Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Today, we honoring Leap Day with a photo of the Honduran blue frog, well that is not the species' scientific name but Tilly Gokbudak, the managing of this blog, only made a C in biology at Central High School in Woodstock, Va. (not really where I went to school).
We have also decided to list the sunset times for eight American cities, including Greensboro, NC, and Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as Barrow, Alaska, which, being that it's in northern Alaska, may be one place where there are no Red Box dvd machines.
Here are the sunset times for today (Leap Day); the earliest one is for Nashua, NH, and the latest one is for Hilo, Hawaii (all times are local):
Greensboro, NC 6:13 p.m.
Nashua, NH 5:34 p.m.
Madison, Wisc. 5:46 p.m.
Tulsa, Okla. 6:18 p.m.
Salt Lake City, Utah 5:39 p.m.
Tacoma, Wash. 5:54 p.m.
Barrow, Alaska 6:19 p.m.
Hilo, Hawaii 6:25 p.m.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
We focus again on the English Premiere League (EPL) where an amazing seven goals were scored between Arsenal and Tottenham, which was won by Arsenal 5-2.
For Arsenal, the goals came from French national Barca Sagna (40th minute), Dutch star Robin van Persie (43rd min.), Czech national Tomas Rosicky (51st minute) and two goals from English national Theo Walcott (65th and 68th mins.), who is pictured with this entry.
For the losing Tottenham Hotspurs, which actually was ahead of Arsenal in the EPL table (they were in 3rd place, Arsenal in 5th) the goals came from French national Louis Saha (64th min.) and the Togo national Emmanuel Adebayor (penalty, 34th min.).
Chelsea had a big day on Saturday as it blanked Bolton 3-0 with a goal coming from the Ivory Coast superstar Didier Drogba (61st min.). Other Chelsea goals came from Brazilian national David Luiz (48th min.) and the team's English captain Frank Lompard (79th min.).
Both Manchester teams continued to fight each other for top of the EPL as Machester City shut out Blackburn 3-0 on Saturday with goals from Mario Balotelli (30th min.), Sergio Aguero (52nd min.) and Edin Dzeko (81st min.).
Manchester United won on Sunday with a 2-1victory over Norwich City; the goals for MU came from Paul Scholes (74th min.) and Ryan Giggs (92nd min.) while Norwich City's captain Grant Holt scored the lone goal for his side in the 85 minute.
Here are the tables for this weekend's EPL games:
Aston Villa 0 Wigan Athletic 0, tie
Manchester City 3 Blackburn 0
Fulham 1 Queens Park 0
West Brom Ath. 4 Sunderland 0
Chelsea 3 Bolton 0
Wolves 2 New Castle 0
Manchester United 1 Norwich City 1
Arsenal 5 Tottenham Hotspurs 2
Stoke City 2 Swansea 0
Monday, February 27, 2012
Thanks to everyone in Slovenia, where this blog is apparently very popular. Our sister blog seems to be well-liked in Slovakia. Since "The Dukes of Hazzard" (1979-1985) may not have aired anywhere outside of the United States or Canada, we are not sure this entry will help with our international hits.
Today, our focus is on Ben Jones, who played Cooter in the CBS show that was always more-watched in Atlanta than it was in Hartford!
Jones, 70, was born in Tarrboro, NC, but in recent years, he has lived in Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee.
Jones had a second life after television as he ran for Congress in Georgia as a Democrat, and then he actually won. Two years prior to Jones' entrance on Capitol Hill in 1989, Fred Grandy, the subject of our entry today on our sister blog "The Daily Vampire", who played Gopher on "The Love Boat" was also elected to the U.S. Congress as a Republican representing Iowa in 1986 (he was sworn in on Jan. 3, 1987).
Cooter/Jones was re-districted to a district with a veteran Republican Congressman named Newt Gingrich (yes, that Newt Gingrinch; I know I can't stand him either), and alas no amount of tv fame could assist him. In fact, according to Wikipedia, Jones only got 35 percent of the vote.
Ironically, according to "Mother Jones," Grandy endorsed Gingrich right before the Iowa Caucuses, but it appears not to have helped much since Rick Santourm edged out Mitt Romney in that political contest as Gingrich finished considerably behind them.
After his defeat Jones moved to rural Sperryville, Va., some two hours south of Washington, DC, and very close to the Shenandoah Valley, where he opened up the original Cooter's Place.
Amazingly enough, Jones decided to take on another powerful Republican in Eric Cantor (yes, that Eric Cantor; I know I can't stand him either) in 2002. Needless to say, Jones was defeated once again.
Jones is actually considered a conservative Democrat, and he even asked then-President Bill Clinton to resign following the Monica Lewinski sex scandal.
While in Sperryville, Jones also started a band called Cooter and the Band, which we gather is still active.
Since Cooter's Place was a success, but hard to find, Jones relocated the roadside attraction to the much more touristy Gatlinburg, Tenn., and then he opened up a second Cooter's Place in Nashville.
But, Jones still hasn't forgotten Sperryville, and this year, Jones will host Hazzard Homecoming in that zip code from Aug. 11-12.
Today, we are asking just how long Jones was a member of Congress, is the answer:
A) 2 years
B) 4 years
C) 6 years
D) 8 years
The winner will get an autograph of Gingrich that we do not have.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
35 years ago, during the two years I was living in Turkey as a child (1977-79), we literally depended on the bulging outdoor antennas to get signals from the TRT (Turkish Radio and Television) which at the time was showing one channel of programing throughout the entire country. This meant that people living in Istanbul saw the same shows as people in eastern Turkish cities, such as Sivas and Erzurum, which are a good 15-20 hours by bus from Istanbul. The TRT began broadcasting television in 1968.
Many years earlier, American inventor Philo Farnsworth (1906-1971) sent out the first American television transmission at the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia in 1934. Some 20-25 years later, Uncle Miltie (Milton Berle) aired a popular variety show across the country and Ed Sullivan also became popular especially when he introduced The Beatles on his tv variety show in the 1960s. And, by the 1960s, the tv sitcom, which included "The Honeymooners" with Jackie Gleason and Art Carney also became popular.
The tv antenna was specifically designed to air in the broadcast range from 41 to 250 MHZ on VHF, and the wavelength equaled the speed of light. The higher the placement of the antenna, which can reach up to 40-feet on rooftops, the better the reception.
Today, since all broadcasts in the United States are digital, the outdoor tv antenna is a definitive endangered species though I did see on just last week!
SIDEBAR: Since we are not specifically a sports blog, perhaps it was a bit of a huge mistake to go into men's college basketball. But, since we've started this mess, let's finish it!
A few days ago, we made reference to the American University Eagles' home game in Washington, DC, versus the Bucknell Bison on Thursday night. The game was one in which the school gave away Jeff Jones bobblehead dolls in honor of AU's coach Jeff Jones to the first 1,000 fans.
Well, we imagine that created considerable enthusiasm, but the Eagles (18-10, 9-4 in Patriot Conference play) lost to the Bison (21-8, 11-2) by a score of 55-50. Mike Muscala lead the visitors from Lewisburg, Pa., with 26 points and 14 rebounds. While Daniel Munoz lead the Eagels with 15 points. Both schools have important final regular season conference games this afternoon (Saturday).
SIDEBAR 2: Even though Harvard University may have just finished their home game with the Pennsylvania Quakers this afternoon, we are going to focus on their 67-64 home win over Princeton last night.
The Crimson's win allowed the team (24-3, 10-1) to avenge their only Ivy League loss of the year at the hand of the Tigers in Princeton, NJ, two weeks ago tonight.
Kyle Casey lead the Crimson with 20 points and eight rebounds. Other top scorers for the Crimson included Brandyn Curry (15 points), Oliver McNally (13 points) and Keith Wright (12 points). Harvard has also been in the news because one of their recent alum, Jeremy Lin has become a media sensation in the NBA.
For the losing Princeton side, Ian Hummer and Douglas Davis scored 14 points each for the Tigers.
Here is a wrap-up of Friday scores in the Ivy League:
*Yale 75 Columbia 57
*Harvard 67 Princeton 64
Penn 57 *Dartmouth 54
Cornell 69 *Brown 53
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Today, we conclude our month-long quotes from Oscar-winning film directors with a quote from Warren Beatty, who is better known as an actor.
Beatty won the Oscar over Steven Spielberg ("Raiders of the Lost Ark") who subsequently won a Best Director Oscar for "Schindler's List" for the film "Reds"
Beatty, who was established as a rising star in Hollywood, cemented his place in Tinseltown with "Bonnie and Clyde" (1968) which also made him a bona fide international star.
The actor who was also known for his great off-screen affairs with some of the industry's most gorgeous actresses, including the French actress Leslie Caron, made his directorial debut with "Heaven Can Wait" (1978, which he he co-directed with Buck Henry). In the film, which also starred another Beatty flame in Julie Christie, he played an aging quarterback for the the then-Los Angeles Rams.
At the time, many people in the media observed how the character resembled Joe Namath, who had recently retired in 1977 when he was quarterback for the real life L.A. Rams.
Here is Beatty's quite ironic quote:
"For me, the highest level of sexual excitement is in a monogamous relationship."
Today, we celebrate Black History Month with a quote from Stevie Wonder, 61, who has been a musical star since he was in his early teens. Wonder is best-known for his string of '70s hit singles, including "Superstition" (1972) and "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" (1973).
Here is his brilliant, grammatically incorrect quote:
"You got to work with what you gots to work with."
Today, we quote New York Jets quarterback great Joe Namath who helped guide the New York Jets to a stunning 16-7 upset over the then-Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III
Namath was also a star at the University of Alabama, and he also had an acting career that included guest appearances on "The Brady Bunch," "The A-Team" and "Alf."
He retired in 1977 as a member of the then-Los Angeles Rams, shortly before Warren Beatty played a fictinional Rams quarterback in "Heavy Can Wait" (1978).
Here is Namath's bold quote which shocked the sports world in 1969:
"We're going to win Sunday. I guarantee it."
SIDEBAR: Yesterday, we mentioned men's basketball results from the Ivy League. But, there is at least one other smart school conference here in the United States in the Patriot League.
Last night in league play, the Holy Cross Crusaders (14-13, 8-5 in leage play) won a home game in Worchester, Mass., over Army 82-51 with Devin Brown leading the home team in scoring with 24 points.
In other Patriot League games, Lehigh beat Navy on the road 58-41 and the home team Laffayette won over Colgate 84-67.
Tonight, in Washington, DC, the home team American University Eagles are giving away Jeff Jones Bobblehead Dolls, in honor of Jeff Jones, the team's coach, to the first 1,000 fans. American faces a crucial match against leuague-leading Bucknell.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
It may seem like we are capitalizing on the media sensation Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks, but his alma mater Harvard University (23-3, 9-1 Ivy) is having an impressive season of their own.
The key game over the weekend was Harvard's home game against arch rival Yale. Harvard won the game 66-51 thanks in large part to Keith Wright who scored 10 points and had 8 rebounds for the Crimson.
Greg Managano of Yale lead the Bulldogs (17-7, 7-3 Ivy) with 22 points.
Harvard has two international players, including Steve Moundou-Missi (pictured here) a freshman forward from Cameroon and Ugo Okam, a sophomore center from Nigeria. The Crimson also have two players from North Carolina, where we are based. These include stand-out Brandyn Curry from Huntersville and Dee Giger from Arden.
Despite the setback, Yale did score a victory over Dartmouth (now 5-21, 1-9 Ivy) on the road, Friday night. The Bulldogs were lead by Austin Morgan who scored 17 points; Managano added 16.
The Ivy League Men's Basketball Player of the Week is Zack Rosen, a senior guard from Colonia, NJ, who plays for the Penn Quakers. Rosen scored 26 points in home win over Cornell and 14 points in home win against Columbia.
Here is the scoreboard for weekend games in the Ivy League; the home team will have an * beside them.
*Harvard 69 Brown 42
*Princeton 77 Columbia 66
Yale 70 * Dartmouth 61
* Penn 73 Cornell 66
*Harvard 66 Yale 51
* Dartmouth 58 Brown 53
*Princeton 75 Cornell 57
*Penn 61 Columbia 59, OT
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
You know you are getting old when you make a comment like 'don't drink the Kool Aid' and a 19-year-old kid who is going to Duke University in Durham, NC, and should thus be smarter than you,doesn't get the joke.
But back in 1978, one psychotic minister named Jim Jones did indeed orchestrate a mass suicide of around 900 people, most of whom had followed Jones from San Fransico to the small country of Guyana in the northeast corner of South America.
Guyana is one of ten countries that we are listing here as we give the names of various capital cities in Latin America.
1. Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean)
2. Paramaribo, Suriname (South America)
3. Quito, Ecuador (South America)
4. Bridgetown, Barbados (Caribbean)
5. Georgetown, Guyana (South America)
6. Asuncion, Paraguay (SA)
7. St. George's, Grenada (Car.)
8. Belmopan, Belize (Central America)
9. Managua, Nicagua (CA)
10. San Jose, Costa Rica (CA)
Friday, February 17, 2012
Since we are heading back to Coco Cay in The Bahamas for a second time this year (that is a joke), we thought we'd leave you with this image of the notorious pigs from Angry Birds, which I'm told is even popular in Turkey, where one might expect that the pigs would cause a problem.
Everyone should be warned that the game is very, very addictive, even more so than Starbucks coffee!
I was surprised to learn that Angry Birds was created in Finland, given the Kamikaze elements of the video game, I thought it was assuredly something Made in Japan.
For those who enjoy eating barbecue who might be in the Richmond, Va., area, Google recommends ExBilly's BarBQ which has a web site (extrabillys.com) and their phone number is (804) 282-3949.
Bernardo Bertolucci, one of Italy's greatest living directors, is an Academy-Award winner who has also directed the Italian film "The Conformist" (1971) and the highly controversial film "Last Tango in Paris" (1973). He Oscared for "The Last Emperor" (1987).
My friend New York-based film critic Bilge Ebiri has an exceptional profile of Bertolucci in the Australian web journal "Senses of Cinema."
Here is Bertolucci's quip:
"I don't think you can in any way export culture with guns and tanks."
SIDEBAR: We were aware that Greece, obviously a country going through a very hard time right now, had a thriving heavy metal scene with bands like Acid Death, Black Winter and Rotting Christ.
But, there is apparently an all girls punk rock band which formed in Crete called Barbed Wire Dolls. The band is now based in Los Angeles, and they perform in my hometown of Roanoke, Va., at the Horseshoe tomorrow night.
We first heard of the Greek heavy metal bands through the North Carolina State student-run college radio station WKNC (88.1-Raleigh) which airs "Chainsaw Rock" with host Lucreita tonight at midnight.
In Greece's neighboring country of Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country where my late father Mehmet Gokbudak hailed from, heavy metal is also surprisingly popular, and there are local bands, such as Pentagram, which have large followings.
Even more astonishing is the fact that the Israeli-based heavy metal band Orphaned Land is also very popular in Turkey.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Even though it has been a good 30 years since Muhammad Ali was a pro boxer, he still remains an iconic figure today. Ali turned 70 in January; today we quote him in honor of Black History Month.
Ali originally became famous in 1964 when he upset Sonny Liston. Ali was a 7-1 underdog for that fight; Liston, whom Ali later defeated a second time, died at age 38 in 1970.
Recently, Ali was in the news for his eulogy of his rival Joe Frazier, who died at age 67 in November of last year. Though there was bitter animosity between the two when they fought 'the fight of the century' in 1971, the two not only reconciled but became very good friends. Ali ended up winning two rematches against Frazier.
While researching this piece, we learned that the original "Rocky" film was in part inspired by boxer Chuck Wepner's, now 32, huge upset over Ali in 1975.
Here is the quote from 'the champ,' made shortly before his first bout with Liston:
"I'm a Baaad Man."
SIDEBAR ONE: We noticed that someone from Mount Jackson, Va., a nice, quaint town that has Meems Bottom Covered Bridge, in the Shenandoah Valley of northern Virginia, was visiting us today.
Today, it is 37 degrees with a light drizzle in Mount Jackson.
SIDEBAR TWO: Wow! We somehow missed the whole Jeremy Lin media sweep, which has been dubbed 'linsanity.' We are particularly miffed with ourselves because we have been covering the great season that Harvard, Lin's alma mater, is having in college basketball. The son of Taiwanese immigrants who plays guard for the New York Knicks made a name for himself by scoring 38 points in a 92-85 home win over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers last week.
On Tuesday night, Lin delivered a valentine for Knicks' fans by scoring a game-winning shot in a 90-87 road win against the Toronto Raptors.
Last night, Lin scored 10 points and had a career-high 13 assists in the team's 100-85 home win over the Sacramento Kings.
Like most Ivy Leaguers who come into the NBA, with the exception of Bill Bradley (later a Democratic U.S. Senator) from Princeton who was also a Knicks player (Bradley played in 1970s), Lin was considered a low prospect.
SIDEBAR THREE: Since we made an effort to cover Ivy League sports, we thought we'd do the same for the Patriot League, which includes the likes of Army and Navy as well as distinguished academic institutions such as Colgate and Lehigh.
Last night, two Patriot League schools American University and Navy faced each other on AU's home court in Washigton, DC. And, the AU Eagles (17-9) came away with a 69-47 over a struggling Navy team.
Charles Hinkle lead the Eagles with 18 points. American University is second in league play behind Bucknell (20-6).
The Eagles are coached by former University of Virginia star Jeff Jones, who later coached the Cavaliers from 1990-98. He has coached the Eagles since 2000.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
When I was a kid in 1979, I recall seeing a newspaper photograph of New Orleans Saints fans wearing bags over their heads as the team was playing dismal football.
But, thanks to current Saints quarterback Drew Brees, 33, who ironically helped the team win the Super Bowl in 2010 by defeating the Indianapolis Colts, whose quarterback is Peyton Manning_ the son of the legendary Saints quarterback Archie Manning, no one wears bags over their heads at the Superdome any more.
Brees played college football for Purdue University in Indiana, and he is originally from Austin, Texas. Here is his quip:
"We found something was working....and, we stuck with it."
SIDEBAR: Since there are sitting members of the U.S. Congress, including Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), a conservative Democrat who stated he was stepping down at the end of his term this year, who were once pro athletes, it may seem like the odd mixture of sports and politics is a uniquely American team.
But, in Turkey, my late father's country, that is definitely not the case.
In fact, Turkey's current prime minister, the politically conservative Recep Tayyip Erdogan (whom I oppose politically) was once a soccer player for the Istanbul team Kasimpasa, now playing in the second division. The team actually now plays its games in what is now Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium.
Two of Turkey's soccer legends Tanju Colak and Hakan Sukur, who both played for Istanbul powerhouse GalataSaray (Tanju also played for that team's main rival Fenerbahce), both members of Erdogan's AK-Party, have made efforts to enter the Turkish parliament.
SIDEBAR TWO: As Al Pacino, whose films seem to always perform well at the Turkish box office, said in "The Godfather, Part III," regarding the mafia: "I wanted to get out, but they kept dragging me back in."
The same could be said for Turkish soccer, which has not generated as many blog hits from Turkey as I would like (but, we are popular in Slovenia?!).
But, there have been some interesting developments in the Turkish Premiere League, both domestically and in European play.
Yesterday, Istanbul powerhouse Besiktas beat the Portuguese team Braga in Portugal 2-0 with a goal coming from the Portuguese player Simao Sabrosa (who plays for the Turkish team). Over the weekend, Besiktas tied SivasSpor 1-1 in domestic play.
GalataSaray, which did not qualify for European play, beat KayseriSpor 1-0 over the weekend on a goal from Brazilian player Felipe Melo in the 32nd minute.
Our favorite team BursaSpor was also victorious as they beat MainsaSpor 3-1 in part from a goal from Gokcek Vederson, a Brazilian national who not only obtained Turkish citizenship, but also changed his named (Gokcek is a Turkish name).
SIDEBAR 3: Cross-cultural players have actually become the norm in European soccer, especially in Turkey. PM Erdogan's former team Kasimpasa beat second league-rival Karsiyaka (Izmir) 1-0 on a last-minute goal from Halil Colak, a Turkish player born in Holland who is classified as a Turkish national.
Kasimpasa also features Azar Karadas, a Norwegian-born player of Turkish heritage. He is a Norwegian national.
Lastly, this team which is in second place in their league, features Ali Bilgin, a German-born player of Turkish heritage who plays for........Germany.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Yes, today is Valentine's Day, and we are having lots of fun here at the Salt Lake City Library in Salt Lake City, Utah (not actually where we are at!).
Olive Oyl is of course the sweetheart of Popeye, who always has to fight his rival Bluto to win her heart. In the real world, this would assuredly lead to a court date.
Today, in honor of the occasion the Sundance Channel is airing the quirky Irish film "Happy Ever After" (2009) about two former lovers who somehow end up at the exact same hotel for their respective wedding days. Awkward!
The film airs at 8:00 p.m., New York time.
SIDEBAR: The answer to our last Rabbits Ears Quiz on "Gilligan's Island" is D.
Monday, February 13, 2012
It is a very rare occasion when an Ivy League men's basketball is nationally televised, but since then 21st ranked Harvard University had won nine basketball games in a row, it's road game with Princeton on Saturday night set up a pivotal match-up.
And, the underdog Princeton Tigers (13-10, 4-3 in Ivy League play) prevailed with a 70-62 win thanks in large part to Ian Hummer's (pictured) 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Other players for the Tigers who scored in double figures were T.J. Bray (12), Brendan Connolly (11), Denton Koon (10) and Mark Darrow (10).
In defeat for the Crimson, Keith Wright scored 16 points and Brandyn Curry, of Huntersville, NC, scored 15 points.
Harvard did prevail in the team's road game against Pennsylvania by a 56-50 score on Friday night with 17 points from freshman Corbin Miller.
On Friday night, Princeton won its home game over struggling Dartmouth, a team with a 4-20 record, by a 59-47 margin.
Like Princeton, Cornell also had a triumphant homestand over the weekend in the Ivy League. The Big Red (10-12, 5-3) went on a 15-1 run in the second half to defeat Brown 72-63 on Saturday night. The night before, the team won an overtime thriller over Yale 85-84 in overtime.
For the Big Red, Chris Wroblewski, a senior from Highland Park, Ill., was named Ivy League Men's Basketball Palyer of the Week.
In other Ivy League sports, Harvard's women's hockey player Jillian Dempsey was named the school's athelete of the week as she scored five goals, one short of an NCAA record, in the team's 10-1 victory over Princeton.
And, in women's gymnastics, Cornell, one of four Ivy League schools with women's gymnastics teams (Yale, Brown and Penn are the others) came in second at the team's Big Red Invitanial.
The school in Ithaca, New York, came in second behind Southern Connecticut in the four-team meet. Lexi Schupp of Cornell won bars and her teammate Maelanie Stanrdige won beam.
The final score of the meet was: Southern Connecticut 190.05, Cornell 189.55, Ithaca College 187.250 and West Chester 185. 750.
Here is the full scoreboard in men's basketball for the Ivy League, which traditionally plays its games on Friday and Saturday nights.
Cornell 85 Yale 84, OT
Harvard 56 Penn 50
Princeton 59 Dartmouth 47
Columbia 86 Brown 60
Cornell 72 Brown 63
Princeton 70 Harvard 62
Penn 58 Dartmouth 55
Yale 59 Columbia 58
Thursday, February 9, 2012
We will probably have better things to do on March 5th, when the remaining Republican candidates have yet another debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. One of those even better things to do might be to watch a marathon of the British '70s sitcom "Are You Being Served?" (the show airs on PBS stations in North Carolina on Saturday nights at 9:30 p.m.) on dvd.
Here is a list of possible countries to run to if the likes of Rick Santorum (pictured), Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich becomes president:
1. Norway (pictured)
7. Denmark (yes, we like the idea of seeking political asylum in a Scandinavian country)
8. Canada (yeah, this is a bit of an easy choice)
Yeah, we aren't quite zany enough to put North Korea on this list.
It appears to be a low traffic day here today on the blog, though 'simit,' a Turkish sesame pastry which one can easily find from a vendor along the Bosporus shores of Istanbul is a trending topic!
Today, we continue with quotes from Oscar-winning film directors with a quip from Martin Scorsese who finally won a well-deserved Academy Award for "The Departed" (2006). Scorsese is again nominated this year for yet another superb film "Hugo." The other Best Directors nominees includes the likes of Woody Allen, Terence Malick and Alexander Payne.
Here is Scorsese's quip:
"I know there were many good policemen who died doing their duty. Some of the cops were even friends of ours. But, a cop can both ways."
The poster above is for the early Scorsese cinematic gem "Mean Streets" (1973).
SIDEBAR: Kudos to my alma mater Radford University in Radford, Va., for breaking a 29-game road losing streak in men's basketball with a 58-54 victory over Big South rival Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs, NC (near Hickory).
Freshman Javonte Green from Alberta, Va., lead the Highlanders in scoring 12 points.
Today, we quote one of our favorite playwrights August Wilson (1945-2005) in honor of Black History Month. A production of his 2004 play "Gem of the Ocean," which is set in 1904, will take place in Wilson's hometown of Pittsburgh.
The performance will be from the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre at the August Wilson Center from June 2-10.
Ironically, we quoted another local hero former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who is originally from Louisiana, on our other blog "The Daily Vampire" yesterday.
Here is Wilson's quip:
"Blacks in America want to forget about slavery_ the stigma, the shame. That's the wrong move. If you can't be who you are, who can you be? How can you know what to do?
We have our history. We have our book, which is the blues. And we forget it all."
SIDEBAR: We learned this interesting trivial bit last week upon learning that it was the 41st birthday of actor Michael C. Hall, who plays Dexter on "Dexter," the Showtime series about a serial killer who kills people he believes to be serial killers. In the first season of the show, which recently finished season six, Dexter and his female companion Rita are watching "Terms of Endearment" (1984), which won the Best Picture Oscar that year.
Well, in season four, John Lithgow, now age 66, who had a supporting role in that film, made a 12-episode run as Dexter's nemesis Arthur Mitchell, otherwise known as 'The Trinity Killer.'
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Today we continue our quips from Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks with a quote from Roger Staubach, 70, who helped the Dallas Cowboys win two Super Bowls in 1972 (over the Miami Dolphins) and in 1978 (over the Denver Broncos). The Cowboys would win three more Super Bowls in the 1990s.
This one brings back memories because there is a photograph of me taken in Budapest, Hungary, in 1976 when I was just six years old, as I was wearing a matching Dallas Cowboys hat and jacket. Of course, at the time, I had no idea who Roger Staubach really was.
Staubach was also a Heisman Trophy winner for Navy in 1963, and he helped the Midshipmen win two games over arch rivals Army. Along with former NBA star David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs, Staubach is considered to be the most famous athlete to graduate from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Due to his military commitment, Staubach did not enter the NFL as a rookie until he was 27 in 1969. He retired from football after the 1979 season. Staubach played for the Dallas Cowboys for his entire career.
On the Fox-TV animated sitcom "King of the Hill," which ran for 13 seasons, the local Texas elementary school is named after Staubach.
Here is his quote:
"Confidence comes from hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication."
SIDEBAR: One thing one has to love about Google is that it can help you answer a question about something you saw on Twitter. Today, The Grammar Girl (Mignon Fogarty) said that several words in English, such as Gobblefunk, were the creation of children's book writer Roald Dahl ("James and the Giant Peach"). I was puzzled as to what exactly Gooblefunk or gobblefunk meant, and the answer is 'delicious.'
It is nice to see we are popular in Slovenia_ of all places, so we send out special greetings to those of you in Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital. We also wish to extend greetings to folks in Nassau, The Bahamas, and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. We gather the weather is slightly nicer in the Caribbean island nation.
Today, in our "From the Record Collection" series, we feature Bob Dylan's 19th studio record "Slow Train Coming" (1979). Last year, we found a used copy of the record at All Day Records in Carrboro (Chapel Hill), NC.
"Slow Train Coming" was Dylan's first record since becoming a born-again Christian. Dylan was raised as a Jew in Minnesota. Spirituality is exemplified through the record with songs like "Gotta Serve Somebody," "Precious Angel" and "The Animals," which alludes to Noah's Ark.
The axe used by a rail worker on the album cover is shaped like a crucifix as is the sailboat, which is used in the photograph of the back cover.
We could not establish how long the born-again period lasted for Dylan, or if he still views the world from that prism, though spirituality does seem to come up frequently in recordings made after 1979.
The many aspects of Dylan's life made for a great art film by Todd Haynes, "I'm Not There" (2007) which includes a remarkable performance from Australian actress Cate Blanchett who plays Dylan herself!
"Slow Train Coming" was a major commercial success, and "You Gotta Serve Somebody" was Dylan's first major hit in three years.
Of his conversion to Christianity, Dylan said that an image of Jesus Christ came to him while he was staying in a hotel room in Tucson, Arizona.
The record also features Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits on guitar on many of the album's key tracks.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Greetings to everyone defending our freedoms and liberties by warding off those pesky Canadians from Winnipeg, the hometown of filmmaker Guy Maddin, who threaten our borders and our national security.
Hmmm....yeah, making fun of far right eggheads never gets old. Of course, we love Canadians, even the ones who speak French.
Today, we dedicate a blog entry to "Gilligan's Island," (1963-66) the popular cult tv series from Sherwood Schwartz who later brought the world "The Brady Bunch" (subject of our previous entry in this series). We presume that it was broadcast in Canada, though we're not sure if it ever made it to Turkey.
This subject is even more timely since I just recently returned from The Bahamas, where we stopped at Coco Cay, one of these private islands brought by a cruise ship company, which is just like "Gilligan's Island," except the natives want to sell you Bob Marley t-shirts.
Alas, Bob Denver, who played the beloved title character died at age 70 in 2005 in Winston-Salem, NC. For many years, he was residing in Princeton, West Virginia, and no one is exactly sure why.
But, Russell Johnson, who played the Professor, is alive and well somewhere in the United States, well not West Virginia.
Of course, for those of you unfamiliar with the show, it was shown for its catchy theme song, which is now a popular Youtube video.
So, for today's question, we are going to ask how old Johnson is; is the answer:
A) 84 B)85 C)86 D)87
If you are the lucky winner, we will send you a cassette tape with the theme from "The Love Boat"_ just kidding. Amazingly enough, the entire cast of that show (well the original '70s version), including Captain Stubing (Gavin MacLeod), is alive and well.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Greetings to all our blog readers in Turku, Finland, and Kobe, Japan, or whereever else you might be today.
By happenstance, I came across the Little Professor* calculator I used in the third grade in 1979; alas, it no longer seems to function.
And, though calculators are still used to a varying degree, it seems safe to assume that they are indeed a Casualty of Modern Technology.
The modern calculators that were used to assist with basic math were first developed in the 1960s. Pocket-sized calculators came about a decade later in the 1970s. And, it was around the disco era, when calculators became both small and affordable for everyone, including elementary school students.
This, in turn, created a debate about whether calculators should be used in the classroom or not. Many math teachers feared that the calculator would diminsh student math skills. But, while the matter became more controversial in Europe, American school teachers gradually seemed to accept the likes of the Little Professor in the classroom.
As they evolved, calculators were also able to perform more advanced technigues, such as trigonometry and stats.
In 1986, according to Wikipedia, the calculator accounted for 41 percent of all general purpose hardware. But, by 2007, calculators accounted for less than 0.005 percent of general purpose hardware.
*-Whoops, we initially incorrectly referred to the Little Professor calculators as Mister Professor calculators!
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Today, in honor of the Oscars broadcast in late February, we are quoting Oscar-winning film directors, and we start with John Ford (1894-1973). Though he was known primarily for his westerns, none of the record four Oscars that Ford won came from films within that genre. And, only one of those films, "The Quiet Man" (1952) featured his frequnet collaborator John Wayne.
The other three films Ford Oscared for include "The Informer" (1935), "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) and "How Green Was My Valley" (1941).
Ironically, Ford did not win for his two most acclaimed films "Stagecoach" (1939) and "The Searchers" (1956). Many film historians also consider his film "How Green Was My Valley" which also won an Oscar for Best Picture to be the most dubious in Oscar history since "Citizen Kane" also came out in 1941. But, Orson Welles, who directed "Citizen Kane" considered Ford to be both a major influence and one of his favorite film directors.
We also highly recommend two BFI books by Ed Buscombe (full disclosure: he taught a class on westerns that I took at Hollins University in Roanoke, Va.) on "The Searchers" and "Stagecoach."
Here is Ford's quip:
"How did I get to Hollywood? By train?"
SIDEBAR: For some reason, both former American Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes and country singer Dolly Parton, who were both subjects of entries on this blog, are among are hot links this week!
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Since we just got back from The Bahamas and today is the start of Black History Month, we thought it would be nifty to quote Sidney Poitier, 84, who won an Oscar for "Lilies of the Field" (1963), the first African-American to win a Best Actor Oscar. More recently, in 2009, Poitier also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.
Though Poitier has lived in the United for a long time, he is a Bahamas-native and maintains dual citizenship. In fact, in 1997, Poitier was the Bahamian ambassador to Japan. We also learned that he is fluent in Russian.
Here is his quote: "History passes final judgment."
SIDEBAR ONE: The underground cult classic "Pretty Poison" (1968) with Tuesday Weld and the late Anthony Perkins, who was best-known for playing Norman Bates in "Psycho" begins a week-long run at the Film Forum in New York starting on Friday. We finally saw the film two years ago. And, for those of you in the Big Apple or even New Jersey, we highly recommend it.
SIDEBAR TWO: We would personally love to see actor Michael C. Hall, who plays Dexter on "Dexter," a Showtime series about a serial killer who kills off people whom he believes have killed people, say: "I am not a serial killer, but I play one on tv." Today, Hall turns 41, the same age as me. He is originally from Raleigh, NC. Happy Birthday, Dexter.