Saturday, August 13, 2016


In 1923, a land syndicate created a new housing development on the Hollywood hillside of the Santa Monica Mountains. In an attempt to flaunt their new development, they contracted the Crescent Sign Company to erect a large HOLLYWOODLAND sign on Mount Lee, which is also part of Griffith Park.

The 13 letters, on a hillside facing south, were each 30 feet wide and 50 feet high. The letters were studded with some 4,000 light bulbs, whereby the sign would flash in 3 segments -- "HOLLY" & "WOOD" & "LAND" would alternate, lighting up individually.

The Poles that supported the sign were hauled up to the site by mules. The cost of the project was $21,000.

The sign was officially dedicated in 1923.

It was only intended to remain there for a year and a half. However, with the rise of American cinema in Los Angeles, the sign became a favorite symbol and remained in place.

Over time, it sustained damage and deterioration of the unprotected wood and sheet metal structure.

In 1932, the HOLLYWOODLAND sign was the scene of a bizarre incident. Millicent Lilian "Peg" Entwistle (1908 - 1932) was a stage and screen actress. She had appeared in several Broadway productions and only a single movie, titled Thirteen Women, On September 16, 1932, Entwistle leaped to her death from the "H" on the HOLLYWOODLAND sign, at age 24.

The official caretaker in the early 1940s, while driving drunk, was approaching the top of Mount Lee when he lost control of his 1928 Ford Model A and veered off the cliff directly behind the H, destroying both his car and the original 50-foot tall letter H.

In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Congress entered into a contract with the Parks Department of the City of Los Angeles to repair and rebuild the sign. As part of the contract, the "LAND" portion of the sign was to be removed, leaving the sign with 9 letters, reading HOLLYWOOD. The Chamber of Congress also opted not to replace any of the light bulbs on the letters.

In the 1970s, the first O had splintered and the third O had fallen down, rendering the sign to read HULLYWO D.

Hugh Hefner, publisher of Playboy magazine, began a campaign to restore the landmark sign.

In 1978, the Chamber of Congress decided to replace the deteriorating sign with a more permanent structure. Nine donors each gave $27,777.77 (totaling $249,999.93) to sponsor one of the replacement letters. The nine donors were each assigned a letter.

H -- Terrence Donnelly (publisher of Hollywood Independent Newspaper)
O -- Giovanni Mazza (Italian movie producer)
L -- Les Kelley (creator of The Kelley Blue Book)
L -- Gene Autry (actor)
Y -- Hugh Hefner (Publisher of Playboy)
W -- Andy Williams (singer)
O -- Warner Bros. Records
O -- Alice Cooper (singer)
D -- Dennis Lidke (businessman)

Alice Cooper had made his donation in the memory of his friend, comedian Groucho Marx, who had once joked that he would also donate an "O" from his own name.

The new version of the sign was unveiled on November 11, 1978, on a live CBS television special broadcast commemorating the 75th anniversary of the incorporation of the city of Hollywood.

Hooray for HOLLYWOOD.

Quote for the Day -- “Hollywood is like Picasso's bathroom.” Candace Bergen

Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and has fond memories of having lived a dozen years in the Land of Fruits & Nuts.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Trivial Trivia

In his 1918 book titled TRIVIA, British Author Logan Pearsall Smith (1865 - 1946) wrote "I know too much; I have stuffed too many of the facts of History and Science into my intellectuals. My eyes have grown dim over books; believing in geological periods, cave dwellers, Chinese Dynasties, and the fixed stars has prematurely aged me."

For those you thrive of useless trivia, I offer the following useless trivia.

  • The average person falls asleep in 7 minutes.

  • The average person's left hand does most of the typing.

  • "Stewardesses" is the longest word types with only the left hand.

  • There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

  • A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

  • There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.

  • "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends with the letters "mt."

  • Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

  • Maine is the only state in the USA whereby the name is only one syllable.

  • Al Capone's business card listed his occupation as a used furniture dealer.

  • The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

  • A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

  • A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.

  • Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

  • The average life of a five dollar bill is 5 1/2 years before it is replaced due to wear.

  • The Sunday New York Times, the largest newspaper in the world, has nearly a thousand pages, weighing up to 7+ pounds. It takes nearly 20 acres of wood pulp to produce one Sunday edition.

  • During 1968 to 1974, a woman in rural Iowa, Marva Drew, typed the number from 1 to 1,000,000 on a standard typewriter, filling nearly 2,500 pages.

  • ADCOMSUBORDCOMPHIBSPAC is an acronym used by the U.S. Navy, meaning "Administration Command Subordinate Command Amphibious Forces Pacific Fleet"

  • The English word "set" has close to 200 meanings, 60 as a noun and 120 as a verb, depending on the context in which it is used.

  • You can't have everything, where would you put it?

  • If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

  • On the other hand, you have different fingers.

  • Those who laugh last, think slowest.

  • The things that come to those who wait may be things left by those who got there first.

  • The cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.

  • Snowmen fall from the sky unassembled.

  • I got a sweater for my birthday, but I wanted a moaner or a screamer.

Quote for the Day -- “My wife and I were happy for twenty years -- then we met.” Rodney Dangerfield

Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Medical Blunders

According to researchers at the John Hopkins School of Medicine, fatal mistakes in hospitals and health care facilities are the third leading cause of death in the USA

The following are the five leading causes of death in the USA.

  • Heart Disease -- 614,348 deaths per year
  • Cancer -- 591,699 deaths per year
  • Medical Errors -- 251,454 deaths per year
  • Accidents -- 136,053 deaths per year
  • Stroke -- 133,103 deaths per year

More than 250,000 Americans die annually from medical mistakes and safety lapses. Perhaps the following examples of actual entries on hospital patient's medical charts could shed some light on this lapse of judgment.

·         Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

·         The patient refused autopsy.

·         Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

·         Skin: somewhat pale but present.

·         On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.

·         Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.

·         Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

·         Since she can’t get pregnant with her husband, I thought you might like to work her up.

·         The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

·         She is numb from her toes down.

·         Patient was alert and unresponsive.

·         While in ER, she was examined, X-rated and sent home.

·         She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.

·         Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

·         Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.

·         The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.

·         The patient has no previous history of suicides.

·         Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.

·         Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.

·         The skin was moist and dry.

·         Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

Medical professionals are only human -- they make mistakes just like the rest of us, plus there is also much tension involved in their work that often requires swift action.

May the Force be with you.

Quote for the Day -- “When we give government the power to make medical decisions for us, we in essence accept that the state owns our bodies.” Ron Paul

Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where humor relieves the stress of life.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Reflexology is an alternative medical procedure which involves the application of appropriate pressure to specific points and areas on the feet, hands, or ears in order to receive a positive effect on a person's organs and physical health.

Reflexologists access these points on the feet and hands (bottom, sides, and top) and the ear (both inside as far as the finger can reach and outside) to positively affect organs and bodily systems.

Reflexologists believe these reflex points correspond to different body organs and systems whereby pressing them has a beneficial effect on the person's organs and general health. For example, reflexology contends that a specific spot in the arch of the foot corresponds to the bladder. When a reflexologist uses fingers or thumbs to apply appropriate pressure to this area, it positively affects bladder functioning.

Although not used to diagnose health disorders, millions of people around the world utilize reflexology to complement other treatments when addressing conditions such as cancer, asthma, diabetes, anxiety, cardiovascular issues, kidneys, sinus cavities and PMS.

Reflexology has grown increasingly popular across Europe and Asia as both a complement to other treatments and as a preventive measure.

For example, in Denmark various companies and municipalities have employed reflexologists since the early '90s. According to several studies, this practice in Denmark has resulted in reduced absenteeism and sick leave. Employees have consistently reported partial or complete improvement in conditions through reflexology, including relief from additional problems related to stress.

Maps of reflex points have been passed among reflexologists worldwide. Although, there is not an agreement among global reflexologists on all aspects, there is a general agreement on the major reflex points. Plus, there is some scientific documentation of linkages between the reflex points and internal organs.

Reflexologists use reflexology diagrams (maps) to represent how the body systems correspond to one another.

For example, reflexology map exists for the feet whereby each foot represents a vertical half of the body -- the left foot corresponds to the left side of the body and all organs found there -- the right foot corresponds to the right side of the body and all organs found there. Since the liver is on the right side of the body, therefore the corresponding reflex area is on the right foot.

Whatever the specific technique, reflexology theory confirms that the reflexologist is working to relieve stress or congestion in the nervous system and balance the body's energy.

Reflexology contends that the blockage of a person's invisible life force (energy field) can be a factor in preventing healing. Reflexologists believe they are able to relieve stress and pain in various parts of the body through the manipulation of the feet or hands.

For example, Reflexology contends that every point on the body has a specific connection with the hands.

  • The palms are linked with the nervous system -- to protect your psychological balance, clap your hands to improve the circulation, making you feel better.

  • The thumb is linked with the heart and lungs -- if your heartbeat is racing, rub the thumb and pull it. The heartbeat should slow down.

  • The forefinger is linked with the colon and stomach -- to relieve abdominal pain or constipation, press the forefinger and rub it for roughly for one minute before pulling it. You should feel improvement in a short while.

  • The middle finger is linked with the small intestine, the heart, the respiratory system and blood -- whenever you feel nausea, dizziness or insomnia, stretch out the middle finger and rub it.

  • The ring finger is linked with mood -- to deal with depression, massage the finger.

  • The small finger is linked with kidneys, neck pain or headache -- massage the finger for relief.

Also, the Third Eye acupressure point (located on the bridge of the nose between the eyebrows) is beneficial for treating eye strain, relieving stress, chronic headaches, improving memory, relieving sinus pain, nasal congestion, calming the mind and emotional imbalances. For the best results, you need to close the eyes, slowly press the point with your middle finger for a few seconds up to one minute and then release.

If you consult five doctors about the same condition, you may get seven different opinions. Personal health is extremely important and highly controversial. Perhaps the best prescription is to proceed with whatever works for you.

On the positive side, there's nothing like a bit of physical pain to take your mind away from emotional problems.

Quote for the Day -- “There are two means of refuge from the misery of life -- music and cats.” Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where a placebo can often work miracles.