Monday, April 30, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-Svetlana Khorkina

Today's quote/day week, our final one for April in our series of quips from gold or silver-winning Olympic international athlete (summer games); tomorrow we will start quoting famous American Olympians.

Last week, we quoted the Belorussian gymnast Svetlana Boginskaya; today we quote her names sake the Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina, 33, who won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 2000 Sydney Olympics on the uneven bars.

But, she is best-remembered for a series of equipment mishaps which plagued the Russian team in Sydney, forcing them to be awarded with silver medals at the games instead of gold; this quote is a reflection by Khorkina regarding those unfortunate series of events:

"I knew well in advance even before I stepped on the stage for my first event that I was going to lose."

SIDEBAR: There are perhaps very few people who would see both the slapstick/frat boy humor film "The Three Stooge," a modern update on Curly, Larry and Moe, and the French art film "The Kid with a Bike." But, I saw both films over the weekend, and for the most part, both were exactly what I expected.

For those of you living in the Washington, DC suburb of Farifax, Va., (not where I saw the films), you can "The Three Stooges" at United Artist Farifax Towne Center 10, while "The Kid with a Bike" can be seen at Cinema Arts Theatre.

The French is also playing at Galaxy Cinema in Cary (Raleigh), NC, and at the Aperture Cinema in Winston-Salem, NC.http://www.cinemaartstheatre.comhttp://www.mygalaxy.com

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-Gerald Ford

Today, we continue quoting the last eight American presidents with a quip from Gerald Ford (1913-2006) who was the 38th president and the one who lived in the longest. At the present time, the oldest living American president is George H.W. Bush with a Jimmy Carter (both born in 1924), who defeated Ford in the 1976 presidential election, being a close second.

There has been quite a political shift in the South since Carter, who was from Plains, Georgia, won over Ford, who was from Grand Rapids, Michigan, where his presidential library is located. In 1976, Carter won ever southern state except Virginia. All southern states had voted for George W. Bush in his two narrow elections, but in 2008, both Virginia and North Carolina voted for President Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain.

In pop culture, Ford was frequently parodied by "Saturday Night Live" actor Chevy Chase, who ironically became addicted to pain killers because of the prat falls he made while impersonating Ford.

Here is Ford's quote:

"I love sports. Whenever I can, I always watch the Detroit Tigers on the radio."

SIDEBAR: We forgot to mention last week that the answer to our April 17th edition of "The Rabbit Ear Quiz" was A) Robert Vaughn; he hosted the initial pilot episode of "In Search of...." which was hosted by Leonard Nimoy for the rest of the documentary tv show's run.

Quote of the Day/Week-Sylvia Plath

Today, we conclude our quotes from famous poets from around the world, with the American poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) who committed suicide at age 30 in England. Plath was married to the famous English poet Ted Hughes (1930-1998), with whom she had two children.

Plath published two poetry collections "The Colossus and Other Poems" and "Ariel." She was the first poet to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry posthumously. Plath also wrote the novel "The Bell Jar."

Actress Gwyneth Platrow, then 30 herself while the film was being shot, played in the poet in the biopic film "Sylvia" (2003).

Here is Plath's quote:

"How frail the human heart must be_ a mirrored pool of thought."


Friday, April 27, 2012

Special Quote of the Week- William Shakespeare

We really, really like bobble-head dolls here at "The Daily Vampire," even though there is only one in the office, which is of Sylvester Stallone as Rambo; it has never been taken out of its box.

Since Monday was "Talk Like Shakespeare Day," we thought we'd borrow a quip from The Bard, who incidentally died on April 23rd, 1616, just three days before what would have been his 52nd birthday (he was born on April 26th, 1564, we hope we did the math right, which reminds us of a t-shirt that says 'English Major: You Do the Math.')

Before we get to our quote, which hope not to forget about, we want to remind folks in the Washington, DC-metro area, that Folger Theatre in Washington, DC, which specializes in Shakespeare plays, will be bringing "The Taming of the Shrew" to the stage from May 1-June 10.

The production will be unique in that it will take place in the Wild West, circa 1880.

The Folger performances will be directed by Aaron Posner with original music from Cliff Eberhardt. The production will star real-life husband and wife Cody Nickell and Kate Eastwood Norris, who interestingly enough has two surnames of American action movie stars.

The 'Shrew' was the basis for the Broadway musical "Kiss Me Kate!"

Here is Shakespeare's quote:

"It is the stars; the stars above us, govern our conditions."

Image of the Day/Week- Children's Day in Turkey

Until this week, we were unaware that Google puts aside a special image just for Google Turkey users in honor of National Children's Day, which has been celebrated in Turkey on April 23rd since the founding of the Republic of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923.

Ironically, the national holiday is celebrated around a time when people of Armenian heritage around the world target Turkey politically for a highly controversial matter which occurred nearly 100 years ago which we refer to as "The Rashomon Nightmare," a term that neither my fellow Turkish-Americans or Armenian-Americans seem to care for, which means there may very well be logical reasoning for my viewpointhttp://www.ataa..org

This year, Enes Karabulut, age 9, was declared 'Kucuck Baskbakan/Little Prime Minister" by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Karabulut headed a delegation of 18 young students from across Turkey who visited Ankara in honor of National Children's Day.

And, like most adult politicians and political leaders, Karabulut may have isolated many people in Turkey by boldly declaring that he wanted to see his favorite soccer team Fenerbahce, an Istanbul powerhouse. win the Turkish soccer championships.

On Sunday, Fenerbahce faces cross-town rivals Besiktash. On Saturday, GalataSaray, also an Istanbul powerhouse and a team I've rooted for since childhood, will face Trabzonspor in the semi-finals of the championship.

This is the very first year that Turkey has held a play-off system to determine the league champion. Interestingly enough, the four teams in the semi-finals are also the four most popular teams in Turkey. In something 'that could only happen in Turkey,' the GalataSaray-Trabzonspor game will be held in front of women and children spectators only.

I suppose the people who made the seemingly futile decision would say that in neighboring Iran women are not allowed to attend soccer games at all.

Incidentally, tonight we are coming to you live from a bowling alley in Bethesda, Maryland*.

*-This is not really where I am, but I enjoy these gags, which has been a tradition of this blog since its founding in 1984.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Image of the Day/Week- Ice Cream Cone

Spring is underway, and now it seems like the season, especially with global warming (forgive the political humor), to appreciate a nice ice cream cone, unless you live in Fairbanks, Alaska.

We were going to mention Giffords Ice Cream in Bethesda, Md., which had a reputation for being one of the Washington, DC-area's best independent ice cream shops, but they were purchased last year by the Maine-based Giffords Ice Cream, which lead to this headline in "City Paper" (Washington)  from Oct. 25, 2011, which sounds like an April Fool's Joke or a story in the satirical publication "The Onion:" 'Gifford's Ice Cream Is Now Called Gifford's Ice Cream.'

But, we did find an actual non-corporate ice cream place in Boulder, Colo., in the Table Mesa part of town called the Boulder Ice Cream Shoppe. However, we presume it may be easy to mistake it for Boulder Ice Cream, an organic ice cream company which says on its web site that it makes its produce from the milk of Rocky Mountain cows.

SIDEBAR: Speaking of ice cream, we loved this headline's in today's online edition of "Politico," a daily Washington, DC-based newspaper/web page dedicated only to politics: 'Rob Portman: Vice President Vanilla.'

This is in reference to the possibility that Mitt Romney will choose Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) for his vice-presidential nomination given that votes in places like Dayton, Toledo and Akron will matter significantly more than ones in Provo, Utah, or Princeton, NJ, two college-towns which will assuredly go to the respective candidates (the other, of course, being President Barack Obama) who are almost certain to carry Utah and New Jersey respectively.

Portman is liked by moderate Republicans and intellectual conservatives, such as commentator David Brooks of "The New York Times," but fervent right-wingers, birthers and tea partiers, seem to be carrying the mantra of far right Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who is tauting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Image of the Day/Week- Pitbull Puppy

Since we are a cat-leaning blog (forgive the political humor), we thought we'd be nice and feature an image of a puppy dog today. Due in part to the dog-fighting scandal involving NFL quarterback and former Virginia Tech star Michael Vick, the breed has a reputation for being a rough dog. But I've been told from folks who have pitbulls and people who work in animal shelters, that the dogs can actually make for very loving pets.

We're not sure if McKamey Animal Center, an animal shelter in Chattanooga, Tenn., has any pitbull puppies up for adoption, but they are a seemingly large animal shelter in a major metro area. For those of you living in that part of the Volunteer State, the shelter's phone number is 423-305-6500.

SIDEBAR: We just got back from Washington, DC, and we are hoping to post a story about the trip up here either next week or within the coming weeks depending on our schedule here at our offices Toledo, Ohio (now where we are really located). The working title for the series, on this particular blog, is "Ronald Reagan Was on the Blue Line."

NOTE: We just noticed that our tag for 'animal shelters' was not spelled correctly, so we are including both the proper spelling and the incorrectly spelled versions case, anyone wants to see past entries on this blog regarding animal shleters (animal shelters)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week- Svetlana Boginskaya

For those of unfamiliar with the blog, we really enjoy linking one entry to another. And, we also love irony. So, what is better than following a quote from Ronald Reagan, the most fervent anti-communist president in American history, with a quote from the Belarusian gymnast Svetlana Boginskaya, 39, who once competed for the Soviet Union.

Ironically, Boginskaya now lives in Houston.

The gymnast known as "The Belarusian Swan" is one of three great female gymnasts from Belarus, along with Olga Korbut and Nelli Kim.

Boginskaya won an individual gold medal on vault in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and she helped her teams win team gold medal at the 1988 games and also at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

She surprised the gymnastics world with a very impressive comeback in 1995, and she wound up competing for Belarus at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, which became famous for the United Team dubbed "The Magnificent Seven," which featured Dominique Dawes and Dominique Moceanu. Boginskaya retired for good in 1987, at the age of 24, which is older than when most Olympic gymnasts retire.

Her quote is quite 'ironic' given that Boginskaya's flamboyant floor routines were among the most startling in the gymnastics sport:

"I don't think many people will remember me when I retire."

This is part of our series on international athletes who won gold or silver medals in Summer Olympics past as the world is gradually getting ready for the 2012 London Olympics.

Quote of the Day/Week-Ronald Reagan

Today, we are continuing to quote the last eight presidents (the other four quotes are on our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time") not to be confused with my sister's blog, well actually she does not have one.

And, the subject of quote today is from Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

Some trivia before we get to our quote. Reagan was also a Hollywood actor and his last film was "The Killers" (1964, dir. Don Siegel) in which he played a mob boss, a role that was originally considered for the late Walter Mathau.

Reagan was played by eight different actors on "Saturday Night Live" including the late Phil Hartman, Robin Williams (guest host), Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid, Charles Rocket, Harry Shearer, Kevin Nealon and Joe Piscopo, who was the only "SNL" star to play both Reagan and President Jimmy Carter.

In the controversial tv film "The Reagans" (2003), Reagan was played by James Brolin. Five years later, Brolin's son Josh Brolin played another president, George W. Bush in Oliver Stone's "W" (2008).

Here is Reagan's quote:

"All great change in America begins at the dinner table."

Quote of the Day/Month: Pablo Neruda

Gadzooks! Blogger has just changed the way we do blogging, perhaps my friends who left blogging for gardening, raising pet snakes and watching every episode of "Welcome Back Kotter" had the right idea.

Today, we are continuing to quote famous poets from around the world in honor of National Poetry Month with a quip from the late Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) who was honored earlier this month at the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival in Cary (Raleigh), NC.

Neruda began life as  a poet when he was just a teenager. He was known for his surrealist nature. Neruda died just three days after right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet (1915-2006) took power in the coup that would haunt Chile for decades. Neruda was from the political left.

Here is his quote:

"Loe is so short, forgetting is so long."

His famous works include "I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You" and "If You Forget Me."

Just for the fun of it, I am saying that I am blogging from the Salt Lake City Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, I have not been to that zip code since 2007.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NCAA Gymnastics Preview_ Kytra Hunter of Florida

The Florida Gators have been the proverbial bridesmaid but not the bride countless times in NCAA Women's Gymnastics, but since they are the number one team heading into the NCAA Championships in Gwinnett, Georgia, this weekend, this might well be the year they win it all.

One of the reasons for the team's success is an outstanding freshman named Kytra Hunter from Frederick, Md., a medium sized city known for its minor league baseball team the Frederick Keys, which is west of Baltimore and Washington, DC.

Hunter has a number of SEC honors for the 2012 gymnastics season, including being named SEC Freshman of the Week along with Jessie Jordan of LSU on Jan. 24 for an outstanding 39.475 all-around performance in a win over Kentucky. A week later, Hunter won the same honor again.

On Feb. 14, Hunter won the Freshman of the Week honor for a startling third time thanks to an impressive performance in a home meet win over LSU, a consistent gymnastics team in the SEC.

On Feb. 28, Hunter won her biggest honor of the season as she was named SEC Gymnast of the Week for her 39.675 performance in a victory over then third-ranked Georgia.

At the end of the regular season, Hunter was awarded All-SEC honors with fellow Gators gymnasts Marissa King, a stand-out gymnast from the United Kingdom, Alaina Johnson and Mackenzie Caquatto.

NCAA Gymnastics Preview_ Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA)

Since the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships are set to get underway on Friday in Gwinnett, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, we are going to profile four gymnasts from four teams which are expected to contend for a national championship.

We start with Vanessa Zamarripa, a junior from O'Fallon, Ill., who has been named PAC-12 Gymnast of the Week, UCLA Athlete of the Week and PAC-12 Specialist of the Week during the 2012 season.

Zamarripa was named PAC-12 Gymnast of the Week and UCLA Athlete of the Week for week of Feb. 20-26, thanks to her outstanding 39.625 all-around title in a win over Arizona State. Zamarripa won a second UCLA Athlete of the Week title later in the season after garnering a 39.575 to help UCLA win a PAC-12 title during the conference championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, edging out the home team Utah.

At two intervals in 2012, Zamarripa was named PAC-12 Specialist of the Week. She scored a perfect 10 on vault in win over Cal-Berkeley early in the season which paved the way for her first specialist honor. Zamarripa won the same honors in February for strong performances on vault and bars in win over Stanford.

Other Bruins' gymnasts that will be counted on at the championship meet will be a trio of Canadian gymnasts, including Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, a senior from Toronto who was the first Canadian gymnast to medal at a world championships. The other two Canadian gymnasts are Aisha Gerber and Ti Liu.

Another UCLA gymnast Samantha Peszek, a junior from Indianapolis, has also been named PAC-12 Gymnast of the Week this season.

The Bruins also won their regional meet in Fayetville, Ark., two weeks ago. Along with Georgia, Alabama and Utah, UCLA is one of just four schools to have won a collegiate women's gymnastics title.

It is interesting that UCLA has arguably the hardest women's gymnast name in the NCAA as we have frequently double-checked Vanessa Zamarripa's last name, and one of the easiest names to spell in Ti Liu as well.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rabbit Ears Quiz (9 of 12)_ "In Search Of...."

Today, we go with an image that doesn't exactly match the tv show, as this is an image of the UFO Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, of all places.

We are focusing on the 30-minute documentary series "In Search Of..." which was narrated by Leonard Nimoy, who is, of course, best known for being Mr. Spock on "Star Trek."

Amazingly enough, "In Search Of..." is his most succesful venture away from "Star Trek." The series also outlasted "Star Trek" as it ran for 146 epidoes over a six-year period from 1976-1982.

The series examined mysterious things, like paranormal activiting, such as BigFoot, UFOs and the Lochness Monster, as well as people who disappeared mysteriously, including D.B. Cooper and Amelia Earhardt.

Three shows I recall watching when the show aired at 6:30 p.m. on Sundays on WSET (Lynchburg, Va.) when I was a child included an episode about the death of Marily Monroe, the disappearance of Charles Lindbergh's baby and the mass suicide in Guyana of followers to the Rev. Jim Jones.

Other unique shows, included one about the Swamp Monster in Louisiana, the discovery of Troy in modern-day Turkey and just who was Jack the Ripper.

Today, for our quiz, we ask who hosted the initial pilot episode of "In Search Of...," Rod Serling of "Twilight Zone" fame had narrated two documentary films which lead to the series that Nimoy hosted.

Is the answer:

A. Robert Vaughn

B. William Conrad

C. Peter Falk

D. Orson Welles

Monday, April 16, 2012

Casualties of Modern Technology (9 of 12)_ Pinball Machines

The rock band The Who had a memorable song from their rock opera "Tommy," about a blind pinball wizard who a miracolous sensation. Today, teenagers may have a hard time understanding the song because there are fewer pinball machines in existence that there were in 1976 when that song was popular.

The pinball machine is a coin-operated arcade game that was formally developed in 1931. The flippers were introduced in 1947. And, solid state electronics were formalized with the pinball game "Hot Tip" in 1977.

There was an initial decline in pinball machine useage in the 1980s thanks to the likes of video games, such as "Ms. Pac-Man" and "Donkey Kong." But, the pinball machines industry fought back by developing innovative pop culture games, such as "The Addams Family" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

The machines have again declined in the advanced hom video games Angry Birds era, though according to Wikipedia, the Illinois pinball company PinBall Manufacturing produced 178 reproductions of the the popular pinball game "Bing Bang Bar" in 2006.

Many pinball players are known to cheat by tipping the machines and even attaching a piece of string to a coin and lowering the counter switch to get free games.

Popular brands include "Dolly Parton" (1979) that was the brainchild of George and Dave Christensen who developed the pinball game for Bally.

There is also "Dirty Harry" (1992), which is based on the succesful "Dirty Harry"
(1971) film with Clint Eastwood which spurred many less remarkable sequels. This particular game, which I also saw at a laundromat in the hamlet of New Castle, Va., (near Roanoke) has sold for between $1,800-$4,000 via Internet auctions.

One can find a Pinball Hall of Fame museum in Las Vegas, which has 400 games.

Additionally, there is Rose City Pinball in Portland, Ore., which hosts weekly tournaments.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week- Alexander Popov

Today, in honor of the upcoming 2012 London Olympics, we are quoting famous Olympic athletes from yesteryear. This month, we are focusing on international athletes and next month we intend to quote more American Olympic medalists.

For today's quote, we are going with the great Russian swimmer Alexander Popov, 40, who won two gold and two silver medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and again at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Additionally, Popov won a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He is now a swimming coach in Australia; here is his quote:

"If we can convince you to take this historic opportunity today, together we can change the world tomorrow."

Quote of the Day/Week_ Bill Clinton

Today, we continue to quote the last eight presidents of the United States (others are listed on our other blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time") in honor of the upcoming November presidential election here in America, with a quip from President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, and the first person from the state of Arkansas to become president. The Bill Clinton Presidential Library is located in that state's capital of Little Rock.

Here is the quote:

"Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it's the time when they most need to think."

Quote of the Day/Week-Rita Dove

Today, we continue to celebrate National Poetry Month, with a quip from poet and University of Virginia professor Rita Dove, whose collection "On the Bus with Rosa Parks" (1999) is one of my personal favorites.

Dove, 59, was poet laureate fro 1993-95; here is her quote:

"Going to the library was the one place we got to go without asking for permission. And they let us choose what we wanted to read. It was a feeling of having a book be mine entirely."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Double Bonus Picture to Fill Space-Scotish Fold Cat

Since Maru the Cat, the Scottish fold cat who resides in Japan, has become a Youtube sensation, we thought we'd thought an image of a cat from the same breed; this particular one presumably resides in Latvia.

On Sat. April 20th, the Safe Haven for Cats, a no-kill shelter in Raleigh, NC, will host its annual Tuxedo Cat Ball at the Marbles Kid Museum in downtown Raleigh. the contact number for the shelter is (919) 872-SAFE.

Bonus Picture to Fill Space- Big Trout

Wow! We have gotten a tad behind with blogging, so we will dedicate this entry to our outdoors equivalent, which is fishing (ok, so this could cause for debate).

This photo of man catching a big trout was taken somewhere in Michigan (we believe).

On Saturday, in Charleston, WVa., there will be a kids' fishing rodeo at Coonskin Park from 9:00 a.m.-noon; those who are interested can call (304) 341-8000 for more information. The participating children must be between 3-10 years old, from what we gather.

SIDEBAR ONE: Kudos to Boston College for winning the NCAA men's hockey title with a 4-1 win over Ferris State (Mich); the title game was played in Tampa, Fla.- of all places. For the winning Eagles, Steven Whitney scored two goals while goalie Parker Milner made 33 saves. The Eagles ended their season with a 19-game winning streak. The last team they lost to was Maine in a road game on Jan. 21.

SIDEBAR TWO: Additional congratulations are in order to the 12 NCAA Women's College Gymnastics teams which advanced to the NCAA finals in Duluth, Georgia, which get underway in one week. Here is a partial list of the qualifying teams, the other six will be listed on our sister blog: "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Times:"

Raleigh Regionals: 1) Florida 2) Ohio State; Fayetville, Ark., Regionals: 1. UCLA
2. Arkansas; Salt Lake City Regionals: 1. Utah 2. Nebraska

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Silly Picture to Fill Space- Breakfast

Well, we are pressed for time and it has been a very long and agonizing day, so we will keep this very short today. Initially, we were going to post a breakfast image for Easter Sunday, since traditionally here in the United States, Sunday brunch is a major tradition of the holiday. And, perhaps, if Bing is right, Miss Shirley's Cafe is the best place for breakfast in Baltimore, Maryland, where we hope we are very popular.

Also, we would like to thank visitors from Ecuador_ of all places, and Brazil for checking out our blog today. I am aware that the capital of those two countries are Quito and Brasilia, respectively, but of course, if asked on "Jeopardy!" some wise guy from Passaic, New Jersey, would beat me to the punch.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week_ Nadia Comaneci

Today we start quoting international athletes who have gold or silver medals at the Olympics with a quote from the legendary Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, 50, who is now married to American gold medal-winning gymnast Bart Conner. The gymnastics power couple reside in Oklahoma. There is also a gymnastics academy named after Comaneci in Izmir, Turkey.

Last week, we quoted American gold medal gymnast Dominque Dawes.

Here is Nadia's quote:

"As an Olympic champion gymnast, I have always stayed involved in my sport."

Friday, April 6, 2012

Quote of the Week/Month- Barack Obama

First of all, I have noticed that someone has used the posting section of this blog, which does not advertise any product or company, to promote a product or company. Since I don't have time and energy to delete all their posts, I will just say if we did advertise or promote any product or company, we would start with Blue Bird Taxi in Greensboro, NC, because one never knows when they will need a cab!

This month, since we are having presidential elections in the United States (I suppose even village dwellers in the central African country of Burundi are aware of that), I am quoting the last eight presidents on our two blogs.

Next month, we will quote the first eight presidents, which of course, would begin with George Washington.

Though more people know I'm a Democrat than people who realize that the great Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi, who played Dracula, is long dead, this entry is not meant to be partisan in nature. Of course, having said that, we certainly aren't endorsing Newt Gingrich for president though we are curious about what his proposed moon colony project would look like?!

Here is our quote from the 43rd and current president of the United States:

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the changes that we seek."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-Nazim Hikmet

It turns out that we have had visitors today from Afghanistan?! Of course, we have no idea if those blog hits are from American troops or village dwellers in Kandahar province, but either way_ thanks for visiting.

Today, in honor of both National Poetry Month and the up-coming Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival in Cary (Raleigh), NC, on April 15th, we quote the great Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet (1901-1963).

The great irony of Hikmet's life is that he lived in exile in her later years in Russia because he was a communist. He ended up dying in Moscow, but today he is the national poet of Turkey and his once-revoked Turkish citizenship was given back to him posthumously.

This year's Nazim Hikmet festival honors the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

Here is the quote from Hikmet, who is also my personal favorite poet, with Charles Bukowski being a close second:

"However and wherever we are, we must live as if we will never die."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sports Desk- Kentucky Wins NCAA Men's Basketball, etc.

The big sports news here in the United States this week is that the Kentucky Wildcats beat the Kansas Jayhawks 67-59 for the NCAA men's basketball championship. The Wildcats were the overall number one seed and the team favored to win it all.

In Monday's title game, Doron Lamb guided the Wildcats to victory with 22 points. Anthony Davis, the 'Cats' top player, scored only six points in New Orleans, but he grabbed 16 rebounds, had six blocked shots, five assists and three steals.

The NCAA title is the first for Kentucky coach John Calipari, who has been the head coach of the 'Cats for three years.

SOCCER (MLS)_ While soccer season is winding down in Europe, it is full swing in the United States and Canada. Here are select scores from this weekend's play; the major headline appears to be that the New England Revolution won over the Los Angeles Galaxy, the defending MLS champion:

DC United 4 FC Dallas 1

New England 3 LA Galaxy 1

Colorado Rapids 2 Chicago Fire 0

New York Red Bulls 5 Montreal Impact 2

Real Salt Lake 3 Portland Timbers 2

SOCCER (Turkey): It was a good weekend for traditional Istanbul soccer power Galatasaray; the same can not be said for Fenerbahce and Besiktash, the team's main two cross-town rivals. Here is a partial list of the league games over the weekend:

Galatasaray 2 Orduspor 0

Bursaspor 3 Antalyaspor 1

Samsunspor 1 Besiktash 0

Istanbul BB 1 Sivasspor 0

Trabzonspor 1 Fenerbahce 1, tie

College Gymnastics:

This Saturday, 36 different schools will be in action as the six regional meets will determine the 12 teams that go to the national championships in women's gymnastics in Gwinnett, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb, from April 20-22.

The Florida Gators, winner of the Southeastern Conference, are the overall number one team in the country. The Gators, a team that has come close but never won a title in women's gymnastics, is the top seed in the Raleigh, NC, regional meet.

The regional meets in Champaign, Ill., figure to be exciting as well as the Oklahoma Sooners will face the Stanford Cardinal and a highly competitive Denver Pioneers squad. And, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Big Ten champs, will try to win regionals over the home team Utah Utes, while the Minnnesota Golden Gophers attempt to be upset spoilers.

Here is a list of the teams in these three regional meets; the others will be posted on our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time:"

Champaign Regional

1. Oklahoma
2. Stanford
3. Denver
4. Illinois
5. Kentucky
6. Ill-Chicago

Raleigh Regional

1. Florida
2. Ohio State
3. Penn State
4. North Carolina State
5. Kent State
6. UNC Tarheels

SLC Regional

1. Nebraska
2. Utah
3. Minnesota
4. Iowa State
5. Arizona State
6. San Jose State

Monday, April 2, 2012

No Turkish Bride_It Was an April Fool's Joke

It is time to come clean and admit that I am NOT marrying a woman I met on the Internet named Sibel Turkan Atasoy who lives in Afyon, Turkey. She is a fictional name, and if any woman, living in Afyon, Turkey, or elsewhere actually has that name we will be floored.

I took the middle name from the great Turkish actress Turkan Soray.

I must also profess that I was April Fooled myself as University of Utah Utes gymnastics coach proclaimed that his team had landed the top gymnast in the world on

Interestingly enough, we asked Bing who was the top-ranke gymnast in the world and they said Sharaya Musser. She happens to be a highly-accomplished gymnast at Penn State, but we are 99-percent sure that she is not actually the 'best in the world.'

I guess this means so much for the power of search engines!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Major Personal Annoucement

Even though all of the local libraries are closed here in Fort Mill, South Carolina*, I wanted to announce that I am engaged to the very lovely Sibel Turkan Aksoy of Afyon, Turkey (this is not an image of her).

We met through a mutual friend in Istanbul, and we hooked up via Skype. I know most people will think that arbitrarily talking to someone through the web is not a real good way to meet your soul mate.

But, Sibel and I have talked face to face. I amm very much looking forward to meeting her this summer.

We have yet to set a date, but right now we are thinking about June of 2013. I imagine I will be getting lots and lots of towels soon!

*-Fort Mill, SC, is not where I am blogging from.