Chas' Compilation

A compilation of information and links regarding assorted subjects: politics, religion, science, computers, health, movies, music... essentially whatever I'm reading about, working on or experiencing in life.

Monday, May 13, 2019

A Star Dies

Obituary: Doris Day, America's archetypal girl next door

Big fan here, of her movies and her music. This day was inevitable, but...

Below is a link to the last post I did about her. At the end of it, are links to other posts I made about her.

Doris, we won't forget...

Doris Day's New Album: "My Heart"

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Monday, April 01, 2019

Duolingo Mascot Get's Pushy

Duolingo PUSH

A nice April 1st video. ;)

Friday, January 25, 2019

"Comprehensible Input" in Language Learning

An interview with Steven Krashen, about the importance of comprehensible input in language acquisition:

I'm learning Spanish, and I've gotten beyond the beginner's phase, and am in the intermediate level, which can be very hard. I'm finding the concept of working with "comprehensible input" to improve my language learning to be very helpful. It's backed by a lot of sound research, which continues to demonstrate it's effectiveness.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Who was Joachim Gottschalk?

He was a famous German actor in Nazi Germany, who died along with his family, when he refused to be separated from his Jewish wife and their son. Seventy seven years ago today. From Wikipedia:

Joachim Gottschalk
Joachim Gottschalk (10 April 1904 – 6 November 1941) was a German stage and film actor during the late 1930s, a romantic lead in the style of Leslie Howard.


Gottschalk, the son of a physician, was born in the small town of Calau, in the Prussian province of Brandenburg. He attended the Gymnasium high school in Cottbus and from 1924 worked for four years on seagoing vessels. He later began an theatrical education in Cottbus and Berlin. During an engagement in Stuttgart, he met with his later wife, the Jewish actress Meta Wolff (1902–1941). Both married on 3 May 1930 in Halberstadt, shortly before Hitler came to power. They had a son, Michael, who was born in February 1933.

After the Nazi Machtergreifung in 1933, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels promoted the establishment of the Reichskulturkammer institution. Actors were required to apply for membership in the Theaterkammer on presentation of an "Aryan certificate" which meant a prohibition (Berufsverbot) to Gottschalk's wife. The couple managed to avoid the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws and rising tide of anti-semitic violence in Nazi Germany. From 1934 Gottschalk performed at the Schauspielhaus Frankfurt and in 1938 joined the Volksbühne ensemble in Berlin. In the same year he began his film career starring in the romance You and I directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner, side by side with the popular German actress Brigitte Horney.

While World War II began with the German Invasion of Poland in 1939, Gottschalk and Horney appeared as a "dream couple" in a string of successful movies. Gottschalk took his Jewish wife to a social function and introduced her to some of the prominent Nazis who were present. Although the Nazis were charmed, Goebbels (a virulent anti-Semite) learned about this incident, and decreed that Gottschalk would be required to separate from his Jewish wife. When Gottschalk refused, Goebbels ordered Gottschalk's wife and child transported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp[citation needed]. The minister's Special Representative Hans Hinkel insisted on the divorce and Gottschalk was threatened to play no further roles[citation needed]. Gottschalk insisted on accompanying Meta and Michael to Theresienstadt, but Goebbels ordered Gottschalk inducted into the German Army, the Wehrmacht[citation needed].


On 6 November 1941, minutes before the expected arrival of the Gestapo at their house in Berlin-Grunewald, Gottschalk and his wife committed suicide by gas poisoning after sedating their son, who died with them. They are buried at the Stahnsdorf South-Western Cemetery. Though warned by Minister Goebbels, Brigitte Horney and Wolfgang Liebeneiner, as well as other artists like Gustav Knuth, Hans Brausewetter, Werner Hinz, and Ruth Hellberg attended the funeral.

Goebbels ordered no further mentions of Gottschalk in the German newspapers, but word got out anyway and millions of German women mourned his death. Because of Nazi censorship, most of his devoted fans did not learn the awful circumstances of his death until after the war. In 1947 Kurt Maetzig directed the DEFA melodram Marriage in the Shadows after a novella by Hans Schweikart evoking the couple's fate. The 2002 drama Times Like These written by John O'Keefe is based on their individual tragedy. [...]

When I was in college, I did a term paper on the subject of Nazi Cinema. It dealt with the fate of people in the German film industry who refused to cooperate with the Nazis, and didn't leave Germany. Joachin's story was just one of many.


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Monday, December 18, 2017

Have you experianced the "Helper High"?

Apparently, we are hard-wired to experience it:

How to Be Happy Every Day: It Will Change the World | Jacqueline Way | TEDxStanleyPark
The World Happiness Report states “Over 1 billion adults suffer from anxiety and depression.” How do we get to happy? Jacqueline Way, Founder of shares a secret to happiness so simple a 3 – year old can do it. Jacqueline is a mother of three boys and social good activist dedicated to changing the world 1 give, 1 day at a time. You will learn through her powerful story how your body is hard-wired for giving. Researchers from all over the world have been studying the science and physiological of giving for decades. They’ve discovered giving makes you happy, makes you high, is our bodies natural “Fountain of Youth” and reduces stress. Her inspirational journey with her son and thousands of children will inspire you start a daily giving habit that will make you happy and change the world.

Jacqueline Way is the founder of a charitable organization dedicated to educating, empowering, and inspiring children to change the world "one give, one day at a time." You can reach Jacqueline at [...]

Around Christmas time, there is an emphasis on giving. But what if giving were to become an ingrained habit, a habit you practice 365 days a year? And what if doing so benefited you, made you feel better, physically, mentally and emotionally? That is what is interesting about her Ted Talk. Giving doesn't have to always be a major sacrifice either. You can give in small ways, every day. And if it becomes a habit, you reap multiple benefits. A Win/Win for everyone.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

When death affirms life

We saw this movie recently:

The Fault in Our Stars
Two teenage cancer patients begin a life-affirming journey to visit a reclusive author in Amsterdam. [...]

You might think it sounds depressing. In some ways it is. But it also manages to be uplifting. People being forced to deal with reality the way it is, not the way they want it to be. And the Gems you can find hidden in that. And, how much the dying have to teach us how to live.

Wikipedia: The Fault in Our Stars (film)

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Russia's Satan II Missile

This was just a blip in the news. Should we be paying more attention? I think so:

Russia unveils 'Satan 2' missile, could wipe out France or Texas, report says
[...] The missile will have a range exceeding 11,000 kilometers (6,835 miles), TASS said. The warhead will weigh 100 tons and is designed as a successor to the R-36M Voyevoda.

According to a statement posted on the maker's website, "the Sarmat is designed to provide strategic Russian forces with a guaranteed and effective fulfillment of nuclear deterrence tasks" and is being co-developed with the Russian military.

The Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau's website describes it as "one of largest research and design centers in Russia for the development of rocket and space technology."

NATO has been bolstering its defenses in countries along the Russian border amid growing concerns about Moscow's military direction. NATO defense ministers are currently meeting in Brussels to discuss the situation, as well as the fight against ISIS.

Earlier this month, Moscow announced that it was suspending an arms reduction agreement with the US in which both countries agreed to dispose of 34 tons of plutonium, enough for thousands of nuclear bombs, over what it called Washington's "unfriendly actions" toward Russia, TASS reported.

I had posted previously about why sanctions against Russia would be likely to fail. While we've been downsizing and underfunding our military, China and Russia have been spending billions expanding and updating theirs.

While the Democrats flog hysteria about Russia, in an attempt to smear and discredit Donald Trump and the Republican party, they seem oblivious to the real danger they are encouraging and facilitating.

Closing the two Russian compounds on American soil was an appropriate response to any meddling the Russians may have attempted. It was enough. But everything else goes too far, and isn't serving our national interest. It's serving Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, who can't face up to the fact that she was a poor candidate, who lost once to Barack Obama, which proved she could be beaten, and who couldn't even beat Donald Trump, with all his flaws.

As usual, she takes no responsibility and blames anyone and everyone else, when her will is thwarted. Hillary's sour grapes are NOT something worth escalating conflicts with Russia for.

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