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GEORGE THOROGOOD: IF YOU DON’T START DRINKIN’ I’M GONNA LEAVE

Time for another go ’round of Balladeer’s Blog’s Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead! This time it’s George Thorogood with one of his three best songs about booze, If You Don’t Start Drinkin’ I’m Gonna Leave.

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AN INTER-PLANETARY RUPTURE (1906): ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION

Frank L PackardAN INTER-PLANETARY RUPTURE (1906) – Written by Frank L Packard. This work of Science Fiction is set in the far-off year 3102 A.D. Since the year 2532 all of the Earth has been united under one single government, which is headquartered in America’s Washington, D.C. (Yet this was written by a Canadian.)

The global parliamentary body was called the Assembly of the World and met in an enormous billion-dollar building called the Edifice of Deliberations. Former sovereign nations of the Earth are represented there like States or Provinces were in countries during the past. 

The executive body of the world government is called the Supreme Council of Earth and meets in the same building as the Assembly but in the opposite wing. This Supreme Council consists of 12 members who are appointed based on their brilliance and accomplishments in global law and governance.

In an interesting touch the flag of the United Earth is red and white: a blood-red field with a white dove in the center.

To the people of the 32nd Century space travel is as easy as train or ship travel to the people of 1906. Multiple inhabited planets interact with each other and periodic wars are as common between these planets as wars between nations were in the past.

An asteroid called Mizar has been under Earth’s political jurisdiction since the Treaty of 2970. The people living on Mizar declare their independence from the Earth and strongly request that the people of the planet Mercury annex the asteroid. Mercury’s government hungers for Mizar because of its strategic orbital path.     Continue reading

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL RESULTS FROM SEPTEMBER 23rd

*** HEADLINES ***

Ashland University Eagles helmetNUMBER TWO TAKES A FALL – In NCAA Division Two the number 15 ASHLAND UNIVERSITY EAGLES hosted the 2nd ranked FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS. The defense for the Eagles was nearly perfect in this game which sent a rupture through the D2 rankings. When all was said and done Ashland University had defeated the Bulldogs by a score of 20-3.

Cumberland Phoenix helmetCUMBERLAND NEARLY CONQUERS DIVISION ONE – Yesterday the NAIA’s CUMBERLAND UNIVERSITY PHOENIX came tantalizingly close to being the latest NAIA team to topple an NCAA Division ONE program. The Phoenix were on the road against the Presbyterian College Blue Hose and saw a 7-7 1st Quarter tie become a 17-7 Halftime lead for the Blue Hose. The 3rd Quarter ended in a 20-20 deadlock but Presbyterian College slipped by Cumberland U in the 4th, 27-20.  

St Thomas University TommiesTOP TEN TANGLE – In NCAA Division Three the number 10 team in the nation – the UNIVERSITY OF SAINT THOMAS TOMMIES – did battle with the 6th ranked SAINT JOHN’S UNIVERSITY JOHNNIES. The largest crowd in D3 history watched as the Tommies led the Johnnies 7-3 in the 1st Quarter and 17-10 at the Half. From there the University of Saint Thomas held on for a thrilling 20-17 victory. Continue reading

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ROBERT LUDLUM’S TOP SEVEN NOVELS: NUMBER FIVE

FOR BALLADEER’S BLOG’S SEVENTH PLACE LUDLUM NOVEL CLICK HERE 

Scarlatti Inheritance big5. THE SCARLATTI INHERITANCE (1971)

TIME PERIOD: Pre-World War One Era on up through the start of the Great Depression with an epilogue set during World War Two.

This was Robert Ludlum’s very first novel and it’s a shame that the planned movie starring Ingrid Bergman never panned out. In my opinion there has never been a very good screen adaptation of a Ludlum novel. Or at least not when it comes to adaptations that are actually like their source material.

The successful Jason Bourne movies bear virtually no resemblance to the trilogy of novels that inspired them. Other films or mini-series’ adapted from Ludlum’s writings have tended to be so far off the mark that some of them qualify as classically bad, for instance The Osterman Weekend.  

HEROINE: (This novel has a female and a male protagonist) Elizabeth Wyckham Scarlatti, an 1890s adventuress from American Old Money who – in her youth – spurned plenty of bloated rich pigs for not being as high-spirited and daring as she was.

Scarlatti InheritanceHer heart and loins are finally stolen away by Italian-American Giovanni Scarlatti, a laborer in her father’s factory. Though he speaks broken English, Scarlatti’s mechanical genius is first-rate. The rebellious Elizabeth combines her own business acumen with Giovanni’s aptitude for inventions and before long the two lovers are married and have taken over the companies run by her father and plenty of his friends. 

The Scarlattis continue to thrive financially through the expected hardball methods and after having three children they change the family name to Scarlett. Eventually Giovanni dies of natural causes and eldest son Roland is killed during World War One.

Making her own version of Sophie’s Choice, Elizabeth allows her brawling, bullying wastrel of a son Ulster to enlist in the Army to romantically take Roland’s place in the World War while keeping third son Chancellor in America with her to prep him to take over Scarlett Industries when she dies.

HERO: Matthew Canfield, an accountant and investigative agent for the American government – specifically Group Twenty, Ludlum’s fictional agency. Group Twenty was operative during the 1920s, when the bulk of this story takes place. Their agents specialized in uncovering financial hanky-panky in that gray area where dishonest business practices and outright criminality mingle.     Continue reading

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INUIT MYTHS: INUURAQ

igloos_450x290It’s been awhile since I’ve covered Inuit myths. I’ve already examined all the major gods and goddesses so here is a look at one of their mythical heroes. For my initial list of Inuit deities click HERE 

INUURAQ – Like many of the heroes in Inuit myths Inuuraq overcomes the disadvantage of being orphaned and goes on to achieve greatness. Inuuraq lived so long ago that it was before the wind and weather god Sila had made war on the giants and reduced them all to three feet tall. (After that the giants were the Inuit version of elves and were called Ishigaq.)

Inuit regionThe chief of Inuuraq’s village had sent his son and two other men off together to hunt caribou. Many days had gone by and the trio were presumed to have fallen into the hands of the roving giants. The chief asked for volunteers to search for his son and the other missing hunters, but only Inuuraq was courageous enough.

As an orphan the young man had no kayak or weapons of his own so he had his grandmother Nengzurluung go to the chief and his wife to tell them that her grandson was brave enough to search for the missing trio but would need a kayak and weapons.

The chief was grateful that at last a volunteer had come forward. He allowed Inuuraq to have the pick of his (the chief’s) boats and weapons. Our hero selected a fine kayak, a bow and arrows and an ulu: a bladed weapon longer than a knife but not quite as long as a sword. (It is the kind of weapon used by the Inuit disemboweling goddess Ululijarnaq.) Continue reading

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PAUL MCCARTNEY AND WINGS: ROCK SHOW

Time for another segment of Balladeer’s Blog’s Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead! Paul McCartney, best known as the husband of the late Linda McCartney, performs here with Linda’s band Wings (I’m kidding.) It’s the sproingy, springy version of the song Rock Show without the slow Venus & Mars prelude:

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THE MANTIS SAGA: CHAPTER LINKS

Mantis Collector pose 2Balladeer’s Blog spent part of this past summer on a light-hearted, escapist bit of fun by examining the very first Mantis storylines at Marvel Comics. Mantis was brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe this year in the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie but I reviewed her ORIGINAL appearance and the 1973-1975 Celestial Madonna epic she starred in.

I. MANTIS: THE CELESTIAL MADONNA SAGA – The “senses-shattering” beginning of the series which I covered in some of the same style as my reviews of Epic Myths. CLICK HERE  

Mantis Night of Swordsman 3II. MANTIS 2: NIGHT OF THE SWORDSMAN – Mantis and her romantic partner the Swordsman show up at Avengers Mansion and wind up helping the superteam against one of their old foes. CLICK HERE

III. MANTIS 3: BELOW US THE BATTLE – Mantis, the Swordsman and the other Avengers fly to England in search of their missing member the Black Knight. While there they come into conflict with sinister forces. CLICK HERE

IV. MANTIS 4: THE AVENGERS VS THE DEFENDERS – As the search for the Black Knight continues, Loki and Dormammu trick the Avengers and the Defenders into all-out war with each other over a relic called the Evil Eye of Avalon. CLICK HERE 

V. MANTIS 5: THE AVENGERS-DEFENDERS WAR CONTINUES – Mantis and one of her fellow Avengers battle the Defenders’ leader Doctor Strange for a fragment of the Evil Eye. Meanwhile, the newest Defender Hawkeye fights Iron Man in Mexico for another fragment. CLICK HERE Continue reading

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