Thursday, March 31, 2011


Although only six games are scheduled, today is the official start of the 2011 Major League Baseball season.
Over the course of the opening weekend, the first match ups for this year are:

Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees
Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals
Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals
Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds
San Diego Padres at Saint Louis Cardinals
San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians
Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers
Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays
Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics
Houston Astros at Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs
Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies; and
New York Mets at Florida Marlins

The weather may not accurately represent this right now, but to this long time baseball fan, Spring is definitely here at last!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Last week, we erred on the side of caution and reported that some people were attacked by a virus when they tried to log into the social website Facebook.
Since then, we have had more reports from friends and other sources, but they do not all agree with each other.
If Facebook is under some kind of computer attack, they are the last ones to admit it. The news, good or bad, has yet to make any of the main media sources that one would usually frequent to stay up to date.
Therefore, we are once again erring on the side of caution and are reporting on the situation just in case.
Apparently, any attacks to potential Facebook users are at random.

Going to the home page and attempting to log in earns one of three results:
1. Absolutely nothing happens and you go on to the Facebook website proper with no ill effects.
2. You get a message that you have erred somehow and are asked to enter your data. THIS ONE IS DEFINITELY A TRAP! The error message is posted by a party/parties unknown as an attempt to get your personal data to enter Facebook pretending to be you for reasons that will benefit no one but themselves.
3. You are automatically attacked, like the initial reports that generated our first warning.

Unfortunately, we are getting more reports of instance #2 than anything else, although instance #1 does outnumber instance #3.
Still, the staff and management of The Free Choice E-zine are dependent upon our computers for far more than just surfing the Internet, and thus are unwilling to risk our own terminals to verify this data first hand for ourselves.

People who have become victims of the virus attack have had to have their systems completely wiped/cleaned and reformatted; and as stated, no one with The Free Choice E-zine can afford to be without our computers for any extended period of time, let alone cover the expense of the repair bill.

We certainly do not wish those connected with Facebook any ill will and hope this situation is corrected soon. If anyone in an official capacity with the social website can contact this E-zine and let us know what is going on from their perspective, The Free Choice will be more than happy to share that information with our readers.
If these reports are in error, we will be more than happy to post the appropriate retraction(s).
But if the story is accurate, please remember that we did try to warn you.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here, and you will not believe what I have dug up for you this weekend!
I have managed to get my paws on EXCLUSIVE photos of the military's latest submarine race!
Apparently every so often various submarines compete against each other as a way to not only hone their crews' skills, but earn bragging rights in the mess hall afterwards.
Ready to see them?
Or should that be sea them?
Here they are at the starting line, and it looks like its going to be an exciting race today folks.
Sea Flea had to be scratched from the race because it was needed elsewhere and Mustard is on hold pending assignment, but otherwise the contestants are lined up and... They're off!
As you can see here at the half way point:
Lettuce is a head
Tomato is starting to catch up
And Bananas is trying to work its way through the bunch
In the home stretch...
Grapes is letting out a little wine because it's last
Who's in first
What's second and I Don't Know is in third place
And as you can see by this image on the left, it was a photo finish (glossy, I think), but the winner was: BEETLEBAUM!

Hope you enjoyed seeing these exclusive photos and please be back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!
Have a great week everyone!-AtP.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Amongst the events around the globe happening this week...

*Radioactivity has been detected in the seawater on the shore near the troubled Fukushima Dia-Ichi nuclear power plant.
*The death toll between the devastating earthquake and tsunami has now reached 11000 people, although many more are still unaccounted for.

*NATO has taken over administration of the no-fly zone over that country and is preparing to assume full control of the International Response Team surrounding that country.
*Although they claim recently victories in Ajdabyia and Marsa Berga, government forces loyal to Muammar Gadaffi are still fighting the rebels opposed to his continued rule.

*United States President Barack Obama completed a five day goodwill visit of Latin America.
*Former baseball player Barry Bonds is now on trial for perjury charges from previous investigations into the illegal use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs within the sport.
*Communications giant AT &T is poised to buy T-Mobile USA.
*The 2010 United States Census reveals New York City, with 8, 175,133 residents; to be the largest city within America

The world takes note of the passing of actress Elizabeth Taylor, the first female Vice-Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, and former United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

*Nintendo has released their new 3DS to mixed reviews. While the 3D screen technology does NOT require specialized glasses to view; the battery life is short (only three hours fully charged), Internet access and a few other options are not yet available, and there are only three titles available with the initial release. However all the old DS games can be played on it in traditional 2D mode.

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


Another weekend is upon us, so sharpen your wits and see if you can defeat this weekend's conundrums.

If you alter one letter in each word as is, you can form a new word.
BUT if you change the right letter, the four new words will have something in common. Ready?
01. RISE
02. LILT
04. IRES

I actually got in an online debate over this recently, and thought it would make a good trivia question. On the television series Happy Days (1974-1984), exactly HOW many children did the Cunninghams have?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from March 19's Puzzle Corner.

An EQUINOX is when the day and night of a specific date are exactly 12 hours each. There are two in a calendar year: one in the Spring and one in the Fall.

All the states listed have a place called Springfield, although none are the one with the (in)famous Simpsons.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The Free Choice E-zine has just been informed that apparently the social website FACEBOOK has allegedly been affected by a virus of unknown origin.
Reports are coming in that all you have to do is go to the site's homepage and you are automatically targeted!
The staff and management of this website sincerely hope that this report is in error, but we are not in a position to risk our own computers and verify the reports first hand for ourselves.
IF this news item is in error, The Free Choice E-zine will gladly retract this story and most sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused on our part.
Otherwise, remember...
We did try to warn you.

We of The Free Choice E-zine are still receiving conflicting reports as to whether or not what we reported yesterday is accurate.
Some have thanked us for the warning and others compare us to the boy who cried wolf. To the latter, we point out that the child was right once, although by then no one would listen to him.
The fact of the matter is that, as stated yesterday, we are not in a (financial) position to risk our own computers to find out first hand. We depend upon these terminals not only for our personal enjoyment, but our professional livelihoods as well.
Those that swear the report is true all claim the same thing: that the incident(s) happened on Facebook's home page BEFORE they logged in, and have nothing to do with a previous virus that involved either watching a video or being tagged in a photo on the social website.
To overcome being exposed and able to use your computer again involves a complete wipe/cleaning/reformatting of the unit and fully reinstalling your Operating System!
Please note that this a software/virus issue and not a hardware problem. Professional technicians hired by private users to repair their systems have been charging three digit fees for their services.

The Free Choice E-zine sincerely hopes that whatever the situation is will be cleared up soon and does not wish Facebook any ill will, for we have accounts and friends on that site too!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Hello Everybody!
I'm the first robin of Spring. Call me Rob. Everyone around the forest does. I'm happy to be back up North after my Southern vacation.
Before we begin, I would like to clarify a couple of things.
First off, I know what conditions are like for some of you right now, but I have absolutely no control over the weather whatsoever. Last fall when I was booking my trip South, my travel agent and I looked over the calendar, saw March 20 was to be the first day of Spring for 2011, and booked my return flight accordingly.
And yes, we do fly South every year because it's too far to walk, but if you protect your nest egg well enough, you can afford to pay someone else do the flying every trip. I'm still mad at the airline for losing my luggage, but that's another story.
Anyway, I know some areas are still having below freezing every night, and a few places are even preparing for the possibility of snow this week (again!), but that is not my fault.
Secondly, I have absolutely no connection with anyone who dresses up as a bat. Granted, I know some birds who are big in Major League Baseball circles, but that's as close as I get.
Anyway, today is the first day of Spring, at least as far as the calendar is concerned, so I thought I would entertain you with some jokes. Ready?

Why do chicken coupes have only two doors?
Because if they had four doors, then they would be chicken sedans.

Why do hummingbirds hum?
Because they forgot the words.
Can you imagine forgetting the words to your own bird songs? How embarrassing!

What bird lives underground?
A mynah bird!
And considering some of the lucky strikes they make sometimes, no wonder they'll able to feather their nests so nicely.

What do you call an intelligent duck?
A wise quacker.

Well, that's about all the space I was given for this guess appearance. Now I'm gonna fly back to my nest and try to stay warm until Spring really arrives. I think the season needs to get a new travel agent, don't you?
Take care and be back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-Rob.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Amongst events happening around the globe this past week:

*Farm products within a 20 mile radius of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant are being destroyed as a precautionary measure after farm crops closest to the facility have revealed proof of radiation exposure.
*As efforts continue to deal with the facility's tsunami/earthquake damage, the situation at the power plant is now akin to the incident at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania.
*There are over 10,000 confirmed dead and over 16,000 still missing across Japan in wake of recent events.
*Current events in Japan are causing other countries to rethink their nuclear power policies. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela now says his country will not pursue plans to build their first facility, while Germany and China have announced their intention to cut back existing usage.

*An International coalition is poised to intercede in Libya on behalf of the civilians caught in the middle of protests over Muammar Gaddafi trying to retain power.
*Frank Buckles, the last veteran of World War 1 who passed away on February 27, was formally buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery March 15.
*Earth's moon will be making its closest/fullest appearance to us planet bound mortals this weekend.
*The NASA space probe MESSENGER is now the first man made satellite to orbit the planet Mercury.

*The Monkees (alphabetically: Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork) have announced a 45th anniversary tour of the group. Check their website ( for more information. While not an active tour participant, it is rumored that Michael Nesmith might join the trio at the tour's end in California, like he did during the 40th anniversary tour in 2006.
*The 2011 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are Tom Waits, Doctor John, Neil Diamond, and Alice Cooper.

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


Hello everybody! Another timely themed Puzzle Corner for you this weekend.

Tomorrow marks the first day of Spring for 2011, also known as the Spring Equinox. What is so special about an equinox?

The following group all have something in common. Do you know what it is?

{Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Vermont}

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX and reveal the results from March 12's Puzzle Corner.

Any response in regards to adjusting your clocks properly for Daylight Saving Time is acceptable.

The Brothers Darryl (of Larry, Darryl, and Darryl from Bob Newhart's second sitcom) DID speak briefly during the series finale when, fed up with their wives' constant yakking, they yelled in unison "QUIET!" The characters never said another word during that episode, for the running gag during every appearance on the show was that only Larry ever spoke.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Aye, 'tis March 17th around the world, and many of Irish desent, and a lot more who ain't, celebrate this day in honor of the venerable Saint Patrick, the man who legends claim drove all the snakes out of Ireland.
To celebrate ourselves, The Free Choice E-zine once more dusts off and presents our annual "politically correct" Saint Patrick's Day joke. To wit:

What is Irish and hangs out in your backyard?
Patty O'Furniture!

If you party, don't go too hardy. Tomorrow IS Friday!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


While many citizens around the world want to contribute to the relief efforts in Japan, unfortunately there are already scam artists about trying to capitalize upon their misfortune.

If you would like to donate to the disaster relief efforts, PLEASE GIVE DIRECTLY TO THE RED CROSS!

In America, you can either go to and donate, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 on your cellphone/blackberry/whatever device, which will automatically donate $10 US Dollars to that organization's efforts to help and add it to the next bill from your next Internet provider.

Internationally: you can contact the INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS at

A THIRD explosion was reported at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant this morning. United States Naval vessels off the Japanese coast hoping to help with the relief efforts are detecting radiation leakage in the atmosphere.
Authorities are attempting containment procedures as you read these words.
The hopes and prayers are with our brethren in Japan.

Efforts are continuing to minimize the risks around and concerning the nuclear power plant.
Residents within a 15 mile area of the facility have been evacuated, although due to the cultural/generational impact as a result of events during the end of World War 2, many citizens elsewhere in Japan are leaving the country voluntarily.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here!
Did you remember to set your clocks forward to start Daylight Saving Time today? Hope you weren't late to anything.
In the past, Daylight Saving Time used to be timed with the start of Spring, until the United States Congress decided to extend the event to hopefully conserve some electricity.
Now of course it's still a full week before Spring actually begins, at least as far as the calendar is concerned. Your guess is as good as mine in regards to when the weather will catch up with the calendar and we truly have Spring.
But despite my name, since that was the season I was born in, and my love for Winter, as long as it's decent enough to go outside and play; I love Spring. Guess I'm just a dog for all seasons.
Spring is terrific!
The flowers start to bloom. The trees begin to leaf, and trust me, being a dog, it's not fun going to a bare bathroom. The grass turns green. The birds and the bees return, and believe it or not, it's TRUE what people say about them. 
Over this past winter, I saw plenty of snowbirds, which makes me wonder why they all didn't fly south for the winter. I saw chickadees, tufted tit-mice, although I think they should lobby for a new name; goldfinches, house sparrows, but considering the cold temperatures we've had this past winter, I wonder why they didn't stay indoors; and a whole lot more. There was also blue jays and cardinals available for viewing over the winter months, but they all left my area in mid-February to warm up for baseball season.
Ah Spring...
Now if only the skies would turn from grey to blue.

Have a great week everybody and we'll be back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies! I think I'll let my stream of conscious thought go flow somewhere else right now.-AtP.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


For those affected by this event, DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME BEGINS TONIGHT. Please remember to set your clocks FORWARD one hour.

Amongst events happening around the world this past week:

*Citizens in some Pacific Ocean areas are trying to start recovery and rescue operations in wake of the recent tsunami. Especially hit hard was Japan, where there is now growing concerns about the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Facility. But despite reports of a recent explosion there, NO radiation leaks have been detected.

*Tensions amidst the Koreas continues as allegations arise that North Korea has used jamming technology so the various units of the South Korea military could not communicate with each other.
*Despite continued protests and riots in his country, Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi remains in power. There are reports that his government has allegedly put bounties on the the rebel leaders.
*The Republican Wisconsin Senators voted on a modified version of the state budget without their Democratic minority brethren present, thus granting Governor Scott Walker's wish to eliminate the state unions' collective bargaining option. The state still does not have an official operating budget at this time. The state capitol building has since been closed to the public to prevent protests!
*The Space Shuttle Discovery successfully completed its last mission this week as the shuttle program prepares to conclude. While recovering from her wounds, United States Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords plans to attend the next launch of the shuttle Endeavor, piloted by her husband.

*The American National Football League team owners and players have yet to reach an agreement on a new contract, which now creates a possibility of at least a delayed, if not canceled 2011 season. The dispute points include player safety issues and the owners making more money while it is the players taking the physical risks.

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


Another weekend is upon us, and puzzle fans of this E-zine know what that means!

A familiar, and in this case, timely phrase is represented by the image below. Do you know what it is?

This is just like a regular Trivia Time question, but there are only two possible answers, so you have a fifity-fifty chance to get it right. Ready?

Did the Brothers Darryl, of Larry, Darryl, and Darryl; on Bob Newhart's second sitcom EVER speak?

We'll reveal all next weekend. Meanwhile, let's peek in THE ANSWERS BOX, for the results from March 5's Puzzle Corner!

While all celebrities, everybody listed entered the world on March 5, the same day our illustrious Editor-In-Chief was born.

Since we were celebrating that event, out of the letters in the word BIRTHDAY, you can form the words: a, ab (a muscle), ad, ah, air, art, at, bad, bait, bid, birth, bay, braid, brat, dab, dairy, dart, day, diary, dirty, ha (a short laugh), had, hair, hat, hi (a short form of "hello"), hit, I, id (part of the human psyche), it, rad (an accepted slang version of radical), raid, rat, rib, rid, tab, tad, tar, tray, AND yard.
Other words besides the 38 listed above, may be possible.

Thursday, March 10, 2011



While it should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following events there, the Republicans within the Wisconsin State Senate went ahead and voted on a modified version of Governor Scott Walker's proposed budget WITHOUT their Democratic brethren present.
The new measure, which only eliminates the collective bargaining option that the state unions USED TO have and did NOT address the state's actual budget issues, passed unanimously amongst them.
Needless to say that even without the current protests that have arisen since the news first became public knowledge, this does not sit well amongst those affected by the state's actions.
Granted, even if the 14 member Democratic minority of the Wisconsin State Senate had ended their walkout and were present to vote, the outcome sadly/probably would have remained the same.
Yet because those 14 Senators WERE NOT present, is this legal?
We of this humble website personally do not think it should be, although we also freely admit that the final decision on this belongs to the courts.

The Free Choice E-zine will keep an eye on events there.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


With a safe landing just before Noon, Eastern Standard Time today, the Space Shuttle Discovery completed its 39th and last mission. While the Endeavor and Atlantis shuttles have yet to take off on their final missions, NASA is discontinuing the shuttle program between government budget cuts and the hopes of building a new vehicle, spurred by the possibility of resuming missions to the moon as a first step in building a permanent base there.
One tradition astronauts have enjoyed since the first trip to the moon has been the morning wake up call.
Over the years, this ritual has been spotlighted by various pieces of music and guest performances by celebrities and dignitaries alike.
The following video of William Shatner's prerecorded wake up call that was sent to the shuttle Discovery March 8th is making the rounds on the Internet.
While it has yet to go viral, it definitely sums up the feelings of many supporters of the space program.
Enjoy the clip, courtesy of You Tube.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, whereupon we take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate all the good things that women have, do, and will bring into our lives.
Women, individually and as a gender, have faced a lot of hardships over the past centuries, and it is nice to know that they have been able to overcome some, if not all, of the problems that society and misconceived perceptions have heaped upon them over the years.

Video (c) Schoolhouse Rock, Ink Inc.; courtesy of You Tube.

Sunday, March 6, 2011



Hello Everybody. Autumn the Puppy here.
Now although there is such a thing as political humor, and personally, I find a lot of what humans call politics funny; I feel that the Sunday Funnies is (usually) just not the proper place. We're here to entertain, not take a stand on something.
Unfortunately, one cannot always stay neutral on an issue.
And trust me, I could talk for hours on end about being neutered!
I'm sure everyone's heard about the situation in Wisconsin, USA by now.
If not, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker offered a contract to the state unions that, amongst other things, would take away their collective bargaining power. If that contract is approved by the state legislature, then whenever it is up for renewal again, Wisconsin could offer the unions whatever they wanted under what would basically be the principle of "take it or leave it". The outcome of this remains to be seen.

I know times are ruff. Everybody and everything is tightening their economic belts as much as possible. My dog food is now coming in smaller cans and doesn't taste as good as it used to!
Cities and states are cutting back expenses wherever they can. But one area that always seems to get trimmed is education.
Less money is put into educational resources. Some schools are closed and the classes combined in other areas, making the larger classes harder on everyone.
One resource that is always cut, and I feel it shouldn't be, is TEACHERS.
Let's face it folks, after the parents, teachers are the next biggest asset to a child's education. After all, the students of today are supposed to become the leaders of tomorrow, and I think a potential leader should have more qualifications than the ability to ask: "Do you want fries with that?"
With that in mind...

A teacher was trying to instruct her pre-school class of 5 year olds how to read. One of them pointed to a picture in a storybook and said, "It's a frickin' elephant!"
The teacher asked, "Why did you call it that?"
The student replied, "Because it says so."
And underneath the picture, it did.

Aren't shortcuts like Hooked On Phonics wonderful?
Support Education! Support Teachers!

And if you can read this, thank a teacher!
We'll be back next weekend with more Sunday Funnies!-AtP,

Saturday, March 5, 2011



This is the lastest in our longstanding series NEWS THAT MAKES YOU THINK, where The Free Choice E-zine focuses upon specific news stories for more coverage.
And the items in this installment have a specific theme, as indicated by the title of this post.

*Protests continue in Wisconsin, USA over Governor Scott Walker's proposed contract with the state unions that would end collective bargaining. Meanwhile, the Republican controlled Senate has issued arrest warrants and passed a measure to start fining their missing Democratic members $100 US Dollars a day until they return to create the quorum necessary to vote on Walker's proposed contract.

The Free Choice E-zine has already posted one specific article on current events in the state of Wisconsin ("Budget Woes") and has been keeping a close eye on events there.
But here's what we would like to know:
If the 14 Wisconsin Sentorial Democrats fled to keep Governor Walker's proposed contract from coming to a vote, HOW can the remaining Republicans have a quorum to LEGALLY issue arrest warrants, let alone start imposing fines upon their missing members?

*US Congressional Republicans have submitted a bill to remove the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate pollution emissions!

Now as everyone knows, coming up with an idea and submitting a proposal is a long way off from actually having it become law, but with all due respect to the members of that august organization behind the proposal, The Free Choice E-zine has to humbly ask one question:

The staff and management of this website, along with the majority of Americans in this country and just about every citizen of the world, happen to like breathing, and prefer to have our air as fresh and clean as humanly possible.
We sincerely hope that not only does this bill fail to gain any support and become official, but that everyone involved with this STUPID IDEA fails to win their next reelection bid and never serves in a public office again!


Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week include:

*After all the unrest in that country, the Egyptian Stock Market will reopen this coming Tuesday. Meanwhile unrest continues in Lybia over the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, including sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

*United States President Barack Obama IS willing to work with Congressional Republicans to make deeper cuts within the proposed governmental budget. Although uncertain where said cuts would be made, he is hoping the two sides (Republicans and Democrats) can agree on a budget soon. The country is currently running on an emergency financial measure that expires March 18.
*Protests continue in Wisconsin, USA over Governor Scott Walker's proposed contract with the state unions that would end collective bargaining. Meanwhile, the Republican controlled Senate has issued arrest warrants and passed a measure to start fining their missing Democratic members $100 US Dollars a day until they return to create the quorum necessary to vote on Walker's proposed contract.
*US Congressional Republicans have submitted a bill to remove the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate pollution emissions!
*Frank Buckles, the last surviving veteran to have served during the first World War, has passed away of natural causes at the age of 110.
*Apple announced the impending release of the IPAD TWO.

*Mike Myers can keep a secret. The actor married his fiance Kelly Tisdale FIVE MONTHS ago! And are just now making the news public.
*Due to his recent actions, Charlie Sheen has been the subject of jokes from every conceivable source. But the final outcome of his personal problems and the sitcom Two and a Half Men remain unknown.
*The King's Speech was the big winner at the 83rd Academy Awards Sunday night, including Best Picture and Best Director Tom Hooper.

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.


Today is our esteemed Editor-In-Chief's birthday! Let's celebrate!

The following group of people share something in common. What is it?
{Dean Stockwell, Brad Mills, Niki Taylor, Penn Jillette}

How many words can you make out of the letters in the big event: BIRTHDAY?

We'll blow out the candles, cut the cake, and open the gifts to reveal all next weekend.
But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX, for the results of our Academy Awards Quiz from the February 26 Puzzle Corner.

01. Although Peter O'Toole was nominated EIGHT times, he never won a Best Actor award!
02. What year was the very first Academy Awards ceremony held? 1929, celebrating the films of 1928.
03. Wings won Best Picture that year.
04. What three awards from that very first ceremony have NOT been presented since?
Best Engineering Effects, Best Title Writing (for the silent movies), and Best Unique and Artistic Quality of Production.
05. What was the very first musical to win the award for Best Picture? Broadway Melody in 1930.
06. Do you remember what movie won the award for Best Picture last year (2010)? The Hurt Locker.
07. 1960 was the first televised Academy Awards ceremony. But for whatever reason(s), telecasts were sporadic until 1973.
08. Ben Hur won Best Picture during that broadcast.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


The following is an editorial.
In these current times of economic problems; individuals, companies, even cities and countries, have had to start tightening their proverbial belts and cut costs wherever possible.
We have all heard tales of woe and even some stories of civil unrest at various points around the globe.

The current conflict within Wisconsin, USA is just a sign of the times.
There, Republican Governor Scott Walker made an offer to the state unions, which they promptly rejected because part of the proposal would have done away with collective bargaining. If the unions had accepted Governor Walker's plan, they would have lost all rights to negotiate in the future. The state could offer anything it wanted to on future contract renewals and that was it. Take it or leave.

Now employees' union ARE aware of what is going on in the world and ARE willing to talk with their potential employers.
But to totally remove the discussion option from any agreement sat so badly with the people, a recent poll of Wisconsin voters now wish they never elected Scott Walker governor, and it will be a major miracle if he ever wins another election.

While the 'no bargaining' measure passed practically unanimously in the all Republican Wisconsin State House of Representatives, the 14 Democrats in the minority of the Wisconsin Senate have fled the state and are currently in exile to keep the measure from coming up for a vote there.
Protests are still ongoing, although those against Walker's plan are no longer allowed inside the Wisconsin capitol!
But although many eyes are turned to see how the Wisconsin situation plays out, there ARE signs of positive economic recovery on the horizon!

Under Mayor Kasim Reed, the city of Atlanta, Georgia in the southern part of the United States has managed to cut its operating budget while not only maintaining existing city services, it has even improved them!

Makes one stop and take notice, doesn't it?