Thursday, December 23, 2010

Follow The Exploits Of Santa Right Here

Thanks to the brave men and women of NORAD, you'll be able to follow Santa as he makes his rounds Christmas Eve from the comfort of this website. 


Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Friday, December 03, 2010

R.I.P. Ron Santo, My All Time Favorite Cub

From Mark's Cub Worship Pulpit Official MLB Blog


We lost one of the greatest Cubs of all time Thursday as Ron Santo passed away at the age of 70.  I'm not here to recap his brilliant career as a player, broadcaster, and one of the world's biggest Cubs fans. You can find that kind of entry at this page created by the Chicago Tribune

Santo fought many battles in his life.  First, a lifelong battle with Diabetes, something that would have prevented most people from playing pro sports in the '60's, but not Ron Santo.  The Diabetes finally robbed Ron of his legs and he bravely dealt with the disease all his life.  But finally it was Cancer that took him from us. Ron fought hard to be included in the Baseball Hall Of Fame, but never got enough votes, either as a player, Veteran, or Broadcaster.  That was one of the great injustices in baseball history.  But worst of all, I don't think anyone wanted to see the Cubs win the World Series more than Ron Santo, and he never got to see that happen.

In case you don't remember or understand the importance of Ron Santo to the Cubs, listen to this audio tribute, courtesy of WGN Radio in Chicago.


If you've read this blog, you know I spent much of last season trying to get into the WGN Radio broadcast booth to help call a game.  Sure, I wanted to get on the radio to broadcast my heroes, but more than that, I wanted to have the memory of sitting in the same cramped Wrigley Field booth with my favorite baseball player of all time, the man whose number I proudly wore as the worst player on the Buffalo Grove Hippos, and a man I admired for so many reasons. 

Ron Santo never got into the Hall Of Fame.  He never saw his beloved Cubs win a World Series, but his spirit will be with the team and its fans for many years to come.  Here's hoping the 2011 Cubs dedicate their season to Ron Santo and work hard to give Ronnie at least one of the two things he really wanted, the World Series Trophy or a plaque in Cooperstown.

Rest in peace Ron.  Your fans thank you, love you, and miss you already.

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Happy Hanukkah-5 Famous Christmas Songs Written by Jewish Songwriters


[and while we're stuck on number 5, here's an oldie-but-goodie from last Christmas...]

1. “White Christmas” – While there are more than five Christmas carols written by Jewish songwriters, I thought I’d just cover my favorites, starting with not only the most famous Christmas song written in modern times, but according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the best-selling single of all-time.

irving_berlin.jpgWritten by: Irving Berlin in 1940

Actually written by: Israel Isidore Baline (Irving’s real name)

Written while: seated poolside at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona (talk about your White Christmas)

Made famous by: Bing Crosby in the movie Holiday Inn
Cool Irving Berlin fact: Refusing to make money off his deep-seated patriotism, Berlin donated all the royalties from “God Bless America” (just another little ditty he penned) to the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Campfire Girls

jmarks.gif2. “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

Written by: Johnny Marks in 1949

Based on: a poem/story penned by Marks’ brother-in-law, who invented Rudolph

Made famous by: Gene Autry, whose recording sold over 2 million copies in the first year alone

Famous Rudolph mondegreen: “Olive, the other reindeer” (see our post on mondegreens if you don’t know what they are)

Cool Johnny Marks fact: He is the great-uncle of economist Steven Levitt, co-author of one of my favorite books of all time, Freakonomics

styne_j_pic2.jpg3. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

Written by: composer Jule Styne in 1945 with lyrics by Sammy Cahn

Actually written by: Julius Kerwin Stein and Samuel Cohen (real names)

Made Famous by: Vaughn Monroe, hitting #1 on Billboard in ’46

Curious “Let it Snow” fact: the lyric never once mentions Christmas

Cool Jule Styne fact: he also wrote the music for the musicals Gypsy and Funny Girl

livingston_evans2.jpg4. “Silver Bells”

Written by: Jay Livingston and Ray Evans in 1951

Actually written by: Jacob Harold Levison and Raymond Bernard Evans (real names)

Introduced by: Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the movie The Lemon Drop Kid

Made Famous by: Bing Crosby and Carol Richards

Cool “Silver Bells” fact: the song was inspired by the silver bells of the Salvation Army bell ringers, thus making it one of the few Christmas carols about the city, as opposed to the usual rural countryside setting

ahague1.gif5. “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”

Written by: Albert Hague in 1966 (with words/lyrics by Dr. Seuss, of course)

Actually written by: Albert Marcuse, who was born in Berlin, but his family raised him Lutheran with the last name Hague in order to avoid the raging anti-Semitism in the 1920/30s (He got out of Europe just in time, landing in America in 1939)

Made Famous by: Thurl Arthur Ravenscroft, who made a name for himself singing and doing voice-overs for Disney

Curious Albert Hague fact:
He was also an actor! You can see him in both the movie and TV series, Fame, playing the role of Shorofsky

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[Pssst...Have you been thinking about subscribing to mental_floss magazine, for yourself or as a gift? This week you'll save big with our subscription t-shirt for $25.97 deal. That's like buying a subscription and getting a t-shirt for only $4! Offer ends December 6th. U.S. subscriptions only.]

Proof again that without us Jews there would be no Christmas. Happy Hanukkah to all! And thanks to the Mental Floss blog for the assist!

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0