Tuesday, December 31, 2013

10 Things That Occurred Throughout History On Last Day Of The Year

1695 A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax. [You'd think the bricks and labour would cost more than the tax!]

1744 James Bradley announces discovery of Earth's nutation motion (wobble) [Great way to start the New Year learning your whole world is wobbling] :)

1776 Rhode Island establishes wage & price controls to curb inflation: Limit is 70 cents a day for carpenters, 42 cents for tailors [I guess someone ripped up the curb!] :)

1879 - Edison gives 1st public demonstration of his incandescent lamp [I guess all started the New Year knowing their lives were going to be lit up like never before]

1907 For 1st time a ball drops at Times Square to signal new year. [Funny how mankind does look upon New Year's as almost coming into some new time]

1924 -
Hubble announces existence of distant galaxies [Science-fiction writers can now boldly go where they didn't realize they could go before]

1961 - 1st performance of Beach Boys [Did they become the most popular thing to hear on the beach? They sure sounded like a band to listen to on nice, hot sunny days]

1970 - Paul McCartney files a lawsuit to dissolve the Beatles [I wonder if he had hoped for the better days, of Yesterday]

1993 -
Barbra Striesand does her 1st live public concert in 20 years.
[Many questions were raised why she left the concert tours. Upset due to crticis? Or just didn't have the passion for it anymore? The great mystery]
2009– Both a blue moon and a lunar eclipse occur. [Only on a blue moon would you see this on the last day of the year]

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I Found It So Don't "Search For Tomorrow"


On the date of the 26th of December but in 1986--The U.S. TV soap "Search for Tomorrow" ended its 35 year run. It's too bad the last day wasn't called "The Search Is Over" or "It's Finally Found" or "We Give Up!" Searching but never finding...some would have given up years ago but at least they were persistent! Doing the math if they were "Searching for Tomorrow" for 35 years that would mean....365 X 35 ='s 12,775! So...close to 18,000 times they had achieved their goal...having been in tomorrow and never knew it!

It's too bad they couldn't go back to yesterday and a great many days before that when the first day the show aired and at twelve midnight a bell would ring signifying the new Soap should be called, "Discovery of the Day: One Hour At A Time". To allow 35 years to go by looking for something you've already found multiple times seems like a precious waste of time, and as they say TIME is money! It makes me wonder if the time would have been far better spent looking for the potential within each and every day along the way. I'm sure you agree...ALL OF THIS IS CRAZY, what they did I mean.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Frivolous But A New And Exciting Reason To Revisit The Moon

This is actually Part 1 of a writing project I've been developing for some time. One might call my putting forth this idea a type of proposal---what I consider a fresh new approach in dealing with an ongoing disillusionment among space enthusiasts. Since the days of Apollo there's been an intense desire to do something to recapture the passion and excitement of even being in space similar to what we saw in the 1960's. Could what I share here potentially be the answer and solution to ignite such an excitement once again? I'll allow my readers to decide. --Robert B Richards

Why does mankind climb the highest mountain or descend to the greatest depth of the sea? Why does man relentlessly seek to break new ground pushing against obstacles of seeming impossibilities to arrive at a new plateau of discovery? Why?   Because he loves a challenge! Without one the human spirit will stagnate leaving it to wade through a tedious existence of having no spark or interest in life. Some have compared such a state as to being a people who are dead while they yet live...walking dead men. This should never be. Man needs to fight against it and not be content with mundane mediocrity. Pushing forward, advancing with a passion along with the pursuit of excellence....I'd say they're the very badges of the human experience. We have come a long way. 

We've went from horses and buggies, to jet airplanes, to rockets and also to spacecrafts setting down on foreign worlds. While man has paid a personal visit to the Moon he has yet to do the same on the nearby planets such as Venus or Mars except by the means of robotic ships. Man's desire to do so personally has waned considerably due to the myriad number of difficulties such missions would pose . Just recently it's been assessed that a manned mission to Mars in one year would expose astronauts to an exceedingly dangerous amount of radiation so much so that with present technology it'd render the moving ahead of such missions precarious to say the least.  There is I'd think as well the psychological aspect that needs to be considered. What's man's capacity to endure such a voyage of 54.6 million km lasting approximately over 450 days.

True, astronauts have spent as long as six months in the orbiting space station but in knowing all along one could re-enter the earth's atmosphere and be on the ground in a  short period of time doesn't necessarily demonstrate a level of endurance one would need for the far off regions of space.  In other words what of the possibility of an astronaut becoming prone to extreme anxiety...a panic attack?  Maybe this or maybe that but shouldn't mankind have a right to test out it's limits? Perhaps and I'm sure we will but when it comes to Mars I'd hope it'd only be in a limited fashion. Mankind does want an adventure however. They want to be able to say they've put their foot on Mars. A few missions would satisfy this wistful ambition and for the astronauts sake I'd hope they'd more or less be similar to the Apollo type---there and come right back. 

Allow robots to do more of the extensive research. One might ask couldn't Mars be recreated to produce agriculture under some type of dome city?  Perhaps, but couldn't achieving such be actually done faster and more efficiently through the use of advanced robotic systems? Yes men want to expand out into space but wouldn't the resources spent on a so called "Martian colony" be better spent on developing more advanced propulsion systems that would actually take men to the stars? Let's face it...that's where men truly want to go...and too much of a manned Martian program could actually serve as a distraction. That being said it seems that space is still calling us for at least some involvement. What could it be? Maybe we should look out of the box and consider a different approach?
What I propose might be viewed as ludicrous and frivolous to the ninth degree but it could none the less gain widespread support with financial backing to be derived from many sources none of which would be from the public purse. In fact using the tax payers money would not be deemed as acceptable even by those of us who would put forth the plan. Resources would readily be made available from the private sector who'd be most eagerly to provide it. Why so? For the reason they know full well the things that make the world go around aren't necessarily items of great substantial importance but rather at times the thing that merely entertain. One rightly could say sports makes the world go around.
 When one considers things like World Cup Soccer, NFL football, sail boat and auto racing we can see the human race is moved in mass with excitement with things seemingly frivolous. No it's not just serious things but rather fun things that get men's attention. So what's this have to do with space? I'll state three words and I'm sure you'll get it. Here they are, 'Checkered Flag Moon" . Now think about that. What type of picture comes to mind as you consider the import of such words? A checkered flag obviously is waved at the winners of a race and to wave such a flag on the moon...what would such mean?  I think you get the picture. I'm proposing car or buggy races on the Moon, for Out Of This World Entertainment! I propose a plan to create a moon trail, a road or course covering thousands of miles on the lunar surface.
There's been earthbound races which have been carried out across continents upon Earth. The same could be duplicated in regions on the Moon. The course could take approximately 30 days to complete beginning at the time of one full moon and being finished at the next.  I said mankind likes a challenge? A checkered flag event on the Moon would surely ignite a new type of passion to look at the moon as a high place of adventurism also allowing mankind to stretch its legs with new technologies and innovative ways of doing things. Yes I'm sure scientific purist might seek to marginalize such a purpose for moon activity but could  they even be benefited by the implementation of such a vision?  I'd think so.  
Consider that projects of a scientific nature could be piggybacked with what I call Project Moon Clear...moon clear meaning the clearing of a trail on the lunar surface. Such might make it a win-win situation for all involved. Who knows...perhaps you might even see lunar mountain climbing which would require developing a whole new set of talent and skill. There is after all Mount Mons Huygens which is approximately the same height as the Earth's Mount Everest. Yes mankind needs to do something in space but is there any reason the basic motivation for doing so couldn't be for more of an entertaining purpose? I'd say it could. Is it a different approach? 
Yes, but imagine how extremely exciting and inspirational it'd be for generations to come. Man had an exciting vision in the 60's for space. We stand at the threshold to offer him another. It awaits us if have the courage to think out of the box. Man can become 'moon conscious' again and each time it rises up from the east especially on the full moon events all will be reminded we can reach up and achieve great dreams even within the present generation. They are within our reach! It'll be the fantasy of the young that yes....someday even they might be the winner of the Annual Lunar Race! It will ultimately be touted as excitement, and entertainment which is out of this world. Checkered Flag Moon...Let The Race Begin!

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Susan Boyle's Impact: Bigger Than You Think!!

I think one has to be living under a rock not to know of Susan Boyle and her audition on 'Britian's Got Talent' in 2009. Her trying out on show and through the way of utube went viral around the world and she received immediate international recognition in a way none in history had done. Initially her intent by appearing on the show was to become a professional singing similar to one well known UK stage singer, Elaine Paige. I think it's safe to say Susan's one performance caused her to surpass in notoriety many of the great vocalists of the world. On that day in January 2009 when she sang 'I Dreamed A Dream' she embraced courage and boldness and humorously stated she was going to make the audience rock.

The audience however was world wide or became such when the taping of her audition was shown just a few months later in April. In the years since 09 she's taken her talent travelling internationally and has delighted audiences around the globe. Much could be said about her many achievements but here's one that rightly should be appreciated that will lead one to conclude her impact and influence is even bigger than one would think. Other generations will see it clearly and I trust this one will do so as well. What is it?

Andrew Andrew Lloyd-Webber perhaps the most successful composer of our time recently made comments about his new musical:

'You can never work out in life how anything’s going to go,’ he continues. ‘Take [Cameron Mackintosh’s] Les Misérables. Three or four years ago it was closing around the world and there was no film likely. Susan Boyle comes along and does that I Dreamed A Dream and the show has now become the biggest musical around the world. Just that one little thing turned it around. She could have just as easily have gone on and done Memory [from Andrew’s Cats].’ He twinkles good-humouredly.‘I rather wish she had. I haven’t seen the [Les Mis] film but it’s fantastic for musicals because everybody wants to make them again. Universal has now got Cats out of the drawer in which they locked it years ago when they bought the rights and suddenly they’re talking about a film."


When assessing what he said I'm thinking it's important that we rightly connect the dots. If he's right in what he's saying then we must conclude not only did Susan bring life back into one play [Les Mis] or the song [I Dreamed a Dream] but she also brought back into the forefront a whole type or genre of music as well!  

Consider therefore if and I say IF a whole variety of musical plays go to the big screen, which ALW thinks they will,  it should be understood the thing that triggered it is that one day in January 09 when that one hopeful contestant was bold enough and had the courage enough to make her dream come true. Not only did Susan change her own life but she may very of well have changed the course of entertainment including what's seen on the big screen. When we think of impacts we many times associate them with earthquakes. Susan's audition rocked an audience, then the world but aftershocks on other things within entertainment are still taking place!

Here is a link to Susan's original audition http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D5DgQi2oqA

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Toronto The Great City...Or The Laughing Stock

I've never been much a fan of condescending humour making light of someone's obvious shortcomings or deficiencies considering them funny. I recall having watched a hoarder show and was left with a feeling that something wasn't quite just right. If one thinks through on the matter these are individuals who quite obviously have serious mental issues...genuinely not all there as the saying goes. Why therefore laugh at them? Not a sign of modern barbarism? In the news there's been much discussion concerning let's call it the coming apart of the Mayor of the city of Toronto...Rob Ford. He's been held up as an object of ridicule by even international media and it makes me wonder by their so doing so if they're not putting down signs for future generations to define just how far the culture of 2013 had truly progressed.
I won't roll out a whole list of the particulars of the failings of Mayor Ford and his desperate acts to keep himself as the functioning leader of the great city of Toronto. Major new networks have amply taken you down each step reporting of his daily free fall. One thing I will however mention is  last year in regard to the suspicion based on a video which nobody had ever seen that the mayor was being involved in taking serious drugs. Toronto City council always seemed to fight against him in the early days when it was alleged he was so doing. It didn't seem they were willing to give him any benefit of the doubt and wait for the facts to come out. For this reason I have to conclude that maybe they've been nothing but pure opportunists themselves, although yes they many times claimed to have the cities interests at heart. I guess the voters will decide.
 Having said that however what's been the continual unravelling of the mayor with his actions and words taking him to new lows of irrationality makes me conclude he should maybe call it a day...step down and allow the city to rebuild and recapture the international respect as the great city it's always been known. I'd encourage the mayor not to be concerned about the idea that his political enemies had won. They may not have won anything for I'd have him consider that the general public by and large are quite perturbed  by their actions. In the fall of 2014 the present city council may find those running against them may actually find the favour of the people. Once again I'd say to Ford that maybe he should take his mind off his political enemies and consider perhaps there's a bigger picture needing to be considered that being what could be the potential ramifications for this rather forlorn, out of sorts soap opera going on and on?
 Is it really good for the city? What about the business climate? Couldn't it be compromised? Consider potential  major corporations, or other very high profile shakers and makers in the world of business looking to book say a convention at major hotels...would he really want Toronto categorized as the place where deranged lunatic things take place and not to be considered a world class place to brings ones partners and colleagues? Is it truly fair to put the Toronto business community at such a risk? Then isn't there something else even more important? What about the young people coming up? Would he truly and sincerely want them coming to a conclusion that if the Mayor of the city can experiment or play around with drugs like crack even in his most recent days then why should they consider it unreasonable to do the same?
Again  I'd suggest to him forget about your political enemies...they don't need to be the issue even though he might rightly conclude they've done him a great injustice. Surely he can see there are items here which should be considered a more important concern than yes even a political career. Why not sacrifice it knowing such might be the best thing for the greater good? It is after all just a political career and isn't there many other things one might do? The real question is will Toronto be looked upon as 'Toronto the World Class' or 'Toronto the Wonderful and Exciting' or will Toronto solidify its image as becoming the laughing stock of the world? Is that something you really want Mr Mayor? I truly think not.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Comet Could Hit Mars


Interesting thing in the news today. A newly discovered comet may hit Mars...and watch for two others near earth.  According to the story comet named C/2013 A1 will fly near the Red Planet Mars on Oct 19th 2014 but due to the uncertainty in predicting this comets direction they're uncertain as to whether it could very well indeed slam into the planet. Maybe a little bit of excitement for the Mars rovers?  In regard to earth this Tuesday a different comet "Panstarrs" will pass 100 million miles from us which is roughly half the distance to the moon.  We're told there's no cause for concern.

You can view this comet from March 6 through 8 above the western horizon. Later on in the year there'll be a second comet, "ISON" which will be clearly seen in November, again no cause for concern. It's funny though how they're never sure of there's a guarantee the space wanderer won't hit Mars but they can very quickly tell us we're ok. Nope, don't worry!  I think a good way of thinking about life is the thing that you fear is going to get you in the end it probably never is. Most likely it'll be the unexpected thing...like maybe dying from shock because you won the lottery?  :))

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Go Watch ARGO...The Great Canadian/American Plan

I watched ARGO last night. For those who aren't aware it's the true story movie concerning how 6 Americans were hiding out at the home in Iran of the Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor in 79 when Americans were being held hostage. It's an exciting movie but I rightly guessed it had various elements which were only based on the TRUE STORY. Viewing it I was thinking anything's possible but certain of the exciting moments I considered in theory could have occurred but by the law of probability it didn't quite seem the case.  After checking out wikipedia  I found my suspicions were correct...the movie can only be taken by what the introduction lines states, "based on a true story".

Read about the true and false aspects here.....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo_(2012_film)

I remember the period of time it took place...Americans were at a loss figuring out how to safely rescue quite a number of their people taken hostage. At the time it was not known there was actually 6 more Americans hiding out at the Canadian embassy. Behind the scenes however the Canadian/US government were working on a plan...a plan which actually worked. The said 6 Americans were enabled to successfully escape.

Enter Ben Affleck over thirty years later with his "Argo" film. 

Some controversy has come about in regard to how Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor is depicted...as somewhat of a silent and almost docile follower of the plan put together supposedly by the American CIA. In the true story nothing could be father from the truth. Canadian officials played a far more significant role in "The Plan". Why would film director Ben Affleck not be perfect in his delivery?  Should he be overly criticized for his intentional marginalization of the true heroes of the event, chiefly Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor and staff?  I wouldn't think so and I say that as a Canadian myself.

Here's why. Consider...all need to step back and appreciate what directors and producer are dealing with. The question how well something will do at the box office must be considered paramount. Americans, like any people group like viewing things which portray them as having achieved and accomplished  inspirational things which many times they've done. If theatre seats are to be filled obviously these are the things which must be shown. If things are embellished somewhat...well that's Hollywood. Instead however considering it a slight concerning Canadians lead of "The Plan" perhaps it could be looked upon another way.  It's great this film was made and the story has now been highlighted albeit not perfectly but consider it can be viewed as a starting point of discussion.

Besides there's been total vindication that's taken place. President Jimmy Carter recently interviewed about "Argo" just the other day acknowledged it to be a great movie but publically has set the record straight. In his own words,

President Jimmy Carter: "Well, let me say, first of all, it’s a great drama. And I hope it gets the Academy Award for best film because I think it deserves it. The other thing that I would say was that ninety per cent of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian. And the movie gives almost full credit to the American C.I.A. And, with that exception, the movie is very good. But Ben Affleck’s character in the film was only—he was only in, stayed in, Iran a day and a half. And the main hero, in my opinion, was Ken Taylor, who was the Canadian Ambassador who orchestrated the entire process."

Can it get any better than that? I wouldn't think so therefore myself as a Canadian can tip my hat to Ben Affleck for making a film that will, as it were appeal to an American audience but all the while they'll know it's details aren't to be taken too seriously...when the Calvary comes to save the day it's understood the great protection and risks came from their caring neighbours to the north. Go watch ARGO!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nope The Pope Was No Dope...It Was Time To Go

So Pope Benedict XVI has given his resignation. Interesting is that no Pope has ever did so since Gregory XII, in 1415. I'm guessing most Popes have felt and believed that to give up the post would almost seem like a sacrilege---some kind of letting down the faithful for them not to be on the scene until their last dying day. Enter Pope Benedict---it seems he's marched to a tune of a different drummer. I've seen some criticism of his retiring but in the BIGGER PICTURE of things I'd ask shouldn't he rather be commended?

How can Catholicism truly expect to connect and make a difference to a new and modern world when it's leaders regardless as to whether it be true appear old and decrepit with observers wondering if their mental faculties in place. It'd never be acknowledged but I'm sure the high ups within Catholicism  even within themselves are commending the Pope for the move. To always be on the change, at least after a reasonable length of a "term limit" always creates the impression of something new and maybe a fresh approach. How far their conscious allows them to go down that road is another question.