Monday, August 18, 2014

THE SUNDAY FUNNIES: REMEMBERING ROBIN WILLIAMS (1951-2014)

Waxy Dragon's post originally scheduled for today will appear next weekend, as The Sunday Funnies pauses to remember a man we tragically lost last week. While a mere transcript cannot do his comic genius justice, ladies and gentlemen: Mister Robin Williams!

FROM THE 1986 CD A NIGHT AT THE MET...
Isn't it strange to think that in Georgia, if you commit sodomy they're going to put you in a cell with another man who's going to sodomize you.
That's Southern logic.

It says in the Constitution you have the right to bare arms or the right to arm bears, not the right to bare artillery. The National Rifle Association says you have the right to armor piercing bullets if you're a hunter.
WHY? How many deer wear a bulletproof vest?

(After a routine about a man's "extra" part)
That's why there should be a woman President. There would never be any wars. Never ever. You know this. It's the truth. There would never be any war, just severe negotiations every 28 days.

They call him Colonel Khadafi. That name sounds like he should have a chain of terrorist chicken stores. "Come on down to Colonel Khadafi's Bomb in a Bucket!"

The whole Middle East is like an old Marx Brothers' routine.
Khadafi?
God Bless You.
Hassad?
No body.
Hussein?
No body. You're out of here!

FROM THE 2002 CD LIVE...
These are troubled times my friend.
Hard core security in New York? Yes.
Washington? Yes.
San Francisco? Not so hard core.
You can see a Hummer with two National Guardsmen at each end of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The problem is, the Hummers and the National Guardsmen are in jungle camouflage.
The bridge... is bright orange.
So you feel like going (in an Elmer Fudd voice) "Be vewy, vewy quiet. I'm looking for tewwowists."

And golf is such an exciting sport. Pure athleticism.
Whack the ball, get in the cart.
Whack the ball, get in the cart.
And the commentary is electrifying.
(In a monotone voice:) "We're on the third hole now. Could the crowd be quieter please. I'd like to hear the grass grow."
Just once, I want the guy who does Mexican soccer to do golf one time.
(In a Hispanic accent:) "The ball is rolling. The ball is going to the hole. (pause, then an elongated shout of) H-H-H-H-O-O-O-O-L-L-L-L-E-E-E-E!"

AND FROM HIS 1979 DEBUT RECORD, REALITY, WHAT A CONCEPT...
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Just enough so you don't become stupid. Just a little touch of madness will keep you alive, because no one in the world knows how to tax that. People are kind of like flowers, and it's been a privilege walking in the garden.


All material (c) Robin Williams and/or his estate. Rest in Peace, sir.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: AUGUST 10-16, 2014

TODAY IS CHILDREN'S DAY IN PARAGUAY.
THIS WEEK MARKS THE 100TH ANNIVESARY OF THE PANAMA CANAL,
THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MGM VERSION OF THE WIZARD OF OZ
AND THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WOODSTOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL

AMONGST EVENTS HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*The West African Ebola virus has now claimed over 1000+ victims.
*As advancement of ISIS forces continues in Iraq, the United Nations has declared a state of emergency in that region.
*The Boko Haram has allegedly abducted boys and men from Doran Baga, near Lake Chad.
*Pope Francis made a diplomatic visit to South Korea this past week, including the beautification of 124 Korean Catholics who died for their beliefs in 19th Century Seoul.
*Miro Cerar has been elected the new Prime Minister of Slovenia.
*This week, the world tragically lost actor/comedian Robin Williams, while actresses Lauren Bacall and Arlene Martel have taken their last bows from life's stage.
*Civil unrest continues in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Syria.

ALONG THE GAZA STRIP...
*Another 72 hour cease fire occurred between Israel and Hamas while peace talks began in Cairo.
*While Hamas reported fired rockets before the cease fire was supposed to end, it was extended for five days.

BETWEEN THE UKRAINE AND RUSSIA...
*A high security prison in Donetsk was accidentally hit by artillery fire, with 72 escapees still unaccounted for.
*Igor Girkin has reportedly resigned as leader of the pro-Russian rebellion, while more Russian armored vehicles have entered the Ukraine.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
*While the shooting of Michael Brown is still under investigation by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, racial tensions are increasing in Ferguson, Missouri to the point that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and a nightly curfew.
*Texas Governor Rick Perry has been indicted on felony abuse of power charges.
*The Republican Party and its supporters are estimated to spend over $300 MILLION dollars on campaign ads and other expenses for the upcoming November mid-term elections, which is far more than any projected Democratic expenses.
*The sale of professional basketball team Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been approved by the National Basketball Association.
*Rob Manfred will succeed Bud Selig as the commissioner of Major League Baseball in 2015.


THE FREE CHOICE E-ZINE WISHES TO THANK ITS LOYAL READERSHIP FOR CONTINUING OUR STREAK OF 1000+ PAGE VIEWS SINCE SEPTEMBER 2011!




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.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

THE PUZZLE CORNER: AUGUST 16, 2014

No "Fun Fact" in this installment folks, because a lot has happened over the past week and we have a lot of ground to cover in this special presentation of TRIVIA TIME.
Woodstock

THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WIZARD OF OZ
Which actor was originally cast as the Tin Woodsman?
Hint: Photographic proof exists, but posting it now would give away the answer.

THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WOODSTOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL
Who was the opening act for the three day event?
Williams, circa 2011

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

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

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

We'll reveal all next weekend.
But for now, let's open up THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from the August 9, 2014 Puzzle Corner.

NEXT?
Given the sequence below, can you figure out what the next item should be?
8 = 56
7 =42
6 = 30
5 = 20
3 = 6 because the given number and its missing multiplier keep decreasing by 1 as the sequence progresses.

BEFORE AND AFTER
Two separate things share at least one word in common and can be combined to make something new.
Based upon the given clue "A C. S. Lewis novel about an infamous Super Bowl event", the answer is The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe Malfunction.

Monday, August 11, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: HEAT WAVE BY RICHARD CASTLE

From Hyperion, cover artist(s) unknown
Okay, for those few out there that may not know the premise behind all of this; Castle is an entertaining series on the ABC television network about a famous mystery writer who, among other things, helps Detective Kate Beckett and her squad at the New York Police Department solve homicide cases.

One of the show's initial ideas was that author Richard Castle got permission to ride along with Beckett and company because he decided to use her as the inspiration for a new book series, which resulted in HEAT WAVE, released in 2009 between the first and second seasons of the program.

Detective Nikki Heat of the NYPD and her squad face a sweltering New York City summer, the death of a real estate mogul with suspects and alibis aplenty, and the unnecessary(?) presence of journalist Jameson Rook, assigned to write an in-depth article about her squad.

After reading the first novel, it is way too easy to draw parallels between book and television characters, especially when both follow similar background plot points regarding the main casts. Yet the book is more than capable of standing on its own merits. HEAT WAVE is also a guilty pleasure of enjoyment for both the casual reader and the long time mystery fan; especially because the novel took full advantage of the excellent opportunity to tell a more complete, detailed story outside the restrictive confines of an hour of commercial television.

In reel life, Richard Castle is the accredited author and, as a fan of both the book and television series, I will do nothing to discourage that premise.
For review purposes, I will note that in real life, the author(s?) remain anonymous, although actor Nathan Fillion sometimes makes appearances in character as Castle the author at book store signings and new release events.

I have also read NAKED HEAT, the second novel in this series. There are five to date, with a sixth scheduled for release this fall. That volume will be the subject of a future book review, but I look forward to reading the others as time permits.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

SUNDAY FUNNIES: DIGGING READING!

"I read, therefore I am."
Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here.
Now let's face facts. I love to dig, especially into a good book.

If I wasn't born a dog, I'd be a bookworm, which is a lot healthier for you than heart worms or tape worms I can assure you.

In any event, let's take a look at the list of books I've read since the last time I did a column on this.


"I Didn't Do It!" by Ivan Alibi
Right. But what do the facts say?

More For Your Money by Max Amize
Saving money is a good thing, except I will not eat cheap dog food!

Gone Fishing by Rod Andreel
This wasn't a bad book, but some of the fishing stories were hard to believe. Besides, what dog actually eats fish?

Cry Wolf by Al Armist
It's getting to the point where even our shadows are afraid of their shadows!

Bee Keeping For Beginners by A. P. Arry
The buzz on this book was pretty good.

Auto Wrecks by Bahd Driver
It wasn't a good book, but I just couldn't turn away from it until I finished.

The Truancy Problem In Education by Marcus Absent
You have to get your children interested in school before they'll stay in school.

I Love Bullfighting by Matt Adore
The author did. I didn't. Was rooting for the bulls throughout the entire book!

How To Annoy Those You Love by Aunt Agonize
Was hoping to find out how to control my flea problem better. Then I realized that despite how they feel about me, I certainly don't love them.

Positive Reinforcement by Wade Gogh
♪"Making your way in the world today, takes everything you got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot."♫

The History of Soda Pop by Ginger Aile
This book was quite refreshing!

The McDonald's Banquet by Tommy Ayk
Everybody has their own taste. Please hold the pickles on mine.

Well, that's it for this weekend. Have a great week everybody and please be back here next time for more Sunday Funnies!—AtP.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: AUGUST 3-9, 2014

AUGUST 9TH IS THE INTERNATIONAL CELEBRATION OF
THE WORLD'S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
TODAY IS THE 160TH PUBLISHING ANNIVERSARY OF
HENRY DAVID THOREAU'S WALDEN.
TODAY IS THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THEN PRESIDENT
RICHARD NIXON RESIGNING FROM OFFICE TO AVOID
PROSECUTION IN THE WATERGATE SCANDAL.
THE LAST "SUPER MOON" CYCLE FOR 2014 IS AUGUST 9-11.
THE ANNUAL PERSEID METEOR SHOW
"PEAKS" BETWEEN AUGUST 11-13.
AUGUST 11TH MARKS THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF
THE (IN)FAMOUS ALCATRAZ PRISON OFFICIALLY OPERATIONAL.

AMONGST EVENTS HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*Egypt managed to broker a 72 hour cease fire between Israel and Hamas forces, but it didn't last the full 3 days as Hamas resumed their attack, forcing Israel to go back on the defensive.
*A 6.1 earthquake has been reported, with its epicenter in Yunnan, China. Over 580 people have lost their lives with many more injured.
*The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola Virus outbreak in West Africa an International Public Health Emergency, as the death toll has exceeded 900 victims, while Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has declared a state of emergency in her country over the outbreak.
*President Juan Manuel Santos of Columbia has been sworn in for a second term.
*The Senate of Italy has decided to reduce its size and powers.
*While no known formal charges have been filed, South Korean authorities are looking into a massive water fight that took place in Seoul August
*The European Space Agency's probe Rosetta has reached Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, with the intention of an eventual landing upon the comet.
*A dead zone (devoid of all sea life) has been discovered in the Gulf of Mexico reported to be the size of America's state of Connecticut.
*Milly Zantow, the woman who developed the system used today for sorting and recycling plastics, has passed away of natural causes at age 91.
*Noted film director/producer Menaham Golan has taken his final bow.
*Civil unrest continues along the Gaza Strip and in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

BETWEEN THE UKRAINE AND RUSSIA...
*Pro-Russian separatists currently holding Donetsk fear being overcome by Ukrainian forces and are urging Russia to send them more military support. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government is urging civilians to flee the area immediately.
*Russia's Dobrolet Airlines has suspended all flights in the wake of current sanctions against the country. In return, Russia has banned a major list of imports from America and the European Union.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
*While Congress is on vacation until September 8th, many of its members are out and about campaigning across the United States.
*Hawaii faced Hurricane Iselle, which just passed the island chain without making actual landfall, thus maintaining their recorded history of no hurricane ever actually striking them; while preparing as Tropical Storm Julio draws near.
*The recent death of former President Ronald Reagan's Press Secretary James Brady has been ruled a homicide because he died from complications stemming from his 1981 shooting by John Hinckley. There is no word whether or not Hinkley, currently held in a mental institution, will face additional charges.
*In professional basketball, the San Antonio Spurs have hired former WNBA's San Antonio Star's player Becky Hammon to be an assistant coach, making her the first woman coach in any of the predominantly male professional sports.

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 9, 2014

FUN FACT
Without any wind support, rain can fall up to 22 miles per hour on its own.

NEXT?
Given the sequence below, can you figure out what the next item should be?
8 = 56
7 = 42
6 = 30
5 = 20
3 = ????

BEFORE AND AFTER
Two separate things share at least one word in common and can be combined to make something new.
Based upon the clue below, do you know what it is?

A C. S. Lewis novel about an infamous Super Bowl event?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's open up THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from the August 2, 2014Puzzle Corner.


THE LETTER SHUFFLE
Each answer began with the same 2 letters, but it was up to you to complete
the rest of the word, based upon the clues below.

01. A tree = OAK
02. An idiot = OAF
03. Boat necessity = OAR
04. A grain = OAT

REBUS
The image below represented (Space) The Final Frontier.