Archive for the ‘History’ Category

01/30/2023 “Random Insanity”   Leave a comment

Here’s a collection of peculiar trivia mixed in with some interesting quotes from somewhat interesting people. It’s a good way to start your somewhat interesting work week. Have fun . . .

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” Eleanor Roosevelt

  • In the spring of 1930, the Senate almost voted to ban all dial telephones from the Senate wing of the Capital, as the technophobic older senators found them too complicated to use.
  • Commercial deodorant became available in 1888. Roll-on deodorant was an invented in the 1950s, using technology from standard ballpoint pens.
  • Before Popeye, Olive Oyl’s boyfriend was named Ham Gravy.
  • Three presidents died on the 4th of July: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe.
  • The world goes through approximately 1.75 billion candy canes every year.

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Vince Lombardi

  • Like plants, children grow faster during spring than any other season.
  • The aboriginal body consists of approximately 71 pounds of intentionally edible meat, not including organ tissue.
  • British geologist William Buckland was known for his ability to eat anything, including rodents and insects. When presented with the heart of French King Louis XIV, he gobbled it up without hesitation.
  • Male lions are able to make 50 or more times in a single day. Tell your husband.
  • It took more than 1700 years to build the Great Wall of China.

“Carpe per diem– means seize the check – so says Robin Williams

  • In an ironic twist, Mel Blanc, best known as the voice of Bugs Bunny, had an aversion to raw carrots.
  • Australian toilets are designed to flush counterclockwise.
  • Mr. Potato Head holds the honor of being the first toy ever featured in a television commercial.
  • If you add up all the time you blink during the day, you’d have about half an hour of shut-eye.
  • John Lennon was the first person to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” Paul McCartney

SEIZE THE DAY

01/25/2023 “War-What Is It Good For?”   2 comments

I’m a former vet who proudly served. Since then, I’ve maintained an interest in all things military. As much as all of the new high-tech equipment is interesting, I still lean towards the past history of wars and warfare. It’s always good to know all of the small details of warfare to give you an accurate picture of why wars occurred and what steps had to be taken to end them.

  • The Spartans used a staff and a coil of paper to keep military messages from being decoded if they fell into the hands of the enemy. Rolled around the staff, the words fit together and made sense. Unrolled, the paper was covered with gibberish. Each general had a carefully guarded staff of precisely the same diameter around which to roll the paper and read the message.
  • During World War II, the Federal Bureau of investigation secretly established a house of male prostitution in New York’s Greenwich Village. The house staffed multilingual agents for the purpose of extracting import shipping information from foreign sailors. The FBI later claimed it had been a very successful operation.
  • By the end of World War II, there wasn’t a German spy in Great Britain who was not under British control. All either were cooperating with the British while maintaining their German “alliance” or had been caught and “turned around”.
  • During World War II, the United States Navy had a world champion chess player, Reuben Fine, calculate on the basis of positional probability where enemy submarines might surface. Dr. Fine said, it worked out all right.
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation captured eight German saboteurs shortly after they came ashore from a U-boat off eastern Long Island in 1942. Six were executed and two imprisoned. It turns out that one of those imprisoned, the expedition’s leader, was an anti-Nazi and had tipped off the FBI. He was promised that he be jailed for only six months, but he got instead, a 90-year prison term.
  • Bismarck tricked the French into the Franco-Prussian War by altering a telegram from the King of Prussia. He struck out the king’s consolatory words, so that the telegram sounded belligerent. The result was what the Iron Chancellor had intended, a French declaration of war, followed by a German victory.
  • Mata Hari, the Dutch-Javanese dancer who became the most famous spy of World War I, ordered that a suit be especially tailored for her for the occasion of her execution by a French firing squad. She also wore a new pair of white gloves.

WAR IS HELL, BUT PEACETIME IS A MOTHER F**KER

01/23/2023 ๐ŸŒจ๏ธWinter Is Finally Here๐ŸŒจ๏ธ   3 comments

Living in northern New England requires a certain amount of love for snow. Skiers, skaters, snow boarders, and sledders love it here. Unfortunately, I’m none of those. I’m too clumsy for any winter sports. My favorite winter sport consists of a comfortable stool in a comfortable bar with a huge picture window looking out at the bottom of the ski run. The only way I could be injured under those circumstances is if some amateur skier loses control, crashes through the window, and knocks me off my stool. I can’t be too careful around here with all these snow bunnies and snow freaks running loose among us. I was up this morning a 4:30 am snow blowing my driveway. I just came in from the second trip because this damn snow just keeps falling. I thought I’d pass along some weather-related trivia to save me from losing my mind.

  • New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, located just a stone’s throw from this house is only 6288 feet in altitude, is often considered to have the worst weather in the world. The highest wind velocity ever recorded on Earth, 231 mi./h, swept across the summit of Mount Washington in April of 1934. More than 30 people have died there as a result of sudden changes in the weather.
  • Continental snow cover would advance to the equator, and the oceans would eventually freeze, if there were a permanent drop of just 1.6% to 2% in energy reaching the earth.
  • Because air is denser in cold weather, a wind of the same speed exerts 25% more force during the winter than it does during the summer.
  • Gigantic snowfalls may be crippling to big cities, but at least in New York City they have a tendency to fall mainly on the day’s most convenient for the urban population. A study of the biggest snows in the last 68 years shows that 54% of them fall on a Friday or Sunday when the cleanup can be accomplished with minimal inconvenience to those millions who must go to work and school.
  • In 1816, there was no summer in many areas of the world. In parts of New England, snow stayed on the ground all year. Crops there and in Europe were ruined. Volcanic dust from the eruption of Tomboro in Indonesia blocked the rays of the sun and was blamed for the unusual weather as well as for the red and brown snow that fell in the United States, Hungary, and Italy.

I’d love to chat A little more, but Mother Nature insists on filling my driveway with more snow. I’ll be snow blowing a few more times before this day is over.

MOTHER NATURE SUCKS!

01/21/2023 “Everyone Loves Brad Pitt ???”   2 comments

I’m fairly certain that most women in this county at one time or another have drooled over Brad Pitt. He’s been the epitome of male sexuality for many years and many women. I’ve even heard a large number of female celebrities gushing over him on the endless talk shows that fill the TV air. I’m also willing to bet he’s had his fill of the notoriety as reflected by some of his statements over the years. Thanks to Uncle John for supplying me with the following quotes of a few male celebrities who’ve stated, “I’m no Brad Pitt”.

  • “I’m certainly not Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt.” Jason Stratham
  • “The real challenge is if you don’t look super sexy, like Brad Pitt, you’re going to have to try harder.” Jack Black
  • “If I could be anyone, it would be Brad Pitt.” David Fincher
  • “I’m clearly not Brad Pitt, and I’m never going to be Brad Pitt.” Paul Giamatti

  • “Unless you look like Brad Pitt, it’s really hard to have full control of your character.” Vincent Donofrio
  • “No matter what heights you achieve, even if you are Brad Pitt, the slide is coming, sure as death and taxes.” James Caan
  • “In this business, you’re either Brad Pitt right away, or you’re already going down the ladder.” Skeet Ulrich
  • “For me, personally, I’m a 5’5″ leading man. I’m no Brad Pitt or anything.” Jeremy Luke

And last but not least a quote from the famous and handsome Brad Pitt.

“Heartthrobs are a dime a dozen.” Brad Pitt

01/19/23 An Examined Life #7   Leave a comment

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates

*****

Welcome to installment number seven. These questions appear a little harder to answer simply. Only a frank discussion will bring the answers, both good and bad. Have fun . . .

  • Would you rather play a game with someone more or less talented as you? Would it matter who’s watching?
  • Is there something you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  • While in the government, you discover the President is committing extortion and other serious crimes. By exposing the situation, you might bring about the President’s downfall, but your career would be destroyed because you would be framed, fired, and suffer public humiliation on other matters. Knowing you would be vindicated five years later; would you blow the whistle? What if you knew you would never be vindicated?
  • On a busy street you are approached apologetically by a well-dressed stranger who asks for a dollar to catch a bus and make a phone call. He says he has lost his wallet. What would you do? If approached in the same way by a haggard looking stranger claiming to be hungry and unable to find a job, what would you do?
  • If by sacrificing your life you could contribute so much to the world that you would be honored in all nations, would you be willing to do so? If so, would you make the same sacrifice knowing that someone you thoroughly disliked would receive the honor while you went unrecognized?

*****

  • Knowing you had a 50% chance of winning and would be paid 10 times the amount of your bet if you won, what fraction of what you now own would you be willing to wager?
  • What are your most compulsive habits? Do you regularly struggled to break these habits?
  • You know you will die of an incurable disease within three months. Would you allow yourself to be frozen within the week if you knew it would give you a modest chance of being revived in 1000 years and living a greatly extended life?
  • You are driving late at night in a safe but deserted neighborhood when a dog suddenly darts in front of your car. Though you slam on the brakes, you hit the animal. Would you stop to see how injured the animal was? If you did so and found that the dog was dead but had a name tag, would you contact the owner?
  • What do you most strive for in your life: accomplishment, security, love, power, excitement, knowledge, or something else?

*****

  • An eccentric millionaire offers to donate a large sum to charity if you will step completely naked from a car onto a busy downtown street, walk four blocks, and climb back into the car. Knowing that there would be no danger of physical abuse, would you do it?
  • How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people?
  • Is the fact that you have never done something before increase or decrease its appeal to you?
  • Would you be willing to give up sex for five years if you could have wonderfully sensual and erotic dreams any night you wished?
  • At a meal, your friends start belittling a common acquaintance. If you felt their criticisms were unjustified, would you defend the person?

*****

THE QUESTIONS KEEP GETTING MORE INTERESTING

01/18/2023 ๐ŸŽฅHollywood History๐ŸŽฅ   Leave a comment

I thought I’d pander to my readership today since so many of you love information about celebrities and Hollywood and blah, blah, blah. I won’t be writing too much on the current list of celebrities that everyone seems to adore but will step back into the near past for some actual interesting trivia. I don’t care who they’re currently dating, I don’t care what they have to say about anything, and least of all who they might or might not be sleeping with. I find historical trivia when it comes to the Entertainment industry much more interesting. Here we go . . .

  • The American chemist Robert Hare discovered that a blow pipe flame acting upon a block of calcium oxide, which is lime, produces a brilliant white light that can be used to illuminate theater stages. We speak of someone who faces the glare of publicity as being in the “limelight”.
  • In the mid-1960’s, the motion picture director-producer Stanley Kubrick wanted from Lloyds of London an insurance policy protecting against losses should extraterrestrial intelligences be discovered before completion and release of his far-out motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey. Lloyds declined.
  • By 1929, two years after the introduction of the “talkies”, motion pictures in the United States were attracting 100 million patrons every week.
  • Northwestern University once conferred an honorary degree on a dummy of the wooden variety. On ventriloquist Edgar Bergen’s dummy, Charlie McCarthy.
  • The English indirectly owe the preservation of Shakespeare’s birthplace to P. T. Barnum. In 1850’s, the Stratford-on-Avon cottage was neglected, and Barnum began to negotiate to acquire the house and have it shipped to his museum. The English were horrified and banded together to buy it and turned it into a national monument.

  • In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Charlie Chaplin was probably the most celebrated man in the world. During a visit to his native London, the motion picture comedian received 73,000 letters in just two days.
  • Acting was once considered so frivolous an occupation that authorities in Virginia, in 1610, forbade immigration of actors from England. Because of the evils that were thought to be associated with the craft, the cast of the first English play in colonial America in 1665 was arrested in Virginia, but later acquitted.
  • The stellar cataclysm in the motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey was filmed by Stanley Kubrick in an abandoned corset factory in New York City. The cataclysm was a close-up shot of paint dripping in a bucket.
  • There are songs in all of Shakespeare’s plays except for Comedy of Errors. That play was the basis for a Broadway musical in 1938 that won the Pulitzer Prize: The Boys from Syracuse, by Richard Rogers and Larry Hart.
  • In 1957, Frank Sinatra was quoted as describing “rock-and-roll” as “funny and false and written and played for the most part by cretinous goons”. But when Elvis Presley finished his Army stint three or so years later, Sinatra paid him $125,000 to appear for 6 minutes on a television special.

GOTTA LOVE HOLLYWOOD . . . RIGHT?

01/16/2023 ๐Ÿ’€Grave Subjects๐Ÿ’€   2 comments

In my younger days I spent a great deal of time wandering through the graveyards of Southern Massachusetts. I’ve always liked cemeteries and some of the oldest graves in the country can be found in and around the Plymouth area. Say what you want about the Pilgrims, but they brought their love of catchy epithets from the old country, and they are some of the best. I spent many hours sketching cemeteries and painting a number of interesting oil paintings which allowed me to sit for hours in a quiet and serene place. Here is a small collection of epithets from this country and others.

From Church Stretton, Shropshire, England

On Thursday she was born,

On a Thursday she made a bride,

On a Thursday put to bed,

On a Thursday broke her leg, and

On a Thursday died.

๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€

From a churchyard in Oxfordshire, England

Here lies the body of John Eldred,

At least, he will be when he’s dead.

But now at this time he is alive,

The 14th of August, Sixty-five.

๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€

From Middlefield, Massachusetts

Old Thomas Mulvaney lies here.

His mouth ran from ear to ear.

Reader, tread lightly on this wonder,

For if he yawns, you’re gone to thunder.

๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€

From Keeseville, New York

Here lies a man of good repute.

Who wore a No. 16 boot.

Tis not recorded how he died,

But sure, it is, that open wide,

The gates of heaven must have been,

To let such monstrous feet within.

๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€

From Chelmsford, Essex, England

Here lies the man Richard,

And Mary his wife.

Their surname was Pritchard,

They lived without strife.

And the reason was plain,

They abounded in riches,

They had no care or pain,

And his wife wore the breeches.

๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€

Here’s a favorite from a grave in Winslow, Maine and proves that short and sweet is always the best.

Here lies the body of John Mound

Lost at sea and never found.

*****

NOW, SIT DOWN AND WRITE YOUR OWN

01/15/2023 ๐Ÿˆ๐ŸˆHilarious Sports Quotes”๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿˆ   Leave a comment

In the past I’ve had my fun with statements made by baseball players, football players, and basketball players. Just to be fair I thought today would be a good day for some ridiculous statements from an assortment of other sports to include some of their genius sportscasters and their pearls of wisdom.

  • And he’s got the ice pack on his groin him there, so it’s possibly not the old shoulder injury. -Ray French, rugby sportscaster
  • Venezuela! Great, that’s the Italian city with the guys in the boats, right? -Murad Muhammad, on being told about a boxing match in South America
  • And for those of you watching on black-and-white, the pink ball is the one behind the blue. -TV billiards commentator
  • I don’t want to tell you any half-truths unless they’re completely accurate. -Dennis Rapoport, boxing manager
  • It’s about 90% strength and 40% technique. -Johnny Walker, world middleweight wrist wrestling champion

๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€

  • Cycling is a good thing for the youngsters, because it keeps them off the streets. -Daniel Mean, commentator
  • It’s a catch he would’ve caught 99 times out of 1000. -Henry Blofeld
  • I was in a no-win situation, so I’m glad that I won rather than lost. -Frank Bruno, boxer
  • The lead car is absolutely unique, except for the one behind it which is identical. -Murray Walker
  • There have been injuries and deaths in boxing, but none of them serious. -Alan Minter, former prizefighter

โšฝโšฝโšฝ

  • We have only one person to blame, and that’s each other. -Barry Back, New York Ranger, explaining a championship game brawl
  • If I wasn’t talking, I wouldn’t know what to say. -Chico Resch, New York Islanders goalie
  • He called me a rapist and a recluse. I’m not a recluse. -Mike Tyson, boxer
  • On what? -boxer Chris Eubank, when asked whether he thought about writing his autobiography.
  • It’s basically the same, just darker. -Alan Kulwicki, Stock-car racer, on racing at night instead of during the afternoon

โšพโšพโšพ

ENJOY YOUR WILDCARD SUNDAY

Next Year!!!

001/14/2023 ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅMusic Limerick Alert๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ   Leave a comment

I realize that many of you out there are avid music fans. I’m addicted to oldies from 1958 through 1974 and have thousands of songs from that era. I like a lot of the new stuff too but I’m able to pick and choose the ones that really get me going. While we are all music lovers, my second passion is limericks and interesting poetry. So, with that in mind I decided that today my limerick selections would be G rated and concern music and musicians. I hope you enjoy them as much as you enjoy your music.

๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽต

By Anonymous

There was a composer named Liszt

Who from writing could seldom desiszt.

He made Polonaise.

Quite worthy of praise,

And now that he’s gone, he is miszt.

๐ŸŽน๐ŸŽน๐ŸŽน

By Ogden Nash

A bugler named Dougal MacDougal

Found ingenious ways to be frugal.

He learned how to sneeze

In various keys,

Thus, saving the price of a bugle.

๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽธ

By Paul West

All of a sudden, the great prima-donna

Cried, “Heavens! My voice is a goner!”

But a cat in the wings

Cried, “I know how she sings,”

And finished the solo with honor.

๐ŸŽผ๐ŸŽผ๐ŸŽผ

By Anonymous

There was a composer named Bong

Who composed a new popular song.

It was simply the croon

Of a lovesick baboon,

With occasional thumps on the gong.

๐ŸŽท๐ŸŽท๐ŸŽท

YOUR TURN TO HUM A FEW BARS

01/13/2023 An Examined life #6   Leave a comment

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates

It’s once again time to introduce installment number seven of this series. As I’ve posted them, I’ve found the conversations between myself and my better-half to be quite interesting. Some of my answers have surprised her and some of hers have surprised me. That’s a good thing for any relationship when after twenty or more years together you can still be pleasantly surprised by each other. Let’s get started . . .

  • One hot summer afternoon, while walking through a parking lot at a large shopping center, you notice a dog suffering badly from the heat inside a locked car. What would you do?
  • Do you feel ill at ease going alone to either dinner or a movie? What about going on a vacation by yourself?
  • If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?
  • For $20,000 would you go for three months without washing, brushing your teeth, or using deodorant? Assume you could not explain your reasons to anyone.
  • Would you rather die peacefully among friends at age 50, or painfully and alone at age 80? Assume that most of the last 30 years would be good ones.

*****

  • If you were to discover that your closest friend was a heroin dealer, what would you do?
  • Is it easy for you to accept help when you need it? Will you ask for help?
  • If you were helping to raise money for charity and someone agreed to make a large contribution if you would perform at the upcoming fundraising show, would you? If so, what would you like to perform? Assume the show would have an audience of about 1000 people.
  • Would you have one of your fingers surgically removed if it somehow guaranteed immunity from all major diseases?
  • Would you like to be famous? In what way?

*****

  • How do you picture your funeral? Is it important for you to have people mourn your death?
  • Which of the following restrictions could you best tolerate: leaving the country permanently, or never leaving the state in which you now live?
  • You, your closest friend, and your father are on vacation together, hiking in a remote jungle. Your two companions stumble into a nest of poisonous vipers and are bitten repeatedly. You know neither will live without an immediate shot of antivenom, yet there is only a single dose of antivenom and that is in your pocket. What would you do?
  • Where would you choose to be if you could place yourself anywhere on a scale from 1 to 10, where one is hardship, struggle, and extraordinary accomplishment and 10 is comfort, peace of mind, and no accomplishment. Why? Where are you now?
  • If you could choose the sex and physical appearance of your soon to be born child, would you do it?

*****

HAVE FUN WITH IT

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