Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Dana Andrews Moment



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Trivia Bits 31 May


In 1986 the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, New York, hosted a historic Palm Sunday reconciliation service between Christians and Jews.

Hornets belong to the animal family of Vespidae – wasps.

Yadira Silva, who twice represented Mexico in the Olympic Games of 2008 and 2012 in table tennis, was born in Cuba in 1985.

The 1974 Sci-fi comedy Dark Stars was directed by John Carpenter and starred Dan O'Bannon, Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm and Dre Pahich.

Australian swimmer, Stephanie Rice won three gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2009.

Madame Tussauds is a wax museum in London with branches in a number of major cities and was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud in 1836.

Developed in 1928, a Geiger counter measures radiation levels and has a wide and prominent use as a hand-held radiation survey instrument.

In relation to professional wrestling, TNA stands for Total Nonstop Action.

An Australian sitcom All Together Now was broadcast between 1991 and 1993 with a premise that involved an ageing rocker trying to maintain his music career while living with his son and daughter.

The two accepted plurals of the word Aquarium are Aquariums and Aquaria.

Quotables 31 May



Friday, May 30, 2014

Movie Review ... Maleficent


disney-maleficent-posterDecades after its founder Walt Disney marvelled audiences with his animated movies, his Company has thrived. Whilst the traditional animation outfit has slowly faded its live-action arena is gathering pace.  The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies showed they could successfully transfer their properties to the big screen with ‘Maleficent’ their latest.  Based on the wicked character from the 1959 movie ‘Sleeping Beauty’, it successfully conjures a dazzling spectacle for which Disney has become known.

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is a sinister Mistress of Evil.  With a heart of stone she seeks out ways to cause misery.  One victim is Aurora (Elle Fanning) a young princess.  Trapped in a battle between forest dwellers and humans, Aurora holds the key to peace.  Maleficent determines to prevent such an occurrence with a myriad of mischief.  Seeking to rule a divided kingdom, Maleficent’s ways reveal the darkness lurking in her conflicted soul.

It would be simple praising ‘Maleficent’s’ wondrous CGI which mirrors Disney’s best works.  To do so would ignore the care gone into the script.  Graced with Jolie’s strong performance, the character effectively escapes from animated confines.  A fleshed out persona, Maleficent is continually split by her thoughts.  Initially an entity for good, her gradual descent into evil is authentically conveyed.  It’s easy understanding her actions with true villainy potentially hiding elsewhere.

Robert Stromberg’s direction replicates that elusive charm missing from several recent fantasy epics.  Ensuring the story’s messages create a strong moral centre, he avoids bogging it down with sugary sentiment.  In many ways ‘Maleficent’ is a very traditional Disney tale with a fine cast more than matching the opulent visions.  There’s majesty to the dark tale with the cinematography capturing the fantastical flourish it needs.

‘Maleficent’ is a decent live-action version of a Disney classic.  Sticking closely to its source while adding a few of its own unexpected twists, it’s a delicious cinematic foray into the realms of imaginary marvels.


Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.

Official HomePage click HERE



A Dale Evans Moment


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Trivia Bits 30 May


The strategic fortress of Baarin in central Syria was captured by Imad ad-Din Zengi from the Crusaders in the Battle of Ba'rin in 1137.

James Francis Carney was the first Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver born in the city of Vancouver and amongst his outstanding legacies was that he mandated that St. Paul's Hospital open its doors without hesitation to people with AIDS, even as other hospitals turned them away.

The Orangutan was the primate featured in the 2008 documentary The Last Trimate directed by Stephen Van Mil with narration by Mel Gibson.

Ceramic representations of sunflower seeds formed Ai Weiwei’s acclaimed installation at the Tate Modern during 2010 and 2011 and was made up of millions of small works, each apparently identical, but actually unique as these life-sized sunflower seed husks are intricately hand-crafted in porcelain.

In the classic Warner Brothers cartoons, Road Runner’s feathers are colored blue.

Traditional drink pina colada is a sweet, rum-based cocktail made with rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice.

India’s least populous state is Sikkim a landlocked Indian state located in the Himalayan Mountains with a 2011 population of 607,688.

The 2012 American television series Girls is set in the city of New York and has been lauded for its raw nature, humor, and refreshing tone.

The semi-precious stone lapis lazuli has been prized since antiquity for its intense blue colour being mined as early as the 7th millennium BC in northeast Afghanistan which is still the major source of lapis lazuli in the world

Animated franchise Scooby Doo features Fred Jones and Daphne Blake.

Quotables 30 May



Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Cyd Charisse Moment







Trivia Bits 29 May


The popular tourist destination of Alanya, a beach resort city, is located on the southern coast of Turkey.

The Nullabor Plain in Australia separates the Great Victoria Desert from the Great Australian Bight.

The School of Athens is one of the most famous frescoes by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael and was painted between 1509 and 1510 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Suryavarman II was a 12 Century king of the Khmer Empire from 1113 AD to 1145-1150 AD and the builder of Angkor Wat, which he dedicated to the Supreme God Vishnu.

Kwanzaa is a weeklong festival celebrated by people with an African or African-American heritage.

A modified version of a chemical naturally occurring in the mushroom Strobilurus tenacellus, found in Europe and Japan, is the world's biggest-selling fungicide. The strobilurin-derived compound azoxystrobin was first made commercially available in 1996.

La Rinconada, at a height of 5,100 m (16,732.28 feet) above sea level, is one of the highest cities in the world and is in the South American country of Peru.

Kristin Davis gained fame in playing Brooke Armstrong in the TV series Melrose Place - an American primetime soap opera that aired on Fox from July 8, 1992, to May 24, 1999 for seven seasons.

The aardwolf is closely related to the Hyena and unlike its relatives the aardwolf does not hunt large animals, or even eat meat on a regular basis; instead it eats insects, mainly termites.

Someone who constructs bows is known as a bowyer.

Quotables 29 May



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Cullen Landis Moment



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Trivia Bits 28 May


The Pailolo Channel in Hawaii separates the Island of Molokai with the island of Maui.

Dancing with the Stars is the name of several international television series based on the 2004 British TV series Strictly Come Dancing, with the format licensed to over 42 territories and Australia being the first country to adapt the show also in 2004 which turned out to be a huge success with veteran Australian TV host Daryl Somers taking the show live to air once a week.

The Potomac, Fredericksburg and Piedmont Railroad in Central Virginia USA cost less than US$1 million to build and was operated until 1926 when the track was sold which has since been removed.

The Prunus Persica tree produces peaches.

The initials WACA when referring to the sporting ground in Perth, Western Australia, stand for Western Australian cricket Association.

American film critic and historian Leonard Maltin is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world's shortest movie review; his two-star review of the 1948 musical Isn't It Romantic? consists of the word "No".

Philip V of Spain signed a Royal Decree that established the first university in Venezuala, the Central University of Venezuela—the country's oldest—was founded in 1721 as "Universidad Real y Pontificia de Caracas".

I Dream of Jeannie is an1965 American sitcom with a fantasy premise starring Barbara Eden as a 2,000-year-old genie, and Larry Hagman as an astronaut, Captain/Major Anthony "Tony" Nelson, who becomes her master, with whom she falls in love and eventually marries.

Vientiane is the capital of the South East Asian country of Laos.

A perennial plant lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annuals and biennials.

Quotables 28 May



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Corinne Griffith Moment


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Trivia Bits 27 May


The letters in LED stand for Light-emitting Diode.

Sir Gary Sobers's 365 not out in his Test debut against Pakistan in 1954 is the highest maiden century by a batsman in Test cricket.

Akubra, trilby, pork-pie and boater are all types of Hats. An Akubra is a wide-brimmed hat worn especially in rural Australian areas ; a trilby is narrow brimmed; Pork-Pie bears a superficial resemblance to a culinary pork pie dish; Boater a men's formal summer straw hat

American action-adventure western drama television series starring David Carradine, Kung Fu aired from October 1972, to April 1975 for a total of 63 episodes.

The Mount Eden crater is found in Auckland, New Zealand and is the highest natural point on the Auckland isthmus with a majestic bowl-like crater of 50 metres (160 ft) deep.

Oesling is one of the two regions of the European country of Luxembourg; the other region being Gutland.

"And did those feet in ancient time" is a short poem by William Blake from the preface to his epic Milton a Poem, was printed c. 1808 but today it is best known as the anthem "Jerusalem", with music written by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916 during the depths of World War I to help rouse the flagging English spirit.

Hummock’s Hill was the original name for the South Australian city of Whyalla founded in 1901 by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) as the end of a railway bringing iron ore from the Middleback Ranges.

Humphrey Bogart’s character in the now iconic movie Casablanca was Rick Blaine.

The 2013 sci-fi movie Snowpiercer was directed by South Korean director Joon-ho Bong and Chris Evans, Alison Pill and Tilda Swinton.

Quotables 27 May



Monday, May 26, 2014

Movie Review ... X-Men: Days Of Future Past


x_men_days_of_future_past_2014_posterSince 2000 the ‘X-Men’ series has been a huge success.  Encompassing 4 films and 2 Wolverine spin-offs, the franchise has made much of its rich comic-book origins.  ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ uses its history to tell a stirring tale.  Directed by Bryan Singer, who helmed the first 2 instalments, it successfully blends the elements making the movies so watchable.  Loaded with opulent special effects and high-octane action, it does justice to the characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby decades ago.

When a chain of events threaten the future of mutant-kind, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) sends Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time.  Tasked with warning a young Xavier (James McAvoy), past and present must merge to battle the new threat.  Forced to work with the deadly Magneto (James Fassbender/Ian McKellen), the uniting mutants take a final stand against those who seek to destroy them.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ is a production made with care.  From Singer’s astute direction to the strong cast and gripping story there is hardly a mis-step.  Old and new fans should find much to like as it gives an overview to why this series has been so successful.  Usually a movie with multiple characters is a recipe for disaster although the plot gives each a chance to shine.  The time-travel elements succeed without creating a murky narrative with the series’ foray into science fiction working splendidly.

It’s the action audiences want to see and there’s a lot on display.  Singer ensures every punch and battle adds to the story.  He also injects nice humorous touches without compromising the film’s integrity.  This is a colourfully spectacular romp nicely slotting into the established mythology. It sets up events for other films without making it feel like an ad for a sequel – something weighing down similar works.

The latest X-Men instalment provides a great ride.  Restoring some of its lost lustre, the franchise benefits from the energy infusion Singer brings.  It should do no harm to a superhero genre showing no signs of slowing down.


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



A Cornel Wilde Moment


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Trivia Bits 26 May


The larynx is more commonly known as the Voice Box.

French writer, intellectual, political activist and feminist Simone de Beauvoir had a lifelong relationship with French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter Jean-Paul Sartre and near the end of her life, Beauvoir said, "Marriage was impossible. I had no dowry," so they entered the lifelong relationship.

Adelaide born painter Jeffrey Smart is famous for his stark urban landscapes such as Cahill Expressway (1962).

To the nearest degree, the axial tilt of the earth is 23 degrees.

The process by which plants generate oxygen is called Photosynthesis.

Happy Days producer Bob Brunner created Fonzie's nickname and penned Henry Winkler's character's catchphrase, "Sit on it"

In Greek mythology, the name of Jason’s ship was Argo.

A fictional alien race in Star Trek called Bolians was named after television director Cliff Bole, who directed 42 episodes of the franchise.

The name Suomi is Finnish for "Finland" and as a word has uncertain origins.

Jorkyball is a modified form of 2 on 2 Association football and combines the four walls of squash with football. It is played in a 10m x 5m cage on artificial turf with the possibility of using the walls to place the ball. As in football it is played only with the feet and use of hands is forbidden. The objective is to score goals into a net.

Quotables 26 May



Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Constance Talmadge Moment



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Trivia Bits 25 May


The Bengali prayer song Khandana Bhava–Bandhana was composed in 1898 by Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda.

Pediophobia is a fear of dolls.

New Zealand politician Esme Tombleson (1917-2010) had a career that covered reciting Shakespeare, ballet, civil service, farming, membership of the New Zealand Parliament, and MS advocacy.

Cabbage is a typical ingredient in the following dishes - borscht, coleslaw, sauerkraut and kimchi.

American dramatized court TV series Perry Mason ran from September 1957 to May 1966 with the title character, portrayed by Raymond Burr, a fictional Los Angeles defence attorney who originally appeared in detective fiction by Erle Stanley Gardner.

The University of Cambridge was established growing out of an association of scholars that was formed in 1209, early records suggest, by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk. The two "ancient universities" have many common features and are often jointly referred to as Oxbridge.

The Incas referred to gold as the sweat of the sun.

In 1998, New Zealand recording artist, known for his work in Split Enz and frontman for Crowded House, Neil Finn released his solo album Try Whistling This.

The song When a Man Loves a Woman was first recorded and released by Percy Sledge in 1996.

Caledonia is the Latin name for the UK constituent country of Scotland during the Iron Age and Roman eras.

The Good Life is a British sitcom produced by the BBC that ran from 1975 to 1978, that dealt with the midlife crisis faced by Tom Good, a 40-year-old London plastics designer, the joys and miseries he and his wife Barbara experience when they attempt to escape modern commercial living by "becoming totally self-sufficient" in their home in Surbiton and also featured Penelope Keith as Margot Leadbetter (née Sturgess) and Paul Eddington as Jeremy "Jerry" Leadbetter.

Australia and New Zealand hosted the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championships and were qualification events for the 2014 FIBA Men's Basketball World Cup, Spain.

The 2013 movie The Bling Ring was directed by Sofia Coppola and starred Katie Chang, Israel Broussard and Emma Watson.

In Roman Mythology, the Goddess of Peace was Pax who was recognized as a goddess during the rule of Augustus and said to be the daughter of Jupiter and Iustitia.

To help keep music in time, a device called a metronome emits a regular clicking sound.

In 1887, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the first leader of the USSR and the government that took over Russia in 1917, was thrown out of Kazan State University because he protested against the Tsar who was the king of the Russian Empire.

The Syrian village of al-Ziyarah has been identified as the ancient Aramaean town of "Ziara"

The main liquor used in a margarita is tequila.

Paul Eddington was an English actor best known for playing Jim Hacker in the popular television sitcoms of 1980 Yes Minister and of 1986 Yes, Prime Minister.

Sudha Varghese established in 2005 the Prerna schools to educate Musahar girls of Bihar, deemed the "untouchables" in the caste system in India.

Quotables 25 May