Weird Things From Google Alerts

Okay, I was listening to Natasha on That’s How I Blog! when my connection, or blog talk’s, not sure, crapped out.  I was going to have to listen to it a second time anyway, since the kids decided to have a screaming match and wanted me to referee.  NOW, now that I’m NOT listening… they’re angels.  Better not type too loud, they’ll be in here fighting and fussing and chasing me off the computer!

*sigh*

So, during Bloggiesta, there was a mini-challenge about setting up the Google alerts.  I set up about 4 or 5, and then I get an email once a day with detailed web traffic that used the terms I put in.  So far, most of them link back to either my posts, comments or tweets.  Or they simply link to posts that happened to contain all the words, but not together. “Reading the other team’s stats, the Welsh rugby team has a challenge ahead of them!” has Welsh, Reading, and Challenge, but has NOTHING to do with the Welsh Reading Challenge.  Silver lining, I suppose, I’m learning a LOT about rugby… lol

But once in a while, it turns up a treasure.  There’s a blog out there named Scaling Mt. TBR and I felt an immediate kinship.  She reads a lot of historical romances and not as many books as I, but we rode the same wavelength.  She even has a Mountain pic in her header, like I do, but hers is massive and snowy and intimidating.  I like my green and trees and lake with the mountain.  There’s LIFE around my books.  I like her pic, too, but I like mine better ;-)

I’ve also discovered the Welsh Reading Challenge is sponsoring the Left Coast Eisteddfod.  It’s posted on the Hiraeth page, as well as being in a widget, but I didn’t think of it as sponsoring, since I didn’t give money.  I thought I was only spreading the word.  I do support the event, and would go if I could.

Then there’s Wuthering Expectations.  I had to laugh when I read this:

As a side note, see here for the brand new Welsh Reading Challenge.  Now we just need an Irish challenge, and a Jersey and Guernsey challenge, a Cornish challenge, an East Anglian challenge, etc., etc.

I commented that actually, if we just went with Celtic Reading Challenge, it’d take in Irish, Scottish and Welsh, and the rest didn’t matter anyway :-D  I think Care said she’d like a Celtic one, too, so it’d work out.  I want to read Anam Cara (suggested by a good friend), and I could do that with a Celtic challenge.  Ah well, next year…  By the way, Amateur Reader at Wuthering Expectations is hosting a Scottish Literature Reading Challenge, but I don’t completely understand the instructions.  I do know this, though:  If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!

So, do you use Google alerts?  Anything interesting come up for you?  Have you ever discovered you were linked somewhere and didn’t know it?  Was it a good or bad thing?

Welsh Reading Challenge

Well, after Googling ever combination of Welsh, Author, Book, Reading, Challenge, etc, that I could think of, I can’t find a single reading challenge that focuses on my own family heritage (that’d be Welsh, if you didn’t guess it already ;-) ).  So, what better to make my very first sponsored challenge than a Welsh one?

I’m both nervous and excited about starting a book challenge, especially since I’ve got such a focused reading plan for this year.  How can I fit more books in?  But if I don’t plan to read them, I may never “be in the mood” to read books I really DO want to read.  Which is why I decided to create the WELSH READING CHALLENGE :-D

So the first thing a challenge needs is a button, and I got that.  It’s not the most incredibly creative, I suppose, and if anyone wants to make one for it, I’m open to it.

Welsh Reading Challenge 2010

1.  So next we need some rules…

Read at least one book in 2010 that is either by a Welsh author, takes place in Wales, or is about Welsh people (immigrants, descendants, etc).  Pretty simple :-)

2.  And now we need levels to shoot for:

Efydd bathodyn (bronze medal) – Read one to three Welsh-related books between now and December 31st, 2010 to receive a bronze medal.

Arian bathodyn (silver medal) – Read four to six Welsh-related books by December 31st, 2010 for the silver medal rank.

Aur bathodyn (gold medal) – Read seven or more Welsh-related books in before the end of 2010 and be a gold-medalist!

I’m planning to read one Welsh-related book per month which will put me well into the Aur bathodyn range ;-)  (BTW, I do not speak Welsh… try as I might, I have no one to practice with so my Cymraeg pretty much always sucks… so it’s quite possible that I’ve totally botched up the translations.  I used this online translator, so if you know the correct terms, leave a comment and I’ll correct it.)

3.  Post about it on your blog, leave a comment here to let me know and leave the link of reviews.  I’d love to make a page and do a monthly update of what everyone’s doing.  LOL.. though, everyone may just be me.  You can list which books you plan to read, but you don’t have to.

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And now for my planned Welsh Reading Challenge books:

1.  The Mabinogion – From the Amazon.com page -“Drawing on myth, folklore and history, the stories of the “Mabinogion” passed from generations of storytellers before they were written down in the thirteenth century in the form we know. Set in dual realms of the forests and valleys of Wales and the shadowy otherworld, the tales are permeated by a dreamlike atmosphere. In “Math Son of Mathonwy” two brothers plot to carry off the virginal Goewin, while in “Manawydan Son of Llyr” a chieftain roams throughout Britain after a spell is cast over his land. And King Arthur’s court provides the backdrop to tales such as “How Culhwch Won Olwen”, in which a young man must complete many tasks before he can marry a giant’s daughter.”  Basically, it’s like this… last year when I was looking for Welsh books, this one popped up.  It’s ancient, and so it’s like Uber-Cymraeg, right?  (LOL… linguists all over the world are having a stroke over that one)

2 and 3.  Aberystwyth Mon Amour and Last Tango in Aberystwyth by Malcolm Pryce – Noir detective novels with cool cover art and fun titles that take place in the Welsh city Aberystwyth.  He’s the best… and the only… Private Eye in town.  I’m really looking forward to reading these.

4.  A Writer’s House in Wales by Jan Morris – Journalist and National Geographic writer, Jan Morris, reflects on her home in Wales, her heritage and the history of the land.  Another one that I’ve been looking forward to reading.

5.  Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas – I don’t think a Welsh reading list could be complete without something by Dylan Thomas on it.  Most people know the line “Do not go gentle into that good night,” which is a Thomas poem.  Under Milk Wood is a play, and it’ll be new to me.  Before coming across the play, I’d only thought Thomas had wrote poetry.

6.  How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn – When I came across this treasure at the library sale last year, I actually broke out in a little victory dance.  I have been wanting to read it for a long time, and NOW I could finally do it!  Well… lol… can and actually DOING so are two different things.  This book is one of the reasons for THIS challenge.  It’s the story of a Welsh family in a coal town, how close they are as a family and community, and how the mining strike and later mechanization affected and fractured them forever.  It’s a before and after view, and shows how we have to give up a lot to get modern conveniences and luxuries and who has to pay.  Sometimes, even, we may want to take a second look at whether it’s worth the loss.

7.  Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman – LOL, I got this book basically because of the name.  It’s the first Penman’s Welsh Trilogy.  Oddly enough, I generally run in terror from “historical fiction” stuff… but because it’s “Welsh”, well, that’s a different matter.

8.  The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies – I had planned on reading this for the World War II challenge last year, but never got to it.  I’m hoping to get it read for sure this year.  I read a few blog reviews of it late 2008-early 2009, and thought it sounded really good, but it just never migrated off the long-range TBR shelf.

9.  On Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin – is a story of twin brothers living on a farm on the Welsh/English border.  The book description says it gives a wonderful description of the loneliness of life in rural Wales.  Hmm…  sounds a bit like rural Appalachia, which makes sense, given quite a few of the Welsh immigrants (including my own family’s ancestors) came through that area.

10.  The Journey Through Wales and The Description of Wales by Gerald of Wales –  after my failure to get through The Conquest of Gaul, I’m not sure how I’ll fair with this one.  Hopefully, the whole “war report” stuff Caesar wrote is why I couldn’t make it, and Gerald will be a wonderful historian to read.  For some reason, though, I’m feeling a bit like Catherine Morland at the moment… Historians inflict torture on people by writing books. 

11.  A String In the Harp by Nancy Bond – YA fantasy that takes place in Wales.

12.  Evans Above (Constable Evans Mystery) by Rhys Bowen – takes place in a small Welsh village, and looks like such a fun read :-)

Okay, there’s my twelve.  MAYBE, I’ll try for some more, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to fit much more into it.  There’s more I’d like to read… like Sheepshagger by Niall Griffiths, that one looks like it’d make Palahniuk sick.  And I’d love to know what other great Welsh books there are out there.

I’m so excited to get reading!

Update:  The Welsh Reading Challenge now has it’s own blog.  Click here and explore!

And here’s Mr. Linky if you want to sign up now:

 

TSS ~ Meme Meme Meme Sunday

The Sunday Salon.com

I’ve been bookmarking and meaning to do several one-time memes, but I’ve been lazy and kept putting them off. Inspired by the Bloggiesta that I didn’t sign up for, but seem to be doing anyway… unofficially… I figured this Sunday Salon post would be a good time to do it :-)

First off, I grabbed this one from Page247‘s Sunday Salon over a month ago:

Diversity in Reading Meme

1. Name the last book by a female author that you’ve read.

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, but I’m currently reading Water for Elephantsby Sara Gruen (and loving it ;-) )

2. Name the last book by an African or African-American author that you’ve read.

I can’t remember, actually… The last one I remember was Sacred Cows and Other Edibles by Nikki Giovanni, but I’m sure I’ve read something since then *hangs head in shame* Must remedy this….

3. Name one from a Latino/a author.

One that I read?  or just a title out of the blue?  This is harder than I thought… it looked so fun on Page247’s site.  Love in the Time of Choleraby Gabriel García Márquez.  It’s on Mt. TBR… somewhere….

4. How about one from an Asian country or Asian-American?

Finally!  an easy one!  The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, and an excellent book, I might add ;-)

5. What about a GLBT writer?

I don’t know the author’s sex life unless they say it in bold print at the beginning.  It doesn’t matter to me, as long as the writing’s good and the story pulls me in… the rest is their business.  Jordan, the main character in the modern part of The 19th Wife is gay, does that count?

6. Why not name an Israeli/Arab/Turk/Persian writer, if you’re feeling lucky?

Yeah, I got this easy…. lol.  A book I’d love to get to on Mt TBR:  The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be Godby Israeli author Etgar Keret.  One of the short stories in this book was made into the movie Wristcutters:  A Love Story

7. Any other “marginalized” authors you’ve read lately?

I guess I should be more politically minded or something.  Marginalized?  IDK…  Um, I’m reading The Last Lectureright now… it’s author, Randy Pausch died of cancer before it was published.  Is he marginalized now?  He can’t vote, and if he were to speak through Melinda Gordon or Allison DuBois, I don’t think anyone would listen.

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Okay, this looked like too much fun to pass up.  I’m ripping it off Sink or Swim, who did it as part of Ten on Tuesday meme.  Okay, so I’m a couple days late on it…

Ten Things You’d Bring on a Deserted Island

  1. The entire inventory of Mt. TBR… That’ll keep me busy for a good five years at least, and if I don’t like a book, it can be re-appropriated for other purposes:  Firewood, note paper (remember The Book Thief?), TP, etc.
  2. TWO lifetime supplies of Charmin 2-ply quilted with aloe and floral scent.  Hey, I might as well splurge on something!
  3. Charlie Hobbit of Driveshaft, wait… he died.  Mr Eko, then … crap, he’s dead, too… John Locke… he died, but came back… No, wait… he’s possessed by an evil spirit or some such…  Aw, heck… Gimme the Professor, then.  Is he dead, yet? 
  4. The Magic Conch Shell :-) 
  5. A volleyball and some red paint.. So I can make my own friend :-)
  6. A team of sexy masseurs :-D
  7. Ioan Gruffudd Ioan... *sigh**drool* And Hugh Jackman sexy man-candy…  and would it be greedy of me to want Gerard Butler I'm seeing a pattern here..., too…  *long, cleansing breaths…. I think I need to lay down*  Oh heck, since I’m being greedy… Gimme James Callis James Callis is hot!, too… he was who I pictured as Max in The Book Thief.
  8. Ty Pennington, he can build me an awesome island home :-)
  9. A laptop with solar charger so I can blog about it all.
  10. A helicopter so I can leave whenever I want.

The Magic Conch Shell Rap

Okay, after number 7 on what I’d bring to the island, I now have to go to confession…  I’ve got some thoughts of a sinful nature :-D  no, no smilies… that’s bad!

So what would you bring to the desert island?

Viral Video Wednesday ~ Oh, Baby!

Hello and Happy Wednesday :-)  As of this minute, Jen of Devourer of Books hasn’t delivered yet, though I’ve been keeping an eye on Twitter for the #babyk hashtags to start popping up :-)  So, in her honor, this week’s VVW topic is:

Babies!

When I think back to when each of my kids were still crawling and cruising, I remember their discovers, sometimes with a chuckle and a smile, others with a bit of panic.  My kids all had jacks-in-the-box, and I myself remember cranking the little grinder around for hours on end.  The following clip shows baby Legend  (who would name their son that?) with his first “POP” experience.

Now, I do believe Jen is having a single, but you never know… surprises might occur and she could get double the pleasure, double the fun :-)

And bath time can be quite fun, though it’ll be a few weeks before she’s giving him a bath. The following vid clip has a rather sagastically wise message: When making bubbles in the tub, don’t push too hard or you’ll make number two. Words to live by.

I leave you with this final clip. Little baby Damien stretches and yawns in a rather unique manner….

Next Week’s VVW topic: Dinosaurs :-)

Now it’s your turn: Gimme yer fav baby vid clip :-D

BTT ~ Stickin’ it to ya!

 

saw this over at Shelley’s, and thought it sounded like a great question for all of you:

“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

Fifteen books that will always stick with me, right off the top of my head….  K, here goes:

  1. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
  2. Matrimony by Joshua Henkin
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  5. Lisey’s Story by Stephen King
  6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  7. The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  8. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  9. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  10. Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  11. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  12. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
  13. Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
  14. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  15. A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo

Now, not all are on my top 10 list, oddly enough, and not all of them are what I’d call “great novels.”  Of course, there are many others that will also stick with me, but I’ve written this post while Gwen and Maggie are fighting and tattling, my friend came over to chat and The Departed is playing on the TV, so we’re all lucky Dick and Jane wasn’t the only book title I could think of.

Viral Video Wednesday ~ Stalkers!

STALKERS!  We’ve all seen stories on the news about them.  They stalk celebrities, some delusionally believing they have a relationship with the object of their obsessions.  Even Queen Elizabeth had one!

Wikepedia has this to say:

Individuals characterised as stalkers may have a mistaken belief that the other person loves them (erotomania), or have a desire to help the other person. Stalking consists of a series of actions which in themselves can be legal, such as calling on the phone, sending gifts, or sending emails.

And lists the following types of stalkers:

  •  Rejected stalkers pursue their victims in order to reverse, correct, or avenge a rejection (e.g. divorce, separation, termination).
  • Resentful stalkers pursue a vendetta because of a sense of grievance against the victims – motivated mainly by the desire to frighten and distress the victim.
  • Intimacy seekers seek to establish an intimate, loving relationship with their victim. To them, the victim is a long-sought-after soul mate, and they were ‘meant’ to be together.
  • Incompetent suitors, despite poor social or courting skills, have a fixation, or in some cases a sense of entitlement to an intimate relationship with those who have attracted their amorous interest. Their victims are most often already in a dating relationship with someone else.
  • Predatory stalkers spy on the victim in order to prepare and plan an attack – usually sexual – on the victim.

We’ve all felt rejected at one time or another, and “bumped into” the person more than chance would allow.  Or, had a crush on someone and rearranged our schedule just so we could be where they would be… taking the long way to our destination, for instance, so we could drive by their house. 

Come on… Don’t tell me it’s just me…  I saw you in that bush last week, so fess up!

lol…  But do STALKERS have an anthem, a theme song?  And if they did, what would that song be?  Well, this first video is proof I should update my bookmarks more often.  ORIGINALLY… I had Morrissey’s creepy-as-HELL video of The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get for this spot, but UNfortunately… some bigwigs somewhere threw a fit about the use of Morrissey’s song and all that, and the vid’s now muted.  So… I had to sub in this 1995 Mickey Mouse Club version.  *sigh

Pay particular attention to the lyrics:

I will be
In the car
With my hand
In the spots
I am now
A central part
Of your mind’s landscape
Whether you care
Or do not
Yeah, I’ve made up your mind 

The more you ignore me
The closer I get
You’re wasting your time
The more you ignore me
The closer I get
You’re wasting your time

Beware !
I bear more grudges
Than lonely high court judges
When you sleep
I will creep
Into your thoughts
Like a bad debt
That you can’t pay
Take the easy way
And give in
Yeah, and let me in

Was that a young Jamie Lynn Spears intro’ing the vid?

Yeah, Morrisey’s is definitely creepier than the teenie-bopper one.  PERHAPS, that’s because we expect, or at least forgive, teens to be obsessive.  Morrissey, on the other hand, is a grown and already-mildly-creepy man and should be able to understand reality and have some amount of self-control.

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Until I saw and heard the Morrissey video, the next song was what I considered the theme song for stalkers everywhere.  Ever since I was a teenager, The Police’s song Every Breath You Take has seemed a bit stalker-ish to me.  AND the following video proves that I’m not the only one to think that! Listen to the lyrics:

 

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And then there is FRED. Poor Fred! He can’t help it that he’s in love with Judy, even though she’s such a BRAT! She won’t IM him back at all, so what could he do? Of course he had to sneak in her house, sniff her perfume, go through her drawers, and such. But he’s NOT a STALKER!

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Paula Abdul’s stalker, Paul Marturano, auditioned on the 7th season of American Idol with his offerings of his obsessive love for the F in the AI mfm party.

So, now it’s your turn. Post a link of your fav stalker video in the comments here, or better yet… Blog your own VVW and leave a link in the comments!

Next week’s VVW topic: Sing it loud! Sing it proud! Sing it WRONG… Misheard Lyrics.

Read-a-Thon ~ Takin’ a Break :-)

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As I was reading Marked, I came across the perfect passage to include in the review, so I had to log in and start the review, saving the quote. Sometimes that happens when I’m reading, most of the time, actually. I’ll be reading along and something will just hit me, and I’ll be, like… “Wow, that’s the perfect quote for this book!” When that happens, I always try to get it in here, lest I forget it when I’m actually sitting down and writing the review.

I know what quote I’ll use for How to Be a Villian, but I haven’t got a clue for Empire Falls. That happens sometimes, too, and every once in a while I even think about cheating and putting what’s on the back cover or front flap for the quote.

BTW, the House of Night series has been optioned for a movie. No work has really been done on it, just the plan to make it into film. I can see the spoof-movie now, “Not another Teen Vampire Movie!” Though, this book is NOTHING like Twilight.

If you’d like to check out the series, click House of Night Series. There you can click on the yearbook and learn about the characters, watch vid clips for each of the books, and even get your own vampyre Mark tattoo :-D

Reading Update:

Empire Falls by Richard Russo ~ finished.
The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis, Chapter Four “The Bell and the Hammer” ~ finished
How to Be a Villian: Evil Laughs, Secret Lairs, Master Plans and More!!! by Neil Zawacki ~ finished :-D
Marked: A House of Night Novel by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast ~ starting Chapter Six, page 43

Wait, How Did You Find Me?!

Okay, I had so much fun doing the last search results post, That Brought You Here?!? That I wanted to do another.

When I was scrolling down my stats page, one of the search terms caught my eye, and I wondered if enough time had passed to post another.  It’s been over a week so… YuP! :-D  Here goes.  The search terms are in bold, btw.

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bad effects of eating your boogers ~ Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea… yeah!

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spray cheese ~ on cracker… eat immediately.

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sex with sleeping doll ~ I believe this is illegal, and you knowChatty Cathy’s watching and’ll tell everyone…

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william shakespeare (dr. faustus) ~ Dr. Faustus, meet William Shakespeare :-)

compare anne frank to the book thief! ~ NO! I don’t wanna!

I won't do it!  NOOOOO!      NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!      You can't make me!

invention of “invisible shirt”~ Yeah, I’m selling them out of my invisible store, and they come with an invisible receipt. I guarantee all eyes will be on you when you wear the matching invisible pants. I’ll sell both to you and throw in a pair of invisible Nikes all for a visible $20 bill. :-D

gary larsen plant comics~ Personally, I plant vegetables and herbs, maybe a few annuals, but hey… to each his own. I wonder if any of his comics have been famous? Tom Arnold must of been a bad year for the old winyard, eh?

isabel ice custard ~ It’s the movie version of Custard the Dragon. When Isabel, Ink, Wink, Mustard and Custard are flying over the Andes on their way to a rugby match, the plane crashes and they are forced to do the unthinkable to survive. Custard kept crying for his nice safe cage, until Isabel couldn’t take it anymore and turned him into Dragon tartar.

half-blood prince’s comments on love pot ~ He said, “Dude… DUDE… duuuuuude…. ya gotta try this pot…. one long drag and you like… totally love everyone. *puff.. puff… blow* DuuUuuuUuDe! I love you, man!”

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Then there are a few Vampire ones:

where can i read vampire kisses blood~ Anywhere you want, dawg, as long as you buy something every couple hours so the don’t think you’re loitering, home slice.

cheap: vampire kisses: blood relatives ~ This would be the Redneck family reunion slash speed dating slash wedding version.

read vampire kisses vol 2 free ~ Dude… it’s called the LIBRARY.  If that’s not free enough for you, I don’t know what to tell ya.  Get the audio book?  Except it’s a manga book.  Have someone read it for you, then transfer the memory into your brain…  It’d probably have horrible side-effects, and you’d probably grow a tail and develop a tic, but it’d be free.

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And… of course… there are all of the BOOGER searches, some of which made me swallow my tongue…

is it dangerous to eat your boogers?  Yes, that’s why you look left, then right, then left again before taking a nibble… oh, wait, that’s crossing the street.

how to eat boogers ~ Now… mind you, I’m no expert on this, but it seems fairly straight forward…  freshly picked, breaded and deep-fried and served with marinara sauce, right?

cure smelly boogers ~ Dude!  Stop sniffing your gym shoes!  Get some Odor-Eaters or something!

im 18 and still eat boogers, and 20 years old and eats boogers why~ Seriously, an even better question is WHY did GOOGLE think I knew the answers?!

throw poo ~ okay… here you go…

I'm throwing POO at you!

What are some of the weird search terms that have led people to your blog? Or what’s the oddest search you’ve ever done?

Matrimony winner…

Because I have run out of time here at the library, I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to post the winner.  If you haven’t entered yet… get in!

Lefty’s Corner ~New Widget Added

For those of you who might not know, I am left-handed.  I am unique in that I am one of the approximately 10% of the population who are in their RIGHT MIND! 

This past Christmas I got one of those “fact a day” desk calendars devoted to left-handed facts, quotes and trivia.  I finally tore off the pages to today’s date (and actually, for some screwy reason, tore down to March 16th instead of February 16th) and placed the small booklet of daily facts in my pocket to read at the dentist office today.  As I sat there, being wowed by who can be found in the sinister pack (The Free Dictionary, definition 3 for sinister: On the  left side; left.  From the Latin sinister, on the left) and by interesting facts about left-handedness, I thought it might be fun to add a widget to Mt. TBR with the daily facts from The Left-Hander’s Calendar.  So, in honor of one of my favorite stores (one I’ve missed terribly since it closed when Indy’s Union Station closed.  *sniff* Christmas has never been Christmas since… but that’s a tale for another post), I’ve named it Lefty’s Corner.

Since I’ve missed about six weeks’ worth of facts, I thought I blog the best of the Lefty facts thus far:

1)  799 A.D.:   Father of Europe and the Emperor responsible for our present calendar, Charlemagne established an extensive library, founded an academy for educating young Frankish knights, and made a strong effort to produce an educated clergy.  This royal lefty also established a system of justice in which nobles and clergymen traveled about the kingdom, hearing court cases and bringing the law to every town and village.  What’s more, according to MrDonn.org, Charlemagne established “a system of trial by panel. Under Charlemagne’s system, each accused person would be heard by a panel of honorable men, men who had taken an oath to listen and to judge fairly based on the evidence presented.” From this, our modern “trial by jury” system was born.

2)  Left-handers really are special, and brain scanning, along with the latest genetic technology, is finally enabling scientists to crack the mysteries of what makes us left-handed.  Research geneticist Clyde Francks of Oxford University found that left-handers tend to share a variant of a gene named LRRTM1.  This gene, however, appears to influence handedness only if it is inherited from the father.

While genetics play a role in handedness, there are no guarantees. Handedness does run in families, though not in an easily predictable way. Left-handers are about twice as likely as righties to produce left-handed children, but most of their offspring will still be right-handed. Personal fact: My father was ambidextrous, I’m left-handed, as is one of my nephews. Two of my three daughters are right-handed, while my middle daughter is ambidextrous.

Also, whites, blacks, and North American Indians are more likely to be left-handed. Just over 9% of Asians and Hispanics are lefties.

3)  I’m smarter than you are! Tests conducted by Alan Searleman from St. Lawrence University in New York found there were more left-handed people with IQs over 140 than right-handed people. Personal Fact: my IQ is 169 (not that I’m bragging ;-) )

4)  A Danish legend says that on the twelfth night after Christmas, if an unmarried woman walks to bed backward, throws a shoe over her left shoulder, and says a verse to the Three Holy Kings, the man she sees in her dreams will one day marry her. HOWEVER, it doesn’t say that it’ll be a happy, long-lasting marriage or if it will end in an acrimonious, War-of-the-Roses style divorce. AND what of lucid dreamers? If I don’t like who I see, I’d just change it. (BTW, does “a verse to the Three Holy Kings” mean to sing a few bars of the Christmas carol “We Three Kings”?)

5)  Four of our last six presidents have been southpaws: Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. The country has turned increasingly left-handed. Before Ford, only James Garfield, Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman were lefties. (Of course, most children were discouraged to write with their left hands, painfully so with rulers and other whacking tools, so it’s not a surprise there weren’t more.)

PLUS! Our new president, Barack Obama, is also a lefty :-D

6)  W.C. Fields was a lefty born in Philadelphia,, but when he was born is up for debate. Some say he was born on April 9, 1879, and jokingly say he was born again on January 29, 1880. His grandson believes the 1880 date is correct.

7)  The official Boy Scout handshake uses the left hand instead of the right. Although Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, was ambidextrous, he chose the lefty shake because the left hand is nearer to the heart.

8)  On the cartoon The Simpsons, each character has appeared as a lefty at least once. In fact, there are Web sites devoted to tracking just who is left-handed in each episode. It’s no surprise – Matt Groening, The Simpsons’ creator, is left-handed.

9)  There are more than 500 million left-handed people on the planet ;-)

10)  Edwin “Buzz Aldrin (Gemini 12, Apollo 11) was the first lefty to walk on the moon. Other left-handed U.S. Astronauts include James Lovell (Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13) and Wally Schirra (Mercury 8, Gemini 6, Apollo 7).

Some famous southpaws:

Paul McCartney, who said: “In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Henry Rollins- singer, songwriter, spoken word artist, author, actor, and publisher. He was also the frontman of punk band Black Flag.

Actress Kim Novak

Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz

Baseball player Lenny Dykstra

Journalist Ted Koppel

Singer Natalie Cole

Baseball player Babe Ruth

Actor Rip Torn

Actor Brent Spiner -he played my all-time favorite Star Trek character, Lt. Commander Data, and his hillbilly character, Bob Wheeler, on Night Court was hilarious! Threshold is another one of my favorite shows in which Spiner was cast as the hippy, conspiracy-theorist Dr. Nigel Fenway.

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey

Tennis player Martina Navratilova

Author Lewis Carroll

Actor James Cromwell- The man is a legend and highly credited actor, and yet… when I think of him, Farmer Hoggett from BABE is what always comes to mind… “That’ll do, Pig! That’ll do!” Second to Babe, The Sum of All Fears pops into my head. In Sum he played President Fowler, but it wasn’t the last time he played a US Pres. Recently, he starred in W, cast in the role of former President George H. W. Bush, who was also a lefty ;-) .

Actor Scott Glenn

Vincent D’Onofrio, who appeared in Full Metal Jacket  (he was Marine recruit Private Pyle who, after the continual harangue from the D.I., played by real former Marine, Gunny Sgt R. Lee Ermy [I highly recommend checking out Gunny Sgt's site :-D ], ate the end of his rifle.), Mystic Pizza, Ed Wood, Men in Black, The Cell, The Break Up, and more. However, he is now best known as Detective Robert Goren on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Actor Gabe Kaplan, best known for his role as the title character in the television show Welcome Back Kotter.

Actor Balthazar Getty

Actress Diane Lane

Actress Mare Winningham

Actor Telly Savalas, the man who made bald sexy and lollipop sucking acceptable for adults.

Comedian George Burns

Countess of Wessex, Sophie Rhys-Jones

Actor Michael Crawford

Actress Tippi Hedren, who is best known for being chased unmercifully by massive flocks of birds.

Singer Phil Everly, of The Everly Brothers. Songs best known by The Everly Brothers are “Bye, Bye Love“, “Wake Up Little Suzie“, “Crying In the Rain“, “Let It Be Me“, “All I Have to Do Is Dream” and “Cathy’s Clown” (I’ve always loved Dream), and so many more! One more treat: “Gone Gone Gone” -not that it’s all that great of a song, but WATCHING the video, particularly the girls dancing, made me laugh. I thought that kind of thing only happened on The Corny Collins Show!

Actor Jim Carrey- My favorite Jim Carrey movies are How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Mask, Liar Liar, Lemony Snicket, Dumb and Dumber and Bruce Almighty.

Benjamin Franklin- Inventor, statesman, author and one of the U.S. founding fathers, Benny also appears in Benjamin Franklin: The Punctual Plumber’s commercials (ads played here repetitvely sing out “Benny! I got your number 867-5309!”, a toll free number utilizing the ubiquitous Tommy Tu-Tone’s Jenny’s number) and, along with other money-starring U.S. historical figures, in the Turbo Tax commercials.

Comedian Steve Harvey

Actor Cary Grant -my favorite Cary Grant movies are Arsenic and Old Lace, The Philadelphia Story and His Girl Friday.

Comedian, actor, dancer Danny Kaye -Love! The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, White Christmas, and The Five Pennies.

Saint Joan of Arc

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.- Everyone, of course, knows King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and along with the full speech, I found an interesting short versionthat has incorporated a Spiritual in the clip. In the past year, King’s Dream was revisited in the will.i.am “Yes We Can” song, which incorporated the line

…a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

from Barack Obama’s speech (now President Obama, a major step toward the realization of Dr. King’s dream). Oh! King and Obama are both lefties… :-D

Inventor Thomas Edison

Kurt Cobain- Ah, yes… The anthem of my teenage years, “Smells Like Teen Spirit“. I bought the album, Nevermind, which also had “Come As You Are” and “Stay Away” (a song that was more my anthem than the first one). These songs make me feel like I’m an acne-battling, high school student sitting in the corner of the cafeteria by myself, trying not to look friendless. Oh, those were the days…

Billy Ray Cyrus -Okay, everyone over twenty-five KNOWS “Achy Breaky Heart“, and those under 20, or with children under 20, knows Billy Ray Cyrus as Robby Ray Stewart, Hannah Montana’s father and real-life father to Miley Cyrus who plays Hannah.

Lauryn Hill -I love the Fugees’ version of “Killing Me Softly” (Lauryn was a member of the Fugees).

Pink -“So What“, “U + UR Hand” and “Get This Party Started” are my favorite Pink songs, and are on my MP3 player. Besides both of us being left-handed, Pink has the same real first name as I :-D

Prince- Raspeberry Beret is one of my favorite Prince songs. “U Got the Look“, “1999” and “Batdance” are a few others.

Lou Rawls

Paul Simon- forever my favorite, “You Can Call Me Al” is one of the best songs and funnest music videos I’ve heard and seen.

Boxer Oscar De La Hoya

Actor Jason Bateman -Hancock is my favorite

Actors and brothers, Dennis, The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia  was my introduction to those special, warm-tingly feelings, and Randy Quaid, whose character “Cousin Eddie” (Fried Pussy Cat makes me laugh just as hard for the millionth time as it did the first) from the National Lampoons Vacation movies has made Christmas Vacation one of my favorite Christmas movies.

Mary Kate Olsen

Doctor and missionary Albert Schweitzer

Director Joel Coen (of The Coen Brothers) -my favorite Coen Brothers’ movie is O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and a second clip for good measure… and The Sirens Song. LOL.. I love it when Everett and Delmar wake up after drinking with the Sirens, and Delmar screech/squeals when he looks over and sees Pete’s clothes, sans Pete, and a toad hops out of Pete’s shirt.

Them syreens did this to Pete. They loved him up and turned him into a horny toad.

 k… I’m going to my DVD drawer to grab this movie now.

Former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton (whose portrait can be seen on the US $10 bill)- said “A well-adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.”

Singer Phil Collins, Against All Odds is one of my favorites

Singer Crystal Gayle

Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence

Actor and singer David Bowie- said, “We can be Heroes, Just for one day.” I loved Labyrinth! The Dance Magic scene is great, and I love-love-LOVE the ball scene. After watching Labyrinth, I had a little David Bowie crush for a while.

Actress Diane Keaton- Because I Said So and Baby Boom are my favorites

Author James Baldwin- African-American writer and essayist who penned Native Son, among others.

Last thing I want to leave you with is a quote from John Diana’s The Left-Hander’s Guide and Reference Manual.

The Average Lefty:
Thinks Like Einstein
Looks Like Redford
Paints Like de Vinci
Leads Like Schwarzkopf
Sings Like Newley
Fights Like Corbett
Clowns Like Chaplin

Plays:
Baseball Like Babe Ruth
Soccer Like Pele
Tennis Like Conners
Golf Like Charles
Runs Like the Devil and
Swims Like Spitz

BTW… All the people mentioned in that quote are lefties!

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