POTD: Cute Mailbox

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We have a town full of artists, of all kinds. I found another interesting mailbox on my afternoon walk, yesterday. This would be a companion piece to the Colorful Mailbox post. ~Vic

Cute Mailbox Image
04-04-2020

Song Saturday: Africa (Toto)

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Toto Africa Discogs Image
Image Credit: discogs.com

Changing things a bit. I’ve got Music Mondays and I’ve had Tune Tuesdays (I may return to that) that showcase music by release date, in five year increments (if I can). Early on, I listed number ones, only. There was also my jump into the 30-Day Song Challenge back in December 2018. Now, I’m stretching Saturday out a bit for some music, too…an idea I got from the Nostalgic Italian. I might even stretch it to Sunday, if I take a notion to. It just depends upon my mood. All blogs evolve and, I’m always looking for new and different things.

This is a song on my playlist on my phone. I have a lot of music on my phone…things that I love to hear when I go out for my afternoon and evening walks or, just sitting in my Adirondack chair, watching the sunset. ~Vic

This song came out in the US in October 1982 and is the tenth track from the album Toto IV. Written by David Paich and Jeff Porcaro, it made it to number one for one week in February 1983.

From Mix Online:

Paich recalls writing Africa on his living room piano.

“Over many years, I had been taken by the UNICEF ads with the pictures of Africa and the starving children. I had always wanted to do something to connect with that and bring more attention to the continent. I wanted to go there, too, so, I sort of invented a song that put me in Africa. I was hearing the melody in my head and, I sat down and played the music in about 10 minutes. And, then, the chorus came out. I sang the chorus out as you hear it. It was like God channeling it. I thought, ‘I’m talented but, I’m not that talented. Something just happened here!'”

Paich, then, proceeded to work on the lyrics for another six months. He brought the skeleton to drummer Jeff Porcaro with the idea of having percussion being an integral part of the composition.

“Jeff got out African sticks with bottle caps that his dad (Joe Porcaro) and Emil Richards (both percussionists) used on National Geographic films. He brought in a marimba and a wooden xylophone kind of thing. This was pre-synthesizer. We didn’t have samples back then. You’re hearing bass marimba, that other instrument and you’re hearing, probably, one of the first loops that was ever done.”

Sadly, Jeff Porcaro passed away nearly ten years later.

I hope you enjoy my Saturday evening submission.

FOTD: Wisteria

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Love the springtime! ~Vic

Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge

Wisteria Image
04-02-2020

Flick Friday: The Girl In Number 29 1920

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The Girl In Number 29 Image One
Image Credit: Movie Poster Database
wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

One-hundred years ago, today, the silent black & white drama film The Girl In Number 29 premiered (though not released, widely). Directed by John Ford and written by Philip D. Hurn, it was based upon the novel The Girl In The Mirror (1919) by Elizabeth Jordan. Starring Frank Mayo, Elinor Fair, Claire Anderson, Robert Bolder and Bull Montana, it is considered a lost film.

Frank Mayo & Claire Anderson Image Two
Frank Mayo & Claire Anderson
Image Credit: Motion Picture News
wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

From AFI:

After turning out a successful drama, young playwright Laurie Devon settles down to a life of idleness. Alarmed and disgusted, his friends make every effort to get him to work again but, he refuses. One evening, while glancing into his mirror, Laurie sees a beautiful girl in the apartment across the way, holding a revolver to her head. Dashing out of his apartment house, he prevents her from pulling the trigger. He learns that her name is Doris Williams and discovers that her plight is caused by a man named Shaw. Soon after, Shaw and his thugs abduct her, and Laurie comes to her rescue, shooting her tormentor. Returning home, he confesses his crime to his sister and friends, and learns that the whole incident was a trick to restore his interest in life. The plot succeeds and Laurie writes another hit play in which his new wife Doris is the star.

From MPN:

Laurie Devon (Mayo) is a New York playwright who, having had one success, refuses to work on another play. One night he sees a woman (Anderson) in an apartment across the street take out a gun and place it to her forehead. He reaches her in time to save her and she tells him that she is under some terrible evil influence, which she will not disclose. Devon attempts to untangle the mystery and is led on an adventure. The woman is taken to a house on Long Island, where Devon, after a fight, rescues her. He takes out the revolver and shoots one of the pursuers, who falls to the ground. On returning home, he is heartbroken and tells his sister Barbara (Fair) and his friends that he is a murderer. His sister, and two of his friends, then confess that the whole thing was a frame-up. [T]hey had hired some actors to stage everything and that it was an attempt to get the ambitionless [sic] author to write again. The revolver used in the suicide attempt by the woman, and in the later shooting, had blanks. Devon and the woman from the apartment melt into each other’s arms at the final fade-out.

Elinor Fair & Harry Hilliard Image Three
Elinor Fair & Harry Hilliard
Image Credit: Exhibitors Herald
archive.org
wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

Additional Reading & Sources
American Film Institute
IMDB
Web Archive
Wikipedia

Throwback Thursday: Sverdlovsk Anthrax Leak 1979

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Sverdlovsk Image One
Photo Credit: topwar.ru & weaponews.com

Forty-one years ago, today, spores of anthrax were accidentally released from a Soviet military research facility near the city of Sverdlovsk, Russia (now Yekaterinburg/Ekaterinburg).

On April 2, 1979, there was an unusual anthrax outbreak, which affected 94 people and killed at least 64 of them, in the Soviet city of Sverdlovsk, roughly 850 miles east of Moscow. The first victim died after four days. [T]he last one died six weeks later. The Soviet government claimed the deaths were caused by intestinal anthrax from tainted meat, a story some influential American scientists found believable. However, officials in the Carter Administration suspected the outbreak was caused by an accidental release of anthrax spores from a suspected Soviet biological weapons facility located in the city (Military Compound 19). The US believed that the Soviet Union was violating the Biological Weapons Convention signed in 1972 and made their suspicions public. But, the Soviets denied any activities relating to biological weapons and, at numerous international conferences, tried to prove their contaminated meat story. It wasn’t until thirteen years later, in 1992, that President Boris Yeltsin admitted, without going into details, that the anthrax outbreak was the result of military activity at the facility. [Russia] allowed a team of Western scientists to go to Sverdlovsk to investigate the outbreak. The team visited Sverdlovsk in June 1992 and August 1993 […].

Military Facility Image Two
Photo Credit: topwar.ru & weaponews.com

Although the KGB had confiscated hospital and other records after the incident, the Western scientists were able to track where all the victims had been at the time of the anthrax release. Their results showed that on the day of the incident, all the victims were clustered along a straight line downwind from the military facility. Livestock in the same area also died of anthrax. After completing their investigation, the team concluded the outbreak was caused by a release of an aerosol of anthrax pathogen at the military facility. But, they were unable to determine what caused the release or what specific activities were conducted at the facility.

“Clogged filter, I removed it. Replace the filter”. [A] reminder on a piece of paper left [by a] factory worker […] to his mate when he went home on Friday evening…

Colonel Nicholas Cheryshev, shift supervisor at the plant, […] was in a hurry to go home and, for some unknown reason, was not aware of the lack of filter. In the end, the workers on the night shift, finding entries in the log window, quietly launched [the] equipment. [For] more than three hours, the plant was [throwing], into the air [of] the night sky of […] Sverdlovsk, portions [of] dried culture of anthrax. When the lack of bio-security was discovered, production was urgently stopped, […] the filter [replaced] and [they], quietly, continued working.

It was an accident at a clandestine biological weapons lab that allowed deadly anthrax spores to contaminate Sverdlovsk’s air, as evidence unearthed later would show. Over the years, as DNA sequencing technology has improved, scientists have been piecing together more and more information about the anthrax strain.

This facility has not been closed. It just went underground…literally. ~Vic

Sources & Additional Reading
Sverdlovsk Anthrax Leak (Adam Smith Institute)
1979 Anthrax Leak (PBS: Frontline)
How DNA Evidence Confirmed A Soviet Cover-Up (The Atlantic)
The Tragedy of Sverdlosk-19 (Weapon News)
Biohazard Book (Wikipedia)
Sverdlovsk Anthrax Leak (Wikipedia)

Wayback Wednesday: Apple Computers 1976

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Apple Computer Image One
Designed by Ronald Wayne
Isaac Newton under an apple tree.
Image Credit: wikimedia.org & wikipedia.org

Forty-four years ago, today, the Apple Computer Company was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, though Wayne sold his share back within 12 days. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, it grew from the “two Steves” into a multinational company. Jobs and Wozniak met in 1971 via mutual friend Bill Fernandez. Their partnership began with autodidact Wozniak’s blue boxes build and Jobs salesmanship. Jobs split the blue box profits with Wozniak.

Wozniak designed a video terminal and, new microcomputers, such as the Altair 8800 and the IMSAI, inspired [him] to build a microprocessor into his video terminal and have a complete computer. [He] designed computers on paper, waiting for the day he could afford a CPU. When MOS Technology released its 6502 chip in 1976, Wozniak wrote a version of BASIC for it, then began to design a computer for it to run on. When Jobs saw Wozniak’s computer, which would later become known as the Apple I, he was immediately interested in its commercial potential.

Blue Box Image Two
Wozniak’s Blue Box
Computer History Museum
Photo Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

Initially, Wozniak intended to share schematics of the machine for free but, Jobs insisted that they should, instead, build and sell bare printed circuit boards for the computer. Jobs eventually convinced Wozniak to go into business together and start a new company of their own. According to Wozniak, Jobs proposed the name “Apple Computer” when he had just come back from Robert Friedland’s All-One Farm in Oregon. Jobs told Walter Isaacson that he was “…on one of my fruitarian diets…” when he conceived of the name and thought “…it sounded fun, spirited and not intimidating…plus, it would get us ahead of Atari in the phone book.”

The information on Apple, Jobs & Wozniak is extensive. This post is a mere highlight of its beginnings. I won’t be reinventing the wheel, here. I will say, though, that the very first computer I ever programmed on in 1983, using BASIC, was an Apple II. ~Vic

TV Tuesday: The Wright Verdicts 1995

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The Wright Verdicts Image One
Photo Credit: themoviedb.org

Twenty-five years ago, today, the television series The Wright Verdicts debuted on CBS. Created and executive-produced by Dick Wolf, it starred Tom Conti, Margaret Colin and Aida Turturro as the main cast (Variety also lists John Glover but, IMDB does not.). Notable guest stars were Candy Clark, Peter Facinelli, Allison Janney and Leslie Mann.

There were only six episodes that aired between March 31 and June 11 with a seventh episode intended for a May slot, never airing. It’s first episode was on a Friday, the second episode aired the following Wednesday, the third episode went back to Friday, the following week and the fourth episode showed up on a Sunday, the next week. The last two aired episodes were on Sundays in June. [No wonder it failed. ~Vic]

IMDB Summary:

Legal drama with Charles Wright, an Englishman, working as a lawyer in New York City. Sandy Hamar is an ex-NYPD detective who serves as the mandatory private eye and Lydia is the super efficient secretary.

 

Tom Conti Image Two
Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Variety Review:

The Wright Verdicts is mature in the best sense. [I]t’s smart, has no false innocence and has the right amount of fun. Criminal lawyer Charles Wright (Tom Conti) will win juries over like clockwork and the series should likewise charm viewers. The character’s chief skill is blarney or, as his investigator puts it, shucking and jiving. Charles is bumbling and self-deprecating one minute, erudite and mischievous the next. Conti brings off Wright’s sense of humor and his status as a ladies’ man. The dynamic between Conti and his two female employees […] needs some work. [T]here’s so much flirtation that the relationships in this office triangle seem headed in only one direction.

The hour has a surplus of spectacular aerial shots of Manhattan.

Picks and Pans from People:

With crimes revolving around designer drugs and cellular phones, the show poses itself as a Perry Mason for the ’90s. It’s about as conventional and formulaic as that old warhorse. The parlor-game plotting is more than passable but, the writing is undistinguished. Only Conti’s malty voice and trilling accent are enough to elevate the program’s mark a little.

Entertainment Weekly:

Executive producer Dick Wolf has cannily combined two genres…Murder, She Wrote’s warm coziness and his own Law & Order’s cold, complex cases…and come up with a lukewarm show that’s nonetheless pretty irresistible.

Quick Promo Advertisement

POTD: Cute Church

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I’m not sure if this is a bird house that someone put on the ground, temporarily or if it is just a piece of yard art. It’s lovely either way. ~Vic

Cute Church Image
02-13-2020

Chris Thomas: Cholesterol Con

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A Blog Post From: The Chris Thomas Files

Eggs In The Metal Basket Image One
Photo Credit: Kaboom Pics on Pexels

“Have you ever wondered why eggs contain so much cholesterol? It is because it takes one hell of a lot of cholesterol to make a chicken.”

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, Author of The Great Cholesterol Con

The same applies to you. If your mother did not have sufficient cholesterol when you were conceived, you would not be here. Cholesterol is one of the most important substances the body produces. It is manufactured in the liver and is needed by every single cell of the body…brain cells in particular…every single second of the day. If your cholesterol levels drop, you begin to have organ failure, elastic tissue problems, memory loss, as well as depression and, if the level drops too low, aggression, suicidal tendencies and, ultimately, death.

Ever since this cholesterol question came up, I have been investigating it, psychically, and have not been able to find any real answers. Margarine companies, doctors and some scientific papers all say cholesterol is bad but, when I have worked with my healing clients over this issue, I have never found a cholesterol-related problem in their bodies, even when they have a medical diagnosis of ‘high cholesterol’. If we put something toxic into the body, the body rejects it and excretes it. Substances produced by the body’s internal chemistry are only what the body needs. In other words, the body does not poison itself. All symptoms of illness are controlled by the higher self and blood problems relate to the heart chakra (see my book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Your Body). However, even heart chakra problems do not raise cholesterol levels, especially, as you will not find cholesterol in the blood. At long last, I have found a doctor who talks some sense on this issue…Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con. So, this next section is a precis of what Dr. Kendrick has to say.

If you go to a doctor for a cholesterol blood test, the result that you are given is not a measure of cholesterol. What the blood test measures is lipoproteins. There are four different types of lipoprotein, the two most well known being LDL and HDL. These initials stand for Low and High Density Lipoproteins. We are constantly being told that HDL is good and LDL is bad, whereas in fact, both are vital for distributing the needed cholesterol around the body. Both types are cholesterol transporters. LDL collects cholesterol from the liver and delivers it to every single cell that needs it. The cell then absorbs the whole LDL. If there is any cholesterol that is above the amount needed by the cell at any particular time, the HDL collects it and returns it to the liver for re-processing. This way, the liver only produces the exact amount of cholesterol the body needs at any given time. Reducing your LDL levels actually causes major problems as the cells do not receive the cholesterol they require.

Where is fat, especially saturated fat, in all this? Cholesterol is manufactured by an immensely complicated chemical process in the liver and nobody has been able to connect fat with this process. You can eat as much fat as you like, of almost any variety and it will not affect either your cholesterol level or your LDL/HDL levels.

Cholesterol Image Two
Image Credit: familydoctor.org & Shutterstock

All of the above are scientific medical facts, borne out by a huge number of medical studies (for details see Dr. Kendrick’s book). The origins of the fat-cholesterol ‘myth’ lie in a very clever advertising campaign by margarine companies. The LDL/HDL ‘myth’ has been around for about 20 years, ever since the drug companies invented ‘statin’ drugs. This one drug-type currently gives the drug manufacturers annual sales of $26 billion. Those are 26 billion incentives to create a good myth. The total cost of this one type of drug to the NHS runs to about £2 billion per year. The known side effects of statins are the ones listed above for reduced cholesterol levels.

Leaving aside Dr. Kendrick, the main problem seems to be, according to a practice nurse I know, that doctors in the main do not read drug trial reports. They rely totally on the information supplied by the drug companies who are trying to sell doctors their drugs. Needless to say, with these kinds of sales at stake, the drug companies will present trial result statistics in the best light. For example, it is claimed that statins reduce LDL (the ‘bad cholesterol’) levels. This is true but, only by accident. Statins work by blocking the liver from producing as much cholesterol. [With] less cholesterol to distribute, fewer LDLs are needed so, the body does not manufacture them. The types of fats that do cause problems in the body are ‘trans fats’, made by a process called ‘hydrogenation’. These types of fats are totally unnatural as they do not exist in nature. Trans fats will only be found in fast foods, ‘ready meals’, some vegetable oils (labelled partially hydrogenated) and, especially, margarines.

It is complicated to explain but, essentially, vegetable fats are liquid at room temperature because of their molecular structure. By bombarding the molecules with hydrogen atoms, the oils solidify. When you eat trans fats, you also eat all of the spare hydrogen atoms that did not ‘bond’ with the oil molecules and these un-paired atoms act as a dangerous form of free radicals. This is why trans fats are seen as ‘dangerous’ and why the Mayor of New York banned them last year. Saturated fats, on the other hand, provide the body with fat soluble vitamins which are vital to the body’s health.

It’s a confusing old world, isn’t it?

© Chris Thomas 2007

The Blog Post (Cygnus Review Blog…with the wrong author credited)
Download The PDF & Share

Wayback Wednesday: King’s Chicago Anti-War March 1967

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Chicago Vietnam War March Image One
Dr. Martin Luther King talks to Al Raby of Chicago’s Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) as they lead the march down State Street. To King’s right is Jack Spiegel of the United Shoeworkers and, to Raby’s left, is King assistant Bernard Lee.
Photo Credit: Jo Freeman

Fifty-three years ago, today, Martin Luther King, Jr. led, approximately, 5,000 demonstrators down State Street in Chicago…his first anti-war march.

In an address to the demonstrators, King declared that the Vietnam War was “a blasphemy against all that America stands for.” He also stated that “we must combine the fervor of the civil rights movement with the peace movement.” King first began speaking out against American involvement in Vietnam in the summer of 1965.

In addition to his moral objections to the war, he argued that the war diverted money and attention from domestic programs to aid the black poor. He was strongly criticized by other prominent civil rights leaders for attempting to link civil rights and the antiwar movement.

King & Spock Image Two
Dr. Benjamin Spock joins Dr. King
and Bernard Lee in the front line.
Photo Credit: jofreeman.com

Dr. King had never been neutral on the war in Vietnam but, he had been silent. He felt, as did the leaders of most other civil rights organizations, that the movement should concentrate on the domestic struggle. They were concerned that opposition to President Johnson’s foreign policy would result in loss of support for passing and enforcing civil rights laws at home. On July 5 1965, Dr. King told a college audience in Virginia that “the war in Vietnam must be stopped.” His friends and contacts in the Johnson Administration told him he was treading in dangerous waters and should back off.

By 1967, Dr. King was ready to speak his mind publicly. His first statement was made on February 25 at an anti-war conference in California, along with several Senators who also opposed the war. He said it was immoral and, also, took money and attention from the anti-poverty program. After the walk down State Street on March 25, Dr. King addressed a rally.

Veterans For Peace Image Three
Veterans for Peace get ready to march.
Photo Credit: jofreeman.com

There are videos of March 25, 1965 and videos of April 1, 1967 but, nothing for this date. ~Vic

Sources & Additional Reading:
MLK Leads Chicago Antiwar March (The History Channel)
Vietnam War (Stanford University King Institute)
Jack D. Speigel (Chicago Tribune)
Saturday, March 25, 1967 (Wikipedia)
King At Chicago (Jo Freeman’s Website)

TV Tuesday: Half Nelson 1985

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Half Nelson Image One
Image Credit: imdb.com & amazon.com

Thirty-five years ago, today, the television series Half Nelson debuted on NBC with a two hour pilot TV movie. Created & written by Glen A. Larson and Lou Shaw, it starred Joe Pesci, Fred Williamson and Victoria Jackson with Dean Martin (as himself) in the movie pilot, adding Bubba Smith, Dick Butkus and Gary Grubbs as main cast in the series. Notable guest stars were Morgan Brittany, George Kennedy, Gary Lockwood, John Saxon and a dog listed as Spuds MacKenzie but, credited as Tony in the TV show. Curiously, the image reflects actors Tony Curtis and John Matuszak as guest stars but, they aren’t on IMDB and Television Obscurities states that Rod Taylor was in the pilot but, his name was also not listed on IMDB.

Movie Summary:

Rocky Nelson is a New York City cop who, after making a major bust and selling the rights of his story to Hollywood, decides to try his luck out as an actor. However, when he gets there, the directors think that he is too short to be an actor. He is, then, approached by someone who offers him a job at a Hollywood security agency because he would fit in there being an ex-cop and, while working there, he could come in contact with some Hollywood heavyweights who could give him the break he needs. [At] the same time, he gets to live in Dean Martin’s guest house.

Half Nelson Image Two
Image Credit: imdb.com & amazon.com

Series Summary:

Rocky Nelson is a former New York cop who is trying to make it as an actor in Hollywood. However, like most actor wannabees, he is still looking for his big break and his lack of stature doesn’t endear him to the directors. So, he is currently working for Beverly Hills Patrol, a private security agency that caters to the needs of the Hollywood elite and, who also try to keep things quiet for their clients. [Every] now and then, Rocky comes across a case which requires him to slip into his old mold of cop, which doesn’t make his boss or the police lieutenant that he encounters, happy.

Trivia Bits:
♦ This was Dean Martin’s final acting role.
♦ Martin, playing himself, is the owner of Beverly Hills Patrol and Joe Pesci’s Rocky provides him security.
♦ The series replaced the low rated V TV series.
♦ After the pilot movie, only six episodes aired before being cancelled and replaced with Misfits of Science in the new season.

Additional Reading:
Episode List (IMDB)
TV Obscurities (Website)

Opening & Rod Taylor’s Scenes

Music Monday: Spem In Alium 1570

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Thomas Tallis Image One
Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)
Portrait by Gerard van der Gucht
Engraving by Niccolò Haym
Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

Now, we are in the 1570s…

Spem in Alium is Latin for “hope in any other” or “hope in another”. A 40-part Renaissance Motet, it was composed in 1570 (thereabouts) by Thomas Tallis (Tallys). Written for eight choirs of five voices each, meaning there are 40 separate voices singing individual lines of music, it is considered to be Tallis’s greatest achievement and, possibly, one of the finest compositions of all time.

Information on where it was first performed is scarce. There appears to be some confusion regarding where it took place, as two locations…Nonsuch Palace, a royal Tudor palace in Surrey built by Henry VIII (not to be confused with Nonsuch Mansion) and Arundel House, a London townhouse originally for the Bishops of Bath & Wells…were both owned by Henry Fitzalan, the 12th/19th Earl of Arundel at one time. Most of what I have read leans towards Arundel House but, truly, I don’t think anyone really knows. It’s all a big guess. And, it is pure speculation as to why he wrote it. Some suggestions include a challenge due to an Italian composer doing same, Elizabeth’s 40th birthday or, perhaps for Mary as he was Catholic. Again, no one really knows.

The music, below, is soul stirring. ~Vic

Arundel House Image Three
Artist: Wenceslaus Hollar
Arundel House
Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

The text of the motet:

Spem in alium nunquam habui
Praeter in te, Deus Israel
Qui irasceris et propitius eris
et omnia peccata hominum
in tribulatione dimittis
Domine Deus
Creator caeli et terrae
respice humilitatem nostram

Nonsuch Palace Image Two
Artist: Georg Hoefnagel 1568
Watercolour of the south frontage of Nonsuch Palace
Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

 

English Translation:

I have never put my hope in any other
but in Thee, God of Israel
who canst show both wrath and graciousness,
and who absolves all the sins
of man in suffering
Lord God,
Creator of Heaven and Earth
Regard our humility

Additional Reading & Sources:
The Belle Jar (Blog Post)
Oxford Music Online
Spem in Alium History (PDF on Super Flumina Website)
How To Buy Spem In Alium (Classic FM Website)
Tallis and His Song of Forty Parts (Zenodo Website)

Shutterbug Sunday: Person County History Museum 2.0

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Continuing yesterday’s post

All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

General Store Image One
Donated R. P. Brooks General Store
Woodsdale, NC
Notice the cat bed on the porch to the left
and kitty on the steps.
03-19-2020
School Plaque Image Two
Plaque Dedication
Schoolhouse Image Three
Donated Schoolhouse
Tobacco Barn Image Four
Donated Tobacco Barn
Barn Plaque Image Five
Barn Plaque Dedication
Barn Advertisement Image Six
Many barns in the past had advertisements on them
for passing traffic or planes flying overhead.

Shutterbug Saturday: Person County History Museum

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I intended to start posting these pictures yesterday but, I was just too busy. And, I’m nearly out of time for today but, more will be posted tomorrow.

We did not tour the museum as everything seems to be closed and everyone is virus-risk averse. The grounds were open, so we just enjoyed the outdoors. I hope we can return and tour the old home.

All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Person County Museum Image One
This lovely old home in downtown Roxboro
was converted into a history museum.
03-19-2020
Person Museum Sign Image Two
Hours of Operation
Blue Star Image Three
Roxboro Garden Club Plaque
Military Dedication Image Four
Military Dedication
Surrounded by military veteran bricks.
Gazebo Image Five
The lovely gazebo for lunch.
Clock Tower Image Six
Adorable clock tower with the wrong time.

FOTD: Grape Hyacinth

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I had intended to post my museum pictures but, I’ve been too busy. So, it will be a Flower of the Day post for Cee Neuner’s Challenge. I thought this might be a Bluebell but, it isn’t. I’m still trying to identify it. ~Vic

Update: It’s a Grape Hyacinth!

Blue Flower Image
The buds look like tiny Chinese lanterns.
03-06-2020

Vernal Equinox 2020

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Well, Spring has finally sprung and not a moment too soon. I’m sitting in my Adirondack chair, with my bare feet on the ground, watching the sunset through the limbs of my Hackberry tree. Yes, I have short feet. Shut up. (All photos are my personal collection. ©)

Grounding Image One
Grounding with Mother Earth on the Vernal Equinox

According to the Farmers’ Almanac 1818, this is the earliest First Day of Spring in 124 years. Yahoo! Maybe some warm, beautiful weather will offset the corona beer virus and this needless, manufactured hysteria that has appeared with it.

Japanese Maple Image Two
Japanese Maple waking up.
Hackberry in the background.

I did a Vernal Equinox post last year when it coincided with the Full Worm Moon. In our area, it was as high as 80° and I was out in it. My buddy Ray had some errands to run so, off we went to the county north of us. Once the errands were completed, we headed to downtown Roxboro for lunch & a minor visit to their museum (pictures coming tomorrow).

Museum Flagpole Image Three
Lunch at the museum with a view of the flag.

From Farmers’ Almanac 1818:

[Spring] will occur at 11:50 p.m. EDT for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere […]. Traditionally, we celebrate the first day of spring on March 21 but, astronomers and calendar manufacturers, alike, now say that the spring season starts on March 20th, in all time zones in North America. And, in 2020, it’s even a day earlier than that…something that hasn’t happened since 1896.

Narcissus Image Four
Happy Narcissus in my side yard.

There are a few reasons why seasonal dates can vary from year to year. The first is that a year is not an even number of days and neither are the seasons. Another reason is that the earth’s elliptical orbit is changing its orientation (skew), which causes the earth’s axis to constantly point in a different direction, called precession. Since the seasons are defined as beginning at strict 90-degree intervals, these positional changes affect the time the earth reaches each 90-degree location in its orbit around the sun. The pull of gravity from the other planets also affects the location of the earth in its orbit.

Cheers! ~Vic

Additional Interesting Reading:
First Day of Spring (The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1792)

POTD: Colorful Mailbox

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Out on a neighborhood walk, I couldn’t help but admire the mosaic handywork, along with the bird and flower. It’s definitely an original. ~Vic

Mosaic Mailbox
02-13-2020

Music Monday: Staatskapelle Dresden 1548

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Semperorper Image One
Die Semperoper in Dresden bei Nacht
The Semper Opera in Dresden at Night
Photo Credit: Sese Ingolstadt
wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

Leaving the 1520s and entering the 1540s…

Formally known as the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Staatskapelle Dresden is a Dresden-based German orchestra, one of the world’s oldest. Maurice, the Elector of Saxony (Prince Elector Moritz von Sachsen) founded it in 1548. Its precursor ensemble was Die Kurfürstlich-Sächsische und Königlich-Polnische Kapelle (The Electoral Saxon and Royal Polish Orchestra). The orchestra is the musical body of the Staatsoper Dresden (Dresden State Opera). The venue of the orchestra is the Semperoper.

Lovely music. ~Vic

Additional Reading & Sources
Staatskapelle-Dresden (Official Site)
Staatskapelle Dresden Tracks (Last FM Site)
Maurice of Saxony (Encyclopedia Britannica Site)
Chief Conductors (Wikipedia)

Eine Alpensinfonie – Richard Strauss – Staatskapelle Dresden – Fabio Luisi

Shutterbug Sunday: Buddy 2.0

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Buddy came to me (and an ex) as a little thing. He had been born under a home 75 miles east and his mother had to leave him behind. The guy living there heard the crying mews and went to investigate. He found tiny Buddy in an upright cinder block, pulled him out and realized he was a newborn with his eyes still closed. He sought help from a veterinarian and began to feed him. Fast forward five weeks and the guy contacts my ex. “You want a kitten? I can’t handle him, anymore.” He shows up with this gi-normous litter box with a cover, that little Buddy could barely jump in and out of, a box of various toys and a gallon container of kitten food. The guy lived alone and traveled a lot so, he felt Buddy would be better off with us. I had lost my very first cat six months prior so, Buddy’s arrival was cause for celebration. He was my baby for nine years. (1997-2006). All photos are my personal collection. ~Vic

See also: Love Your Pet Day and Buddy

Buddy Image One
He loved to be held.
09-06-2004
Buddy Image Two
I found him napping in my sewing basket.
09-06-2004
Buddy Image Three
Kitty in his box.
05-17-2005
Buddy Image Four
I gave him my basket.
I had no choice.
09-13-2004
Buddy Image Five
These are my gifts.
This was his last Christmas.
12-18-2005.

Flashback Friday: Uranus & Pluto

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It’s Friday the 13th! Eek! Everybody…RUN! Hide! Yeah, well, enough of the hysteria. We have plenty of that going on with the corona beer virus. Sugar, rice, pasta, Clorox & Lysol hand wipes, bleach, hand sanitizer and toilet paper doesn’t stand a chance. Now, we have to deal with the dreaded number 13. E-gads! The humanity!

March 13 has been a rather busy day in history. Curiously, Uranus and Pluto are involved.

Uranus Image One
Uranus and its rings.
Image Credit: mirror.co.uk

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun. The name of Uranus references the ancient Greek deity of the sky Uranus, the father of Cronus (Saturn) and grandfather of Zeus (Jupiter) […]. It has the third-largest planetary radius and fourth-largest planetary mass in [our] solar system and, […] is the only planet whose name is derived directly from a figure of Greek mythology. Uranus is similar in composition to Neptune and, both have bulk chemical compositions which differ from that of the larger gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. Uranus’ atmosphere is similar to Jupiter’s and Saturn’s in its primary composition of hydrogen and helium but, it contains more “ices” such as water, ammonia and methane […]. It has the coldest planetary atmosphere in the solar system […]. Like the other giant planets, Uranus has a ring system, a magnetosphere and numerous moons. The Uranian system has a unique configuration because its axis of rotation is tilted sideways, nearly into the plane of its solar orbit. Its north and south poles, therefore, lie where most other planets have their equators. Voyager 2 remains the only spacecraft to visit the planet.

Like the classical planets, Uranus is visible to the naked eye but, it was never recognised as a planet by ancient observers because of its dimness and slow orbit. [Two hundred, thirty-nine years ago, today], Sir William Herschel first observed Uranus on March 13, 1781 (from the garden of his house at 19 New King Street in Bath, Somerset, England, now the Herschel Museum of Astronomy), leading to its discovery as a planet, expanding the known boundaries of the solar system for the first time in history and making Uranus the first planet classified as such with the aid of a telescope.

Pluto Image Two
Dwarf Planet Pluto
Photo Credit: forbes.com

Pluto is an icy dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt, a ring of bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune. It was the first Kuiper belt object to be discovered and is the largest known dwarf planet. Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 as the ninth planet from the Sun. After 1992, its status as a planet was questioned following the discovery of several objects of similar size in the Kuiper belt. In 2005, Eris, a dwarf planet in the scattered disc which is 27% more massive than Pluto, was discovered. This led the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to define the term “planet”, formally, in 2006, during their 26th General Assembly. That definition excluded Pluto and reclassified it as a dwarf planet.

It is the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object directly orbiting the Sun. It is the largest known trans-Neptunian object by volume but, is less massive than Eris. Like other Kuiper belt objects, Pluto is primarily made of ice and rock and, is relatively small…about one-sixth the mass of the Moon and one-third its volume. It has a moderately eccentric and inclined orbit […]. This means that Pluto periodically comes closer to the Sun than Neptune but, a stable orbital resonance with Neptune prevents them from colliding.

[Observations] of Neptune in the late 19th century led astronomers to speculate that Uranus’s orbit was being disturbed by another planet besides Neptune. In 1906, Percival Lowell, a wealthy Bostonian who had founded [the] Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1894, started an extensive project in search of a possible ninth planet, which he termed “Planet X“. Lowell and his observatory conducted his search until his death in 1916 but, to no avail. Unknown to Lowell, his surveys had captured two faint images of Pluto on March 19 and April 7, 1915 but, they were not recognized for what they were.

Percival’s widow, Constance Lowell, entered into a ten-year legal battle with the Lowell Observatory over her husband’s legacy and the search for Planet X did not resume until 1929. [23-year-old] Clyde Tombaugh, who had just arrived at the observatory, discovered a possible moving object on photographic plates on February 18, 1930. After the observatory obtained further confirmatory photographs, news of the discovery was telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory ninety years ago, today, on March 13, 1930. Pluto has yet to complete a full orbit of the Sun since its discovery, as one Plutonian year is 247.68 years long.

The discovery made headlines around the globe. Lowell Observatory, which had the right to name the new object, received more than 1,000 suggestions from all over the world, ranging from Atlas to Zymal. Constance Lowell proposed Zeus, then Percival and finally Constance. These suggestions were disregarded. The name Pluto, after the god of the underworld, was proposed by Venetia Burney (1918–2009), an eleven-year-old schoolgirl in Oxford, England, who was interested in classical mythology.

Additional Reading:
Voyager 2 in the Uranium System (Zenodo site)
Uranus (NASA site)
Uranus (MIRA site)
Bath Preservation Trust
Eleven Awesome Facts About Pluto (geek.com)

Chris Thomas: Past Life Memories

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A Blog Post From: The Chris Thomas Files

Past Lives Image One
Image Credit: unariunwisdom.com

People often ask me, ‘If we have lived a series of lifetimes and, if the process of ‘reincarnation’ and our memories of these lifetimes is stored in our DNA, why is it that we do not remember these other lives?’

The answer is quite simple and has to do with the purpose of current human life.

When modern humans first appeared on Earth about 80,000 years ago, we were very much more advanced than we are now. This was at the beginning of the development of the land we know as Atlantis. In those times, human beings had the whole soul within the body. As a result, their full store of memories was intact, and fully interactive with the body, and perfectly expressed in the body’s DNA. However, as time went by, we began to notice that we were having trouble maintaining this level of being and our ‘fall’ from full consciousness was a contributory factor in our collective decision to destroy the Atlantean continent. When we returned to Earth to begin the human experiment again, 20,000 years ago, we once again adopted the same ‘human template’ and, again, encountered the same consciousness problems. The reasons for these problems are too complex to explore here but, ultimately, we formulated ‘The Human Plan’ which we fully adopted 7,000 years ago.

At that point, humans became as we are now…a soul divided into the higher self, or oversoul and, the physical self. This physical self was endowed with sufficient DNA memory to allow us to record our experiences so that, ultimately, we would find answers as to why it had been so difficult to maintain the whole soul within the physical body. Each of those involved in this plan elected to go through a series of lifetimes including experiences that would enable them to learn how to be fully human again. According to my researches, we didn’t plan to spend forever learning this! Instead, we gave ourselves a time limit of round about 7,000 years, which is why, at the present time, the energies we are experiencing on Earth are so powerfully supportive of inner transformation and growth.

As our original plan was to undergo experiences in order to gain knowledge, it was our choice to begin each new lifetime without full memory of our previous lives. This allowed us to face each new experience without past failures or successes influencing the decisions we were to make in our new physical life. As we underwent each lifetime, our higher selves would keep us on our path by communicating to us through the chakras. However, we did have the option to ‘veto’ our plans. If we felt an experience-gathering event was too traumatic to deal with in one life, we could move it forward to a subsequent lifetime. In moving these ‘difficult’ experiences forward, we seem to have forgotten our original aim of completing our learning within a limited time-frame and many of us have left things until the last minute. This is why so much of the last 200 years, and especially the last 50, have been so traumatic, as so many have had to undergo the ‘traumas’ they did not face in previous lifetimes. If we did undergo a major trauma in a previous lifetime, and we did not fully deal with it at the time, the way in which these kinds of memories become transferred from one life to the next is determined by how powerful the experience was.

Past Lives Image Two
Image Credit: dailyoccupation.com

The process, briefly, is this: if there was a severe trauma at the end of a previous lifetime, the ‘shock’ to the physical elements of the soul could have been so great that, instead of the memory being locked away within our DNA spirals, it could be powerful enough to imprint itself into our current physical makeup. A prime example of this is the huge increase in children suffering from asthma. From our researches, this would appear to have very little to do with car pollution, although that does not help. The main cause is that these souls are being reborn after the trauma of being gassed in the trenches of the First World War. Another example would be birth marks, which are often burns or bullet wounds from a previous life.

As a general rule, strong illnesses which arise in childhood can often be from past-life causes, especially where such illnesses moderate or disappear at puberty. Illnesses which arise after puberty are always due to causes in this current life, except for bodily functions which are not viable before puberty, such as pregnancy. It should be stressed that present-life traumas due to past-life situations are very rare. Very, very few people carry these problems. The vast majority of problems arise from not dealing with issues in this lifetime. How many times, for instance, do you speak honestly to those with whom you share your life?

However, if you have dealt with everything this life has to throw at you and there is still ‘something’ that you cannot clear, then if the problem is not too onerous, your higher self will usually clear it as you sleep at night, which may lead to unusual dreams. If the past-life experiences are quite strong, and you have put off dealing with them in this life or run out of time before we complete our reintegration, the best way of clearing them is to visit a past-life regression hypnotist. [They] can gently lead you into the problem and help you to clear it. The good news is, [our] collective efforts over the past 7,000 years have given us the answers we have been looking for and, especially since 1996, more and more people have been bringing ‘The Human Plan’ to its conclusion.

Despite the world appearing to have gone totally mad, we are actually on track to complete everything in time. We do need to understand that we have been unbelievably successful in our work of bringing this ‘Plan’ to fruition, as this will help us to overcome and to let go of the current sense of fear that is overwhelming our ability to see ourselves clearly. Try to remember that the reason why the shadows over the Earth appear to be becoming darker is because they are cast by a light that is becoming brighter.

© Chris Thomas 2007

The Blog Post (Cygnus Review Blog…with the wrong author credited)
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FOTD: A Dandy Lion

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They are all over my yard. They are so happy. This one is from last year. ~Vic

Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge

Dandy Lion Image
03-31-2019

TV Tuesday: 17th Golden Globe Awards 1960

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Golden Globe Awards Logo Image
Image Credit: deadline.com

Sixty years ago, today, the 17th annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony was held and aired on KTTV in Los Angeles (an independent station in 1960). The Globes are given by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the first gathering in 1944. Recognition is for excellence in film (American and International) and television (American). The 1960 ceremony was honoring work done in 1959.

Held at the Ambassador Hotel Cocoanut Grove nightclub, Co-hosts were Dick Powell, Vincent Price & Tony Randall.

Marilyn Monroe Image Two
Marilyn Monroe
Glenn Ford
Tony Randall
Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Winners:
♥ Best Drama Film: Ben Hur
♥ Best Comedy Film: Some Like It Hot
♥ Best Musical Film: Porgy & Bess
♥ Best International (Understanding) Film: The Diary of Anne Frank
♥ Best Drama Actor: Anthony Franciosa
♥ Best Drama Actress: Elizabeth Taylor
♥ Best (Comedy/Musical) Actor: Jack Lemmon
♥ Best (Comedy/Musical) Actress: Marilyn Monroe
♥ Best Supporting Actor: Stephen Boyd
♥ Best Supporting Actress: Susan Kohner
♥ Best Director: William Wyler
♥ Best Original Score: Ernest Gold
Cecil B.deMille Award: Bing Crosby
♥ Television Achievement: Edward R. Murrow
♥ Henrietta Awards (World Film Favorite): Doris Day & Rock Hudson

Rock Hudson & Doris Day Image Three
Rock Hudson
Doris Day
Photo Credit: pinterest.com

♥ Samuel Goldwyn Award: Room at the Top
♥ Special Award (Silent Film Star): Ramon Novarro

There were 35 presenters, including Fred Astaire, Rod Steiger, Bob Hope, Jayne Mansfield, Ricardo Montalbán, Debbie Reynolds, Mickey Rooney, Joan Fontaine, Eva Gabor & Jean Simmons.

Trivia Bits:
♦ Two and a half years later, on August 4, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her Los Angeles home.
♦ On June 5, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was shot three times inside the Ambassador Hotel and died 26 hours later.

Additional Reading & Sources:
17th Golden Globe Awards (Wiki)
Winners & Nominees (Golden Globes site)
17th Annual Golden Globes (IMDb)
1960 Awards (IMDb)
Marilyn Monroe (Wiki)
Robert F. Kennedy (Wiki)

Video clips are few and rare. ~Vic

No Sound

Worm Moon 2020

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Worm Moon Image
Image Credit: moongiant.com

Last year, the Full Worm Moon coincided with the Vernal Equinox. This year, the Worm Moon will be at full illumination at 1:47pm, today. I got some shots of it, earlier (actually, wee hours of the morning).

I did a complete write-up on the Worm Moon on my 2019 post with all of the interesting and varied Native American names. This year, our Worm Moon is a Supermoon, though that isn’t really a true and official ‘astronomical’ term. It’s more of an astrological description and, apparently, was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle. The technical term is perigee syzygy, with perigee referring to the closeness of the Moon to the Earth and syzygy referring to a straight-line astronomical configuration of three celestial bodies. Depending upon that configuration, there might be a solar eclipse or a lunar eclipse. Supermoons also bring higher tides. This Moon is the last full moon of Winter. Howl for me! ~Vic

Worm Moon Image One
Big & bright.
From my driveway.
Worm Moon Image Two
Peaking thru the trees.
Worm Moon Image Three
Reaching out to touch it.
Worm Moon Image Four
I see you.