Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Today's quote of the day/week (well, yes we also quipped Harry Truman just a few minutes ago) comes from Toni Morrison, 81, a famous author who won the Pulitzer Prize for the `1987 novel "Beloved." Morrison was one of 13 people awarded Presidential Medals of Honor yesterday, along with Bob Dylan and Madeline Albright. Some winners were awarded posthumously.
Morrison was also among the photograph subjects in the exhibit "The Black List" taken by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, which was on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, until April 22nd. But, one can still see at least one painting with our other subject of the day (Harry Truman) as an exhibit of presidential portraits is on-going.
Here is Morrison's quote; this one deals with the craft of writing:
"I'm just trying to look at something without blinking."
Truman is also famous for defeating centrist Republican Thomas Dewey, who had been governor of New York, in the 1948 election. Erroneous reports that Dewey had in fact been the victor lead to the famous photo of Truman holding up a newspaper with the headline: "Dewey Beats Truman."
A man with the president's name, Harry R. Truman, a resident of Washington state at the time of the Mount St. Helens' eruption of 1980 became famous for his stubborn unwillingness to leave his home, and he thus became one of the 57 casualties from the catastrophe.
Interestingly enough, (president) Truman, a Democrat, was portrayed in the 1995 film "Truman" by a then-40-year old Gary Sinise, now the star of "CSI: New York," who is one of the most outspoken Republicans in Hollywood.
In Jefferson City, Missouri, the state capital of Truman's native state, it was 86 degrees today.
Here is Truman's partisan quote:
"A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds some office that a Republican wants."
Thanks to those of you in South Africa, Norway and Poland who visited our blog today.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
During his Olympic career, Louganis, a native of California, won a total of four gold medals (two each at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the 1988 Seoul Olympics) and a silver medal (1976 Montreal Olympics).
Following his success at the games in South Korea, Louganis made headlines regarding his personal life when he disclosed that he was both gay and HIV-positive. Three years later in 1991, Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson stunned the world by disclosing that he was HIV-positive, marking the first time Americans fully realized that heterosexuals could be affected by the deadly virus as well.
But, Louganis, has lived a seemingly normal life since the revelation. Today, he is active in dog agility competitions and he also coaches diving.
Here is his quote:
"Well, unless, you are Wayne Gretzky or Michael Jordan, you need the support of your team."
Rock is a comedian/actor/film producer who grew up in New York and became a 'not ready for prime time' player on "Saturday Night Live." Rock is one of the few "SNL" alumni who became famous in spite of being on the show rather than being on it because his presence on the show was limited to stint appearances and bit parts.
But, Rock made a stellar comeback on the standup comedy circuit, and by 1998, he was a full-fledged movie star. Rock who has appeared in such films as "New Jack City," "Dogma" and "Bee Movie" also played a fictional president in the film "Head of State," which makes this quote, from when George W. Bush was president, quite ironic, as well as the fact that Barack Obama is now the leader of the free world:
"A white boy that makes Cs in college can make it to the White House."
SIDEBAR: Well, we apparently jinxed tennis star Serena Williams as she was upset in her French Open opener to Virginate Razzano, 29, a virtually unknown French tennis player. We also goofed when we said that Williams had advanced to the quarterfinals of the French Open, as it was the tourney was not even underway! But, thankfully, no pays attention to blogs. Having said, thanks to those of you in Indonesia, Taiwan and Ukraine who stopped by here today!
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Nelson Rockefeller (1908-1979) was actually just six weeks older than other subject Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) who unlike Rockefeller went on to become president due to the tragic assassination of John F. Kennedy. Rockefeller served as vice president under Gerald Ford from 1974-77. But, he decided not to join the ballot in Ford's failed re-election effort of 1976, and Bob Dole was chosen as Rockefeller's replacement.
Rockefeller was considered a moderate Republican, and the term "Rockefeller Republican" which refers to active politicians, such as Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who are known for having either more centrist positions than the likes of far-right Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) or more progressive views on social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage, is in reference to Rockefeller.
Ironically, Rockefeller's own great nephew Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa) is a high-ranking member of the Democratic delegation in the current U.S. Senate.
Rockefeller was known to prefer problem-solving as opposed to sticking to a political ideology, in a way that reminds one of current New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was elected mayor as a Republican, but has since become independent (some years prior to his election, Bloomberg was a Democrat).
Both Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan who were right-wing ideologues, though Goldwater might ironically be considered a Rockefeller Republican today since he was pro-choice, were strongly opposed to Rockefeller.
Aside form politics, Rockefeller was known for giving the middle finger to protestors at a rally in Binghamton, NY, which thus lead to the term 'the Rockefeller salute.' According to mentalfloss.com, Rockefeller is also alleged to have died of a heart attack at age 70 while in the company of his assistant Meghan Marshack.
Here is Rockefeller's quote, which actually sounds like something one might connect with liberal folk singer Joan Baez:
"Never forget the most powerful force on earth is love."
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Moceanu was a member of the Magnificent Seven women's gymnastics team from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, which also included Amanda Borden, Shannon Miller and Dominique Dawes. That team won gold over tough competition from Romania, Russia and China.
The gymnast, who is a mother of two, also coaches part-time in Cleveland. Moceanu's coach was Romanian emigre Bela Karolyi, who coached Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton.
Here is Moceanu's quote:
"I was always kinda fearless in everything I did."
We had also considered quoting Borden, 35, a mother of a four-year-old child, who is originally from Cincinnati and now coaches and resides in Tempe, Ariz. Her gym is called, appropriately enough Gold Medal Gym.
Miller, whom we quoted two weeks ago, made news last year as she publicly disclosed that she was battling cancer which at last report was in remission.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Since we are also quoting American athletes who have won gold or silver this month, we thought a quip from Serena Williams, 30, would be appropriate.
Williams has won over $30 million in prize money, according to Wikipedia. In November of 2009, she received a number-one ranking ranking for the fifth time in her career. In total, Williams has won 27 grand slam titles, and two gold Olympic gold medals in double's play.
She is a year younger than her sister Venus Williams, who is a superstar in her own right.
Currently, Serena is playing in the French Open. Earlier in the tournament, she beat Russian tennis player Nadia Petrova, and (from what we gather) she will face Russian star Maria Sharapova this weekend.
The Black List ran at the National Portraits Gallery in Washington, DC, until April 22.
Here is Serena's quote, it is reference to playing her sister Venus:
"Family's first, and that's what matters most. We realize that our love goes deeper than the game."
SIDEBAR: We were wondering here at "The Daily Vampire" that if former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes whom we have quoted here were to face former Olympic Turkish weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu, who was actually born in Bulgaria where Turks were the leading minority before defecting from then-communist Bulgaria to Turkey in Australia_of all places, in a game of chess just who would win? Dawes, who is African-American, was not among the subjects of "The Black List."
SIDEBAR TWO: We thought we'd promote two of our favorite cinemas by mentioning that "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is opening at the a/perture Cinema in Winston-Salem, NC, today., and "Dr.Seuss' The Lorax" will show for a week at the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg, Va.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Gore is also known for being an advocate for global warming, which seems to be quite accurate given that Minnesota is now as hot as Alabama on any given day in July.
We have a quote from Walter Mondale, who served under President Jimmy Carter, on our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time."
Here is Gore's quote:
"The day I made that statement about inventing the Internet, I was tired because I'd been up all night inventing the camcorder."http://www.algore.com
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Today's quote is from swimmer Michael Phelps, 26, from Baltimore, Maryland. Phelps won six gold and two bronze medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics and eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is second only to Soviet gymnast Laris Latynina, 77, in terms of total medals won. But, Phelps may well pass her as he is slated to compete in London.
Here is his quote:
"I always thought it would be neat to make the Olympic team."
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Reisdency: Bellevue, Washington.
Job: Rock and Roll Guitar Player
Will Likely Vote: Obama
***_Notice: please see disclaimers at the end of this entry
The suburban vote will be crucial for both President Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney. Center-right political pundit David Brooks said (if our recollection is accurate) that the shift in the politics of suburbs in places like Philadelphia, Seattle and Raleigh were ones which enable Obama to win over John McCain in 2008.
Washington state has voted for Democrats in every election since 1992 and even though there are Republican strong-holds in places like Spokane, Yakima and Everett, we expect that Obama will carry the state again this year.
Bellevue, Washington, right across the lake from Seattle, is actually considered one of the best places to live in America, according to Wikipedia. The 2010 Census indicated that the 98006 zip code had a population of 122, 363, and the town was on the boom until the economic recession of 2008.
Among its famous citizens are Ann and Nancy Wilson who formed the band Heart; they objected to the use of their song "Baricuda" at the 2008 Republican Convention.
Bellevue is sister cities with Yao, Japan, and three other cities around the globe.
DISCLAIMER: Steve Nichols is a fictional character, though there are at least two relatively famous people with that name including an American soap opera actor and an American car design engineer.
The image is actually of guitar player/producer Mark Hermann who has played for the likes of Foreigner and Joe Walsh. We have no idea what his age, residential area and politics are.
SIDEBAR: Pigs swimming in the Bahamas?! Yes, there is a hysterical short piece in the current issue of "Mental Floss" about these creatures. They were apparently left by a fleet for a barbecue, which never occured. Of course, this might hurt the magazine's circulation in Karachi, Pakistan!
There is also a wonderful photo on the search engine bing.com of multi-colored buckets in the African nation of Burkina Faso.
And, lastly, we noticed that we had a hit from Algeria today....we are quite impressed that you were able to discover us!
Monday, May 21, 2012
Sydney, Australia, hosted the games just one time_in 2000, though Melbourne hosted the Olympics (equestrian events were held quite far away in Stockholm, Sweden, that year) in 1956.
For those games, the American Olympic team consisted of 586 athletes, including Nick Hysong, now age 40, who won gold in men's pole vault, a track and field event. Hysong was actually born just one year after Kriz died (the men's gymnast died in 1970; Hysong was born in Dec. of 1971).
Now, we are going to ask those of you checking from Dubai to Denver how far a part these two cities are. Is the answer?:
A) 10,510 miles
B) 10, 530 miles
C) 10,550 miles
D) 10, 570 miles
One can fly a number of airlines to get to this route including (we presume): Malaysian Airlines, Quantas Airlines and Air France.
SIDEBAR: The answer to our quiz on "The Jetsons" is A) 1962. The show was set in 2062, 100 years into the future. The cartoon is thus celebratings its 50th anniversary.
Friday, May 18, 2012
The show has 75 episodes in syndication even though its initial run was a surprisingly short one. The show takes place in the 2062, and it featured many unique characters.
These included George Jetson, 34 (that's his age according to Wikipedia, which actually makes him a bit too young to have a teenage daughter). George was actually voiced by an actor named George as Geogrge O"Hanlon (1912-1989), an actor who played a supporting character on "I Love Lucy" provided the voice for the space-age dad.
Jane Jetson, 33, was voiced by Penny Singleton (1908-2005) who played the comic strip character Blondie on film and television. Other characters included the nightmare boss Cosmo Spacely, owner of Spacely Sprockets, who was voiced by the great Mel Blanc (1908-1989) who was the voice of lots of Looney Tunes characters, including Bugs Bunny.
The Jetson kids included Elroy, age 6 and a half, and Judy, age 16. Janet Waldo, now age 88, voiced Judy Jetson and she is the only surviving member of the cast. Elroy Jetson was voiced by another cartoon voice legend Daws Butler (1916-1988) who also provided the voice for Huckleberry Hound.
And, lastly, there was Rosie the Robot and Astro the Dog, (pictured here).
Today, we ask just which year did "The Jetsons" debut on ABC?
Thanks to those of you visiting us from Dubai, of all places, today.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
According to Wikipedia, the drive-in theatre consists of a big outdoor screen, and the venues are known for concession stands, which generally serve ball park foods, such as hot dogs and pizzas. Patrons can also listen to a film's sound on a small-range FM radio station.
The first drive-in opened in Camden, NJ, in 1932. And, some notable drive-in films include the likes of "Werewolves on Wheels" (1971), " The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974) and "Smokey and the Bandit" (1977).
This weekend, the Eden Drive-In in Eden, NC, will screen a double-header on Friday and Saturday consisting of "The Lucky One" and "The Avengers." Some 120 miles away in Christiansburg, Va., the Starlite Drive-In in Christiansburg, Va., will screen a single feature in "The Three Stooges."
In other parts of the United States, the Mendon Twin Drive-In (pictured here) will show a double-header with "The Avengers" and "The Hunger Games" on screen one; while "Battleship" and "Dark Shadows" will be shown on screen two.
The historic Bengies Drive-In in Baltimore, Maryland, which has one of the largest screens in the United State, will show "The Avengers," "Chimpanzee" and "The Raven."
So, here is the order from least offensive to most offensive. From what we've gathered Bill O'Reilly likes Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), David Brooks, the rare rational conservative, likes Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and the GOP's man in the shadows Grover Norquist likes Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-Louisana, pictured at the bottom).
Here we go:
1. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH, pictured top)
2. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
3. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
4. Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.)
5. (former) Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.)
6. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.)
7. Gov. Susana Martinez (R-N.Mex.)
8. Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
9. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
10. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va)
Ironically, we get email updates from both the Virginia Republican Party and the Minutemen Project, who are convinced that Pres. Obama was born in Tanzania or Tajikistan (actually, Zimbabwe is apparently their latest suggest; this is NOT a joke!), so we will provide a link to their web sites as well as the one for Robertson's own "The 700 Club."
But, 'to balance things out,' we will provide some links to people and groups to the left of us. For starters, there is "The Nation" magazine which in the current issue has an excellent review of a posthumous memoir by singer/poet/activist Gil Scott-Herring, the official web site for filmmaker/activist Michael Moore who speaks with Cornel West tomorrow night at Hunter's College in New York and lastly The Ineternationalist Bookstore in Chapel Hill, NC, which is hosting a t-shirt design contest. Though the Tarheel State is up for grabs, there is virtually no doubt that zip code 27514 (the zip code for Chapel Hill) will go for Pres. Obama, even if he admits that he was born in Dushanbe (the capital of Tajikistan; sister city with Boulder, Colo.).
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Knight said the choice was a tough one for him at many levels, but ultimately he felt uncomfortable with the politicizing of morality: "I've no doubt that there are many well-meaning people who will be voting for Amendment One because they sincerely believe that marriage is something that 'must be protected.' (But) It's not. It's really not. Not by a political gimmick anyway."
Unlike Knight, many North Carolina conservatives voted for Amendment One, which "The Charlotte Observer" called 'a Bible Belt showdown,' which pitted two elements of the Tarheel State against one another. The first being conservative rural and small-town North Carolina from places like Eden, Burlington and Salisbury against urban and college-town progressives in places like Asheville, Chapel Hill and Greensboro.
Amendment One passed by a 61-39 margin on May 8th, in a day in which Tea Party activists also tried to challenge congressional representatives from the right even within the Republican Party with one such effort by arch-conservative Billy Yow to upset Cong. Howard Cobel (R-NC) ending up in futility.
In his May 3rd blog spot, Knight also talked about the root origins of the Amendment One movement which progressed when Republicans took over the House of Delegates in the fall elections of 2010. According to Knight, the movement was started by the Rev. Ron Baity of the Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, and that during one service the minister referred to Pres. Barack Obama as 'Hussein Obama.'
One church in Winston-Salem, Edgewood Baptist Church openly encouraged people to vote for Amendment One both with its church sign and on its web site. The church said there was bipartisan support for the measure, but many prominent Democrats, such as Cong. Brad Miller (D-NC) opposed it.
The opposition was quite vocal about the matter as well as 10,000 people gathered on Fayetville Street in downtown Raleigh on the day of the vote, according to "Indy Weekly."
The Unitarian Fellowship of Raleigh also expressed opposition to the initiative by stating it would be a clear civil rights violation for gays and lesbians across North Carolina.
(For more on this story, including how it was viewed by African-Americans and how the Bert and Ernie are gay suggestion actually originated in North Carolina, visit our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time" http://www.politicscultureandotherwastesoft.blogspot.com
Pictured above: 1) Two gay grooms on a wedding cake 2) Welcome to North Carolina sign 3) The Rev. Franklin Graham, though not mentioned in this piece, he is the leading conservative evangelical activist in the state of North Carolina.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
But, nonetheless, we have been saluting the NCAA winners in women's gymnastics for several years now, and we wanted to continue that tradition even though the finals have aired on various ESPN networks.
For the Crimson Tide, seniors Geralen Stack-Eaton (pictured here) and Ashley Priess came though on balance beam on the final rotation to seal the deal, and help Alabama win its first back-to-back NCAA title in the sport.
Alabama edged out top-ranked Florida, which once again came very, very close to winning the Gators' first title; the team has been second or third on numerous occasions.
UCLA, a team that along with Utah and Georgia has also won several NCAA titles, finished in a narrow third.
The Standings thus finished: 1) Alabama 197.85; 2) Florida 197.775; and UCLA 197.75. Finishing out the order in the Super Six were Stanford in 4th, Utah in 5th and Arkansas in 6th. Each of the schools in Super Six were from either the Southeastern Conference or the PAC-12, which Utah just joined this year.
For the Gators, there is some great news though as Freshman Kyra Hunter of Frederick, Md., became the first freshman to win the Honda Sports Award in women's gymnastics since 1991.
Monday, May 14, 2012
While we were visiting Boulder, we learned that Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the capital of a remote former Soviet republic- of all places, was one of Boulder's main sister cities. For the residents of Boulder, Dushanbe's mayor Maksud Ikramov commissioned local Tajiki artists to build a teahouse which was disassembled and shipped to Boulder.
Boulder, which is home to the Colorado University Buffaloes, also has an excellent bookstore called The Boulder Book Store, where one can find both the liberal magazine "The Nation" and the conservative journal "The National Review," which is fitting that Colorado is a swing state in this year's election. Like most college towns, except Lynchburg, Va., and Provo, Utah, Boulder is a fairly liberal place and that is evident by its many marijuana dispensaries. Local news sources said several such businesses were closing due to their close proximity to schools (1,000 feet is apparently where authorities draw the line).
Colorado is also home to Colorado Springs, an evangelical Mecca (is that an oxy moron, or what) which home to Focus on the Family and several other right-wing groups.
The Boulder Book Store is hosting author Geraldine Brooks for a book signing of "Caleb's Crossing" on May 19th.
Boulder is also sister cities with Lhasa, Tibet, Yateras, Cuba, and Kisumu, Kenya.
Our special 'virtual postcard' greetings go out to blog readers from Chile, Lebanon and New Zealand, who visited our blog today!
Sunday, May 13, 2012
"Mildred Pierce" (1945), arguably Crawford's best role, airs tonight at 10 p.m. New York Time on TCM.
One of our favorite Crawford quotes is the following:
"I was born in front of a camera and don't really know anything else."http://www.tcm.comhttp://www.joancrawfordbest.comhttp://www.legendaryjoancrawford.com
Saturday, May 12, 2012
1. Bully (doc. 2011. Dir.-Lee Hirsch)
2. Raising Cain (1992. Dir.- Brain DePalma)
3. Force of One (1979. Dir.-Paul Aaron w/Chuck Norris)
4. Boats Out of Watermelon Rinds (Turkey. 2004. Dir-Ahmet Ulucay, the director died at a relative young age at 59 in 2009).
5. Damsels in Distress (2011. Dir-Whit Stillman)
6. The Third Generation (Germany. 1979. Dir.- R.W. Fassbinder)
7. Me and Orson Welles (2008. Dir.-Richard Linklater)
8. They Live (1988. Dir-John Carpenter)
9. Brewster McCloud (1971. Dir-Robert Altman)
10. Tower Heist (2011. Dir-Bret Rattner).
Friday, May 11, 2012
Among the items, we are working on: 1) The last ten films we've seen which will likely now not include the film version of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" (1968) 2) A virtual postcard from Colorado 3) A now-dated update on the passage of the controversial Amendment One measure which will effectively stop gay marriage in the legal sense and 4) An even-more dated entry congratulating the University of Alabama for winning a national championship in women's collegiate gymnastics, late last month.
SIDEBAR: Though we have yet to see "The Avengers," which has apparently broken all box office records in Nigeria (that is a joke, though it might be true), we loved this tweet from "The New Yorker:"
'(Our film critic) Anthony Lane said watching 'The Avengers' felt like being mugged by a gang of rowdy sociopaths.'
Colin Powell, who was among those profiled, was a secretary of state during President George W. Bush's first term. He shocked the Republican establishment by endorsing current President Barack Obama in his bid for the White House as Obama was facing John McCain.
On a lighter note, Powell is also known for his unique rendition of the Marty Robbins country tune "El Paso."
Here is a quote from Powell:
"Don't be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own bakyard."
Saturday, May 5, 2012
This month, we are quoting American vice presidents or veeps. We begin with this one from Joe Biden. For those of you in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, he is our current veep:
"Life is a matter of really tough choices."
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Alas, tragedy has happened recently in Miller's as she underwent chemotherapy for cancer last year, but she has reportedly made a solid recovery and we wish her the best.
Miller, originally from Edmond, Oklahoma, was part of "The Magnificent Seven," which if, of course, not a reference to a western movie with Charles Bronson, but rather the nickname of the 1996 American team that won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Amanda Borden, Dominique Dawes and Dominique Moceanu were also a part of that historic team. At those very same Olympics, Miller won individual gold on balance beam.
Before the Atlanta Olympics, Miller won five medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, including two silver medals and three bronze medals, which included the team bronze from those games.
It was recently announced that Miller will be part of the Yahoo! sports team covering the 2012 London Olympics. Swimmer Summer Sanders and decathlete Dan O'Brien will be joining Miller in London.
Here is her quote:
"At an Olympic game, you want to enjoy it, especially if you know it's going to be your last one."http://www.shannonmillerlifestyle.com