Monday, February 29, 2016

HAPPY LEAP YEAR DAY! FEBRUARY 29, 2016

Today is February 29th, 2016; the actual day of Leap Year.

The Earth actually needs 365.25 days to make one complete orbit around the sun.
We gather all those .25s and make an extra day with them once every four years to keep the calendars up to date with the rest of the universe.

But that doesn't mean that today is also not without its special moments.

In some cultures, today is also known as Sadie Hawkins Day (originating in Al Capp's classic comic strip Li'l Abner), where it is socially acceptable for a woman to ask a man out on a date, or to propose marriage to them.
Although in Greece, it is considered unlucky to actually have the wedding on a leap year.

Fans of the television show Quantum Leap celebrate their favorite program
today.

Before the milestone event known as the Crisis On Infinite Earths, DC Comics always said that Superman's birthday translated from the old Kryptonian calendar to February 29th on ours.
No word on when it occurs since all the cosmic resets that publisher has had.

So whatever is on your agenda, enjoy your extra day!


Sunday, February 28, 2016

SUNDAY FUNNIES: ARTFUL JOKE


Hello Everybody!
Autumn the Puppy here!
And I've got a joke for you guaranteed to make Mona Lisa's smile even larger than it already is.
Mona Lisa

Ready?

Once there was this gang of art thieves that were planning to rob the Louvre in Paris of as many of its famous paintings as they could get away with.

The Louvre in Paris

The gang worked for months, planning everything out to the very smallest detail.
They thought there was absolutely NO WAY anything could ever go wrong!

Claude Monet
While the crooks actually managed to illegally remove several painting from the famous art museum, they only escaped a couple of blocks before they were caught by the police.
When asked by the authorities what happened, the leader of the gang replied that after spending all that time preparing for the robbery, unfortunately they just did not have any Monet



to buy degas


Edgar Degas






Vincent Van Gogh










to make the van gogh!


See! Told you Mona would have a bigger smile when I was done!





Have a great week everybody and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!—AtP.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: FEBRUARY 21-27, 2016

MONDAY IS FEBRUARY 29th. LEAP YEAR DAY, ALSO KNOWN AS SADIE HAWKINS' DAY, WHERE IT IS "SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE" FOR A WOMAN TO ASK A MAN OUT ON A DATE OR PROPOSE TO HIM.
MARCH 3rd MARKS THE 85th ANNIVERSARY OF THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER OFFICIALLY BECOMING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM FOR THE UNITED STATES.

AMONGST EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*A truce has been brokered in the Syrian Civil War, scheduled to take effect February 27th.
*Bolivian voters have decided three terms is enough for their country's President. No one in that position is eligible to seek a fourth.
*Although Yoweri Museveni won a fifth term as President of Uganda, neutral International observers have called the election "flawed".
*Despite civilian protests, local Parliament officials have elected Hashim Tha├ži as President of Kosovo.
*Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi has announced he has no problem if oil prices slip to $20 a barrel.
*As part of the church's "Holy Year of Mercy" Pope Francis has requested an International ban on the death penalty.
*United States President Barack Obama hopes to have the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba closed by the end of his final term in office.
*This past week, the Philippines celebrated the 30th anniversary of dictator Ferdinand Marcos' 21-year reign ending.

TERRIBLE TERRORIST ACTIVITIES...
*Two bombs in Homs, Syria have killed over 50 innocent people while wounding over 100 more. ISIS/ISIL forces have claimed responsibility for the act.
*A Taliban suicide bomber has claimed over 20 lives in Parwan, Afghanistan.
*Two ISIS/ISIL suicide bombers attacked a Shiite mosque (a Middle Eastern church) in Baghdad, with over 15 confirmed dead.

PASSING PARADE...
*Cinematographer Douglas Slocombe (Indiana Jones, The Lion In Winter) is no longer with us.
*Actress Betty Jane Watson (Oklahoma!, Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town, The Morey Amsterdam Show) has taken her last bow on life's stage.
*Country singer/songwriter Sonny James ("Young Love") has passed away.
*Yolande Fox (Miss America 1951) is no longer with us.
*Cartoonist John Caldwell (Mad!, National Lampoon) has passed away.
*Actor Tony Burton (the Rocky movies, The Shining) has taken his last bow on life's stage.
*Lenny Baker of the 1950's homage group Sha Na Na has passed away.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
POLITICALLY...
*During the February 20th primaries, Hilary Clinton won the Democratic vote in Nevada while Donald Trump won the Republican nod in South Carolina during the dual split party votes.
*Donald Trump later won the Republican half of the Nevada caucuses.
*Republican Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz is trying to get any judicial decision hearing on whether or not he is actually eligible to run for President (because he was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father) dismissed.
*A recent national editorial poses an interesting question. Is it truly Republicans or the Koch brothers that are trying to keep President Barack Obama from naming Anton Scalia's replacement to the Supreme Court?
*Former Klu Klux Klan "Grand Wizard" (and still presumably a member) David Duke is urging fellow Klan members to vote for Donald Trump!
*No longer seeking the Republican Presidential nomination, Jeb Bush has apologized to donors.
*President Barack Obama hopes to have the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba closed by the end of his final term in office.
ELSEWHERE...

*It is now legal for teenagers in New Mexico to sext (send sexually explicit texts with or without images) each other.
*If Half Moon Bay, California wants to restore public access to a local beach, they will have to pay a billionaire $30 million dollars!
*A study by 14 INDEPENDENT research firms conclude and agree that ALL United States forests are at risk of climate change created drought!
*Dow Chemical has agreed to pay $835 million to settle a decade-long, price-fixing, class-action dispute. Pundits suspect the uncertainty about who will replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia's death being the reason why.
*A Missouri state jury has decided that Johnson and Johnson must pay $72 million dollars in a case concerning cancer versus talcum powder.
*The city of San Francisco, California owes drivers $6 million dollars!
*Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500.
*The Razzies, celebrating the "worst" in the past year of movies, will be presented February 27th, while the Oscars, honoring the best, will be awarded the next night.

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: FEBRUARY 27, 2016

FUN FACT
Leap Day (February 29th) is also known as Sadie Hawkins' Day, where it is "socially allowable" for a woman to ask a man out on a date or propose to him.

Sunday, February 28th is the annual presentation of the Oscars, celebrating the best in the movie industry over the past year.
But can you win the award for correctly solving our brief Oscar Quiz?

01. Who “painted” The Picture of Dorian Gray?
02. Who teamed up with Richard Rodgers to take Broadway by storm?
03. Who made baloney famous?
04. What famous jazz pianist fits our quiz theme?
05. Who is “The Golden Boy” boxer?
06. Who played professional basketball for the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks?
07. For who is the Oscar statuette named after?

We'll open the envelopes and reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's open up THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from the February 20, 2016 Puzzle Corner.

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

windOW!  
Window pane (OW! = pain, a homonym of pane)

AKA (Also Known As)
By what name do we know Marion Morrison better?
John Wayne!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

SUNDAY FUNNIES: PERSPECTIVE (misc. jokes)

"In living technicolor!"
Hello Everybody! Waxy Dragon here.

Now, it has come to my attention that different beings see things differently.
Cats see things differently from dogs.
Dragons see things differently from people.
Republicans see things differently than everyone else in the universe.

It's a question of whether or not the glass is half empty, half full, or if there is even a glass at all.

Now, on the right I'm posting a specific image.

Nothing fancy.
Just something for you to stare at and ponder over for a moment.

There are NO hidden images.
At least, there are no intentional hidden images.
It's just a picture of a simple thing.

Now then, what did you see?
Whatever your answer is, part or all of it might be different than mine.

And what was mine?
Glad you asked.
I saw...

The middle of a tunnel, since the light is supposed to be at the end.

A room without a night light.

The bottom of a VERY deep hole.

The outer space inbetween planets and stars.

An empty cave when one of my dragon relatives isn't home.

How my stomach feels when I don't have any Belgosian Dark Chocolate.

The back of my closet. Then again, it's so messy, maybe it's a good thing you can't see it.

So the point of this hopefully humorous moral is: it's all a question of how you look at things. Just make sure your eyes are open.

Take care everyone. Have a great week, and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies.—wd.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: FEBRUARY 14-20, 2016

TODAY MARKS THE 200th ANNIVERSARY OF
THE BARBER OF SEVILLE BY GIOACHINO ROSSINI.

AMONGST EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*South Korea claims there is an impending "terrorist attack" from North Korea.
*With growing concern about the Zika Virus, the first confirmed case has been reported in South Africa.
*Bosnia and Herzegovina have applied to join the European Union.
*As part of an ongoing renewal of diplomatic relations, the United States and Cuba have agreed to resume commercial air traffic between the two countries. US President Barack Obama has announced he hopes to visit the country in March.




TERRIBLE TERRORIST ACTIVITIES...
*Bombs, sucidal and otherwise, still seem to be terrorists current weapon du jour.

PASSING PARADE...
*Author Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum) has passed away.
*Actor George Gaynes (The Police Academy franchise, Punky Brewster, Tootsie) has taken his last bow on life's stage.
*Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away.
*Former United Nations' Secretary General Boutros-Boutros-Ghali is no longer with us.
*Author Harper Lee (To Kill A Mockingbird and Go Set A Watchman, which was actually Mockingbird's FIRST draft) has passed away.
*Singer/actress Vanity ("Nasty Girl", The Last Dragon) has taken her final bow on life's stage.
*Angela Raiola, aka "Big Ang" (Mob Wives) has passed away.
*Actor Johnny Duncan (1949's Batman and Robin, The Caine Mutiny, Spartacus) has taken his last bow on life's stage.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
POLITICALLY...
*While President Barack Obama said that he will announce his nominee to replace recently departed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia after careful consideration of the viable candidates, some Republicans have already vowed that it will be whoever wins the November election that will have that honor after they take office in January 2017, as Obama is allegedly "not
eligible" to do so.
*New evidence has shown that despite Governor Rick Snyder's claims that he
did NOT know about the water problems in Flint, Michigan until "a couple of months ago", state employees were warned to drink only bottled water as far back as January 2015!
*An Illinois judge will soon decide whether or not they are qualified to decide whether or not Republican hopeful Ted Cruz is eligible to run for President. Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta CANADA of a Cuban father and an American mother.
*As part of an ongoing renewal of diplomatic relations, the United States and Cuba have agreed to resume commercial air traffic between the two countries. President Obama has announced he hopes to visit the country in March.
ELSEWHERE...
*Despite what Texas state and local laws allow, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will NOT permit any open or concealed carry firearms at their events!
*Amongst the 2016 Grammy winners are Ed Sheeran for Song of the Year ("Thinking Out Loud"), Taylor Swift's 1989 for Album of the Year, former US President Jimmy Carter for Best Spoken Word (Full Life: Reflections at 90) and "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars for Record of the Year.

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: FEBRUARY 20, 2016

FUN FACT
Despite their hard work and diligence, squirrels lose more than half of the nuts they hide.

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

windOW!

AKA (Also Known As)
By what name do we know Marion Morrison better by?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's open up THE ANSWER BOX and discover the result of our Presidential Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby Quiz from the February 13, 2016 Puzzle Corner.

01. John Adams = F.) Abigail Smith
02. John Quincy Adams = D.) Louisa Johnson
03. William Henry Harrison = H.) Anna Symmes
04. Thomas Jefferson = J.) Martha Wagles
05. James Madison = I.) Dolley Todd
06. James Monroe = E.) Elizabeth Kortright
07. Franklin Pierce = A.) Jane Appleton
08. James Polk = B.) Sarah Childress
09. Zachary Taylor = G.) Margaret Smith
10. Martin Van Buren = C.) Hannah Hoes

Sunday, February 14, 2016

SUNDAY FUNNIES: HAPPY VALENTINES' DAY 2016!

"Woof!"
(roar)
Hello Everybody!

Once again, you have both Autumn the Puppy AND Waxy Dragon together again to celebrate one of our favorite holidays.

Valentines Day!


Love is a many splendored thing.

It's what makes the world go round.

It's all you need, and the world is desperately in need of all it can get!

If you haven't guessed by now, Love is one of the few things we DON'T joke about.

But all the candy hearts and flowers, kisses and wishes, are meaningless unless someone is right beside you all the way.
Valentines Day is just a holiday on the calendar. Love is all day, every day. Even when you're spitting mad and the zingers are flying back and forth.
Because love isn't about diamonds, chocolates, roses, and smooches. It's about digging in together and facing the tough times as well as the smooth sailing ones.
It's about talking as well as listening, and caring enough to share. It's about trusting someone enough to let go of the rope and jump in up to your eyebrows in a new experience. It's about the quiet times, and the boisterous ones where you can't do more than share a glance across the room. It's about people helping each other cope.

At least, that's how it's supposed to work.



So be with the one in your heart and show them how you feel.
Today and EVERY day!


The Sunday Funnies will return next weekend.—AtP and wd.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: FEBRUARY 7-13, 2016

FEBRUARY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH IN AMERICA.
FEBRUARY 14th IS VALENTINE'S DAY.
FEBRUARY 15th IS PRESIDENTS DAY IN AMERICA.

AMONGST EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*The United Nations Security Council condemned North Korea's long-range missile launch, a violation of numerous U.N. resolutions, while South Korea's intelligence agency claims that North Korea is preparing for another nuclear test. Diplomatic relations between the two countries have since worsened as tensions build.
*From the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, scientists have made their first direct observation of gravitational waves.
*Can anyone give a VERY BIG rabbit a home?



TERRIBLE TERRORIST ACTIVITIES...
*Suicide bombers are still the reigning "weapon du jour" amongst terrorists.
PASSING PARADE...
*Former Prime Minister of Nepal Sushil Koirala is no longer with us.
*Famed ballerina Violette Verdy has passed away.
*Artist Christopher Rush (Magic: The Gathering) is no longer with us.
*Artist Wayne England (Magic: The Gathering) has passed away.
*Novelist Margaret Forster (Georgy Girl, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, etc) is no longer with us.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
POLITICALLY...
*Donald Trump won the Republican side of the New Hampshire primary, while Bernie Sanders was the Democratic choice.
*Republican hopefuls Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have since suspended their campaigns.
*Meanwhile, Governor Christie has decided to PRIVATIZE New Jersey's water.

ELSEWHERE...
*The Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10 to win Super Bowl 50.
*New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia is now the first player to receive a lifetime ban under Major League Baseball's current drug agreement, after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance for the third time.
*A puppy can honestly claim self defense in the recent incident of a man killing his litter mates.

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: FEBRUARY 13, 2016

FUN FACT
The human brain is only 2% of your body weight, but uses at least 20% of your energy!

Normally, we would run the IS YOU IS, OR IS YOU AIN'T MY BABY quiz for Valentine's Day, and our FAMOUS FIRSTS: PRESIDENTS quiz the following weekend for Presidents Day here in the United States.
However, both events are occurring with 24 hours of each other this year!
So we've combined the two enigmas.
Below, alphabetically, are ten US Presidents and the maiden names of their first ladies.
Can you match each historic couple accurately?

THE PRESIDENTS
01. John Adams
02. John Quincy Adams
03. William Henry Harrison
04. Thomas Jefferson
05. James Madison
06. James Monroe
07. Franklin Pierce
08. James Polk
09. Zachary Taylor
10. Martin Van Buren

THE LADIES
A. Jane Appleton
B. Sarah Childress
C. Hannah Hoes
D. Louisa Johnson
E. Elizabeth Kortright
F. Abigail Smith
G. Margaret Smith
H. Anna Symes
I. Dolley Todd
J. Martha Wagles

We'll reveal all next weekend, weather permitting.
Now, due to bad weather February 6th, here are the results from our Puzzle Corner of January 30th, 2016.

RHYME TIME
The clue to something specific is below. But no matter how long your answer is, each word within it must rhyme with each other. Ready?

Math class about subtraction.
Lessen lesson.

NEXT?
All you have to do is figure out what the next item in the sequence below should be. Ready?

O, T, T, F, F, S, S, E, ?

Next is N, because the sequence is the first letter of the numeric counting sequence One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight...


Monday, February 8, 2016

HAPPY CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR 2016!

Today marks the beginning of the New Year, as far as everyone observing the Lunar calendar are concerned.
It's also the first day of the Spring Festival.
For those celebrating, it is also the year of the (Fire) Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac.
So

Sunday, February 7, 2016

SUNDAY FUNNIES: THE "SUPER" GAME (football jokes)

Hello Folks! Once again, you have BOTH Waxy
Dragon AND Autumn the Puppy here with you as we celebrate the end of football season and sports widows everywhere discover they still have husbands.

Within a couple of hours from our posting this installment of the Sunday Funnies, provided you still have electricity and cable service after the recent snowstorms, the "BIG" and final football game of the season will begin, for only licensed advertisers and some authorized news outlets can call the event by it's formal title.

Anyway, let us celebrate the coming spring, and BASEBALL season!

The visiting Englishman was asked by his American host, "Did you ever play
football?"
"No, sir; but at dear old Oxford we played Rugby."
"How is that played?"
"Well, sir, it consists of a lot of shin kicking."
"Well, in this country we call that bridge," replied the American.

Why did the NFL football team go to the phone booth?
To get their Quarter back.

How do football players stay cool during the game?
They stand close to the fans.

And of course, NO Sunday Funnies post concerning football would be complete without this great YouTube video featuring Andy Griffith's comedy classic: "What it was, was football".



Have a great week everybody, and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!—wd and AtP.

CATCHING UP: THE WEEK IN REVIEW: JANUARY 31-FEBRUARY 6, 2016

BECAUSE OF THE RECENT SNOWSTORM AFFECTING OUR AREA, THE FREE CHOICE E-ZINE IS JUST NOW GETTING BACK ON LINE AND ABLE TO RESUME OPERATIONS. THE PUZZLE CORNER WILL RETURN FEBRUARY 13, MAKING THIS BELATED INSTALLMENT OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW OUR 1600th BLOGGER POST.

AMONGST EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*The World Health Organization has issued an International Public Health Emergency bulletin, due to the rapid spread of Zika Fever in Latin America.
*North Korea has announced it is planning an "Earth observation rocket launch" in the near future, against United Nations' sanctions saying otherwise.
*Twitter claims to have closed down 125,000 accounts linked to ISIS/ISIL terrorists.

TERRIBLE TERRORIST ACTIVITIES...
*Suicide bombers are still the recent "weapon" du jour, with numerous incidents reported over the past week, killing many civilians as well as military "targets".

PASSING PARADE...
*Comedian Bob Elliot, the surviving partner of the famous comedy duo Bob & Ray, is no longer with us.
*Famous animation voice actor Joe Alaskey (too many credits to mention all) has taken his last bow on life's stage.
*Maurice White of Earth, Wind, and Fire has passed away.
*Edgar Whitcomb, astronaut aboard Apollo 14, is no longer with us.
*Television music composer Ray Colcord (The Facts of Life, Boy Meets World, Big Brother) has passed away.
*Noted San Franciscan musician Dan Hicks is no longer with us.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
POLITICALLY...
*The 2016 primary season kicked off with the Iowa Caucuses. Democratically, Hillary Clinton narrowly beat Bernie Sanders, and despite a persistent rumor since then, there were no "coin tosses" involved!
*On the Republican side, Ted Cruz came in first, while Donald Trump finished second; despite the fact the question of whether or not Cruz is even eligible to run because of his Canadian birth certificate remains unanswered.
*Meanwhile, Trump is accusing Cruz of "voter fraud".
*Since the Iowa Caucus, the other Democratic candidate Martin O'Malley has suspended his campaign. Republicans Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, and Rick Santorum have suspended their campaigns as well, while Republican hopeful Ben Carson has (temporarily?) closed his campaign offices again.
*As part of his upcoming final Federal budget, President Barack Obama will allegedly propose raising the tax on crude oil by $10 a barrel in order to fund infrastructure spending.
ELSEWHERE...
*If you put any stock in such reports, Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow, allegedly meaning six weeks of good weather and an early spring.
*The 50th Super Bowl, to be held February 7th, will be between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.

THE FREE CHOICE E-ZINE ended January 2016 with 2,841 page views, thus continuing our over 2 year streak!

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.