Sunday, January 25, 2015

SUNDAY FUNNIES: ARE YOU PONDERING WHAT I'M PONDERING?

Hello Everybody. Autumn the Puppy here. As you can see, I've got nothing but time and plenty of snow on my paws right now, as winter maintains its grip on my neck of the woods.
So let's see...

Would a chicken crossing the road be poultry in motion?

Would a backward poet write inverse?

If Jimmy cracks corn and nobody cares, why is there a song about it?

Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Who spell checks the person responsible for making sure all the letters are present within a can of alphabet soup?

If they have such great power(s), how come you never see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

On a similar note, if they're so smart, how come you never see the headline "Genius Wins Lottery"?

If dog food is supposed to be "new and improved", who tested the claim first? It certainly wasn't any dog I know.

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor(s), but dish washing liquids are made with real lemons?

They say you're supposed to make lemonade when life hands you a bunch of lemons, but what if you don't like lemonade?

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

And for the intellectuals reading this...
If the answer to the ultimate question of Life, The Universe, and Everything is "42", then why is the question "What do you get when you multiply 6 x 9?"

Of course, there's always...



In any event folks, have a great week, stay safe and warm, and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies.—AtP.

Video courtesy of YouTube. Pinky and the Brain. Narf!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: JANUARY 18-24, 2015

JANUARY 27th IS THE 70th ANNIVERSARY OF SOVIET FORCES LIBERATING PRISONERS FROM THE AUSCHWITZ AND BIRKENAU CONCENTRATION CAMPS DURING WORLD WAR TWO.
JANUARY 29th OBSERVES THE 170th ANNIVERSARY OF EDGAR ALLAN POE'S THE RAVEN AND THE 115th ANNIVERSARY OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL CREATING THE AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION.

AMONGST EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*A cease fire has been declared in the Libyan Civil War.
*On behalf of her city, Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, France; is planning a lawsuit against Fox News, after the network claimed Paris was regulating where Muslims could travel after the Charlie Hebdo attack. Hidalgo said the comments were inaccurate, insulting, and prejudicial against Paris.
*With the passing of King Abdullah, his half brother Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the new ruler of Saudi Arabia.
*A coup d'├ętat in Yemen has resulted in the resignations of the current President, Prime Minister, and cabinet officials.
*A measles outbreak is affecting the area between Mexico and California. The disease allegedly gained a foothold from unvaccinated guests visiting Disneyland.
*A Hong Kong government conducted study reveals they have a higher pollution rate than first suspected.
*The Miss Universe Pageant is scheduled to be held this Sunday night, January 25th.
*NASA's Dawn spacecraft is on schedule to reach and begin orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres on March 6th.
*Microsoft claims there will be a holographic feature to their new Windows 10 operating system, scheduled for release sometime later this year.
*Sumo wrestler Hakuho Sho has won his 33rd makuuchi championship, a new record.

TERRIBLE TERRORIST TRAGEDIES...
*Apparently unconcerned about the current manhunt against them, Boko Haram have kidnapped an additional 80 people from villages in northern Cameroon after officially claiming responsibility for the massacre in Baga, Nigeria.

BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE UKRAINE...
*Gazprom, Russia's state owned gas company, plans to reroute its pipelines through other systems to avoid the Ukraine.
*The Ukraine claims Russia has sent over 9,000 additional troops to support the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
*Whether or not those new soldiers are participating, new fighting has broken out in and around Donbass.

PASSING PARADE...
*Dallas Taylor, the drummer for Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; has passed away.
*Jazz singer Cynthia Layne is no longer with us.
*Actress Anne Kirkbride (Coronation Street) has taken her last bow on life's stage.
*Actor Paul Campbell (The Fighter, American Hustle) is no longer with us.
*Actress Pauline Yates (The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Bachelor Father, Keep It In The Family) has passed away.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
POLITICALLY...
*As covered in greater detail earlier this week, President Barack Obama gave the annual State of the Union address.
*Since giving the official Republican response to the address, the Daily Kos has reported that the family of Iowa Senator Joni Ernst received over $400,000 in federal aid during the early days of their farming career. Besides calling into question statements about how tough Ernst allegedly had it growing up, contracts awarded her father's construction company while she was an auditor for Montgomery County Iowa are now being re-examined.
*In order to make the potential construction of the Keystone XL pipeline go smoother, the Republican controlled House of Representatives has announced that it will NOT be necessary to use American steel! The Senate is currently discussing the pipeline.
*Both Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin have announced they are considering bids for the Presidency in 2016!
ELSEWHERE...
*A measles outbreak is affecting the area between California, the surrounding states, and Mexico. The disease allegedly gained a foothold from unvaccinated guests visiting Disneyland.
*The National Football Conference's Seattle Seahawks will face the American Football Conference's New England Patriots in the 49th annual Super Bowl February 1.
*Jeff Gordon has announced that 2015 will be his last season as a full time NASCAR driver.
*While San Francisco still wants to demolish the old Candlestick Park, a method other than implosion must be found, due to health concerns over concrete dust and other pollution that would result from the activity.

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: JANUARY 24, 2015

FUN FACT
According to Dictionary.com, the English alphabet used to have 27 letters because our ancestors once included the ampersand (&)!

TRIVIA TIME
When not having (mis)adventures because he would never wear his eyeglasses, what was the classic cartoon character Mister Magoo's full name and occupation?

REBUS
A familiar saying is represented in the image below. Do you know what it is?


We'll reveal all next weekend.
But for now, let's open up THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results of the January 17, 2015 Puzzle Corner.

THE LETTER SHUFFLE
Each word listed below could become a color just by changing one letter.
Were you up to the task?

01. Grab = graY
02. Block = blAck
03. Pick = piNk
04. Maude = mauVe

BONUS!
The 4 new letters, rearranged, spelled NAVY.


BEFORE AND AFTER
Two things shared at least one word in common, and so could be combined to make something new.
Based on the clue below, did you know what it was?

Mister Toad leaves Tara = Gone With The Wind in the Willows.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS 2015

Since The Free Choice E-zine is based within the United States of America, we bring you the following coverage of the 2015 State of the Union address, as given by President Barack Obama on January 20th to a joint session of Congress and televised to the country.

President Obama
While there is no denying that America has seen better times, 2015 finds the country in the best shape it has been in since the start of the new millennium, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement.

Amongst the President's hopes for the coming year...
*Improving the economy, especially giving a "fair shot" to the lower and middle classes, also known as the 99%. The President plans to soon sign an executive order guaranteeing workers 7 days of paid sick leave.
*Closing tax loopholes and restructuring finance laws so they no longer favor the 1%.
*The President still hopes that Congress will eventually raise the minimum wage, something that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives has been postponing since the idea was first proposed in 2014.
*Seeing that women get equal pay for equal work, since currently a woman is estimated to receive only 78% of what a man earns in the exact same job.
*Continuing the fight against terrorism, whether it is a direct attack against America or an assault against any of the country's allies; citing the specific example of growing concern over ISIS/ISIL terrorists.
*The President hopes to initiate a new diplomatic plan with Cuba, and looks forward to Pope Francis' scheduled visit to America this coming fall.
*Expressed a continuing wish to improve the environment, especially in light of the fact that climate change is real, no matter how loudly the deniers protest otherwise.
*Improving the United States' infrastructure, both physically with new roads, bridges, protecting the Internet, etc; and personally by addressing the growing tensions of race and other social dividers.
*Obtaining comprehensive immigration reform, including the protection of the executive order he has already written initiating such plans.
*Hope for the overall future of this country and the world, and that politics will not interfere with improving things.

Behind the President during the speech sat Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner. Of course the Congressional Democrats, who now find themselves a minority within the House and Senate, cheered everything; but the Republicans didn't.
It was noticeable that there was no applause from Boehner's party during mention of such topics as the fact that economy is improving, that more Americans are obtaining health insurance through the Affordable Health Care Act (also known as Obama Care), any mention of developing alternate energy sources, equal pay for women, anything that would benefit the lower and middle class, a free and open Internet for all, the Cuba situation, acknowledging that climate change exists, not persecuting people who are not "straight", and making voting easier for all citizens of this country, since it is the inalienable right of every American to do so to begin with!

It is interesting to also note that there were FOUR different rebuttals to the President's address afterward.
Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa gave the "official" Republican one, while Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky both gave their own, individual opinions on the State of the Union.
Florida House of Representatives member Carlos Curbelo gave what was supposed to be the "official" Republican response to President Obama's speech in Spanish to people for who English is a second language, but a translation of his remarks revealed that there was no mention of the Republican Party's opinion on the issue of immigration reform.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ALEXANDER S. BROWN

Okay folks, before we post this interview, The Free Choice E-zine must be honest and admit that we find ourselves with some serious egg on our faces.
This article has been waiting for publication; however, no one connected with the publisher ever notified us that the featured book: Traumatized: The Special Edition had ever been released.
Upon our recent discovery of this fact, with a few slight adjustments to reflect the passage of time, we have rushed this post to presentation.
Alexander S. Brown
Again, our sincerest apologies to the author.—tfce.


From Pro Se Press
The Free Choice E-zine is proud to have with us today Alexander S. Brown to talk about his latest work, Traumatized.

ALEXANDER S. BROWN: Pro Se Press published my short story collection as a special edition, with illustrations accompanying each story. Traumatized is a collection that begins with a PG rating and the further you read into the volume, the more grotesque each story becomes. There will be other volumes following the same presentation format, since each of them will have a New Pulp feel to the work.

TFCE: You are far from the first person to use that term, and definitions seem to vary, but what is New Pulp to you?
ALEX: New Pulp is modernizing pieces that masters such as H.P. Lovecraft originally gave us. Over time, I am seeing more and more pulp pieces evolve into greater extremes than what has previously been created.

TFCE: Since you’ve mentioned Lovecraft, I’m assuming you’re a horror fan, so why do you write it?
ALEX: It’s a release. I have always enjoyed the horror genre. A great deal of horror has a political message to it and that is something that I enjoy incorporating into my work. If you read my work as simply a story, you will enjoy the story. If you read it as something more, then you will likely catch the metaphor that the story represents.

TFCE: From what do you draw your inspiration to write?
ALEX: I am literally inspired by everything. From real life to folklore, I am inspired every day.

TFCE: And have there been any influences upon your style and technique?
ALEX: Definitely the authors that I read growing up—mostly Stephen King and Clive Barker.

TFCE: Every author has a dream project, so yours is…?
ALEX: To write a steam punk series based on my detective Xavier Hess. Hess has appeared in the Dreams of Steam books and Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells.




TFCE: Where do you foresee yourself within the next few years?
ALEX: I see myself being a full-time author.
Dark Oak Press has published my novel Syrenthia Falls. Seventh Star Press has released my sequel to Southern Haunts; and Pro Se has published some of my vintage Halloween stories as single shots under the series title The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out. I also have stories in the anthologies Luna’s Children and Capes and Clockwork, both published by Dark Oak Press.




TFCE: Good luck with all of them and your future projects.
ALEX: Thanks for having me.









Alexander S. Brown maintains an author's page on Amazon, where all his creative works can be found.
http://www.amazon.com/Alexander-S. Brown/e/B002UN7ZHQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Monday, January 19, 2015

DOCTOR MARTIN LUTHER KING, JUNIOR DAY 2015

The following is an editorial.

Here within the United States of America, we pause to
honor Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior.
A man with a dream, and a hope for everyone.

Sadly, social differences still exist today not only within this country, but the rest of the world.

Not only do some still judge others by their culture or the color of their skin, but also by their wealth or lack thereof.
There are even those who will take differences within religious viewpoints to the ultimate extreme.

"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."



Let us pause to not only remember the man and his dream, 
"...that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
but his lessons as well.

Whatever our opinions, we all share the same planet. Let us work together to make it a more enjoyable world for ALL humanity, not just a "chosen" few.

The above was an editorial.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

THE SUNDAY FUNNIES: DOWN ON THE FARM

Hello Everybody! Waxy Dragon here!
Today, we get to celebrate The Free Choice E-zine 1400th Blogger post as I talk about my Christmas vacation down on the farm.

During the Christmas break, I flew down south to visit some of my relatives. My wings were tired from such a long flight, so not much got done that first day after I arrived.
But afterwards...

In all honesty, I didn't know farming was so much work!
You have to get up BEFORE sunrise to feed the animals, milk the cows, do all your chores, and everything else needed to keep a farm running!
For those thinking it's a lot simpler just to go to the grocery store and get the food you need, remember this:

Anyway, I learned a lot from my farming dragon cousins while I was there, and now I'm gonna share some of that wisdom with you.

*Country fences need to be horse high, pig tight, and bull strong.

*Life is simpler when you plow around the stumps.

*A bumble bee is faster than a tractor.

*To know how well farmers are doing, look at their barns, not their houses.

*Don't sell your mule to buy a plow.

*When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

So, the next time a grocery store claims they buy stuff from a local farm, ask
for the address so you can see for yourself!

Take care everyone. Have a great week, and we'll be back next weekend with more Sunday Funnies!=wd.