Anyone who tells me they like rock music but don’t like Elvis, are either lying or don’t like rock or pop music at all. The fact is that without Elvis Rock N Roll would have never been as popular as it is.
He always will have a special place in my heart. However there is no denying that his end was tragic and I still believe totally avoidable. But I will not go into that this time.
As the title suggests, this is about Elvis’s ever last concert which was held on June 26,1977. The venue was the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was his 55th show of the year.
His final show brought in a crowd of 18,000 fans at the Indianapolis’s Market Square Arena and was a must-see gig for Presley fans.
Despite his poor health condition , and at times sickly appearance, his presence alone…
My first taste of writing poetry in partnership with another poet has been the composition of a hyakuin (a renga comprised of 100 tankas) with Sangeetha of ‘Mindfills’, titled ‘Ripples’. This whetted my appetite for further creative collaborations, leading me to launch the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative, which is an open invitation to all writers to publish their poems at the Skeptic’s Kaddish. Every submitted work gets posted, along with a personalized poem of mine inspired by the submitted work.
Quaranjavirus submitted a series of four haikus, and I published his series, extending each haiku into a tanka in an attempt to paint an image of the young poet himself writing the original verses. Not long thereafter, the two of us took to composing a renga together, the beginning of which you may read below.
We’ve decided to call this new collaboration ‘Many…
One of the most disturbing aspects of the Holocaust is the ‘wholesale murder’ approach the Nazis took, the industrialization of death.
The gassing already started in 1939 as part of the T4 program, the murder of the disabled, what really is sickening is the fact that the first of such killings was on request by parents of a severely disabled child.
But the T4 murders were relatively small scale, for lack of a better word, compared to the gassings that took place in Auschwitz, Chelmno, Sobibor and the other extermination camps.
The gassing was kind of suggested to be a humane way of killing. But there was nothing humane about it. It was only humane for the perpetrators. After the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union and Einsatzgruppe mass shootings of civilians, the Nazis experimented with gas vans for mass killing. Gas vans were hermetically sealed trucks with engine exhaust diverted to the interior compartment. Use of gas vans began after Einsatzgruppe members complained of battle fatigue and mental anguish caused by shooting large numbers of women and children. Gassing also proved to be more effective and cheaper.
On October 24, 1980, Lesław Dyrcz, a student from the Brynek Forestry Vocational School, found a leather briefcase buried at about 40 centimeters deep in the ground while clearing the area around Birkenau crematorium III of stub and roots. Inside the briefcase was a thermos liner which had belonged to Marcel Nadjari. a Jewish Greek
In November 1944, two months before the liberation of the camp, Nadjari had buried a twelve-page manuscript written in Greek on November 3 on pages taken from a notebook, in which he described his observations of Auschwitz
In his manuscript, he writes: I want to live, to revenge the deaths of Dad and Mum, and that of my beloved little sister Nelly.
Below are some notes of his manuscript.
“Our work was first to welcome them. Most didn’t know their fate. The laughed or cried. They were told they were going to take a shower and they went clueless to [their] death. To date, my dear ones, I don’t tell them they they are going for a shower, although I can lie to them, I only told them that I didn’t understand the language they spoke, and to the comrades, men and women, that I realised were doomed I told the truth.”
“Almost every time they kill, I wonder if there is a God and yet I have always believed in Him and still believe that God wants it, let His will be.”
“Often I thought of going in with the others, to put an end to this. But always revenge prevented me doing so. I wanted and want to live, to avenge the death of Dad, Mum and my dear little sister,”
“The crematorium is a big building with a wide chimney and 15 ovens. Under a garden there are two enormous cellars. One is where people undress and the other is the death chamber. People enter it naked and once about 3,000 are inside it is locked and they are gassed. After six or seven minutes of suffering they die,”
“The gas canisters were always delivered in a German Red Cross vehicle with two SS men. They then dropped the gas through openings – and half an hour later our work began. We dragged the bodies of those innocent women and children to the lift, which took them to the ovens.”
Nadjari did survive.
After the war he got married and in 1951 moved to New York. He already had a one-year-old son, and in 1957 his wife Rosa gave birth to a girl, whom they named Nelli – after Marcel’s beloved murdered sister.
I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks
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When I cam across this story I didn’t know what to think of it except for, no matter at what angle you look at it ,this is cruelty.
Topsy was born in the wild around 1875 in Southeast Asia and was captured soon after by elephant traders. Adam Forepaugh, owner of the Forepaugh Circus, had the elephant secretly smuggled into the United States with plans that he would advertise the baby as the first elephant born in America.
At the time Forepaugh Circus was in competition with the Barnum & Bailey Circus over who had the most and largest elephants. The name “Topsy” came from a slave girl character in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Topsy the Elephant gained notoriety in America as part of the Forepaugh Circus when she killed a spectator in 1902 and was subsequently sold off to Luna Park. After this her reputation worsened, partly because of her alcoholic handler and the decision of her owners Frederick Thompson and Elmer Dundy to exploit her for PR purposes.
To this end they decided to execute her. Their horrific original plan to hang her at the park was stopped by the SPCA. Instead they decided to electrocute her, which they did in front of press, and a camera crew from Edison Manufacturing movie company filmed the incident – possibly the first filmed death of an animal.
It is arguably the most famous animal execution ever. It received national coverage in the newspapers, and the Edison Manufacturing Co. sent a film crew to document it.
The execution, chiefly by electrocution, has since been the subject of articles, books, and television documentaries, and in recent times has become something of a cause célèbre. These days it is usually erroneously portrayed as a key moment in the so-called “Battle of the Currents” between Edison’s direct current system and the Westinghouse-Tesla alternating current system, the outcome of which (a victory for Westinghouse) would determine the course of electrification world-wide.
The execution was listed in the Edison catalog as:
“Topsy, the famous “Baby” elephant, was electrocuted at Coney Island on January 4, 1903. We secured an excellent picture of the execution. The scene opens with keeper leading Topsy to the place of execution. After copper plates or electrodes were fastened to her feet, 6,600 volts of electricity were turned on. The elephant is seen to become rigid, throwing her trunk in the air, and then is completely enveloped in smoke from the burning electrodes. The current is cut off and she falls forward to the ground dead.”
The title of the short move of the execution was “Electrocuting an Elephant”
This is the actual footage of the electrocution. I am only posting this to show how delusional the people were(including animal protection agencies), thinking that this was acceptable.
While Edison had nothing to do with the decision to euthanize Topsy and took no part in the proceedings, the SPCA’s understanding of electrocution as a humane means of dispatching animals was certainly influenced by experiments Edison and his associates had made at his West Orange Laboratory during the late 1880s. Edison was prompted to conduct experiments on animals after SPCA founder Henry Bergh, Jr., contacted him to ask whether electrocution might provide a humane way of killing unwanted animals. During these experiments, Edison and his assistants electrocuted a number of animals, chiefly dogs provided by the SPCA.
The cruel act became notorious later on as the subject of an urban legend that Thomas Edison had ordered the elephant electrocuted in order to prove the danger of alternating current electricity during the War of Currents. This is false – the war between AC and DC took place ten years before the death of Topsy and Edison was never at Luna Park.
The execution took place on a dreary Jan. 4. 1903. Because nobody had ever electrocuted an elephant before, they decided to make sure the act would be completed with a combination of poisoning, strangulation and electrocution. Topsy was fed carrots laced with potassium cyanide, and her feet were placed in conductive copper sandals so she could be electrocuted.
Just how many people came out to witness Topsy’s execution is a matter of dispute. The newspaper accounts vary from several thousand to 1,500 to “only persons immediately concerned and reporters.” Had Edison been present, the newspapers would certainly have made note of it, but none even mentioned him at all. However many spectators there were, Edison was not among them.
Thankfully we have moved on from that era. or have we?
On the first day of the new year there will be many firsts. Your first cup of coffee of the year. Your first breakfast Your first kiss Your first lunch. Your first hello. Your first laugh. Cherish them as if they were your last, because you just don’t know what the future holds.
In 2021 we saw the deaths of many rich and famous. No matter how much wealth you have or how famous and powerful you are, death waits for no one. Below is just a summary of some of the stars and celebrities we lost this year.
Actress and model Tanya Roberts — known for her roles as Midge in “That ’70s Show” and a Bond Girl in 1985’s “A View to Kill” — died on Jan. 4, one day after her publicist mistakenly announced her death prematurely. The 65-year-old passed peacefully at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, where she’d been hospitalized since Christmas Eve after collapsing at her home following a hike.(picture above)
Dustin Diamond, age 44
Diamond was known best for playing the bumbling comic relief Samuel “Screech” Powers in the beloved 1990s TV series “Saved by the Bell.”
“We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma,” Diamond’s representative said in a statement provided to Insider.
“He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago. In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system,” the statement continued. “The only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution. Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”
Yaphet Kotto, age 81
The veteran character actor was known best for playing Bond villain Mr. Big in 1973’s James Bond movie “Live and Let Die” and Parker in the sci-fi classic “Alien.”
Known for his physically imposing characters, Kotto was a fixture in movie and TV for decades, including roles on the series “Homicide: Life on the Street” and FBI agent Mosely in the beloved comedy “Midnight Run” opposite Robert De Niro. His wife, Thessa Sinahon, announced Kotto’s passing in a Facebook post. It was confirmed by Kotto’s agent, Ryan Goldhar, The New York Times reported.
Kotto died on March 15 near Manila in the Philippines. No cause of death was given.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh age 99
Philip died of “old age” on the morning of 9 April 2021 at Windsor Castle, aged 99, two months before his 100th birthday. He was the longest-serving royal consort in world history. The Queen, who was reportedly at her husband’s bedside when he died, privately described his death as “having left a huge void in her life”
The palace said Philip died peacefully, which was confirmed by Philip’s daughter-in-law, the Countess of Wessex, who told the press, it was “so gentle. It was just like somebody took him by the hand and off he went.” His death led to the commencement of Operation Forth Bridge, the plan for publicly announcing his death and organising his funeral The funeral took place on 17 April 2021 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and he was interred in the Royal Vault inside St George’s.The Duke’s body is expected to be moved and interred in the King George VI Memorial Chapel in St. George’s, after the death of the Queen.
Charles Grodin, age 86
A master at deadpan humor, Charles Grodin became a comedy fixture in the 1980s and 1990s for roles in “The Great Muppet Caper,” “Midnight Run,” and “Beethoven.” Grodin was also known for writing a number of plays and books. He earned an Emmy for being one of the writers on the 1977 “Paul Simon Special.”
In the 1990s, he showed a different side of his talents, talk show host, when he did “The Charles Grodin Show” on CNBC.
Johnny Solinger,age 55
Former Skid Row singer Johnny Solinger reportedly died on June 26 at the age of 55. The news came about a month after he told fans that he’d been diagnosed with liver failure, according to reports.
The band, which Solinger was a part of from 1999 to 2015, posted a tribute to Solinger that read in part, “We are saddened to hear the news of our brother Johnny Solinger. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fans.”
Richard Donner, age 91
One of the early architects of the Hollywood blockbuster, director Richard Donner’s filmography is a legendary one.
From the original “Superman” in 1978 starring Christopher Reeve to “The Goonies” and the “Lethal Weapon” franchise, Donner’s storytelling has touched generations.
Then there are the non-franchises that are also memorable: horror classic “The Omen,” the Bill Murray-starrer “Scrooged,” and the hit Western “Maverick.”
And before movies, Donner made his mark in television, having directed the iconic “Twilight Zone” episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” which featured William Shatner convinced a monster is on the wing of the airplane.
Donner died on July 5, was confirmed to Deadline by his wife and business manager Lauren Schuler Donner No cause of death has been revealed.
Charlie Watts, age
Charlie Watts, drummer for the Rolling Stones, died at age 80 on Aug. 24. A statement from his spokesperson, posted to the band’s social media accounts, said Watts “passed away peacefully in a London hospital,” and was “surrounded by his family.”
While he is thought to be one of the greatest rock drummers of all time, and is the only member besides Mick Jagger and Ketih Richards to have credits on every studio album, Watts managed to keep his other interests alive throughout his long career.
Having gone to art school, and became a graphic designer, he helped compose the Between the Buttons record sleeve, and would work with Jagger on conceiving elaborate staging for their tours. Watts also had a jazz quintet on the side, and organized tributes to Charlie Parker.
Norm Macdonald age 61.
Comedian and “Saturday Night Live” star Norm Macdonald died after a private nine-year battle with cancer in September. He was 61.
He was most proud of his comedy,” his friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was also his longtime producing partner, said. “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comic. He once wrote that ‘a joke should catch someone by surprise, it should never pander.’ He certainly never pandered.”
James Michael Tyler, age 59
James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther on Friends, died on October 24. He was 59. His manager confirmed to the BBC that Tyler died on Sunday, peacefully at his home. “If you met him once you made a friend for life,” a statement from his manager read. “[He] is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno, the love of his life.” In June, Tyler revealed he was battling stage 4 prostate cancer. “Wanting to help as many people as possible, he bravely shared his story and became a campaigner for those with a prostate to get a… blood test as early as 40-years-old,” his manager said, per the BBC. Tyler was well-known for his role as Gunther, the Central Perk coffee shop manager, who had an unrequited crush on Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) throughout the show’s run. While best known for Friends, his other onscreen credits include Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Showtime’s Episodes, and Scrubs.
Graeme Edge, age 80.
Edge was the drummer and last original member of the legendary rock band The Moody Blues.
The band, which was formed in 1964, had a revolutionary sound which has stood the test of time thanks to iconic songs like “Nights in White Satan” and “Tuesday Afternoon.” The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
“It’s a very sad day. Graeme’s sound and personality [are] present in everything we did together and thankfully that will live on,” the band’s current lead singer and guitarist, Justin Hayward, wrote on the band’s website.
“In the late 1960′s we became the group that Graeme always wanted it to be, and he was called upon to be a poet as well as a drummer,” Hayward continued. “He delivered that beautifully and brilliantly, while creating an atmosphere and setting that the music would never have achieved without his words.”
Edge died on November 11, no cause was given.
Michael Nesmith, age 78
The guitarist for the iconic 1960s pop band The Monkees, Nesmith was recognizable for being the tallest of the foursome and often sporting a wool cap.
The band was created at the height of The Beatles’ popularity and became superstars thanks to being on the hit NBC series “The Monkees” in which Nesmith, along with bandmates Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz did silly comedy while performing chart-topping songs.
Song like “I’m a Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” and “Daydream Beliver” made Nesmith and the group the first big American boy band.
Over his career, Nesmith won a Grammy and was an executive producer behind the 1984 cult classic movie “Repo Man.”
Nesmith died of natural causes on December 10.
“With infinite love we announce that Michael Nesmith has passed away this morning in his home, surrounded by family, peacefully and of natural causes,” his family said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “We ask that you respect our privacy at this time and we thank you for the love and light that all of you have shown him and us.”
December 28, 1732 — The first “Poor Richard’s Almanack” was published by Richard Saunders. He continued to publish new editions for 25 years, bringing him much economic success and popularity. The almanack sold as many as 10,000 copies a year.
Below are some quotes and little nuggets of wisdom from the series of books
“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”
“Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.”
“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.”
“There cannot be good living where there is not good drinking.”
“To all apparent beauties blind, each blemish strikes an envious mind.”
“Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.”
“Wise Men learn by other’s harms; Fools by their own.”
“The World is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet every one has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the Affairs of his neighbor.”
“Pay what you owe, and you’ll know what’s your own.”
“A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
“Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.”
You might wonder was is so special about this Richard Saunders. This Richard Saunders was in fact Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the USA.
He was just 26 when he produced his almanac, then it ran for 25 years from 1732 to 1758, selling as many as 10,000 copies annually – a huge number at the time.
In 1735, upon the death of Franklin’s brother, James, Franklin sent 500 copies of Poor Richard’s to his widow for free, so that she could make money selling them.
An “almanack” – the letter ‘k’ has been dropped in modern spelling – was one of the most popular types of printed material in America during the 18th Century. In those days the main purpose of such a miscellany was to provide year-ahead weather forecasts that would help farmers decide when to plant and harvest their crops.
One thing that never should be said about children is “Reached the age of..” Yet this did apply to so many children who were murdered during the Holocaust. Everyone who was murdered during that time was innocent.
1.5 million children were killed. 1.5 million human being who never were allowed to blossom into you men and women. Murdered because they were Jewish, Roma or disabled. The though just sickens me.
The number is just unfathomable, but to put it in some sort of perspective, the world’s biggest stadium is Rungrado 1st of May Stadium,in Pyongyang, North Korea. It can hold up to 150,000 people, which is only the equivalent of 10% of all the children murdered during the Holocaust.
I am not able to name all those children, it would take me several live times to do so. Therefore I am just going to remember a few in this blog…
I remember during music lessons at school we would discuss the 2 super groups that emerged from the 1970’s. The first one was Queen and the other one was ABBA.
Both band of course did not start out with those names. Queen was called Smile first and ABBA’s origin was in the pop, folk and jazz scene of Sweden. Benny Andersson was a member of a popular Swedish pop-rock group, the Hep Stars.
Björn Ulvaeus began his musical career at the age of 18 ,as a singer and guitarist, as the frontman of the Hootenanny Singers, a popular Swedish folk–skiffle group. He started writing English-language songs for his group, and even had a brief solo career alongside. The Hootenanny Singers and the Hep Stars sometimes crossed paths while touring.
Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad sang from the age of 13 with various dance bands, and worked mainly in a jazz-oriented cabaret style…