Thursday, February 28, 2013

'Casablanca' Random Facts

So, normally when if comes to fun facts about movies, I do fun facts about the actual movie itself, but I decided to switch things up a little bit today, I'm going to put in some random facts about three main actors (Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains) in the 1942 movie Casablanca, and then a few about Michael Curtis, the director.

Starting with Humphrey Bogart. Born Christmas Day, 1899, he is known for having a slight lisp, this is from an injury he sustained while in the navy, when he was cup right above his top lip. He originally was going to go to school to become a doctor, but ended up an actor. Typically, he was given gangster roles while he worked for Warner Brothers, and was nominated for best actor in Casablanca but sadly didn't win. He won an academy award in 1952 for his role in The African Queen. However, he was an avid smoker and drinker and was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and died January 14, 1957.

Ingrid Bergman was born in Stockholm, Sweden in August 29, 1915. She was known around any set she came onto for being very passionate about her work and would often times end up sleeping and basically living on the set in order to make sure that she did everything to the best of her ability. Her first American film was Intermezzo: A Love Story, which was a remake of a European film. She also played Ivy Peterson in the 1941 film Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (just to connect with a past theme here on this blog :P). She won three academy awards throughout her acting career: best actress as leading role in Gaslight, best actress as leading role in Anastasia, and best actress as supporting role in Murder on the Orient Express. She was a big scandal for a while in Hollywood when she ran off with one of her directors and ended up having children with him. After developing breast cancer and fighting it for years, Bergman died on her birthday in 1982. She acted until the end of her life.

Moving onto Claude Rains, I don't have a lot to say about him, except that he is most well known for acting with his eyes which were very expressive. He was born in London on November 10, 1889. He was in big hits such as The Invisible Man and The Adventures of Robin Hood, not to mention Casablanca. He was nominated for an Oscar four times and was married six times. Another interesting fact about his acting career was that in order for him to remember his lines he had to memorize the entire script. He died May 30, 1967.

Last, but certainly not least, is Michael Curtiz. Born in what is now Hungary on December 24, 1886, Curtiz was a well known director throughout Europe and America. He won an academy award for best director for Casablanca and Yankee Doodle Dandy, and directed over 170 films total. He started out as an actor but then switched to directing after a few years. Curtiz was also a notoriously difficult director to work with, especially since he didn't always explain everything to the actors and crew and never fully mastered the English language. He did help with making the switches between the silent films and the talkies and then between black-and-white and color films. He died six months after finishing what would be his last film of cancer on April 10, 1962.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed my random facts :P It went a bit longer than my posts have been lately, which I blame on school. I may be a senior in college, but that doesn't mean that things are any easier right now, and in fact I have a lot more homework than I originally had planned or thought that I would have this semester.
Anyways, it's almost the weekend!
Sara :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Musica Monday

Hey all, I'm back with another Musica Monday. I won't be writing much today because I donated blood earlier this afternoon and my body kinda went into shock and is still recovering... But I should be good in not too long. I wanted to share a cover with you guys :) I'm not going to say much today (sorry...I'll work on that when I'm feeling better) but I really hope that you guys listen to this cover and then look at the different channels for the people who are singing here, they are pretty awesome!! :D

Enjoy guys!
Sara :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Climbing Update and MAC

Hey, this past week was my second week of my rock climbing course for second semester. Monday's class was full of relearning belay techniques, practicing knots, and boldering. I feel like I'm starting to get better at boldering again, some parts are difficult because you can only go so far up the wall when bouldering but otherwise it's still pretty fun and good practice for working on holds and moving your hands and feet together.
For those of you who don't know, bouldering is a style of climbing that requires two people, a climber and spotter, where no ropes are used where the climber will climb up to about their spotter's shoulder height and then climb horizontally. When inside, this is usually done over a mat ("bouldering mat") in order to soften the fall. Most new climbers will start with bouldering in order to get the hang of holding onto rocks before climbing a wall. Now, don't get me wrong, bouldering isn't always easy! It can always be made more difficult and in some cases it's harder than actually climbing due to limited holds. Give it a shot! :D
Anyways, on Wednesday, I finally got recertified to belay, so I can climb with friends whenever now which makes me quite happy I'm not going to lie. I get a sort of feeling of freedom when I have this certification, I'm not exactly sure why, but it's still a super nice feeling. For the test, three people are required: a climber, a spotter (someone already certified), and the "belayer" (the person who wants to get certified). The spotter holds the end of the rope that is normally on the ground for a belayer in case they need to help hold the climber when they fall. The test here involves the "belayer" explaining everything to the climber (all the commands and such) and then tying the climber in and getting themselves attached to the belay device and the floor (if need be and the climber is heavier than they are, so they don't shoot up into the air), while climbing the climber does three falls and the "belayer" has to catch each one properly, then lower the climber back to the ground safely. The three falls include: an announced fall, an unannounced fall, and an unannounced fall where the "belayer" doesn't look at the climber but feels them fall. It sounds more complicated than it is, but it's really to make sure that the "belayer" knows what they are doing for safety's sake.  So, yea, that's that :P

Onto another subject, I joined a club this week! The Martial Arts Club (or MAC), which is a really relaxed club on campus run by students where we learn the basics of martial arts. Yesterday (Thursday) was the first time that I went and we did kicks and shoulder pushes. It was quite fun, I need to get used to kicking at the right height because I did over stretch my iliac muscle so that's one thing I need to work on. I do plan on going back next week, so that's something to look forward to :)

What other activities would you guys do in college? Happy Friday!
Sara :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fun Facts about 'Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and The Girl' (1919 film)

Every Monday night my American Film History class meets to watch a different movie. Since I got into the fun facts over interim, I figured why not continue them this semester? So, here's my first one!

The movie we watched this past Monday was a D.W. Griffith film starting Lillian Gish (one of America's first movie stars) as Lucy/the Girl, Richard Barthelmess as The Yellow Man, and Donald Crisp as Battling Burrows. And so begin the fun facts :P

~It was selected to the National Film Registry in the Library if Congress in 1996.
~Lillian Gish did not originally want to make this film, but agreed after some convincing from D.W. Griffith, later saying that she was glad to have done it.
~During the famous closet scene, Gish's performance/display of terror had seemed so real that it frightened Griffith who hadn't expected her to put on such a dramatic and convincing performance. Her screams had seemed so real that they caused people from other sets to become concerned and actually had to be prevented from barging into the set in order to 'save' her.
~In order to make Barthelmess appear oriental, a tight rubber band was stretched across his face, hidden by his hat, it caused his facial features to be pulled upwards slightly, no other makeup was used (maybe this is why we can all tell he isn't oriental at all...).
~Gish was in her late 20s when shooting for this film, only 11 years younger than Crisp, who played her father.

I hope you all enjoyed it!! Again I get this information from imdb, and my professor, so no copyright anything intended :P
I hope you guys have had a great week! And shout out to Matt for doing the past Musica Monday!
Sara :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Musica Monday

     Hello everyone, this is Matt again for a musica Monday!  Today I am going to be talking a little bit about a band called Nightwish.  This is a band that started in 1996 and has become the most successful Finnish band in the world.  But before I get too deep into this band, here is one of their earlier songs for your listening pleasure:

So this song is called Nemo, and was sung with the original singer of the band, Tarja Turunen.  She sung for Nightwish for about 9 years and did what I would call a phenomenal job.  In October of 2005, at the end of a concert tour, the band decided to continue without Tarja and began the search for a new singer due to complications.  As one can imagine, this caused much unrest and unhappiness with the fans of Nightwish worldwide. 
 In May of 2007, the band found their new lead singer after listening to about 2000 vocalists.  Anette Olzon was chosen and the band started back into writing some more outstanding music:

    This song is called Amaranth, and really showcases the singing power of Anette.  Immediately after she became the singer for Nightwish, there was a lot, and I mean a LOT of comparing between the two singers on the good ol' interwebs.  For a while, there was almost no Nightwish video on youtube that didn't mention the singers in some way.  I feel that they are both fantastic singers in their own right, but I am willing to bet there are many people out there to argue with me on that to the death. 

     But the reason I am talking about this band is they have recently parted ways with Anette.  This breakup seemed a lot more mutual than the last one and happened on October 1st, 2012.  I was a bit saddened by this, as I really enjoyed the material the band has been putting out over the last few years.  The new singer is Floor Jansen, and I am excited to hear her on the next Nightwish CD.  I have only heard a few live songs from Floor where she sings, but its hard for me to listen to as I am used to the original singers.  And as one may suspect, the singer discussion is back up for argument on the interwebs.  YouTube and Nightwish enthusiasts are back into arguing about who is best, but I will end by saying I feel all of the singers have been very outstanding.  The band has always been great, and I can't wait to see what they come out with in the future! 

  Thanks for reading guys, and as always, have a great day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sickness :( and Climbing Update (finally)

I seem to be getting sick quite a bit this year :( It's only February and already I've been sick twice! That's my issue currently, I've had a headache that's been come and go for a while now, a sore throat, and ears that won't stop popping, plus it snowed (YAY!!) so I also have a runny and stuffy nose :P I guess it's just not really my time of year :P
Sorry for the lame excuse and for not doing a music post yesterday :( I think yesterday was probably the first time I have missed a Musica Monday!! I don't like that idea, I'd rather I never missed it! I promise that I will try and get better at doing this, I mean I was on a roll for a while, but kinda lost it.

Also, I have a quick climbing update (haven't had one of those in a while :P). I started my rock climbing class yesterday, and though we didn't do too much yet, we did bolder and I found that I have forgotten what it is like to start from the very beginning and to not understand the basics of rock climbing. We talked about the proper gear for climbing, and I'm actually thinking about doing my seminar paper (pretty much a senior thesis) on the varying injuries between beginning and advanced climbers. I haven't decided yet, but right now I think that might be where I am going :)

Anyways, I hope that you are all not sick, because that would suck :( If you are, feel better! I will attempt to do the same thing myself, and have a great week!
Sara :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Reasons Why I'm a Geek 1

Since I've been in high school, I've been into different science fiction, anime, and other ideas considered 'geeky'. And I will freely admit that I am a Geek! But you want some actual proof? Well, I will probably have a few of these posts throughout the time I blog. To start off I will start with a show called Doctor Who, a classic. Doctor Who is a BBC TV show that has been running since forever ago. OK, not really, but the original TV show did start back in 1963, with their first episode and first 'Doctor'. The show follows the adventures of the 'last' Time Lord, an alien who looks human, who travels throughout space and time in his TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), which looks like a blue police box, causing trouble and solving problems, trying to make the universes safer places to live in. While he attempts to not cause trouble, it seems inevitable for this man and his 'companions', usually Earth humans who travel along with the Doctor for a season or two.
The Doctor himself changes his appearance every once in a while, usually when he gets hit by a particularly deadly beam that would normally kill any human, but just causes the Doctor to regenerate. The current Doctor is played by Matt Smith, who portrays the doctor as a quirky, energetic man who wears a bow tie and suspenders. Matt Smith plays the eleventh Doctor in a very long line of them. I would encourage anyone who enjoys adventure, humor, action, or science fiction to check out this show! It is really a fun show, some episodes are creepy, while others are more humorous and quirky.

Getting on to my geeky-ness! First off, these are my keys:

Second off, this my keychain that has to do with Doctor Who. One of the Doctor's arch rivals is called a Dalek. They are considered 'pure evil', and Matt got me a model of one of them that is a bottle opener :D
Alright, that explanation was a bit lackluster, but I'm really struggling with how I can explain what a Dalek is. You really have to watch the show in order to understand, because they are pure evil, but they are also just empty, so they are just sort of confused at the same time, and can be implemented with human emotions to give them emotions. In other words, it's complicated. :P

So that was my geeky-ness :) I hope you all enjoyed! Or in the least, learned a bit more about me and might have gotten interested in a new show. I hope you guys had a good weekend and have a good start to a new week!
Sara :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Back on Campus

Alright, so I arrived back on campus last night. Today was officially my last first day of my undergraduate career (I'm not continuing on to graduate school as of now, but I may take some classes while I figure out what I really want to do with my life). It's a bit of a slap in the face that hasn't quite fully reached me yet, knowing that in 4 months I will be out of school and will actually have to start living like a normal human being...let's just say that I'm starting to get a bit nervous but also excited! Anyways, school is a big colder than home was, not by a lot, but I'm glad that I had a scarf on (a NEW one that my roommate got me from her January trip to FLORENCE!!!).
I have 4 classes this semester totally about 3.25 credits. Allow me to explain. Each course here counts for 1 credit, and each 'gym' class (and music lesson) count for .25 credits, we have to take 2 'gym' classes in order to graduate, as one of the requirements. My gym class is rock climbing (SUPER excited!!), which I will start on Monday and then will have Mondays and Wednesdays. My other classes are: Ancient Rome, American Film History, and a Senior Studies class in my major, Exercise Science. I'm looking forward to this semester and can't wait to see what happens :D
I will say that one thing I am not going to miss at all about college/school is the books. I only had two classes to buy books for this semester (yay!) and still it cost me nearly $200, including one book that I rented for 1/3 of the price (nifty thing our school has :P, the renting a book instead of having to pay the full price).
I also find that I might be sick :( Though not sure what with. Possibly mono? We shall see.
I hope you are all doing well!
Sara :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Musica

Alright, so I know that I'm a bit late here today, and I am sorry about that, but even though it seems off, when I am home I actually don't spend as much time on my computer as I do doing other things. For instance, currently I am thinking about a possible camping/hiking trip I may be taking with Matt later on in the year (meaning I'm also starting to look at gear!! Always fun! :D). So right now, my mind is kinda distracted by that thought :P plus the fact that we are reorganizing my room, and I think I'm sick with something (but really no idea what). All these excuses have piled up to become an excuse for why I have not been blogging over interim break.
On another note, the music I'm thinking of today is actually something called an anime music video (AMV) for the show Bleach. I would recommend it for people, I mean I enjoy it, but I do know that some really don't like anime and I respect that. I, on the other hand, am a big fan of it and am currently enjoying Soul Eater and a few others :P This is an AMV to the song 'It's My Life' by Bon Jovi, which is a good song in general! This is a bit different from my usual Musica Mondays, but I still hope that you all enjoy it and you comment and let me know what you think! Depending, there may be more of these later :P

Sara :)