The Jazz Singer

On October 6, 1927, The Jazz Singer premiered as the first feature film to be presented as a  “talkie”? The sound was made with Vitaphone, which was the leading brand of sound-on-disc technology at the time. Quickly, however, sound-on-film, would become the standard for talking pictures.

Black & Blue – But Not from Bruising!

A Giraffe’s tongue is blue-black (sometimes purplish) in color due to the high density of melanin which provides sunburn protection as they feed up high. By the way, if you really want to be freaked out consider that on average, an adult giraffe’s tongue is 18 to 20 inches (45 – 50 centimetres) long.

20 Years Ago on September 10th . . .

On September 10th, 20 years ago, 2,606 people in the New York metropolitan area went to sleep in preparation for their jobs, meetings, interviews or visits to the World Trade Center in the morning.

Another 246 people went to sleep in preparation for their morning flights, most bound for Los Angeles and some heading to San Francisco. That night, another 125 military personnel, contractors and workers went to bed, knowing they had to get to the Pentagon early to get to work the next day.

There were 343 Firefighters of the New York City Fire Department (including a Chaplain and two paramedics) who went to sleep on September 10th, as well as 23 police officers of the New York City Police Department and 37 police officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department.

There were 8 emergency medical technicians and paramedics from private emergency medical services, 3 New York State Court Officers and 1 Patrolman from the New York Fire Patrol, all of whom went about their normal routine that evening of September 10th, going to bed as they normally would. Some were scheduled for routine morning patrols or shifts at work, while others knew they might be called on to respond to any emergency that might need some extra help.

None of them saw past 10:08 am Eastern time on Sept 11, 2001.

Of the 2,977 people who died in the initial attacks on September 11th, 2,605 were U.S. citizens. There were also 372 non-U.S citizens, from over 90 countries who perished that day. They were from the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic, India, Greece, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Columbia, Jamaica, Philippines, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador, Australia, Germany, Italy, Bangladesh, Ireland, Pakistan and Poland.

So tonight before you go to sleep in preparation for your life tomorrow, kiss those you love, hold your children a little tighter, call that friend or relative you figured you can call tomorrow and never take even one moment of your life or the lives of those you hold dear, for granted.

In one single moment life may never be the same.  For those left behind by the nearly 3,000 souls that perished that day, it can never be the same.

It will never be the same for any of us.

Rhode Island Was an Island!

In 1640, what is Rhode Island today (map on the right) was not a single political entity.

Most of today’s mainland section, then called Providence Plantations, was settled by Roger Williams in 1836. Aquidneck Island (map on the left), was settled by other European colonists who made a deal with the Narragansett people (an Algonquian American Indian tribe that inhabited the island and parts of what we now call Rhode Island).

John Clarke a physician and Baptist minister, and Roger Williams championed unification of the region and in 1644, the two settlements formally became a British colony, unified by a charter drafted by Clarke, adopting the name the “Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”

In time, the name appears to have been shortened in actual use and ultimately adopted the State of Rhode Island as its official name. . . . and

Thanks to a loyal and knowledgeable LegalBytes reader, I am told that “Rhode Island” derives from “Roodt Eylandt” or “Red Island,” so named by the Dutch explorer Adrian Block because of the red clay that lined the shore. Block Island, also an island and part of Rhode Island, is named after Adrian Block.