NATIONAL PEPPERMINT PATTY DAY (February 11th)

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(PCM) Today we showcase the delicious mint and chocolate combo that’s been inspiring wintery-fresh sensations for generations of candy lovers.

Though variations on the dynamic choco-mint duo have long been available by commercial confectionaries, perhaps the most well-known is the York Peppermint Patty, first manufactured in 1940 in York, Pennsylvania.

It isn’t clear why February 11th is set aside to celebrate the candy, other than perhaps its proximity to a certain romantic, chocolate-friendly holiday.

Contrary to popular belief, comic strip artist Charles Schultz did not intend his character, Patricia “Peppermint Patty” (the beloved tomboy of the Peanuts’ gang) to be associated with the patty candy. Though Ms. Patty was socially refreshing (the pants-wearing, athletic girl from a single-parent family was created in response to the feminist movement of the late 1960s), Schultz claims it was a bowl of classic peppermints that inspired her name.

However, the Peppermint Patty has inspired various cocktails involving – you guessed it – combinations of mint- and chocolate-flavored liqueurs. Sounds delicious! Maybe we should all pour a glass tonight and toast to York, PA and Charles Schultz. Happy National Peppermint Patty Day!

The post NATIONAL PEPPERMINT PATTY DAY (February 11th) also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, January 31

snoopy-starry-sttarry-nightThe origins of Inspire Your Heart With Art Day are not known, though it is annually celebrated on January 31.  The meaning of Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, is fairly clear, take a moment to step away for the craziness of life and enjoy the type or art that inspires you.

The word “inspire” means to “animate the mind or emotions.”  So to be inspired by art is to have your emotions stirred and bring your mind into a place of action.  You can be inspired to both good and to evil, but the point of this day is to inspire your emotions and mind to good.

Art comes in all forms, music, painting, drawing, sculpture, the written word, comic books and comic strips, (I don’t think anyone reading this would argue that Charles Schulz was not an artist.  We would say he was!),  dance, theater, movies, TV shows, and others that I know I am failing to mention.

I believe in many ways we are surrounded by art.  There are usually some types of pictures hung in our work places, music is played over head almost where ever we go, advertisement utilizes all forms of art and they are definitely working to inspire you.  They want to inspire you to buy their products.

So how can you celebrate Inspire Your Heart With Art Day.  I would suggest doing something that you would normally not do.  If you watch TV and go to the movies all the time, go see a live stage play today.  If you always listen to rock music or rap, take a break and explore classical music or jazz.  When was the last time you went to a museum?  When was the last time you went to a live concert? 

Pay attention to what art does to you emotionally.  If you read or watch The Lord of the Rings, what is the book or movie saying to you?  What is the story about to you?  I bring The Lord of the Rings up because it wasn’t until I was 30 that I realized what the book spoke to my heart about.  For me the book is about friendship.  Someone else will probably think quite differently, which is what makes art important.  It stretches our minds and really good art points us towards others.

I brought up Charles Schulz earlier.  How many people can honestly say his art hasn’t touched them.  His art is in comic strips, tv shows, paintings, drama, music, sculpture, theater and film.  He has crossed almost every genre of art.  Snoopy inspires us to be cheerful and courageous; Charlie Brown helps us to identify with the underdog and Linus makes us think just a little bit more about what we are reading.  Peanuts, in many ways has become all forms of art in one package.

Several years ago I watched a movie about the homeless called Stone Pillow.  It was a drama about a street person in a large city.  Throughout the film the needs of and how to help the homeless were presented.  Not preached.  It was a piece of art, and inspired both my emotions and my mind.  I grew less fearful of people who live on the streets and I learned what to do to help, I have done what I could since then.  Art changed me.

So, go out and experience art.  Look at paintings, listen to music, see a play, read a book, but let what you do inspire you to do more.  Let the art into your art and mind.

One last thought.  We here at PCM are interested in you.  The sight is titled POP CULTURE MADNESS and art is part of pop culture.  So what types of art inspire you?  What helps you along the way in this life?  There is an area for comments directly below this article, please take a moment and tells about the art that is a part of your life.

Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, January 31 was contributed by Pop Culture Fun Facts.

My Journey To Health, Inspiration

sunrise-(1)(PCM) Inspiration!  In a journey to health we must have help along the way, something outside of ourselves that keeps us going toward the goal.  I would use the word inspire to describe this need.

To inspire means to stir up the emotions and animate the mind.  Inspiration is a tool that we can put to use to help us get to the goal of a healthy life.  It is important to take a moment and describe what I mean by a healthy life.  It is a healthy mind, body and spirit and if even one of these is not running well the rest are also thrown off.

There are all kinds of health issues these days.  Addiction, depression, obesity, cancer, mental and emotional issues, diseases and viruses, a total lack of a spiritual life, all of these, and many more, are our enemies in becoming healthy.

What can be used to inspire us to move forward in our personal battles?  Let me tell you about my own inspirations and maybe they will help define yours.  Remember too that inspiration can come from anywhere so don’t limit yourself to what I write about here.

The first and foremost inspiration is God.  God is my father and he wants the best for me, even if he and I don’t see eye to eye on that all of the time.  Mother Theresa once said that (and I am paraphrasing) “Jesus was her husband and they argue a lot.”  The church itself is the bride of Christ so Jesus in the husband to all Christians and I don’t know of any that don’t, every once in a while, have angry moments with God.

But that doesn’t mean there is no inspiration here.  Psalm 23 says “I walk through the valley of the shadow of death and you are with me.”  The valley of the shadow of death is not death itself, it is the feeling of death when you desperately want donuts or you want the substance that you have been using for years but you know you can’t use any longer.  Your whole body is yelling “GIVE ME WHAT I WANT!” But you say NO!.  And God is with you comforting you and encouraging you to move forward.  This is inspiration.

Inspiration also comes from the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus being fully man chose to die a humiliating death for me.  If he can die for me, literally die.  Can’t I stop putting bad things in my mouth so I can live?

Then there are people that inspire me.  I have a new friend whose name is Steve.  He is a vegan, and I don’t want to go that far, at least not now.  But in his life I can see what can be done, that the changes can be made.  That eating right doesn’t have to be a burden.  I am very grateful for that.  Someone who lives it can inspire us to live it too.

My small group leader, Caleb, has shown me through example that you can live free.  I am still grasping the meaning of that, but I am learning to see the things of life much less of a burden in fact I am learning that there are burdens I don’t have to carry that have been laid on me by others.  But Caleb doesn’t just talk it.  You see it in his life.

I am inspired by my editor Joe, who keeps going no matter how hard things get and has patience with me when I just can’t figure out how to run a computer correctly.  He praises when deserved and gently corrects when needed.  Because of the way he is I want to do better.

Art in many forms inspires me.  Frodo Baggins, from The Lord of the Rings, the smallest creature in his world takes a dangerous weapon into enemy territory and destroys it.  Sam Gamgee, Frodo’s friend, when Frodo is too weak to carry the burden alone, picks Frodo up and carries him.  Frodo destroyed the ring of power, can’t I destroy the fat of death.  Sam carried his friend; can’t I carry my friends when they need help?

Music can be inspirational.  When I am really down, if I remember, you will find me singing My Favorite Things, from the Sound of Music.  The lyrics and music that comprise the song bring bright pictures in to my mind and help to battle sadness.

The Theme from Chariots of Fire, is exhilarating to me,  I Gotta Crow from Peter Pan is motivational for me and Look To The Rainbow from Finian’s Rainbow is a song that brings hope for a good ending.  And Somewhere Over The Rainbow is always a reminder that no matter how bad or hard things get there is a real better place waiting for me.

I am inspired to joy when I see Van Gogh’s Starry Night, I am encouraged by Snoopy in Peanuts, I know that good health and good attitudes can be won if we work hard when I read The Secret Garden.

These are things that I find inspirational.  They may not be what you find inspirational.  But look for those things.  Hold on to them.  Go to them (people) look at them, read them or listen to them when you feel like giving up.  You will find the strength to go forward.  Don’t give up.  Not ever.  You and I are walking this path together.  You can do it.

Below this article there is a section for making comments.  Some people have a hard time finding something to inspire them.  Please take a moment and write what you find inspiring.  What get’s you thru the day or helps to renew your energy to reach your goals.  If you wish tell your story.  What you faced or are facing, and what kept or keeps you going.  And please have mercy and don’t tell me it’s a dozen donuts and Death by Chocolate that gets you through.  Who knows, your words may help someone else.

The post My Journey To Health, Inspiration also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Happy Birthday Sherlock!

Sherlock Holmes Cap famous as Deerstalker, Old Key and Magnifier
(PCM) Happy Birthday Sherlock! Beloved super sleuth Sherlock Holmes was created by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. He is one of (if not the) most adapted fictional characters in literature, appearing in upwards of sixty stories written by Doyle himself and countless other books, plays, comics, films, and television shows in the one hundred plus years since. What’s your favorite Sherlock incarnation?

Although Doyle never explicitly mentioned Holmes’ birthday, January 6th has been accepted as canon by most Sherlock fans. The day is marked by an annual celebration of feasting, lectures, costuming and other festivities in New York City, but fans around the world can observe (deduce, infer, conclude) in their own way… logically.

Happy Birthday Sherlock! was contributed by Pop Culture Fun Facts.

Dr. Strange Photos Revealed

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(PCM) After debuting their new cover photo of actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange, EW delighted fans with the released of several additional Dr. Strange photos. The highly anticipated film is set for release on November 4, 2016 and will be directed by Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Deliver Us From Evil).

Dr. Strange will star Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange of course, as well as, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, and Mads Mikkelsen in roles that have not yet been revealed.

It was also revealed that the EW photo shoot was the first time that Cumberbatch had really tried on the costume and he used the photo shoot as a way to research his character.

Cumberbatch told EW, “I’m still in the infancy of learning all that. It was like, okay, I’ve got to keep throwing these poses, these spells, these rune-casting things, everything he does physically. I’m thinking, there’s going to be a huge amount of speculation and intrigue over the positioning of that finger as opposed to it being there, or there. And I’m still working on that. We haven’t played any of those scenes yet. I felt really self-conscious. But, then, by the end, it was great. It’s like anything, you just have to experiment.”

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About the film:

After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.

 

The post Dr. Strange Photos Revealed first appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Stan Lee Born December 28th 1922

stan-lee-02Stan Lee (Stanley Lieber) was born December 28, 1922.  As a boy Mr. Lee loved to read to quote him, “It would be easier to say what I didn’t read.”  He enjoyed The Tarzan Stories, Jukes Verne, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe and H.G. Welles.  His original career goal was to become a novelist but that desire never materialized. 

Stan was 17 when he joined the Staff of Timely Comics.  According to Stan he was hired as “staff writer, proof reader and general all around gofer.”  He was asked to fill in as an editor and art director. This was to be a temporary job, but it never turned out that way and Stan stayed in that position for many years,

In the years to follow Timely Comics became Marvel comics.  Stan spent his time coming up with titles that would mirror the trend of the day, It could be romance or western or horror whatever fit what was popular.  In 1961 DC Comic’s’ The Justice League of America’ was doing very well.  The Justice League was a team of all of the DC bestselling titles, Superman Batman Wonder Woman The Flash and Green Lantern. Stan was told a superhero team needed to be created to keep up with the completion.

Lee decided that his “team” would not all be perfect and encouraging to each other, His team would have faults and personal problems.  Thus was born The Fantastic Four.  After that bestselling titles would come quickly. The Hulk, Spiderman, Thor, and Dr. Strange would all make their debut in the early sixties.

Marvel would soon be the biggest rival of DC comics and the sale of the titles would begin to rise.   Soon letters started coming in from fans.  These letters would eventually make it in to the comics themselves as Stan would answer them publicly.

Marvel Comics would grow and soon The Avengers and The X-Men would make their first appearance as well as many other titles all keeping the Lee formula of imperfect people as heroes.

Marvel would soon create a fan club.  First in the 60s The Merry Marvel Marching Society and then in the 70s with FOOM or Friends Of Old Marvel.  Lee would soon become the best known name in comics and his success would continue to grow.

Comic Book titles would soon make it in to animated TV series followed by live action series, but it was in the early part of the 21st century that the filming comic book heroes would really make an impression on the TV and especially the movie going public.

The X-Men would lead the way followed by Spiderman and The Fantastic Four.  Stan would make cameo appearances in many of the films and the fans were disappointed when he was not seen.  Stan Lee was the first superstar of the comic book industry and soon would be the Alfred Hitchcock of the 21st century.  Even in his 90s Stan continues to play an active role in the comic book world.  So the young man’s dream of becoming a novelist didn’t work out and we can all be very grateful that it did not.

Stan Lee Born December 28th 1922 was contributed by Pop Culture Fun Facts.

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