Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bartholomew Roberts: Pirates

Bartholomew Roberts, (17 May 1682 – 10 February 1722) born John Roberts, was a Welsh pirate who raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy as measured by vessels captured, taking over 470 prizes in his career. He is also known as Black Bart (Welsh: Barti Ddu), but this name was never used in his lifetime. He is sometimes confused with Charles Bolles, called the "Black Bart" of the American West.

He was born John Roberts in 1682 in Casnewydd-Bach, between Fishguard and Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, Wales. His father was most likely George Roberts. It's not clear why Roberts changed his name from John to Bartholomew, but pirates often adopted aliases. He may have chosen his first name after the well-known buccaneer Bartholomew Sharp. He is thought to have gone to sea when he was 13 in 1695, but there is no further record of him until 1718, when he was mate of a Barbados sloop.

In 1719, Roberts was third mate on the slave ship Princess under Captain Abraham Plumb. In early June that year, the Princess was anchored at Anomabu (then spelled Annamaboa, which is situated along the Gold Coast of West Africa, present-day Ghana) when she was captured by pirates. The pirates were in two vessels, the Royal Rover and the Royal James, and were led by captain Howell Davis. Davis, like Roberts, was a Welshman, originally from Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire. Roberts and several other of the crew of the Princess were forced to join the pirates.

Davis quickly discovered Roberts' abilities as a navigator and took to consulting him. He was also able to confide information to Roberts in Welsh, thereby keeping it hidden from the rest of the crew. Roberts is said to have been reluctant to become a pirate at first, but soon came to see the advantages of this new lifestyle.

In the merchant navy, Roberts' wage was less than £3 per month and he had no chance of promotion to captaincy.

A few weeks after Roberts' capture, the Royal James had to be abandoned because of worm damage. The Royal Rover headed for the island of Príncipe. Davis hoisted the flags of a British man-of-war and was allowed to enter the harbour. After a few days, Davis invited the governor to lunch on board his ship, intending to hold him hostage for a ransom. Davis had to send boats to collect the governor, and he was invited to call at the fort for a glass of wine first. The Portuguese had discovered that their visitors were pirates. They ambushed Davis' party on its way to the fort, shooting Davis dead.

A new captain had to be elected. Davis' crew was divided into "Lords" and "Commons", and it was the "Lords" who had the right to propose a name to the remainder of the crew. Within six weeks of his capture, Roberts was elected captain. This was unusual, especially as he had objected to serving on the vessel. Historians believe he was elected for his navigational abilities and his personality, which history reflects was outspoken and opinionated.

Roberts' first act as captain was to lead the crew back to Príncipe to avenge the death of Captain Davis. Roberts and his crew landed on the island in the darkness of night, killed a large portion of the male population, and stole all items of value that they could carry away. Soon afterwards, he captured a Dutch Guineaman, then two days later a British ship called the Experiment. The pirate ship took on water and provisions at Anamboe, where a vote was taken on whether the next voyage should be to the East Indies or to Brazil. The vote was for Brazil.

Roberts and his crew crossed the Atlantic and watered and boot-topped their ship on the uninhabited island of Ferdinando. They spent about nine weeks off the Brazilian coast but saw no ships. They were about to leave for the West Indies when they encountered a fleet of 42 Portuguese ships in the Todos os Santos' Bay, waiting for two men-of-war of 70 guns each to escort them to Lisbon. Roberts took one of the vessels and ordered her master to point out the richest ship in the fleet. He pointed out the Sagrada Familia, a ship of 40 guns and a crew of 170, which Roberts and his men boarded and captured. The Sagrada Familia contained 40,000 gold moidores and jewelry designed for the King of Portugal, including a cross set with diamonds.

The Rover next headed for Devil's Island off the coast of Guiana to spend the booty. A few weeks later, they headed for the River Surinam where they captured a sloop. After they sighted a brigantine, Roberts took 40 men to pursue it in the sloop, leaving Walter Kennedy in command of the Rover. The sloop became wind-bound for eight days, and when Roberts and his crew finally returned to their ship, they discovered that Kennedy had sailed off with the Rover and what remained of the loot. Roberts and his crew renamed their sloop the Fortune and agreed on new articles, now known as a pirate code, which they swore on a Bible to uphold.

In late February 1720, they were joined by French pirate Montigny la Palisse in another sloop, the Sea King. The inhabitants of Barbados equipped two well-armed ships, the Summerset and the Philipa, to try to put an end to the pirate menace. On 26 February, they encountered the two pirate sloops. The Sea King quickly fled, and the Fortune broke off the engagement after sustaining considerable damage and was able to escape. Roberts headed for Dominica to repair the sloop, with twenty of his crew dying of their wounds on the voyage. There were also two sloops from Martinique out searching for the pirates, and Roberts swore vengeance against the inhabitants of Barbados and Martinique. He had a new flag made with a drawing of himself standing upon 2 skulls, one labelled ABH (A Barbadian's Head) and the other AMH (A Martiniquian's Head).

The Fortune next headed northwards towards Newfoundland, raiding Canso, Nova Scotia, and capturing a number of ships around Cape Breton and the Newfoundland banks. Roberts raided the harbour of Ferryland, capturing a dozen vessels. On 21 June, he attacked the larger harbour of Trepassey, sailing in with black flags flying. In the harbour he discovered 22 merchant ships and 150 fishing ships, all of which were abandoned by their panic-stricken captains and crews, and the pirates were masters of Trepassey without any resistance being offered. Roberts had captured all 22 merchant ships, but was angered by the cowardice of the captains who had fled their ships. Every morning he had a gun fired and the captains were forced to attend Roberts on board his ship; they were told that anyone who was absent would have his ship burnt. One brig from Bristol was taken over by the pirates to replace the sloop Fortune and fitted out with 16 guns. When the pirates left in late June, all the other vessels in the harbour were set on fire. During July, Roberts captured nine or ten French ships and commandeered one of them, fitting her with 26 cannons and changing her name to the Good Fortune. With this more powerful ship, the pirates captured many more vessels before heading south for the West Indies, accompanied by Montigny la Palisse's sloop, which had rejoined them.

In September 1720, the Good Fortune was careened and repaired at the island of Carriacou before being renamed the Royal Fortune, the first of several ships to be given this name by Roberts. In late September, the Royal Fortune and the Fortune headed for the island of St. Christopher's and entered Basse Terra Road, flying black flags and with their drummers and trumpeters playing. They sailed in among the ships in the Road, all of which promptly struck their flags. The next landfall was at the island of St. Bartholomew, where the French governor allowed the pirates to remain for several weeks to carouse. By 25 October, they were at sea again off St. Lucia, where they captured up to 15 French and English ships in the next three days. Among the captured ships was the Greyhound, whose chief mate James Skyrme joined the pirates. He later became captain of Roberts' consort, the Ranger.

During this time, Roberts caught the Governor of Martinique, who was sailing aboard a 52-gun French warship. Robert's ship pulled up next to the warship pretending to be a French merchant ship, and offered information on the location of Captain Roberts before suddenly attacking it, spraying the warship with cannon and small arms fire, after which the pirates boarded it and took it over using pistols and cutlasses. The Governor was caught and promptly hanged on the yardarm of his own ship, which the pirates converted into the new Royal Fortune.

By the spring of 1721, Roberts' depredations had almost brought seaborne trade to a standstill in the West Indies. The Royal Fortune and the Good Fortune therefore set sail for West Africa. On 18 April, Thomas Anstis, the commander of the Good Fortune, left Roberts in the night and continued to raid shipping in the Caribbean. The Royal Fortune continued towards Africa.

By late April, Roberts was at the Cape Verde islands. The Royal Fortune was found to be leaky, and was abandoned here. The pirates transferred to the Sea King, which was renamed the Royal Fortune. The new Royal Fortune made landfall off the Guinea coast in early June, near the mouth of the Senegal River. Two French ships, one of 10 guns and one of 16 guns, gave chase, but were captured by Roberts. Both these ships were commandeered. One, the Comte de Toulouse, was renamed the Ranger, while the other was named the Little Ranger and used as a storeship. Thomas Sutton was made captain of the Ranger and James Skyrme captain of the Little Ranger.

Roberts next headed for Sierra Leone, arriving on 12 June. Here he was told that two Royal Navy ships, HMS Swallow and HMS Weymouth, had left at the end of April, planning to return before Christmas. On 8 August, he captured two large ships at Point Cestos, now River Cess in Liberia. One of these was the frigate Onslow, transporting soldiers bound for Cape Coast (Cabo Corso) Castle. A number of the soldiers wished to join the pirates and were eventually accepted, but as landlubbers were given only a quarter share. The Onslow was converted to become the fourth Royal Fortune. In November and December, the pirates careened their ships and relaxed at Cape Lopez and the island of Annobon. Sutton was replaced by Skyrme as captain of the Ranger. They captured several vessels in January 1722, then sailed into Ouidah harbour with black flags flying. Ten of the eleven ships at anchor there immediately struck their colours. So enraged was Roberts' crew at the eleventh ship that, at night, under the cover of darkness, they climbed aboard and set her on fire.

On 5 February 1722, Captain Chaloner Ogle of the HMS Swallow came upon the pirate ships Royal Fortune, Ranger, and Little Ranger careening at Cape Lopez. The Swallow veered away to avoid a shoal, making the pirates think that she was a fleeing merchant ship. The Ranger departed in pursuit, commanded by James Skyrme. Once out of earshot of the other pirates, the Swallow opened her gun ports and opened fire. Ten pirates were killed and Skyrme had his leg taken off by a cannonball, but he refused to leave the deck. Eventually, the Ranger was forced to strike her colors and the surviving crew were captured.

On 10 February, the Swallow returned to Cape Lopez and found the Royal Fortune still there. On the previous day, Roberts had captured the Neptune, and many of his crew were drunk and unfit for duty just when he needed them most. At first, the pirates thought that the approaching ship was the Ranger returning, but a deserter from the Swallow recognized her and informed Roberts while he was breakfasting with Captain Hill, the master of the Neptune. As he usually did before action, he dressed himself in his finest clothes.

The pirates' plan was to sail past the Swallow, which meant exposing themselves to one broadside. Once past, they would have a good chance of escaping. However, the helmsman failed to keep the Royal Fortune on the right course, and the Swallow was able to approach to deliver a second broadside. Captain Roberts was killed by grapeshot, which struck him in the throat while he stood on the deck. Before his body could be captured by Ogle, Roberts' wish to be buried at sea was fulfilled by his crew, who weighed his body down and threw it overboard after wrapping it in his ship's sail. It was never found.

Roberts' death shocked the pirate world, as well as the Royal Navy. The local merchants and civilians had thought him invincible, and some considered him a hero.

Source: Wikipedia

This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA: Creative Commons

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rigmarole - By Carroll Bryant

RIGMAROLE - By Carroll Bryant

She said no
I don't want to see you anymore
Forget about today and just go away

There is no more time 
The clock you lost I could never find 
Forget about tomorrow because that was yesterday 

I want action
I want satisfaction
We were always enemies because we could never be friends 
I want some action
I want some satisfaction 
We could have been together baby right to the very end

Rigor mortis is setting in 

She said "You!"
You are the very essence 
Forget about the angry heart that hasn't even a soul

There is no more rhyme 
Your poetry is dead to me 
And it's about time that I let you know 

I want action
I want satisfaction
We were always enemies because we could never be friends 
I want some action
I want some satisfaction 
We could have been together baby right to the very end

Rigor mortis is setting in 

She's a blusterous sort that's always in a hurry
Mindless chatter trapped inside a box marked "not to worry"

I need to be alone right now
I need an elevator to take me down
To the underground 
And dance my blues away

She said no
And I don't know what to do
She didn't even like my brand new pair of shoes

I want action
I want satisfaction
We were always enemies because we could never be friends 
I want some action
I want some satisfaction 
We could have been together baby right to the very end

Rigor mortis is setting in

Monday, July 25, 2016

Debbie Gibson: Teen Idol

Back in the day, I thought she was the cutest thing since fluffy puppies. She was adorable, no doubt about that ... and she's still a sweetie to me. I was a huge fan right out of the gate. However, my best Debbie Gibson story was when I was in Cincinnati, Ohio one time taking advantage of some free Reds tickets I got for the weekend and in the elevator of my hotel to go my room and it stopped at a floor a few levels below mine and in walked Debbie. I recognized her right off the bat. (A baseball reference) She simply smiled and said, "Hello." Just as cheerful as could be.

I smiled back and returned the greeting and followed it with the obvious. "Great fan of your music." And in true Debbie Gibson style she said, "Thank you." Then the door opened to my floor. Now, "only in my dreams" did she and I get off the elevator together and went to my room and discovered our "electric youth" but in reality, I walked to my room alone .... but with one amazing and awesome memory to carry around for the rest of my life. And trust me when I say, she's even more pretty in person. And just as sweet as she can be. This post is just my way to "shake your love" (my favorite DG song) Debbie, and honor you and our five minute moment inside that elevator. One of the best of my life.

Deborah Ann "Debbie" Gibson (born August 31, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress.

Debbie Gibson was born in Brooklyn, New York, the third daughter of four of Joseph Gibson and Diane Gibson. Her father was orphaned as a boy and enjoyed singing. Originally named Joseph Schultz, his biological mother married a man with the surname Gibson before putting Joe into an orphanage. Debbie grew up in the Long Island suburb of Merrick and was raised Catholic. She is of Italian/Sicilian, German and possibly Russian descent. At age 5, she began performing in community theater with her sisters Karen, Michele, and Denise, and cousin T.J. Normandin and wrote her first song, "Make Sure You Know Your Classroom". At age eight, she sang in the children's chorus at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. She began playing the ukulele and taking piano lessons soon after, including with American pianist Morton Estrin. She said that her household was probably the only one where bystanders would hear children fighting over piano playing time.

After years of writing and producing her own material, Gibson finally found her demo in the hands of a radio personality who eventually shared it with an executive at Atlantic Records. Based solely on Gibson's original song, "Only in My Dreams", she was signed to a development deal and began a promotional tour of club venues throughout the United States.

Gibson spent much of 1986 and the beginning of 1987 building her songwriting catalog while continuing to play club dates. Continuing her promotional tour, Gibson also continued attending classes at Calhoun High School in Merrick, New York, where she would later graduate as an honor student. Diane Gibson, Debbie's mother and manager, accompanied her daughter on many of these track dates. "We played dance clubs, straight clubs and gay clubs", Diane has said.

The promotional pressing of "Only in My Dreams" landed the song within the Billboard Hot 100. Atlantic Records signed Gibson to a recording contract and thus began the process of completing what would be the first record.

Gibson, along with producer Fred Zarr, wrote, recorded and produced her first album Out of the Blue in only 4 weeks. Now having something to market, "Only in My Dreams" was selected as Debbie's 1st single. This time, "Dreams" found traction on Top 40 radio and reached a peak of No. 4 on the Hot 100 chart.

Following the success of "Dreams", "Shake Your Love" was released as the follow-up single and reached the Billboard Top 5. The "Shake Your Love" video was choreographed by Paula Abdul and was the 1st time MTV had visited Debbie on a video shoot.

In 1987, while performing around the United States at nightclub venues, Gibson was recording what would become her debut album, Out Of The Blue. It was recorded in four weeks. Four singles from the album reached the Top 5 of the Hot 100 chart: "Only in My Dreams", "Shake Your Love", "Out Of The Blue", and the number-one hit "Foolish Beat", followed by "Staying Together", which performed more modestly, reaching No. 22. "Foolish Beat" set a record for Gibson, making her (at 17) the youngest artist ever to write, produce, and perform a Billboard number-one single, as entered in the 1988 Guinness Book of World Records, and she remains the youngest female artist to do so. "Out Of The Blue" was established as a hit album and she had success in the UK and southeast Asia, filling stadiums with her "Out Of The Blue" tour. By the end of 1988, "Out of the Blue" had gone triple platinum.

The Out Of The Blue music video compilation was certified platinum by the RIAA; the concert tour video was certified 2x platinum. In October 1988, Gibson sang the national anthem for Game One of the Major League Baseball World Series.

Electric Youth was released in early 1989, and spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Top 200 Album chart. The first single released, "Lost in Your Eyes", was No. 1 on the Hot 100 for three weeks, garnering her another achievement as the first female to have both an album and single simultaneously at No. 1. (She shared the 1989 ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Award with Bruce Springsteen.) Subsequent singles from the album were "Electric Youth" (No. 11), "No More Rhyme" (No. 17), and "We Could Be Together" (No. 71). The Electric Youth album was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA. The successful "Electric Youth" world tour and Live Around the World VHS (2x platinum) followed. In 1988, Debbie sang "Don't Flirt with Me".

In tandem with the second album, she created a perfume called Electric Youth that was distributed by Revlon, and other makeup essentials for young girls that were distributed nationwide through Natural Wonder Cosmetics, another of her sponsors at the time, among the first of artists to do so. Debbie's trademark was her hats, usually black bowlers. She also made tight, rolled-up jeans and wearing vests over your T-shirt, friendship bracelets, and two Swatch watches popular as she is clearly seen wearing on the back cover of her popular Electric Youth album and in her "Staying Together" music video. Her influences were Madonna and Olivia Newton-John, though she has often stated she admires Elton John and Billy Joel as favorite artists and was asked and did sing and perform live with Billy Joel and John at Elton John's Madison Square Garden show. She appeared on the covers of numerous teen magazines such as Tiger Beat.

She recorded two more albums for Atlantic Records: Anything Is Possible (1990) and Body Mind Soul (1993). "Anything Is Possible", co-written with Motown mainstay Lamont Dozier, peaked at No. 26 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1991. Subsequent singles from Anything Is Possible failed to chart on the Hot 100, although "One Step Ahead" scored on the Hot Maxi Singles and Hot Dance charts, peaking at No. 21 and No. 18 respectively. Body Mind Soul spawned another minor hit in "Losin' Myself", which was accompanied by a somewhat controversial video clip, which Matthew Rolston directed, that featured Gibson as a stripper. The second single from the album, "Shock Your Mama", would become a minor hit in Europe and the UK; however, "Losin' Myself" remains Debbie Gibson's last appearance on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1995, she signed with EMI's SBK Records division and recorded what would be her only album for the label, Think With Your Heart. It was an Adult contemporary-heavy album consisting of piano and keyboard ballads recorded predominantly with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The album's producer, Niko Bolas, who was usually Neil Young's co-producer, was producing the reunion album for veteran punk band Circle Jerks, and invited Gibson to a recording session for that band's album. She sang background vocals on the song "I Wanna Destroy You", as well as appearing at and participating in the Circle Jerks' performance at punk venue CBGB, wearing one of the band's T-shirts and sharing a microphone with frontman Keith Morris.

After parting company with EMI, Gibson formed her own record label, Espiritu, to release her original material. Her sixth album, Deborah (1996), marked her full return to dance-pop. Deborah includes the lead single "Only Words". "Only Words" (Dance Edit) became a Top 40 Hot Dance Music/Club Play hit. The album's other single was the ballad, "Naturally". Though it only sold 20,000 in the US, Deborah remains well-respected.

In 2001, she released her seventh album on her new record label, Golden Egg, titled M.Y.O.B.---i.e. Mind Your Own Business. It featured three singles: the sensual pop song "What You Want", the Latin-infused Dance-pop song "Your Secret", and the bass heavy "M.Y.O.B." Highlights from the album include the sultry Latin-flavored smooth jazz song "In Blue", a vintage style ballad "Wishing You Were Here", "Jaded", and a remix of "M.Y.O.B." with the background vocals of her two nieces.

In 2005, Gibson co-wrote and recorded a song titled "Someone You Love" with the O'Neill Brothers. With the O'Neill Brothers, she released an updated, acoustic version of her number-one hit "Lost in Your Eyes". There was an Emmy-nominated PBS special in 2005.

She had a resurgence of popularity in niche markets. Her single "Your Secret" came back from its dormant state and became popular on some radio stations including Super 91.7 WMPH in Wilmington, Delaware. "Your Secret" has been on their request show, Total Control Radio, for 12 months; it reached No. 1 on its third week on that station's chart in May 2006. It charted along with a few of her other singles, "M.Y.O.B." and "Only Words" (Dance Edit), the Eurodance mix. They all have become recurrent hits on WMPH.

The March 2005 issue of Playboy featured a nude pictorial of Gibson, coinciding with the release of her single, "Naked". She has said that the magazine had asked her five times to pose for them since she turned 18. She agreed to pose in an effort to revamp her image, describing how one casting call called her agent, not realizing that Gibson had long since outgrown her teenage image. The single peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard Hot Single Sales chart in March 2005.

In November 2005, it was announced that Debbie would go on tour with The O'Neill Brothers for "Someone you love Tour"  in 2006. "Lost in your eyes" was revamped with an acoustic sound and a song "Someone You Love" was written and performed by Debbie and The O'Neill Brothers and also these two songs appeared on The O'Neill Brothers album Someone You Love.

The 2006 single, "Say Goodbye", featuring dance-pop artist Jordan Knight, has made a good impression on the Soft AC and Hot AC radio formats, becoming the third-most added single on the format during summer 2006. It debuted at No. 35 on the Hot Contemporary chart, peaking at No. 24 in early September through late November. The same year, Gibson appeared in the independent film Coffee Date with Wilson Cruz and Jonathan Silverman and provided a soundtrack song called "Sounds like love".

On November 14, 2006, Gibson released the song "Famous" on her official website. The song was written by Gibson and Tiziano Lugli, and the recording was produced by Lugli.
On May 2007 the world premiere of Electric Youth: The Musical was unveiled at The Starlight Theatre in Orlando, Florida. The musical featured 14 of Gibsons's songs and was directed by Dean Parker. On August 24, 2007, Gibson and Frankie Avalon hosted Time Life Presents Dick Clark's American Bandstand 50th Anniversary Collection.

In September 2007, Gibson considered creating a camp on the West Coast. She is the founder and creator of Camp Electric Youth, a children's summer day camp which ran from July 7–18, 2008. It claims to be the first camp of its kind in the Los Angeles area. The camp was reportedly attended by "over 120 talented singers, actors and dancers" from around the world.

Gibson was a judge for the online talent competition, Total Pop Star, along with Andrew Van Slee (producer and judge), and Joey Lawrence (from Blossom). The first season ran from Nov 12, 2007 – May 30, 2008, though it was later extended to June. The show ended abruptly during the 2nd season.
In January 2008, Gibson announced that she would revive and perform her 1980s hits - along with her Broadway role songs - during a three-run week in May 2008 at Harrah's in Atlantic City.

On March 5, 2009, Gibson announced via YouTube video blog that she would be releasing a new song/video called "Already Gone". Released on her official website and reverberation, the song was released first on March 9, 2009, then the video on March 13, 2009. The song was written by Gibson and produced by Fred Coury. It was accompanied by a music video produced by Guy Birtwhistle and directed by John Knowles, which starred Birtwhistle, Gibson, and Steve Valentine.

Gibson gave a sneak peek of a new song on June 5, 2009 through her YouTube video blog uploaded herself.

Deborah Gibson debuted on Broadway in 1992, playing Eponine in Les Misérables. She then went to London and starred as Sandy in Grease - a role 800 other girls tried out for before producers chose Gibson - in a West End production. The show broke box office sales records. The single version of "You're the One That I Want", a duet with Craig McLachlan, taken from the Original Cast Recording, reached No. 13 on the UK charts in 1993.

On returning to the States, she appeared in the Broadway touring production, this time playing Rizzo. She played Fanny Brice in a revamped Funny Girl tour. She has had many successful theater credits; she was among the many actresses who took the starring role of Belle in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast. She replaced Kerry Butler in September 1997 and was in the show until June 1998 when she was then succeeded by Kim Huber. She also starred the critically lauded production of Gypsy (in a production staged at The Paper Mill Playhouse). She starred as Louise opposite Broadway legend Betty Buckley. She participated in the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, where she played as The Narrator, and starred as Cinderella in the national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical with Eartha Kitt as the Fairy Godmother. In October 2002, she starred as Velma Kelly in the Boston production of Chicago. In 2003, she played Sally Bowles in the Broadway revival of Cabaret. From March to April 2004, she played the role of 'Marta' in the UCLA Reprise! production of Company.

Gibson starred as Anna Leonowens in Cabrillo Music Theatre's production of the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The King and I which began October 17, 2008 in the Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and ran through October 26.

Over the years, Gibson has been the target of stalkers. Robert Bardo, who was convicted for murdering actress Rebecca Schaeffer in 1989, had a wall in his house adorned with pictures of Gibson and Tiffany. In May 1998, Michael Falkner, a disgruntled fan from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was arrested outside Manhattan's Palace Theater, where Gibson was performing in the live musical adaptation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. This was after Gibson received threatening letters, emails and faxes from Falkner, who used the alias 'Starcade'. In 2008, Gibson filed for a restraining order against Spanish taxi driver Jorge Puigdollers, who had stalked her since 2002. However, a temporary restraining order was not issued by the court, and a court date was set to determine if a restraining order was appropriate in the matter. The proceeding was dismissed when Gibson failed to show up at the courthouse for the hearing to present her case.
Gibson was once engaged to Jonathan Kanterman and has been in a long-term relationship since 2008 with Rutledge Taylor.

Gibson has been battling Lyme disease since early 2013.
Source: Wikipedia 
This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA: Creative Commons 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Flag Of Austria

The flag of Austria has three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red. The Austrian triband is based on the coat of arms of the Babenberg dynasty, recorded in the 13th century. It may have seen use in flags from about the 15th century, alongside the black-and-yellow colors of the House of Habsburg and other insignia of the Holy Roman Empire. It was adopted as a naval ensign in the 18th century, and as national flag in 1918.

The flag traces back to the coat of arms of the medieval Babenberg dynasty, a silver band on a red field (in heraldry: Gules a fess Argent). The origin of the Bindenschild has not been conclusively established, it possibly derived from the Styrian margraves of the Otakar noble family, who themselves may have adopted the colours from the descendants of the Carinthian duke Adalbero (ruled 1011–1035), a scion of the House of Eppenstein extinct in 1122. However, the Babenberg margrave Leopold III of Austria (1095–1136) had already been depicted with a triband shield in 1105.

When the last Otakar Duke Ottokar IV of Styria died in 1192, the Styrian duchy was inherited by the Babenberg duke Leopold V of Austria according to the 1186 Georgenberg Pact. According to the 18th century historian Chrysostomus Hanthaler, his grandson Duke Frederick II of Austria (1230–1246), nicknamed the "Quarrelsome" or the "Warlike", the last of the Babenberg dynasty, designed a new coat of arms in red-white-red after his accession—an attempt to prevail against reluctant local nobles and to stress his autonomy towards Emperor Frederick II. The triband is first documented in a seal on a deed issued on 30 November 1230, confirming the privileges of Lilienfeld Abbey. The medieval chronicler Jans der Enikel reports that the duke appeared in a red-white-red ceremonial dress at his 1232 accolade in the Vienna Schottenstift.

The Babenberg family colors developed to the coat of arms of their Austrian possessions. After the dynasty had become extinct with Frederick's death at the 1246 Battle of the Leitha River, they were adopted by his Přemyslid successor King Ottokar II of Bohemia. Upon the 1278 Battle on the Marchfeld the colours were assumed by the victorious House of Habsburg and gradually became the coat of arms of the dynasty's Hereditary Lands within the Habsburg Monarchy.

According to legend, the flag was already invented by Duke Leopold V of Austria as a consequence of his fighting during the Siege of Acre. After a fierce battle, his white surcoat was completely drenched in blood. When he removed his belt, the cloth underneath was untouched by it, revealing the combination of red-white-red. So taken was he by this singular sight that he adopted the colors and scheme as his banner. The incident was documented as early as 1260, though it is highly unlikely.

In fact, the war flag of the Holy Roman Empire during the Crusades was a silver cross on a red field quite similar to the later Austrian arms. This ensign was used by the Austrian capital Vienna from the late 13th century onwards.

Source: Wikipedia

This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA: Creative Commons

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Need For The Night - By Carroll Bryant

NEED FOR THE NIGHT - By Carroll Bryant

Darkness has a way of creeping in 
This is when the need for the night begins 
The mystery moon reaches for your soul
The question is will you go
Out into the jungle of concrete
Under neon lights and getting lost out on the streets

Is for the brokenhearted 
I said love is only for the lonely
Is how it all started 
Lost out there
It's somewhere 
You can't find it 

Shadows write their passion against the walls
Puppets of thought that control us all
The driest heat you will ever feel 
Is bittersweet when you find your thrill
In the arms of another stranger you call desire
Trapped inside the danger of the fire

Love is for the fools 

Is for the brokenhearted 
I said love is only for the lonely
Is how it all started 
Lost out there
It's somewhere 
You can't find it 

The dawning of another day arrives
Nothing's changed as you fight to survive
She gets up and out of your bed
Walks out the door and out of your head
The morning sings of the same old tune 
The world wakes up on time and way too soon 

Love is still a fool

Is for the brokenhearted 
I said love is only for the lonely
Is how it all started 
Lost out there
It's somewhere 
You can't find it

Love is for the fools
And it keeps hiding
There's nothing you can do
You can't even buy it

Is for the brokenhearted
It's only for the lonely 
It's lost out there 
It's somewhere
You can't have it

It's for the brokenhearted
Only the brokenhearted
Those who can't afford it

Friday, July 15, 2016

UFO Files: Zecharia Sitchin

One of my personal hero's in my 'Ancient Alien' theory is Mr. Zecharia Sitchin. His work (and books) greatly influenced me AFTER I had already read the bible, and discovered that I was an Ancient Alien believer.

Zecharia Sitchin was born in the Azerbaijan SSR, but was raised in Mandatory Palestine. He received a degree in economics from the University of London, and was an editor and journalist in Israel, before moving to New York in 1952. While working as an executive for a shipping company, he taught himself Sumerian cuneiform and visited several archaeological sites.

Zecharia Sitchin (Russian: Заха́рия Си́тчин; July 11, 1920 – October 9, 2010) was a Russian-born American author of books proposing an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts. Sitchin attributed the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the Anunnaki, which he stated was a race of extraterrestrials from a planet beyond Neptune called Nibiru. He believed this hypothetical planet of Nibiru to be in an elongated, elliptical orbit in the Earth's own Solar System, asserting that Sumerian mythology reflects this. Sitchin's books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 25 languages.

According to Sitchin's interpretation of Mesopotamian iconography and symbolism, outlined in his 1976 book The 12th Planet and its sequels, there is an undiscovered planet beyond Neptune that follows a long, elliptical orbit, reaching the inner solar system roughly every 3,600 years. This planet is called Nibiru (although Jupiter was the planet associated with the god Marduk in Babylonian cosmology). According to Sitchin, Nibiru (whose name was replaced with MARDUK in original legends by the Babylonian ruler of the same name in an attempt to co-opt the creation for himself, leading to some confusion among readers) collided catastrophically with Tiamat (a goddess in the Babylonian creation myth the Enûma Eliš), which he considers to be another planet once located between Mars and Jupiter. This collision supposedly formed the planet Earth, the asteroid belt, and the comets. Sitchin states that when struck by one of planet Nibiru's moons, Tiamat split in two, and then on a second pass Nibiru itself struck the broken fragments and one half of Tiamat became the asteroid belt. The second half, struck again by one of Nibiru's moons, was pushed into a new orbit and became today's planet Earth.

According to Sitchin, Nibiru (called "the twelfth planet" because, Sitchin claimed, the Sumerians' gods-given conception of the Solar System counted all eight planets, plus Pluto, the Sun and the Moon) was the home of a technologically advanced human-like extraterrestrial race called the Anunnaki in Sumerian myth, who Sitchin states are called the Nephilim in Genesis. He wrote that they evolved after Nibiru entered the solar system, and they first arrived on Earth probably 450,000 years ago, looking for minerals, especially gold, which they found and mined in Africa. Sitchin states that these "gods" were the rank-and-file workers of the colonial expedition to Earth from planet Nibiru.

Since the release of his first book The 12th Planet in 1976, now in its 45th printing, Sitchin wrote seven other books as part of his Earth Chronicles series, as well as six other companion books, all of which are still in print as of 2012. Sitchin's books sold millions of copies worldwide and have been published in more than 25 languages. New York Times reporter Corey Kilgannon noted that despite academic dismissal of his work, Sitchin had "a devoted following of readers".

Critic Michael S. Heiser called Sitchin "arguably the most important proponent of the ancient astronaut hypothesis over the last several decades". According to critic and author Jason Colavito, "Zecharia Sitchin is one of the most famous proponents of the ancient astronaut theory today, second only to the father of the theory, Erich von Däniken, in importance to true believers". Sitchin was a frequent guest on the Coast to Coast AM radio show, which in 2010 presented Sitchin with a lifetime achievement award. Gods of the New Millennium author Alan F. Alford admits he initially became "infatuated" with Sitchin's hypotheses but later became a critic of Sitchin's interpretations of myth.
According to some writers, Sitchin's ideas along with those of Erich von Däniken may have influenced the beliefs of the religious sect of Raëlism, and writer Mark Pilkington sees the mythology of Japan's Pana Wave religious group as rooted in Sitchin's The 12th Planet and its sequels.

The 1994 movie Stargate, directed by Roland Emmerich, and the 2009 video game The Conduit drew some conceptual inspiration from Sitchin's ideas, while screenwriter Roberto Orci says the villains of the film Cowboys & Aliens were inspired by Sitchin's conceptualization of the Anunnaki as gold-mining aliens.

Sitchin's "planetary collision" hypothesis does superficially resemble one suggested by modern astronomers - the giant impact hypothesis of the Moon's formation about 4.5 billion years ago by a body impacting with the newly formed Earth. However, Sitchin's proposed series of rogue planetary collisions differ in both details and timing. As with Immanuel Velikovsky's earlier Worlds in Collision thesis, Sitchin states that he has found evidence of ancient human knowledge of rogue celestial motions in a variety of mythological accounts. In Velikovsky's case, these interplanetary collisions were supposed to have taken place within the span of human existence, whereas for Sitchin these occurred during the early stages of planetary formation, but entered the mythological account passed down via the alien race which purportedly evolved on Nibiru after these encounters.

According to former Immanuel Velikovsky assistant turned prolific critic, C. Leroy Ellenberger, "[Sitchin states that] from an equal start, the Nephilim evolved on Nibiru 45 million years ahead of comparable development on Earth with its decidedly more favorable environment. Such an outcome is unlikely, to say the least, since Nibiru would spend over 99% of its time beyond Pluto. Sitchin's explanation that heat from radioactive decay and a thick atmosphere keep Nibiru warm is absurd and does not address the problem of darkness in deep space. Also unexplained is how the Nephilim, who evolved long after Nibiru arrived, knew what happened when Nibiru first entered the solar system."

The scenario outlined by Sitchin, with Nibiru returning to the inner solar system regularly every 3,600 years, implies an orbit with a semi-major axis of 235 astronomical units, extending from the asteroid belt to twelve times farther beyond the sun than Pluto. Elementary perturbation theory indicates that, under the most favorable circumstances of avoiding close encounters with other planets, no body with such an eccentric orbit would keep the same period for two consecutive passages. Within twelve orbits the object would be either ejected or converted to a short period object. Thus, the failed search for a trans-Plutonian planet by T.C. Van Flandern, of the U.S. Naval Observatory, which Sitchin uses to bolster his thesis, is no support at all.

Sitchin in "the case of Adam’s alien genes" states that 223 genes found by the Human Genome Sequencing Consortium are without the required predecessors on the genomic evolutionary tree. Later researchers have argued that the conclusion from the Human Genome Sequencing Consortium cannot be drawn due to a lack of a comprehensive gene database for comparison. An analysis by Salzberg identified 40 potential genes laterally transferred into the genome from prokaryotic organisms. Salzberg also argues that gene loss combined with sample size effects and evolutionary rate variation provide an alternative, more biologically plausible explanation.

Peter James, co-author of the controversial book Centuries of Darkness, has criticized Sitchin both for ignoring the world outside Mesopotamia and more specifically for misunderstanding Babylonian literature.

For more information regarding Zecharia Satchin, you can visit his website:

Source: Wikipedia

This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA: Creative Commons

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Carroll's Journey: Cruel Summer

Man, it is really hot outside. It's so hot that my shadow is sweating. It's so hot that I am naming this day Miley Cyrus day. It's so hot that my air conditioner is asking me to buy it an air conditioner.

Okay, enough of that. You get the point.

This summer has already been one busy bee and we still have a couple of months remaining. Which is good I guess. It was slow as molasses last year, for the better part. Then again, my "busy" might be slightly different from your "busy".

It's also been a sad one too, or at least, it has had its sad moments. A friend of mine on Facebook lost her twenty-one year old son and honestly, that is really heartbreaking. A couple other friends of mine here in my town have lost their fathers in recent weeks and days.

My summer adventure began back in March when I decided to close down one of my banking accounts in one county and move it to a bank in my own county - a little closer to me. That was a bit of a job in itself. After a couple of complications I finally was able to do it. The whole process took a couple of weeks or so.

I took a week just to draft my fantasy football teams this year.

Then I had a final spat with my mother and little sister. It wasn't really a spat as it was just a white flag I decided to raise and move on with my life without them because I simply got tired of the crap. It's a sad day when your family would rather have no contact with you than have a relationship where they have to show you the least bit of respect. It's like, if they have to respect you then they prefer not to have you around. But I finally realized that this was the case and I decided to walk away. I miss the kids something awful, but I could never respect myself if I hadn't finally gave in to the truth. I hung in there for as long as I could. Me and my family have a long standing history of butting heads and conflict. Why? I may never know the whole truth. My theory is that it has something to do with my writing - or at least a good portion of it is cause. Another theory is that some are still not pleased with me standing up to my brother the way I did some 20+ years ago. He was (maybe still is) the shit. Everybody loves my brother despite him being a conman and an ex-convict. He is not a good man. But for some reason, the rest of the family still insist sticking their nose right up his backside.

I went on a five day vacation with my adopted daughter, taking her to see a couple of lighthouses. She really enjoyed it. I did too. We had a lot of fun. It was something she has wanted to do since around last September but her parents didn't have enough vacation time on the books to take her so they asked me and well, since I had nothing else going on, I caved. lol

I have construction going on at home in my living room. I can't even begin to remember the last time I have been out shopping with friends as much as I have this summer. Almost twice a week I find myself getting together with friends and going shopping. I'm buying all the things that have piled up on my "to do" and "to get" list. New shoes, boots, pants, shirts, electronics, you name it. I'm starting to lose my "cheap ass" label. lol

I have also been to a few meetings with various companies and people. Some in the music industry. Anyone who knows me knows I hate appointments. I haven't used an alarm clock for twelve plus years now. I go to sleep when I am tired and wake up when I wake up. I did not use an alarm clock for these meetings because luckily, they were scheduled around noon or later. I am up these days between 5:00 AM and 9:00 AM. If there's one silver lining about my heart attack it's that I'm not as tired anymore as I was the few years leading up to my heart attack. I have more energy these days and have been able to pretty much keep a constant schedule that enables me to interact in a more normal manner.

So all of this and helping out my friends with some projects has kept me somewhat busy this summer. I have worked in some new posts for my blogs that I have scheduled leading up into October whenever I could just because I couldn't see when I would have definite time to keep up with my blogs. That's how busy it has been. It is easy for me to forget about my blogs sometimes. I really have to make a conscious effort to address them.

Well, that's about it. For now. I'm hoping at this point that these shootings going on in America will stop soon. I think my country has spilled enough blood this year. Please people, stop with the killing. It's getting us nowhere - but dead.

It really has been a busy and cruel summer. (But it's had its good moments too) Although, I had conflicting emotions about our fireworks show having been cancelled due to the weather.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tom Horn: American Outlaw

Thomas "Tom" Horn, Jr. (November 21, 1860 – November 20, 1903) was an American Old West scout, who carried out varied roles as hired gunman, Pinkerton, range detective, cowboy, and soldier. Believed to have committed 17 murders as a hired gunman in the West, in 1902 Horn was convicted of the murder of 14-year-old Willie Nickell near Iron Mountain, Wyoming. The boy was the son of sheep rancher Kels Nickell, who had been involved in a range feud with neighbor and cattle rancher Jim Miller. On the day before his 43rd birthday, Horn was executed by hanging in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Known as "Tom," he was born in 1860 to Thomas S. Horn, Sr. and Mary Ann Maricha (née Miller) on their family farm in rural northeastern Scotland County, Missouri. They had 600 acres (bisected by the South Wyaconda River), located between the towns of Granger and Etna. Tom was the fifth of twelve children. During his childhood, the young Tom suffered physical abuse from his father, and his only companion as a child was a dog named Shedrick. The dog was tragically killed when the young Tom got into a fight with two boys, who proceeded to beat Tom and killed the dog with a shotgun.

Horn allegedly killed his first man in a duel - the man was a second lieutenant in the Mexican Army, whom he killed as a result of a dispute with a prostitute. At sixteen, Horn headed to the American Southwest, where he was hired by the U.S. Cavalry as a civilian scout, packer and interpreter under Al Sieber during the Apache Wars. Horn did a great job in his work for the army, and soon he rose through the ranks. In one instance, as Sieber, Horn and the army were crossing the Cibicue Creek, they were ambushed by Apaches warriors positioned on high ground. The officer in charge of their squad, Captain Edmund Hentig, was instantly killed, and the men became pinned down under overwhelming fire. Desperate, Sieber ordered Horn and another civilian Mickey Free to break away and return fire from a hill. Together with the soldiers, the men managed to repel the attack. Tom Horn and Al Sieber also participated during the Battle of Big Dry Wash, and gained recognition when he and Lt. George H. Morgan slipped through the banks opposite of the Apache line, and provided covering fire for the cavalry as well as killing a number of Apaches warriors. Tom Horn became a respected scout by then, known for going out alone in reconnaissance missions as well as helping track down Geronimo's major stronghold. By November 1885, Tom Horn earned the position as a Chief of Scouts under Captain Emmet Crawford's command in Fort Bowie. During one operation, Horn's camp was mistakenly attacked by a Mexican militia, and he was wounded in the arm during the shootout and led to the death of Crawford. Finally on September 4, 1886, Horn was present at Geronimo's final surrender and acted as an interpreter under Charles B. Gatewood.

After the war, Horn used what he earned to build his own ranch in his return to the Aravaipa Canyon in Arizona. His ranch consisted of 100 cattle and 26 horses, and he also laid claim in the Deer Creek Mining District near the canyon. Unfortunately, it was short-lived as cattle thieves stormed his ranch one night and stole all his stock, leaving a tremendous loss and bankruptcy for Horn. This incident would mark Horn's hatred and disdain for thieves, which would escalate in him taking the profession of range detective.

Although his official title was "Range Detective," Horn essentially served as a killer for hire. By the mid-1890s the cattle business in Wyoming and Colorado was changing due to the arrival of homesteaders and new ranchers. The homesteaders, “nesters” or “grangers”, as they were referred to by the big operators, had moved into the territory in large numbers. By doing so they decreased the availability of water for the herds of the larger cattle barons. Soon, efforts were made to get rid of these homesteaders, including the hiring of gunmen such as Tom Horn. Violent gunfights such as the bloody shootout that resulted in the death of nine trappers in Big Dry Creek, as well as the lynching and burning of homesteaders Luther M. Mitchell and Ami W. Ketchum, precipitated the war.

In 1900, Horn had begun working for the Swan Land and Cattle Company in northwest Colorado. His first job was to investigate the Browns Park Cattle Association's leader and cowboy Matt Rash, who was suspected of cattle-rustling. Horn went undercover as "Tom Hicks" and worked for Rash as a ranch hand, while also collecting evidence of Rash branding cattle that did not belong to him. When Horn finally pieced together enough evidence to determine that Rash was indeed a rustler, he put a letter on Rash's door threatening him to leave in sixty days. The cowboy however, defiantly stayed and continued working on his ranch. As Rash continued to be uncooperative, Horn's employers were said to have given the assassin the "go-ahead signal" to execute Rash. On the day of the murder, an armed Horn arrived at Rash's cabin as the man had just finished eating, before Horn shot him at point-blank range. The dying Rash unsuccessfully tried to write the name of his killer, but no trace was left of the murder. Only the accounts and rumors from various people point to Horn as the one responsible. Rash was supposed to be married to a nearby rancher, Ann Bassett, and the woman accused Hicks of being the murderer.

While working again near Iron Mountain, Wyoming, Horn visited the Jim and Dora Miller family on July 15, 1901. They were cattle ranchers. (Jim Miller was no relation to the Texas outlaw Jim Miller.) Jim Miller and his neighbor Kels Nickell had already had several disputes following Nickell's introduction of sheep into the Iron Mountain area. Miller frequently accused Nickell of letting his sheep graze on Miller land.

At the Millers, Horn met Glendolene M. Kimmell, the young teacher at the Iron Mountain School. Ms. Kimmell was supported by both the large Miller and Kels Nickell families, and she boarded with the Millers. Horn entertained her with accounts of his adventures. That day he and males of the Miller family went fishing; he and Victor Miller, a son about his age, also practiced shooting, both of them with .30-.30s.

The Miller and Nickell families were the only ones to have children at the school. Kimmel had been advised of the families' feud before she arrived, and found that it was often played out by conflict among the children. A few days later, on July 18, 1901, Willie Nickell, the 14-year-old son of sheep ranchers Kels and Mary Nickell, was found murdered near their homestead gate. A coroner's inquest began to investigate the murder. More violent incidents occurred during the period of the coroner's inquest, which was expanded to investigate these incidents, and lasted from July through September 1901.

On August 4, 1901, Kels Nickell was shot and wounded. Some 60-80 of his sheep were found "shot or clubbed to death." Two of the younger Nickell children later reported seeing two men leaving on horses colored a bay and a gray, as were horses owned by Jim Miller. (Bay is a common color among horses). On August 6, 1901 Deputy Sheriff Peter Warlaumont and Deputy U.S. Marshal Joe LeFors came to Iron Mountain and arrested Jim Miller and his sons Victor and Gus on suspicion of shooting Kels Nickell. They were jailed on August 7 and released the following day on bond. The investigation of the shooting of Kels Nickell was added to the investigation of Willie Nickell's murder in the coroner's inquest.

Deputy Marshal Joe Lefors later questioned Horn in January 1902 about the murder, while supposedly talking to him about employment. Horn was still inebriated from the night before, but Lefors gained what he called a confession to the murder of Willie Nickell. Horn allegedly confessed to killing the young Willie with his rifle from 300 yards, which he boasted as the "best shot that [he] ever made and the dirtiest trick that [he] ever done." Horn was arrested the next day by the county sheriff. Walter Stoll was the Laramie County Prosecutor in the case. Judge Richard H. Scott, who presided over the case, was running for reelection.

Horn was supported by his longtime friend and employer, cattle rancher John C. Coble. He gathered a team for the defense headed by Judge John W. Lacey, and included attorneys T.F. Burke, Roderick N. Matson, Edward T. Clark and T. Blake Kennedy. Reportedly, Coble paid for most of the costs of this large team. According to Johan P. Bakker, who wrote Tracking Tom Horn, the large cattle interests by this time found Horn "expendable" and the case provided a way to silence him in regard to their activities. He wrote that 100 members of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association paid $1000 each toward the defense, but wanted a minimal effort.

Horn's trial started October 10, 1902 in Cheyenne, which filled with crowds attracted by the notoriety of Horn. The Rocky Mountain News noted the carnival atmosphere and great interest from the public for a conviction. The prosecution introduced Horn's confession to Lefors. Only certain parts of Horn's statement were introduced, distorting his statement. The prosecution introduced testimony by at least two witnesses, including lawman Lefors, as well as circumstantial evidence; these elements only placed Horn in the general vicinity of the crime scene. During the trial, Victor Miller testified that he and Horn both had .30-.30 guns, and bought their ammunition at the same store. Another, Otto Plaga, testified that Horn was 20 miles from the scene of the murder an hour after it was committed.

Glendolene Kimmell had testified during the coroner's inquest, saying she thought both the Miller and Nickell families responsible for maintaining the feud, but she was never called as a defense witness. She had resigned from the school in October 1901 and left the area, but was in communication with people in the case. She submitted an affidavit to the governor while the case was on appeal. It is recounted in secondary sources but the original document disappeared from public records.

Horn’s trial went to the jury on October 23, and they returned a guilty verdict the next day. A hearing several days later sentenced Horn to death by hanging.

Horn’s attorneys filed a petition with the Wyoming Supreme Court for a new trial. While in jail, Horn wrote his autobiography, Life of Tom Horn, Government Scout and Interpreter, Written by Himself, mostly giving an account of his early life. It contained little about the case.

The Wyoming Supreme Court upheld the decision of the District Court and denied a new trial. Convinced of Horn's innocence, Glendolene Kimmell sent an affidavit to Governor Fenimore Chatterton with testimony reportedly saying that Victor Miller was guilty of Nickell's murder. Accounts of its contents appeared in the press, but the original document has disappeared. The governor chose not to intervene in the case. Horn was given an execution date of November 20, 1903.

Tom Horn was one of the few people in the "Wild West" to have been hanged by a water-powered gallows, known as the "Julian Gallows." James P. Julian, a Cheyenne, Wyoming architect, designed the contraption in 1892. The trap door was connected to a lever which pulled the plug out of a barrel of water. This would cause a lever with a counterweight to rise, pulling on the support beam under the gallows. When enough pressure was applied, the beam broke free, opening the trap and hanging the condemned man.

Horn was hanged in Cheyenne. At that time, Horn never gave up the names of those who had hired him during the feud. He was buried in the Columbia Cemetery in Boulder, Colorado on 3 December 1903. Rancher Jim Coble paid for his coffin and a stone to mark his grave. After his death, many considered Horn was unrightfully executed for a murder solely based on a drunk confession. Even the old Apache warrior, Geronimo, expressed his doubts about Horn's charges during an interview with Charles Ackenhausen, saying that he "did not believe Horn was guilty."

Source: Wikipedia

This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA: Creative Commons

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Saturday Night Live Is Saturday Night Dead

I remember when I was just a young lad and living in a most amazing time. They called it the nineteen seventies. Something magical always seemed to happen almost every single day and then, from out of the blue, Saturday Night Live.

The 'Not Ready For Prime Time Players'. Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, Bill Murry, Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi, just to name a few. And my Saturday nights changed. I mean, yeah, I went from watching Godzilla movies, and Creature From The Black Lagoon, and other scary monsters to now, I was watching these hilarious comics putting on a show that made me laugh from beginning to end. They were crazy - and edgy - and I loved it!

My friends and I would talk about it the next day while playing or on Monday at school. Sometimes we had sleepovers on Saturday nights just to watch the show together. Pizza, popcorn, and soft drinks, and we were all laid out on top of our sleeping bags getting a big kick out of this new comedy show.

Oh, the memories.

Then in the eighties, they slipped a little. After such great success for so many years, the gang split up and went Hollywood. They were a tough act to follow, but for the most part, they did okay in replacing some of them. Great acts like Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin, just to mention a couple, soon arrived and kept the laughs coming. But in the mid to late eighties, SNL fell on some hard times. It took a few seasons to get back on track and then, leading into the nineties, they caught their second wind in the form of such acts as, David Spade, Will Ferrell, Dana Carvey, Chris Farley, and Kevin Nealon, just to mention a few, and they pretty much rediscovered themselves again.

They did okay, too, until right around 2002 and 2003. This is when the wheels began to come off again and so far, to the present, they have yet to find anyone even remotely funny. Yes, for the past fifteen years Saturday Night Live has been Saturday Night Dead. Just completely awful. The worst I have ever seen a comedy show.

And it just keeps on getting worse and worse and worse and ..... horrible.

What happened? I mean, at first I thought they just couldn't find anyone who is funny anymore when I realized, maybe there isn't anyone out there who is funny anymore. Not to me anyway because, everything has been done.

I also realized recently that I don't watch 'Comedy Central' anymore. Every time I try to watch some new comic, I shudder within minutes if not, seconds, because people just are not funny anymore. They are actually dull to the point of stupid. I have even stopped buying comedies on DVD because these so called "funny movies" are boring as shit with horrible writing, stupid jokes, or jokes being told by people who just simply can't nail the punchline. Hell, I don't even think today's 'so-called' comics even know what a freaking punchline is.

Maybe it is because everything has been said and done that there's just nothing funny anymore that is original. I also believe that this PC culture we live in has watered down the jokes quite a bit, too. Maybe America has lost its funny bone. They say, when you get too sensitive to tell a joke about religion, politics, sickness, or be able to laugh at yourself without being offended - you become a Hitler-like society. And I think that's exactly what is going on in America.

Okay, so I pop in about once a month to 'Comedy Central' and continue to be disappointed at the lack of talent in the comedy store. And I pop in about once a month to SNL and struggle through five minutes of crap before wanting to pull out my gun and shoot the TV.

Okay, comedy is dead in America. Period!

But is it because we are too sensitive? Too PC? Too untalented? Has everything just been done repeatedly? Did we just forget what is funny?

What has happened to all of our great comedic talent? Where have the funny people gone?

Maybe I'm just an old dog and maybe to the young people, who weren't around when real comedy was going on in the world, and they refuse to go back and look at it so to them, maybe comics of today are funny. I mean, maybe this stuff is new to them and they don't know that it has all been done before. Maybe they think this lame crap of today is funny because they don't know any better?

It reminds me of the music industry. The crap they put out today would choke a billy-goat. But, when it's all you know, you eat it and try and acquire a taste for crap.

I feel sorry for young people today. They are getting ripped off in almost everything except for technology.

That's a shame.

And so continues my constant confusion of trying to figure out how and why Saturday Night Live can continue week to week, season after season, on air for lack of any signs of talent on that show. The writing sucks. The comics suck. Everything about it just sucks, sucks, sucks and then .... it sucks some more.

Bye, bye, American pie.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Revolution 2016

REVOLUTION 2016 - By Carroll Bryant

People of Earth I'm coming back home 
Hold your breath 
Prepare your souls 

You're looking for answers that don't exist 
Smoke and mirrors 
You're broken to the bone 

The world's a test 
Your mind's a mess
Blaming Trump when you should be blaming the president 
Your heart's a wreck 
But what the heck 
You can't take it anymore 

Stupid amid confusion 
Welcome to the fake revolution
Buried in their thought pollution 
Welcome to the fake revolution 

Paid to misbehave 

People of Earth I'm standing right here 
You don't care 
You like it over there

You're crying the tears that drown your sorrows
By night and day 
There's no tomorrow

There's no success 
No wound to dress
No one's happy until somebody ends up dead 
Your time's a riot 
And you can't buy it 
You're hiding deep inside of your head

Stupid amid confusion 
Welcome to the fake revolution
Buried in their thought pollution 
Welcome to the fake revolution 

Paid to dig your grave

The world's a test 
Your mind's a mess
Blaming Trump when you should be blaming the president 
Your heart's a wreck 
But what the heck 
You can't take it anymore 

Stupid amid confusion 
Welcome to the fake revolution
Buried in their thought pollution 
Welcome to the fake revolution 

Paid to misbehave

Stupid amid confusion 
Welcome to the fake revolution
Buried in their thought pollution 
Welcome to the fake revolution 

Paid to preach their ways

Paid to misbehave

Paid to be a democratic slave 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Britney Spears: Teen Idol

Every now and then, in the musical industry, there comes along a song or singer, or both, that gets the young kids juices flowing and, gets pedophiles all excited too. For example, recently the song "Cake By The Ocean" by DNCE is  nothing more than "sex on the beach" or, to be more direct, "going down on a girl". Now, I know Joe Jonas will not go on record and say this is what it means, but trust me, that's what it means. Giving a girl oral sex. And with Disney and Nickelodeon channels playing this song and endorsing it, I'm quite positive the pedo's of the world are cashing in on it as well. Horrible thought? Well, yes it is, but a reality pill society has to swallow. (No pun intend .... eh, forget it).

But for Britney Spears, she splashed onto the musical scene with a song that not only got the boys of all ages kicking and screaming with "Hit Me Baby One More Time", but her video sent them to the cold showers, too.

Spears was born in McComb, Mississippi, the second child of Lynne Irene Bridges and James Parnell Spears. Her maternal grandmother, Lillian Portell, was English (born in London), and one of Spears's maternal great-great-grandfathers was Maltese. Her siblings are Bryan James and Jamie Lynn. At age three, she started attending dance lessons in her hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, and was selected to perform as a solo artist at the annual recital. During her childhood, she also attended gymnastics and voice lessons, and won many state-level competitions and children's talent shows. Spears made her local stage debut at age five, singing "What Child Is This?" at her kindergarten graduation. She said about her ambition as a child, "I was in my own world, I found out what I'm supposed to do at an early age"

In June 1997, Spears was in talks with manager Lou Pearlman to join the female pop group Innosense. Lynne asked family friend and entertainment lawyer Larry Rudolph for his opinion and submitted a tape of Spears singing over a Whitney Houston karaoke song along with some pictures. Rudolph decided he wanted to pitch her to record labels, therefore she needed a professional demo. He sent Spears an unused song of Toni Braxton; she rehearsed for a week and recorded her vocals in a studio with a sound engineer. Spears traveled to New York with the demo and met with executives from four labels, returning to Kentwood the same day. Three of the labels rejected her, arguing that audiences wanted pop bands such as the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls, and "there wasn't going to be another Madonna, another Debbie Gibson, or another Tiffany."

Two weeks later, executives from Jive Records returned calls to Rudolph. Senior vice president of A&R Jeff Fenster stated about Spears's audition that "it's very rare to hear someone that age who can deliver emotional content and commercial appeal.  For any artist, the motivation - the 'eye of the tiger' - is extremely important. And Britney had that." She then sang Houston's "I Have Nothing" for the executives, and was signed to the label. They appointed her to work with producer Eric Foster White for a month, who reportedly shaped her voice from "lower and less poppy" delivery to "distinctively, unmistakably Britney." After hearing the recorded material, president Clive Calder ordered a full album. Spears had originally envisioned "Sheryl Crow music, but younger more adult contemporary" but felt all right with her label's appointment of producers, since "It made more sense to go pop, because I can dance to it - it's more me." She flew to Cheiron Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, where half of the album was recorded from March to April 1998, with producers Max Martin, Denniz Pop and Rami Yacoub, among others.

After Spears returned to the United States, she embarked on a shopping mall promotional tour to promote her debut album. Her show was a four song set and she was accompanied by two back up dancers. Her first concert tour followed, as an opening act for NSYNC. Her debut studio album, ...Baby One More Time, was released on January 12, 1999. It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was certified two-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America after a month. Worldwide, the album topped the charts in fifteen countries and sold over 10 million copies in a year. It became the biggest selling album ever by a teenage artist.

The title track was released as the lead single from the album. Originally, Jive Records wanted its music video to be animated; however, Spears rejected it, and suggested the final idea of a Catholic schoolgirl. The single sold 500,000 copies on its first day, and peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, topping the chart for two consecutive weeks. It has sold more than 10 million as of today, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. "Baby One More Time" later received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The title track also topped the singles chart for two weeks in the United Kingdom, and became the fastest-selling single ever by a female artist, shipping over 460,000 copies. It would later become the 25th-most successful song of all time in British chart history. Spears is also the youngest female artist to have a million seller in the country. "(You Drive Me) Crazy" was released as the third single from the album. It became a top-ten hit worldwide and propelled ...Baby One More Time to sell even more. As of today, it has sold 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. It is also the best-selling first album by any artist ever.

The April 1999 cover of Rolling Stone featured Spears lying on her bed, covered with a bra, shorts and an open top. The American Family Association (AFA) referred to the shoot as "a disturbing mix of childhood innocence and adult sexuality" and called to "God-loving Americans to boycott stores selling Britney's albums." Spears responded to the outcry commenting, "What's the big deal? I have strong morals. I'd do it again. I thought the pictures were fine. And I was tired of being compared to Debbie Gibson and all of this bubblegum pop all the time." Shortly before, Spears had announced publicly she would remain a virgin until marriage. On June 28, 1999, Spears began her first headlining ...Baby One More Time Tour in North America, which was positively received by critics, but generated some controversy due to her racy outfits. An extension of the tour, titled Crazy 2k, followed in March 2000. Spears premiered songs from her upcoming second album during the show.

Oops!... I Did It Again, her second studio album, was released in May 2000. It debuted at number one in the US, selling 1.3 million copies, breaking the SoundScan record for the highest debut sales by any solo artist. The album sold over 25 million copies worldwide to date, making one of the best-selling albums of all time. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone said that "the great thing about Oops! – under the cheese surface, Britney's demand for satisfaction is complex, fierce and downright scary, making her a true child of rock & roll tradition." The album's lead single, "Oops!... I Did It Again", peaked at the top of the charts in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and many other European nations. The album as well as the title track received Grammy nominations for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, respectively.

The same year, Spears embarked on the Oops!... I Did It Again Tour, which grossed $40.5 million; she also released her first book, Britney Spears' Heart-to-Heart, co-written with her mother. On September 7, 2000, Spears performed at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. Halfway through the performance, she ripped off her black suit to reveal a sequined flesh-colored bodysuit, followed by heavy dance routine. It is noted by critics as the moment that Spears showed signs of becoming a more provocative performer. Amidst media speculation, Spears confirmed she was dating NSYNC member Justin Timberlake. She also bought a home in Destin, Florida.

In February 2001, Spears signed a $7–8 million promotional deal with Pepsi, and released another book co-written with her mother, titled A Mother's Gift. Her self-titled third studio album, Britney, was released in November 2001. While on tour, she felt inspired by hip hop artists such as Jay-Z and The Neptunes and wanted to create a record with a funkier sound. The album debuted at number one in the Billboard 200 and reached top five positions in Australia, the United Kingdom and mainland Europe and sold over 12 million copies worldwide. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All-Music called Britney "the record where she strives to deepen her persona, making it more adult while still recognizably Britney. It does sound like the work of a star who has now found and refined her voice, resulting in her best record yet." The album was honored with two Grammy nominations - Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Overprotected" -  and was listed in 2008 as one of Entertainment Weekly's "100 Best Albums from the Past 25 Years". The album's first single, "I'm a Slave 4 U", became a top-ten hit worldwide.

In June 2002, Spears opened her first restaurant, Nyla, in New York City, but terminated her relationship in November, citing mismanagement and "management's failure to keep her fully apprised". In July 2002, Spears announced she would take a six-month break from her career; however, she went back into the studio in November to record her new album. Spears's relationship with Justin Timberlake ended after three years. In December 2002, Timberlake released the song "Cry Me a River" as the second single from his solo debut album. The music video featured a Spears look-alike and fueled the rumors that she had been unfaithful to him. As a response, Spears wrote the ballad "Everytime" with her backing vocalist and friend Annet Artani. The same year, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst said that he was in a relationship with Spears. However, Spears denied Durst's claims. In a 2009 interview, he explained that "I just guess at the time it was taboo for a guy like me to be associated with a gal like her."

In July 2004, Spears became engaged to American dancer Kevin Federline, whom she had met three months before. The romance received intense attention from the media, since Federline had recently broken up with actress Shar Jackson, who was still pregnant with their second child at the time. The stages of their relationship were chronicled in Spears's first reality show Britney & Kevin: Chaotic. They held a wedding ceremony on September 18, 2004, but were not legally married until three weeks later on October 6 due to a delay finalizing the couple's prenuptial agreement. Shortly after, she released her first fragrance with Elizabeth Arden, Curious, which broke the company's first-week gross for a perfume. In October 2004, Spears took a career break to start a family. Greatest Hits: My Prerogative, her first greatest hits compilation album, was released in November 2004. Spears's cover version of Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative" was released as the lead single from the album, reaching the top of the charts in Finland, Ireland, Italy and Norway. The second single, "Do Somethin'", was a top ten hit in Australia, the United Kingdom and other countries of mainland Europe. The greatest hits album sold over 5 million copies worldwide. In August 2005, Spears released "Someday (I Will Understand)", which was dedicated to her first child, a son, who was born the following month. In November 2005, she released her first remix compilation, B in the Mix: The Remixes, which consists of eleven remixes. It has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

In February 2006, pictures surfaced of Spears driving with her son Sean, on her lap instead of in a car seat. Child advocates were horrified by the photos of her holding the wheel with one hand and Sean with the other. Spears claimed that the situation happened because of a frightening encounter with paparazzi, and that it was a mistake on her part. The following month, she guest-starred on the Will & Grace episode "Buy, Buy Baby" as closeted lesbian Amber Louise. She announced she no longer studied Kabbalah in June 2006, explaining, "my baby is my religion." Two months later, Spears posed nude for the cover of Harper's Bazaar. The picture was heavily compared to Demi Moore's August 1991 Vanity Fair cover. In September 2006, she gave birth to her second child, a son. In November 2006, Spears filed for divorce from Federline, citing irreconcilable differences. Their divorce was finalized in July 2007, when the couple reached a global settlement and agreed to share joint custody of their children.

In October 2007, Spears released her fifth studio album, Blackout. The album debuted at the top of charts in Canada and Ireland, number two in the U.S. Billboard 200, France, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom and the top ten in Australia, Korea, New Zealand and many European nations. In the United States, Spears became the only female artist to have her first five studio albums debut at the two top slots of the chart. The album received positive reviews from critics and has sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Blackout won Album of the Year at MTV Europe Music Awards 2008 and was listed as the fifth Best Pop Album of the Decade by The Times. Spears performed the lead single "Gimme More" at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. The performance was panned by many critics. Despite the backlash, the single rocketed to worldwide success, peaking at number one in Canada and the top ten in almost every country it charted. The second single "Piece of Me" reached the top of the charts in Ireland and reached the top five in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The third single "Break the Ice" was released the following year and had moderate success due to Spears not being able to promote it properly. In December 2007, Spears began a relationship with paparazzo Adnan Ghalib.

In January 2008, Spears refused to relinquish custody of her sons to Federline's representatives. She was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after police that arrived at her house noted she appeared to be under the influence of an illicit substance. The following day, Spears's visitation rights were suspended at an emergency court hearing, and Federline was given sole physical and legal custody of the children. She was committed to the psychiatric ward of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and put on 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold. The court placed her under temporary, and later, permanent conservatorship of her father James Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet, giving them complete control of her assets. She was released five days later.

The following month, Spears guest-starred on the How I Met Your Mother episode "Ten Sessions" as receptionist Abby. She received positive reviews for her performance, as well as bringing the series its highest ratings ever. In July 2008, Spears regained some visitation rights after coming to an agreement with Federline and his counsel. In September 2008, Spears opened the MTV Video Music Awards with a pre-taped comedy sketch with Jonah Hill and an introduction speech. She won Best Female Video, Best Pop Video and Video of the Year for "Piece of Me". A 60-minute introspective documentary, Britney: For the Record, was produced to chronicle Spears's return to the recording industry. Directed by Phil Griffin, For the Record was shot in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and New York City during the third quarter of 2008. The documentary was broadcast on MTV to 5.6 million viewers for the two airings on the premiere night. It was the highest rating in its Sunday night timeslot and in the network's history.

In December 2008, Spears's sixth studio album Circus was released. It received positive reviews from critics and debuted at number one in Canada, Czech Republic and the United States, and inside the top ten in many European nations. In the United States, Spears became the youngest female artist to have five albums debut at number one, earning a place in Guinness World Records. She also became the only act in the Soundscan era to have four albums debut with 500,000 or more copies sold. The album was one of the fastest-selling albums of the year, and has sold 4 million copies worldwide. Its lead single, "Womanizer", became Spears's first number one in the Billboard Hot 100 since "...Baby One More Time". The single also topped the charts in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway and Sweden. It was also nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Dance Recording.

Spears began work on her eighth studio album, Britney Jean, in December 2012, and enlisted as its executive producer in May 2013. On September 17, 2013, she appeared on Good Morning America to announce her two-year residency show at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, titled Britney: Piece of Me. It began on December 27, 2013, and will include a total of 100 shows throughout 2014 and 2015. During the same appearance, Spears announced that Britney Jean would be released on December 3, 2013, in the United States. It was released through RCA Records due to the disbandment of Jive Records in 2011.

Britney Jean became Spears's final project under her original recording contract with RCA, which had guaranteed the release of eight studio albums. The record received a low amount of promotion and had little commercial impact, reportedly due to contractual obligations for Britney: Piece of Me. Upon its release, the record debuted at number four on the U.S. Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 107,000 copies, becoming her lowest-peaking and lowest-selling album in the United States. Britney Jean debuted at number 34 on the UK Albums Chart, selling 12,959 copies in its first week. In doing so, it became Spears's lowest-charting and lowest-selling album in the country.

In March 2015, it was confirmed by People magazine that Spears would release a new single, "Pretty Girls", with Iggy Azalea, on May 4, 2015. The song debuted and peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and charted moderately in international territories. Spears and Azalea performed the track live at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards from The AXIS, the home of Spears's residency, to positive critical response. Entertainment Weekly praised the performance, noting "Spears gave one of her most energetic televised performances in years." On June 16, 2015, Giorgio Moroder released his album, Deja Vu, that featured Spears on "Tom's Diner". In an interview, Moroder praised Spears's vocals and said that she did a "good job" with the song. Moroder also stated that Spears "sounds so good that you would hardly recognize her."

Spears became an international pop culture icon immediately after launching her recording career. Rolling Stone magazine wrote: "One of the most controversial and successful female vocalists of the 21st century," she "spearheaded the rise of post-millennial teen pop ... Spears early on cultivated a mixture of innocence and experience that broke the bank". She is listed by the Guinness World Records as having the "Best-selling album by a teenage solo artist" for her debut album ...Baby One More Time which sold over thirteen million copies in the United States. Melissa Ruggieri of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported: "She's also marked for being the best-selling teenage artist.

Before she turned 20 in 2001, Spears sold more than 37 million albums worldwide"
As of 2011, she has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time based on album sales alone. She was also ranked as the fourth VH1's "50 Greatest Women of the Video Era" show list, ahead of most of her contemporaries and only behind veterans Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Whitney Houston. Spears is also recognized as the best-selling female artist of the first decade of the 21st century, as well as the fifth overall. In December 2009, Billboard magazine ranked Spears the 8th Artist of the 2000s decade in the United States.

Spears is known for her iconic performances and music videos. The music video for her debut single, "...Baby One More Time", was ranked number one on TRL's Final Countdown of the most iconic music videos. At the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, before performing "Oops!... I Did It Again", the singer appeared behind a backlit screen, and descended a spiral staircase and started performing "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", while wearing a tuxedo. After performing a shortened version of the track, she tore the tuxedo off, revealing a skin-tight flesh-colored outfit. The following year, Spears performed her single "I'm a Slave 4 U". Jocelyn Vena of MTV summarized the performance, saying, "draping herself in a white python and slithering around a steamy garden setting – surrounded by dancers in zebra and tiger outfits – Spears created one of the most striking visuals in the 27-year history of the show.

Source: Wikipedia

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