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Archive for the ‘Regular Features’ Category

The Questions…

1. In a traditional deck of playing cards, three of the kings and two of the jacks sport mustaches. Which king and which two jacks are not mustachioed?

2. Which U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents have won Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes?

3. What is a piccolo trumpet?

4. What is cryptozoology?

5. What color is “falu red”?

The Answers…

1. The king of hearts, the jack of clubs, and the jack of diamonds are clean-shaven.

2. John F. Kennedy won a Pulitzer in 1957 for his book Profiles in Courage. Four Presidents have won Nobel Prizes: Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, Woodrow Wilson in 1920, Jimmy Carter in 2002, and Barack Obama in 2009. Vice President Al Gore won a Nobel in 2007.

3. A piccolo is a small trumpet pitched one octave higher than a standard trumpet. A piccolo trumpet was used in Penny Lane by the Beatles.

4. Cryptozoology sounds scientific and serious, but it’s really a pseudoscience that ponders the existence of mythical beings such as Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster. No real science here, folks. In this usage, “crypto” means hidden.

5. It’s the shade of red typically known as “barn red,” similar to “brick red.” The color comes from hematite, an iron oxide found in rocks and soil. The pigment that creates the color was discovered in the copper mines of the Falun province of Sweden.

Cards

Falu red

 

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Tune o’ the Day

The British rock band Supertramp was, and still is, a rare group that performs without a front man. They are content to go on stage as musicians who get equal billing.

Actually, Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson wrote all the songs and essentially were in charge over the years, but neither made a big deal of it.

A few years ago, I posted a Tune o’ the Day featuring “The Logical Song” from Supertramp’s best-known album, “Breakfast in America.” The tune below, “Goodbye Stranger, is also from “Breakfast.”

Supertramp is still around, led by Davies and minus Hodgson. Their glory days are over, but their songs have held up well. Memorable stuff.

Supertramp-3

Goodbye Stranger

By Supertramp, 1979
Written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson

It was an early morning yesterday.
I was up before the dawn.
And I really have enjoyed my stay,
But I must be moving on.

Like a king without a castle,
Like a queen without a throne,
I’m an early morning lover,
And I must be moving on.

Now I believe in what you say
Is the undisputed truth.
But I have to have things my own way
To keep me in my youth.

Like a ship without an anchor,
Like a slave without a chain,
Just the thought of those sweet ladies
Sends a shiver through my veins.

And I will go on shining,
Shining like brand new.
I’ll never look behind me.
My troubles will be few.

Goodbye stranger, it’s been nice.
Hope you find your paradise.
Tried to see your point of view.
Hope your dreams will all come true.

Goodbye, Mary. Goodbye, Jane.
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame.

Come tomorrow, feel no pain.

Sweet devotion, it’s not for me.
Just give me motion and set me free.
And land and the ocean far away.
The life I’ve chosen every day.

So goodbye, Mary. Goodbye, Jane.
Will we ever meet again?

Now, some they do, and some they don’t,
And some you just can’t tell
.
And some they will
, and some they won’t.
With some it’s just as well
.

You can laugh at my behavior.
That’ll never bother me.
Say the devil is my savior
But I don’t pay no heed.

And I will go on shining,
shining like brand new.
I’ll never look behind me
.
My troubles will be few.

Goodbye stranger, it’s been nice.
Hope you find your paradise.
Tried to see your point of view.
Hope your dreams will all come true.

Goodbye, Mary. Goodbye, Jane.
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame.
Come tomorrow, feel no pain.

Sweet devotion, it’s not for me.
Just give me motion and set me free
.
And land and the ocean far away
.
The life I’ve chosen
every day.

And now I’m leaving. Got to go.
Hit the road
. I say it once again,
Oh
, yes, I’m leaving. Got to go.
Got to go, I’m sorry I must tell you
.
Goodbye, Mary
. Goodbye, Jane.
Will we ever meet again?

 

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Vermont

Score

Anybody else

Qualifying

 

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One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.

George Orwell

###

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

###

If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.

Albert Einstein

###

I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells.

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)

Orwell

Orwell

Geisel TS

Geisel

 

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HEALDSBURG, CALIFORNIA – In February, a storage tank at a Sonoma County winery sprung a leak, sending thousands of gallons of Cabernet Sauvignon gushing into a creek and downstream into the Russian River.

The winery said the spill involved 20 to 25 percent of the contents of a 97,000-gallon tank, or about 20,000 to 25,000 gallons of wine.

State authorities said all wine in the tanks on the property was relocated, and the tanks are being inspected. The winery also assigned a contractor to pump wine out of the river.

Officials said the Russian River is noted for swift currents and muddy water in the winter, which will help dilute the spill. No fish kills have been reported, but the acidity of the wine is expected to kill some insect and plant life.

An investigation is underway to determine possible charges and penalties.

Winery

OWOSSO, MICHIGAN – A Michigan man who paid $20 for a used couch at a thrift store discovered more than $40,000 in cash hidden inside a cushion.

Howard Kirby bought the couch at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for his man cave. He noticed that one spot on a cushion was lumpy, so he opened a seam to investigate. Inside were envelopes of cash totaling $43,170.

Although the money legally was his, Kirby said he wasn’t comfortable with keeping it. He got the name of the couch’s donor from ReStore, contacted her, and gave her the money.

The woman said the couch had belonged to her grandfather, who died recently. She said the grandfather always preferred to pay cash, but no one knew about the money.

To thank Kirby for doing the right thing, neighbors and local businesses re-roofed his house.

Couch money

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – An Orlando man on his way to go boating stopped at a 7-Eleven to gas up, but pumped the fuel into a fishing pole holder instead of the gas tank.

Police said the man pumped $60 worth of gasoline into the holder and onto the floor of the boat, then put another $40 worth of gas, correctly, into the fuel tank of his truck.

When the sloshing fuel in the boat was discovered, the station made an emergency call to Orange County Fire Rescue. A hazmat team responded and siphoned out most of the gasoline. No injuries were reported.

Fuel spill

 

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The German new wave/synth-pop band Alphaville was formed in 1982 by three guys from Münster. Originally, the band called itself “Forever Young,” but soon switched to “Alphaville,” the title of a 1965 French movie they liked.

The name “Forever Young” promptly went to one of the songs on their aptly-named debut album, “Alphaville.”

“Forever Young” is often misunderstood. It’s a beautiful ballad that extols the virtues of youth, but it was written during the Cold War, when nuclear annihilation could have ended everything at any moment. Young Germans were well aware that their country would be among the first targets.

Lead singer Marian Gold is “hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. Are you going to drop the bomb or not?” From there, the song begins to lament the loss of youth and the likelihood of getting “old without a cause.”

Lyrics can be a bummer.

Alphaville

Forever Young

By Alphaville, 1984
Written by Marian Gold, Bernhard Lloyd, and Frank Mertens

Let’s dance in style, let’s dance for a while.
Heaven can wait. We’re only watching the skies,
Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.
Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?

Let us die young or let us live forever.
We don’t have the power, but we never say never.
Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip.
The music’s for the sad man.

Can you imagine when this race is won?
Turn our golden the faces into the sun,
Praising our leaders, we’re getting in tune.
The music’s played by the – the madman.

Forever young.
I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever?

Forever young.
I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever young?

Some are like water, some are like the heat.
Some are a melody, and some are the beat.
Sooner or later they all will be gone.
Why don’t they stay young?

It’s so hard to get old without a cause.
I don’t want to perish like a fading horse.
Youth’s like diamonds in the sun,
And diamonds are forever.

So many adventures given up today.
So many songs we forgot to play.
So many dreams swinging out of the blue.
Oh, let it come true.

Forever young.
I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever?

Forever young.
I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever, and ever?

Forever young.
I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever young?

 

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The Questions…

1. The Taser stun gun was developed in 1974 by NASA researcher Jack Cover. “Taser” is an acronym for what?

2. It’s probably no surprise that Americans eat more food on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. What day comes in second, consumption-wise?

3. What is the longest-running show in Broadway history?

4. For which Granny Smith is the apple named?

5. Who is the Prudence in the 1968 Beatles song “Dear Prudence”?

The Answers…

1. Jack Cover’s childhood hero was the fictional character Tom Swift. Taser is loosely based on the book title Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle. Cover added an A to make TSER less confusing.

2. Super Bowl Sunday.

3. The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The show opened in 1988 and still is performed eight times a week today.

4. Maria Ann Smith, who operated a fruit farm in Australia with her husband. In 1868, she discovered a “chance seedling” that arose from a pile of discarded apples and propagated it. She died in 1870, but left behind numerous trees for future cultivation. Experts think the Granny Smith is a hybrid of the Paradise apple and the European crab apple.

5. Prudence Farrow, the younger sister of Mia Farrow. The Farrow sisters were in India with the Beatles in 1968 studying Transcendental Meditation. Prudence was so dedicated to practicing TM techniques that she rarely socialized. John Lennon wrote the song to try to get her to lighten up.

TASER

Prudence

 

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