Sunday, February 16, 2020

Tribute to Tony Fernandez

TONY FERNANDEZ  June 30, 1962 - February 15, 2020

The Toronto Blue Jays are deeply saddened by the passing of Tony Frernandez today, one of our club's most celebrated and respected players.  Enshrined forever in Blue Jays history on the Level of Excellence (at Rogers Centre),.  Tony left an equally marks in the hearts of of a generation of Blue Jays fans during his 12 unforgettable seasons with the team.  His impact on the baseball community in Toronto and across Canada is immeasurable.  

- Statement from the Toronto Blue Jays

Sad to hear of the passing of former Blue Jays all star Tony Fernandez.  He played the game like a kid who couldn't believe he was getting paid for it.  And he treated the kids who were his fans like they were his bosses.  RIP Tony Fernandez

- Steve Pattereon
Canadian stand-up comedian, actor and television host

In my view, Tony was everything a Hall of Famer should be: an all-time great on the field and a charitable, selfless person person away from it.  We will miss him dearly.

- Scott Crawford
Director of Operations for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

This Sunday, I had planned to write about some happy topics. (We all need a break from the horrors of the Age of Trump, the climate crisis and the coronavirus.).  Unfortunately, that will have to wait for another day because I woke up to the news of the death of Tony Fernandez.  The Dominican native was only 57 years old when he passed away.   He died in Florida after suffering a stroke yesterday,  He had been hospitalized due to kidney disease complications and put into a medically induced coma.

It's easy to list Tony's formidable baseball achievements during his 12 seasons as the Toronto Blue Jays'greatest shortstop, Fernandez had four stints in Toronto  (1983-1990), (1993), (1998-1999), (2001).and was a member of the Blue Jays' World Series championship team in 1993.  He earned the Blue Jays' Level of Excellence Award, which was created by the Jays "for recognizing individual achievement."  Tony was Toronto's leader in hits, triples and games played.  On June 28, 2008, he was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame at St. Mary's, Ontario.  On October 17, 2016, he was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto.

During the course of his 17-season career, Tony also played for the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres, the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees. the Cleveland Indians and the Milwaukee Brewers.  On September 3, 1995, Tony hit for the cycle as a New York Yankee against the Oakland Athletics.

Tony Fernandez was a four-time Gold Glove Award winner and a five-time Major League Baseball all star.  He was an all star both on and off the field.  He was simply a class act.  Dan Plesac, an all-star pitcher and current MLB network analyst, described his former Blue Jays teammate as a "kind, giant of a man.  Soft spoken and a true professional."  Another of Tony's onetime teammates, pitcher Todd Stottlemyre, wrote:  "My heart is heavy at the loss of my former teammate.  I will never forget this man.  He influenced my life in a positive way."

To me, Tony Fernandez epitomizes the best in professional athletes.  He was a fan favourite and I will always associate him with the glory years of the Toronto Blue Jays.  My condolences to his wife, Clara and their five children: Joel, Jonathan Abraham, Andres and Jasmine.  Rest in Peace, Tony.

- Joanne

Friday, February 7, 2020

Oscars Quiz 2020

The 92nd Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2020 and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.  As you prepare for the big night, why not challenge yourself and try Number 16's tenth annual Oscars quiz.  There are 10 questions.  Good luck!


1.  Robert De Niro was snubbed at this year's Academy Awards.  He did not receive an Oscar nomination for Martin Scorsese's gangster epic The Irishman (Joe Pesci and Al Pacino were nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for their performances in the film).  De Niro is the past winner of two Oscars.  For which films did Niro win his Oscars?

De NIro
A.  The Deer Hunter and Raging Bull

B.  Taxi Driver and The Godfather Part II

C.  Raging Bull and The Godfather Part II

D,  The King of Comedy, The Deer Hunter

E.  Once Upon a Time in America, Raging Bull

2.  Who is the only actor to be nominated twice for a Best Actor Oscar.

A,  Montgomery Clift

B.  James Dean

C.  Peter Finch

D.  Jean Harlow

E/   Sal Mineo

3.  How many times have the Academy Awards been postponed?

A.  Once

B.  Twice

C.  Three times

D.  Four times

E.  Never

4.  What year were the Oscars first broadcast in colour?

A.  1967

B.  1965

C.  1964

D.  1966

E.  1968

5.  How much does an Oscar statuette weigh?

A,  7 1/2 pounds (3.4 kilograms)

B.  8 1/2 pounds (3.85 kilograms)

C.  6 1/2 pounds (2.94 kilograms)

D.  5 1/2 pounds  (2.49 kilograms)

E.  7 pounds (3.17 kilograms)

6.  Brad Pitt has been nominated this year for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.  In 2012, he received an Oscar for producing the Best Picture - 12 Years a Slave.  Has he ever won an Oscar for an acting role?

A.  No.

B.  Yes, he won a Best Actor in a Leading Role Award for his performance in Moneyball.

C.  Yes, he won a Best Actor in a Leading Role Award for his performance in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

D.  Yes, he won a Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in 12 Monkeys.

E.  Yes, he has won two Oscars - Best Actor in a Lead Role for Moneyball and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for 12 Monkeys.

7.  Kirk Douglas died on February 5, 2020 at the age of 103.  Did he ever receive an Oscar?

A    No, he never received an Oscar.

B.  Yes, he received an Oscar for Lust for Life.

C.  Yes, he received an Oscar for The Bad and the Beautiful.

D.  Yes, he received an Oscar for Champion.

E.   Yes, he received an Academy Honorary Award.

8.  Marilyn Monroe never won an Oscar.  Was she ever nominated for one.

A.  Yes, for her role in Some Like it Hot

B.  Yes, for Niagara

C.  Yes, for The Prince and the Showgirl

D.  No, she was never nominated.

E.  Yes, for Bus Stop

9.  Renée Zellweger has been nominated this year for her performance as Judy Garland in the film Judy.  If she wins, she will garner her second Oscar.  For which film did she win an Oscar?

Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland 

A.  Bridget Jones's Diary

B.  Cold Mountain

C.  Chicago

D.  Nurse Betty

E.  Jerry Maguire

10. Sydney Poitier will turn 93 years old on February 20, 2020.  He is the first black to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.  For which film did he win his Oscar?

Sydney Poitier in 1968

A.  Lilies of the Field

B.  A Patch of Blue

C.  Blackboard Jungle

D.  A Raisin in the Sun

E.  Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?


1.  C.
Raging Bull and The Godfather Part II

Robert De Niro won the 1975 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Godfather Part II.  He also received the 1981 Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Raging Bull.

2  B.

James Dean

James Dean was won two Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscars posthumously.  He won for his performances in the 1955 film East of Eden and the 1956 film Giant.

On September 30, 1955, James Dean.was killed in a highway crash while driving his Porsche to Salinas, California to compete in an auto race.  East of Eden was released a few weeks before his death.  He died before Giant was edited.  It was released about a year after his passing.

3.  C.

Three times

The Academy Awards were delayed for a week in 1938 due to a flooding in Los Angeles.  In 1968, the Oscars were postponed for two days because of Martin Luther King's funeral.  In 1981, they were pushed back for one day because of an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan.

4.  D


The Academy Awards were first broadcast in colour on April 18, 1966.  That was 13 years after the Oscars were first televised across the United States and Canada, on March 19, 1953.

5.  B

8 1/2 pounds (3.85 kilograms)

6.  A


Brad Pitt has never received an Academy Award for an acting role.  He had been nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and for Moneyball.  He has also been nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for 12 Monkeys.  If he wins for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, he will take home his first acting Oscar.

7.  E


In 1996, Kirk Douglas received an Academy Honorary Award.  Although he was nominated for three acting performances, he failed to win all three times.  In 1950, Douglas was nominated for Best Actor for Champion.  In 1953, he was nominated for Best Actor for The Bad and the Beautiful.  In 1957, he was nominated for Best Actor for Lust for Life.

8.  D


Marilyn Monroe was never nominated for an Academy Award.

9.  B

Cold Mountain


In 2004, Renée Zellweger won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Cold Mountain.  In 2003, received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her role in Chicago, but did not win.  In 2002, she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Bridget Joness's Diary, but did not win.

10.  A

Lilies of the Field

Poitier in Lilies of the Field

Poitier with Oscar in 1964

In 1964, Sydney Poitier won a Best Actor Oscar for his role as a handyman who helps a group of German-speaking nuns build a chapel in Lilies  of the Field.  He was the only black man to win that award until Denzil Washington won it 38 years later for Training Day.  Coincidentally, Denzil Washington won his Oscar on the same night in 2002 that Sydney Poitier received an Honorary Oscar from the Academy in recognition for "his remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being."

- Joanne

Friday, January 24, 2020

Vocabulary Test #16: Ten words related to birds

Number 16 Vocabulary Quiz #6 
Ten words related to birds

1.  What is the correct term for someone who studies birds?
A.  An orthologist

B.  An ornithologist

C.  A paralogist

D.  A homologist

E.   An ophiologist

2.  What is an aviary?
A.  A collection of birds' nests

B.  A place for healing injured birds; a kind of hospital for birds

C.  A gathering of bird watchers

D.  A place for keeping birds confined

E.  A special school for those who study birds

3.  What is an avifauna?
A.   The birds who can fly

B.   The birds who cannot fly

C.  The birds or the kinds of birds of a region, period, environment

D.  Birds who do not build nests

E.   A bird of prey

4.  What is a talon?
A.  The claw of an animal and especially of a bird of prey

B.   The bill or beak of a bird

C.   A baby bird about to leave the nest

D.   An old bird

E.   A female bird

5.  What is oology?
A.  The study of birds' feathers

B.   The study of birds' sounds

C.  The collection and study of birds' eggs especially in relation to their shape and coloration

D.  The collection and study of birds' nests especially in relation to their shape and size

E.  The study of the migration of birds

6.  What is a gizzard?
A.  A bird's throat

B.  Where the reproductive and urinary ducts of a bird open

C.  Area between eye and bill of a bird

D.  Extension of the foregut of a bird, used to store food

E.  Part of a bird's stomach, grinds food

7.  What is a wattle?
A.  A large, colourful bird feather

B.  Fleshy protuberance, usually at the bill of a bird

C.  A kind of bird walk

D.  A baby bird

E.  A group of migrating birds

8.  What is a crest?
A.   The loudest sound that a bird makes

B.  Where the nest of a bird is located

C.   A distinctive marking on some birds

D.  Long feathers atop the head of a bird

E.  The highest a bird can fly

9.  What does "to fledge" mean?
A.  To leave the nest after acquiring the ability to fly

B.  To spread wings

C.   To fly without the rest of the flock

D.  To search for food

E.  To abandon nest and build another one elsewhere.

10.  What does "to molt" mean?
A.  To return after migration

B.  To lose feathers due to aging

C.   To attack another bird

D.  The process by which the colour of a bird's feathers fade

E.  To replace old feather

(Note:  The definitions for the correct answers have been taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary or thesaurus)

1.  B
ornithologist (noun): One who is involved with a branch of zoology dealing with birds

2.  D
aviary (noun): A place for keeping birds confined, as in "The zoo has a new outdoor aviary."

3.  C
avifauna (noun): The birds or he kinds of birds of a region, period, environment

4.  A
talon (noun): The claw of an animal and especially of a bird of prey, as in "The hawk gripped the mouse in its talons."

5.  C
oology (noun): The collection and study of birds' eggs especially in relation to their shape and coloration.  The first known use of the term "oology" was in 1830.

6.  E
gizzard (noun): The muscular enlargement of the digest tract of birds that has usually thick muscular walls and a tough horny lining for grinding the food

7.  B
wattle (noun): A fleshy pendulous process usually about the head or neck (as of a bird), such as the flap of bumpy red skin hanging off a male turkey's face

8.  D
crest (noun): A showy tuft or process on the head of an animal and especially a bird

Blue Jay with crest (long feathers on head)

9.  A
fledge (verb): Of a young bird: to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity also: to leave the nest after acquiring such feathers

10.  E
molt (verb): To shed hair, feathers, shell, horn, or an outer layer periodically, as in "Birds molt once or twice a year."

- Joanne

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Imperial Presidency of Donald Trump

Let there be light and let it shine on the truth so that America and the world can be saved from the tyranny of the Imperial Presidency of Donald Trump.  President Trump insists that he is innocent and that he has not done anything wrong.  Don't believe him, America!  You can see that he is not behaving like an innocent man.  Why doesn't he want the American people and the rest of the world to know the truth?  An innocent man exposes himself to the light, but Donald Trump has cloaked himself in darkness.  If he has nothing to hide, why has the White House been doing  everything in its power to withhold witnesses and documents from Congress.  I challenge every Republican and Trump supporter to provide me with a satisfactory answer to that question.

Donald Trump and his Republican cohorts have insulted the American people.  Why don't they think that Americans are capable of making up their own minds after having access to all the evidence?  Why can't John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney testify?  Witnesses testified at the Senate trials of Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton.  What kind of trial has no witnesses?

Is Team Trump afraid that given the evidence, Trump's perfidy will be laid out for all to see.
Trump's aim is to continually expand the powers of the presidency, but there is a reason why the founders created two other branches of government.  There is a reason why the Congress is a co-equal branch which cannot be ignored.  There is a reason for the impeachment process.  That reason is to curb presidential power. That reason is to stop a president like Trump from becoming too autocratic.  If Trump wins another four years in office. the United States will be unrecognizable.  Trump might as well be crowned king or emperor.  This cannot and should not be allowed to happen to America and the world.

Trump's trained seals in the Senate are not going to convict him.  Barring some unforeseen circumstances, there is only one way to save America.  He must be defeated in the 2020 election.  I write this because I am alarmed.  I truly believe that Donald J. Trump is not only a threat to America, but a threat to the whole world.  This is the gravest threat to the Republic since the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.

No, Donald Trump!  You can't do anything you want.  You are not above the law.  Contrary to what you say, the president cannot kill someone on Fifth Avenue with impunity.  He or she must be accountable to the people.  The Constitution of the United States says so.

- Joanne