Monday, September 1, 2014

HAPPY LABOR DAY 2014

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EDITORIAL.


Today was Labor Day here in the United States of America, and my how the world has changed.
While the earliest celebrations of the work force date back to 1882, Congress did not make the first Monday of September an official national holiday until 1894.
Back then, employees of any company were expected to work at least a 12 hour day seven days a week, with work on Sundays only delayed long enough to attend church.
The eight hour work day was legally established in 1916, but with many people having to hold down at least two jobs to make ends meet today and employers who expect job responsibilities to come first and foremost before anything else within a person's life, eight hours a day seems like a minimum commitment now.
Once upon a time, the only businesses that were open Labor Day were emergency services: police, fire fighters, and medical personnel.
Today, it's a rare event to find a business closed on this holiday, although the presence of senior management seems scarce on Labor Day.
I could go on, but I think everyone gets the idea.

Even the annual Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Telethon isn't the same.
Besides the fact that Jerry Lewis hasn't been involved with the fund raiser he started since 2010, it has gone from a two day/multi-hour extravaganza to just a couple of hours only on Sunday night!

In any event, hope everyone didn't have to work too hard, and it's back to work tomorrow whether you were off today or not.

Take care!

THE ABOVE WAS AN EDITORIAL.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

SUNDAY FUNNIES: TIME PASSES

Relaxing on the weekend
Hello everybody. Editor-In-Chief Lee Houston, Junior here because since it's the Labor Day weekend here in America, our hostesses Autumn the Puppy and Waxy Dragon have the holiday off to be with their families.
So I'm all by myself once more, holding down the fort and hosting this weekend's Sunday Funnies.

Time is a funny thing.
Seems like only yesterday a comic book was only a $1 per issue, gasoline didn't cost an arm and a leg per gallon, and at the end of the week you still had money left in the bank after you deposited your paycheck and paid your outstanding debts.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Here are some other signs of time passing...

You have more hair in your ears and nose than on your head.

You keep repeating yourself.

You quit trying to hold your stomach in to look better, no matter who walks into the room.

You keep repeating yourself.

You become short of breath going DOWN a flight of stairs.

Friends and relatives simply smile benignly rather than interrupt you retelling the same story for the zillionth time.

You sing along with "elevator music", or get upset when someone calls one of your favorite songs a "golden oldie".

You remember that the mind is allegedly the second thing to go as we grow older, but you can't remember what the first thing is supposed to be.

In any event, despite my love of science fiction, time travel is unfortunately not possible by current technological standards.
Or is it?
After all, it is definitely a few minutes later than when you first started reading this post!
So take time to stop and enjoy life!
Have a great week and somebody will be here next weekend with more Sunday Funnies!-lth,jr

Saturday, August 30, 2014

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: AUGUST 24-30, 2014

AUGUST 25th MARKED THE 70th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ALLIES LIBERATING PARIS DURING WORLD WAR 2.
TODAY IS CONSTITUTION DAY IN KAZAKHSTAN, SAINT ROSE OF LIMA'S DAY IN PERU, AND VICTORY DAY IN TURKEY.

AMONGST EVENTS HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*Hamas and Israel have finally agreed to a long term cease fire, thanks to Egypt's efforts.
*As the current Ebola Virus outbreak continues in West Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo has reported its first two deaths, while Senegal has experienced its first victim. There are now over 1500+ confirmed dead in that part of the world.
*The Boko Haram says its "portions" of Nigeria are officially Islamic.
*Turkey has been asked to tighten its border security after ISIS forces have reportedly been using routes through that country between Iraq and Syria, as the threat levels within those 2 countries rise.
*France has officially replaced its governmental cabinet.
*Swiss Hoffmann-La Roche has forged a deal to buy American InterMune for $8.3 Billion US dollars.
*After all this time, there is still no official evidence as to the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in March 2014. The company is planning to layoff 6000 employees to restructure after this disaster and the loss of a plane over the Ukraine.
*South Korea beat Illinois USA to win the 2014 Little League World Series of baseball.
*Jethro Tull bassist Glenn Cornick has taken his final bow.
*Actor/director/producer Richard Attenborough has sadly left us.
*And of course, civil unrest continues in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Libya.

FROM RUSSIA AND THE UKRAINE...

*Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has officially dissolved the Ukrainian Parliament and has scheduled elections for replacement members October 26th.
*Meanwhile, Russia has finally recognized Poroshenko as the "legitimate" Ukrainian President, so he can meet with Russian President Valdimir Putin to discuss the situation between their respective countries.
*NATO officials say that pro-Russian separatists ARE being armed by Russia.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
*Senate Minority Leader Mitch O'Connell has been (allegedly) quoted promising that if the Republican Party wins a majority in either the House of Representatives and/or the Senate during this November's mid-term elections, President Barack Obama will "tow the line" or risk further government shutdowns! Meanwhile, his campaign manager Jesse Benton has resigned as allegations arise over possible bribery charges during the 2012 Presidential election!
*The Burger King Corporation has agreed to buy the Canadian coffee shop chain Tim Horton's for $11.4 Billion US dollars, and allegedly will move their corporate headquarters to Canada to avoid US taxes once the deal is completed!
*Peter Theo Curtis has been released by al-Qaida after 2 years of captivity.
*Amongst the winners at the 66th Prime Time Emmy Awards are Modern Family for Outstanding Comedy, Breaking Bad for Outstanding Drama, and The Colbert Report for Outstanding Variety Series.
*Michael Sams, the first openly gay athlete in professional football, has been dropped by the Saint Louis Rams, but only because the team had to get its player roster down to the league maximum before the season started.
*Chelsea Handler has ended her late night talk show.
*Prince is scheduled to release TWO separate albums September 30th.
*A complete copy of the historic Action Comics #1, featuring the very first appearance of Superman, has made auction history, selling for $3.2 million US Dollars. A complete copy must include the last page of the Superman story, for the first page of the next story on the other side was also a coloring contest, with many copies destroyed by readers entering the contest.

THE FREE CHOICE E-ZINE WOULD LIKE TO THANK ITS LOYAL READERSHIP FOR ONCE AGAIN GIVING US 3000+ PAGE VIEWS THIS MONTH!


For more news at any time, either scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen or visit any other reputable news source.

THE PUZZLE CORNER: AUGUST 30, 2014

FUN FACT
In 1972, Earth received a radio signal from outer space that lasted 72 seconds. To this day, we still don't know where it came from!




TRIVIA TIME
What famous star has the middle name Fauntleroy?


HOW?
IT'S A BRAND NEW GAME PUZZLE LOVERS!
A mystery is presented in the image below.
Do you know the solution?



We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's open up THE ANSWERS BOX, and discover the results of our elongated Letter Shuffle from August 23rd's
Puzzle Corner.

THE LETTER SHUFFLE
The answers to our very long quiz all share 2 letters, but differ in the rest. Based upon the clues below, do you know what the words are?
HINT: ALL the answers are the same length.

01. To utter a hesitation = HAW
02. Previously owned = HAD
03. Owns now = HAS
04. (In)Famous Sci-Fi system = HAL (From 2001: A Space Odyssey)
05. A Crone? = HAG
06. A laugh = HAH
07. Mister Solo? = HAN (of Star Wars fame)
08. A meat = HAM
09. Head wear = HAT
10. Animal food = HAY

Monday, August 25, 2014

SUNDAY FUNNIES: SCHOOL DAZE 2014 (BACK TO SCHOOL JOKES)

One smart baby dragon!
Hello Everybody! Waxy Dragon here!
I've just finished my first week at Dragon School for the new school year, and I'm learning a lot.
How to fly properly. How to use my dragon flame properly. How to work a can opener when my companion doesn't give me enough to eat...

Anyway, since just about every student is or is about to be back to school themselves, let's have some school themed jokes!

Is it crowded up there or what?
In math, the teacher says there is (supposedly) 293 ways to make change for a U.S. Dollar. I can only think of one. Exchange it between the teacher's hand and mine.

What school do you have to drop out of in order to graduate?
Sky Diving School!

We all know the alphabet goes from A to Z. But what goes from Z to A?
A zebra.

What is smarter than a talking horse?
A spelling bee!

What did the mother buffalo say to her son as he left for school?
Bison.

What are a snake's favorite school subjects?
All snakes like Hissstory, SSScience, and SSSocial SSStudiesss; but Adders also like Math.

The college professor noticed one of his tests came back with a $100 bill attached and a note saying he could keep one dollar for every point earned. The professor sent the test back to the student with $64 change.

When asked what they liked about school, one child answered "When we're out."
image courtesy of google
But I don't think the kid quite grasped the concept.
An education isn't just a privilege, but a right. There are students in other countries longing for the chance to learn while those in power try to dictate who can go to school, let alone what the teachers are allowed to say.
Don't throw away your right to an education.
GO LEARN SOMETHING TODAY!--wd.



The Sunday Funnies will return next weekend. Have a great week everybody!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: AUGUST 17-23, 2014

AMONGST EVENTS HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*As the Middle East continues to be a hotbed of terrorism, ISIS forces beheaded American journalist James Wright Foley, held captive since 2012.
*Once again, peace talks between Israel and Hamas have broken down.
*The Ebola Virus epidemic continues in West Africa, with 1400+ confirmed deaths.
*Iceland is worried about potential emissions from the Bardarbunga Volcano.
*Romania and Hungary will soon be (re)opening 20 cross-border roads to strengthen ties amongst European Union members.
*Ahmet Davutoglu will soon become the new Turkish Prime Minister.
*General Prayuth Chan-ocha is the new Prime Minister of Thailand.
*A new species of Tarsier primate has been discovered in the Philippines.
*Science Fiction fans are happy that not only will the new season of the long running BBC program Doctor Who begin today, but that actor Peter Capaldi starts his tenure in the title role.
*It goes without saying, but serious civil unrest continues in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, and Syria.

BETWEEN THE UKRAINE AND RUSSIA...
*While Ukrainian forces are claiming victory in several individual battles, violent pro-Russian separatists are still a problem, with Russia allegedly continuing to support the anti-Ukrainian government forces.
*The remains of 20 victims from Malaysia Flight 17 have finally been sent to Kuala Lumpur for eventual burial. The plane was shot down over the Ukraine back in July by rebel forces with no survivors.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
*As protests and violence continue in Ferguson, Missouri; the autopsy report reveals that Michael Brown was shot SIX times! The National Guard is trying to maintain peace in the troubled area.
*One of the Republican controlled Congress' last acts before going on their month long vacation? Blocking additional funding for firefighters battling raging wildfires on the west coast!
*There are rumors that the Tea Party will attempt to start an "Impeach Obama" movement the week of August 25th. Our question: WHY?
*The state of California is still within a months long drought!
*Goldman Sachs has agreed to buy back $3.15 BILLION US Dollars worth of low quality mortgage bonds that it dumped on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the 2007-08 financial crisis. Meanwhile, Bank of America has agreed to pay over $16 BILLION US Dollars from selling risky mortgage backed securities.
*Long time announcer Don Pardo (Saturday Night Live, the original Jeopardy! hosted by Art Fleming) has passed away at age 96.
*Actor/comedian Robin Williams was cremated, with his ashes spread across San Francisco Bay in a private ceremony. A more public memorial is pending, with a tribute scheduled during the annual Emmy Awards Monday night.


The Free Choice E-zine would like to thanks its readership for continuing our streak of 2000+ monthly page views, established since September 2013.


For more news at any time, either scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen or visit any other reputable news source.

THE PUZZLE CORNER: AUGUST 23, 2014

FUN FACT
Dolphins always sleep with one eye open!

THE LETTER SHUFFLE
The answers to our very long quiz all share 2 letters, but differ in the rest. Based upon the clues below, do you know what the words are?
HINT: ALL the answers are the same length.

01. To utter a hesitation
02. Previously owned
03. Owns now
04. (In)Famous Sci-Fi system
05. A Crone?
06. A laugh
07. Mister Solo?
08. A meat
09. Head wear
10. Animal food

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from our August 16th Puzzle Corner and our extended TRIVIA TIME that covered multiple recent events.

Ebsen in Tin Man costume
Peace in music
THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WIZARD OF OZ
Which actor was originally cast as the Tin Woodsman?
Buddy Ebsen! But he was allergic to the original silver makeup used and had to be hospitalized, which caused the MGM Studios to recast the role and reconfigure the makeup.

THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WOODSTOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL
Who was the opening act for the three day event? 
Richie Havens.


Williams, circa 2011
IN MEMORY OF ROBIN WILLIAMS (1951-2014)
What was the title of his very first comedy album?

Martel with Bob Crane
Reality, What A Concept! The vinyl record was released in 1978 and sadly, has yet to make it in CD or MP3 formats even after all these years.

IN MEMORY OF ARLENE MARTEL (1936-2014)
While many remember her as T'Pring in the classic Star Trek episode "Amok Time", as who in what series did she most often guest star?

Bacall, circa 1950s
She played French resistance fighter "Tiger" in five different episodes of Hogan's Heroes.


IN MEMORY OF LAUREN BACALL (1924-2014)
Why did actor Humphrey Bogart call her "Baby"?

Because of the age difference between them. He was 45 and she 20 when they wed, but were happily married until Bogart's untimely death at age 57.



Images courtesy of Wikipedia, Clip Art, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.