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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Year of My/Your Birth

The Year of My Birth  (Fascinating!)
The screen is going to fade to black; have your glasses on, and follow the instructions below.
You'll be pleasantly surprised with this one... Type the year only!! Then click the question (?) mark! 

Click below...

Year 1957
In 1957, the world was a different place.
There was no Google yet. Or Yahoo. Or, for that matter.
In 1957, the year of your birth, the top selling movie was The Bridge on the River Kwai. People buying the popcorn in the cinema lobby had glazing eyes when looking at the poster.
Remember, that was before there were DVDs. Heck, even before there was VHS. People were indeed watching movies in the cinema, and not downloading them online. Imagine the packed seats, the laughter, the excitement, the novelty. And mostly all of that without 3D computer effects.
Do you know who won the Oscars that year? The academy award for the best movie went to The Bridge on the River Kwai. The Oscar for best foreign movie that year went to The Nights of Cabiria. The top actor was Alec Guinness for his role as Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai. The top actress was Joanne Woodward for her role as Eve White in The Three Faces of Eve. The best director? David Lean for The Bridge on the River Kwai.
In the year 1957, the time when you arrived on this planet, books were still popularly read on paper, not on digital devices. Trees were felled to get the word out. The number one US bestseller of the time was By Love Possessed by James Gould Cozzens. Oh, that's many years ago. Have you read that book? Have you heard of it?
In 1957... Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the 3rd and final time. He is only shown from the waist up, even during the gospel segment. The Saarland joins West Germany. British Prime Minister Anthony Eden resigns. France prohibits U.N. involvement in Algeria. Andrei Gromyko becomes foreign minister of the Soviet Union. Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat is published. The French newspaper L'Express reveals that the French army tortures Algerian prisoners. Egypt reopens the Suez Canal to all shipping. The International Atomic Energy Agency is established. John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet for the first time, as teenagers at Woolton Fete, 3 years before forming the Beatles.
That was the world you were born into. Since then, you and others have changed it.
The Nobel prize for Literature that year went to Albert Camus. The Nobel Peace prize went to Lester Bowles Pearson. The Nobel prize for physics went to Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang from Republic of China for their penetrating investigation of the so-called parity laws which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles. The sensation this created was big. But it didn't stop the planets from spinning, on and on, year by year. Years in which you would grow bigger, older, smarter, and, if you were lucky, sometimes wiser. Years in which you also lost some things. Possessions got misplaced. Memories faded. Friends parted ways. The best friends, you tried to hold on. This is what counts in life, isn't it?
The 1950s were indeed a special decade. The American economy is on the upswing. The cold war betwen the US and the Soviet Union is playing out throughout the whole decade. Anti-communism prevails in the United States and leads to the Red Scare and accompanying Congressional hearings. Africa begins to become decolonized. The Korean war takes place. The Vietnam War starts. The Suez Crisis war is fought on Egyptian territory. Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and others overthrow authorities to create a communist government on Cuba. Funded by the US, reconstructions in Japan continue. In Japan, film maker Akira Kurosawa creates the movies Rashomon and Seven Samurai. The FIFA World Cups are won by Uruguay, then West Germany, then Brazil.
Do you remember the movie that was all the rage when you were 15? Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex. Do you still remember the songs playing on the radio when you were 15? Maybe it was American Pie by Don McLean. Were you in love? Who were you in love with, do you remember?
In 1957, 15 years earlier, a long time ago, the year when you were born, the song That'll Be the Day by The Crickets topped the US charts. Do you know the lyrics? Do you know the tune? Sing along.
Well, that'll be the day, when you say goodbye
Yes, that'll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you're gonna leave, you know it's a lie
'Cause that'll be the day when I die
There's a kid outside, shouting, playing. It doesn't care about time. It doesn't know about time. It shouts and it plays and thinks time is forever. You were once that kid.
When you were 9, the movie Journey to the Beginning of Time was playing.
6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... it's 1957. There's TV noise coming from the second floor. Someone turned up the volume way too high. The sun is burning from above. These were different times. The show playing on TV is Leave It to Beaver. The sun goes down. Someone switches channels. There's Zorro on now. That's the world you were born in.
Progress, year after year. Do you wonder where the world is heading towards? The technology available today would have blown your mind in 1957. Do you know what was invented in the year you were born? The Electric Compact Calculator. The Jet Boat.
Amelia, it's May and blossoms 1957
Single but bold
I see you, belle of the ball and
Hometown sweethear, gifted
That's from the song Amelia by Jonatha Brooke.
In 1957, a new character entered the world of comic books: Gaston. Bang! Boom! But that's just fiction, right? In the real world, in 1957, Spike Lee was born. And Melanie Griffith. Stephen Fry, too. And you, of course. Everyone an individual. Everyone special. Everyone taking a different path through life.
It's 2012.
The world is a different place.
What path have you taken?

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