Archive for December, 2013

Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence of Arabia …

Posted on December 20, 2013. Filed under: Movies, Personalities, The English |

Peter O’Toole was born in August 1932 and died on 14 December 2013. He gained instant stardom for his role as Lawrence of Arabia and along with Sean Connery and Michael Caine, added Brit luster to their Hollywood Brigade.

As a teenager he had made a diary entry; “I’ll not be a common man. I will stir the smooth sands of monotony”. By end 1962, he was no common man just like the character, T.E. Lawrence, he played and who himself  had immortalized his own foot prints in the sand.

‘Lawrence of Arabia’ is an all times classic. The actual T. E. Lawrence was a personal hero of Winston Churchill and perhaps the most famous military or political figure of the First World War. Today Arabs view his legacy with mixed feelings.  Lawrence summed up their dilemma – ‘The fringes of their deserts were strewn with broken faiths’.

The actual Lawrence was scholar, warrior, imperial pawn, master manipulator, both true friend as well as betrayer of the Arabs. He was an epic hero though a gentle sensitive soul.

When Lawrence published ‘Revolt in the Desert’ orSeven Pillars of Wisdom’ in 1927, he was approached by Hollywood director Rex Ingram but Lawrence declined.  In 1934, British filmmaker Alexander Korda bought the movie rights but on the request of Lawrence shelved the project.  Lawrence was killed in a motor cycle accident in May 1935 and his tragic death rekindled the movie project.

British reservations and concerns about reaction of Arabs and Turks prevented concrete work.  In 1950s, movie rights were acquired by Arthur Rank and he chose Alec Guinness for the lead role. The project was shelved again due to the Suez Crisis of 1956 and the 1958 coup and killing of the Iraqi royal family.

Hollywood producer Sam Spiegel acquired movie rights and it became a joint American and British venture. Now the role was offered to Marlon Brando but he declined. WhenAlbert Finney (class mate of O’Toole at Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) also declined. luck finally smiled on a little known stage actor – and Peter O’Toole rkode into history.

Filming was in Jordan, Morocco and Spain.  Laurence Olivier was selected for the role of Prince Feisal but when he dropped out, it went to Alec Guinness.  Omar Sharif was selected to play the role of Amir. Kirk Douglas demanded an astromocial sum and went out of the running. Jose Ferrer was casted as the Turk, Bey.  Jose was already a celebrity with three Academy Award nominations and winning the best actor award in 1950.  He only agreed to play this minor role after negotiating a salary that was more than the combined salary of Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif and a custom made Porsche car. Anthony Quinn played the role of Auda Abu Tay.

Queen Elizabeth II attended the London premier of the movie in 1962 an it was an instant hit. Nominated for ten, winning seven Oscars.  O’Toole lost the best actor award to Gregory Peck for his role in To Kill a Mockingbird.  O’Toole would make a record for eight Oscar nominations but never winning.

Lawrence evokes strong sentiments even a century afterwards though he himself acknowledged that the Arab revolt was a ‘sideshow of a sideshow. Peter O’Toole gave an unforgettable face to the legend of Lawrence.  The character and the actor had many similarities as both lived a life on the edge; between sanity and insanity

.  Lawrence loved racing his motorcycle that ultimately took his life. O’Toole admitted that “Booze is the most outrageous of all drugs, which is why I chose it”.  Both Lawrence and O’Toole declined knighthood for personal and political reasons.

O’Toole introduced the legend of T. E. Lawrence to the modern world and in return Lawrence immortalized O’Toole.

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A Student’s look at Heaven and Hell …

Posted on December 18, 2013. Filed under: Light plus Weighty |

The following is purported to be a question given in a University  of Arizona  chemistry mid term, and an actual answer turned in by a student. The answer was so ‘profound’ that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well!

The Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? 

Most students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:- 

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time.

So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving, which seems unlikely…. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave.

Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today. 

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:  

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.  

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.. 

So which is it? 

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, ‘It will be a cold day in Hell  before I sleep with you,’ and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct, leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting ‘Oh my God.‘   

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED AN A+.

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Maxims – Common Wisdom …

Posted on December 17, 2013. Filed under: Guide Posts |

Stay away from Anger – it hurts only you. If you are right then there is no need to get angry.  And if you are wrong then you don’t have any right to get angry. Patience with family is love. Patience with others is respect. Patience with self is confidence and Patience with GOD is faith

Never Think Hard about the PAST. It bringsTearsDon’t think more about the FUTURE. it brings Fear.  Live this Moment with a Smile. It brings CheerEvery test in our life makes us bitter or better. Every problem comes to make us or break us. The choice is ours to become victims or victorious.
 
Beautiful things are not always good but good things are always beautiful. Do you know why God created gaps between fingersSo that someone who is special to you comes and fills those gaps by holding your hand foreverHappiness keeps You Sweet. But being sweet brings happiness.
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Don’t just maintain relations in your life! Maintain LIFE in your relations!
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English Language Odds and Ends …

Posted on December 15, 2013. Filed under: Light plus Weighty, Quotes, The English |

Let us see if you can figure out what these seven words have in common?

1. Banana
2. Dresser
3. Grammar
4. Potato
5. Revive
6. Uneven
7. Assess

Well apart from a letter or letters being repeated, the fact is that if the first letter is taken and placed at the end, then the same word can be read backward.

Now for some more.

‘Stewardesses’ is the longest word typed with only the Left Hand  and ‘lollypop’ is the longest word typed with the Right Hand.

No word in the English language rhymes with ‘month’, ‘orange’, ‘silver’, or ‘purple’.

‘Dreamt’ is the only English word that ends in the letters ‘mt’.

The words ‘race car’  ‘kayak’ and ‘level’
are the same whether they are read
left to right or right to left (palindromes). As also Napoleons’ famous sentence, “Able was I ere I saw Elba!”

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order – ‘abstemious’ and ‘facetious’.

There are only four words in the English language which end in ‘dous’:
tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous.

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

Another interesting fact –

A ‘jiffy’ is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

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The Time of Day …

Posted on December 13, 2013. Filed under: From a Services Career |

Once an Air Control Tower received a call from an aircraft asking, “What time is it?” 

The tower responded, “Who is calling?”

The aircraft replied, “What difference does it make?”

The tower replied, “It makes a lot of difference..

If it is a commercial flight, it is 3 o’clock .

If it is an Air Force plane, it is 1500 hours.

If it is a Navy aircraft, it is 6 bells.

If it is an Army aircraft –

the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3.

If it is a Marine Corps aircraft –

it’s Thursday afternoon and 120 minutes to “Happy Hour.” 

 

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