Sunday, April 26, 2009

Can You Name That Dog?

I've got one for you to figure out. What famous TV dog was rescued out of the trenches in France during world war one? A war dog kennel was bombed and the mother and five puppies survived. This little pup was only five days old and became one of the only two survivors in the end.
Corporal Lee Duncan took the two pups and named one after a tiny 1" tall French puppet. Hmmm...there's a clue. Duncan worked with these dogs and found out the kennel master in charge of the bombed kennel had been captured by the Americans. Duncan actually visited the kennel master in prison to find out more about this new breed and to let him know about the rescue.
After the war, Duncan took his pups back the the United States to his home in Los Angeles. During the long 15 day journey, the female pup became ill with distemper and finally died.
Duncan took his remaining puppy to dog shows. In 1922, The Novograph Pictures Company asked to film this dog in action.
He knew this dog was special and took him to every film studio he could find. He was always turned down, but would not give up.
Finally after much persistence, the soon to be famous dog got a scene in the movie, " Man From Hells River." Another clue!
This film was a hit and the dog was a sensation. This dog made 26 pictures for Warner Brothers and got 10,000 fan letters a week.
But, in 1932, this famous pup died expectantly, Oh,no! Thank God for the new litter and now the son of _______ took his place. Many people wanted these pups of this famous bloodline, but Duncan was selective as to who they went to.
In 1960, Duncan died, but the bloodline was passed on to a woman in Texas who spent her life training, breeding and caring for these dogs. There have been 10 generations so far.
Ok, now you have the scoop. This dog stared in a TV show from 1950-1955. We all loved this show and the dog. Who was this mystery dog?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Klaatu Barada Nikto! The Day The Earth Stood Still..

Klaatu Barada Nikto is the most famous phrase ever spoken by an extraterrestrial. If anyone can translate this. Let me know.
The Day The Earth Stood Still is one of the most notable science fiction cult classics. It came out in 1951 near the end of the cold war and in the atomic age.
The classic plot is about a space craft landing and an alien tells the people of earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed because of the danger to other planets. He is accompanied by a humanoid robot named Gort. Now that makes perfect sense and I can actually see that happening now.
Did you know that Frank Loyd Wright was consulted on making the design of the space craft?
Well, Klaatu was of course shot while leaving the craft (how did I know that was going to happen?) and has a gift for the president so he can study life on other planets. Klaatu is then taken to a army hospital where he recovers.
The film starred Michael Rennie (Klaatu), Patricia Neal, Sam Jaffe, and Hugh Marlow.
Most of the photography was shot on 20th Century Fox sound stages and it's studio back lot. Other scenes were done in Washington D.C. but the film stars never traveled there.
The directors wanted to make the film as realistic as possible to state the core message about armed conflict around the world. The aim was to promote a strong United Nations.
It was said that the film inspired Ronald Reagan to discuss uniting against alien invasion when meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. He is quoted as saying,"I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world." I would have to agree with Ronnie on that one. Maybe that's what this planet needs to finally be united.

Gort® Die Cast Nickel Edition
Day the Earth Stood Still - 26x38 Movie Poster
The Day the Earth Stood Still & Other Sf Classics

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Experiment Today...Become A Scientist Tomorrow!

Remember chemistry sets? Most everyone had one. I had three. I look back and can't understand why my parents let me have not one, but three chemistry sets. I couldn't have my beloved go-cart and I couldn't even have toy trucks and cars to play with.
But, they somehow took the responsibility for me to potentially blow up the house.
These kits were marketed in the early 20th century to department and toy stores. They became the perfect birthday or Christmas gift in hopes to spark a budding chemist.
Some of the manufacturers were A.C. Gilbert, Skilcraft and Chemcraft. By the mid 1950's, there wasn't a kid in the US that didn't have or want one. These companies even made models for girls with pink cases and were labeled "lab technicians." Go figure.
We couldn't be scientists because we were girls, but we could be assistants.
Some of the things found inside these treasure chests were: thermometers, measuring cylinders, magnifying glasses, beakers, and alcohol burners just to name a few.
Common chemical were borax, calcium chloride, ferrous sulfate, powered charcoal, sodium carbonate, and a whole lot more.
There were concerns over the safety of chemistry sets such as the heat sources, breaking glass, flammable chemicals, etc. but mainly, could this be a tool to make illegal drugs? Doubtful.
As it turned out, those chemistry sets were treasure chests of the unknown. It got to the point, my parents wouldn't let me play with it in the house. So, I would set up my little lab table in the yard and go to town.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Reefer Madness And The Reefer Man

I just watched a show on Sundance Channel called "Grass." I couldn't resist writing a post. When it got to the 1960's era, I was about ready to jump off the couch,slit my jeans and make bell bottoms out of them and yell, "Hell No We Won't Go!"
It was a tremendous show. So, I did a search for the term "reefer." I found out that it is a slang term for marijuana. Duhh...
But, it came from a movie called Reefer Madness which came out in the 1930's. This anti cannabis propaganda film played a key role in scaring the public to make marijuana illegal.
The movie was about a man who smokes the stuff and goes insane killing his whole family. Interestingly enough, the producers tried to make a quick buck, but violated the motion picture code of the 1930's. The code forbid the portrayal of immoral acts like drug use.
I also found a few quotes of interest:
~Ronald Reagan 1974: "Permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of marijuana."
~White House Drug Czar, Carlton Turner: "Marijuana leads to homosexuality and therefore aids."
~President Candidate Bill Clinton: "I don't inhale."
There you have it, a few personal opinions about a plant the grows on the planet which has the capabilities of curing some diseases and by making it legal, raise the economy. That's just my opinion.
So, in closing I dug up this very cool video of Cab Calloway singing, "The Reefer Man." Enjoy!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Veg-All Quick And Easy Pie Plate Salad

I ran across this vintage ad and just had to share it with you. Looking at it brought back the memories of food when I was a kid. As I have said in my earlier food posts, the baby boomer generation really was stuck with some pretty awful food by today's standards.
I really never had fresh vegetables growing up except corn on the cob and iceberg lettuce. I saw my first brussel sprout when I was 19 and thought it was a mutated cabbage.
This ad really took the wind out of my sails and I am having trouble trying to figure out exactly what it is. Bottom line, some mother fed it to her family and felt really good about it. To be honest with you, when you click on the picture and you can see the recipe, it's pretty discusting.
Well, enough said, I'm going to the kitchen and making myself a salad.