Saturday, March 25, 2017

My favorite movies - 1962

The latest Facebook challenge is to lists your favorite film from each year that you have been alive.  I started in 1962 (duh!) and the plan was to list several years at a time so I'm not posting these for the next year, but when I looked at the films from 1962, I couldn't narrow them down to just one.  So I listed five (not in any particular order)

The Manchurian Candidate (favorite thriller) starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Angela Lansbury.

The Music Man (favorite musical) starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones.

Hatari! (favorite action movie) starring John Wayne and Red Buttons

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (favorite psychological thriller) starring Joan Crawford and Bette Davis

The Brain That Wouldn't Die (favorite sci-fi, guilty pleasure) starring Jason Evans and Virginia Leith.

Sputnik 10 launched 1961 with Zvezdochka (space dog safely recovered!)

Sputnik 10 (or Korabl-Sputnik 5 in the west) launched March 25, 1961, carrying Zvezdochka, a small dog who was recovered safely.  The mission also carried a mannequin, which was ejected upon descent to test the ejector seat.  It was also recovered without damage.

Zvezdochka's flight lasted only an hour and forty-six minutes but took rescuers 24 hours to find the capsule.  The landing occurred during a snowstorm so it took rescuers a while to find out where Zvezdochka touched down.

There isn't much information on Zvezdochka, not even its sex.  From the picture above and the video below, Zvezdochka looks like she(?) is a terrier-chihuahua mix.

Friday, March 24, 2017

First Belgian in space, Space Shuttle Atlantis launched 1992

STS-45 Atlantis crew - Seated (L-R): Pilot Brian Duffy, Commander Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
Standing (L-R): Payload Specialist Byron K. Lichtenberg, Mission Specialist Michael Foale, Mission Specialist David C. Leestma, Mission Specialist Kathryn D. Sullivan, Payload Specialist Dirk Frimout

Space Shuttle Atlantis blasted off March 24, 1992 on its eleventh flight and the 46th for the space shuttle program.  On board was Dirk Dries David Damiaan, Viscount Frimout, born in Poperinge, Belgium, making him the first Belgian astronaut.  Charles Bolden served as Commander of the mission, his third trip into space.  Charles later became the first African-American administrator of NASA.

"Dick Dancers" gets 4 Hearts from!

Prime gave Dick Dancers 4 Hearts!  Thank you, Prime! Read the entire review below:
Reviewer: Prime
Review: I’m going to keep this one short, not just because this is a short story but because I don’t want to ruin the element of surprise of this book. We are introduced to Joel, who for the sake of brevity can be a selfish prick, as well as his sweet and caring boyfriend, Sam. Joel is a sought after dancer at the club where he works and ends up with a stalker.
This is a well written book and I got quickly engrossed with the story, despite the fact I did not like Joel particularly well from the beginning. All I’m going to say is that I did not see the end with this one and I hope that there could be another short giving a bit more…and that is all!

Purchase your copy of Dick Dancers here:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gemini 3 launched 1965

Gemini 3 crew: Gus Grissom (L) and John Young

Gemini 3, the first American two-man mission in space and the first flight of NASA's Gemini program, launched from Cape Kennedy March 23, 1965.  Commander Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Pilot John Young made history.  Grissom had nicknamed the spacecraft Molly Brown, after the musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown, in hopes that the fate of his Mercury flight, Liberty Bell would not repeat itself.  Liberty Bell sank after splashdown.

Although, Gemini 3 did not sink, a miscalculation from the wind tunnel tests put the capsule 45 miles from its intended splashdown point.  Grissom and Young had to wait half an hour before they were recovered.

Oklahoma Higway Patrol facing huge budget cuts

First, Oklahoma City announces it might have to close schools because of budget cuts.  Now the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is bracing for the next round of cuts.  The agency is still reeling from cuts it experienced last year.  Since the state legislature refuses to end tax breaks and incentives for oil and gas, Oklahoma is facing a $900,000,000 budget deficit.

OHP Chief Rick Adams said:
"These cuts will force deeper operational restrictions, elimination of missions, possible closure of Headquarters, furloughs, and possible layoffs of troopers and other DPS employees. This Public Safety Crisis harms DPS and the OHP and will put lives at risk."
So what's Governor Scary Failing to do?  Cut funding to one of the most important agencies dedicated to our safety, of course!

Currently OHP has only about 600 officers, but ideally, they would have 950.  There were 845 in 1990.  Twenty-six percent of the force is close to retiring, and with no money for OHP training, it's going to be difficult to replace them.

ZZ Top releases "Eliminator" 1983

The best ZZ Top album ever and one of the best rock albums ever, Eliminator was released March 23, 1983.  It included such monster hits as Gimme All Your Lovin', Sharp Dressed Man and Legs.  TV Dinners was also released as a single but I don't remember hearing it on the radio.  I do remember seeing the video on MTV.  ZZ Top's videos from the album featured a souped-up 1933 Ford Coupe and fuzzy guitars that could spin 360°.

Eliminator was certified Diamond, meaning it has sold at least 10,000,000 copies.