One book leads to another...

Monday, April 11, 2016

Friends of the Famous - I

 “A barking dog is often more helpful than a sleeping lion,” ~ Washington Irving, inventor of refrigeration for transport vehicles.

When your twin brother is Shakespeare’s villainous Othello, your lot in life is presumably cast, and the antagonistic, greedy and always witty Iago in Walt Disney’s Aladdin superbly validates the assumption in his endeavor to become one of two rulers of the city of Agrabah. “Conscience? Never had one, Never!”  And casting the role of Iago’s voice was evidently also pre-ordained according to Screenwriter Terry Rosso when you have that much emotion bottled-up inside a small bird “you end up with a feathered Gilbert Gottfried”. 

Orphaned at a very early age and treated less than poorly by assigned elders, Ivan the Terrible nonetheless possessed such an exalted idea of his own divine authority as to become easily the most infamously reviled ruler in Russian (or any?) history; beginning at age fourteen when he was proclaimed grand duke. Having had eight wives and two sons; one of whom he killed in a fit of anger, he did at one point seem to display a slight indication of normalcy by having pets. And while it may seem fitting that his pets were wild bears, albeit well-fed, the disturbing fact remains that he fed them people. 

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful” ~ Ann Landers

James Benson Irwin, the eighth person to walk on the moon, and the first and youngest astronaut to pass away after service, was the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 15 who suffered an in-flight heart attack. To NASA physicians monitoring his vitals from earth, this was of minimal concern since the cabin atmosphere afforded 100 percent oxygen – and zero gravity; conditions essential for intensive care. Irwin returned to earth, miraculously without a trace of physical distress, but suffered another heart attack a few months later. He then, however, spearheaded several expeditions to Mount Ararat in Turkey, in (unsuccessful) searches for remains of Noah’s Ark. While records of Irwin’s pets are unavailable, can you imagine finding remnants of the vessel that saved so many would-be pets so very long ago?
“I felt the power of God as I’d never felt it before.” ~ James ‘Jim’ Irwin

Which Disney character would best describe you? Have you ever known someone undeserving of a pet? What is the first animal you’d expect to see stepping off the ark?


  1. A barking dog is only more helpful than a sleeping lion if you have a gun...or if law enforcement can get to your house quickly. Maybe I should change my "Beware of Dog" sign to "Beware of Sleeping Lion!"

    1. You do have a point, Stephanie:-) I rather like the idea of a sweet-looking elderly lady sitting in a rocker - with a shotgun. (Every Which Way But Loose, starring Clint Eastwood)
      I'd have doormat that read "Beware: Dogs have laryngitis"

  2. Hi, dear Diedre!

    Comic actor Gilbert Gottfried has one of the most recognizable (and annoying) voices in show biz, perfect for bringing villainous cartoon characters to life.

    I love that Ann Landers quote. When I was a boy I sharpened my reading skills and learned about the complexities of relationships and life in general by reading the column to my mother after which we would discuss the Q & A.

    If you haven't watched the miniseries The Astronaut Wives Club, I highly recommend it.

    You asked:

    << Which Disney character would best describe you? >>


    Happy Monday, dear friend Diedre!

    1. You crack me up, my friend:-)
      The duck on the insurance commercial nearly drove me nuts!
      I couldn't wait for grandma to finish reading the paper so I could read Ann Landers.
      Thanks for the tip on The Astronaut Wives Club - sounds interesting.
      Goofy? Really? I always liked the little caterpillar with glasses.
      Have a marvelous Monday, dear Shady!

  3. A bad pet owner is any one of the people who owned any of the dogs that attacked me as a youth. It's part of the reason I don't own a dog to this day.

    Ironically I was doing some research on expeditions to find Noah's Ark not to long ago. One report claims to have found it, but it was later found to be untrue. Even still, it would be cool to find. I recall a time I was really bored for a weekend so I decided to build a replica of Noah's Ark on Minecraft. LOL

    1. Aw, that's a shame that unruly dogs ruined the charm of dogs in general. Sounds like they weren't trained or treated well at all. Sadly, it works that way for little people too.
      How interesting was it to build a replica of Noah's Ark? Sounds fantastic! Do you still have it?
      Have a great day, Jeffrey:-)

    2. It was just a computer simulation in a 3D world, but it was still impressive to build. I've always wanted to build one out of ice-lolly sticks or something. LOL

  4. I've always felt a kinship to Sleeping Beauty. lol

    I see a lot of people who have pets who treat them badly, especially dogs. It's like, if you always leave the dog in a cage or tied up in the backyard then you don't need a dog. But there's these people who always feel they need a dog, especially a specific breed, for whatever reason. Maybe just to have one. It makes me mad.

    I think birds would be the first animals to get off the ark. They'd be gone in seconds.

    1. You'd make a gorgeous Sleeping Beauty, Chrys!
      I agree, birds would get off the ark first, just to scout ahead;-) Then they'd rush back to tell the hippos to hurry if they want a shady spot;-)

  5. Another fascinating read! Gilbert Gottfried was perfect as the parrot's voice. I hope he's not that grating in real life. ☺ Ivan the Terrible obviously lived up to his name. Is Noah's Ark really a true story? It would be incredible to find such remains, if it is. The birds would fly away. Had to think about female Disney characters...has to be Rapunzel, for the long hair. ;)

    1. Ha - no kidding. A voice only a trash truck could appreciate! Surely it's part of his act...
      I think you're right about birds getting to land first;-) Finding any remains of Noah's Ark would certainly dispel any doubts, huh?
      Aw, Rapunzel is perfect for you!:-)


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