Starting off Black History Month with a video (or a similar video) that Q posted on Facebook a while ago, about French former competitive figure skater, three-time World silver medalist, five-time European champion, World Junior Champion, and a nine-time French national champion, Surya Bonaly.
"Presented by citizens of Perth Amboy N.J. to Thomas Peterson the first colored voter in the U.S. under the provisions of the 15th Amendment at an election held in that city March 13, 1870.” - inscription on a medallion given to Thomas Mundy Peterson, the first black man in the U.S. to vote; the vote was for a local election's town charter.
The official theme for this year's Black History Month is "African Americans and the Vote" - 2020 is the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 15th Amendment, giving black men the right to vote, and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving all women the right to vote.
At coffee klatch with the guys yesterday, I stumped (for a few minutes, anyway) one of my co-workers, who has been on a trivia team for years, with the question - what rock musician never learned to read or write music, played completely by ear and played a right-handed guitar upside-down and left-handed?
Hendrix, who first learned to play "guitar" on a broom handle before graduating to an old, discarded one-string ukulele, is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of the 20th century. Per the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, "Jimi Hendrix was arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music. Hendrix expanded the range and vocabulary of the electric guitar into areas no musician had ever ventured before. His boundless drive, technical ability and creative application of such effects as wah-wah and distortion forever transformed the sound of rock and roll."
Unfortunately, he is also one of the "27 Club" along with Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse.
"Dreams are lovely but they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change." ~ Shonda Rhimes, television producer, television and film writer, and author.
Rhimes, who was named Time Magazine's "100 People Who Helped Shaped the World" is the creator, head writer, and executive producer of "Grey's Anatomy", "Private Practice", "Scandal", and the executive producer of "How to Get Away With Murder" (among other shows). Along with achieving unprecedented success in Hollywood in the typically male realms of TV show creation as a woman, she is also the first black woman in the U.S. to create and executive produce a Top 10 network series.
"I think it is a must for young people and generations yet to come, to understand, to feel, to touch, to almost smell the drama of what happened a few short years ago (the fight for civil rights during the 50s and 60s). So maybe, just maybe, we will never ever repeat this unbelievable time in our history. We have to tell it all, and make it plain, and make it clear, so people will never ever forget the distance we have come, and the progress we have yet to make." ~ John Lewis, civil rights leader and politician
In 1862, a slave hijacked a Confederate ship and became a national hero
Ah, yes, Robert Small. I think I posted about him in a previous year's Black History Month, or I meant to, but often times I look things up, but don't get around to posting them. Thanks for the link - his is a fascinating story.
Here's one for the day...
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." ~ Nelson Mandela,(18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013)
Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid leader, philanthropist, and the country's first black leader, serving as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
As leader of the movement to end South African apartheid he was imprisoned for 27 years, and was released on this date, February 11, 1990.
Though Robert Small has been discussed in this thread during Black History month in previous years, here's a story I'm sure we've never touched on...
"The story of Frederick Douglass’ hopes and aspirations and longing desire for freedom has been told—you all know it. It was a story made possible by the unswerving loyalty of Anna Murray." ~ Rosetta Douglass Sprague, the daughter Frederick Douglass, speaking in 1900 of her mother, Anna Murray Douglass
It was Anna who helped Frederick Douglass escape slavery, Anna who supported and raised their four children doing mending and sewing while her husband traveled working to abolish slavery; she opened their family home as a stop on the Underground Railway. She is never mentioned in any of Fredrick Douglass' many books, writings, and speeches. This was partly out of respect for his wife's privacy, partly because of her insecurity about being illiterate as well as some of Frederick's colleagues feeling she was too uneducated, worked too menial a job and not attractive enough.
"There is no short, easy route to success." ~ Lonnie G. Johnson, (born Oct. 6, 1949), Air Force and NASA aerospace engineer, entrepreneur, and inventor.
Whooooooosh!!!! (Most appropriate for this board, no.)
As a kid, Lonnie George Johnson was always tinkering. He attached a lawnmower engine to a go-kart he built from junkyard scraps and raced it along the highway until the police pulled him over, tore up his sister's baby doll to see what made the eyes close, and nearly burned the house down when he attempted to cook up rocket fuel in one of his mother's saucepans and the concoction exploded.
Growing up in Mobile, Alabama during segregation, he was discouraged to pursue his dream of becoming an inventor - African Americans at the time didn't have much presence in the world of science. "The Professor", Johnson's high school nick-name, was not deterred though, and entered a robot into a 1968 science fair sponsored by the Junior Engineering Technical Society at the University of Alabama, where just five years earlier, Governor George Wallace had tried to prevent two black students from enrolling at the school by standing in the doorway of the auditorium. "The Linex", Johnson's compressed-air-powered robot, and the only entry by a black student in the competition, won first prize.
Among accomplishments such earning a master's degree in nuclear engineering, helping to develop the stealth bomber while in the Air Force assigned to the Strategic Air Command, working at NASA on the missions to Jupiter and Saturn, and inventing the Johnson Thermoelectric Energy Converter, an engine that converts heat directly into electricity as a path to low-cost solar power, Johnson's most well-known invention is.....Whoooosh!...the Super Soaker.
He wasn't intending to invent a kid's toy when he developed the Super Soaker. One of his longtime pet projects was an environmentally friendly heat pump that used water instead of Freon. Upon completing the prototype, he decided to test it in his bathroom, aiming it into the bathtub, and gleefully found that when he pulled the lever, a powerful blast of water shot from the nozzle.
Since its invention, the Super Soaker annually ranks among the world's Top 20 best-selling toys. There is even a children's book about Lonnie G. Johnson and his famous invention: "Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions".
"If I made it, it's half because I was game enough to take a lot of punishment along the way and half because there were a lot of people who cared enough to help me." ~ Althea Gibson (August 25, 1927 – September 28, 2003), American tennis champion
Growing up poor in Harlem during the 30s and 40s, and living in a shelter for abused children, 13-year old Althea Gibson caught the eye of neighbors who saw her playing table tennis at a local public recreation club, and collected membership and lesson fees for her to learn and play tennis at the Harlem Cosmopolitan Tennis Club, a club for African American players. She went on to win Wimbledon (singles and doubles0, the Grand Slam (11 times), and the U.S. Open, and is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
Althea Gibson's achievements as spectacular as they are, are considered especially unique, because she is the first black player of either sex to break the color barrier in national and international tournament tennis at a time when prejudice and racism were even more prevelent in society and sports than they are now.
No prodding with a ten foot pole necessary, no risking life and limb to wake her from her slumber. She's been stirring for the last few nights, as the moon grew full. The last couple of cloudy nights, it looked like a werewolf moon - the kind you see in cheesy werewolf movies, where the clouds part, the full moon appears, triggering the change from human to wolf. Not that the Imp is part wolf, although she does enjoy a good hunk of raw meat, but who doesn't love a full moon?! Now that's it's here in it's fullness - the Full Harvest Moon - she's already been out and about as soon as it rose, causing impish mischief (which to the rest of us is horror and havoc).
And so we start the 31 Days (and nights!) of Halloween. October begins and ends with a full moon this year - how cool is that?! There is also a full moon on Halloween night, and because it'll be the second full moon this month, that means it's also a blue moon!
Wanna know what else is scary? Toys. Not all toys, but who-the-hell would think it's a good idea to make a toy that requires a trapped live bird struggling inside it to make the toy's parts move. Or "Hey, let's play Butcher Shop!" Our family went through our own personal "Furby" hell when Mom gave LX one of Furby's friends - a clam-like thing called "Shelby"; it finally went the same way as LX's demonic talking Barbie one night - double-bagged, and in the trash.
And you just know, any list of creepy-ass toys is going to include at least one creepy-ass baby doll, but the "creeping baby doll" on this list, takes creepy-ass over the top.
The things that was allowed back then is truly scary.
I wonder though if they were as scary then as the thought of kids playing with them is now. Were kids who played with a miniature working guillotine really horrified when they chopped the heads off mice and dolls, or is that our perception in this present day? Was that creepy-ass "creeping baby doll" as macabre as it looks then, or was it a cool new technology as "Furby" was when it first came out?
The horror stories of "Furby" are real - at least in our house they were. It was years after I threw the damned thing in the trash outside late at night when I heard Furby's friend "Shelby" gibbering nonsensically from inside a cabinet in the living room, that LX told me why it was in the cabinet in the first place - she was terrified of it. When it first started bothering her, she kept it in the back of her closet in her room, buried in a box of shoes, because it'd "go off" at night, speaking its mix of gibberish and English, and turning on by itself rolling its eyes unprovoked, without her even touching it. Apparently (which I didn't know at the time) it kept her up at night, (she was around 6 or 7 years old), so she shoved it to the very back of the cabinet where we kept the movies (they were VHS tapes then!) just to get it out of her room. I didn't know it was in there until it came to life late one night when I was up alone, watching T.V.. If it was a horror movie I was in, and "Shelby" really did come to life, I'd be dead - you know I had to investigate to find out what suddenly started making those godawful sounds from within the cabinet.
I never remember though, having any creepy toys when I was a kid...although one of them in particular stands out as probably being considered as creepy now: a talking clown doll. Dang, it'd make a creepy-ass Halloween prop, I wish I still had it....or do I really?
More on the evolution of the "Evil Clown" later. First though, some more kid stuff - a little bit creepy mixed with a little bit of humor, not entirely for children, here is the first ever movie short in Disney's "Silly Symphonies" series: "The Skeleton Dance", produced in 1929
You've heard of randonauting? I first heard of it a couple months ago when I read an article about some people having a freaky experience at an old abandoned building while they were randonauting at night.
Randonauting is like doing random word drills on steroids.
An app, Ranonautica, launched earlier this year which sends people on adventures. Basically, you come up with an "intent" - what you want to find - and the app generates random GPS coordinates in your area which you go to to find your intent. The idea is to explore something in your area you may have never seen, or examine more closely somewhere familiar for things you may have overlooked. The people who go on these adventures are called Randonauts; the act of doing it is called randonauting.
TikTok is full of videos of mostly teenagers and young adults discovering creepy-ass stuff while randonauting at night (which the safety guidelines on the app discourages) - a lone naked man running through a cornfield, or a guy wandering aimlessly down a dirt road coming up to the car full of screaming teenage girls. While some of these videos may be staged, at least one of these terrifying discoveries was not - two teenage girls out randonauting discovered a suitcase on a beach stuffed with trash bag containing a dead body; police later found another plastic trash bag floating nearby with another body, this one dismembered.
You sooooooooo know I had to try this - especially around this time of year!!!! Stayed tuned for some pre-Halloween randonauting fun! (We've been on three adventures so far, with more planned before the 31 Days of Halloween is over.)
I fall going up the stairs, as well as going down the stairs.
Same! Many times. According to the prediction of the creepy dolls though, I will die by poisoning. I hope it's not tainted chocolate that does me in - that'd totally ruin it for me.
I've seen some videos about it on YouTube.
Yeah, there are boatloads of them - boatloads more if you type in "Do not go Randonauting"; the results are usually in all caps with a bunch of exclamation points and the videos all taking place at night. The video you posted is kinda funny - I got a kick out of how food-driven that one guy seemed. I also though it was funny how in the end, he wanted to try it again to "debunk" the app. How can something be debunked if the only claim the thing makes is to generate a random set of coordinates.
I did a few 2-minute drills before our first adventure; not knowing anything about Randonautica, I wanted to make sure I wasn't dragging the kids along on a dangerous journey; they were at first skeptical when I presented the idea, and the first thing that came up when they googled it is the dead body in a suitcase story. During the drills, I was surprised at how many people think the app is truly magic, sinister, or evil. There are probably an equal number of people who, like the guy in the video you posted, set out to prove it's fake, or claim it's fake because once they got to their destination, they didn't see what they set out to find - that it's "bullsh!t" because the app didn't magically manifest a mermaid in the middle of a residential area, or a bag of money on a highway (actual written complaints). Come to think about it - the only really scary thing about Randonautica could be the number of people out there who believe there's some kind of controlling force behind it other than their own imaginations!
JP has a food channel. He and his girlfriend eat tons of food at one time . . . or they edit their videos to make it seem like they eat a ton of food in a short span of time. Hellthy Junk Food. They layered a bunch of pizzas on a shawarma machine in one of their videos.
JP is that guy in the video that has kind of a food-driven randonauting adventure? Well, that makes sense, and is kind of even funnier than if he didn't have a food channel.
Speaking of food...
We weren't. But at work, we were talking about Halloween costumes we wore as kids, and it reminded me of a certain kind of food. When I was probably 4 and my brother was 3, we had matching Halloween costumes - not the same costume, but we were a pair. I was an angel, and he was a devil. Not only was it one of the only times I can remember my brother and I having costumes that matched, it was one of the only times I remember having store-bought costumes...although I don't think they were necessarily intended as Halloween costumes - I think they were pajamas, and Mom got some double-duty out of them; I can remember wearing the "angel costume" to bed many times. Mine was a long cream-colored flannel night gown with "Little Angel" embroidered in gold thread on the front yoke of the gown; I don't remember wings, but since the end of October was typically cold, our Halloween costumes were often "ruined" by having to wear winter coats over them. There was though, a sparkly gold glittered pipe-cleaner halo. My brother's costume was a red shirt and bottoms that snapped together - like little kid's pajamas do, and the bottoms had feet. Mom gave him a grease-painted mustache and beard. Thinking back, his costume reminds me of something else from our childhood, though it was later, when we were school age - he, in his devil costume, looked like that little dancing devil on the cans of Underwood Deviled Ham.
Time for some random food trivia: why are foods called "deviled". What the hell does ham and eggs have to do with the devil? See what I did there? A little play on words with "hell" and "devil" in the same sentence, but one having nothing to do with the other in the context of the sentence. Actually, culinarily-speaking, deviled is associated with hell.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "devil" (also "delived" and "deviling") as a culinary term dates to 1786. It was used to describe a fried or boiled dish” made spicy-hot like it was something born from the depths of hell by adding extra seasonings, most commonly mustard and cayenne pepper. Paprika turned these deviled foods more hellish-looking because it turned them red, the color of flames.
The Underwood company boasts its Devil logo, first used in 1870, is the oldest food product logos still in use, although the little red devil that reminded me of my brother's Halloween costume is a sanitized version of the original more demonic-looking devil depiction in its earlier logo, surrounded in flames and having long twisted claw-like fingers.
Concerning deviled eggs - often a staple at church brunches and picnics, the devil is unwelcome in some parts of the U.S., and are commonly cleansed to less hellish-sounding terminology: "stuffed eggs", "dressed eggs", "salad eggs", or "mimosa eggs". Why tempt fate, eh? Especially by inviting the devil (in the form of eggs?) to a church function.
Strangely, (I think), deviled eggs made with light mayonnaise, are referred to by some as "angel eggs". To a deviled egg purist wouldn't using light mayo be considered sacrilege? I suppose the way I make them - with Miracle Whip - might even be considered blasphemous.
Oh, dang! When speaking of deviled food, how could I possibly forget the most devilish devil's food of all - Devil's food cake! Devil's food cake is that sinfully decadent, temptingly rich counterpart to the light and spongy angel food cake, which came first.
LX made me a devil's food cake for my birthday; I called it Death by Chocolate, and there are much worse ways to go. It was a three-layered devil's food cake, with chocolate buttercream icing between the layers, dark chocolate ganache poured over the top, covered with a layer of a stiffer dark chocolate icing used to dip doughnuts, and decorated with piped coffee mocha roses, and Ghiradelli's dark chocolate chips and crushed dark chocolate squares.
Oh, no, no, no you don't Imp! Get your claws offa my cake! Not to mention, you're strictly a carnivorous little beastie.... Yeah, yeah, you're right...it's chocolate; who doesn't like chocolate - even little beasty imps like chocolate. Here, least let me cut you a slice, instead of you attacking it, like it's a slab of raw meat.
(Imp claps hands gleefully, and sits down, placing napkin daintily in her lap)
Now, that's better. Would you like a scoop of ice cream with your cake?
(Imp nods rapidly, and drools - just a little - in anticipation of a special treat)
How about then, some Little Baby's Ice Cream?
Well now, those aren't your ordinary ice cream commercials...but the creepy-@ss commercials with the weird-@ss ice cream person gained the little ice cream company in Philadelphia a huge following. And Little Baby's Ice Cram was no ordinary ice cream. Their infamously weird flavors included pizza, sushi, tomato soup and grilled cheese, ramen, Irish potato, cucumber dill, apple pie and cheddar cheese, absinthe poppy, everything bagel, oyster, and the ever-popular Earl Grey sriracha, which started that all.
What's that, Imp? Do they make a raw, rancid meat ice cream?
Sadly, the ice-cream lovers will never experience that flavor...at least not from Little Baby's. The company closed its doors about a year ago. No word on if the ice-person lives on...somewhere...hopefully not anywhere close to here.
I love vintage stuff, to include old photographs. I've got boxes and boxes of them I dragged home when we cleaned out Mom's house. There were boxes and boxes more that we threw away; we just didn't have time to go through them all, nor did I have an iota of space left in my car to bring them home. Many of the photos are of people I don't recognize, and will never know who they are - a lot of them are from the old country, whichever country that may be because our family history is so sketchy. Some of them I sold on eBay; one vintage photo of an old barbershop in Detroit from the 1920s fetched more than $80.