Unusual

Funny Friday: Stress Reducer

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I’ve had this one for a while. It’s dated November 2007 but, I don’t remember where it came from. ~Vic

Snapshots Sunday: Rogue Artistes 6.0

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It’s been over two years since I posted some local art work. Previous post, here. ~Vic

Ceramic Collage Image One
Ceramic Tile Collage
Town Parking Garage
10-07-2020
Click for a larger view.
Daisies & Butterfly Image Two
Underpass Column
Lovely Drawing
04-26-2020
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Groovy Dude Image Three
Underpass Wall
I see Morgan Freeman.
Who do you see?
03-13-2020
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Day of the Dead Masks Image Four
Underpass Wall
Day of the Dead Masks?
03-07-2020
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Billy Strayhorn Mural Image Five
Billy Strayhorn Mural
09-13-2019
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Historical Marker Image Six
Historical Marker
More Information On Strayhorn
09-13-2019
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Word Wednesday: Cemetery

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Devil's Dictionary Cemetery Image
Screen Capture
Ambrose Bierce
The Devil’s Dictionary

Another smart ass on the Urban Dictionary called it “something that people are dying to get into.” Everybody is a comedian. ~Vic

Hans-Max 2022 TV Draft: Round Four-Pick Two-The X-Files (1993-2018)

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Scully & Mulder IMDb Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Four pick.

I’ve stated, before, that I was born and raised in law enforcement. I’ve also worked in law enforcement (non-sworn) at two different agencies, one state and one county (think of me as the blond chick on Criminal Minds, sitting in front of a computer screen…though I am not blond). It can be an interesting job if you’re lucky enough to be employed with an agency that doesn’t take its political self too seriously (virtually impossible these days). I’ve met and worked with a couple of FBI agents. They were nice, everyday guys, back in the late 90s and early 2000s. I’ve seen and heard a lot of things.

The Sci-Fi geek that I am, I’m not presenting this show in that light. This show is, first and foremost, law enforcement. These are the folks, alongside first responders, to arrive at the scene of the accident, the scene of the disaster or the crime scene. In the case of these FBI agents, they investigate the weird shit. That being said, I do have a very full binder of X-Files non-sport cards and chase (special) cards, plus, all of the original series-run DVDs. ~Vic

The X-Files IMDb Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Created and written by Chris Carter, there were many other writers, including David Duchovny (Agent Fox Mulder), Gillian Anderson (Agent Dana Scully) and Stephen King but, this was Carter’s baby. It starred Duchovny and Anderson as the dynamic duo, investigating all manner of odd, macabre, out-of-this-world or just plain gross happenings. In later years, Duchovny reduced his presence on the show and eventually left. In 2000, Robert Patrick (Agent John Doggett) was brought in as a new partner for Gillian Anderson. In 2001 Annabeth Gish (Agent Monica Reyes) showed up and, with the upcoming departure of Anderson, became Patrick’s partner. There was some chatter that the show would live on with Patrick and Gish but, it never materialized. Gish returned in the series revival but, Patrick did not. Neither of them were in the X-Files feature films.

Other regular cast members were Mitch Pileggi (Asst. Dir. Walter Skinner), William B. Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man), Nicholas Lea (Alex Krycek), Chris Owens (Jeffrey Spender, son of the Cigarette Smoking Man) and James Pickens, Jr. (Asst. Dir./Dep. Dir. Alvin Kersh). Secondary, popular characters were Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund & Bruce Harwood (The Lone Gunmen), Don. S. Davis (Captain William Scully, Agent Scully’s father), Sheila Larken (Margaret Scully, Agent Scully’s mother), Melinda McGraw (Melissa Scully, Agent Scully’s older sister), Pat Skipper (Bill Scully, Jr., Agent Scully’s older brother), Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat), Steven Williams (Mr. X), Rebecca Toolan (Teena Mulder, Agent Mulder’s mother), Peter Donat (William Mulder, Agent Mulder’s father) and five separate actresses portrayed Samantha Mulder, the agent’s abducted, younger sister. Agent Scully also has a younger brother, Charles but, except for flashbacks, the character is uncredited.

Agent Reyes & Agent Doggett IMDb Amazon Image Three
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Addendum: Honestly, I was hoping the show would continue on with Agents Doggett & Reyes. They had a lot of really good on-screen chemistry and I liked both actors. After nine years, I had grown weary of Duchovny’s primadonna attitude. When the series was revived, the magic was gone and I wasn’t impressed. Naturally, they turned Agent Reyes into a bad character and killed her off.

Addendum #2: I also have to mention that the theme song changed, just slightly, at some point. The first theme has a solid, continuous echo sound. The second theme is a double-repeating echo sound. Why it changed, I don’t know (it drove me crazy). It is never mentioned but, it did happen. Listen, below.

Trivia Bits:
♦ As stated in my last draft, Mark Snow created the X-Files theme, the Starsky & Hutch theme for Season Three and many others.
♦ Gillian Anderson was nearly replaced when she got pregnant during the first season.
♦ Props from Mulder’s office are preserved at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in LA. The I Want To Believe poster kept disappearing from the set.
♦ The agents badges read “Federal Bureau of Justice, United States Department of Investigation” as making a fake FBI badge is illegal.
♦ Gillian Anderson has stated that she based her approach to the role of Dana Scully on Jodie Foster’s performance as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
♦ Dana Scully was named after the famous sports journalist Vin Scully. Mulder is the maiden name of Chris Carter’s mother.
♦ Chris Carter lists All the President’s Men (1976) as one of his inspirations for the series. There are numerous references to the film, including the shadowy informer Deep Throat, meetings in underground parking garages and hints at conspiracies which stretch all the way to the F.B.I.

X-Files Original Opening

X-Files Second Opening…Can you hear the difference?

Thumbnut Thursday: New Religion

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Actually, this should be labeled “Thumbnuts”, really. Boggles a thinking mind. ~Vic

Story Sunday: Delta Flight Diverted

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Resist The Mainstream Delta Image One
Photo Credit: Resist The Mainstream

A Delta Airlines flight carrying 198 passengers had to land in Denver on Thursday after its windshield shattered when the jet was over 30,000 feet in the air.

The flight departed Salt Lake City and was destined for Washington, D.C., when the windshield mysteriously shattered and the pilots decided to land the aircraft. Although it was cracked from top to bottom, the glass stayed intact and the pilots were able to safely land the aircraft in Denver. No passengers or crew were harmed.

“They came on the loudspeaker saying that the windshield had shattered and we were diverting to Denver in about 10 minutes. I was sure I had misheard them but, I hadn’t,” passenger Rachel Wright told KUTV. She claimed that the crew announced the diverted landing an hour and a half after takeoff. “They kept coming on saying for everyone to stay calm, to be calm and we were calm, so being told to stay calm while we were calm made us feel a little panicky,” Wright explained.

Another passenger took a photo of the shattered glass after landing and posted it to Twitter.

Kirk Knowlton Twitter Image Two
Photo Credit: Kirk Knowlton/Twitter

A Delta spokesperson confirmed the aircraft’s windshield cracked but was unable to confirm what caused it to shatter mid-air, according to the Associated Press. Contact with birds is doubtful as most birds don’t fly above 10,000 feet.

KUTV reported that “several experienced commercial airline pilots” told them “windshields can be two inches thick and have several layered panes of glass.” As of now, it’s unknown if the cockpit lost pressure resulting from the shattered windshield.

Resist The Mainstream
RTM Staff
April 1, 2022

I had to laugh at Rachel Wright’s comment, above. And, what the hell cracks a two-inch thick windshield with no obvious signs of impact? ~Vic

Weird S*** Wednesday: Zombies

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This comes under the heading of “Things You Don’t See Everyday.” I wonder what they are on. ~Vic

POTD: Musk Thistle

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In the Asteraceae family, this is a Carduus Nutans. Other names are nodding thistle and nodding plumeless thistle. It has been deemed a noxious weed and is very invasive. This was in my yard and I wouldn’t advise stepping on one. ~Vic

Musk Thistle Image
04-10-2019

Picture of the Day

VOTD: Snow Designs

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How he manages to do this so well… ~Vic



Video of the Day

Scoop Saturday: The Hairy Eagle

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The Hairy Eagle Image One
Photo Credit: Sandra Roe
Photos @ 1020
The Onondaga Historical Association
Amusing Planet

In a small, dimly lit back room of the Onondaga Historical Association in Syracuse, New York, is a unique and priceless treasure…a civil-war era decorative eagle. [It is] made entirely out of hair, contributed by leading politicians, and their wives, most notably…President Abraham Lincoln and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln. The artifact came about when the US Sanitary Commission, a volunteer agency working for the health of Union soldiers during the war, needed money for its efforts. [They] reached out to President Lincoln soliciting, a lock of hair as large as he [could] spare. Lincoln communicated the request to other members of the parliament and a surprisingly large number of politicians, and their wives, responded positively. [They donated] their hair for the Brooklyn jewelers Spies & Champney to weave a national symbol out of it.

The Hairy Eagle Image Two
Photo Credit: The Onondaga Historical Association
Former Onondaga Historical Association Director Carolyn Wright
1959
Amusing Planet

The large showpiece, nicknamed the Hairy Eagle, featured an American eagle, perched on top of half a globe, spreading its wings and, surrounded with swirls and flowers. The eagle’s head was made from Lincoln’s hair, its back, from Vice President Hannibal Hamlin’s hair, its beak, from Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase’s hair and, its wings, from the various senators’ hair. The wives’ hair, meanwhile, was used to create the floral arrangement, surmounted by the eagle and globe. The eagle became an immediate attraction when it was debuted at Metropolitan Sanitary Fair, organized to raise funds for the benefit of Union soldiers. Running for three weeks in April 1864, the fair featured events, attractions, auctions, raffles and more. For the entry fee of $2, visitors could view spectacular floral arrangements in the Temple of Flora, watch dances performed by the Fair’s Native American Troupe, enjoy Dutch cuisine at the Knickerbocker Kitchen and even buy a piece of Plymouth Rock. Tens of thousands of people visited the Hairy Eagle during this time. Underneath it, a small visitor book was kept, in which guests were able to sign their name on the payment of one dollar. The goal was to raise $1,000.

The Hairy Eagle Image Three
Photo Credit: Sandy Roe
Photos @ 1020
Onondaga Historical Association
Amusing Planet

It’s not known whether the goal of $1000 and 1000 signatures was reached but, reports of the fair compiled three years later noted that the book was so popular that, 400 signatures and $400 were collected within the first three days of the Fair. The Hairy Eagle was meant to be presented to the Lincolns as a gift after the fair ended but, the wreath never made its way to the White House. Instead, it hung in the window of the Champney & Smitten shop in Brooklyn for many years before disappearing for decades. In the 1920s, F.T. Champney’s wife Ida donated the eagle to Onondaga Historical Association, where it has remained ever since.

Additional Reading:
Civil War Era Eagle Sculpture
(Smithsonian Magazine/Jason Emerson/September 23, 2021)

Syracuse

Wayback Wednesday: Great Fire Of Meireki 1657

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Meireki Fire Wiki Image
Image Credit: Wikipedia

One of the greatest disasters in Japanese history began in the Japanese capital city of Edo (original name of Tokyo) on March 2, 1657, 365 years ago, today. Legend has it that the fire was accidentally started by a priest who was supposedly trying to cremate a cursed kimono. The kimono had been owned in succession by three teenage girls who all died before ever being able to wear it. When the garment was being burned, a large gust of wind fanned the flames causing the wooden temple to ignite.

The fire spread quickly through the city, due to hurricane force winds, which were blowing from the northwest. Edo, like most Japanese cities, […] the buildings were especially dry due to a drought the previous year. [The] roads and other open spaces between buildings were small and narrow, allowing the fire to spread and grow particularly quickly.

The Great Fire of Meireki
Naked History
February 21, 2016

[The] city of Tokyo, Japan, then known as Edo, suffered a catastrophic fire that lasted three days, and killed 100,000 Japanese people, a death toll greater than either of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The carnage caused by the Great Fire of Meireki (or sometimes known as the Furisode Fire) combined to destroy about 60% to 70% of the buildings in Edo.

[The] wind spread the flames across a city that was built almost entirely of wood and paper buildings [and], firefighters [were] unable to keep up with the rapid spread of flames caused by the wind. The fire brigade established in Edo was a novel idea but, the force was nowhere near large enough to deal with a conflagration of this magnitude.

Reconstruction of the city lasted the next 2 years.

Great Fire Kills More Japanese Than Atom Bomb
History & Headlines
March 2, 2017

Additional Reading:
Japanese Tales: The Fire of the Furisode
(Elle Of A Kind Blog/01-07-2022)

Furisode Fire

The Great Fire Of Meireki/Destruction of Tokyo

VOTD: Crazy Clock

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Time waits for no one, particularly when you have a fresh battery and stripped gears. ~Vic



Video of the Day

Hans-Quinn 2022 TV Draft: Round One-Pick One-Doctor Who (1963- )

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The Doctors Who YouTube Image One
Doctors One Thru Eleven Plus The War Doctor
Image Credit: YouTube
Click for a larger view.

Hanspostcard/Quinn Maddux has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round One pick.

Doctor Who…? This long running series is its own inside joke. In its entirety, it is older than I am. I was completely unaware of it until it showed up on PBS in the US in 1978 when I was in sixth grade. It was always a treat after school and my introduction to the series was, of course, the great, long-scarfed Tom Baker, the Doctor with the longest run.

Tom Baker Bing Image Two
Doctor Who Opening Sequence 1970s
Image Credit: Bing Images

For those that have no idea about this show, Doctor Who is a Time Lord, an alien from the planet Gallifrey (setting aside the recent retcon). He belongs to an ancient race of beings who time travel and have a non-linear perception of time, itself. He (and, she, now) also has the ability to regenerate, meaning, if mortally wounded, a healing process takes place with a new body created and…a new personality. The name “Doctor” is a personal, self-selected title, and his true name is unpronounceable by humans. He travels in a TARDIS (Acronym: Time And Relative Dimension In Space), a spacecraft/time machine that he stole when he fled his planet with his Granddaughter, Susan. Built with a chameleon circuit (that is stuck in one position), the Doctor’s machine looks like a 1963 blue British police box. It is dimensionally transcendental, meaning, it is bigger on the inside than on the outside. He travels all over the Universe and, sometimes, into other, parallel Universes but, he has a particular affinity for Earth.

Doctor Who Catchphrases Image Three
Doctor Who Catch Phrases
Image Credit: Cheez Burger
Click for a larger view.

The Doctor rarely travels alone, preferring to have at least one companion. When I started watching, his companion was Sarah Jane Smith and she had been the companion of the Third Doctor (the late Jon Pertwee) prior to his regeneration. I watched the Tom Baker version for several years (with other companions Leela, Time Lady Romana & K9) and saw some of the episodes of the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) in the early 1980s. By the end of his run, I was a senior in high school and lost interest. Fast forward to 2005 and I’m living in Texas. The series is revived and I’m curious. My late-thirty-something self fell in love, all over again, with the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and, his companions Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness. In his case, he became the Doctor with the shortest run and a new story-line that makes the Doctor the Last of the Time Lords due to a Time War (against the Daleks…mutant beings in metal containers that resemble salt & pepper shakers) that took place prior to the show’s revival.

I thoroughly enjoyed the new episodes when they were picked up by the Sci Fi Channel in March 2006. The return of Sarah Jane Smith and K9 in the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) series and the return of Tom Baker in the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) series was an exciting re-visit of my childhood. The introduction of the War Doctor (the late John Hurt) was an interesting addition to the story-line, born out of Eccleston’s controversial exit (and subsequent blacklisting by the BBC).

Ninth Doctor Image Four
Wonderful Number Nine
Image Credit: Flickering Myth

Then show-runner, Steven Moffat, had originally written the Ninth Doctor as the one that ended the Time War but, knew Eccleston would not return and couldn’t see the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) providing a proper back-story. McGann never got the opportunity to explore the character for himself in any great length, despite a television film that did well in the UK in 1996. The film was a joint venture with the BBC, Universal Studios & Fox Broadcasting but, US audiences didn’t appear to be interested and a new series was not developed. When contractual rights were returned to the BBC, the revival proceeded.

By the time the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) showed up, I had lost interest, again, as ridiculous politics began to show up. I did, however, watch the last episode with River Song/Melody Pond, an on-again, off-again, sometime wife-companion to the Eleventh & Twelfth Doctors and daughter of Amy Pond & Rory Williams, companions to the Eleventh Doctor. Conceived in the TARDIS, River is human but, has Time Lord DNA. Other wonderful companions were Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Astrid Peth, Lady Christina de Souza, Adelaide Brooke and Wilfred Mott (Donna Noble’s maternal grandfather) (Tenth Doctor).

River Song's Diary Image Five
River Song’s Tardis Diary
Silence In The Library
Image Credit: Tardis Wiki

I’ve seen a handful of the First Doctor (William Hartnell) episodes but, I’ve never seen an episode of the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton), the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) or the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy). I’ve seen a few episodes of the Captain Jack Harkness show Torchwood but, didn’t really follow it. I made a valiant attempt to watch the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) but, between her and show-runner Chris Chibnall, the show is unwatchable and the ratings have tanked, completely. I’m so hoping that someone, somewhere, will correct this show and, bring back the whimsy and great storytelling. Until then… ~Vic

Trivia Bits:
Lalla Ward, the second Lady Romana (after her own regeneration), was once married to Tom Baker.
♦ David Tennant is married to Peter Davison’s daughter, Georgia Moffett.
♦ Georgia Moffett was Jenny in The Doctor’s Daughter, opposite her future husband.
David Troughton, son of Patrick Troughton, was Professor Hobbes in Midnight.
Karen Gillan’s (Amy Pond) cousin, Caitlin Blackwood, was Amelia Pond (young Amy) in The Eleventh Hour.
♦ Patrick Troughton was Father Brennan in The Omen.
Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott) was Tom Campbell in the 1966 film Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. as a companion to the Doctor (Peter Cushing).
Alex Kingston (River Song) and John Barrowman (Jack Harkness) share the same birthday…March 11 (1963 & 1967, respectively).
♦ River Song is the only companion that knows The Doctor’s real name.
♦ Leela (Louise Jameson) was named after the Palestinian hijacker Leila Khaled.
♦ David Tennant was Barty Crouch, Jr., in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Rose Tyler and Jack Harkness were named after Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) from Titanic. Kate Winslet was the original choice for River Song.
♦ Sylvester McCoy was Radagast in The Hobbit Film Series.
♦ Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald, companion to the Eleventh & Twelfth Doctors) have all been in Marvel movies.
♦ Sarah Jane Smith (the late Elisabeth Sladen) had her own show The Sarah Jane Adventures.
♦ There are 97 episodes missing from the first six years due to BBC archive deletions.
♦ The theme music was composed by Ron Grainer and developed by Delia Derbyshire, with early electronics, in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Original Theme From 1963

Updated Theme From 2005

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