Saturday, August 16, 2014

An Edward G Robinson Moment


Smart Money (1931)
Directed by Alfred E. Green
Shown: Edward G. Robinson

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Trivia Bits 16 August


Australian Coat of Arms

The two animals featuring on the Australian Coat of Arms (pictured) are the red kangaroo and the emu.

In the American computer-animated comedy Madagascar series of movies, the character Alex is a Lion and is voiced by Ben Stiller.

Australian actress and musician Toni Collette stars as Dr Ellen Sanders in the 2013 American drama TV series Hostages which is based on an Israeli series of the same name created by Omri Givon and Rotem Shamir.

In the song Scarborough Fair, the herbs parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme are mentioned repeatedly with a noted version being Simon & Garfunkel's release of the song in October 1966.

The Kakapo is a bird also called owl parrot, is a species of large, flightless, nocturnal, ground dwelling parrot of the super-family Strigopoidea endemic to New Zealand.

Upper Rock Nature Reserve in Gibraltar is famous for its population of Barbary Macaques, the only wild monkeys in Europe.

At the start of a game, a total of five yellow cards are given to players in the board game Scruples based on ethical dilemmas and was invented by Henry Makow in 1984 and developed by High Game Enterprises.

Lee Kuan Yew is often referred to as the Father of Singapore being the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore and governing for three decades.

American author Neale Donald Walsch is best known for the series of books Conversations with God with nine books in the series - the first of which was published in 1995.

Seven of the eight US Presidents who have died in office - either through illness or assassination - were elected at precisely 20-year intervals.

Quotables 16 August



Friday, August 15, 2014

An Edith Piaf Moment


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Trivia Bits 15 August


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The 1904 play The Cherry Orchard was written by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov (pictured)who also was a physician, dramaturge and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history.

English baron Charles August Selby around 1810 redesigned the manor house of Orupgaard on the Danish island of Falster and developed farming there.

Australian TV police procedural broadcast from 1996 to 2001 Water Rats was based around the men and women of the Sydney Water Police who fight crime across Sydney Harbour and surrounding locales and premiered on 12 February 1996 with Colin Friels as Det Snr Constable Frank Holloway and Catherine McClements as Det Snr Constable Rachel Goldstein the original stars.

At the funeral of his uncle, from whom he inherited the earldom, John de Vere, 14th Earl of Oxford, 'A mounted knight, armed with an axe, was led into the choir by two knights and delivered the axe to the bishop, who gave it to the heir'.

The traditional gift for the 25th Wedding Anniversary is something made of silver.

The assassination in Sarajevo of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria on 28 June 1914 led to World War I.

The 1957 novel The Guns of Navarone was written by Alistair McLean and was made into a movie in 1961 starring Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn.

Toronto, Ontario was once known as Methodist Rome as during the 19th century Toronto had one of the largest (if not the largest) population of Methodists in the world.

The 2013 book The Secret of Life Wellness was written by Inna Segal.

Cattle are brought to the uninhabited island of Kalvø for summer grazing in a small barge, three or four at a time. Kalvø is a small uninhabited island in the southern part of Guldborgsund, the strait between the Danish islands of Lolland and Falster.

Quotables 15 August



Thursday, August 14, 2014

An Edith Head Moment


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Trivia Bits 14 August



Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first black President of South Africa in 1994 (pictured).

The fictional detective Nero Wolfe was created in 1934 by the American mystery writer Rex Stout wrote 33 novels and 39 short stories from 1934 to 1974, with most of them set in New York City.

The Tso Kar, with a surface area covering 22km2, is a salt lake in Ladakh in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Egypt and Syria led the Yom Kippur War against Israel in 1973 and served as a direct antecedent of the 1979 Camp David Accords which resulted in the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty, the first ever between Israel and an Arab state.

Hulk Hogan’s character in the 1982 movie Rocky III was Thunderlips.

Carl von Ossietzky, the controversial recipient of the 1935 Peace Prize was German and won it for his work in exposing the clandestine German re-armament.

In 1995, Simple Minds, Scottish rock band formed in 1977, released the album Good News From the Next World.

Stotts Island Nature Reserve, protected area of 141 hectares (350 acres), situated on the Australian east coast near Tweed Heads, is home to the endangered Mitchell's rainforest snail.

The Australian state of Tasmania is known as The Apple Isle.

Although Mykola Leontovych's secular music was well known in the twentieth century, his Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom was little known because of a ban on sacred music in the Soviet Union.

Quotables 14 August



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Eddie Murphy Moment




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Trivia Bits 13 August


Guadalquivir River

The Guadalquivir River (pictured) is the fifth longest river in the Iberian Peninsula and the second longest river with its entire length of 657 kilometres in Spain.

Operation Predator, a U.S. government initiative started in July 2003, seeks to end child sex tourism, which may victimize as many as two million children annually.

Pancetta is made by salt curing pork belly.

American restaurant chain and international franchise Pizza Hut was founded by June 15, 1958 by brothers Dan and Frank Carney in their hometown of Wichita, Kansas.

Lucas Neff is best known for his work in the TV sitcom Raising Hope, an US television comedy program which first aired on September 21, 2010.

Indonesian politician and retired Army general officer Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono became President of Indonesia in 2004.

In the most famous 1880 novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Italian children's writer Carlo Collodi, the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini, the character Pinocchio was carved from wood.

The long lasting Australia radio serial Blue Hills was written by Gwen Meredith and was about the lives of families in a typical Australian country town called Tanimbla. "Blue Hills" itself was the residence of the town’s doctor. Blue Hills was broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for 27 years, from 28 February 1949 to 30 September 1976. It ran for a total of 5,795 episodes, and was at one time the world's longest-running radio serial.

French Chef Joël Robuchon has twelve "L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon" restaurants around the world, including in London and Hong Kong.

Arsenic is represented on the chemical periodic table by the symbol AS.

Quotables 13 August



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

An Edd Byrnes Moment


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Quotables 12 August



Trivia Bits 12 August






Starring Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, an African-American who eyewitnesses notable events of the 20th century during his 34-year tenure serving as a White House butler, the 2013 movie The Butler, an American historical fiction drama film directed by Lee Daniels



Donald Duck’s middle name is Fauntleroy.

After twice fleeing civil unrest in Nigeria, Amina Mama moved to South Africa, where she became director of the African Gender Institute and founding editor of its peer-reviewed journal, Feminist Africa.

Leopold Bloom is the protagonist in the novel Ulysses written by James Joyce which was published by Sylvia Beach in February 1922, in Paris.

Rogue is a fictional character appearing in most of the Marvel Comics X-Men and was played by Canadian-born New Zealand actress Anna Paquin in the X-Men movie franchise.

The acronym RSVP stands for a French phrase, "répondez, s'il vous plaît," which means "please reply."

The Lindsay pamphlet scandal occurred just before 2007 Australian Federal Election in which Liberal Party volunteers distributed fake election pamphlets, claiming to be from an Islamic organisation that was later found not to exist claiming the Labor Party candidate would support clemency for convicted terrorists and the construction of a mosque in the local area.

There are mermen on the pulpit of St James' Church, Cardington, in Shropshire, England.

Running from 1984 to 1989, Highway to Heaven is an American television drama series shot entirely in California and starring Michael Landon as Jonathan Smith, an angel sent down to earth "on probation", and his human companion Mark Gordon, played by Victor French, are given "assignments" by "The Boss" (God) where they are required to use their humanity, and sometimes a little bit of Divine intervention to help various troubled souls overcome their problems.

Scottish suffragette Jessie Stephen led the first of the "Scottish Outrages" involving attacks on pillar boxes in Glasgow in February 1913.

Monday, August 11, 2014

An Ed Wynn Moment


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Trivia Bits 11 August


Buddh International Circuit

The Buddh International Circuit (pictured) is a racing circuit in India and is best known as the venue for the annual Formula One Indian Grand Prix first hosted on 30 October 2011.

Monica E. Geller is a fictional character in the American sitcom Friends, portrayed by Courteney Cox and is known as the "Mother Hen" of the group and her Greenwich Village apartment is one of the group's main gathering places.

Bimini and New Providence are islands of the Caribbean country The Bahamas.

The Rosetta Stone was discovered by Napoleon’s army in Egypt in 1799 by a soldier, Pierre-François Bouchard, of the French expedition to Egypt.

The study of place names is called toponymy which is derived from the Greek words tópos (τόπος) ("place") and ónoma (ὄνομα) ("name").

Until February 2012, Malev Airlines was the principal airline of Hungary.

Found in the coldwaters of the Arctic, northern Atlantic, and northern Pacific Oceans, the Lion's Mane Jellyfish is the biggest jellyfish in the world Have been found with a bell diameter of 2.5 metres (8.2 ft), with the tentacles trailing as long as 30 metres (98 ft) or more.

A Methuselah bottle holds six litres of champagne.

Six Thousand Questions was the original name for the game Trivial Pursuit and was released in 1982.

The Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts funded in 1833 is the oldest Mechanics' Institute and the oldest continuous lending library in Australia.

Quotables 11 August



Sunday, August 10, 2014

Movie Review ... A Most Wanted Man


A Most Wanted Man posterDespite the end of the Cold War, spying has thrived.  With cutting-edge surveillance technology at their disposal, governments are still reliant on keeping informed of their international brethren.  This has become more potent after 9/11 which ‘A Most Wanted Man’ explores.  Based on John Le Carre’s novel, it successfully spins the web of intrigue for which Le Carre is known.  ‘A Most Wanted’ is an engaging look at how spying is still very much a part of today’s fast-paced world.

Leader of an anti-terrorist unit charged with infiltrating the Muslim community, Guenther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) tackles his latest assignment.  When a suspected terrorist arrives in Hamburg, Bachmann wants to keep him under surveillance.  Hoping his presence will lead to the discovery of a major terrorist cell, Bachmann’s efforts are opposed by CIA representative Martha Sullivan (Robyn Wright).  Clashing with Sullivan’s approach Bachmann’s ideals is tested with lives hanging perilously in the balance.

‘A Most Wanted Man’ explores individual agendas and how they affect a desired outcome.  Bachmann’s ‘wait and see’ method infuriates those around him which enables the drama to slowly percolate.  Given Sullivan’s penchant for a more direct approach, the inevitable clash of wills almost derails a very delicate mission.  How they agitate events from the shadows, with their targets none the wiser to the drama surrounding them is fascinating.

The solid screenplay is further enhanced by strong performances.  In his final leading role before his death, Hoffman shows a talent that will be missed.  Ranging from excitement, apathy and frustration, you feel for his character as he continually fights interference.  Anton Corbijn’s direction successfully draws out the conflict and dilemmas everyone faces and the murky world and loyalties on which they thrive. 

A fine adult thriller/drama ‘A Most Wanted Man’ shows spying has never faded.  Whilst old wars may be distant memories, gathering knowledge will always be in demand as will those who collect information by any means possible.

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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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An Eartha Kitt Moment


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Trivia Bits 10 August



English musician and singer-songwriter Adele Adkins is better known as Adele (pictured) who in 2013 received an Academy Award as well as a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for her song Skyfall, written for the twenty-third James Bond film of the same name.

Alexei Sayle starred as a psychotic landlord in the 1980’s comedy series The Young Ones.

Dutton Horse Bridge on the River Weaver in Cheshire, England is one of the earliest surviving laminated timber structures. The bridge dates from 1915–1919 and is by John Arthur Saner.

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England during World War II delivered the speech We shall fight on the Beaches to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 4 June 1940.

Antonín Dvořák could not conduct his symphonic poem A Hero's Song in Berlin on December 4, 1898 because of a nervous breakdown.

Hyacinth Bucket, played by Patricia Routledge, features in the British sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, which was first broadcast from 1990 to 1995 and is the show's protagonist, the social-climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket who insists her surname is pronounced Bouquet with her primary aims in life are to impress people, particularly those of the upper-classes, and to give the impression she's of high social-standing despite her fairly average status.

Judge Dredd first appeared in the 1977 British science fiction comic anthology 2000AD.

The United States Coast Guard has operated life-saving stations both on shore and in floating installations for over 150 years being founded by Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue Marine first, and later as the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790.

In mathematics, the Pythagorean Theorem relates to the right angled triangular geometric shape stating that the square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.

The French term peloton is used to describe the main group of cyclists in a road race.

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Former U.S. decathlete Rafer Johnson ignited the Olympic Flame during the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles by touching off the flame which passed through a specially designed flammable Olympic logo, igniting all five rings then passing up to cauldron atop the peristyle where it remained aflame for the duration of the Games (pictured).


The infamous World War 1 spy Mata Hari was of Dutch nationality.

The Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, site of Willy Brandt's Warschauer Kniefall in 1970, was made from labradorite intended to be used in monuments in Nazi Germany. The monument commemorates the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 being located in the area formerly part of the Warsaw Ghetto, at the spot where the first armed clash of the uprising took place.

France Antarctique, a short-lived French colony as a haven for the Huguenots, was not in Antarctica but in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and existed between 1555 and 1567.

The 2013 MotoGP World Championship was won by Spanish Marc Marquez who is the youngest to win the title overall at 20 years old.

Janine Haines was the first female federal parliamentary leader of an Australian political party. An Australian Democrat, she was also the first member of that party to enter the federal parliament after the party's formation in 1977.

The Web Ellis Cup is the trophy played for in the Rugby World Cup. The Cup is named after William Webb Ellis, who is often credited as the inventor of rugby football. The trophy is silver gilt and has been presented to the winner of the Rugby World Cup since the first competition in 1987.


The samisen (pictured) is a stringed instrument from Japan.

Shazbot was a catchphrase used in the 1970s/80s TV series Mork & Mindy an American science fiction sitcom broadcast from 1978 until 1982 starring Robin Williams as Mork, an alien who comes to Earth from the planet Ork.

Joseph Barrow was better known as Joe Louis an American professional boxer and the World Heavyweight Champion from 1937 to 1949.