Archive for February, 2017

Friday 10th February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 10, 2017 by bishshat

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Declaration of the Rights of Man

The only thing wrong with this declaration is t should read man and woman and also active and passive citizens.

Article I

Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions can be founded only on the common good.

Article II

The goal of any political association is the conservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, safety and resistance against oppression.

Article III

The principle of any sovereignty resides essentially in the Nation. No body, no individual can exert authority which does not emanate expressly from it.

Article IV

Liberty consists of doing anything which does not harm others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of each man has only those borders which assure other members of the society the enjoyment of these same rights. These borders can be determined only by the law.

Article V

The law has the right to forbid only actions harmful to society. Anything which is not forbidden by the law cannot be impeded, and no one can be constrained to do what it does not order.

Article VI – The law is the expression of the general will. All the citizens have the right of contributing personally or through their representatives to its formation. It must be the same for all, either that it protects, or that it punishes. All the citizens, being equal in its eyes, are equally admissible to all public dignities, places and employments, according to their capacity and without distinction other than that of their virtues and of their talents.

Article VII

No man can be accused, arrested nor detained but in the cases determined by the law, and according to the forms which it has prescribed. Those who solicit, dispatch, carry out or cause to be carried out arbitrary orders, must be punished; but any citizen called or seized under the terms of the law must obey at once; he renders himself culpable by resistance.

Article VIII

The law should establish only penalties that are strictly and evidently necessary, and no one can be punished but under a law established and promulgated before the offense and legally applied.

Article IX

Any man being presumed innocent until he is declared culpable, if it is judged indispensable to arrest him, any rigor which would not be necessary for the securing of his person must be severely reprimanded by the law.

Article X – No one may be disturbed for his opinions, even religious ones, provided that their manifestation does not trouble the public order established by the law.

Article XI

The free communication of thoughts and of opinions is one of the most precious rights of man: any citizen thus may speak, write, print freely, except to respond to the abuse of this liberty, in the cases determined by the law.

Article XII

The guarantee of the rights of man and of the citizen necessitates a public force: this force is thus instituted for the advantage of all and not for the particular utility of those in whom it is trusted.

Article XIII

For the maintenance of the public force and for the expenditures of administration, a common contribution is indispensable; it must be equally distributed between all the citizens, according to their ability to pay.

Article XIV

Each citizen has the right to ascertain, by himself or through his representatives, the need for a public tax, to consent to it freely, to know the uses to which it is put, and of determining the proportion, basis, collection, and duration.

Article XV

The society has the right of requesting account from any public agent of its administration.

Article XVI

Any society in which the guarantee of rights is not assured, nor the separation of powers determined, has no Constitution.

Article XVII

Property being an inviolable and sacred right, no one can be deprived of private usage, if it is not when the public necessity, legally noted, evidently requires it, and under the condition of a just and prior indemnity.

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Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 biographical war drama film about the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, an American pacificist combat medic who was a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, refusing to carry or use a firearm or weapons of any kind. Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for service above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Okinawa.

The film was directed by Mel Gibson and written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan, based on an earlier documentary about Doss, and stars Andrew Garfield as Doss, with Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths and Vince Vaughn in supporting roles. It was released in the United States on November 4, 2016, received positive reviews and has grossed $163 million worldwide.

On April 1, 1942, Desmond Doss joined the United States Army. Three and a half years later, he stood on the White House lawn, receiving the nation’s highest award for his bravery and courage under fire. Of the 16 million men in uniform during World War II, only 431 received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Among these was a young Seventh-day Adventist Christian who refused to carry a gun and had not killed a single enemy soldier. His only weapons were his Bible and his faith in God. President Harry S. Truman warmly held the hand of Corporal Desmond Thomas Doss, as his citation was read to those gathered at the White House on October 12, 1945. “I’m proud of you,” Truman said. “You really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being president.”

When Pearl Harbor was attacked, Desmond was working at the Newport News Naval shipyard and could have requested a deferment. But he was willing to risk his life on the front lines in order to preserve freedom. He wanted to be an Army combat medic and assumed his classification as a conscientious objector would not require him to carry a weapon. When he was assigned to an infantry rifle company, his refusal to carry a gun caused his fellow soldiers to view him with distain. They ostracized and bullied him. One man warned, “Doss, when we get into combat, I’ll make sure you don’t come back alive.”

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Desmond was raised with a fervent belief in the Bible. He took the Ten Commandments, personally—especially the words, “Thou shalt not kill.” He also took the fourth commandment seriously. His religious upbringing included weekly church attendance, on the seventh day. The Army was exasperated when he asked for a pass to attend church every Saturday. His officers saw him a liability, a soft spoken skinny kid from the south and a Bible reading misfit. They tried to intimidate him, gave him extra duties, falsely declared him mentally unfit and attempted to court martial him. He believed his duty was to obey God and serve his country—in that order, and he refused to leave.

Desmond served in combat on the islands of Guam and Leyte. In each military operation he exhibited extraordinary dedication to his men. While others were taking life, he was busy saving life. As enemy bullets whizzed past and mortar shells exploded around him, he repeatedly ran to treat a fallen comrade and carry him back to safety. By the time they reached Okinawa, he had been awarded two Bronze Stars for valor.

In May, 1945, Japanese troops were fiercely defending Okinawa, the only remaining barrier to an allied invasion of their homeland. The American target was capturing the Maeda Escarpment, an imposing rock face the soldiers called, Hacksaw Ridge. After they secured the top of the cliff, Japanese forces suddenly attacked. Officers ordered an immediate retreat. As a hundred or more lay wounded and dying on enemy soil, one lone soldier disobeyed those orders and charged back into the firefight. With a constant prayer on his lips, he vowed to rescue as many as he could, before he either collapsed or died trying. His iron determination and unflagging courage resulted in at least 75 lives saved that day, May 5, 1945, his Sabbath.

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Several days later, during an unsuccessful night raid, Desmond was severely wounded. Hiding in a shell hole with two riflemen, a Japanese grenade landed at his feet. The explosion sent him flying. The shrapnel tore into his leg and hip. While attempting to reach safety, he was hit by a sniper’s bullet that shattered his arm. His brave actions as a combat medic were over. But not before insisting that his litter-bearers take another man first before rescuing him. Wounded, in pain, and losing blood, he still put the safety of others ahead of his own.

Before being honorably discharged from the Army in 1946, Desmond developed tuberculosis. His illness progressed and at the age of 87, Corporal Desmond Thomas Doss died on March 23, 2006. He is buried in the National Cemetery, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Desmond Doss

While growing up near Lynchburg, Virginia, young Desmond Doss nearly kills his younger brother, Hal, hitting him with a brick. This traumatizing experience, along with a talk from his religious mother, firmly reinforces Desmond’s belief in the commandment: Thou shalt not kill of the Old Testament. Years later, Doss saves a man who becomes injured by a car and while taking the man to hospital, is instantly smitten with a nurse, Dorothy Schutte. They soon begin dating and fall in love, and Doss begins to learn about medicine from her work.

With the majority of his town, including his brother, enlisting in the Army to fight in World War II, Doss is motivated to sign up as well. His father, a troubled veteran from the First World War, is deeply upset as he expects to lose his sons just as he lost his childhood friends. Because of his beliefs as a conscientious objector, Doss intends to serve as a combat medic. Before he leaves for training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, he asks for Dorothy’s hand in marriage, and she accepts.

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Doss is placed under the command of Sergeant Howell, and while he excels physically, he immediately becomes an outcast among his fellow soldiers when he refuses to handle his rifle and train on Saturdays, as he is a Seventh-day Adventist. After Howell and Captain Glover fail to get Doss discharged for psychiatric reasons, Howell worsens Doss’ conditions by putting him through grueling labor and turning his fellow soldiers against him by mistaking his beliefs for cowardice, intending to get Doss to leave of his own accord. Despite being beaten one night by his fellow soldiers, he refuses to disclose the identities of his attackers and continues training.

Doss’ squad completes basic training and are released on leave, during which Doss intends to marry Dorothy, but he is arrested for insubordination for his refusal to carry a firearm. Dorothy visits Doss in jail, and tries to convince him to declare a guilty plea in his upcoming trial so that he can be released without charges, but Doss is still unsure, not wanting to compromise his beliefs. At his trial, Doss pleads not guilty, and before he is to be sentenced, his father barges into the courtroom with a letter from his former commanding officer (now a Brigadier General) stating that his son’s refusal to carry a firearm is protected by an Act of Congress. The charges against Doss are dropped, and he and Dorothy are married.

Doss’ unit is assigned to the 77th Infantry Division and sent to the Pacific theater to participate in the Battle of Okinawa. At Okinawa, Doss’ unit is informed that they are to relieve the 96th Infantry Division, which was tasked with climbing the cliff face of the Maeda Escarpment, nicknamed “Hacksaw Ridge”, to take on the Japanese forces stationed there. Because the Japanese forces are dug in on the ridge, artillery bombardments from the US Navy have not had much success in softening up the landing zone. Consequently, U.S. forces have been pushed off the ridge repeatedly, in each case taking heavy casualties. In the initial fight, losses are heavy on both sides, and Doss is successful in saving several soldiers, including ones whose injuries appear too severe for them to survive. The Americans bivouac for the night, and Doss spends the night in a foxhole with Smitty, a squad mate who was the first to call Doss a coward. Doss tells Smitty that he nearly shot his drunken father after he threatened his mother with a gun, revealing his aversion to holding a firearm. Smitty apologizes for doubting his courage and the two make amends.

The next morning, the Japanese launch a massive counterattack and drive the Americans off Hacksaw. Smitty is killed and many Americans, including Howell and several of Doss’ squad mates, are injured and left on the battlefield. Doss hears the cries of the dying soldiers and decides to run back into the carnage instead of away from it. He spends the entire day and night carrying wounded soldiers to the cliff’s edge and rappelling them down on rope, each time praying to save one more. The arrival of dozens of wounded who were presumed dead comes as a shock to the rest of the unit below. When day breaks, Doss rescues Howell and the two finally escape Hacksaw under enemy fire.

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Captain Glover tells Doss that the men have been inspired by what they are calling his miracle, and that they will not launch the next attack without him. Despite the next day being Doss’ Sabbath day, he joins his fellow soldiers only on one condition that only after he had finished with his prayers. Along with extra reinforcements, they begin to win the battle. During an ambush set by a falsely surrendering group of Japanese, Doss manages to save Glover and others by knocking enemy grenades away with his hands and feet. Doss is wounded by the blast of one grenade, but the battle is won. Doss is safely lowered down the cliff, clutching the Bible Dorothy gave him.

After rescuing over 75 soldiers at Hacksaw Ridge, Doss was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman, the first time in history it was given to a conscientious objector. Doss stayed married to Dorothy until her death in 1991. He died on March 23, 2006, at the age of 87.

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Thursday 9th February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 9, 2017 by bishshat

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Wednesday 8th February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 8, 2017 by bishshat

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Venus And Mars

Wings

Standing in the hall of the great cathedral
Waiting for the transport to come
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A good friend of mine studies the stars

Venus and Mars are alright tonight

Come away on a strange vacation
Holiday has hardly begun
Run into a good friend of mine
Sold me her sign, reach for the stars

Venus and Mars are alright tonight

Sitting in the stand of the sports arena
Waiting for the show to begin
Red lights, green lights, strawberry wine
A good friend of mine follows the stars

Venus and Mars are alright tonight.

Jean-Paul Marat

Don’t be taken in when they paternally pat you on the shoulder and say that there’s no inequality worth speaking of and no more reason to fight because if you believe them they will be completely in charge in their marble homes and granite banks from which they rob the people of the world under the pretence of bringing them culture. Watch out, for as soon as it pleases them they’ll send you out to protect their gold in wars whose weapons, rapidly developed by servile scientists, will become more and more deadly until they can with a flick of the finger tear a million of you to pieces.

 

Tuesday 7th February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 7, 2017 by bishshat

Thunder In My Heart

Leo Sayer and Tom Snow

Standing here alone with you
Wondering what it is that I’m supposed to do
And there you are with the lovelight in your eyes
Your bridges are burnt down
Your arms are open wide
Am I in too deep or should I swim to the shore
Is this the real thing I don’t know
But I’ve never been here before
And I feel a thunder in my heart
That I just can’t control
I feel a thunder in my heart
Should I walk away or follow my soul
I feel a thunder in my heart
Where it comes from I just don’t know
Oh no, oh no

There’s a storm ragin’ deep in my soul
There’s a howlin’ wind that I just can’t control
There’s a fire inside me I can’t explain
Every time you touch me my love falls like rain
I’ve only known you for an hour or more
But the time is standin’ still
Your love has opened up the door
I feel a thunder in my heart
It takes my breath away
I feel a thunder in my heart
Will I ever be the same
I feel a thunder in my heart
It’s telling me you’re here to stay
Oh no, oh no

There’s a thunder in my heart
There’s a thunder in my heart
There’s a thunder in my heart
There’s a thunder in my heart

Take me baby I’m all yours
Do just what you wanna do with my love
Let’s not let the night overtake us
‘Cos what’s happening right now may make or break us
Do you feel the way I do
Open up your heart now baby
I’m coming’ through
I feel a thunder in my heart
Takin’ my breath away
I feel a thunder in my heart
Since I met you I’ll never be the same
I feel a thunder in my heart
I know you’re here to stay
I feel a thunder in my heart
And I know you’re here to stay

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Danton

Danton is a 1983 French language film depicting the last months of Georges Danton, one of the leaders of the French Revolution. It is an adaptation of the Polish play “The Danton Case” by Stanisława Przybyszewska.

The film stars Gérard Depardieu in the title role with Anne Alvaro as Éléonore Duplay. It was directed by the Polish director Andrzej Wajda and was an international co-production between companies in France, Poland and West Germany. All supporters of Danton (with the exception of Bourdon) are played by French actors, while Robespierre’s allies are played by Poles. The film draws parallels between the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution and the situation in contemporary Poland, in which the Solidarity movement was struggling against the oppression of the Soviet-backed Polish government. The film had 1,392,779 admissions in France.

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The film begins in the spring of 1794, when the Reign of Terror was in full swing. On the borders of Paris, any vehicles entering Paris, including the carriage of Danton, who has just ridden in, are being searched. Robespierre, meanwhile, is sick in his bed. His landlady’s daughter, Éléonore Duplay, attempts to comfort him, but is unable to. Her nephew, whom she is taking care of, is meanwhile being made to memorize lines from the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. Back in the streets of Paris, starving lines of people, waiting for bread, discuss the possible reasons for the lack of it. Whether or not it is an enemy plot, the people do know that they are hungry, and that hunger leads to revolt. Once the bread store actually opens, and they finally begin to receive their bread, they are distracted by their other source of faith and hope in life: Danton. As Robespierre is watching, Danton is swarmed by a mob of supporters and fans, who all cry out for help. Robespierre, in his flat, is visited by Heron, the chief of the secret police, and instructs him to destroy the print shop of Camille Desmoulins, who is publishing pro-Dantonist circulars.

As the shop is being attacked, Robespierre is having his wig powdered. His friend Saint-Just comes in, and urges him to have Danton guillotined, but Robespierre ignores him. Later, when Robespierre meets with the other members of the Committee of Public Safety, they push the same point. Robespierre resists for various reasons, mainly because Danton is a brilliant and highly popular statesman and orator, but also because Danton is his personal friend. Before the National Convention commences for the day, Danton discusses with general Westermann about a coup to overthrow Robespierre and the committee, of which Danton disapproves. Danton’s closest supporters warn him that Robespierre is planning on having him jailed. Danton, however, is positive that his newspaper and the support of the people will prevent anything like that from ever happening. All of his supporters urge him to strike now and take power, but he resists. That day, at the convention, one of Danton’s supporters, Bourdon, makes a speech against Heron and his secret police (a central part of Robespierre’s regime), and has Heron jailed.

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That night, Danton and Robespierre have dinner together. Danton puts much work into setting the meal, but Robespierre refuses to drink or eat, insisting on a serious discussion. Robespierre wants Danton to join his cause and stop fighting because he does not want to be forced to have Danton executed. Danton simply drinks until he passes out, and refuses Robespierre’s advances. As Danton leaves the hotel, he is met by a group of armed men who turn out to be Westermann’s assistants, preparing to stage a coup. Danton rebuffs Westerman’s attempt to coerce him into helping. Next, Robespierre goes to Camille Desmoulins’ house, where Camille entirely ignores his presence. Robespierre tries to convince Camille that Danton is exploiting him, but he is again ignored. His wife Lucile begs Robespierre to stay and talk sense into her husband because she wants him to live, but Robespierre can do nothing. With no other options, Robespierre has Lacroix, Phillipeaux, Desmoulins, Westermann, Danton and other supporters arrested and jailed in the Luxembourg jail, after having the warrant signed by the Committee of General Security and the Committee of Public Safety. Although Danton has the power to raise up a force and resist, he doesn’t because he does not want any more bloodshed. The man who arrests Danton is scared of him, and Danton has to practically drag him along.

The next day at the national convention, the members are outraged by the arrest, but Robespierre simply justifies his action by stating that Danton is an enemy of the Republic, and must be tried regardless of his popularity. To save his own life, Bourdon joins Robespierre’s side, deserting Danton and Desmoulins, which disgusts Lucile.

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While Danton waits in custody, Robespierre plans out his trial. Only seven jurors are to be used, which is against the law, but Robespierre can only ensure seven men who will find Danton guilty. Danton has given up on the Revolution and on the people. At the trial, Danton consistently breaks the order by speaking out of turn. The people are still in support of him, and judge Fouquier finds no grounds to prosecute him. The accused are kept in prison overnight and there is a solitary scene in where Danton is brought to his knees when a condemned prisoner tells him how overjoyed he is to hear that Danton, the first president of the committee, is to be executed. While Robespierre is visiting David, he is informed that Danton’s charisma is interrupting the planned process of the trial, and the sentence is going nowhere. In response a decree is issued that if anyone speaks out of turn again, which Danton has done repeatedly, they will be removed from court. Within minutes, the entire accused team has been dismissed, and the verdict of guilty is read. The day before his execution, Danton is depressed. Not due to his death, but due to the fact that he feels that he failed the people. They are led off to the scaffold and guillotined. When Robespierre finally hears of Danton’s death, he turns ghostly pale, and realizes how he has violated liberty, and the goals of the revolution. His mistress’s nephew, now fully practiced, is finally sent in to recite. As he reads off the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, Robespierre is fully brought to the reality of what he has done.

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On 30 March 1794, Danton, Desmoulins and others of the indulgent party were suddenly arrested. Danton displayed such vehemence before the revolutionary tribunal that his enemies feared he would gain the crowd’s favour. The Convention, in one of its “worst fits of cowardice”, assented to a proposal made by Saint-Just during the trial that, if a prisoner showed want of respect for justice, the tribunal might exclude the prisoner from further proceeding and pronounce sentence without him being present.

Danton, Desmoulins, and many other actual or accused Dantonist associates were tried from 3-5 April before the Revolutionary Tribunal. The trial was less criminal in nature than political, and as such unfolded in an irregular fashion. The jury had only seven members, despite the law demanding twelve, as it was deemed that only seven jurors could be relied on returning the required verdict. Danton made lengthy and violent attacks on the Committee of Public Safety and the accused demanded the right to have witnesses appear on their behalf; they submitted requests for several, including, in Desmoulins’ case, Robespierre.

The Court’s President, M.J.A. Herman, was unable to control the proceedings until the aforementioned decree was passed by the National Convention, preventing the accused from further defending themselves. These facts, together with confusing and often incidental denunciations (for instance, a report that Danton, while engaged in political work in Brussels, had appropriated a carriage filled with several hundred thousand pounds of table linen) and threats made by prosecutor Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville towards members of the jury, ensured a guilty verdict. Danton and the rest of the defendants were condemned to death, and at once led, in company with fourteen others, including Camille Desmoulins and several other members of the Indulgents, to the guillotine. “I leave it all in a frightful welter,” he said; “not a man of them has an idea of government. Robespierre will follow me; he is dragged down by me. Ah, better be a poor fisherman than meddle with the government of men!” The phrase ‘a poor fisherman’ was almost certainly a reference to Saint Peter, Danton having reconciled to Catholicism.

Of the group of fifteen who were guillotined together on 5 April 1794, including Marie Jean Hérault de Séchelles, Philippe Fabre d’Églantine and Pierre Philippeaux, Desmoulins died third, and Danton last.

Monday 6th February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 7, 2017 by bishshat

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The Founder

Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) is a traveling salesman selling Prince Castle brand milkshake makers in 1954. While he has a supportive wife, Ethel (Laura Dern), and has saved enough to live a simple comfortable life, he craves more. Kroc, despite his old age, is not satisfied with his current financial condition, and continues to pursue greater entrepreneurial desires; however, in his efforts, he is continually met by unambitious restaurant owners and bad service in drive-in diners.

After learning that a small diner is ordering an unusually large number of milkshake makers, Ray visits the diner. What he finds is a highly popular diner named McDonald’s. Ray is struck by the fast service, high-quality food, disposable packaging and the family-focused customers.

Ray meets with the two McDonald brothers, the older and hard-working Maurice “Mac” McDonald (John Carroll Lynch) and the intuitive Richard “Dick” McDonald (Nick Offerman). Ray tours the kitchens and notes the employees’ strong work ethic. Dick explains the high-quality food and lightning-fast service are the backbones of their diner. Ray takes the brothers to dinner and is told the origin story of McDonald’s. The brothers relate how they grew up poor, had dreams of going to Hollywood, were struck by the Depression, started their own hot dog stand and gradually expanded the traditional business model to create a highly productive diner that caters to the needs of the consumer at a low cost without sacrificing quality. Ray tells the brothers the following day that they must franchise the store. Dick explains that the brothers attempted franchising before but were unable to maintain quality.

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Rejected by the brothers, Ray returns to his traveling sales but experiences the frequent sights of American flags and religious crosses. Ray confronts the brothers and delivers a passionate speech about how the Golden Arches could and should be the new symbol of America and that the brothers owe it to the country to have their restaurant in every city. Although the brothers are wary of Ray, they concede support to the notion of franchising but only on the condition that Ray agree to a complex contract that stipulates that all business decisions must go through the brothers. Ray happily signs the contract and commences work.

New McDonald’s restaurants are gradually set up across the country and despite difficulties training staff to meet quality standards, the franchise is steadily put into motion. Feeling emboldened by this, Ray and Ethel attend their high-class social club and convince wealthy male friends to invest in new franchises.

Although the brothers continue to express hesitancy with Ray’s over-eagerness at expansion, things appear to be going well. However, Ray eventually visits a franchised McDonald’s owned by one of his rich friends and is dismayed to find the restaurant in a state of disrepair and selling uncharacteristic McDonald’s products such as fried chicken and corn on the cob. Ray becomes livid at this betrayal of quality and angrily severs all connections with the wealthy franchise owners.

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Ray eventually hits upon the idea of recruiting hard-working middle-class individuals to invest in and manage various McDonald’s restaurants. This idea proves to be hugely successful as, in contrast to the indifferent rich owners, these new owners are more than willing to follow each of Ray’s demands. Business begins to boom although the McDonald brothers begin to note that their original restaurant is no longer referred to as “the first McDonald’s”.

Things with McDonald’s start to become successful enough that Ray is personally contacted by wealthy Minnesota restaurant owner Rollie Smith (Patrick Wilson). Ray is flattered and enthusiastic about this new arrangement although he proves to be far more fascinated by Rollie’s wife Joan (Linda Cardellini).

Although business is rapidly expanding, Ray becomes infuriated that the high costs of running the McDonald’s chain and his strict contract means that he and the McDonald brothers receive little to no profit. Ray is further aggravated when Dick flat out refuses to renegotiate any part of their contract. Ray turns his attention to the largest cost of the chain of restaurants, which is the high expenditure spent on purchasing and maintaining the vast quantities of ice cream required for McDonald’s famous milkshakes.

Joan and Rollie meet with Ray and Joan pitches a method to dramatically cut costs. By purchasing a vastly cheaper powdered milk for the shakes (as opposed to buying and freezing the ice cream) costs could become significantly cheaper without necessarily sacrificing much quality. Ray is highly enthused about this but is met with Dick’s horror and disgust that one of the central pillars of their menu could be cheapened with powdered milk.

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While at the bank, Ray fortuitously meets Harry Sonneborn (B. J. Novak), an ambitious financial consultant. Harry reviews Ray’s business and finds that although McDonald’s is profitable, Ray is stuck with a poor financial arrangement and a strict contract that limits his personal control. Harry immediately pinpoints the fact that the franchise owners lease the blocks of land used to build the restaurant from a third party. Harry instead suggests that Ray instead set his attention to buying up these small chunks of land through a separate company.

The McDonald brothers express annoyance and betrayal at Ray’s new real estate company but Ray coolly tells them that as the real estate venture is technically a separate company, the brothers have no say in the matter. Feeling emboldened by his new revenue and growing control, Ray goes ahead and makes the powdered milk the standard for every McDonald’s store (bar the one owned by the brothers).

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Having grown increasingly indifferent to Ethel, Ray bluntly requests a divorce during the nightly dinner. Ray immediately sets about ensuring that she will receive the house and other financial support, but will not receive a single share of McDonald’s stock. He separately begins meeting with lawyers in order to get him completely out of his contract with the McDonald brothers by any means necessary.

Dick and Mac are enraged upon seeing a new company called “The McDonald’s Corporation” and proudly uses Dick’s golden arches symbol as a logo. The brothers threaten to take Ray to court but Ray merely points out that although he’d probably lose in court, he has enough money and lawyers to drag the case out until the brothers would be forced to declare total bankruptcy. As a result of this conversation, Mac suffers a stress and diabetes kidney failure and is hospitalized.

Ray visits Mac in the hospital and as a gesture of goodwill gifts him with a blank check. In 1961 the brothers demand three terms to end matters entirely: they receive $2.7 million, 1% of all future earnings from the company, and full ownership of the original McDonald’s restaurant, which they planned to pass on to their employees. Although Ray privately expresses anger about this, he seemingly agrees to these terms. At a meeting to sign these terms, Ray pleads that, while he fully intends to provide 1% of all earnings, he can’t put this in legal writing due the possibility of spooking current and future investors. He instead offers a handshake deal on this term and the other points are legally signed.

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In a bathroom at the lawyer’s office, Dick asks Ray why he absolutely had to own the McDonald brothers’ chain of diners when he would have found it much simpler to steal their idea and make his own fast food franchise. Ray flatly expresses that he fell in love with the surname “McDonald’s”.

His control of the franchise’s present and future now complete, Ray sets about rewriting the past, handing out business cards and attending political functions declaring himself “the founder” of McDonald’s and telling long-winded stories about how the company was built from the ground up solely by him.

The McDonald brothers were forced to take their name off the original restaurant, and were never paid the royalties from Ray’s “handshake agreement.” Furthermore, Ray opened a McDonald’s franchise directly across the original restaurant in order to put the McDonald brothers out of business–which he succeeded in doing. The film closes in 1970 with him preparing a speech where he praises himself for his success in his elaborate mansion with his new wife, Joan.

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Richard and Maurice McDonald revolutionized the way that billions of people around the world eat – and produce – fast food.

The business they started in the 1930s as a hot dog stand near a racetrack is now valued at over $110 billion with more than 36,000 locations in over 100 countries around the world.

But McDonald’s wouldn’t be the global force it is today if not for the man who bought the family business and turned it into an empire.

The Founder, starring Michael Keaton, tells the story of Ray Kroc, a one-time traveling salesman who joined McDonald’s as a franchise agent and then bought the brothers out and turned it into the most successful fast food company in the world. Here are 11 things to know about McDonald’s surprising history:

It all started with hot dogs
The company’s original founders, Richard and Maurice McDonald, opened a hot dog stand near the Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia, California, in the late 1930s, the New York Times reports. In 1940, they opened a drive-in barbecue restaurant in San Bernardino, California, that they transformed into a burger joint in 1948.

One in every 8 American workers has been employed by a McDonald’s
According to the 2001 book Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, nearly one in eight workers in the U.S. have worked at a McDonald’s at one point in their lives.

Celebrities who have worked at McDonald’s include: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rachel McAdams, Sharon Stone, Jay Leno, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, James Franco, Pink and Seal among many, many others.

The original Ronald McDonald was let go because of his weight
Today weatherman Willard Scott portrayed the original Ronald McDonald, then known as “the Hamburger-happy clown” in a commercial that debuted in 1963.

Scott’s depiction of Ronald McDonald was such a hit that in 1966 the company hatched plans to cast doubles who could make appearances nationwide. Uncertain they’d be able to find a large group of potential Ronalds with Scott’s stocky build, the company let the original Ronald go and cast Bev Bergeron, who played Ronald in TV ads until 1968.

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McDonald’s is the world’s largest distributor of toys
Happy Meals – and the toys that accompany them – make up 20 percent of McDonalds sales. The Happy Meal has included a toy of some sort since it first debuted with a meal built around a 600-calorie burger in 1977.

McDonald’s Hamburger University can be harder to get into than Harvard
The first Hamburger University was founded in the basement of a McDonald’s in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, in 1961, according to the company’s website. To date, more than 275,000 people have graduated from the training program that is offered at seven campuses worldwide in places like Tokyo, Munich, Shanghai and of course Illinois, where it all began.

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The campus in Shanghai accepts less than 1 percent of applicants for each term, according to Bloomberg – Harvard University’s acceptance rate is 5.9 percent.

The company’s original founders sold McDonald’s for $2.7 million
The McDonald brothers had sold 21 franchises by 1954, when they hired then milkshake mixer salesman Ray Kroc to be their franchise agent. Over the next five years, Kroc launched more than 200 additional locations and then bought the entire business from the brothers for $2.7 million in 1961, the BBC reports.

It was once thought to be a harbinger of peace
Economist Thomas Friedman’s Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention posited that globalization is a step towards peace, citing the fact that no two countries with branches of McDonald’s had gone to war as evidence. This record was broken in 1999 when NATO and U.S. planes bombed Serbia, then home to seven McDonald’s locations.

Some of its salads have more calories than the burgers
The Southwest Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Salad has 520 calories – more than double the amount of calories in a classic hamburger (250). For comparison, the salad also has more calories than a double cheeseburger (430) and McDouble (380).

Locations outside the U.S. offer some seriously out-there foods
In Colombia, you can try the Pineapple Oreo McFlurry and in China you can wake up with the sausage and egg twisty pasta breakfast. McDonald’s opened its first meat-free restaurant in the northern Indian city of Amritsar, which is home to a Sikh temple where meat is banned, the Week reports.

If you live in the lower 48 United States, you’re never more than 115 miles away from a McDonald’s
According to Data Pointed, no matter where you are in the continental U.S., you’re never more than 115 miles away from a McDonald’s location. The farthest point away from any McDonald’s location (AKA the McFarthest Spot) is a patch of desert in Northern Nevada near the Sheldon National Antelope Refuge.

Onion McNuggets almost made the menu
In 1983, chicken McNuggets debuted on the menu after taste tests confirmed that consumers preferred chicken to onion, according to Parade.

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Ronald McDonald

Ronald McDonald is a clown character used as the primary mascot of the McDonald’s fast-food restaurant chain. In television commercials, the clown inhabited a fantasy world called McDonaldland and has adventures with his friends Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird, and The Fry Kids. In recent years, McDonaldland has been largely phased out, and Ronald is instead shown interacting with normal children in their everyday lives.

Many people work full-time making appearances in the Ronald McDonald costume, visiting children in hospitals, and attending regular events. There are also Ronald McDonald Houses, where parents can stay overnight when visiting sick children in nearby chronic care facilities.

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Willard Scott

The origin of Ronald McDonald involves Willard Scott (at the time, a local radio personality who also played Bozo the Clown on WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. from 1959 until 1962), who performed using the moniker “Ronald McDonald, the Hamburger-Happy Clown” in 1963 on three separate television spots. These were the first three television ads featuring the character.

Scott, who went on to become NBC-TV’s Today Show weatherman, claims to have “created Ronald McDonald” according to the following excerpt from his book Joy of Living:

At the time, Bozo was the hottest children’s show on the air. You could probably have sent Pluto the Dog or Dumbo the Elephant over and it would have been equally as successful. But I was there, and I was Bozo … There was something about the combination of hamburgers and Bozo that was irresistible to kids … That’s why when Bozo went off the air a few years later, the local McDonald’s people asked me to come up with a new character to take Bozo’s place. So, I sat down and created Ronald McDonald.
At the time, Scott was working for Oscar Goldstein and John Gibson, Washington DC area McDonald’s franchisees, and numerous sources describe Scott’s role as only playing the part of Ronald McDonald, while giving credit for the creation of the mascot to Goldstein, Gibson, and their ad agency.

McDonald’s does not mention George Voorhis or acknowledge that Willard Scott created Ronald in their statement:

“The smile known around the world,” Ronald McDonald is second only to Santa Claus in terms of recognition. (According to one survey, 96% of all schoolchildren in the United States of America recognize Ronald (stunning-stuff.com)). In his first television appearance in 1963, the clown was portrayed by Willard Scott.

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On March 28, 2000, Henry Gonzalez, McDonald’s Northeast Division President, thanked Scott for creating Ronald McDonald, during a taped tribute to Scott on the Today Show. Yet in 1965, Roy Burgold assigned Aye Jaye as Boss Clown worldwide in charge of hiring, writing, creating shows, media handling, training, and major events such as The White House appearances, Macy Days, etc., and finally opening Ronald worldwide for 35 years. Aye Jaye was responsible for the hiring of hundreds of past field Ronalds.

Circus performer Coco the Clown (real name Michael Polakovs) was hired in 1966 to revamp Ronald’s image, and it was he who created the now familiar costume and make-up.

In 2010, the Corporate Accountability International in Boston, Massachusetts suggested Ronald McDonald should retire due to childhood obesity, however McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner said there are no plans to retire Ronald McDonald.

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In April 2011, McDonald’s announced that Ronald McDonald will re-appear in their commercials.
However, Ace Metrix says Ronald McDonald ads are no longer effective. On May 18, 2011, Corporate Accountability International renewed their call to retire Ronald McDonald, by running ads in major newspapers and launching several web pages dedicated to the retirement of the character.

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However, McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner defended Ronald McDonald by saying that he is an ambassador for good and “it’s all about choice”. Shortly after McDonald’s Website News Statements announced that Ronald McDonald is here to stay. In April 2014, McDonald’s announced that Ronald McDonald will have a whole new look and new outfits. They also announced that he will be back in their new commercials as well as on social media sites like Twitter.[9] As part of Ronald’s makeover, his jumpsuit has been dropped in favor of yellow cargo pants, a vest, and a red-and-white striped rugby shirt. His classic clown shoes remain part of the official uniform.

Saturday 4th February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 4, 2017 by bishshat

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Spurs 1 Middlesbrough 0

Harry Kane’s second-half penalty was enough to see off a resolute Middlesbrough side at the Lane on Saturday. Although dominating possession and chances created throughout the game, it needed Kane’s 58th minute spot kick to break the deadlock and ultimately win the game as Aitor Karanka’s side proved to be a typically tough unit to penetrate.

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We controlled the first half with Victor Valdes making a good save from Heung-Min Son, Toby Alderweireld heading a corner against the post and Kane putting a header over the bar after a good move among our best chances, but we couldn’t find a way through by the interval.

Valdes was called into action again by Christian Eriksen early in the second period before we eventually opened the scoring. Son was brought down by Espinosa Bernardo inside the area and Kane buried his penalty, driving the ball into the bottom right with Valdes diving the other way.

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Further chances fell to Son, who hit the side-netting, and Eriksen, his curling effort deflecting off Fabio and away for a corner, while Boro did have a couple of sights of goal late on. Alvaro Negredo connected with Fabio’s cross with an acrobatic scissor kick in the 86th minute but it went wide of Hugo Lloris’ far post and they had a glorious chance in stoppage time, Marten de Roon volleying wide with only Lloris to beat.

We held firm though, making it 10 wins and two draws from our 12 Premier League games at the Lane this season and closing the gap on leaders Chelsea back to nine points.

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Set List

01. Black Sabbath
02. Fairies Wear Boots
03. Under The Sun / Every Day Comes And Goes
04. After Forever
05. Into The Void
06. Snowblind
07. War Pigs
08. N.I.B.
09. Hand Of Doom
10. Supernaut / Sabbath Bloody Sabbath / Megalomania (medley)
11. Rat Salad
12. Iron Man
13. Dirty Women
14. Children Of The Grave

Encore:

15. Paranoid

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After a recording and touring career spanning five decades, heavy metal pioneers BLACK SABBATH brought it to a close in the city where it all began — Birmingham, England — with the final show of “The End” tour having taken place tonight at the Genting Arena.

Prior to the concert, SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne said: “Since I’ve got to this building, I’ve been happy, I’ve been tearful. Let’s see what happens.”

Ozzy last week called his life with BLACK SABBATH “the most incredible adventure” and said the band had “run its course.”

“One of the proudest things I have in my heart is the fact that BLACK SABBATH wasn’t a band that was created by some big mogul,” he said. “It was four guys who said, ‘Let’s have a dream,’ and it came true beyond our wildest expectations.”
SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi said that he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of doing one-off shows. He explained: “I wouldn’t write that off, if one day that came about. That’s possible. Or even doing an album, ’cause then, again, you’re in one place. But I don’t know if that would happen.”
SABBATH’s “The End” tour was its last because Iommi, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and is currently in remission, can no longer travel for extended amounts of time. He admitted: “It was only when I got ill, that’s when I stated getting vulnerable. Before that, I could do anything… And they’re going, ‘You shouldn’t be flying, really.’ And, ‘You shouldn’t be doing this, you shouldn’t be doing that.’ So that’s what brought that about — the end of this, really, because the constant touring does eventually get to you.”
SABBATH wrote and recorded its 2013 reunion album, “13”, and toured it all over the world while Iommi was going through treatment for his illness, with the guitarist having to fly back to England every six weeks.
Asked what he’ll do after SABBATH, Iommi replied, “I’m wondering, because it’s gonna be such a weird thing, because BLACK SABBATH’s always been my life, ever since day one, and everything’s fell by the wayside to BLACK SABBATH — all the marriages and everything — over the band, basically, because I’m always out working and always doing this, always in the studio. So it’s gonna be pretty weird, that last show.”
The original lineup of SABBATH came together in 1969 with Osbourne on vocals, Iommi on guitar, Geezer Butler on bass and Bill Ward on drums. That lineup recorded and toured through 1978, and periodically reformed through the ’90s and 2000s for live work.
They regrouped again in late 2011 for a new album and tour, although Ward dropped out after just a few months. SABBATH has used singer Ozzy Osbourne’s regular touring drummer Tommy Clufetos since then for live work. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE’s Brad Wilk laid down the drum tracks on “13”, which came out in June 2013.

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Iron Man

Black Sabbath

Has he lost his mind?
Can he see or is he blind?
Can he walk at all,
Or if he moves will he fall?
Is he alive or dead?
Has he thoughts within his head?
We’ll just pass him there
why should we even care?
He was turned to steel
in the great magnetic field
When he travelled time
for the future of mankind
Nobody wants him
He just stares at the world
Planning his vengeance
that he will soon unfurl
Now the time is here
for Iron Man to spread fear
Vengeance from the grave
Kills the people he once saved
Nobody wants him
They just turn their heads
Nobody helps him
Now he has his revenge
Heavy boots of lead
fills his victims full of dread
Running as fast as they can
Iron Man lives again!

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Heaven And Hell

Black Sabbath

Sing me a song, you’re a singer
Do me a wrong, you’re a bringer of evil
The Devil is never a maker
The less that you give, you’re a taker
So it’s on and on and on, it’s Heaven and Hell, oh well

The lover of life’s not a sinner
The ending is just a beginner
The closer you get to the meaning
The sooner you’ll know that you’re dreaming
So it’s on and on and on, oh it’s on and on and on
It goes on and on and on, Heaven and Hell
I can tell, fool, fool!

Well if it seems to be real, it’s illusion
For every moment of truth, there’s confusion in life
Love can be seen as the answer, but nobody bleeds for the dancer
And it’s on and on, on and on and on….

They say that life’s a carousel
Spinning fast, you’ve got to ride it well
The world is full of Kings and Queens
Who blind your eyes and steal your dreams
It’s Heaven and Hell, oh well
And they’ll tell you black is really white
The moon is just the sun at night
And when you walk in golden halls
You get to keep the gold that falls
It’s Heaven and Hell, oh no!
Fool, fool!
You’ve got to bleed for the dancer!
Fool, fool!
Look for the answer!
Fool, fool, fool!

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Children Of The Grave

Black Sabbath

Revolution in their minds – the children start to march
Against the world in which they have to live
and all the hate that’s in their hearts
They’re tired of being pushed around
and told just what to do
They’ll fight the world until they’ve won
and love comes flowing through
Children of tomorrow live in the tears that fall today
Will the sun rise up tomorrow bringing peace in any way?
Must the world live in the shadow of atomic fear?
Can they win the fight for peace or will they disappear?
So you children of the world,
listen to what I say
If you want a better place to live in
spread the words today
Show the world that love is still alive
you must be brave
Or you children of today are
Children of the Grave, Yeah!

Paranoid

Finished with my woman ’cause she couldn’t help me with my mind
people think I’m insane because I am frowning all the time
All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy
Think I’ll lose my mind if I don’t find something to pacify
Can you help me occupy my brain?
Oh yeah
I need someone to show me the things in life that I can’t find
I can’t see the things that make true happiness, I must be blind
Make a joke and I will sigh and you will laugh and I will cry
Happiness I cannot feel and love to me is so unreal
And so as you hear these words telling you now of my state
I tell you to enjoy life I wish I could but it’s too late

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Friday 3rd February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 3, 2017 by bishshat

America

Simon and Garfunkel

Let us be lovers,
We’ll marry our fortunes together.
I’ve got some real estate
Here in my bag.
So we bought a pack of cigarettes,
And Mrs. Wagner’s pies,
And walked off
To look for America.
“Kathy”, I said,
As we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh,
Michigan seems like a dream to me now.
It took me four days
To hitch-hike from Saginaw.
“I’ve come to look for America.”
Laughing on the bus,
Playing games with the faces,
She said the man in the gabardine suit
Was a spy.
I said, “Be careful,
His bow tie is really a camera.”
“Toss me a cigarette,
I think there’s one in my raincoat.”
We smoked the last one
An hour ago.
So I looked at the scenery,
She read her magazine;
And the moon rose over an open field.
“Kathy, I’m lost”, I said,
Though I knew she was sleeping.
“I’m empty and aching and
I don’t know why.”
Counting the cars
On the New Jersey Turnpike
They’ve all come
To look for America,
All come to look for America,
All come to look for America.