Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013



I took a few snaps of Thanksgiving Dinner at Mike and JoAnn's home, just as the turkey came out of the oven. It would have been better if I had waited until all the food dishes were uncovered. And even better if I had waited until all the people (9 of them) sat down at the table.

But I didn't.


Did You Know . . .?

No one really knows where the word donkey came from.



On this day in 1954 the first modern instance of a meteorite striking a human being occurred at Sylacauga, Alabama, when a meteorite crashed through the roof of a house and into a living room, bounces off a radio, and strikes a woman on the hip. The victim, Mrs. Elizabeth Hodges, was sleeping on a couch at the time of impact. The space rock was a sulfide meteorite weighing 8.5 pounds and measuring seven inches in length. Mrs. Hodges was not permanently injured but suffered a nasty bruise along her hip and leg.

Ancient Chinese records tell of people being injured or killed by falling meteorites, but the Sylacauga meteorite was the first modern record of this type of human injury, although in 1911, a dog in Egypt was killed by the Nakhla meteorite.



A stony or metallic mass of matter that has fallen to the earth's surface from outer space.

A meteorite is a solid piece of debris, from such sources as asteroids or comets, that originates in outer space and survives its impact with the Earth's surface. It is called a meteoroid before its impact. A meteorite's size can range from small to extremely large. When a meteoroid enters the atmosphere, friction, pressure, and chemical interactions with the atmospheric gases cause it to heat up and radiate that energy, thus forming a fireball, also known as a meteor or shooting/falling star.



(born November 30, 1985)
Kaley Cuoco is an American actress. She first came to attention for her role as Bridget Hennessy on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules (2002–2005). She later starred as Billie Jenkins on the final season of the supernatural drama series Charmed (2005–2006). She has gained international recognition for her role as Penny on the CBS comedy series The Big Bang Theory (2007–present). Cuoco has also appeared in the films Lucky 13 (2005), The Penthouse (2010), and Hop (2011).

(born November 30, 1965)
Ben Stiller is an American comedian, actor, voice actor, screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is the son of veteran comedians and actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. 

Throughout his career he has written, starred in, directed, and/or produced over 50 films, including Zoolander, There's Something About Mary, Meet the Parents, DodgeBall, Tropic Thunder, the Madagascar series, Night at the Museum, and the sequel Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. In addition, he has had multiple cameos in music videos, television shows, and films.

(Nov 30, 1924 - Jan 1, 2005)
Shirley Chisholm was an American politician, educator, and author. She was a Congresswoman, representing New York's 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first African-American woman elected to Congress. On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. She received 152 first-ballot votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

(Nov 30, 1835 - April 21, 1910)
Mark Twain was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel."

__________ shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire, there was brilliancy, there was beauty...
--Edward Cullen


Friday, November 29, 2013

Government Necessity: Grow And Acquire Power



Some Recent News Clips -
In Case You Missed Them

What is a kill switch? A kill switch refers to the government's authority to disconnect commercial and private wireless networks -- affecting both cellphones and the Internet -- in the event of an emergency, such as a viable threat of a terrorist attack.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center reports that the court just granted the government more time to decide whether to release the kill switch plan. It now has until January 13.

This is not Science Fiction, you know. Nor is it a blog writer's crank announcement.

It's real.

Mother Jones explains:
The Government's Secret Plan to Shut Off Cellphones and the Internet, Explained


According to The Washington Times John R. Bolton, ambassador to the United Nations in President George W. Bush's administration, isn’t pulling punches about the United States’ forged agreement with Iran: It’s a poor deal.

And he said: "But that’s what happens with an administration that would rather have any deal than no deal,"

Bolton is reported as saying: "In truth, an Israeli military strike is the only way to avoid Tehran's otherwise inevitable march to nuclear weapons."


The divorce of Demi Moore, 51, and Ashton Kutcher, 35, was finalized after they filed in December 2012. At issue since they separated in 2011 was how to split their $300 million fortune. Since the divorce, Kutcher has been dating actress Mila Kunis, his former co-star on That ‘70s Show.

I despise Ashton Kutcher... always did. Didn't like his silly character in That '70s Show, and his movie, Dude Where's My Car sucked the big meatball (as Barry Kripke would say).

Demi Moore?


Mila Kunis?

Uh huh.


Did You Know . . .?

Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.



On this day in 1864, peaceful Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians were massacred by a band of Colonel John Chivington's Colorado volunteers at Sand Creek, Colorado. They attacked the unsuspecting Native Americans, scattering men, women, and children and hunting them down. The casualties reflect the one-sided nature of the fight. Nine of Chivington's men were killed; 148 of Chief Black Kettle's followers were slaughtered, more than half of them women and children. The Colorado volunteers returned and killed the wounded, mutilated the bodies, and set fire to the village.

The atrocities committed by the soldiers were initially praised, but then condemned as the circumstances of the massacre emerged. Chivington resigned from the military and aborted his budding political career. Black Kettle survived and continued his peace efforts. In 1865, his followers accepted a new reservation in Indian Territory.



massacre  [mass-uh-kuhr]
an indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people.
deliberately and violently kill (a large number of people).



(born November 29, 1955)
Howie Mandel is a Canadian comedian, actor, television host, and voice actor. He is well known as host of the NBC game show Deal or No Deal, as well as the show's daytime and Canadian-English counterparts. Before his career as a game show host, Mandel was best known for his role as rowdy ER intern Dr. Wayne Fiscus on the NBC medical drama St. Elsewhere. He is also well known for being the creator and star of the children's cartoon Bobby's World. He became a judge on NBC's America's Got Talent, replacing David Hasselhoff, in the fifth season of the reality talent contest.

Mandel has mysophobia (an irrational fear of germs) to the point that he does not shake hands with anyone, including enthusiastic contestants on Deal or No Deal, unless he is wearing latex gloves.

(born November 29, 1961)
Kim Delaney is an American actress best known for her starring role as Detective Diane Russell on the ABC drama television series, NYPD Blue, for which she has won an Emmy Award. Early in her career, she played the role of Jenny Gardner in the hugely popular ABC daytime television drama, All My Children. She later had leading roles in the TV dramas Philly, CSI: Miami and on the Lifetime television drama Army Wives.

(born November 29, 1964)
Don Cheadle is an American actor and producer. Cheadle had an early role in Picket Fences and followed it with performances in Devil in a Blue Dress, Rosewood and Boogie Nights. He then started a collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh that resulted in the movies Out of Sight, Traffic and Ocean's Eleven. Other Cheadle films include The Rat Pack, Things Behind the Sun, Academy Award for Best Picture winner Crash, Swordfish, Ocean's Twelve, Ocean's Thirteen, Reign Over Me, Talk to Me, Traitor, Iron Man 2 & Iron Man 3. In 2004, his lead role as Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in the genocide drama film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the Rwandan Genocide earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

(born November 29, 1976)
Anna Faris is an American actress and singer. She is known for her comedic roles in the Scary Movie film series, Lost in Translation, The House Bunny, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Yogi Bear, What's Your Number?, The Dictator, and I Give It a Year.


The public weal requires that men should betray, and lie, and massacre.
--Michel de Montaigne

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Prisons Are Big Business, Man



I read recently that the U.S. has a greater percentage of its population locked up than any other country in the world. Despite budget cuts and tax shortfalls housing inmates costs the country almost $600 billion a year.

Even more stunning, in 2009 there were 7.2 million people in prison and under official supervision like probation -- a larger population than the state of Washington. And 4 in 10 prisoners return to state prisons within three years of release.

I also read that it costs New Jersey $253 million every year to house just its death row prisoners -- $11 million apiece.

Guess how much is being spent here
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba


Did You Know . . .?

A thimbleful of tobacco can fetch up to $50 at a maximum security prison.



On this day in 1954, after 44 months in prison, former government official Alger Hiss was released and proclaimed once again that he is innocent of the charges that led to his incarceration. One of the most famous figures of the Cold War period, Hiss was convicted in 1950 of perjury for lying to a federal grand jury. Specifically, Hiss was judged to have lied about his complicity in passing secret government documents to Whittaker Chambers, who thereupon passed the papers along to agents of the Soviet Union.

Upon his release, Hiss immediately declared that he wished to "reassert my complete innocence of the charges that were brought against me by Whittaker Chambers."

The controversy over the facts in the Hiss case is also here forever. It remains a highly charged issue. His defenders argue that Hiss was a victim of the Red Scare that swept through the U.S. during the 1940s and 1950s. Others are equally adamant in maintaining his guilt, claiming that documents recently released from Soviet archives strongly support the case that Hiss was a spy for the Soviet Union.



-  putting someone in prison or in jail as lawful punishment.
-  the state of being confined; "he was held in confinement."
-  the act of restraining of a person's liberty by confining him.

Imprisonment is a legal term. It refers to the restraint of a person's liberty. Imprisonment is no other thing than the restraint of a man's liberty, whether it be in the open field, or in the stocks, or in the cage in the streets or in a man's own house, as well as in the common gaols; and in all the places the party so restrained is said to be a prisoner so long as he hath not his liberty freely to go at all times to all places whither he will without bail or mainprise or otherwise.
--From Wikipedia



(born November 27, 1957)
Caroline Kennedy is an American author, attorney, Ambassador to Japan, and member of the Kennedy family. She is the only living child of U.S. President John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Lee "Jackie" Bouvier.

(Nov 27, 1940 - July 20, 1973)
Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong American martial artist, action film actor, martial arts instructor, filmmaker, and the founder of Jeet Kune Do. Lee is widely considered by commentators, critics, media and other martial artists to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time, and a pop culture icon of the 20th century. He is often credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.

(born November 27, 1964)
Robin Givens is an American stage, television, and film actress. Givens began her acting career after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 1984. In 1986, she won the role of Darlene Merriman in the ABC sitcom Head of the Class. She remained with the series for its entire five-year run. After the series ended in 1991, she continued her career with film roles and guest starring roles on television. Givens has since had recurring roles on The Game, Tyler Perry's House of Payne, and Chuck. In 2007, Givens released her autobiography Grace Will Lead Me Home.

(born November 27, 1955)
Bill Nye is an American science educator, comedian, television host, actor, writer, and scientist who began his career as a mechanical engineer at Boeing. He is best known as the host of the Disney/PBS children's science show Bill Nye the Science Guy (1993-98) and for his many subsequent appearances in popular media as a science educator.


The burning of an author's books, imprisonment for opinion's sake, has always been the tribute that an ignorant age pays to the genius of its time.
--Joseph Lewis, Voltaire: The Incomparable Infidel, 1929


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Affordable Care Act



For some reason it occurred to me to find out if the Affordable Care Act covers Native Americans. So I did an online search, an found that for most uninsured Americans, the motivation for checking out the health insurance exchanges is simple -- they could face stiff penalties if they don't sign up. For Native Americans, the decision is more complicated.

Longstanding treaties with the federal government guarantee all Native Americans free health care. As a result, the Affordable Care Act exempts them from paying a penalty if they choose not to purchase insurance. More than 2 million Native Americans receive free health care at federally supported Indian health facilities.

So the question is: why would an American Indian or Alaska Native sign up for reduced-rate insurance on the exchanges?

The complicated answer is supposedly contained within an article in USA TODAY  -- But after reading it I'm still not sure I know any more than I did before reading it.

That happens a lot, it seems, as I grow older.

There is another source concerning the question. It is a PDF file from the U.S. Government titled: The Affordable Care Act Helps American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Here is the first paragraph:

For too long, too many hard working Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies and put barriers between patients and their doctors. The Affordable Care Act gives hard-working families the security they deserve. The new health care law forces insurance companies to play by the rules, prohibiting them from dropping your coverage if you get sick, billing you into bankruptcy because of an annual or lifetime limit, or, soon, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition. And it includes substantial new benefits for American Indians and Alaska Natives across the country.

Since I no longer believe anything that emanates from spokespersons for the Federal Government, I am not going to read the whole thing, but if you care to give it a try, it can be found HERE. But I am not going to read it. Not right now, anyway.


Did You Know . . .?

General George Armstrong Custer once said, "There are not enough Indians in the world to defeat the Seventh Cavalry."



On this day in 1898, a powerful early winter storm battered the New England coast  killing at least 450 people in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Strong winds, in excess of 40 miles per hour, began blowing from the Atlantic Ocean across the New England coast. This was followed, in short order, by gales from the other direction. Equally strong winds roared across upstate New York from the west.

Blizzard conditions disrupted the entire area. Transportation became impossible; some trains were halted by 20-foot snow drifts. Communication was interrupted as the wind and snow brought down telephone and telegraph lines. In some towns and villages, residents were forced to dig tunnels through the snow from their front doors to the streets. In New York City, 2,000 workers attempted to clear the key streets and avenues.

Boston was perhaps worst hit by the storm. Approximately 100 ships were blown ashore from the city's harbor and another 40 were sunk. About 100 people died when a Portland-based steamer sank near Cape Cod. Bodies and debris filled the harbors and nearby beaches.



An American Indian.

Amerind is a blending of "American Indian". It refers collectively to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas who lived in the Western Hemisphere before European arrival to the continent. Use of the term is intended to avoid the confusion inherent in using "Indian", which can also refer to inhabitants of India.



(born November 26, 1938)
Rich Little is a Canadian-American impressionist and voice actor, nicknamed "The Man of a Thousand Voices," by voice actor Mel Blanc.

(born November 26, 1939)
Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock) is a singer, dancer, actress, and author, whose career has spanned more than half a century, earning her widespread recognition and numerous awards. Born and raised in the American South, she is now a Swiss citizen.

(Nov 26, 1922 - Feb 12, 2000)
Charles Schultz was an American cartoonist, best known for the comic strip Peanuts (which featured the characters Snoopy and Charlie Brown, among others). He is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time.

(born November 26, 1973)
Kristin Bauer is an American film and television actress, perhaps best known for her role as vampire Pam in the HBO series True Blood, as Jerry's girlfriend Gillian or "Man-Hands" on Seinfeld, and as sorceress Maleficent in the ABC series Once Upon a Time.


"We also recommit to supporting tribal self-determination, security, and prosperity for all Native Americans."
--Barack Obama

"I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place."
--Sitting Bull
Hunkpapa Sioux


Monday, November 25, 2013

Too Many Books For One Lifetime



Have you ever heard of an author named Doris Lessing? Until yesterday, I had not. I had heard the name, and the fact that she was a writer, but that was the extent of my knowledge of her.

For the last third of life there remains only work. It alone is always stimulating, rejuvenating, exciting and satisfying.
--Doris Lessing

I have never read any of Doris Lessing's works, but now I intend to do so since I heard mention of her on last Sunday morning's PBS show with Bill Moyers.

The show is titled A Tribute To Doris lessing

Doris May Lessing
(October 22, 1919 - November 17, 2013)

Doris Lessing was a British novelist, poet, playwright, librettist, biographer and short story writer. Her novels include The Grass is Singing (1950), the sequence of five novels collectively called Children of Violence (1952 - 69), The Golden Notebook (1962), The Good Terrorist (1985), and five novels collectively known as Canopus in Argos (1979 - 1983).

Lessing was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. In awarding the Prize the Swedish Academy described her as "that spiciest of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilization to scrutiny". Lessing was the eleventh woman and the oldest person ever to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature

It seems that every day I hear tell of another book or two that I have not read and would like to read as soon as I possibly can. There are so many of them, and I am getting so dog-gone old, week after week and day after day. There must be thousands unread (by me) out there... tens of thousands, or maybe even hundreds of thousands.

It's a pity.

Did You Know . . .?

The month of August has the highest percentage of births.
(. . . not sure if that's in the U.S. A. or in the whole world)



On this day in 1999 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution designating November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The resolution, which was introduced by the Dominican Republic, marked the anniversary of the death of three sisters, Maria, Teresa, and Minerva Mirabel, who were brutally murdered there in 1960. While women in Latin America and the Caribbean had honored the day since 1981, all UN countries did not formally recognize it until 1999.

Although this is a sign of positive change in the struggle to end violence against women, statistics show that there is still much work left to do. A report released in 1994 by the World Bank, entitled Violence Against Women: The Hidden Health Burden, estimated that one out of every four women worldwide has been, or will be, raped. The report also said that violence against women is as serious a cause of death and incapacity among women of reproductive age as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.



-  Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
-  The movement organized around this belief.

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.



(Nov 25, 1960 – July 16, 1999)
John Kennedy, Jr.,, often referred to as JFK Jr. or John-John, was an American socialite, journalist, lawyer, and magazine publisher. The elder son of U.S. President John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, Sr. and First Lady Jacqueline Lee "Jackie" Bouvier, he died in a plane crash along with his wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy; and her older sister Lauren Bessette, on July 16, 1999.

(born November 25, 1971)
Christina Applegate is an American actress who gained fame as a teenage actress, playing the role of Kelly Bundy on the Fox sitcom Married... with Children (1987–1997). She has major roles in several films, including Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991), The Big Hit (1998), The Sweetest Thing (2002), Grand Theft Parsons (2003), Anchorman (2004), Farce of the Penguins (2007), Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009) and Hall Pass (2011). She also played the lead role in the sitcoms Jesse (1998–2000) and Samantha Who? (2007–2009) and starred in the NBC comedy Up All Night (2011–2012) 

(born November 25, 1944)
Ben Stein is an American actor, writer, lawyer, and commentator on political and economic issues. He attained early success as a speechwriter for American presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Later, he entered the entertainment field and became an actor, comedian, and Emmy Award-winning game show host. His film career was launched by his performance as the monotonous economics teacher in the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Stein has frequently written commentaries on economic, political, and social issues, along with financial advice to individual investors. He is the son of economist and writer Herbert Stein, who worked at the White House under President Nixon. His sister, Rachel, is also a writer. While, as a character actor, he is well known for his droning, monotone delivery, in real life he is a public speaker on a wide range of economic and social issues.

(born November 25, 1947)
John Larroquette is an American film, television and stage actor. His roles include Dan Fielding on the 1984 - 1992 sitcom Night Court (winning a then-unprecedented four consecutive Emmy Awards for his role), Mike McBride in the Hallmark Channel series McBride, John Hemingway on The John Larroquette Show, Lionel Tribbey on The West Wing and Carl Sack in Boston Legal.


Borrowing is not much better than begging; just as lending with interest is not much better than stealing.
--Doris Lessing


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Strangers by Guest Blogger


I couldn't park in my driveway when I got home today. There was a big white truck crossways in it, attached to a trailer sitting on my lawn. I was puzzled. Who do I know with a white truck? Oh, the lawn man has a white truck... but he doesn't have a trailer like that one.

I got out of my truck and heard noise. Loud noise. And then a man came around the corner to the trailer...

... and I didn't recognize him.

Worse, he was carrying cement.

The noise continued.

He threw the cement into the trailer and vanished back around the corner.

The noise continued, and now I could tell it was coming from *behind* my house.

The little hairs on the back of my neck stood up, but I brandished my purse and PC as weapons (I was just coming home from work, remember?) and followed the strange man.

The gate to my backyard was open.

In the backyard were two more men.

Before I clobbered one with my purse, though, I realized what they were doing. They'd broken ground for the Fox Room!

The patio is gone. Jagged remnants litter the ground below my elevated  sliding glass door. (To go out, the dog now has about a three-foot jump.) Two trenches line part of where the room will eventually be, and white chalk lines delineate the rest.

I have a feeling my life will be filled with strangers for awhile. I must say, though, jackhammers are noisier than I'd ever imagined.

Copyright 2013 Michelle Hakala


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Old Dog? New Tricks?



There has been a change in my fiction reading process about which I am noticing more often and about which I am growing more and more disturbed.

The change is this: I am growing weary of what seems to be excessive inner-character description along with unnecessary injection of blatant authorial personal prejudice,  especially in short stories, but to a lesser extent, also in modern novels.

This is hard to explain. It's difficult to put into words.

I guess you could say that a great percentage of the newest writers are following some kind of dictum representing unquestionable rules for writing that is deemed publishable. This writing is irritatingly padded with twenty-first century notions of moral absolutes compatible only with liberal and progressive thought.

And it pisses me off.

An example of this is . . . No, I won't embarrass the author by naming him, or by pointing to his online work. But I find his little stories to be both arrogant and boring.

After all, the problem of both word and concept padding could be no more than impatience on my part. Perhaps I am too old and set in my ways. Maybe I am so steeped in the older styles that new ones are boring and unacceptable to me. In other words, there may be no real problem except for my being an old dog unable to understand and unwilling to accept today's tricks of the trade.

See? I told you that it was hard to explain.

I suppose it's enough that I believe I know what I'm talking about.

When I was at the University of Arizona Wednesday attending my grandson's Ph.D.dissertation defense, I took several pictures of the buildings as we walked past them. I must admit that I do not remember the names, but I just felt like exhibiting some of the landmarks here.

This is a museum (I think)

This, I thought, would make a pretty picture

A thought-provoking image . . .

A center for programs, concerts, special events, and whatever


Did You Know . . .?

11% of people in the world are left handed.



An earthquake struck Southern Italy on this day in 1980, killing more than 3,000 people. The casualty toll was so high in part because the tremor struck during Sunday night mass, as many residents sat in churches that crumbled in the quake.

The 7.2-magnitude quake struck at 7:34 p.m. on a Sunday night and was centered in Eboli, south of Naples. The first jolt was followed by 90 aftershocks.  In nearby Balvano, children were preparing for their first communion at the 1,000-year-old Conza Della Compagna church. The violent shaking demolished the church and killed scores of people, including 26 children.

The Italian government spent 59,000 billion lire on reconstruction, while other nations sent contributions. West Germany contributed 32 million United States dollars (USD) and the United States 70 million USD.

However, a major corruption scandal emerged of the billions of lire that actually disappeared from the earthquake reconstruction funds in the 1980s. Of the $40 billion spent on earthquake reconstruction, an estimated $20 billion went to create an entirely new social class of millionaires in the region, $6.4 billion went to the Camorra, whereas another $4 billion went to politicians in bribes. Only the remaining $9.6 billion, a quarter of the total amount, was actually spent on people's needs



-  the act or fact of changing; fact of being changed.
-  a transformation or modification; alteration.
-  a variation or deviation: a change in the daily routine.
-  the substitution of one thing for another.
-  variety or novelty: Let's try a new restaurant for a change.
-  to become different.
-  to become altered or modified: Colors change if they are exposed to the sun.
-  to become transformed or converted.



(Nov 23, 1887 - Feb 2, 1969)
Boris Karloff was an English actor. Karloff is best remembered for his roles in horror films and his portrayal of Frankenstein's monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939). His popularity following Frankenstein was such that for a brief time he was billed simply as "Karloff" or "Karloff the Uncanny." His best-known non-horror role is as the Grinch, as well as the narrator, in the animated television special of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). He also had a memorable role in the original Scarface (1932).

(born November 23, 1996)
Lia Johnson is an American teen actress notable for her roles in the Emmy-winning web series Kids React and "Teens React", Spirits and a webseries "Terry the Tomboy" with AwesomenessTV which has recently been aired to Nickelodeon. She is also a prolific YouTube performer, with more than 26 million views on her YouTube channel, liamariejohnson,

(Nov 23, 1888 - Sep 28, 1964)
Harpo Marx was an American comedian and film star. He was the second-oldest of the Marx Brothers. His comic style was influenced by clown and pantomime traditions. He wore a curly reddish blonde wig, and never spoke during performances (he blew a horn or whistled to communicate). Marx frequently used props such as a horn cane, made up of a lead pipe, tape, and a bulbhorn, and he played the harp in most of his films.

(born November 23, 1992)
Miley Cyrus is an American actress and recording artist. The daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, she held minor roles in the television series Doc and the film Big Fish in her childhood. In 2006, Cyrus rose to prominence as a teen idol after being cast in the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana, in which she portrayed the starring character Miley Stewart. In 2011, she was named #1 on the Top 10 Richest Teens in Hollywood, with $120 million.

In August 2013, Cyrus was the subject of widespread media attention and public scrutiny following a controversial performance and duet with Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The performance began with Cyrus performing "We Can't Stop" in teddy bear-themed attire. Following this, Thicke entered the stage singing "Blurred Lines" alternatively with Cyrus, who stripped down to a skin-colored, latex two-piece outfit. Cyrus subsequently touched Thicke's crotch area with a giant foam finger and twerked against his crotch


It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
--Charles Darwin

Friday, November 22, 2013

President Kennedy Was Shot!



I at first thought to write some honest memories of the many derisive phrases about President John F. Kennedy that I heard on the day of his assassination fifty years ago and throughout that week.

My hometown was a Republican town in Indiana and Kennedy was not lauded by all as is currently supposed. He was a Catholic, which was at the time in that locale tantamount to being a cultish lover of the Pope and dedicated to raising the Pope to a position of World Dictator. I'm not making it up. That's how is was back then in that little farming town when I was in my early twenties.

But then I decided not to write about it after all. Who would believe me? Who would believe that a majority of the comments I heard during the week following the assassination were, for example: "It's 'bout time we finally got that Papist bastard out of the White House" and "Good for Oswald!" And much, much more of the same.

No. It's better that I write nothing more here in the blog about the real truth of the matter.

So I won't.

I looked out my bedroom window a moment ago and saw several large puddles of water that had accumulated during the night, and the sky was filled with black clouds from over the mountains. The TV weather forecasters had last night reported that a big storm system was headed this way and would bring both showers and heavy downpours to the Tucson area over the coming two or three day period.

So I guess that I will not go for my usual walk this morning.


Did You Know . . .?

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair than do less intelligent people.



On this day, November 22 in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed as his motorcade drove through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy's suspected assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was believed to have used a mail-order rifle in order to shoot the president from the sixth story window of the Texas School Book Depository. Oswald was a former Marine with a record of bizarre behavior.

Forty-five minutes after the assassination, Oswald was seen hurrying through the Dallas streets by police officer J.D. Tippit, who identified him as matching the description of Kennedy's killer. When Tippit attempted to apprehend him, Oswald shot him to death with a revolver and fled.

In the early afternoon, police converged on the Texas Theater, where Oswald had been spotted. Inside, Oswald punched an approaching officer and withdrew a pistol. The gun misfired and other police officers grabbed him. "I am not resisting arrest," Oswald cried as he was dragged out in front of an angry crowd of onlookers. "Don't hit me anymore! I want a lawyer!" In fact, Oswald would never require the services of an attorney because he was shot and killed by Dallas restaurant owner Jack Ruby as he was being transferred from the police station to the county jail two days later.



marks resembling the wounds on the crucified body of Christ

Stigmata (singular stigma) is a term used by members of the Christian faith to describe body marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ, such as the hands, wrists, and feet.



(born November 22, 1958)
Jamie Lee Curtis is an American actress and author. Although she was initially known as a "scream queen" because of her starring roles in several horror films early in her career, such as Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night, and Terror Train. Curtis has since compiled a body of work that spans many genres. Her 1998 book, Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods That Make My Day, made the best-seller list in The New York Times. Curtis has appeared in advertisements, and is a blogger for The Huffington Post.

(Nov 22, 1921 - Oct 5, 2004)
Rodney Dangerfield was an American comedian and actor, known for the catchphrase "I don't get no respect!" and his monologues on that theme. He is also remembered for his 1980s film roles, especially in Easy Money, Caddyshack, and Back to School.

(born November 22, 1961)
Mariel Hemingway (granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway) is an American actress and author. She began acting at age 16 in a breakout role in Lipstick and is best known for her roles in Manhattan (for which she received an Oscar nomination), Star 80, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. She has starred in and co-produced videos about yoga and holistic living. She published a memoir in 2002.

(born November 22, 1940)
Terry Gilliam is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Gilliam has directed several films, including Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1985), The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), The Fisher King (1991), 12 Monkeys (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009).

The only "Python" not born in Britain, he became a naturalized British citizen in 1968. In 2006, he formally renounced his American citizenship.


"As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities."