Saturday, December 19, 2015

We’re Back



After sorting the issues, I am back.

It will take a couple of days to be up and running again.

Thank you for your patience.



Trivia Bits 20 December



paso fino

The paso fino (pictured), meaning fine step, is a breed of horse dating back to horses imported to the Caribbean from Spain when in May 1509, the first governor of the island, Juan Ponce de León, brought horses to Puerto Rico from his hacienda.

In Australian poet, anthologist, and critic Les Murray’s famous poem An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow about a man weeping in Martin Place was written in 1969 and mentions well known Sydney locations like Repins, a coffee shop, Lorenzinis, a bistro, and Tattersalls, a private club.

Franco-Japanese relations were initiated by the 1615 visit of the Japanese samurai Hasekura Tsunenaga to the city of Saint-Tropez in Southern France.

Winning the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction, American author Alice Walker’s 1982 novel The Color Purple, tells of Harpo, the only child of Mr.___, who falls in love with and marries Sofia an assertive girl.

Invasion literature, such as the 1898 science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells The War of the Worlds, was a literary genre influential in foreign politics during the years leading up to World War I.

The Appian Way, sometimes called Queen of Roads, leads from Rome to Brindisi and was named after Appius Claudius Caecus, the Roman censor who began and completed the first section as a military road to the south in 312 BC during the Samnite Wars.

Fred Gipson was an American author best remembered for creating a fictional dog featured in a book and the classic 1957 movie Old Yeller.

Lough Ree is a lake in the midlands of Ireland, and is the second largest lake on the River Shannon after Lough Derg and divides the counties of Longford and Westmeath from Roscommon.

Japanese fried takoyaki, a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan, are usually filled with octopus.

Brendon Kuruppu was the first Sri Lankan cricketer to score more than 200 runs (a double century) in a Test innings by making 201 not out in 777 minutes against New Zealand at Colombo Cricket Club Ground.

Quotables 20 December



Monday, December 14, 2015

Be Back Soon


There appears to be some issues with posting blogs at the moment.

Until this issue has been sorted out, I will not be blogging.

Hoping to be back real soon.



Trivia Bits 14 December

English poet, playwright and actor William Shakespeare (pictured) was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover, and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer and was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptised there on 26 April 1564 although his actual date of birth remains unknown, it is traditionally observed on 23 April, Saint George's Day. 

The two accepted plurals for the word plateau are plateaux and plateaus.
Gridiron or American Football features in Any Given Sunday the 1999 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone with the title coming from a line of dialogue D'Amato uses about how you can win or lose on ...any given Sunday.
Wrigley's promoted their new spearmint-flavoured chewing gum in 1915 by mailing 4 sample sticks to each of the 1.5 million names listed in US telephone books.
Clawhammer is a playing style primarily associated the banjo when the hand assumes a claw-like shape and the strumming finger is kept fairly stiff, striking the strings by the motion of the hand at the wrist and/or elbow, rather than a flicking motion by the finger.
Although the basic Swiss dish rösti consists of nothing but potato, a number of additional ingredients are sometimes added, such as bacon, onion, cheese, apple or fresh herbs.
The original warrant stated that the Victoria Cross would only be awarded to soldiers who have served in the presence of the enemy and had performed some signal act of valour or devotion with the first ceremony held on 26 June 1857 where Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park.
Stamp mills, first used during the Renaissance in such diverse industries as paper making, oil-seed processing, and ore refining, crush material by repeatedly dropping heavy weights on the items.
French politician Édith Cresson is the only woman so far to have served as Prime Minster of France from 15 May 1991 to 2 April 1992.
The fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut is featured in the TV series The Gillmore Girls starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel and which debuted on October 5, 2000.

Quotables 14 December

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Movie Review ... In The Heart Of The Sea

‘In the Heart of the Sea’ proves the saying ‘there is nothing more terrifying than being trapped’.  This doesn’t have to mean enclosed spaces as this film shows.  Set in the vast expanse of the ocean, its sea-faring protagonists face insurmountable obstacles.  Director Ron Howard is an old-hand at these epic films with his visual flair evident as the characters attempt to break free of physical and emotional shackles.
Travelling in 1820 in their whaling ship the crew, including Captain Pollard (Benjamin Walker) and first officer Owen (Chris Hemsworth), look for new adventures.  Their quest turns deadly when their ship is destroyed by a huge whale.  Shipwrecked at sea and miles from land, their plight turns desperate.  Soon they are forced to turn to other forms of survival as starvation and thirst soon set in.
Although Ron Howard has had his share of successes, he has had his share of clunkers too.  ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ falls somewhere in between.  Whilst scenes featuring the giant whale attacking the ship are spectacularly realised, plus the general ship sailing sequences, the film stumbles with the characters.  They are so thinly drawn and devoid of much personality it’s difficult joining in their plight.  The actors try their best to infuse some depth in a somewhat mediocre script although they are increasingly upstaged by the CGI.
The scenes of whale versus hunters are often tense.  Despite occasionally having a ‘Jaws’-like feel in terms of humongous sea creature battling humans, Howard manages to conjure the majesty of the beast and the dangers both it and the ocean offer.  These elements lift an otherwise forgettable film dwelling on the usual survival clichés adding nothing new.  Ron Howard has done better but without a strong screenplay to support his visual story-telling style, he is almost left at the sea in which his characters reside.
‘In the Heart of the Sea’ isn’t quite a soggy saga but isn’t what it should have been.  Dazzling with its oceanic sequences, it produces little else to engage.  It is a classic case of style over substance with the whale having more personality than the humans pursuing it.

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. 



Trivia Bits 13 December


Keeping Up Appearances

In the 1990 – 1995 British sitcom TV series Keeping Up Appearances, the lady of the house is Hyacinth Bucket (pictured), who insists that her surname is pronounced Bouquet and was played by English actress, singer and author Patricia Routledge.

The homicidal Crown Prince Dipendra ruled over the country of Nepal as King from 1 to 4 June 2001 whilst in a coma.

I Love to Singa, an Al Jolson song written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg for the 1936 Warner Bros. feature-length film The Singing Kid, is also the title of a popular 1936 Merrie Melodies cartoon.

The ball point pen was invented by Hungarian journalist László Bíró who presented the first production of the ballpoint pen at the Budapest International Fair in 1931 and later patented the invention in Paris in 1938.

Most knights of the Middle Ages wore chausses as armour for the legs usually made from mail.

The country of Ukraine shares the longest border with European landlocked country Moldova being 1,222 km (759 mi) including 267 km (166 mi) by rivers.

French miniaturist and portrait painter Adélaïde Labille-Guiard was ordered to destroy her royal portraits after the French Revolution of 1789 to 1799.

The official length of the Chunnel Tunnel is 50.5-kilometre (31.4 mi) and links 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.

Oodnadatta, South Australia, which has a desert climate, recorded the highest ever maximum temperature in Australia of 50.7C/123.3F on 2 January 1960.

Winston Smith is the protagonist in the 1949 published novel by George Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Quotables 13 December