Thursday, 6 July 2017

A Bit of History, the Music Challenge Update and the Birth Day Thing

Bonnie enjoying the fresh air, proving she can climb up when she wants
The balmy weather continues. At the moment, one of the planes from the base is flying around, either doing some pilot training or just enjoying being out. Jo is currently relaxing on the couch with Bonnie, watching Escape to the Country and Clyde is curled up on his pillow in the den, so he can be near me. He can be a bit needy.. lol

Hi Dad! Whatcha doing? Wanna play, I've got my toys.
I'm enjoying my current reading, pleasantly surprised by my first exposure to Private Eye Lew Archer, as written by Ross MacDonald. It's a series of short stories and they are tight and neatly woven stories. Always seems to be at least one person killed mind you.

The Missus's Music Challenge

Just one to report on in this entry, that being Day 45, a single that you liked the B-side better than the A-side.
I did some searching around the house and then Jo told me the box of cassettes was on the bookshelves in the den. There was an old mixed tape that I had made in October 1980, side 1 of which was songs from all of the '45s that I had at the time. Some I got from my older brother Rick and some I had purchased as a teenager in North Bay. I checked out that tape and lo and behold I'd only put one B-side on the tape. All the others were A-sides. So I had no choice but to pick that B-side. Mind you, the A-side was also pretty good. The song I chose was by The Turtles, B-side to She's My Girl; the B-side being Chicken Little was Right.
Jo chose God Only Knows by The Beach Boys. For some reason to do with religion, the record company wouldn't release it as an A-side. Other choices included The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What you Want, The Rolling Stones - Play with Fire, Rod Stewart - Maggie May (chosen by Jo's sis, Sue). So many great songs as B-Sides.
Today's category is a song that reminds you of a holiday. More to follow next entry.

Great Historical Events

Moving on to 1777...

"During this year Great Britain established the infamous prison-ship system.
Inhuman treatment of American prisoners by the British, both in England and America.
Jan. 3. - Battle of Princeton
July 8. - Battle of Fort Anne

Arrival of Lafayette.
July 31. - Lafayette arrived from France with troops and supplies, and offered his services to the colonies.
Aug. 16. - Battle of Bennington fought by Gen. Starke.
Sept. 11. - Battle of Brandywine under Gen. Washington. Gens. Lafayette and Woodford were wounded.
Sept. 19. - Battle of Stillwater.
Sept. 26. - British troops under Sir Wm. Howe enter Philadelphia.
Oct. 3 and 4. - Battle of Germantown.
Oct. 6. - Capture of Forts Clinton and Montgomery, on the Hudson.
Oct. 7. - Battle of Saratoga.
Oct. 17. - Surrender of Burgoyne to Maj. Gen. Gates at Saratoga.
Dec. 8. - Washington and his army encamped on the Valley Forge. Destitute of sufficient clothing and food, the army suffered incredible hardships in the midst of a rigorous winter."

We'll leave the Revolutionary war there for now and move on to scientific facts from Prof. L.G. Gorton..

Science of Common Things

After the Prof's wordy explanation of the cause of wind in the last entry, we move onto another weighty matter this time.

"Why does a soap bubble rise in the air? Because being filed with warm air it is lighter than an equal bulk of the surrounding air. (Ah, that explains it) Why does air ascend the chimney? Because being heated by the fire it is lighter than the air of the room. (Of course, you've still got to remember to open the flue) Why does the flame of a candle terminate in a point? Because the cold air rushes to the flame from all sides, and is carried upward. Why does blowing sharply at a candle put it out? Because too rapid a flow of air reduces the temperature below the burning point."

Next time, the Prof will discuss why a lamp chimney increases the brilliancy of the flame. Can't wait, can you? Do some research before my next entry and see if you can find out why.

The Birth Day Thing 10 November 1993

US Billboard #1 Single / UK #1 Single 10 November 1993
(For the second year in a row, the US and UK #1 singles on my birthday were the same song.)

I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) by Meatloaf. Meatloaf's biggest claim to fame was his Bat out of Hell musical trilogy, great operatic rock pieces. The song was written by Jim Steinman. The song was performed by Meatloaf with assistance by Lorraine Crosby. I'd always thought that Ellen Foley was the female singer, but reading the Wikipedia write-up, it states this was incorrect. Interesting.

New York Times #1 Fiction Best Seller 10 November 1993

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. OK, I've heard of it, but I've never read the book nor seen the movie. It tells the story of an Italian-American woman who lives on a farm in Madison County, Iowa and has an affair with a photographer when her family is away at the state fair. The novel sold over 60 million copies worldwide.
The movie was released in 1995 and was directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Eastwood and Meryl Streep.

Pulitzer Prize Winner 1993

A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler. Here you go, another book I've never read, nor heard of. Of course, I don't pretend to be any sort of arbiter of what you should or shouldn't read; this is just my own commentary about how limited my reading variety can be sometime.
The book is a collection of short stories with the theme often being the cultural divide between Vietnam and the United States. Butler was born in 1945 and has written a number of novels and short story collections.

Nobel Prize Laureate 1993

Toni Morrison (United States). Toni Morrison, born in 1931 in Ohio, is a novelist, essayist, teacher and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. She was awarded her Nobel Prize laureate as a writer 'who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality'.

Hugo Award Winner 1993 (joint winners)

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge. A Fire Upon the Deep is a space opera involving superhuman intelligences, aliens, space battles and a conversation medium similar to Usenet. I have not ready any works yet by Vinge, but he is a writer I want to explore. I do have a book by his ex-wife, Joan Vinge, sitting on my bookshelf.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I haven't read but it sounds neat. The novel is the first in series about Oxford time-travelling historians, also including To Say Nothing of the Dog and Blackout / All Clear.

Man Booker Prize Winner 1993

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle. This is a novel by Irish writer, Paddy Doyle and is centred around a 10 year old boy living in Barrytown, North Dublin and events that take place in his age group, school and home in around 1968.

So there you go for another entry / year. Next entry for 1994 will include the Giller award winner, which started in 1994.

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