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Stayin Alive - Jo Stafford Jo Elizabeth Stafford was an American singer of traditional pop music and jazz standards whose career ran from the late 1930s to the early 1960s. Stafford was greatly admired for the purity of her voice and was considered one of the most versatile vocalists of the era. Throughout the 1950s, Stafford and Paul Weston would entertain guests at parties by putting on a skit in which they assumed the identities Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, a bad lounge act. Stafford, as Darlene, would sing off-key in a high pitched voice; Weston, as Jonathan, played an untuned piano off key and with bizarre rhythms.
Tags: Jo  Elizabeth  Stafford,  Paul  Weston,  parody,  comedy,  bad  lounge  act,  off  key   
Added: 3rd January 2011
Views: 1882
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Posted By: Music Maiden
Lawn Darts Remember Lawn Darts? Also known as Jarts or yard darts, they were a popular game at picnics and in backyards during the 1970s and into the 1980s. A typical set consisted of four to eight darts comprised of two different colors along with two plastic rings. The rings were placed a reasonable distance apart and served as targets for the darts. Rules varied from place to place, but the game was scored in a similar fashion to bocce or horseshoe-pitching. A game could be played as a one-on-one singles match or with partners. The metal tips were designed to dig into the lawn when they landed. Of course, they could also dig into somebody's flesh if the darts were thrown recklessly. In December 1988 the sale of the metal-tipped lawn darts was banned in the United States. Canada banned them the following year. Since then, safer forms of 'lawn darts' have proved to be very unpopular with consumers. Quality sets of the metal-tipped lawn darts are prized by collectors.
Tags: lawn  darts  recreation   
Added: 15th February 2011
Views: 5995
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Posted By: Lava1964
Eddie Bennett - Baseball Mascot A hunchback or dwarf was once considered by sports teams to bring good luck. Many professional baseball teams had such a mascot. Hunchbacks were considered particularly lucky. Many players rubbed the mascot's back before batting, believing a hit was sure to follow. Eddie Bennett was such an object of luck, but he also became much more to the teams he worked for. From the beginning of his life, Eddie Bennett seemed to catch bad breaks. A childhood accident left Eddie with a crippling back injury stunting his growth and leaving him hunchbacked and permanently child-sized. His life was further disadvantaged when both his parents perished in the 1918 influenza epidemic. Crippled and orphaned, things looked bleak for the young kid from Flatbush. Eddie was a big baseball fan and frequently hung around the Polo Grounds. Happy Felsch of the Chicago White Sox took notice of the boy. Impressed by his cheery demeanor, the Sox adopted Eddie as their good luck charm. Eddie travelled with the team and they won the 1919 AL pennant. Eddie returned to Brooklyn for the 1920 season--and Brooklyn won the NL pennant that year. During the 1920 World Series, after winning two out of three games at home, the team left Eddie behind when they went on the road to play Cleveland. Without their lucky charm they promptly lost four straight games and the best-of-nine series. Eddie, dejected and offended, left the team in disgust. In 1921 Eddie latched onto the New York Yankees. Although still a good luck charm, Eddie established himself as a true professional batboy. He not only performed the typical duties of batboy, he also handled other tasks, enabling the players to focus on the game. He was a paid employee of the Yankees and took his job very seriously. Eddie ran errands for the players, procured their favorite foods, and became their confidant. Eddie was privy to every rumor and scandal regarding the Yankees during the Roaring Twenties but he kept his mouth shut. When Urban Shocker was suffering from serious heart problems late in his career, he roomed with Eddie. He honored the pitcher's wishes and kept Shocker's health issues from his teammates. Babe Ruth in particular became close to Eddie. Ruth and Bennett would enter the field early in batting practice and perform a comical warmup show. The much larger Ruth would continually throw the ball out of Eddie's reach, eventually backing him up to the backstop. Not one Ruthian homerun went by without Eddie being the first to shake his hand upon touching home plate. If you look at any team picture from 1921 to 1932, there is Eddie, front and center with a big wide grin on his face, the envy of every boy in America. In the 12 seasons Eddie was with the Yankees, they won seven AL pennants and four World Series. All this changed early in 1932 when Ediie was hit by a taxicab, breaking his leg. Due to his other health problems the injury healed slowly. By the end of the year it was clear that Eddie's fragile health was failing. Unable to perform his duties with the Yankees, he was nevertheless financially supported by team owner Jacob Ruppert for his past services to his club. But not being around the team anymore and the severe pain he suffered daily because of the accident took its toll on Eddie. He began drinking heavily. He passed away in 1935 after a three-week bender, surrounded in his room by mounds of priceless memorabilia from his years as baseball's most famous batboy.
Tags: baseball  mascot  Eddie  Bennett  Yankees  hunchback 
Added: 22nd February 2011
Views: 1589
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Posted By: Lava1964
Niagara Falls Dries Up - 1848 The photo below is an aerial view of what Niagara Falls usually looks like. But for a period of about 40 hours on March 29-31, 1848 Niagara Falls stopped. No water flowed over the great cataract for the first time in recorded history. Not surprisngly people went a little nuts. Niagara Falls was already a big tourist attraction by 1848. Villages sprouted on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the river to accommodate the sightseeing throngs. Residents also built waterwheels to harness the Niagara River’s power to run mills and drive machinery in factories. An American farmer out for a stroll shortly before midnight on March 29 was the first to notice something. Actually, he noticed the absence of something--the thundering roar of the falls. When he went to the river’s edge, he saw hardly any water. Came the dawn of March 30, people awoke to an unaccustomed silence. The mighty Niagara was a mere trickle. Mills and factories shut down because the waterwheels had stopped. The bed of the river was exposed. Fish died and turtles floundered about. Brave—or foolish— people walked on the river bottom, picking up exposed guns, bayonets and tomahawks as souvenirs. Was it the end of the world? Perhaps it was divine retribution for what some folks thought was a U.S. war of aggression against Mexico? In an age of religious revivals, theological explanations abounded. Fearing the end of the world, thousands of people filled special church services praying for the falls to start flowing and the world to continue, or for salvation and forgiveness of their sins as the Last Judgment approached. Because communications were haphazard in 1848, no one knew why the falls had stopped. But from Buffalo, NY word eventually arrived that explained the bare falls and dry riverbed. Strong southwest gale winds had pushed huge chunks of ice to the extreme northeastern tip of Lake Erie, blocking the lake’s outlet into the head of the Niagara River. The ice jam had become an ice dam. And just as news traveled inward, news also traveled outward. Thousands came from nearby cities and towns to look at the spectacle of Niagara Falls without water. People crossed the riverbed on foot, on horseback and in horse-drawn buggies. Mounted U.S. Army cavalry soldiers paraded up and down the empty Niagara River. It was a potentially hazardous act for there was no telling when the rushing waters might return. One entrepreneur used the hiatus to do some safety work. The Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat had been taking tourists on river rides below the falls since 1846, and there were some dangerous rocks it always had to avoid. Since the river had ceased running and the rocks were in plain sight, the boat’s owner sent workers out to blast the rocks away with explosives. March 30 was not the only dry day. No water flowed over the falls throughout the daylight hours of March 31. But that night a distant rumble came from upriver. The low-pitched noise drew nearer and louder. Suddenly a wall of water came roaring down the upper Niagara River and over the falls with a giant thunder. The ice jam had cleared. To the relief of the locals, the river was running again.
Tags: Niagara  Falls  dries  up  natural  history 
Added: 21st March 2011
Views: 3146
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Posted By: Lava1964
Boston Bruins - 1972 Stanley Cup Champs I posted this on the CBC News website in Canada following the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup championship on June 15, 2011. It got such a wonderful response that I thought I'd share it here too: It had been 14,279 days since captain Johnny Bucyk hoisted the Boston Bruins' last Stanley Cup on May 11, 1972. To put things in perspective... Richard Nixon was in the White House. America still had combat troops in Vietnam. If you bought a quarter's worth of candy, you could get sick eating it all. Pitchers still batted in the American League. There was no such thing as rap music or punk rock. Nobody considered the possibility of terrorist attacks at the Olympics. The NHL had 14 teams. Few players wore helmets. Some goalies didn't wear masks. Nobody seriously thought hockey players from the USSR were good. There were hardly any McDonald's Restaurants in Canada. There were very few Tim Hortons either. Archie Bunker was in his heyday. Television sets had rabbit ears. Nobody thought the world was in peril from global warming or climate change or whatever they're calling it this week. Lotteries were illegal in Canada. Arthur Godfrey Time had still been on the radio two weeks earlier. Calculators could perform four functions and cost $179. Most people had rotary telephones. Forget about DVD players--VCRs didn't exist. The idea of bottled water would have been laughable. Computers were enormous things that occupied entire rooms and did simple calculations using punch cards. Hardware meant hammers and wrenches. Software didn't mean anything. People still sent telegrams. Life Magazine was still around. Canada still had the death penalty. O.J. Simpson was a hero. The Lord's Prayer was recited in public schools. Nobody thought it was wrong. A new car cost $2500. Hockey cards were a dime a pack--and they came with pink bubble gum covered in powdered sugar. Bobby Orr was the greatest player in the NHL. (Thirty-nine years later he's still the greatest of all time.).
Tags: hockey  Boston  Bruins  1972  Stanley  Cup 
Added: 16th June 2011
Views: 3058
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Posted By: Lava1964
Identify the Hall-of-Famers This photo, taken before the 1937 All-Star Game at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., shows seven future Hall-of-Fame baseball players on the American League team. Your task is to identify all seven. (The American League defeated their National League counterparts 8-3. President Franklin Roosevelt was in attendance and tossed the ceremonial first pitch.)
Tags: baseball  photo  identification  All-Star  Game 
Added: 25th June 2011
Views: 1215
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Posted By: Lava1964
Addie Joss Benefit Game 1911 On July 24, 1911 the first 'all-star game' in MLB history took place at League Park in Cleveland. It predated the first official ASG by 22 years. The contest was a benefit game to raise money for the widow and two children of Cleveland pitcher Addie Joss, who had died of meningitis at age 31 three months earlier. Joss was a hugely popular and dominant pitcher whose death stunned the baseball world. The plan was to have a team of American League All-Stars face Joss' Indians. The idea was popular with the players but not so with AL president Ban Johnson who was worried about the disruption of the AL schedule. He threatened to fine any players who left their clubs to participate in the benefit game. In the end public pressure persuaded Johnson to withdraw his objection. The All-Stars, led by Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, and several other future Hall-of-Famers, won the game 5-3. More than $11,000 was raised for the Joss family. Box seats that normally cost $1 were sold by special subscription for $100 apiece.
Tags: baseball  Addie  Joss  All-star  game  Cleveland 
Added: 12th July 2011
Views: 1388
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Posted By: Lava1964
Oakland As Mustache Gang 1972 Nineteenth-century baseball players regularly sported mustaches. After the turn of the twentieth century, though, most ballplayers were clean shaven. By 1914 only one MLB player--Wally Schang--had facial hair. For the next 58 years, there were no mustachioed players in MLB. In 1972 Reggie Jackson showed up for the Oakland A's spring training camp with a mustache. A's owner Charlie Finley and manager Dick Williams both hated it. The more they insisted that Jackson shave it off, the more defiant he became. Finley then attempted some reverse psychology: He figured if he encouraged other A's players to grow mustaches, Jackson's sense of individuality would be defeated and he'd voluntarily shave his mustache. The plan backfired. After several players starting growing mustaches, Finley started to like the new look of his team and the publicity that came with it. He completely switched gears and offered a $300 bonus to anyone who had grown a mustache by Father's Day. In fact, Finley began pressuring his players to have mustaches. To a man, everyone on the A's roster agreed--including ultra-conservative manager Williams. The A’s long-haired, mustachioed look would stamp them with an identity starkly different from the rest of Major League Baseball. Relief pitcher Rollie Fingers (shown here) became the most noteworthy Oakland player with a mustache. His agreement to sport stylish facial hair was included in his contract--along with a $100 annual stipend for mustache wax.
Tags: baseball  Oakland  A 
Added: 27th July 2011
Views: 7640
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Posted By: Lava1964
Bad News Bears - Sitcom Flop 1979 Successful movies don't often spawn successful TV series. Take the Bad News Bears, for instance. In the television version, Jack Warden portrayed former minor-leaguer Morris Buttermaker, the coach of the Hoover Junior High Bears, a sorry bunch of youthful misfits and bumblers. Catherine Hicks played Hoover Junior High principal Dr. Emily Rappant. Phillip Richard Allen played Roy Turner, the coach of the dreaded rival Lions. Corey Feldman, Billy Jayne (then credited as Billy Jacoby) and Meeno Peluce were cast amongst the team's players, and Tricia Cast played Amanda Wurlitzer, the Bears' star pitcher. Poor writing and subpar acting doomed this series. Three episodes into the series' second season, CBS cancelled The Bad News Bears due to low ratings. A few previously unaired episodes were shown during the summer of 1980.
Tags: sitcom  Bad  News  Bears  CBS  baseball 
Added: 23rd August 2011
Views: 1337
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Posted By: Lava1964
1992 Little League World Series Scandal In 1992 the Little League baseball team representing Zamboanga City, Philippines won its way through national trials and the Far East series. After brushing aside the competition at Williamsport, PA, the team was crowned the champion of the 46th Little League World Series. Not long afterward, though, the team was stripped of its title after Filipino journalists revealed the team had used ineligible players who did not meet either age or residency requirements. In 1992 the LLWS introduced a new format--round-robins within both the American and International pools. Zamboanga City thumped Kaiserslauten, Germany, then Valleyfield, Quebec to clinch a berth in the International final. They lost a meaningless game to Epyguerrerro, Dominican Republic, but beat them 5-1 when it counted in the International final. The LLWS championship game, on August 29, against Long Beach, California, was a blowout, with Zamboanga City scoring seven runs in the first inning and cruising to an easy 15-4 win. The team was hailed as heroes in the Philippines. Filipino president Fidel V. Ramos awarded the players' families a million pesos. Long Beach head coach Jeff Burroughs remarked that one Filipino pitcher, Roberto Placious, had the poise of a high school or college pitcher. He may have been right! A few days after Zamboanga City's victory, journalist Al Mendoza of the Philippine Daily Inquirer began a series of stories suggesting that some players were ineligible for the LLWS. In response to this allegation, Little League headquarters faxed administrator Armando Andaya questions regarding the players' ages, birth certificates, residence--and a specific question regarding pitcher Ian Tolentino's participation in a tournament in 1990 (suggesting this would have made him overage in 1992). Andaya admitted to violating rules on district representation. Eight players were from outside the Zamboanga City area--some came from as far away as Luzon and were unable to speak Chabacano, the language most commonly spoken in Zamboanga. Little League Baseball promptly stripped Zamboanga City of its title. Under Little League rules at the time, when a team was found to have used an ineligible player, it forfeited only its most recent game. Since the revelation was made after the championship game, that game was declared a 6-0 forfeit victory for Long Beach--which was awarded the LLWS title. The exposed players and parents remained defiant, and accused Little League Baseball of denying them due process. Many Filipinos were outraged at what they saw as a betrayal by Mendoza. (He was given the key to the city of Long Beach!) Nevertheless, fellow Inquirer journalist Armand N. Nocum conducted a further investigation and found that even the six true Zamboangueños were overage--one was at least 15--and thus ineligible. It was further discovered the fraud was based upon the ineligible players assuming the identities of eligible players who had represented the city at the national championships. In some cases, even the parents of the ineligible players assumed false identities to maintain the appearance of propriety. Apparently no lesson was learned by the Zamboanga City Little League. The very next year its team was disqualified from the Filipino national championship tournament in another overage-player scandal.
Tags: cheating  Little  League  Baseball  scandal  Philippines 
Added: 28th August 2011
Views: 4139
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Posted By: Lava1964

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