December 21, 2012 and Other Rare Calendar Dates

Mayan calendar (1)
Fans of rare calendar dates may not have the chance to experience another 12/12/12 (the next occurrence is on Dec. 12, 2112). However, they can look forward to these upcoming calendar rarities.

Fans of rare calendar dates may not have the chance to experience another 12/12/12 (the next occurrence is on Dec. 12, 2112). However, they can look forward to these upcoming calendar rarities.


Some people have circled Dec. 21, 2012 on their calendars because they think the world will come to an end on that day. However, believers in the Mayan Apocalypse should not be the only ones excited about the upcoming date. Dec. 21, 2012 is a rare case in which the month, day, and last two digits of the year are transpositions of each other. This pattern only occurs five times every hundred years (11/11/11 does not count). Calendar lovers will not get another chance to experience this phenomenon again until Jan. 10, 2101.


A date containing consecutive numbers does not appear on the calendar very often. In fact, it will only occur twice more in this century. Take a moment now and mark Nov. 12, 2013 and Dec. 13, 2014 on your smartphone calendars.


Assuming they survive the Mayan Apocalypse, most people will not plan any special parties on July 7, 2014. However, the coming date should be a cause for celebration. Only 12 times in a century will the calendar date represent the sum of a number counted twice (7 + 7 = 14). Luckily for most calendar followers, several of these quirks will occur over the next few years (08/08/16, 09/09/18, 10/10/20, 11/11/22, and 12/12/24).


For calendar aficionados, April 4, 2016 is another big day. That is when a number (the month) multiplied by itself yields the year. Thanks to Oct. 10, November 11, and Dec. 12 (which result in numbers larger than 99), this is one of the rarest calendar anomalies of them all. It only occurs twelve times per millennia.


If you are still alive on Nov. 11, 2111, you will want to jump for joy. You will likely not live long enough to witness another date with so many ones in it. The only other date to include more ones was Nov. 11, 1111. The calendar quirk will not come again until Nov. 11, 3111.

1. Photographer: Truthanado
    Title/Description: Mayan calendar created by a modern craftsman
    Date: August 4, 2008
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia - Author's note (click on the title/link for photo/credits/permission).

#calendar #dates #Maya #beliefs #rarities #rare

-- Anthony Hopper

Five Native American Inventions that Are Integral to U.S. Society

Most U.S. citizens are probably aware that American Indians invented birch bark canoes. They also know that Native Americans were the first people to cultivate tobacco. However, they might be surprised to learn about other Native American achievements.

Here are five Native American inventions or discoveries that are an integral part of U.S. society.

Maple Syrup
Jack-o-Lantern (1)

Native Americans in the northeastern United States and Canada were the first people to utilize the sap from maple trees. They would make V-shaped cuts in the trees and use buckets to capture the sap that leaked from these marks. The tribes would then convert the maple sap into sugar by boiling it.

Americans currently use maple syrup and maple sugar to flavor a variety of recipes, ranging from meat dishes to candies. They also like to pour maple syrup on pancakes and waffles. Maple syrup production is a big business in some states. Per the USDA, the United States produced 1.91 million gallons of maple syrup in


Lacrosse is a team sport in which players use sticks with webbed ends to move a ball up and down the field. They score points by putting the ball into the opposing team's net. More than 600,000 Americans currently play organized lacrosse. That number will likely increase over the next few years, given the sport's growing popularity in the United States.

It might surprise some lacrosse fans to learn that Native Americans living in eastern North America invented lacrosse (or at least developed many of the game's key concepts).


Pumpkins are indigenous to the Western Hemisphere. Native Americans were the first people to cultivate pumpkins, which they used as a food source. Americans have fallen in love with the fruit. Among other things, they use it in foods and as Halloween decorations.


Kayaks are watertight canoe-like boats that, depending on the design, can carry between one and three people. Kayaking is a popular pastime in the United States and has been an Olympic sport since 1936. Artic tribes living in Greenland, Alaska, and Canada (as well as groups living in Siberia) were responsible for developing the kayak.


Most Americans probably know that corn (or maize) is indigenous to the Western Hemisphere and was first cultivated by Native Americans. They might not realize that cornbread is also an American Indian creation.

1. Photographer: Petey21
    Date: October 31, 2010
    Title/Description: A Jack-o'-lantern.
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Author's notes (click on title/link for more info.).

The author is a freelance writer and has a B.A. in History from Roanoke College

#food #NativeAmerican #sports #lacrosse #AmericanIndian #Indian #inventions #boating #halloween

-- Anthony Hopper

Five Americans Who Could Break the Gridlock on Capitol Hill

Abstract: Over the last two years, Americans have watched in frustration as Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have demonstrated an inability to work together. Could anyone break the gridlock? Here are five Americans who might be able to get the job done.

Over the last two years, Americans have watched in frustration as Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have demonstrated an inability to work together to solve the nation's problems. Their infighting has pushed the United States to the edge of a financial crisis on more than one occasion and has stalled the passage of several important bills, including a highway bill and a farm bill.

The White House (1)
Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, have had difficulty in convincing their fractious colleagues to pass important bipartisan legislation. Could anyone do a better job?

Here are five Americans, living and dead, who just might be able to break the gridlock on Capitol Hill.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973)

During his more than three decades in politics, Johnson, a Democrat, served in the House of Representatives, in the Senate, as vice-president, and as president of the United States. He is remembered as a superb deal-maker. Johnson's greatest accomplishments came when, as U.S. president, he convinced the Senate and House to pass the Civil Rights Act, to establish Medicare and Medicaid, and to provide federal funding to help people pay for college. If anyone could push bipartisan legislation through the fractious House and Senate, it would be Johnson. Of course, that assumes that Republicans are able to forgive him for creating some of the nation's largest entitlement programs. Given his political affiliation, Johnson would stand a better chance as Senate majority leader.

Henry Clay (1777-1852)

During a political career which spanned almost five decades, Clay, a native of Virginia, served in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. He began his career as a member of the Democratic Republican Party and ended it as a Whig (the forerunner of the Republican Party). Clay served six terms as speaker of the House and also spent time in the Senate. He was a brilliant negotiator who managed to broker several important agreements between anti-slavery and pro-slavery factions during his tenure on Capitol Hill. Clay's views might be a bit antiquated. Nonetheless, he would be an excellent choice for speaker of the House (or perhaps Senate majority leader) if he were alive.

Jack Welch, Jr. (1935- )

Welch was General Electric Corporation's CEO and chairman from 1981-2001. In this position, Welch successfully captained a massive corporation, which dabbled in everything from healthcare to financial services. During his tenure as leader of GE, Welch did a superb job in motivating and appeasing GE's diverse workforce. As a testament to his accomplishments, GE's market value increased from $14 billion to $410 billion under his guidance. If Welch could successfully manage a large multinational corporation, he should be able to deal with a few hundred squabbling politicians. Welch does not even have to run for Congress in order to secure a job as speaker of the House in 2015.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

If he were alive, Benjamin Franklin would make an excellent candidate for either speaker of the House or Senate majority leader. One of our nation's founders, Franklin was a brilliant negotiator. During the Revolutionary War, Franklin used his diplomatic prowess to help the United States secure aid from France and to broker the peace treaty with Britain. Franklin also played a pivotal role in convincing state representatives (to the Constitutional Convention) to sign their names to the Constitution.

Herbert Hoover (1874-1964)

As speaker of the House, the former U.S. president would appeal to conservative Republicans, as he was an advocate of small government. Republicans who criticize Boehner for his willingness to compromise the party's core principles would love Hoover. While he did ask Congress to lend some support to struggling families, President Hoover held fast to most of his free market beliefs in the face of the Great Depression, the worst economic downturn in America's history. Hoover might be willing to let the United States head over a fiscal cliff rather than compromise with Democrats. As speaker of the House, Hoover would likely achieve results; they just might not be the outcomes many Americans hoped for.

1. Author: Ed Brown
    Date: May 6, 2005
    Title/Description: View of the North Portico and North Lawn of the White House, residence of the
                               President of the United States.
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Author's note releasing the photo into the public domain
                                     (click on title/link to see photo, credits, permissions).

The author is a freelance writer and has a B.A. in History from Roanoke College.

#politics #history #U.S. #Americanhistory #presidents #politicians #business #Congress #Senate

-- Anthony Hopper

Five Important Phoenician Contributions to Western Civilization

ABSTRACT: The Phoenicians were adept traders whose ships plied the whole of the Mediterranean beginning in the late Bronze Age. Their power and influence eventually waned, but not before they had made important, lasting contributions to Western society.

Colonies of Ancient Greece and Phoenicia — circa 550 BCE (1).
Phoenician communities started appearing along the coastlines of modern day Syria, Israel, and Lebanon around 3000 B.C. Beginning with Byblos, many of these settlements gradually developed into urban trading centers. This period began in about 1500 B.C., though Byblos had attained city status before that time. Over the next few centuries, the Phoenicians developed into adept traders whose ships plied the whole of the Mediterranean and beyond. They established colonies in North Africa, Spain, Italy, and other places along the Mediterranean coast. The Phoenician city-states' power and influence waned in the latter half of the first millennium B.C., but not before they had made important, lasting contributions to Western civilization.

Here are five important Phoenician contributions to Western society.

The Alphabet

The Phoenicians likely did not invent the alphabet. That honor probably goes to Semitic speaking people living in Egypt. Nonetheless, the Phoenicians were responsible for spreading the alphabet to other cultures living along the Mediterranean, including to the Greeks. The Phoenician alphabet represented a major advance over pictograph writing techniques, such as cuneiform, and is the foundation for the writing system used by modern Western societies.

Influence on Western Culture

Some scholars believe that Thales, the first Greek philosopher (and hence the father of Greek philosophy), was a Phoenician. Regardless of whether or not that hypothesis is correct, the Phoenician traders almost certainly played a significant role in shaping Greek culture and beliefs by exposing Greek city-states to ideas from other groups, such as the Babylonians. This contribution is important given the extent to which Greek ideas have influenced the development of modern Western culture.

Navigation Techniques

The Phoenicians were expert sailors who are credited with discovering how to use the North Star to gauge direction. As a result of this discovery, the Phoenicians could sail on the open seas and in the ocean; they no longer had to use the coastline as a navigational aid. Phoenician sailors passed this important information on to the Greeks and other Mediterranean cultures.

Glass Making

The Phoenicians did not invent glass. However, a Phoenician glass maker is credited with inventing the free-blowing technique sometime around 50 B.C. As a result of this discovery, artisans could create a wider range of glass items. Craftspeople could also use the free-blowing method to make glassware that was much more transparent than previous versions.

Purple Dye

While this accomplishment might not be as important as their other achievements, the Phoenicians were likely the first people to develop a purple dye. They maintained a near monopoly on this product (at least in the Mediterranean region) for centuries and sold it to the wealthy at exorbitant prices. Usually only high ranking nobles or government officials could afford to purchase purple colored garments. As a result, the color purple came to be associated with royalty. That connotation survives into today.


Gore, R. (2004). "Who Were the Phoenicians?" National Geographic Magazine.
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. (2012). "The Phoenicians (1500-300 B.C.)." The Metropolitan
Museum of Art.

1. Photographer: Javierfv1212
    Date: March 1, 2008
    Title/Description: Map of the colonies of Ancient Greece and Phoenicia — circa 550 BCE.
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Author's note (click on the title to see photo,
    credits, and permissions).

The author is a freelance writer and has a B.A. in History from Roanoke College.

#phoenicians #history #ancienthistory #lebanon #inventions #commerce

Create a Prize to Cure Cancer - 2013

Abstract: Cancer kills more than 550,000 Americans each year and disables many more. President Obama and Congress might be able to speed up research into cancer cures by adopting an innovative funding plan.

In 2013, President Barack Obama and Congress will tackle a number of important issues. However, they will likely ignore one of the United States' most pressing problems-the war on cancer. The disease is an insidious one. Over 12 million U.S. citizens have been diagnosed with cancer (at some point in their lives). More than 550,000 of them die each year from the disease. Many young and middle-aged Americans who survive are unable to work any longer. Per the Council for Disability Awareness, "cancer was the 2nd leading cause of new disability claim[s]."

B: Cancer Cell Division (1)
Since Nixon increased federal funding for cancer research in 1971, scientists have made progress in treating some types of cancer. However, they have not achieved many significant breakthroughs in their fight to eradicate the disease. Their lack of success is partly due to money. The U.S. government and private entities spend over $5 billion per year on cancer research; however, that amount is not nearly enough. Additionally, experts criticize these funding agencies for focusing on conservative, low-reward projects over more innovative ones.

The president and Congress might be able to fix these problems in 2013 without increasing appropriations for cancer research. Further, the plan would likely garner bipartisan support, and that is something which is truly rare nowadays.

In short, the president and Congress could create a large prize centered on curing cancer. Similar to the X-Prize, the federal government would agree to provide a large reward to a company or individual who, for instance, found a cure for a certain type of breast cancer or developed a groundbreaking treatment for prostate cancer.

Both Republicans and Democrats might be inclined to support a government sponsored cancer prize fund. The plan should appeal to Republicans because it does not require the federal government to expend a significant amount of extra resources-at least immediately. Additionally, the incentive program might create jobs in the private sector. Democrats can promote the cancer prize as an extension of President Obama's current drive to increase the number of federally sponsored, incentive based programs.

Everyone would win by promoting a government sponsored cancer prize fund. The public would not lose much if the program proves to be ineffective. If the plan does lead to a cure for one or more cancers, then the federal money will be well spent.

1. Creator: National Institutes of Health
    Date: September 17, 2005
    Title/Description: Normal Cell Division vs. Cancer Cell Division 
     Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Government product (see notes in Wikimedia - click on
     title/link to see original link).

#cancer #disease #health #politics #obama #prize

-- Anthony Hopper

How Would Our Nation's Founders React to Current Political Issues?

ABSTRACT: How would our nation's founders react to important contemporary political issues like individual rights, big government, and federal deficits? I try to answer this question by examining the views of John Adams, Alexander Hamilton,and Thomas Jefferson.

White House (1)
Americans often defer to the (supposed) will of our nation's founders when formulating their political opinions. However, they might want to think twice before giving such authority to the founding fathers. For one thing, most Americans, whatever their political affiliation, would not agree with some of the views expressed by men like John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson. As important, our nation's founders, when alive, were not a monolithic group; they rarely spoke with one voice on any issue.

Given the importance of this topic, it might be worthwhile to see how three of our nation's founders-Adams, Hamilton, and Jefferson-would react to some of the most important issues in contemporary American politics.

Basic Freedoms

All three of these men favored limiting basic freedoms for certain groups of Americans. Adams and Hamilton were elitists who feared the power of the masses. They thought that only the wealthy should govern and were not in favor of allowing everyone to vote. At times, these two men also supported restricting other basic freedoms on the pretense of maintaining order. Adams and Hamilton demonstrated this penchant by abetting the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

By contrast, Jefferson believed in allowing a large number of Americans to enjoy basic freedoms, such as the freedom of speech and the right to assemble. However, he was unwilling to extend these rights to everyone, as indicated by the fact that he owned slaves.

Big Government

Jefferson was an advocate for states' rights and would probably favor ending most, if not all, federal entitlement programs. He would also want to dismantle the government's regulatory framework and eliminate the Federal Reserve. Jefferson might significantly cut military expenditures as well. Libertarians would applaud Jefferson's actions; however, most Americans would cry foul.

Adams and Hamilton would probably also agree to eliminate entitlement programs and abolish regulatory infrastructures. However, they would not take these positions out of any fear of big government. Instead, Adams and Hamilton would be guided by their religious beliefs and by their pro-business philosophies. They would likely keep many of the other government agencies in place. In fact, Hamilton might want to increase the power of the Federal Reserve. After all, he was a huge fan of the Bank of the United States (America's first national bank).

Federal Deficits

Jefferson would advocate for balancing the federal budget. Hamilton on the other hand would not have a problem with government deficits, though even he might worry about the size of the current federal debt. It is unclear what Adams' position on this topic would be.

As a nation, we owe a great debt to our founding fathers. However, we should not base our decisions on the supposed will of these men. By doing so, we oversimplify our Colonial past while at the same time ignoring the lessons we have learned over the course of our nation's history.

Miller Center. (2012). "American President: John Adams (1735-1826)." University of Virginia.
Miller Center. (2012). "American President: Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)." University of Virginia.
Anonymous. "Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)". University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
Anonymous (2012). "The Federalist Party." Blue Ridge Public Broadcasting Services.
Linder, Doug (2012). "The Bill of Rights: Its History and Significance." Exploring Constitutional Law (website). University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
Anonymous. (2012). Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809). The White House.

1. Author: Ed Brown
    Date: May 6, 2005
    Title/Description: View of the North Portico and North Lawn of the White House, residence of the
                               President of the United States.
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Author's note releasing the photo into the public domain
                                     (click on title/link to see photo, credits, permissions).

The author is a freelance writer and has a B.A. in History from Roanoke College.

-- Anthony Hopper

#presidents #US #UnitedStates #history #UShistory #founders #Jefferson #Congress #gridlock #Adams #Hamilton

Five Indian Inventions that Have Changed the World

ABSTRACT: Over the millennia, people living in India have made a number of important discoveries that have helped to shape modern society.

The Taj Mahal (1)
India was home to one of the earliest human civilizations. The first urbanized settlements developed along the Indus River in parts of India and Pakistan as far back as 3000 B.C. A number of prominent Indian civilizations have risen (and fallen) since that time. Over the millennia, people living in these advanced societies have made several important discoveries that have changed the world.

Here are five Indian inventions or discoveries which have helped to shape modern culture.

The Concept of Zero

The Babylonians were the first people to use zero, as a numerical placeholder. However, scholars in India should get credit for realizing that zero did more than just differentiate 60 from 600. Around the fifth century A.D., they developed the concept of zero as a standalone number. Their achievement has had a significant impact on the field of mathematics. Interestingly enough, the Mayans might have been the first group to fully explicate the properties of zero. However, the Mayans had no way of transmitting this information to Europe and Asia until at least the 1500s.

The Cultivation of Cotton

Contemporary societies use cotton in a variety of items, including clothes, bedspreads, and napkins. Attesting to cotton's importance to modern economies, worldwide production of the fiber is expected to reach 24.9 million tons during the 2012-2013 season. The cotton industry owes a debt of gratitude to India. People living in the country were one the first groups to cultivate cotton. They discovered how to farm the crop sometime during the third millennium B.C.

The Invention of the Radio

A majority of people alive today probably do not remember a time when radios were scarce. They use radios located in their cars, homes, and offices to tune into news programs, to listen to music, and to communicate with each other. However, the radio is a relatively new invention. It did not appear on the scene until the late 1800s. A number of individuals played a role in helping to create this device. Many people might be surprised to learn than one of the key developers of the radio lived in India.
An Indian, Jagadis Chandra Bose, played an important role in helping to invent the radio. In 1896 Bose became one of the first people to demonstrate that radio waves could be transmitted over long distances. Some scholars argue that he was the first person to achieve this feat. Bose also played a key role in developing the crystals used to detect radio waves.

The Invention of the Crucible Technique for Steelmaking

Craftspeople living in India were the first individuals to use crucibles in the steelmaking process. They hit upon this technique "as early as the third century B.C." The crucible method represented a notable advance in the forging of steel products. It allowed Indian smiths to create weapons and tools that had sharper edges and were more durable than their predecessors.

The First Game of Chess

Chess is a very popular board game. Hundreds of millions of men and women around the world play the game. Millions (and maybe billions) more people have heard of it. Many scholars believe that someone living in India invented the earliest version of chess-perhaps as long ago as the third century B.C.

1. Author: Phil Servedio
    Date: December 29, 2004
    Title/Description: The Taj Mahal
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - The author places the photo in the public domain, per his
    notes (click on the title/link for photo, credits, permissions).

The author is a freelance writer and has a B.A. in History from Roanoke College.

-- Anthony Hopper

#India #technology #inventions #radio #discovery #math

Five Surprising Pre-Modern Inventions

ABSTRACT: While pre-modern societies were obviously not as technologically advanced as current ones, their citizens still managed to invent some amazing devices and systems. Here are five of them.

Three batteries (1)
What comes to mind when you think about pre-modern societies? Many of us probably conjure up images of peasants or shopkeepers-working with primitive equipment and tools. We might want to reconsider some of our beliefs about these cultures. While pre-modern societies were obviously not as technologically advanced as current ones, their citizens still managed to invent some amazing devices and systems.

Here are five surprising pre-modern inventions.

Vulcanized Rubber

Growing up, many of us learned that an American, Charles Goodyear, was the first person to devise a method for improving the strength and elasticity of rubber by heating it. He made the discovery in 1839. The process is called vulcanization (after the Roman god of fire). A number of important items, including tires, currently utilize the substance.

Surprisingly, recent archaeological research indicates that the Mayans, and not Goodyear, should get the credit for inventing vulcanized rubber. Even more astounding, the Mayans might have first developed the process more than 3600 years ago.


In today's world, many of us would probably not be able to function without access to batteries. We use them to power everything from toys to smartphones. Historians often credit an Italian, Alessandro Volta, with inventing the first battery around 1800.

However, archaeologists digging near Baghdad, Iraq in 1938 found objects that appear to be batteries. If this is true, people living in that region should be credited with inventing the battery sometime between 250 B.C. and 640 A.D.


A watch is a complex device, containing numerous tiny springs, coils, and wheels. You might think that watches would be too complex for pre-modern clockmakers to master. That proved not to be the case. An Italian (and not a German as some suppose) developed the first watch, or portable clock, sometime in the late 1400s or early 1500s. The timekeeping devices proved to be a hit with Europe's wealthy citizens, who could choose from a variety of watch styles by 1600. These early watches did not keep good time; nonetheless, they still represented a major technological achievement.


Many of us use eyeglasses to correct for vision problems. The importance of this piece of equipment cannot be overstated. A number of experts consider the development of eyeglasses to be one of the most important inventions of the last two millennia. Without glasses, many people would not be able to see well enough to perform basic tasks, like reading and driving. Those of us who are nearsighted or farsighted should thank Italians for inventing eyeglasses-in the latter part of the 13th century.

Urban Sanitation Systems

A large city needs to possess a well-developed urban sanitation system in order to limit the potential for outbreaks of infectious disease. However, until recently most cities in Europe and the United States did a poor job of disposing of waste, which resulted in the deaths (from infectious disease) of untold numbers of people. For instance, New York did not begin to install a comprehensive urban sanitation system until the 1860s.

The people living in Europe and the United States were latecomers when it came to developing sophisticated sanitation systems. Urban dwellers living in the Indus Valley, which covers portions of modern-day Pakistan and India, beat them to it by several millennia.

1. Author: Dmitry G
    Date: February 24, 2010
    Title/Description: 3x AAA batteries.
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Author's notes
    (please see linked titled for photo, credits, permissions)

The author is a freelance writer and has a B.A. in History from Roanoke College.

#ancienthistory #history #inventions #technology #Europe #watches #eyeglasses #glasses #batteries

-- Anthony Hopper

Five of the Most Memorable Oscar Moments from the 1980s

ABSTRACT: Over the years, the Academy Awards has seen its share of controversial moments, surprise winners, touching tributes, and dominant movies. Here are five of the most memorable moments from the 1980s Academy Awards presentations.

81st Annual Academy Awards (1)
Many Americans fondly recall the decade of the 1980s. They think back on the endless hours they spent in the video arcades and remember dancing in their rooms to musicians like Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Def Leppard. They cried when the space shuttle Challenger exploded and cheered when rescuers freed "Baby Jessica" from a well. A large number of Americans probably also remember waiting anxiously each year for the Academy Awards to air on television. When the day finally arrived, they would gather with friends and family to watch The Oscars.

Here are five of the Academy Awards' most memorable moments from the 1980s.

"Ordinary People" Pulls Off the Upset (1981)

Many experts consider "Raging Bull" to be one of the best movies ever made. Most critics, at least the ones that count, would not even place "Ordinary People" in their top 100. That situation was as true in the 1980s as it is today. So, you can imagine their shock when "Ordinary People" won the Best Picture Oscar during the 1981 Academy Awards. Perhaps the Academy voters did not read the movie reviews.

Henry Fonda Finally Wins a Competitive Oscar (1982)

Henry Fonda was an excellent actor who played memorable roles in such classics as "Twelve Angry Men" and "The Grapes of Wrath." However, despite his long and distinguished Hollywood career, Fonda did not win an Oscar until 1981, when the Academy presented him with a statuette in honor of his lifetime accomplishments. Many Americans probably figured that Fonda, who was 76 at the time, would never win a competitive Oscar. He proved the naysayers wrong when he won the Best Actor Oscar the next year for his performance in "On Golden Pond." Sadly, Fonda was too sick by that time to accept the award in person and would die a short time later.

Sally Field's Emotional Speech (1985)

Viewers who tuned in to watch the Academy Awards on March 25, 1985 expected to hear some emotional comments from the winners. Nonetheless, they were probably surprised by Sally Field's heartfelt speech after winning a Best Actress Oscar for her role in "Places in the Heart." Field emphatically declared that the win demonstrated that the Academy respected her, and ended her speech with the oft quoted phrase (or shout), "You like me. Right now, you like me!"

"The Color Purple" Comes Up Empty (1986)

The cast and crew of "The Color Purple" were probably feeling good coming into the 1986 Academy Awards. After all, their movie had received 11 Oscar nominations. Their mood likely soured quickly, as the movie failed to win even one statuette. "The Color Purple" tied a dubious record for most nominations without an Academy Award. Only one other film, "The Turning Point," had ever achieved that level of Oscar futility.

Matlin Achieves Two Milestones (1987)

At the 1987 Academy Awards, Marlee Matlin won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in "Children of a Lesser God." Matlin achieved two milestones with the win. She became the youngest person to win the Best Actress award and the first deaf individual to win an Oscar of any kind.

1. Author: Greg Hernandez
    Date: February 22, 2009
    Title/Description: Red carpet at 81st Annual Academy Awards in Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles 
     Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
    (see title/link for photo, credits, permissions)

The author is a freelance writer and has a B.A. in History from Roanoke College. He enjoys watching both classic movies and new films.

-- Anthony Hopper

#Oscars #movies #history #entertainment #AcademyAwards #actors #winners

Five of the Most Memorable Oscar Moments from the 1970s

ABSTRACT: Over the years, the Academy Awards has seen its share of controversial moments, surprise winners, touching tributes, and dominant movies. Here are five of the most memorable moments from the 1970s Academy Awards presentations.

The 85th Academy Awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, February 24. Over the years, the annual film awards presentation has seen its share of controversial moments, surprise winners, touching tributes, and dominant movies. As we wait for this year's Oscars to be handed out, it is worth looking back at some of the most memorable moments from the 1970s Academy Awards ceremonies.

Here are five of the most memorable Oscar moments from the 1970s.

John Wayne Finally Wins an Oscar (1970)

81st Annual Academy Awards (1)
John Wayne (whose given name was Marion Morrison) was born in 1909. He started his acting career in the 1920s and soon became one of the most beloved movie stars of all time. Even though Wayne has been dead since 1979, he is still one of Hollywood's most popular names. In a 2007 Harris Interactive poll, Americans ranked him as their third most favorite actor. Given his fame, it might surprise some people to learn that Wayne's only Oscar came during the 1970 Academy Awards, when he won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in "True Grit."

X-Rated Movie Wins Best Picture (1970)

People who tuned in to view the Academy Awards in 1970 had the opportunity to witness another memorable event. "Midnight Cowboy" became the first X-rated film to win a Best Picture Oscar. It might have been a once in a lifetime moment. No X-rated (or NC-17 rated) movie has accomplished the feat since that time.

Marlon Brando Is a No Show (1973)

During the 1973 Academy Awards, the crowd cheered when it learned that Marlon Brando had won the Best Actor Oscar. Brando nabbed the statuette for his brilliant performance in "The Godfather." Many people in the audience were probably a bit surprised when a Native American, Sacheen Littlefeather, stepped up to the podium instead of Brando. Their surprise turned to shock when she refused to accept the Oscar. Littlefeather read a statement from Brando in which he declined the award to protest the film industry's mistreatment of Native American workers and actors.

Movie Wins Big Five (1976)

At the 48th Academy Awards, "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" became the first film since 1935 to win the Academy's top five awards-Best Picture, "Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Directing (Milos Forman), and Writing (Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman)." This was a very rare honor; only three films in the illustrious history of the awards ceremony have won all five of these Oscars.

Vanessa Redgrave's Rant (1978)

The audience cheered when they learned that Vanessa Redgrave had won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in "Julia." She snagged the award for playing the part of an anti-Nazi freedom fighter. In an ironic twist, Redgrave used a portion of her time on the podium to criticize a small number of Israelis and Israeli Americans who had protested the release of one of her recent movies, supporting the creation of a Palestinian state. The audience, perhaps thinking Redgrave was criticizing all people of Jewish descent, booed her loudly. Hollywood directors were also not amused. Many of them refused to offer her roles in their films after that incident.

1. Author: Greg Hernandez
    Date: February 22, 2009
    Title/Description: Red carpet at 81st Annual Academy Awards in Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles 
     Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
    (see title/link for photo, credits, permissions)

The author is a freelance writer and has a B.A. in History from Roanoke College. He enjoys watching both classic movies and new films.

-- Anthony Hopper

#Oscars #movies #history #entertainment #AcademyAwards #actors #winners

Five of the Most Memorable Oscar Moments from the 1960s

ABSTRACT: Over the years, the Academy Awards has seen its share of controversial moments, surprise winners, touching tributes, and dominant movies. Here are five of the most memorable moments from the 1960s Academy Awards presentations.

81st Annual Academy Awards (1)
Movie studios produced a number of great films in the 1960s. Many of them, including "Psycho," "To Kill a Mockingbird," and "The Sound of Music," are included in the American Film Institute's list of the 100 best movies of all time. The 1960s also represented a coming of age for a new generation of movie stars like Barbra Streisand and Sidney Poitier. At the same time, veteran celebrities, such as Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn, continued to work their magic. The Academy Awards in the 1960s helped to celebrate Hollywood's achievements, while also highlighting the accomplishments of its stars-both young and old.

Here are five of the Academy Awards' most memorable moments from the 1960s.

"Ben Hur" Breaks a Record (1960)

MGM spent what was at that time a record breaking $15 million to make "Ben Hur." The studio's risky investment paid off. The movie broke box office records when it was released in 1959. Director William Wyler's epic masterpiece also broke records at the Academy Awards in 1960, when it won more Oscars (11) than any other film up to that point.

Sidney Poitier Makes History (1964)

In the 1960s, African Americans and other minority groups finally started to make significant inroads in their fight for equal rights. Sidney Poitier was both a beneficiary of these changes and one of its champions. During the 1960s, he starred in movies, such as "In the Heat of the Night" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," which upended racial stereotypes. In 1964, he became the first African American man, and only the second black actor, to win an Oscar when he nabbed the Best Picture award for his role in "Lillies of the Field."

A Surprise for Bob Hope (1966)

Bob Hope, who was born in 1903, was already a showbiz legend when he hosted the 1966 Academy Awards. The actor had enjoyed success in a variety of different mediums, including radio, television, and on the stage. Hope was in the process of wrapping up The Oscars-the show was down to its final award-when the Academy's president, Arthur Freed, surprised Hope by giving him an award for his "unique and distinguished service" to the film industry and "to the Academy." Hope was thrown off guard for a moment, but he recovered quickly and managed to voice his thanks by way of a couple of good one-liners.

A Tie for the Best Actress Oscar (1969)

The audience waited in anticipation as Ingrid Bergman opened the envelope, containing the name of the Best Actress Oscar winner. Both Bergman and the audience were shocked to learn that Barbra Streisand ("Funny Girl") and Katharine Hepburn ("The Lion in Winter") had tied for the award. The Academy voters could not decide between the 26-year old Streisand, who represented the new generation of movie stars, and the 61-year old Hepburn, the aged veteran.

The Academy Awards Show Is Broadcast around the World (1969)

During the 1960s advances in TV technology changed people's viewing experiences forever. At the beginning of the decade, TV networks were still broadcasting a lot of their shows in black and white. By 1967 they were transmitting most of their televised material in color. At the same time, the TV conglomerates began to develop satellite networks, which allowed them to quickly transmit telecasts across the globe. The Academy Awards were on the forefront of these changes. For the first time in 1969, television viewers from around the world (in 37 countries) could watch a live presentation of The Oscars.

1. Author: Greg Hernandez
    Date: February 22, 2009
    Title/Description: Red carpet at 81st Annual Academy Awards in Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles 
     Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
    (see title/link for photo, credits, permissions)

The author is a freelance writer and has a B.A. in History from Roanoke College. He enjoys watching both classic movies and new films.

-- Anthony Hopper

#Oscars #movies #history #entertainment #AcademyAwards #actors #winners

Five of the Most Memorable Oscar Moments from the 1990s

ABSTRACT: Over the years, the Academy Awards has seen its share of controversial moments, surprise winners, touching tributes, and dominant movies. Here are five of the most memorable moments from the 1990s Academy Awards presentations.

81st Annual Academy Awards (1)
Many people might be surprised to learn that the inaugural Academy Awards ceremony was conducted without a lot of fanfare. Fewer than 300 individuals attended the first awards presentation in 1929-a private event that was not broadcast to a wider audience (via radio at the time). By the 1990s the Academy Awards had become must see television for millions of people across the globe. During this period The Oscars disappointed fans on occasion; however, the awards presentations more often provided viewers with moments they could cherish for a lifetime.

Here are five of the Academy Awards' most memorable moments from the 1990s.

The Song Heard around the World (1990)

The Academy Awards producers created a winner when they combined old footage of Julie Garland singing "Over the Rainbow" with a live version by Diana Ross. The rendition gained even more credence when Ross invited the audience to sing along with her. The producers topped it off by using the large screen onstage to showcase viewers in cities located around the world (as well as members of the audience). Ross' singing was not perfect, and some of the audience members refused to follow along. However, the performance's flaws might have helped to endear it to viewers, by making it feel more authentic.

"The Silence of the Lambs" Wins the Big Five (1992)

At the 64th annual Academy Awards in 1992, "The Silence of the Lambs" became the first movie since 1976 to win the top five Oscars-Best Picture, "Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster), Directing (Jonathan Demme)," and Writing (Ted Tally).

An Animated Movie Receives a Best Picture Nomination (1992)

Most Americans, whatever their age, have probably seen at least a few animated films. These movies, along with their live action counterparts, have been a staple of U.S. life for generations. A number of them are very good. Despite that fact, the Academy did not nominate a fully animated film for Best Picture until 1992, when it added "Beauty and the Beast" to its official list of Oscar contenders.

David Letterman's Epic Fail (1995)

Many viewers who tuned in to watch the Academy Awards in 1995 were probably thrilled to see David Letterman hosting the ceremony. Their excitement did not last too long. A number of critics contend that Letterman's performance was the worst ever by an Oscar emcee. The comedian started off on the wrong foot when his very first joke fell flat, and it did not get much better after that. One critic summed it up when he bemoaned Letterman's inability to keep the show moving and the crowd laughing.

"Titanic" Breaks Records (1998)

James Cameron's "Titanic" performed heroic feats at the box office. It earned hundreds of millions of dollars in the United States alone and stayed atop the box office for a record 15 weeks. The movie also scored big at the Academy Awards in 1998. Its 14 nominations put it in a tie with "All about Eve" for the most nominations ever. "Titanic" ended up taking home 11 Oscars. At the time, only one other film, "Ben Hur," had ever won that many statuettes (in 1960).

1. Author: Greg Hernandez
    Date: February 22, 2009
    Title/Description: Red carpet at 81st Annual Academy Awards in Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles 
     Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
    (see title/link for photo, credits, permissions)

The author is a freelance writer and has a B.A. in History from Roanoke College. He enjoys watching both classic movies and new films.

-- Anthony Hopper

#Oscars #movies #history #entertainment #AcademyAwards #actors #winners

Lebanon: A Profile of the Country's Religious Groups

ABSTRACT: Lebanon is a relatively small nation, located in the Middle East. Despite its diminutive size, the country contains a diverse array of religious sects.

Lebanon, which borders Israel to the south and Syria to the north and east, is a relatively small Middle Eastern country. It is not even as large as Connecticut. Nonetheless, Lebanon is home to a diverse array of religious groups. Per the CIA's World Fact Book, the Lebanese population is split among 17 officially recognized sects.

Jounieh Bay (1)
While exact figures are not available, researchers estimate that 53-56 percent of Lebanese are Muslim. Christians make up about 39 percent of the population. Most of the remaining Lebanese are members of the Druze faith.

This article provides information on some of the more important Lebanese religious sects.

Eastern Rite Catholics

Eastern Rite sects are full members of the Catholic Church. They recognize the supreme authority of Pope Francis I. At the same time, Eastern Rite Catholics adhere to traditions and practices which differentiate them from their Roman Catholic (or Latin Rite) brethren. At least five Eastern Rite sects, Armenian Catholics, Chaldean Catholics, Syrian Catholics, Melkite Catholics, and Maronite Catholics, have churches in Lebanon. Of these groups, the Maronites have the largest number of adherents.

Maronite Catholics: They are the largest Christian group in Lebanon. Approximately 20 percent of Lebanese belong to this Catholic sect. The Maronite liturgy differs from its Latin Rite counterpart in several respects. For instance, a portion of the Maronite liturgical service is in Aramaic or in Syriac (a dialect of Aramaic)-the language that Jesus Christ spoke. In another contrast with Roman Catholicism, the Maronite Church, with some preconditions, allows married men to become priests.

Greek Orthodox Christians

The Greek Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian sect in Lebanon. According to a U.S. State Department report, about 8 percent of Lebanese belong to this religious group. Greek Orthodox are members of the Eastern Orthodox faith, which officially broke away from the Roman Catholic Church in 1054. Eastern Orthodoxy shares more in common with Catholicism than it does with most Protestant faiths. However, Eastern Orthodox Christians differ with Catholics on several key doctrinal issues involving, among other things, cannon law, human nature, the role of reason in supporting belief, and the afterlife. Additionally, Eastern Orthodox Christians do not acknowledge any one individual as head of their faith.

Oriental Orthodox Christians

The Oriental Orthodox sects share much in common with their Eastern Orthodox brethren. Oriental Orthodox churches broke away from Catholics and Eastern Orthodox in 451 A.D., at the Council of Chalcedon. At that time, the Oriental sects refused to accept the Council's definition of Christ as being both fully human and fully divine. However, it is unclear to what extent contemporary (or even past) Oriental Orthodox views on Christ's nature differ from the ones espoused by Eastern Orthodox groups and by Catholics. At least three Oriental Orthodox sects, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, and Coptic Orthodox, have parishes in Lebanon.

Sunni Muslims

Like all Muslims, Sunnis are monotheists who believe that God, or Allah, used prophets to reveal the faith to the people. They consider Mohammed to be the last, and most important, of these prophets. They also believe that the Qur'an (or Koran) contains Allah's actual thoughts and commands. Sunnis and Shi'ites split from each other shortly after Mohammed's death in 632 A.D., because they could not agree on who should succeed him. Around 27 percent of Lebanese are Sunni Muslims.

Shi'ite Muslims

Approximately 27 percent of Lebanese consider themselves to be Shi'ite Muslims. The followers of this Muslim sect primarily live in the southern and northeastern portions of the country. The Lebanese based militant group, Hezbollah, is run by Shi'ites.


Some researchers consider Druzes to be Muslims; however, others experts feel that the Druze faith is a separate monotheistic religion. The Druzes branched off from Shi'ite Islam in the early part of the 11th century A.D. Druzes disagree with Muslims on a number of key issues. For instance, the Druzes do not hold Mohammed in as high of regard as Muslims, and they do not follow many of the prescribed Muslim customs, such as the requirement to pray towards Mecca five times per day. Unlike Muslims, Christians, and Jews, followers of the Druze faith believe in reincarnation. Druze society is divided into the uninitiated, who are not able to participate in most of the sect's religious ceremonies, and the initiated, who are able to take part in these rituals.


(1) Serouj. (2007, January). Jounieh Bay. Wikimedia Commons.  The author has placed the photo into
          the public domain per his/her note on Wikimedia (link in title).

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The World Fact Book.
Lebanon's U.S. Embassy
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. International Religious Freedom Report for 2011.

--Anthony Hopper

The author is a freelance writer and a Maronite Catholic. He is also a third generation Lebanese American by way of his mother.

#Maronite #Catholic #Lebanon #Lebanese #Orthodox #Christian #Shiite #Shia #Muslim #Sunni #Druze #Religion

Two Volunteer Opportunities in the Roanoke Valley - 2012

Abstract: My article provides a first hand account of my volunteer experiences at the local Ronald McDonald House and at Roanoke Area Ministries. Both of these charitable organizations are located in Roanoke, Virginia.

Roanoke VA. Photo taken at night from Mill Mountain Star (1)
Anyone who has lived in a large metropolis might think that the Roanoke Valley is tiny. This region in southwest Virginia includes Roanoke City, Salem City, Roanoke County and portions of other counties, though its exact parameters are in question. At most, only around 309,000 people live in the area according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While Roanoke may not have a large population, visitors and residents who want to donate their time to a worthy cause can find a plethora of volunteer opportunities. Two groups I have personal experience with are Roanoke Area Ministries and the local Ronald McDonald House.

According to its website, Roanoke Area Ministries (RAM) provides shelter to homeless individuals. The organization also offers emergency financing to people in need and provides a free lunch to indigent and handicapped Roanokers year round. In the past, I have volunteered to help serve lunch at RAM's facilities, located at 824 Campbell Avenue near downtown Roanoke City. I had a wonderful experience each time I assisted RAM's staff and volunteers in this endeavor. The staff members were passionate about their mission but at the same time were more than willing to help a novice like me learn the ins and outs of cooking and serving. For my part, I gained first-hand information about what it was like to live in poverty. At the same time, I thoroughly enjoyed my volunteer experience because I realized that I was making a difference in the lives of people who were less fortunate than me. I may not have been paid in cash, but I was amply rewarded by the numerous expressions of gratitude from the men and women at the lunch tables.

If you would like to learn more about Roanoke Area Ministries, feel free to visit its website at or call the organization by phone at (540) 345-8850. RAM needs volunteers to assist it with a variety of different tasks.

Recently, I also volunteered for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Virginia which operates one house, located in Roanoke City. The organization's mission is to "provide a safe, secure and comfortable environment" for out-of-town families whose child or teen is coping with a serious illness, which necessitate a stay at Roanoke Memorial Hospital (and perhaps sometimes at Lewis Gale Hospital). I worked in the kitchen helping to prepare dinner for around forty people. I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that the kitchen area was almost immaculate and that all safety and sanitary precautions were followed to the letter. The staff and other volunteers were extremely kind and helpful; one staff member even offered to take my group on a tour of the Ronald McDonald House once we had finished our tasks. Most importantly, I had a chance to do something worthwhile for some families in need.

If you would like to learn more about Ronald McDonald Charities of Southwest Virginia, feel free to visit its website at or call the organization at (540) 857-0770. The Ronald McDonald House needs volunteers to assist it with a variety of different tasks, including meal preparation and household cleaning.

Roanoke Area Ministries and the Ronald McDonald House are only two of the many charities located in the Roanoke Valley. All of these philanthropic organizations need volunteers to help them achieve their goals. If you either live in Roanoke or are visiting the area, I invite you to look one of them up and offer to lend a hand. Like me, you will learn from the experience while at the same helping to make a difference in the Roanoke community.

1. Photographer: Bckdraft911
    Date: January 8, 2009
    Title/Description: Roanoke VA. Photo taken at night from Mill Mountain Star
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license
    (click on title/link for photo, credit, permissions)

-- Anthony Hopper

#charities #philanthropy #volunteering #personalinterest #RonaldMcDonaldHouse #volunteer #Virginia #Roanoke


Four Haiku and a Limerick

A Curious Child 

The crisp air portends of spring
A child on bended knee
Searches for a hidden treasure

Renewal Amidst a Charred and Blackened Land 

Amidst charred and blackened land
Sunrise over the Black Sea (1)
A harbinger of renewal
A fragile, green shoot peaks through

The Sun Comes Forth to Banish the Night 

Three-fold color doth shine forth
To banish the night's wrath
And usher in the glorious day

A Ship’s Light 

A ship's light
Seen from a harbor
In a pitch black night

The Train Blew Its Whistle 

The train blew its whistle 
As it sped like a missile 
Down a sturdy iron track 
It never looked back 
Traveling through fields of thistle

-- Anthony Hopper

1. Author: Moise Nicu
    Uploded to Wikimedia on February, 22, 2009
    Permission: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. (see link under the author's name).

Three Haiku - Breezes, Rainbows, and Twigs

A Rainbow Divides

A Storm Approaches (1)
The dark tempest wars
With the yellow light of day
A rainbow divides

A Twig Hangs on Edge

A twig hangs on edge
The rushing water takes it
Over the fall's edge

A Breeze Portends

A breeze breaks the calm
Portending the squall to come
Dark clouds gather steam

-- Anthony Hopper

1. Photographer: Warrenlead69
    Date: January 20, 2008
     Description: "Storm Approaching Anna Bay NSW Australia"
     Location/Permission: In Wikimedia. Creative Commons - GNU Free Documentation License, Version
    1.2 (link to photo in description).

Three Haiku about Nature

A Fawn Escapes 
The grave  of Doctor John Conolly MD DCL (1) 

The fawn bends to drink
In the river lies a croc
The jaws snap, a second late

The Surviving Sentinel 

Standing sentinel
Over a barren landscape
The last survivor

In Quiet Repose 

In quiet repose
A sublime and peaceful scene
An old gravestone

-- Anthony Hopper

1. Photographer: P. G. Champion
    Year: 2007
     Description: "The grave and headstone of Doctor John Conolly MD DCL, (May 27, 1794 - March 5, 
                        1866), English physician. Pioneered treatment of the mentally ill by 'non-restraint' methods 
                         whilst serving as resident physician to Hanwell Asylum in Middlesex. Grave location: 
                         Section 37, in Hanwell's Kensington Cemetery, 38 Uxbridge Road, Ealing, London, W7 
                         3PP, UK."
     Location/Permission: In Wikimedia. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales license 
     (see link in author's name).


A Note from Anthony - A Flood of Articles

I just wanted to let all of my readers know that I will be placing a large number of articles onto this blog in a relatively short amount of time.  I am taking this step because I have to transition all of my Y!CN articles over to the blog before Y!CN shuts down for good on July 31.  I apologize in advance if that causes anyone any inconvenience (eg. your new blog postings list grows exponentially in the span of a few hours).

Once I have transferred all of the Y!CN articles to this blog, I plan to place them into categories.  As such, you should be able to quickly find articles by topic if you click on the 'Label' section under the blog header. Additionally, I will posit a year in the title of my dated articles (eg. a news article from 2012).  If you are interested in reviewing information from that year (eg. for a paper, history piece, etc.), feel free to click on those articles.  Just keep in mind that the information in these documents pertains to the year listed in the title (or at least most of it does anyway).  One exception to this rule, a good portion of the information in my article on rare calendar dates (not yet posted here) is still relevant.

As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

-- Anthony Hopper

#blogging #blog #Y!CN

Haiku about Memories and Disturbed Ponds

Bittersweet Memories

A gentle wind moves
A tear down a wrinkled cheek
An old man recalls

Tears (1)
A Pond Disturbed by a Pebble

Quiet, tranquil pond
A pebble pierces the blue
A maelstrom, short lived

Memories - Good and Bad

Memories are chains
That bind--Yet also strong mead
That can set us free

Credit: Ray Nata
Title: Miedo-Ajeno
Date: November 28, 2008

The author has released the work into the public domain, per his/her note on Wikimedia (see link in title).

-- Anthony Hopper

#haiku #poetry #nature #mind


Haiku about Baseball, Beads of Water, and Butterflies

I have written a number of haiku over the last few years.  Here are three of these poems.

Haiku #1: A Baseball Moment

The crowd goes silent
The ball flies into the sun
Heliconius Charithonius (1)
A fielder prepares

Haiku #2: Beads of Water on a Leaf

Small beads of water
Tense! Waiting to trickle down
A pink leaf holds them

Haiku #3: Butterflies Take flight

Tranquil-no wind
Sun's warmth, the only caress
Butterflies take flight

-- Anthony Hopper

#poetry #poems #haiku #nature #butterflies #baseball #sports #weather

(1) Credit: Adrian Pingstone
      Title: Heliconius Charithonius
      Copyright: September 2005 - in Wikimedia Commons. The author has released the image into the
                         public domain via a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (see linked title for