Author: Norman Hill

Four Cinderellas: A Delightful Time Warp

Who would’ve thought that today I’d be close to owning four versions on DVDs of the same classic fairy tale—three down, one to go? From the early 1950s, the Disney animated version was first. It was brilliantly drawn, and contained several timeless songs. Two comic tunes were “Cinderella, Cinderella” and “Bippety Boppety Boo.” In 1957 and 1964 there were two TV special versions. Both featured musical scores by Rogers and Hammerstein II, although some of the songs differed. Fourth, still being shown, the latest non-musical version of Cinderella has other aspects to recommend it. The animated version did a...

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Marie Curie—Greatest Female Scientist

Marie Curie  is considered to be the greatest female scientist, and perhaps even more significant, the most inspirational female scientist. Her achievements include being the first female to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win two Nobel Prizes, the only woman to win prestigious awards in two fields, and the only person to win such awards in multiple sciences Her scientific achievements include formulation of a scientific theory of radioactivity. This involved techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes. She isolated two hitherto unknown elements, polonium in 1898 and pure metallic radium in 1910. Curie was born in Poland in 1867....

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Island Magic: A Welcome Cruise Addition

My wife Maralyn and I have always loved cruising. During our most recent Caribbean trip on Holland America’s ms Eurodam, in March, 2015, we were delighted to watch the steel drum quartet from Trinidad known as “Island Magic.” On a week’s cruise, during evenings after dinner, we usually plan to see two sessions of the ship’s singers and dancers. This time, we decided to take a fling and also see an unknown band, the Island Magic. We weren’t sure whether this was reggae or calypso. Either would be okay, though reggae wasn’t our first love, as Broadway-style singing and...

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The Farm at South Mountain in Phoenix

By Norman E. Hill and Maralyn D. Hill Often, when a destination includes the word “mountain,” we think of a hideaway tucked far and up into the hills, with a steep ascending access road. This is not the case with The Farm at South Mountain, which hosted a lunch and tour we recently attended. Located a little south of Southern Road and 32nd Street in Phoenix, the Farm packs fascinating variety into its ten acres. It includes three unique restaurants, botanical and succulent nursery markets, massage and yoga facilities, farmers market produce and photographer services. Across time, there have...

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Poetry and the American Popular Song: What a Combo!

“Poetry? Poetry? YECH! Poetry is for girls!” This was yours truly talking, as an acne-dripping, unhappy teenager. What changed my mind so drastically and “shaped up,” so to speak, my world view? Maybe it started with words from a freshman English teacher. Although she was not particularly likable, her argument has always  stayed with me: “You ask yourself, ‘Why study Literature when I’m surely going to be an engineer?’ Well, if you do, you’ll be a better engineer.” But more than her assertion, however relevant, my turnaround came with my interest in music. This would be the popular variety,...

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