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Sunday, March 9, 2014


As this is Sunday, let me focus on miracles.  For regular visitors, if this title sounds similar to my posting only a couple weeks ago on:

yes, it's related.

To serve as background of what's to come, I have for many years now touted two ridiculous miracles.  First, I have continued to use the same razor now for almost five years, and, after 1500 or so shaves, it still works well.  This photo was taken today.  You would think this stainless steel blade should have corroded by now.  

Then there is that mystifying urban legend:  a bar of soap can prevent leg cramps.  I have mine (forgot what brand) in a cloth bag affixed to the foot of the bed with a safety pin in the middle under the sheet.  I haven't moved this in a decade.   The cramp prevention system also serves as a navigational aid, for as long as I can feel it, I'm in the middle and won't fall of the bed.  My bed is very high.  This incredible marvel is, indeed, a miracle, for it has saved my life at least a couple of times.  Snopes, that famous debunking portal, indicates soap works, and can't figure out why.  No one can.  This must be a miracle.

Seriously, though, today, I'm reporting on three group miracles.  Let me take you back to 1964. the year the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Beachboys appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and became notable rock stars.  Let me at the outset eliminate the Beatles from miracle status, for they broke up only after six years together.

The Rolling Stones and Beachboys, however, are still touring, and they have been doing this for a half century now...actually, the RS formed in 1962 and B became a group in 1961.  Why are they miracles?  Can you imagine yourself surviving in their drug culture and still alive conspicuously entertaining together?

Of course, both have experienced deaths and defections.  Only a few months after their Sullivan appearance, Brian Wilson, who was most responsible for founding the Beachboys, suffered a mental breakdown, and for nearly forty years till today fought with, waxed back in, relapsed, sued and largely reunited for their 50th anniversary reunion tour which I saw, without Carl Wilson, who had passed away.

The Rolling Stones?  Their initial leader, Brian Jones, drowned in his swimming pool in 1969.  Forty five years later in November they released a DVD of their "Sweet Summer Sun:  Live in Hyde Park" concert, here, all five minutes of Jumping Jack Flash, one my three favorites, featured in a movie of that title by Whoopie Goldberg in 1968, her first starring role.   They are currently on their 14 on Fire tour, which began on 21February2014 in Dubai.  Hmm...they're now in Japan and will be in Australia in April.  I wonder if I can fit them into my next trip?

Okay, those only make two miracles.  Let me add a third miracle:  the McGuire Sisters.  Sister Phyllis first began singing in 1935 (note, that is almost 80 years ago, and she's the YOUNGEST!!!).  The Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts show served as their Ed Sullivan in 1952, when they (add Dorothy and Christine) were catapulted in 1952 (that is 62 years ago) with Sincerely, Sugartime and so much more.  They have performed for five presidents, but not yet for Barack Obama.   While they "retired" (they were blacklisted for Phyllis' "platonic" relationship with mobster Sam Giancana) after their performance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1968, they remain active today.  You can still see them on the PBS special, Magic Moments:  Best of the '50 Pops.  YOU CAN WATCH THEM ON YOUR PUBLIC STATION AT 8PM THIS TUESDAY!  Incredibly, they still look and sound the same as in the fifties.  

If they don't qualify for miracle status, what is a miracle?

In final afterthought, how can you ignore Elaine Strich, who has balls...figuratively.  She is 89, and first appeared on stage 70 years ago.  She said she took her first drink at 13 and has on and off been an alcoholic.  Strich, a decade before those upstarts above, was on the Ed Sullivan show.  At the age of 17 she dated Marlon Brando.  Here's her take on this relationship.  She was Anna opposite Renato Cibelli in King and I.  She has won three Emmys.  Recently, she was the mother of Alec Baldwin on the sitcom 30 Rock and on 21February2014 a documentary film opened, Elaine Stritch:  Shoot Me.  

I think this is her when younger...then...

As she is not part of a group, I'll leave the miracles at three.


Oh, if you forgot, Daylight Savings Time (DST) went into effect last night.  Hawaii's time--as shown at the top to the right--is unchanged (as is most of Arizona and many U.S. territories).  There is now a difference of six hours with New York City and three hours with San Francisco.  Europe has DST too, but they will convert on March 30:

Seventy countries involving a billion people go to DST.  While Benjamin Franklin in 1784 suggested this conversion to economize the use of candles, various individuals are given credit for making it happen.  Click here to verify if you do.  This is oh so confusing when you travel, as only parts of some country do, like Australia and Brazil, and various entities have been known to suddenly change their policy.  Remember, the U.S. reverts back to standard time at 2AM on Sunday, November 2, when you Fall back, or can sleep an hour more.


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