Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pursuit Of The Trivial


Tucson Weather Today


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While walking past the Emeritus Assisted Living and Retirement Home on Speedway Boulevard near Pantano, I couldn't help noticing how young, vibrant, and alive was the greenery surrounding the facility. All except for one tree, way to the back of the building. It stood alone, as close to death as could be but somehow still clinging to a shred of life.

It's weird, isn't it, how an ancient leafless tree, bent, gnarled, and dry, reaching for the lifegiving light of the limitless sky outside an Old Folks Home can be a visual metaphor picturing the last days of a human life.

And how one old man, observing such a thing, can feel a kind of kinship -- with an ugly old tree.

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I have been watching the television show Jeopardy ever since it began. And while playing along I have demonstrated again and again, both to myself and to whomsoever watched with me, that I possessed a nearly eidetic memory. But as I have aged, I find myself unable to retrieve the answers swiftly enough to beat the contestants. And it's getting worse as the years fly by. It won't be long, I fear, before I will have to stop watching that show. For the sake of my ever failing self-image, my fading feelings of self-worth.

Slowly dying is a sorrowful thing to experience.

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Why Is Trivia Good For You?

Your brain is like a muscle. If you don't use it, you lose it. Taking tests, especially those on topics with which you are unfamiliar, forces you to use your brain. The television show, Jeopardy is a good example of trivia tests. It's a fact that people who remain mentally active are less likely to have dementia and will have better memory into old age, Searching for answers is more active than simply reading a book

Here is an easy trivia question:

In which year did Japan attack the United States, leading to American entry into World War II?

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day, May 15 in 1942, gasoline rationing began in 17 Eastern states as an attempt to help the American war effort during World War II. By the end of the year, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had ensured that mandatory gasoline rationing was in effect in all 50 states.

Ration stamps for gasoline were issued by local boards and pasted to the windshield of a family or individual's automobile. The type of stamp determined the gasoline allotment for that automobile. Black stamps, for example, signified non-essential travel and mandated no more than three gallons per week, while red stamps were for workers who needed more gas, including policemen and mail carriers. As a result of the restrictions, gasoline became a hot commodity on the black market, while legal measures of conserving gas--such as carpooling--also flourished. In a separate attempt to reduce gas consumption, the government passed a mandatory wartime speed limit of 35 mph, known as the "Victory Speed."

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WORD FOR TODAY

eidetic
adjective
of, pertaining to, or constituting visual imagery vividly experienced and readily reproducible with great accuracy and in great detail.

Eidetic memory, commonly but erroneously referred to as photographic memory or total recall, is a psychological or medical term, popularly defined as the ability to recall images, sounds or objects in memory with extreme precision. The distinction between photographic memory and eidetic memory is simple. Perfect visual recall is photographic memory such as reading a newspaper once and remembering it 10 years later as mentioned above, while eidetic memory is recalling more than just the visual information.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


James Neville Mason 
(15 May 1909 - 27 July 1984)
James Mason was an English actor. After achieving stardom in his native Great Britain, he made the transition to the United States and became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, starring in iconic films such as A Star Is Born, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Lolita, North by Northwest, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Bigger Than Life and Julius Caesar.



Jamie-Lynn Sigler
(born May 15, 1981)
Jamie-Lynn Sigler is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her role as young Meadow Soprano on the HBO television series The Sopranos.



Joseph Cheshire Cotten
(May 15, 1905 - February 6, 1994)
Joseph Cotten was an American film, stage and television actor. Cotten achieved prominence on Broadway, starring in the original stage productions of The Philadelphia Story and Sabrina Fair. He first gained worldwide fame in the Orson Welles films Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), and Journey into Fear (1943), for which Cotten was also credited with the screenplay. He went on to star in such popular films as Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Duel in the Sun (which remains one of the top 100 highest grossing films of all time when adjusted for inflation), Love Letters (1945), Portrait of Jennie (1948) and The Third Man (1949).



Madeleine Albright was the first woman to become the United States Secretary of State. She was nominated by US President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996, and was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate vote of 99–0. She was sworn in on January 23, 1997.

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Why is it trivia? People call it trivia because they know nothing and they are embarrassed about it.
--Robbie Coltrane

Answer to Trivia Question:
The year was 1941


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