Saturday, June 6, 2015

Trivia Bits 06 Jun


Mobil logo

In the Mobil logo (pictured) the only red letter is the O with the other letters being in blue with Mobil being a major American oil company which merged with Exxon in 1999 to form ExxonMobil.

In 1865, several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, Tennessee, called the Ku Klux Klan.

Richard Attenborough won the Best Director Oscar for the 1982 epic biographical film Gandhi starring Ben Kingsley in the title role.

A hexagon has six sides with the name from Greek ἕξ hex, "six" and γωνία, gonía, "corner, angle".

In the nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle, the dish ran away with the spoon with the rhyme may be dated back to at least the sixteenth century.

Reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Lulu sang the title song in the 1967 movie To Sir With Love British drama film, starring Sidney Poitier, that deals with social and racial issues in an inner-city school. James Clavell directed and wrote the film's screenplay, based on E. R. Braithwaite's semi-autobiographical 1959 novel To Sir, With Love.

Premiering on September 23, 2009 American television sitcom Modern Family follows the lives of Jay Pritchett and his family living in suburban Los Angeles.

The Trobairitz were Occitan female troubadours of the 12th and 13th centuries in southern France, mostly in Provence and composed, wrote verses, and performed for the Occitan noble courts.

Small, deepsea lophiiform fishes found in tropical to temperate waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, Black seadevils are a family of anglerfish named for their baleful appearance and pitch black skin.

According to legend Damocles sat a banquet with a sword suspended over his head by a single hair.

The 12th sign of the Zodiac is Pisces with a Western superstitious belief that Pisceans are reasonable, artistic, and quiet.

Quotables 06 Jun



Friday, June 5, 2015

Trivia Bits 05 Jun


 Statue of Liberty

 The Statue of Liberty (pictured) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor, in Manhattan, New York City, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886, was a gift to the United States from the people of France.

Founded in 1957, Al-Hilal is a professional football team based in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh with the club's nicknames being The Boss and The Blue Waves.

The expression in the soup means that someone is in trouble.

The fear of sharks is known as Selachophobia and may be caused through media, books, movies or a nasty past experience with sharks.

Native to Europe, northern Africa, and Asia, the common mullein plant was burnt in France during celebrations on the second Sunday of Lent to protect against evil spirits and demons.

Sinology is the study of China and Chinese topics including Chinese classical language and literature.

The European language of Portuguese is the official language of São Tomé and Príncipe islands lying off the west coast of Africa.

Chinese regent Sima Daozi (364-403) was described by historians as spending too much of his time drinking and feasting.

The IATA abbreviation ORD for Chicago's O'Hare airport comes from the old name Orchard Field.

German-born US physicist Albert Einstein suggested imagination is more important than information.

Quotables 05 Jun



Thursday, June 4, 2015

Trivia Bits 04 Jun


 Whipped Cream & Other Delights

Model and artist Dolores Erickson, the woman on the 1965 album cover for Whipped Cream & Other Delights (pictured) by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, was actually covered in shaving cream.

David Jones, Australian department store, opened its doors on the corner of George and Barrack Streets, Sydney in 1838

The French literary term, Roman à clef, meaning novel with a key - for a real life story that is overlaid with a facade of fiction for example where fictitious names in the novel represent real people.

The colour of the jacket awarded to the winner of the Australian Masters golf tournament is gold.

Eldrick Tont Woods, better known as Tiger Woods, is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time having been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for several years.

The mining town of Coober Pedy in Australia derived the name from the local Aboriginals and means something like White fella down a hole.

The term ignorantia juris non excusat is Latin for the legal doctrine, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

The ice cream soda was invented in 1874 by Robert Green when he was serving a mixture of syrup, sweet cream and carbonated water at a celebration in Philadelphia and ran out of cream so he substituted ice cream.

The Silent World (French: Le Monde du silence), an Academy Award winning 1956 documentary film by Jacques Cousteau, was the first film to use underwater cinematography to show the ocean depths in colour.

Olive oil is used as dressing in a traditional Greek Salad which is made with pieces of tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, onion, feta cheese, and olives, usually Kalamata olives, typically seasoned with salt and oregano.

Quotables 04 Jun



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Trivia Bits 03 Jun


 Les femmes d'Alger (Version 0)

Depicting a colourful scene from a harem, the 1955 cubist oil painting by Pablo Picasso Les femmes d'Alger (Version 0) (pictured), sold for $US160 million ($AU203 million) in New York, smashing the world record for the most expensive art sold at auction in May 2015.

The Marian column on which Our Lady stands on Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore built in 1614 in Rome originally supported the vault of the Basilica of Constantine at the Roman Forum and was the only one such column to survive the Basilica's destruction in an earthquake in 847AD.

American contemporary artist who works primarily in painting and printmaking, Jasper Johns painted the Flag, an oil and collage on fabric mounted on plywood, during 1954 to 1955 and is on display at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

The three largest islands in the world that are not considered to be a continent are Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo.

The redoubtable suffragist Dora Montefiore (1851 – 1927) was a founder of the women’s suffrage movement in New South Wales before moving back to England to work first for the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and later the Adult Suffrage Society.

Founded in 1891 in Södertälje, Sweden, the commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania has its headquarters in Sweden with production facilities in Sweden, France, Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, Poland, and Russia.

A chiliad is a period of 1000 years and comes from Late Latin chīlias, chīliad, or from Greek khīlias, from khīlioi, thousand.

The Fields Medal, also officially known as International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics, is the world’s most prestigious prize in Mathematics awarded to two, three, or four mathematicians not over 40 years of age at each International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years.

The predecessor to the Imperial Russian Navy first sailed during the Second Azov campaign of 1696 under Peter the Great.

US President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Quotables 03 Jun



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Trivia Bits 02 Jun


Hans Christian Andersen

Danish author and poet Hans Christian Andersen (pictured) best remembered for his fairy tales with his popularity not limited to children as his stories, called eventyr in Danish, or "fairy-tales" in English, express themes that transcend age and nationality. 

Made from egg yolk and liquid butter, usually seasoned with lemon juice, salt, and a little white pepper or cayenne pepper, Hollandaise sauce is used in traditional Eggs Benedict.

British teacher and MP Leah Manning organised the evacuation of almost 4,000 orphaned or at risk Basque children to Britain during the Spanish Civil War.

Playing the two lead female roles in the 2006 American Christmas-themed romantic comedy film The Holiday were Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslett as two lovelorn women from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, who temporarily exchange homes to escape heartbreak during the holiday season.

The Agen plum which would become the basis of the US prune industry was first planted in California in 1856.

Native to most of the western United States, a female Western harvest mouse can potentially give birth to as many as forty to sixty offspring in a single year.

An extinct volcano located in the northern highlands of Viti Levu, Mount Tomanivi, previously named Mount Victoria, is the highest peak in Fiji at 1,324 metres (4,344 ft).

Bridge Over Troubled Water was the last song that Elvis Presley ever performed publicly at his final concert in Indianapolis in June, 1977.

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Labrador was the first ship to circumnavigate North America departing Halifax on 23 July 1954 and returning to Halifax on 21 November 1954 having travelled via Canada's Arctic archipelago from east to west then to British Columbia, the NorthWest Passage, the west of America and the Panama Canal.

In April 2014, NASA reported evidence of water on Enceladus a moon of the planet Saturn.

Quotables 02 Jun


interesting as possible

Monday, June 1, 2015

Movie Review ... San Andreas

‘San Andreas’ exists purely as an ode to CGI excess.  Audiences should be used to this as recent era of Hollywood films firmly embraced this technology.  No longer do we see flying monsters pulled via string or model cars smashed together like Matchbox toys.  In echoing the disaster genre made popular in the 1970’s, ‘San Andreas’ surrounds its cardboard cut-out characters with a CGI cataclysm worthy of note.
After a shattering earthquake nearly destroys California, its populace is in disarray.  One is helicopter pilot Ray (Dwayne Johnson).  Desperate to search for his missing daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario), he enlists the help of ex-wife Emma (Carla Gugino).  Sifting through the ruins of the devastated landscape, Ray’s life turns awry amidst nature’s fury.
Those who have seen ‘Towering Inferno’, ‘2012’ and countless others will know what to expect with ‘San Andreas’.  Johnson plays the stoic hero with ease whilst his fellow cast do their best to not upstage him.  But even his huge presence is dwarfed by the scale of destruction courtesy of the writers.  Calling ‘San Andreas’ entertaining fun may sound ghoulish but one has to admire the creativity gone in crafting the many death-defying scenarios.  Tension is keenly felt even if the cheesy script feels familiar with some dazzling action sequences.
The real star of ‘San Andreas’ is the CGI.  Buildings shake and water envelopes the characters with disturbing realism.  Brad Peyton directs these scenes with a computer programmer’s eye but shows flair in handling the story’s subplots.  The characters aren’t particularly memorable although have a semblance of intelligence making one care for their fate. 
‘San Andreas’ is silly nonsense and proud of it.  If you’ve seen similar films then déjà vu may set in.  It provides a wild escapist ride only mega-bucks can buy although one hopes Hollywood’s talent for predicting the future fails in this case.
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. 


Movie Review ... Tomorrowland

If a studio runs out of books to translate to screen, owning a theme park can work wonders.  The Walt Disney group is a case in point.  Turning its ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ ride into a hit franchise, it shouldn’t surprise Disney have done this again with ‘Tomorrowland’.  Based on a Disney theme park, it makes use of its thin concept proving movie making ideas can be derived from any source.
Embittered inventor Frank (George Clooney) continually seeks a fresh start.  Jaded by past failures, he meets optimistic teenager Casey (Britt Robertson).  A keen science wiz, Casey enlists Frank’s help in uncovering the secrets of Tomorrowland.  A place where time exists in all matter of forms, the duo’s actions places their world in danger.
Although convoluted and somewhat preachy, ‘Tomorrowland’s heart is in the right place.  Extolling the virtues of believing in oneself and chasing dreams, it wraps these themes in a mostly engaging package.  The contrast between Casey and Frank is predictable but well played by the strong leads.  Robertson especially gives the movie the spark it needs during its slower paced moments.  Brad Bird directs with accomplished skill ensuring effects generally don’t overwhelm a story filled with genuine wonder.
‘Tomorrowland’s’ visions are clearly its highlights.  The imagination gone into creating the futuristic vistas is commendable and it’s easy seeing why Disney chose to exploit such a visually rich property.  Occasionally the plot runs away from itself with character motivations and Tomorrowland’s genesis only vaguely elaborated.  As an action romp for all ages it mostly works thanks to the production design and decent performances.
One can only hazard a guess which theme ride/park Disney will transform to film next.  Whilst similar works have been poor excuses for movies, ‘Tomorrowland’ isn’t one of them.  It should amuse its target audience making them believe such a future is readily possible.

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. 


Trivia Bits 01 Jun


 Imperial torte

The Imperial torte (pictured), a square chocolate cake with five thin layers of almond paste, was created by a master pastry chef at the court of Emperor Franz Joseph (1830 - 1916).

Dr. Ibrahim Oweiss, Georgetown University economics professor, coined the term petrodollars to describe the US dollar income of oil-producing countries in 1973.

Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas, in the People's Republic of China and is often referred to as the roof of the world.

The ringgit is the currency of the Asian country of Malaysia with the symbol RM and a currency code MYR, is divided into 100 sen (cents) and is issued by the Bank Negara Malaysia.

Implemented in 2004, major roads in Hong Kong are numbered from Route 1 to Route 10 under the Hong Kong Strategic Route and Exit Number System.

In 1889, the first coin-operated telephone, patented by Hartford, Connecticut inventor William Gray, was installed in the Hartford Bank and local calls using a coin-operated phone in the U.S. cost only 5 cents everywhere until 1951.

Two of Disney’s Seven Dwarfs have names with five letters – Happy and Dopey.

Of Croatian and Irish ancestry Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor is better known as Lorde whose 2013 song The Love Club was included on the compilation to raise funds for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan through the relief efforts of the Philippines Red Cross.

Puha is a vegetable frequently eaten in New Zealand as a vegetable, particularly by the native Māori and when cooked the flavour is reminiscent of chard.

The trio of British comedians in The Goodies, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden wrote and performed in their eponymous surreal comedy show during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Quotables 01 Jun


happiness comes

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Trivia Bits 31 May


A Night at the Met  robin williams 

American actor and comedian Robin Williams' 1986 album A Night at the Met (cover pictured) won a 1988 Grammy for Best Comedy Performance Single or Album, Spoken or Musical.

In January 1788 Governor Arthur Phillip arrived in Botany Bay with the Australian colony's first livestock, seeds and young plants, however, the small cattle herd was lost and many of the sheep either died or strayed and only 2 of the horses survived for more than 2 years.

Baton Rouge is the capital of the US state of Louisiana and is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, and research centre of the American South.

American illustrator and painter Margaret Brundage illustrated most of the covers for the pulp magazine Weird Tales from 1933 to 1939.

I hold a beast, an angel and a madman in me is a quote by 20th century Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

The first Australian Aboriginal word in the English language was "kangaroo" and was used by Captain James Cook with the original spelling being kanguroo.

Ilsa Lund was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 American romantic drama film Casablanca which had its world premiere on November 26, 1942 in New York City, with general release on January 23, 1943 in the United States and on 15 June 1944 in Australia.

Opened on September 1, 1897, the Tremont Street Subway in Boston, Massachusetts is the oldest subway tunnel in North America and was originally built to get streetcar lines off the traffic-clogged streets.

The Red Planet is a nickname for the planet Mars, due to its surface colour.

Also known as the Dragon's Triangle, the Formosa (Taiwan) Triangle, the Devil’s Sea, often referred to as the Pacific Bermuda Triangle, is closest to Japan being about 100 km south of Tokyo.

Quotables 31 May