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I Am Not A Number! But Still A Prisoner At Spam Village

Posted by infinitygoods on February 1, 2008

I’m a huge fan of “The Prisoner,” a British tele series from the late 1960s which I watched when I was a toddler. I was probably too young for that matter, as it has marked me for life. “I am not a number!” was a favorite quote of mine throughout childhood and I still use it from time to time. It came to mind as I was reading all the numbers I have been assigned by a spam e-mail which wormed its way out of the bulk mail filters and into my inbox. The nerve of these spam e-mails, really!

I have been assigned a reference number, a ticket number, a lucky number (oooh, lucky me!) and a serial number. There’s also an international number to call! But I don’t think I’ll be calling it. They want INFORMATION! INFORMATION! But who is their Number 1? That would be telling! Who is Number 2?

I AM NOT A NUMBER! I am a free woman! I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, NUMBERED OR SPAMMED!

Here’s the series introduction:

When the prisoner wakes up, he finds himself in The Village.

Here’s The Village and its architectural history as documented by “The Antiques Road Show”:

If you’re interested in the DVD boxed set of the complete 17-episode series, it’s available here.

Be seeing you! 😉

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Posted in America, art, Arts and Crafts, Britain, British, Car, celebrities, crafts, culture, Documentary, DVDs, education, england, entertainment, film, free, Freedom, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, movies, television, travel, U.S., United States, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I’m Still Dreaming; I’d Rather Be Singing

Posted by infinitygoods on January 20, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) I have a dream speach; Print designed by Tio and posted on Flickr’s public files

Would you rather be singing too?

Posted in African American, America, American History, art, Black, blog, blogging, Blogroll, celebrities, Childhood Memories, Children, choir, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, education, Faith, Family, Famous Speeches, Flickr, Freedom, Friendship, God, history, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, howto, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Israel, Jewish, Journalism, Judaism, Legacy, life, Martin Luther King Jr., Media, Memories, murder, Music, Nation, Negro, Negro Spiritual, New Year, News, nonbelievers, Obituary, Organizing, Photography, Photojournalism, politics, Race, Racism, religion, Republic, Resolution, singing, Slavery, Slaves, Speech, Spiritual, spirituality, Tradition, U.S., Uncategorized, United States, USA, Website, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium Opens Today — See It!

Posted by infinitygoods on November 16, 2007

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We had the chance to see a screening of this magical movie a few months ago when it was still a work in progress, and were bewitched by its wholesome entertainment with super acting, an empowering message of hope and its unpretentiousness despite special effects.

It could have been easy to bury the story or the very interesting characters with all the fancy, flashy special effects a la Star Wars. They did not throw in violence or sex or bad language to earn themselves a PG or better yet a PG-13 rating.

This movie is rated G, yet adults will enjoy it just as much as children because it is multilayered. On the surface, it’s about an old man (Academy and Golden Globe Awards Winner Dustin Hoffman) who turns over his toy store to his manager (Golden Globe Winner Natalie Portman — Padmé Amidala of Star Wars). If you look a little deeper, it’s also about friendships (also with Golden Globe Winner Jason Bateman of “Arrested Development” and introducing a talented 9-year old Zach Mills), living your dreams and finding the power or magic inside each of us. And if you look deeper yet, you’ll have a hard time finding a better treatment on the topic of death.

It’s about death, but it won’t make the bereaved cry. It won’t scare young children because it’s really about LIVING! The topic is that well-handled.

I wholeheartedly recommend this movie for the entire family from oldest to youngest. You’ll walk out of the theater with a smile on your face and a skip in your step.

You can view or download paper airplane directions from the official movie website. The PDF files are in the spirit of the movie. There are also educational materials at Walden Media.

Walden Media also made the movie adaptations of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Because of Winn-Dixie,” “Holes,” “Hoot,” and “How To Eat Fried Worms” — all winners in our family’s book. And be on the lookout for the upcoming (07/11/08) “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D” with Brendan Fraser of “George of the Jungle” and “Mummy” fame. We saw the work-in-progress screening of this one, too, and this new story using the classic as a backdrop gets our family’s three thumbs way up.

Walden Media‘s site offers downloadable Educator Guides, coloring sheets, contests and sweepstakes for all their movies and books.

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, celebrities, culture, Family, Friendship, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, Media, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, News, novel, novel in 30 days, U.S., USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Holiday Shopping List

Posted by infinitygoods on November 12, 2007

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Here are my picks for a 21st Century Holiday Shopping List, and you can shop right here from the Internet and not have to fight for a parking spot at the mall. Just click on the links to see more and to purchase.

Music Downloads The teens and music lovers will enjoy Amazon’s new music downloads for their iPods, MP3 players, cell phones and other musical gadgets. Starting at only 89 to 99 cents per download, it’s in anybody’s price range and can be given even to paperboys (do they still exist??), teen gardeners, babysitters and others you want to recognize with a gift but don’t want to spend a fortune on. Your own kids will love a more generous download amount, and you will love this clutter-free gift which won’t be sitting around your home gathering dust.

Video Downloads Forget driving to the video store or messing with mail order video memberships. Now you can download your videos straight from your computer. Video downloads can be either rented or purchased from Amazon, a trusted Internet source for years, not a new fly-by-night company you’ve never heard of before.

Planet Earth – The Complete BBC Series is “a tour de force … a masterpiece,” wrote the New York Times. Using revolutionary new filming techniques, with a budget of more than $25 million, “Planet Earth” is the epic story of life on Earth as you’ve never seen it before. The Chicago Times praised it as “an absolutely extraordinary achievement.” Five years in the making, using 40 cameramen spanning 200 locations, this 11-part series is hailed as the ultimate portrait of our planet. It also features a 150-minute documentary about our future. “Simply radiant” said Entertainment Weekly and “breathtaking” according to Time Magazine.

The Bible Experience: Old Testament (Inspired By) You can no longer say the Bible is boring or that you don’t have the time. Now you can be entertained during your long commute by an unprecedented cast of more than 400 actors, musicians and clergy, including Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Bishop T.D. Jakes, LL Cool J, Forest Whittaker, etc. in this dramatic audio recording of the Bible. Even the youngest child can “read” the Bible by listening to the Old Testament, the New Testament or the Complete Bible and the whole family can gather around, too. This audio Bible is from Zondervan, the world’s leading Bible publisher.

LEGO Mindstorms NXT This is much more than a toy, it is science lessons in a box and was recommended to our son by his science teacher, a research scientist who participates each year in the DARPA Urban Challenge with Autonomous Robot Cars. Mindstorms is exciting for children and teens (adults too) and will nurture their curiosity. Parents will love that it’s not some mindless, brain-rotting toy. If you missed the posts about the Urban Challenge, you can click here and here to learn about the cars that drive themselves and will be picking up our groceries in the very near future.

iRobot 560 Roomba Vacuuming Robot, Black and Silver The Jetsons have finally arrived. This round vacuum may not look like a robot, but it will automatically vacuum your home, spend extra time in the dirtiest spots and return to one of its two battery chargers to ready itself for the next clean up and you won’t have to lift a finger. Spend the extra time laughing with your children, cozying up with your spouse or pampering yourself.

This great carnival of shopping list ideas was thought of by Chili at Don’t Try It, where the rest of the participants are listed.

For more on holiday shopping, check out my post about Black Friday Sales, Deals and Savings and visit our store on November 23, 2007 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST.

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, Britain, British, Car, cars, celebrities, Christianity, Christmas, Classical Music, consumers, culture, Earth, education, Faith, Family, God, government agencies, Holidays, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Judaism, life, Media, Music, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, nature, News, novel, novel in 30 days, Opera, Photojournalism, Pop Music, reading, religion, science, Science Experiments, Scientists, Shopping, spirituality, technology, Toys, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Baptism Important to Russell Crowe, Will Receive Sacrament This Year In His Family Chapel

Posted by infinitygoods on November 8, 2007

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Outside of Russell Crow’s Family ChapelInside of Russell Crow’s Family Chapel — Photos courtesy Oprah Winfrey Show

Russell Crowe, 43, Academy Award Winner, told Men’s Journal in the upcoming December 2007 issue that he wants to be baptized this year at the same time as his 1-year-old son, Tennyson, in the Byzantine chapel he built on his Australian ranch for personal contemplation and expanded in 2003 for his wedding to actress-singer Danielle Spencer.

“I’d like to do it this year. If I believe it is important to baptize my kids, why not me?” he says.

Crow, who starred in “Gladiator,” “Beautiful Mind” and currently “American Gangster” with Denzel Washington, has shown deep spirituality and romance when he first built a small wooden chapel on his ranch because he felt the need for a sacred place for personal contemplation. His brother was married in the wooden chapel.

“I do believe there are more important things than what is in the mind of man. There is something much bigger that drives us all. I’m willing to take that leap of faith.”

Later he would add on a 26-foot dome, inspired by the Roman skyline and his visits to Paris, for his bride-to-be. In an interview for the Oprah Show in 2003, he said, hinting at the future, “This is a great place. … Now we can host christenings and other marriages. Maybe my son’s wedding. That would be interesting.”

The circular portion of the chapel, circular to “create a circle of friends,” is made of stone with stained glass windows ,and on the floor is a mosaic from the second century A.D. Crow says the chapel has been consecrated. His wedding was officiated by a bishop, and his oldest son, Charlie, 3, has already been baptized in the chapel.

“I remember standing in the chapel, and just as the bishop started talking, the afternoon sun hit the center of that stained glass window and just ran up Daniel’s dress in golds and reds and blues. … It was gorgeous,” he said on Oprah’s television show.

Crowe told Men’s Journal that his parents had not baptized him because they had wanted their children to make their own decisions regarding the sacrament and God.

Although speaking of faith and God could be particularly damaging in the liberal, atheistic, Hollywood mind-set, Crowe has taken a Christian stand that he does believe in God, that baptism matters to him and that he is not afraid to let the world know about his spirituality.

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in blog, blogging, celebrities, Children, Christianity, culture, Faith, Family, God, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, News, novel, novel in 30 days, religion, spirituality, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pavarotti Remembered In His Own Words

Posted by infinitygoods on September 6, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti, 71, died at 5 a.m. this morning, Italian time. His latest recording of sacred songs is scheduled for release in early 2008.

He earned the title of “King of the High C’s” when he hit nine high C’s in quick succession at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1972 during performances of “Ah! Mes Amis” in Donizetti’s “La Fille du Regiment.”

In his own words, here are a few memories and thoughts of his life.

“When I was born, my mother was under 20, my grandmother 38, my great grandmother 56. They had many sisters. I have three daughters with my first wife and one with my wife, Nicoletta. I have had many secretaries in the past, around 10 to 15, all women. I was born with women all around. This is perhaps why you see me so happy. They protect me so that when I am on stage, I only have to think about my singing.”

“Our family had very little, but I couldn’t imagine one could have any more,” Pavarotti said. He was the son of a baker.

“In my teens I used to go to Mario Lanza movies and then come home and imitate him in the mirror.”

“Whenever I went to visit him (Arrigo Pola, his music teacher whom he continued to visit right up to Pola’s death), I took a lesson. He was a very significant teacher for me. I give him the impression that I still need him — and it was true. Not that I need to study with him, but that I need him to hear me and tell me, yes, it’s good like that or not like that. In fact, I’m doing exactly what I did the first day I met my teacher. Nothing has changed, not one comma.”

“You should ask one of my colleagues if I am lazy. I make them work like pigs.”

“I always want to be serious, a professional person. And if you ask me what I want to do now, it is the same thing. My goal is to be remembered as a very serious professional singer who has begun his career in the world of the opera; sings, let’s say, 25 years in the opera house; and for the last 15 years of his life, goes a little outside the world of opera to meet other people — especially with the television, who is a great sister in publicizing everything, including music.”

Speaking of his yo-yo dieting with a reported high of 396 pounds (180 kilograms) in 1978, “Maybe this time I’ll really do it and keep it up.”

“In act II of Tosca, sitting on a little classic baroque chair during rehearsal, I told the stage director that I couldn’t sit there, it will explode. He said ‘no, don’t worry I will reinforce it with iron.’ During rehearsal Tosca sang close to me while I was sitting on the chair. She put her hand on my leg, it was fine. On the night of the performance, she was more exuberant, and sat on me. They are still looking for the chair. And that was the premiere.”

“For many years I always dream that I am in my dressing room, in underpants and the orchestra begins to play. And I wake with a jump. Once in the Paris opera, I prepared for an 8 p.m. start, but at 7 p.m., the opera began … and I was in my underpants. It was an incredible night.”

“I’m a very lucky man. I’m not selling anything but music.”

“I take it day by day, I never make plans. I do what is demanded of me. … If it comes to me and I like it, I go. I have been singing for 41 years, and for the last 10, I have

been making music outside opera. Now I’m able to take it to people who never knew this music existed. We had a concert in China and millions got to watch it. We cannot do that in an opera house. Some people are afraid of opera music. But once they know, they are not afraid anymore.”

“The word commercial is exactly what we want. We’ve reached 1.5 billion people with opera (with the Three Tenors concerts). If you want to use the word commercial, or something more derogatory, we don’t care. Use whatever you want.”

“First of all, I never sang for legend. I sang for the composer first of all. Secondly, if there is a legend, the Three Tenors concerts make the legend more.”

“When I go on stage by myself, I try to be good. When I go on stage with the tenors, I try to be better!”

“Some say the word ‘pop’ is a derogatory word to say ‘not important’ — I do not accept that. If the word ‘classic’ is the word to say ‘boring,’ I do not accept. There is good and bad music.”

“I want to give something back to the younger generation. Teaching I think is the most difficult thing; teaching is more difficult than singing. Why? Because you have to transfer a thought from your brain to the brain of the other person and the throat of the other person. I want to teach people who really are good.”

“I won’t give the twins anything more than I gave my three daughters. Of course, back then, my career was in full swing. This time I will have more time to devote to my children.” (A baby boy died during childbirth, the girl, Alice survived.)

“Alice was born during the making of this record (Ti Adoro). She has inspired me so much. I dedicate this record to her.”

“Now I only need God’s help — and it really seems to me that he is giving it to me.”

“I cannot live being thought not a good person.”

“I was a fortunate and happy man. After that, this blow arrived (pancreatic cancer). And now I am paying the penalty for this fortune and happiness.”

Pavarotti recordings can be found here.

Posted in Cancer, celebrities, Classical Music, culture, Italy, King of the High Cs, life, Luciano Pavarotti, Music, News, Obituary, Opera, Pop Music, Three Tenors, Ti Adoro | 2 Comments »

I Remember Diana …

Posted by infinitygoods on August 31, 2007

Today, Aug. 31, is the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. The untimely and tragic death, the culmination of a tragic fairy tale life, keeps Diana in our minds as a forever young and elegant princess.

I remember that night as if it were last night. My husband called me from work, stunned as were all the journalists in the newsroom. When the report suddenly popped up on their computer screens there was a loud collective gasp. Men and women, young and old, even the seasoned and jaded journalists were deeply, emotionally affected.

“Are you sure?” was my reply in complete disbelief at the irrational news. As I flipped the TV channels in search of more details, the local evening news was mum on the subject.

Yet, it was true, Lady Diana had died in Paris, my birthplace, and the next morning at the baby shower in honor of our soon-to-be-born son, the first words out of everybody’s lips were about Princess Diana.

We remembered Diana. We exchanged stories about staying up to watch her wedding in the middle of the night when none of us owned VCRs yet. We talked about her engagement, her dresses, her charity work, the paparazzi. We chatted, we laughed, we had a private memorial in between the excitement and joy of a wonderful and unforgettable baby shower.

I remember Diana’s funeral. Again, as I had done for her wedding, I was glued to the TV screen in the middle of the night, paying homage along with the millions of other people worldwide and the thousands upon thousands lining the streets crying and bringing their offerings of flowers, cards and mementos in person.

We remembered Diana, a true princess even in her passing.

To this day, move after move, I keep all the Paris magazines about Diana my grandmother sent me when I was a young teen. Cover article after cover article, Diana graced the photos and kept the issues flying off the shelves worldwide.

I remember Diana, our English rose, today on her 10th memorial anniversary, but also everyday as I look at my rose bushes, because the prettiest of them all are my Diana, Princess of Wales roses — tall, blushing pink blooms that never grow old, keeping their petals to the end and ever-beautiful at every stage, blossoming from shy bud to confident mature rose.

Goodbye England’s Rose … for now.

Posted in Britain, British, celebrities, Princess Diana, royal family, royals, royalty | Leave a Comment »

Tarzan’s Cheeta oldest living chimp @ 75, active painting, exhibiting artwork

Posted by infinitygoods on August 30, 2007

It could be a joke: “Old chimps never die, they exhibit their artwork in museums and get published alongside Jackson Pollack” — except it’s TRUE!

The same Cheeta who kept Johnny Weissmuller and other Tarzans company in 12 movies is not only still alive at 75 years of age, he is spending his retirement in Palm Springs painting abstracts, exhibiting in museums and galleries, and getting press coverage in newspapers, magazines and this blog. He also has his own star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on the West side of Palm Canyon Drive between Tahquitz and Arenas.

The National Museum of London displayed three of Cheeta’s paintings 12 years ago. Most recently, he was exhibiting this summer at the Lancaster Museum and Art Gallery in Southern California. Titled “Walk on the Wild Side — A Wildlife Art Exhibition,” the show also featured work by homo sapiens.

If you’re curious about Cheeta’s artwork, go to his website at http://www.cheetathechimp.org. Donations of $135 or more will get you your very own Cheeta art in the mail and will support him and his friends during retirement. And if you’d like to see him in action during his younger days, his Tarzan movies are available here. They’re great family entertainment.

Posted in aging, art, celebrities, chimps, seniors, Tarzan | 2 Comments »