Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Trivia Bits 05 August


Bettye Lavette Souvenirs 

American soul singer Bettye Lavette's album Souvenirs (cover pictured) was recorded in 1972, but was shelved by Atlantic Records until a French music collector discovered it and released it in 2000, sparking a continuing surge of interest in the singer

The Amazonian Guard was an unofficial name given by Western journalists to an all-female elite cadre of bodyguards officially known as The Revolutionary Nuns tasked with protecting the former leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi.

In July 1864, an Australian poet, jockey and politician Adam Lindsay Gordon made a famous horseback leap over an old post and rail guard onto a narrow ledge overlooking a the Blue Lake in Mt Gambier, South Australia.

South African born Australian novelist Bryce Courtney’s fictionalised historical novel The Potato Factory was first published in1995 and has been the subject of some controversy regarding its historical accuracy and its portrayal of Jewish characters.

Composed in 1946–1948, Sonatas and Interludes is a collection of twenty compositions of 20th Century composer John Cage who was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist for a prepared piano which is a piano that has had its sound altered by placing objects (preparations) between or on the strings or on the hammers or dampers.

A lehr is a temperature-controlled kiln for annealing objects made of glass in which glass is slowly cooled to relieve internal stresses after it was formed.

On Nelsons Column in London, the Corinthian capital is made of bronze elements, cast from cannon salvaged from the wreck of HMS Royal George launched on 18 February 1756 and was the largest warship in the world at the time of launching.

The loop, the whorl and the arch are the three basic principal ridge shapes of a fingerprint.

The 9th-century Borobudur Buddhist Temple is located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia and has a main dome, located at the centre of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside a perforated stupa.

In 2003, The J.M. Smucker Co. was granted an US patent on a sealed crustless sandwich, a type of peanut butter and jelly sandwich and it is often used as an example of a frivolous patent

Quotables 05 August



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Trivia Bits 04 August


 The Wind in the Willows Cover

First published in 1908, the classic children’s novel by Kenneth Grahame The Wind in the Willows (cover pictured) features the characters Mr Badger and Mr Toad as two of the on four anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version of England.

The US tennis player who died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in 1994 was Lithuanian American professional, Vitas Gerulaitis.

Established in 1968, The Gombe Stream National Park, home to British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall’s chimpanzee reserve, is located in the African country of Tanzania.

In English law, a dictum is any statement made as part of a judgment of a court.

The volcano Mount Teide with a 3,718-metre/12,198 ft summit is the highest point in Spain located on the island of Teneriffe in the Canary Islands.

With music by Henry Purcell and a libretto by John Dryden, the 1691 opera King Arthur is unusual because the principal characters do not sing, rather they recite dialogue accompanied by music.

Idris also known as King Idris I of Libya was the first and only king of Libya, reigning from 1951 to 1969, and the Chief of the Senussi Muslim order but while in Turkey for medical treatment, Idris was deposed in a 1969 coup d'etat by army officers led by Muammar Gaddafi.

American poet, journalist, and short-story writer Djuna Barnes wrote The Book of Repulsive Women an illustrated volume of poetry in 1915.

The Great Sphinx is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx, a mythical creature with a lion's body and a human head, that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt.

Providing horses to U.S. Army units as late as 1945, between 450 and 500 stallions owned by the U.S. Army Remount Service bred with over 11,000 civilian-owned mares, producing 7,293 foals.

Quotables 04 August



Monday, August 3, 2015

Trivia Bits 03 August


Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Rainbow nation is a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu (pictured) to describe post-apartheid South Africa, after South Africa's first fully democratic election in 1994 and was intended to encapsulate the unity of multi-culturalism and the coming-together of people of many different nations, in a country once identified with the strict division of white and black.

While Aleksandra Pakhmutova composed pieces for the symphony orchestra and a ballet, her fame in the former Soviet Union rests primarily on 400 songs she composed in the 1960s and 1970s.

Released on the 1980 album Double Fantasy, the John Lennon song Beautiful Boy features the lines Every day in every way/It's getting better and better inspired by the mantra of French psychologist Émile Coué.

British businessman John King was Chairman of British Airways from 1981 and was successfully sued by Richard Branson in 1992 for libel as a result of BA's dirty tricks against Virgin Atlantic.

Drawing heavily on the writing of Edward Grim, a clerk who was an eyewitness to the event, Murder in the Cathedral is a verse drama by T. S. Eliot that portrays the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170, first performed in 1935.

The iris of the eye was named after the Greek goddess who was the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods – Iris.

Martini: A Memoir is a book by the Australian writer Frank Moorhouse and is part autobiography, part history of the martini, the book's minimal plot involves deep conversations about the cocktail between the author and his martini-obsessed friend, V.I. Voltz.

Written in 1959 by Leiber and Stoller and originally sung by The Clovers, Love Potion No 9, has inspired many subsequent performances, a film of the same name and multiple references in popular culture.

Aphids, also known as plant lice, are small sap-sucking insects that are distributed worldwide, but are most common in temperate zones.

Coffee as a medicine reached its highest and lowest point in the 1600's in England when wild medical contraptions to administer a mixture of coffee and an assortment of heated butter, honey, and oil, became treatments for the sick but tea soon replaced coffee as the national beverage.

Quotables 03 August



Sunday, August 2, 2015

Trivia Bits 02 August


Amy Poehler

American actress and comedian Amy Poehler (pictured) joined the cast of Saturday Night Live the American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show in 2001.

Published in the 1955 collection Child with a Cockatoo and other Poems, Detail from an Annunciation by Crivelli is by Australian poet Rosemary Dobson and recounts the Annunciation form the point of view of a child hiding above the stairs.

Her father is generally given as Inachus, a river god, Io was, in Greek mythology, a priestess of Hera in Argos, a nymph who was seduced by Zeus and then changed her into a heifer to escape detection.

Held on September 15, 1974, the Bulldozer Exhibition received its name because the Soviet authorities used bulldozers and water cannon to disperse the spectators and destroy the paintings of the participating Moscow nonconformist artists from the venue on a vacant lot in the Belyayevo urban forest.

With Riga as its capital, Latvia was conquered and Christianised by the Linovian Knights in the 13th Century.

In Greek mythology, Hero was visited by Leander, her lover, every night until her guiding light was blown out in a storm and Leander died swimming the Hellespont.

Built in late 1830 and opened in 1831 and originally intended as a prison with eight cells and a jailer's residence all opening onto a central courtyard The Round House at Arthur Head in Fremantle was the first permanent building built in the Swan River Colony and is the oldest building still standing in Western Australia.

A small tree frog found in Europe, Asia and part of Africa have been used as barometers because they respond to approaching rain by croaking.

With the atomic number 39, Yttrium is a chemical element with symbol Y and is a silvery-metallic transition metal which has often been classified as a rare earth element.

Kurdistan is a geo-cultural region that is situated in the four countries of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria wherein the Kurdish people form a prominent majority population, and Kurdish culture, language, and national identity have historically been based.

Quotables 02 August



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Movie Review ... Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation



mission_impossible_rogue_nation-posterTom Cruise has made the ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise his own.  This is no small feat given the enduring popularity of the original TV series.  Taking the best aspects which made the small screen version so popular, Cruise has stayed true to its action-packed ethos.  Continuing the spectacular action and genuine suspense of previous instalments, ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ is a worthy addition to the explosive series.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) faces his most deadly mission.  A skilled agent for the IMF organisation, his life becomes endangered due to The Syndicate.  A sinister cabal filled with assassins and wayward spies, it aims to destroy the IMF.  With his job and life on the line, Hunt gathers his team to destroy the latest threat to world peace.

‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ is a grandiose epic of the highest order.  The villains are suitably wicked, the heroes virtuous and the action is ramped to the max.   There aren’t any hidden meanings - just wild escapist thrill-ride only mega-bucks can buy.  As we journey with Hunt on this incredible quest, the mix of action and humour perfectly blends.  Aided by co-stars including Simon Pegg, Cruise gives a fine performance as a hero determined to right wrongs.

Making ‘Rogue Nation’ work is its vision.  Embracing the story’s world-wide scope, director Christopher McQuarrie ensures the global threat feels real.  The gorgeous locations are a bonus, giving the film a lushly stylised look.  The stunts are what everyone expects and they don’t disappoint.  Effectively utilising their possibilities, McQuarrie brings energetic pace.  Thankfully remembering to tell an engaging story amidst the dazzling mayhem, ‘Rogue Nation’ should delight thrill-seekers.

‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ is a top notch addition to the franchise.  Continuing the high standards of previous adventures, the consistent quality should enable further impossible missions for years to come.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  8

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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Trivia Bits 01 August


Tony Award 

Starting with 11 awards in 1947, The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known informally as the Tony Award (pictured), recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre for Broadway productions and performances with an award is given for regional theatre.

English professional footballer Stan Mortensen scored a hat-trick in the 1953 FA Cup Final at Wembley, becoming the first player ever to do so.

One of the best-known and most celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century was Canadian Glenn Gould who in 1945 gave his first public performance, playing the organ, and the following year he made his first appearance with an orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14, in a performance of the first movement of Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto.

The National Gallery in Berlin expanded from its original 1876 building into five others, including a Schinkel church and two palace outbuildings in Charlottenburg.

South Australia was the first colony in Australian to grant restricted women's suffrage in 1861, and in 1895 became the second place in the world to grant universal suffrage (after New Zealand), and the first where women had the dual rights to vote and to stand for election.

The limited car model Commodore SS Storm is manufactured by Holden (General Motors) in Australia.

Released by Columbia Records/550 Music on 9 November 1993, The Colour of My Love is the third English-language studio album by Canadian recording artist Celine Dion and features two cover versions of The Power of Love and When I Fall in Love.

Suffragist Louisa Lawson (1848–1920), publisher of Australia's first female-run journal, The Dawn, was also the mother of the great Australian poet Henry Lawson.

The Gulf of Mannar separates the Asian countries of India and Sri Lanka.

Quotables 01 August



Friday, July 31, 2015

Trivia Bits 31 July


President Hugo Chavez 

Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (pictured) once said that a podium smelt of burning sulphur after US President George W Bush had stood at it.

When a female horse and male donkey mate, the offspring is called a mule, but when a male horse and female donkey mate, the offspring is called a hinny.

As a child, American musician B.A. Rolfe was billed as The Boy Trumpet Wonder who went on to become a bandleader and significant film producer with his last production being the 15-part 1919 mystery serial, The Master Mystery, starring Harry Houdini.

In golf, a hole-in-one on a par five hole is called a condor.

Starring as the shape-shifting mutant and Charles Xavier's childhood friend and adoptive sister Raven Darkhölme / Mystique in the 2011 superhero film movie X-Men: First Class was American actress Jennifer Lawrence.

In 1939, Vern Wicklund, at the age of 13, fashioned a shred deck in Cloquet, Minnesota and the modified sled was dubbed a “bunker" by Vern and his friends then he, along with relatives Harvey and Gunnnar Burgeson, patented the very first snowboard twenty two years later.

Written by Alan Moore, the 1982 graphic novel V for Vendetta was made into the 2005 movie of the same name starring Australian-British film and stage actor Hugo Weaving as V - an anarchist freedom fighter who stages a series of terrorist attacks and attempts to ignite a revolution against the brutal fascist regime that has subjugated the United Kingdom and exterminated its opponents in concentration camps.

Scientists believe that Europa, a moon of Jupiter, could potentially host extra-terrestrial life.

Time is never time at all is the first line from The Smashing Pumpkin’s song Tonight, Tonight which was the third single and second track on the first disc from their third album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness released in April 1996.

Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong is better known as Dido, a British singer-songwriter who attained international success with her debut album No Angel in 1999.

Quotables 31 July



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Trivia Bits 30 July


Draped Reclining Woman 1957-58

Draped Reclining Woman 1957-58 is one of the best known works by 20th Century British sculptor Henry Moore with six casts of the completed sculpture made, which are currently displayed in the UK, Germany, Israel, America, Australia and Belgium.

Situated on the north-western side of Wilpena Pound and at 1,171 m / 3,839 ft, St Mary Peak is the highest point within the Flinders Ranges in South Australia.

In the American television period sitcom That 70’s Show, the role of the generally geeky, physically slight, and somewhat clumsy Eric Forman was played by American actor Topher Grace.

Dresden is one of the most populated cities of Germany and is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border.

Columbanian monk Jonas of Bobbio based his Life of St. Columbanus, written between 640 and 643, on the recollections of Benedictine monks who had known the Irish saint personally.

1600's Italian Baroque composer Domenico Gabrielli, one of the first composers to write solo music for the violoncello, was himself a virtuoso cello player and earned himself the Italian dialect nickname Minghino dal viulunzeel, meaning Dominic of the cello, among his contemporaries.

A cormorant is a bird that traditionally has been used for their fishing skills, in China, Japan, Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, where they have been trained by fishermen.

The 1994 American legal thriller film The Client featured a lawyer named Regina Reggie Love played by Susan Sarandon in the movie adaptation of the 1993 book of the same name written by American author John Grisham.

Before gaining independence in 1966, the African country of Lesotho was known as Basutoland which was a British Crown colony established in 1884.

Bellatix and Rigel are stars in the constellation of Orion named after Orion, a hunter in Greek mythology.

Quotables 30 July



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Trivia Bits 29 July


 The Seventh Seal poster

Considered a classic of world cinema, Antonius plays chess against Death in the 1957 Swedish drama-fantasy film The Seventh Seal (poster pictured) written and directed by Ingmar Bergman establishing him as a world-renowned director.

Folie à deux, French for a madness shared by two, or shared psychosis, is a psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief are transmitted from one individual to another.

Former Sri Lankan cricketer A. R. R. A. P. W. R. R. K. B. Amunugama has more initials than any other first-class cricketer with his full name being Amunugama Rajapakse Rajakaruna Abeykoon Panditha Wasalamudiyanse Ralahamilage Rajitha Krishantha Bandara Amunugama, better known as Rajitha Amunugama.

The compound eyes of arthropods like insects, crustaceans and millipedes are composed of units called ommatidia or singular ommatidium.

The mystical knowledge, enlightenment or knowledge of spiritual things is known as gnosis.

Russian native Emilio Kosterlitzky, known as the Mexican Cossack, spoke nine languages, jumped ship in Venezuela, fled to Mexico where he fought in the Apache Wars and in the Mexican Revolution, and eventually became an undercover operative for the U.S. government during World War I.

Louis the Pious, the son of Charlemagne, was the king of France from 841AD and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 813 to 840 and was crowned by Pope Stephen IV on 5 October 816 in Reims, France.

Between the towns of Ooldia and Nurina in Western Australia, is the world's longest straight stretch of railway, 478.4 kilometres in length.

Charles Schepens, an influential ophthalmologist and regarded by many in the profession as the father of modern retinal surgery, was also a leader in the World War 2 Nazi resistance movement in France.

The six main events in individual Olympic Men’s Gymnastics are floor exercise, Pommel horse, Rings, Vault, Parallel bars and Horizontal – High – Bar.

Quotables 29 July



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Trivia Bits 28 July


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

The 1968 book on which the 1982 movie Blade Runner was based, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (covered pictured) was written by American novelist, short story writer, essayist and philosopher Phillip K Dick.

Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra wrote the 1605 book Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written.

In 2011, Namibia ranked fourth worldwide in uranium production, behind Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia.

The Comal River is the shortest navigable river in Texas (USA), running entirely within the city limits of New Braunfels beginning at Comal Springs in Landa Park and flowing 2.5 miles (4.0 km) until its junction with the Guadalupe.

Romain Rolland was a French dramatist, novelist, essayist, art historian and mystic who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915 "as a tribute to the lofty idealism of his literary production and to the sympathy and love of truth with which he has described different types of human beings" with his bibliography including Jean Christophe (1904-1912) and the play Le Loups (1898) based on the Dreyfus Affair

American screen and stage actor and cultural icon Marlon Brando was eighty years old when he died in 2004 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential actors of all time.

When potatoes first appeared in Europe in the seventeenth century, it was thought that they were disgusting, and they were blamed for starting outbreaks of leprosy and syphilis and as late as 1720 in America, eating potatoes was believed to shorten a person's life.

The Romans named Saturday Sāturni diēs ("Saturn's Day") no later than the 2nd century for the planet Saturn, which controlled the first hour of that day and was also referred to as "Sæternes dæġe" in an Old English translation of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

The southernmost State of Mexico, Chiapas, officially Free and Sovereign State of Chiapas, is one of the 31 states of Mexico with its capital city being Tuxtla Gutiérrez and is home to the ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque, Yaxchilán, Bonampak, and Chinkultic.

Lysa Hora, a large woody hill in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, is both a historical fortress and a mystical "bold mountain" where witches are believed to gather for their sabbaths.

Quotables 28 July



Monday, July 27, 2015

Trivia Bits 27 July


 Teatro alla Scala

In the Italian city of Milan is Teatro alla Scala (pictured) a world-renowned opera house which was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre alla Scala.

From 1908 to 1940, over 100,000 of the 447 different models for Sears Catalog Homes were sold in the United States.

Livadia Palace in Crimea, a summer retreat of the last Russian tsar, was the setting of the 1945 Yalta Conference between the Big Three - leaders of Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States who controlled Allied policy.

On the western shore of the Paraná River, Rosario is the largest city in the province of Santa Fe, in central Argentina with the city's patron is the Virgin of the Rosary, whose feast day is October 7.

It is in the science of astronomy that a supernova would be studied.

Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson and released in May 1960, Roy Orbison’s song Only the Lonely was his first major hit and in 1999, Only the Lonely was honoured with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.

In the 1999 Davis Cup a total of 128 nations participated in the tennis tournament with Australia defeating France at the Acropolis Exhibition Hall in Nice, France, on 3–5 December, giving Australia their 22nd title.

There are four dot colours that appear on the mat in a game of Twister - red, yellow, blue and green.

With lyrics and music written during 1938 by Robert MacArthur Crawford, the United States Air Force does not own the copyright to its official service song, The U.S. Air Force which is owned by New York music publisher Carl Fischer Inc., and includes a perpetual performance release in favour of the U.S. Air Force.

The Isle of Man in the Irish Sea is divided into areas called sheadings - Ayre, Glenfaba, Garff, Michael, Rushen and Middle, and were originally introduced as areas of administration in the late 14th Century.