Category Archives: Miscellaneous

For your Friday: Dean Martin sings Buona Sera

If you ever saw the movie Return to Me (2000) starring Minnie Driver and David Duchovny, you would have heard this song. The movie itself is pretty nice love story. David Duchovny’s character’s wife dies and her heart goes into Minnie Driver’s character. Later the two meet and fall in love. Then she learns that her new heart came from his late wife. That of course causes some issues. It is a good little movie. And it has some excellent character actors who add a lot to this movie: Carroll O’Connor, Eddie Jones, Robert Loggia, and Wally Jatczak. Jim Belushi also stars as the husband of Minnie Driver’s best friend (played by Bonnie Hunt).

Also the movie uses a great Sinatra song At Long Last Love as well.

 

Video of Ship Breaking in Two

Cargo ship Arkin, 2018
Photo: Ersen Aktan, vesselfinder

It is not often you see something this dramatic. This freighter was in heavy seas off the coast of Turkey in the Black Sea. As the video shows, you can see the ship bend that indicates it is going to break up (which it does). They do send an SOS and get off the ship. The incident took place on 17 Jan 2021.

Caught on Cam: Ship Actually Breaks in Two (Weather.com, 9 Feb 2020)

Here are two  news reports on this sinking:

Ukrainian freighter sinks off Turkey’s Black Sea coast (MSN, 17 Jan 21)

Three bodies found after ARVIN ship sinks off Turkey’s Black Sea (UNIAN, 18 Jan 2021)

 

Amazon’s Best Books of the Year

Welcome to February

Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry-February
Limbourg Brothers (1385 – 1416)
Public Domain US/Wikimedia

February is the second month on the current Gregorian calendar (and the same on the old Julian). It is the shortest month of the year with 28 days except in leap years when it is 29. The name is derived from Februarius, a purification ritual that was held around 15 February on the old Roman lunar calendar. Until the calendar was reformed under the Julian, January and February were the last two months of the year (although originally there were no months after December as the Romans considered the time a month less period until spring). For the southern hemisphere, the seasons are switched so they are heading towards Autumn so it is the equivalent of August for them.

With shorter number of days, it is the one month that can pass without a full moon (it happened in 2018). There are many fascinating names used during the month such as Snow Moon to indicate snow is on the ground. Some Native American tribes call it the Hunger Moon due to limited food sources during winter.

Viola (Violet) is the birth flower for February
Image:Andrew Bossi(Wikimedia Commons)

The February flowers are violet and primrose with amethyst being the birth stone.

Sources:
Britannica.com: February
Timeanddate.com: February


Good Morning

Yorkshire Dales by Petr Kratochvil
publicdomainpictures.net

 


Ryerson Mansion Now Condominums For Sale

Lakeview Avenue Row House District
Image: Chicagoarchitecture.org

Emily Ryerson, whose husband Arthur perished when Titanic sank in 1912, had a large mansion built for her and family over 100 years ago. Built in Lincoln Park area of Chicago, it was designed by Henry Dangler and David Adler who designed a series of homes in that area in 1915.  According to a site history:

Architects Henry C. Dangler and David Adler designed the row of fine Georgian-style homes as a creative social community for friends who were both artists and notable figures in Chicago society. Each row home would be an independent residence but would also enjoy benefits common to the high-class apartment towers then being built along the lakefront. Together the homes would be heated by a central facility and a proposed garage would accommodate each owner’s automobile.

Construction began in 1915 and done by 1917. She would remarry in 1927 to William Forsythe Sherfese, the Forestry Advisor to the Chinese Government. The house at 2700 Lakeview was sold in 1930. Nearly all the original inhabitants of the block of houses sold and moved away. The Ryerson home would change hands and in 1946 the last occupant was moved out. It remained uninhabited since then. The mansion was bought in 2017. Other mansions in the area have been considered for purchase and renovation but the sticking point is not only the costs but whether there is a market.

In the case of the Ryerson house, the renovations are complete and they are marketing two condos for sale at this time. You just need $5.4 million and it is all yours.

Sources:

Landmark Designation Report- Lakeview Avenue House District
City of Chicago, 2016

Titanic Survivor’s Mansion Will Become Residential Once Again (Chicagobusiness.com, 11 April 2017)


Friday Titanic News

Mrs. J.J. “Molly” Brown presenting trophy cup award to Capt. Arthur Henry Rostron, for his service in the rescue of the Titanic.
Photo:Public Domain (US Library of Congress, digital id# cph 3c21013)

Titanic’: Who Was the Real “Molly Brown”? (MSN, 7 Jan 2021

James Cameron’s Oscar-winning film Titanic was noted at the time for its historical accuracy. The filmmaker for example included many of the real-life passengers in the telling of his story. Probably the most famous first-class passenger of the real Titanic that was featured in the movie was Margaret “Molly” Brown.

Items from the estate of Jack Warner and the passenger ship Carpathia will be in Ahlers & Ogletree’s Jan. 15-17 auction -Press Release-(WICZ, 7 Jan 2021)

 

The objects from the RMS Carpathia are historically significant and Ahlers & Ogletree is honored to be selling them. All items come with a conservation/condition report and a certificate of authenticity. Collectors of ocean liner memorabilia will be drawn to these:

  • Pair of binoculars with glass lenses, unmarked, 3 ¾ inches wide (est. $500-$700).
  • Brass ship’s bridge engine order telegraph on a base, likely made by A. Robinson & Co., Ltd. (Liverpool England, founded 1760), 48 inches tall (est. $500-$700).
  • First class Mintons ‘Ormond’ pattern blue and white floral partial pottery saucer with Cunard Line logo, stamped to bottom, 6 ½ inches diameter (est. $300-$500).
  • Pepsi-Cola bottle, molded colorless glass with swirled body, the front having raised letters reading “Pepsi-Cola”, a little over 6 ½ inches tall (est. $200-$400).

Does Google Earth Reveal a Sunken Ship in a Japanese Port? (Snopes.com, 28 Dec 2020)

Contrary to TikTok shenanigans, the boat is neither the RMS Titanic nor the Ottoman frigate Ertu?rul that is sometimes referred to as “the Titanic of Turkey.”

And here is some music for your Friday.  Dean Martin sings Luna Mezzo Mare. If you watched The Godfather, this was sung in the wedding scene.  It is a fun song to listen to (there are many places on the Internet to get the lyrics).  When I first heard, I had no idea why everyone around me was laughing. Then I was told the lyrics and laughed as well.

 


Welcome To January

Photo of Head of Janus
Vatican Museum, Rome
Source: Loudon Dodd (via Wikimedia)

January is the first month on the Gregorian and the Julian calendar. It is named after the Roman god of doors, Janus, as this month is a doorway into the new year. Janus is an interesting Roman god as he is two-faced. Thus, he can see both the future and the past. In January, you can see the previous year and view the upcoming one. Prior to the Julian calendar, the calendar was set by lunar rather than solar days. This resulted in problems creeping in and causing confusion. Also, the start of the new year was in March since spring started in that month. This meant that January and February were the last two months of the year on the old Roman calendar.

The problem with the old Roman calendar
Since the calendar relied on lunar rather than solar days, it was three months ahead of the solar based calendar. Which meant if you used one calendar for civic events but the other for your growing season, then obviously problems would arise. Caesar was advised by Sosigenes, an Alexandrian astronomer who helped create the Egyptian solar calendar, to also make the Roman one based on the sun rather than moon. Under his plan, the year was divided into 12 months and each month had either 30 or 31 days. He calculated a solar year as 365 ¼ days. February was the exception by having 28 days and every four years having a leap year to add an extra day. Due to misunderstandings and other issues, it would not come into effect until 8 BC.

Sosigenes calculations turned out later to be off by 11 minutes and 14 seconds. That would seem trivial but, over time, the cumulative effect was a 10 day difference from Caesar’s time. Which meant the calendar was no longer aligned with the solar year and had to be rectified. This caused problems with celebrating holy days that needed to be calculated precisely according to astronomical and other calculations. The drift was noticed in the Middle Ages and calls to correct were made. At the Council of Trent (1545), Pope Paul III was authorized to reform to calendar to allow for a more consistent scheduling of Easter.

While several reforms were suggested, a proposal made by Aloysius Lilius offered a reform that was considered acceptable. His proposal was to reduce the number of leap years in the past (making them common years rather than leap). And then he had an idea of adjusting the phases of the moon (meaning a method to calculate the difference between solar and lunar years) when calculating the annual date of Easter. This had always been a problem in the past and his solution seemed to resolve it.

Gregorian Calendar Introduced
In October 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued the reform of the Julian calendar. It was adopted by the Catholic Church and the Papal States. Since however this was a civic reform, it was up to each nation to decide whether to implement or not. It would gradually be adopted by many countries. Spain was the first to switch over and that included much of Roman Catholic Europe. Protestant countries were not keen on changing right away since the reform was made by the Catholic Church. The British would adopt it 1750 but by a method to avoid saying it was from the Catholic Church. Sweden adopted in 1753. Turkey would switch to using the fiscal year as Gregorian in 1917 and then for the entire calendar in 1926. Russia, under the Communist government, changed in 1918. Greece would change in 1923. Saudi Arabia would formally adopt it in 2016.

Eastern Orthodox denominations decided for religious purposes to use the Julian rather than Gregorian for their liturgical year (separate from the civic calendar). Which is why in countries like Greece or Russia the celebration of Christmas and Easter is currently 13 days after it is celebrated elsewhere.

Sources:

Britannica.com
Catholic Encyclopedia
Timeanddate.com