Thursday, July 24, 2014

7-24-14

     


____________________


“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
--Jack Kerouac

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Did You Know . . .?

According to a study, couples who share housework equally are more likely to divorce.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1915, the steamer Eastland overturns in the Chicago River, drowning between 800 and 850 of its passengers who were heading to a picnic. The disaster was caused by serious problems with the boat's design, which were known but never remedied. The Eastland was pulled up from the river and converted into a naval vessel. It was turned into scrap following World War II. All lawsuits against the owners of the Eastland were thrown out by a court of appeals and the exact cause of the tipping and subsequent disaster has never been determined.

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WORD FOR TODAY

desiccate
verb
1. To dry out thoroughly.
2. To preserve (foods) by removing the moisture.
3. To make dry, dull, or lifeless.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(born July 24, 1949)
Michael Richards is an American actor best known for his portrayal of Cosmo Kramer on the television sitcom Seinfeld.



born July 24, 1969)
Jennifer Lopez is an American actress, author, fashion designer, dancer, producer, and singer. 



(born July 24, 1947)
Robert Hays is an American actor perhaps best known for his role in the film Airplane! and for his role as Robert Seaver in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.



(born July 24, 1981)
Summer Glau is an American actress best known for playing River Tam in the series Firefly and its film sequel Serenity, Cameron in the science fiction series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Isabel Rochev on The CW series Arrow.

__________

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” 
--Anaïs Nin

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

7-23-14

     



____________________


"I like the word indolence. It makes my laziness seem classy."
--Bernard Williams

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Did You Know . . .?

There are 15 stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame that are fictional characters, such as Bugs Bunny and Rugraats.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1918, Della Sorenson killed the first of her seven victims in rural Nebraska by poisoning her sister-in-law's infant daughter, Viola Cooper. Over the next seven years, friends, relatives, and acquaintances of Sorenson repeatedly died under mysterious circumstances before anyone finally realized that it had to be more than a coincidence.

Finally, in 1925, Sorenson was arrested when she made an unsuccessful attempt at killing two children in the neighborhood with poisoned cookies. She confessed to the crimes, saying, "I like to attend funerals. I'm happy when someone is dying." Sentiments like this convinced doctors that Sorenson was schizophrenic, and she was committed to the state mental asylum.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(born July 23, 1961)
Woody Harrelson is an American actor. His breakout role came in the television sitcom Cheers as bartender Woody Boyd in 1985. Some notable films include White Men Can't Jump, Kingpin, Natural Born Killers, The People vs. Larry Flynt, and Prairie Home Companion.



(July 23, 1967 – Feb 2, 2014)
Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American actor. He was prolific in both film and theater from the early 1990s until his death at age 46, after which The New York Times declared him "perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation".



(born July 23, 1940)
Don Imus is an American radio host. His nationally syndicated talk show, Imus in the Morning, is broadcast throughout the United States by Cumulus Media Networks and simulcast on television by the Fox Business Network.



(born July 23, 1973)
Monica Lewinsky is a former White House intern with whom United States President Bill Clinton admitted to having had an "inappropriate relationship" while she worked at the White House in 1995 and 1996. The affair and its repercussions, which included the Clinton impeachment, became known as the Lewinsky scandal.

__________

"Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired."
--Jules Renard

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Choices

     



____________________


They tell us that suicide is the greatest piece of cowardice... that suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.
--Arthur Schopenhauer

I was going to write about my opinion on the relative merits of exhibiting courage or excessive caution when thrust into a dangerous situation.

But then I decided not to do so.

I chickened out.

Cowardice... is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend functioning of the imagination.
--Ernest Hemingway

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Did You Know . . .?

In 1875 the largest recorded swarm of locusts in American history descended upon the Great Plains. It was a swarm about 1,800 miles long and 110 miles wide, from Canada down to Texas.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1916, a massive parade held in San Francisco, California, to celebrate Preparedness Day, in anticipation of the United States entrance into World War I, was disrupted by the explosion of a suitcase bomb, which killed 10 bystanders and wounded 40 more. Two radical labor leaders, Thomas Mooney and Warren K. Billings, were subsequently arrested and tried for the attack. Mooney was sentenced to death, Billings to Life Imprisonment. Investigation into the case continued over the next two decades; by 1939, evidence of perjury and false testimony at the trial had so mounted that Governor Culbert Olson pardoned both men. The true identity of the Preparedness Day bomber (or bombers) remains unknown.

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WORD FOR TODAY

pusillanimous
adjective
1. lacking courage or resolution; cowardly; faint-hearted; timid.
2. proceeding from or indicating a cowardly spirit.
Synonyms
timorous, fearful, frightened.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(born July 22, 1940)
Alex Trebek is a Canadian-American television personality. He has been the host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy! since 1984.



(born July 22, 1964)
David Spade is an American actor, comedian, writer and television personality. He rose to fame in the 1990s as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, for co-starring in the 1995 comedy Tommy Boy, and from 1997 until 2003 when he starred as Dennis Finch on Just Shoot Me!. He also starred as C. J. Barnes, along with Katey Sagal, James Garner, and Kaley Cuoco on 8 Simple Rules.



(born July 22, 1946)
Danny Glover is an American actor, film director and political activist. Glover is known for his roles as Mr. Albert Johnson in The Color Purple, as Michael Harrigan in Predator 2, as corrupt cop James McFee in Witness, as Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film series, and as George Knox in Angels in the Outfield. He has also appeared in many other movies, television shows, and theatrical productions



(born July 22, 1923)
Bob Dole is an American politician who represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996 and in the House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969. In the 1976 presidential election, Dole was the Republican Party nominee for Vice President and incumbent President Gerald Ford's running mate. In the presidential election of 1996, Dole was the Republican nominee for President, unsuccessfully challenging incumbent President Bill Clinton.

__________

The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.
--Jim Hightower

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Monday, July 21, 2014

War Of The Worlds

     



____________________


It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.
--Andy Warhol

Saturday afternoon I tuned in to the vintage movie channel and watched The War Of The Worlds. 

It was advertised to be a gripping 1953 thriller about a devastating attack on Earth by Mars, starring Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, and Les Tremayne. It was supposed to have superb special effects. and was based on the novel by H.G. Wells.

Below is a published one-paragraph review:

A key sci-fi film of the 1950s, George Pal's THE WAR OF THE WORLDS is a vividly realized adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells novel, updated from 19th century London to 20th century California. Though it's bogged down by a stiff cast, a yawn-inspiring conventional romance, and a sappy religiosity, it remains a landmark in the history of special effects. The lumbersome triopods of the Wells novel are jettisoned in favor of cool, green, slickly contoured flying saucers that fire death rays accompanied by one of the most fondly remembered sound effects in screen history. Filmed on a relatively modest budget of $2 million ($1.3 million went to special effects), 

But in my estimation, unless it's viewed as old-fashionedly comedic and strictly campy, the film stinks. Of course, it was filmed in 1953, when I was 14 years old, and it was perfectly believable back then that all these meteor-like spaceships could speed in from Mars and crash into the ground in rural areas without any government's knowledge and  so the whole operation at first is run by the local sheriff, directing a crowd of local yokels, and of course it makes sense that a famous scientist (Gene Barry) would be on a fishing trip in the area when the first Mars spaceship crashed, and a beautiful Masters Degree holder happened to be a Red Cross volunteer who served everyone sandwiches and coffee at the crash site before falling for the Famous Scientist.

Etc.

I don't know why, but I continued to watch the thing... until I finally fell asleep in my chair.

_____


Did You Know . . .?

Every day your heart creates enough energy to drive a truck twenty miles or to the moon and back throughout a lifetime.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1862, former President Martin Van Buren, who served as the nation's eighth president between 1837 and 1841, slipped into a coma. Van Buren, who developed asthma in 1860, had a history of heavy drinking as well as, later in life, cardiac problems. The drinking, for which he had earned a reputation as early as age 25, may have contributed to a host of illnesses he experienced in his lifetime. Eventually his circulatory system began to fail, causing the coma. Three days later, he passed away. Some historians claim that a possible case of sleep apnea, caused by disruptive snoring, may have contributed to Van Buren's declining health and his ultimate death.

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WORD FOR TODAY

opinion  [uh-PIN-yuhn]
noun
1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
3. the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second medical opinion.

I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.
--Edward Gibbon

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(July 21, 1899 - July 2, 1961)
Ernest Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. Additional works, including three novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works, were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.



(born July 21, 1951)
Robin Williams is an American actor and stand-up comedian. Rising to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy, Williams went on to establish a successful career, including such acclaimed films as Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, The Fisher King, and Good Will Hunting, as well as financial successes such as Popeye, Hook, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, The Birdcage, Night at the Museum, and Happy Feet.



(July 21, 1924 - Feb 24, 2006)
Don Knotts was an American comedic actor best known for his portrayal of Barney Fife on the 1960s television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, a role which earned him five Emmy Awards. He also played landlord Ralph Furley on the 1970s and 1980s television sitcom Three's Company.



(born July 21, 1957)
Jon Lovitz is an American comedian, actor, and singer. He is best known as a cast member of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1990.

__________

Why should people go out and pay money to see bad films when they can stay at home and see bad television for nothing?
--Samuel Goldwyn

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Guest Blogger 7/20/2014




The Problem With The Bikes

We've discovered the first problem with the bicycles.

No, it's not that any parts fell off, nor is it that one of us fell off. The problem with the bikes is that. . . They. Must. Be. Used. Outdoors.

Well, of course, you say. That's the point of a bicycle.

Well, yes. And I've had a glorious few days riding my bicycle and being exhausted and having my legs feel like jelly. However, yesterday we had a new addition. The kitten we adopted finally came to live at our house (we had to wait for her to recover from being spayed).

She's about two months old, according to the rescue people, and she's small. She can't be allowed out (they say for a few months, I say at all because I don't want to lose her to some car or have her just disappear someday), so obviously she can't ride the bike with me.

How do I choose between the two?


Copyright 2014 Michelle Hakala
http://www.winebird.com/








     

Saturday, July 19, 2014

7-19-14

     



____________________


"Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God."
--Thomas Sowell

_____


Did You Know . . .?

Weight for weight, spider's silk is stronger than steel, but not as strong as Kevlar. Silk is, however, tougher than both.

_____


HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1943, the United States bombed railway yards in Rome in an attempt to break the will of the Italian people to resist. President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill appealed to the Italian civilian population to reject Mussolini and Hitler and "live for Italy and civilization." As an "incentive," American bombers raided the city, destroying its railways. Panic broke out among the Romans,who were told by Mussolini that no on would ever bomb the holy city.. The bombing did more than shake their security in the city -- it shook their confidence in their leader.

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WORD FOR TODAY

Cryogenian
noun
(geology) The Cryogenian period.
adjective
(geology) Of a geologic period within the Neoproterozoic era from about 850 to 600 million years ago.

The name of the geologic period refers to the very cold global climate of the Cryogenian: characteristic glacial deposits indicate that Earth suffered the most severe ice ages in its history during this period

Cryogenian Period
Snowball Earth

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(born July 19, 1962)
Anthony Edwards is an American actor and director. He has appeared in various movies and television shows, including Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Top Gun, Zodiac, Miracle Mile, Revenge of the Nerds, Planes, Northern Exposure, and ER.



(born July 19, 1941)
Vikki Carr is a three-time Grammy Award–winning American singer and humanitarian.



(July 19, 1922 - Oct 21, 2012)
George McGovern was an American historian, author, U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential election.



(July 19, 1860 - June 1, 1927)
Lizzie Borden was an American woman who was tried and acquitted in the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. Following her release from the prison in which she had been held during the trial, Borden chose to remain a resident of Fall River, Massachusetts, for the rest of her life. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts elected to charge no one else with the murder of Andrew and Abby Borden; speculation about the crimes still continues more than 100 years later.

__________

"We can never be gods, after all -- but we can become something less than human with frightening ease."
--N.K. Jemisin


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Friday, July 18, 2014

Writing A Novel

     



____________________

"No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o’clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons."
--Ishmael Reed

No matter your definition of a novel, no matter your conception of what a novel is, the creation of and the writing of a novel is one thing most of all -- it is hard. It is hard. It is damned HARD!
--Charles Gene Chambers
_____


Did You Know . . .?

James Smithson donated his entire fortune to the United States to create the Smithsonian Institution despite never having visited the USA.

_____


HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1969, after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy of Massachusetts drove a car off a wooden bridge into a tide-swept pond. Kennedy escaped from the submerged car. 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, did not.

The senator did not report the fatal car accident for 10 hours.

On July 25, Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, received a two-month suspended sentence, and had his driving license suspended for a year. There is speculation that he used his considerable influence to avoid more serious charges that could have resulted from the episode. Although the incident on Chappaquiddick Island helped to derail his presidential hopes, Kennedy continued to serve as a U.S. senator of Massachusetts into the 21st century.

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WORD FOR TODAY

malaise  [muh-LAZE]
noun
1.  a condition of general bodily weakness or discomfort, often marking the onset of a disease.
2.  a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness, lethargy, or discomfort.

Malaise is often defined in medical literature as a "general feeling of being unwell".

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(born July 18, 1921)
John Glenn is a retired United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States senator. He was a combat aviator in the Marine Corps, and now the only surviving member of the Mercury Seven; the elite U.S. military test pilots selected by NASA to operate the experimental Mercury spacecraft and become the first American astronauts. On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to orbit the Earth.



(July 18, 1913 - Sept 17, 1997)
Red Skelton was an American entertainer best known for his national radio and television acts between 1937 and 1971 and as host of the television program The Red Skelton Show.



(July 18, 1918 - 5 Dec 2013)
Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.



(born July 18, 1940)
James Brolin is an American actor best known for his roles in film and television, including sitcoms and soap operas. He is the father of actor Josh Brolin and husband of singer/actress Barbra Streisand.

__________

"Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one." 
--Terry Pratchett

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