Did You Know?…(9) Part 1

    • According to Inertia Surf Editor Tetsuhiko Endo, ‘surfing’ has been known as a predominately “white” sport that lands comfortably somewhere between mountaineering and golf.
    • Nick Gabaldon was the 1st African American Surfer according to The Encyclopedia of Surfing Author Matt Warshaw.
    • Nick Gabaldon was said to have learned to surf at a beach called “The Inkwell” which was located in Santa Monica California during the 1940s. Supposedly, this was an informally segregated beach at the time.
    • Gabaldon paddled on a regular basis, twelve miles North to Malibu’, which was believed to be one of the best waves in California.
    • He practically stood alone in his quest to chase his passion and went to extents that many would never have considered.
    • Nick Gabaldon met his untimely fate on June 5, 1951, as he rode his last wave where he lost control of his surf board.

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Images: Free Google images

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Did You Know?…(8)

 

 

    • A great number of teachers are ‘unhappy’ in their jobs.
    • Harris Interactive conducted a survey for Metlife that found that public school teachers’ job satisfaction has reached plummeting levels as reported by the Metlife Survey of the American Teacher.
    • Teacher satisfaction is the lowest it has been in 20 years. The proportion of teachers that had been satisfied with their jobs decreased by 15% in only two years.
    • Out of all the teachers surveyed, only 41% allege being very satisfied in their profession as opposed to 59% in 2009.
    • Layoffs over the past several years have negatively affected the sense of job security that teachers once had.
    • Many other factors contribute to teachers’ low satisfaction for their jobs including: staff layoffs, elimination of after-school programs, lack of updated educational technology, deteriorating conditions in school buildings and grounds, witnessing students coming to school hungry.
    • Forbes ranks ‘teaching’ as one of the unhappiest jobs as reported by Jeff Dunn on April 4, 2013.

 

All of this is very disappointing and disheartening. Teaching is such a crucial and invaluable piece to the development of our young people. It would seem that some of the things contributing to teachers being ‘unhappy’, could be significantly decreased, but how? What can parents do to help stop the elimination of after-school programs? What can be done to help schools update educational technology? How can teachers, parents and students play a role in helping their schools with this? How unfair it is that students and teachers suffer because of deteriorating conditions in school buildings? Is there anything that teachers, parents and students can do about that? Sadly, some families are on the brink of starvation, if not already there. What can be done to ensure that more students receive breakfast at school, when they are unable to eat at home?

Teachers often face danger when they come to work. They shouldn’t have to, but they often do. Especially in this day and age with all the school shootings.(which could be a whole other post) How can teachers be expected to come to work and be ‘happy’ about it, when they often fear that danger may or may not happen? Police officers use to reign supreme in terms of a profession that ‘fear’ was and is an eminent part of. Unfortunately, teaching has now joined that rank. I’d say teachers have a lot to be dissatisfied or ‘unhappy’ about. All these are very tough questions and to answer any of them is definitely a daunting task, but we have to start somewhere. Maybe it should begin with you and me!

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

 

Did You Know…(7)

 

    • Rochester New York (Roc City) was host to one of the first downtown indoor malls in the U.S. and was dedicated on April 10, 1962.
    • Victor Gruen not only designed Midtown Plaza but also Southdale Center, which was located in the suburbs of Minneapolis in 1956.
    • The idea of Midtown Plaza Mall was born as a result of discussions between Gilbert J.C. McCurdy, owner of McCurdy’s department store and Maurice F. Forman, owner of the B. Forman Co. department store. .
    • As suburban shopping malls outside of Rochester began to emerge, Midtown Plaza lost its vibrancy and started to struggle in the 1980s.
    • The last original tenant(s) of Midtown Plaza was a Record Theater store and a U.S. Post office.
    • On October 16,2007, it was announced that Midtown Plaza would be torn down and replaced by PAETEC Headquarters.
    • Midtown Plaza’s final Christmas season was celebrated in 2007. Midtown Plaza’s chief engineer donated a 40ft Douglas Fir tree. *Getting the ‘holiday’ tree into Midtown Plaza was always a major event, as traffic was interrupted on N. Clinton Ave near the side entrance to the plaza. The tree(s) had to be dragged into the mall on its side. I feel honored to have witnessed this on many occasions, being that I worked downtown for several years before the mall’s closing.
    • The “Monorail” was a familiar structure during every Christmas holiday season. **Hundreds of kids would wait patiently in line with their parents to get on this train that rode high above the mall floor traveling in a square formation. Sadly, the ‘monorail’ had its last go-round on December 24, 2007.
    • Six Rochester Radio Stations of Clear Channel Communications signed off the air on midnight on December 31, 2008.
    • Midtown Plaza closed its doors to the mourning public for the last time on July 29, 2008.
    • The Adirondack Transit Lines Bus Station, the last Midtown Plaza occupant, closed on November 3, 2009.
    • Geri Kavenaugh designed the Clock of Nations, a very well known Midtown Plaza attraction. This infamous clock was representative of twelve nations and had twelve cylinders displaying a puppet scene for each nation. When the Clock of Nations was originally unveiled, it was revered as an important piece of art. The original puppetry had to be replaced in the 1970s because it had not been well-maintained. Oddly enough, a local housewife contributed her handy work to the replacement puppetry.
    • Once Midtown Plaza closed, the Clock of Nations was moved for a brief time to the Greater Rochester International Airport terminal. It’s permanent residence is now at the Golisano Children’s Hospital.

It’s so sad when I drive through downtown Rochester New York in this day and age. The place where Midtown Plaza once stood, looks completely different. Had you not seen what it looked like before its demise, you might find it difficult to picture what was once there. I’m just glad I had the opportunity to become very acquainted with Midtown Plaza before all these changes were put into affect. Nothing beats those memories!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

Did You Know?…(6)

 

http://www.history.com/topics/niagara-falls

 

    • Approximately 12 million tourists travel from parts all over the country to witness the magnificent Niagara Falls every summer. The grand Niagara River is made up of 2 water falls: The American Falls which are found on the American side of the border and the Horseshoe or Canadian Falls which are on the Canadian side of the border. These 2 waterfalls define the border that lies between New York and Ontario, Canada.
    • At the age of 63, a schoolteacher by the name of Annie Edson Taylor, became the very first person to go plummeting over the Niagara Falls in a barrel! How’s that for being a daredevil?
    • The Great Lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie provide the water that runs over the falls. However, 90% of that water runs over the Horseshoe Falls/Canadian side.
    • Niagara Falls is the largest electric power source in the world.
    • Initially, 5.5 billion gallons of water per hour cascaded over the falls. Currently, the American and Canadian governments control the amount of water flow in an effort to slow down erosion. The Horseshoe Falls erode back about six feet per year. Eventually, the American Falls will no longer exist if erosion continues to occur at this rate. That would be tragic wouldn’t it?
    • Niagara Falls seems to be a ‘honeymooners’ hub” if you will, again making it one of the most popular attractions in the world.
    • Marilyn Monroe starred in the 1953 film called “Niagara”. This film was shot with the majestic Niagara Falls in the backdrop. *Please click on the video link above for more interesting facts.

***Incidentally, this wonderful attraction that draws countless people in droves from everywhere, is about 1 hour and 25 minutes away from where I live! Even more unbelievable, is the fact that I rarely visit this picturesque place, even though it’s practically in my back yard! I’ll have to change that, especially since it is one of my favorite places in the world to visit! Would you think Niagara Falls,New York is a place you’d like to visit?

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

Did You Know?…(5)

Did you know….

    • It is estimated that 10% of all humans are left-handed. Interesting tidbit: 50% of Cats are left- handed. Who knew?
    • Lefthandedness tends to run in families. The British royal family has several lefties which include: the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and Prince William.
    • You are 50% more likely to be a ‘southpaw’ if one of your parents is left-handed.
    • Men are more likely to be lefties.
    • Left-handed people are more likely to have an IQ score above 131 and are more apt to be the genius in the family. Lefties are often known to be math wizzes. The Neuropyschology journal published in 2006, indicates that left-handed people process stimuli faster than right-handed people. The Australian National University(ANU), conducted research that supports earlier studies that demonstrate left-handed people use both hemispheres of the brain to process language, whereas, right-handed people tend to primarily use the left hemisphere. Further research supports the hypothesis that people who write using their left hand, most likely have brains that are better suited to bi-hemisphere, simultaneous processing of information.
    • Lefties are said to be better at competitive sports. The Puzzle of Left-Handedness created by Rik Smits, implies that this is because left-handed athletes receive more chances to practice with right-handed opponents.
    • The last 3 out of 4 commander in chiefs are all left-handed: George Bush, Sr., Bill Clinton, and current President Barack Obama.
    • August 13th is Left-handers Day and was launched in 1996.

I am not left-handed, but all of these points are very interesting to me. Especially, considering my son is a leftie. I’m sure he will find this information encouraging to say the least. How about you?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

Did you know?…(4)

 

 

Did you know that actor Tae Diggs grew up in Upstate Rochester New York a-k-a “Roc City”? That’s right! It’s true. He attended Allendale Columbia School and later, School of the Arts in Rochester.

  •  After high school, he attended college at Syracuse University where he studied ‘theater’. After receiving his Bachelors in Fine Arts degree in musical theater, he moved to New York City where he debuted in his first leading role in the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning sensation “Rent” in 1996.
  • He went on from the broadway stage to television where he landed a role in a soap opera called, The Guiding Light in 1998.
  • He starred in a popular medical television series called Private Practice and also the movies The Best Man (1999) and the follow-up movie The Best Man Holiday(2013)

These are just a few of the accomplishments this very talented actor has made. Just goes to show; good things and great people can and do come from this ‘neck of the woods’. Can you “digg” it?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

Image: Free google images: redbookmag.com

Did you know?…(3)

Did you know….The “Amazing Spiderman” movie was shot on E. Main St. in Upstate New York a-k-a Rochester, New York during May 2013? That’s right!! Roc City was the backdrop for some of the more high-powered scenes in this movie. Please click on the video below to view some of the action on the last day of filming!!

It’s kind of surreal to watch these scenes with an unusual number of NYPD police vehicles flying through the middle of downtown Rochester, New York; a place I grew up in. I can see the actual bus stop I used to wait at daily, en route home from work many years ago. It’s such a proud feeling that my hometown was chosen for this epic film.

I recall watching various news broadcasts during the filming of these scenes. Several Rochesterians were interviewed and asked for their thoughts on all the hoopla. Some people felt a bit inconvenienced being that many of the bus routes were detoured to accommodate the filming needs of this action-packed adventure. It appeared that one man didn’t even know about the filming and detours until he set out to go to work on the very first morning.  Boy did he get a big surprise! He seemed to handle it though and was very good-natured about it all. So, You can imagine what an event it must have been for some to people to commute to and from work on the first day of shooting. I guess if you’re going to be inconvenienced, it might as well be like this! Roc City is once again…positively on the map!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Did You Know? (2)

Cover art

Did you know that Maya Angelou was raped at the age of 7 by her mother’s boyfriend; a man named Mr. Freeman. After she confided in her brother about the incident and testified at Mr. Freeman’s trial, he was found dead.

Did you know that Maya blamed herself for Mr. Freeman’s death? She believed that because she had revealed the crime that he committed against her, he met with a violent death. Maya Angelou did not speak again for 6 years because she thought her ‘voice’ had been the direct cause of Mr. Freeman’s untimely death.

Did you know that during her self-induced silence, Maya Angelou found her voice again; through poetry? This life-changing event was the foundation that inspired her very first autobiography: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

Did you know that “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was written on a dare? That’s right. Maya Angelou wrote this critically acclaimed and highly successful autobiography before she became famous and was very reluctant to do so, initially. Her editor, Robert Loomis had been trying to get her to write an autobiography for some time and then in so many words, he basically told her that it was virtually impossible to write an autobiography as literature. In other words, she couldn’t do it! I guess she showed not only him, but the world! Hence her quote: “If you want me to do something, tell me I can’t do it.” What are some interesting facts you know about this amazing, award-winning, highly accomplished writer?

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Did you know?…

     

Images: Free google images

 

Did you know that Maya Angelou is the first African American and first female inaugural poet to speak at a presidential inauguration? At the request of former president Bill Clinton, she wrote a poem called “On the Pulse of Morning” which she recited on June 20, 1993 at President Clinton’s inauguration. This is the second time a poet has spoke at an inauguration. The first was Robert Frost in 1961.

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