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Old 03-30-2018, 09:54 PM
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By a 1976 Act of Congress, signed into law by President Gerald R. Ford, George Washington was posthumously named the senior-most U.S. Army general in perpetuity. The highest specific rank he held in his lifetime was lieutenant general.
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:59 PM
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The only other “General of the Armies of the United States" besides George Washington is John J. Pershing.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:59 PM
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General Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I, was allowed to prescribe his own rank insignia. He never wore more than four stars, but they were gold and not the usual silver.
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Old 03-30-2018, 11:35 PM
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In the US there is one Pershing County, in Nevada, and two towns named Pershing, in Indiana and Wisconsin.
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Old 03-31-2018, 08:52 AM
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A shortened 90-minute production of Starlight Express opened at the Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 14, 1993, where it ran for five years. It was the first musical theatre production to have a permanent base on The Strip.
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:33 AM
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(Like the Snake River, this post will meander a bit.)

The ichthyosaur is Nevada's official state fossil.

Berlin–Ichthyosaur State Park, in Nevada’s Shoshone Mountains and some 2hr drive SW of Austin NV and south of US-50 (across Nevada, is labeled as “The Loneliest Road in America”) preserves ichthyosaur fossils and the ghost town of Berlin. The Shoshone Mountains are named for the Shoshone or Shoshoni Indians, a people sometimes called the Snake Indians because of the Snake River.

The name "Shoshone" comes from Sosoni, a Shoshoni word for high-growing grasses. Some neighboring tribes call the Shoshone the "Grass House People," based on their traditional homes made from soshoni. Shoshones call themselves Newe, meaning "People."

In 1805, Meriwether Lewis recorded the tribe as the "Sosonees or snake Indians".

Shoshone Falls near Twin Falls, Idaho, is beautiful. It is sometimes called the "Niagara of the West.” At 212 feet high, Shoshone Falls is 45 feet higher than Niagara Falls. Shoshone Falls flows over a rim nearly 1,000 feet wide.
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:51 AM
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In July 1986, Life magazine published an article that gave US 50 in Nevada the name "The Loneliest Road in America". Making the best of the publicity, the Nevada Commission on Tourism sponsors a promotion where visitors can stop at several designated locations along the route and have the passport section of a state issued "survival guide" marked with a stamp representing that location. Visitors can mail in the completed passport and receive a certificate, signed by the Governor, certifying they survived The Loneliest Road in America.
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:59 AM
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US-50 across Nevada, “The Loneliest Road in America”, is an excellent quality road. I’ve driven across NV on it 3x in recent years, although the last time was over 4y ago, and the pavement is smooth and clear. Crossing the open desert where you can see many miles ahead of you, and far to either side because almost nothing grows there, it is comfortable and generally safe to drive 100 mph.

US-50 is 3,017 miles long and connects Ocean City MD to Sacramento CA.
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:40 AM
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The Cleveland Orchestra, based at Severance Hall in University Circle on the east side of Cleveland, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. It is commonly acknowledged to be one of the finest orchestras in the world.

http://www.cleveland.com/musicdance/...nveils_am.html
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Old 03-31-2018, 12:06 PM
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Justin Masterson in 2014 and Carlos Carrasco in 2017 are the only 2 Cleveland Indians pitchers to throw what is called an Immaculate Inning — 9 pitches for 9 strikes to strike out the side. To date it has been done 89 times by 84 pitchers. Not even the great Bob Feller has thrown one.

Nolan Ryan (1968 NY Mets and 1972 CA Angels) is also only pitcher to throw immaculate innings in both the American League and National League.

Danny Jackson (1985, for the KC Royals) is the sole player to pitch an immaculate inning in the World Series.

Last season, a record eight immaculate innings were thrown (two were by Red Sox pitchers):
— Drew Storen, CIN Reds
— Craig Kimbrel, BOS Red Sox
— Max Scherzer, WSH Nationals
— Kenley Jansen, LA Dodgers
— Carlos Carrasco, CLE Indians
— Dellin Betances, NY Yankees
— José Alvarado, TB Rays
— Rick Porcello, BOS Red Sox

It has been done 3x by an SF Giants pitcher:
— 1992, Trevor Wilson
— 1998, Orel Hershiser
— 2015, Santiago Casilla

It was never done by a NY Giants pitcher.

Three immaculate innings were thrown during the 1979 MLB season, and all three were against the same team — the SF Giants:
— 23 Jun 1979, Pedro Borbón, CIN Reds
— 25 Aug 1979, Lynn McGlothen, CHI Cubs
— 11 Sep 1979, Joey McLaughlin, ATL Braves
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Old 03-31-2018, 12:40 PM
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The Immaculate Reception occurred in an AFC divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, on December 23, 1972. The Steelers trailed the Raiders 7–6, and were facing fourth-and-10 on their own 40-yard line with 22 seconds remaining in the game and no time-outs. Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw threw a pass intended for John Fuqua, but the Raiders defender Jack Tatum deflected the ball. Steelers running back Franco Harris caught the ball just before it hit the ground and carried it into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

NFL Films chose this play as the greatest play of all time.
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Old 03-31-2018, 12:55 PM
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John Fuqua’s nickname is John “Frenchy” Fuqua.
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Old 03-31-2018, 05:09 PM
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Tomorrow, the Gospel reading in many churches will be John, chapter 20:

"Early on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance ..."
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:08 PM
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The Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, also known as Magdalene asylums, were institutions of confinement, usually run by Roman Catholic orders, which operated from the 18th to the late 20th centuries. They were run ostensibly to house "fallen women", an estimated 30,000 of whom were confined in these institutions in Ireland.
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:18 PM
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In June 2016, Pope Francis and the Vatican raised the July 22 memorial of Mary Magdalene to a feast on the church's liturgical calendar. This was in recognition of her role as the first to recognize Christ's resurrection that Easter morning, some 2,000 years ago.


Happy Easter, all.
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:30 PM
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Both Great Britain and Nazi Germany developed plans for the invasion of Ireland during World War II, in light of the country's strategic importance but military and political neutrality. Neither country carried out those plans, however.

ETA: Pope Francis has not commented on those plans, to my knowledge.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_W
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Green_(Ireland)

Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 03-31-2018 at 11:31 PM.
  #38267  
Old 04-01-2018, 06:41 AM
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The color of liturgical paraments and vestments change depending on the season of the church year. Advent = purple (or in some traditions, blue); Christmas = white; Lent = purple; Easter = white; Pentecost = red; "Common time" = green.
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Old 04-01-2018, 09:42 AM
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Priests in the Russian Orthodox faith are required to be nude under their vestments. Curiously, this is also true of the monks of Lhasa. It is believed that this is a result of the tradition being carried eastward by Marco Polo, who also was averse to wearing undergarments. For a brief period, many other religions considered doing likewise, but it would have required the creation of an 11th Commandoment.

















Happy April 1st.
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Old 04-01-2018, 09:58 AM
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The spaghetti-tree hoax was a three-minute hoax report broadcast on April Fools' Day 1957 by the BBC current-affairs program Panorama, purportedly showing a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the family "spaghetti tree". At the time spaghetti was relatively little known in the UK, so that many Britons were unaware that it is made from wheat flour and water; a number of viewers afterwards contacted the BBC for advice on growing their own spaghetti trees.
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Old 04-01-2018, 11:43 AM
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The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. It is the world's oldest national broadcasting organization and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, with over 35,000 full and part-time employees. The BBC came into existence on January 1, 1927. Initially, there was no paid advertising on the BBC; all the revenue came from a tax on 'wireless receiving sets'.
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Old 04-01-2018, 01:01 PM
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Liam Dutton was on Channel 4, not the BBC, when he nailed the longest placename in Europe in a weather forecast:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHxO0UdpoxM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llanfairpwllgwyngyll
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Old 04-01-2018, 04:14 PM
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In several countries in Europe, including Italy, France, Belgium, and The Netherlands, an April 1 tradition is known as "April fish" (poissons d'avril in French, aprilvis in Dutch or pesce d'aprile in Italian). This includes attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim's back without being noticed.
Since 1900, Easter has fallen on April Fool's Day only five times - 1923, 1934, 1945, 1956, and, 60 years later, 2018.
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Old 04-01-2018, 04:19 PM
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A freshwater cousin of the jellyfish called a hydra can survive being chopped in a blender. Its pieces will crawl their way back toward each other to reassemble as a complete organism.
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Old 04-01-2018, 07:02 PM
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Hydra is a fictional terrorist organization appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The organization's motto references the myth of the Hydra, stating that "If a head is cut off, two more shall take its place", proclaiming their resilience and growing strength in the face of resistance. Hydra appears in the 2011 film Captain America: The First Avenge and 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier and in several other Marvel comic movies.
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Old 04-01-2018, 10:25 PM
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British-born writer and pamphleteer Thomas Paine wrote of "the Winter Soldiers" as being those loyal to the Patriot cause during the American Revolution even in its darkest, coldest, least-promising times, not like those whom we might today call fair-weather friends.
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Old 04-01-2018, 10:33 PM
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"General Winter", also known at times as General Frost or General Snow, refers to Russia's harsh winter as a factor in the military failures of several invasions of Russia. In a letter to his wife, the Empress Marie Louise, explaining his defeat in Russia, Napoleon Bonaparte wrote: “The winter was our disaster. We became the victims of Russia's climate.”
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:10 AM
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Ded Moroz ("Grandfather Frost") is a Slavic fictional character similar to that of Father Christmas. Ded Moroz brings presents to children and often delivers them in person on New Year's Eve.He is accompanied by Snegurochka ("Snow Maiden"), his granddaughter and helper, who wears long silver-blue robes and a furry cap or a snowflake-like crown. Ded Moroz wears a heel-length fur coat, a semi-round fur hat, and valenki on his feet. He has a long white beard. He walks with a long magic staff and sometimes rides a troika. His residence in Russia is considered to be the town of Veliky Ustyug, Vologda Oblast.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:32 AM
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In the Gregorian calendar, the most widely used calendar system today, New Year occurs on January 1. This was also the case both in the Roman calendar and in the Julian calendar that succeeded it.

During the Middle Ages in western Europe, while the Julian calendar was still in use, authorities moved New Year's Day, depending upon locale, to one of several other days, including March 1, March 25, Easter, September 1, and December 25. Beginning in 1582, the adoption of the Gregorian calendar meant the various dates for New Year's Day changed to using one fixed date, January 1.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:02 AM
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J.R.R. Tolkien had the Fellowship of the Ring leave Elrond's sanctuary of Rivendell on its quest to destroy the One Ring on December 25, approximately 6,000 years ago, by his reckoning. Tolkien was a devout Catholic.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:50 AM
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Former Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino, tired of fans complaining of the team's lack of success on local sports talk radio, coined the term "Fellowship of the Miserable" for them. Pitino's tenure may be better known, however, for his "Larry Bird's not walking through that door, fans" rant.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:20 PM
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The following players played for the Boston Celtics (and are among the earliest I remember watching; this list from memory): John Havlicek, Dave Cowens, Paul Silas, Don Nelson, and Jojo White.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:11 PM
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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, a magna/anime that is very popular in Japan, tells the story of the Joestar family, a family whose various members discover they are destined to take down supernatural foes using unique powers that they possess. The manga is split up into 8 unique parts, each following the story of one member of the Joestar family, who inevitably has a name that can be abbreviated to the titular "JoJo".
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Old 04-03-2018, 02:36 AM
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NBA Hall of Fame player Jo Jo White of the Boston Celtics had two if his jerseys retired: #15 of the University of Kansas Jayhawks, and #10 of the Boston Celtics. He won two NBA championships, in 1974 over the Milwaukee Bucks, and then in 1976 over the Phoenix Suns in the Celtics’ 13th Championship in 14 attempts.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:36 AM
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Steelers Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw was once married to figure skater Alicia "JoJo" Starbuck. With partner Kenneth Shelley, she is a three-time United States pair skating champion (1970–72) and two-time Olympian (1968, 1972). During this time she also became well known as the face of Cup of Noodles, introducing millions of Americans for the first time to ramen.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:35 AM
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Starbuck's, the coffee-shop giant, has a store on the CIA campus in Langley, Virginia. The nine baristas who work at there have to be escorted by official "minders" anytime they leave their work area and are throughly investigated and vetted.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:44 AM
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There is a Dunkin Donuts store in the basement of the Library of Congress.
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Old 04-03-2018, 11:07 AM
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"Librarie" is a false friend / faux ami for anglos learning French. In spite of its similarity to the English word "library" it actually means "bookstore".

A "library" is "bibliothèque" in French.
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Old 04-03-2018, 11:19 AM
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Shakespeare and Company was a bookstore in Paris, at 12 rue de l'Odéon in the 6th arrondissement, founded by Sylvia Beach. During the 1920s, Beach's shop was a gathering place for many then-aspiring writers such as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, Djuna Barnes, James Joyce and Ford Madox Ford. It closed in 1941 during the German occupation of Paris and never re-opened, although another store by the same name is in operation today, at 37 rue de la Bûcherie, in the 5th arrondissement. Since the shop opened in 1951, more than 30,000 people have slept in the beds found tucked between bookshelves. The shop's motto, "Be Not Inhospitable to Strangers Lest They Be Angels in Disguise," is written above the entrance to the reading library.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:38 PM
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American poet Ezra Pound turned to fascism in the early 1930s, met Mussolini and spoke admiringly of him. He recorded anti-U.S. and anti-Semitic broadcasts for Rome Radio. Seized by anti-Mussolini partisans in the waning days of World War II, he was turned over to the U.S. Army and held for several weeks in Italy before being returned to the U.S., charged with treason and eventually institutionalized for what appeared to be mental illness.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:52 PM
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In 1527 King Henry VIII switched to the lighter troy pound for measuring sterling silver, but even with this change, by 1601 62 shillings of silver pennies were minted from one pound.
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Old 04-03-2018, 02:03 PM
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Some medical historians trace King Henry VIII's later obesity and mood swings to a jousting accident in 1536, which may have caused brain damage in addition to his injured leg. He died at age 55; his father and predecessor, Henry VII, lived to 90.
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Old 04-03-2018, 03:12 PM
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Michael Hart's famous list of the 100 most influential persons in history includes only two women. These two are one of Henry VIII's mothers-in-law and one of his daughters.
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Old 04-03-2018, 03:23 PM
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While Michael H. Hart is best known for compiling the list of the 100 most influential persons in history, Michael S. Hart is known as the inventor of the e-book and the founder of Project Gutenberg, which is the first project to make e-books freely available via the Internet.
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Old 04-03-2018, 04:11 PM
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Michael J. Hart, born in Quebec, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1931, largely because he opposed the Volstead Act (Prohibition of Liquor).
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Old 04-03-2018, 04:37 PM
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Hart to Hart was a 1979 TV series starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers as two rich people who played at being detectives. It ran for five seasons.
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:10 PM
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Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas. Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. Wagner had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which embodied many novel design features. The Ring and Parsifal were premiered here and his most important stage works continue to be performed at the annual Bayreuth Festival, run by his descendants.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:15 PM
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J.R.R. Tolkien always stoutly denied that his book The Lord of the Rings was intended to be a Cold War allegory, noting that he had begun writing it many years before the end of World War II. Many of his biographers believe that he drew on his World War I experiences, however, in writing about the relationship between Frodo and Samwise (analogous to the across-class-lines relationship between a British officer and his "batman" or personal aide), and the horrors of the Dead Marshes and Mordor.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:55 PM
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There was a hit single in 1967, "I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman", which was performed mostly by whistling, credited to Whistling Jack Smith, a play on Whispering Jack Smith, a successful baritone singer from the 1920s to the 1940s.
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:07 AM
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Buffalo Bob, from the Howdy Doody Show, and Woldman Jack were both, in real life, named Bob Smith. Buffalo Bob was really from Buffalo, New York, and the Wolfman from New York City.
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:00 AM
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Howdy Doody was an American children's television program which was telecast on the NBC network in the United States from 1947 until 1960. It was a pioneer in early color production as NBC (at the time owned by TV maker RCA) used the show in part to sell color television sets in the 1950s.
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