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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Messages sent around the world & out of this world!

This Day in History: August 20, 1911 and 1977

August 20th is a record day in communications with two important messages being sent 66 years apart! The first message circumnavigated the globe but not by automobile, plane, train or ship, while the second skyrocketed into outer space via spacecraft.

Let's begin with August 20, 1911...

Over a century ago, someone with the New York Times decided to find out how long it would take a regular commercial telegram, non-priority status, to circle the globe. An undertaking of a similar nature had already taken place in 1903 but under different circumstances. At that time, celebrations were in order as a result of the completion of the Commercial Pacific Cable. The message was sent by then President Franklin Roosevelt and traveled the globe in only 9 minutes having been given priority status. In 1911, the Times wanted to see how long a regular message would take -- and what route it would follow. Reading simply, “This message sent around the world”, it traveled over 28,000 miles and was relayed by 16 different operators.

At 7:00 p.m. on August 20, 1911, the Times telegraph operator on the seventeenth floor of the newspaper's offices in Times Square sent a telegram that stated simply: "This message sent around the world." Sixteen-and-a-half minutes later, the same telegraph operator received his message back. In the intervening minutes the telegram had traveled from New York westward, stopping in:
  • San Francisco
  • Honolulu
  • Midway Island
  • Manila
  • Hong Kong
  • Saigon
  • Singapore
  • Madras
  • Bombay
  • Aden
  • Suez
  • Port Said
  • Alexandria
  • Malta
  • Gibraltar
  • Lisbon
  • The Azores
  • and then back to Times Square.
The Times was particularly struck by the portion of the route sent by the Indian Government telegraph from Madras to Bombay. "This line," they wrote, "traverses the domains of the Nizam of Hyderabad, the most powerful Prince in India, from the Coromandel to the Malabar coast, crossing the Indian peninsula and passing through great forests inhabited by man-eating tigers, panthers, boa constrictors, and pythons, and singing its way past the lonely residence of the American missionary, whose only gleam of civilization is the buzzing on the telegraph wires near his bungalow."

Today, the building where the
Times dispatched their record-setting message is called One Times Square and is best known for its news zipper and the dropping ball on New Year's Eve. The Times moved out in 1913 and eventually sold the building in 1961. (Source: Inside the Apple)
Telegrams are very nondescript, to the point, often with several abbreviated words. Comparing this to August 20, 1977 is like comparing apples to oranges. Technology, science, and inventions progressed at an accelerated rate from the onset of the 20th century, more so than any other. So, by the year 1977, interest was not on circling the globe for this feat had become commonplace.

The "Golden Record" or "Sounds of Earth"
This time eyes were focused on transcending the limits of outer space. And, not with a telegraph message but instead a 12-inch copper phonograph record: recordings of Earth, greetings in 55 languages, music, analog-encoded photographs, and a marvelous etching depicting a man, a woman, and our address in space.

Thanks to the Voyager program, NASA scientists gained a wealth of information about the outer planets, including close-up photographs of Saturn's seven rings; evidence of active geysers and volcanoes exploding on some of the four planets' 22 moons; winds of more than 1,500 mph on Neptune; and measurements of the magnetic fields on Uranus and Neptune. The two crafts are expected to continue sending data until 2020, or until their plutonium-based power sources run out. After that, they will continue to sail on through the galaxy for millions of years to come, barring some unexpected collision. (Source: History.com)


With 60 percent of the world’s population under 30, Voyager I and its twin Voyager II have been travelling their lonely routes to the edge of the solar system for longer than most people on Earth have been alive.

At the time, this venture made many wonder...what's next? That, too, has become history!


Best of My Love

Today in Music History: August 20, 1977

There are love songs and then, there are LOVE! songs. At the hint of a certain melody, the emotional sting can bring on thoughts of bliss or trigger times poisoned by only painful memories. The 'best' love of the moment may or may not have been the ever-lasting love. A step back in time takes us again into the 70s. The music definitely hints of the disco era but comes from "a group whose core values couldn't have been more different from the hedonism that era has since come to symbolize (history.com)."

The Emotions A family act in the truest sense is a perfect description for The Emotions, who began their singing career as The Heavenly Sunbeams. Three sisters, Sheila, Wanda and Jeanette Hutchinson began performing gospel music publicly while still in grade school (ages 3, 4, and 5) under the guidance of their father, Joseph. It was only a matter of time and meeting the right persons (The Staple Singers) for the group to crossover to secular soul and R&B. Producer/songwriter Isaac Hayes was instrumental in helping The Emotions score several moderate R&B hits over the next seven years. 'So I Can Love You' reached the pop top 40 and another, 'Blind Alley', was later sampled as the basis of Mariah Carey's massive 1993 hit, "Dreamlover."

Performing as the Hutchinson Sunbeams until 1968

The Emotions - 1977

The Emotions - 1985

The groups most successful moment to date...

1977 The Emotions started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Best Of My Love', it made No.4 in the UK. The song was written by Earth Wind & Fire members Al McKay and Maurice White, and was also produced by White. It won the 1977 Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance by a Group.

A Bit of 'Love' Trivia...
Songwriter Maurice White sued Mariah Carey and C+C Music Factory for plagiarizing this song for Mariah's 1991 #1 hit "Emotions" (C+C produced the song for Mariah). Said White, "Sampling is one thing, but she took the whole song." The lawsuit was settled out of court. 
Even though The Emotions have not had a successful R&B single since the mid- 1980’s, they remain the sources of inspiration and admiration for the female trio and quartets that followed them. Their harmonious collaboration is untouchable and the heavenly, dulcet tones are incomparable. Only the 90’s female group En Vogue has come close. But their family ties are closer--just ask anyone, including their neighbors! (Source: SoulMusic.com)

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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Decadently Southern


Everyone knows a Southern favorite is pecan pie. It even has its own day, National Pecan Pie Day, which is celebrated on July 12 of each year. [Check out the link for some scrumptious pecan pie dessert ideas, like Crockpot Pecan Pie, Honey Pecan Pie,and Pecan Pie Cheesecake.] This decadent, succulent, rich, delicious pie is already so-o-o-o-o yummy but is about to be taken to the next level. When you thought it couldn't get any better someone came along and added chocolate!

August 20 is...

National CHOCOLATE Pecan Pie Day


If you have a sweet tooth, love nuts and crave chocolate, then Chocolate Pecan Pie Day is the perfect opportunity to fully indulge! You don't even have to feel too guilty about grabbing a piece of pie, because pecans have all kinds of health benefits. They contain more valuable antioxidants than any other type of nut, plus plenty of fibre, minerals and vitamins. Just overlook all the other calorie mongers...on this day anyway.

A Bit of Pecan History...

The word pecan comes from the Native American Algonquin language. As the only nuts native to north America, pecans have been eaten for generations in both the USA and Mexico, but they’ve only been grown commercially since the late 19th century. The U.S. produces roughly 90% of the world's pecans, with an annual production of over 250 million pounds. Even though Georgia's nickname is The Peach State, it shares with Texas in being the largest producers of commercial pecans in the United States.
Of course, with this being a 'pie' day, the most popular way to enjoy these buttery, crunchy nuts is to bake them in a pie. Adding chocolate simply becomes the 'icing on the cake' making it even more delicious. You don't have to settle for pie if that is not your forte. Get creative!



  yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

Pecan pie may be a Southern thing but when it is something this good it must be shared...even with the Yankee folks! 

Sound of Soul!

Today in Music History: August 19, 1978


The 70s. These were some Groovy Times! Remembering the 70s brings on memories of the mads, glads and the fads. Even today many music lovers find themselves Stuck in the 70s. Of course, this decade was the precedence for 80s Music Mania as the 70s ended with the introduction to a new genre of music, hip-hop. For today in music history, it is not hip-hop that is the focus but rather the music considered as soul: "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying" (en.wikipedia.org).

The Commodores An American funk/soul band, The Commodores, was at its peak in the 1970s and were one of the top bands during their long tenure at Motown. The group's most successful period was in the late 1970s and early 1980s when Lionel Richie was lead singer and songwriter. For those remembering the 70s soul music, The Commodores owned the charts for a decade. The band's biggest hit singles, which are ballads, include 'Easy' (1977), 'Three Times a Lady' (1978), and 'Nightshift' (1985); and funky dance hits, which include 'Brick House' (1977), 'Fancy Dancer' (1976), 'Lady (You Bring Me Up)' (1981), and 'Too Hot ta Trot'(1978). The group is credited with seven number one songs and a host of other Top Ten hits on the Billboard charts, and their vast catalog includes more than 50 albums.

1978 The Commodores started a five-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Three Times A Lady'. This was the biggest UK hit for Motown Records. Lionel Richie wrote the song about his love for his wife, mother and grandmother, hence 'Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady.' This was the first #1 hit Lionel Richie wrote, but far from his last: he wrote songs that were #1 hits in each of the next seven years, giving him the record for most consecutive #1s by a songwriter.
From then 'til now...

It is awesome when a successful band of eras past are still performing in the 21st century. There were various music industry people who counted them OUT when Lionel Richie left in 1982. How wrong they were! The group responded with 'Night Shift', their biggest hit ever! And they still sound GREAT today...Click HERE to check out the update on...THE COMMODORES, who have proven to be one of the most durable, enjoyable bands of the Soul Music world. They continue to win over audiences into their fourth decade.

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

Let's go to the first races!

This Day in History: August 19, 1909

This day in history is not to be confused with Rev Your Engines on May 30, 1911. That day marked the debut of the Indy 500--a grueling 500-mile race that was an immediate hit with audiences and drew press attention from all over the country. Two years prior to that date on August 19, 1909, the first five-mile race occurred as 12,000 spectators roared with excitement while watching 29-year old Austrian engineer Louis Schwitzer win the first race. There were a total of five contenders vying for first place in the five-mile sprint around the freshly oiled macadam track: Two Buicks, two Stoddard-Daytons, and a Velie.

Schwitzer, known as “Louie” to his friends, is pictured above, center.
His stripped-down four-cylinder Dayton-Stoddard touring car
won the first race in Indy with a speed of 57.4 miles per hour.
Schwitzer designed the car’s engine while serving as
chief engineer for Atlas Engine Works.

Click Image or HERE for Photo Gallery

From start to finish, five minutes and 13 seconds lapsed. Schwitzer became the first driver to cross the finish line on what would soon become the world’s most famous oval race track. The May 30, 1911 debut of the Indy 500 heralded driver Ray Haroun as the purse winner of $14,250, with an average speed of 74.59 mph and a total time of 6 hours and 42 minutes.

 1911: The Bedouin and the Wasp

A Bit of Race Car Trivia...

 Did you know that the first car race held on American soil took place in 1895?
The outstanding average speed was 7 MPH!

From then 'til now...

  Ryan Hunter-Reay held off second place Hélio Castroneves by a margin of 0.0600 seconds, the second-closest finish in race history behind only 1992. At an average speed of 186.563 mph (300.244 km/h), it was also the second-fastest 500 in history with a time of 2:40:48.2305. At the halfway point, Hunter-Reay leader set a new record with an average speed of 211.871 mph. Purse winnings totaled $2,491,194.

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