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Monday, 3 August 2015

D is for Delta blues

D is the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet.

A river delta is "a landform that forms at the mouth of a river, where the river flows into an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, or reservoir." In the United States, when referring to the "delta," one's usually talking about the delta of the largest river in North America, the Mississippi.

The Delta blues is "one of the earliest styles of blues music. It originated in the Mississippi Delta... that stretches from Memphis, Tennessee in the north to Vicksburg, Mississippi in the south... The Mississippi Delta area is famous both for its fertile soil and its poverty. Guitar, harmonica and cigar box guitar are the dominant instruments used, with slide guitar (usually on the steel guitar) being a hallmark of the style. The vocal styles range from introspective and soulful to passionate and fiery."

Read more about the delta blues at this PBS site.

There's a Delta blues museum in Clarksdale, MS, founded in 1979.

Read about Delta blues artists such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Robert Johnson.

Listen to two hours of delta blues.

Monday, 27 July 2015

C stands for Calamity Jane.

Calamity Jane's real name was Martha Jane Cannary.  She was an American frontiers woman and often rode shotgun on stage coaches, delivering mail to the small towns around the 'Wild West',  and protecting passengers from marauding Red Indians and local bandits.  Both of her parents died when she was fourteen years of age so she raised her younger siblings single-handed. 

She was a rowdy woman, she grew up acting and looking like a man. Also she drank like a fish and could shoot like a cowboy. One of her close friends was Wild Bill Hickok, in fact it was widely rumoured that they were having a relationship!

She performed in many travelling wild west shows,  including the famous  'Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show'.

Now for the real Calamity my humble the one and only Miss Doris Day, in the delightful Hollywood movie, she danced and sang her heart out and her portrayal of Calamity Jane was sheer Hollywood perfection.

Who can forget the  wonderful song and dance routines?

Calamity singing 'A woman's touch'- this is when she suddenly discovers her feminine side.

Once I had a secret love'

Edith Head-famous costume designer for some of the most beautiful female actors-said Doris had the most perfect figure she's ever fitted. Plus her voice was pure, she was a truly talented singer and dancer too.

'I just got back from the Windy City'.


Calamity Jane gets her man Wild Bill Hickok   ( Howard Keel ) So handsome.

 Nothing like a sprinkling of Hollywood sparkle dust to tell a story what it should be like.... not how it was! It's a miserable rainy Sunday afternoon so I am just settling in my cosy recliner to watch ?? Yes you've guessed....

'Calamity Jane'!

My sincere thanks to the charismatic Denise for devising ABCW an also too Roger our charitable admin. man for doing what he does and doing it so well!  CHEERS to all the team who support Roger and Denise ....may the creativity continue!
Best wishes,
ABCW team,

Monday, 20 July 2015

B is for Beta

Beta is the second letter is the Greek alphabet, and, naturally, the source of the final syllable in the word alphabet. "Like the names of most other Greek letters, the name of beta was adopted from the acrophonic name of the corresponding letter in Phoenician, which was the common Semitic word *bayt ('house')."

A beta male is considered to be sensitive, nurturing, conflict-averse communicator. OR have characteristics to be avoided. It depends on who you ask.

Beta testing is the software development phase which "generally begins when the software is feature complete but likely to contain a number of known or unknown bugs... The focus of beta testing is reducing impacts to users, often incorporating usability testing... This is typically the first time that the software is available outside of the organization that developed it.

Beta-Carotene is a strongly colored red-orange pigment abundant in plants and fruits such as carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.

Beta blockers "treat a variety of conditions, such as high blood pressure, glaucoma and migraines."

Founded in 1922, Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) is "a society for students, particularly undergraduates, dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research."

In nuclear physics, beta decay (β-decay) "is a type of radioactive decay in which a proton is transformed into a neutron, or vice versa, inside an atomic nucleus. This process allows the atom to move closer to the optimal ratio of protons and neutrons."

Like alpha, beta is also a financial term though I would be hard pressed to explain it.

There are a lot more Beta terms. If you are of a certain age, you may remember Betamax, a video recording tape that was technologically superior to VHS, but lost out in the marketplace.

Monday, 13 July 2015

A is for Alpha

Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet - and, of course, the first syllables in the word "alphabet."

Alpha International, a Christian website, is likely so dubbed based on the New Testament scripture at Revelation 22:13, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."

In the animal world, including humans, alpha signifies having the highest rank in a dominance hierarchy: the alpha female of an elephant pack, baboon alpha males, etc.

Alpha is also an investment term.

Since this is the alpha, or premiere, post of the round, I should reiterate the rules, but, basically they are:

* Write your blog post, mentioning (preferably linking to) ABC Wednesday, and being relevant to the letter of the week

* Link your blog post to the Linky thing circa Tuesday at 4 pm, Greenwich Time. Link to the specific post. So when I participate this week, I'll be linking (SPOILER ALERT) to, not just to (This is a concept I'd tried to explain before, and TOTALLY confused some participants, so I hope this is clearer.)

* VISIT other participants. In general, people are more likely to visit you if you visit them. Our ABC Wednesday team will visit you too.