100 Years Ago Today

The film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, based on the novel by Jules Verne, was released in 1916, nearly 100 years ago today (officially on December 24, 1916). To compensate for the lack of dialogue in this silent era film, there are facts and pieces of biography scattered in the film. Enjoy the entire 10 minute title in this one post.


9/11 at 15

WTC+Bodies+Hitting+Ground | 9 11 Bodies:

Another year has come to remember the ghosts of our pasts. The 15th anniversary of 9/11 is more historical than ever, more rooted in mystery and awe. The real superheroes of that fateful day were the firefighters and other brave people who went into the buildings to try to save the ones that were trapped. It’s good that 15 years later we still stop to remember the events that shook the country for at least a month. Just today, I have seen the horrific pictures taken shortly after the attacks, coming across them on a search for images from 9/11. I’m interested in watching the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” about the 10 year hunt for bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attacks. It’s supposed to be a true account of the events with of course some creative liberties taken by the director.

Superhero, Stump


Today In History – 8/30

Image result for the kremlin

A number of things happened on the 30th of August in history, usually seen as the next to last day to enjoy summer.

On August 30, 1963 a connection was established between Moscow and Washington D.C. allowing communication between the White House and the Kremlin. This was after the US and Russia came very close to a nuclear war.

Also on this day, the first black astronaut went into space, Guion S. Bluford Jr.

Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to be appointed to the U.S Supreme Court.

For more history go here: 


The Pace of Relevancy

Like this car, we all keep moving forward into the future

It’s really hard to stay relevant these days, with the world moving so fast. Technology keeps advancing at an alarming rate. The Internet continues to grow and dominate discussion. Anything that was popular a year ago has already gone past people’s minds. If you want to stay on top, you have to keep working, or else you fade into the past. I was born in the 90s and any remnant of those days probably resides in the darkest corners of the world or up in attics collecting dust.

I wish I could slow it all down and have time to enjoy the things that are popular right now, instead of having to move on to the “Next Best Thing”. I’m usually one of the last to pick up something new and exciting because I don’t easily give into hype. By the time I hop on the popular bandwagon, the thing that was cool and trendworthy has already lost its luster or changed into something completely different. I haven’t even laid my hands on an iPhone – ever – and it’s going to celebrate its 10th anniversary next year.

I’ve recently been using the Wayback Machine to take a look at the way popular websites have grown and changed over the years and it’s quite interesting. Webpages from the early 2000s look so outdated and unprofessional with no uniformity or branding at all. I was looking at YouTube and saw that it started out as a simple place to upload and watch videos and then eventually developed into this immersive experience. The video player that is the focal point of the website has changed. It used to be this square box centered on the page with a jumble of sharing options and other buttons underneath – very messy and cluttered – and now it’s this beautiful widescreen rectangle siting snugly against the left side of the screen with no clutter at all. They’ve changed their layout a number of times, going with some that people loved to others that were totally disliked. I also took a look at some individual channels (like Smosh and PewDiePie) and how they started out from humble beginnings and have continued to please their fans today.

The pace of relevancy all depends on how people grow and change over time. How interests evolve. If a product or person doesn’t keep up with the times and how people change, it or they will won’t survive. With the “Yeah!” or “Nay” response getting even more clear and quicker, you have to really try hard to make something that is appealing to a wide audience.

Pace Oddity

If you could slow down an action that usually zooms by, or speed up an event that Nnormally drags on, which would you choose, and why?

Mona Lisa’s Smile

The best art only speaks

By its repeated spread through

Generations of faces

Constant evolution

Of mystery and awe

Mona Lisa’s wry smile

Secrets within the strokes

Hundreds of years in preservation

The first touch of brush to canvas

Moved, shook boulders around the world

da Vinci’s pièce de résistance

His self portrait hidden within

Never hidebound, always open to

The endless possibilities of an infinite universe

To stare at such magnificent work,

To envisage the Mona Lisa coming to life

Like she was for da Vinci,

Be as still and quiet while I paint

Why, that is the most powerful drug in the world

And I am drawn by what is historically significant

And the figment of the human eye of imagination

What can move people to change their lives

Search for something more than is on the surface

Visually, I love art

It inspires and thrills

And like music, can fit any mood I am in

In Response to the Daily Prompt: The Artist’s Eye 

Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to? What does it say to you? Describe the experience. (Or, if art doesn’t speak to you, tell us why.)

If there is another painting that I really like, it would be Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, just because it is open to so many parodies.

The Thread of Music

Music from any age never dies, but only gets better. There is a thread stretching all the way from the age of Beethoven to the age of Adam Lambert and other modern pop stars, and it will never be broken, only singed, burnt, drenched and changed colors with the passing of time.

When I was spending my early childhood in the 90s, the 70s and 80s were not far behind and were still considered “fresh” and a part of contemporary, mainstream radio. They are the songs that would often hit the air waves and shaped my overall perception of music. They are why I have a liking for music from different eras and can appreciate the different cultural trends. The era of animal named bands, disco and the silky pants, the rise of electric rock, the big hair of the 80s, and the boy bands. Radio stations played more Beatles hits during my early childhood than any other time, since the Fab Four’s era was less than 30 years gone and adults still could fondly remember the “good ole days”. The last time I heard “Judy in the Sky”, a song with hidden meanings and probably a nod to “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, on the radio was when I was about six and I haven’t heard it on the radio since, only through a curious search on YouTube.

As we have gotten deeper into the 21st century, older music has moved over in favor of newer hits from younger artists. The early 2000s seem so far away now, mainly because I’m way past a kid now and am continually adapting to the changing sounds and trends. A lot of it has to do with the way listening to music has evolved, from cassette tapes to CDs to iPods, and now to Pandora and Spotify. I remember when the NOW! series was at number 5 in 2000 and rocking out to “Kryptonite”; now it’s past 54 and I don’t really seem to care anymore, but the concept is still strong with many.

I was born at the beginning of the 90s, so of course I got a taste of the music my parents used to listen to, until my generation, the millennials, started to develop and break off from the pack, throwing out a few rules laid out before them. I appreciate music from all genres and eras, because they give me a peek into what the culture was during those times.

Back in the first house I remember as a child, my mom used to have an 8-track player/record combo lying on the kitchen counter. The technology of 8-track tapes had gone out of style by the mid 90s where I was at but mom still had a whole collection of them and would play them in the afternoons or evenings. I remember for a short while my mom playing the song “Secret” by Madonna on the old 8-track while holding my then only baby sister and dancing and singing to her.

MC Hammer, Nirvana, Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Whitney Houston. Those are a couple of names that kicked off the decade that saw the rise of the Internet and personal computing. Pretty mild songs for the most part, some a little rebellious, many packed full of soul and R&B.

Then the late 90s came, the time that I like to call “my awakening” as well as the segway to the new millennium, artists like Britney Spears, N*Sync, The Backstreet Boys, and Smash Mouth carving out the image of my true childhood that I remember the most. The time between me being a kid and listening to long gone songs such as “Every Morning” from Sugar Ray and then getting into the modern days of Rihanna and Taylor Swift seemed to last a long time.

If I could and had the time to do so, I would lay out my entire life in the form of a soundtrack. It would be interesting to see the changes in the world’s and my musical taste. I like to think the music I grew up on in the nifty ninties could only be described as a blend of the 70s and 80s before it driven by a rebellious culture shifting teen generation, while music today really has no identity – it is a product of all music that artists have created and nurtured since the earliest methods of recording music were invented.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Papa Loves Mambo.”

What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?

Time Stands Still In Old Springfield Village

For the weekly photo challenge I tried out a Mesh gallery. I don’t have an iPhone so this is the desktop version. I was getting aroused as to why the pictures are so enlarged and cut off but then I found out you can click on the picture and see the whole thing. When I put the upload link in my post, some of the pictures I put in the Mesh gallery are eliminated as if there’s a slideshow limit. Being able to add subtitles is an idea.

Anyway, here is a mesh gallery of my tour of Old Springfield Village and Abraham Lincoln’s original home there. Everything has been restored and preserved to look exactly like it was 150 years ago (when Lincoln was shot and last lived there). There are also pictures of my tour of the Lincoln Home National Museum. Me and my family’s final day in Springfield involved learning much about Lincoln and his family that wasn’t known before, like the fact that the house was very small before Mrs. Lincoln literally raised the roof and added an additional floor. John Wilkes Booth’s brother, Edward, saved Lincoln’s son, Robert, from getting caught under a moving train. And of course John did one better by shooting Lincoln.

It was a good day. it was a good vacation. I didn’t even mind the overbearing and creepy tour guide.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Today Was a Good Day.”

Visiting Lincoln’s Tomb

Yesterday my stay in Springfield took a trip down memory lane – the memory lane of one of our most celebrated presidents. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination and people today still pay their respects to him by visiting Oak Ridge cemetery every year. Walking through the halls of the mausoleum was like going back in time. I could sense the state of preserved history in the air. Kind of eerie and creepy, I might add. Like I was disturbing the peace.

 photo lincoln7_zpsis1tpjvp.jpgWelcome to the tomb. Historically preserved since 1960.
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Young Abraham Lincoln
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Lincoln’s head bust sculpted by Gorzam Borglum. The nose is gold because of many tourists rubbing it for good luck.
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Centerpiece of Lincoln’s tomb, a small replica of the piece at the Lincoln Memorial in D.C.

lincoln11Honest Abe on his horse
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Lincoln’s chair from the side
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Burial headstone of Lincoln. He’s buried ten feet under.
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“Gold nose” from the side
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Lincoln Tomb obelisk. The tomb also houses Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, and his son Robert Tadd. Mary Lincoln had quite bad luck because her husband was assassinated and three of her four sons all died before adulthood.
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Lincoln’s chair from the back. The man, the myth, the legend.

WPC: Door to History

Day 219 - Looking In
The Parlour – Old Fashioned Ice Cream

The Parlour is a little slice of heaven I have always loved to go to since I was a baby essentially. The ice cream there has never failed to satisfy me, with the Dare to be Great always the monster feat on the menu, the signature product that many have tried to conquer but have failed. This place has had its history of closings, renovations, reopenings, and financial troubles, but it still proves to be one of the more popular places to eat in my hometown. Even people from other states know about this little gem and probably come here when they visit Michigan. The one thing in this iconic place that has not been replaced through all these years is an old-fashioned jukebox or Wurlitzer, that stands in a corner near the entrance. I don’t think it works anymore but it is a symbol of the Parlour’s original 1950s roots.

Weekly Photo Challenge: “Door.”

T is for Those Elephants

It basically caused a gigantic seismic wave, created a whole new culture of people that have come together to share their life stories and have a lot of fun. It is something that sparked an entire revolution. The 18 seconds  that changed the world forever. The one that basically “woke” the Internet up. The one that – Okay, I’ll just say it: today’s the tenth anniversary of the first ever video uploaded to YouTube, called ‘Me at the zoo’ and starring the co-founder of the site, Jawed Karim. Little did he know that he had just planted the first seed that would grow into the magnificent giant sequoia it is today. And today he’s probably sitting back in a comfortable chair in his luxurious home marveling at the thing, the Frankenstein, he helped create.

Enjoy this day now forever marked in history as YouTube day. Go back to the simpler times when it was mostly unedited, low resolution clips of people doing random things, before VEVO stepped in and basically told the site to grow the hell up, putting up their music videos that make that “Top Ten Most Viewed Videos” list look overrated.

It’s also the tenth anniversary of the second video uploaded to YouTube, and possibly the third and the fourth. Basically every video after this is going to celebrate its tenth anniversary either today, tomorrow or in the days to come. It’s like a glacial layer of ice is moving over everything now, forever freezing these first videos into history.

The second, less popular video:

Hey, it’s not that hard to start a company. Just grab a camera, stand in front of some elephants, say a few words, and you’re golden. If only it were that simple now…

April A to Z Challenge