Saturday, May 2, 2015

Trivia Bits 02 May


 Henry Cavendish

British scientist and experimental and theoretical chemist and physicist Henry Cavendish (pictured)  discovered the existence of the chemical element Hydrogen documents in a 1766 paper On Factitious Airs with Antoine Lavoisier later reproducing Cavendish's experiment and giving the element its name.

American crime drama television series Lie to Me originally ran from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2011 with Dr. Cal Lightman, played by English actor and film director Tim Roth, and his colleagues in The Lightman Group accept assignments from third parties, commonly local and federal law enforcement, and assist in investigations, reaching the truth through applied psychology: interpreting microexpressions, through the Facial Action Coding System, and body language.

In the nursery rhyme Simple Simon, he was hoping to catch a whale when he went a-fishing and possibly appearing in an Elizabethan chapbook and in a ballad, Simple Simon's Misfortunes and his Wife Margery's Cruelty, from about 1685.

Tycho is a prominent lunar impact crater located in the southern lunar highlands, named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546–1601).

American television, film and voice actor Lee Majors is an, best known for his as Colonel Steve Austin in The Six Million Dollar Man from 1973 to 1978 and is about a former astronaut with bionic implants working for a fictional government office known as OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence).

The Liberal Party of Australia is Australia's largest conservative party, formed by Robert Menzies in 1944–5 from existing conservative groups.

Airing from March 26, 1989 to May 5, 1993, Quantum Leap is an American television series created by Donald P. Bellisario, and starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, a quantum physicist from the near future who becomes lost in time following a time travel experiment, temporarily taking the places of other people to put right what once went wrong.

Oenology is the science and study of wine and wine making and the word oenology derived from the Greek οἶνος - oinos, wine, and the suffix -λογία, -logia, study of.

To balbutiate is to stutter or stammer.

The capital of Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is Vientiane with the main international airports being Vientiane's Wattay International Airport and Luang Prabang International Airport with Pakse International Airport also having a few international flights.

Quotables 02 May



Friday, May 1, 2015

Trivia Bits 01 May



A fruit tree native to Iran and Iraq that has the botanical name Punica Granatum is the Pomegranate (pictured) which has been successfully introduced into Australia.

US musician Ben Haggerty is better known as Macklemore and formerly Professor Macklemore, is an American rapper.

The 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Irish poet W B Yeats for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.

The Great Lakes in Northern America make up the Earth’s largest surface freshwater system with a total surface of 94,250 square miles (244,106 sq km).

The colour of the sash Australian bush ranger Ned Kelly wore under his armour was green which was symbolic of Ned Kelly’s Irish heritage.

The first game of International Cricket was played in 1844 being between the USA and Canada and played at the grounds of the St George's Cricket Club in New York.

In 1843, pioneer South Australian newspaper editor and horticulturist George Stevenson sent a case of South Australian wine made from a vineyard near Mt Barker to Queen Victoria, being the first Australian wine to reach the Queen.

A male swan is called a Cob, an adult female is called a Pen and baby swans are called Cygnets.

Author Tim Winton’s first novel was Miles Franklin Award winning Cloudstreet published in 1991 and chronicles the lives of two working class Australian families who come to live together at One Cloud Street, in a suburb of Perth, over a period of twenty years, 1943 – 1963.

On the human skull, the gnathion is the lowest point of the chin.

Quotables 01 May



Thursday, April 30, 2015

Movie Review ... Ex Machina


Ex Machina posterMovies concentrating on artificial intelligence are nothing new.  Tackling the thorny moral issues of creating a new type of being provides fascinating viewing.  ‘Ex Machina’ continues this path with an absorbing experience.  Under Alex Garland’s strong direction, the dilemmas posed take on dark undercurrents.  Whilst primarily a sci-fi tale, the story effectively mixes genres to create an intriguing package of ideas.

Caleb (Domnhall Gleeson) works as an expert coder at a large internet company and is surprised when winning an office competition.  The prize is a week with the company’s reclusive CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac).  Meeting the esteemed genius is a moment Caleb won’t forget, nor is Nathan’s offer.  Wanting Caleb to test out his new artificially intelligent android named Ava (Alicia Vikander), Nathan places his employee in a unique situation.  Events soon travel an unexpected trajectory as human and machine soon become one.

‘Ex Machina’ is an engrossing study in manipulation.  Caught between a creator and his creation, Caleb slowly becomes ensnared in a sinister web.  Unsure of where his loyalties lie, Nathan’s strong willed personality versus Ava’s innocence unexpectedly captures Caleb’s imagination.  Mixed with topical themes of ‘playing God’ with science, ‘Ex Machina’s screenplay equally should capture viewer’s attention.  Events craft a myriad of twists with pieces of a puzzle slowly falling into place.

Whilst a little too slow-paced to be entirely successful, the concepts ‘Ex Machina’ presents are interesting.  How technology rules people’s lives is seen in Nathan’s use of on-line information to control Caleb’s emotions.  You are never sure of Nathan or Ava’s intentions which add to the increasing tension.  Directing from his own script, Garland ensures his complex ideas remain accessible in order to concentrate on the genuine conflict between characters.

A thoughtful sci-fi movie ‘Ex Machina’ crafts an absorbing narrative.  It doesn’t particularly add anything new about artificial intelligence but provides engaging viewing about the pitfalls of some emerging technologies.

Ex Machina 012

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 ... Unfriended


unfriended poster1‘Unfriended’ spins a new twist on the found-footage horror genre.  With recent entries indicating a slow demise with most possibilities used, ‘Unfriended’ finds a fresh slant.  Using effects of bullying as its central motif, the story conjures genuine tension.  Unlike recent horror films, ‘Unfriended’ crafts an unsettling mood beyond the shadows of cyberspace.

A year after fellow classmate Laura committed suicide, six friends gather for an on-line Skype chat.  Among them are Lily (Shelly Hennig) and Jess (Renee Olstead).  Feeling guilty over their harsh treatment which led to Laura’s death, they attempt to bury the past.  Someone logs onto Laura’s old Skype account threatening bloody vengeance and fear grips them.  The spectre of death lashes the group in a vice of sheer terror.

‘Unfriended’ is a serviceable shocker without being overly scary.  In an effort to create its own vibe, overblown musical cues and cheap ‘shock-jumps’ are discarded.  By focussing on mood and characters to generate thrills, most of the time ‘Unfriended’ succeeds even if the smart concept often works against it.  The static Skype boxes in which the characters interact leaves little room for movement making events a little dull.  This occasionally makes ‘Unfriended’ drag where it should be a constant thrill-ride.  

The idea of someone using the internet as a tool for revenge is mostly well handled.  The use of urban legends and distrust amongst the unwitting participants also provides a decent level of engagement.  The cast competently conform to their teenage stereotypes with some skill without being memorable.  They could have been helped by better pacing and direction although they manage to further enhance the mood of dread permeating their lives.

Agreeably free of CGI and clunky plotting, ‘Unfriended’ is a decent chiller.  It isn’t the greatest but it may remind viewers to be more careful in their future on-line sojourns.

unfriended  04

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  6

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


Trivia Bits 30 April


 The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The 1969 published classic children's picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar (cover pictured) was designed, illustrated and written by Eric Carle, an American designer, illustrator, and writer of children's books, and has few words that have been translated into more than 58 languages and sold more than 38 million copies.

Opening in 1994, The Channel Tunnel is a 50.5-kilometre (31.4 mi) rail tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent, in the United Kingdom, with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, near Calais in northern France, beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover

A phlebotomist is trained to draw blood from a patient for clinical or medical testing, transfusions, donations, or research.

An English explorer and administrator Charles Sturt was born in India in 1795, arrived in Sydney in 1827 with a detachment of the British army and is best known for his voyage of discovery sailing down the massive inland Darling-Murray River systems.

In military terms, a cul-de-sac is a situation in which a military force is hemmed in on all sides except from behind.

A halibut is a type of fish that live in the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans with the name derived from haly (holy) and butt (flat fish) for its popularity on Catholic holy days.

The Beatles sixth studio album Rubber Soul was released on 3 December 1965 on the Parlophone label and was recorded in just over four weeks to make the Christmas market.

The Overland Telegraph Line completed in 1872 connected Darwin with the South Australian town of Port Augusta some 3200 kms apart.

The closest planet to Neptune is Uranus with the distance between them varying based on their positions relative to each other and at their closest position, they are about 1,600 million kilometres apart whilst at their furthest position, they are about 7,400 million kilometres apart.

A lemon tree is an evergreen tree native to Asia with fruit used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world, primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind (zest) are also used in cooking and baking.

Quotables 30 April



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Trivia Bits 29 April


bob dylan 

It was at the US Newport Folk Festival in 1965 that Bob Dylan (pictured) and band first played electric instruments live meeting with a mix of cheering and booing and he left the stage after only three songs.

The Timeless Land (1941), Storm of Time (1948) and No Barrier (1953) are commonly referred to as Australian author Eleanor Dark's Historical Trilogy.

The Isles of Sicily are closest to Cornwall one of the ceremonial counties of England.

Saint Helena, the island that Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to in 1815 and later died on six years later, is an island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean and one of the most isolated islands in the world that for centuries was an important stopover for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa.

In computing, the acronym WYSIWYG stands What You See Is What You Get.

The chilli variant jalapeño is smoked dried to make chipotle used primarily in Mexican and Mexican-inspired cuisines, such as Mexican-American and Tex-Mex.

Red Scare was a term used to campaign against communists, called reds, in the USA during the 20th century, and associated atmosphere of suspicion and fear.

Coffin Bay National Park was proclaimed in 1983 and is on Eyre Peninsula of South Australia, 301 km west of Adelaide and features a long peninsula with a sheltered bay, coastal dunes, swamps and a spectacular coastline of islands, reefs, limestone cliffs and white surf beaches.

The 2005 novel Lunar Park was written by American novelist, screenwriter, and short story writer Bret Easton Ellis and is notable for being the first book written by Ellis to use past tense narrative.

A cetylsalicylic Acid is more commonly known as Aspirin often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, as an antipyretic to reduce fever, and as an anti-inflammatory medication.

Quotables 29 April



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Trivia Bits 28 April


Royal Marines logo

The motto of the Royal Marines (logo pictured) is Per mare, per terram – By Sea, By Land and is believed to have been first used in 1775 describing the Royal Marines ability in fighting both afloat on-board ships of the Royal Navy, as well as ashore in their many land engagements. 

Aspirin was first discovered from the bark of the willow tree in 1763 by Edward Stone of Wadham College, Oxford University and was first synthesized by Felix Hoffmann, a chemist with the German company Bayer in 1897.

The national animal of Afghanistan is the snow leopard native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia and is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

A redsmith also known as a coppersmith, is a person who makes artefacts from copper with the term redsmith comes from the colour of copper.

The term alter ego comes from Latin, the other I is a second self, which is believed to be distinct from a person's normal or original personality with the term appearing in common usage in the early 19th century when dissociative identity disorder was first described by psychologists.

Quetzals are strikingly coloured birds found in forests and woodlands, especially in humid highlands and almost entirely restricted to western Mexico also in Baja Verapaz, Guatemala.

The original title of the 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe was The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pyrates.

Bordering Cambodia, once known as the Khmer Empire, are the countries of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

Moonlighting was a 1985 American television series starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd as private detectives with the Blue Moon Detective Agency and was a mixture of drama, comedy, and romance considered to be one of the first successful and influential examples of comedy-drama, or "dramedy", emerging as a distinct television genre.

Quotables 28 April



Monday, April 27, 2015

Trivia Bits 27 April


Chris O’Dowd

Irish actor and comedian Chris O’Dowd (pictured) starred as Drew in the 2104 romantic comedy film Cuban Fury.

Australia won 7 gold medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games giving Australia 10th position in the medal table.

In South Australia, the youngest that a learner’s permit to practice driving can be obtained is 16.

The beach in Nice, France is a pebble beach which in some areas slope down to the sea at quite an angle, making these sections unsuitable for young children and there are 15 private beaches in Nice, which are all positioned between public – or free beaches.

Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns with term being of recent origin, probably dating from the 1980s.

American recording artist Pink’s 2013 Australian tour was named The Truth About Love Tour with shows in Melbourne, Australia recorded and released on a concert DVD, The Truth About Love Tour: Live from Melbourne.

Based on Solaris the celebrated novel of Polish writer Stanislas Lem about a planet covered entirely by ocean, the Japanese composer Dai Fujikura and choreographer Saburo Teshigawara set out to create for the audience a world of strangeness in their adaptation of the science fiction classic into an opera of the same name with the world premiere on 03 March 2015 at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Sir Keith Murdoch House, located in Waymouth Street, Adelaide, South Australia is named after Keith Murdoch an Australian journalist and the father of Rupert Murdoch, the CEO and Chairman of News Corp

Mykonos Island is located in Greece being home to one of the oldest museums in Greece Archaeological Museum of Mykonos was built in 1905 to house the findings from the Putrefaction Pit of 425/426 BC, discovered in 1898 on the islet of Rheneia by D. Stavropoulos.

The acronym YOLO stands for You Only Live Once similar to carpe diem or memento mori, it implies that one should enjoy life, even if that entails taking risks.

Quotables 27 April



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Trivia Bits 26 April


The Necropolis of Pantalica 

With approximately 4,000 tombs, The Necropolis of Pantalica (pictured) in southeast Sicily is a collection of cemeteries with rock-cut chamber tombs dating from the 13th to the 7th centuries BC.

Disneyland Park, originally Disneyland, is the first of two theme parks built at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, opened on July 17, 1955 and is the only theme park designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney.

The play The Tempest was written by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone.

Cuban Missile Crisis in October was the confrontation in international relations 1962 when Soviet rockets were installed in Cuba and US president John F Kennedy compelled Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, by military threats and negotiation, to remove them.

American film actor and producer Tom Cruise was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV in Syracuse, New York in 1962.

Bred is the past tense of the word breed.

Former Australian Test Cricket captain Ricky Ponting is nicknamed Punter.

The 1959 movie The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll Australian-British film directed by Leslie Norman and is based on the Ray Lawler play was released as Season of Passion in the US and starred Ernest Borgnine, Anne Baxter, John Mills and Angela Lansbury.

The largest historic tsunami happened in 1958 when a landslide fell into a fjord in Lituya Bay in Alaska and generated a wave 30 metres high.

A Scottish explorer in Australia, John McDouall Stuart emigrated in 1838 to South Australia and as a draftsman joined Charles Sturt's 1844–1845 expedition to central Australia.

Quotables 26 April