Friday, May 31, 2013

Tweets Regarding the Revolutionary Stand Against Right-Wing Government in Turkey

Protestors have taken to the streets not only in Istanbul, but in Ankara, Izmir, Bursa and even the eastern Black Sea city of Samsun following police crackdowns against citizens bonding to protest plans to build on Gezi Park, the last remaining open space in Istanbul. The protests are also largely aimed at Turkey's right-wing government lead by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Here are some tweets regarding these events:

1) Hurriyet Daily News: #US and #EU concerned by violent raid against #Taksim Gezi Park protestors.

2) Gigi Ibrahim (a leader of the Tahrir Square movement in Egypt): Latest from a comrade in #Taksim Square: The movement is raising the slogan: "Turn Taksim into Tahrir!".........we support you.

3) Goksen Asia: "Watch Turkish people crossing the bridge for #occupygezi"

4) Zeynep Tufekci: "NYT has Turkey protests on cover. Turkish paper Sabah, not. Why social media matters."

5) Global Revolution: "Everyone has to watch this. All of #Istanbul flashes their lights in solidarity with #occupygezi protestors."

6) Heather Marsh: "More than 40,000 people are now crossing Bosporus Bridge in #Istanbul to join protests."

7) Simge Yarayici: "NYC! Tomorrow! Zuccoti Park! 12 pm! We will be in solidarity with #occupygezi occupiers."

Monday, May 27, 2013

Last Ten Music Records We've Listened To: John Denver to (the) BoDeans

Most of these records are from the 1980s, ie. the Me Decade, with just two exceptions, one coming from the late John Denver and the other coming from Elvis Costello.

We got these records through record stores in Roanoke, Va. and Carrboro (Chapel Hill), NC, as well as yard sales, record shows, auctions and a visit to an antique shop in the quaint town of Madison, NC.

There was also a nifty comedy record by Bob Newhart from 1960, which we listened to, but we opted to stick with music records for this list.

Here is the list:

1. BoDeans "Outside Looking In" (pictured top). 1987

2. The Psychedelic Furs "Forever Now." 1982.

3. Pat Benatar "Seven the Hard Way." 1985

4. Elvis Costello. "This Year's Model." 1978

5. The Cars "Panorama." 1980

6. Phil Collins "Face Value" 1981 (pictured center)

7. David Bowie. "Never Let Me Go." 1987

8. Supertramp "........Famous Last Words.........." 1982

 9.The Rolling Stones "Undercover" 1983

10. John Denver. "Rocky Mountain High" 1972 (pictured bottom)

It was also interesting to learn that some of these bands are still active and on tour. (The) BoDeans will be playing Austin, Tex. on June 1st while the Psychedelic Furs play in Las Vegas on June 2nd.

Kudos to UNC Women's Lacrosse Team and Remembering Fallen Soldiers

Kudos to the University of North Carolina's women lacrosse team which pulled off an upset over the top-ranked University of Maryland to win an NCAA national championship by a 13-12 margin in a game that lasted three overtimes in Villanova, Pa., just outside of Philadelphia.

Ironically, UNC's long-standing rival the Duke Blue Devils prevailed in the men's final in Philadelphia today by defeating Syracuse 16-10.

For the Lady Tar Heels, Sammy Jo Tracy, a sophomore from Bedford, NY, scored the magical, winning goal against the Lady Terps, a team that finished the season at 22-1, with Sunday's loss being their first ever of the year.

It was the Terps that won the ACC title in the sport a few weeks ago; UNC is in the same conference. The Tar Heels finished 18-3, and the game was the longest women's lacrosse title game in NCAA history. Tracy scored the goal a mere 31 seconds into the third overtime.

The Tar Heels flew back from Philadelphia this morning, and they were greeted home by a jubilant group of supporters upon arriving back in North Carolina.

SIDEBAR: We also want to take a moment to recognize fallen soldiers who lost their lives while serving combat missions for the American military. Today is Memorial Day here in America. My late stepfather Donald Sullivan was a WW-2 veteran.

Today, President Barack Obama marked Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., where the likes of President John F. Kennedy, boxer Joe Louis and actor Lee Marvin are buried. In his comments, Obama spoke to veterans in attendance and to troops who are still serving in the war in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Happy 200th Birthday, Richard Wagner

Greetings to those of you in Cyprus, Finland and Ethiopia and other parts to the world for taking time to read our blog. And, thanks to everyone here in America, who chose to read this as opposed to checking out "Dilbert" in their local newspaper. Of course, hopefully, there is time in your day to read "Dilbert" too!

Today marks the 200th anniversary of classical composer Richard Wagner's  birth. We, in no way, support his anti-Semitic views, but we do admire his tremendous body work, including "Rigoletto" which is one of our favorite operas.

So, we are going to quote the German composer here:

"Whatever my passions demand of me, I become for the time being_ musician, poet,director, author, lecturer, or anything else."

SIDEBAR: We want to wish our kudos to American Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman even though she did not win her "Dancing with the Stars" competition with her dancing partner; that honor went to country singer Kellie Pickler. We know one of them was paired with Mark Ballos and the other one was with Derek Hough, and if you want to know which one is correct then go check out Bing:)

IN THE WHOOPS DEPARTMENT: Ok, I just realized I inadvertently referred to "Rigoletto"as a Wagner opera; it is in fact an Italian opera by Verdi. But, as the great western philosopher Billy Joel once said: "You''re only human; you're supposed to make mistakes."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blogging in 60 Seconds or Less_ the Turkish Word for Octopus is.........


Javier the Intern (a fictional person) is working diligently for a series of more substantial blog entries this week.

Stay tuned..........hope all is well in El Salvador, Latvia, Malaysia or wherever else you are visiting us from!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Things We Learned on Bing Today- All Things Washington DC

So why are we posting this image of President Barak Obama with Turkish Ambassador Namik Tan; well, if you read below, you will find out in this edition of 'Things We Learned on Bing Today':

1) Namik Tan, 57, is the Turkish ambassador to the United States. Since I'm a Turkish-American, and I follow Ambassador Tan on Twitter, I was aware of this before today. But, I didn't know his age. Additionally, Tan was the ambassador to Israel from 2007-09. The Blue Marmara Flotilla Raid by Israeli forces in 2010, which claimed the life of Furkan Dogan, 18, a Turkish-American from Troy, New York, and seven others on board the ship, strained relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv.

2) Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), 89, a World War Two veteran, is the oldest current U.S. Senator; Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), 79, is the oldest Republican in the Senate. We have heard rumors that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) hates him with a passion; we have no idea how well McCain gets along with Senator Frank.

3) Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), 39, is the youngest U.S. Senator; he replaced McCain's buddy Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who was Al Gore's 2000 running mate. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), (born 1971) who is known for his fringe Tea Party politics, is the youngest Republican in the U.S. Senate.

4) Mayor Joshua Cohen, also 39, is the mayor of Annapolis, Maryland, the nearest state capital to Washington, DC. In 2009, Cohen defeated Republican David Cordle 47-41 percent in the election to replace Ellen O. Moyers (D), who is now 77.

5) Coach Paul Hewitt, 50, is the current men's basketball coach at George Mason University in Fairfx, Va., which is some 35 miles south of Washington, DC. Hewitt has been coach of the Patriots since 2011; previously he was coach of Georgia Tech from 2000-11.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Things We Learned on Bing Today_ Sports Edition

Two Turkish soccer powerhouses GalataSaray and Trabzonspor met in weekend play with GS pulling off a 2-0 victory; a week earlier GS lost to their main Istanbul rival Fenerbahce 2-1, but GS still won the Turkish Premiere League.

And, this leads us to today's Things We Learned on Bing Today entry, all of which deal with the whole wide word of sports:

1) Selcuk Inan, 28, a Turkish national, is the current captain of GalataSaray; he wears #8 and the teams' other star players on the team include Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) and Burak Yilmaz (Turkey), who scored a goal versus Trabzonspor. Selcuk previously played for Trabzonspor.

2) Tolga Zengin, 29, (pictured) a Turkish national, is the captain of Trabzonspor and the team's goal-tender. The team is based in Trabzon, which is located in Turkey's eastern Black Sea coast.

3) Martin Gerber, 38, a Swiss National, was the goal-tender for the Carolina Hurricanes when the team won its first and only Stanley Cup in the NHL (the world's main hockey league); Gerber now plays pro hockey in Sweden.

4) Bill Russell, 79, is the NBA basketball player who has won the most titles, all 11 came with the Boston Celtics.

5) Leanza Cornett, 41, won the Miss America beauty pageant in 1993, 20 years ago. Cornett represented Florida, but she was born in the smal town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia; in 1994, the pageant actually made news as swimsuit contestants started going barefoot as opposed to wearing cumbersome high heel shoes.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Birth Places of Star Trek People: Kirstie Alley, et al

Actress Kirstie Alley who played Saavik in two early film versions of "Star Trek" is among the Star Trek people we are mentioning here; all the credit for this idea goes to our very own Javier the Intern*  who stood in line for four hours to see the 45th film in the series. We gather he is gearing up to see the latest film for a second, and perhaps even a third time.

Here is our list of Star Trek people and the places where they were born:

1. Kirstie Alley (pictured above): Wichita, Kansas

2. J.J. Abrams: New York, NY, (he is the director of the last two films)

3. Robert Wise#: Winchester, Ind. (the director of the very first film)

4. Chris Pine: Los Angeles, Calif. (the newest Captain Kirk)

5. DeForest Kelley#: Atlanta, Ga.

6. Walter Koenig: Chicago, Ill.

7. James Doohan#: Vancouver, Canada

8. Gene Roddenberry#: El Paso, Tex.

9. Zachary Quinto: Pittsburgh, Pa. (he is the new Mr. Spock)

10. Jason Sudeikis- Fairfax, Va. (he plays Cptn. Kirk in a commercial spoof)

11. Will Wheaton: Burbank, Calif.

12. Zoe Saldana: Passaic, NJ

*-Javier the Intern is a fictional person

#- Individuals who are deceased

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Teaser: Bach @ The Beach: A Myrtle Beach Diary

Though we didn't actually read "The Other Boleyn Girl," which was made into a movie with Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman, which we saw at an outdoor cinema in Buyukada (Istanbul), Turkey, while visiting Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we thought that it does seem like the ideal book to bring to a beach, of course, then again, so would "50 Shades of Grey"!

"Bach at the Beach" sort of just came to us from the sky like the Hindu love god Shiva, but as it turns out there is an orchestra at Myrtle Beach?! They are called Long Bay Symphony, and, of course, we found out about them after the fact.

Stay tuned for our look at a long Mother's Day weekend trip to Myrtle Beach, SC, within the next few days.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Image to Fill Space- Woman in White Bikini

It's come to our attention that the only three people reading this blog are a Winthrop  Univeristy college student in Rock Hill, SC, a Turkish taxi driver in Baltimore (orginally from Eskisehir, if you're Turkish you might get the joke) and a house wife in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Hopefully, this blog entry which might remind one of Acapulco, Mexico, might change all that.

We expect this particular entry will be popular in Latvia, Pakistan and Dubai!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day from Bette Davis

We  have a feeling that when young people hear the early '80s smash hit "Bette Davis Eyes" by pop rock singer Kim Carnes, they have no idea that she was an iconic actress of the '30s and '40s.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Last Ten Films We've Seen- Cosmopolis Rules

Well, folks about 113 things went wrong as we were posting this; here are some notes on the images:
1. The dolphin for "The Day of the Dolphin"
2. The lizards from the Belgrade Zoo in Serbia are because Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi who is under house arrest in Iran develops a close relationship with a pet lizard since he can not legally leave is apartment.
3. The fringe preachers from Reidsville, NC, who may well be affilated with the radical Rev. Johnny Robertson from Martinsville, Va., which is close to Reidsville, are in refernece to "Elmer Gantry," a film about a revival ministers with a questionable background. This image comes from my friend's Chris Knight's blog (see link below)...
Here are the films:
1. "Holy Motors" (France. dir-Leos Carax. 2012)
2. "Cosmopolis" (Canada. dir-David Cronenberg. 2012)
3. "Elmer Gantry" (dir-Richard Brooks. 1960)
4. "The Day of the Dolphin" (dir- Mike Nichols. 1973)
5.  "This Is Not a Film" (Iran. dir-Jafar Panahi, 2011)
6. "Spring Breakers" (dir-Harmony Korine. 2012.)
7. "Alfie" (dir-Lewis Gilbert. 1966)
8 "The Company You Keep" (dir. Robert Redford, 2012)
9. "Wake in Fright" (dir. Ted Kotceff. 1971)
10. "The Brass Teapot" (dir. Ramaa Mosley. 2012)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Top Ten Even More Things To Do List

1. Catch up on "Bates Motel"

2. Send out Thank You cards

3. Follow the weekend GalataSaray-Fenerbahce Turkish soccer game on Twitter

4. Return library books

5. Buy new pair of slippers

6. Make some Seattle's Best Coffee

7. See what the weather in Ankara, Turkey, is like

8. See what the weather in Portland, Maine, is like

9. Avoid Chapel Hill, NC, at all costs (UNC is having commencement this weekend)

10. Pick up the Xanax (not actually a medication we're taking!)

Top Ten Things To Do List

Let's get started right away:

1. Don't fight with Armenians

2. Don't fight with (other) Turks

3. Get mom flowers for Mother's Day

4. Make Mother's Day restaurant reservation

5. Don't argue with Republicans

6. Change cat liter

7. take photos (when it stops raining)

8. Go to a minor league baseball game

9. Work-out: Body Flow

10. refill Xanax (not actually a drug that we are taking)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Soccer Night: England_ Chelsea Is the Homecoming King

It is now 4:45 a.m. in London, England, and you are with the BBC; well, actually you are with us, and we are in Providence, Rhode Island (not really where we are, but the same time zone).

To avoid any confusion, let's first mention that the top image is of Theo Walcott of Arsenal who defeated struggling QPR 1-0 today on a goal from the English national in the very first minute of play. Similarly, Gareth Bale, one of the EPL's top stars, scored the lone goal for his Tottenham Hotspurs in a 1-0 win over Southampton.

Neither player is with Chelsea, the London team which has its logo in the middle, but Chelsea did advance to the UEFA Europa League finals in Amsterdam with a win over FC Basel, a Swiss team with a Turkish-Swiss coach Murat Yakin, who at 38 is younger than some active players.

The current EPL standings have Manchester United in first with 85 points (they have already clinched a league title) followed by Manchester City with 72 points. Arsenal is in third with 67 points. And, Chelsea and Tottenham are tied for fourth with 65 points.

The EPL has also made headlines for a biting incident involving the very notorious Luis Suarez of Liverpool, who plays for Uruguay internationally, against Chelsea. Alas, for the folks in Montevideo, Suarez is the most recognized person from their country. Perhaps, Vatican City should have chosen a pope from their country instead.

Let's cut the nonsense, here are the EPL scores for LAST week's games:

1. Manchester City 2 West Hampton 1

2. Reading 0 QPR 0, tie

3. Arsenal 1 Manchester United 1, tie

4. Everton 1 Fulton 0

5. West Brom 3 Southampton 0

6. Aston Villa 6 Sunderland 1

7. Chelsea 2 Swansea 0

8. Tottenham Hotspurs 2 Wigan Ath. 2, tie

9. Liverpool 6 Newcastle 0 (Our sister blog)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Soccer Night_ Big Week for Monterrey

Even though they are in ninth place in the Mexican Premiere League, Monterrey was able to fellow Mexican first league team Santos Laguna for the CONACAF championship; the tournament also involved three American teams from the MLS: The Los Angeles Galaxy, Seattle Sounders and Houston Dynamo.

Veteran Mexican international goalie Oswaldo Sanchez (pictured top) is the captain of Santos Laguna, a team which has four American players, including emerging star Benji Daniel. The middle image is the logo for the UANL Tigers which are in a three-way tie for first with America and Atlas.

The lower image is of Argentinian national Jose Maria Basanta, who is the captain of Monterrey.

Here are LAST week's scores:

1. Puebla 1 Atlas 1, tie

2. Club Leon 1 Atlante 0

3. Queretaro 2 Guadalajara 1

4. Pumas 3 Chiapas 0

5. San Luis Potosi 1 Tijuana 0

6. Morelia 2 Toluca 1

7. Cruz Azul 1 Santos Laguna 0

8. Monterrey 1 UANL 0

9. America 4 Pachua 2 (In Spanish)

Soccer Night_ Barcelona and Real Madrid Focus on Home Turf

It was a disastrous UEFA Champions League semi-finals for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, who were widely considered to be the best two soccer teams in the world. But, both lost to German clubs Brassiere Dortmund and Bayern Munich respectively.

Here is a look at LAST week's domestic play in the Spanish Premiere League where Barcelona has a very comfortable 11-point lead over Real Madrid_ their cross-town rivals Athletico Madrid, a team that beat 2-1 last weekend is in the third place.

The images are of Alex Song, a Senegal international who plays for Barcelona, the Real Madrid logo, and Arda Turan, a Turkish international who was also a star player at GalataSaray (Istanbul).

Here are the scores:

1. Valledolid 1 Sevilla 1, tie

2. Real Sociedad 4 Valencia 2

3. Real Betlis 1 Doprtivo 1, tie

4. Celta Vigo 1 Levante 0

5, Athletico Bilbao 2 Barcelona 2, tie

6. Real Madrid 2 Athletico Madrid 1

7. Zaragoz 3 Mallorca 2

8. Granada 1 Espanyol 0

9. Royo Vallercano 2 Ossusana 2, tie

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Saturday is Free Comic Book Day

Saturday is Free Comic Book Day in America, and perhaps in other parts of the world as well. We recently came across some Swedish Donald Duck comic books where the famed Walt Disney fowl is known as "Kalle Anka"(pictured center) and he is apparently extremely popular in Stockholm.

We also have some Donald Duck comics in Turkish where he is know as "Donald Amca" (pronounced Ahmcha, Donald Amca actually means Uncle Donald_ the Turkish word for duck is ordek).

Comic book stores, large and small, are participating in the event. At Acme Comics in Greensboro, NC, Thomas Boatwright ("Cemetery Blues") will be signing autographs as will Amanda Rachels "Clown Town the Book") and Chrissie Zullo ("Fables: Cinderella, Womantohology), among many others.

Other stores celebrating the occasion including Carol and John's Comic Book Shop in Cleveland, Ohio, which is the home of our favorite comic character Howard the Duck, Atlas Comic Books in Charlottesville, Va., and very popular Jay and Silent Bob's Comics in Red Bank, NJ (the store was started by filmmaker Kevin Smith of "Clerks" fame).

SIDEBAR: Since tomorrow is National Prayer Day in America and we love to make fun of radical preachers like the Rev. Johnny Robertson in Martinsville, Va., who has probably condemned thousands of people to burn in hell (we can't actually verify this officially), we thought we'd show irony and quote Jesus Christ, a person we respect even though we are human secularists here:

"If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."