Saturday, June 24, 2017

Who Is Henry Bates? "A Rare Human Being"- Amazon Adventure IMAX Film






The IMAX film, "Amazon Adventure"  is based on the true story of the 11 year journey down the Amazon by the Englishman Henry Bates in 1848. (At the time, it was only small sailing vessels that were used...steamships came a bit later!)  The book that he wrote of his discoveries, "The Naturalist on the River Amazons" was published in 1863 and he was encouraged to write of his experiences by Charles Darwin.  The subtitle of the book is from a time when books had subtitles that told you quite simply what was in store for you:  It is: A Record of the Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian Life, and Aspects of Nature under the Equator during Eleven Years of Travel. 

Also, please note that the book has the word "Amazon" in the plural as I have it spelled above! Was the river called Amazons in those days?  And in England, the word "Amazon" is pronounced "Ama-zun" while in America, we say "Ama-ZAHN".   You will notice this if you watch the next YouTube clip I have for you...



I just looked this up and it is being shown at the IMAX Theatre at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta until the end of September, 2017.  It must be at all IMAX theatres all over the country, check it out!




Even if you don't see the movie, read about Henry Walter Bates and his amazing life.  I have a link for you here and here!  Besides being a naturalist and explorer, he was also a singer and guitarist and you know that makes him special to me!

On a personal note, Richard and I walked past Burlington House once when we were in London and it looked so inviting, we just had to stop there and have a coffee in the courtyard. Read the links about Henry Bates and you will then know about Burlington House and the Linnean Society!

You never know who will be lurking in the shadows of these mighty gates!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Service of Hope-Southwark Cathedral




Last week, on June 16th, there was a service at Southwark Cathedral in London following the terror attack at London Bridge.
It was called a Service of Hope, to remember and honor the victims of the attack. 
Looking at the Southwark Cathedral website, I was able to view the order of the service. If you would like to see this also, you may do so just here.


One of the songs, "Jesu, Lover of My Soul" was one of the songs in the service.   It is one of my favorites.  I have a video of Aled Jones singing it.  The lyrics are by Charles Wesley and this is what the American preacher Henry Ward Beecher had to say about it - "I would rather have written this hymn of Wesley's than to have the fame of all the kings that ever sat on earth."





Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In The Summertime! (Gluten Free?)






Chick Fil-A is a restaurant chain which is based right here in Georgia.  They have good chicken sandwiches and are very popular. You must remember this though, they are always closed on Sundays.  (By the way, filet is pronounced "fil-a" in America, but did you know it is pronounced like this- "Fill- It" in England? Sorry for my English side to break in here...back to my story!)

Today, I learned that Chick Fil-A has come out with a gluten free bun! My husband has celiac disease and must be on a gluten free diet. I thought that was wonderful news...until I read a bit further.
First of all, the buns are made in a bakery and then shipped frozen to the restaurant.  Also, there will be an additional $1.15 added to the price of the sandwich (which is already fairly pricey, in my opinion). You will then be asked to MAKE YOUR OWN SANDWICH as Chick-Fil-A can't guarantee that the food will not be cross contaminated with gluten in the kitchen.)  Okay then, that is fair enough...but I read further, and their website states that they have grilled chicken and tomatoes and lettuce and mayo...that ARE considered gluten free but they can't guarantee that those food items will be completely free of gluten as they are around, you guessed it, other foods which contain gluten!  Got that?
So... what is the point of having that gluten free bun if you can't guarantee that the chicken is safe for those with celiac disease?
Well, it must mean that the restaurant has been responding to the public's insistence on the "healthy gluten free" life style that I have been reading about, for those who are eating this way to either lose weight or because they know it cuts out many processed foods.  You would think that it would be a good thing for gluten free to become a trendy thing, but I find that it is a double edged sword...one must be very careful and read the fine print, just as if you are entering into a legal contract.


Oh well...I saw a TV advert for Chick Fil-A today that I really liked, it was a woman singing the song "In The Summertime"...with the words just changed slightly.  I would find it for you if I could!  I have been singing this all today and it is perfect really...today is the first day of summer!  Might as well give you the original song by Mungo Jerry, and you know the band was British!  (Lead singer-Ray Dorset.) This was their biggest hit and well deserved, I think.





Happy Summer everyone! 


Friday, June 16, 2017

1960's- "Silent Spring" and "Abraham, Martin and John"





The New Yorker Magazine on June 16, 1962 published the first of three articles by Rachel Carson.  (You may read the first one just here.)  "Silent Spring" was published in September of that same year.   Rachel Carson wrote of the effects on the environment from the use of chemicals and of the chemical companies who knew of the dangers but tried to hide them. (Can you say "Monsanto"?)  Her book led to a nationwide ban in America on DDT, a widely used pesticide at that time. Due to the interest generated from her writings, this led to the creation of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. (The EPA.)











In 1968, Dion had a big hit with a song..."Abraham, Martin and John".   It was written by Dick Holler.  (And he also wrote "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron"!  Do you remember that one too?)
Mr. Holler has a website and he has a place there that you can send him a message. You know I had to send him a note and tell him of my admiration for his songwriting! I invite you to do the same!
You may find his website just here.


The 1960's...it seems as if I am living that decade all over again but this time, I am an adult and current music is not as good.







Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Blue With My Best Side



       Lobelia is blue...



   Hydrangeas are too.


Blue is the water...


Blue is the sky.

Blue is the color I see with my eye!


Hello my friends!  Just in case you have forgotten what I look like, here I am! My friend in Germany had some wonderful photos made of herself (you may see them just here.)  Therefore, I am sharing the above photo of myself showing you my BEST side! HA!
(By the way, the bit of plant that you see just beside me is something that we are growing in a pot but it is NOT illegal, I repeat it is NOT, it just LOOKS a bit like it, okay?) Honest!

                                                    I love blue!  No weed here!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ferris Wheels






Ferris wheel at the seafront in Eastbourne.

London Eye

A Frenchman, Antonio Manguino, introduced the idea of the wheel to America in 1848, when he constructed a wooden pleasure wheel to attract visitors to his start-up fair in Walton Spring, Georgia (now Spring Street which is in Atlanta, Georgia.)

There, isn't that interesting? I only just learned this when I was reading the history of the Ferris wheel. Wheels had been around for a while but the Ferris wheel as we know it was invented by ...wait for it...an American!  His name was George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr, an engineer.  In 1893, the directors of the World Expo in Chicago issued a challenge to American engineers to design a monument that was unique and original, something to rival the Eiffel Tower (which was built in 1889, I am sure you all remember.)  Mr. Ferris proposed a wheel that would allow visitors to view the entire exhibition.  The directors did not think this could be safe! He did so, of course and it was a huge hit with the crowds.

Oh dear, what a sad story this turns out to be.  After the fair closed, Mr. Ferris sued the directors claiming that he and his investors were robbed of the $750,000 profit that was made at the fair.
(By the time the Ferris Wheel in Chicago was demolished, it had carried 2.5 million passengers.) George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. died of typhoid fever in 1896.  He was only 37.

Dare I say to you that I wish that could make a film about him? 
Don't you want to know more about him? 
When some famous director makes this movie, you will know where he got the idea!

1893 Chicago Ferris Wheel
I remember reading that the London Eye is technically not a ferris wheel...it is more like a wheel of a bicycle.   Hey, I am no engineer, just telling you what I read about it years ago!
  The London Eye was supposed to be temporary, I can't imagine that they would ever let it go now! 

Oh look...here is something I found...
And let's not forget that the London Eye was supposed to be a temporary structure. It was only tentatively given planning permission for the first five years after the millennium. Its future is now secure, in planning terms at least, for at least another 20 years, but it is likely to be there a great deal longer.

See!  I told you!  It is such a burden being right all the time but I try to muddle through somehow!

Do you like Ferris Wheels?  You know I do!



Wheel of Fortune!  You know I had to find some kind of wheel video for you!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Music From One Love Manchester




Chris Martin and Ariana Grande AND the wonderful singers in the crowd singing "Don't Look Back In Anger" at the One Love Manchester concert from this past weekend, this is the video I have for you.  If you don't have time to listen to all of it, just fast forward to the last minute or so and listen to the crowd.  Thousands of voices joined together...if this doesn't move you, you don't have a heart.


Okay, you know how much I love music so I have to share another one with you...it is "Angels" by Robbie Williams.  Once again, I find this particularly moving due to the audience participation.  Those young voices!   Just beautiful.

(I just read that the Manchester benefit concert raised more than $13 million for the victims of the May 22nd attack.)



Something of hope for you...the eggs of a mockingbird.  Like life, they are fragile and precious.