sting and was inspired by Sting's own childhood experiences and the shipbuilding industry in Wallsend.

Monsieur Hulot is a character created and played by French comic Jacques Tati for a series of films in the 1950s and '60s with Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean being an English version.

Quotables 20 August

 

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Trivia Bits 19 August

 

Epaulette

An Epaulette (pictured) or Epaulet is a type of ornamental shoulder piece or decoration used as insignia of rank by armed forces and other organizations with their direct origin lying in the bunches of ribbons worn on the shoulders of military coats at the end of the 17th century, which were partially decorative and partially intended to prevent shoulder belts from slipping.

The River Usk rises in the Black Mountain of mid-Wales and into the Severn estuary at Uskmouth with the whole river designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as it contains estuary with mudflats and salt marsh, lagoons, bog and marsh, varied grassland and woodland habitats along its course.

Also known as the Church of Our Lady Queen of the Polish Crown, the 17th century Field Cathedral of the Polish Army was one of many buildings destroyed by the Luftwaffe during the Warsaw Uprising, and was restored between 1946 and 1960.

In bookbinding, the plural of one of the names for a volume printed on sheets folded to form 20 leaves or 40 pages is twentymos.

First performed on 2 July 1733, The Gloria in Bach’s Magnificat if D provides a good example of number symbolism in music as The Gloria praises the ‘Holy Trinity’ - three in one and Bach uses 9 vocal parts in 3 groups of 3, uses a time signature of 9/8, 3 groups of 3 beats to the bar, and a key signature of 3 flats.

Entebbe is a major town in the African country of Uganda and is located on a Lake Victoria peninsula, approximately 37 kilometres (23 mi) southwest of the Ugandan capital Kampala and is the location of Entebbe International Airport, Uganda's largest commercial and military airport.

A jaybird is a person who does housework in the nude with the word almost always meant as an affectionate insult among friends.

Coal is classified as a sedimentary rock formed by the deposition of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water.

The Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church when the English church renounced papal authority when Henry VIII broke with Rome to secure an annulment from Catherine of Aragon in the 1530s with The Act of Supremacy of 1558 renewing the breach and the Elizabethan Settlement charted a course whereby the English church was to be both Catholic and Reformed.

According to Greek legend, Laius King of Thebes was killed unwittingly by his son Oedipus thus fulfilling a prophecy that said he would kill his father, and thereby bring disaster on his city and family.

Quotables 19 August

 

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