Saturday, September 19, 2015

Movie Review ... Everest



Everest poster 65Movies based on true events are usually more compelling than fictional ones.  These films try to show the impact of events and dangers people faced in real-life situations in the hope of capturing full audience engagement.  ‘Everest’ shouldn’t have any difficulty doing this.  Examining the disastrous expedition to climb Mount Everest in 1996, ‘Everest’ is often white-knuckle viewing where the contest between man vs. nature leads to unexpected results.

Rob (Jason Clarke) is a hiking expert eager for his new assignment.  Leading a group of men in a climbing expedition up Mount Everest, he is confident all will go well.  But when calamity strikes his group, including Scott (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Beck (Josh Brolin), find themselves in peril.  Relying on their skills and each other, they face a deadly path towards survival.

Viewers suffering from vertigo should probably steer clear of ‘Everest’.  Having many gravity-defying shots, the cinematography is its main attraction.  Creating a fully immersive experience, the photography successfully delves into the harsh conditions the climbers faced.  With each participant having different personalities, no two situations are the same.  This lends to some genuinely tense moments as fear, aggression and courage play out amidst the snow-capped vistas.

Whilst occasionally moving at a too leisurely pace with character clichĂ©s evident, ‘Everest’ is generally gripping viewing.  The very strong cast effectively convey the pressures their characters face and their determination to see things through.  Although it beggars belief as to why anyone would pay a fortune to go through such a trek, their spirit of adventure shines through.  Scenes showing the preparation involved in the task are interesting with the reactions of those involved genuinely believable.

‘Everest’ is a decent biographical account of an engrossing tale.  It may not inspire anyone to take up mountaineering anytime soon but it’s a very human story worth telling.

Everest 987

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Trivia Bits 19 September


Rudolph Steiner

In the late 19th Century – early 20th Century, Austrian mystic, philosopher, social reformer and esotericist Rudolph Steiner (pictured) is known for having invented a form of education which focussed on the major phases of child development forming the foundation of his approach to education.

Comprising the crust and the upper most layer of the mantle, the lithosphere is the name given to the near-rigid outer shell of the earth

Practitioners of cromniomancy claim to be able to tell the future with onions, a practice historically performed across Europe, Africa and northern Asia and has been suggested that the ancient Egyptians took their sacred oaths with their right hand on an onion as the sphere within a sphere of the onion made it a much-revered symbol of spirituality and eternity.

The Capitoline Museums are housed in a complex of palazzi surrounding a piazza in Rome, designed by Michelangelo in 1536 but not fully completed until Mussolini ordered it in 1940.

Planted in the 1970’s with more than 1000 Cypress plants, the oldest hedge maze in Australia is found in Ashcombe on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.

Legendary American track and field athlete Jesse Owens is often quoted as saying A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.

Scythia was a multinational region that was situated on the continents of Europe and Asia encompassing parts of Pontic steppe, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Semmering is a mountain pass in the Northern Limestone Alps connecting Lower Austria and Styria.

The Seven Hills of Rome east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the ancient city and are Aventine Hill, Caelian Hill, Capitoline Hill, Esquiline Hill, Palatine Hill, Quirinal Hill and Viminal Hill with The Vatican Hill, the Pincian Hill and the Janiculum Hill not counted among the traditional Seven Hills.

Singani is considered the national liquor of the South American country of Bolivia and is a pomace brandy distilled from white Muscat of Alexandria grapes from the Bolivian Andes.

Quotables 19 September



Friday, September 18, 2015

Trivia Bits 18 September


Googie Withers 028

English leading lady Googie Withers (pictured), a long-time resident of Australia with her husband John McCallum, starred in the wartime 1941 film One of Our Aircraft is Missing and in the 1944 film On Approval.

Niccolò Da Conti, a Venetian merchant who travelled around the Indian Ocean for 25 years in the early 15th century, was made to relate an account of his travels as a penance for converting to Islam.

The 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower was directed by the novel's author Stephen Chbosky and starred Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller.

Lakshmi is the Hindu Goddess of wealth, love, prosperity both material and spiritual, fortune, and the embodiment of beauty and is the wife of Vishnu.

Within the law, to arraign means to call someone before a court to answer a charge and generally has the format that the accused person (defendant) is addressed by name; the charge against the accused person is read, including the alleged date, time, and place of offense and with the accused person is asked formally how he or she pleads.

As at June 2015, premier league club Arsenal has played most FA Cup Finals with 12 victories followed by Manchester United with 11.

The 1994 comedy crime film Mission to Moscow was the seventh and final movie in the Police Academy movie series with George Gaynes, Michael Winslow and David Graf the only three cast members to appear in all seven films.

Rosa Campbell Praed was an Australian novelist and playwright who wrote chiefly in England and whose portrait of her friend Oscar Wilde can be found in her 1885 Affinities.

The desert covering the most area in Australia is the Great Victoria Desert covering an area of 348,750 sqkms/134,650 sqmi from the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia to the Gawler Ranges in South Australia.

A four-sided geometric shape that has no parallel lines is known as a trapezoid.

Quotables 18 September



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trivia Bits 17 September



Found in many mountainous temperate forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including parts of France, Portugal, Spain, North America, and much of Central Europe, oak moss (pictured) is a type of lichen used extensively in modern perfumery.

Beginning and ending each sequence with the call sets in order is the activity of Square Dancing.

The generic name for a personal name, used along with a password, when signing in to a computer or website is called a username.

First described by German naturalist Heinrich Kuhl in 1820, the Long-billed Corella is native to Australia and is mostly white, with a reddish-pink face and forehead, and has a long pale beak, which is used to dig for roots and seeds.

In July 2012, English rock band Status Quo signed and advertising deal and reworked the lyrics to their popular song Down Down to create a 3-minute promotional song for the Australian supermarket chain Coles.

The England football squad for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico contained two players called Gary Stevens.

An endurance event series in which participants attempt 10–12-mile-long (16–19 km) military-style obstacle courses, Tough Mudder, originated in the USA on May 2, 2010 at Bear Creek Ski Resort near Allentown, PA and with promotion exclusively through Facebook advertising and word of mouth, the event drew more than 4,500 participants.

Shikoku, one of Japan’s four main islands, has the lowest population.

Playing the well-known Hollywood director George Bissinger in the 1973 American romantic drama film The Way We Were was American television, stage and film actor Patrick O’Neal.

A short work of prose fiction written in 1819 by John William Polidori, The Vampyre was a short novel first published on April 1, 1819 in parts in the New Monthly Magazine with the false attribution "A Tale by Lord Byron"

Quotables 17 September



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Trivia Bits 16 September


 Joel and Benji Madden

Twins Joel and Benji Madden (pictured) are the most famous members of American rock band from Waldorf, Maryland that formed in 1996 Good Charlotte who have been active an supporter of The Make-A-Wish Foundation and have also posed for the YouthAIDS Aldo Aldo Fights AIDS dog tag campaign.

The Nine Saints were a group of Christians from the Byzantine Empire who took part in converting areas of what is now Eritrea and Ethiopia in the late fifth century AD.

On December 26 and 27, 1969 during the War of Attrition, the elite Israeli special forces unit Sayeret Matkal kidnapped a whole Egyptian P-12 radar system in a mission called Operation Rooster 53.

No food is traditionally eaten on the holy day of Yom Kippur on which Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.

Mainland Portugal does not have a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea.

Also known as John Crossman, former Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu spent eighteen years in prison after revealing Israel’s nuclear weapon programme to the British press in 1986.

Italian-born French film critic and writer Nino Frank is best known for being the first film critic to use the term film noir to refer to 1940s US crime drama films such as The Maltese Falcon.

Kendo is the Japanese sport which translates as Way of the Sword and combines martial arts practices and values with sport-like physical activity.

The wars in Lombardy, fought between Venice and Milan from 1425 to the signing of the Treaty of Lodi in 1454, mark the emergence of five great Italian territorial states and the European concept of balance of power.

Playing Professor Sybil Trelawney, a witch and professor of Divination at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in the Harry Potter movies was Emma Thompson, an Emmy, BAFTA and two time-Academy Award-winning English actress, comedian, and screenwriter.

Quotables 16 September



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Trivia Bits 15 September


Lord Lamington

Frequently served with afternoon tea, the Lamington is an Australian specialty consisting of a square of sponge cake coated in chocolate and shredded coconut and it is believed to be named after Lord Lamington (pictured), the governor of Queensland from 1895 to 1901.

The 2000 Disney Channel Original Movie Up, Up and Away is a comedy/adventure about a boy from a family of superheroes who, despite not having any super powers of his own, is called on to save the world.

The name given to the crimped metal sleeve that holds an eraser to a pencil is the ferrule.

Classic 1967 American comedy-drama film The Graduate featured the character Benjamin Braddock played by Dustin Hoffman and in 1996, The Graduate was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

Extractive metallurgy is the practice of removing valuable metals from an ore and refining the extracted raw metals into a purer form.

During World War II, the German invasion of the USSR was code-named Operation Barbarossa which began on 22 June 1941.

A colander is a perforated bowl used to strain off liquid after washing or cooking and the word colander originating from the Latin colum meaning sieve.

Skeleton Lake, a high altitude glacial lake in Uttarakhand state of India, is named after the remains of approximately 600 people who died there in a sudden hailstorm late 19th century.

The Law Library of Congress created the Global legal information network in 1993 to provide free access to an online searchable full text database of international legal documents, judicial decisions, legislation, statutes and other laws, from many countries, including Brazil, Costa Rica, Kuwait, Peru, and Romania.

The order of birds called strigiformes are better known as owls and include about 200 species of mostly solitary and nocturnal birds of prey found in all regions of the Earth except Antarctica and some remote islands.

Quotables 15 September



Monday, September 14, 2015

Trivia Bits 14 September


I Married a Communist

The title of the movie I Married a Communist (poster pictured), featuring Laraine Day, Robert Ryan and John Agar, was so unappealing to audiences that their response led the film to be rereleased in 1950 under the title The Woman on Pier 13.

On average, a red blood cell, also called erythrocytes, in the bone marrow and circulate for about 100–120 days in the body with approximately a quarter of the cells in the human body being red blood cells.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, a major division of Lockheed Martin, is a manufacturer of some of the world's most advanced military aircraft.

American thoroughbred horse racing Hall of Fame jockey Tod Sloan was the Yankee Doodle in the George M. Cohan Broadway musical Little Johnny Jones and the basis for Ernest Hemingway's short story My Old Man.

The world's first plastic or polymer bank notes were invented and used in Australia in 1988, last a lot longer than conventional paper notes and are also far more difficult to copy.

In 1926 Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard invented an absorption refrigerator known as the Einstein refrigerator that uses a heat source like solar, kerosene-fuelled flame, waste heat from factories or district heating systems.

Conservationist, honorary secretary and president of the Wild Life Preservation Society of Australia, Thistle Harris, wrote the 1970 book Alpine Plants of Australia.

The Valley Motorsports Complex is situated in Darwin includes a 1 km drag racing track running alongside the main straight of the raceway circuit, the 400 m long Northline Speedway, a mud racing circuit, motorcross tracks and a go-kart circuit and also hosts a round of the International V8 Supercars Championship each year.

Bordering Mongolia, a landlocked country in east-central Asia, to the north is Russia and to the south, east and west China.

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were the two main journalists involved in the 1970’s scandal known as Watergate as a result of the June 17, 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the US President Richard Nixon’s administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement.

Quotables 14 September



Sunday, September 13, 2015

Trivia Bits 13 September


 Jean Paul Gaultier

Fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier (pictured) designed Madonna’s famous conical bra she wore for the 1990 Blond Ambition tour and it sold for $52,000 at the Christie's Pop Culture auction in London in 2012.

Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater lake in the world is in Lake Huron, in the province of Ontario, Canada, and archaeological discoveries at Sheguiandah, Paleo-Indian archaeological site on the northeastern shore, have demonstrated Paleo-Indian and Archaic cultures dating from 10,000 BC to 2000 BC.

American physicist and electrical engineer John Bardeen is the only person to have won the Nobel Prize twice in the category of Physics in 1956 and again in 1972.

In the 1996 Australian Federal elections, Prime Minister Paul Keating of the Australian Labor Party from 1991 to 1996 was defeated and was succeeded by the John Howard Coalition Government.

The parish church of James Parkinson, after whom Parkinson's disease is named, was St Leonard's, Shoreditch, a church just outside the City of London and most famous for being one of the churches mentioned in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons.

South Australian writer of fiction and books on enamel art, cookery and gardening, Ninette Dutton, wrote the 2000 Home: A Journey of Discovery and Fulfillment about her and her family shifting from Piers Hill, her sprawling 600-hectare country property in South Australia, to a new home in Canberra.

The Wallkill River, in Sparta, New Jersey, is one of the few rivers that drains into a creek, because it is impounded just before the confluence, the meeting of two or more bodies of water, with the combined flows meeting the Hudson at Kingston.

Blue Tail Fly or Jimmy Crack Corn is a blackface minstrel song dating from the 1840s, and that on the surface, it is a black slave's lament over his master's death; the subtext is that he is glad his master is dead, and may have killed him by deliberate negligence.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego has in its collection one of the world's oldest seaworthy ships, the Star of India, built in 1863 at Ramsey in the Isle of Man as Euterpe.

Olaus Johannis Gutho (d. 1516), a student at the newly founded University of Uppsala from 1477 until at least 1486 and who later became a monk in the Abbey of Vadstena, left seven bound volumes of lecture notes that have been preserved and stored in the Uppsala University Library.

Quotables 13 September