Sunday, March 30, 2014

SUNDAY FUNNIES: AMUSING ANIMALS (animal jokes)

Winging your way
Hello Everybody! Waxy Dragon here!

I've been hanging out with some of my pals over the weekend, like Autumn the Puppy, Sammy the Skunk, Bucky Beaver, Debra Doe, and a host of others (Joe, who hosted the party and is a really great guy).

The end result is that I have some new animal themed jokes to share with you.
Ready?

Did you hear about the fish who loved to talk?
He was a great debater.
(Wait for it... oh! NOW you get it!)

What do you call a cow that did NOT jump over the moon?
Normal! I'm still waiting to see a cow make that leap to begin with, let alone a fiddle playing cat and all that other stuff from the nursery rhyme.

A group of animals went out to dinner. When the waiter brought the check at the end of the meal, the skunk said "I only have one scent."
The cow said, "You'll have to ask one of the udders to pay."
The deer said, "I spent my last buck earlier and have no doe now."
The duck sighed and told the waiter to put it on his bill.

AND NOW IT'S STORY TIME!

Alfred the camel
Once upon a time there was a handsome Bactrian Camel with two humps named Alfred.

Marie the camel

He met, fell in love with, and married a one-hump Dromedary Camel named Marie.




A couple of years later, Marie gave birth to a beautiful baby boy camel, who had absolutely no humps. After a long and careful debate (I wonder if there were any fish involved?) what did they decide to name their son?

Alfred and Marie's son


HUMPHREY!

And on that n♫te, have a great week everybody, and please be back here again next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!
wd

Saturday, March 29, 2014

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: MARCH 23-29, 2014

IT'S BOGANDA DAY IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
AND MARTYR'S DAY IN MADAGASCAR

AMONGST EVENTS THAT HAVE HAPPENED AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*Authorities now believe that Malaysia Airline's Flight 370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean as search efforts continue.
*Originally beginning with college students, the Sunflower Student Movement has grown from a protest of a trade agreement between Taiwan and The People's Republic of China to now what some analysts think might become the start of Taiwan becoming a people instead of political party oriented democracy.
*Guinea is facing an outbreak of Ebola!
*Ireland is investigating claims of their National Police force's DECADES LONG phone tapping activities.
*Turkey has blocked the public's access to YouTube after discovering a potential intelligence leak.
*Jens Stoltenberg is the new Secretary General of NATO.
10199 Chariklo
*10199 Chariklo (left), positioned between Saturn and Uranus, has been confirmed as the first known asteroid with its own rings!
*Sir Peter Cosgrove is the new Governor General of Australia.
*The United Kingdom has had its first same gender marriage ceremonies.
*Mongolian sumo wrestler Kakury├╣ Rikisabur├▓ has obtained yokozuna, the highest possible rank.
*Civil unrest continues in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria.

BETWEEN THE UKRAINE AND CRIMEA
*Now considering itself a part of Russia, Crimea has ordered all Ukrainian forces out of the country.
*The annual G8 Summit, that this year was to be held in Sochi, Russia; has been canceled. No word of rescheduling it at another location yet.
*In the wake of "losing Crimea", the Ukraine has replaced its Minister of Defense.
*The United Nations has passes a motion officially condemning Russian annexation of Crimea.
*The new interim government of the Ukraine secured a loan from the International Monetary Fund after agreeing to raise natural gas prices by 50%. Russia has since announced that the Ukraine will now have to pay 80% more for any natural gas supplied by them.
*Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov says his country has "no intention" of invading the Ukraine.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
*The US Supreme Court is hearing arguments whether or not businesses have the right of "religious freedom". At stake? Whether or not those businesses can dictate what is covered by their respective health insurance policies under the claim of "religious practices".
*Dangerous mudslides continue in Washington state, with 16 confirmed dead and numerous additional people unaccounted for.
*Chevrolet has recalled over 172,000 Cruzes for faulty front axles; and cars from 2003-2001 because of faulty ignition switches.
*Although the Ukraine/Crimea situation is an ongoing concern; after visiting the Netherlands, President Barack Obama continued his current diplomatic mission by meeting with Pope Francis for the first time since the new Pope took office.
*Four people were arrested for parachuting off the top of the New World Trade Center Tower.



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THE PUZZLE CORNER: MARCH 29, 2014


Another weekend is upon us, so let's play a couple of games that haven't come up in a while.

COMMON BONDS
The items in each subset below have something in common.
Do you know what it is?

01. {Coffee, tea}
And yes, we know they are both beverages
02. {Bullwinkle Moose, Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Homer Simpson}
And yes, we know they are all cartoon characters

WHO AM I?
Based upon the clue below, can you identify the specific person?

According to her theme song:
She knows her Proverbs, A to Z; and knows the good they bring
But when she has to follow them, well that's another thing!

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's open THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from our March 22, 2014 Puzzle Corner.


TRIVIA TIME
What show features a rotating group of "spinterns"?
Bones

REBUS
What phrase is represented by the image on the right? IT'S SPRING!

Or, at least according to the calendar it's supposed to be. Considering the weather in some parts of the world since March 22 when the Spring Equinox occurred, I don't think Winter got the memo.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

SUNDAY FUNNIES: CALLING ALL JOKES!

Can you bark me now?
Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here!

Noted author Arthur C. Clarke first envisioned the concept in 1959.

The original Star Trek television series made it popular, and inventor Martin Cooper made the dream a reality, as the cell phone celebrates its 40th anniversary.

But, as you can see in the image below, the original units were a far cry from today's versions.

Family album?

So what does all of this have to do with the Sunday Funnies?
Phone jokes!

Do molecules use cell phones to call each other, or do they need something more microscopic?

Nowadays, love means never having to say anything to each other because you're both too busy looking at your smart phones.

Those devices must be smart phones. After all, you're the one paying the bills.

If you're rich and you talk to yourself, you're eccentric. If you're poor and talk to yourself, people call you crazy. But if you have a cellphone and talk to yourself anyway, you can fool everybody!


Is it true turtles have shell-ular phones?

Why are dogs like cell phones?
Because they both have collar I.D.!

And on that note, have a great week everyone, and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!--AtP.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: MARCH 16-22, 2014

TODAY IS WORLD WATER DAY, TO ACKNOWLEDGE
HOW PRECIOUS THIS NATURAL RESOURCE IS.

AMONGST EVENTS THAT HAVE HAPPENED AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*As the search for evidence indicating the fate of missing Malaysia Flight 370 continues, MSN reports that some families of the missing passengers and crew now claim that they have been lied to about the overall situation, the search process, and its progress.
*The Thailand Constitutional Court has declared the February 2 general election invalid because the event was staggered and not held on the exact same day across the country.
*The results of an online referendum show Venice is willing to secede from Italy!
*Turkey has restricted its citizens' access to Twitter after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened the social network because of allegedly publishing politically sensitive documents.
*Syria and the United States have ended all diplomatic relations.
*Scientists have found evidence to prove the theory of cosmic inflation: that the universe is expanding.
*Civil unrest continues in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Syria.

FROM THE UKRAINE AND CRIMEA...
*Crimea has voted to leave the Ukraine and rejoin Russia, which has since accepted the region into its federation. Meanwhile, other countries are condemning the referendum because the only option on the ballot was whether or not to secede and never mentioned the possibility of staying aligned with the Ukraine.
*Russian officials that participated in the secession face sanctions from other countries, who are applying even more sanctions against Russia itself.
*Skirmishes are reported as Russian forces have taken over former Ukrainian Naval and Air Force bases.
*As the Ukraine signed an association accord with the European Union, Transnistria, another country on the Ukraine border, has filed a formal petition to join the Russian Federation.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
*The Democratic Party says Republican aligned super-pacs have spent millions of dollars on misleading advertising against their candidates well in advance of the upcoming November 2014 general elections.
*The United States Senate is investigating whether or not the Central Intelligence Agency has spied on that portion of Congress.
*Toyota has been fined $1.2 Billion dollars (US) to settle claims that it lied to safety investigators in the United States and the general public about accelerator defects.
*A federal judge has overturned Michigan's ban on same gender marriages.
*The NCAA College Basketball tournaments are underway for both the Men's and Women's Divisions.


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THE PUZZLE CORNER: MARCH 22, 2014

Greetings Puzzle Fans. The weather is in a state of flux across the globe, but the enigmas are always challenging.

TRIVIA TIME
What show features a rotating group of "spinterns"?

REBUS
A familiar phrase is represented by the image below. Do you know what it is?

Rebus image for March 22


We'll reveal all next weekend.
But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from our March 15, 2014 Puzzle Corner saluting Saint Patrick's Day.

TRIVIA TIME
Why do we wear green on Saint Patrick's Day?
To represent shamrocks and the lush landscape of Ireland.

THE LETTER SHUFFLE
Not counting acronyms and proper names, out of the letters in the work SHAMROCK, you can make the following words:

A, ah, am, arc(s), ark(s), arm(s), as, ash
Cam(s), car(s), cash, char(s), charm(s), chaos, chasm, cram(s), crash, croak(s)
Hack(s), ham(s), harm(s), has
Mach, mack, march, mar(s), marsh, mash, mock(s)
Oak(s), oar(s), oh, or
Rack(s), rah (which is an old cheer word), ram(s), rash, roach, roam(s), rock(s)
Sack, scam, scar, scram, sham, shack, shark, shock, soak, soar

While unfortunately we could not come up with any that started with the letter K, others besides them and the 70 listed above might be possible.

Monday, March 17, 2014

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY 2014

Ah, me fine lads and lassies, I've been so busy on this fine Saint Patrick's Day that I almost didn't get a chance to stop by and wish all ye fine Free Choice E-zine readers the blessings of the day and night.

And, of course, there's the telling the annual joke.

What's green, Irish, and loves to hang out in your back yard?
Patti O'Furniture!

If you party, please do so responsibly, for ye should be around to enjoy the rest of the year ahead too.

Until next Saint Patrick's Day...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

SUNDAY FUNNIES: CLOTHES MAKE THE...?

Here I am again all you lucky people!
Waxy Dragon winging her way to entertain you for a few minutes on the subject of clothes.
Now, as I'm sure a lot of our astute Free Choice E-zine readers have noticed, Autumn the Puppy and I don't wear clothing, at least not to the extent you Humans do. Autumn has her collar and dog tags, although if you can't tell she's a golden retriever canine...
And I wear an occasional ribbon, despite the fact I don't have hair, because I like the colors but otherwise; I mean, come on, depending upon its gender, when was the last time you actually saw a dragon in a three piece suit or an evening gown?
Of course, I've never seen a clothes horse before, but I have to wonder where do they find outfits their size?
Dressed for the Arctic?

I'm all for animals getting much needed blankets and sweaters to help fight those long cold winters, but forcing a pet into a Halloween costume is a bit much.
Now, with all that off my chest, here are the clothes jokes, folks!

The old suit was getting so threadbare, they sent it back from the cleaners on a spool!

Why did the avid reader cut the sleeves off their coat?
So they wouldn't have to put their book down while getting dressed to go out.

Why was the man wearing a bathing suit, with a straw hat on his head, a fur coat in one hand, and an umbrella in the other?
Because no matter what the weather, he would always be prepared!

Room for more?
A wife asked her husband what happened to her evening gowns.
"I don't know. Did you ask the moths in the closet?" he replied.

Did you hear about the man who laughed at his wife's new outfit?
He wasn't laughing when the bill came!

Did you hear about the little brother who was going to buy his big brother new clothes for his birthday?
The little brother was going to make sure to get stuff that he would like when they became hand-me-downs later.

Wear a bad pair of trousers and you can always get to the seat of the trouble.

Well, that's all the room I have for this time. Have a great week folks and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!--wd.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: MARCH 9-15, 2014

TODAY IS THE INFAMOUS(?) IDES OF MARCH.

AMONGST EVENTS THAT HAVE HAPPENED AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is still missing, and authorities now believe it might have been hijacked, present whereabouts unknown.
*The Libyan Parliament has replaced Prime Minister Ali Zedian with their Defense Secretary Abdullah al-Thani as acting Prime Minister.
*New Zealand is scheduled to hold a general election September 20, 2014. The country is also planning a referendum to consider changing the design of their national flag.
*Fyffes of Ireland and Chiquita of America are planning a merger that would create the world's largest banana company.
*Fiji is fighting an outbreak of dengue fever.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

ON THE UKRAINE-CRIMEA SITUATION:
*Although it is only under consideration, Russia says any United States financial aid to the Ukraine is illegal.
*Officials have threatened to shut down all Ukrainian supplied electricity and water if a planned separation referendum is held March 16th.
*United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov met at a neutral site in London to discuss the situation. No word on the outcome of those talks.


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THE PUZZLE CORNER: MARCH 15, 2014

Saint Patrick, in stained glass
With March 17th being the annual celebration of Saint Patrick's Day, let's honor the day here in The Puzzle Corner.

TRIVIA TIME
Why do we wear GREEN on Saint Patrick's Day?

THE LETTER SHUFFLE
How many new words can you make out of the letters in the word SHAMROCK?


We'll reveal all next weekend.
But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results our special OSCAR QUIZ from our March 8, 2014 Puzzle Corner.


01. He "painted" The Picture of Dorian GrayOSCAR Wilde
02. He was a smash on Broadway with Richard Rodgers. OSCAR Hammerstein II
03. Oscar is his baloney's first name. OSCAR Mayer
04. The famous jazz pianist that fits our quiz theme. OSCAR Peterson
05. "The Golden Boy" boxer. OSCAR de la Hoya
06. He played professional basketball for the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks. OSCAR Robertson
07. For who is the Oscar statuette named after?
In all honesty, no one knows for sure! The origin of the name is in dispute. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

HAPPY PI DAY, 2014!

"It's all Greek to me."
Today is March 14, 2014.
Or 03-14 to digital systems.
3.14.

Pi!

The mathematical constant is basically the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.

An irrational number that cannot be expressed as a common fraction, its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern.

Although Cohen gave it a good shot in the image below, computers have been used to track PI to over 67,000 digits without completing the sequence!

Long, isn't it?

So for you number fans out there, go out and have a slice of your favorite dessert and enjoy the day!

Pumpkin Pi

Monday, March 10, 2014

SGT. JANUS AND JIM BEARD RETURN!

Cover art by Zachary Brunner
TFCE: Today we're here with author Jim Beard, to chat about his latest book: SGT. JANUS RETURNS. First off Jim, why don't you refresh our audience's memory about who Sgt. Janus is and what readers have to look forward to in this book.
JIM: The good sergeant is a “Spirit-Breaker,” a man who has taken it upon himself to aid those being hindered or harried by the spirits of the dead. Sgt. Janus “breaks” their ties to the mortal plane, sometimes easily, sometimes not, and sends them on their way to their reward …or punishment as the case may be.
SGT. JANUS RETURNS is Act Two. At the end of SGT. JANUS SPIRIT-BREAKER, Janus met with a spirit far more powerful than any he’d encountered before and, well, something very bad happened. The second volume illuminates his path to recovery, yet with a major twist.

TFCE: In our previous interview, you hinted that the first Sgt. Janus book was actually part of a larger story. Was there a much bigger novel originally written, or just a larger tale than you had room to tell in just one book?
JIM: Each book was written separately, but as I wrote the first, I knew instinctively what was to happen in the second. They’re two halves of one big story, yet they may also be read apart from one another, if I’ve done my job well enough.
Author Jim Beard, researching

TFCE: Why the change in story telling perspective between the two volumes?
JIM: I didn’t want to repeat myself, to be honest, though I had received many kind words in reviews of SGT. JANUS SPIRIT-BREAKER for its multi-narrator set-up. That said, I thought SGT. JANUS RETURNS needed a single voice to carry the reader through the story which, as I’ve mentioned before, is much more like a full novel than the collection of short stories in the first volume.
Our narrator in RETURNS is Joshua Hargreaves, a young layabout who has a chance encounter with a strange visitor to his small town and is swept up in what he believes might be the kick in the pants he needs in life, but in reality becomes something much, much more. He becomes the chronicler to a Spirit-Breaker. And what does that entail? Quite a bit, actually, more than one young man might be able to bear.

TFCE: Any particular reason why this character specifically is the narrator, instead of someone else?
JIM: Joshua makes a conscious decision to become the narrator of the book. He takes it upon himself to chronicle the events that begin to unfold before his eyes and, perhaps, makes sense of them by setting them down on paper. By doing so, we learn not only about the subject of the chronicles, but about Joshua himself; his dreams, his fears, his likes and dislikes.

TFCE: If you don't mind, please remind us of the developmental background of the Sgt. Janus character.
JIM: Sgt. Janus was created as my ode to all the great occult detectives in the very early Twentieth Century pulps, most especially William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghost Finder. Janus is cut from the same peculiar cloth; a tireless man who sets himself between the supernatural and the normal people vexed by it.
 
Book 1, cover by Jeff Herdon
TFCE: Given the amount of time that has passed between the two books, do you think the character has grown some since you last wrote of him, or was it more like picking up where you left off with an old friend?
JIM: Since I knew where I wanted to go in the second book by the time I was about half-way through the first, starting in on the writing of SGT. JANUS RETURNS was like completing an unfinished symphony, perhaps. It all fell into place, and the characters pulled me along, rushing me to the last page. And there stood the sergeant himself. The story is not that he returns – the title of the book tells you that – but HOW he returns.

TFCE: What do you foresee in Sgt. Janus' future? Have you any thoughts on his third book, let alone further tales in the series?
JIM: I have to tell you, I can’t WAIT to start writing the third book. I am so engaged and enthused about the entire concept that the ideas are now coming fast and furious and not only do I have the third book outlined, SGT. JANUS ON THE DARK TRACK, but now also the fourth, SGT. JANUS: THE GHOST OF A YEAR.

TFCE: Is there any chance of Sgt. Janus ever encountering other literary characters either involved in his line of work or employed by “the opposite side”?
JIM: Though I’ve written an (unpublished at this time) story using real-life persons in a fictional setting, I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of that device, nor of using other fictional characters. There’s usually something a bit too wink-wink about it for me, something that calls undue attention to the appearances and takes me out of the story. Now, that’s not to say that a good writer can’t pull it off – many of my pulp pals have done it and done it well – but for me, I don’t see myself doing it much going forward. Probably no “Janus Meets Carnacki” tale will be told.
That said, Barry Reese has expressed interest in a joint Gravedigger-Sgt. Janus adventure, so I won’t rule it out entirely. I mean, when Barry calls, you answer, right?

TFCE: What does the future hold for Jim Beard?
JIM: I have the second Captain Action book coming out soon, HEARTS OF THE RISING SUN; three new anthologies, BETRAYAL ON MONSTER EARTH, MONSTER ACES VOL. 2, and THE LEMON HERBERTS, and the follow-up novel to my e-short THE CORPSE ON BROADSTREET. And if all goes well there might even be a few more things thrown in the mix for good measure. Always in motion is the future…

TFCE: Well, don't let us slow you down Jim; but thanks for stopping by.

JIM: You're welcome. Any time.

The Sgt. Janus series is available either through Amazon or Airship 27 directly.

BOOK REVIEW: FEAR THE LIGHT BY WILLIAM MASSA

Available for the Kindle
I bought this book solely upon the author's synopsis: Dracula has been killed and the remainder of the clan, gathered to investigate his murder, find themselves the next targets.

Granted, not an unique plot in the mystery genre, but the first time (to my knowledge) the scenario had ever been applied to vampires.

Author William Massa acquitted himself well with this novel. I was thoroughly engrossed from beginning to end, especially since the bulk of the action occurred realistically in just one day. There was a wide variety of personalities represented by the investigating vampire clan, and it's a shame more time couldn't have been spent with Angelique, Coraline, and Julian, the former priest. Yet while the whole cast was believable, Vincent was the "star" of the novel, and the one suspect at least the reader knew was innocent. If Hollywood ever comes a'calling, I can picture Hugh Jackman in this role.

I must admit that as an avid reader, I did foresee the main event of Chapter 9 before it actually happened, although to Massa's credit, I didn't figure out who the mastermind behind it all was until after Chapter 15 because I honestly didn't think it could be <?>.

While I won't spoil the solution, my only quibbles with this novel is that while Massa did establish a viable motive for the killer's actions (always a good thing in any mystery), a little detail into HOW the guilty party was able to accomplish everything would have been nice, and Massa did kind of write himself into a cliched corner with the remaining innocent bystander.

Overall, a good read and worthy of being in any Kindle; but be warned, while not a "mature" or "gory" book, this is not a "Scooby-Doo" type mystery either. At a strong PG-13, people and vampires do die.

FEAR THE LIGHT by William Massa is currently only(?) available for the Kindle through Amazon.com.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

THE SUNDAY FUNNIES: SPRINGING FORWARD (2014 edition)

Hello all you lucky people!
You have both Autumn the Puppy and Waxy Dragon here today as the United States of America begins its annual Daylight Savings Time Observance.
A good watch dog. No ticks!

"Now then,"
began Autumn, "Congress decided to extend America's use of Daylight Savings Time by roughly two weeks in Spring and an additional week in October. Except for Arizona and Hawaii, the whole country
is now one hour ahead of where we were this time yesterday.
"Yet, while other parts of the world will soon join the party; Argentina, China, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Japan, Peru, Puerto Rico, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Taiwan, and Vanuatu don't participate either."

Flying to Spring, wherever it is.
"Odd," said Waxy Dragon, "but to each their own. I've always thought of Daylight Savings Time as the start of Spring, but since Congress changed things, it's still winter outside! I do hope Spring gets here soon! I miss seeing the flowers in bloom and leaves on the trees.
"In the meantime (no pun intended), here are the jokes folks!"

What time is it when the clock strikes 13?
Time to get a new clock!

Why did the man throw the clock out the window?
He wanted to see time fly!

"Grandpa, why don't you throw that broken clock away?"
"Because I paid good money for it. Besides, it's still right twice a day."

What kind of clock does a night owl never use?
A sun dial!

"If there are grandfather clocks, how come there are no grandmother clocks?" asked Waxy.
"Probably because women get it right the first time," answered Autumn.
"Right on!" said Waxy. "But is time travel possible?"
"It must be, because it's now a couple of minutes later than when everyone started reading this column!" replied Autumn.

And on that note, have a great week everybody and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!
AtP and WD.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: MARCH 2-8, 2014

TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!
A study by the University of California (USA) shows that Vitamin D increases the survival chances of breast cancer patients.

Amongst events happening around the world this past week...
*AUTHORITIES ARE STILL LOOKING FOR MALAYSIA FLIGHT 370, MISSING WITH 239 PEOPLE ON BOARD.
The plane, en-route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand with no word of anything being amiss beforehand.
*Pope Francis has acknowledged that same gender civil unions is a matter that should be addressed by local governments for economic and health management.
*The 2014 Winter Paralympics begin in Sochi, Russia.
*Andrus Ansip has resigned as Prime Minister of Estonia.
*Venezuela has cut off diplomatic ties with Panama, claiming that country is "a lackey of the United States". Meanwhile, thousands of Venezuelan citizens took to the streets early March 8 to protest food shortages in that country.
*Civil unrest continues in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria.

FROM THE UKRAINE AND CRIMEA
*Crimea allegedly wants to rejoin the Russian government willingly. A special referendum on the matter is scheduled to go to voters March 16th.
*United Nations envoy Robert Serry was ordered to leave Crimea at gunpoint!
*The Ukraine Navy's Commander-In-Chief has defected to Russia, but no ships or additional personnel went with him.
*Lithuania and Poland are both closely watching their borders with the conflict in progress, although Russian troops have been recalled to that country's current border.
*News anchor Liz Wahl resigned on-air in the middle of a news cast, saying she could not be part of the RT (Russia Today) network's "white washing of events".

PASSING PARADE
*Actress Shelia MacRae has left the stage.
*Actor and game show host Geoff Edwards is no longer with us.

Within the United States of America...
*Congress attempted, and failed, at their FIFTIETH attempt of repealing "Obama Care" this week, despite the fact that millions of Americans now have health care coverage under that plan who didn't have any insurance before.
*At the 86th Annual Academy Awards March 2 included 12 Years A Slave winning Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o); Gravity winning Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron), Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects; Dallas Buyers Club having the Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey) and Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto); Cate Blanchett winning Best Actress for Blue Jasmine; and Frozen winning Best Animated Picture and Best Original Song ("Let It Go").
*Oppositely, at the 34th Golden Raspberry Awards presented the night before, Movie 43 was declared Worst Movie and also won Worst Screenplay and a joint Worst Director award for the 13 people accredited in that position; Jaden Smith and his father Will won for Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo respectively for After Earth; Tyler Perry won Worst Actress for A Madea Christmas; Kim Kardashian won Worst Supporting Actress for Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor; and The Lone Ranger won for Worst Prequel, Sequel, Remake, or Rip-off.
*AND AMERICA "SPRINGS FORWARD" OVERNIGHT TONIGHT TO BEGIN ITS ANNUAL OBSERVANCE OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME.



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