On This Day: November 30

Updated November 29, 2012, 1:28 pm

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On Nov. 30, 1995, President Clinton became the first U.S. chief executive to visit Northern Ireland.

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On Nov. 30, 1874, Sir Winston Churchill, the British statesman, orator and author who served as prime minister during World War II, was born. Following his death on Jan. 24, 1965, his obituary appeared in The Times.

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On This Date

By The Associated Press

1782 The United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.
1804 Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase went on trial, accused of political bias. (He was acquitted by the Senate.)
1835 Author Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Mo.
1929 Producer and “American Bandstand” host Dick Clark was born in Mount Vernon, N.Y.
1962 U Thant of Burma was elected secretary-general of the United Nations, succeeding the late Dag Hammarskjold.
1966 The former British colony of Barbados became independent.
1979 The album “The Wall” by Pink Floyd was released.
1982 Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” the best-selling album of all time, was released by Epic Records.
1993 President Bill Clinton signed into law the Brady bill, which requires a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers.
1993 Authorities in California arrested Richard Allen Davis, who confessed to abducting and killing 12 year-old Polly Klaas of Petaluma.
1995 President Bill Clinton became the first U.S. chief executive to visit Northern Ireland.
1999 The opening of a 135-nation trade gathering in Seattle was disrupted by at least 40,000 demonstrators, some of whom clashed with police.
2004 Ken Jennings’ streak of 74 wins on the TV game show “Jeopardy!” came to an end.
2010 Pentagon leaders called for scrapping the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban after releasing a survey about the prospect of openly gay troops.

Current Birthdays

By The Associated Press

Kaley Cuoco, Actress (“The Big Bang Theory”)

Actress Kaley Cuoco (“The Big Bang Theory”) turns 27 years old today.

AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

Ben Stiller, Actor, director

Actor-director Ben Stiller turns 47 years old today.

AP Photo/Joel Ryan

1918 Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Actor, turns 94
1927 Robert Guillaume, Actor (“Benson”), turns 85
1930 G. Gordon Liddy, Radio talk show host, turns 82
1937 Ridley Scott, Director (“Gladiator,” “Black Hawk Down”), turns 75
1943 Terrence Malick, Writer, director, turns 69
1947 David Mamet, Playwright, turns 65
1952 Mandy Patinkin, Actor, singer, turns 60
1954 Lawrence Summers, Former Treasury secretary, Harvard president, turns 58
1955 Richard Burr, U.S. senator, R-N.C., turns 57
1955 Billy Idol, Rock singer, turns 57
1957 Colin Mochrie, Comedian (“Who’s Line Is It Anyway?”), turns 55
1957 Margaret Spellings, Former secretary of education, turns 55
1962 Bo Jackson, Pro athlete, turns 50
1970 Sandra Oh, Actress (“Grey’s Anatomy”), turns 42
1971 Ivan Rodriguez, Baseball player, turns 41
1975 Mindy McCready, Country singer, turns 37
1978 Clay Aiken, Singer (“American Idol”), turns 34
1980 Shane Victorino, Baseball player, turns 32
1982 Elisha Cuthbert, Actress (“24”), turns 30

Historic Birthdays

Sir Winston Churchill 11/30/1874 – 1/24/1965 English statesman and prime minister 1940-45, 1951-55.Go to obituary »

93 Andrea Doria 11/30/1466 – 11/25/1560
Italian admiral and naval leader
71 Andrea Palladio 11/30/1508 – 8/19/1580
Italian architect
77 Jonathan Swift 11/30/1667 – 10/19/1745
Anglo-Irish author and satirist
51 John Toland 11/30/1670 – 3/11/1722
Irish-born British religious philospher
66 William Livingston 11/30/1723 – 7/25/1790
First governor of New Jersey
70 Oliver Winchester 11/30/1810 – 12/11/1880
American gun and ammunition manufacturer; developed the Winchester rifle
74 Mark Twain 11/30/1835 – 4/21/1910
American author
45 Frederick Charles Cavendish 11/30/1836 – 5/6/1882
English statesman
50 I.J. Singer 11/30/1893 – 2/10/1944
Polish-born American author
85 Donald Ogden Stewart 11/30/1894 – 8/2/1980
American playwright and actor

On This Day: November 29

Updated November 28, 2012, 1:28 pm

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On Nov. 29, 1947, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Palestine to be partitioned between Arabs and Jews.

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On Nov. 29, 1832, Louisa May Alcott, the American author of the classic “Little Women”, was born. Following her death on March 6, 1888, her obituary appeared in The Times.

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On This Date

By The Associated Press

1890 Navy won the first Army-Navy football game 24-0 at West Point, N.Y.
1924 Italian composer Giacomo Puccini died in Brussels.
1947 The U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Palestine to be partitioned between Arabs and Jews.
1952 President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower kept his campaign promise to visit Korea to assess the conflict.
1961 Enos the chimp was launched from Cape Canaveral aboard the Mercury-Atlas 5 spacecraft, which orbited Earth twice before returning.
1963 President Lyndon B. Johnson named a commission headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
1989 In response to a growing pro-democracy movement in Czechoslovakia, the Communist-run parliament ended the party’s 40-year monopoly on power.
1990 The U.N. Security Council voted 12-2 to authorize military action if Iraq did not withdraw its troops from Kuwait and release all foreign hostages by Jan. 15, 1991.
1996 A U.N. court sentenced Bosnian Serb army soldier Drazen Erdemovic to 10 years in prison for his role in the massacre of 1,200 Muslims – the first international war crimes sentence since World War II.
1999 Protestant and Catholic adversaries formed a Northern Ireland government.
2001 Rock musician George Harrison of the Beatles died at age 58 following a battle with cancer.

Current Birthdays

By The Associated Press

Mariano Rivera, Baseball player

New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera turns 43 years old today.

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

Andrew McCarthy, Actor

Actor Andrew McCarthy turns 50 years old today.

AP Photo/Evan Agostini

1927 Vin Scully, Sportscaster, turns 85
1932 Jacques Chirac, Former president of France, turns 80
1933 John Mayall, Blues singer, musician, turns 79
1935 Diane Ladd, Actress, turns 77
1940 Chuck Mangione, Musician, composer, turns 72
1946 Suzy Chaffee, Skier, turns 66
1949 Garry Shandling, Actor, comedian (“The Larry Sanders Show”), turns 63
1954 Joel Coen, Director (“Fargo”), turns 58
1955 Howie Mandel, Comedian, game show host (“Deal or No Deal”), turns 57
1957 Janet Napolitano, Secretary of homeland security, turns 55
1959 Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, turns 53
1961 Kim Delaney, Actress (“NYPD Blue”), turns 51
1961 Tom Sizemore, Actor, turns 51
1964 Don Cheadle, Actor (“Hotel Rwanda”), turns 48
1968 Jonathan Knight, Singer (New Kids on the Block), turns 44
1970 Larry Joe Campbell, Actor (“According to Jim”), turns 42
1976 Anna Faris, Actress, turns 36
1982 Lucas Black, Actor, turns 30

Historic Birthdays

Louisa May Alcott 11/29/1832 – 3/6/1888 American writerGo to obituary »
70 Pierre-Andre Latreille 11/29/1762 – 2/6/1833
French zoologist
50 Gaetano Donizetti 11/29/1797 – 4/8/1848
Italian opera composer
49 Christian Doppler 11/29/1803 – 3/17/1853
Austrian physicist and discoverer of the Doppler effect
71 Morrison Waite 11/29/1816 – 3/23/1888
Seventh chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1874-88)
80 Busby Berkeley 11/29/1895 – 3/14/1976
American film director and choreographer
75 William Tubman 11/29/1895 – 7/23/1971
Liberian statesman and president for 27 years
64 C.S. Lewis 11/29/1898 – 11/22/1963
English writer and scholar
87 Mildred Gillars 11/29/1900 – 6/25/1988
American Nazi radio propagandist
85 Marcel Lefebvre 11/29/1905 – 3/25/1991
French Roman Catholic archbishop
63 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. 11/29/1908 – 4/4/1971
American minister and civil-rights leader; congressman from New York (1945-70)
51 Billy Strayhorn 11/29/1915 – 5/31/1967
American pianist and composer

Son of Sardar, 2012

Even if you have too much time on your hands– on say, a long holiday weekend– do not bother to slip this one into your DVD player.  Do not, because you’re better off getting bored in any other way than sitting through this movie.

And if you’re anything like me, you’ll give it a chance, but only long enough to know that you cannot intentionally waste your life away, and will therefore, hit the stop button on the remote thirty minutes into the movie.

Yes, gentle reader, this is a review of a movie that I haven’t even half-watched, that’s how bad it was.  An utterly idiotic and totally moronic story and acting, if it can even be called that. 

Son-of-sardar2

 

On This Day: November 25

Updated November 24, 2012, 1:28 pm

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On Nov. 25, 1986, the Iran-Contra affair erupted as President Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels.

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On Nov. 25, 1835, Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist and philanthropist who led the expansion of the American steel industry, was born. Following his death on Aug. 11, 1919, his obituary appeared in The Times.

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On This Date

By The Associated Press

1783 The British evacuated New York, their last military position in the United States, during the Revolutionary War.
1914 Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio was born in Martinez, Calif.
1947 Movie studio executives agreed to blacklist the Hollywood 10, who were jailed a day earlier for contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee.
1973 Greek President George Papadopoulos was ousted in a bloodless military coup.
1986 The Iran-Contra affair erupted as President Ronald Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels.
1987 Chicago Mayor Harold Washington died after suffering a heart attack in his City Hall office.
1999 Six-year-old Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez was rescued by a pair of sport fishermen off the coast of Florida.
2002 President George W. Bush signed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security.
2003 The Senate gave final congressional approval to Medicare legislation combining a new prescription drug benefit with measures to control costs before the baby boom generation reaches retirement age.
2003 Yemen arrested Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal, a top al-Qaida member suspected of masterminding the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole and the 2002 bombing of a French oil tanker off Yemen’s coast.
2006 Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a cease-fire to end a five-month Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and the firing of rockets by Palestinian militants into the Jewish state.
2008 Football player Michael Vick pleaded guilty to a Virginia dogfighting charge and received a three-year suspended sentence.

Current Birthdays

By The Associated Press

Christina Applegate, Actress

Actress Christina Applegate turns 41 years old today.

AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Jill Hennessy, Actress

Actress Jill Hennessy turns 43 years old today.

AP Photo/Evan Agostini

1940 Joe Gibbs, Hall of Fame football coach, turns 72
1940 Percy Sledge, R&B singer, turns 72
1944 Ben Stein, Actor, game show host, turns 68
1947 John Larroquette, Actor (“Night Court”), turns 65
1960 Amy Grant, Country-gospel singer, turns 52
1981 Barbara Bush, Daughter of President George W. Bush, turns 31
1981 Jenna Bush, Daughter of President George W. Bush, turns 31

Historic Birthdays

Andrew Carnegie 11/25/1835 – 8/11/1919 Scottish-born American industrialist and philanthropist.Go to obituary »
72 Lope de Vega 11/25/1562 – 8/27/1635
Spanish dramatist
59 Henrietta Maria de Bourbon 11/25/1609 – 9/10/1669
French wife of King Charles I of England
94 John Bigelow 11/25/1817 – 12/19/1911
American diplomat, author and editor of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography
64 Carry Nation 11/25/1846 – 6/9/1911
American temperance advocate
35 Joe Gans 11/25/1874 – 8/10/1910
American boxer
81 John XXIII 11/25/1881 – 6/3/1963
Italian pope (1958-63)
76 Joseph Krutch 11/25/1893 – 5/22/1970
American naturalist and author
92 Virgil Thomson 11/25/1896 – 9/30/1989
American composer, conducter and music critic
80 Lewis Thomas 11/25/1913 – 12/3/1993
American physician and essayist
84 Joe DiMaggio 11/25/1914 – 3/8/1999
American baseball player

Life of Pi, 2012

A masterfully told story of survival, this is the stuff our worst nightmares are made of. 

Featuring an international cast, this is quite the fantastical story directed by Ang Lee, known for another feature film that featured a tiger—at least in the name—Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. 

The theme of the story is not a new one:  we know of Robinson Crusoe and Tom Hanks’ survival story in the film Castaway, but a story of survival on the Pacific ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker gives new meaning to every human emotion, chief among them, fear.

Irrfan Khan does a fine job playing the adult Pi.  There is not much acting involved, given that he engages in a monologue for the most part to convey the flashbacks of his life’s journey, but even this, he does with conviction.  The younger Pi—who actually negotiates the vagaries of the ocean and the tiger—is played by the very competent Suraj Sharma, who also via a series of monologues must portray the fear and resolve to survive.

Beyond the theme of survival, there is also one other theme of religion, or the diversity of it, especially in a land like India where religion is so in-your-face at all times, that Pi’s father warns him with these words, “If you believe in everything, you will end up not believing in anything at all.”   And this piece of wisdom  seems to ring true in that Pi embraces religion without quite taking it seriously, and thereby actually believing in nothing at all.

The very sophisticated digital mastery of creating the 3D experience for the viewer is nothing short of brilliant, and the cinematography of the beautiful landscapes of Pondicherry, a sleepy town in the southern part of India is sublime. 

Also, a quick nod to Tabu, the Indian actress who plays the role of Pi’s mother with much grace and realism.

Lifeofpi