Friday, May 31, 2013

Tweets Regarding the Revolutionary Stand Against the Right-Wing Government in Turkey

Though the island of Buyukada, pictured here, is the quietest part of the Istanbul metro area, one may well expect that the protests in Taksim Square regarding Gezi Park have affected the island community as well. The island is said to have one of the best views of Istanbul one can see.

Here are some tweets regarding the May 31st events in Istanbul. Let me make one thing clear here: I am a Turkish-American and in no way can I be objective here. I am absolutely support the protestors, and I hope this movement brings an abrupt end to the corrupt right wing leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan:

1) Hurriyet Daily News @HDNER: "Crowds cross #Istanbul's Bosporus Bridge to the European side in the early morning hours, marching in #Taksim.

2) Bianca Jagger @Bianca Jagger #Istanbul awake since yesterday morning. Police has been using tear gas & water against people for 24 hours.

3) Claire Berlinski: Okay, exciting as all of this is, I've got to get some sleep. Tune in tomorrow for the next episode of "Turkey Loses Its Marbles."

4) Alya Albayrak: Protests took and are still taking place in over a dozen Turkish cities. Thousands still on the streets. Extraordinary. #Gezi #Istanbul

5) BBC News (UK): "Turkey branches for fresh protests."

6) Asli Sonceley: Los Angeles for Istanbul right now.

7) Bruce Willis (yes, that Bruce Willis): "Let everyone know...Press in Turkey is not working....Is people dying on the streets. Turkey is suffering.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Last 10 Films We've Seen: Reading the Movies

Here are the last ten films we've seen, many of which are based on novels. We will indicate which ones those with an asterisk (*); amazingly enough, "The Deer Hunter" which last three hours and 15 minutes was the filmation of an original screenplay! There are also two Oscar-winning films on the list, they will be marked by an at symbol (@).

We got this idea from "Film Comment" magazine; I expect there will not be an intellectual examination of the film "The Devil and Max Devilin" with Bill Cosby and Elliot Gould for quite some time (forgive the film connoisseur humor).

Here they are:

1. "Humpday." 2009. dir. Lynn Shelton

2. "Gigi." (pictured top) 1958. dir. Vincente Minelli *@

3. "Pretty Persuasion" 2005. dir. Marcos Siega

4. "The Devil and Max Devilin" (pictured center) 1981. dir. Steven Hilliard Stern.

5. "The Deer Hunter" 1978. dir. Michael Cimino @

6. "The Landlord" 1970. dir. Hal Ashby *

7. "East of Eden" (pictured bottom) 1955. dir. Elia Kazan.*

8. "The Chosen." 1981. dir. Jeremy Kagan *

9. "Far from the Maddening Crowd" 1967. dir. John Schlesinger.*

10. "The Great Gatsby." 2013. dir. Baz Luhrmann

Kudos to Duke's Men's Lacrosse Team and Remembering Our Fallen Soldiers

Duke University (16-5) upset Syracuse (16-4) to win a second NCAA men's lacrosse championship for the Blue Devils. The team was helped by Brendan Fowler, who won 20 of 28 face-offs, Jordan Wolf, who scored four goals in the title game that was played in Philadelphia, Josh Offit, who scored the go-ahead goal and Jake Tripucka, who was a member of the all-NCAA tournament squad.

Tripucka is the son of former Notre Dame men's basketball star and NBA player Kelly Tripucka. The Blue Devils had lost the ACC championship to their rivals_ the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

SIDEBAR: Since my late stepfather Donald Sullivan (1918-2003) was a World War II veteran, we thought we would recognize those who lost their lives while serving in the American military. Though Donald was fortunate enough to come home, many were not and that was especially true for troops from Bedford, Va., where the National D-Day Memorial is located. Donald was fortunate to visit the memorial before his passing.

Here was a tweet from the D-Day Memorial today which talked about those who came to Bedford today: "Over 1,000 came to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to our nation."

It is interesting that the D-Day Memorial has the flags of all the countries that were allies in World War-2, this happens to include not only familiar friends like France, both also countries such as Norway and Greece.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Happy 200th Birthday, Richard Wagner

When we saw that 'Wagner' was trending on Twitter, we thought: "Hey, there is no way there are referring to the German classical composer Richard Wagner." But, as it turns out, today is his 200th birthday.

There are no Google Doodles to commemorate this; our assumption is that this might because Wagner's scandalous anti-Semitic views.

But, since "Rigoletto" is one of our favorite operas, we thought we'd quip Wagner for this occasion:

"One Supreme fact which I discovered is that it is not willpower, but fantasy-imagination that creates. Imagination is the creative force. Imagination creates reality."

We saw a tweet from the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh in regards to Wagner's birthday, and the Met Opera in New York has been performing Wagner operas in honor of this milestone.

One can also listen to the delightful American public radio series "Performance Today" which we assume will run a Wagner tribute today; the shows airs on WFDD-FM, a public radio/NPR station in Winston-Salem, NC.

And, of course, it is also our civic duty to remind young people that Richard Wagner (they would probably pronounce his name like Robert Wagner not Vagner as is the proper way) is not the one who sang the 1981 hit song "Jessie's Girl." That distinction belongs to Rick Springfield.

THE WHOOPS DEPARTMENT: We just realized that only is "Rigoletto," not a Wagner opera, it's not even German! It is a work by Verdi, so therefore it's Italian. But, as Kevin Spacey said in "Swimming with Sharks:" "Never apologize; it's a sign of weakness." 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blogging in 60 Seconds or Less- the Plural for Octopus is..........

We have to keep this entry short as we don't want to be late for our yoga class at Upper Valley Yoga in White River Junction, Vermont, especially since that state is 14 hours away from here.

But, we can leave you with an image of a stuffed animal octopus (we got the idea from Bing, since they used a jellyfish today).

The plural for octopus is either octopi or octopuses.

Assuredly, one can see a real octopus at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland.

And, we are wondering if the descendant of the late Paul the Octopus in Germany, who accurately projected Eskisehir's 2-1 win over Antalyaspor in Turkish soccer over the weekend, is picking DC United in its home MLS game against the Portalnd Timber this weekend.

Ok, we need to get in our Subaru Outback now (that is the unofficial car of Maine, not Vermont, actually).

Monday, May 20, 2013

Things We Learned on Bing Today_ All Things Washington DC

Hmm.........we suppose if Bill O'Reilly or some fringe right wing tv or radio personality is reading this, he might be wondering why we have a photo of President Barack Obama with Bulgarian Ambassador Elena Poptodorova; well, O'Reilly can read below to find out in this edition of 'Things We Learned on Bing Today.'

1) Elena Poptodorova, 52, is the Bulgarian ambassador to the United States; she took office in 2010.

2) Cong. Ralph Hall (R-Tex.), 90, a former Democrat, is the oldest active member of the House of Representatives; Cong. John Dingell (D-Mich.), 86, is the oldest Democrat in the House.

3) Cong. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), 30, is the youngest member of the House.

4) Mayor Vincent C. Gray, 70, is the current mayor of Washington, DC. The office was previously held by Adrian Fenty.

5) Coach John Thomspn III, 47, has been the head coach of Georgetown University's men's basketball team since 2004. Thompson, the son of legendary Hoyas coach John Thompson, previously coached at Princeton University, his alma mater.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Things We Learned on Bing Today- Sports Edition

Today was an interesting day in English soccer as Arsenal got the coveted fourth place finish thanks to a 1-0 win over Newcastle; their crosstown rival Tottenham also won their match with Sunderland by the same 1-0 score but Arsenal had the advantage going into league play today.

So, this got Javier the Intern* thinking about a good post idea for today, and that is: "What sports can we learn on Bing today?"

Here is what we found out:

1) Thomas Vermaelen, 27, of Belgium, (pictured) is the current captain for Arsenal, though the English club's star player is arguably English national Theo Walcott. Thomas wears #5 and he previously played for Dutch powerhouse Ajax Amsterdam.

2) Siem de Jong, 24, of the Netherlands/Holland is the current captain of Ajax Amsterdam, a team that just won its 32nd domestic league title. Siem wears #10.

3) Ken Dryden, 65, of Canada, is the NHL goalie who has won the most Stanley Cup titles. Dryden achieved his with the great Montreal Canadiens teams of the 1970's as he won cups in 1971, 1973, 1976-79. Dryden was also a member of the Liberal Part in the Canadian Parliament.

4) Grant Hill, 40, an alumnus of Duke University who plays for the Phoenix Suns is the oldest active current player in the NBA though his team did not qualify for the quarterfinals.

5) Mallory Hagan, 24, is the current Miss America. She represented New York state. Yeah, we know beauty pageants may not qualify as a sport, but hey we need the hits!


Friday, May 17, 2013

Birthplaces of Star Trek People: The Original Cast, et al

At the last moment, we came up with this crazy idea, well, ok this plan was suggested by Javier the Intern*_ and, it is to name the birth places of various people who are in some small way connected to "Star Trek." Yes, of course, Javier thought of this because there is yet another Star Trek film, what is this 45 so far?

Here we go:

1) William Shatner. Captain Kirk (pictured above): Montreal, Canada

2) Joan Collins (pictured above): London, England; she was a guest star in the episode "City on the Edge of Forever," considered to be the best episode on the original show.

3) Mari Dusay: Hays, Kansas, USA; she was a guest star on "Spock's Brain," which is widely considered to be the worst episode on the original show.

4) Sadri Alisik#: Istanbul, Turkey, he played Tourist Omer in "The Turkish Star Trek" (1973)

5) George Takei: Los Angeles, Calif., USA; he is the original Mr. Sulu.

6) Leonard Nimoy: Boston, Mass., USA: Mr. Spock, we presume.

7) Patrick Stewart: Mirfield (Yorkshire), England

8) Malcolm McDowell- Horsforth (Yorkshire), England

9) Ricardo Montalban#: Mexico City, Mexico

10) John Belushi#: Chicago, Ill., USA

11) Jim Carrey: Newmarket (Ontario), Canada

12) Nichelle Nichols: Robbins, Ill., USA

Belushi and Carrey played parodies of Captain Kirk on tv.

*-Javier the Intern is a fictional character

#-Actors who are now deceased

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Teaser: Medieval Times is Still Around_ A Myrtle Beach Travel Diary

In a few short days, we will be posting blog entries about our recent Mother's Day weekend trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; it will be called "Medieval Times is Still Around" because we were not certain that the tourist destination, which has other locations in America, was still around until we saw a billboard for it.

Stay Tuned...........

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Image 2 Fill Space- Woman in Black Bikini

We imagine this will make our readers in Dubai wish they were in Cyprus or the Cayman Islands.

Well as Porky Pig would say: "That's All Folks."

Ok, I got to go help mom wash the dishes; it is Mother's Day after all.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day from Bette Davis

Every year, around this time, we always say: "Happy Mother's Day from Joan Crawford." But, we decided that was now a trite cliche so we are saying "Happy Mother's Day from Bette Davis."

They were both in the good, but campy, film "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"

Friday, May 10, 2013

Last Ten Films We've Seen- The Michael Caine Version

Since we love the series 'Last Ten I've Seen' in the monthly cinema magazine "Film Comment," we occasionally do films that those of us here in 'the office' in Hartford, Connecticut,* have seen lately. Javier the Intern** is really into Japanese Godzilla movies, bu he's been busy these days.

First of all, let's go over the images:

1) A fineral limo- the French film "Holy Motors" (film #1) has some of these, email Javier the Inern for an explanation.

2) The burqini- we are bascially doing this for our reades in Cairo, Doha and Dubai, for the film "Spring Breakers," (film #6) not to be confused with the 1983 teen sex film "Spring Break." We assume both films are hard to find in Eqygt, Qatar and Dubai.

3) A brass teapot for "The Brass Teapot," (film #10)  a new indie film with Juno Temple that screened recently at the River Run Film Festival in Winston-Salem, NC; we need to ask Ken Farmer of "Antiques Roadshow," an auctioneer from Radford, Va., how much this teapot is worth. Actually, we'll ask Javier to do it!

Here is the list:

1. "Holy Motors" (France. dir-Leos Carax. 2012)

2. "Cosmopolis" (Canada. dir-David Cronenberg. 2012)

3. "Elmer Ganry" (dir-Richard Brooks. 1960)

4. "The Day of the Dolphin dir-Mike Nichols. 1973)

5. "This Is Not a Film" (Iran. dir-Jafar Panahi 2011)

6.  "Spring Breakers" (dir-Harvey Korine. 2012)

7. "Alfie" (the Michael Caine version; UK. dir- Lewis Gilbert. 1966)

8. "The Company You Keep" (dir-Robert Redford 2012)

9. Wake in Fright (Australia. dir-ted Kotcheff. 1971)

10. "The Brass Teapot" (dir. Ramma Mosley. 2012)

*-We are not actually in Hartford, but we are in the same time zone

**-Javier the Intern is a fictional character who has 'been working' for us for four years now (Our sister blog)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Top 10 More Things To Do List

Well, as it turns out, there are some more 'things to do' that we were not aware of:

1. Buy groceries

2. Decide on Cat's Cradle shows (music venue near Chapel Hill, NC)

3. Look up comic books values

4. Read, compare and contrast "The Nation" and "National Review"

5. Read, compare and contrast "The Weekly Standard" and "Mother Jones"

6. Make some Counter Culture Coffee

7. See what the weather in Istanbul, Turkey, is like

8. See what the weather in Trenton, New Jersey, is like

9. Avoid Blacksburg, Va., at all costs, as Virginia is having commencement this weekend

10. Let the freaking cat in

Top Ten Things To Do List- Take Down the Garbage

We had a much grander idea, but we have time constraints. Here is our Top Ten Things To Do List for this particular week:

1. Recycle

2. Work-out on a bicylce

3. Take down the garbage

4. call dentist

5. Look at Sunday "Washington Post" (they have a series called Date Lab, which is why we have a photo of a cute annoying young couple)

6. Look at computers

7. Read "The Chosen"

8. Look into going to Asheville, NC

9. Look into going to Iceland

10. Possibly watch the Chelsea-Tottenham Hotspurs English soccer game today

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Soccer Night-Turkey: Ah Those Altintop Twins

Merhabalar to everyone/ Herkese hello demek istedim..... Hmmm....Turkglish is perhaps not a language which is spoken much in the blogosphere, but, well we try to be original.

We made a big (insert English or Turkish obscenity here) goof last week when we said Fenerbahce was playing Swiss team FC Basel in the UEFA Europa League while English powerhouse Chelsea was playing Benefica of Portugal.

In actuality, Chelsea was playing Basel, whom they defeated, and Fenerbahce alas fell to the Portuguese side in Lisbon 3-1, which eradicated the Yellow Canaries' 1-0 win a week prior in Istanbul. Of course, since this blog is based in America (our executive editor Tilly Gokbudak, who is me, is a Turkish-American), we aren't quite sure how the aggregate system works in soccer, and we think there should be a best 2 out of 3 system instead.

Of course, Turkish futbol blogger Ahmet Bob Turgut, one of our favorite people to follow on Twitter, would have never made this mistake.

Before we go into our dated scores from last week, let's explain a few thing, starting with the twins: Hamid Altintop of GalataSaray (formerly with Read Madrid; pictured top) is the twin brother of Halil Altintop of Trabzonspor (pictured bottom). They are both 30. If for some reason, we got the two mixed up, hopefully, Ahmet Bob Turgut will correct us.

And, we have two new scores from today (Saturday): First, Kayseri upset Trabzonspor 2-1, so we image Halil is not in not in a happy mood right now, but hopefully he'll have a great olive and feta cheese Turkish kahvalti/breakfast (it's 7:30 a.m. and Sunday in Turkey as we are writing this).

We found out that Kayseri, a central Turkish team, has Icelandic national Gretar Steninsson, we presume he is one of the few Icelanders in the TPL.

But, our beloved BursaSpor doubled up on struggling OrduSpor 4-2 with two goals from Slovakian Stanislav Sestak.

The logo in the middle is of Sivasspor which beat bottom-dwelling Istanbul BB last week, but tomorrow, they have the daunting task of facing Burak Yilmaz, Didier Drogba and league-leading GalataSaray.

In leagues standings, these are the top four teams:

1. GalataSaray 65

2. FenerBahce 58

3. Besiktash 52

4. Bursaspor 50

And, here are the results from LAST weekend:

1. BursaSpor 1 Akhisar 1, tie

2.  Trabzonspor 2 Ankara GB 0

3. Elazig 1 Karabukspor 0

4. Sivasspor 4 Istanbul BB 1

5. Mersin 1 Antalyaspor 1, tie

6. Besiktash 2 OrduSpor 0

7. Fenerbahce 2 Kayseri 1

8. GalataSaray 1 GaziantepSpor 0

9. Eskisehir 2 Kasimpasha 1

We are also going to arbitrarily mention Turkish Airlines in the hopes that they will give us a free plane ticket from JFK (New York) to Istanbul. (Our sister blog)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Soccer Night_ MLS Run-Down

Yes, yes, yes.....we aware that a new week of soccer is underway both here in America and around the globe, but we do have scores and standings as of LAST week in Major League Soccer.

The Montreal Impact are standing strong in the Eastern Conference, which includes teams from Houston and Kansas City (?!), but at least the San Jose Earthquakes play in the West. They won a home game over the Chicago Fire by a 2-0 score in the NBC Sports Network Game of the Week. We actually watched a tape of the game, but we can't recall who kicked the goals.

But, the Imapct feautre the likes of Matteo Ferrai (pictured top), and Italian player who also played for the Turkish team Besiktash, Dany Arnaud, an American national who is the captain, and Sanna Nyassi from Gambia.

All the way over in Portland, Ore., the Portland Timbers, a team that is in third place in the West, featured another Gambian player Mamadou Danso and a roster of players from over 15 countries, including Diego Chara (pictured botton) who is one of four Timbers players from Colombia.

Amazingly enough, DC United, one of our favorite teams and the winner of four MLS championships, is in dead last in the east with a mere 4 points, and a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew didn't help matters.

Here are the standings:


1. Montreal Impact 16

2. New York Red Bull 14

3. Houston Dynamo 14

4. Sporting Kansas City 14


1. FC Dallas 20

2. L.A. Galaxy (pictured) 14

3. Portland Timbers 14

4. Chivas USA (Los Angeles) 11

5. Real Salt Lake 11


Montreal 2 Chicago 0

Vancouver 2 Dallas 2, tie

Houston 1 Colorado 1, tie

LA Galaxy 2 Real Salt Lake 0

New England 2 Philadelphia 0

Chivas 2 San Jose 2, tie

Portland 3 Sporting Kansas City 2

Columbus 3 DC United 0

Soccer Night_ Viva Italia

Alas, we did not get to putting this entry up in time to get info on who scored the goals for their respective Italian premiere league teams, but we can tell you the top image is of Gianluigi Buffon, a veteran goalie who is the captain of first place Juventus. The bottom is image is of Gokhan Inler, a Swiss international of Turkish heritage who plays for third place Napoli.

Here are the current standings:

1. Juventus 80

2. Napoli 69

3. AC Milan 62

4. Fiorentina 61

5. AS Roma (pictured middle) 55

6. Udinese 54

7. Inter Milan 53

8. Lazio 52

These are the scores from LAST week's games:

Udinese 1 Cagilari 0

Napoli 3 Pescara 0

Parma 0 Lazio 0, tie

Atalanta 1 Bologna 1, tie

AS Roma 4 Siena 0

Genoa 1 Chevo 0

Juventus 2 Torino 0

Fiorentina 3 Sampdaria 0

Palermo 1 Inter Milan 0

AC Milan 4 Catania 2

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Saturday is Free Comic Day

Since Free Comic Book Day is Saturday and May Day is today, we thought we'd post three comic books with "Green Arrow" (known as Yeshil Okcu in Turkish) from DC Comics who is supposedly the most progressive of mainstream American comic book characters.

Hmmm.....yeah, I suppose if Rush Limbaugh is reading this, he will call for a boycott of Green Arrow, well we really don't care.

In Gotham (New York City), Midtown Comics is celebrating Free Comic Day with guests like Jim Lee, of "Uncanny X-Men" fame, Scott Snyder from "Batman," Nate Cosby from "Green Hornet" and our good friend (well, we have actually conversed online) Chris Eliopolous, who has a great underground comic strip called "Desperate Times." Gosh, we sure hope we spelled your name right, Chris (especially since you are of Greek heritage, and I am half-Turkish)!

At Midtown Comics, Jamal Peepers and Alex Simmons from Archie comics, which produces many children's comic books besides the usual Archie and Jughead standards, including "Sonic the Hedgehog."

Other comic book stores celebrating the occasion are Casablanca Comics in Portland, Maine, (the other 'Portlandia'), B & D Comics in Roanoke, Va., and Chapel Hill Comics in Chapel Hill, NC, which will also host comic strip artist Tom Batiuk of "Funky Winkerbean" on June 8th.

SIDEBAR: Since our hits go through the roof whenever we quote Che Guevara, we will post one of his quotes here. It should be pointed that while we politically support most center-left positions, we are not in favor of radical revolutions, especially if firearms are involved!

Here is one of Che's more famous quotes; we are not sure if he said this the day he was executed in Bolivia in 1968:

"The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall."