Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Music Challenge, History and the Birth Day Thing

Well, it's a quiet cool Saturday afternoon. The Blue Jays just lost again to the Yankees. The missus is suffering from a headache and is resting. It's been stressful the past few days dealing with puppy issues. Bonnie is back from the vet. Her tail is progressing and luckily the lump was benign. She actually went for a bit of a walk with me when we got back, with a little prodding. But definitely an improvement over the past three days. Clyde's foot seems to be still bothering him somewhat. He'll get it checked again next week. Poor little fella. He's so brave when we go for our walks. Trying to not make him walk too far, but he does like to go out with me. Anyway, I'll let everyone rest and get a BLog update finished.

The Missus's Music Challenge

Today we're listing favourite songs from the '70s, a very wide open category. It's been interesting so far and everybody has really gotten into the spirit of the challenge. A neat idea from one of Jo's acquaintances that she's followed up with as well. I'll update that one next time. In the previous days, we've had two more new challenges -

Day 11 - Songs You Never Get Tired of - I went back to 1969 for my selection, although I could have picked many songs, and chose Badge by Cream, one of the first albums I ever bought. Some of the other selections were; Wicked Game by Chris Isaak, Constant Craving by K.D. Lang, Mrs. Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel, Duel by Propaganda (the missus's choice), etc.

Day 12 - Songs from 2011 -  This was an interesting challenge for a group of people who, for the most part, are in the middle ages. But once again, many great choices. My selection was Jet Lag by Simple Plan, featuring Natasha Bedingfield. The missus picked Raise Your Glass by Pink. Other selections included Only Love by Ben Howard, Fade Away by The Mummers, Somebody I Used to Know by Gotye, Set Fire to the Rain by Adele, and many more.

As I mentioned earlier, it's been lots of fun checking out music and it's brought back many good memories. So, next time will be Songs from the '70s and A Song You Would Love Played at your Wedding (another difficult one, since for the most part, the people posting are already married.. lol)

Great Historical Events

Continuing with the Battle of Bunker Hill on Jun 17, 1775.

"The American forces engaged numbered but 1,500. They reserved their fire till the enemy was within a few rods (Ed. Note - As far as I can tell, a rod was about 5 1/2 feet), when they poured such a fierce and incessant volley upon them, that they were forced to retreat in disorder.
The British officers urged their soldiers at the point of the sword, and as they approached, the Americans again reserved fire, and when near, sent a second volley with such terrible effect, that they again retreated.
The British made a third attack, bringing their cannon to bear upon the intrenchments. The fire from the ships, batteries, and artillery were redoubled, and the intrenchments attacked upon three sides."

(I'll continue this battle next post.)

Science of Common Things (as prepared and presented by Prof. L.G. Gorton)

"Why do burning glasses set fire to combustible substances?" Because they gather all the rays of heat that fall upon them to a single point or focus, thus making the heat more intense at that point. What is fire? It is the rapid union of elements. What is smoke? Small particles of solid carbon, which have not been consumed by heat. Why does smoke ascend? Because it s held in heated air; when the air becomes cold the smoke settles. Why does smoke ascend more directly one day than it does another? Because the air is not the same density at all times."

Your science lesson is now complete. Now onto some pop culture facts about the year 1985 and more specifically 10 November 1985, the day I hit 30 years of age; almost half my life as of the present day.

The Birth Day Thing 10 November 1985

US Billboard #1 Single 10 November 1985

Miami Vice Theme by Jan Hammer. I have to say that I never really ever watched Miami Vice. I can't say that I know why. On the other hand, my missus, Jo, loved the show and I believe she liked this song too. Hammer is a Czech-born, American musician. He played keyboards for the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I did have one of their albums, Birds of Fire, at one time. Along with the Miami Vice theme, he also wrote Crockett's theme, Tubbs and Valerie, etc. As a matter of interest, this is the title song from Mahavishnu Orchestra's Birds of Fire. I haven't heard it in years.

UK #1 Single 10 November 1985

The Power of Love by Jennifer Rush. The Power of Love, which American singer Rush co-wrote was her only #1 hit. It came from her first self-titled album. The song has been covered by Air Supply, Laura Branigan and Celine Dion, amongst others.

New York Times #1 Fiction Best-Seller 10 November 1985 (You'll never guess who wrote the book that was #1 on this date. Nope, there is no way you will!!)

Texas by James Michener. *sigh* Yes, indeed, another book by Michener, the 4th book since 1980. Enough already, stop putting out books this time of year!! Yes, I know, it'll ensure it's a big seller at Xmas. Anyway, 1,000 points if you can guess what the book is about. Yup, you got it, it's about Texas.

1,000 points for the guy in the 40-gallon hat. What do you mean everybody in Texas wears a 40-gallon hat! Then they can share the points. Anyway, yes, Texas tells the history of the Lone Star State, in a period spanning hundreds of years. What else do you need to know? Read the book.

Pulitzer Prize Winner 1985

Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie. I haven't read or heard of this book before. The story concerns itself with American academics living in England. In 1993, it was turned into a television movie, written by Chris Bryant. The movie starred Joanne Woodward, Brian Dennehy and Eric Stoltz. I also never saw this movie.

Nobel Prize Laureate 1985

Claude Simon (France). Claude Simon was a French novelist and critic who lived from 1913 - 2005. He was awarded the Nobel Prize as a writer 'who in his novel combines the poet's and the painter's creativeness with a deepened awareness of time in the depiction of the human condition.'

Hugo Award Winner 1985

Neuromancer by William Gibson. Now this a bit more like it. I've read most of Gibson's unique perspectives on Science Fiction and for the most part, have enjoyed them very much. Gibson is an American / Canadian writer of Science Fiction. Neuromancer was his first book and the first in the Sprawl trilogy.

He is credited with creating the sub-genre of cyber-punk. He is definitely worth trying and it's worth starting with Neuromancer. I haven't enjoyed his short stories quite as much, although Johnny Mnemonic and New Rose Hotel were both turned into films. The Difference Engine which he co-wrote with Bruce Sterling was a waste of time from my perspective. Maybe I just didn't get it. But having said that, I've enjoyed everything else I've read so far.

Edgar Award Winner 1985

Briarpatch by Ross Thomas. We're back to unfamiliar books again. Thomas was an American writer of crime fiction. He lived from 1926 - 1995 and was best known for his thrillers that exposed the mechanisms of professional politics. He also wrote a number of novels under the name Oliver Bleeck. They featured professional go-between Philip St. Ives.

Briarpatch was one of his later novels. It tells the story of Benjamin Dill who heads to Texas to find out who killed his sister, homicide detective Felicity Dill.

Thomas is an author that I might have to check out.

Man Booker Prize Winner 1985

The Bone People by Keri Hulme. Hulme is a New Zealand writer. The Bone People was her only novel.

The Bone People is an unusual story of love. The differences are in the way of telling, the subject matter and the form of love that the story writes on. This is in no way a romance; it is rather filled with violence, fear and twisted emotions. At the story's core, however, are three people who struggle very hard to figure out what love is and how to find it. The book is divided into two major sections, the first involving the characters interacting together, and the second half involving their individual travels.

There you go. Next post we'll move on to 1986. Guess what? No James Michener. (not that I have anything personal against him, of course.)

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