Archive | June, 2015

5 most underrated ABBA songs

30 Jun

With between 250 and 400 million records, depending on the source, sold worldwide ABBA is one of the most successful groups of all time. Their songs range from upbeat “Dancing Queen”, that drew us all to the dance floor, to the melancholia sounds of “SOS”. They had just the right songs for whatever emotions we were feeling,

The group from Sweden, consisting of two couples, first came into the international spotlight in 1975. For the next 8 years their songs filled our airwaves until the group broke up in 1982. In those 8 years they generated many hits but also had plenty of songs that were underrated and never gained air play, The following are just 5 such songs:

My Mama Said

Released in 1974 “My Mama Said” is a song about a young girl complaining about her mamas constant nagging and not letting her do what she wants. The song has a funky beat that more of a bluesy vibe than the dance music ABBA is known for in later years.

Another town, another train

This song was first released in Japan in 1973. It was originally released under the German title “Wer im Wartesaal der Liebe steht”. The song has the more folksy feel of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The song start with music that reminds you of a traveling circus. I t then tells the story of someone that lives their life on the road but tries to find love where they can.

You owe me one

Released in 1982 the year the group broke up and on an album that was never finished. The song was the ‘B’ side of their last single. It never saw much play but show a more techno side to the group. The song pretty much shadows the relationship of the group in that by that time both couples had broken up.

Summer Night City

The members of the group didn’t like the song, saying it didn’t sound like them. The song did have some success and does show a side of ABBA other than the pop music.

Cassandra

One of last songs the group recorded in 1982 shows a more sophisticated side of ABBA. It tells the story of the character of Cassandra that in Greek mythology was doomed to know the future but not to have anyone believe her. To fit the theme of the story the songs melody is slow with to give the song that Greek tragedy feel.

SpaceX rocket explodes shortly after liftoff

29 Jun

NASA and SpaceX were dealt a big setback this morning when a Falcon 9 rocket disintegrated in the sky over Florida. The Falcon 9 was carrying an unmanned Dragon capsule that was taking more than 5,000 pounds of cargo to the ISS (International Space Station). This was the third time in the last 8 months that an attempted supply shipment has met with some from of disaster.

SpaceX has demonstrated extraordinary capabilities in its cargo resupply missions to the station, and we know they can replicate that success. We will work with them and support SpaceX to assess what happened,”said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a statement.

This is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but we learn from each success and each setback. Today’s launch attempt will not deter us from our ambitious human spaceflight program.”

The first such setback happened back on October 28, 2014 when an Orbital Science Corp’s unmanned Antares rocket exploded only seconds after liftoff. It too was carrying over 5,000 pounds of supplies when it exploded on the launch pad off the coast of Virginia. After a two month long investigation it was determined that a flaw in the engine caused the disaster.

The second of these mishaps was on April 28, 2015 when a Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The mission was going well until the rocket, carrying an unmanned Progress 59 Space Freighter, spun out of control before reaching the ISS. The rocket later burned up when it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere. The cause is still being looked into but there is speculation that a flaw caused an early separation of the third stage.

SpaceX will be conducting an investigation into what caused this latest disaster. The results of that investigation are not expected to come in for months. Until those results come in SpaceX will be suspending any future flights.

Other articles on this topic:

5 things you didn’t know about Gallagher

24 Jun

For over four decades Leo Gallagher has entertained us with his stand-up comedy routines that include giant props, oddities of the English language and the Sledge-O-Matic. He quickly rose to fame in the early 1970’s as a headlining act on the comedy club circuit. Then, in 1979 when there was a revival of the game show “Make Me Laugh”, where contestant would try to keep from laughing at comedians for three minutes, it was natural that Gallagher would be one of the comedians. The game show only lasted two seasons and then Gallagher went into doing one-hour cable specials.

Outside of all the fame there are several things we don’t know about Gallagher. The following are just five of those little known facts:

Has a chemical engineering degree

In the early 1950’s when Gallagher was 9-years-old his parents moved the family to Tampa, Florida. While growing up there Gallagher attended the University of South Florida where he graduated in 1969 with a degree in Chemical engineering with a minor in English Literature.

Road manager for Jim Stafford

After graduation Gallagher meet Comedian/Musician Jim Stafford and became his road manager. It was at this time he began working on his own act. When their travels took them to California he decided it was time to branch out on his own.

Johnny Carson didn’t like him

In the 1970’s & 1980’s many comedians would get their big break on the tonight show with Johnny Carson. It was not so for Leo Gallagher since Mr. Carson didn’t like prop comedy and wouldn’t book Gallagher on the show. The front office liked him though so they would book him for days that Mr. Carson was off on vacation and their would be a guest host.

Sued his younger brother

In the late 1990’s Gallagher’s younger brother Ron proposed that since the two of them looked so much alike he could go on the road and preform the act in cities he, older bother Leo Gallagher, didn’t go to. Gallagher agreed as long as Ron used the billing “Gallagher too”. It went fine at the start but Ron soon dropped the “too” off of the billing. Leo Gallagher asked him several times to either put the “too” back or stop preforming his act. Ron refused to comply force Leo to take strong measure and flied a lawsuit in 2000 for trademark infringement. Leo won the suit forcing the younger Gallagher to stop using his older brother’s act.

Slowed by Heart attacks

In 2011 Gallagher suffered a mild Heart attack. The next year he had a second attack that prompted him to go in for medical attention. The doctors put the comedian in a drug induced coma as they explored to find the cause of his heart trouble. When they final brought him out of the coma they operated to give him two cardiac stents.

5 thing you didn’t know about Andy Griffith

20 Jun

In a career that last for more than five decades Andy Griffith has been an actor, comedian, singer, writer and producer. Most people know him though for the Andy Griffith show, where he played the easyP-going country sheriff of the fictional town of Mayberry, and Matlock, where he played criminal defense lawyer Ben Matlock. He played both of those characters for years in long successful television series, television movies and as a guest role on other shows.

Outside of those two icon roles there is much more that most people don’t know about Andy Griffith. The following are 5 of those facts:

Majored in music

Andy Griffith went to the University of North Carolina where his first choice of a major was divinity so he could become a Moravain preacher. After a couple of years he decided to change his major to music. Shortly after choosing his new major he joined the Carolina playmakers and had roles in several operettas including “The Mikado” and “H. M. S. Pinafore”. He also became the president of the school’s chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He graduated in 1949 with a bachelor degree in Music.

Music Teacher

After college Andy Griffith became a high school music teacher. It was a position that he would hold for the next three years. Then the show business urge became too much for him and he left his teaching job to make records.

Guillen-Barre

In 1983 Andy Griffith had to put his career on hold when he was stricken with Guillen-Barre Syndrome. The disease left him paralyzed for three months before he was able to make a full recovery. It was another couple of years until he made his comeback to television in his series Matlock. His struggle with Guillen-Barre lasted for the rest of his life.

Politics

Andy Griffith had often thrown his weight to support local Democrates throughout his career. In the 1980’s the Democratic Party even approached him about running against North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms (Republican). Mr. Griffith turned them down stating, I’m an actor. That’s all I’ve ever known and all I’ve ever done.” 

Lawsuit

In 2008 Andy Griffith filled a lawsuit against William Harold Fenrick after Mr. Fenrick changed his name to Andy Griffith in an unsuccessful run to become sheriff in a southwestern Wisconsin country. A judge ruled against Mr. Griffith in the suit saying that his grounds for suing Mr. Fenrick were baseless even though Mr. Fenrick was trying to make himself out to be an Andy Taylor type persona. He would even go as far as dish out the same type of homespun wisdom that Mr. Griffith did as sheriff Andy Taylor.

watching cat videos can be good for your health

20 Jun

Most of love watching cat videos. We search for them, comment on them and share them on our social sites. Sometimes we even call our friends and family over to show them a extremely funny cat video. They come over and watch it and then tell us ‘yes, it is cute but you are wasting your time watching those’. We wonder if they are right and cut down or stop watching them. According to a study held by the journal Computers in Human Behavior go ahead and watch those videos.

“Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help peopletake on tough tasks afterward,” study author Jessica Gall Myrick, an assistant professor at Indiana University’s Media School, said in a press release.

The study involved 7,000 people that watched cat videos on a rdegular basis. The results that came back from the participants said they felt more upbeat, had more energy and relaxed enough to take those big tasks ahead of them. They also said that the positive feelings from there viewing has carried on through the day and they don’t have all negative feelings and anxieties that can build through the course of a typical day.

“Some people may think watching online cat videos isn’t a serious enough topic for academic research, but the fact is that it’s one of the most popular uses of the Internet today,” Myrick said in a statement. “If we want to better understand the effects the Internet may have on us as individuals and on society, then researchers can’t ignore Internet cats anymore.”

Three years ago researchers in Japan did a similar survey that showed work-related benefits as well. That study was more board showing that watching any cute animal videos can be beneficial and boost productivity.

Other articles on this topic:

5 things you didn’t know about Little Richard

15 Jun

For over six decades Richard Perriman aka Little Richard has been entertaining us with his voice and stage shows. His style of pounding out songs on the piano, wearing flashy outfits on stage and adding high-pitched vocalizations in his songs have influenced other musicians for decades. You can see that influence in artist ranging from the wild piano playing of Jerry Lee Lewis to brightly colored outfits of Prince.

There is much more to Little Richard than the man that gave such hits as “Tutti Frutti”, “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “The Girl can’t help it”. The following are just five of those little known facts:

Dishwasher

Little Richard signed his first solo recording contract with RCA Victor in1951. After a year his career failed to take off and he left RCA. He tried going out on tour to kick-start his career but that wasn’t working out too well. In 1952 he end up finding work at the local Greyhound station but kept singing in nightclubs. Almost 3 years later all of his hard work paid off when he penned what would be his first big hit and signature song “Tutti Frutti”.

Theologian

While on a sold-out world tour he had a near-death experience on a plane. That convinced him to get back to his religious roots. So, when he got back to the states he enrolled in Oakwood Theological College in Alabama. While he studied he kept singing but it was gospel only. In 1962 he finally returned to Rock after earning a bachelor of arts in theology and becoming an ordained minister.

James Brown fills in for Richard

Early in his career James Brown had the same manager as Little Richard. One evening in 1955 when Little Richard was not able to make one of his concerts his agent called on James Brown to go up on stage and impersonate Richard. Even though James Brown made a great Little Richard it didn’t fool the audience as they screamed out that they wanted Little Richard.

Slowed by hip replacement

Age has not slowed Little Richard down in his touring and wowing an audience with his music. In 2008 he was forced to take it a little easier when he experienced pain that eventually lead to hip replacement. Since then he has been confined to a wheelchair that keeps him from being able to be the wild showman he has been known to be throughout his career.

Once preformed with the Beatles

In 1962 a little quartet from Liverpool where in awe when they had the chance to share the stage with one of their idols.

Best place to take dad to brunch for Father’s Day in Seattle

9 Jun

Our fathers are a big influence on the person we grow up to be as adults. We watch and imitate the way he treats others, he is usually our first coach in sports and is often the one that gives us our first driving lesson. For those and other reasons we have a day to celebrate our fathers. On that special day one of the best ways to show our fathers how much we appreciate them is to take them out for a great dinning experience.

The following are just a few of the best places in the greater Seattle area to take our fathers:

Barking Frog

Located in Woodinville a great destination to take your father on his special day is the Barking Frog located in the Willowslodge at 14580 NE 14th ST. There you can treat your father to such breakfast treats as huckleberry pancakes, corned beef hash and much more. If breakfast is not enough you can take him in for a spectacular brunch where you can still get most of their breakfast fare plus favorites such as lamb burgers, mac & cheese and more. They also have yummy Lunch, Dinner and Dessert menus that will wow your father and show him you care.

Local 360

In the heart of Seattle’s Belltown district is Local 360 at 2234 1st Avenue. When you take your father there you can treat him to a great weekend brunch served from 9 am to 3 pm. On the menu he will be able to find such goodies as fresh pastries, french toast with apple compote, chicken soup, burgers and more. The 360 means that all ingredients come locally within a 360 mile radius.

Lola

In downtown Seattle just a few blocks away from the waterfront sits Tom Douglas’ Lola restaurant located at 2000 4th avenue. It is a wonderful spot to treat your father to great brunch the weekend of his special day. Once there you can treat him to eggs Benedict, lamb burgers and plenty of other fine food items.

Macrina bakery & cafe

Located at 2408 1st avenue in downtown Seattle you will find Macrina bakery & cafe. There you take your Father to show him how much he means to you and treat him to a fine brunch consisting of french toast, waffles, egg sandwiches and more. They also have a special Father’s Day menu that will require a 2 day advanced notice.

Cutter’s Crabhouse

Located next to Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market you will find Cutter’s Crabhouse. There you can not only take your father to brunch or dinner but if you have reservation your father will receive a special gift. There the two of you can enjoy the Cutter Benedict that puts their spin on a traditional eggs Benedict by adding crab.