Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Back to the Normal Stuff... Did you miss it?

It's a bit cloudier today. We're supposed to get some rain for the next few days. Not a bad thing. This morning I finished off the 2nd book in an Australian police series, the Inspector Challis books, by Garry Disher. The first book was The Dragon Man. I will be searching for the remaining books. It's got that nice Australian feel, a bit gritty, interesting characters and an entertaining story line. My next book in my Cop challenge is set back in England, the first book in the Inspector George Gently series by Alan Hunter, Gently Does It. I had previously read one of the other books but now that I've got the first 3 or 4, I want to start at the beginning. The missus and I have quite enjoyed the TV series based on the books so it's time I started checking out the books

The Missus's Music Challenge

Last entry the choices were Songs You Would Like Played at your Wedding. Today we move along to Days 15 and 16.

Day 15 - Song that is a Cover by another Artist. Jo qualified that by saying you had to prefer the Cover version. My choice was originally performed by Maria Muldaur but was covered by Brand New Heavies, a transformation from Country to Jazzy Disco. The song was Midnight at the Oasis. Other choices included Frankie Goes to Hollywood's cover of Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run (the missus's choice), Madness's cover of a Labe Siffre song, It Must Be Love and Japan's version of The Miracles' Second that Emotion, etc.

Day 16 - Favourite Song from a Movie. I chose a song from Pretty in Pink, Suzanne Vega's Left of Center. There are so many great movie songs, including those from actual musicals. Here are some other selections; from Jo, Windmills of Your Mind by Noel Harrison from The Thomas Crown Affair;  from sis-in-law Sue, Phil Collins Two Hearts from Buster; Wings' Live and Let Die; Julia by The Eurythmics for 1984, etc.

Today's choice is a song by your favourite artist. Yikes! Another difficult one.

Great Historical Events

I know you're all anxiously awaiting the final outcome of the Battle of Bunker Hill, right? No? Well, it's my BLog so you're going to find out.. ;0)

"The Americans, finding their powder nearly expended, ordered a retreat. The soldiers reluctantly obeyed, fighting with their gunstocks until the enemy had taken possession of the trenches.
The British attempted to flank them, but were met with so much resistance that they desisted, and the Americans retreated to Prospect Hill, and proceeded to fortify themselves.
The British retreated to Bunker's Hill and prepared for defense. Their loss in this battle amounted to 1,054, among whom 19 were commissioned officers, and 70 more were wounded.
The loss on the American side was 139 killed, among them the brave Gen. Warren. The wounded and missing numbered 314. The Americans lost five pieces of cannon."

Next entry will continue to follow the Revolutionary War, moving on to July, 1775.

Science of Common Things

So what does the erstwhile Prof. L.G. Gorton have up his scientific sleeves for us today?

"What is conduction? The process by which heat passes from the hotter to the colder part of a body. Why does not a piece of wood burning at one end become hot at the other? Because wood is a bad conductor of heat. What is convection of heat? The method of diffusing heat by actual motion of heated fluid masses; as when hot water rises from the bottom of a vessel, and conveys heat to the colder water above."

Well, there you go pilgrims. Next exciting episode we discover what radiation of heat is. Is it different from convection, you ask? Well, wait and see. Thank you Prof. Gorton!

The Birth Day Thing 10 November 1986

US Billboard #1 Single 10 November 1986

Amanda by Boston. This was a great single by Boston, American rock band which formed in 1976. However it's hard to live up their great first single, More than a Feeling, one of the classic rock songs.

UK #1 Single 10 November 1986

Take My Breath Away by Berlin. Berlin formed in 1978 in California. They had hits with The Metro and No More Words. The only song of theirs that I really know was their great song from Top Gun, Take My Breath Away.

New York Times #1 Fiction Best Seller 10 November 1986

It by Stephen King. Now this is a book I can wrap my head around, great horror classic by one of the masters of the genre. This was during a period when I was reading everything by King. It was also turned into an excellent TV mini-series in 1990 and just recently has been made into a movie.

The story follows 7 children who were terrorised by some being, in the form of Pennywise the Clown who have to come together once again as adults and try to defeat their childhood horror. Excellent story.

Pulitzer Prize Winner 1986

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. This is one of those books where I know I've seen the mini-series (which was excellent) and I think I read it, but then again, it was 30 years ago. I may try again some day just to refresh my memory.

The story tells the tale of a group of retired Texas Rangers and their adventures during a cattle drive. There were three other books in this series. Lonesome Dove was the first published but the last chronologically. The other books were Streets of Laredo, Dead Man's Walk and Comanche Moon.

Nobel Prize Laureate 1986

Wole Soyinka (Nigeria). Wole Soyinka, born in 1934 is a Nigerian playwright and poet and was the first African awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was awarded the Laureate as someone 'who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence'.

Hugo Award Winner 1986

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I've had this book and the 2nd in the series as well on my book shelf for awhile. I've seen and enjoyed the movie and I hope to finally read it this year.

"Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast."

Edgar Award Winner 1986

The Suspect by L.R. Wright. The Suspect was the first book in one of my favourite crime series. It's set on the Sunshine Coast of the province of British Columbia and features RCMP Staff Sgt Karl Alberg. Wright wrote 9 books in this series, from 1986 - 1997. She then started a new series featuring Alberg's replacement, Edwina Henderson. There were two books published in that series and then, tragically, Wright passed away from breast cancer.

This is such a great series; the locale, the interesting characters (almost more important than the cases) and the crimes themselves. I've always felt that this would be an excellent series for one of our Canadian broadcasters to take on as a TV movie mini-series. I wrote a BLog about L.R. Wright back in 2010. If you are interested click on her name above and it'll take you there.

Man Booker Prize 1986

The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis. In the past few years I've read 4 or 5 of Amis's books and have enjoyed them. He's written interesting mysteries; The Riverside Villas Murder, Ghost stories; The Green Man, War stories; and pure fiction; I Want it Now. He's got a nice touch of humour no matter the story.

I've not yet read The Old Devils, but I do have Girl, 20, Russian Hide and Seek and The Anti-Death League awaiting my attention. The Old Devils was turned into a movie by the BBC in 1992. The synopsis for the book is below.

"Alun Weaver, a writer of modest celebrity, returns to his native Wales with his wife, Rhiannon, sometime girlfriend of Weaver's old acquaintance Peter Thomas. Alun begins associating with a group of former friends, including Peter, all of whom have continued to live locally while he was away. While drinking in the house of another acquaintance, Alun drops dead, leaving the rest of the group to pick up the pieces of their brief reunion."

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