Tag Archives: writing

Just Vending (03/30)

A friend of mine who works for an encyclopedia publisher shared this fact with me:

A device that dispensed holy water in a Greek temple in Alexandria, Egypt, in 215 B.C. is the earliest known vending machine.

To see how far vending machines have come, read about the one they call ‘Let’s Pizza’

1 Comment

Filed under life

Like Father, Like Son (03/24)

Joakim Noah, of the Chicago Bulls, is not the only athlete in the family.

noahx1

His father, Yannick Noah, was a professional tennis player and won the French Open in 1983.

ten_g_yannick_195I am not sure if Joakim has the same musical aspirations, but Yannick is also a pop-soul singer. Who says you have  to the same thing your entire life?

Leave a comment

Filed under life, music

What is Your Wish Today? (03/21)

One of the most memorable Seinfeld episodes is The Soup Nazi, much to the surprise of everyone involved. It is easy to remember all that is involved with getting the soup and of course the dreaded “No soup for you!”. However, there is another memorable part of this episode — the armoire thieves.

John Paragon & Yul Vazquez

John Paragon & Yul Vazquez playing the armoire thieves

By any chance, do you recognize the gentlemen on the left? (I’ll give you  hint, he was a prominent character on a children’s television show.)

If you don’t know, don’t worry. I didn’t know either that is why I am posting the answer now.

Paragon as Jambi the Genie

John Paragon as Jambi the Genie

“Mekka-lekka hi mekka hiney ho!”
“Mekka-lekka hi mekka chahney ho!”
“Mola-mekka chala mekka hola hayla hey!

Long live Jambi.

1 Comment

Filed under life, tv shows

Beware of Bezoars (03/18)

I will spare you, and not post a picture of this:

bezoar – A ball of food, mucus, vegetable fiber, hair, or other material that cannot be digested in the stomach. Bezoars can cause blockage, ulcers, and bleeding.

In other words, a hairball.

But I am not talking about a cat here.

Humans and cud-chewing animals, such as cows, oxen, sheep, goats, llamas, deer, and antelopes get hairballs or other types of “bezoars”.

“Bezoar” is a Persian word that means “protection from poison,” because bezoars were believed to be a universal antidote against poisoning.

to see pictures and read more click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under life

Persimmons (03/17)

not tomatoes

not tomatoes

On a recent trip to the local fruit market I purchased a persimmon for the very first time. As you can see above, it’s not a friendly looking fruit, especially since it bears a strong resemblence to tomatoes, which are not one of my favorites.

Not knowing anything about the fruit, I was not willing to try it until I read more about it.

It’s important you know there are two kinds of persimmons: the Fuyu, the kind you can eat right away (thankfully this in the type I purchased), and the Hachiya, the kind you can’t. If you bite into an unripe Hachiya persimmon, it is if you just drank six cups of extra strength tea. This astringent flavor is due to the high level of tannin in the fruit, and there is a good chance that you would never try a persimmon again because it tastes so bitter. This would be a shame because ripe persimmons have an exceptional flavor and provide us with important nutrients such as beta-carotene, Vitamin C and potassium.

China is the largest producer of persimmons, followed by Brazil, Japan, and Korea. The United States grows comparatively few persimmons compared to the major producers, but virtually all, of the domestic persimmon crop comes from California.

from Tony Tantillo.

Feeling confident that the persimmon I purchased was indeed ripe, I decided to try it (well, after my boyfriend tried it first). It has the texture of a peach and the flavor is somewhere in between a plum and a peach. So if you have seen this fruit and been afraid to try it, fear not!

Leave a comment

Filed under life

Potholes (03/16)

Stinkin' Pothole

Stinkin' Pothole

Everyone hates them, that is for sure. But there is something that I am unsure about – why do we call them potholes?

First of all, not everyone calls them potholes, they are also known as kettles and chuckholes.

Second of all, if you read the definition of pothole, the reason it carries over to our roads is obvious:
a deep natural underground cavity formed by the erosion of rock, esp. by the action of water.
• a deep circular hole in a riverbed formed by the erosion of the rock by the rotation of stones in an eddy.
• a depression or hollow in a road surface caused by wear or subsidence.
• (also pothole lake) a pond in a natural hollow in the ground.

Leave a comment

Filed under life

What Building You Talkin’ About? (03/12)

THE SEARS TOWER

THE SEARS TOWER

That’s right ladies and gentlemen we are talking about the Sears Tower, our nations tallest building. Why are we talking about it? Because the name is going to be changed to Willis Tower. Who names a building, Willis?

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

The 110-story Chicago giant, the nation’s tallest building, will be renamed Willis Tower under a leasing deal. The New York-based owners signed a lease with Willis Group Holdings, a London-based insurance broker, for 140,000 square feet.

“Having our name associated with Chicago’s most iconic structure underscores our commitment to this great city, and recognizes Chicago’s importance as a major financial hub and international business center,” said Joseph Plumeri, chairman of Willis Group Holdings.

blah, blah, blah. It’s hard enough to keep up with the names of stadiums, now we are going to have to keep up rnaming buildings too?

Leave a comment

Filed under life

Samurais (03/07)

This Samurai character:

John Belushi

John Belushi on SNL

Is based on this Samurai character:

Toshirô Mifune in Sanjuro

Toshirô Mifune in Sanjuro

But wait, there  is more..

The masterless samurai Sanjuro appears in 2 of Akira Kirusawa’s films: Yojimbo and Sanjuro.

Kirusawa used the American genre of westerns for these films, but set them in feudal Japan.

Then Yojimbo was remade (into a western) by Sergio Leone as A Fistful of Dollars, starring an American “masterless samurai”, Clint Eastwood.

1 Comment

Filed under life, movies

Cermak (03/03)

Many major streets are named after influential people, but it is easy to take who those people are for granted.

For example, I have driven on Cermak road in Chicago numerous times and never thought about who Cermak was. I am positive that natives of the city know the story, but I am not a native of this area. However, I do know the story now.

Anton Cermak

Anton Cermak (May 9, 1873 – March 6, 1933)

Anton Cermak emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1874 from Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic).

He began his political career as a precinct captain and in 1902 was elected to the Illinois state legislature. Seven years later, he would take his place as alderman of the 12th Ward . Cermak was elected president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners in 1922, chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party in 1928, and mayor of Chicago in 1931.

Before Cermak, the Democratic party in Cook County was run by the “Lace Curtain” Irish. They looked down on anyone who wasn’t “Lace Curtain,” even the Irish from the Back of the Yards and Bridgeport neighborhoods (referred to as “Pig Shit” Irish), and also non-Irish ethnics. As Cermak climbed the local political ladder, the resentment of the Lace Curtain group grew. When the bosses rejected his bid to become the mayoral candidate, Cermak swore revenge. He formed his political army from the non-Irish elements, and even persuaded black politician William L. Dawson to switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party. Dawson later became U.S. Representative (from the 1st District) and soon the most powerful black politician in Illinois.

Cermak’s political and organizational skills helped create one of the most powerful political organizations of his day, and Cermak is considered the father of Chicago’s Democratic machine.

Wikipedia

On February 15, 1933, while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida, Cermak was shot in the lung and seriously wounded by Giuseppe Zangara, who attempted to assassinate Roosevelt. Cermak’s words to FDR en route to the hospital, ” I am glad it was me instead of you.” He died from his wounds on March 6, 1933 in Miami.

Read the Chicago Tribune’s 1933 coverage.

Leave a comment

Filed under life

S.O.S (03/02)

There are televisions on the bus that I take to work in the morning. Why they are there I do not know, but I do suppose the trivia on the televisions do pass time.

Here was one I saw today:

Which ship was the first to use the brand new S.O.S distress call on April 14, 1912?

The Titanic

The Titanic

However, if you ask Snopes.com they say that is false. Much in the same way famous people are credited for originating sayings they never uttered…

Leave a comment

Filed under life