Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Psychedelic Pied Pipers

Today in Music History: November 26, 1988

Along with the songs and music comes the presentation, the showmanship. Often, tickets purchased for a performance pay for the show just as much, if not more so, for the music. Heavy costumes, skimpy costumes, colorful strobing lights higher than normal intensity bring motion to the stage pulsating with action. Then, the music sends fans jumping out of their seats screaming to the top of their lungs.

Pink Floyd in January 1968, from the only known photo-shoot of all five members. 
Clockwise from bottom: Gilmour, Mason, Barrett, Waters, Wright

http://www.pinkfloyd.com/theendlessriver/Pink Floyd the psychedelic Pied Pipers of the “London underground” scene

In the 70s, Pink Floyd became one of the most influential bands of all time. They brought psychedelia - hallucinatory presentation of lights and music - to the music scene in the U.K. Pink Floyd forged an unsettling but provocative combination of science fiction and social commentary. Over a 40 year span of time Pink Floyd moved from massive to almost mystic standing. The band underwent several personnel changes, experienced numerous musical phases, earning a place on the ultimate roll call of rock, alongside The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.
Their 1973 release Dark Side of the Moon hit Number One on the Billboard charts and ultimately broke all records by remaining on the Top 200 album charts for 741 weeks. Dark Side of the Moon did not drop off Billboard’s Top 200 album chart until 1988. The album signaled rock’s willingness to move from adolescence into adulthood, conceptually addressing such subjects as aging, madness, money and time. From its prismatic cover artwork to the music therein, Dark Side of the Moon is a classic-rock milestone. [Source: Pink Floyd Biography]

1988 Russian cosmonauts aboard SoyuzTM- 7 took into space a cassette copy (minus the cassette box for weight reasons) of the latest Pink Floyd album Delicate Sound Of Thunder and played it in orbit, making Pink Floyd the first rock band to be played in space. David Gilmour and Nick Mason both attended the launch of the spacecraft. The tape was left on Mir when the mission crew returned to Earth.
What about the name, Pink Floyd? Is that one person?
Roger 'Syd' Barrett, cool and charismatic son of a university don was the original creative force behind the band (which he named after the Delta bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council). His vision was perfect for the times, and vice versa. He would lead the band to its first precarious fame, and damage himself irreparably along the way. And though the Floyd's Barrett era only lasted three years, it always informed what they became. [Source: Pink Floyd | The Official Site]
What mark has Pink Floyd left on the music industry?
As a point of historical comparison, the Monkees had the No. 1 album in America when Piper at the Gates of Dawn entered the chart at No. 196 on Dec. 2, 1967. And while the Monkees certainly enjoy plenty of nostalgia for their singles, it's safe to say that particular Monkees album -- Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. -- has long faded from the public's memory. But 47 years later, Pink Floyd is No. 3 on the Billboard 200, Piper is recognized as a classic, Dark Side is one of four albums to be certified at 20-times platinum, and their catalog is essential listening for any rock fan. [Source: Billboard]

More on this day...

  • 1958 Johnny Cash, made his debut on the US country chart when ‘Cry! Cry! Cry!’ made it to number 14. His next seven singles would all make the country top 10, with ‘I Walk the Line’ and ‘There You Go’ both hitting number 1.

  • 1962 The Beatles recorded their second single ‘Please Please Me’ in 18 takes and ‘Ask Me Why’ for the flip side at EMI studio’s London. When released in the US on the Vee-Jay label, the first pressings featured a typographical error: The band's name was spelled "The Beatles".
  • 1967 The promotional film of The Beatles 'Hello, Goodbye' was aired on The Ed Sullivan show in the US. It was never shown at the time in the UK due to a musician's union ban on miming.
1989 The Rolling Stones played a concert at Death Valley Stadium in Clenson, South Carolina to help raise money for the victims of Hurricane Hugo.
1990 The inaugural Billboard Music Awards were held in Santa Monica, California. Janet Jackson was the main winner of the night, winning in eight categories, including Top Pop Album, Top R&B Album and Top R&B Artist.
1991 US Country singer Garth Brooks asked fans to bring 10 cans of food to a grocery store in exchange for a lottery envelope, some of which contained tickets to see Garth at a forthcoming show. Over 10,000 cans were donated to charity.
1994 The Eagles started a two-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'Hell Freezes Over.' The album name is in reference to a quote by Don Henley after the band's breakup in 1980; he commented that the band would play together again "when Hell freezes over."

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

Have your cake...& eat it too!

Desserts, snacks and treats find a place in time on any given day of the week. There is no magic minute or hour. When the craving for something sweet hits, it hits...right then, right NOW! For cake's sake, for the love of cake, on this day you get to have your cake & eat it too!

November 26 is...

Great day to get the kids in the kitchen! Let Them Eat Cake!

http://www.punchbowl.com/holidays/national-cake-day One can find or bake pound cakes, bundt cakes, cupcakes, layer cakes, sheath cakes, icebox cakes, cakes that are breadlike, some with pudding, some without; butter cakes, cheesecakes, foam cakes, fruitcakes, spice cakes, sponge cakes, coffee cakes, even yeast cakes; plain cakes, decorated cakes, cakes that are round, square, rectangular, 1-2-3 or more layer cakes; vanilla, chocolate, nutty or velvety cakes; French, German, Italian or American, and of course, the haunt your dreams cake! And, that is only a beginning!

With so many different varieties of cake, how does one choose? It is all a matter of taste and preference. For your divine pleasure, the cake for today is the haunt of MY dreams cake - the Italian Cream and the many ways it can be prepared. With the holidays approaching, its possibilities are endless!

 Just the way I like it, uh-huh! Creamy, crumbly, moist, melt-in-your-mouth Italian Cream Christmas Cake (Recipe)

Too much of a good thing? Maybe something a bit smaller is more to your taste...

 Italian Cream Cupcakes (Recipe)

Perhaps you had rather bundt it...

Italian Cream Bundt Cake (Recipe)

Ever tried adding a bit of orange? Great for the holidays...

Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake (Recipe)

What about caramelizing? Brown sugar is the shortcut to quick caramel flavor in both the cake layers and the frosting. 

 Caramel Italian Cream Cake (Recipe)

You really didn't think I would leave out the CHOCOLATE, did you?

Chocolate Italian Cake (Recipe)
The chocolate version of the classic Italian Cream Cake

Need more ideas?

Can't leave without a Brief History Of Cakes...

The world's first great bakers were the ancient Egyptians. Their large-scaled bakeries produced unleavened breads and cakes that were first baked on hot stones. The Egyptions were the first to discover how to use wild (natural) yeast to make the flatbreads and cakes rise. Round cakes descended from the round loaves of dough placed on hearthstones to bake. Whipping eggs to make cakes rise did not appear until another few millennia. By the 1840s, baking soda had been invented, followed by baking powder in the 1860s. It was with the invention of regulated temperatures in ovens and the more prevalent availability of sugar that led to more baking and increased creativity in the recipe department. The modern cake as we know it began to take shape in the mid-19th century.
Now, all you have to do is get to work and get it made! Then, have a slice...

 Forks ready!

Is your mouth watering yet?


Next on the Calendar...Stay tuned!

The Biggest Thing Afloat Sinks

This Day in History: November 25, 1990

Since the birth of modern civilization bridges have provided passage where otherwise movement forward would be impossible. The History of Bridges is fascinating filled with story upon story about life and death surrounding their construction, as well as events that led to their destruction, whether by man or nature. From those built of wooden logs, stone or dirt to those representing the epitome of architectural design and phenomenal engineering, e.g. the Golden Gate Bridge, many famous bridges - historical and modern, hold special places in history.

Lacey V. Memorial Bridge Sinking
Today's place in history is held by the collapse of an old bridge along the longest interstate highway in the United States, I-90. Scenes of bridges collapsing are not uncommon in movies with its share of blood and gore. These stories are not all Hollywood since most come from real life events. The scene on this day is in Seattle, Washington while a rehabilitation and maintenance operation was underway on the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge.

Known as The Biggest Thing Afloat, the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge is one of the longest floating bridges in the world. Construction on the bridge began January 1, 1939 and was completed in 1940. After 50 years of service, in 1990, disaster befell the old pontoon bridge while under repair. The event has been portrayed as "slow motion Titanic" since viewers actually watched the bridge sag, break apart and descend to the bottom of Lake Washington.
...news organizations had gotten wind of the situation and, within a short time, helicopters hovered over the bridge. As viewers looked on, the bridge began to sag. By the afternoon, it began to break apart. One by one, sections of the bridge broke off. In Titanic fashion, the pieces upended themselves and then tilted, slicing their way to the bottom of the lake. By the end of the day, the bridge was gone. [Source: HistoryLink.org]

How did this happen?

Construction on the bridge was well under way having begun in 1989. Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday in 1990, workers had cut six-foot-high holes into the hollow concrete pontoons to facilitate work. With the holiday at hand, the holes had not been closed and basically someone forgot to check the weather report. On Saturday all seemed well with the pontoons appearing relatively dry. Unusual high winds and rain, however, left an entirely different picture on Sunday morning. By that time, the pontoons were found to be nearly submerged. Efforts to pump them out were in vain.

If it is man-made, it is susceptible to error and destruction but can always be rebuilt or replaced in accordance with the day's advanced engineering and technological skills. At least on this day, that which cannot be replaced was spared...life!

Related Article @Awakenings:

The Biggest Thing Afloat

Monday, November 24, 2014

Believe it or not...

Today in Music History: November 25, 1965

Many groups of the Spirit of the 60s Music disbanded with a few members going on to become chart topping solo artists. Others disbanded to reunite years, often decades, later reviving the music, memories, pain and happiness of the past. Such is true of the group in the spotlight today. During late 1965 and early 1966, believe it or not, they rivaled the popularity of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Welcome into the spotlight...

The Seekers in 1965
Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org

http://www.theseekers50th.com/The Seekers: the first Australian pop music group to achieve major chart and sales success in the United Kingdom and the United States

The Seekers were at the head of the British Invasion's acoustic folk-rock division. They scored a string of number one hits in England and Top Ten successes in the U.S. that lasted into 1967, two years later than most British exports to America. 

The Seekers achieved their first success in the US in 1965 with their highly popular hit, "I'll Never Find Another You", reaching peaks of No. 4 Pop and No. 2 Easy Listening in Billboard magazine surveys.
The Seekers were the first Australian pop group to have a top 5 hit in all three countries – Australia, UK and US. Australian music historian, Ian McFarlane described their style as "concentrated on a bright, uptempo sound, although they were too pop to be considered strictly folk and too folk to be rock." The distinctive soprano voice of Durham, the group's harmonies and memorable songs encouraged the UK media, including the BBC, to give them exposure, allowing them to appeal to a broad cross-section of the pop audience. Source: en.wikipedia.org
1965 The Seekers were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'The Carnival Is Over', the group's second No.1. Originally a Russian folk song from 1883 with lyrics written by Tom Springfield (the brother of Dusty Springfield). At its peak, the song was selling 93,000 copies per day and is No.30 of the biggest selling singles of all time in the United Kingdom.
Here are The Seekers performing the same song in 2011 at an Andre Rieu concert...

The following recordings by the Seekers were each certified as having sold over one million copies: "I'll Never Find Another You", "A World of Our Own", "The Carnival is Over" and "Georgy Girl". They were each awarded a gold disc. As of 2004, the Seekers sold 60 million recordings worldwide. Makes one wonder what that count is today 10 years later!
More No.1s on this day...

  • 1972 Chuck Berry was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'My Ding a-Ling', his only UK No.1. The song was originally recorded by Dave Bartholomew in 1952. Berry's version was from a concert recorded at the Locarno ballroom in Coventry, England, on 3 February 1972. Boston radio station WMEX disc jockey Jim Connors was credited with a gold record for discovering the song and pushing it to No.1 over the airwaves and amongst his peers in the United States.
  • 2001 American country music artist Garth Brooks went to No.1 on the US album chart with his eightth studio album Scarecrow, the last album by Brooks before his thirteenth-year hiatus. It has been certified 5× platinum RIAA and was named Best Selling Album at the 2002 Canadian Country Music Association Awards.
  • 2001 Robbie Williams started an eight-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with Swing When You're Winning. The album spent 57 weeks on the UK Albums Chart, certified 7x Platinum, and became the 49th best-selling album of all-time in the UK.
    • 2001 Madonna achieved her sixth number one on the US album charts with Confessions on a Dance Floor her third consecutive US album chart topper. The album went to No.1 in 40 countries setting a new record. The Beatles previously held this record when The Beatles 1 went to No.1 in 36 countries in 2000.
1965 Harrods department store in London, England, closed to the public so The Beatles could do their Christmas shopping in private.
1992 The Bodyguard, opened nation-wide featuring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. The film which was Houston's acting debut was written by Lawrence Kasdan in the 1970s, originally as a vehicle for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross. It became the second-highest-grossing film worldwide in 1992 with the soundtrack becoming the best-selling soundtrack of all time, selling more than 42 million copies worldwide.
2010 A restaurant fell victim to a prankster who had them make 178 pizzas by claiming they were for singer Bob Dylan and his crew. An imposter wearing a fake pass for a Dylan concert called in an Antonio's restaurant and placed the huge order worth more than $3,900. He told the owner the pizzas were for Dylan and his crew who had appeared in concert in Amherst, Massachusetts. Staff at Antonios worked until 5.30am to make the pizzas - but were left stunned when no one returned to collect the order.

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

Crime Lab

This Day in History: November 24, 1932

Today's famed television series Bones, CSI and NCIS demonstrate the capabilities of a scientific laboratory. Whether forensic or physical evidence, it always ends up in the lab. For us in the 21st century, the tiniest bit of evidence can make or break a case. Even past evidence can be screened and scrutinized to the point of uncovering critical information. Yet, it has not always been this way.

Special Agent Charles Appel
On November 24, 1932, the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory officially opened in Washington, D.C. It did not contain any of the fancy modern equipment known today and operated out of a single room. That one room was selected simply because it contained the necessary sink. As for employees, no team, no different departments, simply one full-time employee, Agent Charles Appel.

John F. Fox, Jr. FBI Historian
Technicians working in the FBI Technical Laboratory
In its early days, the FBI Crime Lab worked on about 200 pieces of evidence a year. By the 1990s, that number multiplied to approximately 200,000. Currently, the FBI Crime Lab obtains 600 new pieces of criminal evidence every day!