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Even in DNA age we still believe in Sherlock Holmes, world's most celebrated detective created by Arthur Conan Doyle

John Barrymore as Sherlock Holmes and Roland Young as Dr. Watson in 1922 version

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Last weekend saw the 150th anniversary of the birth of Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the world's most celebrated fictional detective. So what's kept him at the top for 122 years?

In 1887, appearing in print for the first time, Sherlock Holmes set out his purpose in life. The declaration in "A Study in Scarlet" would also come to dictate much of the subsequent career of Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle - not always to his pleasure. "There's the scarlet thread of murder running through the colorless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it." He went on to define the archetype of the brilliant but troubled detective. Even today the character of Holmes defines what we expect of great fictional detectives. We want them to accept that "duty" to do good - but also to be personally flawed.

John Barrymore as Sherlock Holmes and Roland Young as Dr. Watson in 1922 version

The 28 year-old author wasn't the first to spot the narrative potential of an incisive but troubled detective. Conan Doyle himself acknowledged the influence of Edgar Allan Poe's Auguste Dupin and of Lecoq, created by the now largely forgotten Emile Gaboriau. But almost every fictional detective stands in Holmes' shadow - from Kurt Wallander back to Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe. Chandler once wrote: "Sherlock Holmes is mostly an attitude and a few dozen lines of unforgettable dialogue." This may or may not have been a compliment.  read more »

Humor & Fun: Office Chair Racing, 70 participants race downhill & over ramps. Helmets required. Many chairs didn't make it to en

Office Chair Racing Championship in Germany

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The German Office Chair Racing Championship was held in Bad Koenig-Zell, Germany, on Saturday, April 25, 2009. Seventy participants took a chance and brought their office chair out into the sunshine and put it through its paces. The race down Odenwaelder street was mainly downhill and involved starting on a steep ramp and racing over another ramp.

the first German Championships in Office Chair Racing

The only uniform rule was a crash helmet, which many participants needed. Dozens of racers fell off their chairs, and many chairs didn't make it to the end of the 170-meter race.

German Championships in Office Chair Racing

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Photos courtesy of demonicious.com

Original Source: Cave News and Reuters (with video)

72 years ago today, iconic Golden Gate Bridge finished construction ahead of schedule & $1.3 million under budget

pillar of Golden Gate Bridge

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The iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, turned 72 years old on Wednesday. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful, and most photographed, bridges in the world. Its 4,200 foot long main suspension span was a world record that stood for 27 years. It is still the second longest in the United States after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which links Staten Island to Brooklyn in New York. The bridge's two towers rise 746 feet making them 191 feet taller than the Washington Monument.

Before the bridge was built, people used ferries to travel between San Francisco and Marin. Many wanted to build a bridge to connect San Francisco to Marin County. San Francisco was the largest American city still served primarily by ferry boats. Because it did not have a permanent link with communities around the bay, the city’s growth rate was below the national average. Many experts said that a bridge couldn’t be built across the 6,700 ft (2,042 m) strait. It had strong, swirling tides and currents, with water 500 ft (150 m) in depth at the center of the channel, and almost constant winds of 60 mph (97 km/h). Experts said that ferocious winds and blinding fogs would prevent construction and operation.

the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, CA at sunset taken from the Marin Headlands  read more »

"Up" by Disney/Pixar becomes the first animated movie ever to open the Cannes Film Festival (2009)

The 62nd Cannes International Film Festival runs May 13 through May 25. The Disney/Pixar film ‘Up' is the first animated film ever chosen to open the festival

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The tenth Pixar movie, "Up", has the honor of being the first animated picture ever to open a Cannes festival. Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner) is a 78-year-old widower who has always longed to visit the mythical lost worlds of South America. When developers conspire to pack him off to a nursing home, he ties up thousands of balloons to the roof of his house and flies away to fulfill that dream. Alongside him, rather unexpectedly, is an 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell (Jordan Nagai), a peppy naïf who offsets his grousier temperament.

It's utterly delightful, certain to appeal to audiences young, old and all points in between. Cannes audiences are notoriously vocal. They'll whistle if they're unhappy -- a French version of a boo -- and a movie that doesn't meet the audience's high standards will be treated to the repeated "whop" sounds of theater seats banging shut as patrons leave. "Up," on the other hand, received little but cheers.

the 10th Pixar feature - Up - is the first animated movie to open the Cannes Film Festival  read more »

Video: Give Birth to Tomorrow - Poem Excerpt from "Honor of Mother" by LuCxeed


Happy Mother's Day to mothers and mothers-would-be everywhere!

"Mother is such a miraculous honor.
Give life to a child. Give birth to Tomorrow.
Nurture a seed into a tree, upright.
Nurture a wholesome soul into a future hero.

Honor of honors,
as an extraordinary mother."

Excerpt from a poem in the poetry book with art "Love's Footsteps ~ dedicated to a Bridge for Wisdom to Walk on" by LuCxeed, www.loves-footsteps.com.
*music by Koen Paulissen

Time to celebrate Cinco De Mayo; time for "good neighbors working together when faced with common challenge" - Obama

Top: Ballet Folclorico Guadalajara, Mexican folk dancing at the Cinco de Mayo fiesta; Bottom: Two people dressed in period costumes commemorate Cinco de Mayo marking the 1862 defeat of the French Army

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Obama marks Mexico's Cinco de Mayo holiday

Cinco de Mayo marks the Mexican army's victory over the French army on May 5, 1862. The holiday has grown in popularity in the United States as an affirmation of not only its Mexican but its Latin American minorities.

President Barack Obama observed Mexico's Cinco de Mayo holiday a day early by hailing the close cooperation between the two countries in the face of swine flu, economic crisis and a drug war.  read more »

Napoleon III declared war on Mexico, attacked on May 5, 1862 - Cinco de Mayo, defeated by General Ignacio Zaragoza

Left: General Ignacio Zaragoza (1829-1862) - born at Bahía del Espíritu Santo, Texas, Zaragoza was educated in Matamoros and the Seminary at Monterrey.  Commanding the Mexican army opposing the French invasion, he defeated French General Count de Lorencez at the battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862; Right: In 1861, Napoleon III plotted to carve out a French empire in Mexico. The French marched on Mexico City, and were defeated at the battle of Puebla (May 5, 1862), setting back Napoleon III’s plans for a year.

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In Mexico, the various factions that fought their civil war had borrowed large sums of money from foreign creditors. The fighting devastated Mexico’s economy, and the country had to suspend payments on its debts. Taking advantage of the relative weakness of the United States during the US Civil War, in December of 1861 the governments of France, Great Britain and Spain landed an allied military force at Vera Cruz to protect their interests in Mexico and to try to collect the debts owed to their citizens. Juárez negotiated with the allies and promised to resume payments, and the British and Spanish troops began to withdraw from Mexico in April, 1862.  read more »

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