Archive for the ‘shakespeare’ Tag

01/18/2023 🎥Hollywood History🎥   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?

11/01/2022 “Facts”   Leave a comment

I am constantly amazed as I do my research for this blog. So many facts exist that are different and sometimes strange. It seems that the stranger facts regularly turn out to be true. Here are ten interesting facts you might enjoy.

  • The Puritans brought beer to America. According to Mourt’s Relation (1622), the Mayflower Pilgrims settled at Plymouth because supplies, especially beer, were running low. Beer was a dietary mainstay on long voyages because, having been boiled, it was purer than water.
  • Despite being made famous by Dutch paintings and Spain’s Don Quixote, windmills originated in Persia before the 10th century.
  • At -90°F, your breath will freeze in midair and fall to the ground.
  • The word “deadline” originated in Civil War prisons, where lines were drawn that prisoners passed only at the risk of being shot.
  • On March 15, 1985, Symbolic.com became the first registered Internet domain. Science-fiction writer William Gibson had coined the term “cyberspace” in his novel Neuromancer only the year before.

  • The first film version of Frankenstein was a 15-minute silent film produced by Thomas Edison.
  • Inventions that changed how we shop: the cash register (1884), the shopping cart (1936), and the scannable barcode (1952).
  • Warren Buffett, legendary investor and self-made multibillionaire, filed his first income tax return at age 13, reporting revenue from a newspaper delivery job. He claimed a $35 deduction for his bicycle.
  • Shakespeare coined thousands of new words, or “neologisms” in his plays and sonnets. Among these are: amaze, bedroom, excellent, fitful, majestic, radiance, and summit.
  • Dolly the sheep – the first cloned mammal – was named after country singer Dolly Parton. Stockmen dubbed the sheep “Dolly “because she was cloned from a mammary cell.

How many of the ten were you aware of before reading this post? I’m just a little curious. I’ll just bet the real Dolly was so proud she was popping her buttons off. LOL

START NOVEMBER WITH A GIGGLE

10/31/2022 Word Play   Leave a comment

Languages are interesting. Many books have been written about the use of words, but it seems they appeal to only a small portion of the population. I love learning new words and their odd uses, it’s fun! Let’s get started on some fun for you on this fine Monday morning.

  • Check out these three sentences:

A mad boxer shot a quick, gloved jab to the jaw of his dizzy opponent.

Five or six big jet planes zoomed quickly by the tower.

Now is the time for all quick brown dogs to jump over the lazy lynx.

They each use every letter in the alphabet.

  • The 1939 novel, Gadsby, doesn’t contain a single word with the letter “e”. That quite some accomplishment in a fifty-thousand-word book.
  • The longest palindrome in the Oxford English Dictionary is “tattarrattat”. Coined by James Joyce in his book, Ulysses, as a knock at the door.
  • The word “honorificabilitudinitatibus” at 27 letters is the longest word to appear in a work by Shakespeare from Love’s Labor Lost.
  • The longest palindrome in any language is “saippuakivikakuppias”. It’s 19 letters long and means “soap seller” in Finnish.
  • Poets love to rhyme words but in some cases it’s very difficult or just plain impossible. No words rhyme with orange., silver, elbow, galaxy, and rhythm. The words wasp, purple, and month are also very hard to rhyme.
  • Here are a few more very cool palindromes:

A man, a plan, a cat, a ham, a yak, a yam, a hat, a canal. Panama

Madam, in Eden I’m Adam

Was it a bar or a bat I saw.

THERE’S YOUR ENGLISH LESSON FOR THE WEEK

10/14/2022 “Language & Words”   Leave a comment

I would hate to even try to come up with the number of words I’ve written in my life. Even talking about it boggles my mind. Language and words are everything. Without them both chaos would ensue. I know, I know, there’s plenty of chaos anyway but without communication chaos becomes something visceral and sometimes dangerous. Today I’ll be talking about words that I will write and you will read. Ta! Da!, communication without chaos.

  • Did you know that the word stewardesses is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.
  • William Shakespeare invented more than 1700 words including assassination and bump.
  • The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
  • If you mouth the word colorful to someone, it looks like you are saying, “I love you.”
  • Dreamt is the only English word that ends in the letters mt.

  • The name Jeep came from the abbreviation GP, used in the U.S. Army for general-purpose vehicle.
  • The word bigwig takes its name from King Louis IV of France, who used to wear really big wigs.
  • No word in the English language rhymes with orange, silver or month.
  • The word chunder comes from convict ships bound for Australia: when people were going to vomit, they used to shout, “watch under”.
  • The expression rule of thumb derives from the old English law that said you couldn’t beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

IT’S MORE FUN COMMUNICATING WITHOUT CHAOS

11/11/2021 Isn’t It Romantic?   Leave a comment

(Sarcasm On)

I’m sitting here in my man-cave reading a novel that is quite romantic. I’m not a usual reader of romance novels but there’s a reason I’m reading this one. For the last nine days in a row my better-half has requested my presence to watch Rom-Coms after dinner. I have to admit that I enjoy some of them but the great majority are kind of trashy and stupid. She insists that these movies are the epitome of romance, I couldn’t disagree more. Over the years I’ve been called many things, some good and some not so good by a variety of ladies. I can honestly say I have never been called romantic and again I disagree with them as well. In my opinion women should not be the final word on whether a man is romantic or not. On one or two occasions I’ve actually had women call me out in front of others for being unromantic, and for the last time I again absolutely disagree.

I recall an old movie that I thoroughly enjoyed watching starring Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah called Roxanne. It was a mushy silly takeoff on some Shakespearean story and at one point in the story Steve Martin serenaded Daryl Hannah at her bedroom window. If that’s a requirement for being identified as romantic, forget about it. I may be a lot of things but a singer I’m not. If I attempted to serenade a woman two things would immediately occur. First, she would cover her ears and slam the window shut. Secondly, the police would arrest me for “disturbing the peace” and “being a public nuisance”. So scratch serenading off my list of romantic things I could do.

I love reading but reading Shakespeare and stuffy poetry aloud to a woman I’ve just become interested in isn’t going to happen either. I’m more likely to recite some of my own poetry which is usually funny and a little off-color. You know what I mean, “There once was a man from Nantucket . . .”. Strike two for me. Maybe my critics were right after all. Allow me to continue my thought processes before you make your final decision.

I’ve been known to create a CD or two filled with romantic Lionel Richie love songs which I must say works like a charm. I’ve also been known to send flowers on occasion but unfortunately only to my mother on Mother’s Day.

Quite a few times in the past I’ve given IOU’s to various women for foot rubs. I’ve been complimented numerous times about my delicate and sensitive touch but I’ve never fully explained to most of them about my harmless but fun foot fetish. That’s my little secret.

Body massages are always a great approach for intimacy with many wonderful advantages available if done properly. Just so you know, I can massage with the best of them. So give me some points for that.

Taking a woman to dinner can be a pleasurable experience as well. It’s also a pretty good way to guilt them into sex. Spend $20 for the meal and you’ll likely get a long leisurely French kiss at the door. Spend $50 and you get an invitation to come in and play “slap and tickle” on the couch for a while. Spend over $100 for the meal and purchase an expensive bottle of wine and you’ll be swept into the “Promised Land” on the ‘Wings of Angels”. Been there and done that too.

Take them to a movie after that good meal and make sure it’s a tear-jerking “chick flick” and your golden. Dropping a few tears during the love scenes is perfect. Pretend to wipe the tears from your cheek so she can’t see you doing it, but make sure she does. A good meal, a bottle of good wine, a mushy movie, and a tear or two, and she’s yours for the asking. Now, if that’s not romance I don’t know what is.

So what have we learned about me. I like good food and good wine – Check! I like movies – Check! I like to spend time with women – Check! I write off-color and funny poetry – Check! I like massaging the naked bodies and feet of women – Check! I can drop a tear or two if necessary – Check! I like sex – Check! I can sleep over or go home immediately after sex – Your choice!

HOW MUCH MORE ROMANTIC CAN I GET?

(Sarcasm Off)

10/07/2021 More Trivia   4 comments

Well, for a change its a sunny Fall morning here in Maine. Everyone is out enjoying the sunshine because they know within a few weeks we could be seeing snow. Every so often in the month of October we get the first snowfall of the year which explains why today I’ll be preparing my snowblower for action. I’m moving in slow motion today after yesterday’s dose of hospitals, doctors, and nurses. It’s a real buzz kill to return to the medical community even for a short time but on the plus side my CT scan was completed without incident. Hopefully I’ll have good results sometime today. Since it’s going to be a slow day I thought I’d offer up a few tidbits of trivia for all of you trivia addicts out there. Here they are . . .

  • In the 19th century, the British Navy attempted to dispel the superstition that Friday was an unlucky day to embark on a ship. The keel of a new ship was laid on a Friday, she was named the HMS Friday, commanded by a Captain Friday, and finally went to sea on a Friday. Neither the ship nor crew were ever heard from again.
  • In the film Star Trek- First Contact, when Picard shows Lilly she is orbiting Earth, Australia and Papa New Guinea are clearly visible but New Zealand is missing.
  • In the United States there is one birth every 8 seconds and one death every 14 seconds.
  • It has been calculated that in the last 3500 years, there have only been 230 years of peace throughout the civilized world.
  • It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is “shake” and the 46 word from the last word is “spear”.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme was the alien in the original Predator movie in almost all of the jumping and climbing scenes.
  • Lady Astor once told Winston Churchill “If you were my husband, I would poison your coffee”. His reply, “If you were my wife I would drink it”.
  • Lorne Greene had one of his nipples bitten off by an alligator while he was the host of Lorne Greene’s Wild Kingdom.
  • In 1980, a Las Vegas hospital suspended workers for betting on when patients would die.
  • Judy Jetson is a Libra.

So there you have it, another dose of useless (but interesting) information. . There will be a posting of a limerick later in the day, this one may be rated “R” rather than my normal “PG”. Hope you enjoy it.

DISLIKE HOSPITALS AND DOCTORS . . . GIVE ME A NURSE ANYTIME

03-29-16 Journal–Reading & Writing!   Leave a comment

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Most people who blog love to write and I guess that’s understandable. What I don’t understand are those people out there who choose not to write or read. I’m not criticizing, just questioning why. It seems that some people are wired differently and just aren’t all that interested. I read almost the entire Lord of the Rings story to my young son and he enjoyed it immensely.  I can honestly say that might be the last book he ever had read to him and he hasn’t read one on his own very often if ever.  He just isn’t interested in reading.

Is it nature or nurture?  I really don’t have a clue.  Using my son again as an example, on his twelfth birthday I bought him a book on the history of baseball and statistics on every player of note for the last fifty years. I knew he loved sports and I took a shot. The book was four inches thick and I thought if nothing else he could use it as a door stop.  He read the entire book in a few weeks and remembered almost every statistic on every player. After a time he drove me nuts quoting stats every time we talked.  Apparently he was over-the-top interested in sports.

You all know how much I love the written word and trivia so I decided to combine them for todays post.  Here’s my collection of useless information on the written word.

  • The number  of children in  the United Kingdom appearing in hospital emergency rooms dropped by 50% on weekends when the new Harry Potter books were released.
  • The first edition of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams (1899) sold only 351 copies in it’s first six years.
  • Five years after the 9/11 attacks, 1248 books had been published on the subject.
  • More than  150 books have the words “before you die” in their titles.
  • Charles Dickens created 989 named characters.

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  • Only half of American adults have read a book since leaving high school.
  • Five of the ten best selling novels in Japan in 2007 were written on mobile phones.
  • In 1893, when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes, 20,000 people cancelled their subscriptions to The Strand Magazine, which had published the Holmes stories.
  • Around 200,000 academic journals are published in the English language. The average number of readers per article is 5.
  • The word “bible” does not appear in the works of Shakespeare.

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  • Thirty percent of hardcover books go directly from the printer to the warehouse.
  • The Da Vinci Code is the bestselling book in French history. A quarter of the population is estimated to have read it.
  • Mein Kampf was second bestselling book in Turkey in March of 2005.
  • The eighteenth-century scholar Edmond Malone calculated that 4,144 of the 6,033 lines in parts I, II, and II of Henry VI were plagiarized by William Shakespeare.
  • The record for the highest number of short stories published in The New Yorker by an author in one year is held by E.B. White (twenty-eight in 1927). The overall record is held by James Thurber, who published 273 stories from 1927 to 1961.

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That’s it for today.  Hopefully they’ll be a few non-readers out there who’ll decide to read this post. I know for certain my son won’t be one of them unless I add some silly facts about batting averages or Babe Ruth’s weight problems.

NON-READERS MAKE ME CRAZY

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