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Xian (refers to a person or similar entity having a long life or being immortal. The concept of xian has different implications dependent upon the specific context: philosophical, religious, mythological, or other symbolic or cultural occurrence)
Painting of two xian, Iron-crutch Li of the Eight Immortals on the left releasing a bat and Liu Haichan on the right holding one of the Peaches of Immortality and accompanied by the three-legged toad, Jin Chan. By Soga Shohaku (????), circa 1760................................
The most famous Chinese compound of xian is Baxian (?? "the Eight Immortals"). The Eight Immortals (Chinese: ??) are a group of legendary xian ("immortals") in Chinese mythology. Each immortal's power can be transferred to a vessel (??) that can bestow life or destroy evil. Together, these eight vessels are called the "Covert Eight Immortals" (???). Most of them are said to have been born in the Tang or Song Dynasty. They are revered by the Taoists and are also a popular element in secular Chinese culture. They are said to live on a group of five islands in the Bohai Sea, which includes Mount Penglai.............................
"The Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea"..........................
City in China, home of the famous Terracotta Army.................................
Xi’an was a leader of the X-Men 2099......................
Calling it a night........................
"Yes We Can" Song/Ad (is a song produced by The Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am, released as promotional single on February 2, 2008. Although the lyrics are entirely quotations from Obama's concession speech in the New Hampshire presidential primary, the Obama campaign had no involvement in its production. The viral music video, shot in a sparse black-and-white, features Obama's image in collage fashion; the performers, among them celebrities including musicians, singers and actors, echo his words in a hip-hop, call-and-response manner as his voice plays in the background. The song was produced by will.i.am, mixed by Dylan "3-D" Dresdow, and the music video was directed by Jesse Dylan, the son of singer Bob Dylan. The music video was released on Dipdive.com and also on YouTube.com under the username 'WeCan08'. It was honored with the first-ever Emmy Award for Best New Approaches in Daytime Entertainment. The video is a collage-style music video inspired by Barack Obama's popularization of the slogan "Yes we can.", which became a secondary slogan for his campaign. During the 2008 US presidential campaign following the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, then-Senator Barack Obama, used the similar English translation of the slogan of United Farm Workers (UFW) – "Sí, se puede" (Spanish for "Yes, you can" or "Yes, it can be done") in his speech. The slogan dates back to 1972 when Cesar Chavez and the UFW's co-founder, Dolores Huerta, came up with the slogan during Chavez's 24-day fast in Phoenix, Arizona. The music video premiered on television on ABC News Now's What's the Buzz entertainment program on February 1, 2008. On February 2, 2008, it was featured on the Obama campaign's community blog, and later promoted as a viral video by the campaign on its website. The clip was played prior to a February 12, 2008, campaign rally of nearly 20,000 at the Kohl Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison)
Reaching 26-plus million viewers, this independently produced YouTube video of an Obama speech after a primary loss in New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton led to an online fundraising boom and created a new wave of momentum for the young Illinois senator..............................................
"Yes We Can," 2008 Barack Obama (D) vs. John McCain (R)Reaching 26-plus million viewers, this independently produced YouTube video of an Obama speech after...
FYI: From my As Seen on TV topic folder
Calling it a night...............................
Ziggy - is an American cartoon series about an eponymous character who suffers an endless stream of misfortunes and sad but sympathetic daily events. It was created by Tom Wilson, a former American Greetings executive, and distributed by Andrews McMeel Syndication. In 1987, his son Tom Wilson II took over writing and drawing the comic strip. Ziggy, nameless at his conception, has been visible in some form or another since the mid-1960s. Greeting card writer Tom Wilson first drew a Ziggy-like character as an elevator operator offering political commentary in editorial cartoons, but no one would syndicate it. Ziggy eventually appeared in an American Greetings gift book, When You're Not Around (1968) which caught the eye of Kathleen Andrews, a founder of the fledgling startup Universal Press Syndicate, which badly needed a popular comic to keep it afloat. A deal was struck, a name was given, and Ziggy was born. The strip began in 15 newspapers in June 1971, and that number eventually grew to over 600 publications. A Sunday strip premiered on April 1, 1973. Ziggy, the constantly unfortunate but sympathetic protagonist, is a diminutive, bald, barefoot, almost featureless character (save for his large nose). He is often drawn in just his shirt with no pants on, though the lower half of his torso is never seen. He lives in a simple house with a garden, and he is often seen working at an office job, at which his foibles often reflect the absurdities that many readers encounter on a daily basis.
Comment: I relate to Ziggy and he's my favorite cartoon character. We've been setting record high temps here in the Louisville area.
This one goes out to my forum friends up north ... getting all that snow.
Yes, I was Ziggy on Tues. Got between 3-5 inches of snow, got a couple more inches last night but haven't shoveled that yet (have a contract vote tomorrow so I'll shovel before I go to that). Southern part of the state got the brunt of this storm.
Animatronics (refers to mechatronic puppets. They are a modern variant of the automaton and are often used for the portrayal of characters in films and in theme park attractions. It is a multidisciplinary field integrating puppetry, anatomy and mechatronics. Animatronic figures can be implemented with both computer and human control, including teleoperation. Motion actuators are often used to imitate muscle movements and create realistic motions. Figures are usually encased in body shells and flexible skins made of hard and soft plastic materials and finished with colors, hair, feathers and other components to make them more lifelike. Animatronics stem from a long tradition of mechanical automata powered by hydraulics, pneumatics and clockwork. Greek mythology and ancient Chinese writings mention early examples of automata. The oldest extant automaton is dated to the 16th century. Before the term "animatronics" became common, they were usually referred to as "robots". Since then, robots have become known as more practical programmable machines that do not necessarily resemble living creatures. Robots (or other artificial beings) designed to convincingly resemble humans are known as "androids". The term Animatronics is a portmanteau of animate and electronics. The term Audio-Animatronics was coined by Walt Disney in 1961 when he started developing animatronics for entertainment and film. Audio-Animatronics does not differentiate between animatronics and androids. Autonomatronics was also defined by Disney Imagineers to describe more advanced Audio-Animatronic technology featuring cameras and complex sensors to process and respond to information in the character's environment)
1939: Sparko, The Robot Dog, pet of Elektro, performs in front of the public but Sparko, unlike many depictions of robots in that time, represented a living animal, thus becoming the very first modern day animatronic character, along with an unnamed horse which was reported to gallop realistically. The animatronic galloping horse was also on display at the 1939 World's Fair, in a different exhibit than Sparko's...................
Calling it a night...............................
Balmoral Castle - is a large estate house in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and a residence of the British royal family. It is near the village of Crathie, 9 miles (14 km) west of Ballater and 50 miles (80 km) west of Aberdeen. The estate and its original castle were bought from the Farquharson family in 1852 by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. Soon afterwards the house was found to be too small and the current Balmoral Castle was commissioned. The architect was William Smith of Aberdeen, and his designs were amended by Prince Albert. The castle is an example of Scottish baronial architecture, and is classified by Historic Environment Scotland as a category A listed building. The new castle was completed in 1856 and the old castle demolished shortly thereafter. The Balmoral Estate has been added to by successive members of the royal family, and now covers an area of approximately 50,000 acres (20,000 hectares). It is a working estate, including grouse moors, forestry and farmland, as well as managed herds of deer, Highland cattle, sheep and ponies. Balmoral remains the private property of the monarch and is not part of the Crown Estate. It was the summer residence of Queen Elizabeth II, who died there on 8 September 2022.
When discussing Balmoral Castle, it is impossible to do so without discussing Queen Elizabeth and her relationship with the estate. Queen Elizabeth's love of the Castle is well documented, and it is no surprise that she chose to spend so much time there during the year. The Queen regularly hosted guests at the castle. Both the drawing room and the study have been used to host dignitaries and special guests. The green interior of both of the rooms is well documented, and the impressive bookshelf located in the study is a real talking point for guests.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with their children, Prince Andrew (center), Princess Anne (left) and Charles, Prince of Wales sitting on a picnic rug outside Balmoral Castle in Scotland. (Comment: This was most likely taken some time around 1960 since Prince Andrew is just a baby.)
Canadian Governor General Designate Julie Payette meets Queen Elizabeth during a private audience at Balmoral Castle (Comment: notice that even the Queen is at home, she still has her purse on her arm. I remember my grandmother doing the same type of thing.)
Balmoral Castle, the royal residence in the Scottish Highlands where Queen Elizabeth II spent her final days as England's longest-serving monarch, is also wh...
Comedy of Manners (In English literature, the term comedy of manners (also anti-sentimental comedy) describes a genre of realistic, satirical comedy of the Restoration period (1660–1710) that questions and comments upon the manners and social conventions of a greatly sophisticated, artificial society. The satire of fashion, manners, and outlook on life of the social classes, is realized with stock characters, such as the braggart soldier of Ancient Greek comedy, and the fop and the rake of English Restoration comedy. The clever plot of a comedy of manners (usually a scandal) is secondary to the social commentary thematically presented through the witty dialogue of the characters, e.g. The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), by Oscar Wilde, which satirizes the sexual hypocrisies of Victorian morality. The comedy-of-manners genre originated in the New Comedy period (325–260 BC) of Classical Greece (510–323 BC), and is known from fragments of works by the playwright Menander, whose style of writing, elaborate plots, and stock characters were imitated by Roman playwrights, such as Plautus and Terence, whose comedies were known to and staged during the Renaissance. In the 17th century, the comedy of manners is best realized in the plays of Molière, such as The School for Wives (1662), The Imposter (1664), and The Misanthrope (1666), which satirize the hypocrisies and pretensions of the ancien régime that ruled France from the late 15th century to the 18th century)
FYI: From my Funny Bone topic folder.....................
Calling it a night......................
Dionne Quintuplets - born May 28, 1934, are the first quintuplets known to have survived their infancy. The identical girls were born just outside Callander, Ontario, near the village of Corbeil. All five survived to adulthood.
The identical quintuplet girls were, in order of birth:
Yvonne Édouilda Marie Dionne (died 2001)
Annette Lillianne Marie Allard (living)
Cécile Marie Émilda Langlois (living)
Émilie Marie Jeanne Dionne (died 1954)
Marie Reine Alma Houle (died 1970)
The Dionne family was headed by father Oliva-Édouard (1904–1979) and mother Elzire Dionne (née Legros; 1909–1986), who married on September 15, 1925. They lived just outside Corbeil, in a farmhouse in unregistered territoty. The Dionnes were a French-speaking farming family with five older children, Ernest (1926–1995), Rose Marie (1928–1995), Thérèse (1929–2021), Daniel (1932–1995), and Pauline (1933–2018), who was only eleven months older than the quintuplets. A sixth child, Léo (1930-1930), died of pneumonia shortly after birth.
Elzire was 24 when she gave birth to the quintuplets. She suspected she was carrying twins, but no one was aware that quintuplets were even possible. The quintuplets were born premature. In 1938, the doctors had a theory that was later proven correct when genetic tests showed that the girls were identical, meaning they were created from a single egg cell. Elzire reported having cramps in her third month and passing a strange object which may have been a sixth fetus. Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe is credited with ensuring the successful live birth of the quintuplets. Originally, he diagnosed Elzire with a "fetal abnormality". He delivered the babies with the help of two midwives, Aunt Donalda and Madame Benoît Lebel, who were summoned by Oliva Dionne in the middle of the night.
Émilie and Marie shared an embryonic sac, Annette and Yvonne shared an embryonic sac, and it is believed that Cécile shared an embryonic sac with the miscarried sixth baby. All but Émilie were later discovered to be right-handed and all but Marie had a counterclockwise whorl in their hair. The quintuplets' total weight at birth was 13 pounds, 6 ounces (6.07 kg). The highest weight was 3 pounds 4 ounces and the lowest weight was 2 pounds 4 ounces. Their individual weights and measurements were not recorded. The quintuplets were immediately wrapped in cotton sheets and old napkins, and laid in the corner of the bed. Elzire went into shock, but she recovered in two hours.
The babies were kept in a wicker basket borrowed from the neighbors, covered with heated blankets. They were taken into the kitchen and set by the open door of the stove to keep warm. One by one, they were taken out of the basket and massaged with olive oil. Every two hours for the first twenty-four, they were fed water sweetened with corn syrup. By the second day they were moved to a slightly larger laundry basket and kept warm with hot-water bottles. They were watched constantly and often had to be roused. They were then fed with "seven-twenty" formula: cow's milk, boiled water, two spoonsful of corn syrup, and one or two drops of rum for a stimulant.
After four months with their family, custody was signed over to the Red Cross who paid for their care and oversaw the building of a hospital for the sisters. Less than a year after this agreement was signed, the Ontario government stepped in and passed the Dionne Quintuplets' Guardianship Act, 1935 which made them wards of the Crown until the age of 18. The Ontario provincial government and those around them began to profit by making them a significant tourist attraction.
Ontario Premier Mitchell Hepburn with the Dionne babies in 1934
The quintuplets in 1947 with their parents and a priest in the background
Item title reads - The Dionne Quintuplets at Callandar, Ontario.Canada. L/S of "Olivia Dionne" shop, people mill about in front of it. M/S of a stall sellin...
Epic Cycle (was a collection of Ancient Greek epic poems, composed in dactylic hexameter and related to the story of the Trojan War, including the Cypria, the Aethiopis, the so-called Little Iliad, the Iliupersis, the Nostoi, and the Telegony. Scholars sometimes include the two Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, among the poems of the Epic Cycle, but the term is more often used to specify the non-Homeric poems as distinct from the Homeric ones. Unlike the Iliad and the Odyssey, the cyclic epics survive only in fragments and summaries from Late Antiquity and the Byzantine period. The Epic Cycle was the distillation in literary form of an oral tradition that had developed during the Greek Dark Age, which was based in part on localized hero cults. The traditional material from which the literary epics were drawn treats Mycenaean Bronze Age culture from the perspective of Iron Age and later Greece. In modern scholarship the study of the historical and literary relationship between the Homeric epics and the rest of the Cycle is called Neoanalysis. A longer Epic Cycle, as described by the 9th-century CE scholar and clergyman Photius in codex 239 of his Bibliotheca, also included the Titanomachy (8th century BCE) and the Theban Cycle (between 750 and 500 BCE), which in turn comprised the Oedipodea, the Thebaid, the Epigoni and the Alcmeonis; however, it is certain that none of the cyclic epics (other than Homer's) survived to Photius' day, and it is likely that Photius was not referring to a canonical collection. Modern scholars do not normally include the Theban Cycle when referring to the Epic Cycle)
Off to work........................
Fondue - is a Swiss melted cheese and wine dish served in a communal pot (caquelon or fondue pot) over a portable stove (réchaud) heated with a candle or spirit lamp, and eaten by dipping bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union (Schweizerische Käseunion) in the 1930s, and was popularized in North America in the 1960s. Fondue is eaten by spearing a piece of bread on a fork, swirling it in the pot, and putting it into the mouth. Some writers recommend that the dipping fork be used only to transport the food from the pot to one's plate, not to eat from. There are various recommendations on the choice of accompanying beverage: some say white wine, others specify black tea. Some drink spirits during or after the meal, which supposedly helps digestion. Indeed, alcohol may provide short-term relief, but overall, it delays gastric emptying and prolongs perceived fullness. Since the 1950s, the term "fondue" has been generalized to other dishes in which a food is dipped into a communal pot of liquid kept hot in a fondue pot: chocolate fondue, fondue au chocolate, in which pieces of fruit or pastry are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture, and fondue bourguignonne, in which pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil or broth.
Great Lakes Region (of North America is a binational Canadian–American region that includes portions of eight U.S. states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin along with the Canadian province of Ontario. Quebec is at times included as part of the region because, although it is not in a Great Lake watershed, it encompasses most of the St. Lawrence River watershed, part of a continuous hydrologic system that includes the Great Lakes. The region centers on the Great Lakes and forms a distinctive historical, economic, and cultural identity. A portion of the region also encompasses the Great Lakes megalopolis. Participating state and provincial governments are represented in the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers, which also serves as the Secretariat to the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Compact and the Great Lakes–Saint Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement. The Great Lakes region takes its name from the corresponding geological formation of the Great Lakes Basin, a narrow watershed encompassing the Great Lakes, bounded by watersheds to the region's north (Hudson Bay), west (Mississippi), and east and south (Ohio, part of the Mississippi watershed). To the east, the rivers of St. Lawrence, Richelieu, Hudson, Mohawk and Susquehanna form an arc of watersheds east to the Atlantic. The Great Lakes region, as distinct from the Great Lakes Basin, defines a unit of sub-national political entities defined by the U.S. states and the Canadian province of Ontario encompassing the Great Lakes watershed, and the states and province bordering one or more of the Great Lakes)
and about a week ago....................
Laurie Perez provides the latest on the mysterious flying object that was shot down by U.S. forces while flying over the Great Lakes region on Sunday. It is the third mystery object shot down in the last week.
Off to work............................