Classic Hollywood #80 – Lee Van Cleef

The Man With A Name, The Menacing Lee Van Cleef

Lee Van Cleef in Return of Sabata

For nearly 40 years Lee Van Cleef was typecast. He made a living at playing villains. But as he observed, “I didn’t much care if I got out of that bad guy role. I fell in love with the characters. I could do things I couldn’t do in real life, and generally a bad guy is a more colorful part. It’s always more fun to be nasty.”

A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, a trio of “spaghetti westerns” made by Italian director Sergio Leone from 1964-1967 established Clint Eastwood “the man with no name” as a major film star.

The second and third films of the Eastwood- Leone films, also brought Lee Van Cleef from mid-level billing status to international stardom.

For 15 years with hawk-like looks, penetrating gaze and low voice, the lean six foot two Lee Van Cleef toiled in films and television, almost always cast as a bad guy. He struggled to make ends meet.

The Breakthrough Role

But on April 10, 1965 Lee signed a contract for 30 percent more than he had ever previously made to co-star as bounty hunter Colonel Mortimer in For A Few Dollars More.

Up until the signing, Lee and his wife Joan had been living on residuals from television appearances, unemployment checks and her salary as a secretary. Prior to committing to the film Lee had not appeared in a film since 1962. Continue reading

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Why People Follow The Herd & Special Interest Group Lies Become Truths

Lies Becoming Truths

You can infer what you want about what is written here. I’m not naming names.

Certain groups and causes now overwhelm the media, and in turn our citizens with their lies. Their lies get repeated over and over. Their special cause, whatever it may be, works hard to get the truth obfuscated.

Lies get accepted into truth.

Henri AmielThe man who most eloquently summed up why this happens, was Swiss writer Henri Frédéric Amiel (1821 – 1881). From 1847 until his death, Amiel recorded his insights about humanity in his diary,  Journal intime. It is a brilliant self-introspective work.

This quote best reflects what we are experiencing today.

“Man defends himself as much as he can against truth, as a child does against a medicine, as the man of the Platonic cave does against the light. He does not willingly follow his path, for he has to be dragged along backward. ‘The natural liking for the false has several causes: the inheritance of prejudices, which produces an unconscious habit, a slavery; the predominance of the imagination over the reason, which affects the understanding; the predominance of the
passions over the conscience, which depraves the heart; the predominance of the will over the intelligence, which vitiates the character. A lively, disinterested, persistent liking for truth is extraordinarily rare. Action and faith enslave thought, both of them in order not to be troubled or inconvenienced by reflection, criticism and doubt.”

In 1869 Continue reading

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If You Think Amazon’s Alexa Is Ruining The World, You’ll Love This Song

Alexa (Can You Hear Me?) – Beans On Toast’s Brilliant Song

Beans on Toast, a British musician came up with what I think is the best song (at least lyrically) in the last year.

Here is the video for Alexa —

In late 2014 a scandal emerged when Samsung’s Smart TV voice command recorded and shared everything within earshot, when the feature was activated. Samsung’s privacy policy (which almost no one read) warned, “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party,”  Some people were outraged.

Yet soon after, millions of people began to voluntarily install a true digital spy in their home, Amazon’s Alexa. It is sheer madness that people are willing to be monitored, quantified and algorithimed, but are not alarmed by the ultimate repercussions of the loss of privacy.

About Beans On Toast

Beans’ real name is Jay McAllister who hails from Braintree, Essex.  Since 2009 McAllister has annually released an album on his birthday, December 1.  Alexa is off of McAllister’s tenth  studio album, 2018’s, “A Bird In The Hand.”  Continue reading

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Old New York In Photos #102 – Mott Street

A Scene On Mott Street c. 1905

The Detroit Publishing Co. photographer was probably intrigued by the spectators lining the sidewalk. This undated scene is from around 1905 based on the clothing and vehicles seen. We are looking north on Mott Street from Worth Street and something worth watching is going on.

A horse drawn coach is carrying a large model of a building upon it. It may have something to do with the building with the steeple in the background, which is the Church of the Transfiguration.

The model building has crosses on it and appears to be ecclesial. The fact that the horses are draped in white fabric signals this is a religious ceremony, rather than a funeral. The other horse drawn vehicles following the procession which are dark, does make the scene look funereal however.

In the foreground, a peanut cart is selling three measures of fresh roasted nuts for a dime. Continue reading

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45 Communist Goals For America In 1963 – How Many Have Come True?

The 1963 Congressional Record Lists 45 Goals For Communism To Achieve In America.

Decide For Yourself How Many Have Become Reality.

The Calm Good Old Days of May Day – May 1, 1937 – A man holding an American flag attends a peaceful May Day assembly at Union Square in New York City. credit photo: Acme

Today is May Day.

How May 1 mutated from a day of championing workers rights into a day of promoting socialism, communism, and all perceived injustices does not concern the average person on the street. Yet, it is a fact that there is more division, discord and disgruntlement in America as ever before.

How did we arrive at this point in history?

If you were to say there is a concerted effort to undermine democracy in the United States, you may be called a conspiracy theory nut or a supporter of President Donald Trump or his predecessor, President Barrack Obama. It’s kind of funny how both Democrats and Republicans see the other party as eradicators of freedom. Continue reading

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What Was It Used For? 5 Strange Inventions From The Turn-of-the-Century

Can You Guess What These Turn-Of-The-Century Inventions Are For?

Below are five inventions that were filed with the U.S. Patent Office between 1899 – 1904.

As we noted in our other story regarding bra patents, Americans are innovative and resourceful. When opportunity knocks they will be there to answer. All of these people thought their inventions would take off. None of them did.

Originally the patent office required you to build a model of your invention. Eventually they dropped that requirement. When you see the words no model, it means a prototype was not presented. After you discover what the invention is you will understand why some of these never had a model built.

So what are they?

Invention #1 Patented by Frank May 1904

patent by Frank May

#1 patented by Frank May 1904 US793004

Invention #2 patented by Monroe Griffith 1900

patent Monroe Griffith 1900 US666605

#2 patented by Monroe Griffith 1900

Invention #3 patented by Samuel McHatton 1899

patent Samuel McHatton 1899 US628111

#3 patented by Samuel McHatton 1899

Invention #4 patented by Henry Ullrich 1900

Patent Henry Ullrich 1900 US640837

#4 patented by Henry Ullrich 1900

Invention #5 patented by Joseph Karwowski 1903

patent Joseph Karwowski 1903 US748284

#5 patented by Joseph Karwowski 1903

Here are the answers with the patent inventor’s edited description:

This innocuous looking machine was electrified and quite honestly sounds extremely dangerous if used as intended.

patent by Frank May

#1 patent Frank May 1904 US793004

#1 EYE-MASSAGE MACHINE

Be it known that I, Frank Howard May a citizen of the United States, residing at Birmingham, in the county of Jefferson and State of Alabama, have invented a new and useful Improvement in eye massage machines, of which the following a specification.

My invention is in the nature. of an eye massage machine in which mechanical vibrations are imparted to the eye through an electrically-operated vibrator and which is so constructed also as to permit the direct application of either primary or Faradaic currents to the eye. Continue reading

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Hope For Rock N’ Roll? Amazing Kids Playing Deep Purple’s “Burn”

There Are Kids Who Are Learning What Music Really Is

Maybe There’s Hope For The Appreciation of Rock n’ Roll

Believe it or not I’m not that old. But I have lived long enough to have witnessed the virtual death of rock ‘n roll and the talent that is necessary to compose and perform it. To clarify, perform on an actual instrument, not a computer. An instrument that requires thousands s of hours of practice to not just have competence but to excel and display true talent.

Yet, when you go into almost any store like Sephora, Pac Sun or Hollister, in any mall in America you are bombarded by some loud sounds emanating from the store’s sound system. It’s the popular music of today.

It’s an assault on any adult entering with kids but that is why they are playing; A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Bebe Rexha, Rich The Kid, Lil Dicky, or Nipsey Hussle.

The stores play the Billboard Hot 100 pop dreck, hip-hop, or heavily computerized, synthesized autotune junk that appeals to kids and teens. Stores want them to shop there and that is what kids listen to and have grown up on for the last three decades. These kids and many of their elders know no other form of what they think passes for music. They like the instrument-less, undifferentiated ear candy which has permeated the minds of malleable Millennials  and Generation Z for over 30 years.

But not all kids.

Here is the evidence. In Easton, PA in 2017 Houseband, apparently from the local School of Rock comprised of teens, playing Deep Purple’s “Burn.”

Realize, throughout history every adult generally despises music that is popular with their kids. Continue reading

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Classic Hollywood #79 – Dana Andrews, Harry Morgan & B.S. Pully

At A Nightclub Dana Andrews and B.S. Pully Start To Shave Harry Morgan (Sans Shaving Cream)

Harry Morgan Dana Andrews BS Pully at nightclub 1946 photo Nat Dallinger King Features

Attending a night club with a full beard which he wears for a current film role, actor Henry Morgan, was quickly spotted by fellow actors B.S. Pully, left, and Dana Andrews who proceeded to attempt a dry-shave to the delight of other patrons. Many film actors prefer to raise their own beards rather than spend hours in studio makeup rooms having false whiskers applied. Furthermore it adds a touch of realism to the actions of the wearer. photo Nat Dallinger for King Features Syndicate.

Although undated this photograph was probably taken sometime in 1944. Andrews, Morgan and Pully all appeared together in the film Wing and a Prayer. Morgan was bearded for his role as Ensign Malcom Brainard. Continue reading

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Old New York In Photos #101 – Lunch Carts In The Financial District

Lunch Carts Serve Customers At The Corner Of Broad & Beaver Street 1906

Lunch carts 1906 Broad StreetA Detroit Publishing Co. photographer preserved this scene in 1906 at the corner of Broad and Beaver Street.

Then as now, food carts set up and do a brisk lunch business. This slice of life in old New York has many elements that can be seen by looking closer, so let’s examine them.

Frankfurters are advertised at 3¢ each or two for a nickel! The same sign informs (warns?) purchasers of an interesting caveat: “No frankfurters sold during the summer.” Hmmm. Possibility of food poisoning? I could not find any explanation in contemporary literature to why a sign would say this.

How profitable was it to be a hot dog vendor? Continue reading

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Early 20th Century Brassieres From The U.S. Patent Office

Innovative(?) Women’s Brassieres From The 1890s – 1910s

bra design 1914

Bra device designed by Mary Jacob from the U.S. Patent Office 1914

What’s the old saying? “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” The American Patent Office is filled with ideas, some practical, some brilliant, some completely off the wall.

These inventors from the early 1900s focused on one item of apparel – the brassiere. From squeezing to pushing, each of these inventors believed they had discovered the secret to enhancing a woman’s figure. Continue reading

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