Saturday, January 31, 2015

Just For Fun 31 January



A Grant Williams Moment


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Trivia Bits 31 January


Bee Hummingbird

The Bee Hummingbird (pictured) is a species of hummingbird endemic to dense forests and woodland edges on the main island of Cuba and is the smallest bird in the world no larger than a big insect and, as its name suggests, is scarcely larger than a bee.

Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China around the 15th Century with the name "chrysanthemum" is derived from the Greek words chrysos (gold) and anthemon (flower).

The edible African species Amanita zambiana is sometimes called the Christmas mushroom because it is most abundant in December and early January.

The Galvayne's groove occurs on the upper corner incisor, producing a vertical line, and is helpful in approximating the age of older horses.

There is a city in Germany called Worms in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, on the Rhine River about 60 kilometres (40 mi) south-southwest of Frankfurt-am-Main and is thought to have been founded prior to 14 BCE.

The town of Coober Pedy in outback South Australia accounts for approximately eighty per cent of the world’s opal supply.

The Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2013 was selfie and is described as a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone.

Founded in 1541, Santiago is the capital of Chile, located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of 520 m (1,706 ft) above mean sea level.

Jubho Lagoon, a large shallow brackish lagoon located in Sindh, Pakistan, is home to around six thousand vulnerable Dalmatian Pelicans.

Human heart transplant pioneer South African cardiac surgeon Christiaan Barnard performed the world's first successful human-to-human heart transplant on 3 December 1967.

Quotables 31 January



Friday, January 30, 2015

Movie Review ... Still Alice


Still Alice posterIt is easy being cynical about films like ‘Still Alice’.  The ‘disease of the week’ motif used is something award voters love.  Roles featuring terminally ill characters have often appealed to actors looking to enhance their thespian credibility.  Making ‘Still Alice’ stand out is the authenticity it brings.  Examining a tragic illness, the startling performances of its stars ensures ‘Still Alice’ breaks free of formulaic cliché.

Alice (Julianne Moore) is a respected professor who has just turned 50.  Living with husband Tom (Alec Baldwin) and sharing close ties with her family, including daughter Lydia (Kristen Stewart), life runs smoothly.  When noticing bouts of memory loss, she sees a doctor.  Diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s disease, her world is shattered.  Scared of losing her past and facing an uncertain future, Alice relies on friends and family in the cloudy days ahead.

Those who have lived through seeing someone with Alzheimer’s will find ‘Still Alice’ uncomfortable viewing.  An invisible disease affecting everyone around the sufferer, the devastation left is something ‘Still Alice’ realistically tackles.  Despite Alice’s intelligence and distinguished background, she still can’t escape the illness’ dark abyss.  With her family watching her mind slowly die, their reactions and attempts in dealing with Alice is unbelievably sad but inspiring.

Sensitively directed and filled with fine performances, ‘Still Alice’ reveals much of an illness not many want to acknowledge.  Alice’s fear at losing her memories is heartbreakingly portrayed and Moore is superb in her role.  She successfully conveys the dignified grace her character tries to maintain in face of such a dreadful condition.  Managing not to indulge in too many ‘why me?’ moments, Moore under-plays the cruel nature of such an insidious affliction with her co-stars matching her high standard.

‘Still Alice’ may have the trappings of typical award-baiters but is elevated by a convincing script.  It deserves accolades for handling a difficult subject with emotional restraint leaving hope that a cure will soon be found.

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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



Movie Review ... The Theory Of Everything


TheTheoryOfEverythingPoster-01‘The Theory of Everything’ manages the feat of making physics palatable for general audiences.  The only way Hollywood could make this easy to understand is by focussing on relationships. By exploring the bond between world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife, it manages to make his scientific achievements easier to understand.  Imparting personal and professional accomplishments, ‘The Theory of Everything’ should ensure viewers aren’t too overwhelmed by scientific terminology.

In 1963 university student Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) meets fellow attendee Jane (Felicity Jones).  Their courtship becomes the backdrop to Hawking’s extraordinary life.  Becoming one of the top physicists of his era, not even the onset of motor neuron disease would stop his efforts.  Spanning decades, their eventual marriage would be tested by the world’s attention on Hawking’s remarkable achievements.

‘The Theory of Everything’ is about two people determined to overcome odds.  Despite physical ailments, Hawking continues to generate discussion about our place in the world.  How he was able to do this is effectively shown by director James Marsh.  Giving equal time to Jane, Marsh also highlights her importance in Hawking’s viewpoints.  Her presence humanises his enigmatic genius with Redmayne and Jones successfully portraying their roles.

As part of the biographical genre, ‘The Theory of Everything’ is generally satisfying.  Whilst occasionally having a glossy ‘Mills and Boon romance’ feel, the script does well in unravelling a multi-faceted person.  Although there is superficiality to some of the character portrayals, the compression of the time-line ensures pacing never falters.  Attention to detail in the initial 1960’s scenes mirror the high quality for which the production strives. 

Hawking’s contribution to science is incalculable.  ‘The Theory of Everything’ portrays his accomplishments reasonably well with personal issues just as engrossing.  Even casual admirers of his work will gain much from a fascinating look at Hawking’s amazing life.

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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



Movie Review ... American Sniper


American Sniper poster‘American Sniper’ has endured a wave of controversy.  Based on the memoirs of an Iraqi War veteran, the tome has been praised and pilloried in equal measures.  Closely following the book, ‘American Sniper’ has been judged as either an ode to patriotism or an unsubtle portrait of a killer.  Whilst director Clint Eastwood indulges in over-praise of his subject and doses of flag-waving jingoism, some interest is derived from a complex situation.

A highly decorated soldier who has made four tours of duty in Iraq, Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) is a scarred man.  Willing to do what is needed to protect his platoon his skills as a crack-shot sniper are much in demand.  Although worshipped by his comrades, his steely demeanour slowly unravels.   Aided by his wife Taya (Sienna Miller), he attempts to re-discover his humanity between tours knowing his next shot could be his last.

At the end of a biographical movie, viewers expect to know something about the subject.  ‘American Sniper’ barely passes in this regard.  As with most films in the genre, one can never truly know how a person felt at any given moment.  Eastwood fails to convey personal segments with any passion or authenticity.  Earlier scenes reveal a somewhat tortured soul but the script eventually degenerates into visceral battle sequences and patriotic breast-beating.

The generally simplistic handling of the material ensures ‘American Sniper’ becomes unmemorable.  Despite the fine performances of Cooper and Miller, other characters barely register.  This unfairly skews the required emotional weight away from Kyle’s platoon.  No one person can win a war which is something the film appears to suggest.  It may have worked better as a mini-series given how much more could have been told and with a less politically biased director.

Not as objective as one would have wished, ‘American Sniper’ infrequently engages.  Nor does it add much to the Iraqi War genre with better films made.  ‘American Sniper’s’ controversy may be valid as would be the timing during the publicity-hungry awards season.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  5

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


Just For Fun 30 January



A Grace La Rue Moment


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Trivia Bits 30 January


Eric “The Eel” Moussambani

Eric “The Eel” Moussambani (pictured), a swimmer from Equatorial Guinea, competed at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and before coming to the Olympics, Moussambani had never seen a 50 m (160 ft) long Olympic-size swimming pool taking up swimming only eight months before the Olympics practicing in a lake in Malabo.

Becoming one of the most recognisable tunes, in part because of its place at the beginning of Saturday Night Fever, "Stayin' Alive" is a disco song by the Australian group the Bee Gees and written by the Bee Gees (Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb) which upon release on 13 December 1977 climbed the charts to hit the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of 4 February 1978, remaining there for four weeks.

In French composer Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen, Carmen works in a factory making cigarettes.

The South American Bauru sandwich originated in Brazil with the traditional recipe calls for cheese, usually mozzarella, melted in a bain-marie, slices of roast beef, tomato and pickled cucumber in a French bun with the soft inner part removed.

The comic character Snoopy plays shortstop in baseball in the Peanuts comic strip.

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner better known by the stage name Sting is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor and philanthropist and is best known as the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the pioneering new wave rock band The Police and for his influential subsequent solo career.

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was mother to Queen Elizabeth II.

SS Principessa Jolanda the largest Italian ocean liner built up to that time, capsized in 1907 while being launched and was declared a total loss.

The larvae of the terrestrial Sri Lankan (Ceylon) caecilian have gills and a tail fin developing in water and then grow to about 23 to 40 cm (9.1 to 15.7 in) long and resemble a large earthworm.

Quotables 30 January



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Just For Fun 29 January



A Grace Kelly Moment


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Trivia Bits 29 January


Tokyo International Exhibition Center

The Tokyo Big Sight convention centre, the popular nickname for the Tokyo International Exhibition Centre (pictured), looks like four upside-down pyramids and opened in April 1996.

The village of Najran in Syria was named after the Najran of South Arabia, whose inhabitants, the Balharith, fled to Syria in the 520s.

The Bermuda Bowl is the biennial world championship of the popular card game of Contract bridge and started out as a competition between USA, Europe and Britain in 1950.

Directed by Peter Weir and starring Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell was the 1990 movie Green Card with Peter Weir writing the script specifically as a vehicle to introduce Gérard Depardieu to a wide English-speaking audience.

Considered the bible of the beat generation was the 1957 published novel by American novelist and poet Jack Kerouac On the Road based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across America.

Balaklava is a town located in South Australia, 92 kilometres north of Adelaide in the Mid North with the region’s first European settlers in the area being James and Mary Dunn who opened a hotel in 1850 with the town being named after the Battle of Balaklava.

Asclepius is the Greek god of medicine and healing with the rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, a symbol of medicine.

Despite having such actors as Christopher Plummer and Orson Welles, New York Magazine described the 1968 film directed by Philip Saville Oedipus the King as an "almost comical" film adaption of the dramatic play by Sophocles.

In the 1930’s the Wong brothers, Nelson, Joshua, and Othniel, three ethnic Chinese film directors and cameramen active in the cinema of the Dutch East Indies, were bankrupted, then made rich, by working with Dutch-Indonesian journalist and filmmaker Albert Balink.

The 1982 the US top 10 hit song Rock the Casbah was released by The Clash an English punk rock band on their album Combat Rock.

Quotables 29 January



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Just For Fun 28 January



A Grace Jones Moment


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Trivia Bits 28 January


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Australian athlete Cathy Freeman won two World Championship gold medals in the 400 metres event and became the Olympic champion for the women's 400 metres at the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics at which she lit the Olympic Flame (pictured).

Iceland is often referred to as the Land of Fire and Ice as it has snowy highlands and glaciers but underneath the surface geysers, hot springs and volcanoes.

Succeeding Francois Mitterrand as President of France in 1995 was Jacques Chirac.

In the 1993 – 2004 American sitcom TV series Frasier, Frasier’s brother’s name is Niles, a fellow psychiatrist.

Svierge is another name for the country of Sweden the Scandinavian country in Northern Europe and borders Norway and Finland, and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Øresund.

American playwright Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible was first performed at the Martin Beck Theatre on Broadway on January 22, 1953.

The Everglades National Park is in the US State of Florida and was established in 1934 to protect the quickly vanishing Everglades, and dedicated in 1947.

Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager, a retired brigadier general in the United States Air Force and noted test pilot, who in 1947, he became the first pilot to (officially) travel faster than sound.

American lawyer and Democratic politician Charles Warren is best known for political leadership in environmental matters, he also initiated and developed the first U.S. state-wide 9-1-1 emergency telephone service program in California with the Warren – 911 – Emergency Assistance Act becoming law in 1973.

Wielding the lasso of truth is the DC Comics character Wonder Woman first appearing in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941 and first cover-dated on Sensation Comics #1, January 1942.

Quotables 28 January



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Just For Fun 27 January



A Grace Bradley Moment


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Very Thoughtful Ideas on Retirement


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How many days in a week?
Answer: 6 Saturdays, 1 Sunday

Question: When is a retiree's bedtime?
Answer: Three hours after he falls asleep on the couch.

Question: How many retirees to change a light bulb?
Answer: Only one, but it might take all day.

Question: What's the biggest gripe of retirees?
Answer: There is not enough time to get everything done.

Question: Why don't retirees mind being called Seniors?
Answer: The term comes with a 10% discount.

Question: Among retirees what is considered formal attire?
Answer: Tied shoes.

Question: Why do retirees count pennies?
Answer: They are the only ones who have the time.

Question: What is the common term for someone who enjoys work and refuses to retire?


Question: Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic or garage?
Answer: They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to store stuff there.

Question: What do retirees call a long lunch?

Answer: Normal .

Question: What is the best way to describe retirement?
Answer: The never ending coffee break.

Question: What's the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree?
Answer: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents.

Question: Why does a retiree often say he doesn't miss work, but misses the people he used to work with?

Answer: He is too polite to tell the whole truth.

And, my very favourite....

QUESTION: What do you do all week?
Answer: Monday through Friday, NOTHING..... Saturday & Sunday, I rest.

Source Anonymous

From Email

Trivia Bits 27 January


Banoffee pie

Banoffee pie (pictured), made from bananas, cream and dulce de leche on a pastry or biscuit base, originated in the United Kingdom with credit for the pie's invention claimed by Ian Dowding and Nigel Mackenzie, the chef and owner respectively at The Hungry Monk restaurant in Jevington, East Sussex in 1972.

Crop circles are sizable patterns created by the flattening of a crop such as wheat, barley, rye, maize, or rapeseed and are studied by a cereologist.

Civilian scout Amos Chapman was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in 2012 for his actions which saw him awarded the Medal of Honor in 1874 for gallantry while in service of the United States Army during the Indian Wars.

The latitude in degrees of the Earth’s Equator is 0O.

Deep Blue was a computer best known for playing games of Chess and was developed by IBM. On May 11, 1997, the machine, with human intervention between games, won the second six-game match against world champion Garry Kasparov by two wins to one with three draws.

The capital of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is Palermo which was founded in 734 BC by the Phoenicians as Ziz.

The British racehorse Teenoso won the 1983 Derby Stakes with the slowest winning time winning time of 2:49.07 of this race in the 20th century.

With the main hangar built in 1954, the Loring Air Force Base Double Cantilever Hangar, in Limestone, Aroostook County, Maine, was capable of storing five B-36 Peacemaker or six B-52 Stratofortress aircraft.

The term used to describe a fear of the number 4 is tetraphobia.

Claude Monet painted the Rouen Cathedral series of paintings in the 1890’s with each painting in the series capturing the façade of the cathedral at different times of the day and year, and reflect changes in its appearance under different lighting conditions.

Quotables 27 January



Monday, January 26, 2015

Just For Fun 26 January



5 Not So Well Native Australian Animals






Major Mitchell Cockatoo

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Echidna- Spiny Anteater

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Crimson Rosella

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