Saturday, April 5, 2014
- In 2004, French fashion designer and entrepreneur Christian Audigier licensed the rights to produce the clothing line of American tattoo artist Ed Hardy.
- The Evian Championship s a women's professional golf tournament in France, played at the Evian Resort Golf Club in Évian-les-Bains each July.
- The official language of Southeastern European country Montenegro is Montenegrin.
- European country of Estonia shares borders with Latvia and Russia.
- The Ballad of Reading Gaol is an 1890’s poem by Oscar Wilde written in exile either in Berneval-le-Grand or in Dieppe, France, after his release from Reading Gaol on or about 19 May 1897.
- Will in the TV series Will and Grace was played by Eric McCormack.
- Diamond is a pure or near-pure form of the element Carbon.
- Hsiao Li Lindsay, Lady Lindsay of Birker, the first Chinese-born peeress, smuggled supplies and taught English to Chinese communist guerrillas fighting the Japanese occupation during the Second World War.
- Jammers and blockers are used in Roller Derby which a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track.
- There are six questions on each card in Trivial Pursuit in which a player's ability to answer general knowledge and popular culture questions enables the player to progress.
Friday, April 4, 2014
- With a surface area of 64,900 hectares (251 sq mi), the largest permanent lake in South Australia is Lake Alexandrina into which the Murray River flows and hence into the Southern Ocean.
- Sir Isaac Newton’s Law of Universal Gravity was first published in 1687.
- President Isabel Peron, the third wife of the former President Juan Perón, was overthrown in the 1976 Argentine coup d’état.
- Traditionally celebrated in the Northern Autumn, Diwali is a festival of lights associated with Hinduism which spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.
- Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist who is a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times.
- Martin Luther King Jnr delivered the famous I Have a Dream speech on August 28, 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington.
- Gossima was the original name of the popular sport of Table Tennis or Ping Pong with the name Ping Pong was trademarked in 1901 by British manufacturer J. Jaques & Son Ltd.
- Super Fun Night is a 2013 American situation comedy featuring the character Kimmie Boubier played the series creator Australian actress and writer Rebel Wilson.
- The Hunnic Empire was formed under the reign of Attila the Hun and was dissolved after Attila's death in 453 as a result of struggles over succession and leadership.
- The 1624 portrait Laughing Cavalier is one of the best known works by Dutch painter Frans Hals was instrumental in the evolution of 17th-century group portraiture.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
- Red is a title shared by the 2012 album by Taylor Swift and the 2010 American action comedy film starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, and Karl Urban.
- The score Elliot Goldenthal composed for the 2002 film Frida earned him five accolades, including an Academy Award.
- It was in 2001 that Archie Thompson first played for the Socceroos.
- The fajita originated in the USA being a term found in Tex-Mex cuisine, commonly referring to any grilled meat usually served as a taco on a flour or corn tortilla.
- In the game of chess, the only piece that can move diagonally is the Bishop.
- 19th century French Post-Impressionist painter and draftsman, Georges Seurat was famous for having devised the technique of painting known as pointillism.
- Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that form the island of Hawaii.
- The quote To err is human; to forgive is divine is credited to 18th-century English poet Alexander Pope.
- SWAT is an acronym for Special Weapons And Tactics when referring to law enforcement and is considered to have been used originally by the Special Weapons and Tactics Squad established by the Philadelphia Police Department in 1964.
- Stygian, Long-eared, Abyssinian and Marsh are all kinds of Owls.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
- 1932 French Tennis Championships runner-up Italian Giorgio de Stefani was ambidextrous but was banned from using two rackets, one in each hand.
- The island of Tanna, Vanuatu, is home to a cult that worships Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh where the Prince Philip movement cargo cult considers Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh a god.
- In Greek mythology, the father of Hermes, the Messenger of the gods, was Zeus, the "Father of Gods and men".
- The Tauredunum event of 563 AD was a tsunami on Lake Geneva, triggered by a massive landslide, which caused widespread devastation and loss of life along the lakeshore.
- Internationally renowned horse Black Caviar was the 2011-2012 Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year.
- The Claret Jug is the trophy at the Open Championship – British Open and dates from 1872 although the first presentation was in 1873 to winner Tom Kidd.
- Tanks were first used in World War I and were a response to the stalemate that trench warfare had created on the western front with an initial vehicle, nicknamed Little Willie, constructed in Great Britain, at William Foster & Co., during August and September, 1915.
- The soft drink lemonade is used in a Blue Lagoon cocktail together with the blue Curacao.
- In the early 19th century, if you were out on the streets of Gibraltar after midnight without a permit you risked being sent to the Main Guard, the guardhouse in John Mackintosh Square.
- Entrepreneur Connie B. Gay, born in North Carolina on August 22 1914 is credited with coining the term "country music" which had until then been called "hillbilly music.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
- To avoid confusion with a 1960’s television show, the 2012 movie The Avengers was released in the UK under the title of Avengers Assemble.
- Sir Toby Belch is a character in the play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare with the first recorded performance on 2 February 1602, at Candlemas, the formal end of Christmastide in the year's calendar. The play was not published until its inclusion in the 1623 First Folio.
- The four main events in individual Olympic Women’s Gymnastics are balance beam, floor exercise, uneven bars and vault.
- The Roman Emperor Nero reigned from 54AD to 68AD, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty.
- Vignoles Bridge, a cast iron bridge built and opened in 1835, is one of the 10 Scheduled Ancient Monuments in Coventry, originally spanned the Oxford Canal before being moved to its current location over the River Sherbourne in 1969.
- Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda was the original name of the soft drink 7Up created by Charles Leiper Grigg in St. Louis with the soda being launched two weeks before the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
- The first event in an International Decathlon competition is the 100m sprint.
- The Royal Gibraltar Yacht Club, established by officers of the Royal Navy in 1829, was one of the first yacht clubs to be founded outside of Britain - the Singapore Yacht Club was established three years earlier.
- With a figure rate of over 70%, the island nation of Nauru holds the record for the highest rate of obesity.
- US author from Oregon, Sara Perry released the 2002 cook book Everything Tastes Better with Bacon which was A New York Times 2002 Notable Cookbook.
Monday, March 31, 2014
- In 1717, the Viceroyalty of New Granada covered a large area in the north of South America.
- English rugby player Michael James "Mike" Tindall, married Zara Phillips, the daughter of the Princess Royal and the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 2011.
- Violet “Vod” Nordstrom is one of the main characters in the award-winning British sitcom 2011 TV series Fresh Meat and is played by English actress and playwright Zawe Ashton.
- American fashion designer, author, actress and television personality Nicole Richie has a dog named Honeychild and Nicole’s adoptive father, Lionel Richie, writing the song "Ballerina Girl" for her.
- English writer and social critic Charles Dickens married Catherine Thomson Hogarth in London on 2 April 1836 at St Luke's Church, Chelsea, 12 years after it was finished.
- In New South Wales there are more than 140 national parks covering more than 4 million hectares.
- Starring as Roz Focker in the 2004 movie Meet the Fockers was the iconic Barbra Streisand who was joined by Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller and Dustin Hoffman.
- British para-equestrian Natasha Baker rode her horse Cabral to two gold medals in the London 2012 Paralympics even though she has no feeling in her legs.
- Dabberlocks is a type of edible seaweed found along the coasts of the far north Atlantic Ocean especially in Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and Ireland.
- Addis Ababa is the capital city of the African country of Ethiopia with the site of Addis Ababa chosen by Empress Taytu Betul and the city founded in 1886 by her husband, Emperor Menelik II.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Cecille B DeMille would find much similarity with ‘Noah’. Producer of many biblical epics from the 1950’s, his grand vision of holy stories raked in much box office dollars. This divine cash-cow would never fade with Hollywood continually replicating his successful formula. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, ‘Noah’ is his most spectacle-driven film to date. Loaded with CGI, it maintains its myriad of religious imagery the likes of DeMille would have easily spotted.
Noah (Russell Crowe) is a carpenter suffering from strange dreams. Haunted by images of a cataclysmic flood, he sets out to protect his family. They include his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly) adopted daughter Ila (Emma Watson) and son Ham (Logan Lerman). Building an ark which can withstand any catastrophe, Noah refuses to be scared of other’s ridicule as disaster looms.
‘Noah’ is a strange concoction of styles. Filled with the expected religious sermonising, it copies much from the ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Game of Thrones’ formula. It has sword fights, battle sequences and even supernatural monsters. These seem very out of place for such a famed tale. Had it been filmed in a more believable style ‘Noah’ would have worked better. The added elements conspire to muddy the often glacially paced narrative with minimal characterisation.
Crowe and his co-stars gamely attempt to rise above these set-backs. Unfortunately their performances become swamped by the excessive and occasionally badly realised CGI. Aronovsky seems to lose interest with his lack-lustre direction drawing little emotion or depth. The amazing cinematography is a plus with its mix of gritty climes and searing beauty going some way in papering over the script’s many cracks.
Those hoping for a truer representation of the Noah’s Ark tale will probably be disappointed. ‘Noah’ fails to fire with its infrequent signs of life doing little to capture the grandiose atmosphere of DeMille’s fabled works.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 4
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.