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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 12, 2019 8:30 am 
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Reginald Kenneth Dwight

Born on March 25, 1947, in Pinner, England, Reginald Kenneth Dwight’s unique blend of pop and rock styles turned him into one of the biggest music icons of the 20th century. His parents, Stanley Dwight and Sheila Eileen Dwight, divorced when he was young. His mother then married Fred Farebrother (no image available), whom Reggie affectionately dubbed "Derf".

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Stanley and Sheila Dwight

He excelled in music from a young age. His mother was a great fan of rock artists such as Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Billy Joel, and exposed Reggie to their music via records. Because of her influence, he taught himself to play the piano at the early age of four. At the age of 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.

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He announced he was a bisexual in 1976, but in 1984, he married his girlfriend Renate Blauel. The marriage lasted four years before he finally came to terms with the fact that he was actually homosexual. In the 1970s and 1980s, he suffered from drug and alcohol addiction and bulimia. Even after one or two suicide attempts, he came out of it ok.

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Renate Blauel

In 1998, Reg was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. He was awarded the title of Knight Bachelor for "services to music and charitable services".

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Knight Bachelor medal

He is well known as a campaigner for AIDS research and he keeps his finger on the pulse of modern music, enjoying artists such as Eminem, Radiohead, Coldplay and Robbie Williams.

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On May 7th, 1972 Reginald Kenneth Dwight had his name legally changed. He chose his new name because of his love for Blues legends Elton Dean and Long John Baldry. As for his new middle name, it is said that he chose the middle name “Hercules” not after the hero of mythology, but after a horse named Hercules on a British sitcom.

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Dean and Baldry

As for his adopted name? Yep, you guessed it:


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Sir Elton Hercules John

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 13, 2019 8:24 am 
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Pork-Barrel Spending

So-called "pork barrel politics" has been present in the United States' legislative and, to a lesser degree, executive branches since the 1800s. Generally used in a derogatory manner, the term refers to the practice of politicians trading favors granted to constituents or special interest groups in exchange for political support, such as in the form of votes or campaign contributions. Also known as patronage, pork barrel politics generally is funded by the larger community but primarily or exclusively benefits just a particular segment of people.

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While it may help some bills get passed through the legislative process, pork barrel spending (also called “earmarking”) is often considered a wasteful use of taxpayer funds because it benefits select constituents of Congressional members rather than the country as a whole.

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Feast your eyes on these examples of government spending at taxpayer expense and for the benefit of but a few:

1. A pizza machine in San Jose.
Cost: $720,000.00

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2. A turtle tunnel in Florida.
Cost: $3.4 Million

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3. Improving energy efficiency in a Tennessee Mall.
Cost: $5 Million.

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4. The Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, D.C.
Cost: $1 Million.

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5. Potato research in Idaho, Maryland, Maine and Wisconsin.
Cost: $2.5 Million.

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6. Wood utilization research.
Cost: $4.8 Million

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7. The Robert C. Byrd Institute of Advanced Flexible Manufacturing systems.
Cost: $7 Million


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If we saved only half of the $788 billion we waste every year, we could revamp our infrastructure, bolster education, and grow the economy.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 14, 2019 8:31 am 
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How Do You Roll Up A Roll Of Adhesive Tape?

If you ever pull out more adhesive tape than you need, you might as well forget trying to save it by rolling it back onto the roll. It’ll twist and stick to itself, your fingers, and the dispenser, and if it does actually get back on the roll it’s bound to be crooked and overlap at the edges.

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How on earth, then, do tape manufacturers make so many millions of perfectly rolled rolls of tape that drop neatly into dispensers in offices and homes around the world?

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The trick is to roll the tape before it is cut into such a small, unmanageable size. Just as a newspaper is run through a press, sheets of polyester film or cellophane several feet in width are run through a machine where, rather than being printed, they are coated with adhesive.

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The sticky film is fed onto a long rolling tube, also several feet in width. This super wide roll of adhesive tape is then subjected to a slitting machine, which consists of a bar with round knives of various sizes. Almost instantaneously these sharp knives whir through both the tape and the tube to make those familiar, compact rolls.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 14, 2019 6:39 pm 
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Dear Henry, can you please tell me about Orion? The planet. Its meaning in ancient history.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 14, 2019 6:49 pm 
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My sincere apology. Not planet, star. GEEEEZZZ

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 14, 2019 7:31 pm 
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Constellation....???

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 15, 2019 8:24 am 
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has taken a picture of a dune on Mars that looks strikingly like the Starfleet logo.

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The image was captured by the MRO's HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera. The University of Arizona, which manages the camera, noted the similarities to the iconic logo

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"Enterprising viewers will make the discovery that these features look conspicuously like a famous logo: and you’d be right, but it’s only a coincidence," the university wrote in a statement.

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Weird resemblance

When asked to explain the similarities, “Bones” frustratingly replied “Dammit, Jim, I’m a Doctor, not a pointy-eared logic freak!”

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 15, 2019 8:52 am 
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RivaRafta wrote:
Dear Henry, can you please tell me about Orion? The planet. Its meaning in ancient history.

RivaRafta;

BGR is right. You are referring to the Constellation Orion, better known as The Hunter. Orion has a varied and multi-cultural history, especially in Greek mythology and is home to giant stars like Rigel and Betelgeuse.

I found that some of the best information on Orion can be found here and here. These two links cover both the physical and the mythological significance of the constellation. There are numerous well-written posts and sites covering the subject. I fully encourage you to peck-about the Internet.

*** Edited to change "planets" to "stars". ***

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 16, 2019 8:14 am 
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To Dad

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 16, 2019 8:23 am 
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Cahokia Mounds

The banks of the Mississippi in the Midwest aren't necessarily known for world-class cities (sorry, St. Louis). But between A.D. 1050 and A.D. 1200, a city flourished right across from what is today St. Louis that was larger than London in size.

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Then

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Today (foreground) with St. Louis skyline in background

Cahokia was spread over six square miles (16 square km) and was home to 10,000 or 20,000 people. Modern development covers much of the site, but archaeologists have discovered that Cahokians drank caffeinated beverages and played a game known as "Chunkey."

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The city may have included a wooden temple and a wooden Stonehenge-like structure, perhaps important for keeping track of solstices and equinoxes.

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Recent research shows that many of the people who lived at Cahokia were immigrants who came from across the Midwest, possibly traveling from as far away as the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast, a study of their teeth shows. To the south of Cahokia a settlement that archaeologists call Washausen became abandoned around the time Cahokia was at its peak around A.D. 1100, a study published recently in the Journal of Archaeological Science Reports found. It's possible that some of the residents at Washausen, and other sites located near it, moved to Cahokia.

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This complex society at Cahokia prospered in the fertile lands off of the Mississippi River (situated across the river from modern St. Louis, Missouri), and it was booming long before Europeans came to America.

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Fertile soil

The ruins of this sophisticated native civilization are preserved at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, Illinois. Within this 2,200-acre area, the remnants of ancient Cahokia are displayed, paying tribute to one of the largest and most influential urban settlements of Mississippian culture. The 3.5-square-mile park contains the ruins of approximately 80 mounds. However, at Cahokia’s height, the site included more than 120 earthen mounds over an expanse of approximately six square miles.

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Cahokia is considered a national historic landmark and is protected by the state of Illinois. It is currently believed to be the largest archaeological ruins north of Mexico’s great pre-Columbian cities.

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The fate of the Cahokian people and their once-impressive city is mysterious. The decline of this great civilization is believed to have been gradual. Most historians agree that the Cahokians began abandoning the city around the 1200s, and by 1400 CE the civilization was completely deserted. It is unknown why these people left or where they went.

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However, this site is significant to Chickasaw history because it is likely the place where many of the Chickasaw Nation’s ancestors originated.

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Chickasaw Indian

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 17, 2019 8:28 am 
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*** RivaRafta; By your request. Sorry for the delay. - HD ***


The Constellation Orion

The constellation Orion contains two of the ten brightest stars in the sky – Rigel (Beta Orionis) and Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis) – a number of famous nebulae – the Orion Nebula (Messier 42), De Mairan’s Nebula (Messier 43) and the Horsehead Nebula, among others – the well-known Trapezium Cluster, and one of the most prominent asterisms in the night sky – Orion’s Belt.

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In mythology

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In star content

By definition, a constellation is “a group of stars forming a recognizable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure.” Orion is a well-known constellation in many cultures. In Australia, the stars forming Orion’s Belt and sword are sometimes called the Pot or the Saucepan. In South Africa, the three stars of Orion’s Belt are known as Drie Konings (the three kings) or Drie Susters (the three sisters). In Spain and Latin America, the stars are called Las Tres Marías, or The Three Marys.

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Orion’s Bell (Pot or Saucepan) (The Three Kings) (Three Sisters) (Three Marys)

Perhaps second only to the Big Dipper in Ursa Major, the constellation of Orion is one of the most recognizable patterns of stars in the northern sky. Orion, the hunter, stands by the river Eridanus and is accompanied by his faithful dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor. Together they hunt various celestial animals, including Lepus, the rabbit, and Taurus, the bull.

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According to Greek mythology, Orion was in love with Merope, one of the Seven Sisters who form the Pleiades, but Merope would have nothing to do with him. Orion's tragic life ended when he stepped on Scorpius, the scorpion. The gods felt sorry for him, so they put him and his dogs in the sky as constellations. They also put all of the animals he hunted up there near him. Scorpius, however, was placed on the opposite side of the sky so Orion would never be hurt by it again.

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From the northern hemisphere, the three bright stars (Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka) in a straight line that form Orion's Belt are easily visible on the southern horizon in winter evenings. The bright star that forms Orion's left shoulder is Betelgeuse. The name of this star means "The Armpit of the Central One" in Arabic, which shows that like many other constellations, Orion was recognized across many cultures.

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Hanging down from Orion's belt is his sword that is made up of three fainter stars. The central "star" of the sword is actually not a star at all, but the Great Orion Nebula, one of the regions most studied by astronomers in the whole sky. Nearby is the Horsehead Nebula (IC 434), which is a swirl of dark dust in front of a bright nebula.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 17, 2019 4:46 pm 
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I always envisioned his arm holding a bow, but the artist for this picture shows a cloth, similar to a bull fighter. Interesting perspective.

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